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Daniel Hänggi, Michael Reinert and Hans-Jakob Steiger

Object

Preliminary experience with the C-Port Flex-A Anastomosis System (Cardica, Inc.) to enable rapid automated anastomosis has been reported in coronary artery bypass surgery. The goal of the current study was to define the feasibility and safety of this method for high-flow extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery in a clinical series.

Methods

In a prospective study design, patients with symptomatic carotid artery (CA) occlusion were selected for C-Port–assisted high-flow EC-IC bypass surgery if they met the following criteria: 1) transient or moderate permanent symptoms of focal ischemia; 2) CA occlusion; 3) hemodynamic instability; and 4) had provided informed consent. Bypasses were done using a radial artery graft that was proximally anastomosed to the superficial temporal artery trunk, the cervical external, or common CA. All distal cerebral anastomoses were performed on M2 branches using the C-Port Flex-A system.

Results

Within 6 months, 10 patients were enrolled in the study. The distal automated anastomosis could be accomplished in all patients; the median temporary occlusion time was 16.6 ± 3.4 minutes. Intraoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) confirmed good bypass function in 9 patients, and in 1 the anastomosis was classified as fair. There was 1 major perioperative complication that consisted of the creation of a pseudoaneurysm due to a hardware problem. In all but 1 case the bypass was shown to be patent on DSA after 7 days; furthermore, in 1 patient a late occlusion developed due to vasospasm after a sylvian hemorrhage. One-week follow-up DSA revealed transient asymptomatic extracranial spasm of the donor artery and the radial artery graft in 1 case. Two patients developed a limited zone of infarction on CT scanning during the follow-up course.

Conclusions

In patients with symptomatic CA occlusion, C-Port Flex-A–assisted high-flow EC-IC bypass surgery is a technically feasible procedure. The system needs further modification to achieve a faster and safer anastomosis to enable a conclusive comparison with standard and laser-assisted methods for high-flow bypass surgery.

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Hans-Jakob Steiger, Daniel Hänggi, Walter Stummer and Peter A. Winkler

Object

The extradural anterior petrosectomy approach to the pons and midbasilar artery (mid-BA) has the main disadvantage that the extent of resection of the petrous apex cannot be as minimal as desired given that the surgical target field is not visible during bone removal. Unnecessary or excessive drilling poses the risk of injury to the internal carotid artery, vestibulocochlear organ, and seventh and eighth cranial nerves. The use of a custom-tailored transdural anterior transpetrosal approach can potentially avoid these pitfalls.

Methods

A technique for a transdural anterior petrosectomy was developed in the operating theater and anatomy laboratory. Following a subtemporal craniotomy and basal opening of the dura mater, the vein of Labbé is first identified and protected. Cerebrospinal fluid ([CSF] 50–100 ml) is drained via a spinal catheter. The tent is incised behind the entrance of the trochlear nerve toward the superior petrosal sinus (SPS), which is coagulated and divided. The dura is stripped from the petrous pyramid. Drilling starts at the petrous ridge and proceeds laterally and ventrally. The trigeminal nerve is unroofed. The internal acoustic meatus is identified and drilling is continued laterally as needed. The bone of the Kawase triangle toward the clivus can be removed down to the inferior petrosal sinus if necessary. Anterior exposure can be extended to the carotid artery if required. It is only exceptionally necessary to follow the greater superior petrosal nerve toward the geniculate ganglion and to expose the length of the internal acoustic canal.

The modified transdural anterior petrosectomy exposure has been used in nine patients—two with a mid-BA aneurysm, two with a dural arteriovenous fistula, one with a pontine glioma, three with a pontine cavernoma, and one with a pontine abscess. In one patient with a mid-BA aneurysm, subcutaneous CSF collection occurred during the postoperative period. No CSF fistula or approach-related cranial nerve deficit developed in any of these patients. There was no retraction injury or venous congestion of the temporal lobe nor any venous congestion due to the obliteration of the SPS or the petrosal vein.

Conclusions

The custom-made transdural anterior petrosectomy appears to be a feasible alternative to the formal extradural approach.

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Daniel Hänggi, Julia Liersch, Bernd Turowski, Mei Yong and Hans-Jakob Steiger

Object

The authors of recent publications have suggested that a combination of cisternal irrigation and head-shaking therapy might reduce cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and therefore improve outcome. The authors undertook this prospective nonrandomized Phase II study to analyze the effect of enhanced washout by lumboventricular irrigation in combination with head motion (lateral rotational therapy) on the clot clearance (CC) rate, development of cerebral vasospasm, and clinical outcome.

Methods

Forty patients with aneurysmal SAHs of World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Grades II–V (Glasgow Coma Scale Scores 13–3) and Fisher Grade 3 or 4 were included in this study. The study and control groups each consisted of 20 patients. The protocol in the study group, after the aneurysm was secured and a ventricular drain inserted, included the insertion of 2 lumbar catheters for intrathecal irrigation with Ringer solution and intrathecal pressure monitoring. Moderate head rotation in a kinetic system was also applied and was continued for 5 days. The CC rate was monitored on daily computed tomography (CT) scans. Vasospasms were identified clinically with a focus on delayed ischemic neurological deficits (DINDs), daily transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography studies, and analysis of infarction rate on CT and cerebral angiography. The data obtained in both groups were statistically evaluated.

