Neurosurgery Blog


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

Medina® Embolization Device for the Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 82:155–162, 2018

The Medina Embolization Device (MED) is a new concept device that combines the design of a detachable coil and the one of an intrasaccular flow disruption device.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and 6- to 9-mo effectiveness of this new device for the treatment of intracranial wide-necked aneurysms.

METHODS:Twelve patients (10 females,meanage=56 yr)with 13 wide-necked intracranial aneurysms (3 ruptured; 10 unruptured) were treated by means of the MED from January 2015 to October 2015. In 15% of the cases, MEDs were used in a standalone fashion; in 85% of the cases, additional regular coils were used. Adjunctive compliant balloon was used in 4 of 13 cases (31%). Procedure-related complications were systematically recorded; discharge and 6- to 9-mo follow-up modified Rankin Scale was assessed. Angiographic follow-up was performed with a mean delay of 5.5 ± 1.7 mo. Occlusion rate was evaluated in postprocedure and at midterm follow-up using the Roy–Raymond scale.

RESULTS: The deployment of the MED was feasible in all cases. No perforation was recorded. One case of thromboembolic complication was observed in a ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm, without any clinical consequence at follow-up. Grade A occlusion rate was 61.5% in postprocedure and 83% at 6-mo follow-up. Two cases (17%) of recanalization were documented angiographically.

CONCLUSION: The MED is a new generation device combining the design of a detachable coil and an intrasaccular flow disruption device. According to our early experience, this device is safe and provides a satisfactory occlusion rate at angiographic follow-up of 6mo.


Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm Morphology and the Risk of Rupture

World Neurosurg. (2018) 109:119-126.

Recently, with improvements in computed tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography, the assessment of certain morphologic traits of anterior communicating artery aneurysms (ACoAA) has drawn great attention. The determination of specific factors associated with rupture would provide much-needed guidance for the treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms, such as surgical clipping or endovascular coiling. Morphologic factors include, but are not limited to, aneurysm size, number, shape, dome direction, neck/dome ratio, and relationship of the aneurysm to the surrounding vessels. However, the results of previous investigations concerning morphologic parameters have yielded inconsistent results.

METHODS: This review presents and analyzes the literature on the morphology of ACoAAs and risk of rupture.

RESULTS: This literature review reveals that the strongest predictors of ACoAA rupture are size ratio, direction of the dome, and fenestration. These were the only factors that were either unanimously or near unanimously found to be predictive of rupture across multiple studies.

CONCLUSIONS: The size ratio, direction of the dome, and fenestration should be examined most meticulously when deciding when to treat an ACoAA.


Analysis of saccular aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

J Neurosurg 128:120–125, 2018

The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) is a prospective, randomized trial in which treatment with clipping was compared to treatment with coil embolization. Patients were randomized to treatment on presentation with any nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Because all other randomized trials comparing these 2 types of treatments have been limited to saccular aneurysms, the authors analyzed the current BRAT data for this subgroup of lesions.

METHODS The primary BRAT analysis included all sources of SAH: nonaneurysmal lesions; saccular, blister, fusiform, and dissecting aneurysms; and SAHs from an aneurysm associated with either an arteriovenous malformation or a fistula. In this post hoc review, the outcomes for the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms were further analyzed by type of treatment. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by an independent neuroradiologist not involved in treatment.

RESULTS Of the 471 patients enrolled in the BRAT, 362 (77%) had an SAH from a saccular aneurysm. Patients with saccular aneurysms were assigned equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). In each cohort, 3 patients died before treatment and 178 were treated. Of the 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale score > 2) between these 2 treatment arms at any recorded time point during 6 years of follow-up. After the initial hospitalization, 1 of 241 (0.4%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 21 of 115 (18%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 6-year follow-up, 95% (95/100) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with 40% (16/40) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). There was no difference in morbidity between the 2 treatment groups (p = 0.10).

