Stenting for Venous Sinus Stenosis in Patients With Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 94:648–656, 2024

Although venous sinus stenting (VSS) improves cerebrospinal fluid reabsorption and decreases intracranial pressure in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), the underlying pathophysiology of IIH is not well understood. We present a review and meta-analysis of the literature on VSS for IIH treatment, focusing on the rates of restenosis and symptom recurrence.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review of PubMed and Embase databases between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2021. Articles including ≥5 patients with IIH and venous sinus stenosis treated with VSS and posttreatment rates of restenosis (de novo stenosis at a different anatomic location along the dural sinuses or restenosis within or adjacent to the stent) were selected. Demographic, procedural, and outcomes data were collected and analyzed. Mean values for variables collected were pooled, and a mean value was calculated with a 95% CI.

RESULTS: Twenty-four articles were included, comprising 694 patients and 781 VSS cases. The mean age was 33.9 (CI, 31.5-36.2) years. The mean body mass index was 35.3 (CI, 32.9-37.7) kg/m2 . Before VSS, 98.8% (CI, 96.8%-100.0%) of patients experienced headaches, 87.7% (CI, 80.6%-95.5%) had visual acuity issues, 78.7% (CI, 69.9%-88.5%) had papilledema, 58.3% (CI, 46.0%-73.9%) had tinnitus, and 98.8% (96.4%-100.0%) had symptoms refractory to previous therapies. After VSS, 77.7% (CI, 71.1%-84.95%) experienced symptom improvement and 22.3% (CI, 15.1%-29.0%) had persistent or worsened symptoms. Pooled restenosis rate was 17.7% (CI, 14.9%-20.9%).

CONCLUSION: VSS is effective in alleviating IIH signs and symptoms, but the associated high rates of restenosis and persistent symptoms highlight the need for further investigation of this procedure and other adjunctive treatments for IIH.

Zabramski classification in predicting the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage in sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations

J Neurosurg 140:792–799, 2024

The authors aimed to investigate the evolutionary characteristics of the Zabramski classification of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) and the value of the Zabramski classification in predicting clinical outcome in patients with sporadic CCM.

METHODS This retrospective study consecutively included cases of sporadic CCM that had been untreated from January 2001 through December 2021. Baseline and follow-up patient information was recorded. The evolution of the Zabramski classification of a sporadic CCM was defined as the initial lesion type changing into another type for the first time on MRI follow-up. The primary outcome was the occurrence of a hemorrhage event, which was defined as a symptomatic event with radiological evidence of overt intracerebral hemorrhage.

RESULTS Among the 255 included cases, 55 (21.6%) were classified as type I CCM, 129 (50.6%) as type II CCM, and 71 (27.8%) as type III CCM, based on initial MRI. During a mean follow-up of 58.8 ± 33.6 months, 51 (20.0%) patients had lesion classification transformation, whereas 204 (80.0%) patients maintained their initial type. Among the 51 transformed lesions, 29 (56.9%) were type I, 11 (21.6%) were type II, and 11 (21.6%) were type III. Based on all follow-up imaging, of the initial 55 type I lesions, 26 (47.3%) remained type I and 27 (49.1%) regressed to type III because of hematoma absorption; 91.5% of type II and 84.5% of type III lesions maintained their initial type during MRI follow-up. The classification change rate of type I lesions was statistically significantly higher than those of type II and III lesions. After a total follow-up of 1157.7 patient-years, new clinical hemorrhage events occurred in 40 (15.7%) patients. The annual cumulative incidence rate for symptomatic hemorrhage in all patients was 3.4 (95% CI 2.5–4.7) per 100 person-years. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the annual cumulative incidence rate for symptomatic hemorrhage of type I CCM (15.3 per 100 patient-years) was significantly higher than those of type II (0.6 per 100 patient-years) and type III (2.3 per 100 patient-years).

CONCLUSIONS This study suggests that the Zabramski classification is helpful in estimating clinical outcome and can assist with surgical decision-making in patients with sporadic CCM.

Cavernous venous malformations in and around the central nervous system. Part 2: Intradural

J Neurosurg 140:746–754, 2024

Cavernous venous malformations (CavVMs) account for a spectrum of lesions with a shared pathogenesis. Their anatomical location dictates their clinical features and surgical treatment. Extradural and dura-based CavVMs were discussed in Part 1 of this review.

