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  • Author or Editor: Kathleen S. Martin x
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Lee A. Kearse Jr., Dean Martin, Kathleen McPeck, and Maria Lopez-Bresnahan

✓ The purpose of this prospective study was twofold: 1) to determine the sensitivity and specificity of computer-derived density spectral array in detecting analog electroencephalographic (EEG) ischemic pattern changes during carotid artery cross-clamping in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy; and 2) to assess the ability of density spectral array to identify such changes in comparison with the degree and type of change seen in the analog EEG ischemic pattern. Sixteen channels of anteroposterior bipolar and two to four channels of referential electroencephalography with four channels of density spectral array were monitored simultaneously during carotid endarterectomy in 103 patients under general anesthesia. Two “observers” interpreted the density spectral array and the analog electroencephalograms, one during and immediately after the operations and the other 6 months after completion of all surgery. Analyses were conducted to establish both the number of patients with analog EEG ischemic changes and the number of ischemia events during carotid artery cross-clamping. Observer A indicated that the density spectral array identified analog EEG ischemic changes in 21 of 29 patients, for a sensitivity of 72% (specificity 99%), whereas Observer B's results showed that the density spectral array identified analog EEG ischemic changes in 16 of 27 patients, for a sensitivity of 59% (specificity 96%). Density spectral array detection of analog EEG ischemic changes based on severity classifications were 61% and 18% in the mild group, 70% and 71% in the moderate group, and 95% in the severe group, indicating a relationship between density spectral array sensitivity and severity of analog EEG ischemic change, with p = 0.02 and p = 0.004 for the two observers. The kappa statistics for observer reproducibility were highly significant, with k = 0.95 for analog EEG ischemic changes and 0.85 for density spectral array changes. It is concluded that density spectral array does not reliably detect mild analog EEG pattern changes of cerebral ischemia and is not a reliable substitute for 16-channel analog EEG monitoring of cerebral ischemia during carotid endarterectomy.

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Tobias A. Mattei, Martin Morris, Kathleen Nowak, Daniel Smith, Jeremy Yee, Carlos R. Goulart, Anne Zborowski, and Julian J. Lin


Although several improvements have been observed in the past few years in shunt technology, currently available systems still present several associated problems. Among these, overdrainage along with its complications remains one of the great challenges for new shunt designs. To address the so-called siphoning effect, the authors provide a practical example of how it is possible to decouple the activation pressure and the pressure gradient across the valve through a 3–key component system. In this new shunt design, the flow is expected to depend only on the intracranial pressure and not on the pressure gradient across the valve, thus avoiding the so-called siphoning effect.


The authors used computer models to theoretically evaluate the mechanical variables involved in the operation of the newly designed valve, such as the fluid's Reynolds number, proximal pressure, distal pressure, pressure gradient, actual flow rate, and expected flow rate. After fabrication of the first superscaled model, the authors performed benchmark tests to analyze the performance of the new shunt prototype, and the obtained data were compared with the results predicted by the previous mathematical models.


The final design of the new paddle wheel valve with the 3–key component antisiphoning system was tested in the hydrodynamics laboratory to prove that the siphoning effect did not occur. According to the calculations obtained using the LabVIEW program during the experiments, each time the distal pressure decreased without an increase in the proximal pressure (despite the range of the pressure gradient), the pin blocked the spinning of the paddle wheels, and the calculated fluid velocity through the system tended to zero. Such a situation was significantly different from the expected flow rate for such a pressure gradient in a siphoning situation without the new antisiphon system.


The design of this new prototype with a 3–key component antisiphoning system demonstrated that it is possible to decouple the activation pressure and the pressure gradient across the valve, avoiding the siphoning effect. Although further developments are necessary to provide a model compatible to clinical use, the authors believe that this new prototype illustrates the possibility of successfully addressing the siphoning effect by using a simple 3–key component system that is able to decouple the activation pressure and the pressure gradient across the valve by using a separate pressure chamber. It is expected that such proof of concept may significantly contribute to future shunt designs attempting to address the problem of overdrainage due to the siphoning effect.

Open access

Ofer Sadan, Hannah Waddel, Reneé Moore, Chen Feng, Yajun Mei, David Pearce, Jacqueline Kraft, Cederic Pimentel, Subin Mathew, Feras Akbik, Pouya Ameli, Alexis Taylor, Lisa Danyluk, Kathleen S. Martin, Krista Garner, Jennifer Kolenda, Amit Pujari, William Asbury, Blessing N. R. Jaja, R. Loch Macdonald, C. Michael Cawley, Daniel L. Barrow, and Owen Samuels


Cerebral vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) contribute to poor outcome following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). With the paucity of effective treatments, the authors describe their experience with intrathecal (IT) nicardipine for this indication.


Patients admitted to the Emory University Hospital neuroscience ICU between 2012 and 2017 with nontraumatic SAH, either aneurysmal or idiopathic, were included in the analysis. Using a propensity-score model, this patient cohort was compared to patients in the Subarachnoid Hemorrhage International Trialists (SAHIT) repository who did not receive IT nicardipine. The primary outcome was DCI. Secondary outcomes were long-term functional outcome and adverse events.


The analysis included 1351 patients, 422 of whom were diagnosed with cerebral vasospasm and treated with IT nicardipine. When compared with patients with no vasospasm (n = 859), the treated group was significantly younger (mean age 51.1 ± 12.4 years vs 56.7 ± 14.1 years, p < 0.001), had a higher World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies score and modified Fisher grade, and were more likely to undergo clipping of the ruptured aneurysm as compared to endovascular treatment (30.3% vs 11.3%, p < 0.001). Treatment with IT nicardipine decreased the daily mean transcranial Doppler velocities in 77.3% of the treated patients. When compared to patients not receiving IT nicardipine, treatment was not associated with an increased rate of bacterial ventriculitis (3.1% vs 2.7%, p > 0.1), yet higher rates of ventriculoperitoneal shunting were noted (19.9% vs 8.8%, p < 0.01). In a propensity score comparison to the SAHIT database, the odds ratio (OR) to develop DCI with IT nicardipine treatment was 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.44–0.84), and the OR to have a favorable functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score ≤ 2) was 2.17 (95% CI 1.61–2.91).


IT nicardipine was associated with improved outcome and reduced DCI compared with propensity-matched controls. There was an increased need for permanent CSF diversion but no other safety issues. These data should be considered when selecting medications and treatments to study in future randomized controlled clinical trials for SAH.