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Concept: Arteries of the head and neck


There are considerable variations in the anatomy of the human ophthalmic artery (OphA), such as anomalous origins of the OphA and anastomoses between the OphA and the adjacent arteries. These anatomical variations seem to attribute to complex embryology of the OphA. In human embryos and fetuses, primitive dorsal and ventral ophthalmic arteries (PDOphA and PVOphA) form the ocular branches, and the supraorbital division of the stapedial artery forms the orbital branches of the OphA, and then numerous anastomoses between the internal carotid artery (ICA) and the external carotid artery (ECA) systems emerge in connection with the OphA. These developmental processes can produce anatomical variations of the OphA, and we should notice these variations for neurosurgical and neurointerventional procedures.

Concepts: Embryo, Developmental biology, Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, External carotid artery, Embryology, Arteries of the head and neck, Ophthalmic artery


Embozene® is a new neuroembolizing microsphere used to reduce intraoperative bleeding for head and neck tumours. We report a case of iatrogenic ophthalmic artery occlusion after Embozene® embolization of the external carotid artery (ECA).

Concepts: Head and neck anatomy, Head and neck, Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, External carotid artery, Arteries of the head and neck, Ophthalmic artery


The assessment of both geometry and hemodynamics of the intracranial arteries has important diagnostic value in internal carotid occlusion, sickle cell disease, and aneurysm development. Provided that signal to noise ratio (SNR) and resolution are high, these factors can be measured with time-resolved three-dimensional phase contrast MRI. However, within a given scan time duration, an increase in resolution causes a decrease in SNR and vice versa, hampering flow quantification and visualization. To study the benefits of higher SNR at 7 T, three-dimensional phase contrast MRI in the Circle of Willis was performed at 3 T and 7 T in five volunteers. Results showed that the SNR at 7 T was roughly 2.6 times higher than at 3 T. Therefore, segmentation of small vessels such as the anterior and posterior communicating arteries succeeded more frequently at 7 T. Direction of flow and smoothness of streamlines in the anterior and posterior communicating arteries were more pronounced at 7 T. Mean velocity magnitude values in the vessels of the Circle of Willis were higher at 3 T due to noise compared to 7 T. Likewise, areas of the vessels were lower at 3 T. In conclusion, the gain in SNR at 7 T compared to 3 T allows for improved flow visualization and quantification in intracranial arteries. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, Anterior cerebral artery, Posterior communicating artery, Sickle-cell disease, Arteries of the head and neck, Circle of Willis, Signal-to-noise ratio


PURPOSE.: This study aimed to evaluate the changes in retrobulbar blood flow by using color Doppler sonography in patients who had undergone intravitreal ranibizumab injection for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS.: The study comprised 37 AMD patients who had undergone intravitreal 0.5 mg ranibizumab injection. The ophthalmic artery, central retinal artery, and short lateral posterior ciliary artery of both eyes of patients were evaluated by color Doppler sonography. Peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity, and resistance index were calculated before injection, and after injection on day 7 and day 30. The pre- and postinjection values were compared using Wilcoxon signed rank test. RESULTS.: In a comparison with the preinjection values of peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity, and resistance index, the postinjection values at both day 7 and day 30 showed no statistically significant difference in ophthalmic artery, lateral posterior ciliary artery, and central retinal artery (p > 0.05). Similarly, for the same parameters, pre- and postinjection values in the uninjected fellow eye showed no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS.: Intravitreal ranibizumab injection for neovascular AMD does not cause a significant change in the retrobulbar blood flow in either the injected eye or the fellow eye. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Ultrasound 2013.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Retina, Eye, Medical ultrasonography, Macular degeneration, Arteries of the head and neck, Central retinal artery, Ophthalmic artery


