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Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Perineural spread along pelvic autonomie nerves has emerged as a logical, anatomical explanation for selected cases of neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy (LSP) in patients with prostate, bladder, rectal, and cervical cancer. The authors wondered whether common radiological and clinical patterns shared by various types of pelvic cancer exist.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their institutional series of 17 cases concluded as perineural tumor spread. All available history, physical examination, electrodiagnostic studies, biopsy data and imaging studies, evidence of other metastatic disease, and follow-up were recorded in detail. The series was divided into 2 groups: cases with neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy confirmed by biopsy (Group A) and cases included based on imaging characteristics despite the lack of biopsy or negative biopsy results (Group B).

RESULTS

Group A comprised 10 patients (mean age 69 years); 9 patients were symptomatic and 1 was asymptomatic. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. Three patients had intradural extension. Seven patients were alive at last follow-up. Group B consisted of 7 patients (mean age 64 years); 4 patients were symptomatic, 2 were asymptomatic, and 1 had only imaging available. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and the sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. No patients had intradural extension. Four patients were alive at last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors provide a unifying theory to explain lumbosacral plexopathy in select cases of various pelvic neoplasms. The tumor cells can use splanchnic nerves as conduits and spread from the end organ to the lumbosacral plexus. Tumor can continue to spread along osseous and muscle nerve branches, resulting in muscle and bone “metastases.” Radiological studies show a reproducible, although nonspecific pattern, and the same applies to clinical presentation.

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Stepan Capek, Kimberly K. Amrami, P. James B. Dyck, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Nerve biopsy is typically performed in distal, noncritical sensory nerves without using imaging to target the more involved regions. The yield of these procedures rarely achieves more than 50%. In selected cases where preoperative evaluation points toward a more localized (usually a more proximal) process, targeted biopsy would likely capture the disease. Synthesis of data obtained from clinical examination, electrophysiological testing, and MRI allows biopsy of a portion of the major mixed nerves safely and efficiently. Herein, experiences with the sciatic nerve are reported and a description of the operative technique is provided.

METHODS

All cases of sciatic nerve biopsy performed between 2000 and 2014 were reviewed. Only cases of fascicular nerve biopsy approached from the buttock or the posterior aspect of the thigh were included. Demographic data, clinical presentation, and the presence of percussion tenderness for each patient were recorded. Reviewed studies included electrodiagnostic tests and imaging. Previous nerve and muscle biopsies were noted. All details of the procedure, final pathology, and its treatment implications were recorded. The complication rate was carefully assessed for temporary as well as permanent complications.

RESULTS

One hundred twelve cases (63 men and 49 women) of sciatic nerve biopsy were performed. Mean patient age was 46.4 years. Seventy-seven (68.8%) patients presented with single lower-extremity symptoms, 16 (14.3%) with bilateral lower-extremity symptoms, and 19 (17%) with generalized symptoms. No patient had normal findings on physical examination. All patients underwent electrodiagnostic studies, the findings of which were abnormal in 110 (98.2%) patients. MRI was available for all patients and was read as pathological in 111 (99.1%). The overall diagnostic yield of biopsy was 84.8% (n = 95). The pathological diagnoses included inflammatory demyelination, perineurioma, nonspecific inflammatory changes, neurolymphomatosis, amyloidosis, prostate cancer, injury neuroma, neuromuscular choristoma, sarcoidosis, vasculitis, hemangiomatosis, arteriovenous malformation, fibrolipomatous hamartoma (lipomatosis of nerve), and cervical adenocarcinoma. The series included 11 (9.9%) temporary and 5 (4.5%) permanent complications: 3 patients (2.7%) reported permanent numbness in the peroneal division distribution, and 2 patients (1.8%) were diagnosed with neuromuscular choristoma that developed desmoid tumor at the biopsy site 3 and 8 years later.

CONCLUSIONS

Targeted fascicular biopsy of the sciatic nerve is a safe and efficient diagnostic procedure, and in highly selected cases can be offered as the initial procedure over distal cutaneous nerve biopsy. Diagnoses were very diverse and included entities considered very rare. Even for the more prevalent diagnoses, the biopsy technique allowed a more targeted approach with a higher diagnostic yield and justification for more aggressive treatment. In this series, new radiological patterns of some entities were identified, which could be biopsied less frequently.

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Stepan Capek, Ioannis G. Koutlas, Rhys P. Strasia, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

The authors describe the case of an intraneural ganglion cyst involving a cranial nerve (V3), which was found to have a joint connection in support of an articular origin within the cranial nerves. An inferior alveolar intraneural cyst was incidentally discovered on a plain radiograph prior to edentulation. It was resected from within the mandibular canal with no joint connection perceived at surgery. Histologically, the cyst was confirmed to be an intraneural ganglion cyst. Reinterpretation of the preoperative CT scan showed the cyst arising from the temporomandibular joint. This case is consistent with the articular (synovial) theory of intraneural ganglion cysts. An anatomical explanation and potential joint connection are provided for this case as well as several other cases of intraneural cysts in the literature, and thus unifying cranial nerve involvement with accepted concepts of intraneural ganglion cyst formation and propagation.

