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Ephraim W. Church and Gary K. Steinberg

This operative technique video demonstrates laser microsurgery for brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). In case 1 we demonstrate CO2 laser microsurgery for a symptomatic pontine CM using far lateral craniotomy and olivary zone entry. Case 2 demonstrates the subtemporal approach and removal of a paratrigeminal CM, and case 3 is a dorsal midbrain CM. We illustrate several advantages of laser microsurgery including improved visualization in narrow corridors, precise cutting with reduced thermal damage, and effective sealing of small vessels. Over the past decade at Stanford University School of Medicine, over 120 brainstem CMs have been removed using laser microsurgery with good results.

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Omar Choudhri and Gary K. Steinberg

Tentorial dural arteriovenous fistulae (TDAVFs) are complex lesions with the arteriovenous fistula located between the leaves of the tentorium cerebelli. While a large portion of dural arteriovenous fistulae are treated endovascularly, TDAVF may require additional microsurgical treatment given their high risk of hemorrhage and multitude of feeders. We describe the case of a 65-year-old male who presented with hemorrhage from a straight sinus and galenic TDAVF. The straight sinus portion of the fistula was obliterated by 3 endovascular treatments and 1 microsurgical treatment. The galenic component of the TDAVF persisted and was approached via a posterior interhemispheric approach in a lateral position. This video demonstrates surgical technique and anatomy associated with this rarely seen dural arteriovenous fistula.

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Tej D. Azad, Anand Veeravagu, and Gary K. Steinberg

Recent advancements in stem cell biology and neuromodulation have ushered in a battery of new neurorestorative therapies for ischemic stroke. While the understanding of stroke pathophysiology has matured, the ability to restore patients' quality of life remains inadequate. New therapeutic approaches, including cell transplantation and neurostimulation, focus on reestablishing the circuits disrupted by ischemia through multidimensional mechanisms to improve neuroplasticity and remodeling. The authors provide a broad overview of stroke pathophysiology and existing therapies to highlight the scientific and clinical implications of neurorestorative therapies for stroke.

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Erick M. Westbroek, Nitin Mukerji, Paul Kalanithi, and Gary K. Steinberg

Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia (SIOD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, episodic lymphopenia, renal failure, and cerebrovascular disease secondary to arteriosclerosis and myointimal hyperplasia. In this paper the authors report the first known application of internal carotid artery (ICA) surgical revascularization to relieve a high-grade focal stenosis of the ICA in a pediatric patient, a 6-year-old boy with SIOD. The clinical presentation, imaging features, operative technique, and postoperative course are described and the molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and treatment considerations in SIOD are discussed.

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Paritosh Pandey and Gary K. Steinberg


Revascularization for moyamoya disease, either by direct anastomosis or indirect procedures, is an accepted and effective form of treatment for prevention of future ischemic events. Indirect procedures do not provide sufficient collateral vessels in a subset of patients, who then have persistent or new symptoms. Repeat revascularization procedures may be recommended for these patients.


Sixteen patients underwent repeat revascularization after undergoing an indirect procedure in the same hemisphere. These patients were included in the study, and a retrospective review of their clinical details, neuroimaging results, surgical details, and outcome was performed. Direct revascularization was the procedure of choice; however, in patients with no acceptable recipient vessel (> 0.6 mm) the authors added a second indirect procedure for further revascularization.


Over the last 19 years, 16 patients (8 male and 8 female patients, age range 5–48 years, mean 16.7 years, 10 pediatric and 6 adult patients) underwent repeat revascularization for moyamoya disease. Initially all patients presented with ischemic symptoms (4 transient ischemic attacks [TIAs] and 12 strokes; 2 patients had bilateral symptoms). Angiography revealed that 13 patients had bilateral disease, and 3 had unilateral disease. Initial surgery was bilateral encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) in 9, unilateral EDAS alone in 3, unilateral EDAS with contralateral superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass in 2, bilateral encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) in 1, and unilateral EMS in 1. Thirteen of the 16 patients continued to have TIAs in the hemisphere ipsilateral to surgery, whereas 1 patient had seizures and cognitive deficit, 1 had asymptomatic infarct on MR imaging, and 1 had visual symptoms. Poor revascularization was seen on angiography studies in all patients. The median duration between the surgeries was 24 months (3 months–10 years).

