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Nikolaos Mouchtouris, David Hasan, Edgar A. Samaniego, Fadi Al Saiegh, Ahmad Sweid, Rawad Abbas, Kareem El Naamani, Rizwan Tahir, Mario Zanaty, Omaditya Khanna, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, M. Reid Gooch, Robert Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Wide-neck bifurcation cerebral aneurysms have historically required either clip ligation or stent- or balloon-assisted coil embolization. This predicament led to the development of the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) aneurysm embolization system, a self-expanding mesh device that achieves intrasaccular flow disruption and does not require antithrombotic medications. The authors report their operative experience and 6-month follow-up occlusion outcomes with the first 115 aneurysms they treated via WEB embolization.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the first 115 cerebral aneurysms they treated by WEB embolization after FDA approval of the WEB embolization device (from February 2019 to January 2021). Data were collected on patient demographics and clinical presentation, aneurysm characteristics, procedural details, postembolization angiographic contrast stasis, and functional outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 110 patients and 115 aneurysms were included in our study (34 ruptured and 81 unruptured aneurysms). WEB embolization was successful in 106 (92.2%) aneurysms, with a complication occurring in 6 (5.5%) patients. Contrast clearance was seen in the arterial phase in 14 (12.2%) aneurysms, in the capillary phase in 16 (13.9%), in the venous phase in 63 (54.8%), and no contrast was seen in 13 (11.3%) of the aneurysms studied. Follow-up angiography was performed on 60 (52.6%) of the aneurysms, with complete occlusion in 38 (63.3%), neck remnant in 14 (23.3%), and aneurysmal remnant in 8 (13.3%). Six (5.5%) patients required re-treatment for persistent aneurysmal residual on follow-up angiography.

CONCLUSIONS

The WEB device has been successfully used for the treatment of both unruptured and ruptured wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms by achieving intrasaccular flow diversion. Here, the authors have shared their experience with its unique technical considerations and device size selection, as well as critically reviewed complications and aneurysm occlusion rates.

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Christian Hoelscher, Ahmad Sweid, Ritam Ghosh, Fadi Al Saiegh, Kavantissa M. Keppetipola, Christopher J. Farrell, Jack Jallo, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, M. Reid Gooch, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Syed O. Shah

Herein, the authors present the case of a 54-year-old male diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during a screening test. The patient was asked to self-isolate at home and report with any exacerbations of symptoms. He presented later with pneumonia complicated by encephalopathy at days 14 and 15 from initial diagnosis, respectively. MRI of the brain showed bithalamic and gangliocapsular FLAIR signal abnormality with mild right-sided thalamic and periventricular diffusion restriction. A CT venogram was obtained given the distribution of edema and demonstrated deep venous thrombosis involving the bilateral internal cerebral veins and the vein of Galen. CSF workup was negative for encephalitis, as the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and bacterial cultures were negative. A complete hypercoagulable workup was negative, and the venous thrombosis was attributed to a hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-19. The mental decline was attributed to bithalamic and gangliocapsular venous infarction secondary to deep venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, the patient’s condition continued to decline, and care was withdrawn.

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Joshua H. Weinberg, Ahmad Sweid, Kalyan Sajja, M. Reid Gooch, Nabeel Herial, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of CorPath GRX robotic-assisted (RA) transradial (TR) carotid artery stenting (CAS) compared with manual TR CAS.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database and identified 13 consecutive patients who underwent TR CAS from June 2019 through February 2020. Patients were divided into 2 groups: RA (6 patients) and manual (7 patients).

RESULTS

Among 6 patients in the RA group with a mean age of 70.0 ± 7.2 years, technical success was achieved in all 6 (100%) procedures; there were no technical or access-site complications and no catheter exchanges. Transfemoral conversion was required in 1 (16.7%) case due to a tortuous aortic arch. There were no perioperative complications, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and mortality. The mean procedure duration was significantly longer in the RA group (85.0 ± 14.3 minutes [95% CI 69.9–100.0] vs 61.2 ± 17.5 minutes [95% CI 45.0–77.4], p = 0.0231). There was no significant difference in baseline characteristics, fluoroscopy time, contrast dose, radiation exposure, catheter exchanges, technical success, transfemoral conversion, technical or access-site complications, myocardial infarction, stroke, other complications, or mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results suggest that RA TR CAS is feasible, safe, and effective. Neurovascular-specific engineering and software modifications are needed prior to complete remote control. Remote control has important implications regarding patient access to lifesaving procedures for conditions such as stroke and aneurysm rupture as well as operative precision. Future clinical investigations among larger cohorts are needed to demonstrate reliable performance and patient benefit.

