Neurosurgery Blog


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

Accuracy of 320-detector row nonsubtracted and subtracted volume CT angiography in evaluating small cerebral aneurysms

J Neurosurg 127:725–731, 2017

The study aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of 320-detector row nonsubtracted and subtracted volume CT angiography (VCTA) in detecting small cerebral aneurysms (< 3 mm) compared with 3D digital subtraction angiography (3D DSA).

METHODS Six hundred sixty-two patients underwent 320-detector row VCTA and 3D DSA for suspected cerebral aneurysms. Five neuroradiologists independently reviewed VCTA and 3D DSA images. The 3D DSA was considered the reference standard, and the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of nonsubtracted and subtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were analyzed. A p value < 0.05 was considered a significant difference.

RESULTS According to 3D DSA images, 98 small cerebral aneurysms were identified in 90 of 662 patients. Nonsubtracted VCTA depicted 90 small aneurysms. Ten small aneurysms were missed, and 2 small aneurysms were misdiagnosed. The missed small aneurysms were located almost in the internal carotid artery, near bone tissue. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of nonsubtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were 89.8%, 99.2%, and 96.5%, respectively, on a per-aneurysm basis. Subtracted VCTA depicted 97 small aneurysms. Three small aneurysms were missed, and 2 small aneurysms were misdiagnosed. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of subtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were 96.9%, 99.2%, and 98.6%, respectively, on a per-aneurysm basis. There was no difference in accuracy between subtracted VCTA and 3D DSA (p = 1.000). However, nonsubtracted VCTA had significantly less sensitivity than 3D DSA and subtracted VCTA (p = 0.039 and 0.016, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS Subtracted 320-detector row VCTA is sensitive enough to replace 3D DSA in the diagnosis of small cerebral aneurysms (< 3 mm). The accuracy rate of nonsubtracted VCTA was lower than that of subtracted VCTA and 3D DSA, especially in the assessment of small internal carotid artery aneurysms adjacent to the skull base.

Cerebral Revascularization for Aneurysms in the Flow-Diverter Era

Neurosurgery 80:759–768, 2017

Cerebral bypass has been an important tool in the treatment of complex intracranial aneurysms. The recent advent of flow-diverting stents (FDS) has expanded the capacity for endovascular arterial reconstruction.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated how the advent of FDS has impacted the application and outcomes of cerebral bypass in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS: We reviewed a consecutive series of cerebral bypasses during aneurysm surgery over the course of 10 years. FDS were in active use during the last 5 years of this series. We compared the clinical characteristics, surgical technique, and outcomes of patients who required cerebral bypass for aneurysm treatment during the preflow diversion era (PreFD) with those of the postflow diversion era (PostFD).

RESULTS: We treated 1061 aneurysms in the PreFD era (from July 2005 through June 2010) and 1348 in the PostFD era (from July 2010 through June 2015). Eighty-five PreFD patients (8%) and 45 PostFD patients (3%) were treated with cerebral bypass. PreFD patients had better baseline functional status compared to PostFD patients with average preoperative modified Rankin Scale score of 0.55 in PreFDand 1.18 in PostFD.

CONCLUSION: After the introduction of FDS, cerebral bypass was performed in a lower proportion of patients with aneurysms. Patients selected for bypass in the flow-diverter era had worse preoperative modified Rankin Scale scores indicating a greater complexity of the patients. Cerebral bypass in well-selected patients and revascularization remains an important technique in vascular neurosurgery. It is also useful as a rescue technique after failed FDS treatment of aneurysms.

Cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation for aneurysms


J Neurosurg 125:720–729, 2016

To address the challenges of microsurgically treating broad-based, frail, and otherwise complex aneurysms that are not amenable to direct clipping, alternative techniques have been developed. One such technique is to use cotton to augment clipping (“cotton-clipping” technique), which is also used to manage intraoperative aneurysm neck rupture, and another is to reinforce unclippable segments or remnants of aneurysm necks with cotton (“cottonaugmentation” technique). This study reviews the natural history of patients with aneurysms treated with cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation techniques.

Methods The authors queried a database consisting of all patients with aneurysms treated at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2014, to identify cases in which cotton-clipping or cotton-augmentation strategies had been used. Management was categorized as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used within the blades of the aneurysm clip and as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used to reinforce aneurysms or portions of the aneurysm that were unclippable due to the presence of perforators, atherosclerosis, or residual aneurysms. Data were reviewed to assess patient outcomes and annual rates of aneurysm recurrence or hemorrhage after the initial procedures were performed.

