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Guozhen Luo, Brent D. Cameron, Li Wang, Hong Yu, Joseph S. Neimat, Peter Hedera, Fenna Phibbs, Elise B. Bradley, Anthony J. Cmelak, and Austin N. Kirschner

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treats severe, medically refractory essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson disease. However, the optimal target for SRS treatment within the thalamic ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) is not clearly defined. This work evaluates the precision of the physician-selected VIM target, and determines the optimal SRS target within the VIM by correlation between early responders and nonresponders.

METHODS

Early responders and nonresponders were assessed retrospectively by Elements Basal Ganglia Atlas autocontouring of the VIM on the pre–SRS-treatment 1-mm slice thickness T1-weighted MRI and correlating the center of the post–SRS-treatment lesion. Using pre- and posttreatment diffusion tensor imaging, the fiber tracking package in the Elements software generated tremor-related tracts from autosegmented motor cortex, thalamus, red nucleus, and dentate nucleus. Autocontouring of the VIM was successful for all patients.

RESULTS

Among 23 patients, physician-directed SRS targets had a medial–lateral target range from +2.5 mm to −2.0 mm from the VIM center. Relative to the VIM center, the SRS isocenter target was 0.7–0.9 mm lateral for 6 early responders and 0.9–1.1 mm medial for 4 nonresponders (p = 0.019), and without differences in the other dimensions: 0.2 mm posterior and 0.6 mm superior. Dose–volume histogram analyses for the VIM had no significant differences between responders and nonresponders between 20 Gy and 140 Gy, mean or maximum dose, and dose to small volumes. Tractography data was obtained for 4 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

For tremor control in early responders, the Elements Basal Ganglia Atlas autocontour for the VIM provides the optimal SRS target location that is 0.7–0.9 mm lateral to the VIM center.

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Michael C. Dewan, Robert Shults, Andrew T. Hale, Vishad Sukul, Dario J. Englot, Peter Konrad, Hong Yu, Joseph S. Neimat, William Rodriguez, Benoit M. Dawant, Srivatsan Pallavaram, and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) is being used with increasing frequency to interrogate subcortical, cortical, and multifocal epileptic foci. The authors describe a novel technique for SEEG in patients with suspected epileptic foci refractory to medical management.

METHODS

In the authors’ technique, standard epilepsy evaluation and neuroimaging are used to create a hypothesis-driven SEEG plan, which informs the 3D printing of a novel single-path, multiple-trajectory, omnidirectional platform. Following skull-anchor platform fixation, electrodes are sequentially inserted according to the preoperative plan. The authors describe their surgical experience and technique based on a review of all cases, adult and pediatric, in which patients underwent invasive epilepsy monitoring via SEEG during an 18-month period at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Platform and anatomical variables influencing localization error were evaluated using multivariate linear regression.

RESULTS

Using this novel technology, 137 electrodes were inserted in 15 patients with focal epilepsy with favorable recording results and no clinical complications. The mean entry point localization error was 1.42 mm (SD 0.98 mm), and the mean target point localization error was 3.36 mm (SD 2.68 mm). Platform distance, electrode trajectory angle, and intracranial distance, but not skull thickness, were independently associated with localization error.

CONCLUSIONS

The multiple-trajectory, single-path, omnidirectional platform offers satisfactory accuracy and favorable clinical results, while avoiding cumbersome frames and prohibitive up-front costs associated with other SEEG technologies.

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Joshua J. Loya, Stefan A. Mindea, Hong Yu, Chitra Venkatasubramanian, Steven D. Chang, and Terry C. Burns

