Kyle M. Fargen and Brian L. Hoh
Hasan A. Zaidi, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Robert F. Spetzler, Cameron G. McDougall and Felipe C. Albuquerque
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.
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.
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%.
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.
Adib A. Abla, Cameron M. McDougall, Jonathan D. Breshears and Michael T. Lawton
Intracranial-to-intracranial (IC-IC) bypasses are alternatives to traditional extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) bypasses to reanastomose parent arteries, reimplant efferent branches, revascularize branches with in situ donor arteries, and reconstruct bifurcations with interposition grafts that are entirely intracranial. These bypasses represent an evolution in bypass surgery from using scalp arteries and remote donor sites toward a more local and reconstructive approach. IC-IC bypass can be utilized preferentially when revascularization is needed in the management of complex aneurysms. Experiences using IC-IC bypass, as applied to posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms in 35 patients, were reviewed.
Patients with PICA aneurysms and vertebral artery (VA) aneurysms involving the PICA’s origin were identified from a prospectively maintained database of the Vascular Neurosurgery Service, and patients who underwent bypass procedures for PICA revascularization were included.
During a 17-year period in which 129 PICA aneurysms in 125 patients were treated microsurgically, 35 IC-IC bypasses were performed as part of PICA aneurysm management, including in situ p3-p3 PICA-PICA bypass in 11 patients (31%), PICA reimplantation in 9 patients (26%), reanastomosis in 14 patients (40%), and 1 V3 VA-to-PICA bypass with an interposition graft (3%). All aneurysms were completely or nearly completely obliterated, 94% of bypasses were patent, 77% of patients were improved or unchanged after treatment, and good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale ≤ 2) were observed in 76% of patients. Two patients died expectantly. Ischemic complications were limited to 2 patients in whom the bypasses occluded, and permanent lower cranial nerve morbidity was limited to 3 patients and did not compromise independent function in any of the patients.
PICA aneurysms receive the application of IC-IC bypass better than any other aneurysm, with nearly one-quarter of all PICA aneurysms treated microsurgically at our center requiring bypass without a single EC-IC bypass. The selection of PICA bypass is almost algorithmic: trapped aneurysms at the PICA origin or p1 segment are revascularized with a PICA-PICA bypass, with PICA reimplantation as an alternative; trapped p2 segment aneurysms are reanastomosed, bypassed in situ, or reimplanted; distal p3 segment aneurysms are reanastomosed or revascularized with a PICA-PICA bypass; and aneurysms of the p4 segment that are too distal for PICA-PICA bypass are reanastomosed. Interposition grafts are reserved for when these 3 primary options are unsuitable. A constructive approach that preserves the PICA with direct clipping or replaces flow with a bypass when sacrificed should remain an alternative to deconstructive PICA occlusion and endovascular coiling when complete aneurysm occlusion is unlikely.
Cameron G. McDougall, Robert F. Spetzler, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Joseph M. Zabramski and Peter Nakaji
Andrew S. Little, John F. Kerrigan, Cameron G. McDougall, Joseph M. Zabramski, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Peter Nakaji and Robert F. Spetzler
Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is an underrecognized and poorly understood complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The authors evaluated the risk factors, electroencephalographic (EEG) characteristics, hospital course, and clinical outcomes associated with NCSE in a population with SAH treated at a single institution.
The hospitalization and outcome data were reviewed in 11 patients who had received a diagnosis of NCSE and SAH. The study included individuals from a cohort of 389 consecutive patients with SAH who were treated between March 2003 and June 2005, and who were analyzed retrospectively. The patients' medical history, neurological grade, events of hospitalization, EEG morphological patterns, and disposition were analyzed.
Advanced age, female sex, need for ventriculostomy, poor neurological grade (Hunt and Hess Grade III, IV, or V), thick cisternal blood clots, and structural lesions (intracerebral hemorrhage and stroke) were common in the population with NCSE. Patients with normal results on angiograms, good neurological grade (Hunt and Hess Grade I or II), and minimal SAH (Fisher Grade 1 or 2) were at lower risk. The most common ictal patterns were intermittent, and consisted of generalized periodic epileptiform discharges. Medical complications were also frequent, and the outcome of these patients was poor despite aggressive treatment regimens.