Results The authors identified 60 aneurysms treated with these techniques in 57 patients (18 patients with ruptured aneurysms and 39 patients with unruptured aneurysms) whose mean age was 53.1 years (median 55 years; range 24–72 years). Twenty-three aneurysms (11 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage) were treated using cotton-clipping and 37 with cotton-augmentation techniques (7 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage). In total, 18 patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at the time of discharge was 4.4. At a mean follow-up of 60.9 ± 35.6 months (median 70 months; range 10–126 months), the mean GOS score at last follow-up was 4.8. The total number of patient follow-up years was 289.4. During the follow-up period, none of the cotton-clipped aneurysms increased in size, changed in configuration, or rebled. None of the patients experienced early rebleeding. The annual hemorrhage rate for aneurysms treated with cotton-augmentation was 0.52% and the recurrence rate was 1.03% per year. For all patients in the study, the overall risk of hemorrhage was 0.35% per year and the annual recurrence rate was 0.69%.

Conclusions Cotton-clipping is an effective and durable treatment strategy for intraoperative aneurysm rupture and for management of broad-based aneurysms. Cotton-augmentation can be safely used to manage unclippable or partially clipped intracranial aneurysms and affords protection from early aneurysm re-rupture and a relatively low rate of late rehemorrhage.

Endoscopic endonasal clip ligation of cerebral aneurysms

Endoscopic endonasal clip ligation of cerebral aneurysms

J Neurosurg 124:463–468, 2016

The expansion of endovascular procedures for obliteration of cerebral aneurysms highlights one of the drawbacks of clip ligation through the transcranial route, namely brain retraction or brain transgression. Sporadic case reports have emerged over the past 10 years describing endonasal endoscopic clip ligation of cerebral aneurysms. The authors present a detailed anatomical study to evaluate the feasibility of an endoscopic endonasal approach for application of aneurysm clips.

Methods Nine human cadaveric head specimens were used to evaluate operative exposures for clip ligation of aneurysms in feasible anterior and posterior circulation locations. Measurements of trajectories were completed using a navigation system to calculate skull base craniectomy size, corridor space, and the surgeon’s ability to gain proximal and distal control of parent vessels.

Results In each of the 9 cadaveric heads, excellent exposure of the target vessels was achieved. The transplanum, transtuberculum, and transcavernous approaches were used to explore the feasibility of anterior circulation access. Application of aneurysm clips was readily possible to the ophthalmic artery, A1 and A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery, anterior communicating artery complex, and the paraclinoid and paraclival internal carotid artery. The transclival approach was explored, and clips were successfully deployed along the proximal branches of the vertebrobasilar system and basilar trunk and bifurcation. The median sizes of skull base craniectomy necessary for exposure of the anterior communicating artery complex and basilar tip were 3.24 cm2 and 4.62 cm2, respectively. The mean angles of surgical corridors to the anterior communicating artery complex and basilar tip were 11.4° and 14°, respectively. Although clip placement was feasible on the basilar artery and its branches, the associated perforating arteries were difficult to visualize, posing unexpected difficulty for safe clip application, with the exception of ventrolateral-pointing aneurysms.

Conclusions The authors characterize the feasibility of endonasal endoscopic clip ligation of aneurysms involving the paraclinoid, anterior communicating, and basilar arteries and proximal control of the paraclival internal carotid artery. The endoscopic approach should be initially considered for nonruptured aneurysms involving the paraclinoid and anterior communicating arteries, as well as ventrolateral basilar trunk aneurysms. Clinical experience will be mandatory to determine the applicability of this approach in practice.

Prognostic Value of the Amount of Bleeding After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Quantitative Volumetric Study


Neurosurgery 77:898–907, 2015

Quantitative estimation of the hemorrhage volume associated with aneurysm rupture is a new tool of assessing prognosis.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prognostic value of the quantitative estimation of the amount of bleeding after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, as well the relative importance of this factor related to other prognostic indicators, and to establish a possible cut-off value of volume of bleeding related to poor outcome.

