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Joan Margaret O’Donnell, Michael Kerin Morgan and Maurizio Manuguerra

OBJECTIVE

Few studies have examined patients’ ability to drive and quality of life (QOL) after microsurgical repair for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (uIAs). However, without a strong evidentiary basis, jurisdictional road transport authorities have recommended driving restrictions following brain surgery. In the present study, authors examined the outcomes of the microsurgical repair of uIAs by measuring patients’ perceived QOL and cognitive abilities related to driving.

METHODS

Between January 2011 and January 2016, patients with a new diagnosis of uIA were prospectively enrolled in this study. Assessments were performed at referral, before surgery, and at 6 weeks and 12 months after surgery in those undergoing microsurgical repair and at referral and at 12 months in conservatively managed patients. Assessments included the Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) of the SF-36, the off-road driver-screening instrument DriveSafe (DS), the modified Barthel Index (mBI), and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).

RESULTS

One hundred sixty-nine patients were enrolled in and completed the study, and 112 (66%) of them had microsurgical repair of their aneurysm. In the microsurgical group, there was a trend for improved DS scores: from a mean (± standard deviation) score of 108 ± 10.7 before surgery to 111 ± 9.7 at 6 weeks after surgery to 112 ± 10.2 at 12 months after surgery (p = 0.05). Two percent of the microsurgical repair group and 4% of the conservatively managed group whose initial scores indicated competency to drive according to the DS test subsequently had 12-month scores deemed as not competent to drive; the difference between these 2 groups was not statistically significant (p > 0.99). Factors associated with a decline in the DS score among those who had a license at the time of initial assessment were an increasing age (p < 0.01) and mRS score > 0 at one of the assessments (initial, 6 weeks, or 12 months; p < 0.01).

Mean PCS scores in the microsurgical repair group were 52 ± 8.1, 46 ± 6.8, and 52 ± 7.1 at the initial, 6-week, and 12-month assessments, respectively (p < 0.01). These values represented a significant decline in the mean PCS score at 6 weeks that recovered by 12 months (p < 0.01). There were no significant changes in the MCS, mBI, or mRS scores in the surgical group.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, QOL at 12 months for the microsurgical repair group had not decreased and was comparable to that in the conservatively managed group. Furthermore, as assessed by the DS test, the majority of patients were not affected in their ability to drive.

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Duke S. Samson and Babu G. Welch

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Alessandro Della Puppa, Oriela Rustemi and Renato Scienza

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Michael Kerin Morgan, Nirav J. Patel, Mary Simons, Elizabeth Anne Ritson and Gillian Z. Heller

Object

Case reports suggest that young age is a critical factor in determining recurrence of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) after surgery. However, other factors that may contribute to the increased risk of recurrence have not been considered. In this study, the authors' goal was to ascertain the risk and risk factors of recurrence after resection of AVMs of the brain.

Methods

A consecutive case series (prospectively collected data) of 600 cases of resection of brain AVMs was retrospectively analyzed. Radiological evidence of recurrence or nonrecurrence, as well as clinical evidence of recurrence, could be established in 427 of these cases that underwent follow-up for more than 350 days after initial surgery. These cases were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression with respect to age and the presence of deep venous drainage.

Results

Nine recurrent AVMs were found in 8 patients. By analysis of the Kaplan-Meier curves, the 10-year recurrence rate was 14% for those with deep venous drainage, compared with 4% for those without deep venous drainage. Stratifying by age, in the 0- to 20-year age group, the 10-year recurrence rates were 63% and 13% for those with and without deep venous drainage, respectively. In the 20- to 39-year age group, the rates were 5% and 0% respectively, and in the 40-year and older age group they were 0% and 3%, respectively. The hazard ratio for deep venous drainage, adjusted for age, was 5.97 (95% CI 1.20–29.69, p = 0.029).

Conclusions

The risk of recurrence after AVM resection is significant for young patients with deep venous drainage.

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David Bervini, Michael Kerin Morgan, Elizabeth Anne Ritson and Gillian Heller

Object

The aim of this study was to identify patients who are likely to benefit from surgery for unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (ubAVMs).

