Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery

Published by BMJ Publishing Group
Online ISSN: 1759-8486
Print ISSN: 1759-8478
Publications
Clinical summary of cases treated with ultra distal placement of the Neuron guide catheter
A 44-year-old man with a history of PTEN hamartoma syndrome, also known as BannayaneRileyeRuvalcaba, who presented with recurrent severe headaches and bilateral tinnitus. (A) Lateral left internal carotid artery (LICA) angiogram shows a direct arteriovenous shunt with arterial supply from the recurrent meningeal artery of the left ophthalmic artery (arrow). (B) Lateral spot fluoroscopic image showing the guide catheter at the origin of the ophthalmic artery (large arrow). The tip of the microcatheter within the outflow vein can be seen (small arrow). The medium arrow indicates Onyx cast from prior embolizations. (C) Lateral spot fluoroscopic image shows coils and glue within the fistula (arrow). (D) Postembolization LICA angiogram shows no filling of the direct arteriovenous fistula with a patent left ophthalmic artery. There is still filling of the arteriovenous fistula from branches of the LICA and left external carotid artery. 
To describe our experience with very distal placement of the Neuron 6 F 0.053 inch inner luminal diameter guide catheter (Penumbra Inc, San Leandro, California, USA) within the intracranial and extracranial vasculature to allow treatment of various neurovascular pathologies. Previously, this was thought to be only possible with a microcatheter. 12 cases are presented in which traditional guide catheters were unable to successfully navigate tortuous anatomy or provide stable support for intervention. The Neuron 6 F 0.053 inch inner luminal diameter delivery catheter (Penumbra) was placed in a very distal location within the internal carotid artery, external carotid artery and venous system enabling successful endovascular treatment of the intracranial pathology with no related neurological complications. All lesions were successfully treated through a microcatheter advanced in a coaxial fashion through the distally placed guide catheter. There were no complications related to the distal position of the guide catheter.
 
The currently available mechanical devices fail to achieve recanalization in as many as 20-40% of proximal arterial occlusion strokes. The preclinical evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a novel thrombectomy device designed to achieve immediate flow restoration by quickly removing clot is reported. Four confirmatory animal studies were performed with the Trevo device (Concentric Medical Inc, Mountain View, California, USA) in the swine (n=2) and canine (n=1) models of arterial thrombo-occlusive disease employing autologous thrombin generated thrombi. The angiographic response and the degree of device-clot incorporation were evaluated. High resolution flat panel three-dimensional CT was performed to further define the in vivo device-thrombus-vessel interaction. Finally, samples of three swine vessels treated with six passes of the device were explanted for histopathological analysis. A total of 16 clots of variable hardness and consistency were implanted in a variety of vascular settings, including the swine internal maxillary, lingual and forelimb arteries as well as the canine external carotid and vertebral arteries. Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 2-3 reperfusion was achieved in all cases immediately after device deployment. All 16 clots were retrieved after one (n=15) or two (n=1) passes with the device. Histopathological analysis demonstrated severe disruption of the intima but no hemorrhage of media or adventitia. The experimental data suggest that the Trevo device is highly effective at achieving immediate reperfusion of occluded arteries without causing any clinically significant disruption of vascular integrity.
 
Background and purpose: Revascularization of acute ischemic stroke from a large vessel occlusion continues to be a challenge with current thrombectomy devices. The purpose of the SPEED study was to report the safety and effectiveness of the Penumbra 054 Reperfusion Catheter System in revascularizing large vessel occlusions. Methods: In this retrospective multicenter study, data were collected from patients with angiographic evidence of large vessel occlusion treated with the Penumbra 054 device as the intended primary therapy. Clinical outcome data were collected with 90-day follow-up and the results were compared with those from the Penumbra Pivotal trial. Results: Eighty-seven target vessels in 86 consecutive patients treated with the Penumbra 054 device were included. The Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 2 or 3 revascularization rate was 91% compared with a reported 82% in the Penumbra Pivotal trial. This was accomplished in a median time of 20 min compared with 45 min in the Penumbra Pivotal trial (p<0.0001). Eighteen (21%) patients experienced an intracranial hemorrhage of which 12 (14%) were symptomatic. Good neurologic outcome (modified Rankin scores ≤ 2) at 90-day follow-up was achieved in 34.9% of patients compared with 25% reported in the Penumbra Pivotal trial. All-cause mortality was 25.6%. Conclusions: These results suggest that the Penumbra 054 is a fast, safe and effective revascularization tool for patients experiencing ischemic stroke secondary to large vessel occlusive disease. Improvements in speed and effectiveness of revascularization probably contributed to improved outcomes.
 
Tandem proximal and distal occlusions in the setting of an acute stroke are therapeutic challenges. Treating either lesion first has its respective shortcomings. An approach is described which may lessen the probability of distal embolic events during emergency carotid angioplasty and stenting during an acute stroke, and simplify access to both a distal and proximal lesion. A 58-year-old man presented with waxing and waning neurological examination with an NIH Stroke Scale varying from 4 to 21. CT angiography demonstrated a left internal carotid artery occlusion at its origin and a left middle cerebral artery occlusion. The CT scan failed to demonstrate significant ischemic changes so the patient was brought to angiography for treatment under conscious sedation. Triaxial access into the distal middle cerebral artery was achieved followed by brief aspiration and clot maceration by opening the vessel completely. An embolic protection device was deployed through the intermediate catheter which was subsequently removed. Stenting and angioplasty were then performed, followed by removal of the embolic protection device which had visibly trapped debris. Embolic protection devices may have a role in the emergency treatment of proximal occlusions in the setting of an acute ischemic stroke. Safe deployment through an occluded vessel may be assisted by use of an intermediate catheter. The Penumbra 054 catheter may be used both to aspirate the distal thrombus and to house the embolic protection device as it is advanced past a proximal occlusion.
 
Background: The use of ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer for liquid embolization of cranial vascular lesions has resulted in microcatheter fragments entrapped in patients following endovascular procedures. Undergoing subsequent diagnostic MRI examinations poses a safety concern due to the possibility of radiofrequency heating of the metallic braid incorporated into the microcatheter. Heating of nitinol, tungsten, and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) braided microcatheters was assessed and compared using a phantom model. Methods: Microcatheters coupled with fluoroptic temperature probes were embedded in a polyacrylamide gel within a head and torso phantom. Experiments were performed at 1.5 T and 3 T, analyzing the effects of different catheter immersion lengths, specific absorption rate (SAR) levels, short clinical scans, long clinical scans, and microcatheter fragment lengths. Results: The maximal increase in temperature for the nitinol braided microcatheter during a 15 min scan was 3.06°C using the T1 fast spin echo sequence at 1.5 T and 0.45°C using the balanced steady state free precession sequence at 3 T. The same scans for fragment lengths of 9, 18, 36, and 72 cm produced maximal temperature rises of 0.68, 0.80, 1.70, and 1.07°C at 1.5 T, respectively. The temperature changes at 3 T for these fragment lengths were 0.66, 0.83, 1.07, and 0.72°C, respectively. The tungsten and PEEK braided microcatheters did not demonstrate heating. Conclusions: Substantial heating of nitinol braided microcatheters occurred and was a function of SAR level and geometric considerations. SAR and time limitations on MR scanning are proposed for patients with this microcatheter entrapped in their vasculature. In contrast, tungsten and PEEK braided microcatheters showed potential safe use in MRI.
 
Purpose: Although the anatomic course of the posterior interior cerebellar artery (PICA) is variable, it is thought to be very rare for the artery to cross midline, with an estimated incidence of 0.1%. Bihemispheric PICA crosses midline and typically serves both PICA territories. Methods: We present 11 cases of bihemispheric PICA discovered from retrospective angiogram review, the largest to date reported in the literature. Results: Five cases were the typical bihemispheric PICA pattern, three were bihemispheric with distal vertebral hypoplasia, two cases were the vermian type, and one was atypical, with the PICA feeding a contralateral cerebellar arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The branching point to the contralateral hemisphere always occurred distal to the ascending tonsillar loop and all true bihemispheric variants had contralateral PICA aplasia. Conclusions: The true incidence of this variant may be much higher than previously thought (3.6% in the current series), and has relevance for cerebrovascular disease, including aneurysm, AVM, and ischemic stroke. Neuroradiologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons should be aware of this potential variant.
 
