37 e-Letters

published between 2017 and 2020

  • Challenges and subtleties in the evaluation of post-procedural cognitive changes

    We congratulate Drs. Srivatsan and colleagues on their paper examining the effects of endovascular coiling of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) on cognition using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).1 In particular, we appreciate the efforts made to sample the patients at multiple time points including pre-intervention and at 1-month and 6-months post-intervention. The study found that coiling did not diminish neurocognitive function per the MoCA, with there also being no correlation between follow-up MoCA scores and imaging findings, the overall results being comparable to the authors’ previous paper on MoCA scores following flow diversion for UIAs.2 Intriguingly, the MoCA scores at baseline were on average below the typical cut-off of 26 points, especially given the relatively young population (mean age 55.5 years).

    However, as acknowledged by the authors, the ability of the study to discern post-coiling imaging changes was limited by both the small subset of the population that received follow-up imaging (17 of 33 patients, 51.5%) and the smaller subset that underwent MRI (9 patients, 27.3%).1 Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences of MRI are most sensitive to identifying post-procedural ischemic injury following neuro-interventional procedures like coiling.3 DWI lesions occur quite frequently; for example, in the ENACT trial (Evaluating Neuroprotection in Aneurysm Coiling Therapy), 68% of patients had new lesions post-procedure, with an average o...

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  • Technical feasibility and clinical impact.

    After reading the interesting article by Jeon et al, indeed, the first series of cases of revascularization in cerebral infarction, it is important to point out several aspects related to the cancer patient. Cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases with some points in common related to cellular behavior in the face of cell division controls and their local and systemic effects. Its incidence and prevalence are increasing, and the borders of treatment are changing, as is the disease itself. Patients with active cancer, therefore, should be approached in a multidisciplinary strategy, for the management of their oncological pathology or associated patient comorbidities. Stroke does not escape this strategy, because it does not have the same clinical impact to treat a patient with an oncological disease in early staging compared to one in advanced staging or in disease progression in palliative care and short calculated survival. It is not possible to establish a general rule of treatment in stroke with active cancer for these reasons, and a careful analysis of which primary tumors, their staging or clinical evolution of response to treatment, are necessary to clarify the clinical picture of stroke treatment in the oncological disease context.

  • Regarding: Outcome of patients with large vessel occlusion stroke after first admission in telestroke spoke versus comprehensive stroke center

    Dear Editor,

    Kaminsky et al1 present an interesting study regarding the logistics of patients eligible for endovascular stroke therapy (EVT). They conclude that whether patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) are first admitted to a hospital with or without this treatment does not affect patient outcome.
    However, there are some difficulties interpreting the main statistical multivariate analyses. Firstly, although there is a clear presentation of how the main multivariate logistic regression analysis is performed, the covariates included in the model are not presented, and the model is not shown in any table. Secondly, the authors have included variables solely based on the strength of their association with the outcome, and not based on the potential of the variable to confound the relationship between the variable of interest (which center the patient is admitted to first), and the outcome. In this setting, it is our opinion that selecting covariates based on an etiological model, that focuses on the variable of interest, and includes covariates based on the potential for confounding, would be the best strategy.2 We disagree with the authors` choice of a prognostic model.
    We urge the authors to provide a table showing the main analysis, or even repeat the main analysis using an etiological approach to model building and variable selection.
    Despite these shortcomings, we commend the authors for undertaking such a relevant clinical study, and we...

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  • Letter to the Editor, JNIS Editorial Board

    Dear Editor:

    We read with great joy the recent article by Kuhn et al entitled, “ Distal radial access in the anatomical snuffbox for neurointerventions: a feasibility, safety, and proof-of-concept study.” The authors should be congratulated on their work, as well as the use and maturation of the distal radial technique from diagnostic to interventional procedures. The authors detail their use of the Prelude sheaths which we agree are excellent low profile large lumen sheaths for radial access. We typically utilize the Glide Slender sheaths (Terumo) but both are excellent options. We also agree that the distal radial approach can be used for numerous interventions with access sizes from 4 to 6F, including 6F sheathless long 088 guides. Our choice for distal radial sheathless long 088 guides is Infinity LS (Stryker), and for 071 guides the Benchmark (penumbra) via a 6F sheath.

    The authors noted their series was the first series to cover numerous neurointerventions with distal transradial access, however we would like to respectfully point out that we published on this topic in January of 2019 (accepted in March of 2019). Our paper by Rajah et al entitled, “ Snuff box radial access: A technical note on distal radial access for neuroendovascular procedures” can be found in Brain Circulation at the following citation available in PUBMED.

    Rajah G, Garling RJ, Hudson M, Luqman A. Snuff box radial access: A technical note on distal radial access for neuroe...

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  • Blind Exchange with Mini-pinning Technique: A Salvage Technique for Proximal Occlusions Inaccessible to Large-Bore aspiration Catheters

    Haussen et al described a technique of blind exchange with mini-pinning technique (BEMP) for distal occlusion thrombectomy. The authors are to be commended for a well-written article show-casing an important technique for reperfusing distal occlusions in eloquent territories. We recently used a variation of this technique for mechanical thrombectomy in a large proximal vessel occlusion to great effect.

    A 64-year-old man with atrial fibrillation presented to our institution with a right ICA terminus occlusion and NIHSS 17. Mechnical thrombectomy with a Solitaire retriever and 6F aspiration catheter (Solumbra technique) was attempted, but could not be performed due to marked tortuosity of the aortic arch and right cervical ICA, which prevented the aspiration catheter from reaching the clot. Two passes were attempted with the stentriever alone, without success (TICI 0). Therefore, a Trevo stentriever was advanced through the right ICA occlusion via a Markman microcatheter, the microcatheter was removed, and a 3MAX aspiration catheter was advanced over the retriever delivery wire. The stent was left in place for 5 minutes, and the thrombus was retrieved under continuous aspiration after partial ingestion/corking of the thrombus into the 3MAX aspiration catheter (BEMP). This was performed for a total of 2 passes, at the end of which there was complete revascularization of the right MCA territory (TICI 3).

    The BEMP technique described by Haussen et al is an import...

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  • Response to Rouchaud

    We thank the respondents for providing their case experience and allowing further discussion of this important topic. We would first like to draw attention to specific points in the described case, before discussing some of the more general issues raised.

    The respondents report one of many scenarios in which it may be undesirable to use dual antiplatelet therapy in the elective treatment of intracranial aneurysms with flow diverters. In this case, a 47-year-old woman with an 11 mm left ophthalmic aneurysm harbours a significant aspirin allergy. A single Pipeline Shield device under cover of ticagrelor was used to treat the aneurysm. The patient was well at discharge on postoperative day three but then developed symptomatic stent thrombosis on day 6. We draw attention to three points:

    1) The respondents state that the stent achieved “perfect wall apposition improved with intra-stent balloon angioplasty.” Setting aside the impossibility of improving “perfect wall apposition” with angioplasty, this does allude to the increasingly understood importance of flow diverter wall apposition. [1] However, digital subtraction angiography assess stent apposition poorly. [1] The use of angioplasty suggests that there may have been some initial concern. Moreover, angioplasty itself may contribute to thrombosis if it promotes activation of the extrinsic clotting pathway by disrupting the endothelial layer. The phosphocholine “Shield” layer reduces thrombosis and platelet...

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  • Alert against the risk of single antiplatelet therapy while using Pipeline Shield flow diverter

    We read with interest the case series by Manning’s et al.[1] using a surface modified flow-diverter stent (Pipeline Flex with Shield Technology, Medtronic Neurovascular, Irvine, California, USA). In this retrospective series, 14 ruptured intracranial aneurysms have been treated in the acute phase after Sub-Arachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH) with the Pipeline shield device under a Single Anti-Platelet Therapy (SAPT). The article concluded the PED-Shield to be safe to use in the acute treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms with SAPT.

    However, in this small series, the authors reported one case of total stent occlusion and two cases of platelet aggregation noted on the PED-Shield device requiring to switch from single to dual antiplatelet treatment. Considering those three patients, thrombotic complications have been observed in 21.4 % of cases (3/14) in the acute period. Furthermore, in two cases (14.3 %), the authors reported rebleeding of the culprit aneurysm leading to patient death, pointing out the fact that flow-diverter devices may not immediately prevent the risk of aneurysm rerupture.