Object Patients with ruptured anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms have historically been observed to have poor neuropsychological outcomes, and ACoA aneurysms have accounted for a higher proportion of ruptured than unruptured aneurysms. Authors of this study aimed to investigate the morphological and clinical characteristics predisposing to ACoA aneurysm rupture. Methods Data from 140 consecutive patients with ACoA aneurysms managed at the authors' facility between July 2003 and November 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with (78) and without (62) aneurysm rupture were divided into groups, and morphological and clinical characteristics were compared. Morphological characteristics were evaluated based on 3D CT angiography and included aneurysm location, dominance of the A(1) portion of the anterior cerebral artery, direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA, aneurysm bleb(s), size of the aneurysm and its neck, aneurysm-parent artery angle, and existence of other intracranial unruptured aneurysms. Results Patients with ruptured ACoA aneurysms were significantly younger (a higher proportion were younger than 60 years of age) than those with unruptured lesions, and a significantly smaller proportion had hypercholesterolemia. A significantly larger proportion of patients with ruptured aneurysms showed an anterior direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA, had a bleb(s), and/or had an aneurysm size ≥ 5 mm. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that an anterior direction of the aneurysm dome around the ACoA (OR 6.0, p = 0.0012), the presence of a bleb(s) (OR 22, p < 0.0001), and an aneurysm size ≥ 5 mm (OR 3.16, p = 0.035) were significantly associated with ACoA aneurysm rupture. Conclusions Findings in the present study demonstrated that the anterior projection of an ACoA aneurysm may be related to rupturing. The authors would perhaps recommend treatment to patients with unruptured ACoA aneurysms that have an anterior dome projection, a bleb(s), and a size ≥ 5 mm.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Atherosclerosis, Anterior cerebral artery, Aneurysm, Cerebral aneurysm, Arteries of the head and neck, Circle of Willis, Anterior communicating artery


: In transarterial embolization of anterior cranial fossa and tentorial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF), acute angulation of the feeding artery off the internal carotid artery (ICA) may render stable distal catheterization and, therefore, successful transarterial treatment difficult. In some anatomic dispositions, following selection of the feeding artery, subsequent forward force may lead to prolapse of the microcatheter into the ICA rather than advancing it into either the ophthalmic artery or the meningohypophyseal trunk.

Concepts: Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, External carotid artery, Internal jugular vein, Arteriovenous fistula, Fistula, Arteries of the head and neck, Ophthalmic artery


BACKGROUND:: Anatomic diversity among cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) calls for a classification that is intuitive and surgically informative. Selection tools like the Spetzler-Martin grading system are designed to work best with cerebral AVMs but have shortcomings with cerebellar AVMs. OBJECTIVE:: To define subtypes of cerebellar AVMs that clarify anatomy and surgical management, to determine results according to subtypes, and to compare predictive accuracies of the Spetzler-Martin and supplementary systems. METHODS:: From a consecutive surgical series of 500 patients, 60 had cerebellar AVMs, 39 had brainstem AVMs and were excluded, and 401 had cerebral AVMs. RESULTS:: Cerebellar AVM subtypes were as follows: 18 vermian, 13 suboccipital, 12 tentorial, 12 petrosal, and 5 tonsillar. Patients with tonsillar and tentorial AVMs fared best. Cerebellar AVMs presented with hemorrhage more than cerebral AVMs (P < .001). Cerebellar AVMs were more likely to drain deep (P = .04) and less likely to be eloquent (P < .001). The predictive accuracy of the supplementary grade was better than that of the Spetzler-Martin grade with cerebellar AVMs (areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.74 and 0.59, respectively). The predictive accuracy of the supplementary system was consistent for cerebral and cerebellar AVMs, whereas that of the Spetzler-Martin system was greater with cerebral AVMs. CONCLUSION:: Patients with cerebellar AVMs present with hemorrhage more often than patients with cerebral AVMs, justifying an aggressive treatment posture. The supplementary system is better than the Spetzler-Martin system at predicting outcomes after cerebellar AVM resection. Key components of the Spetzler-Martin system such as venous drainage and eloquence are distorted by cerebellar anatomy in ways that components of the supplementary system are not. ABBREVIATIONS:: AICA, anterior inferior cerebellar artery;AVM, arteriovenous malformationmRS, modified Rankin ScalePICA, posterior inferior cerebellar arteryROC, receiver-operating characteristicSCA, superior cerebellar artery.

