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Babu G. Welch

The case is a 55-year-old female who presented with dizziness as the chief complaint. She has a family history of two relatives with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Digital subtraction angiography revealed the presence of a left-sided posterior communicating artery aneurysm and an ipsilateral superior cerebellar artery (SCA) aneurysm. Due to the smaller nature of the SCA, a decision was made to proceed with surgical clipping of both lesions through a pterional approach. A narrated video with illustrations depicts the intraoperative management of these lesions with postoperative angiography results.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/HCHToSsXv-4.

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Kim L. Rickert, Phillip D. Purdy and Babu Guai Welch

Cerebral sinus thrombosis, although uncommon, can be lethal if not recognized and treated quickly. Systemic heparin has become the treatment standard of care; however, some patients' conditions continue to deteriorate even while taking heparin. Endovascular techniques for thrombolysis have continued to evolve. The authors present a case of cerebral sinus thrombosis treated with a combination of mechanical and chemical intrasinus thrombolysis.

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Duke S. Samson and Babu G. Welch

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri and Lorenzo Volpin

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Erik F. Hauck, Bryan Wohlfeld, Babu Guai Welch, Jonathan A. White and Duke Samson

Object

Patients with very large or giant unruptured intracranial aneurysms present with ischemic stroke and progressive disability. The aneurysm rupture risk in these patients is extreme—up to 50% in 5 years. In this study the authors investigated the outcome of surgical treatment for these very large aneurysms in the anterior circulation.

Methods

Clinical data on 62 patients who underwent surgery for unruptured aneurysms (20–60 mm) between 1998 and 2006 were reviewed.

Results

Complete aneurysm occlusion (100%) was achieved in 90% of cases, near complete occlusion (90–99%) in 5%. The surgical risk in patients younger than 50 years of age was 8% (Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1 or 3 within 1 year after surgery). In older patients, the risk increased with advancing age.

Conclusions

The treatment of very large or giant unruptured intracranial aneurysms is hazardous and complex and thus best performed only at major cerebrovascular centers with an experienced team of neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, neurologists, and neuroanesthesiologists. Surgery, with acceptable risks and excellent occlusion rates, is typically the treatment of choice in patients younger than 50 years of age. In older patients, the benefits of endovascular treatment versus surgery versus no treatment must be carefully weighed individually. Minimizing temporary occlusion and the consequent use of intraoperative angiography may help reduce surgical complications.

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Cameron M. McDougall, Vin Shen Ban, Jeffrey Beecher, Lee Pride and Babu G. Welch

OBJECTIVE

The role of venous sinus stenting (VSS) for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is not well understood. The aim of this systematic review is to attempt to identify subsets of patients with IIH who will benefit from VSS based on the pressure gradients of their venous sinus stenosis.

METHODS

MEDLINE/PubMed was searched for studies reporting venous pressure gradients across the stenotic segment of the venous sinus, pre- and post-stent pressure gradients, and clinical outcomes after VSS. Findings are reported according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines.

RESULTS

From 32 eligible studies, a total of 186 patients were included in the analysis. Patients who had favorable outcomes had higher mean pressure gradients (22.8 ± 11.5 mm Hg vs 17.4 ± 8.0 mm Hg, p = 0.033) and higher changes in pressure gradients after stent placement (19.4 ± 10.0 mm Hg vs 12.0 ± 6.0 mm Hg, p = 0.006) compared with those with unfavorable outcomes. The post-stent pressure gradients between the 2 groups were not significantly different (2.8 ± 4.0 mm Hg vs 2.7 ± 2.0 mm Hg, p = 0.934). In a multivariate stepwise logistic regression controlling for age, sex, body mass index, CSF opening pressure, pre-stent pressure gradient, and post-stent pressure gradient, the change in pressure gradient with stent placement was found to be an independent predictor of favorable outcome (p = 0.028). Using a pressure gradient of 21 as a cutoff, 81/86 (94.2%) of patients with a gradient > 21 achieved favorable outcomes, compared with 82/100 (82.0%) of patients with a gradient ≤ 21 (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS

There appears to be a relationship between the pressure gradient of venous sinus stenosis and the success of VSS in IIH. A randomized controlled trial would help elucidate this relationship and potentially guide patient selection.

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Jeffrey S. Beecher, Kristopher Lyon, Vin Shen Ban, Awais Vance, Cameron M. McDougall, Louis A. Whitworth, Jonathan A. White, Duke Samson, H. Hunt Batjer and Babu G. Welch

OBJECTIVE

Despite a hemorrhagic presentation, many patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) do not require emergency resection. The timing of definitive management is not standardized in the cerebrovascular community. This study was designed to evaluate the safety of delaying AVM treatment in clinically stable patients with a new hemorrhagic presentation. The authors examined the rate of rehemorrhage or neurological decline in a cohort of patients with ruptured brain AVMs during a period of time posthemorrhage.

METHODS

Patients presenting to the authors’ institution from January 2000 to December 2015 with ruptured brain AVMs treated at least 4 weeks posthemorrhage were included in this analysis. Exclusion criteria were ruptured AVMs that required emergency surgery involving resection of the AVM, prior treatment of AVM at another institution, or treatment of lesions within 4 weeks for other reasons (subacute surgery). The primary outcome measure was time from initial hemorrhage to treatment failure (defined as rehemorrhage or neurological decline as a direct result of the AVM). Patient-days were calculated from the day of initial rupture until the day AVM treatment was initiated or treatment failed.

