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Kartik Bhatia, Hans Kortman, Christopher Blair, Geoffrey Parker, David Brunacci, Timothy Ang, John Worthington, Prakash Muthusami, Hazem Shoirah, J Mocco and Timo Krings

OBJECTIVE

The role of mechanical thrombectomy in pediatric acute ischemic stroke is uncertain, despite extensive evidence of benefit in adults. The existing literature consists of several recent small single-arm cohort studies, as well as multiple prior small case series and case reports. Published reports of pediatric cases have increased markedly since 2015, after the publication of the positive trials in adults. The recent AHA/ASA Scientific Statement on this issue was informed predominantly by pre-2015 case reports and identified several knowledge gaps, including how young a child may undergo thrombectomy. A repeat systematic review and meta-analysis is warranted to help guide therapeutic decisions and address gaps in knowledge.

METHODS

Using PRISMA-IPD guidelines, the authors performed a systematic review of the literature from 1999 to April 2019 and individual patient data meta-analysis, with 2 independent reviewers. An additional series of 3 cases in adolescent males from one of the authors’ centers was also included. The primary outcomes were the rate of good long-term (mRS score 0–2 at final follow-up) and short-term (reduction in NIHSS score by ≥ 8 points or NIHSS score 0–1 at up to 24 hours post-thrombectomy) neurological outcomes following mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke in patients < 18 years of age. The secondary outcome was the rate of successful angiographic recanalization (mTICI score 2b/3).

RESULTS

The authors’ review yielded 113 cases of mechanical thrombectomy in 110 pediatric patients. Although complete follow-up data are not available for all patients, 87 of 96 (90.6%) had good long-term neurological outcomes (mRS score 0–2), 55 of 79 (69.6%) had good short-term neurological outcomes, and 86 of 98 (87.8%) had successful angiographic recanalization (mTICI score 2b/3). Death occurred in 2 patients and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage in 1 patient. Sixteen published thrombectomy cases were identified in children < 5 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS

Mechanical thrombectomy may be considered for acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion (ICA terminus, M1, basilar artery) in patients aged 1–18 years (Level C evidence; Class IIb recommendation). The existing evidence base is likely affected by selection and publication bias. A prospective multinational registry is recommended as the next investigative step.

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Benjamin K. Hendricks, James S. Yoon, Kurt Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, J Mocco, Reade A. De Leacy, Andrew F. Ducruet, Michael T. Lawton and Justin R. Mascitelli

OBJECTIVE

Wide-necked aneurysms (WNAs) are a variably defined subset of cerebral aneurysms that require more advanced endovascular and microsurgical techniques than those required for narrow-necked aneurysms. The neurosurgical literature includes many definitions of WNAs, and a systematic review has not been performed to identify the most commonly used or optimal definition. The purpose of this systematic review was to highlight the most commonly used definition of WNAs.

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed for the years 1998–2017, using the terms “wide neck aneurysm” and “broad neck aneurysm” to identify relevant articles. All results were screened for having a minimum of 30 patients and for clearly stating a definition of WNA. Reference lists for all articles meeting the inclusion criteria were also screened for eligibility.

RESULTS

The search of the neurosurgical literature identified 809 records, of which 686 were excluded (626 with < 30 patients; 60 for lack of a WNA definition), leaving 123 articles for analysis. Twenty-seven unique definitions were identified and condensed into 14 definitions. The most common definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm or dome-to-neck ratio < 2, which was used in 49 articles (39.8%). The second most commonly used definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm, which was used in 26 articles (21.1%). The rest of the definitions included similar parameters with variable thresholds. There was inconsistent reporting of the precise dome measurements used to determine the dome-to-neck ratio. Digital subtraction angiography was the only imaging modality used to study the aneurysm morphology in 87 of 122 articles (71.3%).

CONCLUSIONS

The literature has great variability regarding the definition of a WNA. The most prevalent definition is a neck diameter of ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio of < 2. Whether this is the most appropriate and clinically useful definition is an area for future study.

