Two key discoveries in the 19th century—infection control and the development of general anesthesia—provided an impetus for the rapid advancement of surgery, especially within the field of neurosurgery. Yet the field of neurosurgery would not have existed in the modern sense without the development and advancement of techniques in hemostasis. Improvement in intraoperative hemostasis came more gradually but was no less important to enhancing neurosurgical outcomes. The history of hemostasis in neurosurgery is often overlooked. Herein, the authors briefly review the historical progression of hemostatic techniques since the beginning of the early modern era of neurosurgery.
Srinivas Chivukula, Gregory M. Weiner, and Johnathan A. Engh
Ali Kooshkabadi, Brian Jankowitz, Phillip A. Choi, Gregory M. Weiner, and Stephanie Greene
The authors present the case of a boy who was successfully managed through the spontaneous thrombosis of a cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm, the subsequent occlusion of the ICA, its recanalization, and ultimate endovascular sacrifice, using only two angiograms because of the diagnostic capability of CT angiography. Spontaneous recanalization of the ICA following occlusion in the setting of a giant aneurysm has not been previously reported.
Gurpreet S. Gandhoke, Jason S. Hauptman, David J. Salvetti, Gregory M. Weiner, Ashok Panigrahy, Sabri Yilmaz, and Ian F. Pollack
The authors report a unique case of a transosseous CSF fistula that was detected more than 10 years after treatment of a symptomatic Chiari I malformation. This lesion initially presented as an intraosseous cystic lesion involving the C-2 vertebra, which was found to communicate freely with the subarachnoid space through a tiny dural opening. Surgical management involved hemilaminectomy and repair of the dural defect followed by reinforcement of the bony defect with demineralized bone matrix. Following closure of the fistula, symptoms of elevated intracranial pressure developed, necessitating a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for CSF diversion.
Bruno C. Flores, Alfred P. See, Gregory M. Weiner, Brian T. Jankowitz, Andrew F. Ducruet, and Felipe C. Albuquerque
Liquid embolic agents have revolutionized endovascular management of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). Nonetheless, since 2005, the US FDA has received more than 100 reports of microcatheter breakage or entrapment related to Onyx embolization, including 9 deaths. In 2014, the Apollo detachable-tip microcatheter became the first of its kind available in the US. Since then, few reports on its safety have been published.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of endovascular cases by searching the patient databases at 2 tertiary cerebrovascular centers (Barrow Neurological Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Patients who underwent endovascular embolization of an AVM or AVF using the Apollo microcatheter were identified. Patient demographics and lesion characteristics were collected. The authors analyzed Apollo-specific endovascular variables, such as number of microcatheterizations, sessions, and pedicles embolized; microcatheter tip detachment status; obliteration rate; and endovascular- and microcatheter-related morbidity and mortality.
From July 2014 to October 2016, a total of 177 embolizations using the Apollo microcatheter were performed in 61 patients (mean age 40.3 years). The most frequent presentation was hemorrhage (22/61, 36.1%). Most lesions were AVMs (51/61, 83.6%; mean diameter 30.6 mm). The mean Spetzler-Martin grade was 2.4. Thirty-nine (76.5%) of 51 patients with AVMs underwent resection. Microcatheterization was successful in 172 pedicles. Most patients (50/61, 82%) underwent a single embolization session. The mean number of pedicles per session was 2.5 (range 1–7). Onyx-18 was used in 103 (59.9%), N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA) in 44 (25.6%), and Onyx-34 in 25 (14.5%) of the 172 embolizations. In 45.9% (28/61) of the patients, lesion obliteration of 75% or greater was achieved. Tip detachment occurred in 19.2% (33/172) of microcatheters. Fifty-three (86.9%) of the 61 patients who underwent embolization with the Apollo microcatheter had good functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2). No unintended microcatheter fractures or related morbidity was observed. One patient died of intraprocedural complications unrelated to microcatheter selection. In the univariate analysis, microcatheter tip detachment (p = 0.12), single embolized pedicles (p = 0.12), and smaller AVM nidus diameter (p = 0.17) correlated positively with high obliteration rates (> 90%). In the multivariate analysis, microcatheter tip detachment was the only independent variable associated with high obliteration rates (OR 9.5; p = 0.03).
The use of the Apollo detachable-tip microcatheter for embolization of AVMs and AVFs is associated with high rates of successful catheterization and obliteration and low rates of morbidity and mortality. The microcatheter was retrieved in all cases, even after prolonged injections in distal branch pedicles, often with significant reflux. This study represents the largest case series on the application of the Apollo microcatheter for neurointerventional procedures.
