Neurosurgery Blog


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

Outcome after Hunt and Hess Grade V subarachnoid hemorrhage: a comparison of pre-coiling era (1980–1995) versus post-ISAT era (2005–2014)

J Neurosurg 128:100–110, 2018

Outcome analysis of comatose patients (Hunt and Hess Grade V) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is still lacking. The aims of this study were to analyze the outcome of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH and to compare outcomes in the current period with those of the pre–International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) era as well as with published data from trials of decompressive craniectomy (DC) for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction.

METHODS The authors analyzed cases of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH from 1980–1995 (referred to in this study as the earlier period) and 2005–2014 (current period) and compared the results for the 2 periods. The outcomes of 257 cases were analyzed and stratified on the basis of modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores obtained 6 months after SAH. Outcomes were dichotomized as favorable (mRS score of 0–2) or unfavorable (mRS score of 3–6). Data and number needed to treat (NNT) were also compared with the results of decompressive craniectomy (DC) trials for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarctions.

RESULTS Early aneurysm treatment within 72 hours occurred significantly more often in the current period (in 67% of cases vs 22% in earlier period). In the earlier period, patients had a significantly higher 30-day mortality rate (83% vs 39% in the current period) and 6-month mortality rate (94% vs 49%), and no patient (0%) had a favorable outcome, compared with 23% overall in the current period (p < 0.01, OR 32), or 29.5% of patients whose aneurysms were treated (p < 0.01, OR 219). Cerebral infarctions occurred in up to 65% of the treated patients in the current period. Comparison with data from DC MCA trials showed that the NNTs were significantly lower in the current period with 2 for survival and 3 for mRS score of 0–3 (vs 3 and 7, respectively, for the DC MCA trials).

CONCLUSIONS Early and aggressive treatment resulted in a significant improvement in survival rate (NNT = 2) and favorable outcome (NNT = 3 for mRS score of 0–3) for comatose patients with Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH compared with the earlier period. Independent predictors for favorable outcome were younger age and bilateral intact corneal reflexes. Despite a high rate of cerebral infarction (65%) in the current period, 29.5% of the patients who received treatment for their aneurysms during the current era (2005–2014) had a favorable outcome. However, careful individual decision making is essential in these cases.

Transdural Spinal Cord Herniation

World Neurosurg. (2018) 109:242-246.

Recognition of transdural spinal cord herniation has increased over the past decade. This condition remains little known, particularly outside the specialized fields of spinal surgery and neuroradiology, leading to a significant delay in clinical diagnosis and treatment. It should be considered among the differential diagnoses in patients with gradual-onset lower-limb weakness of presumed spinal origin. Reaching a diagnosis using magnetic resonance imaging is essential to refer patients for surgery before their myelopathy worsens.

We describe our surgical experience to untether the spinal cord by wrapping a dura graft around the spinal cord. Three case reports and a review of the literature are discussed.

Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery/Vertebral Artery Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Comparison of Saccular vs Dissecting Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 82:93–98, 2018

Two distinct categories of aneurysms are described in relation to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) and vertebral artery (VA): saccular (SA) and dissecting (DA) types. This distinction is often unrecognized because abnormalities here are uncommon and most studies are small.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if there are any differences in the clinical presentation, inhospital course, or outcomes in patients with DA vs SA of the PICA or VA.

METHODS: Thirty-eight patients with a VA or PICA aneurysm were identified from a departmental subarachnoid hemorrhage database and categorized into DA or SA types. Prospectively collecteddemographic and outcomedata (length of stay, discharge Glasgow Outcome Score) were supplemented by abstracting records for procedural data (extraventricular drain [EVD], ventriculoperitoneal [VP] shunt, tracheostomy, and nasogastric feeding). Univariate, binary logistic regression, and Cox regression analysis was used to compare patients with SA vs DA.

RESULTS: Three aneurysms related to arteriovenous malformation were excluded. Five patients were conservatively managed. Of the 30 treated cases, more patients with a DA presented in poor grade (6/13 vs 2/17 SA; P = .035).More DA patients required an EVD (85% vs 29%; P = .003), VP shunt (54% vs 6%; P = .003), tracheostomy (46% vs 6%; P < .01), and nasogastric feeding (85% vs 35%; P = .007). The median length of stay (41 vs 17 d, P < .001) was longer, and the age and injury severity adjusted odds of discharge home were significantly lower in the DA group (P=.008). Thirty-daymortality was not significantly different (23% of DA vs 24% of SA; P = .2).

