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Elad I. Levy, Adnan H. Siddiqui, and L. Nelson Hopkins

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Robert D. Ecker, Tsz Lau, Elad I. Levy, and L. Nelson Hopkins


There is no known standard 30-day morbidity and mortality rate for high-risk patients undergoing carotid artery (CA) angioplasty and stent (CAS) placement. The high-risk registries and the Stenting and Angioplasty with Protection in Patients at High Risk for Endarterectomy, Carotid Revascularization using Endarterectomy or Stenting Systems, and European Long-term Carotid Artery Stenting trials report different rates of morbidity and mortality, and each high-risk cohort has a different risk profile. The applicability of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) results from North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial/Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study (NASCET/ACAS) remains uncertain, as most clinical CAS placement series reported to date typically included patients who would not have qualified for those studies. At the University at Buffalo, the same neurosurgeons perform triage in patients with CA disease and perform both CEA and CAS insertion. The authors review morbidity and mortality rates in this practice model.


Diagnosis-related group codes were used to search the authors’ practice database for patients who had undergone a completed CA intervention solely for the indication of atherosclerotic disease. One hundred twenty patients (129 vessels) treated with CAS surgery and 95 patients (100 vessels) treated with CEA met these criteria. In the CAS placement group, 78% of the patients would not have met NASCET/ACAS inclusion criteria. Demographic and clinical data for both groups were recorded on a spreadsheet for analysis.

At 30 days, one patient in the CEA group and two in the CAS group had died. Stroke occurred in one patient in the CAS group and none in the CEA group. Myocardial infarction (MI) occurred in one patient who underwent CAS surgery compared with three undergoing CEA. Composite incidence of stroke/death/MI was 3.3% in the CAS group and 3.2% in the CEA group.


In a practice in which surgeons perform both CEA and CAS surgery, the event rates for the CAS surgery equivalent to NASCET and ACAS rates for CEA can be achieved, even in high-risk NASCET/ACAS-ineligible patients in 78% of the CAS cases.

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Elad I. Levy, John D. Heiss, Michael S. Kent, Charles J. Riedel, and Edward H. Oldfield

U The pathophysiology of syrinx development is controversial. The authors report on a patient with progressive cervical myelopathy and a Chiari I malformation in whom spinal cord swelling preceded, by a few months, the development of a syrinx in the same location. The patient underwent a craniocervical decompressive procedure and duraplasty, and complete resolution of cord swelling and syringomyelia was achieved. This report is consistent with the theory that patients with Chiari I malformation have increased transmural flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which causes spinal cord swelling that later coalesces into a syrinx. The pathophysiology of syrinx development from spinal cord edema and the success of surgical decompressive treatments that do not invade the central nervous system support the prompt treatment of patients with spinal cord edema who are at risk for the development of a syrinx.

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Giuseppe Lanzino and Pietro Ivo D'Urso

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Stanley H. Kim, Adnan I. Qureshi, Elad I. Levy, Ricardo A. Hanel, Amir M. Siddiqui, and L. Nelson Hopkins

✓ The authors report a case of emergency carotid artery (CA) stent placement for a symptomatic acute CA occlusion following carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This 43-year-old man underwent a right-sided CEA for an asymptomatic 80% CA stenosis detected using duplex ultrasound testing. The patient experienced hypotension and possibly a myocardial infarction intraoperatively and a left hemiplegia immediately postoperatively. He was referred to the authors' institution for consideration of emergency coronary intervention and evaluation of stroke. A computerized tomography scan of the head demonstrated subtle early ischemic changes in the right posterior parietal region. Cerebral angiography revealed occlusion of the right common CA (CCA) at the CA bifurcation. Two coronary stents (Magic Wall; Boston Scientific Scimed, Maple Grove, MN) were placed in tandem in the right CCA and internal CA (ICA), overlapping at the proximal cervical ICA. Complete recanalization of the CA was achieved, and the patient made a clinically significant recovery. Diagnostic angiography can provide important information about CA and intracranial circulation that will aid in the evaluation of postoperative stroke after CEA. Stent placement should be considered as an alternative method of treatment for acute CA occlusion or dissection following CEA.