CONCLUSIONS In the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms enrolled in the BRAT, there was no significant difference between modified Rankin Scale outcomes at any follow-up time in patients with saccular aneurysms assigned to clipping compared with those assigned to coiling (intent-to-treat analysis). At the 6-year follow-up evaluation, rates of retreatment and complete aneurysm obliteration significantly favored patients who underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (


Morphological and Hemodynamic Differences Between Aneurysmal Middle Cerebral Artery Bifurcation and Contralateral Nonaneurysmal Anatomy

Neurosurgery 81:779–786, 2017

The morphological and hemodynamic features differ between middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcations with and without aneurysms.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the morphological and hemodynamic differences between aneurysmal MCA bifurcation and contralateral nonaneurysmal anatomy.

METHODS: Computed tomography angiography of 36 patients with unilateral small saccular MCA bifurcation aneurysms was evaluated. The parent–daughter angles (ϕ1 for larger branch and ϕ2 for smaller branch), bifurcation angle (ϕ = ϕ1 + ϕ2), inclination angle (γ angle), and their relationships with the MCA bifurcation locations were analyzed. Computational fluid dynamics simulation was performed in 6 cases to explore the hemodynamics influenced by the bifurcation morphology.

RESULTS: The ϕ angle was significantly higher in aneurysmal than contralateral nonaneurysmal bifurcations (160.8◦ ± 31.0◦ vs 99.0◦ ± 19.2◦, respectively; P = .000); the ϕ1, ϕ2, and γ angles were also higher. However, by regression analysis combined with MCA bifurcation locations, only the ϕ angle might be associated with the aneurysm presence (odds ratio = 1.120, 95% confidence interval = 1.059-1.185) and a ϕ angle cut-off of 124.8◦ was established. Computational fluid dynamics simulation demonstrated that flow resistance of the wider aneurysmal MCA bifurcation was significantly higher than that on the contralateral side.

CONCLUSION: A larger ϕ angle was more prevalent in aneurysmal than nonaneurysmal MCA bifurcations, and the higher flow resistance caused by the larger ϕ angle might be a potential hemodynamic factor associated with MCA aneurysm presence.

Complex Internal Carotid Artery Aneurysm Treated by Extracranial to Intracranial Bypass Using High-Flow Grafts with Therapeutic Internal Carotid Artery Occlusion

Neurosurgery 81:672–679, 2017

Although the extracranial-to-intracranial high-flow bypass (EC-IC HFB) continues to be indispensable for complex aneurysms, the risk factors for the graft occlusion and whether the graft size changes after the bypass have not been well established.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risk factors for the graft occlusion and to confirm whether graft diameters changed over time.

METHODS: The data of 75 patients who suffered from complex internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms and were treated by EC-IC HFB using radial artery graft (RAG) or saphenous vein graft (SVG) with therapeutic ICA occlusion were evaluated. Clinical and radiological characteristics were compared in patients with and without the graft occlusion by the logrank test. Graft diameters measured preoperatively, postoperatively, at 6 months, and at 1 year were compared by paired t-test.

RESULTS: During a follow-up period (median 26.2 months), graft occlusions were seen in 4 patients (5.3%), and these were the SVGs. Only SVG was related to graft occlusion (P<.001). There was a significant increase with time in RAG diameters (preoperative, 3.1 ± 0.41 mm; postoperative, 3.6 ± 0.65 mm; 6 months, 4.3 ± 1.0 mm; 1 year, 4.4 ± 1.0 mm), while there were no significant diameter changes in SVGs.

CONCLUSION: The present study showed that the SVG was related to the graft occlusion and RAGs gradually enlarged. Unless Allen test is negative, RAG may be better to be used as a graft in EC-IC HFB if therapeutic ICA occlusion is needed.

Quantitative anatomical analysis and clinical experience with mini-pterional and mini-orbitozygomatic approaches for intracranial aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 127:646–659, 2017

The aim of this investigation was to modify the mini-pterional and mini-orbitozygomatic (mini-OZ) approaches in order to reduce the amount of tissue traumatization caused and to compare the use of the 2 approaches in the removal of circle of Willis aneurysms based on the authors’ clinical experience and quantitative analysis.

METHODS Three formalin-fixed adult cadaveric heads injected with colored silicone were examined. Surgical freedom and angle of attack of the mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches were measured at 9 anatomical points, and the measurements were compared. The authors also retrospectively reviewed the cases of 396 patients with ruptured and unruptured single aneurysms in the circle of Willis treated by microsurgical techniques at their institution between January 2006 and November 2014.

