S. Arthur Moore, Robert D. Brown Jr., Teresa J. H. Christianson and Kelly D. Flemming
The aim of this study was to determine the prospective hemorrhage rate in a group of retrospectively identified patients in whom symptoms had an unclear relationship to an intracerebral cavernous malformation (ICM) or the malformation itself was an incidental finding.
Patients with incidentally discovered ICMs diagnosed between 1989 and 1999 were identified from a previously published cohort. Those with ICMs having an unclear relationship with existing symptoms were also eligible for analysis. Updated clinical and radiographic data pertaining to symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage related to the ICM or new seizures were obtained through medical chart review and mail survey. In select patients, phone calls were made and death certificates were obtained when possible. The prospective hemorrhage rate was calculated as the number of prospective hemorrhages divided by the number of patient-years of follow-up.
There were 1311 patient-years of follow-up among the 107 patients (49.5% male; mean age at diagnosis 52 years) eligible for this study. Forty-four patients died in the follow-up period, and the cause of death could be determined in 34 (77%). Two patients had a prospective hemorrhage, which was definitively related to the ICM in only one. Thus, the definitive prospective bleed rate was 0.08% per patient-year. No new seizures developed in any of the patients during the follow-up period.
The risk of prospective hemorrhage in patients presenting asymptomatically with ICM is very low. This information can be useful in managing such patients and may be most applicable to those with a single ICM.
M. Sean Kincaid, Michael J. Souter, Miriam M. Treggiari, N. David Yanez, Anne Moore and Arthur M. Lam
The goal of this study was to assess the accuracy of the routine clinical use of transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography and SPECT in predicting angiographically demonstrated vasospasm.
Following receipt of institutional review board approval, the authors reviewed the records of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage who had been admitted between 2004 and 2005 and underwent TCD ultrasonography and SPECT evaluations within 24 hours of cerebral angiography. Patients were categorized based on the presence or absence of vasospasm and/or hypoperfusion in the anterior cerebral arteries (ACAs), middle cerebral arteries (MCAs), and basilar arteries (BAs) or posterior cerebral arteries (PCAs) according to each imaging modality. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of an angiographically demonstrated vasospasm also detected on TCD ultrasonography and SPECT.
One hundred fifty-two patients (101 women) with a mean age (± standard deviation) of 53 ± 13 years were included in the study. In the ACA, the OR of a vasospasm on TCD ultrasonography was 27 (95% confidence interval [CI] 3–243) and on SPECT 0.97 (95% CI 0.36–2.6); in the MCA, 17 (95% CI 5.4–55) and 2.0 (95% CI 0.71–5.5), respectively; in the BA, 4.4 (95% CI 0.72–27) and 5.6 (95% CI 0.89–36), respectively. There was no substantial change in the relative odds of a vasospasm when the findings on TCD ultrasonography and SPECT were considered jointly.
Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography appears to be highly predictive of an angiographically demonstrated vasospasm in the MCA and ACA; however, its diagnostic accuracy was lower with regard to vasospasm in the BA. Single-photon emission computed tomography was not predictive of a vasospasm in any of the vascular territories assessed.