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  • 1
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Aneurysm ; subarachnoid haemorrhage ; timing of surgery
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The management of the ruptured intracranial aneurysm is studied in two consecutive series: an earlier series, including 328 patients admitted from 1972 through 1984, for which the general attitude was delayed surgery, and a later series, including 140 patients admitted from 1985 through 1989, in which selected patients were submitted to early surgery and other patients were postponed for delayed surgery, according to two main parameters: the clinical status and the patient's age. When we compare both series, the overall management results demonstrate an improvement of 10% of satisfactory results and a decrease of 10% in the death rate in favour of the later series; for the surgical results, the figures are respectively 6% and 5% in favour of the later series. The relationship between age and outcome shows a considerable improvement: over 50 years of age, we observed plus 25% of satisfactory results and minus 22% in death in favour of the later series. Similarly the relationship between state of consciousness and outcome, demonstrated a great improvement; for drowsy and stuporous patients the figures are respectively plus 22% and minus 21% in favour of the later series. When we consider the later series alone, the patients were admitted at 4 intervals of time from SAH (D0-3, D4-6, D7-15, D16 and over). The most favourable outcome was observed for those patients admitted late (after D7) and already stabilized. Patients admitted early (D0-3) were operated on at four intervals of time (D0-3, D4-6, D7-15, D16 and over). The most favourable outcome was observed for those patients operated on early (D0-3) or very late (D16 and over). For patients admitted early and being under 50 years of age, the results were: satisfactory 92%, poor 2.5%, death 5%. The relationship between age and outcome shows a very small difference between patients under or over 50 years of age. The relationship between level of consciousness and outcome still demonstrates an appreciable difference: plus 22% (satisfactory) and minus 7% (death) in favour of alert patients. Rebleeding was the cause of disability or death in 2.8% of the overall later series and 2.7% of patients admitted early; as for vasospasm the figures are respectively 4.2% and 5.4%. These results are presented with reference to those of the Co-operative Study. After this experience, the author's general attitude for the timing of surgery is neither systematic early surgery, nor systematic delayed surgery, but modulated surgery, based upon the evaluation of the operative risk: minor risk, major risk, intermediate risk. Schematically the authors propose: early surgery in alert patients and under 50 years of age (minor risk), late surgery in patients with disturbances of consciousness and over 50 years of age (major risk); preferably early surgery in younger patients even with disturbances of consciousness (intermediate risk); preferably late surgery in older patients, even being alert (intermediate risk).
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  • 2
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Unruptured aneurysm ; operation ; indication ; outcome
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The authors report a series of 37 cases of unruptured aneurysms, admitted and operated upon over a 5 year period (1985–1990), which represents an incidence of 18% of the total number of aneurysm patients operated upon during this period. These unruptured aneurysms were discovered in 4 types of circumstances: 1) Associated with a ruptured aneurysm but treated in a second procedure (9 cases); 2) After a transient ischaemic attack (6 cases); 3) After a cerebral haemorrhage of a different origin (3 cases), 4) After the onset of various neurological symptoms other than SAH (19 cases). Giant aneurysms (over 2.5 cm in diameter) are excluded from this series. Overall these 37 patients harboured 52 aneurysms, and 1 patient was operated upon on both sides. 27 aneurysms (52%) were located on the right side, 15 (29%) on the left side, and 10 (19%) on the midline. In the immediate post operative period, 1 patient died (2.6%) and 8 patients (21%) presented various complications. The outcome at 6 months was: death 2.6%, moderately disabled 8%, good recovery 89%. The arguments in favour of, or against, the surgical treatment of unruptured aneurysms are discussed in view of the literature. In favour of prophylactic surgery are: 1) The rather poor overall outcome following aneurysm rupture (including deaths before admission); 2) The rather good outcome of surgery in published series of unruptured aneurysms. The data of the natural history of the unruptured aneurysm are more questionable: in this view, surgery seems to be recommended in young patients with an easily accessible aneurysm and being in a good clinical condition. Several contra indications should be strictly accepted: severe associated diseases, age (over 65 and sometimes over 60), patient's refusal or reluctance. In cases of unruptured aneurysms to be operated upon in a second procedure after a ruptured aneurysm, the authors usually wait for 2 months or more before the second operation.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Arteriovenous malformations ; embolization ; radiosurgery
