Intervention for unruptured high-grade intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: a multicenter study

J Neurosurg 136:962–970, 2022

The risk-to-benefit profile of treating an unruptured high-grade dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is not clearly defined. The aim of this multicenter retrospective cohort study was to compare the outcomes of different interventions with observation for unruptured high-grade dAVFs.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed dAVF patients from 12 institutions participating in the Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR). Patients with unruptured high-grade (Borden type II or III) dAVFs were included and categorized into four groups (observation, embolization, surgery, and stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS]) based on the initial management. The primary outcome was defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at final follow-up. Secondary outcomes were good outcome (mRS scores 0–2) at final follow-up, symptomatic improvement, all-cause mortality, and dAVF obliteration. The outcomes of each intervention group were compared against those of the observation group as a reference, with adjustment for differences in baseline characteristics.

RESULTS The study included 415 dAVF patients, accounting for 29, 324, 43, and 19 in the observation, embolization, surgery, and SRS groups, respectively. The mean radiological and clinical follow-up durations were 21 and 25 months, respectively. Functional outcomes were similar for embolization, surgery, and SRS compared with observation. With observation as a reference, obliteration rates were higher after embolization (adjusted OR [aOR] 7.147, p = 0.010) and surgery (aOR 33.803, p < 0.001) and all-cause mortality was lower after embolization (imputed, aOR 0.171, p = 0.040). Hemorrhage rates per 1000 patient-years were 101 for observation versus 9, 22, and 0 for embolization (p = 0.022), surgery (p = 0.245), and SRS (p = 0.077), respectively. Nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit rates were similar between each intervention group versus observation.

CONCLUSIONS Embolization and surgery for unruptured high-grade dAVFs afforded a greater likelihood of obliteration than did observation. Embolization also reduced the risk of death and dAVF-associated hemorrhage compared with conservative management over a modest follow-up period. These findings support embolization as the first-line treatment of choice for appropriately selected unruptured Borden type II and III dAVFs.

Oculomotor nerve palsy due to posterior communicating artery aneurysm: Clipping vs coiling

Neurochirurgie 68 (2022) 86–93 

Posterior communicating artery aneurysms (PCoAA) usually present with brain hemorrhage, but they might present with oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) in about one out of five patients. Treatment options include endovascular coiling and surgical clipping. The present analysis aims to compare the two treatment options for ONP due to PCoAA in terms of complete recovery and related parameters.

Methods. – A comprehensive literature search was performed for studies published between 2000 and2019 on ONP due to PCoAA. The included studies were divided into two categories—surgical clipping (group A) and endovascular coiling (group B). The collected data were statistically processed with SPSSversion 25.

Results. – There was a significant difference between the two treatment groups regarding complete recovery of ONP (P < 0.001), suggesting superiority of the surgical clipping. The correlation analysis showed no correlations for group A. Group B had negative and positive correlations, showing that endovascular coiling results in higher rates of complete ONP recovery for elderly patients.

Conclusion. – Surgical clipping is superior to endovascular coiling in terms of complete recovery among patients with ONP due to PCoAAs. Endovascular coiling seems to benefit older patients. While no recommendations exist for the treatment of ONP due to intracranial aneurysms, an increasing number of studies imply the superiority of operative clipping

Stereotactic radiosurgery with versus without prior Onyx embolization for brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 135:742–750, 2021

Investigations of the combined effects of neoadjuvant Onyx embolization and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have not accounted for initial angioarchitectural features prior to neuroendovascular intervention. The aim of this retrospective, multicenter matched cohort study is to compare the outcomes of SRS with versus without upfront Onyx embolization for AVMs using de novo characteristics of the preembolized nidus.

METHODS The International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM databases from 1987 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized based on AVM treatment approach into Onyx embolization (OE) and SRS (OE+SRS) or SRS alone (SRS-only) cohorts and then propensity score matched in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was AVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were post-SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, radiological and symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), and cyst formation. Comparisons were analyzed using crude rates and cumulative probabilities adjusted for competing risk of death.