Aditya Iyer, Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory M. Weiner, Neal Luther, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford, and Douglas Kondziolka
The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging response of brain metastases after radiosurgery and to correlate the response with tumor type and patient survival.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery for brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer, or melanoma. The imaging volumetric response by tumor type was plotted at 3-month intervals and classified as a sustained decrease in tumor volume (Type A), a transient decrease followed by a delayed increase in tumor volume (Type B), or a sustained increase in tumor volume (Type C). These imaging responses were then compared with patient survival and tumor type.
Two hundred thirty-three patients with metastases from NSCLC (96 patients), breast cancer (98 patients), and melanoma (39 patients) were eligible for inclusion in this study. The patients with NSCLC were most likely to exhibit a Type A response; those with breast cancer, a Type B response; and those with melanoma, a Type C response. Among patients with NSCLC, the median overall survival was 11.2 months for those with a Type A response (76 patients), 8.6 months for those with a Type B response (6 patients), and 10.5 months for those with a Type C response (14 patients). Among patients with breast cancer, the median overall survival was 16.6 months in those with a Type A response (65 patients), 18.1 months in those with a Type B response (20 patients), and 7.5 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). For patients with melanoma, the median overall survival was 5.2 months in those with a Type A response (26 patients) and 6.7 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). None of the patients with melanoma had a Type B response. The imaging response was significantly associated with survival only in patients with breast cancer.
The various types of imaging responses of metastatic brain tumors after stereotactic radiosurgery depend in part on tumor type. However, the type of response only correlates with survival in patients with breast cancer.
W. Robert Hudgins, Kyle J. Antes, Morley A. Herbert, Richard L. Weiner, J. Michael Desaloms, Denise Stamos, Jerry L. Barker, Gregory A. Echt, Timothy D. Nichols, and Donald E. Schwarz
The treatment of solitary vestibular schwannomas by performing Gamma Knife surgery is well established. It has been reported that decreasing the surface dose reduces patient morbidity, especially facial weakness and numbness. The authors of this retrospective study examine patient data from a single center to determine if low-dose (≤ 14 Gy) GKS controls tumor growth as effectively as higher doses (> 14 Gy).
Based on the formula for ellipsoid volumes, the tumor volumes were calculated using measurements from MR images obtained at follow up in patients treated at the authors' center. Follow-up data were available in 159 patients with a mean age of 59.5 ± 14.2 years at treatment. Fifty-six percent of the patients were women and 53.5% of the tumors were located on the right side of the brain. The mean tumor volume was 3.3 ± 4.3 cm3 with 10% of the tumors having volumes larger than 8 cm3. After GKS, smaller tumors (≥ 40% decrease in volume) were observed in 44.8% of patients treated with a low dose and in 48.8% treated with a high dose. Enlarged tumors (≥ 40% increase in volume) were seen in 5.2% of the patients receiving a low dose and 2.3% of those receiving a high dose. These differences were not statistically significant.
Patients who had been followed up for longer than 5 years after treatment had median residual volumes of only 28.2% of the starting volume in the low-dose group and 26% in the high-dose group. This difference was statistically not significant.
No statistically significant differences were observed between tumors given low-dose radiation treatment and those given high-dose radiation treatment.
Mirja M. Wirtz, Philipp Hendrix, Oded Goren, Lisa A. Beckett, Heather R. Dicristina, Clemens M. Schirmer, Shamsher Dalal, Gregory Weiner, Paul M. Foreman, Ramin Zand, and Christoph J. Griessenauer
Mechanical thrombectomy is the established treatment for acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion (LVO). The authors sought to identify early predictors of a favorable outcome in stroke patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy.
Consecutive patients with ischemic stroke due to LVO who underwent mechanical thrombectomy at a Comprehensive Stroke Center in the US between 2016 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics, stroke and treatment characteristics, as well as functional outcome at 90 days were collected. Clinical predictors of 90-day functional outcome were assessed and compared to existing indices for prompt neurological improvement. Analyses of area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were performed to estimate the optimal thresholds for absolute 24-hour and delta (change in) National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores for functional outcome prediction.
A total of 156 patients (median age 71.5 years) underwent 159 mechanical thrombectomies. The M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery was the most frequent site of occlusion (57.2%). The median NIHSS score before thrombectomy was 18 (IQR 14–24). A postthrombectomy Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score of 2B or 3 was achieved in 147 procedures (92.4%). The median NIHSS score 24 hours after thrombectomy was 14 (IQR 6–22). Good functional outcome at 90 days (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) was achieved in 37 thrombectomies (23.9%). An absolute 24-hour NIHSS score ≤ 10 (OR 25.929, 95% CI 8.448–79.582, p < 0.001) and a delta NIHSS score ≥ 8 between baseline and 24 hours (OR 4.929, 95% CI 2.245–10.818, p < 0.001) were associated with good functional outcome at 90 days. The 24-hour NIHSS score cutoff of 10 outperformed existing indices for prompt neurological improvement in the ability to predict 90-day functional outcome.
