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Joshua S. Catapano, Stefan W. Koester, Visish M. Srinivasan, Mohamed A. Labib, Neil Majmundar, Candice L. Nguyen, Caleb Rutledge, Tyler S. Cole, Jacob F. Baranoski, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Robert F. Spetzler, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Ophthalmic artery (OA) aneurysms are surgically challenging lesions that are now mostly treated using endovascular procedures. However, in specialized tertiary care centers with experienced neurosurgeons, controversy remains regarding the optimal treatment of these lesions. This study used propensity adjustment to compare microsurgical and endovascular treatment of unruptured OA aneurysms in experienced tertiary and quaternary settings.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent microsurgical treatment of an unruptured OA aneurysm at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1997 to 2017 and either microsurgical or endovascular treatment at Barrow Neurological Institute from 2011 to 2019. Patients were categorized into two cohorts for comparison: those who underwent open microsurgical clipping, and those who underwent endovascular flow diversion or coil embolization. Outcomes included neurological or visual outcomes, residual or recurrent aneurysms, retreatment, and severe complications.

RESULTS

A total of 345 procedures were analyzed: 247 open microsurgical clipping procedures (72%) and 98 endovascular procedures (28%). Of the 98 endovascular procedures, 16 (16%) were treated with primary coil embolization and 82 (84%) with flow diversion. After propensity adjustment, microsurgical treatment was associated with higher odds of a visual deficit (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.1–64.9, p = 0.04) but lower odds of residual aneurysm (OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.01–0.28, p < 0.001) or retreatment (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.02–0.58, p = 0.008) than endovascular therapy. No difference was found between the two cohorts with regard to worse modified Rankin Scale score, modified Rankin Scale score greater than 2, or severe complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with endovascular therapy, microsurgical clipping of unruptured OA aneurysms is associated with a higher rate of visual deficits but a lower rate of residual and recurrent aneurysms. In centers experienced with both open microsurgical and endovascular treatment of these lesions, the treatment choice should be based on patient preference and aneurysm morphology.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Caleb Rutledge, Kavelin Rumalla, Kunal P. Raygor, Visish M. Srinivasan, Stefan W. Koester, Anna R. Kimata, Kevin L. Ma, Mohamed A. Labib, Robert F. Spetzler, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The brainstem cavernous malformation (BSCM) grading system predicts neurological outcomes associated with microsurgical resection and assists neurosurgeons in selecting patients for treatment. The predictive accuracy of the BSCM grading system should be validated in a large cohort from high-volume centers to generalize its use.

METHODS

An external validation cohort comprised patients with a BSCM resected by the senior author (M.T.L.) since the publication of the BSCM grading system and those resected by another neurosurgeon (R.F.S.) over a 16-year period. Size, crossing the axial midpoint, the presence of a developmental venous anomaly, patient age, and timing of last hemorrhage were used to assign BSCM grades from 0 to VII. Poor neurological outcomes were recorded as modified Rankin Scale scores > 2 at last follow-up examination.

RESULTS

A total of 277 patients were included in the study. The average BSCM grade was 3.9, and the majority of BSCMs (181 patients, 65%) were intermediate grade (grades III–V). Outcomes were predicted by BSCM grade, with good outcomes observed in 47 of 54 patients (87%) with low-grade BSCMs, in 135 of 181 patients (75%) with intermediate-grade BSCMs, and in 21 of 42 patients (50%) with high-grade BSCMs. Conversely, proportions of patients with neurological deterioration increased with increasing BSCM grade, with worsening observed in 2 of 54 patients (4%) with low-grade BSCMs, in 29 of 181 patients (16%) with intermediate-grade BSCMs, and in 17 of 42 patients (40%) with high-grade BSCMs. In the chi-square analysis, high-grade BSCMs were associated with increased odds of neurological worsening compared to low- and intermediate-grade BSCMs (OR 5.0, 95% CI 2.4–10.4; p < 0.001). The receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated acceptable discrimination for predicting unfavorable functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score > 2) with an area under the curve of 0.74 (95% CI 0.68–0.80; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

This study validates the BSCM grading system in a large cohort of patients from two high-volume surgeons. BSCM grade predicted neurological outcomes with accuracy comparable to that of other grading systems in widespread use. The BSCM grading system establishes categories of low-, intermediate-, and high-grade BSCMs and a boundary or cutoff for surgery at BSCM grade V. BSCM grading guides the analysis of a particular patient’s condition, but treatment recommendations must be individualized, and neurosurgeons must calibrate BSCM grading to their own outcome results, unique abilities, and practices.

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Phiroz E. Tarapore, Stefan W. Koester, Joshua S. Catapano, Caleb Rutledge, Kunal P. Raygor, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Rare arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the optic apparatus account for < 1% of all AVMs. The authors conducted a systematic review of the literature for cases of optic apparatus AVMs and present 4 cases from their institution. The literature is summarized to describe preoperative characteristics, surgical technique, and treatment outcomes for these lesions.

METHODS

A comprehensive search of the English-language literature was performed in accordance with established Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to identify all published cases of AVM in the optic apparatus in the PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. The authors also searched their prospective institutional database of vascular malformations for such cases. Data regarding the clinical and radiological presentation, visual acuity, visual fields, extent of resection, and postoperative outcomes were gathered.

RESULTS

Nine patients in the literature and 4 patients in the authors’ single-surgeon series who fit the inclusion criteria were identified. The median age at presentation was 29 years (range 8–39 years). Among these patients, 11 presented with visual disturbance, 9 with headache, and 1 with multiple prior subarachnoid hemorrhages; the AVM in 1 case was found incidentally. Four patients described prior symptoms of headache or visual disturbance consistent with sentinel events. Visual acuity was decreased from baseline in 10 patients, and 11 patients had visual field defects on formal visual field testing. The most common visual field defect was temporal hemianopia, found in one or both eyes in 7 patients. The optic chiasm was affected in 10 patients, the hypothalamus in 2 patients, the optic nerve (unilaterally) in 8 patients, and the optic tract in 2 patients. Six patients underwent gross-total resection; 6 patients underwent subtotal resection; and 1 patient underwent craniotomy, but no resection was attempted. Postoperatively, 9 of the patients had improved visual function, 1 had no change, and 3 had worse visual acuity. Eight patients demonstrated improved visual fields, 1 had no change, and 4 had narrowed fields.

CONCLUSIONS

AVMs of the optic apparatus are rare lesions. Although they reside in a highly eloquent region, surgical outcomes are generally good; the majority of patients will see improvement in their visual function postoperatively. Microsurgical technique is critical to the successful removal of these lesions, and preservation of function sometimes requires subtotal resection of the lesion.