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Christopher C. Gallen, Barry J. Schwartz, Richard D. Bucholz, Ghaus Malik, Gregory L. Barkley, Joseph Smith, Howard Tung, Brian Copeland, Leonard Bruno, Sam Assam, Eugene Hirschkoff and Floyd Bloom

✓ The boundaries of somatosensory cortex were localized noninvasively by means of a large-array biomagnetometer in six patients with mass lesions in or near eloquent cortex. The results were used by neurosurgeons and neurologists in preoperative planning and for reference in the operating room. The magnetic source imaging (MSI) localizations from somatosensory evoked potentials were used to predict the pattern of phase reversals measurable intraoperatively on the cortical surface, providing a quantitative comparison between the two measures. The magnetic localizations were found to be predictive in all six cases, with the two sets of localizations falling within an 8-mm distance on average. Somatosensory localizations using MSI offer accuracy in localizing somatosensory cortex stereotactically and in depicting its relationship to lesions. Such data are valuable preoperatively in assessing the risks associated with a proposed surgical procedure and for optimizing subsequent minimum-risk surgical strategy.

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Sixth nerve schwannomas

Report of two cases

Howard Tung, Thomas Chen and Martin H. Weiss

✓ Two cases of sixth cranial nerve schwannoma are presented with a review of four other cases from the literature. The clinical spectrum, neuroradiological findings, and surgical outcome of the six cases are discussed. There are two distinct clinical presentations for sixth cranial nerve schwannomas. Type I sixth nerve schwannomas present with sixth nerve palsy and diplopia and arise from the cavernous sinus. In contrast, type II sixth nerve schwannomas have a more severe presentation with obstructive hydrocephalus, raised intracranial pressure, sixth nerve palsy, and diplopia. This type arises along the course of the sixth cranial nerve in the prepontine area. Cavernous sinus involvement in either type may preclude total surgical excision and indicate an increased possibility for recurrence.

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Howard Tung, Corey Raffel and J. Gordon McComb

✓ To determine the significance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) eosinophilia, the charts of 106 patients treated with shunt-related procedures during the calendar year 1985 were reviewed. Sixty-nine patients presented for a shunt revision; their charts were retrospectively reviewed from the time of shunt insertion until January, 1988. The remaining 37 patients had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt inserted during the study period and were subsequently followed to January, 1988. A total of 558 shunt-related procedures were performed on these patients during the study period, with a mean follow-up period of 6.9 years. The infection rate was 3.8%.

Eosinophilia was diagnosed when eosinophils accounted for 8% or more of the total CSF white blood cell count. Ventricular CSF eosinophilia occurred in 36 patients sometime during their clinical course. These 36 patients required a mean of 8.5 shunt revisions, while the remaining patients required a mean of 2.5 revisions (p < 0.001). Shunt infections were also more frequent in patients with eosinophilia (p < 0.01). In no case was peripheral eosinophilia or a parasitic infection present.

This study demonstrates that CSF eosinophilia is common in children with shunts. Children with this laboratory finding will experience more shunt failures. In addition, the new appearance of eosinophilia in the CSF of a patient with a shunt in place suggests the possibility of a shunt infection.

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Howard Tung, Steven L. Giannotta, Parakrama T. Chandrasoma and Chi-Shing Zee

✓ Thirteen patients with recurrent hemorrhages from angiographically occult vascular malformations are presented. Recurrent hemorrhages were indicated by the exacerbation of neurological deficits, the appearance of a new neurological deficit, or the onset of acute severe headache confirmed by evidence of recent hemorrhage on either computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Persistent neurological deficits correlated with an increased number of recurrent hemorrhages and their location. The median time from initial hemorrhage to the first recurrent hemorrhage was 12 months and the second rebleed generally occurred much earlier, with a median time of 2 months after the first. Eight patients underwent surgery with total excision and favorable results. One patient with a large pontine lesion underwent partial excision and has had a progressing neurological deficit from recurrent hemorrhages. Histopathological review confirmed the excised lesions to be cavernous angiomas. The authors conclude that angiographically occult vascular malformations are not the benign entity they were previously thought to be, and that they are prone to cause recurrent hemorrhages and persistent neurological deficits. Surgery can be effective and relatively safe in removing these lesions even in eloquent areas of the brain, but the necessity of occasional incomplete removal must be recognized in order to avoid creating an unacceptable neurological outcome.