To describe procedural aspects and clinical outcomes in a consecutive series of patients in whom manual aspiration thrombectomy (MAT) was performed as the first treatment modality with other techniques used only in case MAT did not yield recanalization. A retrospective review of a prospectively acquired acute stroke intervention database was performed. Primary MAT was carried out with a preference for the largest catheter considered to be trackable into the target occlusive lesion. The catheter was wedged into the thrombus followed by manual aspiration with a 20 ml syringe. 112 consecutive patients were evaluated. The median age was 66 years and the median NIH Stroke Scale score was 17. Occlusion locations included the M1 (62%), M2 (8%), internal carotid artery terminus (19%) and the vertebrobasilar artery (11%). Patients with anterior occlusions had tandem extracranial/intracranial occlusive lesions in 18.7% Median time from symptom onset to groin puncture was 267 min, and from groin puncture to recanalization was 70 min. Successful recanalization (defined as Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) 2b/3) with primary MAT was 59% with a median of two passes. 41% of patients required the use of adjunctive therapy yielding an overall recanalization rate of TICI 2b/3 (86%) and TICI 3 (30.6%). Parenchymal hematoma of any type (PH1/PH2) was seen in 9.8% of patients, with symptomatic hemorrhage in 6%. Favorable outcomes (90-day modified Rankin Scale ≤2) were 46%. Mortality at 3 months was 31%. Primary MAT was associated with faster procedural times (mean 63 vs 97 min, p<0.0001) but not with higher rates of favorable outcomes. Primary MAT is an alternative endovascular recanalization technique with reasonable first pass efficacy that will likely improve with technology and experience.
 
Univariate analysis of predictors of any intracranial hemorrhage after endovascular stroke therapy 
Independent predictors of development of any intracranial hemorrhage after endovascular stroke therapy 
Univariate analysis for the predictors of the development of hemorrhagic infarction after endovascular stroke therapy 
Independent predictors of hemorrhagic infarction after endovascular stroke therapy 
Independent predictors of parenchymal hematoma after endovascular stroke therapy 
Endovascular techniques are frequently employed to treat large artery occlusion in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). We sought to determine the predictors and clinical impact of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) after endovascular therapy. Retrospective analysis of consecutive patients presenting to 13 high volume stroke centers with AIS due to proximal occlusion in the anterior circulation who underwent endovascular treatment within 8 h from symptom onset. Logistic regression was performed to determine the variables associated with ICH, hemorrhagic infarction (HI), and parenchymal hematomas (PHs), as well as 90 day poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale score ≥3) and mortality. There were a total of 363 ICHs (overall rate 32.3%; HI=267, 24%; PH=96, 8.5%) among the 1122 study patients (mean age 67±15 years; median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 17 (IQR 13-20)). Independent predictors for HI included diabetes mellitus (OR 2.27, 95% CI (1.58 to 3.26), p<0.0001), preprocedure IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) (1.43 (1.03 to 2.08), p<0.037), Merci thrombectomy (1.47 (1.02 to 2.12), p<0.032), and longer time to puncture (1.001 (1.00 to 1.002), p<0.026). Patients with atrial fibrillation (1.61 (1.01 to 2.55), p<0.045) had a higher risk of PH while the use of IA tPA (0.57 (0.35 to 0.90), p<0.008) was associated with lower chances of PH. Both the presence of HI (2.23 (1.53 to 3.25), p<0.0001) and PH (6.24 (3.06 to 12.75), p<0.0001) were associated with poor functional outcomes; however, only PH was associated with higher mortality (3.53 (2.19 to 5.68), p<0.0001). Greater understanding about the predictors and consequences of ICH post endovascular stroke therapy is essential to improve risk assessment, patient selection/clinical outcomes, and early prognostication. Our data suggest that patients with atrial fibrillation are particularly prone to severe ICH and question the 'benign' nature of HI suggested by earlier studies.
 
When I first saw the title of the article by Choulakian, Drazin and Alexander1 in the December 2010 JNIS, I thought that I had misread it. Indeed, who has experience treating over 100 cavernous carotid aneurysms (CCAs)? I went on to read, with dismay, the description of treatment of what most commonly should be regarded as ‘do not touch’ lesions. In the authors' defense, three of the 113 patients treated did present with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and these clearly merit treatment. Regarding the 29 patients presenting with diplopia, one could debate whether treatment is necessary or even helpful; the authors cite articles on the subject but fail to mention that in …
 
Patient No 1 presented with headaches. (A) Pre-procedure right internal carotid artery (ICA) angiogram demonstrated a 14 mm cavernous carotid artery aneurysm. The patient underwent coil embolization without stent assistance. (B) Post-procedure right ICA angiogram demonstrated complete occlusion of the aneurysm. 
Patient No 2 presented with a 2 month history of right third and sixth nerve palsies. (A) Pre-procedure right internal carotid artery (ICA) angiogram demonstrated a 20 mm cavernous carotid artery aneurysm. The patient underwent coil embolization with Neuroform (Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts, USA) stent assistance. (B) Post-procedure right ICA angiogram demonstrated a good result.
Patient No 3 presented with aphasic transient ischemic attacks and a history of a motor vehicle collision 20 years earlier. (A) Pre-procedure left internal carotid artery (ICA) angiogram demonstrated a 20 mm dissecting cavernous carotid artery aneurysm. The patient underwent coil embolization with Magic Wallstent (Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts, USA) assistance. (B) Immediate post-procedure left ICA angiogram demonstrated residual aneurysm filing. (C) Six month follow-up left ICA angiogram demonstrated progressive occlusion of the residual aneurysm. 
Cavernous carotid aneurysms (CCAs) can present with visual symptoms or with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). As surgical treatment of these aneurysms can be technically challenging, endovascular management has emerged as the preferred treatment modality. A retrospective review was conducted of 113 patients who underwent endosaccular treatment for CCAs. Presenting symptoms, aneurysm size, use of stent assistance, rate of thromboembolic complications, presence of SAH and angiographic follow-up were reviewed. 29 patients (26%) with CCAs presented with diplopia due to cranial nerve palsies. Mean aneurysm size in this group was 17 mm. Three patients (2.6%) presented with SAH with a mean aneurysm size of 15.3 mm. Mean length of stay for ruptured versus non-ruptured aneurysms was 11.7 and 1.7 days, respectively. Clinically significant thromboembolic complications occurred in four cases (3.5%). Stent assistance was required in 53 cases (47%). Of the 86 patients (76%) returning for follow-up angiography (mean 6.2 months), 58 (75%) had no residual aneurysm and 14 (12%) showed regrowth. Thirteen patients (11.5%) underwent repeat endovascular treatment. CCAs commonly produce diplopia and cranial nerve palsies when a critical size is reached (mean 17 mm in our series). Aneurysm obliteration with internal carotid artery preservation is the preferred treatment modality and can be accomplished with coil embolization with or without stent assistance. Although recurrence and retreatment can occur, the thromboembolic risk of endovascular treatment is low. Consideration should be given to treatment of asymptomatic CCAs 15 mm or larger due to potential risks of cranial neuropathy and SAH.
 
