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Nohra Chalouhi, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Somnath Das, Ahmad Sweid, Adam E. Flanders, Robert M. Starke, Michael P. Baldassari, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Michael Reid Gooch, Syed Omar Shah, David Hasan, Nabeel Herial, Robin D’Ambrosio, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

MRI and MRA studies are routinely obtained to identify the etiology of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). The diagnostic yield of MRI/MRA in the setting of an acute ICH, however, remains unclear. The authors’ goal was to determine the utility of early MRI/MRA in detecting underlying structural lesions in ICH and to identify patients in whom additional imaging during hospitalization could safely be foregone.

METHODS

The authors reviewed data obtained in 400 patients with spontaneous ICH diagnosed on noncontrast head CT scans who underwent MRI/MRA between 2015 and 2017 at their institution. MRI/MRA studies were reviewed to identify underlying lesions, such as arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms, cavernous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, tumors, sinus thrombosis, moyamoya disease, and abscesses.

RESULTS

The median patient age was 65 ± 15.8 years. Hypertension was the most common (72%) comorbidity. Structural abnormalities were detected on MRI/MRA in 12.5% of patients. Structural lesions were seen in 5.7% of patients with basal ganglia/thalamic ICH, 14.1% of those with lobar ICH, 20.4% of those with cerebellar ICH, and 27.8% of those with brainstem ICH. Notably, the diagnostic yield of MRI/MRA was 0% in patients > 65 years with a basal ganglia/thalamic hemorrhage and 0% in those > 85 years with any ICH location, whereas it was 37% in patients < 50 years and 23% in those < 65 years. Multivariate analysis showed that decreasing age, absence of hypertension, and non–basal ganglia/thalamic location were predictors of finding an underlying lesion.

CONCLUSIONS

The yield of MRI/MRA in ICH is highly variable, depending on patient age and hemorrhage location. The findings of this study do not support obtaining early MRI/MRA studies in patients ≥ 65 years with basal ganglia/thalamic ICH or in any ICH patients ≥ 85 years. In all other situations, early MRI/MRA remains valuable in ruling out underlying lesions.

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Mario Zanaty, Susanna Howard, Jorge A. Roa, Carlos M. Alvarez, David K. Kung, David J. McCarthy, Edgar A. Samaniego, Daichi Nakagawa, Robert M. Starke, Kaustubh Limaye, Sami Al Kasab, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, James Torner, Daniel Tranel and David Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization of a symptomatic, medically refractory, cervical chronically occluded internal carotid artery (COICA) using endovascular techniques (ETs) has surfaced as a viable alternative to extracranial-intracranial bypass. The authors aimed to assess the safety, success, and neurocognitive outcomes of recanalization of COICA using ETs or hybrid treatment (ET plus carotid endarterectomy) and to identify candidate radiological markers that could predict success.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of their prospectively collected institutional database and used their previously published COICA classification to assess the potential benefits of ETs or hybrid surgery to revascularize symptomatic patients with COICA. Subjects who had undergone CT perfusion (CTP) imaging and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) testing, both pre- and postprocedure, were included. The authors then performed a review of the literature on patients with COICA to further evaluate the success and safety of these treatment alternatives.

RESULTS

The single-center study revealed 28 subjects who had undergone revascularization of symptomatic COICA. Five subjects had CTP imaging and MoCA testing pre- and postrevascularization and thus were included in the study. All 5 patients had very large penumbra involving the entire hemisphere supplied by the ipsilateral COICA, which resolved postoperatively. Significant improvement in neurocognitive outcome was demonstrated by MoCA testing after treatment (preprocedure: 19.8 ± 2.4, postprocedure: 27 ± 1.6; p = 0.0038). Moreover, successful revascularization of COICA led to full restoration of cerebral hemodynamics in all cases. Review of the literature identified a total of 333 patients with COICA. Of these, 232 (70%) showed successful recanalization after ETs or hybrid surgery, with low major and minor complication rates (3.9% and 2.7%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

ETs and hybrid surgery are safe and effective alternatives to revascularize patients with symptomatic COICA. CTP imaging could be used as a radiological marker to assess cerebral hemodynamics and predict the success of revascularization. Improvement in CTP parameters is associated with significant improvement in neurocognitive functions.

