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Kenan AlKhalili, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective management strategy for properly selected patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, the risk of postradiosurgical radiation-related injury is higher in patients with large AVMs. Multistaged volumetric management of large AVMs was undertaken to limit the radiation exposure to the surrounding normal brain. This strategy offers a promising method for obtaining high AVM obliteration rates with minimal normal tissue damage. The use of embolization as an adjunctive method in the treatment of large AVMs remains controversial. Unfortunately, staged-volume radiosurgery (SVR) has a number of potential pitfalls that affect the outcome. The aim of this article is to highlight the role of SVR in the treatment of large AVMs, to discuss the outcome comparing it to other treatment modalities, and to discuss the potential improvement that could be introduced to this method of treatment.

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Badih Daou, Christine Hammer, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

Dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries can result in the development of aneurysmal dilations. These dissecting pseudoaneurysms can enlarge and cause symptoms. The objective of this study is to provide insight into the progression of dissecting pseudoaneurysms and the treatments required to manage them.

METHODS

A review of the electronic medical records was conducted to detect patients with carotid and vertebral artery dissection. An imaging review was conducted to identify patients with dissecting pseudoaneurysms. One hundred twelve patients with 120 dissecting pseudoaneurysms were identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the factors associated with undergoing further interventions other than medical treatment, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, pseudoaneurysms resulting in ischemic and nonischemic symptoms, and clinical outcome.

RESULTS

Overall, 18.3% of pseudoaneurysms were intracranial and 81.7% were extracranial, and the average size was 7.3 mm. The mean follow-up time was 29.3 months; 3.3% of patients had a recurrent transient ischemic attack, no patients had a recurrent stroke, and 14.2% of patients had recurrence of nonischemic symptoms (headache, neck pain, Horner syndrome, or cranial nerve palsy). Follow-up imaging demonstrated that 13.8% of pseudoaneurysms had enlarged, 30.2% had healed, and 56% had remained stable. In total, 20.8% of patients had an intervention other than medical treatment. Interventions included stenting, coiling, flow diversion, and clipping. Predictors of intervention included increasing size, size > 10 mm, location in the C2 (petrous) segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA), younger age, hyperlipidemia, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, and any symptom development. Significant predictors of enlargement included smoking, history of trauma, C2 location, hyperlipidemia, and larger initial pseudoaneurysm size. Predictors of pseudoaneurysm resulting in recurrent ischemic and nonischemic symptoms included increasing size and location in the petrous segment of the ICA. Smoking was a predictor of unfavorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Dissecting pseudoaneurysms have a benign course and most will not cause symptoms or enlarge on follow-up. Medical treatment can be a sufficient, initial treatment for dissecting pseudoaneurysms.

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Thana Theofanis, Nohra Chalouhi, Richard Dalyai, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

The authors conducted a study to assess the safety and efficacy of microsurgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and determine predictors of complications.

Methods

A total of 264 patients with cerebral AVMs were treated with microsurgical resection between 1994 and 2010 at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience. A review of patient data was performed, including initial hemorrhage, clinical presentation, Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, treatment modalities, clinical outcomes, and obliteration rates. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine predictors of operative complications.

Results

Of the 264 patients treated with microsurgery, 120 (45%) patients initially presented with hemorrhage. There were 27 SM Grade I lesions (10.2%), 101 Grade II lesions (38.3%), 96 Grade III lesions (36.4%), 31 Grade IV lesions (11.7%), and 9 Grade V lesions (3.4%). Among these patients, 102 (38.6%) had undergone prior endovascular embolization. In all patients, resection resulted in complete obliteration of the AVM. Complications occurred in 19 (7.2%) patients and resulted in permanent neurological deficits in 5 (1.9%). In multivariate analysis, predictors of complications were increasing AVM size (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.5–6.6; p = 0.001), increasing number of embolizations (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.2; p = 0.01), and unruptured AVMs (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1–7.2; p = 0.05).