Baseline characteristics and outcomes
Distribution of modified Rankin Scale scores at 90 days
Comparison of Separator three-dimensional (3D) study with Solitaire post-market studies and SWIFT trial
Background The aim of this study was to assess reperfusion and clinical outcome of treatment with the self-expanding retrievable Separator 3D in revascularization of acute ischemic stroke. The three-dimensional (3D) device secures thrombus with direct aspiration and supports debulking of the clot. Methods At two centers, 129 consecutive stroke patients with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores ≥5 were treated with mechanical thrombectomy using the Separator 3D as a component of the Penumbra System within 8 h of symptom onset; modified Treatment in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) revascularization scores, NIHSS score on admission and discharge, mortality rates, and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) outcomes at 90 days were evaluated. Results A total of 129 vessels in 129 patients were treated. Occlusions were located in the middle cerebral artery (MCA, 48%), internal carotid artery (ICA, 33%), cervical ICA–MCA (3%), and vertebrobasilar arteries (16%). Intravenous thrombolytic therapy with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator was given to 78% of patients. Median NIHSS was 15 prior to treatment. Reperfusion to mTICI 2b or 3 was successful in 96/129 (74%) target arterial lesions, with more than half of cases (51%) achieving mTICI 3. The mean time from arterial puncture to revascularization was 65 min. At 90 days, the symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage rate was 4%, all cause mortality was 32%, and 43/99 patients (43%) achieved functional independence with an mRS score of ≤2. Conclusions The results suggest that the Separator 3D enables safe and effective revascularization of occluded large arteries in acute stroke intervention, leading to a high rate of functional independence at 90 days.
 
Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms via flow diversion has become increasingly popular over the past several years. The flow redirection endoluminal device (FRED; Microvention, Tustin, California, USA) system is a next generation closed cell paired stent flow diversion device. Our initial clinical experience with the FRED system is described. We believe this series to be the first use of the FRED system in the western hemisphere. 14 aneurysms were treated utilizing the FRED system in 13 patients. Post-deployment angiography and fluoro CTs were obtained in all cases. Immediate post-treatment angiography demonstrated reduced flow into all aneurysms although no long term angiographic data are yet available. The device proved technically easy to deploy and recapture after partial deployment if needed. No complications, technical or otherwise, were encountered. Radiographic visibility and ability to maintain its internal cylindrical shape in tortuous arteries, as demonstrated by fluoro CT, was at least as good as the pipeline embolization device. The FRED system was technically easy to deploy with no procedural complications occurring in this first reported series of 14 aneurysms. The ability of the FRED system to be recaptured after partial deployment and to maintain its internal shape in tortuous vessels was demonstrated well. Long term clinical and angiographic follow-up along with prospective studies are now needed to ascertain the role of the FRED in intracranial aneurysm treatment.
 
General characteristic of 56 patients
Angiographic results
Risk factors for recurrence (logistic regression analysis)
Major reports about treatment of paraclinoid aneurysm including endovascular treatment (>50 aneurysms) before 2010
Major reports about treatment of paraclinoid aneurysm including endovascular treatment (>50 aneurysms) after 2010
Background: Current endovascular techniques have been widely used to treat paraclinoid aneurysms. Methods: From January 2009 to December 2011, 126 consecutive patients with 142 saccular paraclinoid aneurysms were treated with endovascular embolization at our institute. A retrospective review of the clinical and imaging data was performed. Results: Of the 142 aneurysms, 121 (86.2%) had small while 21 (14.8%) had large fundus size. 83 aneurysms (58.5%) were narrow necked and 59 (41.5%) were wide necked. The dome-neck ratio was favorable in 26 aneurysms (18.3%) and unfavorable in 116 (81.7%). 24 aneurysms (16.9%) were managed with coil embolization and 118 (83.1%) with a stent assisted coiling technique. Immediate angiography demonstrated complete occlusion in 62 (43.7%), neck remnant occlusion in 47 (33.1%), and residual aneurysm occlusion in 33 (23.2%) aneurysms. The overall recurrence rate in the 112 aneurysms with angiographic follow-up (8.88 ± 3.40 months, mean ± SD) was 12.5%. Of the 14 recurrent aneurysms, 10 were managed with endovascular treatment (six by stent assisted coiling, four by coiling) while four are under observation. There were six (4.3%) procedural complications during 137 procedures. Clinical follow-up was available for 119 patients (94%) with a follow-up time of 16.6 ± 13.6 months, and the majority (98%) had a modified Rankin scale score of 0-1. Conclusions: The stent assisted coiling technique is effective for the treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms. Small paraclinoid aneurysms (≤ 10 mm) are suitable for endovascular treatment, with a low rate of recurrence. In contrast, large paraclinoid aneurysms (>10 mm) treated with current endovascular techniques exhibited a high rate of recurrence.
 
Background Intracranial aneurysms are increasingly treated with endovascular treatment. Based on our observation that cerebral complications are associated with this treatment, we predict that the number of intraprocedural complications will rise as a result of this trend. Methods Between January 2007 and December 2013, 1739 patients underwent 1764 detachable coil embolizations to treat intracranial aneurysms (637 ruptured and 1127 unruptured). We reviewed their records and images to evaluate the periprocedural complications and related morbidity and mortality. Results 61 complications occurred during coil embolization and 33 periprocedural complications occurred within 1 week. These complications were observed in 8.6% of ruptured aneurysm embolization procedures (55/637) and in 3.5% of unruptured aneurysm embolization procedures (39/1127). There were 17 (0.96%) cerebral thromboembolisms, 34 (1.93%) intraprocedural aneurysm ruptures, 8 (0.45%) coil migrations, 13 (0.74%) postprocedural aneurysmal ruptures, and 22 (1.24%) neurologic deficits or transient neurologic deficits related to embolization. 63 complications had no neurologic consequences, 3 were associated with transient neurologic morbidity, 15 resulted in persistent neurologic morbidity on discharge, and 12 resulted in death. The procedure-related neurologic morbidity and mortality rates for all 1764 procedures were 0.85% in ruptured aneurysms and 0.68% in unruptured aneurysms. Conclusions The periprocedural complication rate was higher in ruptured aneurysms than in unruptured aneurysms. The main causes of morbidity and mortality were thromboembolisms, intraprocedural aneurysm perforations, and postprocedural aneurysmal ruptures. While some periprocedural complications are inevitable, we can minimize the occurrence of such complications by advancing our skill and experience, thereby improving patient prognosis.
 
Numerous techniques have been described to treat intracranial vessel perforation during endovascular interventions. We describe a novel application of Onyx-18 for the treatment of intracranial catheter perforations by sealing the vessel from the outside while retracting the catheter into the arterial lumen.
 
Cervical hemangiopericytoma (HPC) is a rare tumor involving dura and bone. Because HPC shares some imaging features with meningioma, hemangioblastoma, schwannoma and solitary fibrous tumors; histology with appropriate immunohistochemistry is essential for its diagnosis and treatment. HPC is highly vascular and has a high rate of local recurrence following resection. Thus it can pose significant therapeutic challenges. To the best of our knowledge this is the 13th reported case of HPC of the cervical spine and the first case of cervical HPC treated using embolization with Onyx-18. In addition, a systematic review of the literature is presented describing previous experience with HPC of the cervical region. The case of a 61-year-old woman is reported who presented with a 7 month history of dizziness, mild ataxia and left-sided tinnitus when supine. MRI of the cervical spine demonstrated a gadolinium enhancing mass arising from the dorsal cervical dura, extending from the occiput to C2, with internal flow voids and extension into the C2 lamina and spinous process. Digital subtraction angiography demonstrated multiple corkscrew-shaped supplying vessels, marked hypervascularity, rapid arteriovenous shunting and delayed contrast washout. Super selective injection of Onyx-18 yielded approximately 90% embolization of the lesion, followed by subtotal resection and radiotherapy. Histology confirmed the presumptive diagnosis of HPC. Preoperative embolization with Onyx-18 should be considered for large HPC as it may decrease the risk of intraoperative hemorrhage. In this case, embolization with Onyx-18 did not preclude histopathologic diagnosis of HPC.
 
Timeline of commercially available coils in the North America.
Timeline of development and release of detachment mechanisms.
Major landmark events in the proliferation of coil technologies.
Background: The development of detachable coils is one of the most pivotal developments in neurointervention, providing a tool that could be used to treat a wide variety of hemorrhagic stroke. From the original Guglielmi detachable coil, a number of different coil designs and delivery designs have evolved. This article reviews the history of commercially available detachable coils. Methods: A timeline of detachable coils was constructed and coil design philosophies were reviewed. Results: A complete list of commercially available coils is presented in a timeline format. Conclusions: Detachable coil technology continues to evolve. Advances in construction and design have yielded products which may benefit patients in terms of safety, radiation dose reduction and cost of treatment. Continued evolution is expected, irrespective of competing disruptive technologies.
 
