Issam A. Awad, M.D.

Issam A. Awad, M.D.

Issam A. Awad, M.D.


Personal Bio

Treatment Philosophy

I practice multidiciplinary coordination of care with latest technology, evidence-based standards and individualized consideration of options. I strive to provide my patients with access to innovative interventions and clinical trials.

Conditions & Procedures


Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), Brain Tumor, Cavernous Angioma, Cerebral Aneurysms, Skull Base Tumors, Stroke, Vascular Malformations


Carotid Artery Stenting, Stereotactic Radiosurgery

General Information




Independent Practitioner


Neuro Critical Care, Neurovascular Surgery


Arabic, English, French

Board Certified

Neurological Surgery

Clinical Service

Education, Training & Fellowships

Medical School

Loma Linda University, 1980


Loma Linda University, 1981


Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 1985


Barrow Neurological Institute, 1986



5841 S. Maryland Ave.
MC3026/Room J341
Chicago, IL 60637
773.702.3518 fax

This location is wheelchair accessible.


For information on the insurance plans this provider accepts:
  • Call: 773.702.2123


  • Bleeding and Infection With External Ventricular Drainage: A Systematic Review in Comparison With Adjudicated Adverse Events in the Ongoing Clot Lysis Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular Hemorrhage Phase III (CLEAR-III IHV) Trial.

    Neurosurgery 2015 Mar

    Authors: Dey M,
    Retrospective series report varied rates of bleeding and infection with external ventricular drainage (EVD). There have been no prospective studies of these risks with systematic surveillance, threshold definitions, or independent adjudication.
    To analyze the rate of complications in the ongoing Clot Lysis: Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular Hemorrhage Phase III (CLEAR III) trial, providing a comparison with a systematic review of complications of EVD in the literature.
    Patients were prospectively enrolled in the CLEAR III trial after placement of an EVD for obstructive intraventricular hemorrhage and randomized to receive recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator or placebo. We counted any detected new hemorrhage (catheter tract hemorrhage or any other distant hemorrhage) on computed tomography scan within 30 days from the randomization. Meta-analysis of published series of EVD placement was compiled with STATA software.
    Growing or unstable hemorrhage was reported as a cause of exclusion from the trial in 74 of 5707 cases (1.3%) screened for CLEAR III. The first 250 patients enrolled have completed adjudication of adverse events. Forty-two subjects (16.8%) experienced ≥1 new bleeds or expansions, and 6 of 250 subjects (2.4%) suffered symptomatic hemorrhages. Eleven cases (4.4%) had culture-proven bacterial meningitis or ventriculitis.
    Risks of bleeding and infection in the ongoing CLEAR III trial are comparable to those previously reported in EVD case series. In the present study, rates of new bleeds and bacterial meningitis/ventriculitis are very low despite multiple daily injections, blood in the ventricles, the use of thrombolysis in half the cases, and generalization to >60 trial sites.
    CI, confidence intervalCLEAR, Clot Lysis: Evaluating Accelerated Resolution of Intraventricular HemorrhageEVD, external ventricular drainageICH, intracerebral hemorrhageIVH, intraventricular hemorrhagertPA, recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator.
    PMID: 25635887 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Exceptional aggressiveness of cerebral cavernous malformation disease associated with PDCD10 mutations.

    Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 2015 Mar

    Authors: Shenkar R,
    The phenotypic manifestations of cerebral cavernous malformation disease caused by rare PDCD10 mutations have not been systematically examined, and a mechanistic link to Rho kinase-mediated hyperpermeability, a potential therapeutic target, has not been established.
    We analyzed PDCD10 small interfering RNA-treated endothelial cells for stress fibers, Rho kinase activity, and permeability. Rho kinase activity was assessed in cerebral cavernous malformation lesions. Brain permeability and cerebral cavernous malformation lesion burden were quantified, and clinical manifestations were assessed in prospectively enrolled subjects with PDCD10 mutations.
    We determined that PDCD10 protein suppresses endothelial stress fibers, Rho kinase activity, and permeability in vitro. Pdcd10 heterozygous mice have greater lesion burden than other Ccm genotypes. We demonstrated robust Rho kinase activity in murine and human cerebral cavernous malformation vasculature and increased brain vascular permeability in humans with PDCD10 mutation. Clinical phenotype is exceptionally aggressive compared with the more common KRIT1 and CCM2 familial and sporadic cerebral cavernous malformation, with greater lesion burden and more frequent hemorrhages earlier in life. We first report other phenotypic features, including scoliosis, cognitive disability, and skin lesions, unrelated to lesion burden or bleeding.
    These findings define a unique cerebral cavernous malformation disease with exceptional aggressiveness, and they inform preclinical therapeutic testing, clinical counseling, and the design of trials.Genet Med 17 3, 188-196.
    PMID: 25122144 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Immune complex formation and in situ B-cell clonal expansion in human cerebral cavernous malformations.

