Visual Morbidity in Patients With Ophthalmic Segment Aneurysms Treated With Flow Diverters

Neurosurgery 94:538–544, 2024

Flow diverter (FD) treatment for aneurysms of the ophthalmic segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) may raise concerns about visual morbidity related to coverage of the ophthalmic artery by the device. Our objective was to evaluate clinical and angiographic outcomes associated with FD treatment of these aneurysms, with particular emphasis on visual morbidity.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the endovascular databases at 2 US centers to identify consecutive patients with aneurysms along the ophthalmic segment of the ICA that were treated with FDs between January 2010 and December 2022. Baseline demographics, aneurysm characteristics, and periprocedural and postprocedural data, including the occurrence of visual complications, were collected.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirteen patients with 113 aneurysms were identified for inclusion in this study. The mean age of the patients was 59.5 ± 12.4 years, and 103 (91.2%) were women. The ophthalmic artery origin was involved in 40 (35.4%) aneurysms, consisting of a neck origin in 33 (29.2%) and a dome origin in 7 (6.2%). New transient visual morbidity during the hospital stay included impaired visual acuity or blurriness in 1 (0.9%) patient, diplopia in 1 (0.9%), and floaters in 1 (0.9%). New transient visual morbidity during follow-up included impaired visual acuity or blurriness in 5 patients (4.4%), diplopia in 3 (2.7%), ipsilateral visual field defect in 1 (0.9%), and floaters in 6 (5.3%). Permanent visual morbidity occurred in 1 patient (0.9%). Among the 101 patients who had angiographic follow-up, the Raymond-Roy occlusion classifications were I (complete aneurysm occlusion) in 85 (84.2%), II (residual neck) in 11 (10.9%), and III (residual aneurysm) in 5 (4.9%).

CONCLUSION: In our experience, flow diversion for ICA ophthalmic segment aneurysms resulted in low rates of visual morbidity, which was mostly transient in occurrence.

Management of Intracranial Aneurysms that Do Not Occlude on Initial Follow-up After Treatment With the Pipeline Embolization Device

Neurosurgery 94:271–277, 2024

The pipeline embolization device (PED) has become widely accepted as a safe and efficacious treatment for intracranial aneurysms with high rates of complete occlusion at initial follow-up. For aneurysms that are not completely occluded at initial follow-up, further treatment decision-making is varied. Furthermore, the risk of aneurysmal rupture in these incompletely occluded aneurysms after PED is not known. The objective of this study was to determine treatment decision-making that results in increased occlusion status at final follow-up and to evaluate risk of rupture in those aneurysms that do not go onto occlusion.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of prospective data for intracranial aneurysms treated with PED at two institutions from 2013 to 2019. Aneurysms with near-complete or incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up were included in the statistical analysis.

RESULTS: There were 606 total aneurysms treated at two academic institutions with PED with incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up in 134 aneurysms (22.1%). Of the 134 aneurysms that were nonoccluded at initial follow-up, 76 aneurysms (56.7%) went on to complete or near complete occlusion with final complete or near complete occlusion in 90.4% of all aneurysms treated. The time to final imaging follow-up was 28.2 months (13.8-44.3) Retreatment with a second flow diverter was used in 28 aneurysms (20.9%). No aneurysms that were incompletely occluded at initial follow-up had delayed rupture. Furthermore, older patient age was statistically significant for incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up (P = .05).

CONCLUSION: Intracranial aneurysms treated with the PED that do not occlude at initial follow-up may go on to complete occlusion with continuous observation, alteration in antiplatelet regimens, or repeat treatment. Delayed aneurysmal rupture was not seen in patients with incomplete occlusion.

Thromboembolic Events With the Woven Endobridge Device: Incidence, Predictive Factors, and Management

Neurosurgery 94:183–192, 2024

The Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device has been increasingly used to treat wide-neck aneurysms showing a safe and effective profile, but a relatively high number of thromboembolic events (TEEs) have been reported with such treatment. We aimed to evaluate the incidence and management of TEEs and possible predictive factors related to WEB embolization of ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS: A single-center database with consecutive aneurysms treated with a WEB device between July 2012 and May 2022 was reviewed for intraoperative and delayed TEEs. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to determine factors associated with TEEs.