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Pierre Laumonerie, Stepan Capek, Kimberly K. Amrami, P. James B. Dyck, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

Nerve biopsy is useful in the management of neuromuscular disorders and is commonly performed in distal, noncritical cutaneous nerves. In general, these procedures are diagnostic in only 20%–50%. In selected cases in which preoperative evaluation points toward a more localized process, targeted biopsy would likely improve diagnostic yield. The authors report their experience with targeted fascicular biopsy of the brachial plexus and provide a description of the operative technique.

METHODS

All cases of targeted biopsy of the brachial plexus biopsy performed between 2003 and 2015 were reviewed. Targeted nerve biopsy was performed using a supraclavicular, infraclavicular, or proximal medial arm approach. Demographic data and clinical presentation as well as the details of the procedure, adverse events (temporary or permanent), and final pathological findings were recorded.

RESULTS

Brachial plexus biopsy was performed in 74 patients (47 women and 27 men). The patients' mean age was 57.7 years. All patients had abnormal findings on physical examination, electrodiagnostic studies, and MRI. The overall diagnostic yield of biopsy was 74.3% (n = 55). The most common diagnoses included inflammatory demyelination (19), breast carcinoma (17), neurolymphomatosis (8), and perineurioma (7). There was a 19% complication rate; most of the complications were minor or transient, but 4 patients (5.4%) had increased numbness and 3 (4.0%) had additional weakness following biopsy.

CONCLUSIONS

Targeted fascicular biopsy of the brachial plexus is an effective diagnostic procedure, and in highly selected cases should be considered as the initial procedure over nontargeted, distal cutaneous nerve biopsy. Using MRI to guide the location of a fascicular biopsy, the authors found this technique to produce a higher diagnostic yield than historical norms as well as providing justification for definitive treatment.

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Ana C. Siquara de Sousa, Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Mark E. Jentoft, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

Sciatic nerve endometriosis (EM) is a rare presentation of retroperitoneal EM. The authors present 2 cases of catamenial sciatica diagnosed as sciatic nerve EM. They propose that both cases can be explained by perineural spread of EM from the uterus to the sacral plexus along the pelvic autonomie nerves and then further distally to the sciatic nerve or proximally to the spinal nerves. This explanation is supported by MRI evidence in both cases. As a proof of concept, the authors retrieved and analyzed the original MRI studies of a case reported in the literature and found a similar pattern of spread. They believe that the imaging evidence of their institutional cases together with the outside case is a very compelling indication for perineural spread as a mechanism of EM of the nerve.

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Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Jennifer A. Tracy, Joaquín J. García, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner

Perineural tumor spread in prostate cancer is emerging as a mechanism to explain select cases of neurological dysfunction and as a cause of morbidity and tumor recurrence. Perineural spread has been shown to extend from the prostate bed to the lumbosacral plexus and then distally to the sciatic nerve or proximally to the sacral and lumbar nerves and even intradurally. The authors present a case of a bilateral neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy that can be explained anatomically as an extension of the same process: from one lumbosacral plexus to the contralateral one utilizing the dural sac as a bridge between the opposite sacral nerve roots. Their theory is supported by sequential progression of symptoms and findings on clinical examinations as well as high-resolution imaging (MRI and PET/CT scans). The neoplastic nature of the process was confirmed by a sciatic nerve fascicular biopsy. The authors believe that transmedian dural spread allows continuity of a neoplastic process from one side of the body to the other.

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Sauson Soldozy, Steven Young, Jeyan S. Kumar, Stepan Capek, Daniel R. Felbaum, Walter C. Jean, Min S. Park, and Hasan R. Syed

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to systematically review the feasibility and safety of minimally invasive neurovascular approaches to brain-machine interfaces (BMIs).

METHODS

A systematic literature review was performed using the PubMed database for studies published between 1986 and 2019. All studies assessing endovascular neural interfaces were included. Additional studies were selected based on review of references of selected articles and review articles.

RESULTS

Of the 53 total articles identified in the original literature search, 12 studies were ultimately selected. An additional 10 articles were included from other sources, resulting in a total of 22 studies included in this systematic review. This includes primarily preclinical studies comparing endovascular electrode recordings with subdural and epidural electrodes, as well as studies evaluating stent-electrode gauge and material type. In addition, several clinical studies are also included.

CONCLUSIONS

Endovascular stent-electrode arrays provide a minimally invasive approach to BMIs. Stent-electrode placement has been shown to be both efficacious and safe, although further data are necessary to draw comparisons between subdural and epidural electrode measurements given the heterogeneity of the studies included. Greater access to deep-seated brain regions is now more feasible with stent-electrode arrays; however, further validation is needed in large clinical trials to optimize this neural interface. This includes the determination of ideal electrode material type, venous versus arterial approaches, the feasibility of deep brain stimulation, and more streamlined computational decoding techniques.