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Haruto Uchino, Ken Kazumata, Masaki Ito, Naoki Nakayama and Kiyohiro Houkin

OBJECTIVE

A specific population of young patients with moyamoya disease (MMD) persistently experience physical symptoms not attributable to focal ischemia. These symptoms, highly suggestive of orthostatic intolerance (also termed “orthostatic dysregulation”), were investigated and reported as potential determinants of quality of life in young MMD patients.

METHODS

Forty-six patients (6–30 years of age) were selected from a group of 122 patients who were diagnosed with MMD before 18 years of age. The authors administered a structured questionnaire consisting of 11 items based on screening checklists published in the Japanese clinical guidelines for juvenile orthostatic dysregulation in young patients. The results were tabulated, and correlations with clinical data were explored.

RESULTS

Thirty-seven (80%) patients (mean age 15.9 years) responded to the questionnaire. Frequent headache, vertigo/dizziness on standing, fatigue, difficulty with getting out of bed, and motion sickness were the top 5 symptoms, resulting in 57% of patients being unable to attend school. Forty-three percent of the patients demonstrated multiple symptoms suggestive of orthostatic intolerance, even as long as 5 years after revascularization surgery. The number of symptoms was inversely associated with the number of years after surgery (p = 0.028). The number of symptoms was not associated with a history of surgery, clinical presentations, vascular involvement, cerebral perfusion, brain lesions, or history of transient ischemic attacks.

CONCLUSIONS

The present study provided novel insight into the symptomatology of young patients with MMD. Failure to notice nonfocal physical symptoms can significantly impair quality of life in young patients with MMD even years after successful revascularization surgery. These symptoms may serve as independent clinical markers used to assess disease outcome, although the underlying mechanisms of this disease are, as of yet, unclear.

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Haruto Uchino, Daina Kashiwazaki, Naoki Akioka, Masaki Koh, Naoya Kuwayama, Kiyohiro Houkin and Satoshi Kuroda

OBJECTIVE

In this study the authors aimed to describe clinical features, surgical techniques, and long-term outcomes of repeat bypass surgery required for a certain subset of patients with moyamoya disease.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a total of 22 repeat bypass surgeries for 20 patients (age range 1–69 years) performed during the last 20 years at their institutions. The patients were classified into 2 groups. Group A included 10 patients who underwent repeat bypass surgery for anterior circulation due to insufficient revascularization on the ipsilateral side. Group B included 10 patients who underwent repeat bypass surgery for posterior circulation due to the involvement of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) after successful initial surgery for anterior circulation.

RESULTS

Preoperative symptoms included headache in 3 patients, transient ischemic attack in 10, cerebral infarction in 3, and intracranial hemorrhage in 4 patients. Intervals between the initial bypass surgery and repeat bypass surgery were 0.3–30 years (median 3 years). In group A, superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery (MCA) anastomosis and indirect bypass were performed on 7 hemispheres. Only indirect bypass was performed on 3 hemispheres because of the lack of suitable donor or recipient arteries. In group B, occipital artery (OA) to PCA anastomosis and indirect bypass were conducted on 4 hemispheres, and OA-MCA anastomosis and indirect bypass on 1 hemisphere. Only indirect bypass was conducted on 7 hemispheres because of the lack of suitable recipient arteries. All 22 repeat bypass surgeries were successfully conducted. During follow-up periods (median 4 years), none of the patients suffered repeat stroke except 1 patient who died of recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage 3 years after repeat bypass surgery for anterior circulation.

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat bypass surgery was feasible and effective to reduce further incidence of headache attack, transient ischemic attack, and ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke in moyamoya disease patients. Through precise radiological analysis, surgical procedures should be planned to yield maximal therapeutic effects.

