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Arthur L. Day, Christopher G. Gaposchkin, Chun Jiang Yu, Dennis J. Rivet and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Object. The goal of this study was to identify the origins of spontaneous fusiform middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms.

Methods. One hundred two cases of spontaneous fusiform MCA aneurysms were reviewed, including 40 from the authors' institutions and 62 identified from the literature. The mean age at symptom onset was 38 years, and the male/female ratio was 1.4:1. At presentation, the MCA lumen was stenosed or occluded in 12 patients, focally dilated in 57, and appeared “serpentine” in 33. Most lesions originated from the M1 or M2 segments, and most (80%) presented with nonhemorrhagic symptoms or were discovered incidentally.

The presenting clinical features correlated with morphological findings in the aneurysms, which could be observed to progress from a small focal dilation or vessel narrowing to a serpentine channel. Hemorrhage was the most common presentation in small lesions; the incidence of bleeding progressively diminished with larger lesions. Patients with stenoses or occluded vessels most often presented with ischemic symptoms, and occasionally with hemorrhage. Giant focal dilations or serpentine aneurysms were rarely associated with acute bleeding; clinical presentation was most often prompted by mass effect or thromboembolic stroke.

Conclusions. Analysis of results after various treatments indicates that for symptomatic lesions, therapies that reverse intraaneurysmal blood flow and augment distal cerebral perfusion are associated with better outcomes than other strategies, including conservative management. Based on the spectrum of clinical, pathological, neuroimaging, and intraoperative findings, dissection is proposed as the underlying cause of these lesions.

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Ian F. Dunn, Mark R. Proctor and Arthur L. Day

✓Lumbar spine injuries in athletes are not uncommon and usually take the form of a mild muscle strain or sprain. More severe injuries sustained by athletes include disc herniations, spondylolistheses, and various types of fracture. The recognition and management of these injuries in athletes involve the additional consideration that to return to play, the lumbar spine must be able to withstand forces similar to those that were injurious. The authors consider common lumbar spine injuries in athletes and discuss management principles for neurosurgeons that are relevant to this population.

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Ian F. Dunn, Gavin Dunn and Arthur L. Day

✓ Neurosurgeons in the last half-century have had considerable influence on modern-day athletics. In this article, the authors address the contributions made by neurosurgeons as clinician–scientists, particularly as these relate to the understanding and reduction of the incidence and severity of injury to the nervous system during athletic competition. American football has been a proving ground for the ability of the craniospinal axis to withstand and, in unfortunate cases, succumb to tremendous impact forces; in this way, it has served as a model for translational research and was the arena in which Dr. Richard Schneider made his greatest contributions to sports neurosurgery. Therefore, in his memory and in the spirit of the Schneider lectureship, the authors outline the notable contribution to modern-day athletics made by neurosurgeons as it applies to American football. Neurosurgeons have had considerable influence on reducing injury severity, and this cause has been championed by a few notable individuals whose efforts are discussed herein.

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Ian F. Dunn, Graeme F. Woodworth, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Edward R. Smith, G. Edward Vates, Arthur L. Day and Liliana C. Goumnerova

✓ Traumatic intracranial aneurysms are rare in adults but account for up to 33% of all aneurysms encountered in a pediatric population. The most common location of such lesions in children is the pericallosal or adjacent branch of the anterior cerebral artery, where a head impact exerts sudden decelerating shearing forces on the arteries tethered on the brain surface against an immobile falx cerebri, weakening the arterial wall. This action can lead to dissection of the damaged vascular layers, with resultant expansion of the affected site into a fusiform aneurysm. Pericallosal aneurysms following a penetrating intracranial injury have also been described, and the resultant lesion in some cases can be a pseudoaneurysm. The incidence of iatrogenic pericallosal artery aneurysms, however, is extremely rare.

