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Giuseppe Lanzino, Anthony M. Burrows and Harry J. Cloft

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Waleed Brinjikji, David F. Kallmes, Harry J. Cloft and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECT

The association between age and outcomes following aneurysm treatment with flow diverters such as the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) have not been well established. Using the International Retrospective Study of the Pipeline Embolization Device (IntrePED) registry, the authors assessed the age-related clinical outcomes of patients undergoing aneurysm embolization with the PED.

METHODS

Patients with unruptured aneurysms in the IntrePED registry were divided into 4 age groups: ≤ 50, 51–60, 61–70, and > 70 years old. The rates of the following postoperative complications were compared between age groups using chi-square tests: spontaneous rupture, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), ischemic stroke, parent artery stenosis, cranial neuropathy, neurological morbidity, neurological mortality, combined neurological morbidity and mortality, and all-cause mortality. The association between age and these complications was tested in a multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for sex, number of PEDs, and aneurysm size, location, and type.

RESULTS

Seven hundred eleven patients with 820 unruptured aneurysms were included in this study. Univariate analysis demonstrated no significant difference in ICH rates across age groups (lowest 1.0% for patients ≤ 50 years old and highest 5.0% for patients > 70 years old, p = 0.097). There was no difference in ischemic stroke rates (lowest 3.6% for patients ≤ 50 years old and highest 6.0% for patients 50–60 years old, p = 0.73). Age > 70 years old was associated with higher rates of neurological mortality; patients > 70 years old had neurological mortality rates of 7.4% compared with 3.3% for patients 61–70 years old, 2.7% for patients 51–60 years old, and 0.5% for patients ≤ 50 years old (p = 0.006). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, increasing age was associated with higher odds of combined neurological morbidity and mortality (odds ratio 1.02, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.05; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Increasing age is associated with higher neurological morbidity and mortality after Pipeline embolization of intracranial aneurysms. However, the overall complication rates of PED treatment in this group of highly selected elderly patients (> 70 years) were acceptably low, suggesting that age alone should not be considered an exclusion criterion when considering treatment of intracranial aneurysms with the PED.

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Waleed Brinjikji, Harry J. Cloft, Kelly D. Flemming, Simone Comelli and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Over the last half century, there have been isolated case reports of purely arterial malformations. In this study, the authors report a consecutive series of patients with pure arterial malformations, emphasizing the clinical and radiological features of these lesions.

METHODS

Pure arterial malformations were defined as dilated, overlapping, and tortuous arteries with a coil-like appearance and/or a mass of arterial loops without any associated venous component. Demographic characteristics of the patients, cardiovascular risk factors, presentation, radiological characteristics, and follow-up data were collected. Primary outcomes were new neurological symptoms including disability, stroke, and hemorrhage.

RESULTS

Twelve patients meeting the criteria were identified. Ten patients were female (83.3%) and 2 were male (16.6%). Their mean age at diagnosis was 26.2 ± 11.6 years. The most common imaging indication was headache (7 patients [58.3%]). In 3 cases the pure arterial malformation involved the anterior cerebral arteries (25.0%); in 4 cases the posterior communicating artery/posterior cerebral artery (33.3%); in 2 cases the middle cerebral artery (16.6%); and in 1 case each, the superior cerebellar artery, basilar artery/anterior inferior cerebellar artery, and posterior inferior cerebellar artery. The mean maximum diameter of the malformations was 7.2 ± 5.0 mm (range 3–16 mm). Four lesions had focal aneurysms associated with the pure arterial malformation, and 5 were partially calcified. In no cases was there associated intracranial hemorrhage or infarction. One patient underwent treatment for the pure arterial malformation. All 12 patients had follow-up (mean 29 months, median 19 months), and there were no cases of disability, stroke, or hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS

Pure arterial malformations are rare lesions that are often detected incidentally and probably have a benign natural history. These lesions can affect any of the intracranial arteries and are likely best managed conservatively.

