CSF-Venous Fistulas: Anatomy and Diagnostic Imaging.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

CSF-venous fistulas (CVFs), first described in 2014, are an important cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension. CVFs can be challenging to detect on conventional anatomic imaging because, unlike other types of spinal CSF leak, they do not typically result in pooling of fluid in the epidural space, and imaging signs of CVF may be subtle. Specialized myelographic techniques have been developed to help with CVF identification, but these techniques are not yet widely disseminated. This article reviews the current understanding of CVFs, emphasizing correlations between venous anatomy and imaging findings as well as potential mechanisms for pathogenesis, and describes current imaging techniques used for CVF diagnosis and localization. These techniques are broadly classified into fluoroscopy-based methods, including digital subtraction myelography and dynamic myelography, and cross-sectional methods, including decubitus CT myelography and MR myelography with intrathecal injection of gadolinium. Knowledge of these various options, including their relative advantages and disadvantages, is critical in the care of patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension. Investigation is ongoing, and continued advances in knowledge about CVFs as well as in optimal imaging detection are anticipated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kranz, PG; Gray, L; Malinzak, MD; Houk, JL; Kim, DK; Amrhein, TJ

Published Date

  • December 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 217 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1418 - 1429

PubMed ID

  • 34191547

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-3141

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2214/AJR.21.26182


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States