Neurosurgery Blog


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

Surgical approach to posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2018) 160:295–299

The far-lateral is a standardised approach to clip aneurysms of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). Different variants can be adopted to manage aneurysms that differ in morphology, topography, ruptured status, cerebellar swelling and surgeon preference.

Method We distinguished five paradigmatic approaches aimed to manage aneurysms that are: proximal unruptured; proximal ruptured requiring posterior fossa decompression (PFD); proximal ruptured not requiring PFD; distal unruptured; distal ruptured.

Conclusions Preoperative planning in the setting of PICA aneurysm surgery is of paramount importance to perform an effective and safe procedure, to ensure an adequate PFD and optimal proximal control before aneurysm manipulation.

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 (

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.

A new comorbidities index for risk stratification for treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms

Aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 125:713–719, 2016

Comorbidities have an impact on risk stratification for outcomes in analyses of large patient databases. Although the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI) are the most commonly used comorbidity indexes, these have not been validated for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms; therefore, the authors created a comorbidity index specific to these patients.

Methods The authors extracted all records involving unruptured cerebral aneurysms treated with clipping, coiling, or both from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2002–2010). They assessed the effect of 37 variables on poor outcome and used the results to create a risk score for these patients. The authors used a validation data set and bootstrapping to evaluate the new index and compared it to CCI and ECI in prediction of poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and hospital charges.

Results The index assigns integer values (-2 to 7) to 20 comorbidities: neurological disorder, renal insufficiency, gastrointestinal bleeding, paralysis, acute myocardial infarction, electrolyte disorder, weight loss, metastatic cancer, drug abuse, arrhythmia, coagulopathy, cerebrovascular accident, psychosis, alcoholism, perivascular disease, valvular disease, tobacco use, hypothyroidism, depression, and hypercholesterolemia. Values are summed to determine a patient’s risk score. The new index was better at predicting poor outcome than CCI or ECI (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.814 [95% CI 0.798–0.830], vs 0.694 and 0.712, respectively, for the other indices), and it was also better at predicting mortality (AUC 0.775 [95% CI 0.754–0.792], vs 0.635 and 0.657, respectively, for CCI and ECI).

Conclusions This new comorbidity index outperforms the CCI and ECI in predicting poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and total charges for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysm. Reevaluation of other patient cohorts is warranted to determine the impact of more accurate patient stratification.

Hemodynamic response during aneurysm clipping surgery among experienced neurosurgeons


Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:221–227

Neurosurgery is a challenging field associated with high levels of mental stress. The goal of this study was to investigate the hemodynamic response of experienced neurosurgeons during aneurysm clipping surgery and to evaluate whether neurosurgeons’ hemodynamic responses are associated with patients’ clinical statuses.

Methods Four vascular neurosurgeons (all male; mean age 51 ± 10 years; post-residency experience ≥7 years) were studied during 42 aneurysm clipping procedures. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were assessed at rest and during seven phases of surgery: before the skin incision, after craniotomy, after dural opening, after aneurysm neck dissection, after aneurysm clipping, after dural closure and after skin closure.

Results HR and BP were significantly greater during surgery relative to the rest situation (p≤ 0.03). There was a statistically significant increase in neurosurgeons’ HR (F [6, 41] = 10.88, p <0.001), systolic BP (F [6, 41] =2.97, p =0.01), diastolic BP (F [6, 41] = 2.49, p = 0.02) and mean BP (F [6, 41] = 3.36, p = 0.003) during surgery. The greatest mean HR was after aneurysm clipping, and the greatest BP was after aneurysm neck dissection. Systolic, diastolic and mean BPs were significantly greater during surgical clipping for unruptured aneurysms compared to ruptured aneurysms across all stages of surgery (p ≤ 0.002); however, after adjusting for neurosurgeon experience, the difference in BP as a function of aneurysm rupture was not significant (p>0.08). Aneurysm location, intraoperative aneurysm rupture, admission WFNS score, admission Glasgow Coma Scale scores and Fisher grade were not associated with neurosurgeons’ intraoperative HR and BP (all p > 0.07).

