Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Acute headache resulting from intracranial venous reflux due to occlusion of the brachiocephalic vein ipsilateral to a dialysis shunt

Yusuke Nishimura, M.D.1)2), Keisuke Imai, M.D.1), Masashi Hamanaka, M.D.1), Hidekazu Yamazaki, M.D.1)3), Tsuneyuki Nakanouchi, M.D., Ph.D.4) and Masayoshi Kimura, M.D.5)

1) Department of Neurology and Stroke Treatment, Kyoto First Red Cross Hospital
2) Department of Neurology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
3) Department of Neurology and Cerebrovascular Treatment, Yokohama Shintoshi Neurosurgical Hospital
4) Department of Nephrology and Blood Purification, Kyoto First Red Cross Hospital
5) Department of Cardiology, Kyoto First Red Cross Hospital

A 72-year-old man on hemodialysis for 7 years with end-stage renal disease was admitted to our institution due to an acute headache. Physical examination revealed normal signs except for noise on the back of his neck. His head CT and brain MRI showed no abnormal findings, while his MRA demonstrated abnormal signals in the left transverse to sigmoid sinus (T-S) suggesting a left dural arteriovenous fistula. After admission, his headache persisted and left orbital numbness also occurred. His digital subtraction angiography performed on the 5th day after admission showed no vascular malformation of either the T-S or cavernous sinus (CS). However, it showed occlusion of the left brachiocephalic vein (BCV) and the origin of the left internal jugular vein (IJV) resulting in intracranial venous reflux. These findings indicated the possibility that his acute headache was caused by intracranial venous reflux and increase of intracranial pressure resulting from the occlusion of the BCV ipsilateral to a dialysis shunt. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) for occlusion of the left BCV was performed on the 9th day and successful dilation of the lesion with a residual stenotic ratio less than 30 percent was obtained. After the angioplasty, venous reflux to the intracranial vein was markedly reduced and his headache and orbital numbness disappeared. One day after the procedure, MRA demonstrated the disappearance of the abnormal signals of the left T-S. Twelve months after discharge, he felt discomfort in the left of his face and the re-occlusion of the left VCV was demonstrated by angiography, therefore he received re-PTA. We recommend that physicians consider occlusion of the BCV ipsilateral to a dialysis shunt and intracranial venous reflux as a cause of acute headache in patients on hemodialysis.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (3572K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 60: 620|626, 2020)
key words: acute onset headache, hemodialysis, occlusion of brachiocephalic vein, intracranial venous reflux, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty

(Received: 14-Mar-20)