Methods

The authors' database was interrogated for the risk and outcome of hemorrhage after referral and the outcome from surgery. Furthermore, the outcome from surgery incorporated those cases excluded from surgery because of perceived greater risk (sensitivity analysis). Finally, a comparison was made for the authors' patients between the natural history and surgery. Data were collected for 427 consecutively enrolled patients with ubAVMs in a database that included patients who were conservatively managed. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed on patients observed for more than 1 day to determine the risk of hemorrhage. Variables that may influence the risk of first hemorrhage were assessed using Cox proportional hazard regression models and Kaplan-Meier life table analyses from referral until the first occurrence of the following: hemorrhage, treatment, or last review. The outcome from surgery (leading to a new permanent neurological deficit with last review modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 1) was determined. Further sensitivity analysis was made to predict risk from surgery for the total ubAVM cohort by incorporating outcomes of surgical cases as well as cases excluded from surgery because of perceived risk, and assuming an adverse outcome for these excluded cases.

Results

A total of 377 patients with a ubAVM were included in the analysis of the risk of hemorrhage. The 5-year risk of hemorrhage for ubAVM was 11.5%. Hemorrhage resulted in an mRS score > 1 in 14 cases (88% [95% CI 63%–98%]). Patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class A ubAVMs treated by surgery (n = 190) had a risk from surgery of 1.6% (95% CI 0.3%–4.8%) for a permanent neurological deficit leading to an mRS score > 1 and 0.5% (95% CI < 0.1%–3.2%) for a permanent neurological deficit leading to an mRS score > 2. Patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class B ubAVMs treated by surgery (n = 107) had a risk from surgery of 14.0% (95% CI 8.6%–22.0%) for a permanent neurological deficit leading to an mRS score > 1. Sensitivity analysis of Spetzler-Ponce Class B ubAVMs, including those in patients excluded from surgery, showed that the true risk for surgically eligible patients may have been as high as 15.6% (95% CI 9.9%–23.7%) for mRS score > 1, had all patients who were perceived to have a greater risk experienced an adverse outcome. Patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class C ubAVMs treated by surgery (n = 44) had a risk from surgery of 38.6% (95% CI 25.7%–53.4%) for a permanent neurological deficit leading to an mRS score > 1. Sensitivity analysis of Class C ubAVMs, including those harbored by patients excluded from surgery, showed that the true risk for surgically eligible patients may have been as high as 60.9% (95% CI 49.2%–71.5%) for mRS score > 1, had all patients who were perceived to have a greater risk experienced an adverse outcome.

Conclusions

Surgical outcomes for Spetzler-Ponce Class A ubAVMs are better than those for conservative management.

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Michael Kerin Morgan, Andrew Stewart Davidson, Stavros Koustais, Mary Simons and Elizabeth Anne Ritson

Object

Ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer embolization is increasingly used preoperatively in the resection of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, the case for embolization improving the outcome of resection has not been evaluated. In this paper the authors set out to compare outcomes after surgery for brain AVMs in 2 consecutive periods of practice. In the first period, selective embolization was used without the use of ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer. In the second period, selective embolization with ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer was performed.

Methods

A consecutive case series (prospectively collected data) was retrospectively analyzed. Adverse outcomes were considered to be an outcome modified Rankin Scale score greater than 2 due to embolization or surgery.

Results

A total of 538 surgical cases were included. The percentages of adverse outcomes were as follows: 0.34% for Spetzler-Martin AVMs less than Grade III (1 of 297 cases); 5.23% (95% CI 2.64%–9.78%) for Grade III AVMs (9 of 172 cases); and 17% (95% CI 10%–28%) for AVMs greater than Grade III (12 of 69 cases). There was no improvement in outcomes from the first period to the second period. The adverse outcome for Grade III brain AVMs in the first period was 5.2% (7 of 135 cases) and in the second period (after ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer was introduced) it was 5.4% (2 of 37 cases). For AVMs greater than Grade III, the adverse outcome was 12% (6 of 49 cases) in the first period and 30% (6 of 20 cases) in the second period.

Conclusions

Outcomes for brain AVM surgery were not improved by ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer embolization. Preoperative embolization of high-grade AVMs with an ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer did not prevent those hemorrhagic complications which embolization is hypothesized to prevent based on theoretical speculations but not demonstrated in practice.

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David Bervini, Michael Kerin Morgan, Marcus Andrew Stoodley and Gillian Ziona Heller

OBJECTIVE

The occurrence of transdural arterial recruitment (TDAR) in association with brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) is uncommon, and the reason for TDAR is not understood. The aim of this cohort study was to examine patient and bAVM characteristics associated with TDAR and the implications of TDAR on management.