Conclusions Aneurysm clipping surgery is associated with significant hemodynamic system activation among experienced neurosurgeons. The greatest HR and BP were after aneurysm neck dissection and clipping. Aneurysm location and patient clinical status were not associated with intraoperative changes of neurosurgeons’ HR and BP.

Extended endoscopic endonasal transclival clipping of posterior circulation aneurysms

Extended endoscopic endonasal transclival clipping of posterior circulation aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:2077–2085

Transcranial clipping of most posterior circulation aneurysms is one of the most difficult procedures, with high morbidity, and endovascular coiling is an alternative with less risk, but is not devoid of complications and not suitable for all aneurysms. Here we describe four cases of posterior circulation aneurysms clipped via the extended endoscopic endonasal transclival route. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of basilar top and posterior cerebral artery aneurysms being clipped endonasally.

Methods and results Four patients with posterior circulation aneurysms underwent extended endoscopic endonasal transclival clipping of the aneurysm. The age range was 35– 70 years. There were two males and two females. Three of the four patients presented after the rupture of aneurysms, and the other patient presented with sudden-onset left hemiparesis probably due to thromboembolism from a large unruptured left posterior cerebral artery (PCA) aneurysm. On evaluation with four-vessel digital subtraction angiography (DSA), two patients had a basilar apex aneurysm, one had a basilar trunk aneurysm, and the other had a PCA (P1) aneurysm. Postoperatively, two patients had good recovery. One patient with a PCA aneurysm and another with a basilar apex aneurysm had fresh postoperative deficits. One patient developed postoperative CSF rhinorrhea.

Conclusion Endoscopic extended transnasal surgery is an expanding field in neurosurgery with a steep learning curve. With improvement in techniques and instrumentation the use of this approach for clipping posterior circulation aneurysms can become an effective alternative in the treatment of aneurysms.

Morphological aspects of blister aneurysms and nuances for surgical treatment

blister aneurysms

J Neurosurg 123:1156–1165, 2015

Blister aneurysms of the supraclinoid part of the internal carotid artery (ICA) are known for their high morbidity and mortality rates related to treatment, regardless of whether the treatment is surgical or endovascular. However, this grim prognosis is based on results that indiscriminately group all blister aneurysms together without taking into account the heterogeneous appearance of these lesions. The goal of this study was 2-fold: to determine whether different blister aneurysm morphologies present different pitfalls, which would then require different surgical strategies, as well as to determine whether there are identifiable subgroups of these types of aneurysms based on morphology.

Methods The authors reviewed the charts, cerebral catheter angiograms, surgical reports, and intraoperative videos of all ICA blister aneurysms treated surgically at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal from 2005 to 2012 to investigate whether there was a relationship between morphology and pitfalls, and whether different surgical strategies had been used according to these pitfalls. During this review process the authors noted 4 distinct morphological aspects. These 4 aspects led to a review of the English and French literature on blister aneurysms in which imaging was available, to determine whether other cases could also be classified into the same 4 subgroups based on these morphological aspects.

Results The retrospective review of the authors’ series of 10 patients allowed a division into 4 distinct subtypes: Type I (classic), Type II (berry-like), Type III (longitudinal), and Type IV (circumferential). These subtypes may at times be progressive stages in the arterial anomaly, and could represent a continuum. Each subtype described in this paper presented its own pitfalls and required specific surgical adaptations. Upon reviewing the literature the authors retained 35 studies involving a total of 61 cases of blister aneurysms, and all cases were able to be classified into 1 of these 4 distinct subtypes.

Conclusions Although they share some common characteristics, blister aneurysms may be divided into distinct subtypes, suggestive of a continuum. Such a classification with a detailed description of each type of blister aneurysm would allow for better recognition to anticipate complications during intervention and better assess the different treatment strategies according to the subtypes.