Nonconvulsive status epilepticus is a devastating complication of SAH with a high rate of associated morbidity. Based on these findings it appears that the patients at highest risk for NCSE can be identified, and this should provide a basis for further studies designed to determine the clinical significance of various EEG patterns and to develop preventative strategies.
Ruth E. Bristol, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Robert F. Spetzler, Harold L. Rekate, Cameron G. McDougall and Joseph M. Zabramski
Children compose 3 to 20% of the patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs); however, AVMs are responsible for 30 to 50% of intracranial hemorrhages in children.
The medical records of 82 children with 84 AVMs treated surgically between 1983 and 2005 were reviewed. Fifty-two patients (63%) presented with hemorrhage, 13.4% presented with seizures, and AVMs in 12% were found incidentally. Patients with brainstem lesions presented at a significantly younger age (p = 0.002) than those harboring lesions in other locations. Frontal lobe lesions were significantly smaller than those in other locations, and thalamic lesions were significantly larger (p = 0.012 and 0.005, respectively). Most patients with Spetzler–Martin Grades I to III lesions underwent craniotomy only. Half of the patients with Grade IV and V lesions underwent embolization, craniotomy, and radiosurgery.
The mean follow-up period was 43 months. Postoperatively, the initial obliteration rate was 65%, with a long-term obliteration rate of 90%. The perioperative mortality rate was 3.7%. Altogether, 81% of patients had excellent outcomes, and patients with Grade I lesions had the best outcomes. Of the 52 patients who presented with hemorrhage, 17% had fair or poor outcomes. The recurrence rate was 5.6%.
Children with AVMs may be more prone than adults to present with a hemorrhage and to experience recurrence of the lesion after treatment. The authors favor resection for most AVMs in children and use embolization as a preoperative strategy for Grades II to V lesions treated surgically. Prehemorrhagic Grade IV and V lesions may best be treated conservatively and observed carefully for the development of symptoms. Long-term follow up of all patients is essential.
Robert F. Spetzler, Joseph M. Zabramski, Cameron G. McDougall, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Nancy K. Hills, Robert C. Wallace and Peter Nakaji
The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) is a prospective, randomized trial in which treatment with clipping was compared to treatment with coil embolization. Patients were randomized to treatment on presentation with any nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Because all other randomized trials comparing these 2 types of treatments have been limited to saccular aneurysms, the authors analyzed the current BRAT data for this subgroup of lesions.
The primary BRAT analysis included all sources of SAH: nonaneurysmal lesions; saccular, blister, fusiform, and dissecting aneurysms; and SAHs from an aneurysm associated with either an arteriovenous malformation or a fistula. In this post hoc review, the outcomes for the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms were further analyzed by type of treatment. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by an independent neuroradiologist not involved in treatment.
Of the 471 patients enrolled in the BRAT, 362 (77%) had an SAH from a saccular aneurysm. Patients with saccular aneurysms were assigned equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). In each cohort, 3 patients died before treatment and 178 were treated. Of the 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale score > 2) between these 2 treatment arms at any recorded time point during 6 years of follow-up. After the initial hospitalization, 1 of 241 (0.4%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 21 of 115 (18%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 6-year follow-up, 95% (95/100) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with 40% (16/40) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). There was no difference in morbidity between the 2 treatment groups (p = 0.10).
In the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms enrolled in the BRAT, there was no significant difference between modified Rankin Scale outcomes at any follow-up time in patients with saccular aneurysms assigned to clipping compared with those assigned to coiling (intent-to-treat analysis). At the 6-year follow-up evaluation, rates of retreatment and complete aneurysm obliteration significantly favored patients who underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling.
Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (clinicaltrials.gov)
R. Webster Crowley, Andrew F. Ducruet, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Louis J. Kim, Felipe C. Albuquerque and Cameron G. McDougall
The widespread implementation of the embolic agent Onyx has changed the endovascular management of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Recent data suggest that outcomes following embolization and resection may have worsened in the Onyx era. It has been hypothesized that there may be increased complications with Onyx embolization and increased surgical aggressiveness in patients treated with Onyx. In this study the authors analyzed their institutional experience with the endovascular treatment of cerebral AVMs prior to and after the introduction of Onyx to determine factors associated with periprocedural neurological morbidity and mortality.
A retrospective review was performed of all patients with cerebral AVMs undergoing embolization at the Barrow Neurological Institute from 1995 to 2012.
