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Zhong-Song Shi, Yince Loh, Gary R. Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, and Fernando Viñuela

Object

The authors report their preliminary experience using a balloon-assisted technique (BAT) in the transarterial embolization of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs).

Methods

The authors reviewed the prospectively collected data obtained in 7 consecutive patients with DAVFs in whom embolization was achieved using transarterially injected Onyx with either the venous or arterial BAT. Procedures were performed at the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center between September 2005 and January 2008.

Results

Three patients presented with cortical venous reflux and 4 did not. Three patients underwent transarterial Onyx-based embolization combined with transvenous balloon protection; the balloon was inflated in the transverse sinus in 2 of these patients and in the superior sagittal sinus in the third. One of them underwent an additional transarterial Onyx embolization with arterial BAT, whereas 4 other patients were treated with arterial BAT alone. The occipital artery was temporarily occluded with the balloon in 4 of these cases, whereas in the fifth, the authors used temporary balloon occlusion of the middle meningeal artery. Angiograms obtained immediately after embolization demonstrated complete or near-complete obliteration of the fistula in 6 patients and partial occlusion in 1 patient. There were no immediate or postprocedural complications. Two patients who presented with intracranial hemorrhage never suffered a second hemorrhage, and all other patients experienced either complete resolution or significant improvement of their symptoms.

Conclusions

The BAT provides a new complementary method in the transarterial embolization of DAVFs that are not amenable to transvenous embolization. The venous BAT protects the patency of critical venous pathways, whereas the arterial BAT provides better control of the Onyx-based embolization.

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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Akira Ishii, Yih-Lin Nien, Ichiro Yuki, Gary Duckwiler, and Reza Jahan

Object

The Matrix detachable coil is a new bioactive, bioabsorbable coil used in the endovascular embolization of intracranial aneurysms. It has a platinum core covered with a bioactive, bioabsorbable polymer (polyglycolic acid/lactide). The authors report on their initial midterm clinical experience with the first-generation Matrix detachable coil.

Methods

One hundred twelve patients harboring 118 aneurysms were treated using Matrix coils. Forty-nine aneurysms (41.5%) were associated with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Twenty-four lesions (49%) were harbored by patients with Hunt and Hess Grade I, 11 (23.4%) by patients with Grade II, eight (16.3%) by those with Grade III, and six (12.2%) by those with Grade IV. Four aneurysms (3.4%) were harbored by patients who had presented with nonacute SAH. Sixty-five aneurysms (55%) were unruptured. Fifty-seven lesions (48.3%) were small with a small neck, 29 (24.6%) were small with a wide neck, 30 (25.4%) were large, and two (1.7%) were giant. All patients were followed up to obtain angiography and clinical outcome data.

Technical complications occurred in six patients: two thromboembolic complications and four aneurysm perforations. Of these six patients, the status of two deteriorated because of aneurysm perforation and another two because of thrombus formation (morbidity 3.6%). There were five deaths—one due to rerupture after embolization. Angiography follow-up studies of 87 aneurysms were obtained. Seventy aneurysms demonstrated progressive occlusion or a stable neck (80.5%), and 17 had some degree of recanalization (19.5%). The aneurysms originally diagnosed as a neck remnant showed a 15% rate of recanalization.

Conclusions

Matrix coils can be delivered into aneurysms with technical complications similar to those encountered using GDCs. Midterm anatomical outcomes to date have shown moderate improvement in the recanalization rate when compared with those realized using the GDC system. Because of the increased friction associated with the first-generation Matrix coil, the packing density in most aneurysms was less than that achieved with GDCs. Prolonged angiography follow-up evaluations are needed to document long-term efficacy.

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Guido Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Gary Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, Enrico Cotroneo, and Renato Gigli

Object

A series of 306 consecutive patients with an anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm is presented. The goal in this study was to report the results of endovascular treatment of ACoA aneurysms in these patients.

Methods

The aneurysms were managed with an endovascular approach in which detachable coils were used. A brief anatomical description of the ACoA and its branches as well as a review of the surgical and endovascular literature is presented. The “ACoA Syndrome” (that is, amnesia and personality changes), which may occur after subarachnoid hemorrhage, is briefly reviewed and described. Recent technical developments that can lead to improved results are also discussed.

Results

Of the 306 aneurysms, 268 (87.5%) were small, 30 (10%) were large, and 8 (2.6%) were giant. One hundred ninety-three aneurysms (63%) had a small neck, whereas 113 (37%) had a wide neck. Sixty-five lesions (21%) were incidental, 5 (2%) presented with symptoms of mass effect, and 236 (77%) presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A complete aneurysm occlusion was attained in 139 cases (45.5%), a neck remnant was detected in 145 (47.5%), and in 22 cases (7%) a residual filling of the aneurysm was observed. Regarding the clinical neurological outcome, 280 patients (91.5%) remained neurologically intact, improved, or unchanged from their initial clinical status. Two large, wide-necked, subtotally occluded aneurysms ruptured 3–7 months after the procedure, with subsequent death of the patients. The procedure-related morbidity and mortality rates were 3.5% (11 cases) and 1% (3 cases), respectively.

