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Ricardo J. Komotar, Daniel M. S. Raper, Robert M. Starke, J. Bryan Iorgulescu and Philip H. Gutin

Object

Meningiomas are one of the more common intracranial neoplasms. The risk of seizures and secondary aspiration, brain edema, and brain injury often leads practitioners to administer prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) perioperatively. The efficacy of this practice remains controversial, however, with prior investigations reaching conflicting results and recent studies focusing on AED side effects. The authors performed a systematic analysis of outcomes following supratentorial meningioma resection with and without prophylactic AED administration in the hope of clarifying the role of AEDs in the perioperative care of patients with these lesions.

Methods

A MEDLINE search of the literature (1979–2010) was performed. Comparisons were made for patient and tumor characteristics as well as success of repair, morbidity, and seizure outcome. Statistical analyses of categorical variables were undertaken using chi-square and Fisher exact tests.

Results

Nineteen studies, involving 698 patients, were included. There were no significant differences in the extent of resection, perioperative mortality, or recurrence between the AED and no-AED cohorts. Likewise, there were no significant differences in the incidence of early or late seizures between the cohorts.

Conclusions

The results of this systematic analysis supports the conclusion that the prophylactic administration of anticonvulsants during resection of supratentorial meningiomas provides no benefit in the prevention of either early or late postoperative seizures. Despite their traditional role in this patient population, the routine use of AEDs should be carefully reconsidered.

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Robert M. Starke, Dale Ding, Christopher R. Durst, R. Webster Crowley and Kenneth C. Liu

Dissecting vertebral artery (VA) aneurysms are difficult to obliterate when the parent artery cannot be safely occluded. In this video, we demonstrate a combined microsurgical and endovascular treatment technique for a ruptured, dissecting VA aneurysm incorporating the origin of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). We first performed a PICA-PICA side-to-side bypass to preserve flow through the right PICA. An endovascular approach was then utilized to embolize the proximal portion of the aneurysm from the right VA and the distal portion of the aneurysm from the left VA.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/dkkKsX2BiJI.

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Samir Sur, Brian Snelling, Priyank Khandelwal, Justin M. Caplan, Eric C. Peterson, Robert M. Starke and Dileep R. Yavagal

OBJECTIVE

The goals of this study were to describe the authors' recent institutional experience with the transradial approach to anterior circulation large-vessel occlusions (LVOs) in acute ischemic stroke patients and to report its technical feasibility.

METHODS

The authors reviewed their institutional database to identify patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy via a transradial approach over the 2 previous years, encompassing their experience using modern techniques including stent retrievers.

RESULTS

Eleven patients were identified. In 8 (72%) of these patients the right radial artery was chosen as the primary access site. In the remaining patients, transfemoral access was initially attempted. Revascularization (modified Treatment in Cerebral Ischemia [mTICI] score ≥ 2b) was achieved in 10 (91%) of 11 cases. The average time to first pass with the stent retriever was 64 minutes. No access-related complications occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

Transradial access for mechanical thrombectomy in anterior circulation LVOs is safe and feasible. Further comparative studies are needed to determine criteria for selecting the transradial approach in this setting.

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Scott D. Wait, Adib A. Abla, Brendan D. Killory, Robert M. Starke, Robert F. Spetzler and Peter Nakaji

Object

Many patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA) regularly take clopidogrel, a permanent platelet inhibitor. The authors sought to determine whether taking clopidogrel in the period before CEA leads to more bleeding or other complications.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective, institutional review board–approved review of 182 consecutive patients who underwent CEA. Clinical, radiographic, and surgical data were gleaned from hospital and clinic records. Analysis was based on the presence or absence of clopidogrel in patients undergoing CEA and was performed twice by considering clopidogrel use within 8 days and within 5 days of surgery to define the groups.

Results

Taking clopidogrel within 8 days before surgery resulted in no statistical increase in any measure of morbidity or death. Taking clopidogrel within 5 days was associated with a small but significant increase in operative blood loss and conservatively managed postoperative neck swelling. No measure of permanent morbidity or death was increased in either clopidogrel group.

Conclusions

Findings in this study support the safety of preoperative clopidogrel in patients undergoing CEA.

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Thana Theofanis, Nohra Chalouhi, Richard Dalyai, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

The authors conducted a study to assess the safety and efficacy of microsurgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and determine predictors of complications.