The Institute of Medicine called attention to the pervasive differences in treatments and outcomes between ethnic groups. We sought to highlight the geographic and racial disparities in access to treatment for unruptured cerebral aneurysms. We performed a retrospective cohort study involving patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms from 2000 to 2010, registered in the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. Primary outcomes were those patients receiving treatment and the ratio of untreated to treated aneurysms per state. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were geographic and racial disparities in access to treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms based on the NIS. Logistic regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques were used. There were 57 418 patients diagnosed with unruptured aneurysms (mean age 61.4 years, 70.5% females), with 18 231 undergoing treatment. Males (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.71, p<0.0001), Asian (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.96, p=0.003), Hispanic (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.90, p=0.001), African American (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.62, p<0.0001), and patients without insurance (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.87, p<0.0001) were associated with decreased chance of treatment. The opposite was true for lower Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.71 to 3.39, p<0.0001), coverage by Medicaid (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.23, p=0.012), or private insurance (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.80 to 2.04, p<0.0001), and lower income (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.31, p<0.0001). Significant regional variability was observed among the different states (p=0.006, ANOVA), with Maryland being an outlier. Based on the NIS database, the rate of treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms varies according to sex, race, and region.
 
Proposed components of comprehensive stroke center 7
In summary, organized, regionalized, systems for improving the early recognition and treatment of patients with acute stroke have been widely and successfully implemented. The PSC designation and JC certification program have been major drivers in this effort. These initiatives have resulted in dramatic increases in the use of intravenous tPA and improved patient outcomes. CSC and more complex, tiered models of stroke care delivery are being developed. While the JC has not yet launched a CSC certification program, several states have passed legislation or regulations to form stroke systems similar to the trauma model, with tiered levels of care and complex transfer rules. These systems will foster the use of endovascular intervention for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
 
Projected Medicare fiscal outlook. 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA, for short) became law on 23 March 2010. It represents the most significant transformation of the American healthcare system since Medicare and Medicaid. Essentials of ACA include: (1) a mandate for individuals and businesses requiring as a matter of law that nearly every American has an approved level of health insurance or pay a penalty; (2) a system of federal subsidies to completely or partially pay for the now required health insurance for ∼34 million Americans who are currently uninsured-subsidized through Medicaid and Exchanges; (3) extensive new requirements on the health insurance industry and (4) changes in the practice of medicine. The Act is divided into 10 titles. It contains provisions that went into effect starting on 21 June 2010 with many of the provisions going into effect in 2014 and later. The ACA goes well beyond insurance and payment reform. Practicing physicians will potentially be impacted by the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
 
We appreciate the comments of Dr Hartman1 regarding our series of cavernous carotid aneurysms treated by endosaccular embolization therapy.2 However, we believe his discussion incorrectly cites the literature. The published series of Steibel-Kalish and coworkers3 and Goldenberg-Cohen and coworkers4 were series in which either endovascular parent artery occlusion or surgical bypass was utilized as the treatment strategy, not endosaccular occlusion, as was utilized in our series. The third series he cites by de Vasconcellos and coworkers5 only evaluated five patients with endosaccular aneurysm therapy, so the high complication rate that …
 
The vertebral artery as it passes through the transverse foramina of C6 through C2 and then enters the skull base through the foramen magnum (not shown). Arrows indicate head movement during lateral rotation and lateral flexion. Flexion, extension, and traction may also affect the artery (not shown). Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2013 Trial FX.
Schematic diagram illustrating the neutral anatomic alignment of the vertebral artery (top) and stretching of the V3 segment during lateral rotation and lateral flexion (bottom). Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2013 Trial FX.
Thrombus from a nonocclusive dissection becoming dislodged and embolizing downstream. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2013 Trial FX.
Reports of Recurrent Stroke or Recurrent Dissection in Patients With Dissection
It is essential that the medical profession play a central role in critically evaluating the evidence related to drugs, devices and procedures for the detection, management or prevention of disease. Properly applied, rigorous, expert analysis of the available data documenting absolute and relative benefits and risks of these therapies and procedures can improve the effectiveness of care, optimize patient outcomes and favorably affect the cost of care by focusing resources on the most effective strategies. One important use of such data is the production of clinical practice guidelines that, in turn, can provide a foundation for a variety of other applications, such as performance measures, appropriate use criteria, clinical decision support tools and quality improvement tools. The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have jointly engaged in the production of guidelines in the area of cardiovascular disease since 1980. The ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Task Force) is charged with developing, updating and revising practice guidelines for cardiovascular diseases and procedures, and the Task Force directs and oversees this effort. Writing committees are charged with assessing the evidence as an independent group of authors to develop, update or revise recommendations for clinical practice. Experts in the subject under consideration have been selected from both organizations to examine subject specific data and write guidelines in partnership with representatives from other medical practitioner and specialty groups. Writing committees are specifically charged to perform a formal literature review; weigh the strength of evidence for or against particular tests, treatments, or procedures; and include estimates of expected health outcomes where data exist. Patient specific modifiers, comorbidities and issues of patient preference that may influence the choice of tests or therapies are considered. When available, information from studies on cost is considered but data on efficacy and clinical …
 
Physician spending is complex and intrinsically related to national health care spending, government regulations, health care reform, private insurers, physician practice and patient utilization patterns. Consequently, since the inception of Medicare programs in 1965, several methods have been used to determine the amounts paid to physicians for each covered service. The sustainable growth rate (SGR) was enacted in 1997 to determine physician payment updates under Medicare part B with an intent to reduce Medicare physician payment updates to offset the growth and utilization of physician services that exceeds the gross domestic product growth. This is achieved by setting an overall target amount of spending for physicians' services and adjusting payment rates annually to reflect differences between actual spending and the spending target. Since 2002, the SGR has annually recommended reductions in Medicare reimbursements. Payments were cut by 4.8% in 2002. Since then, Congress has intervened on 13 separate occasions to prevent additional cuts from being imposed. This manuscript describes certain important aspects of the 2012 physician fee schedule.
 
Comparison of actual spending with target spending. Reproduced from Congressional Budget Office. 15 
Federal healthcare spending has been a subject of intense concern as the US Congress continues to search for ways to reduce the budget deficit. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that, even though it is growing more slowly than previously projected, federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will reach nearly $900 billion in 2013. In 2011 the Medicare program paid $68 billion for physicians and other health professional services, 12% of total Medicare spending. Since 2002 the sustainable growth rate (SGR) correction has called for reductions to physician reimbursements; however, Congress has typically staved off these reductions, although the situation remains precarious for physicians who accept Medicare. The fiscal cliff agreement that came into focus at the end of 2012 averted a 26.5% reduction to physician reimbursements related to the SGR correction. Nonetheless, the threat of these devastating cuts continues to loom. The Administration, Congress and others have devised many options to fix this unsustainable situation. This review explores the historical development of the SGR, touches on elements of the formula itself and outlines current proposals for fixing the SGR problem. A recent CBO estimate reduces the potential cost of a 10-year fix of SGR system to $138 billion. This has provided new hope for resolution of this long-standing issue.
 
