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Open access

Microvascular decompression for developmental venous anomaly causing hemifacial spasm: illustrative case

Margaret Tugend and Raymond F Sekula Jr.

BACKGROUND

Developmental venous anomaly (DVA) is a rare cause of hemifacial spasm (HFS). The treatment of HFS caused by a DVA varies in the literature and includes medication management, botulinum toxin injections, and microvascular decompression (MVD).

OBSERVATIONS

A 64-year-old woman presented with right-sided HFS. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging showed a DVA in the right inferior pons, with an enlarged segment compressing the facial nerve at its root detachment point prior to drainage into the superior petrosal sinus. MVD was performed, and the facial nerve was decompressed without sacrifice of the vein. Immediately following the procedure, the patient had significantly reduced spasms. The patient became spasm-free 3 months after MVD and maintained spasm freedom for 3 months. Six months after MVD, the patient had a partial return of spasms. At 8 months, the patient continued to have reduced and intermittent spasms in the right orbicularis oculi muscle.

LESSONS

MVD for HFS caused by a DVA is a safe procedure and can be effective at reducing spasm frequency and severity.

Open access

Bilateral and asymmetrical localization of language function identified by the superselective infusion of propofol in an epilepsy patient with a mild malformation of cortical development: illustrative case

Mayuko Otomo, Shin-ichiro Osawa, Kyoko Suzuki, Kazuo Kakinuma, Kazushi Ukishiro, Hiroyoshi Suzuki, Kuniyasu Niizuma, Norio Narita, Nobukazu Nakasato, and Teiji Tominaga

BACKGROUND

Atypical localization of language function can result in unexpected postsurgical deficits after cortical resection, but it is difficult to predict the risk in the presurgical evaluation. The authors experienced a rare case of the bilateral and independent existence of different components of language function identified by segmented evaluation of anatomical anterior and posterior language areas using the superselective infusion of propofol.

OBSERVATIONS

A 32-year-old right-handed female presented with drug-resistant epilepsy. Comprehensive epilepsy evaluation suggested that the epileptic foci involved the whole left frontal lobe but provided less evidence of structural abnormality. To estimate the extent of functional deterioration likely to be caused by an extended left frontal lobectomy, the authors evaluated segmented cortical function in the ipsi- and contralateral hemispheres by the superselective infusion of propofol into the branches of the intracranial artery. The results revealed bilateral and asymmetrical localization of language function because the patient presented with different components of aphasia in each hemisphere. Based on the authors’ assessment of her functional tolerance, an extended left frontal lobectomy was performed and resulted in neurological deficits within the anticipated range.

LESSONS

An accurate understanding of the correlations between vascular and functional anatomy and the highly specific evaluation of language function provides more advanced presurgical assessment, allowing more tailored planning of cortical resection.

Open access

Spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain treatment following sacral chordoma resection: illustrative case

Khaled M Taghlabi, Taimur Hassan, Isuru A Somawardana, Sibi Rajendran, Ahmed Doomi, Lokeshwar S Bhenderu, Jesus G Cruz-Garza, and Amir H Faraji

BACKGROUND

Cancer-related or postoperative pain can occur following sacral chordoma resection. Despite a lack of current recommendations for cancer pain treatment, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has demonstrated effectiveness in addressing cancer-related pain.

OBSERVATIONS

A 76-year-old female with a sacral chordoma underwent anterior osteotomies and partial en bloc sacrectomy. She subsequently presented with chronic pain affecting both buttocks and posterior thighs and legs, significantly impeding her daily activities. She underwent a staged epidural SCS paddle trial and permanent system placement using intraoperative neuromonitoring. The utilization of percutaneous leads was not viable because of her history of spinal fluid leakage, multiple lumbosacral surgeries, and previous complex plastic surgery closure. The patient reported a 62.5% improvement in her lower-extremity pain per the modified Quadruple Visual Analog Scale and a 50% improvement in the modified Pain and Sleep Questionnaire 3-item index during the SCS trial. Following permanent SCS system placement and removal of her externalized lead extenders, she had an uncomplicated postoperative course and reported notable improvements in her pain symptoms.

LESSONS

This case provides a compelling illustration of the successful treatment of chronic pain using SCS following radical sacral chordoma resection. Surgeons may consider this treatment approach in patients presenting with refractory pain following spinal tumor resection.

