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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Giuseppe Lanzino

In elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke, tortuosity of the proximal vertebral artery makes access from the transfemoral route challenging and time consuming. In such cases, a transradial approach (TA) offers a more direct vertebral artery (VA) access that overcomes proximal VA tortuosity. In this video the authors illustrate nuances of the TA for acute basilar artery occlusion in two patients with challenging proximal VA anatomy. Techniques, devices, and pitfalls are discussed. In both patients, mechanical clot retrieval was successful and resulted in significant recovery of function. The authors believe that the TA should be the initial approach for basilar artery (BA) occlusion management in elderly patients and should be considered for selected patients with other conditions requiring endovascular treatment.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_Ym9tMKUy_4.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECT

The ideal surgical approach to thalamic cavernous malformations (CMs) varies according to their location within the thalamus. To standardize surgical approaches, the authors have divided the thalamus into 6 different regions and matched them with the corresponding surgical approach.

METHODS

The regions were defined as Region 1 (anteroinferior), Region 2 (medial), Region 3 (lateral), Region 4 (posterosuperior), Region 5 (lateral posteroinferior), and Region 6 (medial posteroinferior). The senior author’s surgical experience with 46 thalamic CMs was reviewed according to this classification. An orbitozygomatic approach was used for Region 1; anterior ipsilateral transcallosal for Region 2; anterior contralateral transcallosal for Region 3; posterior transcallosal for Region 4; parietooccipital transventricularfor Region 5; and supracerebellar-infratentorial for Region 6.

RESULTS

Region 3 was the most common location (17 [37%]). There were 5 CMs in Region 1 (11%), 9 in Region 2 (20%), 17 in Region 3 (37%), 3 in Region 4 (6%), 4 in Region 5 (9%), and 8 in Region 6 (17%). Complete resection was achieved in all patients except for 2, who required a second-stage operation. The mean follow-up period was 1.7 years (range 6 months-9 years). At the last clinical follow-up, 40 patients (87%) had an excellent or good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] scores 0–2) and 6 (13%) had poor outcome (mRS scores 3–4). Relative to their preoperative condition, 42 patients (91%) were unchanged or improved, and 4 (9%) were worse.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors have presented the largest series reported to date of surgically treated thalamic CMs, achieving excellent results using this methodology. In the authors’ experience, conceptually dividing the thalamus into 6 different regions aids in the selection of the ideal surgical approach fora specific region.

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Gary Rajah, Sandra Narayanan and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

Flow diversion has become a well-accepted option for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Given the significant treatment effect of flow diverters, numerous options have emerged since the initial Pipeline embolization device studies. In this review, the authors describe the available flow diverters, both endoluminal and intrasaccular, addressing nuances of device design and function and presenting data on complications and outcomes, where available. They also discuss possible future directions of flow diversion.

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Jaime Torres-Corzo, Roberto Rodriguez-Della Vecchia and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

Object

Neurocysticercosis is the most frequent cause of hydrocephalus in adults in regions where the disease is endemic, including Latin America. The prognosis for intraventricular neurocysticercosis is worse than that for the intraparenchymal form of the disease, making treatment especially important. Although active and viable intraventricular cysts produce no reaction in the host, they can cause noncommunicating hydrocephalus, whose onset is frequently abrupt. Sometimes the increasing intracranial pressure due to obstruction of the cerebral aqueduct (ball-valve mechanism) is intermittent, producing relapsing/remitting symptoms; this life-threatening phenomenon is called “Bruns syndrome.”

Methods

Between 1996 and 2004, among a group of 285 patients with neurocysticercosis and Bruns syndrome caused by cysticercal cysts of the third ventricle was diagnosed in seven patients by using magnetic resonance imaging. An endoscopic procedure with a flexible cerebral endoscope was performed, intact parasitic cysts were removed, and a complete exploration was undertaken to look for more cysticercal cysts in the whole ventricular system and the subarachnoid basal cisterns. There were no deaths or complications. All seven patients were asymptomatic during a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 5 years.

