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Eric S. Nussbaum, Kevin Kallmes, Jodi Lowary and Leslie A. Nussbaum

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Tariq M. Janjua, Archie Defillo, Jody L. Lowary and Leslie A. Nussbaum

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of urgent extracranial-intracranial (ECIC) bypass in the management of intracranial cerebrovascular disease and acute cerebral ischemic injury in carefully selected patients.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical records and neuroimaging studies in 13 consecutive patients who underwent urgent surgical cerebral revascularization to treat acute cerebral ischemia. None were thought to be appropriate candidates for endovascular therapy. The patients' ages ranged from 21 to 65 years (mean 41.2 years). The mean follow-up review was 3.5 years, and no patient was lost to follow-up.

Results

Preoperative angiographic evaluation identified critical narrowing of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) in 8 patients, the M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) in 3, and the cervical/petrous ICA in 2. All patients had progressive, refractory symptoms associated with enlarging areas of infarction on diffusion weighted MR imaging, despite maximal medical therapy, which included anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents, blood pressure elevation, and fluid resuscitation. All patients underwent superficial temporal artery–MCA anastomosis on an urgent basis. In every case, the bypass prevented further stroke progression. In 2 cases, revascularization was followed by rapid, dramatic improvement of preoperative neurological deficits.

Conclusions

In the authors' experience, emergency EC-IC bypass in patients with acute ischemic injury was both safe and effective. This population was characterized by relatively young patients with severely limited collateral circulation. In this series of 13 carefully selected patients, bypass was successful in arresting progression of stroke, and in some cases resulted in rapid neurological improvement.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Michael T. Madison, James K. Goddard, Jeffrey P. Lassig and Leslie A. Nussbaum

Object

The authors report the management and outcomes of 55 patients with 60 intracranial aneurysms arising distal to the major branch points of the circle of Willis and vertebrobasilar system.

Methods

Between July 1997 and December 2006, the authors' neurovascular service treated 2021 intracranial aneurysms in 1850 patients. The database was reviewed retrospectively to identify peripherally located intracranial aneurysms. Aneurysms that were mycotic and aneurysms that were associated with either an arteriovenous malformation or an atrial myxoma were excluded from review.

Results

The authors encountered 60 peripheral intracranial aneurysms in 55 patients. There were 42 small, 7 large, and 11 giant lesions. Forty-one (68%) were unruptured, and 19 (32%) had bled. Fifty-three aneurysms were treated surgically by using direct clip reconstruction in 26, trapping or proximal occlusion with distal revascularization in 21, excision with end-to-end anastomosis in 3, and circumferential wrap/clip reconstruction in 3. Coils were used to treat 6 aneurysms, and 1 was treated by endovascular parent artery occlusion. Overall, 49 patients had good outcomes, 4 were left with new neurological deficits, and 2 died.

Conclusions

Peripherally situated intracranial aneurysms are rare lesions that present unique management challenges. Despite the fact that in the authors' experience these lesions were rarely treatable with simple clipping of the aneurysm neck or endovascular coil occlusion, preservation of the parent artery was possible in most cases, and the majority of patients had a good outcome.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Michael T. Madison, James K. Goddard, Jeffrey P. Lassig, Kevin M. Kallmes and Leslie A. Nussbaum

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Michael T. Madison, James K. Goddard, Jeffrey P. Lassig, Tariq M. Janjua and Leslie A. Nussbaum

The authors report a novel management option for patients with complex dissecting aneurysms of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA).

The authors reviewed the medical records and neuroimaging studies of 3 patients who underwent a novel surgical treatment for complicated dissecting PICA aneurysms. The mean follow-up period was 1.1 years, and no patient was lost to follow-up. Two patients were in poor condition following an acute, severe subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 1 presented with headaches and a remote history of bleeding. All patients underwent surgical occlusion of the PICA beyond the tonsillar loop, distal to the aneurysmal segment. Intraoperative and delayed follow-up angiography demonstrated progressive diminution in size of the aneurysmal dilation but persistent filling of the proximal PICA segments supplying the brainstem. Outcome was good in all cases.

This novel technique has been used successfully in 3 cases and, to the authors' knowledge, has not been reported previously.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Kevin M. Kallmes, Jeffrey P. Lassig, James K. Goddard, Michael T. Madison and Leslie A. Nussbaum

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Eric S. Nussbaum, Sean O. Casey, Leslie A. Sebring and Michael T. Madison

✓ Patients with renal insufficiency or other contraindications to iodine-based contrast agents present a significant management dilemma when conventional arteriography is required. The authors describe the use of gadolinium as an alternative contrast agent for arterial digital subtraction (DS) angiography of the cervical carotid arteries (CAs) and intracranial circulation.

Three patients with renal insufficiency presented with symptoms of ischemic cerebrovascular disease and inconclusive noninvasive imaging studies, which necessitated conventional angiography. Traditional transfemoral catheterization of the cervical CAs was performed and DS angiographic studies were obtained using gadolinium as an intraarterial contrast agent. In one case, selective arteriographic examination of the internal carotid arteries and vertebrobasilar system was performed as well. High-quality, diagnostic images essentially indistinguishable from routine angiographic studies were obtained in all cases. No patient suffered a complication related to the use of gadolinium, and no patient demonstrated worsened renal function after the procedure.

In the setting of a contraindication to iodine-based contrast agents, gadolinium represents an important alternative contrast material that allows for excellent visualization of the cervical CAs and intracranial circulation.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010