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Michael A. Mooney, Elias D. Simon, Scott Brigeman, Peter Nakaji, Joseph M. Zabramski, Michael T. Lawton and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECTIVE

A direct comparison of endovascular versus microsurgical treatment of ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms in randomized trials is lacking. As endovascular treatment strategies continue to evolve, the number of reports of endovascular treatment of these lesions is increasing. Herein, the authors report a detailed post hoc analysis of ruptured MCA aneurysms treated by microsurgical clipping from the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT).

METHODS

The cases of patients enrolled in the BRAT who underwent microsurgical clipping for a ruptured MCA aneurysm were reviewed. Characteristics of patients and their clinical outcomes and long-term angiographic results were analyzed.

RESULTS

Fifty patients underwent microsurgical clipping of a ruptured MCA aneurysm in the BRAT, including 21 who crossed over from the endovascular treatment arm. Four patients with nonsaccular (e.g., dissecting, fusiform, or blister) aneurysms were excluded, leaving 46 patients for analysis. Most (n = 32; 70%) patients presented with a Hunt and Hess grade II or III subarachnoid hemorrhage, with a high prevalence of intraparenchymal blood (n = 23; 50%), intraventricular blood (n = 21; 46%), or both. At the last follow-up (up to 6 years after treatment), clinical outcomes were good (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) in 70% (n = 19) of 27 Hunt and Hess grades I–III patients and in 36% (n = 4) of 11 Hunt and Hess grade IV or V patients. There were no instances of rebleeding after the surgical clipping of aneurysms in this series at the time of last clinical follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Microsurgical clipping of ruptured MCA aneurysms has several advantages over endovascular treatment, including durability over time. The authors report detailed outcome data of patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms who underwent microsurgical clipping as part of a prospective, randomized trial. These results should be used for comparison with future endovascular and surgical series to ensure that the best results are being achieved for patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms.

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Michael A. Mooney, Elias D. Simon, Scott Brigeman, Peter Nakaji, Joseph M. Zabramski, Michael T. Lawton and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECTIVE

A direct comparison of endovascular versus microsurgical treatment of ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms in randomized trials is lacking. As endovascular treatment strategies continue to evolve, the number of reports of endovascular treatment of these lesions is increasing. Herein, the authors report a detailed post hoc analysis of ruptured MCA aneurysms treated by microsurgical clipping from the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT).

METHODS

The cases of patients enrolled in the BRAT who underwent microsurgical clipping for a ruptured MCA aneurysm were reviewed. Characteristics of patients and their clinical outcomes and long-term angiographic results were analyzed.

RESULTS

Fifty patients underwent microsurgical clipping of a ruptured MCA aneurysm in the BRAT, including 21 who crossed over from the endovascular treatment arm. Four patients with nonsaccular (e.g., dissecting, fusiform, or blister) aneurysms were excluded, leaving 46 patients for analysis. Most (n = 32; 70%) patients presented with a Hunt and Hess grade II or III subarachnoid hemorrhage, with a high prevalence of intraparenchymal blood (n = 23; 50%), intraventricular blood (n = 21; 46%), or both. At the last follow-up (up to 6 years after treatment), clinical outcomes were good (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) in 70% (n = 19) of 27 Hunt and Hess grades I–III patients and in 36% (n = 4) of 11 Hunt and Hess grade IV or V patients. There were no instances of rebleeding after the surgical clipping of aneurysms in this series at the time of last clinical follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Microsurgical clipping of ruptured MCA aneurysms has several advantages over endovascular treatment, including durability over time. The authors report detailed outcome data of patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms who underwent microsurgical clipping as part of a prospective, randomized trial. These results should be used for comparison with future endovascular and surgical series to ensure that the best results are being achieved for patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms.

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Randall W. Porter, Paul W. Detwiler, Robert F. Spetzler, Michael T. Lawton, Jonathan J. Baskin, Patrick T. Derksen and Joseph M. Zabramski

Object. In this study the authors review surgical experience with cavernous malformations of the brainstem (CMBs) in an attempt to define more clearly the natural history, indications, and risks of surgical management of these lesions.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed the cases of 100 patients (38 males and 62 females; mean age 37 years) harboring 103 lesions at treated a single institution between 1984 and 1997. Clinical histories, radiographs, pathology records, and operative reports were evaluated. The brainstem lesions were distributed as follows: pons in 39 patients, medulla in 16, midbrain in 16, pontomesencephalic junction in 15, pontomedullary junction in 10, midbrain—hypothalamus/thalamus region in two patients, and more than two brainstem levels in five. The retrospective annual hemorrhage rate was most conservatively estimated at 5% per lesion per year. Standard skull base approaches were used to resect lesions in 86 of the 100 patients. Intraoperatively, all 86 patients were found to have a venous anomaly in association with the CMB. Follow up was available in 98% (84 of 86) of the surgical patients. Of these, 73 (87%) were the same or better after surgical intervention, eight (10%) were worse, and three (4%) died. Two surgical patients were lost to follow-up review. Incidences of permanent or severe morbidity occurred in 10 (12%) of the surgically treated patients. The average postoperative Glasgow Outcome Scale score for surgically treated patients was 4.5, with a mean follow-up period of 35 months.

Conclusions. The natural history of CMBs is worse than that of cavernous malformations in other locations. These CMBs can be resected using skull base approaches, which should be considered in patients with symptomatic hemorrhage who harbor lesions that approach the pial surface. Venous anomalies are always associated with CMBs and must be preserved.