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Fernando Viñuela, Allan J. Fox, Shinichi Kan, and Charles G. Drake

✓ A case is reported of a large spontaneous right posterior inferior cerebellar artery fistula in which the patient presented with a right cerebellopontine (CP) angle and right cerebellar syndrome. The patient was successfully treated by balloon occlusion at the fistula site. The location of the arteriovenous fistula, the mass effect of its enlarged draining veins on the cerebellum and CP angle structures, and the simple therapeutic endovascular occlusion with a detachable balloon make this case unique.

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Vertebrobasilar occlusion therapy of giant aneurysms

Significance of angiographic morphology of the posterior communicating arteries

David M. Pelz, Fernando Viñuela, Allan J. Fox, and Charles G. Drake

✓ The clinical and angiographic records were reviewed for 71 patients with giant aneurysms of the posterior circulation, who underwent therapeutic occlusion of the basilar artery or both vertebral arteries. This treatment is used when the aneurysm neck cannot be surgically clipped, and occlusion of the parent artery is performed to initiate thrombosis within the lumen. In these cases, collateral blood flow to the brain stem is supplied mainly by the posterior communicating arteries. Consequently, their angiographic morphology (patency, size, and number) is demonstrated as a preoperative indicator of whether the patient will be able to tolerate vertebrobasilar occlusion. Vertebral angiograms with carotid artery compression (the Allcock test) will often be needed to provide this information.

The data relating posterior communicating artery morphology to clinical outcome in 71 cases of attempted vertebrobasilar occlusion are presented. The use and accuracy of carotid artery compression studies are also discussed. It is essential for the radiologist to supply the neurosurgeon with this valuable information in every case of giant posterior circulation aneurysm.

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Matthew F. Omojola, Allan J. Fox, Fernando V. Viñuela, and Charles G. Drake

✓ This is a report of spontaneous regression of intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) in three female patients; two of these patients had complete angiographic disappearance of the AVM, including an instance of intimate association of the AVM with an astrocytoma. The AVM's in these two patients were unicompartmental medium- to large-sized lesions supplied by a single feeder and draining principally through one large vein; spontaneous thrombosis is suggested as a cause of the AVM regression. Partial regression in the third patient might have been partially due to embolism from a clot-filled aneurysm on the feeding vessel. The significance of such disappearance of AVM's in relation to persistence or otherwise of the neurological status of these patients is discussed.

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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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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, and Guido Guglielmi

Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) technology is a valuable therapeutic alternative to the surgical treatment of ruptured or incidental intracranial aneurysms. The authors describe their technical and clinical experience in the utilization of the GDC technique in patients who underwent endovascular occlusion for the treatment of incidentally found intracranial aneurysms.

One hundred fifteen patients with 120 incidentally found intracranial aneurysms underwent embolization using the GDC endovascular technique. Ninety-one patients were female and 24 were male. Patient age ranged from 13 to 80 years. In 64 patients the incidental aneurysms were discovered when unrelated nonneurological conditions indicated the need for angiography or magnetic resonance angiography (Group 1). Twenty patients who presented with incidental aneurysms that were discovered during treatment for an acutely ruptured aneurysm were treated in the acute phase of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (Group 2). Sixteen patients with incidental aneurysms were treated during the chronic phase of SAH (Group 3). Group 4 included 15 patients who had incidental aneurysms associated with brain tumors or arteriovenous malformations.

Angiographic results showed complete or near complete occlusion in 109 aneurysms (91%) and incomplete occlusion in five aneurysms (4%). Unsuccessful GDC embolization was attempted in six aneurysms (5%). One hundred nine patients (94.8%) remained neurologically intact or unchanged from initial clinical status. Five patients (4.3%) deteriorated due to immediate procedural complications (overall immediate morbidity rate). All of these complications occurred in the first 50 patients treated earlier in this series. No clinical complications were observed in the last 65 patients. Follow-up cerebral angiograms were obtained in 77 patients with 79 aneurysms. The median clinical follow-up period was 16.3 months.

No recanalization was observed in the 52 completely occluded aneurysms. Of the 22 aneurysms with small neck remnants, eight (36%) showed further thrombosis, 7 (32%) remained anatomically unchanged, and seven (32%) showed recanalization due to compaction of the coils. In one patient, a partially embolized aneurysm ruptured 3 years postembolization. In Groups 1 and 3, the average length of hospitalization was 3.3 days.

The evolution of the GDC technology has proved to provide safe treatment of incidental aneurysms (a morbidity rate of 0% was achieved in the last 65 patients). The topography of the aneurysm and the clinical condition of the patient did not influence final anatomical or clinical outcomes. The GDC technology also confers a positive economical impact by decreasing hospital length of stay and by eliminating the need for postembolization intensive care unit care.

