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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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Thanh G. Phan, John Huston III, Robert D. Brown Jr., David O. Wiebers and David G. Piepgras

Object. The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of enlargement of unruptured intracranial aneurysms by using serial magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and to investigate whether aneurysm characteristics and demographic factors predict changes in aneurysm size.

Methods. A retrospective review of MR angiograms obtained in 57 patients with 62 unruptured, untreated saccular aneurysms was performed. Fifty-five of the 57 patients had no history of subarachnoid hemorrhage. The means of three measurements of the maximum diameters of these lesions on MR source images defined the aneurysm size. The median follow-up period was 47 months (mean 50 months, range 17–90 months).

No aneurysm ruptured during the follow-up period. Four patients (7%) harbored aneurysms that had increased in size. No aneurysms smaller than 9 mm in diameter grew larger, whereas four (44%) of the nine aneurysms with initial diameters of 9 mm or larger increased in size. Factors that predicted aneurysm growth included the size of the lesion (p < 0.001) and the presence of multiple lobes (p = 0.021). The location of the aneurysm did not predict an increased risk of enlargement.

Conclusions. Patients with medium-sized or large aneurysms and patients harboring aneurysms with multiple lobes may be at increased risk for aneurysm growth and should be followed up with MR imaging if the aneurysm is left untreated.

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

Object. Despite the widespread use of ventriculostomy in the treatment of acute hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), there is no consensus regarding the risk of rebleeding associated with ventriculostomy before aneurysm repair. This present study was conducted to assess the risk of rebleeding after preoperative ventriculostomy in patients with aneurysmal SAH.

Methods. The authors reviewed the records of all patients with acute SAH who were treated at a single institution between 1990 and 1997. Thus, the records of 304 consecutive patients in whom an aneurysmal SAH source was documented on angiographic studies and who had presented to the authors' institution within 7 days of ictus were analyzed. Rebleeding was confirmed by evidence of recurrent hemorrhage on computerized tomography scans in all cases.

Forty-five patients underwent ventriculostomy for acute hydrocephalus after aneurysmal SAH at least 24 hours before aneurysm repair. Ventriculostomy was performed within 24 hours of SAH in 38 patients, within 24 to 48 hours in three patients, and more than 48 hours after SAH in four patients. The mean time interval between SAH and surgery in patients who did not undergo ventriculostomy was no different from the mean interval between ventriculostomy and surgery in patients who underwent preoperative ventriculostomy (3.6 compared with 3.8 days, p = 0.81). Fourteen (5.4%) of the 259 patients who did not undergo ventriculostomy suffered preoperative aneurysm rebleeding, whereas two (4.4%) of the 45 patients who underwent preoperative ventriculostomy had aneurysm rebleeding.

Conclusions. No evidence was found that preoperative ventriculostomy performed after aneurysmal SAH is associated with an increased risk of aneurysm rebleeding when early aneurysm surgery is performed.

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Bryce Weir

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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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Nurdin A. Kadyrov, Jonathan A. Friedman, Douglas A. Nichols, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Michael J. Link and David G. Piepgras

✓ Internal carotid artery (ICA) pseudoaneurysm formation following transsphenoidal surgery is a rare but potentially lethal complication. Direct surgical repair with preservation of the ICA may be difficult. The feasibility of endovascular coil embolization with parent artery preservation for an iatrogenic ICA pseudoaneurysm is undefined.

A 40-year-old man was referred to the authors' institution after identification of a pseudoaneurysm of the left ICA following transsphenoidal resection of a pituitary macroadenoma. The pseudoaneurysm was treated via an endovascular approach that included stent-assisted coil embolization of the lesion. Follow-up angiographic studies obtained 1 year later demonstrated complete occlusion of the aneurysm, and the patient remains asymptomatic.

Stent-assisted coil embolization of this iatrogenic pseudoaneurysm was successful in achieving complete, angiographically confirmed aneurysm obliteration, with preservation of the ICA and short-term prevention of hemorrhage or carotid—cavernous fistula. The endovascular method provided an effective, relatively low-risk treatment for this difficult lesion, and was an excellent alternative to direct surgical repair. Nonetheless, long-term follow-up review is required before definitive treatment recommendations can be made.

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Unruptured aneurysms

David O. Wiebers, David G. Piepgras, Robert D. Brown Jr., Irene Meissner, James Torner, Neal F. Kassell, Jack P. Whisnant, John Huston III and Douglas A. Nichols

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Unruptured aneurysms

David G. Piepgras

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Robert D. Henderson, Thanh G. Phan, David G. Piepgras and Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

Object. Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is an uncommon complication of carotid endarterectomy (CEA), and carries a high rate of mortality and morbidity. Traditionally, attention has been focused on the cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (HPS) as the leading cause of ICH after CEA. Other mechanisms, such as a perioperative cerebral ischemic event, cerebral infarction, and use of postoperative anticoagulation therapy, may also be important.

Methods. The authors performed a retrospective case control study to identify factors leading to ICH after CEA. Records of CEAs performed over the past 10 years at the Mayo Clinic were searched for occurrences of ICH within 30 days of the procedure. The relationship of ICH to known cerebrovascular risk factors, perioperative electroencephalographic studies, and 133Xe cerebral blood flow (CBF) studies was compared with that in a control group. Hyperperfusion was defined as hypertension with symptoms of either severe headache, seizures, or confusion, or a doubling of intraoperative CBF values. The clinical history and imaging of ischemic events and the ICH were carefully reviewed to determine the possible underlying mechanism(s).

Twelve (0.4%) of 2747 patients who underwent CEAs suffered a postoperative ICH. A doubling of CBF values was found in five of eight cases in which CBF studies were performed, and occurred more commonly in the patients with ICH than in controls. Clinical symptoms of the HPS were less common (three cases). A perioperative cerebral ischemic event (four cases) and anticoagulation therapy (six cases) were other contributors to a subsequent ICH. Seven of the 12 patients with ICHs died and five achieved a moderate outcome.

Conclusions. An ICH following CEA is an unusual complication that occurs in the setting of hyperperfusion, perioperative cerebral ischemia, anticoagulation therapy, or multiple mechanisms. Identification of CBF doubling at surgery may assist in identifying patients at risk for ICH following CEA.