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Intracerebral abscess is a life-threatening condition for which there are no current, widely accepted neurosurgical management guidelines. The purpose of this study was to investigate Canadian practice patterns for the medical and surgical management of primary, recurrent, and multiple intracerebral abscesses.
A self-administered, cross-sectional, electronic survey was distributed to active staff and resident members of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative. Responses between subgroups were analyzed using the Chi-square test.
In total, 101 respondents (57.7%) completed the survey. The majority (60.0%) were staff neurosurgeons working in an academic, adult care setting (80%). We identified a consensus that abscesses >2.5 cm in diameter should be considered for surgical intervention. The majority of respondents were in favor of excising an intracerebral abscess over performing aspiration if located superficially in non-eloquent cortex (60.4%), located in the posterior fossa (65.4%), or causing mass effect leading to herniation (75.3%). The majority of respondents were in favor of reoperation for recurrent abscesses if measuring greater than 2.5 cm, associated with progressive neurological deterioration, the index operation was an aspiration and did not include resection of the abscess capsule, and if the recurrence occurred despite prior surgery combined with maximal antibiotic therapy. There was no consensus on the use of topical intraoperative antibiotics.
This survey demonstrated heterogeneity in the medical and surgical management of primary, recurrent, and multiple brain abscesses among Canadian neurosurgery attending staff and residents.1
Hemodynamic factors have been implicated in hemorrhage from cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The goal of this endovascular study is to analyze the hemodynamic variability in AVM feeders in a balanced group of ruptured and unruptured AVMs of various sizes and at both superficial and deep locations.
We monitored feeder artery pressure (FP) using microcatheters in 45 patients with AVMs (16 with hemorrhage, 29 without) during superselective angiography and AVM embolization.
Mean FP was 49 mm Hg. Significant determinants of FP were the systemic pressure (p < 0.001), AVM size (p = 0.03), and the distance of the microcatheter tip from the Circle of Willis (p = 0.06), but not the presence of hemorrhage, patient age, or feeder artery diameter. The FP in ruptured AVMs was 7 mm Hg higher than in unruptured ones (53.8 mm Hg vs. 47.1 mm Hg, p = 0.032). The presence or absence of venous outflow stenosis and the position of the AVM nidus (superficial or deep to the cortical surface) were important anatomical predictors of AVM presentation.
The pressure in the feeding artery supplying an AVM is the result of factors which include the systemic arterial pressure, the size of the AVM nidus, and the distance of the AVM from the Circle of Willis. The correlation between these variables makes it difficult to study the risk of hemorrhage as a function of a single factor, which may account for the variation in the conclusions of previous studies.