Microsurgical treatment of unruptured middle cerebral artery aneurysms

J Neurosurg 130:1498–1504, 2019

Advances in endovascular therapy for the treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms have led to scrutiny of its benefits compared with microsurgical repair. To provide information regarding complication rates and outcomes, the authors reviewed the results of a large series of unruptured MCA aneurysms treated with open microsurgery.

METHODS The authors included all patients who underwent surgical repair of an unruptured MCA aneurysm between 1997 and 2015. All surgical procedures, including clipping, wrapping, bypass, and parent artery occlusion, were performed by a single neurosurgeon. Aneurysm occlusion was assessed using intraoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) or DSA and indocyanine green videoangiography in all cases. Postoperatively, all patients were monitored in a neurointensive care unit overnight. Clinical follow-up was scheduled for 2–4 weeks after surgery, and angiographic follow-up was performed in those patients with subtotally occluded aneurysms at 1, 2, and 5 years postoperation.

RESULTS The authors treated 750 unruptured MCA aneurysms in 716 patients: 649 (86.5%) aneurysms were small, 75 (10.0%) were large, and 26 (3.5%) were giant. Most aneurysms (n = 677, 90%) were treated by primary clip reconstruction. The surgical morbidity rate was 2.8%, and the mortality rate was 0%. Complete angiographic aneurysm occlusion was achieved in 92.0% of aneurysms. At final follow-up, 713 patients had a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0, 2 patients had an mRS score of 2 or 3, and 1 had an mRS score of 4.

CONCLUSIONS In high-volume centers, microsurgical management of MCA aneurysms can be performed with very low morbidity rates. Currently, microsurgical repair appears to be a highly effective method of treating MCA aneurysms.

Clipping aneurysms improves outcomes for patients undergoing coiling

J Neurosurg 130:1491–1497, 2019

Most intracranial aneurysms are now treated by endovascular rather than by microsurgical procedures. There is evidence to demonstrate superior outcomes for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) treated by endovascular techniques. However, some cases continue to require microsurgery. The authors have examined the relationship between the number of aneurysms treated by microsurgery and outcome for patients undergoing treatment for aSAH at neurosurgical centers in England.

METHODS The Neurosurgical National Audit Programme (NNAP) database was used to identify aSAH cases and to provide associated 30-day mortality rates for each of the 24 neurosurgical centers in England. Data were compared for association by regression analysis using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and any associations were tested for statistical significance using the one-way ANOVA test. The NNAP data were validated utilizing a second, independent registry: the British Neurovascular Group’s (BNVG) National Subarachnoid Haemorrhage Database.

RESULTS Increasing numbers of microsurgical cases in a center are associated with lower 30-day mortality rates for all patients treated for aSAH, irrespective of treatment modality (Pearson r = 0.42, p = 0.04), and for patients treated for aSAH by endovascular procedures (Pearson r = 0.42, p = 0.04). The correlations are stronger if all (elective and acute) microsurgical cases are compared with outcome. The BNVG data validated the NNAP data set for patients with aSAH.

CONCLUSIONS There is a statistically significant association between local microsurgical activity and center outcomes for patients with aSAH, even for patients treated endovascularly. The authors postulate that the number of microsurgical cases performed may be a surrogate indicator of closer neurosurgical involvement in the overall management of neurovascular patients and of optimal case selection.

Endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus for embolization of carotid-cavernous fistula

J Neurosurg 127:327–331, 2017

Endovascular embolization is the treatment of choice for carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs), but failure to catheterize the cavernous sinus may occur as a result of vessel tortuosity, hypoplasia, or stenosis. In addition to conventional transvenous or transarterial routes, alternative approaches should be considered. The authors present a case in which a straightforward route to the CCF was accessed via transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.

This 82-year-old man presented with severe chemosis and proptosis of the right eye. Digital subtraction angiography revealed a Type B CCF with a feeding artery arising from the meningohypophyseal trunk of the right cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery. The CCF drained through a thrombosed right superior ophthalmic vein that ended deep in the orbit; there were no patent sinuses or venous plexuses connecting to the CCF. An endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture created direct access to the nidus for embolization. Embolic agents were deployed through the puncture needle to achieve complete obliteration.

Endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus is a feasible alternative to treat difficult-to-access CCFs in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.


Suboptimal interventional conditions for the occlusion of ruptured intracranial aneurysms do not increase periprocedural complications and poor clinical outcomes

aneurysms of the middle cerebral artery

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1267–1272

Occluding a ruptured intracranial aneurysm as early as possible may entail certain periprocedural conditions that compromise the outcome. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and clinical outcome of endovascular coiling procedures performed on an emergency basis under potentially suboptimal conditions, and to compare results with those from scheduled procedures under potentially optimal conditions.

Methods Interventions performed on 66 SAH patients were retrospectively analysed by classifying them into two groups: under emergency (within three hours fromdiagnosis or during non–standard working hours) or scheduled conditions. A binary logistic regression analysis was also performed to identify characteristics associated with poor outcomes.

