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Nancy McLaughlin, Alexander A. Khalessi and Neil A. Martin

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Nancy McLaughlin, Alexander A. Khalessi and Neil A. Martin

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Alexander A. Khalessi and Steven Giannotta

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Alexander A. Khalessi, Bryan C. Oh and Michael Y. Wang

✓ In the following literature review the authors consider the available evidence for the medical management of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and they critically assess current treatment guidelines. Medical therapy for axial disease in AS emphasizes improvement in patients' pain and overall function. First-line treatments include individualized physical therapy and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in conjunction with gastroprotective therapy. After an adequate trial of therapy with two NSAIDs exceeding 3 months or limited by medication toxicity, the patient may undergo tumor necrosis factor–α blockade therapy. Response should occur within 6–12 weeks, and patients must undergo tuberculosis screening. Evidence does not currently support the use of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, corticosteroids, or radiotherapy in AS.

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Mandy J. Binning, Alexander A. Khalessi, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Intracranial arterial dissection is an important cause of stroke in young patients. Treatment options include observation, antiplatelet or anticoagulation regimens, and endovascular stent placement. The authors describe the case of a 14-year-old boy who presented with a symptomatic, posttraumatic dissection extending from the intracranial internal carotid artery to the middle cerebral artery. Images obtained approximately 48 hours after this incident revealed a subacute right frontal lobe infarct, and a CT stroke study (CT angiography and CT perfusion) confirmed the vascular injury and associated decreased perfusion, prompting revascularization with a self-expanding stent. The patient did well clinically after stent placement and showed no evidence of restenosis on follow-up angiography 3 and 6 months later. This report is, to the authors' knowledge, the first description of the use of a stent for a symptomatic intracranial dissection in an adolescent.

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Alexander A. Khalessi, Gabriel Zada, Michael Y. Wang and James Forrest Calland

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Hajime Ohta, Sabareesh K. Natarajan, Erik F. Hauck, Alexander A. Khalessi, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The objective of this study was to evaluate endovascular stent therapy for carotid artery dissections (CADs).

Methods

Retrospective review of data at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital identified 43 patients with 44 CADs (intracranial and/or extracranial) treated with carotid artery (CA) stent placement between January 2000 and June 2009.

Results

Thirty-two CADs were spontaneous and 12 were traumatic; 35 were symptomatic. Lesion locations included the extracranial internal CA (ICA; 24 cases), extracranial ICA with common CA involvement (4 cases), and extracranial ICA–intracranial ICA (16 cases). Carotid artery occlusion was 100% in 15 cases (34.1%), 99% in 6 cases (13.6%), 70%–98% in 13 cases (29.5%), and < 70% in 10 cases (22.7%). Five patients suffered pseudoaneurysms. Stent deployment was successful in 43 (97.7%) of 44 cases. The mean pretreatment score on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 6.2 ± 6.2. Recanalization (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Grade 2 or 3) was accomplished for 42 lesions (95.5%). Four patients demonstrated residual parent vessel stenosis (10%–50% in severity). Procedure-related complications occurred in 7 patients and included middle cerebral artery embolism (1 patient), intracranial hemorrhage (2 patients), worsening of dissection (1 patient), stent malpositioning (1 patient), embolic protection filter overload (1 patient), and filter retrieval device fracture (1 patient). Only 2 of these complications caused permanent deficits: the embolism caused a minor but permanent neurological deficit, and 1 intracranial hemorrhage was fatal. At discharge, 36 patients (83.7%) had modified Rankin Scale scores of 0–2 (favorable outcome). During the follow-up interval (mean 19.2 months, range 4–92 months), no patient suffered a new stroke and 1 patient died secondary to preexisting chronic renal failure. In 20 patients with angiographic follow-up, permanent resolution of the dissection was noted in 90.5%; 2 lesions (9.5%) required retreatment.

Conclusions

Endovascular stent-assisted repair of extra- and intracranial CAD was safe and effective in this experience and can be recommended for selected patients. In particular, patients with symptomatic CADs that are not responsive to medical therapy should be considered for interventional treatment.

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Arvin R. Wali, Charlie C. Park, David R. Santiago-Dieppa, Florin Vaida, James D. Murphy and Alexander A. Khalessi

OBJECTIVE

Rupture of large or giant intracranial aneurysms leads to significant morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Both coiling and the Pipeline embolization device (PED) have been shown to be safe and clinically effective for the treatment of unruptured large and giant intracranial aneurysms; however, the relative cost-to-outcome ratio is unknown. The authors present the first cost-effectiveness analysis to compare the economic impact of the PED compared with coiling or no treatment for the endovascular management of large or giant intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS

A Markov model was constructed to simulate a 60-year-old woman with a large or giant intracranial aneurysm considering a PED, endovascular coiling, or no treatment in terms of neurological outcome, angiographic outcome, retreatment rates, procedural and rehabilitation costs, and rupture rates. Transition probabilities were derived from prior literature reporting outcomes and costs of PED, coiling, and no treatment for the management of aneurysms. Cost-effectiveness was defined, with the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) defined as difference in costs divided by the difference in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The ICERs < $50,000/QALY gained were considered cost-effective. To study parameter uncertainty, 1-way, 2-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

RESULTS

The base-case model demonstrated lifetime QALYs of 12.72 for patients in the PED cohort, 12.89 for the endovascular coiling cohort, and 9.7 for patients in the no-treatment cohort. Lifetime rehabilitation and treatment costs were $59,837.52 for PED; $79,025.42 for endovascular coiling; and $193,531.29 in the no-treatment cohort. Patients who did not undergo elective treatment were subject to increased rates of aneurysm rupture and high treatment and rehabilitation costs. One-way sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the model was most sensitive to assumptions about the costs and mortality risks for PED and coiling. Probabilistic sampling demonstrated that PED was the cost-effective strategy in 58.4% of iterations, coiling was the cost-effective strategy in 41.4% of iterations, and the no-treatment option was the cost-effective strategy in only 0.2% of iterations.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ cost-effective model demonstrated that elective endovascular techniques such as PED and endovascular coiling are cost-effective strategies for improving health outcomes and lifetime quality of life measures in patients with large or giant unruptured intracranial aneurysm.

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Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Jayson Sack, Bayard Wilson, David Weingarten, Bob Carter, Alexander Khalessi, Sharona Ben-Haim and John Alksne

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia is a debilitating pain disorder most often caused by arterial compression of the trigeminal nerve, although there are other etiologies. Microvascular decompression (MVD) remains the most definitive treatment for this disorder, with cure rates reported between 60% and 80%. Traditional MVD techniques involve a retrosigmoid craniotomy with placement of an inert foreign material, such as Teflon, between the nerve and compressive vessel. Recurrence of trigeminal neuralgia after MVD has been associated with vessel migration, adhesion formation, and arterial pulsation against the Teflon abutting the nerve. Additionally, foreign materials such as Teflon have been reported to trigger inflammatory responses, resulting in recurrence of trigeminal pain. An alternative method for decompression involves the use of a sling to transpose the compressive vessel away from the nerve. Results of various sling techniques as a decompressive strategy are limited to small series and case reports. In this study, the authors present their experience utilizing a tentorial sling for MVD in patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

METHODS

Institutional review board approval was obtained in order to contact patients who underwent MVD for trigeminal neuralgia via the tentorial sling technique. Clinical outcomes were assessed utilizing the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity score immediately after surgery and at the time of the study.

RESULTS

The tentorial sling technique was performed in 45 patients undergoing MVD for trigeminal neuralgia. In 41 of these patients, this procedure was their first decompressive surgery. Immediate postoperative relief of pain (BNI score I) was achieved in 80% of patients undergoing their first decompressive procedure. At last follow-up, 73% of these patients remained pain free. Three patients experienced recurrent trigeminal pain, with surgical exploration demonstrating an intact tentorial sling. The complication rate was 6.6%.

CONCLUSIONS

Transposition techniques for MVD have been described previously in small series and case reports. This study represents the largest experience in which the utilization of a tentorial sling for MVD in patients with trigeminal neuralgia is described. The technique represents a novel method for decompression of the trigeminal nerve by transposition of the offending vessel without the use of foreign material. Although the authors’ preliminary results parallel the historical cure rate, further outcome data are required to assess long-term durability of this method.

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Corey T. Walker, Chiazo S. Amene, Jeffrey S. Pannell, David R. Santiago-Dieppa, Robert C. Rennert, Lawrence A. Hansen and Alexander A. Khalessi

The differential diagnosis of spinal tumors is guided by anatomical location and imaging characteristics. Diagnosis of rare tumors is made challenging by abnormal features. The authors present the case of a 47-year-old woman who presented with progressive subacute right lower-extremity weakness and numbness of the right thigh. Physical examination further revealed an extensor response to plantar reflex on the right and hyporeflexia of the right Achilles and patellar reflexes. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine demonstrated an 8-mm intramedullary exophytic nodule protruding into a hematoma within the conus medullaris. Spinal angiography was performed to rule out an arteriovenous malformation, and resection with hematoma evacuation was completed. Pathological examination of the resected mass demonstrated a spindle cell neoplasm with dense bundles of collagen. Special immunostaining was performed and a diagnosis of solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) was made. SFTs are mesenchymally derived pleural neoplasms, which rarely present at other locations of the body, but have been increasingly described to occur as primary neoplasms of the spine and CNS. The authors believe that this case is unique in its rare location at the level of the conus, and also that this is the first report of a hemorrhagic SFT in the spine. Therefore, with this report the authors add to the literature the fact that this variant of an increasingly understood but heterogeneous tumor can occur, and therefore should be considered in the differential of clinically similar tumors.