RESULTS A significant difference in surgical freedom was found in favor of the mini-pterional approach for access to the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcations, the most distal point of the ipsilateral posterior cerebral artery (PCA), and the basilar artery (BA) tip. No statistically significant differences were found between the mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches for access to the posterior clinoid process, the most distal point of the superior cerebellar artery (SCA), the anterior communicating artery (ACoA), the contralateral ICA bifurcation, and the most distal point of the contralateral MCA. A trend toward increasing surgical freedom was found for the mini-OZ approach to the ACoA and the contralateral ICA bifurcation. The lengths exposed through the mini-OZ approach were longer than those exposed by the mini-pterional approach for the ipsilateral PCA segment (11.5 ± 1.9 mm) between the BA and the most distal point of the P2 segment of the PCA, for the ipsilateral SCA (10.5 ± 1.1 mm) between the BA and the most distal point of the SCA, and for the contralateral anterior cerebral artery (ACA) (21 ± 6.1 mm) between the ICA bifurcation and the most distal point of the A2 segment of the ACA. The exposed length of the contralateral MCA (24.2 ± 8.6 mm) between the contralateral ICA bifurcation and the most distal point of the MCA segment was longer through the mini-pterional approach. The vertical angle of attack (anteroposterior direction) was significantly greater with the minipterional approach than with the mini-OZ approach, except in the ACoA and contralateral ICA bifurcation. The horizontal angle of attack (mediolateral direction) was similar with both approaches, except in the ACoA, contralateral ICA bifurcation, and contralateral MCA bifurcation, where the angle was significantly increased in the mini-OZ approach.

CONCLUSIONS The mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches, as currently performed in select patients, provide less tissue traumatization (i.e., less temporal muscle manipulation, less brain parenchyma retraction) from the skin to the aneurysm than standard approaches. Anatomical quantitative analysis showed that the mini-OZ approach provides better exposure to the contralateral side for controlling the contralateral parent arteries and multiple aneurysms. The mini-pterional approach has greater surgical freedom (maneuverability) for ipsilateral circle of Willis aneurysms.


Intracranial Aneurysm Parameters for Predicting a Future Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Neurosurgery 81:432–440, 2017

Retrospective studies have suggested that aneurysm morphology is a risk factor for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether various morphological indices of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) predict a future rupture.

METHODS: A total of 142 patients with UIAs diagnosed between 1956 and 1978 were followed prospectively until SAH, death, or the last contact. Morphological UIA indices from standard angiographic projections weremeasured at baseline and adjusted inmultivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses for established risk factors for SAH.

RESULTS: During a follow-up of 3064 person-years, 34 patients suffered froman aneurysm rupture. In multivariable analyses, aneurysm volume, volume-to-ostium area ratio, and the bottleneck factor separately as continuous variables predicted aneurysm rupture. All the morphological indices were higher (P < .01) after the rupture than before. In final multivariable analyses, current smoking (adjusted hazard ratio 2.50, 95% CI 1.03-6.10, P = .044), location in the anterior communicating artery (4.28, 1.38-13.28, P=.012), age (inversely; 0.95 per year, 0.91-1.00, P = .043), and UIA diameter ≥7 mm at baseline (2.68, 1.16-6.21, P = .021) were independent risk factors for a future rupture. Aneurysm growth during the followup was associated with smoking (P < .05) and SAH (P < .001), but not with the aneurysm indices.

CONCLUSION: Of the morphological indices, UIA volume seems to predict a future rupture. However, as volume correlates with the maximum diameter of the aneurysm, it seems to add little to the predictive value of the maximum diameter. Retrospective studies using indices that are measured after rupture are of little value in risk prediction.


Complication-Effectiveness Analysis for Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysm Surgery

Aneurysm surgery

Neurosurgery 78:648–659, 2016

The aim of intervention for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) is safe, effective treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze a prospective database for variables influencing the risk of surgery to produce a risk model adjusting this risk for effectively treated aneurysms.

