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    Neuronal dysfunction and hemodynamic disturbance due to venous congestion in dural arteriovenous fistula revealed by 123I-iomazenil SPECT. Journal of neurosurgery OBJECTIVE:Retrograde leptomeningeal venous drainage (RLVD) of a dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is associated with neurological morbidity and unfavorable outcomes. However, the direct damage to cortical neurons by dAVF with RLVD has not been elucidated. 123I-iomazenil (123I-IMZ) SPECT can reveal cerebral blood flow and cortical neuronal damage in early and late images, respectively. This study aimed to assess the cerebral venous congestive encephalopathy caused by dAVF using 123I-IMZ SPECT. METHODS:Based on the pre- and posttreatment MRI findings, patients were divided into three groups: a normal group, an edema group, and an infarction group. Radioactive counts in the early and late images of 123I-IMZ SPECT were investigated using the affected-to-contralateral side asymmetry ratio (ACR). RESULTS:None of the patients in the normal group showed any symptoms related to venous congestion. In contrast, all the patients in the edema and infarction groups developed neurological symptoms. The ACR in early images in the edema group was significantly lower than that in the normal group and significantly higher than that in the infarction group. The ACR in the late images of the infarction group was significantly lower than those of the normal and edema groups. After treatment, the neurological signs disappeared in the edema group, but only partial improvement was observed in the infarction group. The ACR in early images significantly improved after treatment in the edema group, but the ACR in late images did not change in any groups. CONCLUSIONS:123I-IMZ SPECT is useful for evaluating hemodynamic disturbances and neuronal damage in dAVFs. The reduction in early images was correlated with the severity of venous congestive encephalopathy, and the significant reduction in late images is a reliable indicator of irreversible venous infarction caused by RLVD. 10.3171/2022.6.JNS22885