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Endovascular coil placement compared with surgical clipping for the treatment of unruptured middle cerebral artery aneurysms: a consecutive series

Luca Regli, Antoine Uske, and Nicolas de Tribolet

Object. The goal of this study was to delineate the angioanatomical features that determine whether a patient with an unruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm is treated using endovascular coil placement or surgical clipping.

Methods. Thirty consecutive patients harboring 34 unruptured MCA aneurysms were evaluated. Patients with unruptured aneurysms are managed prospectively according to the following protocol: the primary treatment recommendation is endovascular packing with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). Surgical clipping is recommended after failed attempts at coil placement or in the presence of angioanatomical features that contraindicate that type of endovascular therapy.

Of 34 unruptured MCA aneurysms, two (6%) were successfully embolized and 32 (94%) were clipped. Of these 32 surgically treated aneurysms, in 11 (34%) an attempt at GDC embolization had failed, whereas in 21 (66%) primary clipping was performed because of unfavorable angioanatomy. Of the 13 aneurysms treated endovascularly, two (15%) were successfully excluded, whereas GDC treatment failed in 11 (85%). An unfavorable dome/neck ratio (< 2) and an arterial branch originating at the aneurysm base were the reasons for embolization failure.

Conclusions. Careful evaluation of the angioanatomy of unruptured aneurysms allows selection of the most appropriate treatment. However, for unruptured MCA aneurysms, surgical clipping appears to be the most efficient treatment option. Series of unruptured aneurysms are ideal for comparing treatment results.

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Late patency of long saphenous vein bypass grafts to the anterior and posterior cerebral circulation

Luca Regli, David G. Piepgras, and Kristine K. Hansen

✓ To evaluate the late results and the natural history of long saphenous vein bypass grafts (SVGs) between the extracranial and intracranial circulation, the authors retrospectively analyzed 202 consecutive SVGs performed at the Mayo Clinic from 1979 to 1992. The distal anastomosis was to the vertebrobasilar system in 98 patients and to the carotid artery system in 103 patients. Surgical indications were advanced cerebroocclusive disease in 63% (127 cases), giant aneurysm in 37% (74 cases), and neoplasm in one patient. In 125 patent SVGs follow-up information was obtained for longer than 1 year and in 23 patent SVGs it was over 10 years (maximum 13 years, median 6.5 years). Most of the graft failures (76%) occurred during the 1st year after surgery, with 42% of all graft failures found during the first 24 hours after operation. Late graft attrition occurred in only 10 patients (8%). Cumulative patency at 1 year was 86% ± 3%, at 5 years 82% ± 4%, and at 13 years 73% ± 19%. Neurological worsening at the time of occlusion developed in 72% of patients with early occlusion, whereas 80% of patients with late graft occlusion had no new neurological symptoms. Long-term patency of SVGs for cerebral revascularization appears to be excellent, with an average failure rate of 1% to 1.5% per year following the 1st year after surgery. To minimize early graft thrombosis, meticulous attention must be paid to technical detail.

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Comparison of multislice computerized tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography in the postoperative evaluation of patients with clipped aneurysms

Amir R. Dehdashti, Stefano Binaghi, Antoine Uske, and Luca Regli

Object

In this study the accuracy of multislice computerized tomography (MSCT) angiography in the postoperative examination of clip-occluded intracranial aneurysms was compared with that of intraarterial digital subtraction (DS) angiography

Methods

Forty-nine consecutive patients with 60 clipped aneurysms (41 of which had ruptured) were studied with the aid of postoperative MSCT and DS angiography. Both types of radiological studies were reviewed independently by two observers to assess the quality of the images, the artifacts left by the clips, the completeness of aneurysm occlusion, the patency of the parent vessel, and the duration and cost of the examination.

