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Steven L Giannotta, MD
Chair and Professor of Neurological Surgery
Neurological Surgery
GNH 3300 Off Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 226 7421


Steven L. Giannotta M.D., Chair of Neurological Surgery, joined the Department of Neurosurgery at USC in 1980.

His research interests have always been related to cerebral blood flow and cerebral protection from ischemia. Based on some preliminary studies done in primates early in his career it was discovered that cerebral blood flow could be augmented by various manipulations of the cardiovascular system. This resulted in the adaptation of such techniques in the clinical realm especially as an effective means of counteracting the ischemic effects of cerebral vasospasm. This program ultimately evolved into what has come to be recognized as "hyperdynamic therapy". Subsequently his clinical interests have related to various surgical approaches to intracranial vascular and cranial base neoplastic disease. Recently his attention has turned to looking at ethnic differences in the presentation of cerebral vascular disorders.

Dr. Giannotta has gained recognition for his work in cerebrovascular disease of the brain and spinal cord. He has surgically treated over 1000 intracranial aneurysms. In conjunction with his associates Dr. Giannotta has developed a comprehensive approach to the gamut of cerebrovascular conditions. Techniques utilized in this comprehensive program include but are not limited to microsurgical clip ligation for aneurysms, coil embolization for aneurysms, microvascular excision, embolization, stereotactic radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife for arteriovenous malformations, carotid endarterectomy and extracranial to intracranial bypass procedures for cerebrovascular occlusive disease.

Dr. Giannotta also has an interest and special expertise in surgical approaches to the cranial base. He has surgically removed more than 400 acoustic neuromas and along with several colleagues in otolaryngology has developed a team approach to complex cranial base lesions including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas of the cranial base, complex aneurysms that require cranial base approaches and other benign conditions affecting the base of the brain and skull. Complex conditions may require several modes of therapy including surgical excision, embolization, and stereotactic radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife and Cyberknife.

Dr. Giannotta earned his medical degree and did his residency at University of Michigan.

He is involved in many local, national and international committees and organizations.


Winer JL, Kramer DR, Robison RA, Ohiorhenuan IE, Minneti M, Giannotta S, Zada G. Response. J Neurosurg. 2016 Apr; 124(4):1142-3. View in: PubMed

Two A, Christian E, Mathew A, Giannotta S, Zada G. Giant, calcified colloid cyst of the lateral ventricle. J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Feb; 24:6-9. View in: PubMed

Winer JL, Kramer DR, Robison RA, Ohiorhenuan I, Minneti M, Giannotta S, Zada G. Cerebrospinal fluid reconstitution via a perfusion-based cadaveric model: feasibility study demonstrating surgical simulation of neuroendoscopic procedures. J Neurosurg. 2015 Nov; 123(5):1316-21. View in: PubMed

Russin JJ, Kramer DR, Thomas D, Hasson D, Liu CY, Amar AP, Mack WJ, Giannotta SL. The importance of preoperative diagnosis of blister aneurysms. J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Sep; 22(9):1408-12. View in: PubMed

Lee B, Chen BR, Chen BB, Lu JY, Giannotta SL. Recording stereoscopic 3D neurosurgery with a head-mounted 3D camera system. Br J Neurosurg. 2015 Jun; 29(3):371-3. View in: PubMed

Aaron KA, Lavinsky J, Tuchman A, Go JL, Giannotta SL, Friedman RA. A case report of two different skull base pathologies causing hearing loss in the same ear: vestibular schwannoma and superior semicircular canal dehiscence. Am J Otolaryngol. 2015 May-Jun; 36(3):488-91. View in: PubMed

Attenello FJ, Reid P, Wen T, Cen S, Kim-Tenser M, Sanossian N, Russin J, Amar A, Giannotta S, Mack WJ, Tenser M. Evaluation of time to aneurysm treatment following subarachnoid hemorrhage: comparison of patients treated with clipping versus coiling. J Neurointerv Surg. 2015 Mar 12. View in: PubMed

