Endovascular embolization is typically reserved as an adjuvant therapy in the management of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), either for preoperative devascularization or preradiosurgical volume reduction. Curative embolization plays a limited role in AVM treatment but several studies have shown that it is possible, especially with later-generation liquid embolic agents. Given the complexity of AVM anatomy and the recent controversies over the role of any intervention in AVM management, it is critical that the cerebrovascular community better define the indications of each treatment modality to provide quality AVM management. In this review, the authors evaluate the role of curative AVM embolization. Important considerations in the feasibility of curative AVM embolization include whether it can be performed reliably and safely, and whether it is a durable cure. Studies over the past 20 years have begun to define the anatomical factors that are amenable to complete endovascular occlusion, including size, feeding artery anatomy, AVM morphology, and endovascular accessibility. More recent studies have shown that highly selected patients with AVMs can be treated with curative intent, leading to occlusion rates as high as 100% of such prospectively identified lesions with minimal morbidity. Advances in endovascular technology and techniques that support the efficacy and safety of curative embolization are discussed, as is the importance of superselective diagnostic angiography. Finally, the durability of curative embolization is analyzed. Overall, while still unproven, endovascular embolization has the potential to be a safe, effective, and durable curative treatment for select AVMs, broadening the armamentarium with which one can treat this disease.
Matthew B. Potts, Daniel W. Zumofen, Eytan Raz, Peter K. Nelson and Howard A. Riina
Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Omar Tanweer, Miguel Litao, Pankaj Sharma, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro, Peter Kim Nelson and Howard A. Riina
A systematic analysis on the utility of prophylactic antibiotics for neuroendovascular procedures has not been performed. At the authors’ institution there is a unique setup to address this question, with some attending physicians using prophylactic antibiotics (cefazolin or vancomycin) for all of their neurointerventions while others generally do not.
The authors performed a retrospective review of the last 549 neurointerventional procedures in 484 patients at Tisch Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center. Clinical and radiological data were collected for analysis, including presence of prophylactic antibiotic use, local or systemic infection, infection laboratory values, and treatment. Overall, 306 aneurysms, 117 arteriovenous malformations/arteriovenous fistulas, 86 tumors, and 40 vessel stenosis/dissections were treated with coiling (n = 109), Pipeline embolization device (n = 197), embolization (n = 203), or stenting (n = 40).
Antibiotic prophylaxis was used in 265 of 549 cases (48%). There was no significant difference between patients with or without antibiotic prophylaxis in sex (p = 0.48), presence of multiple interventions (p = 0.67), diseases treated (p = 0.11), or intervention device placed (p = 0.55). The mean age of patients in the antibiotic prophylaxis group (53.4 years) was significantly lower than that of the patients without prophylaxis (57.1 years; p = 0.014). Two mild local groin infections (0.36%) and no systemic infections (0%) were identified in this cohort, with one case in each group (1/265 [0.38%] vs 1/284 [0.35%]). Both patients recovered completely with local drainage (n = 1) and oral antibiotic treatment (n = 1).
The risk of infection associated with endovascular neurointerventions with or without prophylactic antibiotic use was very low in this cohort. The data suggest that the routine use of antibiotic prophylaxis seems unnecessary and that to prevent antibiotic resistance and reduce costs antibiotic prophylaxis should be reserved for selected patients deemed to be at increased infection risk.
Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Howard A. Riina, Omar Tanweer, Peyman Shirani, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro and Peter Kim Nelson
The authors present the unusual case of a complex unruptured basilar artery terminus (BAT) aneurysm in a 42-year-old symptomatic female patient presenting with symptoms of mass effect. Due to the fusiform incorporation of both the BAT and left superior cerebellar artery (SCA) origin, simple surgical or endovascular treatment options were not feasible in this case. A 2-staged (combined deconstructive/reconstructive) procedure was successfully performed: first occluding the left SCA with a Pipeline embolization device (PED) coupled to a microvascular plug (MVP) in the absence of antiplatelet coverage, followed by reconstruction of the BAT by deploying a second PED from the right SCA into the basilar trunk. Six-month follow-up angiography confirmed uneventful aneurysm occlusion. The patient recovered well from her neurological symptoms. This case report illustrates the successful use of a combined staged deconstructive/reconstructive endovascular approach utilizing 2 endoluminal tools, PED and MVP, to reconstruct the BAT and occlude a complex aneurysm.
Nathan A. Shlobin, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro, Jeffrey R. Clark, Steven C. Hoffman, Ali Shaibani, Michael C. Hurley, Sameer A. Ansari, Babak S. Jahromi, Nader S. Dahdaleh and Matthew B. Potts
Spinal cord infarction due to interruption of the spinal vascular supply during anterior thoracolumbar surgery is a rare but devastating complication. Here, the authors sought to summarize the data on this complication in terms of its incidence, risk factors, and operative considerations. They also sought to summarize the relevant spinal vascular anatomy.
They performed a systematic literature review of the PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases to identify reports of spinal cord vascular injury related to anterior thoracolumbar spine procedures as well as operative adjuncts and considerations related to management of the segmental artery ligation during such anterior procedures. Titles and abstracts were screened, and studies meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed in full.
