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Ann Mansur, Alex Kostynskyy, Timo Krings, Ronit Agid, Ivan Radovanovic, and Vitor Mendes Pereira

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to 1) compare the safety and efficacy of acute targeted embolization of angiographic weak points in ruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) versus delayed treatment, and 2) explore the angioarchitectural changes that follow this intervention.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of a prospectively acquired database of ruptured bAVMs. Three hundred sixteen patients with ruptured bAVMs who presented to the hospital within 48 hours of ictus were included in the analysis. The first analysis compared clinical and functional outcomes of acutely embolized patients to those with delayed management paradigms. The second analysis compared these outcomes of patients with acute embolization to those with angiographic targets who did not undergo acute embolization. Finally, a subset of 20 patients with immediate postembolization angiograms and follow-up angiograms within 6 weeks of treatment were studied to determine the angioarchitectural changes after acute targeted embolization. Kaplan-Meier curves for survival between the groups were devised. Multivariate logistical regression analysis was conducted.

RESULTS

There were three deaths (0.9%) and an overall rerupture rate of 4.8% per year. There was no statistical difference in demographic variables, mortality, and rerupture rate between patients with acute embolization and those with delayed management. Patients with acute embolization were more likely to present functionally worse (46.9% vs 69.8%, modified Rankin Scale score 0–2, p = 0.018) and to require an adjuvant therapy (71.9% vs 26.4%, p < 0.001). When comparing acutely embolized patients to those nonacutely embolized angiographic targets, there was a significant protective effect of acute targeted therapy on rerupture rate (annual risk 1.2% vs 4.3%, p = 0.025) and no difference in treatment complications. Differences in the survival curves for rerupture were statistically significant. Multivariate analyses significantly predicted lower rerupture in acute targeted treatment and higher rerupture in those with associated aneurysms, deep venous anatomy, and higher Spetzler-Martin grade. All patients with acute embolization experienced complete obliteration of the angiographic weak point with various degrees of resolution of the nidus; however, some had spontaneous recurrence of their bAVM, while others had spontaneous resolution over time. No patients developed new angiographic weak points.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates that acute targeted embolization of angiographic weak points, particularly aneurysms, is technically safe and protective in the early phase of recovery from ruptured bAVMs. Serial follow-up imaging is necessary to monitor the evolution of the nidus after targeted and definitive treatments. Larger prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.

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Catherine Veilleux, Nardin Samuel, Han Yan, Victoria Bass, Rabab Al-Shahrani, Ann Mansur, James T. Rutka, Gelareh Zadeh, Mojgan Hodaie, and Geneviève Milot

OBJECTIVE

Although the past decades have seen a steady increase of women in medicine in general, women continue to represent a minority of the physician-training staff and workforce in neurosurgery in Canada and worldwide. As such, the aim of this study was to analyze the experiences of women faculty practicing neurosurgery across Canada to better understand and address the factors contributing to this disparity.

METHODS

A historical, cross-sectional, and mixed-method analysis of survey responses was performed using survey results obtained from women attending neurosurgeons across Canada. A web-based survey platform was utilized to collect responses. Quantitative analyses were performed on the responses from the study questionnaire, including summary and comparative statistics. Qualitative analyses of free-text responses were performed using axial and open coding.

RESULTS

A total of 19 of 31 respondents (61.3%) completed the survey. Positive enabling factors for career success included supportive colleagues and work environment (52.6%); academic accomplishments, including publications and advanced degrees (36.8%); and advanced fellowship training (47.4%). Perceived barriers reported included inequalities with regard to career advancement opportunities (57.8%), conflicting professional and personal interests (57.8%), and lack of mentorship (36.8%). Quantitative analyses demonstrated emerging themes of an increased need for women mentors as well as support and recognition of the contributions to career advancement of personal and family-related factors.

CONCLUSIONS

This study represents, to the authors’ knowledge, the first analysis of factors influencing career success and satisfaction in women neurosurgeons across Canada. This study highlights several key factors contributing to the low representation of women in neurosurgery and identifies specific actionable items that can be addressed by training programs and institutions. In particular, female mentorship, opportunities for career advancement, and increased recognition and integration of personal and professional roles were highlighted as areas for future intervention. These findings will provide a framework for addressing these factors and improving the recruitment and retention of females in this specialty.