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J Mocco and L. Nelson Hopkins

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Maryam Rahman, Gregory J. Velat, Brian L. Hoh and J Mocco

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an increasingly diagnosed disease with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from a mild headache to cerebral herniation. A potentially devastating syndrome, CVST has been associated with a mortality rate of 6–10%. In prospective studies, the overall rate of death and dependency from CVST ranges from 8.8 to 44.4%. Systemic anticoagulation remains the first-line treatment. However, a percentage of patients deteriorate despite medical therapy. These cases have resulted in the development of thrombolysis or endovascular treatment for CVST. Initial reports of the use of endovascular treatment of CVST have been promising. However, enthusiasm for the use of endovascular thrombolysis and thrombectomy should be tempered by an understanding of possible risks such as intracerebral hemorrhage and/or vessel dissection. The authors review the literature regarding endovascular treatment of CVST with a description of the chemical and mechanical thrombolytic techniques.

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Maryam Rahman, Gregory J. A. Murad and J Mocco

Stereotactic neurosurgery has a rich history, beginning with the first stereotactic frame described by Horsley and Clarke in 1908. It is now widely used for delivery of radiation, surgical targeting of electrodes, and resection to treat tumors, epilepsy, vascular malformations, and pain syndromes. These treatments are now available due to the pioneering efforts of neurosurgeons and scientists in the beginning of the 20th century. Their efforts focused on the development of stereotactic instruments for accurate lesion targeting. In this paper, the authors review the history of the stereotactic apparatus in the early 20th century, with a focus on the fascinating people key to its development.

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Tomas Menovsky and Maxim R. Parizel

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William J. Mack, Louis J. Kim, Demetrius K. Lopes and J Mocco

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Travis R. Ladner, Lucy He, Brandon J. Davis, George L. Yang, George B. Wanna and J Mocco


Paragangliomas are highly vascular head and neck tumors for which preoperative embolization is often considered to facilitate resection. The authors evaluated their initial experience using a dual-lumen balloon to facilitate preoperative embolization in 5 consecutive patients who underwent preoperative transarterial Onyx embolization assisted by the Scepter dual-lumen balloon catheter between 2012 and 2014.


The authors reviewed the demographic and clinical records of 5 patients who underwent Scepter-assisted Onyx embolization of a paraganglioma followed by resection between 2012 and 2014. Descriptive statistics of clinical outcomes were assessed.


Five patients (4 with a jugular and 1 with a vagal paraganglioma) were identified. Three paragangliomas were embolized in a single session, and each of the other 2 were completed in 3 staged sessions. The mean volume of Onyx used was 14.3 ml (range 6–30 ml). Twenty-seven vessels were selectively catheterized for embolization. All patients required selective embolization via multiple vessels. Two patients required sacrifice of parent vessels (1 petrocavernous internal carotid artery and 1 vertebral artery) after successful balloon test occlusion. One patient underwent embolization with Onyx-18 alone, 2 with Onyx-34 alone, and 1 with Onyx-18 and −34. In each case, migration of Onyx was achieved within the tumor parenchyma. The mean time between embolization and resection was 3.8 days (range 1–8 days). Gross-total resection was achieved in 3 (60%) patients, and the other 2 patients had minimal residual tumor. The mean estimated blood loss during the resections was 556 ml (range 200–850 ml). The mean postoperative hematocrit level change was −17.3%. Two patients required blood transfusions. One patient, who underwent extensive tumor penetration with Onyx, developed a temporary partial cranial nerve VII palsy that resolved to House-Brackmann Grade I (out of VI) at the 6-month follow-up. One patient experienced improvement in existing facial nerve weakness after embolization.


Scepter catheter-based Onyx embolization seems to be safe and effective. It was associated with excellent distal tumor vasculature penetration and holds promise as an adjunct to conventional transarterial Onyx embolization of paragangliomas. However, the ease of tumor penetration should encourage caution in practitioners who may be able to effect comparable improvement in blood loss with more conservative proximal Onyx penetration.

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Urinary tract infection

Ciaran J. Powers and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Fred Rincon, J. Mocco, Ricardo J. Komotar, Alexander G. Khandji, Paul C. McCormick and Marcelo Olarte

✓Acquired intradural arachnoid cystic lesions of the spine have been associated with trauma, hemorrhage, parasitic infections, and other insults that cause inflammation and subarachnoid adhesions. The authors describe the case of a previously healthy 36-year-old woman who presented with a chronic myelopathy due to the progressive development of a giant spinal arachnoid cyst that resulted after the intrathecal injection of phenol for the management of chronic upper extremity pain. Neurological examination, spinal computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging were used for diagnostic and follow-up purposes. Even after the initial excision of the cyst, the patient remained symptomatic with minimal functional recovery.

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J Mocco, Carlton S. Prickett, Ricardo J. Komotar, E. Sander Connolly and Stephan A. Mayer

✓In an attempt to elucidate the pathophysiology and clinical significance of global cerebral edema (GCE) following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the authors explored potential mechanisms and reviewed findings associated with this phenomenon. Admission computed tomography (CT) scans show GCE in up to 20% of patients experiencing aneurysmal SAH. This edema is likely to have been initiated by transient global ischemia, as indicated by an association between ictal loss of consciousness and the development of edema. A further cascade of events, including a rise in intracranial pressure and compromise of the blood–brain barrier, are also likely contributors. Clinically, GCE on CT after aneurysmal SAH is predictive of a poor outcome. Further investigation is needed to gain a full understanding of edema development following SAH, with the hope that the knowledge can be used to influence treatment positively and improve outcome.

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Ricardo J. Komotar, J Mocco, Sean D. Lavine and Robert A. Solomon

✓Hunterian ligation is a well-known treatment for complex aneurysms not amenable to direct microsurgical clip application. After proximal parent vessel occlusion, cerebral angiography is typically used to confirm aneurysm thrombosis. The authors report on a vertebral artery (VA) aneurysm that had progressively expanded and caused brainstem compression after hunterian ligation, despite nondiagnostic findings on both conventional and computed tomography (CT) angiography at multiple time points.

This 64-year-old woman underwent hunterian ligation of a 1.8-cm VA aneurysm at the origin of the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery. An immediately postoperative conventional angiogram and follow-up CT angiograms obtained 5 and 6 years postligation confirmed complete obliteration of the lesion. Nine years after the initial surgery, however, the patient experienced neurological deterioration. Although CTs showed substantial aneurysm enlargement together with pontine compression, angiograms once again demonstrated complete right VA occlusion with no retrograde filling of the aneurysm. On reexploration, the aneurysm was effectively debulked, clipped, and obliterated. Arterial bleeding was found in the lesion neck, as was evidence of microrecanalization.

Hunterian ligation for complex aneurysms carries the risk of microrecanalization and lesion expansion despite non-diagnostic angiography. Although this ligation procedure remains a viable treatment option in carefully selected patients, an extended follow-up evaluation period may be required even when imaging suggests aneurysm obliteration.