A proposed classification system for presigmoid approaches: a scoping review

J Neurosurg 139:965–971, 2023

The “presigmoid corridor” covers a spectrum of approaches using the petrous temporal bone either as a target in treating intracanalicular lesions or as a route to access the internal auditory canal (IAC), jugular foramen, or brainstem. Complex presigmoid approaches have been continuously developed and refined over the years, leading to great heterogeneity in their definitions and descriptions. Owing to the common use of the presigmoid corridor in lateral skull base surgery, a simple anatomy-based and self-explanatory classification is needed to delineate the operative perspective of the different variants of the presigmoid route. Herein, the authors conducted a scoping review of the literature with the aim of proposing a classification system for presigmoid approaches.

METHODS The PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to December 9, 2022, following the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines to include clinical studies reporting the use of “stand-alone” presigmoid approaches. Findings were summarized based on the anatomical corridor, trajectory, and target lesions to classify the different variants of the presigmoid approach.

RESULTS Ninety-nine clinical studies were included for analysis, and the most common target lesions were vestibular schwannomas (60/99, 60.6%) and petroclival meningiomas (12/99, 12.1%). All approaches had a common entry pathway (i.e., mastoidectomy) but were differentiated into two main categories based on their relationship to the labyrinth: translabyrinthine or anterior corridor (80/99, 80.8%) and retrolabyrinthine or posterior corridor (20/99, 20.2%). The anterior corridor comprised 5 variations based on the extent of bone resection: 1) partial translabyrinthine (5/99, 5.1%), 2) transcrusal (2/99, 2.0%), 3) translabyrinthine proper (61/99, 61.6%), 4) transotic (5/99, 5.1%), and 5) transcochlear (17/99, 17.2%). The posterior corridor consisted of 4 variations based on the target area and trajectory in relation to the IAC: 6) retrolabyrinthine inframeatal (6/99, 6.1%), 7) retrolabyrinthine transmeatal (19/99, 19.2%), 8) retrolabyrinthine suprameatal (1/99, 1.0%), and 9) retrolabyrinthine trans-Trautman’s triangle (2/99, 2.0%).

CONCLUSIONS Presigmoid approaches are becoming increasingly complex with the expansion of minimally invasive techniques. Descriptions of these approaches using the existing nomenclature can be imprecise or confusing. Therefore, the authors propose a comprehensive classification based on the operative anatomy that unequivocally describes presigmoid approaches simply, precisely, and efficiently.

Resection of vestibular schwannomas after stereotactic radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 135:881–889, 2021

Multiple short series have evaluated the efficacy of salvage microsurgery (MS) after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for treatment of vestibular schwannomas (VSs); however, there is a lack of a large volume of patient data available for interpretation and clinical adaptation. The goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive review of tumor characteristics, management, and surgical outcomes of salvage of MS after SRS for VS.

METHODS The Medline/PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were queried according to PRISMA guidelines. All English-language and translated publications were included. Studies lacking adequate study characteristics and outcomes were excluded. Cases involving neurofibromatosis type 2, previous MS, or malignant transformation were excluded when possible.

RESULTS Twenty studies containing 297 cases met inclusion criteria. Three additional cases from Rush University Medical Center were added for 300 total cases. Tumor growth with or without symptoms was the primary indication for salvage surgery (92.3% of cases), followed by worsening of symptoms without growth (4.6%) and cystic enlargement (3.1%). The average time to MS after SRS was 39.4 months. The average size and volume of tumor at surgery were 2.44 cm and 5.92 cm3, respectively. The surgical approach was retrosigmoid (42.8%) and translabyrinthine (57.2%); 59.5% of patients had a House-Brackmann (HB) grade of I or II. The facial nerve was preserved in 91.5% of cases. Facial nerve preservation and HB grades were lower for the translabyrinthine versus retrosigmoid approach (p = 0.31 and p = 0.18, respectively); however, fewer complications were noted in the translabyrinthine approach (p = 0.29). Gross-total resection (GTR) was completed in 55.7% of surgeries. Studies that predominantly used subtotal resection (STR) were associated with a lower rate of facial nerve injury (5.3% vs 11.3%, p = 0.07) and higher rate of HB grade I or II (72.9% vs 48.0%, p = 0.00003) versus those using predominantly GTR. However, majority STR was associated with a recurrence rate of 3.6% as compared to 1.4% for majority GTR (p = 0.29).

