Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula clinical features

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula clinical features

Clinical features of DAVF vary depending on their location, arterial supply, degree of arteriovenousshunting, and most importantly, their venous drainage pattern 1) 2) 3) 4)

DAVF lacking cortical vein drainage (CVD) may be asymptomatic, or present with symptoms related to increased dural sinus blood flow, such as pulsatile tinnitus, the latter particularly common for transverse sinus and sigmoid sinuses lesions.

Generalized central nervous system symptoms that may be related to venous hypertension or cerebrospinal fluid malabsorption, while resulting cranial nerve palsy, are often because of an arterial steal phenomenon or occasionally mass effect from an enlarged arterial feeder.

In addition, cavernous sinus dural arteriovenous fistula may present with orbital symptoms, including chemosisproptosisophthalmoplegia, and decreased visual acuity.

DAVF with CVD typically have more aggressive clinical presentations, including the sudden onset of severe headacheseizures, nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit (NHND), and intracranial hemorrhage, including intraparenchymal, subarachnoid, and subdural hematoma.

In a meta-analysis, Lasjaunias et al 5) reviewed 195 cases of DAVF and found that focal neurological deficits were related to the presence of associated cortical venous drainage (CVD) and venous congestion in the affected vascular territory. Less common aggressive presentations include brain stem or cerebellar dysfunction secondary to venous congestion, parkinsonism-like symptoms, extra-axial hemorrhage in the cervical spine, as well as cervical and upper thoracic myelopathy.

DAVF with extensive arteriovenous shunting, particularly in the setting of dural sinus thrombosis, can result in impaired venous drainage from the brain and the global venous hypertension. This can lead to cerebral edema, encephalopathy, and cognitive decline 6).


Pulsatile tinnitus is the most common presenting symptom of a DAVF. Cortical venous drainage with resultant venous hypertension can produce intracranial hypertension, and this is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality and thus the strongest indication for Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula treatment.

DAVFs may also cause global cerebral edema or hydrocephalus due to poor cerebral venous drainage or by impairing the function of the arachnoid granulations, respectively. Other DAVF symptoms/signs include headaches, seizures, cranial nerve palsies, and orbital venous congestion.


Leptomeningeal venous drainage can lead to venous hypertension and intracranial hemorrhage.

The majority of patients presented with non-aggressive symptoms. 18% presented with intracranial hemorrhage: all the hemorrhages occurred in high-grade DAVFs 7).

see Dural arteriovenous fistula presenting as an acute subdural hemorrhage.


Only 4 cases of DAVF causing syncope have been reported, all in combination with other neurological symptoms. In comparison, they report a unique case of DAVF presenting solely with recurrent syncope, a previously undocumented finding in the literature. The case adds to other reports of nonspecific DAVF presentations and highlights the importance of considering this etiology 8).


1)

Gandhi D, Chen J, Pearl M, Huang J, Gemmete JJ, Kathuria S.Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: classification, imaging findings, and treatment.AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012; 33:1007–1013. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A2798.
2)

Sarma D, ter Brugge K.Management of intracranial dural arteriovenous shunts in adults.Eur J Radiol. 2003; 46:206–220.
3)

Houser OW, Campbell JK, Campbell RJ, Sundt TMArteriovenous malformation affecting the transverse dural venous sinus–an acquired lesion.Mayo Clin Proc. 1979; 54:651–661.
4) , 5)

Lasjaunias P, Chiu M, ter Brugge K, Tolia A, Hurth M, Bernstein M.Neurological manifestations of intracranial dural arteriovenous malformations.J Neurosurg. 1986; 64:724–730. doi: 10.3171/jns.1986.64.5.0724.
6)

Miller TR, Gandhi D. Intracranial Dural Arteriovenous Fistulae: Clinical Presentation and Management Strategies. Stroke. 2015 Jul;46(7):2017-25. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.008228. Epub 2015 May 21. PMID: 25999384.
7)

Signorelli, F. et al. Diagnosis and management of dural arteriovenous fistulas: A 10 years single-center experience Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery , Volume 128 , 123 – 129
8)

Sheinberg DL, Luther E, Chen S, McCarthy D, Starke RM. Recurrent Syncope Caused by a Dural Arteriovenous Fistula: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Neurologist. 2021 Mar 4;26(2):62-65. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0000000000000322. PMID: 33646991.

Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis

Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis

Until now, the exact etiology of intracranial aneurysms formation remains unclear.

Time-dependent and site-dependent morphological changes and the level of degradation molecules may be indicative of the vulnerability of aneurysm rupture 1).

Miyata et al. proposed the contribution of a structural change in an adventitia, i.e., vasa vasorum formation, to the rupture of IAs 2).

Intracranial aneurysm risk factors.

see Intracranial aneurysm genetics.

see Intracranial aneurysm pathophysiology.

see Intracranial aneurysm hemodynamics.

In addition to ambiental factors (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and hypertension), epidemiological studies have demonstrated a familiar influence contributing to the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms, with increased frequency in first- and second-degree relatives of people with subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Data suggest that macrophage-derived Matrix metalloproteinase 2 and Matrix metalloproteinase 9, may play an important role in the progression of intracranial aneurysms. The findings will shed a new light into the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms and highlight the importance of inflammatory response causing the degeneration of extracellular matrix in the process of this disease 3).

Investigations strongly suggest that the pathophysiology is closely associated with chronic inflammation in vascular walls. Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) has a key role in the formation and progression.

Children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) are at risk for developing multiple intracranial aneurysms, and a high index of suspicion must be maintained during the interpretation of routine magnetic resonance imaging or angiography of the brain 4).

Dental bacterial DNA can be found using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in both ruptured and unruptured aneurysm walls, suggesting that bacterial DNA plays a role in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms in general, rather than only in ruptured aneurysms 5).

Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the THSD1 gene.

The protein encoded by this gene contains a type 1 thrombospondin domain, which is found in thrombospondin, a number of proteins involved in the complement pathway, as well as extracellular matrix proteins. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been observed.

As illustrated by THSD1 research, cell adhesion may play a significant role in IA 6).

A study discovered that harmful variants in THSD1 (Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1) likely cause intracranial aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage in a subset of both familial and sporadic patients with supporting evidence from two vertebrate models 7).

A report identified THSD1 mutations in familial and sporadic IA patients and shows that THSD1 loss results in cerebral bleeding in 2 animal models. This finding provides new insight into IA and subarachnoid hemorrhage pathogenesis and provides new understanding of THSD1 function, which includes endothelial cell to extracellular matrix adhesion 8).

Toll‑like receptor (TLR) 2/4 serves an important regulatory role in nerve tissue injury. However, the downstream and potential mechanisms remain to be elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate the roles of the TLR2/4‑major myeloid differentiation response gene 88 (MyD88)‑NF‑κB signaling pathway in the development of an intracranial aneurysm. The expression of TLR2, TLR4, and MyD88 in the blood of normal controls and patients with intracranial aneurysms were detected by quantitative PCR and ELISA. Human brain vascular smooth muscle cells were treated by Angiotensin II (Ang II) to evaluate the involvement of the TLR2/4‑MyD88‑NF‑κB signaling pathway in the process. The in vitro experiment was divided into four groups: The control group, an Ang Ⅱ group, an Ang Ⅱ + small interfering (si)RNA control group, and an Ang Ⅱ + TLR2‑group. Cell viability, migration, apoptosis, and expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, NF‑κB, and phosphorylated (p‑)p65 expression was detected. The results demonstrated that the expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, and NF‑κB at mRNA and protein levels in patients with an intracranial aneurysm was significantly higher compared with corresponding protein in normal controls (P&lt;0.05). <em>In vitro</em> experiments demonstrated that Ang Ⅱ treatment increased the cell proliferation and migration rate but reduced the apoptotic rate compared with the control (P&lt;0.05). The expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, NF‑κB, and p‑p65 was significantly increased in the Ang II group (vs. control; P&lt;0.05). By contrast, TLR2‑short interfering RNA reduced the cell proliferation and migration rate and reduced the expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, NF‑κB, and p‑p65 (vs. Ang Ⅱ + short interfering RNA control; P&lt;0.05). In conclusion, the data of the present study indicated that the TLR2/4‑MyD88‑NF‑κB signaling pathway is involved in the intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis 9).


