A quantitative model to differentiate nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage from aneurysmal etiology

J Neurosurg 138:165–172, 2023

OBJECTIVE Nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (pmSAH) is considered to have a lower-risk pattern than other types of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, a minority of patients with pmSAH may harbor a causative posterior circulation aneurysm. To exclude this possibility, many institutions pursue exhaustive imaging. In this study the authors aimed to develop a novel predictive model based on initial noncontrast head CT (NCHCT) features to differentiate pmSAH from aneurysmal causes.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed patients admitted to an academic center for treatment of a suspected aneurysmal SAH (aSAH) during the period from 2016 to 2021. Patients with a final diagnosis of pmSAH or posterior circulation aSAH were included. Using NCHCT, the thickness (continuous variable) and location of blood in basal cisterns and sylvian fissures (categorical variables) were compared between groups. A scoring system was created using features that were significantly different between groups. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to measure the accuracy of this model in predicting aneurysmal etiology. A separate patient cohort was used for external validation of this model.

RESULTS Of 420 SAH cases, 48 patients with pmSAH and 37 with posterior circulation aSAH were identified. Blood thickness measurements in the crural and ambient cisterns and interhemispheric and sylvian fissures and degree of extension into the sylvian fissure were all significantly different between groups (all p < 0.001). The authors developed a 10-point scoring model to predict aneurysmal causes with high accuracy (area under the curve [AUC] 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–1.00; OR per point increase 10; 95% CI 2.18–46.4). External validation resulted in persistently high accuracy (AUC 0.97; 95% CI 0.92–1.00) of this model.

CONCLUSIONS A risk stratification score using initial blood clot burden may accurately differentiate between aneurysmal and nonaneurysmal pmSAH. Larger prospective studies are encouraged to further validate this quantitative tool.

Microsurgical treatment of ruptured aneurysms beyond 72 hours after rupture: implications for advanced management

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2431–2439

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients admitted to primary stroke centers are often transferred to neurosurgical and endovascular services at tertiary centers. The effect on microsurgical outcomes of the resultant delay in treatment is unknown. We evaluated microsurgical aSAH treatment > 72 h after the ictus.

Methods All aSAH patients treated at a single tertiary center between August 1, 2007, and July 31, 2019, were retrospectively reviewed. The additional inclusion criterion was the availability of treatment data relative to time of bleed. Patients were grouped based on bleed-to-treatment time as having acute treatment (on or before postbleed day [PBD] 3) or delayed treatment (on or after PBD 4). Propensity adjustments were used to correct for statistically significant confounding covariables.

Results Among 956 aSAH patients, 92 (10%) received delayed surgical treatment (delayed group), and 864 (90%) received acute endovascular or surgical treatment (acute group). Reruptures occurred in 3% (26/864) of the acute group and 1% (1/92) of the delayed group (p = 0.51). After propensity adjustments, the odds of residual aneurysm (OR = 0.09; 95% CI = 0.04–0.17; p < 0.001) or retreatment (OR = 0.14; 95% CI = 0.06–0.29; p < 0.001) was significantly lower among the delayed group. The OR was 0.50 for rerupture, after propensity adjustments, in the delayed setting (p = 0.03). Mean Glasgow Coma Scale scores at admission in the acute and delayed groups were 11.5 and 13.2, respectively (p < 0.001).

Conclusions Delayed microsurgical management of aSAH, if required for definitive treatment, appeared to be noninferior with respect to retreatment, residual, and rerupture events in our cohort after adjusting for initial disease severity and significant confounding variables.

Decompressive hemicraniectomy after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage—justifiable in light of long‑term outcome?

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1815–1826

Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) is a potentially lifesaving procedure in refractory intracranial hypertension, which can prevent death from brainstem herniation but may cause survival in a disabled state. The spectrum of indications is expanding, and we present long-term results in a series of patients suffering from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of previously registered data including all patients treated for SAH between 2010 and 2018 in a single institution. Patients treated with decompressive hemicraniectomy due to refractory intracranial hypertension were identified. Clinical outcome was assessed by means of the Glasgow outcome scale after 12 months.

