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Kavelin Rumalla, Visish M. Srinivasan, Monica Gaddis, Peter Kan, Michael T. Lawton, and Jan-Karl Burkhardt

OBJECTIVE

Extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery remains an important treatment option for patients with moyamoya disease (MMD), intracranial arteriosclerotic disease (ICAD) with symptomatic stenosis despite the best medical management, and complex aneurysms. The therapeutic benefit of cerebral bypass surgery depends on optimal patient selection and the minimization of periprocedural complications. The nationwide burden of readmissions and associated complications following EC-IC bypass surgery has not been previously described. Therefore, the authors sought to analyze a nationwide database to describe the national rates, causes, risk factors, complications, and morbidity associated with readmission following EC-IC bypass surgery for MMD, ICAD, and aneurysms.

METHODS

The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) was queried for the years 2010–2014 to identify patients who had undergone EC-IC bypass for MMD, medically failed symptomatic ICAD, or unruptured aneurysms. Predictor variables included demographics, preexisting comorbidities, indication for surgery, and hospital bypass case volume. A high-volume center (HVC) was defined as one that performed 10 or more cases/year. Outcome variables included perioperative stroke, discharge disposition, length of stay, total hospital costs, and readmission (30 days, 90 days). Multivariable analysis was used to identify predictors of readmission and to study the effect of treatment at HVCs on quality outcomes.

RESULTS

In total, 2500 patients with a mean age of 41 years were treated with EC-IC bypass surgery for MMD (63.1%), ICAD (24.5%), or unruptured aneurysms (12.4%). The 30- and 90-day readmission rates were 7.5% and 14.0%, respectively. Causes of readmission included new stroke (2.5%), wound complications (2.5%), graft failure (1.5%), and other infection (1.3%). In the multivariable analysis, risk factors for readmission included Medicaid/self-pay (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.4, vs private insurance), comorbidity score (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, per additional comorbidity), and treatment at a non-HVC (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Treatment at an HVC (17% of patients) was associated with significantly lower rates of nonroutine discharge dispositions (13.4% vs 26.7%, p = 0.004), ischemic stroke within 90 days (0.8% vs 2.9%, p = 0.03), 30-day readmission (3.9% vs 8.2%, p = 0.03), and 90-day readmission (8.6% vs 15.2%, p = 0.01). These findings were confirmed in a multivariable analysis. The authors estimate that centralization to HVCs may result in 333 fewer nonroutine discharges (50% reduction), 12,000 fewer hospital days (44% reduction), 165 fewer readmissions (43%), and a cost savings of $15.3 million (11% reduction).

CONCLUSIONS

Readmission rates for patients after EC-IC bypass are comparable with those after other common cranial procedures and are primarily driven by preexisting comorbidities, socioeconomic status, and treatment at low-volume centers. Periprocedural complications, including stroke, graft failure, and wound complications, occurred at the expected rates, consistent with those in prior clinical series. The centralization of care may significantly reduce perioperative complications, readmissions, and hospital resource utilization.

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Kavelin Rumalla, Visish M. Srinivasan, Monica Gaddis, Peter Kan, Michael T. Lawton, and Jan-Karl Burkhardt

OBJECTIVE

Extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery remains an important treatment option for patients with moyamoya disease (MMD), intracranial arteriosclerotic disease (ICAD) with symptomatic stenosis despite the best medical management, and complex aneurysms. The therapeutic benefit of cerebral bypass surgery depends on optimal patient selection and the minimization of periprocedural complications. The nationwide burden of readmissions and associated complications following EC-IC bypass surgery has not been previously described. Therefore, the authors sought to analyze a nationwide database to describe the national rates, causes, risk factors, complications, and morbidity associated with readmission following EC-IC bypass surgery for MMD, ICAD, and aneurysms.