RESULTS

Of 102 ruptured AVMs in 102 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 7 (6.9%) failed the treatment paradigm. Six patients (5.8%) had a new hemorrhage within a median of 248 days (interquartile range 33–1364 days). The total “at risk” period was 18,740 patient-days, yielding a rehemorrhage rate of 11.5% per patient-year, or 0.96% per patient-month. Twelve (11.8%) of 102 patients were found to have an associated aneurysm. In this group there was a single (8.3%) new hemorrhage during a total at-risk period of 263 patient-days until the aneurysm was secured, yielding a rehemorrhage risk of 11.4% per patient-month.

CONCLUSIONS

It is the authors’ practice to rehabilitate patients after brain AVM rupture with a plan for elective treatment of the AVM. The present data are useful in that the findings quantify the risk of the authors’ treatment strategy. These findings indicate that delaying intervention for at least 4 weeks after the initial hemorrhage subjects the patient to a low (< 1%) risk of rehemorrhage. The authors modified the treatment paradigm when a high-risk feature, such as an associated intracranial aneurysm, was identified.

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Bruno C. Flores, Daniel R. Klinger, Kim l. Rickert, Samuel l. Barnett, Babu G. Welch, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer and Duke S. Samson

Intracranial or brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) are some of the most interesting and challenging lesions treated by the cerebrovascular neurosurgeon. It is generally believed that the combination of BAVMs and intracranial aneurysms (IAs) is associated with higher hemorrhage rates at presentation and higher rehemorrhage rates and thus with a more aggressive course and natural history. There is wide variation in the literature on the prevalence of BAVM-associated aneurysms (range 2.7%–58%), with 10%–20% being most often cited in the largest case series. The risk of intracranial hemorrhage in patients with unruptured BAVMs and coexisting IAs has been reported to be 7% annually, compared with 2%–4% annually for those with BAVM alone. Several different classification systems have been applied in an attempt to better understand the natural history of this combination of lesions and implications for treatment. Independent of the classification used, it is clear that a few subtypes of aneurysms have a direct hemodynamic correlation with the BAVM itself. This is exemplified by the fact that the presence of a distal flow-related or an intranidal aneurysm appears to be associated with an increased hemorrhage risk, when compared with an aneurysm located on a vessel with no direct supply to the BAVM nidus. Debate still exists regarding the etiology of the association between those two vascular lesions, the subsequent implications for patients’ risk of hemorrhagic stroke, and finally the determination of which patients warrant treatment and when. The ultimate goals of the treatment of a BAVM associated with an IA are to prevent hemorrhage, avoid stepwise neurological deterioration, and eliminate the mortality risk associated with recurrent hemorrhagic events. The treatment is only justifiable if the risks associated with an intervention are lower than or equivalent to the long-term risks of disability or mortality caused by the lesion itself. When faced with this difficult decision, a few questions need to be answered by the treating neu-rosurgeon: What is the mode of presentation? What is the symptomatic lesion? Which one of the lesions bled? What is the relationship between the BAVM and IA? Is it possible to safely treat both BAVM and IA? The objective of this review is to discuss the demographics, natural history, classification, and strategies for management of BAVMs associated with IAs.

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Peter Kan, Visish M. Srinivasan, Nnenna Mbabuike, Rabih G. Tawk, Vin Shen Ban, Babu G. Welch, Maxim Mokin, Bartley D. Mitchell, Ajit Puri, Mandy J. Binning and Edward Duckworth

The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) was approved for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms from the petrous to the superior hypophyseal segment of the internal carotid artery. However, since its approval, its use for treatment of intracranial aneurysms in other locations and non-sidewall aneurysms has grown tremendously. The authors report on a cohort of 15 patients with 16 cerebral aneurysms that incorporated an end vessel with no significant distal collaterals, which were treated with the PED. The cohort includes 7 posterior communicating artery aneurysms, 5 ophthalmic artery aneurysms, 1 superior cerebellar artery aneurysm, 1 anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm, and 2 middle cerebral artery aneurysms. None of the aneurysms achieved significant occlusion at the last follow-up evaluation (mean 24 months). Based on these observations, the authors do not recommend the use of flow diverters for the treatment of this subset of cerebral aneurysms.

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Eva M. Wu, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Cameron M. McDougall, Salah G. Aoun, Nikhil Mehta, Om James Neeley, Aaron Plitt, Vin Shen Ban, Rafael Sillero, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer and Babu G. Welch

OBJECTIVE

Endovascular embolization has been established as an adjuvant treatment strategy for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). A growing body of literature has discussed curative embolization for select lesions. The transition of endovascular embolization from an adjunctive to a definitive treatment modality remains controversial. Here, the authors reviewed the literature to assess the lesional characteristics, technical factors, and angiographic and clinical outcomes of endovascular embolization of AVMs with intent to cure.

METHODS

Electronic databases—Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, and PubMed—were searched for studies in which there was evidence of AVMs treated using endovascular embolization with intent to cure. The primary outcomes of interest were angiographic obliteration immediately postembolization and at follow-up. The secondary outcomes of interest were complication rates. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate rates and means.

RESULTS

Fifteen studies with 597 patients and 598 AVMs treated with intent-to-cure embolization were included in this analysis. Thirty-four percent of AVMs were Spetzler-Martin grade III. Complete obliteration immediately postembolization was reported in 58.3% of AVMs that had complete treatment and in 45.8% of AVMs in the entire patient cohort. The overall clinical complication rate was 24.1%. The most common complication was hemorrhage, occurring in 9.7% of patients. Procedure-related mortality was 1.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

While endovascular embolization with intent to cure can be an option for select AVMs, the reported complication rates appear to be increased compared with those in studies in which adjunctive embolization was the goal. Given the high complication rate related to a primary embolization approach, the risks and benefits of such a treatment strategy should be discussed among a multidisciplinary team. Curative embolization of AVMs should be considered an unanticipated benefit of such therapy rather than a goal.