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Roberto C. Heros

✓ A case is reported of a patient who suffered a gunshot wound of the neck which resulted in occlusion of a vertebral artery. Within a few hours he deteriorated neurologically to a comatose state with a gaze paresis and a facial paresis ipsilateral to the occluded vertebral artery. The diagnosis of cerebellar infarction with brain-stem compression was made clinically, and a posterior fossa decompression was carried out promptly. The patient has made an excellent recovery. Cerebellar infarction, like cerebellar hemorrhage, may act as a posterior fossa mass requiring neurosurgical decompression. This report emphasizes that such a pathological process may occur after certain injuries that are likely to result in occlusion of a vertebral artery.

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Laligam N. Sekhar, Roberto C. Heros and Charles W. Kerber

✓ Carotid arterial puncture during percutaneous retrogasserian procedures is a common but usually harmless complication. Strokes, resulting presumably from carotid artery thrombosis, have been reported previously following percutaneous retrogasserian coagulation. The authors report two cases of carotid-cavernous fistula, one following percutaneous radiofrequency rhizotomy and the other after percutaneous retrogasserian block. The latter patient had an anomalous primitive foramen lacerum. Both fistulas were obliterated successfully by intracavernous injection of isobutyl-2 cyanoacrylate, using intra-arterial balloon flotation catheters. Carotid-cavernous fistula is a potentially serious complication of such procedures, and may be more common than realized since small fistulas may close spontaneously.

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Laligam N. Sekhar, Roberto C. Heros, Preston R. Lotz and Arthur E. Rosenbaum

✓ In the past year, three patients were referred for microvascular bypass surgery for relief of symptoms secondary to an apparently occluded internal carotid artery (ICA). Careful review of the late films of their initial arteriographic series or repeat arteriography with a specialized technique revealed a thin trickle of contrast medium flowing antegrade through a region of extreme stenosis. This thin line of contrast material ascended slowly to meet the column of contrast medium in the cavernous carotid segment that was filling by collateral circulation. Surgical exploration of the neck in these patients revealed a patent but collapsed ICA distal to a localized atheromatous plaque. These patients have been asymptomatic following carotid endarterectomy. This distinctive angiographic appearance may be described as “atheromatous pseudo-occlusion.” Once recognized, carotid endarterectomy is the logical treatment of choice.

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Roberto C. Heros and Laligam N. Sekhar

✓ An increasing number of patients with symptomatic carotid artery occlusion are being referred for extracranial to intracranial bypass grafts. After careful clinical and angiographic assessment, a number of these patients have been treated with a direct approach to the carotid arteries in the neck or with anticoagulation rather than with a bypass graft. These patients may be categorized diagnostically under the following headings: 1) complete occlusion of the internal carotid artery (ICA) with intracranial patency; 2) spontaneous dissection of the ICA; 3) atheromatous pseudo-occlusion; 4) carotid artery occlusion with stenosis of the contralateral ICA; 5) occlusion of the ICA and stenosis of the external carotid artery; and 6) thrombus in the intracranial segment of an occluded ICA. Each of these categories is discussed briefly, and illustrative cases are presented.

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Arteriovenous malformations of the medial temporal lobe

Surgical approach and neuroradiological characterization

Roberto C. Heros

✓ Arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) of the medial temporal lobe frequently involve the basal ganglia and the thalamus and, for this reason, are commonly judged to be inoperable. However, when the medial involvement is limited to the posterolateral part of the thalamus and to the inferior portion of the basal ganglia lateral to the internal capsule, the lesions may be excised safely. Three patients who underwent successful excision of AVM's of this region are presented. A transcortical surgical approach through the inferior portion of the temporal lobe was used to minimize retraction of the temporal lobe and damage to the optic radiation, and to avoid postoperative dysphasia.

The following neuroradiological criteria indicate that the bulk of the lesion is in the temporal lobe, that only noncritical portions of the basal ganglia and thalamus are involved, and that, therefore, surgical resection is relatively safe: 1) primary supply by the anterior choroidal artery and by laterally oriented branches of the posterior cerebral artery; 2) primary venous drainage into the basal vein of Rosenthal and medial Sylvian veins; 3) projection below the plane of the middle cerebral artery in the lateral carotid arteriogram; 4) projection lateral to the sweep of the posterior cerebral artery in the anteroposterior or Towne's view of the vertebral angiogram; and 5) demonstration of an intratemporal clot or intraventricular blood by computerized tomography.

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Kenneth L. Tyler, Charles E. Poletti and Roberto C. Heros

✓ Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) has been associated with atypical dementia and a variety of other neurological disorders. Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most striking manifestation of CAA. A 63-year-old patient is described who sustained four intracerebral hemorrhages although he had no predisposing factors other than CAA. The neurological and pathological features of CAA are reviewed, with particular emphasis on the problem of CAA-associated intracerebral hemorrhage. On the basis of the experience with this case, it is recommended that adjacent brain parenchyma be biopsied in all patients undergoing evacuation of intracerebral hematomas of unclear etiology.

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Vassilios G. Varsos, Theodore M. Liszczak, Dae Hee Han, J. Philip Kistler, Juan Vielma, Peter McL. Black, Roberto C. Heros and Nicholas T. Zervas

✓ Angiographic spasm of cerebral arteries was produced in dogs by successive injections of cisternal blood 48 hours apart. Angiograms were taken before and after each cisternal injection. There was progressively greater angiographic vasospasm of the basilar artery. Intravenous aminophylline, 10 mg/kg/hr, reversed vessel constriction on the 1st and 3rd day after one injection of cisternal blood. On the 5th day after two blood injections (on Day 1 and Day 3), intravenous aminophylline, nifedipine (1 mg/kg), and intra-arterial bolus injection of 2 mg/kg papaverine failed to reverse the constriction. The intractable constriction produced in this model resembles that found in patients. The calcium antagonist, nifedipine, is as ineffective as the more traditional vasodilators in reversing vasospasm in this model.

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Lawrence F. Borges, Roberto C. Heros and Gerard DeBrun

✓ Two patients with large vascular carotid body tumors underwent preoperative intravascular embolization of the major arterial feeders. The tumor vascularity was reduced markedly, and complete surgical extirpation was accomplished without difficulty. The literature on carotid body tumors is briefly reviewed. The role of preoperative embolization in the treatment of these difficult tumors is emphasized.

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Roberto C. Heros and Ali M. Ameri

✓ A patient with a giant aneurysm of the top of the basilar artery presented with severe progressive symptoms of brain-stem compression. There was inadequate collateral circulation to the upper basilar system. She underwent exploration of the aneurysm and, after it was found to be impossible to clip, a tourniquet was placed on the basilar artery for future occlusion with the patient awake. A saphenous vein graft was interposed between the left external carotid and the left posterior cerebral arteries. The previously unruptured aneurysm bled fatally 36 hours after surgery, just before intended occlusion of the basilar artery.