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  • Author or Editor: Eric L. Zager x
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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.

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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.