RESULTS: A total of 266 independent aneurysms were treated with WEB devices in 245 patients (mean age 55.78 ± 11.64 years, 169 (63.5%) females, 80 (30%) ruptured). The overall rate of TEEs is 13% (35/266), including 8.7% intraoperative. Symptomatic TEEs with clinical sequelae at a 3-month follow-up are reported to be 2.6% (7/266) with no TEE-related mortality. Both the replacement of a WEB device during the procedure (adjusted odds ratio = 2.61, 95% CI 1.24-5.49; P = .01) and ruptured aneurysms (adjusted odds ratio = 2.74, 95% CI 1.31-5.7; P = .007) were independent predictors of TEEs. A case-by-case management of intraprocedural TEE is also presented; tirofiban was successfully used in most cases of this cohort.

CONCLUSION: In this study, we demonstrated that ruptured aneurysms and WEB device replacement during the procedure were independent predictive factors for TEEs. As a result, making the correct choice of WEB is crucial for improving treatment outcomes. Moreover, with proper medical management of TEEs, minimal morbidity and no mortality could be achieved, which reinforces the safety of the technique.

A Novel Method for Angioscopic Imaging and Visualizing the Skull Base Using Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Cameras

Neurosurgery 93:1432–1436, 2023

Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) electrode arrays are a novel technology for miniaturized endoscopes; however, its use for neurointervention is yet to be investigated. In this proof-of-concept study, we aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of CMOS endoscopes in a canine model by providing direct visualization of the endothelial surface, deploying stents and coils, and accessing the spinal subdural space and skull base.

METHODS: Using 3 canine models, standard guide catheters were introduced into the internal carotid and vertebral arteries through the transfemoral route using fluoroscopy. A 1.2-mm CMOS camera was delivered through the guide catheter to inspect the endothelium. Next, the camera was introduced alongside standard neuroendovascular devices including coils and stents to provide direct visualization of their deployment within the endothelium during fluoroscopy. One canine was used for skull base and extravascular visualization. A lumbar laminectomy was performed, and the camera was navigated within the spinal subdural space until the posterior circulation intracranial vasculature was visualized.

RESULTS: We successfully visualized the endothelial surface and performed several endovascular procedures such as deployment of coils and stents under direct endovascular, angioscopic vision. We also demonstrated a proof of concept for accessing the skull base and posterior cerebral vasculature using CMOS cameras through the spinal subdural space.

CONCLUSION: This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the feasibility of CMOS camera technology to directly visualize endothelium, perform common neuroendovascular procedures, and access the base of the skull in a canine model.

Middle Meningeal Artery Embolization in Adjunction to Surgical Evacuation for Treatment of Subdural Hematomas

Neurosurgery 93:1082–1089, 2023

Surgical evacuation is the standard treatment for chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) but is associated with a high risk of recurrence and readmission. Middle meningeal artery embolization (MMAE) is a novel treatment approach which could be performed upfront or in adjunction to surgical evacuation. MMAE studies are limited by small sample sizes. This study aimed to describe and compare outcomes of MMAE in adjunction to surgery with those of surgery alone on a national level.

METHODS: The national Vizient Clinical Database was queried by use of a specific validated set of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes (October 2018-June 2022). Patients with the diagnosis of nontraumatic CSDH who received MMAE and surgical drainage in the same hospitalization were identified, and their outcomes were compared with isolated surgical drainage.

RESULTS: A total of 606 subjects from 156 institutes and 6340 subjects from 369 institutes were included in the MMAE plus surgery (M&S) and surgery groups, respectively. Average length of stay was significantly longer in the M&S group (9.87 vs 7.53 days; P < .01). There was no significant difference in the in-hospital mortality rate (2.8% vs 2.9%), but the complication rate was significantly higher in the M&S group (8.7% vs 5.5%; P < .01). Complications that were significantly more common in the M&S group included aspiration pneumonia, postoperative sepsis, and anesthesia-related. Mean direct costs were significantly higher in the M&S group (28 834 vs 16 292 US dollars; P < .01). The 30-day readmission rate was significantly lower in the M&S group compared with the surgery group (4.2% vs 8.0%; P < .01).

CONCLUSION: This analysis of large-scale national data indicates that MMAE performed in adjunction to surgery for treatment of CSDH is associated with higher direct costs, higher complication rates, and longer length of stay but lower readmission rates compared with surgical evacuation alone.