Conclusions

Microsurgical resection of AVMs is highly efficient and can be undertaken with low rates of morbidity at high-volume neurovascular centers. Unruptured and larger AVMs were associated with higher complication rates.

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Badih Daou, Anthony P. Kent, Maria Montano, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECT

Patients presenting with large-territory ischemic strokes may develop intractable cerebral edema that puts them at risk of death unless intervention is performed. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of outcome for decompressive hemicraniectomy (DH) in ischemic stroke.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective electronic medical record review of 1624 patients from 2006 to 2014. Subjects were screened for DH secondary to ischemic stroke involving the middle cerebral artery, internal carotid artery, or both. Ninety-five individuals were identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for an array of clinical variables in relationship to functional outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Clinical outcome was assessed at 90 days and at the latest follow-up (mean duration 16.5 months).

RESULTS

The mean mRS score at 90 days and at the latest follow-up post-DH was 4. Good functional outcome was observed in 40% of patients at 90 days and in 48% of patient at the latest follow-up. The mortality rate at 90 days was 18% and at the last follow-up 20%. Univariate analysis identified a greater likelihood of poor functional outcome (mRS scores of 4–6) in patients with a history of stroke (OR 6.54 [95% CI1.39–30.66]; p = 0.017), peak midline shift (MLS) > 10 mm (OR 3.35 [95% CI 1.33–8.47]; p = 0.011), or a history of myocardial infarction (OR 8.95 [95% CI1.10–72.76]; p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis demonstrated elevated odds of poor functional outcome associated with a history of stroke (OR 9.14 [95% CI 1.78–47.05]; p = 0.008), MLS > 10 mm (OR 5.15 [95% CI 1.58–16.79; p = 0.007), a history of diabetes (OR 5.63 [95% CI 1.52–20.88]; p = 0.01), delayed time from onset of stroke to DH (OR 1.32 [95% CI 1.02–1.72]; p = 0.037), and evidence of pupillary dilation prior to DH (OR 4.19 [95% CI 1.06–16.51]; p = 0.04). Patients with infarction involving the dominant hemisphere had higher odds of unfavorable functional outcome at 90 days (OR 4.73 [95% CI 1.36–16.44]; p = 0.014), but at the latest follow-up, cerebral dominance was not significantly related to outcome (OR 1.63 [95% CI 0.61–4.34]; p = 0.328).

CONCLUSIONS

History of stroke, diabetes, myocardial infarction, peak MLS > 10 mm, increasing duration from onset of stroke to DH, and presence of pupillary dilation prior to intervention are associated with a worse functional outcome.

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Richard Dalyai, Robert M. Starke, Nohra Chalouhi, Thana Theofanis, Christopher Busack, Pascal Jabbour, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

Object

Cigarette smoking has been well established as a risk factor in vascular pathology, such as cerebral aneurysms. However, tobacco’s implications for patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are controversial. The object of this study was to identify predictors of AVM obliteration and risk factors for complications.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database for all patients with AVMs treated using surgical excision, staged endovascular embolization (with N-butyl-cyanoacrylate or Onyx), stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife or Linear Accelerator), or a combination thereof between 1994 and 2010. Medical risk factors, such as smoking, abuse of alcohol or intravenous recreational drugs, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease, were documented. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to detect predictors of periprocedural complications, obliteration, and posttreatment hemorrhage.

Results

Of 774 patients treated at a single tertiary care cerebrovascular center, 35% initially presented with symptomatic hemorrhage and 57.6% achieved complete obliteration according to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) or MRI. In a multivariate analysis a negative smoking history (OR 1.9, p = 0.006) was a strong independent predictor of AVM obliteration. Of the patients with obliterated AVMs, 31.9% were smokers, whereas 45% were not (p = 0.05). Multivariate analysis of obliteration, after controlling for AVM size and location (eloquent vs noneloquent tissue), revealed that nonsmokers were more likely (0.082) to have obliterated AVMs through radiosurgery. Smoking was not predictive of treatment complications or posttreatment hemorrhage. Abuse of alcohol or intravenous recreational drugs, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease had no discernible effect on AVM obliteration, periprocedural complications, or posttreatment hemorrhage.

