Minimally invasive intradural spinal dural arteriovenous fistula ligation

Naresh P. Patel, Barry D. Birch, Mark K. Lyons, Stacie E. Dement, Gregg A. Elbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) have traditionally been approached through a bilateral laminectomy procedure with intradural exploration and ligation of the fistulae. A minimally invasive approach for DAVF ligation may be associated with fewer complications and a shorter recovery than the traditional laminectomy procedure. Our objective was to determine the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of intradural DAVF ligation via the use of a minimally invasive microsurgical technique. Methods: Seven patients with thoracolumbar DAVFs were microsurgically treated with a minimally invasive technique. The procedure entailed localization with the use of fluoroscopy followed by a midline 2.2-cm skin opening. Exposure was facilitated by the use of a tubular retractor. Intradural access was obtained after hemilaminectomy, and the fistula was identified and ligated. Dural closure was facilitated by the use of self-closing nitinol clips. The incidence of postoperative complications, blood loss, and length of hospital stay were reviewed. Results: Each patient tolerated the procedure well. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications. Specifically, there were no new neurological deficits and no cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Each patient was ambulatory within 18 hours with only mild incisional back pain. Mean length of stay was 1.6 days. One-year follow-up demonstrated obliteration of the fistula with improvement or stabilization of neurological deficits in all cases. Conclusions: The minimally invasive approach for intradural ligation of DAVFs appears to be a reasonable alternative to bilateral full laminectomies. Although no direct comparison with the more extensive bilateral laminectomy approach has been performed, our initial experience suggests that this novel approach may reduce blood loss and length of hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e267-e270
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Dural arteriovenous fistula
  • Intradural
  • Minimally invasive
  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery
  • Spinal AV fistula
  • Spinal AVM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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