Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis

Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis

Until now, the exact etiology of intracranial aneurysms formation remains unclear. The most important factors predicting rupture are aneurysm size and site.

Miyata et al. proposed the contribution of a structural change in an adventitia, i.e., vasa vasorum formation, to the rupture of IAs 1).

Although some previous reports have demonstrated an association between lipid accumulation and degenerative changes in aneurysm walls in humans, epidemiological studies have failed to identify dyslipidemia as a risk factor for intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis. Thus, Shimizu et al. examined whether an increase in serum cholesterol levels facilitates the progression of intracranial aneurysms in a rat model. Rats were given a high-fat diet (HFD) and subjected to an intracranial aneurysm model. The HFD elevated their serum cholesterol levels. The intracranial aneurysms induced at the anterior cerebral artery-olfactory artery bifurcation were significantly larger in the high-fat group than in the normal-chow group. Histological analysis demonstrated that the loss of medial smooth muscle layers was exacerbated in the high-fat group and indicated the presence of macrophage-derived foam cells in the lesions. In in vitro experiments, the expression levels of the pro-inflammatory genes induced by LPS in RAW264.7-derived foam cells were significantly higher than those in RAW264.7 cells. The combination of these results suggests that increased serum cholesterol levels facilitate degenerative changes in the media and the progression of intracranial aneurysms presumably through foam cell transformation 2).

Genetics

Pathophysiology

Hemodynamics

see Intracranial aneurysm hemodynamics.

In addition to ambiental factors (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and hypertension), epidemiological studies have demonstrated a familiar influence contributing to the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms, with increased frequency in first- and second-degree relatives of people with subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Data suggest that macrophage-derived Matrix metalloproteinase 2 and Matrix metalloproteinase 9, may play an important role in the progression of intracranial aneurysms. The findings will shed a new light into the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms and highlight the importance of inflammatory response causing the degeneration of extracellular matrix in the process of this disease 3).

Investigations strongly suggest that the pathophysiology is closely associated with chronic inflammation in vascular walls. Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) has a key role in the formation and progression.

Children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) are at risk for developing multiple intracranial aneurysms, and a high index of suspicion must be maintained during the interpretation of routine magnetic resonance imaging or angiography of the brain 4).

Dental bacterial DNA can be found using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in both ruptured and unruptured aneurysm walls, suggesting that bacterial DNA plays a role in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms in general, rather than only in ruptured aneurysms 5).

THSD1 in Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis

Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the THSD1 gene.

The protein encoded by this gene contains a type 1 thrombospondin domain, which is found in thrombospondin, a number of proteins involved in the complement pathway, as well as extracellular matrix proteins. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been observed.

As illustrated by THSD1 research, cell adhesion may play a significant role in IA 6).

A study discovered that harmful variants in THSD1 (Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1) likely cause intracranial aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage in a subset of both familial and sporadic patients with supporting evidence from two vertebrate models 7).

A report identified THSD1 mutations in familial and sporadic IA patients and shows that THSD1 loss results in cerebral bleeding in 2 animal models. This finding provides new insight into IA and subarachnoid hemorrhage pathogenesis and provides new understanding of THSD1 function, which includes endothelial cell to extracellular matrix adhesion 8).

References

1)

Miyata H, Imai H, Koseki H, Shimizu K, Abekura Y, Oka M, Kawamata T, Matsuda T, Nozaki K, Narumiya S, Aoki T. Vasa vasorum formation is associated with rupture of intracranial aneurysms. J Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 16:1-11. doi: 10.3171/2019.5.JNS19405. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31419795.
2)

Shimizu K, Miyata H, Abekura Y, Oka M, Kushamae M, Kawamata T, Mizutani T, Kataoka H, Nozaki K, Miyamoto S, Aoki T. High-Fat Diet Intake Promotes the Enlargement and Degenerative Changes in the Media of Intracranial Aneurysms in Rats. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019 Jul 24. pii: nlz057. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlz057. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31340038.
3)

Aoki T, Kataoka H, Morimoto M, Nozaki K, Hashimoto N. Macrophage-derived matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 promote the progression of cerebral aneurysms in rats. Stroke. 2007 Jan;38(1):162-9. Epub 2006 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 17122420.
4)

Saini S, Speller-Brown B, Wyse E, Meier ER, Carpenter J, Fasano RM, Pearl MS. Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms in Children With Sickle Cell Disease: Analysis of 18 Aneurysms in 5 Patients. Neurosurgery. 2015 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25710108.
5)