RESULTS The matched OE+SRS and SRS-only cohorts each comprised 53 patients. Crude rates (37.7% vs 47.2% for the OE+SRS vs SRS-only cohorts, respectively; OR 0.679, p = 0.327) and cumulative probabilities at 3, 4, 5, and 6 years (33.7%, 44.1%, 57.5%, and 65.7% for the OE+SRS cohort vs 34.8%, 45.5%, 59.0%, and 67.1% for the SRS-only cohort, respectively; subhazard ratio 0.961, p = 0.896) of AVM obliteration were similar between the matched cohorts. The secondary outcomes of the matched cohorts were also similar. Asymptomatic and symptomatic embolization-related complication rates in the matched OE+SRS cohort were 18.9% and 9.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Pre-SRS AVM embolization with Onyx does not appear to negatively influence outcomes after SRS. These analyses, based on de novo nidal characteristics, thereby refute previous studies that found detrimental effects of Onyx embolization on SRS-induced AVM obliteration. However, given the risks incurred by nidal embolization using Onyx, this neoadjuvant intervention should be used judiciously in multimodal treatment strategies involving SRS for appropriately selected large-volume or angioarchitecturally high-risk AVMs.

Elective intervention for unruptured cranial arteriovenous malformations in relation to ARUBA trial: a National Inpatient Sample study


Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2489–2495

In 2014, A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (ARUBA) concluded that medical management alone for cranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) had better clinical outcomes than interventional treatment. The impact of the ARUBA study on changes in the rates of intervention and outcomes is unknown. Thus, we investigated whether the conclusions from ARUBA may have influenced treatment modalities and outcomes of unruptured AVMs.

Methods The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried between 2006 and 2018, for adult patients with an AVM who were admitted on an elective basis. Interventions included open, endovascular, and stereotactic surgeries. Join-point regression was used to assess differences in slopes of treatment rate for each modality before and after the time-point. Logistic regression was used to assess the odds of non-routine discharge and hemorrhage between the two time-points for each treatment modality. Linear regression was used to assess the mean length of stay (LOS) for each treatment modality between the two time-points.

Results A total of 40,285 elective admissions for AVMs were identified between 2006 and 2018. The rate of intervention was higher pre-ARUBA (n = 15,848; 63.8%) compared to post-ARUBA (n = 6985; 45.2%; difference in slope − 8.24%, p < 0.001). The rate of open surgery decreased, while endovascular and stereotactic surgeries remained the same, after the ARUBA trial time-point (difference in slopes − 8.24%, p < 0.001; − 1.74%, p = 0.055; 0.20%, p = 0.22, respectively). For admissions involving interventions, the odds of non-routine discharge were higher post-ARUBA (OR 1.24; p = 0.043); the odds of hemorrhage were lower post-ARUBA (OR 0.69; p = 0.025). There was no statistical difference in length of stay between the two time-points (p = 0.22).

Conclusion The rate of intervention decreased, the rate of non-routine discharge increased, and rate of hemorrhage decreased post-ARUBA, suggesting that it may have influenced treatment practices for unruptured AVMs.

Observation Versus Intervention for Low-Grade Intracranial Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas

Neurosurgery 88:1111–1120, 2021

Low-grade intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVF) have a benign natural history in the majority of cases. The benefit from treatment of these lesions is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of observation versus intervention for low-grade dAVFs.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed dAVF patients from institutions participating in the CONsortium for Dural arteriovenous fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR). Patients with low-grade (Borden type I) dAVFs were included and categorized into intervention or observation cohorts. The intervention and observation cohorts were matched in a 1:1 ratio using propensity scores. Primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at final follow-up. Secondary outcomes were excellent (mRS 0-1) and good (mRS 0-2) outcomes, symptomatic improvement, mortality, and obliteration at final follow-up.

RESULTS: The intervention and observation cohorts comprised 230 and 125 patients, respectively. We found no differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the 2 unmatched cohorts at last follow-up (mean duration 36 mo), except obliteration rate was higher in the intervention cohort (78.5% vs 24.1%, P < .001). The matched intervention and observation cohorts each comprised 78 patients. We also found no differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the matched cohorts except obliteration was also more likely in the matched intervention cohort (P < .001). Procedural complication rates in the unmatched and matched intervention cohorts were 15.4% and 19.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Intervention for low-grade intracranial dAVFs achieves superior obliteration rates compared to conservative management, but it fails to improve neurological or functional outcomes. Our findings do not support the routine treatment of low-grade dAVFs.

