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Embolization of middle cerebral artery aneurysms: ready for prime time?

Giuseppe Lanzino and Waleed Brinjikji

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Olivier Heck, René Anxionnat, Jean-Christophe Lacour, Anne-Laure Derelle, Xavier Ducrocq, Sébastien Richard, and Serge Bracard

The authors report on 3 rare cases of ruptured lenticulostriate artery (LSA) aneurysms that were heralded by deep cerebral hematomas. The hematomas were unilateral in 2 cases and bilateral in 1; in the bilateral case, only a single LSA aneurysm could be identified on the right side of the brain. Because of their small size (≤ 2 mm), fusiform aspect, and deep location within the brain, all of the aneurysms were treated conservatively. There was no hemorrhage recurrence, and follow-up angiography demonstrated spontaneous thrombosis in 2 of the 3 cases. The clinical course was favorable in 2 of the 3 patients. The course in the patient with the bilateral hematoma was marked by an ischemic event after the initial episode, resulting in an aggravation of deficits. The cause of this second event was uncertain.

Because our knowledge about the natural history of LSA aneurysms is incomplete, there is no consensus concerning a therapeutic strategy. The authors' experience in 3 reported cases leads them to think that a conservative approach involving close angiographic monitoring may be proposed as first-line treatment. If the monitored aneurysm then persists or grows in size, its occlusion should be considered. Nonetheless, other studies are needed to further strengthen the legitimacy of this strategy.

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João Ferreira de Melo Neto, Eduardo E. Pelinca da Costa, Nilson Pinheiro Junior, André L. Batista, Georges Rodesch, Serge Bracard, and Antônio G. Oliveira


Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are abnormal, acquired arteriovenous connections within the dural leaflets. Their associated symptoms may be mild or severe and are related to the patient’s venous anatomy. With the hypothesis that the patient’s venous anatomy determines the development of symptoms, the authors aimed to identify which venous anatomy elements are important in the development of major symptoms in patients with a DAVF.


A multicenter study was performed based on the retrospective analysis of cerebral angiographies with systematic assessment of brain drainage pathways (including fistula drainage) in patients over 18 years of age with a single DAVF. The patients were divided into two groups: those with minor (group 1, n = 112) and those with major (group 2, n = 89) symptoms. Group 2 was subdivided into two groups: patients with hemorrhage (group 2a, n = 47) and patients with severe nonhemorrhagic symptoms (group 2b, n = 42).


The prevalence of stenosis in DAVF venous drainage and the identification of tiny anastomoses between venous territories were significantly higher in group 2 (32.6% and 19.1%, respectively) compared with group 1 (2.68% and 5.36%, respectively). Stenosis of DAVF venous drainage was significantly more frequent in group 2a than in group 2b (51.1% vs 11.9%, p < 0.001). Group 2b patients had increased prevalence of shared use of the cerebral main drainage pathway (85.0% vs 53.2%, p = 0.002), the absence of an alternative route (45.0% vs 17.0%, p = 0.004), and the presence of contrast stagnation (62.5% vs 29.8%, p = 0.002) compared with group 2a patients. In patients with high-grade fistulas, the group with major symptoms had increased prevalence of a single draining direction (31.3% vs 8.33%, p = 0.003), stenosis in the draining vein (35.0% vs 6.25%, p = 0.000), the absence of an alternative pathway for brain drainage (31.3% vs 12.5%, p = 0.017), and the presence of contrast stagnation (48.8% vs 22.9%, p = 0.004).


Major symptoms were observed when normal brain tissue venous drainage was impaired by competition with DAVF (predominance in group 2b) or when DAVF venous drainage had anatomical characteristics that hindered drainage, with consequent venous hypertension on the venous side of the DAVF (predominance in group 2a). The same findings were observed when comparing two groups of patients with high-grade lesions: those with major versus those with minor symptoms.

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Serge Bracard, Amr Abdel-Kerim, Lorrena Thuillier, Olivier Klein, René Anxionnat, Stefanos Finitsis, Ariel Lebedinsky, Clayton Maceido de Freitas, Nilson Pinheiro, Guillerme Cabral de Andrade, and Luc Picard


The object of this study was to evaluate the initial and mid-term angiographic and clinical results after endovascular coil occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms at the authors' institution.


The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of a consecutive series of 152 MCA aneurysms (73 ruptured) treated by endovascular coiling in 140 patients. Angiographic and clinical data at initial and midterm follow-up as well as procedure-related complications were prospectively registered.


At discharge, favorable clinical outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1 or 2) were obtained in 89.3% of patients (125/140). Seven patients (5%) were in a vegetative state or had died. Complications were encountered in association with 11.8% of the procedures (18/152), and most (13/18) involved thromboembolic events (which led to permanent ischemia in 4 cases and death in 1). The overall procedure-related mortality rate was 0.7%, and the rates of permanent and transient morbidity were 2.6 and 2%, respectively. At a mean follow-up duration of 4.3 years there had been 4 cases of rebleeding: early rebleeding occurred during the initial postoperative period in 3 cases and later in 1. Total or subtotal occlusion was obtained in 84.2% of aneurysms (128/152). At follow-up, this satisfactory occlusion persisted in 83.3% of aneurysms (110/132) at 1 year posttreatment, 79.5% (89/112) at 3 years, and 80.2% (73/91) at 5 years.


Risks and initial and midterm angiographic and clinical results after endovascular treatment of MCA aneurysms are nearly identical to other locations. Endovascular treatment may thus be proposed as an alternative to surgical clipping at this location. Nevertheless, a longer follow-up period is necessary to determine its efficacy, particularly in cases of unruptured aneurysms.