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Mohamed Samy Elhammady, Eric C. Peterson and Mohammad Ali Aziz-Sultan

The treatment of indirect carotid cavernous fistulas (CCFs) is challenging and primarily accomplished by endovascular means utilizing a variety of embolic agents. Transvenous access to the cavernous sinus is the preferred method of embolizaiton of indirect CCFs as they are frequently associated with numerous small-caliber meningeal branches. Although the inferior petrosal sinus is the simplest, shortest, and most commonly used venous route to the cavernous sinus, the superior ophthalmic vein, superior petrosal sinus, basilar plexus, and pterygoid plexus present other endovenous options. Occasionally, however, use of these venous routes may not be possible due to vessel tortuosity or sinus thrombosis and occlusion.

The authors report a case of an indirect CCF that could not be treated endovascularly due to inability to access the cavernous sinus via a transfemoral transvenous approach. Angiography revealed a small, deeply located superior ophthalmic vein that was thought to be suboptimal for a direct cutdown. The cavernous sinus was cannulated directly via a transorbital approach using fluoroscopic guidance with a 3D skull reconstruction overlay. The fistula was subsequently obliterated using ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (Onyx). The technique and advantages of both 3D osseous reconstruction as well as Onyx embolization are discussed.

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Mohamed Samy A. Elhammady, Mustafa K. Baskaya and Roberto C. Heros

Object

The management of non–life threatening spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage with no obvious medical etiology in patients and the lack of findings on images has not been clearly defined. In general, the current practice is to treat these patients conservatively and repeat studies to rule out a treatable cause 6 weeks to 3 months later; more often than not these repeated studies fail to reveal any findings, and the patient is treated conservatively. For years, the senior author (R.C.H.) has treated these patients with early surgical exploration. This study was undertaken prospectively to ascertain the frequency of positive findings during surgical exploration.

Methods

Between 2000 and 2007, the authors prospectively collected data from 9 cases (4 cerebellar, 4 lobar, and 1 caudate head) of unexplained intraparenchymal hemorrhages. The patient age ranged from 18 to 45 years (mean 31.2 years). All patients were normotensive, had no underlying medical problems explaining such a hemorrhage, and failed to exhibit findings on cerebral angiograms. Magnetic resonance images with contrast showed no abnormal vasculature or enhancement. Eight patients underwent elective surgical exploration in the subacute stage, and urgent decompression of the clot was necessary in 1.

Results

In 7 (77.8%) of the 9 cases, histopathological examination revealed a cause for the hemorrhage (3 “cryptic” arteriovenous malformations, 3 cavernomas, and 1 neoplasm). A good outcome was achieved in all 8 patients who underwent elective surgery.

Conclusions

The authors recommend elective surgical exploration of intracerebral hematomas of unknown etiology provided that the hematoma is surgically accessible and the patient is relatively young and healthy. Early exploration and resection can provide a cure and eliminate the risk of rebleeding when a vascular lesion is found or guide further treatment in cases of tumor.

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Sudheer Ambekar, Brandon G. Gaynor, Eric C. Peterson and Mohamed Samy Elhammady

OBJECT

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are complex lesions consisting of abnormal connections between meningeal arteries and dural venous sinuses and/or cerebral veins. The goal of treatment is surgical or endovascular occlusion of the fistula or fistulous nidus or at least the disconnection of the feeding vessels and the draining veins. Delayed angiographic data on previously embolized dural fistulas is lacking. The authors report their experience and the long-term angiographic results with embolization of intracranial DAVF using Onyx.

METHODS

All cases of DAVF treated primarily with Onyx at the authors’ institution from 2006 to 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, fistula characteristics, embolization details, and angiographic follow-up were analyzed.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight patients with DAVFs were treated during the study period. Twenty-two patients were treated with open surgery with or without prior embolization. Thirty-six patients were treated with embolization alone, of whom 26 underwent an attempt at curative embolization and are the subject of this review. All but 2 of these patients were treated in a single session. Angiographic “cure” was achieved in all cases following treatment. Follow-up angiography was performed in 21 patients at a mean of 14 months after treatment (range 2–39 months). Asymptomatic angiographic recurrence of the fistula was evident in 3 of the 21 patients (14.3%). On reviewing the procedural angiograms of the cases in which the DAVFs recurred, it was observed that the Onyx cast did not reach the venous portion in 1 case, whereas it did reach the vein in the other 2 cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Recurrence following initial angiographic cure of DAVF is not uncommon. Incomplete penetration of the embolic material into the proximal portion of the venous outlet may lead to delayed recurrence. Long-term angiographic follow-up is highly recommended.

