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1.  Two case series reports: 8 cases of arachnoid Temporoparietal cysts (middle fossa & sylvian fissure) and 2 cases of chronic subdural hematoma 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 15.
Arachnoid cysts are common intracranial space-occupying lesions which are often found in middle fossa and temporal regions of the skull. Many of these lesions are asymptomatic but some might appear as space-occupying lesions. Almost arachnoid cyst rupture, either following a trauma or spontaneously can result in intracystic hemorrhage, subdural hematoma and hygroma. The present study presents two case series including 8 cases of arachnoid cysts in temporal region and 2 cases of subdural hemorrhage.
Demographic data and clinical and neuroimaging features of 8 patients were evaluated.
A total of 8 patients with arachnoid cysts in temporal region were assessed: age range 3 to 27 years old, 5 male and 3 female. The most important complains of the patients during their visit were seizure (3 cases), headache (4 cases), increased head circumference (1 case), parietotemporal arachnoid cyst in right (4 cases) and left hemisphere (4 cases). The conservative treatment and follow-up were performed in 6 out of 8 patients. In the other 2 patients, for craniotomy surgery with hematoma evacuation was performed. Furthermore, in the surgery the fenestration of arachnoid cyst wall into the basal cisterns as well as low pressure cysto-peritoneal shunt was performed.
The risk of annual hemorrhage for patients with arachnoid cyst is very low. However, when the hemorrhage occurs it is treated by hematoma evacuation in most cases, but sometimes there is a need for fenestration of the cyst into basal cisterns under endoscopy, microsurgical or cystoperitoneal shunt.
Arachnoid cyst, Middle fossa, Chronic subdural hematoma
PMCID: PMC3571541
2.  The role of neuronavigation in intracranial endoscopic procedures 
Neurosurgical Review  2011;35(3):351-358.
In occlusive hydrocephalus, cysts and some ventricular tumours, neuroendoscopy has replaced shunt operations and microsurgery. There is an ongoing discussion if neuronavigation should routinely accompany neuroendoscopy or if its use should be limited to selected cases. In this prospective clinical series, the role of neuronavigation during intracranial endoscopic procedures was investigated. In 126 consecutive endoscopic procedures (endoscopic third ventriculostomy, ETV, n = 65; tumour biopsy/resection, n = 36; non-tumourous cyst fenestration, n = 23; abscess aspiration and hematoma removal, n = 1 each), performed in 121 patients, neuronavigation was made available. After operation and videotape review, the surgeon had to categorize the role of neuronavigation: not beneficial; beneficial, but not essential; essential. Overall, neuronavigation was of value in more than 50% of the operations, but its value depended on the type of the procedure. Neuronavigation was beneficial, but not essential in 16 ETVs (24.6%), 19 tumour biopsies/resections (52.7%) and 14 cyst fenestrations (60.9%). Neuronavigation was essential in 1 ETV (2%), 11 tumour biopsies/resections (30.6%) and 8 cyst fenestrations (34.8%). Neuronavigation was not needed/not used in 48 ETVs (73.9%), 6 endoscopic tumour operations (16.7%) and 1 cyst fenestration (4.3%). For ETV, neuronavigation mostly is not required. In the majority of the remaining endoscopic procedures, however, neuronavigation is at least beneficial. This finding suggests integrating neuronavigation into the operative routine in endoscopic tumour operations and cyst fenestrations.
PMCID: PMC3375008  PMID: 22170178
Neuroendoscopy; Neuronavigation; Third ventriculostomy
3.  “Juxtafacet cysts”, a misleading name for cystic formations of mobile spine (CYFMOS) 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1499-1505.
To present 58 cystic space-occupying formations of the spinal canal in 53 cases; these formations are called “juxtafacet cysts”. Fifty-Three patients (33 women and 20 men, with an average age of 60.8 years) were evaluated retrospectively by neurosurgery. All of the patients had received simple X-P, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery. The neurological findings were evaluated on admission and in a follow-up review. Surgical intervention was performed on all patients and they underwent gross-total cyst removal. During surgery, the origin of a cyst was well observed. Follow-up data ranged from 6 to 46 months. Patient outcome was graded on a scale of excellent, good, or poor. Histological findings were evaluated. In 53 patients 58 cysts were identified. Four of the patients had multiple cysts. All cysts were associated with mobile spine. Fifty-five cysts were found in the lumbo-sacral region, two cysts were found in the cervico-thoracic region and one cyst in the thoracic region. Forty-two patients presented back pain and 52 patients presented radicular pain. Four patients had a cauda equina syndrome. Sensory disturbance was observed in 24 cases and motor weakness was observed in 21 cases. Claudication was observed in 19 cases. All cases with cervico-thoracic or thoracic cysts presented myelopathy. The duration of these clinical symptoms ranged from 10 days to 10 years. After surgery there was no case of a recurrent cyst during the follow-up period. Thirty-four cases had an excellent outcome, 18 a good outcome, and one a poor outcome. Out of 58 cysts 32 were joint cysts (11 synovial cysts, 21 ganglion cysts). A further 19 were flavum cysts, one was a posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) cyst and six others were unknown pseudo cysts. In 34 of the cysts we found hemosiderin deposits and in eight amyloid deposits. Present investigation and findings in literature show a clear comparison of these cystic formations and the mobile part of the spine. An anatomical relation to a vertebral joint (“facet”) is only found in some of the cases (32 of 58). Further to that, the name “cyst” is not correct either, because most of the cystic formations are presented without a cell lining on their internal wall and therefore they are pseudo-cystic. We think that these cystic formations should be called “cystic formations of mobile spine” (CYFMOS) rather than “juxtafacet cysts”. A surgical intervention is the best treatment for these cysts if they cause a compression of nerve roots or/and of the spinal cord.
PMCID: PMC2200759  PMID: 17203271
Synovial cyst; Pseudo cyst; Ganglion cyst; Juxtafacet cyst; Mobile spine
4.  Microsurgical fenestration of perineural cysts to the thecal sac at the level of the distal dural sleeve 
Acta Neurochirurgica  2011;153(7):1427-1434.
Surgery for symptomatic sacral perineural cysts remains an issue of discussion. Assuming micro-communications between the cyst and thecal sac resulting in a valve mechanism and trapping of CSF as a pathomechanism, microsurgical fenestration from the cyst to the thecal sac was performed to achieve free CSF communication.
In 13 consecutive patients (10 female, 3 male), MRI revealed sacral perineural cysts and excluded other pathologies. Micro-communication between the thecal sac and the cysts was shown by delayed contrast filling of the cysts on postmyelographic CT. Surgical fenestration achieved free CSF communication between the thecal sac and cysts in all patients. The patient histories, follow-up examinations and self-assessment scales were analyzed. Symptoms at initial presentation included lumbosacral pain, pseudoradicular symptoms, genital pain and urinary dysfunction. Mean follow-up was 10.7 ± 6.6 months.
Besides one CSF fistula, no surgical complications were observed. Five patients did not improve after surgery; in four of these cases multiple cysts were found, but small and promptly filling cysts remained untreated. Seven patients reported lasting benefit following surgery; three of these had single cysts, and all had cysts >1 cm. One patient initially benefited from cyst fenestration but experienced recurrent pain within 2 months postoperatively. Re-myelography revealed delayed contrast filling of the recurrent cyst; however, surgical revision did not lead to an improvement despite successful fenestration and collapse of the cyst revealed by postoperative imaging.
Microsurgical fenestration of sacral perineural cysts to the thecal sac is a surgical approach that has shown success in the treatment of lumbosacral pain, pseudoradicular symptoms, genital pain and urinary dysfunction associated with sacral perineural cysts. Our analysis, however, shows that mainly patients with singular large cysts benefit from this treatment.
