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L. Gerard Toussaint III, Jonathan A. Friedman, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks, David G. Piepgras, Mark A. Pichelmann, Jon I. McIver, Robyn L. McClelland, Douglas A. Nichols, Fredric B. Meyer, and John L. D. Atkinson

Object. Previous studies have indicated an increased incidence of death in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who are currently receiving anticoagulation therapy. The significance of previous aspirin use in patients with SAH is unknown. The authors analyzed the effects of prior aspirin use on clinical course and outcomes following aneurysmal SAH.

Methods. The medical records of 305 patients with angiogram-confirmed aneurysmal SAH who consecutively presented to our institution between 1990 and 1997 within 7 days of ictus were analyzed. Twenty-nine (9.5%) of these patients had a history of regular aspirin use before onset of the SAH. The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) was used to measure patient outcome at the longest available follow up.

Aspirin users were older on average than nonusers (59 years of age compared with 53 years; p = 0.018). The mean admission Hunt and Hess grades of patients with and without aspirin use were similar (2 compared with 2.3; p = 0.51). Two trends, which did not reach statistical significance, were observed. 1) The rebleeding rate in aspirin users was 14.3%, compared with a 4.7% rebleeding rate in nonusers (p = 0.06). 2) Permanent disability from vasospasm was less common among aspirin users (23% compared with 50%; p = 0.069). Outcomes did not differ between aspirin users and nonusers (mean GOS Score 3.83 compared with GOS Score 3.86, respectively; p = 0.82).

Conclusions. Despite trends indicating increased rebleeding rates and a lower incidence of permanent disability due to delayed ischemic neurological deficits, there was no significant effect of previous aspirin use on overall outcome following aneurysmal SAH. Based on these preliminary data, the presence of an intracranial aneurysm is not a strict contraindication to aspirin use.

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Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Mark A. Pichelmann, Jonathan A. Friedman, David G. Piepgras, Douglas A. Nichols, Jon I. McIver, L. Gerard Toussaint III, Robyn L. McClelland, Jimmy R. Fulgham, Fredric B. Meyer, John L. D. Atkinson, and Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

Object. The authors studied patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) to determine whether the incidence of symptomatic vasospasm or overall clinical outcomes differed between patients treated with craniotomy and clip application and those treated by endovascular coil occlusion.

Methods. The authors reviewed 415 consecutive patients with aneurysmal SAH who had been treated with either craniotomy and clip application or endovascular coil occlusion at a single institution between 1990 and 2000. Three hundred thirty-nine patients underwent surgical clip application procedures, whereas 76 patients underwent endovascular coil occlusion.

Symptomatic vasospasm occurred in 39% of patients treated with clip application, 30% of patients treated with endovascular coil occlusion, and 37% of patients overall. Compared with patients treated with clip application, patients treated with endovascular coil occlusion were more likely to suffer acute hydrocephalus (50 compared with 34%, p = 0.008) and were more likely to harbor aneurysms in the posterior circulation (53 compared with 20%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression models controlling for patient age, admission World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade, acute hydrocephalus, aneurysm location, and day of treatment revealed that, among patients with an admission WFNS grade of I to III, endovascular coil occlusion carried a lower risk of symptomatic vasospasm (odds ratio [OR] 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14—0.8) and death or permanent neurological deficit due to vasospasm (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08–1) compared with craniotomy and clip application. Similar models revealed no difference in the likelihood of a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 3 or less at the longest follow-up review (median 6 months) between treatment groups (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.28–1.21).

Conclusions. Patients with better clinical grades (WFNS Grades I–III) at hospital admission were less likely to suffer symptomatic vasospasm when treated by endovascular coil occlusion, compared with craniotomy and clip application. Nevertheless, there was no significant difference in overall outcome at the longest follow-up examination between the two treatment groups.

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Jonathan A. Friedman, Stephan J. Goerss, Fredric B. Meyer, David G. Piepgras, Mark A. Pichelmann, Jon I. McIver, L. Gerard Toussaint III, Robyn L. McClelland, Douglas A. Nichols, John L. D. Atkinson, and Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

Object. Predicting which patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) will develop delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND) due to vasospasm remains subjective and unreliable. The authors analyzed the utility of a novel software-based technique to quantify hemorrhage volume in patients with Fisher Grade 3 aneurysmal SAH.

Methods. Patients with aneurysmal SAH in whom a computerized tomography (CT) scan was performed within 72 hours of ictus and demonstrated Fisher Grade 3 SAH were analyzed. Severe DIND was defined as new onset complete focal deficit or coma. Moderate DIND was defined as new onset partial focal deficit or impaired consciousness without coma. Fifteen consecutive patients with severe DIND, 13 consecutive patients with moderate DIND, and 12 consecutive patients without DIND were analyzed. Software-based volumetric quantification was performed on digitized admission CT scans by a single examiner blinded to clinical information.

There was no significant difference in age, sex, admission Hunt and Hess grade, or time to admission CT scan among the three groups (none, moderate, or severe DIND). Patients with severe DIND had a significantly higher cisternal volume of hemorrhage (median 30.5 cm3) than patients with moderate DIND (median 12.4 cm3) and patients without DIND (median 10.3 cm3; p < 0.001). Intraparenchymal hemorrhage and intraventricular hemorrhage were not associated with DIND. All 13 patients with cisternal volumes greater than 20 cm3 developed DIND, compared with 15 of 27 patients with volumes less than 20 cm3 (p = 0.004).

