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Jan Gralla, Raphael Guzman, Caspar Brekenfeld, Luca Remonda and Claus Kiefer

Object. Conventional imaging for neuronavigation is performed using high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scanning or a T1-weighted isovoxel magnetic resonance (MR) sequence. The extension of some lesions, however, is depicted much better on T2-weighted MR images. A possible fusion process used to match low-resolution T2-weighted MR image set with a referenced CT or T1-weighted data set leads to poor resolution in the three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and decreases accuracy, which is unacceptable for neuronavigation. The object of this work was to develop a 3D T2-weighted isovoxel sequence (3D turbo—spin echo [TSE]) for image-guided neuronavigation of the whole brain and to evaluate its clinical application.

Methods. The authors performed a phantom study and a clinical trial on a newly developed T2-weighted isovoxel sequence, 3D TSE, for image-guided neuronavigation using a common 1.5-tesla MR imager (Siemens Sonata whole-body imager). The accuracy study and intraoperative image guidance were performed with the aid of the pointer-based Medtronic Stealth Station Treon.

The 3D TSE data set was easily applied to the navigational setup and demonstrated a high registration accuracy during the experimental trial and during an initial prospective clinical trial in 25 patients. The sequence displayed common disposable skin fiducial markers and provided convincing delineation of lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images such as low-grade gliomas and cavernomas in its clinical application.

Conclusions. Three-dimensional TSE imaging broadens the spectrum of navigational and intraoperative data sets, especially for lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images. The accuracy of its registration is very reliable and it enables high-resolution reconstruction in any orientation, maintaining the advantages of image-guided surgery.

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Clemens Raabe, Jens Fichtner, Jürgen Beck, Jan Gralla and Andreas Raabe

OBJECTIVE

Frontal ventriculostomy is one of the most frequent and standardized procedures in neurosurgery. However, many first and subsequent punctures miss the target, and suboptimal placement or misplacement of the catheter is common. The authors therefore reexamined the landmarks and rules to determine the entry point and trajectory with the best hit rate (HtR).

METHODS

The authors randomly selected CT scans from their institution’s DICOM pool that had been obtained in 50 patients with normal ventricular and skull anatomy and without ventricular puncture. Using a 5 × 5–cm frontal grid with 25 entry points referenced to the bregma, the authors examined trajectories 1) perpendicular to the skull, 2) toward classic facial landmarks in the coronal and sagittal planes, and 3) toward an idealized target in the middle of the ipsilateral anterior horn (ILAH). Three-dimensional virtual reality ventriculostomies were simulated for these entry points; trajectories and the HtRs were recorded, resulting in an investigation of 8000 different virtual procedures.

RESULTS

The best HtR for the ILAH was 86% for an ideal trajectory, 84% for a landmark trajectory, and 83% for a 90° trajectory, but only at specific entry points. The highest HtRs were found for entry points 3 or 4 cm lateral to the midline, but only in combination with a trajectory toward the contralateral canthus; and 1 or 2 cm lateral to the midline, but only paired with a trajectory toward the nasion. The same “pairing” exists for entry points and trajectories in the sagittal plane. For perpendicular (90°) trajectories, the best entry points were at 3–5 cm lateral to the midline and 3 cm anterior to the bregma, or 4 cm lateral to the midline and 2 cm anterior to the bregma.

CONCLUSIONS

Only a few entry points offer a chance of a greater than 80% rate of hitting the ILAH, and then only in combination with a specific trajectory. This “pairing” between entry point and trajectory was found both for landmark targeting and for perpendicular trajectories, with very limited variability. Surprisingly, the ipsilateral medial canthus, a commonly reported landmark, had low HtRs, and should not be recommended as a trajectory target.

