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Adam S. Reig, Scott Simon, and Robert A. Mericle

Many treatments for posttraumatic, skull base aneurysms have been described. Eight months after an all-terrain-vehicle accident, this 12-year-old girl presented with right-side Horner syndrome caused by a 33 × 19–mm internal carotid artery aneurysm at the C-1 level. We chose to treat the aneurysm with a new liquid embolic agent for wide-necked, side-wall aneurysms (Onyx HD 500). We felt this treatment would result in less morbidity than surgery and was less likely to occlude the parent artery than placement of a covered stent, especially in a smaller artery in a pediatric patient. Liquid embolic agents also appear to be associated with a lower chance of recanalization and lower cost compared with stent-assisted coil embolization. After the patient was treated with loading doses of aspirin, clopidogrel bisulfate, and heparin, 99% of the aneurysm was embolized with 9 cc of the liquid embolic agent. There were no complications, and the patient remained neurologically stable. Follow-up angiography revealed durable aneurysm occlusion after 1 year. The cost of Onyx was less than the cost of coils required for coil embolization of similarly sized intracranial aneurysms at our institution. Liquid embolic agents can provide a safe, efficacious, and cost-effective approach to treatment of select giant, posttraumatic, skull base aneurysms in pediatric patients.

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Scott D. Simon, Robert E. Harbaugh, and Arthur L. Day

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Robert F. James, Viktoras Palys, Jason R. Lomboy, J. Richard Lamm Jr., and Scott D. Simon

New anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications have been approved and are prescribed with increased frequency. Intracranial hemorrhage is associated with the use of these medications. Therefore, neurosurgeons need to be aware of these new medications, how they are different from their predecessors, and the strategies for the urgent reversal of their effects. Utilization of intraluminal stents by endovascular neurosurgeons has resulted in the need to have a thorough understanding of antiplatelet agents. Increased use of dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban as oral anticoagulants for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and acute deep venous thrombosis has increased despite the lack of known antidotes to these medications.

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Michael A. Mooney, Elias D. Simon, Scott Brigeman, Peter Nakaji, Joseph M. Zabramski, Michael T. Lawton, and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECTIVE

A direct comparison of endovascular versus microsurgical treatment of ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms in randomized trials is lacking. As endovascular treatment strategies continue to evolve, the number of reports of endovascular treatment of these lesions is increasing. Herein, the authors report a detailed post hoc analysis of ruptured MCA aneurysms treated by microsurgical clipping from the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT).

METHODS

The cases of patients enrolled in the BRAT who underwent microsurgical clipping for a ruptured MCA aneurysm were reviewed. Characteristics of patients and their clinical outcomes and long-term angiographic results were analyzed.

RESULTS

Fifty patients underwent microsurgical clipping of a ruptured MCA aneurysm in the BRAT, including 21 who crossed over from the endovascular treatment arm. Four patients with nonsaccular (e.g., dissecting, fusiform, or blister) aneurysms were excluded, leaving 46 patients for analysis. Most (n = 32; 70%) patients presented with a Hunt and Hess grade II or III subarachnoid hemorrhage, with a high prevalence of intraparenchymal blood (n = 23; 50%), intraventricular blood (n = 21; 46%), or both. At the last follow-up (up to 6 years after treatment), clinical outcomes were good (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) in 70% (n = 19) of 27 Hunt and Hess grades I–III patients and in 36% (n = 4) of 11 Hunt and Hess grade IV or V patients. There were no instances of rebleeding after the surgical clipping of aneurysms in this series at the time of last clinical follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Microsurgical clipping of ruptured MCA aneurysms has several advantages over endovascular treatment, including durability over time. The authors report detailed outcome data of patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms who underwent microsurgical clipping as part of a prospective, randomized trial. These results should be used for comparison with future endovascular and surgical series to ensure that the best results are being achieved for patients with ruptured MCA aneurysms.