    Journal of neuroimmunology 2014 Jul 15

    Authors: Shi C,
    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) represent clusters of dilated vascular channels, predisposing to hemorrhagic stroke and seizures. They are associated with defective blood brain barrier, hemorrhages of different ages and a robust inflammatory cell infiltrate. We report for the first time evidence of co-localized IgG and complement membrane attack complexes in CCM lesions. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells are aggregated with CD20(+) B-cells. And IgG repertoire analyses demonstrate in situ B-cell clonal expansion and antigen-driven affinity maturation in CCMs. These results suggest an organ-intrinsic adaptive immune response in CCMs that should be further characterized as a potential therapeutic target.
    PMID: 24864012 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Lesions from patients with sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations harbor somatic mutations in the CCM genes: evidence for a common biochemical pathway for CCM pathogenesis.

    Human molecular genetics 2014 Aug 15

    Authors: McDonald DA,
    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular lesions affecting the central nervous system. CCM occurs either sporadically or in an inherited, autosomal dominant manner. Constitutional (germline) mutations in any of three genes, KRIT1, CCM2 and PDCD10, can cause the inherited form. Analysis of CCM lesions from inherited cases revealed biallelic somatic mutations, indicating that CCM follows a Knudsonian two-hit mutation mechanism. It is still unknown, however, if the sporadic cases of CCM also follow this genetic mechanism. We extracted DNA from 11 surgically excised lesions from sporadic CCM patients, and sequenced the three CCM genes in each specimen using a next-generation sequencing approach. Four sporadic CCM lesion samples (36%) were found to contain novel somatic mutations. Three of the lesions contained a single somatic mutation, and one lesion contained two biallelic somatic mutations. Herein, we also describe evidence of somatic mosaicism in a patient presenting with over 130 CCM lesions localized to one hemisphere of the brain. Finally, in a lesion regrowth sample, we found that the regrown CCM lesion contained the same somatic mutation as the original lesion. Together, these data bolster the idea that all forms of CCM have a genetic underpinning of the two-hit mutation mechanism in the known CCM genes. Recent studies have found aberrant Rho kinase activation in inherited CCM pathogenesis, and we present evidence that this pathway is activated in sporadic CCM patients. These results suggest that all CCM patients, including those with the more common sporadic form, are potentially amenable to the same therapy.
    PMID: 24698976 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Evaluation of iron content in human cerebral cavernous malformation using quantitative susceptibility mapping.

    Investigative radiology 2014 Jul

    Authors: Tan H,
    The aims of this study were to investigate and validate quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) for lesional iron quantification in cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs).
    Magnetic resonance imaging studies were performed in phantoms and 16 patients on a 3-T scanner. Susceptibility weighted imaging, QSM, and R2* maps were reconstructed from in vivo data acquired with a 3-dimensional, multi-echo, and T2*-weighted gradient echo sequence. Magnetic susceptibility measurements were correlated to susceptibility weighted imaging and R2* results. In addition, iron concentrations from surgically excised CCM lesion specimens were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and correlated with QSM measurements.
    The QSM images demonstrated excellent image quality for depicting CCM lesions in both sporadic and familial cases. Susceptibility measurements revealed a positive linear correlation with R2* values (R(2) = 0.99 for total, R(2) = 0.69 for mean; P < 0.01). Quantitative susceptibility mapping values of known iron-rich brain regions matched closely with those of previous studies and in interobserver consistency. A strong correlation was found between QSM and the concentration of iron phantoms (0.925; P < 0.01), as well as between QSM and mass spectroscopy estimation of iron deposition (0.999 for total iron, 0.86 for iron concentration; P < 0.01) in 18 fragments of 4 excised human CCM lesion specimens.
    The ability of QSM to evaluate iron deposition in CCM lesions was illustrated via phantom, in vivo, and ex vivo validation studies. Quantitative susceptibility mapping may be a potential biomarker for monitoring CCM disease activity and response to treatments.
    PMID: 24619210 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Determinants of external ventricular drain placement and associated outcomes in patients with spontaneous intraventricular hemorrhage.

    Neurocritical care 2014 Dec

    Authors: Herrick DB,
    External ventricular drain (EVD) usage in patients with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is variable in current practice and in clinical trials, and its impact on outcome remains controversial. The objective of this study was to identify the clinical predictors of EVD utilization, and associated outcome in adults with spontaneous IVH with or without intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
    Retrospective review of 183 consecutive IVH patients admitted to a University Hospital between 2003 and 2010. Clinical and radiographic data were analyzed for associations between EVD placement and mortality, poor outcome, and improvement in Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) using multivariate logistic regression models.
    Average age was 62 ± 15.6 years, and average ICH and IVH volumes were 35.8 ± 40.9 cc and 19.7 ± 25.3 cc, respectively. Independent predictors of EVD placement within first 5 days of admission were GCS ≤ 8 (OR 11.5; P < 0.001), Graeb score >5 (OR 4.6; P = 0.001), and non-lobar ICH ≤ 30 cc (OR 9.7; P < 0.001). Median GCS increased from 5 (IQR 3-7) 48 h post-EVD (P < 0.001). EVD placement was an independent predictor of reduced mortality (OR 0.31; P = 0.04) and modified Rankin score 0-3 (OR 15.7; P = 0.01) at hospital discharge. In patients with hydrocephalus on presentation, EVD was associated with reduced mortality for patients with GCS > 3 after controlling for ICH and IVH severity (OR 0.02; P = 0.01).
    Patients with lower GCS, higher IVH severity, and lower ICH volume are more likely to have an EVD placed. EVD placement is associated with reduced mortality and improved short-term outcomes in patients with IVH after adjusting for known severity factors. EVD use should be protocolized in clinical trials of ICH management where IVH is included.
    PMID: 24522761 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

    Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation 2014 May

    Authors: Bushnell C, McCullough LD, Awad IA, Chireau MV, Fedder WN, Furie KL, Howard VJ, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Piña IL, Reeves MJ, Rexrode KM, Saposnik G, Singh V, Towfighi A, Vaccarino V, Walters MR, American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Clinical Cardiology, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council for High Blood Pressure Research,
    The aim of this statement is to summarize data on stroke risk factors that are unique to and more common in women than men and to expand on the data provided in prior stroke guidelines and cardiovascular prevention guidelines for women. This guideline focuses on the risk factors unique to women, such as reproductive factors, and those that are more common in women, including migraine with aura, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and atrial fibrillation.
    Writing group members were nominated by the committee chair on the basis of their previous work in relevant topic areas and were approved by the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Council's Scientific Statement Oversight Committee and the AHA's Manuscript Oversight Committee. The panel reviewed relevant articles on adults using computerized searches of the medical literature through May 15, 2013. The evidence is organized within the context of the AHA framework and is classified according to the joint AHA/American College of Cardiology and supplementary AHA Stroke Council methods of classifying the level of certainty and the class and level of evidence. The document underwent extensive AHA internal peer review, Stroke Council Leadership review, and Scientific Statements Oversight Committee review before consideration and approval by the AHA Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee.
    We provide current evidence, research gaps, and recommendations on risk of stroke related to preeclampsia, oral contraceptives, menopause, and hormone replacement, as well as those risk factors more common in women, such as obesity/metabolic syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and migraine with aura.
    To more accurately reflect the risk of stroke in women across the lifespan, as well as the clear gaps in current risk scores, we believe a female-specific stroke risk score is warranted.
    PMID: 24503673 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Spontaneous intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage: advances in minimally invasive surgery and thrombolytic evacuation, and lessons learned in recent trials.

    Neurosurgery 2014 Feb

    Authors: Dey M,
    Optimal management of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) remains one of the highly debated areas in the field of neurosurgery. Earlier studies comparing open surgical intervention with best medical management failed to show a clear benefit. More recent experience with minimally invasive techniques has shown greater promise. Well-designed phase II trials have confirmed the safety and preliminary treatment effect of thrombolytic aspiration and clearance of spontaneous ICH and associated intraventricular obstructive hemorrhage. Those trials are reviewed, including respective protocols and technical nuances, and lessons learned regarding patient selection, the concept of hemorrhage stabilization, optimization of the surgical procedure, and thrombolytic dosing decisions. These concepts have been incorporated in the design of ongoing definite phase III randomized trials (MISTIE and CLEAR) funded by the National Institutes of Health. These are presented including the role of surgical leadership in the training and monitoring of the surgical task and quality assurance. The impact of these techniques on neurosurgical practice is discussed.
    PMID: 24402483 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • DBS reduced hemichorea associated with a developmental venous anomaly and microbleeding in STN.

    Neurology 2014 Feb 18

    Authors: Mikati AG,
    Hyperpermeability and iron deposition are 2 central pathophysiological phenomena in human cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) disease. Here, we used 2 novel MRI techniques to establish a relationship between these phenomena.
    Subjects with CCM disease (4 sporadic and 17 familial) underwent MRI imaging using the dynamic contrast-enhanced quantitative perfusion and quantitative susceptibility mapping techniques that measure hemodynamic factors of vessel leak and iron deposition, respectively, previously demonstrated in CCM disease. Regions of interest encompassing the CCM lesions were analyzed using these techniques.
    Susceptibility measured by quantitative susceptibility mapping was positively correlated with permeability of lesions measured using dynamic contrast-enhanced quantitative perfusion (r=0.49; P≤0.0001). The correlation was not affected by factors, including lesion volume, contrast agent, and the use of statin medication. Susceptibility was correlated with lesional blood volume (r=0.4; P=0.0001) but not with lesional blood flow.
    The correlation between quantitative susceptibility mapping and dynamic contrast-enhanced quantitative perfusion suggests that the phenomena of permeability and iron deposition are related in CCM; hence, more leaky lesions also manifest a more cumulative iron burden. These techniques might be used as biomarkers to monitor the course of this disease and the effect of therapy.
    PMID: 24384639 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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