✓ Ninety-three endarterectomies for carotid stenosis were monitored with cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements, and 113 with both CBF measurements and a continuous electroencephalogram (EEG). Significant CBF increase occurred only when carotid endarterectomy was for a stenosis greater than 90%. A high correlation between CBF and EEG indicated when a shunt was required. To sustain a normal EEG, the CBF ascertained by the initial slope technique must be 18 ml/100 gm/min at an arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) of 40 torr. The degree of EEG change below this level during occlusion reflected the severity of reduced blood flow and was reversible with replacement of a shunt. The value and limitations of these monitoring techniques and a concept of ischemic tolerance and critical CBF are discussed.
Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Frank W. Sharbrough, Robert E. Anderson and John D. Michenfelder
Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.
✓ On June 30, Mrs. Jean Lawe will step down as Managing Editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery. She has worked on the Journal since 1965, when Dr. Louise Eisenhardt retired as the first Editor. Since that time the Journal has grown in size and circulation, and production has become fully computerized. In her valedictory, Mrs. Lawe summarizes her years with the Journal and her approach to scientific editing.
Francis H. Tomlinson, Daniel A. Rüfenacht, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Douglas A. Nichols and Nicolee C. Fode
✓ Arteriovenous (AV) fistulas of cerebral and spinal arteries are characterized angiographically by an immediate AV transition without a capillary bed or “nidus” as occurs in AV malformations (AVM's). The clinical presentation, morphology, radiology, and treatment of 12 patients with cerebral AV fistulas and of 12 patients with spinal AV fistulas are reviewed. In the patients with cerebral lesions, headache and seizure disorders were the most common presentations followed by subarachnoid hemorrhage, cardiac failure, progressive neurological dysfunction, and incidental detection on prenatal ultrasound study. In patients with spinal AV fistulas, weakness and sensory disturbance in the lower extremities were the most frequent clinical presentations followed by back pain, disturbances of micturition, and grand mal seizure. The etiology of the symptom complex produced by AV fistulas in each of these locations differed, with venous hypertension being important in spinal cord lesions.
Of the patients with cerebral lesions, nine had a single AV fistula, one had two fistulas, and two had multiple fistulas. An AVM was observed in five patients with fistulas (two large, three small). Nine patients exhibited extramedullary AV fistulas of the spine, of whom eight had a single fistula and one had three fistulas; three patients had intramedullary spinal AV fistulas. An arterial aneurysm was found in association with two fistulas, one cerebral and one spinal. Venous ectasias or varices, frequently exhibiting mural calcification, were observed to be prominent in all AV fistulas involving cerebral arteries and in two involving spinal arteries. The location and size of the venous complexes reflected the diameter of the fistula. In addition to conventional imaging techniques (cerebral angiography, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging), MR angiography was a helpful adjunct in the evaluation of fistulas. Treatment strategies employed for AV fistulas in both locations included open surgical and endovascular procedures, frequently used in combination. A satisfactory outcome was observed in all patients.
Jack P. Whisnant, Sara E. Sacco, W. Michael O'Fallon, Nicolee C. Fode and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.
✓ The objective of this study was to assess the effect of referral bias on survival in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The characteristics of 49 patients with aneurysmal SAH from a single community were compared with those of 328 patients referred from outside the community, all treated in the same medical care setting. In addition, referral patients who received surgery were compared by differential survival analysis with those still awaiting surgery at Days 1 to 3, Days 4 to 10, and Days 11 to 15.
There was a dramatic difference in the 30-day survival rate between referral patients (83%) and community patients (59%), but most of the difference had occurred by the 2nd day after SAH. In the referral patients, the variables present at first medical attention that were found to have an independent effect on survival were clinical grade, presence of coma, number of days from SAH to referral, diastolic blood pressure, and patient age. There was a higher survival rate at 1 year for patients who were surgically treated compared with those awaiting surgery for each of the three time periods. Patients who underwent early surgical treatment had a 1-year survival rate almost identical to that of patients with late surgery.
Referral patients had a better early survival rate than did community patients because the referral group did not include patients who died and some who were in poor clinical condition before the opportunity for referral. The differential survival analysis described provides a new method for estimating survival for treated and untreated patients with SAH.
