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1.  Aggressive medical treatment with or without stenting in high-risk patients with intracranial artery stenosis (SAMMPRIS): the final results of a randomised trial 
Lancet  2013;383(9914):333-341.
Summary
Background
Early results of the Stenting and Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent stroke in Intracranial Stenosis trial showed that, by 30 days, 33 (14·7%) of 224 patients in the stenting group and 13 (5·8%) of 227 patients in the medical group had died or had a stroke (percentages are product limit estimates), but provided insufficient data to establish whether stenting offered any longer-term benefit. Here we report the long-term outcome of patients in this trial.
Methods
We randomly assigned (1:1, stratified by centre with randomly permuted block sizes) 451 patients with recent transient ischaemic attack or stroke related to 70–99% stenosis of a major intracranial artery to aggressive medical management (antiplatelet therapy, intensive management of vascular risk factors, and a lifestyle-modification programme) or aggressive medical management plus stenting with the Wingspan stent. The primary endpoint was any of the following: stroke or death within 30 days after enrolment, ischaemic stroke in the territory of the qualifying artery beyond 30 days of enrolment, or stroke or death within 30 days after a revascularisation procedure of the qualifying lesion during follow-up. Primary endpoint analysis of between-group differences with log-rank test was by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT 00576693.
Findings
During a median follow-up of 32·4 months, 34 (15%) of 227 patients in the medical group and 52 (23%) of 224 patients in the stenting group had a primary endpoint event. The cumulative probability of the primary endpoints was smaller in the medical group versus the percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting (PTAS) group (p=0·0252). Beyond 30 days, 21 (10%) of 210 patients in the medical group and 19 (10%) of 191 patients in the stenting group had a primary endpoint. The absolute differences in the primary endpoint rates between the two groups were 7·1% at year 1 (95% CI 0·2 to 13·8%; p=0·0428), 6·5% at year 2 (−0·5 to 13·5%; p=0·07) and 9·0% at year 3 (1·5 to 16·5%; p=0·0193). The occurrence of the following adverse events was higher in the PTAS group than in the medical group: any stroke (59 [26%] of 224 patients vs 42 [19%] of 227 patients; p=0·0468) and major haemorrhage (29 [13%] of 224 patients vs 10 [4%] of 227 patients; p=0·0009).
Interpretation
The early benefit of aggressive medical management over stenting with the Wingspan stent for high-risk patients with intracranial stenosis persists over extended follow-up. Our findings lend support to the use of aggressive medical management rather than PTAS with the Wingspan system in high-risk patients with atherosclerotic intracranial arterial stenosis.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62038-3
PMCID: PMC3971471  PMID: 24168957
2.  Intradural vertebral endarterectomy with nonautologous patch angioplasty for refractory vertebrobasilar ischemia: Case report and literature review 
Background:
The natural history of patients with symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemic symptoms due to chronic bilateral vertebral artery occlusive disease is progressive, and poses significant challenges when refractory to medical therapy. Surgical treatment options depend largely on location and characteristics of the atheroma (s), and generally include percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) with or without stent placement, posterior circulation revascularization (bypass), extracranial vertebral artery reconstruction, or vertebral artery endarterectomy.
Case Description:
We present the case of a 56-year-old male with progressive vertebrobasilar ischemia due to tandem lesions in the right vertebral artery at the origin and intracranially in the V4 segment. The contralateral vertebral artery was occluded to the level of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) and posterior communicating arteries were absent. Following PTA and stent placement at the right vertebral artery origin, the patient was successfully treated with intradural vertebral artery endarterectomy (V4EA) and patch angioplasty via the far lateral approach. Distal endovascular intervention at the V4 segment proved not technically feasible after multiple attempts.
Conclusions:
V4EA is an uncommonly performed procedure, but may be considered for carefully selected patients. The authors’ techniques and indications are discussed. Historical outcomes, relevant anatomic considerations, and lessons learned are reviewed from the literature.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.145927
PMCID: PMC4278098  PMID: 25558424
Endarterectomy; patch angioplasty; vertebral stenosis; vertebrobasilar ischemia
3.  Detailed Analysis of Peri-Procedural Strokes in Patients Undergoing Intracranial Stenting in SAMMPRIS 
Background and Purpose
Enrollment in the SAMMPRIS trial was halted due to the high risk of stroke or death within 30 days of enrollment in the percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting (PTAS) arm relative to the medical arm. This analysis focuses on the patient and procedural factors that may have been associated with peri-procedural cerebrovascular events in the trial.
Methods
Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate whether patient and procedural variables were associated with cerebral ischemic or hemorrhagic events occurring within 30 days of enrollment (termed peri-procedural) in the PTAS arm.
Results
Of 224 patients randomized to PTAS, 213 underwent angioplasty alone (n=5) or with stenting (n=208). Of these, 13 had hemorrhagic strokes (7 parenchymal, 6 subarachnoid), 19 had ischemic stroke, and 2 had cerebral infarcts with temporary signs (CITS) within the peri-procedural period. Ischemic events were categorized as perforator occlusions (13), embolic (4), mixed perforator and embolic (2), and delayed stent occlusion (2). Multivariate analyses showed that higher percent stenosis, lower modified Rankin score, and clopidogrel load associated with an activated clotting time above the target range were associated (p ≤ 0.05) with hemorrhagic stroke. Non-smoking, basilar artery stenosis, diabetes, and older age were associated (p ≤ 0.05) with ischemic events.
