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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Radiosurgery for Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations: An International Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study

Neurosurgery 80:888–898, 2017

The role of intervention in the management of unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze in a multicenter, retrospective cohort study, the outcomes following radiosurgery for unruptured AVMs and determine predictive factors.

METHODS: We evaluated and pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with unruptured AVMs and ≥12 mo of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no postradiosurgical hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes.

RESULTS: The unruptured AVM cohort comprised 938 patients with a median age of 35 yr. The median nidus volume was 2.4 cm3, 71% of AVMs were located in eloquent brain areas, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 57%. The median radiosurgical margin dose was 21 Gy and follow-up was 71 mo. AVM obliteration was achieved in 65%. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4%. Symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes occurred in 9% and 3%, respectively. Favorable outcome was achieved in 61%. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, smaller AVM maximum diameter (P = .001), the absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (P = .001), and higher margin dose (P = .002) were found to be independent predictors of a favorable outcome. A margin dose ≥ 20 Gy yielded a significantly higher rate of favorable outcome (70% vs 36%; P < .001)

CONCLUSION: Radiosurgery affords an acceptable risk to benefit profile for patients harboring unruptured AVMs. These findings justify further prospective studies comparing radiosurgical intervention to conservative management for unruptured AVMs.

 

The Superior Cerebellar Artery Aneurysm: A Posterior Circulation Aneurysm with Favorable Microsurgical Outcomes

Neurosurgery 80:908–916, 2017

Superior cerebellar artery (SCA) aneurysms are usually grouped with aneurysms that arise from the upper basilar artery or more broadly, the posterior circulation. However, the SCA aneurysm has distinctive anatomy that facilitates safe surgical management, notably few associated perforating arteries, and excellent exposure in the carotid-oculomotor triangle.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the outcomes of patients treated with microsurgery in a continuous surgical series.

METHODS: Sixty-two patients harboring 63 SCA aneurysmswere retrospectively reviewed from a prospectively maintained database, focusing on clinical characteristics, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 31 patients (49%) presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage, the SCA aneurysm was the source in 16 (25%). Thirty-three aneurysms were complex (52%) and 43 patients (59%) had multiple aneurysms. Fifty-seven SCA aneurysms (90.5%) were clipped and 5 were bypassed/trapped or wrapped. Complete angiographic occlusion was achieved in 91.7%. Permanent neurological morbidity occurred in 3 patients and 3 patients that presented in coma after subarachnoid hemorrhage died. All patients with “simple” aneurysms and without subarachnoid hemorrhage had improved or unchangedmodified Rankin scale scores. Overall, outcomes were stable or improved in 82.5% of patients.

CONCLUSION: SCA aneurysms are favorable for microsurgical clipping with low rates of permanent morbidity and mortality. Microsurgery should be considered alongside endovascular techniques as a treatment option in many patients.

Comparison Between CTA and Digital Subtraction Angiography in the Diagnosis of Ruptured Aneurysms

Computerized tomography angiography (CTA) is commonly used to diagnose ruptured cerebral aneurysms with sensitivities reported as high as 97% to 100%. Studies validating CTA accuracy in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are scarce and limited by small sample sizes.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of CTA in detecting intracranial aneurysms in the setting of SAH.

METHODS: A single-center, retrospective cohort of 643 patients was reviewed. A total of 401 patients were identified whose diagnostic workup included both CTA and confirmatory digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Aneurysms missed by CTA but diagnosed by DSA were further stratified by size and location.

RESULTS: Three hundred and thirty aneurysms were detected by CTA while DSA detected a total of 431 aneurysms. False positive CTA results were seen for 24 aneurysms. DSA identified 125 aneurysms that were missed by CTA and 83.2% of those were <5 mm in diameter. The sensitivity of CTA was 57.6% for aneurysms smaller than 5 mm in size, and 45% for aneurysms originating from the internal carotid artery. The overall sensitivity of CTA in the setting of SAH was 70.7%.

CONCLUSION: The accuracy of CTA in the diagnosis of ruptured intracranial aneurysm may be lower than previously reported. CTA has a low sensitivity for aneurysms less than 5 mm in size, in locations adjacent to bony structures, and for those arising from small caliber parent vessels. It is our recommendation that CTA should be used with caution when used alone in the diagnosis of ruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Is there an inherited anatomical conformation favoring aneurysmal formation of the anterior communicating artery?

J Neurosurg 126:1598–1605, 2017

The pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the formation of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) remain only partially elucidated. However, current evidence suggests a genetic component. The purpose of this study was to investigate the specific anatomical variations in the arterial complex that are associated with the presence of anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms in the familial forms of IAs.