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Yi-Lin Yu and Dueng-Yuan Hueng

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Wilson P. Daugherty, Michelle J. Clarke, Harry J. Cloft and Giuseppe L. Lanzino

Intracranial aneurysms in the pediatric population are relatively rare entities. Immunocompromised patients (often from HIV/AIDS or pharmacological immunosuppression) represent a significant fraction of children with cerebral aneurysms. One proposed mechanism of aneurysm formation in these patients is from direct infection of the affected arteries. In this study, the authors report on a case of a 14-year-old girl with common variable immunodeficiency with T-cell dysfunction and a CSF polymerase chain reaction test positive for varicella-zoster virus who underwent evaluation for carotid and basilar artery fusiform aneurysms.

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Jonathan M. Morris, Timothy J. Kaufmann, Norbert G. Campeau, Harry J. Cloft and Giuseppe Lanzino

Although more prevalent in males in the 6th and 7th decade of life, spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are an uncommon cause of progressive myelopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging and more recently Gd bolus MR angiography have been used to diagnose, radiographically define, and preprocedurally localize the contributing lumbar artery. Three-dimensional myelographic MR imaging sequences have recently been developed for anatomical evaluation of the spinal canal. The authors describe 3 recent cases in which volumetric myelographic MR imaging with a 3D phase-cycled fast imaging employing steady state acquisition (PC-FIESTA) and a 3D constructive interference steady state (CISS) technique were particularly useful not only for documenting an SDAVF, but also for providing localization when CT angiography, MR imaging, MR angiography, and spinal angiography failed to localize the fistula. In a patient harboring an SDAVF at T-4, surgical exploration was performed based on the constellation of findings on the PC-FIESTA images as well as the fact that the spinal segments leading to T-4 were the only ones that the authors were unable to catheterize. In a second patient, who harbored an SDAVF at T-6, after 2 separate angiograms failed to demonstrate the fistula, careful assessment of the CISS images led the authors to focus a third angiogram on the left T-6 intercostal artery and to perform superselective microcatheterization. In a third patient with an SDAVF originating from the lateral sacral branch, the PC-FIESTA sequence demonstrated the arterialized vein extending into the S-1 foramen, leading to a second angiogram and superselective internal iliac injections. The authors concluded that myelographic MR imaging sequences can be useful not only as an aid to diagnosis but also for localization of an SDAVF in complex cases.

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Ioannis Loumiotis, Robert D. Brown Jr., Roanna Vine, Harry J. Cloft, David F. Kallmes and Giuseppe Lanzino

Object

The management of incidental small unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) is controversial and many factors need to be considered in the decision-making process. The authors describe a large consecutive series of patients harboring small incidental intracranial aneurysms. Treatment strategy, natural history, complications, and short-term outcomes are presented.

Methods

Between January 2008 and May 2011, the authors prospectively evaluated 212 patients with 272 small (< 10-mm) incidental aneurysms. Treatment recommendations (observation, endovascular treatment, or surgery), complications of treatment, and short-term outcomes were assessed.

Results

Recommended treatment consisted of observation in 125 patients, endovascular embolization in 64, and surgery in 18. Six patients were excluded from further analysis because they underwent treatment elsewhere. In the observation group, at a mean follow-up of 16.7 months, only 1 patient was moved to the embolization group. Seven (6%) of the 125 patients in the observation group died of causes unrelated to aneurysm. Sixty-five patients underwent 69 embolization procedures. The periprocedural permanent morbidity and mortality rates in patients undergoing endovascular treatment were 1.5% and 1.5%, respectively (overall morbidity and mortality rate 3.0%). In the surgery group no periprocedural complications were observed, although 1 patient did not return to her previous occupation. No aneurysmal rupture was documented in any of the 3 treatment groups during the follow-up period.

Conclusions

A cautious and individualized approach to incidental UIAs is of utmost importance for formulation of a safe and effective treatment algorithm. Invasive treatment (either endovascular or surgery) can be considered in selected younger patients, certain “higher-risk” locations, expanding aneurysms, patients with a family history of aneurysmal hemorrhage, and in those who cannot live their lives knowing that they harbor the UIA. Although the complication rate of invasive treatment is very low, it is not negligible. The study confirms that small incidental UIAs deemed to be not in need of treatment have a very benign short-term natural history, which makes observation a reasonable approach in selected patients.

