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  • Author or Editor: Kazuyoshi Takayama x
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Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Yasuko Kusaka, Takayuki Hirano, Tsutomu Saito, Reizo Shirane, Kazuyoshi Takayama and Takashi Yoshimoto

Object. Shock waves have not previously been used as a treatment modality for lesions in the brain and skull because of the lack of a suitable shock wave source and concerns about safety. Therefore, the authors have performed experiments aimed at developing both a new, compact shock wave generator with a holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser and a safe method for exposing the surface of the brain to these shock waves.

Methods. Twenty male Sprague—Dawley rats were used in this study. In 10 rats, a single shock wave was delivered directly to the brain, whereas the protective effect of inserting a 0.7-mm-thick expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) dural substitute between the dura mater and skull before applying the shock wave was investigated in the other 10 rats. Visualizations on shadowgraphy along with pressure measurements were obtained to confirm that the shock wave generator was capable of conveying waves in a limited volume without harmful effects to the target. The attenuation rates of shock waves administered through a 0.7-mm-thick ePTFE dural substitute and a surgical cottonoid were measured to determine which of these materials was suitable for avoiding propagation of the shock wave beyond the target.

Conclusions. Using the shock wave generator with the Ho:YAG laser, a localized shock wave (with a maximum overpressure of 50 bar) can be generated from a small device (external diameter 15 mm, weight 20 g). The placement of a 0.7-mm-thick ePTFE dural substitute over the dura mater reduces the overpressure of the shock wave by 96% and eliminates damage to surrounding tissue in the rat brain. These findings indicate possibilities for applying shock waves in various neurosurgical treatments such as cranioplasty, local drug delivery, embolysis, and pain management.

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Kaoruko Kato, Miki Fujimura, Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Atsushi Saito, Tomohiro Ohki, Kazuyoshi Takayama and Teiji Tominaga


Shock waves have been experimentally applied to various neurosurgical treatments including fragmentation of cerebral emboli, perforation of cyst walls or tissue, and delivery of drugs into cells. Nevertheless, the application of shock waves to clinical neurosurgery remains challenging because the threshold for shock wave–induced brain injury has not been determined. The authors investigated the pressure-dependent effect of shock waves on histological changes of rat brain, focusing especially on apoptosis.


Adult male rats were exposed to a single shot of shock waves (produced by silver azide explosion) at over-pressures of 1 or 10 MPa after craniotomy. Histological changes were evaluated sequentially by H & E staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL). The expression of active caspase-3 and the effect of the nonselective caspase inhibitor N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (Z-VAD-FMK) were examined to evaluate the contribution of a caspase-dependent pathway to shock wave–induced brain injury.

High-overpressure (> 10 MPa) shock wave exposure resulted in contusional hemorrhage associated with a significant increase in TUNEL-positive neurons exhibiting chromatin condensation, nuclear segmentation, and apoptotic bodies. The maximum increase was seen at 24 hours after shock wave application. Low-overpressure (1 MPa) shock wave exposure resulted in spindle-shaped changes in neurons and elongation of nuclei without marked neuronal injury. The administration of Z-VAD-FMK significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells observed 24 hours after high-overpressure shock wave exposure (p < 0.01). A significant increase in the cytosolic expression of active caspase-3 was evident 24 hours after high-overpressure shock wave application; this increase was prevented by Z-VAD-FMK administration. Double immunofluorescence staining showed that TUNEL-positive cells were exclusively neurons.


The threshold for shock wave–induced brain injury is speculated to be under 1 MPa, a level that is lower than the threshold for other organs. High-overpressure shock wave exposure results in brain injury, including neuronal apoptosis mediated by a caspase-dependent pathway. This is the first report in which the pressure-dependent effect of shock wave on the histological characteristics of brain tissue is demonstrated.

