Significance of the Small Lumbar Spinal Canal: Cauda Equina Compression Syndromes Due to Spondylosis
Part 3: Intermittent Claudication
Charles B. Wilson
The Richard C. Schneider Lecture
Charles B. Wilson
✓ The author reviews the molecular genetics, pathology, and cell kinetics of meningiomas and the role that regional multiplicity in the dura mater may play in their recurrence. Malignant and radiation-induced meningiomas are discussed, with summaries of series of 60 patients with frankly malignant lesions treated over a period of 22 years at the University of California, San Francisco, and of 10 patients with meningiomas induced by high-dose radiation therapy. Reviewing a 23-year series of 140 patients with subtotally removed meningiomas who were treated postoperatively with radiation, the author recommends that, with meticulous technique, irradiation is effective in preventing the regrowth of subtotally removed benign meningiomas and of all malignant meningiomas. Adoption of both the microscopical cytological grading system proposed by Jääskeläinen's group in Helsinki and the classification of operations proposed by Donald Simpson is also recommended. Wide removal of dura adjacent to meningioma reduces the risk of recurrence, and determination of the bromodeoxyuridine labeling index provides a valid basis for planning treatment and follow-up evaluations. Increased awareness is necessary for early recognition of radiation-induced meningiomas in patients at risk for developing such tumors. For meningiomas in such sites as the parasellar region and the posterior fossa, conservative removal of tumor followed by irradiation is advocated in preference to a radical operation that may cause neurological injury without being curative.
The Herbert Olivecrona Lecture
Charles B. Wilson
✓ The author reviews his experience with surgical treatment of 1000 pituitary tumors, the majority of which were endocrine-active. The criteria of grading, the microsurgical technique used, and the postoperative results are presented. The mortality rate was 0.2% overall, with no deaths in the group of 774 patients with endocrine-active adenomas.
Charles S. Cobbs and Charles B. Wilson
✓ The authors present a rare entity, an intrasellar cavernous hemangioma that on neuroimages mimicked a nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenoma in a patient with a known orbital hemangioma. Such lesions can grow extraaxially within the dural sinuses, particularly the cavernous sinus, and present like tumors. A better understanding of the neuroimaging, clinical, and anatomical features of these lesions may prevent difficulties in management.
Joshua B. Bederson and Charles B. Wilson
✓ Outcome after 252 posterior fossa explorations for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia was determined by a retrospective review. Patients with distortion of the fifth nerve root caused by extrinsic vascular compression underwent microvascular decompression, those with no compression underwent partial sensory rhizotomy, and those with vascular contact but no distortion of the nerve root underwent decompression and rhizotomy. The mean follow-up period was 5.1 years. An excellent (75%) or good (8%) clinical outcome was achieved in 208 patients; 13 patients (5%) experienced little or no pain relief. Thirty-one patients (12%) suffered recurrent trigeminal neuralgia an average of 1.9 pain-free years after operation; recurrence continued at a rate of approximately 2% per year thereafter. Reoperation for recurrent or persistent pain provided excellent or good results in 85% of reoperated patients, but partial sensory rhizotomy was required in most of these patients. Outcome was affected by previous surgical procedures. A previous percutaneous radiofrequency lesion was associated with a significantly greater incidence of fifth nerve complications and a worse outcome after posterior fossa exploration. Because of this finding, the authors recommend that percutaneous radiofrequency rhizolysis be reserved for patients who have failed posterior fossa exploration or who are not candidates for surgery. Patients with compressive nerve root distortion and a short duration of symptoms before surgery had a significantly better outcome than patients with a longer duration of symptoms. In contrast, there was no relationship between the duration of symptoms and outcome of patients without nerve root distortion. Vascular decompression may cause dysfunction of the trigeminal system in tic douloureux, but in patients who remain untreated for long periods an intrinsic abnormality develops that may perpetuate pain even after microvascular decompression. Posterior fossa exploration is recommended as the procedure of choice for patients with trigeminal neuralgia who are surgical candidates.
