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Koji Iida, Kaoru Kurisu, Kazunori Arita, and Minako Ohtani

Object. The goal of this study was to elucidate the optimal time for rewarming of patients who have been treated with hypothermia for severe head injury.

Methods. Eleven patients with severe head injuries who had been treated by hypothermia underwent transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography examinations. The patients were divided into two groups: Group A consisted of three patients in whom acute brain swelling occurred during the rewarming period and Group B was composed of eight patients who displayed no significant intracranial hypertension during or after hypothermia therapy. In all patients, the mean flow velocity of the middle cerebral artery (FVMCA) recorded transcranially and the mean flow velocity of the internal carotid artery (FVICA), recorded high in the neck, were monitored at 24-hour intervals after the patient was admitted to the hospital. In Group A, the FVMCA was normal at 48 hours (maintenance state of hypothermia) in each patient, and abnormal increases and peak values (> 100 cm/second) occurred from 96 to 144 hours postinjury (rewarming period). The FVICA, which was monitored concurrently also varied as the FVMCA increased. The pulsatility indices in the arteries decreased at the time of the peak FVMCA. The enhanced FVMCA was consistent with hyperemia because of the low FVMCA/FVICA ratios (< 3). Two patients in whom jugular venous oxygen saturation was monitored were found to have high values (> 80%), representing hyperemia. All intracranial pressures (ICPs) that lay within the normal range at 48 hours postinjury elevated acutely after the peak FVMCA. In Group B, both FVMCA and FVICA values were normal at 48 hours postinjury and remained stable throughout the rewarming period. Values of ICP were also maintained within the normal range until the patients were weaned from hypothermia therapy.

Conclusions. Hyperemia, detectable by TCD ultrasonography, may serve as an index in the prediction of acute brain swelling, and rewarming should be terminated when such a hemodynamic phenomenon is observed.

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Tetsuya Nagayama, Yosuke Nishimuta, Sei Sugata, Teruhiko Nishizawa, and Kazunori Arita

In patients with severe arteriosclerosis or anatomical variations such as a bovine arch, the insertion of a guiding catheter for carotid artery stenting is difficult. The authors use a guide wire system as an anchor and advance the guiding catheter to an area proximal to the stenotic structure. This method is useful and safer than others for carotid artery stenting.

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Yasuyuki Kinoshita, Atsushi Tominaga, Satoshi Usui, Kazunori Arita, Tetsuhiko Sakoguchi, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, and Kaoru Kurisu

OBJECTIVE

Patients with symptomatic Rathke's cleft cysts (RCCs) managed by surgical treatment often experience recurrence. The authors attempted to clarify the outcome of surgically treated RCCs over a long-term follow-up period.

METHODS

Ninety-one consecutive RCC patients with a follow-up period of more than 12 months (mean 80.2 months, range 12–297 months) were retrospectively studied. The authors examined the clinical features and postoperative course of patients who experienced a reaccumulation of cyst contents visible on MRI after the initial surgery, and they investigated data from the patients who underwent reoperation for symptomatic recurrent RCCs.

RESULTS

Reaccumulation of cyst contents occurred in 36 patients (39.6%). In 34 of these patients, a reaccumulation occurred in the first 5 years after surgery. The initial cysts in these patients were most often large, with squamous metaplasia in the cyst walls. Thirteen patients (14.3%) with recurrent symptoms underwent a reoperation, and 10 of the 13 patients had a reaccumulation of RCCs within the 1st year after surgery. The reoperations were performed in the 1st year (61.5%) or several years later (23.1%). Patients were likely to initially have had a visual disturbance and the cyst walls likely included squamous metaplasia. However, no association was observed between the incidence of reaccumulation/reoperation of RCCs and the surgical procedure for RCCs.

CONCLUSIONS

The reaccumulation rate of RCC is high in the long-term period, and it is associated with the histological findings but not with the surgical procedure. Long-term monitoring, for a period of at least 5 years, should therefore be conducted to identify and assess any RCC reaccumulation.

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Kazunori Arita, Kaoru Kurisu, Koji Iida, Ryosuke Hanaya, Tomohide Akimitsu, Seiichiro Hibino, Basant Pant, Masatake Hamasaki, and Shoji Shinagawa

✓ The authors report on a patient who exhibited intractable epilepsy due to an inaccessible hypothalamic hamartoma and subsequently underwent stereotactic radiosurgery. This 25-year-old man had a 24-year history of intractable gelastic and tonic—clonic seizures. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging performed at examination as well as that performed 30 months earlier demonstrated a nonenhancing and nonprogressive spherical mass, approximately 10 mm in diameter, located on the patient's right side at the floor of the third ventricle. Focal radiation treatment performed with a gamma knife unit administered 36 Gy to the center and 18 Gy to the periphery of the lesion. This treatment resulted in an improvement in seizure control. Before the patient underwent radiosurgery, he suffered from three to six generalized seizures per month in spite of attentive compliance with an anticonvulsant medication regimen. After irradiation of the harmatoma, the frequency of the seizures transiently increased and then subsided 3 months posttreatment. The patient has been free of seizures for the last 21 months, with no neurological or endocrinological complications. Magnetic resonance imaging performed 12 months posttreatment demonstrated complete disappearance of the lesion.

