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Lawrence F. Borges, Roberto C. Heros, and Gerard DeBrun

✓ Two patients with large vascular carotid body tumors underwent preoperative intravascular embolization of the major arterial feeders. The tumor vascularity was reduced markedly, and complete surgical extirpation was accomplished without difficulty. The literature on carotid body tumors is briefly reviewed. The role of preoperative embolization in the treatment of these difficult tumors is emphasized.

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Kevin M. McGrail, Roberto C. Heros, Gerard Debrun, and Brian D. Beyerl

✓ A 44-year-old man experienced the sudden onset of horizontal diplopia and hemifacial numbness. Arteriography demonstrated a left intrapetrous carotid artery aneurysm. The patient was successfully treated with a left superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass followed by balloon entrapment of the aneurysm.

There have been at least 40 previously reported cases of aneurysms of the petrous portion of the carotid artery. These aneurysms can be mycotic, traumatic, or developmental in origin. They can present with massive otorrhagia or epistaxis from acute rupture or with decreased hearing and paresis of the fifth through eighth cranial nerves and, less frequently, of the ninth, 10th, and 12th cranial nerves caused by direct pressure. They can also produce pulsatile tinnitus, and sometimes they are discovered as a retrotympanic vascular mass during otological examination. The treatment of choice is carotid artery occlusion. Trapping of the aneurysm by detachable balloons eliminates immediately the risk of hemorrhage, offers the possibility of test occlusion of the internal carotid artery with the patient awake prior to permanent occlusion, and should also reduce the risk of thromboembolism. It should be preceded by a bypass procedure when preliminary evaluation indicates that the patient will not tolerate internal carotid artery occlusion.

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Fernando V. Viñuela, Gerard M. Debrun, Allan J. Fox, and Shinichi Kan

✓ The authors describe a system comprising a small latex balloon attached to a Teflon catheter. The balloon has a distal calibrated leak which is used for intravascular embolization with isobutyl-2-cyanoacrylate. The balloon is easily detached after embolization. The combination of manual control of the balloon-catheter system, plus the ability of the balloon to navigate intra-arterially with the blood flow, makes this system suitable for superselective angiography and embolization of lesions supplied by the external carotid artery (ECA). This system avoids intimal dissection and concomitant arterial vasospasm when trying to negotiate steep distal curves of the ECA branches. Experimental embolization of several branches of the ECA in the dog, and clinical examples of treatment of dural arteriovenous malformations in three patients are described.

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Karl W. Swann, Roberto C. Heros, Gerard Debrun, and Curt Nelson

✓ A case of middle cerebral artery embolism by a detachable intra-arterial balloon is presented. The balloon migrated after being detached in an effort to occlude the internal carotid artery proximal to an unclippable giant paraclinoid aneurysm. Volume expansion, induced hypertension, anticoagulation therapy, rapid middle cerebral artery embolectomy, and good collateral circulation are factors that may have contributed to the patient's complete recovery from hemiplegia.

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Gérard Debrun, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox, and Charles G. Drake

✓ Forty-six patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) were selected for embolization with bucrylate. These patients were assigned to three different groups. Group I consisted of 22 patients with nonresectable AVM's who were selected for embolization with a Silastic calibrated-leak balloon. In 16 of these patients, embolization was achieved, with partial obliteration of the AVM in 14 and complete obliteration in two. Five patients had subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by the balloon bursting and concomitant dissection of the feeding vessel. Four of these patients recovered completely and one died of a brain-stem hemorrhage. A permanent field defect was noted in five cases, and two patients had a transient mild neurological deficit. Group II consisted of 13 patients treated by intraoperative embolization. Complete obliteration by embolization was obtained in four cases, and complete surgical resection after embolization in five. Partial embolization with no surgical resection was achieved in five cases. Three of these patients had a permanent mild neurological deficit and two had transient deficits. There was no mortality in this group. Group III consisted of 11 patients treated by embolization with bucrylate using a new latex calibrated-leak balloon. This balloon has a higher malleability, and takes on the exact configuration of the feeder, with no risk of dissection. This balloon also permits delivery of a faster and larger injection of bucrylate to the arterial feeders of the AVM. Two AVM's were completely obliterated, and embolization was only partially successful in the other cases. Neurological complications consisted of incomplete field defects in two cases, slight memory loss in one case, and transient clumsiness of the arm and face in one case. Two patients have a catheter permanently glued in the malformation, with no neurological complication. There was no mortality in this group.

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Victor A. Aletich, Gerard M. Debrun, Mukesh Misra, Fady Charbel, and James I. Ausman

Object. Reports in the literature have offered discussions of the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of balloon-assisted Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) placement in wide-necked intracranial aneurysms, which was first described by Jacques Moret as the “remodeling technique.” In this article the authors summarize their results in a subset of aneurysms treated with GDCs using the remodeling technique.

Methods. This report contains a retrospective analysis of 72 patients with 75 aneurysms who underwent 79 endovascular procedures performed using the remodeling technique. Morphological outcome was determined at the end of each procedure and by reviewing available follow-up angiograms. Clinical assessments and outcomes are reported using a modified Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Coils were placed in 66 (88%) of 75 aneurysms selected for treatment. In eight aneurysms (11%) treatment failures occurred due to the tortuosity of the vessel used to reach the aneurysms or because of balloon inadequacies.

Incorporating all available follow-up data the authors found that 50 (78%) of 64 aneurysms were completely or subtotally (> 95%) occluded and eight (12%) of 64 were incompletely (< 95%) occluded. Since the time of coil placement, eight aneurysms have progressed to complete occlusion and another five have exhibited progressive thrombosis on follow-up angiograms. In three aneurysms there has been neck remnant growth. Surgical clipping was performed to treat six aneurysms after an initial coil placement procedure. Permanent incidences of morbidity were limited to four patients and there were three deaths directly related to the procedure.

Conclusions. The remodeling technique shows promise in increasing the number of cerebral aneurysms amenable to treatment by endovascular coil placement, and offers an alternative approach to aneurysms that have met with failed surgical treatment or are surgically inaccessible. Long-term follow-up review is needed to determine the final outcome of aneurysms treated by this technique.

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Fred H. Hochberg, Amy A. Pruitt, Deborah O. Beck, Gerard DeBrun, and Kenneth Davis

✓ The rationale for, methodology of, and experience with intra-arterial BCNU infusion therapy of malignant glioma are described. This approach achieves tumor levels of drug four times greater than equal doses infused intravenously, and has been used to treat 79 patients over the course of 4 years. The drug was given in 192 infraophthalmic and 66 supraophthalmic carotid artery infusions. Patients who were treated via infraophthalmic carotid artery infusion following tumor recurrence (after both operation and irradiation) survived 54 additional weeks (92 weeks after initial diagnosis). Patients who were treated with BCNU immediately after initial irradiation therapy survived 64 weeks (infraophthalmic carotid artery infusion) and 49.5 weeks (supraophthalmic carotid artery infusion). The major ocular complications (pain and diminished visual acuity) associated with infraophthalmic carotid artery infusion are avoided by selective balloon-guided supraophthalmic carotid artery administration. However, both approaches were associated with white-matter changes, seen as diminished absorption on computerized tomography scans, in 20% of patients treated following irradiation therapy. This toxicity appears to preclude intra-arterial BCNU treatment in the immediate postirradiation period. Better results are being achieved with our current therapy, which involves four infusions of BCNU (400 mg every 4 weeks) into the infraophthalmic or supraophthalmic carotid artery in advance of irradiation. Cisplatin infusions (60 to 90 mg/sq m every 5 weeks) are offered for recurrent glioblastoma.