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Michael A. Mooney, Scott Brigeman, Michael A. Bohl, Elias D. Simon, John P. Sheehy, Steve W. Chang, and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECTIVE

Overlapping surgery is a controversial subject in medicine today; however, few studies have examined the outcomes of this practice. The authors analyzed outcomes of patients with acutely ruptured saccular aneurysms who were treated with microsurgical clipping in a prospectively collected database from the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial. Acute and long-term outcomes for overlapping versus nonoverlapping cases were compared.

METHODS

During the study period, 241 patients with ruptured saccular aneurysms underwent microsurgical clipping. Patients were separated into overlapping (n = 123) and nonoverlapping (n = 118) groups based on surgical start/stop times. Outcomes at discharge and at 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 6 years after surgery were analyzed.

RESULTS

Patient variables (e.g., age, smoking status, cardiovascular history, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, and aneurysm size) were similar between the 2 groups. Aneurysm locations were similar, with the exception of the overlapping group having more posterior circulation aneurysms (18/123 [15%]) than the nonoverlapping group (8/118 [7%]) (p = 0.0495). Confirmed aneurysm obliteration at discharge was significantly higher for the overlapping group (109/119 [91.6%]) than for the nonoverlapping group (95/116 [81.9%]) (p = 0.03). Hospital length of stay, discharge location, and proportions of patients with a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2 at discharge and up to 6 years postoperatively were similar. The mean and median mRS, Glasgow Outcome Scale, Mini–Mental State Examination, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and Barthel Index scores at all time points were not statistically different between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with nonoverlapping surgery, overlapping surgery was not associated with worse outcomes for any variable at any time point, despite the complexity of the surgical management in this patient population. These findings should be considered during the discussion of future guidelines on the practice of overlapping surgery.

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Adam S. Reig, Scott D. Simon, Wallace W. Neblett III, and Robert A. Mericle

The authors report the 8-year follow-up of a patient previously described in the literature who originally presented in high-output cardiac failure secondary to a complex neonatal intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF). The earlier case report described palliative treatment with a combination of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and endovascular embolization for life-threatening high-output cardiac failure secondary to a DAVF. Access was obtained using the ECMO cannula, and embolization was performed while the patient was connected to the ECMO machine.

The patient made an excellent recovery following partial embolization of the fistula, but then presented again 7 years later with worsening headaches secondary to significant growth of the known residual portion of the fistula identified on CT angiography. The child also developed bilateral femoral artery (FA) occlusions secondary to multiple previous FA punctures. To achieve complete obliteration of the remaining fistula, the patient required a retroperitoneal approach to the iliac artery and percutaneous puncture of the internal jugular vein. Embolization was performed with a combination of platinum coils and ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer liquid embolic agent. There were no complications, and the child remains neurologically normal, with no signs of permanent cardiovascular sequelae.

In this case report, the authors discuss the long-term management of AVFs treated by endovascular strategies early in life. After neonatal access, sometimes the FAs occlude, requiring more invasive access strategies. The authors also discuss the follow-up method, intervals, and threshold for further treatment for these lesions, and present a review of the literature.

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Scott Simon, Tom Yao, Arthur J. Ulm, Benjamin P. Rosenbaum, and Robert A. Mericle

The authors report dural sinus thrombosis diagnosed in 2 patients based on noninvasive imaging results, which were revealed to be dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) diagnosed using digital subtraction (DS) angiography. The first patient was a 63-year-old man who presented with headaches. Magnetic resonance venography was performed and suggested dural sinus thrombosis of the left transverse sinus and jugular vein. He was administered warfarin anticoagulation therapy but then suffered multiple intracranial hemorrhages. A DS angiogram was requested for a possible dural sinus thrombectomy, but the DS angiogram revealed a DAVF. The patient underwent serial liquid embolization with complete obliteration of the DAVF. The second patient, an 11-year-old boy, also presented with headaches and was diagnosed with dural sinus thrombosis on MR imaging. A DS angiogram was also requested for a possible thrombectomy and revealed a DAVF. This patient underwent serial liquid embolization and eventual operative resection. These reports emphasize that different venous flow abnormalities can appear similar on noninvasive imaging and that proper diagnosis is critical to avoid contraindicated therapies.

