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  • Author or Editor: L. Fernando Gonzalez x
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L. Fernando Gonzalez, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Pascal Jabbour, Aaron S. Dumont and Robert H. Rosenwasser

Object

Multiple approaches have been used to treat carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs). The transvenous approach has become a popular and effective route. Onyx is a valuable tool in today's endovascular armamentarium. The authors describe the use of a balloon-assisted technique in the treatment of CCFs with Onyx and assess its feasibility, utility, and safety.

Methods

The authors searched their prospectively maintained database for CCFs embolized using Onyx with the assistance of a compliant balloon placed in the internal carotid artery (ICA).

Results

Five patients were treated between July 2009 and July 2011 at the authors' institution. A balloon helped to identify the fistulous point, served as a buttress for coils, protected from inadvertent arterial embolizations, and prevented Onyx and coils from obscuring the ICA during the course of embolization. No balloon-related complications were noted in any of the 5 cases. All 5 fistulas were completely obliterated at the end of the procedure. Four patients had available clinical follow-ups, and all 4 showed reversal of nerve palsies.

Conclusions

Balloon-assisted Onyx embolization of CCFs offers a powerful combination that prevents inadvertent migration of the embolic material into the arterial system, facilitates visualization of the ICA, and serves as a buttress for coils deployed in the cavernous sinus through the fistulous point. Despite adding another layer of technical complexity, an intraarterial balloon can provide valuable assistance in the treatment of CCFs.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Aaron S. Dumont, Ciro Randazzo, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

With the widespread use of brain imaging studies, neurosurgeons have seen a marked increase in the number of incidental intracranial lesions, including vascular abnormalities. Specifically, the detection of incidentally discovered aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous angiomas, developmental venous anomalies, and capillary telangiectasias has increased. The best management strategy for most of these lesions is controversial. Treatment options include observation, open surgery, endovascular procedures, and radiosurgery. Multiple factors should be taken into account when discussing treatment indications, including the natural history of the disease and the risk of the treatment. In this article, the authors focus on the natural history of these lesions and the risk of the treatment, and they give recommendations regarding the most appropriate management strategy based on the current evidence in the literature and their experience with intracranial vascular abnormalities.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Rohan Chitale, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Aaron S. Dumont, Robert Rosenwasser and L. Fernando Gonzalez

Given that relatives of patients with intracranial aneurysms (IAs) or subarachnoid hemorrhage have a greater risk of harboring an aneurysm, family screening has become a common practice in neurosurgery. Unclear data exist regarding who should be screened and at what age and interval screening should occur. Multiple factors including the natural history of IAs, the risk of treatment, the cost of screening, and the psychosocial impact of finding an aneurysm should be taken into account when family screening is considered. In this paper, the authors review the current literature regarding risk factors and natural history of sporadic and familial aneurysms. Based on these data the authors assess current recommendations for screening and propose their own recommendations.

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Stephen J. Monteith, Asterios Tsimpas, Aaron S. Dumont, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Object

Despite advances in surgical and endovascular techniques, fusiform aneurysms remain a therapeutic challenge. Introduction of flow-diverting stents has revolutionized the treatment of aneurysms with wide necks and of complex morphology. The authors report their experience with the endovascular treatment of fusiform aneurysms using the Pipeline Embolization Device.

Methods

A retrospective review of 146 patients with cerebral aneurysms treated with the Pipeline Embolization Device between June 2011 and January 2013 was performed. Twenty-four patients were identified as having fusiform aneurysms. Twenty-four aneurysms in these 24 patients were treated. The mean patient age was 59 years. There were 9 men and 15 women. Angiographic and clinical data (including the modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score) were recorded at the time of treatment and at follow-up. The aneurysms were located in the internal carotid artery in 8 patients (33.3%), middle cerebral artery in 8 patients (33.3%), anterior cerebral artery in 1 patient (4%), and vertebrobasilar circulation in 7 patients (29%). The aneurysms were smaller than 10 mm in 3 patients, 10–25 mm in 16 patients, and larger than 25 mm in 5 patients. The mean largest dimension diameter was 18 mm.