METHODS This multicenter study investigated bifurcation IAs in patients who had a sporadic ACoA IA without a family history of IA (SACAA group), in patients who had an ACoA IA with a family history of IA (FACAA group), and in their healthy first-degree relatives (HFDRs). Through the use of MR angiography (MRA) reconstructions, the symmetry of the A1 segments and the angle between the A1 and A2 segments were analyzed on 3D models for each group. These measurements were then compared among the 3 groups.

RESULTS Twenty-four patients with SACAA, 24 patients with FACAA, and 20 HFDRs were included in the study. Asymmetrical configuration of the A1 segments was more frequent in the FACAA group than in the HFDR group (p = 0.002). The aneurysm-side A1-A2 angle was lower in the FACAA group (p = 0.003) and SACAA group (p = 0.007) than in the HFDR group. On the contralateral side, there was no difference in A1-A2 angles between groups.

CONCLUSIONS The anatomical shape of the ACoA complex seems to be similarly associated with the presence of ACoA IAs in both the FACAA and SACAA groups. This highlights the role played by hemodynamic constraints in aneurysm formation and questions the hypothesis of the hereditary character of these anatomical shapes.

Surgical treatment of anterior cranial fossa dural arterio-venous fistulas (DAVFs)

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:823–830

Anterior cranial fossa dural arterio-venous fistulas (DAVFs) represent 6% of all intracranial DAVFs; characteristically they show an aggressive behaviour with high risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Peculiar anatomical features, such as feeding by the ethmoidal arteries and the pattern of venous drainage (frequently with varices that mimic aneurysmal dilatation), can be evaluated in detail only by digital subtraction angiography (DSA), which represents the Bgold standard^ in the diagnosis of such cranial fistulas. Recent technological developments in endovascular management of this type of DAVF have partially reduced the morbidity risk related to this modality of treatment. Our purpose is to present our experience in the surgical management of 14 patients with anterior cranial fossa DAVFs, with attention paid to the possible role of preoperative embolisation in these cases and to the surgical technique.

Method Between 1999 and 2015, 14 patients with anterior cranial fossa DAVFs were submitted to surgery in two neurosurgical departments; the mean age was 63 years old; nine DAVFs caused intracranial haemorrhage (subarachnoid haemorrhage in three cases, intracerebral haemorrhage in six cases). Pre-operative embolisation was attempted in an early case and was successfully done in one recent case. In all patients, the surgical approach chosen was a pterional craniotomy with a lowmargin on the frontal bone in order to gain the exposure of the anterior cranial fossa and especially of the olphactory groove region; the resection of the falx at its insertion on the crista galli was needed in five cases in order to get access to the contralateral afferent vessels. Cauterisation of all the dural feeders on and around the lamina cribrosa was needed in all cases; venous dilatations were evident in eight patients (in seven out of nine patients with ruptured DAVF and in one out of five patients with unrupturedDAVF) andwere removed in all cases. One patient harboured an ophthalmic artery aneurysm, which was excluded by clipping.

Results One patient died 5 days after surgery due to the severity of the pre-operative haemorrhage. Postoperative DSA showed the disappearance of the DAVF and of the venous pseudo-aneurysms in all cases. Clinical outcome was favourable (without neurological deficits) in 11 patients; three patients presented an unfavourable clinical outcome, due to the severity of the initial haemorrhage.

Conclusions Surgical exclusion of the anterior cranial fossa DAVFs still represents the gold standard for such lesions, due to low post-operative morbidity and to complete protection against future rebleedings; endovascular techniques may help the surgeon in complex cases.

Guidelines for the Clinical Management of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Neurosurgery 80:665–680, 2017

Despite many publications about cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), controversy remains regarding diagnostic and management strategies.

OBJECTIVE: To develop guidelines for CCM management.

METHODS: The Angioma Alliance (www.angioma.org), the patient support group in the United States advocating on behalf of patients and research in CCM, convened a multidisciplinary writing group comprising expert CCM clinicians to help summarize the existing literature related to the clinical care of CCM, focusing on 5 topics: (1) epidemiology and natural history, (2) genetic testing and counseling, (3) diagnostic criteria and radiology standards, (4) neurosurgical considerations, and (5) neurological considerations. The group reviewed literature, rated evidence, developed recommendations, and established consensus, controversies, and knowledge gaps according to a prespecified protocol.

RESULTS: Of 1270 publications published between January 1, 1983 and September 31, 2014, we selected 98 based on methodological criteria, and identified 38 additional recent or relevant publications. Topic authors used these publications to summarize current knowledge and arrive at 23 consensus management recommendations, which we rated by class (size of effect) and level (estimate of certainty) according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association criteria. No recommendation was level A (because of the absence of randomized controlled trials), 11 (48%)were level B, and 12 (52%) were level C. Recommendations were class I in 8 (35%), class II in 10 (43%), and class III in 5 (22%).

CONCLUSION: Current evidence supports recommendations for the management of CCM, but their generally low levels and classes mandate further research to better inform clinical practice and update these recommendations. The complete recommendations document, including the criteria for selecting reference citations, a more detailed justification of the respective recommendations, and a summary of controversies and knowledge gaps, was similarly peer reviewed and is available on line www.angioma.org/CCMGuidelines.

Early diffusion-weighted MRI lesions after treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms:

J Neurosurg 126:1070–1078, 2017

Diffusion-weighted MRI was used to assess periprocedural lesion load after repair of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIA) by microsurgical clipping (MC) and endovascular coiling (EC).

METHODS Patients with UIA were assigned to undergo MC or EC according to interdisciplinary consensus and underwent diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) 1 day before and 1 day after aneurysm treatment. Newly detected lesions by DWI after treatment were the primary end point of this prospective study. Lesions detected by DWI were categorized as follows: A) 1–3 DWI spots < 10 mm, B) > 3 DWI spots < 10 mm, C) single DWI lesion > 10 mm, or D) DWI lesion related to surgical access.

RESULTS Between 2010 and 2014, 99 cases were included. Sixty-two UIA were treated by MC and 37 by EC. There were no significant differences between groups in age, sex, aneurysm size, occurrence of multiple aneurysms in 1 patient, or presence of lesions detected by DWI before treatment. Aneurysms treated by EC were significantly more often located in the posterior circulation (p < 0.001). Diffusion-weighted MRI detected new lesions in 27 (43.5%) and 20 (54.1%) patients after MC and EC, respectively (not significant). The pattern of lesions detected by DWI varied significantly between groups (p < 0.001). Microembolic lesions (A and B) found on DWI were detected more frequently after EC (A, 14 cases; B, 5 cases) than after MC (A, 5 cases), whereas C and D were rare after EC (C, 1 case) and occurred more often after MC (C, 12 cases and D, 10 cases). No procedure-related unfavorable outcomes were detected.

CONCLUSIONS According to the specific techniques, lesion patterns differ between MC and EC, whereas the frequency of new lesions found on DWI is similar after occlusion of UIA. In general, the lesion load was low in both groups, and lesions were clinically silent. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01490463 (clinicaltrials.gov)

Pathophysiology of Intracranial Aneurysm: The ICAN Project

Neurosurgery 80:621–626, 2017

Understanding the pathophysiologic mechanism of intracranial aneurysm
(IA) formation is a prerequisite to assess the potential risk of rupture. Nowadays, there are neither reliable biomarkers nor diagnostic tools to predict the formation or the evolution of IA. Increasing evidence suggests a genetic component of IA but genetics studies have failed to identify genetic variation causally related to IA.

OBJECTIVE: To develop diagnostic and predictive tools for the risk of IA formation and rupture.

METHODS: The French ICAN project is a noninterventional nationwide and multicentric research program. Each typical IA of bifurcation will be included. For familial forms, further IA screening will be applied among first-degree relatives. By accurate phenotype description with high-throughput genetic screening, we aim to identify new genes involved in IA. These potential genetic markers will be tested in large groups of patients. Any relevant pathway identified will be further explored in a large cohort of sporadic carriers of IA, which will be well documented with clinical, biological, and imaging data.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES: Discovering genetic risk factors, better understanding the pathophysiology, and identifying molecular mechanisms responsible for IA formation will be essential bases for the development of biomarkers and identification of therapeutic targets.

DISCUSSION: Our protocol has many assets. A nationwide recruitment allows for the inclusion of large pedigrees with familial forms of IA. It will combine accurate phenotyping and comprehensive imaging with high-throughput genetic screening. Last, it will enable exploiting metadata to explore new pathophysiological pathways of interest by crossing clinical, genetic, biological, and imaging information.

Hemorrhage from cerebral cavernous malformations

J Neurosurg 126:1079–1087, 2017

The aim of this paper is to define an overall cavernous malformation (CM) hemorrhage rate and risk factors for hemorrhage.