Cole T, Veeravagu A, Zhang M, Azad T, Swinney C, Li GH, Ratliff JK, Giannotta SL. Retrosigmoid Versus Translabyrinthine Approach for Acoustic Neuroma Resection: An Assessment of Complications and Payments in a Longitudinal Administrative Database. Cureus. 2015; 7(10):e369. View in: PubMed

Attenello FJ, Wang K, Wen T, Cen SY, Kim-Tenser M, Amar AP, Sanossian N, Giannotta SL, Mack WJ. Health disparities in time to aneurysm clipping/coiling among aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients: a national study. World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec; 82(6):1071-6. View in: PubMed

Peterson A, Pham MH, Lee B, Commins D, Cadden J, Giannotta SL, Zada G. Intracranial fusarium fungal abscess in an immunocompetent patient: case report and review of the literature. J Neurol Surg Rep. 2014 Dec; 75(2):e241-5. View in: PubMed

Pham M, Kale A, Marquez Y, Winer J, Lee B, Harris B, Minnetti M, Carey J, Giannotta S, Zada G. A Perfusion-based Human Cadaveric Model for Management of Carotid Artery Injury during Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2014 Oct; 75(5):309-13. View in: PubMed

Tuchman A, Platt A, Winer J, Pham M, Giannotta S, Zada G. Endoscopic-assisted resection of intracranial epidermoid tumors. World Neurosurg. 2014 Sep-Oct; 82(3-4):450-4. View in: PubMed

Russin JJ, Spetzler RF, Giannotta S, Meyer FB, Lawton MT, Cohen-Gadol AA. Introduction: Strategies for management and outcomes of arteriovenous malformations. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Sep; 37(3):Introduction. View in: PubMed

He S, Russin JJ, Adamczyk P, Giannotta SL, Amar AP, Mack WJ. A persistent primitive hypoglossal artery arising from the external carotid artery associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage. World Neurosurg. 2014 Jul-Aug; 82(1-2):239. e1-3. View in: PubMed

Ferreira R, Santos T, Amar A, Gong A, Chen TC, Tahara SM, Giannotta SL, Hofman FM. Argonaute-2 Promotes miR-18a Entry in Human Brain Endothelial Cells. J Am Heart Assoc. 2014; 3(3). View in: PubMed

Ferreira R, Santos T, Amar A, Tahara SM, Chen TC, Giannotta SL, Hofman FM. MicroRNA-18a Improves Human Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation Endothelial Cell Function. Stroke. 2014 Jan; 45(1):293-7. View in: PubMed

Lee B, Marquez YD, Giannotta SL. Resection of a cystic brainstem hemangioblastoma via a retrosigmoid approach. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Jan; 36(1 Suppl):1. View in: PubMed

Giannotta SL, Chin LS, Selman WR. Introduction: meningiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Dec; 35(6):Introduction. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Yashar P, Robison A, Winer J, Khalessi A, Mack WJ, Giannotta SL. A proposed grading system for standardizing tumor consistency of intracranial meningiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Dec; 35(6):E1. View in: PubMed

Chang X, Shi L, Gao F, Russin J, Zeng L, He S, Chen TC, Giannotta SL, Weisenberger DJ, Zada G, Wang K, Mack WJ. Genomic and transcriptome analysis revealing an oncogenic functional module in meningiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Dec; 35(6):E3. View in: PubMed

He S, Pham MH, Pease M, Zada G, Giannotta SL, Wang K, Mack WJ. A review of epigenetic and gene expression alterations associated with intracranial meningiomas. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Dec; 35(6):E5. View in: PubMed

Khalessi AA, Giannotta S. Proposed Surgical Trigeminal Neuralgia Score checklist. Neurosurg Focus. 2013 Sep; 35(3):E4. View in: PubMed

