Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a significant cause of death in young and middle-aged individuals and causes tremendous morbidity in affected patients. Despite the identification of various risk factors, the series of events leading to the formation, growth, and rupture of intracranial aneurysms is poorly understood. Cerebral aneurysm rupture has been associated with sexual intercourse and other forms of physical exercise. In fact, multiple case series reported that coitus was the immediate preceding activity in 3.8–14.5% of patients suffering from aneurysmal SAH. This may be related to the large elevations in mean arterial blood pressure that occur in both males and females during sexual intercourse (130–175 and 125–160 mm Hg, respectively). While coitus and physical exercise share important physiological similarities, each may differentially affect the probability that a preformed aneurysm will rupture. In this literature review and synthesis, the authors analyze the physiological human response to sexual intercourse in an effort to delineate those factors that may precipitate aneurysmal rupture. The authors' analysis is based on the original data collected by Masters and Johnson. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first review to address the link between sexual intercourse and intracranial aneurysmal rupture. While actual measurements of the physiological variables relevant to SAH were not performed in this article, the authors make reasonable assumptions based on the available data to help elucidate the mechanism of sexually induced aneurysmal rupture.
Matthew R. Reynolds, Jon T. Willie, Gregory J. Zipfel, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.
Abhijeet Gummadavelli, Adam J. Kundishora, Jon T. Willie, John P. Andrews, Jason L. Gerrard, Dennis D. Spencer, and Hal Blumenfeld
When drug-resistant epilepsy is poorly localized or surgical resection is contraindicated, current neurostimulation strategies such as deep brain stimulation and vagal nerve stimulation can palliate the frequency or severity of seizures. However, despite medical and neuromodulatory therapy, a significant proportion of patients continue to experience disabling seizures that impair awareness, causing disability and risking injury or sudden unexplained death. We propose a novel strategy in which neuromodulation is used not only to reduce seizures but also to ameliorate impaired consciousness when the patient is in the ictal and postictal states. Improving or preventing alterations in level of consciousness may have an effect on morbidity (e.g., accidents, drownings, falls), risk for death, and quality of life. Recent studies may have elucidated underlying networks and mechanisms of impaired consciousness and yield potential novel targets for neuromodulation. The feasibility, benefits, and pitfalls of potential deep brain stimulation targets are illustrated in human and animal studies involving minimally conscious/vegetative states, movement disorders, depth of anesthesia, sleep-wake regulation, and epilepsy. We review evidence that viable therapeutic targets for impaired consciousness associated with seizures may be provided by key nodes of the consciousness system in the brainstem reticular activating system, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, thalamus, and basal forebrain.
David D. Limbrick Jr., Stephen Lake, Michael Talcott, Benjamin Alexander, Samuel Wight, Jon T. Willie, William D. Richard, Guy M. Genin, and Eric C. Leuthardt
Prompt diagnosis of shunt malfunction is critical in preventing neurological morbidity and death in individuals with hydrocephalus; however, diagnostic methods for this condition remain limited. For several decades, investigators have sought a long-term, implantable intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor to assist in the diagnosis of shunt malfunction, but efforts have been impeded by device complexity, marked measurement drift, and limited instrumentation lifespan. In the current report, the authors introduce an entirely novel, simple, compressible gas design that addresses each of these problems.
The device described herein, termed the “baric probe,” consists of a subdural fluid bladder and multichannel indicator that monitors the position of an air-fluid interface (AFI). A handheld ultrasound probe is used to interrogate the baric probe in vivo, permitting noninvasive ICP determination. To assess the function of device prototypes, ex vivo experiments were conducted using a water column, and short- and long-term in vivo experiments were performed using a porcine model with concurrent measurements of ICP via a fiberoptic monitor.
Following a toe region of approximately 2 cm H2O, the baric probe's AFI demonstrated a predictable linear relationship to ICP in both ex vivo and in vivo models. After a 2-week implantation of the device, this linear relationship remained robust and reproducible. Further, changes in ICP were observed with the baric probe, on average, 3 seconds in advance of the fiberoptic ICP monitor reading.
