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  • By Author: Martin, Neil A. x
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Joon K. Song, Aman B. Patel, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Reza Jahan, Neil A. Martin, Edwin D. Cacayorin and Fernando Viñuela

✓ The authors present the case of a 69-year-old man who suffered from bilateral cortical venous hypertension due to a brain pial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) with a high-flow fistula. The AVM became complicated by the development of a high-grade stenosis of the posterior superior sagittal sinus (SSS). A comparison of cerebral angiograms obtained at different times revealed that the severe SSS stenosis had developed within a 5-year period and was located distal to the nidus of the left parietal AVM nidus, away from the entrance of the dominant superior superficial cortical draining vein into the SSS. The high-flow fistula was occluded with detachable coils and the AVM nidus was further embolized with acrylic. The SSS stenosis was mechanically dilated by means of balloon angioplasty and stent placement. This case provides angiographic evidence to support the hypothesis that a pial arteriovenous fistula in an adult can cause high-flow occlusive venopathy in a major sinus within a relatively short time and that this acquired high-flow occlusive venopathy can develop at an atypical location distant from the nidus of the AVM.

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Joon K. Song, Fernando Viñuela, Y. Pierre Gobin, Gary R. Duckwiler, Yuichi Murayama, Inam Kureshi, John G. Frazee and Neil A. Martin

Object. The authors assessed clinical outcomes of patients with treated spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) and investigated prognostic factors.

Methods. Thirty consecutive patients with spinal DAVFs were treated at the authors' institution during the past 15 years: seven underwent surgery; seven underwent surgery after failed embolization; and 16 underwent embolization alone. The outcomes of gait and micturition disability were analyzed. Follow up averaged 3.4 years (range 1 month–11.8 years). Age, duration of symptoms, pre- and postintervention magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings, and preintervention disability were correlated with outcome.

Seventeen patients (57%) experienced improved gait, 12 (40%) were unchanged, and one (3%) was worse. In 11 patients (37%) micturition function was improved, in 15 (50%) it was unchanged, and in four (13%) it was worse. Gait disability, as measured by the Aminoff—Logue Scale, was significantly improved after treatment, from 3.4 ± 1.4 (average ± standard deviation) to 2.7 ± 1.5 (p = 0.007). Mean micturition disability scores decreased, but not significantly, from 1.9 ± 1 to 1.6 ± 1.1 (p = 0.20). Preintervention gait disability was not associated with improvement except for patients with Aminoff—Logue Scale Grade 4 disability (eight of nine improved; p = 0.024). For patients treated within 13 months of symptom onset, mean micturition disability decreased (p = 0.035). No association was found between clinical improvement and age, a symptom duration less than 30 months, or pre- and postintervention MR imaging—documented spinal cord edema.

Conclusions. Spinal DAVF treatment significantly improved patients' mean gait disability score by almost one grade at last follow up. The mean micturition disability score was not significantly improved, unless treatment was performed within 13 months of symptom onset. Longer and more uniform follow-up study is needed to determine if improved and stabilized clinical outcomes are sustained.

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Sten Solander, Alexandre Ulhoa, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin, John G. Frazee and Guido Guglielmi

Object. The purpose of this paper is to present the authors' experience with Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) embolization of multiple intracranial aneurysms and to evaluate the results of this therapy in single-stage procedures.

Methods. Clinical and angiographic evaluations were performed in 38 consecutive patients with multiple intracranial aneurysms treated by GDC embolization between March 1990 and October 1997. Twenty-nine patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), four with mass effect, and five were asymptomatic. These 38 patients harbored 101 aneurysms, 79 of which were treated with GDCs, 14 by surgical clipping, and eight were left untreated. Of the GDC-treated lesions, a complete endovascular occlusion was achieved in 55 aneurysms (70%), and 24 (30%) presented neck remnants. Twenty-five patients (66%) underwent GDC embolization of more than one aneurysm in the first session. Eighteen (86%) of 21 patients with acute SAH underwent treatment for all aneurysms within 3 days after admission (15 of 21 in one session). Follow-up angiographic studies in 30 patients demonstrated an unchanged or improved result in 94% of the aneurysms (59 lesions) and coil compaction in 6% (four lesions). The overall clinical outcome was excellent in 34 patients (89%), good in one (3%), fair in one (3%), and death in two (5%).

Conclusions. Endovascular treatment of multiple intracranial aneurysms, regardless of their location, with GDCs was performed safely in one session, even during the acute phase of SAH. Treatment of all aneurysms in one session protected the patient from rebleeding and eliminated the risk of mistakenly treating only the unruptured aneurysms.

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Tim W. Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin, John G. Frazee and Joan S. Chmiel

Object. Embolization of intracranial aneurysms by using Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) is proving to be a safe method of protecting aneurysms from rupture. Occasionally, patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms present with symptoms related to the aneurysm's mass effect on either the brain parenchyma or cranial nerves. In the present study, the authors conducted a retrospective review to evaluate the response to GDC embolization in a series of 19 patients presenting with cranial nerve dysfunction due to mass effect.

Methods. Aneurysms were classified by size, shape, wall calcification, and amount of intraluminal thrombus. Patients were classified by duration of symptoms prior to GDC treatment (range < 1 month to > 10 years). Clinical assessment was performed within days of the GDC procedure and at later follow-up appointments (range 1–70 months, mean 24 months).

In the immediate post-GDC period, four patients experienced worsening of cranial nerve deficits. Two of the four patients had transient worsening of visual acuity, which later improved to better than baseline status. Another patient who had presented with headache and seventh and eighth cranial nerve deficits from a vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm had improvement in these symptoms, but developed a new diplopia. The fourth patient had worsening of her visual acuity, which had not resolved at the 1-month follow-up examination; this patient later underwent surgical decompression.

