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Nam-Hee Kim, Keun-Tae Cho and Hyung Suk Seo

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) is rare and potentially life-threatening disease often presenting as vascular myelopathy. The early and proper diagnosis is challenging because the clinical manifestations are related to the distribution of the draining vein, not the fistula site, and imaging findings are similar to demyelinating disease of the spinal cord. The authors present the case of a 45-year-old man who developed acute progressive quadriplegia and respiratory difficulty with an enhancing, longitudinally extensive cervical cord lesion. These symptoms were highly suspicious for transverse myelitis but were caused by an intracranial DAVF. Intracranial DAVF with venous reflux to the brainstem and spinal cord is a rare but important differential diagnosis of progressive worsening myelopathy that is treatment resistant and gives the diagnostic impression of transverse myelitis.

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You Gyoung Yi, Keewon Kim, Hyung-Ik Shin, Moon Suk Bang, Hee-Soo Kim, Jinwoo Choi, Kyu-Chang Wang, Seung-Ki Kim, Ji Yeoun Lee, Ji Hoon Phi and Han Gil Seo

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to investigate the feasibility and safety of intraoperative motor evoked potential (MEP) monitoring in infants less than 3 months of age.

METHODS

The authors investigated 25 cases in which infants younger than 3 months (mean age 72.8 days, range 39–87) underwent neurosurgery between 2014 and 2017. Myogenic MEPs were obtained through transcranial electrical stimulation. In all cases, surgery was performed under total intravenous anesthesia, maintained with remifentanil and propofol.

RESULTS

MEPs were documented in 24 infants, the sole exception being 1 infant who was lethargic and had 4-limb weakness before surgery. The mean stimulation intensity maintained during monitoring was 596 ± 154 V (range 290–900 V). In 19 of 24 infants MEP signals remained at ≥ 50% of the baseline amplitude throughout the operation. Among 5 cases with a decrease in intraoperative MEP amplitude, the MEP signal was recovered in one during surgery, and in the other case a neurological examination could not be performed after surgery. In the other 3 cases, 2 infants had relevant postoperative weakness and the other did not show postoperative neurological deficits. Postoperative weakness was not observed in any of the 20 infants who had no deterioration (n = 19) or only temporary deterioration (n = 1) in MEP signal during surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Transcranial electrical MEPs could be implemented during neurosurgery in infants between 1 and 3 months of age. Intraoperative MEP monitoring may be a safe adjunct for neurosurgical procedures in these very young patients.