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Jacob Januszewski, Jeffrey S. Beecher, David J. Chalif and Amir R. Dehdashti

Object

Indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography has been established as a noninvasive technique to gauge the patency of a bypass graft; however, intraoperative graft patency may not always correlate with graft flow. Altered flow through the bypass graft may directly cause delayed graft occlusion. Here, the authors report on 3 types of flow that were observed through cerebral revascularization procedures.

Methods

Between February 2009 and September 2013, 48 bypass procedures were performed. Excluded from analysis were those cases in which ICG videoangiography was not performed during surgery (whether it was not available or there was a technical issue with the microscope or the quality of ICG angiography) and/or in which angiography or CT angiography was not done within 24–72 hours after surgery. After anastomosis, bypass patency was assessed first using a noninvasive technique and then with ICG videoangiography, and flow through the graft was characterized. Patients who received a vein or radial artery graft were also evaluated with intraoperative angiography.

Results

Thirty-three patients eligible for analysis were retrospectively analyzed. The patients had undergone extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) or IC-IC bypass for ischemic stroke (13 patients), moyamoya disease (10 patients), and complex aneurysms (10 patients; 6 giant or large aneurysms, 2 carotid blister-like aneurysms, and 2 dissecting posterior inferior cerebellar artery [PICA] aneurysms). Thirty-six bypasses were performed including 26 superficial temporal artery (STA)–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypasses (2 bilateral and 1 double-barrel), 6 EC-IC vein grafts, 1 EC-IC radial artery graft, 1 PICA-PICA bypass, 1 MCA–posterior cerebral artery bypass, and 1 occipital artery–PICA bypass. Robust anterograde flow (Type I) was noted in 31 grafts (86%). Delayed but patent graft enhancement and anterograde flow (Type II) was observed in 4 cases (11%); 1 of these cases with an EC-IC vein graft degraded gradually to very delayed flow with no continuity to the bypass site (Type III). Additionally, 1 STA-MCA bypass graft revealed no convincing flow (Type III).

The 5 patients with Type II or III grafts were evaluated with a flow probe and reexploration of the bypass site, and in all cases the reason the graft became occluded was believed to be recipient-vessel competitive flow. In no case was there evidence of stenosis or a technical issue at the site of the anastomosis. Three patients with Type II and the 1 patient with Type III flow (11% of procedures) did not have a patent bypass on postoperative imaging.

Conclusions

Indocyanine green videoangiography is reliable for evaluating flow through the EC-IC or IC-IC bypass. The type of flow observed through the graft has a direct relationship with postoperative imaging findings. Despite the possibility of competitive flow, Type III and some Type II flows through the graft indicate the need for graft evaluation and anastomosis exploration.

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri and Lorenzo Volpin

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Jeffrey S. Beecher, Kristopher Lyon, Vin Shen Ban, Awais Vance, Cameron M. McDougall, Louis A. Whitworth, Jonathan A. White, Duke Samson, H. Hunt Batjer and Babu G. Welch

OBJECTIVE

Despite a hemorrhagic presentation, many patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) do not require emergency resection. The timing of definitive management is not standardized in the cerebrovascular community. This study was designed to evaluate the safety of delaying AVM treatment in clinically stable patients with a new hemorrhagic presentation. The authors examined the rate of rehemorrhage or neurological decline in a cohort of patients with ruptured brain AVMs during a period of time posthemorrhage.

METHODS

Patients presenting to the authors’ institution from January 2000 to December 2015 with ruptured brain AVMs treated at least 4 weeks posthemorrhage were included in this analysis. Exclusion criteria were ruptured AVMs that required emergency surgery involving resection of the AVM, prior treatment of AVM at another institution, or treatment of lesions within 4 weeks for other reasons (subacute surgery). The primary outcome measure was time from initial hemorrhage to treatment failure (defined as rehemorrhage or neurological decline as a direct result of the AVM). Patient-days were calculated from the day of initial rupture until the day AVM treatment was initiated or treatment failed.

RESULTS

Of 102 ruptured AVMs in 102 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 7 (6.9%) failed the treatment paradigm. Six patients (5.8%) had a new hemorrhage within a median of 248 days (interquartile range 33–1364 days). The total “at risk” period was 18,740 patient-days, yielding a rehemorrhage rate of 11.5% per patient-year, or 0.96% per patient-month. Twelve (11.8%) of 102 patients were found to have an associated aneurysm. In this group there was a single (8.3%) new hemorrhage during a total at-risk period of 263 patient-days until the aneurysm was secured, yielding a rehemorrhage risk of 11.4% per patient-month.

CONCLUSIONS

It is the authors’ practice to rehabilitate patients after brain AVM rupture with a plan for elective treatment of the AVM. The present data are useful in that the findings quantify the risk of the authors’ treatment strategy. These findings indicate that delaying intervention for at least 4 weeks after the initial hemorrhage subjects the patient to a low (< 1%) risk of rehemorrhage. The authors modified the treatment paradigm when a high-risk feature, such as an associated intracranial aneurysm, was identified.