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Yuichi Murayama, Tim Malisch, Guido Guglielmi, Michel E. Mawad, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Richard P. Klucznick, Neil A. Martin and John Frazee

✓ Cerebral vasospasm is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients admitted to the hospital after suffering aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The early surgical removal of subarachnoid clots and irrigation of the basal cisterns have been reported to reduce the incidence of vasospasm. In contrast to surgery, the endovascular treatment of aneurysms does not allow removal of subarachnoid clots. In this study the authors measured the incidence of symptomatic vasospasm after early endovascular treatment of acutely ruptured aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).

Sixty-nine patients classified as Hunt and Hess Grades I to III underwent occlusion of intracranial aneurysms via GDCs within 72 hours of rupture. The amount of blood on the initial computerized tomography (CT) scan was classified by means of Fisher's scale. Symptomatic vasospasm was defined as the onset of neurological deterioration verified with angiographic or transcranial Doppler studies. Hypertensive, hypervolemic, hemodilution therapy, with or without intracranial angioplasty, was used to treat vasospasm after GDC placement.

Symptomatic vasospasm occurred in 16 (23%) of 69 patients. The clinical grade at admission and the amount of blood on the initial CT were both associated with the incidence of subsequent vasospasm. At 6-month clinical follow-up examination, 12 of these 16 patients experienced a good recovery, two were moderately disabled, and two patients had died of vasospasm.

In conclusion, the 23% incidence of symptomatic vasospasm in this series compares favorably with that found in conventional surgical series of patients with acute aneurysmal SAH. These results indicate that endovascular therapy does not have an unfavorable impact on cerebral vasospasm.

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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin and Guido Guglielmi

Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) technology is a valuable therapeutic alternative to the surgical treatment of ruptured or incidental intracranial aneurysms. The authors describe their technical and clinical experience in the utilization of the GDC technique in patients who underwent endovascular occlusion for the treatment of incidentally found intracranial aneurysms.

One hundred fifteen patients with 120 incidentally found intracranial aneurysms underwent embolization using the GDC endovascular technique. Ninety-one patients were female and 24 were male. Patient age ranged from 13 to 80 years. In 64 patients the incidental aneurysms were discovered when unrelated nonneurological conditions indicated the need for angiography or magnetic resonance angiography (Group 1). Twenty patients who presented with incidental aneurysms that were discovered during treatment for an acutely ruptured aneurysm were treated in the acute phase of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (Group 2). Sixteen patients with incidental aneurysms were treated during the chronic phase of SAH (Group 3). Group 4 included 15 patients who had incidental aneurysms associated with brain tumors or arteriovenous malformations.

Angiographic results showed complete or near complete occlusion in 109 aneurysms (91%) and incomplete occlusion in five aneurysms (4%). Unsuccessful GDC embolization was attempted in six aneurysms (5%). One hundred nine patients (94.8%) remained neurologically intact or unchanged from initial clinical status. Five patients (4.3%) deteriorated due to immediate procedural complications (overall immediate morbidity rate). All of these complications occurred in the first 50 patients treated earlier in this series. No clinical complications were observed in the last 65 patients. Follow-up cerebral angiograms were obtained in 77 patients with 79 aneurysms. The median clinical follow-up period was 16.3 months.

No recanalization was observed in the 52 completely occluded aneurysms. Of the 22 aneurysms with small neck remnants, eight (36%) showed further thrombosis, 7 (32%) remained anatomically unchanged, and seven (32%) showed recanalization due to compaction of the coils. In one patient, a partially embolized aneurysm ruptured 3 years postembolization. In Groups 1 and 3, the average length of hospitalization was 3.3 days.

The evolution of the GDC technology has proved to provide safe treatment of incidental aneurysms (a morbidity rate of 0% was achieved in the last 65 patients). The topography of the aneurysm and the clinical condition of the patient did not influence final anatomical or clinical outcomes. The GDC technology also confers a positive economical impact by decreasing hospital length of stay and by eliminating the need for postembolization intensive care unit care.

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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin and Guido Guglielmi

Object. Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) technology is a valuable therapeutic alternative to the surgical treatment of ruptured or incidental intracranial aneurysms. The authors describe their technical and clinical experience in the use of the GDC technique in patients who underwent endovascular occlusion for the treatment of incidentally found intracranial aneurysms.

