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Jared Narvid, Matthew R. Amans, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, William P. Dillon, Randall T. Higashida, Christopher F. Dowd, and Van V. Halbach

OBJECT

Retroclival hematomas are rare, appearing mostly as posttraumatic phenomena in children. Spontaneous retroclival hematoma (SRH) in the absence of trauma also has few descriptions in the literature. None of the reported clinical cases features the combination of an SRH and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Nevertheless, despite extensive cases of idiopathic or angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) of the posterior fossa, only a single case report of a patient with a unique spontaneous retroclival hematoma has been identified. In this study, the authors reviewed the presentation, management, and clinical outcome of this rare entity.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of all patients with diagnosed SRH at their institution over a 3-year period. Collected data included clinical history, laboratory results, treatment, and review of all imaging studies performed.

RESULTS

Four patients had SRH. All were appropriately evaluated for coagulopathic and/or traumatic etiologies of hemorrhage, though no etiology could be found. Moreover, all of the patients demonstrated SRH that both clearly crossed the basioccipital synchondrosis and was contained within a nondependent configuration along the retroclival dura mater.

CONCLUSIONS

Spontaneous retroclival hematoma, often associated with IVH, is a rare subtype of intracranial hemorrhage frequently recognized only when MRI demonstrates compartmentalization of the posterior fossa hemorrhage. When angiography fails to reveal an underlying lesion, SRH patients, like patients with traditional angiographically negative SAH, enjoy a remarkably good prognosis.

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Fabio Settecase, Andrew D. Nicholson, Matthew R. Amans, Randall T. Higashida, Van V. Halbach, Daniel L. Cooke, Christopher F. Dowd, and Steven W. Hetts

A 13-year-old boy with meningiomatosis, McCune-Albright syndrome, and gray platelet syndrome presented with an enlarging “lump” on his right forehead. A head CT scan revealed a polyostotic fibrous dysplasia involving the entire skull. A 3.4-cm right frontal osseous cavity and an overlying right forehead subcutaneous soft-tissue mass were seen, measuring 5.2 cm in diameter and 1.6 cm thick. Ultrasound of the cavity and overlying mass showed swirling of blood and an arterialized waveform. MRI revealed an en plaque meningioma underlying the cavity. An intraosseous pseudoaneurysm fed by 3 distal anterior division branches of the right middle meningeal artery (MMA) with contrast extravasation was found on angiography. Two MMA feeders were embolized with Onyx, with anterograde filling of the intraosseous cavity with Onyx. A small pocket of residual intracavity contrast filling postembolization from a smaller third MMA feeder eventually thrombosed and the forehead lump regressed.

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Sara C. LaHue, Helen Kim, Ludmila Pawlikowska, Jeffrey Nelson, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, and Vineeta Singh

OBJECTIVE

The pathogenesis of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) remains poorly defined. Prior studies on thrombophilia as a risk factor for DAVF development are limited by small sample sizes and poor generalizability.

METHODS

In this longitudinal observational study, all patients with intracranial DAVFs evaluated at the University of California, San Francisco from December 1994 through April 2014 were identified. After obtaining patient consent, 3 thrombophilic mutations, factor V Leiden (rs6025), MTHFR (rs1801133), and prothrombin G20210A, were genotyped. The authors evaluated the association of thrombophilia status (presence of any thrombophilic mutation) and clinical and angiographic characteristics using either a 2-sample t-test or Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS

A total of 116 patients with diagnosed intracranial DAVFs were included in the study. Twenty-five (22%) patients met criteria for thrombophilia. Focal neurological deficits tended to occur more frequently in the thrombophilia group (78% vs 57%, p = 0.09). Angiographic characteristics of DAVFs, including high-risk venous flow pattern, multiplicity of DAVF, and the presence of venous sinus thrombosis, did not differ significantly between the 2 groups but tended to be more common in the thrombophilic than in the nonthrombophilic group.

CONCLUSIONS

This study is one of the largest of thrombophilia and DAVF to date. The frequency of mutations associated with thrombophilia in this study was higher than that in the general population.

