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Brian T. Jankowitz and A. Leland Albright

✓A split cord malformation (SCM) is a rare congenital disorder involving a division of the spinal cord that results in two distinct hemicords divided by bone, cartilage, or a fibrous septum. Cutaneous manifestations of SCMs are common, including hypertrichosis, dimples, hemangiomas, nevi, lipomas, and sinus tracts. In this report, the authors describe cutaneous manifestations of SCMs in three patients, including a rare report of near fully formed digits overlying the SCM.

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Ezequiel Goldschmidt, Amir H. Faraji, Brian T. Jankowitz, Paul Gardner and Robert M. Friedlander

Near-infrared (NIR) light is commonly used to map venous anatomy in the upper extremities to gain intravenous access for line placement. In this report, the authors describe the use of a common and commercially available NIR vein finder to delineate the cortical venous anatomy prior to dural opening.

During a variety of cranial approaches, the dura was directly visualized using an NIR vein finder. The NIR light source allowed for recognition of the underlying cortical venous anatomy, dural sinuses, and underlying pathology before the dura was opened. This information was considered when tailoring the dural opening. When the dura was illuminated with the NIR vein finder, the underlying cortical and sinus venous anatomy was evident and correlated with the observed cortical anatomy. The vein finder was also accurate in locating superficial lesions and pathological dural veins. A complete accordance in the findings on the pre– and post–dural opening images was observed in all cases.

This simple, inexpensive procedure is readily compatible with operative room workflow, necessitates no head fixation, and offers a real-time image independent of brain shift.

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William J. Ares, Brian T. Jankowitz, Daniel A. Tonetti, Bradley A. Gross and Ramesh Grandhi

OBJECTIVE

Penetrating cerebrovascular injury (PCVI) is a subset of traumatic brain injury (TBI) comprising a broad spectrum of cerebrovascular pathology, including traumatic pseudoaneurysms, direct arterial injury, venous sinus stenosis or occlusion, and traumatic dural arteriovenous fistulas. These can result in immediate or delayed vascular injury and consequent neurological morbidity. Current TBI guidelines recommend cerebrovascular imaging for detection, but there is no consensus on the optimum modality. The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to compare CT angiography (CTA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the diagnosis of PCVI.

METHODS

The records of all patients presenting to two level I trauma centers in the United States between January 2010 and July 2016 with penetrating head or neck trauma were reviewed. Only those who had undergone both CTA and DSA were included. Clinical and neuroimaging data were collected, and PCVIs were stratified using a modified Biffl grading scheme. DSA and CTA results were then compared.

RESULTS

Of 312 patients with penetrating trauma over the study period, 56 patients (91% male, mean age 32 years) with PCVI met inclusion criteria and constituted the study cohort. The mechanism of injury was a gunshot wound in 86% (48/56) of patients. Twenty-four (43%) patients had sustained an angiographically confirmed arterial or venous injury. Compared with DSA as the gold standard, CTA had a sensitivity and specificity of 72% and 63%, respectively, for identifying PCVI. CTA had a positive predictive value of 61% and negative predictive value of 70%. Seven patients (13%) required immediate endovascular treatment of PCVI; in 3 (43%) of these patients, the injury was not identified on CTA. Twenty-two patients (39%) underwent delayed DSA an average of 25 days after injury; 2 (9%) of these patients were found to harbor new pathological conditions requiring treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective analysis of PCVI at two large trauma centers, CTA demonstrated low sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for the diagnosis of PCVI. These findings suggest that DSA provides better accuracy than CTA in the diagnosis of both immediate and delayed PCVI and should be considered for patients experiencing penetrating head or neck trauma.

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Bradley A. Gross, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Brian T. Jankowitz and Tudor G. Jovin

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Richard H. Singleton, Brian T. Jankowitz, Daniel A. Wecht and Paul A. Gardner

Object

The use of commercially available topical hemostatic adjuncts has increased the safety profile of surgery as a whole. Cranial surgery has also benefited from the development of numerous agents designed to permit more rapid achievement of hemostasis. Flowable topical hemostatic agents applied via syringe injection are now commonly employed in many neurosurgical procedures, including cranial surgery. Intravascular use of these strongly thrombogenic agents is contraindicated, but in certain settings, inadvertent intravascular administration can occur, resulting in vascular occlusion, thrombosis, and potential dissemination. To date, there have no reports detailing the presence and incidence of this complication.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of all cranial surgeries performed at Presbyterian University Hospital by members of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Department of Neurological Surgery between 2007 and 2009. Cases complicated by vascular occlusion due to inadvertent intravascular administration of flowable topical hemostatic matrix (FTHM) were identified and analyzed.