METHODS: First, we identified variables to create a model from multiple logistic regression for complications of surgery leading to a 12-month modified Rankin Scale score .1. Second, we established the long-term cumulative incidence of freedom from retreatment or rupture (treated aneurysm) from Kaplan-Meier analysis. Third, we combined these analyses to establish a model of risk of surgery per effective treatment.

RESULTS: One thousand twelve patients with 1440 UIA underwent 1080 craniotomies. We found that 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.4-12.0) of craniotomies resulted in a complication leading to a modified Rankin Scale score .1 at 12 months. Logistic regression found age (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06), size (odds ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.09-1.15), and posterior circulation location (odds ratio, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.82-4.78) to be significant. Cumulative 10-year risk of retreatment or rupture was 3.0% (95% CI, 1.3-7.0). The complication-effectiveness model was derived by dividing the complication risk by the 10-year cumulative freedom from retreatment or rupture proportion. Risk per effective treatment ranged from 1% for a 5-mm anterior circulation UIA in a 20-year-old patient to 70% for a giant posterior circulation UIA in a 70-year-old patient.

CONCLUSION: Complication-effectiveness analyses increase the information available with regard to outcome for the management of UIAs.

Ideal clipping methods for unruptured middle cerebral artery bifurcation aneurysms based on aneurysmal neck classification

MCAb aneurysms clipping

Neurosurg Rev (2016) 39:215–224

Endovascular coiling is widely used for many cerebral aneurysms; however, in cases of middle cerebral artery bifurcation (MCBIF) aneurysms, it is associated with a higher incidence of unfavorable outcomes compared to microsurgical clippings. In this retrospective study, we aimed to investigate the outcomes of microsurgical clipping for unruptured MCBIF aneurysms and determine the ideal clipping methods for different aneurysm subtypes.

From January 2011 to December 2013, 203 aneurysms with saccular shape (<25 mm) were treated by an experienced neurosurgeon. Depending on the involvement of the aneurysmal thin wall, the aneurysm neck was classified as follows: subtype I, limited bifurcation; subtype II, progressed to M1 trunk; subtype III, progressed to M2 trunk; subtype IV, progressed to M1 and one M2 trunk; and subtype V, progressed to M1 and two M2 trunks. The clipping methods included simple, sliding, interlocking, or mixed approaches.

Aneurysm clippings were accomplished without any morbidity in all cases, and seven cases had a minimal neck remnant. The following clipping methods were predominantly used: subtype I, simple (90.2 %) and sliding (8.8 %) (mean = 1.2 clips); subtype II, interlocking (51.4 %), sliding (30.0 %), mixed (15.7 %), and simple (2.9 %) (2.4 clips); subtype III, simple (57.5 %) and sliding (42.5 %) (1.5 clips); subtype IV, interlocking (64.3 %) (2.1 clips), simple (10.7 %), sliding (14.3 %), and mixed (10.7 %); and subtype V, interlocking (50.0 %), sliding (35.7 %), and mixed (14.3 %) methods with multiple clips (2.8 clips).

If an appropriate clipping method is selected according to the neck classification, satisfactory surgical obliteration can be achieved for unruptured MCBIF aneurysms without morbidity.

Height of aneurysm neck and estimated extent of brain retraction: powerful predictors of olfactory dysfunction after surgery for unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms

Height of aneurysm neck and estimated extent of brain retraction- powerful predictors of olfactory dysfunction after surgery for unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms

J Neurosurg 124:720–725, 2016

The highest incidence of olfactory dysfunction following a pterional approach and its modifications for an intracranial aneurysm has been reported in cases of anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms. The radiological characteristics of unruptured ACoA aneurysms affecting the extent of retraction of the frontal lobe and olfactory nerve were investigated as risk factors for postoperative olfactory dysfunction.

Methods A total of 102 patients who underwent a pterional or superciliary keyhole approach to clip an unruptured ACoA aneurysm from 2006 to 2013 were included in this study. Those patients who complained of permanent olfactory dysfunction after their aneurysm surgery, during a postoperative office visit or a telephone interview, were invited to undergo an olfactory test, the Korean version of the Sniffin’ Sticks test. In addition, the angiographic characteristics of ACoA aneurysms, including the maximum diameter, the projecting direction of the aneurysm, and the height of the neck of the aneurysm, were all recorded based on digital subtraction angiography and sagittal brain images reconstructed using CT angiography. Furthermore, the extent of the brain retraction was estimated based on the height of the ACoA aneurysm neck.

