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Gérard Debrun, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox, and Charles G. Drake

✓ Forty-six patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) were selected for embolization with bucrylate. These patients were assigned to three different groups. Group I consisted of 22 patients with nonresectable AVM's who were selected for embolization with a Silastic calibrated-leak balloon. In 16 of these patients, embolization was achieved, with partial obliteration of the AVM in 14 and complete obliteration in two. Five patients had subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by the balloon bursting and concomitant dissection of the feeding vessel. Four of these patients recovered completely and one died of a brain-stem hemorrhage. A permanent field defect was noted in five cases, and two patients had a transient mild neurological deficit. Group II consisted of 13 patients treated by intraoperative embolization. Complete obliteration by embolization was obtained in four cases, and complete surgical resection after embolization in five. Partial embolization with no surgical resection was achieved in five cases. Three of these patients had a permanent mild neurological deficit and two had transient deficits. There was no mortality in this group. Group III consisted of 11 patients treated by embolization with bucrylate using a new latex calibrated-leak balloon. This balloon has a higher malleability, and takes on the exact configuration of the feeder, with no risk of dissection. This balloon also permits delivery of a faster and larger injection of bucrylate to the arterial feeders of the AVM. Two AVM's were completely obliterated, and embolization was only partially successful in the other cases. Neurological complications consisted of incomplete field defects in two cases, slight memory loss in one case, and transient clumsiness of the arm and face in one case. Two patients have a catheter permanently glued in the malformation, with no neurological complication. There was no mortality in this group.

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Nestor R. Gonzalez, W. John Boscardin, Thomas Glenn, Fernando Vinuela, and Neil A. Martin

Object

The goal in this study was to create an index (vasospasm probability index [VPI]) to improve diagnostic accuracy for vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods

Seven hundred ninety-five patients in whom aneurysmal SAH was demonstrated by computed tomography, and in whom one or more intracranial aneurysms had been diagnosed, underwent transcranial Doppler (TCD) studies between April 1998 and January 2000. In 154 patients angiography was performed within 24 hours of the TCD examination, and in 75 133Xe cerebral blood flow (CBF) studies were obtained the same day. Seven cases were excluded because of a limited sonographic window. Forty-one women (60.3%) and 27 men (39.7%) between the ages of 35 and 84 years (58.0 ± 13.2 years [mean ± standard deviation]) were included. Clinical characteristics analyzed included age, sex, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, days after SAH, day of treatment, type of treatment (coil embolization, surgical clip occlusion, or conservative treatment), smoking history, and hypertension history. Lindegaard ratios and spasm indexes (TCD velocities/hemispheric CBF) were calculated bilaterally. Digital subtraction angiography images were measured at specific points of interest. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and global accuracy of the different tests were calculated. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the possible predictive factors, and the coefficients of the logistic regression were integrated to create the VPI.

Results

In 18 patients (26.5%) symptomatic vasospasm was diagnosed, and 33 (48.5%) had angiographic evidence of vasospasm. For TCD velocities above 120 cm/second at the middle cerebral artery, the global accuracy was 81.1% for the diagnosis of clinical vasospasm and 77.2% for angiographic vasospasm. For a Lindegaard ratio higher than 3.0, the accuracy was 85% for clinical vasospasm and 83.2% for angiographic vasospasm. A spasm index higher than 3.5 had an accuracy of 82.0% for the diagnosis of clinical vasospasm and 81.6% for angiographic vasospasm. The selected model for estimation of clinical vasospasm included Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, and spasm index. The VPI had a global accuracy of 92.9% for clinical vasospasm detection. For diagnosis of angiographic vasospasm, the model included Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, and Lindegaard ratio. The VPI achieved a global accuracy of 89.9% for angiographic vasospasm detection.

Conclusions

The use of TCD velocities, Lindegaard ratio, and spasm index independently is of limited value for the diagnosis of clinical and angiographic vasospasm. The combination of predictive factors associated with the development of vasospasm in the new index reported here has a significantly superior accuracy compared with the independent tests and may become a valuable tool for the clinician to evaluate the individual probability of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH.

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Gérard Debrun, Pierre Lacour, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox, Charles G. Drake, and Jean P. Caron

✓ A series of 54 traumatic carotid-cavernous fistulas has been treated with detachable balloon catheters. The balloon was introduced through one of three different approaches: the endarterial route; the venous route through the jugular vein, the inferior petrosal sinus, and the cavernous sinus; or surgical exposure of the cavernous sinus; with occlusion of the fistula by a detachable balloon directly positioned in the cavernous sinus. Full follow-up review demonstrated that the carotid blood flow was preserved in 59% of cases. The most frequent complication was a transient oculomotor nerve palsy, which occurred in 20% of cases. In three cases where both the fistula and the carotid artery were originally occluded by the balloon, the superior portion of the fistula was later found not to be completely occluded, and these patients had intracranial ligation of the supraclinoid portion of the carotid artery. Three patients had hemiparesis, transient in two cases and permanent in the other. The results show that the fistula was totally occluded in 53 cases; in the one exception the patient became asymptomatic but had a minimal angiographic leak.

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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.

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J. Pablo Villablanca, Neil Martin, Reza Jahan, Y. Pierre Gobin, John Frazee, Gary Duckwiler, John Bentson, Marcella Hardart, Domingos Coiteiro, James Sayre, and Fernando Vinuela

Object. The goal of this study was to evaluate the utility of volume-rendered helical computerized tomography (CT) angiography in patients with intracranial aneurysms. The authors compared the abilities of CT angiography, digital subtraction (DS) angiography, and three-dimensional time-of-flight magnetic resonance (MR) angiography to characterize aneurysms.

Methods. Helical CT angiography was performed in 45 patients with suspected intracranial aneurysms by using volume-rendered multiplanar reformatted (MPR) images. Digital subtraction angiography was performed using biplane angiography. These studies and those performed using MR angiography were interpreted in a blinded manner. Two neurosurgeons and two interventional neuroradiologists independently graded the utility of CT angiography with respect to aneurysm characterization.

Fifty-five aneurysms were detected. Of these, 48 were evaluated for treatment. Computerized tomography angiography was judged to be superior to both DS and MR angiography in the evaluation of the arterial branching pattern at the aneurysm neck (compared with DS angiography, p = 0.001, and with MR angiography, p = 0.007), aneurysm neck geometry (compared with DS angiography, p = 0.001, and with MR angiography, p = 0.001), arterial branch incorporation (compared with DS angiography, p = 0.021, and with MR angiography, p = 0.001), mural thrombus (compared with DS angiography, p < 0.001), and mural calcification (compared with DS angiography, p < 0.001, and with MR angiography, p < 0.001). For surgical cases, CT angiography had a significant impact on treatment path (p = 0.001), operative approach (p = 0.001), and preoperative clip selection (p < 0.001). For endovascular cases, CT angiography had an impact on treatment path (p < 0.02), DS angiography study time (p = 0.01), contrast agent usage (p = 0.01), and coil selection (p = 0.02). Computerized tomography angiography provided unique information about 39 (81%) of 48 aneurysms, especially when compared with DS angiography (p = 0.003). The sensitivity and specificity of CT angiography compared with DS angiography was 1. The sensitivity and specificity of CT and DS angiography studies compared with operative findings were 0.98 and 1, respectively.

Conclusions. Computerized tomography angiography is equal to DS angiography in the detection and superior to DS angiography and MR angiography in the characterization of brain aneurysms. Information contained in volume-rendered CT angiography images had a significant impact on case management.