As part of a novel session at the Annual Meeting of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (Colorado Springs, USA), the associate editors of Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery ( JNIS ) selected a series of manuscript published in 2014 as best articles. Each associate editor gave his preference, and the final list was approved by editor in chief, Robert Tarr. The aim of this commentary is to acknowledge the authors and briefly highlight the major points of their manuscripts. Turk, et al . ADAPT FAST study: a direct aspiration first pass technique for acute stroke thrombectomy 1 This article describes a novel method for mechanical revascularization using a large bore aspiration catheter. The operators utilized the largest caliber aspiration catheter that the target vessel would accommodate. The catheter was then advanced to the face of the thrombus and aspiration applied. The catheter was subsequently withdrawn, attempting to remove the clot en bloc. Adjunct devices were used at the discretion of the operator. The investigators employed the technique in 98 acute ischemic stroke patients harboring large vessel occlusions. The aspiration component achieved Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) 2b or 3 revascularization in 78% of cases. The adjunct use of stent retrievers increased the TICI 2b/ 3 rate to 95%. The authors demonstrated that this versatile and technically straightforward revascularization method can be utilized to achieve revascularization. This study is a good example of the ability of neuroendovascular surgeons to join together and channel collective energies and resources. This was a prospective registry, performed without financial support from industry or federal funding. The design and implementation was carried out entirely by the operators involved. Data from this type of prospective study, designed by practicing neurointerventional surgeons, stand the greatest chance of impacting practice patterns for our field. Furthermore, the concept behind this manuscript demonstrates the …
 
Shortly after the first extracranial to intracranial (EC-IC) carotid artery bypass was performed by Yasargil in 1967 for internal carotid artery occlusion, cerebral revascularization became widely accepted in the neurosurgical field, and the procedures became increasingly used as practitioners began to master the technical aspects of the surgery. The procedures were performed for intracranial arterial stenosis and occlusion and used as an adjunct in the treatment of large aneurysms and skull base tumors. The results of the EC-IC bypass group trial in 1985 were surprising to many and sobering to all; EC-IC bypass for stenosis or occlusion of the high internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery did not decrease the risk of subsequent stroke compared with medical management. Rather, the incidence of stroke increased, and the events were noted to occur sooner than with medical therapy alone. Despite the known limitations of this landmark study, the number of EC-IC bypass procedures fell precipitously over the ensuing decades. Despite this significant setback, cerebral revascularization is not obsolete. This article revisits the sequence of events leading to the rise of revascularization surgery and recaps the impact of the EC-IC bypass trial. The limitations of the trial are discussed, as are current studies evaluating the efficacy of cerebrovascular bypass procedures for symptomatic carotid occlusive disease. The authors review the accepted indications for bypass surgery in the early 21st century.
 
As evidence accumulates that carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a durable and effective procedure for stroke prevention, the utility of the procedure hinges on the perioperative risk. The perioperative risk of CAS procedures has historically been higher than carotid endarterectomy in most clinical trials. The perioperative risk of the series presented here is lower than any previously reported in the context of a clinical trial. Data were collected prospectively from 227 consecutive elective CAS procedures by a single neurointerventionalist performed as part of carotid stenting clinical trials as per the trial protocols, which included randomized trials of "average risk" patients and non-randomized trials of "high risk" patients. The primary outcome measures were 30 day stroke and death, and in most cases 30 day myocardial infarction (MI) also. Follow-up was 100%. There were no deaths. There was one technical failure. The overall 30 day stroke/death/MI rate was 5/226 (2.2%). There was one MI. The 30 day stroke and death rate for symptomatic patients was 2.5% and for asymptomatic patients 1.4%. Two of the four strokes occurred in vascular territories separate from the target carotid artery. The perioperative CAS complications in this series were well below the 6% for symptomatic patients and 3% for asymptomatic patients currently recommended based on historic carotid endarterectomy data. Carotid stenting can be performed safely in the community, provided there are experienced interventionalists and proper patient selection.
 
Several studies have reported that cilostazol (CLS) may reduce in-stent restenosis (ISR) after carotid artery stenting (CAS). However, it is not known for how long CLS must be continued to prevent ISR. We retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected database of patients who underwent elective CAS and follow-up angiography at 3 months and 1 year after the procedure. ISR was defined as stenosis of 50% or greater on digital subtraction angiography. The cumulative incidence rates of angiographic ISR were compared between the three groups, divided according to duration of CLS use : (1) patients who were maintained on CLS for 12 months or more after CAS (12M CLS group, n=70), (2) patients who were treated with CLS for the first 3 months after CAS (3M CLS group, n=23), and (3) patients who did not receive CLS (no CLS group, n=136). A total of 229 lesions in 199 patients were included in our analysis. During a median follow-up of 365 days, ISR was detected in 15 lesions. The cumulative ISR rates overall and in the 12M CLS, 3M CLS, and no CLS groups were 5.6%, 0%, 5.0%, and 8.4%, respectively, at 1 year, and the log rank test showed that there was a significant difference between the three groups (p<0.05). Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the 12M CLS group had a significantly lower risk of ISR than the 3M CLS group (adjusted relative risk (aRR) 3.06e-10, 95% CI 0 to 0.51, p<0.05) and the no CLS group (aRR 1.41e-10, 95% CI 0 to 0.15, p<0.001), whereas no difference was found between the 3M CLS group and the no CLS group. An overall cumulative ISR rate of 5.6% was documented angiographically at 1 year after CAS. Continuous daily use of CLS (for at least 1 year) may have a beneficial effect on long term prevention of ISR. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
 
Acute, simultaneous, concomitant internal carotid artery (ICA) and middle cerebral arteries (MCA) occlusions almost invariably lead to significant neurological disability if left untreated. Endovascular therapy is frequently the method of treatment in such situations but there remains a chance of incomplete recanalization. Successful recanalization of the proximal aspect of the occlusion may allow for endogenous thrombolysis and facilitate further endogenous recanalization of any residual MCA occlusion. Consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing endovascular therapy for tandem extracranial ICA-MCA or contiguous intracranial ICA-MCA occlusions were retrospectively analyzed. Rates of facilitated endogenous recanalization at 24 h (FER(24)) were compared by imaging within the immediate post-intervention 5-24 h period in those with proximal recanalization and in those without. 17 patients were included in the analysis. 12 patients had good initial proximal recanalization but a residual partial or total occlusion of the MCA while five patients failed any recanalization. Seven patients (58.3%) in the first group and none in the second had FER(24) on interval imaging after intervention (p=0.04). The probability of death and disability at discharge was less in patients with FER(24) than those without (p=0.05). More than half of all patients who present with both ICA and MCA occlusions who are only partially recanalized will undergo facilitated endogenous recanalization within the subsequent 24 h following intervention.
 
Background and Purpose Significant 24 h improvement is the strongest indicator of functional recovery following thrombolytic treatment for acute ischemic stroke. This study sought to analyze factors contributing to rapid neurological improvement (RNI) following intra-arterial thrombolytic treatment (IATT). Methods Angiograms and clinical information derived from consecutive patients receiving treatment initiated within 6 h of stroke onset were retrospectively reviewed. RNI was defined as at least 50% 24 h improvement on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score. Logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with RNI. Variables tested included: age, gender, serum glucose, platelet count, pial collateral formation, presenting National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, time to treatment, extent of reperfusion, site and location of occlusion, treatment agent and systolic blood pressure. Results Greater than 50% reperfusion of the involved territory, time to treatment within 270 min and good pial collateral formation (large penumbra zone) significantly predicted RNI. RNI occurred in 31% of the 112 patients studied. RNI occurred in 21/26 (80.8%) patients exhibiting all three favorable variables whereas patients with only one favorable variable had a 6.5% chance of RNI. 94% of patients displaying RNI had a modified Rankin Scale score of 2 or less at 3 months compared with 28.6% without RNI. Conclusions RNI following IATT for stroke is more likely when at least two of the following are present: good reperfusion, good pial collateral formation and treatment within 4.5 h of symptom onset, and is strongly predictive of 3 month outcomes. Important to clinical management, IATT may need to be reconsidered in patients with poor pial collateral formation if time to treatment exceeds 4.5 h.
 
