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David Hasan, Mario Zanaty, Robert M. Starke, Elias Atallah, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Amit Singla, Waldo R. Guerrero, Daichi Nakagawa, Edgar A. Samaniego, Nnenna Mbabuike, Rabih G. Tawk, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy, Roberta L. Novakovic, Jonathan White, Clemens M. Schirmer, Thomas G. Brott, Hussain Shallwani and L. Nelson Hopkins

OBJECTIVE

The overall risk of ischemic stroke from a chronically occluded internal carotid artery (COICA) is around 5%–7% per year despite receiving the best available medical therapy. Here, authors propose a radiographic classification of COICA that can be used as a guide to determine the technical success and safety of endovascular recanalization for symptomatic COICA and to assess the changes in systemic blood pressure following successful revascularization.

METHODS

The radiographic images of 100 consecutive subjects with COICA were analyzed. A new classification of COICA was proposed based on the morphology, location of occlusion, and presence or absence of reconstitution of the distal ICA. The classification was used to predict successful revascularization in 32 symptomatic COICAs in 31 patients, five of whom were female (5/31 [16.13%]). Patients were included in the study if they had a COICA with ischemic symptoms refractory to medical therapy. Carotid artery occlusion was defined as 100% cross-sectional occlusion of the vessel lumen as documented on CTA or MRA and confirmed by digital subtraction angiography.

RESULTS

Four types (A–D) of radiographic COICA were identified. Types A and B were more amenable to safe revascularization than types C and D. Recanalization was successful at a rate of 68.75% (22/32 COICAs; type A: 8/8; type B: 8/8; type C: 4/8; type D: 2/8). The perioperative complication rate was 18.75% (6/32; type A: 0/8 [0%]; type B: 1/8 [12.50%]; type C: 3/8 [37.50%], type D: 2/8 [25.00%]). None of these complications led to permanent morbidity or death. Twenty (64.52%) of 31 subjects had improvement in their symptoms at the 2–6 months’ follow-up. A statistically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP) was noted in 17/21 (80.95%) patients who had successful revascularization, which persisted on follow-up (p = 0.0001). The remaining 10 subjects in whom revascularization failed had no significant changes in SBP (p = 0.73).

CONCLUSIONS

The pilot study suggested that our proposed classification of COICA may be useful as an adjunctive guide to determine the technical feasibility and safety of revascularization for symptomatic COICA using endovascular techniques. Additionally, successful revascularization may lead to a significant decrease in SBP postprocedure. A Phase 2b trial in larger cohorts to assess the efficacy of endovascular revascularization using our COICA classification is warranted.

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Ashish Sonig, Ning Lin, Chandan Krishna, Sabareesh K. Natarajan, Maxim Mokin, L. Nelson Hopkins, Kenneth V. Snyder, Elad I. Levy and Adnan H. Siddiqui

OBJECT

In this study, the authors used information provided in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to study the impact of transferring stroke patients from one facility to a center where they received some form of active stroke intervention (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, thrombectomy, or a combination of both therapies).

METHODS

Patient demographic characteristics and hospital factors obtained from the 2008–2010 acute stroke NIS data were analyzed. Discharge disposition, hospitalization cost, and mortality were the dependent variables studied. Univariate analysis and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis were performed. Data analysis focused on the cohort of acute stroke patients who received some form of active intervention (55,913 of 1,311,511 patients in the NIS).

RESULTS

When overall outcome was considered, transferred patients had a significantly higher number of other-than-routine (OTR, i.e., other than discharge to home without home health care) discharge dispositions (p < 0.0001). In multivariate regression analysis including pertinent patient and hospital factors, transfer-in patients had significantly worse OTR discharge disposition (p < 0.0001, odds ratio [OR] 2.575, 95% CI 2.341–2.832). Mean hospitalization cost including an intervention was $70,325.11 for direct admissions and $97,546.92 for transferred patients. Transfer from another facility (p < 0.001, OR 1.677, 95% CI 1.548–1.817) was associated with higher hospitalization cost.

