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R. Loch Macdonald, Bryce K. A. Weir, Tim D. Runzer, Michael G. A. Grace, J. Max Findlay, Kenichi Saito, David A. Cook, Bruce W. Mielke and Kenji Kanamaru

✓ A primate model was used to determine whether oxyhemoglobin (OxyHb), methemoglobin (MetHb), or bilirubin is likely to be responsible for cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Forty cynomolgus monkeys were randomly assigned to one of five groups. On Day 0, each animal underwent angiography followed by right craniectomy and placement of an Ommaya reservoir with its catheter adjacent to the right middle cerebral artery (MCA). The animals received intrathecal injections twice a day for 6 days of one of the following solutions: mock cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); OxyHb; MetHb; bilirubin; or supernatant fluid from an incubated mixture of autologous blood and mock CSF. On Day 7, angiography was repeated and the animals were killed. Comparison of angiograms obtained on Day 0 and Day 7 of the experiment showed significant vasospasm of the right MCA and the right anterior cerebral and internal carotid arteries in the animal groups that had received OxyHb or supernatant fluid. There was a smaller reduction in diameter of the same vessels in the bilirubin group (not statistically significant), while no effects were observed in the groups receiving MetHb or mock CSF. Electron microscopy of the right MCA's gave results consistent with the angiographic findings. One monkey in the OxyHb group developed a delayed-onset right MCA infarction. These data suggest that OxyHb is the cause of cerebral vasospasm following SAH.

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J. Max Findlay, R. Loch Macdonald, Bryce K. A. Weir and Michael G. A. Grace

✓ It is generally believed that surgery in the face of angiographic vasospasm is dangerous due to an increased incidence of postoperative cerebral ischemia. One theory is that arterial narrowing is exacerbated by surgical manipulation of vasospastic vessels during aneurysm dissection and clipping. This theory was tested in a primate model of cerebral vasospasm and the results reported.

Six monkeys underwent baseline cerebral angiography, followed by induction of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) on both sides of the circle of Willis. An equal amount of fresh autologous blood clot was placed around each internal carotid, anterior cerebral, and middle cerebral artery. Six days later, angiography was repeated and the right craniectomy was reopened for clot evacuation and surgical manipulation of the right cerebral arteries, including placement of a temporary aneurysm clip on the right middle cerebral artery. The left cerebral arteries were not exposed or manipulated, and served as controls. Twenty-four hours later angiography was repeated, then the animals were killed. Equal and significant vasospasm (> 40% reduction in vessel caliber compared to baseline, p < 0.05) was seen in the middle cerebral arteries on both sides of the circle of Willis in all animals 6 and 7 days after SAH. There was no significant change in the severity of vasospasm on Day 7 compared with Day 6 in the right cerebral arteries. Increased risk of postoperative cerebral ischemia for surgery in the peak vasospasm period may be due to mechanisms other than increased arterial narrowing precipitated by surgical manipulation.

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Tim E. Darsaut, Robert Fahed, R. Loch Macdonald, Adam S. Arthur, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Fuat Arikan, Daniel Roy, Alain Weill, Alain Bilocq, Jeremy L. Rempel, Michael M. Chow, Robert A. Ashforth, J. Max Findlay, Luis H. Castro-Afonso, Miguel Chagnon, Guylaine Gevry and Jean Raymond


Ruptured intracranial aneurysms (RIAs) can be managed surgically or endovascularly. In this study, the authors aimed to measure the interobserver agreement in selecting the best management option for various patients with an RIA.


The authors constructed an electronic portfolio of 42 cases of RIA in which an angiographic image along with a brief clinical vignette for each patient were displayed. Undisclosed to the responders was that the RIAs had been categorized as International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) (small, anterior-circulation, non–middle cerebral artery location, n = 18) and non-ISAT (n = 22) aneurysms; the non-ISAT group also included 2 basilar apex aneurysms for which a high number of endovascular choices was expected. The portfolio was sent to 132 clinicians who manage patients with RIAs and circulated to members of an American surgical association. Judges were asked to choose between surgical and endovascular management, to indicate their level of confidence in the choice of treatment on a quantitative 0–10 scale, and to determine whether they would include the patient in a randomized trial in which both treatments are compared. Eleven clinicians were asked to respond twice at least 1 month apart. Responses were analyzed using kappa statistics.


Eighty-five clinicians (58 cerebrovascular surgeons, 21 interventional neuroradiologists, and 6 interventional neurologists) answered the questionnaire. Overall, endovascular management was chosen more frequently (n = 2136 [59.8%] of 3570 answers). The proportions of decisions to clip were significantly higher for non-ISAT (50.8%) than for ISAT (26.2%) aneurysms (p = 0.0003). Interjudge agreement was only fair (kappa 0.210, 95% CI 0.158–0.276) for all cases and judges, despite high confidence levels (mean score > 8 for all cases). Agreement was no better within subgroups of clinicians with the same specialty, years of experience, or location of practice or across capability groups (ability to clip or coil, or both). When agreement was defined as > 80% of responders choosing the same option, agreement occurred for only 7 of 40 cases, all of which were ISAT aneurysms, for which coiling was preferred.


Agreement between clinicians regarding the best management option was infrequent but centered around coiling for some ISAT aneurysms. Surgical clipping was chosen more frequently for non-ISAT aneurysms than for ISAT aneurysms. Patients with such an aneurysm might be candidates for inclusion in randomized trials.