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Sabino Luzzi, Mattia Del Maestro, and Renato Galzio

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Sara C. LaHue, Helen Kim, Ludmila Pawlikowska, Jeffrey Nelson, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, and Vineeta Singh

OBJECTIVE

The pathogenesis of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) remains poorly defined. Prior studies on thrombophilia as a risk factor for DAVF development are limited by small sample sizes and poor generalizability.

METHODS

In this longitudinal observational study, all patients with intracranial DAVFs evaluated at the University of California, San Francisco from December 1994 through April 2014 were identified. After obtaining patient consent, 3 thrombophilic mutations, factor V Leiden (rs6025), MTHFR (rs1801133), and prothrombin G20210A, were genotyped. The authors evaluated the association of thrombophilia status (presence of any thrombophilic mutation) and clinical and angiographic characteristics using either a 2-sample t-test or Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS

A total of 116 patients with diagnosed intracranial DAVFs were included in the study. Twenty-five (22%) patients met criteria for thrombophilia. Focal neurological deficits tended to occur more frequently in the thrombophilia group (78% vs 57%, p = 0.09). Angiographic characteristics of DAVFs, including high-risk venous flow pattern, multiplicity of DAVF, and the presence of venous sinus thrombosis, did not differ significantly between the 2 groups but tended to be more common in the thrombophilic than in the nonthrombophilic group.

CONCLUSIONS

This study is one of the largest of thrombophilia and DAVF to date. The frequency of mutations associated with thrombophilia in this study was higher than that in the general population.

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Steven W. Hetts, Parham Moftakhar, Neil Maluste, Heather J. Fullerton, Daniel L. Cooke, Matthew R. Amans, Christopher F. Dowd, Randall T. Higashida, and Van V. Halbach

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are rare in children. This study sought to better characterize DAVF presentation, angioarchitecture, and treatment outcomes.

METHODS

Children with intracranial DAVFs between 1986 and 2013 were retrospectively identified from the neurointerventional database at the authors' institution. Demographics, clinical presentation, lesion angioarchitecture, treatment approaches, angiographic outcomes, and clinical outcomes were assessed.

RESULTS

DAVFs constituted 5.7% (22/423) of pediatric intracranial arteriovenous shunting lesions. Twelve boys and 10 girls presented between 1 day and 18 years of age; boys presented at a median of 1.3 years and girls presented at a median of 4.9 years. Four of 8 patients ≤ 1 year of age presented with congestive heart failure compared with 0/14 patients > 1 year of age (p = 0.01). Five of 8 patients ≤ 1 year old presented with respiratory distress compared with 0/14 patients > 1 year old (p = 0.0021). Ten of 14 patients > 1 year old presented with focal neurological deficits compared with 0/8 patients ≤ 1 year old (p = 0.0017). At initial angiography, 16 patients harbored a single intracranial DAVF and 6 patients had 2–6 DAVFs. Eight patients (38%) experienced DAVF obliteration by the end of treatment. Good clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) was documented in 77% of patients > 1 year old at presentation compared with 57% of patients ≤ 1 year old at presentation. Six patients (27%) died.

CONCLUSIONS

Young children with DAVFs presented predominantly with cardiopulmonary symptoms, while older children presented with focal neurological deficits. Compared with other pediatric vascular shunts, DAVFs had lower rates of angiographic obliteration and poorer clinical outcomes.

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Grace F. Donzelli, Jeffrey Nelson, David McCoy, Charles E. McCulloch, Steven W. Hetts, Matthew R. Amans, Christopher F. Dowd, Van V. Halbach, Randall T. Higashida, Michael T. Lawton, Helen Kim, and Daniel L. Cooke

OBJECTIVE

Preoperative embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is performed to facilitate resection, although its impact on surgical performance has not been clearly defined. The authors tested for associations between embolization and surgical performance metrics.

