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Carmine Mottolese, Alexandru Szathmari, Carole Ginguene, Emile Simon, and Anne Claire Ricci-Franchi

Object

In this study the authors conducted a retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness of endoscopic aqueductoplasty, performed alone or accompanied by placement of a stent, in the treatment of an isolated fourth ventricle (IFV) in seven patients afflicted with loculated hydrocephalus after a hemorrhage or infection.

Methods

Seven children with symptomatic IFV and membranous aqueductal stenosis underwent endoscopic aqueductoplasty alone or combined with placement of a stent in the cerebral aqueduct. The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was 10 months. The mean duration of follow up was 26 months. In all patients a supratentorial shunt had already been implanted, and in five patients neuroendoscopy had already been performed because other isolated compartments had been present inside the ventricular system. Aqueductoplasty alone was performed in three patients and aqueductoplasty and aqueductal stent placement in four. A precoronal approach was performed in five patients and a suboccipital approach in two. Signs and symptoms of intracranial hypertension resolved in all cases. Stent placement was successful in all five cases, resulting in clinical and neuroimaging-confirmed improvements in the IFV. Restenosis of the aqueduct occurred in two patients in whom stents had not been placed. In one of these patients restenosis was managed by an endoscopic procedure, during which the aqueduct was reopened and a stent implanted; in the other patient a shunt was placed in the fourth ventricle. Hydrocephalus was controlled by a single shunt in six cases (86%) and by a double shunt in one case.

Conclusions

Endoscopic placement of a stent in the aqueduct is more effective in preventing the repeated occlusion of the aqueduct than aqueductoplasty alone and should be indicated as the initial treatment in each case of compatible anatomy.

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Carmine Mottolese, Alexandru Szathmari, Emile Simon, Carole Ginguene, Anne-Claire Ricci-Franchi, and Marc Hermier

Object

The authors share their experience of the treatment of arachnoid cysts with endoscopic fenestration and cystoperitoneal shunt placement during the same operation. The importance of this strategy is related to the fact that the shunt can induce the collapse of the cyst and that the endoscopic fenestration could make it possible to remove the shunt, avoiding the phenomenon of shunt dependence.

Methods

Between 1996 and 2005, 35 patients with an arachnoid cyst were treated using endoscopic fenestration and placement of a programmable shunt. The patients' ages (70% boys and 30% girls) ranged from 2 months to 16 years. These patients were reviewed with MR imaging and clinical examination. The cyst volumes and clinical examinations were evaluated.

Results

No serious complications were reported; the cyst disappeared in 60% of the cases, and in 54% of the cases it was possible to remove the shunt without shunt dependence.

Conclusions

In the authors' view, this strategy seems easy, does not take longer than a simple shunt surgery or an endoscopic cystostomy alone, and can be useful for treatment of arachnoid cysts in all locations.

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Jorge E. Alvernia, Emile Simon, Krishnakant Khandelwal, Cara D. Ramos, Eddie Perkins, Patrick Kim, Patrick Mertens, Raffaella Messina, Gustavo Luzardo, and Orlando Diaz

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to identify and characterize all the segmental radiculomedullary arteries (RMAs) that supply the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord.

METHODS

All RMAs from T4 to L5 were studied systematically in 25 cadaveric specimens. The RMA with the greatest diameter in each specimen was termed the artery of Adamkiewicz (AKA). Other supporting RMAs were also identified and characterized.

RESULTS

A total of 27 AKAs were found in 25 specimens. Twenty-two AKAs (81%) originated from a left thoracic or a left lumbar radicular branch, and 5 (19%) arose from the right. Two specimens (8%) had two AKAs each: one specimen with two AKAs on the left side and the other specimen with one AKA on each side. Eight cadaveric specimens (32%) had 10 additional RMAs; among those, a single additional RMA was found in 6 specimens (75%), and 2 additional RMAs were found in each of the remaining 2 specimens (25%). Of those specimens with a single additional RMA, the supporting RMA was ipsilateral to the AKA in 5 specimens (83%) and contralateral in only 1 specimen (17%). The specimens containing 2 additional RMAs were all (100%) ipsilateral to their respective AKAs.

CONCLUSIONS

The segmental RMAs supplying the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord can be unilateral, bilateral, or multiple. Multiple AKAs or additional RMAs supplying a single anterior spinal artery are common and should be considered when dealing with the spinal cord at the thoracolumbar level.