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Dural Arteriovenous Fistulae (DAVF)

A dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) is an abnormal direct connection – without any intervening capillaries – between an artery and a vein. Some DAVFs result in high pressure in the brain and can result in brain hemorrhage. These DAVFs should be treated to prevent future bleeding in the brain. Other DAVFs are not dangerous and can be observed. DAVFs can occur around the brain or the spinal cord. Some possible symptoms are tinnitus (ringing in the ears), swelling or redness of the eye, headache, and seizures. DAVFs can be treated by microsurgical obliteration, embolization (destroys a DAVF by selectively blocking blood supply), or radiosurgery. The best treatment of each DAVF is determined by a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, endovascular surgeons, and radiation specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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