Results Eleven patients (10.8%) exhibited objective olfactory dysfunction in the Sniffin’ Sticks test, among whom 9 were anosmic and 2 were hyposmic. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that the direction of the ACoA aneurysm, ACoA aneurysm neck height, and estimated extent of brain retraction were statistically significant risk factors for postoperative olfactory dysfunction. Based on a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, an ACoA aneurysm neck height > 9 mm and estimated brain retraction > 12 mm were chosen as the optimal cutoff values for differentiating anosmic/hyposmic from normosmic patients. The values for the area under the ROC curves were 0.939 and 0.961, respectively.

Conclusions In cases of unruptured ACoA aneurysm surgery, the height of the aneurysm neck and the estimated extent of brain retraction were both found to be powerful predictors of the occurrence of postoperative olfactory dysfunction.

Surgical Clipping of Very Small Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms

very small aneurysms

Neurosurgery 78:47–52, 2016

Treatment of very small unruptured intracranial aneurysms (VSUIAs, defined as ≤3 mm) can be indicated in selected circumstances. The feasibility and outcomes of endovascular therapy for VSUIAs have been recently published; however, the efficacy and complication rate of surgical clipping has not been reported in any large series to date.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a multicenter study to examine surgical outcomes for VSUIAs.

METHODS: All consecutive patients undergoing surgery for a VSUIA in 4 neurosurgical centers between October 2001 and December 2012 were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS: In the study, 183 patients (128 women, mean age 51.3 years) were treated with 190 procedures for a total of 228 aneurysms. Most were anterior circulation aneurysms (n = 215). The majority were directly clipped (n = 222, 97.4%), with coagulation or wrapping in the remainder. After 1 reoperation for incomplete clipping, postoperative imaging of 225 aneurysms confirmed complete occlusion in 221 (98.2%), 1 neck remnant (0.44%), and 3 partial occlusions (1.3%). Mortality was 0%. Early postoperative neurological deficit developed in 12 patients (6.6%); posterior circulation location was a significant risk factor for early neurological deficit (P < .001). Middle cerebral artery aneurysms had the lowest rate of postoperative deficits at 1.5% (P = .023). After the initial 30-day perioperative period, all deficits related to treatment of posterior circulation aneurysms recovered; overall neurological morbidity decreased to 2.7% with no mortality.

CONCLUSION: VSUIA clipping is highly effective and is associated with a low morbidity rate. For VSUIAs selected for treatment, our data support surgical clipping as the modality of choice.


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.

The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial: 6-year results

Aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 123:609–617, 2015

The authors report the 6-year results of the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT). This ongoing randomized trial, with the final goal of a 10-year follow-up, compares the safety and efficacy of surgical clip occlusion and endovascular coil embolization in patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured aneurysm. The 1- and 3-year results of this trial have been previously reported.

Methods In total, 500 patients with an SAH met the entry criteria and were enrolled in the study. Of these patients, 471 were randomly assigned to the treatments: 238 to surgical clipping and 233 to endovascular coiling. Six patients who died before treatment and 57 patients with nonaneurysmal SAHs were excluded, leaving a total of 408 patients who underwent clipping (209 assigned) or coiling (199 assigned). Whether to treat patients within the assigned group or to cross over patients to the other group was at the discretion of the treating physician; 38% (75/199) of the patients assigned to coiling were crossed over to clipping and 1.9% (4/209) assigned to clipping were crossed over to coiling. The outcome data were collected by a dedicated nurse practitioner. The primary outcome analysis was based on the assigned treatment group; poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2 and was independently adjudicated. Six years after randomization, 336 (82%) of 408 patients who had been treated were available for examination.

Results On the basis of an mRS score of > 2, and similar to the results at the 3-year follow-up, no significant difference in outcomes (p = 0.24) was detected between the 2 treatment groups. Complete aneurysm obliteration at 6 years was achieved in 96% (111/116) of the clipping group and in 48% (23/48) of the coiling group (p < 0.0001). In the period between the 3- and 6-year follow-ups, 3 additional patients assigned to coiling and none assigned to clipping received retreatment, for overall retreatment rates of 4.6% (13/280) for clipping and 16.4% (21/128) for coiling (p < 0.0001). When aneurysm location was considered, the 6-year results continued to match the previously reported results, with no difference in outcome for anterior circulation aneurysms at most time points. Of the anterior circulation aneurysms assigned to coiling treatment, 42% (70/168) were crossed over to clipping treatment. The outcomes for posterior circulation aneurysms continued to favor coiling. The randomization process was unexpectedly skewed, with 18 of 21 treated aneurysms of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) being assigned to clipping, but even when PICA aneurysms were removed from the analysis, outcomes for the posterior circulation aneurysms still favored coiling.

Conclusions Although BRAT was statistically underpowered to detect small differences, these results suggest little difference in outcome between the 2 treatments for anterior circulation aneurysms. This was not the case for the posterior circulation aneurysms, where coil embolization appeared to provide a sustained advantage over clipping. Aneurysm obliteration rates in BRAT were significantly lower and retreatment rates significantly higher in the patients undergoing coiling than in those undergoing clipping. However, despite the fact that retreatment rates were higher after coiling, no recurrent hemorrhages were known to have occurred in patients undergoing coiling in BRAT who were followed up for 6 years. Sufficient questions remain about the relative benefits of the 2 treatment modalities to warrant further welldesigned randomized trials.

Validation of a System to Predict Recanalization After Endovascular Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms


Neurosurgery 77:168–174, 2015

With increasing use of endovascular techniques in the treatment of ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, the issue of obliteration efficacy has become increasingly important. We have previously reported the Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale, which uses accessible predictors including aneurysm-specific factors (size, rupture, and intraluminal thrombosis) and treatment-related features (treatment modality and immediate angiographic result) to predict retreatment risk after endovascular therapy.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the external validity of the Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale.

METHODS: External validity was assessed in independent cohorts from 4 centers in the United States and Canada where endovascular and open neurovascular procedures are performed, and in a multicenter cohort of 1543 patients. Probability of retreatment stratified by risk score was derived for each center and the combined multicenter cohort.

RESULTS: Despite moderate variability in retreatment rate among centers (29.5%, 9.9%, 9.6%, 26.3%, 19.7%, and 18.3%), the Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale demonstrated good predictive value with C-statistics of 0.799, 0.943, 0.780, 0.695, 0.755, and 0.719 for each center and the combined cohort, respectively. Probability of retreatment stratified by risk score for the combined cohort is as follows: -2, 4.9%; -1, 5.7%; 0, 5.8%; 1, 13.1%; 2, 19.2%; 3, 34.9%; 4, 32.7%; 5, 73.2%; 6, 89.5%; and 7, 100.0%.

CONCLUSION: Surgical decision-making and patient-centered informed consent require comprehensive and accessible information on treatment efficacy. The Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale is a valid prognostic index. This is the first comprehensive model that has been developed to quantitatively predict retreatment risk following endovascular therapy.

Serial Imaging Surveillance for Patients With a History of Intracranial Aneurysm: Risk of De Novo Aneurysm Formation

De Novo Aneurysm Formation

Neurosurgery 77:32–43, 2015

Although rare, de novo intracranial aneurysms (DNIAs) may develop in patients with a history of intracranial aneurysms (IAs).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the benefit of routine radiographic screening for DNIAs.

METHODS: Data for 2153 patients with IAs were retrospectively analyzed. A total of 185 patients underwent screening for DNIAs at frequent intervals.

RESULTS: Overall, DNIAs were detected in 26 patients (1.2%). Of the 185 patients with surveillance, DNIAs developed in 9 (4.9%). The risk of DNIA detection was 1.14% per person-year of follow-up (95% confidence interval: 0.6%-2.2%). Patients with imaging follow-up had a significantly higher rate of DNIA detection compared with patients without regular imaging surveillance (4.9% vs 0.86%; P , .001), but surveillance was associated with smaller lesions (with surveillance: 3.8 6 1.8 mm, without: 7.0 6 4.4 mm, mean 6 standard deviation; P = .026). A unimodal distribution of time to detection was found in those with surveillance, with a peak between 0 and 2 years. There was a trend toward an association of cigarette smoking and DNIA detection within 10 years (P = .06); 6 of the 26 patients (23.1%) with DNIAs had a history of cigarette smoking, with all 6 patients continuing to smoke up to the detection of the DNIAs, which were detected in 2.5 6 1.8 years.

CONCLUSION: The low 1.14% per-person year risk of DNIA detection and small DNIA size at detection cannot justify routine screening for DNIAs in all patients with a personal history of IAs. If imaging follow-up is considered for selected patients, early screening will likely yield the most benefit in patients who continue to smoke cigarettes.

Contralateral Approach to Internal Carotid Artery Ophthalmic Segment Aneurysms: Angiographic Analysis and Surgical Results for 30 Patients

oftalmic ICA an

Neurosurgery. 77(1):104-112, July 2015

Contralateral aneurysm clipping can be applied to bilateral intracranial aneurysms of the anterior circulation and to selected aneurysms on the medial wall of the internal carotid artery (ICA).

OBJECTIVE: To identify anatomic and radiological parameters that would favor a contralateral microsurgical approach to ICA–ophthalmic segment (ICA-opht) aneurysms.

METHODS: For the period January 1957 to December 2012, we retrospectively analyzed 268 patients with ICA-opht aneurysms treated in our institution. Of these patients, 30 underwent a contralateral approach; 15 patients (50%) had multiple intracranial aneurysms, and 15 patients had a single aneurysm on the contralateral side of the craniotomy.

RESULTS: Thirty saccular aneurysms located on the contralateral ICA were treated. Six aneurysms (20%) were present in patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to associated aneurysms, whereas 24 aneurysms (80%) had no history of bleeding. Contralateral aneurysms were smaller than 14 mm and showed no wall irregularities, calcifications, or secondary pouches. Projections of the aneurysms were superomedial (n = 23, 77%), medial (n = 4, 13%), and superior (n = 3, 10%). The median prechiasmatic distance was 5.7 mm (range, 3.4-8.7 mm), the median interoptic distance was 10.5 mm (range, 7.6-15.9 mm), and the median distance between both ICAs was 14.7 mm (range, 10.4-21.4 mm).

CONCLUSION: The contralateral approach for ICA-opht aneurysms remains a treatment option for intracranial aneurysms. Its feasibility depends on specific anatomic parameters related to the aneurysm itself and to the prechiasmatic distance, interoptic distance, and relationship of the ICA with the anterior clinoid process.

Stratification of Recanalization for Patients With Endovascular Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms

Recanalization for Patients With Endovascular Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 76:390–395, 2015

With the increasing use of endovascular techniques in the treatment of both ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms, the issue of obliteration efficacy has become increasingly important.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically develop a comprehensive model for predicting retreatment with various types of endovascular treatment.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed medical records that were prospectively collected for 305 patients who received endovascular treatment for intracranial aneurysms from 2007 to 2013. Multivariable logistic regression was performed on candidate predictors identified by univariable screening analysis to detect independent predictors of retreatment. A composite risk score was constructed based on the proportional contribution of independent predictors in the multivariable model.

RESULTS: Size (.10 mm), aneurysm rupture, stent assistance, and posttreatment degree of aneurysm occlusion were independently associated with retreatment, whereas intraluminal thrombosis and flow diversion demonstrated a trend toward retreatment. The Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale was constructed by assigning the following weights to statistically and clinically significant predictors: aneurysm-specific factors: size (.10 mm), 2 points; rupture, 2 points; presence of thrombus, 2 points. Treatment-related factors were stent assistance, 21 point; flow diversion, 22 points; Raymond Roy occlusion class 2, 1 point; Raymond Roy occlusion class 3, 2 points. This scale demonstrated good discrimination with a C-statistic of 0.799.

CONCLUSION: Surgical decision making and patient-centered informed consent require comprehensive and accessible information on treatment efficacy. We constructed the Aneurysm Recanalization Stratification Scale to enhance this decisionmaking process. This is the first comprehensive model that has been developed to quantitatively predict the risk of retreatment after endovascular therapy.

