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  • Author or Editor: Robert Starke x
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Erin N. Kiehna, Robert M. Starke, Nader Pouratian and Aaron S. Dumont

Object

The Consolidated Standards for Reporting of Trials (CONSORT) criteria were published in 1996 to standardize the reporting and improve the quality of clinical trials. Despite having been endorsed by major medical journals and shown to improve the quality of reported trials, neurosurgical journals have yet to formally adopt these reporting criteria. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality and reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in neurosurgery and the factors that may affect the quality of reported trials.

Methods

The authors evaluated all neurosurgical RCTs published in 2006 and 2007 in the principal neurosurgical journals (Journal of Neurosurgery; Neurosurgery; Surgical Neurology; Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry; and Acta Neurochirurgica) and in 3 leading general medical journals (Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine). Randomized controlled trials that addressed operative decision making or the treatment of neurosurgical patients were included in this analysis. The RCT quality was evaluated using the Jadad score and the CONSORT checklist.

Results

In 2006 and 2007, 27 RCTs relevant to intracranial neurosurgery were reported. Of these trials, only 59% had a Jadad score ≥ 3. The 3 major medical journals all endorsed the CONSORT guidelines, while none of the neurosurgical journals have adopted these guidelines. Randomized controlled trials published in the 3 major medical journals had a significantly higher mean CONSORT score (mean 41, range 39–44) compared with those published in neurosurgical journals (mean 26.4, range 17–38; p < 0.0001). Jadad scores were also significantly higher for the major medical journals (mean 3.42, range 2–5) than neurosurgical journals (mean 2.45, range 1–5; p = 0.05).

Conclusions

Despite the growing volume of RCTs in neurosurgery, the quality of reporting of these trials remains suboptimal, especially in the neurosurgical journals. Improved awareness of the CONSORT guidelines by journal editors, reviewers, and authors of these papers could improve the methodology and reporting of RCTs in neurosurgery.

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Roberto C. Heros

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Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Robert M. Starke, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Samantha Witte, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Aaron S. Dumont

Object

Surgical clipping of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms can be challenging and carries a potentially significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Experience with endovascular therapy has been limited to a few studies. The authors assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of endovascular therapy in the largest series of proximal and distal PICA aneurysms to date.

Methods

A total of 76 patients, 54 with proximal and 22 with distal PICA aneurysms, underwent endovascular treatment at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience between 2001 and 2011.

Results

Endovascular treatment was successful in 52 patients (96.3%) with proximal aneurysms and 19 patients (86.4%) with distal aneurysms. Treatment consisted of selective aneurysm coiling in 60 patients (84.5%) (including 4 with stent assistance and 4 with balloon assistance) and parent vessel trapping in 11 patients (15.5%). Specifically, a deconstructive procedure was necessary in 9.6% of proximal aneurysms (5 of 52) and 31.6% of distal aneurysms (6 of 19). There were 9 overall procedural complications (12.7%), 6 infarcts (8.5%; 4 occurring after deliberate occlusion of the PICA), and 3 intraprocedural ruptures (4.2%). The rate of procedure-related permanent morbidity was 2.8%. Complete aneurysm occlusion was achieved in 63.4% of patients (45 of 71). One patient (1.4%) treated with selective aneurysm coiling suffered a rehemorrhage on postoperative Day 15. The mean angiographic follow-up time was 17.2 months. Recurrence and re-treatment rates were, respectively, 20% and 17.1% for proximal aneurysms compared with 30.8% and 23.1% for distal aneurysms. Favorable outcomes (moderate, mild, or no disability) at follow-up were seen in 93% of patients with unruptured aneurysms and in 78.7% of those with ruptured aneurysms.

Conclusions

Endovascular therapy is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment in patients with proximal and distal PICA aneurysms, providing excellent patient outcomes and adequate protection against rehemorrhage. The long-term incidence of aneurysm recanalization appears to be high, especially in distal aneurysms, and requires careful angiographic follow-up.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Cory D. Bovenzi, Vismay Thakkar, Jeremy Dressler, Pascal Jabbour, Robert M. Starke, Sonia Teufack, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Richard Dalyai, Aaron S. Dumont, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

Aneurysm recurrence after coil therapy remains a major shortcoming in the endovascular management of cerebral aneurysms. The need for long-term imaging follow-up was recently investigated. This study assessed the diagnostic yield of long-term digital subtraction angiography (DSA) follow-up and determined predictors of delayed aneurysm recurrence and retreatment.

Methods

Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) available short-term and long-term (> 36 months) follow-up DSA images, and 2) no or only minor aneurysm recurrence (not requiring further intervention, i.e., < 20%) documented on short-term follow-up DSA images.

Results

Of 209 patients included in the study, 88 (42%) presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. On shortterm follow-up DSA images, 158 (75%) aneurysms showed no recurrence, and 51 (25%) showed minor recurrence (< 20%, not retreated). On long-term follow-up DSA images, 124 (59%) aneurysms showed no recurrence, and 85 (41%) aneurysms showed recurrence, of which 55 (26%) required retreatment. In multivariate analysis, the predictors of recurrence on long-term follow-up DSA images were as follows: 1) larger aneurysm size (p = 0.001), 2) male sex (p = 0.006), 3) conventional coil therapy (p = 0.05), 4) aneurysm location (p = 0.01), and 5) a minor recurrence on short-term follow-up DSA images (p = 0.007). Ruptured aneurysm status was not a predictive factor. The sensitivity of short-term follow-up DSA studies was only 40.0% for detecting delayed aneurysm recurrence and 45.5% for detecting delayed recurrence requiring further treatment.

Conclusions

The results of this study highlight the importance of long-term angiographic follow-up after coil therapy for ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Predictors of delayed recurrence and retreatment include large aneurysms, recurrence on short-term follow-up DSA images (even minor), male sex, and conventional coil therapy.

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Ana Rodríguez-Hernández, Ahmed J. Awad and Michael T. Lawton