Conclusions

Cerebral AVM patients with a history of smoking are significantly less likely than those without a smoking history to have complete AVM obliteration on follow-up DSA or MRI. Therefore, patients with AVMs should be strongly advised to quit smoking.

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Shannon Hann, Nohra Chalouhi, Ravichandra Madineni, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Todd J. Albert, James Harrop and Joshua E. Heller

Adult degenerative cervical kyphosis is a debilitating disease that often requires complex surgical management. Young spine surgeons, residents, and fellows are often confused as to which surgical approach to choose due to lack of experience, absence of a systematic method of surgical management, and today's plethora of information regarding surgical techniques. Although surgeons may be able to perform anterior, posterior, or combined (360°) approaches to the cervical spine, many struggle to rationally choose an appropriate approach for deformity correction. The authors introduce an algorithm based on morphology and pathology of adult cervical kyphosis to help the surgeon select the appropriate approach when performing cervical deformity surgery. Cervical deformities are categorized into 5 different prevalent morphological types encountered in clinical settings. A surgical approach tailored to each category/type of deformity is then discussed, with a concrete case illustration provided for each. Preoperative assessment of kyphosis, determination of the goal for surgery, and the complications associated with cervical deformity correction are also summarized. This article's goal is to assist with understanding the big picture for surgical management in cervical spinal deformity.

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Purvee D. Patel, Nohra Chalouhi, Elias Atallah, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Hekmat Zarzour, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is the most widely used flow diverter in endovascular neurosurgery. In 2011, the device received FDA approval for the treatment of large and giant aneurysms in the internal carotid artery extending from the petrous to the superior hypophyseal segments. However, as popularity of the device grew and neurosurgeons gained more experience, its use has extended to several other indications. Some of these off-label uses include previously treated aneurysms, acutely ruptured aneurysms, small aneurysms, distal circulation aneurysms, posterior circulation aneurysms, fusiform aneurysms, dissecting aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, and even carotid-cavernous fistulas. The authors present a literature review of the safety and efficacy of the PED in these off-label uses.

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Kate A. Hentschel, Badih Daou, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Shannon Clark, Ashish Gandhe, Pascal Jabbour, Robert Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

Mechanical thrombectomy is standard of care for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. However, limited data are available from assessment of outcomes of FDA-approved devices. The objective of this study is to compare clinical outcomes, efficacy, and safety of non–stent retriever and stent retriever thrombectomy devices.

METHODS

Between January 2008 and June 2014, 166 patients treated at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience for acute ischemic stroke with mechanical thrombectomy using Merci, Penumbra, Solitaire, or Trevo devices were retrospectively reviewed. Primary outcomes included 90-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score, recanalization rate (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction [TICI score]), and incidence of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs). Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression determined predictors of mRS Score 3–6, mortality, and TICI Score 3.

RESULTS

A total of 99 patients were treated with non–stent retriever devices (Merci and Penumbra) and 67 with stent retrievers (Solitaire and Trevo). Stent retrievers yielded lower 90-day NIH Stroke Scale scores and higher rates of 90-day mRS scores ≤ 2 (22.54% [non–stent retriever] vs 61.67% [stent retriever]; p < 0.001), TICI Score 2b–3 recanalization rates (79.80% [non–stent retriever] vs 97.01% [stent retriever]; p < 0.001), percentage of parenchyma salvaged, and discharge rates to home/rehabilitation. The overall incidence of ICH was also significantly lower (40.40% [non–stent retriever] vs 13.43% [stent retriever]; p = 0.002), with a trend toward lower 90-day mortality. Use of non–stent retriever devices was an independent predictor of mRS Scores 3–6 (p = 0.002), while use of stent retrievers was an independent predictor of TICI Score 3 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Stent retriever mechanical thrombectomy devices achieve higher recanalization rates than non–stent retriever devices in acute ischemic stroke with improved clinical and radiographic outcomes and safety.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, Robert M. Starke, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, L. Fernando Gonzalez, Samantha Witte, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Aaron S. Dumont

Object

Surgical clipping of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms can be challenging and carries a potentially significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Experience with endovascular therapy has been limited to a few studies. The authors assess the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of endovascular therapy in the largest series of proximal and distal PICA aneurysms to date.

