Small intracranial aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT)

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:123–129

Treatment of small ruptured aneurysms (SRAs) remains controversial, with literature reporting difficulty with endovascular versus microsurgical approaches. This paper analyzes outcomes after endovascular coiling and microsurgical clipping among patients with SRAs prospectively enrolled in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT).

Method All BRAT patients were included in this study. Patient demographics, aneurysm size, aneurysm characteristics, procedure-related complications, and outcomes at discharge and at 1-year and 6-year follow-up were evaluated. A modified Rankin scale (mRS) score > 2 was considered a poor outcome.

Results Of 73 patients with SRAs, 40 were initially randomly assigned to endovascular coiling and 33 to microsurgical clipping. The rate of treatment crossover was significantly different between coiling and clipping; 25 patients who were assigned to coiling crossed over to clipping, and no clipping patients crossed over to coiling (P < 0.001). Among SRA patients, 15 underwent coiling and 58 underwent clipping; groups did not differ significantly in demographic characteristics or aneurysm type (P ≥ 0.11). Mean aneurysm diameter was significantly greater in the endovascular group (3.0 ± 0.3 vs 2.6 ± 0.6; P = 0.02). The incidence of procedure-related complications was similar for endovascular and microsurgical treatments (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.0 [0.1–10.0], P = 0.98). Both groups had comparable overall outcome (mRS score > 2) at discharge and 1-year and 6-year follow-up (P = 0.48 and 0.73, respectively).

Conclusions Most SRA patients in the BRAT underwent surgical clipping, with a high rate of crossover from endovascular approaches. Endovascular treatment was equivalent to surgical clipping with regard to procedure-related complications and neurologic outcomes.

Reliable Identification of Benign Clinical Course in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Neurosurgery 83:948–956, 2018

A reliable method to specifically identify low vasospasm risk in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients has not been previously proposed.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a clinical algorithm using admission aSAH clinical severity and subarachnoid blood distribution to identify patients at low risk of clinical vasospasm.

METHODS: Clinical severities, admission noncontrasted head computerized tomography (CT) scan, and incidences of vasospasm among 291 aSAH patients treated at our institutionwere evaluated. Admission head CTswere assessed for distributions of cisternal and ventricular blood. Patients with the following 4 criteria experienced considerably lower risk of vasospasm: (1) Hunt Hess grade 1 to 2, (2) Lack of thick subarachnoid blood filling 2 adjacent cisterns, (3) Lack of thick interhemispheric blood, and (4) Lack of biventricular intraventricular hemorrhage.

RESULTS: One hundred thirty-three patients (45.7%) developed cerebral vasospasm. Hunt Hess grade greater than 2 (odds ratio [OR] 4.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.74-7.46), adjacent cistern blood (OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.51-6.7), interhemispheric thick blood (OR 5.72, 95% CI 3.41-9.59), and biventricular intraventricular hemorrhage (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.19-3.02) were significant risk factors. Application of our algorithm yielded a sensitivity of 29%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100%, and negative predictive value of 54.5%, which was superior compared to metrics from current institutional practice criteria. Inter-rater agreement was substantial at mean kappa = 0.75.

CONCLUSION: Application of our novel clinical algorithm produced successful identification of aSAH patients who experience zero risk of clinical vasospasm. Our algorithm is simple to apply with high reliability and is superior to currently available clinical and radiographic metrics.

Flow diverter devices in ruptured intracranial aneurysms

J Neurosurg 128:1037–1043, 2018

In this single-center series, the authors retrospectively evaluated the effectiveness, safety, and midterm follow-up results of ruptured aneurysms treated by implantation of a flow diverter device (FDD).

METHODS The records of 17 patients (12 females, 5 males, average World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies score = 2.9) who presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) due to the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm treated with an FDD were retrospectively reviewed. Of 17 ruptured aneurysms, 8 were blood blister–like aneurysms and the remaining 9 were dissecting aneurysms. The mean delay between SAH and treatment was 4.2 days. Intraprocedural and periprocedural morbidity and mortality were recorded. Clinical and angiographic follow-up evaluations were conducted between 6 and 12 months after the procedure.

