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Brian M. Corliss, Adam J. Polifka, Neil S. Harris, Brian L. Hoh and W. Christopher Fox

OBJECTIVE

Inhibition of platelet aggregation is vital to preventing thromboembolic complications related to stent placement in endovascular neurosurgery, but excessive inhibition potentiates hemorrhagic complications. Recent evidence suggests an ideal inhibition range of 70–150 P2Y12 response units (PRU) as measured on the VerifyNow assay, which relies on photometric measurements of platelet aggregation. Thromboelastography (TEG) with platelet mapping (PM) is an alternative assay that directly measures clot formation and mechanical strength. This study compares the results of PRU to TEG-PM.

METHODS

Patients with simultaneous or near-simultaneous PRU and TEG-PM results who underwent cervical carotid artery stenting, intracranial stent-assisted aneurysm coiling, or flow diversion at the authors’ institution between August 2015 and November 2016 were identified. PRU results were compared with the TEG maximal amplitude (MA) attributable to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) activity (MA-ADP) as measured by TEG-PM. Platelet inhibition was considered therapeutic for MA-ADP values < 50 mm or PRU < 194. The Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated, and the sensitivity and specificity of PRU were calculated assuming that the results of TEG-PM reflected the true degree of platelet inhibition.

RESULTS

Twenty-three patients were identified with a total of 37 matched sets of TEG-PM and PRU. Three of these pairs were excluded due to anemia outside of the PRU manufacturer’s recommended range. The Pearson correlation coefficient for these values was 0.50 (p = 0.0026). The prevalence of clopidogrel nonresponders determined by TEG-PM (9%) matched reported rates (5%–12%); PRU demonstrated much higher prevalence (39%). For detecting a therapeutic level of platelet inhibition, PRU demonstrated a sensitivity of 0.59, specificity of 0.50, positive predictive value of 0.95, and negative predictive value of 0.07. Ideal inhibition was concordant in only 25% of observations in which at least one of the results was ideal.

CONCLUSIONS

Agreement between TEG-PM and PRU regarding the degree of platelet inhibition is poor. PRU likely overestimates clopidogrel resistance, as 93% of patients with PRU > 194 demonstrate a therapeutic level of platelet inhibition on TEG.

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J. Marc Simard, E. Francois Aldrich, David Schreibman, Robert F. James, Adam Polifka and Narlin Beaty

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) predisposes to delayed neurological deficits, including stroke and cognitive and neuropsychological abnormalities. Heparin is a pleiotropic drug that antagonizes many of the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in secondary brain injury after aSAH.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis in 86 consecutive patients with Fisher Grade 3 aSAH due to rupture of a supratentorial aneurysm who presented within 36 hours and were treated by surgical clipping within 48 hours of their ictus. Forty-three patients were managed postoperatively with a low-dose intravenous heparin infusion (Maryland low-dose intravenous heparin infusion protocol: 8 U/kg/hr progressing over 36 hours to 10 U/kg/hr) beginning 12 hours after surgery and continuing until Day 14 after the ictus. Forty-three control patients received conventional subcutaneous heparin twice daily as deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis.

Results

Patients in the 2 groups were balanced in terms of baseline characteristics. In the heparin group, activated partial thromboplastin times were normal to mildly elevated; no clinically significant hemorrhages or instances of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or deep vein thrombosis were encountered. In the control group, the incidence of clinical vasospasm requiring rescue therapy (induced hypertension, selective intraarterial verapamil, and angioplasty) was 20 (47%) of 43 patients, and 9 (21%) of 43 patients experienced a delayed infarct on CT scanning. In the heparin group, the incidence of clinical vasospasm requiring rescue therapy was 9% (4 of 43, p = 0.0002), and no patient suffered a delayed infarct (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

In patients with Fisher Grade 3 aSAH whose aneurysm is secured, postprocedure use of a low-dose intravenous heparin infusion may be safe and beneficial.

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Michael T. Koltz, Adam J. Polifka, Andreas Saltos, Robert G. Slawson, Young Kwok, E. Francois Aldrich and J. Marc Simard

Object

The object of this study was to assess outcomes in patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) treated by Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS); lesions were stratified by size, symptomatology, and Spetzler-Martin (S-M) grade.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 102 patients treated for an AVM with single-dose or staged-dose SRS between 1993 and 2004. Lesions were grouped by S-M grade, as hemorrhagic or nonhemorrhagic, and as small (< 3 cm) or large (≥ 3 cm). Outcomes included death, morbidity (new neurological deficit, new-onset seizure, or hemorrhage/rehemorrhage), nidus obliteration, and Karnofsky Performance Scale score.

Results

The mean follow-up was 8.5 years (range 5–16 years). Overall nidus obliteration (achieved in 75% of patients) and morbidity (19%) correlated with lesion size and S-M grade. For S-M Grade I–III AVMs, nonhemorrhagic and hemorrhagic combined, treatment yielded obliteration rates of 100%, 89%, and 86%, respectively; high functional status (Karnofsky Performance Scale Score ≥ 80); and 1% mortality. For S-M Grade IV and V AVMs, outcomes were less favorable, with obliteration rates of 54% and 0%, respectively. The AVMs that were not obliterated had a mean reduction in nidus volume of 69% (range 35%–96%). On long-term follow-up, 10% of patients experienced hemorrhage/rehemorrhage (6% mortality rate), which correlated with lesion size and S-M grade; the mean interval to hemorrhage was 81 months.

Conclusions

For patients with S-M Grade I–III AVMs, SRS offers outcomes that are favorable and that, except for the timing of obliteration, appear to be comparable to surgical outcomes reported for the same S-M grades. Staged-dose SRS results in lesion obliteration in half of patients with S-M Grade IV lesions.

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Feng Xu, Bing Leng and Donglei Song