METHODS: A prospective cohort of 206 patients consecutively admitted with the diagnosis of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage to Hospital 12 de Octubre were included in the study. Subarachnoid, intraventricular, intracerebral, and total bleeding volumes were calculated using analytic software. For assessing factors related to prognosis, univariate and multivariate analysis (logistic regression) were performed. The relative importance of factors in determining prognosis was established by calculating their proportion of explained variation. Maximum Youden index was calculated to determine the optimal cut point for subarachnoid and total bleeding volume.

RESULTS: Variables independently related to prognosis were clinical grade at admission, age, and the different bleeding volumes. The proportion of variance explained is higher for subarachnoid bleeding. The optimal cut point related to poor prognosis is a volume of 20 mL both for subarachnoid and total bleeding.

CONCLUSION: Volumetric measurement of subarachnoid or total bleeding volume are both independent prognostic factors in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. A volume of more than 20 mL of blood in the initial noncontrast computed tomography is related to a clear increase in poor outcome risk.

“Live cadavers” for training in the management of intraoperative aneurysmal rupture

“Live cadavers” for training in the management of intraoperative aneurysmal rupture

J Neurosurg 123:1339–1346, 2015

Intraoperative rupture occurs in approximately 9.2% of all cranial aneurysm surgeries. This event is not merely a surgical complication, it is also a real surgical crisis that requires swift and decisive action. Neurosurgical residents may have little exposure to this event, but they may face it in their practice. Laboratory training would be invaluable for developing competency in addressing this crisis. In this study, the authors present the “live cadaver” model, which allows repetitive training under lifelike conditions for residents and other trainees to practice managing this crisis.

Methods The authors have used the live cadaver model in 13 training courses from 2009 to 2014 to train residents and neurosurgeons in the management of intraoperative aneurysmal rupture. Twenty-three cadaveric head specimens harboring 57 artificial and 2 real aneurysms were used in these courses. Specimens were specially prepared for this technique and connected to a pump that sent artificial blood into the vessels. This setting created a lifelike situation in the cadaver that simulates live surgery in terms of bleeding, pulsation, and softness of tissue.

Results A total of 203 neurosurgical residents and 89 neurosurgeons and faculty members have practiced and experienced the live cadaver model. Clipping of the aneurysm and management of an intraoperative rupture was first demonstrated by an instructor. Then, trainees worked for 20- to 30-minute sessions each, during which they practiced clipping and reconstruction techniques and managed intraoperative ruptures. Ninety-one of the participants (27 faculty members and 64 participants) completed a questionnaire to rate their personal experience with the model. Most either agreed or strongly agreed that the model was a valid simulation of the conditions of live surgery on cerebral aneurysms and represents a realistic simulation of aneurysmal clipping and intraoperative rupture. Actual performance improvement with this model will require detailed measurement for validating its effectiveness. The model lends itself to evaluation using precise performance measurements.

Conclusions The live cadaver model presents a useful simulation of the conditions of live surgery for clipping cerebral aneurysms and managing intraoperative rupture. This model provides a means of practice and promotes team management of intraoperative cerebrovascular critical events. Precise metric measurement for evaluation of training performance improvement can be applied.

International differences in the management of intracranial aneurysms: implications for the education of the next generation of neurosurgeons

MCA aneurysm

Acta Neurochir 2015, 157,(9):1467-1475

The publication of the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial rapidly changed the management of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The present and perceived future trends of aneurysm management have significant implications for patients and how we educate future cerebrovascular specialists.


To determine present perceived competencies of final-year neurosurgical residents who have just finished their residencies and to relate those to what practitioners from a variety of continents expect of these persons. The goal is to provide a basis for further discussion regarding the design of further educational programs in neurosurgery.


A 55-item questionnaire with 33 questions related to competencies and expectations of competency from final-year residents who have just finished residency was completed by 229 neurosurgeons and neuro-radiologists (81 % response rate) of mixed seniority from 45 countries. We used bivariate and descriptive analyses to determine future trends and geographic differences in cerebral aneurysm management as well as the educational implications on the future.


More North Americans than those from the rest of the world are of the opinion that graduating residents are presently competent to perform basic cerebrovascular procedures like evacuation of a hematoma and clipping a simple 7-mm middle cerebral artery aneurysm. Extremely few graduating neurosurgical residents anywhere are presently capable of performing endovascular techniques for even the most basic of aneurysms. Most of those surveyed also believe that endovascular and open surgical management of aneurysms should be a part of residency training for all residents (70.4 and 88.7 %, respectively).


