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Giuseppe Lanzino

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David M. Pelz, Stephen P. Lownie, Donald H. Lee, and Melfort R. Boulton

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Carotid angioplasty and stenting has emerged as an alternative to carotid endarterectomy for the treatment of atherosclerotic carotid stenosis. Primary carotid stenting, performed using self-expanding stents alone without deliberate use of embolic protection devices and balloon angioplasty, has been shown to be effective and faster, cheaper, and potentially safer than conventional techniques. However, the long-term morphological results of this technique have not been established. The aim of this study was to determine whether preprocedural carotid plaque imaging at the site of maximal stenosis by using CT angiography (CTA) could predict the long-term morphological outcome of primary carotid stenting.

METHODS

One hundred eighty-one patients were treated over an 11-year period. Preprocedural CTA was performed in 102 of these. A morphological scale (the Predicting Long-term outcome with Angioplasty of the Carotid artery [PLAC] Scale), with grades from 0 to 4 and A or B, was used to evaluate the circumferential degree of plaque calcification, and the presence or absence of soft plaque. All patients were followed using duplex carotid ultrasound and plain radiographs. Satisfactory morphological outcome was defined as a peak systolic velocity < 120 cm/s and internal carotid artery/common carotid artery ratio < 1.4.

RESULTS

The average follow-up duration was 29.7 months (median 24.5 months, range 0.3–87 months). Univariate logistic regression demonstrated that a low calcification grade (p < 0.001), less thick calcification (p < 0.001), and moderate amounts of soft plaque (p < 0.001) are factors that are highly associated with good long-term outcome. Multivariate analyses confirmed that these factors are independent of each other in predicting outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The long-term morphological outcome of primary carotid stenting was predicted with considerable accuracy by using a straightforward CTA carotid plaque grading scale.

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Radical intracapsular removal of acoustic neurinomas

Long-term follow-up review of 11 patients

Stephen P. Lownie and Charles G. Drake

✓ Historically, the neurosurgical treatment of large acoustic neurinomas has developed with two principal goals: complete tumor removal and preservation of facial nerve function. A recent goal for small tumors is the preservation of hearing. Out of a personal series of 124 acoustic neurinomas treated over the past 35 years, the senior author has undertaken a radical intracapsular approach in 12 patients with large tumors (> 3 cm in diameter). Surgical indications for intracapsular removal included advanced age (five cases), the patient's wish to avoid any risk of facial paralysis (six cases), contralateral facial palsy (one case), and contralateral deafness (one case).

Eleven of these 12 patients were available for follow-up review. Tumor recurrence developed in two patients (18%) at 2 and 3 years postoperatively; there were no late recurrences. Four patients died of unrelated causes, 10 to 19 years after surgery. The remaining five patients have survived a mean of 12 years since surgery without recurrence (range 3 to 22 years). Facial function was preserved in nine patients (82%). The results suggest that radical intracapsular removal may be the procedure of choice under certain circumstances and may offer an alternative to focused high-energy radiation.

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Stephen P. Lownie and David M. Pelz

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Rafael Martinez-Perez, David M. Pelz, and Stephen P. Lownie

The objective of this paper was to report a rare complication of basilar artery (BA) tourniquet treatment of a giant basilar tip aneurysm, and to discuss possible causes for the formation of a de novo giant posterior cerebral artery (PCA) aneurysm. A 34-year-old woman underwent satisfactory treatment of a ruptured giant basilar bifurcation aneurysm by BA ligation (Drake tourniquet) in 1985. She presented 25 years later with a new aneurysm in the left PCA, successfully treated by coil embolization. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case of de novo aneurysm formation on a PCA, and the first de novo aneurysm reported as a complication of BA ligation therapy by Drake tourniquet. Long-term follow-up is necessary in patients with treated cerebral aneurysms, particularly those occurring in young patients, those with multiple aneurysms, those with complex posterior circulation aneurysms, and those undergoing flow diversion or flow-altering therapies.

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Max K. Kole, David Steven, Andrew Kirk, and Stephen P. Lownie

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Thomas K. Mattingly and Stephen P. Lownie

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Michael D. Staudt, Stephen H. Pasternak, Manas Sharma, Sachin K. Pandey, Miguel F. Arango, David M. Pelz, and Stephen P. Lownie

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a progressive clinical syndrome characterized by orthostatic headaches, nausea, emesis, and occasionally focal neurological deficits. Rarely, SIH is associated with neurocognitive changes. An epidural blood patch (EBP) is commonly used to treat SIH when conservative measures are inadequate, although some patients require multiple EBP procedures or do not respond at all. Recently, the use of a large-volume (LV) EBP has been described to treat occult leak sites in treatment-refractory SIH. This article describes the management of a patient with profound neurocognitive decline associated with SIH, who was refractory to conservative management and multiple interventions. The authors describe the successful use of an ultra-LV-EBP of 120 ml across multiple levels, the largest volume reported in the literature, and describe the technical aspects of the procedure. This procedure has resulted in dramatic and sustained symptom resolution.