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Yifei Duan, Carlito Lagman, Raleigh Ems and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

OBJECTIVE

The exact pathophysiological mechanisms underlying cerebral aneurysm formation remain unclear. Asymmetrical local vascular geometry may play a role in aneurysm formation and progression. The object of this study was to investigate the association between the geometric asymmetry of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) and the presence of MCA aneurysms and associated high-risk features.

METHODS

Using a retrospective case-control study design, the authors examined MCA anatomy in all patients who had been diagnosed with an MCA aneurysm in the period from 2008 to 2017 at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Geometric features of the MCA ipsilateral to MCA aneurysms were compared with those of the unaffected contralateral side (secondary control group). Then, MCA geometry was compared between patients with MCA aneurysms and patients who had undergone CTA for suspected vascular pathology but were ultimately found to have normal intracranial vasculature (primary control group). Parent vessel and aneurysm morphological parameters were measured, calculated, and compared between case and control groups. Associations between geometric parameters and high-risk aneurysm features were identified.

RESULTS

The authors included 247 patients (158 cases and 89 controls) in the study. The aneurysm study group consisted of significantly more women and smokers than the primary control group. Patients with MCA bifurcation aneurysms had lower parent artery inflow angles (p = 0.01), lower parent artery tortuosity (p < 0.01), longer parent artery total length (p = 0.03), and a significantly greater length difference between ipsilateral and contralateral prebifurcation MCAs (p < 0.01) than those in primary controls. Type 2 MCA aneurysms (n = 89) were more likely to be associated with dome irregularity or a daughter sac and were more likely to have a higher cumulative total of high-risk features than type 1 MCA aneurysms (n = 69).

CONCLUSIONS

Data in this study demonstrated that a greater degree of parent artery asymmetry for MCA aneurysms is associated with high-risk features. The authors also found that the presence of a long and less tortuous parent artery upstream of an MCA aneurysm is a common phenotype that is associated with a higher risk profile. The aneurysm parameters are easily measurable and are novel radiographic biomarkers for aneurysm risk assessment.

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Ciro Ramos-Estebanez, Maryo Kohen, Jonathan Pace, Alireza Bozorgi, Sunil Manjila, Vilakshan Alambyan, Ifeyinwa Nwankwo, Michael DeGeorgia, Nicholas C. Bambakidis and Faruk Orge

OBJECTIVE

Approximately 10% of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) become permanently, legally blind. The average cost of lifetime support and unpaid taxes for each blind person amounts to approximately $900,000. This study evaluates the feasibility and potential role of bedside optical coherence tomography (OCT) in Terson’s syndrome (TS) in patients with acute SAH (aSAH) and its potential role in blindness prevention.

METHODS

The authors conducted an open-label pilot study, in which 31 patients with an angiographic diagnosis of aSAH were first screened for TS with dilated funduscopy and then with OCT in the acute phase and at 6-week follow-up visits. Outpatient mood assessments (Patient Health Questionnaire–depression module, Hamilton Depression Scale), and quality of life general (NIH Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) and visual scales (25-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire) were measured at 1 and 6 weeks after discharge. Exclusion criteria included current or previous history of severe cataracts, severe diabetic retinopathy, severe macular degeneration, or glaucoma.

RESULTS

OCT identified 7 patients with TS, i.e., a 22.6% incidence in our aSAH sample: 7 in the acute phase, including a large retinal detachment that was initially missed by funduscopy and diagnosed by OCT in follow-up clinic. Dilated retinal funduscopy significantly failed to detect TS in 4 (57.1%) of these 7 cases. Intraventricular hemorrhage was significantly more common in TS cases (85.7% vs 25%). None of the participants experienced any complications from OCT examinations. Neither decreased quality of life visual scale scores nor a depressed mood correlated with objective OCT pathological findings at the 6-week follow-up after discharge. There were no significant mood differences between TS cases and controls.

CONCLUSIONS

OCT is the gold standard in retinal disease diagnosis. This pilot study shows that bedside OCT examination is feasible in aSAH. In this series, OCT was a safe procedure that enhanced TS detection by decreasing false-negative/inconclusive funduscopic examinations. It allows early diagnosis of macular holes and severe retinal detachments, which require acute surgical therapy to prevent legal blindness. In addition, OCT aids in ruling out potential false-positive visual deficits in individuals with a depressed mood at follow-up.