1)

Yamaguchi T, Miyamoto T, Kitazato KT, Shikata E, Yamaguchi I, Korai M, Shimada K, Yagi K, Tada Y, Matsuzaki Y, Kanematsu Y, Takagi Y. Time-dependent and site-dependent morphological changes in rupture-prone arteries: ovariectomized rat intracranial aneurysm model. J Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 13:1-9. doi: 10.3171/2019.6.JNS19777. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31518986.
2)

Miyata H, Imai H, Koseki H, Shimizu K, Abekura Y, Oka M, Kawamata T, Matsuda T, Nozaki K, Narumiya S, Aoki T. Vasa vasorum formation is associated with rupture of intracranial aneurysms. J Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 16:1-11. doi: 10.3171/2019.5.JNS19405. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31419795.
3)

Aoki T, Kataoka H, Morimoto M, Nozaki K, Hashimoto N. Macrophage-derived matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 promote the progression of cerebral aneurysms in rats. Stroke. 2007 Jan;38(1):162-9. Epub 2006 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 17122420.
4)

Saini S, Speller-Brown B, Wyse E, Meier ER, Carpenter J, Fasano RM, Pearl MS. Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms in Children With Sickle Cell Disease: Analysis of 18 Aneurysms in 5 Patients. Neurosurgery. 2015 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25710108.
5)

Pyysalo MJ, Pyysalo LM, Pessi T, Karhunen PJ, Lehtimäki T, Oksala N, Öhman JE. Bacterial DNA findings in ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Acta Odontol Scand. 2016 May;74(4):315-20. doi: 10.3109/00016357.2015.1130854. Epub 2016 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 26777430.
6)

Xu Z, Rui YN, Hagan JP, Kim DH. Intracranial Aneurysms: Pathology, Genetics, and Molecular Mechanisms. Neuromolecular Med. 2019 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s12017-019-08537-7. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31055715.
7)

Rui YN, Xu Z, Fang X, Menezes MR, Balzeau J, Niu A, Hagan JP, Kim DH. The Intracranial Aneurysm Gene THSD1 Connects Endosome Dynamics to Nascent Focal Adhesion Assembly. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;43(6):2200-2211. doi: 10.1159/000484298. Epub 2017 Oct 25. PubMed PMID: 29069646.
8)

Santiago-Sim T, Fang X, Hennessy ML, Nalbach SV, DePalma SR, Lee MS, Greenway SC, McDonough B, Hergenroeder GW, Patek KJ, Colosimo SM, Qualmann KJ, Hagan JP, Milewicz DM, MacRae CA, Dymecki SM, Seidman CE, Seidman JG, Kim DH. THSD1 (Thrombospondin Type 1 Domain Containing Protein 1) Mutation in the Pathogenesis of Intracranial Aneurysm and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Stroke. 2016 Dec;47(12):3005-3013. Epub 2016 Nov 15. Erratum in: Stroke. 2017 Aug;48(8):e240. PubMed PMID: 27895300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5134902.
9)

Zhang X, Wan Y, Feng J, Li M, Jiang Z. Involvement of TLR2/4‑MyD88‑NF‑κB signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysm. Mol Med Rep. 2021 Jan 26. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2021.11869. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33655339.

Non-small cell lung cancer intracranial metastases treatment

Non-small cell lung cancer intracranial metastases treatment

Brain metastases are common in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Because of associated poor prognosis and limited specific treatment options, there is a real need for the development of medical therapies and strategies for affected patients 1).


EGFR and ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) provide significantly superior systemic response rates and progression free survival compared to standard chemotherapy in the molecularly defined Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) subpopulations. An apparent intracranial activity of new generation TKIs triggered the discussion on their role in brain metastases in lieu of local therapies 2).

