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Historical movements in transsphenoidal surgery

Chirag D. Gandhi and Kalmon D. Post

Over the past century pituitary surgery has undergone multiple revolutions in surgical technique and technological advancements that have resulted in what is now recognized as modern transsphenoidal surgery. Although the procedure is well established in the current neurosurgical literature, the historical maze that led to its development continues to be of interest because it allows us to appreciate better the unique contributions made by the pioneers of the technique as well as the innovative spirit that continues to fuel neurosurgery. The early events in the history of transsphenoidal surgery have already been well documented. Therefore, the authors summarize the major early transitions along the timeline and then further describe more recent advancements in transsphenoidal surgery such as the surgical microscope, fluoroscopy, endoscopy, intraoperative neuroimaging, frameless image guidance, and radioimmunoassay. The story of these innovations is unique because each was developed as a response to certain needs of the surgeon. An understanding of these more recent contributions coupled with the early history provides a more complete perspective on modern transsphenoidal surgery.

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Endovascular management of acute ischemic stroke

A review

Chirag D. Gandhi, Lana D. Christiano, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

The management of stroke has progressed significantly over the past 2 decades due to successful treatment protocols including intravenous and intraarterial options. The intravenous administration of tissue plasminogen activator within an established treatment window has been proven in large, well-designed studies. The evolution of endovascular strategies for acute stroke has been prompted by the limits of the intravenous treatment, as well as by the desire to demonstrate improved recanalization rates and improved long-term outcomes. The interventional treatment options available today are the intraarterial administration of tissue plasminogen activator and newer antiplatelet agents, mechanical thrombectomy with the MERCI device and the Penumbra system, and intracranial angioplasty and stent placement. In this review the authors outline the major studies that have defined the current field of acute stroke management and discuss the basic treatment paradigms that are commonly used today.

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Strategies for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis

Christopher Doe, Pinakin R. Jethwa, Chirag D. Gandhi, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

The treatment of asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (ACAS) has continued to evolve for the past 3 decades. With rapidly advancing technology, the results of old trials have become obsolete. While there has been little change in the efficacy of carotid endarterectomy, there have been vast improvements in both medical management and carotid angioplasty with stenting. Finding the best therapy for a given patient can therefore be difficult. In this article, the authors review the current literature regarding treatment options for ACAS and the methods available for stratifying patients who would benefit from surgical versus medical treatment.

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Comparative analysis of state-level concussion legislation and review of current practices in concussion

Krystal L. Tomei, Christopher Doe, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, and Chirag D. Gandhi

Object

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation based on the Lystedt law of Washington state, enacted in 2009 to protect young athletes who have sustained a concussion. The aim of this study was to note the several similarities and differences among the various laws.

Methods

Concussion legislation was compared for 50 states and the District of Columbia. Evaluation parameters of this study included stipulations of concussion education, criteria for removal from play, requirements for evaluation and return to play after concussion, and individuals required to assess young athletes. Other parameters that were not consistent across states were also noted.

Results

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed concussion legislation, and an additional 4 states have pending legislation. All states with existing legislation support concussion education for coaches; however, only 48% require coaches to undergo formal education. Athletes must be educated on concussion in 86% of states and parents in 88.7%. Suspicion of concussion is a criterion for removal from play in 75% of states; signs and symptoms of concussion are criteria for removal from play in 16% of states. The individuals allowed to evaluate and clear an athlete for return to play differ greatly among states.

Conclusions

Injury prevention legislation holds historical precedent, and given the increasing attention to long-term sequelae of repeated head trauma and concussion, concussion legislation has been rapidly passed in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Although the exact stipulations of these laws vary among states, the overall theme is to increase recognition of concussion in young athletes and ensure that they are appropriately cleared for return to play after concussion.

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Berengario's drill: origin and inspiration

Michael A. Chorney, Chirag D. Gandhi, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

Craniotomies are among the oldest neurosurgical procedures, as evidenced by early human skulls discovered with holes in the calvaria. Though devices change, the principles to safely transgress the skull are identical. Modern neurosurgeons regularly use electric power drills in the operating theater; however, nonelectric trephining instruments remain trusted by professionals in certain emergent settings in the rare instance that an electric drill is unavailable. Until the late Middle Ages, innovation in craniotomy instrumentation remained stunted without much documented redesign. Jacopo Berengario da Carpi's (c. 1457–1530 CE) text Tractatus de Fractura Calvae sive Cranei depicts a drill previously unseen in a medical volume. Written in 1518 CE, the book was motivated by defeat over the course of Lorenzo II de'Medici's medical care. Berengario's interchangeable bit with a compound brace (“vertibulum”), known today as the Hudson brace, symbolizes a pivotal device in neurosurgery and medical tool design. This drill permitted surgeons to stock multiple bits, perform the craniotomy faster, and decrease equipment costs during a period of increased incidence of cranial fractures, and thus the need for craniotomies, which was attributable to the introduction of gunpowder. The inspiration stemmed from a school of thought growing within a population of physicians trained as mathematicians, engineers, and astrologers prior to entering the medical profession. Berengario may have been the first to record the use of such a unique drill, but whether he invented this instrument or merely adapted its use for the craniotomy remains clouded.

