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High-resolution T2-reversed magnetic resonance imaging on a high-magnetic field system

Technical note

Yukihiko Fujii, Naoki Nakayama, and Tsutomu Nakada

Because of the high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, T2-weighted images obtained using high-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems can be expected to provide high anatomical and contrast resolution. Furthermore, the improved structural and contrast resolution of these high S/N T2-weighted images can be processed for optimum perceptual resolution through the application of gray-scale reversal and expansion of the gray-scale window, known as T2-reversed (T2R) imaging. In this study, the authors investigated high-resolution T2R MR imaging performed on a high-field (3-tesla) system for its clinical utility in detecting various physiological and pathological conditions.

Open access

Acute neurological deterioration after surgical interruption of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas: clinical characteristics, possible predictors, and treatment. Patient series

Akihiko Saito, Naoki Yajima, Kimihiko Nakamura, and Yukihiko Fujii

BACKGROUND

Acute neurological deterioration develops paradoxically in some patients after obliteration of a spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (SDAVF), with thrombosis of the spinal cord veins as its primary cause. The authors aimed to clarify the clinical and radiological characteristics of acute deterioration to identify high-risk patients. They also discussed the optimal treatment for this complication.

OBSERVATIONS

Ten patients with SDAVF presenting with congestive myelopathy who received microsurgical interruption were retrospectively reviewed. Severe myelopathy developed in three patients on postoperative days 1 to 3. Anticoagulation therapy was effective; however, discontinuing anticoagulants under residual spinal cord congestion caused redeterioration. These patients were characterized by significantly extended transit time on angiography and significant prolongation of spinal cord congestion. Acute deterioration exhibited a strong correlation with transit time (coefficient, 0.825; p = 0.006) and a strong correlation with spinal cord edema before surgery (coefficient, 0.656; p = 0.040).

LESSONS

Acute deterioration after SDAVF treatment is likely to develop in patients with severe venous outflow impairment. Its pathology is prolonged spinal cord congestion caused by postoperative venous thrombosis and preexistent severe venous outflow impairment. Anticoagulation treatment should be continued for patients with acute deterioration until the resolution of spinal cord congestion is confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging.

Free access

Intraspinal lesions associated with sacrococcygeal dimples

Clinical article

Atsuko Harada, Kenichi Nishiyama, Junichi Yoshimura, Masakazu Sano, and Yukihiko Fujii

Object

Sacrococcygeal dimples in the gluteal fold, also known as coccygeal pits, are observed in 2%–4% of newborns. Sacrococcygeal dimples are not generally considered to be associated with a significant risk of intraspinal anomalies and therefore are not thought to require further radiographic evaluation. Accordingly, the precise incidence and nature of intraspinal lesions that may be associated with sacrococcygeal dimples is unclear. This study was conducted to determine the incidence of intraspinal lesions in patients with intergluteal dimples.

Methods

In this study, the authors used MRI to evaluate 103 children who were seen at the Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital between 2006 and 2011 because of skin abnormalities in the lumbosacral region. Of these children, 14 were excluded as having a subcutaneous fatty mass, and 5 were excluded because the dimples were above the gluteal fold or did not end at the coccyx. The remaining 84 patients were classified according to whether the bottom of the dimple was visible (shallow) or not (deep). The authors also retrospectively examined other skin abnormalities and coexisting anomalies.

Results

The mean age at the time of MRI evaluation was 11.7 months. Magnetic resonance imaging led to the identification of fibrolipoma of the terminal filum (FTF) in 14 cases (16.7%); 6 of these patients also had a low conus. Classified by depth, there were 58 cases with shallow and 26 with deep dimples. Fibrolipoma of the terminal filum was found in significantly more patients with deep dimples (9 [34.6%]) than in those with shallow dimples (5 [8.6%]). The frequency of other congenital anomalies was significantly higher in patients with FTF-associated dimples (6 [42.9%] of 14) than in those with dimples that were not associated with FTF (9 [12.9%] of 70).

Conclusions

Fibrolipoma of the terminal filum was identified by MRI in 16.7% of patients with sacrococcygeal dimples. The risk of FTF increased when the dimples were deeply excavated or were accompanied by congenital anomalies. Magnetic resonance imaging should be performed to identify intraspinal lesions when there are high risk factors for intraspinal abnormalities, or when an ultrasound screening suggests intraspinal abnormalities.

