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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons

First reported single-surgeon transpalpebral hybrid approach for indirect cavernous carotid fistula: illustrative case

Justin M. Cappuzzo, Ammad A. Baig, William Metcalf-Doetsch, Muhammad Waqas, Andre Monteiro, and Elad I. Levy

BACKGROUND

Failure to reach the cavernous sinus after multiple transvenous attempts, although rare, can be challenging for neurointerventionists. The authors sought to demonstrate technical considerations and nuances of the independent performance of a novel hybrid surgical and endovascular transpalpebral approach through the superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) for direct coil embolization of an indirect carotid cavernous fistula (CCF), and they review salient literature regarding the transpalpebral approach.

OBSERVATIONS

An illustrative case, including patient history and presentation, was reviewed. PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase databases were searched for articles published between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2021, that reported ≥1 patient with a CCF treated endovascularly via the SOV approach. Data extracted included sample size, treatment modality, surgical technique, performing surgeon specialty, and procedure outcome. The authors’ case illustration demonstrates the technique for the hybrid transpalpebral approach. For the review, 273 unique articles were identified; 14 containing 74 treated patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Oculoplastic surgery was the most commonly involved specialty (5 of 14 studies), followed by ophthalmology (3 of 14). Coiling alone was the treatment of choice in 12 studies, with adjunctive use of Onyx (Medtronic) in 2.

LESSONS

The authors’ technical case description, video, illustrations, and review provide endovascular neurosurgeons with a systematic guide to conduct the procedure independently.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Evolution of the patient-first approach: a dual-trained, single-neurosurgeon experience with 2002 consecutive intracranial aneurysm treatments

Muhammad Waqas, Andre Monteiro, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Vincent M. Tutino, and Elad I. Levy

OBJECTIVE

The paradigm for intracranial aneurysm (IA) treatment is shifting toward a hybrid approach involving open and endovascular techniques. The authors chronicled the evolution of IA treatment by retrospectively examining a large series of IA cases treated by a single dual-trained neurosurgeon, focusing on evolving technology relative to the choice of treatment options, perioperative morbidity, and mortality.

METHODS

The aneurysm database at the authors’ institution was searched to identify consecutive patients treated with endovascular or open microsurgical approaches by one neurosurgeon during an 18-year time span. Patients were included regardless of IA rupture status, location or morphology, or treatment modality. Data collected were baseline clinical characteristics, aneurysm size, treatment modality, operative complications, in-hospital mortality, and retreatment rate.

RESULTS

A total of 1858 patients with 2002 IA treatments were included in the study. Three-hundred fifty IAs (17.5%) were ruptured. Open microsurgery was performed in 504 aneurysms (25.2%) and endovascular surgery in 1498 (74.8%). Endovascular IA treatments trended toward a growing use of flow diversion during the last 11 years. In-hospital mortality was 1.7% overall, including 7.0% in ruptured and 0.5% in unruptured cases. The overall complication rate was 3.3%, including 3.4% for microsurgical cases and 3.3% for endovascular cases. The rate of retreatment was 3.6% after clipping and 10.7% for endovascular treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates complementary use of open and endovascular approaches for IA treatment. By customizing treatment to the patient, comparable rates of procedural complications, mortality, and retreatment were achieved for both endovascular and microsurgical approaches.

Open access

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus: Video

FRED flow diversion with LVIS protection of large posterior communicating artery aneurysm: the "FRELVIS" technique

Steven B. Housley, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Muhammad Waqas, Andre Monteiro, Elad I. Levy, and Adnan H. Siddiqui

Treatment of wide-necked posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms is extremely challenging, especially in fetal posterior cerebral artery (PCA) configurations. This technical video demonstrates the nuances of an innovative use of flow diversion to treat a recurrent wide-necked PCoA aneurysm. This middle-aged patient presented with recurrence of a previously ruptured, coil-embolized PCoA aneurysm. Initial attempts at Comaneci-assisted coiling were unsuccessful because the coil herniated into the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Therefore, a low-profile visualized intraluminal support (LVIS) was placed in the fetal PCA across the aneurysm ostium and a flow diverter was placed in the internal carotid artery and MCA to constitute a Y-construct.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.7.FOCVID2262