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Ken Kazumata, Khin Khin Tha, Haruto Uchino, Tohru Shiga, Hideo Shichinohe, Masaki Ito, Naoki Nakayama and Takeo Abumiya

OBJECTIVE

After revascularization surgery, hyperperfusion and ischemia are associated with morbidity and mortality in adult moyamoya disease (MMD). However, structural changes within the brain following revascularization surgery, especially in the early postsurgical period, have not been thoroughly studied. Such knowledge may enable improved monitoring and clinical management of hyperperfusion and ischemia in MMD. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the topographic and temporal profiles of cerebral perfusion and related white matter microstructural changes following revascularization surgery in adult MMD.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 20 consecutive surgeries performed in 17 adults. Diffusion imaging in parallel with serial measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using SPECT was performed. Both voxel-based and region-of-interest analyses were performed, comparing neuroimaging parameters of postoperative hemispheres with those of preoperative hemispheres at 4 different time points within 2 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS

Voxel-based analysis showed a distinct topographic pattern of cerebral perfusion, characterized by increased rCBF in the basal ganglia for the first several days and gradually increased rCBF in the lateral prefrontal cortex over 1 week (p < 0.001). Decreased rCBF was also observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, occipital lobe, and cerebellum contralateral to the surgical hemisphere (p < 0.001). Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity (AD), as well as increased radial diffusivity (RD), were demonstrated in both the anterior and posterior limbs of the internal capsule (p < 0.001). Diffusion parameters demonstrated the greatest changes in both FA and RD on Days 1–2 and in AD on Days 3–6; FA, RD, and AD recovered to preoperative levels on Day 14. Patients with transient neurological deteriorations (TNDs), as compared with those without, demonstrated greater increases in rCBF in both the lateral prefrontal cortex and striatum as well as smaller FAs in the posterior limb of the internal capsule (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The excessively increased rCBF and the recovery process were heterogeneous across brain regions, demonstrating a distinct topographic pattern during the initial 2 weeks following revascularization surgery in MMD. Temporary impairments in the deep white matter tract and immediate postoperative ischemia were also identified. The study results characterized postoperative brain perfusion as well as the impact of revascularization surgery on the brain microstructure. Notably, rCBF and white matter changes correlated to TNDs, suggesting that these changes represent potential neuroimaging markers for tracking tissue structural changes associated with hyperperfusion during the acute postoperative period following revascularization surgery for MMD.

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Haruto Uchino, Shusuke Yamamoto, Daina Kashiwazaki, Naoki Akioka, Naoya Kuwayama, Kyo Noguchi and Satoshi Kuroda

OBJECTIVE

The calibers of donor arteries can change dynamically after bypass surgery in patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). The present study aimed to evaluate the cutoffs of caliber changes in donor arteries associated with good surgical revascularization and to assess the impact of clinical factors potentially related to bypass development.

METHODS

The authors studied 71 hemispheres of 30 adults and 16 children with MMD who underwent combined direct and indirect revascularization. They quantitatively measured the calibers of the superficial temporal artery (STA), deep temporal artery (DTA), and middle meningeal artery (MMA) with MR angiography (MRA) source images and calculated the postoperative caliber change ratios (CCRs) to assess direct and indirect bypass development. These values were compared with the findings of digital subtraction angiography, in which revascularization areas were categorized into 3 groups (poor, good, and excellent).

RESULTS

In both adult and pediatric hemispheres, the median STA and DTA CCRs were higher in better-revascularization groups (p < 0.05), while MMA CCRs were not significantly different among the groups. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the cutoff STA CCRs of > 1.1 and > 1.3 were associated with good direct revascularization in adult and pediatric hemispheres, respectively. Cutoff DTA CCRs of > 1.6 and > 1.2 were associated with good indirect revascularization in adult and pediatric hemispheres, respectively. Considering these cutoff values, STA and DTA CCRs showed high median values, irrespective of age, severity of cerebrovascular reserve, disease stage, and disease-onset type.

CONCLUSIONS

Caliber changes in STAs and DTAs can be easily measured using MRA, and they could be indicators of direct and indirect bypass development. The dual development of a direct and indirect bypass was most frequently observed in the context of a combined bypass procedure in both adults and children with MMD.