In-stent restenosis (ISR) is a potentially preventable cause of stroke in carotid artery stent (CAS) patients. Understanding the frequency and timing of ISR would be useful in developing optimal protocols for carotid stent surveillance. The time course and frequency of moderate and severe ISR in our single institution prospective registry of CAS procedures is reported here. Data were collected prospectively from 296 consecutive elective CAS procedures. Doppler surveillance was performed at 1, 6 and 12 months and annually thereafter in some cases. Moderate ISR (>50%) was defined as a peak systolic velocity (PSV) > 200 cm/s. Severe ISR (>70%) was defined as PSV > 200 cm/s and end diastolic velocity > 125 cm/s or internal carotid artery/common carotid artery ratio >4. Patients with severe ISR underwent digital subtraction angiography for confirmation and possible retreatment. Clinical follow-up at 1 year was 98%. Clinical and ultrasound follow-up at 1 month was 100%, at 6 months 96% and at 1 year 91%. The incidence of all ISR at 6 months was 8%; 5% moderate and 3% severe. Two patients had asymptomatic occlusions at 6 months (0.8%). Patients with moderate ISR at 6 months did not progress to severe ISR. There were two strokes caused by stent thrombosis, one acute and one delayed. Doppler surveillance is important for detecting ISR after CAS procedures. Severe ISR (>70%) should be retreated in most cases as ISR may progress to occlusion. Asymptomatic patients with moderate ISR (50-69%) at 6 months can be safely followed conservatively. Progression of ISR after 6-12 months is uncommon over a 2-3 year period.
 
The focus of this study was to determine ease of deployment, safety and effectiveness of the LVIS Jr device. A retrospective analysis was performed of 32 cases comprising 34 aneurysms in which the LVIS Jr device was used for stent-assisted coil embolization of intracranial aneurysms from February to October 2012, including all clinical and angiographic data as well as mid-term follow-up (1-12 months of treatment). The median age of the patients was 54 years (range 21-76) and 19 (59%) were women. The aneurysms were ruptured in 12/34 cases (35.3%); 26 (76.4%) were located within the anterior circulation and the remaining 8 (23.5%) were located in the posterior circulation. Eleven of the 34 aneurysms (32.3%) were treated with a Y-stent configuration. Immediate total occlusion was observed in 16/34 (47%), near total occlusion (90-95%) in 5/34 (14.7%) and a 'dog ear' or subtotal occlusion in 12/34 (35.2%). A single aneurysm was treated without coil embolization. Complications occurred in 5/34 cases (15%), including two cases of in-stent thrombosis. Implantation of the LVIS Jr device as a support device for stent-assisted coil embolization seems to be safe and effective. The LVIS Jr device can also be implanted in a Y-stent configuration, offering a novel technique with a potentially lower risk of thromboembolic complications compared with other devices.
 
Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndromes (RCVS) have been documented to take place after an inciting event or illness. They present with headache, altered mental status and focal neurologic findings. The differential diagnosis includes primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS) but one major clinical difference is that the symptoms of RCVS usually resolve within days or weeks whereas PACNS is often fatal. Females of childbearing age are most commonly affected with RCVS. Cases of reversible vasculopathy have also been reported in menopausal women. The hormonal and physiologic changes that take place during the postpartum period and menopause may not be very different from those that occur after a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. A case is presented of a 35-year-old woman who underwent a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and then began experiencing severe headaches, visual changes and hemi-sensory loss. Physical examination, imaging and laboratory findings were descriptive of RCVS, and the patient's rapid recovery was consistent with the usual disease progression of a reversible vasculopathy. A reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome may occur in some circumstances after a hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The mechanisms involved in the development of this condition are explained by current research concerning effects on the vasculature of sudden drops in estrogens and progesterones. More studies are required to further establish the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
 
Pediatric intracranial aneurysms are rare and not well characterized in comparison with those in adults. To analyze our institution's longitudinal experience of endovascular treatment for pediatric aneurysms to better understand this rare condition. A retrospective record review was performed of patients aged <20 years treated with endovascular methods for intracranial aneurysms between 1995 and 2012. There were 31 patients (average 14.4±4.2 years; 20 male, 11 female) with 35 intracranial aneurysms. The rate of subarachnoid hemorrhage as the initial presentation was 48% and the rates of multiple and giant aneurysms were 13% and 31%, respectively; 28.5% of the cases were posterior circulation aneurysms. Fifteen saccular aneurysms occurred in 14 patients and 17 fusiform aneurysms were noted in 14 patients. Two infectious aneurysms were diagnosed in two patients and one traumatic aneurysm occurred in another patient. Thirty-four aneurysms were treated endovascularly and one had thrombosed spontaneously on a follow-up angiogram. Of the 15 saccular aneurysms, 11 were treated with conventional coiling, one was treated with stent-assisted coiling, one was treated with a flow-diverting stent and two were treated with parent vessel occlusion (PVO). Of the 17 fusiform aneurysms, 15 were treated with PVO with or without prior bypass surgery and one was treated with a flow-diverting stent. The rate of permanent complications and a favorable outcome were 2.9% and 87%, respectively. Endovascular treatment of pediatric aneurysms is technically feasible with an acceptable complication rate despite the high incidence of fusiform aneurysms.
 
Background and purpose Follow-up of intracranial aneurysms treated by flow diverter with MRI is complicated by imaging artifacts produced by these devices. This study compares the diagnostic accuracy of three-dimensional time-of-flight MR angiography (3D-TOF-MRA) and contrast-enhanced MRA (CE-MRA) at 3 T for the evaluation of aneurysm occlusion and parent artery patency after flow diversion treatment, with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as the gold standard. Materials and methods Patients treated with flow diverters between January 2009 and January 2013 followed by MRA at 3 T (3D-TOF-MRA and CE-MRA) and DSA within a 48 h period were included in a prospective single-center study. Aneurysm occlusion was assessed with full and simplified Montreal scales and parent artery patency with three-grade and two-grade scales. Results Twenty-two patients harboring 23 treated aneurysms were included. Interobserver agreement using simplified scales for occlusion (Montreal) and parent artery patency were higher for DSA (0.88 and 0.61) and CE-MRA (0.74 and 0.55) than for 3D-TOF-MRA (0.51 and 0.02). Intermodality agreement was higher for CE-MRA (0.88 and 0.32) than for 3D-TOF-MRA (0.59 and 0.11). CE-MRA yielded better accuracy than 3D-TOF-MRA for aneurysm remnant detection (sensitivity 83% vs 50%; specificity 100% vs 100%) and for the status of the parent artery (specificity 63% vs 32%; sensitivity 100% vs 100%). Conclusions At 3 T, CE-MRA is superior to 3D-TOF-MRA for the evaluation of aneurysm occlusion and parent artery patency after flow diversion treatment. However, intraluminal evaluation remains difficult with MRA regardless of the sequence used.
 
3D-DSA is the 'gold standard' imaging technique for the diagnosis and characterization of intracranial aneurysms. To compare the image quality and accuracy of low dose 3D-DSA protocols in patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms. The standard manufacturer 5 s 0.36 μGy/f protocol and one of three low dose 3D-DSA protocols (5 s 0.10 μGy/f, 5 s 0.17 μGy/f, 5 s 0.24 μGy/f) were performed in 12 patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Three interventional neuroradiologists, two neurosurgeons, and two neurologists rated the image quality of all 3D reconstructions as good, acceptable, or poor. Three interventional neuroradiologists measured two dimensions of each aneurysm for all protocols. The radiation dose metric Ka,r (reference point air kerma, in mGy) was recorded for each 3D-DSA protocol. The standard 5 s 0.36 μGy/f protocol earned the highest average subjective rating of 2.76, followed by the 5 s 0.24 μGy/f (2.72), and 5 s 0.17 μGy/f (2.59) protocols. The ranges of differences in aneurysm measurements between the 5 s 0.24 μGy/f protocol and the standard were <0.5 mm. The median Ka,r metrics for each protocol were as follows: 5 s 0.36 μGy/f (89.0 mGy), 5 s 0.24 μGy/f (57.7 mGy), 5 s 0.17 μGy/f (45.9 mGy), and 5 s 0.10 μGy/f (27.6 mGy). Low dose 3D-DSA protocols with preserved image quality are achievable, and can help reduce exposure of patients and operators to unnecessary radiation. The 5 s 0.24 μGy/f protocol generates one-third smaller radiation dose than the standard 5 s 0.36 μGy/f protocol without compromising diagnostic image quality or accuracy.
 