Free access

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics

Head and neck angiography in the pediatric population: single-center experience with indications, safety, feasibility, and technical differences among infants, childhood, and adolescents

Andre Monteiro, Brianna M. Donnelly, Matthew J. Recker, Asham Khan, Jason M. Davies, Kenneth V. Snyder, Renee M. Reynolds, Adnan H. Siddiqui, and Elad I. Levy

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric patients are candidates for head and neck endovascular procedures less frequently than adults. Data on utilization, feasibility, safety, and technical details of head and neck angiography in the pediatric population are scarce.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of their center’s endovascular database to identify all patients ≤ 18 years of age who underwent diagnostic or interventional catheter-based angiography of the head and neck. Procedure-related variables for identified patients were compared across infancy (birth to 2 years), childhood (> 2–11 years), and adolescence (> 11–18 years).

RESULTS

One hundred twenty-one pediatric patients who underwent 274 angiogram procedures were included in this study. Of these angiograms, 197 were diagnostic and 118 were interventional (including 41 of the diagnostic angiogram procedures that were performed concurrently with the intervention). The most common indications for diagnostic angiograms were suspected vascular malformations in 52 cases (26.4%) and aneurysms in 23 (11.7%). The rate of positive findings on diagnostic angiograms ranged from 27.3% to 80% according to the indication. Access site–related complications were observed after 2 punctures (0.7%). Procedure-related complications occurred in 3 patients (1.1%). In adolescents, the rates of general anesthesia use and sheathless access were significantly lower (each p < 0.001), and the rates of radial artery access (p < 0.001); 5-French (5F) (p = 0.01), 6F (p < 0.001), and 8F (p = 0.03) access; and closure device usage (p < 0.001) were significantly higher. In infants, the rates of ultrasound guidance, 4F access, and failure of the primary puncture site were significantly higher (each p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Head and neck angiograms in the pediatric population were feasible and safe in the authors’ overall experience. Technical differences were observed across the infant, childhood, and adolescent groups, but safe outcomes were similar throughout these age ranges.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics

An online calculator using machine learning for predicting survival in pediatric patients with medulloblastoma

Cathleen C. Kuo, Andre Monteiro, Jaims Lim, Nolan J. Brown, Matthew J. Recker, Moleca M. Ghannam, Julian L. Gendreau, Veetai Li, and Renée M. Reynolds

OBJECTIVE

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant intracranial tumor affecting the pediatric population. Despite advancements in multimodal treatment over the past 2 decades yielding a 5-year survival rate > 75%, children who survive often have substantial neurological and cognitive sequelae. The authors aimed to identify risk factors and develop a clinically friendly online calculator for prognostic estimation in pediatric patients with medulloblastoma.

METHODS

Pediatric patients with a histopathologically confirmed medulloblastoma were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (2000–2018) and split into training and validation cohorts in an 80:20 ratio. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify the univariate and multivariate survival predictors. Subsequently, a calculator with those factors was developed to predict 2-, 5-, and 10-year overall survival as well as median survival months for pediatric patients with medulloblastoma. The performance of the calculator was determined by discrimination and calibration.

RESULTS

One thousand seven hundred fifty-nine pediatric patients with medulloblastoma met the prespecified inclusion criteria. Age, sex, race, ethnicity, median household income, county attribute, laterality, anatomical location, tumor grade, tumor size, surgery status, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy were variables included in the calculator (https://spine.shinyapps.io/Peds_medullo/). The concordance index was 0.769 in the training cohort and 0.755 in the validation cohort, denoting clinically useful predictive accuracy. Good agreement between the predicted and observed outcomes was demonstrated by the calibration plots.