CONCLUSIONS This study showed that the leading cause of MS after SRS was tumor growth at an average of 39.4 months after radiation. There were no significant differences in outcomes of facial nerve preservation, postoperative HB grade, or complication rate based on surgical approach. Patients who underwent STR showed statistically significant better HB outcomes compared with GTR. MS after SRS was considered by most authors to be more difficult than primary MS. These data support the notion that the surgical goals of salvage surgery are debulking of tumor mass, decreasing compression of the brainstem, and not necessarily pursuing GTR.

Complications of Cranioplasty in Relation to Material: Systematic Review, Network Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression

Neurosurgery 89:383–394, 2021

Cranioplasty is a ubiquitous neurosurgical procedure consisting of reconstruction of a pre-existing calvarial defect. Many materials are available, including polymethylmethacrylate in hand-moulded (hPMMA) and prefabricated (pPMMA) form, hydroxyapatite (HA), polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and titanium (Ti). OBJECTIVE: To perform a networkmeta-analysis (NMA) to assess the relationship between materials and complications of cranioplasty.

METHODS: PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, EMBASE, Scopus, and The Cochrane Library were searched from January 1, 1990 to February 14, 2021. Studies detailing rates of any of infections, implant exposure, or revision surgery were included. A frequentist NMA was performed for each complication. Risk ratios (RRs) with 95% CIs were calculated for each material pair.

RESULTS: A total of 3620 abstractswere screened and 31 full paperswere included. Surgical revision was reported in 18 studies and occurred in 316/2032 cases (14%; 95% CI 11-17). PEEK had the lowest risk of re-operation with a rate of 8/157 (5%; 95% CI 0-11) in 5 studies, superior to autografts (RR 0.20; 95% CI 0.07-0.57), hPMMA (RR 0.20; 95% CI 0.07-0.60), Ti (RR 0.39; 95% CI 0.17-0.92), and pPMMA (RR 0.14; 95% CI 0.04-0.51). Revision rate was 131/684 (19%; 95% CI 13-25; 10 studies) in autografts, 61/317 (18%; 95%CI 9-28; 7 studies) in hPMMA, 84/599 (13%; 95% CI 7-19; 11 studies) in Ti, 7/59 (9%; 95% CI 1-23; 3 studies) in pPMMA, and 25/216 (12%; 95%CI 4-24; 4 studies) in HA. Infection occurred in 463/4667 (8%; 95%CI 6-11) and implant exposure in 120/1651 (6%; 95% CI 4-9).

CONCLUSION: PEEK appears to have the lowest risk of cranioplasty revision, but further research is required to determine the optimal material.

Access to Meckel’s cave for biopsies of indeterminate lesions

Neurosurgical Review (2021) 44:249–259

Accessing Meckel’s cave (MC) is surgically challenging. Open approaches are complex and often correlated with high morbidity. Endoscopic approaches emerged in the last decade as feasible alternatives to open approaches, especially for sampling indeterminate lesions.

This article first analyses available routes to approach Meckel’s cave and presents furthermore an illustrative case. We conducted a systematic review and reported according to the guidelines for preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). Various surgical approaches identified through the search are evaluated and discussed in detail. Additionally, we report on a case of woman with a lesion in MC, which was accessed through an endoscopic transpterygoid approach subsequently diagnosed as a diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Our search delivered 75 articles that included case reports (n = 21), cadaveric studies (n = 32), clinical articles (n = 16), review of the literatures (n = 3), as well as technical notes (n = 2) and a radiological manuscript (n = 1).

Open routes included lateral approaches with many variations, mainly intra- and extradural pterional approaches and anterior petrosal, as well as a retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal and a lateral transorbital approach.

Endoscopically, MC was reached via approaches that included transpterygoid, transorbital or infraorbital fissure routes.

Percutaneous approaches, e.g. through the foramen ovale, were also described. Multiple surgical approaches to MC are currently available.

Their different characteristics as well as individual patient factors, such as clinical history and the localization of the disease, have to be considered when choosing a surgical corridor.