Results Of all 341 SAH cases, a total of 82 (24.0%) developed intracranial hypertension. Of those, 63 (18.5%) patients progressed into refractory ICP elevation and were treated with DHC. Younger age (OR 0.959, 95% CI 0.933 to 0.984; p = 0.002), anterior aneurysm location (OR 0.253, 95% CI 0.080 to 0.799; 0.019; p = 0.019), larger aneurysm size (OR 1.106, 95% CI 1.025 to 1.194; p = 0.010), and higher Hunt and Hess grading (OR 1.944, 95% CI 1.431 to 2.641; p < 0.001) were independently associated with the need for DHC. After 1 year, 10 (15.9%) patients after DHC were categorized as favorable outcome. Only younger age was independently associated with favorable outcome (OR 0.968 95% CI 0.951 to 0.986; p = 0.001).

Conclusions Decompressive hemicraniectomy, though lifesaving, has only a limited probability of survival in a clinically favorable condition. We identified young age to be the sole independent predictor of favorable outcome after DHC in SAH.

Solid vs. cystic predominance in posterior fossa hemangioblastomas: implications for cerebrovascular risks and patient outcome

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1357–1364

Hemangioblastomas (HGBs) are highly vascular benign tumors, commonly located in the posterior fossa, and 80% of them are sporadic. Patients usually present with features of raised intracranial pressure and cerebellar symptoms. HGB can be classified as either mostly cystic or solids. Although the solid component is highly vascularized, aneurysm or hemorrhagic presentation is rarely described, having catastrophic results.

Methods We identified 32 consecutive patients with posterior fossa HBG who underwent surgery from 2008 through 2020 at our medical center. Tumors were classified as predominantly cystic or solid according to radiological features. Resection was defined as gross total (GTR) or subtotal (STR).

Results During the study period, 32 posterior fossa HGBs were resected. There were 26 cerebellar lesions and 4 medullar lesions, and in 2 patients, both structures were affected. Predominant cystic tumors were seen in 15 patients and solids in 17. Preoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed in 8 patients with solid tumors, and 4 showed tumor-related aneurysms. Embolization of the tumors was performed in 6 patients, including the four tumor-related aneurysms. GTR was achieved in 29 tumors (91%), and subtotal resection in 3 (9%). Three patients had postoperative lower cranial nerve palsy. Functional status was stable in 5 patients (16%), improved in 24 (75%), and 3 patients (9%) deteriorated. One patient died 2 months after the surgery. Two tumors recurred and underwent a second surgery achieving GTR. The mean follow-up was 42.7 months (SD ± 51.0 months).

Conclusions Predominant cystic HGB is usually easily treated as the surgery is straightforward. Those with a solid predominance present a more complex challenge sharing features similar to arteriovenous malformations. Given the important vascular association of solid predominance HGB with these added risk factors, the preoperative assessment should include DSA, as in arteriovenous malformations, and endovascular intervention should be considered before surgery.

Keywords

The added value of cerebrospinal fluid analysis in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage after negative noncontrast CT

J Neurosurg 136:1024–1028, 2022

In patients presenting within 6 hours after signs and symptoms of suspected subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), CSF examination is judged to be no longer necessary if a noncontrast CT (NCCT) scan rules out SAH. In this study, the authors evaluated the performance of NCCT to rule out SAH in patients with positive CSF findings.

METHODS Between January 2006 and April 2018, 1657 patients were admitted with a nontraumatic SAH. Of these patients, 1546 had positive SAH findings on the initial NCCT and 111 patients had an NCCT scan that was reported as negative in the acute setting, but with positive CSF examination for subarachnoid blood. Demographic data, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade, and SAH time points (ictus, time of NCCT, and time of lumbar puncture) were collected. All 111 NCCT scans were reevaluated by an experienced neuroradiologist.

