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Endovascular management of intracranial vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms

Felipe C. Albuquerque, David J. Fiorella, Patrick P. Han, Vivek R. Deshmukh, Louis J. Kim, and Cameron G. Mcdougall

Object

Intracranial vertebral artery (VA) dissecting aneurysms often present with severe subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and dramatic neurological injury. The authors reviewed the management of 23 cases in an effort to evaluate treatment efficacy and outcomes.

Methods

The records of 23 patients who underwent endovascular treatment were reviewed to determine symptoms, type of therapy, complications, and clinical outcomes. All patients were evaluated using records kept in a prospectively maintained database.

Ten men and 13 women (age range 35–72 years; mean age 49 years) were treated over an 8-year period. Twelve patients presented with poor-grade SAH, five with good-grade SAH, three with headache, and two with stroke. The other patient's aneurysm was discovered incidentally. Treatment included coil occlusion of the artery at the aneurysm in 21 patients and stent-assisted coil placement in two. Parent artery sacrifice was successful in all cases, whereas both patients treated with stent-assisted coil insertion suffered recurrences. No patient sustained permanent complications as a result of treatment. Two patients died due to the severity of their original SAH. Findings were normal in 14 patients on follow-up review (including five of the 12 presenting with poor-grade SAH), five had fixed neurological deficits but were able to care for themselves, and one was permanently disabled.

Conclusions

Despite their often aggressive neurological presentation, intracranial VA dissecting aneurysms can be managed safely with coil occlusion of the lesion and/or parent artery. Even patients presenting in poor neurological condition may improve dramatically.

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Preoperative Onyx embolization of a giant cavernous malformation involving the dural sinuses

Case report

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.

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Safety and efficacy of the Pipeline embolization device for treatment of intracranial aneurysms: a pooled analysis of 3 large studies

David F. Kallmes, Waleed Brinjikji, Saruhan Cekirge, David Fiorella, Ricardo A. Hanel, Pascal Jabbour, Demetrius Lopes, Pedro Lylyk, Cameron G. McDougall, and Adnan Siddiqui

OBJECTIVE

The authors performed a pooled analysis of 3 studies—IntrePED (International Retrospective Study of the Pipeline Embolization Device), PUFS (Pipeline for Uncoilable or Failed Aneurysms Study), and ASPIRe (Aneurysm Study of Pipeline in an Observational Registry)—in order to assess angiographic outcomes and clinical safety of the Pipeline embolization device (PED).

METHODS

IntrePED was a retrospective study, while PUFS and ASPIRe were prospective studies. For each patient included in these studies, the authors collected baseline demographic data, aneurysm characteristics, and procedural details. The primary outcomes for this combined analysis were clinical outcomes, including neurological morbidity and mortality and major ipsilateral intracranial hemorrhage and ischemic stroke. The secondary outcomes were angiographic occlusion rates, which were available for ASPIRe and PUFS only.

RESULTS

A total of 1092 patients with 1221 aneurysms were included across the 3 studies. The mean aneurysm size was 12.0 ± 7.8 mm and the mean neck size was 6.6 ± 4.8 mm. The major ipsilateral ischemic stroke rate was 3.7% (40/1091). The major ipsilateral intracranial hemorrhage rate was 2.0% (22/1091). The major neurological morbidity rate was 5.7% (62/1091). The neurological mortality rate was 3.3% (36/1091). The combined major morbidity and neurological mortality rate was 7.1% (78/1091). The complete occlusion rates were 75.0% at 180 days (111/148) and 85.5% at 1 year (94/110). The overall aneurysm retreatment rate was 3.0% (33/1091) at a mean follow-up time of 10.2 ± 10.8 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms with the PED is safe and effective. Angiographic occlusion rates progressed with follow-up. Rates of stroke, hemorrhage, morbidity and mortality, and retreatment were low, especially given the fact that the aneurysms treated were generally large and wide necked.

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Vertical atlantoaxial distraction injuries: radiological criteria and clinical implications

L. Fernando Gonzalez, David Fiorella, Neil R. Crawford, Robert C. Wallace, Iman Feiz-Erfan, Denise Drumm, Stephen M. Papadopoulos, and Volker K.H. Sonntag

Object. The authors sought to establish radiological criteria for the diagnosis of C1–2 vertical distraction injuries.

Methods. Conventional radiography, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings in five patients with a C1–2 vertical distraction injury were correlated with their clinical history, operative findings, and autopsy findings. The basion—dens interval (BDI) and the C-1 and C-2 lateral mass interval (LMI) were measured in 93 control patients who underwent CT angiography; these measurements were used to define the normal BDI and LMI. The MR imaging results obtained in 30 healthy individuals were used to characterize the normal signal intensity of the C1–2 joint. The MR imaging results were compared with MR images obtained in five patients with distraction injuries.

