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


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


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.


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.


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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John C. Chaloupka, David Goller, Robert A. Goldberg, Gary R. Duckwiler, Neil A. Martin, and Fernando Viñuela

✓ An unusual case of complete anatomical compartmentalization of the cavernous sinus in a patient with bilateral Type D cavernous dural arteriovenous fistulae is described. This anatomical anomaly isolated the anterior cavernous sinus and orbital venous system, which was primarily responsible for the patient's clinical presentation. The compartmentalization of the cavernous sinus also limited options for definitive endovascular therapy to a transvenous approach via the superior ophthalmic vein.

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John H. Gurian, Neil A. Martin, Wesley A. King, Gary R. Duckwiler, Guido Guglielmi, and Fernando Viñuela

✓ Modern endovascular techniques permit treatment of intracranial aneurysms in many circumstances when surgery is associated with significant morbidity. Occasionally, embolization of aneurysms is unsuccessful or incomplete or followed by complications, in which case surgical management is required. Since 1986, 196 patients have undergone embolization of intracranial aneurysms at the authors' institution and 21 (11%) required subsequent surgical treatment. Attempted embolization failed in five patients (Group A). Ten patients (Group B) had only partial occlusion of the aneurysm or demonstrated recanalization on follow-up studies. Eight of these Group B patients underwent embolization with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs), representing 5.7% of the 141 GDC-treated patients in this experience. Surgical treatment in these two groups consisted of clipping (eight cases), surgical parent vessel occlusion (one case), and parent vessel occlusion with extracranial—intracranial bypass (six cases). Fourteen (93%) of the 15 patients in these two groups had an excellent or good outcome with complete aneurysm occlusion. Six patients underwent surgery to treat complications related to the endovascular procedure (Group C). Of these, four patients had neurological improvement compared to their preoperative state, and two died. This series of cases demonstrates that surgical treatment of aneurysms is usually possible with good results following incomplete embolization and emphasizes the need for close and continued neurosurgical involvement in the endovascular management of intracranial aneurysms.

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Tim W. Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin, and John G. Frazee

✓ A prospective study was designed to evaluate clinical outcome in a series of 100 consecutively treated patients who underwent endovascular embolization of 104 intracranial aneurysms using Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). Midterm clinical outcome (2–6 years, average 3.5 years) was obtained for 94 patients and was classified according to a modified Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Of nine patients treated in the acute phase of severe subarachnoid hemorrhage (Grade IV or V), seven died from the initial hemorrhage, one had a poor outcome, and one had a fair midterm outcome, with no post-GDC embolization hemorrhages.

Twenty patients underwent subsequent surgical or endovascular procedures that did not include the use of GDCs. These included aneurysm clipping in nine patients and parent vessel sacrifice in 11 patients. None of these 20 patients experienced post-GDC embolization hemorrhage. The postoperative midterm clinical outcomes of these 20 patients did not significantly differ from the outcomes of patients who underwent GDC embolization as their definitive treatment.

Six patients died of unrelated causes prior to reaching the 2-year survival point, with no post-GDC embolization hemorrhage. The midterm outcomes of the remaining 61 patients who underwent GDC embolization as their definitive treatment were classified as excellent (46 patients [75%]), good (seven patients [11%]), fair (three patients [5%]), poor (one patient [2%]), or dead (four patients [7%]). All four patients died from giant lesions. At midterm follow up, the surviving 57 patients' neurological statuses were unchanged or improved in 54 cases and worsened in three cases. The midterm post-GDC embolization hemorrhage rate was 0% for small aneurysms, 4% (one case) for large aneurysms, and 33% (five cases) for giant lesions.

The GDC procedure is a safe, effective, and reliable means of preventing aneurysm hemorrhage in patients with small and large intracranial aneurysms. Results, however, are less satisfactory in cases involving giant lesions. Further follow-up review is necessary to establish durability in the longer term. Patients with Grade IV or V subarachnoid hemorrhage in this series generally had poor outcomes even if the GDC procedure was successful in occluding the aneurysm.