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Jack J. Haslett, Lindsey A. LaBelle, Xiangnan Zhang, J Mocco, Joshua Bederson and Christopher P. Kellner

OBJECTIVE

Carotid artery disease is a common illness that can pose a significant risk if left untreated. Treatment via carotid endarterectomy (CEA) or carotid artery stenting (CAS) can also lead to complications. Given the risk of adverse events related to treating, or failing to treat, carotid artery disease, this is a possible area for litigation. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the medicolegal factors involved in treating patients suffering carotid artery disease and to compare litigation related to CEA and CAS.

METHODS

Three large legal databases were used to search for jury verdicts and settlements in cases related to untreated carotid artery disease, CEA, and CAS. Search terms included “endarterectomy,” “medical malpractice,” “carotid,” “stenosis,” “stenting,” “stent,” and combinations of those words. Three types of cases were considered relevant: 1) cases in which the primary allegation was negligence performing a CEA or perioperative care (CEA-related cases); 2) cases in which the primary allegation was negligence performing a CAS or perioperative care (CAS-related cases); and 3) cases in which the plaintiff alleged that a CEA or CAS should have been performed (failure-to-treat [FTT] cases).

RESULTS

One hundred fifty-four CEA-related cases, 3 CAS-related cases, and 67 FTT cases were identified. Cases resulted in 133 verdicts for the defense (59%), 64 settlements (29%), and 27 plaintiff verdicts (12%). The average payout in cases that were settled outside of court was $1,097,430 and the average payout in cases that went to trial and resulted in a plaintiff verdict was $2,438,253. Common allegations included a failure to diagnose and treat carotid artery disease in a timely manner, treating with inappropriate indications, procedural error, negligent postprocedural management, and lack of informed consent. Allegations of a failure to timely treat known carotid artery disease were likely to lead to a payout (60% of cases involved a payout). Allegations of procedural error, specifically where the resultant injury was nerve injury, were relatively less likely to lead to a payout (28% of cases involved a payout).

CONCLUSIONS

Both diagnosing and treating carotid artery disease has serious medicolegal implications and risks. In cases resulting in a plaintiff verdict, the payouts were significantly higher than cases resolved outside the courtroom. Knowledge of common allegations in diagnosing and treating carotid artery disease as well as performing CEA and CAS may benefit neurosurgeons. The lack of CAS-related litigation suggests these procedures may entail a lower risk of litigation compared to CEA, even accounting for the difference in the frequency of both procedures.

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Alexander G. Chartrain, Ahmed J. Awad, Christopher A. Sarkiss, Rui Feng, Yangbo Liu, J Mocco, Joshua B. Bederson, Stephan A. Mayer, Neha S. Dangayach and Errol Gordon

OBJECTIVE

Patients who have experienced subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) often receive care in the setting of the ICU. However, SAH patients may not all require extended ICU admission. The authors established a protocol on January 1, 2015, to transfer select, low-risk patients to a step-down unit (SDU) to streamline care for SAH patients. This study describes the results of the implemented protocol.

METHODS

In this retrospective chart review, patients presenting with SAH between January 2011 and September 2016 were reviewed for inclusion. The control group consisted of patients admitted prior to establishment of the SDU transfer protocol, while the intervention group consisted of patients admitted afterward.

RESULTS

Of the patients in the intervention group, 79.2% (57/72) were transferred to the SDU during their admission. Of these transferred patients, 29.8% (17/57) required return to the neurosurgical ICU (NSICU). There were no instances of morbidity or mortality directly related to care in the SDU. Patients in the intervention group had a mean reduced NSICU length of stay, by 1.95 days, which trended toward significance, and a longer average hospitalization, by 2.7 days, which also trended toward significance. In-hospital mortality and 90-day readmission rate were not statistically different between the groups. In addition, early transfer timing prior to 7 days was associated with neither a higher return rate to the NSICU nor higher 90-day readmission rate.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective study, the authors demonstrated that the transfer protocol was safe, feasible, and effective in reducing the ICU length of stay and was independent of transfer timing. Confirmation of these results is needed in a large, multicenter study.

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Ahmed J. Awad, Justin R. Mascitelli, Reham R. Haroun, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi and J Mocco

Fusiform aneurysms are uncommon compared with their saccular counterparts, yet they remain very challenging to treat and are associated with high rates of rebleeding and morbidity. Lack of a true aneurysm neck renders simple clip reconstruction or coil embolization usually impossible, and more advanced techniques are required, including bypass, stent-assisted coiling, and, more recently, flow diversion. In this article, the authors review posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms, including pathogenesis, natural history, and endovascular treatment, including the role of flow diversion. In addition, the authors propose an algorithm for treatment based on their practice.