PMCID: PMC3111602  PMID: 21562735
Sacral perineural cyst; Tarlov cyst; Meningeal cyst; Meningeal diverticulum; Sacral radiculopathy
5.  Arachnoid cysts of the left temporal fossa: impaired preoperative cognition and postoperative improvement. 
Thirteen adult patients were operated on for symptomatic arachnoid cysts in the left temporal fossa; seven with an internal shunt procedure during local anaesthesia, and five with a craniotomy with fenestration of the cyst to the basal cisterns. In one patient, an initial internal shunt was transformed to a cystoperitoneal shunt. After surgery, all patients experienced relief of symptoms. Reduction of cyst volume occurred in 11 patients. The patients were tested for brain asymmetries related to language and verbal memory before and after operation, with a dichotic listening technique with simultaneous presentation of different auditory stimuli to the two ears. In the preoperative memory test, the patients showed impaired total recall compared with healthy control subjects, and recall from the right ear was significantly impaired. The patients also performed poorly in a forced attention task consisting of dichotic presentations of consonant-vowel syllables. In addition to clinical improvement, the surgical procedures led to improvements in both dichotic perception and memory. Overall memory performance was enhanced, mainly because of improved recall from the right ear. This normalisation of memory function was found as early as four hours after the operation. The results indicate that arachnoid cysts in the left temporal fossa may impair cognitive function, that neuropsychological tests are necessary to disclose these impairments, and that cognitive improvement occurs after surgery.
PMCID: PMC486033  PMID: 7673959
6.  Technical Considerations to Prevent Postoperative Endocrine Dysfunction after the Fenestration of Suprasellar Arachnoid Cyst 
The endocrine dysfunction after the operation for suprasellar arachnoid cysts is not rare. The careful operation to prevent structures can prevent this complication, but it is not enough and effective to prevent it. Authors present technical surgical considerations to prevent this complication with a review of our suprasellar arachnoid cyst patients who had postoperative endocrine dysfunction.
From January 2002 to December 2009, eight patients who had suprasellar arachnoid cysts with visual impairment underwent surgery. The mean age was 57.1 years (range, 33-77). Preoperatively, their endocrine function was clinically normal, and laboratory hormonal levels were within normal ranges. Cyst fenestration was performed by craniotomy (n=6) or by a neuro-endoscopic procedure (n=2), and, simultaneously, along with a cyst wall biopsy.
The surgery was uneventful in all eight patients, and there were no neurological morbidities. However, in four patients, endocrine dysfunction occurred postoperatively. We compared these four patients (group A) to the other 4 patients without endocrine dysfunction (group B) with intraoperative findings and with the histopathological findings of the cyst wall biopsy. The group A patients had more abundant vasculature on the cystic wall than the group B patients according to both the intraoperative findings and the histopathological findings.
When performing a surgical cyst wall fenestration, surgeons should try to minimize the destruction of the cystic wall vasculature and not to make the fenestration at a site that contains many vascular striae.
PMCID: PMC3115145  PMID: 21716897
Cyst fenestration; Endocrine dysfunction; Suprasellar arachnoid cyst
7.  Spinal endodermal cyst resembling an arachnoid cyst in appearance: Pitfalls in intraoperative diagnosis of cystic lesions 
Surgical treatment of endodermal cysts requires total removal of the cyst wall during the first operation to prevent recurrence. Therefore, intraoperative pathological diagnosis plays an important role in determining the optimal surgical strategy. We present a rare case of a spinal endodermal cyst and discuss its diagnostic difficulty during the intraoperative pathological examination.
Case Description:
An 18-year-old male presented with progressive paraparesis and precordial oppression. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging revealed an intradural extramedullary cystic mass having the same signal intensity as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) without gadolinium enhancement at the T1-T2 level. The preoperative diagnosis was an endodermal or arachnoid cyst. The patient underwent surgery. An intraoperative frozen section showed a cyst wall consisting of loose, thin, fibrous tissue intermittently covered by flattened epithelium. The diagnosis was an arachnoid cyst. Accordingly, partial resection of the cyst wall was performed to create CSF communication between the cyst and subarachnoid space. However, the postoperative pathological diagnosis from permanent sections was an endodermal cyst, which was lined with ciliated columnar epithelium that was immunopositive for cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen. Subsequent paraffin embedding and immunostaining of the intraoperative frozen sample also confirmed patchy cytokeratin expression by all flattened epithelial cells. The patient's cyst had refilled 10 months after surgery, and he subsequently underwent fenestration of the cyst wall and placement of a cyst-subarachnoid shunt.
Examination of multiple samples from multiple sites or intraoperative immunostaining of frozen sections is recommended for accurate intraoperative diagnosis of endodermal cysts.
PMCID: PMC3424685  PMID: 22937478
Intradural spinal cyst; endodermal cyst; arachnoid cyst; intraoperative pathological diagnosis; cytokeratin
8.  Endoscopic Management of Cranial Arachnoid Cysts Using Extra-Channel Method 
Arachnoid cysts (ACs) can be cured by making the definite and wide communication between the cyst and arachnoid space using endoscopy, but often it is impossible only through the usual working-channel (intra-channel) procedures. We discuss and propose a more valuable endoscopic technique with the presentation of our series of cases.
We treated 9 patients with cortical AC in various locations with extra-channel endoscopic techniques. The patients ranged in age from 3 years to 60 years (mean age, 37.2 yrs). The follow-up period ranged from 12 to 26 months (mean follow-up duration, 17.2 months). All patients had large AC compressing the adjacent brain with clinical symptoms or signs. The authors performed extensive fenestration via single burr hole with the aid of endoscope. Being bypassed the rigid endoscope, through the space between the shaft of endoscope and guiding cannula (extra-channel method), fenestration procedures were done in the dry fields.
Eight (88.9%) patients had been treated successfully with endoscope. One patient required shunt procedure. Among the eight patients who were treated with endoscopic procedure, 6 patients (66.7%) showed cyst reduction, and two (22.2%) showed disappearance of cyst.
We suggest that extra-channel method will be simple and easy to perform using more valuable instruments with wider working area, and may promise better results compared to the conventional intra-channel endoscopic procedures.
PMCID: PMC2899030  PMID: 20617088
Cranial arachnoid cyst; Endoscopic procedure; Fenestration
9.  Surgical Treatment of Brain Tumors in Infants Less than 6 months of Age and Literature Review 
World neurosurgery  2011;78(1-2):137-144.
Brain tumors are rare in infants under 6-months of age. These tumors can be challenging to treat surgically. We analyzed a modern series of patients treated by a multidisciplinary team at a tertiary care center and performed a literature review of this unique population.
Retrospective clinical data was collected for patients surgically treated for intracranial mass lesions at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1998 to 2007. Dermoid cysts and other skull-based lesions were excluded from the analysis.
Sixteen patients under 6-months of age underwent surgery for primary intracranial mass lesions. The median age of the patients at surgery was 5.2 months (range 1.4 to 6 months of age). Children most often presented with a bulging fontanelle, hydrocephalus, or macrocephaly (7 patients). Vomiting was seen in 5 patients, cranial nerve palsies in 1 patient, and seizures in 3 patients.
All patients had tumor resections and post-operatively were monitored in the intensive care unit. The final pathology consisted of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (3 cases), primitive neuroectodermal tumor/medulloblastoma (3 cases), choroid plexus papilloma (2 cases), astrocytoma (2 cases), ganglioglioma (2 cases), desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma (2), glioblastoma multiforme (1), and choroid plexus carcinoma (1).