In the 93 patients, the BDI averaged 4.7 mm (standard deviation [SD] 1.7 mm, range 0.6–9 mm) and the LMI averaged 1.7 mm (SD 0.48 mm, range 0.7–3.3 mm). Based on CT scanning in the five patients with distraction injuries, the BDIs (mean 11.9 mm, SD 3.2 mm; p < 0.001) and LMIs (mean 5.5 mm, SD 2 mm; p < 0.0001) were significantly greater than in the control group. Fast—spin echo inversion-recovery MR images obtained in these five patients revealed markedly increased signal distributed throughout the C1–2 lateral mass articulations bilaterally.

Conclusions. In 95% of healthy individuals, the LMI ranged between 0.7 and 2.6 mm. An LMI greater than 2.6 mm indicates the possibility of a distraction injury, which can be confirmed using MR imaging. Patients with a suspected C1–2 distraction injury may be candidates for surgical fusion of C1–2.

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Histopathological assessment of fatal ipsilateral intraparenchymal hemorrhages after the treatment of supraclinoid aneurysms with the Pipeline Embolization Device

Report of 3 cases

Yin C. Hu, Vivek R. Deshmukh, Felipe C. Albuquerque, David Fiorella, Randal R. Nixon, Donald V. Heck, Stanley L. Barnwell, and Cameron G. McDougall

Object

Delayed ipsilateral intraparenchymal hemorrhage has been observed following aneurysm treatment with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED). The relationship of this phenomenon to the device and/or procedure remains unclear. The authors present the results of histopathological analyses of the brain sections from 3 patients in whom fatal ipsilateral intracerebral hemorrhages developed several days after uneventful PED treatment of supraclinoid aneurysms.

Methods

Microscopic analyses revealed foreign material occluding small vessels within the hemorrhagic area in all patients. Further analyses of the embolic materials using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was conducted on specimens from 2 of the 3 patients. Although microscopically identical, the quantity of material recovered from the third patient was insufficient for FTIR spectroscopy.

Results

FTIR spectroscopy showed that the foreign material was polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), a substance that is commonly used in the coatings of interventional devices.

Conclusions

These findings are suggestive of a potential association between intraprocedural foreign body emboli and post-PED treatment–delayed ipsilateral intraparenchymal hemorrhage.

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Comparison of routine and selective use of intraoperative angiography during aneurysm surgery: a prospective assessment

Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Robert F. Spetzler, Louis J. Kim, Iman Feiz-Erfan, Patrick P. Han, Joseph M. Zabramski, Randall W. Porter, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, and David J. Fiorella

Object

Whether routine intraoperative angiography is necessary for cerebral aneurysm surgery is currently under debate. In this study the authors prospectively assessed the cerebrovascular surgeon's accuracy in predicting the need for intraoperative angiography.

Methods

Between January 2002 and January 2003, 200 consecutive patients (141 female and 59 male patients, mean age 52.8 years) with 235 aneurysms underwent routine intraoperative angiography. Before the operation, the surgeons indicated whether they believed that intraoperative angiography was necessary. Their responses were recorded as “intraoperative angiography necessary” or “intraoperative angiography unnecessary.” Regardless of the response, all patients underwent intraoperative angiography after the aneurysm had been clipped. Changes in treatment resulting from intraoperative angiography were compared with surgeons' preoperative predictions of the need for intraoperative angiography.

Intraoperative angiography was predicted to be necessary in 41 cases (20%) and unnecessary in 159 cases (80%). Its use altered treatment in 14 patients. Seven of these patients were among the group in which intraoperative angiography was deemed necessary and seven were in the group in which it was considered unnecessary. In the latter group, two patients had residual aneurysms, three had parent vessel occlusion, and two had previously undiagnosed aneurysms. Only one patient (0.5%) sustained a major intraoperative complication attributed to angiography.

Conclusions

Given the frequency of significant disease that remains undetected if intraoperative angiography is used on a selective basis and the low complication rate associated with the procedure, the use of intraoperative angiography should be considered in the majority of aneurysm cases.

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Interoperative Angiography

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Immediate flow-diversion characteristics of a novel primarily bioresorbable flow-diverting stent

Sandeep Muram, Ronan Corcoran, Jillian Cooke, Kendall Forrester, Elana Lapins, Rosalie Morrish, Osama Zahoor Ahmad Cheema, Mayank Goyal, Muneer Eesa, David Fiorella, John H. Wong, Chander Sadasivan, and Alim P. Mitha

OBJECTIVE

Flow-diverting stents with a resorbable component have significant theoretical benefits over full metal stents, although currently there are none in clinical use. In this study, the authors sought to determine the immediate flow-diversion characteristics of a novel primarily bioresorbable flow-diverting stent.

METHODS

Bioresorbable stents were deployed into glass tube models to determine porosity and pore density. In vitro flow diversion behavior was evaluated using high frame rate angiography under pulsatile flow conditions in a patient-specific silicone aneurysm model treated with the resorbable stent as well as the Surpass Evolve stent. In vivo flow diversion was characterized by deployment into 20 rabbit saccular aneurysm models, and grading was based on the O’Kelly-Marotta scale and the 4F-flow diversion predictive score.

