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Alejandro Fernández Coello, Andreu Gabarrós Canals, Juan Martino Gonzalez and Juan José Acebes Martín

Object

There are no specific studies about cranial nerve (CN) injury following mild head trauma (Glasgow Coma Scale Score 14–15) in the literature. The aim of this analysis was to document the incidence of CN injury after mild head trauma and to correlate the initial CT findings with the final outcome 1 year after injury.

Methods

The authors studied 49 consecutive patients affected by minor head trauma and CN lesions between January 2000 and January 2006. Detailed clinical and neurological examinations as well as CT studies using brain and bone windows were performed in all patients. Based on the CT findings the authors distinguished 3 types of traumatic injury: no lesion, skull base fracture, and other CT abnormalities. Patients were followed up for 1 year after head injury. The authors distinguished 3 grades of clinical recovery from CN palsy: no recovery, partial recovery, and complete recovery.

Results

Posttraumatic single nerve palsy was observed in 38 patients (77.6%), and multiple nerve injuries were observed in 11 (22.4%). Cranial nerves were affected in 62 cases. The most affected CN was the olfactory nerve (CN I), followed by the facial nerve (CN VII) and the oculomotor nerves (CNs III, IV, and VI). When more than 1 CN was involved, the most frequent association was between CNs VII and VIII. One year after head trauma, a CN deficit was present in 26 (81.2%) of the 32 cases with a skull base fracture, 12 (60%) of 20 cases with other CT abnormalities, and 3 (30%) of 10 cases without CT abnormalities.

Conclusions

Trivial head trauma that causes a minor head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale Score 14–15) can result in CN palsies with a similar distribution to moderate or severe head injuries. The CNs associated with the highest incidence of palsy in this study were the olfactory, facial, and oculomotor nerves. The trigeminal and lower CNs were rarely damaged. Oculomotor nerve injury can have a good prognosis, with a greater chance of recovery if no lesion is demonstrated on the initial CT scan.

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Jose L. Sanmillan, Alejandro Fernández-Coello, Isabel Fernández-Conejero, Gerard Plans and Andreu Gabarrós

OBJECTIVE

Brain metastases are the most frequent intracranial malignant tumor in adults. Surgical intervention for metastases in eloquent areas remains controversial and challenging. Even when metastases are not infiltrating intra-parenchymal tumors, eloquent areas can be affected. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the role of a functional guided approach for the resection of brain metastases in the central region.

METHODS

Thirty-three patients (19 men and 14 women) with perirolandic metastases who were treated at the authors' institution were reviewed. All participants underwent resection using a functional guided approach, which consisted of using intraoperative brain mapping and/or neurophysiological monitoring to aid in the resection, depending on the functionality of the brain parenchyma surrounding each metastasis. Motor and sensory functions were monitored in all patients, and supplementary motor and language area functions were assessed in 5 and 4 patients, respectively. Clinical data were analyzed at presentation, discharge, and the 6-month follow-up.

RESULTS

The most frequent presenting symptom was seizure, followed by paresis. Gross-total removal of the metastasis was achieved in 31 patients (93.9%). There were 6 deaths during the follow-up period. After the removal of the metastasis, 6 patients (18.2%) presented with transient neurological worsening, of whom 4 had worsening of motor function impairment and 2 had acquired new sensory disturbances. Total recovery was achieved before the 3rd month of follow-up in all cases. Excluding those patients who died due to the progression of systemic illness, 88.9% of patients had a Karnofsky Performance Scale score greater than 80% at the 6-month follow-up. The mean survival time was 24.4 months after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The implementation of intraoperative electrical brain stimulation techniques in the resection of central region metastases may improve surgical planning and resection and may spare eloquent areas. This approach also facilitates maximal resection in these and other critical functional areas, thereby helping to avoid new postoperative neurological deficits. Avoiding permanent neurological deficits is critical for a good quality of life, especially in patients with a life expectancy of over a year.

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Jose L. Sanmillan, Gerard Plans, Andreu Gabarrós and Isabel Fernández-Conejero

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Andreu Gabarrós Canals, Ana Rodríguez-Hernández, William L. Young, Michael T. Lawton and for the UCSF Brain AVM Study Project

Object

Descriptions of temporal lobe arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are inconsistent. To standardize reporting, the authors blended existing descriptions in the literature into an intuitive classification with 5 anatomical subtypes: lateral, medial, basal, sylvian, and ventricular. The authors' surgical experience with temporal lobe AVMs was reviewed according to these subtypes.

