The risk factors of postoperative infarction after surgical clipping of unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:501–515

An anterior communicating artery is a common location for both ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms, and microsurgery is sometimes necessary for their successful treatment. However, postoperative infarction should be considered during clipping due to the complex surrounding structures of anterior communicating artery aneurysms. This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors of postoperative infarction after surgical clipping of unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms and its clinical outcomes.

Methods The data of patients who underwent microsurgical clipping of an unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm in our hospital between January 2008 and December 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. The patients’ demographic data, anatomical features of the anterior communicating artery complex and aneurysm, surgical technique, characteristics of postoperative infarction, and its clinical course were evaluated.

Results Notably, among 848 patients, 66 (7.8%) and 34 (4%) patients had radiologic and symptomatic infarctions, respectively. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that hypertension (odds ratio (OR), 1.99; p = 0.022), previous stroke (OR, 3.89; p = 0.009), posterior projection (OR, 5.58; p < 0.001), aneurysm size (OR, 1.17; optimal cut-off value, 6.14 mm; p = 0.002), and skull base-to-aneurysm distance (OR, 1.15; optimal cut-off value, 11.09 mm; p < 0.001) were associated with postoperative infarction. In the pterional approach, a closed A2 plane was an additional risk factor (OR, 1.88; p = 0.041). Infarction of the subcallosal and hypothalamic branches was significantly associated with symptomatic infarction ( p = 0.001).

Conclusion Hypertension, previous stroke, posteriorly projecting aneurysms, aneurysm size, and highly positioned aneurysms are independent risk factors for postoperative infarction during surgical clipping of an unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm. Additionally, a closed A2 plane is an additional risk factor of postoperative infarction in patients undergoing clipping via the pterional approach.

Endovascular therapy versus microsurgical clipping of unruptured wide-neck aneurysms: a prospective multicenter study with propensity score analysis

J Neurosurg 137:352–359, 2022

Numerous techniques have been developed to treat wide-neck aneurysms (WNAs), each with different safety and efficacy profiles. Few studies have compared endovascular therapy (EVT) with microsurgery (MS). The authors’ objective was to perform a prospective multicenter study of a WNA registry using rigorous outcome assessments and to compare EVT and MS using propensity score analysis (PSA).

METHODS Unruptured, saccular, not previously treated WNAs were included. WNA was defined as an aneurysm with a neck width ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio (DTNR) < 2. The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year after treatment (good outcome was defined as mRS score 0–2), as assessed by blinded research nurses and compared with PSA. Angiographic outcome was assessed using the Raymond scale with core laboratory review (adequate occlusion was defined as Raymond scale score 1–2).

RESULTS The analysis included 224 unruptured aneurysms in the EVT cohort (n = 140) and MS cohort (n = 84). There were no differences in baseline demographic characteristics, such as proportion of patients with good baseline mRS score (94.3% of the EVT cohort vs 94.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.941). WNA inclusion criteria were similar between cohorts, with the most common being both neck width ≥ 4 mm and DTNR < 2 (50.7% of the EVT cohort vs 50.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.228). More paraclinoid (32.1% vs 9.5%) and basilar tip (7.1% vs 3.6%) aneurysms were treated with EVT, whereas more middle cerebral artery (13.6% vs 42.9%) and pericallosal (1.4% vs 4.8%) aneurysms were treated with MS (p < 0.001). EVT aneurysms were slightly larger (p = 0.040), and MS aneurysms had a slightly lower mean DTNR (1.4 for the EVT cohort vs 1.3 for the MS cohort, p = 0.010). Within the EVT cohort, 9.3% of patients underwent stand-alone coiling, 17.1% balloon-assisted coiling, 34.3% stent-assisted coiling, 37.1% flow diversion, and 2.1% PulseRider-assisted coiling. Neurological morbidity secondary to a procedural complication was more common in the MS cohort (10.3% vs 1.4%, p = 0.003). One-year mRS scores were assessed for 218 patients (97.3%), and no significantly increased risk of poor clinical outcome was found for the MS cohort (OR 2.17, 95% CI 0.84–5.60, p = 0.110). In an unadjusted direct comparison, more patients in the EVT cohort achieved a good clinical outcome at 1 year (93.4% vs 84.1%, p = 0.048). Final adequate angiographic outcome was superior in the MS cohort (97.6% of the MS cohort vs 86.5% of the EVT cohort, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS Although the treatments for unruptured WNA had similar clinical outcomes according to PSA, there were fewer complications and superior clinical outcome in the EVT cohort and superior angiographic outcomes in the MS cohort according to the unadjusted analysis. These results may be considered when selecting treatment modalities for patients with unruptured WNAs.