Middle Meningeal Artery Embolization for Chronic Subdural Hematoma: A Review

Operative Neurosurgery 24:469–475, 2023

Middle meningeal artery embolization (MMAE) for chronic subdural hematomas (cSDHs) has evolved as a potential treatment alternative for these lesions. The indications for using this treatment modality and the pathophysiology of cSDHs are an area of considerable interest.

A retrospective review was performed including all major papers addressing this topic. Although considered a relatively new treatment option, MMAE for cSDHs is gaining widespread popularity. There are many questions that need to be addressed regarding its indications, some of which are the subject of ongoing clinical trials. The efficacy of this treatment modality in carefully selected patients has also provided new insights into the potential pathophysiology of cSDHs.

This concise review will focus on the current evidence supporting the use of embolization in the treatment of this disease and highlight unanswered relevant clinical questions regarding MMAE indications and technique.

Endovascular treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations: clinical outcomes of patients included in the registry of a pragmatic randomized trial

J Neurosurg 138:1393–1402, 2023

The role of endovascular treatment in the management of patients with brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains uncertain. AVM embolization can be offered as stand-alone curative therapy or prior to surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) (pre-embolization). The Treatment of Brain AVMs Study (TOBAS) is an all-inclusive pragmatic study that comprises two randomized trials and multiple registries.

METHODS Results from the TOBAS curative and pre-embolization registries are reported. The primary outcome for this report is death or dependency (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 2) at last follow-up. Secondary outcomes include angiographic results, perioperative serious adverse events (SAEs), and permanent treatment-related complications leading to an mRS score > 2.

RESULTS From June 2014 to May 2021, 1010 patients were recruited in TOBAS. Embolization was chosen as the primary curative treatment for 116 patients and pre-embolization prior to surgery or SRS for 92 patients. Clinical and angiographic outcomes were available in 106 (91%) of 116 and 77 (84%) of 92 patients, respectively. In the curative embolization registry, 70% of AVMs were ruptured, and 62% were low-grade AVMs (Spetzler-Martin grade I or II), while the pre-embolization registry had 70% ruptured AVMs and 58% low-grade AVMs. The primary outcome of death or disability (mRS score > 2) occurred in 15 (14%, 95% CI 8%–22%) of the 106 patients in the curative embolization registry (4 [12%, 95% CI 5%–28%] of 32 unruptured AVMs and 11 [15%, 95% CI 8%–25%] of 74 ruptured AVMs) and 9 (12%, 95% CI 6%–21%) of the 77 patients in the pre-embolization registry (4 [17%, 95% CI 7%–37%] of 23 unruptured AVMs and 5 [9%, 95% CI 4%–20%] of 54 ruptured AVMs) at 2 years. Embolization alone was confirmed to occlude the AVM in 32 (30%, 95% CI 21%–40%) of the 106 curative attempts and in 9 (12%, 95% CI 6%–21%) of 77 patients in the pre-embolization registry. SAEs occurred in 28 of the 106 attempted curative patients (26%, 95% CI 18%–35%, including 21 new symptomatic hemorrhages [20%, 95% CI 13%–29%]). Five of the new hemorrhages were in previously unruptured AVMs (n = 32; 16%, 95% CI 5%–33%). Of the 77 pre-embolization patients, 18 had SAEs (23%, 95% CI 15%–34%), including 12 new symptomatic hemorrhages [16%, 95% CI 9%–26%]). Three of the hemorrhages were in previously unruptured AVMs (3/23; 13%, 95% CI 3%–34%).

CONCLUSIONS Embolization as a curative treatment for brain AVMs was often incomplete. Hemorrhagic complications were frequent, even when the specified intent was pre-embolization before surgery or SRS. Because the role of endovascular treatment remains uncertain, it should preferably, when possible, be offered in the context of a randomized trial.

The Angiographic and Clinical Follow-up Outcomes of the Wide-Necked and Complex Intracranial Aneurysms Treated With LVIS EVO–Assisted Coiling

Neurosurgery 92:827–836, 2023

The Low Profile Visible Intraluminal Support EVO (LVIS EVO) is a selfexpandable braided stent, which was recently introduced for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Full visibility of the stent and a relatively high metal coverage ratio are the unique features of the LVIS EVO.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety, efficacy, and midterm durability of LVIS EVO stentassisted coiling for the treatment of wide-necked intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS: The endovascular databases were reviewed to identify patients treated with LVIS EVO–assisted coiling. The technical success and immediate clinical/angiographic outcomes were assessed. Periprocedural and delayed complications were evaluated. The follow-up angiographic/clinical outcomes were investigated. The preprocedural/followup neurological statuses were assessed with the modified Rankin Scale.

