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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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Christopher P. Kellner, Raqeeb M. Haque, Philip M. Meyers, Sean D. Lavine, E. Sander Connolly Jr. and Robert A. Solomon

Object

Complex aneurysms of the basilar artery (BA) apex can be successfully treated using surgical occlusion of the proximal BA. Since the introduction of the Guglielmi detachable coil in 1991, the focus on treating BA aneurysms has been on using endovascular techniques. Outcomes with endovascular techniques have been less than optimal for large and complex aneurysms. The authors therefore report on their current 22-year experience with surgical BA occlusion for complex BA aneurysms and long-term outcome.

Methods

Fifteen patients underwent surgical BA occlusion at Columbia University Medical Center for complex basilar apex aneurysms between 1987 and 2009. The clinical records of each patient were reviewed for details of presentation, hospital course, operative intervention, and outcome.

Results

Postoperatively, all patient encounters were recorded at discharge, at the 1-month and 1-year follow-up evaluations, and at long-term outcome. Twelve (80%) of 15 patients experienced no new postoperative neurological deficits. Three patients presenting with severe neurological impairment (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 3) made excellent recoveries (mRS Scores 1–2) at long-term follow-up. One patient died, 1 suffered a stroke during the postoperative angiogram which resulted in hemiparesis, and 1 suffered internuclear ophthalmoplegia which resolved by the 1-month follow-up. Long-term follow-up occurred at an average of 3 ± 4.5 years, ranging from 2 months (for a recently treated patient) to 18 years. The average mRS score at long-term follow-up was 1 ± 1.5. No patient experienced postoperative hemorrhage, rebleeding, or delayed neurological deterioration.

Conclusions

Surgical occlusion of the BA is an effective treatment option offering a high rate of angiographic cure in a single procedure for patients with complex BA aneurysms. The ability to surgically perform point occlusion of the BA without impairment of brainstem perforators, while maintaining collateral blood flow to the posterior circulation branch vessels, may provide an advantage compared with endovascular treatments.

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J Mocco, Ricardo J. Komotar, Sean D. Lavine, Philip M. Meyers, E. Sander Connolly and Robert A. Solomon

Since the publication of preliminary results from the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms in 1998 there has been a great deal of debate concerning the natural history of these lesions and their attendant risk of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Therefore, the authors reviewed a selected number of crucial studies concerning this topic to determine the best evidence-based estimate of a rupture rate for these lesions. Based on this analysis, the yearly risk of bleeding for an unruptured intracranial aneurysm is estimated to be approximately 1% for aneurysms 7 to 10 mm in diameter. This risk of rupture increases with aneurysm size and it likewise diminishes as the size of the lesion decreases. This general rule serves as a reasonable interpretation of the results reported in the current body of literature.

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Bryan A. Lieber, Geoffrey Appelboom, Blake E. Taylor, Franklin D. Lowy, Eliza M. Bruce, Adam M. Sonabend, Christopher Kellner, E. Sander Connolly Jr. and Jeffrey N. Bruce

OBJECT

Preoperative corticosteroids and chemotherapy are frequently prescribed for patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery but may pose a risk of postoperative infection. Postoperative surgical-site infections (SSIs) have significant morbidity and mortality, dramatically increase the length and cost of hospitalization, and are a major cause of 30-day readmission. In patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery, there is a lack of data on the role of patient-specific risk factors in the development of SSIs. The authors of this study sought to determine whether chemotherapy and prolonged steroid use before surgery increase the risk of an SSI at postoperative Day 30.

