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Interhemispheric steal

An experimental study

Cornelis A. F. Tulleken and Andries van Dieren

✓ In 21 cats the pressure in the occluded middle cerebral artery (MCA) was recorded by way of a catheter, introduced in the most proximal portion of this artery by way of the transorbital approach. The effect of temporary occlusion of the ipsilateral and contralateral common carotid artery on the pressure in the occluded MCA was studied. The results seem to prove the existence of the so-called “interhemispheric steal” syndrome.

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Steven Sluyter, Kees Graamans, Cornelis A. F. Tulleken and Cornelis W. M. Van Veelen

Object. The authors review the results of a series of 120 acoustic neuromas that were surgically treated via the translabyrinthine-transtentorial approach between 1986 and 1999.

Methods. The authors retrospectively evaluated a series of 120 acoustic neuromas with extrameatal diameters of 2 cm or greater, 99 (82.5%) of which had diameters longer than 3 cm. Complete tumor removal, as ascertained using computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, was achieved in 110 patients (91.7%). The facial nerve was anatomically preserved in 97 patients (80.8%). The main postoperative complications were cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage through the scalp wound (13.3%) requiring surgical revision in 2.5%, meningitis (9.2%), CSF rhinorrhea (6.7%) requiring surgical revision in 2.5%, and epileptic seizures (the only permanent complication) requiring medication (3.3%). There was no death directly related to the surgery. Long-term follow-up examination of the facial nerve revealed recovery of function to the level of House—Brackmann Grade I or II in 56.2% of the patients.

Conclusions. The results and complications presented in this series are comparable to those reported in the literature. The authors conclude that the combined translabyrinthine—transtentorial approach is a safe route for removing acoustic neuromas with a diameter of 2 cm or greater.

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Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Andries van Dieren, Ruud M. Verdaasdonk and Wim Berendsen

✓ A new technique is described which enables the surgeon to perform an end-to-side anastomosis between arteries with little (< 2 minutes) or no occlusion of the recipient artery. The technique was developed in rabbits, but has recently been successfully used in a patient in whom an anastomosis between the superficial temporal artery and a proximal branch of the middle cerebral artery was created.

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Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Albert van der Zwan, Willem Jan van Rooij and Lino Moreira Pereira Ramos

✓ In a patient with a giant aneurysm of the basilar artery trunk, a vein graft was interposed between the external carotid artery in the neck and the P1 segment of the posterior cerebral artery. Balloon occlusion of both vertebral arteries was performed 3 days later. The sylvian route was used for the grafting procedure and the connection to the posterior cerebral artery was made by using the excimer laser—assisted nonocclusive anastomosis technique.

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Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Ruud M. Verdaasdonk, Wim Berendsen and W. P. T. M. Mali

✓ The technique of laser-assisted anastomosis for high-flow bypass surgery using the excimer laser is described in 15 rabbits and in one patient. The left common carotid artery of the rabbits was excised and, with two anastomoses, connected to the right common carotid artery. An end-to-side anastomosis technique was used that obviated the temporary occlusion of the recipient artery. The end of the donor artery was connected for its full circumference with the exterior of the recipient artery and, with the aid of an excimer laser catheter (introduced via an artificial side branch of the donor artery), the wall of the recipient artery was evaporated. In two animals only, occlusion of the anastomosis sites occurred. In the remaining 13 animals both anastomosis sites were proven to be patent by inspection at different times, followed by scanning electron microscopy in six animals.

In a patient with hypoperfusion of the brain caused by bilateral internal carotid artery occlusion, revascularization of the right hemisphere was obtained by placing a shunt between the proximal superficial temporal artery and the intracranial portion of the internal carotid artery, using a free transplant of the right inferior epigastric artery. The anastomosis with the internal carotid artery was created using the excimer laser-assisted technique without occlusion of the recipient artery.

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Eva H. Brilstra, Ale Algra, Gabriel J. E. Rinkel, Cornelis A. F. Tulleken and Jan van Gijn

Object. Neurosurgical clip application is the standard method used to prevent rebleeding in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The authors assessed the magnitude of the reduction in poor outcomes that accompanies a strategy aimed at surgery.

Methods. Three hundred forty-six consecutive patients with aneurysmal SAH were studied. The authors estimated the number of surgically treated patients with good outcomes who would have had poor outcomes as a consequence of rebleeding if clip application had not been performed (A). They also assessed the number of patients whose poor outcomes were exclusively caused by operative complications (B). Without an operation some of these patients would have had poor outcomes because of rebleeding (C). The authors represented the number of patients in whom poor outcome was prevented by surgery with the following formula: A − B + C. They assessed the relationships between baseline characteristics of patients and aneurysms and the likelihood that a patient underwent surgery, the risk of operative complications, and the risk of rebleeding.