Conclusions
Peri-procedural strokes in SAMMPRIS had multiple causes with the most common being perforator occlusion. Although risk factors for peri-procedural strokes could be identified, excluding patients with these features from undergoing PTAS to lower the procedural risk would limit PTAS to a small subset of patients. Moreover, given the small number of events, the present data should be used for hypothesis generation rather than to guide patient selection in clinical practice.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.661173
PMCID: PMC3509932  PMID: 22984008
Intracranial stenosis; angioplasty and stenting; clinical trial
4.  Stenting versus Aggressive Medical Therapy for Intracranial Arterial Stenosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(11):993-1003.
Background
Atherosclerotic intracranial arterial stenosis is an important cause of stroke that is increasingly being treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting (PTAS) to prevent recurrent stroke. However, PTAS has not been compared with medical management in a randomized trial.
Methods
We randomly assigned patients who had a recent transient ischemic attack or stroke attributed to stenosis of 70 to 99% of the diameter of a major intracranial artery to aggressive medical management alone or aggressive medical management plus PTAS with the use of the Wingspan stent system. The primary end point was stroke or death within 30 days after enrollment or after a revascularization procedure for the qualifying lesion during the follow-up period or stroke in the territory of the qualifying artery beyond 30 days.
Results
Enrollment was stopped after 451 patients underwent randomization, because the 30-day rate of stroke or death was 14.7% in the PTAS group (nonfatal stroke, 12.5%; fatal stroke, 2.2%) and 5.8% in the medical-management group (nonfatal stroke, 5.3%; non–stroke-related death, 0.4%) (P = 0.002). Beyond 30 days, stroke in the same territory occurred in 13 patients in each group. Currently, the mean duration of follow-up, which is ongoing, is 11.9 months. The probability of the occurrence of a primary end-point event over time differed significantly between the two treatment groups (P = 0.009), with 1-year rates of the primary end point of 20.0% in the PTAS group and 12.2% in the medical-management group.
Conclusions
In patients with intracranial arterial stenosis, aggressive medical management was superior to PTAS with the use of the Wingspan stent system, both because the risk of early stroke after PTAS was high and because the risk of stroke with aggressive medical therapy alone was lower than expected. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others; SAMMPRIS ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00576693.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1105335
PMCID: PMC3552515  PMID: 21899409
5.  Clipping of a Mycotic Basilar Trunk Aneurysm under Cardiac Arrest in a Pregnant AIDS Patient 
Skull Base  2010;20(6):459-463.
We present the first case of a coccidioidomycosis mycotic anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) aneurysm that was clipped under hypothermic cardiac standstill in a pregnant acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patient. A 24-year-old pregnant AIDS patient presented with intraventricular hemorrhage and hydrocephalus. Angiography revealed an 8-mm basilar trunk aneurysm with the right AICA protruding from the side wall of the aneurysm. The patient underwent a retrosigmoid craniotomy and direct clipping of the aneurysm under hypothermic cardiac standstill. At presentation, the patient had a poor grade due to subarachnoid and intraventricular hemorrhage. Despite her large posterior circulation aneurysm in the setting of AIDS with extensive coccidioidomycosis meningitis, the lesion was clipped successfully. To do so required the full range of neurosurgical repertoire, including a skull base approach and hypothermic cardiac standstill.
doi:10.1055/s-0030-1261260
PMCID: PMC3134816  PMID: 21772805
Coccidioidomycosis meningitis; hypothermic cardiac standstill; mycotic aneurysm
6.  Anatomical Relationships of Intracavernous Internal Carotid Artery to Intracavernous Neural Structures 
Skull Base  2010;20(5):327-336.
ABSTRACT
The objective is to correlate the intracavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) with the position of the intracavernous neural structures. The cavernous sinuses of nine injected cadaveric heads were dissected bilaterally. As measured on computed tomographic angiograms from 100 adults, anatomical relationships and measurements of intracavernous ICA and neural structures were studied and correlated to the intracavernous ICA curvature. Intracavernous ICAs were classified as normal and redundant. The meningohypophyseal trunk (MHT) of normal ICAs appeared to be closely related to the abducens nerve compared with redundant ICAs (5.5 ± 2.1 mm versus 10.0 ± 2.5 mm, respectively; p = 0.001). The position of the inferolateral trunk (ILT) varied along the horizontal segment of the intracavernous ICA. On imaging studies the ICA curvature correlated with the kyphotic degree of the skull and similarity of the ICA curvature between sides. The safety margin for preventing iatrogenic intracavernous nerve injury during surgical exploration or transarterial embolization of vascular lesions around the MHT is high with redundant ICAs. In contrast, a transvenous endovascular approach via the inferior petrosal sinus may be too distant to reach the MHT when ICAs are redundant. Approaching lesions of the inferolateral trunk may be the same regardless of ICA type.
doi:10.1055/s-0030-1253577
PMCID: PMC3023332  PMID: 21358996
Abducens nerve; carotid-cavernous fistula; cavernous sinus anatomy; internal carotid artery; sympathetic nerve

Results 1-6 (6)