Repeat revascularization was performed in 23 hemispheres (16 patients). Direct revascularization was performed in 14 hemispheres (60.9%): STA-MCA bypass in 10, external carotid artery–MCA vein bypass in 2, occipital artery (OA)–MCA in 1, and OA–posterior cerebral artery in 1 hemisphere. Indirect revascularization was performed for patients without an acceptable recipient vessel, and was done in 9 hemispheres. The procedures included EMS (4 hemispheres), repeat EDAS (2), and omental transposition (3). There was 1 postoperative death in a patient undergoing a high-flow vein graft implantation. None of the other patients experienced any neurological worsening after surgery.

Follow-up was available in all patients, ranging from 3 to 144 months (mean 34 months, median 12 months). Of the 15 patients who survived repeat revascularization surgery, 12 (80%) were free from any TIA, stroke, or any other neurological symptoms. Two patients had occasional TIAs, less frequent than before, whereas 1 patient had frequent TIAs and underwent revision of the revascularization. Angiographic studies were available in 11 patients, and showed improved flow in the hemispheres in 10 patients. Follow-up MR imaging performed at 6 months did not reveal a new infarct in any patient.


Repeat revascularization procedures are effective for patients who are clinically symptomatic and have inadequate collateral vessels following indirect procedures. Although direct procedures are preferred, the choice of procedure depends on the operative findings and the status of donor and recipient vessels.

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Paritosh Pandey, Teresa Bell-Stephens, and Gary K. Steinberg

Moyamoya disease is a rare cerebrovascular disease characterized by idiopathic bilateral stenosis or occlusion of bilateral internal carotid arteries and the development of characteristic leptomeningeal collateral vessels at the base of the brain. Typical presentations include transient ischemic attacks or stroke, and hemorrhage. Presentation with movement disorders is extremely rare, especially in the pediatric population. The authors describe the cases of 4 children with moyamoya disease who presented with movement disorders.

Among 446 patients (118 pediatric) with moyamoya disease surgically treated by the senior author, 4 pediatric patients had presented with movement disorders. The clinical records, imaging studies, surgical details, and postoperative clinical and imaging data were retrospectively reviewed.

The initial presenting symptom was movement disorder in all 4 patients: chorea in 2, hemiballismus in 1, and involuntary limb shaking in 1. All the patients had watershed infarcts involving the frontal subcortical region on MR imaging. Additionally, 1 patient had a ganglionic infarct. Single-photon emission computed tomography studies showed frontoparietal cortical and subcortical hypoperfusion in all patients. Three patients had bilateral disease, whereas 1 had unilateral disease. All the patients underwent superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery bypass. Postoperatively, all 4 patients had complete improvement in their symptoms. The SPECT scans revealed normal perfusion in 3 patients and a small residual perfusion deficit in 1.

Movement disorders are a rare presenting feature of moyamoya disease. Hypoperfusion of the frontal cortical and subcortical region was seen in all patients, and the symptomatology was attributed to ischemic dysfunction and imbalance in the cortical-subcortical-ganglionic-thalamic-cortical circuitry. Combined revascularization with superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery bypass and encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis leads to excellent results.

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Nitin Mukerji, Douglas J. Cook, and Gary K. Steinberg


Hyperperfusion is believed to be the cause of transient neurological events (TNEs) in patients with moyamoya disease (MMD) who have undergone an extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass between the superficial temporal artery (STA) and the middle cerebral artery (MCA). The objective of this study was to evaluate this possibility by analyzing cerebral blood flow (CBF) data obtained with thermal diffusion probes used at the authors' center.