The absolute reduction in the risk of poor outcome found in patients who undergo surgery was 9.7%. This implies that to prevent a poor outcome in one patient, surgery had to be performed in 10. The relative risk of poor outcome following surgery compared with that after conservative treatment was estimated to be 0.81. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant relationship between patient age older than 65 years and the occurrence of operative complications (odds ratio [OR] 2.49; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–6.03), between age older than 65 years and the likelihood of undergoing surgery (OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.07–0.2), and between a poor clinical condition at admission and the likelihood of undergoing surgery (OR 0.26; 95% CI 0.14–0.47). The authors did not identify any predictive factors for rebleeding when the Cox proportional hazard model was used.

Conclusions. The beneficial effect of a treatment strategy in which the goal is surgery is substantial. If new treatment modalities such as embolization with coils are explored, these should carefully be compared with surgery before they are generally introduced.

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Excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis

An emerging technology for use in the creation of intracranial–intracranial and extracranial–intracranial cerebral bypass

David J. Langer, Albert Van Der Zwan, Peter Vajkoczy, Leena Kivipelto, Tristan P. Van Doormaal and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis (ELANA) has been developed over the past 14 years for assistance in the creation of intracranial bypasses. The ELANA technique allows the creation of intracranial–intracranial and extracranial–intracranial bypasses without the need for temporary occlusion of the recipient artery, avoiding the inherent risk associated with occlusion time. In this review the authors discuss the technique and its indications, while reviewing the clinical results of the procedure. The technique itself is explained using cartoon drawings and intraoperative photographs. Advantages and disadvantages of the technique are also discussed.

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Eva H. Brilstra, Gabriel J. E. Rinkel, Catharina J. M. Klijn, Albert van der Zwan, Ale Algra, Rob T. H. Lo and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Object. If clip application or coil placement for treatment of intracranial aneurysms is not feasible, the parent vessel can be occluded to induce thrombosis of the aneurysm. The Excimer laser—assisted anastomosis technique allows the construction of a high-flow bypass in patients who cannot tolerate such an occlusion. The authors assessed the complications of this procedure and clinical outcomes after the construction of high-flow bypasses in patients with intracranial aneurysms.

Methods. Data were retrospectively collected on patient and aneurysm characteristics, procedural complications, and functional outcomes in 77 patients in whom a high-flow bypass was constructed. Logistic regression analysis was used to quantify the relationships between patient and aneurysm characteristics on the one hand and outcome measures on the other.

Fifty-one patients harbored a giant aneurysm, 24 patients suffered from a ruptured aneurysm, and 35 patients from an unruptured symptomatic aneurysm. In 22 patients (29%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 19–40%) a permanent deficit developed from an operative complication. At a median follow-up period of 2.5 months, 25 patients (32%; 95% CI 22–44%) were dependent or had died; in 10 of these patients (13% of all patients; 95% CI 6–23%) operative complications were the single cause of this poor outcome. Univariate analysis demonstrated that a poor clinical condition before treatment (odds ratio [OR] 4.7; 95% CI 1.7–13.3) and a history of cardiovascular disease (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1–16.2) increased the risk of poor outcome. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only the clinical condition before treatment was significantly related to outcome (OR 4; 95% CI 1.3–11.9).

Conclusions. In patients with an intracranial aneurysm that cannot be treated by clip application or coil placement, and in whom occlusion of the parent artery cannot be tolerated, the construction of a high-flow bypass should be considered. This procedure carries a considerable risk of complications, but this should be weighed against the disabling or life-threatening effects of compression, the high risk of rupture, and the substantial chance of poor outcome after the rupture of such aneurysms.

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Albert van der Zwan, Berend Hillen, Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Manuel Dujovny and Ljubisa Dragovic

✓ Recent morphological and functional studies on the circle of Willis suggest that the areas of supply of the six major cerebral arteries show a considerable variation in distribution, in contrast to the relatively consistent pattern generally accepted; therefore, the cortical and intracerebral distribution of the territories of these arteries was investigated in 25 unfixed human brains obtained at routine autopsy. The six major cerebral arteries were simultaneously injected under the same pressure with different-colored Araldite F mixtures under standardized conditions to obtain the most realistic territorial distribution. The cortical boundaries were examined and recorded in relation to the cerebral gyri and sulci, and the territories of the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries were analyzed and compared. The intracerebral distribution of these territories was investigated after the injected brains were cut in parallel slices. The variability of the territories of these arteries was much larger than generally described in the literature. Twenty-six variations in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery, 17 variations in the area of the middle cerebral artery, and 22 variations in the area of the posterior cerebral artery were found in the cortex of 50 hemispheres. Intracerebrally. the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries contributed in varying degrees to the blood supply of the lobar white matter, the internal capsule, the caudate nucleus, and the lentiform nucleus. The large variation in the area in which the cortical and intracerebral boundaries between these territories was located was demonstrated by illustrating the minimum and maximum extent of each. The results are compared with prior findings, and their implications for both experimental model studies and clinical practice are discussed.