Application of intraoperative motor evoked potential monitoring during giant internal carotid artery aneurysm surgery using prolonged temporary occlusion

Application of intraoperative motor evoked potential monitoring during giant internal carotid artery aneurysm surgery using prolonged temporary occlusion

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:1833–1840

Clipping and bypass surgery are common therapeutic options for the management of giant internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms. However, potential ischemic risks may be exaggerated by prolonged temporary occlusion (PTO) during the surgery. Monitoring motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) is a sensitive technique for detecting potential ischemia intraoperatively. This preliminary study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of applying MEP monitoring during giant ICA aneurysm surgery using PTO.

Methods From July 2009 to July 2012, 11 patients with giant ICA aneurysms who could not pass the preoperative hemodynamic evaluations were enrolled in this study. MEP monitoring was utilized intraoperatively in all cases. Clipping was performed if there were no significant MEP changes under PTO. A variant extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass was performed if there was reproducible loss of MEP signals after PTO or unclippable anatomic features.

Results Five patients underwent clipping alone and six underwent bypass. There were no significant differences in baseline clinical data between the two groups. The overall percentage of patients with good outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Score≥4) improved from 72.7 % (8/11) postoperatively to 90.9 % (10/11) after 26.0±9.5 months of follow-up. There were no significant differences between the clipping and bypass groups regarding short- and long-term outcomes (p=0.545 and p=1.000).

Conclusions MEP monitoring is useful for evaluating the safety of PTO, surgical strategy, and outcomes of giant ICA aneurysm surgery. Direct clipping during safe PTO under intraoperative MEP monitoring is applicable for giant ICA aneurysms. Its use achieved favorable outcomes by indicating the need for bypass surgery.

Cost Comparison of Surgical and Endovascular Treatment of Unruptured Giant Intracranial Aneurysms

Virtual planning of different possible approaches for the surgical treatment of a giant carotid-ophthalmic aneurysm

Neurosurgery 77:733–743, 2015

Giant intracranial aneurysms (GIAs), which are defined as intracranial aneurysms (IAs) with a diameter of $25 mm, are most likely associated with the highest treatment costs of all IAs. However, the treatment costs of unruptured GIAs have so far not been reported. OBJECTIVE: To examine direct costs of endovascular and surgical treatment of unruptured GIAs.

METHODS: We retrospectively examined 55 patients with unruptured GIAs treated surgically (37 patients) or endovascularly (18 patients) between April 2004 and March 2014. We analyzed the costs of all hospital stays, interventions, and imaging with a median follow-up of 46 months.

RESULTS: There was no difference in the costs of hospital stay between surgical and endovascular treatment groups ($10 565 vs $14 992; P = .37). Imaging costs were significantly higher in the surgical group than in the endovascular treatment group ($2890 vs $1612; P < .01), as were the costs of the intervention room and personnel involved in the intervention ($5566 vs $1520; P < .01). Implants used per patient were more expensive in the endovascular group than in the surgical treatment group ($20885 vs $167). The total direct treatment costs were higher in the endovascular group ($52325) than in the surgical treatment group ($20619; P < .01). Treatment costs were associated with the type of treatment and GIA location but not with patient age, sex, or GIA size.

CONCLUSION: Endovascular GIA treatment produced higher direct costs than surgical GIA treatment mainly due to higher implant costs. Reducing endovascular implant costs may be the most effective tool to decrease direct costs of GIA treatment.

A Reverse-Action Clip Applier for Aneurysm Surgery

A Reverse-Action Clip Applier for Aneurysm Surgery

Operative Neurosurgery 11:230–234, 2015

Clipping is an important technique for cerebral aneurysm surgery. Although clip mechanisms and features have been refined, little attention has been paid to clip appliers. Clip closure is traditionally achieved by opening the grip of the clip applier. We reconsidered this motion and identified an important drawback, namely that the standard applier holding power decreased at the moment of clip release, which could lead to unstable clip application.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a forceps to address this clip applier design flaw.