Embolization of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations With VersusWithout Onyx Before Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Neurosurgery 88:366–374, 2021

Embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) using ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (Onyx) embolization may influence the treatment effects of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) differently than other embolysates.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of pre-SRS AVM embolization with vs without Onyx through a multicenter, retrospective matched cohort study.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM databases from 1987 to 2018. Embolized AVMs treated with SRS were selected and categorized based on embolysate usage into Onyx embolization (OE + SRS) or non-Onyx embolization (NOE + SRS) cohorts. The 2 cohorts were matched in a 1:1 ratio using de novo AVM features for comparative analysis of outcomes.

RESULTS: The matched cohorts each comprised 45 patients. Crude AVM obliteration rates were similar between the matched OE + SRS vs NOE + SRS cohorts (47% vs 51%; odds ratio [OR] = 0.837, P = .673). Cumulative probabilities of obliteration were also similar between the OE + SRS vs NOE + SRS cohorts (subhazard ratio = 0.992, P = .980). Rates of post-SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, radiation-induced changes, cyst formation, and embolization-associated complications were similar between the matched cohorts. Sensitivity analysis for AVMs in the OE + SRS cohort embolized with Onyx alone revealed a higher rate of asymptomatic embolization-associated complications in this subgroup compared to the NOE + SRS cohort (36% vs 15%; OR = 3.297, P = .034), but the symptomatic complication rates were similar.

CONCLUSION: Nidal embolization using Onyx does not appear to differentially impact the outcomes of AVM SRS compared with non-Onyx embolysates. The embolic agent selected for pre-SRS AVM embolization should reflect both the experience of the neurointerven- tionalist and target of endovascular intervention.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery With Versus Without Embolization for Brain ArteriovenousMalformations

Neurosurgery 88(2) 2021: 313–321

Prior comparisons of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) treated using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with or without embolization were inherently flawed, due to differences in the pretreatment nidus volumes.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of embolization and SRS, vs SRS alone for AVMs using pre-embolization malformation features.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM databases from 1987 to 2018. Patients were categorized into the embolization and SRS (E + SRS) or SRS alone (SRS-only) cohorts. The 2 cohorts were matched in a 1:1 ratio using propensity scores. Primary outcome was defined as AVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were post-SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, radiologic and symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RIC), and cyst formation.

RESULTS: The matched cohorts each comprised 101 patients. Crude AVM obliteration rates were similar between the matched E + SRS vs SRS-only cohorts (48.5% vs 54.5%; odds ratio = 0.788, P = .399). Cumulative probabilities of obliteration at 3, 4, 5, and 6 yr were also similar between the E + SRS (33.0%, 46.4%, 56.2%, and 60.8%, respectively) and SRSonly (32.9%, 46.2%, 56.0%, and 60.6%, respectively) cohorts (subhazard ratio (SHR)=1.005, P = .981). Cumulative probabilities of radiologic RIC at 3, 4, 5, and 6 yr were lower in the E + SRS (25.0%, 25.7%, 26.7%, and 26.7%, respectively) vs SRS-only (45.3%, 46.2%, 47.8%, and 47.8%, respectively) cohort (SHR = 0.478, P = .004). Symptomatic and asymptomatic embolization-related complication rates were 8.3% and 18.6%, respectively. Rates of post- SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, symptomatic RIC, and cyst formation were similar between the matched cohorts.

CONCLUSION: This study refutes the prevalent notion that AVM embolization negatively affects the likelihood of obliteration after SRS.

Wide-neck aneurysms: systematic review of the neurosurgical literature with a focus on definition and clinical implications

J Neurosurg 133:159–165, 2020

Wide-necked aneurysms (WNAs) are a variably defined subset of cerebral aneurysms that require more advanced endovascular and microsurgical techniques than those required for narrow-necked aneurysms. The neurosurgical literature includes many definitions of WNAs, and a systematic review has not been performed to identify the most commonly used or optimal definition. The purpose of this systematic review was to highlight the most commonly used definition of WNAs.

