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Erdem Güresir, Patrick Schuss, Volker Seifert and Hartmut Vatter

Object

Resolution of oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) after clipping of posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms has been well documented. However, whether additional decompression of the oculomotor nerve via aneurysm sac dissection or resection is superior to pure aneurysm clipping is the subject of much debate. Therefore, the objective in the present investigation was to analyze the influence of surgical strategy—specifically, clipping with or without aneurysm dissection—on ONP resolution.

Methods

Between June 1999 and December 2010, 18 consecutive patients with ruptured and unruptured PCoA aneurysms causing ONP were treated at the authors' institution. Oculomotor nerve palsy was evaluated on admission and at follow-up. The electronic database MEDLINE was searched for additional data in published studies of PCoA aneurysms causing ONP. Two reviewers independently extracted data.

Results

Overall, 8 studies from the literature review and 6 patients in the current series (121 PCoA aneurysms) met the study inclusion criteria. Ninety-four aneurysms were treated with simple aneurysm neck clipping and 27 with clipping plus aneurysm sac decompression. The surgical strategy, simple aneurysm neck clipping versus clipping plus oculomotor nerve decompression, had no effect on full ONP resolution on univariate (p = 0.5) and multivariate analyses. On multivariate analysis, patients with incomplete ONP at admission were more likely to have full resolution of the palsy than were those with complete ONP at admission (p = 0.03, OR = 4.2, 95% CI 1.1–16).

Conclusions

Data in the present study indicated that ONP caused by PCoA aneurysms improves after clipping without and with oculomotor nerve decompression. The resolution of ONP is inversely associated with the initial severity of ONP.

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Giuseppe Lanzino

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Patrick Schuss, Erdem Güresir, Joachim Berkefeld, Volker Seifert and Hartmut Vatter

Object

Intracranial aneurysms of the anterior circulation might become symptomatic by causing visual deficits. The influence of treatment modality on improvement is still unclear. The objective of this study was to analyze the recovery of visual deficits caused by the mass effect of intracranial aneurysms after surgical clipping or endovascular treatment.

Methods

Between June 1999 and December 2009, 20 patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms causing visual dysfunction due to compression of the optical nerve were treated at the authors' institution. Visual deficits were recorded at admission and at follow-up. To evaluate a larger number of patients, MEDLINE was searched for published studies involving visual disturbance caused by an aneurysm. A multivariate analysis was performed to find independent predictors for favorable visual outcome.

Results

Nine (75%) of 12 patients treated surgically achieved improvement of visual symptoms, compared with 3 (38%) of 8 patients treated endovascularly. A literature review, including the current series, revealed a total of 165 patients with UIAs causing visual dysfunction. Surgical treatment was associated with a significantly higher rate of visual improvement (p = 0.002) compared with endovascular treatment. According to the multivariate analysis, surgical clipping was the only variable significantly associated with improvement of visual outcome (p = 0.02).

Conclusions

Aneurysm-related visual dysfunction developed from direct mechanical compression may improve after surgical clipping and endovascular coiling. However, based on the present series combined with pooled analysis of data from the literature, the only factor significantly associated with improvement of visual dysfunction was surgical clipping.

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Patrick Schuss, Jürgen Konczalla, Johannes Platz, Hartmut Vatter, Volker Seifert and Erdem Güresir

Object

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with simultaneous acute subdural hematoma (SDH) is a severe disease. The authors' objective was to analyze the incidence, prognosis, and clinical outcome of patients suffering from aneurysm-related SAH and space-occupying acute SDH.

Methods

Between June 1999 and June 2011, data from 989 patients with aneurysm-related SAH were prospectively entered into a database. Eighteen patients (1.8%) presented with aneurysm-related SAH and space-occupying acute SDH. The treatment decision (clip or coil) was based on an interdisciplinary approach. Outcome was assessed according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 6 months and was dichotomized into favorable outcome (mRS Score 0–2) versus unfavorable outcome (mRS Score 3–6). PubMed was searched for published studies of aneurysm-related SAH and acute SDH to gain a larger population. A multivariate regression analysis was performed on the pooled data.

Results

Literature data, including the current series, revealed a total of 111 patients. Overall, 38 (34%) of 111 patients with aneurysm-related SAH and acute SDH achieved favorable outcome. Favorable outcome was achieved in 68% of patients with good-grade clinical presentation on admission (Hunt and Hess Grades I–III) versus 23% of the patients with poor-grade presentation (Hunt and Hess Grades IV and V, p < 0.0001). In the multivariate analysis, poor clinical condition at admission was the only predictor for unfavorable outcome (p = 0.02).