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.

Clinical implications and radiographic characteristics of the relation between giant intracranial aneurysms of the posterior circulation and the brainstem

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1747–1753

Giant intracranial aneurysms of the posterior circulation (GPCirA) are rare entities compressing the brainstem and adjacent structures. Previous evidence has shown that the amount of brainstem shift away from the cranial base is not associated with neurological deficits. This raises the question whether other factors may be associated with neurological deficits.

Methods All data were extracted from the Giant Intracranial Aneurysm Registry, an international multicenter prospective study on giant intracranial aneurysms. We grouped GPCirA according to the mass effect on the brainstem (lateral versus medial). Brainstem compression was evaluated with two indices: (a) brainstem compression ratio (BCR) or diameter of the compressed brainstem to the assumed normal diameter of the brainstem and (b) aneurysm to brainstem ratio (ABR) or diameter of the aneurysm to the diameter of the compressed brainstem. We examined associations between neurological deficits and GPCirA characteristics using binary regression analysis.

Results Twenty-eight GPCirA were included. Twenty GPCirA showed medial (71.4%) and 8 lateral compression of the brainstem (28.6%). Baseline characteristics did not differ between the groups for patient age, aneurysm diameter, aneurysm volume, modified Rankin Scale (mRS), motor deficit (MD), or cranial nerve deficits (CND). Mean BCR was 53.0 in the medial and 54.0 in the lateral group (p = 0.92). The mean ABR was 2.9 in the medial and 2.3 in the lateral group (p = 0.96). In the entire cohort, neither BCR nor ABR nor GPCirA volumes were associated with the occurrence of CND or MD. In contrast, disability (mRS) was significantly associated with ABR (OR 1.94 (95% CI 1.01–3.70; p = 0.045) and GPCirAvolumes (OR 1.21 (95% CI 1.01–1.44); p = 0.035), but not with BCR.

Conclusion In this cohort of patients with GPCirA, neither the degree of lateral projection nor the amount of brainstem compression predicted neurological deficits. Disability was associated only with aneurysm volume. When designing treatment strategies for GPCirA, aneurysm laterality or the amount of brainstem compression should be viewed as less relevant while the high risk of rupture of such giant lesions should be emphasized

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.

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.

Current surgical results with low-grade brain arteriovenous malformations

Low-grade brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 122:912–920, 2015

Resection is an appealing therapy for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) because of its high cure rate, low complication rate, and immediacy, and has become the first-line therapy for many AVMs. To clarify safety, efficacy, and outcomes associated with AVM resection in the aftermath of A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain AVMs (ARUBA), the authors reviewed their experience with low-grade AVMs—the most favorable AVMs for surgery and the ones most likely to have been selected for treatment outside of ARUBA’s randomization process.

Methods A prospective AVM registry was searched to identify patients with Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II AVMs treated using resection during a 16-year period.

Results Of the 232 surgical patients included, 120 (52%) presented with hemorrhage, 33% had Spetzler-Martin Grade I, and 67% had Grade II AVMs. Overall, 99 patients (43%) underwent preoperative embolization, with unruptured AVMs embolized more often than ruptured AVMs. AVM resection was accomplished in all patients and confirmed angiographically in 218 patients (94%). There were no deaths among patients with unruptured AVMs. Good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–1) were found in 78% of patients, with 97% improved or unchanged from their preoperative mRS scores. Patients with unruptured AVMs had better functional outcomes (91% good outcome vs 65% in the ruptured group, p = 0.0008), while relative outcomes were equivalent (98% improved/unchanged in patients with ruptured AVMs vs 96% in patients with unruptured AVMs).

Conclusions Surgery should be regarded as the “gold standard” therapy for the majority of low-grade AVMs, utilizing conservative embolization as a preoperative adjunct. High surgical cure rates and excellent functional outcomes in patients with both ruptured and unruptured AVMs support a dominant surgical posture for low-grade AVMS, with radiosurgery reserved for risky AVMs in deep, inaccessible, and highly eloquent locations. Despite the technological advances in endovascular and radiosurgical therapy, surgery still offers the best cure rate, lowest risk profile, and greatest protection against hemorrhage for low-grade AVMs. ARUBA results are influenced by a low randomization rate, bias toward nonsurgical therapies, a shortage of surgical expertise, a lower rate of complete AVM obliteration, a higher rate of delayed hemorrhage, and short study duration. Another randomized trial is needed to reestablish the role of surgery in unruptured AVM management.

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