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Brian J. Dlouhy, Bruno A. Policeni and Arnold H. Menezes

OBJECTIVE

Os odontoideum (OO) is a craniovertebral junction (CVJ) abnormality in which an ossicle (small bone) is cranial to a hypoplastic dens by a variable gap. This abnormality can result in instability, which may be reducible or irreducible. What leads to irreducibility in OO is unclear. Therefore, the authors sought to better understand the causes of irreducibility in OO.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted, which identified more than 200 patients who had undergone surgical treatment for OO between 1978 and 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Only the 41 patients who had irreducible OO were included in this study. All inpatient and outpatient records were retrospectively reviewed, and patient demographics, clinical presentation, radiographic findings, surgical treatment, and operative findings were recorded and analyzed.

RESULTS

The cohort of 41 patients who were found to have irreducible OO included both children and adults. A majority of patients were adults (61% were 18 years or older). Clinical presentation included neck pain and headache in the majority of patients (93%). Weakness, sensory disturbances, and myelopathy were invariably present in all 41 patients (100%). Down syndrome was much more common in the pediatric cohort than in the adult cohort; of the 16 pediatric patients, 6 had Down syndrome (38%), and none of the adults did. Of the 16 pediatric patients, 5 had segmentation failure (31%) in the subaxial spine, and none of the adults did. A form of atlantoaxial dislocation was seen in all cases. On CT imaging, atlantoaxial facets were dislocated in all 41 cases but did not have osseous changes that would have prevented reduction. On MRI, the transverse ligament was identified anterior and inferior to the ossicle and superior to the hypoplastic odontoid process in all cases in which these studies were available (i.e., post-MRI era; 36 of 36 cases). The ligament was hypointense on T2-weighted images but also had an associated hyperintense signal on T2 images. Intraoperatively, the transverse ligament was identified anterior and inferior to the ossicle and superior to the hypoplastic odontoid process in all 41 cases.

CONCLUSIONS

In the largest series to date of irreducible OO and the only study to examine variable factors that lead to irreducibility in OO, the authors found that the position of the transverse ligament anterior and inferior to the ossicle is the most common factor in the irreducibility of OO. The presence of granulation tissue and of the dystopic variant of OO is also associated with irreducibility. The presence of Down syndrome and segmentation failure probably leads to faster progression of ligamentous incompetence and therefore earlier presentation of instability and irreducibility. This is the first study in which intraoperative findings regarding the transverse ligament have been correlated with MRI.

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David K. Kung, Bruno A. Policeni, Ana W. Capuano, James D. Rossen, Pascal M. Jabbour, James C. Torner, Matthew A. Howard III and David Hasan

Object

Intracranial stenting has improved the ability to treat wide-neck aneurysms via endovascular techniques. However, stent placement necessitates the use of antiplatelet agents, and the latter may complicate the treatment of patients with acutely ruptured aneurysms who demonstrate hydrocephalus and require ventriculostomy. Antiplatelet agents in this setting could increase the incidence of ventriculostomy-related hemorrhagic complications, but there are insufficient data in the medical literature to quantify this potential risk. The aim of this study was to directly quantify the risk of ventriculostomy-related hemorrhage in patients with acute aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage treated with stent-assisted coiling.

Methods

The authors retrospectively identified 131 patients who underwent endovascular treatment for an acutely ruptured aneurysm as well as ventriculostomy or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement. The rate of hemorrhagic complications associated with ventriculostomy or VP shunt insertion was compared between patients who underwent coiling without a stent (Group 1) and those who underwent stent-assisted coiling and dual antiplatelet therapy (Group 2).

Results

One hundred nine ventriculostomies or VP shunt placement procedures were performed in 91 patients in Group 1, and 50 procedures were undertaken in 40 patients in Group 2. The rates of radiographic hemorrhage and symptomatic hemorrhage were significantly higher in Group 2 (32% vs 14.7%, p = 0.02; and 8% vs 0.9%, p = 0.03, respectively). On multivariate analyses, Group 2 had 3.42 times the odds of a radiographic hemorrhage (95% CI 1.46–8.04, p = 0.0048) after adjusting for antiplatelet use prior to admission.

Conclusions

The application of dual antiplatelet therapy in stent-assisted coiling of acutely ruptured aneurysms is associated with an increase in the risk of hemorrhagic complications following ventriculostomy or VP shunt placement, as compared with its use in a coiling procedure without a stent.

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Daichi Nakagawa, Yasunori Nagahama, Bruno A. Policeni, Madhavan L. Raghavan, Seth I. Dillard, Anna L. Schumacher, Srivats Sarathy, Brian J. Dlouhy, Saul Wilson, Lauren Allan, Henry H. Woo, John Huston III, Harry J. Cloft, Max Wintermark, James C. Torner, Robert D. Brown Jr. and David M. Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Aneurysm growth is considered predictive of future rupture of intracranial aneurysms. However, how accurately neuroradiologists can reliably detect incremental aneurysm growth using clinical MRI is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the agreement rate of detecting aneurysm enlargement employing generally used MRI modalities.

METHODS

Three silicone flow phantom models, each with 8 aneurysms of various sizes at different sites, were used in this study. The aneurysm models were identical except for an incremental increase in the sizes of the 8 aneurysms, which ranged from 0.4 mm to 2 mm. The phantoms were imaged on 1.5-T and 3-T MRI units with both time-of-flight (TOF) and contrast-enhanced MR angiography. Three independent expert neuroradiologists measured the aneurysms in a blinded manner using different measurement approaches. The individual and agreement detection rates of aneurysm enlargement among the 3 experts were calculated.

RESULTS

The mean detection rate of any increase in any aneurysmal dimension was 95.7%. The detection rates of the 3 observers (observers A, B, and C) were 98.0%, 96.6%, and 92.7%, respectively (p = 0.22). The detection rates of each MRI modality were 91.3% using 1.5-T TOF, 97.2% using 1.5-T with Gd, 95.8% using 3.0-T TOF, and 97.2% using 3.0-T with Gd (p = 0.31). On the other hand, the mean detection rate for aneurysm enlargement was 54.8%. Specifically, the detection rates of observers A, B, and C were 49.0%, 46.1%, and 66.7%, respectively (p = 0.009). As the incremental enlargement value increased, the detection rate for aneurysm enlargement increased. The use of 1.5-T Gd improved the detection rate for small incremental enlargement (e.g., 0.4–1 mm) of the aneurysm (p = 0.04). The location of the aneurysm also affected the detection rate for aneurysm enlargement (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

The detection rate and interobserver agreement were very high for aneurysm enlargement of 0.4–2 mm. The detection rate for at least 1 increase in any aneurysm dimension did not depend on the choice of MRI modality or measurement protocol. Use of Gd improved the accuracy of measurement. Aneurysm location may influence the accuracy of detecting enlargement.