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David A. Pastel, Alexander C. Mamourian, and Ann-Christine Duhaime

Object

In this paper, the authors' goal was to determine whether benign pineal cysts have smooth walls or internal structure on high-resolution MR imaging and to evaluate their imaging characteristics on FLAIR images.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the MR imaging findings in 60 consecutive patients who were reported to have pineal cysts over a 19-month period. Patients were identified retrospectively using a word search of radiology reports. Of these 60 patients, 24 with stable follow-up imaging or pathological proof of a pineal cyst were included in this study. In all cases, axial or sagittal FLAIR images were available, and in 10 of 24 patients the authors obtained sagittal images using fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (FIESTA). For those cases in which FIESTA studies were obtained, the authors classified the cysts into 1 of 4 categories based on their appearance. Eighteen of 24 cases were performed with intravenous contrast.

Results

Of the 24 cases, 21 had signal intensity on FLAIR images that differed from that of CSF. Of the 10 cases with FIESTA, 6 had evidence of internal structure within the pineal cyst. The authors found it of interest that 20 of the 24 patients were female.

Conclusions

Although the presence of a thin wall supports the diagnosis of a benign pineal cyst, fine internal septations or small internal cysts are common on high-resolution MR imaging and this finding should not be considered evidence of an underlying tumor. It is typical for pineal cysts to have relaxation times that differ from CSF as determined by FLAIR imaging.

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Timothy R. Miller, Clifford J. Eskey, and Alexander C. Mamourian

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) is an uncommon condition that can be difficult to diagnose. This often results in misdiagnosis and treatment delay. Although conventional MRI plays an important role in the initial screening for the disease, the typical MRI findings may be absent. In this article, the authors present a series of 4 cases involving patients with angiographically proven spinal DAVFs who demonstrated cord T2 prolongation on conventional MRI but without abnormal subarachnoid flow voids or enhancement. These cases suggest that spinal DAVF cannot be excluded in symptomatic patients with cord edema based on conventional MRI findings alone. Dynamic Gd-enhanced MR angiography (MRA) was successful in demonstrating abnormal spinal vasculature in all 4 cases. This limited experience provides support for the role of spinal MRA in patients with abnormal cord signal and symptoms suggestive of DAVF even when typical MRI findings of a DAVF are absent.

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Rihan Khan, Alexander C. Mamourian, and Tarek Radwan

Multidetector CT has become widely available and with it the ability to rapidly create detailed reformatted images. Multiplanar images can be created depicting the anatomy in planes other than the traditional axial plane, using isotropic to near-isotropic data. It is important for both clinicians and radiologists to be aware of this capability in order to take advantage of such images. To illustrate the value of this type of imaging, the authors present a case of a third ventricular clot that migrated into the cerebral aqueduct exacerbating hydrocephalus.

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Alexander C. Mamourian, Daniel J. Pluta, Clifford J. Eskey, and Anthony L. Merlis

Object

At many institutions digital subtraction angiography remains the standard imaging procedure for the postoperative evaluation of patients following placement of a cerebral aneurysm clip largely because of the artifacts produced by the clip on computed tomography (CT). The authors evaluated the effect of various imaging parameters on the quality of 3D reconstructions from CT scans while imaging a phantom to optimize the CT angiograms.

Methods

Using multidetector CT scanners with submillimeter detector collimation (0.625 mm), the authors scanned a silicone phantom with attached commercial aneurysm clips. Slice thickness, reconstruction overlap, kilovolt level, milliampere level, and pitch were varied. Neuroradiologists, who were blinded to the scanning parameters, rated the reconstructions for image quality and artifact reduction.

Results

Images of the titanium clip using 140 kV and 380 mA with 0.625-mm overlapping reconstructed slices provided excellent 3D visualization of both the clip and the aneurysm model, even when using two adjacent clips.

Conclusions

Overlapping reconstructions combined with thin-section acquisition can provide detailed images of titanium clips and surrounding tissues without the use of low-pitch values.

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Ilya M. Nasrallah, Reyaad Hayek, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Mitchell A. Stotland, and Alexander C. Mamourian

The authors report the case of a large cranial cavernous hemangioma that was treated using embolization and craniotomy with preservation of the outer cranial table. A 3-year follow-up demonstrated no recurrence. Results in this case suggest that cavernous hemangiomas of the cranium may be safely and effectively treated without craniectomy in some cases.

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Alexander C. Mamourian, Namrata Mahadevan, Nischala Reddy, Steven P. Marra, and John Weaver

Object

The aim of this study was to explore the possibility that a hybrid aneurysm clip with polymeric jaws bonded to a metal spring could provide mechanical properties comparable to those of an all-metal clip as well as diminished artifacts on computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Methods

Three clips were created, and Clips 1 and 2 were tested for mechanical properties. Clip 1 consisted of an Elgiloy spring (a cobalt-chromium-nickel alloy) bonded to carbon fiber limbs; Clip 2 consisted of an Elgiloy spring with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) jaws; and Clip 3 consisted of PMMA limbs identical to those in Clip 2 but bonded to a titanium spring. Custom testing equipment was set up to measure the aneurysm clip clamping forces and slippage. Clips 2 and 3 were visualized in vivo using a 64-slice CT unit, and the slices were reformatted into 3D images.

Results

According to the testing apparatus, Clip 2 had a similar closing force but less slippage than three similar commercial aneurysm clips. The artifact from the cobalt alloy spring on CT scanning largely offset the advantage of the nonmetal PMMA limbs, which created no artifact. The hybrid titanium/PMMA clip (Clip 3) created very little artifact on CT and allowed visualization of the phantom through the limbs.

Conclusions

It is feasible to build a potentially biocompatible hybrid cerebral aneurysm clip with mechanical properties that closely resemble those of conventional metallic clips. Further testing should be directed toward establishing the reliability and biocompatibility of such a clip and optimizing the contour and surface treatments of the polymer limbs.