METHODS

The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) was queried for the years 2010–2014 to identify patients who had undergone EC-IC bypass for MMD, medically failed symptomatic ICAD, or unruptured aneurysms. Predictor variables included demographics, preexisting comorbidities, indication for surgery, and hospital bypass case volume. A high-volume center (HVC) was defined as one that performed 10 or more cases/year. Outcome variables included perioperative stroke, discharge disposition, length of stay, total hospital costs, and readmission (30 days, 90 days). Multivariable analysis was used to identify predictors of readmission and to study the effect of treatment at HVCs on quality outcomes.

RESULTS

In total, 2500 patients with a mean age of 41 years were treated with EC-IC bypass surgery for MMD (63.1%), ICAD (24.5%), or unruptured aneurysms (12.4%). The 30- and 90-day readmission rates were 7.5% and 14.0%, respectively. Causes of readmission included new stroke (2.5%), wound complications (2.5%), graft failure (1.5%), and other infection (1.3%). In the multivariable analysis, risk factors for readmission included Medicaid/self-pay (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.4, vs private insurance), comorbidity score (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, per additional comorbidity), and treatment at a non-HVC (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Treatment at an HVC (17% of patients) was associated with significantly lower rates of nonroutine discharge dispositions (13.4% vs 26.7%, p = 0.004), ischemic stroke within 90 days (0.8% vs 2.9%, p = 0.03), 30-day readmission (3.9% vs 8.2%, p = 0.03), and 90-day readmission (8.6% vs 15.2%, p = 0.01). These findings were confirmed in a multivariable analysis. The authors estimate that centralization to HVCs may result in 333 fewer nonroutine discharges (50% reduction), 12,000 fewer hospital days (44% reduction), 165 fewer readmissions (43%), and a cost savings of $15.3 million (11% reduction).

CONCLUSIONS

Readmission rates for patients after EC-IC bypass are comparable with those after other common cranial procedures and are primarily driven by preexisting comorbidities, socioeconomic status, and treatment at low-volume centers. Periprocedural complications, including stroke, graft failure, and wound complications, occurred at the expected rates, consistent with those in prior clinical series. The centralization of care may significantly reduce perioperative complications, readmissions, and hospital resource utilization.

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Ethan A. Winkler, Joshua S. Catapano, Robert F. Spetzler, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Studies of resection of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in the elderly population are scarce. This study examined factors influencing patient selection and surgical outcome among elderly patients.

METHODS

Patients 65 years of age and older who underwent resection of an unruptured or ruptured brain AVM treated by two surgeons at two centers were identified. Patient demographic characteristics, AVM characteristics, clinical presentation, and outcomes measured using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) were analyzed. For subgroup analyses, patients were dichotomized into two age groups (group 1, 65–69 years old; group 2, ≥ 70 years old).

RESULTS

Overall, 112 patients were included in this study (group 1, n = 61; group 2, n = 51). Most of the patients presented with hemorrhage (71%), a small nidus (< 3 cm, 79%), and a low Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade (grade I or II, 63%) and were favorable surgical candidates according to the supplemented SM grade (supplemented SM grade < 7, 79%). A smaller AVM nidus was statistically significantly more likely to be present in patients with infratentorial AVMs (p = 0.006) and with a compact AVM nidus structure (p = 0.02). A larger AVM nidus was more likely to be treated with preoperative embolization (p < 0.001). Overall outcome was favorable (mRS scores 0–3) in 71% of the patients and was statistically independent from age group or AVM grading. Patients with ruptured AVMs at presentation had significantly better preoperative mRS scores (p < 0.001) and more favorable mRS scores at the last follow-up (p = 0.04) than patients with unruptured AVMs.

CONCLUSIONS

Outcomes were favorable after AVM resection in both groups of patients. Elderly patients with brain AVMs treated microsurgically were notable for small nidus size, AVM rupture, and low SM grades. Microsurgical resection is an important treatment modality for elderly patients with AVMs, and supplemented SM grading is a useful tool for the selection of patients who are most likely to achieve good neurological outcomes after resection.

