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  • Author or Editor: Eric L. Zager x
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Eric L. Zager, Ellen G. Shaver, Robert W. Hurst and Eugene S. Flamm

✓ Aneurysms of the distal anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) are rare; fewer than 100 cases have been reported. The authors detail their experience with four cases and present endovascular as well as microsurgical management options.

The medical records and neuroimaging studies obtained in four patients who were treated at a single institution were reviewed. Clinical presentations, neuroimaging and intraoperative findings, and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

There were three men and one woman; their mean age was 43 years. Two patients presented with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and two presented with ataxia and vertigo (one with tinnitus, the other with hearing loss). Angiographic studies demonstrated aneurysms of the distal segment of the AICA. In one patient with von Hippel—Lindau syndrome and multiple cerebellar hemangioblastomas, a feeding artery aneurysm was found on a distal branch of the AICA. Three of the patients underwent successful surgical obliteration of their aneurysms, one by clipping, one by trapping, and one by resection along with the tumor. The fourth patient underwent coil embolization of the distal AICA and the aneurysm. All patients made an excellent neurological recovery.

Patients with aneurysms in this location may present with typical features of an acute SAH or with symptoms referable to the cerebellopontine angle. Evaluation with computerized tomography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, MR angiography, and digital subtraction angiography should be performed. For lesions distal to branches coursing to the brainstem, trapping and aneurysm resection are viable options that do not require bypass. Endovascular obliteration is also a reasonable option, although the possibility of retrograde thrombosis of the AICA is a concern.

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Todd M. Lasner, Robert J. Weil, Howard A. Riina, Joseph T. King Jr., Eric L. Zager, Eric C. Raps and Eugene S. Flamm

✓ Vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is correlated with the thickness of blood within the basal cisterns on the initial computerized tomography (CT) scan. To identify additional risk factors for symptomatic vasospasm, the authors performed a prospective analysis of 75 consecutively admitted patients who were treated for aneurysmal SAH. Five patients who died before treatment or were comatose postoperatively were excluded from the study. Of the remaining 70 patients, demographic (age, gender, and race) and clinical (hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, smoking, alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, sentinel headache, Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, World Federation of Neurological Surgeons grade, and ruptured aneurysm location) parameters were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with cerebral vasospasm. All patients were treated with hypervolemic therapy and administration of nimodipine as prophylaxis for vasospasm. Cerebral vasospasm was suspected in cases that exhibited (by elevation of transcranial Doppler velocities) neurological deterioration 3 to 14 days after SAH with no other explanation and was confirmed either by clinical improvement in response to induced hypertension or by cerebral angiography. The mean age of the patients was 50 years. Sixty-three percent of the patients were women, 74% were white, 64% were cigarette smokers, and 46% were hypertensive. Ten percent of the patients suffered from alcohol abuse, 19% from sentinel bleed, and 49% had a Fisher Grade 3 SAH. Twenty-nine percent of the patients developed symptomatic vasospasm. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that cigarette smoking (p = 0.033; odds ratio 4.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4–8.9) and Fisher Grade 3, that is, thick subarachnoid clot (p = 0.008; odds ratio 5.1, 95% CI 2–13.1), were independent predictors of symptomatic vasospasm. The authors make the novel observation that cigarette smoking increases the risk of symptomatic vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH, independent of Fisher grade.