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Justin A. Dye, Colin C. Buchanan and Nestor R. Gonzalez

The authors report the treatment of a rare type of dural arteriovenous fistula of the paracavernous venous plexus. These fistulas can mimic carotid-cavernous fistulas in both imaging characteristics and clinical presentation, but the anatomical differences require differences in management. The authors describe an integrated open surgical and direct endovascular embolization approach and review of the literature pertaining to the anatomy of and treatment options for paracavernous fistulas.

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Justin A. Dye, Joshua R. Dusick, Darrin J. Lee, Nestor R. Gonzalez and Neil A. Martin

Object

Surgical evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) remains a subject of controversy. Minimally invasive techniques for hematoma evacuation have shown a trend toward improved outcomes. The aim of the present study is to describe a minimally invasive alternative for the evacuation of sICH and evaluate its feasibility.

Methods

The authors reviewed records of all patients who underwent endoscopic evacuation of an sICH at the UCLA Medical Center between March 2002 and March 2011. All patients in whom the described technique was used for evacuation of an sICH were included in this series. In this approach an incision is made at the superior margin of the eyebrow, and a bur hole is made in the supraorbital bone lateral to the frontal sinus. Using stereotactic guidance, the surgeon advanced the endoscopic sheath along the long axis of the hematoma and fixed it in place at two specific depths where suction was then applied until 75%–85% of the preoperatively determined hematoma volume was removed. An endoscope's camera, then introduced through the sheath, was used to assist in hemostasis. Preoperative and postoperative hematoma volumes and reduction in midline shift were calculated and recorded. Admission Glasgow Coma Scale and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were compared with postoperative scores.

Results

Six patients underwent evacuation of an sICH using the eyebrow/bur hole technique. The mean preoperative hematoma volume was 68.9 ml (range 30.2–153.9 ml), whereas the mean postoperative residual hematoma volume was 11.9 ml (range 5.1–24.1 ml) (p = 0.02). The mean percentage of hematoma evacuated was 79.2% (range 49%–92.7%). The mean reduction in midline shift was 57.8% (p < 0.01). The Glasgow Coma Scale score improved in each patient between admission and discharge examination. In 5 of the 6 patients the mRS score improved from admission exam to last follow-up. None of the patients experienced rebleeding.

Conclusions

This minimally invasive technique is a feasible alternative to other means of evacuating sICHs. It is intended for anterior basal ganglia hematomas, which usually have an elongated, ovoid shape. The approach allows for an optimal trajectory to the long axis of the hematoma, making it possible to evacuate the vast majority of the clot with only one pass of the endoscopic sheath, theoretically minimizing the amount of damage to normal brain.

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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Satoshi Tateshima, Joon K. Song, Nestor R. Gonzalez and Michael P. Wallace

Object. A new embolic agent, bioabsorbable polymeric material (BPM), was incorporated into Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) to improve long-term anatomical results in the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The authors investigated whether BPM-mounted GDCs (BPM/GDCs) accelerated the histopathological transformation of unorganized blood clot into fibrous connective tissue in experimental aneurysms created in swine.

Methods. Twenty-four experimental aneurysms were created in 12 swine. In each animal, one aneurysm was embolized using BPM/GDCs and the other aneurysm was embolized using standard GDCs. Comparative angiographic and histopathological data were analyzed at 2 weeks and 3 months postembolization.

At 14 days postembolization, angiograms revealed evidence of neck neointima in six of eight aneurysms treated with BPM/GDCs compared with zero of eight aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p < 0.05). At 3 months postembolization, angiograms demonstrated that four of four aneurysms treated with BPM/GDC were smaller and had neck neointima compared with zero of four aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p = 0.05). At 14 days, histological analysis of aneurysm healing favored BPM/GDC treatment (all p < 0.05): the grade of cellular reaction around the coils was 3 ± 0.9 (mean ± standard deviation) for aneurysms treated using BPM/GDCs compared with 1.6 ± 0.7 for aneurysms treated using GDCs alone; the percentage of unorganized thrombus was 16 ± 12% compared with 37 ± 15%, and the neck neointima thickness was 0.65 ±0.26 mm compared with 0.24 ±0.21 mm, respectively. At 3 months postembolization, only neck neointima thickness was significantly different (p < 0.05): 0.73 ± 0.37 mm in aneurysms filled with BPM/GDCs compared with 0.16 ± 0.14 mm in aneurysms filled with standard GDCs.