Free access

Visualization of cortical activation in human brain by flavoprotein fluorescence imaging

Daiju Mitsuhashi, Ryuichi Hishida, Makoto Oishi, Tetsuya Hiraishi, Manabu Natsumeda, Katsuei Shibuki, and Yukihiko Fujii

OBJECTIVE

To develop an innovative brain mapping and neuromonitoring method during neurosurgery, the authors set out to establish intraoperative flavoprotein fluorescence imaging (iFFI) to directly visualize cortical activations in human brain. The significance of iFFI was analyzed by comparison with intraoperative perfusion-dependent imaging (iPDI), which is considered the conventional optical imaging, and by performing animal experiments.

METHODS

Seven patients with intracerebral tumors were examined by iFFI and iPDI following craniotomy, using a single operative microscope equipped with a laser light source for iFFI and xenon lamp for iPDI. Images were captured by the same charge-coupled device camera. Responses to bipolar stimulation at selected points on the cortical surface were analyzed off-line, and relative signal changes were visualized by overlaying pseudocolor intensity maps onto cortical photographs. Signal changes exceeding 3 SDs from baseline were defined as significant. The authors also performed FFI and PDI on 10 mice using similar settings, and then compared signal patterns to intraoperative studies.

RESULTS

Signals acquired by iFFI exhibited biphasic spatiotemporal changes consisting of an early positive signal peak (F1) and a delayed negative signal peak (F2). In contrast, iPDI signals exhibited only 1 negative peak (P1) that was significantly delayed compared to F1 (p < 0.02) and roughly in phase with F2. Compared to F2 and P1, F1 was of significantly lower amplitude (p < 0.02) and located closer to the bipolar stimulus center (p < 0.03), whereas F2 and P1 were more widespread, irregular, and partially overlapping. In mice, the spatiotemporal characteristics of FFI and PDI resembled those of iFFI and iPDI, but the early positive signal was more robust than F1.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first report in humans of successful intraoperative visualization of cortical activations by using iFFI, which showed rapid evoked cortical activity prior to perfusion-dependent signal changes. Further technical improvements can lead to establishment of iFFI as a real-time intraoperative tool.

Open access

Preoperative three-dimensional multifusion imaging aiding successful microvascular decompression of a cerebellopontine angle lipoma: associated hemifacial spasm. Illustrative case

Hiroki Seto, Ryosuke Ogura, Tetsuya Hiraishi, Yoshihiro Tsukamoto, Taiki Saito, Satoshi Shibuma, Kohei Shibuya, Kouichirou Okamoto, Makoto Oishi, and Yukihiko Fujii

BACKGROUND

Cerebellopontine angle (CPA) lipoma–associated hemifacial spasm (HFS) is rare. As the removal of CPA lipomas has a high risk of worsening the neurological symptoms, surgical exploration is warranted only in selected patients. Preoperative identification of the lipoma affected site of the facial nerve, and offending artery are crucial for patient selection and successful microvascular decompression (MVD).

OBSERVATIONS

Presurgical simulation using three-dimensional (3D) multifusion imaging showed a tiny CPA lipoma wedged between the facial and auditory nerves, as well as an affected facial nerve by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) at the cisternal segment. Although a recurrent perforating artery from the AICA anchored the AICA to the lipoma, successful MVD was achieved without lipoma removal.

LESSONS

The presurgical simulation using 3D multifusion imaging could identify the CPA lipoma, affected site of the facial nerve, and offending artery. It was helpful for patient selection and successful MVD.

Open access

Development and natural course of lateral posterior choroidal artery aneurysms arising from fragile choroidal collaterals in moyamoya disease: illustrative cases

Tomoaki Suzuki, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Kouichirou Okamoto, Kazuhiro Ando, Kohei Shibuya, Haruhiko Takahashi, Shoji Saito, Makoto Oishi, and Yukihiko Fujii

BACKGROUND

Choroidal collaterals are a risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke, even in the nonhemorrhagic hemisphere, among patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). Peripheral choroidal aneurysms rupture in fragile collaterals; however, the development and natural course of these aneurysms remain elusive.

OBSERVATIONS

A 51-year-old woman, who had experienced a right cerebral hemorrhage 3 years earlier, presented with asymptomatic minor bleeding from a left lateral choroidal artery aneurysm in a predeveloped choroidal anastomosis. Although the aneurysm spontaneously thrombosed within 2 months, the choroidal collaterals persisted. After bypass surgery, the choroidal anastomosis regressed, and neither a de novo aneurysm nor a hemorrhagic stroke occurred. A 75-year-old woman with MMD, who had experienced a left frontal infarction 6 years earlier, experienced recurrent right intraventricular hemorrhage from a ruptured lateral choroidal artery aneurysm that developed in the choroidal anastomosis. The aneurysm spontaneously regressed 3 days after the rebleeding with no recurrence over the following 7 years.