Pyysalo MJ, Pyysalo LM, Pessi T, Karhunen PJ, Lehtimäki T, Oksala N, Öhman JE. Bacterial DNA findings in ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Acta Odontol Scand. 2016 May;74(4):315-20. doi: 10.3109/00016357.2015.1130854. Epub 2016 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 26777430.
6)

Xu Z, Rui YN, Hagan JP, Kim DH. Intracranial Aneurysms: Pathology, Genetics, and Molecular Mechanisms. Neuromolecular Med. 2019 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s12017-019-08537-7. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31055715.
7)

Rui YN, Xu Z, Fang X, Menezes MR, Balzeau J, Niu A, Hagan JP, Kim DH. The Intracranial Aneurysm Gene THSD1 Connects Endosome Dynamics to Nascent Focal Adhesion Assembly. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;43(6):2200-2211. doi: 10.1159/000484298. Epub 2017 Oct 25. PubMed PMID: 29069646.
8)

Santiago-Sim T, Fang X, Hennessy ML, Nalbach SV, DePalma SR, Lee MS, Greenway SC, McDonough B, Hergenroeder GW, Patek KJ, Colosimo SM, Qualmann KJ, Hagan JP, Milewicz DM, MacRae CA, Dymecki SM, Seidman CE, Seidman JG, Kim DH. THSD1 (Thrombospondin Type 1 Domain Containing Protein 1) Mutation in the Pathogenesis of Intracranial Aneurysm and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Stroke. 2016 Dec;47(12):3005-3013. Epub 2016 Nov 15. Erratum in: Stroke. 2017 Aug;48(8):e240. PubMed PMID: 27895300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5134902.

Woven EndoBridge (WEB)

Woven EndoBridge (WEB)

The Woven EndoBridge (WEB) (Sequent Medical, Aliso Viejo, California), is a ellipsoid braided-wire embolization device designed to provide flow disruption along the aneurysm neck 1).

Placed in the aneurysm, the device will modify the blood flow at the level of the neck and induce aneurysmal thrombosis. The WEB shape was designed to treat wide necked aneurysm. The device has been developed progressively from a dual-layer version (WEB DL) to single-layer versions (WEB SL and WEB SLS [single-layer spherical]).

This device does not require long-term antiplatelet use.

Indications

For the treatment of both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms. The WEB has received the CE mark and to date has been used to treat a wide variety of more than 1,400 aneurysms in Europe, Latin America and New Zealand. The WEB is not available for sale or use in the United States.

The WEB is a self-expanding, oblate, braided nitinol mesh.

The device is composed of an inner and outer braid held together by proximal, middle, and distal radiopaque markers, creating 2 compartments: 1 distal and 1 proximal. Depending on the device diame- ter, the inner and outer braids are 108 wires or 144 wires. Therefore, blood flow into a WEB-embolized aneurysm initially encounters 2 layers of wires comprising 216 or 288 wires, with the largest interwire distance ranging from 106 to 181 􏰅m, respectively, depending on the device size. The WEB implant is deployed—or retrieved before de- tachment—in a manner similar to that in endovascular coil systems, through microcatheters with an internal diameter 􏰆0.027 inch. For devices with a diameter of 􏰇7 mm, microcatheters with an internal diameter of 0.027 inch are used; and for devices with a diameter 􏰁7 mm, microcatheters with an internal diameter 0.032 inch are used. The detachment system is electrothermal and instantaneous. 2).


In a study, there was no difference in the early clinical course between those treated with WEB embolization, coil embolization, or neurosurgical clipping. Since WEB embolization is a valuable treatment alternative to coiling, it seems not justified to exclude this procedure from upcoming clinical SAH trials, yet the clinical long-term outcome, aneurysm occlusion, and retreatment rates have to be analyzed in further studies 3).

Trials

The WEB Clinical Assessment of Intrasaccular Aneurysm Therapy (WEBCAST) trial is a prospective European trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of WEB in wide necked aneurysm of the bifurcation.

Procedure

Limitations

It does not immediately secure the aneurysm in most subarachnoid hemorrhage cases. Second, it may not be suitable for embolization of wide-neck aneurysms with an unfavorable aspect ratio. To overcome these limitations, Zanaty et al., used the WEB device in conjunction with stenting and/or coiling.