Conclusions

The present data confirm that patients with aneurysm-related SAH and acute SDH, even when presenting in poor clinical condition, might achieve favorable outcome. Therefore, treatment of patients with SAH and acute SDH should not be discontinued, but careful individual decision making is necessary for each patient.

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Erdem Güresir, Patrick Schuss, Hartmut Vatter, Andreas Raabe, Volker Seifert and Jürgen Beck

Object

The aim of this study was to analyze decompressive craniectomy (DC) in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with bleeding, infarction, or brain swelling as the underlying pathology in a large cohort of consecutive patients.

Methods

Decompressive craniectomy was performed in 79 of 939 patients with SAH. Patients were stratified according to the indication for DC: 1) primary brain swelling without or 2) with additional intracerebral hematoma, 3) secondary brain swelling without rebleeding or infarcts, and 4) secondary brain swelling with infarcts or 5) with rebleeding. Outcome was assessed according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 6 months (mRS Score 0–3 favorable vs 4–6 unfavorable).

Results

Overall, 61 (77.2%) of 79 patients who did and 292 (34%) of the 860 patients who did not undergo DC had a poor clinical grade on admission (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Grade IV–V, p < 0.0001). A favorable outcome was attained in 21 (26.6%) of 79 patients who had undergone DC. In a comparison of favorable outcomes in patients with primary (28.0%) or secondary DC (25.5%), no difference could be found (p = 0.8). Subgroup analysis with respect to the underlying indication for DC (brain swelling vs bleeding vs infarction) revealed no difference in the rate of favorable outcomes. On multivariate analysis, acute hydrocephalus (p = 0.009) and clinical signs of herniation (p = 0.02) were significantly associated with an unfavorable outcome.

Conclusions

Based on the data in this study the authors concluded that primary as well as secondary craniectomy might be warranted, regardless of the underlying etiology (hemorrhage, infarction, or brain swelling) and admission clinical grade of the patient. The time from the onset of intractable intracranial pressure to DC seems to be crucial for a favorable outcome, even when a DC is performed late in the disease course after SAH.

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Erdem Güresir, Hartmut Vatter, Patrick Schuss, Ági Oszvald, Andreas Raabe, Volker Seifert and Jürgen Beck

Object

The object of this study was to describe the rapid closure technique in decompressive craniectomy without duraplasty and its use in a large cohort of consecutive patients.

Methods

Between 1999 and 2008, supratentorial rapid closure decompressive craniectomy (RCDC) was performed 341 times in 318 patients at the authors' institution. Cases were stratified as 1) traumatic brain injury, 2) subarachnoid hemorrhage, 3) intracerebral hemorrhage, 4) cerebral infarction, and 5) other. A large bone flap was removed and the dura mater was opened in a stellate fashion. Duraplasty was not performed—that is, the dura was not sutured, and a dural substitute was neither sutured in nor layed on. The dura and exposed brain tissue were covered with hemostyptic material (Surgicel). Surgical time and complications of this procedure including follow-up (> 6 months) were recorded. After 3–6 months cranioplasty was performed, and, again, surgical time and any complications were recorded.

Results

Rapid closure decompressive craniectomy was feasible in all cases. Complications included superficial wound healing disturbance (3.5% of procedures), abscess (2.6%) and CSF fistula (0.6%); the mean surgical time (± SD) was 69 ± 20 minutes. Cranioplasty was performed in 196 cases; the mean interval (± SD) from craniectomy to cranioplasty was 118 ± 40 days. Complications of cranioplasty included epidural hematoma (4.1%), abscess (2.6%), wound healing disturbance (6.1%), and CSF fistula (1%).

Compared with the results reported in the literature for decompressive craniectomy with duraplasty followed by cranioplasty, there were no significant differences in the frequency of complications. However, surgical time for RCDC was significantly shorter (69 ± 20 vs 129 ± 43 minutes, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

The present analysis of the largest series reported to date reveals that the rapid closure technique is feasible and safe in decompressive craniectomy. The surgical time is significantly shorter without increased complication rates or additional complications. Cranioplasty after a RCDC procedure was also feasible, fast, safe and not impaired by the RCDC technique.