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Open access

Ischemic stroke caused by spontaneous anterior circulation intracranial arterial dissections: patient series

Taylor Furst, Nathaniel R. Ellens, Matthew T. Bender, and Thomas K. Mattingly

BACKGROUND

Intracranial arterial dissections (IADs) are classically associated with the vertebrobasilar system, yet are a devastating cause of ischemic stroke within the anterior circulation. Current literature regarding the surgical management of anterior circulation IAD is lacking. As a result, data on 9 patients presenting with ischemic stroke due to spontaneous anterior circulation IAD between 2019 and 2021 were collected in a retrospective manner. Symptoms, diagnostic modalities, treatment, and outcomes are presented for each case. Patients who underwent endovascular procedures had 10-minute follow-up angiography performed to identify signs of reocclusion, which prompted initiation of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa therapy and stent placement.

OBSERVATIONS

Seven patients underwent emergent endovascular intervention (stenting: n = 5; thrombectomy alone: n = 2). The remaining 2 were managed medically. Two patients developed progressive flow limiting stenosis requiring further intervention, 2 developed asymptomatic progressive stenosis/occlusion with robust collateral formation and the remainder have patent vasculature upon follow up imaging at 6 to 12 months. Seven patients had a modified Rankin Scale score of 1 or less at the 3-month follow-up.

LESSONS

IAD is a devastating yet rare cause of anterior circulation ischemic stroke. The treatment algorithm proposed resulted in positive clinical and angiographic outcomes warranting future consideration and study in the emergent management of spontaneous anterior circulation IAD.

Open access

Vascular steal and associated intratumoral aneurysms in highly vascular brain tumors: illustrative case

Christopher S. Hong, Neelan J. Marianayagam, Saul F. Morales-Valero, Tanyeri Barak, Joanna K. Tabor, Joseph O’Brien, Anita Huttner, Joachim Baehring, Murat Gunel, E. Zeynep Erson-Omay, Robert K. Fulbright, Charles C. Matouk, and Jennifer Moliterno

BACKGROUND

Intratumoral aneurysms in highly vascular brain tumors can complicate resection depending on their location and feasibility of proximal control. Seemingly unrelated neurological symptoms may be from vascular steal that can help alert the need for additional vascular imaging and augmenting surgical strategies.

OBSERVATIONS

A 29-year-old female presented with headaches and unilateral blurred vision, secondary to a large right frontal dural-based lesion with hypointense signal thought to represent calcifications. Given these latter findings and clinical suspicion for a vascular steal phenomenon to explain the blurred vision, computed tomography angiography was obtained, revealing a 4 × 2–mm intratumoral aneurysm. Diagnostic cerebral angiography confirmed this along with vascular steal by the tumor from the right ophthalmic artery. The patient underwent endovascular embolization of the intratumoral aneurysm, followed by open tumor resection in the same setting without complication, minimal blood loss, and improvement in her vision.

LESSONS

Understanding the blood supply of any tumor, but highly vascular ones in particular, and the relationship with normal vasculature is undeniably important in avoiding potentially dangerous situations and optimizing maximal safe resection. Recognition of highly vascular tumors should prompt thorough understanding of the vascular supply and relationship of intracranial vasculature with consideration of endovascular adjuncts when appropriate.

Open access

Middle meningeal artery embolization for chronic subdural hematoma in a young patient with refractory thrombocytopenia secondary to leukemia: more evidence for a paradigm shift? Illustrative case

Emalee J. Burrows, Seng Chye Lee, Omar K. Bangash, Timothy J. Phillips, and Sharon Lee

BACKGROUND

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is one of the most common neurosurgical presentations, with an increasing number now also presenting with concurrent thrombocytopenia. Although middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization has been considered in elderly patients with high comorbidities, it may permit treatment of CSDH in patients who are at high risk for recurrence or deemed unsuitable for surgical management due to thrombocytopenia.

OBSERVATIONS

A 35-year-old man who had severe thrombocytopenia due to blast cell crisis with chronic myeloid leukemia developed an atraumatic CSDH. The patient developed severe headaches in the hospital while being treated for febrile neutropenia. He remained neurologically intact. MMA embolization was undertaken due to the morbidity and mortality risks associated with surgery and the high risk of recurrence due to severe thrombocytopenia. At 2 months post-procedure the patient was asymptomatic and there was almost complete resolution of the hematoma.

LESSONS

Thrombocytopenia in the presence of a CSDH is becoming increasingly common. This case highlights the particular role of MMA embolization in patients with severe thrombocytopenia where surgery carries high morbidity and increased mortality.