Aneurysm diameter as a risk factor for pretreatment rebleeding: a meta-analysis

MCA aneurysm

J Neurosurg 122:921–928, 2015

Aneurysmal rerupture prior to treatment is a major cause of death and morbidity in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Recognizing risk factors for aneurysmal rebleeding is particularly relevant and might help to identify the aneurysms that benefit from acute treatment. It is uncertain if the size of the aneurysm is related to rebleeding. This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate whether an association could be determined between aneurysm diameter and the rebleeding rate before treatment. Potentially confounding factors such age, aneurysm location, and the presence of hypertension were also evaluated.

Methods The authors systematically searched the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases up to April 3, 2013, for studies of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage that reported the association between aneurysm diameter and pretreatment aneurysmal rebleeding. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria were used to evaluate study quality.

Results Seven studies, representing 2121 patients, were included in the quantitative analysis. The quality of the studies was low in 2 and very low in 5. Almost all of the studies used 10 mm as the cutoff point for size among other classes, and only one used 7 mm. An analysis was performed with this best unifiable cutoff point. Overall rebleeding occurred in 360 (17.0%) of 2121 patients (incidence range, from study to study, 8.7%–28.4%). The rate of rebleeding in small and large aneurysms was 14.0% and 23.6%, respectively. The meta-analysis of the 7 studies revealed that larger size aneurysms were at a higher risk for rebleeding (OR 2.56 [95% CI 1.62–4.06]; p = 0.00; I2 = 60%). The sensitivity analysis did not alter the results. Five of the 7 studies reported data regarding age; 4 studies provided age-adjusted results and identified a persistent relationship between lesion size and the risk of rebleeding. The presence of hypertension was reported in two studies and was more prevalent in patients with rebleeding in one of these. Location (anterior vs posterior circulation) was reported in 5 studies, while in 4 there was no difference in the rebleeding rate. One study identified a lower risk of rebleeding associated with posterior location aneurysms.

Conclusions This meta-analysis showed that aneurysm size is an important risk factor for aneurysmal rebleeding and should be used in the clinical risk assessment of individual patients. The authors’ results confirmed the current guidelines and underscored the importance of acute treatment for large ruptured aneurysms.

Surgical Management of Ruptured Middle Cerebral Artery Aneurysms With Large Intraparenchymal or Sylvian Fissure Hematomas

Ruptured MCA aneurysms

Neurosurgery 76:258–264, 2015

Craniotomy for hematoma evacuation and aneurysm clipping is the treatment modality of choice for ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms with intracranial hematomas. Recent literature suggests that endovascular coil embolization followed by hematoma evacuation can be an acceptable alternative.

OBJECTIVE: To determine neurological outcomes in patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms and intraparenchymal or sylvian fissure hematomas.

METHODS: The records of 49 patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms with large intracranial hematomas treated with hematoma evacuation and aneurysm clipping between January 2000 and December 2013 were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS: Within this cohort, 35 patients (71.4%) were Hunt and Hess grade IV or V on presentation. The mean hematoma volume was 100.4 6 77.2 mL. Craniectomy was performed in 40 patients (81.6%). Angiographic vasospasm developed in 15 patients (30.6%). The in-hospital mortality rate was 28.6% (14 patients). At a mean of 25.3 6 34.0 months follow-up, a good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0-3) was observed in 18 patients (36.7%). Significant factors associated with poor outcome or death (mRS scores of 4-6) included increasing age (P , .01), increasing Hunt and Hess grade (P = .03), increasing modified Fisher grade (P = .01), presence of intraventricular hemorrhage (P , .01), decreasing percentage of hematoma evacuation (P , .05), need for craniectomy (P ,. 01), need for external ventricular drainage (P = .04), and angiographic vasospasm (P = .02).

CONCLUSION: MCA aneurysm rupture with concomitant large intraparenchymal or sylvian fissure hematoma formation carries a grave prognosis. Simultaneous hematoma evacuation and aneurysm clipping with or without craniectomy can be an effective treatment modality.

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


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