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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Desmond Brown, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Ian F. Parney

OBJECTIVE

The clinical course of high-grade central nervous system gliomas is occasionally complicated by hydrocephalus. The risks of shunt placement and clinical outcome following CSF diversion in this population are not well defined.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of patients with pathologically confirmed WHO grade III or IV gliomas with shunt-treated hydrocephalus at their institution. Outcomes of patients in this cohort were compared with those of patients who underwent shunt treatment for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Hospital-reported outcomes in a national database for malignant primary brain tumor patients undergoing a ventricular shunt procedure were also reviewed.

RESULTS

Forty-one patients undergoing CSF shunting between 2001 and 2016 at the authors’ institution were identified. Noncommunicating and communicating hydrocephalus occurred at similar rates (51.2% vs 48.8%). Symptomatic improvement after shunting was observed in 75.0% of patients. A major complication occurred in 17.1% of cases, with 2 patients suffering an intracranial hemorrhage. Prior administration of bevacizumab was significantly associated with the incidence of hemorrhage (p = 0.026). Three patients (7.3%) died during admission, and 8 (19.5%) died within 30 days of shunt placement. The presence of ependymal or leptomeningeal enhancement was more common in patients who died within 30 days (75.0% vs 11.1%, p = 0.001). Six patients (18.1%) required readmission to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Revision surgery was necessary in 7 patients (17.1%). The median time from shunt placement to death was 150.5 days. In comparison with patients with NPH, shunt-treated high-grade glioma patients had increased in-hospital (7.3% vs 0.5%, p = 0.008) and 30-day (19.5% vs 0.8%, p < 0.001) mortality but no difference in the incidence of revision surgery (17.1% vs 17.5%, p = 0.947). Similarly, in the national Vizient Clinical Database Resource Manager, shunt-treated patients with malignant primary brain tumors had an increased length of stay (6.9 vs 3.5 days, p < 0.001), direct cost of admission ($15,755.80 vs $9871.50, p < 0.001), and 30-day readmission rates (20.6% vs 2.4%, p < 0.001) compared with patients without brain tumors who received a shunt for NPH.

CONCLUSIONS

Shunting can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of hydrocephalus in patients with high-grade gliomas. However, the authors’ results suggest that this procedure carries a significant risk of complications in this patient population.

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

An 80-year-old female presented with a long history of severe pulsatile tinnitus, vertigo, and decreased hearing. She was found to have a large right-sided tentorial arteriovenous fistula (AVF) with enlarged deep draining veins, including the vein of Rosenthal. The patient underwent Onyx embolization of the fistula via a combined transarterial and transvenous approach resulting in complete obliteration of the fistula. Her symptoms improved immediately after the procedure and at 6-months’ follow-up she was clinically asymptomatic with no evidence of residual fistula on neuroimaging. Transvenous embolization of AVF is at times necessary when transarterial access is not possible.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/uOMHY7eaOoQ.

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Anthony S. Larson, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, and James P. Klaas

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Joshua D. Hughes, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

It has been suggested that increased body mass index (BMI) may confer a protective effect on patients who suffer from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Whether the modality of aneurysm occlusion influences the effect of BMI on patient outcomes is not well understood. The authors aimed to compare the effect of BMI on outcomes for patients with aSAH treated with surgical clipping versus endovascular coiling.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the outcomes for patients admitted to their institution for the management of aSAH treated with either clipping or coiling. BMI at the time of admission was recorded and used to assign patients to a group according to low or high BMI. Cutoff values for BMI were determined by classification and regression tree analysis. Predictors of poor functional outcome (defined as modified Rankin Scale score > 2 measured ≥ 90 days after the ictus) and posttreatment cerebral hypodensities detected during admission were then determined separately for patients treated with clipping or coiling using stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 469 patients admitted to the authors’ institution with aSAH who met the study’s inclusion criteria, 144 were treated with clipping and 325 were treated with coiling. In the clipping group, the frequency of poor functional outcome was higher in patients with BMI ≥ 32.3 kg/m2 (47.6% vs 19.0%; p = 0.007). In contrast, in the coiling group, patients with BMI ≥ 32.3 kg/m2 had a lower frequency of poor functional outcome at ≥ 90 days (5.8% vs 30.9%; p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, high BMI was independently associated with an increased (OR 3.92, 95% CI 1.20–13.41; p = 0.024) and decreased (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.03–0.40; p < 0.001) likelihood of poor functional outcome for patients treated with clipping and coiling, respectively. For patients in the surgical group, BMI ≥ 28.4 kg/m2 was independently associated with incidence of cerebral hypodensities during admission (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.16–5.25; p = 0.018) on multivariate analysis. For patients treated with coiling, BMI ≥ 33.2 kg/m2 was independently associated with reduced odds of hypodensities (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21–0.89; p = 0.021).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest that BMI may differentially affect functional outcomes after aSAH, depending on treatment modality. These findings may aid in treatment selection for patients with aSAH.

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Meisam Shahsavari and Soodeh Shahsavari

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Harry J. Cloft, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Deena M. Nasr, Kelly D. Flemming, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Waleed Brinjikji

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic nonsaccular vertebrobasilar aneurysms (NSVBAs) are associated with high rates of aneurysm-related death. Anecdotal evidence suggests that brainstem infarction may be a harbinger of aneurysm rupture. The authors aimed to investigate the association between brainstem infarction and subsequent NSVBA rupture.