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Waleed Brinjikji, Ravi K. Lingineni, Chris N. Gu, Giuseppe Lanzino, Harry J. Cloft, Lauren Ulsh, Kristen Koeller and David F. Kallmes

OBJECT

Tobacco smoking is one of the most important risk factors for the formation of intracranial aneurysms and for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhages. Smoking has also been suggested to contribute to the recurrence of aneurysms after endovascular coiling. To improve the understanding of the impact of smoking on long-term outcomes after coil embolization of intracranial aneurysms, the authors studied a consecutive contemporary series of patients treated at their institution. The aims of this study were to determine whether smoking is an independent risk factor for aneurysm recurrence and retreatment after endovascular coiling.

METHODS

All patients who had received an intrasaccular coil embolization of an intracranial aneurysm, who had undergone a follow-up imaging exam at least 6 months later, and whose smoking history had been recorded from January 2005 through December 2012 were included in this study. Patients were stratified according to smoking status into 3 groups: 1) never a smoker, 2) current smoker (smoked at the time of treatment), and 3) former smoker (quit smoking before treatment). The 2 primary outcomes studied were aneurysm recurrence and aneurysm retreatment after treatment for endovascular aneurysms. Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square tests were used to test statistical significance of differences in the rates of aneurysm recurrence, retreatment, or of both among the 3 groups. A multivariate logistic regression analysis controlling for smoking status and for several characteristics of the aneurysm was also performed.

RESULTS

In total, 384 patients with a combined total of 411 aneurysms were included in this study. The aneurysm recurrence rate was not significantly associated with smoking: both former smokers (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.61–1.65; p = 0.99) and current smokers (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.31–1.09; p = 0.09) had odds of recurrence that were similar to those who were never smokers. Former smokers (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.46–1.35; p = 0.38) had odds of retreatment similar to those of never smokers, and current smokers had a lower odds of undergoing retreatment (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.21–0.91; p = 0.03) than never smokers. Moreover, an analysis adjusting for aneurysm rupture, diameter, and initial occlusion showed that former smokers (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.33–1.28; p = 0.21) and current smokers (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.60–1.81; p = 0.88) had odds of aneurysm recurrence similar to those who were never smokers. Adjusting the analysis for aneurysm rupture, diameter, and occlusion showed that both former smokers (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.23–1.05; p = 0.07) and current smokers (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.46–1.46; p = 0.50) had odds of retreatment similar to those of patients who were never smokers.

CONCLUSIONS

The results show that smoking was not an independent risk factor for aneurysm recurrence and aneurysm retreatment among patients receiving endovascular treatment for intracranial aneurysms at the authors' institution. Nonetheless, patients with intracranial aneurysms should continue to be counseled about the risks of tobacco smoking.

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Giuseppe Lanzino, Anthony M. Burrows, Kelly D. Flemming and Harry J. Cloft

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Harry J. Cloft, David F. Kallmes, Michelle H. Kallmes, Jonas H. Goldstein, Mary E. Jensen and Jacques E. Dion

Object. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of cerebral saccular aneurysms in patients with carotid artery and/or vertebral artery (VA) fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).

Methods. A metaanalysis was performed using data from 17 previously reported series of patients with internal carotid artery (ICA) and/or VA FMD that included information on the prevalence of cerebral aneurysms. In addition, the authors retrospectively evaluated their own series of 117 patients with ICA and/or VA FMD to determine the prevalence of cerebral aneurysms. The metaanalysis of the 17 earlier series, which included 498 patients, showed a 7.6 ± 2.5% prevalence of incidental, asymptomatic aneurysms in patients with ICA and/or VA FMD. In the authors' series of patients with FMD, 6.3 ± 4.9% of patients harbored an incidental, asymptomatic aneurysm. When the authors' series was combined with those included in the metaanalysis, the prevalence was found to be 7.3 ± 2.2%. The prevalence of aneurysms in the general population would have to be greater than 5.6% for there to be no statistically significant difference (chi-square test, p < 0.05) when compared with this 7.3% prevalence in patients with FMD.

Conclusions. The prevalence of intracranial aneurysms in patients with cervical ICA and/or VA FMD is approximately 7%, which is not nearly as high as the 21 to 51% prevalence that has been previously reported.