RESULTS Of the 111 patients with positive CSF findings, SAH was initially missed on NCCT in 25 patients (23%). Reevaluation of 21 patients presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset confirmed NCCT negative findings in 12 (5 aneurysms), an aneurysmal SAH (aSAH) pattern in 8 (7 aneurysms), and a perimesencephalic pattern in 1 patient. Reevaluation of 90 patients presenting after 6 hours confirmed negative NCCT findings in 74 patients (37 aneurysms), aSAH pattern in 10 (4 aneurysms), and a perimesencephalic pattern in 6 (2 aneurysms).

CONCLUSIONS CSF examination is still mandatory to rule out SAH as NCCT can fail to show blood, even within 6 hours after symptom onset. In addition, the diagnosis SAH was frequently missed during initial reporting.

The influence of aneurysm morphology on the volume of hemorrhage after rupture

J Neurosurg 136:1015–1023, 2022

Factors determining the risk of rupture of intracranial aneurysms have been extensively studied; however, little attention is paid to variables influencing the volume of bleeding after rupture. In this study the authors aimed to evaluate the impact of aneurysm morphological variables on the amount of hemorrhage.

METHODS This was a retrospective cohort analysis of a prospectively collected data set of 116 patients presenting at a single center with subarachnoid hemorrhage due to aneurysmal rupture. A volumetric assessment of the total hemorrhage volume was performed from the initial noncontrast CT. Aneurysms were segmented and reproduced from the initial CT angiography study, and morphology indexes were calculated with a computer-assisted approach. Clinical and demographic characteristics of the patients were included in the study. Factors influencing the volume of hemorrhage were explored with univariate correlations, multiple linear regression analysis, and graphical probabilistic modeling.

RESULTS The univariate analysis demonstrated that several of the morphological variables but only the patient’s age from the clinical-demographic variables correlated (p < 0.05) with the volume of bleeding. Nine morphological variables correlated positively (absolute height, perpendicular height, maximum width, sac surface area, sac volume, size ratio, bottleneck factor, neck-to-vessel ratio, and width-to-vessel ratio) and two correlated negatively (parent vessel average diameter and the aneurysm angle). After multivariate analysis, only the aneurysm size ratio (p < 0.001) and the patient’s age (p = 0.023) remained statistically significant. The graphical probabilistic model confirmed the size ratio and the patient’s age as the variables most related to the total hemorrhage volume.

CONCLUSIONS A greater aneurysm size ratio and an older patient age are likely to entail a greater volume of bleeding after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

 

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

Spontaneous angiogram-negative subarachnoid hemorrhage

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:129–140

Spontaneous angiogram-negative subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is considered a benign illness with little of the aneurysmal SAH-related complications. We describe the clinical course, SAH-related complications, and outcome of patients with angiogram-negative SAH.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed all adult patients admitted to a neurosurgical intensive care unit during 2004–2018 due to spontaneous angiogram-negative SAH. Our primary outcome was a dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) at 3 months. We assessed factors that associated with outcome using multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results Of the 108 patients included, 84% had a favorable outcome (GOS 4–5), and mortality was 5% within 1 year. The median age was 58 years, 51% were female, and 93% had a low-grade SAH (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grading I–III). The median number of angiograms performed per patient was two. Thirty percent of patients showed radiological signs of acute hydrocephalus, 28% were acutely treated with an external ventricular drain, 13% received active vasospasm treatment and 17% received a permanent shunt. In the multivariable logistic regression model, only acute hydrocephalus associated with unfavorable outcome (odds ratio = 4.05, 95% confidence interval = 1.05–15.73). Two patients had a new bleeding episode.

Conclusion SAH-related complications such as hydrocephalus and vasospasm are common after angiogram-negative SAH. Still, most patients had a favorable outcome. Only acute hydrocephalus was associated with unfavorable outcome. The high rate of SAH-related complications highlights the need for neurosurgical care in these patients.

