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Parantap Patel, Davis Taylor and Min S. Park

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, especially among members of the armed services. Injuries sustained in the battlefield are subject to different mechanisms than those sustained in civilian life, particularly blast and high-velocity injury. Due to the unique nature of these injuries and the challenges associated with battlefield medicine, surgical interventions play a key role in acute management of TBI. However, the burden of chronic disease posed by TBI is poorly understood and difficult to investigate, especially in the military setting. The authors report the case logs of a United States Navy neurosurgeon, detailing the acute management and outcomes of 156 patients sustaining TBI between November 2010 and May 2011 during the war in Afghanistan. By demographics, more than half of the patients treated were local nationals. By mechanism of injury, blunt trauma (40.4%) and explosive injury (37.2%) were the most common contributors to TBI. Decompressive craniectomies (24.0%) and clot evacuations (14.7%) were the procedures most commonly performed. Nearly one-quarter of patients were transferred to receive further care, yet only 3 patients were referred for rehabilitative services. Furthermore, the data suggest that patients sustaining comorbid injuries in addition to TBI may be predisposed to worse outcomes. Improvements in documentation of military patients may improve knowledge of TBI and further identify potential variables or treatments that may affect prognosis. The increased survivability from TBI also highlights the need for additional research expenditure in the field of neurorehabilitation specifically.

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Craig Kilburg, Philipp Taussky, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

The use of flow-diverting stents for intracranial aneurysms has become more prevalent, and flow diverters are now routinely used beyond their initial scope of approval at the proximal internal carotid artery. Although flow diversion for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms is becoming more commonplace, there have been no reports of its use to treat flow-related cerebral aneurysms associated with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The authors report the cases of 2 patients whose AVM-associated aneurysms were managed with flow diversion. A 40-year-old woman presented with a history of headaches that led to the identification of an unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade V, right parietooccipital AVM associated with 3 aneurysms of the ipsilateral internal carotid artery. Initial attempts at balloon-assisted coil embolization of the aneurysms were unsuccessful. The patient underwent placement of a flow-diverting stent across the diseased vessel; a 6-month follow-up angiogram demonstrated complete occlusion of the aneurysms. In the second case, a 57-year-old man presented with new-onset seizures, and an unruptured Spetzler-Martin Grade V, right frontal AVM associated with an irregular, wide-necked anterior communicating artery aneurysm was identified. The patient underwent placement of a flow-diverting stent, and complete occlusion of the aneurysm was observed on a 7-month follow-up angiogram. These 2 cases illustrate the potential for use of flow diversion as a treatment strategy for feeding artery aneurysms associated with AVMs. Because of the need for dual antiplatelet medications after flow diversion in this patient population, however, this strategy should be used judiciously.

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Daniel M. S. Raper, Nasser Mohammed, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

The preferred method for treating complex dural arteriovenous fistulae of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses is via endovascular, transarterial embolization using liquid embolysate. However, this treatment approach mandates access to distal dural feeding arteries that can be technically challenging by standard endovascular approaches. This video describes a left temporal craniotomy for direct stick microcatheterization of an endovascularly inaccessible distal posterior division of the middle meningeal artery for embolization of a complex left temporal dural arteriovenous fistula. The case was performed in the hybrid operative suite with biplane intraoperative angiography. Technical considerations, operative nuances, and outcomes are reviewed.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/Dnd4yHgaKcQ.

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Michael Karsy, Andrea Brock, Jian Guan, Phillip Taussky, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the US. Although there has been significant progress in the area of medical and surgical thrombolytic technologies, neuroprotective agents to prevent secondary cerebral injury and to minimize disability remain limited. Only limited success has been reported in preclinical and clinical trials evaluating a variety of compounds. In this review, the authors discuss the most up-to-date information regarding the underlying molecular biology of stroke as well as strategies that aim to mitigate this complex signaling cascade. Results of historical research trials involving N-methyl-d-aspartate and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor antagonists, clomethiazole, antioxidants, citicoline, nitric oxide, and immune regulators have laid the groundwork for current progress. In addition, more recent studies involving therapeutic hypothermia, magnesium, albumin, glyburide, uric acid, and a variety of other treatments have provided more options. The use of neuroprotective agents in combination or with existing thrombolytic treatments may be one of many exciting areas of further development. Although past trials of neuroprotective agents in ischemic stroke have been limited, significant insights into mechanisms of stroke, animal models, and trial design have incrementally improved approaches for future therapies.

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Nam Yoon, Aatman Shah, William T. Couldwell, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Skull base meningiomas are technically challenging tumors to treat because of their deep vascular supply that can preclude early devascularization during resection. Preoperative embolization of these arterial feeders is thought to decrease blood loss and facilitate resection; however, given the complex and varied anatomy of these skull base lesions, preoperative embolization is not without risk. It is essential for both endovascular and skull base neurosurgeons to understand these risks in light of the potential benefits. The authors review the vascular anatomy of skull base meningiomas, indications for preoperative devascularization, endovascular techniques, and published results regarding embolization of these lesions.

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Nam K. Yoon, Al-Wala Awad, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Philipp Taussky and Min S. Park

Atherosclerotic disease of the cerebral vasculature is a major cause of stroke worldwide. Atherosclerosis that is refractory to best medical management may require revascularization. In these instances, endovascular treatment provides a popular and safe alternative to open surgical techniques. The authors provide an overview of stent technology in the treatment of ischemic stroke, discussing the major studies evaluating stenting for extracranial carotid artery, vertebral artery, and intracranial atherosclerotic disease. The authors describe the commonly used stents with respect to their individual characteristics and technical limitations. Current and future developments in stent technology are also discussed, with areas for further innovation and clinical research.