METHODS The authors searched PubMed for the years 1998–2017, using the terms “wide neck aneurysm” and “broad neck aneurysm” to identify relevant articles. All results were screened for having a minimum of 30 patients and for clearly stating a definition of WNA. Reference lists for all articles meeting the inclusion criteria were also screened for eligibility.

RESULTS The search of the neurosurgical literature identified 809 records, of which 686 were excluded (626 with < 30 patients; 60 for lack of a WNA definition), leaving 123 articles for analysis. Twenty-seven unique definitions were identified and condensed into 14 definitions. The most common definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm or dome-to-neck ratio < 2, which was used in 49 articles (39.8%). The second most commonly used definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm, which was used in 26 articles (21.1%). The rest of the definitions included similar parameters with variable thresholds. There was inconsistent reporting of the precise dome measurements used to determine the dome-to-neck ratio. Digital subtraction angiography was the only imaging modality used to study the aneurysm morphology in 87 of 122 articles (71.3%).

CONCLUSIONS The literature has great variability regarding the definition of a WNA. The most prevalent definition is a neck diameter of ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio of < 2. Whether this is the most appropriate and clinically useful definition is an area for future study.


The Hydrogel Endovascular Aneurysm Treatment Trial (HEAT): A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Second-Generation Hydrogel Coil

Neurosurgery 86:615–624, 2020

Aneurysm recurrence after coiling has been associated with aneurysm growth, (re)hemorrhage, and a greater need for follow-up. The second-generation HydroCoil Embolic System (HES; MicroVention, Inc) consists of a platinum core with integrated hydrogel and was developed to reduce recurrence through enhancing packing density and healing within the aneurysm.

OBJECTIVE: To compare recurrence between the second-generation HES and bare platinum coil (BPC) in the new-generation Hydrogel Endovascular Aneurysm Treatment Trial (HEAT).

METHODS: HEAT is a randomized, controlled trial that enrolled subjects with ruptured or unruptured 3- to 14-mm intracranial aneurysms amenable to coiling. The primary endpoint was aneurysm recurrence using the Raymond-Roy scale. Secondary endpoints included minor and major recurrence, packing density, adverse events related to the procedure and/or device, mortality, initial complete occlusion, aneurysm retreatment, hemorrhage fromtarget aneurysm during follow-up, aneurysmocclusion stability, and clinical outcome at final follow-up.

RESULTS: A total of 600 patients were randomized (HES, n = 297 and BPC, n = 303), including 28% with ruptured aneurysms. Recurrence occurred in 11 (4.4%) subjects in the HES arm and 44 (15.4%) subjects in the BPC arm (P = .002). While the initial occlusion rate was higher with BPC, the packing density and both major and minor recurrence rates were in favor of HES. Secondary endpoints including adverse events, retreatment, hemorrhage, mortality, and clinical outcome did not differ between arms.

CONCLUSION: Coiling of small-to-medium aneurysms with second-generation HES resulted in less recurrence when compared to BPC, without increased harm. These data further support the use of the second-generation HES for the embolization of intracranial aneurysms.


Overview of Different Flow Diverters and Flow Dynamics

Neurosurgery 86:S21–S34, 2020

Over the past decade, flow diverter technology for endocranial aneurysms has seen rapid evolution, with the development of new devices quickly outpacing the clinical evidence base. However, flow diversion has not yet been directly compared to surgical aneurysm clipping or other endovascular procedures. The oldest and most well-studied device is the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED; Medtronic), recently transitioned to the Pipeline Flex (Medtronic), which still has sparse data regarding outcomes.

To date, other flow diverting devices have not been shown to outperform the PED, although information comes primarily from retrospective studies with short follow-up, which are not always comparable.

Because of this lack of high-quality outcome data, no reliable recommendations can be made for choosing among flow diversion devices yet. Moreover, the decision to proceed with flow diversion should be individualized to each patient.

In this work, we wish to provide a comprehensive overview of the technical specifications of all flow diverter devices currently available, accompanied by a succinct description of the evidence base surrounding each device.

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.