Open access

Stereoelectroencephalography in the setting of a previously implanted responsive neural stimulation device: illustrative case

Dorian M Kusyk, Nicholas Blaney, Timothy Quezada, and Alexander C Whiting

BACKGROUND

Responsive neural stimulation (RNS) is a relatively novel procedure for drug-resistant epilepsy, which involves implantation of a device into the skull and brain. As more devices are implanted, there may be an increasing need to perform intracranial electrocorticography in implant patients with persistent seizures. Given the device location, imaging difficulties with implanted devices, and other technical hurdles, stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) could be especially challenging. The authors describe the first reported SEEG investigation in a patient with an RNS device, highlighting the technical challenges and clinical data ascertained.

OBSERVATIONS

A 41-year-old male with drug-resistant epilepsy presented several years after a local surgeon had placed an RNS device with two electrodes in the bilateral parieto-occipital lobes. Because of inadequate seizure control, the patient was offered a repeat SEEG investigation to characterize his epilepsy better. Although more technically challenging than a traditional SEEG implantation, the SEEG investigation was successfully performed, which led to a confirmation of bilateral hippocampal seizure onset. The patient underwent repositioning of his RNS leads with a significant decrease in his seizure frequency.

LESSONS

Concurrent implantation of SEEG electrodes in a functioning RNS device can be safely performed and can augment our understanding of a patient’s seizures.

Open access

Hemifacial spasm caused by multiple vascular attachments due to remote compression effects of a dermoid cyst in the cerebellar hemisphere: illustrative case

Kento Hirayama, Takafumi Tanei, Takenori Kato, Toshinori Hasegawa, Eiji Ito, Yusuke Nishimura, and Ryuta Saito

BACKGROUND

Dermoid cysts located laterally in the posterior fossa are rare. The authors report the case of a dermoid cyst in the cerebellar hemisphere presenting with hemifacial spasm (HFS) caused by multiple vascular attachments due to remote compression effects.

OBSERVATIONS

A 48-year-old man presented with left HFS. Computed tomography showed a mass lesion in the left cerebellar hemisphere with calcification and erosion of skull bone. Magnetic resonance imaging showed no contrast enhancement of the lesion and a dural defect. The lesion compressed the brainstem and cerebellopontine cistern, but no vascular attachments to the facial nerve were seen. Tumor removal and microvascular decompression were performed. The lesion was composed of soft tissue containing oil-like liquid and hairs, and the border of the cerebellar arachnoid was clear. There were multiple vascular attachments to the root exit zone, facial nerve, and brainstem. After displacing these arteries, the intraoperative abnormal muscle response disappeared. Histopathological findings showed stratified squamous epithelium, keratin flakes, calcifications, and hairs. The HFS disappeared completely and has remained absent for 27 months.

LESSONS

The dermoid cyst originating from occipital bone compressed the cerebellar hemisphere, displacing multiple vessels and leading to HFS. Tumor removal and the removal of all vascular factors can completely resolve HFS.

Open access

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia associated with a focal pontine lesion: illustrative case

Vadym Biloshytsky, Anna Skorokhoda, Inna Buvailo, and Maryna Biloshytska

BACKGROUND

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) associated with a focal pontine lesion is a rare but challenging condition. The origin of the lesion, which does not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis, remains disputable. Pain in such conditions is often refractory to treatment, including microvascular decompression.

OBSERVATIONS

A 36-year-old female presented with a 3.5-year history of shooting pain in the right V2 distribution triggered by talking and chewing. She became less responsive to high-dose carbamazepine over time. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed no neurovascular compression but an elongated lesion hyperintense on T2-weighted imaging and T2- fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and hypointense and nonenhancing on T1-magnetization prepared rapid gradient-echo imaging without restricted diffusion, hemorrhage, or supposed malformation along the right pontine trigeminal pathway (PTP). Two other similar lesions were found in the corpus callosum and left thalamus. All lesions were stable compared to MRI data obtained 2 years before. Cerebrospinal fluid contained no oligoclonal bands. Pain attacks ceased with right-sided gasserian radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFTC), and at the 6-month follow-up, there was no recurrence.

LESSONS

In patients with TN, preoperative neuroimaging should assess for brainstem lesions along the PTP. RFTC can be considered a treatment option in medication-refractory TN associated with a focal pontine lesion.

Open access

Effects of ventro-oral thalamic deep brain stimulation in a patient with musician’s dystonia: illustrative case

Fauve Poncelet, Sara Smeets, Takaomi Taira, Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, Wim Vandenberghe, Jana Peeters, Tine Van Bogaert, and Bart Nuttin

BACKGROUND

Musician’s dystonia is a task-specific focal hand dystonia characterized by involuntary contraction of muscles while playing a musical instrument. Current treatment options are often insufficient.

