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Jiro Suzuki, Takashi Yoshimoto and Kazuo Mizoi

✓ Results of surgical treatment of anterior communicating artery aneurysms, approached via bifrontal craniotomy, are reported in 110 cases. It was possible to preserve the olfactory tracts bilaterally or unilaterally in over 65% of these cases: 47% with bilateral preservation and 34% with unilateral preservation; 33% of the patients with bilateral olfactory tract damage reported subjectively normal olfaction. Objective examination of olfaction by an otolaryngologist showed that 84% of the patients reporting normal olfaction did indeed have normal olfaction, whereas 91% of these reporting no olfaction were anosmic.

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Masaharu Amagasa, Takashi Yoshimoto, Kazuo Mizoi and Jiro Suzuki

✓ Although many patients with aneurysm rupture have undergone re-rupture during angiography, this event seldom occurs in the early period after the original hemorrhage. The authors review 197 cases of ruptured cerebral aneurysms that had received cerebral angiography within 1 week of rupture. With the exception of one case of re-rupture during angiography, no complications were noted in any of the patients. The criteria used for early cerebral angiography after aneurysm rupture are described.

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Roberto C. Heros

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Jiro Suzuki, Kazuo Mizoi and Takashi Yoshimoto

✓ The authors review their experience with the bifrontal interhemispheric approach in 603 cases of single anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms and describe the operative technique. With this approach, the olfactory tracts are dissected, and both A1 segments of the anterior cerebral arteries are identified subfrontally. The interhemispheric fissure is then dissected and A2segments are followed from the distal portion toward the ACoA complex. Following the administration of a combination of mannitol, vitamin E, and dexamethasone, a temporary clip is placed on at least the dominant A1 segment prior to dissection of the aneurysm itself. Once the aneurysm has been completely freed from the surrounding structures, the neck is ligated and clipped. If the aneurysm ruptures during surgery, temporary clips are placed on both A1 and A2 segments bilaterally and the operation proceeds in a completely dry field. With this method, it is possible to occlude any of the intracranial vessels for up to 40 minutes within 100 minutes of drug administration.

To prevent the possibility of rerupture and the development of vasospasm in the period before aneurysm surgery, the authors have adopted a policy of performing ultra-early operations within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Among the 257 cases operated on during the 9 years since 1975, one-fifth have been operated on within 48 hours of rupture, and the in-hospital mortality rate has been only 4.3% (11 cases). Follow-up studies have shown that 87% of the 246 surviving patients have returned to useful lives.

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Kazuo Mizoi, Takashi Yoshimoto, Akira Takahashi and Akira Ogawa

✓ In the surgical treatment of basilar trunk aneurysms, there is still considerable technical difficulty in gaining both proximal artery control and a sufficient operative field. The authors describe their experience in five patients with basilar trunk aneurysms treated using temporary balloon occlusion and intraoperative digital subtraction angiography. With the patient under general anesthesia, a heparinized angiography catheter was guided into the dominant vertebral artery by means of the Seldinger technique. A silicone balloon catheter was introduced coaxially through the angiography catheter to the basilar artery just proximal to the aneurysm. The balloon was inflated tentatively to evaluate the appropriate inflation volume, then the balloon catheter was withdrawn back into the angiography catheter to prevent thrombus formation. After exposure of the aneurysm, the occlusion balloon was advanced again and inflated temporarily within the basilar artery to prevent premature rupture and to facilitate dissection of the aneurysm. The mean duration of temporary balloon occlusion was 22 minutes. There were no patients with postoperative deficits attributable to the temporary occlusion. The results of aneurysm clip placement were confirmed by intraoperative digital subtraction angiography immediately after clipping. No patient suffered from distal embolism or other complications related to vessel catheterization. From this experience, it is concluded that this intraoperative endovascular technique can contribute to the success of surgery for complex cerebral aneurysms, particularly for basilar trunk aneurysms in which proximal vascular control is difficult.

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Hiroyuki Kinouchi, Kazuo Mizoi, Akira Takahashi, Yoshihide Nagamine, Keiji Koshu and Takashi Yoshimoto

Object. A retrospective analysis was conducted of 10 patients (three women and seven men) who were treated for spinal dural arteriovenous shunts (AVSs) located at the craniocervical junction. This analysis was performed to evaluate the characteristics of this unusual location in contrast with those of the more common thoracic and lumbar AVSs.