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Michel W. Bojanowski, Elsa Magro, Tim Darsaut and Jean Raymond

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Stacey Quintero Wolfe, Hamad Farhat, Roham Moftakhar, Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Mohammad Ali Aziz-Sultan

Endovascular obliteration of wide-necked aneurysms may be precluded by the inability to navigate across the aneurysm neck. The authors present a technique in which a Hyperform balloon is inflated within the aneurysm and used as a contact surface to “bounce” the remodeling balloon across the aneurysm neck. They have successfully used this technique in 3 patients to efficiently overcome vessel tortuosity, aneurysmal dead space, and balloon prolapse, allowing for obliteration of large, wide-necked aneurysms.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Editorial

Onyx and arteriovenous malformations

Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Eric C. Peterson, Mohamed Samy Elhammady, Stacey Quintero-Wolfe, Timothy G. Murray and Mohammad Ali Aziz-Sultan

Object

Retinoblastoma is the most common ocular neoplasm in children. Left untreated it spreads to the brain via the optic nerve. Traditional therapy is enucleation, and while this procedure is still the most common treatment worldwide, modern eye-preserving therapies can often spare the globe. However, patients with retinoblastoma often present in advanced stages of the disease when these globe-preserving strategies are often insufficient to prevent enucleation. In these challenging cases, direct infusion of chemotherapy into the ophthalmic artery has been attempted to achieve tumor control. The authors' aim in this study was to report on their initial experience with and clinical results for this approach.

Methods

The authors prospectively collected data on all cases of retinoblastoma treated with selective intraophthalmic melphalan at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. All cases were classified as International Intraocular Retinoblastoma Classification (IIRC) Group D or Reese-Ellsworth Group Vb, had not responded to aggressive multimodal therapy consisting of chemotherapy and focal consolidating laser therapy, and were pending enucleation. Using digital subtraction angiography, a microcatheter was navigated under roadmap guidance into the ophthalmic artery, and melphalan was infused over 40 minutes. Early in the series, patients were treated with 3 or 5 mg of melphalan, but after low response rates occurred all eyes were treated with 7.5 mg of melphalan. All patients were examined with funduscopy while under anesthesia 3 weeks after treatment and every 3 months thereafter. Patients with persistent disease were retreated with repeat infusions of melphalan.

Results

Twenty-six procedures were performed to treat 17 tumors in 15 patients. Successful cannulation of the ophthalmic artery was achieved in all cases. The follow-up ranged from 3 to 12 months, with a mean of 8.6 months. Overall, 76% of the tumors responded to therapy and these cases were spared enucleation. The average number of treatments was 1.5 per tumor. Of the responders, 54% responded to a single dose of melphalan. Treatment with the higher dose of 7.5 mg up front was associated with a lower enucleation rate (0% vs 36%) as compared with the lower starting dose. Delayed vitreous hemorrhage occurred after 4 (15%) of 26 treatments, and these cases were treated with enucleation.

Conclusions

In this challenging group of advanced retinoblastomas refractory to aggressive multimodal therapy, virtually 100% of eyes are generally enucleated. In contrast, the authors' protocol of infusing melphalan directly into the ophthalmic artery led to a dramatic decrease in the enucleation rate to 23.5%. While it is now the treatment of choice for refractory retinoblastoma at their center, its role in less advanced disease remains to be elucidated.

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Mohammad Ali Aziz-Sultan, Roham Moftakhar, Stacey Quintero Wolfe, Mohamed Samy Elhammady, Björn Herman and Hamad Farhat

Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas are vascular tumors that may make resection difficult and potentially dangerous. Preoperative embolization is frequently used to decrease surgical morbidity and blood loss. Embolization has typically been performed via a transarterial route using a variety of embolic materials. The authors present a case in which endoscopic assistance was used for direct transnasal tumor puncture and intratumoral embolization using the liquid embolic agent Onyx. In this case there was excellent infiltration of the parenchymal vasculature with complete angiographic obliteration. There were no complications related to the embolization. The tumor was resected with minimal blood loss. To the authors' knowledge, there have been no previous reports of this novel direct intratumoral embolization technique using endoscopic guidance.