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  • Author or Editor: Thoralf M. Sundt Jr x
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Mitchell R. Smigiel Jr. and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓The comparative effectiveness of isoproterenol (Isuprel), phentolamine (Regitine), and phenoxybenzamine (Dibenzyline) in modifying basilar arterial spasm induced by the topical application of arterial blood was studied in cats. None of these agents was effective in inhibiting initial peak constriction. Each reduced the duration of the vasospasm. The results indicate that both alpha-blockade and beta-stimulation can alter the course of blood-induced cerebral vasospasm.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Burton M. Onofrio and John Merideth

✓ Initial experience with intravenously administered isoproterenol and lidocaine hydrochloride in 14 patients with severe spasm from subarachnoid hemorrhage is summarized. All patients were actively deteriorating from progressive spasm without other major complications; 12 of 14 improved, and two died. The method of treatment, results, and rationale for this method of therapy are discussed.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., William C. Grant and Julio H. Garcia

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., David G. Piepgras and W. Richard Marsh

✓ The authors describe their experience using booster clips to secure the closure of primary clips in the repair of giant and other thick-walled aneurysms. These clips were used for 21 aneurysms in 20 patients, comprising 12% of all aneurysms operated on during the 15-month period of the report, but representing about 50% of all giant aneurysms operated on during the same time frame. These clips are designed to encircle the primary clip and have fixation “shoes” to close upon the jaws of the primary clip. All aneurysms were opened for decompression and thrombectomy when necessary following temporary major vessel occlusion before placement of the primary clip. Cerebral blood flow measurements and continuous electroencephalographic monitoring were utilized to predict the brain's tolerance to temporary ligation of the internal carotid artery (ICA) in those cases with a giant aneurysm arising from that vessel. There were no complications attributable to the periods of intracranial or cervical ICA occlusion; these periods varied but did not exceed 8 minutes for the former nor the tolerance period for the latter, which was calculated as from 5 to 30 minutes. It was necessary to reoperate on two patients and reposition clips because of stenoses or occlusions identified on immediate postoperative angiography. Fifteen patients had normal neurological function at the time of discharge. Three patients had minor deficits which did not prevent employment; two of these were related to a preoperative deficit and one was a complication of delayed ischemia. There were two deaths: one from bleeding complications and probable damage to perforating vessels in a patient operated on under profound hypothermia (the only case in the series so managed), and one from respiratory complications in a patient with severe pulmonary problems.

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John D. Michenfelder, Roy F. Cucchiara and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Because of a suspicion that intraoperative penicillin antibiotics might be causing early postoperative seizures in craniotomy patients, a deliberate effort was initiated in 1987 to avoid these agents in favor of nonpenicillin antibiotics. This permitted a retrospective comparison of the incidence of early postoperative seizures in craniotomy patients who did and who did not receive intraoperative penicillins. Records of patients treated between July 1, 1984, and July 1, 1985, and between July 1, 1987, and July 1, 1988, were reviewed, for a total of 1316 procedures. There were no seizures in the 323 patients who underwent suboccipital craniectomy. However, among the 993 patients receiving supratentorial procedures there were 30 with seizures within the first 6 hours postoperatively, 19 of which were generalized seizures. The incidence of early seizures was 4.7% (20 cases) of the 427 patients given penicillins and only 1.8% (10 cases) of the 566 not given penicillins (p < 0.01). Since patients undergoing surgery for intractable seizures have a high incidence of early postoperative seizures (11 of 92 in this series, or 12%), creation of a subgroup eliminated these from consideration but did not alter the relationship of penicillins to early seizures (p < 0.02). The authors conclude that intraoperative (and early postoperative) penicillin antibiotic administration should be avoided, if possible, in patients undergoing craniotomy for supratentorial pathology.

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Fredric B. Meyer, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and Bruce W. Pearson

✓ Carotid body tumors are a rare but potentially difficult surgical entity. Their pathology, physiology, and natural history are reviewed along with surgical results reported in the literature. A surgical approach for removal of these tumors is presented which differs significantly from the recommended techniques in that emphasis is placed on intraoperative monitoring of cerebral blood flow, the selective use of shunts, a tumor-adventitial plane of dissection, preservation of the carotid artery complex, and mobilization of the parotid gland. Thirteen cases using these techniques are reviewed. The mortality rate and the incidence of cerebrovascular sequelae were both 0%. The major morbidity consisted of injury to the lower cranial nerves in five patients (39%) with tumors larger than 5 cm in length.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., J. Keith Campbell and Otis W. Houser

✓ Two cases are reported in which anastomotic procedures between the posterior cerebral and superior cerebellar arteries were useful for the management of occlusive and aneurysmal disease of the posterior circulation. Operative procedures such as these may play a role in the future management of vascular problems in this system.

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Douglas Chyatte, Nancy Rusch and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Severe chronic cerebral vasospasm was reliably induced in dogs by two injections, 2 days apart, of autologous blood into the cisterna magna. Treatment with ibuprofen or high-dose methylprednisolone after the first injection prevented or reduced vasospasm. Both drugs reduced meningismus and accelerated the rate of neurological recovery. Compared with specimens from normal dogs, rings of basilar arteries obtained from untreated dogs contracted weakly in response to 5-hydroxytryptamine, prostaglandin F, potassium chloride, and barium chloride. Rings of arteries from dogs who received ibuprofen or methylprednisolone contracted more strongly. Electron micrographs of basilar arteries from untreated dogs showed degeneration of smooth muscle, whereas those from treated dogs did not. Thus, what is termed “chronic cerebral vasospasm” probably represents a structural derangement of the blood vessel wall leading to its narrowing, rather than a sustained contraction of the vascular smooth muscle. Administration of high-dose methylprednisolone and ibuprofen can prevent its occurrence.