Results

Iatrogenic vascular occlusion induced by FTHM was identified in 5 (0.1%) of 3969 cranial surgery cases. None of these events occurred in 3318 supratentorial cases, whereas 5 cases of cerebral venous sinus occlusion occurred in 651 infratentorial cases (0.8%). The risk of accidental vessel occlusion was significantly associated with infratentorial surgery, and all events occurred in the transverse and/or sigmoid sinus. No episodes of inadvertent vascular occlusion occurred during endoscopic surgery. No cases of arterial occlusion were identified. Of the 5 patients with FTHM-related cerebral venous sinus occlusion, none developed long-term neurological sequelae referable to the event.

Conclusions

Inadvertent intravascular administration of FTHM is a rare complication associated with cranial surgery that occurs most commonly during infratentorial procedures around the transverse and/or sigmoid sinuses. Modifications in the choice of when to use an FTHM and the method of application may help prevent accidental venous sinus administration.

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Brian T. Jankowitz, Nirav Vora, Tudor Jovin and Michael Horowitz

Object

Onyx-18 is a relatively new liquid embolic agent. The initial success with this polymer will result in increased utilization in children, but its use and safety in the pediatric population have not been firmly established.

Methods

Between December 2005 and January 2008, the cerebral vascular malformations in 6 children were embolized using Onyx-18. The ages of the patients ranged from 1 day to 12 years. Pathological types of the vascular malformations included 4 arteriovenous malformations and 2 vein of Galen malformations. Clinical presentations included intracranial hemorrhage in 2 patients, papilledema in 1 patient, and high-output heart failure in 3 patients.

Results

In 6 pediatric patients, 21 embolization procedures were performed utilizing a combination of Onyx-18, platinum coils, and Embosphere microspheres. The average estimated size reduction for the arteriovenous malformations was 60%. Total obliteration of a malformation was achieved in 1 patient. Two patients received adjuvant radiosurgery. Of the 2 vein of Galen malformations, one was completely embolized and the other had an ~ 50% reduction in flow. No open surgical intervention was used. Clinical follow-up ranged from 7 to 12 months. Angiographic follow-up data were obtained at 1, 6, and 7 months in 3 patients, whereas 1 patient awaits repeat angiography. Complications included a transient monoparesis with complete resolution in 1 patient. Two patients died within 24 hours of an embolization procedure due to intracranial hemorrhages.

Conclusions

Onyx-18 is a feasible embolization agent for use in intracranial vascular malformations in the pediatric population, but long-term follow-up data will be necessary to assess the continued efficacy and safety of this agent.

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Bradley A. Gross, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, Brian T. Jankowitz, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Tudor G. Jovin and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

The rarity of cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) has precluded analysis of their natural history across large cohorts. Investigators from a considerable proportion of the few reports that do exist have evaluated heterogeneous groups of untreated and partially treated lesions. In the present study, the authors exclusively evaluated the untreated course of dAVFs across a multi-institutional data set to delineate demographic, angiographic, and natural history data.

METHODS

A multi-institutional database of dAVFs was queried for demographic and angiographic data as well as untreated disease course. After dAVFs were stratified by Djindjian type, annual nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit (NHND) and hemorrhage rates were derived, as were risk factors for each. A multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression model was used to calculate hazard ratios.

RESULTS

Two hundred ninety-five dAVFs had at least 1 month of untreated follow-up. For 126 Type I dAVFs, there were no episodes of NHND or hemorrhage over 177 lesion-years. Respective annualized NHND and hemorrhage rates were 4.5% and 3.4% for Type II, 6.0% and 4.0% for Type III, and 4.5% and 9.1% for Type IV dAVFs. The respective annualized NHND and hemorrhage rates were 2.3% and 2.9% for asymptomatic Type II–IV dAVFs, 23.1% and 3.3% for dAVFs presenting with NHND, and 0% and 46.2% for lesions presenting with hemorrhage. On multivariate analysis, NHND presentation (HR 11.49, 95% CI 3.19–63) and leptomeningeal venous drainage (HR 5.03, 95% CI 0.42–694) were significant risk factors for NHND; hemorrhagic presentation (HR 17.67, 95% CI 2.99–117) and leptomeningeal venous drainage (HR 10.39, 95% CI 1.11–1384) were significant risk factors for hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS

All Type II–IV dAVFs should be considered for treatment. Given the high risk of rebleeding, lesions presenting with NHND and/or hemorrhage should be treated expediently.

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Gurpreet S. Gandhoke, Yash K. Pandya, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Tudor Jovin, Robert M. Friedlander, Kenneth J. Smith and Brian T. Jankowitz

OBJECTIVE

The price of coils used for intracranial aneurysm embolization has continued to rise despite an increase in competition in the marketplace. Coils on the US market range in list price from $500 to $3000. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential cost savings with the use of a price capitation model.