CONCLUSION: The presentation, clinical course, and outcomes differ in patients with DA vs SA of the PICA and VA.

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 (


Clinical relevance of anterior cerebral artery asymmetry in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:1070–1076, 2017

An asymmetry of the A1 segments (A1SA) of the anterior cerebral arteries (ACAs) is an assumed risk factor for the development of anterior communicating artery aneurysms (ACoAAs). It is unknown whether A1SA is also clinically relevant after aneurysm rupture. The authors of this study investigated the impact of A1SA on the clinical course and outcome of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS The authors retrospectively analyzed data on consecutive SAH patients treated at their institution between January 2005 and December 2012. The occurrence and severity of cerebral infarctions in the ACA territories were evaluated on follow-up CT scans up to 6 weeks after SAH. Moreover, the risk for an unfavorable outcome (defined as > 3 points on the modified Rankin Scale) at 6 months after SAH was assessed.

RESULTS A total of 594 patients were included in the final analysis. An A1SA was identified on digital subtraction angiography studies from 127 patients (21.4%) and was strongly associated with ACoAA (p < 0.0001, OR 13.7). An A1SA independently correlated with the occurrence of ACA infarction in patients with ACoAA (p = 0.047) and in those without an ACoAA (p = 0.015). Among patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA was independently associated with the severity of ACA infarction (p = 0.023) and unfavorable functional outcome (p = 0.045, OR = 2.4).

CONCLUSIONS An A1SA is a common anatomical variation in SAH patients and is strongly associated with ACoAA. Moreover, the presence of A1SA independently increases the likelihood of ACA infarction. In SAH patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA carries the risk for severe ACA infarction and thus an unfavorable outcome.


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.


Effect of statin treatment on vasospasm-related morbidity and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:291–301, 2017

The efficacy of statin therapy in treating aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remains controversial. In this meta-analysis, the authors investigated whether statin treatment significantly reduced the incidence of cerebral vasospasm and delayed neurological deficits, promoting a better outcome after aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS: A literature search of the PubMed, Ovid, and Cochrane Library databases was performed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies investigating the effect of statin treatment. The end points of cerebral vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND), delayed cerebral infarction, mortality, and favorable outcome were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS Six RCTs and 2 prospective cohort studies met the eligibility criteria, and a total of 1461 patients were included. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in the incidence of cerebral vasospasm (relative risk [RR] 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.96) in patients treated with statins after aneurysmal SAH. However, no significant benefit was observed for DIND (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.70–1.12), delayed cerebral infarction (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.33–1.31), mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.39–1.24) or favorable outcome, according to assessment by the modified Rankin Scale or Glasgow Outcome Scale (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS Treatment with statins significantly decreased the occurrence of vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH. The incidence of DIND, delayed cerebral infarction, and mortality were not affected by statin treatment. Future research should focus on DIND and how statins influence DIND.


A New Classification for Pathologies of Spinal Meninges—Part 2: Primary and Secondary Intradural Arachnoid Cysts

Neurosurgery 81:217–229, 2017

Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are rare causes of radiculopathy or myelopathy. Treatment options include resection, fenestration, or cyst drainage.

OBJECTIVE: To classify intradural spinal arachnoid cysts and present results of their treatment.

METHODS: Among 1519 patientswith spinal space occupying lesions, 130 patients demonstrated intradural arachnoid cysts. Neuroradiological and surgical features were reviewed and clinical data analyzed.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients presented arachnoid cysts as a result of an inflammatory leptomeningeal reaction related to meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intrathecal injections, intradural surgery, or trauma, ie, secondary cysts. For the remaining 109 patients, no such history could be elucidated, ie, primary cysts. Forty-six percent of primary and 86% of secondary cysts were associated with syringomyelia. Patients presented after an average history of 53±88 months. Therewere 122 thoracic and 7 lumbar cysts plus 1 cervical cyst. Fifty-nine patients with primary and 15 patients with secondary cysts underwent laminotomies with complete or partial cyst resection and duraplasty. Mean follow-up was 57 ± 52 months. In the first postoperative year, profound improvements for primary cysts were noted, in contrast to marginal changes for secondary cysts. Progression-free survival for 10 years following surgery was determined as 83% for primary compared to 15% for secondary cysts. Despite differences in clinical presentation, progression-free survival was almost identical for patients with or without syringomyelia.

