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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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Matthew F. Philips, Linda J. Bagley, Grant P. Sinson, Eric C. Raps, Steven L. Galetta, Eric L. Zager and Robert W. Hurst

Object. The authors sought to treat potentially catastrophic intracranial dural and deep cerebral venous thrombosis by using a multimodality endovascular approach.

Methods. Six patients aged 14 to 75 years presented with progressive symptoms of thrombotic intracranial venous occlusion. Five presented with neurological deficits, and one patient had a progressive and intractable headache. All six had known risk factors for venous thrombosis: inflammatory bowel disease (two patients), nephrotic syndrome (one), cancer (one), use of oral contraceptive pills (one), and puerperium (one). Four had combined dural and deep venous thrombosis, whereas clot formation was limited to the dural venous sinuses in two patients. All patients underwent diagnostic cerebral arteriograms followed by transvenous catheterization and selective sinus and deep venous microcatheterization. Urokinase was delivered at the proximal aspect of the thrombus in dosages of 200,000 to 1,000,000 IU. In two patients with thrombus refractory to pharmacological thrombolytic treatment, mechanical wire microsnare maceration of the thrombus resulted in sinus patency. Radiological studies obtained 24 hours after thrombolysis reconfirmed sinus/vein patency in all patients. All patients' symptoms and neurological deficits improved, and no procedural complications ensued. Follow-up periods ranged from 12 to 35 months, and all six patients remain free of any symptomatic venous reocclusion. Factors including patients' age, preexisting medical conditions, and duration of symptoms had no statistical bearing on the outcome.

Conclusions. Patients with both dural and deep cerebral venous thrombosis often have a variable clinical course and an unpredictable neurological outcome. With recent improvements in interventional techniques, endovascular therapy is warranted in symptomatic patients early in the disease course, prior to morbid and potentially fatal neurological deterioration.