Dural Arteriovenous Fistulae

The following tests may be used to diagnose your dural arteriovenous fistulae (DAVF) and help identify its size, location and blood-flow pattern.

  • Cerebral Angiography — This X-ray exam shows the structure of blood vessels and is the most important test in diagnosing DAVF. A harmless dye, visible on X-rays, is injected into an artery that supplies blood to the brain. As the dye flows through blood vessels to the brain, it will show any obstructions or leaks.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan — During this test, X-ray beams are used to create a 3-D image of the brain and may help identify any bleeding or hemorrhage. For more precise images of blood vessels, the cerebral angiography and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) are performed.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) — An MRA uses magnetic resonance imaging to create detailed images of blood vessels. Using a strong magnetic field, it generates a 3-D image of the brain to detect, diagnose and aid the treatment of DAVFs and other vascular disorders. In some cases, a dye is injected intravenously.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

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