Stereotactic radiosurgery for Spetzler-Martin Grade IV and V arteriovenous malformations: an international multicenter study
OBJECTIVE Due to the complexity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade IV-V arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions remains controversial. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after single-session stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade IV-V AVMs and determine predictive factors. METHODS The authors retrospectively pooled data from 233 patients (mean age 33 years) with SM Grade IV (94.4%) or V AVMs (5.6%) treated with single-session SRS at 8 participating centers in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Pre-SRS embolization was performed in 71 AVMs (30.5%). The mean nidus volume, SRS margin dose, and follow-up duration were 9.7 cm3, 17.3 Gy, and 84.5 months, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed to identify factors associated with post-SRS outcomes. RESULTS At a mean follow-up interval of 84.5 months, favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RIC) and was achieved in 26.2% of patients. The actuarial obliteration rates at 3, 7, 10, and 12 years were 15%, 34%, 37%, and 42%, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 3.0%. Symptomatic and permanent RIC occurred in 10.7% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Only larger AVM diameter (p = 0.04) was found to be an independent predictor of unfavorable outcome in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. The rate of favorable outcome was significantly lower for unruptured SM Grade IV-V AVMs compared with ruptured ones (p = 0.042). Prior embolization was a negative independent predictor of AVM obliteration (p = 0.024) and radiologically evident RIC (p = 0.05) in the respective multivariate analyses. CONCLUSIONS In this multi-institutional study, single-session SRS had limited efficacy in the management of SM Grade IV-V AVMs. Favorable outcome was only achieved in a minority of unruptured SM Grade IV-V AVMs, which supports less frequent utilization of SRS for the management of these lesions. A volume-staged SRS approach for large AVMs represents an alternative approach for high-grade AVMs, but it requires further investigation.
Assessment of acute head injury in an emergency department population using sport concussion assessment tool - 3rd edition
Sport Concussion Assessment Tool version 3 (SCAT-3) is one of the most widely researched concussion assessment tools in athletes. Here normative data for SCAT3 in nonathletes are presented. The SCAT3 was administered to 98 nonathlete healthy controls, as well as 118 participants with head-injury and 46 participants with other body trauma (OI) presenting to the ED. Reference values were derived and classifier functions were built to assess the accuracy of SCAT3. The control population had a mean of 2.30 (SD = 3.62) symptoms, 4.38 (SD = 8.73) symptom severity score (SSS), and 26.02 (SD = 2.52) standardized assessment of concussion score (SAC). Participants were more likely to be diagnosed with a concussion (from among healthy controls) if the SSS > 7; or SSS = 7 and SAC =22 (sensitivity = 96%, specificity = 77%). Identification of head injury patients from among both, healthy controls and body trauma was possible using rule SSS > 7 and headache or pressure in head present, or SSS = 7 and SAC = 22 (sensitivity = 87%, specificity = 80%). In this current study, the SCAT-3 provided high sensitivity to discriminate acute symptoms of TBI in the ED setting. Individuals with a SSS > 7 and headache or pressure in head, or SSS = 7 but with a SAC = 22 within 48-hours of an injury should undergo further testing.
Elevated intracranial pressure and reversible eye-tracking changes detected while viewing a film clip
OBJECTIVE The precise threshold differentiating normal and elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is variable among individuals. In the context of several pathophysiological conditions, elevated ICP leads to abnormalities in global cerebral functioning and impacts the function of cranial nerves (CNs), either or both of which may contribute to ocular dysmotility. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of elevated ICP on eye-tracking performed while patients were watching a short film clip. METHODS Awake patients requiring placement of an ICP monitor for clinical purposes underwent eye tracking while watching a 220-second continuously playing video moving around the perimeter of a viewing monitor. Pupil position was recorded at 500 Hz and metrics associated with each eye individually and both eyes together were calculated. Linear regression with generalized estimating equations was performed to test the association of eye-tracking metrics with changes in ICP. RESULTS Eye tracking was performed at ICP levels ranging from -3 to 30 mm Hg in 23 patients (12 women, 11 men, mean age 46.8 years) on 55 separate occasions. Eye-tracking measures correlating with CN function linearly decreased with increasing ICP (p < 0.001). Measures for CN VI were most prominently affected. The area under the curve (AUC) for eye-tracking metrics to discriminate between ICP < 12 and >/= 12 mm Hg was 0.798. To discriminate an ICP < 15 from >/= 15 mm Hg the AUC was 0.833, and to discriminate ICP < 20 from >/= 20 mm Hg the AUC was 0.889. CONCLUSIONS Increasingly elevated ICP was associated with increasingly abnormal eye tracking detected while patients were watching a short film clip. These results suggest that eye tracking may be used as a noninvasive, automatable means to quantitate the physiological impact of elevated ICP, which has clinical application for assessment of shunt malfunction, pseudotumor cerebri, concussion, and prevention of second-impact syndrome.