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Joseph S. Hudson, Yasunori Nagahama, Daichi Nakagawa, Robert M. Starke, Brian J. Dlouhy, James C. Torner, Pascal Jabbour, Lauren Allan, Colin P. Derdeyn, Jeremy D. W. Greenlee and David Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial stenting and flow diversion require the use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) to prevent in-stent thrombosis. DAPT may significantly increase the risk of hemorrhagic complications in patients who require subsequent surgical interventions. In this study, the authors sought to investigate whether DAPT is a risk factor for hemorrhagic complications associated with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Moreover, the authors sought to compare VP shunt complication rates with respect to the shunt’s location from the initial external ventricular drain (EVD) site.

METHODS

Patients with aSAH who presented to the authors’ institution from July 2009 through November 2016 and required VP shunt placement for persistent hydrocephalus were included. The rates of hemorrhagic complications associated with VP shunt placement were compared between patients who were on a regimen of DAPT (aspirin and clopidogrel) for use of a stent or flow diverter, and patients who underwent microsurgical clipping or coiling only and were not on DAPT using a backward stepwise multivariate analysis. Rates of radiographic hemorrhage and infection-related VP shunt revision were compared between patients who underwent VP shunt placement along the same track and those who underwent VP shunt placement at a different site (contralateral or posterior) from the initial EVD.

RESULTS

A total of 443 patients were admitted for the management of aSAH. Eighty of these patients eventually required VP shunt placement. Thirty-two patients (40%) had been treated with stent-assisted coiling or flow diverters and required DAPT, whereas 48 patients (60%) had been treated with coiling without stents or surgical clipping and were not on DAPT at the time of VP shunt placement. A total of 8 cases (10%) of new hemorrhage were observed along the intracranial proximal catheter of the VP shunt. Seven of these hemorrhages were observed in patients on DAPT, and 1 occurred in a patient not on DAPT. After multivariate analysis, only DAPT was significantly associated with hemorrhage (OR 31.23, 95% CI 2.98–327.32; p = 0.0001). One patient (3%) on DAPT who experienced hemorrhage required shunt revision for hemorrhage-associated proximal catheter blockage. The remaining 7 hemorrhages were clinically insignificant. The difference in rates of hemorrhage between shunt placement along the same track and placement at a different site of 0.07 was not significant (6/47 vs 2/32, p = 0.46). The difference in infection-related VP shunt revision rate was not significantly different (1/47 vs 3/32, p = 0.2978).

CONCLUSIONS

This clinical series confirms that, in patients with ruptured aneurysms who are candidates for stent-assisted coiling or flow diversion, the risk of clinically significant VP shunt–associated hemorrhage with DAPT is low. In an era of evolving endovascular therapeutics, stenting or flow diversion is a viable option in select aSAH patients.

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David Hasan, Mario Zanaty, Robert M. Starke, Elias Atallah, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Amit Singla, Waldo R. Guerrero, Daichi Nakagawa, Edgar A. Samaniego, Nnenna Mbabuike, Rabih G. Tawk, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy, Roberta L. Novakovic, Jonathan White, Clemens M. Schirmer, Thomas G. Brott, Hussain Shallwani and L. Nelson Hopkins

OBJECTIVE

The overall risk of ischemic stroke from a chronically occluded internal carotid artery (COICA) is around 5%–7% per year despite receiving the best available medical therapy. Here, authors propose a radiographic classification of COICA that can be used as a guide to determine the technical success and safety of endovascular recanalization for symptomatic COICA and to assess the changes in systemic blood pressure following successful revascularization.

METHODS

The radiographic images of 100 consecutive subjects with COICA were analyzed. A new classification of COICA was proposed based on the morphology, location of occlusion, and presence or absence of reconstitution of the distal ICA. The classification was used to predict successful revascularization in 32 symptomatic COICAs in 31 patients, five of whom were female (5/31 [16.13%]). Patients were included in the study if they had a COICA with ischemic symptoms refractory to medical therapy. Carotid artery occlusion was defined as 100% cross-sectional occlusion of the vessel lumen as documented on CTA or MRA and confirmed by digital subtraction angiography.

