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Intraorbital meningioma: resection through modified orbitozygomatic craniotomy

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Intraorbital meningiomas are challenging lesions to excise because of their location and the restricted surgical corridor available due to the presence of important neighboring structures. Lesions located in the posterior one-third of the orbit require skull base approaches for their exposure and safe resection.

Frontoorbital and modified orbitozygomatic (OZ) craniotomies may facilitate the exposure and resection of masses in the posterior intraorbital space. Specifically, the one-piece modified OZ craniotomy provides many advantages of the “full” OZ craniotomy (which includes a more extensive zygomatic osteotomy). The modified OZ approach minimizes the extent of frontal lobe retraction and provides ample amount of space for the surgeon to exploit all the working angles to resect the tumor.

The following video presentation discusses the nuances of technique for resection of an intraorbital meningioma through modified OZ approach and optic nerve decompression. The nuances of technique will be discussed.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/fP5X2QNr5qk.

Open access

Editorial: Neurosurgical innovation: balancing the risks and benefits of technical novelty

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Open access

Editorial: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: dreaded vascular complications during endonasal skull base surgery

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Open access

Editorial: Are we there yet? Pushing the boundaries of endonasal surgery into the brainstem

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

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Resection of large epidermoid tumors ventral to the brainstem: techniques to expand the operative corridor across the basilar artery

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Epidermoid tumors comprise about 1% of all intracranial tumors. They are congenital lesions that arise from paramedian cisterns within the posterior fossa. These tumors present as heterogeneous hyperintense lesions on FLAIR and homogenous hyperintense lesions on DWI. Surgical resection remains the most accepted form of therapy, but epidermoid tumors may recur. These tumors are well exposed through a traditional retrosigmoid approach. The tumor can be removed relatively easily as it is avascular. However, the propensity of this tumor type to fill the small spaces within basal cisterns and attach to cranial nerves may make its complete resection challenging. Tumors resection has to preserve the surrounding arachnoid membranes encasing the cranial nerves.

The author presents the case of a 42-year-old woman with a 1-year history of imbalance and nystagmus. An MRI revealed a large right-sided CP angle epidermoid tumor filling the ventral brainstem cistern and extending to the contralateral side, compressing the brainstem. The accompanying video illustrates resection of this mass through an extended (exposing the sigmoid sinus) retrosigmoid approach. The author removed the tumor piecemeal while protecting the cranial nerves. Small pieces of affected arachnoid covering the cranial nerves were not significantly manipulated. To excise the tumor along the contralateral paramedian cistern, the author used the space between the V and VII/VII cranial nerves to expose the space contralateral to the basilar artery and remove additional tumor. This maneuver allowed gross total resection of the tumor without a need to employ a more elaborate skull base approach such as petrosectomy. At 3-month follow-up visit after surgery, the patient's neurological exam returned to normal.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/CzRb-GUvhog.

Free access

Interhemispheric transcallosal route for resection of anterior third ventricular lesions

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Anterior third ventricular lesions present with a variety of symptoms related to cerebrospinal fluid flow obstruction and mass effect. Colloid cysts are among the most common lesions in the region. They usually present with ventriculomegaly, leading to headaches, vertigo, or, rarely, decreased mental status due to the development of acute hydrocephalus. Many patients become aware of their asymptomatic colloid cysts during imaging evaluation related to other conditions. Symptomatic cysts require removal, and larger asymptomatic colloid cysts (> 1cm) in younger patients may also need to be excised despite a lack of symptoms.

A variety of surgical routes have been described to access and remove colloid cysts. Endoscopic approaches are least invasive and provide adequate decompression and removal of the cyst wall. However, presence of ventriculomagaly may be necessary to provide adequate working space for endoscopic resection. Transcallosal interhemispheric and transcortical routes are typically reserved for patients with symptomatic or large asymptomatic cysts without any significant hydrocephalus. Transcortical route may carry a slightly increased risk of seizures due to cortical disruption. Interhemispheric transcallosal approach with the use of microsurgical techniques minimizes injury to normal structures. In this video, the author describes his technique for transcallosal resection of a large colloid cyst in the absence of significant ventriculomegaly. Methods to minimize complications are reviewed.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/KzC8QYsTKeg.

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The art of microneurosurgery and passion for technical excellence

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

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Letter to the Editor: Transfalcine approach

Atul Goel

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Microsurgical ligation of spinal arteriovenous fistulae: techniques

Chad A. Tuchek and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is an acquired abnormal arterial-to-venous connection within the spinal dura with a wide range of clinical presentations and natural history. Spinal dAVF occurs when a radicular artery makes a direct anomalous shunt with a radicular vein within the dura of the nerve root sleeve. Spinal dAVFs are the most common vascular malformation of the spine.

The authors present a patient who presented with sudden temporary lower extremity weakness secondary to an L-1 spinal dAVF. The details of microsurgical techniques to disconnect the fistula are discussed in this video.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/F9Kiffs3s6A.

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Cushing's lost cases of “radium bomb” brachytherapy for gliomas

Historical vignette

Zachary A. Seymour and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Although recent efforts to advance the treatment of gliomas through radiotherapy and chemotherapy may seem to be a relatively new area of growth and development, these efforts have been in progress since the therapeutic potential of radiation therapy was discovered in the late 19th century. Cushing's use of brachytherapy has been mentioned several times in the literature without receiving an appropriate in-depth analysis. The reasoning behind Cushing's initial use of brachytherapy was not fully examined, and a close analysis of the outcomes of this therapy was not made. In addition, Cushing's use of his “radium bomb” occurred more commonly than the 3 cases previously documented. The authors reviewed all the patient records available at the Cushing Brain Tumor Registry—which represents the most complete series of patient records from the Cushing era—and selected those patients who underwent treatment with Cushing's “radium bomb.” The authors place these early attempts to optimize interstitial radiation of brain tumors in their historical perspective.