✓ Extradural subtemporal access to the petrosal ridge and a resection of the anterior pyramidal bone produced direct observation of the lower basilar artery, with minimum retraction of the temporal lobe and preservation of the temporal bridging veins. Two patients, with lower basilar trunk aneurysms facing toward the brain stem, were operated on by the “transpetrosal approach,” with successful clipping of the aneurysms. Auditory function was preserved in one case. This approach decreases the possibility of retraction damage to the temporal lobe, brain stem, or cranial nerves, and may be helpful for surgery of aneurysms arising around the vertebrobasilar junction or at the origin of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery.
Takeshi Kawase, Shigeo Toya, Ryuzo Shiobara and Toru Mine
Experimental study by fluorescein angiography
Shigeo Toya, Takeshi Kawase, Youichi Iisaka, Takanobu Iwata, Toshio Aki and Tsuneo Nakamura
✓ The effect of laser radiation on the central nervous system has been studied in cases of clinical and experimental tumors. However, no report yet exists on the effects of laser radiation on the cerebral microcirculation in vivo. Cerebral fluorescein angiography permits observations of small vessels that are not possible by conventional angiography. In this study, disturbance in the epicerebral microcirculation after carbon dioxide laser radiation was localized. On fluorescein angiograms, a circular zone of nonfilling of fluorescein dye around the site of impact, 1 to 1.5 mm in diameter, was seen throughout from the arterial to late venous phase. Around the nonfilling area, thrombus formation in small vessels and extravasation of the dye were demonstrated. Such extravasation of the fluorescein remained after the dye had faded from the venules and veins. Microscopically, coagulation necrosis was observed to coincide with the area of nonfilling of fluorescein dye in the fluorescein angiograms. In areas surrounding this, edema, dilatation or rupture of the capillaries, and thrombus formation in the arterioles were observed. Such areas coincided with those of extravasation of the fluorescein dye.
Mami Ishikawa, Takayuki Ohira, Jun Namiki, Masato Kobayashi, Moriichiro Takase, Takeshi Kawase and Shigeo Toya
✓ In patients with hemifacial spasm, it has been said that the spasm is due to cross compression of the facial nerve by a blood vessel and that microvascular decompression (MVD) of the facial nerve is an effective treatment. The F waves, which result from backfiring of antidromically activated motor neurons of the facial motor nucleus, are indices of the excitability of the facial motor nucleus and are enhanced in patients with hemifacial spasm. Measuring blink reflexes and abnormal muscle responses (lateral spread), a characteristic sign of hemifacial spasm, has been used to investigate the mechanism of hemifacial spasm pathophysiologically. Thus the authors measured F waves of the facial muscle, blink reflexes, and abnormal muscle responses before and after MVD in patients suffering from hemifacial spasm to investigate the excitability of the facial motor nucleus and the course of the cure of hemifacial spasm after MVD. The authors obtained facial nerve—evoked electromyograms in 20 patients with hemifacial spasm before and after the MVD procedure. On the spasm side, the F waves and blink reflexes were enhanced preoperatively compared to those on the normal side and abnormal muscle responses were recorded in all patients. In 12 patients whose hemifacial spasm had not disappeared completely for 5.1 ± 1.7 (mean ± standard error) months following the MVD procedure, F waves were still enhanced significantly and abnormal muscle responses were still recordable, albeit at lower amplitude. Within 1 month after the hemifacial spasm had disappeared completely, F waves were still significantly enhanced in 17 patients and abnormal muscle responses were recorded in seven of 15 patients. Subsequently, the enhanced F waves and abnormal muscle responses disappeared completely. The authors' study supports the hypothesis that the cause of hemifacial spasm is hyperexcitability of the facial motor nucleus and suggests that additional surgery should not be performed for at least 2 years after MVD, because that period is necessary for the disappearance of the hyperexcitability of the facial motor nucleus.