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Kristopher T. Kimmell and Babak S. Jahromi

OBJECT

Patients undergoing craniotomy are at risk for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE). The safety of anticoagulation in these patients is not clear. The authors sought to identify risk factors predictive of VTE in patients undergoing craniotomy.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a national surgical quality database, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Craniotomy patients were identified by current procedural terminology code. Clinical factors were analyzed to identify associations with VTE.

RESULTS

Four thousand eight hundred forty-four adult patients who underwent craniotomy were identified. The rate of VTE in the cohort was 3.5%, including pulmonary embolism in 1.4% and deep venous thrombosis in 2.6%. A number of factors were found to be statistically significant in multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, including craniotomy for tumor, transfer from acute care hospital, age ≥ 60 years, dependent functional status, tumor involving the CNS, sepsis, emergency surgery, surgery time ≥ 4 hours, postoperative urinary tract infection, postoperative pneumonia, on ventilator ≥ 48 hours postoperatively, and return to the operating room. Patients were assigned a score based on how many of these factors they had (minimum score 0, maximum score 12). Increasing score was predictive of increased VTE incidence, as well as risk of mortality, and time from surgery to discharge.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients undergoing craniotomy are at low risk of developing VTE, but this risk is increased by preoperative medical comorbidities and postoperative complications. The presence of more of these clinical factors is associated with progressively increased VTE risk; patients possessing a VTE Risk Score of ≥ 5 had a greater than 20-fold increased risk of VTE compared with patients with a VTE score of 0.

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Christopher Reilly, Chris Amidei, Jocelyn Tolentino, Babak S. Jahromi, and R. Loch Macdonald

Object. This study was conducted for two purposes. The first was to determine whether a combination of measurements of subarachnoid clot volume, clearance rate, and density could improve prediction of which patients experience vasospasm. The second was to determine if each of these three measures could be used independently to predict vasospasm.

Methods. Digital files of the cranial computerized tomography (CT) scans obtained in 75 consecutive patients admitted within 24 hours of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) were analyzed in a blinded fashion by an observer who used quantitative imaging software to measure the volume of SAH and its density. Clot clearance rates were measured by quantifying SAH volume on subsequent CT scans. Vasospasm was defined as new onset of a focal neurological deficit or altered consciousness 5 to 12 days after SAH in the absence of other causes of deterioration, diagnosed with the aid of or exclusively by confirmatory transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and/or cerebral angiography.

Univariate analysis showed that vasospasm was significantly associated with the SAH grade as classified on the Fisher scale, the initial clot volume, initial clot density, and percentage of clot cleared per day (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, initial clot volume and percentage of clot cleared per day were significant predictors of vasospasm (p < 0.05), whereas Fisher grade and initial clot density were not.

Conclusions. Quantitative analysis of subarachnoid clot shows that vasospasm is best predicted by initial subarachnoid clot volume and the percentage of clot cleared per day.

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Grace Y. Lai, Paul J. Devlin, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Jonathan D. Rich, Duc T. Pham, Matthew B. Potts, and Babak S. Jahromi

OBJECTIVE

As the use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) has expanded, cerebrovascular complications have become an increasing source of morbidity and mortality in this population. Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in particular remains a devastating complication in patients who undergo LVAD placement with no defined management guidelines. The authors therefore reviewed surgical and anticoagulation management and outcomes of patients with LVADs who presented to their institution with ICH.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study assessed outcomes of patients who underwent LVAD placement at a single institution between 2007 and 2016 and in whom imaging demonstrated ICH.