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary A series of 100 patients treated for a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is presented. Patients were admitted between 1985 and April 1992. Two groups are considered: the first group including 52 patients treated before the availability of radiosurgery (1985–1988), and the second group including 48 patients treated after the availability of radiosurgery (1989–1992). AVM's were classified in five grades according to the Spetzler's Grading System. Three techniques of treatment were used: surgical resection, intravascular embolization (with cyanoacrylate), and radiosurgery (linear accelerator). These three techniques were used either alone or in association, giving four types of management: surgical resection alone, embolization and resection, embolization alone, and radiosurgery (alone, or after embolization, or after surgical resection). From 1989 on, the availability of radiosurgery was responsible for the decrease of the “embolization and resection” group, which until then was predominantly used as well for low-grade (I, II, III) as for high-grade AVM's (IV, V). Overall, for the low-grade AVM's, the treatment of choice was surgical resection (79% of cases), with pre-operative embolization in one-half of these cases; the other low-grade AVM's were irradiated, with various combinations. For the high-grade AVM's, the treatment of choice was intravascular embolization (95% of cases), either alone, or followed by resection (45%) or radiosurgery (9%). Results were evaluated in terms of deterioration following treatment, in five groups: no deterioration (59%), minor deterioration (20%), long-lasting deficit (10%), major deterioration (5%), and death (6%). Overall, results improved after 1989: favourable outcome (no deterioration and minor deterioration) increased from 67% to 90%. Results were not related to the patients' age. More favourable results were obtained for low-grade AVM's (93%) than for high-grade AVM's (60%). For the low-grade AVM's the evolution from 1989 on (favourable outcomes increasing from 89% to 96%) occurred with the lowering of the mortality rate. For the highgrade AVM's, the evolution from 1989 onwards (favourable outcome increasing from 46% to 78%) occurred with the decrease of the cases with deficits. The angiographic results were strongly related to the management: 95% of complete eradication after surgical resection and 5% only after embolization alone. Concerning the results in irradiated cases, the follow-up is not long enough. The review of the neurosurgical literature since 1972 demonstrates progressive modifications in the therapeutic attitude as regards AVM's. The surgical management which was predominantly used at the beginning gave way progressively to a combined management, with a combination of embolization, surgery, and lately radiosurgery. The authors' present attitude is in favour of combined treatment using the three techniques. Direct surgical resection is proposed for small and readily accessible AVM's. Direct radiosurgery is proposed for small but deep AVM's or those located in highly functional areas. Intravascular embolization is proposed in every other situation. After embolization has been completed, totally eradicated AVM's are left in place; no further treatment is proposed for AVM's which are still large with high surgical risk. AVM's which are sufficiently reduced in size are either operated on (if accessible) or irradiated (if deeply situated). When the results of radiosurgery are assessed with long enough follow-up (in terms of eradication and clinical outcome) the authors' attitude may either increase the role of radiosurgery or return towards surgical resection, depending of the quality of the results.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Cerebral aneurysm ; cerebral arteriovenous malformation ; occult vascular malformation ; association of aneurysm with AVM
