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Omar Choudhri, Jeremy Heit, and Huy M. Do

Traumatic dissecting pseudoaneurysms of the cervical and petrous internal carotid artery are often a result of blunt or penetrating trauma. These patients are at high risk for thromboembolic complications and are managed with antiplatelet agents. Patients who develop neurologic symptoms while on antiplatelet agents, or have interval enlargement of their pseudoaneurysms, may require repair of the vessel. We describe a case in which we performed an endovascular repair of an enlarging distal cervical internal carotid artery pseudoaneurysm, with placement of a covered stent.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/uCypcsBvOZ4.

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Omar Choudhri, Abdullah Feroze, Michael P. Marks, and Huy M. Do

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is characterized by formation of widespread thrombus within the cerebral venous sinus system. CVST can cause venous hypertension, venous infarcts, hemorrhage and seizures. It is managed in most cases with systemic anticoagulation through the use of heparin to resolve the thrombus. Patients that demonstrate clinical deterioration while on heparin are often treated with endovascular strategies to recanalize the sinuses. We present the case of a patient with widespread CVST, involving his superior sagittal sinuses and bilateral transverse sigmoid sinuses, who was treated with a combination of endovascular therapies.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/w3wAGlT7h8c.

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Kimon Bekelis, Ian D. Connolly, Huy M. Do, and Omar Choudhri

OBJECTIVE

The impact of procedural volume on the outcomes of cerebrovascular surgery in children has not been determined. In this study, the authors investigated the association of operative volume on the outcomes of cerebrovascular neurosurgery in pediatric patients.

METHODS

The authors performed a cohort study of all pediatric patients who underwent a cerebrovascular procedure between 2003 and 2012 and were registered in the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). To control for confounding, the authors used multivariable regression models, propensity-score conditioning, and mixed-effects analysis to account for clustering at the hospital level.

RESULTS

During the study period, 1875 pediatric patients in the KID underwent cerebrovascular neurosurgery and met the inclusion criteria for the study; 204 patients (10.9%) underwent aneurysm clipping, 446 (23.8%) underwent coil insertion for an aneurysm, 827 (44.1%) underwent craniotomy for arteriovenous malformation resection, and 398 (21.2%) underwent bypass surgery for moyamoya disease. Mixed-effects multivariable regression analysis revealed that higher procedural volume was associated with fewer inpatient deaths (OR 0.58; 95% CI 0.40–0.85), a lower rate of discharges to a facility (OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.82–0.92), and shorter length of stay (adjusted difference −0.22; 95% CI −0.32 to −0.12). The results in propensity-adjusted multivariable models were robust.

CONCLUSIONS

In a national all-payer cohort of pediatric patients who underwent a cerebrovascular procedure, the authors found that higher procedural volume was associated with fewer deaths, a lower rate of discharges to a facility, and decreased lengths of stay. Regionalization initiatives should include directing children with such rare pathologies to a center of excellence.

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Huy M. Do, Mary E. Jensen, William F. Marx, and David F. Kallmes

The authors report the clinical symptoms and response to therapy of a series of patients who presented with subacute or chronic back pain due to vertebral osteonecrosis (Kümmell's spondylitis) and who underwent percutaneous vertebroplasty.

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of a series of 95 patients in whom 149 painful, nonneoplastic compression fractures were demonstrated and who were treated with percutaneous transpediculate polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) vertebroplasty. In six of these patients there was evidence of vertebral osteonecrosis, as evidenced by the presence of an intravertebral vacuum cleft on radiography or by intravertebral fluid on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Clinical and radiological findings on presentation were noted. Technical aspects of the vertebroplasty technique were compiled. Response to therapy, defined as qualitative change in pain severity and change in level of activity, was noted immediately following the procedure and at various periods on follow-up reviews.

