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  • Author or Editor: Stanley L. Barnwell x
  • By Author: Nesbit, Gary M. x
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Gary M. Nesbit, Wayne M. Clark, Oisin R. O'Neill and Stanley L. Barnwell

✓ This report covers a series of four patients with acute cervical carotid occlusion and profound neurological deficits who were treated with intracranial intraarterial thrombolysis. All of the patients presented with arm plegia with variable leg involvement and two of them had global aphasia. Angiography identified occlusion of the proximal internal carotid artery (ICA) in each case and intracranial thromboembolus of the supraclinoid ICA and/or its branches.

Catheter navigation through the occluded ICA segment was straightforward in three patients and somewhat difficult in one patient with an 80% ICA stenosis. Intraarterial urokinase infusion along with mechanical clot disruption was performed at the clot site in the middle cerebral artery, supraclinoid ICA, and/or anterior cerebral artery. All patients had recanalization of the treated artery after urokinase infusion. Antegrade flow through the ICA was reestablished in two patients, and good collateral filling across the anterior communicating artery was established in the other two. All patients had major pretreatment deficits (mean National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Score 24 ± 4) with significant improvement noted at 3 months posttreatment (NIH Stroke Score 7 ± 6; p = 0.03). Two patients made a dramatic early recovery. Postprocedure computerized tomography revealed no abnormality in one and asymptomatic basal ganglia high density from repeated local contrast injections in two patients.

On the basis of their findings in this small study group the authors suggest that catheter navigation through a presumably occluded carotid artery is feasible and possibly effective in thrombolytic therapy of intracranial thrombolysis. Further study with clinical trials is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of this technique.

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Jordi X. Kellogg, Todd A. Kuether, Michael A. Horgan, Gary M. Nesbit and Stanley L. Barnwell

With greater understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms by which carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistulas occur, and with improved endovascular devices, more appropriate and definitive treatments are being performed. The authors define cartoid cavernous fistulas based on an accepted classification system and the signs and symptoms related to these fistulas are described. Angiographic evaluation of the risk the lesion may pose for precipitating stroke or visual loss in the patient is discussed. The literature on treatment alternatives for the different types of fistulas including transvenous, transarterial, and conservative management is reviewed.

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Mark J. Stephan, Gary M. Nesbit, Melinda L. Behrens, Malcolm A. Whitaker, Stanley L. Barnwell and Nathan R. Selden

✓Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia ([HHT] or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome) can manifest as sudden onset of epistaxis or neurological deficit in a child with characteristic mucocutaneous telangiectasias or as an asymptomatic bruit with or without overlying cutaneous vascular lesions. The authors present a case study of a pediatric patient with HHT in whom a screening computerized tomography (CT) scan of the chest revealed an asymptomatic arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the spine.

An 18-month-old child with a strong family history of HHT, including fatal central nervous system (CNS) hemorrhage and pulmonary AVMs, presented with a cutaneous telangiectasia of the pinna. The child was subsequently screened for potentially morbid pulmonary and CNS AVMs by using chest CT scanning and brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. A spinal MR image revealed a perimedullary macro-AVF (MAVF) resulting in a large venous varix within the parenchyma of the thoracic spinal cord. A transarterial embolization of the fistula was performed using N-butyl cyanoacrylate and ethiodol. Postembolization angiography confirmed obliteration of the fistula, and MR imaging revealed thrombosis and reduction in size of the venous varix. There were no neurological sequelae due to the treatment.

In families with HHT and a high risk of sudden severe morbidity or death from undisclosed pulmonary or CNS AVMs, screening chest CT scanning and CNS MR imaging should be considered. Interdisciplinary teams of neurosurgery and interventional radiology specialists should evaluate and treat such patients by using diagnostic and therapeutic angiography and, if necessary, surgery.

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James K. Liu, Aclan Dogan, Dilantha B. Ellegala, Jonathan Carlson, Gary M. Nesbit, Stanley L. Barnwell and Johnny B. Delashaw Jr.


Surgical intervention may be required if endovascular embolization is insufficient to completely obliterate intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs). The authors report their 14-year experience with 23 patients harboring diverse intracranial DAVFs that required surgical intervention.


Between 1993 and 2007, 23 patients underwent surgery for intracranial DAVFs. The following types of DAVFs were treated: superior petrosal sinus (in 10 patients); parietooccipital (in 3); confluence of sinuses and ethmoidal (in 2 each); and tentorial, falcine, occipital, transverse-sigmoid, superior sagittal, and cavernous sinuses (in 1 patient each). In all cases, the authors' goal was to obliterate the DAVF venous outflow by direct surgical interruption of the leptomeningeal venous drainage. Transarterial embolization was used primarily as an adjunct to decrease flow to the DAVF prior to definitive treatment.


Complete angiographic obliteration of the DAVF was achieved in all cases. There were no complications of venous hypertension, venous infarction, or perioperative death. There were no recurrences and no further clinical events (new hemorrhages or focal neurological deficits) after a mean follow-up of 45 months.


The authors' experience emphasizes the importance of occluding venous outflow to obliterate intracranial DAVFs. Those that drain purely through leptomeningeal veins can be safely obliterated by surgically clipping the arterialized draining vein as it exits the dura. Radical excision of the fistula is not necessary.