RESULTS: One hundred three aneurysms in 103 patients (63 females) with a mean age of 54.9 ± 11.3 years were included. The mean maximum sac diameter was 6.2 ± 2.9 mm. The procedural technical success rate was 100%. Immediate postprocedural angiography showed complete occlusion in 77.7%. The mean duration of the angiographic follow-up was 8.8 ± 3.6 months. Follow-up angiography showed complete aneurysm occlusion in 89% of the 82 patients with angiographic follow-up. Recanalization was observed in 7.3% of 82 patients. Two patients (2.4%) required retreatment. In addition, 8.7% of the patients had at least 1 complication, and 2.9% of the patients developed a permanent morbidity. All patients had mRS scores ≤2.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate that SAC with LVIS EVO is a relatively safe, efficient, and durable treatment for wide-necked and complex intracranial aneurysms.

Microsurgery versus Microsurgery With Preoperative Embolization for Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Neurosurgery 92:27–41, 2023

Preoperative embolization has traditionally been regarded as a safe and effective adjunct to microsurgical treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVM). However, there is currently no high-level evidence to ascertain this presumption.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of microsurgery (MS) vs microsurgery with preoperative embolization (E + MS) in patients with bAVM through systematic review.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, and Embase. The primary outcome was bAVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were intraoperative bleeding (mL), complications, worsened modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and mortality. The pooled proportions of outcomes were calculated through the logit transformation method. The odds ratio (OR) of categorical data and mean difference of continuous data were estimated through the Mantel-Haenszel and the inverse variance methods, respectively.

RESULTS: Thirty-two studies met the eligibility criteria. One thousand eight hundred twenty-eight patients were treated by microsurgery alone, and 1088 were treated by microsurgery with preoperative embolization, respectively. The meta-analysis revealed no significant difference in AVM obliteration (94.1% vs 95.6%, OR = 1.15 [0.63-2.11], P = .65), mortality (1.7% vs 2%, OR = 0.88 [0.30-2.58], P = .82), procedural complications (18.2% vs 27.2%, OR = 0.47 [0.19-1.17], P = .10), worsened mRS (21.2% vs 18.5%, OR = 1.08 [0.33-3.54], P = .9), and intraoperative blood loss (mean difference = 182.89 [À87.76, 453.55], P = .19).

CONCLUSION: The meta-analysis showed no significant difference in AVM obliteration, mortality, complications, worse mRS, and intraoperative blood loss between MS and E + MS groups. For AVMs where MS alone has acceptable results, it is reasonable to bypass unnecessary preoperative embolization given higher postoperative complication risk.

Transradial versus transfemoral access for embolization of intracranial aneurysms with the Woven EndoBridge device: a propensity score–matched study

J Neurosurg 137:1064–1071, 2022

Transradial access (TRA) is commonly utilized in neurointerventional procedures. This study compared the technical and clinical outcomes of the use of TRA versus those of transfemoral access (TFA) for intracranial aneurysm embolization with the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device.

METHODS This is a secondary analysis of the Worldwide WEB Consortium, which comprises multicenter data related to adult patients with intracranial aneurysms who were managed with the WEB device. These aneurysms were categorized into two groups: those who were treated with TRA or TFA. Patient and aneurysm characteristics and technical and clinical outcomes were compared between groups. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to match groups according to the following baseline characteristics: age, sex, subarachnoid hemorrhage, aneurysm location, bifurcation aneurysm, aneurysm with incorporated branch, neck width, aspect ratio, dome width, and elapsed time since the last follow-up imaging evaluation.

RESULTS This study included 682 intracranial aneurysms (median [interquartile range] age 61.3 [53.0–68.0] years), of which 561 were treated with TFA and 121 with TRA. PSM resulted in 65 matched pairs. After PSM, both groups had similar characteristics, angiographic and functional outcomes, and rates of retreatment, thromboembolic and hemorrhagic complications, and death. TFA was associated with longer procedure length (median 96.5 minutes vs 72.0 minutes, p = 0.006) and fluoroscopy time (28.2 minutes vs 24.8 minutes, p = 0.037) as compared with TRA. On the other hand, deployment issues were more common in those treated with TRA, but none resulted in permanent complications.

CONCLUSIONS TRA has comparable outcomes, with shorter procedure and fluoroscopy time, to TFA for aneurysm embolization with the WEB device.

Cost Comparison of Microsurgery vs Endovascular Treatment for Ruptured Intracranial Aneurysms: A Propensity-Adjusted Analysis

Neurosurgery 91:470–476, 2022

In specialized neurosurgical centers, open microsurgery is routinely performed for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).

OBJECTIVE: To compare the cost of endovascular vs microsurgical treatment for aSAH at a single quaternary center.

METHODS: All patients undergoing aSAH treatment from July 1, 2014, to July 31, 2019, were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were grouped based on primary treatment (microsurgery vs endovascular treatment). The primary outcomewas the difference in total cost (including hospital, discharge facility, and all follow-up) using a propensity-adjusted analysis.

RESULTS: Of 384 patients treated for an aSAH, 234 (61%) were microsurgically treated and 150 (39%) were endovascularly treated. The mean cost of index hospitalization for these patients was marginally higher ($9504) for endovascularly treated patients ($103 980) than for microsurgically treated patients ($94 476) (P = .047). For the subset of patients with follow-up data available, the mean total cost was $45 040 higher for endovascularly treated patients ($159 406, n = 59) than that for microsurgically treated patients ($114 366, n = 105) (P < .001). After propensity scoring (adjusted for age, sex, comorbidities, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, aneurysms, and type/size/location), linear regression analysis of patients with follow-up data available revealed that microsurgery was independently associated with healthcare costs that were $37 244 less than endovascular treatment costs (P < .001). An itemized cost analysis suggested that this discrepancy was due to differences in the rates of aneurysm retreatment and long-term surveillance.

CONCLUSION: Microsurgical treatment for aSAH is associated with lower total healthcare costs than endovascular therapy. Aneurysm surveillance after endovascular treatments, retreatment, and device costs warrants attention in future studies.

Endovascular therapy versus microsurgical clipping of unruptured wide-neck aneurysms: a prospective multicenter study with propensity score analysis

J Neurosurg 137:352–359, 2022

Numerous techniques have been developed to treat wide-neck aneurysms (WNAs), each with different safety and efficacy profiles. Few studies have compared endovascular therapy (EVT) with microsurgery (MS). The authors’ objective was to perform a prospective multicenter study of a WNA registry using rigorous outcome assessments and to compare EVT and MS using propensity score analysis (PSA).

METHODS Unruptured, saccular, not previously treated WNAs were included. WNA was defined as an aneurysm with a neck width ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio (DTNR) < 2. The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year after treatment (good outcome was defined as mRS score 0–2), as assessed by blinded research nurses and compared with PSA. Angiographic outcome was assessed using the Raymond scale with core laboratory review (adequate occlusion was defined as Raymond scale score 1–2).

RESULTS The analysis included 224 unruptured aneurysms in the EVT cohort (n = 140) and MS cohort (n = 84). There were no differences in baseline demographic characteristics, such as proportion of patients with good baseline mRS score (94.3% of the EVT cohort vs 94.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.941). WNA inclusion criteria were similar between cohorts, with the most common being both neck width ≥ 4 mm and DTNR < 2 (50.7% of the EVT cohort vs 50.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.228). More paraclinoid (32.1% vs 9.5%) and basilar tip (7.1% vs 3.6%) aneurysms were treated with EVT, whereas more middle cerebral artery (13.6% vs 42.9%) and pericallosal (1.4% vs 4.8%) aneurysms were treated with MS (p < 0.001). EVT aneurysms were slightly larger (p = 0.040), and MS aneurysms had a slightly lower mean DTNR (1.4 for the EVT cohort vs 1.3 for the MS cohort, p = 0.010). Within the EVT cohort, 9.3% of patients underwent stand-alone coiling, 17.1% balloon-assisted coiling, 34.3% stent-assisted coiling, 37.1% flow diversion, and 2.1% PulseRider-assisted coiling. Neurological morbidity secondary to a procedural complication was more common in the MS cohort (10.3% vs 1.4%, p = 0.003). One-year mRS scores were assessed for 218 patients (97.3%), and no significantly increased risk of poor clinical outcome was found for the MS cohort (OR 2.17, 95% CI 0.84–5.60, p = 0.110). In an unadjusted direct comparison, more patients in the EVT cohort achieved a good clinical outcome at 1 year (93.4% vs 84.1%, p = 0.048). Final adequate angiographic outcome was superior in the MS cohort (97.6% of the MS cohort vs 86.5% of the EVT cohort, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS Although the treatments for unruptured WNA had similar clinical outcomes according to PSA, there were fewer complications and superior clinical outcome in the EVT cohort and superior angiographic outcomes in the MS cohort according to the unadjusted analysis. These results may be considered when selecting treatment modalities for patients with unruptured WNAs.