LESSONS

Choroidal artery aneurysms may develop in the choroidal anastomosis and rupture in the nonsurgical or contralateral hemispheres. Patients with MMD who have a history of hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke and impaired cerebral blood flow require careful observation. Although aneurysms may rapidly regress spontaneously, bypass surgery can stabilize hemodynamic stress and prevent further hemorrhage.

Open access

Repeated cerebellar infarction in the affected nondominant vertebral artery distribution with reversible vertebral artery occlusion elicited by head tilt: illustrative case

Takanori Nozawa, Kouichirou Okamoto, Shinji Nakazato, Kunio Motohashi, Tomoaki Suzuki, Kotaro Morita, Hideki Tashi, Kei Watanabe, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Masato Watanabe, Hiroyuki Kawashima, and Yukihiko Fujii

BACKGROUND

Bow hunter’s syndrome or stroke (BHS) is characterized by rotational vertebrobasilar insufficiency elicited by rotation of the neck. It is caused by dynamic and reversible occlusion of the vertebral artery (VA). Reversible symptoms of rotational vertebrobasilar insufficiency are described as bow hunter’s syndrome, although brain infarction is rarely reported as bow hunter’s stroke.

OBSERVATIONS

A 70-year-old man experienced repeated cerebellar infarctions three times in the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) distribution of the nondominant right VA connecting the basilar artery. The onset of symptoms indicating cerebellar infarcts and the patient’s head position changes were unrelated. Dynamic digital angiography (DA) revealed that the nondominant right VA was occluded by an osteophyte from the C4 vertebral body, and the right PICA branches were shown to be passing through the distal right VA from the left VA. These findings were observed when the patient’s head was tilted to the right. An arterio-arterial embolic mechanism was suggested as the cause of repeated cerebellar infarctions.

LESSONS

Transient nondominant VA occlusion has been rarely reported as a cause of BHS when the head is tilted. To confirm the diagnosis of BHS, additional head tilt is recommended when performing dynamic DA in patients with a cervical osteophyte.

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Decreased wall shear stress at high-pressure areas predicts the rupture point in ruptured intracranial aneurysms

Tomoaki Suzuki, Christopher J. Stapleton, Matthew J. Koch, Kazutoshi Tanaka, Soichiro Fujimura, Takashi Suzuki, Takeshi Yanagisawa, Makoto Yamamoto, Yukihiko Fujii, Yuichi Murayama, and Aman B. Patel

OBJECTIVE

Degenerative cerebral aneurysm walls are associated with aneurysm rupture and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Thin-walled regions (TWRs) represent fragile areas that may eventually lead to aneurysm rupture. Previous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies reported the correlation of maximum pressure (Pmax) areas and TWRs; however, the correlation with aneurysm rupture has not been established. This study aims to investigate this hemodynamic correlation.

METHODS

The aneurysmal wall surface at the Pmax areas was intraoperatively evaluated using a fluid flow formula under pulsatile blood flow conditions in 23 patients with 23 saccular middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcation aneurysms (16 unruptured and 7 ruptured). The pressure difference (Pd) at the Pmax areas was calculated by subtracting the average pressure (Pave) from the Pmax and normalized by dividing this by the dynamic pressure at the aneurysm inlet side. The wall shear stress (WSS) was also calculated at the Pmax areas, aneurysm dome, and parent artery. These hemodynamic parameters were used to validate the correlation with TWRs in unruptured MCA aneurysms. The characteristic hemodynamic parameters at the rupture points in ruptured MCA aneurysms were then determined.

RESULTS

In 13 of 16 unruptured aneurysms (81.2%), Pmax areas were identified that corresponded to TWRs. In 5 of the 7 ruptured cerebral aneurysms, the Pmax areas coincided with the rupture point. At these areas, the Pd values were not higher than those of the TWRs in unruptured cerebral aneurysms; however, minimum WSS, time-averaged WSS, and normalized WSS at the rupture point were significantly lower than those of the TWRs in unruptured aneurysms (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

At the Pmax area of TWRs, decreased WSS appears to be the crucial hemodynamic parameter that indicates the risk of aneurysm rupture.