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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Editorial. Curative embolization for low-grade AVMs: ready for prime time?

Giuseppe Lanzino and Lorenzo Rinaldo

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus: Video

Combined deconstructive and reconstructive treatment of a giant vertebrobasilar fenestration aneurysm

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Soliman Oushy, and Giuseppe Lanzino

Aneurysms associated with a vertebrobasilar fenestration are rare lesions and can grow to a giant size, presenting significant therapeutic challenges. Endovascular treatment of these aneurysms has traditionally been with coiling; however, flow diverter placement within the fenestration arms has recently proven to be a viable treatment strategy. The authors present a case of a giant vertebrobasilar fenestration aneurysm in a patient presenting with a cranial nerve VI palsy. The lesion was treated by using a combination of flow diverter placement and vertebral artery sacrifice. The nuances of flow diversion therapy for these aneurysms and the management of intra- and postoperative complications are discussed.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.7.FOCVID2256

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Nuances of transarterial and transvenous embolization of a large tentorial arteriovenous fistula

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

An 80-year-old female presented with a long history of severe pulsatile tinnitus, vertigo, and decreased hearing. She was found to have a large right-sided tentorial arteriovenous fistula (AVF) with enlarged deep draining veins, including the vein of Rosenthal. The patient underwent Onyx embolization of the fistula via a combined transarterial and transvenous approach resulting in complete obliteration of the fistula. Her symptoms improved immediately after the procedure and at 6-months’ follow-up she was clinically asymptomatic with no evidence of residual fistula on neuroimaging. Transvenous embolization of AVF is at times necessary when transarterial access is not possible.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/uOMHY7eaOoQ.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics

Letter to the Editor. Cerebral arteriopathy and the ACTA2 mutation

Anthony S. Larson, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, and James P. Klaas

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Embolization of a large lumbar type A epidural arteriovenous fistula

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Harry J. Cloft, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Effect of body mass index on outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage treated with clipping versus coiling

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Joshua D. Hughes, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

It has been suggested that increased body mass index (BMI) may confer a protective effect on patients who suffer from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Whether the modality of aneurysm occlusion influences the effect of BMI on patient outcomes is not well understood. The authors aimed to compare the effect of BMI on outcomes for patients with aSAH treated with surgical clipping versus endovascular coiling.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the outcomes for patients admitted to their institution for the management of aSAH treated with either clipping or coiling. BMI at the time of admission was recorded and used to assign patients to a group according to low or high BMI. Cutoff values for BMI were determined by classification and regression tree analysis. Predictors of poor functional outcome (defined as modified Rankin Scale score > 2 measured ≥ 90 days after the ictus) and posttreatment cerebral hypodensities detected during admission were then determined separately for patients treated with clipping or coiling using stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 469 patients admitted to the authors’ institution with aSAH who met the study’s inclusion criteria, 144 were treated with clipping and 325 were treated with coiling. In the clipping group, the frequency of poor functional outcome was higher in patients with BMI ≥ 32.3 kg/m2 (47.6% vs 19.0%; p = 0.007). In contrast, in the coiling group, patients with BMI ≥ 32.3 kg/m2 had a lower frequency of poor functional outcome at ≥ 90 days (5.8% vs 30.9%; p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, high BMI was independently associated with an increased (OR 3.92, 95% CI 1.20–13.41; p = 0.024) and decreased (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.03–0.40; p < 0.001) likelihood of poor functional outcome for patients treated with clipping and coiling, respectively. For patients in the surgical group, BMI ≥ 28.4 kg/m2 was independently associated with incidence of cerebral hypodensities during admission (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.16–5.25; p = 0.018) on multivariate analysis. For patients treated with coiling, BMI ≥ 33.2 kg/m2 was independently associated with reduced odds of hypodensities (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21–0.89; p = 0.021).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest that BMI may differentially affect functional outcomes after aSAH, depending on treatment modality. These findings may aid in treatment selection for patients with aSAH.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Outcomes following cerebrospinal fluid shunting in high-grade glioma patients

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Desmond Brown, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Ian F. Parney

OBJECTIVE

The clinical course of high-grade central nervous system gliomas is occasionally complicated by hydrocephalus. The risks of shunt placement and clinical outcome following CSF diversion in this population are not well defined.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of patients with pathologically confirmed WHO grade III or IV gliomas with shunt-treated hydrocephalus at their institution. Outcomes of patients in this cohort were compared with those of patients who underwent shunt treatment for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Hospital-reported outcomes in a national database for malignant primary brain tumor patients undergoing a ventricular shunt procedure were also reviewed.