Conclusions. In experimental aneurysms in swine, BPM/GDCs accelerated aneurysm fibrosis and intensified neck neointima formation without causing parent artery stenosis or thrombosis. The use of BPM/GDCs may improve long-term anatomical outcomes by decreasing aneurysm recanalization due to stronger in situ anchoring of coils by organized fibrous tissue. The retraction of this scar tissue may also decrease the size of aneurysms and clinical manifestations of mass effect observed in large or giant aneurysms.

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Joshua R. Dusick, David S. Liebeskind, Jeffrey L. Saver, Neil A. Martin and Nestor R. Gonzalez

Object

Symptomatic intracranial arterial stenoses have a high rate of recurrent stroke despite medical and endovascular treatments. The authors present clinical and angiographic quantitative outcomes of indirect revascularization for patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis.

Methods

Patients treated for symptomatic intracranial arterial stenosis by indirect revascularization were included. The patient population comprised those in whom medical management had failed and for whom endovascular therapy was unsuitable or had failed. Patients underwent encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) with or without bur holes. Preoperative and postoperative angiograms were evaluated for change in caliber of extracranial blood vessels (superficial temporal artery [STA] and middle meningeal artery [MMA]) and for evidence of neovascularization.

Results

Thirteen patients underwent EDAS. Ischemic symptoms ceased within the follow-up period in all patients, returning in a delayed fashion in only 2. No other patients had recurrent TIAs or strokes after the initial postoperative period. Donor blood vessels increased in size relative to preoperative sizes in all but 1 case (average increase of 52% for proximal STA [p = 0.01], 74% for midpoint of STA [p = 0.01], and 84% for the MMA [p = 0.02]). In addition, 8 of 11 patients demonstrated direct spontaneous anastomoses from extracranial to middle cerebral artery branches, and all patients demonstrated angiographic evidence of vascular blush and/or new branches from the STA and/or MMA.

Conclusions

Indirect revascularization appears to be a safe and effective method to improve blood flow to ischemic brain due to intracranial arterial stenosis. Neovascularization and enlargement of the branches of the ECA were observed in all patients and correlated with improvement in ischemic symptoms. Indirect revascularization is an option for patients in whom medical therapy has failed and who are not suitable for endovascular treatment.

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Nestor R. Gonzalez, Joshua R. Dusick, Mark Connolly, Firas Bounni, Neil A. Martin, Barbara Van de Wiele, David S. Liebeskind and Jeffrey L. Saver

OBJECT

Encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) is a form of revascularization that has shown promising early results in the treatment of adult patients with moyamoya disease (MMD) and more recently in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic steno-occlusive disease (ICASD). Herein the authors present the long-term results of a single-center experience with EDAS for adult MMD and ICASD.

METHODS

Patients with ischemic symptoms despite intensive medical therapy were considered for EDAS. All patients undergoing EDAS were included. Clinical data, including recurrence of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and/or stroke, functional status, and death, were collected from a retrospective data set and a prospective cohort. Perren revascularization and American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology/Society of Interventional Radiology (ASITN/SIR) collateral grades were recorded from angiograms.

RESULTS

A total of 107 EDAS procedures were performed in 82 adults (36 with ICASD and 46 with MMD). During a median follow-up of 22 months, 2 (2.4%) patients had strokes; both patients were in the ICASD group. TIA-free survival and stroke-free survival analyses were performed using the product limit estimator (Kaplan-Meier) method. The probability of stroke-free survival at 2 years in the ICASD group was 94.3% (95% CI 80%–98.6%). No patient in the MMD group suffered a stroke. The probability of TIA-free survival at 2 years was 89.4% (95% CI 74.7%–96%) in ICASD and 99.7% (95% CI 87.5%–99.9%) in MMD. There were no hemorrhages or stroke-related deaths. Angiograms in 85.7% of ICASD and 92% of MMD patients demonstrated Perren Grade 3 and improvement in ASITN/SIR grade in all cases.

CONCLUSIONS

EDAS is well tolerated in adults with MMD and ICASD and improves collateral circulation to territories at risk. The rates of stroke after EDAS are lower than those reported with other treatments, including intensive medical therapy in patients with ICASD.