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H. Isaac Chen, Gregory G. Heuer, Kareem Zaghloul, Scott L. Simon, John B. Weigele, and M. Sean Grady

✓Vertebral hemangiomas are common entities that rarely present with neurological deficits. The authors report the unusual case of a large L-3 vertebral hemangioma with epidural extension in a 27-year-old woman who presented with hip flexor and quadriceps weakness, foot drop, and leg pain. The characteristics of the mass on magnetic resonance imaging suggested an aggressive, hypervascular lesion. The patient underwent embolization of the lesion followed by direct intralesional injection of ethanol. Significant resolution of clinical symptoms was observed immediately after the procedure and at her follow-up visits. Follow-up imaging studies obtained 9 months after the procedure also documented a considerable reduction in the size of the hemangioma with minimal loss of vertebral height and a mild kyphosis at the affected level. On repeated imaging studies obtained 21 months postoperatively, the size of the hemangioma and the degree of vertebral body compression were stable. As demonstrated in this case, patients with vertebral hemangiomas can present with acute nerve root compression and signs and symptoms similar to those of disc herniation. Vertebral hemangiomas can be treated effectively with interventional techniques such as embolization and ethanol injection.

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Dipankar Nandi, Simon Parkin, Richard Scott, Jonathan L. Winter, Carole Joint, Ralph Gregory, John Stein, and Tipu Z. Aziz

✓ The authors report the neurological, neurophysiological, and neuropsychological effects of using long-term bilateral pallidal high-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a case of disabling camptocormia. Deep brain stimulation electrodes were implanted stereotactically to target the globus pallidus internus (GPi) bilaterally. Local field potentials (FPs) were recorded using the DBS electrodes and concurrent abdominal flexor electromyography (EMG) potentials during camptocormic episodes. Videotaped assessments of the movement disorder and neuropsychological evaluations of the patient before implantation and 6 months after initiation of pallidal stimulation were recorded.

There was significant functional improvement following long-term pallidal stimulation, and some improvement was noted in neuropsychological scores. A temporal correlation between the GPi FPs and EMG-recorded rectus abdominis potentials was evident. There were no treatment-related adverse effects. The authors have found that long-term pallidal stimulation was safe and offered functional benefit to a patient with this severely disabling condition. The physiological studies may help further the understanding of the pathophysiology of this rare entity.

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Griffin R. Baum, Alex S. Ha, Meghan Cerpa, Scott L. Zuckerman, James D. Lin, Richard P. Menger, Joseph A. Osorio, Simon Morr, Eric Leung, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Zeeshan Sardar, and Lawrence G. Lenke

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to validate the Global Alignment and Proportion (GAP) score in a cohort of patients undergoing adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The GAP score is a novel measure that uses sagittal parameters relative to each patient’s lumbosacral anatomy to predict mechanical complications after ASD surgery. External validation is required.

METHODS

Adult ASD patients undergoing > 4 levels of posterior fusion with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included. Six-week postoperative standing radiographs were used to calculate the GAP score, classified into a spinopelvic state as proportioned (P), moderately disproportioned (MD), or severely disproportioned (SD). A chi-square analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Cochran-Armitage analysis were performed to assess the relationship between the GAP score and mechanical complications.

RESULTS

Sixty-seven patients with a mean age of 52.5 years (range 18–75 years) and a mean follow-up of 2.04 years were included. Patients with < 2 years of follow-up were included only if they had an early mechanical complication. Twenty of 67 patients (29.8%) had a mechanical complication. The spinopelvic state breakdown was as follows: P group, 21/67 (31.3%); MD group, 23/67 (34.3%); and SD group, 23/67 (34.3%). Mechanical complication rates were not significantly different among all groups: P group, 19.0%; MD group, 30.3%; and SD group, 39.1% (χ2 = 1.70, p = 0.19). The rates of mechanical complications between the MD and SD groups (30.4% and 39.1%) were less than those observed in the original GAP study (MD group 36.4%–57.1% and SD group 72.7%–100%). Within the P group, the rates in this study were higher than in the original study (19.0% vs 4.0%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found no statistically significant difference in the rate of mechanical complications between the P, MD, and SD groups. The current validation study revealed poor generalizability toward the authors’ patient population.