Methods. One hundred fifteen patients with 120 incidentally found intracranial aneurysms underwent embolization by means of the GDC endovascular technique. Ninety-one patients were females and 24 were males. Patient age ranged from 13 to 80 years. In 64 patients the incidental aneurysms were discovered when unrelated nonneurological conditions signaled the need for angiography or magnetic resonance angiography (Group 1). Twenty patients who presented with incidental aneurysms that were discovered during treatment for an acutely ruptured aneurysm underwent treatment of both types of aneurysm during the acute phase of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (Group 2). Sixteen patients with incidental aneurysms were treated during the chronic phase of SAH (Group 3). Group 4 included 15 patients who had incidental aneurysms associated with brain tumors or arteriovenous malformations.

Angiographic results revealed complete or near-complete occlusion in 109 aneurysms (91%) and incomplete occlusion in five aneurysms (4%). Guglielmi detachable coil embolization was attempted unsuccessfully in six aneurysms (5%). One hundred nine patients (94.8%) remained neurologically intact or unchanged from their initial clinical status. Five patients (4.3%) deteriorated as a result of immediate procedural complications. All these complications occurred in the first 50 patients treated in the series. No clinical complications were observed in the last 65 patients. In one patient, a partially embolized aneurysm ruptured 3 years postprocedure. In Groups 1 and 3, the average length of hospitalization was 3.3 days.

Conclusions. The evolution of GDC technology has proved to provide safe treatment of incidental aneurysms (a morbidity rate of 0% was achieved in the last 65 patients). The topography of the aneurysm and the clinical condition of the patient did not influence final anatomical or clinical outcomes. The GDC technology also confers a positive economic impact by decreasing hospital length of stay and by eliminating the need for postembolization intensive care.

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Motoharu Hayakawa, Yuichi Murayama, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Guido Guglielmi and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The long-term durability of Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) embolization of cerebral aneurysms is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anatomical evolution of neck remnants in aneurysms treated with GDCs.

Methods. Of 455 aneurysms treated with GDCs from 1990 to 1998 at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, 178 aneurysms (39%) had residual necks postembolization. Long-term follow-up angiograms were obtained in 73 of these aneurysms in 71 patients. The mean duration of angiographic follow up was 17.3 months. Twenty-four of the aneurysms were small with small necks, 24 were small with wide necks, 15 were large, and 10 were giant aneurysms.

In small aneurysms with small necks, postembolization angiography revealed 12 aneurysms (50%) with progressive thrombosis, eight (33%) unchanged, and four (17%) with recanalization. In small aneurysms with wide necks, six (25%) had progressive thrombosis, eight (33%) remained unchanged, and 10 (42%) had recanalization. In large aneurysms, two (13%) were unchanged and 13 (87%) had recanalization. Of the giant aneurysms only one (10%) remained unchanged and nine (90%) had recanalization. Overall, 18 aneurysms (25%) exhibited progressive thrombosis, 19 (26%) remained unchanged, and 36 (49%) displayed recanalization on follow-up angiography. During the last 2 years of the study, the recanalization rate decreased and a higher rate of progressive thrombosis was noted in aneurysms with small necks. These positive changes are related to important new technical developments.

Conclusions. Treatment with GDCs appears to be effective and the results permanent in most small aneurysms with small necks. However, there are important technical limitations in the current GDC technology that prevent recanalization in wide-necked or large or giant aneurysms.

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Yuichi Murayama, Fernando Viñuela, Satoshi Tateshima, Joon K. Song, Nestor R. Gonzalez and Michael P. Wallace

Object. A new embolic agent, bioabsorbable polymeric material (BPM), was incorporated into Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) to improve long-term anatomical results in the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The authors investigated whether BPM-mounted GDCs (BPM/GDCs) accelerated the histopathological transformation of unorganized blood clot into fibrous connective tissue in experimental aneurysms created in swine.

Methods. Twenty-four experimental aneurysms were created in 12 swine. In each animal, one aneurysm was embolized using BPM/GDCs and the other aneurysm was embolized using standard GDCs. Comparative angiographic and histopathological data were analyzed at 2 weeks and 3 months postembolization.