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Between 1979 and 1989, 7 patients were admitted, with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and associated aneurysms (7% of the AVM patients and 2% of the aneurysm patients admitted during the same period). 6 of these patients were admitted because of an intracranial haemorrhage (in 3 of them the AVM, angiographically occult, was discovered at surgery). The last patient was referred for seizures. Preoperatively it was supposed that the haemorrhage was related to the aneurysm in 3 cases, and to the AVM in 3 cases. But surgery allowed one to correct this supposition. Haemorrhage was due to AVM rupture in all 6 cases, and no aneurysm had ruptured. Overall three situations were demonstrated in this series: aneurysm and occult AVM (3 cases); AVM and independent aneurysm in the same area (2 cases); large AVM and aneurysm on a feeding artery (2 cases). All 6 patients admitted for haemorrhage were operated upon, at one operation in 5 of them. Both the malformations were excluded in these six patients. For the patient admitted for seizure, intra-vascular embolization of the AVM was performed, the aneurysm was not treated. The pathogenesis of the association AVM-aneurysm is discussed. In the authors' opinion, haemodynamic relationship should be considered in two cases (large AVM and aneurysm on a feeding vessel). For the other 5 cases, both the AVM and the coexisting aneurysm may be the end-result of a common congenital vascular malformation syndrome.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Cerebral AVMs ; endovascular embolization ; radiosurgery
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Patients and techniques A series of 67 patients treated for cerebral AVMs with a multidisciplinary approach is reported, with special attention for the complications due to treatment. The malformations were classified after the Spetzler Grading Scale, with 67% low-grade and 33% highgrade AVMs. Three modes of treatment were used: surgical resection, endovascular embolization, and radiosurgery (linear accelerator technique). The actual treatment was: resection alone (25% of cases), embolization plus resection (24%), embolization alone (21%), and radiosurgery (30%), either alone or after embolization or surgery. The following eradication rates were obtained: overall 80%, after resection (with or without embolization) 91%, after embolization alone 13%, after radiosurgery 87%. Clinical outcome The outcome was evaluated in terms of deterioration due to treatment. A deterioration after treatment occurred in 19 patients (28%), and was a minor deterioration (19%), a neurological deficit (4%), or death (4%). As far as the mode of treatment is concerned, surgical resection was responsible for deterioration (minor) in 17% of all cases operated upon. Radiosurgery was followed by a minor deterioration in 10% of irradiated cases. Embolization gave a complication in 25% of all embolized cases (minor or neurological deficit, or death). The mechanism of the complications was: resection or manipulation of an eloquent area during surgery, radionecrosis after radiosurgery, ischaemia and haemorrhage (50% each) following embolization. In most cases of haemorrhage due to embolization, occlusion of the main venous drainage could be demonstrated. Discussion The haemodynamic disturbances to AVMs and to their treatment are reviewed in the literature. The main haemodynamic mechanisms admitted at the beginning of a complication after treatment of cerebral AVMs are the normal perfusion pressure breakthrough syndrome, the disturbances of the venous drainage (venous overload or occlusive hyperaemia), and the retrograde thrombosis of the feeding arteries. Conclusions According the authors' experience, the emphasis of treatment for cerebral AVMs has now shifted from surgical resection to endovascular embolization. One of the explanations is that endovascular techniques are now employed in the most difficult cases (high grade AVMs). As severe complications of endovascular embolization may also occur for low-grade malformations, the question arises whether surgery or radiosurgery should not be used first for this low-grade group even if embolization is feasible.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Atlanto-axial dislocation ; ossiculum terminale ; odontoid process
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Two cases of atlanto-axial dislocation due to ossiculum terminale of the odontoid process are reported. A new technique of posterior fusion with a Y-shaped plate is described. Embryological data, clinical features, and operative treatment of this unusual condition are discussed.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: CO2 laser technique ; intracranial meningiomas ; cere-bral tumours