One man and five women, who ranged in age from 72 to 90 years (mean 81 years), were treated. Each patient had one compression fracture. The fractures were at T-11 (one patient), L-1 (two patients), L-3 (two patients), and L-4 (one patient). The pain pattern was described as severe and localized to the affected vertebra, and sometimes radiated along either flank. Pain duration ranged from 2 to 12 weeks, and the pain was refractory to conservative therapy that consisted of bedrest, analgesics, and external bracing. At the time of treatment, all patients were bedridden because of severe back pain. In all patients either plain radiographic or computerized tomography evidence of intravertebral vacuum cleft or MR imaging evidence of vertebral fluid collection consistent with avascular necrosis of the vertebral body was demonstrated. Four patients underwent bilateral transpediculate vertebroplasty, and two patients underwent unilateral transpediculate vertebroplasty. The fracture cavities were specifically targeted for PMMA injection. Additional fortification of the osteoporotic vertebral body trabeculae was also performed when feasible. "Cavitygrams" or intraosseous venograms with gentle contrast injection were obtained prior to application of cement mixture. In all patients subjective improvement in pain and increased mobility were demonstrated posttreatment. The follow-up period ranged from 4 to 24 hours after treatment. Two patients made additional office visits at 1 and 3 months, respectively.

Patients presenting with vertebral osteonecrosis (Kümmell's spondylitis) often suffer from local paraspinous or referred pain. When performing vertebroplasty on these patients, confirmation of entry into the fracture cavities with contrast-enhanced "cavitygrams" should be performed prior to injection of PMMA cement. The response to vertebroplasty with regard to amelioration of pain and improved mobility is encouraging.

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Ripul R. Panchal, Huy T. Duong, Kiarash Shahlaie, and Kee D. Kim

Posterior neck deformity with an unsightly crater-like defect may result after cervicothoracic laminectomies. The authors present a new technique, spinous process reconstruction, to address this problem. A 64-year-old man presented with progressive quadriparesis secondary to cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Previously he had undergone multiple neck surgeries including cervicothoracic decompressive laminectomy. Postoperatively, he developed severe craniocervical spinal deformity and a large painful concave surgical defect in the neck. The authors performed craniocervical decompression and craniocervicothoracic instrumented stabilization. At the same time, cervicothoracic spinous process reconstruction was performed using titanium mesh to address the defect. Cervicothoracic decompressive laminectomy results in varying degrees of neck defect with resulting unsightly and an often painful surgical wound defect despite an appropriate multilayer closure. The presented spinous process reconstruction is a simple technique to address this problem with good clinical outcome.

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Bert A. Coert, Steven D. Chang, Huy M. Do, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Patients with fusiform aneurysms can present with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), mass effect, ischemia, or unrelated symptoms. The absence of an aneurysm neck impedes the direct application of a clip and endovascular coil deployment. To evaluate the effects of their treatments, the authors retrospectively analyzed a consecutive series of patients with posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms treated at Stanford University Medical Center between 1991 and 2005.

Methods

Forty-nine patients (mean age 53 years, male/female ratio 1.2:1) treated at the authors' medical center form the basis of the analysis. Twenty-nine patients presented with an SAH. The patients presenting without SAH had cranial nerve dysfunction (five patients), symptoms of mass effect (eight patients), ischemia (six patients), or unrelated symptoms (one patient). The aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) (21 patients); vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) or basilar artery (BA) (18 patients); and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) (10 patients). Pretreatment clinical grades were determined using the Hunt and Hess scale; for patients with un-ruptured aneurysms (Hunt and Hess Grade 0) functional subgrades were added. Outcome was evaluated using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score during a mean follow-up period of 33 months.

Overall long-term outcome was good (GOS Score 4 or 5) in 59%, poor (GOS Score 2 or 3) in 16%, and fatal (GOS Score 1) in 24% of the patients. In a univariate analysis, poor outcome was predicted by age greater than 55 years, VBJ location, pretreatment Hunt and Hess grade in patients presenting with SAH, and incomplete aneurysm thrombosis after endovascular treatment. In a multivariate analysis, age greater than 55 years was the confounding factor predicting poor outcome. Stratification by aneurysm location removed the effect of age. Of 13 patients with residual aneurysm after treatment, five (38%) subsequently died of SAH (three patients) or progressive mass effect/brainstem ischemia (two patients).

