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Ching-Jen Chen, Thomas J. Buell, Daniel M. S. Raper, Min S. Park, M. Yashar Kalani, Natasha Ironside, Robert F. James and Dale Ding

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Toshikazu Kimura, Chikayuki Ochiai, Kensuke Kawai, Akio Morita and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the risk of bleeding from unruptured cerebral aneurysms (UCAs), previous studies have used Kaplan-Meier analyses without treating the definitive treatment as a competing risk event, which may underestimate the rupture rate. The authors analyzed the survival of patients with UCAs alongside the occurrence of aneurysm bleeding and its competing risk events.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was conducted on 722 patients diagnosed with UCAs in the period from 2000 to 2009 using an institution’s electronic medical records and telephone interviews. The cumulative incidence of aneurysm rupture was examined, and factors contributing to rupture were assessed using regression analyses.

RESULTS

By 2014, 19 patients had experienced aneurysm rupture, with an overall rupture rate of 0.57% per year over 3320.8 person-years. However, cumulative incidence analysis indicated that 1.3% of all patients had a rupture within 2 years after aneurysm identification, and 38.4% of the patients underwent definitive treatment in the same period. Among the patients who experienced rupture, regression analysis revealed that an aneurysm size greater than 5 mm, a location in the anterior or posterior communicating arteries, and an irregular shape contributed to aneurysm rupture, with HRs of 4.4 (95% CI 1.2–15.7), 3.5 (95% CI 1.4–8.7), and 2.1 (95% CI 0.7–6.0), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Rupture rate analyses using the person-year or standard Kaplan-Meier method are not as informative without consideration of the competing risks. The incidence of aneurysm rupture should be presented clearly with those of competing risks.

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Fusao Ikawa, Akio Morita, Shinjiro Tominari, Takeo Nakayama, Yoshiaki Shiokawa, Isao Date, Kazuhiko Nozaki, Susumu Miyamoto, Takamasa Kayama, Hajime Arai and The Japan Neurosurgical Society for UCAS Japan Investigators

OBJECTIVE

The annual rupture rate of small (3–4 mm) unruptured cerebral aneurysms (UCAs) is 0.36% per year, however, the proportion of small ruptured aneurysms < 5 mm is 35%. This discrepancy is explained by the hypothesis that most acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is from recently formed, unscreened aneurysms, but this hypothesis is without definitive proof. The authors aimed to clarify the actual number of screened, ruptured small aneurysms and risk factors for rupture.

METHODS

The Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysm Study Japan, a project of the Japan Neurosurgical Society, was designed to clarify the natural course of UCAs. From January 2001 through March 2004, 6697 UCAs among 5720 patients were prospectively registered. At registration, 2839 patients (49.6%) had 3132 (46.8%) small UCAs of 3–4 mm. The registered, treated, and rupture numbers of these small aneurysms and the annual rupture rate were investigated. The rate was assessed per aneurysm. The characteristics of patients and aneurysms were compared to those of larger unruptured aneurysms (≥ 5 mm). Cumulative rates of SAH were estimated per aneurysm. Risk factors underwent univariate and multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

Treatment and rupture numbers of small UCAs were 1132 (37.1% of all treated aneurysms) and 23 (20.7% of all ruptured aneurysms), respectively. The registered, treated, rupture number, and annual rupture rates were 1658 (24.8%), 495 (16.2%), 11 (9.9%), and 0.30%, respectively, among 3-mm aneurysms, and 1474 (22.0%), 637 (20.9%), 12 (10.8%), and 0.45%, respectively, among 4-mm aneurysms. Multivariate risk-factor analysis revealed that a screening brain checkup (hazard ratio [HR] 4.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–14.4), history of SAH (HR 10.8, 95% CI 2.3–51.1), uncontrolled hypertension (HR 5.2, 95% CI 1.8–15.3), and location on the anterior communicating artery (ACoA; HR 5.0, 95% CI 1.6–15.5) were independent predictors of rupture.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the annual rupture rate of small aneurysms was low, the actual number of ruptures was not low. Small aneurysms that ruptured during follow-up could be detected, screened, and managed based on each risk factor. Possible selection criteria for treating small UCAs include a history of SAH, uncontrolled hypertension, location on the ACoA, and young patients. Further large prospective and longitudinal trials are needed.

Clinical trial registration no.: C000000418 (https://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr)

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Yu Fujiki, Fumihiro Matano, Takayuki Mizunari, Yasuo Murai, Kojiro Tateyama, Kenta Koketsu, Asami Kubota, Shiro Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Yokota and Akio Morita

OBJECTIVE

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can result in poor outcomes, and biomarkers for predicting poor prognosis have not yet been established. The aim of this study was to clarify the significance of the serum glucose/potassium ratio for predicting the prognosis of aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 565 patients with aneurysmal SAH between 2006 and 2016. The patient group comprised 208 men and 357 women (mean age 61.5 years, range 10–95 years). A statistical analysis was conducted of the clinical and laboratory risk factors of poor outcome, including the serum glucose/potassium ratio.

