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Joshua S. Catapano, Andrew F. Ducruet, Candice L. Nguyen, Tyler S. Cole, Jacob F. Baranoski, Neil Majmundar, D. Andrew Wilkinson, Vance L. Fredrickson, Daniel D. Cavalcanti, Michael T. Lawton, and Felipe C. Albuquerque

OBJECTIVE

Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization is a promising treatment strategy for chronic subdural hematomas (cSDHs). However, studies comparing MMA embolization and conventional therapy (surgical intervention and conservative management) are limited. The authors aimed to compare MMA embolization versus conventional therapy for cSDHs using a propensity-adjusted analysis.

METHODS

A retrospective study of all patients with cSDH who presented to a large tertiary center over a 2-year period was performed. MMA embolization was compared with surgical intervention and conservative management. Neurological outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). A propensity-adjusted analysis compared MMA embolization versus surgery and conservative management for all individual cSDHs. Primary outcomes included change in hematoma diameter, treatment failure, and complete resolution at last follow-up.

RESULTS

A total of 231 patients with cSDH met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 35 (15%) were treated using MMA embolization, and 196 (85%) were treated with conventional treatment. On the latest follow-up, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in the percentage of patients with worsening mRS scores. Of the 323 total cSDHs found in 231 patients, 41 (13%) were treated with MMA embolization, 159 (49%) were treated conservatively, and 123 (38%) were treated with surgical evacuation. After propensity adjustment, both surgery (OR 12, 95% CI 1.5–90; p = 0.02) and conservative therapy (OR 13, 95% CI 1.7–99; p = 0.01) were predictors of treatment failure and incomplete resolution on follow-up imaging (OR 6.1, 95% CI 2.8–13; p < 0.001 and OR 5.4, 95% CI 2.5–12; p < 0.001, respectively) when compared with MMA embolization. Additionally, MMA embolization was associated with a significant decrease in cSDH diameter on follow-up relative to conservative management (mean −8.3 mm, 95% CI −10.4 to −6.3 mm, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

This propensity-adjusted analysis suggests that MMA embolization for cSDH is associated with a greater extent of hematoma volume reduction with fewer treatment failures than conventional therapy.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Mohamed A. Labib, Fabio A. Frisoli, Megan S. Cadigan, Jacob F. Baranoski, Tyler S. Cole, James J. Zhou, Candice L. Nguyen, Alexander C. Whiting, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The SAFIRE grading scale is a novel, computable scale that predicts the outcome of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients in acute follow-up. However, this scale also may have prognostic significance in long-term follow-up and help guide further management.

METHODS

The records of all patients enrolled in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) were retrospectively reviewed, and the patients were assigned SAFIRE grades. Outcomes at 1 year and 6 years post-aSAH were analyzed for each SAFIRE grade level, with a poor outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale score > 2. Univariate analysis was performed for patients with a high SAFIRE grade (IV or V) for odds of poor outcome at the 1- and 6-year follow-ups.

RESULTS

A total of 405 patients with confirmed aSAH enrolled in the BRAT were analyzed; 357 patients had 1-year follow-up, and 333 patients had 6-year follow-up data available. Generally, as the SAFIRE grade increased, so did the proportion of patients with poor outcomes. At the 1-year follow-up, 18% (17/93) of grade I patients, 22% (20/92) of grade II patients, 32% (26/80) of grade III patients, 43% (38/88) of grade IV patients, and 75% (3/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. At the 6-year follow-up, 29% (23/79) of grade I patients, 24% (21/89) of grade II patients, 38% (29/77) of grade III patients, 60% (50/84) of grade IV patients, and 100% (4/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. Univariate analysis showed that a SAFIRE grade of IV or V was associated with a significantly increased risk of a poor outcome at both the 1-year (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5–4.2; p < 0.001) and 6-year (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.2–6.2; p < 0.001) follow-ups.

