The authors describe a 14-year-old boy presenting with an orbitocranial penetrating injury (OPI) from a metallic air gun pellet to the left eye who developed hemiparesis and speech difficulty due to migration of the pellet to the left middle cerebral artery. They highlight the potential complications associated with both OPIs and intravascular foreign body migration and occlusion by describing the patient’s presentation, results of imaging evaluation, and the combined endovascular treatment and extracranial-intracranial bypass, which resulted in rapid restoration of blood flow and full neurological recovery with intact vision. Based on this case and a review of the literature on intracranial foreign body migration with resultant vascular occlusion, the authors recommend that complex OPIs be treated at centers that offer both neuroendovascular and neurovascular surgical capabilities on an urgent basis to manage both the primary injury and potential secondary vascular compromise.
Eric S. Nussbaum, Patrick Graupman, James K. Goddard and Kevin M. Kallmes
Eric S. Nussbaum, Kevin Kallmes, Jodi Lowary and Leslie A. Nussbaum
Undiagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV in patients present risks of transmission of bloodborne infections to surgeons intraoperatively. Presurgical screening has been suggested as a protocol to protect surgical staff from these pathogens. The authors sought to determine the incidence of HCV and HIV infection in elective craniotomy patients and analyze the cost-effectiveness of universal and risk factor–specific screening for protection of the surgical staff.
All patients undergoing elective craniotomy between July 2009 and July 2016 at the National Brain Aneurysm Center who did not refuse screening were included in this study. The authors utilized rapid HCV and HIV tests to screen patients prior to elective surgery, and for each patient who tested positive using the rapid HCV or HIV test, qualitative nucleic acid testing was used to confirm active viral load, and risk factor information was collected. Patients scheduled for nonurgent surgery who were found to be HCV positive were referred to a hepatologist for preoperative treatment. The authors compared risk factors between patients who tested positive on rapid tests, patients with active viral loads, and a random sample of patients who tested negative. The authors also tracked the clinical and material costs of HCV and HIV rapid test screening per patient for cost-effectiveness analysis and calculated the cost per positive result of screening all patients and of screening based on all patient risk factors that differed significantly between patients with and those without positive HCV test results.
The study population of patients scheduled for elective craniotomy included 1461 patients, of whom 22 (1.5%) refused the screening. Of the 1439 patients screened, 15 (1.0%) tested positive for HCV using rapid HCV screening; 9 (60%) of these patients had active viral loads. No patient (0%) tested positive for HIV. Seven (77.8%) of the 9 patients with active viral loads underwent treatment with a hepatologist and were referred back for surgery 3–6 months after sustained virologic response to treatment, but the remaining 2 patients (22.2%) required urgent surgery. Of the 9 patients with active viral loads, 1 patient (11%) had a history of both intravenous drug abuse and tattoos. Two of the 9 patients (22%) had tattoos, and 3 (33%) were born within the age-screening bracket (born 1945–1965) recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates of smoking differed significantly (p < 0.001) between patients who had active viral loads of HCV and patients who were HCV negative, and rates of smoking (p < 0.001) and IV drug abuse (p < 0.01) differed significantly between patients who were HCV rapid-test positive and those who were HCV negative. Total screening costs (95% CI) per positive result were $3,877.33 ($2,348.05–$11,119.28) for all patients undergoing HCV rapid screening, $226.29 ($93.54–$312.68) for patients with a history of smoking, and $72.00 ($29.15–$619.39) for patients with a history of IV drug abuse.
The rate of undiagnosed HCV infection in this patient population was commensurate with national levels. While the cost of universal screening was considerable, screening patients based on a history of smoking or IV drug abuse would likely reduce costs per positive result greatly and potentially provide cost-effective identification and treatment of HCV patients and surgical staff protection. HIV screening found no infected patients and was not cost-effective.
Eric S. Nussbaum, Michael T. Madison, James K. Goddard, Jeffrey P. Lassig, Kevin M. Kallmes and Leslie A. Nussbaum
Advances in endovascular therapy for the treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms have led to scrutiny of its benefits compared with microsurgical repair. To provide information regarding complication rates and outcomes, the authors reviewed the results of a large series of unruptured MCA aneurysms treated with open microsurgery.
The authors included all patients who underwent surgical repair of an unruptured MCA aneurysm between 1997 and 2015. All surgical procedures, including clipping, wrapping, bypass, and parent artery occlusion, were performed by a single neurosurgeon. Aneurysm occlusion was assessed using intraoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) or DSA and indocyanine green videoangiography in all cases. Postoperatively, all patients were monitored in a neurointensive care unit overnight. Clinical follow-up was scheduled for 2–4 weeks after surgery, and angiographic follow-up was performed in those patients with subtotally occluded aneurysms at 1, 2, and 5 years postoperation.
The authors treated 750 unruptured MCA aneurysms in 716 patients: 649 (86.5%) aneurysms were small, 75 (10.0%) were large, and 26 (3.5%) were giant. Most aneurysms (n = 677, 90%) were treated by primary clip reconstruction. The surgical morbidity rate was 2.8%, and the mortality rate was 0%. Complete angiographic aneurysm occlusion was achieved in 92.0% of aneurysms. At final follow-up, 713 patients had a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0, 2 patients had an mRS score of 2 or 3, and 1 had an mRS score of 4.
In high-volume centers, microsurgical management of MCA aneurysms can be performed with very low morbidity rates. Currently, microsurgical repair appears to be a highly effective method of treating MCA aneurysms.
Eric S. Nussbaum, Kevin M. Kallmes, Jeffrey P. Lassig, James K. Goddard, Michael T. Madison and Leslie A. Nussbaum
Because simple intracranial aneurysms (IAs) are increasingly treated endovascularly, neurovascular surgery has become focused on complex IAs that may require deconstructive aneurysm therapy with concomitant surgical bypass. The authors describe the decision-making process concerning cerebral revascularization and present outcomes that were achieved in a large case series of complex IAs managed with cerebral revascularization and parent artery occlusion.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records, including neuroimaging studies, operative reports, and follow-up clinic notes, of all patients who were treated at the National Brain Aneurysm Center between July 1997 and June 2015 using cerebral revascularization as part of the management of an IA. They recorded the location, rupture status, and size of each IA, as well as neurological outcome using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), aneurysm and bypass status at follow-up, and morbidity and mortality.
The authors identified 126 patients who underwent revascularization surgery for 126 complex, atheromatous, calcified, or previously coiled aneurysms. Ninety-seven lesions (77.0%) were unruptured, and 99 (78.6%) were located in the anterior circulation. Aneurysm size was giant (≥ 25 mm) in 101 patients, large (10–24 mm) in 9, and small (≤ 9 mm) in 16 patients. Eighty-four low-flow bypasses were performed in 83 patients (65.9%). High-flow bypass was performed in 32 patients (25.4%). Eleven patients (8.7%) underwent in situ or intracranial-intracranial bypasses. Major morbidity (mRS score 4 or 5) occurred in 2 (2.4%) low-flow cases and 3 (9.1%) high-flow cases. Mortality occurred in 2 (2.4%) low-flow cases and 2 (6.1%) high-flow cases. At the 12-month follow-up, 83 (98.8%) low-flow and 30 (93.8%) high-flow bypasses were patent. Seventy-five patients (90.4%) undergoing low-flow and 28 (84.8%) high-flow bypasses had an mRS score ≤ 2. There were no statistically significant differences in patency rates or complications between low- and high-flow bypasses.
When treating challenging and complex IAs, incorporating revascularization strategies into the surgical repertoire may contribute to achieving favorable outcomes. In our series, low-flow bypass combined with isolated proximal or distal parent artery occlusion was associated with a low rate of ischemic complications while providing good long-term aneurysm control, potentially supporting its wider utilization in this setting. The authors suggest that consideration should be given to managing complex IAs at high-volume centers that offer a multidisciplinary team approach and the full spectrum of surgical and endovascular treatment options to optimize patient outcomes.