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Sandro M. Krieg and Bernhard Meyer

Since spinal navigation became applicable, including robotic assistance into standard navigational setups seems reasonable. A newly released modular robotic assistance for drill stabilization (Cirq, Brainlab) was used in a 74-year-old man undergoing dynamic stabilization of L3–4 via navigated transfascial pedicle screws. The authors demonstrate the second worldwide surgery with this device and the second case performed in their department. They provide insight in its applicability to estimate its further potential in spinal robotics. Although being just the first step of this universal platform, the authors already see clinical benefit by its ease of use and drill support.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/oN2ZiHFRFkU.

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Malte Ottenhausen, Sandro M. Krieg, Bernhard Meyer and Florian Ringel

Greater extent of resection (EOR) of low-grade gliomas is associated with improved survival. Proximity to eloquent cortical regions often limits resectability and elevates the risk of surgery-related deficits. Therefore, functional localization of eloquent cortex or subcortical fiber tracts can enhance the EOR and functional outcome. Imaging techniques such as functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking, and neurophysiological methods like navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetoencephalography, make it possible to identify eloquent areas prior to resective surgery and to tailor indication and surgical approach but also to assess the surgical risk. Intraoperative monitoring with direct cortical stimulation and subcortical stimulation enables surgeons to preserve essential functional tissue during surgery. Through tailored pre- and intraoperative mapping and monitoring the EOR can be maximized, with reduced rates of surgery-related deficits.

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Sebastian Ille, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer and Sandro M. Krieg

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) allows for preoperative mapping for eloquent gliomas. Besides surgical planning, it also guides intraoperative stimulation mapping. The authors’ routine includes preoperative nTMS plus nTMS-based tractography for motor and language to consult patients, plan surgery, craniotomy, and guide cortical and subcortical stimulation.

Here, the authors present this routine in a 48-year-old woman with a glioma of the left middle and superior frontal gyrus reaching the precentral gyrus and superior longitudinal fascicle. Gross-total resection via awake surgery was achieved without deficit.

The nTMS data and nTMS-based tractography augment eloquent glioma management far beyond its current application.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/h4ldgMXL1ys.

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Julia Onken, Bernhard Meyer and Peter Vajkoczy

OBJECTIVE

Cervical artificial disc replacement (C-ADR) is a widely used procedure with low risk at implantation. Few cases have been reported about the surgical techniques of C-ADR revision. The authors describe their surgical experience with the explantation of a Galileo C-ADR.

METHODS

Revision surgery was performed in a 58-year-old patient. Patient positioning and surgical opening techniques were performed as appropriate for anterior cervical decompression.

RESULTS

Revision surgery via the initial anterior approach was successful following an atraumatic removal of the implant. Fusion of the C5–6 segment was performed without complications.

CONCLUSIONS

In general, the authors observed recurrent nerve palsy and malpositioning of the revised implant in C-ADR revision surgery. Problems with implant removal did not occur because the fusion rate was low due to the short time between initial surgery and C-ADR revision surgery.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/32CUEDquinc.

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Ehab Shiban, Elisabeth Török, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer and Jens Lehmberg

OBJECT

Far-lateral or extreme-lateral approaches to the skull base allow access to the lateral and anterior portion of the lower posterior fossa and foramen magnum. These approaches include a certain extent of resection of the condyle, which potentially results in craniocervical junction instability. However, it is debated what extent of condyle resection is safe and at what extent of condyle resection an occipitocervical fusion should be recommended. The authors reviewed cases of condyle resection/destruction with regard to necessity of occipitocervical fusion.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients in whom a far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection of various extents was performed between January 2007 and December 2014.

RESULTS

Twenty-one consecutive patients who had undergone a unilateral far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection were identified. There were 10 male and 11 female patients with a median age of 61 years (range 22–83 years). The extent of condyle resection was 25% or less in 15 cases, 50% in 1 case, and greater than 75% in 5 cases. None of the patients who underwent condyle resection of 50% or less was placed in a collar postoperatively or developed neck pain. Two of the patients with condyle resection of greater than 75% were placed in a semirigid collar for a period of 3 months postoperatively and remained free of pain after this period. At last follow-up none of the cases showed any clear sign of radiological or clinical instability.

CONCLUSIONS

The unilateral resection or destruction of the condyle does not necessarily result in craniocervical instability. No evident instability was encountered even in the 5 patients who underwent removal of more than 75% of the condyle. The far- or extreme-lateral approach may be safer than generally accepted with regard to craniocervical instability as generally considered and may not compel fusion in all cases with condylar resection of more than 75%.

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Josef Zentner, Bernhard Meyer, Armin Stangl and Johannes Schramm

✓ Intrinsic insular tumors are frequently excluded from surgical treatment. The authors propose a more extensive approach to these lesions based on the results of this prospective series. From September 1993 to January 1995, 30 patients (18 males and 12 females; mean age 42 years) harboring benign (15 patients) or malignant (15 patients) tumors involving the insula underwent surgical treatment. The dominant and nondominant hemispheres were both affected in 15 cases. Two groups were defined on the basis of preoperative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging: 14 lesions were restricted to the insula and the corresponding opercula; the other 16 lesions also involved other mesocortical and/or allocortical areas. Most patients displayed only mild preoperative symptoms. The median score according to the Karnofsky performance scale was 90. Microsurgical removal was achieved via a transsylvian approach in nine cases and via a frontal and/or temporal approach in 21 cases. According to early postoperative MR imaging, complete tumor removal (100%) was seen in five patients, nearly complete (> 80%) in 21, and incomplete resection (50%–80%) in four patients. There was no operative mortality; 19 patients (63%) experienced immediate postoperative morbidity, including reduced performance. After a mean follow-up review of 8.5 months two of 21 patients suffered permanent deficits, accounting for an overall operative morbidity of 10%. At the mean time of review, three patients with Grade IV tumors had died of tumor recurrence. The authors conclude that low-grade intrinsic insular tumors, as well as Grade III tumors, can be removed with favorable results in the majority of patients. Surgery to excise glioblastomas should only be considered for patients with good preoperative performance and young age.

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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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Bernhard Meyer, Armin P. Stangl and Johannes Schramm

✓ In this article the authors report the case of a mixed cerebrovascular malformation in which a true arteriovenous malformation (AVM), harboring a nidus, is associated with a venous malformation that serves as the draining vein for the nidus. Despite the authors' preoperative rationale for exclusive extirpation of the AVM, an inadvertent injury and the obliteration of the venous malformation generated delayed postoperative neurological deterioration, which could clearly be attributed to venous hemorrhagic infarction. Because this is only the second instance of this type of mixed vascular malformation of the brain reported, which also underscores the concept of nonsurgical treatment of venous malformations, the authors discuss the diverse literature regarding mixed vascular malformations and the treatment of venous malformations.