Conclusions. On late follow-up review, the response was classified as complete resolution of symptoms in six patients (32%), improvement in eight patients (42%), no significant change in four patients (21%), and symptom worsening in one patient (5%). Patients with smaller aneurysms and those with shorter pretreatment duration of symptoms were more likely to experience an improvement in their symptoms following GDC treatment, although statistical significance was not reached in this series (p = 0.603 and p = 0.111, respectively). The presence of aneurysmal wall calcification (six patients) or intraluminal thrombus (12 patients) showed no correlation with the response of mass effect symptoms in these patients.

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Yuichi Murayama, Tim Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Michel E. Mawad, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Richard P. Klucznick, Neil A. Martin and John Frazee

✓ Cerebral vasospasm is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients admitted to the hospital after suffering aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The early surgical removal of subarachnoid clots and irrigation of the basal cisterns have been reported to reduce the incidence of vasospasm. In contrast to surgery, the endovascular treatment of aneurysms does not allow removal of subarachnoid clots. In this study the authors measured the incidence of symptomatic vasospasm after early endovascular treatment of acutely ruptured aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).

Sixty-nine patients classified as Hunt and Hess Grades I to III underwent occlusion of intracranial aneurysms via GDCs within 72 hours of rupture. The amount of blood on the initial computerized tomography (CT) scan was classified by means of Fisher's scale. Symptomatic vasospasm was defined as the onset of neurological deterioration verified with angiographic or transcranial Doppler studies. Hypertensive, hypervolemic, hemodilution therapy, with or without intracranial angioplasty, was used to treat vasospasm after GDC placement.

Symptomatic vasospasm occurred in 16 (23%) of 69 patients. The clinical grade at admission and the amount of blood on the initial CT were both associated with the incidence of subsequent vasospasm. At 6-month clinical follow-up examination, 12 of these 16 patients experienced a good recovery, two were moderately disabled, and two patients had died of vasospasm.

In conclusion, the 23% incidence of symptomatic vasospasm in this series compares favorably with that found in conventional surgical series of patients with acute aneurysmal SAH. These results indicate that endovascular therapy does not have an unfavorable impact on cerebral vasospasm.

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Tim W. Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin and John G. Frazee

✓ A prospective study was designed to evaluate clinical outcome in a series of 100 consecutively treated patients who underwent endovascular embolization of 104 intracranial aneurysms using Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). Midterm clinical outcome (2–6 years, average 3.5 years) was obtained for 94 patients and was classified according to a modified Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Of nine patients treated in the acute phase of severe subarachnoid hemorrhage (Grade IV or V), seven died from the initial hemorrhage, one had a poor outcome, and one had a fair midterm outcome, with no post-GDC embolization hemorrhages.

Twenty patients underwent subsequent surgical or endovascular procedures that did not include the use of GDCs. These included aneurysm clipping in nine patients and parent vessel sacrifice in 11 patients. None of these 20 patients experienced post-GDC embolization hemorrhage. The postoperative midterm clinical outcomes of these 20 patients did not significantly differ from the outcomes of patients who underwent GDC embolization as their definitive treatment.

Six patients died of unrelated causes prior to reaching the 2-year survival point, with no post-GDC embolization hemorrhage. The midterm outcomes of the remaining 61 patients who underwent GDC embolization as their definitive treatment were classified as excellent (46 patients [75%]), good (seven patients [11%]), fair (three patients [5%]), poor (one patient [2%]), or dead (four patients [7%]). All four patients died from giant lesions. At midterm follow up, the surviving 57 patients' neurological statuses were unchanged or improved in 54 cases and worsened in three cases. The midterm post-GDC embolization hemorrhage rate was 0% for small aneurysms, 4% (one case) for large aneurysms, and 33% (five cases) for giant lesions.

The GDC procedure is a safe, effective, and reliable means of preventing aneurysm hemorrhage in patients with small and large intracranial aneurysms. Results, however, are less satisfactory in cases involving giant lesions. Further follow-up review is necessary to establish durability in the longer term. Patients with Grade IV or V subarachnoid hemorrhage in this series generally had poor outcomes even if the GDC procedure was successful in occluding the aneurysm.

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Y. Pierre Gobin, Fernando Viñuela, John H. Gurian, Guido Guglielmi, Gary R. Duckwiler, Tarik F. Massoud and Neil A. Martin

✓ Results in nine patients with large or giant fusiform intracranial aneurysms that were treated with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) are reported. There were six males and three females between the ages of 12 and 63. Four patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and four with mass effect; in one patient the aneurysm was asymptomatic and located in an arterial feeder of an arteriovenous malformation. Five aneurysms were supratentorial and four were in the posterior fossa. Five were giant and four were large. Selective occlusion with preservation of the parent artery was attempted in three cases, and complete occlusion of the aneurysm and the parent artery was performed in six patients. The tolerance to parent artery occlusion was assessed by angiography, balloon test occlusion, and amytal testing. Six aneurysms were permanently occluded and two partially recanalized. In one case, GDC embolization was not possible.

The four patients who presented with SAH made an excellent clinical recovery. Three of the four patients presenting with mass effect recovered completely and one remained unchanged. The patient with an incidental aneurysm remained asymptomatic. There were no permanent complications. In conclusion, GDCs were useful for the occlusion of large and giant intradural fusiform aneurysms. Occlusion of the aneurysm and the parent artery afforded the greatest opportunity for a complete cure. Advantages of GDCs compared to balloons include: occlusion of a shorter segment of normal artery, no traction on the parent vessel, and safer and easier catheterization techniques.