Studies included in this review highlight the endonasal endoscopic transpterygoidal technique as an excellent corridor for biopsies in the ventral MC.

Use of Vycor Tubular Retractors in the Management of Deep Brain Lesions

World Neurosurg. (2020) 133:283-290

Traditional manual retraction to access deep-seated brain lesions has been associated with complications related to vascular compromise of cerebral tissue. Various techniques have been developed over time to minimize injury, such as self-sustaining retractors, neuronavigation, and endoscopic approaches. Recently, tubular retractors, such as the ViewSite Brain Access System (VBAS), have been developed to reduce mechanical damage from retraction by dispersing the force of the retractor radially over the parenchyma. Therefore, we sought to review the current literature to accurately assess the indications, benefits, and complications associated with use of VBAS retractors.

METHODS: A literature search for English articles published between 2005 and 2019 was performed using the MEDLINE database archive with the search terminology “Vycor OR ViewSite OR Brain-Access-System NOT glass.” The VBAS website was also examined. Only articles detailing neurosurgical procedures using the VBAS tubular retractor system alone, or in combination with other retractors, were included. Postoperative morbidity and mortality were analyzed to estimate complications linked to using the retractor.

RESULTS: Twelve publications (106 patients) met the inclusion criteria. The VBAS retractor was used for tumor resections, hematoma evacuations, cyst removal, foreign body extractions, and lesion resection in toxoplasmosis and multiple sclerosis. These cases were subdivided into groups based on lesion location, size, and resection volume for further analysis. Gross total resection was achieved in 63% of tumor excisions, and subtotal resection was achieved in 37%. Hematoma evacuation was successful in all cases. There were 3 shortterm postoperative complications linked to the retractor, with an overall complication rate of 2.8%. –

CONCLUSIONS: This report is the first formal assessment of the VBAS, highlighting technical considerations of the retractor from the surgeon’s perspective, patient outcomes, and complications. The retractor is a safe and efficacious tubular retraction system that can be used for tumor biopsy and resection, colloid cyst removal, hematoma evacuation, and removal of foreign bodies. However, further randomized controlled trials are indicated to accurately assess complication rates and outcomes.

Risk of First Hemorrhage of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations During Pregnancy

Neurosurgery 85:E806–E814, 2019

Recommendations on the management of brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVM) with respect to pregnancy are based upon conflicting literature.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the reported risk and annualized rate of first intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) from bAVM during pregnancy and puerperium.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus databases were searched for relevant articles in English published before April 2018. Studies providing a quantitative risk of ICH in bAVM during pregnancy were eligible.

RESULTS: From 7 initially eligible studies, 3 studies met the criteria for providing quanti- tative risk of first ICH bAVM during pregnancy. Data from 47 bAVM ICH during pregnancy across 4 cohorts were extracted for analysis. Due to differences in methodology and defini- tions of exposure period, it was not appropriate to combine the cases. The annualized risk of first ICH during pregnancy for these 4 cohorts was 3.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7- 5.2%); 3.5% (95% CI: 2.4-4.5%); 8.6% (95% CI: 1.8-25%); and 30% (95% CI: 18-49%). Only the last result from the last cohort could be considered significantly increased in comparison with the nonpregnant period (relative rate 6.8, 95% CI: 3.6-13). The limited number of eligible studies and variability in results highlighted the need for enhanced rigor of future research.

CONCLUSION: There is no conclusive evidence of an increased risk of first hemorrhage during pregnancy from bAVM. Because advice to women with bAVM may influence the management of pregnancy or bAVM with significant consequences, we believe that a retrospective multicenter, case crossover study is urgently required.

Stimulation of the Anterior nuclei of Thalamus for Epilepsy

Neurosurgical Review (2019) 42:287–296

Despite the use of first-choice anti-epileptic drugs and satisfactory seizure outcome rates after resective epilepsy surgery, a considerable percentage of patients do not become seizure free. ANT-DBS may provide for an alternative treatment option in these patients. This literature review discusses the rationale, mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability of ANT-DBS in drug-resistant epilepsy patients.

