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Case report
Dural arteriovenous fistula presenting with dementia and bulbar symptoms


Dural arteriovenous fistulas are relatively rare. Some cases are difficult to diagnose, leading to unnecessary investigations, treatments and delays, particularly if the presentation is atypical. We report a case of a man who presented with progressive dementia and bulbar symptoms, both under-recognised non-haemorrhagic neurological deficits, caused by cortical venous hypertension. Brain imaging showed unusual bilateral thalamic, tectal plate and midbrain oedema. The patient was investigated and treated for alternative aetiologies, before being correctly diagnosed and managed using angiographic embolisation. His clinical and radiological signs improved significantly following treatment, reducing his risk of neurological morbidity and mortality.

  • neuroimaging
  • stroke
  • dementia, vascular
  • interventional radiology
  • brain stem / cerebellum

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