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Petra M. Klinge, Georg Berding, Thomas Brinker, Wolfram H. Knapp and Madjid Samii

Object. In this study the authors use positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular reserve (CVR) in chronic hydrocephalus.

Methods. Ten patients whose mean age was 67 ± 10 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) were compared with 10 healthy volunteers who were 25 ± 3 years of age. Global CBF and CVR were determined using 15O—H2O and PET prior to shunt placement and 7 days and 7 months thereafter. The CVR was measured using 1 g acetazolamide. Neurological status was assessed based on a score assigned according to the methods of Stein and Langfitt.

Seven months after shunt placement, five patients showed clinical improvement (Group A) and five did not (Group B). The average global CBF before shunt deployment was significantly reduced in comparison with the control group (40 ± 8 compared with 61 ± 7 ml/100 ml/minute; mean ± SD, p < 0.01). In Group A the CBF values were significantly lower than in Group B (36 ± 7 compared with 44 ± 8 ml/100 ml/minute; p < 0.05). The CVR before surgery, however, was not significantly different between groups (Group A = 43 ± 21%, Group B = 37 ± 29%). After shunt placement, there was an increase in the CVR in Group A to 52 ± 37% after 7 days and to 68 ± 47% after 7 months (p < 0.05), whereas in Group B the CVR decreased to 14 ± 18% (p < 0.05) after 7 days and returned to the preoperative level (39 ± 6%) 7 months after shunt placement.

Conclusions. The preliminary results indicate that a reduced baseline CBF before surgery does not indicate a poor prognosis. Baseline CBF before shunt placement and preoperative CVR are not predictive of clinical outcome. A decrease in the CVR early after shunt placement, however, is related to poor late clinical outcome, whereas early improvement in the CVR after shunt placement indicates a good prognosis.

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Roger Breyer, Sami Hussein, Dorel L. Radu, Klaus-Martin Pütz, Sven Gunia, Hartmut Hecker, Madjid Samii, Gerhard F. Walter and Alexandru C. Stan

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) invasiveness is a complex process that involves recognition and attachment of GBM cells to particular extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules prior to migrating into proteolytically modified matrix and inducing angiogenesis. The CD44, which is a transmembrane adhesion molecule found on a wide variety of cells including GBM, has been suggested as the principal mediator of migration and invasion. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate whether an antibody specific to the standard form of CD44 (CD44s, 85-90 kDa) might prevent invasion and thus disrupt progression of C6 GBM in vivo.

Immunostaining demonstrated homogenous expression of CD44s on the surface of C6 GBM cells and tumors. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated binding saturation of anti-CD44s mAb to the receptor at 1 μg/5 X 105 cells. Blocking of CD44s in vitro resulted in a dose-dependent progressive (up to 94 ± 2.7%; mean ± standard deviation [SD]) detachment of C6 cells from ECM-coated culture surfaces. Blocking of CD44s in vivo resulted in significantly reduced C6 brain tumors (3.6 ± 0.4% [SD])--measured as the quotient: tumor surface (mm2)/brain surface (mm2) X 100--as compared with untreated (19.9% ± 0.9%) or sham-treated rats (19.2 ± 1.1% to 19.3 ± 2.5% [SD]). Disruption of C6 GBM progression correlated with an improved food intake; treated rats were significantly less cachectic (166.6 ± 16.4 g [SD]) than those that were untreated (83.0 ± 2.7 g [SD]) or sham-treated (83.4 ± 1.1 g to 83.0 ± 2.2 g [SD]) rats.

The authors conclude that CD44s-targeted treatment with specific mAb may represent an effective means for preventing progression of highly invasive GBMs.

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Madjid Samii, Steffen K. Rosahl, Gustavo A. Carvalho and Thomas Krzizok

✓ Superior oblique myokymia (SOM) is a rare eye movement disorder presenting as uniocular rotatory microtremor due to intermittent contractions of the superior oblique muscle. Medical treatment usually fails to provide long-term benefit for the patient and has considerable side effects. Surgical alternatives including tenotomy or partial tenectomy of the superior oblique tendon often result in incomplete resolution of the visual symptoms. The authors report a patient who experienced immediate cessation of disabling SOM following microvascular decompression of the fourth nerve at the root exit zone. Temporary double vision at downgaze resolved 5 months after surgery. There was no recurrence of oscillopsia during a follow-up of 22 months to date.