CONCLUSIONS: Complete or partial resection leads to favorable short- and long-term results for primary arachnoid cysts. For secondary cysts, surgery can only provide clinical stabilization for a limited time due to the often extensive arachnoiditis.


Impact of Weekend Presentation on Short-Term Outcomes and Choice of Clipping vs Coiling in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Neurosurgery 81:87–91, 2017

Presentation on a weekend is commonly associated with higher mortality and a decreased likelihood of receiving invasive procedures.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether weekend presentation influences mortality, discharge destination, or type of treatment received (clip vs coil) in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS: We performed a serial cross-sectional retrospective study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. All adult discharges with a primary diagnosis of SAH (ICD-9-CM 435) from 2005 to 2010 were included, and records with trauma or arteriovenous malformation were excluded. Unadjusted and adjusted associations between weekend presentation and 3 outcomes (in-hospital mortality, discharge destination, and treatment with clip vs coil) were estimated using chi-square tests and multilevel logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 46 093 admissions for nontraumatic SAH were included in the sample; 24.6% presented on a weekend, 68.9% on a weekday, and 6.5% had unknown day of presentation. Weekend admission was not a significant predictor of inpatient mortality (25.4% weekend vs 24.9% weekday; P = .44), or a combined poor outcome measure of mortality or discharge to long-term acute care or hospice (30.3% weekend vs 29.4% weekday; P = .23). Among those treated for aneurysm obliteration, the proportion of clipped vs coiled did not change with weekend vs weekday presentation (21.5% clipped with weekend presentation vs 21.6% weekday, P = .95; 21.5% coiled with weekend presentation vs 22.4% weekday, P = .19).

CONCLUSION: Presentation with nontraumatic SAH on a weekend did not influence mortality, discharge destination, or type of treatment received (clip vs coil) compared with weekday presentation.


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

Neurosurgery 80:908–916, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Pituitary Dysfunction After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

A Simple and Quantitative Method to Predict Symptomatic Vasospasm After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Based on Computed Tomography- Beyond the Fisher Scale

Neurosurgery 79:253–264, 2016

The prevalence of hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage has not been precisely determined, and conflicting results have been reported in the literature.

OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the prevalence of pituitary insufficiency after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and to focus on basal serum and dynamic test differences.

METHODS: The prevalence of pituitary dysfunction was quantified at 3 to 6 months and .6 months after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Proportions were transformed with the logit transformation. A subgroup analysis was performed focusing on the differences in outcome between basal serum and dynamic tests for the diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and secondary adrenal insufficiency.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of hypopituitarism differed considerably between studies, ranging from 0.05 to 0.45 in studies performed between 3 and 6 months after the event and from 0 to 0.55 in long-term studies (.6 months), with pooled frequencies of 0.31 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.22-0.43) and 0.25 (95% CI: 0.16-0.36), respectively. Pooled frequency of GHD at 3 to 6 months was 0.14 (95% CI: 0.08-0.24). At .6 months, GHD prevalence was 0.19 (95% CI: 0.13-0.26) overall, but ranged from 0.15 (95% CI: 0.06-0.33) with the insulin tolerance test to 0.25 (95% CI: 0.15-0.36) using the growth hormone releasing hormone 1 arginine test.

CONCLUSION: Hypopituitarism is a common complication in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, with GHD being the most prevalent diagnosis. We showed that variations in prevalence rates in the literature are partly due to methodological differences among pituitary function tests.

Early whole-brain CT perfusion for detection of patients at risk for delayed cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Early whole-brain CT perfusion for detection of patients at risk for delayed cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 125:128–136, 2016

This prospective study investigated the role of whole-brain CT perfusion (CTP) studies in the identification of patients at risk for delayed ischemic neurological deficits (DIND) and of tissue at risk for delayed cerebral infarction (DCI).