Nayef R. F. Al-Rodhan, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., David G. Piepgras, Douglas A. Nichols, Daniel Rßfenacht and Lorna N. Stevens
✓ An alternative theory is proposed to explain the brain edema and hemorrhage that may occur after resection of high-flow intracerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's). This theory, termed “occlusive hyperemia,” is based on a retrospective analysis of operative dictations along with postoperative imaging studies (191 angiograms and 273 computerized tomography scans) in 295 cases of intracerebral AVM's operated on at the Mayo Clinic between 1970 and 1990. In this series, 34 cases (12%) of postoperative deterioration were documented, of which 15 were due to incomplete resection of the AVM. Of the remaining 19 cases, six had brain edema alone and 13 had hemorrhage with edema, despite complete excision of the AVM. In these 19 cases, the AVM's were greater than 6 cm in diameter in 10 patients, between 3 and 6 cm in six, and less than 3 cm in three. Obstruction of the venous drainage system was observed in 14 (74%) of the 19 cases. Ten of these 14 were due to obstruction of the primary venous drainage of the brain parenchyma immediately surrounding the lesions, while four were due to obstruction of other venous structures. In no case was a rapid circulation identified on postoperative angiograms. The flow pattern was slow or stagnant in former AVM feeders and their parenchymal branches. It is proposed that postoperative intracranial hemorrhage and/or brain edema in AVM patients may be due to: 1) obstruction of the venous outflow system of brain adjacent to the AVM, with subsequent passive hyperemia and engorgement; and 2) stagnant arterial flow in former AVM feeders and their parenchymal branches, with subsequent worsening of the existing hypoperfusion, ischemia, and hemorrhage or edema into these areas. Supportive hemodynamic evidence for this theory was derived from the literature.
David G. Piepgras, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Ashvin T. Ragoonwansi and Lorna Stevens
✓ A series of 280 cases of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) treated surgically between June, 1970, and June, 1989, is reviewed with particular focus on the preoperative seizure history and follow-up seizure status. Follow-up evaluation (mean duration 7.5 years) was achieved in 98% of cases and was accomplished through re-examinations, telephone interviews, and written questionnaires. Overall, 89% of the surviving patients with a follow-up period of greater than 2 years were free of seizures at last examination.
Of the 280 patients in this series. 163 had experienced no seizures preoperatively. A recent follow-up study (with a minimum duration of 2 years or to death) was available in 157 of these 163 cases; 21 patients had died. Of the 136 surviving patients, only eight (6%) were having new ongoing seizures. In the 128 (94%) who had remained seizure-free, 73% were receiving no anticonvulsant agents while 27% were taking anticonvulsant prophylaxis. The 2-year minimum follow-up study in 110 of the 117 patients with preoperative seizures revealed that eight (7%) had died. Of the 102 surviving patients, 85 (83%) were seizure-free (with 48% no longer receiving anticonvulsant therapy), while 17 (17%) still suffered intermittent seizures. However, of these 17 patients, 13 reported their seizures to be improved compared to preoperatively; the seizures were the same in two patients and were worse in two patients.
An actuarial analysis was conducted comparing the life expectancy of patients following surgery for AVM's with the expected survival of a general white population of the same age and sex in the West Northcentral region of the United States. No statistically significant difference was found. There were seven perioperative deaths (three from cerebral hemorrhage, two from pulmonary emboli, and two from obstruction of venous drainage) and 22 deaths during the follow-up period. Of these 22 deaths, the cause was unknown in four patients, apparently unrelated to the AVM in 13, and directly or indirectly related to the patient's neurological condition prior to surgery or due to surgery performed for resection of the AVM in five.
There was a statistically significant relationship between the size and location of the AVM and the clinical presentation. Patients with small AVM's (< 3 cm) were more likely to present with hemorrhage whereas those with large AVM's were more likely to present with seizures.
Conclusions from this study are: 1) there is a low incidence of a new seizure disorder following surgery: 2) chances for resolution or control of a pre-existing seizure disorder are good: 3) although resolution of seizures or seizure control was achieved postoperatively in AVM's of all sizes, this benefit was highest in smaller as opposed to larger AVM's; and 4) ultimately, there is a good capacity for recovery from pre-existing neurological deficits or those resulting from surgery.
Phyo Kim, James D. Jones and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.
✓ High-energy phosphate levels were measured in the canine cerebral artery during chronic vasospasm. Subarachnoid hemorrhage and vasospasm were induced by percutaneous injections of autologous venous blood into the cisterna magna. Narrowing of the artery was confirmed by angiography 7 days later. Levels of adenosine phosphates (adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and adenosine monophosphate (AMP)), guanosine phosphates (guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and guanosine diphosphate (GDP)), and creatine phosphate (CrP) in the basilar artery were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography. The total creatine (Crtotal) content was measured by a spectrophotometric method after acid hydrolysis of CrP. Levels of ATP, GTP, and CrP were markedly reduced in the spastic arteries, and ratios of ATP:ADP, GTP:GDP, and CrP:Crtotal were significantly decreased. The results indicate a serious disturbance in the energy metabolism that takes place in the cerebral artery during chronic vasospasm.