Comparison of flow diversion with clipping and coiling for the treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms in 115 patients

J Neurosurg 130:1505–1512, 2019

Paraclinoid aneurysms represent approximately 5% of intracranial aneurysms (Drake et al. [1968]). Visual impairment, which occurs in 16%–40% of patients, is among the most common presentations of these aneurysms (Day [1990], Lai and Morgan [2013], Sahlein et al. [2015], and Silva et al. [2017]). Flow-diverting stents, such as the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED), are increasingly used to treat these aneurysms, in part because of their theoretical reduction of mass effect (Fiorella et al. [2009]). Limited data on paraclinoid aneurysms treated with a PED exist, and few studies have compared outcomes of patients after PED placement with those of patients after clipping or coiling.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 115 patients with an aneurysm of the cavernous to ophthalmic segments of the internal carotid artery treated with clipping, coiling, or PED deployment between January 2011 and March 2017. Postoperative complications were defined as new neurological deficit, aneurysm rupture, recanalization, or other any operative complication that required reintervention.

RESULTS A total of 125 paraclinoid aneurysms in 115 patients were treated, including 70 with PED placement, 23 with coiling, and 32 with clipping. Eighteen (14%) aneurysms were ruptured. The mean aneurysm size was 8.2 mm, and the mean follow-up duration was 18.4 months. Most aneurysms were discovered incidentally, but visual impairment, which occurred in 21 (18%) patients, was the most common presenting symptom. Among these patients, 15 (71%) experienced improvement in their visual symptoms after treatment, including 14 (93%) of these 15 patients who were treated with PED deployment. Complete angiographic occlusion was achieved in 89% of the patients. Complications were seen in 17 (15%) patients, including 10 (16%) after PED placement, 2 (9%) after coiling, and 5 (17%) after clipping. Patients with incomplete aneurysm occlusion had a higher rate of procedural complications than those with complete occlusion (p = 0.02). The rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher among patients treated with PED deployment than in those treated with coiling (p = 0.01). The significant predictors of procedural complications were incomplete occlusion (p = 0.03), hypertension, (p = 0.04), and diabetes (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS In a large series in which patient outcomes after treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms were compared, the authors found a high rate of aneurysm occlusion and a comparable rate of procedural complications among patients treated with PED placement compared with the rates among those who underwent clipping or coiling. For patients who presented with visual symptoms, those treated with PED placement had the highest rate of visual improvement. The results of this study suggest that the PED is an effective and safe modality for treating paraclinoid aneurysms, especially for patients who present with visual symptoms.

Outcome After Clipping and Coiling for Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Clinical Practice in Europe, USA, and Australia

Neurosurgery 84:1019–1027, 2019

Within randomized clinical trials (RCTs), coiling of the ruptured aneurysm to prevent rebleeding results in better outcomes than clipping in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).

OBJECTIVE: To study the association of coiling and clipping with outcome after aSAH in daily clinical practice.

METHODS: In this controlled, nonrandomized study, we compared outcomes after endovascular coiling and neurosurgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms in an administrative dataset of 7658 aSAH patients (22 tertiary care hospitals from Europe, USA, Australia; 2007-2013). Because the results contradicted those of the randomized trials, findings were further explored in a large clinical dataset from 2 European centers (2006- 2016) of 1501 patients.

RESULTS: In the administrative dataset, the crude 14-d case-fatality rate was 6.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.6%-7.2%) after clipping and 8.2% (95% CI 7.4%-9.1%) after coiling. After adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidity/severity, the odds ratio (OR) for 14-d casefatality after coiling compared to clipping was 1.32 (95% CI 1.10-1.58). In the clinical dataset crude 14-d case fatality ratewas 5.7% (95% CI 4.2%-7.8%) for clipping and 9.0% (95% CI 7.3%- 11.2%) for coiling. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, the OR for 14-d case-fatality after coiling compared to clipping was 1.7 (95% CI 1.1–2.7), for 90-d case-fatality 1.28 (95% CI 0.91–1.82) and for 90-d poor functional outcome 0.78 (95% CI 0.6–1.01).

