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Kenneth C. Liu, Robert M. Starke, Christopher R. Durst, Tony R. Wang, Dale Ding, R. Webster Crowley and Steven A. Newman

OBJECTIVE

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) may cause blindness due to elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Venous sinus stenosis has been identified in select patients, leading to stenting as a potential treatment, but its effects on global ICP have not been completely defined. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the effects of venous sinus stenting on ICP in a small group of patients with IIH.

METHODS

Ten patients for whom medical therapy had failed were prospectively followed. Ophthalmological examinations were assessed, and patients with venous sinus stenosis on MR angiography proceeded to catheter angiography, venography with assessment of pressure gradient, and ICP monitoring. Patients with elevated ICP measurements and an elevated pressure gradient across the stenosis were treated with stent placement.

RESULTS

All patients had elevated venous pressure (mean 39.5 ± 14.9 mm Hg), an elevated gradient across the venous sinus stenosis (30.0 ± 13.2 mm Hg), and elevated ICP (42.2 ± 15.9 mm Hg). Following stent placement, all patients had resolution of the stenosis and gradient (1 ± 1 mm Hg). The ICP values showed an immediate decrease (to a mean of 17.0 ± 8.3 mm Hg), and further decreased overnight (to a mean of 8 ± 4.2 mm Hg). All patients had subjective and objective improvement, and all but one improved during follow-up (median 23.4 months; range 15.7–31.6 months). Two patients developed stent-adjacent stenosis; retreatment abolished the stenosis and gradient in both cases. Patients presenting with papilledema had resolution on follow-up funduscopic imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) and improvement on visual field testing. Patients presenting with optic atrophy had optic nerve thinning on follow-up OCT, but improved visual fields.

CONCLUSIONS

For selected patients with IIH and venous sinus stenosis with an elevated pressure gradient and elevated ICP, venous sinus stenting results in resolution of the venous pressure gradient, reduction in ICP, and functional, neurological, and ophthalmological improvement. As patients are at risk for stent-adjacent stenosis, further follow-up is necessary to determine long-term outcomes and gain an understanding of venous sinus stenosis as a primary or secondary pathological process behind elevated ICP.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Gabriella Paisan, Hideyuki Kano, Paul P. Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is complete nidus obliteration, thereby eliminating the risk of future hemorrhage. This outcome can be observed within the first 18 months, although documentation of AVM obliteration can extend to as much as 5 years after SRS is performed. A shorter time to obliteration may impact the frequency and effect of post-SRS complications and latency hemorrhage. The authors' goal in the present study was to determine predictors of early obliteration (18 months or less) following SRS for cerebral AVM.

METHODS

Eight centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) obtained institutional review board approval to supply de-identified patient data. From a cohort of 2231 patients, a total of 1398 patients had confirmed AVM obliteration. Patients were sorted into early responders (198 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration at or prior to 18 months after SRS, and late responders (1200 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration more than 18 months after SRS. The median clinical follow-up time was 63.7 months (range 7–324.7 months).

RESULTS

Outcome parameters including latency interval hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcome were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Radiologically demonstrated radiation-induced changes were noted more often in the late responder group (376 patients [31.3%] vs 39 patients [19.7%] for early responders, p = 0.005). Multivariate independent predictors of early obliteration included a margin dose > 24 Gy (p = 0.031), prior surgery (p = 0.002), no prior radiotherapy (p = 0.025), smaller AVM nidus (p = 0.002), deep venous drainage (p = 0.039), and nidus location (p < 0.0001). Basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobe nidus locations favored early obliteration (p = 0.009). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS) score was significantly different between the 2 responder groups (p = 0.039). The VRAS score was also shown to be predictive of early obliteration on univariate analysis (p = 0.009). For early obliteration, such prognostic ability was not shown for other SRS- and AVM-related grading systems.

CONCLUSIONS

Early obliteration (≤ 18 months post-SRS) was more common in patients whose AVMs were smaller, located in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, or cerebellum, had deep venous drainage, and had received a margin dose > 24 Gy.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, Paul Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent the majority of infratentorial AVMs and frequently have a hemorrhagic presentation. In this multicenter study, the authors review outcomes of cerebellar AVMs after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

Eight medical centers contributed data from 162 patients with cerebellar AVMs managed with SRS. Of these patients, 65% presented with hemorrhage. The median maximal nidus diameter was 2 cm. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent radiation-induced complications (RICs). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically, with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 7–325 months).