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Peter Kan, Maxim Mokin, Adib A. Abla, Jorge L. Eller, Travis M. Dumont, Elad I. Levy, and Adnan H. Siddiqui

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) generates high-resolution cross-sectional images and sagittal reconstructions of the vessel wall and lumen. As a result, this imaging modality can provide accurate measurements of the degree of vessel stenosis, allow the detection of intraluminal thrombus, and analyze the plaque composition. The IVUS modality is widely used in interventional cardiology, and its use in neurointerventions has gradually increased. With case examples, the authors illustrate the utility of IVUS as an adjunct to conventional angiography for a wide range of intracranial and extracranial neurointerventions.

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Kunal Vakharia, Stephan A. Munich, Michael K. Tso, Muhammad Waqas, and Elad I. Levy

Stent-assisted coiling offers a potential solution for coil embolization of broad-based aneurysms. Challenges associated with navigating a microcatheter beyond these aneurysms sometimes require looping the microcatheter within the aneurysm dome. Reducing microcatheter loops within domes can be difficult, and anchor techniques have been described, including balloon anchor, stent-retriever anchor, and stent anchor techniques. The authors present a patient requiring stent-assisted coiling of an anterior communicating artery aneurysm in whom a stent anchor technique was used to reduce a microcatheter loop within an aneurysm dome before coil embolization. Postembolization angiographic runs showed complete coil occlusion of the aneurysm with approximately 35% packing density.

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Robert D. Ecker, Ricardo A. Hanel, Elad I. Levy, and L. Nelson Hopkins

✓The authors report the successful staged stenting and coil embolization of a large vertebral artery–posterior inferior cerebellar artery (VA-PICA) aneurysm using the contralateral VA for access. A 67-year-old woman presented with a large ruptured VA-PICA aneurysm. Initial attempts to stent the wide-necked aneurysm from the ipsilateral side failed, so coil embolization of the dome was performed. During a second endovascular session, the aneurysm neck was successfully stented from the contralateral VA into the PICA. Six weeks later, coils were inserted into the aneurysm from the ipsilateral side. The coil result was stable at the 3-month follow-up examination.

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Robert D. Ecker, Ramachandra P. Tummala, Elad I. Levy, and L. Nelson Hopkins

✓Both carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stent placement with filter embolic protection present a higher risk for patients with internal carotid artery (ICA) lesions containing intraluminal thrombus. Despite the risk associated with intervention, patients with symptomatic intraluminal thrombus who were enrolled in the North American Symptomatic Endarterectomy Trial did better with surgical than medical treatment. We describe the novel use of an endovascular “internal cross-clamping” technique in two patients with symptomatic intraluminal thrombus in the ICA. A 57-year-old woman presented with a history of multiple episodes of left upper-extremity numbness, mild dysarthria, and agraphia occurring over the previous 24 hours. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging revealed a scattered watershed infarction of the right hemisphere and a critical stenosis of the right ICA. An 81-year-old man awoke with hemiplegia and inability to follow commands after undergoing a complicated carotid endarterectomy. Computed tomographic perfusion imaging demonstrated an increased time to peak in the left middle cerebral territory, and emergent angiography demonstrated both intimal flaps and thrombus in the endarterectomy bed. The lesions in both patients were treated with endovascular stent placement using both proximal and distal flow occlusion—a functional “internal cross-clamping”—for embolic protection. To our knowledge, this is the first report of internal trapping and stent placement for symptomatic carotid stenosis containing intraluminal thrombus. This treatment strategy should be added to the armamentarium of endovascular surgeons in selected patients with symptomatic carotid intraluminal thrombus.

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Kunal Vakharia, Stephan A. Munich, Muhammad Waqas, Swetadri Vasan Setlur Nagesh, and Elad I. Levy

Progressive deconstruction with flow diversion using a Pipeline embolization device (PED; Medtronic) can be utilized to promote thrombosis of broad-based fusiform aneurysms. Current flow diverters require a 0.027-inch microcatheter for deployment. The authors present a patient with a fusiform P2–3 junction posterior cerebral artery aneurysm in which they demonstrate the importance of haptics in microwire manipulation to recognize large-vessel anatomy versus perforator anatomy that may overlap, especially when access is needed in distal tortuous circulations. In addition, the authors demonstrate the need for appropriate visualization before PED deployment. Postembolization runs demonstrated optimal wall apposition with contrast stasis within the aneurysm dome.

The video can be found here: