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Ning Lin, Allen Ho, Bradley A. Gross, Steven Pieper, Kai U. Frerichs, Arthur L. Day and Rose Du

Object

Management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms remains controversial in neurosurgery. The contribution of morphological parameters has not been included in the treatment paradigm in a systematic manner or for any particular aneurysm location. The authors present a large sample of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms that were assessed using morphological variables to determine the parameters associated with aneurysm rupture.

Methods

Preoperative CT angiography (CTA) studies were evaluated using Slicer software to generate 3D models of the aneurysms and their surrounding vascular architecture. Morphological parameters examined in each model included 5 variables already defined in the literature (aneurysm size, aspect ratio, aneurysm angle, vessel angle, and size ratio) and 3 novel variables (flow angle, distance to the genu, and parent-daughter angle). Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed to determine statistical significance.

Results

Between 2005 and 2008, 132 MCA aneurysms were treated at a single institution, and CTA studies of 79 aneurysms (40 ruptured and 39 unruptured) were analyzed. Fifty-three aneurysms were excluded because of reoperation (4), associated AVM (2), or lack of preoperative CTA studies (47). Ruptured aneurysms were associated with larger size, greater aspect ratio, larger aneurysm and flow angles, and smaller parent-daughter angle. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that aspect ratio, flow angle, and parent-daughter angle were the strongest factors associated with ruptured aneurysms.

Conclusions

Aspect ratio, flow angle, and parent-daughter angle are more strongly associated with ruptured MCA aneurysms than size. The association of parameters independent of aneurysm morphology with ruptured aneurysms suggests that these parameters may be associated with an increased risk of aneurysm rupture. These factors are readily applied in clinical practice and should be considered in addition to aneurysm size when assessing the risk of aneurysm rupture specific to the MCA location.

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Giuseppe Lanzino

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Judith M. Wong, John E. Ziewacz, Allen L. Ho, Jaykar R. Panchmatia, Albert H. Kim, Angela M. Bader, B. Gregory Thompson, Rose Du and Atul A. Gawande

Object

As part of a project to devise evidence-based safety interventions for specialty surgery, we sought to review current evidence concerning the frequency of adverse events in open cerebrovascular neurosurgery and the state of knowledge regarding methods for their reduction. This review represents part of a series of papers written to consolidate information about these events and preventive measures as part of an ongoing effort to ascertain the utility of devising system-wide policies and safety tools to improve neurosurgical practice.

Methods

The authors performed a PubMed search using search terms “cerebral aneurysm”, “cerebral arteriovenous malformation”, “intracerebral hemorrhage”, “intracranial hemorrhage”, “subarachnoid hemorrhage”, and “complications” or “adverse events.” Only papers that specifically discussed the relevant complication rates were included. Papers were chosen to be included to maximize the range of rates of occurrence for the reported adverse events.

Results

The review revealed hemorrhage-related hyperglycemia (incidence rates ranging from 27% to 71%) and cerebral salt-wasting syndromes (34%–57%) to be the most common perioperative adverse events related to subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Next in terms of frequency was new cerebral infarction associated with SAH, with a rate estimated at 40%. Many techniques are advocated for use during surgery to minimize risk of this development, including intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, but are not universally used due to surgeon preference and variable availability of appropriate staffing and equipment. The comparative effectiveness of using or omitting monitoring technologies has not been evaluated.

The incidence of perioperative seizure related to vascular neurosurgery is unknown, but reported seizure rates from observational studies range from 4% to 42%. There are no standard guidelines for the use of seizure prophylaxis in these patients, and there remains a need for prospective studies to support such guidelines.

Intraoperative rupture occurs at a rate of 7% to 35% and depends on aneurysm location and morphology, history of rupture, surgical technique, and surgeon experience. Preventive strategies include temporary vascular clipping.

Technical adverse events directly involving application of the aneurysm clip include incomplete aneurysm obliteration and parent vessel occlusion. The rates of these events range from 5% to 18% for incomplete obliteration and 3% to 12% for major vessel occlusion. Intraoperative angiography is widely used to confirm clip placement; adjuncts include indocyanine green video angiography and microvascular Doppler ultrasonography. Use of these technologies varies by institution.

Discussion

A significant proportion of these complications may be avoidable through development and testing of standardized protocols to incorporate monitoring technologies and specific technical practices, teamwork and communication, and concentrated volume and specialization. Collaborative monitoring and evaluation of such protocols are likely necessary for the advancement of open cerebrovascular neurosurgical quality.

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Bradley A. Gross, Daryoush Tavanaiepour, Rose Du, Ossama Al-Mefty and Ian F. Dunn

In this article, the authors review the history of the posterior petrosal approach. The early foundation of the retrolabyrinthine lateral petrosectomy has its roots in the otolaryngology literature. These early approaches were limited in exposure by the tentorium superiorly and the sigmoid sinus posteriorly. Although the concept of a transtentorial approach was originally combined with a complete labyrinthectomy, Hakuba and colleagues described the expansive exposure afforded by sectioning the tentorium and superior petrosal sinus and mobilizing a skeletonized sigmoid sinus. This maneuver serves as the key step in allowing for the full, combined supra- and infratentorial exposure that the posterior petrosal approach provides. In contrast to Hakuba et al.'s approach, which used a partial labyrinthectomy, modern approaches often preserve the entire labyrinth (retrolabyrinthine approach). For added exposure, the latter can be combined with the anterior petrosal approach, allowing for the preservation of hearing and an enhanced view of the surgical target. The authors review the evolution of the petrosal approach and highlight its applicability.

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Bradley A. Gross, Ian F. Dunn, Rose Du and Ossama Al-Mefty

Object

Although they provide excellent ventral and lateral exposure of the brainstem, petrosal approaches to brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) are infrequently reported.

Methods

The authors reviewed their experience with petrosal approaches to brainstem CMs in combination with a comprehensive review of the literature to elucidate resection rates, complication rates, and outcomes.

Results

Including their own results, the authors found 65 cases in 20 reports of brainstem CMs treated with petrosal approaches. The specific approaches were posterior petrosal in 37 cases (57%), anterior petrosal in 17 (26%), extended posterior petrosal in 10 (15%), and a combined petrosal approach in 1 case (2%). For 50 cases in 16 reports with detailed outcome information, the overall complete resection rate was 90%, with early postoperative morbidity reported in 30% of cases and permanent morbidity in 14%. The rate of CSF leakage was 6%.

Conclusions

The versatile petrosal approaches to brainstem CMs are associated with good outcomes and an acceptable morbidity rate. More expansive lesions can be approached using a combination of the standard anterior and posterior petrosal approach, preserving hearing and avoiding the greater complication rates associated with extended posterior petrosal approaches.

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Bradley A. Gross, Daryoush Tavanaiepour, Rose Du, Ossama Al-Mefty and Ian F. Dunn

Complex posterior circulation aneurysms are formidable lesions with an abysmal natural history. Their management continues to present a challenge to both endovascular and open microsurgical approaches. Affording an expansive, combined supra- and infratentorial exposure, the petrosal approaches are well suited for these challenging lesions when located along the basilar trunk or at a low-lying basilar apex. This report evaluates the evolution and application of petrosal approaches to these lesions. Excluding transsigmoid, infratentorial, or labyrinth-sacrificing approaches, the authors found 23 reports with 61 posterior circulation aneurysms treated via a petrosal approach. Although early morbidity was not negligible, rates of aneurysm occlusion (95% overall) and long-term outcome were quite laudable in light of the challenge posed by these lesions. Moreover, with accumulating experience with petrosal approaches, rates of complications are likely to wane, as neurosurgeons capitalize on the expansive exposure afforded by these indispensable approaches.

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Bradley A. Gross, Alexander E. Ropper and Rose Du

Object

The association of aneurysms and cerebral arteriovenous malformations is well established in the literature. Aside from a small number of case reports and small patient series, this association has not been well explored with cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs). This study was designed to elucidate this relationship in the authors' own patient cohort with DAVFs.

Methods

Cerebral angiograms of 56 patients with 70 DAVFs were reviewed for the presence of cerebral aneurysms. Background patient demographics, mode of presentation, and DAVF and aneurysm angiographic characteristics were noted.

Results

Twelve patients (21%) had aneurysms in addition to their DAVF. Three patients had multiple aneurysms. Of a total of 15 aneurysms, 5 (33%) occurred on DAVF feeding arteries and 10 (67%) were in remote locations. These patients more commonly presented with hemorrhage (58% vs 20% for those without aneurysms). Aneurysms were associated with DAVFs in any location (feeding artery or remote), but flow-related feeding artery aneurysms were more likely to be associated with Borden Type III DAVFs.

Conclusions

Twenty-one percent of patients with cerebral DAVFs also had aneurysms in this patient cohort. It is thus prudent to perform 6-vessel digital subtraction angiography on patients with DAVFs to rule out potential feeding artery and remote aneurysms. This association may be explained by flow-related phenomena, the initial inciting event leading to DAVF formation, as well as a potential genetic component or predisposition to develop these lesions.