In this part, intradural CavVMs are discussed, encompassing malformations growing within the intradural space without direct dural involvement. In addition to classic intra-axial CavVMs, cranial nerve CavVMs, intraventricular CavVMs, and intradural extramedullary spinal CavVMs are discussed in this group, given the similar natural history and specific management challenges.

Herein the authors focus on critical clinical aspects of and surgical management of these malformations based on their location and discuss optimal surgical approaches at each of these anatomical locations with illustrative cases. The commonalities of the natural history and surgical management that are dictated by anatomical considerations lend to a new location-based taxonomy for classification of CavVMs.

Radiosurgery With Prior Embolization Versus Radiosurgery Alone for Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 94:478–496, 2024

The addition of adjuvant embolization to radiosurgery has been proposed as a means of improving treatment outcomes of intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, the relative efficacy and safety of radiosurgery with adjuvant embolization vs radiosurgery alone remain uncertain. Moreover, previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses have included a limited number of studies and did not consider the effects of baseline characteristics, including AVM volume, on the outcomes. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the efficacy of preradiosurgery embolization for intracranial AVMs with consideration to matching status between participants in each treatment group.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted by searching electronic databases, including PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library, up to January 2023. All studies evaluating the utilization of preradiosurgery embolization were included.

RESULTS: A total of 70 studies (9 matched and 71 unmatched) with a total of 12 088 patients were included. The mean age of the included patients was 32.41 years, and 48.91% of the patients were female. Preradiosurgery embolization was used for larger AVMs and patients with previous hemorrhage (P < .01, P = .02, respectively). The obliteration rate for preradiosurgery embolization (49.44%) was lower compared with radiosurgery alone (61.42%, odds ratio = 0.56, P < .01), regardless of the matching status of the analyzed studies. Although prior embolization was associated higher rate of cyst formation (P = .04), it lowered the odds of radiation-induced changes (P = .04). The risks of minor and major neurological deficits, postradiosurgery hemorrhage, and mortality were comparable between groups.

CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that although preradiosurgery embolization is a suitable option to reduce the AVM size for future radiosurgical interventions, it may not be useful for same-sized AVMs eligible for radiosurgery. Utilization of preradiosurgery embolization in suitable lesions for radiosurgery may result in the added cost and burden of an endovascular procedure.

Cavernous venous malformations in and around the central nervous system. Part 1: Dural and extradural

J Neurosurg 140:735–745, 2024

Cavernous-type malformations are venous lesions that occur in multiple locations throughout the body, and when present in the CNS, they have canonically been referred to as cavernomas, cavernous angiomas, and cerebral cavernous malformations. Herein all these lesions are referred to as “cavernous venous malformations” (CavVMs), which is congruent with the current International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies classification system.

Even though histologically similar, depending on their location relative to the dura mater, these malformations can have different features. In Part 1 of this review, the authors discuss and review pertinent clinical knowledge with regard to CavVMs as influenced by anatomical location, starting with the dural and extradural malformations. They particularly emphasize dural CavVMs (including those in the cavernous sinus), orbital CavVMs, and spinal CavVMs. The genetic and histopathological features of CavVMs in these locations are reviewed, and commonalities in their presumed mechanisms of pathogenesis support the authors’ conceptualization of a spectrum of a single disease entity. Illustrative cases for each subtype are presented, and the pathophysiological and genetic features linking dural and extradural to intradural CavVMs are examined.

A new classification is proposed to segregate CavVMs based on the location from which they arise, which guides their natural history and treatment.

Management outcomes of peripontine arteriovenous malformation patients presenting with trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 140:515–521, 2024

Trigeminal neuralgia as the presenting symptom of brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) has been rarely reported. Treatment of reported cases has been skewed toward surgery for these scarce, deeply located bAVMs. Here, the authors report their management and outcomes of bAVM patients presenting with ipsilateral trigeminal neuralgia (TN) at their institution.