RESULTS

Four types (A–D) of radiographic COICA were identified. Types A and B were more amenable to safe revascularization than types C and D. Recanalization was successful at a rate of 68.75% (22/32 COICAs; type A: 8/8; type B: 8/8; type C: 4/8; type D: 2/8). The perioperative complication rate was 18.75% (6/32; type A: 0/8 [0%]; type B: 1/8 [12.50%]; type C: 3/8 [37.50%], type D: 2/8 [25.00%]). None of these complications led to permanent morbidity or death. Twenty (64.52%) of 31 subjects had improvement in their symptoms at the 2–6 months’ follow-up. A statistically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP) was noted in 17/21 (80.95%) patients who had successful revascularization, which persisted on follow-up (p = 0.0001). The remaining 10 subjects in whom revascularization failed had no significant changes in SBP (p = 0.73).

CONCLUSIONS

The pilot study suggested that our proposed classification of COICA may be useful as an adjunctive guide to determine the technical feasibility and safety of revascularization for symptomatic COICA using endovascular techniques. Additionally, successful revascularization may lead to a significant decrease in SBP postprocedure. A Phase 2b trial in larger cohorts to assess the efficacy of endovascular revascularization using our COICA classification is warranted.

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Elias Atallah, Hassan Saad, Kimon Bekelis, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Jorge Eller, David Stidd, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Thromboembolic complications continue to be encountered with Pipeline embolization devices (PEDs) despite routine clopidogrel/aspirin antiplatelet therapy. This study examined the safety and efficacy of prasugrel in the management of clopidogrel-resistant patients treated for cerebral aneurysms.

METHODS

Four hundred thirty-seven consecutive patients were identified between January 2011 and May 2016. Patients allergic, or having less than 30% platelet inhibition, to a daily 75-mg dose of clopidogrel received 10 mg of prasugrel daily (n = 20) or 90 mg of ticagrelor twice daily (n = 2). The mean (± SD) follow-up duration was 15.8 ± 12.4 months. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score registered before discharge and at each follow-up visit. To control confounding, multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression and propensity score conditioning were used.

RESULTS

Twenty-six (5.9%) of 437 patients presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The mean patient age was 56.3 years, and 62 were women (14.2%). One of the 7 patients lost to follow-up received prasugrel. One patient was allergic to clopidogrel and prasugrel simultaneously. All patients receiving prasugrel or ticagrelor (n = 22) had an mRS score ≤ 2 on their latest follow-up visit (mean score 0.67 ± 1.15). In a multivariate analysis, clopidogrel did not affect the mRS score on last follow-up (p = 0.14). Multivariable logistic regression showed that clopidogrel was not associated with an increased long-term recurrence rate (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.01–2.70, p = 0.21), an increased thromboembolic complication rate (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.12–1.67, p = 0.24), or an increased hemorrhagic event rate (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.91–1.64, p = 0.20). None of the patients receiving prasugrel or ticagrelor died or suffered a long-term recurrence or a hemorrhagic event; only 1 patient suffered from mild aphasia subsequent to a thromboembolic event. Three patients taking clopidogrel died during the study: 2 from acute SAH and 1 from intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Clopidogrel was not associated with an increased mortality rate (OR 2.18, 95% CI 0.11–43.27, p = 0.61). The same associations were present in propensity score–adjusted models.

CONCLUSIONS

In a cohort of patients treated with PEDs, prasugrel (10 mg/day) was a safe alternative to clopidogrel-resistant or clopidogrel-allergic patients, or nonresponders.

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Yasunori Nagahama, Lauren Allan, Daichi Nakagawa, Mario Zanaty, Robert M. Starke, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Robert D. Brown Jr., Colin P. Derdeyn, Enrique C. Leira, Joseph Broderick, Marc Chimowitz, James C. Torner and David Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Clinical vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) are devastating complications of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Several theories involving platelet activation have been postulated as potential explanations of the development of clinical vasospasm and DCI. However, the effects of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT; aspirin and clopidogrel) on clinical vasospasm and DCI have not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of DAPT on clinical vasospasm and DCI in aSAH patients.

METHODS

Analysis of patients treated for aSAH during the period from July 2009 to April 2014 was performed in a single-institution retrospective study. Patients were divided into 2 groups: patients who underwent stent-assisted coiling or placement of flow diverters requiring DAPT (DAPT group) and patients who underwent coiling only without DAPT (control group). The frequency of symptomatic clinical vasospasm and DCI and of hemorrhagic complications was compared between the 2 groups, utilizing univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

Of 312 aSAH patients considered for this study, 161 met the criteria for inclusion and were included in the analysis (85 patients in the DAPT group and 76 patients in the control group). The risks of clinical vasospasm (OR 0.244, CI 95% 0.097–0.615, p = 0.003) and DCI (OR 0.056, CI 95% 0.01–0.318, p = 0.001) were significantly lower in patients receiving DAPT. The rates of hemorrhagic complications associated with placement of external ventricular drains and ventriculoperitoneal shunts were similar in both groups (4% vs 2%, p = 0.9).

