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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.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/DwwqWGv_vzo.

Free access

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.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/iOLzWOabLZ0.

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

OBJECT

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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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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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Anadjeet S. Khahera, Yiping Li, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

There remains a paucity of literature on hypothalamic cavernous malformations (HCMs). Here, the authors present the largest series of HCMs to date and review the literature to gain additional insight into this rare disease subset.

METHODS

A prospectively managed database was retrospectively reviewed for patients diagnosed with symptomatic HCM and treated surgically between 1987 and 2019. Data gathered included demographics, presenting signs, radiological measurements, surgical approach, and postoperative events. Functional outcome was measured using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended (GOSE) pre- and postoperatively. A PRISMA guideline systematic review of HCM in the literature was performed.

RESULTS

Our cohort study consisted of 12 patients with symptomatic, and radiographically confirmed, HCM treated with microsurgery by the senior author (G.K.S.). An additional 16 surgically or conservatively managed patients were also identified from the literature, and the authors analyzed the data of all 28 patients (with 54% of patients being male; mean age 39 ± 16 years, range 10–68 years). Patients harboring HCMs most commonly presented with headache (16/28, 57%), short-term memory impairment (11/28, 39%), and gait disturbance (8/28, 32%). Radiographically, lesions most commonly involved the mammillary region (18/23, 78%), the tuberal/infundibulum region (13/23, 57%), and the preoptic/lamina terminalis region (12/23, 52%), with a mean diameter of 2.5 ± 1.4 cm (range 0.8–7 cm) at presentation. Acute hemorrhage was identified in 96% (23/24) of patients on presentation, with 96% (23/24) intraparenchymal and 29% (7/24) intraventricular. Of 24 patients who were managed surgically, gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 88% (21/24) of cases. There were no reports of perioperative infarction or mortality. With a mean follow-up period of 41 months (range 0.5–309 months), 77% (20/26) of patients experienced functional improvement, while 12% (3/26) had no change, and 12% (3/26) experienced increased disability. In our cohort of 12 patients, 83% (10/12) continued to report symptoms at the last follow-up (mean 4.8 years, range 0.1–25.7 years). However, there was a significant improvement in mRS score noted after surgery (mean 1.4 vs 3.1, p = 0.0026) and a trend toward improvement in GOSE score (mean 6.3 vs 5.1, p = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS

Hemorrhage from HCMs can cause a symptomatic mass effect on adjacent eloquent structures. While patients are unlikely to be deficit free following surgery, GTR allows for functional improvement and reduces recurrent hemorrhage rates. Microsurgery remains a viable option for symptomatic HCMs in experienced hands.

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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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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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Paritosh Pandey and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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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Edward R. Smith, Giuseppe Lanzino, Gary K. Steinberg, and Bin Xu