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Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Breanna Valcarcel, Carrie E. Andrews, Evan Fitchett, David Nauheim, David Moskal, Nabeel Herial, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, Ashwini D. Sharan, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and M. Reid Gooch

OBJECTIVE

The 30-day readmission rate is of increasing interest to hospital administrators and physicians, as it is used to evaluate hospital performance and is associated with increased healthcare expenditures. The estimated yearly cost to Medicare of readmissions is $17.4 billion. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services therefore track unplanned 30-day readmissions and institute penalties against hospitals whose readmission rates exceed disease-specific national standards. One of the most important conditions with potential for improvement in cost-effective care is ischemic stroke, which affects 795,000 people in the United States and is a leading cause of death and disability. Recent widespread adoption of mechanical thrombectomy has revolutionized stroke care, requiring reassessment of readmission causes and costs in this population.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospectively maintained database of stroke patients and identified 561 patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy between 2010 and 2019 at the authors’ institution. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify clinical variables and comorbidities related to 30-day readmissions in this patient population.

RESULTS

Of the 561 patients, 85.6% (n = 480) survived their admission and were discharged from the hospital to home or rehabilitation, and 8.8% (n = 42/480) were readmitted within 30 days. The median time to readmission was 10.5 days (IQR 6.0–14.3). The most common reasons for readmission were infection (33.3%) and acute cardiac or cerebrovascular events (19% and 20%, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that hypertension (p = 0.030; OR 2.72) and length of initial hospital stay (p = 0.040; OR 1.032) were significantly correlated with readmission within 30 days, while hemorrhagic conversion (grades 3 and 4) approached significance (p = 0.053; OR 2.23). Other factors, such as unfavorable outcome at discharge, history of coronary artery disease, and discharge destination, did not predict readmission.

CONCLUSIONS

The study data demonstrate that hypertension, length of hospital stay, and hemorrhagic conversion were predictors of 30-day hospital readmission in stroke patients after mechanical thrombectomy. Infection was the most common cause of 30-day readmission, followed by cardiac and cerebrovascular diagnoses. These results therefore may serve to identify patients within the stroke population who require increased surveillance following discharge to reduce complications and unplanned readmissions.

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Ahmad Sweid, Joshua H. Weinberg, Rawad Abbas, Kareem El Naamani, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Christine Wamsley, Erica J. Mann, Christopher Neely, Jeffery Head, David Nauheim, Julie Hauge, M. Reid Gooch, Nabeel Herial, Hekmat Zarzour, Tyler D. Alexander, Symeon Missios, David Hasan, Nohra Chalouhi, James Harrop, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

External ventricular drain (EVD) placement is a common neurosurgical procedure. While this procedure is simple and effective, infection is a major limiting factor. Factors predictive of infection reported in the literature are not conclusive. The aim of this retrospective, single-center large series was to assess the rate and independent predictors of ventriculostomy-associated infection (VAI).

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients who underwent EVD placement between January 2012 and January 2018.

RESULTS

A total of 389 patients were included in the study. The infection rate was 3.1% (n = 12). Variables that were significantly associated with VAI were EVD replacement (OR 10, p = 0.001), bilateral EVDs (OR 9.2, p = 0.009), duration of EVD placement (OR 1.1, p = 0.011), increased CSF output/day (OR 1.0, p = 0.001), CSF leak (OR 12.9, p = 0.001), and increased length of hospital stay (OR 1.1, p = 0.002). Using multivariate logistic regression, independent predictors of VAI were female sex (OR 7.1, 95% CI 1.1–47.4; p = 0.043), EVD replacement (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.44–50.72; p = 0.027), increased CSF output/day (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.0–1.02; p = 0.023), and CSF leak (OR 15.1, 95% CI 2.6–87.1; p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS

The rate of VAI was 3.1%. Routine CSF collection (every other day or every 3 days) and CSF collection when needed were not associated with VAI. The authors recommend CSF collection when clinically needed rather than routinely.

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Mario Zanaty, Jorge A. Roa, Daichi Nakagawa, Nohra Chalouhi, Lauren Allan, Sami Al Kasab, Kaustubh Limaye, Daizo Ishii, Edgar A. Samaniego, Pascal Jabbour, James C. Torner, and David M. Hasan

OBJECTIVE

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.