The authors demonstrate “proof-of-concept” and feasibility for the baric probe, a long-term implantable ICP monitor designed to facilitate the prompt and accurate diagnosis of shunt malfunction. The baric probe showed a consistent linear relationship between ICP and the device's AFI in ex vivo and short- and long-term in vivo models. With a low per-unit cost, a reduced need for radiography or CT, and an indicator that can be read with a handheld ultrasound probe that interfaces with any smart phone, the baric probe promises to simplify the care of patients with shunt-treated hydrocephalus throughout both the developed and the developing world.
Christopher W. Rich, Rebecca E. Fasano, Faical Isbaine, Amit M. Saindane, Deqiang Qiu, Daniel J. Curry, Robert E. Gross, and Jon T. Willie
Several small series have described stereotactic MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for partial callosotomy of astatic and generalized tonic-clonic (GTC) seizures, especially in association with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Larger case series and comparison of distinct stereotactic methods for stereotactic laser corpus callosotomy (SLCC), however, are currently lacking. The objective of this study was to report seizure outcomes in a series of adult patients with epilepsy following anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures and to compare the results achieved with a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance frames.
The authors retrospectively reviewed sequential adult epilepsy surgery patients who underwent SLCC procedures at a single institution. They describe workflows, stereotactic errors, percentage disconnection, hospitalization durations, adverse events, and seizure outcomes after performing anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures using a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance platforms.
Thirteen patients underwent 15 SLCC procedures. The median age at surgery was 29 years (range 20–49 years), the median duration of epilepsy was 21 years (range 9–48 years), and median postablation follow-up was 20 months (range 4–44 months). Ten patients underwent anterior SLCC with a median 73% (range 33%–80%) midsagittal length of callosum acutely ablated. Following anterior SLCC, 6 of 10 patients achieved meaningful (> 50%) reduction of target seizures. Four patients underwent posterior (completion) SLCC following prior anterior callosotomy, and 1 patient underwent complete SLCC as a single procedure; 3 of these 5 patients experienced meaningful reduction of target seizures. Overall, 8 of 10 patients in whom astatic seizures were targeted and treated by anterior and/or posterior SLCC experienced meaningful improvement. SLCC procedures with direct MRI guidance (n = 7) versus a frameless surgical robot (n = 8) yielded median radial accuracies of 1.1 mm (range 0.2–2.0 mm) versus 2.4 mm (range 0.6–6.1 mm; p = 0.0011). The most serious adverse event was a clinically significant intraparenchymal hemorrhage in a patient who underwent the robotic technique.
This is the largest reported series of SLCC for epilepsy to date. SLCC provides seizure outcomes comparable to open surgery outcomes reported in the literature. Direct MRI guidance is more accurate, which has the potential to reduce the risks of SLCC. Methodological advancements and larger studies are needed.
Yarema B. Bezchlibnyk, Vibhash D. Sharma, Kushal B. Naik, Faical Isbaine, John T. Gale, Jennifer Cheng, Shirley D. Triche, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Cathrin M. Buetefisch, Jon T. Willie, Nicholas M. Boulis, Stewart A. Factor, Thomas Wichmann, Mahlon R. DeLong, and Robert E. Gross
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead placement is increasingly performed with the patient under general anesthesia by surgeons using intraoperative MRI (iMRI) guidance without microelectrode recording (MER) or macrostimulation. The authors assessed the accuracy of lead placement, safety, and motor outcomes in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) undergoing DBS lead placement into the globus pallidus internus (GPi) using iMRI or MER guidance.
The authors identified all patients with PD who underwent either MER- or iMRI-guided GPi-DBS lead placement at Emory University between July 2007 and August 2016. Lead placement accuracy and adverse events were determined for all patients. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III motor scores for patients completing 12 months of follow-up. The authors also assessed the levodopa-equivalent daily dose (LEDD) and stimulation parameters.