Gao F, Shi L, Russin J, Zeng L, Chang X, He S, Chen TC, Giannotta SL, Weisenberger DJ, Zada G, Mack WJ, Wang K. DNA methylation in the malignant transformation of meningiomas. PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e54114. View in: PubMed

Russin JJ, Mack WJ, Carey JN, Minneti M, Giannotta SL. Simulation of a high-flow extracranial-intracranial bypass using a radial artery graft in a novel fresh tissue model. Neurosurgery. 2012 Dec; 71(2 Suppl Operative):ons315-19; discussion ons 319-20. View in: PubMed

Yashar P, Zada G, Harris B, Giannotta SL. Extent of resection and early postoperative outcomes following removal of cystic vestibular schwannomas: surgical experience over a decade and review of the literature. Neurosurg Focus. 2012 Sep; 33(3):E13. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Bond AE, Wang YP, Giannotta SL, Deapen D. Incidence trends in the anatomic location of primary malignant brain tumors in the United States: 1992-2006. World Neurosurg. 2012 Mar; 77(3-4):518-24. View in: PubMed

Russin J, Giannotta SL. The value of translational models for microvascular anastamosis. World Neurosurg. 2012 Feb; 77(2):289-90. View in: PubMed

Lucas JW, Jones J, Farin A, Kim P, Giannotta SL. Cervical spine dural arteriovenous fistula with coexisting spinal radiculopial artery aneurysm presenting as subarachnoid hemorrhage: case report. Neurosurgery. 2012 Jan; 70(1):259-63. View in: PubMed

Russin JJ, Giannotta SL. The putative role of pericytes in tumor angiogenesis. World Neurosurg. 2011 Dec; 76(6):535-6. View in: PubMed

Pham MH, Zada G, Mosich GM, Chen TC, Giannotta SL, Wang K, Mack WJ. Molecular genetics of meningiomas: a systematic review of the current literature and potential basis for future treatment paradigms. Neurosurg Focus. 2011 May; 30(5):E7. View in: PubMed

Stapleton CJ, Armstrong DL, Zidovetzki R, Liu CY, Giannotta SL, Hofman FM. Thrombospondin-1 modulates the angiogenic phenotype of human cerebral arteriovenous malformation endothelial cells. Neurosurgery. 2011 May; 68(5):1342-53; discussion 1353. View in: PubMed

Yashar P, Amar AP, Giannotta SL, Yu C, Pagnini PG, Liu CY, Apuzzo ML. Cerebral arteriovenous malformations: issues of the interplay between stereotactic radiosurgery and endovascular surgical therapy. World Neurosurg. 2011 May-Jun; 75(5-6):638-47. View in: PubMed

Giannotta SL, Barrow DL. Cavernous malformations. Neurosurg Focus. 2010 Sep; 29(3):Introduction. View in: PubMed

Bond AE, Zada G, Gonzalez AA, Hansen C, Giannotta SL. Operative strategies for minimizing hearing loss and other major complications associated with microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia. World Neurosurg. 2010 Jul; 74(1):172-7. View in: PubMed

Terterov S, Taghva A, MacDougall M, Giannotta S. Posttraumatic human cerebral myiasis. World Neurosurg. 2010 May; 73(5):557-9. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Terterov S, Russin J, Clavijo L, Giannotta S. Cerebral vasospasm and concurrent left ventricular outflow tract obstruction: requirement for modification of hyperdynamic therapy regimen. Neurocrit Care. 2010 Apr; 12(2):265-8. View in: PubMed

Davidson L, Zada G, Yu C, Petrovich Z, Pagnini PG, Zee CS, Giannotta SL, Zelman V, Apuzzo ML. Delayed toxicity from gamma knife radiosurgery to lesions in and adjacent to the brainstem. J Clin Neurosci. 2009 Sep; 16(9):1139-47. View in: PubMed

Yanni DS, Beshara M, Ebersole K, Giannotta S, Schulder M. Digital photography using the intraoperative microscope in neurosurgery. Surg Neurol. 2009 Aug; 72(2):153-6. View in: PubMed