Methods: Forty-three patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) were included in this study. A CTP study was routinely performed in the early phase (Day 3). The CTP study was repeated in cases of transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD)–measured blood flow velocity (BFV) increase of > 50 cm/sec within 24 hours and/or on Day 7 in patients who were intubated/sedated.

Results: Early CTP studies revealed perfusion deficits in 14 patients, of whom 10 patients (72%) developed DIND, and 6 of these 10 patients (60%) had DCI. Three of the 14 patients (21%) with early perfusion deficits developed DCI without having had DIND, and the remaining patient (7%) had neither DIND nor DCI. There was a statistically significant correlation between early perfusion deficits and occurrence of DIND and DCI (p < 0.0001). A repeated CTP was performed in 8 patients with a TCD–measured BFV increase > 50 cm/sec within 24 hours, revealing a perfusion deficit in 3 of them (38%). Two of the 3 patients (67%) developed DCI without preceding DIND and 1 patient (33%) had DIND without DCI. In 4 of the 7 patients (57%) who were sedated and/or comatose, additional CTP studies on Day 7 showed perfusion deficits. All 4 patients developed DCI.

Conclusions: Whole-brain CTP on Day 3 after aSAH allows early and reliable identification of patients at risk for DIND and tissue at risk for DCI. Additional CTP investigations, guided by TCD–measured BFV increase or persisting coma, do not contribute to information gain.

Terson syndrome in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Terson syndrome

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1027–1036

A large number of reports have not been able to clarify the pathophysiology of Terson syndrome (TS) in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).

Methods Prospective single-center study on aSAH patients. Fundoscopic and radiological signs of TS were assessed. The opening intracranial pressure (ICP) in patients who required a ventriculostomy was recorded with a manometer.

Results Six out of 36 included patients had TS (16.7 %), which was associated with unfavorable admission scores. Twenty-nine patients (80.5 %) required ventriculostomy; TS was associated with higher ICP (median, 40 vs. 15 cm cmH2O, p= .003); all patients with TS had pathological ICP values of >20 cmH2O. Patients with a ruptured aneurysm of the anterior cerebral artery complex were ten times as likely to suffer from TS (OR 10.0, 95 % CI 1.03–97.50). Detection of TS on CT had a sensitivity of 50 %, a specificity of 98.4 %, a positive predictive value of 83.3 %, and a negative predictive value of 92.4 %. Mortality was 45 times as high in patients with TS (OR 45.0, 95 % CI 3.86–524.7) and neurologic morbidity up until 3 months post-aSAH was significantly higher in patients with TS (mRS 4–6; 100 vs. 17 %; p = .001).

Conclusions Our findings demonstrate an association between raised ICP and the incidence of TS. TS should be ruled out in aSAH patients presenting comatose or with raised ICP to ensure upfront ophthalmological follow-up. In alert patients without visual complaints and a TS-negative CT scan, the likelihood for the presence of TS is very low.

Predictors of aneurysmal rebleed before definitive surgical or endovascular management

A Simple and Quantitative Method to Predict Symptomatic Vasospasm After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Based on Computed Tomography- Beyond the Fisher Scale

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1037–1044

Aneurysmal rebleed is the most dreaded complication following subarachnoid hemorrhage. Being a cause of devastating outcome, the stratification of risk factors can be used to prioritize patients, especially at high volume centers.

Method: A total of 99 patients with aneurysmal rebleed were analyzed in this study both prospectively and retrospectively from August 2010 to July 2014. In the control group, 100 patients were selected randomly from the patient registry. A total of 25 variables from the demographic, historical, clinical and radiological data were compared and analyzed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results: Significant independent predictors of aneurysm rebleed were the presence of known hypertension (p=0.023), diastolic blood pressure of >90 mmHg on admission (p=0.008); presence of loss of consciousness (p= 0.013) or seizures (p = 0.002) at first ictus; history of warning headaches (p=0.005); higher Fisher grade (p<0.001); presence of multiple aneurysms (p= 0.021); irregular aneurysm surface (0.002).