Two intra-operative deaths occurred. Of the surviving 14, a gross total resection was achieved in 4. Adjuvant therapy was determined by a multidisciplinary team composed of neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, and radiation oncology. Seven patients were treated with chemotherapy, 1 patient had proton beam therapy. Five-year overall survival was 45%. The eight surviving patients had neurological sequelae, and developmental outcome was variable.
Brain tumors are uncommon in children under 6-months of age. Patients present with a variety of tumor pathologies. Children who survive have neurological sequelae. More studies are necessary to understand the impact that different treatment options, tumor pathology, and tumor location have on neurological outcome.
PMCID: PMC3292637  PMID: 22120270
brain tumor; surgery; neonates; congenital
10.  Diagnosis and surgical strategy for sacral meningeal cysts with check-valve mechanism: technical note 
Acta Neurochirurgica  2012;155(2):309-313.
There is agreement that symptomatic sacral meningeal cysts with a check-valve mechanism and/or large cysts representing space-occupying lesions should be treated surgically. This study investigated factors indicating a need for surgical intervention and surgical techniques for sacral meningeal cysts with a check-valve mechanism.
In ten patients presenting with sciatica and neurological deficits, myelography, computed tomography (CT) myelography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MR imaging) detected sacral meningeal cysts with a check-valve mechanism. One patient had two primary cysts. Ten cysts were type 2 and one cyst was type 1. Nine of the ten patients had not undergone previous surgery, while the remaining case involved recurrent cyst. For the seven patients with normal (i.e., not huge or recurrent) type 2 cysts and no previous surgery (eight cysts), suture after collapse of the cyst wall was performed. For the recurrent type 2 cyst, duraplasty and suture with collapse of the cyst wall were performed to eliminate the check-valve mechanism. For the remaining type 2 cyst, a primary root was sacrificed because of the huge size of the cyst. For the type 1 cyst, the neck of the cyst was ligated.
In all cases, chief complaints disappeared immediately postoperatively and no deterioration of clinical symptoms has been seen after a mean follow-up of 27 months.
The presence or absence of a check-valve mechanism is very important in determining the need for surgical intervention for sacral meningeal cysts.
PMCID: PMC3552371  PMID: 23160631
Sacral meningeal cyst; Check-valve mechanism; Surgical strategy
11.  Polycystic Liver Disease 
Annals of surgery  2009;250(1):112-118.
To identify operative morbidity, mortality, and long-term outcome after operative treatment for symptomatic polycystic liver disease (PLD) and develop a treatment algorithm for patients with PLD.
PLD represents a challenging clinical problem that can result in massive hepatomegaly and various complications, leading to significant decline in health status and quality of life. The optimal surgical treatment for this disease is still evolving.
All patients who underwent hepatic resection, cyst fenestration, or liver transplantation for PLD from 1985 to 2006 were identified retrospectively. Long-term outcomes were evaluated by patient survey. Mean follow-up was 8 ± 0.5 years.
Of 141 patients (122 women; age: 51 ± 1 years) with PLD, 117 had concomitant polycystic kidney disease. All patients suffered from symptomatic hepatomegaly with 85% being functionally impaired (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status: 1–3). Despite significant inferior vena cava or hepatic venous compression in 65%, hepatic function was commonly preserved. A total of 124 patients underwent partial hepatectomy with cyst fenestration, 10 underwent cyst fenestration alone, and 7 underwent liver transplantation for primary treatment of PLD. Overall operative morbidity and mortality was 58% and 4%, respectively, with major complications (Clavien grade: III–V) in 30%. Five- and 10-year survival was 90% and 78%, respectively. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status performance status normalized or improved in 75% of patients and 73% returned to work full-time. At follow-up, health survey scores were similar to the general population despite subsequent recurrence of symptoms in 73% of patients.
Selective patients with massive hepatomegaly from PLD benefit from operative intervention. The type of operation performed is mainly dependent on the distribution of the cysts, coincident sectoral vascular patency and parenchymal preservation, and hepatic reserve. Hepatic resection can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality, prompt and durable relief of symptoms, and maintenance of liver function. Cyst fenestration and liver transplantation, though effective in selected patients, are less broadly applicable.
PMCID: PMC2925647  PMID: 19561475
12.  Fenestrated Endovascular Grafts for the Repair of Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysms 
Executive Summary
Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) allows the exclusion of the dilated aneurismal segment of the aorta from the systematic circulation. The procedure requires, however, that the endograft extends to the healthy parts of the aorta above and below the aneurysm, yet the neck of a juxtarenal aortic aneurysm (JRA) is too short for a standard endovascular repair. Fenestrated endovascular aortic repair (f—EVAR) provides a solution to overcome this problem by enabling the continuation of blood flow to the renal and visceral arteries through holes or ‘fenestrations’ in the graft. These fenestrations are designed to match the ostial diameter of the renal and visceral arteries.
There are three varieties fenestration, small, large, and scallop, and their location needs to be customized to fit the anatomy of the patient. If the device is not properly designed, if the alignment is inaccurate, or if the catheterization of the visceral arteries is not possible, the procedure may fail. In such cases, conversion to open surgery may become the only option as fenestrated endografts are not retrievable.
It is recommended that a stent be placed within each small fenestration to the target artery to prevent shuttering of the artery or occlusion. Many authors have noted an increased risk of vessel occlusion in unstented fenestrations and scallops.
Once placed in a patient, life-long follow-up at regular intervals is necessary to ensure the graft remains in its intended location, and that the components have adequate overlap. Should the need arise, routine follow-up allows the performance of timely and appropriate intervention through detection of events that could impact the long-term outcomes.
Alternative Technology
The technique of fenestrated endovascular grafting is still in evolution and few studies have been with published mid-term outcome data. As the technique become more common in vascular surgery practices, it will be important to determine if it can provide better outcomes than open surgical repair (OSR).
In an OSR approach, aortic clamping above one or both renal arteries, or above the visceral arteries, is required. The higher the level of aortic clamping, the greater the risk of cardiac stress and renal or visceral ischemia. During suprarenal or supraceliac aortic clamping, strain-induced myocardial ischemia may also occur due to concomitant rise in cardiac afterload and a decrease in cardiac output. Reports indicate that 6% of patients undergoing surgical repair develop myocardial infarction. The ideal level of clamp location remains controversial with conflicting views having been reported.
A search of electronic databases (OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment [INAHTA] database was undertaken to identify evidence published from January 1, 2004 to December 19, 2008. The search was limited to English-language articles and human studies. The automatic search alerts were received and reviewed up to March 23, 2009.
The literature search and automatic search update identified 320 citations, of which 13 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. One comparative study presented at an international seminar, five single-arm studies on f—EVAR, and 7 studies on OSR (one prospective and six retrospective) were considered for this analysis.
To grade the strength of the body of evidence, the grading system formulated by the GRADE working group and adopted by MAS, was applied. The GRADE system classifies evidence quality as high (Grade A), moderate (Grade B), or low (Grade C) according to four key elements: study design, study quality, consistency across studies, and directness.
A summary of the characteristics of the f—EVAR and OSR studies found through the literature search is shown in Table ES-1.
Patient Characteristics: f–EVAR Studies versus OSR Studies
JRA, Juxtarenal aortic aneurysm; SRA, Suprarenal aortic aneurysm; TAA, Thoracic aortic aneurysm
Mortality Outcomes
The pooled estimate for 30-day mortality was 1.8% among the f—EVAR studies and 3.1% among the OSR studies that reported data for the repair of JRA separately. The pooled estimate for late mortality was 12.8% among the f—EVAR studies and 23.7% among the OSR studies that reported data for JRA separately.
