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  • Author or Editor: Alessandra A. Gorgulho x
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Alessandra Gorgulho, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Leonardo Frighetto and Eric Behnke

Object. The goal of this study was to analyze the incidence of intracranial bleeding in patients who underwent procedures guided by microelectrode recording (MER) rather than by macroelectrode stimulation alone.

Methods. Between March 1994 and July 2001, 178 patients underwent 248 functional neurosurgical procedures performed by the same team at the University of California at Los Angeles. The procedures included pallidotomy (122 patients), thalamotomy (19 patients), and implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (36 patients), globus pallidus internus (17 patients), and ventralis intermedius nucleus (54 patients). One hundred forty-four procedures involved macroelectrode stimulation and 104 involved MER. Groups were analyzed according to the presence of arterial hypertension, MER or macroelectrode stimulation use, and occurrence of hemorrhage. Nineteen patients with arterial hypertension underwent 28 surgical procedures.

Five cases of hemorrhage (2.02%) occurred. One patient presented with hemiparesis and dysphasia but no surgery was required. The incidence of hemorrhage in patients in whom MER was performed was 2.9%, whereas the incidence in patients in whom MER was not used was 1.4% (p = 0.6529). Bleeding occurred in 10.71% of patients with hypertension and 0.91% of those who were nonhypertensive (p = 0.0111). Among the 104 patients in whom MER was performed, 12 had hypertension. Bleeding occurred in two (16.67%) of these 12 patients. An increased incidence of bleeding in hypertensive patients who underwent MER (p = 0.034) was noticed when compared with nonhypertensive patients who underwent MER. A higher number of electrode passes through the parenchyma was observed when MER was used (p = 0.0001). A positive trend between the occurrence of hemorrhage and multiple passes was noticed.

Conclusions. Based on the data the authors suggest that a higher incidence of hemorrhage occurs in hypertensive patients, and a higher incidence as well in hypertensive patients who underwent MER rather than macroeletrode stimulation. Special attention should be given to MER use in hypertensive patients and particular attention should be made to multiple passes.

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Alessandra A. Gorgulho, Donald C. Shields, Dennis Malkasian, Eric Behnke and Antonio A. F. DeSalles

Object

High-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with parkinsonian symptoms is often used to ameliorate debilitating motor symptoms associated with this condition. However, individual variability in the shape and orientation of this relatively small nucleus results in multiple side effects related to the spread of electrical current to surrounding structures. Specifically, contraction of the muscles of facial expression is noted in a small percentage of patients, although the precise mechanism remains poorly understood.

Methods

Facial muscle contraction was triggered by high-frequency stimulation of 49 contacts in 18 patients undergoing deep brain stimulation of the STN. The mean coordinates of these individual contacts relative to the anterior commissure–posterior commissure midpoint (also called the midcommissural point) were calculated to determine the location or structure(s) most often associated with facial contraction during physiological macrostimulation.

Results

The x, y, and z coordinates associated with contraction of the facial musculature were found to be 11.52, 1.29, and 1.15 mm lateral, posterior, and inferior to the midcommissural point, respectively. This location, along the lateral-anterior-superior border of the STN, may allow for the spread of electrical current to the fields of Forel, zona incerta, and/or descending corticospinal/corticobulbar tracts. Because stimulation of corticobulbar tracts produces similar findings, these results are best explained by the spread of electrical current to nearby internal capsule axons coursing lateral to the STN.

Conclusions

Thus, if intraoperative deep brain stimulation lead testing results in facial musculature contraction, placement of the electrode in a more medial, posterior position may reduce the amount of current spread to corticobulbar fibers and resolve this side effect.

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Donald C. Shields, Alessandra Gorgulho, Eric Behnke, Dennis Malkasian and Antonio A. F. Desalles

Object

Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with Parkinson disease is often very effective for treatment of debilitating motor symptoms. Nevertheless, the small size of the STN and its proximity to axonal projections results in multiple side effects during high-frequency stimulation. Contralateral eye deviation is produced in a small percentage of patients, but the precise mechanism of this side effect is at present poorly understood.