Effect of treatment period on outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain arteriovenous malformations: an international multicenter study
OBJECTIVEThe role of and technique for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have evolved over the past four decades. The aim of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study was to compare the SRS outcomes of AVMs treated during different time periods.METHODSThe authors selected patients with AVMs who underwent single-session SRS at 8 different centers from 1988 to 2014 with follow-up â‰¥ 6 months. The SRS eras were categorized as early (1988-2000) or modern (2001-2014). Statistical analyses were performed to compare the baseline characteristics and outcomes of the early versus modern SRS eras. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs).RESULTSThe study cohort comprised 2248 patients with AVMs, including 1584 in the early and 664 in the modern SRS eras. AVMs in the early SRS era were significantly smaller (p < 0.001 for maximum diameter and volume), and they were treated with a significantly higher radiosurgical margin dose (p < 0.001). The obliteration rate was significantly higher in the early SRS era (65% vs 51%, p < 0.001), and earlier SRS treatment period was an independent predictor of obliteration in the multivariate analysis (p < 0.001). The rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and radiological, symptomatic, and permanent RICs were not significantly different between the two groups. Favorable outcome was achieved in a significantly higher proportion of patients in the early SRS era (61% vs 45%, p < 0.001), but the earlier SRS era was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis (p = 0.470) with favorable outcome.CONCLUSIONSDespite considerable advances in SRS technology, refinement of AVM selection, and contemporary multimodality AVM treatment, the study failed to observe substantial improvements in SRS favorable outcomes or obliteration for patients with AVMs over time. Differences in baseline AVM characteristics and SRS treatment parameters may partially account for the significantly lower obliteration rates in the modern SRS era. However, improvements in patient selection and dose planning are necessary to optimize the utility of SRS in the contemporary management of AVMs.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brainstem Arteriovenous Malformations: A Multicenter Study
BACKGROUND: The management of brainstem arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) is a formidable challenge. bAVMs harbor higher morbidity and mortality compared to other locations. OBJECTIVE: To review the outcomes following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of bAVMs in a multicenter study. METHODS: Six medical centers contributed data from 205 patients through the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Median age was 32 yr (6-81). Median nidus volume was 1.4 mL (0.1-69 mL). Favorable outcome (FO) was defined as AVM obliteration and no post-treatment hemorrhage or permanent symptomatic radiation-induced complications. RESULTS: Overall obliteration was reported in 65.4% (n = 134) at a mean follow-up of 69 mo. Obliteration was angiographically proven in 53.2% (n = 109) and on MRA in 12.2% (n = 25). Actuarial rate of obliteration at 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 yr after SRS was 24.5%, 43.3%, 62.3%, 73%, and 81.8% respectively. Patients treated with a margin dose >20 Gy were more likely to achieve obliteration ( P = .001). Obliteration occurred earlier in patients who received a higher prescribed margin dose ( P = .05) and maximum dose ( P = .041). Post-SRS hemorrhage occurred in 8.8% (n = 18). Annual postgamma knife latency period hemorrhage was 1.5%. Radiation-induced complications were radiologically evident in 35.6% (n = 73), symptomatic in 14.6% (n = 30), and permanent in 14.6% (n = 30, which included long-tract signs and new cranial nerve deficits). FO was achieved in 64.4% (n = 132). Predictors of an FO were a higher Virginia radiosurgery AVM scale score ( P = .003), prior hemorrhage ( P = .045), and a lower prescribed maximum dose ( P = .006). CONCLUSION: SRS for bAVMs results in obliteration and avoids permanent complications in the majority of patients.
