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Michael Hugelshofer, Nicola Acciarri, Ulrich Sure, Dimitrios Georgiadis, Ralf W. Baumgartner, Helmut Bertalanffy, and Adrian M. Siegel

Object

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are common vascular lesions in the brain, affecting approximately 0.5% of the population and representing 10%–20% of all cerebral vascular lesions. One-quarter of all CCMs affect pediatric patients, and CCMs are reported as one of the main causes of brain hemorrhage in this age group. Symptoms include epileptic seizures, headache, and focal neurological deficits. Patients with symptomatic CCMs can be treated either conservatively or with resection if lesions cause medically refractory epilepsy or other persistent symptoms.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed 79 pediatric patients (41 boys and 38 girls) from 3 different centers, who were surgically treated for their symptomatic CCMs between 1974 and 2004. The mean age of the children at first manifestation was 9.7 years, and the mean age at operation was 11.3 years. The main goal was to compare the clinical outcomes with respect to the location of the lesion of children who preoperatively suffered from epileptic seizures.

Results

Of these patients, 77.3% were seizure free (Engel Class I) after the resection of the CCM. Significant differences in the outcome between children who harbored CCMs at different locations were not found.

Conclusions

Resection seems to be the favorable treatment of symptomatic CCMs not only in adults but also in children.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Jun Zheng, Lu Ma, Chao You, and Hao Li

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Kevin N. Strommer, Sebastian Brandner, Ali C. Sarioglu, Ulrich Sure, and Yasuhiro Yonekawa

✓ This case report contains a description of a 61-year-old patient who presented with a progressive truncal ataxia 22 years after complete removal of a small paraganglioma of the cauda equina. Magnetic resonance imaging of the neuraxis revealed a large cystic lesion in the cerebellar midline, three small cortical-to-subcortical nodular tumors in the posterior fossa, and local recurrences of the paraganglioma of the cauda equina. Pathological examination showed the cerebellar midline lesion to be a paraganglioma, most likely a metastasis from the cauda equina localization.

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Ulrich Sure, Sandra Freman, Oliver Bozinov, Ludwig Benes, Adrian M. Siegel, and Helmut Bertalanffy

Object. Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) have previously been considered as congenital and biologically static malformations. On the other hand, the potential for growth and de novo generation of CCMs have also been reported. It is therefore important to study the proliferative and neoangiogenetic capacity of these lesions.

Methods. The authors studied the surgical specimens of 56 CCMs (23 deep and 33 superficial) obtained from adult patients. The proliferative activity of the endothelium and the neoangiogenetic capacity of these lesions were considered through immunohistochemical anaylsis of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), MIB-1, Flk-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, and endoglin antibodies.

Positive immunostaining of endothelial cells occurred in 86% of patients for PCNA and in 38% of the cases for MIB-1. The expression of Flk-1 was observed in the endothelium of 71% of the cases, for VEGF in 41%, for HIF-1α in 48.1%, and for endoglin in 63.6% of the cases. The correlation of immunohistochemical and clinical data indicated that VEGF was expressed in significantly less deep-seated lesions when compared with superficial CCMs. Neither the expression of the proliferative markers nor the expression of the angiogenetic antibodies correlated with patient age at surgery, sex, or the number of recent prior hemorrhagic episodes in the patients.

Conclusions. The CCMs from adult patients are active lesions exhibiting endothelial proliferation and neoangiogenesis. According to the data in this study, neoangiogenesis is more prominent in superficial CCMs than in deep-seated CCMs and is not associated with recent prior hemorrhages.

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Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Meltem Gümüs, Daniela Pierscianek, Annika Herten, Andreas Kneist, Karsten Wrede, Lennart Barthel, Michael Forsting, Ulrich Sure, and Ramazan Jabbarli

OBJECTIVE

Current guidelines for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) include early aneurysm treatment within 72 hours after ictus. However, aneurysm rebleeding remains a crucial complication of SAH. The aim of this study was to identify independent predictors allowing early stratification of SAH patients for rebleeding risk.

