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Efthimios Dardiotis, Kostas N. Fountas, Maria Dardioti, Georgia Xiromerisiou, Eftychia Kapsalaki, Anastasia Tasiou and Georgios M. Hadjigeorgiou

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) constitutes a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide, especially among young individuals. It is estimated that despite all the recent advances in the management of TBI, approximately half of the patients suffering head injuries still have unfavorable outcomes, which represents a substantial health care, social, and economic burden to societies.

Considerable variability exists in the clinical outcome after TBI, which is only partially explained by known factors. Accumulating evidence has implicated various genetic elements in the pathophysiology of brain trauma. The extent of brain injury after TBI seems to be modulated to some degree by genetic variants.

The authors' current review focuses on the up-to-date state of knowledge regarding genetic association studies in patients sustaining TBI, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms underlying the implication of genes in the pathophysiology of TBI.

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Kostas N. Fountas, Anastasia Tasiou, Eftychia Z. Kapsalaki, Konstantinos N. Paterakis, Arthur A. Grigorian, Gregory P. Lee and Joe Sam Robinson Jr.

Object

Cerebral vasospasm is a common and potentially devastating complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Inflammatory processes seem to play a major role in the pathogenesis of vasospasm. The Creactive protein (CRP) constitutes a highly sensitive inflammatory marker. The association of elevated systemic CRP and coronary vasospasm has been well established. Additionally, elevation of the serum CRP levels has been demonstrated in patients with aSAH. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the possible relationship between elevated CRP levels in the serum and CSF and the development of vasospasm in patients with aSAH.

Methods

. A total of 41 adult patients in whom aSAH was diagnosed were included in the study. Their demographics, the admitting Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, CT scans, digital subtraction angiography studies, and daily neurological examinations were recorded. Serial serum and CSF CRP measurements were obtained on Days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9. All patients underwent either surgical or endovascular treatment within 48 hours of their admission. The outcome was evaluated using the Glasgow Outcome Scale and the modified Rankin Scale.

Results

The CRP levels in serum and CSF peaked on the 3rd postadmission day, and the CRP levels in CSF were always higher than the serum levels. Patients with lower admission GCS scores and higher Hunt and Hess and Fisher grades had statistically significantly higher levels of CRP in serum and CSF. Patients with angiographic vasospasm had higher CRP measurements in serum and CSF, in a statistically significant fashion (p < 0.0001). Additionally, patients with higher CRP levels in serum and CSF had less favorable outcome in this cohort.

Conclusions

Patients with aSAH who had high Hunt and Hess and Fisher grades and low GCS scores showed elevated CRP levels in their CSF and serum. Furthermore, patients developing angiographically proven vasospasm demonstrated significantly elevated CRP levels in serum and CSF, and increased CRP measurements were strongly associated with poor clinical outcome in this cohort.

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Gabriel Zada, Luigi M. Cavallo, Felice Esposito, Julio Cesar Fernandez-Jimenez, Anastasia Tasiou, Michelangelo De Angelis, Tullio Cafiero, Paolo Cappabianca and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Object

In addition to difficulties with anesthetic and medical management, transsphenoidal operations in patients with longstanding acromegaly are associated with inherent intraoperative challenges because of anatomical variations that occur frequently in these patients. The object of this study was to review the overall safety profile and anatomical/technical challenges associated with transsphenoidal surgery in patients with acromegaly.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 169 patients who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal operations for growth hormone–secreting adenomas to assess the incidence of surgical complications. A review of frequently occurring anatomical challenges and operative strategies employed during each phase of the operation to address these particular issues was performed.

Results

Of 169 cases reviewed, there was no perioperative mortality. Internal carotid artery injury occurred in 1 patient (0.6%) with complex sinus anatomy, who remained neurologically intact following endovascular unilateral carotid artery occlusion. Other complications included: significant postoperative epistaxis (5 patients [3%]), transient diabetes insipidus (5 patients [3%]), delayed symptomatic hyponatremia (4 patients [2%]), CSF leak (2 patients [1%]), and pancreatitis (1 patient [0.6%]). Preoperative considerations in patients with acromegaly should include a cardiopulmonary evaluation and planning regarding intubation and other aspects of the anesthetic technique. During the nasal phase of the transsphenoidal operation, primary challenges include maintaining adequate visualization and hemostasis, which is frequently compromised by redundant, edematous nasal mucosa and bony hypertrophy of the septum and the nasal turbinates. During the sphenoid phase, adequate bony removal, optimization of working space, and correlation of imaging studies to intraoperative anatomy are major priorities. The sellar phase is frequently challenged by increased sellar floor thickness, distinct patterns of tumor extension and bony invasion, and anatomical variations in the caliber and course of the internal carotid artery. Specific operative techniques for addressing each of these intraoperative challenges are discussed.

Conclusions

Transsphenoidal surgery in patients with longstanding acromegaly frequently poses greater challenges than operations for other types of sellar lesions, yet these challenges may be safely and effectively overcome with the anticipation of specific issues and implementation of various intraoperative techniques.