The quality of MSCT angiography was good in 42 patients (86%). Poor-quality MSCT angiograms (14%) were a result of the late acquisition of images in three patients and the presence of clip or motion artifacts in four. Occlusion of the aneurysm on good-quality MSCT angiograms was confirmed in all but two patients in whom a small (2-mm) remnant was confirmed on DS angiograms. In one patient, occlusion of a parent vessel was seen on DS angiograms but missed on MSCT angiograms. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting neck remnants on MSCT angiography were both 100%, and the sensitivity and specificity for evaluating vessel patency were 80 and 100%, respectively (95% confidence interval 29.2–100%). Interobserver agreements were 0.765 and 0.86, respectively. The mean duration of the examination was 13 minutes for MSCT angiography and 75 minutes for DS angiography (p < 0.05). Multislice CT angiography was highly cost effective (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Current-generation MSCT angiography is an accurate noninvasive tool used for assessment of clipped aneurysms in the anterior circulation. Its high sensitivity and low cost warrant its use for postoperative routine control examinations following clip placement on an aneurysm. Digital subtraction angiography must be performed if the interpretation of MSCT angiograms is doubtful or if the aneurysm is located in the posterior circulation.

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Developmental venous anomaly with an arteriovenous shunt and a thrombotic complication

Case report

Siviero Agazzi, Luca Regli, Antoine Uske, Philippe Maeder, and Nicolas de Tribolet

✓ Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are common congenital variations of normal venous drainage that are known for their benign natural history. Isolated cases of symptomatic DVAs with associated arteriovenous (AV) shunts have recently been reported. The present case, in which thrombosis occurred in a DVA involving an AV shunt, raises intriguing questions regarding the clinical characteristics of these lesions and can be used to argue in favor of considering such lesions to be arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

A 39-year-old man presented with acute thrombosis in a complex system of anomalous hemispheric venous drainage, which included two distinct DVAs, one of which involved an AV shunt. The hemodynamic turbulences induced by a communication between shunted and normal venous outflows were the possible predisposing factor of the thrombosis. Follow-up angiographic and magnetic resonance images revealed complete recanalization of the thrombosed vessel and provided a thorough visualization of the particular angioarchitecture of the DVA.

Acute thrombosis within a DVA with an AV shunt has not been reported previously and, thus, this case can be added to other reports of complications that arise in this particular type of DVA. The authors hypothesize that the presence of an AV shunt in a DVA is a risk factor for aggressive clinical behavior of the anomaly, rendering those lesions prone to complications similar to AVMs.

Although no treatment can be offered, the presence of an AV shunt in a DVA warrants close follow-up observation because such lesions may represent a particular subtype of AVM and, therefore, may exhibit an aggressive clinical behavior.

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Agreement of novel hemodynamic imaging parameters for the acute and chronic stages of ischemic stroke: a matched-pair cohort study

Martina Sebök, Christiaan Hendrik Bas van Niftrik, Susanne Wegener, Andreas Luft, Luca Regli, and Jorn Fierstra

OBJECTIVE

In symptomatic patients with cerebrovascular steno-occlusive disease, impaired blood oxygenation level–dependent cerebrovascular reactivity (BOLD-CVR) and increased flow velocity of the P2 segment of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA-P2) on transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography have been introduced as emerging clinical imaging parameters to identify patients at high risk for recurrent ischemic events. Since hemodynamic physiology differs between the acute and chronic stages of ischemic stroke, the authors sought to investigate whether those parameters have merit for both the acute and chronic stages of ischemic stroke.

METHODS

From a prospective database, patients who underwent BOLD-CVR and TCD examinations in the acute stroke stage (< 10 days) were matched to patients in the chronic stroke stage (> 3 months). A linear regression analysis for both groups was performed between ipsilateral PCA-P2 systolic flow velocity and BOLD-CVR of the ipsilateral (affected) hemisphere, the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory, and the ipsilateral steal volume (i.e., paradoxical BOLD-CVR response). The resulting slopes and intercepts were statistically compared to evaluate differences between groups.

