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Christopher S. Eddleman and James K. Liu

✓Optic nerve sheath meningiomas (ONSMs) are rare tumors of the anterior visual pathway and constitute approximately 2% of all orbital tumors and 1–2% of all meningiomas. Untreated ONSMs almost always lead to progressive visual decline, color blindness, and finally complete loss of vision. Although resection is warranted in cases of widespread ONSM, surgery can lead to significant morbidity. Recently, stereotactic fractionated radiotherapy has shown effectiveness in improving or stabilizing remaining visual function with minimal procedural morbidity in patients with ONSM. The authors review the incidence, histopathological characteristics, clinical presentation, neuroimaging findings, and current treatment modalities for ONSMs, with an emphasis on fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy.

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Christopher S. Eddleman, H. Hunt Batjer and Sean Lavine

This issue of Neurosurgical Focus comes at an exciting and perhaps transformational time for those neuroscientists and clinicians involved in the study and treatment of complex cerebrovascular disease. Our diagnostic and therapeutic practices have seen dramatic advances. Imaging capabilities, both anatomical and functional, have improved at a dramatic rate and include neuronavigation modalities for intraoperative guidance, the application of new MR imaging sequences to cerebrovascular disease, and fluorescence angiography to aid in intraoperative decision making.

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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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Omar M. Arnaout, Bradley A. Gross, Christopher S. Eddleman, Bernard R. Bendok, Christopher C. Getch and H. Hunt Batjer

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the posterior fossa are complex neurovascular lesions that are less common than their supratentorial counterparts, accounting for < 15% of all AVMs. The majority of patients with these lesions present with intracranial hemorrhage, a factor that has been consistently shown to increase one's risk for subsequent bleeding. Studies have additionally shown a posterior fossa or deep AVM location to portend a more aggressive natural history. The authors reviewed the literature on posterior fossa AVMs, finding their annual rupture rates to be as high as 11.6%, an important factor that underscores the importance of aggressive treatment of lesions amenable to intervention as therapeutic options and results continue to improve.

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

The second leading cause of death and disability in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is delayed cerebral ischemia due to vasospasm. Although up to 70% of patients have been shown to have angiographic evidence of vasospasm, only 20–30% will present with clinical changes, including mental status changes and neurological deficits that necessitate acute management. Endovascular capabilities have progressed to become viable options in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm. The rationale for intraarterial therapy includes the fact that morbidity and mortality rates have not changed in recent years despite optimized noninvasive medical care. In this report, the authors discuss the most common endovascular options—namely intraarterial vasodilators and transluminal balloon angioplasty—from the standpoint of mechanism, efficacy, limitations, and complications as well as the treatment algorithms for cerebral vasospasm used at our institution.

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Daniel L. Surdell, Ziad A. Hage, Christopher S. Eddleman, Dhanesh K. Gupta, Bernard R. Bendok and H. Hunt Batjer

The modern management of intracranial aneurysms includes both constructive and deconstructive strategies to eliminate the aneurysm from the circulation. Both microsurgical and endovascular techniques are used to achieve this goal. Although most aneurysms can be eliminated from the circulation with simple clip reconstruction and/or coil insertion, some require revascularization techniques to enhance tolerance of temporary arterial occlusion during clipping of the aneurysm neck or to enable proximal occlusion or trapping. In fact, the importance of revascularization techniques has grown because of the need for complex reconstructions when endovascular therapies fail. Moreover, the safety and feasibility of bypass have progressed due to advances in neuroanesthesia, technological innovations, and ~ 5 decades of accumulating wisdom by bypass practitioners. Cerebral revascularization strategies become necessary in select patients who possess challenging vascular aneurysms due to size, shape, location, intramural thrombus, atherosclerotic plaques, aneurysm type (for example, dissecting aneurysms), vessels arising from the dome, or poor collateral vascularization when parent artery or branch occlusion is required. These techniques are used to prevent cerebral ischemia and subsequent clinical sequelae. Bypass techniques should be considered in cases in which balloon test occlusion demonstrates inadequate cerebral blood flow and in which there is a need for Hunterian ligation, trapping, or prolonged temporary occlusion. This review article will focus on decision making in bypass surgery for complex aneurysms. Specifically, the authors will review graft options, the utility of balloon test occlusion in decision making, and bypass strategies for various aneurysm types.

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Christopher S. Eddleman, Hyun Jeong, Ty A. Cashen, Matthew Walker, Bernard R. Bendok, H. Hunt Batjer and Timothy J. Carroll

Spinal vascular malformations (SVMs) are an uncommon, heterogeneous group of vascular anomalies that can render devastating neurological consequences if they are not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion. Imaging SVMs has always presented a formidable challenge because their clinical and imaging presentations resemble those of neoplasms, demyelination diseases, and infection. Advancements in noninvasive imaging modalities (MR and CT angiography) have increased during the last decade and have improved the ability to accurately diagnose spinal vascular anomalies. In addition, intraoperative imaging techniques have been developed that aid in the intraoperative assessment before, during, and after resection of these lesions with minimal and/or optimal use of spinal digital subtraction angiography. In this report, the authors review recent advancements in the imaging of SVMs that will likely lead to more timely diagnoses and treatment while reducing procedural risk exposure to the patients who harbor these uncommon spinal lesions.