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The CO2 laser technique has been routinely used from 1988 through 1992 for the resection of 93 cerebral tumours (meningiomas 58%, gliomas 15%, neurinomas 9%, miscellaneous 18%). The CO2 laser technique was found the more effective 1) in tumours of hard consistency, 2) in large or giant tumours, 3) in tumours with scarce vascularization. Meningiomas were the indication of choice (54 cases that is 58% of all tumours treated with CO2 laser, and 64% of all meningiomas operated on during the same period). Among the meningiomas treated with the CO2 laser, 54% were located on the skull base. The CO2 laser beam provides good haemostasis of small vessels during the vaporization process. When attached to the operative microscope, the other advantages of the CO2 laser technique are: the absence of a handle-piece, the absence of manual manipulation of the tumour, the coaxiality of the laser beam with the visual beam. The disadvantages are: the rigidity of the coupled microscope-Laser arm, the smoke produced by the vaporization of hard tumours, the noise of the device.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Arteriovenous malformations ; endovascular embolization ; radiosurgery ; grading of AVMs
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The prognostic value of the Spetzler's grading system is studied in a series of 52 AVMs treated by a combined management, using one or several of the 3 available techniques: surgical resection, endovascular embolization, radiosurgery. The symptoms at the time of treatment were haemorrhage 50%, seizures 31%, headache and deficit 19%. Three grade groups were considered: I and II (31%), III (33%), IV and V (36%). Overall, AVMs were managed as follows: resection alone 25%, embolization plus resection 23%, embolization alone 23%, radiosurgery with various combinations 29%. According to the grade groups, the most frequently used technique was resection alone for grade I–II AVMs (44%), radiosurgery for grade III AVMs (41%) and embolization alone for grade IV–V AVMs (42%). The clinical outcome was evaluated in terms of deterioration due to treatment. The best results were obtained in grade I–II AVMs (81% with no deterioration) then in grade III AVMs (65%) and in grade IV–V (58%). However, when we consider the outcome in terms of favourable results (no or only minor deterioration) we obtained a similar outcome for grade I–II and grade III AVMs (94% each), and only 79% for grade IV–V malformations. The angiographic outcome showed a better eradication rate in grade III AVMs (88% complete eradication), than in grade I–II AVMs (75%) and in grade IV–V (47%). Our conclusion is that the Spetzler's grading system in this series was well correlated with both the clinical and the angiographic outcome. However, we found no real difference between grade I–II and grade III AVMs. So, in terms of prognostic value, the grade I, II, and III AVMs could be considered together as low-grade malformations, with a better prognosis than the high-grade malformations (grade IV and V).
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  • 9
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
    ISSN: 0942-0940
    Keywords: Carotid artery stenosis ; carotid artery endarterectomy ; carotid artery atheromatosis ; operative management ; outcome
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary During 1978 to 1989, 235 patients were operated upon with 260 procedures for cervical carotid endarterectomy. The patients were classified according to the presence or absence of ischaemic symptomatology, and for symptomatic patients, according to the reversibility or persistance of ischaemic symptoms. So the selection of patients was: reversible ischaemia 46%, stroke 29%, asymptomatic patients 25%. In the stroke group, no patient was operated on as an emergency, the endarterectomy was only performed after stabilization of the clinical state. Three subgroups were included in patients operated on for asymptomatic carotid stenosis: casual discovery 40%, treatment of the second carotid artery (previous endarterectomy for symptomatic contralateral stenosis) 34%, and treatment of the second carotid artery (previous ECIC by-pass for contralateral carotid occlusion) 26%. All patients were operated upon after angiographic exploration (femoral catheterisation in most cases), and after cerebral CT scan. The surgical technique included general anaesthesia, systematic shunting, endarterectomy after longitudinal arteriotomy, closure without patch. The operating microscope has been used since 1985. The surgical results were studied in terms of uneventful postoperative course (87%), reversible complications (8%) and long lasting complications (5%). The long lasting complications were of local origin (1%), of neurological origin (2%), of general origin (1%). Overall the operative outcome at 6 months was: return to previous clinical state 95%, neurological sequelae 2%, death 3%. In the patients operated on for asymptomatic carotid stenosis the overall outcome was: previous clinical state 97%, death 3%. The legitimacy of carotid endarterectomy procedure is discussed in relation to some recent pertinent literature.
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