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Editorial

The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

Giuseppe Lanzino

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Ignacio Arrese and Rosario Sarabia

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Ruth E. Bristol, Felipe C. Albuquerque and Cameron G. McDougall

✓ Endovascular therapy for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains a relatively new approach. Beginning in the 1960s with the use of flow-directed techniques for selective embolization, hemodynamic alterations have been used to treat these lesions. In every aspect of treatment, technological advances, including catheters, embolic materials, angiography suites, and pharmacological agents, have improved outcomes while lowering the risk to patients.

In this article, the authors review the technical evolution of endovascular AVM therapy. Developments in embolic materials, beginning with foreign bodies and autografts and continuing through to highly engineered contemporary substances, are discussed. Finally, changes in treatment paradigms that have occurred over the years are traced. Within neurosurgery, this specialty has shown some of the fastest growth and development in recent decades. As minimally invasive approaches are embraced in all areas of medicine, it is clear that this treatment modality will continue to be refined.

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Hasan A. Zaidi, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Robert F. Spetzler, Cameron G. McDougall and Felipe C. Albuquerque

OBJECT

Pediatric cerebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are rare but potentially lethal vascular lesions. Management strategies for these lesions have undergone considerable evolution in the last decade with the advent of new endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical technologies. This study sought to review current treatment strategies and long-term clinical outcomes at a high-volume cerebrovascular institute.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on patients with a diagnosis of cerebral AVF from 1999 to 2012. Patients with carotid-cavernous fistulas, vein of Galen malformations, and age > 18 years were excluded from final analysis. Medical history, surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and clinical outcomes were documented. Pre- and postoperative angiograms were analyzed to assess for obliteration of the fistula.

RESULTS

Seventeen patients with pial AVFs (29.4%), dural AVFs (64.7%), or mixed pial/dural AVFs (5.9%) were identified. The majority of lesions were paramedian (70.6%) and supratentorial (76.5%). The study population had a mean age of 6.4 years, with a slight male predominance (52.9%), and the most common presenting symptoms were seizures (23.5%), headaches (17.6%), congestive heart failure (11.7%), and enlarging head circumference (11.7%). Among patients who underwent intervention (n = 16), 56.3% were treated with endovascular therapy alone, 6.3% were treated with open surgery alone, and 37.5% required a multimodal approach. Overall, 93.8% of the treated patients received endovascular treatment, 43.8% received open surgery, and 12.5% received radiosurgery. Endovascular embolysates included Onyx (n = 5), N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA; n = 4), or coil embolization (n = 7) with or without balloon assistance (n = 2). Complete angiographic obliteration was achieved in 87.5% at the last follow-up evaluation (mean follow-up 3.1 years). One infant with incomplete AVF obliteration died of congestive heart failure, and 1 patient with complete obliteration died of acute sinus thrombosis, with an overall complication rate of 18.8%.

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric cerebral AVFs are challenging neurosurgical lesions. Although advancements in endovascular therapy in the last decade have greatly changed the natural course of this disease, a multidisciplinary approach remains necessary for a large subset of patients. Surgeon experience with a thorough analysis of preoperative imaging is paramount to achieving acceptable clinical outcomes.

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L. Fernando Gonzalez, Louis Kim, Harold L. Rekate, Cameron G. Mcdougall and Felipe C. Albuquerque

✓Atrial shunt revision surgeries are sometimes difficult due to venous occlusion and neck scarring. A direct approach guided by venography facilitates exposure and guarantees accurate placement of the distal catheter. Five patients with complicated histories of shunt malfunction were treated using an endoscope-assisted technique. The distal end of an atrial catheter was advanced into the atrium after having been connected to a venous catheter of a slightly smaller diameter than the one previously advanced from the femoral vein through the atrium. Once the position of the atrial catheter was confirmed fluoroscopically, the venous catheter was detached and removed. No complications developed in any patient.

This endoscope-assisted technique offers three advantages: it demonstrates the patency of the jugular vein through venography, facilitates identification of the internal jugular vein in the neck, and provides a quick way to confirm that the distal end of the atrial catheter has been placed correctly. This technique should be considered for use in patients with a history of failed atrial shunts.

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Shervin R. Dashti, David Fiorella, Robert F. Spetzler, Elisa Beres, Cameron G. McDougall and Felipe C. Albuquerque

Cavernous malformations (CMs) or hemangiomas arising from within the dural sinuses are rare entities that differ from their parenchymal counterparts in that they are highly vascular lesions. While parenchymal CMs are typically angiographically occult, intrasinus malformations may have large, dural-based arterial feeding vessels that are amenable to preoperative embolization. The novel liquid embolic Onyx (ev3, Inc.) is an ideal agent for the embolization of these lesions. The authors present the first known case of a giant intrasinus CM embolized with Onyx before gross-total resection.

The authors report the case of a 9-year-old boy with brief apneic episodes in whom MR imaging revealed a giant CM arising from within the right transverse and sigmoid sinuses and infiltrating the right tentorium cerebelli. At another institution, the patient had undergone 1 prior embolization and 2 unsuccessful attempts at resection. Both surgeries had been complicated by massive blood loss and were aborted.

Under the authors' care, the patient underwent preoperative transarterial embolization with Onyx during which a substantial volume of the mass lesion was filled with embolisate. Subsequently, complete circumferential excision of the mass from the tentorium was accomplished with minimal intraoperative blood loss.