Saccular aneurysms in the post–Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial era

J Neurosurg 137:148–155, 2022

The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) was a single-center trial that compared endovascular coiling to microsurgical clipping in patients treated for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). However, because patients in the BRAT were treated more than 15 years ago, and because there have been advances since then—particularly in endovascular techniques—the relevance of the BRAT today remains controversial. Some hypothesize that these technical advances may reduce retreatment rates for endovascular intervention. In this study, the authors analyzed data for the post-BRAT (PBRAT) era to compare microsurgical clipping with endovascular embolization (coiling and flow diverters) in the two time periods and to examine how the results of the original BRAT have influenced the practice of neurosurgeons at the study institution.

METHODS In this retrospective cohort study, the authors evaluated patients with saccular aSAHs who were treated at a single quaternary center from August 1, 2007, to July 31, 2019. The saccular aSAH diagnoses were confirmed by cerebrovascular experts. Patients were separated into two cohorts for comparison on the basis of having undergone microsurgery or endovascular intervention. The primary outcome analyzed for comparison was poor neurological outcome, defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2. The secondary outcomes that were compared included retreatment rates for both therapies.

RESULTS Of the 1014 patients with aSAH during the study period, 798 (79%) were confirmed to have saccular aneurysms. Neurological outcomes at ≥ 1-year follow-up did not differ between patients treated with microsurgery (n = 451) and those who received endovascular (n = 347) treatment (p = 0.51). The number of retreatments was significantly higher among patients treated endovascularly (32/347, 9%) than among patients treated microsurgically (6/451, 1%) (p < 0.001). The retreatment rate after endovascular treatment was lower in the PBRAT era (9%) than in the BRAT (18%).

CONCLUSIONS Similar to results from the BRAT, results from the PBRAT era showed equivalent neurological outcomes and increased rates of retreatment among patients undergoing endovascular embolization compared with those undergoing microsurgery. However, the rate of retreatment after endovascular intervention was much lower in the PBRAT era than in the BRAT.

Transverse sinus stenting without surgical repair in idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses

J Neurosurg 136:1745–1751, 2022

Based on their clinical and radiological patterns, idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea and idiopathic intracranial hypertension can represent different clinical expressions of the same underlying pathological process. Transverse sinus stenoses are associated with both diseases, resulting in eventual restriction of the venous CSF outflow pathway. While venous sinus stenting has emerged as a promising treatment for idiopathic intracranial hypertension, its efficiency on idiopathic CSF leaks has not been very well addressed in the literature so far. The purpose of this study was to report the results of transverse sinus stenting in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

METHODS From a prospectively collected database, the authors retrospectively collected the clinical and radiological features of the patients with spontaneous CSF leakage who were treated with venous sinus stenting.

RESULTS Five female patients were included in this study. Transverse sinus stenoses were present in all patients, and other radiological signs of idiopathic intracranial hypertension were present in 4 patients. The median transstenotic pressure gradient was 6.5 mm Hg (range 3–9 mm Hg). Venous stenting resulted in the disappearance of the leak in 4 patients with no recurrence and no subsequent meningitis during the follow-up (median 12 months, range 6–63 months).

CONCLUSIONS According to the authors’ results, venous sinus stenting may result in the disappearance of the leak in many cases of idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea. Larger comparative studies are needed to assess the efficiency and safety of venous stenting as a first-line approach in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

Solid vs. cystic predominance in posterior fossa hemangioblastomas: implications for cerebrovascular risks and patient outcome

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1357–1364

Hemangioblastomas (HGBs) are highly vascular benign tumors, commonly located in the posterior fossa, and 80% of them are sporadic. Patients usually present with features of raised intracranial pressure and cerebellar symptoms. HGB can be classified as either mostly cystic or solids. Although the solid component is highly vascularized, aneurysm or hemorrhagic presentation is rarely described, having catastrophic results.

Methods We identified 32 consecutive patients with posterior fossa HBG who underwent surgery from 2008 through 2020 at our medical center. Tumors were classified as predominantly cystic or solid according to radiological features. Resection was defined as gross total (GTR) or subtotal (STR).

