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J Neurosurg. 2004 Sep;101(3):547-52.

Harvey W. Cushing and cerebrovascular surgery: Part I, Aneurysms.

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  • 1Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. cohengadol.aaron@mayo.edu

Abstract

The development of surgical techniques for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms has paralleled the evolution of the specialty of neurological surgery. During the Cushing era, intracranial aneurysms were considered inoperable and only ligation of the carotid artery was performed. Cushing understood the limitations of this approach and advised the need for a more thorough understanding of aneurysm pathology before further consideration could be given to the surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Despite his focus on brain tumors, Cushing's contributions to the discipline of neurovascular surgery are of great importance. With the assistance of Sir Charles Symonds, Cushing described the syndrome of subarachnoid hemorrhage. He considered inserting muscle strips into cerebral aneurysms to promote aneurysm sac thrombosis and designed the "silver clip," which was modified by McKenzie and later used by Dandy to clip the first intracranial aneurysm. Cushing was the first surgeon to wrap aneurysms in muscle fragments to prevent recurrent hemorrhage. He established the foundation on which pioneers such as Norman Dott and Walter Dandy launched the modern era of neurovascular surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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