METHODS

The authors analyzed AVM cases resected by one neurosurgeon from 2006 to 2017. They tested whether cases with and without embolization differed from one another with respect to patient and AVM characteristics using t-tests for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables. They used simple and multivariable regression models to test whether surgical outcomes (blood loss, resection time, surgical clip usage, and modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score) were associated with embolization. Additional regression analyses integrated the peak arterial afferent contrast normalized for the size of the region of interest (Cmax/ROI) into models as an additional predictor.

RESULTS

The authors included 319 patients, of whom 151 (47%) had preoperative embolization. Embolized AVMs tended to be larger (38% with diameter > 3 cm vs 19%, p = 0.001), less likely to have hemorrhaged (48% vs 63%, p = 0.013), or be diffuse (19% vs 29%, p = 0.045). Embolized AVMs were more likely to have both superficial and deep venous drainage and less likely to have exclusively deep drainage (32% vs 17% and 12% vs 23%, respectively; p = 0.002). In multivariable analysis, embolization was not a significant predictor of blood loss or mRS score changes, but did predict longer operating times (+29 minutes, 95% CI 2–56 minutes; p = 0.034) and increased clip usage (OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.45–4.71; p = 0.001). Cmax/ROI was not a significant predictor, although cases with large Cmax/ROI tended to have longer procedure times (+25 minutes per doubling of Cmax/ROI, 95% CI 0–50 minutes; p = 0.051).

CONCLUSIONS

In this series, preoperative embolization was associated with longer median resection times and had no association with intraoperative blood loss or mRS score changes.

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Parham Moftakhar, Daniel L. Cooke, Heather J. Fullerton, Nerissa U. Ko, Matthew R. Amans, Jared A. Narvid, Christopher F. Dowd, Randall T. Higashida, Van V. Halbach, and Steven W. Hetts

OBJECT

Although the development and prevalence of cerebral vasospasm (CV) has been extensively investigated in adults, little data exist on the development of CV in children. The authors hypothesized that even though children have highly vasoreactive arteries, because of a robust cerebral collateral blood flow, they rarely develop symptomatic CV.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their university hospital's neurointerventional database for children (that is, patients ≤ 18 years) who were examined or treated for aneurysmal or traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) during the period 1990–2013. Images from digital subtraction angiography (DSA) were analyzed for the extent of CV and collateralization of the cerebral circulation. Results from transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography were correlated with those from DSA. Cerebral vasospasm on TCD ultrasonography was defined according to criteria developed for adults. Clinical outcomes of CV were assessed with the pediatric modified Rankin Scale (mRS).

RESULTS

Among 37 children (21 boys and 16 girls ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years) showing symptoms of an aneurysmal SAH (comprising 32 aneurysms and 5 traumatic pseudoaneurysms), 17 (46%) had CV confirmed by DSA; CV was mild in 21% of these children, moderate in 50%, and severe in 29%. Only 3 children exhibited symptomatic CV, all of whom had poor collateralization of cerebral vessels. Among the 14 asymptomatic children, 10 (71%) showed some degree of vessel collateralization. Among 16 children for whom TCD data were available that could be correlated with the DSA findings, 13 (81%) had CV according to TCD criteria. The sensitivity and specificity of TCD ultrasonography for diagnosing CV were 95% and 59%, respectively. The time to CV onset detected by TCD ultrasonography was 5 ± 3 days (range 2–10 days). Twenty-five (68%) of the children had good long-term outcomes (that is, had mRS scores of 0–2).

CONCLUSIONS

Children have a relatively high incidence of angiographically detectable, moderate-to-severe CV. Children rarely develop symptomatic CV and have good long-term outcomes, perhaps due to robust cerebral collateral blood flow. Criteria developed for detecting CV with TCD ultrasonography in adults overestimate the prevalence of CV in children. Larger studies are needed to define TCD ultrasonography–based CV criteria for children.