Free access

Ethan A. Winkler, Alex Lu, Ramin A. Morshed, John K. Yue, W. Caleb Rutledge, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Arati B. Patel, Simon G. Ammanuel, Steve Braunstein, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) consist of dysplastic blood vessels with direct arteriovenous shunts that can hemorrhage spontaneously. In children, a higher lifetime hemorrhage risk must be balanced with treatment-related morbidity. The authors describe a collaborative, multimodal strategy resulting in effective and safe treatment of pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database was performed in children with treated and nontreated pediatric AVMs at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1998 to 2017. Inclusion criteria were age ≤ 18 years at time of diagnosis and an AVM confirmed by a catheter angiogram.

RESULTS

The authors evaluated 189 pediatric patients with AVMs over the study period, including 119 ruptured (63%) and 70 unruptured (37%) AVMs. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.6 ± 4.3 years. With respect to Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, there were 38 (20.1%) grade I, 40 (21.2%) grade II, 62 (32.8%) grade III, 40 (21.2%) grade IV, and 9 (4.8%) grade V lesions. Six patients were managed conservatively, and 183 patients underwent treatment, including 120 resections, 82 stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and 37 endovascular embolizations. Forty-four of 49 (89.8%) high-grade AVMs (SM grade IV or V) were treated. Multiple treatment modalities were used in 29.5% of low-grade and 27.3% of high-grade AVMs. Complete angiographic obliteration was obtained in 73.4% of low-grade lesions (SM grade I–III) and in 45.2% of high-grade lesions. A periprocedural stroke occurred in a single patient (0.5%), and there was 1 treatment-related death. The mean clinical follow-up for the cohort was 4.1 ± 4.6 years, and 96.6% and 84.3% of patients neurologically improved or remained unchanged in the ruptured and unruptured AVM groups following treatment, respectively. There were 16 bleeding events following initiation of AVM treatment (annual rate: 0.02 events per person-year).

CONCLUSIONS

Coordinated multidisciplinary evaluation and individualized planning can result in safe and effective treatment of children with AVMs. In particular, it is possible to treat the majority of high-grade AVMs with an acceptable safety profile. Judicious use of multimodality therapy should be limited to appropriately selected patients after thorough team-based discussions to avoid additive morbidity. Future multicenter studies are required to better design predictive models to aid with patient selection for multimodal pediatric care, especially with high-grade AVMs.

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Sudhakar Vadivelu, Pablo Harker, and Mario Zuccarello

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Thomas K. Mattingly and Stephen P. Lownie

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Michelle H. Chua, Ethan A. Winkler, W. Caleb Rutledge, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

During the microsurgical clipping of known aneurysms, angiographically occult (AO) aneurysms are sometimes found and treated simultaneously to prevent their growth and protect the patient from future rupture or reoperation. The authors analyzed the incidence, treatment, and outcomes associated with AO aneurysms to determine whether limited surgical exploration around the known aneurysm was safe and justified given the known limitations of diagnostic angiography.

METHODS

An AO aneurysm was defined as a saccular aneurysm detected using the operative microscope during dissection of a known aneurysm, and not detected on preoperative catheter angiography. A prospective database was retrospectively reviewed to identify patients with AO aneurysms treated microsurgically over a 20-year period.

RESULTS

One hundred fifteen AO aneurysms (4.0%) were identified during 2867 distinct craniotomies for aneurysm clipping. The most common locations for AO aneurysms were the middle cerebral artery (60 aneurysms, 54.1%) and the anterior cerebral artery (20 aneurysms, 18.0%). Fifty-six AO aneurysms (50.5%) were located on the same artery as the known saccular aneurysm. Most AO aneurysms (95.5%) were clipped and there was no attributed morbidity. The most common causes of failed angiographic detection were superimposition of a large aneurysm (type 1, 30.6%), a small aneurysm (type 2, 18.9%), or an adjacent normal artery (type 3, 36.9%). Multivariate analysis identified multiple known aneurysms (odds ratio [OR] 3.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.16–5.49, p < 0.0001) and young age (OR 0.981, 95% CI 0.965–0.997, p = 0.0226) as independent predictors of AO aneurysms.

