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Open access

Microvascular decompression of a vertebral artery loop causing cervical radiculopathy: illustrative case

Alexa Semonche, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Young Lee, Todd Dubnicoff, Harlan Matles, Dean Chou, Adib Abla, and Edward F Chang

BACKGROUND

Vertebral artery loops are a rare cause of cervical radiculopathy. Surgical options for nerve root decompression include an anterior or posterior approach, with or without additional microvascular decompression.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a case of a 49-year-old man with a long-standing history of left-sided neck pain and migraines, who was found to have a vertebral artery loop in the left C3–4 neural foramen compressing the left C4 nerve root. The patient underwent a posterior cervical decompression with instrumented fusion and macrovascular decompression of the left C4 nerve root via Teflon felt insertion. In a literature review, we identified 20 similar cases that had also been managed surgically.

LESSONS

Although the anterior approach is more frequently described in the literature, a posterior approach for nerve compression by a vertebral artery loop is also a safe and effective treatment. The authors report the third case of this surgical approach with a good outcome.

Open access

Arteriovenous malformation with unique drainage through the emissary vein of the foramen ovale: illustrative case

Xiaochun Zhao, Alexander R Evans, Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Nicholas Hopkins, Ira Bowen, Shyian S Jen, Mark C Preul, and Karl Balsara

BACKGROUND

As part of the laterotrigeminal venous system (LTVS), the emissary vein of the foramen ovale (EVFO) is an underrecognized venous structure communicating between the cavernous sinus and pterygoid plexus. The sphenobasal sinus is an anatomical variation of the sphenoparietal sinus that drains directly into the EVFO. The authors present the case of a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) with a unique drainage pattern through the sphenobasal sinus and EVFO.

OBSERVATIONS

A 9-year-old female initially presented with loss of consciousness and was subsequently found to have a ruptured AVM in the left basal frontal area. She underwent an immediate decompressive hemicraniectomy, with a computed tomography angiogram demonstrating a unique anatomical variation in which the sphenobasal sinus communicated with the EVFO and LTVS. The final venous drainage returned to the pterygoid plexus and external jugular vein. Postoperatively, the patient made a substantial recovery, with generalized right-sided weakness remaining as the sole deficit.

LESSONS

The authors present the case of a ruptured AVM with unique venous drainage into the sphenobasal sinus and EVFO, for which the current literature remains limited. As exemplified by this illustrative case, technique modification may be warranted in the setting of this unique anatomical variation to avoid venous sinus injury.

Open access

Coexistence of anterior choroidal artery and posterior cerebral artery retia mirabilia presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage: illustrative case

Izumi Yamaguchi, Yasuhisa Kanematsu, Kenji Shimada, Masaaki Korai, Kazuhisa Miyake, Shu Sogabe, Manabu Ishihara, Tatsuya Haboshi, Natsumi Teshima, Kaito Suzuki, and Yasushi Takagi

BACKGROUND

A rete mirabile is a rare vascular anomaly, with posterior cerebral artery (PCA) involvement being especially rare. Its pathogenesis has been speculated as a remnant of “distal annexation” between the primitive anterior choroidal artery (AchA) and the PCA at this site, but the exact mechanisms remain unclear.

OBSERVATIONS

A 29-year-old man presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Arteriovenous malformation in the medial temporal lobe was initially suspected, but an arteriovenous shunt was not detected. First, conservative treatment was administered; however, rebleeding occurred 1 month later. Carotid angiography revealed a network-like cluster of blood vessels at the choroidal point of the AchA, suggesting a rete mirabile; these vessel clusters led to the persistent temporo-occipital branch of the AchA. Furthermore, an aneurysm was detected at the junction between the rete mirabile and the persistent temporo-occipital branch of the AchA. Additionally, vertebral angiography demonstrated a rete mirabile at the P2 segment. These findings suggested the coexistence of AchA and PCA retia mirabilia. Consequently, the aneurysm was clipped using a subtemporal approach to prevent re-rupture, and the postoperative course was uneventful.

LESSONS

This first report of coexisting AchA and PCA retia mirabilia supports the remnant of distal annexation between the primitive AchA and the PCA as the reason for rete formation at this site.

Open access

A cavernous sinus dural arteriovenous fistula treated by direct puncture of the superior ophthalmic vein with craniotomy: illustrative case

Katsuma Iwaki, Koichi Arimura, Shunichi Fukuda, Soh Takagishi, Keisuke Ido, Ryota Kurogi, Kenichi Matsumoto, Akira Nakamizo, and Koji Yoshimoto

BACKGROUND

The authors report a case of symptomatic cavernous sinus (CS) dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) that was successfully treated using direct puncture of the superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) with craniotomy. CS dAVF is commonly treated using transvenous embolization (TVE), with the most common access route via the inferior petrosal sinus (IPS). However, this route is sometimes unavailable because of an occluded, hypoplastic, aplastic, or tortuous IPS. The SOV is an alternative, albeit tortuous and long, route to the CS; therefore, direct SOV puncture is occasionally performed. Direct SOV puncture is mostly percutaneous; however, in this case, it was difficult because of subcutaneous SOV narrowing.