Endovascular treatment of 342 cerebral AVMs was performed over 446 treatment sessions (mean age 37.8 years, range 1–83 years). Clinical presentation included hemorrhage in 47.6%, seizures in 21.9%, headaches in 11.1%, and no symptoms in 10% of cases. The endovascular pretreatment strategy was preoperative in 78.9%, preradiosurgery in 9.1%, palliative in 5.3%, targeted in 4.4%, and curative in 2.3%. The median Spetzler-Martin grade was III. The mean number of arteries embolized was 3.5 (range 0–13 arteries), and the mean number of treatment sessions was 1.3 (range 1–4 sessions). Onyx was used in 105 AVMs (30.7%), and N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA) without Onyx was used in 229 AVMs (67%). AVMs treated with Onyx had a higher mean number of arterial pedicles embolized than did NBCA cases (4.3 ± 2.7 vs 3.2 ± 2.4, respectively; p < 0.001) and a greater number of sessions (1.5 ± 0.7 vs 1.2 ± 0.5, respectively; p < 0.05). Unexpected immediate postprocedural permanent neurological deficits were present in 9.6% of AVMs, while transient deficits were present in 1.8%. There was 1 death (0.3%). Spetzler-Martin grade was not associated with differences in outcome, as permanent neurological deficits were observed in 12%, 9%, 13%, 11%, and 13% of AVMs for Spetzler-Martin Grades I–V, respectively (p = 0.91). The use of Onyx compared with NBCA was not associated with differences in periprocedural morbidity (p = 0.23). This lack of a difference persisted even when controlling for number of arteries and sessions (p = 0.14). Sex was not associated with differences in outcome.
Permanent and transient postprocedural neurological deficits were noted in 9.6% and 1.8% of all cases, respectively. AVM grade was not associated with endovascular outcome. Despite the greater number of sessions required and arteries embolized for Onyx cases, there was no statistically significant difference in the risk of neurological deficits following cerebral AVM embolization with Onyx and NBCA.
Cameron G. McDougall, Robert F. Spetzler, Joseph M. Zabramski, Shahram Partovi, Nancy K. Hills, Peter Nakaji and Felipe C. Albuquerque
The purpose of this ongoing study is to compare the safety and efficacy of microsurgical clipping and endovascular coil embolization for the treatment of acutely ruptured cerebral aneurysms and to determine if one treatment is superior to the other by examining clinical and angiographic outcomes. The authors examined the null hypothesis that no difference exists between the 2 treatment modalities in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The current report is limited to the clinical results at 1 year after treatment.
The authors screened 725 patients with SAH, resulting in 500 eligible patients who were enrolled prospectively in the study after giving their informed consent. Patients were assigned in an alternating fashion to surgical aneurysm clipping or endovascular coil therapy. Intake evaluations and outcome measurements were collected by nurse practitioners independent of the treating surgeons. Ultimately, 238 patients were assigned to aneurysm clipping and 233 to coil embolization. The 2 treatment groups were well matched. There were no anatomical exclusions. Crossing over was allowed, but primary outcome analysis was based on the initial treatment modality assignment. Posttreatment care was standardized for both groups. Patient outcomes at 1 year were independently assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). A poor outcome was defined as an mRS score > 2 at 1 year. The primary outcome was based on the assigned group; that is, by intent to treat.
One year after treatment, 403 patients were available for evaluation. Of these, 358 patients had actually undergone treatment. The remainder either died before treatment or had no identifiable source of SAH. A poor outcome (mRS score > 2) was observed in 33.7% of the patients assigned to aneurysm clipping and in 23.2% of the patients assigned to coil embolization (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.08–2.61; p = 0.02). Of treated patients assigned to the coil group, 124 (62.3%) of the 199 who were eligible for any treatment actually received endovascular coil embolization. Patients who crossed over from coil to clip treatment fared worse than patients assigned to coil embolization, but no worse than patients assigned to clip occlusion. No patient treated by coil embolization suffered a recurrent hemorrhage.
One year after treatment, a policy of intent to treat favoring coil embolization resulted in fewer poor outcomes than clip occlusion. Although most aneurysms assigned to the coil treatment group were treated by coil embolization, a substantial number crossed over to surgical clipping. Although a policy of intent to treat favoring coil embolization resulted in fewer poor outcomes at 1 year, it remains important that high-quality surgical clipping be available as an alternative treatment modality.