Concepts: Cerebral cortex, Cerebellum, Anterior inferior cerebellar artery, Arteries of the head and neck, Arteriovenous malformation, Basilar artery, Superior cerebellar artery, Inferior cerebellar veins


Abstract Purpose: Ocular blood flow dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. Whereas the effect of single antiglaucoma substances on ocular blood flow has been addressed in various experiments, evidence for fixed combinations is sparse. In the present study, we set out to compare the effects of latanoprost 0.005%/timolol 0.5% (LT) fixed combination and brimonidine 0.2%/timolol 0.5% (BT) fixed combination on intraocular pressure (IOP) and ocular blood flow. Methods: In the present study, which followed a randomized, double-masked 2-way crossover design, 16 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and 2 patients with ocular hypertension were included. The patients underwent a 6-week treatment with LT and a 6-week treatment with BT after a washout for previous antiglaucoma medication. Optic nerve head blood flow (ONHBF) was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry; retrobulbar flow velocities were measured using color Doppler imaging in the ophthalmic artery, the central retinal artery, and the posterior ciliary arteries. IOP was measured at 8 AM, 12 PM, and 4 PM. Results: The mean baseline IOP was 25.3±2.8 mmHg. Both drugs were equally effective in reducing IOP (LT: -35.0%±10.0%; BT: -33.6%±8.8%, P=0.463 between groups). In addition, no difference in ocular perfusion pressure was observed between the 2 treatment groups (P=0.1, between groups). Neither LT nor BT altered ONHBF (P=0.4, baseline vs. treatment) and no effect on flow velocities in the retrobulbar vessels was seen with either of the 2 treatments. Conclusions: In the present study, a 6-week treatment with LT or BT was equally effective in reducing IOP. In addition, none of the administered drugs induced a significant effect on ocular blood flow parameters.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Blood, Crossover study, Retina, Intraocular pressure, Glaucoma, Arteries of the head and neck, Ophthalmic artery


BACKGROUND:: The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is the latest technology available for intracranial aneurysm treatment. OBJECTIVE:: To report early postmarket results with the PED. METHODS:: This study was a prospective registry of patients treated with PEDs at 7 American neurosurgical centers subsequent to Food and Drug Administration approval of this device. Data collected included clinical presentation, aneurysm characteristics, treatment details, and periprocedural events. Follow-up data included degree of aneurysm occlusion and delayed (> 30 days after the procedure) complications. RESULTS:: Sixty-two PED procedures were performed to treat 58 aneurysms in 56 patients. Thirty-seven of the aneurysms (64%) treated were located from the cavernous to the superior hypophyseal artery segment of the internal carotid artery; 22% were distal to that segment, and 14% were in the vertebrobasilar system. A total of 123 PEDs were deployed with an average of 2 implanted per aneurysm treated. Six devices were incompletely deployed; in these cases, rescue balloon angioplasty was required. Six periprocedural (during the procedure/within 30 days after the procedure) thromboembolic events occurred, of which 5 were in patients with vertebrobasilar aneurysms. There were 4 fatal postprocedural hemorrhages (from 2 giant basilar trunk and 2 large ophthalmic artery aneurysms). The major complication rate (permanent disability/death resulting from perioperative/delayed complication) was 8.5%. Among 19 patients with 3-month follow-up angiography, 68% (13 patients) had complete aneurysm occlusion. Two patients presented with delayed flow-limiting in-stent stenosis that was successfully treated with angioplasty. CONCLUSION:: Unlike conventional coil embolization, aneurysm occlusion with PED is not immediate. Early complications include both thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events and appear to be significantly more frequent in association with treatment of vertebrobasilar aneurysms. ABBREVIATIONS:: ICA, internal carotid arteryPED, Pipeline embolization devicePITA, Pipeline for the Intracranial Treatment of AneurysmsPUFS, Pipeline for Uncoilable or Failed AneurysmsTEE, thromboembolic event.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, Radiology, Aneurysm, Arteries of the head and neck, Circle of Willis, Ophthalmic artery


The superior labial artery, which is a branch of the facial artery, supplies the upper lip area. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution pattern of the superior labial artery and provide precise topographic information of the artery for dermal filler injection.

Concepts: Arteries of the head and neck, Upper lip, Lip, Topographic map, Facial artery, Superior labial artery, Superior labial vein