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Matthew R. Quigley, Kenneth Heiferman, Hau C. Kwaan, Danko Vidovich, Peter Nora and Leonard J. Cerullo

✓ Laser-assisted vascular anastomosis (LAVA) is associated with a significant aneurysm problem when it is applied to small arteries. The etiology of this phenomenon was investigated by creating arteriotomies of different lengths and orientation in the rat carotid artery and sealing them with the milliwatt CO2 laser. It was found that increasing the arteriotomy length from 0.5 to 1.0 mm significantly raised aneurysm occurrence (4/17 vs. 25/28, chi-square: p < 0.001) regardless of orientation. Systemic hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 170 mm Hg) also significantly affected the aneurysm rate among the 0.5-mm arteriotomy group, raising aneurysm occurrence from 23.5% (4/17) to 100% (14/14) (p < 0.001). Assuming that the stay-sutures used for LAVA's act as rigid supports, the rate of aneurysm occurrence must be related to the distance between sutures. This phenomenon has been exploited to create a reliable aneurysm model.

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Dominik Diesing, Stefan Wolf, Jenny Sommerfeld, Asita Sarrafzadeh, Peter Vajkoczy and Nora F. Dengler

OBJECTIVE

Feasible clinical scores for predicting shunt-dependent hydrocephalus (SDHC) after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) are scarce. The chronic hydrocephalus ensuing from SAH score (CHESS) was introduced in 2015 and has a high predictive value for SDHC. Although this score is easy to calculate, several early clinical and radiological factors are required. The authors designed the retrospective analysis described here for external CHESS validation and determination of predictive values for the radiographic Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) scoring system and a new simplified combined scoring system.

METHODS

Consecutive data of 314 patients with aSAH were retrospectively analyzed with respect to CHESS parameters and BNI score. A new score, the shunt dependency in aSAH (SDASH) score, was calculated from independent risk factors identified with multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

Two hundred twenty-five patients survived the initial phase after the hemorrhage, and 27.1% of these patients developed SDHC. The SDASH score was developed from results of multivariate analysis, which revealed acute hydrocephalus (aHP), a BNI score of ≥ 3, and a Hunt and Hess (HH) grade of ≥ 4 to be independent risk factors for SDHC (ORs 5.709 [aHP], 6.804 [BNI], and 4.122 [HH]; p < 0.001). All 3 SDHC scores tested (CHESS, BNI, and SDASH) reliably predicted chronic hydrocephalus (ORs 1.533 [CHESS], 2.021 [BNI], and 2.496 [SDASH]; p ≤ 0.001). Areas under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) for CHESS and SDASH were comparable (0.769 vs 0.785, respectively; p = 0.447), but the CHESS and SDASH scores were superior to the BNI grading system for predicting SDHC (BNI AUROC 0.649; p = 0.014 and 0.001, respectively). In contrast to CHESS and BNI scores, an increase in the SDASH score coincided with a monotonous increase in the risk of developing SDHC.

CONCLUSIONS

The newly developed SDASH score is a reliable tool for predicting SDHC. It contains fewer factors and is more intuitive than existing scores that were shown to predict SDHC. A prospective score evaluation is needed.

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Matthew R. Quigley, Kenneth Heiferman, Hau C. Kwaan, Danko Vidovich, Peter Nora and Leonard J. Cerullo

✓ The laser-sealed arteriotomy (LSA) technique was used to create experimental aneurysms in the rat carotid artery. Animals were reexplored 2, 4, and 8 weeks following LSA, at which time the aneurysms were measured and subjected to a bursting strength pressure. In addition, a group of hypertensive rats with LSA was also tested 2 weeks after surgery. The LSA procedure produced aneurysms of a stable size and bursting pressure over the time studied. The bursting pressure technique may be applicable for assessing aneurysm therapy in an experimental setting.

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Marc Moisi, Christian Fisahn, Lara Tkachenko, Shiveindra Jeyamohan, Stephen Reintjes, Peter Grunert, Daniel C. Norvell, R. Shane Tubbs, Jeni Page, David W. Newell, Peter Nora, Rod J. Oskouian and Jens Chapman

OBJECTIVE

Posterior atlantoaxial stabilization and fusion using C-1 lateral mass screw fixation has become commonly used in the treatment of instability and for reconstructive indications since its introduction by Goel and Laheri in 1994 and modification by Harms in 2001. Placement of such lateral mass screws can be challenging because of the proximity to the spinal cord, vertebral artery, an extensive venous plexus, and the C-2 nerve root, which overlies the designated starting point on the posterior center of the lateral mass. An alternative posterior access point starting on the posterior arch of C-1 could provide a C-2 nerve root–sparing starting point for screw placement, with the potential benefit of greater directional control and simpler trajectory. The authors present a cadaveric study comparing an alternative strategy (i.e., a C-1 screw with a posterior arch starting point) to the conventional strategy (i.e., using the lower lateral mass entry site), specifically assessing the safety of screw placement to preserve the C-2 nerve root.

METHODS

Five US-trained spine fellows instrumented 17 fresh human cadaveric heads using the Goel/Harms C-1 lateral mass (GHLM) technique on the left and the posterior arch lateral mass (PALM) technique on the right, under fluoroscopic guidance. After screw placement, a CT scan was obtained on each specimen to assess for radiographic screw placement accuracy. Four faculty spine surgeons, blinded to the surgeon who instrumented the cadaver, independently graded the quality of screw placement using a modified Upendra classification.

RESULTS

Of the 17 specimens, the C-2 nerve root was anatomically impinged in 13 (76.5%) of the specimens. The GHLM technique was graded Type 1 or 2, which is considered “acceptable,” in 12 specimens (70.6%), and graded Type 3 or 4 (“unacceptable”) in 5 specimens (29.4%). In contrast, the PALM technique had 17 (100%) of 17 graded Type 1 or 2 (p = 0.015). There were no vertebral artery injuries found in either technique. All screw violations occurred in the medial direction.

CONCLUSIONS

The PALM technique showed statistically fewer medial penetrations than the GHLM technique in this study. The reason for this is not clear, but may stem from a more angulated ”up-and-in” screw direction necessary with a lower starting point.