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Douglas Anderson and Azam Ahmed

✓ Obsessive—compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, disabling anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent obsessive thoughts and uncontrolled repetitive acts. Although many patients respond to various pharmacological treatments, there is a cohort of patients with intractable or refractory disease. The authors present the case of a patient with intractable OCD who was treated with bilateral electrical stimulators, which were stereotactically placed in the anterior limbs of the internal capsules.

Following psychiatric consultation and 10 years of empirical medication regimens for OCD, a woman was referred for neurosurgical evaluation. After informed consent had been obtained from the patient, the authors placed bilateral stimulator leads in the anterior limbs of the internal capsules. The stereotactic coordinates were based on data in pertinent current literature. The stimulation parameters, which are presented in this paper, were set at 2 weeks and reviewed at 6 weeks and 3 months postoperatively. No changes were required. Postoperative analysis included evaluation by the patient's referring psychiatrist, a second independent psychiatrist, and pre- and postoperative administration of the Yale—Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. A marked improvement was noted in this patient's OCD symptomatology and general psychosocial function.

Previous documentation of patient responses to psychosurgical procedures for intractable or refractory OCD has been met with little enthusiasm, presumably because of the invasiveness and irreversibility of the surgery. In this report the authors suggest that deep brain stimulation of appropriate targets may be an effective and safe treatment for certain patients with OCD and a potentially reversible treatment for those patients who do not obtain therapeutic benefit.

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Mustafa K. Başkaya, Azam S. Ahmed, Özkan Ateş and David Niemann

Object

Blood blister–like aneurysms (BBAs) arise from the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) at non-branching sites. These aneurysms are challenging to treat primarily with either surgical clip placement or endovascular therapy. The authors describe a series of 4 patients who presented with high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) due to a BBA, which was treated with an extracranial–intracranial (EC–IC) bypass followed by trapping of the aneurysm.

Methods

Four patients presented with SAH due to a BBA of the ICA. Three of these patients were treated with an endovascular procedure; following the vasospasm period, definitive treatment with EC–IC bypass followed by trapping of the aneurysmal parent vessel was performed.

Results

Two of the patients who were treated endovascularly suffered rebleeding prior to bypass and trapping. Three of the 4 patients had a good outcome (modified Rankin Scale Score 1 or 2), and 1 patient who suffered 2 episodes of rebleeding died.

Conclusions

Treatment of BBAs of the ICA remains difficult, particularly in the setting of high-grade SAH. Patients with this challenging condition often require multiple procedures and have a high incidence of rebleeding. Definitive treatment of these aneurysms consists of EC–IC bypass and surgical or endovascular trapping.

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Özkan Ateş, Azam S. Ahmed, David Niemann and Mustafa K. Başkaya

Object

The microsurgical anatomy of the occipital artery (OA) was studied to describe the diameter, length, and course of this vessel as it pertains to revascularization procedures of the posterior cerebral circulation.

Methods

The authors studied 12 OAs in 6 cadaveric heads that had been injected with colored latex. They evaluated the OA's ability to serve as a conduit for extracranial–intracranial (EC–IC) bypass in the posterior circulation. They measured the length of the OA and its diameter at common sites of anastomosis and compared these values with the diameters of the recipient vessels (V3 and V4 segments of the vertebral artery, caudal loop of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery [PICA], and anterior inferior cerebellar artery [AICA]).

Results

The mean thickness of the suboccipital segment of the OA was found to be 1.9 mm. The mean distance of the OA from the external occipital protuberance was found to be 45 mm. The mean length of the suboccipital segment of the OA was 79.3 mm. The mean thickness of the largest trunk of the V3 segment, the V4 segment, the caudal loop of the PICA, and the AICA were 3.3 mm, 3.1 mm, 1.2 mm, and 1 mm, respectively.

Conclusions

The length, diameter, and flow accomodated by the OA make it an ideal choice as a conduit for posterior circulation bypass. The bypass from the OA to the caudal loop of the PICA demonstrates the least difference in vessel diameter, and is therefore best suited for EC–IC bypass procedures in the posterior circulation.

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Ulas Cikla, Balkan Sahin, Sahin Hanalioglu, Azam S. Ahmed, David Niemann and Mustafa K. Baskaya

OBJECTIVE

Cerebrovascular bypass surgery is a challenging yet important neurosurgical procedure that is performed to restore circulation in the treatment of carotid occlusive diseases, giant/complex aneurysms, and skull base tumors. It requires advanced microsurgical skills and dedicated training in microsurgical techniques. Most available training tools, however, either lack the realism of the actual bypass surgery (e.g., artificial vessel, chicken wing models) or require special facilities and regulations (e.g., cadaver, live animal, placenta models). The aim of the present study was to design a readily accessible, realistic, easy-to-build, reusable, and high-fidelity simulator to train neurosurgeons or trainees on vascular anastomosis techniques even in the operating room.

