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Unruptured intracranial aneurysms: natural history and management decisions

Leodante B. da Costa, Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, and M. Christopher Wallace

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) carries a grim prognosis, with high mortality and morbidity rates. The mortality rate in the first 30 days postrupture is estimated to be in the range of 40 to 50%, and almost half of the survivors will be left with a neurological deficit. Unlike patients with aneurysmal SAH, those with unruptured intracranial aneurysms usually experience no neurological deficit, and their treatment is prophylactic, aiming to reduce the risk of future bleeding and its consequences. The risk of rupture therefore assumes special importance when making decisions regarding which patient or aneurysm to treat.

In previous reports the risk of bleeding for unruptured aneurysms has been stated as approximately 2% per year. The retrospective part of the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms (ISUIA) reported very low annual bleeding rates (0.05–1%) and high surgical morbidity and mortality rates (8–18%), prompting discussion in which the benefits of prophylactic treatment in the majority of these lesions were questioned. Prospective data from the second part of the ISUIA recently included rupture rates ranging from 0 to 10% per year. The aim of this paper was to review the evidence that is currently available for neurosurgeons to use when making decisions regarding patients who would benefit from treatment of an unruptured intracranial aneurysm.

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Overview of the current role of endovascular and surgical treatment in spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas

Amir R. Dehdashti, Leodante B. Da Costa, Karel G. terBrugge, Robert A. Willinsky, Michael Tymianski, and M. Christopher Wallace

Dural arteriovenous fistulas are the most common vascular malformations of the spinal cord. These benign vascular lesions are considered straightforward targets of surgical treatment and possibly endovascular embolization, but the outcome in these cases depends mainly on the extent of clinical dysfunction at the time of the diagnosis. A timely diagnosis is an equally important factor, with early treatment regardless of the type more likely to yield significant improvements in neurological functioning. The outcomes after surgical and endovascular treatment are similar if complete obliteration of the fistulous site is obtained. In the present study, the authors evaluated the current role of each modality in the management of these interesting lesions.

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Exploring the outcomes and experiences of Black and White athletes following a sport-related concussion: a retrospective cohort study

Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Jessica Wallace, Viviana Jimenez, Douglas J. Totten, Christopher M. Bonfield, and Scott L. Zuckerman


Young American athletes, at risk of sport-related concussion (SRC), represent many races; however, it is unknown how race may influence the experience and outcome of SRC. The authors’ objective was to compare White and Black athletes’ recovery and subjective experiences after SRC.


A retrospective study was performed using the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion registry. Self-reported White and Black young athletes (ages 12–23 years) who had been treated for SRC between 2012 and 2015 were included. Athletes with learning disabilities or psychiatric conditions were excluded. Data were collected by electronic medical record review and phone calls to athletes and parents or guardians. The primary outcomes were as follows: 1) days to symptom resolution (SR), 2) days to return to school, and changes in 3) any daily activity (binary) and 4) sport behavior (binary). Secondary outcomes were changes (more, unchanged, or less) in specific activities such as sleep, schoolwork, and television time, as well as equipment (binary) or playing style (more reckless, unchanged, or less reckless) and whether the athlete retired from sport. Descriptive analyses, multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, and logistic regression were performed.


The final cohort included 247 student-athletes (36 Black, 211 White). Black athletes were male (78% vs 58%) more often than White athletes, but both races were similar in age, sport, and medical/family histories. Black athletes more frequently had public insurance (33.3% vs 5.7%) and lived in areas with a low median income (41.2% vs 26.6%). After adjusting for age, sex, concussion history, insurance status, and zip code median income, Black athletes reached an asymptomatic status (HR 1.497, 95% CI 1.014–2.209, p = 0.042) and returned to school earlier (HR 1.522, 95% CI 1.020–2.270, p = 0.040). Black athletes were less likely to report a change in any daily activity than White athletes (OR 0.368, 95% CI 0.136–0.996, p = 0.049). Changes in sport behavior were comparable between the groups.


Racial differences appear to exist in the outcomes and experience of SRC for young athletes, as Black athletes reached SR and return to school sooner than White athletes. Race should be considered as an important social determinant in SRC treatment.

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Oral Presentations 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting San Francisco, California • April 5–9, 2014

Published online June 1, 2015; DOI: 10.3171/2015.6.JNS.AANS2014abstracts