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Y. Pierre Gobin, Fernando Viñuela, John H. Gurian, Guido Guglielmi, Gary R. Duckwiler, Tarik F. Massoud, and Neil A. Martin

✓ Results in nine patients with large or giant fusiform intracranial aneurysms that were treated with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) are reported. There were six males and three females between the ages of 12 and 63. Four patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and four with mass effect; in one patient the aneurysm was asymptomatic and located in an arterial feeder of an arteriovenous malformation. Five aneurysms were supratentorial and four were in the posterior fossa. Five were giant and four were large. Selective occlusion with preservation of the parent artery was attempted in three cases, and complete occlusion of the aneurysm and the parent artery was performed in six patients. The tolerance to parent artery occlusion was assessed by angiography, balloon test occlusion, and amytal testing. Six aneurysms were permanently occluded and two partially recanalized. In one case, GDC embolization was not possible.

The four patients who presented with SAH made an excellent clinical recovery. Three of the four patients presenting with mass effect recovered completely and one remained unchanged. The patient with an incidental aneurysm remained asymptomatic. There were no permanent complications. In conclusion, GDCs were useful for the occlusion of large and giant intradural fusiform aneurysms. Occlusion of the aneurysm and the parent artery afforded the greatest opportunity for a complete cure. Advantages of GDCs compared to balloons include: occlusion of a shorter segment of normal artery, no traction on the parent vessel, and safer and easier catheterization techniques.

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Kristen Upchurch, Lei Feng, Gary R. Duckwiler, John G. Frazee, Neil A. Martin, and Fernando Viñuela

✓ Nongalenic cerebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are uncommon, high-flow vascular lesions first treated by Walter Dandy and his colleagues by using open surgery with ligation of the feeding artery. Due to advances in endovascular technology over the past four decades that make possible the control of high flow in AVFs, treatment has evolved from the sole option of surgery to include the alternative or adjunct option of endovascular embolization. The authors of this review discuss the history of nongalenic AVF treatment, including techniques of both surgery and interventional neuroradiology and the technological developments underlying them.

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Neil A. Martin, Jackson Beatty, Russell A. Johnson, Marcia L. Collaer, Fernando Viñuela, Donald P. Becker, and Marc R. Nuwer

✓ In order to accurately estimate the risk of surgery for dominant perisylvian arteriovenous malformations, the topographical relationship of the lesion to language cortex must be determined. A case is presented in which a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) study was used to map preoperatively and noninvasively an intracortical source of speech-receptive cortex in a 25-year-old right-handed man with a dominant left temporal lobe arteriovenous malformation. The speech-evoked magnetic field was analyzed at 36 positions over the left hemisphere in response to presentations of the consonant-vowel syllables “da” and “ga.” A topographical map of the magnetic component evoked at 110 msec after stimulus onset, which was negative going to the vertex in concurrent electrical recordings, was congruent with a superficial cortical neuronal current source. This source was displaced from that usually observed in normal individuals to tonal or click stimuli, being superior to the probable location of auditory cortex, and superior and anterior to the probable location of Wernicke's area as conventionally described. The MEG results were in accord with the determination of position of a language-processing cortical area as assessed by direct electrical stimulation of the cortex during surgery under local anesthesia, and by superselective Amytal (amobarbital) injection during angiography. The MEG recordings and exposed brain stimulation sites were coordinated by cranial measurements, skull x-ray landmarks, and angiographic anatomy. Investigations such as this, which compare MEG findings with those from established clinical procedures, are an essential step in determining the physiological and anatomical utility of magnetoencephalography for noninvasive clinical functional localization.

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Sten Solander, Alexandre Ulhoa, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin, John G. Frazee, and Guido Guglielmi

Object. The purpose of this paper is to present the authors' experience with Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) embolization of multiple intracranial aneurysms and to evaluate the results of this therapy in single-stage procedures.

Methods. Clinical and angiographic evaluations were performed in 38 consecutive patients with multiple intracranial aneurysms treated by GDC embolization between March 1990 and October 1997. Twenty-nine patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), four with mass effect, and five were asymptomatic. These 38 patients harbored 101 aneurysms, 79 of which were treated with GDCs, 14 by surgical clipping, and eight were left untreated. Of the GDC-treated lesions, a complete endovascular occlusion was achieved in 55 aneurysms (70%), and 24 (30%) presented neck remnants. Twenty-five patients (66%) underwent GDC embolization of more than one aneurysm in the first session. Eighteen (86%) of 21 patients with acute SAH underwent treatment for all aneurysms within 3 days after admission (15 of 21 in one session). Follow-up angiographic studies in 30 patients demonstrated an unchanged or improved result in 94% of the aneurysms (59 lesions) and coil compaction in 6% (four lesions). The overall clinical outcome was excellent in 34 patients (89%), good in one (3%), fair in one (3%), and death in two (5%).