RESULTS

Forty matched patient pairs were included. Regression analysis showed no significant difference for either the intercept (p = 0.84) or the slope (p = 0.85) between PCA-P2 flow velocity and BOLD-CVR as measured for the ipsilateral (affected) hemisphere. Similarly, no significant difference was seen between PCA-P2 flow velocity and BOLD-CVR of the ipsilateral MCA territory (intercept, p = 0.72; slope, p = 0.36) or between PCA-P2 flow velocity and steal volume (intercept, p = 0.59; slope, p = 0.34).

CONCLUSIONS

The study results indicated that the relationship between ipsilateral PCA-P2 systolic flow velocity and BOLD-CVR remains the same during the acute and chronic stages of ischemic stroke. This provides further support that these novel hemodynamic imaging parameters may have merit to assess the risk for recurrent ischemic events for a wide ischemic stroke population. PCA-P2 systolic flow velocity, in particular, may be a highly practical screening tool, independent of ischemic stroke stage.

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More pronounced hemodynamic alterations in patients with brain arteriovenous malformation–associated epilepsy

Martina Sebök, Menno Robbert Germans, Christiaan Hendrik Bas van Niftrik, Zsolt Kulcsár, Luca Regli, and Jorn Fierstra

OBJECTIVE

Epileptic seizures in patients with brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) may be caused by hemodynamic alterations due to the complex angioarchitecture of bAVMs. In particular, an arterial steal phenomenon and venous outflow disruption may play an etiological role in seizure development but remain challenging to demonstrate quantitatively. Blood oxygenation level–dependent (BOLD) cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) imaging is an emerging technique that can measure both arterial steal phenomenon (as a paradoxical BOLD signal decrease during a vasodilatory stimulus) and impaired perinidal BOLD-CVR (which has been found in the presence of venous congestion on conventional angiography in bAVM patients with epilepsy). By applying this innovative BOLD-CVR technique, the aim is to better study CVR patterns and their correlation with morphological features on conventional angiography in patients with bAVM with and without epilepsy.

METHODS

Twenty-two patients with unruptured and previously untreated bAVMs (8 with and 14 without epilepsy) were included in this case-control study. Quantitative CVR measurements were derived from BOLD functional MRI volumes using a novel standardized and precise hypercapnic stimulus (i.e., % BOLD/mm Hg CO2). In addition, 22 matched healthy controls underwent an identical BOLD-CVR study. Evaluation of venous congestion was performed on conventional angiography for all patients with bAVM.

RESULTS

Patients with bAVM-associated epilepsy showed impaired whole-brain BOLD-CVR compared to those in the nonepilepsy group, even after correction for AVM volume and AVM grade (epilepsy vs nonepilepsy group: 0.17 ± 0.07 vs 0.25 ± 0.07, p = 0.04). A BOLD-CVR–derived arterial steal phenomenon was observed in 2 patients with epilepsy (25%). Venous congestion was noted in 3 patients with epilepsy (38%) and in 1 patient without epilepsy (7%; p = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS

These data suggest that whole-brain CVR impairment, and more pronounced hemodynamic alterations (i.e., arterial steal phenomenon and venous outflow restriction), may be more present in patients with bAVM-associated epilepsy. The association of impaired BOLD-CVR and bAVM-associated epilepsy will need further investigation in a larger patient cohort.

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Thrombocyte transfusion and rebleeding rate in patients using antiplatelet agents before aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Martina Sebök, Natalie Zaugg, Emanuela Keller, Jan Willms, Luca Regli, and Menno Germans

OBJECTIVE

The reason for a rebleed after an initial hemorrhage in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is considered multifactorial. Antiplatelet use is one of the factors that has been related to early rebleed and worse outcome after aSAH. Thrombocyte transfusion overcomes the inhibitory effects of antiplatelet agents by increasing the number of functional thrombocytes, but its impact on the rebleed rate and clinical outcome remains unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of thrombocyte transfusion on rebleeding and clinical outcome in patients with aSAH and prehemorrhage antiplatelet use, considering confounding factors.