Visceral Artery Events Reported in f—EVAR Studies
Renal Events during f-EVAR
A total of three main renal arteries and two accessory renal arteries became occluded during the procedure. These were all due to technical issues, except one accessory renal artery in which the artery was intentionally covered. One patient required open surgery following the procedure.
Renal Events During the follow-up
A total of 12 renal arteries (12 patients) were found to be occluded during follow-up. In two patients, the same side accessory renal artery was also occluded. Four (1.5%) patients lost one kidney and five (2.3%) patients underwent dialysis, three (1.4%) of which became permanent.
A total of 16 cases of renal artery stenosis (16 patients) occurred during follow-up. Eight of these were treated and eight were observed. Segmental renal infarcts were found in six patients but renal function was not impaired.
Mesenteric Events during f-EVAR
Three mesenteric events occurred during the f—EVAR procedures resulting in two deaths. One patient developed bowel ischemia due to embolization of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA); this patient died 13 days after the procedure from multiorgan failure. One patient died eights days after the procedure from mesenteric ischemia and bowel perforation. The third SMA event occurred during surgery with subsequent occlusion in early follow-up.
Mesenteric Events during Follow-up
During follow-up, five (1.8%) SMA occlusions/partial occlusions and one SMA stenosis were noted. Three of the five patients with SMA occlusion/partial occlusion remained asymptomatic and no further intervention was necessary. One patient underwent SMA bypass surgery and in two patients, the problem solved by SMA stenting. A summary of the outcomes reported in the f—EVAR and OSR studies is shown in Table ES-2.
Summary of Outcomes: Fenestrated Endovascular Graft Versus Open Surgical Repair for Treatment of Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysm
Short- and medium-term results (up to 2 years) of f—EVAR for the repair of JRA showed that outcomes in f—EVAR series compare favourably with the figures for the OSR series; however, uncertainty remains regarding the long-term results. The following observations are based on low quality evidence.
F—EVAR has lower 30-day mortality than OSR (1.8% vs. 3.1%) and a lower late-mortality over the period of time that patients have been followed (12.8% vs. 23.7%).
There is a potential for the loss of target vessels during or after f—EVAR procedures. Loss of a target vessel may lead to loss of its respective end organ. The risk associated with this technique is mainly due to branch vessel ischemia or occlusion (primarily among the renal arteries and SMA). Ischemia or occlusion of these arteries can occur during surgery due to technical failure and/or embolization or it may occur during follow-up due to graft complications such as graft migration, component separation, or arterial thrombosis. The risk of kidney loss in this series of f—EVAR studies was 1.5% and the risk of mesenteric ischemia was 3.3%. In the OSR studies, the risk of developing renal insufficiency was 14.4% and the risk of mesenteric ischemia was 2.9%.
F—EVAR has a lower rate of postoperative cardiac and pulmonary complications.
Endoleak occurs in 22.5% of patients undergoing f—EVAR (all types) and about 8% of these require treatment. Most of the interventions performed to treat such endoleaks conducted using a minimally invasive approach.
Due to the complexity of the technique, patients must be appropriately selected for f—EVAR, the procedure performed by highly experienced operators, and in centers with advanced, high-resolution imaging systems to minimize the risk of complications.
Graft fenestrations have to be custom designed for each patient to fit and match the anatomy of their visceral arteries. Planning and sizing thus requires scrutiny of the target vessels with a high degree precision. This is important not only to prevent end organ ischemia and infarction, but to avoid prolonging procedures and subsequent adverse outcomes.
Assuming the average cost range of FEVAR procedure is $24,395-$30,070 as per hospital data and assuming the maximum number of annual cases in Ontario is 116, the average estimated cost impact range to the province for FEVAR procedures is $2.83M-$3.49M annually.
PMCID: PMC3377528  PMID: 23074534
13.  Iatrogenic Intradural Lumbosacral Cyst Following Epiduroscopy 
We report a rare complication of iatrogenic spinal intradural following minimally invasive extradural endoscopic procedues in the lumbo-sacral spines. To our knowledge, intradural cyst following epiduroscopy has not been reported in the literature. A 65-year-old woman with back pain related with previous lumbar disc surgery underwent endoscopic epidural neuroplasty and nerve block, but her back pain much aggravated after this procedure. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large intradural cyst from S1-2 to L2-3 displacing the nerve roots anteriorly. On T1 and T2-weighted image, the signal within the cyst had the same intensity as cerebrospinal fluid. The patient underwent partial laminectomy of L5 and intradural exploration, and fenestration of the cystic wall was accomplished. During operation, the communication between the cyst and subarachnoid space was not identified, and the content of the cyst was the same as that of cerebrospinal fluid. Postoperatively, the pain attenuated immediately. Incidental durotomy which occurred during advancing the endoscope through epidural space may be the cause of formation of the intradural cyst. Intrdural cyst should be considered, if a patient complains of new symptoms such as aggravation of back pain after epiduroscopy. Surgical treatment, simple fenestration of the cyst may lead to improved outcome. All the procedures using epiduroscopy should be performed with caution.
PMCID: PMC3539087  PMID: 23323173
Intradural lesion; Intradural cyst; Epiduroscopy
14.  Management of pediatric colloid cysts of anterior third ventricle: A review of five cases 
Colloid cysts are congenital benign lesions, associated with more aggressive clinical and radiological picture in children than in adults. We present our experience in management of five pediatric patients with colloid cyst of the anterior third ventricle. They have an excellent chance of surgical cure, or they can be devastating and even fatal, if not recognized on time and treated.
Materials and Methods:
Five pediatric patients (aged 16 years or less) who were surgically treated for a colloid cyst, between 1987 and 2011 were analyzed. The clinical features included raised intracranial pressure in all five cases, of which one patient was brought unconscious with decerebrate posturing. Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the brain was done in all patients. The density of the lesion, enhancement with contrast and the presence of hydrocephalus were analyzed. Four patients underwent a detailed postoperative neurological assessment.
Three patients underwent the transcallosal-transforaminal approach and total excision of the lesion. One patient underwent revision of the pre-existing ventriculoperitoneal shunt. One patient who was brought in an unconscious state, an external ventricular drain was inserted and she was ventilated. She died 4 hours after the admission. On follow-up, none of the three patients who underwent the transcallosal-transforaminal approach had disconnection syndromes or behavioral disturbances.
Colloid cysts in children are rarer and more aggressive than their adult counterparts. It is surgically curable. Early detection and total excision of the lesion is a permanent cure with minimum morbidity, when compared with the natural history of the disease. The limited anterior callosotomy does not result in disconnection syndromes or behavioral disturbance.
PMCID: PMC3519091  PMID: 23248682
Anterior third ventricle; colloid cyst; disconnection syndrome; pediatric; transcallosal-transforaminal
15.  Management of Symptomatic Sacral Perineural Cysts 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39958.
There has been no consensus on the optimal treatment of symptomatic sacral perineural cysts. Most previous reports concerning the management methods were either sporadic case reports or a series of limited cases. This study is to further optimize the management for patients with symptomatic sacral perineural cysts by analyzing the outcomes of a cohort of patients who were treated with different strategies.