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A. Jessey Chugh, Jonathan R. Pace, Justin Singer, Curtis Tatsuoka, Alan Hoffer, Warren R. Selman and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

OBJECTIVE

The field of neurosurgery is constantly undergoing improvements and advances, both in technique and technology. Cerebrovascular neurosurgery is no exception, with endovascular treatments changing the treatment paradigm. Clipping of aneurysms is still necessary, however, and advances are still being made to improve patient outcomes within the microsurgical treatment of aneurysms. Surgical rehearsal platforms are surgical simulators that offer the opportunity to rehearse a procedure prior to entering the operative suite. This study is designed to determine whether use of a surgical rehearsal platform in aneurysm surgery is helpful in decreasing aneurysm dissection time and clip manipulation of the aneurysm.

METHODS

The authors conducted a blinded, prospective, randomized study comparing key effort and time variables in aneurysm clip ligation surgery with and without preoperative use of the SuRgical Planner (SRP) surgical rehearsal platform. Initially, 40 patients were randomly assigned to either of two groups: one in which surgery was performed after use of the SRP (SRP group) and one in which surgery was performed without use of the SRP (control group). All operations were videotaped. After exclusion of 6 patients from the SRP group and 9 from the control group, a total of 25 surgical cases were analyzed by a reviewer blinded to group assignment. The videos were analyzed for total microsurgical time, number of clips used, and number of clip placement attempts. Means and standard deviations (SDs) were calculated and compared between groups.

RESULTS

The mean (± SD) amount of operative time per clip used was 920 ± 770 seconds in the SRP group and 1294 ± 678 seconds in the control group (p = 0.05). In addition, the mean values for the number of clip attempts, total operative time, ratio of clip attempts to clips used, and time per clip attempt were all lower in the SRP group, although the between-group differences were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative rehearsal with SRP increased efficiency and safety in aneurysm microsurgery as demonstrated by the statistically significant improvement in time per clip used. Although the rest of the outcomes did not demonstrate statistically significant between-group differences, the fact that the SRP group showed improvement in mean values for all measures studied suggests that preoperative rehearsal may increase the efficiency and safety of aneurysm microsurgery. Future studies aimed at improving patient outcome and safety during surgical clipping of aneurysms will be needed to keep pace with the quickly advancing endovascular field.

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Andreea Seicean, Nima Alan, Sinziana Seicean, Duncan Neuhauser, Warren R. Selman and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

OBJECT

Preoperative anemia may be treated with a blood transfusion. Both are associated with adverse outcomes in various surgical procedures, but this has not been clearly elucidated in surgery for cerebral aneurysms. In this study the authors assessed the association of preoperative anemia and perioperative blood transfusion, separately, on 30-day morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing open surgery for ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS

The authors identified 668 cases (including 400 unruptured and 268 unruptured intracranial aneurysms) of open surgery for treatment of intracranial aneurysms in the 2006–2012 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, a validated and reproducible prospective clinical database. Anemia was defined as a hematocrit level less than 39% in males and less than 36% in females. Perioperative transfusion was defined as at least 1 unit of packed or whole red blood cells given at any point between the start of surgery to 72 hours postoperatively. The authors separately compared surgical outcome between patients with (n = 198) versus without (n = 470) anemia, and those who underwent (n = 78) versus those who did not receive (n = 521) a transfusion, using a 1:1 match on propensity score.

RESULTS

In the matched cohorts, all observed covariates were comparable between anemic (n = 147) versus nonanemic (n = 147) and between transfused (n = 67) versus nontransfused patients (n = 67). Anemia was independently associated with prolonged hospital length of stay (LOS; odds ratio [OR] 2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4–4.5), perioperative complications (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.1), and return to the operating room (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1–4.5). Transfusion was also independently associated with perioperative complications (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1–5.3).

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative anemia and transfusion are each independent risk factors for perioperative complications in patients undergoing surgery for cerebral aneurysms. Perioperative anemia is also associated with prolonged hospital LOS and 30-day return to the operating room.

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Feng Xu, Junjie Zhong, Abhishek Ray, Sunil Manjila and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

Object

The effectiveness and risk of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of partially embolized intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remain controversial. The aim of this analysis was to assess current evidence regarding the efficiency and safety of SRS for AVM patients with and without prior embolization.

Methods

To compare SRS in patients with and without embolization, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of studies by searching the literature via PubMed and EMBASE for the period between January 2000 and December 2013, complemented by a hand search. Primary outcome was the rate of AVM obliteration on a 3-year follow-up angiogram. Secondary outcome was the rate of hemorrhage at 3 years after SRS. Tertiary outcome was permanent neurological deficits related to radiation-induced changes.