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William J. Mack, Louis J. Kim, Demetrius K. Lopes and J Mocco

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Christoph J. Griessenauer, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Paul M. Foreman, Michelle H. Chua, Mark R. Harrigan, Christopher J. Stapleton, Aman B. Patel, Lucy He, Matthew R. Fusco, J Mocco, Peter A. Winkler, Apar S. Patel and Ajith J. Thomas

OBJECTIVE

Contemporary treatment for paraophthalmic artery aneurysms includes flow diversion utilizing the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED). Little is known, however, about the potential implications of the anatomical relationship of the ophthalmic artery (OA) origin and aneurysm, especially in smaller aneurysms.

METHODS

Four major academic institutions in the United States provided data on small paraophthalmic aneurysms (≤ 7 mm) that were treated with PED between 2009 and 2015. The anatomical relationship of OA origin and aneurysm, radiographic outcomes of aneurysm occlusion, and patency of the OA were assessed using digital subtraction angiography. OA origin was classified as follows: Type 1, OA separate from the aneurysm; Type 2, OA from the aneurysm neck; and Type 3, OA from the aneurysm dome. Clinical outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale, and visual deficits were categorized as transient or permanent.

RESULTS

The cumulative number of small paraophthalmic aneurysms treated with PED between 2009 and 2015 at the 4 participating institutions was 69 in 52 patients (54.1 ± 13.7 years of age) with a male-to-female ratio of 1:12. The distribution of OA origin was 72.5% for Type 1, 17.4% for Type 2, and 10.1% for Type 3. Radiographic outcome at the last follow-up (median 11.5 months) was available for 54 aneurysms (78.3%) with complete, near-complete, and incomplete occlusion rates of 81.5%, 5.6%, and 12.9%, respectively. Two aneurysms (3%) resulted in transient visual deficits, and no patient experienced a permanent visual deficit. At the last follow-up, the OA was patent in 96.8% of treated aneurysms. Type 3 OA origin was associated with a lower rate of complete aneurysm occlusion (p = 0.0297), demonstrating a trend toward visual deficits (p = 0.0797) and a lower rate of OA patency (p = 0.0783).

CONCLUSIONS

Pipeline embolization treatment of small paraophthalmic aneurysms is safe and effective. An aneurysm where the OA arises from the aneurysm dome may be associated with lower rates of aneurysm occlusion, OA patency, and higher rates of transient visual deficits.

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Brian L. Hoh, Yan Gong, Caitrin W. McDonough, Michael F. Waters, Adrienne J. Royster, Tiffany O. Sheehan, Ben Burkley, Taimour Y. Langaee, J Mocco, Scott L. Zuckerman, Nishit Mummareddy, Marcus L. Stephens II, Christie Ingram, Christian M. Shaffer, Joshua C. Denny, Murray H. Brilliant, Terrie E. Kitchner, James G. Linneman, Dan M. Roden and Julie A. Johnson

OBJECT

Symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) has a high risk of recurrent stroke. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19 and CES1 are associated with adverse outcomes in cardiovascular patients, but have not been studied in ICAD. The authors studied CYP2C19 and CES1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in symptomatic ICAD patients.

METHODS

Genotype testing for CYP2C19*2, *3, *8, *17 and CES1 G143E was performed on 188 adult symptomatic ICAD patients from 3 medical centers who were medically managed with clopidogrel and aspirin. Testing was performed prospectively at 1 center, and retrospectively from a DNA sample biorepository at 2 centers. Multiple logistic regression and Cox regression analysis were performed to assess the association of these SNPs with the primary endpoint, which was a composite of transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke, myocardial infarction, or death within 12 months.