RESULTS

During the study period, 281 patients had a HeartMate II or HeartWare LVAD placed. There were 37 episodes of ICH (recurrent in 3 cases). ICHs were categorized as intraparenchymal hemorrhage (IPH; n = 22, 59%), subdural hemorrhage (SDH; n = 6, 16%), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH; n = 9, 24%). Neurosurgical intervention was deemed necessary in 27.3%, 66.7%, and 0% of patients with IPH, SDH, and SAH, respectively; overall survival > 30 days for each type of hemorrhage was 41%, 83%, and 89%, respectively. No patients had LVAD thrombus as a result of reversal of anticoagulation. Combined with prior reports, good outcomes are seen more often following surgery for SDH than for IPH (57% vs 7%, p = 0.004) in patients who underwent VAD placement.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with IPH who undergo LVAD placement have poor outcomes regardless of anticoagulation reversal or neurosurgical intervention, whereas those with SDH may have good outcomes with medical and surgical intervention, and those with SAH appear to do well without anticoagulation reversal or surgery. When needed, anticoagulation reversal was not associated with an increase in LVAD thrombosis in this series.

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R. Loch Macdonald, Daniel J. Curry, Yasuo Aihara, Zhen-Du Zhang, Babak S. Jahromi, and Reza Yassari

Object. Interest has developed in the use of magnesium (Mg++) as a neuroprotectant and antivasospastic agent. Magnesium may increase cerebral blood flow (CBF) and reduce the contraction of cerebral arteries caused by various stimuli. In this study the authors tested the hypothesis that a continuous intravenous infusion of Mg++ reduces cerebral vasospasm after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods. A dose-finding study was conducted in five monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) to determine what doses of intravenous MgSO4 elevate the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of Mg++ to vasoactive levels and to determine what effects these doses have on the diameters of cerebral arteries, as shown angiographically. After a standard dose of MgSO4 had been selected it was then administered in a randomized, controlled, blinded study to 10 monkeys (five animals/group) with SAH, beginning on Day 0 and continuing for 7 days, at which time angiography was repeated. A 0.086-g/kg bolus of MgSO4 followed by an infusion of 0.028 g/kg/day MgSO4 significantly elevated serum and CSF levels of Mg++ (five monkeys). Magnesium sulfate significantly elevated the serum level of total Mg++ from a control value of 0.83 ± 0.04 mmol/L to 2.42 ± 1.01 mmol/L on Day 7 and raised the CSF level from 1.3 ± 0.04 mmol/L to 1.76 ± 0.14 mmol/L. There was no angiographic evidence of any effect of MgSO4 on normal cerebral arteries. After SAH, the vasospasm in the middle cerebral artery was not significantly reduced (46 ± 8% in the MgSO4-treated group compared with 35 ± 6% in the placebo [vehicle]-treated group, p > 0.05, unpaired t-test).

Conclusions. Magnesium sulfate did not significantly reduce cerebral vasospasm after SAH in the doses tested. An investigation of SAH is warranted mainly to test whether a benefit can be achieved by neuroprotection or by augmentation of CBF by dilation of small vessels and/or collateral pathways.

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Kate C. Young, Anunaya Jain, Minal Jain, Robert E. Replogle, Curtis G. Benesch, and Babak S. Jahromi

Carotid atheromatous disease is an important cause of stroke. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a well-established option for reducing the risk of subsequent stroke due to symptomatic stenosis (> 50%). With adequately low perioperative risk (< 3%) and sufficient life expectancy, CEA may be used for asymptomatic stenosis (> 60%). Recently, carotid angioplasty and stent placement (CAS) has emerged as an alternative revascularization technique. Trial design considerations are discussed in relation to trial results to provide an understanding of why some trials were considered positive whereas others were not. This review then addresses both the original randomized studies showing that CEA is superior to best medical management and the newer studies comparing the procedure to stent insertion in both symptomatic and asymptomatic populations. Additionally, recent population-based studies show that improvements in best medical management may be lowering the stroke risk for asymptomatic stenosis. Finally, the choice of revascularization technique is discussed with respect to symptom status. Based on current evidence, CAS should remain limited to specific indications.

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Nathan A. Shlobin, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro, Jeffrey R. Clark, Steven C. Hoffman, Ali Shaibani, Michael C. Hurley, Sameer A. Ansari, Babak S. Jahromi, Nader S. Dahdaleh, and Matthew B. Potts

OBJECTIVE

Spinal cord infarction due to interruption of the spinal vascular supply during anterior thoracolumbar surgery is a rare but devastating complication. Here, the authors sought to summarize the data on this complication in terms of its incidence, risk factors, and operative considerations. They also sought to summarize the relevant spinal vascular anatomy.

