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Omar M. Arnaout, Salah G. Aoun, H. Hunt Batjer and Bernard R. Bendok

Malignant middle cerebral artery stroke carries a very poor prognosis. Significant retrospective data support the hypothesis that decompressive hemicraniectomy decreases mortality rates due to this disease entity. Recently, 3 randomized controlled studies have been published and shed light on these issues and enhance the quality of evidence revolving around this procedure. In this review, the rationale, risks, benefits, and unanswered questions related to hemicraniectomy for acute ischemic stroke are reviewed with an emphasis on how 3 randomized trials have influenced knowledge on this life-saving yet controversial procedure. Further randomized studies are needed to clarify lingering questions regarding age indications and impact on quality of life.

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Rohan R. Lall, Christopher S. Eddleman, Bernard R. Bendok and H. Hunt Batjer

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage continues to have high rates of morbidity and mortality for patients despite optimal medical and surgical management. Due to the fact that aneurysmal rupture can be such a catastrophic event, preventive treatment is desirable for high-risk lesions. Given the variability of the literature evaluating unruptured aneurysms regarding basic patient population, clinical practice, and aneurysm characteristics studied, such as size, location, aspect ratio, relationship to the surrounding vasculature, and the aneurysm hemodynamics, a metaanalysis is nearly impossible to perform. This review will instead focus on the various anatomical and morphological characteristics of aneurysms reported in the literature with an attempt to draw broad inferences and serve to highlight pressing questions for the future in our continued effort to improve clinical management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

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Christopher S. Eddleman, Michael C. Hurley, Bernard R. Bendok and H. Hunt Batjer

Most cavernous carotid aneurysms (CCAs) are considered benign lesions, most often asymptomatic, and to have a natural history with a low risk of life-threatening complications. However, several conditions may exist in which treatment of these aneurysms should be considered. Several options are currently available regarding the management of CCAs with resultant good outcomes, namely expectant management, luminal preservation strategies with or without addressing the aneurysm directly, and Hunterian strategies with or without revascularization procedures. In this article, we discuss the sometimes difficult decision regarding whether to treat CCAs. We consider the natural history of several types of CCAs, the clinical presentation, the current modalities of CCA management and their outcomes to aid in the management of this heterogeneous group of cerebral aneurysms.

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Isaac Josh Abecassis, David S. Xu, H. Hunt Batjer and Bernard R. Bendok

Object

The authors aimed to systematically review the literature to clarify the natural history of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs).

Methods

The authors searched PubMed for one or more of the following terms: natural history, brain arteriovenous malformations, cerebral arteriovenous malformations, and risk of rupture. They included studies that reported annual rates of hemorrhage and that included either 100 patients or 5 years of treatment-free follow-up.

Results

The incidence of BAVMs is 1.12–1.42 cases per 100,000 person-years; 38%–68% of new cases are first-ever hemorrhage. The overall annual rates of hemorrhage for patients with untreated BAVMs range from 2.10% to 4.12%. Consistently implicated in subsequent hemorrhage are initial hemorrhagic presentation, exclusively deep venous drainage, and deep and infrantentorial brain location. The risk for rupture seems to be increased by large nidus size and concurrent arterial aneurysms, although these factors have not been studied as thoroughly. Venous stenosis has not been implicated in increased risk for rupture.

Conclusions

For patients with BAVMs, although the overall risk for hemorrhage seems to be 2.10%–4.12% per year, calculating an accurate risk profile for decision making involves clinical attention and accounting for specific features of the malformation.

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Stefan A. Mindea, Benson P. Yang, Bernard R. Bendok, Jeffrey W. Miller and H. Hunt Batjer

✓Cerebral vasospasm is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients who have sustained a subarachnoid hemorrhage from aneurysm rupture. Symptomatic cerebral vasospasm is also a strong predictor of poor clinical outcome and has thus drawn a great deal of interest from cerebrovascular surgeons. Although medical management is the cornerstone of treatment for this condition, endovascular intervention may be warranted for those in whom this treatment fails and in whom symptomatic vasospasm subsequently develops. The rapid advancements in endovascular techniques and pharmacological agents used to combat this pathological state continue to offer promise in broadening the available treatment armamentarium. In this article the authors discuss the rationale and basis for using the various endovascular options for the treatment of cerebral vasospasm, and they also discuss the limitations, complications, and efficacy of these treatment strategies in regard to neurological condition and outcome.

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Sunit Das, Bernard R. Bendok, Christopher C. Getch, Issam A. Awad and H. Hunt Batjer

Stroke remains the leading cause of disability in adults and the third leading cause of death in the US. Carotid artery (CA) occlusive disease is the primary pathophysiological source of 10 to 20% of all strokes. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with both symptomatic and asymptomatic extracranial CA stenosis. Carotid artery angioplasty and stent placement has recently emerged as an alternative to CEA for primary and secondary prevention of stroke related to CA stenosis. With the advent of the embolic protection device, the safety of CA angioplasty and stent placement has approached, if not surpassed, that of CEA. In particular, the former has come to be considered as a first-line therapy in the management of CA stenotic disease in individuals at high risk for complications related to surgical intervention. Preliminary data from multiple registries have demonstrated that CA angioplasty and stent placement is an effective means of treating CA stenosis. The results of the Stenting and Angioplasty with Protection in Patients at High Risk for Endarterectomy trial have demonstrated that this modality has a significant role in the management of CA disease in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with risk factors for high rates of surgery-related morbidity or mortality. With the completion of the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stent Trial, the role of CA angioplasty and stent placement in the prevention of stroke in all individuals with significant CA stenosis should be better demarcated. This treatment modality promises to assume a central role in stroke prophylaxis in patients with CA disease who are at high risk for complications related to surgery.