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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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Ken Uda, Yuichi Murayama, Y. Pierre Gobin, Gary R. Duckwiler, and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The authors present a retrospective analysis of their clinical experience in the endovascular treatment of basilar artery (BA) trunk aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).

Methods. Between April 1990 and June 1999, 41 BA trunk aneurysms were treated in 39 patients by inserting GDCs. Twenty-seven patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage, six had intracranial mass effect, and in six patients the aneurysms were found incidentally. Eighteen lesions were BA trunk aneurysms, 13 were BA—superior cerebellar artery aneurysms, four were BA—anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms, and six were vertebrobasilar junction aneurysms. Thirty-five patients (89.7%) had excellent or good clinical outcomes; procedural morbidity and mortality rates were 2.6% each. Thirty-six aneurysms were selectively occluded while preserving the parent artery, and in five cases the parent artery was occluded along with the aneurysm. Immediate angiographic studies revealed complete or nearly complete occlusion in 35 aneurysms (85.4%). Follow-up angiograms were obtained in 29 patients with 31 aneurysms; the mean follow-up period was 17 months. No recanalization was observed in the eight completely occluded aneurysms. In 19 lesions with small neck remnants, seven (36.8%) had further thrombosis, three (15.8%) remained anatomically unchanged, and nine (47.3%) had recanalization caused by coil compaction. In one patient (2.6%) the aneurysm rebled 8 years after the initial embolization.

Conclusions. In this clinical series the authors show that the GDC placement procedure is valuable in the therapeutic management of BA trunk aneurysms. The endovascular catheterization of these lesions tends to be relatively simple, in contrast with more complex neurosurgical approaches. Endosaccular obliteration of these aneurysms also decreases the possibility of unwanted occlusion of perforating arteries to the brainstem.

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Motoharu Hayakawa, Yuichi Murayama, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Guido Guglielmi, and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The long-term durability of Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) embolization of cerebral aneurysms is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anatomical evolution of neck remnants in aneurysms treated with GDCs.

Methods. Of 455 aneurysms treated with GDCs from 1990 to 1998 at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, 178 aneurysms (39%) had residual necks postembolization. Long-term follow-up angiograms were obtained in 73 of these aneurysms in 71 patients. The mean duration of angiographic follow up was 17.3 months. Twenty-four of the aneurysms were small with small necks, 24 were small with wide necks, 15 were large, and 10 were giant aneurysms.

In small aneurysms with small necks, postembolization angiography revealed 12 aneurysms (50%) with progressive thrombosis, eight (33%) unchanged, and four (17%) with recanalization. In small aneurysms with wide necks, six (25%) had progressive thrombosis, eight (33%) remained unchanged, and 10 (42%) had recanalization. In large aneurysms, two (13%) were unchanged and 13 (87%) had recanalization. Of the giant aneurysms only one (10%) remained unchanged and nine (90%) had recanalization. Overall, 18 aneurysms (25%) exhibited progressive thrombosis, 19 (26%) remained unchanged, and 36 (49%) displayed recanalization on follow-up angiography. During the last 2 years of the study, the recanalization rate decreased and a higher rate of progressive thrombosis was noted in aneurysms with small necks. These positive changes are related to important new technical developments.

Conclusions. Treatment with GDCs appears to be effective and the results permanent in most small aneurysms with small necks. However, there are important technical limitations in the current GDC technology that prevent recanalization in wide-necked or large or giant aneurysms.

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Fernando Viñuela, Allan J. Fox, Gerard M. Debrun, Sydney J. Peerless, and Charles G. Drake

✓ Sixty-five carotid-cavernous fistulas were studied at University Hospital, London, Canada, from 1978 to 1982, 20 of which fulfilled the clinical and angiographic criteria of a spontaneous carotid-cavernous fistula. Of these 20 fistulas, 17 were unilateral, and three were bilateral. In 18 cases the angiographic findings were typical of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), and in two a ruptured giant intracavernous aneurysm was found. These patients were treated according to whether they had a nonresolving or progressive cavernous sinus syndrome or deterioration of vision. The cavernous dural AVM's were treated with polyvinyl-alcohol and/or isobutyl-2-cyanoacrylate (IBCA) embolization of the external carotid artery blood supply. Two patients underwent postembolization surgical procedures. The detachable balloon technique was used to occlude the fistulas associated with the two giant ruptured intracavernous aneurysms and a small dural intracavernous AVM. Eight patients received no therapy; in two, spontaneous obliteration of the fistula occurred. Of the nine cavernous AVM's embolized with particles and/or IBCA, successful transvascular embolization was achieved in seven cases, and partial embolization followed by surgery in two cases. Successful balloon obliteration of the giant intracavernous ruptured aneurysm was obtained in two cases. In one patient, right hemiplegia with aphasia resulted from reflux of IBCA emboli through the artery of the foramen rotundum into the left middle cerebral artery.