From this single observation it appears likely that vascular compression of the trochlear nerve could be a significant pathophysiological factor contributing to SOM. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, microvascular decompression at the brainstem exit zone of this nerve may evolve as the method of choice for selected cases of disabling SOM.

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Madjid Samii, Gustavo A. Carvalho, Guido Nikkhah and Götz Penkert

✓ Over the last 16 years, 345 surgical reconstructions of the brachial plexus were performed using nerve grafting or neurotization techniques in the Neurosurgical Department at the Nordstadt Hospital, Hannover, Germany. Sixty-five patients underwent graft placement between the C-5 and C-6 root and the musculocutaneous nerve to restore the flexion of the arm. A retrospective study was conducted, including statistical evaluation of the following pre- and intraoperative parameters in 54 patients: 1) time interval between injury and surgery; 2) choice of the donor nerve (C-5 or C-6 root); and 3) length of the grafts used for repairs between the C-5 or C-6 root and the musculocutaneous nerve.

The postoperative follow-up interval ranged from 9 months to 14.6 years, with a mean ± standard deviation of 4.4 ± 3 years. Reinnervation of the biceps muscle was found in 61% of the patients. Comparison of the different preoperative time intervals (1–6 months, 7–12 months, and > 12 months) showed a significantly better outcome in those patients with a preoperative delay of less than 7 months (p < 0.05). Reinnervation of the musculocutaneous nerve was demonstrated in 76% of the patients who underwent surgery within the first 6 months postinjury, in 60% of the patients with a delay of between 6 and 12 months, and in only 25% of the patients who underwent surgery after 12 months. Comparison of the final outcome according to the root (C-5 or C-6) that was used for grafting the musculocutaneous nerve showed no statistical difference.

Furthermore, statistical analysis (regression test) of the length of the grafts between the donor (C-5 or C-6 root) nerve and the musculocutaneous nerve displayed an inverse relationship between the graft length and the postoperative outcome.

Together, these results provide additional information to enhance the functional outcome of brachial plexus surgery.

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Jussi Antinheimo, Hannu Haapasalo, Matti Haltia, Marcos Tatagiba, Sebastian Thomas, Almuth Brandis, Markku Sainio, Olli Carpen, Madjid Samii and Juha Jääskeläinen

✓ The authors compared the histological appearance and proliferation potential of 35 meningiomas in patients with neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) and 30 sporadic meningiomas in age- and gender-matched patients without NF2. The NF2 meningiomas showed more mitotic figures (p < 0.001) and nuclear pleomorphism (p = 0.003) than the sporadic meningiomas; however, the incidence of meningothelial, fibroblastic, and transitional subtypes occurred equally in both groups. The proliferation potential was significantly higher in the 35 meningiomas removed from 23 patients with NF2 than in the 30 sporadic meningiomas removed in the 30 patients without NF2 (mean MIB-1 labeling indices: 2.5 vs. 1.75, p = 0.0147). The higher proliferation potential of the NF2 meningiomas may reflect differences in molecular biology between sporadic and NF2 meningiomas and may be related to an earlier onset, multiplicity, and more aggressive behavior of NF2 tumors.

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Madjid Samii, Gustavo A. Carvalho, Guido Nikkhah and Götz Penkert

Over the last 16 years, 345 surgical reconstructions of the brachial plexus were performed using nerve grafting or neurotization techniques in the Neurosurgical Department at the Nordstadt Hospital, Hannover, Germany. Sixty-five patients underwent graft placement between the C-5 and C-6 root and the musculocutaneous nerve to restore the flexion of the arm. A retrospective study was conducted, including statistical evaluation of the following pre- and intraoperative parameters in 54 patients: 1) time interval between injury and surgery; 2) choice of the donor nerve (C-5 or C-6 root); and 3) length of the grafts used for repairs between the C-5 or C-6 root and the musculocutaneous nerve.