Of 1200 articles identified on the initial screening, 16 met the inclusion criteria and consisted of 2 prospective cohort studies, 10 retrospective cohort studies, and 4 case reports. Four studies reported on the incidence of spinal cord ischemia with anterior thoracolumbar surgery, which ranged from 0% to 0.75%. Eight studies presented patient-level data for 13 cases of spinal cord ischemia after anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery. Proposed risk factors for vasculogenic spinal injury with anterior thoracolumbar surgery included hyperkyphosis, prior spinal deformity surgery, combined anterior-posterior procedures, left-sided approaches, operating on the concavity side of a scoliotic curve, and intra- or postoperative hypotension. In addition, eight studies analyzed operative considerations to reduce spinal cord ischemic complications in anterior thoracolumbar surgery, including intraoperative neuromonitoring and preoperative spinal angiography.
While spinal cord infarction related to anterior thoracolumbar surgery is rare, it warrants proper consideration in the pre-, intra-, and postoperative periods. The spine surgeon must be aware of the relevant risk factors as well as the pre- and intraoperative adjuncts that can minimize these risks. Most importantly, an understanding of the relevant spinal vascular anatomy is critical to minimizing the risks associated with anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery.
Matthew B. Potts, Maksim Shapiro, Daniel W. Zumofen, Eytan Raz, Erez Nossek, Keith G. DeSousa, Tibor Becske, Howard A. Riina and Peter K. Nelson
The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) is now a well-established option for the treatment of giant or complex aneurysms, especially those arising from the anterior circulation. Considering the purpose of such treatment is to maintain patency of the parent vessel, postembolization occlusion of the parent artery can be regarded as an untoward outcome. Antiplatelet therapy in the posttreatment period is therefore required to minimize such events. Here, the authors present a series of patients with anterior circulation aneurysms treated with the PED who subsequently experienced parent vessel occlusion (PVO).
The authors performed a retrospective review of all anterior circulation aneurysms consecutively treated at a single institution with the PED through 2014, identifying those with PVO on follow-up imaging. Aneurysm size and location, number of PEDs used, and follow-up digital subtraction angiography results were recorded. When available, pre- and postembolization platelet function testing results were also recorded.
Among 256 patients with anterior circulation aneurysms treated with the PED, the authors identified 8 who developed PVO after embolization. The mean aneurysm size in this cohort was 22.3 mm, and the number of PEDs used per case ranged from 2 to 10. Six patients were found to have asymptomatic PVO discovered incidentally on routine follow-up imaging between 6 months and 3 years postembolization, 3 of whom had documented “delayed” PVO with prior postembolization angiograms confirming aneurysm occlusion and a patent parent vessel at an earlier time. Two additional patients experienced symptomatic PVO, one of which was associated with early discontinuation of antiplatelet therapy.
In this large series of anterior circulation aneurysms, the authors report a low incidence of symptomatic PVO, complicating premature discontinuation of postembolization antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy. Beyond the subacute period, asymptomatic PVO was more common, particularly among complex fusiform or very large–necked aneurysms, highlighting an important phenomenon with the use of PED for the treatment of anterior circulation aneurysms, and suggesting that extended periods of antiplatelet coverage may be required in select complex aneurysms.
Joseph Haynes, Eytan Raz, Omar Tanweer, Maksim Shapiro, Rogelio Esparza, David Zagzag, Howard A. Riina, Christine Henderson, Kaitlyn Lillemoe, Cen Zhang, Sara Rostanski, Shadi Yaghi, Koto Ishida, Jose Torres, Brian Mac Grory and Erez Nossek
The carotid web (CW) is an underrecognized source of cryptogenic, embolic stroke in patients younger than 55 years of age, with up to 37% of these patients found to have CW on angiography. Currently, there are little data detailing the best treatment practices to reduce the risk of recurrent stroke in these patients. The authors describe their institutional surgical experience with patients treated via carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for a symptomatic internal carotid artery web.
A retrospective, observational cohort study was performed including all patients presenting to the authors’ institution with CW. All patients who were screened underwent either carotid artery stenting (CAS) or CEA after presentation with ischemic stroke from January 2019 to February 2020. From this sample, patients with suggestive radiological features and pathologically confirmed CW who underwent CEA were identified. Patient demographics, medical histories, radiological images, surgical results, and clinical outcomes were collected and described using descriptive statistics.
A total of 45 patients with symptomatic carotid lesions were treated at the authors’ institution during the time period. Twenty patients underwent CAS, 1 of them for a CW. Twenty-five patients were treated via CEA, and of these, 6 presented with ischemic strokes ipsilateral to CWs, including 3 patients who presented with recurrent strokes. The mean patient age was 55 ± 12.6 years and 5 of 6 were women. CT angiography or digital subtraction angiography demonstrated the presence of CWs ipsilateral to the stroke in all patients. All patients underwent resection of CWs using CEA. There were no permanent procedural complications and no patients had stroke recurrence following intervention at the latest follow-up (mean 6.1 ± 4 months). One patient developed mild tongue deviation most likely related to retraction, with complete recovery at follow-up.
CEA is a safe and feasible treatment for symptomatic carotid webs and should be considered a viable alternative to CAS in this patient population.