The discovery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)-activating mutations and Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) rearrangements in patients with non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma has allowed for the introduction of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors to the treatment of advanced-stage patients. The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane protein with tyrosine kinase-dependent activity. EGFR is present in membranes of all epithelial cells. In physiological conditions, it plays an important role in the process of cell growth and proliferation. Binding the ligand to the EGFR causes its dimerization and the activation of the intracellular signaling cascade. Signal transduction involves the activation of MAPKAKT, and JNK, resulting in DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. In cancer cells, binding the ligand to the EGFR also leads to its dimerization and transduction of the signal to the cell interior. It has been demonstrated that activating mutations in the gene for EGFR-exon19 (deletion), L858R point mutation in exon 21, and mutation in exon 20 results in cancer cell proliferation. Continuous stimulation of the receptor inhibits apoptosis, stimulates invasion, intensifies angiogenesis, and facilitates the formation of distant metastases. As a consequence, cancer progresses. These activating gene mutations for the EGFR are present in 10-20% of lung adenocarcinomas. Approximately 3-7% of patients with lung adenocarcinoma have the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4)/ALK fusion gene. The fusion of the two genes EML4 and ALK results in a fusion gene that activates the intracellular signaling pathway stimulates the proliferation of tumor cells and inhibits apoptosis. A new group of drugs-small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors-has been developed; the first generation includes gefitinib and erlotinib and the ALK inhibitor crizotinib. These drugs reversibly block the EGFR by stopping the signal transmission to the cell. The second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) afatinib or ALK inhibitor alectinib block the receptor irreversibly. Clinical trials with TKI in patients with non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma with central nervous system (CNS) metastases have shown prolonged, progression-free survival, a high percentage of objective responses, and improved quality of life. Resistance to treatment with this group of drugs emerging during TKI therapy is the basis for the detection of resistance mutations. The T790M mutation, present in exon 20 of the EGFR gene, is detected in patients treated with first- and second-generation TKI and is overcome by Osimertinib, a third-generation TKI. The I117N resistance mutation in patients with the ALK mutation treated with alectinib is overcome by ceritinib. In this way, sequential therapy ensures the continuity of treatment. In patients with CNS metastases, attempts are made to simultaneously administer radiation therapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Patients with lung adenocarcinoma with CNS metastases, without activating EGFR mutation and without ALK rearrangement, benefit from immunotherapy. This therapeutic option blocks the PD-1 receptor on the surface of T or B lymphocytes or PD-L1 located on cancer cells with an applicable antibody. Based on clinical trials, pembrolizumab and all antibodies are included in the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma with CNS metastases 3).


KPS score ≥ 70, RPA class I/II, and postoperative chemotherapy could benefit post-metastasectomy patients with brain metastases (BM) from Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Conversely, the initial onset of intracranial lesions is an unfavorable factor that increases the risk of death. These findings support the use of personalized therapy for patients with BM from NSCLC 4).


A article of Preusser et al., is the result of a round table discussion held at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva in May 2017. Its purpose was to explore and discuss the advances in the knowledge about the biology and treatment of brain metastases originating from non-small cell lung cancer. The authors propose a series of recommendations for research and treatment within the discussed context 5).


PUBMEDEMBASE, the Cochrane LibraryWeb of Knowledge, Current Controlled Trials, Clinical Trials, and 2 conference websites were searched to select NSCLC patients with only single brain metastasis (SBM) who received brain surgery or SRS. SPSS 18.0 software was used to analyze the mean median survival time (MST) and Stata 11.0 software was used to calculate the overall survival (OS).

A total of 18 trials including 713 patients were systematically reviewed. The MST of the patients was 12.7 months in surgery group and 14.85 months in SRS group, respectively. The 1, 2, and 5 years OS of the patients were 59%, 33%, and 19% in surgery group, and 62%, 33%, and 14% in SRS group, respectively. Furthermore, in the surgery group, the 1 and 3 years OS were 68% and 15% in patients with controlled primary tumors, and 50% and 13% in the other patients with uncontrolled primary tumors, respectively. Interestingly, the 5-year OS was up to 21% in patients with controlled primary tumors.

There was no significant difference in MST or OS between patients treated with neurosurgery and SRS. Patients with resectable lung tumors and SBM may benefit from the resection of both primary lesions and metastasis 6).

Patients with NSCLC and synchronous brain metastases, presenting neurological symptoms showed no survival benefit from neurosurgical resection, although quality of life was improved due to early control of neurological symptoms 7).


Response rates after platinum based antineoplastics, range from 23% to 45%. Development of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs): gefitinib or erlotinib, was an improvement in treatment of advanced NSCLC patients. EGFR mutations are present in 10-25% of NSCLC (mostly adenocarcinoma), and up to 55% in never-smoking women of East Asian descent. In the non-selected group of patients with BMF-NSCLC, the overall response rates after gefitinib or erlotinib treatment range from 10% to 38%, and the duration of response ranges from 9 to 13.5 months. In the case of present activating EGFR mutation, the response rate after EGRF-TKIs is greater than 50%, and in selected groups (adenocarcinoma, patients of Asian descent, never-smokers, asymptomatic BMF-NSCLC) even 70%. Gefitinib or erlotinib treatment improves survival of BMF-NSCLC patients with EGFR mutation in comparison to cases without the presence of this mutation. There is no data on the activity of the anti-EML4-ALK agent crizotinib. Bevacizumab, recombinant humanised monoclonal antibody anti-VEGF, in the treatment of advanced non-squamous NSCLC patients is a subject of intense research. Data from a clinical trial enrolling patients with pretreated or occult BMF-NSCLC proved that the addition of bevacizumab to various chemotherapy agents or erlotinib is a safe and efficient treatment, associated with a low incidence of CSN haemorrhages. However, the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab used for therapeutic intent, regarding active brain metastases is unknown 8).

see Non small cell lung cancer intracranial metastases whole brain radiotherapy

see Non small cell lung cancer intracranial metastases radiosurgery

see Non small cell lung cancer intracranial metastases surgery.


1)

Bulbul A, Forde PM, Murtuza A, Woodward B, Yang H, Bastian I, Ferguson PK, Lopez-Diaz F, Ettinger DS, Husain H. Systemic Treatment Options for Brain Metastases from Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Oncology (Williston Park). 2018 Apr 15;32(4):156-63. Review. PubMed PMID: 29684234.
2)

Wrona A, Dziadziuszko R, Jassem J. Management of brain metastases in non-small cell lung cancer in the era of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Cancer Treat Rev. 2018 Dec;71:59-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2018.10.011. Epub 2018 Oct 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 30366200.
3)

Rybarczyk-Kasiuchnicz A, Ramlau R, Stencel K. Treatment of Brain Metastases of Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 8;22(2):593. doi: 10.3390/ijms22020593. PMID: 33435596; PMCID: PMC7826874.
4)

She C, Wang R, Lu C, Sun Z, Li P, Yin Q, Liu Q, Wang P, Li W. Prognostic factors and outcome of surgically treated patients with brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer. Thorac Cancer. 2018 Nov 28. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.12913. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30485664.
5)

Preusser M, Winkler F, Valiente M, Manegold C, Moyal E, Widhalm G, Tonn JC, Zielinski C. Recent advances in the biology and treatment of brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer: summary of a multidisciplinary roundtable discussion. ESMO Open. 2018 Jan 26;3(1):e000262. doi: 10.1136/esmoopen-2017-000262. eCollection 2018. Review. PubMed PMID: 29387475; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5786916.
6)

Qin H, Wang C, Jiang Y, Zhang X, Zhang Y, Ruan Z. Patients with single brain metastasis from non-small cell lung cancer equally benefit from stereotactic radiosurgery and surgery: a systematic review. Med Sci Monit. 2015 Jan 12;21:144-52. doi: 10.12659/MSM.892405. PubMed PMID: 25579245.
7)

Kim SY, Hong CK, Kim TH, Hong JB, Park CH, Chang YS, Kim HJ, Ahn CM, Byun MK. Efficacy of surgical treatment for brain metastasis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Yonsei Med J. 2015 Jan 1;56(1):103-11. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2015.56.1.103. PubMed PMID: 25510753; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4276743.
8)

Cedrych I, Kruczała MA, Walasek T, Jakubowicz J, Blecharz P, Reinfuss M. Systemic treatment of non-small cell lung cancer brain metastases. Contemp Oncol (Pozn). 2016;20(5):352-357. doi: 10.5114/wo.2016.64593. Epub 2016 Dec 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 28373815; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5371701.
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