METHODS

All patients admitted to the authors’ institution with ruptured aneurysms during a 14-year period were eligible for this retrospective study. Demographic and radiographic parameters, aneurysm characteristics, medical history, and medications as well as baseline parameters at admission (blood pressure and laboratory parameters) were evaluated in univariate and multivariate analyses. A novel risk score was created using independent risk factors.

RESULTS

Data from 984 cases could be included into the final analysis. Aneurysm rebleeding occurred in 58 cases (5.9%), and in 48 of these cases (82.8%) rerupture occurred within 24 hours after SAH. Of over 30 tested associations, preexisting arterial hypertension (p = 0.02; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.56, 1 score point), aneurysm location at the basilar artery (p = 0.001, aOR 4.5, 2 score points), sac size ≥ 9 mm (p = 0.04, aOR 1.9, 1 score point), presence of intracerebral hemorrhage (p = 0.001, aOR 4.29, 2 score points), and acute hydrocephalus (p < 0.001, aOR 6.27, 3 score points) independently predicted aneurysm rebleeding. A score built upon these parameters (0–9 points) showed a good diagnostic accuracy (p < 0.001, area under the curve 0.780) for rebleeding prediction.

CONCLUSIONS

Certain patient-, aneurysm-, and SAH-specific parameters can reliably predict aneurysm rerupture. A score developed according to these parameters might help to identify individuals that would profit from immediate aneurysm occlusion.

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Ramazan Jabbarli, Daniela Pierscianek, Karsten Wrede, Philipp Dammann, Marc Schlamann, Michael Forsting, Oliver Müller, and Ulrich Sure

OBJECTIVE

The complete clipping of a cerebral aneurysm usually warrants its sustained occlusion, while clip remnants may have far-reaching consequences. The aim of this study is to identify the risk factors for clip remnants requiring retreatment and/or exhibiting growth.

METHODS

All consecutive patients with primary aneurysm clipping performed at University Hospital of Essen between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2013, were eligible for this study. Aneurysm occlusion was judged on obligatory postoperative digital subtraction angiography and the need for repeated vascular control. The identified clip remnants were correlated with various demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients, aneurysm features, and surgery-related aspects.

RESULTS

Of 616 primarily clipped aneurysms, postoperative angiography revealed 112 aneurysms (18%) with clip remnants requiring further control (n = 91) or direct retreatment (n = 21). Seven remnants exhibited growth during follow-up, whereas 2 cases were associated with aneurysmal bleeding. Therefore, a total of 28 aneurysms (4.5%) were retreated as clip remnants (range 1 day to 67 months after clipping). In the multivariate analysis, the need for retreatment of clip remnant was correlated with the aneurysm's initial size (> 12 mm; OR 3.22; p = 0.035) and location (anterior cerebral artery > internal carotid artery > posterior circulation > middle cerebral artery; OR 1.85; p = 0.003). Younger age with a cutoff at 45 years (OR 33.31; p = 0.004) was the only independent predictor for remnant growth.

CONCLUSIONS

The size and location of the aneurysm are the main risk factors for clip remnants requiring retreatment. Because of the risk for growth, younger individuals (< 45 years old) with clip remnants require a long-term (> 5 years) vascular follow-up.

Clinical trial registration no: DRKS00008749 (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien)

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Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Kathrin Buffen, Daniela Pierscianek, Annika Herten, Yahya Ahmadipour, Philipp Dammann, Laurèl Rauschenbach, Michael Forsting, Ulrich Sure, and Ramazan Jabbarli

OBJECTIVE

Clinical data on secondary hemorrhagic complications (SHCs) in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are sparse and mostly limited to ventriculostomy-associated SHCs. This study aimed to elucidate the incidence, risk factors, and impact on outcome of SHCs in a large cohort of SAH patients.

METHODS

All consecutive patients with ruptured aneurysms treated between January 2003 and June 2016 were eligible for this study. Patients’ charts were reviewed for clinical data, and imaging studies were reviewed for radiographic data. SHCs were divided into those associated with ventriculostomy and those not associated with ventriculostomy, as well as into major and minor bleeding forms, depending on clinical impact.

