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Naif M. Alotaibi, Justin Z. Wang, Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Daipayan Guha, Fawaz Al-Mufti, Muhammad Mamdani, Gustavo Saposnik, Tom A. Schweizer and R. Loch Macdonald

Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is a well-recognized phenomenon in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) that has been demonstrated to lead to poor outcomes. Despite significant advances in clinical research into aSAH, there are no consensus guidelines devoted specifically to the management of elevated ICP in the setting of aSAH. To treat high ICP in aSAH, most centers extrapolate their treatment algorithms from studies and published guidelines for traumatic brain injury. Herein, the authors review the current management strategies for treating raised ICP within the aSAH population, emphasize key differences from the traumatic brain injury population, and highlight potential directions for future research in this controversial topic.

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Fawaz Al-Mufti, Krishna Amuluru, Abhinav Changa, Megan Lander, Neil Patel, Ethan Wajswol, Sarmad Al-Marsoummi, Basim Alzubaidi, I. Paul Singh, Rolla Nuoman and Chirag Gandhi

OBJECTIVE

Little is known regarding the natural history of posttraumatic vasospasm. The authors review the pathophysiology of posttraumatic vasospasm (PTV), its associated risk factors, the efficacy of the technologies used to detect PTV, and the management/treatment options available today.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines using the following databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, and CENTRAL (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). Outcome variables extracted from each study included epidemiology, pathophysiology, time course, predictors of PTV and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), optimal means of surveillance and evaluation of PTV, application of multimodality monitoring, modern management and treatment options, and patient outcomes after PTV. Study types were limited to retrospective chart reviews, database reviews, and prospective studies.

RESULTS

A total of 40 articles were included in the systematic review. In many cases of mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), imaging or ultrasonographic studies are not performed. The lack of widespread assessment makes finding the true overall incidence of PTV a difficult endeavor. The clinical consequences of PTV are important, given the morbidity that can result from it. DCI manifests as new-onset neurological deterioration that occurs beyond the timeframe of initial brain injury. While there are many techniques that attempt to diagnose cerebral vasospasm, digital subtraction angiography is the gold standard. Some predictors of PTV include SAH, intraventricular hemorrhage, low admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (< 9), and young age (< 30 years).

CONCLUSIONS

Given these results, clinicians should suspect PTV in young patients presenting with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), especially SAH and/or intraventricular hemorrhage, who present with a GCS score less than 9. Monitoring and regulation of CNS metabolism following TBI/ICH-induced vasospasm may play an important adjunct role to the primary prevention of vasospasm.

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Fawaz Al-Mufti, David Roh, Shouri Lahiri, Emma Meyers, Jens Witsch, Hans-Peter Frey, Neha Dangayach, Cristina Falo, Stephan A. Mayer, Sachin Agarwal, Soojin Park, Philip M. Meyers, E. Sander Connolly, Jan Claassen and J. Michael Schmidt

OBJECTIVE

The clinical significance of cerebral ultra-early angiographic vasospasm (UEAV), defined as cerebral arterial narrowing within the first 48 hours of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), remains poorly characterized. The authors sought to determine its frequency, predictors, and impact on functional outcome.

METHODS

The authors prospectively studied UEAV in a cohort of 1286 consecutively admitted patients with aSAH between August 1996 and June 2013. Admission clinical, radiographic, and acute clinical course information was documented during patient hospitalization. Functional outcome was assessed at 3 months using the modified Rankin Scale. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models were generated to assess predictors of UEAV and its relationship to delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and outcome. Multiple imputation methods were used to address data lost to follow-up.

RESULTS

The cohort incidence rate of UEAV was 4.6%. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that younger age, sentinel bleed, and poor admission clinical grade were significantly associated with UEAV. Patients with UEAV had a 2-fold increased risk of DCI (odds ratio [OR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4–3.9, p = 0.002) and cerebral infarction (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.0–3.9, p = 0.04), after adjusting for known predictors. Excluding patients who experienced sentinel bleeding did not change this effect. Patients with UEAV also had a significantly higher hazard for DCI in a multivariable model. UEAV was not found to be significantly associated with poor functional outcome (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4–1.6, p = 0.5).

CONCLUSIONS

UEAV may be less frequent than has been reported previously. Patients who exhibit UEAV are at higher risk for refractory DCI that results in cerebral infarction. These patients may benefit from earlier monitoring for signs of DCI and more aggressive treatment. Further study is needed to determine the long-term functional significance of UEAV.

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Mohammad El-Ghanem, Fawaz Al-Mufti, Venkatraman Thulasi, Inder Paul Singh and Chirag Gandhi

Recent randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the superiority of endovascular treatment (ET) over medical management in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke patients with anterior circulation emergent large vessel occlusions (ELVOs). Due to such accumulating evidence, expanding ET has become of paramount importance. Advancements in modern technology have enabled the use of mobile stroke units, telestroke networks, mobile neuroendovascular teams, and smartphone applications that shorten the time window to treatment and, thus, make patients more amenable to ET. Additionally, modifying stroke-screening tools to make them more accessible to first responders and the creation of stroke registries can provide further opportunities for ET.