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  • Author or Editor: Robert Starke x
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Matthew C. Garrett, Ricardo J. Komotar, Maxwell B. Merkow, Robert M. Starke, Marc L. Otten and E. Sander Connolly

✓The 1985 International Extracranial–Intracranial (EC-IC) Bypass Trial failed to show a surgical benefit of EC-IC bypass in patients with varying degrees of angiographic stenosis. This study was limited by the technology available at the time it was conducted. In the 20 years since, there has been considerable progress in imaging techniques that now enable the identification of a subset of stroke patients with hemodynamic ischemia. In the present study, the authors review the relevant literature and propose a reevaluation of the benefits of the EC-IC bypass procedure using these new imaging techniques.

The authors reviewed the admission criteria for the EC-IC Bypass Trial in the light of more recently discovered neurovascular physiology and showed that the imaging criteria used in that trial are not physiologically adequate. A MED-LINE (1985–2007) database search for EC-IC case studies was conducted, and additional studies were identified manually by scrutinizing references from identified manuscripts, major neurosurgical journals and texts, and personal files.

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Ricardo J. Komotar, David K. Hahn, Grace H. Kim, Robert M. Starke, Matthew C. Garrett, Maxwell B. Merkow, Marc L. Otten, Robert R. Sciacca and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Chronic hydrocephalus requiring shunt placement is a common complication following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Controversy exists over whether microsurgical fenestration of the lamina terminalis during aneurysm surgery affords a reduction in the development of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. To resolve this debate, the authors performed a systematic review and quantitative analysis of the literature to determine the efficacy of lamina terminalis fenestration in reducing aneurysmal SAH–associated shunt-dependent hydrocephalus.

Methods

A MEDLINE (1950–2007) database search was performed using the following keywords, singly and in combination: “ventriculoperitoneal shunt,” “hydrocephalus,” “subarachnoid hemorrhage,” “aneurysm,” “fenestration,” and “lamina terminalis.” Additional studies were manually singled out by scrutinizing references from identified manuscripts, major neurosurgical journals and texts, and personal files. A recent study from the authors' institution was also incorporated into the review. Data from included studies were analyzed using the chi-square analysis and Student t-test. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was used to compare overall incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus.

Results

The literature search revealed 19 studies, but only 11 were included in this review, involving 1973 patients. The fenestrated and nonfenestrated cohorts (combined from the various studies) differed significantly with regard to patient sex, age, and clinical grade as well as aneurysm location (p = 0.0065, 0.0028, 0.0003, and 0.017, respectively). The overall incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in the fenestrated cohort was 10%, as compared with 14% in the nonfenestrated cohort (p = 0.089). The relative risk of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in the fenestrated cohort was 0.88 (95% CI 0.62–1.24).

Conclusions

This systematic review revealed no significant association between lamina terminalis fenestration and a reduced incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. The interpretation of these results, however, is restricted by unmatched cohort differences as well as other inherent study limitations. Although the overall literature supports lamina terminalis fenestration, a number of authors have questioned the technique's benefits, thus rendering its efficacy in reducing shunt-dependent hydrocephalus unclear. A well-designed, multicenter, randomized controlled trial is needed to definitively address the efficacy of this microsurgical technique.

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Ricardo J. Komotar, Robert M. Starke, Marc L. Otten, Maxwell B. Merkow, Matthew C. Garrett, Randolph S. Marshall, Mitchell S. V. Elkind and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

The optimal treatment of medically refractory intracranial atheroocclusive disease remains unclear. The EC-IC Bypass Study Investigators found that patients with internal carotid and middle cerebral artery (ICA and MCA) occlusion received no benefit from direct superficial temporal artery to MCA bypass, and that patients with ICA occlusion and MCA stenosis may have actually fared worse after surgery, perhaps in part due to flow reversal in critical perforator-bearing segments. Although the results of recent investigations have suggested that direct bypass may be beneficial in a subgroup of patients with hemodynamic failure secondary to unilateral ICA occlusion, similar data do not exist for patients with hemodynamic failure from other intracranial stenoocclusive diseases. Indirect bypass via encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis offers a surgical alternative that may avoid rapid flow reversal while providing additional flow to at-risk, distal vascular territories.

Methods

Twelve patients with medically resistant hemodynamic failure from intracranial atheroocclusive disease underwent indirect vascular bypass. Eight patients had ICA occlusion and coexistent MCA stenosis, 1 patient had tandem ICA stenoses and MCA stenosis, 1 patient had tandem ICA and MCA occlusion, 1 patient had ICA and posterior cerebral artery occlusion and an ischemic hemisphere supplied via a proximal superficial temporal artery branch, and 1 patient had poor donor arteries and severe medical comorbidities that precluded the use of general anesthesia. Patient evaluation included clinical assessment of neurological status, CT scanning, MR imaging, digital subtraction angiography, and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography with CO2 reactivity, or SPECT with acetazolamide challenge. Patient records were reviewed and patients were interviewed for outcome assessment, including transient ischemic attack (TIA), cerebral infarction, change in cerebral perfusion, graft patency, and functional level according to the modified Rankin scale. Kaplan-Meier cumulative failure curves for the primary end point of cerebral infarction were used to compare these patients to a control group of 81 patients derived from the literature who received medical management for severe symptomatic hemodynamic failure.

Results

Eleven patients underwent encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis and 1 patient received bur holes with dural and arachnoid incisions; the mean length of follow-up was 51.2 ± 40.1 months. Five patients had decreased perfusion on follow-up despite graft patency, and 10 patients suffered new infarctions or TIAs during the follow-up period. Five patients (42%) suffered infarctions within 1 year of surgery. A meta-analysis of 4 studies of patients with symptomatic ICA occlusion and severe hemodynamic failure who underwent medical treatment revealed a new infarction rate of 30% in the first year after entry into the study. There was no significant difference between patients with severe hemodynamic failure who underwent surgery and those in the medically treated control group (log-rank test, p = 0.179).

Conclusions

The authors found that indirect bypass does not promote adequate pial collateral artery development and appears to be of limited utility in patients with symptomatic ICA or MCA stenoocclusive disease and secondary hemodynamic failure. Rates of postoperative TIAs or cerebral infarctions after indirect bypass in this patient population do not differ from previous reports in patients who received medical management only.