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

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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, Brandon A. McCutcheon, Meghan E. Murphy, Daniel L. Shepherd, Patrick R. Maloney, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohamad Bydon and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

The mechanism by which greater institutional case volume translates into improved outcomes after surgical clipping of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) is not well established. The authors thus aimed to assess the effect of case volume on the rate of various types of complications after clipping of UIAs.

METHODS

Using information on the outcomes of inpatient admissions for surgical clipping of UIAs collected within a national database, the relationship of institutional case volume to the incidence of different types of complications after clipping was investigated. Complications were subdivided into different categories, which included all complications, ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, medical complications, infectious complications, complications related to anesthesia, and wound complications. The relationship of case volume to different types of complications was assessed using linear regression analysis. The relationships between case volume and overall complication and stroke rates were fit with both linear and quadratic equations. The numerical cutoff for institutional case volume above and below which the authors found the greatest differences in mean overall complication and stroke rate was determined using classification and regression tree (CART) analysis.

RESULTS

Between October 2012 and September 2015, 125 health care institutions reported patient outcomes from a total of 6040 cases of clipping of UIAs. On linear regression analysis, increasing case volume was negatively correlated to both overall complications (r2 = 0.046, p = 0.0234) and stroke (r2 = 0.029, p = 0.0557) rate, although the relationship of case volume to the complication (r2 = 0.092) and stroke (r2 = 0.067) rate was better fit with a quadratic equation. On CART analysis, the cutoff for the case number that yielded the greatest difference in overall complications and stroke rate between higher- or lower-volume centers was 6 cases/year and 3 cases/year, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the authors confirm that increasing case volume is associated with reduced complications after clipping of UIAs, their results suggest that the relationship between case volume and complications is not necessarily linear. Moreover, these results indicate that the effect of case volume on outcome is most evident between very-low-volume centers relative to centers with a medium-to-high volume.

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Tiziano Tallarita, Thomas J. Sorenson, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Gustavo S. Oderich, Thomas C. Bower, Fredric B. Meyer and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Concomitant unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are present in patients with carotid artery stenosis not infrequently and result in unique management challenges. Thus, we investigated the risk of rupture of an aneurysm after revascularization of a carotid artery in a contemporary consecutive series of patients seen at our institution.

METHODS

Data from patients who underwent a carotid revascularization in the presence of at least one concomitant UIA at our institution from 1991 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were evaluated for the incidence of aneurysm rupture within 30 days (early period) and after 30 days (late period) of carotid revascularization, as well as for the incidence of periprocedural complications from the treatment of carotid stenosis and/or UIA.

RESULTS

Our study included 53 patients with 63 concomitant UIAs. There was no rupture within 30 days of carotid revascularization. The overall risk of rupture was 0.87% per patient-year. Treatment (coiling or clipping) of a concomitant UIA, if pursued, could be performed successfully after carotid revascularization.

CONCLUSIONS

Carotid artery revascularization in the setting of a concomitant UIA can be performed safely without an increased 30-day or late-term risk of rupture. If indicated, treatment of the UIA can take place after the patient recovers from the carotid procedure.

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Lorenzo Rinaldo, Brandon A. McCutcheon, Meghan E. Murphy, Mohamad Bydon, Alejandro A. Rabinstein and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Hypoplasia of the A1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery is frequently observed in patients with anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms. The effect of this anatomical variant on ACoA aneurysm morphology is not well understood.

METHODS

Digital subtraction angiography images were reviewed for 204 patients presenting to the authors' institution with either a ruptured or an unruptured ACoA aneurysm. The ratio of the width of the larger A1 segment to the smaller A1 segment was calculated. Patients with an A1 ratio greater than 2 were categorized as having A1 segment hypoplasia. The relationship of A1 segment hypoplasia to both patient and aneurysm characteristics was then assessed.

RESULTS

Of 204 patients that presented with an ACoA aneurysm, 34 (16.7%) were found to have a hypoplastic A1. Patients with A1 segment hypoplasia were less likely to have a history of smoking (44.1% vs 62.9%, p = 0.0410). ACoA aneurysms occurring in the setting of a hypoplastic A1 were also found to have a larger maximum diameter (mean 7.7 vs 6.0 mm, p = 0.0084). When considered as a continuous variable, increasing A1 ratio was associated with decreasing aneurysm dome-to-neck ratio (p = 0.0289). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of A1 segment hypoplasia between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms (18.9% vs 10.7%; p = 0.1605).

CONCLUSIONS

Our results suggest that a hypoplastic A1 may affect the morphology of ACoA aneurysms. In addition, the relative lack of traditional risk factors for aneurysm formation in patients with A1 segment hypoplasia argues for the importance of hemodynamic factors in the formation of ACoA aneurysms in this anatomical setting.