CONCLUSIONS

High SAFIRE grades are associated with an increased risk of a poor recovery at late follow-up.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Rohin Singh, Visish M. Srinivasan, and Michael T. Lawton

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in the brainstem, specifically medullary AVMs, are exceedingly rare and difficult to treat. These lesions are commonly more aggressive than supratentorial AVMs and pose their own unique treatment challenges. Current treatment options for these AVMs consist of endovascular embolization or open surgery. Radiosurgery is not favored because it is associated with potential risk to the brainstem and lower obliteration rates. Here the authors report the case of a 27-year-old man with a ruptured anterior medullary AVM. The patient underwent a successful far-lateral craniotomy for resection of the AVM.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/lyOfOQ3sBdU

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Roxanna M. Garcia, Taemin Oh, Tyler S. Cole, Benjamin K. Hendricks, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Proximity of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) to tracts and cranial nerve nuclei make it costly to transgress normal tissue in accessing the lesion or disrupting normal tissue adjacent to the lesion in the separation plane. This interplay between tissue sensitivity and extreme eloquence makes it difficult to avoid leaving a remnant on occasion. Recurrences require operative intervention, which may increase morbidity, lengthen recovery, and add to overall costs. An approximately 20-year experience with patients with recurrent BSCM lesions following primary microsurgical resection was reviewed.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained database of 802 patients who underwent microsurgical resection of cerebral cavernous malformations during 1997–2018 was queried to identify 213 patients with BSCMs. A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients with recurrent BSCM after primary resection who required a second surgery.

RESULTS

Fourteen of 213 patients (6.6%) underwent repeat resection for recurrent BSCM. Thirty-four hemorrhagic events were observed among these 14 patients over 576 patient-years (recurrent hemorrhage rate, 5.9% per year; median discrete hemorrhagic events, 2; median time to rehemorrhage, 897 days). BSCM occurred in the pons in 10 cases, midbrain in 2 cases, and medulla in 2 cases. A blind spot in the operative corridor was the most common cause of residual BSCM (9 patients). All recurrent BSCMs were removed completely, although 2 patients each required 2 operations to treat recurrence. Twelve patients had unchanged or improved modified Rankin Scale scores at last clinical evaluation compared with admission, and 2 patients had worse scores. Recurrence was more common among patients who were operated on in the first versus the second half of the series (8.5% vs 4.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

The 6.6% rate of BSCM recurrence requiring reoperation reflects the fine lines between complete resection and recurrence and between safe and harmful surgery. The detection of remnants is difficult postoperatively and remains so even at 6 months when the resection bed has healed. The 5.9% annual hemorrhage risk associated with recurrent BSCM in this experience is consistent with that reported for unoperated BSCMs. The right-angle method helps to anticipate blind spots and meticulously inspect the resection cavity for residual BSCM during surgery. A low percentage of recurrent BSCM (5%–10%) ensures ongoing effort toward an acceptable balance of safety and completeness.

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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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Colin J. Przybylowski, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Fabio A. Frisoli, Xiaochun Zhao, Claudio Cavallo, Leandro Borba Moreira, Sirin Gandhi, Nader Sanai, Kaith K. Almefty, Michael T. Lawton, and Andrew S. Little

OBJECTIVE

Recently, the prognostic value of the Simpson resection grading scale has been called into question for modern meningioma surgery. In this study, the authors analyzed the relationship between Simpson resection grade and meningioma recurrence in their institutional experience.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of a WHO grade I intracranial meningioma at the authors’ institution from 2007 to 2017. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess for predictors of Simpson grade IV resection and postoperative neurological morbidity. Cox multivariate analysis was used to assess for predictors of tumor recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests were used to assess and compare recurrence-free survival (RFS) of Simpson resection grades, respectively.

RESULTS

A total of 492 patients with evaluable data were included for analysis, including 394 women (80.1%) and 98 men (19.9%) with a mean (SD) age of 58.7 (12.8) years. The tumors were most commonly located at the skull base (n = 302; 61.4%) or the convexity/parasagittal region (n = 139; 28.3%). The median (IQR) tumor volume was 6.8 (14.3) cm3. Simpson grade I, II, III, or IV resection was achieved in 105 (21.3%), 155 (31.5%), 52 (10.6%), and 180 (36.6%) patients, respectively. Sixty-three of 180 patients (35.0%) with Simpson grade IV resection were treated with adjuvant radiosurgery. In the multivariate analysis, increasing largest tumor dimension (p < 0.01) and sinus invasion (p < 0.01) predicted Simpson grade IV resection, whereas skull base location predicted neurological morbidity (p = 0.02). Tumor recurrence occurred in 63 patients (12.8%) at a median (IQR) of 36 (40.3) months from surgery. Simpson grade I resection resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade II resection (p = 0.02), Simpson grade III resection (p = 0.01), and Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.01) or without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01). In the multivariate analysis, Simpson grade I resection was independently associated with no tumor recurrence (p = 0.04). Simpson grade II and III resections resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01) but similar RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.82). Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The Simpson resection grading scale continues to hold substantial prognostic value in the modern neurosurgical era. When feasible, Simpson grade I resection should remain the goal of intracranial meningioma surgery. Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in similar RFS compared with Simpson grade II and III resections.