METHODS

The clinical records and radiographic imaging studies of patients presenting to the authors’ institution between 1996 and 2019 for evaluation and management of an NSVBA were retrospectively reviewed to determine the effect of perforating artery infarction on the natural history of NSVBAs. Kaplan-Meier curves for patients with and patients without perforator infarction were constructed, and predictors of aneurysm rupture were identified using a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

There were 98 patients with 591.3 person-years of follow-up who met the inclusion criteria for analysis. There were 20 patients who experienced perforator infarction during follow-up. Ten patients (10.2%) experienced aneurysm rupture during follow-up and 26 patients (26.5%) died due to aneurysm-related complications, with annual rates of rupture and aneurysm-related death of 1.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Five patients with a perforator infarction later experienced aneurysm rupture, with a median time between infarction and rupture of 3 months (range 0–35 months). On multivariate analysis, the presence of intraaneurysmal thrombus (risk ratio [RR] 4.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12–14.44, p = 0.033) and perforator infarction (RR 6.37, 95% CI 1.07–37.95, p = 0.042) were independently associated with risk of aneurysm rupture.

CONCLUSIONS

NSVBAs continue to be extremely challenging clinical entities with a poor prognosis. These results suggest that brainstem infarction due to perforating artery occlusion may be a harbinger of near-term aneurysm rupture.

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Adip G. Bhargav, Cody L. Nesvick, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

Although ventricular shunting is an effective therapy for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), the effect of shunt valve type on the incidence of revision surgery is not well defined. To address this issue, shunt revision rates between patients with iNPH receiving a fixed-setting valve (FSV) versus a programmable valve (PV) were compared.

METHODS

Patients with iNPH treated with ventricular shunting between 2001 and 2017 were included for analysis. The incidence of shunt revision was noted and risk factors for revision were identified using a Cox proportional hazards model. Costs associated with admission for ventricular shunt procedures were obtained from the Vizient national database.

RESULTS

There were 348 patients included for analysis, with 98 patients (28.1%) receiving a PV. Shunt revision occurred in 73 patients (21.0%), with 12 patients (3.4%) undergoing multiple revisions. Overall revision rates were lower in patients receiving a PV (13.3% vs 24.0%; p = 0.027), as was the incidence of multiple revisions (0.0% vs 4.8%; p = 0.023). Patients with initial placement of an FSV were also more likely to undergo valve exchange during follow-up (12.4% vs 2.0%; p = 0.003). Patients with a PV were less likely to undergo revision due to persistent symptoms without obstruction (2.0% vs 8.8%; p = 0.031) and distal obstruction (1.0% vs 6.8%; p = 0.030). In a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, initial placement of a PV was associated with reduced risk of revision due to persistent symptoms without obstruction (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.04–0.93; p = 0.036). PVs were associated with more frequent shunt series (1.3 vs 0.6; p < 0.001) and head CT scans (3.6 vs 2.7; p = 0.038) during follow-up. There was no significant difference in mean total costs between patients receiving an FSV and a PV ($24,282.50 vs $24,396.90; p = 0.937).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results suggest that PVs lead to reduced rates of shunt revision in patients with iNPH, and decreased risk of revision due to persistent symptoms of iNPH, thereby justifying the higher upfront cost of PVs despite similar overall treatment costs between these devices.

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Diane M. Johnson, Roanna L. Vine, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Clinical trials forming the basis of current guidelines for the management of intracranial aneurysms have relied on patient-reported modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores to assess functional outcome. The effect of patient demographics on perception of disability and, by extension, patient-reported mRS score, is not well understood.

METHODS

A consecutive series of patients with a previously treated or untreated unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA) prospectively underwent a structured interview with a trained nurse. At the conclusion of this interview, the patients were assigned an mRS score in accordance with their degree of disability. During the same visit, patients were also required to grade themselves on a paper sheet containing the mRS and corresponding information. Data on patient and aneurysm characteristics were also collected during the same visit. Agreement between patient- and nurse-reported mRS scores was assessed using Cohen’s kappa coefficient. The effect of patient demographics on the frequency of higher patient- than nurse-reported mRS scores was assessed using the Pearson’s chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests.

RESULTS

A total of 209 patients with a UIA were included in the study, 38 of whom (18.2%) had undergone previous treatment. The majority of patients were female (161/209, 77.0%), and the mean age of the cohort was 60.2 years (SD 13.7 years). Agreement between patient- and nurse-reported mRS scores occurred in 72.7% of cases (95% CI 66.3%–78.3%), with a kappa coefficient of 0.58 (95% CI 0.49–0.67). Patients younger than 75 years were more likely to report a higher mRS score than the nurse (19.4% vs 3.4%, p = 0.034). Among female patients, those without a college degree were more likely to report a higher mRS score than the nurse (22.5% vs 9.5%, p = 0.035).

CONCLUSIONS

The results suggest that patient demographics may influence perception of disability. These findings should be considered when using patient-reported mRS scores to determine functional outcome.

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Vance T. Lehman, Petrice M. Cogswell, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, John Huston III, James P. Klaas, and Giuseppe Lanzino

Numerous recent technological advances offer the potential to substantially enhance the MRI evaluation of moyamoya disease (MMD). These include high-resolution volumetric imaging, high-resolution vessel wall characterization, improved cerebral angiographic and perfusion techniques, high-field imaging, fast scanning methods, and artificial intelligence. This review discusses the current state-of-the-art MRI applications in these realms, emphasizing key imaging findings, clinical utility, and areas that will benefit from further investigation. Although these techniques may apply to imaging of a wide array of neurovascular or other neurological conditions, consideration of their application to MMD is useful given the comprehensive multidimensional MRI assessment used to evaluate MMD. These MRI techniques span from basic cross-sectional to advanced functional sequences, both qualitative and quantitative.

The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive summary and analysis of current key relevant literature of advanced MRI techniques for the evaluation of MMD with image-rich case examples. These imaging methods can aid clinical characterization, help direct treatment, assist in the evaluation of treatment response, and potentially improve the understanding of the pathophysiology of MMD.