Results

Ten studies eligible for analysis included 1988 patients: 593 had undergone embolization followed by SRS and 1395 had undergone SRS alone. The AVM obliteration rate was significantly lower in patients who had undergone embolization followed by SRS than in those who had undergone SRS alone (41.0% vs 59%, OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.37–0.56, p < 0.00001). However, the rates of hemorrhage (7.3% vs 5.6%, OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.74–1.83, p = 0.50) and permanent neurological deficits related to radiation-induced changes (3.3% vs 3.4%, OR 1.41, 95% CI 0.64–3.11, p = 0.39) were not significantly different between the two groups.

Conclusions

Embolization before SRS significantly decreases the AVM obliteration rate. However, there is no significant difference in the risk of hemorrhage and permanent neurological deficits after SRS alone and following embolization. Further validation by well-designed prospective or randomized cohort studies is still needed.

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James M. Wright, Christina L. Huang, Rahul Sharma, Sunil Manjila, Feng Xu, Barbara Dabb and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

Since the first surgery for an intracranial aneurysm in 1931, neurological surgeons have long strived to determine the optimal methods of surgical correction. Significant challenges of aneurysm clipping include intraoperative rupture and complex dome morphology. Hypothermia, cardiopulmonary bypass, pharmacologically induced hypotension, and cardiac standstill are a few of the methodologies historically and currently employed in the management of these issues. In the 1980s, significant advances in pharmacology and anesthesiology led to the use of agents such as adenosine for chemically induced hypotension and eventually complete circulatory arrest. Since the institution of the use of these agents, the traditional methods of circulatory arrest under conditions of hypothermia and cardiopulmonary bypass have fallen out of favor. However, there still exists a subset of technically difficult aneurysms for which cardiac standstill, both chemical and hypothermic, remains a viable therapeutic option. In this paper, the authors describe the history of cardiac standstill by both hypothermic and chemically induced means as well as provide examples in which these techniques are still necessary.

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Sunil Manjila, Shakeel A. Chowdhry, Nicholas C. Bambakidis and David J. Hart

The authors present a case of traumatic, complete, high cervical spine injury in a patient with gradual worsening deformity and neck pain while in rigid cervical collar immobilization, ultimately resulting in coronal-plane spondyloptosis. Due to the extent of lateral displacement of the spinal elements, preoperative evaluation included catheter angiography, which revealed complete right vertebral artery (VA) occlusion. A prophylactic arterial bypass graft from the right occipital artery to the extradural right VA was fashioned to augment posterior circulation blood supply prior to reduction and circumferential instrumented fusion. Following surgery, the patient was able to participate in an aggressive rehabilitation program allowing early mobilization, and he ceased to be ventilator-dependent following implantation of a diaphragmatic pacer. The authors review factors leading to progression of this type of injury and suggest technical pearls as well as highlight specific management pitfalls, including operative risks.

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Ioannis Karampelas, Cameron Wick, Maroun Semaan, Cliff A. Megerian and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

This case is an example of a translabyrinthine resection of a small intracanalicular acoustic tumor. The patient is a 69-year-old right-handed woman with complaints of progressive incapacitating vertigo and right-sided hearing loss worsening over the past 3 years. She had normal facial nerve function with imaging demonstrating progressive increase in size of a small right-sided acoustic tumor. A translabyrinthine approach was performed, and the mass was resected completely. Facial nerve function remained normal immediately after surgery.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/27ARlLLSbKE.

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Jack Hou, Varun R. Kshettry, Warren R. Selman and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

Meningioma is the second most common type of adult intracranial neoplasm. A substantial subset of patients present with peritumoral brain edema (PTBE), which can cause significant morbidity via mass effect, complicate surgical management, and impact the safety of stereotactic radiosurgery. Recent studies suggest a close relationship between vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) expression and PTBE development in meningiomas. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature on the pathogenesis of PTBE in meningiomas, the effectiveness of steroid therapy, the role played by VEGF-A, and the current clinical evidence for antiangiogenic therapy to treat peritumoral brain edema. Mounting evidence suggests VEGF-A is secreted directly by meningioma cells to induce angiogenesis and edemagenesis of tumoral as well as peritumoral brain tissue. The VEGF-A cascade results in recruitment of cerebral-pial vessels and disruption of the tumor-brain barrier, which appear to be requisite for VEGF-A to have an edemagenic effect. Results of preliminary clinical studies suggest VEGF-directed therapy has modest activity against recurrent and progressive meningioma growth but can alleviate PTBE in some patients. A comprehensive understanding of the VEGF-A pathway and its modulators may hold the key to an effective therapeutic approach to treating PTBE associated with meningiomas. Further clinical trials with larger patient cohorts and longer follow-up periods are warranted to confirm the efficacy of VEGF-directed therapy.