Sivakumar W, Zada G, Yashar P, Giannotta SL, Teitelbaum G, Larsen DW. Endovascular management of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas. A review. Neurosurg Focus. 2009 May; 26(5):E15. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Christian E, Liu CY, Giannotta SL. Fenestrated aneurysm clips in the surgical management of anterior communicating artery aneurysms: operative techniques and strategy. Clinical article. Neurosurg Focus. 2009 May; 26(5):E7. View in: PubMed

Jabbour MN, Elder JB, Samuelson CG, Khashabi S, Hofman FM, Giannotta SL, Liu CY. Aberrant angiogenic characteristics of human brain arteriovenous malformation endothelial cells. Neurosurgery. 2009 Jan; 64(1):139-46; discussion 146-8. View in: PubMed

Christian E, Zada G, Sung G, Giannotta SL. A review of selective hypothermia in the management of traumatic brain injury. Neurosurg Focus. 2008 Oct; 25(4):E9. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Breault J, Liu CY, Khalessi AA, Larsen DW, Teitelbaum GP, Giannotta SL. Internal carotid artery aneurysms occurring at the origin of fetal variant posterior cerebral arteries: surgical and endovascular experience. Neurosurgery. 2008 Jul; 63(1 Suppl 1):ONS55-61; discussion ONS61-2. View in: PubMed

Farin A, Chakrabarti I, Giannotta SL, Vaynman S, Samudrala S. Microvascular decompression for intractable singultus: technical case report. Neurosurgery. 2008 May; 62(5):E1180-1; discussion E1181. View in: PubMed

Hoh DJ, Larsen DW, Elder JB, Kim PE, Giannotta SL, Liu CY. Novel use of an endovascular embolectomy device for retrograde suction decompression-assisted clip ligation of a large paraclinoid aneurysm: technical case report. Neurosurgery. 2008 May; 62(5 Suppl 2):ONSE412-3; discussion ONSE413-4. View in: PubMed

Elijovich L, Higashida RT, Lawton MT, Duckwiler G, Giannotta S, Johnston SC. Predictors and outcomes of intraprocedural rupture in patients treated for ruptured intracranial aneurysms: the CARAT study. Stroke. 2008 May; 39(5):1501-6. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Day JD, Giannotta SL. The extradural temporopolar approach: a review of indications and operative technique. Neurosurg Focus. 2008; 25(6):E3. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Pezeshkian P, Giannotta S. Spontaneous intracranial hypotension and immediate improvement following epidural blood patch placement demonstrated by intracranial pressure monitoring. Case report. J Neurosurg. 2007 Jun; 106(6):1089-90. View in: PubMed

Watridge CB, Solomon RA, Grady MS, Popp AJ, Quest DO, Kondziolka D, Giannotta SL. Access to emergency care. Bull Am Coll Surg. 2007 Apr; 92(4):44; author reply 44-5. View in: PubMed

Zada G, Solomon TC, Giannotta SL. A review of ocular manifestations in intracranial hypotension. Neurosurg Focus. 2007; 23(5):E8. View in: PubMed

Davidson L, Fishback D, Russin JJ, Weiss MH, Yu C, Pagnini PG, Zelman V, Apuzzo ML, Giannotta SL. Postoperative Gamma Knife surgery for benign meningiomas of the cranial base. Neurosurg Focus. 2007; 23(4):E6. View in: PubMed

Aryan HE, Giannotta SL, Fukushima T, Park MS, Ozgur BM, Levy ML. Aneurysms in children: review of 15 years experience. J Clin Neurosci. 2006 Feb; 13(2):188-92. View in: PubMed

Kim KA, Wang MY, McNatt SA, Pinsky G, Liu CY, Giannotta SL, Apuzzo ML. Vector analysis correlating bullet trajectory to outcome after civilian through-and-through gunshot wound to the head: using imaging cues to predict fatal outcome. Neurosurgery. 2005 Oct; 57(4):737-47; discussion 737-47. View in: PubMed