Methods. Seven patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and one with slowly progressive quadriparesis and dyspnea due to myelopathy. The other two cases were detected incidentally and included a transverse—sigmoid dural AVS and a cerebellar arteriovenous malformation. Angiographic studies revealed that the spinal dural AVSs at the C-1 and/or C-2 levels were fed by the dural branches of the radicular arteries that coursed from the vertebral artery and drained into the medullary veins. Venous drainage was caudally directed in the patient with myelopathy. In contrast, the shunt flow drained mainly into the intracranial venous system in patients with SAH. Furthermore, in four of these patients a varix was found on the draining vein. In all patients, the draining vein was interrupted surgically at the point at which this vessel entered the intradural space, using intraoperative digital subtraction angiography to monitor flow. The postoperative course was uneventful in all patients and no recurrence was confirmed on follow-up angiographic studies obtained in seven patients at 6 months after discharge.

Conclusions. If computerized tomography scanning shows SAH predominantly in the posterior fossa and no abnormalities are found on intracranial four-vessel angiographic study, proximal vertebral angiography should be performed to detect dural AVS at the craniocervical junction. The results of surgical intervention for this disease are quite satisfactory.

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Kazuo Mizoi, Takashi Yoshimoto, Akira Takahashi, Satoru Fujiwara, Keiji Koshu and Takayuki Sugawara

✓ The authors have evaluated the efficacy of postoperative intrathecal injections of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) in preventing cerebral vasospasm in patients with a diffuse thick subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The present study examined 105 patients who underwent direct surgery within 48 hours of SAH and whose computerized tomography (CT) findings were classified as Fisher CT Group 3. Patients showing diffuse thick subarachnoid blood clots on CT with greater than 75 Hounsfield units (HU) were included in the tPA therapy group and those with below 75 HU comprised the control group. The surgical method was the same in both groups, and both groups had cisternal drainage instituted. On the day following the operation, the tPA group was given an intrathecal injection of tPA (2 mg), and this was continued for several days until all of the cisterns exhibited low density on CT scans. Follow-up angiography showed that 26 cases (87%) in the tPA group had no vasospasm, three (10%) had moderate vasospasm, and one (3%) had severe vasospasm. All four patients showing spasm on angiography were asymptomatic, and there were no cases of delayed ischemic neurological deficits (DIND). In contrast, there were 11 cases (15%) with DIND in the control group. In the tPA group, there was one case of SAH caused by drainage catheter removal, one with a small epidural hematoma, and one with subgaleal fluid accumulation; all of these were treated conservatively with favorable results. Overall, there were no infectious complications related to cisternal drainage and intrathecal injection of tPA. These results indicate that multiple intrathecal injections of small doses of tPA are effective and safe in preventing vasospasm. On the basis of this experience, the authors conclude that injection of 2 mg of tPA daily for 5 days (a total of 10 mg) is effective in preventing the development of vasospasm.

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Michiyasu Suzuki, Takehide Onuma, Yoshiharu Sakurai, Kazuo Mizoi, Akira Ogawa and Takashi Yoshimoto

✓ This study reviews aneurysms of the proximal segment (A1) of the anterior cerebral artery in 38 patients (23 men and 15 women) and their surgical, angiographic, and clinical management. Thirty-seven aneurysms were saccular and one was fusiform. The incidence of A1 aneurysms among a total of 4295 aneurysm cases treated was 0.88%. Multiple aneurysms occurred in 17 patients (44.7%) of the 38 cases; in 10 (58.8%), there was bleeding from the A1 aneurysm. The aneurysms were classified into five categories according to the mode of origin of the aneurysm in relation to the A1 segment: in 21 cases, aneurysms originated from the junction of the A1 segment and a perforating artery; in eight, from the A1 segment directly; in six, from the proximal end of the A1 fenestration; and in two, from the junction of the A1 segment and the cortical branch. One patient had a fusiform aneurysm. Computerized tomography (CT) of these aneurysms revealed bleeding extending to the septum pellucidum similar to that of anterior communicating artery aneurysms. When performing radical surgery it is very important to recognize the characteristics of A1 aneurysms, including multiplicity, a high incidence of vascular anomalies (especially A1 fenestration), and their similarity to anterior communicating artery aneurysms on CT.