Results

There were no procedure-related complications. The overall CC rate did not differ significantly between the groups, but there was a trend toward accelerated resolution in the study group. During observation, a new neurological deficit developed in 1 patient (5%) in the study group and 4 patients (20%) in the control group. Ischemic areas on CT scans related to vasospasm were demonstrated in 2 patients (10%) in the study group and 6 patients (30%) in the control group. The incidence of angiographic vasospasm was approximately the same in both groups. The pooled TCD flow velocities measured over a period of 14 days showed lower mean values in the study group than in the control group (p = 0.00002). The clinical outcome in the study group as evaluated with the modified Rankin scale was better in the study group than in the control group after 3 (p = 0.008) and 6 (p = 0.005) months.

Conclusions

The present study demonstrates that a combination of lumboventricular lavage and mechanical head motion reduces vasospasm on TCD ultrasonography, the incidence of DIND, and secondary infarctions on CT and improves clinical outcome. No obvious effect could be found on the rate of angiographic vasospasm.

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Sevgi Sarikaya-Seiwert, Bernd Turowski, Daniel Hänggi, Giesela Janssen, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Walter Stummer

Pineal cysts are benign and often asymptomatic intracranial entities. Occasionally they can lead to neurological symptoms through growth or due to intracystic hemorrhage. The purpose of the current report is to describe their clinical characteristics and treatment options.

In the current study, the authors illustrate the course of disease in 3 patients who developed neurological symptoms due to hemorrhage into a pineal cyst. Two of their patients had additional cerebral disease, and regular MR imaging examinations were conducted. This circumstance allowed documentation of growth and intracystic hemorrhage. After the occurrence of new neurological symptoms with severe headache, MR images showed a fluid-fluid interface due to intracystic hemorrhage. The third patient presented with acute triventricular hydrocephalus and papilledema due to aqueductal stenosis caused by intracystic hemorrhage.

In all 3 cases, excision of the pineal cysts via an infratentorial/supracerebellar approach was performed. Histological examination revealed the characteristic structure of pineal cyst in all cases, with hemorrhagic residues in the form of hemosiderin deposits. All patients recovered fully after surgical removal of the cysts. Furthermore, resolution of occlusive hydrocephalus could be demonstrated in those cases with ventricular enlargement.

Pineal cysts without neurological symptoms are often discovered as incidental findings on cranial MR images. In contrast, neurological symptoms such as severe headache, diplopia, or Parinaud syndrome, may occur as a result of pineal apoplexy due to intracystic hemorrhage. The authors' cases confirm that MR imaging can identify intracystic hemorrhage by a characteristic fluid-fluid interface. Their experience suggests that microsurgical resection of cysts may be an effective and curative treatment option.

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Philipp J. Slotty, Amr Abdulazim, Kunihiko Kodama, Mani Javadi, Daniel Hänggi, Volker Seifert and Andrea Szelényi

OBJECTIVE

Methods of choice for neurophysiological intraoperative monitoring (IOM) within the infratentorial compartment mostly include early brainstem auditory evoked potentials, free-running electromyography, and direct cranial nerve (CN) stimulation. Long-tract monitoring with somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and motor evoked potentials (MEPs) is rarely used. This study investigated the incidence of IOM alterations during posterior fossa surgery stratified for lesion location.

METHODS

Standardized CN and SEP/MEP IOM was performed in 305 patients being treated for various posterior fossa pathologies. The IOM data were correlated with lesion locations and histopathological types as well as other possible confounding factors.

RESULTS

Alterations in IOM were observed in 158 of 305 cases (51.8%) (CN IOM alterations in 130 of 305 [42.6%], SEP/MEP IOM alterations in 43 of 305 [14.0%]). In 15 cases (4.9%), simultaneous changes in long tracts and CNs were observed. The IOM alterations were followed by neurological sequelae in 98 of 305 cases (32.1%); 62% of IOM alterations resulted in neurological deficits. Sensitivity and specificity for detection of CN deficits were 98% and 77%, respectively, and 95% and 85%, respectively, for long-tract deficits. Regarding location, brainstem and petroclival lesions were closely associated with concurrent CN IOM and SEP/MEP alterations.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of IOM alterations during surgery in the posterior fossa varied widely between different lesion locations and histopathological types. This analysis provides crucial information on the necessity of IOM in different surgical settings. Because MEP/SEP and CN IOM alterations were commonly observed during posterior fossa surgery, the authors recommend the simultaneous use of both modalities based on lesion location.

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Roberto C. Heros

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Kerim Beseoglu, Sabrina Lodes, Walter Stummer, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Daniel Hänggi

Object

In 2003 the authors introduced a minimally invasive transorbital keyhole approach. Because this approach requires removal of the orbital rim and orbital roof, there have been concerns regarding perioperative morbidity, long-term morbidity, and cosmetic results. The authors evaluated approach-related morbidity and cosmetic results in their patients to determine the rate of complications and compared this to published reports of similar approaches.