METHODS: The new clip applier has a non–cross-type fulcrum that is closed at the time of clip release, with an action similar to that of a bipolar forceps or scissors. Thus, a surgeon can steadily apply the clip from various angles.

RESULTS: We successfully used our clip applier to treat 103 aneurysms. Although training was required to ensure smooth applier use, no difficulties associated with applier use were noted.

CONCLUSION: This clip applier can improve clipping surgery safety because it offers additional stability during clip release.

Long-term Functional Outcomes and Predictors of Shunt-Dependent Hydrocephalus After Treatment of Ruptured Intracranial Aneurysms in the BRAT Trial: Revisiting the Clip vs Coil Debate


Neurosurgery 76:608–615, 2015

Acute hydrocephalus is a well-known sequela of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Controversy exists about whether open microsurgical methods serve to reduce shunt dependency compared with endovascular techniques.

OBJECTIVE: To determine predictors of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus and functional outcomes after aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS: A total of 471 patients who were part of a prospective, randomized, controlled trial from 2003 to 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. All variables including demographic data, medical history, treatment, imaging, and functional outcomes were included as part of the trial. No additional variables were retrospectively collected.

RESULTS: Ultimately, 147 patients (31.2%) required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) in our series. Age, dissecting aneurysm type, ruptured vertebrobasilar aneurysm, Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, admission intraventricular hemorrhage, admission intraparenchymal hemorrhage, blood in the fourth ventricle on admission, perioperative ventriculostomy, and hemicraniectomy were significant risk factors (P < .05) associated with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, intraventricular hemorrhage and intraparenchymal hemorrhage were independent risk factors for shunt dependency (P< .05). Clipping vs coiling treatment was not statistically associated with VPS after SAH on both univariate and multivariate analyses. Patients who did not receive a VPS at discharge had higher Glasgow Outcome Scale and Barthel Index scores and were more likely to be functionally independent and to return to work 72 months after surgery (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: There is no difference in shunt dependency after SAH among patients treated by endovascular or microsurgical means. Patients in whom shunt-dependent hydrocephalus does not develop after SAH tend to have improved long-term functional outcomes.

Endovascular and Surgical Treatment of Internal Carotid Bifurcation Aneurysms: Comparison of Results, Outcome, and Mid-Term Follow-up

Categorization of aneurysms by their origin and projection

Neurosurgery 76:540–551, 2015

Aneurysms of the internal carotid artery (ICA) bifurcation are rare, and no studies have compared patient outcomes after endovascular vs surgical treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To report the safety, efficacy, and follow-up outcome of these 2 treatment options for patients with ICA bifurcation aneurysms.

METHODS: Patient and aneurysm characteristics, treatment results, and follow-up outcomes (at 30 months) were analyzed from patient records and review of imaging findings.

RESULTS: A total of 58 patients with ICA bifurcation aneurysms were treated. By interdisciplinary consensus, 30 aneurysms were assigned for coiling and 28 for clipping. Patients who underwent surgical clipping were younger and had larger aneurysms. More patients were assigned to coiling if their aneurysms originated only from the ICA bifurcation or projected superiorly. For the combined angiographic endpoint, complete and nearly complete occlusion (Raymond-Roy I + II), similar rates of 96% (coiling) or 100% (clipping) could be achieved. Raymond-Roy I occlusion occurred more often after clipping (79% vs 41% coiling). Follow-up of the endovascular group showed minor recanalization of the aneurysm neck (Raymond-Roy II) in 42%. One patient (4%) showed a major recanalization (Raymond-Roy III) and needed re-treatment. For incidental findings, no bleeding complications or new persistent neurological deficits occurred during follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Treatment of ICA bifurcation aneurysms after interdisciplinary assignment to clipping or coiling is effective and safe. Despite significantly more minor recanalizations after coiling, the re-treatment rate was very low, and no bleeding was observed during follow-up. Multivariate analysis revealed that origin only from the ICA bifurcation was an independent predictor of aneurysm recanalization after endovascular treatment.

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.

