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Editorial

Role of radiosurgery for arteriovenous malformations

Giuseppe Lanzino

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Introduction

Guglielmi detachable coil embolization

Giuseppe Lanzino

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Desiree J. Lanzino and Giuseppe Lanzino

A subset of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular stroke suffer a progressive deterioration secondary to massive cerebral ischemia, edema, and increased intracranial pressure (ICP). The evolution is often fatal. In these patients, a decompressive craniectomy converts the closed, rigid cranial vault into an “open box.” The result is a dramatic decrease in ICP and a reversal of the clinical and radiological signs of herniation. For these reasons, decompressive craniectomy has been increasingly proposed as a life-saving measure in patients with large, space-occupying hemispheric infarction. The authors review the rationale, indications, and clinical experience with this procedure, which has been performed in patients who have had supratentorial ischemic stroke.

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Paolo Perrini and Giuseppe Lanzino

✓Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are often associated with intracranial cavernous malformations (CMs). The frequency of this association and the observation of de novo CMs located near a known, preexisting DVA raise speculations as to the possible etiopathogenetic relationship between the two. In this article, the authors review the recent literature dealing with the potential etiopathogenetic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications of the association between DVAs and CMs.

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Sergio Paolini and Giuseppe Lanzino

Object

During surgical procedures focused on the cervical nerve roots, the surgeon works in proximity to the V2 segment of the vertebral artery (VA). Depending on the specific surgical approach, it may be necessary to identify, expose, or mobilize the artery. In most cases, the artery may be left undisturbed. To reduce the risk of iatrogenic injury to the V2 segment during anterior and anterolateral approaches to the cervical spine, the authors analyzed the relationship between the V2 segment and the proximal segment of the C3–6 nerve roots.

Methods

Six cadaveric cervical spines (12 sides) were fixed with formalin, injected with red and blue latex, and investigated intraoperatively using different magnifications (× 3–40).

The VA rested on the anteromedial surface of the cervical nerve roots at the level of each intertransverse space. The exiting nerve roots intersected the VA at a distance ranging from 4.5 to 8.1 mm (mean 6.3 ± 1.06 mm) from the dural sac. The distance was slightly shorter at cephalad levels, suggesting that the artery is more posteriorly and medially situated at those levels. Arterial pedicles anchored the VA to the cervical nerve roots at various levels. These arteries gave rise to purely radicular, ligamentous, and medullary branches without a predictable pattern. After reaching the nerve roots on their lower margin, the nonligamentous branches pierced the radicular dural sheath within the neural foramen at a distance of 2 to 4 mm from the VA.

Conclusions

Proximal-to-distal dissection of a cervical nerve root may proceed with relative safety for at least 4 mm. The V2 segment of the VA gives rise to at least one radicular arterial pedicle between C-4 and C-6. These trunks give rise to purely radicular, ligamentous, and medullary branches in an unpredictable pattern.

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Editorial

Vertebrobasilar dissections

Giuseppe Lanzino

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Eugenio Pozzati and Giuseppe Lanzino

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Giuseppe Lanzino and Robert F. Spetzler

✓ An intraoperative aneurysm rupture due to a tear at the aneurysm neck can be a tricky complication to manage. The authors describe a simple technique found to be useful in such a case.