CONCLUSIONS

An easy-to-use prognostic calculator for a large cohort of pediatric patients with medulloblastoma was established. Future efforts should focus on improving granularity of population-based registries and externally validating the proposed calculator.

Free access

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Evaluating a 3D deep learning pipeline for cerebral vessel and intracranial aneurysm segmentation from computed tomography angiography–digital subtraction angiography image pairs

Tatsat R. Patel, Aakash Patel, Sricharan S. Veeturi, Munjal Shah, Muhammad Waqas, Andre Monteiro, Ammad A. Baig, Nandor Pinter, Elad I. Levy, Adnan H. Siddiqui, and Vincent M. Tutino

OBJECTIVE

Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is the most widely used imaging modality for intracranial aneurysm (IA) management, yet it remains inferior to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for IA detection, particularly of small IAs in the cavernous carotid region. The authors evaluated a deep learning pipeline for segmentation of vessels and IAs from CTA using coregistered, segmented DSA images as ground truth.

METHODS

Using 50 paired CTA-DSA images, the authors trained (n = 27), validated (n = 3), and tested (n = 20) a deep learning model (3D DeepMedic) for cerebrovasculature segmentation from CTA. A landmark-based coregistration algorithm was used for registration and upsampling of CTA images to paired DSA images. Segmented vessels from the DSA were used as the ground truth. Accuracy of the model for vessel segmentation was evaluated using conventional metrics (dice similarity coefficient [DSC]) and vessel segmentation–specific metrics, like connectivity-area-length (CAL). On the test cases (20 IAs), 3 expert raters attempted to detect and segment IAs. For each rater, the authors recorded the rate of IA detection, and for detected IAs, raters segmented and calculated important IA morphology parameters to quantify the differences in IA segmentation by raters to segmentations by DeepMedic. The agreement between raters, DeepMedic, and ground truth was assessed using Krippendorf’s alpha.

RESULTS

In testing, the DeepMedic model yielded a CAL of 0.971 ± 0.007 and a DSC of 0.868 ± 0.008. The model prediction delineated all IAs and resulted in average error rates of < 10% for all IA morphometrics. Conversely, average IA detection accuracy by the raters was 0.653 (undetected IAs were present to a significantly greater degree on the ICA, likely due to those in the cavernous region, and were significantly smaller). Error rates for IA morphometrics in rater-segmented cases were significantly higher than in DeepMedic-segmented cases, particularly for neck (p = 0.003) and surface area (p = 0.04). For IA morphology, agreement between the raters was acceptable for most metrics, except for the undulation index (α = 0.36) and the nonsphericity index (α = 0.69). Agreement between DeepMedic and ground truth was consistently higher compared with that between expert raters and ground truth.

CONCLUSIONS

This CTA segmentation network (DeepMedic trained on DSA-segmented vessels) provides a high-fidelity solution for CTA vessel segmentation, particularly for vessels and IAs in the carotid cavernous region.

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Mechanical thrombectomy versus intravenous thrombolysis for distal large-vessel occlusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Muhammad Waqas, Cathleen C. Kuo, Rimal H. Dossani, Andre Monteiro, Ammad A. Baig, Modhi Alkhaldi, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Elad I. Levy, and Adnan H. Siddiqui

OBJECTIVE

While several studies have compared the feasibility and safety of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for distal large-vessel occlusion (LVO) strokes in patients, few studies have compared MT with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) alone. The purpose of this systematic review was to compare the effectiveness and safety between MT and standard medical management with IVT alone for patients with distal LVOs.

METHODS

PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, Ovid Medline, and Cochrane Library were searched in order to identify studies that directly compared MT with IVT for distal LVOs (anterior cerebral artery A2, middle cerebral artery M3–4, and posterior cerebral artery P2–4). Primary outcomes of interest included a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0 to 2 at 90 days posttreatment, occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH), and all-cause mortality at 90 days posttreatment.