RESULTS

On estimation of the initial assessment using Hunt and Kosnik (H-K) grading, 233 patients (41.2%) were classified as the severe SAH group (H-K Grade IV or V). There were significant correlations between the severe SAH group and serum glucose/potassium ratio (p < 0.0001). Serum glucose/potassium ratio was elevated in an H-K grade–dependent manner (Spearman’s r = 0.5374, p < 0.0001). With the estimation of the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at discharge, 355 patients (62.8%) were classified as poor outcome (GOS score 1–3). The serum glucose/potassium ratio was elevated in a GOS score at discharge–dependent manner (Spearman’s r = 0.4006, p < 0.0001), and was significantly elevated in the poor outcome group compared with the good outcome group (GOS score 4 or 5; p = 0.0245). There were significant correlations between poor outcome and serum glucose/potassium ratio (p < 0.0001), age (p < 0.0001), brain natriuretic peptide levels (p = 0.011), cerebral infarction due to vasospasm (p < 0.0001), and H-K grade (p < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed significant correlations between poor outcome and serum glucose/potassium ratio (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the serum glucose/potassium ratio of patients with aneurysmal SAH at admission was significantly correlated with H-K grade and GOS score at discharge. Therefore, this ratio was useful for predicting prognosis of aneurysmal SAH, especially in severe cases.

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Kazunori Oda, Fumio Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki Enomoto, Tadashi Higuchi and Akio Morita

OBJECTIVE

Previous studies have suggested a correlation between interhemispheric sensorimotor networks and recovery from supplementary motor area (SMA) syndrome. In the present study, the authors examined the hypothesis that interhemispheric connectivity of the primary motor cortex in one hemisphere with the contralateral SMA may be important in the recovery from SMA syndrome. Further, they posited that motor cortical fiber connectivity with the SMA is related to the severity of SMA syndrome.

METHODS

Patients referred to the authors’ neurological surgery department were retrospectively analyzed for this study. All patients with tumors involving the unilateral SMA region, without involvement of the primary motor area, and diagnosed with SMA syndrome in the postoperative period were eligible for inclusion. Preoperative diffusion tensor imaging tractography (DTT) was used to examine the number of fiber tracts (NFidx) connecting the contralateral SMA to the ipsilateral primary motor area via the corpus callosum. Complete neurological examination had been performed in all patients in the pre- and postoperative periods. All patients were divided into two groups: those who recovered from SMA syndrome in ≤ 7 days (early recovery group) and those who recovered in ≥ 8 days (late recovery group). Differences between the two groups were assessed using the Student t-test and the chi-square test.

RESULTS

Eleven patients (10 men, 1 woman) were included in the study. All patients showed transient postoperative motor deficits because of SMA syndrome. Tractography data revealed NFidx from the contralateral SMA to the ipsilateral primary motor area via the corpus callosum. The mean tumor volume (early 27.87 vs late 50.91 cm3, p = 0.028) and mean NFidx (early 8923.16 vs late 4726.4, p = 0.002) were significantly different between the two groups. Fisher exact test showed a significant difference in the days of recovery from SMA syndrome between patients with an NFidx > 8000 and those with an NFidx < 8000.

CONCLUSIONS

Diffusion tensor imaging tractography may be useful for predicting the speed of recovery from SMA syndrome. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first DTT study to identify interhemispheric connectivity of the SMA in patients with brain tumors.

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Fumio Yamaguchi, Hirotomo Ten, Tadashi Higuchi, Tomoko Omura, Toyoyuki Kojima, Koji Adachi, Takayuki Kitamura, Shiro Kobayashi, Hiroshi Takahashi, Akira Teramoto and Akio Morita

Intraoperative 3D recognition of the motor tract is indispensable to avoiding neural fiber injury in brain tumor surgery. However, precise localization of the tracts is sometimes difficult with conventional mapping methods. Thus, the authors developed a novel brain mapping method that enables the 3D recognition of the motor tract for intrinsic brain tumor surgeries. This technique was performed in 40 consecutive patients with gliomas adjacent to motor tracts that have a risk of intraoperative pyramidal tract damage. Motor tracts were electrically stimulated and identified by a handheld brain-mapping probe, the NY Tract Finder (NYTF). Sixteen-gauge plastic tubes were mounted onto the NYTF and inserted in the estimated direction of the motor tract with reference to navigational information. Only the NYTF was removed, leaving the plastic tubes in their places, immediately after muscle motor evoked potentials were recorded at the minimum stimulation current. Motor tracts were electrically identified in all cases. Three-dimensional information on the position of motor tracts was given by plastic tubes that were neurophysiologically placed. Tips of tubes showed the resection limit during tumor removal. Safe tumor resection with an arbitrary safety margin can be performed by adjusting the length of the plastic tubes. The motor tract positioning method enabled the 3D recognition of the motor tract by surgeons and provided for safe resection of tumors. Tumor resections were performed safely before damaging motor tracts, without any postoperative neurological deterioration.