Methods and Findings
We reviewed the outcomes of 15 patients with symptomatic sacral perineural cysts who were managed by three different modalities from 1998 through 2010. Six patients underwent microsurgical cyst fenestration and cyst wall imbrication. Seven patients underwent a modified surgical procedure, during which the cerebrospinal fluid leak aperture was located and repaired. Two patients were treated with medication and physical therapy. Outcomes of the patients were assessed by following up (13 months to 10 years). All of the six patients treated with microsurgical cyst fenestration and cyst wall imbrication experienced complete or substantial relief of their preoperative symptoms. However, the symptoms of one patient reappeared eight months after the operation. Another patient experienced a postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Six of the seven patients treated with the modified surgical operation experienced complete or substantial resolution of their preoperative symptoms, with only one patient who experienced temporary worsening of his preoperative urine incontinence, which disappeared gradually one month later. No new postoperative neurological deficits, no cerebrospinal fluid leaks and no recurrence were observed in the seven patients. The symptoms of the two patients treated with conservative measures aggravated with time.
Microsurgical operation should be a treatment consideration in patients with symptomatic sacral perineural cysts. Furthermore, the surgical procedure with partial cyst removal and aperture repair for prevention of cerebrospinal fluid leakage seemed to be more simple and effective.
PMCID: PMC3386964  PMID: 22768183
16.  Clinical Outcomes of Percutaneous Endoscopic Surgery for Lumbar Discal Cyst 
Discal cyst is rare and causes indistinguishable symptoms from lumbar disc herniation. The clinical manifestations and pathological features of discal cyst have not yet been completely known. Discal cyst has been treated with surgery or with direct intervention such as computed tomography (CT) guided aspiration and steroid injection. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the percutaneous endoscopic surgery for lumbar discal cyst over at least 6 months follow-up.
All 8 cases of discal cyst with radiculopathy were treated by percutaneous endoscopic surgery by transforaminal approach. The involved levels include L5-S1 in 1 patient, L3-4 in 2, and L4-5 in 5. The preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and 3-dimensional CT with discogram images in all cases showed a connection between the cyst and the involved intervertebral disc. Over a 6-months period, self-reported measures were assessed using an outcome questionaire that incorporated total back-related medical resource utilization and improvement of leg pain [visual analogue scale (VAS) and Macnab's criteria].
All 8 patients underwent endoscopic excision of the cyst with additional partial discectomy. Seven patients obtained immediate relief of symptoms after removal of the cyst by endoscopic approach. There were no recurrent lesions during follow-up period. The mean preoperative VAS for leg pain was 8.25±0.5. At the last examination followed longer than 6 month, the mean VAS for leg pain was 2.25±2.21. According to MacNab' criteria, 4 patients (50%) had excellent results, 3 patients (37.5%) had good results; thus, satisfactory results were achieved in 7 patients (87.5%). However, one case had unsatisfactory result with persistent leg pain and another paresthesia.
The radicular symptoms were remarkably improved in most patients immediately after percutaneous endoscopic cystectomy by transforaminal approach.
PMCID: PMC3377877  PMID: 22737300
Lumbar discal cyst; Percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal cystectomy
17.  Endoscopic Management of Pancreatic Pseudocysts 
Recently, endoscopic interventional procedures were introduced for nonsurgical therapy of symptomatic pancreas pseudocysts. We reported 25 patients treated by endoscopic retrograde pancreas drainage (ERPD), endoscopic cystogastrostomy (ECG), or endosopic cystoduodenostomy (ECD).
ERPD was performed in 9 patients by placement of a 5 Fr. or 7 Fr. endoprosthesis transpapillary into the cyst or the main pancreatic duct. ECG was carried out in 10 cases, in 7 of these, a double pigtail catheter was additionally inserted. Three patients suffering from pseudocysts of the pancreas head were treated by ECD. In a further 3 cases, ERPD and ECG were combined.
All patients reported a dramatic reduction of pain with a simultaneous increase of appetite and body weight. The drainage tubes were removed after disappearance of symptoms, and abnormal clinical and endoscopic findings within 2 to 12 months. In 4 cases, a recurrence of the cyst was found 10 and 22 months later, in 3 cases the endoprostheses had to be renewed because of catheter occlusion or dislocation. 2 patient underwent surgical treatment after insufficient endoscopic drainage due to haemorrhage or recurrence.
Endoscopic treatment of pancreatic pseudocysts yielded good results with low rates of recurrence and complications. According to our experiences we think endoscopic interventional techniques will oust surgery from its present dominant position in the next years.
PMCID: PMC2362456  PMID: 18493338
18.  Surgical management of complicated hydatid cysts of the liver 
AIM: To review the clinical presentation and surgical management of complicated hydatid cysts of the liver and to assess whether conservative surgery is adequate in the management of complicated hydatid cysts of liver.
METHODS: The study was carried out at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science, Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Sixty nine patients with hydatid disease of the liver were surgically managed from April 2004 to October 2005 with a follow up period of three years. It included 27 men and 42 women with a median age of 35 years. An abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography and serology established diagnosis. Patients with jaundice and high suspicion of intrabiliary rupture were subjected to preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiography. Cysts with infection, rupture into the biliary tract and peritoneal cavity were categorized as complicated cysts. Eighteen patients (26%) had complicated cysts and formed the basis for this study.
RESULTS: Common complications were infection (14%), intrabiliary rupture (9%) and intraperitoneal rupture (3%). All the patients with infected cysts presented with pain and fever. All the patients with intrabiliary rupture had jaundice, while only four with intrabiliary rupture had pain and only two had fever. Surgical procedures performed in complicated cysts were: infection-omentoplasty in three and external drainage in seven; intrabiliary rupture-omentoplasty in two and internal drainage in four patients. Two patients with intraperitoneal rupture underwent external drainage. There was no mortality. The postoperative morbidity was 50% in complicated cysts and 16% in uncomplicated cysts.
CONCLUSION: Complicated hydatid cyst of the liver can be successfully managed surgically with good long term results.
PMCID: PMC2999219  PMID: 21160854
Liver hydatid disease; Complicated liver hydatid; Drainage; Operative techniques
19.  Clinical symptoms and sonographic follow-up after surgical treatment of nonparasitic liver cysts 
BMC Surgery  2013;13:42.
The optimal treatment of nonparasitic liver cysts is still a topic of debate. Only symptomatic cysts are being considered as requiring treatment. Aim of this study is to evaluate our experience with this disease over the past ten years with a structured follow-up program.
From January 2000 to August 2010, 56 consecutive patients with nonparasitic liver cysts were treated at our institution. We assessed morbidity, recurrence and complication rates, quality of life as well as pre- and post-operative sonographic status of the cysts and course of clinical symptoms.
In 84% of the patients surgery was started as a laparoscopic procedure. Conversion rate was 6.4%. Average diameter of deroofed cysts was 12 cm. Overall complication rate was 16% and overall recurrence rate 28.3% (8.7% recurrences at the surgical site, 19.6% new or enlarged cysts). One half of the patients were symptom-free after surgery and the other half had at least one persisting symptom post-operatively. In one half of these patients with persisting symptoms, symptoms were ameliorated by surgery. In the other half of patients the number of symptoms increased after surgery. Two thirds of the overall patients reported their post-operative health as being good or very good.
Surgical deroofing is the most effective treatment option for symptomatic liver cysts. Half of our patient population retained at least one symptom from a group of more than ten abdominal symptoms.
Only the minority of these cases may be attributed to true recurrence, de-novo cysts or growing pre-existing cysts. The analysis of our cases suggests that the persistent symptoms in our patients may in part be due to the fact that the association between clinical complaints and the liver cysts was not sufficiently established. A more rigid patient selection should be implemented in order to achieve better results from the treatment of cysts. Because even large cysts are frequently asymptomatic, patient selection should not primarily be based on the cyst size only. The decision should be based strictly on the correlation between cyst / cyst location and symptoms / clinical complaints. In our opinion, further diagnostic procedures may be necessary in individual cases to clarify such a correlation.