Our findings have implications for the design of neurosurgical curricula for residents as well as for certification examinations and procedures. Specialty and educational organizations and those responsible for the education of future clinicians who will care for patients with cerebrovascular problems should adjust educational objectives and implement curricula and learning experiences that will ensure that cerebrovascular specialists are capable of providing the best care possible to the patient with an aneurysm, whether that be open surgery or endovascular management. These findings mean that organizations around the world will need to make these adjustments to the education of future specialists.

The “Squeezing Maneuver” in Microsurgical Clipping of Intracranial Aneurysms Assisted by Indocyanine Green Videoangiography

The “Squeezing Maneuver” in Microsurgical Clipping of Intracranial Aneurysms Assisted by Indocyanine Green Videoangiography

Operative Neurosurgery 10:208–213, 2014

Indocyanine green videoangiography (ICGV) is becoming routine in intracranial aneurysm surgery to assess intraoperatively both sac obliteration and vessel patency after clipping. However, ICGV-derived data have been reported to be misleading at times. We recently noted that a simple intraoperative maneuver, the “squeezing maneuver,” allows the detection of deceptive ICGV data on aneurysm exclusion and allows potential clip repositioning. The squeezing maneuver is based on a gentle pinch of the dome of a clipped aneurysm when ICGV documents its apparent exclusion.

OBJECTIVE: To present the surgical findings and the clinical outcome of this squeezing maneuver.

METHODS: Data from 23 consecutive patients affected by intracranial aneurysms who underwent the squeezing maneuver were analyzed retrospectively. The clip was repositioned in all cases when the dyeing of the sac was visualized after the maneuver.

RESULTS: In 22% of patients, after an initial ICGV showing the aneurysm exclusion after clipping, the squeezing maneuver caused the prompt dyeing of the sac; in all cases, the clip was consequently repositioned. A calcification/atheroma of the wall/neck was predictive of a positive maneuver (P = .001). The aneurysm exclusion rate at postoperative radiological findings was 100%.

CONCLUSION: With the limits of our small series, the squeezing maneuver appears helpful in the intraoperative detection of misleading ICGV data, mostly when dealing with aneurysms with atheromatic and calcified walls.

Occipital artery to posterior inferior cerebellar artery bypass

How I do it- occipital artery to posterior inferior cerebellar artery bypass

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:971–975

Aneurysms located at the proximal posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) may need to be addressed by trapping and concomitant bypass. An anastomosis of the Occipital Artery (OA) to PICA is one bypass option in these cases. This bypass is highly challenging and its technical description is seldom cited in the literature.

Methods We describe the technical nuances of an OA-PICA end-to-side bypass in a 63-year-old man with a dissecting ruptured aneurysm of the third segment (tonsilomedullary) of the PICA.

Conclusion OA-PICA bypass option should remain as a treatment modality in the armamentarium of neurovascular surgeons.

Middle Cerebral Artery Bifurcation Aneurysms: An Anatomic Classification Scheme for Planning Optimal Surgical Strategies

Middle Cerebral Artery Bifurcation Aneurysms- An Anatomic Classification Scheme for Planning Optimal Surgical Strategies

Operative Neurosurgery 10:145–155, 2014

Changing landscapes in neurosurgical training and increasing use of endovascular therapy have led to decreasing exposure in open cerebrovascular neurosurgery. To ensure the effective transition of medical students into competent practitioners, new training paradigms must be developed.

OBJECTIVE: Using principles of pattern recognition, we created a classification scheme for middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcation aneurysms that allows their categorization into a small number of shape pattern groups.

METHODS: Angiographic data from patients with MCA aneurysms between 1995 and 2012 were used to construct 3-dimensional models. Models were then analyzed and compared objectively by assessing the relationship between the aneurysm sac, parent vessel, and branch vessels. Aneurysms were then grouped on the basis of the similarity of their shape patterns in such a way that the in-class similarities were maximized while the total number of categories was minimized. For each category, a proposed clip strategy was developed.

RESULTS: From the analysis of 61 MCA bifurcation aneurysms, 4 shape pattern categories were created that allowed the classification of 56 aneurysms (91.8%). The number of aneurysms allotted to each shape cluster was 10 (16.4%) in category 1, 24 (39.3%) in category 2, 7 (11.5%) in category 3, and 15 (24.6%) in category 4.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that through the use of anatomic visual cues, MCA bifurcation aneurysms can be grouped into a small number of shape patterns with an associated clip solution. Implementing these principles within current neurosurgery training paradigms can provide a tool that allows more efficient transition from novice to cerebrovascular expert.