CONCLUSIONS

Meticulous inspection of common aneurysm sites within the surgical field will identify AO aneurysms during microsurgical dissection of another known aneurysm. Simultaneous identification and treatment of these additional undiagnosed aneurysms can spare patients later rupture or reoperation, particularly in those with multiple known aneurysms and a history of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Limited microsurgical exploration around a known aneurysm can be performed safely without additional morbidity.

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R. Michael Scott and Edward R. Smith

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Gyang Markus Bot, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Nalin Gupta, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization is indicated in the management of moyamoya disease (MMD), with options that include direct and indirect techniques. Indirect bypass is popular in young children because the diminutive caliber of donors and recipients makes direct bypass difficult. The authors reviewed a series of patients treated with direct superficial temporal artery (STA)–to–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass in combination with encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) in children 3 years or younger to demonstrate feasibility and safety.

METHODS

A retrospective review of all surgeries for MMD over a 19-year period identified 11 procedures in 6 patients. Surgical results, angiographic outcomes, and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS

Patients had a mean age of 22.4 months. The symptomatic hemisphere was revascularized first, and the contralateral hemisphere was revascularized on average 2.8 months later in 5 patients. All direct bypasses were patent postoperatively and remained patent at late follow-up (mean 4.1 years), with both STA and MCA diameters increasing significantly (n = 5, p < 0.03). At last follow-up (mean follow-up duration, 5.0 years), favorable outcomes (modified Rankin Scale scores 0–2) were observed in 5 of the 6 patients (83%), with 1 dependent patient remaining unchanged postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

Direct STA-MCA bypass in combination with EMS for MMD is feasible and safe in patients 3 years or younger, based on favorable clinical and radiological outcomes in this patient cohort. Direct bypass should be considered when immediate revascularization is needed, without the biological delay associated with indirect bypass.

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Seungwon Yoon, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Large cohort analysis concerning intracerebral bypass patency in patients with long-term follow-up (FU) results is rarely reported in the literature. The authors analyzed the long-term patency of extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) and intracranial-to-intracranial (IC-IC) bypass procedures.

METHODS

All intracranial bypass procedures performed between 1997 and 2017 by a single surgeon were screened. Patients with postoperative imaging (CT angiography, MR angiography, or catheter angiography) were included and grouped into immediate (< 7 days), short-term (7 days–1 year), and long-term (> 1 year) FU groups. Data on patient demographics, bypass type, interposition graft type, bypass indication, and radiological patency were collected and analyzed with univariate and multivariate (adjusted multiple regression) models.

RESULTS

In total, 430 consecutive bypass procedures were performed during the study period (FU time [mean ± SD] 0.9 ± 2.2 years, range 0–17 years). Twelve cases were occluded at FU imaging, resulting in an overall cumulative patency rate of 97%. All bypass occlusions occurred within a week of revascularization. All patients in the short-term FU group (n = 76, mean FU time 0.3 ± 0.3 years) and long-term FU group (n = 89, mean FU time 4.1 ± 3.5 years) had patent bypasses at last FU. Patients who presented with aneurysms had a lower rate of patency than those with moyamoya disease or chronic vessel occlusion (p = 0.029). Low-flow bypasses had a significantly higher patency rate than high-flow bypasses (p = 0.033). In addition, bypasses with one anastomosis site compared to two anastomosis sites showed a significantly higher bypass patency (p = 0.005). No differences were seen in the patency rate among different grafts, single versus bilateral, or between EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall bypass patency of 97% indicates a high likelihood of success with microsurgical revascularization. Surgical indication (ischemia), low-flow bypass, and number of anastomosis (one site) were associated with higher patency rates. EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses have comparable patency rates, supporting the use of intracranial reconstructive techniques. Bypasses that remain patent 1 week postoperatively and have the opportunity to mature have a high likelihood of remaining patent in the long term. In experienced hands, cerebral revascularization is a durable treatment option with high patency rates.