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Brian A. O'Shaughnessy, Christopher C. Getch, Bernard R. Bendok and H. Hunt Batjer

Intracranial aneurysms arising from the posterior wall of the supraclinoid carotid artery are extremely common lesions. The aneurysm dilation typically occurs in immediate proximity to the origin of the posterior communicating artery and, less commonly, the anterior choroidal artery (AChA). Because of the increasingly widespread use of non-invasive neuroimaging methods to evaluate patients believed to harbor cerebral lesions, many of these carotid artery aneurysms are now documented in their unruptured state, prior to occurrence of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Based on these factors, the management of unruptured posterior carotid artery (PCA) wall aneurysms is an important element of any neurosurgical practice.

Despite impressive recent advances in endovascular therapy, the placement of microsurgical clips to exclude aneurysms with preservation of all afferent and efferent vasculature remains the most efficacious and durable therapy. To date, an optimal outcome is only achieved when the neurosurgeon is able to combine systematic preoperative neurovascular assessment with meticulous operative technique. In this report, the authors review their surgical approach to PCA wall aneurysms, which is greatly based on the extensive neurovascular experience of the senior author. Focus is placed on their methods of preoperative evaluation and operative technique, with emphasis on neurovascular anatomy and the significance of oculomotor nerve compression. They conclude by discussing surgery-related complications, with a particular focus on intraoperative rupture of aneurysms and their management, and the postoperative ischemic AChA syndrome.

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David G. Weinberg, Rudy J. Rahme, Salah G. Aoun, H. Hunt Batjer and Bernard R. Bendok

Object

Moyamoya disease is an occlusive cerebrovascular disorder commonly resulting in neurocognitive impairment. The cognitive outcome parameters commonly affected are intelligence, memory, executive function, and quality of life. In this paper, the authors review the existing literature on cognitive and clinical outcomes in adult and pediatric moyamoya populations separately.

Methods

A systematic review of the cognitive and clinical outcome literature was performed using the PubMed/MEDLINE database. Outcomes data were contrasted between adult and pediatric populations.

Results

Intelligence is the main cognitive outcome parameter affected in pediatric patients with moyamoya disease, whereas adults most commonly suffer from executive function impairment. Memory has not been studied sufficiently in pediatric patients, and its dysfunction in the adult population remains controversial. Quality of life has not been studied appropriately in either population. Surgical revascularization is the only beneficial treatment option, and a combination of direct and indirect bypass techniques has shown benefit, but the impact on the above-mentioned parameters has not been sufficiently elucidated.

Conclusions

Moyamoya disease affects the cognition and daily function in pediatric patients to a greater extent than in adult patients. Due to the rarity of the disease, there is a distinct lack of high-level evidence regarding cognitive and clinical outcomes.

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Brian A. O'shaughnessy, Christopher C. Getch, Bernard R. Bendok and H. Hunt Batjer

Successful microsurgical resection of an infratentorial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) requires both surgical skill and intraoperative judgment. Extensive practical experience in treating these complex lesions, which is acquired over many years, is of substantial value during each new operation. The authors present the surgical approaches and techniques used for the treatment of posterior fossa AVMs based largely on the strategies acquired and developed by the senior author (H.H.B.). Emphasis is placed on conceptual principles of AVM excision, as well as principles incorporated for the treatment of each specific type of infratentorial malformation.

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Yiemeng Hoi, Hui Meng, Scott H. Woodward, Bernard R. Bendok, Ricardo A. Hanel, Lee R. Guterman and L. Nelson Hopkins

Object. Few researchers have quantified the role of arterial geometry in the pathogenesis of saccular cerebral aneurysms. The authors investigated the effects of parent artery geometry on aneurysm hemodynamics and assessed the implications relative to aneurysm growth and treatment effectiveness.

Methods. The hemodynamics of three-dimensional saccular aneurysms arising from the lateral wall of arteries with varying arterial curves (starting with a straight vessel model) and neck sizes were studied using a computational fluid dynamics analysis. The effects of these geometric parameters on hemodynamic parameters, including flow velocity, aneurysm wall shear stress (WSS), and area of elevated WSS during the cardiac cycle (time-dependent impact zone), were quantified. Unlike simulations involving aneurysms located on straight arteries, blood flow inertia (centrifugal effects) rather than viscous diffusion was the predominant force driving blood into aneurysm sacs on curved arteries. As the degree of arterial curvature increased, flow impingement on the distal side of the neck intensified, leading to elevations in the WSS and enlargement of the impact zone at the distal side of the aneurysm neck.

Conclusions. Based on these simulations the authors postulate that lateral saccular aneurysms located on more curved arteries are subjected to higher hemodynamic stresses. Saccular aneurysms with wider necks have larger impact zones. The large impact zone at the distal side of the aneurysm neck correlates well with other findings, implicating this zone as the most likely site of aneurysm growth or regrowth of treated lesions. To protect against high hemodynamic stresses, protection of the distal side of the aneurysm neck from flow impingement is critical.