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Alexander E. Ropper, Ning Lin, Bradley A. Gross, Hekmat K. Zarzour, Ruth Thiex, John H. Chi, Rose Du and Kai U. Frerichs

Object

The management of spinal vascular malformations has undergone significant evolution with the advent of advanced endovascular and angiographic technology. Three-dimensional rotational spinal angiography is an advanced tool that allows the surgeon to gain a better appreciation of the anatomy of these spinal vascular lesions and their relation to surrounding structures. This article describes the use of rotational angiography and 3D reconstructions in the diagnosis and management of spinal vascular malformations.

Methods

The authors present representative cases involving surgical treatment planning for spinal vascular malformations with focus on the utility and technique of rotational spinal angiography. They report the use of rotational spinal angiography for a heterogeneous collection of vascular pathological conditions.

Results

Eight patients underwent rotational spinal angiography in addition to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the diagnosis and characterization of various spinal vascular lesions. Postprocessed images were used to characterize the lesion in relation to surrounding bone and to enhance the surgeon's ability to precisely localize and obliterate the abnormality. The reconstructions provided superior anatomical detail compared with traditional DSA. No associated complications from the rotational angiography were noted, and there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of radiation exposure to patients undergoing rotational angiography relative to traditional angiography.

Conclusions

The use of rotational spinal angiography provides a rapid and powerful diagnostic tool, superior to conventional DSA in the diagnosis and preoperative planning of a variety of spinal vascular pathology. A more detailed understanding of the anatomy of such lesions provided by this technique may improve the safety of the surgical approach.

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Bradley A. Gross, Alexander E. Ropper, A. John Popp and Rose Du

Object

Given the feasibility of curative surgical and endovascular therapy for cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs), there is a relative paucity of radiosurgical series for these lesions as compared with their arteriovenous malformation counterparts.

Methods

The authors reviewed records of 56 patients with 70 cerebral DAVFs treated at their institution over the past 6 years. Ten DAVFs (14%) in 9 patients were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), with follow-up obtained for 8 patients with 9 DAVFs. They combined their results with those obtained from a comprehensive review of the literature, focusing on obliteration rates, post-SRS hemorrhage rates, and other complications.

Results

In the authors' group of 9 DAVFs, angiographic obliteration was seen in 8 cases (89%), and no post-SRS hemorrhage or complications were observed after a mean follow-up of 2.9 years. Combining the results in these cases with data obtained from their review of the literature, they found 558 DAVFs treated with SRS across 14 series. The overall obliteration rate was 71%; transient worsening occurred in 9.1% of patients, permanent worsening in 2.4% (including 1 death, 0.2% of cases), and post-SRS hemorrhage occurred in 1.6% of cases (4.8% of those with cortical venous drainage [CVD]). The obliteration rate for cavernous DAVFs was 84%, whereas the rates for transversesigmoid and for tentorial DAVFs were 58% and 59%, respectively (adjusted p values, pcav,TS = 1.98 × 10−4, pcav,tent = 0.032). Obliteration rates were greater for DAVFs without CVD (80%, compared with 60% for those with CVD, p = 7.59 × 10−4). Both transient worsening and permanent worsening were less common in patients without CVD than in those with CVD (3.4% vs 7.3% for transient worsening and 0.9% vs 2.4% for permanent worsening).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery with or without adjunctive embolization is an effective therapy for DAVFs that are not amenable to surgical or endovascular monotherapy. It is best suited for lesions without CVD and for cavernous DAVFs.

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Alexander E. Ropper, Bradley A. Gross and Rose Du

Object

Type I spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are low-flow vascular shunts fed by radicular arteries in patients who most often present with myelopathy. Although some fistulas are amenable to endovascular embolization, nearly all can be treated with direct microsurgical obliteration.

Methods

The authors reviewed their experience in treating 214 craniospinal arteriovenous malformations and/or fistulas over the last 8 years. Of these, 19 were spinal (9%), of which 15 (79%) were Type I SDAVFs. The authors reviewed the patients' epidemiological characteristics, presenting symptoms, and SDAVF angioarchitecture in all cases. They subsequently analyzed surgical obliteration rates and outcomes of all 11 patients who underwent fistula microsurgical obliteration.

Results

In all patients who underwent microsurgical treatment, complete angiographic obliteration of the fistula was achieved. At follow-up, 10 (91%) of 11 patients exhibited improvement, 1 patient (9%) was the same, and no patients were worse. Specifically, 8 (73%) of 11 patients had improvement in strength and sensation, 5 (71%) of 7 had improvement of bowel/bladder function, and 3 (60%) of 5 had improvement of preoperative paresthesias. There were no wound infections, CSF leaks, or permanent neurological deficits.

Conclusions

Microsurgical treatment of SDAVF provides direct access to the fistula point, allowing for high obliteration rates with excellent long-term improvement of preoperative deficits and limited periprocedural complications.