RESULTS

Forty-one patients undergoing CSF shunting between 2001 and 2016 at the authors’ institution were identified. Noncommunicating and communicating hydrocephalus occurred at similar rates (51.2% vs 48.8%). Symptomatic improvement after shunting was observed in 75.0% of patients. A major complication occurred in 17.1% of cases, with 2 patients suffering an intracranial hemorrhage. Prior administration of bevacizumab was significantly associated with the incidence of hemorrhage (p = 0.026). Three patients (7.3%) died during admission, and 8 (19.5%) died within 30 days of shunt placement. The presence of ependymal or leptomeningeal enhancement was more common in patients who died within 30 days (75.0% vs 11.1%, p = 0.001). Six patients (18.1%) required readmission to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Revision surgery was necessary in 7 patients (17.1%). The median time from shunt placement to death was 150.5 days. In comparison with patients with NPH, shunt-treated high-grade glioma patients had increased in-hospital (7.3% vs 0.5%, p = 0.008) and 30-day (19.5% vs 0.8%, p < 0.001) mortality but no difference in the incidence of revision surgery (17.1% vs 17.5%, p = 0.947). Similarly, in the national Vizient Clinical Database Resource Manager, shunt-treated patients with malignant primary brain tumors had an increased length of stay (6.9 vs 3.5 days, p < 0.001), direct cost of admission ($15,755.80 vs $9871.50, p < 0.001), and 30-day readmission rates (20.6% vs 2.4%, p < 0.001) compared with patients without brain tumors who received a shunt for NPH.

CONCLUSIONS

Shunting can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of hydrocephalus in patients with high-grade gliomas. However, the authors’ results suggest that this procedure carries a significant risk of complications in this patient population.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Letter to the Editor. Inter-rater agreement: a methodological issue

Meisam Shahsavari and Soodeh Shahsavari

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Cover Neurosurgical Focus

Contemporary and emerging magnetic resonance imaging methods for evaluation of moyamoya disease

Vance T. Lehman, Petrice M. Cogswell, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, John Huston III, James P. Klaas, and Giuseppe Lanzino

Numerous recent technological advances offer the potential to substantially enhance the MRI evaluation of moyamoya disease (MMD). These include high-resolution volumetric imaging, high-resolution vessel wall characterization, improved cerebral angiographic and perfusion techniques, high-field imaging, fast scanning methods, and artificial intelligence. This review discusses the current state-of-the-art MRI applications in these realms, emphasizing key imaging findings, clinical utility, and areas that will benefit from further investigation. Although these techniques may apply to imaging of a wide array of neurovascular or other neurological conditions, consideration of their application to MMD is useful given the comprehensive multidimensional MRI assessment used to evaluate MMD. These MRI techniques span from basic cross-sectional to advanced functional sequences, both qualitative and quantitative.

The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive summary and analysis of current key relevant literature of advanced MRI techniques for the evaluation of MMD with image-rich case examples. These imaging methods can aid clinical characterization, help direct treatment, assist in the evaluation of treatment response, and potentially improve the understanding of the pathophysiology of MMD.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Relationship of A1 segment hypoplasia to anterior communicating artery aneurysm morphology and risk factors for aneurysm formation

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Brandon A. McCutcheon, Meghan E. Murphy, Mohamad Bydon, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Hypoplasia of the A1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery is frequently observed in patients with anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms. The effect of this anatomical variant on ACoA aneurysm morphology is not well understood.

METHODS

Digital subtraction angiography images were reviewed for 204 patients presenting to the authors' institution with either a ruptured or an unruptured ACoA aneurysm. The ratio of the width of the larger A1 segment to the smaller A1 segment was calculated. Patients with an A1 ratio greater than 2 were categorized as having A1 segment hypoplasia. The relationship of A1 segment hypoplasia to both patient and aneurysm characteristics was then assessed.

RESULTS

Of 204 patients that presented with an ACoA aneurysm, 34 (16.7%) were found to have a hypoplastic A1. Patients with A1 segment hypoplasia were less likely to have a history of smoking (44.1% vs 62.9%, p = 0.0410). ACoA aneurysms occurring in the setting of a hypoplastic A1 were also found to have a larger maximum diameter (mean 7.7 vs 6.0 mm, p = 0.0084). When considered as a continuous variable, increasing A1 ratio was associated with decreasing aneurysm dome-to-neck ratio (p = 0.0289). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of A1 segment hypoplasia between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms (18.9% vs 10.7%; p = 0.1605).

CONCLUSIONS

Our results suggest that a hypoplastic A1 may affect the morphology of ACoA aneurysms. In addition, the relative lack of traditional risk factors for aneurysm formation in patients with A1 segment hypoplasia argues for the importance of hemodynamic factors in the formation of ACoA aneurysms in this anatomical setting.