METHODS This is a retrospective cohort study. The authors’ institutional bAVM database was queried for non–hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia bAVMs in pontine, cistern, brainstem, trigeminal nerve, or tentorial locations. Patients with complete data were included in a search for trigeminal neuralgia or “facial pain” as the presenting symptom with TN being on the same side as the bAVM. Demographics, TN and bAVM characteristics, management strategies, and outcomes of bAVM and TN management were analyzed.

RESULTS Fifty-seven peripontine bAVMs were identified; 8 (14.0%) of these bAVMs were discovered because of ipsilateral TN, including 4 patients (50%) with facial pain in the V2 distribution. Five patients (62.5%) were treated with carbamazepine as the initial medical therapy, 2 (25%) underwent multiple rhizotomies, and 1 (12.5%) underwent microvascular decompression. None of the patients with TN-associated bAVMs presented with hemorrhage, compared with 25 patients (51%) with bAVMs that were not associated with TN (p < 0.01). TN-associated bAVMs were overall smaller than non–TNassociated bAVMs, but the difference was not statistically significant (1.71 cm vs 2.22 cm, p = 0.117), and the SpetzlerMartin grades were similar. Six patients (75%) underwent radiosurgery to the bAVM (mean dose 1800 cGy, mean target volume 0.563 cm 3 ) and had complete resolution of TN symptoms (100%). The mean time from radiosurgery to TN resolution was 193 (range 21–360) days, and 83.3% of treated TN-associated bAVMs were obliterated via radiosurgery. Two patients (12.5%) were recommended for conservative management, with one undergoing subsequent rhizotomies and another patient died of hemorrhage during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS TN-associated bAVM is a rare condition with limited evidence for management guidance. Radiosurgery can be safe and effective in achieving durable TN control in patients with TN-associated bAVMs. Despite their deep location and unruptured presentation, obliteration can reach 83.3% with radiosurgery.

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.

Automated Preoperative and Postoperative Volume Estimates Risk of Retreatment in Chronic Subdural Hematoma

Neurosurgery 94:317–324, 2024

Several neurosurgical pathologies, ranging from glioblastoma to hemorrhagic stroke, use volume thresholds to guide treatment decisions. For chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH), with a risk of retreatment of 10%–30%, the relationship between preoperative and postoperative cSDH volume and retreatment is not well understood. We investigated the potential link between preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes and retreatment.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients operated for unilateral cSDH from 4 level 1 trauma centers, February 2009–August 2021. We used a 3-dimensional deep learning, automated segmentation pipeline to calculate preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes. To identify volume thresholds, we constructed a receiver operating curve with preoperative and postoperative volumes to predict cSDH retreatment rates and selected the threshold with the highest Youden index. Then, we developed a light gradient boosting machine to predict the risk of cSDH recurrence.

RESULTS: We identified 538 patients with unilateral cSDH, of whom 62 (12%) underwent surgical retreatment within 6 months of the index surgery. cSDH retreatment was associated with higher preoperative (122 vs 103 mL; P < .001) and postoperative (62 vs 35 mL; P < .001) volumes. Patients with >140 mL preoperative volume had nearly triple the risk of cSDH recurrence compared with those below 140 mL, while a postoperative volume >46 mL led to an increased risk for retreatment (22% vs 6%; P < .001). On multivariate modeling, our model had an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.60-0.93) for predicting retreatment. The most important features were preoperative and postoperative volume, platelet count, and age.

CONCLUSION: Larger preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes increase the risk of retreatment. Volume thresholds may allow identification of patients at high risk of cSDH retreatment who would benefit from adjunct treatments. Machine learning algorithm can quickly provide accurate estimates of preoperative and postoperative volumes.

Continuous irrigation with thrombolytics for intraventricular hemorrhage: case–control study

Neurosurgical Review (2024) 47:40

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a complication of a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. Standard treatment is with external ventricular drain (EVD). Intraventricular thrombolysis may improve mortality but does not improve functional outcomes. We present our initial experience with a novel irrigating EVD (IRRAflow) that automates continuous irrigation with thrombolysis.

Single-center case–control study including patients with IVH treated with EVD compared to IRRAflow. We compared standard demographics, treatment, and outcome parameters between groups. We developed a brain phantom injected with a human clot and assessed clot clearance using EVD/IRRAflow approaches with CT imaging.