Results During the study period, 32 posterior fossa HGBs were resected. There were 26 cerebellar lesions and 4 medullar lesions, and in 2 patients, both structures were affected. Predominant cystic tumors were seen in 15 patients and solids in 17. Preoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed in 8 patients with solid tumors, and 4 showed tumor-related aneurysms. Embolization of the tumors was performed in 6 patients, including the four tumor-related aneurysms. GTR was achieved in 29 tumors (91%), and subtotal resection in 3 (9%). Three patients had postoperative lower cranial nerve palsy. Functional status was stable in 5 patients (16%), improved in 24 (75%), and 3 patients (9%) deteriorated. One patient died 2 months after the surgery. Two tumors recurred and underwent a second surgery achieving GTR. The mean follow-up was 42.7 months (SD ± 51.0 months).

Conclusions Predominant cystic HGB is usually easily treated as the surgery is straightforward. Those with a solid predominance present a more complex challenge sharing features similar to arteriovenous malformations. Given the important vascular association of solid predominance HGB with these added risk factors, the preoperative assessment should include DSA, as in arteriovenous malformations, and endovascular intervention should be considered before surgery.


Delayed coil migration into oropharynx following endovascular coiling of a traumatic carotid cavernous fistula

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1287–1292

Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are abnormal vascular shunts between the carotid artery and the cavernous sinus.

A 37-year-old male presented with a traumatic CCF and basal skull fracture extending through the medial wall of the cavernous sinus and sphenoid sinus. The CCF was treated with endovascular coiling.

Three months after this procedure, he was found to have coil migration through the traumatic sphenoid defect into the pharynx. He underwent urgent endonasal endoscopic surgery to disconnect and remove the extruded coil.

Post-operative coil migration is a rare but serious complication following endovascular treatment of traumatic CCF.

Effects of Preoperative Embolization on Spetzler– Martin Grade I and II Arteriovenous Malformations


Neurosurgery 90:92–98, 2022

Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) with low Spetzler–Martin grades (I and II) are associated with good neurological outcomes after microsurgical resection; however, the use of preoperative embolization for these lesions is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the neurological outcomes of preoperative embolization with no embolization in patients with low-grade AVMs.

METHODS: Patients with a Spetzler–Martin grade I or II AVM who underwent microsurgical resection during January 1, 1997, through December 31, 2019, were analyzed. Patients undergoing preoperative embolization were compared with patients not undergoing embolization. A propensity score was constructed from baseline characteristics and used to match intervention (embolization) and control (nonembolization) groups in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was poor neurological status on last follow-up examination, defined as a modified Rankin Scale score >2 and a modified Rankin Scale score worse at follow-up than at the preoperative examination.

RESULTS: Of the 603 patients analyzed, 310 (51.4%) underwent preoperative embolization and 293 (48.6%) did not. Patients in the embolization cohort compared with those in the nonembolization cohort had a higher percentage of Spetzler–Martin grade II AVMs (71.6% vs 52.6%, P < .001) and a lower percentage of hemorrhage (41% vs 55%, P = .001). After propensity score matching, no differences were found between paired cohorts (each N = 203) for baseline characteristics with a significant reduction in absolute standardized mean differences. No significant differences were found in primary outcomes between treatment groups in the matched or unmatched cohorts.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative embolization of low-grade Spetzler–Martin AVMs is not associated with improved neurological outcomes after microsurgical resection.


Recurrence and risk factors of posterior communicating artery aneurysms after endovascular treatment

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2319–2326

Endovascular treatment (EVT) of posterior communicating artery aneurysms (PcomA) is challenging because of posterior communicating artery (Pcom) architecture. Additionally, these aneurysms have a high risk of recanalization compared with those located elsewhere.

Methods The radiographic findings of 171 patients treated with EVT at two institutions were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed, and subgroup analyses were performed based on Pcom characteristics.

Results Recanalization of PcomAs occurred in 53 patients (30.9%). Seven patients (4.0%) were retreated (six endovascularly and one with microsurgical clipping). The mean follow-up duration was 27.7 months (range: 3.5–78.6). The maximum diameter (odds ratio [OR] 1.23, P = .006, 95% CI 1.07–1.44), a Raymond–Roy classification of grade II or III (OR 2.26, P = .03, 95% CI 1.08–4.82), and the presence of reinforcement (balloon or/and stent, OR 0.44, P = .03, 95% CI 0.20–0.91) were associated with recanalization using multivariate logistic regression. Significant differences were found in maximum aneurysm diameter (P = .03) between normal- and fetal-type Pcoms on analysis of variance.

