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Timothy G. White, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Jung Park, Jeffrey Katz, David J. Langer and Amir R. Dehdashti

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral revascularization for carotid occlusion was previously a mainstay procedure for the cerebrovascular neurosurgeon. However, the 1985 extracranial-intracranial bypass trial and subsequently the Carotid Occlusion Surgery Study (COSS) provided level 1 evidence via randomized controlled trials against bypass for symptomatic atherosclerotic carotid occlusion disease. However, in a small number of patients optimal medical therapy fails, and some patients with flow-limiting stenosis develop a perfusion-dependent neurological examination. Therefore it is necessary to further stratify patients by risk to determine who may most benefit from this intervention as well as to determine perioperative morbidity in this high-risk patient population.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of all revascularization procedures done for symptomatic atherosclerotic cerebrovascular steno-occlusive disease. All patients undergoing revascularization after the publication of the COSS in 2011 were included. Perioperative morbidity and mortality were assessed as the primary outcome to determine safety of revascularization in this high-risk population. All patients had documented hypoperfusion on hemodynamic imaging.

RESULTS

At total of 35 revascularization procedures were included in this review. The most common indication was for patients with recurrent strokes, who were receiving optimal medical therapy and who suffered from cerebrovascular steno-occlusion. At 30 days only 3 perioperative ischemic events were observed, 2 of which led to no long-term neurological deficit. Immediate graft patency was good, at 94%. Long term, no further strokes or ischemic events were observed, and graft patency remained high at 95%. There were no factors associated with perioperative ischemic events in the variables that were recorded.

CONCLUSIONS

Cerebral revascularization may be done safely at high-volume cerebrovascular centers in high-risk patients in whom optimal medical therapy has failed. Further research must be done to develop an improved methodology of risk stratification for patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic cerebrovascular steno-occlusive disease to determine which patients may benefit from intervention. Given the high risk of recurrent stroke in certain patients, and the fact that patients fail medical therapy, surgical revascularization may provide the best method to ensure good long-term outcomes with manageable up-front risks.

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Mohamed Somji, James McEachern and Joseph Silvaggio

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral proliferative angiopathy (CPA) is considered a discrete vascular malformation of the brain separate from classical brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). It has unique angiographic characteristics and has been hypothesized to result from chronic cortical ischemia and perinidal oligemia. Treatment with cerebral revascularization has been proposed in an attempt to disrupt regional hypoperfusion and interrupt the angiogenesis that defines CPA. A systematic review of the literature pertaining to the role of cerebral revascularization may highlight a treatment paradigm for this rare disease.

METHODS

A systematic review was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. MEDLINE and Embase were searched from inception for papers relating to CPA. Included articles were categorized according to methodology (case series or imaging study) and treatment modality (conservative, radiation, endovascular, or revascularization). A synthesis was compiled summarizing the current evidence regarding cerebral revascularization in CPA.

RESULTS

The initial search revealed 43 articles, of which 28 studies met the inclusion criteria. Nine studies were identified that described imaging findings, which suggested hemodynamic dysregulation and perinidal impairments in the cerebrovascular reserve could be identified compared to unaffected hemispheres and classical brain AVMs. Six studies including 7 patients undergoing indirect forms of cerebral revascularization were identified. Clinical and radiological outcomes following revascularization were favorable in all but one study.

CONCLUSIONS

A small body of radiological and clinical studies has emerged, suggesting that CPA is a response to perinidal oligemia. While the long-term clinical efficacy of revascularization remains unclear, early results suggest that this may be a novel treatment paradigm for patients with CPA.

Free access

Shunsuke Nomura, Koji Yamaguchi, Tatsuya Ishikawa, Akitsugu Kawashima, Yoshikazu Okada and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Effectively retaining the patency of the extracranial-intracranial (ECIC) bypass is one of the most important factors in improving long-term results; however, the factors influencing bypass patency have not been discussed much. Therefore, the authors investigated factors influencing the development of the bypass graft.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated 49 consecutive hemispheres in 47 adult Japanese patients who had undergone ECIC bypass for chronic steno-occlusive cerebrovascular disease. To evaluate objectively the development of the ECIC bypass graft, the change in the area of the main trunk portion of the superficial temporal artery (STA) from before to after bypass surgery (postop/preop STA) was measured. Using the interquartile range (IQR), the authors statistically analyzed the factors associated with excellent (> 3rd quartile) and poor development (< 1st quartile) of the bypass graft.