Twenty-one patients were treated with standard EVD and 9 patients with IRRAflow. Demographics were similar between groups. Thirty-three percent of patients with EVD also had at least one dose of t-PA and 89% of patients with IRRAflow received irrigation with t-PA (p = 0.01). Mean drain days were 8.8 for EVD versus 4.1 for IRRAflow (p = 0.02). Days-toclearance of ventricular outflow was 5.8 for EVD versus 2.5 for IRRAflow (p = 0.02). Overall clearance was not different. Thirty-seven percent of EVD patients achieved good outcome (mRS ≥ 3) at 90 days versus 86% of IRRAflow patients (p = 0.03). Assessing only t-PA, reduction in mean days-to-clearance (p = 0.0004) and ICU days (p = 0.04) was observed. In the benchtop model, the clot treated with IRRAflow and t-PA showed a significant reduction of volume compared to control.

Irrigation with IRRAflow and t-PA is feasible and safe for patients with IVH. Improving clot clearance with IRRAflow may result in improved clinical outcomes and should be incorporated into randomized trials.

A Review of Preoperative Embolization Effectiveness in Patients With Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 94:129–139, 2024

Preoperative embolization of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains controversial. This study sought to analyze the cost-effectiveness of preoperative embolization of AVMs.

METHODS: Patients who underwent AVM resection at a single institute (January 1, 2015—December 31, 2020) were analyzed. Patients with preoperative embolization (embolization cohort) were compared with those without preoperative embolization (nonembolization cohort). Cost-effectiveness score (CE) was the primary outcome of interest and was determined by dividing the total 1-year cost by effectiveness, which was derived from a validated preoperative to last follow-up change in the modified Rankin Scale utility score. A lower CE signifies a more cost-effective treatment strategy.

RESULTS: Of 188 patients, 88 (47%) underwent preoperative embolization. The mean (SD) total cost was higher in the embolization group than in the nonembolization group ($117 594 [$102 295] vs $84 348 [$82326]; P < .001). The mean (SD) CE was higher in the embolization cohort ($336476 [$1 303 842]) than in the nonembolization cohort ($100 237 [$246 255]; P < .001). Among patients with Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade I and II AVMs, the mean (SD) CE was higher in the embolization (n = 40) than in the nonembolization (n = 72) cohort ($164 950 [$348 286] vs $69 021 [$114 938]; P = .004). Among patients with SM grade III AVMs, the mean (SD) CE was lower in the embolization (n = 33) than in the nonembolization (n = 25) cohort ($151 577 [$219130] vs $189 195 [$446 335]; P = .006). The mean (SD) CE was not significantly different between cohorts among patients with higher-grade AVMs (embolization cohort [n = 3] vs nonembolization cohort [n = 15]: $503639 [$776 492] vs $2048 419 [$4 794 758]; P = .49). The mean CE for embolized SM grade III aneurysms was nonsignificant in the ruptured group; however, for the unruptured group, CE was significantly higher in the embolization cohort (n = 26; $160871 [$240 535]) relative to the nonembolization cohort (n = 15; $108152 [$166 446]) (P = .006).

CONCLUSION: Preoperative embolization was cost-effective for patients with SM grade III AVMs but not for patients with lower-grade AVMs.

In‑out‑in technique for petrosal sinus dural arteriovenous fistula obliteration

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3793–3798

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) at the superior petrosal sinus are a rare but important subtype that pose a high risk of mortality and morbidity. Treatment for these lesions can be challenging with stand-alone endovascular methods.

Methods We describe our “in-out-in” technique for disconnecting dAVFs at the superior petrosal sinus, which includes definitive sacrifice of the superior petrosal sinus and the transverse sigmoid sinus, if involved. This method achieves complete fistula obliteration and minimizes recurrence risk with new arterial feeders.

Conclusions The in-out-in technique is a safe and effective approach for the treatment of dAVFs involving the superior petrosal sinus.

