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Francesco Prada, Massimiliano Del Bene, Giovanni Mauri, Massimo Lamperti, Davide Vailati, Carla Richetta, Marco Saini, Davide Santuari, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Francesco DiMeco

The relevance of the cerebral venous system is often underestimated during neurosurgical procedures. Damage to this draining system can have catastrophic implications for the patient. Surgical decision-making and planning must consider each component of the venous compartment, from the medullary draining vein to the dural sinuses and extracranial veins. Intraoperative ultrasound (ioUS) permits the real-time study of venous compartments using different modalities, thus allowing complete characterization of their anatomical and functional features. The B-mode (brightness mode) offers a high-resolution anatomical representation of veins and their relationships with lesions. Doppler modalities (color, power, spectral) allow the study of blood flow and identification of vessels to distinguish their functional characteristics. Contrast-enhanced US allows one to perform real-time angiosonography showing both the functional and the anatomical aspects of vessels.

In this technical report, the authors demonstrate the different applications of multimodal ioUS in neurosurgery for identifying the anatomical and functional characteristics of the venous compartment. They discuss the general principles and technical nuances of ioUS and analyze their potential implications for the study of various venous districts during neurosurgical procedures.

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Nam Yoon, Aatman Shah, William T. Couldwell, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Skull base meningiomas are technically challenging tumors to treat because of their deep vascular supply that can preclude early devascularization during resection. Preoperative embolization of these arterial feeders is thought to decrease blood loss and facilitate resection; however, given the complex and varied anatomy of these skull base lesions, preoperative embolization is not without risk. It is essential for both endovascular and skull base neurosurgeons to understand these risks in light of the potential benefits. The authors review the vascular anatomy of skull base meningiomas, indications for preoperative devascularization, endovascular techniques, and published results regarding embolization of these lesions.

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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Kaan Yağmurlu and Robert F. Spetzler

The authors describe the interpeduncular fossa safe entry zone as a route for resection of ventromedial midbrain lesions. To illustrate the utility of this novel safe entry zone, the authors provide clinical data from 2 patients who underwent contralateral orbitozygomatic transinterpeduncular fossa approaches to deep cavernous malformations located medial to the oculomotor nerve (cranial nerve [CN] III). These cases are supplemented by anatomical information from 6 formalin-fixed adult human brainstems and 4 silicone-injected adult human cadaveric heads on which the fiber dissection technique was used.

The interpeduncular fossa may be incised to resect anteriorly located lesions that are medial to the oculomotor nerve and can serve as an alternative to the anterior mesencephalic safe entry zone (i.e., perioculomotor safe entry zone) for resection of ventromedial midbrain lesions. The interpeduncular fossa safe entry zone is best approached using a modified orbitozygomatic craniotomy and uses the space between the mammillary bodies and the top of the basilar artery to gain access to ventromedial lesions located in the ventral mesencephalon and medial to the oculomotor nerve.

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Adeel Ilyas, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Andrew Romeo, Thomas J. Buell, Tony R. Wang, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a significant source of long-term morbidity. Unfortunately, a substantial number of stroke patients either are ineligible or do not significantly benefit from contemporary medical and interventional therapies. To address this void, investigators recently made technological advances to render transcranial MR-guided, high-intensity focused ultrasound (MRg-HIFU) sonolysis a potential therapeutic option for both acute ischemic stroke (AIS)—as an alternative for patients with emergent large-vessel occlusion (ELVO) who are ineligible for endovascular mechanical thrombectomy (EMT) or as salvage therapy for patients in whom EMT fails—and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)—as a neoadjuvant means of clot lysis prior to surgical evacuation. Herein, the authors review the technological principles behind MRg-HIFU sonolysis, its results in in vitro and in vivo stroke models, and its potential clinical applications. As a noninvasive transcranial technique that affords rapid clot lysis, MRg-HIFU thrombolysis may develop into a therapeutic option for patients with AIS or ICH. However, additional studies of transcranial MRg-HIFU are necessary to ascertain the merit of this treatment approach for thrombolysis in both AIS and ICH, as well as its technical limitations and risks.

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Sam Safavi-Abbasi, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Ben Frock, Hai Sun, Kaan Yagmurlu, Felix Moron, Laura A. Snyder, Randy J. Hlubek, Joseph M. Zabramski, Peter Nakaji and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECTIVE

Fusiform cerebral aneurysms represent a small portion of intracranial aneurysms; differ in natural history, anatomy, and pathology; and can be difficult to treat compared with saccular aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to examine the techniques of treatment of ruptured and unruptured fusiform intracranial aneurysms and patient outcomes.

METHODS

In 45 patients with fusiform aneurysms, the authors retrospectively reviewed the presentation, location, and shape of the aneurysm; the microsurgical technique; the outcome at discharge and last follow-up; and the change in the aneurysm at last angiographic follow-up.

