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Malte Ottenhausen, Imithri Bodhinayake, Alexander I. Evins, Matei Banu, John A. Boockvar, and Antonio Bernardo

In this article the authors discuss the development of neurosurgical approaches and the advances in science and technology that influenced this development throughout history. They provide a broad overview of this interesting topic from the first attempts of trephination by ancient cultures to the work of the pioneers of neurosurgery and the introduction of microsurgery.

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Malte Ottenhausen, Imithri Bodhinayake, Matei A. Banu, Philip E. Stieg, and Theodore H. Schwartz

In 1955, Vincent du Vigneaud (1901–1978), the chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at Cornell University Medical College, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his research on insulin and for the first synthesis of the posterior pituitary hormones—oxytocin and vasopressin. His tremendous contribution to organic chemistry, which began as an interest in sulfur-containing compounds, paved the way for a better understanding of the pituitary gland and for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools for diseases of the pituitary. His seminal research continues to impact neurologists, endocrinologists, and neurosurgeons, and enables them to treat patients who had no alternatives prior to du Vigneaud’s breakthroughs in peptide structure and synthesis. The ability of neurosurgeons to aggressively operate on parasellar pathology was directly impacted and related to the ability to replace these hormones after surgery. The authors review the life and career of Vincent du Vigneaud, his groundbreaking discoveries, and his legacy of the understanding and treatment of the pituitary gland in health and disease.

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Jessica S. Haber, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Malte Ottenhausen, Imithri Bodhinayake, Marc J. Dinkin, Alan Z. Segal, Young M. Lee, and John A. Boockvar

Cavernous sinus cavernous hemangiomas in pregnancy are extremely rare lesions. The precise management of these lesions remains unknown. The authors present a case of a cavernous hemangioma in pregnancy, centered within the cavernous sinus that underwent postpartum involution without surgical intervention.

A 34-year-old pregnant patient (gravida 1, para 0) presented to an otolaryngologist with persistent headache and left-sided facial pain and numbness in the V1 distribution. While being treated for sinusitis, her symptoms progressed to include a left-sided oculomotor palsy and abducens palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging without contrast revealed an expansile mass within the left cavernous sinus consistent with a cavernous hemangioma. The patient was evaluated by a neurosurgeon who recommended close follow-up and postpartum imaging without surgical intervention. Although the lesion enlarged during pregnancy, the patient was able to undergo an uncomplicated cesarean section at 37 weeks. All facial and ocular symptoms resolved by 9 months postpartum, and MRI showed a decrease in lesion size and reduced mass effect. The authors conclude that nonsurgical management may be a viable approach in patients who have an onset or exacerbation of symptoms associated with cavernous sinus cavernous hemangiomas during pregnancy because postpartum involution may negate the need for surgical intervention.