Conclusions. Endovascular treatment of multiple intracranial aneurysms, regardless of their location, with GDCs was performed safely in one session, even during the acute phase of SAH. Treatment of all aneurysms in one session protected the patient from rebleeding and eliminated the risk of mistakenly treating only the unruptured aneurysms.

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Joon K. Song, Fernando Viñuela, Y. Pierre Gobin, Gary R. Duckwiler, Yuichi Murayama, Inam Kureshi, John G. Frazee, and Neil A. Martin

Object. The authors assessed clinical outcomes of patients with treated spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) and investigated prognostic factors.

Methods. Thirty consecutive patients with spinal DAVFs were treated at the authors' institution during the past 15 years: seven underwent surgery; seven underwent surgery after failed embolization; and 16 underwent embolization alone. The outcomes of gait and micturition disability were analyzed. Follow up averaged 3.4 years (range 1 month–11.8 years). Age, duration of symptoms, pre- and postintervention magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings, and preintervention disability were correlated with outcome.

Seventeen patients (57%) experienced improved gait, 12 (40%) were unchanged, and one (3%) was worse. In 11 patients (37%) micturition function was improved, in 15 (50%) it was unchanged, and in four (13%) it was worse. Gait disability, as measured by the Aminoff—Logue Scale, was significantly improved after treatment, from 3.4 ± 1.4 (average ± standard deviation) to 2.7 ± 1.5 (p = 0.007). Mean micturition disability scores decreased, but not significantly, from 1.9 ± 1 to 1.6 ± 1.1 (p = 0.20). Preintervention gait disability was not associated with improvement except for patients with Aminoff—Logue Scale Grade 4 disability (eight of nine improved; p = 0.024). For patients treated within 13 months of symptom onset, mean micturition disability decreased (p = 0.035). No association was found between clinical improvement and age, a symptom duration less than 30 months, or pre- and postintervention MR imaging—documented spinal cord edema.

Conclusions. Spinal DAVF treatment significantly improved patients' mean gait disability score by almost one grade at last follow up. The mean micturition disability score was not significantly improved, unless treatment was performed within 13 months of symptom onset. Longer and more uniform follow-up study is needed to determine if improved and stabilized clinical outcomes are sustained.

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Tim W. Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Fernando Viñuela, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Neil A. Martin, John G. Frazee, and Joan S. Chmiel

Object. Embolization of intracranial aneurysms by using Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) is proving to be a safe method of protecting aneurysms from rupture. Occasionally, patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms present with symptoms related to the aneurysm's mass effect on either the brain parenchyma or cranial nerves. In the present study, the authors conducted a retrospective review to evaluate the response to GDC embolization in a series of 19 patients presenting with cranial nerve dysfunction due to mass effect.

Methods. Aneurysms were classified by size, shape, wall calcification, and amount of intraluminal thrombus. Patients were classified by duration of symptoms prior to GDC treatment (range < 1 month to > 10 years). Clinical assessment was performed within days of the GDC procedure and at later follow-up appointments (range 1–70 months, mean 24 months).

In the immediate post-GDC period, four patients experienced worsening of cranial nerve deficits. Two of the four patients had transient worsening of visual acuity, which later improved to better than baseline status. Another patient who had presented with headache and seventh and eighth cranial nerve deficits from a vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm had improvement in these symptoms, but developed a new diplopia. The fourth patient had worsening of her visual acuity, which had not resolved at the 1-month follow-up examination; this patient later underwent surgical decompression.

Conclusions. On late follow-up review, the response was classified as complete resolution of symptoms in six patients (32%), improvement in eight patients (42%), no significant change in four patients (21%), and symptom worsening in one patient (5%). Patients with smaller aneurysms and those with shorter pretreatment duration of symptoms were more likely to experience an improvement in their symptoms following GDC treatment, although statistical significance was not reached in this series (p = 0.603 and p = 0.111, respectively). The presence of aneurysmal wall calcification (six patients) or intraluminal thrombus (12 patients) showed no correlation with the response of mass effect symptoms in these patients.