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Maksim Shapiro, Tibor Becske and Peter K. Nelson

OBJECTIVE

A detailed analysis was performed of anterior circulation aneurysms treated with a Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) that did not progress to complete occlusion by 1-year follow-up. Angiography was performed with the purpose of identifying specific factors potentially responsible for these failed outcomes.

METHODS

From among the first 100 patients with anterior circulation aneurysms, 92 underwent 1-year follow-up angiography and were individually studied through review of their pre- and postembolization studies.

RESULTS

Nineteen aneurysms (21%) remained unoccluded at 12 months. Independent predictors of treatment failure, identified by logistic regression analysis, were found to be fusiform aneurysm morphology, decreasing dome-to-neck ratio, and the presence of a preexisting laser-cut stent. Further examination of individual cases identified several common mechanisms—device malapposition, inadequate coverage of the aneurysm neck with persistent exchange across the device, and the incorporation of a branch vessel into the aneurysm fundus—potentially contributing to failed treatment in these settings.

CONCLUSIONS

Attention to specific features of the aneurysm and device construct can frequently identify cases predisposed to treatment failure and suggest strategies to maximize favorable outcomes.

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Danielle Golub, Lizbeth Hu, Siddhant Dogra, Jose Torres and Maksim Shapiro

Spontaneous cervical artery dissection (sCAD) is a major cause of stroke in young adults. Multiple sCAD is a rarer, more poorly understood presentation of sCAD that has been increasingly attributed to cervical trauma such as spinal manipulation or genetic polymorphisms in extracellular matrix components. The authors present the case of a 49-year-old, otherwise healthy woman, who over the course of 2 weeks developed progressive, hemodynamically significant, bilateral internal carotid artery and vertebral artery dissections. Collateral response involved extensive external carotid artery–internal carotid artery anastomoses via the ophthalmic artery, which were instrumental in maintaining perfusion because circle of Willis and leptomeningeal anastomotic responses were hampered by the dissection burden in the corresponding collateral vessels. Endovascular intervention by placement of Pipeline embolization devices and Atlas stents in bilateral internal carotid arteries was successfully performed. No syndromic or systemic etiology was discovered during a thorough workup.

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Howard A. Riina, Omar Tanweer, Peyman Shirani, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro and Peter Kim Nelson

The authors present the unusual case of a complex unruptured basilar artery terminus (BAT) aneurysm in a 42-year-old symptomatic female patient presenting with symptoms of mass effect. Due to the fusiform incorporation of both the BAT and left superior cerebellar artery (SCA) origin, simple surgical or endovascular treatment options were not feasible in this case. A 2-staged (combined deconstructive/reconstructive) procedure was successfully performed: first occluding the left SCA with a Pipeline embolization device (PED) coupled to a microvascular plug (MVP) in the absence of antiplatelet coverage, followed by reconstruction of the BAT by deploying a second PED from the right SCA into the basilar trunk. Six-month follow-up angiography confirmed uneventful aneurysm occlusion. The patient recovered well from her neurological symptoms. This case report illustrates the successful use of a combined staged deconstructive/reconstructive endovascular approach utilizing 2 endoluminal tools, PED and MVP, to reconstruct the BAT and occlude a complex aneurysm.

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Omar Tanweer, Miguel Litao, Pankaj Sharma, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro, Peter Kim Nelson and Howard A. Riina

OBJECTIVE

A systematic analysis on the utility of prophylactic antibiotics for neuroendovascular procedures has not been performed. At the authors’ institution there is a unique setup to address this question, with some attending physicians using prophylactic antibiotics (cefazolin or vancomycin) for all of their neurointerventions while others generally do not.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of the last 549 neurointerventional procedures in 484 patients at Tisch Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center. Clinical and radiological data were collected for analysis, including presence of prophylactic antibiotic use, local or systemic infection, infection laboratory values, and treatment. Overall, 306 aneurysms, 117 arteriovenous malformations/arteriovenous fistulas, 86 tumors, and 40 vessel stenosis/dissections were treated with coiling (n = 109), Pipeline embolization device (n = 197), embolization (n = 203), or stenting (n = 40).

RESULTS

Antibiotic prophylaxis was used in 265 of 549 cases (48%). There was no significant difference between patients with or without antibiotic prophylaxis in sex (p = 0.48), presence of multiple interventions (p = 0.67), diseases treated (p = 0.11), or intervention device placed (p = 0.55). The mean age of patients in the antibiotic prophylaxis group (53.4 years) was significantly lower than that of the patients without prophylaxis (57.1 years; p = 0.014). Two mild local groin infections (0.36%) and no systemic infections (0%) were identified in this cohort, with one case in each group (1/265 [0.38%] vs 1/284 [0.35%]). Both patients recovered completely with local drainage (n = 1) and oral antibiotic treatment (n = 1).

