Venkatesh S. Madhugiri, Mario K. C. Teo, Joli Vavao, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Gary K. Steinberg
Brainstem arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare lesions that are difficult to diagnose and treat. They are often more aggressive in their behavior when compared with their supratentorial counterparts. The consequence of a brainstem hemorrhage is often devastating, and many patients are in poor neurological status at presentation. The authors examine the factors associated with angiographically confirmed cure and those affecting management outcomes for these complex lesions.
This was a retrospective analysis of data gathered from the prospectively maintained Stanford AVM database. Lesions were grouped based on their location in the brainstem (medulla, pons, or midbrain) and the quadrant they occupied. Angiographic cure was dichotomized as completely obliterated or not, and functional outcome was dichotomized as either independent or not independent at last follow-up.
Over a 23-year period, 39 lesions were treated. Of these, 3 were located in the medulla, 14 in the pons, and 22 in the midbrain. At presentation, 92% of the patients had hemorrhage, and only 43.6% were functionally independent. Surgery resulted in the best radiographic cure rates, with a morbidity rate of 12.5%. In all, 53% of patients either improved or remained stable after surgery. Absence of residual nidus and female sex correlated with better outcomes.
Brainstem AVMs usually present with hemorrhage. Surgery offers the best chance of cure, either in isolation or in combination with other modalities as appropriate.
Report of 4 cases
Paritosh Pandey, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Gary K. Steinberg
Moyamoya disease is a rare cerebrovascular disease characterized by idiopathic bilateral stenosis or occlusion of bilateral internal carotid arteries and the development of characteristic leptomeningeal collateral vessels at the base of the brain. Typical presentations include transient ischemic attacks or stroke, and hemorrhage. Presentation with movement disorders is extremely rare, especially in the pediatric population. The authors describe the cases of 4 children with moyamoya disease who presented with movement disorders.
Among 446 patients (118 pediatric) with moyamoya disease surgically treated by the senior author, 4 pediatric patients had presented with movement disorders. The clinical records, imaging studies, surgical details, and postoperative clinical and imaging data were retrospectively reviewed.
The initial presenting symptom was movement disorder in all 4 patients: chorea in 2, hemiballismus in 1, and involuntary limb shaking in 1. All the patients had watershed infarcts involving the frontal subcortical region on MR imaging. Additionally, 1 patient had a ganglionic infarct. Single-photon emission computed tomography studies showed frontoparietal cortical and subcortical hypoperfusion in all patients. Three patients had bilateral disease, whereas 1 had unilateral disease. All the patients underwent superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery bypass. Postoperatively, all 4 patients had complete improvement in their symptoms. The SPECT scans revealed normal perfusion in 3 patients and a small residual perfusion deficit in 1.
Movement disorders are a rare presenting feature of moyamoya disease. Hypoperfusion of the frontal cortical and subcortical region was seen in all patients, and the symptomatology was attributed to ischemic dysfunction and imbalance in the cortical-subcortical-ganglionic-thalamic-cortical circuitry. Combined revascularization with superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery bypass and encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis leads to excellent results.
Raphael Guzman, Marco Lee, Achal Achrol, Teresa Bell-Stephens, Michael Kelly, Huy M. Do, Michael P. Marks and Gary K. Steinberg
Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a rare cerebrovascular disease mainly described in the Asian literature. To address a lack of data on clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes in the treatment of MMD in North America, the authors analyzed their experience at Stanford University Medical Center. They report on a consecutive series of patients treated for MMD and detail their demographics, clinical characteristics, and long-term surgical outcomes.
Data obtained in consecutive series of 329 patients with MMD treated microsurgically by the senior author (G.K.S.) between 1991 and 2008 were analyzed. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were prospectively gathered and neurological outcomes assessed in postoperative follow-up using the modified Rankin Scale. Association of demographic, clinical, and surgical data with postoperative outcome was assessed by chi-square, uni- and multivariate logistic regression, and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses.
The authors treated a total of 233 adult patients undergoing 389 procedures (mean age 39.5 years) and 96 pediatric patients undergoing 168 procedures (mean age 10.1 years). Direct revascularization technique was used in 95.1% of adults and 76.2% of pediatric patients. In 264 patients undergoing 450 procedures (mean follow-up 4.9 years), the surgical morbidity rate was 3.5% and the mortality rate was 0.7% per treated hemisphere. The cumulative 5-year risk of perioperative or subsequent stroke or death was 5.5%. Of the 171 patients presenting with a transient ischemic attack, 91.8% were free of transient ischemic attacks at 1 year or later. Overall, there was a significant improvement in quality of life in the cohort as measured using the modified Rankin Scale (p < 0.0001).