METHODS

The authors built a clinical decision analytical tree and compared their institution’s current expenditure on endovascular coils to the costs if a capped-price model were implemented. They retrospectively reviewed coil and cost data for 148 patients who underwent coil embolization from January 2015 through September 2016. Data on the length and number of coils used in all patients were collected and analyzed. The probabilities of a treated aneurysm being ≤/> 10 mm in maximum dimension, the total number of coils used for a case being ≤/> 5, and the total length of coils used for a case being ≤/> 50 cm were calculated, as was the mean cost of the currently used coils for all possible combinations of events with these probabilities. Using the same probabilities, the authors calculated the expected value of the capped-price strategy in comparison with the current one. They also conducted multiple 1-way sensitivity analyses by applying plausible ranges to the probabilities and cost variables. The robustness of the results was confirmed by applying individual distributions to all studied variables and conducting probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

RESULTS

Ninety-five (64%) of 148 patients presented with a rupture, and 53 (36%) were treated on an elective basis. The mean aneurysm size was 6.7 mm. A total of 1061 coils were used from a total of 4 different providers. Companies A (72%) and B (16%) accounted for the major share of coil consumption. The mean number of coils per case was 7.3. The mean cost per case (for all coils) was $10,434. The median total length of coils used, for all coils, was 42 cm. The calculated probability of treating an aneurysm less than 10 mm in maximum dimension was 0.83, for using 5 coils or fewer per case it was 0.42, and for coil length of 50 cm or less it was 0.89. The expected cost per case with the capped policy was calculated to be $4000, a cost savings of $6564 in comparison with using the price of Company A. Multiple 1-way sensitivity analyses revealed that the capped policy was cost saving if its cost was less than $10,500. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, the lowest cost difference between current and capped policies was $2750.

CONCLUSIONS

In comparison with the cost of coils from the authors’ current provider, their decision model and probabilistic sensitivity analysis predicted a minimum $407,000 to a maximum $1,799,976 cost savings in 148 cases by adapting the capped-price policy for coils.

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Bruno C. Flores, Alfred P. See, Gregory M. Weiner, Brian T. Jankowitz, Andrew F. Ducruet and Felipe C. Albuquerque

OBJECTIVE

Liquid embolic agents have revolutionized endovascular management of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). Nonetheless, since 2005, the US FDA has received more than 100 reports of microcatheter breakage or entrapment related to Onyx embolization, including 9 deaths. In 2014, the Apollo detachable-tip microcatheter became the first of its kind available in the US. Since then, few reports on its safety have been published.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of endovascular cases by searching the patient databases at 2 tertiary cerebrovascular centers (Barrow Neurological Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Patients who underwent endovascular embolization of an AVM or AVF using the Apollo microcatheter were identified. Patient demographics and lesion characteristics were collected. The authors analyzed Apollo-specific endovascular variables, such as number of microcatheterizations, sessions, and pedicles embolized; microcatheter tip detachment status; obliteration rate; and endovascular- and microcatheter-related morbidity and mortality.

RESULTS

From July 2014 to October 2016, a total of 177 embolizations using the Apollo microcatheter were performed in 61 patients (mean age 40.3 years). The most frequent presentation was hemorrhage (22/61, 36.1%). Most lesions were AVMs (51/61, 83.6%; mean diameter 30.6 mm). The mean Spetzler-Martin grade was 2.4. Thirty-nine (76.5%) of 51 patients with AVMs underwent resection. Microcatheterization was successful in 172 pedicles. Most patients (50/61, 82%) underwent a single embolization session. The mean number of pedicles per session was 2.5 (range 1–7). Onyx-18 was used in 103 (59.9%), N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA) in 44 (25.6%), and Onyx-34 in 25 (14.5%) of the 172 embolizations. In 45.9% (28/61) of the patients, lesion obliteration of 75% or greater was achieved. Tip detachment occurred in 19.2% (33/172) of microcatheters. Fifty-three (86.9%) of the 61 patients who underwent embolization with the Apollo microcatheter had good functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2). No unintended microcatheter fractures or related morbidity was observed. One patient died of intraprocedural complications unrelated to microcatheter selection. In the univariate analysis, microcatheter tip detachment (p = 0.12), single embolized pedicles (p = 0.12), and smaller AVM nidus diameter (p = 0.17) correlated positively with high obliteration rates (> 90%). In the multivariate analysis, microcatheter tip detachment was the only independent variable associated with high obliteration rates (OR 9.5; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The use of the Apollo detachable-tip microcatheter for embolization of AVMs and AVFs is associated with high rates of successful catheterization and obliteration and low rates of morbidity and mortality. The microcatheter was retrieved in all cases, even after prolonged injections in distal branch pedicles, often with significant reflux. This study represents the largest case series on the application of the Apollo microcatheter for neurointerventional procedures.

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Andrew J. Ringer, Clemens M. Schirmer, Brian T. Jankowitz and for the Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG)