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Kunal Vakharia, Stephan A. Munich, Michael K. Tso, Muhammad Waqas and Elad I. Levy

Stent-assisted coiling offers a potential solution for coil embolization of broad-based aneurysms. Challenges associated with navigating a microcatheter beyond these aneurysms sometimes require looping the microcatheter within the aneurysm dome. Reducing microcatheter loops within domes can be difficult, and anchor techniques have been described, including balloon anchor, stent-retriever anchor, and stent anchor techniques. The authors present a patient requiring stent-assisted coiling of an anterior communicating artery aneurysm in whom a stent anchor technique was used to reduce a microcatheter loop within an aneurysm dome before coil embolization. Postembolization angiographic runs showed complete coil occlusion of the aneurysm with approximately 35% packing density.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/zHR1ZOArUro.

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Kunal Vakharia, Stephan A. Munich, Muhammad Waqas, Swetadri Vasan Setlur Nagesh and Elad I. Levy

Progressive deconstruction with flow diversion using a Pipeline embolization device (PED; Medtronic) can be utilized to promote thrombosis of broad-based fusiform aneurysms. Current flow diverters require a 0.027-inch microcatheter for deployment. The authors present a patient with a fusiform P2–3 junction posterior cerebral artery aneurysm in which they demonstrate the importance of haptics in microwire manipulation to recognize large-vessel anatomy versus perforator anatomy that may overlap, especially when access is needed in distal tortuous circulations. In addition, the authors demonstrate the need for appropriate visualization before PED deployment. Postembolization runs demonstrated optimal wall apposition with contrast stasis within the aneurysm dome.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/8kfsSvN3XqM.

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Ioannis Siasios, Eftychia Z. Kapsalaki, Kostas N. Fountas, Aggeliki Fotiadou, Alexander Dorsch, Kunal Vakharia, John Pollina and Vassilios Dimopoulos

OBJECTIVE

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for the assessment of fractional anisotropy (FA) and involving measurements of mean diffusivity (MD) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) represents a novel, MRI-based, noninvasive technique that may delineate microstructural changes in cerebral white matter (WM). For example, DTI may be used for the diagnosis and differentiation of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) from other neurodegenerative diseases with similar imaging findings and clinical symptoms and signs. The goal of the current study was to identify and analyze recently published series on the use of DTI as a diagnostic tool. Moreover, the authors also explored the utility of DTI in identifying patients with iNPH who could be managed by surgical intervention.

METHODS

The authors performed a literature search of the PubMed database by using any possible combinations of the following terms: “Alzheimer's disease,” “brain,” “cerebrospinal fluid,” “CSF,” “diffusion tensor imaging,” “DTI,” “hydrocephalus,” “idiopathic,” “magnetic resonance imaging,” “normal pressure,” “Parkinson's disease,” and “shunting.” Moreover, all reference lists from the retrieved articles were reviewed to identify any additional pertinent articles.

RESULTS

The literature search retrieved 19 studies in which DTI was used for the identification and differentiation of iNPH from other neurodegenerative diseases. The DTI protocols involved different approaches, such as region of interest (ROI) methods, tract-based spatial statistics, voxel-based analysis, and delta-ADC analysis. The most studied anatomical regions were the periventricular WM areas, such as the internal capsule (IC), the corticospinal tract (CST), and the corpus callosum (CC). Patients with iNPH had significantly higher MD in the periventricular WM areas of the CST and the CC than had healthy controls. In addition, FA and ADCs were significantly higher in the CST of iNPH patients than in any other patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. Gait abnormalities of iNPH patients were statistically significantly and negatively correlated with FA in the CST and the minor forceps. Fractional anisotropy had a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 80% for diagnosing iNPH. Furthermore, FA and MD values in the CST, the IC, the anterior thalamic region, the fornix, and the hippocampus regions could help differentiate iNPH from Alzheimer or Parkinson disease. Interestingly, CSF drainage or ventriculoperitoneal shunting significantly modified FA and ADCs in iNPH patients whose condition clinically responded to these maneuvers.