Methods

A total of 264 patients with cerebral AVMs were treated with microsurgical resection between 1994 and 2010 at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience. A review of patient data was performed, including initial hemorrhage, clinical presentation, Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, treatment modalities, clinical outcomes, and obliteration rates. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine predictors of operative complications.

Results

Of the 264 patients treated with microsurgery, 120 (45%) patients initially presented with hemorrhage. There were 27 SM Grade I lesions (10.2%), 101 Grade II lesions (38.3%), 96 Grade III lesions (36.4%), 31 Grade IV lesions (11.7%), and 9 Grade V lesions (3.4%). Among these patients, 102 (38.6%) had undergone prior endovascular embolization. In all patients, resection resulted in complete obliteration of the AVM. Complications occurred in 19 (7.2%) patients and resulted in permanent neurological deficits in 5 (1.9%). In multivariate analysis, predictors of complications were increasing AVM size (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.5–6.6; p = 0.001), increasing number of embolizations (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.2; p = 0.01), and unruptured AVMs (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1–7.2; p = 0.05).

Conclusions

Microsurgical resection of AVMs is highly efficient and can be undertaken with low rates of morbidity at high-volume neurovascular centers. Unruptured and larger AVMs were associated with higher complication rates.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Chun-Po Yen, Dale Ding, Ching-Hsiao Cheng, Robert M. Starke, Mark Shaffrey and Jason Sheehan

Object

A relatively benign natural course of unruptured cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has recently been recognized, and the decision to treat incidentally found AVMs has been questioned. This study aims to evaluate the long-term imaging and clinical outcomes of patients with asymptomatic, incidentally discovered AVMs treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

Thirty-one patients, each with an incidentally diagnosed AVM, underwent GKS between 1989 and 2009. The nidus volumes ranged from 0.3 to 11.1 cm3 (median 3.2 cm3). A margin dose between 15 and 26 Gy (median 20 Gy) was used to treat the AVMs. Four patients underwent repeat GKS for still-patent AVM residuals after the initial GKS procedure. Clinical follow-up ranged from 24 to 196 months, with a mean of 78 months (median 51 months) after the initial GKS.

Results

Following GKS, 19 patients (61.3%) had a total AVM obliteration on angiography. In 7 patients (22.6%), no flow voids were observed on MRI but angiographic confirmation was not available. In 5 patients (16.1%), the AVMs remained patent. A small nidus volume was significantly associated with increased AVM obliteration rate. Thirteen patients (41.9%) developed radiation-induced imaging changes: 11 were asymptomatic (35.5%), 1 had only headache (3.2%), and 1 developed seizure and neurological deficits (3.2%). Two patients each had 1 hemorrhage during the latency period (116.5 risk years), yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 1.7% before AVM obliteration.

Conclusions

The decision to treat asymptomatic AVMs, and if so, which treatment approach to use, remain the subject of debate. GKS as a minimally invasive procedure appears to achieve a reasonable outcome with low procedure-related morbidity. In those patients with incidental AVMs, the benefits as well as the risks of radiosurgical intervention will only be fully defined with long-term follow-up.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Robert M. Starke, Zhiyuan Xu, Xingwen Sun and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are most commonly classified based on their Spetzler-Martin grades. Due to the composition of the Spetzler-Martin grading scale, Grade III AVMs are the most heterogeneous, comprising 4 distinct lesion subtypes. The management of this class of AVMs and the optimal treatment approach when intervention is indicated remain controversial. The authors report their experience with radiosurgery for the treatment of Grade III AVMs in a large cohort of patients.

Methods

All patients with Spetzler-Martin Grade III AVMs treated with radiosurgery at the University of Virginia over the 20-year span from 1989 to 2009 were identified. Patients who had less than 2 years of radiological follow-up and did not have evidence of complete obliteration during that period were excluded from the study, leaving 398 cases for analysis. The median patient age at treatment was 31 years. The most common presenting symptoms were hemorrhage (59%), seizure (20%), and headache (10%). The median AVM volume was 2.8 cm3, and the median prescription dose was 20 Gy. The median radiological and clinical follow-up intervals were 54 and 68 months, respectively. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression analysis were used to identify factors associated with obliteration, postradiosurgery radiation-induced changes (RIC), and favorable outcome.