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Kazunori Arita, Kaoru Kurisu, Atsushi Tominaga, Fusao Ikawa, Koji Iida, Selji Hama, and Haruyuki Watanabe

✓ A size-adjustable plate constructed of pure titanium is proposed for use in the reconstruction of the sella turcica. The plate is composed of two semicircular pieces that are connected by a hinge located at the top of the plate. Using an applicator, the plate is inserted into the sella turcica in a closed position. The same applicator is then used to open and secure the plate. The titanium causes minimal ferromagnetic artifacts on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging.

Preliminary findings indicate a possibie clinical use for this plate in the reconstruction of the sella turcica when no suitable piece of bone is available.

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Kazunori Arita, Atsushi Tominaga, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Kuniki Eguchi, Koji Iida, Masayuki Sumida, Keisuke Migita, and Kaoru Kurisu

Object

The increase in the incidental detection of asymptomatic pituitary adenomas, known as “pituitary inciden-talomas,” led the authors to conduct a survey of the natural course of these lesions.

Methods

Forty-two patients with clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas who had manifested no neurological or endocrinological disorders were monitored with magnetic resonance imaging studies. The follow-up period ranged from 10.8 to 168.2 months (mean ± standard deviation, 61.9 ± 38.2 months). The mean initial tumor size was 18.3 ± 7 mm.

In 21 patients, the tumor increased by at least 10% of its measured size on detection. This increase was first detected between 8.4 and 58.8 months (mean 31.8 ± 17.6 months) after diagnosis. There was no correlation between the original tumor size, patient age, or the presence of intratumoral cysts and tumor growth. Symptoms were noted in 10 patients during follow up; in four, extensive tumor necrosis accompanied hemorrhage, leading to severe headache, acute ophthalmological symptoms, and panhypopituitarism, which was indicative of pituitary apoplexy. Transsphenoidal surgery was performed in 12 patients with enlarged tumors, including three with apoplexy. With the exception of one apoplectic patient, visual function was recovered in all who underwent surgery. All apoplectic patients continue to manifest hypopituitarism.

Conclusions

In the course of 4 years, the size of the incidentalomas increased in 40% of 42 patients and became symptomatic in 20%. During the 5-year follow up, pituitary apoplexy developed in 9.5%. These findings may justify early intervention, especially in young individuals with incidentally found macroadenoma.

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Kazunori Arita, Kaoru Kurisu, Atushi Tominaga, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Fusao Ikawa, Hiroyuki Yoshioka, Masayuki Sumida, Yukari Kanou, Koji Yajin, and Ryusuke Ogawa

✓ The authors treated two patients with pituitary apoplexy in whom magnetic resonance (MR) images were obtained before and after the episode. Two days after the apoplectic episodes, MR imaging demonstrated marked thickening of the mucosa of the sphenoid sinus that was absent in the previous studies. The relevance of this change in the sphenoid sinus was investigated.

Retrospective evaluations were performed using MR images obtained in 14 consecutive patients with classic pituitary apoplexy characterized by acute onset of severe headache. The mucosa of the sphenoid sinus had thickened predominantly in the compartment just beneath the sella turcica, in nine of 11 patients, as ascertained on MR images obtained within 7 days after the onset of apoplectic symptoms. This condition improved spontaneously in all four patients who did not undergo transsphenoidal surgery. The sphenoid sinus mucosa appeared to be normal on MR images obtained from three patients at the chronic stage (> 3 months after onset). The incidence of sphenoid sinus mucosal thickening during the acute stage was significantly higher in the patients with apoplexy than that in the 100 patients without apoplexy. A histological study conducted in four patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery during the early stage showed that the subepithelial layer of the sphenoid sinus mucous membrane was obviously swollen.

The sphenoid sinus mucosa thickens during the acute stage of pituitary apoplexy. This thickening neither indicates infectious sinusitis nor rules out the choice of the transsphenoidal route for surgery.

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Satoshi Yamaguchi, Masaaki Takeda, Toshiyuki Takahashi, Hitoshi Yamahata, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Tadaaki Niiro, Junya Hanakita, Kazutoshi Hida, Kazunori Arita, and Kaoru Kurisu

OBJECT

Spinal meningioma and schwannoma are the most common spinal intradural extramedullary tumors, and the differentiation of these 2 tumors by CT and MRI has been a matter of debate. The purpose of this article is to present a case series of spinal meningiomas showing unique imaging features: a combination of a fan-shaped spinal cord and a streak in the tumor. The authors termed the former imaging feature “ginkgo leaf sign” and evaluated its diagnostic value.