Conclusions

Certain posterior circulation aneurysm locations (PCA, VA–PICA, and BA–VBJ) represent separate disease entities affecting patients at different ages with distinct patterns of presentation, treatment options, and outcomes. Favorable overall long-term outcome can be achieved in 90% of patients with PCA aneurysms, in 60% of those with VA–PICA aneurysms, and in 39% of those with BA–VBJ aneurysms when using endovascular and surgical techniques. The natural history of the disease was poor in patients with incomplete aneurysm thrombosis after treatment.

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Bing Huang, Ming Yao, QiLiang Chen, Huidan Lin, Xindan Du, Hao Huang, Xian Zhao, Huy Do, and Xiang Qian

OBJECTIVE

Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a debilitating neuromuscular disorder with limited treatment options. The current study describes a novel minimally invasive procedure that provided effective and sustained relief for patients with HFS. The authors provide a detailed description of the awake CT-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the facial nerve for treatment of HFS, and they examine its clinical efficacy. This is the first time in the literature that this procedure has been applied and systematically analyzed for HFS.

METHODS

Patients with a history of HFS were recruited between August 2018 and April 2020. Those with a history of cerebellopontine lesions, coagulopathy, ongoing pregnancy, cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator implants, or who declined the procedure were excluded from the study. Fifty-three patients who met the study criteria were included and underwent awake CT-guided RFA. Under minimal sedation, a radiofrequency (RF) needle was used to reach the stylomastoid foramen on the affected side under CT guidance, and the facial nerve was localized using a low-frequency stimulation current. Patients were instructed to engage facial muscles as a proxy for motor monitoring during RFA. Ablation stopped when the patients’ hemifacial contracture resolved. Patients were kept for inpatient monitoring for 24 hours postoperatively and were followed up monthly to monitor resolution of HFS and complications for up to 19 months.

RESULTS

The average duration of the procedure was 32–34 minutes. Postoperatively, 91% of the patients (48/53) had complete resolution of HFS, whereas the remaining individuals had partial resolution. A total of 48 patients reported mild to moderate facial paralysis immediately post-RFA, but most resolved within 1 month. No other significant complication was observed during the study period. By the end of the study period, 5 patients had recurrence of mild HFS symptoms, whereas only 2 patients reported dissatisfaction with the treatment results.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report for the first time that awake CT-guided RFA of the facial nerve at the stylomastoid foramen is a minimally invasive procedure and can be an effective treatment option for HFS.

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Raphael Guzman, Marco Lee, Achal Achrol, Teresa Bell-Stephens, Michael Kelly, Huy M. Do, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a rare cerebrovascular disease mainly described in the Asian literature. To address a lack of data on clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes in the treatment of MMD in North America, the authors analyzed their experience at Stanford University Medical Center. They report on a consecutive series of patients treated for MMD and detail their demographics, clinical characteristics, and long-term surgical outcomes.

Methods

Data obtained in consecutive series of 329 patients with MMD treated microsurgically by the senior author (G.K.S.) between 1991 and 2008 were analyzed. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were prospectively gathered and neurological outcomes assessed in postoperative follow-up using the modified Rankin Scale. Association of demographic, clinical, and surgical data with postoperative outcome was assessed by chi-square, uni- and multivariate logistic regression, and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses.