Extended Subtemporal Transtentorial Approach to the Anterior Incisural Space and Upper Clival Region: Experience With Posterior Circulation Aneurysms

Extended Subtemporal Transtentorial Approach to the Anterior Incisural Space and Upper Clival Region- Experience With Posterior Circulation Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 10:15–24, 2014

Although most posterior circulation aneurysms are currently treated by endovascular means, some are not amenable to this treatment modality. The narrow working window afforded by the anterolateral and lateral surgical approaches often translates into suboptimal visualization and limited maneuverability.

OBJECTIVE: We present a modified technique of tentorial incision and reflection that optimizes the exposure achieved with the traditional subtemporal approach and report our clinical experience in a series of posterior circulation aneurysms.

METHODS: Retrospective review of patients operated via an extended subtemporal transtentorial approach for posterior circulation aneurysms. The modified tentorial incision implies dissection of the trochlear nerve along its dural canal up to its entrance into the cavernous sinus and incision of a tentorial flap that extends up to Meckel cave, which is then reflected far anterolaterally. Clinical and radiological data were reviewed.

RESULTS: This series comprises 18 patients (21 procedures). Ten patients presented (56%) with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Aneurysms most frequently arose from the basilar tip (61%) and were of small size (50%) and saccular morphology (72%). Two patients underwent surgery following unsuccessful endovascular treatment. Aneurysm treatment was successful on the first attempt in 90% (19/21) and after a second attempt in 10% (2/21). Documented postoperative palsies of the oculomotor (n = 3) and trochlear (n = 1) nerves were all transient. No procedure-related mortality occurred.

CONCLUSION: This modified technique of tentorial incision and reflection optimizes visibility, anatomic orientation, and maneuverability by increasing the rostrocaudal and anterolateral exposure obtained via the extended subtemporal transtentorial route without permanent postoperative trochlear nerve deficit.

Intraoperative rerupture during surgical treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is not associated with an increased risk of vasospasm


J Neurosurg 120:409–414, 2014

Intraoperative rerupture during open surgical clipping of cerebral aneurysms in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)is a relatively frequent and potentially catastrophic occurrence. Patients who suffer rerupture have been shown to have worse outcomes at discharge compared with those who do not have rerupture. Perioperative injury likely plays a large part in the clinical worsening of these patients. However, due to the increased vessel manipulation and repeat exposure to acute hemorrhage, it is possible that secondary injury from increased incidence of vasospasm also contributes. Identifying an increased rate of vasospasm in these patients would justify early aggressive treatment with measures to prevent delayed cerebral ischemia. The authors investigated whether patients who suffer intraoperative rerupture during surgical treatment of ruptured cerebral aneurysms are at increased risk of developing vasospasm.

Methods. Five hundred consecutive patients treated with open surgical clipping for SAH were reviewed, and clinical and imaging data were collected. Angiographic vasospasm was defined as vessel narrowing believed to be consistent with vasospasm on angiography. Symptomatic vasospasm was defined as angiographic vasospasm in the setting of a clinical change attributable to vasospasm. Rates of angiographic and symptomatic vasospasm among patients with and without intraoperative rerupture were compared.

Results. There were no significant differences between the groups with and without rupture with respect to age, sex, modified Fisher grade, history of hypertension, or smoking. The group with intraoperative rupture had more patients with Hunt and Hess Grade I. Angiographic vasospasm was noted in 279 (66%) of the 425 patients without rerupture compared with 49 (65%) of the 75 patients with rerupture (p = 1.0, Fisher’s exact test). Symptomatic vasospasm was noted in 154 (36%) of the 425 patients without rerupture, compared with 31 (41%) of the 75 patients with rerupture (p = 0.44, Fisher’s exact test). In multivariate analysis, higher modified Fisher grade was significantly predictive of vasospasm, whereas older age and male sex were protective.

Conclusions. This study found no significant influence of intraoperative rerupture during open surgical clipping on the rate of angiographic or symptomatic vasospasm. Brief exposure to acute hemorrhage and vessel manipulation associated with rerupture events did not affect the rate of vasospasm. Risk of vasospasm was related to increased modified Fisher grade, and inversely related to age and male sex. These results do not justify early, targeted vasospasm therapy in patients with intraoperative rerupture.