PMCID: PMC3849589  PMID: 24073663
20.  Surgical Management of Pulmonary Hydatid Cysts 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2010;37(4):429-434.
Giant hydatid cysts of the lung (diameter, ≥10 cm) are considered more difficult to treat surgically than are smaller cysts. We reviewed our experience with giant pulmonary hydatid cysts, focusing on clinical symptoms, cystic location, extent of surgery, and postoperative complications, according to age, long-term results, and comparison with non-giant cysts. From January 1988 to January 2008, 537 patients underwent surgery for pulmonary hydatid cysts. We separated patients into 2 groups: patients who had cysts <10 cm (group A) and those who had giant cysts (group B). Group B comprised 75 patients (14%). Giant cysts were more common in younger patients (mean age, 30 vs 32 yr; P=0.014). The most frequent complaints were cough, chest pain, and dyspnea. Patients with giant cysts were more often symptomatic at presentation (96% vs 88%; P=0.04). In both groups, lower-lobe locations predominated. Parenchyma-saving operations were almost uniformly performed for each group; however, a higher percentage of patients in group B required anatomic resection (4% vs 1%; P=0.038). Fifty-seven patients (10%) also underwent resection of concomitant liver cysts. Cystic rupture occurred more frequently in group B than in group A (27% vs 15%; P=0.01). There were no deaths in either group, nor were there significant differences in morbidity between groups.
In summary, giant hydatid cysts of the lung occurred more often in younger patients and were more often symptomatic at presentation. Regardless of size, the cysts could usually be surgically treated without lung resection, and size did not appear to influence short-term perioperative outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2929855  PMID: 20844615
Adolescent; adult; age distribution; age factors; aged; child; albendazole/therapeutic use; echinococcosis, hepatic/surgery; echinococcosis, pulmonary/surgery; Horner syndrome/etiology; hydatid cyst; middle age; retrospective studies; treatment outcome
21.  Intracranial arachnoid cysts: impairment of higher cognitive functions and postoperative improvement 
Intracranial arachnoid cysts have been shown to yield cognitive impairment over a range of basic mental functions, and these functions normalize after surgical cyst decompression. We wanted to investigate whether such cysts may also impair executive cognitive functions, and whether surgical cyst decompression leads to an improvement.
This study included 22 patients with arachnoid cysts and 13 control patients scheduled for low back surgery. All subjects were tested with Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) tests, assessing executive function 1 day before surgery and a minimum of 3 months after surgery. The data were analyzed according to scaled score computations based on raw scores provided by D-KEFS, adjusted for age, gender, and educational norms.
Preoperatively, the patients with cysts group performed worse than the control group in verbal knowledge, mental flexibility, inhibitory capacity, problem solving, and planning skills. Postoperatively, the patients with cysts group significantly improved performance and were no longer different from the control group in the following subtests: inhibition, inhibition/switching, letter fluency, category switching, and total switching accuracy. The patients with cysts group also significantly improved performance in color naming, category fluency, and in the Tower test, but nevertheless remained impaired at follow-up compared with the control group. The control group did not show a similar improvement, except for the Tower test. Cyst size or postoperative volume reduction did not correlate with cognitive performance or postoperative improvement. Patients with left-sided temporal cysts performed poorer than patients with right-sided cysts on a complex verbal task demanding mental flexibility.
Arachnoid cysts seem to impair not only basic cognition, but also executive functions. Most of this impairment appears to be reversible after surgical cyst decompression. These results may have implications for future preoperative considerations for patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts.
PMCID: PMC3766187  PMID: 23985219
Arachnoid cysts; Cognition; Cognitive control; Executive functions; Intellectual disability; Neuropsychology; Neuropsychiatry; Neurosurgery
22.  Mid- and long-term clinical results of surgical therapy in unicameral bone cysts 
Unicameral (or simple) bone cysts (UBC) are benign tumours most often located in long bones of children and adolescents. Pathological fractures are common, and due to high recurrence rates, these lesions remain a challenge to treat. Numerous surgical procedures have been proposed, but there is no general consensus of the ideal treatment. The aim of this investigation therefore was to study the long-term outcome after surgical treatment in UBC.
A retrospective analysis of 46 patients surgically treated for UBC was performed for short and mid-term outcome. Clinical and radiological outcome parameters were studied according to a modified Neer classification system. Long-term clinical information was retrieved via a questionnaire at a minimum follow-up of 10 years after surgery.
Forty-six patients (17 female, 29 male) with a mean age of 10.0 ± 4.8 years and with histopathologically confirmed diagnosis of UBC were included. Pathological fractures were observed in 21 cases (46%). All patients underwent surgery for UBC (35 patients underwent curettage and bone grafting as a primary therapy, 4 curettage alone, 3 received corticoid instillation and 4 decompression by cannulated screws). Overall recurrence rate after the first surgical treatment was 39% (18/46), second (17.4% of all patients) and third recurrence (4.3%) were frequently observed and were addressed by revision surgery. Recurrence was significantly higher in young and in male patients as well as in active cysts. After a mean of 52 months, 40 out of 46 cysts were considered healed. Prognosis was significantly better when recurrence was observed later than 30 months after therapy. After a mean follow-up of 15.5 ± 6.2 years, 40 patients acknowledged clinically excellent results, while five reported mild and casual pain. Only one patient reported a mild limitation of range of motion.
Our results suggest satisfactory overall long-term outcome for the surgical treatment of UBC, although short-and mid-term observation show a considerable rate of recurrence independent of the surgical technique.
PMCID: PMC3258224  PMID: 22165900
Solitary bone cyst; Unicameral bone cyst; Simple bone cyst; Juvenile bone cyst; Curettage; Bone graft; Steroid injection
23.  Clinical Characteristics and Management of Intrathoracic Bronchogenic Cysts: A Single Center Experience 
The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical characteristics and management of intrathoracic bronchogenic cysts.
Materials and Methods
Twenty-four (n=24) patients with intrathoracic bronchogenic cysts were treated surgically between August 1990 and December 2009 at our institution. Patients were divided into two groups by bronchogenic cyst location: mediastinal or intrapulmonary. Symptoms at diagnosis, radiologic findings, locations, surgical methods, pathological findings, and surgical outcomes were investigated retrospectively from consecutive patient medical records.
There were 12 females (50.0%). The mean age was 26.8 (range, 5 to 64) years. The mean follow-up period was 27.3 (range, 1 to 121) months. There were 15 (62.5%) mediastinal and 9 (37.5%) intrapulmonary bronchogenic cysts. Symptoms occurred in 8 patients with mediastinal bronchogenic cysts (53.3%) and 5 patients with intrapulmonary bronchogenic cysts (55.6%) (p=1.000). On computed tomography (CT), 7 patients (46.7%) showed homogenous solid masses in mediastinal bronchogenic cysts and five (55.6%) patients exhibited heterogeneous cystic masses with air-fluid levels in intrapulmonary bronchogenic cystic masses. Open thoracotomy was performed in 17 (70.8%) patients, and video-assisted thoracic surgery was performed in 7 (29.2%) patients. On pathological findings, there were 16 (66.7%) complicated cysts, and in 13 symptomatic patients, 11 (84.6%) patients had complicated cysts. There was no operative death in this study. During the follow-up period, no recurrence was detected.
Intrathoracic bronchogenic cysts have a wide variety of clinical characteristics and radiologic findings. Even though some patients do not experience symptoms and signs caused by bronchogenic cysts, serious symptoms and complications may develop with the passage of time.