Revascularization and Aneurysm Surgery: Techniques, Indications, and Outcomes in the Endovascular Era

Revascularization and Aneurysm Surgery

Neurosurgery 74:482–498, 2014

Given advances in endovascular technique, the indications for revascularization in aneurysm surgery have declined.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to define indications, outline technical strategies, and evaluate the outcomes of patients treated with bypass in the endovascular era.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all aneurysms treated between September 2006 and February 2013.

RESULTS: We identified 54 consecutive patients (16 males and 39 females) with 56 aneurysms. Aneurysms were located along the cervical internal carotid artery (ICA) (n = 1), petrous/cavernous ICA (n = 1), cavernous ICA (n = 16), supraclinoid ICA (n = 7), posterior communicating artery (n = 2), anterior cerebral artery (n = 4), middle cerebral artery (MCA) (n = 13), posterior cerebral artery (PCA) (n = 3), posterior inferior cerebellar artery (n = 4), and vertebrobasilar arteries (n = 5). Revascularization was performed with superficial temporal artery (STA) to MCA bypass (n = 25), STA to superior cerebellar artery (SCA) (n = 3), STA to PCA (n = 1), STA-SCA/STA-PCA (n = 1), occipital artery (OA) to PCA (n = 2), external carotid artery/ICA to MCA (n = 15), OA to MCA (n = 1), OA to posterior inferior cerebellar artery (n = 1), and in situ bypasses (n = 8). At a mean clinical follow-up of 18.5 months, 45 patients (81.8%) had a good outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale 4 or 5). There were 7 cases of mortality (12.7%) and an additional 9 cases of morbidity (15.8%). At a mean angiographic follow-up of 17.8 months, 14 bypasses were occluded. Excluding the 7 cases of mortality, the majority of aneurysms (n = 42) were obliterated. We identified 7 cases of residual aneurysm and recurrence in 6 patients at follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Given current limitations with existing treatments, cerebral revascularization remains an essential technique for aneurysm surgery.

Clipping of UIA and postoperative cognition

MCA aneurysm

J Neurosurg 120:937–944, 2014

The mechanisms underlying neurocognitive changes after surgical clipping of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate factors that determine postoperative cognitive decline after UIA surgery.

Methods. Data from 109 patients who underwent surgical clipping of a UIA were retrospectively evaluated. These patients underwent neuropsychological examinations (NPEs), including assessment by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale- Third Edition and the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised before and 6 months after surgical clipping of the UIA. Results of NPEs were converted into z scores, from which pre- and postoperative cognitive composite scores (CSpre and CSpost) were obtained. The association between the change in CS between pre- and postoperative NPEs (that is, CSpost – CSpre [CSpost – pre]) and various variables was assessed. These latter variables included surgical approach (anterior interhemispheric approach or other approach), structural change evidenced on T2-weighted imaging at 6 months, somatosensory evoked potential amplitude decrease greater than 50% during aneurysm manipulation, preexisting multiple ischemic lesions in the lacunar region detected on preoperative T2-weighted imaging, and total microsurgical time. Paired t-tests of the NPE scores were performed to determine the net effect of these factors on neurocognitive function at 6 months.

Results. A significant CSpost – pre decrease was observed in patients with a structural change on postoperative T2-weighted imaging when compared with those without such a change on postoperative T2-weighted imaging (-0.181 vs 0.043, p = 0.012). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that postoperative T2-weighted imaging change independently and negatively correlated with CSpost – pre (p = 0.0005). In group-rate analysis, postoperative NPE scores were significantly improved relative to preoperative scores.

Conclusions. Minimal structural damage visualized on T2-weighted images at 6 months as a result of factors such as pial/microvascular injury and excessive retraction during surgical manipulation could cause subtle but significant negative effects on postoperative neurocognitive function after surgical clipping of a UIA. However, this detrimental effect was small, and based on the group-rate analysis, the authors conclude that successful and meticulous surgical clipping of a UIA does not adversely affect postoperative cognitive function.