Results

Complete AVM obliteration was observed in 69% of Grade III AVM cases at a median time of 46 months after radiosurgery. The actuarial obliteration rates at 3 and 5 years were 38% and 60%, respectively. The obliteration rate was higher in ruptured AVMs than in unruptured ones (p < 0.001). Additionally, the obliteration rate for Grade III AVMs with small size (< 3 cm diameter), deep venous drainage, and location in eloquent cortex was higher than for the other subtypes (p < 0.001). Preradiosurgery AVM rupture (p = 0.016), no preradiosurgery embolization (p = 0.003), increased prescription dose (p < 0.001), fewer isocenters (p = 0.006), and a single draining vein (p = 0.018) were independent predictors of obliteration. The annual risk of postradiosurgery hemorrhage during the latency period was 1.7%. Two patients (0.5%) died of hemorrhage during the radiosurgical latency period. The rates of symptomatic and permanent RIC were 12% and 4%, respectively. Absence of preradiosurgery AVM rupture (p < 0.001) and presence of a single draining vein (p < 0.001) were independent predictors of RIC. Favorable outcome was observed in 63% of patients. Independent predictors of favorable outcome were no preradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.014), increased prescription dose (p < 0.001), fewer isocenters (p = 0.014), deep location (p = 0.014), single draining vein (p = 0.001), and lower Virginia radiosurgery AVM scale score (p = 0.016).

Conclusions

Radiosurgery for Spetzler-Martin Grade III AVMs yields relatively high rates of obliteration with a low rate of adverse procedural events. Small and ruptured lesions are more likely to become obliterated after radiosurgery than large and unruptured ones.

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Robert M. Starke, Brian J. Williams, Claire Hiles, James H. Nguyen, Mohamed Y. Elsharkawy and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Skull base meningiomas are challenging tumors owing in part to their close proximity to important neurovascular structures. Complete microsurgical resection can be associated with significant morbidity, and recurrence rates are not inconsequential. In this study, the authors evaluate the outcomes of skull base meningiomas treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) both as an adjunct to microsurgery and as a primary treatment modality.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively compiled database detailing the outcomes in 255 patients with skull base meningiomas treated at the University of Virginia from 1989 to 2006. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 24 months. The group comprised 54 male and 201 female patients, with a median age of 55 years (range 19–85 years). One hundred nine patients were treated with upfront radiosurgery, and 146 patients were treated with GKS following resection. Patients were assessed clinically and radiographically at routine intervals following GKS. Factors predictive of new neurological deficit following GKS were assessed via univariate and multivariate analysis, and Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox multivariate regression analysis were used to assess factors predictive of tumor progression.

Results

Meningiomas were centered over the cerebellopontine angle in 43 patients (17%), the clivus in 40 (16%), the petroclival region in 28 (11%), the petrous region in 6 (2%), and the parasellar region in 138 (54%). The median duration of follow-up was 6.5 years (range 2–18 years). The mean preradiosurgery tumor volume was 5.0 cm3 (range 0.3–54.8 cm3).

At most recent follow-up, 220 patients (86%) displayed either no change or a decrease in tumor volume, and 35 (14%) displayed an increase in volume. Actuarial progression-free survival at 3, 5, and 10 years was 99%, 96%, and 79%, respectively. In Cox multivariate analysis, pre-GKS covariates associated with tumor progression included age greater then 65 years (HR 3.41, 95% CI 1.63–7.13, p = 0.001) and decreasing dose to tumor margin (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.80–1.00, p = 0.05).

At most recent clinical follow-up, 230 patients (90%) demonstrated no change or improvement in their neurological condition and the condition of 25 patients had deteriorated (10%). In multivariate analysis, the factors predictive of new or worsening symptoms were increasing duration of follow-up (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.02, p = 0.015), tumor progression (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.60–5.31, p < 0.001), decreasing maximum dose (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.84–0.97, p = 0.007), and petrous or clival location versus parasellar, petroclival, and cerebellopontine angle location (OR 3.47, 95% CI 1.23–9.74, p = 0.018).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high rate of tumor control and neurological preservation in patients with skull base meningiomas. After radiosurgery, better outcomes were observed for those receiving an optimal radiosurgery dose and harboring tumors located in a cerebellopontine angle, parasellar, or petroclival location.