METHODS

The authors used an anatomical skull and brain model, artificial vessels, and a water pump to simulate both extracranial and intracranial circulations. They demonstrated the step-by-step preparation of the bypass simulator using readily available and affordable equipment and consumables.

RESULTS

All necessary steps of a superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery bypass surgery (from skin opening to skin closure) were performed on the simulator under a surgical microscope. The simulator was used by both experienced neurosurgeons and trainees. Feedback survey results from the participants of the microsurgery course suggested that the model is superior to existing microanastomosis training kits in simulating real surgery conditions (e.g., depth, blood flow, anatomical constraints) and holds promise for widespread use in neurosurgical training.

CONCLUSIONS

With no requirement for specialized laboratory facilities and regulations, this novel, low-cost, reusable, high-fidelity simulator can be readily constructed and used for neurosurgical training with various scenarios and modifications.

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Mustafa K. Başkaya, Mark W. Kiehn, Azam S. Ahmed, Özkan Ateş and David B. Niemann

Object

Arterial bypass is an important method of treating intracranial disease requiring sacrifice of the parent vessel. The conduits for extracranial–intracranial (EC–IC) bypass surgery include the superficial temporal artery, occipital artery, superior thyroid artery, radial artery, and saphenous vein (long or short). In an aging population with an increased prevalence of vascular disease, conduits for EC–IC bypass may be in short supply in some patients. Herein, the authors describe a case in which the descending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery (DLCFA) was utilized as a high-flow conduit for an EC–IC bypass.

Methods

This 22-year-old woman presented with irregular menstrual periods, secondary amenorrhea, and hypothyroidism. A giant intrasellar and suprasellar mass was found. Angiography confirmed a 3.5 × 2.1–cm fusiform aneurysm involving the cavernous and supraclinoid segments of the right internal carotid artery. A suitable radial artery conduit was not available. The DLCFA was harvested and anastomosed between the M2 segment of the middle cerebral artery and the external carotid artery.

Results

Durable clinical and angiographic results were apparent at the 2-month follow-up.

Conclusions

The DLCFA's diameter and length were used successfully in a high-flow EC–IC bypass surgery. The DLCFA may be a good alternative to radial artery and saphenous vein grafts for an EC–IC bypass requiring high flow.

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Yiping Li, Jason Kim, Dustin Simpson, Beverly Aagaard-Kienitz, David Niemann, Ignatius N. Esene and Azam Ahmed

OBJECTIVE

The literature suggests that blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) plays a significant role in the development of neurological events in patients with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) that is negative for lesions. In this prospective, single-center cohort study, the authors compared the imaging characteristics of patients suffering transient neurological events (TNEs) with those in patients suffering permanent neurological events (PNEs) after having undergone elective embolization of unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS

This prospective cohort study was conducted between July 2016 and June 2019. Inclusion criteria were adults undergoing elective neuroendovascular procedures and the absence of contraindications to MRI. All subjects underwent brain MRI including postcontrast FLAIR (pcFLAIR) sequences for evaluation of BBBD within 24 hours postprocedure.

RESULTS

In total, 128 patients harboring 133 unruptured aneurysms were enrolled, 109 of whom (85.2%) showed some degree of BBBD on pcFLAIR MRI and 50 of whom (39.1%) suffered an ischemic insult per DWI. In total, 23 patients (18%) suffered neurological complications, 16 of which (12.5%) were TNEs and 7 of which (5.5%) were PNEs. The median extent of BBBD was focal in asymptomatic patients as compared to hemispheric and lobar in the TNE and PNE groups, respectively (p < 0.001). The American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification predicted the extent of BBBD (p = 0.046).

Lesions on DWI were noted in 34 asymptomatic patients (32.4%) compared to 9 patients (56.3%) with TNEs and all 7 patients (100%) with PNEs (p < 0.001). The median number of DWI lesions was 0 (range 0–18 lesions) in the asymptomatic group compared to 1.5 (range 0–8 lesions) and 8 (range 1–13 lesions) in the TNE and PNE groups, respectively (p < 0.001). Smoking (p = 0.008), older age (p = 0.002), and longer surgery (p = 0.006) were positively associated with the number of lesions on DWI.

On multivariate analysis, intraarterial verapamil (p = 0.02, OR 8.01, 95% CI 1.35–47.43) and extent of BBBD (p < 0.001, OR 58.58, 95% CI 9.48–361.84) were positively associated with the development of TNEs, while intravenous infusion of midazolam during surgery (p = 0.02, OR 6.03, 95% CI 1.29–28.20) was negatively associated. An increased number of lesions on DWI was the only significant predictor for the development of PNEs (p < 0.001, OR 49.85, 95% CI 5.56–447.10).

CONCLUSIONS

An increasing extent of BBBD was associated with the development of TNEs, whereas an increasing number of lesions on DWI was significantly associated with the development of PNEs. BBBD imaging using pcFLAIR may serve as a valuable biomarker for detecting subtle cerebral ischemia and stratifying the risk for ischemic events.