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Shuichi Kaneyama, Taku Sugawara, Masatoshi Sumi, Naoki Higashiyama, Masato Takabatake and Kazuo Mizoi

Object

Accurate insertion of C-2 cervical screws is imperative; however, the procedures for C-2 screw insertion are technically demanding and challenging, especially in cases of C-2 vertebral abnormality. The purpose of this study is to report the effectiveness of the tailor-made screw guide template (SGT) system for placement of C-2 screws, including in cases with abnormalities.

Methods

Twenty-three patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion surgery with C-2 cervical screw insertion using the SGT system were included. The preoperative bone image on CT was analyzed using multiplanar imaging software. The trajectory and depth of the screws were designed based on these images, and transparent templates with screw guiding cylinders were created for each lamina. During the operation, after templates were engaged directly to the laminae, drilling, tapping, and screwing were performed through the templates. The authors placed 26 pedicle screws, 12 pars screws, 6 laminar screws, and 4 C1–2 transarticular screws using the SGT system. To assess the accuracy of the screw track under this system, the deviation of the screw axis from the preplanned trajectory was evaluated on postoperative CT and was classified as follows: Class 1 (accurate), a screw axis deviation less than 2 mm from the planned trajectory; Class 2 (inaccurate), 2 mm or more but less than 4 mm; and Class 3 (deviated), 4 mm or more. In addition, to assess the safety of the screw insertion, malpositioning of the screws was also evaluated using the following grading system: Grade 0 (containing), a screw is completely within the wall of the bone structure; Grade 1 (exposure), a screw perforates the wall of the bone structure but more than 50% of the screw diameter remains within the bone; Grade 2 (perforation), a screw perforates the bone structures and more than 50% of the screw diameter is outside the pedicle; and Grade 3 (penetration), a screw perforates completely outside the bone structure.

Results

In total, 47 (97.9%) of 48 screws were classified into Class 1 and Grade 0, whereas 1 laminar screw was classified as Class 3 and Grade 2. Mean screw deviations were 0.36 mm in the axial plane (range 0.0–3.8 mm) and 0.30 mm in the sagittal plane (range 0.0–0.8 mm).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that the SGT system provided extremely accurate C-2 cervical screw insertion without configuration of reference points, high-dose radiation from intraoperative 3D navigation, or any registration or probing error evoked by changes in spinal alignment during surgery. A multistep screw placement technique and reliable screw guide cylinders were the key to accurate screw placement using the SGT system.

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Hiroyuki Kinouchi, Haiyen Huang, Shouichi Arai, Kazuo Mizoi and Takashi Yoshimoto

Object. Recently, two different cyclooxygenase (COX) genes, COX-1 and -2, were identified. In this study, topographic and chronological profiles of COX-2 messenger (m)RNA and c-fos mRNA expression were investigated using in situ hybridization after focal cerebral ischemia.

Methods. Rats undergoing permanent ischemia were decapitated at 30 and 90 minutes and at 2, 4, 8, and 24 hours after middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion, and rats undergoing transient ischemia were decapitated at 4, 8, and 24 hours after MCA occlusion that lasted for either 30 or 90 minutes. After brief transient MCA occlusion, c-fos mRNA was induced in the whole MCA territory, adjacent cortex (cingulate cortex), and distant brain regions such as the hippocampus and substantia nigra. In contrast, COX-2 mRNA was not induced in the ischemic core (lateral striatum) but only in the penumbral area (MCA cortex). Long transient and permanent MCA occlusion did not induce c-fos and COX-2 mRNAs in the ischemic core but strongly induced both mRNAs in the penumbral area (medial striatum and periphery of MCA cortex) and adjacent cortex (cingulate cortex). In brain regions distant from the ischemic territory, although c-fos mRNA was induced in the thalamus, substantia nigra, and hippocampus after extended transient and permanent occlusion, COX-2 mRNA was only induced in the bilateral hippocampi. The induction of COX-2 mRNA persisted in all locations even at 24 hours after MCA occlusion.

Conclusions. The distribution of COX-2 mRNA induction was apparently different from that of c-fos mRNA after MCA occlusion. These results pertaining to COX-2 mRNA agree well with the previous observations of changes in prostaglandin metabolism induced by focal cerebral ischemia. However, whether this induction of the COX-2 gene contributes to the histopathological outcome of cerebral ischemia remains to be elucidated.