OBSERVATIONS

We present the effects of ventro-oral thalamic deep brain stimulation in a patient with musician’s dystonia. The patient was a 67-year-old pianist with musician’s dystonia who underwent deep brain stimulation with the ventralis oralis anterior and posterior nuclei of the thalamus as targets. The Tubiana and Chamagne rating scale was used to evaluate the effects of stimulation. The outcome was evaluated independently by four clinicians in a blinded manner at 3 months postoperatively. There was a distinct reduction of symptoms during stimulation. At 15 months postoperatively, the beneficial effect remained. No lasting side effects were observed.

LESSONS

Further studies are warranted to evaluate the safety and long-term efficacy of this treatment modality.

Open access

Pterygoid venous plexus anastomosis in trigeminal percutaneous glycerol rhizotomy: illustrative case

Kevin Cordeiro, Jason Kim, Niall Buckley, Mark Kraemer, Conrad Pun, and Daniel Resnick

BACKGROUND

Percutaneous glycerol rhizotomy (PGR) is a common, effective, and relatively safe treatment for trigeminal neuralgia that is refractory to medical management. Anastomotic skull base venous anatomy should be considered when delivering percutaneous agents.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report an anastomotic connection, not previously described in the literature, between the bilateral pterygoid venous plexuses upon air injection during PGR with computed tomography (CT) guidance for trigeminal neuralgia. Pertinent microsurgical and skull base venous anatomy is reviewed.

LESSONS

Anastomoses between the pterygoid venous plexuses present a potential passage for materials used during PGR to reach unintended contralateral neurovascular structures. The use of CT guidance may identify this anastomotic connection and decrease the likelihood of an aberrant flow of materials used during the PGR.

Open access

Utilization of three-dimensional fusion images with high-resolution computed tomography angiography for preoperative evaluation of microvascular decompression: patient series

Takamitsu Iwata, Koichi Hosomi, Naoki Tani, Hui Ming Khoo, Satoru Oshino, and Haruhiko Kishima

BACKGROUND

High-resolution computed tomography (CT), outfitted with a 0.25-mm detector, has superior capability for identifying microscopic anatomical structures compared to conventional CT. This study describes the use of high-resolution computed tomography angiography (CTA) for preoperative microvascular decompression (MVD) assessment and explores the potential effectiveness of three-dimensional (3D) image fusion with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by comparing it with traditional imaging methods.

OBSERVATIONS

Four patients who had undergone preoperative high-resolution CTA and MRI for MVD at Osaka University Hospital between December 2020 and March 2022 were included in this study. The 3D-reconstructed images and intraoperative findings were compared. One patient underwent conventional CTA, thus allowing for a comparison between high-resolution and conventional CTA in terms of radiation exposure and vascular delineation. Preoperative simulations reflected the intraoperative findings for all cases; small vessel compression of the nerve was identified preoperatively in two cases.

LESSONS

Compared with conventional CTA, high-resolution CTA showed superior vascular delineation with no significant change in radiation exposure. The use of high-resolution CTA with reconstructed 3D fusion images can help to simulate prior MVD. Knowing the location of the nerves and blood vessels can perioperatively guide neurosurgeons.

Open access

Abnormal magnetic resonance imaging signal in the burr hole and the identification of the intracranial infection of a deep brain stimulation device: illustrative case

Ryota Sasaki, Hidehiro Hirabayashi, and Ichiro Nakagawa

BACKGROUND

Device infection is a critical postoperative complication in deep brain stimulation (DBS). However, intracranial infections are rare and lack specific findings, which lead to a challenging diagnosis.

OBSERVATIONS

A 59-year-old female with generalized dystonia underwent bilateral globus pallidus internus and subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS device implantation. One year earlier, a left STN-DBS extension wire disconnection was observed and replaced. The patient presented to our department because of tenderness along the extension wire that had persisted for 1 month. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head indicated abnormal signals around the lead of the left STN and burr hole. Intraoperatively, the authors observed pus and infected granulation tissue in the burr holes. After device removal, antibiotics were administered, and the patient successfully progressed without complications. Moreover, the abnormal MRI signal disappeared.

LESSONS

A characteristic abnormal MRI signal within the burr hole in DBS may suggest early infection even in the absence of other inflammatory findings. Clinicians should ensure that MRI is not limited to intracranial findings but extends beyond the extracranial space.