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Kristine Ravina, Robert C. Rennert, Ben A. Strickland, Mark Chien, Joseph N. Carey and Jonathan J. Russin

Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a progressive, idiopathic cerebrovascular occlusive disease. Various revascularization techniques including direct, indirect, and combined microvascular bypasses have been described. This article presents a modified revascularization technique for MMD utilizing a pedicled temporoparietal fascial flap (TPFF) for combined revascularization. This technique combines a large area of coverage for indirect revascularization with the benefits of a direct bypass. The pedicled TPFF also benefits from intact venous drainage to minimize the risk of flap swelling that could result in complications from mass effect.

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Kristine Ravina, Ben A. Strickland, Robert C. Rennert, Joseph N. Carey and Jonathan J. Russin

Graft stenosis and occlusion remain formidable complications in cerebral revascularization procedures, which can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Graft vasospasm can result in early postoperative graft stenosis and occlusion and is believed to be at least partially mediated through adrenergic pathways. Despite various published treatment protocols, there is no single effective spasmolytic agent. Multiple factors, including anatomical and physiological variability in revascularization conduits, patient age, and comorbidities, have been associated with graft vasospasm pathogenesis and response to spasmolytics. The ideal spasmolytic agent thus likely needs to target multiple pathways to exert a generalizable therapeutic effect. Botulinum toxin (BTX)–A is a powerful neurotoxin widely used in clinical practice for the treatment of a variety of spastic conditions. Although its commonly described paradigm of cholinergic neural transmission blockade has been widely accepted, evidence for other mechanisms of action including inhibition of adrenergic transmission have been described in animal studies. Recently, the first pilot study demonstrating clinical use of BTX-A for cerebral revascularization graft spasm prevention has been reported. In this review, the mechanistic basis and potential future clinical role of BTX-A in graft vasospasm prevention is discussed.

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Joseph S. Soblosky, N. Lynn Rogers, Jeffery A. Adams, J. Bryan Farrell, June F. Davidson and Michael E. Carey

✓ This study was performed to ascertain the acute effects of brain missile wounding on brain-stem and hypothalamic biogenic amines in a group of cats anesthetized with pentobarbital (40 mg/kg). Brain wounding is associated with a concomitant increase in intracranial pressure (ICP); to separate the effects of elevated ICP alone from the effects of wounding, a second group of cats had ICP artificially increased from a normal level of approximately 5 mm Hg to approximately 140 mm Hg by infusion of mock cerebrospinal fluid into the cisterna magna. In both groups, significant epinephrine depletions (47% to 74%) occurred in the nucleus tractus solitarius, area A1C1, locus ceruleus, raphe nuclei, and posterior hypothalamus. Epinephrine levels were also significantly decreased in the anterior hypothalamus in the wounded cats. In addition, both brain wounding and artificially induced ICP increases caused significant decreases of norepinephrine in the posterior hypothalamus, and of serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, dopamine, and homovanillic acid in the raphe nuclei. Only brain wounding, however, caused significant reductions of norepinephrine, dopamine, and homovanillic acid in the nucleus tractus solitarius and area A1C1. The plasma catecholamine levels resulting from brain wounding or artificially induced ICP increases were dissimilar only in the amount of time required to attain maximum plasma levels, with the wounded animals responding faster. It is concluded that the hypothalamic and brain-stem biogenic amine changes resulting from either brain wounding or increased ICP alone are reflective of a stress response. Brain-stem distortion caused by brain wounding did not appear to be a factor and monoaminergic systems appeared to remain intact despite a severe and eventually lethal brain injury. If the detected depletion of epinephrine and serotonin levels is associated with potentially lethal brain injury, pharmacological intervention may be possible.