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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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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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Yuichi Murayama, Tim Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Michel E. Mawad, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Richard P. Klucznick, Neil A. Martin, and John Frazee

✓ Cerebral vasospasm is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients admitted to the hospital after suffering aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The early surgical removal of subarachnoid clots and irrigation of the basal cisterns have been reported to reduce the incidence of vasospasm. In contrast to surgery, the endovascular treatment of aneurysms does not allow removal of subarachnoid clots. In this study the authors measured the incidence of symptomatic vasospasm after early endovascular treatment of acutely ruptured aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).

Sixty-nine patients classified as Hunt and Hess Grades I to III underwent occlusion of intracranial aneurysms via GDCs within 72 hours of rupture. The amount of blood on the initial computerized tomography (CT) scan was classified by means of Fisher's scale. Symptomatic vasospasm was defined as the onset of neurological deterioration verified with angiographic or transcranial Doppler studies. Hypertensive, hypervolemic, hemodilution therapy, with or without intracranial angioplasty, was used to treat vasospasm after GDC placement.

Symptomatic vasospasm occurred in 16 (23%) of 69 patients. The clinical grade at admission and the amount of blood on the initial CT were both associated with the incidence of subsequent vasospasm. At 6-month clinical follow-up examination, 12 of these 16 patients experienced a good recovery, two were moderately disabled, and two patients had died of vasospasm.

In conclusion, the 23% incidence of symptomatic vasospasm in this series compares favorably with that found in conventional surgical series of patients with acute aneurysmal SAH. These results indicate that endovascular therapy does not have an unfavorable impact on cerebral vasospasm.

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J. Pablo Villablanca, Parizad Hooshi, Neil Martin, Reza Jahan, Gary Duckwiler, Sylvester Lim, John Frazee, Y. Pierre Gobin, James Sayre, John Bentson, and Fernando Viñuela

Object. Middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms can be difficult to detect and characterize. The authors describe the utility and impact of helical computerized tomography (CT) angiography for the evaluation of aneurysms in this location, and compare this modality with digital subtraction (DS) angiography and intraoperative findings.

Methods. Two hundred fifty-one patients with suspected cerebral aneurysms underwent CT angiography. Two-dimensional multiplanar reformatted images and three-dimensional CT angiograms were examined by two independent readers in a blinded fashion. Results were compared with findings on DS angiograms to determine the relative efficacy of these modalities in the detection and characterization of aneurysms. Questionnaires completed by neurosurgeons and endovascular therapists were used to determine the impact of CT angiograms on aneurysm management.

Twenty-eight patients harboring 31 MCA aneurysms and 26 patients without aneurysms were identified using CT angiography. The sensitivity of CT angiography and DS angiography for MCA aneurysms was 97%; both techniques showed 100% specificity. In 76% of evaluations, the CT angiography studies provided information not available on DS angiography examinations. For the characterization of aneurysms, CT angiography was rated superior (72%) or equal (20%) to DS angiography in 92% of cases evaluated (p < 0.001). Computerized tomography angiography was evaluated as the only study needed for patient triage in 82% of cases (p < 0.001), and as the only study needed for treatment planning in 89% of surgically treated (p < 0.001) and in 63% of endovascularly treated cases (p < 0.001). The information acquired on CT angiograms changed the initial treatment plan in 24 (67%) of these 36 complex lesions (p < 0.01). The aneurysm appearance intraoperatively was identical or nearly identical to that seen on CT angiograms in 17 (89%) of 19 of the surgically treated cases.

Conclusions. Computerized tomography angiography has unique advantages over DS angiography and is a viable alternative to the latter modality in the diagnosis, triage, and treatment planning in patients with MCA aneurysms.

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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.