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Edward R. Laws Jr., Michael O. Thorner and Mary L. Vance

An effective systematic approach for the management of prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas is described. This methodology has stood the test of time and has been modified in accordance with experience. The primary goals are to obtain satisfactory control of the tumor and to avoid undesirable side effects related to dopamine agonist-based therapeutic agents.

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William T. Couldwell and Martin H. Weiss

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4. Bromocriptine therapy for prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas. Edward R. Laws, Jr., Michael O. Thorner, and Mary L. Vance

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8. Radiation-induced meningioma following radiation therapy for pituitary adenoma. Case report. Mark K. Lyons, Gilbert Gonzales, Steven E. Schild, and Kent D. Nelson

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1. The technique for endoscopic pituitary tumor removal. Michael D. Cusimano and Ronald S. Fenton

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Hae-Dong Jho and Ricardo L. Carrau

An endoscope was used in transsphenoidal surgery and eventually replaced the operating microscope as a tool for visualization. Initially four patients underwent operation via a sublabial transseptal approach using a rigid endoscope in conjunction with an operating microscope. The 48 subsequent operations were performed through a nostril using only rigid endoscopes. Forty-four patients had pituitary adenomas and six had various other lesions. Thirteen patients had microadenomas, 16 had intrasellar macroadenomas, nine had macroadenomas with suprasellar extension, and six had invasive macroadenomas involving the cavernous sinus. Among eight patients with Cushing's disease, seven were cured. Of 17 patients with prolactinomas, 10 were cured clinically and chemically. Among 19 patients with nonsecreting adenomas, 16 underwent total resection and three subtotal resection, with residual tumor in the cavernous sinus. Postoperatively all patients who had undergone endonasal endoscopic surgery had unobstructed nasal airways with minimal discomfort. More than half of the patients required only an overnight hospitalization.

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Hae-Dong Jho, Ricardo L. Carrau, Mark L. McLaughlin and Salvador C. Somaza

The authors report their encouraging experience using an endoscopic technique for transsphenoidal surgery in a patient with a large chordoma in the posterior fossa. The patient was a 40-year-old man with a 2-year history of progressive ataxia, a memory disorder, and emotional instability. A magnetic resonance (MR) image of the brain revealed a midline posterior fossa mass measuring 4 cm in diameter located between the clivus and the brainstem. The basilar artery and its bifurcation were encased by the tumor, which also distorted the brainstem. The patient had been treated at another hospital for obstructive hydrocephalus with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and he received fractionated external-beam radiation treatment, although no histological diagnosis was ever made. The authors achieved a subtotal resection of the tumor through the patient's nostril using an endoscopic transsphenoidal technique. The portion of the tumor located behind the basilar artery was not resected to protect the brainstem perforating arteries. The patient showed dramatic improvement of his symptoms postoperatively. Residual tumor located behind the basilar artery was treated by stereotactic gamma knife surgery. This is the first reported case of a large posterior fossa chordoma treated by an endoscopic transsphenoidal technique.

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Michael H. Brisman, Susan Morgello, Adam Silvers, Irwin Klein and Kalmon D. Post

A case is described of an elderly woman who presented with headaches, hypopituitarism, and visual disturbances and was found to have idiopathic granulomatous hypophysitis, a rare lesion of the pituitary gland. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a well-circumscribed lesion, which was isointense on both T1- and T2-weighted imaging and enhanced uniformly with administration of gadolinium contrast enhancement, not unlike a macroadenoma. The present case and 12 other cases from the literature are reviewed.

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Narayan Sundaresan, Alfred A. Steinberger, Frank Moore, Ved Parkash Sachdev, George Krol, Laura Hough and Kevin Kelliher

Spinal instrumentation currently allows gross-total resection and reconstruction in cases of malignancies at all levels of the spine. The authors analyzed the results in 110 patients who underwent surgery for primary and metastatic spinal tumors over a 5 year period (1989–1993) at a single institution. Major primary sites of tumor included breast (14 cases), chordoma (14 cases), lung (12 cases), kidney (11 cases), sarcoma (13 cases), plasmacytoma (10 cases), and others (36 cases). Prior to surgery, 55 patients (50%) had received prior treatment. Forty eight patients (44%) were nonambulatory, and severe paraparesis was present in 20 patients. Fifty three patients (48%) underwent combined anterior-posterior resection and instrumentation, 33 (30%) underwent anterior resection with instrumentation, 18 (16%) underwent anterior or posterior resection alone, and the remaining six patients (5%) underwent posterior resection and instrumentation. Major indications for anterior-posterior resection included three-column involvement, high-grade instability, involvement of contiguous vertebral bodies, and solitary metastases. Postoperatively, 90 patients improved neurologically. The overall median survival was 16 months, with 46% of patients surviving 2 years. Fifty-three patients (48%) suffered postoperative complications. Despite the high incidence of complications, the majority of patients reported improvement in their quality of life at follow-up review. Our findings suggest that half of all patients with spinal malignancies require combined anterior-posterior surgery for adequate tumor removal and stabilization.

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Volker Seifert and Dietmar Stolke

Aneurysms of the basilar trunk and vertebrobasilar junction represent an exceptional challenge to the neurosurgeon. Surgical access to these deep and confined lesions is hampered by the direct proximity of highly vulnerable neural structures such as the brainstem and cranial nerves, as well as by the structure of the petrous bone, which blocks direct surgical approach to these aneurysms. A number of surgical tactics consisting of different supra- and infratentorial approaches have been applied over the years to gain access to these treacherous lesions. Only recently have lateral approaches, such as the anterior transpetrosal, the retrolabyrinthine-transsigmoidal, and the combined supra/infratentorial-posterior transpetrosal approaches, directed through parts of the petrous bone, been reported for surgery of basilar trunk and vertebrobasilar junction aneurysms. Because detailed reports of direct operative intervention using the transpetrosal route for these rare and difficult lesions are scarce, the authors present their surgical experiences in nine patients with basilar trunk and vertebrobasilar junction aneurysms, in whom they operated via the supra/infratentorial-posterior transpetrosal approach. In eight patients, including one with a giant partially thrombosed basilar trunk aneurysm, direct clipping of the aneurysm via the transpetrosal route was possible. In one patient with a giant vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm, the completely calcified aneurysm sac was resected after occlusion of the vertebral artery. In total, one patient died and another experienced postoperative accentuation of preexisting cranial nerve deficits. Two patients had transient cerebrospinal fluid leakage, and the postoperative course was uneventful in the remaining seven. Postoperative angiography demonstrated complete aneurysm clipping in eight patients and relief of preoperative brainstem compression in the patient with the giant vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm. It is concluded that the supra/infratentorial-posterior transpetrosal approach allows excellent access to the basilar artery trunk and vertebrobasilar junction and can be considered the approach of choice to selected aneurysms located in this area.