RESULTS

The primary endpoint occurred in 14.9% of the 188 cases. In multiple logistic regression analysis, the presence of the CYP2C19 loss of function (LOF) alleles *2, *3, and *8 in the medically managed patients was associated with lower odds of primary endpoint compared with wild-type homozygotes (odds ratio [OR] 0.13, 95% CI 0.03–0.62, p = 0.0101). Cox regression analysis demonstrated the CYP2C19 LOF carriers had a lower risk for the primary endpoint, with hazard ratio (HR) of 0.27 (95% CI 0.08–0.95), p = 0.041. A sensitivity analysis of a secondary composite endpoint of TIA, stroke, or death demonstrated a significant trend in multiple logistic regression analysis of CYP2C19 variants, with lower odds of secondary endpoint in patients carrying at least 1 LOF allele (*2, *3, *8) than in wild-type homozygotes (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.06–1.16, p = 0.078). Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the carriers of CYP2C19 LOF alleles had a lower risk forthe secondary composite endpoint (HR 0.22, 95% CI 0.05–1.04, p = 0.056).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first study examining genetic variants and their effects in symptomatic ICAD. Variant alleles of CYP2C19 (*2, *3, *8) were associated with lower odds of the primary and secondary composite endpoints. However, the direction of the association was opposite of what is expected based on this SNP. This may reflect an incomplete understanding of this genetic variation and its effect in symptomatic ICAD and warrants further investigations.

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Travis R. Ladner, Lucy He, Brandon J. Davis, George L. Yang, George B. Wanna and J Mocco

OBJECT

Paragangliomas are highly vascular head and neck tumors for which preoperative embolization is often considered to facilitate resection. The authors evaluated their initial experience using a dual-lumen balloon to facilitate preoperative embolization in 5 consecutive patients who underwent preoperative transarterial Onyx embolization assisted by the Scepter dual-lumen balloon catheter between 2012 and 2014.

OBJECT

The authors reviewed the demographic and clinical records of 5 patients who underwent Scepter-assisted Onyx embolization of a paraganglioma followed by resection between 2012 and 2014. Descriptive statistics of clinical outcomes were assessed.

RESULTS

Five patients (4 with a jugular and 1 with a vagal paraganglioma) were identified. Three paragangliomas were embolized in a single session, and each of the other 2 were completed in 3 staged sessions. The mean volume of Onyx used was 14.3 ml (range 6–30 ml). Twenty-seven vessels were selectively catheterized for embolization. All patients required selective embolization via multiple vessels. Two patients required sacrifice of parent vessels (1 petrocavernous internal carotid artery and 1 vertebral artery) after successful balloon test occlusion. One patient underwent embolization with Onyx-18 alone, 2 with Onyx-34 alone, and 1 with Onyx-18 and −34. In each case, migration of Onyx was achieved within the tumor parenchyma. The mean time between embolization and resection was 3.8 days (range 1–8 days). Gross-total resection was achieved in 3 (60%) patients, and the other 2 patients had minimal residual tumor. The mean estimated blood loss during the resections was 556 ml (range 200–850 ml). The mean postoperative hematocrit level change was −17.3%. Two patients required blood transfusions. One patient, who underwent extensive tumor penetration with Onyx, developed a temporary partial cranial nerve VII palsy that resolved to House-Brackmann Grade I (out of VI) at the 6-month follow-up. One patient experienced improvement in existing facial nerve weakness after embolization.

CONCLUSIONS

Scepter catheter-based Onyx embolization seems to be safe and effective. It was associated with excellent distal tumor vasculature penetration and holds promise as an adjunct to conventional transarterial Onyx embolization of paragangliomas. However, the ease of tumor penetration should encourage caution in practitioners who may be able to effect comparable improvement in blood loss with more conservative proximal Onyx penetration.

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Roberta K. Sefcik, Nicholas L. Opie, Sam E. John, Christopher P. Kellner, J Mocco and Thomas J. Oxley

Current standard practice requires an invasive approach to the recording of electroencephalography (EEG) for epilepsy surgery, deep brain stimulation (DBS), and brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The development of endovascular techniques offers a minimally invasive route to recording EEG from deep brain structures. This historical perspective aims to describe the technical progress in endovascular EEG by reviewing the first endovascular recordings made using a wire electrode, which was followed by the development of nanowire and catheter recordings and, finally, the most recent progress in stent-electrode recordings. The technical progress in device technology over time and the development of the ability to record chronic intravenous EEG from electrode arrays is described. Future applications for the use of endovascular EEG in the preoperative and operative management of epilepsy surgery are then discussed, followed by the possibility of the technique's future application in minimally invasive operative approaches to DBS and BMI.