Open access

Cerebral vasospasm as a consequence of pituitary apoplexy: illustrative case

Somayah Alsayadi, Rafael Ochoa-Sanchez, Ioana D. Moldovan, and Fahad Alkherayf

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is a rare but devastating complication following pituitary apoplexy. Cerebral vasospasm is often associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and early detection is crucial for proper management.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of cerebral vasospasm after endoscopic endonasal transsphenoid surgery (EETS) in a patient with pituitary apoplexy secondary to pituitary adenoma. They also present a literature review of all similar cases published to date. The patient is a 62-year-old male who presented with headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and fatigue. He was diagnosed with pituitary adenoma with hemorrhage, for which he underwent EETS. Pre- and postoperative scans showed SAH. On postoperative day 11, he presented with confusion, aphasia, arm weakness, and unsteady gait. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans were consistent with cerebral vasospasm. The patient underwent endovascular treatment of acute intracranial vasospasm and was responsive to intra-arterial milrinone and verapamil infusion of the bilateral internal carotid arteries. There were no further complications.

LESSONS

Cerebral vasospasm is a severe complication that can occur after pituitary apoplexy. It is essential to assess the risk factors linked to the cerebral vasospasm. In addition, a high index of suspicion will allow neurosurgeons to diagnose cerebral vasospasm after EETS early and take the necessary measures to manage it accordingly.

Open access

A challenging case of recurrent and progressive fusiform anterior circulation intracranial aneurysms: illustrative case

Andrew T. Coxon, Anna L. Huguenard, Arindam R. Chatterjee, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

BACKGROUND

Intracranial fusiform aneurysms are circumferential dilations of cerebral arteries that can lead to complications including ischemic stroke due to vessel occlusion, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or intracerebral hemorrhage. Treatment options for fusiform aneurysms have expanded significantly in recent years. Microsurgical treatment options include proximal and distal surgical occlusion and microsurgical trapping of the aneurysm, usually in association with high-flow bypass procedures. Endovascular treatment options include the placement of coils and/or flow diverters.

OBSERVATIONS

Here the authors report a case of aggressive surveillance and treatment of a man with multiple progressive, recurrent, and de novo fusiform aneurysms of the left anterior cerebral circulation over 16 years. Because the long-term course of his treatment coincided with the recent expansion of endovascular treatment options, he underwent every type of treatment listed above.

LESSONS

This case demonstrates the wide range of therapeutic options for fusiform aneurysms and how the treatment model for these lesions has evolved.

Open access

Management of refractory bacterial meningitis–associated cerebral vasospasm: illustrative case

Sofya Norman, Jon Rosenberg, Sri Hari Sundararajan, Ali Al Balushi, Srikanth Reddy Boddu, and Judy H. Ch’ang

BACKGROUND

Cerebral vasospasm is an alarming complication of acute bacterial meningitis with potentially devastating consequences. It is essential for providers to recognize and treat it appropriately. Unfortunately, there is no well-established approach to the management of postinfectious vasospasm, which makes it especially challenging to treat these patients. More research is needed to address this gap in care.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors describe a patient with postmeningitis vasospasm that was refractory to induced hypertension, steroids, and verapamil. He eventually responded to a combination of intravenous (IV) and intra-arterial (IA) milrinone followed by angioplasty.

LESSONS

To our knowledge, this is the first report of successfully using milrinone as vasodilator therapy in a patient with postbacterial meningitis-associated vasospasm. This case supports the use of this intervention. In future cases of vasospasm after bacterial meningitis, IV and IA milrinone should be trialed earlier with consideration of angioplasty.

Open access

Ruptured aneurysms at the distal superior cerebellar artery successfully treated by combining occipital artery–superior cerebellar artery anastomosis and endovascular therapy: illustrative case

Takenori Ogura, Taketo Hatano, Masaomi Koyanagi, Taisuke Kitamura, and Daisuke Yamada

BACKGROUND

Distal superior cerebellar artery (SCA) aneurysms are rare and are treated using various treatment strategies. Treatment often requires parent artery occlusion, which raises concerns regarding the potential risk of ischemia in the distal territory.

OBSERVATIONS

An 81-year-old woman presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Diagnostic cerebral angiography revealed two tiny distal SCA aneurysms. Because significant ischemic damage following parent artery occlusion was concerned, two bypasses between the occipital artery and SCA branches were first performed with the patient in the prone position in a hybrid operating room. Each aneurysm was successively treated in the same position with endovascular internal trapping and intra-aneurysmal embolization. After adequate hemostasis was confirmed, the wound was closed. Both aneurysms were successfully occluded without symptomatic ischemic complications.