Methods

Contralateral eye deviation was produced by high-frequency stimulation of 22 contact sites in nine patients undergoing deep brain stimulation of the STN. The precise locations of these contacts were calculated and compiled in order to locate the stimulated structure responsible for eye deviation.

Results

The mean x, y, and z coordinates associated with contralateral eye deviation were found to be 11.57, 2.03, and 3.83 mm lateral, posterior, and inferior to the anterior commissure–posterior commissure midpoint, respectively. The point described by these coordinates is located within the lateral anterosuperior border of the STN.

Conclusions

Given that stimulation of frontal eye field cortical regions produces similar contralateral conjugate eye deviation, these results are best explained by electrical current spread to nearby frontal eye field axons coursing lateral to the STN within the internal capsule. Thus, placement of the implanted electrode in a more medial, posterior, and inferior position may bring resolution of these symptoms by reducing the amount of current spread to internal capsule axons.

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Daniel A. N. Barbosa, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, Felipe Monte Santo, Ana Carolina de Oliveira Faria, Alessandra A. Gorgulho and Antonio A. F. De Salles

The neurosurgical endeavor to treat psychiatric patients may have been part of human history since its beginning. The modern era of psychosurgery can be traced to the heroic attempts of Gottlieb Burckhardt and Egas Moniz to alleviate mental symptoms through the ablation of restricted areas of the frontal lobes in patients with disabling psychiatric illnesses. Thanks to the adaptation of the stereotactic frame to human patients, the ablation of large volumes of brain tissue has been practically abandoned in favor of controlled interventions with discrete targets.

Consonant with the role of the hypothalamus in the mediation of the most fundamental approach-avoidance behaviors, some hypothalamic nuclei and regions, in particular, have been selected as targets for the treatment of aggressiveness (posterior hypothalamus), pathological obesity (lateral or ventromedial nuclei), sexual deviations (ventromedial nucleus), and drug dependence (ventromedial nucleus). Some recent improvements in outcomes may have been due to the use of stereotactically guided deep brain stimulation and the change of therapeutic focus from categorical diagnoses (such as schizophrenia) to dimensional symptoms (such as aggressiveness), which are nonspecific in terms of formal diagnosis. However, agreement has never been reached on 2 related issues: 1) the choice of target, based on individual diagnoses; and 2) reliable prediction of outcomes related to individual targets. Despite the lingering controversies on such critical aspects, the experience of the past decades should pave the way for advances in the field. The current failure of pharmacological treatments in a considerable proportion of patients with chronic disabling mental disorders is reminiscent of the state of affairs that prevailed in the years before the early psychosurgical attempts.

This article reviews the functional organization of the hypothalamus, the effects of ablation and stimulation of discrete hypothalamic regions, and the stereotactic targets that have most often been used in the treatment of psychopathological and behavioral symptoms; finally, the implications of current and past experience are presented from the perspective of how this fund of knowledge may usefully contribute to the future of hypothalamic psychosurgery.

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Carlos A. Mattozo, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Ivan A. Klement, Alessandra Gorgulho, David McArthur, Judith M. Ford, Nzhde Agazaryan, Daniel F. Kelly and Michael T. Selch

Object

The authors analyzed the results of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) for the treatment of recurrent meningiomas that were described at initial resection as showing aggressive, atypical, or malignant features (nonbenign).

Methods

Twenty-five patients who underwent SRS and/or SRT for nonbenign meningiomas between December 1992 and August 2004 were included. Thirteen of these patients underwent treatment for multiple primary or recurrent lesions. In all, 52 tumors were treated. All histological sections were reviewed and reclassified according to World Health Organization (WHO) 2000 guidelines as benign (Grade I), atypical (Grade II), or anaplastic (Grade III) meningiomas. The median follow-up period was 42 months.