METHODS The authors performed a systematic, pooled analysis via the PubMed database through October 2015 using the terms “cavernoma,” “cavernous malformation,” “natural history,” “bleeding,” and “hemorrhage.” English-language studies providing annual rates and/or risk factors for CM hemorrhage were included. Data extraction, performed independently by the authors, included demographic data, hemorrhage rates, and hemorrhage risk factors.

RESULTS Across 12 natural history studies with 1610 patients, the mean age at presentation was 42.7 years old and 52% of patients (95% CI 49%–55%) were female. Presentation modality was seizure in 30% (95% CI 25%–35%), hemorrhage in 26% (95% CI 17%–37%), incidental in 17% (95% CI 9%–31%), and focal deficits only in 16% of cases (95% CI 11%–23%). CM location was lobar in 66% (95% CI 61%–70%), brainstem in 18% (95% CI 13%–24%), deep supratentorial in 8% (95% CI 6%–10%), and cerebellar in 8% (95% CI 5%–11%). Pooling 7 studies that did not assume CM presence since birth, the annual hemorrhage rate was 2.5% per patient-year over 5081.2 patient-years of follow-up (95% CI 1.3%–5.1%). Pooling hazard ratios across 5 studies that evaluated hemorrhage risk factors, prior CM hemorrhage was a significant risk factor for hemorrhage (HR 3.73, 95% CI 1.26–11.1; p = 0.02) while younger age, female sex, deep location, size, multiplicity, and associated developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) were not.

CONCLUSIONS Although limited by the heterogeneity of incorporated reports and selection bias, this study found prior hemorrhage to be a significant risk factor for CM bleeding, while age, sex, CM location, size, multiplicity, and associated DVAs were not. Future natural history studies should compound annual hemorrhage rate with prospective seizure and nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit rates.

Volume-Staged Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 80:543–550, 2017

Radiation-based treatment options of large intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM) must balance the likelihood of obliteration with the risk of adverse radiation effects (ARE).
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the efficacy and risks of volume-staged stereotactic radiosurgery (VS-SRS) for AVM.

METHODS: Retrospective study of 34 AVM patients having VS-SRS between 1997 and 2012. A median of 2 stages (range, 2-4) was used to treat a median AVM volume of 22.2 cm3 (range, 7.4-56.7). The median AVM margin dose was 16 Gy (range, 14-18); the median radiosurgery- based AVM score was 2.81 (range, 1.54-6.45). The median follow-up after VS-SRS was 8.2 years (range, 3-13.3).

RESULTS: Nidus obliteration was noted in 18 patients (53%) after VS-SRS. The rate of obliteration was 14% at 3 years, 54% at 5 years, and 75% at 7 years. Six patients (18%) had 11 bleeds after VS-SRS. Two patients (6%) remained neurologically stable, 2 (6%) patients had significant deficits, and 2 patients (6%) died. The actuarial risk of a first bleed after VS-SRS was 6% at 1 year, 12% at 3 years, and 19% at 7 years. Six patients (18%) underwent repeat SRS; all achieved nidus obliteration for an overall cure rate of 71%. Two patients (6%) had a permanent ARE after VS-SRS or repeat SRS.

CONCLUSION: VS-SRS permitted large volume intracranial AVM to be treated with a low rate of ARE. Further study is needed on dose escalation and decreasing the treatment volume per stage to determine if this will increase the rate of obliteration with this technique.

Microsurgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformations: subgroup outcomes in a consecutive series of 288 cases

J Neurosurg 126:1056–1063, 2017

The objective of this study was to review the outcomes after microsurgical resection of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) from a consecutive single-surgeon series. Clinical and imaging data were analyzed to address the following questions concerning AVM treatment in the post-ARUBA (A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations) era. 1) Are the patients who present with unruptured or ruptured AVMs doing better at long-term follow-up? 2) Is the differentiation between Ponce Class A (Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II) patients versus Ponce Class B and C patients (Spetzler-Martin Grade III and IV) meaningful and applicable to surgical practice? 3) How did the ARUBA-eligible patients of this surgical series compare with the results reported in ARUBA?

METHODS Two hundred eighty-eight patients with cerebral AVMs underwent microsurgical resection between 1983 and 2012 performed by the same surgeon (J.S.). This is a prospective case collection study that represents a consecutive series. The results are based on prospectively collected, early-outcome data that were supplemented by retrospectively collected, follow-up data for 94% of those cases. The analyzed data included the initial presentation, Spetzler-Martin grade, obliteration rates, surgical and neurological complications, and frequency of pretreatment with embolization or radiosurgery. The total cohort was compared using “small-AVM,” Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II, and ARUBA-eligible AVM subgroups.