Fenestration of the lamina terminalis during aneurysm surgery

Lamina terminalis fenestration

J Neurosurg 119:629–633, 2013

Fenestration of the lamina terminalis (FLT) during aneurysm surgery for subarachnoid hemorrhage can, in theory, improve CSF circulation from the lateral and third ventricles to the cortical subarachnoid space, which may, in turn, decrease the incidence of hydrocephalus and vasospasm. However, the actual effects of FLT on CSF circulation have been difficult to determine, due to confounding factors. In addition, it is unclear whether the lamina terminalis remains functionally patent when the brain resumes its normal position. The goal of this study was to assess the functional patency of the fenestrated lamina terminalis in patients who underwent surgery for ruptured aneurysms.

Methods. This prospective study included 15 patients who underwent surgical clipping of ruptured anterior circulation aneurysms, with FLT performed during surgery. On postoperative Day 1, the external ventricular drain of each patient was closed, and 1 ml of Omnipaque 300, an iodine-based contrast agent, was injected intraventricularly, accompanied by cranial maneuvering designed to position the contrast agent adjacent to the lamina terminalis. Three to 5 minutes after cranial maneuvering, the flow of contrast agent into the basal cisterns was assessed with CT imaging. Flow was verified by an increase in Hounsfield units in a prespecified “region of interest” within the basal cisterns on the CT scan. This procedure was performed using a standardized protocol designed in consultation with the Department of Radiology and approved by the institutional review board. One patient who underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy was recruited as a positive control to validate the technique, and 1 patient who underwent aneurysm clipping but not FLT was recruited as a negative control.

Results. Seventeen patients consented to study participation. In the 15 patients who underwent aneurysm clipping and FLT, and the negative control patient who underwent aneurysm clipping but not FLT, the contrast agent followed the normal ventricular pathway from the lateral ventricles into the fourth ventricle, and did not appear in the basal cisterns. In the positive control patient, the contrast agent robustly and immediately filled the basal cisterns.

Conclusions. Fenestration of the lamina terminalis did not result in functional patency of the lamina terminalis when performed as part of surgical clipping for ruptured aneurysms.

Complex middle cerebral artery aneurysms. A new classification

Complex MCAA-a new classification

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1481–1491

Because of the diversity of aneurysm morphology, complicated arterial anatomy and hemodynamic characteristics, tailored surgical treatments are required for cases of individual complex middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms.

Methods During an 8-year period, 59 complex MCA aneurysms in 58 patients were treated microsurgically in our department. Complex aneurysms were defined as having large (10–24 mm in diameter) or giant (diameter≥25 mm) size or non-saccular morphology (fusiform, dissecting or serpentine).

Results Direct clipping of the aneurysmal necks was achieved in eight patients, while reconstructive clipping was performed in 25 patients. Indirect aneurysm occlusion was performed in 25 cases, including trapping or resecting the aneurysm in four cases, trapping or resecting the aneurysm with extraintracranial (EC) or intra-intracranial (IC) bypass in 21 cases and internal carotid artery (ICA) sacrifice with EC-IC bypass in one case. Forty-eight aneurysms (81.4 %) were completely obliterated. Graft patency was confirmed in 20 of 21 cases (95.2 %) with bypass. A recurrent aneurysm was detected in one case and a re-operation was performed. Two patients with Hunt-Hess grade IV aneurysms died during the perioperative period. Overall, 52 cases (88.1 %) had good outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale≥4) during the late follow-up period.

Conclusion The surgical modality and strategy for treating complex MCA aneurysm are decided according to the morphology of the aneurysm, vascular anatomy and the hemodynamic characteristics of each case. Thus, we developed a new classification based on the angioarchitecture. Favorable outcomes can be achieved by treating complex MCA aneurysms with appropriate surgical modalities, strategies and techniques.

Intra-arterial Injection Fluorescein Videoangiography in Aneurysm Surgery


Neurosurgery 72[ONS Suppl 2]:ons141–ons150, 2013

To visualize blood flow in the arteries and aneurysm during surgery, intravenous fluorescence videoangiography has been used. However, the image contrast with this procedure is diminished by repeated study because the dye remains for about 10 minutes after injection.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal dye concentration and to clarify the usefulness of fluorescein videoangiography by intra-arterial dye injection.