The authors examined postoperative cerebral perfusion in 31 patients with MMD who underwent a direct EC-IC STA-MCA bypass. A Hemedex Q500 flow probe was placed in the frontal lobe adjacent to the bypass and connected to a Bowman cerebral perfusion monitor, and CBF data were statistically analyzed using JMP 8.0.2 software. Seven patients experienced a TNE after surgery in the left hemisphere (that is, after left-sided surgery), manifesting as dysphasia approximately 24 hours postoperatively and which had improved by 48 hours. No TNEs were observed after right-sided surgeries. Operative and postoperative CBFs in the left side with the TNE were compared with those in the left side with no TNE and on the right side.


A detailed analysis of 64,980 minute-by-minute flow observations showed that the initial postbypass CBF was higher on the left side where the TNEs occurred. This CBF increase was followed by a widely fluctuating pattern and a statistically significant and sharp drop in perfusion (p < 0.001, mean difference of CBF between groups, paired t-test) associated with a TNE not observed in the other 2 groups.


On the basis of the authors' initial observations, an early-onset altered pattern of CBF was identified. These findings suggest local hypoperfusion as the cause of the TNEs. This hypoperfusion may originate from competing blood flows resulting from impaired cerebral autoregulation and a fluctuating flow in cerebral microcirculation.

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Bowen Y. Wong, Gary K. Steinberg, and Larry Rosen

✓ A case of trigeminal neuralgia is reported in which preoperative high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve. Surgery confirmed compression and indentation of the fifth nerve by a large branch of the superior cerebellar artery. Following microvascular decompression, the patient experienced no further pain. Magnetic resonance imaging may be useful in the evaluation of trigeminal neuralgia to identify a subgroup of patients who could benefit most from decompression.

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Raymond Choi, Robert H. Andres, Gary K. Steinberg, and Raphael Guzman

Increasing evidence in animal models and clinical trials for stroke, hypoxic encephalopathy for children, and traumatic brain injury have shown that mild hypothermia may attenuate ischemic damage and improve neurological outcome. However, it is less clear if mild intraoperative hypothermia during vascular neurosurgical procedures results in improved outcomes for patients. This review examines the scientific evidence behind hypothermia as a treatment and discusses factors that may be important for the use of this adjuvant technique, including cooling temperature, duration of hypothermia, and rate of rewarming.

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Gary K. Steinberg, Teresa E. Bell, and Midori A. Yenari

✓ Experimental studies have shown that dextromethorphan, a noncompetitive N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonist is neuroprotective in experimental models of ischemic cerebral injury. The authors studied the safety and tolerability of oral dextromethorphan (DM) in humans, and correlated serum levels of this drug with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain levels. Neurosurgical patients undergoing intracranial surgery or endovascular procedures were given ascending doses of oral DM prior to and 24 hours after surgery. Serum, CSF, and brain levels of DM and its active metabolite, dextrorphan, were measured. One hundred eighty-one patients received a total of 212 courses of DM treatment in dose ranges of 0.8 to 9.64 mg/kg. Serum DM levels correlated highly with CSF and brain DM levels. Brain levels were 68-fold higher than serum levels, whereas CSF levels were fourfold lower than serum levels. The maximum DM levels attained were 1514 ng/ml (serum), 118 ng/ml (CSF), and 92,700 ng/g (brain). The maximum dextrorphan levels were 501 ng/ml (serum), 167 ng/ml (CSF), and 6840 ng/g (brain). In 11 patients, brain and plasma levels of DM were comparable to levels that have been shown to be neuroprotective in animal studies. Frequent side effects occurring at neuroprotective levels of DM included nystagmus (64%), nausea and vomiting (27%), distorted vision (27%), feeling “drunk” (27%), ataxia (27%), and dizziness (27%). All symptoms were reversible and no patient suffered severe adverse reactions. This study demonstrates that potentially neuroprotective doses of DM can be administered safely to neurosurgical patients. Brain and CSF levels of DM can be estimated from serum levels of the drug. Side effects, even at the highest levels, proved to be tolerable and reversible. Administration of DM to patients at risk for cerebral injury should be further explored.