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Advanced neuroimaging in acute ischemic stroke: extending the time window for treatment

E. Jesus Duffis, Zaid Al-Qudah, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, and Chirag Gandhi

Early treatment of ischemic stroke with thrombolytics is associated with improved outcomes, but few stroke patients receive thrombolytic treatment in part due to the 3-hour time window. Advances in neuroimaging may help to aid in the selection of patients who may still benefit from thrombolytic treatment beyond conventional time-based guidelines. In this article the authors review the available literature in support of using advanced neuroimaging to select patients for treatment beyond the 3-hour time window cutoff and explore potential applications and limitations of perfusion imaging in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

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The historical evolution of transsphenoidal surgery: facilitation by technological advances

Chirag D. Gandhi, Lana D. Christiano, Jean Anderson Eloy, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, and Kalmon D. Post

Over the past century, pituitary surgery has undergone multiple evolutions in surgical technique and technological advancements that have resulted in what practitioners now recognize as modern transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). Although the procedure is now well established in current neurosurgical literature, the historical maze that led to its development continues to be of interest because it allows a better appreciation of the unique contributions by the pioneers of the technique, and of the innovative spirit that continues to fuel neurosurgery. The early events in the history of TSS have already been well documented. This paper therefore summarizes the major early transitions along the timeline, and then further concentrates on some of the more recent advancements in TSS, such as the surgical microscope, fluoroscopy, endoscopy, intraoperative imaging, and frameless guidance. The account of each of these innovations is unique because they were each developed as a response to certain historical needs by the surgeon. An understanding of these more recent contributions, coupled with the early history, provides a more complete perspective on modern TSS.

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Giant serpentine aneurysms

Lana D. Christiano, Gaurav Gupta, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, and Chirag D. Gandhi

Segal and McLaurin first described giant serpentine aneurysms, based on their distinct angiographic features, in 1977. These lesions are ≥ 25 mm, partially thrombosed aneurysms with a patent, serpiginous vascular channel that courses through the aneurysm. There is a separate inflow and outflow of the aneurysm, of which the outflow channel supplies brain parenchyma in the territory of the parent vessel. Given the large size, unique neck, and dependent distal vessels, these aneurysms pose a technical challenge in treatment. Initial management has included surgical obliteration, but as endovascular techniques have evolved, treatment options too have expanded. In this review the authors attempt to summarize the existing body of literature on this rare entity and describe some of their institutional management strategies.

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Treatment of ruptured lenticulostriate artery aneurysms

Chirag D. Gandhi, Ronit Gilad, Aman B. Patel, Abilash Haridas, and Joshua B. Bederson

Object

Lenticulostriate artery (LSA) aneurysms are rarely reported in the literature, making management decisions challenging. Conservative, endovascular, and surgical treatments have been described primarily through case reports and reports of individual authors' experiences. The purpose of this study is to report neurological outcomes in a single-institution experience of ruptured lenticulostriate aneurysms treated surgically.

Methods

The authors have conducted a retrospective review of all cases involving patients with ruptured LSA aneurysms who presented to the Mt. Sinai Hospital neurosurgical service between September 2001 and January 2007.

Results

Over 5.4 years, the authors treated 6 patients with 7 LSA aneurysms—6 ruptured and 1 unruptured. The Hunt and Hess grade on admission ranged from I to IV, with subarachnoid hemorrhage in 5 of the 6 patients. Catheter angiography confirmed the presence of the aneurysms, and all patients underwent a pterional craniotomy and clipping or resection of the aneurysm, performed by a single surgeon.

Associated risk factors in our series of patients included hypertension, cocaine abuse, and intracranial occlusive disease suggestive of moyamoya disease. Two types of LSA aneurysms were identified. The mean size of the 6 ruptured aneurysms was 3.2 mm. The LSA was preserved in 3 of 6 patients, but LSA preservation did not correlate with development of a postoperative infarct, clinically or radiologically. In patients with ruptured aneurysms, the mean modified Rankin Scale score at discharge was 1.7. The 3 patients in whom the LSA was sacrificed had good outcomes, suggesting that loss of the artery is clinically well tolerated.

Conclusions

This case series demonstrates that surgical treatment of ruptured LSA aneurysms can be an appropriate, effective, and safe therapy.

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Lipomyelomeningocele: pathology, treatment, and outcomes

A review

Christina E. Sarris, Krystal L. Tomei, Peter W. Carmel, and Chirag D. Gandhi

Lipomyelomeningocele represents a rare but complex neurological disorder that may present with neurological deterioration secondary to an inherent tethered spinal cord. Radiological testing is beneficial in determining the morphology of the malformation. Specialized testing such as urodynamic studies and neurophysiological testing may be beneficial in assessing for neurological dysfunction secondary to the lipomyelomeningocele. Early surgical intervention may be beneficial in preventing further neurological decline.