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  • Author or Editor: Thoralf M. Sundt Jr x
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Robert E. Anderson, Alice M. Bowron and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ A combination of the Sundt-Kees reinforcing aneurysm clip applied to a Drake aneurysm clip in a piggyback fashion was studied for possible defects due to corrosion and or tissue toxicity. These two clips, which are made of similar metal (301 stainless steel), showed little or no defects when immersed in 5% saline or when implanted in rats for 6 months. This study demonstrates that clips made of similar metals can be used piggyback in patients without ill effects provided that they are carefully handled to avoid any abrasion or misbends which could conceivably lead to corrosion.

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W. Richard Marsh, Robert E. Anderson and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ The adverse effect of a minimal cerebral blood flow (CBF) in models of global ischemia has been noted by many investigators. One factor believed important in this situation is the level of blood glucose, since a continued supply of this metabolite results in increased tissue lactate, decreased brain pH, and increased cell damage. The authors have extended these observations to a model of focal incomplete ischemia. Brain pH was measured in fasted squirrel monkeys in regions of focal incomplete ischemia after transorbital occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). In both control and hyperglycemic animals, CBF was reduced to less than 30% of baseline. At 3 hours after MCA occlusion, brain pH in the control group was 6.66 ± 0.68 as compared to 6.27 ± 0.26 in the glucose-treated group. This difference was statistically significant by Student's unpaired t-test (p < 0.05). Thus, hyperglycemia results in decreased tissue pH in regions of focal incomplete cerebral ischemia in monkeys.

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The Nd:YAG laser in neurosurgery

Part 1. Laboratory investigations: dose-related biological response of neural tissue

Robert E. Wharen Jr., Robert E. Anderson, Bernd Scheithauer and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ The biological response of normal cat brain to Nd:YAG laser light was studied both in vitro and in vivo to evaluate the potential safety of this laser for coagulation in brain tissue. Transmission studies revealed a blood:brain absorption ratio of 100:1 indicating the selective absorption of Nd:YAG light by hemoglobin and enabling Nd:YAG light to selectively heat blood vessels compared to brain tissue. In vivo temperature recordings and pathological evaluation demonstrated a remarkable ability of the brain to dissipate the thermal energy produced by Nd:YAG light with only a small amount of structural damage. Powers of 10 W applied for 8 seconds using a 1.2-mm focused probe resulted in a penetration depth in normal brain of only 2 mm. Thermal recordings also revealed that blood is heated to 90% of its maximum temperature within 3 seconds, while the brain temperature increases linearly as the duration of the laser pulse is increased. In addition, the localized heating of brain tissue was cooled rapidly within seconds following cessation of the laser pulse. These findings indicate that by using short, intermittent pulses of light focused upon blood vessels, damage to the surrounding tissue can be minimized, and the Nd:YAG laser can be used safely as an adjunctive measure for hemostasis in many neurosurgical procedures.

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The Nd:YAG laser in neurosurgery

Part 2. Clinical studies: an adjunctive measure for hemostasis in resection of arteriovenous malformations

Robert E. Wharen Jr., Robert E. Anderson and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ The Nd:YAG laser has been used safely to aid in the resection of 10 cases of parenchymal arteriovenous malformations (AVM's). The laser was, found helpful for: 1) defining the plane between the AVM and the brain; 2) coagulating any dural component of the AVM; and 3) achieving hemostasis of the bed following resection of the lesion. However, its overall benefit in the resection of AVM's remains to be determined, as it could not arrest active high-flow bleeding from the thin-walled vessels feeding the deep portion of the AVM. This was attributed to the inherent characteristics of these vessels, since the instrument has been effective in non-AVM arteries of similar dimensions containing contractile elements in the vessel walls. Future refinements in focusing instrumentation and operative technique should enhance its capabilities and usefulness. When used within the recommended power range, the Nd:YAG laser is safe and its penetration predictable. The fiberoptic cable light delivery system allows excellent mobility of the handpiece, but the protective eyewear laser-light filters reduce the available light to the surgeon. The instrument appears promising but more work is required.

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Treatment of experimental focal cerebral ischemia with mannitol

Assessment by intracellular brain pH, cortical blood flow, and electroencephalography

Fredric B. Meyer, Robert E. Anderson, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and Tony L. Yaksh