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Sunho Ko, Atsushi Nakazawa, Yusuke Kurose, Kanako Harada, Mamoru Mitsuishi, Shigeo Sora, Naoyuki Shono, Hirofumi Nakatomi, Nobuhito Saito and Akio Morita

OBJECTIVE

Advanced and intelligent robotic control is necessary for neurosurgical robots, which require great accuracy and precision. In this article, the authors propose methods for dynamically and automatically controlling the motion-scaling ratio of a master-slave neurosurgical robotic system to reduce the task completion time.

METHODS

Three dynamic motion-scaling modes were proposed and compared with the conventional fixed motion-scaling mode. These 3 modes were defined as follows: 1) the distance between a target point and the tip of the slave manipulator, 2) the distance between the tips of the slave manipulators, and 3) the velocity of the master manipulator. Five test subjects, 2 of whom were neurosurgeons, sutured 0.3-mm artificial blood vessels using the MM-3 neurosurgical robot in each mode.

RESULTS

The task time, total path length, and helpfulness score were evaluated. Although no statistically significant differences were observed, the mode using the distance between the tips of the slave manipulators improves the suturing performance.

CONCLUSIONS

Dynamic motion scaling has great potential for the intelligent and accurate control of neurosurgical robots.

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Fumihiro Matano, Yasuo Murai, Rokuya Tanikawa, Hiroyasu Kamiyama, Kojiro Tateyama, Tomonori Tamaki, Takayuki Mizunari, Sunao Mizumura, Shiro Kobayashi, Akira Teramoto and Akio Morita

OBJECTIVE

No previous study has monitored middle cerebral artery (MCA) pressure during the superficial temporal artery (STA)-MCA bypass procedure for cerebral atherosclerotic disease. In this paper, the authors describe their method of monitoring MCA pressure and report their initial data on intraoperative MCA pressure and its relationship with hemodynamics prior to and after the bypass procedures.

METHODS

The results from a total of 39 revascularization procedures performed between 2004 and 2014 were analyzed. The patient group included 27 men and 12 women, and their mean age at surgery was 67.6 years (range 39–83 years). The authors investigated the MCA pressure via the STA during STA-MCA bypass procedures. After one branch of the STA was anastomosed to the MCA, the other branch was connected to an arterial line, and a clip was placed temporally on the main STA trunk to monitor the pre-anastomosis MCA pressure. Simultaneously, the radial artery (RA) pressure was determined before removing the temporal clip to measure the post-anastomosis MCA pressure. The relationship between MCA pressures and single photon emission computed tomography findings and the risk factors for hyperperfusion after STA-MCA bypass were analyzed.

RESULTS

The MCA/RA (%) pressure was significantly correlated with that of the resting stenotic/normal side cerebral blood flow (CBF) ratio (%) in the linear regression analysis (slope 1.200, r2 = 0.3564, F = 20.49, p < 0.0001). The intraoperative MCA pressure was 39.3% of RA pressure in patients with Powers' Stage 2 cerebral atherosclerotic disease. After 1 branch of the STA was anastomosed, the intraoperative MCA pressure increased to 75.3% of the RA pressure. The rate of increase in pressure was significantly correlated with the increase in the STA diameter in the linear regression analysis (slope 2.59, r2 = 0.205, F = 9.549, p = 0.0038). Hyperperfusion occurred in 2 cases. When mean values for these 2 patients were compared with those for the 37 patients without hyperperfusion, significant differences were found in the stenotic/normal side CBF ratio (p = 0.0001), pre-anastomosis MCA pressure (p = 0.02), rate of increase in pressure (p = 0.02), pre-anastomotic MCA/RA pressure ratio (p = 0.01), vascular reserve (p = 0.0489), and STA diameter (p = 0.0002).

CONCLUSIONS

The measurement of intraoperative MCA pressure may be a useful technique to assess cerebral perfusion and for predicting the risk of hyperperfusion. Monitoring MCA pressure is recommended during STA-MCA bypass procedures for atherosclerotic disease.