PMCID: PMC3249320  PMID: 22263169
Bronchogenic cyst; Mediastinum; Lung
24.  Traumatic rupture of an intracranial dermoid cyst: Case report and literature review 
Dermoid tumors are benign congenital cystic lesions that usually present with local mass effect. Very rarely, they present as spontaneous ruptures. Traumatic rupture of these dermoid cysts is an extremely rare event and only a handful of such cases have been ever reported.
Case Description:
A 47-year-old female presented to our hospital with a ruptured intracranial dermoid cyst following a mild head injury. The ruptured cyst contents were disseminated into the subarachnoid and intraventricular compartments, resulting in an obstructive hydrocephalus. After medical stabilization, she underwent gross total resection of the cyst using combined transsylvian, transcortical-transventricular, and sub-frontal approaches. A ventriculo-peritoneal shunt was eventually also needed.
Traumatic rupture of an intracranial dermoid cyst is an extremely rare event and this is only the fourth such case reported in the literature. We presume that this rupture occurs due to sudden shifts in the cyst sac, which is adherent to some partially mobile intracranial contents. Although computed tomography (CT) is often adequate in making a diagnosis of this entity, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides complete characterization of the extent of lipid dissemination, and is essential for operative planning. Intravenous steroids at presentation are helpful in managing the aseptic meningitis associated with rupture. Complete surgical resection is the goal, but must be weighed against the risk for injury to nearby vital structures. Hydrocephalus should be managed promptly, and patients should be monitored for it closely in the perioperative period. Even though the recurrence rate with subtotal resection is extremely rare, follow up should be done routinely.
PMCID: PMC3707326  PMID: 23869280
Aseptic meningitis; communicating hydrocephalus; dermoid cyst; intracranial rupture
25.  Coil Embolization for Intracranial Aneurysms 
Executive Summary
To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of coil embolization compared with surgical clipping to treat intracranial aneurysms.
The Technology
Endovascular coil embolization is a percutaneous approach to treat an intracranial aneurysm from within the blood vessel without the need of a craniotomy. In this procedure, a microcatheter is inserted into the femoral artery near the groin and navigated to the site of the aneurysm. Small helical platinum coils are deployed through the microcatheter to fill the aneurysm, and prevent it from further expansion and rupture. Health Canada has approved numerous types of coils and coil delivery systems to treat intracranial aneurysms. The most favoured are controlled detachable coils. Coil embolization may be used with other adjunct endovascular devices such as stents and balloons.
Intracranial Aneurysms
Intracranial aneurysms are the dilation or ballooning of part of a blood vessel in the brain. Intracranial aneurysms range in size from small (<12 mm in diameter) to large (12–25 mm), and to giant (>25 mm). There are 3 main types of aneurysms. Fusiform aneurysms involve the entire circumference of the artery; saccular aneurysms have outpouchings; and dissecting aneurysms have tears in the arterial wall. Berry aneurysms are saccular aneurysms with well-defined necks.
Intracranial aneurysms may occur in any blood vessel of the brain; however, they are most commonly found at the branch points of large arteries that form the circle of Willis at the base of the brain. In 85% to 95% of patients, they are found in the anterior circulation. Aneurysms in the posterior circulation are less frequent, and are more difficult to treat surgically due to inaccessibility.
Most intracranial aneurysms are small and asymptomatic. Large aneurysms may have a mass effect, causing compression on the brain and cranial nerves and neurological deficits. When an intracranial aneurysm ruptures and bleeds, resulting in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the mortality rate can be 40% to 50%, with severe morbidity of 10% to 20%. The reported overall risk of rupture is 1.9% per year and is higher for women, cigarette smokers, and cocaine users, and in aneurysms that are symptomatic, greater than 10 mm in diameter, or located in the posterior circulation. If left untreated, there is a considerable risk of repeat hemorrhage in a ruptured aneurysm that results in increased mortality.
In Ontario, intracranial aneurysms occur in about 1% to 4% of the population, and the annual incidence of SAH is about 10 cases per 100,000 people. In 2004-2005, about 660 intracranial aneurysm repairs were performed in Ontario.
Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms
Treatment of an unruptured aneurysm attempts to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. The treatment of a ruptured intracranial aneurysm aims to prevent further hemorrhage. There are 3 approaches to treating an intracranial aneurysm.
Small, asymptomatic aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter may be monitored without any intervention other than treatment for underlying risk factors such as hypertension.
Open surgical clipping, involves craniotomy, brain retraction, and placement of a silver clip across the neck of the aneurysm while a patient is under general anesthesia. This procedure is associated with surgical risks and neurological deficits.
Endovascular coil embolization, introduced in the 1990s, is the health technology under review.
Literature Review
The Medical Advisory Secretariat searched the International Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) Database and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify relevant systematic reviews. OVID Medline, Medline In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, and Embase were searched for English-language journal articles that reported primary data on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of treatments for intracranial aneurysms, obtained in a clinical setting or analyses of primary data maintained in registers or institutional databases. Internet searches of Medscape and manufacturers’ databases were conducted to identify product information and recent reports on trials that were unpublished but that were presented at international conferences. Four systematic reviews, 3 reports on 2 randomized controlled trials comparing coil embolization with surgical clipping of ruptured aneurysms, 30 observational studies, and 3 economic analysis reports were included in this review.
Safety and Effectiveness
Coil embolization appears to be a safe procedure. Complications associated with coil embolization ranged from 8.6% to 18.6% with a median of about 10.6%. Observational studies showed that coil embolization is associated with lower complication rates than surgical clipping (permanent complication 3-7% versus 10.9%; overall 23% versus 46% respectively, p=0.009). Common complications of coil embolization are thrombo-embolic events (2.5%–14.5%), perforation of aneurysm (2.3%–4.7%), parent artery obstruction (2%–3%), collapsed coils (8%), coil malposition (14.6%), and coil migration (0.5%–3%).
Randomized controlled trials showed that for ruptured intracranial aneurysms with SAH, suitable for both coil embolization and surgical clipping (mostly saccular aneurysms <10 mm in diameter located in the anterior circulation) in people with good clinical condition:Coil embolization resulted in a statistically significant 23.9% relative risk reduction and 7% absolute risk reduction in the composite rate of death and dependency compared to surgical clipping (modified Rankin score 3–6) at 1-year.
The advantage of coil embolization over surgical clipping varies widely with aneurysm location, but endovascular treatment seems beneficial for all sites.
There were less deaths in the first 7 years following coil embolization compared to surgical clipping (10.8% vs 13.7%). This survival benefit seemed to be consistent over time, and was statistically significant (log-rank p= 0.03).
Coil embolization is associated with less frequent MRI-detected superficial brain deficits and ischemic lesions at 1-year.
The 1- year rebleeding rate was 2.4% after coil embolization and 1% for surgical clipping. Confirmed rebleeding from the repaired aneurysm after the first year and up to year eight was low and not significantly different between coil embolization and surgical clipping (7 patients for coil embolization vs 2 patients for surgical clipping, log-rank p=0.22).
Observational studies showed that patients with SAH and good clinical grade had better 6-month outcomes and lower risk of symptomatic cerebral vasospasm after coil embolization compared to surgical clipping.
For unruptured intracranial aneurysms, there were no randomized controlled trials that compared coil embolization to surgical clipping. Large observational studies showed that:
The risk of rupture in unruptured aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter is about 0.05% per year for patients with no pervious history of SAH from another aneurysm. The risk of rupture increases with history of SAH and as the diameter of the aneurysm reaches 10 mm or more.
Coil embolization reduced the composite rate of in hospital deaths and discharge to long-term or short-term care facilities compared to surgical clipping (Odds Ratio 2.2, 95% CI 1.6–3.1, p<0.001). The improvement in discharge disposition was highest in people older than 65 years.
