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Geirmund Unsgård and Frank Lindseth

3D ultrasound (US) is a convenient tool for guiding the resection of low-grade gliomas, seemingly without deterioration in patients’ quality of life. This article offers an update of the intraoperative workflow and the general principles behind the 3D US acquisition of high-quality images.

The authors also provide case examples illustrating the technique in two small mesial temporal lobe lesions and in one insular glioma. Due to the ease of acquiring new images for navigation, the operations can be guided by updated image volumes throughout the entire course of surgery. The high accuracy offered by 3D US systems, based on nearly real-time images, allows for precise and safe resections. This is especially useful when an operation is performed through very narrow transcortical corridors.

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Luke G. F. Smith, Eric Milliron, Mai-Lan Ho, Houchun H. Hu, Jerome Rusin, Jeffrey Leonard and Eric A. Sribnick

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common condition with many potential acute and chronic neurological consequences. Standard initial radiographic evaluation includes noncontrast head CT scanning to rapidly evaluate for pathology that might require intervention. The availability of fast, relatively inexpensive CT imaging has fundamentally changed the clinician’s ability to noninvasively visualize neuroanatomy. However, in the context of TBI, limitations of head CT without contrast include poor prognostic ability, inability to analyze cerebral perfusion status, and poor visualization of underlying posttraumatic changes to brain parenchyma. Here, the authors review emerging advanced imaging for evaluation of both acute and chronic TBI and include QuickBrain MRI as an initial imaging modality. Dynamic susceptibility-weighted contrast-enhanced perfusion MRI, MR arterial spin labeling, and perfusion CT are reviewed as methods for examining cerebral blood flow following TBI. The authors evaluate MR-based diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI for prognostication of recovery post-TBI. Finally, MR elastography, MR spectroscopy, and convolutional neural networks are examined as future tools in TBI management. Many imaging technologies are being developed and studied in TBI, and some of these may hold promise in improving the understanding and management of TBI.

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Sauson Soldozy, Jacob Galindo, Harrison Snyder, Yusuf Ali, Pedro Norat, Kaan Yağmurlu, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Khadijeh Sharifi, Petr Tvrdik, Min S. Park and M. Yashar S. Kalani

Neuroimaging is an indispensable tool in the workup and management of patients with neurological disorders. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an imaging modality that permits the examination of blood flow and perfusion without the need for contrast injection. Noninvasive in nature, ASL provides a feasible alternative to existing vascular imaging techniques, including angiography and perfusion imaging. While promising, ASL has yet to be fully incorporated into the diagnosis and management of neurological disorders. This article presents a review of the most recent literature on ASL, with a special focus on its use in moyamoya disease, brain neoplasms, seizures, and migraines and a commentary on recent advances in ASL that make the imaging technique more attractive as a clinically useful tool.

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Brian M. Howard, Ranliang Hu, Jack W. Barrow and Daniel L. Barrow

Intracranial aneurysms confer the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a potentially devastating condition, though most aneurysms will remain asymptomatic for the lifetime of the patient. Imaging is critical to all stages of patient care for those who harbor an unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA), including to establish the diagnosis, to determine therapeutic options, to undertake surveillance in patients who elect not to undergo treatment or whose aneurysm(s) portends such a low risk that treatment is not indicated, and to perform follow-up after treatment. Neuroimaging is equally as important in patients who suffer an SAH. DSA remains the reference standard for imaging of intracranial aneurysms due to its high spatial and temporal resolution. As noninvasive imaging technology, such as CTA and MRA, improves, the diagnostic accuracy of such tests continues to increasingly approximate that of DSA. In cases of angiographically negative SAH, imaging protocols are necessary not only for diagnosis but also to search for an initially occult vascular lesion, such as a thrombosed, ruptured aneurysm that might be detected in a delayed fashion. Given the crucial role of neuroimaging in all aspects of care for patients with UIAs and SAH, it is incumbent on those who care for these patients, including cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, interventional neurologists and neuroradiologists, and diagnostic radiologists and neurointensivists, to understand the role of imaging in this disease and how individual members of the multispecialty team use imaging to ensure best practices to deliver cutting-edge care to these often complex cases. This review expounds on the role of imaging in the management of UIAs and ruptured intracranial aneurysms and in the workup of angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Vance T. Lehman, Petrice M. Cogswell, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, John Huston III, James P. Klaas and Giuseppe Lanzino

Numerous recent technological advances offer the potential to substantially enhance the MRI evaluation of moyamoya disease (MMD). These include high-resolution volumetric imaging, high-resolution vessel wall characterization, improved cerebral angiographic and perfusion techniques, high-field imaging, fast scanning methods, and artificial intelligence. This review discusses the current state-of-the-art MRI applications in these realms, emphasizing key imaging findings, clinical utility, and areas that will benefit from further investigation. Although these techniques may apply to imaging of a wide array of neurovascular or other neurological conditions, consideration of their application to MMD is useful given the comprehensive multidimensional MRI assessment used to evaluate MMD. These MRI techniques span from basic cross-sectional to advanced functional sequences, both qualitative and quantitative.