Seventeen (68%) of the cases were reclassified as follows: WHO Grade I (five cases), Grade II (11 cases), and Grade III (one case). Malignant progression occurred in eight cases (32%) during the follow-up period; these cases were considered as a separate group. The 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates for the Grades I, II, and III, and malignant progression groups were 100, 83, 0, and 11%, respectively (p < 0.001). In the Grade II group, the 3-year PFS rates for patients treated with SRS and SRT were 100 and 33%, respectively (p = 0.1). After initial treatment, 22 new tumors required treatment using SRS or SRT; 17 (77%) of them occurred inside the original resection cavity. Symptomatic edema developed in one patient (4%).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiation treatment provided effective local control of “aggressive” Grade I and Grade II meningiomas, whereas Grade III lesions were associated with poor outcome. The outcome of cases in the malignant progression group was intermediate between that of the Grade II and Grade III groups, with the lesions showing a tendency toward malignancy.

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Ludvic Zrinzo, Arjen L. J. van Hulzen, Alessandra A. Gorgulho, Patricia Limousin, Michiel J. Staal, Antonio A. F. De Salles and Marwan I. Hariz

Object

The authors examined the accuracy of anatomical targeting during electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation in functional neurosurgical procedures. Special attention was focused on the impact that ventricular involvement of the electrode trajectory had on targeting accuracy.

Methods

The targeting error during electrode placement was assessed in 162 electrodes implanted in 109 patients at 2 centers. The targeting error was calculated as the shortest distance from the intended stereotactic coordinates to the final electrode trajectory as defined on postoperative stereotactic imaging. The trajectory of these electrodes in relation to the lateral ventricles was also analyzed on postoperative images.

Results

The trajectory of 68 electrodes involved the ventricle. The targeting error for all electrodes was calculated: the mean ± SD and the 95% CI of the mean was 1.5 ± 1.0 and 0.1 mm, respectively. The same calculations for targeting error for electrode trajectories that did not involve the ventricle were 1.2 ± 0.7 and 0.1 mm. A significantly larger targeting error was seen in trajectories that involved the ventricle (1.9 ± 1.1 and 0.3 mm; p < 0.001). Thirty electrodes (19%) required multiple passes before final electrode implantation on the basis of physiological and/or clinical observations. There was a significant association between an increased requirement for multiple brain passes and ventricular involvement in the trajectory (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Planning an electrode trajectory that avoids the ventricles is a simple precaution that significantly improves the accuracy of anatomical targeting during electrode placement for deep brain stimulation. Avoidance of the ventricles appears to reduce the need for multiple passes through the brain to reach the desired target as defined by clinical and physiological observations.

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Goran Laćan, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Alessandra A. Gorgulho, Scott E. Krahl, Leonardo Frighetto, Eric J. Behnke and William P. Melega

Object

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become an effective therapy for an increasing number of brain disorders. Recently demonstrated DBS of the posterior hypothalamus as a safe treatment for chronic intractable cluster headaches has drawn attention to this target, which is involved in the regulation of diverse autonomic functions and feeding behavior through complex integrative mechanisms. In this study, the authors assessed the feasibility of ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) DBS in freely moving vervet monkeys to modulate food intake as a model for the potential treatment of eating disorders.

Methods

Deep brain stimulation electrodes were bilaterally implanted into the VMH of 2 adult male vervet monkeys by using the stereotactic techniques utilized in DBS in humans. Stimulators were implanted subcutaneously on the upper back, allowing ready access to program stimulation parameters while the animal remained conscious and freely moving. In anesthetized animals, intraoperatively and 6–10 weeks postsurgery, VMH DBS parameters were selected according to minimal cardiovascular and autonomic nervous system responses. Thereafter, conscious animals were subjected to 2 cycles of VMH DBS for periods of 8 and 3 days, and food intake and behavior were monitored. Animals were then killed for histological verification of probe placement.

Results

During VMH DBS, total food consumption increased. The 3-month bilateral implant of electrodes and subsequent periods of high-frequency VMH stimulation did not result in significant adverse behavioral effects.

