Ryosuke Tomio, Takenori Akiyama, Takayuki Ohira and Kazunari Yoshida
The aim of this study was to determine the most effective electrode montage to elicit lower-extremity transcranial motor evoked potentials (LE-tMEPs) using a minimum stimulation current.
A realistic 3D head model was created from T1-weighted images. Finite element methods were used to visualize the electric field in the brain, which was generated by transcranial electrical stimulation via 4 electrode montage models. The stimulation threshold level of LE-tMEPs in 52 patients was also studied in a practical clinical setting to determine the effects of each electrode montage.
The electric field in the brain radially diffused from the brain surface at a maximum just below the electrodes in the finite element models. The Cz-inion electrode montage generated a centrally distributed high electric field with a current direction longitudinal and parallel to most of the pyramidal tract fibers of the lower extremity. These features seemed to be effective in igniting LE-tMEPs.
Threshold level recordings of LE-tMEPs revealed that the Cz-inion electrode montage had a lower threshold on average than the C3–C4 montage, 76.5 ± 20.6 mA and 86.2 ± 20.6 mA, respectively (31 patients, t = 4.045, p < 0.001, paired t-test). In 23 (74.2%) of 31 cases, the Cz-inion montage could elicit LE-tMEPs at a lower threshold than C3–C4.
The C3–C4 and C1–C2 electrode montages are the standard for tMEP monitoring in neurosurgery, but the Cz-inion montage showed lower thresholds for the generation of LE-tMEPs. The Cz-inion electrode montage should be a good alternative for LE-tMEP monitoring when the C3–C4 has trouble igniting LE-tMEPs.
Ryosuke Tomio, Takenori Akiyama, Masahiro Toda, Takayuki Ohira and Kazunari Yoshida
Transcranial motor evoked potential (tMEP) monitoring is popular in neurosurgery; however, the accuracy of tMEP can be impaired by craniotomy. Each craniotomy procedure and changes in the CSF levels affects the current spread. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of several craniotomies on tMEP monitoring by using C3–4 transcranial electrical stimulation (TES).
The authors used the finite element method to visualize the electric field in the brain, which was generated by TES, using realistic 3D head models developed from T1-weighted MR images. Surfaces of 5 layers of the head (brain, CSF, skull, subcutaneous fat, and skin layer) were separated as accurately as possible. The authors created 5 models of the head, as follows: normal head; frontotemporal craniotomy; parietal craniotomy; temporal craniotomy; and occipital craniotomy. The computer simulation was investigated by finite element methods, and clinical recordings of the stimulation threshold level of upper-extremity tMEP (UE-tMEP) during neurosurgery were also studied in 30 patients to validate the simulation study.
Bone removal during the craniotomy positively affected the generation of the electric field in the motor cortex if the motor cortex was just under the bone at the margin of the craniotomy window. This finding from the authors' simulation study was consistent with clinical reports of frontotemporal craniotomy cases. A major decrease in CSF levels during an operation had a significantly negative impact on the electric field when the motor cortex was exposed to air. The CSF surface level during neurosurgery depends on the body position and location of the craniotomy. The parietal craniotomy and temporal craniotomy were susceptible to the effect of the changing CSF level, based on the simulation study. A marked increase in the threshold following a decrease in CSF was actually recorded in clinical reports of the UE-tMEP threshold from a temporal craniotomy. However, most frontotemporal craniotomy cases were minimally affected by a small decrease in CSF.
Bone removal during a craniotomy positively affects the generation of the electric field in the motor cortex if the motor cortex is just under the bone at the margin of the craniotomy window. The CSF decrease and the shifting brain can negatively affect tMEP ignition. These changes should be minimized to maintain the original conductivity between the motor cortex and the skull, and the operation team must remember the fluctuation of the tMEP threshold.
Shigeo Ohba, Masahito Kobayashi, Takashi Horiguchi, Satoshi Onozuka, Kazunari Yoshida, Takayuki Ohira and Takeshi Kawase
Although gross-total resection (GTR) is a preferable treatment for skull base meningiomas, subtotal resection (STR) with or without radiation therapy can be considered as an alternative treatment for patients at considerable surgical risk. The long-term prognosis of such patients might be related to the biological activity of the tumor. This study examined predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) and sought to determine the optimal treatment strategies, focusing on the pathobiological findings of skull base meningiomas.
This study included 281 patients with skull base meningiomas (mean follow-up period 88.4 months). Risk factors for tumor progression were examined using a multivariate analysis. The PFS and overall survival (OS) rates were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The functional outcomes of the patients were measured using the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS).
The 10-year PFS and OS rates were 66.4% and 97.4%, respectively. Overall, 83.3% of patients achieved a favorable outcome, that is, an improved or unchanged KPS score. The extent of resection, additional radiotherapy, histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate were significantly associated with PFS. The PFS of patients undergoing STR without radiation therapy was significantly shorter than that of either those undergoing STR with radiation therapy or GTR, while no statistical difference was observed between the latter 2 groups. Among the patients undergoing STR with pathobiological risk factors (histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate), the PFS of the patients who received radiation therapy was better than that of those who did not receive radiation therapy. Among the patients undergoing STR without such risk factors, the PFS was not significantly different between patients who received radiation therapy and those who did not.
For patients with skull base meningiomas, a GTR is desirable and additional radiation therapy after STR may contribute to a longer PFS. Additional radiation therapy should be recommended, especially for patients with pathobiological risk factors, but not necessarily for those without such risks.