CONCLUSION: In clinical practice, coiling after aSAH is associated with higher 14-d case-fatality than clipping and nonsuperior outcomes at 90 d. Both options need to be considered in aSAH patients. Further studies should address the reasons for the discrepancy between current data and those from the RCTs.

Neck Remnants and the Risk of Aneurysm Rupture After Endovascular TreatmentWith Coiling or Stent-Assisted Coiling

Neurosurgery 84:421–427, 2019

Neck remnants are not uncommon after endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Critics of endovascular treatments for cerebral aneurysms cite neck remnants as evidence in favor of microsurgical clipping. However, studies have failed to evaluate the true clinical significance of aneurysm neck remnants following endovascular therapies.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical significance of residual aneurysm necks and to determine the rate of subsequent rupture following coiling or stent-assisted coiling of cerebral aneurysms.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 1292 aneurysm cases that underwent endovascular treatment at 4 institutions. Aneurysms treated by primary coiling or stent-assisted coiling were included in the study; those treated by flow diversion were excluded Aneurysms with residual filling (i.e., Raymond–Roy Occlusion Classification II, neck remnant; or III, residual aneurysm filling) were assessed for their risk of subsequent rupture.

RESULTS: A total of 626 aneurysms were identified as having residual filling immediately posttreatment. Of these, 13 aneurysms (2.1%) ruptured during the follow-up period (mean 7.3 mo; range 1-84 mo). Eleven of the 13 (84.6%) were ruptured at presentation. Rupture at presentation, the size of the aneurysm, and the increasing age of the patient were predictive of posttreatment rupture.

CONCLUSION: We found that unruptured aneurysms with residual necks following endovascular treatment posed a very low risk of rupture (0.6%). However, patients presenting with ruptured aneurysms had a higher risk of rerupture from a neck remnant (3.4%). These results highlight the importance of achieving complete angiographic occlusion of ruptured aneurysms.

Flow Diversion for the Treatment of Basilar Apex Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 83:1298–1305, 2018

Flow diversion for basilar apex aneurysms has rarely been reported.

OBJECTIVE: To assess flow diversion for basilar apex aneurysms in a multicenter cohort.

METHODS: Retrospective review of prospectively maintained databases at 8 academic institutions was performed from 2009 to 2016 to identify patients with basilar apex aneurysms treated with flow diversion. Clinical and radiographic data were analyzed.

RESULTS: Sixteen consecutive patients (median age 54.5 yr) underwent 18 procedures to treat 16 basilar apex aneurysms with either the Pipeline Embolization Device (Medtronic Inc, Dublin, Ireland) or Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device (Microvention, Tustin, California). Five aneurysms (31.3%) were treated in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Seven aneurysms (43.8%) were treated with flow diversion alone, while 9 (56.2%) underwent flowdiversion and adjunctive coiling. At a median follow-up of 6 mo, complete (100%) and near-complete (90%-99%) occlusion was noted in 11 (68.8%) aneurysms. Incomplete occlusion occurred more commonly in patients treated with flow diversion alone compared to those with adjunctive coiling. Patients with partial occlusion were significantly younger. Retreatment with an additional flow diverter and adjunctive coiling occurred in 2 aneurysms with wide necks. There was 1 mortality in a patient (6.3%) who experienced posterior cerebral artery and cerebellar strokes as well as subarachnoid hemorrhage after the placement of a flow diverter. Minor complications occurred in 2 patients (12.5%).

CONCLUSION: Flow diversion for the treatment of basilar apex aneurysms results in acceptable occlusion rates in highly selected cases. Both primary flowdiversion and rescue after failed clipping or coiling resulted in a modified Rankin Scale score that was either equal or better than at presentation and the technology represents a viable alternative or adjunctive option.

Unruptured intracranial aneurysms in patients over 80 years

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1773–1777

Patients over the age of 80 years when diagnosed with an unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA) pose unique decisionmaking challenges due to shortened life-expectancy and increased risk of treatment. Thus, we investigated the risk of rupture and survival of a consecutive series of patients who were diagnosed with an UIA after the age of 80 years.