A review using systematic methods of the available literature was performed using relevant databases including Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library pertaining to the different aspects ANT-DBS. ANTDBS for drug-resistant epilepsy is a safe, effective and well-tolerated therapy, where a special emphasis must be given to monitoring and neuropsychological assessment of both depression and memory function.

Three patterns of seizure control by ANT-DBS are recognized, of which a delayed stimulation effect may account for an improved long-term response rate. ANTDBS remotely modulates neuronal network excitability through overriding pathological electrical activity, decrease neuronal cell loss, through immune response inhibition or modulation of neuronal energy metabolism. ANT-DBS is an efficacious treatment modality, even when curative procedures or lesser invasive neuromodulative techniques failed. When compared to VNS, ANTDBS shows slightly superior treatment response, which urges for direct comparative trials. Based on the available evidence ANTDBS and VNS therapies are currently both superior compared to non-invasive neuromodulation techniques such as t-VNS and rTMS. Additional in-vivo research is necessary in order to gain more insight into the mechanism of action of ANT-DBS in localization-related epilepsy which will allow for treatment optimization.

Randomized clinical studies in search of the optimal target in well-defined epilepsy patient populations, will ultimately allow for optimal patient stratification when applying DBS for drug-resistant patients with epilepsy.

5-ALA fluorescence–guided surgery in pediatric brain tumors—a systematic review

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1099–1108

5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-guided resection of gliomas in adults enables better differentiation between tumor and normal brain tissue, allowing a higher degree of resection, and improves patient outcomes. In recent years, several reports have emerged regarding the use of 5-ALA in other brain tumor entities, including pediatric brains tumors. Since gross total resection (GTR) of many brain tumors in children is crucial and the role of 5-ALA-guided resection of these tumors is not clear, we sought to perform a comprehensive literature review on this topic.

Methods A systematic literature review of EMBASE and MEDLINE/PubMed databases revealed 19 eligible publications encompassing 175 5-ALA-guided operations on pediatric brain tumors. To prevent bias, publications were revised independently by two authors.

Results We found that 5-ALA-guided resection enabled the surgeons to identify the tumor more easily and was considered helpful mainly in cases of glioblastoma (GBM, 21/27, 78%), anaplastic ependymoma WHO grade III (10/14, 71%), and anaplastic astrocytoma (4/6, 67%). In contrast, cases of pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) and medulloblastomas 5-ALA-guided surgery did not show consistent fluorescent signals and 5-ALA was considered helpful only in 12% and 22% of cases, respectively. Accumulation of fluorescent porphyrins seems to depend on WHO tumor grading. One important finding is that when 5- ALA-guided resections were considered helpful, the degree of resection was higher than is cases where it was not helpful. The rate of adverse events related to 5-ALA was negligible, especially new postoperative sequelae.

Conclusion 5-ALA could play a role in resection of pediatric brain tumors. However, further prospective clinical trials are needed.

The role of diffusion tensor imaging in the diagnosis, prognosis, and assessment of recovery and treatment of spinal cord injury: a systematic review

Neurosurg Focus 46 (3):E7, 2019

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is an MRI tool that provides an objective, noninvasive, in vivo assessment of spinal cord injury (SCI). DTI is significantly better at visualizing microstructures than standard MRI sequences. In this imaging modality, the direction and amplitude of the diffusion of water molecules inside tissues is measured, and this diffusion can be measured using a variety of parameters. As a result, the potential clinical application of DTI has been studied in several spinal cord pathologies, including SCI. The aim of this study was to describe the current state of the potential clinical utility of DTI in patients with SCI and the challenges to its use as a tool in clinical practice.

METHODS A search in the PubMed database was conducted for articles relating to the use of DTI in SCI. The citations of relevant articles were also searched for additional articles.

RESULTS Among the most common DTI metrics are fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity. Changes in these metrics reflect changes in tissue integrity. Several DTI metrics and combinations thereof have demonstrated significant correlations with clinical function both in model species and in humans. Its applications encompass the full spectrum of the clinical assessment of SCI including diagnosis, prognosis, recovery, and efficacy of treatments in both the spinal cord and potentially the brain.