Conclusions

Flexible cerebral endoscopy allows one, in a minimally invasive manner, to approach the ventricular system and subarachnoid basal cisterns and to remove intraventricular neurocysticercal cysts. Flexible endoscopy is an alternative treatment for Bruns syndrome caused by neurocysticercosis of the third ventricle.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Chandan Krishna, Richard Klucznik and Orlando Diaz

Sinus pericranii (SP) is an uncommon and usually asymptomatic communication between intra- and extracranial venous drainage pathways in which blood flow can circulate bidirectionally through abnormal dilated veins through a skull defect. Diagnosis and evaluation of the venous drainage pattern is important if treatment is contemplated. Cerebral angiography with the use of Dyna CT can be helpful in the diagnosis of SP and its relationship with the skull defect. The authors report what is, to the best of their knowledge, the first case of SP treated by means of endovascular embolization with Onyx.

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Vivek R. Deshmukh, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Robert F. Spetzler

Object

Brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) present a unique therapeutic challenge to neurosurgeons. Resection of BSCMs is typically reserved for lesions that reach pial or ependymal surfaces. The current study investigates the lateral inferior cerebellar peduncle as a corridor to dorsolateral medullary BSCMs.

Methods

In this retrospective review, the authors present the cases of 4 patients (3 women and 1 man) who had a symptomatic dorsolateral cavernous malformation with radiographic and clinical evidence of hemorrhage.

Results

All patients underwent excision of the cavernous malformation via a far-lateral suboccipital craniotomy through the foramen of Luschka and with an incision in the inferior cerebellar peduncle. On intraoperative examination, 2 of the 4 patients had hemosiderin staining on the surface of the peduncle. All lesions were completely excised and all patients had a good or excellent outcome (modified Rankin Scale scores of 0 or 1).

Conclusions

This case series illustrates that intrinsic lesions of the dorsolateral medulla can be safely removed laterally through the foramen of Luschka and the inferior cerebellar peduncle.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Robert F. Spetzler

A 70-year-old man with progressive visual disturbances, left superior quadrantanopsia, and right-sided papilledema underwent imaging that demonstrated a right internal carotid artery (ICA) terminus aneurysm with third-ventricle mass effect and ipsilateral optic nerve and chiasm compression. We performed a right modified orbitozygomatic craniotomy, with proximal control and dissection of the aneurysm and small perforator arteries. Temporary ICA and anterior cerebral artery (ACA) clips allowed placement of a large curved permanent clip, reconstructing the ICA bifurcation and maintaining adequate patency of the ACA and middle cerebral artery. Complete aneurysm obliteration was confirmed by intraoperative indocyanine green angiography and postoperative CT angiography.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/5WEEgmA-g2A.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Hakeem J. Shakir and Adnan H. Siddiqui

The ability to traverse an anatomically challenging and complex arch is paramount to the success of any neuroendovascular procedure. With age, the aortic arch becomes elongated, calcified, and less compliant. The authors present the initial experience with a multiple parallel guidewire system (ZigiWire Mode 3) for catheterization through a complex tortuous aortic arch to access extracranial vessels. The ZigiWire is an organized guidewire system that uses consecutive delivery of 3 small-diameter (0.014-inch) guidewires that are progressively advanced in parallel to secure support-wire access. The authors have found it useful in situations in which traditional methods for great-vessel access have failed. Moreover, the progressive construction of a large wire from smaller wires prevents “kickback” force from a single larger guidewire, allowing stable distal access. The authors have been able to advance different diagnostic and guide catheters over the ZigiWire. This guidewire has allowed them to successfully complete neuroendovascular procedures in patients who were previously considered unsuitable for the procedure because of tortuous vascular access.

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Gary Rajah, Hamidreza Saber, Rasanjeet Singh and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

Neuromodulation and deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been increasingly used in many neurological ailments, including essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and more. Yet for many patients and practitioners the desire to utilize these therapies is met with caution, given the need for craniotomy, lead insertion through brain parenchyma, and, at many times, bilateral invasive procedures. Currently endovascular therapy is a standard of care for emergency thrombectomy, aneurysm treatment, and other vascular malformation/occlusive disease of the cerebrum. Endovascular techniques and delivery catheters have advanced greatly in both their ability to safely reach remote brain locations and deliver devices. In this review the authors discuss minimally invasive endovascular delivery of devices and neural stimulating and recording from cortical and DBS targets via the neurovascular network.