McNatt SA, Yu C, Giannotta SL, Zee CS, Apuzzo ML, Petrovich Z. Gamma knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia. Neurosurgery. 2005 Jun; 56(6):1295-301; discussion 1301-3. View in: PubMed

Kattner KA, Roth TC, Nardone EM, Giannotta SL. The treatment of complex dural arteriovenous fistulae through cranial base techniques. Neurol India. 2004 Sep; 52(3):325-31. View in: PubMed

Steinberg GK, Ogilvy CS, Shuer LM, Connolly ES, Solomon RA, Lam A, Kassell NF, Baker CJ, Giannotta SL, Cockroft KM, Bell-Stephens TE, Allgren RL. Comparison of endovascular and surface cooling during unruptured cerebral aneurysm repair. Neurosurgery. 2004 Aug; 55(2):307-14; discussion 314-5. View in: PubMed

Kuo JS, Yu C, Giannotta SL, Petrovich Z, Apuzzo ML. The Leksell gamma knife Model U versus Model C: a quantitative comparison of radiosurgical treatment parameters. Neurosurgery. 2004 Jul; 55(1):168-72; discussion 172-3. View in: PubMed

Kuo JS, Chen JC, Yu C, Zelman V, Giannotta SL, Petrovich Z, MacPherson D, Apuzzo ML. Gamma knife radiosurgery for benign cavernous sinus tumors: quantitative analysis of treatment outcomes. Neurosurgery. 2004 Jun; 54(6):1385-93; discussion 1393-4. View in: PubMed

Yu C, Petrovich Z, Apuzzo ML, Zelman V, Giannotta SL. Study of magnetic resonance imaging-based arteriovenous malformation delineation without conventional angiography. Neurosurgery. 2004 May; 54(5):1104-; discussion 1108-10. View in: PubMed

Kim KA, Gonzalez I, McComb JG, Giannotta SL. Unusual presentations of cerebral solitary fibrous tumors: report of four cases. Neurosurgery. 2004 Apr; 54(4):1004-9; discussion 1009. View in: PubMed

Petrovich Z, Yu C, Giannotta SL, Zee CS, Apuzzo ML. Gamma knife radiosurgery for pituitary adenoma: early results. Neurosurgery. 2003 Jul; 53(1):51-9; discussion 59-61. View in: PubMed

Petrovich Z, Yu C, Giannotta SL, O'Day S, Apuzzo ML. Survival and pattern of failure in brain metastasis treated with stereotactic gamma knife radiosurgery. J Neurosurg. 2002 Dec; 97(5 Suppl):499-506. View in: PubMed

Amar AP, Teitelbaum GP, Giannotta SL, Larsen DW. Covered stent-graft repair of the brachiocephalic arteries: technical note. Neurosurgery. 2002 Jul; 51(1):247-52; discussion 252-3. View in: PubMed

Kattner KA, Roth TC, Giannotta SL. Cranial base approaches for the surgical treatment of aggressive posterior fossa dural arteriovenous fistulae with leptomeningeal drainage: report of four technical cases. Neurosurgery. 2002 May; 50(5):1156-60; discussion 1160-1. View in: PubMed

Yu C, Chen JC, Apuzzo ML, O'Day S, Giannotta SL, Weber JS, Petrovich Z. Metastatic melanoma to the brain: prognostic factors after gamma knife radiosurgery. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Apr 1; 52(5):1277-87. View in: PubMed

Giannotta SL. The sizer-dissector for aneurysm clip selection: technical note. Neurosurgery. 2002 Mar; 50(3):669-70; discussion 670-1. View in: PubMed

Giannotta SL. Ophthalmic segment aneurysm surgery. Neurosurgery. 2002 Mar; 50(3):558-62. View in: PubMed

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