Intracranial Aneurysms Occur More Frequently at Bifurcation Sites That Typically Experience Higher Hemodynamic Stresses


Neurosurgery 73:497–505, 2013 

Intracranial aneurysms (IAs) occur more frequently at certain bifurcations than at others. Hemodynamic stress, which promotes aneurysm formation in animal models, also differs among bifurcations, depending on flow and vessel geometry.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether locations that are more likely to develop IAs experience different hemodynamic stresses that might contribute to higher IA susceptibility.

METHODS: We characterized the hemodynamic microenvironment at 10 sites in or around the circle of Willis where IAs commonly occur and examined statistical relationships between hemodynamic factors and the tendency for a site to form IAs. The tendency for each site to develop IAs was quantified on the basis of the site distribution from systematic literature analysis of 19 reports including 26 418 aneurysms. Hemodynamic parameters for these sites were derived from image-based computational fluid dynamics of 114 cerebral bifurcations from 31 individuals. Wall shear stress and its spatial gradient were calculated in the impact zone surrounding the bifurcation apex. Linear and exponential regression analyses evaluated correlations between the tendency for IA formation and the typical hemodynamics of a site.

RESULTS: IA susceptibility significantly correlated with the magnitudes of wall shear stress and positive wall shear stress gradient within the hemodynamic impact zone calculated for each site.

CONCLUSION: IAs occur more frequently at cerebral bifurcations that typically experience higher hemodynamic shear stress and stronger flow acceleration, conditions previously shown to promote aneurysm initiation in animals.

Morphological and clinical risk factors for the rupture of anterior communicating artery aneurysms

Anterior communicating artery aneurysm rupture

J Neurosurg 118:978–983, 2013

Patients with ruptured anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms have historically been observed to have poor neuropsychological outcomes, and ACoA aneurysms have accounted for a higher proportion of ruptured than unruptured aneurysms. Authors of this study aimed to investigate the morphological and clinical characteristics predisposing to ACoA aneurysm rupture.

Methods. Data from 140 consecutive patients with ACoA aneurysms managed at the authors’ facility between July 2003 and November 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with (78) and without (62) aneurysm rupture were divided into groups, and morphological and clinical characteristics were compared. Morphological characteristics were evaluated based on 3D CT angiography and included aneurysm location, dominance of the A1 portion of the anterior cerebral artery, direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA, aneurysm bleb(s), size of the aneurysm and its neck, aneurysm–parent artery angle, and existence of other intracranial unruptured aneurysms.

Results. Patients with ruptured ACoA aneurysms were significantly younger (a higher proportion were younger than 60 years of age) than those with unruptured lesions, and a significantly smaller proportion had hypercholesterolemia. A significantly larger proportion of patients with ruptured aneurysms showed an anterior direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA, had a bleb(s), and/or had an aneurysm size ≥ 5 mm. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that an anterior direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA (OR 6.0, p = 0.0012), the presence of a bleb(s) (OR 22, p < 0.0001), and an aneurysm size ≥ 5 mm (OR 3.16, p = 0.035) were significantly associated with ACoA aneurysm rupture.

Conclusions. Findings in the present study demonstrated that the anterior projection of an ACoA aneurysm may be related to rupturing. The authors would perhaps recommend treatment to patients with unruptured ACoA aneurysms that have an anterior dome projection, a bleb(s), and a size ≥ 5 mm.

Cerebral Aneurysms in Pregnancy and Delivery: Pregnancy and Delivery Do Not Increase the Risk of Aneurysm Rupture

Microsurgical clipping of true posterior communicating

Neurosurgery 72:143–150, 2013

It is not known what effect pregnancy or delivery has on the risk of rupture of an intracranial aneurysm, and, consequently, the optimal management of unruptured aneurysms in pregnancy is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of pregnancy and delivery on the risk of rupture of intracranial aneurysms and to delineate trends in neurosurgical and obstetric management of pregnant women with intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample data were analyzed for years 1988 to 2009 to estimate the risk of aneurysm rupture during pregnancies and deliveries. We calculated the risk by dividing the observed number of patients with ruptured aneurysm during pregnancy and delivery by the expected number based on the incidence among women of pregnancy age.

