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Ephraim W. Church, Mark G. Bigder, Eric S. Sussman, Santosh E. Gummidipundi, Summer S. Han, Jeremy J. Heit, Huy M. Do, Robert L. Dodd, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Perforator arteries, the absence of an aneurysm discrete neck, and the often-extensive nature of posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms present treatment challenges. There have been advances in microsurgical and endovascular approaches, including flow diversion, and the authors sought to review these treatments in a long-term series at their neurovascular referral center.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review from 1990 to 2018. Primary outcomes were modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at follow-up. The authors also examined neurological complication rates. Using regression techniques, they reviewed independent and dependent variables, including presenting features, aneurysm location and size, surgical approach, and pretreatment and posttreatment thrombosis.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients met the inclusion criteria. Their mean age was 53 years, and 49 (58%) were female. Forty-one (49%) patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) in 50 (60%) patients, basilar artery (BA) or vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) in 22 (26%), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) in 12 (14%). Thirty-one (37%) patients were treated with microsurgical and 53 (63%) with endovascular approaches. Six aneurysms were treated with endovascular flow diversion. The authors found moderate disability or better (mRS score ≤ 3) in 85% of the patients at a mean 14-month follow-up. The GOS score was ≥ 4 in 82% of the patients. The overall neurological complication rate was 12%. In the regression analysis, patients with VA or PICA aneurysms had better functional outcomes than the other groups (p < 0.001). Endovascular strategies were associated with better outcomes for BA-VBJ aneurysms (p < 0.01), but microsurgery was associated with better outcomes for VA-PICA and PCA aneurysms (p < 0.05). There were no other significant associations between patient, aneurysm characteristics, or treatment features and neurological complications (p > 0.05). Patients treated with flow diversion had more complications than those who underwent other endovascular and microsurgical strategies, but the difference was not significant in regression models.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms remain a challenging aneurysm subtype, but an interdisciplinary treatment approach can result in good outcomes. While flow diversion is a useful addition to the armamentarium, traditional endovascular and microsurgical techniques continue to offer effective options.

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Mark Bigder, Omar Choudhri, Mihir Gupta, Santosh Gummidipundi, Summer S. Han, Ephraim W. Church, Steven D. Chang, Richard P. Levy, Huy M. Do, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Microsurgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) can be aided by staged treatment consisting of stereotactic radiosurgery followed by resection in a delayed fashion. This approach is particularly useful for high Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade lesions because radiosurgery can reduce flow through the AVM, downgrade the SM rating, and induce histopathological changes that additively render the AVM more manageable for resection. The authors present their 28-year experience in managing AVMs with adjunctive radiosurgery followed by resection.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed records of patients treated for cerebral AVMs at their institution between January 1990 and August 2019. All patients who underwent stereotactic radiosurgery (with or without embolization), followed by resection, were included in the study. Of 1245 patients, 95 met the eligibility criteria. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to assess relationships between key variables and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

The majority of lesions treated (53.9%) were high grade (SM grade IV–V), 31.5% were intermediate (SM grade III), and 16.6% were low grade (SM grade I–II). Hemorrhage was the initial presenting sign in half of all patients (49.5%). Complete resection was achieved among 84% of patients, whereas 16% had partial resection, the majority of whom received additional radiosurgery. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores of 0–2 were achieved in 79.8% of patients, and 20.2% had poor (mRS scores 3–6) outcomes. Improved (44.8%) or stable (19%) mRS scores were observed among 63.8% of patients, whereas 36.2% had a decline in mRS scores. This includes 22 patients (23.4%) with AVM hemorrhage and 6 deaths (6.7%) outside the perioperative period but prior to AVM obliteration.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a useful adjunct in the presurgical management of cerebral AVMs. Multimodal therapy allowed for high rates of AVM obliteration and acceptable morbidity rates, despite the predominance of high-grade lesions in this series of patients.