✓ Intracellular brain pH, cortical blood flow (CBF), and electrocorticograms were recorded in regions of severe and moderate ischemia in 10 control rabbits and 10 rabbits given mannitol, 1 gm/kg, after occlusion of a major branch of the middle cerebral artery. Pooling the data from all 20 animals, preocclusion CBF was 46.4 ±3.6 ml/100 gm/min and intracellular brain pH was 7.01 ± 0.04 (means ± standard error of the means). Although mannitol administration mildly improved CBF in regions of severe ischemia, this increase was not sufficient to prevent metabolic deterioration as assessed by brain pH. However, in regions of moderate ischemia, CBF improved significantly with mannitol and the gradual decline in brain pH observed in control animals was prevented. For example, in the treated moderate ischemia sites 4-hour postocclusion CBF and pH values were 31.8 ml/100 gm/min and 6.89 ± 0.09, respectively, as compared to control values of 14.3 ml/ 100 gm/min and 6.75 ± 0.06. These results suggest that mannitol may be of benefit in stabilizing regions of moderate, but not severe, ischemia after vessel occlusion.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Frank W. Sharbrough, Robert E. Anderson and John D. Michenfelder

✓ Ninety-three endarterectomies for carotid stenosis were monitored with cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements, and 113 with both CBF measurements and a continuous electroencephalogram (EEG). Significant CBF increase occurred only when carotid endarterectomy was for a stenosis greater than 90%. A high correlation between CBF and EEG indicated when a shunt was required. To sustain a normal EEG, the CBF ascertained by the initial slope technique must be 18 ml/100 gm/min at an arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) of 40 torr. The degree of EEG change below this level during occlusion reflected the severity of reduced blood flow and was reversible with replacement of a shunt. The value and limitations of these monitoring techniques and a concept of ischemic tolerance and critical CBF are discussed.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Frank W. Sharbrough, Robert E. Anderson and John D. Michenfelder

✓ Ninety-three endarterectomies for carotid stenosis were monitored with cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements, and 113 with both CBF measurements and a continuous electroencephalogram (EEG). Significant CBF increase occurred only when carotid endarterectomy was for a stenosis greater than 90%. A high correlation between CBF and EEG indicated when a shunt was required. To sustain a normal EEG, the CBF ascertained by the initial slope technique must be 18 ml/100 gm/min at an arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) of 40 torr. The degree of EEG change below this level during occlusion reflected the severity of reduced blood flow and was reversible with replacement of a shunt. The value and limitations of these monitoring techniques and a concept of ischemic tolerance and critical CBF are discussed.

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Fredric B. Meyer, Robert E. Anderson, Tony L. Yaksh and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Intracellular brain pH, cortical blood flow, and electroencephalograms (EEG's) were recorded in severely and moderately ischemic regions in 10 control and 10 nimodipine-treated rabbits prior to and following major branch occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Preocclusion cortical blood flow was 51 ml/100 gm/min and intracellular brain pH was 7.01 in both the control and the treated animals. After MCA occlusion, the severely ischemic regions in the control group showed initial and 4-hour postocclusion flows of 12.7 and 5.2 ml/100 gm/min with a brain pH of 6.64 and 6.08, respectively. In animals given nimodipine after MCA occlusion, blood flow increased from 10.5 to 18.8 ml/100 gm/min, with an associated elevation in intracellular brain pH from 6.57 to 6.91. Comparable findings were observed in areas of moderate ischemia. Improvements in cortical blood flow, intracellular brain pH, and EEG attenuations produced by nimodipine were all statistically significant. Inspection of the cortex revealed reversal of cortical pallor and small-vessel spasm following treatment with nimodipine. It is hypothesized that nimodipine exerts its effects through reversal of ischemia-induced secondary vasoconstriction, and that this drug may be an important adjunctive treatment for patients with focal cerebral ischemia.

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Max E. Ots, Tony L. Yaksh, Robert E. Anderson and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Nimodipine, a dihydropyridine that interacts with a Ca++ channel-associated binding site, when delivered (30 to 150 µg/kg) intra-arterially (ia) to enflurane-anesthetized cats, produced a dose-dependent suppression of seizures evoked by pentylenetetrazol. A comparable suppression was produced by clonazepam (1 to 30 µg/kg, ia). Phenytoin was maximally effective only at nearly lethal doses (90 mg/kg, ia). Verapamil, a diphenyl-alkylamine that interacts with a separate Ca++ channel-associated site, at the maximum nonlethal dose (6 mg/kg, ia) resulted in a mild facilitation of seizure activity. The drug vehicle used in these studies (50% polyethylene glycol-400) had no effect when given alone. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) as measured by the clearance of xenon-133 was markedly elevated immediately after the onset of seizure activity (89 ± 3 to 168 ± 4 ml/100 gm/min). Concurrent with their resolution of the seizure activity, both nimodipine and clonazepam reduced rCBF to near preseizure levels and preserved the rCBF response to hypercarbia which would otherwise have been abolished following prolonged seizure activity. Moreover, the effect of nimodipine on rCBF and seizures occurred without any prominent alterations in mean arterial blood pressure as compared to preseizure levels. These data support the proposition that a dihydropyridine Ca++ channel binding site may play a role in modulating paroxysmal neuronal activity, and suggest that this class of agents may reflect a novel group of antiepileptic drugs.