LESSONS

This combined surgical and endovascular approach would be helpful in cases with notable concerns regarding ischemia after sacrificing the parent artery.

Open access

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula masquerading as a herniated disc: illustrative case

Moustafa A. Mansour, Dyana F. Khalil, Soliman El-Sokkary, Mostafa A. Mostafa, and Ahmad A. Ayad

BACKGROUND

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (SDAVF) is a rare disorder with an unknown etiology. Often, the clinical presentation and imaging findings are misleading, causing this condition to be mistaken for other entities, such as demyelinating or degenerative spinal lesions.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a challenging case of SDAVF in which the patient’s symptoms were initially thought to be attributable to a herniated disc based on his imaging studies at another institution. He sought the authors for a second opinion, which yielded a confirmed diagnosis of SDAVF. Due to his rapidly progressive neurological manifestations, he underwent a surgical division of the fistula using intraoperative video angiography via indocyanine green injections. His symptoms progressively improved over a 3-month period. He regained full sphincter control by 4 months, which gave him a better recovery than seen in other patients with SDAVFs, who do not generally fully regain sphincter control.

LESSONS

SDAVF is a critical spinal vascular pathology that should not be overlooked in the differential diagnosis of any patient presenting with signs of progressive myelopathy. Despite its associated vague initial clinical symptoms, SDAVF typically, but not always, demonstrates a characteristic imaging appearance on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies; therefore, MR angiography is still required for definitive diagnosis. Surgical treatment for SDAVF is almost always definitive and curative.

Open access

Cerebral tumor embolism from thyroid cancer treated by mechanical thrombectomy: illustrative case

Yuta Fujiwara, Kentaro Hayashi, Yohei Shibata, Tatsuya Furuta, Tomohiro Yamasaki, Kazuhiro Yamamoto, Masahiro Uchimura, Fumio Nakagawa, Mizuki Kambara, Hidemasa Nagai, and Yasuhiko Akiyama

BACKGROUND

Development in mechanical thrombectomy is progressing dramatically. Tumor embolism has been rarely reported on the basis of pathological study of the retrieved thrombus. Herein, the authors report a case of cerebral tumor embolism from advanced thyroid cancer, which was successfully treated with mechanical thrombectomy.

OBSERVATIONS

A 57-year-old man was diagnosed with thyroid cancer with multiple lung metastases and chemotherapy was planned. He experienced left hemiparesis and was bought to the emergency section of the authors’ hospital. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed right internal carotid artery occlusion and endovascular treatment was performed. Using a combination of aspiration catheter and stent retriever, white jelly-like embolus was retrieved. The pathological study demonstrated thyroid cancer embolism. Pulmonary vein invasion following lung metastasis of thyroid cancer was most presumably the cause of the tumor embolism.

LESSONS

Lung metastasis invading the pulmonary vein may be a cause of tumor embolism. Mechanical thrombectomy using a combination of stent retriever and aspiration catheter is effective in removing the tumor embolus and the pathological examination of the embolus is essential.

Open access

Endovascular embolization and needle aspiration of a life-threatening cervical hematoma due to a neurofibromatosis type 1–associated arteriovenous fistula: illustrative case

Daigo Kojima, Yosuke Akamatsu, Kenta Aso, Kazuto Kimura, Yoshiyasu Matsumoto, Shinpei Sato, Hiroshi Kashimura, Yoshitaka Kubo, and Kuniaki Ogasawara

BACKGROUND

In cases of neurofibromatosis in which the bleeding source is considered strongly related to a neurofibroma, an open surgical approach could risk uncontrollable bleeding from the vascular wall infiltration by neurofibroma. The case of a neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)–associated arteriovenous fistula presenting with a life-threatening cervical hematoma that was successfully treated with alternative treatment is described.

OBSERVATIONS

A 68-year-old woman diagnosed with NF1 presented with sudden onset of a spontaneous right cervical mass. Neck imaging on admission showed a massive subcutaneous hematoma with tracheal deviation and abnormal vascular structure in the hematoma. Digital subtraction angiography showed that an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) fed from a vertebral artery located within the hematoma cavity was the primary source of bleeding and feeding arteries from the occipital artery to the neurofibroma. Embolization of the cervical neurofibroma, as well as the AVF, was performed to reduce the secondary risk of bleeding, and was accomplished. After endovascular treatment, needle aspiration of the cervical hematoma was performed to reduce the mass effect.

LESSONS

When performing open surgery via tissues with neurofibromatosis proliferation, uncontrollable bleeding can occur. Therefore, endovascular embolization and needle aspiration of the hematoma should be considered in this setting.