RESULTS

Four studies representing a total of 381 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results indicated that the proportion of patients with an mRS score of 0 to 2 at 90 days (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.23–5.93; p = 0.861), the occurrence of sICH (OR 2.45, 95% CI 0.75–8.03; p = 0.140), and the mortality rate at 90 days (OR 1.73, 95% CI 0.66–4.55; p = 0.263) did not differ between patients who underwent MT and those who received IVT alone.

CONCLUSIONS

The meta-analysis did not demonstrate a significant difference between MT and standard medical management with regard to favorable outcome, occurrence of sICH, or 90-day mortality. Prospective clinical trials are needed to further compare the efficacy of MT with IVT alone for distal vessel occlusion.

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Comparison of effectiveness and outcomes among different thrombectomy techniques in acute basilar artery occlusion: a dual-center experience

Andre Monteiro, Gustavo M. Cortez, Muhammad Waqas, Hamid H. Rai, Ammad A. Baig, Rimal H. Dossani, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Faisal Almayman, Amin Aghaebrahim, Jason M. Davies, Eric Sauvageau, Kenneth V. Snyder, Ricardo A. Hanel, Elad I. Levy, and Adnan H. Siddiqui

OBJECTIVE

Acute basilar artery occlusion (BAO) is a rare large-vessel occlusion associated with high morbidity and mortality. Modern thrombectomy with stent retrievers and large-bore aspiration catheters is highly effective in achieving recanalization, but a direct comparison of different techniques for acute BAO has not been performed. Therefore, the authors sought to compare the technical effectiveness and clinical outcomes of stent retriever–assisted aspiration (SRA), aspiration alone (AA), and a stent retriever with or without manual aspiration (SR) for treatment of patients presenting with acute BAO and to evaluate predictors of clinical outcome in their cohort.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of databases of large-vessel occlusion treated with endovascular intervention at two US endovascular neurosurgery centers was conducted. Patients ≥ 18 years of age with acute BAO treated between January 2013 and December 2020 with stent retrievers or large-bore aspiration catheters were included in the study. Demographic information, procedural details, angiographic results, and clinical outcomes were extracted for analysis.

RESULTS

Eighty-three patients (median age 67 years [IQR 58–76 years]) were included in the study; 33 patients (39.8%) were female. The median admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 16 (IQR 10–21). Intravenous alteplase was administered to 26 patients (31.3%). The median time from symptom onset to groin or wrist puncture was 256 minutes (IQR 157.5–363.0 minutes). Overall, successful recanalization was achieved in 74 patients (89.2%). The SRA technique had a significantly higher rate of modified first-pass effect (mFPE; 55% vs 31.8%, p = 0.032) but not true first-pass effect (FPE; 45% vs 34.9%, p = 0.346) than non-SRA techniques. Good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–2) was not significantly different among the three techniques. Poor outcome (mRS score 3–6) was associated with a higher median admission NIHSS score (12.5 vs 19, p = 0.007), a higher rate of adjunctive therapy usage (9% vs 0%, p < 0.001), and a higher rate of intraprocedural complications (10.7% vs 14.5%, p = 0.006). The admission NIHSS score significantly predicted good outcome (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97–0.099; p = 0.032). Incomplete recanalization after thrombectomy significantly predicted mortality (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.18–2.39; p = 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS

The evaluated techniques resulted in high recanalization rates. The SRA technique was associated with a higher rate of mFPE than AA and SR, but the clinical outcomes were similar. A lower admission NIHSS score predicted a better prognosis for patients, whereas incomplete recanalization after thrombectomy predicted mortality.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Not a trifecta: complementary use of carotid artery revascularization techniques in the era of hybrid neurosurgery

Bennett R. Levy, Muhammad Waqas, Andre Monteiro, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Ammad A. Baig, Wasiq I. Khawar, Jason M. Davies, Kenneth V. Snyder, Adnan H. Siddiqui, Howard A. Riina, and Elad I. Levy

OBJECTIVE

Carotid stenosis is currently treated by carotid endarterectomy (CEA), carotid artery stenting (CAS), or transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR). This study sought to add to the literature by providing real-world data comparing the safety and effectiveness associated with the performance of these carotid revascularization techniques by dual-trained neurosurgeons.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of carotid stenosis databases at two US centers. Patients treated by CEA, transfemoral CAS, or TCAR for atherosclerotic carotid artery disease were included. Clinical outcomes were compared at 30 days after the procedure.