Results

Stent deployment was successful in all cases. The minor procedural morbidity was 4% (1 case). Morbidity and mortality related to aneurysm treatment were 4.2% and 4.2%, respectively. The mean mRS scores preoperatively and at clinical follow-up (median 6.0 months, mean 6.9 months) were 0.71 and 1.2, respectively (91.7% presented with an mRS score of 2 or better, and 79.2% had an mRS score of 2 or better at the 6.0-month follow-up). At clinical follow-up, 82.6% of patients were stable or had improved, 13.0% worsened, and 4.2% had died. Twenty-two (91.7%) of 24 patients had follow-up angiography available (mean follow-up time 6.3 months); 59% had excellent angiographic results (> 95% or complete occlusion), 31.8% had complete aneurysm occlusion, 27.3% had greater than 95% aneurysm occlusion, 18.2% had a moderate decrease in size (50%–95%), 4.5% had a minimal decrease in size (< 50%), 13.6% had not changed, and 4.5% had an increase in size.

Conclusions

This series demonstrates that endovascular treatment of fusiform cerebral aneurysms with flow diversion was a safe and effective treatment. Procedural complications were low. Long-term morbidity and mortality rates were acceptable given the complex nature of these lesions.

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Pascal Jabbour, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Aaron S. Dumont, Rohan Chitale, Robert Rosenwasser, Carlos G. Bianciotto and Carol Shields

Retinoblastoma is a deadly eye cancer in children, leading to death in 50%–70% of children in undeveloped nations who are diagnosed with it. This malignancy is the most common intraocular tumor in childhood worldwide. The good prognosis in developed nations is related to early detection and advanced treatments. With the advent of intraarterial chemotherapy, neurosurgeons have taken a central role in the treatment of this pediatric condition. Intraarterial chemotherapy is a novel treatment for retinoblastoma whereby chemotherapeutic agents are precisely delivered into the ophthalmic artery, minimizing systemic toxicity. This procedure has shown impressive results and has allowed a dramatic decrease in the rate of enucleation (eye removal) in advanced and refractory retinoblastoma. Recent reports have raised some concerns about the risk of ocular vasculopathy, radiation-related toxicity, and the potential for metastatic disease after intraarterial chemotherapy. In the authors' experience of more than 3 years, tumor control is excellent with globe salvage at 67% and vascular events less than 5%, mostly related to improvement in technique. The role of this novel approach in the management of retinoblastoma has yet to be defined. As more centers are adopting the technique, the topic will decidedly become the focus of intensive future research. In this paper, the authors review and discuss current data regarding intraarterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Aaron S. Dumont, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Jurij R. Bilyk, Ciro Randazzo, David Hasan, Richard T. Dalyai, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Object

Endovascular therapy is the primary treatment option for carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs). Operative cannulation of the superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) provides a reasonable alternative route to the cavernous sinus when all transvenous and transarterial approaches have been unsuccessful. The role of the liquid embolic agent Onyx in the management of CCFs has not been well documented, especially when using an SOV approach. The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of Onyx embolization of CCFs through a surgical cannulation of the SOV.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients with CCFs who were treated with Onyx through an SOV approach between April 2009 and April 2011. Traditional endovascular approaches had failed in all patients.

Results

A total of 10 patients were identified, 1 with a Type A CCF, 5 with a Type B CCF, and 4 with a Type D CCF. All fistulas were embolized in 1 session. Onyx was the sole embolic agent used in 7 cases and was combined with coils in 3 other cases. Complete obliteration was achieved in 8 patients and a significant reduction in fistulous flow was achieved in 2 patients, which later progressed to near-complete occlusion on angiographic follow-up. All patients experienced a complete clinical recovery with excellent cosmetic results and were free from recurrence at their latest clinical follow-up evaluations.

Conclusions

Onyx embolization is an excellent therapy for CCFs in general, and through an SOV approach in particular. Direct operative cannulation of the SOV followed by Onyx embolization may be the best treatment option in patients with CCFs when all other endovascular approaches have been exhausted.

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Vijay Agarwal, Ali Zomorodi, Pascal Jabbour, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Ranjith Babu, Adam Back and L. Fernando Gonzalez

We present a case of a patient with rapid loss of motor strength in his lower extremities. He became bedridden with bowel and bladder incontinence, and developed saddle anesthesia. MRI of the lumbar spine showed edema in the conus medullaris and multiple flow voids within the spinal canal. A spinal angiogram showed a dorsal Type I spinal AVF. This was treated successfully with Onyx 18 (eV3, Irvine, CA). The patient showed rapid post-procedure improvement, and at discharge from the hospital to a rehabilitation center he was fully ambulatory. At 3-year follow-up, the patient was found to ambulate without difficulty. He also had improved saddle anesthesia, and he was voiding spontaneously. There was no evidence of flow voids on repeat MRI of the lumbar spine.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/SDYNIGNQIW8.