An NIHSS score ≤ 10 at 24 hours after mechanical thrombectomy was independently associated with good functional outcome at 90 days.
Hideyuki Kano, Alejandro Morales-Restrepo, Aditya Iyer, Gregory M. Weiner, Seyed H. Mousavi, John M. Kirkwood, Ahmad A. Tarhini, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford
The goal of this study was to use 4 prognostic indices to compare survival times of patients who underwent Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to treat melanoma brain metastases.
The authors analyzed 422 consecutive patients (1440 brain metastases) who underwent Gamma Knife SRS. The median total brain tumor volume was 4.7 cm3 (range 0.3–69.3 cm3), and the median number of metastases was 2 (range 1–32). One hundred thirty-two patients underwent whole-brain radiation therapy. Survival times were compared using recursive partitioning analysis (RPA), the Score Index for Radiosurgery (SIR), the Basic Score for Brain Metastases (BSBM), and the Diagnosis-Specific Graded Prognostic Assessment (DS-GPA).
The overall survival times after SRS were compared. With the RPA index, survival times were 2.6 months (Class III, n = 27), 5.5 months (Class II, n = 348), and 13.0 months (Class I, n = 47). With the DS-GPA index, survival times were 2.8 months (Scores 0–1, n = 67), 4.2 months (Scores 1.5–2.0, n = 143), 6.6 months (Scores 2.5–3.0, n = 111), and 9.4 months (Scores 3.5–4.0, n = 101). With the SIR, survival times were 3.2 months (Scores 0–3, n = 56), 5.8 months (Scores 4–7, n = 319), and 12.7 months (Scores 8–10, n = 47). With the BSBM index, survival times were 2.6 months (BSBM0, n = 47), 5.4 months (BSBM1, n = 282), 11.0 months (BSBM2, n = 86), and 8.8 months (BSBM3, n = 7). The DS-GPA index was the most balanced by case numbers in each class and provided the overall best prognostic index for overall survival.
The DS-GPA index proved most balanced and predictive of survival for patients with melanoma who underwent SRS as part of management for brain metastases. Patients whose DS-GPA score was ≥ 2.5 had predictably improved survival times after SRS.
Ramesh Grandhi, Gregory M. Weiner, Nitin Agarwal, David M. Panczykowski, William J. Ares, Jesse S. Rodriguez, Jonathan A. Gelfond, John G. Myers, Louis H. Alarcon, David O. Okonkwo, and Brian T. Jankowitz
Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVIs) following trauma carry risk for morbidity and mortality. Since patients with BCVI are often asymptomatic at presentation and neurological sequelae often occur within 72 hours, timely diagnosis is essential. Multidetector CT angiography (CTA) has been shown to be a noninvasive, cost-effective, reliable means of screening; however, the false-positive rate of CTA in diagnosing patients with BCVI represents a key drawback. Therefore, the authors assessed the role of DSA in the screening of BCVI when utilizing CTA as the initial screening modality.
The authors performed a retrospective analysis of patients who experienced BCVI between 2013 and 2015 at 2 Level I trauma centers. All patients underwent CTA screening for BCVI according to the updated Denver Screening Criteria. Patients who were diagnosed with BCVI on CTA underwent confirmatory digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Patient demographics, screening indication, BCVI grade on CTA and DSA, and laboratory values were collected. Comparison of false-positive rates stratified by BCVI grade on CTA was performed using the chi-square test.
A total of 140 patients (64% males, mean age 50 years) with 156 cerebrovascular blunt injuries to the carotid and/or vertebral arteries were identified. After comparison with DSA findings, CTA findings were incorrect in 61.5% of vessels studied, and the overall CTA false-positive rates were 47.4% of vessels studied and 47.9% of patients screened. The positive predictive value (PPV) for CTA was higher among worse BCVI subtypes on initial imaging (PPV 76% and 97%, for BCVI Grades II and IV, respectively) compared with Grade I injuries (PPV 30%, p < 0.001).
In the current series, multidetector CTA as a screening test for blunt cerebrovascular injury had a high-false positive rate, especially in patients with Grade I BCVI. Given a false-positive rate of 47.9% with an estimated average of 132 patients per year screening positive for BCVI with CTA, approximately 63 patients per year would potentially be treated unnecessarily with antithrombotic therapy at a busy United States Level I trauma center. The authors’ data support the use of DSA after positive findings on CTA in patients with suspected BCVI. DSA as an adjunctive test in patients with positive CTA findings allows for increased diagnostic accuracy in correctly diagnosing BCVI while minimizing risk from unnecessary antithrombotic therapy in polytrauma patients.