RESULTS

The postop/preop STA ranged from 1.08 to 6.13 (median 1.97, IQR 1.645–2.445). There was a significant difference in the postop/preop STA between the presence and absence of concurrent diabetes mellitus (p = 0.0432) and hyperlipidemia (0.0069). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis revealed that only concurrent diabetes mellitus was significantly associated with poor development of the bypass graft (p = 0.0235).

CONCLUSIONS

Diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia influenced the development of the ECIC bypass graft. In particular, diabetes mellitus is the only factor associated with poor development of the bypass graft.

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Lonnie Schneider, Ethan Reichert, Jenna Faulkner, Brielle Reichert, Joshua Sonnen and Gregory W. J. Hawryluk

OBJECTIVE

Recent research demonstrates that victims of spinal cord injury (SCI) are at increased risk for dementia and that encephalitis can occur as a consequence of isolated SCI. We theorize that autoimmunity to the central nervous system (CNS) could explain these phenomena and undertook this study to determine whether peripheral inoculation with spinal cord homogenate on 1 or 2 occasions is associated with CNS-directed autoimmunity and neurodegeneration in a rat model.

METHODS

Rats were subcutaneously inoculated with saline or 75 mg of allogeneic spinal cord tissue on 1 or 2 occasions. Animals underwent Morris Water Maze testing, and serial serum samples were collected. Animals were sacrificed 8 weeks following the first inoculation. Autoantibody titers to myelin antigens MAG and GM1 were measured in serum. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify autoantibodies targeting NeuN-labeled neurons and CC1-labeled oligodendrocytes. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and western blotting were performed for pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 and the cell death marker caspase 3 as well as the neurodegenerative proteins tau and β-amyloid in both brain and spinal cord. Fluoro-Jade B was used to stain degenerating neurons, facilitating counting.

RESULTS

Animals inoculated with spinal cord homogenate exhibited increased titers of autoantibodies to MAG and GM1 and autoantibodies binding to neurons and oligodendrocytes. Double-inoculated animals demonstrated a significant increase in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain (TNF-α, p = 0.016; IL-6, p = 0.009) as well as the spinal cord (TNF-α, p = 0.024; IL-6, p = 0.002). The number of degenerating neurons was significantly increased in the brain and spinal cord of inoculated animals (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.028, respectively). Elevated expression of tau and β-amyloid was seen in brain of double-inoculated animals (p = 0.003 and p = 0.009, respectively). Inflammatory marker expression in the brain was positively correlated with anti-myelin autoimmune antibody titers and with tau expression in the brain. Inoculated animals showed impaired memory function in Morris Water Maze testing (p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of these experiments demonstrate that peripheral exposure to spinal cord antigens is associated with CNS-directed autoimmunity and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord as well as degeneration of CNS cells, memory impairment, and production of neurodegenerative proteins particularly when this exposure is repeated. These data support CNS autoimmunity as a candidate mechanism for the dementia that can follow SCI and perhaps other posttraumatic dementias such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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Cuiping Xu, Tao Yu, Guojun Zhang, Gary B. Rajah, Yuping Wang and Yongjie Li

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the electro-clinical features, etiology, treatment, and postsurgical seizure outcomes in patients with intractable epileptic spasms (ESs).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied the medical records of all patients who had presented with medically intractable ESs and had undergone surgery in the period between October 2009 and August 2015. The interictal electroencephalography (EEG) pattern, MRI studies, magnetoencephalography findings, and postsurgical seizure outcomes were compared.

RESULTS

Twenty-six patients, 12 boys and 14 girls (age range 3–22 years), were eligible for study inclusion. Of these 26 patients, 84.6% (22) presented with multiple seizure types including partial seizures (PSs) independent of the ESs (30.8%); ESs followed by tonic seizures (30.8%); myoclonic seizures (19.2%); tonic seizures (19.2%); ESs followed by PSs (19.2%); focal seizures with secondary generalization (15.4%); atypical absence (11.5%); PSs followed by ESs (7.7%); and myoclonic followed by tonic seizures (7.7%). Seventeen patients underwent multilobar resection and 9 underwent unilobar resection. At the last follow-up (mean 36.6 months), 42.3% of patients were seizure free (outcome classification [OC] 1), 23.1% had > 50% reduction in seizure frequency (OC2–OC4), and 34.6% had < 50% reduction in seizure frequency or no improvement (OC5 and OC6). Predictors of favorable outcomes included an interictal focal EEG pattern and concordance between interictal EEG and MRI-demonstrated lesions (p = 0.001 and 0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

A favorable surgical outcome is achievable in a highly select group of patients with ESs secondary to structural lesions. Interictal EEG can help in identifying patients with the potential for favorable resective outcomes.