Low-Dose Intravenous Heparin Infusion After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is Associated With Decreased Risk of Delayed Neurological Deficit and Cerebral Infarction

Neurosurgery 88 (3)2021: 523–530

Patients who survive aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) are at risk for delayed neurological deficits (DND) and cerebral infarction. In this exploratory cohort comparison analysis, we compared in-hospital outcomes of aSAH patients administered a low-dose intravenous heparin (LDIVH) infusion (12 U/kg/h) vs those administered standard subcutaneous heparin (SQH) prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis (DVT; 5000 U, 3 × daily).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of LDIVH in aSAH patients.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 556 consecutive cases of aSAH patients whose aneurysm was secured by clipping or coiling at a single institution over a 10-yr period, including 233 administered the LDIVH protocol and 323 administered the SQH protocol. Radiological and outcome datawere compared between the 2 cohorts using multivariable logistic regression and propensity score-based inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW).

RESULTS: The unadjusted rate of cerebral infarction in the LDIVH cohort was half that in SQH cohort (9 vs 18%; P = .004). Multivariable logistic regression showed that patients in the LDIVH cohort were significantly less likely than those in the SQH cohort to have DND (odds ratio (OR) 0.53 [95% CI: 0.33, 0.85]) or cerebral infarction (OR 0.40 [95% CI: 0.23, 0.71]). Analysis following IPTWshowed similar results. Rates of hemorrhagic complications, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and DVT were not different between cohorts.

CONCLUSION: This cohort comparison analysis suggests that LDIVH infusion may favorably influence the outcome of patients after aSAH. Prospective studies are required to further assess the benefit of LDIVH infusion in patients with aSAH.

Vitamin D—A New Perspective in Treatment of Cerebral Vasospasm

Neurosurgery 88 (3) 2021: 674–685

Cerebral vasospasm (CVS) is a frequent complication after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), with no sufficient therapy and a complex pathophysiology.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the vitamin D system as a potential treatment for CVS.

METHODS: 25-vitamin D3 levels tested between 2007 and 2015 and data of SAH patients admitted during themonthswith a peak vs nadir of VitD3 valueswere analyzed, retrospectively. We prospectively correlated VitD3 and vasospasm/outcome data in SAH patients admitted in 2017. An experimental mice SAH model and cell culture model were used to investigate the effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-VitD3). Additionally, the mediators acting in the VitD mechanism were researched and detected.

RESULTS: Based on the retrospective analysis demonstrating an increased frequency of vasospasm in SAH patients during the low vitamin D period in winter, we started basic research experiments. Active 1,25-VitD3 hormone attenuated CVS, neurological deficit, and inflammation after intrathecal blood injection inmice. Deletion of the vitaminDreceptor in the endothelium or in myeloid cells decreased the protective 1,25-VitD3 effect. Co-culture experiments ofmyeloid and endothelial cells with blood confirmed the anti-inflammatory 1,25-VitD3 effect but also revealed an induction of stroma-cell-derived factor 1α (SDF1α), vascular endothelial growth factor, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase by 1,25-VitD3. In mice, SDF1α mimicked the protective effect of 1,25-VitD3 against CVS. From bench to bedside, CVS severity was inversely correlated with vitamin D plasma level, prospectively. Patients with more severe CVS exhibited attenuated expression of SDF1α and 1,25-VitD3- responsive genes on circulating myeloid cells.

CONCLUSION: 1,25-VitD3 attenuates CVS after SAH by inducing SDF1α. However, VitD administration should be tested as optional treatment to prevent CVS.

Survival, Dependency, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Ruptured Intracranial Aneurysm

Neurosurgery 88:252–260, 2021

Previous analyses of the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) cohort have reported on clinical outcomes after treatment of a ruptured intracranial aneurysm with either neurosurgical clipping or endovascular coiling.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained of endovascular coiling compare to neurosurgical clipping in the UK cohort of ISAT.

METHODS: Between September 12, 1994 and May 1, 2002, patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms who were assumed treatment equipoise were randomly allocated to either neurosurgical clipping or endovascular coiling. We followed-up 1644 patients in 22 UK neurosurgical centers for a minimum of 10 yr. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was collected through yearly questionnaires,measured by utilities calculated from the EQ- 5D-3L. We compared HRQoL between the 2 treatment groups over a period of 10 yr. In all, 1-yr, 5-yr, and 10-yr QALYs were estimated by combining utility and survival information.