RESULTS

The overall actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 38.3%, 74.2%, 81.4%, and 86.1%, respectively, after single-session SRS. Obliteration and a favorable outcome were more likely to be achieved in patients treated with a margin dose greater than 18 Gy (p < 0.001 for both), demonstrating significantly better rates (83.3% and 79%, respectively). The rate of latency preobliteration hemorrhage was 0.85%/year. Symptomatic post-SRS RICs developed in 4.5% of patients (n = 7). Predictors of a favorable outcome were a smaller nidus (p = 0.0001), no pre-SRS embolization (p = 0.003), no prior hemorrhage (p = 0.0001), a higher margin dose (p = 0.0001), and a higher maximal dose (p = 0.009). The Spetzler-Martin grade was not found to be predictive of outcome. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) and the Radiosurgery-Based AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) were predictive of a favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS results in successful obliteration and a favorable outcome in the majority of patients with cerebellar AVMs. Most patients will require a nidus dose of higher than 18 Gy to achieve these goals. Radiosurgical and not microsurgical scales were predictive of clinical outcome after SRS.

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Robert M. Starke, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Nicholas J. Erickson and Jonathan H. Sherman

OBJECTIVE

Cystic lesions of the pineal gland are most often uncomplicated benign lesions with typical MRI characteristics. The authors aimed to study pineal lesion characteristics on MRI to better distinguish benign pineal cysts from other pineal region malignancies as well as to determine which characteristics were predictive of the latter malignancies. They also aimed to study risk factors predictive of hydrocephalus or malignancy in patients harboring these lesions.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively compiled database documenting the outcomes of patients with suspected pineal cysts on MRI who had presented in the period from 1998 to 2004. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics were assessed in a univariate logistic regression analysis to predict the following dependent variables: development of hydrocephalus, biopsy-confirmed malignancy, and intervention. Possible inherent patient and lesion characteristics included age, sex, T1 and T2 MRI signal pattern, contrast enhancement pattern, presence of cyst, presence of blood, complexity of lesion, presence of calcification, and duration of follow-up. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics that were predictive in the univariate analysis (p < 0.15) were included in the multivariable logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 79 patients with benign-appearing pineal cysts, 26 (33%) were male and 53 (67%) were female, with a median age of 38 years (range 9–86 years). The median cyst radius was 5 mm (range 1–20 mm). Two patients (2.5%) had evidence of calcifications, 7 (9%) had multicystic lesions, and 25 (32%) had some evidence of contrast enhancement.

The median follow-up interval was 3 years (range 0.5–13 years). Seven patients (9%) had an increase in the size of their lesion over time. Eight patients (10%) had a hemorrhage, and 11 patients (14%) developed hydrocephalus. Nine (11%) received ventriculoperitoneal shunts for the development of hydrocephalus, and 12 patients (16%) were found to have malignancies following biopsy or resection. In the multivariate analysis, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 1.6, 95% CI 2.86–74.74, p = 0.013) and hemorrhage (OR 26.9, 95% CI 3.4–212.7, p = 0.022) were predictive of hydrocephalus. Increasing lesion size and hydrocephalus were near perfect predictors of malignancy and thus were removed from multivariate analysis. In addition, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 8.8, 95% CI 2.0–38.6, p = 0.004) and hemorrhage (OR 6.8, 95% CI 1.1–40.5, p = 0.036) were predictive of malignancy.

CONCLUSIONS

Although cystic abnormalities of the pineal gland are often benign lesions, they are frequently monitored over time, as other pineal region pathologies may appear similarly on MRI. Patients with growing lesions, contrast enhancement, and hemorrhage on MRI are more likely to develop hydrocephalus and have malignant pathology on histological examination and should therefore be followed up with serial MRI with a lower threshold for neurosurgical intervention.

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Robert M. Starke, Felipe C. Albuquerque and Michael T. Lawton

It is with great pleasure that we present this Neurosurgical Focus video supplement on supratentorial cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We were privileged to view a remarkable number of outstanding videos demonstrating current state-of-the-art management of brain AVMs using endovascular and microsurgical modalities. Careful and critical review was required to narrow down the submitted videos to a workable volume for this supplement, which reflects the excellent work being done at multiple centers with these lesions.

This issue consists of videos that represent modern microsurgical and neuroendovascular techniques for the treatment of supratentorial cerebral AVMs. The videos demonstrate cutting-edge therapies as well as standard ones, which will be valuable to both novice and expert neurointerventionists and neurosurgeons. We are honored to be involved with this project and proud of its content and expert authors. We believe you will enjoy the video content of this supplement and hope that it will raise the collective expertise of our community of AVM surgeons.

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Kate A. Hentschel, Badih Daou, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Shannon Clark, Ashish Gandhe, Pascal Jabbour, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

Mechanical thrombectomy is standard of care for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. However, limited data are available from assessment of outcomes of FDA-approved devices. The objective of this study is to compare clinical outcomes, efficacy, and safety of non–stent retriever and stent retriever thrombectomy devices.

METHODS

Between January 2008 and June 2014, 166 patients treated at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience for acute ischemic stroke with mechanical thrombectomy using Merci, Penumbra, Solitaire, or Trevo devices were retrospectively reviewed. Primary outcomes included 90-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score, recanalization rate (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction [TICI score]), and incidence of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs). Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression determined predictors of mRS Score 3–6, mortality, and TICI Score 3.