Prognostic significance of perihematomal edema in basal ganglia hemorrhage after minimally invasive endoscopic evacuation

J Neurosurg 139:1784–1791, 2023

Spontaneous basal ganglia hemorrhage is a common type of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with no definitive treatment. Minimally invasive endoscopic evacuation is a promising therapeutic approach for ICH. In this study the authors examined prognostic factors associated with long-term functional dependence (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≥ 4) in patients who had undergone endoscopic evacuation of basal ganglia hemorrhage.

METHODS In total, 222 consecutive patients who underwent endoscopic evacuation between July 2019 and April 2022 at four neurosurgical centers were enrolled prospectively. Patients were dichotomized into functionally independent (mRS score ≤ 3) and functionally dependent (mRS score ≥ 4) groups. Hematoma and perihematomal edema (PHE) volumes were calculated using 3D Slicer software. Predictors of functional dependence were assessed using logistic regression models.

RESULTS Among the enrolled patients, the functional dependence rate was 45.50%. Factors independently associated with long-term functional dependence included female sex, older age (≥ 60 years), Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, larger preoperative hematoma volume (OR 1.02), and larger postoperative PHE volume (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01–1.05). A subsequent analysis evaluated the effect of stratified postoperative PHE volume on functional dependence. Specifically, patients with large (≥ 50 to < 75 ml) and extra-large (≥ 75 to 100 ml) postoperative PHE volumes had 4.61 (95% CI 0.99–21.53) and 6.75 (95% CI 1.20–37.85) times greater likelihood of long-term dependence, respectively, than patients with a small postoperative PHE volume (≥ 10 to < 25 ml).

CONCLUSIONS A large postoperative PHE volume is an independent risk factor for functional dependence among basal ganglia hemorrhage patients after endoscopic evacuation, especially with postoperative PHE volume ≥ 50 ml.

A taxonomy for deep cerebral cavernous malformations: subtypes of thalamic lesions

J Neurosurg 139:1681–1696, 2023

Anatomical taxonomy is a practical tool to successfully guide clinical decision-making for patients with brain arteriovenous malformations and brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). Deep cerebral CMs are complex, difficult to access, and highly variable in size, shape, and position. The authors propose a novel taxonomic system for deep CMs in the thalamus based on clinical presentation (syndromes) and anatomical location (identified on MRI).

METHODS The taxonomic system was developed and applied to an extensive 2-surgeon experience from 2001 through 2019. Deep CMs involving the thalamus were identified. These CMs were subtyped on the basis of the predominant surface presentation identified on preoperative MRI. Six subtypes among 75 thalamic CMs were defined: anterior (7/75, 9%), medial (22/75, 29%), lateral (10/75, 13%), choroidal (9/75, 12%), pulvinar (19/75, 25%), and geniculate (8/75, 11%). Neurological outcomes were assessed using modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. A postoperative score ≤ 2 was defined as a favorable outcome and > 2 as a poor outcome. Clinical and surgical characteristics and neurological outcomes were compared among subtypes.

RESULTS Seventy-five patients underwent resection of thalamic CMs and had clinical and radiological data available. Their mean age was 40.9 (SD 15.2) years. Each thalamic CM subtype was associated with a recognizable constellation of neurological symptoms. The common symptoms were severe or worsening headaches (30/75, 40%), hemiparesis (27/75, 36%), hemianesthesia (21/75, 28%), blurred vision (14/75, 19%), and hydrocephalus (9/75, 12%). The thalamic CM subtype determined the selection of surgical approach. A single approach was associated with each subtype for most patients. The main exception to this paradigm was that in the surgeons’ early experience, pulvinar CMs were resected through a superior parietal lobule–transatrial approach (4/19, 21%), which later evolved to the paramedian supracerebellar-infratentorial approach (12/19, 63%). Relative outcomes implied by mRS scores were unchanged or improved in most patients (61/66, 92%) postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS This study confirms the authors’ hypothesis that this taxonomy for thalamic CMs can meaningfully guide the selection of surgical approach and resection strategy. The proposed taxonomy can increase diagnostic acumen at the patient bedside, help identify optimal surgical approaches, enhance the clarity of clinical communications and publications, and improve patient outcomes.

