✓ Intraoperative monitoring techniques for protecting the integrity of the oculomotor nerves during skull base surgery have been reported by several investigators, all of which involved the use of electromyographic responses to extraocular muscles. However, these techniques have not yet become popular because of the complexity of the procedures. The authors report an extremely simple and far more reliable technique in which electrooculographic (EOG) monitoring is used. The oculomotor nerves were stimulated with a monopolar electrode during skull base exposure. The polarity of the EOG responses recorded with surface electrodes placed on the skin around the eyeball yielded precise information concerning the location and function of the oculomotor and abducent nerves. In addition, with the aid of continuous EOG monitoring that detected transient changes in the background waves, surgical procedures that might impinge on oculomotor nerve function could be avoided. The present technique has been used in eight patients with skull base tumors and with it, the authors have achieved excellent results.
Chikashi Fukaya, Yoichi Katayama, Masahiko Kasai, Jun Kurihara and Takamitsu Yamamoto
Yoichi Katayama, Masahiko Kasai, Hideki Oshima, Chikashi Fukaya, Takamitsu Yamamoto, Katsuhiko Ogawa and Tomohiko Mizutani
Object. A blinded evaluation of the effects of subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation was performed in levodopaintolerant patients with Parkinson disease (PD). These patients (Group I, seven patients) were moderately or severely disabled (Hoehn and Yahr Stages III–V during the off period), but were receiving only a small dose of medication (levodopa-equivalent dose [LED] 0–400 mg/day) because they suffered unbearable side effects. The results were analyzed in comparison with those obtained in patients with advanced PD (Group II, seven patients) who were severely disabled (Hoehn and Yahr Stages IV and V during the off period), but were treated with a large dose of medication (500–990 mg/day).
Methods. The patients were evaluated twice at 6 to 8 months after surgery. To determine the actual benefits afforded by STN stimulation to their overall daily activities, the patients were maintained on their medication regimen with optimal doses and schedules. Stimulation was turned off overnight for at least 12 hours. It was turned on in the morning (or remained turned off), and each patient's best and worst scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale during waking daytime activity were recorded as on- and off-period scores, respectively. The order of assessment with respect to whether stimulation was occurring was determined randomly.
The STN stimulation markedly improved daily activity and total motor scores in Group I patients. The percentage time of immobility (Hoehn and Yahr Stages IV and V) became 0% in patients who were intermittently immobile while not receiving stimulation. Improvements were demonstrated in tremor, rigidity, akinesia, and gait subscores. The STN stimulation produced less marked but still noticeable improvements in the daily activity and total motor scores in Group II patients. The percentage time of immobility as well as the LED was reduced in patients who displayed intermittent immobility with pronounced motor fluctuations while not receiving stimulation. Improvements were demonstrated in tremor, rigidity, and dyskinesia subscores in these patients. In contrast, STN stimulation did not improve the overall daily activities at all in patients who had become unresponsive to a tolerable dose of levodopa and were continuously immobile, even though these patients' tremor and rigidity subscores were still improved by stimulation.
Conclusions. Consistent with earlier findings, the great benefit of STN stimulation in levodopa-intolerant patients is that STN stimulation can reduce the level of required levodopa medication. This suggests that STN stimulation could be a therapeutic option for patients with less-advanced PD by allowing levodopa medication to be maintained at as low a dose as possible, and to prevent adverse reactions to the continued use of large-dose levodopa.
Takamitsu Yamamoto, Yoichi Katayama, Chikashi Fukaya, Hideki Oshima, Masahiko Kasai and Kazutaka Kobayashi
✓ Reversibility and adaptability are preferred features of long-term therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS). In such therapy, a permanent stimulating electrode with four contact points is placed at the stimulation site and, generally speaking, bipolar stimulation is induced by various pairs of adjacent contact points on one electrode. The stimulation sites are thus all located along the trajectory of the implanted electrode. In a patient with unilateral severe essential tremor, the authors implanted two electrodes side by side and parallel to each other in the unilateral thalamic ventralis intermedius nucleus. Using these electrodes, the authors were able to deliver current flow not only along the electrode trajectory, but also between the two electrodes in a direction parallel to the anterior commissure—posterior commissure line. Although individual stimulations, delivered by each of the two electrodes using all parameters and all stimulation points, were unable to stop the patient's tremor completely without adverse effects, the new stimulation method, in which electrical currents passed between the two electrodes, effected complete abolition of the tremor without adverse effects. With the aid of this method, one can use two electrodes, implanted in parallel and side by side, to achieve maximum efficacy and to reduce adverse effects in some instances of DBS therapy.
Chikashi Fukaya, Yoichi Katayama, Masahiko Kasai, Jun Kurihara, Sadahiro Maejima and Takamitsu Yamamoto
Object. Histopathological studies on spinal cord injury (SCI) have demonstrated time-dependent spread of tissue damage during the initial several hours postinjury. When the long tract within the spinal cord is stimulated, a large monophasic positivity occurs at the injury site. This type of potential, termed the killed-end evoked potential (KEEP), indicates that a nerve impulse approaches but does not pass beyond the injury site. The authors tested the hypothesis that the damage spread can be evaluated as a progressive shift of the KEEP on a real-time basis. The effect of high-dose methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) on the spread of tissue damage was also examined by this methodology.
Methods. The KEEP was recorded using an electrode array placed on the spinal cord at the T-10 level in cats. This electrode array consisted of multiple 0.2-mm-diameter electrodes, each separated by 0.5 mm. Spinal cord injury was induced using a vascular clip (65 g pinching pressure for 30 seconds). The midline posterior surface of the spinal cord was stimulated bipolarly at the C-7 level by applying a single pulse at supramaximal intensity. During the initial period of 6 hours postinjury, the localization of the largest KEEP shifted progressively up to 2.5 mm rostral from the injury site. The amplitude of the KEEP recorded at the injury site decreased to 55 to 70% and became slightly shortened in latency as the localization of the largest KEEP shifted rostrally. These findings imply that the injury site KEEP represents the volume-conducted potential of the largest KEEP at the site of the conduction block. It moved away from the injury site in association with the damage spread, and this was confirmed histopathologically. A decrease in amplitude of KEEP at the injury site appeared to be the most sensitive measure of the damage spread, because the amplitude of the volume-conducted KEEP is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the recording site and site of conduction block. Administered immediately after SCI, MPSS clearly inhibited these events, especially within 30 minutes postinjury.
Conclusions. The KEEP enables sequential evaluation to be made of the time-dependent spread of tissue damage in SCI in the same animal. It is, therefore, useful for detecting the effect of therapeutic interventions and for determining the therapeutic time window. The efficiency of MPSS to inhibit the spread of damaged tissue appeared to be maximized when it was administered within the initial 30-minute period postinjury.