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Christopher W. Rich, Rebecca E. Fasano, Faical Isbaine, Amit M. Saindane, Deqiang Qiu, Daniel J. Curry, Robert E. Gross, and Jon T. Willie

OBJECTIVE

Several small series have described stereotactic MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for partial callosotomy of astatic and generalized tonic-clonic (GTC) seizures, especially in association with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Larger case series and comparison of distinct stereotactic methods for stereotactic laser corpus callosotomy (SLCC), however, are currently lacking. The objective of this study was to report seizure outcomes in a series of adult patients with epilepsy following anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures and to compare the results achieved with a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance frames.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed sequential adult epilepsy surgery patients who underwent SLCC procedures at a single institution. They describe workflows, stereotactic errors, percentage disconnection, hospitalization durations, adverse events, and seizure outcomes after performing anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures using a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance platforms.

RESULTS

Thirteen patients underwent 15 SLCC procedures. The median age at surgery was 29 years (range 20–49 years), the median duration of epilepsy was 21 years (range 9–48 years), and median postablation follow-up was 20 months (range 4–44 months). Ten patients underwent anterior SLCC with a median 73% (range 33%–80%) midsagittal length of callosum acutely ablated. Following anterior SLCC, 6 of 10 patients achieved meaningful (> 50%) reduction of target seizures. Four patients underwent posterior (completion) SLCC following prior anterior callosotomy, and 1 patient underwent complete SLCC as a single procedure; 3 of these 5 patients experienced meaningful reduction of target seizures. Overall, 8 of 10 patients in whom astatic seizures were targeted and treated by anterior and/or posterior SLCC experienced meaningful improvement. SLCC procedures with direct MRI guidance (n = 7) versus a frameless surgical robot (n = 8) yielded median radial accuracies of 1.1 mm (range 0.2–2.0 mm) versus 2.4 mm (range 0.6–6.1 mm; p = 0.0011). The most serious adverse event was a clinically significant intraparenchymal hemorrhage in a patient who underwent the robotic technique.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest reported series of SLCC for epilepsy to date. SLCC provides seizure outcomes comparable to open surgery outcomes reported in the literature. Direct MRI guidance is more accurate, which has the potential to reduce the risks of SLCC. Methodological advancements and larger studies are needed.

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Chad W. Washington, Gregory J. Zipfel, Michael R. Chicoine, Colin P. Derdeyn, Keith M. Rich, Christopher J. Moran, DeWitte T. Cross, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Object

The purpose of aneurysm surgery is complete aneurysm obliteration while sparing associated arteries. Indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography is a new technique that allows for real-time evaluation of blood flow in the aneurysm and vessels. The authors performed a retrospective study to compare the accuracy of ICG videoangiography with intraoperative angiography (IA), and determine if ICG videoangiography can be used without follow-up IA.

Methods

From June 2007 through September 2009, 155 patients underwent craniotomies for clipping of aneurysms. Operative summaries, angiograms, and operative and ICG videoangiography videos were reviewed. The number, size, and location of aneurysms, the ICG videoangiography and IA findings, and the need for clip adjustment after ICG videoangiography and IA were recorded. Discordance between ICG videoangiography and IA was defined as ICG videoangiography demonstrating aneurysm obliteration and normal vessel flow, but post-IA showing either an aneurysmal remnant and/or vessel occlusion requiring clip adjustment.

Results

Thirty-two percent of patients (49 of 155) underwent both ICG videoangiography and IA. The post-ICG videoangiography clip adjustment rate was 4.1% (2 of 49). The overall rate of ICG videoangiography–IA agreement was 75.5% (37 of 49) and the ICG videoangiography–IA discordance rate requiring post-IA clip adjustment was 14.3% (7 of 49). Adjustments were due to 3 aneurysmal remnants and 4 vessel occlusions. These adjustments were attributed to obscuration of the residual aneurysm or the affected vessel from the field of view and the presence of dye in the affected vessel via collateral flow. Although not statistically significant, there was a trend for ICG videoangiography–IA discordance requiring clip adjustment to occur in cases involving the anterior communicating artery complex, with an odds ratio of 3.3 for ICG videoangiography–IA discordance in these cases.