Conclusions

The inherently lower risk of injuring or occluding the delicate branches and perforating vessels arising from the ACoA makes the endovascular approach attractive, interesting, and elegant.

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Shuichi Suzuki, Reza Jahan, Gary R. Duckwiler, John Frazee, Neil Martin, and Fernando Viñuela

Object

Treatment of patients presenting with poor-grade (Hunt and Hess Grade IV or V) subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is controversial. Endovascular coil embolization has been considered a valuable therapeutic alternative to surgical clip placement for this kind of patient. The aim of the present study was to evaluate immediate and long-term angiographic and clinical outcomes in patients with poor-grade SAH treated by endovascular embolization.

Methods

One hundred eleven patients with Hunt and Hess Grade IV or V SAH were treated with endovascular embolization at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center between October 1990 and December 2004. Eighty patients harbored Grade IV hemorrhages and 31 patients had Grade V ones. Immediate and long-term anatomical and clinical outcomes were evaluated in all patients. Long-term clinical outcome assessments were based on follow-up data obtained over an average of 32 months posttherapy.

Technical complications occurred in 15 patients (13.5%). Immediate complete aneurysm occlusion was observed in 51.4% of aneurysms. Angiographic, long-term follow-up review revealed aneurysm recanalization in 16.2% of cases. Thirty-nine patients (35.1%) demonstrated a favorable long-term clinical outcome. The overall mortality rate in this patient series was 32.4%. The mortality rate associated with vasospasm was significantly higher in patients with Grade IV SAHs than in those with Grade V hemorrhages.

Conclusions

The results of this study demonstrate a valuable contribution of endovascular therapy of ruptured intracranial aneurysms in patients with Hunt and Hess Grade IV or V SAH. This technique was successful in decreasing repeated aneurysm rupture and in enabling aggressive medical management during the acute phase of SAH. This is particularly important in patients with Grade IV SAH because of their potential for obtaining higher physical and functional recoveries.

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Yuichi Murayama, Yih Lin Nien, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Reza Jahan, John Frazee, Neil Martin, and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The authors report on their 11 years' experience with embolization of cerebral aneurysms using Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) technology and on the attendant anatomical and clinical outcomes.

Methods. Since December 1990, 818 patients harboring 916 aneurysms were treated with GDC embolization at University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. For comparative purposes, the patients were divided into two groups: Group A included their initial 5 years' experience with 230 patients harboring 251 aneurysms and Group B included the later 6 years' experience with 588 patients harboring 665 aneurysms.

Angiographically demonstrated complete occlusion was achieved in 55% of aneurysms and a neck remnant was displayed in 35.4% of lesions. Incomplete embolization was performed in 3.5% of aneurysms, and in 5% occlusion was attempted unsuccessfully. A comparison between the two groups revealed a higher complete embolization rate in patients in Group B compared with that in Group A patients (56.8 and 50.2%, respectively). The overall morbidity/mortality rate was 9.4%.

Angiographic follow ups were obtained in 53.4% of cases of aneurysms, and recanalization was exhibited in 26.1% of aneurysms in Group A and 17.2% of those in Group B. The overall recanalization rate was 20.9%. Note that recanalization was related to the size of the dome and neck of the aneurysm.

Overall incidence of delayed aneurysm rupture was 1.6%, a rate that improved in the past 5 years to 0.5%. Ten of 12 delayed ruptures occurred in large or giant aneurysms.

Conclusions. The clinical and postembolization outcomes in patients treated with the GDC system have improved in the past 5 years. Aneurysm recanalization, however, is still a major limitation of current GDC therapy. Follow-up angiography is mandatory after GDC embolization of cerebral aneurysms. Further technical and device improvements are mandatory to overcome current GDC limitations.

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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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J. Pablo Villablanca, Adina Achiriolaie, Parizad Hooshi, Neil Martin, Gary Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, John Frazee, Pierre Gobin, James Sayre, and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The aim of this study was to determine whether computerized tomography (CT) angiography could be used to identify and characterize aneurysms of the posterior circulation and guide optimal treatment selection, and how data obtained using this method compared with intraoperative findings.

Methods. Patients suspected of harboring brain aneurysms underwent CT angiography and digital subtraction (DS) angiography; the results were prospectively interpreted by blinded independent evaluators. All patients with posterior circulation aneurysms were consecutively enrolled in the study. After treatment, neurosurgeons and endovascular therapists evaluated the ability of CT and DS angiography to demonstrate features of the lesions important for triage between treatment options (Wilcoxon signed-rank test) and to allow for coil or clip preselection and complete treatment planning (McNemar test of proportions), while using intraoperative findings as the basis of truth.

