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Jason A. Ellis, Juan C. Mejia Munne and Christopher J. Winfree

OBJECT

Trigeminal branch stimulation has been used in the treatment of craniofacial pain syndromes. The risks and benefits of such an approach have not been clearly delineated in large studies, however. The authors report their experience in treating craniofacial pain with trigeminal branch stimulation and share the lessons they have learned after 93 consecutive electrode placements.

METHODS

A retrospective review of all patients who underwent trigeminal branch electrode placement by the senior author (C.J.W.) for the treatment of craniofacial pain was performed.

RESULTS

Thirty-five patients underwent implantation of a total of 93 trial and permanent electrodes between 2006 and 2013. Fifteen patients who experienced improved pain control after trial stimulation underwent implantation of permanent stimulators and were followed for an average of 15 months. At last follow-up 73% of patients had improvement in pain control, whereas only 27% of patients had no pain improvement. No serious complications were seen during the course of this study.

CONCLUSIONS

Trigeminal branch stimulation is a safe and effective treatment for a subset of patients with intractable craniofacial pain.

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Jason A. Ellis, Juan C. Mejia Munne, Neil A. Feldstein and Philip M. Meyers

Sinus pericranii is an uncommon congenital cranial venous malformation that may become symptomatic in the pediatric population. Both dominant and accessory sinus pericranii, as determined by the intracranial venous drainage pattern, have been described. The dominant variety drain a significant proportion of the intracranial venous outflow while the accessory variety have minimal or no role in this. Classic teachings hold that dominant sinus pericranii should never be treated while accessory sinus pericranii may be safely obliterated. This determination of dominance is solely based on a qualitative assessment of standard venous phase catheter cerebral angiography, leaving some doubt regarding the actual safety of obliteration. In this paper the authors describe a simple and unique method for determining whether intracranial venous outflow may be compromised by sinus pericranii treatment. This involves performing catheter angiography while the lesion is temporarily obliterated by external compression. Analysis of intracranial venous outflow in this setting allows visualization of angiographic changes that will occur once the sinus pericranii is permanently obliterated. Thus, the safety of surgical intervention can be more fully appraised using this technique.

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Jennifer A. Kosty, Juan Mejia-Munne, Rimal Dossani, Amey Savardekar and Bharat Guthikonda

Jacques Jean Lhermitte (1877–1959) was among the most accomplished neurologists of the 20th century. In addition to working as a clinician and instructor, he authored more than 800 papers and 16 books on neurology, neuropathology, psychiatry, and mystical phenomena. In addition to the well-known “Lhermitte’s sign,” an electrical shock–like sensation caused by spinal cord irritation in demyelinating disease, Lhermitte was a pioneer in the study of the relationship between the physical substance of the brain and the experience of the mind. A fascinating example of this is the syndrome of peduncular hallucinosis, characterized by vivid visual hallucinations occurring in fully lucid patients. This syndrome, which was initially described as the result of a midbrain insult, also may occur with injury to the thalamus or pons. It has been reported as a presenting symptom of various tumors and as a complication of neurosurgical procedures. Here, the authors review the life of Lhermitte and provide a historical review of the syndrome of peduncular hallucinosis.