Methods

Eighty-eight patients with temporal lobe AVMs were treated surgically.

Results

Lateral temporal lobe AVMs were the most common (58 AVMs, 66%). Thirteen AVMs (15%) were medial, 9 (10%) were basal, and 5 (6%) were sylvian. Ventricular AVMs were least common (3 AVMs, 3%). A temporal craniotomy based over the ear was used in 64%. Complete AVM resection was achieved in 82 patients (93%). Four patients (5%) died in the perioperative period (6 in all were lost to follow-up); 71 (87%) of the remaining 82 patients had good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale scores 0–2); and 68 (83%) were unchanged or improved after surgery.

Conclusions

Categorization of temporal AVMs into subtypes can assist with surgical planning and also standardize reporting. Lateral AVMs are the easiest to expose surgically, with circumferential access to feeding arteries and draining veins at the AVM margins. Basal AVMs require a subtemporal approach, often with some transcortical dissection through the inferior temporal gyrus. Medial AVMs are exposed tangentially with an orbitozygomatic craniotomy and transsylvian dissection of anterior choroidal artery and posterior cerebral artery feeders in the medial cisterns. Medial AVMs posterior to the cerebral peduncle require transcortical approaches through the temporo-occipital gyrus. Sylvian AVMs require a wide sylvian fissure split and differentiation of normal arteries, terminal feeding arteries, and transit arteries. Ventricular AVMs require a transcortical approach through the inferior temporal gyrus that avoids the Meyer loop. Surgical results with temporal lobe AVMs are generally good, and classifying them does not offer any prediction of surgical risk.

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Gemma Escartin Martin, Carme Junqué, Montserrat Juncadella, Andreu Gabarrós, Maria Angels de Miquel and Francisco Rubio

Object

Olfactory dysfunction has an important impact on quality of life. In patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), anosmia has mainly been reported after surgery for aneurysms of the anterior communicating artery (ACoA). The authors studied whether and how frequently patients with ACoA aneurysms present with smell identification deficits in 2 treatment groups (endovascular and surgical treatment).

Methods

A prospective study was conducted of patients with SAH caused by ruptured ACoAs and who had a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1 or 2, in comparison with a control group matched by age and sex. Olfactory function was assessed using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT).

Results

A total of 39 patients were enrolled. A marked olfactory impairment was observed in patients with ruptured ACoAs compared with the control group (p < 0.001). Seventeen patients with ruptured ACoAs (44%) compared with 1 patient in the control group (3%) showed a smell identification deficit according to performance on the UPSIT (p < 0.001). Both groups that underwent treatment presented with olfactory impairment. Ten (59%) of 17 patients who underwent aneurysmal clip placement versus 6 (28.5%) of 21 patients who underwent coil embolization scored below the 25th percentile on the UPSIT, and surgical patients also performed worse than endovascular patients (p = 0.048). The authors observed a worse performance on the olfactory test in patients subjected to endovascular coil embolization when cerebral vasospasm (p = 0.037) or frontal cerebral lesions (p = 0.009) were present. This difference was not observed in patients who underwent surgery.

Conclusions

Olfactory disorders after SAH caused by rupture of the ACoA are very frequent and were present in both treatment groups. Cerebral vasospasm and frontal lobe lesions are related to worse performance on an olfactory test in patients undergoing endovascular coil embolization.

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Juan Martino, David Mato, Enrique Marco de Lucas, Juan A. García-Porrero, Andreu Gabarrós, Alejandro Fernández-Coello and Alfonso Vázquez-Barquero

OBJECT

Little attention has been given to the functional challenges of the insular approach to the resection of gliomas, despite the potential damage of essential neural networks that underlie the insula. The object of this study is to analyze the subcortical anatomy of the insular region when infiltrated by gliomas, and compare it with the normal anatomy in nontumoral hemispheres.

METHODS

Ten postmortem human hemispheres were dissected, with isolation of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) and the uncinate fasciculus. Probabilistic diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to analyze the subcortical anatomy of the insular region in 10 healthy volunteers and in 22 patients with insular Grade II and Grade III gliomas. The subcortical anatomy of the insular region in these 22 insular gliomas was compared with the normal anatomy in 20 nontumoral hemispheres.