At 14 days postembolization, angiograms revealed evidence of neck neointima in six of eight aneurysms treated with BPM/GDCs compared with zero of eight aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p < 0.05). At 3 months postembolization, angiograms demonstrated that four of four aneurysms treated with BPM/GDC were smaller and had neck neointima compared with zero of four aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p = 0.05). At 14 days, histological analysis of aneurysm healing favored BPM/GDC treatment (all p < 0.05): the grade of cellular reaction around the coils was 3 ± 0.9 (mean ± standard deviation) for aneurysms treated using BPM/GDCs compared with 1.6 ± 0.7 for aneurysms treated using GDCs alone; the percentage of unorganized thrombus was 16 ± 12% compared with 37 ± 15%, and the neck neointima thickness was 0.65 ±0.26 mm compared with 0.24 ±0.21 mm, respectively. At 3 months postembolization, only neck neointima thickness was significantly different (p < 0.05): 0.73 ± 0.37 mm in aneurysms filled with BPM/GDCs compared with 0.16 ± 0.14 mm in aneurysms filled with standard GDCs.

Conclusions. In experimental aneurysms in swine, BPM/GDCs accelerated aneurysm fibrosis and intensified neck neointima formation without causing parent artery stenosis or thrombosis. The use of BPM/GDCs may improve long-term anatomical outcomes by decreasing aneurysm recanalization due to stronger in situ anchoring of coils by organized fibrous tissue. The retraction of this scar tissue may also decrease the size of aneurysms and clinical manifestations of mass effect observed in large or giant aneurysms.

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Joon K. Song, Fernando Viñuela, Y. Pierre Gobin, Gary R. Duckwiler, Yuichi Murayama, Inam Kureshi, John G. Frazee and Neil A. Martin

Object. The authors assessed clinical outcomes of patients with treated spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) and investigated prognostic factors.

Methods. Thirty consecutive patients with spinal DAVFs were treated at the authors' institution during the past 15 years: seven underwent surgery; seven underwent surgery after failed embolization; and 16 underwent embolization alone. The outcomes of gait and micturition disability were analyzed. Follow up averaged 3.4 years (range 1 month–11.8 years). Age, duration of symptoms, pre- and postintervention magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings, and preintervention disability were correlated with outcome.

Seventeen patients (57%) experienced improved gait, 12 (40%) were unchanged, and one (3%) was worse. In 11 patients (37%) micturition function was improved, in 15 (50%) it was unchanged, and in four (13%) it was worse. Gait disability, as measured by the Aminoff—Logue Scale, was significantly improved after treatment, from 3.4 ± 1.4 (average ± standard deviation) to 2.7 ± 1.5 (p = 0.007). Mean micturition disability scores decreased, but not significantly, from 1.9 ± 1 to 1.6 ± 1.1 (p = 0.20). Preintervention gait disability was not associated with improvement except for patients with Aminoff—Logue Scale Grade 4 disability (eight of nine improved; p = 0.024). For patients treated within 13 months of symptom onset, mean micturition disability decreased (p = 0.035). No association was found between clinical improvement and age, a symptom duration less than 30 months, or pre- and postintervention MR imaging—documented spinal cord edema.

Conclusions. Spinal DAVF treatment significantly improved patients' mean gait disability score by almost one grade at last follow up. The mean micturition disability score was not significantly improved, unless treatment was performed within 13 months of symptom onset. Longer and more uniform follow-up study is needed to determine if improved and stabilized clinical outcomes are sustained.

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Ken Uda, Yuichi Murayama, Y. Pierre Gobin, Gary R. Duckwiler and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The authors present a retrospective analysis of their clinical experience in the endovascular treatment of basilar artery (BA) trunk aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).

Methods. Between April 1990 and June 1999, 41 BA trunk aneurysms were treated in 39 patients by inserting GDCs. Twenty-seven patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage, six had intracranial mass effect, and in six patients the aneurysms were found incidentally. Eighteen lesions were BA trunk aneurysms, 13 were BA—superior cerebellar artery aneurysms, four were BA—anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms, and six were vertebrobasilar junction aneurysms. Thirty-five patients (89.7%) had excellent or good clinical outcomes; procedural morbidity and mortality rates were 2.6% each. Thirty-six aneurysms were selectively occluded while preserving the parent artery, and in five cases the parent artery was occluded along with the aneurysm. Immediate angiographic studies revealed complete or nearly complete occlusion in 35 aneurysms (85.4%). Follow-up angiograms were obtained in 29 patients with 31 aneurysms; the mean follow-up period was 17 months. No recanalization was observed in the eight completely occluded aneurysms. In 19 lesions with small neck remnants, seven (36.8%) had further thrombosis, three (15.8%) remained anatomically unchanged, and nine (47.3%) had recanalization caused by coil compaction. In one patient (2.6%) the aneurysm rebled 8 years after the initial embolization.