Methods Data of consecutive patients with an UIA were reviewed, and patients were included in our study if they were first evaluated for a UIA by the senior author during their ninth decade of life. Outcomes were aneurysm rupture and overall survival after diagnosis. Survival was estimated from a Kaplan-Meier survival curve. Incidence of risk factors was compared to a population of patients less than 65 years who were seen by the senior author over the same time period.

Results Eighty-three patients who were over 80 years when diagnosed with a UIA were included in this study. In our population, there is a risk of rupture of 3.2% per patient-year. One-, three-, and five-year survival rates for our population were estimated to be 92, 64, and 35%, respectively. When compared to patients under 65 years diagnosed with a UIA, Bover 80^ patients had a significantly higher incidence of hypertension, and a significantly lower incidence of smoking history and familial aneurysm history.

Conclusions In our study population, UIAs greater than 7 mm carry a non-negligible risk of rupture of 3.2% per patient-year, and further studies investigating the risk-to-benefit ratio of treatment in this population are warranted.

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: 120-day clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes after stent insertion into the dural venous sinus

J Neurosurg 129:723–731, 2018

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is commonly associated with venous sinus stenosis. In recent years, transvenous dural venous sinus stent (DVSS) insertion has emerged as a potential therapy for resistant cases. However, there remains considerable uncertainty over the safety and efficacy of this procedure, in particular the incidence of intraprocedural and delayed complications and in the longevity of sinus patency, pressure gradient obliteration, and therapeutic clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to determine clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes at 3–4 months after DVSS in this treated IIH cohort.

METHODS Clinical, radiographic, and manometric data before and 3–4 months after DVSS were reviewed in this single-center case series. All venographic and manometric procedures were performed under local anesthesia with the patient supine.

RESULTS Forty-one patients underwent DVSS venography/manometry within 120 days. Sinus pressure reduction of between 11 and 15 mm Hg was achieved 3–4 months after DVSS compared with pre-stent baseline, regardless of whether the procedure was primary or secondary (after shunt surgery). Radiographic obliteration of anatomical stenosis correlating with reduction in pressure gradients was observed. The complication rate after DVSS was 4.9% and stent survival was 87.8% at 120 days. At least 20% of patients developed restenosis following DVSS and only 63.3% demonstrated an improvement or resolution of papilledema.

CONCLUSIONS Reduced venous sinus pressures were observed at 120 days after the procedure. DVSS showed lower complication rates than shunts, but the clinical outcome data were less convincing. To definitively compare the outcomes between DVSS and shunts in IIH, a randomized prospective study is needed.

Cost of coils for intracranial aneurysms: clinical decision analysis for implementation of a capitation model

J Neurosurg 128:1792–1798, 2018

The price of coils used for intracranial aneurysm embolization has continued to rise despite an increase in competition in the marketplace. Coils on the US market range in list price from $500 to $3000. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential cost savings with the use of a price capitation model.

METHODS The authors built a clinical decision analytical tree and compared their institution’s current expenditure on endovascular coils to the costs if a capped-price model were implemented. They retrospectively reviewed coil and cost data for 148 patients who underwent coil embolization from January 2015 through September 2016. Data on the length and number of coils used in all patients were collected and analyzed. The probabilities of a treated aneurysm being ≤/> 10 mm in maximum dimension, the total number of coils used for a case being ≤/> 5, and the total length of coils used for a case being ≤/> 50 cm were calculated, as was the mean cost of the currently used coils for all possible combinations of events with these probabilities. Using the same probabilities, the authors calculated the expected value of the capped-price strategy in comparison with the current one. They also conducted multiple 1-way sensitivity analyses by applying plausible ranges to the probabilities and cost variables. The robustness of the results was confirmed by applying individual distributions to all studied variables and conducting probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

RESULTS Ninety-five (64%) of 148 patients presented with a rupture, and 53 (36%) were treated on an elective basis. The mean aneurysm size was 6.7 mm. A total of 1061 coils were used from a total of 4 different providers. Companies A (72%) and B (16%) accounted for the major share of coil consumption. The mean number of coils per case was 7.3. The mean cost per case (for all coils) was $10,434. The median total length of coils used, for all coils, was 42 cm. The calculated probability of treating an aneurysm less than 10 mm in maximum dimension was 0.83, for using 5 coils or fewer per case it was 0.42, and for coil length of 50 cm or less it was 0.89. The expected cost per case with the capped policy was calculated to be $4000, a cost savings of $6564 in comparison with using the price of Company A. Multiple 1-way sensitivity analyses revealed that the capped policy was cost saving if its cost was less than $10,500. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, the lowest cost difference between current and capped policies was $2750.