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David Hasan, Mario Zanaty, Robert M. Starke, Elias Atallah, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Amit Singla, Waldo R. Guerrero, Daichi Nakagawa, Edgar A. Samaniego, Nnenna Mbabuike, Rabih G. Tawk, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy, Roberta L. Novakovic, Jonathan White, Clemens M. Schirmer, Thomas G. Brott, Hussain Shallwani, and L. Nelson Hopkins

OBJECTIVE

The overall risk of ischemic stroke from a chronically occluded internal carotid artery (COICA) is around 5%–7% per year despite receiving the best available medical therapy. Here, authors propose a radiographic classification of COICA that can be used as a guide to determine the technical success and safety of endovascular recanalization for symptomatic COICA and to assess the changes in systemic blood pressure following successful revascularization.

METHODS

The radiographic images of 100 consecutive subjects with COICA were analyzed. A new classification of COICA was proposed based on the morphology, location of occlusion, and presence or absence of reconstitution of the distal ICA. The classification was used to predict successful revascularization in 32 symptomatic COICAs in 31 patients, five of whom were female (5/31 [16.13%]). Patients were included in the study if they had a COICA with ischemic symptoms refractory to medical therapy. Carotid artery occlusion was defined as 100% cross-sectional occlusion of the vessel lumen as documented on CTA or MRA and confirmed by digital subtraction angiography.

RESULTS

Four types (A–D) of radiographic COICA were identified. Types A and B were more amenable to safe revascularization than types C and D. Recanalization was successful at a rate of 68.75% (22/32 COICAs; type A: 8/8; type B: 8/8; type C: 4/8; type D: 2/8). The perioperative complication rate was 18.75% (6/32; type A: 0/8 [0%]; type B: 1/8 [12.50%]; type C: 3/8 [37.50%], type D: 2/8 [25.00%]). None of these complications led to permanent morbidity or death. Twenty (64.52%) of 31 subjects had improvement in their symptoms at the 2–6 months’ follow-up. A statistically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP) was noted in 17/21 (80.95%) patients who had successful revascularization, which persisted on follow-up (p = 0.0001). The remaining 10 subjects in whom revascularization failed had no significant changes in SBP (p = 0.73).

CONCLUSIONS

The pilot study suggested that our proposed classification of COICA may be useful as an adjunctive guide to determine the technical feasibility and safety of revascularization for symptomatic COICA using endovascular techniques. Additionally, successful revascularization may lead to a significant decrease in SBP postprocedure. A Phase 2b trial in larger cohorts to assess the efficacy of endovascular revascularization using our COICA classification is warranted.

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Badih Daou, Elias Atallah, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Jeffrey Oliver, Maria Montano, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) has become a valuable tool in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Although failures with PED treatment have been reported, the characteristics and course of these aneurysms remain a topic of uncertainty.

METHODS

Electronic medical records and imaging studies were reviewed for all patients treated with the PED between July 2010 and March 2015 to identify characteristics of patients and aneurysms with residual filling after PED treatment.

RESULTS

Of 316 cases treated at a single institution, 281 patients had a long-term follow-up. A total of 52 (16.4%) aneurysms with residual filling were identified and constituted the study population. The mean patient age in this population was 58.8 years. The mean aneurysm size was 10.1 mm ± 7.15 mm. Twelve aneurysms were fusiform (23%). Of the aneurysms with residual filling, there were 20 carotid ophthalmic (CO) aneurysms (20% of all CO aneurysms treated), 10 other paraclinoid aneurysms (16.4% of all paraclinoid aneurysms), 7 posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms (21.9% of all PCoA aneurysms), 7 cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms (14.9% of all cavernous ICA aneurysms), 4 vertebrobasilar (VB) junction aneurysms (14.8% of all VB junction aneurysms), and 3 middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms (25% of all MCA aneurysms). Eleven patients underwent placement of more than one PED (21.2%), with a mean number of devices of 1.28 per case. Eight of 12 aneurysms were previously treated with a stent (15.4%). Nineteen patients underwent re-treatment (36.5%); the 33 patients who did not undergo re-treatment (63.5%) were monitored by angiography or noninvasive imaging. In multivariate analysis, age older than 65 years (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.33–5.28; p = 0.05), prior stent placement across the target aneurysm (OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.15–7.51; p = 0.02), aneurysm location in the distal anterior circulation (MCA, PCoA, and anterior choroidal artery: OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.19–6.18; p = 0.017), and longer follow-up duration (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09; p < 0.001) were associated with incomplete aneurysm occlusion.

CONCLUSIONS

While the PED can allow for treatment of large, broad-necked aneurysms with high efficacy, treatment failures do occur (16.4%). Aneurysm size, shape, and previous treatment may influence treatment outcome.