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Adam S. Arthur, Philipp Taussky, Min S. Park, Michael F. Stiefel and Robert H. Rosenwasser

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Vijay M. Ravindra, Jayson A. Neil, Marcus D. Mazur, Min S. Park, William T. Couldwell and Philipp Taussky

The craniocervical junction (CCJ) functions within a complicated regional anatomy necessary to protect and support vital neurovascular structures. In select instances, vascular pathology can be attributed to this complicated interplay of motion and structure found within this narrow space. The authors report 3 cases of complex vascular pathology related to motion at the CCJ and detail the management of these cases. Two cases involved posterior circulation vascular compression syndromes, and one case involved a vascular anomaly and its relation to aneurysm formation and rupture. The patient in Case 1 was a 66-year-old man with a history of syncopal episodes resulting from the bilateral vertebral artery becoming occluded when he rotated his head. Successful microsurgical decompression at the skull base resulted in patent bilateral vertebral artery V3 segments upon head movement in all directions. The patient in Case 2 was a 53-year-old woman who underwent elective resection of a right temporal meningioma and who experienced postoperative drowsiness, dysphagia, and mild right-arm ataxia. Subsequent MRI demonstrated bilateral posterior inferior cerebel-lar artery (PICA) strokes. Cerebral angiography showed a single PICA, of extradural origin, supplying both cerebellar hemispheres. The PICA exhibited dynamic extradural compression when the patient rotated her head; the bilateral PICA strokes were due to head rotation during surgical positioning. In Case 3, a 37-year-old woman found unconscious in her home had diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage and evidence of a right PICA aneurysm. A right far-lateral craniectomy was performed for aneurysm clipping, and she was found to have a dissecting aneurysm with an associated PICA originating extradurally. There was a shearing phenomenon of the extradural PICA along the dura of the foramen magnum, and this microtraumatic stress imposed on the vessel resulted in a dissecting aneurysm. This series of complex and unusual cases highlights the authors’ understanding of vascular pathology of the CCJ and its management.

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Jian Guan, Michael Karsy, William T. Couldwell, Richard H. Schmidt, Philipp Taussky, Joel D. MacDonald and Min S. Park

OBJECTIVE

The choice between treating and observing unruptured intracranial aneurysms is often difficult, with little guidance on which variables should influence decision making on a patient-by-patient basis. Here, the authors compared demographic variables, aneurysm-related variables, and comorbidities in patients who received microsurgical or endovascular treatment and those who were conservatively managed to determine which factors push the surgeon toward recommending treatment.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients diagnosed with an unruptured intracranial aneurysm at their institution between January 1, 2013, and January 1, 2016. These patients were dichotomized based on whether their aneurysm was treated. Demographic, geographic, socioeconomic, comorbidity, and aneurysm-related information was analyzed to assess which factors were associated with the decision to treat.

RESULTS

A total of 424 patients were identified, 163 who were treated surgically or endovascularly and 261 who were managed conservatively. In a multivariable model, an age < 65 years (OR 2.913, 95% CI 1.298–6.541, p = 0.010), a lower Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 1.536, 95% CI 1.274–1.855, p < 0.001), a larger aneurysm size (OR 1.176, 95% CI 1.100–1.257, p < 0.001), multiple aneurysms (OR 2.093, 95% CI 1.121–3.907, p = 0.020), a white race (OR 2.288, 95% CI 1.245–4.204, p = 0.008), and living further from the medical center (OR 2.125, 95% CI 1.281–3.522, p = 0.003) were all associated with the decision to treat rather than observe.

CONCLUSIONS

Whereas several factors were expected to be considered in the decision to treat unruptured intracranial aneurysms, including age, Charlson Comorbidity Index, aneurysm size, and multiple aneurysms, other factors such as race and proximity to the medical center were unanticipated. Further studies are needed to identify such biases in patient treatment and improve treatment delineation based on patient-specific aneurysm rupture risk.

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Sung-Min Kim, T. Jesse Lim, Josemaria Paterno, Jon Park and Daniel H. Kim

Object. In bilateral cervical facet dislocation, biomechanical stabilities between anterior locking screw/plate fixation after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDFP) and posterior transpedicular screw/rod fixation after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDFTP) have not been compared using the human cadaver, although ACDFP has been performed frequently. In this study the stability of ACDFP, a posterior wiring procedure after ACDFP (ACDFPW), and ACDFTP for treatment of bilateral cervical facet dislocation were compared.

Methods. Spines (C3—T1) from 10 human cadavers were tested in the intact state, and then after ACDFP, ACDFPW, and ACDFTP were performed. Intervertebral motion was measured using a video-based motion capture system. The range of motion (ROM) and neutral zone (NZ) were compared for each loading mode to a maximum of 2 Nm.

The ROM for spines treated with ACDFP was below that of the intact spine in all loading modes, with statistical significance in flexion and extension, but NZs were decreased in flexion and extension and slightly increased in bending and axial rotation; none of these showed statistical significance. The ACDFPW produced statistically significant additional stability in axial rotation ROM and in flexion NZ than ACDFP. The ACDFTP provided better stability than ACDFP in bending and axial rotation, and better stability than ACDFPW in bending for both ROM and NZ. There was no significant difference in extension with either ROM or NZ for the three fixation methods.

Conclusions. The spines treated with ACDFTP demonstrated the most effective stabilization, followed by those treated with ACDFPW, and then ACDFP. The spines receiving ACDFP also revealed a higher stability than the intact spine in most loading modes; thus ACDFP can also provide a relatively effective stabilization in bilateral cervical facet dislocation, but with the aid of a brace.