Report of three cases
William G. Obana and Charles B. Wilson
✓ The authors report the cases of three patients with epidermoid cysts which insinuated themselves into the brain stem. In all three patients, the tumor occupied the pons, although in one it was predominantly located in the medulla. The cyst contents and nonadherent tumor capsule were removed in all three patients, but no attempt was made to remove tumor densely adherent to the brain stem. One patient's cyst was removed in one operation, but maximal resection in the other two required two operations. After surgery, sixth nerve function completely returned in one patient; another patient had a stable pontine gaze palsy but developed new facial weakness; and the third patient had stable cranial nerve deficits with a diminished hemiparesis. The last patient developed a pseudomeningocele and communicating hydrocephalus, and required a lumboperitoneal shunt. In all three patients, computerized tomography scans demonstrated hypodense tumors not enhanced by contrast material. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on two patients; in both, the tumors showed increased signal intensity relative to brain on T1-weighted images and decreased signal intensity relative to brain on T2-weighted studies. Magnetic resonance imaging, the most accurate modality for localizing these lesions and determining their extent, was also invaluable for postoperative monitoring and follow-up evaluation. Safe and adequate resection includes decompression of cyst contents and removal of nonadherent portions of the cyst capsule. Cyst wall adherent to the brain stem, however, should not be removed.
Neil A. Martin and Charles B. Wilson
✓ In a consecutive operative series of 115 intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's), 16 occupied the medial occipital region. Typically, the patients with medial occipital AVM's presented with bleeding, often accompanied by homonymous visual field deficit, or with migrainous headache. The malformations were supplied principally by branches of the posterior cerebral artery. Through an occipital craniotomy, a surgical approach along the junction of the falx and tentorium provided access to the arteries feeding the AVM and facilitated excision of the malformation. There were no deaths in the series. The incidence of visual field deficit after the operation varied, but in only five cases was the visual field worsened postoperatively. All patients who had a history of intractable headache were cured or improved after surgery. These lesions are favorably situated for surgical treatment.
Brian T. Andrews and Charles B. Wilson
✓ The authors reviewed 38 cases of suprasellar meningioma to determine the correlation between tumor site and postoperative visual outcome. Progressive visual loss, the most frequent initial complaint (94.7%), occurred over a mean of 24½ months, was most often unilateral (18 patients) or bilateral but asymmetrical (14 patients), and was severe (20/200 vision or worse) in 23 patients; 24 patients had visual field abnormalities. Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance studies clearly delineated the lesions but did not appear to permit earlier diagnosis. Eleven patients had tumors limited to the tuberculum sellae; the tumor extended from the tuberculum sellae onto the planum sphenoidale in nine patients, into one optic canal in eight, onto the diaphragma sellae in seven, and onto the medial sphenoid wing in three. Patients with tumors affecting the optic canal had severe unilateral visual loss more often than those with tumors at other sites. Tumors limited to the tuberculum sellae were most often completely resected; postoperative recovery of vision was also most frequent in patients with tumors at this site. Tumors involving the diaphragma sellae or the medial sphenoid wing were least often completely removed and most likely to be associated with postoperative visual deterioration. Overall, 42% of patients had improved vision postoperatively, 30% remained unchanged, and 28% were worse. After a mean follow-up period of 38 months, 24 patients are doing well, four have significant visual disability, and three are blind or doing poorly. Two patients died of causes unrelated to their tumor. Three patients have had tumor recurrence.
E. Fletcher Eyster and Charles B. Wilson
Robert F. Spetzler and Charles B. Wilson
✓ The authors review 39 patients with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks originating from the middle or posterior fossa. They evaluate the usefulness of preoperative investigative procedures, including cisternal radionuclide scanning and the deliberate increase of intracranial pressure. The results in this series emphasize the important role that abnormal CSF dynamics play in the recurrence of problematic cases of rhinorrhea or otorrhea. The following guidelines are recommended by the authors on the basis of their recent experience: 1) if hydrocephalus is present, if the cisternogram is abnormal, or if the CSF leak is intermittent and slight, the initial treatment should be insertion of a lumboperitoneal shunt; 2) if the leak is localized in the sellar or parasellar area, a transsphenoidal approach to obliterate the leak is advised; 3) if the CSF leak originates through a dural opening into the middle ear, an intracranial repair is indicated.