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Neil A. Martin, Martha Hales and Charles B. Wilson

✓ A 31-year-old woman developed a cerebellar metastasis from an invasive prolactin-secreting pituitary adenoma while undergoing treatment with bromocriptine. The metastatic tumor was totally excised. Metastatic spread of pituitary tumors within the central nervous system is reviewed briefly.

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Neil A. Martin and Charles B. Wilson

✓ In a consecutive operative series of 115 intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's), 16 occupied the medial occipital region. Typically, the patients with medial occipital AVM's presented with bleeding, often accompanied by homonymous visual field deficit, or with migrainous headache. The malformations were supplied principally by branches of the posterior cerebral artery. Through an occipital craniotomy, a surgical approach along the junction of the falx and tentorium provided access to the arteries feeding the AVM and facilitated excision of the malformation. There were no deaths in the series. The incidence of visual field deficit after the operation varied, but in only five cases was the visual field worsened postoperatively. All patients who had a history of intractable headache were cured or improved after surgery. These lesions are favorably situated for surgical treatment.

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Mark N. Hadley, Robert F. Spetzler, Roberto Masferrer, Neil A. Martin and L. Philip Carter

✓ A 17-year-old boy suffered blunt trauma to the posterior cervical spine and later developed vertebrobasilar transient ischemic attacks refractory to medical management. At angiography, a pseudoaneurysm of the distal left vertebral artery was found. By means of a posterior midline approach, an extradural occipital artery to vertebral artery anastomosis was performed and the affected vertebral artery was clipped distal to the pseudoaneurysm. The indications for this procedure, the operative approach, and the clinical outcome are described.

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Robert F. Spetzler and Neil A. Martin

✓ An important factor in making a recommendation for treatment of a patient with arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is to estimate the risk of surgery for that patient. A simple, broadly applicable grading system that is designed to predict the risk of morbidity and mortality attending the operative treatment of specific AVM's is proposed. The lesion is graded on the basis of size, pattern of venous drainage, and neurological eloquence of adjacent brain. All AVM's fall into one of six grades. Grade I malformations are small, superficial, and located in non-eloquent cortex; Grade V lesions are large, deep, and situated in neurologically critical areas; and Grade VI lesions are essentially inoperable AVM's.

Retrospective application of this grading scheme to a series of surgically excised AVM's has demonstrated its correlation with the incidence of postoperative neurological complications. The application of a standardized grading scheme will enable a comparison of results between various clinical series and between different treatment techniques, and will assist in the process of management decision-making.

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Mark N. Hadley, Neil A. Martin, Robert F. Spetzler and Peter C. Johnson

✓ True mycotic (fungal) aneurysms are distinctly uncommon. The case of a young woman with multiple intracranial aneurysms of Coccidioides immitis origin is presented. Coccidioides immitis organisms are not uncommon central nervous system pathogens and usually cause basilar meningitis and hydrocephalus. There are no previous reports of a coccidioidal mycotic aneurysm. The management of intracranial coccidioidomycosis and fungal aneurysms is reviewed.

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Vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Part 1: Microsurgical treatment of extracranial vertebrobasilar disease

Robert F. Spetzler, Mark N. Hadley, Neil A. Martin, Leo N. Hopkins, L. Philip Carter and James Budny

✓ Extracranial vertebrobasilar artery thrombo-occlusive disease may cause repetitive transient ischemic episodes and, less frequently, brain-stem or cerebellar infarction. This report describes 40 patients who experienced repetitive vertebrobasilar ischemic symptoms despite maximal medical therapy. The natural history, pathogenesis, and treatment options for each causative lesion are reviewed. The operative approaches to symptomatic disease of the proximal vertebral arteries, arterial compression by cervical osteophytes, traumatic lesions of the vertebral arteries, and thrombo-occlusive pathology of the distal extracranial vertebral arteries are outlined. Specific anesthetic and surgical techniques that have proved successful while achieving zero operative mortality and low perioperative morbidity rates are reported.

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Vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Part 2: Microsurgical treatment of intracranial vertebrobasilar disease

Leo N. Hopkins, Neil A. Martin, Mark N. Hadley, Robert F. Spetzler, James Budny and L. Philip Carter

✓ Posterior circulation transient ischemic attacks have an associated risk of subsequent infarction of approximately 5% per year. Intracranial vertebrobasilar thrombo-occlusive lesions appear particularly likely to result in repetitive ischemic symptoms and in infarction due to hemodynamic insufficiency. The authors present their experience with 45 patients with symptomatic intracranial vertebrobasilar vascular disease despite maximal medical therapy. The specific operative approaches for intracranial vertebral artery endarterectomy and extracranial to intracranial posterior circulation revascularization procedures are outlined.

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Robert F. Spetzler, Neil A. Martin, L. Philip Carter, Richard A. Flom, Peter A. Raudzens and Elizabeth Wilkinson

✓ A series of 20 patients with giant arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) managed with staged embolization and surgical resection is presented. Complete excision was accomplished in 18 of these patients. There were no deaths and only three complications, of which one was disabling. Further evidence for the presence of low perfusion surrounding the AVM, emphasizing the risk of normal perfusion pressure breakthrough, is provided by cortical perfusion pressure, cortical cerebral blood flow (CBF), and stable xenon computerized tomography CBF measurements.

The staged approach to giant AVM management is a proposed method to render AVM's that were previously considered inoperable or marginally operable into totally excisable lesions, while maintaining an acceptable level of morbidity and mortality.

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Wesley A. King, Grant B. Hieshima and Neil A. Martin

✓ An attempt at transfemoral transarterial balloon occlusion of a high-flow spontaneous carotid-cavernous fistula was unsuccessful because the carotid artery rent was too small for this approach. During a subsequent transvenous approach to the cavernous sinus through the jugular vein, the inferior petrosal sinus was perforated. A minor subarachnoid hemorrhage occurred before the tear could be sealed by the deposition of three Gianturco coils in the vein. The patient was taken to the operating room for emergency obliteration of the fistula and petrosal sinus in order to remove the risk of further hemorrhage. Under the guidance of intraoperative digital subtraction angiography, isobutyl-2-cyanoacrylate was injected directly into the surgically exposed cavernous sinus. Successful obliteration of the fistula was achieved with preservation of the carotid artery, and the angiography catheter was removed safely from the petrosal sinus. Although initially after surgery the patient had nearly complete ophthalmoplegia, at her 1-year follow-up examination she had normal ocular motility and visual acuity. The transvenous approach to the cavernous sinus and alternative methods of treatment of carotid-cavernous fistulas are discussed.