RESULTS

Overall, 48 fusiform aneurysms were treated in 45 patients (18 male, 27 female) with a mean age of 49 years (median 51 years; range 6 months–76 years). Twelve patients (27%) had ruptured aneurysms and 33 (73%) had unruptured aneurysms. The mean aneurysm size was 8.9 mm (range 6–28 mm). The aneurysms were treated by clip reconstruction (n = 22 [46%]), clip-wrapping (n = 18 [38%]), and vascular bypass (n = 8 [17%]). The mean (SD) hospital stay was 19.0 ± 7.4 days for the 12 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and 7.0 ± 5.6 days for the 33 patients with unruptured aneurysms. The mean follow-up was 38.7 ± 29.5 months (median 36 months; range 6–96 months). The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score for the 12 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage was 3.9; for the 33 patients with unruptured aneurysms, it was 4.8. No rehemorrhages occurred during follow-up. The overall annual risk of recurrence was 2% and that of rehemorrhage was 0%.

CONCLUSIONS

Fusiform and dolichoectatic aneurysms involving the entire vessel wall must be investigated individually. Although some of these aneurysms may be amenable to primary clipping and clip reconstruction, these complex lesions often require alternative microsurgical and endovascular treatment. These techniques can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates and with low rates of early rebleeding and recurrence.

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Kaan Yagmurlu, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Mark C. Preul and Robert F. Spetzler

The authors describe a safe entry zone, the superior fovea triangle, on the floor of the fourth ventricle for resection of deep dorsal pontine lesions at the level of the facial colliculus. Clinical data from a patient undergoing a suboccipital telovelar transsuperior fovea triangle approach to a deep pontine cavernous malformation were reviewed and supplemented with 6 formalin-fixed adult human brainstem and 2 silicone-injected adult human cadaveric heads using the fiber dissection technique to illustrate the utility of this novel safe entry zone. The superior fovea has a triangular shape that is an important landmark for the motor nucleus of the trigeminal, abducens, and facial nerves. The inferior half of the superior fovea triangle may be incised to remove deep dorsal pontine lesions through the floor of the fourth ventricle. The superior fovea triangle may be used as a safe entry zone for dorsally located lesions at the level of the facial colliculus.

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Kaan Yagmurlu, Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Evgenii Belykh, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Peter Nakaji, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Robert F. Spetzler and Mark C. Preul

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this investigation was to modify the mini-pterional and mini-orbitozygomatic (mini-OZ) approaches in order to reduce the amount of tissue traumatization caused and to compare the use of the 2 approaches in the removal of circle of Willis aneurysms based on the authors' clinical experience and quantitative analysis.

METHODS

Three formalin-fixed adult cadaveric heads injected with colored silicone were examined. Surgical freedom and angle of attack of the mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches were measured at 9 anatomical points, and the measurements were compared. The authors also retrospectively reviewed the cases of 396 patients with ruptured and unruptured single aneurysms in the circle of Willis treated by microsurgical techniques at their institution between January 2006 and November 2014.

RESULTS

A significant difference in surgical freedom was found in favor of the mini-pterional approach for access to the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcations, the most distal point of the ipsilateral posterior cerebral artery (PCA), and the basilar artery (BA) tip. No statistically significant differences were found between the mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches for access to the posterior clinoid process, the most distal point of the superior cerebellar artery (SCA), the anterior communicating artery (ACoA), the contralateral ICA bifurcation, and the most distal point of the contralateral MCA. A trend toward increasing surgical freedom was found for the mini-OZ approach to the ACoA and the contralateral ICA bifurcation. The lengths exposed through the mini-OZ approach were longer than those exposed by the mini-pterional approach for the ipsilateral PCA segment (11.5 ± 1.9 mm) between the BA and the most distal point of the P2 segment of the PCA, for the ipsilateral SCA (10.5 ± 1.1 mm) between the BA and the most distal point of the SCA, and for the contralateral anterior cerebral artery (ACA) (21 ± 6.1 mm) between the ICA bifurcation and the most distal point of the A2 segment of the ACA. The exposed length of the contralateral MCA (24.2 ± 8.6 mm) between the contralateral ICA bifurcation and the most distal point of the MCA segment was longer through the mini-pterional approach. The vertical angle of attack (anteroposterior direction) was significantly greater with the mini-pterional approach than with the mini-OZ approach, except in the ACoA and contralateral ICA bifurcation. The horizontal angle of attack (mediolateral direction) was similar with both approaches, except in the ACoA, contralateral ICA bifurcation, and contralateral MCA bifurcation, where the angle was significantly increased in the mini-OZ approach.