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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.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Andrew F. Ducruet, Fabio A. Frisoli, Candice L. Nguyen, Christopher E. Louie, Mohamed A. Labib, Jacob F. Baranoski, Tyler S. Cole, Alexander C. Whiting, Felipe C. Albuquerque, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have shown that female patients presenting with a poor clinical grade are at the greatest risk for developing TC. Intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABPs) are known to support cardiac function in severe cases of TC, and they may aid in the treatment of vasospasm in these patients. In this study, the authors investigated risk factors for developing TC in the setting of aSAH and outcomes among patients requiring IABPs.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 1096 patients who had presented to their institution with aSAH. Four hundred five of these patients were originally enrolled in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial, and an additional 691 patients from a subsequent prospectively maintained aSAH database were analyzed. Medical records were reviewed for the presence of TC according to the modified Mayo Clinic criteria. Outcomes were determined at the last follow-up, with a poor outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2.

RESULTS

TC was identified in 26 patients with aSAH. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis identified female sex (OR 8.2, p = 0.005), Hunt and Hess grade > III (OR 7.6, p < 0.001), aneurysm size > 7 mm (OR 3, p = 0.011), and clinical vasospasm (OR 2.9, p = 0.037) as risk factors for developing TC in the setting of aSAH. TC patients, even with IABP placement, had higher rates of poor outcomes (77% vs 47% with an mRS score > 2, p = 0.004) and mortality at the last follow-up (27% vs 11%, p = 0.018) than the non-TC patients. However, aggressive intra-arterial endovascular treatment for vasospasm was associated with good outcomes in the TC patients versus nonaggressive treatment (100% with mRS ≤ 2 at last follow-up vs 53% with mRS > 2, p = 0.040).

CONCLUSIONS

TC after aSAH tends to occur in female patients with large aneurysms, poor clinical grades, and clinical vasospasm. These patients have significantly higher rates of poor neurological outcomes, even with the placement of an IABP. However, aggressive intra-arterial endovascular therapy in select patients with vasospasm may improve outcome.

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Kamlesh S. Bhaisora, Kuntal Kanti Das, Suyash Singh, and Arun K. Srivastava

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Fabio A. Frisoli, Joshua S. Catapano, Jacob F. Baranoski, and Michael T. Lawton

The anterior and posterior communicating arteries are natural connections between arteries that enable different adjacent circulations to redistribute blood flow instantly in response to changing supply and demand. An analogous communication does not exist in the middle cerebral circulation. A middle communicating artery (MCoA) can be created microsurgically between separate middle cerebral artery (MCA) trunks, enabling flow to redistribute in response to changing supply and demand. The MCoA would draw blood flow from an adjacent circulation such as the external carotid circulation. The MCoA requires the application of fourth-generation techniques to reconstruct bi- and trifurcations after occluding complex MCA trunk aneurysms. In this report, the authors describe two recent cases of complex MCA bi- and trifurcation aneurysms in which the occluded efferent trunks were revascularized by creating an MCoA.

The first MCoA was created with a “double-barrel” superficial temporal artery–M2 segment bypass and end-to-end reimplantation of the middle and inferior MCA trunks. The second MCoA was created with an external carotid artery–radial artery graft–M2 segment interpositional bypass and end-to-side reimplantation of the inferior trunk onto the superior trunk. Both aneurysms were occluded, and both patients experienced good outcomes.

This report introduces the concept of the MCoA and demonstrates two variations. Angioarchitectural and technical elements include the donation of flow from an adjacent circulation, a communicating bypass, the application of fourth-generation bypass techniques, and a minimized ischemia time. The MCoA construct is ideally suited for rebuilding bi- and trifurcated anatomy after trapping or distally occluding complex MCA aneurysms.