METHODS

Data were prospectively collected at a single tertiary reference center for aSAH in Zurich, Switzerland. Patients with aSAH and prehemorrhage antiplatelet use were divided into "thrombocyte transfusion" and "nontransfusion" groups based on whether they did or did not receive any thrombocyte transfusion in the acute stage of aSAH after hospital admission and before the exclusion of the bleeding source. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, the impact of thrombocyte transfusion on the rebleed rate and on clinical outcome (defined as Glasgow Outcome Scale score 1–3) was calculated.

RESULTS

One hundred fifty-seven patients were included, 87 (55.4%) of whom received thrombocyte transfusion. Eighteen (11.5%) of 157 patients had a rebleed during the hospital stay. The rebleed risk was 6.9% in the thrombocyte transfusion group and 17.1% in the nontransfusion group. After adjusting for confounders, thrombocyte transfusion showed evidence for a reduction in the rebleed rate (adjusted OR [aOR] 0.29, 95% CI 0.10–0.87). Fifty-seven patients (36.3%) achieved a poor outcome at 6 months’ follow-up. Among those 57 patients, 31 (54.4%) underwent at least one thrombocyte transfusion. Thrombocyte transfusion was not associated with poor clinical outcome at 6 months’ follow-up (aOR 0.91, 95% CI 0.39–2.15).

CONCLUSIONS

Thrombocyte transfusion in patients with aSAH and prehemorrhage antiplatelet use is independently associated with a reduction in rebleeds but shows no impact on clinical outcome at 6 months’ follow-up. Larger and randomized studies are needed to investigate the impact of thrombocyte transfusion on rebleed and outcome.

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Ultrasonographic features of focal cortical dysplasia and their relevance for epilepsy surgery

Kevin Akeret, David Bellut, Hans-Jürgen Huppertz, Georgia Ramantani, Kristina König, Carlo Serra, Luca Regli, and Niklaus Krayenbühl

OBJECTIVE

Surgery has proven to be the best therapeutic option for drug-refractory cases of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD)–associated epilepsy. Seizure outcome primarily depends on the completeness of resection, rendering the intraoperative FCD identification and delineation particularly important. This study aims to assess the diagnostic yield of intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) in surgery for FCD-associated drug-refractory epilepsy.

METHODS

The authors prospectively enrolled 15 consecutive patients with drug-refractory epilepsy who underwent an IOUS-assisted microsurgical resection of a radiologically suspected FCD between January 2013 and July 2016. The findings of IOUS were compared with those of presurgical MRI postprocessing and the sonographic characteristics were analyzed in relation to the histopathological findings. The authors investigated the added value of IOUS in achieving completeness of resection and improving postsurgical seizure outcome.

RESULTS

The neurosurgeon was able to identify the dysplastic tissue by IOUS in all cases. The visualization of FCD type I was more challenging compared to FCD II and the demarcation of its borders was less clear. Postsurgical MRI showed residual dysplasia in 2 of the 3 patients with FCD type I. In all FCD type II cases, IOUS allowed for a clear intraoperative visualization and demarcation, strongly correlating with presurgical MRI postprocessing. Postsurgical MRI confirmed complete resection in all FCD type II cases. Sonographic features correlated with the histopathological classification of dysplasia (sonographic abnormalities increase continuously in the following order: FCD IA/IB, FCD IC, FCD IIA, FCD IIB). In 1 patient with IOUS features atypical for FCD, histopathological investigation showed nonspecific gliosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Morphological features of FCD, as identified by IOUS, correlate well with advanced presurgical imaging. The resolution of IOUS was superior to MRI in all FCD types. The appreciation of distinct sonographic features on IOUS allows the intraoperative differentiation between FCD and non-FCD lesions as well as the discrimination of different histological subtypes of FCD. Sonographic demarcation depends on the underlying degree of dysplasia. IOUS allows for more tailored resections by facilitating the delineation of the dysplastic tissue.

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Introduction. Developing the foundation for enhanced recovery after cranial surgery

Walavan Sivakumar, Neil Martin, Sarah T. Menacho, Randy S. D’Amico, and Luca Regli

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Letter to the Editor: Shaving

David McKalip