Reducing morbidity associated with subdural drain placement after burr‑hole drainage of unilateral chronic subdural hematomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3207–3215

Placement of a subdural drain after burr-hole drainage of chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) significantly reduces risk of its recurrence and lowers mortality at 6 months. Nonetheless, measures to reduce morbidity related to drain placement are rarely addressed in the literature. Toward reducing drain-related morbidity, we compare outcomes achieved by conventional insertion and our proposed modification.

Methods In this retrospective series from two institutions, 362 patients underwent burr-hole drainage of unilateral cSDH with subsequent subdural drain insertion by conventional technique or modified Nelaton catheter (NC) technique. Primary endpoints were iatrogenic brain contusion or new neurological deficit. Secondary endpoints were drain misplacement, indication for computed tomography (CT) scan, re-operation for hematoma recurrence, and favorable Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score (≥ 4) at final follow-up.

Results The 362 patients (63.8% male) in our final analysis included drains inserted in 56 patients by NC and 306 patients by conventional technique. Brain contusions or new neurological deficits occurred significantly less often in the NC (1.8%) than conventional group (10.5%) (P = .041). Compared with the conventional group, the NC group had no drain misplacement (3.6% versus 0%; P = .23) and significantly fewer non-routine CT imaging related to symptoms (36.5% versus 5.4%; P < .001). Re-operation rates and favorable GOS scores were comparable between groups.

Conclusion We propose the NC technique as an easy-to-use measure for accurate drain positioning within the subdural space that may yield meaningful benefits for patients undergoing treatment for cSDH and vulnerable to complication risks.

Preoperative Microsoft HoloLens 2 planning‑assisted surgical clipping of a fetal posterior cerebral artery aneurysm

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3371–3374

The treatment of intracranial aneurysms has predominantly shifted towards endovascular strategies, but complex cases still necessitate microsurgery. Preoperative stimulation can be beneficial for inexperienced young neurosurgeons in preparing for safe microsurgery.

Method A 72-year-old female with a left irregular fetal posterior cerebral artery (PCA) aneurysm underwent clipping repair. Microsoft HoloLens 2, utilizing mixed reality technology, was employed for preoperative stimulation and anatomical study. During the operation, we successfully identified the planned relationship between the aneurysm and the fetal PCA. The patient was cured without any complications.

Conclusion We hope that this report will highlight the significance of Microsoft HoloLens 2 in microsurgical planning and education.

Trends in the size of treated unruptured intracranial aneurysms over 35 years

J Neurosurg 139:1328–1338, 2023

In the absence of clear guidelines and consistent natural history data, the decision to treat unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) is a matter of some controversy. Currently, decisions are often guided by a consensus of cerebrovascular specialist teams and patient preferences. It is unclear how paradigm-shifting developments in the detection and treatment of UIAs have affected the size of the UIAs that are selected for treatment. Herein, the authors aimed to study potential changes in the average size of the UIAs that were treated over time. They hypothesized that the average size of UIAs that are treated is decreasing over time.

METHODS A systematic search of the literature was performed to identify all studies describing the size of UIAs that were treated using any modality. Scatter diagrams with trend lines were used to plot the size of the aneurysms treated over time and assess for the presence of a potentially significant trend via statistical correlation tests. Subgroup analyses based on type of treatment, country of study, and specialty of the authors were performed.

RESULTS A total of 240 studies including 35,150 UIAs treated between 1987 and 2021 met all eligibility criteria and were entered in the analysis. The mean age of patients was 55.5 years, and 70.7% of the patients were females. There was a significant decrease in the size of treated UIAs over time (Spearman’s r = −0.186, p < 0.001), with a 0.71-mm decrease in the average size of treated UIAs every 5 years since 1987 and an annual mean dropping below 7 mm in 2012. This decreasing trend was present in surgically and endovascularly treated UIAs (p < 0.001 for both), in more developed and developing countries (p < 0.001 for both), within neurosurgical and non-neurosurgical specialties (p < 0.001 for both), most prominently in the US (Spearman’s r = −0.482, p < 0.001), and less prominently in Europe (Spearman’s r = −0.221, p < 0.001) and was not detected in East Asia.

CONCLUSIONS The present study indicates that based on the treated UIA size data published in the literature over the past 35 years, smaller UIAs are being treated over time. This trend is likely driven by safer treatments. However, future studies should elucidate the cost-effectiveness of treating smaller UIAs as well as the possible real-world contribution of this trend in preventing aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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.