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Jan Gralla, Adam T.M. Rennie, Wayne Squire, Peter M. Rothwell and Wilhem Kuker

Interventional treatment of severe intracranial stenoses using angioplasty and stent placement carries a significant risk of severe adverse events. These events are frequently caused by the intraarterial dilation but may also be precipitated by other causes related to the procedure. The authors describe a fatal subarachnoid hemorrhage during the treatment of a basilar artery (BA) stenosis caused by a vascular rupture distant from the site of angioplasty. After successful balloon dilation, an attempt to deploy a self-expanding stent failed due to the severe kinking of the stenotic segment of the BA. The angiogram performed during the intervention revealed a fatal rupture of the BA in a location not related to the angioplasty or guide wire tip. The technical aspects of the intervention are analyzed on the basis of the postmortem findings.

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Jürgen Beck, Christian Fung, Christian T. Ulrich, Michael Fiechter, Jens Fichtner, Heinrich P. Mattle, Marie-Luise Mono, Niklaus Meier, Pasquale Mordasini, Werner J. Z’Graggen, Jan Gralla and Andreas Raabe

OBJECTIVE

Spinal CSF leakage causes spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). The aim of this study was to characterize CSF dynamics via lumbar infusion testing in patients with and without proven spinal CSF leakage in order to explore possible discriminators for the presence of an open CSF leak.

METHODS

This analysis included all patients with suspected SIH who were treated at the authors’ institution between January 2012 and February 2015. The gold standard for “proven” CSF leakage is considered to be extrathecal contrast accumulation after intrathecal contrast injection. To characterize CSF dynamics, the authors performed computerized lumbar infusion testing to measure lumbar pressure at baseline (opening pressure) and at plateau, as well as pulse amplitude, CSF outflow resistance (RCSF), craniospinal elastance, and pressure-volume index.

RESULTS

Thirty-one patients underwent clinical imaging and lumbar infusion testing and were included in the final analysis. A comparison of the 14 patients with proven CSF leakage with the 17 patients without leakage showed a statistically significantly lower lumbar opening pressure (p < 0.001), plateau pressure (p < 0.001), and RCSF (p < 0.001) in the group with leakage. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for an RCSF cutoff of ≤ 5 mm Hg/(ml/min) were 0.86, 1.0, 1.0, and 0.89 (area under the curve of 0.96), respectively. The median pressure-volume index was higher (p = 0.003), and baseline (p = 0.017) and plateau (p < 0.001) pulse amplitudes were lower in patients with a proven leak.

CONCLUSIONS

Lumbar infusion testing captures a distinct pattern of CSF dynamics associated with spinal CSF leakage. RCSF assessed by computerized lumbar infusion testing has an excellent diagnostic accuracy and is more accurate than evaluating the lumbar opening pressure. The authors suggest inclusion of RCSF in the diagnostic criteria for SIH.

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Christian Fung, Fabienne Inglin, Michael Murek, Mathias Balmer, Janine Abu-Isa, Werner J. Z’Graggen, Christoph Ozdoba, Jan Gralla, Stephan M. Jakob, Jukka Takala, Jürgen Beck and Andreas Raabe

OBJECT

Current data show a favorable outcome in up to 50% of patients with World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Grade V subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and a rather poor prediction of worst cases. Thus, the usefulness of the current WFNS grading system for identifying the worst scenarios for clinical studies and for making treatment decisions is limited. One reason for this lack of differentiation is the use of “negative” or “silent” diagnostic signs as part of the WFNS Grade V definition. The authors therefore reevaluated the WFNS scale by using “positive” clinical signs and the logic of the Glasgow Coma Scale as a progressive herniation score.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 182 patients with SAH who had poor grades on the WFNS scale. Patients were graded according to the original WFNS scale and additionally according to a modified classification, the WFNS herniation (hWFNS) scale (Grade IV, no clinical signs of herniation; Grade V, clinical signs of herniation). The prediction of poor outcome was compared between these two grading systems.

RESULTS

The positive predictive values of Grade V for poor outcome were 74.3% (OR 3.79, 95% CI 1.94–7.54) for WFNS Grade V and 85.7% (OR 8.27, 95% CI 3.78–19.47) for hWFNS Grade V. With respect to mortality, the positive predictive values were 68.3% (OR 3.9, 95% CI 2.01–7.69) for WFNS Grade V and 77.9% (OR 6.22, 95% CI 3.07–13.14) for hWFNS Grade V.