RESULTS: Higher average utility values were found in the endovascular group throughout the follow-up period, with mean differences between groups statistically significant in most years. The 10-yr QALYs were estimated to be 6.68 (95% CI: 6.45-6.90) in the coiling group and 6.32 (95% CI: 6.10-6.55) in the clipping group, respectively, a significant mean difference of 0.36 (95% CI: 0.04-0.66). A third of this mean QALYs gain was estimated to derive solely from HRQoL differences.

CONCLUSION: HRQoL after treatment of a ruptured intracranial aneurysm was better after endovascular coiling compared to neurosurgical clipping, which contributed significantly to the QALYs gained over a 10-yr period.

Lateral transorbital approach: an alternative microsurgical route for supratentorial cerebral aneurysms

J Neurosurg 134:72–83, 2021

Transorbital approaches for neurosurgery have recently attracted attention and several anatomical studies have aimed to improve these techniques, but significant deficiencies in clinical practice remain, especially for aneurysm surgery. The authors present an alternative microsurgical route and the results of an analysis of patients with intracranial aneurysms who underwent a lateral transorbital approach (LTOA) using lateral orbito-zygoma-sphenotomy (LOZYGS).

METHODS The clinical and surgical results of a series of 54 consecutive patients with 1 or more aneurysms who underwent surgery via LTOA are reported. A lateral orbitotomy was performed after making a 3-cm skin incision parallel to the lateral orbital rim. A second bone flap, which included the zygoma and sphenoid bones that form the lateral orbital wall, was removed. The lesser sphenoid wing, including the anterior clinoid process, was fully drilled, except in cases of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms. Cisternal dissection was performed using the classic microsurgical technique starting from the proximal Sylvian fissure and carotid cistern. After the aneurysm was clipped following microsurgical principles, the dura mater was closed in a watertight fashion and 2-piece bone reconstruction was achieved.

RESULTS Sixty aneurysms in 54 patients were clipped using the LOZYGS route. Twenty-one aneurysms were located on the MCA, 30 on the anterior communicating artery, 8 on the internal carotid artery, and 1 at the apex of the basilar artery. The unruptured-to-ruptured aneurysm ratio was 17:43. The operative field was moved to the orbit using the LTOA to avoid interference by bone and muscle tissues. Early proximal control was achieved using a short working distance and direct exposure of the base of the cerebrum, without any requirement for retraction. Because different view angles and surgical corridors were used, no segment of the aneurysm or the parent artery remained unexposed. Therefore, the introduction of additional tools was not required.

CONCLUSIONS The LTOA allowed enhanced broad-perspective exposure of the operative field, early proximal control, and satisfactory surgical freedom. This alternative surgical approach safely exposed the target area and the operative field. The LOZYGS route is safe and effective for the LTOA and microsurgical clipping of anterior circulation aneurysms. According to the authors’ surgical experience and clinical experience, the LTOA can be considered an alternative surgical route to supratentorial aneurysm surgery.

Giant intracranial aneurysms: natural history and 1-year case fatality after endovascular or surgical treatment

J Neurosurg 134:49–57, 2021

Clinical evidence on giant intracranial aneurysms (GIAs), intracranial aneurysms with a diameter of at least 25 mm, is limited. The authors aimed to investigate the natural history, case fatality, and treatment outcomes of ruptured and unruptured GIAs.

METHODS In this international observational registry study, patients with a ruptured or unruptured GIA received conservative management (CM), surgical management (SM), or endovascular management (EM). The authors investigated rupture rates and case fatality.