Background/objective: This was a retrospective single operator experience of aneurysm coiling at the Ochsner Clinic, comparing the Penumbra coil 400 with the other most commonly used coil types, Orbit and Galaxy. Methods: 40 aneurysms treated exclusively with Orbit or Galaxy coils and 18 aneurysms treated only with Penumbra coils from 2010 to February 2012 were compared. Measurements included packing density, number of coils per unit aneurysm volume, and total coil length per unit aneurysm volume. Results: Mean packing density of 33.7% using Penumbra coils was significantly greater than 24.4% for Orbit/Galaxy coils. The number of coils per aneurysm volume of 0.026 coils/mm(3) for the Penumbra coil was significantly lower than 0.114 coils/mm(3) for the Orbit/Galaxy coils. Aneurysm occlusion rates were similar in both groups. Conclusions: Compared with the Orbit/Galaxy coils, our analysis suggests that the Penumbra coil is more efficient and cost effective in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms.
 
Background and purpose: The Penumbra Coil 400 System (PC 400) is the newly introduced platinum coil system designed specifically to enhance filling efficiency by increasing coil diameter. Our goal was to study the packing and treatment advantage of the PC 400's unique geometric configuration compared with conventional coils (controls). Materials and methods: 16 aneurysms embolized with the PC 400 in 2011 were compared with 79 equally matched aneurysms embolized with conventional coils from 2004 to 2011. Primary outcomes assessed were acute packing density, embolization time, and the number of coils required for aneurysm occlusion. Results: Aneurysm embolization with the PC 400 achieved a higher packing density (36.8% vs 28.1%; p<0.005) and with fewer coils (an average of 3.9 vs 6.1 coils per aneurysm; p<0.05). In addition, the total procedural time for the subjects treated with the PC 400 was significantly less (45.7 vs 64.1 min; p<0.05). There were no procedural complications associated with the PC 400. Conclusions: Compared with conventional coils, the PC 400 is more efficient in the embolization of cerebral aneurysms, achieving greater packing density with fewer coils and less time without compromising safety.
 
Antiplatelet agents are required to prevent thromboembolic complications from recently deployed intracranial stents, yet they carry a risk of bleeding complications that may be serious in patients with recent subarachnoid hemorrhage. Consecutive patients at a single institution who had ruptured intracranial saccular aneurysms treated with stent assisted coiling were retrospectively reviewed. Our primary outcomes were ischemic stroke related to the stent and bleeding complications possibly related to antithrombotic therapy. Secondary outcomes included 3 month follow-up National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. 44 aneurysms in 42 patients were treated. Seven patients experienced ischemic strokes during their hospitalization. Five ischemic strokes were secondary to vasospasm; one was definitely related to thrombus formation within the stent and one was possibly related to the stent. Two patients had asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhages and one patient had a symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. Patients with Hunt and Hess grades I-II (n=25) experienced no stent associated ischemic strokes or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages. The two stent associated ischemic strokes and one symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in patients with Hunt and Hess grades III-V (n=17) and patients with external ventricular drains (EVDs) (n=17). Only one patient had disability at the 3 month follow-up that was possibly related to the stent (mRS score of 3 and NIHSS score of 2). These data suggest that higher grade hemorrhage patients, especially those with EVDs, are at greater risk for ischemic stroke and/or bleeding complications than lower grade patients. However, the complications had a small impact on mid-term disability outcomes in this cohort.
 
Flow-related feeding artery aneurysm. The left panel shows a two-dimensional digital subtraction angiography (2D DSA) image, the middle panel shows a three-dimensional DSA image, and the right panel shows an early time frame of a four-dimensional (4D DSA) image. A very small aneurysm is clearly visible inside the blue circle, which is more clearly visualized in the 4D DSA image with elimination of vascular overlap.  
Intranidal aneurysm. The left panel shows a two-dimensional digital subtraction angiography (2D DSA) image, the middle panel shows a three-dimensional (3D DSA) image and the right panel shows a four-dimensional (4D DSA) image. The aneurysm can hardly be visualized on 3D DSA due to overlap, while it is clearly visible using an early time frame of 4D DSA.  
Left panel: a fully reconstructed three-dimensional image. The overlapping arteries and veins obscure the angioarchitecture of the nidus. Right panel: two views of a series of time frames from the four-dimensional digital subtraction angiography reconstruction showing the rapid filling of the arteriovenous malformation. Each image is separated by 0.2 s. Notice how the structures seen on the earlier time point are obscured by overlapping vessels at a later time.
The angioarchitectural features of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) provide key information regarding natural history and treatment planning. Because of rapid filling and vascular overlap, two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) digital subtraction angiography (DSA) are often suboptimal for evaluation of these features. We have developed an algorithm that derives a series of fully time-resolved 3D DSA volumes (four-dimensional (4D) DSA) at up to 30 frames/s from a conventional 3D DSA. The temporal/spatial resolution of 4D reconstructions is significantly higher than that provided by current MR angiography and CT angiography techniques. 4D reconstruction allows viewing of an AVM from any angle at any time during its opacification. This feasibility study investigated the potential of 4D DSA to improve the ability to analyze angioarchitectural features compared with conventional 2D and 3D DSA. 2D, 3D, and 4D DSA reconstructions of angiographic studies of six AVMs were evaluated by three cerebrovascular neurosurgeons and one interventional neuroradiologist. These observers evaluated the ability of each modality to visualize the angioarchitectural features of the AVMs. They also compared the information provided using the combination of 2D and 3D DSA with that provided by a 4D DSA reconstruction. By consensus, 4D DSA provided the best ability to visualize the internal features of the AVM including intranidal aneurysms, fistulae, venous obstructions, and sequence of filling and draining. 2D and 3D images in comparison were limited because of overlap of the vasculature. In this small series, 4D DSA provided better ability to visualize the angioarchitecture of an AVM than conventional methods. Further experience is required to determine the ultimate utility of this technique. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
 
Onyx HD-500 embolization of intracranial aneurysms leads to high rates of complete and durable occlusion. However, little information exists as to what constitutes an optimal immediate angiographic result. We devised a simple grading scheme based on the pattern of parent artery and aneurysm neck reconstruction, and correlated it with long term outcome. All cases of Onyx embolization for unruptured aneurysms performed between September 2008 and April 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Immediate angiographic results were categorized according to the pattern of extra-aneurysmal Onyx leakage: grade A, none; grade B, 'hat brim' lamination; and grade C, 'ectopic' Onyx (C1, non-flow limiting; C2, flow limiting). Results of follow-up vascular imaging were reviewed and correlated with the angiographic grade. 24 embolization procedures were performed in 21 patients with 23 aneurysms. Aneurysm size ranged from 2.5 to 24 mm and neck width from 2 to 8 mm. Complete occlusion was achieved in 20 cases (83.3%) and subtotal occlusion in three (12.5%). Immediate angiographic results were: grade A in ten (41.7%), grade B in eight (33.3%), and grade C in six (25%). Stable angiographic results were seen in 85%, 94%, 94%, and 100% at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. Angiographic recurrence was observed in four cases (16.7%), all grade A (p=0.006). Delayed parent vessel occlusion occurred in two cases (8.3%), both grade C2 (p=0.014). This simple grading system may help predict long term angiographic results. Hat brim Onyx lamination seems to provide an optimal balance between treatment durability and parent vessel patency. Prospective validation is warranted.
 
Two independent post-approval registries have reported favorable periprocedural and short term outcomes with the use of the Wingspan stent for treatment of intracranial arterial stenosis. Data on long term clinical and imaging outcomes after Wingspan stent placement are limited. All patients treated with the Wingspan stent in a single academic center from January 2006 to February 2008 were identified. Data on stenting indication, severity of stenosis, technical success, re-stenosis and clinical outcome were collected. 51 patients were treated with the Wingspan stent system for a symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis of 50-99%. The technical success rate was 98%. The mean pre- and post-stent stenoses were 73 (11)% and 21 (7)%. Any stroke or death within 24 h of the procedure occurred in 1/51 (2%). The frequency of any stroke or death within 30 days or ipsilateral stroke beyond 30 days was 5/51 (10.0%) at a mean follow-up time of 14.6 months (range 8-30). The frequency of ≥ 50% re-stenosis on follow-up imaging was 7/29 (24%) at 8.6 (4.4) months (range 3-20); all were detected on the initial imaging within 3-6 months, and only one was symptomatic. The use of the Wingspan stent in patients with ≥50% symptomatic intracranial stenosis is associated with good long term clinical outcome. One stroke occurred after the first 30 days, suggesting a significant stabilization of the adverse event rate after the first month.
 