CONCLUSIONS In comparison with the cost of coils from the authors’ current provider, their decision model and probabilistic sensitivity analysis predicted a minimum $407,000 to a maximum $1,799,976 cost savings in 148 cases by adapting the capped-price policy for coils.


Stereotactic radiosurgery alone or combined with embolization for brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 128:1338–1348, 2018

Embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) prior to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been reported to negatively affect obliteration rates. The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the outcomes of AVMs treated with embolization plus SRS (E+SRS group) and those of AVMs treated with SRS alone (SRS group).

METHODS A literature review was performed using PubMed to identify studies with 10 or more AVM patients and obliteration data for both E+SRS and SRS groups. A meta-analysis was performed to compare obliteration rates between the E+SRS and SRS groups.

RESULTS Twelve articles comprising 1716 patients were eligible for analysis. Among the patients with radiological follow-up data, complete obliteration was achieved in 48.4% of patients (330/681) in the E+SRS group compared with 62.7% of patients (613/978) in the SRS group. A meta-analysis of the pooled data revealed that the obliteration rate was significantly lower in the E+SRS group (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.41–0.64, p < 0.00001). Symptomatic adverse radiation effects were observed in 6.6% (27/412 patients) and 11.1% (48/433 patients) of the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 2.0%–6.5% and 0%–2.0% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The rates of permanent morbidity were 0%–6.7% and 0%–13.5% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Arteriovenous malformation treatment with combined embolization and SRS is associated with lower obliteration rates than those with SRS treatment alone. However, this comparison does not fully account for differences in the initial AVM characteristics in the E+SRS group as compared with those in the SRS group. Further studies are warranted to address these limitations.

Comparison of endovascular and microsurgical management of 208 basilar apex aneurysms

J Neurosurg 127:1342–1352, 2017

The deep and difficult-to-reach location of basilar apex aneurysms, along with their location near critical adjacent perforating arteries, has rendered the perception that microsurgical treatment of these aneurysms is risky. As a result, these aneurysms are considered more suitable for treatment by endovascular intervention. The authors attempt to compare the immediate and long-term outcomes of microsurgery versus endovascular therapy for this aneurysm subtype.

METHODS A prospectively maintained database of 208 consecutive patients treated for basilar apex aneurysms between 2000 and 2012 was reviewed. In this group, 161 patients underwent endovascular treatment and 47 were managed microsurgically. The corresponding records were analyzed for presenting characteristics, postoperative complications, discharge status, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores up to 1 year after treatment and compared using chi-square and Student t-tests.

RESULTS Among these 208 aneurysms, 116 (56%) were ruptured, including 92 (57%) and 24 (51%) of the endovascularly and microsurgically managed aneurysms, respectively. The average Hunt and Hess grade was 2.4 (2.4 in the endovascular group and 2.2 in the microsurgical group; p = 0.472). Postoperative complications of cranial nerve deficits and hemiparesis were more common in patients treated microsurgically than endovascularly (55.3% vs 16.2%, p < 0.05; and 27.7% vs 10.6%, p < 0.05, respectively). However, aneurysm remnants and need for retreatment were more common in the endovascular than the microsurgical group (41.3% vs 2.3%, p < 0.05; and 10.6% vs 0.0%, p < 0.05, respectively). Stent placement significantly reduced the need for retreatment. Rehemorrhage rates and average GOS score at discharge and 1 year after treatment were not statistically different between the two treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS Patients with basilar apex aneurysms were significantly more likely to be treated via endovascular management, but compared with those treated microsurgically, they had higher rates of recurrence and need for retreatment. The current study did not detect an overall difference in outcomes at discharge and 1 year after either treatment modality. Therefore, in a select group of patients, microsurgical treatment continues to play an important role.