RESULTS The initial presentation was hemorrhage in 50.0% and seizures in 43.1% of patients. The series included 53 Spetzler-Martin Grade I (18.4%), 114 Spetzler-Martin Grade II (39.6%), 90 Spetzler-Martin Grade III (31.3%), 28 Spetzler- Martin Grade IV (9.7%), and 3 Spetzler-Martin Grade V (1.0%) AVMs. There were 144 unruptured and 104 ARUBAeligible cases. Preembolization was used in 39 cases (13.5%). The occlusion rates for the total series and small AVM subgroup were 99% and 98.7%, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 64 months. Early neurological deterioration was seen in 39.2% of patients, of which 12.2% had permanent and 5.6% had permanent significant deficits, and the mortality rate was 1.7% (n = 5). Outcome was better for patients with AVMs smaller than 3 cm (permanent deficit in 7.8% and permanent significant deficit in 3.2% of patients) and Ponce Class A status (permanent deficit in 7.8% and significant deficit in 3.2% of patients). Unruptured AVMs showed slightly higher new deficit rates (but 0 instances of mortality) among all cases, and in the small AVM and Ponce Class A subgroups. Unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions had the best outcome (1.8% permanent significant deficit), and ARUBA-eligible Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions had a slightly higher rate of permanent significant deficits (3.2%).

CONCLUSIONS Microsurgery has a very high cure rate. Focusing microsurgical AVM resection on unruptured lesions smaller than 3 cm or on Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions is a good strategy for minimizing long-term morbidity. Well-selected microsurgical cases lead to better outcomes than with multimodal interventions, as in the ARUBA treatment arm, or conservative treatment alone. Long-term prospective data collection is valuable.

Microsurgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformations: subgroup outcomes in a consecutive series of 288 cases

J Neurosurg 126:1056–1063, 2017

The objective of this study was to review the outcomes after microsurgical resection of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) from a consecutive single-surgeon series. Clinical and imaging data were analyzed to address the following questions concerning AVM treatment in the post-ARUBA (A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations) era. 1) Are the patients who present with unruptured or ruptured AVMs doing better at long-term follow-up? 2) Is the differentiation between Ponce Class A (Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II) patients versus Ponce Class B and C patients (Spetzler-Martin Grade III and IV) meaningful and applicable to surgical practice? 3) How did the ARUBA-eligible patients of this surgical series compare with the results reported in ARUBA?

METHODS Two hundred eighty-eight patients with cerebral AVMs underwent microsurgical resection between 1983 and 2012 performed by the same surgeon (J.S.). This is a prospective case collection study that represents a consecutive series. The results are based on prospectively collected, early-outcome data that were supplemented by retrospectively collected, follow-up data for 94% of those cases. The analyzed data included the initial presentation, Spetzler-Mar-tin grade, obliteration rates, surgical and neurological complications, and frequency of pretreatment with embolization or radiosurgery. The total cohort was compared using “small-AVM,” Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II, and ARUBA-eligible AVM subgroups.

RESULTS The initial presentation was hemorrhage in 50.0% and seizures in 43.1% of patients. The series included 53 Spetzler-Martin Grade I (18.4%), 114 Spetzler-Martin Grade II (39.6%), 90 Spetzler-Martin Grade III (31.3%), 28 Spetzler-Martin Grade IV (9.7%), and 3 Spetzler-Martin Grade V (1.0%) AVMs. There were 144 unruptured and 104 ARUBA-eligible cases. Preembolization was used in 39 cases (13.5%). The occlusion rates for the total series and small AVM subgroup were 99% and 98.7%, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 64 months. Early neurological deterioration was seen in 39.2% of patients, of which 12.2% had permanent and 5.6% had permanent significant deficits, and the mortality rate was 1.7% (n = 5). Outcome was better for patients with AVMs smaller than 3 cm (permanent deficit in 7.8% and permanent significant deficit in 3.2% of patients) and Ponce Class A status (permanent deficit in 7.8% and significant deficit in 3.2% of patients). Unruptured AVMs showed slightly higher new deficit rates (but 0 instances of mortality) among all cases, and in the small AVM and Ponce Class A subgroups. Unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions had the best outcome (1.8% permanent significant deficit), and ARUBA-eligible Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions had a slightly higher rate of permanent significant deficits (3.2%).