OBSERVATIONS

As the patient experienced increased intraocular pressure, decreased vision, and eye movement disorders, CS embolization was performed via direct puncture with a craniotomy because of other access difficulties.

LESSONS

Several reports have described CS dAVF in patients receiving endovascular treatment via direct SOV puncture using a transorbital approach. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of a CS dAVF treated using TVE with craniotomy. This approach is useful when the SOV cannot be reached intravenously and its distance from the epidermis is long.

Open access

Middle meningeal artery pseudoaneurysm and pterygoid plexus fistula following percutaneous radiofrequency rhizotomy: illustrative case

Rahim Ismail, Derrek Schartz, Timothy Hoang, and Alexander Kessler

BACKGROUND

Percutaneous treatment for trigeminal neuralgia is a safe and effective therapeutic methodology and can be accomplished in the form of balloon compression, glycerol rhizotomy, and radiofrequency thermocoagulation. These procedures are generally well tolerated and demonstrate minimal associated morbidity. Moreover, vascular complications of these procedures are exceedingly rare.

OBSERVATIONS

We present the case of a 64-year-old female with prior microvascular decompression and balloon rhizotomy who presented after symptom recurrence and underwent a second balloon rhizotomy at our institution. Soon thereafter, she presented with pulsatile tinnitus and a right preauricular bruit on physical examination. Subsequent imaging revealed a middle meningeal artery (MMA) to pterygoid plexus fistula and an MMA pseudoaneurysm. Coil and Onxy embolization were used to manage the pseudoaneurysm and fistula.

LESSONS

This case illustrates the potential for MMA pseudoaneurysm formation as a complication of percutaneous trigeminal balloon rhizotomy, which has not been seen in the literature. Concurrent MMA-pterygoid plexus fistula is also a rarity demonstrated in this case.

Open access

Transvenous embolization for an intraosseous clival arteriovenous fistula via a proper access route guiding a three-dimensional fusion image: illustrative case

Yu Iida, Jun Suenaga, Nobuyuki Shimizu, Kaoru Shizawa, Ryosuke Suzuki, Shigeta Miyake, Taisuke Akimoto, Satoshi Hori, Kensuke Tateishi, Yasunobu Nakai, and Tetsuya Yamamoto

BACKGROUND

Intraosseous clival arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), in which the shunt drains extracranially from the posterior and anterior condylar veins rather than from the cavernous sinus (CS), are rare. Targeting embolization of an intraosseous clival AVF is challenging because of its complex venous and skull base anatomy; therefore, a therapeutic strategy based on detailed preoperative radiological findings is required to achieve a favorable outcome. Here, the authors report the successful targeted embolization of an intraosseous clival AVF using an ingenious access route.

OBSERVATIONS

A 74-year-old woman presented with left-sided visual impairment, oculomotor nerve palsy, and right facial pain. A fusion image of three-dimensional rotational angiography and cone-beam computed tomography revealed a left CS dural AVF and a right intraosseous clival AVF. The shunt flow of the clival AVF drained extracranially from the posterior and anterior condylar veins via the intraosseous venous route. Transvenous embolization was performed by devising suboccipital, posterior condylar, and intraosseous access routes. The symptoms resolved after the bilateral AVFs were treated.

LESSONS

Accurate diagnosis and proper transvenous access based on detailed intraosseous and craniocervical venous information obtained from advanced imaging modalities are key to resolving intraosseous clival AVF.

Open access

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for persistent primitive hypoglossal artery stenosis: illustrative case

Katsuma Iwaki, Koichi Arimura, Shunichi Fukuda, Soh Takagishi, Ryota Kurogi, Kuniyuki Nakamura, Akira Nakamizo, and Koji Yoshimoto

BACKGROUND

We report a case of symptomatic, progressive stenosis of a persistent primitive hypoglossal artery (PPHA), which was successfully treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the origin of the PPHA. The PPHA is a type of carotid-basilar anastomosis with an incidence of 0.02% to 0.10%. It originates from the internal carotid artery (ICA), passes through the hypoglossal canal, and merges with the basilar artery. In many cases, the ipsilateral vertebral artery is hypoplastic; therefore, PPHA stenosis causes cerebral infarction in the posterior circulation territory, as in this case.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient’s right PPHA had severe and progressive stenosis; therefore, he experienced cerebral infarction despite medical treatment. Therefore, PTA for the stenosis was performed, which ceased the recurrence of cerebral infarction and dizziness by improving blood flow in the posterior circulation.