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Badih Daou, Elias Atallah, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Jeffrey Oliver, Maria Montano, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) has become a valuable tool in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Although failures with PED treatment have been reported, the characteristics and course of these aneurysms remain a topic of uncertainty.

METHODS

Electronic medical records and imaging studies were reviewed for all patients treated with the PED between July 2010 and March 2015 to identify characteristics of patients and aneurysms with residual filling after PED treatment.

RESULTS

Of 316 cases treated at a single institution, 281 patients had a long-term follow-up. A total of 52 (16.4%) aneurysms with residual filling were identified and constituted the study population. The mean patient age in this population was 58.8 years. The mean aneurysm size was 10.1 mm ± 7.15 mm. Twelve aneurysms were fusiform (23%). Of the aneurysms with residual filling, there were 20 carotid ophthalmic (CO) aneurysms (20% of all CO aneurysms treated), 10 other paraclinoid aneurysms (16.4% of all paraclinoid aneurysms), 7 posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms (21.9% of all PCoA aneurysms), 7 cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms (14.9% of all cavernous ICA aneurysms), 4 vertebrobasilar (VB) junction aneurysms (14.8% of all VB junction aneurysms), and 3 middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms (25% of all MCA aneurysms). Eleven patients underwent placement of more than one PED (21.2%), with a mean number of devices of 1.28 per case. Eight of 12 aneurysms were previously treated with a stent (15.4%). Nineteen patients underwent re-treatment (36.5%); the 33 patients who did not undergo re-treatment (63.5%) were monitored by angiography or noninvasive imaging. In multivariate analysis, age older than 65 years (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.33–5.28; p = 0.05), prior stent placement across the target aneurysm (OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.15–7.51; p = 0.02), aneurysm location in the distal anterior circulation (MCA, PCoA, and anterior choroidal artery: OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.19–6.18; p = 0.017), and longer follow-up duration (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09; p < 0.001) were associated with incomplete aneurysm occlusion.

CONCLUSIONS

While the PED can allow for treatment of large, broad-necked aneurysms with high efficacy, treatment failures do occur (16.4%). Aneurysm size, shape, and previous treatment may influence treatment outcome.

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Elias Atallah, Hassan Saad, Kimon Bekelis, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Jorge Eller, David Stidd, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Thromboembolic complications continue to be encountered with Pipeline embolization devices (PEDs) despite routine clopidogrel/aspirin antiplatelet therapy. This study examined the safety and efficacy of prasugrel in the management of clopidogrel-resistant patients treated for cerebral aneurysms.

METHODS

Four hundred thirty-seven consecutive patients were identified between January 2011 and May 2016. Patients allergic, or having less than 30% platelet inhibition, to a daily 75-mg dose of clopidogrel received 10 mg of prasugrel daily (n = 20) or 90 mg of ticagrelor twice daily (n = 2). The mean (± SD) follow-up duration was 15.8 ± 12.4 months. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score registered before discharge and at each follow-up visit. To control confounding, multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression and propensity score conditioning were used.

RESULTS

Twenty-six (5.9%) of 437 patients presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The mean patient age was 56.3 years, and 62 were women (14.2%). One of the 7 patients lost to follow-up received prasugrel. One patient was allergic to clopidogrel and prasugrel simultaneously. All patients receiving prasugrel or ticagrelor (n = 22) had an mRS score ≤ 2 on their latest follow-up visit (mean score 0.67 ± 1.15). In a multivariate analysis, clopidogrel did not affect the mRS score on last follow-up (p = 0.14). Multivariable logistic regression showed that clopidogrel was not associated with an increased long-term recurrence rate (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.01–2.70, p = 0.21), an increased thromboembolic complication rate (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.12–1.67, p = 0.24), or an increased hemorrhagic event rate (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.91–1.64, p = 0.20). None of the patients receiving prasugrel or ticagrelor died or suffered a long-term recurrence or a hemorrhagic event; only 1 patient suffered from mild aphasia subsequent to a thromboembolic event. Three patients taking clopidogrel died during the study: 2 from acute SAH and 1 from intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Clopidogrel was not associated with an increased mortality rate (OR 2.18, 95% CI 0.11–43.27, p = 0.61). The same associations were present in propensity score–adjusted models.

CONCLUSIONS

In a cohort of patients treated with PEDs, prasugrel (10 mg/day) was a safe alternative to clopidogrel-resistant or clopidogrel-allergic patients, or nonresponders.