In-hospital mortality rate following treatment of intracranial aneurysm ranged from 0.5% to 1.7% for coil embolization and from 2.1% to 3.5% for surgical clipping. The overall 1-year mortality rate was 3.1% for coil embolization and 2.3% for surgical clipping. One-year morbidity rate was 6.4% for coil embolization and 9.8% for surgical clipping. It is not clear whether these differences were statistically significant.
Coil embolization is associated with shorter hospital stay compared to surgical clipping.
For both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, the outcome of coil embolization does not appear to be dependent on age, whereas surgical clipping has been shown to yield worse outcome for patients older than 64 years.
Angiographic Efficiency and Recurrences
The main drawback of coil embolization is its low angiographic efficiency. The percentage of complete aneurysm occlusion after coil embolization (27%–79%, median 55%) remains lower than that achieved with surgical clipping (82%–100%). However, about 90% of coiled aneurysms achieve near total occlusion or better. Incompletely coiled aneurysms have been shown to have higher aneurysm recurrence rates ranging from 7% to 39% for coil embolization compared to 2.9% for surgical clipping. Recurrence is defined as refilling of the neck, sac, or dome of a successfully treated aneurysm as shown on an angiogram. The long-term clinical significance of incomplete occlusion following coil embolization is unknown, but in one case series, 20% of patients had major recurrences, and 50% of these required further treatment.
Long-Term Outcomes
A large international randomized trial reported that the survival benefit from coil embolization was sustained for at least 7 years. The rebleeding rate between year 2 and year 8 following coil embolization was low and not significantly different from that of surgical clipping. However, high quality long-term angiographic evidence is lacking. Accordingly, there is uncertainty about long-term occlusion status, coil durability, and recurrence rates. While surgical clipping is associated with higher immediate procedural risks, its long-term effectiveness has been established.
Indications and Contraindications
Coil embolization offers treatment for people at increased risk for craniotomy, such as those over 65 years of age, with poor clinical status, or with comorbid conditions. The technology also makes it possible to treat surgical high-risk aneurysms.
Not all aneurysms are suitable for coil embolization. Suitability depends on the size, anatomy, and location of the aneurysm. Aneurysms more than 10 mm in diameter or with an aneurysm neck greater than or equal to 4 mm are less likely to achieve total occlusion. They are also more prone to aneurysm recurrences and to complications such as coil compaction or parent vessel occlusion. Aneurysms with a dome to neck ratio of less than 1 have been shown to have lower obliteration rates and poorer outcome following coil embolization. Furthermore, aneurysms in the middle cerebral artery bifurcation are less suitable for coil embolization. For some aneurysms, treatment may require the use of both coil embolization and surgical clipping or adjunctive technologies, such as stents and balloons, to obtain optimal results.
Information from 3 countries indicates that coil embolization is a rapidly diffusing technology. For example, it accounted for about 40% of aneurysm treatments in the United Kingdom.
In Ontario, coil embolization is an insured health service, with the same fee code and fee schedule as open surgical repair requiring craniotomy. Other costs associated with coil embolization are covered under hospitals’ global budgets. Utilization data showed that in 2004-2005, coil embolization accounted for about 38% (251 cases) of all intracranial aneurysm repairs in the province. With the 2005 publication of the positive long-term survival data from the International Subarachnoid Aneursym Trial, the pressure for diffusion will likely increase.
Economic Analysis
Recent economic studies show that treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms smaller than 10 mm in diameter in people with no previous history of SAH, either by coil embolization or surgical clipping, would not be effective or cost-effective. However, in patients with aneurysms that are greater than or equal to 10 mm or symptomatic, or in patients with a history of SAH, treatment appears to be cost-effective.
In Ontario, the average device cost of coil embolization per case was estimated to be about $7,500 higher than surgical clipping. Assuming that the total number of intracranial aneurysm repairs in Ontario increases to 750 in the fiscal year of 2007, and assuming that up to 60% (450 cases) of these will be repaired by coil embolization, the difference in device costs for the 450 cases (including a 15% recurrence rate) would be approximately $3.8 million. This figure does not include capital costs (e.g. $3 million for an angiosuite), additional human resources required, or costs of follow-up. The increase in expenditures associated with coil embolization may be offset partially, by shorter operating room times and hospitalization stays for endovascular repair of unruptured aneurysms; however, the impact of these cost savings is probably not likely to be greater than 25% of the total outlay since the majority of cases involve ruptured aneurysms. Furthermore, the recent growth in aneurysm repair has predominantly been in the area of coil embolization presumably for patients for whom surgical clipping would not be advised; therefore, no offset of surgical clipping costs could be applied in such cases. For ruptured aneurysms, downstream cost savings from endovascular repair are likely to be minimal even though the savings for individual cases may be substantial due to lower perioperative complications for endovascular aneurysm repair.
The two Guidance documents issued by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (UK) in 2005 support the use of coil embolization for both unruptured and ruptured (SAH) intracranial aneurysms, provided that procedures are in place for informed consent, audit, and clinical governance, and that the procedure is performed in specialist units with expertise in the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms.
For people in good clinical condition following subarachnoid hemorrhage from an acute ruptured intracranial aneurysm suitable for either surgical clipping or endovascular repair, coil embolization results in improved independent survival in the first year and improved survival for up to seven years compared to surgical clipping. The rebleeding rate is low and not significantly different between the two procedures after the first year. However, there is uncertainty regarding the long-term occlusion status, durability of the stent graft, and long-term complications.
For people with unruptured aneurysms, level 4 evidence suggests that coil embolization may be associated with comparable or less mortality and morbidity, shorter hospital stay, and less need for discharge to short-term rehabilitation facilities. The greatest benefit was observed in people over 65 years of age. In these patients, the decision regarding treatment needs to be based on the assessment of the risk of rupture against the risk of the procedure, as well as the morphology of the aneurysm.
In people who require treatment for intracranial aneurysm, but for whom surgical clipping is too risky or not feasible, coil embolization provides survival benefits over surgical clipping, even though the outcomes may not be as favourable as in people in good clinical condition and with small aneurysms. The procedure may be considered under the following circumstances provided that the aneurysm is suitable for coil embolization:
Patients in poor/unstable clinical or neurological state
Patients at high risk for surgical repair (e.g. people>age 65 or with comorbidity), or
Aneurysm(s) with poor accessibility or visibility for surgical treatment due to their location (e.g. ophthalmic or basilar tip aneurysms)
Compared to small aneurysms with a narrow neck in the anterior circulation, large aneurysms (> 10 mm in diameter), aneurysms with a wide neck (>4mm in diameter), and aneurysms in the posterior circulation have lower occlusion rates and higher rate of hemorrhage when treated with coil embolization.
The extent of aneurysm obliteration after coil embolization remains lower than that achieved with surgical clipping. Aneurysm recurrences after successful coiling may require repeat treatment with endovascular or surgical procedures. Experts caution that long-term angiographic outcomes of coil embolization are unknown at this time. Informed consent for and long-term follow-up after coil embolization are recommended.
The decision to treat an intracranial aneurysm with surgical clipping or coil embolization needs to be made jointly by the neurosurgeon and neuro-intervention specialist, based on the clinical status of the patient, the size and morphology of the aneurysm, and the preference of the patient.
The performance of endovascular coil embolization should take place in centres with expertise in both neurosurgery and endovascular neuro-interventions, with adequate treatment volumes to maintain good outcomes. Distribution of the technology should also take into account that patients with SAH should be treated as soon as possible with minimal disruption.
PMCID: PMC3379525  PMID: 23074479

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