RESULTS

In tumoral hemispheres, the distances between the peri-insular sulci and the lateral surface of the IFOF and uncinate fasciculus were enlarged (p < 0.05). Also in tumoral hemispheres, the IFOF was identified in 10 (90.9%) of 11 patients with an extent of resection less than 80%, and in 4 (36.4%) of 11 patients with an extent of resection equal to or greater than 80% (multivariate analysis: p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Insular gliomas grow in the space between the lateral surface of the IFOF and uncinate fasciculus and the insular surface, displacing and compressing the tracts medially. Moreover, these tracts may be completely infiltrated by the tumor, with a total disruption of the bundles. In the current study, the identification of the IFOF with DTI tractography was significantly associated with the extent of tumor resection. If the IFOF is not identified preoperatively, there is a high probability of achieving a resection greater than 80%.

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Joanna Sierpowska, Andreu Gabarrós, Alejandro Fernandez-Coello, Àngels Camins, Sara Castañer, Montserrat Juncadella, Joaquín Morís and Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

OBJECTIVE

Subcortical electrical stimulation during brain surgery may allow localization of functionally crucial white matter fibers and thus tailoring of the tumor resection according to its functional limits. The arcuate fasciculus (AF) is a white matter bundle connecting frontal, temporal, and parietal cortical areas that is often disrupted by left brain lesions. It plays a critical role in several cognitive functions related to phonological processing, but current intraoperative monitoring methods do not yet allow mapping of this tract with sufficient precision. In the present study the authors aimed to test a new paradigm for the intraoperative monitoring of the AF.

METHODS

In this report, the authors studied 12 patients undergoing awake brain surgery for tumor resection with a related risk of AF damage. To preserve AF integrity and the cognitive processes sustained by this tract in the intraoperative context, the authors used real word repetition (WR) and nonword repetition (NWR) tasks as complements to standard picture naming.

RESULTS

Compared with the errors identified by WR or picture naming, the NWR task allowed the detection of subtle errors possibly related to AF alterations. Moreover, only 3 patients demonstrated phonological paraphasias in standard picture naming, and in 2 of these patients the paraphasias co-occurred with the total loss of WR and NWR ability. Before surgery, lesion volume predicted a patient's NWR performance.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors suggest that monitoring NWR intraoperatively may complement the standard naming tasks and could permit better preservation of the important language production functions subserved by the AF.

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Alejandro Fernández-Coello, Viktória Havas, Montserrat Juncadella, Joanna Sierpowska, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells and Andreu Gabarrós

OBJECTIVE

Most knowledge regarding the anatomical organization of multilingualism is based on aphasiology and functional imaging studies. However, the results have still to be validated by the gold standard approach, namely electrical stimulation mapping (ESM) during awake neurosurgical procedures. In this ESM study the authors describe language representation in a highly specific group of 13 multilingual individuals, focusing on how age of acquisition may influence the cortical organization of language.

METHODS

Thirteen patients who had a high degree of proficiency in multiple languages and were harboring lesions within the dominant, left hemisphere underwent ESM while being operated on under awake conditions. Demographic and language data were recorded in relation to age of language acquisition (for native languages and early- and late-acquired languages), neuropsychological pre- and postoperative language testing, the number and location of language sites, and overlapping distribution in terms of language acquisition time. Lesion growth patterns and histopathological characteristics, location, and size were also recorded. The distribution of language sites was analyzed with respect to age of acquisition and overlap.

RESULTS

The functional language-related sites were distributed in the frontal (55%), temporal (29%), and parietal lobes (16%). The total number of native language sites was 47. Early-acquired languages (including native languages) were represented in 97 sites (55 overlapped) and late-acquired languages in 70 sites (45 overlapped). The overlapping distribution was 20% for early-early, 71% for early-late, and 9% for late-late. The average lesion size (maximum diameter) was 3.3 cm. There were 5 fast-growing and 7 slow-growing lesions.

CONCLUSIONS

Cortical language distribution in multilingual patients is not homogeneous, and it is influenced by age of acquisition. Early-acquired languages have a greater cortical representation than languages acquired later. The prevalent native and early-acquired languages are largely represented within the perisylvian left hemisphere frontoparietotemporal areas, and the less prevalent late-acquired languages are mostly overlapped with them.