The authors describe the first reported case of a traumatic pericallosal artery aneurysm following transcallosal surgery. This 6-year-old boy underwent resection of a hypothalamic pilocytic astrocytoma, which was approached via the transcallosal corridor. A follow-up magnetic resonance image obtained within 1 year of surgery disclosed a small flow void off the right pericallosal artery, which was initially interpreted as residual tumor. Serial investigations showed the lesion enlarging over time, and subsequent angiography revealed a round 7-mm pericallosal artery aneurysm with an irregularly shaped 2- to 3-mm lumen. The aneurysm was difficult to treat with clip reconstruction or suturing of the affected segment, and an excellent outcome was ultimately achieved with resection of the lesion and autogenous arterial graft interposition. The authors also discuss the likely pathophysiology of the aneurysm and the surgical procedures undertaken to treat it.

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Bradley A. Gross, Rose Du, A. John Popp and Arthur L. Day

Although originally the subject of rare case reports, intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations (CMs) have recently surfaced in an increasing number of case series and natural history reports in the literature. The authors reviewed 27 publications with 352 patients to consolidate modern epidemiological, natural history, and clinical and surgical data to facilitate decision making when managing these challenging vascular malformations. The mean age at presentation was 42 years without a sex predilection. Thirty-eight percent of the cases were cervical, 57% thoracic, 4% lumbar, and 1% unspecified location. Nine percent of the patients had a family history of CNS CMs. Twenty-seven percent of the patients had an associated cranial CM. On presentation 63% of the patients had motor deficits, 65% had sensory deficits, 27% had pain, and 11% had bowel or bladder dysfunction. Presentation was acute in 30%, recurrent in 16%, and progressive in 54% of cases. An overall annual hemorrhage rate was calculated as 2.5% for 92 patients followed up for a total of 2571 patient-years. Across 24 reviewed surgical series, a 91% complete resection rate was found. Transient morbidity was seen in 36% of cases. Sixty-one percent of patients improved, 27% were unchanged, and 12% were worse at the long-term follow-up. Using this information, the authors review surgical nuances in treating these lesions and propose a management algorithm.

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Bradley A. Gross, Ning Lin, Rose Du and Arthur L. Day

Literature reports on the natural history of cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) are numerous, with considerable variability in lesion epidemiology, hemorrhage rates, and risk factors for hemorrhage. In this review, the authors performed a meta-analysis of 11 natural history studies. The overall male-to-female ratio was 1:1, and the mean age at presentation was 30.6 years. Overall, 37% of patients presented with seizures, 36% with hemorrhage, 23% with headaches, 22% with focal neurological deficits, and 10% were asymptomatic. Some patients had more than one symptom. Seizure presentation was most prevalent among supratentorial CMs, while focal neurological deficits were common in patients with infratentorial CMs. By location, CMs were in the cerebral hemispheres (66%), brainstem (18%), basal ganglia or thalamus (8%), cerebellum (6%), and other (2.5% [combined supra- and infratentorial, callosal or insular]). Overall, 19% of patients harbored multiple intracranial CMs, and 9% had radiographically apparent associated developmental venous anomalies. An overall annual hemorrhage rate of 2.4% per patient-year (range 1.6%–3.1%) was identified across 3 studies. Prior hemorrhage and female sex were risk factors for bleeding, while CM size and multiplicity did not affect hemorrhage rates. Although not impacting the hemorrhage rate itself, deep location was a risk factor for increased clinical aggressiveness.

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Brian W. Hanak, Gabriel Zada, Vikram V. Nayar, Ruth Thiex, Rose Du, Arthur L. Day and Edward R. Laws

Object

Intrasellar aneurysms are rare lesions that often mimic pituitary tumors, potentially resulting in catastrophic outcomes if they are not appropriately recognized. The authors aimed to characterize the clinical and anatomical details of this poorly defined entity in the modern era of neuroimaging and open/endovascular neurosurgery.

Methods

A PubMed literature review was conducted to identify all studies reporting noniatrogenic aneurysms with intrasellar extension, as confirmed by CT or MR imaging and angiography. Clinical, anatomical, and treatment characteristics were analyzed.