RESULTS None of the ruptured aneurysms re-bled after endovascular treatment. The overall mortality rate was 12% (2/17), involving 2 patients who died after a few days because of complications of SAH. The overall morbidity rate was 12%: 1 patient experienced intraparenchymal bleeding during the repositioning of external ventricular drainage, and 1 patient with a posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm developed paraplegia due to a spinal cord infarction after 2 weeks. The angiographic follow-up evaluations showed a complete occlusion of the aneurysm in 12 of 15 surviving patients; of the 3 remaining cases, 1 patient showed a remnant of the aneurysm, 1 patient was retreated due to an enlargement of the aneurysm, and 1 patient was lost at the angiographic follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS FDDs can be used in patients with ruptured aneurysms, where conventional neurosurgical or endovascular treatments can be challenging.

Cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation for aneurysms


J Neurosurg 125:720–729, 2016

To address the challenges of microsurgically treating broad-based, frail, and otherwise complex aneurysms that are not amenable to direct clipping, alternative techniques have been developed. One such technique is to use cotton to augment clipping (“cotton-clipping” technique), which is also used to manage intraoperative aneurysm neck rupture, and another is to reinforce unclippable segments or remnants of aneurysm necks with cotton (“cottonaugmentation” technique). This study reviews the natural history of patients with aneurysms treated with cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation techniques.

Methods The authors queried a database consisting of all patients with aneurysms treated at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2014, to identify cases in which cotton-clipping or cotton-augmentation strategies had been used. Management was categorized as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used within the blades of the aneurysm clip and as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used to reinforce aneurysms or portions of the aneurysm that were unclippable due to the presence of perforators, atherosclerosis, or residual aneurysms. Data were reviewed to assess patient outcomes and annual rates of aneurysm recurrence or hemorrhage after the initial procedures were performed.

Results The authors identified 60 aneurysms treated with these techniques in 57 patients (18 patients with ruptured aneurysms and 39 patients with unruptured aneurysms) whose mean age was 53.1 years (median 55 years; range 24–72 years). Twenty-three aneurysms (11 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage) were treated using cotton-clipping and 37 with cotton-augmentation techniques (7 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage). In total, 18 patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at the time of discharge was 4.4. At a mean follow-up of 60.9 ± 35.6 months (median 70 months; range 10–126 months), the mean GOS score at last follow-up was 4.8. The total number of patient follow-up years was 289.4. During the follow-up period, none of the cotton-clipped aneurysms increased in size, changed in configuration, or rebled. None of the patients experienced early rebleeding. The annual hemorrhage rate for aneurysms treated with cotton-augmentation was 0.52% and the recurrence rate was 1.03% per year. For all patients in the study, the overall risk of hemorrhage was 0.35% per year and the annual recurrence rate was 0.69%.

Conclusions Cotton-clipping is an effective and durable treatment strategy for intraoperative aneurysm rupture and for management of broad-based aneurysms. Cotton-augmentation can be safely used to manage unclippable or partially clipped intracranial aneurysms and affords protection from early aneurysm re-rupture and a relatively low rate of late rehemorrhage.

Early recurrent hemorrhage after coil embolization in ruptured intracranial aneurysms

Neuroradiology (2012) 54:719–726 DOI 10.1007/s00234-011-0950-3

The authors present a series of patients in whom early rebleeding occurred after coiling for ruptured aneurysms. We investigated the incidence and possible mechanisms of early rebleeding.

Methods This study consisted of 1,167 consecutive patients who underwent coiling for a ruptured saccular aneurysm. Clinical and radiological data were collected retrospectively from three institutions. Early rebleeding was defined as occurrence of further bleeding within 30 days after coiling with worsening of the patient’s condition. We divided early rebleeding into hyperacute, subacute, and delay groups depending on the timing of rebleeding after coil embolization.

Results Incidence of early rebleeding after coiling of a ruptured saccular aneurysm was 1.1% (13 of 1,167), and mortality was 31% (4 of 13) in our series. Out of ten patients in hyperacute group, three (30%) had incomplete occlusion result and six patients (60%) underwent intraarterial (IA) infusion of abciximab or tirofiban during the procedures. Seven patients (70%) had an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on initial computed tomography. Four patients died, another four sustained severe disabilities, and the others had good recovery. All three patients in subacute and delay group showed recanalization on post-rebleeding angiography and made an excellent recovery.

Conclusion Early rebleeding was associated with high mortality and morbidity. IA abciximab infusion or thrombolytic interventions during the procedure, maintenance of anticoagulation after the procedure, incomplete treatment of the aneurysms, and presence of ICH seemed to be related to hyperacute early rebleeding after coiling. Increased aneurysmal size and coil compaction could induce subacute and delayed early rebleeding.