CONCLUSIONS

The risk of infection associated with endovascular neurointerventions with or without prophylactic antibiotic use was very low in this cohort. The data suggest that the routine use of antibiotic prophylaxis seems unnecessary and that to prevent antibiotic resistance and reduce costs antibiotic prophylaxis should be reserved for selected patients deemed to be at increased infection risk.

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Nathan A. Shlobin, Eytan Raz, Maksim Shapiro, Jeffrey R. Clark, Steven C. Hoffman, Ali Shaibani, Michael C. Hurley, Sameer A. Ansari, Babak S. Jahromi, Nader S. Dahdaleh and Matthew B. Potts

OBJECTIVE

Spinal cord infarction due to interruption of the spinal vascular supply during anterior thoracolumbar surgery is a rare but devastating complication. Here, the authors sought to summarize the data on this complication in terms of its incidence, risk factors, and operative considerations. They also sought to summarize the relevant spinal vascular anatomy.

METHODS

They performed a systematic literature review of the PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases to identify reports of spinal cord vascular injury related to anterior thoracolumbar spine procedures as well as operative adjuncts and considerations related to management of the segmental artery ligation during such anterior procedures. Titles and abstracts were screened, and studies meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed in full.

RESULTS

Of 1200 articles identified on the initial screening, 16 met the inclusion criteria and consisted of 2 prospective cohort studies, 10 retrospective cohort studies, and 4 case reports. Four studies reported on the incidence of spinal cord ischemia with anterior thoracolumbar surgery, which ranged from 0% to 0.75%. Eight studies presented patient-level data for 13 cases of spinal cord ischemia after anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery. Proposed risk factors for vasculogenic spinal injury with anterior thoracolumbar surgery included hyperkyphosis, prior spinal deformity surgery, combined anterior-posterior procedures, left-sided approaches, operating on the concavity side of a scoliotic curve, and intra- or postoperative hypotension. In addition, eight studies analyzed operative considerations to reduce spinal cord ischemic complications in anterior thoracolumbar surgery, including intraoperative neuromonitoring and preoperative spinal angiography.

CONCLUSIONS

While spinal cord infarction related to anterior thoracolumbar surgery is rare, it warrants proper consideration in the pre-, intra-, and postoperative periods. The spine surgeon must be aware of the relevant risk factors as well as the pre- and intraoperative adjuncts that can minimize these risks. Most importantly, an understanding of the relevant spinal vascular anatomy is critical to minimizing the risks associated with anterior thoracolumbar spine surgery.

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Matthew B. Potts, Maksim Shapiro, Daniel W. Zumofen, Eytan Raz, Erez Nossek, Keith G. DeSousa, Tibor Becske, Howard A. Riina and Peter K. Nelson

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) is now a well-established option for the treatment of giant or complex aneurysms, especially those arising from the anterior circulation. Considering the purpose of such treatment is to maintain patency of the parent vessel, postembolization occlusion of the parent artery can be regarded as an untoward outcome. Antiplatelet therapy in the posttreatment period is therefore required to minimize such events. Here, the authors present a series of patients with anterior circulation aneurysms treated with the PED who subsequently experienced parent vessel occlusion (PVO).

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of all anterior circulation aneurysms consecutively treated at a single institution with the PED through 2014, identifying those with PVO on follow-up imaging. Aneurysm size and location, number of PEDs used, and follow-up digital subtraction angiography results were recorded. When available, pre- and postembolization platelet function testing results were also recorded.

RESULTS

Among 256 patients with anterior circulation aneurysms treated with the PED, the authors identified 8 who developed PVO after embolization. The mean aneurysm size in this cohort was 22.3 mm, and the number of PEDs used per case ranged from 2 to 10. Six patients were found to have asymptomatic PVO discovered incidentally on routine follow-up imaging between 6 months and 3 years postembolization, 3 of whom had documented “delayed” PVO with prior postembolization angiograms confirming aneurysm occlusion and a patent parent vessel at an earlier time. Two additional patients experienced symptomatic PVO, one of which was associated with early discontinuation of antiplatelet therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

In this large series of anterior circulation aneurysms, the authors report a low incidence of symptomatic PVO, complicating premature discontinuation of postembolization antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy. Beyond the subacute period, asymptomatic PVO was more common, particularly among complex fusiform or very large–necked aneurysms, highlighting an important phenomenon with the use of PED for the treatment of anterior circulation aneurysms, and suggesting that extended periods of antiplatelet coverage may be required in select complex aneurysms.