Conclusions

These results suggest that care should be taken when considering ICG videoangiography as the sole means for intraoperative evaluation of aneurysm clip application. The authors further conclude that IA should remain the gold standard for evaluation during aneurysm surgery. However, a combination of ICG videoangiography and IA may ultimately prove to be the most effective strategy for maximizing the safety and efficacy of aneurysm surgery.

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Colin P. Derdeyn, DeWitte T. Cross III, Christopher J. Moran, George W. Brown, Thomas K. Pilgram, Michael N. Diringer, Robert L. Grubb Jr., Keith M. Rich, Michael R. Chicoine, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Object. Ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) may occur after the treatment of intracranial aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). The purpose of the present study is to investigate possible risk factors for thromboembolic events and to determine their frequency and time course.

Methods. The records of 178 consecutive patients with 193 treated intracranial saccular aneurysms were reviewed. A total of 159 GDC procedures were performed to treat 143 aneurysms in 133 of those patients who were in good neurological condition, allowing clinical detection of postprocedure ischemic events (TIA or stroke). The association of clinical, anatomical, and pharmacological factors with intraprocedure intraarterial thrombus and with postprocedure ischemic events was investigated by using uni- and multivariate analyses.

Thrombus protruding into the parent artery was noted during six of 159 GDC procedures, resulting in a clinical deficit in one patient. No factor was associated with intraprocedure intraarterial thrombus. Ten postprocedure ischemic events occurred in nine patients. Seven events occurred within 24 hours, and three events occurred between 24 hours and 58 days. Aneurysm diameter and protruding coils were significant independent predictors of postprocedure ischemic events in multivariate analysis (both p = 0.02). The actuarial risk of stroke was 3.8%.

Conclusions. Larger aneurysm diameter and protruding loops of coils are associated with postprocedure ischemic events after GDC placement. It is unlikely that GDC-treated aneurysms retain thromboembolic potential beyond 2 months.

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Chad W. Washington, Colin P. Derdeyn, Rajat Dhar, Eric J. Arias, Michael R. Chicoine, DeWitte T. Cross, Ralph G. Dacey Jr., Byung Hee Han, Christopher J. Moran, Keith M. Rich, Ananth K. Vellimana, and Gregory J. Zipfel

OBJECT

Studies show that phosphodiesterase-V (PDE-V) inhibition reduces cerebral vasospasm (CVS) and improves outcomes after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). This study was performed to investigate the safety and effect of sildenafil (an FDA-approved PDE-V inhibitor) on angiographic CVS in SAH patients.

METHODS

A2-phase, prospective, nonrandomized, human trial was implemented. Subarachnoid hemorrhage patients underwent angiography on Day 7 to assess for CVS. Those with CVS were given 10 mg of intravenous sildenafil in the first phase of the study and 30 mg in the second phase. In both, angiography was repeated 30 minutes after infusion. Safety was assessed by monitoring neurological examination findings and vital signs and for the development of adverse reactions. For angiographic assessment, in a blinded fashion, pre- and post-sildenafil images were graded as “improvement” or “no improvement” in CVS. Unblinded measurements were made between pre- and post-sildenafil angiograms.

RESULTS

Twelve patients received sildenafil; 5 patients received 10 mg and 7 received 30 mg. There were no adverse reactions. There was no adverse effect on heart rate or intracranial pressure. Sildenafil resulted in a transient decline in mean arterial pressure, an average of 17% with a return to baseline in an average of 18 minutes. Eight patients (67%) were found to have a positive angiographic response to sildenafil, 3 (60%) in the low-dose group and 5 (71%) in the high-dose group. The largest degree of vessel dilation was an average of 0.8 mm (range 0–2.1 mm). This corresponded to an average percentage increase in vessel diameter of 62% (range 0%–200%).

CONCLUSIONS

The results from this Phase I safety and proof-of-concept trial assessing the use of intravenous sildenafil in patients with CVS show that sildenafil is safe and well tolerated in the setting of SAH. Furthermore, the angiographic data suggest that sildenafil has a positive impact on human CVS.

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Spiros L. Blackburn, William W. Ashley Jr., Keith M. Rich, Joseph R. Simpson, Robert E. Drzymala, Wilson Z. Ray, Christopher J. Moran, DeWitte T. Cross III, Michael R. Chicoine, Ralph G. Dacey Jr., Colin P. Derdeyn, and Gregory J. Zipfel

Object

Large cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are often not amenable to direct resection or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment. An alternative treatment strategy is staged endovascular embolization followed by SRS (Embo/SRS). The object of this study was to examine the experience at Washington University in St. Louis with Embo/SRS for large AVMs and review the results in earlier case series.