CONCLUSIONS DTI and its metrics have great potential to become a powerful clinical tool in SCI. However, the current limitations of DTI preclude its use beyond research and into clinical practice. Further studies are needed to significantly improve and resolve these limitations as well as to determine reliable time-specific changes in multiple DTI metrics for this tool to be used accurately and reliably in the clinical setting.

 

Surgical management and long-term outcome of intracranial subependymoma

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1793–1799

Intracranial subependymomas account for 0.2–0.7% of central nervous system tumours and are classified as World Health Organization (WHO) grade 1 tumours. They are typically located within the ventricular system and are detected incidentally or with symptoms of hydrocephalus. Due to paucity of studies exploring this tumour type, the objective was to determine the medium- to long-term outcome of intracranial subependymoma treated by surgical resection.

Methods Retrospective case note review of adults with intracranial WHO grade 1 subependymoma diagnosed between 1990 and 2015 at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust was undertaken. Tumour location, extent of resection (defined as gross total resection (GTR), sub-total resection (STR) or biopsy) and the WHO performance status at presentation and through follow-up were recorded.

Results Thirteen patients (7 males; 6 females) with a mean age of 47.6 years (range 33–58 years) and a median follow-up of 46 months (range 25–220 months) were studied. Eight patients had symptomatic tumours (headache, visual disturbance); five had incidental finding. Tumours were most commonly located in the fourth ventricle (n = 8). The performance status scores at diagnosis were 0 (n = 8) and 1 (n = 5). The early post-operative performance status scores at 6 months were 0 (n = 5) and 1 (n = 8) and at last follow-up were 0 (n = 11) and 1 (n = 2). There was no evidence of tumour re-growth following GTR or STR. The commonest complication was hydrocephalus (n = 3).

Conclusion Subependymoma are indolent tumours. No patients exhibited a worsening of performance status at medium- to longterm follow-up and there were no tumour recurrence suggesting a shorter follow-up time may be sufficient. Surgical resection is indicated for symptomatic tumours or those without a clear imaging diagnosis. Incidental intraventricular subependymoma can be managed conservatively through MRI surveillance.

A Systematic Review of the Management of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

World Neurosurg. (2018) 111:291-306

Patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are often treated with medications or a surgical procedure. However, there is little evidence that such treatments result in 50% pain reduction and improvement in quality of life. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of treatments in patients with MS and trigeminal neuralgia.

METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Collaboration database from inception until October 2016. Two authors independently selected studies for inclusions, data extraction, and bias assessment.

RESULTS: All studies were of low quality using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system. For medical management, 10 studies were included, of which one was a randomized controlled trial. Two studies were on the use of misopropol, unique to patients with MS. For surgical therapy, 26 studies with at least 10 patients and a minimum of 2 years follow-up were included. All types of surgical procedures are reported and the results are poorer for TN with MS, with 50% having a recurrence by 2 years. The main complication was sensory loss. Many patients had to undergo further procedures to become pain free and there were no agreed prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS: There was insufficient evidence to support any 1 medical therapy and so earlier surgery may be preferable. A patient with TN and MS has therefore to make a decision based on low-level evidence, beginning with standard drug therapy and then choosing a surgical procedure.

Volumetric growth rates of meningioma and its correlation with histological diagnosis and clinical outcome

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:435–445

Tumour growth has been used to successfully predict progression-free survival in low-grade glioma. This systematic review sought to establish the evidence base regarding the correlation of volumetric growth rates with histological diagnosis and potential to predict clinical outcome in patients with meningioma.

Methods This systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Databases were searched for full text English articles analysing volumetric growth rates in patients with a meningioma.

Results Four retrospective cohort studies were accepted, demonstrating limited evidence of significantly different tumour doubling rates and shapes of growth curves between benign and atypical meningiomas. Heterogeneity of patient characteristics and timing of volumetric assessment, both pre- and post-operatively, limited pooled analysis of the data. No studies performed statistical analysis to demonstrate the clinical utility of growth rates in predicting clinical outcome.

Conclusion This systematic review provides limited evidence in support of the use of volumetric growth rates in meningioma to predict histological diagnosis and clinical outcome to guide future monitoring and treatment.