Seventy-seven patients were identified (MER, n = 28; iMRI, n = 49), in whom 131 leads were placed. The stereotactic accuracy of the surgical procedure with respect to the planned lead location was 1.94 ± 0.21 mm (mean ± SEM) (95% CI 1.54–2.34) with frame-based MER and 0.84 ± 0.007 mm (95% CI 0.69–0.98) with iMRI. The rate of serious complications was similar, at 6.9% for MER-guided DBS lead placement and 9.4% for iMRI-guided DBS lead placement (RR 0.71 [95% CI 0.13%–3.9%]; p = 0.695). Fifty-seven patients were included in clinical outcome analyses (MER, n = 16; iMRI, n = 41). Both groups had similar characteristics at baseline, although patients undergoing MER-guided DBS had a lower response on their baseline levodopa challenge (44.8% ± 5.4% [95% CI 33.2%–56.4%] vs 61.6% ± 2.1% [95% CI 57.4%–65.8%]; t = 3.558, p = 0.001). Greater improvement was seen following iMRI-guided lead placement (43.2% ± 3.5% [95% CI 36.2%–50.3%]) versus MER-guided lead placement (25.5% ± 6.7% [95% CI 11.1%–39.8%]; F = 5.835, p = 0.019). When UPDRS III motor scores were assessed only in the contralateral hemibody (per-lead analyses), the improvements remained significantly different (37.1% ± 7.2% [95% CI 22.2%–51.9%] and 50.0% ± 3.5% [95% CI 43.1%–56.9%] for MER- and iMRI-guided DBS lead placement, respectively). Both groups exhibited similar reductions in LEDDs (21.2% and 20.9%, respectively; F = 0.221, p = 0.640). The locations of all active contacts and the 2D radial distance from these to consensus coordinates for GPi-DBS lead placement (x, ±20; y, +2; and z, −4) did not differ statistically by type of surgery.
iMRI-guided GPi-DBS lead placement in PD patients was associated with significant improvement in clinical outcomes, comparable to those observed following MER-guided DBS lead placement. Furthermore, iMRI-guided DBS implantation produced a similar safety profile to that of the MER-guided procedure. As such, iMRI guidance is an alternative to MER guidance for patients undergoing GPi-DBS implantation for PD.
Vibhash D. Sharma, Yarema B. Bezchlibnyk, Faical Isbaine, Kushal B. Naik, Jennifer Cheng, John T. Gale, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Cathrin Buetefisch, Stewart A. Factor, Jon T. Willie, Nicholas M. Boulis, Thomas Wichmann, Mahlon R. DeLong, and Robert E. Gross
Lead placement for deep brain stimulation (DBS) using intraoperative MRI (iMRI) relies solely on real-time intraoperative neuroimaging to guide electrode placement, without microelectrode recording (MER) or electrical stimulation. There is limited information, however, on outcomes after iMRI-guided DBS for dystonia. The authors evaluated clinical outcomes and targeting accuracy in patients with dystonia who underwent lead placement using an iMRI targeting platform.
Patients with dystonia undergoing iMRI-guided lead placement in the globus pallidus pars internus (GPi) were identified. Patients with a prior ablative or MER-guided procedure were excluded from clinical outcomes analysis. Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) scores and Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) scores were assessed preoperatively and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. Other measures analyzed include lead accuracy, complications/adverse events, and stimulation parameters.
A total of 60 leads were implanted in 30 patients. Stereotactic lead accuracy in the axial plane was 0.93 ± 0.12 mm from the intended target. Nineteen patients (idiopathic focal, n = 7; idiopathic segmental, n = 5; DYT1, n = 1; tardive, n = 2; other secondary, n = 4) were included in clinical outcomes analysis. The mean improvement in BFMDRS score was 51.9% ± 9.7% at 6 months and 63.4% ± 8.0% at 1 year. TWSTRS scores in patients with predominant cervical dystonia (n = 13) improved by 53.3% ± 10.5% at 6 months and 67.6% ± 9.0% at 1 year. Serious complications occurred in 6 patients (20%), involving 8 of 60 implanted leads (13.3%). The rate of serious complications across all patients undergoing iMRI-guided DBS at the authors’ institution was further reviewed, including an additional 53 patients undergoing GPi-DBS for Parkinson disease. In this expanded cohort, serious complications occurred in 11 patients (13.3%) involving 15 leads (10.1%).
Intraoperative MRI–guided lead placement in patients with dystonia showed improvement in clinical outcomes comparable to previously reported results using awake MER-guided lead placement. The accuracy of lead placement was high, and the procedure was well tolerated in the majority of patients. However, a number of patients experienced serious adverse events that were attributable to the introduction of a novel technique into a busy neurosurgical practice, and which led to the revision of protocols, product inserts, and on-site training.