CONCLUSIONS

The mini-pterional and mini-OZ approaches, as currently performed in select patients, provide less tissue traumatization (i.e., less temporal muscle manipulation, less brain parenchyma retraction) from the skin to the aneurysm than standard approaches. Anatomical quantitative analysis showed that the mini-OZ approach provides better exposure to the contralateral side for controlling the contralateral parent arteries and multiple aneurysms. The mini-pterional approach has greater surgical freedom (maneuverability) for ipsilateral circle of Willis aneurysms.

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Al-Wala Awad, Karam Moon, Nam Yoon, Marcus D. Mazur, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Philipp Taussky, Cameron G. McDougall, Felipe C. Albuquerque and Min S. Park

OBJECTIVE

Flow diversion has proven to be an efficacious means of treating cerebral aneurysms that are refractory to other therapeutic means. Patients with tandem aneurysms treated with flow diversion have been included in larger, previously reported series; however, there are no dedicated reports on using this technique during a single session to treat this unique subset of patients. Therefore, the authors analyzed the outcomes of patients who had undergone single-session flow diversion for the treatment of tandem aneurysms.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of flow diversion with the Pipeline embolization device (PED) for the treatment of tandem aneurysms in a single session at 2 participating medical centers: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona. Patient demographic data, aneurysm characteristics, treatment strategy and results, complications, and follow-up data were collected from the medical record and analyzed.

RESULTS

Between January 2011 and December 2015, 17 patients (12 female, 5 male) with a total of 38 aneurysms (mean size 4.7 ± 2.7 mm, mean ± SD) were treated. Sixteen patients had aneurysms in the anterior circulation, and 1 patient had tandem aneurysms in the posterior circulation. Twelve patients underwent only placement of a PED, whereas 5 underwent adjunctive coil embolization of at least 1 aneurysm. One PED was used in each of 9 patients, and 2 PEDs were required in each of 8 patients. There were 2 intraprocedural complications; however, in both instances, the patients were asymptomatic at the last follow-up. The follow-up imaging studies were available for 15 patients at a mean of 7 months after treatment (216 days, range 0–540 days). The mean initial Raymond score after treatment was 2.7 ± 0.7, and the mean final score was 1.3 ± 0.7.

CONCLUSIONS

In this series, the use of flow diversion for the treatment of tandem cerebral aneurysms had an acceptable safety profile, indicating that it should be considered as an effective therapy for this complicated subset of patients. Further prospective studies must be performed before more definitive conclusions can be made.

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Craig Kilburg, Philipp Taussky, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

The use of flow-diverting stents for intracranial aneurysms has become more prevalent, and flow diverters are now routinely used beyond their initial scope of approval at the proximal internal carotid artery. Although flow diversion for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms is becoming more commonplace, there have been no reports of its use to treat flow-related cerebral aneurysms associated with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The authors report the cases of 2 patients whose AVM-associated aneurysms were managed with flow diversion. A 40-year-old woman presented with a history of headaches that led to the identification of an unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade V, right parietooccipital AVM associated with 3 aneurysms of the ipsilateral internal carotid artery. Initial attempts at balloon-assisted coil embolization of the aneurysms were unsuccessful. The patient underwent placement of a flow-diverting stent across the diseased vessel; a 6-month follow-up angiogram demonstrated complete occlusion of the aneurysms. In the second case, a 57-year-old man presented with new-onset seizures, and an unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade V, right frontal AVM associated with an irregular, wide-necked anterior communicating artery aneurysm was identified. The patient underwent placement of a flow-diverting stent, and complete occlusion of the aneurysm was observed on a 7-month follow-up angiogram. These 2 cases illustrate the potential for use of flow diversion as a treatment strategy for feeding artery aneurysms associated with AVMs. Because of the need for dual antiplatelet medications after flow diversion in this patient population, however, this strategy should be used judiciously.

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L. Ian Taylor, James C. Dickerson, Robert J. Dambrino, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Philipp Taussky, Chad W. Washington and Min S. Park

OBJECTIVE

Although the use of dual antiplatelet therapy with flow diversion is recommended and commonplace, the testing of platelet inhibition is more controversial.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the medical literature to establish and describe the physiology of platelet adhesion, the pharmacology of antiplatelet medications, and the mechanisms of the available platelet function tests. Additionally, they present a review of the pertinent neurointerventional and interventional cardiology literature.

RESULTS

Competing reports in the neurointerventional literature argue for and against the use of routine platelet function testing, with adjustments to the dosage or medications based on the results. The interventional cardiology literature has also wrestled with this dilemma after percutaneous coronary interventions, with conflicting reports of the benefits of platelet function testing.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite its prevalence, the benefits of platelet function testing prior to flow diversion are unproven. This practice will likely remain controversial until the level of evidence improves through more rigorous testing and reporting.