Results

The authors treated a total of 233 adult patients undergoing 389 procedures (mean age 39.5 years) and 96 pediatric patients undergoing 168 procedures (mean age 10.1 years). Direct revascularization technique was used in 95.1% of adults and 76.2% of pediatric patients. In 264 patients undergoing 450 procedures (mean follow-up 4.9 years), the surgical morbidity rate was 3.5% and the mortality rate was 0.7% per treated hemisphere. The cumulative 5-year risk of perioperative or subsequent stroke or death was 5.5%. Of the 171 patients presenting with a transient ischemic attack, 91.8% were free of transient ischemic attacks at 1 year or later. Overall, there was a significant improvement in quality of life in the cohort as measured using the modified Rankin Scale (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Revascularization surgery in patients with MMD carries a low risk, is effective at preventing future ischemic events, and improves quality of life. Patients in whom symptomatic MMD is diagnosed should be offered revascularization surgery.

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Ephraim W. Church, Mark G. Bigder, Eric S. Sussman, Santosh E. Gummidipundi, Summer S. Han, Jeremy J. Heit, Huy M. Do, Robert L. Dodd, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Perforator arteries, the absence of an aneurysm discrete neck, and the often-extensive nature of posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms present treatment challenges. There have been advances in microsurgical and endovascular approaches, including flow diversion, and the authors sought to review these treatments in a long-term series at their neurovascular referral center.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review from 1990 to 2018. Primary outcomes were modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at follow-up. The authors also examined neurological complication rates. Using regression techniques, they reviewed independent and dependent variables, including presenting features, aneurysm location and size, surgical approach, and pretreatment and posttreatment thrombosis.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients met the inclusion criteria. Their mean age was 53 years, and 49 (58%) were female. Forty-one (49%) patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) in 50 (60%) patients, basilar artery (BA) or vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) in 22 (26%), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) in 12 (14%). Thirty-one (37%) patients were treated with microsurgical and 53 (63%) with endovascular approaches. Six aneurysms were treated with endovascular flow diversion. The authors found moderate disability or better (mRS score ≤ 3) in 85% of the patients at a mean 14-month follow-up. The GOS score was ≥ 4 in 82% of the patients. The overall neurological complication rate was 12%. In the regression analysis, patients with VA or PICA aneurysms had better functional outcomes than the other groups (p < 0.001). Endovascular strategies were associated with better outcomes for BA-VBJ aneurysms (p < 0.01), but microsurgery was associated with better outcomes for VA-PICA and PCA aneurysms (p < 0.05). There were no other significant associations between patient, aneurysm characteristics, or treatment features and neurological complications (p > 0.05). Patients treated with flow diversion had more complications than those who underwent other endovascular and microsurgical strategies, but the difference was not significant in regression models.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms remain a challenging aneurysm subtype, but an interdisciplinary treatment approach can result in good outcomes. While flow diversion is a useful addition to the armamentarium, traditional endovascular and microsurgical techniques continue to offer effective options.

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Venkatesh S. Madhugiri, Mario K. C. Teo, Erick M. Westbroek, Steven D. Chang, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Richard P. Levy, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia and thalamus are particularly difficult lesions to treat, accounting for 3%–13% of all AVMs in surgical series and 23%–44% of malformations in radiosurgery series. The goal of this study was to report the results of multimodal management of basal ganglia and thalamic AVMs and investigate the factors that influence radiographic cure and good clinical outcomes.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database of all patients treated at the authors’ institution. Clinical, radiological, follow-up, and outcome data were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore the influence of various factors on outcome.

RESULTS

The results and data analysis pertaining to 123 patients treated over 32 years are presented. In this cohort, radiographic cure was achieved in 50.9% of the patients. Seventy-five percent of patients had good clinical outcomes (stable or improved performance scores), whereas 25% worsened after treatment. Inclusion of surgery and radiosurgery independently predicted obliteration, whereas nidus diameter and volume predicted clinical outcomes. Nidus volume/diameter and inclusion of surgery predicted the optimal outcome, i.e., good clinical outcomes with lesion obliteration.

CONCLUSIONS

Good outcomes are possible with multimodal treatment in these complex patients. Increasing size and, by extension, higher Spetzler-Martin grade are associated with worse outcomes. Inclusion of multiple modalities of treatment as indicated could improve the chances of radiographic cure and good outcomes.