CONCLUSIONS

The use of DAPT was associated with a lower risk of clinical vasospasm and DCI in patients treated for aSAH, without an increased risk of hemorrhagic complications.

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Purvee D. Patel, Nohra Chalouhi, Elias Atallah, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Hekmat Zarzour, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is the most widely used flow diverter in endovascular neurosurgery. In 2011, the device received FDA approval for the treatment of large and giant aneurysms in the internal carotid artery extending from the petrous to the superior hypophyseal segments. However, as popularity of the device grew and neurosurgeons gained more experience, its use has extended to several other indications. Some of these off-label uses include previously treated aneurysms, acutely ruptured aneurysms, small aneurysms, distal circulation aneurysms, posterior circulation aneurysms, fusiform aneurysms, dissecting aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, and even carotid-cavernous fistulas. The authors present a literature review of the safety and efficacy of the PED in these off-label uses.

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Badih Daou, Edison P. Valle-Giler, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Robert H. Rosenwasser, Ryan Hebert and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) has become an effective treatment strategy for some cerebral aneurysms. Concerns regarding the patency of branch arteries have been raised. The objective of this study was to assess the patency of the posterior communicating artery (PCoA) following treatment of PCoA aneurysms using the PED.

METHODS

All patients with PCoA aneurysms treated with the PED who had angiographic follow-up were retrospectively identified. The patency of the PCoA at follow-up was evaluated by 2 authors who were not involved in the intervention. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the following: 1) PCoA patency versus no or diminished flow, and 2) PCoA patency and diminished flow versus PCoA occlusion.

RESULTS

Thirty patients with an angiographic follow-up of 6 months were included. Aneurysm obliteration was achieved in 25 patients (83.3%). The PCoA was patent in 7 patients (23.3%), had diminished flow in 7 patients (23.3%), and was occluded in 16 patients (53.3%). In the univariate analysis of outcome, there was a trend for aneurysms with incomplete occlusion, aneurysms not previously treated, those with presence of a fetal PCoA, and those with an artery coming from the aneurysm to have higher odds of the PCoA remaining patent. In univariate and multivariate analyses of factors associated with outcome, fetal PCoA and presence of an artery coming from the aneurysm were associated with the PCoA remaining open with or without diminished flow. No patients had symptoms related to PCoA occlusion.

CONCLUSIONS

Occlusion and diminished flow through the PCoA is common following PED treatment of PCoA aneurysms. However, it is clinically insignificant in most cases.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Mario Zanaty, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Philip Manasseh, David Hasan, Ketan R. Bulsara, Robert M. Starke, Kevin Lawson, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECT

Endovascular interventions have become an essential part of a neurosurgeon’s practice. Whether endovascular procedures have been effectively integrated into residency curricula, however, remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to assess the preparedness of US neurosurgery graduate trainees for neuroendovascular fellowship.

METHODS

A multidomain, global assessment survey was sent to all directors/faculty of neuroendovascular fellowship programs involved in training of US neurosurgery graduates. Surveyees were asked to assess trainees as they entered fellowship.

RESULTS

The response rate was 78% (25/32). Of respondent program directors, 38% reported that new fellows did not know the history and imaging of the patient and 50% were unable to formulate an appropriate treatment plan. As many as 79% of fellows were unfamiliar with endovascular devices and 75% were unfamiliar with angiographic equipment. Furthermore, 58% of fellows were unable to perform femoral access, 54% were unable to perform femoral closure, 79% were unable to catheterize a major vessel, 86% were unable to perform a 4-vessel angiogram, and 100% were unable to catheterize an aneurysm. Additionally, program directors reported that over 50% of fellows could not recognize neurovascular anatomy and 54% could not recognize/classify vascular abnormalities. There was an overall agreement that fellows demonstrated professionalism and interest in research and had good communication/clinical skills.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest potential gaps in the training of neurosurgery residents with regard to endovascular neurosurgery. In an era of minimally invasive therapies, changes in residency curricula may be needed to keep pace with the ever-changing field of neurosurgery.