METHODS

Using the national prospectively collected American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) database for 2006–2012, the authors calculated the rates of superficial, deep-incisional, and organ-space SSIs at postoperative Day 30 for neurosurgery patients who had undergone chemotherapy or had significant steroid use within 30 days before undergoing cranial surgery. Trauma patients, patients younger than 18 years, and patients with a preoperative infection were excluded. Univariate analysis was performed for 25 variables considered risk factors for superficial and organ-space SSIs. To identify independent predictors of SSIs, the authors then conducted a multivariate analysis in which they controlled for duration of operation, wound class, white blood cell count, and other potential confounders that were significant on the univariate analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 8215 patients who had undergone cranial surgery were identified. There were 158 SSIs at 30 days (frequency 1.92%), of which 52 were superficial, 27 were deep-incisional, and 79 were organ-space infections. Preoperative chemotherapy was an independent predictor of organ-space SSIs in the multivariate model (OR 5.20, 95% CI 2.33–11.62, p < 0.0001), as was corticosteroid use (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.03–3.37, p = 0.04), but neither was a predictor of superficial or deep-incisional SSIs. Other independent predictors of organ-space SSIs were longer duration of operation (OR 1.16), wound class of ≥ 2 (clean-contaminated and further contaminated) (OR 3.17), and morbid obesity (body mass index ≥ 40 kg/m2) (OR 3.05). Among superficial SSIs, wound class of 3 (contaminated) (OR 6.89), operative duration (OR 1.13), and infratentorial surgical approach (OR 2.20) were predictors.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative chemotherapy and corticosteroid use are independent predictors of organ-space SSIs, even when data are controlled for leukopenia. This indicates that the disease process in organ-space SSIs may differ from that in superficial SSIs. In effect, this study provides one of the largest analyses of risk factors for SSIs after cranial surgery. The results suggest that, in certain circumstances, modulation of preoperative chemotherapy or steroid regimens may reduce the risk of organ-space SSIs and should be considered in the preoperative care of this population. Future studies are needed to determine optimal timing and dosing of these medications.

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Simon G. Heuts, Samuel S. Bruce, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Christopher P. Kellner, Eric S. Sussman, Michael M. McDowell, Rachel A. Bruce and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Large intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), compounded by perihematomal edema, can produce severe elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP). Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) with or without clot evacuation has been considered a part of the armamentarium of treatment options for these patients. The authors sought to assess the preliminary utility of DHC without evacuation for ICH in patients with supratentorial, dominant-sided lesions.

Methods

From September 2009 to May 2012, patients with ICH who were admitted to the neurological ICU at Columbia University Medical Center were prospectively enrolled in that institution's ICH Outcomes Project (ICHOP). Five patients with spontaneous supratentorial dominant-sided ICH underwent DHC without clot evacuation for recalcitrant elevated ICP. Data pertaining to the patients' characteristics and outcomes of treatment were prospectively collected.

Results

The patients' median age was 43 years (range 30–55 years) and the ICH etiology was hypertension in 4 of 5 patients, and systemic lupus erythematosus vasculitis in 1 patient. On admission, the median Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 7 (range 5–9). The median ICH volume was 53 cm3 (range 28–79 cm3), and the median midline shift was 7.6 mm (range 3.0–11.3 mm). One day after surgery, the median decrease in midline shift was 2.7 mm (range 1.5–4.6 mm), and the median change in GCS score was +1 (range −3 to +5). At discharge, all patients were still alive, and the median GCS score was 10 (range 9–11), the median modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score was 5 (range 5–5), and the median NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) score was 22 (range 17–27). Six months after hemorrhage, 1 patient had died, 2 were functionally dependent (mRS Score 4–5), and 2 were functionally independent (mRS Score 0–3). Outcomes for the patients treated with DHC were good compared with 1) outcomes for all patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH admitted during the same period (n = 144) and 2) outcomes for matched patients (dominant ICH, GCS Score 5–9, ICH volume 28–79 cm3, age < 60 years) whose cases were managed nonoperatively (n = 5).

Conclusions

Decompressive hemicraniectomy without clot evacuation appears feasible in patients with large ICH and deserves further investigation, preferably in a randomized controlled setting.

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Christopher P. Kellner, Michael M. McDowell, Michelle Q. Phan, E. Sander Connolly, Sean D. Lavine, Philip M. Meyers, Daniel Sahlein, Robert A. Solomon, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C.E. Anderson

Object

The significance of draining vein anatomy is poorly defined in pediatric arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). In adult cohorts, the presence of fewer veins has been shown to lead to an increased rate of hemorrhage, but this phenomenon has not yet been studied in pediatric AVMs. This report analyzes the impact of draining vein anatomy on presentation and outcome in a large series of pediatric AVMs.

Methods

Eighty-five pediatric patients with AVMs were treated at the Columbia University Medical Center between 1991 and 2012. Charts were retrospectively reviewed for patient characteristics, clinical course, neurological outcome, and AVM angioarchitectural features identified on the angiogram performed at presentation. Univariate analyses were performed using chi-square test and ANOVA when appropriate; multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression.