CONCLUSIONS Microsurgery has a very high cure rate. Focusing microsurgical AVM resection on unruptured lesions smaller than 3 cm or on Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II lesions is a good strategy for minimizing long-term morbidity. Well-selected microsurgical cases lead to better outcomes than with multimodal interventions, as in the ARUBA treatment arm, or conservative treatment alone. Long-term prospective data collection is valuable.

The Safety and Feasibility of Image-Guided BrainPath-Mediated Transsulcul Hematoma Evacuation: A Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 80:515–524, 2017

Subcortical injury resulting from conventional surgical management of intracranial hemorrhage may counteract the potential benefits of hematoma evacuation.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and potential benefits of a novel, minimally invasive approach for clot evacuation in a multicenter study.

METHODS: The integrated approach incorporates 5 competencies: (1) image interpretation and trajectory planning, (2) dynamic navigation, (3) atraumatic access system (BrainPath, NICO Corp, Indianapolis, Indiana), (4) extracorporeal optics, and (5) automated atraumatic resection. Twelve neurosurgeons from 11 centers were trained to use this approach through a continuing medical education–accredited course. Demographical, clinical,andradiologicaldataofpatientstreatedover2yearswereanalyzedretrospectively.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine consecutive patients were identified. The median Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at presentation was 10 (range, 5-15). The thalamus/basal ganglion regions were involved in 46% of the cases. The median hematoma volume and depth were 36 mL (interquartile range [IQR], 27-65 mL) and 1.4 cm (IQR, 0.3-2.9 cm), respectively. The median time from ictus to surgery was 24.5 hours (IQR, 16-66 hours). The degree of hematoma evacuation was ≥90%, 75% to 89%, and 50% to 74% in 72%, 23%, and 5.0% of the patients, respectively. The median GCS score at discharge was 14 (range, 8-15). The improvement in GCS score was statistically significant (P < .001). Modified Rankin Scale data were available for 35 patients. Fifty-two percent of those patients had a modified Rankin Scale score of ≤2. There were no mortalities.

CONCLUSION: The approach was safely performed in all patients with a relatively high rate of clot evacuation and functional independence.

 

Hematoma growth after unilateral drainage of bilateral CSDH

J Neurosurg 126:755–759, 2017

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a common form of intracranial hemorrhage with a recurrence rate of 9.2%–26.5% after bur hole surgery. Occasionally patients with bilateral CSDH undergo unilateral surgery because the contralateral hematoma is deemed to be asymptomatic, and in some of these patients the contralateral hematoma may subsequently enlarge, requiring additional surgery. The authors investigated the factors related to the growth of these hematomas.

METHODS Ninety-three patients with bilateral CSDH who underwent unilateral bur hole surgery at Aizu Chuo Hospital were included in a retrospective analysis. Findings on preoperative MRI, preoperative thickness of the drained hema-toma, and the influence of antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs were considered and evaluated in univariate and multivari-ate analyses.

RESULTS The overall growth rate was 19% (18 of 93 hematomas), and a significantly greater percentage of the hematomas that were iso- or hypointense on preoperative T1-weighted imaging showed growth compared with other hematomas (35.4% vs 2.3%, p < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that findings on preoperative T1-weighted MRI were the sole significant predictor of hematoma growth, and other factors such as antiplatelet or anti-coagulant drug use, patient age, patient sex, thickness of the treated hematoma, and T2-weighted MRI findings were not significantly related to hematoma growth. The adjusted odds ratio for hematoma growth in the T1 isointense/hypointense group relative to the T1 hyperintense group was 25.12 (95% CI 3.89–51.58, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS The findings of preoperative MRI, namely T1-weighted sequences, may be useful in predicting the growth of hematomas that did not undergo bur hole surgery in patients with bilateral CSDH.

 

Comparison of clipping and coiling in elderly patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms

J Neurosurg 126:811–818, 2017

The comparative effectiveness of the 2 treatment options—surgical clipping and endovascular coiling—for unruptured cerebral aneurysms remains an issue of debate and has not been studied in clinical trials. The authors investigated the association between treatment method for unruptured cerebral aneurysms and outcomes in elderly patients.

METHODS The authors performed a cohort study of 100% of Medicare fee-for-service claims data for elderly patients who had treatment for unruptured cerebral aneurysms between 2007 and 2012. To control for measured confounding, the authors used propensity score conditioning and inverse probability weighting with mixed effects to account for clus- tering at the level of the hospital referral region (HRR). An instrumental variable (regional rates of coiling) analysis was used to control for unmeasured confounding and to create pseudo-randomization on the treatment method.