CONCLUSIONS

The study showed that hospital cost for acute stroke intervention is significantly higher for a transferred patient than for a direct admission. Moreover, the frequency of OTR discharge was significantly higher among transferred patients than direct admissions. Future strategies should focus on ways and means of transporting patients appropriately and directly to stroke centers.

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Benjamin L. Brown, Demetrius Lopes, David A. Miller, Rabih G. Tawk, Leonardo B. C. Brasiliense, Andrew Ringer, Eric Sauvageau, Ciarán J. Powers, Adam Arthur, Daniel Hoit, Kenneth Snyder, Adnan Siddiqui, Elad Levy, L. Nelson Hopkins, Hugo Cuellar, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Erol Veznedaroglu, Mandy Binning, J Mocco, Pedro Aguilar-Salinas, Alan Boulos, Junichi Yamamoto and Ricardo A. Hanel

OBJECT

The authors sought to determine whether flow diversion with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) can approximate microsurgical decompression in restoring function after cranial neuropathy following carotid artery aneurysms.

METHODS

This multiinstitutional retrospective study involved 45 patients treated with PED across the United States. All patients included presented between November 2009 and October 2013 with cranial neuropathy (cranial nerves [CNs] II, III, IV, and VI) due to intracranial aneurysm. Outcome analysis included clinical and procedural variables at the time of treatment as well as at the latest clinical and radiographic follow-up.

RESULTS

Twenty-six aneurysms (57.8%) were located in the cavernous segment, while 6 (13.3%) were in the clinoid segment, and 13 (28.9%) were in the ophthalmic segment of the internal carotid artery. The average aneurysm size was 18.6 mm (range 4–35 mm), and the average number of flow diverters placed per patient was 1.2. Thirty-eight patients had available information regarding duration of cranial neuropathy prior to treatment. Eleven patients (28.9%) were treated within 1 month of symptom onset, while 27 (71.1%) were treated after 1 month of symptoms. The overall rate of cranial neuropathy improvement for all patients was 66.7%. The CN deficits resolved in 19 patients (42.2%), improved in 11 (24.4%), were unchanged in 14 (31.1%), and worsened in 1 (2.2%). Overtime, the rate of cranial neuropathy improvement was 33.3% (15/45), 68.8% (22/32), and 81.0% (17/21) at less than 6, 6, and 12 months, respectively. At last follow-up, 60% of patients in the isolated CN II group had improvement, while in the CN III, IV, or VI group, 85.7% had improved. Moreover, 100% (11/11) of patients experienced improvement if they were treated within 1 month of symptom onset, whereas 44.4% (12/27) experienced improvement if they treated after 1 month of symptom onset; 70.4% (19/27) of those with partial deficits improved compared with 30% (3/10) of those with complete deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Cranial neuropathy caused by cerebral aneurysm responds similarly when the aneurysm is treated with the PED compared with open surgery and coil embolization. Lower morbidity and higher occlusion rates obtained with the PED may suggest it as treatment of choice for some of these lesions. Time to treatment is an important consideration regardless of treatment modality.

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Maxim Mokin, Alexander A. Khalessi, J Mocco, Giuseppe Lanzino, Travis M. Dumont, Ricardo A. Hanel, Demetrius K. Lopes, Richard D. Fessler II, Andrew J. Ringer, Bernard R. Bendok, Erol Veznedaroglu, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Various endovascular intraarterial approaches are available for treating patients with acute ischemic stroke who present with severe neurological deficits. Three recent randomized trials—Interventional Management of Stroke (IMS) III, Mechanical Retrieval and Recanalization of Stroke Clots Using Embolectomy (MR RESCUE), and Synthesis Expansion: A Randomized Controlled Trial on Intra-Arterial Versus Intravenous Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke (SYNTHESIS Expansion)—evaluated the efficacy of endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke and, after failing to demonstrate any significant clinical benefit of endovascular therapies, raised concerns and questions in the medical community regarding the future of endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke. In this paper, the authors review the evolution of endovascular treatment strategies for the treatment of acute stroke and provide their interpretation of findings and potential limitations of the three recently published randomized trials. The authors discuss the advantage of stent-retriever technology over earlier endovascular approaches and review the current status and future directions of endovascular acute stroke studies based on lessons learned from previous trials.