RESULTS The retrospective cohort comprised 219 patients with GIAs (21.9% ruptured GIAs and 78.1% unruptured GIAs) whose index hospitalization occurred between January 2006 and November 2016. The index hospitalization in the prospective cohort (362 patients with GIAs [17.1% ruptured and 82.9% unruptured]) occurred between December 2008 and February 2017. In the retrospective cohort, the risk ratio for death at a mean follow-up of 4.8 years (SD 2.2 years) after CM, compared with EM and SM, was 1.63 (95% CI 1.23–2.16) in ruptured GIAs and 3.96 (95% CI 2.57–6.11) in unruptured GIAs. In the prospective cohort, the 1-year case fatality in ruptured GIAs/unruptured GIAs was 100%/22.0% during CM, 36.0%/3.0% after SM, and 39.0%/12.0% after EM. Corresponding 1-year rupture rates in unruptured GIAs were 25.0% during CM, 1.2% after SM, and 2.5% after EM. In unruptured GIAs, the HR for death within the 1st year in patients with posterior circulation GIAs was 6.7 (95% CI 1.5–30.4, p < 0.01), with patients with a GIA at the supraclinoid internal carotid artery as reference. Different sizes of unruptured GIAs were not associated with 1-year case fatality.

CONCLUSIONS Rupture rates for unruptured GIAs were high, and the natural history and treatment outcomes for ruptured GIAs were poor. Patients undergoing SM or EM showed lower case fatality and rupture rates than those undergoing CM. This difference in outcome may in part be influenced by patients in the CM group having been found poor candidates for SM or EM.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02066493 (clinicaltrials.gov)

Lateral supra-cerebellar infra-tentorial approach for P2-P3 junction cerebral aneurysms

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:2767–2772

P2-P3 junction aneurysms are challenging to treat surgically because of their frequent complex morphology and their location deep in close proximity to the midbrain. The sub-temporal route requires significant retraction of the temporal lobe in addition to potential injury to the vein of Labbe.

We describe the technique for treating such aneurysms via a lateral supra-cerebellar infratentorial (LSCIT) approach, which eliminates manipulation of the temporal lobe.

Method Cadaveric dissection provided comprehensive understanding of relevant anatomy. Intraoperative video shows clipping of the aneurysm using a LSCIT approach.

Conclusion LSCIT approach allows safe clipping of P2-P3 aneurysms with minimal brain manipulation.

Aspirin associated with decreased rate of intracranial aneurysm growth

J Neurosurg 133:1478–1485, 2020

Aspirin has emerged as a potential agent in the prevention of rupture of intracranial aneurysms (IAs). In this study, the authors’ goal was to test if aspirin is protective against aneurysm growth in patients harboring multiple IAs ≤ 5 mm.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database covering the period July 2009 through January 2019. Patients’ data were included if the following criteria were met: 1) the patient harbored multiple IAs; 2) designated primary aneurysms were treated by surgical/endovascular means; 3) the remaining aneurysms were observed for growth; and 4) a follow-up period of at least 5 years after the initial treatment was available. Demographics, earlier medical history, the rupture status of designated primary aneurysms, aneurysms’ angiographic features, and treatment modalities were gathered.

RESULTS The authors identified 146 patients harboring a total of 375 IAs. At the initial encounter, 146 aneurysms were treated and the remaining 229 aneurysms (2–5 mm) were observed. During the follow-up period, 24 (10.48%) of 229 aneurysms grew. All aneurysms observed to grow later underwent treatment. None of the observed aneurysms ruptured. Multivariate analysis showed that aspirin was significantly associated with a decreased rate of growth (odds ratio [OR] 0.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05–0.63). Variables associated with an increased rate of growth included hypertension (OR 14.38, 95% CI 3.83–53.94), drug abuse (OR 11.26, 95% CI 1.21–104.65), history of polycystic kidney disease (OR 9.48, 95% CI 1.51–59.35), and subarachnoid hemorrhage at presentation (OR 5.91, 95% CI 1.83–19.09).

CONCLUSIONS In patients with multiple IAs, aspirin significantly decreased the rate of aneurysm growth over time. Additional prospective interventional studies are needed to validate these findings.

Ventriculostomy with subsequent ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement after subarachnoid hemorrhage: the effect of implantation site on postoperative complications

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:1831–1836

Patients suffering from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus require subsequent placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) after ventriculostomy. However, in patients with previous ventriculostomy, the site for proximal VPS catheter placement is still controversial.We investigated the effect of catheter placement on postoperative complications by analyzing patients with ventriculostomy and subsequent VPS placement after SAH.