RESULTS: There were 714 and 172 hospitalizations involving ruptured aneurysms with pregnancy and delivery, respectively. Assuming 1.8% prevalence of unruptured aneurysms among all women of pregnancy age, we estimated that 48 873 women hospitalized for pregnancy and 312 128 women hospitalized for delivery had unruptured aneurysms. The risks of rupture during pregnancy and deliveries were 1.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.35, 1.57]) and 0.05% (95% CI = [0.0468, 0.0634]), respectively. Of 218 deliveries performed with unruptured aneurysm, 153 were cesarean deliveries (70.18%, 95% CI = [64.06, 76.30%]), suggesting that the rate of cesarean deliveries in patients with unruptured aneurysms is significantly higher than in the general population (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: We were not able to find an increased association between pregnancy or delivery and the risk of rupture of cerebral aneurysms. The significantly higher rate of cesarean deliveries performed in patients with unruptured aneurysms may not be necessary.

Ruptured Intracranial Aneurysms With Small Basal Outpouching

Neurosurgery 71:994–1002, 2012

Recognizing an aneurysmal basal rupture using angiographic evaluation is crucial for optimal treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of a small basal outpouching (the most common angiographic configuration suggesting a basal rupture), the incidence of a ruptured basal outpouching, and the results of surgical and endovascular treatments.

METHODS: The occurrence of small basal outpouchings was determined in the initial angiographic examinations of 471 patients with a ruptured aneurysm. Information was also obtained from patient charts, surgical and interventional reports, operative video records, and reviews of radiological investigations.

RESULTS: A small basal outpouching was identified in 41 (8.7%) of the 471 ruptured aneurysms. In the surgical series (n = 286), a basal rupture was identified in 8 (30.8%) of the 26 cases of a basal outpouching and successfully treated by aneurysm clip placement. In the endovascular series (n = 185), intraprocedural aneurysm rebleeding developed in 5 of the 15 patients (33.3%) with a basal outpouching, which was most commonly observed with anterior communicating artery aneurysms.

CONCLUSION: The current surgical series included a 9% incidence of ruptured intracranial aneurysms with a small basal outpouching, and a 31% incidence of these basal outpouchings being identified as the rupture point. The results also suggested that endovascular coiling of a basal outpouching carries a high risk of intraprocedural aneurysm rebleeding, whereas surgical clipping is safer and provides more protection against rebleeding of aneurysms with a basal rupture.

Annual rupture risk of growing unruptured cerebral aneurysms detected by magnetic resonance angiography

J Neurosurg 117:20–25, 2012

In this paper, the authors’ goals were to clarify the characteristics of growing unruptured cerebral aneurysms detected by serial MR angiography and to establish the recommended follow-up interval.

Methods. A total of 1002 patients with 1325 unruptured cerebral aneurysms were retrospectively identified. These patients had undergone follow-up evaluation at least twice. Aneurysm growth was defined as an increase in maximum aneurysm diameter by 1.5 times or the appearance of a bleb.

Results. Aneurysm growth was observed in 18 patients during the period of this study (1.8%/person-year). The annual rupture risk after growth was 18.5%/person-year. The proportion of females among patients with growing aneurysms was significantly larger than those without growing aneurysms (p = 0.0281). The aneurysm wall was reddish, thin, and fragile on intraoperative findings. Frequent follow-up examination is recommended to detect aneurysm growth before rupture.

Conclusions. Despite the relatively short period, the annual rupture risk of growing unruptured cerebral aneurysms detected by MR angiography was not as low as previously reported. Surgical or endovascular treatment can be considered if aneurysm growth is detected during the follow-up period.

Factors predicting retreatment and residual aneurysms at 1 year after endovascular coiling for ruptured cerebral aneurysms: Prospective Registry of Subarachnoid Aneurysms Treatment (PRESAT) in Japan