CONCLUSIONS

Measurements of FA and MD significantly contribute to the detection of axonal loss and gliosis in the periventricular WM areas in patients with iNPH. Diffusion tensor imaging may also represent a valuable noninvasive method for differentiating iNPH from other neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, DTI can detect dynamic changes in the WM tracts after lumbar drainage or shunting procedures and could help identify iNPH patients who may benefit from surgical intervention.

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Stephan A. Munich, Kunal Vakharia, Matthew J. McPheeters, Michael K. Tso, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Kenneth V. Snyder, Jason M. Davies and Elad I. Levy

OBJECTIVE

The mortality rates for stroke are decreasing, yet it remains a leading cause of disability and the principal neurological diagnosis in patients discharged to nursing homes. The societal and economic burdens of stroke are substantial, with the total annual health care costs of stroke expected to reach $240.7 billion by 2030. Mechanical thrombectomy has been shown to improve functional outcomes compared to medical therapy alone. Despite an incremental cost of $10,840 compared to medical therapy, the improvement in functional outcomes and decreased disability have contributed to the cost-effectiveness of the procedure. In this study the authors describe a physician-led device bundle purchase program implemented for the delivery of stroke care.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical and radiographic data and device-associated charges of 45 consecutive patients in whom a virtual “stroke bundle” model was used to purchase mechanical thrombectomy devices.

RESULTS

Use of the stroke bundle to purchase mechanical thrombectomy devices resulted in an average savings per case of $2900.93. Compared to the traditional model of charging for devices à la carte, this represented an average savings of 25.2% per case. The total amount of savings for these initial 45 cases was $130,542.00. Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction scale grade 2b or 3 recanalization occurred in 38 patients (84.4%) using these devices.

CONCLUSIONS

Purchasing devices through a bundled model resulted in substantial cost savings while maintaining the therapeutic efficacy of the procedure, further pushing the already beneficial long-term cost-benefit curve in favor of thrombectomy.

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Hamidreza Rajabzadeh-Oghaz, Muhammad Waqas, Sricharan S. Veeturi, Kunal Vakharia, Michael K. Tso, Kenneth V. Snyder, Jason M. Davies, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy and Hui Meng

OBJECTIVE

Previous studies have found that ruptured intracranial aneurysms (RIAs) have distinct morphological and hemodynamic characteristics, including higher size ratio and oscillatory shear index and lower wall shear stress. Unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) that possess similar characteristics to RIAs may be at a higher risk of rupture than those UIAs that do not. The authors previously developed the Rupture Resemblance Score (RRS), a data-driven computer model that can objectively gauge the similarity of UIAs to RIAs in terms of morphology and hemodynamics. The authors aimed to explore the clinical utility of RRS in guiding the management of UIAs, especially for challenging cases such as small UIAs.

METHODS

Between September 2018 and June 2019, the authors retrospectively collected consecutive challenging cases of incidentally identified UIAs that were discussed during their weekly multidisciplinary neurovascular conference. From patient 3D digital subtraction angiography, they reconstructed the aneurysm geometry and performed computer-assisted 3D morphology analysis and computational fluid dynamics simulation. They calculated RRS for every UIA case and compared it against the treatment decision made at the neurovascular conference as well as the recommendation based on the unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score (UIATS).

RESULTS

Forty-seven patients with 79 UIAs, 90% of which were < 7 mm in size, were included in this study. The mean RRS (range 0.0–1.0) was 0.24 ± 0.31. At the conferences, treatment was endorsed for 45 of the UIAs (57%). These cases had significantly higher RRSs than the 34 cases suggested for observation (0.33 ± 0.34 vs 0.11 ± 0.19, p < 0.001). The UIATS-based recommendations were “observation” for 24 UIAs (30%), “treatment” for 21 UIAs (27%), and “not definitive” for 34 UIAs (43%). These “not definitive” cases were stratified by RRS based on similarity to RIAs.

CONCLUSIONS

Although not a rupture predictor, RRS is a data-driven model that gauges the similarity of UIAs to RIAs in terms of morphology and hemodynamics. In cases in which the UIATS-based recommendation is not definitive, RRS provides additional stratification to assist the identification of high-risk UIAs. The current study highlights the clinical utility of RRS in a real-world setting as an adjunctive tool for the management of UIAs.