Conclusions: Identification of high risk factors can help in stratifying patients in the high risk group. The risk stratification strategy with early intervention can prevent rebleeds. This in turn may translate into better outcomes of patients with intracranial aneurysms.

Association of Hemodynamic Factors With Intracranial Aneurysm Formation and Rupture

Association of Hemodynamic Factors With Intracranial Aneurysm Formation and Rupture

Neurosurgery 78:510–520, 2016

Recent evidence suggests a link between the magnitude and distribution of hemodynamic factors and the formation and rupture of intracranial aneurysms. However, there are many conflicting results.

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the effect of hemodynamic factors on aneurysm formation and their association with ruptured aneurysms.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis through October 2014. Analysis of the effects of hemodynamic factors on aneurysm formation was performed by pooling the results of studies that compared geometrical models of intracranial aneurysms and “preaneurysm” models where the aneurysm was artificially removed. Furthermore, we calculated pooled standardized mean differences between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms to quantify the association of hemodynamic factors with ruptured aneurysms. Standard PRISMA guidelines were followed.

RESULTS: The hemodynamic factors that showed high positive correlations with location of aneurysm formation were high wall shear stress (WSS) and high gradient oscillatory number, with pooled proportions of 78.8% and 85.7%, respectively. Positive correlations were largely seen in bifurcation aneurysms, whereas negative correlations were seen in sidewall aneurysms. Mean and normalized WSS were significantly lower and low shear area significantly higher in ruptured aneurysms.

CONCLUSION: Pooled analyses of computational fluid dynamics models suggest that an increase in WSS and gradient oscillatory number may contribute to aneurysm formation, whereas low WSS is associated with ruptured aneurysms. The location of the aneurysm at the bifurcation or sidewall may influence the correlation of these hemodynamic factors.

Predictors of Poor Quality of Life 1 Year After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

A Simple and Quantitative Method to Predict Symptomatic Vasospasm After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Based on Computed Tomography- Beyond the Fisher Scale

Neurosurgery 78:256–264, 2016

Risk factors for poor quality of life (QOL) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remain poorly described.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the frequency and predictors of poor QOL 1 year after SAH.

METHODS: We studied 1-year QOL in a prospectively collected cohort of 1181 consecutively admitted SAH survivors between July 1996 and May 2013. Patient clinical, radiographic, surgical, and acute clinical course information was recorded. Reduced QOL (overall, physical, and psychosocial) at 1 year was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile and defined as 2 SD below population-based normative Sickness Impact Profile values. Logistic regression leveraging multiple imputation to handle missing data was used to evaluate reduced QOL.

RESULTS: Poor overall QOL was observed in 35% of patients. Multivariable analysis revealed that nonwhite ethnicity, high school education or less, history of depression, poor clinical grade (Hunt-Hess Grade $3), and delayed infarction were predictors of poor overall and psychosocial QOL. Poor physical QOL was additionally associated with older age, hydrocephalus, pneumonia, and sepsis. At 1 year, patients with poor QOL had increased difficulty concentrating, cognitive dysfunction, depression, and reduced activities of daily living. More than 91% of patients with poor QOL failed to fully return to work. These patients frequently received physical rehabilitation, but few received cognitive rehabilitation or emotional-behavioral support.

CONCLUSION: Reduced QOL affects as many as one-third of SAH survivors 1 year after SAH. Delayed infarction is the most important in-hospital modifiable factor that affects QOL. Increased attention to cognitive and emotional difficulties after hospital discharge may help patients achieve greater QOL.

Continuous cisternal irrigation with Mg solution for vasospasm

Mg sulfate irrigation

J Neurosurg 124:18–26, 2016

Although cerebral vasospasm (CV) is one of the most important predictors for the outcome in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), no treatment has yet been established for this condition. This study investigated the efficacy of continuous direct infusion of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) solution into the intrathecal cistern in patients with an aneurysmal SAH.