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Joseph Haynes, Eytan Raz, Omar Tanweer, Maksim Shapiro, Rogelio Esparza, David Zagzag, Howard A. Riina, Christine Henderson, Kaitlyn Lillemoe, Cen Zhang, Sara Rostanski, Shadi Yaghi, Koto Ishida, Jose Torres, Brian Mac Grory and Erez Nossek

OBJECTIVE

The carotid web (CW) is an underrecognized source of cryptogenic, embolic stroke in patients younger than 55 years of age, with up to 37% of these patients found to have CW on angiography. Currently, there are little data detailing the best treatment practices to reduce the risk of recurrent stroke in these patients. The authors describe their institutional surgical experience with patients treated via carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for a symptomatic internal carotid artery web.

METHODS

A retrospective, observational cohort study was performed including all patients presenting to the authors’ institution with CW. All patients who were screened underwent either carotid artery stenting (CAS) or CEA after presentation with ischemic stroke from January 2019 to February 2020. From this sample, patients with suggestive radiological features and pathologically confirmed CW who underwent CEA were identified. Patient demographics, medical histories, radiological images, surgical results, and clinical outcomes were collected and described using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS

A total of 45 patients with symptomatic carotid lesions were treated at the authors’ institution during the time period. Twenty patients underwent CAS, 1 of them for a CW. Twenty-five patients were treated via CEA, and of these, 6 presented with ischemic strokes ipsilateral to CWs, including 3 patients who presented with recurrent strokes. The mean patient age was 55 ± 12.6 years and 5 of 6 were women. CT angiography or digital subtraction angiography demonstrated the presence of CWs ipsilateral to the stroke in all patients. All patients underwent resection of CWs using CEA. There were no permanent procedural complications and no patients had stroke recurrence following intervention at the latest follow-up (mean 6.1 ± 4 months). One patient developed mild tongue deviation most likely related to retraction, with complete recovery at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

CEA is a safe and feasible treatment for symptomatic carotid webs and should be considered a viable alternative to CAS in this patient population.

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Tibor Becske, Matthew B. Potts, Maksim Shapiro, David F. Kallmes, Waleed Brinjikji, Isil Saatci, Cameron G. McDougall, István Szikora, Giuseppe Lanzino, Christopher J. Moran, Henry H. Woo, Demetrius K. Lopes, Aaron L. Berez, Daniel J. Cher, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Elad I. Levy, Felipe C. Albuquerque, David J. Fiorella, Zsolt Berentei, Miklós Marosföi, Saruhan H. Cekirge and Peter K. Nelson

OBJECTIVE

The long-term effectiveness of endovascular treatment of large and giant wide-neck aneurysms using traditional endovascular techniques has been disappointing, with high recanalization and re-treatment rates. Flow diversion with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) has been recently used as a stand-alone therapy for complex aneurysms, showing significant improvement in effectiveness while demonstrating a similar safety profile to stent-supported coil treatment. However, relatively little is known about its long-term safety and effectiveness. Here the authors report on the 3-year safety and effectiveness of flow diversion with the PED in a prospective cohort of patients with large and giant internal carotid artery aneurysms enrolled in the Pipeline for Uncoilable or Failed Aneurysms (PUFS) trial.

METHODS

The PUFS trial is a prospective study of 107 patients with 109 aneurysms treated with the PED. Primary effectiveness and safety end points were demonstrated based on independently monitored 180-day clinical and angiographic data. Patients were enrolled in a long-term follow-up protocol including 1-, 3-, and 5-year clinical and imaging follow-up. In this paper, the authors report the midstudy (3-year) effectiveness and safety data.

RESULTS

At 3 years posttreatment, 74 subjects with 76 aneurysms underwent catheter angiography as required per protocol. Overall, complete angiographic aneurysm occlusion was observed in 71 of these 76 aneurysms (93.4% cure rate). Five aneurysms were re-treated, using either coils or additional PEDs, for failure to occlude, and 3 of these 5 were cured by the 3-year follow-up. Angiographic cure with one or two treatments of Pipeline embolization alone was therefore achieved in 92.1%. No recanalization of a previously completely occluded aneurysm was noted on the 3-year angiograms. There were 3 (2.6%) delayed device- or aneurysm-related serious adverse events, none of which led to permanent neurological sequelae. No major or minor late-onset hemorrhagic or ischemic cerebrovascular events or neurological deaths were observed in the 6-month through 3-year posttreatment period. Among 103 surviving patients, 85 underwent functional outcome assessment in which modified Rankin Scale scores of 0–1 were demonstrated in 80 subjects.

CONCLUSIONS

Pipeline embolization is safe and effective in the treatment of complex large and giant aneurysms of the intracranial internal carotid artery. Unlike more traditional endovascular treatments, flow diversion results in progressive vascular remodeling that leads to complete aneurysm obliteration over longer-term follow-up without delayed aneurysm recanalization and/or growth.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00777088 (clinicaltrials.gov)