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Ralph J. Medele, Walter Stummer, Arthur J. Mueller, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Hans-Jürgen Reulen

Object. The syndrome of retinal or vitreous hemorrhage in association with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is known as Terson's syndrome. The authors' purpose was to determine whether intraocular hemorrhage occurs with similar incidence when caused by severe brain injury accompanied by acutely raised intracranial pressure (ICP).

Methods. Prospective ophthalmological examination was performed in 22 consecutive patients with SAH or severe brain injury and elevated ICP. Thirteen patients were admitted for SAH (World Federation of Neurological Surgeons Grades II–IV) and nine for severe brain injury (Glasgow Coma Scale scores 3–10). Monitoring of ICP was performed at the time of admission via a ventricular catheter. Initial ICP exceeded 20 mm Hg in all patients. Indirect ophthalmoscopy without induced mydriasis was performed within the 1st week after the acute event. Retinal or vitreous hemorrhage was seen in six (46%) of 13 patients with SAH and in four (44%) of nine patients with severe brain injury. Ocular bleeding was found bilaterally in three patients with SAH and in one patient with severe brain injury (18%). Six of the 10 patients with Terson's syndrome died as a result of their acute event.

Conclusions. The present results indicate that Terson's syndrome may be related to acute elevation of ICP, independent of its causes, and may occur with similar incidence in patients with severe brain injury and those with SAH. Because recognition and treatment of Terson's syndrome may prevent visual impairment and associated secondary damage to the eye, increased awareness of this entity in all patients with acute raised intracranial hypertension is recommended.

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Thomas Westermaier, Stefan Zausinger, Alexander Baethmann, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Robert Schmid-Elsaesser

Object. Mild-to-moderate hypothermia is increasingly used for neuroprotection in humans. However, it is unknown whether administration of barbiturate medications in burst-suppressive doses—the gold standard of neuroprotection during neurovascular procedures—provides an additional protective effect under hypothermic conditions. The authors conducted the present study to answer this question.

Methods. Thirty-two Sprague—Dawley rats were subjected to 90 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion and randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: 1) normothermic controls; 2) methohexital treatment (burst suppression); 3) induction of mild hypothermia (33°C); and 4) induction of mild hypothermia plus methohexital treatment (burst suppression). Local cerebral blood flow was continuously monitored using bilateral laser Doppler flowmetry and electroencephalography. Functional deficits were quantified and recorded during daily neurological examinations. Infarct volumes were assessed histologically after 7 days. Methohexital treatment, mild hypothermia, and mild hypothermia plus methohexital treatment reduced infarct volumes by 32%, 71%, and 66%, respectively, compared with normothermic controls. Furthermore, mild hypothermia therapy provided the best functional outcome, which was not improved by additional barbiturate therapy.

Conclusions. The results of this study indicate that barbiturate-induced burst suppression is not required to achieve maximum neuroprotection under mild hypothermic conditions. The magnitude of protection afforded by barbiturates alone appears to be modest compared with that provided by mild hypothermia.

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Ralph J. Medele, Walter Stummer, Arthur J. Mueller, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Hans-Jürgen Reulen

Object

The syndrome of retinal or vitreous hemorrhage in association with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is known as Terson's syndrome. The authors' purpose was to determine whether intraocular hemorrhage occurs with similar incidence when caused by severe brain injury accompanied by acutely raised intracranial pressure (ICP).

Methods

Prospective ophthalmological examination was performed in 22 consecutive patients with SAH or severe brain injury and elevated ICP. Thirteen patients were admitted for SAH (World Federation of Neurological Surgeons Grades II–IV) and nine for severe brain injury (Glasgow Coma Scale scores 3–10). Monitoring of ICP was performed at the time of admission via a ventricular catheter. Initial ICP exceeded 20 mm Hg in all patients. Indirect ophthalmoscopy without induced mydriasis was performed within the 1st week after the acute event. Retinal or vitreous hemorrhage was seen in six (46%) of 13 patients with SAH and in four (44%) of nine patients with severe brain injury. Ocular bleeding was found bilaterally in three patients with SAH and in one patient with severe brain injury (18%). Six of the 10 patients with Terson's syndrome died as a result of their acute event.