RESULTS

A total of 99 patients were treated with non–stent retriever devices (Merci and Penumbra) and 67 with stent retrievers (Solitaire and Trevo). Stent retrievers yielded lower 90-day NIH Stroke Scale scores and higher rates of 90-day mRS scores ≤ 2 (22.54% [non–stent retriever] vs 61.67% [stent retriever]; p < 0.001), TICI Score 2b–3 recanalization rates (79.80% [non–stent retriever] vs 97.01% [stent retriever]; p < 0.001), percentage of parenchyma salvaged, and discharge rates to home/rehabilitation. The overall incidence of ICH was also significantly lower (40.40% [non–stent retriever] vs 13.43% [stent retriever]; p = 0.002), with a trend toward lower 90-day mortality. Use of non–stent retriever devices was an independent predictor of mRS Scores 3–6 (p = 0.002), while use of stent retrievers was an independent predictor of TICI Score 3 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Stent retriever mechanical thrombectomy devices achieve higher recanalization rates than non–stent retriever devices in acute ischemic stroke with improved clinical and radiographic outcomes and safety.

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Samir Sur, Brian Snelling, Priyank Khandelwal, Justin M. Caplan, Eric C. Peterson, Robert M. Starke and Dileep R. Yavagal

OBJECTIVE

The goals of this study were to describe the authors' recent institutional experience with the transradial approach to anterior circulation large-vessel occlusions (LVOs) in acute ischemic stroke patients and to report its technical feasibility.

METHODS

The authors reviewed their institutional database to identify patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy via a transradial approach over the 2 previous years, encompassing their experience using modern techniques including stent retrievers.

RESULTS

Eleven patients were identified. In 8 (72%) of these patients the right radial artery was chosen as the primary access site. In the remaining patients, transfemoral access was initially attempted. Revascularization (modified Treatment in Cerebral Ischemia [mTICI] score ≥ 2b) was achieved in 10 (91%) of 11 cases. The average time to first pass with the stent retriever was 64 minutes. No access-related complications occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

Transradial access for mechanical thrombectomy in anterior circulation LVOs is safe and feasible. Further comparative studies are needed to determine criteria for selecting the transradial approach in this setting.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, John Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Because of the angioarchitectural diversity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions is incompletely defined. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade III AVMs and to determine the factors predicting these outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed and pooled data from patients with SM Grade III AVMs treated with SRS at 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with these AVMs and a minimum follow-up length of 12 months were included in the study cohort. An optimal outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses.

RESULTS

The SM Grade III AVM cohort comprised 891 patients with a mean age of 34 years at the time of SRS. The mean nidus volume, radiosurgical margin dose, and follow-up length were 4.5 cm3, 20 Gy, and 89 months, respectively. The actuarial obliteration rates at 5 and 10 years were 63% and 78%, respectively. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.2%. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 11% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Optimal outcome was achieved in 56% of the patients and was significantly more frequent in cases of unruptured AVMs (OR 2.3, p < 0.001). The lack of a previous hemorrhage (p = 0.037), absence of previous AVM embolization (p = 0.002), smaller nidus volume (p = 0.014), absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (p = 0.023), and higher margin dose (p < 0.001) were statistically significant independent predictors of optimal outcome in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery provided better outcomes for patients with small, unruptured SM Grade III AVMs than for large or ruptured SM Grade III nidi. A prospective trial or registry that facilitates a comparison of SRS with conservative AVM management might further clarify the authors' observations for these often high-risk AVMs.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are the most common cause of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage in pediatric patients (age < 18 years). Since the cumulative lifetime risk of AVM hemorrhage is considerable in children, an improved understanding of the risk factors influencing hemorrhagic presentation may aid in the management of pediatric AVMs. The aims of this first of a 2-part multicenter, retrospective cohort study are to evaluate the incidence and determine the predictors of hemorrhagic presentation in pediatric AVM patients.

METHODS

The authors analyzed pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 7 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF). Patients younger than 18 years at the time of radiosurgery and who had at least 12 months of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Patient and AVM characteristics were compared between unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVMs.

RESULTS

A total of 357 pediatric patients were eligible for analysis, including 112 patients in the unruptured and 245 patients in the ruptured AVM cohorts (69% incidence of hemorrhagic presentation). The annual hemorrhage rate prior to radiosurgery was 6.3%. Hemorrhagic presentation was significantly more common in deep locations (basal ganglia, thalamus, and brainstem) than in cortical locations (frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes) (76% vs 62%, p = 0.006). Among the factors found to be significantly associated with hemorrhagic presentation in the multivariate logistic regression analysis, deep venous drainage (OR 3.2, p < 0.001) was the strongest independent predictor, followed by female sex (OR 1.7, p = 0.042) and smaller AVM volume (OR 1.1, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVMs have significantly different patient and nidal features. Pediatric AVM patients who possess 1 or more of these high-risk features may be candidates for relatively more aggressive management strategies.