RESULTS During the study period, 8705 patients underwent treatment for unruptured cerebral aneurysms and met the study inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 2585 (29.7%) had surgical clipping and 6120 (70.3%) had endovascular coiling. Instrumental variable analysis demonstrated no difference between coiling and clipping in 1-year postoperative mortality (OR 1.25, 95% CI 0.68–2.31) or 90-day readmission rate (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.66–1.62). However, clipping was associ- ated with a greater likelihood of discharge to rehabilitation (OR 6.39, 95% CI 3.85–10.59) and 3.6 days longer length of stay (LOS; 95% CI 2.90–4.71). The same associations were present in propensity score–adjusted and inverse probability–weighted models.

CONCLUSIONS In a cohort of Medicare patients, there was no difference in mortality and the readmission rate between clipping and coiling of unruptured cerebral aneurysms. Clipping was associated with a higher rate of discharge to a rehabilitation facility and a longer LOS.

Responses to aruba: a systematic review

J Neurosurg 126:486–494, 2017

The ARUBA study (A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations [AVMs]) on unruptured brain AVMs has been the object of comments and editorials. In the present study the authors aim to systematically review critiques, discuss design issues, and propose a framework for future trials.

Methods: The authors performed a systematic review of the French and English literature on the ARUBA study published between January 2006 and February 2015. The electronic search, including the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (PubMed and Ovid), CINAHL, and EMBASE databases, was complemented by hand searching and cross-referencing. The comments were categorized as items related to the design, the conduct, and the analysis and interpretation of the trial.

Results: Thirty-one articles or letters were identified. The pragmatic design, with heterogeneity of patients and lack of standardization of the treatment arm, were frequently stated concerns. The choice of outcome measures was repeatedly criticized. During the trial, low enrollment rates, selection bias, and premature interruption of enrollment were frequent comments. The short follow-up period, the lack of subgroup analyses, the lack of details on the results of the various treatments, and a contentious interpretation of results were noted at the analysis stage. A fundamental problem was the primary hypothesis testing conservative management. The authors believe that other trials are needed. Future trials could be pragmatic, test interventions stratified at the time of randomization, and look for long-term, hard clinical out- comes in a large number of patients.

Conclusions: In the authors’ view, the ARUBA trial is a turning point in the history of brain AVM management; future trials should aim at integrating trial methodology and clinical care in the presence of uncertainty.

Outcome and prognostic factors after delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:307–315

Data of patients suffering from delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) after aneurysm treatment are still missing. Patients become clearly older than before. Thus, the risk suffering from a second delayed SAH rises. The aim of this study was to analyse clinical outcome and prognostic factors in patients after delayed second SAH.

Method From 1999 to 2013, 18 of 1,493 patients (1.2%) suffered from a second SAH. Clinical and radiological character- istics were entered into a prospective conducted database. Outcome was assessed according to modified Rankin Scale 6 months after second SAH. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results Eighteen patients were admitted to our department with a second SAH. The second SAH occurred at a mean interval of 144 months after surgical treatment and 78 months after endovascular treatment (P < 0.05), with an overall mean interval of 125 months. The earliest event of second SAH was after 35 months. In 11 (61%) patients, a de novo aneurysm was detected; in one patient (6%), no cause of second SAH was detected. In six (33%) cases, re-rupture of the formerly secured aneurysm was found. Half of the rebleedings occurred from a basilar aneurysm, 33% from an aneurysm of anterior communicating artery and in one patient from a median cere- bral artery aneurysm. At second SAH, 8 of 18 patients pre- sented WFNS grade I-III at time of admission (44%). Overall, favourable outcome was achieved in seven patients (39%). Four patients died (22%), one of them before treatment. Favourable outcome seems to be associated with younger age. In our patients, 39% achieved a favourable outcome after second SAH.

Conclusions A delayed second SAH is a rare entity. After delayed second SAH, age seems to be a prognostic factor for patients’ outcome and patients seem to have a worse prognosis. Nonetheless, up to 40% of patients can achieve a favourable outcome.

Staged-Volume Radiosurgery of Large Arteriovenous Malformations Improves Outcome by Reducing the Rate of Adverse Radiation Effects

Neurosurgery 80:180–192, 2017

The treatment of large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains challenging. Recently, staged-volume radiosurgery (SVRS) has become an option.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcome of SVRS on large AVMs with our historical, single- stage radiosurgery (SSRS) series.

