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  • Author or Editor: Johannes Schramm x
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Bernhard Meyer, Horst Urbach, Carlo Schaller and Johannes Schramm

Object. The authors' goal in this study was to challenge the proposed mechanism of the occlusive hyperemia theory, in which it is asserted that stagnating flow in the former feeding arteries of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) leads to parenchymal hypoperfusion or ischemia, from which postoperative edema and hemorrhage originate.

Methods. Cortical oxygen saturation (SaO2) was measured in 52 patients by using microspectrophotometry in areas adjacent to AVMs before and after resection. The appearance of the former feeding arteries was categorized as normal (Group A); moderately stagnating (Group B); and excessively stagnating (Group C) on postoperative angiographic fast-film series. Patients and SaO2 values were pooled accordingly and compared using analysis of variance and Duncan tests (p < 0.05). Angiographic stagnation times in former feeding arteries were correlated in a linear regression/correlation analysis with SaO2 data (p < 0.05). All values are given as the mean ± standard deviation.

The average median postoperative SaO2 in Group C (15 patients) was significantly higher than in Groups B (17 patients) and A (20 patients) (Group C, 75.2 ± 8.5; Group B, 67.5 ± 10.8; Group A, 67.1 ± 12 %SaO2), as was the average postoperative increase in SaO2 (Group C, 25.9 ± 14.9; Group B, 14.6 ± 14; Group A, 11.1 ± 14 %SaO2). Angiographically confirmed stagnation times were also significantly longer in Group C than in Group B (Group C, 5.6 ± 2.5; Group B, 1.3 ± 0.6 seconds). A significant correlation/regression analysis showed a clear trend toward higher postoperative SaO2 levels with increasing stagnation time.

Conclusions. Stagnating flow in former feeding arteries does not cause cortical ischemia, but its presence on angiographic studies is usually indicative of hyperperfusion in the surrounding brain tissue after AVM resection. In the context of the pathophysiology of AVMs extrapolations made from angiographically visible shunt flow to blood flow in the surrounding brain tissue must be regarded with caution.

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Rudolf A. Kristof, Ales F. Aliashkevich, Michael Schuster, Bernhard Meyer, Horst Urbach and Johannes Schramm

Object. The authors conducted a study to determine the results of decompressive surgery without fusion in selected patients who presented with radicular compression syndromes caused by degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis and in whom there was no evidence of hypermobility on flexion—extension radiographs.

Methods. The medical records and radiographs obtained in 49 patients were reviewed retrospectively. Clinical status was quantified by summing self-assessed Prolo Scale scores. All 49 patients (55% female, mean age 68.7 years) presented with leg pain accompanied by lumbalgia in 85.7% of the cases. Preoperatively the median sum of Prolo Scale scores was 4. The mean preoperative degree of forward vertebral displacement was 13.5% and was located at L-4 in 67% of the cases. Osseous decompression alone was performed in 53%, and an additional discectomy at the level of displacement was undertaken in the remaining patients because of herniated discs. Major complications (deep wound infection) occurred in 2%. During a mean follow-up period of 3.73 years, 10.2% of the patients underwent instrumentation-assisted lumbar fusion when decompression alone failed to resolve symptoms. At last follow up the median overall Prolo Scale score was 8. Excellent and good results were demonstrated in 73.5% of the patients. Prolonged back pain (r = 0.381) as well as the preoperative degree of displacement (r = 0.81) and disc space height (r = 0.424) influenced outcome (p ≤ 0.05); additional discectomy for simultaneous disc herniation at the displaced level did not influence outcome (p > 0.05).

Conclusions. These results appear to support a less invasive approach in this subgroup of elderly patients with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis—induced radicular compression syndromes and without radiographically documented hypermobility. Additional discectomy for simultaneous disc herniation of the spondylolisthetic level did not adversely influence the outcome. Complication rates are minimized and fusion can eventually be performed should decompression alone fail. A prospective controlled study is required to confirm these results.

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Devin K. Binder, Martin Podlogar, Hans Clusmann, Christian Bien, Horst Urbach, Johannes Schramm and Thomas Kral

Object

Parietal lobe epilepsy (PLE) accounts for a small percentage of extratemporal epilepsies, and only a few and mostly smaller series have been reported. Preoperative findings, surgical strategies, pathological bases, and postoperative outcomes for PLE remain to be elucidated.