METHODS

They performed a systematic literature review of the PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases to identify reports of spinal cord vascular injury related to anterior thoracolumbar spine procedures as well as operative adjuncts and considerations related to management of the segmental artery ligation during such anterior procedures. Titles and abstracts were screened, and studies meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed in full.

RESULTS

Of 1200 articles identified on the initial screening, 16 met the inclusion criteria and consisted of 2 prospective cohort studies, 10 retrospective cohort studies, and 4 case reports. Four studies reported on the incidence of spinal cord ischemia with anterior thoracolumbar surgery, which ranged from 0% to 0.75%. Eight studies presented patient-level data for 13 cases of spinal cord ischemia after anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery. Proposed risk factors for vasculogenic spinal injury with anterior thoracolumbar surgery included hyperkyphosis, prior spinal deformity surgery, combined anterior-posterior procedures, left-sided approaches, operating on the concavity side of a scoliotic curve, and intra- or postoperative hypotension. In addition, eight studies analyzed operative considerations to reduce spinal cord ischemic complications in anterior thoracolumbar surgery, including intraoperative neuromonitoring and preoperative spinal angiography.

CONCLUSIONS

While spinal cord infarction related to anterior thoracolumbar surgery is rare, it warrants proper consideration in the pre-, intra-, and postoperative periods. The spine surgeon must be aware of the relevant risk factors as well as the pre- and intraoperative adjuncts that can minimize these risks. Most importantly, an understanding of the relevant spinal vascular anatomy is critical to minimizing the risks associated with anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery.

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Neil Haranhalli, Nnenna Mbabuike, Sanjeet S. Grewal, Tasneem F. Hasan, Michael G. Heckman, William D. Freeman, Vivek Gupta, Prasanna Vibhute, Benjamin L. Brown, David A. Miller, Babak S. Jahromi, and Rabih G. Tawk

OBJECTIVE

The role of CT perfusion (CTP) in the management of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) remains a matter of debate. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the areas of infarction and penumbra on CTP scans and functional outcome in patients with AIS.

METHODS

This was a retrospective review of 100 consecutively treated patients with acute anterior circulation ischemic stroke who underwent CT angiography (CTA) and CTP at admission between February 2011 and October 2014. On CTP, the volume of ischemic core and penumbra was measured using the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS). CTA findings were also noted, including the site of occlusion and regional leptomeningeal collateral (rLMC) score. Functional outcome was defined by modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score obtained at discharge. Associations of CTP and CTA parameters with mRS scores at discharge were assessed using multivariable proportional odds logistic regression models.

RESULTS

The median age was 67 years (range 19–95 years), and the median NIH Stroke Scale score was 16 (range 2–35). In a multivariable analysis adjusting for potential confounding variables, having an infarct on CTP scans in the following regions was associated with a worse mRS score at discharge: insula ribbon (p = 0.043), perisylvian fissure (p < 0.001), motor strip (p = 0.007), M2 (p < 0.001), and M5 (p = 0.023). A worse mRS score at discharge was more common in patients with a greater volume of infarct core (p = 0.024) and less common in patients with a greater rLMC score (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study provide evidence that several CTP parameters are independent predictors of functional outcome in patients with AIS and have potential to identify those patients most likely to benefit from reperfusion therapy in the treatment of AIS.

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J Mocco, Rabih G. Tawk, Babak S. Jahromi, Rodney M. Samuelson, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins, and Elad I. Levy

Object

Endovascular treatment of acute thromboembolic stroke is a rapidly developing field that appears to hold great promise. Young patients may be particularly suited to benefit from endovascular acute stroke therapy. The authors sought to identify outcomes in young patients with thromboembolic stroke who underwent endovascular intervention.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected endovascular intervention registry of patients with ischemic strokes treated at a single large-volume institution between December 2000 and June 2007 to identify patients 18–35 years of age who were treated for thromboembolic stroke. Data are presented as the mean ± standard deviation unless otherwise noted.

