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Kathryn Wagner, Francisco Vaz-Guimaraes, Kevin Camstra and Sandi Lam

OBJECTIVE

Appropriately chosen candidates with medically refractory epilepsy may benefit from hemispheric disconnection. Traditionally, this involves a large surgical exposure with significant associated morbidity. Minimally invasive approaches using endoscopic assistance have been described by only a few centers. Here, the authors report on the feasibility of endoscope-assisted functional hemispherotomy in a cadaver model and its first translation into clinical practice in appropriately selected patients.

METHODS

Three silicone-injected, formalin-fixed cadaver heads were used to establish the steps of the procedure in the laboratory. The steps of disconnection were performed using standard surgical instruments and a straight endoscope. The technique was then applied in two patients who had been referred for hemispherectomy and had favorable anatomy for an endoscope-assisted approach.

RESULTS

All disconnections were performed in the cadaver model via a 4 × 2–cm paramedian keyhole craniotomy using endoscopic assistance. An additional temporal burr hole approach was marked in case the authors were unable to completely visualize the frontobasal and insular cuts from the paramedian vertical view. Their protocol was subsequently used successfully in two pediatric patients. Full disconnection was verified with postoperative tractography.

CONCLUSIONS

Full hemispheric disconnection can be accomplished with minimally invasive endoscope-assisted functional hemispherotomy. The procedure is technically feasible and can be safely applied in patients with favorable anatomy and pathology; it may lead to less surgical morbidity and faster recovery.

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Kathryn M. Wagner, Visish M. Srinivasan, Aditya Srivatsan, Michael G. Z. Ghali, Ajith J. Thomas, Alejandro Enriquez-Marulanda, Abdulrahman Y. Alturki, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Maxim Mokin, Anna L. Kuhn, Ajit Puri, Ramesh Grandhi, Stephen Chen, Jeremiah Johnson and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

With the increasing use of flow diversion as treatment for intracranial aneurysms, there is a concomitant increased vigilance in monitoring complications. The low porosity of flow diverters is concerning when the origins of vessels are covered, whether large circle of Willis branches or critical perforators. In this study, the authors report their experience with flow diverter coverage of the lenticulostriate vessels and evaluate their safety and outcomes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 5 institutional databases of all flow diversion cases from August 2012 to June 2018. Information regarding patient presentation, aneurysm location, treatment, and outcomes were recorded. Patients who were treated with flow diverters placed in the proximal middle cerebral artery (MCA), proximal anterior cerebral artery, or distal internal carotid artery leading to coverage of the medial and lateral lenticulostriate vessels were included. Clinical outcomes according to the modified Rankin Scale were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to establish risk factors for lenticulostriate infarct.

RESULTS

Fifty-two patients were included in the analysis. Postprocedure cross-sectional images were available in 30 patients. Two patients experienced transient occlusion of the MCA during the procedure; one was asymptomatic, and the other had a clinical and radiographic ipsilateral internal capsule stroke. Five patients had transient symptoms without radiographic infarct in the lenticulostriate territory. Two patients experienced in-stent thrombosis, leading to clinical MCA infarcts (one in the ipsilateral caudate) after discontinuing antiplatelet therapy. Discontinuation of dual antiplatelet therapy prior to 6 months was the only variable that was significantly correlated with stroke outcome (p < 0.01, OR 0.3, 95% CI 0–0.43), and this significance persisted when controlled for other risk factors, including age, smoking status, and aneurysm location.

CONCLUSIONS

The use and versatility of flow diversion is increasing, and safety data are continuing to accumulate. Here, the authors provide early data on the safety of covering lenticulostriate vessels with flow diverters. The authors concluded that the coverage of these perforators does not routinely lead to clinically significant ischemia when dual antiplatelet therapy is continued for 6 months. Further evaluation is needed in larger cohorts and with imaging follow-up as experience develops in using these devices in more distal circulation.

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Kathryn Wagner, Aditya Srivatsan, Alina Mohanty, Visish M. Srinivasan, Yasir Saleem, Jacob Cherian, Robert F. James, Stephen Chen, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Jeremiah Johnson and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

Flow diversion is increasingly used to treat a variety of intracranial aneurysms with good safety and efficacy; however, there is some evidence that this treatment is associated with a larger postoperative ischemic burden on imaging than that with other traditional endovascular modalities. These findings typically do not manifest as neurological deficits, but any subtle effects on cognition remain unknown. In this study, the authors describe the neurocognitive performance of a cohort of patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) before and after treatment with flow diversion. This is the first report of cognitive outcomes following aneurysm treatment with flow diversion.

METHODS

The authors prospectively collected data on cognitive function using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) tool in patients with UIAs who were undergoing endovascular aneurysm treatment with flow diversion between June 2017 and July 2019. Patients completed the MoCA prior to intervention, at the 1-month follow-up after treatment, and again at 6 months after the procedure. All patients with UIAs treated with flow diversion were included regardless of age, aneurysm location, or morphology, unless their functional status precluded completion of the MoCA instrument. A repeated-measures linear mixed-effects model was used to compare preintervention and postintervention cognitive status at the time intervals outlined.

RESULTS

Fifty-one patients with 61 aneurysms underwent endovascular aneurysm treatment with flow diversion (mean age 52.5 years, 90.2% females). There was no difference between baseline and postprocedure MoCA scores at any time interval (p > 0.05). The MoCA scores at baseline, 1 month postprocedure, and 6 months postprocedure were 26.1, 26.2, and 26.6, respectively. There was also no difference between pre- and postprocedure scores on any individual domain of the instrument (visuospatial, naming, attention, language, abstraction, delayed recall, and orientation) at any time interval (p > 0.05). Thirty-four patients had follow-up MRI or CT imaging, 5 of whom showed radiographic changes or ischemia. All patients with follow-up clinical evaluation had a 6-month modified Rankin Scale score ≤ 2.

CONCLUSIONS

Flow diversion is increasingly used in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. This study suggests that this treatment may not alter neurocognitive function. Larger patient samples and longer follow-ups with other tests of cognitive functions are needed to confirm these findings.