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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ The author reviews a form of management for patients deteriorating preoperatively or postoperatively from apparent ischemia attributed to progressive vasospasm after a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The clinical picture and relative frequency of this complication are considered in relationship to the status (grade) of the patient, location of the aneurysm, and ultimate neurological recovery. Experience suggests that the drug regimen reported is useful when instituted early after the onset of symptoms and is safe with proper monitoring techniques. The data do not justify early operative intervention after a subarachnoid hemorrhage, operation when there is angiographic evidence of severe spasm, or expectation of a dramatic effect in patients with a profound deficit or a fixed deficit several hours old.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ On June 30, Mrs. Jean Lawe will step down as Managing Editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery. She has worked on the Journal since 1965, when Dr. Louise Eisenhardt retired as the first Editor. Since that time the Journal has grown in size and circulation, and production has become fully computerized. In her valedictory, Mrs. Lawe summarizes her years with the Journal and her approach to scientific editing.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

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Thoralf M. Sundt III and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Experience in cardiovascular and peripheral vascular surgery with saphenous vein bypass conduits is reviewed. It is clear that meticulous technique and graft preparation are crucial to short-term and long-term patency. The risk of early thrombosis is related to damage to the graft 's native intima, graft flow, and coagulability of the patient 's blood. Attention to atraumatic harvesting techniques and perfection of anastomoses are crucial to minimizing intimal damage. Graft inflow and outflow are fundamental principles. The use of vitamin K antagonists and platelet inhibitors may improve graft survival. Subacute occlusion is related to structural alterations in the grafts themselves. These include intimal hyperplasia and medial fibrosis as the grafts become “arterialized,” valve fibrosis, aneurysmal dilatation, clamp stenosis, and suture stenosis. Long-term patency is threatened primarily by atherosclerosis in the graft itself. There is some evidence that care in vein harvesting and implantation as well as the use of anticoagulant agents affect the development of this complication.

A technique for graft preparation is presented that is based on the experience of the authors in harvesting grafts for both cerebral and coronary bypass conduits.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and George Kees Jr.

✓ The authors have designed a miniclip and a microclip for occlusion of small perforating vessels deep in the operative wound. These clips are intended for permanent occlusion but may be used for temporary hemostasis.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and David G. Piepgras

✓ The results, complications, and technical aspects of occipital to posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) bypass surgery are reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups: those considered to be a high risk for posterior circulation infarct but not disabled by the symptoms or deficits (eight patients), and those moderately or severely disabled at the time of admission (eight patients). Postoperative angiography revealed that 15 of the 16 grafts were patent. In 10 of the 15 patent grafts, the bypass graft served as a sole or major blood supply of the vertebral basilar system; in five patients, flow was limited to the distribution of the PICA. Eight patients achieved full employment or normal activity, six were improved but did not return to full employment, and two patients were unchanged. Ataxia was the major residual deficit in these patients.

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Carotid endarterectomy

Temporal profile of the healing process and effects of anticoagulation therapy

Richard A. Dirrenberger and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ The healing of the canine carotid endarterectomy was defined at intervals from 30 minutes to 3 months after surgery by means of angiography, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Immediately after flow was established, a fibrin-platelet carpet formed on the endarterectomized surface. A typical thrombus formed on this initial layer resulting in vessel occlusion in 52% of non-heparinized animals. By 48 hours after surgery, there was little evidence of active thrombus formation, and reendothelialization from existing endothelial cells was noted. One week later, most of the mural thrombus had disappeared and re-endothelialization was well underway; by 3 months after surgery, re-endothelialization was complete. Intraoperative heparinization resulted in a striking reduction in mural thrombus formation and 100% patency rate. Vessel closure with vein-patch grafts resulted in no improvement of vessel patency. However, the results of this aspect of the study cannot be totally extrapolated to human carotid endarterectomy for the reasons discussed. The survival of the vein-patch grafts was investigated.