Revascularization surgery in patients with MMD carries a low risk, is effective at preventing future ischemic events, and improves quality of life. Patients in whom symptomatic MMD is diagnosed should be offered revascularization surgery.
Marco Lee, Greg Zaharchuk, Raphael Guzman, Achal Achrol, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Gary K. Steinberg
Moyamoya disease is characterized by a chronic stenoocclusive vasculopathy affecting the terminal internal carotid arteries. The clinical presentation and outcome of moyamoya disease remain varied based on angiographic studies alone, and much work has been done to study cerebral hemodynamics in this group of patients. The ability to measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) accurately continues to improve with time, and with it a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms in patients with moyamoya disease. The main imaging techniques used to evaluate cerebral hemodynamics include PET, SPECT, xenon-enhanced CT, dynamic perfusion CT, MR imaging with dynamic susceptibility contrast and with arterial spin labeling, and Doppler ultrasonography. More invasive techniques include intraoperative ultrasonography. The authors review the current knowledge of CBF in this group of patients and the role each main quantitative method has played in evaluating them, both in the disease state and after surgical intervention.
Douglas Kondziolka, Gary K. Steinberg, Lawrence Wechsler, Carolyn C. Meltzer, Elaine Elder, James Gebel, Sharon DeCesare, Tudor Jovin, Ross Zafonte, Jonathan Lebowitz, John C. Flickinger, David Tong, Michael P. Marks, Catriona Jamieson, Desiree Luu, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Jeffrey Teraoka
No definitive treatment exists to restore lost brain function following a stroke. Transplantation of cultured neuronal cells has been shown to be safe and effective in animal models of stroke and safe in a Phase 1 human trial. In the present study the authors tested the usefulness of human neuron transplantation followed by participation in a 2-month stroke rehabilitation program compared with rehabilitation alone in patients with substantial fixed motor deficits associated with a basal ganglia stroke.
Human neuronal cells (LBS-Neurons; Layton BioScience, Inc.) were delivered frozen and then thawed and formulated on the morning of surgery. The entry criteria in this randomized, observer-blinded trial of 18 patients included age between 18 and 75 years, completed stroke duration of 1 to 6 years, presence of a fixed motor deficit that was stable for at least 2 months, and no contraindications to stereotactic surgery. Patients were randomized at two centers to receive either 5 or 10 million implanted cells in 25 sites (seven patients per group) followed by participation in a stroke rehabilitation program, or to serve as a nonsurgical control group (rehabilitation only; four patients). The surgical techniques used were the same at both centers. All patients underwent extensive pre- and postoperative motor testing and imaging. Patients received cyclosporine A for 1 week before and 6 months after surgery. The primary efficacy measure was a change in the European Stroke Scale (ESS) motor score at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included Fugl-Meyer, Action Research Arm Test, and Stroke Impact Scale scores, as well as the results of other motor tests. Nine strokes were ischemic in origin and nine were hemorrhagic.
All 14 patients who underwent surgery (ages 40–70 years) underwent uncomplicated surgeries. Serial evaluations (maximum duration 24 months) demonstrated no cell-related adverse serological or imaging-defined effects. One patient suffered a single seizure, another had a syncopal event, and in another there was burr-hole drainage of an asymptomatic chronic subdural hematoma. Four of seven patients who received 5 million cells (mean improvement 6.9 points) and two of seven who received 10 million cells had improved ESS scores at 6 months; however, there was no significant change in the ESS motor score in patients who received cell implants (p = 0.756) compared with control or baseline values (p = 0.06). Compared with baseline, wrist movement and hand movement scores recorded on the Fugl-Meyer Stroke Assessment instrument were not improved (p = 0.06). The Action Research Arm Test gross hand-movement scores improved compared with control (p = 0.017) and baseline (p = 0.001) values. On the Stroke Impact Scale, the 6-month daily activities score changed compared with baseline (p = 0.045) but not control (p = 0.056) scores, and the Everyday Memory test score improved in comparison with baseline (p = 0.004) values.
Human neuronal cells can be produced in culture and implanted stereotactically into the brains of patients with motor deficits due to stroke. Although a measurable improvement was noted in some patients and this translated into improved activities of daily living in some patients as well, this study did not find evidence of a significant benefit in motor function as determined by the primary outcome measure. This experimental trial indicates the safety and feasibility of neuron transplantation for patients with motor stroke.