They presented a technical note with an illustrated case-series, and provide a detailed step-by-step description on how the WEB device can be used in adjunct to coiling and/or stenting to achieve successful angiographic results. Accurate sizing of the WEB device before deployment is critical. Larger case-series are required to further assess the safety and success of these combined techniques 4).

Systematic review and meta-analysis

Zhang et al. searched the PubMedOvid MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases between December 1, 2012 and June 30, 2018.

Studies that included five or more patients undergoing WEB for Wide necked intracranial aneurysms, reported an angiographic or clinical outcomeand risk factors, and were published after December 1, 2012 were eligible.

Major outcomes included initial or short-term complete and adequate occlusion. Secondary outcomes included treatment failure, recanalizationmortalitymorbidity, and complication (e.g., thromboembolism or intraoperative rupture) rates. A random-effect model was used to pool the data. To assess risk factors for short-term angiographic outcomes and the most common complications, they conducted subgroup analyses and obtained odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.

They included 36 studies (1759 patients with 1749 aneurysms). The initial complete and adequate occlusion rates were 35% and 77%, respectively. After a mean follow-up of 9.34 months, the short-term complete and adequate occlusion rates were 53% and 80%, respectively. Thromboembolism and recanalization were the most common complications (both 9%), followed by mortality (7%), morbidity (6%), failure (5%) and intraoperative rupture (3%). The following factors were related to higher short-term obliteration rates: unruptured status, in the anterior circulation, a medium neck (4-9.9 mm), newer-generation WEB and treatment without additional devices. Ruptured status, anterior circulation, preoperative antiplatelet therapy and newer-generation WEB were not significantly related to withto thromboembolism.

WEB has a satisfactory safety profile and shows promising efficacy in treating wide-neck intracranial aneurysms. They preliminarily identified several risk factors for short-term angiographic outcomes 5).

Case series

References

1)

Ding YH, Lewis DA, Kadirvel R, Dai D, Kallmes DF. The Woven EndoBridge: a new aneurysm occlusion device. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2011 Mar;32(3):607-11. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A2399. Epub 2011 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 21330397.
2)

Pierot L, Liebig T, Sychra V, Kadziolka K, Dorn F, Strasilla C, Kabbasch C, Klisch J. Intrasaccular flow-disruption treatment of intracranial aneurysms: preliminary results of a multicenter clinical study. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012 Aug;33(7):1232-8. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3191. Epub 2012 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 22678844.
3)

Sauvigny T, Nawka MT, Schweingruber N, Mader MM, Regelsberger J, Schmidt NO, Westphal M, Czorlich P. Early clinical course after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: comparison of patients treated with Woven EndoBridge, microsurgical clipping, or endovascular coiling. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2019 Jul 6. doi: 10.1007/s00701-019-03992-4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31280480.
4)

Zanaty M, Roa JA, Dandapat S, Samaniego EA, Jabbour P, Hasan D. Diverse Use of the WEB Device: A Technical Note on WEB Stenting and WEB Coiling of Complex Aneurysms. World Neurosurg. 2019 Jul 10. pii: S1878-8750(19)31933-3. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.07.027. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31301439.
5)

Zhang SM, Liu LX, Ren PW, Xie XD, Miao J. Effectiveness, safety and risk factors of Woven EndoBridge device in the treatment of wide-neck intracranial aneurysms : systematic review and meta-analysis. World Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 13. pii: S1878-8750(19)32175-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.08.023. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31419591.

Ponticulus posticus

Ponticulus posticus

The ponticulus posticus is a bony bridge in the atlas between the lateral mass and the posterior arch. It results due to ossification of the posterior atlantooccipital ligament of atlas and encloses the vertebral artery and the first cervical nerve root.

It is a normal anatomical variant of atlas vertebrae (C1) and resides in the posterior arch of atlas in relation to the vertebral artery. It is an incidental finding visualised from lateral cephalograms taken for routine orthodontic treatment purposes. Ponticulus posticus in Latin means ‘little posterior bridge’. Other synonyms for ponticulus are arcuate foramen, kimerle anomaly, retroarticular foramen and retocondylar foramen.

An overall incidence of ponticulus posticus has been reported to be 16.7%. Literature reveals a higher incidence in females compared with males and this anomaly was age-independent.

Diagnosis

Failure to detect ponticulus posticus can have grave complications during cervical spine surgical intervention, especially those requiring screw placement in lateral mass region of Atlas vertebra 1).