Results

Four patients were excluded due to incomplete records. Twenty-seven patients had 2 or 3 draining veins; 12 (44.4%) of these patients suffered from hemorrhage prior to surgery. Fifty-four patients had 1 draining vein; 39 (72.2%) of these 54 suffered from hemorrhage. Independent predictors of hemorrhage included the presence of a single draining vein (p = 0.04) and deep venous drainage (p = 0.02). Good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score < 3) on discharge was found to be associated with higher admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores (p = 0.0001, OR 0.638, 95% CI 0.40–0.93). Poor outcome (mRS score > 2) on discharge was found to be associated with deep venous drainage (p = 0.04, OR 4.68, 95% CI 1.1–19.98). A higher admission GCS score was associated with a lower discharge mRS score (p = 0.0003, OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.46–0.79), and the presence of a single draining vein was associated with a lower mRS score on long-term follow-up (p = 0.04, OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.032–0.99).

Conclusions

The authors' data suggest that the presence of a single draining vein or deep venous drainage plays a role in hemorrhage risk and ultimate outcome in pediatric AVMs. Small AVMs with a single or deep draining vein may have the highest risk of hemorrhage.

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Amy A. Ishkanian, Margy E. McCullough-Hicks, Geoffrey Appelboom, Matthew A. Piazza, Brian Y. Hwang, Samuel S. Bruce, Lindsay M. Hannan, E. Sander Connolly, Sean D. Lavine and Philip M. Meyers

Outcome after intraarterial therapy (IAT) for acute ischemic stroke remains variable, suggesting that improved patient selection is needed to better identify patients likely to benefit from treatment. The authors evaluate the predictive accuracies of the Houston IAT (HIAT) and the Totaled Health Risks in Vascular Events (THRIVE) scores in an independent cohort and review the existing literature detailing additional predictive factors to be used in patient selection for IAT. They reviewed their center's endovascular records from January 2004 to July 2010 and identified patients who had acute ischemic stroke and underwent IAT. They calculated individual HIAT and THRIVE scores using patient age, admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, admission glucose level, and medical history. The scores' predictive accuracies for good outcome (discharge modified Rankin Scale score ≤ 3) were analyzed using receiver operating characteristics analysis. The THRIVE score predicts poor outcome after IAT with reasonable accuracy and may perform better than the HIAT score. Nevertheless, both measures may have significant clinical utility; further validation in larger cohorts that accounts for differences in patient demographic characteristics, variation in time-to-treatment, and center preferences with respect to IAT modalities is needed. Additional patient predictive factors have been reported but not yet incorporated into predictive scales; the authors suggest the need for additional data analysis to determine the independent predictive value of patient admission NIHSS score, age, admission hyperglycemia, patient comorbidities, thrombus burden, collateral flow, time to treatment, and baseline neuroimaging findings.

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Brad E. Zacharia, Kerry A. Vaughan, Zachary L. Hickman, Samuel S. Bruce, Amanda M. Carpenter, Nils H. Petersen, Stacie Deiner, Neeraj Badjatia and E. Sander Connolly Jr

Object

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is frequently complicated by acute hydrocephalus, necessitating emergency CSF diversion with a subset of patients, ultimately requiring long-term treatment via placement of permanent ventricular shunts. It is unclear what factors may predict the need for ventricular shunt placement in this patient population.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of a prospective database (ICH Outcomes Project) containing patients with nontraumatic ICH admitted to the neurological ICU at Columbia University Medical Center between January 2009 and September 2011. A multiple logistic regression model was developed to identify independent predictors of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus after ICH. The following variables were included: patient age, admission Glasgow Coma Scale score, temporal horn diameter on admission CT imaging, bicaudate index, admission ICH volume and location, intraventricular hemorrhage volume, Graeb score, LeRoux score, third or fourth ventricle hemorrhage, and intracranial pressure (ICP) and ventriculitis during hospital stay.

Results

Of 210 patients prospectively enrolled in the ICH Outcomes Project, 64 required emergency CSF diversion via placement of an external ventricular drain and were included in the final cohort. Thirteen of these patients underwent permanent ventricular CSF shunting prior to discharge. In univariate analysis, only thalamic hemorrhage and elevated ICP were significantly associated with the requirement for permanent CSF diversion, with p values of 0.008 and 0.033, respectively. Each remained significant in a multiple logistic regression model in which both variables were present.