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Adnan H. Siddiqui, Adib A. Abla, Peter Kan, Travis M. Dumont, Shady Jahshan, Gavin W. Britz, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The use of flow-diverting stents has gained momentum as a curative approach in the treatment of complex proximal anterior circulation intracranial aneurysms. There have been some reported attempts of treating formidable lesions in the posterior circulation. Posterior circulation giant fusiform aneurysms have a particularly aggressive natural history. To date, no one approach has been shown to be comprehensively effective or low risk. The authors report the initial results, including the significant morbidity and mortality encountered, with flow diversion in the treatment of large or giant fusiform vertebrobasilar aneurysms at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed their prospectively collected endovascular database to identify patients with intracranial aneurysms who underwent treatment with flow-diverting devices and determined that 7 patients had presented with symptomatic large or giant fusiform vertebrobasilar aneurysms. The outcomes of these patients, based on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), were tabulated, as were the complications experienced.

Results

Among the 7 patients, Pipeline devices were placed in 6 patients and Silk devices in 1 patient. At the last follow-up evaluation, 4 patients had died (mRS score of 6), all of whom were treated with the Pipeline device. The other 3 patients had mRS scores of 5 (severe disability), 1, and 0. The deaths included posttreatment aneurysm ruptures in 2 patients and lack of improvement in neurological status related to presenting brainstem infarcts and subsequent withdrawal of care in the other 2 patients.

Conclusions

Whether flow diversion will be an effective strategy for treatment of large or giant fusiform vertebrobasilar aneurysms remains to be seen. The authors' initial experience suggests substantial morbidity and mortality associated with the treatment and with the natural history. As outcomes data slowly become available for patients receiving these devices for fusiform posterior circulation aneurysms, practitioners should use these devices judiciously.

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Sharon Webb, Parham Yashar, Peter Kan, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The treatment of acute intracranial vertebrobasilar artery occlusion (VBO) has been described but often with poor results. The authors of this study set out to evaluate their institution's outcomes following multimodal treatment of VBO.

Methods

They retrospectively reviewed their endovascular database for all patients treated for acute intracranial VBO between December 2004 and June 2010. Twenty-four patients were identified. Two patients were excluded from evaluation—one because of incomplete medical records and one because the etiology was basilar stenosis and not stroke. Occlusion location, hypercoagulable causes, time to endovascular treatment, time to revascularization, comorbidities, devices used, procedural anticoagulation, and outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Among the 22 eligible study patients, the mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at presentation was 15.3. The mean time from presentation to initiation of the endovascular procedure was 4.77 hours. The mean time for recanalization from the start of angiography was 1.63 hours. In 16 patients (73%), revascularization was successful (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] score of 2 or 3). Thirteen (59%) of the 22 patients were discharged to home or a rehabilitation facility. One patient was transferred to a chronic care facility. The overall survival rate was 64%. The average NIHSS score for the 14 surviving patients at discharge was 3.9. At the follow-up (average 14.5 months, range 1–58 months), 10 patients (71%) had achieved good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≤ 2) and 4 (29%) had poor outcomes (mRS Score 3–6).

Conclusions

Published case series have historically shown poor outcomes and high mortality rates in association with the treatment of acute VBO, prompting surgeons to be less aggressive in the treatment of this disease than they might be otherwise. Data in this series show that the revascularization of posterior circulation occlusions is feasible and that good outcomes and lower mortality rates with newer endovascular technologies are possible, and thus more prompt and aggressive treatment of this disease may be warranted.