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Sen Gao, Jeffrey Nelson, Shantel Weinsheimer, Ethan A. Winkler, Caleb Rutledge, Adib A. Abla, Nalin Gupta, Joseph T. Shieh, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Tarik Tihan, Christopher P. Hess, Nerissa Ko, Brian P. Walcott, Charles E. McCulloch, Michael T. Lawton, Hua Su, Ludmila Pawlikowska, and Helen Kim

OBJECTIVE

Sporadic brain arteriovenous malformation (BAVM) is a tangled vascular lesion characterized by direct artery-to-vein connections that can cause life-threatening intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Recently, somatic mutations in KRAS have been reported in sporadic BAVM, and mutations in other mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway genes have been identified in other vascular malformations. The objectives of this study were to systematically evaluate somatic mutations in MAPK pathway genes in patients with sporadic BAVM lesions and to evaluate the association of somatic mutations with phenotypes of sporadic BAVM severity.

METHODS

The authors performed whole-exome sequencing on paired lesion and blood DNA samples from 14 patients with sporadic BAVM, and 295 genes in the MAPK signaling pathway were evaluated to identify genes with somatic mutations in multiple patients with BAVM. Digital droplet polymerase chain reaction was used to validate KRAS G12V and G12D mutations and to assay an additional 56 BAVM samples.

RESULTS

The authors identified a total of 24 candidate BAVM-associated somatic variants in 11 MAPK pathway genes. The previously identified KRAS G12V and G12D mutations were the only recurrent mutations. Overall, somatic KRAS G12V was present in 14.5% of BAVM lesions and G12D was present in 31.9%. The authors did not detect a significant association between the presence or allelic burden of KRAS mutation and three BAVM phenotypes: lesion size (maximum diameter), age at diagnosis, and age at ICH.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors confirmed the high prevalence of somatic KRAS mutations in sporadic BAVM lesions and identified several candidate somatic variants in other MAPK pathway genes. These somatic variants may contribute to understanding of the etiology of sporadic BAVM and the clinical characteristics of patients with this condition.

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Ethan A. Winkler, Alex Lu, Ramin A. Morshed, John K. Yue, W. Caleb Rutledge, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Arati B. Patel, Simon G. Ammanuel, Steve Braunstein, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) consist of dysplastic blood vessels with direct arteriovenous shunts that can hemorrhage spontaneously. In children, a higher lifetime hemorrhage risk must be balanced with treatment-related morbidity. The authors describe a collaborative, multimodal strategy resulting in effective and safe treatment of pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database was performed in children with treated and nontreated pediatric AVMs at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1998 to 2017. Inclusion criteria were age ≤ 18 years at time of diagnosis and an AVM confirmed by a catheter angiogram.

RESULTS

The authors evaluated 189 pediatric patients with AVMs over the study period, including 119 ruptured (63%) and 70 unruptured (37%) AVMs. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.6 ± 4.3 years. With respect to Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, there were 38 (20.1%) grade I, 40 (21.2%) grade II, 62 (32.8%) grade III, 40 (21.2%) grade IV, and 9 (4.8%) grade V lesions. Six patients were managed conservatively, and 183 patients underwent treatment, including 120 resections, 82 stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and 37 endovascular embolizations. Forty-four of 49 (89.8%) high-grade AVMs (SM grade IV or V) were treated. Multiple treatment modalities were used in 29.5% of low-grade and 27.3% of high-grade AVMs. Complete angiographic obliteration was obtained in 73.4% of low-grade lesions (SM grade I–III) and in 45.2% of high-grade lesions. A periprocedural stroke occurred in a single patient (0.5%), and there was 1 treatment-related death. The mean clinical follow-up for the cohort was 4.1 ± 4.6 years, and 96.6% and 84.3% of patients neurologically improved or remained unchanged in the ruptured and unruptured AVM groups following treatment, respectively. There were 16 bleeding events following initiation of AVM treatment (annual rate: 0.02 events per person-year).

CONCLUSIONS

Coordinated multidisciplinary evaluation and individualized planning can result in safe and effective treatment of children with AVMs. In particular, it is possible to treat the majority of high-grade AVMs with an acceptable safety profile. Judicious use of multimodality therapy should be limited to appropriately selected patients after thorough team-based discussions to avoid additive morbidity. Future multicenter studies are required to better design predictive models to aid with patient selection for multimodal pediatric care, especially with high-grade AVMs.