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Richard Dalyai, Robert M. Starke, Nohra Chalouhi, Thana Theofanis, Christopher Busack, Pascal Jabbour, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

Cigarette smoking has been well established as a risk factor in vascular pathology, such as cerebral aneurysms. However, tobacco’s implications for patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are controversial. The object of this study was to identify predictors of AVM obliteration and risk factors for complications.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database for all patients with AVMs treated using surgical excision, staged endovascular embolization (with N-butyl-cyanoacrylate or Onyx), stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife or Linear Accelerator), or a combination thereof between 1994 and 2010. Medical risk factors, such as smoking, abuse of alcohol or intravenous recreational drugs, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease, were documented. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to detect predictors of periprocedural complications, obliteration, and posttreatment hemorrhage.

Results

Of 774 patients treated at a single tertiary care cerebrovascular center, 35% initially presented with symptomatic hemorrhage and 57.6% achieved complete obliteration according to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) or MRI. In a multivariate analysis a negative smoking history (OR 1.9, p = 0.006) was a strong independent predictor of AVM obliteration. Of the patients with obliterated AVMs, 31.9% were smokers, whereas 45% were not (p = 0.05). Multivariate analysis of obliteration, after controlling for AVM size and location (eloquent vs noneloquent tissue), revealed that nonsmokers were more likely (0.082) to have obliterated AVMs through radiosurgery. Smoking was not predictive of treatment complications or posttreatment hemorrhage. Abuse of alcohol or intravenous recreational drugs, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease had no discernible effect on AVM obliteration, periprocedural complications, or posttreatment hemorrhage.

Conclusions

Cerebral AVM patients with a history of smoking are significantly less likely than those without a smoking history to have complete AVM obliteration on follow-up DSA or MRI. Therefore, patients with AVMs should be strongly advised to quit smoking.

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Richard T. Dalyai, George Ghobrial, Issam Awad, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Aaron S. Dumont, Nohra Chalouhi, Ciro Randazzo, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Cavernous malformations (CMs) are angiographically occult vascular malformations that are frequently found incidentally on MR imaging. Despite this benign presentation, these lesions could cause symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, seizures, and focal neurological deficits. Cavernomas can be managed conservatively with neuroimaging studies, surgically with lesion removal, or with radiosurgery. Considering recent studies examining the CM's natural history, imaging techniques, and possible therapeutic interventions, the authors provide a concise review of the literature and discuss the optimal management of incidental CMs.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Robert M. Starke, David Hasan, Nimrita Sidhu, Saurabh Singhal, Shannon Hann, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Object

Endovascular therapy has become a widely used method for achieving arterial recanalization in patients who are ineligible for intravenous thrombolysis or those in whom it is unsuccessful. Young stroke patients with large vessel occlusions may particularly benefit from endovascular intervention. This study aims to assess the authors' experience with the use of modern endovascular techniques to treat young patients (≤ 55 years old) with acute ischemic stroke and large vessel occlusions.

Methods

Young patients (≤ 55 years old) undergoing endovascular intervention for acute ischemic stroke at the authors' institution were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Only those patients with a confirmed large vessel occlusion were included. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were determined at 90 days during a follow-up visit. A multivariate analysis was performed to determine predictors of outcome (mRS score 0–2).

Results

A total of 45 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of the patients in this series was 45 ± 9.6 years. The mean admission NIH Stroke Scale score was 14.1 ± 5 (median 13.5). Mechanical thrombectomy was performed using the Solitaire FR device in 13 (29%) patients and the Merci/Penumbra systems in 32 (71%) patients. The rate of successful recanalization (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] scale Grade II–III) was 93% (42/45). Only 1 patient (2.2%) had a symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage following intervention. One patient (2.2%) sustained a vessel perforation intraoperatively. The rate of 90-day favorable outcome (mRS score 0–2) was 77.5% and the rate of 90-day satisfactory outcome (mRS score 0–3) was 90%. The 90-day mortality rate was 7.5%. In multivariate analysis, postprocedure TIMI grade was the only statistically significant independent predictor of 90-day outcome (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.01–1.19; p = 0.05).

Conclusions

The results of this study demonstrate that endovascular therapy provides remarkably high rates of arterial recanalization and favorable outcomes in young patients with acute ischemic stroke and large vessel occlusions. These findings support aggressive interventional strategies in these patients. Randomized, controlled trials reflecting modern acute ischemic stroke treatment will be needed to confirm the findings of this study.