RESULTS

Porosities and pore densities of the bioresorbable stent were in the flow-diverting range for all target vessel diameters. Quantified results of immediate angiography after placement of the bioresorbable stent into a silicone aneurysm model demonstrated greater flow diversion compared to the Evolve stent. Bioresorbable stent placement in saccular aneurysm models resulted in an immediate O’Kelly-Marotta grade of A3 or better and a 4F-flow diversion predictive score of 4 or better in all cases.

CONCLUSIONS

The bioresorbable stent has immediate flow-diversion characteristics that are comparable to commercially available metal stents. Longer-term studies are underway to determine the ability of the resorbable fibers to act as a neointimal scaffold and result in long-term aneurysm occlusion.

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Prediction of adverse outcomes by blood glucose level after endovascular therapy for acute ischemic stroke

Clinical article

Sabareesh K. Natarajan, Paresh Dandona, Yuval Karmon, Albert J. Yoo, Junaid S. Kalia, Qing Hao, Daniel P. Hsu, L. Nelson Hopkins, David J. Fiorella, Bernard R. Bendok, Thanh N. Nguyen, Marilyn M. Rymer, Ashish Nanda, David S. Liebeskind, Osama O. Zaidat, Raul G. Nogueira, Adnan H. Siddiqui, and Elad I. Levy

Object

The authors evaluated the prognostic significance of blood glucose level at admission (BGA) and change in blood glucose at 48 hours from the baseline value (CG48) in nondiabetic and diabetic patients before and after endovascular therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

Methods

The BGA and CG48 data were analyzed in 614 patients with AIS who received endovascular therapy at 7 US centers between 2006 and 2009. Data reviewed included demographics, stroke risk factors, diabetic status, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at presentation, recanalization grade, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) rate, and 90-day outcomes (mortality rate and modified Rankin Scale score of 3–6 [defined as poor outcome]). Variables with p values < 0.2 in univariate analysis were included in a binary logistic regression model for independent predictors of 90-day outcomes.

Results

The mean patient age was 67.3 years, the median NIHSS score was 16, and 27% of patients had diabetes. In nondiabetic patients, BGA ≥ 116 mg/dl (≥ 6.4 mmol/L) and failure of glucose level to drop > 30 mg/dl (> 1.7 mmol/L) from the admission value were both significant predictors of 90-day poor outcome and death (p < 0.001). In patients with diabetes, BGA ≥ 116 mg/dl (≥ 6.4 mmol/L) was an independent predictor of poor outcome (p = 0.001). The CG48 was not a predictor of outcome in diabetic patients. A simplified 6-point scale including BGA, Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Grade 2–3 Reperfusion, Age, presentation NIHSS score, CG48, and symptomatic ICH (BRANCH) corresponded with poor outcomes at 90 days; the area under the curve value was > 0.79.

Conclusions

Failure of blood glucose values to decrease in the first 48 hours after AIS intervention correlated with poor 90-day outcomes in nondiabetic patients. The BRANCH scale shows promise as a simple prognostication tool after endovascular therapy for AIS, and it merits prospective validation.

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Neuroophthalmological outcomes associated with use of the Pipeline Embolization Device: analysis of the PUFS trial results

Daniel H. Sahlein, Mohammad Fouladvand, Tibor Becske, Isil Saatci, Cameron G. McDougall, István Szikora, Giuseppe Lanzino, Christopher J. Moran, Henry H. Woo, Demetrius K. Lopes, Aaron L. Berez, Daniel J. Cher, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy, Felipe C. Albuquerque, David J. Fiorella, Zsolt Berentei, Miklos Marosfoi, Saruhan H. Cekirge, David F. Kallmes, and Peter K. Nelson

OBJECT

Neuroophthalmological morbidity is commonly associated with large and giant cavernous and supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms. The authors sought to evaluate the neuroophthalmological outcomes after treatment of these aneurysms with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED).

METHODS

The Pipeline for Uncoilable or Failed Aneurysms (PUFS) trial was an international, multicenter prospective trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of the PED. All patients underwent complete neuroophthalmological examinations both before the PED procedure and at a 6-month follow-up. All examinations were performed for the purpose of this study and according to study criteria.

RESULTS

In total, 108 patients were treated in the PUFS trial, 98 of whom had complete neuroophthalmological follow-up. Of the patients with complete follow-up, 39 (40%) presented with a neuroophthalmological baseline deficit that was presumed to be attributable to the aneurysm, and patients with these baseline deficits had significantly larger aneurysms. In 25 of these patients (64%), the baseline deficit showed at least some improvement 6 months after PED treatment, whereas in 1 patient (2.6%), the deficits only worsened. In 5 patients (5%), new deficits had developed at the 6-month follow-up, while in another 6 patients (6%), deficits that were not originally assumed to be related to the aneurysm had improved by that time. A history of diabetes was associated with failure of the baseline deficits to improve after the treatment. The aneurysm maximum diameter was significantly larger in patients with a new deficit or a worse baseline deficit at 6 months postprocedure.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients treated with the PED for large and giant ICA aneurysms had excellent neuroophthalmological outcomes 6 months after the procedure, with deficits improving in most of the patients, very few deficits worsening, and few new deficits developing.