Early Venous Thromboembolism Chemoprophylaxis After Traumatic Intracranial Hemorrhage
BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism is a common complication of traumatic brain injury with an estimated incidence of 25% when chemoprophylaxis is delayed. The timing of initiating prophylaxis is controversial given the concern for hemorrhage expansion. OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety of initiating venous thromboembolic event (VTE) chemoprophylaxis within 24 h of presentation. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage presenting to a level I trauma center. Patients receiving early chemoprophylaxis (<24 h) were compared to the matched cohort of patients who received heparin in a delayed fashion (>48 h). The primary outcome of the study was radiographic expansion of the intracranial hemorrhage. Secondary outcomes included VTE, use of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, delayed decompressive surgery, and all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Of 282 patients, 94 (33%) received chemoprophylaxis within 24 h of admission. The cohorts were evenly matched across all variables. The primary outcome occurred in 18% of patients in the early cohort compared to 17% in the delayed cohort ( P = .83). Fifteen patients (16%) in the early cohort underwent an invasive procedure in a delayed fashion; this compares to 35 patients (19%) in the delayed cohort ( P = .38). Five patients (1.7%) in our study had a VTE during their hospitalization; 2 of these patients received early chemoprophylaxis ( P = .75). The rate of mortality from all causes was similar in both groups. CONCLUSION: Early (<24 h) initiation of VTE chemoprophylaxis in patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage appears to be safe. Further prospective studies are needed to validate this finding.
Early versus late arteriovenous malformation responders after stereotactic radiosurgery: an international multicenter study
OBJECTIVE The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is complete nidus obliteration, thereby eliminating the risk of future hemorrhage. This outcome can be observed within the first 18 months, although documentation of AVM obliteration can extend to as much as 5 years after SRS is performed. A shorter time to obliteration may impact the frequency and effect of post-SRS complications and latency hemorrhage. The authors' goal in the present study was to determine predictors of early obliteration (18 months or less) following SRS for cerebral AVM. METHODS Eight centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) obtained institutional review board approval to supply de-identified patient data. From a cohort of 2231 patients, a total of 1398 patients had confirmed AVM obliteration. Patients were sorted into early responders (198 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration at or prior to 18 months after SRS, and late responders (1200 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration more than 18 months after SRS. The median clinical follow-up time was 63.7 months (range 7-324.7 months). RESULTS Outcome parameters including latency interval hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcome were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Radiologically demonstrated radiation-induced changes were noted more often in the late responder group (376 patients [31.3%] vs 39 patients [19.7%] for early responders, p = 0.005). Multivariate independent predictors of early obliteration included a margin dose > 24 Gy (p = 0.031), prior surgery (p = 0.002), no prior radiotherapy (p = 0.025), smaller AVM nidus (p = 0.002), deep venous drainage (p = 0.039), and nidus location (p < 0.0001). Basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobe nidus locations favored early obliteration (p = 0.009). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS) score was significantly different between the 2 responder groups (p = 0.039). The VRAS score was also shown to be predictive of early obliteration on univariate analysis (p = 0.009). For early obliteration, such prognostic ability was not shown for other SRS- and AVM-related grading systems. CONCLUSIONS Early obliteration (= 18 months post-SRS) was more common in patients whose AVMs were smaller, located in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, or cerebellum, had deep venous drainage, and had received a margin dose > 24 Gy.