Methods

A total of 76 patients, 54 with proximal and 22 with distal PICA aneurysms, underwent endovascular treatment at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience between 2001 and 2011.

Results

Endovascular treatment was successful in 52 patients (96.3%) with proximal aneurysms and 19 patients (86.4%) with distal aneurysms. Treatment consisted of selective aneurysm coiling in 60 patients (84.5%) (including 4 with stent assistance and 4 with balloon assistance) and parent vessel trapping in 11 patients (15.5%). Specifically, a deconstructive procedure was necessary in 9.6% of proximal aneurysms (5 of 52) and 31.6% of distal aneurysms (6 of 19). There were 9 overall procedural complications (12.7%), 6 infarcts (8.5%; 4 occurring after deliberate occlusion of the PICA), and 3 intraprocedural ruptures (4.2%). The rate of procedure-related permanent morbidity was 2.8%. Complete aneurysm occlusion was achieved in 63.4% of patients (45 of 71). One patient (1.4%) treated with selective aneurysm coiling suffered a rehemorrhage on postoperative Day 15. The mean angiographic follow-up time was 17.2 months. Recurrence and re-treatment rates were, respectively, 20% and 17.1% for proximal aneurysms compared with 30.8% and 23.1% for distal aneurysms. Favorable outcomes (moderate, mild, or no disability) at follow-up were seen in 93% of patients with unruptured aneurysms and in 78.7% of those with ruptured aneurysms.

Conclusions

Endovascular therapy is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment in patients with proximal and distal PICA aneurysms, providing excellent patient outcomes and adequate protection against rehemorrhage. The long-term incidence of aneurysm recanalization appears to be high, especially in distal aneurysms, and requires careful angiographic follow-up.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Mario Zanaty, Alex Whiting, Steven Yang, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, David Hasan, Robert M. Starke, Shannon Hann, Christine Hammer, David Kung, Robert Rosenwasser and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECT

Flow diverters are increasingly used for treatment of intracranial aneurysms. In most series, the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) was used for the treatment of large, giant, complex, and fusiform aneurysms. Little is known about the use of the PED in small aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the PED in small aneurysms (≤ 7 mm).

METHODS

A total of 100 consecutive patients were treated with the PED at the authors' institution between May 2011 and September 2013. Data on procedural safety and efficacy were retrospectively collected.

RESULTS

The mean aneurysm size was 5.2 ± 1.5 mm. Seven patients (7%) had sustained a subarachnoid hemorrhage. All except 5 aneurysms (95%) arose from the anterior circulation. The number of PEDs used was 1.2 per aneurysm. Symptomatic procedure-related complications occurred in 3 patients (3%): 1 distal parenchymal hemorrhage that was managed conservatively and 2 ischemic events. At the latest follow-up (mean 6.3 months), 54 (72%) aneurysms were completely occluded (100%), 10 (13%) were nearly completely occluded (≥ 90%), and 11 (15%) were incompletely occluded (< 90%). Six aneurysms (8%) required further treatment. Increasing aneurysm size (OR 3.8, 95% CI 0.99–14; p = 0.05) predicted retreatment. All patients achieved a favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale Score 0–2) at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, treatment of small aneurysms with the PED was associated with low complication rates and high aneurysm occlusion rates. These findings suggest that the PED is a safe and effective alternative to conventional endovascular techniques for small aneurysms. Randomized trials with long-term follow-up are necessary to determine the optimal treatment that leads to the highest rate of obliteration and the best clinical outcomes.