Dural AVFs can present in several ways. Sometimes pulsatile tinnitus (the sound of whooshing blood flow heard when the fistula is located near the ear) or headaches leads to a patient having an MRI scan. It should be noted that most patients with pulsatile tinnitus do not have a dural fistula.
Occasionally patients can present with eye symptoms (bulging and redness of the eye) if the fistula is into the large venous lake at the back of the eye socket. This type of fistula is called a carotico-cavernous fistula.