Syndrome of the Trephined: A Systematic Review

syndrome-of-the-trephined-a-systematic-review

Neurosurgery 79:525–534, 2016

Syndrome of the trephined (SoT) is a rare, important complication of a craniectomy characterized by neurological dysfunction that improves with cranioplasty. Its varied symptoms include motor, cognitive, and language deficits. Its exact characterization appears suboptimal, with differing approaches of evaluation. Accordingly, this topic is in great need of further investigation.

OBJECTIVE: To accurately describe SoT and explore methods of an objective diagnosis/ evaluation.

METHODS: Electronic searches of PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge, and PsycINFO databases used the key words “syndrome of the trephined” and “sinking skin flap.” Non–English-language and duplicate articles were eliminated. Title and abstract reviews were selected for relevance. Full-text reviews were selected for articles providing individual characteristics of SoT patients.

RESULTS: This review identified that SoT most often occurs in male patients (60%) at 5.1 6 10.8 months after craniectomy for neurotrauma (38%). The average reported craniectomy is 88.3 6 34.4 cm2 and usually exists with a “sunken skin flap” (93%). Symptoms most commonly include motor, cognitive, and language deficits (57%, 41%, 28%, respectively), with improvement after cranioplasty within 3.8 6 3.9 days. Functional independence with activities of daily living is achieved by 54.9% of patients after 2.9 6 3.4 months of rehabilitation. However, evaluation of SoT is inconsistent, with only 53% of reports documenting objective studies.

DISCUSSION: SoT is a variable phenomenon associated with a prolonged time to cranioplasty. Due to current weaknesses in objectivity, we hypothesize that SoT is often underdiagnosed and recommend a multifaceted approach for consistent evaluation.

CONCLUSION: SoT is a serious complication that lacks exact characterization and deserves future investigation. Improved understanding and recognition have important implications for early intervention and patient outcomes.

The Recent Revolution in the Design and Manufacture of Cranial Implants

The Recent Revolution in the Design and Manufacture of Cranial Implants

Neurosurgery 77:814–824, 2015

Large format (ie, .>25 cm2) cranioplasty is a challenging procedure not only from a cosmesis standpoint, but also in terms of ensuring that the patient’s brain will be well-protected from direct trauma.

Until recently, when a patient’s own cranial flap was unavailable, these goals were unattainable. Recent advances in implant computer-aided design and 3-dimensional (3-D) printing are leveraging other advances in regenerative medicine. It is now possible to 3-D-print patient-specific implants from a variety of polymer, ceramic, or metal components.

A skull template may be used to design the external shape of an implant that will become well integrated in the skull, while also providing beneficial distribution of mechanical force in the event of trauma.

Furthermore, an internal pore geometry can be utilized to facilitate the seeding of banked allograft cells. Implants may be cultured in a bioreactor along with recombinant growth factors to produce implants coated with bone progenitor cells and extracellular matrix that appear to the body as a graft, albeit a tissue-engineered graft.

The growth factors would be left behind in the bioreactor and the graft would resorb as new host bone invades the space and is remodeled into strong bone. As we describe in this review, such advancements will lead to optimal replacement of cranial defects that are both patient-specific and regenerative.

Emergency Noninvasive Angiography for Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage

CTA

Am J Neuroradiol 34:1481– 87. 2013

Spontaneous ICH is a devastating condition and is associated with significant mortality in the acute phase due to ongoing hemorrhage and hematoma expansion. A growing body of evidence suggests that there may be considerable utility in performing noninvasive vascular imaging during the acute-to-early phase of ICH.

CTA has become widely available and is sensitive and specific for detecting vascular causes of secondary ICH such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural arteriovenous fistulas, intracranial dissections, and neoplasm.

CT venography can also diagnose dural sinus thrombosis presenting as hemorrhagic infarction.

Recent data from stroke populations demonstrate a relatively low risk to patients when contrast is administered in the absence of a known serum creatinine. Detection of acute contrast extravasation within the hematoma (“spot sign”) with CT angiography is predictive of subsequent hematoma expansion and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Risk stratification based on acute CTA can inform and expedite decision-making regarding intensive care unit admission, blood pressure control, correction of coagulopathy, and neurosurgical consultation. Noninvasive vascular imaging should be considered as an important component of the initial diagnostic work-up for patients presenting with acute ICH.