Conclusions The recanalization rate of PcomAs after EVT was 30.9%; the retreatment rate was 4.0%. Maximum diameter, Raymond–Roy classification, and presence of reinforcement were significantly associated with recanalization but not associated with fetal-type Pcom. Aneurysm size was larger in patients with a fetal-type Pcom than in those with a normal Pcom. Pcom size was not related to recanalization rate.

Neuroform Atlas Stent for Treatment of Middle Cerebral Artery Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 89:102–108, 2021

Heterogeneous effect of endovascular aneurysm therapy has been observed across different anatomic locations. There is a paucity of data for stent-assisted coiling of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms.

OBJECTIVE: To present the results of the MCA aneurysmgroup from the Neuroform Atlas (Stryker Neurovascular) investigational device exemption (IDE) trial.

METHODS: The Atlas IDE trial is a prospective, multicenter, single-arm, open-label study of wide-neck aneurysms (neck ≥ 4 mm or dome-to-neck ratio < 2) in the anterior circulation treated with the Neuroform Atlas Stent and approved coils. Follow-up was obtained immediately postprocedure and 2, 6, and 12 mo postoperatively.We herein describe safety and efficacy outcomes, and functional independence of the subjects with aneurysms from all segments of MCA.

RESULTS: A total of 35 patients were included (27 MCA bifurcation, 5 M1, 3 M2). The mean aneurysm size was 6.0 ± 1.8 mm, and the mean neck was 4.4 ± 1.2 mm. Technical procedural success was achieved in all patients. A total of 26 patients had follow-up digital subtraction angiography available at 12mo, with 80.8% (21/26) having complete aneurysm occlusion. Twelve-month safety data were collected for 91.4% (32/35), 8.5% (3/35) had primary safety endpoint, all 3 major ischemic strokes. Mortality occurred in 2 patients beyond 30 d unrelated to procedure (1 gallbladder cancer and 1 fentanyl intoxication). At 1 yr, modified Rankin Score was 0 to 2 in 84.4% (27/32), 3 in 9.4%, and 3 patientswere missing. Approximately 5.7% (2/35) of patients were retreated at 12 mo.

CONCLUSION: Stent-assisted coiling with the Neuroform Atlas Stent is a viable alternative to clipping for selected MCA aneurysms. Complete aneurysm occlusion rates have improved compared to historical data. Proper case selection can lead to acceptable endovascular results.

Safety, Efficacy, and Durability of Stent Plus Balloon-Assisted Coiling for the Treatment of Wide-Necked Intracranial Bifurcation Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 88:1028–1037, 2021

Wide-necked bifurcation aneurysms remain a challenge for endovascular surgeons. Dual-stent-assisted coiling techniques have been defined to treat bifurcation aneurysms with a complex neck morphology. However, there are still concerns about the safety of dual-stenting procedures. Stent plus balloon-assisted coiling is a recently described endovascular technique that enables the coiling of wide-necked complex bifurcation aneurysms by implanting only a single stent.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility, efficacy, safety, and durability of this technique for the treatment of wide-necked bifurcation aneurysms.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of patients with wide-necked intracranial bifurcation aneurysms treated with stent plus balloon-assisted coiling. The initial and follow-up clinical and angiographic outcomeswere assessed. Preprocedural and follow-up clinical statuses were assessed using modified Rankin scale.

RESULTS: A total of 61 patients (mean age: 54.6 ± 10.4 yr) were included in the study. The immediate postprocedural digital subtraction angiography revealed complete aneurysm occlusion in 86.9% of the cases. A periprocedural complication developed in 11.5% of the cases. We observed a delayed ischemic complication in 4.9%. There was no mortality in this study. The permanent morbidity rate was 3.3%. The follow-up angiography was performed in 55 of 61 patients (90.1%) (the mean follow-up period was 25.5 ± 27.3 mo). The rate of complete aneurysm occlusion at the final angiographic follow-up was 89.1%. The retreatment rate was 1.8%.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed that stent plus balloon-assisted coiling is a feasible, effective, and relatively safe endovascular technique for the treatment of widenecked bifurcation aneurysms located in the posterior and anterior circulation.