Neuroradiology (2012) 54:597–606. DOI 10.1007/s00234-011-0945-0

Endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms includes follow-up imaging to identify aneurysms that may need retreatment. The aim of this study was to determine predictors of incomplete aneurysm occlusion at 1 year after endovascular coiling for ruptured cerebral aneurysms.
Methods In 129 patients of the Prospective Registry of Subarachnoid Aneurysms Treatment cohort, ruptured aneurysms were coiled within 14 days of onset and both initial post-coiling and 1-year follow-up digital subtraction angiography or magnetic resonance angiography were obtained. Factors predicting 1-year incomplete aneurysm occlusion (retreatment within 1-year or residual aneurysms at 1 year) were determined using multivariate logistic regression analyses.
Results One-year incomplete aneurysm occlusion was identified in 59 patients, including ten patients who were retreated within 1-year post-coiling. Dome size ≥7.5 mm (P=0.007, odds ratio (OR)=5.00, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.55– 16.15), pre-treatment aneurysm re-rupture (P=0.023, OR= 3.50, 95% CI=1.19–10.31), non-small size/small neck aneurysm (dome size, ≥10 mm or neck size, ≥4 mm; P= 0.022, OR=3.26, 95% CI=1.19–8.96), and residual aneurysms on immediate post-coiling angiograms (P=0.017, OR= 1.43, 95% CI=1.07–1.93) significantly predicted incomplete aneurysm occlusion at 1-year post-coiling.
Conclusions In addition to the characteristics of aneurysm and initially incomplete aneurysm occlusion, this study showed pre-treatment aneurysm re-rupture to be a predictor that favors closer imaging follow-ups for coiled aneurysms.

Management of Residual and Recurrent Aneurysms After Initial Endovascular Treatment

Neurosurgery 70:537–554, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182350da5

Coil instability possibly translating into higher delayed rebleeding rates remains a concern in the endovascular management of cerebral aneurysms.

OBJECTIVE: To report on 127 patients with endovascular aneurysmal remnants who underwent re-treatment over an 18 year period.

METHODS: Patients presenting with aneurysm residuals .20% of the original lesion, unstable neck remnants, aneurysmal regrowth, or new aneurysmal daughter sacs were treated by an individualized approach, using both endovascular and surgical techniques.

RESULTS: Seventy-five aneurysmal remnants (59.1%) were treated by further re-embolization. Standard coil embolization was used in 65 cases, stent-protected coiling in 9 cases, and balloon remodeled coiling in 1 case, respectively. Fifty-two (40.9%) aneurysmal remnants were treated surgically. Standard microsurgical clipping was used in 44 patients, parent artery occlusion or trapping under bypass protection in 5 cases, deliberate clipping of the basilar artery trunk in 2 cases, and aneurysm wrapping in one case, respectively. Mechanisms of aneurysm recurrence were coil compaction in 93 cases and regrowth in 34 cases. A single reembolization was sufficient to occlude 78.7% of recurrences from coil compaction, but only 14.3% of recurrences from aneurysm regrowth.

CONCLUSION: The individualized approach resulted in complete occlusion of 114 aneurysms (89.7%), with neck remnants and residual aneurysms detectable in 11 (8.7%) and 2 (1.6%) cases, respectively. Treatment morbidity was 11.9%, without significant differences between surgical (15.6%) and endovascular (9.3%) patients (P = .09). Recurrences from coil compaction were safely treated by re-embolization, whereas recurrences from aneurysmal regrowth may best be managed surgically when technically feasible.

Superciliary Keyhole Approach for Small Unruptured Aneurysms in Anterior Cerebral Circulation

Neurosurgery 68[ONS Suppl 2]:ons300–ons309, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182124810

Neurovascular surgeons have been trying to find a solution to the problem of surgical invasiveness by applying minimally invasive keyhole approaches.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility and surgical outcomes of a superciliary keyhole approach for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) as an alternative to a pterional approach.

METHODS: The authors report on a consecutive series of patients who underwent a superciliary approach for clipping UIAs smaller than 15 mm arising at the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA), A1 segment, anterior communicating artery (ACoA), and M1 segment including the middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcation. The data were compared with a historical control group (n = 90) who underwent a pterional approach for UIAs.

RESULTS: A total of 120 aneurysms were successfully clipped in 102 patients with a mean age of 58 years. There was no direct mortality related to the surgery, and only 1 (1.0%) patient developed significant morbidity adversely affecting the Glasgow Outcome Scale score. The superciliary approach demonstrated statistically significant advantages over the pterional approach, including a shorter operative duration (mean, 120 min), no intraoperative blood transfusion, and extremely rare postoperative epidural hemorrhages. In addition, temporalis atrophy was rare and palsy of the frontalis persisting more than 6 months only occurred in 6 patients (5.9%) and was resolved within 2 years. The overall cosmetic outcome was excellent.

CONCLUSION: A superciliary approach can be a reasonable alternative to a pterional approach for small (,15 mm) UIAs arising at the supraclinoid ICA, A1, ACoA, and M1 segment including the MCA bifurcation.

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


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