Methods An SAH caused by a ruptured aneurysm was identified on CT scans within 72 hours after SAH onset. All patients were treated by surgical clipping and randomized into 2 groups: a control group of patients undergoing a standard treatment and a magnesium (Mg) group of patients additionally undergoing continuous infusion of 5 mmol/L MgSO4 solution for 14 days. The Mg2+ concentrations in serum and CSF were recorded daily. Neurological examinations were performed by intensive care clinicians. Delayed cerebral ischemia was monitored by CT or MRI. To assess the effect of the Mg treatment on CV, the CVs were graded on the basis of the relative degree of constriction visible on cerebral angiograms taken on Day 10 after the SAH, and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography was performed daily to measure blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Neurological outcomes and mortality rates were evaluated with the Glasgow Outcome Scale and modified Rankin Scale at 3 months after SAH onset.

Results Seventy-three patients admitted during the period of April 2008 to March 2013 were eligible and enrolled in this study. Three patients were excluded because of violation of protocol requirements. The 2 groups did not significantly differ in age, sex, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade, or Fisher grade. In the Mg group, the Mg2+ concentration in CSF gradually increased from Day 4 after initiation of the continuous MgSO4 intrathecal administration. No such increase was observed in the control group. No significant changes in the serum Mg2+ levels were observed for 14 days, and no cardiovascular complications such as bradycardia or hypotension were observed in any of the patients. However, bradypnea was noted among patients in the Mg group. The Mg group had a significantly better CV grade than the control group (p < 0.05). Compared with the patients in the Mg group, those in the control group had a significantly elevated blood flow velocity in the MCA. Both groups were similar in the incidences of cerebral infarction, and the 2 groups also did not significantly differ in clinical outcomes.

Conclusions Continuous cisternal irrigation with MgSO4 solution starting on Day 4 and continuing to Day 14 significantly inhibited CV in patients with aneurysmal SAH without severe cardiovascular complications. However, this improvement in CV neither reduced the incidence of delayed cerebral ischemia nor improved the functional outcomes in patients with SAH.

Aneurysm location and clipping versus coiling for development of secondary normal-pressure hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage


J Neurosurg 123:1555–1561, 2015

The present study aimed to investigate aneurysm locations and treatments for ruptured cerebral aneurysms associated with secondary normal-pressure hydrocephalus (sNPH) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) by using comprehensive data from the Japanese Stroke DataBank.

Methods Among 101,165 patients with acute stroke registered between 2000 and 2013, 4693 patients (1482 men, 3211 women) were registered as having had an SAH caused by a ruptured saccular aneurysm. Of them, 1448 patients (438 men and 1010 women; mean age 61.9 ± 13.4 years) who were confirmed to have or not have coexisting acute hydrocephalus and sNPH were included for statistical analyses. Locations of the ruptured aneurysms were subcategorized into 1 of the following 4 groups: middle cerebral artery (MCA; n = 354), anterior communicating artery and anterior cerebral artery (ACA; n = 496), internal carotid artery (ICA; n = 402), and posterior circulation (n = 130). Locations of 66 of the ruptured aneurysms were unknown/unrecorded. Treatments included craniotomy and clipping alone in 1073 patients, endovascular coil embolization alone in 285 patients, and a combination of coiling and clipping in 17 patients. The age-adjusted and multivariate odds ratios from logistic regression analyses were calculated after stratification using the Fisher CT scale to investigate the effects of the hematoma volume of SAH.

Results Acute hydrocephalus was confirmed in 593 patients, and 521 patients developed sNPH. Patients with a ruptured ACA aneurysm had twice the risk for sNPH over those with a ruptured MCA aneurysm. Those with an ACA aneurysm with Fisher Grade 3 SAH had a 9-fold-higher risk for sNPH than those with an MCA aneurysm with Fisher Grade 1 or 2 SAH. Patients with a ruptured posterior circulation aneurysm did not have any significant risk for sNPH. Clipping of the ruptured aneurysm resulted in twice the risk for sNPH over coil embolization alone.

Conclusions Patients with low-grade SAH caused by a ruptured MCA aneurysm had a low risk for the development of sNPH. In contrast, patients with high-grade SAH caused by a ruptured ACA aneurysm had a higher risk for sNPH. Endovascular coiling might confer a lower risk of developing sNPH than microsurgical clipping.

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


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