Conclusions

The present results indicate that Terson's syndrome may be related to acute elevation of ICP, independent of its causes, and may occur with similar incidence in patients with severe brain injury and those with SAH. Because recognition and treatment of Terson's syndrome may prevent visual impairment and associated secondary damage to the eye, increased awareness of this entity in all patients with acute raised intracranial hypertension is recommended.

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Frank Willi Floeth, Dirk Pauleit, Hans-Jörg Wittsack, Karl Josef Langen, Guido Reifenberger, Kurt Hamacher, Martina Messing-Jünger, Karl Zilles, Friedrich Weber, Walter Stummer, Hans-Jakob Steiger, Gabriele Woebker, Hans-Wilhelm Müller, Heinz Coenen and Michael Sabel

Object. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive value of [18F]fluoroethyl-l-tyrosine (FET)—positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy for tumor diagnosis in patients with suspected gliomas.

Methods. Both FET-PET and MR spectroscopy analyses were performed in 50 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed intracerebral lesions supposed to be diffuse gliomas on contrast-enhanced MR imaging. Lesion/brain ratios of FET uptake greater than 1.6 were considered positive, that is, indicative of tumor. Results of MR spectroscopy were considered positive when N-acetylaspartate (NAA) was decreased in conjunction with an absolute increase of choline (Cho) and an NAA/Cho ratio of 0.7 or less. An FET lesion/brain ratio, an NAA/Cho ratio, and signal abnormalities on MR images were compared with histological findings in neuronavigated biopsy specimens.

The FET lesion/brain ratio and the NAA/Cho ratio were identified as significant independent predictors for the histological identification of tumor tissue. The accuracy in distinguishing neoplastic from nonneoplastic tissue could be increased from 68% with the use of MR imaging alone to 97% with MR imaging in conjunction with FET-PET and MR spectroscopy. Sensitivity and specificity for tumor detection were 100 and 81% for MR spectroscopy and 88 and 88% for FET-PET, respectively. Results of histological studies did not reveal tumor tissue in any of the lesions that were negative on FET-PET and MR spectroscopy. In contrast, a tumor diagnosis was made in 97% of the lesions that were positive with both methods.

Conclusions. In patients with intracerebral lesions supposed to be diffuse gliomas on MR imaging, FET-PET and MR spectroscopy analyses markedly improved the diagnostic efficacy of targeted biopsies.

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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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Marion Rapp, Zakir Özcan, Hans-Jakob Steiger, Peter Wernet, Michael C. Sabel and Rüdiger V. Sorg

Object

Vaccination therapy that uses dendritic cells (DCs) is a promising immunotherapeutic approach. However, it relies on intact cellular immunity and efficient generation of mature DCs, both of which can be impaired in patients with glioma. Therefore, the immune status and ex vivo generation of DC in such patients were studied.

Methods

The frequencies of white blood cell subsets and monocyte-derived, mature DCs in patients with high-grade gliomas and healthy control volunteers were analyzed using flow cytometry.

In the patients, frequencies of lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells were reduced in comparison with the volunteers in the control group, whereas frequencies of neutrophils and monocytes were increased. There were no differences between the two groups in terms of white blood cell counts or the frequency of NK cells and the major T-cell subsets. The responsiveness of T cells to lectin stimulation was normal. For monocytes, lower frequencies of CD80+ and CD86+ cells but not of CD40+ and HLA-DR+ cells were observed in patients. Ex vivo DC generation in a two-step culture protocol in autologous plasma–supplemented medium or in serum-free medium showed only minor differences in CD80 and HLA-DR expression between the patient and control groups. Frequencies of CD83+, CD1a+, CD14, CD40+, and CD86+ cells were comparable. Overall, the serum-free medium was superior to the plasma-supplemented medium and allowed efficient ex vivo generation of CD83+, CD1a+, and CD14 mature DCs.

Conclusions

Only minor defects in the immune status of patients with glioma were observed, which probably would not hamper immunotherapy. Mature DCs can be generated successfully in normal numbers and with typical immunophenotypes from monocytes of patients with glioma, particularly under serum-free conditions.