METHODS: In the pilot study, fluorescein sodium dissolved at various concentrations was illuminated with excitation light, and fluorescence was detected by cameras. The fluorescence of 0.001% fluorescein sodium solution mixed with plasma at various concentrations was then examined. In 13 aneurysm patients, dye solution was administered through the catheter for intraoperative digital subtraction angiography. The intravenous injection method was also performed, and the findings were compared.

RESULTS: Dye was clinically used at a concentration of 0.005% to 0.1% on the basis of the results of the pilot study. Fluorescence emission from the vessels and aneurysms was clearly observed by both methods; however, arterial injection provided brighter emission, resulting in clearer demonstration of the bloodstream than venous injection. Dye clearance was also quicker, which allowed repeat injections without delay. Dye filling in the aneurysm indicating incomplete occlusion was detected in 2 cases, and occlusion of the perforating artery was observed in 2 cases.

CONCLUSION: Intra-arterial fluorescein videoangiography provides brighter and clearer imaging of blood flow with a smaller dose of dye than intravenous videoangiography. It can be repeated within a short time and is useful for detecting incomplete clipping or unexpected obstruction of arteries.

Patterns of Aneurysm Recurrence After Microsurgical Clip Obliteration

Patterns of Aneurysm Recurrence After Microsurgical Clip Obliteration

Neurosurgery 72:65–69, 2013

Microsurgical clip obliteration remains a time-honored and viable option for the treatment of select aneurysms with very low rates of recurrence.

OBJECTIVE: We studied previously clipped aneurysms that were found to have recurrences to better understand the patterns and configurations of these rare entities.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of 2 prospectively maintained databases of aneurysm treatments from 2 institutions spanning 14 years to identify patients with recurrence of previously clipped intracranial aneurysms.

RESULTS: Twenty-six aneurysm recurrences were identified. Three types of recurrence were identified: type I, proximal to the clip tines; type II, distal; and type III, lateral. The most common type of recurrence was that arising distal to the clip tines (46.1%), and the least frequently encountered recurrence was that arising proximal to the tines (19.2%). Laterally located recurrences were found in 34.6% of cases.

CONCLUSION: We describe 3 different patterns of aneurysm recurrence with respect to clip application: those occurring proximal, distal, or lateral to the clip tines.

Clinical presentation and treatment of distal anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms

Neurosurg Rev (2012) 35:497–504

Aneurysms located at the distal portion of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) are rare, and their clinical features are not fully understood. We report the clinical features and management of nine distal AICA aneurysms in nine patients treated during the past decade at Kagoshima University Hospital and affiliated hospitals.

Our series includes seven women and two men. Of their nine aneurysms, eight were ruptured and one was unruptured; six were saccular and three were dissecting aneurysms. The most prevalent location was the meatal loop (n=5) followed by the postmeatal (n=3) and premeatal segment (n=1) of the AICA, suggesting hemodynamic stress as an etiology of these distal AICA aneurysms. Of the nine patients, five presented with angiographic features suggestive of increased hemodynamic stress to the AICA and the common trunk of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, with vertebral artery stenosis, marked laterality, and a primitive hypoglossal artery.

We addressed eight aneurysms (eight patients) surgically; one aneurysm in one patient disappeared in the course of 3 months without surgical treatment. Of the eight surgically treated aneurysms, seven were ruptured and one was unruptured, five were clipped via lateral suboccipital craniotomy, two were trapped via lateral suboccipital craniotomy, and one was embolized. Good outcomes were obtained in six of the eight patients who underwent operation (75 %).

We consider increased hemodynamic stress attributable to anatomic variations in the AICA and related posterior circulation to be the predominant contributor to the development of distal AICA aneurysms. Direct clipping and trapping yielded favorable outcomes in our series.

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


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