Conclusions

This is the first study in which techniques of hypothalamic DBS in humans have been applied in freely moving nonhuman primates. Future studies can now be conducted to determine whether VMH DBS can change hypothalamic responsivity to endocrine signals associated with adiposity for long-term modulation of food intake.

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Alessandra Gorgulho, Catherine Juillard, Daniel Z. Uslan, Katayoun Tajik, Poorang Aurasteh, Eric Behnke, David Pegues and Antonio A. F. De Salles

Object

Risk factors for deep brain stimulator (DBS) infection are poorly defined. Because DBS implants are not frequently performed in the MR imaging–equipped operating room (OR), no specific data about infection of DBS implants performed in the MR imaging environment are available in the literature. In this study the authors focus on the incidence of infection in patients undergoing surgery in the conventional versus MR imaging–equipped OR.

Methods

To identify cases of DBS-associated infection, the authors performed a retrospective cohort study with nested case-control analysis of all patients undergoing DBS implantation at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center. Cases of DBS infection were identified using standardized clinical and microbiological criteria.

Results

Between January 1998 and September 2003, 228 DBSs were implanted. Forty-seven operations (20.6%) were performed in the conventional OR and 181 (79.4%) in the MR imaging–equipped OR. There was definite infection in 13 cases (5.7%) and possible infection in 7 cases (3%), for an overall infection rate of 8.7% (20 of 228 cases). There was no significant difference in infection rates in the conventional (7 [14.89%] of 47) versus MR imaging–equipped OR (13 [7.18%] of 181) (p = 0.7). Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 62% of cases. Twelve of 13 confirmed cases underwent complete hardware removal. On case-control analysis, younger age (≤ 58.5 years) was a significant predictor of DBS infection (odds ratio 3.4, p = 0.027)

Conclusions

Infection is a serious complication of DBS implantation and commonly requires device removal for cure. The authors found that DBS implantation can be safely performed in MR imaging–equipped suites, possibly allowing improved lead placement. Young age was associated with an increased risk of DBS infection.

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Ichiro Yuki, Robert H. Kim, Gary Duckwiler, Reza Jahan, Satoshi Tateshima, Nestor Gonzalez, Alessandra Gorgulho, Jorge Lee Diaz, Antonio A. De Salles and Fernando Viñuela

Object

High-flow fistulas associated with brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) pose a significant challenge to both stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of multimodality treatment of AVMs in association with a large arteriovenous fistula (AVF), with a special focus on endovascular embolization and its associated complications.

Methods

One hundred ninety-two patients harboring cerebral AVMs underwent endovascular treatment in the authors' department between 1997 and 2003. Of these, the authors selected 74 patients presenting with an AVM associated with high-flow AVF(s) for a retrospective analysis based on the findings of superselective angiography. After endovascular embolization, 32 patients underwent resection, 33 underwent either SRS or hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT), and 3 underwent both surgery and SRS. Six patients underwent embolization only. Immediate and midterm treatment outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Fifty-seven (77%) of the 74 patients had AVMs that were Spetzler-Martin Grade III or higher. A complete resection was achieved in all 32 patients. Of patients who underwent SRS/HSRT, 13 patients (39.3%) had either complete or > 90% obliteration of the AVM, and 2 patients (6.1%) had incomplete obliteration. Fourteen patients (42.4%) with residual AVM underwent repeated radiotherapy (and remain under observation). Of the 3 patients who underwent both SRS and resection, resection was complete in 2 and incomplete in one. No follow-up was obtained in 6 patients (8.1%). An endovascular complication was observed in 4 patients (5.4%). Fistula embolization was safely performed in every patient, whereas every endovascular complication was associated with other procedures such as nidus embolization.

Conclusions

Endovascular occlusion of the fistulous component was successfully achieved in every patient; every endovascular complication in this series was related to other procedures such as nidus embolization. The importance of the fistula treatment should be emphasized to minimize the endovascular complications and to maximize the treatment effect when a multimodality therapy is used to treat brain AVMs with large AVF.