Conclusions. In this clinical series the authors show that the GDC placement procedure is valuable in the therapeutic management of BA trunk aneurysms. The endovascular catheterization of these lesions tends to be relatively simple, in contrast with more complex neurosurgical approaches. Endosaccular obliteration of these aneurysms also decreases the possibility of unwanted occlusion of perforating arteries to the brainstem.

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Satoshi Tateshima, Yuichi Murayama, J. Pablo Villablanca, Taku Morino, Hikoichiro Takahashi, Takatsugu Yamauchi, Kazuo Tanishita and Fernando Viñuela

Object. To obtain precise flow profiles in patients' aneurysms, the authors developed a new in vitro study method featuring an aneurysm model manufactured using three-dimensional computerized tomography (3D CT) angiography.

Methods. A clear acrylic basilar artery (BA) tip aneurysm model manufactured from a patient's 3D CT angiogram was used to analyze flow modifications during one cardiac cycle. Stereolithography was utilized to create the aneurysm model. Three-dimensional flow profiles within the aneurysm model were obtained from velocity measurements by using laser Doppler velocimetry. The aneurysm inflow/outflow zones changed dynamically in their location, size of their cross-sectional area, and also in their shapes over one cardiac cycle. The flow velocity at the inflow zone was 16.8 to 81.9% of the highest axial velocity in the BA with a pulsatility index (PI) of 1.1. The flow velocity at the outflow zone was 16.8 to 34.3% of the highest axial velocity of the BA, with a PI of 0.68. The shear stress along the walls of the aneurysm was calculated from the fluid velocity measured at a distance of 0.5 mm from the wall. The highest value of shear stress was observed at the bleb of the aneurysm.

Conclusions. This clear acrylic model of a BA tip aneurysm manufactured using a CT angiogram allowed qualitative and quantitative analysis of its flow during a cardiac cycle. Accumulated knowledge from this type of study may reveal pertinent information about aneurysmal flow dynamics that will help practitioners understand the relationship among anatomy, flow dynamics, and the natural history of aneurysms.

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Yuichi Murayama, Yih Lin Nien, Gary Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Reza Jahan, John Frazee, Neil Martin and Fernando Viñuela

Object. The authors report on their 11 years' experience with embolization of cerebral aneurysms using Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) technology and on the attendant anatomical and clinical outcomes.

Methods. Since December 1990, 818 patients harboring 916 aneurysms were treated with GDC embolization at University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. For comparative purposes, the patients were divided into two groups: Group A included their initial 5 years' experience with 230 patients harboring 251 aneurysms and Group B included the later 6 years' experience with 588 patients harboring 665 aneurysms.

Angiographically demonstrated complete occlusion was achieved in 55% of aneurysms and a neck remnant was displayed in 35.4% of lesions. Incomplete embolization was performed in 3.5% of aneurysms, and in 5% occlusion was attempted unsuccessfully. A comparison between the two groups revealed a higher complete embolization rate in patients in Group B compared with that in Group A patients (56.8 and 50.2%, respectively). The overall morbidity/mortality rate was 9.4%.

Angiographic follow ups were obtained in 53.4% of cases of aneurysms, and recanalization was exhibited in 26.1% of aneurysms in Group A and 17.2% of those in Group B. The overall recanalization rate was 20.9%. Note that recanalization was related to the size of the dome and neck of the aneurysm.

Overall incidence of delayed aneurysm rupture was 1.6%, a rate that improved in the past 5 years to 0.5%. Ten of 12 delayed ruptures occurred in large or giant aneurysms.

Conclusions. The clinical and postembolization outcomes in patients treated with the GDC system have improved in the past 5 years. Aneurysm recanalization, however, is still a major limitation of current GDC therapy. Follow-up angiography is mandatory after GDC embolization of cerebral aneurysms. Further technical and device improvements are mandatory to overcome current GDC limitations.