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L. Nelson Hopkins

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J Mocco and L. Nelson Hopkins

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Robert D. Ecker and L. Nelson Hopkins

Since the publication of the retrospective part of the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms (ISUIA) in 1998, there has been a significant focus in the neurosurgical literature on the natural history of these lesions. The prospective data from the second part of the ISUIA, which was published in 2003, provided further evidence that small, asymptomatic intracranial aneurysms may have a more benign course than previously believed. With the data from the ISUIA as a reference point, in this paper the authors strive to provide a source of practical clinical data to aid cerebrovascular physicians in the initial decision to treat or observe a patient with a small, asymptomatic intracranial aneurysm. The issues covered will include previous rupture, symptoms other than rupture, aneurysm size, site, and aspect ratio. It is the authors' goal to provide a useful practical framework on the relevant clinical issues as an aid to practitioners treating patients who present with intracranial aneurysms.

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Robert D. Ecker, Maureen T. Donovan and L. Nelson Hopkins

Object

More patients with head and neck cancers who undergo radical neck dissection and adjuvant radiation are experiencing prolonged survival times. Because of their improved survival, patients are living long enough to suffer the delayed effects of radiation therapy. Radiation-induced carotid artery (CA) stenosis in patients with or without radical neck dissection often requires extensive exposure and vessel reconstruction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of endovascular treatment as an alternative therapy for radiation-induced CA stenosis.

Methods

Coinciding with the improved longevity of these patients, CA angioplasty and stent placement has become a definitive treatment strategy for this particularly challenging group of individuals. Long lesions are easily addressed with multiple telescoped stents. The tendency toward early restenosis can now be addressed with cutting balloon angioplasty. A review of the authors' institutional database yielded five patients (four men and one woman) with a history of radiation treatment ipsilateral to their CA stenosis. Three of five patients were symptomatic, and the interval between radiation therapy and endovascular treatment ranged from 1 to 47 years (mean 16.6 years). Four of the five patients were treated using distal embolic protection devices, and all patients underwent balloon dilation after stent placement.

Conclusions

As advancements are made in the technology and techniques for CA angioplasty and stent placement, the safety and durability of treatments in patients with radiation-induced atherosclerotic disease will improve.

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Marc R. Mayberg

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Herbert L. Cares, Glen H. Roberson, Walter Grand and L. Nelson Hopkins

✓ The authors report a technique to precisely localize a fistulous opening in the carotid artery. The patient is heparinized and a Prolo catheter is introduced into the internal carotid artery and inflated distal to the approximate site of the fistula. Heparinization allows the balloon to be inflated long enough to obtain and analyze high-quality angiography film without fear of thromboembolism generated by the temporary balloon occlusion. Contrast material injected through the Prolo catheter proximal to the balloon reveals a small segment of cavernous carotid artery between the inflated balloon distally and the fistula proximally. The venous structures are now only faintly opacified and cannot obscure the morbid anatomy of the exact fistulous tear in the carotid artery. If the balloon is placed exactly opposite to the site of the fistula, a standing, stagnant column of dye forms a cast of the cavernous, petrous, and cervical carotid artery. Once the fistula is localized with this method, it may be obliterated by any therapeutic means preferred. If the Prolo catheter is used for intraluminal occlusion, then a transfemoral contralateral carotid angiogram is done before the heparin is reversed to confirm that the balloon has not been placed proximal to the fistula.

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Sharon Webb, Parham Yashar, Peter Kan, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The treatment of acute intracranial vertebrobasilar artery occlusion (VBO) has been described but often with poor results. The authors of this study set out to evaluate their institution's outcomes following multimodal treatment of VBO.

Methods

They retrospectively reviewed their endovascular database for all patients treated for acute intracranial VBO between December 2004 and June 2010. Twenty-four patients were identified. Two patients were excluded from evaluation—one because of incomplete medical records and one because the etiology was basilar stenosis and not stroke. Occlusion location, hypercoagulable causes, time to endovascular treatment, time to revascularization, comorbidities, devices used, procedural anticoagulation, and outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Among the 22 eligible study patients, the mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at presentation was 15.3. The mean time from presentation to initiation of the endovascular procedure was 4.77 hours. The mean time for recanalization from the start of angiography was 1.63 hours. In 16 patients (73%), revascularization was successful (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] score of 2 or 3). Thirteen (59%) of the 22 patients were discharged to home or a rehabilitation facility. One patient was transferred to a chronic care facility. The overall survival rate was 64%. The average NIHSS score for the 14 surviving patients at discharge was 3.9. At the follow-up (average 14.5 months, range 1–58 months), 10 patients (71%) had achieved good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≤ 2) and 4 (29%) had poor outcomes (mRS Score 3–6).

Conclusions

Published case series have historically shown poor outcomes and high mortality rates in association with the treatment of acute VBO, prompting surgeons to be less aggressive in the treatment of this disease than they might be otherwise. Data in this series show that the revascularization of posterior circulation occlusions is feasible and that good outcomes and lower mortality rates with newer endovascular technologies are possible, and thus more prompt and aggressive treatment of this disease may be warranted.

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Mandy J. Binning, Alexander A. Khalessi, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Intracranial arterial dissection is an important cause of stroke in young patients. Treatment options include observation, antiplatelet or anticoagulation regimens, and endovascular stent placement. The authors describe the case of a 14-year-old boy who presented with a symptomatic, posttraumatic dissection extending from the intracranial internal carotid artery to the middle cerebral artery. Images obtained approximately 48 hours after this incident revealed a subacute right frontal lobe infarct, and a CT stroke study (CT angiography and CT perfusion) confirmed the vascular injury and associated decreased perfusion, prompting revascularization with a self-expanding stent. The patient did well clinically after stent placement and showed no evidence of restenosis on follow-up angiography 3 and 6 months later. This report is, to the authors' knowledge, the first description of the use of a stent for a symptomatic intracranial dissection in an adolescent.

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Giuseppe Lanzino and Pietro Ivo D'Urso

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Demetrius K. Lopes, Robert A. Mericle, Ajay K. Wakhloo, Lee R. Guterman and L. Nelson Hopkins

✓ The authors report the occurrence of ipsilateral transient cavernous sinus syndrome during balloon test occlusion (BTO) of the cervical internal carotid artery (ICA) and discuss the involved pathomechanisms.

The authors reviewed their series of 129 BTOs of the ICA performed between 1989 and 1996. Two patients developed facial paresthesias and transient palsies of the third through sixth cranial nerves during test occlusion of the cervical ICA. The tests were performed prior to planned permanent carotid artery occlusion for the treatment of a neck sarcoma in one patient and a giant cavernous carotid artery aneurysm in the other. The patients' symptoms resolved with deflation of the balloon. When the balloon was subsequently inflated above the inferior cavernous sinus artery (ICSA), one of the patients complained of mild facial discomfort. There was no contralateral weakness or mental status change during test occlusion in either patient. Angiography demonstrated good filling of the ipsilateral intracranial circulation via collateral vessels of the circle of Willis.

In these two cases, the cranial nerves in the cavernous sinus were likely supplied by the ICA via the meningohypophyseal trunk and the ICSA. In each case, there was excellent blood supply to the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere; however, there was probably inadequate retrograde filling of the cranial nerve collateral vessels located where the meningohypophyseal trunk and ICSA originated. These cases emphasize the importance of a patent external carotid artery—ICA connection for successful cervical carotid artery occlusion. Neurological examination during BTO was critical to interpret the clinical manifestations caused by the hemodynamic changes.