LESSONS

Several reports have described ICA stenosis accompanied by PPHA or PPHA stenosis in patients receiving endovascular treatments. Almost all cases were nonprogressive, and the treatment procedure was stenting. However, in our case, the PPHA stenosis was progressive, and we performed PTA because the patient experienced resistance to antiplatelet drugs and had poor collateral flow.

Open access

Management of a challenging dura-embedded anterior inferior cerebellar artery loop during a retrosigmoid hearing-preserving vestibular schwannoma resection: microsurgical technique and operative video. Illustrative case

Jaime L. Martínez Santos, Robert C. Sterner, and Mustafa K. Başkaya

BACKGROUND

Anatomical variants of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA), such as an anomalous “AICA loop” embedded in the dura and bone of the subarcuate fossa, increase the complexity and risk of vestibular schwannoma resections. Classically, osseous penetrating AICA loops are the most challenging to mobilize, as the dura must be dissected and the surrounding petrous bone must be drilled to mobilize the AICA away from the surgical corridor and out of harm.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a rare case of a dura-embedded, osseous-penetrating AICA loop encountered during a hearing-preserving retrosigmoid approach in which they demonstrate safe and efficient microdissection and mobilization of the AICA loop without having to drill the surrounding bone.

LESSONS

Although preoperative recognition of potentially dangerous AICA loops has been challenging, thin-sliced petrous bone computed tomography scanning and high-quality magnetic resonance imaging can be useful in preoperative diagnosis. Furthermore, this report suggests that a retrosigmoid approach is superior, as it allows early intradural recognition and proximal vascular control and facilitates more versatile mobilization of AICA loops.

Open access

Rescue stenting after artery occlusion as a complication of an intrasaccular device–assisted coiling embolization: illustrative case

Félix Gallo-Pineda, Miriam Fernández-Gómez, and Carlos Hidalgo-Barranco

BACKGROUND

Endovascular embolization of wide-necked aneurysms can be challenging. The development of intrasaccular devices like the Contour has enabled us to approach these aneurysms effectively by reducing recanalization rates and eliminating the need for dual antiplatelet therapy, which is particularly beneficial in the case of ruptured aneurysms. Although complications from using these devices are rare, it is crucial to address them properly. In this case, the authors highlight how to manage artery thrombosis caused by device protrusion during aneurysm embolization.

OBSERVATIONS

This report describes a complication in a male patient with a ruptured anterior communicating artery wide-necked aneurysm. Following Contour-assisted coiling of the aneurysm, a realignment of the detachable apex of the device occluded the A2 segment of the right anterior cerebral artery. After the failure of intra-arterial and intravenous tirofiban infusion as well as mechanical thrombectomy, a self-expanding open-cell stent was deployed in the involved vessel, achieving successful reperfusion.

LESSONS

The Contour device has a detachable zone that can cause occlusion of the parent vessel after deployment. The use of a stent as a rescue maneuver may be useful if reperfusion of the vessel cannot be achieved through other methods such as aspiration or full-dose antiplatelet therapy.

Open access

Vein of Galen malformations in the newborn: case series

Erik F. Hauck, Jeremy A. Yarden, Lily I. Hauck, Joseph M. Bibawy, Shervin Mirshahi, and Gerald A. Grant

BACKGROUND

Vein of Galen malformations (VoGMs) in newborns often represent life-threatening emergencies. Outcome is difficult to predict. The authors review 50 VoGM cases to correlate anatomical types with treatment and outcome.

OBSERVATIONS

Four distinct types of VoGMs are identified: mural simple (type I), mural complex (type II), choroidal (type III), and choroidal with deep venous drainage (type IV). Seven patients presented with mural simple VoGMs with a “single hole” fistula supplied by only one large feeder. These patients were treated electively at >6 months; development was normal. Fifteen patients presented with complex mural VoGMs. Multiple large feeders joined a single fistulous point within the wall of the varix. Patients typically presented with congestive heart failure (CHF) and required emergent transarterial intervention. Mortality was 7.7% with less than two-thirds developing normally. Twenty-five patients presented with choroidal VoGMs. Multiple large arterial feeders joined at multiple fistulous sites. Severe CHF in most patients required emergent transarterial and sometimes transvenous intervention. Mortality was 9.5%; two-thirds of the patients had a normal development. Three babies presented with choroidal VoGMs with deep intraventricular venous drainage. This phenomenon caused fatal “melting brain syndrome” in all three patients.

LESSONS

Recognition of the specific VoGM type determines treatment options and sets outcome expectations.