Conclusions. The authors developed a simple and potentially widely applicable method to quantify SAH on CT scans. A greater volume of cisternal hemorrhage on an admission CT scan in patients with Fisher Grade 3 aneurysmal SAH is highly associated with DIND. A threshold of cisternal hemorrhage volume (> 20 cm3) may exist above which patients are very likely to develop DIND. Prospective application of software-based volumetric quantification of cisternal SAH may predict which patients will develop DIND.

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Jonathan A. Friedman, Fredric B. Meyer, Nicholas M. Wetjen, and Douglas A. Nichols

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Jonathan A. Friedman, Fredric B. Meyer, Douglas A. Nichols, Robert J. Coffey, L. Nelson Hopkins, Cormac O. Maher, Irene D. Meissner, and Bruce E. Pollock

✓ The authors report the case of a man who suffered from progressive, disseminated posttraumatic dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) resulting in death, despite aggressive endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical treatment.

This 31-year-old man was struck on the head while playing basketball. Two weeks later a soft, pulsatile mass developed at his vertex, and the man began to experience pulsatile tinnitus and progressive headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging and subsequent angiography revealed multiple AVFs in the scalp, calvaria, and dura, with drainage into the superior sagittal sinus. The patient was treated initially with transarterial embolization in five stages, followed by vertex craniotomy and surgical resection of the AVFs. However, multiple additional DAVFs developed over the bilateral convexities, the falx, and the tentorium. Subsequent treatment entailed 15 stages of transarterial embolization; seven stages of transvenous embolization, including complete occlusion of the sagittal sinus and partial occlusion of the straight sinus; three stages of stereotactic radiosurgery; and a second craniotomy with aggressive disconnection of the DAVFs. Unfortunately, the fistulas continued to progress, resulting in diffuse venous hypertension, multiple intracerebral hemorrhages in both hemispheres, and, ultimately, death nearly 5 years after the initial trauma.

Endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical treatments are successful in curing most patients with DAVFs. The failure of multimodal therapy and the fulminant progression and disseminated nature of this patient's disease are unique.

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Fredric B. Meyer, Robert E. Grady, Martin D. Abel, Douglas A. Nichols, Sergio S. Caminha, Richard A. Robb, and Lisa M. Bates

✓ The authors believe this to be the first published case in which a deep hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass was used to facilitate resection of a large parenchymal arteriovenous fistula. The use of this procedure facilitated resection of the lesion by allowing compression and manipulation of large venous varices that were overlying the deeper arterial feeding vessels. The surgical rationale, technique, and intra- and postoperative management are discussed.

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Douglas A. Nichols, Robert D. Brown Jr., Kent R. Thielen, Fredric B. Meyer, John L. D. Atkinson, and David G. Piepgras

✓ The authors report their experience using electrolytically detachable coils for the treatment of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms. Twenty-six patients with 28 posterior circulation aneurysms were treated. All patients were referred for endovascular treatment by experienced vascular neurosurgeons. Patients underwent follow-up angiography immediately after treatment, 1 to 6 weeks posttreatment, and 6 months posttreatment. Six-month follow-up angiograms obtained in 19 patients with 20 aneurysms demonstrated that 18 (90%) of the 20 aneurysms were 99 to 100% occluded, one aneurysm (5%) was approximately 90% occluded, and one aneurysm (5%) was approximately 75% occluded. The patient with the aneurysm that was approximately 75% occluded needed additional treatment, consisting of parent artery balloon occlusion, and was considered a treatment failure (3.8% of patients). There was one treatment-associated mortality (3.8%) but no treatment-associated serious neurological or nonneurological morbidity in the patient group. There was no recurrent aneurysm rupture during treatment or during the mean 27-month follow-up period.

Endovascular treatment of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms with electrolytically detachable coils can be accomplished with low morbidity and mortality rates. The primary goal of treatment—preventing recurrent aneurysm—can be achieved over the short term.

Endovascular coil occlusion will play an important role in the treatment of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms, particularly if long-term efficacy in preventing recurrent aneurysm hemorrhage can be documented.

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Fredric B. Meyer, Daniela Lombardi, Bernd Scheithauer, and Douglas A. Nichols

✓ Extra-axial cavernous hemangiomas are rare lesions previously associated with unacceptable mortality and morbidity rates that precluded surgical resection. The authors analyze the clinical presentation, surgical results, and histology of eight intrasinus cavernous hemangiomas: six located in the cavernous sinus, one in the petrosal sinus, and one in the torcula. Magnetic resonance imaging is the best radiographic test for surgical planning. Successful tumor removal was achieved in six cases with no mortality and low morbidity. In the remaining two patients, only subtotal resection was achieved because of massive hemorrhage in one and the misdiagnosis of a pituitary adenoma leading to a transsphenoidal approach in the other. For hemangiomas arising within the cavernous sinus, extradural removal of the sphenoid bone facilitated preservation of the neurovascular structures. Since the clinical and histological characteristics of these lesions are distinct from intra-axial cavernous hemangiomas, a more appropriate term may be “sinus cavernoma” to indicate that these lesions are primarily intrasinus in origin.