Consecutive computed tomography scans (n=210) were reviewed for PP and high-riding vertebral artery (HRVA) (defined as an internal height of <2 mm and an isthmus height of <5 mm). In scans with PP+HRVA, we measured the ipsilateral pedicle width, pars length, and laminar thickness and compared them with controls (those without PP or HRVA).

PP was present in 14.76% and HRVA in 20% of scans. Of the 420 sides in 210 scans, PP+HRVA was present on 13 sides (seven right and six left). In scans with PP+HRVA, the length of the C2 par was shorter compared with controls (13.69 mm in PP+HRVA vs. 20.65 mm in controls, p<0.001). The mean C2 pedicle width was 2.53 mm in scans with PP+HRVA vs. 5.83 mm in controls (p<0.001). The mean laminar thickness was 4.92 and 5.48 mm in scans with PP+HRVA and controls, respectively (p=0.209).

The prevalence of PP+HRVA was approximately 3% in the present study. Our data suggest that, in such situations, C2 pedicle width and pars length create important safety limitations for a proposed screw, whereas the translaminar thickness appears safe for a proposed screw 2).


In CT scans some anomalies, such as abnormal facet complex and arch anomalies, have to be differentiated from fractures in a trauma patient. Other anomalies, like PP, have to be looked for during preoperative planning to avoid complications during surgery. Therefore, knowledge of these anomalies is important as different anomalies have different clinical courses and management 3).

Case series

Thirty-three consecutive patients with unstable odontoid fractures underwent Goel technique and Harms technique (C1–2 arthrodesis). Surgery was performed with the aid of lateral fluoroscopy control in 16 cases (control group) that was supplemented by Doppler ultrasonography in 17 cases (Doppler group). Two patients in each group had a C1 ponticulus posticus. In the Doppler group, Doppler probing was performed during lateral subperiosteal muscle dissection, stepwise drilling, and tapping. Blood flow velocity in the V3 segment of the VA was recorded before and after posterior arthrodesis. All patients had a 12-month outpatient follow-up, and the outcome was assessed using the Smiley-Webster Pain Scale. Neither VAI nor postoperative neurological impairments were observed in the Doppler group. In the control group, VAIs occurred in the 2 patients with C1 ponticulus posticus. In the Doppler group, 1 patient needed intra- and postoperative blood transfusions, and no difference in terms of Doppler signal or VA blood flow velocity was detected before and after C1-C2 posterior arthrodesis. In the control group, 3 patients needed intra- and postoperative blood transfusions.Useful in supporting fluoroscopy-assisted procedures, intraoperative Doppler may play a significant role even during surgeries in which neuronavigation is used, reducing the chance of a mismatch between the view on the neuronavigation screen and the actual course of the VA in the operative field and supplying the additional data of blood flow velocity 4).

References

1)

Elliott RE, Tanweer O. The prevalence of the ponticulus posticus (arcuate foramen) and its importance in the Goel-Harms procedure: meta-analysis and review of the literature. World Neurosurg. 2014 Jul-Aug;82(1-2):e335-43. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.09.014. Epub 2013 Sep 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 24055572.
2)

Kothari MK, Dalvie SS, Gupta S, Tikoo A, Singh DK. The C2 Pedicle Width, Pars Length, and Laminar Thickness in Concurrent Ipsilateral Ponticulus Posticus and High-Riding Vertebral Artery: A Radiological Computed Tomography Scan-Based Study. Asian Spine J. 2019 Apr;13(2):290-295. doi: 10.31616/asj.2018.0057. Epub 2018 Dec 7. PubMed PMID: 30521747; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6454277.
3)

N V A, Avinash M, K S S, Shetty AP, Kanna RM, Rajasekaran S. Congenital Osseous Anomalies of the Cervical Spine: Occurrence, Morphological Characteristics, Embryological Basis and Clinical Significance: A Computed Tomography Based Study. Asian Spine J. 2019 Mar 14:535-543. doi: 10.31616/asj.2018.0260. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30866614; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6680038.
4)

Lofrese G, Cultrera F, Visani J, Nicassio N, Essayed W, Donati R, Cavallo MA, De Bonis P. Intraoperative Doppler ultrasound as a means of preventing vertebral artery injury during Goel and Harms C1-C2 posterior arthrodesis: technical note. J Neurosurg Spine. 2019 Aug 16:1-7. doi: 10.3171/2019.5.SPINE1959. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31419805.
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