    Anti-thrombogenic coating might have an added value in case of very specific aneurysms cases requiring the placement of a stent in the acute phase after rupture. Those specific cases are mainly dissecting or blister aneurysms for which endovascular or even surgical approach are difficult and carry a high risk of morbi-mortality[2][3]. In case of endovascular treatment, rece...

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  • Proprietary nature of intravascular medical device coatings limits safety testing

    Proprietary nature of intravascular medical device coatings limits safety testing

    Dear Dr. Albuquerque:

    We are glad that our work has generated interest and discussion in the field [1]. Four years have elapsed since a need for updated device coating testing was officially announced [2], however complexities on the matter and persistent knowledge gaps limit safety studies of devices currently on the market for clinical intravascular use [3,4]. Standardized in vitro particulate generation testing is needed. However, available literature shows that preclinical device testing is not fully predictive of clinical response. Therefore, in vitro and animal studies cannot replace investigation in humans. Currently, lack of consensus on the following prevent meaningful testing in humans: I) optimal clinical testing methods; ii) definitions of permissible risk; iii) adverse cellular, organ, and temporal-specific effects of distinct coating biomaterials; and iv) effects of pre-existing comorbid conditions. Nevertheless, in vitro testing that does not incorporate clinical data has limited utility for safety guidance. Likewise, in vivo studies that do not incorporate biomaterial factors are incomplete. Thus, the proprietary nature of intravascular device coatings remains a significant limitation to clinical device testing and safety assurances. Growing data [2-6] suggest that it may be time for this to be addressed.

    1. Chopra AM, Hu YC, Cruz JP. The Device Specific...

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  • The Device Specific Nature of Polymer Coating Emboli: An Optimal Approach For Future Investigations Related to Polymer Embolism

    An increasing number of reports highlight polymer coating embolism as an iatrogenic complication of intravascular medical devices [1-3]. Autopsies, histologic evaluations of thrombectomy specimens, samples of captured debris, resected or biopsied tissues, are available methods used to study polymer emboli post investigative catherizations or interventional procedures. Reported data highlight the prevalence of this phenomenon and/or its clinicopathologic impacts, however, fall short of identifying higher-risk polymer emboli interventional devices. Consequently, an optimal approach for future investigations related to polymer coating embolism is required.

    Mehta et. al investigate the histologic frequency of polymer emboli among patients who underwent endovascular thrombectomy for treatment of acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion by retrospectively evaluating thrombectomy specimens [2]. In this study, the reported frequency of polymer emboli includes the use of various devices and techniques among selected cases. However, literature highlights polymer coating embolism is device specific and dependent on coating integrity measured by particulates released [4]. Thus, the use of alternate devices with higher or lower particulate release for a given procedure may result in a large variation in incidence rates from reported results. Also, as mentioned by the authors, subsequent statistical correlations unless appropriately powered provide limited informatio...

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  • Reply

    Dear Editor,
    We would like the thank Drs. Berndt, Zimmer, Kaesmacher, and Boeckh-Behrens for their interest in our study titled “Clot permeability and histopathology: Is a clot’s perviousness on CT imaging correlated with its histologic composition?” We read their letter with interest. The authors have been pioneers in stroke clot analysis and we greatly respect their academic rigor and expertise.

    While we agree that there are certainly some methodological differences between our two studies, we do not believe that these are to blame for the differences in results. Rather, we feel that the observed differences in results between our studies could be due to differences in our patient populations.

    Our group has previously shown that there is indeed a correlation between clot composition and etiology. In a recently published article in Stroke we found that large artery atherosclerosis clots were more likely to be platelet rich than those of a cardioembolic origin.1 To date, however, we have yet to find any definite correlation between etiology and RBC density or fibrin density, and we think it is too early to make any definite conclusions on the association between clot composition and etiology.

    We agree that the association between perviousness, clot composition, etiology and clinical outcome is not conclusively clarified yet, and hence warrants further research, especially in a larger patient group in a multi-centric setting. Currently, our gr...

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