Solitaire FR revascularization device is a self-expanding, nitinol system with closed cells and a longitudinal split, overlap design.
Treatment strategy
(A) A frontal angiogram showing a mid-third basilar artery (BA) occlusion. (B, C) Solitaire FR deployed through the thrombus and allowing partial opacification of the BA. (D) Following the first pass of the Solitaire FR, the left posterior cerebral artery (PCA) remained occluded. (E, F) A second pass in the left PCA resulted in complete recanalization of the BA and its branches (Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 3).
Patient characteristics
A thromboembolic occlusion of the right anterior cerebral artery (ACA) occurred during clot removal from the ipsilateral carotid termination. (A) Initial frontal angiogram showing a right terminal carotid occlusion. (B) Solitaire FR deployed through the thrombus allowed immediate flow restoration. (C) After Solitaire FR retrieval, the thrombus is removed from the occlusion site. (D, E) Diffusion weighted imaging before and after the procedure shows an extension of ischemic lesion in the right ACA territory.
Prompt recanalization of cerebral arteries in patients diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke is known to be associated with a better clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to present our initial experience regarding the efficacy and safety of the Solitaire FR as a revascularization device. 56 consecutive patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke underwent intra-arterial therapy using the Solitaire FR revascularization device. Immediate angiographic results and early clinical outcomes are presented. Solitaire FR was successful in achieving recanalization in 50 out of 56 patients (89%) with a final Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score ≥2b. Five out of 56 patients had procedure related complications: two asymptomatic subarachnoid hemorrhages, two thromboembolic events and one symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (PH2). Thirty patients (53.5%) demonstrated at discharge a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Score of ≤1 or an improvement of at least 10 points from baseline, and 26 patients (46%) had a modified Rankin Score ≤2. Solitaire FR is successful in achieving a high rate of arterial recanalization with a low complication rate. The Solitaire FR is a promising thrombectomy tool with a high degree of effectiveness, safety and ease of use.
 
Baseline characteristics
Introduction Greater attention has been directed to endovascular recanalization of acute ischemic stroke in septuagenarians and above. Technique A retrospective chart review was conducted to include patients treated for acute ischemic stroke from 2006 to 2012. All patients underwent initial neurological assessment and non-contrast head CT. Patients treated from 2009 to 2012 additionally received emergent CT angiogram and CT perfusion. 51 patients met the clinical and radiographic criteria and underwent multimodal endovascular revascularization for acute ischemic events. Results All patients underwent cerebral angiography and met angiographic criteria for endovascular thrombolysis. 34 patients (67%) were older than 80 years of age. 23 patients (45%) received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator prior to admission. Eight (16%) patients underwent stent placement after intra-arterial thrombolysis, 10 (20%) underwent balloon angioplasty and seven (14%) underwent both angioplasty and stent placement. 21 (41%) required only intra-arterial thrombolytics. An improvement in Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction score was noted in 34 patients (67%). The average modified Rankin Scale score on discharge was 3.9. Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in three patients (6%); none required surgery. One patient (1.9%) had a postoperative retroperitoneal hematoma, which was managed conservatively. Two fatalities resulted from intraoperative vessel rupture (3.9%), with a combined morbidity and mortality of 27.5%. Conclusions Multimodal endovascular recanalization of acute ischemic stroke is a relatively safe treatment option in patients older than 75 years of age. Careful patient selection by clinical and radiographic inclusion criteria is necessary for the successful management of stroke in this age group.
 
New ischemic brain lesions are common findings after cerebral diagnostic angiography and endovascular therapy. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) can be used for detection of these lesions. The aim of the present study was to investigate the incidence of DWI lesions after stent-assisted coiling and the evaluation of possible risk factors. The study included a total of 75 consecutive patients treated with stent-assisted coiling. Post-procedural DWI of the brain was performed to detect ischemic lesions. Demographic data, aneurysm characteristics and angiographic parameters were correlated with properties of DWI lesions. In post-procedural DWI, 48 of the 75 patients (64%) had 163 DWI lesions in a pattern consistent with embolic events. The number of patients with DWI lesions was significantly increased in older patients (≥55 years) and longer intervention times (≥120 min). The ischemic brain volume was significantly increased in older patients (≥55 years) as well as in patients who were implanted with a shorter stent (<20 mm). Thromboembolic events are common after stent-assisted coiling with an incidence comparable to DWI studies after coiling alone. Despite several devices and low operator experience, stent-assisted coiling for intracranial aneurysms has a very low risk of permanent neurologic disability. Further studies are necessary to improve the safety of stent-assisted coiling for patients in conditions with increased risk potential (age, procedure time, stent length).
 
Background: Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms relies on coaxial catheter support systems to provide safe and stable access. Large-bore distal intracranial catheters have become necessary for aneurysm treatment with flow diverting devices including the Pipeline embolization device (PED). These catheters must accommodate 0.027 inch microcatheters, be supple enough to track distally and be able to provide sufficient support for manipulations required for PED deployment. Methods: A single-center aneurysm database was reviewed to identify patients who underwent anterior circulation aneurysm embolization with the PED while using the Navien distal intracranial catheter. Data were collected regarding the equipment used, cervical internal carotid artery (ICA) tortuosity, intraprocedural Navien positions and periprocedural complications. Results: The Navien catheter (5 Fr, 0.070 inch outer diameter, 0.058 inch inner diameter, 115 cm) was used in 78 cases of anterior circulation PED. It was tracked into position over a Marksman microcatheter in 76 of the 78 cases (97%). The final catheter tip position was in the cervical ICA (1/78, 1%), petrous ICA (23/78, 30%), proximal cavernous ICA (48/78, 62%), distal cavernous/clinoidal ICA (3/78, 4%), supraclinoid ICA (2/78, 2%) and the M1 segment (1/78, 2%). In each case the catheter was tracked to its desired position (100% clinical success) despite significant proximal vessel tortuosity in 34 cases (44%). No clinically significant catheter-related complications occurred. Conclusions: The Navien intracranial catheter is an important component of the triaxial system for embolization of cerebral aneurysms with the PED. This catheter is highly trackable to distal positions, atraumatic and provides sufficient support for the microcatheter manipulations used during typical PED deployments.
 
With the advancement of an aging society in the world, an increasing number of elderly patients have been hospitalized due to aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). There is no study that compares the elderly cases of aSAH who receive the definitive treatment with those who treated conservatively. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of the definitive surgery for the acute subarachnoid cases aged 80 or older. We reviewed 500 consecutive cases with acute aSAH with surgical indication for aneurysm repair. Inoperable cases such as dead-on-arrival and the cases with both pupils dilated were excluded. We compared the cases aged 80 or older that received clipping or coil embolization with the controls that the family selected conservative treatment. 69 cases were included in this study (ranged 80-98, male:female=9:60). 56 cases (81.2%) had an aneurysm in the anterior circulation. 23 cases received clipping, 20 cases coil embolization and 26 cases treated conservatively. The cases with aneurysm repair showed significantly better clinical outcome than the controls, while World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (WFNS) grade on admission and premorbid modified Rankin Scale showed no difference between them. Better prognosis was obtained when ruptured aneurysm was repaired in the elderly than it was treated conservatively. From the results of this study, we should not hesitate to offer the definitive surgery for the elderly with aSAH.
 
Top-cited authors
Adnan Siddiqui
  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Imran Chaudry
  • Medical University of South Carolina
Donald Frei
  • radiology imaging associates
Raul G Nogueira
  • Emory University
Felipe C Albuquerque
  • Barrow Neurological Institute