In 242 patients overall, CT angiography detected 38 aneurysms and two aneurysmal blisters in 32 patients. The sensitivity of CT angiography in revealing posterior circulation aneurysms was 100% compared with DS angiography, with no false-positive results. Furthermore, CT angiography was sufficient as the sole study at triage for 65% of the posterior circulation aneurysms (26 of 40 lesions; p < 0.001), including 62% of the complex lesions (p < 0.001), and permitted coil or clip preselection in 74% of treated cases (20 of 27 cases; p < 0.002). Results of CT angiography revealed information about mural calcification and intraluminal thrombus not available on DS angiography, which affected patient care.

Conclusions. In this study population, CT angiography was comparable to DS angiography in the detection and characterization of aneurysms of the posterior circulation. Computerized tomography angiography was used successfully to triage patients between endovascular and neurosurgical treatment options in a significant proportion of cases and permitted treatment planning in more than 70% of treated cases.

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Ichiro Yuki, Robert H. Kim, Gary Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, Satoshi Tateshima, Nestor Gonzalez, Alessandra Gorgulho, Jorge Lee Diaz, Antonio A. De Salles, and Fernando Viñuela

Object

High-flow fistulas associated with brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) pose a significant challenge to both stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of multimodality treatment of AVMs in association with a large arteriovenous fistula (AVF), with a special focus on endovascular embolization and its associated complications.

Methods

One hundred ninety-two patients harboring cerebral AVMs underwent endovascular treatment in the authors' department between 1997 and 2003. Of these, the authors selected 74 patients presenting with an AVM associated with high-flow AVF(s) for a retrospective analysis based on the findings of superselective angiography. After endovascular embolization, 32 patients underwent resection, 33 underwent either SRS or hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT), and 3 underwent both surgery and SRS. Six patients underwent embolization only. Immediate and midterm treatment outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Fifty-seven (77%) of the 74 patients had AVMs that were Spetzler-Martin Grade III or higher. A complete resection was achieved in all 32 patients. Of patients who underwent SRS/HSRT, 13 patients (39.3%) had either complete or > 90% obliteration of the AVM, and 2 patients (6.1%) had incomplete obliteration. Fourteen patients (42.4%) with residual AVM underwent repeated radiotherapy (and remain under observation). Of the 3 patients who underwent both SRS and resection, resection was complete in 2 and incomplete in one. No follow-up was obtained in 6 patients (8.1%). An endovascular complication was observed in 4 patients (5.4%). Fistula embolization was safely performed in every patient, whereas every endovascular complication was associated with other procedures such as nidus embolization.

Conclusions

Endovascular occlusion of the fistulous component was successfully achieved in every patient; every endovascular complication in this series was related to other procedures such as nidus embolization. The importance of the fistula treatment should be emphasized to minimize the endovascular complications and to maximize the treatment effect when a multimodality therapy is used to treat brain AVMs with large AVF.

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Aichi Chien, Rashida A. Callender, Hajime Yokota, Noriko Salamon, Geoffrey P. Colby, Anthony C. Wang, Viktor Szeder, Reza Jahan, Satoshi Tateshima, Juan Villablanca, Gary Duckwiler, Fernando Vinuela, Yuanqing Ye, and Michelle A. T. Hildebrandt

OBJECTIVE

As imaging technology has improved, more unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are detected incidentally. However, there is limited information regarding how UIAs change over time to provide stratified, patient-specific UIA follow-up management. The authors sought to enrich understanding of the natural history of UIAs and identify basic UIA growth trajectories, that is, the speed at which various UIAs increase in size.

METHODS

From January 2005 to December 2015, 382 patients diagnosed with UIAs (n = 520) were followed up at UCLA Medical Center through serial imaging. UIA characteristics and patient-specific variables were studied to identify risk factors associated with aneurysm growth and create a predicted aneurysm trajectory (PAT) model to differentiate aneurysm growth behavior.

RESULTS

The PAT model indicated that smoking and hypothyroidism had a large effect on the growth rate of large UIAs (≥ 7 mm), while UIAs < 7 mm were less influenced by smoking and hypothyroidism. Analysis of risk factors related to growth showed that initial size and multiplicity were significant factors related to aneurysm growth and were consistent across different definitions of growth. A 1.09-fold increase in risk of growth was found for every 1-mm increase in initial size (95% CI 1.04–1.15; p = 0.001). Aneurysms in patients with multiple aneurysms were 2.43-fold more likely to grow than those in patients with single aneurysms (95% CI 1.36–4.35; p = 0.003). The growth rate (speed) for large UIAs (≥ 7 mm; 0.085 mm/month) was significantly faster than that for UIAs < 3 mm (0.030 mm/month) and for males than for females (0.089 and 0.045 mm/month, respectively; p = 0.048).

CONCLUSIONS

Analyzing longitudinal UIA data as continuous data points can be useful to study the risk of growth and predict the aneurysm growth trajectory. Individual patient characteristics (demographics, behavior, medical history) may have a significant effect on the speed of UIA growth, and predictive models such as PAT may help optimize follow-up frequency for UIA management.