Results No differences in effectiveness, periprocedural complications, or clinical outcomes were found between the two groups. Rebleeding was detected in 4.8 % of the emergency interventions and 2.2 % of the scheduled interventions. Multivariate analysis identified age and Hunt and Hess grade, but no conditions of treatment, as the factors associated to poor outcome.

Conclusion Suboptimal interventional conditions for occluding ruptured intracranial aneurysms, such as performing procedures outside of standard working hours or within three hours of diagnosis, do not result in increased periprocedural complications and poor clinical outcomes compared with scheduled procedures under potentially optimal conditions. These results suggest the need for treatment to be provided as soon as possible.

Aneurysm treatment in Europe 2010: an internet survey

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:971–978. DOI 10.1007/s00701-012-1340-2

Aneurysm (AN) treatment appears to differ from country to country and even from centre to centre. Therefore we decided to conduct a survey in order to better understand the “state of the art” in aneurysm treatment in Europe. The primary aim was to understand the roles of clipping and coiling in aneurysm treatment.

Methods An interactive form was sent to major European neurosurgical centres. The responses relating to AN location, status (ruptured/unruptured) and treatment modality were divided with regard to the volume of cases and the centre’s geographical location.

Results Responses were received from 96 European centres. The main finding was that clipping was used significantly more often in Eastern Europe than in the rest of Europe to treat ruptured ANs of the anterior circulation. Almost all ruptured ANs across all locations are treated actively. The treatment of unruptured aneurysms of the anterior circulation is similar. The median relating to observed unruptured ANs across the Europe was 10 %. Posterior circulation ANs are treated predominantly by coiling, regardless of aneurysm status or geographical location. The average number of coilers versus surgeons per centre was 2.5:3.0 in Western, 1.9:3.6 in Southern, 1.9:4.3 in Eastern and 2.7:3.1 in Northern Europe.

Conclusions The way in which intracranial aneurysms are treated appears to correlate with the economic development of European countries. It is probably also affected by the lack of experienced coilers in Eastern Europe.

A Novel Aneurysm Clip Design for Atheromatous, Thrombotic, or Previously Coiled Lesions

Neurosurgery 67[ONS Suppl 2]:ons333–ons341, 2010 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181f7451b

Large and giant lesions often have thicker, atheromatous walls as well as intra-aneurysmal thrombus that combine to prevent traditional clips from closing properly in some cases.

OBJECTIVE: To report the development and use of a novel clip design specifically tailored to treat atheromatous, thrombotic, or previously coiled aneurysms.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 6 patients with complex aneurysms not amenable to simple neck clipping and not considered appropriate for endovascular therapy who were treated using a novel ‘‘compression’’ clip design. We describe the development and use of a novel aneurysm clip design with blades that are not opposed at rest to allow direct clipping of atheromatous, thrombotic, and previously coiled aneurysms.

RESULTS: Four patients had recurrent, previously coiled aneurysms; one of these also had a large thrombotic component. Two patients had complex lesions with heavy atheroma involving a portion of their aneurysms. There were no complications related to the use of the clip, and all patients did well without neurological complications. In every case, the clip allowed straightforward obliteration of the aneurysm without the need for temporary vascular occlusion, aneurysmorrhaphy, or removal of an intra-aneurysmal coil mass. All patients underwent intraoperative angiography to confirm obliteration of the aneurysm with preservation of the normal vasculature.

CONCLUSION: Atheromatous, thrombotic, and previously coiled aneurysms may not be treatable with simple neck clipping and may not be curable with endovascular therapy. For such cases, we designed a novel ‘‘compression’’ clip that has been used safely and successfully in our experience with good short-term follow-up.

Acute serious rebleeding after angiographically successful coil embolization of ruptured cerebral aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2010) 152:771–781. DOI 10.1007/s00701-009-0593-x

The present study investigated the incidence of acute rebleeding after successful coil embolization of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, including clinical outcomes, and possible mechanisms of the events other than coil compaction and/or incomplete embolization.

Materials and methods. This study included 591 consecutive patients who presented with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, were treated with coil embolization, and whose post-procedural angiography revealed successful embolization. Data were collected retrospectively from six patients who showed acute rebleeding despite that angiographically successful coil embolization was achieved. All clinical, radiological data and intraoperative videos were reviewed to identify causative factors which could have contributed to the occurrence of rebleeding.

Results. Incidence of acute rebleeding after successful coil embolization of ruptured cerebral aneurysm was 1.0% (6/591). In all of these six patients, complete angiographic occlusion was achieved except in one case where a small residual neck was intentionally left to avoid compromise of the parent artery. Four of the six patients showed poor clinical courses, either died or recovered with severe disability. Whenever possible, we performed an immediate craniotomy for exploration and additional clipping. Based on intraoperative findings, we hypothesized that uneven distribution of the coil masses and spontaneous resolution of thrombus among the strands of coil (inter-coil-loop thrombolysis) could be possible mechanisms of rebleeding.

Conclusion. Acute rebleeding is extremely rare, but is possible as a complication of coil embolization of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm even when a case is angiographically successful. The higher degree of morbidity and mortality is a major concern. Therefore, further investigation to discover risk factors and causative mechanisms for such a complication is sorely needed.