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Nestor R. Gonzalez, W. John Boscardin, Thomas Glenn, Fernando Vinuela and Neil A. Martin

Object

The goal in this study was to create an index (vasospasm probability index [VPI]) to improve diagnostic accuracy for vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods

Seven hundred ninety-five patients in whom aneurysmal SAH was demonstrated by computed tomography, and in whom one or more intracranial aneurysms had been diagnosed, underwent transcranial Doppler (TCD) studies between April 1998 and January 2000. In 154 patients angiography was performed within 24 hours of the TCD examination, and in 75 133Xe cerebral blood flow (CBF) studies were obtained the same day. Seven cases were excluded because of a limited sonographic window. Forty-one women (60.3%) and 27 men (39.7%) between the ages of 35 and 84 years (58.0 ± 13.2 years [mean ± standard deviation]) were included. Clinical characteristics analyzed included age, sex, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, days after SAH, day of treatment, type of treatment (coil embolization, surgical clip occlusion, or conservative treatment), smoking history, and hypertension history. Lindegaard ratios and spasm indexes (TCD velocities/hemispheric CBF) were calculated bilaterally. Digital subtraction angiography images were measured at specific points of interest. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and global accuracy of the different tests were calculated. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the possible predictive factors, and the coefficients of the logistic regression were integrated to create the VPI.

Results

In 18 patients (26.5%) symptomatic vasospasm was diagnosed, and 33 (48.5%) had angiographic evidence of vasospasm. For TCD velocities above 120 cm/second at the middle cerebral artery, the global accuracy was 81.1% for the diagnosis of clinical vasospasm and 77.2% for angiographic vasospasm. For a Lindegaard ratio higher than 3.0, the accuracy was 85% for clinical vasospasm and 83.2% for angiographic vasospasm. A spasm index higher than 3.5 had an accuracy of 82.0% for the diagnosis of clinical vasospasm and 81.6% for angiographic vasospasm. The selected model for estimation of clinical vasospasm included Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, and spasm index. The VPI had a global accuracy of 92.9% for clinical vasospasm detection. For diagnosis of angiographic vasospasm, the model included Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, and Lindegaard ratio. The VPI achieved a global accuracy of 89.9% for angiographic vasospasm detection.

Conclusions

The use of TCD velocities, Lindegaard ratio, and spasm index independently is of limited value for the diagnosis of clinical and angiographic vasospasm. The combination of predictive factors associated with the development of vasospasm in the new index reported here has a significantly superior accuracy compared with the independent tests and may become a valuable tool for the clinician to evaluate the individual probability of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH.

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Huai-Yu Tong, Yuan-Zheng Zhang, Sheng Li and Xin-Guang Yu

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Ichiro Yuki, Robert H. Kim, Gary Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, Satoshi Tateshima, Nestor Gonzalez, Alessandra Gorgulho, Jorge Lee Diaz, Antonio A. De Salles and Fernando Viñuela

Object

High-flow fistulas associated with brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) pose a significant challenge to both stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of multimodality treatment of AVMs in association with a large arteriovenous fistula (AVF), with a special focus on endovascular embolization and its associated complications.

Methods

One hundred ninety-two patients harboring cerebral AVMs underwent endovascular treatment in the authors' department between 1997 and 2003. Of these, the authors selected 74 patients presenting with an AVM associated with high-flow AVF(s) for a retrospective analysis based on the findings of superselective angiography. After endovascular embolization, 32 patients underwent resection, 33 underwent either SRS or hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT), and 3 underwent both surgery and SRS. Six patients underwent embolization only. Immediate and midterm treatment outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Fifty-seven (77%) of the 74 patients had AVMs that were Spetzler-Martin Grade III or higher. A complete resection was achieved in all 32 patients. Of patients who underwent SRS/HSRT, 13 patients (39.3%) had either complete or > 90% obliteration of the AVM, and 2 patients (6.1%) had incomplete obliteration. Fourteen patients (42.4%) with residual AVM underwent repeated radiotherapy (and remain under observation). Of the 3 patients who underwent both SRS and resection, resection was complete in 2 and incomplete in one. No follow-up was obtained in 6 patients (8.1%). An endovascular complication was observed in 4 patients (5.4%). Fistula embolization was safely performed in every patient, whereas every endovascular complication was associated with other procedures such as nidus embolization.

Conclusions

Endovascular occlusion of the fistulous component was successfully achieved in every patient; every endovascular complication in this series was related to other procedures such as nidus embolization. The importance of the fistula treatment should be emphasized to minimize the endovascular complications and to maximize the treatment effect when a multimodality therapy is used to treat brain AVMs with large AVF.