The postoperative follow-up interval ranged from 9 months to 14.6 years, with a mean ± standard deviation of 4.4 ± 3 years. Reinnervation of the biceps muscle was found in 61% of the patients. Comparison of the different preoperative time intervals (1-6 months, 7-12 months, and > 12 months) showed a significantly better outcome in those patients with a preoperative delay of less than 7 months (p < 0.05). Reinnervation of the musculocutaneous nerve was demonstrated in 76% of the patients who underwent surgery within the first 6 months postinjury, in 60% of the patients with a delay of between 6 and 12 months, and in only 25% of the patients who underwent surgery after 12 months. Comparison of the final outcome according to the root (C-5 or C-6) that was used for grafting the musculocutaneous nerve showed no statistical difference.

Furthermore, statistical analysis (regression test) of the length of the grafts between the donor (C-5 or C-6 root) nerve and the musculocutaneous nerve displayed an inverse relationship between the graft length and the postoperative outcome.

Together, these results provide additional information to enhance the functional outcome of brachial plexus surgery.

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Cordula Matthies and Madjid Samii

✓ The usefulness of intraoperative monitoring in cerebellopontine angle surgery should be improved by obtaining faster and stronger brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) responses. A new technique of direct recording at the brainstem has been developed, which is applicable to all tumor sizes. By placing a retractor with electrodes attached to its tip at the cerebellomedullary junction, the authors have recorded BAEP amplitudes that are 10 times greater than those recorded using the conventional technique. Only small sampling numbers (64–256 recordings) are required and are obtained in 5 to 15 seconds. The technique has been applied successfully in 34 patients who underwent vestibular schwannoma resections. It has also been tested in patients with intrameatal—extrameatal meningiomas and in those with vascular compressive disorders; there have been no false results. The advantages of this new technique are: 1) identification of BAEP components is easier and faster; 2) reliable BAEP responses are obtained in some cases in which conventional BAEP responses are lost or severely deformed; and 3) BAEP response deterioration and improvement are recognized earlier than would occur using the conventional technique. This last advantage provides the surgeon with a useful warning at a stage of surgery at which BAEP changes are still temporary and can be reversed. This method is different from other trials of intradural BAEP recordings in three respects: its use is not limited to particular tumor sizes; there is no interference with the surgical process; and, most important, the obtained responses correlate well with those of conventional BAEP responses, probably because the recording site is in the vicinity of the anterior cochlear nucleus. In conclusion, the chances of useful monitoring feedback with adequate adaptation of the microsurgical strategy are improved considerably.

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Jörg Klekamp, Ulrich Batzdorf, Madjid Samii and Hans Werner Bothe

✓ The authors conducted a retrospective study of 107 patients treated for syringomyelia associated with arachnoid scarring between 1976 and 1995 at the Departments of Neurosurgery at the Nordstadt Hospital in Hannover, Germany, and the University of California in Los Angeles, California. Twenty-nine patients have not been surgically treated to date because of their stable neurological status. Seventy-eight patients with progressive neurological deficits underwent a total of 121 surgical procedures and were followed for a mean period of 32 (±37) months. All patients demonstrated arachnoid scarring at a level close to the syrinx. In 52 patients the arachnoid scarring was related to spinal trauma, whereas 55 had no history of trauma and developed arachnoid scarring as a result of an inflammatory reaction. Of these, 15 patients had undergone intradural surgery, eight had suffered from spinal meningitis, three had undergone peridural anesthesia, and one each presented with a history of osteomyelitis, spondylodiscitis, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. No obvious cause for the inflammatory reaction resulting in arachnoid scarring could be ascertained for the remaining 26 patients.

The postoperative neurological outcome correlated with the severity of arachnoid pathology and the type of surgery performed. Shunting of the syrinx to the subarachnoid, pleural, or peritoneal cavity was associated with recurrence rates of 92% and 100% for focal and extensive scarring, respectively. Successful long-term management of the syrinx required microsurgical dissection of the arachnoid scar and decompression of the subarachnoid space with a fascia lata graft. This operation stabilized the preoperative progressive neurological course in 83% of patients with a focal arachnoid scar. For patients with extensive arachnoid scarring over multiple spinal levels or after previous surgery, clinical stabilization was achieved in only 17% with this technique.