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Maxim Mokin, Peter Kan, Tareq Kass-Hout, Adib A. Abla, Travis M. Dumont, Kenneth V. Snyder, L. Nelson Hopkins, Adnan H. Siddiqui and Elad I. Levy

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) secondary to intravenous and intraarterial revascularization strategies for emergent treatment of acute ischemic stroke is associated with high mortality. ICH from systemic thrombolysis typically occurs within the first 24–36 hours of treatment initiation and is characterized by rapid hematoma development and growth. Pathophysiological mechanisms of revascularization therapy-induced ICH are complex and involve a combination of several distinct processes, including the direct effect of thrombolytic agents, disruption of the blood-brain barrier secondary to ischemia, and direct vessel damage from wire and microcatheter manipulations during endovascular procedures. Several definitions of ICH secondary to thrombolysis currently exist, depending on clinical or radiological characteristics used. Multiple studies have investigated clinical and laboratory risk factors associated with higher rates of ICH in this setting. Early ischemic changes seen on noncontrast CT scanning are strongly associated with higher rates of hemorrhage. Modern imaging techniques, particularly CT perfusion, provide rapid assessment of hemodynamic parameters of the brain. Specific patterns of CT perfusion maps can help identify patients who are likely to benefit from revascularization or to develop hemorrhagic complications. There are no established guidelines that describe management of revascularization therapy–induced ICH, and great variability in treatment protocols currently exist. General principles that apply to the management of spontaneous ICH might not be as effective for revascularization therapy–induced ICH. In this article, the authors review current knowledge of risk factors and radiological predictors of ICH secondary to stroke revascularization techniques and analyze medical and surgical management strategies for ICH in this setting.

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Giuseppe Lanzino and Pietro Ivo D'Urso

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Hajime Ohta, Sabareesh K. Natarajan, Erik F. Hauck, Alexander A. Khalessi, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The objective of this study was to evaluate endovascular stent therapy for carotid artery dissections (CADs).

Methods

Retrospective review of data at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital identified 43 patients with 44 CADs (intracranial and/or extracranial) treated with carotid artery (CA) stent placement between January 2000 and June 2009.

Results

Thirty-two CADs were spontaneous and 12 were traumatic; 35 were symptomatic. Lesion locations included the extracranial internal CA (ICA; 24 cases), extracranial ICA with common CA involvement (4 cases), and extracranial ICA–intracranial ICA (16 cases). Carotid artery occlusion was 100% in 15 cases (34.1%), 99% in 6 cases (13.6%), 70%–98% in 13 cases (29.5%), and < 70% in 10 cases (22.7%). Five patients suffered pseudoaneurysms. Stent deployment was successful in 43 (97.7%) of 44 cases. The mean pretreatment score on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 6.2 ± 6.2. Recanalization (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Grade 2 or 3) was accomplished for 42 lesions (95.5%). Four patients demonstrated residual parent vessel stenosis (10%–50% in severity). Procedure-related complications occurred in 7 patients and included middle cerebral artery embolism (1 patient), intracranial hemorrhage (2 patients), worsening of dissection (1 patient), stent malpositioning (1 patient), embolic protection filter overload (1 patient), and filter retrieval device fracture (1 patient). Only 2 of these complications caused permanent deficits: the embolism caused a minor but permanent neurological deficit, and 1 intracranial hemorrhage was fatal. At discharge, 36 patients (83.7%) had modified Rankin Scale scores of 0–2 (favorable outcome). During the follow-up interval (mean 19.2 months, range 4–92 months), no patient suffered a new stroke and 1 patient died secondary to preexisting chronic renal failure. In 20 patients with angiographic follow-up, permanent resolution of the dissection was noted in 90.5%; 2 lesions (9.5%) required retreatment.

Conclusions

Endovascular stent-assisted repair of extra- and intracranial CAD was safe and effective in this experience and can be recommended for selected patients. In particular, patients with symptomatic CADs that are not responsive to medical therapy should be considered for interventional treatment.