RESULTS

Sixty-two (6.6%) of the 939 patients included in the final analysis developed SHCs. Ventriculostomy-associated bleedings (n = 16) were independently predicted by mono- or dual-antiplatelet therapy after aneurysm treatment (p = 0.028, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 10.28; and p = 0.026, aOR = 14.25, respectively) but showed no impact on functional outcome after SAH. Periinterventional use of thrombolytic agents for early effective anticoagulation was the only independent predictor (p = 0.010, aOR = 4.27) of major SHCs (n = 38, 61.3%) in endovascularly treated patients. In turn, a major SHC was independently associated with poor outcome at the 6-month follow-up (modified Rankin Scale score > 3). Blood thinning drug therapy prior to SAH was not associated with SHC risk.

CONCLUSIONS

SHCs present a rare sequela of SAH. Antiplatelet therapy during (but not before) SAH increases the risk of ventriculostomy-associated bleedings, but without further impact on the course and outcome of SAH. The use of thrombolytic agents for early effective anticoagulation carries relevant risk for major SHCs and poor outcome.

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Mehdi Chihi, Oliver Gembruch, Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Bixia Chen, Thiemo Florin Dinger, Lennart Barthel, Daniela Pierscianek, Karsten H. Wrede, Neriman Özkan, Ulrich Sure, and Ramazan Jabbarli

OBJECTIVE

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare multisystem genetic disease. Arterial wall developmental disorders, such as aneurysms, in association with TSC have been well described for extracranial vasculature. The characteristics of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) in TSC have not previously been addressed in the literature. This systematic review was performed to identify and assess the distinct characteristics of IAs in patients with TSC.

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science for publications describing cases of TSC and IA reported before August 7, 2018. They also report 2 cases of IAs in TSC patients treated at their own institution.

RESULTS

Thirty-three TSC patients with a total of 42 IAs were included in this review. Three individuals presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The IAs were large or giant in 57.1% and fusiform in 45.2% of the cases. Most of the IAs (61.9%, 26 of 42) originated from the internal carotid artery. There was a higher prevalence of pediatric cases (66.7%) and male patients (63.6%, 21 of 32 individuals with known sex) among the collected series.

CONCLUSIONS

TSC patients with IAs are characterized with a higher proportion of large/giant and fusiform IAs and young age, suggesting rapid aneurysmal growth. Furthermore, there is a distinct location pattern of IAs and an inverse sex ratio than in the healthy population. Large population-based patient registers are required to improve the understanding of epidemiology and pathophysiology of IA formation in TSC.

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Alejandro N. Santos, Laurèl Rauschenbach, Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Bixia Chen, Annika Herten, Michael Forsting, Ulrich Sure, and Philipp Dammann

OBJECTIVE

Treatment indications for patients with brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) remain difficult and controversial. Some authors have tried to establish classification tools to identify eligible candidates for surgery. Authors of this study aimed to validate the performance and replicability of two proposed BSCM grading systems, the Lawton-Garcia (LG) and the Dammann-Sure (DS) systems.

METHODS

For this cross-sectional study, a database was screened for patients with BSCM treated surgically between 2003 and 2019 in the authors’ department. Complete clinical records, preoperative contrast-enhanced MRI, and a postoperative follow-up ≥ 6 months were mandatory for study inclusion. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score was determined to quantify neurological function and outcome. Three observers independently determined the LG and the DS score for each patient.

RESULTS

A total of 67 patients met selection criteria. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified multiple bleedings (p = 0.02, OR 5.59), lesion diameter (> 20 mm, p = 0.007, OR 5.43), and patient age (> 50 years, p = 0.019, OR 4.26) as predictors of an unfavorable postoperative functional outcome. Both the LG (AUC = 0.72, p = 0.01) and the DS (AUC = 0.78, p < 0.01) scores were robust tools to estimate patient outcome. Subgroup analyses confirmed this observation for both grading systems (LG: p = 0.005, OR 6; DS: p = 0.026, OR 4.5), but the combined use of the two scales enhanced the test performance significantly (p = 0.001, OR 22.5).

CONCLUSIONS

Currently available classification systems are appropriate tools to estimate the neurological outcome after BSCM surgery. Future studies are needed to design an advanced scoring system, incorporating items from the LG and the DS score systems.