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Ken Kazumata, Kikutaro Tokairin, Taku Sugiyama, Masaki Ito, Haruto Uchino, Toshiya Osanai, Masahito Kawabori, Naoki Nakayama and Kiyohiro Houkin

OBJECTIVE

The cognitive effects of main cerebral artery occlusive lesions are unclear in children with moyamoya disease (MMD). The authors aimed to investigate cognitive function in the presurgical phase of pediatric patients with MMD with no apparent brain lesions.

METHODS

In this prospective, observational, single-center study, 21 children (mean age 10 ± 3.0 years, range 5–14 years) diagnosed with MMD at Hokkaido University Hospital between 2012 and 2018 were enrolled. A cross-sectional evaluation of intellectual ability was performed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Fourth Edition at the initial diagnosis. rCBF was measured using [123I] N-isopropyl p-iodoamphetamine/SPECT. The associations among clinical factors, disease severity, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), and intelligence test scores were also examined.

RESULTS

The mean full-scale intelligence quotient (FIQ) was 101.8 ± 12.5 (range 76–125) in children with no apparent brain lesions. A significant difference in the intelligence scale index score was observed, most frequently (42.9%) between working memory index (WMI) and verbal comprehension index (VCI; VCI − WMI > 11 points). Regional CBF was significantly reduced both in the left and right medial frontal cortices (left: 61.3 ± 5.3 ml/100 g/min, right 65.3 ± 5.3 ml/100 g/min; p < 0.001) compared to the cerebellum (77.8 ± 6.8 ml/100 g/min). There was a significant association of rCBF in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) with FIQ (r = 0.46, p = 0.034), perceptual reasoning index (PRI; r = 0.44, p = 0.045), and processing speed index (PSI; r = 0.44, p = 0.045). There was an association between rCBF of the left medial frontal cortex and PSI (r = 0.49, p = 0.026). Age of onset, family history, ischemic symptoms, and angiographic severity were not associated with poor cognitive performance.

CONCLUSIONS

Although average intellectual ability was not reduced in children with MMD, the association of reduced rCBF in the left DLPFC and medial frontal cortex with FIQ, PRI, and PSI suggests mild cognitive dysfunction due to cerebral hypoperfusion.

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Daina Kashiwazaki, Masaki Koh, Haruto Uchino, Naoki Akioka, Naoya Kuwayama, Kyo Noguchi and Satoshi Kuroda

OBJECTIVE

The relationship between intraplaque hypoxia and intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) has been reported, but the details remain obscure. In this study, the authors aimed to clarify the relationship among intraplaque hypoxia, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), and neovascularization, which causes IPH. The histological findings of specimens obtained from carotid endarterectomy were assessed.

METHODS

This study included 49 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy. Magnetic resonance plaque imaging was performed to analyze the components of the carotid plaques, and surgical specimens were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis. The numbers of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α)–, CD34-, CD133-, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2)–positive cells in the carotid plaques were precisely quantified, as were the number and maximum diameter of CD31-positive microvessels.

RESULTS

Plaque components were judged as fibrous in 7 samples, lipid-rich in 22, and IPH in 20. The number of CD34-, VEGFR-2–, and CD133-positive cells as an EPC-specific marker was significantly correlated with the number of HIF-1α–positive cells (r = 0.9, r = 0.82, and r = 0.81, respectively). These numbers varied among the 3 plaque components (IPH > lipid-rich > fibrous). The number and maximum luminal diameter of CD31-positive microvessels were also significantly correlated with the number of HIF-1α–positive cells (r = 0.85 and r = 0.89, respectively) and varied among the 3 plaque components (IPH > lipid-rich > fibrous).

CONCLUSIONS

The present findings suggest that intraplaque hypoxia may accelerate abnormal microvessel formation derived from EPCs, which in turn promotes IPH. The results also suggest that microvessel enlargement is a pivotal characteristic of IPH and these enlarged microvessels are immature endothelial tubes with disorganized branching and are fragile and prone to rupture.