Conclusions

Of patients with ICH requiring emergency CSF diversion, those with persistently elevated ICP and thalamic location of their hemorrhage are at increased odds of developing persistent hydrocephalus, necessitating permanent ventricular shunt placement. These factors may assist in predicting which patients will require permanent CSF diversion and could ultimately lead to improvements in the management of this disorder and the outcome in patients with ICH.

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Richard C. E. Anderson, Michael M. McDowell, Christopher P. Kellner, Geoffrey Appelboom, Samuel S. Bruce, Ivan S. Kotchetkov, Raqeeb Haque, Neil A. Feldstein, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Robert A. Solomon, Philip M. Meyers and Sean D. Lavine

Object

Conventional cerebral angiography and treatment for ruptured arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in children are often performed in a delayed fashion. In adults, current literature suggests that AVM-associated aneurysms may be more likely to hemorrhage than isolated AVMs, which often leads to earlier angiography and endovascular treatment of associated aneurysms. The nature of AVM-associated aneurysms in the pediatric population is virtually unknown. In this report, the authors investigate the relationship of associated aneurysms in a large group of children with AVMs.

Methods

Seventy-seven pediatric patients (≤ 21 years old) with AVMs were treated at the Columbia University Medical Center between 1991 and 2010. Medical records and imaging studies were retrospectively reviewed, and associated aneurysms were classified as arterial, intranidal, or venous in location. Clinical presentation and outcome variables were compared between children with and without AVM-associated aneurysms.

Results

A total of 30 AVM-associated aneurysms were found in 22 children (29% incidence). Eleven were arterial, 9 intranidal, and 10 were venous in location. There was no significant difference in the rate of hemorrhage (p = 0.91) between children with isolated AVMs (35 of 55 [64%]) and children with AVM-associated aneurysms (13 of 22 [59%]). However, of the 11 children with AVM-associated aneurysms in an arterial location, 10 presented with hemorrhage (91%). An association with hemorrhage was significant in univariate analysis (p = 0.045) but not in multivariate analysis (p = 0.37).

Conclusions

Associated aneurysms are present in nearly a third of children with AVMs, and when arterially located, are more likely to present with hemorrhage. These data suggest that early angiography with endovascular treatment of arterial-based aneurysms in children with AVMs may be indicated.

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Ryan E. Radwanski, Brandon R. Christophe, Josephine U. Pucci, Moises A. Martinez, Michael Rothbaum, Emilia Bagiella, Franklin D. Lowy, Jared Knopman and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) in neurosurgical patients carry a significant risk of increased morbidity and mortality. With SSIs accounting for approximately 20% of nosocomial infections and costing approximately $1.6 billion USD annually, there is a need for additional prophylaxis to improve current standards of care. Topical vancomycin is increasingly utilized in instrumented spinal and cardiothoracic procedures, where it has been shown to reduce the risk of SSIs. A randomized controlled trial assessing its efficacy in the general neurosurgical population is currently underway. Here, the authors report their initial impressions of topical vancomycin safety among patients enrolled during the 1st year of the trial.

METHODS

This prospective, multicenter, patient-blinded, randomized controlled trial will enroll 2632 patients over 5 years. Here, the authors report the incidence of adverse events, the degree of systemic vancomycin absorption in treated patients, and pattern changes of antibiotic-resistant profiles of Staphylococcus aureus flora among patients enrolled during the 1st year.

RESULTS

The topical vancomycin treatment group comprised 257 patients (514 total enrolled patients), of whom 2 exhibited weakly positive serum levels of vancomycin (> 3.0 mg/dl). S. aureus was detected preoperatively in the anterior nares of 35 (18.1%) patients and the skin near the surgical site of 9 (4.7%). Colonization in the nares remained for many patients (71.4%) through postoperative day 30. The authors found a significant association between preoperative S. aureus colonization and postoperative colonization. Seven methicillin-resistant isolates were detected among 6 different patients. Two isolates were detected preoperatively, and 5 were de novo postoperative colonization. No adverse responses to treatment have been reported to date.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ data indicate that the use of topical vancomycin is safe with no significant adverse effects and minimal systemic absorption, and no development of vancomycin-resistant microorganisms.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02284126 (clinicaltrials.gov)