Methods From January 2004 to December 2018, 164 of 1128 patients suffering from SAH underwent subsequent VPS placement after ventriculostomy in the authors’ institution. Patients were divided into two groups according to the position of the ventriculostomy and the site of the proximal VPS catheter (“same site” group versus “contralateral site” group). VPS-related infectious and bleeding complications following VPS placement were assessed and analyzed.

Results Overall, VPS-related infections occurred in 11 of the 164 patients (7%). Furthermore, five of the 164 patients (3%) suffered from VPS-related hemorrhage. However, VPS infection rate was lower 5% (6/115) in the same site compared to 10% (5/49) in the contralateral site group, although without reaching statistical significance (OR = 0.48 (0.14, 1.67) 95% confidence interval, p = 0.3). VPS-related hemorrhage rate did not differ significantly between patients in the same site group (3.5%, 4/115) and the contralateral site group (2.0%, 1/49; OR = 1.73 (0.18, 15.9), p = 1.0).

Conclusions Our study suggests that the use of the ventriculostomy site for VPS placement does not significantly increase the risk of either VPS-related infections or VPS-related hemorrhages.

Impact of temperature decline from the previous day as a trigger of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 133:374–382, 2020

Several environmental factors have been reported to correlate with incidence of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, because of different patient selection and study designs among these studies, meteorological factors that trigger the incidence of SAH in a short hazard period remain unknown. Among meteorological factors, daily temperature changes may disrupt and violate homeostasis and predispose to cerebrovascular circulatory disturbances and strokes. The authors aimed to investigate whether a decline in the temperature from the highest of the previous day to the lowest of the event day (temperature decline from the previous day [TDP]) triggers SAH in the prefecture-wide stroke database.

METHODS All 28 participating institutions with primary or comprehensive stroke centers located throughout Kochi Prefecture, Japan, were included in the study. Data collected between January 2012 and December 2016 were analyzed, and 715 consecutive SAH patients with a defined date of onset were enrolled. Meteorological data in this period were obtained from the Kochi Local Meteorological Observatory. A case-crossover study was performed to investigate association of TDP and other environmental factors with onset of SAH.

RESULTS The increasing TDP in 1°C on the day of the SAH event was associated with an increased incidence of SAH (OR 1.041, 95% CI 1.007–1.077) after adjustment for other environmental factors. According to the stratified analysis, a significant association between TDP and SAH was observed in women, patients < 65 years old, and patients with weekday onset. Among these factors, increasing TDP had a great impact on SAH onset in patients < 65 years old (p = 0.028, Mann-Whitney U-test).

CONCLUSIONS TDP, temperature decline from the highest of the previous day to the lowest of the day, was correlated with the incidence of spontaneous SAH, particularly in younger patients < 65 years old.

 

Anatomical triangles defining routes to anterior communicating artery aneurysms: the junctional and precommunicating triangles and the role of dome projection

J Neurosurg 132:1517–1528, 2020

Anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms are common intracranial aneurysms. Despite advances in endovascular therapy, microsurgical clipping remains an important treatment for aneurysms with broad necks, large size, intraluminal thrombus, complex branches, or previous coiling. Anatomical triangles identify safe corridors for aneurysm access. The authors introduce the A1-A2 junctional triangle and the A1-A1 precommunicating triangle and examine relationships between dome projection, triangular corridors of access, and surgical outcomes.