Results

Thirty-one studies reporting 40 cases of intrasellar aneurysms were identified. Six patients (15%) presented with aneurysmal rupture. Patients with unruptured aneurysms presented with the following signs and symptoms: headache (61%), visual field cuts/decreased visual acuity (61%), endocrinopathy (57%), symptomatic hyponatremia (21%), and cranial nerve paresis (other than optic nerve) (18%). The most common endocrine abnormalities were hyperprolactinemia and hypogonadism. Eight aneurysms (20%) were diagnosed in conjunction with a pituitary adenoma. Aneurysms could be categorized into 2 primary anatomical groups as follows: 1) cavernous/clinoid segment internal carotid artery (ICA) (infradiaphragmatic) aneurysms with medial extension into the sella; and 2) suprasellar (supradiaphragmatic) aneurysms originating from the ophthalmic segment of the ICA or from the anterior communicating artery, with inferomedial extension into the sella. The mean diameters of infradiaphragmatic and supradiaphragmatic aneurysms were 14.5 and 21.8 mm, respectively. Infradiaphragmatic aneurysms were much more likely to present with endocrinopathy, whereas supradiaphragmatic ones presented more commonly with visual disturbances. Aneurysms with infradiaphragmatic growth were generally treated using either endovascular techniques or surgical trapping and bypass, while supradiaphragmatic aneurysms were more often treated by surgical clipping.

Conclusions

Aneurysms with intrasellar extension typically present due to mass effect on surrounding structures, and they can be classified as infradiaphragmatic cavernous or clinoid segment ICA aneurysms, or supradiaphragmatic ophthalmic ICA or anterior communicating artery aneurysms. Varying approaches exist for treating these complex aneurysms, and intervention strategies depend substantially on the anatomical subtype.

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Marc R. Mayberg and Arthur L. Day

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Ning Lin, Allen Ho, Bradley A. Gross, Steven Pieper, Kai U. Frerichs, Arthur L. Day and Rose Du

Object

Management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms remains controversial in neurosurgery. The contribution of morphological parameters has not been included in the treatment paradigm in a systematic manner or for any particular aneurysm location. The authors present a large sample of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms that were assessed using morphological variables to determine the parameters associated with aneurysm rupture.

Methods

Preoperative CT angiography (CTA) studies were evaluated using Slicer software to generate 3D models of the aneurysms and their surrounding vascular architecture. Morphological parameters examined in each model included 5 variables already defined in the literature (aneurysm size, aspect ratio, aneurysm angle, vessel angle, and size ratio) and 3 novel variables (flow angle, distance to the genu, and parent-daughter angle). Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed to determine statistical significance.

Results

Between 2005 and 2008, 132 MCA aneurysms were treated at a single institution, and CTA studies of 79 aneurysms (40 ruptured and 39 unruptured) were analyzed. Fifty-three aneurysms were excluded because of reoperation (4), associated AVM (2), or lack of preoperative CTA studies (47). Ruptured aneurysms were associated with larger size, greater aspect ratio, larger aneurysm and flow angles, and smaller parent-daughter angle. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that aspect ratio, flow angle, and parent-daughter angle were the strongest factors associated with ruptured aneurysms.

Conclusions

Aspect ratio, flow angle, and parent-daughter angle are more strongly associated with ruptured MCA aneurysms than size. The association of parameters independent of aneurysm morphology with ruptured aneurysms suggests that these parameters may be associated with an increased risk of aneurysm rupture. These factors are readily applied in clinical practice and should be considered in addition to aneurysm size when assessing the risk of aneurysm rupture specific to the MCA location.

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Ali H.Turkmani, Arthur L. Day, Dong H. Kim and Peng Roc Chen

A common surgical complication of clipping aneurysms with a calcified neck is the calcified atheroma compromising the parent arteries after clipping the neck. Clips can slip downward at the calcified neck or cause calcified atheroma encroaching the parent arteries. This video demonstrates a reconstructive clip technique to avoid these issues. A fenes-trated clip is placed first to reconstruct the distal parent artery-aneurysm neck with the fenestrated ring over the thickest calcification. Then, a straight clip reconstructs the proximal artery-aneurysm junction, leaving the thickest point of calcified walls pinching together by themselves to achieve aneurysm occlusion while preserving the parent arteries.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/9CM3o5_qlNQ.