Intracranial hypotension is a disorder of CSF hypovolemia due to iatrogenic or spontaneous spinal CSF leakage. Rarely, positional headaches may progress to coma, with frequent misdiagnosis. The authors review reported cases of verified intracranial hypotension–associated coma, including 3 previously unpublished cases, totaling 29. Most patients presented with headache prior to neurological deterioration, with positional symptoms elicited in almost half. Eight patients had recently undergone a spinal procedure such as lumbar drainage. Diagnostic workup almost always began with a head CT scan. Subdural collections were present in 86%; however, intracranial hypotension was frequently unrecognized as the underlying cause. Twelve patients underwent one or more procedures to evacuate the collections, sometimes with transiently improved mental status. However, no patient experienced lasting neurological improvement after subdural fluid evacuation alone, and some deteriorated further. Intracranial hypotension was diagnosed in most patients via MRI studies, which were often obtained due to failure to improve after subdural hematoma (SDH) evacuation. Once the diagnosis of intracranial hypotension was made, placement of epidural blood patches was curative in 85% of patients. Twenty-seven patients (93%) experienced favorable outcomes after diagnosis and treatment; 1 patient died, and 1 patient had a morbid outcome secondary to duret hemorrhages. The literature review revealed that numerous additional patients with clinical histories consistent with intracranial hypotension but no radiological confirmation developed SDH following a spinal procedure. Several such patients experienced poor outcomes, and there were multiple deaths. To facilitate recognition of this treatable but potentially life-threatening condition, the authors propose criteria that should prompt intracranial hypotension workup in the comatose patient and present a stepwise management algorithm to guide the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of these patients.

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David A. Sun, Hong Yu, John Spooner, Armanda D. Tatsas, Thomas Davis, Ty W. Abel, Chris Kao, and Peter E. Konrad

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a clinically effective neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson disease. Tissue reaction to chronic DBS therapy and the definitive location of active stimulation contacts are best studied on a postmortem basis in patients who have undergone DBS. The authors report the postmortem analysis of STN DBS following 5 years and 11 months of effective chronic stimulation including the histologically verified location of the active contacts associated with bilateral implants. They also describe tissue response to intraoperative test passes with recording microelectrodes and stimulating semimacroelectrodes. The results indicated that 1) the neural tissue surrounding active and nonactive contacts responds similarly, with a thin glial capsule and foreign-body giant cell reaction surrounding the leads as well as piloid gliosis, hemosiderin-laden macrophages, scattered lymphocytes, and Rosenthal fibers; 2) there was evidence of separate tracts in the adjacent tissue for intraoperative microelectrode and semimacroelectrode passes together with reactive gliosis, microcystic degeneration, and scattered hemosiderin deposition; and 3) the active contacts used for ~ 6 years of effective bilateral DBS therapy lie in the zona incerta, just dorsal to the rostral STN. To the authors' knowledge, the period of STN DBS therapy herein described for Parkinson disease and subjected to postmortem analysis is the longest to date.

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John Spooner, Hong Yu, Chris Kao, Karl Sillay, and Peter Konrad

✓The authors present a case in which high-frequency electrical stimulation of the cingulum using standard deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology resulted in pain relief similar to that achieved with cingulotomy and superior to that achieved with periventricular gray matter (PVG) stimulation.

This patient had a complete spinal cord injury at the C-4 level and suffered from medically refractory neuropathic pain. He underwent placement of bilateral cingulum and unilateral PVG DBS electrodes and a 1-week blinded stimulation trial prior to permanent implantation of a pulse generator. During the stimulation trial, the patient's pain level was assessed using a visual analog scale, and pain medication usage was recorded. During this period the patient was blinded to stimulation parameters. Stimulation of the cingulum provided better pain control than PVG stimulation or medication alone.

The authors believe that cingulum stimulation can benefit patients with severe neuropathic pain that is refractory to other treatments. Advantages over cingulotomy include reversibility and the ability to adjust stimulation parameters for optimum efficacy.

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Hong Yu, Tom L. Yao, John Spooner, Jennifer R. Stumph, Ray Hester, and Peter E. Konrad

✓Choroid plexus papilloma is a benign central nervous system tumor that occasionally spreads along the subarachnoid space. The authors report the case of a 49-year-old man who presented with back pain 19 years after resection of a posterior fossa choroid plexus papilloma. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed multiple spinal lesions without any residual or recurrent intracranial tumor. All spinal lesions were resected and histologically diagnosed as atypical choroid plexus papilloma. The authors suggest that patients in whom choroid plexus papilloma is diagnosed should undergo total neuraxis imaging at the time of initial diagnosis as well as periodic follow-up examinations after resection to rule out drop metastases.