CONCLUSIONS

Limiting WFNS Grade V to the positive clinical signs of the Glasgow Coma Scale such as flexion, extension, and pupillary abnormalities instead of including “no motor response” increases the prediction of mortality and poor outcome in patients with severe SAH.

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Lukas Andereggen, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Marwan El-Koussy, Rajeev K. Verma, Kenya Yuki, Daniel Schoeni, Kety Hsieh, Jan Gralla, Gerhard Schroth, Juergen Beck, Andreas Raabe, Marcel Arnold, Michael Reinert and Robert H. Andres

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS) is a rare but devastating complication of carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This study sought to determine whether quantitative hemodynamic assessment using MR angiography can stratify CHS risk.

METHODS

In this prospective trial, patients with internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis were randomly selected for pre- and postoperative quantitative phase-contrast MR angiography (QMRA). Assessment was standardized according to a protocol and included Doppler/duplex sonography, MRI, and/or CT angiography and QMRA of the intra- and extracranial supplying arteries of the brain. Clinical and radiological data were analyzed to identify CHS risk factors.

RESULTS

Twenty-five of 153 patients who underwent CEA for ICA stenosis were randomly selected for pre- and postoperative QMRA. QMRA data showed a 2.2-fold postoperative increase in blood flow in the operated ICA (p < 0.001) and a 1.3-fold increase in the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA) (p = 0.01). Four patients had clinically manifested CHS. The mean flow increases in the patients with CHS were significantly higher than in the patients without CHS, both in the ICA and MCA (p < 0.001). Female sex and a low preoperative diastolic blood pressure were the clearest clinical risk factors for CHS, whereas the flow differences and absolute postoperative flow values in the ipsilateral ICA and MCA were identified as potential radiological predictors for CHS.

CONCLUSIONS

Cerebral blood flow in the ipsilateral ICA and MCA as assessed by QMRA significantly increased after CEA. Higher mean flow differences in ICA and MCA were associated with the development of CHS. QMRA might have the potential to become a noninvasive, operator-independent screening tool for identifying patients at risk for CHS.

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Jürgen Beck, Jan Gralla, Christian Fung, Christian T. Ulrich, Philippe Schucht, Jens Fichtner, Lukas Andereggen, Martin Gosau, Elke Hattingen, Klemens Gutbrod, Werner J. Z'Graggen, Michael Reinert, Jürg Hüsler, Christoph Ozdoba and Andreas Raabe

Object

The etiology of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) in nongeriatric patients (≤ 60 years old) often remains unclear. The primary objective of this study was to identify spinal CSF leaks in young patients, after formulating the hypothesis that spinal CSF leaks are causally related to CSDH.

Methods

All consecutive patients 60 years of age or younger who underwent operations for CSDH between September 2009 and April 2011 at Bern University Hospital were included in this prospective cohort study. The patient workup included an extended search for a spinal CSF leak using a systematic algorithm: MRI of the spinal axis with or without intrathecal contrast application, myelography/fluoroscopy, and postmyelography CT. Spinal pathologies were classified according to direct proof of CSF outflow from the intrathecal to the extrathecal space, presence of extrathecal fluid accumulation, presence of spinal meningeal cysts, or no pathological findings. The primary outcome was proof of a CSF leak.

Results

Twenty-seven patients, with a mean age of 49.6 ± 9.2 years, underwent operations for CSDH. Hematomas were unilateral in 20 patients and bilateral in 7 patients. In 7 (25.9%) of 27 patients, spinal CSF leakage was proven, in 9 patients (33.3%) spinal meningeal cysts in the cervicothoracic region were found, and 3 patients (11.1%) had spinal cysts in the sacral region. The remaining 8 patients (29.6%) showed no pathological findings.

Conclusions

The direct proof of spinal CSF leakage in 25.9% of patients suggests that spinal CSF leaks may be a frequent cause of nongeriatric CSDH.