METHODS Preoperative catheter and CT angiograms were evaluated to characterize aneurysm dome projection. Aneurysm projection was categorized into quadrants and octants. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors were correlated to aneurysm dome projection and patient outcomes using univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS A total of 513 patients with microsurgically treated ACoA aneurysms were identified over a 13-year period, and 400 had adequate imaging and follow-up data for inclusion. Surgical clipping was performed on 271 ruptured and 129 unruptured aneurysms. Good outcomes were observed in 91% of patients with unruptured aneurysms and 86% of those with ruptured aneurysms, with a mortality rate < 1% among patients with unruptured aneurysms. Increasing age (p < 0.01), larger aneurysm size (p = 0.03), and worse preoperative modified Rankin Scale score (p < 0.01) affected outcomes adversely. Aneurysms projecting superiorly and posteriorly required dissection in the junctional triangle, and multivariate analysis demonstrated worse clinical outcomes in these patients (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS Anteriorly and inferiorly projecting aneurysms involve only the precommunicating triangle, are simpler to treat microsurgically, and have more favorable outcomes. Superior and posterior dome projections make ACoA aneurysms more difficult to visualize and require opening the junctional triangle. Added visualization through the junctional triangle is recommended for these aneurysms in order to facilitate dissection of efferent branch arteries, careful clip application, and perforator preservation. Dome projection can be determined preoperatively from images and can help anticipate dissection routes through the junctional triangle.

How definitive treatment affects the rupture rate of unruptured cerebral aneurysms: a competing risk survival analysis

J Neurosurg 132:1062–1067, 2020

To investigate the risk of bleeding from unruptured cerebral aneurysms (UCAs), previous studies have used Kaplan-Meier analyses without treating the definitive treatment as a competing risk event, which may underestimate the rupture rate. The authors analyzed the survival of patients with UCAs alongside the occurrence of aneurysm bleeding and its competing risk events.

METHODS A retrospective analysis was conducted on 722 patients diagnosed with UCAs in the period from 2000 to 2009 using an institution’s electronic medical records and telephone interviews. The cumulative incidence of aneurysm rupture was examined, and factors contributing to rupture were assessed using regression analyses.

RESULTS By 2014, 19 patients had experienced aneurysm rupture, with an overall rupture rate of 0.57% per year over 3320.8 person-years. However, cumulative incidence analysis indicated that 1.3% of all patients had a rupture within 2 years after aneurysm identification, and 38.4% of the patients underwent definitive treatment in the same period. Among the patients who experienced rupture, regression analysis revealed that an aneurysm size greater than 5 mm, a location in the anterior or posterior communicating arteries, and an irregular shape contributed to aneurysm rupture, with HRs of 4.4 (95% CI 1.2–15.7), 3.5 (95% CI 1.4–8.7), and 2.1 (95% CI 0.7–6.0), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Rupture rate analyses using the person-year or standard Kaplan-Meier method are not as informative without consideration of the competing risks. The incidence of aneurysm rupture should be presented clearly with those of competing risks.

Ten-year analysis of saccular aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

J Neurosurg 132:771–776, 2020

The authors present the 10-year results of the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) for saccular aneurysms. The 1-, 3-, and 6-year results of the trial have been previously reported, as have the 6-year results with respect to saccular aneurysms. This final report comparing the safety and efficacy of clipping versus coiling is limited to an analysis of those patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured saccular aneurysm.

METHODS In the study, 362 patients had saccular aneurysms and were randomized equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). The primary outcome analysis was based on the assigned treatment group; poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2 and was independently adjudicated. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by a nontreating neuroradiologist.

RESULTS There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (mRS score > 2) or deaths between these 2 treatment arms during the 10 years of follow-up. Of 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (< 1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. After the initial hospitalization, 2 of 241 (0.8%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 23 of 115 (20%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 10-year follow-up, 93% (50/54) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with only 22% (5/23) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). Two patients had documented rebleeding, both died, and both were in the assigned and treated coiled cohort (2/83); no patient in the clipped cohort (0/175) died (p = 0.04). In 1 of these 2 patients, the hemorrhage was not from the target aneurysm but from an incidental basilar artery aneurysm, which was coiled at the same time.

CONCLUSIONS There was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the 2 assigned treatment groups as measured by mRS outcomes or deaths. Clinical outcomes in the patients with posterior circulation aneurysms were better in the coiling group at 1 year, but after 1 year this difference was no longer statistically significant. Rates of complete aneurysm obliteration and rates of retreatment favored patients who actually underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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