Material

Seventy-one patients (41 female, 30 male) underwent operations using this approach between 2004 and 2008. Immediate approach-related morbidity was recorded after the operation. Late morbidity was determined after 7 months by an independent examiner while cosmetic results were self-rated by the patient using a questionnaire.

Results

Fifty-one (72%) of 71 patients had no postoperative complications and 12 (16.9%) had minor complications, the most common of which was subgaleal CSF collection (7.0%). Other minor complications included facial nerve palsy (2.8%), hyposphagma (2.8%), periorbital swelling due to periorbital hematoma (2.8%), and subdural hematoma (1.4%). Major complications requiring surgical revision occurred in 4 patients (5.6%); these were CSF fistulas in 2 patients, pneumocephalus in 1 patient, and a hematoma in 1 patient. Forty-nine (90.7%) of all 54 examined patients rated the cosmetic results as very good or good. Major long-term morbidity was hyposmia or anosmia (14 patients) followed by hypoesthesia around the scar (9 patients).

Conclusions

The transorbital keyhole approach is a feasible approach with a low-risk profile for postoperative or long-term morbidity and excellent cosmetic outcome.

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Hans-Jakob Steiger, Bernd Turowski and Daniel Hänggi

Object

In this study, the authors present a review of a series of 20 intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations (SCCMs) with particular focus on MR imaging and prognostic factors.

Methods

Between 1994 and 2009, 20 patients with SCCM were treated under the care of the senior author. The diagnosis was made in all patients after the onset of clinical symptoms. The age of the 9 men and 11 women ranged between 26 and 71 years (median 38.5 years). The duration of symptoms prior to referral ranged from 1 week to 9 years (median 6.5 months). At the time of referral, 4 patients had no significant neurological deficits, 10 patients suffered significant functional restrictions, and 6 patients presented with severe paraparesis and loss of functional strength. None of the patients had complete paraplegia. Seventeen patients underwent microsurgical removal, while 3 patients opted for conservative therapy. For the present analysis, the medical records and MR images and/or reports were reviewed. Classification of length of history, pretreatment status, MR imaging pattern, and treatment modality was done and correlated with outcome.

Results

The cavernoma was located at the cervical level in 8 patients and between T-1 and L-1 in 12 patients. The cavernoma appeared as mainly T2 hyperintense on MR images in 7 patients, mainly T2 hypointense in 2 patients, and mixed in the remaining 10 patients. The craniocaudal extension of the core varied between 5 and 45 mm. In 2 patients with cervical cavernomas, a distinct T2 signal of the spinal cord cranial and distal to the cavernoma was seen, and in a patient with a large thoracic cavernoma, T2 extinction cranial and caudal to the cavernoma was seen as a sign of hemosiderosis. Neurological deficits improved postoperatively in 12 of the surgically treated patients, remained stable in 2, and deteriorated in 3. The 3 patients who were conservatively treated remained stable over a follow-up of 3–9 years. Postoperative improvement was seen in 5 of 7 surgical patients with a history of symptoms of 2 months or less, 5 of 6 patients with a history of 2–24 months, and in 2 of 4 patients with a history of more than 2 years. Two of the 3 patients with postoperative deterioration had a history of more than 2 years and the third a short history of 1 month.

Conclusions

Although a satisfactory outcome can be achieved through surgical treatment of SCCMs, some patients worsen after surgery or during the postoperative course. Long-term stability is possible in oligosymptomatic conservatively treated patients. The prevalence and pathophysiological importance of segmental spinal cord edema and hemosiderosis is incompletely understood at the present time.

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Sevgi Sarikaya-Seiwert, Kristin Gierga, Rüdiger Wessalowski, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Daniel Hänggi

Spinal solitary epidural cavernous angiomas are rare benign vascular malformations, which occur even less frequently in children than in adults. It is uncommon to find such lesions without adjacent vertebral involvement. Occasionally, these lesions can lead to neurological symptoms through growth or due to intralesional hemorrhage. In this report the authors describe 2 children presenting with acute symptoms and neurological deficits caused by hemorrhage within solitary spinal epidural cavernous angiomas. A 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl, previously healthy, were admitted to the authors' department due to acute radicular pain and neurological deficits. In both cases MR imaging revealed a solitary epidural mass with signs of bleeding and compression of the spinal cord. Complete resection of the lesion via a dorsal approach was performed in both patients. The histological examination of the lesions revealed the characteristic structures of a cavernous angioma with hemosiderin deposits and acute hemorrhage. Both patients recovered fully after surgical removal of the lesions. Review of the literature confirmed that spinal epidural cavernous angiomas are extremely rare in the pediatric patient population, described currently in only 2 instances, but without acute hemorrhage. These cases suggest that epidural cavernous angiomas also have to be considered in the pediatric patient population in the differential diagnosis of intraspinal lesions with acute or progressive neurological symptoms. Microsurgical resection of these cavernous malformations is an effective and curative treatment option.