METHODS

The authors present 7 cases of spinal meningioma having the ginkgo leaf sign. Thirty spinal extramedullary tumors arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord were studied to evaluate the diagnostic value of the ginkgo leaf sign for spinal meningiomas. Among 30 cases, 12 tumors were spinal meningiomas and 18 tumors from the control group were all schwannomas.

RESULTS

Seven of the 12 spinal meningiomas were positive for the ginkgo leaf sign. The sign was not present in the control group tumors. The overall ability to use the ginkgo leaf sign to detect meningioma indicated a sensitivity of 58%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100%, and negative predictive value of 78%.

CONCLUSIONS

The ginkgo leaf sign is highly specific to spinal meningiomas arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord. In the present series, the ginkgo leaf sign was perfectly predictive for spinal meningioma.

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Hiroshi Hosoyama, Kazumi Matsuda, Tadahiro Mihara, Naotaka Usui, Koichi Baba, Yushi Inoue, Takayasu Tottori, Toshiaki Otsubo, Yumi Kashida, Koji Iida, Hirofumi Hirano, Ryosuke Hanaya, and Kazunori Arita

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the treatment outcomes and social engagement of patients who had undergone pediatric epilepsy surgery more than 10 years earlier.

METHODS

Between 1983 and 2005, 110 patients younger than 16 years underwent epilepsy surgery at the National Epilepsy Center, Shizuoka Institute of Epilepsy and Neurological Disorders. The authors sent a questionnaire to 103 patients who had undergone follow-up for more than 10 years after surgery; 85 patients (82.5%) responded. The survey contained 4 categories: seizure outcome, use of antiepileptic drugs, social participation, and general satisfaction with the surgical treatment (resection of the epileptic focus, including 4 hemispherectomies). The mean patient age at the time of surgery was 9.8 ± 4.2 (SD) years, and the mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 15.4 ± 5.0 years. Of the 85 patients, 79 (92.9%) presented with a lesional pathology, such as medial temporal sclerosis, developmental/neoplastic lesions, focal cortical dysplasia, and gliosis in a single lobe.

RESULTS

For 65 of the 85 responders (76.5%), the outcome was recorded as Engel Class I (including 15 [93.8%] of 16 patients with medial temporal sclerosis, 20 [80.0%] of 25 with developmental/neoplastic lesions, and 27 [73.0%] of 37 with focal cortical dysplasia). Of these, 29 (44.6%) were not taking antiepileptic drugs at the time of our survey, 29 (44.6%) held full-time jobs, and 33 of 59 patients (55.9%) eligible to drive had a driver's license. Among 73 patients who reported their degree of satisfaction, 58 (79.5%) were very satisfied with the treatment outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The seizure outcome in patients who underwent resective surgery in childhood and underwent followup for more than 10 years was good. Of 85 respondents, 65 (76.5%) were classified in Engel Class I. The degree of social engagement was relatively high, and the satisfaction level with the treatment outcome was also high. From the perspective of seizure control and social adaptation, resective surgery yielded longitudinal benefits in children with intractable epilepsy, especially those with a lesional pathology in a single lobe.

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Seiji Hama, Kazunori Arita, Takashi Nishisaka, Toshiyuki Fukuhara, Atsushi Tominaga, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Hiroyuki Yoshioka, Kuniki Eguchi, Masayuki Sumida, Yuji Heike, and Kaoru Kurisu

Object. Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are composed of tall, well-differentiated, ciliated columnar epithelia. Their structures are altered by hyperplasia or squamous metaplasia, but their cause remains unknown.

Methods. The authors studied pathological findings and anterior pituitary function in 20 patients harboring RCCs. They classified RCC epithelium as either single (a single ciliated columnar cell lining or a flattened cuboidal cell lining) or stratified (a stratified ciliated columnar cell lining, basal cell hyperplasia, columnar cell hyperplasia, or squamous metaplasia). Inflammation was classified as acute, subacute, chronic, or end stage.

The epithelial cell lining was observed in 13 specimens obtained during surgery (six specimens contained single and seven contained stratified epithelia). Inflammation had penetrated the cyst epithelium or subjacent stroma in 10 patients, and the stage of inflammation correlated well with the type of epithelia group: early stages of inflammation in the single epithelium group and chronic or end-stage inflammation in the stratified epithelia (p = 0.0027). The adenohypophysis was identified in 21 surgical specimens. Postoperatively, growth hormone (p = 0.019), cortisol (p = 0.027), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (p = 0.039) responses significantly worsened as the inflammation progressed. The presence of diabetes insipidus correlated well with advanced stages of neurohypophysitis (p = 0.025).

Conclusions. Epithelial stratification in the RCC is caused by inflammation that may extend into the adjacent adenohypophysis or neurohypophysis and overwhelm the hypophysis, resulting in panhypopituitarism. Transsphenoidal excision may represent the best choice for treatment, at least for cases of RCC in which there is partial impairment of hypophysial function.