RESULTS

Seven hundred eighty patients were included (583 with CAS, 165 with CEA, and 32 with TCAR). Overall, 486 patients (62.3%) were men, and 393 (50.4%) had left-sided carotid stenosis. Most patients (n = 617, 79.1%) had symptomatic disease. Among the three treatment groups, there were no statistically significant differences with respect to 30-day ischemic events (CAS 3.8%, CEA 1.8%, TCAR 6.3%; p = 0.267) or 30-day mortality rates (CAS 3.6%, CEA 2.4%, TCAR 3.1%; p = 0.857). Male sex had significantly lower odds of 30-day transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke in both univariable (p = 0.024) and multivariable (p = 0.023) regression models. Increasing age had significantly higher odds of 30-day mortality on univariable (p = 0.006) and multivariable (p = 0.003) regression. Patients with the occurrence of 30-day TIA or stroke also had significantly higher odds of 30-day mortality on univariable (p < 0.001) and multivariable (p < 0.001) regression.

CONCLUSIONS

This real-world experience reflects the current practice of hybrid neurosurgery at two high-volume tertiary care centers and suggests that all three treatment modalities have comparable safety and effectiveness if patients are properly selected.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

First United States multicenter experience with the new-generation FRED X surface-modified flow diversion stent: feasibility, safety, and short-term efficacy

Rawad Abbas, Matthews Lan, Kareem El Naamani, Elias Atallah, Mohamed Salem, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Anna Luisa Kühn, Ajit Puri, Andre Monteiro, Elad I. Levy, Nabeel A. Herial, M. Reid Gooch, Jeffrey Jabbour, Robert Rosenwasser, and Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

Flow diversion created a paradigm shift in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The new flow redirection endoluminal device with X technology (FRED X) is the latest update of the recent Food and Drug Administration–approved FRED. The FRED X is engineered to reduce material thrombogenicity and enhance vessel healing. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the feasibility and early safety and efficacy of the new FRED X.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively collected and analyzed data from patients who had undergone flow diversion with the new FRED X at four tertiary cerebrovascular centers in the United States from February 2022 through July 2022.

RESULTS

Forty-four patients with 45 aneurysms treated using 46 devices comprised the overall study cohort and were divided into two groups: 39 patients with unruptured aneurysms and 5 patients with ruptured aneurysms. The mean patient age was 57.7 ± 9.1 years, and most patients were female (84%). Ninety-one percent of the aneurysms were saccular, with the majority (93%) located in the anterior circulation, specifically the posterior communicating (27%) and carotid ophthalmic (27%) territories. The mean maximum aneurysm diameter was 5.6 ± 4.6 mm, and 20% of the lesions had been previously treated. The mean procedure time was 61.6 minutes, with a mean cumulative fluoroscopy time of 24.6 minutes. Additionally, 7% of the lesions received adjunct treatment. Stent placement was successful in 100% of cases, achieving good wall apposition and complete neck coverage. Further, immediate aneurysm contrast stasis > 90% was observed in 61% of cases. Symptomatic postoperative complications occurred in 3 patients in the unruptured cohort and 1 patient in the ruptured cohort. All patients in the study were discharged on dual antiplatelet regimens with a modified Rankin Scale score of 0. At 6 months after treatment, 89% of cases had adequate occlusion, with < 6% of cases having asymptomatic in-stent stenosis. All patients had excellent functional outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

FRED X for the treatment of an intracranial aneurysm is technically feasible alone or in conjunction with intrasaccular embolization. In addition, the study results showed very promising early safety and efficacy. Follow-up studies should establish the long-term safety and efficacy profiles of this new stent.