The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive summary and analysis of current key relevant literature of advanced MRI techniques for the evaluation of MMD with image-rich case examples. These imaging methods can aid clinical characterization, help direct treatment, assist in the evaluation of treatment response, and potentially improve the understanding of the pathophysiology of MMD.

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Katie Shpanskaya, Jennifer L. Quon, Robert M. Lober, Sid Nair, Eli Johnson, Samuel H. Cheshier, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

While conventional imaging can readily identify ventricular enlargement in hydrocephalus, structural changes that underlie microscopic tissue injury might be more difficult to capture. MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) uses properties of water motion to uncover changes in the tissue microenvironment. The authors hypothesized that DTI can identify alterations in optic nerve microstructure in children with hydrocephalus.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 21 children (< 18 years old) who underwent DTI before and after neurosurgical intervention for acute obstructive hydrocephalus from posterior fossa tumors. Their optic nerve quantitative DTI metrics of mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were compared to those of 21 age-matched healthy controls.

RESULTS

Patients with hydrocephalus had increased MD and decreased FA in bilateral optic nerves, compared to controls (p < 0.001). Normalization of bilateral optic nerve MD and FA on short-term follow-up (median 1 day) after neurosurgical intervention was observed, as was near-complete recovery of MD on long-term follow-up (median 1.8 years).

CONCLUSIONS

DTI was used to demonstrate reversible alterations of optic nerve microstructure in children presenting acutely with obstructive hydrocephalus. Alterations in optic nerve MD and FA returned to near-normal levels on short- and long-term follow-up, suggesting that surgical intervention can restore optic nerve tissue microstructure. This technique is a safe, noninvasive imaging tool that quantifies alterations of neural tissue, with a potential role for evaluation of pediatric hydrocephalus.

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Matthias Millesi, Engelbert Knosp, Georg Mach, Johannes A. Hainfellner, Gerda Ricken, Siegfried Trattnig and Andreas Gruber

OBJECTIVE

In the last several decades, various factors have been studied for a better evaluation of the risk of rupture in incidentally discovered intracranial aneurysms (IAs). With advanced MRI, attempts were made to delineate the wall of IAs to identify weak areas prone to rupture. However, the field strength of the MRI investigations was insufficient for reasonable image resolution in many of these studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze findings of IAs in ultra–high field MRI at 7 Tesla (7 T).

METHODS

Patients with incidentally found IAs of at least 5 mm in diameter were included in this study and underwent MRI investigations at 7 T. At this field strength a hyperintense intravascular signal can be observed on nonenhanced images with a brighter “rim effect” along the vessel wall. Properties of this rim effect were evaluated and compared with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses.

RESULTS

Overall, 23 aneurysms showed sufficient image quality for further evaluation. In 22 aneurysms focal irregularities were identified within this rim effect. Areas of such irregularities showed significantly higher values in wall shear stress and vorticity compared to areas with a clearly visible rim effect (p = 0.043 in both).

CONCLUSIONS

A hyperintense rim effect along the vessel wall was observed in most cases. Focal irregularities within this rim effect showed higher values of the mean wall shear stress and vorticity when compared by CFD analyses. Therefore, these findings indicate alterations in blood flow in IAs within these areas.

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History and advances in spinal neurosurgery

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Corey T. Walker, U. Kumar Kakarla, Steve W. Chang and Volker K. H. Sonntag

Insight into the historic contributions made to modern-day spine surgery provides context for understanding the monumental accomplishments comprising current techniques, technology, and clinical success. Only during the last century did surgical growth occur in the treatment of spinal disorders. With that growth came a renaissance of innovation, particularly with the evolution of spinal instrumentation and fixation techniques. In this article, the authors capture some of the key milestones that have led to the field of spine surgery today, with an emphasis on the historical advances related to instrumentation, navigation, minimally invasive surgery, robotics, and neurosurgical training.

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The intersect of neurosurgery with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Claudia M. Kuzan-Fischer and Mark M. Souweidane

An invited article highlighting diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Journal of Neurosurgery, a journal known to define surgical nuance and enterprise, is paradoxical since DIPG has long been relegated to surgical abandonment. More recently, however, the neurosurgeon is emerging as a critical stakeholder given our role in tissue sampling, collaborative scientific research, and therapeutic drug delivery. The foundation for this revival lies in an expanding reliance on tissue accession for understanding tumor biology, available funding to fuel research, and strides with interventional drug delivery.