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Tamer Hassan, Eugene V. Timofeev, Tsutomu Saito, Hiroaki Shimizu, Masayuki Ezura, Yasushi Matsumoto, Kazuyoshi Takayama, Teiji Tominaga and Akira Takahashi

Object. The authors created a simple, broadly applicable classification of saccular intracranial aneurysms into three categories: sidewall (SW), sidewall with branching vessel (SWBV), and endwall (EW) according to the angiographically documented patterns of their parent arteries. Using computational flow dynamics analysis (CFDA) of simple models representing the three aneurysm categories, the authors analyzed geometry-related risk factors such as neck width, parent artery curvature, and angulation of the branching vessels.

Methods. The authors performed CFDAs of 68 aneurysmal geometric formations documented on angiograms that had been obtained in patients with 45 ruptured and 23 unruptured lesions. In successfully studied CFDA cases, the wall shear stress, blood velocity, and pressure maps were examined and correlated with aneurysm rupture points. Statistical analysis of the cases involving aneurysm rupture revealed a statistically significant correlation between aneurysm depth and both neck size (p < 0.0001) and caliber of draining arteries (p < 0.0001).

Wider-necked aneurysms or those with wider-caliber draining vessels were found to be high-flow lesions that tended to rupture at larger sizes. Smaller-necked aneurysms or those with smaller-caliber draining vessels were found to be low-flow lesions that tended to rupture at smaller sizes. The incidence of ruptured aneurysms with an aspect ratio (depth/neck) exceeding 1.6 was 100% in the SW and SWBV categories, whereas the incidence was only 28.75% for the EW aneurysms.

Conclusions. The application of standardized categories enables the comparison of results for various aneurysms' geometric formations, thus assisting in their management. The proposed classification system may provide a promising means of understanding the natural history of saccular intracranial aneurysms.

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Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Takayuki Hirano, Hidefumi Jokura, Hiroshi Uenohara, Tomohiro Ohki, Tokitada Hashimoto, Viren Menezes, Yasuhiko Sato, Yasuko Kusaka, Hideki Ohyama, Tsutomu Saito, Kazuyoshi Takayama, Reizo Shirane and Teiji Tominaga

Object. A pressure-driven continuous jet of water has been reported to be a feasible tool for neuroendoscopic dissection owing to its superiority at selective tissue dissection in the absence of thermal effects. With respect to a safe, accurate dissection, however, continuous water flow may not be suitable for intraventricular use. The authors performed experiments aimed at solving problems associated with continuous flow by using a pulsed holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser-induced liquid jet (LILJ). They present this candidate neuroendoscopic LILJ dissection system, having examined its mechanical characteristics and evaluated its controllability both in a tissue phantom and in a rabbit cadaveric ventricle wall.

Methods. The LILJ generator was incorporated into the tip of a No. 4 French catheter so that the LILJ could be delivered via a neuroendoscope. Briefly, the LILJ was generated by irradiating an internally supplied column of physiological saline with a pulsed Ho:YAG laser (pulse duration time 350 µsec; laser energy 250–700 mJ/pulse) within a No. 4 French catheter (internal diameter 1 mm) and ejecting it from a metal nozzle (internal diameter 100 µm). The Ho:YAG laser energy pulses were conveyed by an optical fiber (core diameter 400 µm) at 3 Hz, whereas physiological saline (4°C) was supplied at a rate of 40 ml/hour. The mechanical characteristics of the pulsed LILJ were investigated using high-speed photography and pressure measurements; thermal effects and controllability were analyzed using an artificial tissue model (10% gelatin of 1 mm thickness). Finally, the ventricle wall of a rabbit cadaver was dissected using the LILJ.

Jet pressure increased in accordance with laser energy from 0.1 to 2 bar; this translated into a penetration depth of 0.08 to 0.9 mm per shot in the ventricle wall of the rabbit cadaver. The gelatin phantom could be cut into the desired shape without significant thermal effects and in the intended manner, with a good surgical view.

Conclusions. The present results show that the pulsed LILJ has the potential to become a safe and reliable dissecting method for endoscopic procedures.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010