Methods

Patients with PLE were identified by screening a prospective epilepsy surgery database established in 1989 at the University of Bonn. Charts, preoperative imaging studies, surgical reports, and neuropathological findings were reviewed. Seizure outcome was classified according to Engel class (I–IV).

Results

Forty patients (23 females and 17 males) with PLE were identified and had a mean age of 25.0 years and a mean preoperative epilepsy duration of 13.7 years. Nine patients had a significant medical history (for example, trauma, meningitis/encephalitis, or perinatal hypoxia). Preoperative MR imaging abnormalities were identified in 38 (95%) of 40 patients; 26 patients (65%) underwent invasive electroencephalography evaluation. After lesionectomy of the dominant (in 20 patients) or nondominant (in 20 patients) parietal lobe and additional multiple subpial transections (in 11 patients), 2 patients suffered from surgical and 12 from neurological complications, including temporary partial Gerstmann syndrome. There were no deaths. Histopathological analysis revealed 16 low-grade tumors, 11 cortical dysplasias, 9 gliotic scars, 2 cavernous vascular malformations, and 1 granulomatous inflammation. In 1 case, no histopathological diagnosis could be made. After a mean follow-up of 45 months, 27 patients (67.5%) became seizure free or had rare seizures (57.5% Engel Class I; 10% Engel Class II; 27.5% Engel Class III; and 5% Engel Class IV).

Conclusions

Parietal lobe epilepsy is an infrequent cause of extratemporal epilepsy. Satisfactory results (Engel Classes I and II) were obtained in 67.5% of patients in our series. A temporary partial hemisensory or Gerstmann syndrome occurs in a significant number of patients.

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Devin K. Binder, Marec Von Lehe, Thomas Kral, Christian G. Bien, Horst Urbach, Johannes Schramm and Hans Clusmann

Object

Occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE) accounts for a small percentage of extratemporal epilepsies and only few and mostly small patient series have been reported. Preoperative findings, surgical strategies, histopathological bases, and postoperative outcomes for OLE remain to be elucidated.

Methods

A group of 54 patients with occipital lobe involvement were identified from a prospective epilepsy surgery database established in 1989. Medical charts, surgical reports, MR imaging, and histopathology data were reviewed, and patients with additional temporal and/or parietal involvement were categorized separately. Seizure outcome was classified according to the Engel classification scheme (Classes I–IV). Two patients were excluded due to incomplete data sets. Fifty-two patients with intractable epilepsy involving predominantly the occipital lobe were included in the study, comprising 17.8% of 292 patients undergoing operations for extratemporal epilepsies.

Results

In nearly all cases (50 [96.2%] of 52), a structural lesion was visible on preoperative MR imaging. Of these cases, 29 (55.8%) had “pure” OLE with no temporal or parietal lobe involvement. Most patients (83%) had complex partial seizures, and 60% also had generalized seizures. All patients underwent occipital lesionectomies or topectomies; 9 patients (17.3%) underwent additional multiple subpial transections. Histopathology results revealed 9 cortical dysplasias (17.3%), 9 gangliogliomas (17.3%), 6 other tumors (11.5%), 13 vascular malformations (25%), and 15 glial scars (28.8%). Visual field deficits were present in 36.4% of patients preoperatively, and 42.4% had new or aggravated visual field deficits after surgery. After a mean follow-up of 80 months, 36 patients were seizure free (69.2% Engel Class I), 4 rarely had seizures (7.7% Engel Class II), 8 improved more than 75% (15.4% Engel Class III), and 4 had no significant improvement (7.7% Engel Class IV). Multifactorial logistic regression analysis revealed that early age at epilepsy manifestation (p = 0.031) and shorter epilepsy duration (p = 0.004) were predictive of better seizure control. All other clinical and surgical factors were not significant in predicting outcome.

Conclusions

Occipital lobe epilepsy is an infrequent but significant cause of extratemporal epilepsy. Satisfactory results (Engel Class I or II) were obtained in 77% of patients in our series. Postoperative visual field deficits occurred in a significant proportion of patients. In the modern MR imaging era, lesions should be investigated in patients with OLE and lesionectomies should be performed early for a better outcome.