METHODS: We have been prospectively collecting data of patients treated by SVRS since 2007. There were 84 patients who had a median age of 37 years (range, 9-62 years) who were treated until July 2013. The outcomes of 76 of those who had follow-ups available were analyzed and compared with the outcomes of 122 patients treated with the best SSRS technique.

RESULTS: There were 21.5% of AVMs that were deep seated, and 44% presented with hemorrhage resulting in 45% fixed neurological deficit. There were 14% of patients who had undergone embolization before radiosurgery. The median nidus treatment volume was 19.7 cm 3 (6.65-68.7) and 17.5 Gy (13-22.5) prescription isodose was given. Of the 44 lesions having radiological follow-up at 4 years, 61.4% were completely obliterated. Previous embolization (50% with and 63% without) and higher Spetzler-Martin grades appeared to be the negative factors in successful obliteration, but treatment volume was not. Within 3 years after radiosurgery, the annual bleed rates of unruptured and previously ruptured AVMs were 3.2% and 5.6%, respectively. Three bleeds were fatal and 2 resulted in significant modified Rankin scale 3 morbidity. These rates differ little from SSRS. Temporary adverse radiation effects (AREs) did not change significantly, but permanent AREs dropped from 15% to 6.5% (P = .03) compared with SSRS.

CONCLUSION: Obliteration and hemorrhage rates of large AVMs treated by SVRS are similar to historical SSRS. However, SVRS offers a lower rate of AREs.

 

Blister Aneurysms of the Internal Carotid Artery: Microsurgical Results and Management Strategy

Neurosurgery (2017) 80 (2): 235-247

Blister aneurysms of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) are challenging lesions with high intraoperative rupture rates and significant morbidity. An optimal treatment strategy for these aneurysms has not been established.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze treatment strategy, operative techniques, and outcomes in a consecutive 17-year series of ICA blister aneurysms treated microsurgically.

METHODS: Seventeen patients underwent blister aneurysm treatment with direct clipping, bypass and trapping, or clip-reinforced wrapping.

RESULTS: Twelve aneurysms (71%) were treated with direct surgical clipping. Three patients required bypass: 1 superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass, 1 external carotid artery to middle cerebral artery bypass, and 1 ICA to middle cerebral artery bypass. One patient was treated with clip-reinforced wrapping. Initial treatment strategy was enacted 71% of the time. Intraoperative rupture occurred in 7 patients (41%), doubling the rate of a poor outcome (57% vs 30% for patients with and without intraoperative rupture, respectively). Severe vasospasm developed in 9 of 16 patients (56%). Twelve patients (65%) were improved or unchanged after treatment, and 10 patients (59%) had good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale scores of 1 or 2).

CONCLUSION: ICA blister aneurysms can be cautiously explored and treated with direct clipping as the first-line technique in the majority of cases. Complete trapping of the parent artery with temporary clips and placing permanent clip blades along normal arterial walls enables clipping that avoids intraoperative aneurysm rupture. Trapping/bypass is used as the second-line treatment, maintaining a low threshold for bypass with extensive or friable pathology of the carotid wall and in patients with incomplete circles of Willis.

 

Quantitative analysis of the trajectory of simulated basilar apex aneurysms through the internal carotid artery to assess the need for an orbitozygomatic approach

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:85–92

The aim of this study was to identify the correlation between the location of the internal carotid artery (ICA) and the need for an orbitozygomatic approach (OZA) when approaching a basilar apex (BX) aneurysm.

Materials and methods: By imaging the virtual trajectory to access the basilar artery (BA) through the ICA, the correla- tions among the height of the BX, the height and lateral breadth of the bifurcation of the ICA, and the need for removal of the orbital rim or zygomatic arch were investigated using three-dimensional computed tomography angiography (3DCTA) data of approximately 80 random samples not lim- ited to BX aneurysms. Furthermore, the utility of 3D simula- tion to determine the need for the OZA was verified using data from five patients with BX aneurysms.

Results: The height of the bifurcation of the ICA was inversely correlated and the height of the BX was positively correlated with the need for the OZA (both p < 0.017). Among patients undergoing surgery, clipping was successfully performed without the OZA in two patients in whom the distance from the simulated skull point on the extended line from the BX through the bifurcation of the ICA was more than 4 cm from the zygoma and orbital rim.

Conclusions: It is necessary to determine the spatial relationship between the basilar artery and the ICA to decide whether the OZA is needed for surgery. Correlations of the height of the ICA and BX with the need for the OZA were not very strong individually, though they were significant. Therefore, simulation using 3DCTA appears to be important for planning the surgical approach for the treatment of BX aneurysms.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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