Free access

Bradley Kolb, Hassan Fadel, Gary Rajah, Hamidreza Saber, Ali Luqman and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

OBJECTIVE

Steno-occlusive diseases of the cerebral vasculature have been associated with cognitive decline. The authors performed a systematic review of the existing literature on intracranial steno-occlusive disease, including intracranial atherosclerosis and moyamoya disease (MMD), to determine the extent and quality of evidence for the effect of revascularization on cognitive performance.

METHODS

A systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, the Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection, and the KCI Korean Journal Database was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the English-language literature and observational studies that compared cognitive outcomes before and after revascularization in patients with steno-occlusive disease of the intracranial vasculature, from which data were extracted and analyzed.

RESULTS

Nine papers were included, consisting of 2 RCTs and 7 observational cohort studies. Results from 2 randomized trials including 142 patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic steno-occlusion found no additional benefit to revascularization when added to maximal medical therapy. The certainty in the results of these trials was limited by concerns for bias and indirectness. Results from 7 observational trials including 282 patients found some cognitive benefit for revascularization for symptomatic atherosclerotic steno-occlusion and for steno-occlusion related to MMD in children. The certainty of these conclusions was low to very low, due to both inherent limitations in observational studies for inferring causality and concerns for added risk of bias and indirectness in some studies.

CONCLUSIONS

The effects of revascularization on cognitive performance in intracranial steno-occlusive disease remain uncertain due to limitations in existing studies. More well-designed randomized trials and observational studies are needed to determine if revascularization can arrest or reverse cognitive decline in these patients.

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Eva M. Wu, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Cameron M. McDougall, Salah G. Aoun, Nikhil Mehta, Om James Neeley, Aaron Plitt, Vin Shen Ban, Rafael Sillero, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer and Babu G. Welch

OBJECTIVE

Endovascular embolization has been established as an adjuvant treatment strategy for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). A growing body of literature has discussed curative embolization for select lesions. The transition of endovascular embolization from an adjunctive to a definitive treatment modality remains controversial. Here, the authors reviewed the literature to assess the lesional characteristics, technical factors, and angiographic and clinical outcomes of endovascular embolization of AVMs with intent to cure.

METHODS

Electronic databases—Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, and PubMed—were searched for studies in which there was evidence of AVMs treated using endovascular embolization with intent to cure. The primary outcomes of interest were angiographic obliteration immediately postembolization and at follow-up. The secondary outcomes of interest were complication rates. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate rates and means.

RESULTS

Fifteen studies with 597 patients and 598 AVMs treated with intent-to-cure embolization were included in this analysis. Thirty-four percent of AVMs were Spetzler-Martin grade III. Complete obliteration immediately postembolization was reported in 58.3% of AVMs that had complete treatment and in 45.8% of AVMs in the entire patient cohort. The overall clinical complication rate was 24.1%. The most common complication was hemorrhage, occurring in 9.7% of patients. Procedure-related mortality was 1.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

While endovascular embolization with intent to cure can be an option for select AVMs, the reported complication rates appear to be increased compared with those in studies in which adjunctive embolization was the goal. Given the high complication rate related to a primary embolization approach, the risks and benefits of such a treatment strategy should be discussed among a multidisciplinary team. Curative embolization of AVMs should be considered an unanticipated benefit of such therapy rather than a goal.

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The evolution of minimally invasive spine surgery

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Jang W. Yoon and Michael Y. Wang

The field of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) has rapidly evolved over the past 3 decades. This review follows the evolution of techniques and principles that have led to significant advances in the field. While still representing only a subset of spine surgeries, MISS’s goals of reducing soft-tissue trauma and mitigating the morbidity of surgery are being realized, translating into more rapid recovery, lower infection rates, and higher cost savings. Future advances in technology and techniques can be anticipated.

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Sauson Soldozy, John S. Costello, Pedro Norat, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Kamron Soldozy, Min S. Park, Petr Tvrdik and M. Yashar S. Kalani

While the majority of cerebral revascularization advancements were made in the last century, it is worth noting the humble beginnings of vascular surgery throughout history to appreciate its progression and application to neurovascular pathology in the modern era. Nearly 5000 years of basic human inquiry into the vasculature and its role in neurological disease has resulted in the complex neurosurgical procedures used today to save and improve lives. This paper explores the story of the extracranial-intracranial approach to cerebral revascularization.