Stereotactic radiosurgery for cerebellar arteriovenous malformations: an international multicenter study
OBJECTIVE Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent the majority of infratentorial AVMs and frequently have a hemorrhagic presentation. In this multicenter study, the authors review outcomes of cerebellar AVMs after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). METHODS Eight medical centers contributed data from 162 patients with cerebellar AVMs managed with SRS. Of these patients, 65% presented with hemorrhage. The median maximal nidus diameter was 2 cm. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent radiation-induced complications (RICs). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically, with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 7-325 months). RESULTS The overall actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 38.3%, 74.2%, 81.4%, and 86.1%, respectively, after single-session SRS. Obliteration and a favorable outcome were more likely to be achieved in patients treated with a margin dose greater than 18 Gy (p < 0.001 for both), demonstrating significantly better rates (83.3% and 79%, respectively). The rate of latency preobliteration hemorrhage was 0.85%/year. Symptomatic post-SRS RICs developed in 4.5% of patients (n = 7). Predictors of a favorable outcome were a smaller nidus (p = 0.0001), no pre-SRS embolization (p = 0.003), no prior hemorrhage (p = 0.0001), a higher margin dose (p = 0.0001), and a higher maximal dose (p = 0.009). The Spetzler-Martin grade was not found to be predictive of outcome. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) and the Radiosurgery-Based AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) were predictive of a favorable outcome. CONCLUSIONS SRS results in successful obliteration and a favorable outcome in the majority of patients with cerebellar AVMs. Most patients will require a nidus dose of higher than 18 Gy to achieve these goals. Radiosurgical and not microsurgical scales were predictive of clinical outcome after SRS.
Maximizing Interhospital Transfer Resources for Neurosurgical Patients
BACKGROUND: Delays in patient transfers are associated with worse outcomes for some neurosurgical conditions. One of the primary causes of transfer delay is lack of neurosurgery ICU bed availability. In this study, we characterize the results of implementing an interhospital transfer protocol to reduce unnecessary transfers and improve bed availability. METHODS: A transfer protocol was implemented in July 2012 at the Bellevue Hospital Department of Neurosurgery that screened for and prevented transfer of low-risk patients that were unlikely to require specialized inpatient neurosurgical care. The impact of this protocol was assessed with prospectively recorded data on all potential interhospital transfers from May 2011 through June 2016. RESULTS: Of the 1978 calls (regarding 1886 individual patients), 402 occurred prior to the implementation of the transfer protocol and 1576 occurred after. Prior to the protocol, 84.1% of transfer requests were accepted but 15.2% were subsequently denied for bed unavailability. After the protocol, a smaller share of transfer requests were accepted after protocol screening (71.8%, p<.001), but only 1.9% (p<.001) were subsequently denied because of bed unavailability. The diagnosis demographics changed significantly (p<.001), with a larger share of arriving transfers suffering from aneurysms or tumors after the protocol and a smaller share suffering from stenosis/disc disease without neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The transfer protocol implemented in this study allowed transfer determination based on the need for specialized neurosurgical care rather than chance unavailability of beds. Developing interhospital transfer protocols may be an effective strategy to efficiently allocate limited hospital resources and improve transfer systems.
Radiosurgery for Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations: An International Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study
BACKGROUND: The role of intervention in the management of unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) is controversial. OBJECTIVE: To analyze in a multicenter, retrospective cohort study, the outcomes following radiosurgery for unruptured AVMs and determine predictive factors. METHODS: We evaluated and pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with unruptured AVMs and >/=12 mo of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no postradiosurgical hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes. RESULTS: The unruptured AVM cohort comprised 938 patients with a median age of 35 yr. The median nidus volume was 2.4 cm 3 , 71% of AVMs were located in eloquent brain areas, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 57%. The median radiosurgical margin dose was 21 Gy and follow-up was 71 mo. AVM obliteration was achieved in 65%. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4%. Symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes occurred in 9% and 3%, respectively. Favorable outcome was achieved in 61%. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, smaller AVM maximum diameter ( P = .001), the absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms ( P = .001), and higher margin dose ( P = .002) were found to be independent predictors of a favorable outcome. A margin dose >/= 20 Gy yielded a significantly higher rate of favorable outcome (70% vs 36%; P < .001). CONCLUSION: Radiosurgery affords an acceptable risk to benefit profile for patients harboring unruptured AVMs. These findings justify further prospective studies comparing radiosurgical intervention to conservative management for unruptured AVMs.