METHODS

A prospective surgical database of bAVMs was examined. Cases previously treated elsewhere or incompletely examined by digital subtraction angiography (DSA) assessment were excluded. Three studies of this cohort were performed, as follows: characteristics associated with TDAR, the relationship between TDAR and neurological deficits unassociated with hemorrhage (NDUH), and the impact of TDAR on outcome from surgery. Regression models were performed.

RESULTS

Of 769 patients with complete DSA who had no previous treatment, 51 (6.6%) were found to have TDAR. The presence of TDAR was associated with increasing age (p < 0.01; OR 1.05; 95% CI 1.02–1.07); presentation with NDUH (p < 0.01; OR 2.71; 95% CI 1.29–5.71); increasing size of the bAVM (p < 0.01; OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.29–1.91); and combined supply from both anterior and posterior circulations (p = 0.02; OR 2.37; 95% CI 1.17–4.78). Further analysis of TDAR cases comparing those with and without NDUH found an association of larger size (6.6 cm [2.9 SD] compared with 4.7 cm [1.8 SD]; p < 0.01) and combined supply from both anterior and posterior circulations (relative risk 2.5; 95% CI 1.0–6.2; p = 0.04) to be associated with an NDUH presentation.

For the 632 patients undergoing surgery there was an increased risk of complications (where this produced a new permanent neurological deficit at 12 months represented by a modified Rankin Scale score of > 1) with the following variables: size; location in eloquent brain; deep venous drainage; increasing age; and no presentation with hemorrhage. The presence of TDAR was not associated with an increased risk of complications from surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that TDAR occurs in older patients with larger bAVMs, and that TDAR is also more likely to be associated with bAVMs presenting with NDUH. The likely explanation for the presence of TDAR is a secondary recruitment arising as a consequence of shear stress, rather than a primary vascular supply present from the earliest development of the bAVM.

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Michael Kerin Morgan, Markus Karl Hermann Wiedmann, Nazih N. A. Assaad, Michael J. A. Parr and Gillian Z. Heller

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of deliberate employment of postoperative hypotension on delayed postoperative hemorrhage (DPH) for all Spetzler-Ponce Class (SPC) C brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) and SPC B bAVMs ≥ 3.5 cm in diameter (SPC B 3.5+).

METHODS

A protocol of deliberate employment of postoperative hypotension was introduced in June 1997 for all SPC C and SPC B 3.5+ bAVMs. The aim was to achieve a maximum mean arterial blood pressure (BP) ≤ 70 mm Hg (with cerebral perfusion pressure > 50 mm Hg) for a minimum of 7 days after resection of bAVMs (BP protocol). The authors compared patients who experienced DPH (defined as brain hemorrhage into the resection bed that resulted in a new neurological deficit or that resulted in reoperation during the hospitalization for microsurgical bAVM resection) between 2 periods (prior to adopting the BP protocol and after introduction of the BP protocol) and 4 bAVM categories (SPC A, SPC B 3.5− [that is, SPC B < 3.5 cm maximum diameter], SPC B 3.5+, and SPC C). Patients excluded from treatment by the BP protocol were managed in the intensive care unit to avoid moderate hypertensive episodes. The pooled cases of all bAVM treated by surgery were analyzed to identify characteristics associated with the risk of DPH. These identified characteristics were then examined by multiple logistic regression analysis in both SPC B 3.5+ and SPC C cases.

RESULTS

From a cohort of 641 bAVMs treated by microsurgery, 32 patients with DPH were identified. Of those, 66% (95% CI 48–80) had a permanent new neurological deficit with a modified Rankin Scale score of 2–6. This included a mortality rate of 13% (95% CI 4.4–29). The BP protocol was used to treat 162 patients with either SPC B 3.5+ or SPC C. For SPC B 3.5+, there was no significant reduction in DPH with the introduction of the BP protocol (p = 0.77). For SPC C, there was a significant (p = 0.035) reduction of DPH from 29% (95% CI 13%–53%) to 8.2% (95% CI 3.2%–18%) associated with the introduction of the BP protocol. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that the absence of the BP protocol (p = 0.011, odds ratio 7.5, 95% CI 1.6–36) remained significant for the development of DPH in patients with SPC C bAVMs.

CONCLUSIONS

Treating patients with SPC C bAVMs with a protocol that lowers BP immediately after resection seems to reduce the risk of DPH. For SPC A and SPC B 3.5− bAVMs, there is unlikely to be a need to do more than avoid postoperative hypertension. For SPC B 3.5+ bAVMs, a larger number of patients would be required to test the absence of benefit of the BP protocol.

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Michael Kerin Morgan, Marcus Andrew Stoodley and John William Fuller