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  • Author or Editor: Alex Alfieri x
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Alex Alfieri, Vera Unterhuber, Martina Pircher, Andreas Schwarz, Roberto Gazzeri, Michael Reinert and Hans R. Widmer

Object

In this study, the authors prospectively evaluated long-term psychosocial and neurocognitive performance in patients suffering from nonaneurysmal, nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and investigated the association between the APOE-ε4 genotype and outcome in these patients.

Methods

All patients admitted to the authors' institution between January 2001 and January 2003 with spontaneous nonaneurysmal SAH were prospectively examined (mean follow-up 59.8 months). The APOE genotype was determined in all patients by polymerase chain reaction from a blood sample. Of the 30 patients included in this study, 11 were carriers of the ε4 allele.

Results

All patients showed a good recovery and regained full independence with no persisting neurological deficits. The patients with the ε4 allele, however, scored significantly higher on the Beck Depression Inventory (22.1 ± 6.3 vs 14.1 ± 5.1). At follow-up, depression was more persistent in the group with the ε4 allele compared with the group that lacked the allele. This finding reached statistical significance (p < 0.05). Selective attention was impaired in all patients during the first year of follow-up, with an earlier recovery noted in the patients without the ε4 allele. Moreover, there was a tendency toward a linear relationship between the Beck Depression Inventory and the d2 Test of Attention. Two patients who carried the ε4 allele did not return to their employment even after 5 years.

Conclusions

The findings in this study suggest that the APOE genotypes may be associated with the psychosocial and neurocognitive performance after spontaneous nonaneurysmal SAH, even in the absence of neurological impairment. Physicians should consider patient genotype in assessing the long-term consequences of nonaneurysmal SAH.

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Amadé Bregy, Alex Alfieri, Stefanos Demertzis, Pasquale Mordasini, Anna Katharina Jetzer, Dominique Kuhlen, Thomas Schaffner, Ralph Dacey, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Michael Reinert

Object

The treatment of complex cerebrovascular or skull base pathological conditions necessitates a microsurgical blood flow preservation or augmentative revascularization procedure as either an adjunctive safety measure or a definitive treatment. The brain is susceptible to ischemia, and procedure-related risks can be minimized by the reduction of occlusion time or the use of a nonocclusive technique. The authors therefore analyzed the feasibility of an automatic device (C-Port xA, Cardica) designed for constructing an end-to-side anastomosis with or without flow interruption for a middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass in a human cadaveric model and in an in vivo craniotomy simulation model.

Methods

Four Thiel-fixated human head specimens were prepared using 8 standard pterional craniotomies. The sylvian fissure was opened to access the anterior circulation and in particular the MCA. The length of the individual vessel segments was measured. The C-Port xA was tested on each of the 8 exposures. In addition the C-Port xA was deployed in an in vivo craniotomy simulator model in 10 New Zealand rabbits (a total of 20 anastomoses) by using the abdominal aorta jump graft model.

Results

Short-term patency was assessed by angiography and histological findings. In all 8 sylvian exposures, construction of an MCA anastomosis with the aid of the C-Port xA was feasible. All 20 jump graft anastomoses performed in the in vivo craniotomy simulator were found to be patent.

Conclusions

The anatomical studies as well as the in vivo craniotomy simulation studies demonstrated that the dimensions of the automated end-to-side anastomosis device are suitable for an extracranial–intracranial high-flow bypass on the MCA. Further miniaturization and special adaptation of this device would allow bypass procedures to more proximal intracranial vessels.