Outcome of 107 conservatively managed unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 139:1025–1035, 2023

Since the publication of A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain AVMs (ARUBA), the management of unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) has been controversially discussed. Long-term follow-up data on the exclusively conservative management of unruptured bAVMs are scarce. The authors evaluated the long-term outcomes of patients with unruptured untreated bAVMs in a real-life cohort.

METHODS A retrospective observational cohort of 107 patients (of 897 bAVM patients referred to the authors’ institution) with a diagnosis of unruptured and conservatively managed bAVMs is presented. AVMs of all Spetzler-Martin grades were observed. The mean follow-up period was 84 months. In 44% of patients, a follow-up period of 5 years or longer was observed. A national death register comparison completed the outcome analysis.

RESULTS The median age at diagnosis, sex distribution, neurological presentation, and modified Rankin Scale score were comparable to the patients in the medical management arm of the ARUBA study. Patients were mainly young, predominantly male, and in good clinical condition. Similar to the ARUBA cohort, 77% of this study’s cohort presented in an excellent clinical status at the time of last follow-up. However, 17% of patients had at least one hemorrhage, resulting in an overall annual hemorrhage risk of 2.7% in the observation period. Moreover, the cumulative 1-, 5-, and 10-year overall hemorrhage rates were 3.0%, 11.3%, and 15.3%, respectively. Consequently, the long-term follow-up AVM-related mortality rate amounted to 8%. The estimated median overall survival after AVM diagnosis was 19.3 years (95% CI 14.024.6 years). A multivariate Cox regression model revealed temporal and deep-seated localization as an independent risk factor for AVM hemorrhage, while the presence of seizures reached borderline significance as a risk factor.

CONCLUSIONS The authors’ results represent the long-term course of unruptured untreated bAVMs. Their data support the conclusion that even in the post-ARUBA era, tailored active treatment options may be offered to patients with unruptured bAVMs. For patient counseling, individual risk factors should be weighed against the center’s treatmentspecific risks.

Endoscopic endonasal transclival approach for clipping of the ruptured vertebral artery aneurysm

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:2825–2830

Vertebral artery aneurysms account for less than 5% of all cerebral aneurysms. They have a high risk of rupture and are associated with threatening clinical outcomes compared with anterior circulation aneurysms.

Method The endoscopic endonasal transclival approach (EETA) was used. During the temporary clipping, the neck of the aneurysm was dissected, and a permanent clip was applied. The repair of the skull base defect was carried out with the nasoseptal mucoperiosteal flap on the vascular pedicle.

Conclusion The EETA is a feasible alternative for the clipping of the medially located ruptured vertebral artery aneurysm. EETA can be recommended for centers with a large volume of cerebrovascular and endoscopic neurosurgical procedures.

HummingFlow: novel single twist-drill access for ventricular drainage, irrigation, monitoring, and automated local drug delivery in subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 139:1036–1041, 2023

The management of delayed cerebral ischemia after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) remains one of the most important targets for neurocritical care. Advances in monitoring technology have facilitated a more thorough understanding of the pathophysiology and therapeutic approaches, but interventions are generally limited to either systemic therapies or passive CSF drainage. The authors present a novel approach that combines a multimodal monitoring bolt-based system with an irrigating ventricular drain capable of delivering intrathecal medications and describe their early experience in patients with aSAH.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of cases treated with the combined Hummingbird multimodal bolt system and the IRRAflow irrigating ventriculostomy.

RESULTS Nine patients were treated with the combined multimodal bolt system with irrigating ventriculostomy approach. The median number of days to clearance of the third and fourth ventricles was 3 days in patients with obstructive intraventricular hemorrhage. Two patients received intrathecal alteplase for intraventricular hemorrhage clearance, and 2 patients received intrathecal nicardipine as rescue therapy for severe symptomatic angiographic vasospasm.

CONCLUSIONS Combined CSF drainage, irrigation, multimodality monitoring, and automated local drug delivery are feasible using a single twist-drill hole device. Further investigation of irrigation settings and treatment approaches in high-risk cases is warranted.