Methods

Twenty-one cases involving patients with large AVMs treated with Embo/SRS between 1994 and 2006 were retrospectively evaluated. The AVM size (before and after embolization), procedural complications, radiological outcome, and neurological outcome were examined. Radiological success was defined as AVM obliteration as demonstrated by catheter angiography, CT angiography, or MR angiography. Radiological failure was defined as residual AVM as demonstrated by catheter angiography, CT angiography, or MR angiography performed at least 3 years after SRS.

Results

The maximum diameter of all AVMs in this series was > 3 cm (mean 4.2 cm); 12 (57%) were Spetzler-Martin Grade IV or V. Clinical follow-up was available in 20 of 21 cases; radiological follow-up was available in 19 of 21 cases (mean duration of follow-up 3.6 years). Forty-three embolization procedures were performed; 8 embolization-related complications occurred, leading to transient neurological deficits in 5 patients (24%), minor permanent neurological deficits in 3 patients (14%), and major permanent neurological deficits in none (0%). Twenty-one SRS procedures were performed; 1 radiation-induced complication occurred (5%), leading to a permanent minor neurological deficit. Of the 20 patients with clinical follow-up, none experienced cerebral hemorrhage. In the 19 patients with radiological follow-up, AVM obliteration was confirmed by catheter angiography in 13, MR angiography in 2, and CT angiography in 1. Residual nidus was found in 3 patients. In patients with follow-up catheter angiography, the AVM obliteration rate was 81% (13 of 16 cases).

Conclusions

Staged endovascular embolization followed by SRS provides an effective means of treating large AVMs not amenable to standard surgical or SRS treatment. The outcomes and complication rates reported in this series compare favorably to the results of other reported therapeutic strategies for this very challenging patient population.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Ridhima Guniganti, Eric J. Arias, Kshitij Desai, Chad W. Washington, Yan Yan, Hua Weng, Chengjie Xiong, Emily Fondahn, DeWitte T. Cross, Christopher J. Moran, Keith M. Rich, Michael R. Chicoine, Rajat Dhar, Ralph G. Dacey Jr., Colin P. Derdeyn, and Gregory J. Zipfel

OBJECTIVE

Despite persisting questions regarding its appropriateness, 30-day readmission is an increasingly common quality metric used to influence hospital compensation in the United States. However, there is currently insufficient evidence to identify which patients are at highest risk for readmission after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The objective of this study was to identify predictors of 30-day readmission after SAH, to focus preventative efforts, and to provide guidance to funding agencies seeking to risk-adjust comparisons among hospitals.

METHODS

The authors performed a case-control study of 30-day readmission among aneurysmal SAH patients treated at a single center between 2003 and 2013. To control for geographic distance from the hospital and year of treatment, the authors randomly matched each case (30-day readmission) with approximately 2 SAH controls (no readmission) based on home ZIP code and treatment year. They evaluated variables related to patient demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, comorbidities, presentation severity (e.g., Hunt and Hess grade), and clinical course (e.g., need for gastrostomy or tracheostomy, length of stay). Conditional logistic regression was used to identify significant predictors, accounting for the matched design of the study.

RESULTS

Among 82 SAH patients with unplanned 30-day readmission, the authors matched 78 patients with 153 nonreadmitted controls. Age, demographics, and socioeconomic factors were not associated with readmission. In univariate analysis, multiple variables were significantly associated with readmission, including Hunt and Hess grade (OR 3.0 for Grade IV/V vs I/II), need for gastrostomy placement (OR 2.0), length of hospital stay (OR 1.03 per day), discharge disposition (OR 3.2 for skilled nursing vs other disposition), and Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 2.3 for score ≥ 2 vs 0). However, the only significant predictor in the multivariate analysis was discharge to a skilled nursing facility (OR 3.2), and the final model was sensitive to criteria used to enter and retain variables. Furthermore, despite the significant association between discharge disposition and readmission, less than 25% of readmitted patients were discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

CONCLUSIONS

Although discharge disposition remained significant in multivariate analysis, most routinely collected variables appeared to be weak independent predictors of 30-day readmission after SAH. Consequently, hospitals interested in decreasing readmission rates may consider multifaceted, cost-efficient interventions that can be broadly applied to most if not all SAH patients.