Results

Seven young patients underwent 8 consecutive endovascular interventions for thromboembolic stroke (mean age 26 ± 6 years; 5 women). The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at presentation was 13 ± 4.3 (median 13). All patients presented within 6 hours of symptom onset. Revascularization was attempted with mechanical thrombectomy/disruption, intraarterial thrombolysis, and/or angioplasty, with or without stent placement.

The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at discharge was 2.2 ± 1.5 (median 1.5), with 5 patients (62.5%) achieving independence at discharge (mRS Score 0–2). There were no deaths. Hospital length of stay was 6.5 ± 3.7 days (4.4 ± 1.5 days for patients with an mRS score of 0–2; 10 ± 3.6 days for patients with an mRS score of 4). All patients became independent and had reached an mRS score of ≤ 2 at last follow-up evaluation (29 ± 25 months).

Conclusions

The data demonstrate the relative safety of endovascular intervention in young patients with thromboembolic cerebral ischemia and may suggest a potential benefit in outcome. Further investigation is indicated with larger numbers of patients and an appropriate control population.

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Christopher P. Gallati, Minal Jain, Dushyant Damania, Abhijit R. Kanthala, Anunaya R. Jain, George E. Koch, Nancy T. M. Kung, Henry Z. Wang, Robert E. Replogle, and Babak S. Jahromi

OBJECT

Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) carries a small but not insignificant risk of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), most frequently observed within 24 hours of surgery, which can lead to the need for urgent vascular imaging in the immediate postoperative period. However, distinguishing expected versus pathological postoperative changes may not be straightforward on imaging studies of the carotid artery early after CEA. The authors aimed to describe routine versus pathological anatomical findings on CTA performed within 24 hours of CEA, and to evaluate associations between these CTA findings and postoperative stroke/TIA.

METHODS

The authors reviewed 113 consecutive adult patients who underwent postoperative CTA within 24 hours of CEA at a single academic institution. Presence and location of arterial “flaps,” luminal “step-off,” intraluminal thrombus and hematoma were documented from postoperative CTA scans. Medical records were reviewed to determine the incidence of new postoperative neurological findings.

RESULTS

Postoperative CTA findings included common carotid artery (CCA) step-off (63.7%), one or more intraarterial flaps (27.4%), hematoma at the surgical site (15.9%), and new intraluminal thrombus (7.1%). Flaps were seen in the external carotid artery (ECA), internal carotid artery (ICA), and CCA in 18.6%, 9.7%, and 6.2% of patients, respectively. New postoperative neurological findings were present in 7.1% of patients undergoing CTA. Flaps (especially ICA/CCA) and/or intraluminal thrombi were more frequently seen in patients undergoing CTA for new postoperative stroke/TIA (85.7%) versus patients undergoing CTA for routine postoperative imaging (14.3%, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

CTA within 24 hours of CEA demonstrates characteristic anatomical findings. CCA step-offs and ECA flaps are relatively common and clinically insignificant, whereas ICA/CCA flaps and thrombi are less frequently seen and are associated with postoperative stroke/TIA.

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Ramez N. Abdalla, Tahaamin Shokuhfar, Michael C. Hurley, Sameer A. Ansari, Babak S. Jahromi, Matthew B. Potts, H. Hunt Batjer, and Ali Shaibani

Spinal pial arteriovenous fistulas (spAVFs) are believed to be congenital lesions, and the development of a de novo spAVF has not been previously described. A 49-year-old female with a childhood history of vascular malformation–induced right lower-extremity hypertrophy presented in 2004 with progressive pain in her right posterior thigh and outer foot. Workup revealed 3 separate type IV spAVFs, which were treated by combined embolization and resection, with final conventional angiography showing no residual spinal vascular lesion in 2005. Ten years later, the patient returned with new right lower-extremity weakness, perineal pain, and left plantar foot numbness. Repeat spinal angiography demonstrated 2 de novo intertwined conus medullaris spAVFs.