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Kazuhiko Nishino, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Kenichi Morita, Masafumi Fukuda, Yasushi Ito, Yukihiko Fujii and Mitsuya Sato

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in the cerebellopontine angle cistern (CPAC) are specific lesions that can cause neurovascular compression syndromes as well as intracranial hemorrhage. Although case reports describing the CPAC AVMs, especially those presenting with trigeminal neuralgia (TN), have been accumulating by degrees, the pathophysiology of CPAC AVMs remains obscure. The authors' purpose in the present study was to evaluate the clinical and radiographic features of CPAC AVMs as well as the treatment options.

METHODS

This study defined a CPAC AVM as a small AVM predominantly located in the CPAC with minimal extension into the pial surface of the brainstem and closely associated with cranial nerves. All patients with CPAC AVMs treated in the authors' affiliated hospitals over a 16-year period were retrospectively identified. Clinical charts, imaging studies, and treatment options were evaluated.

RESULTS

Ten patients (6 men and 4 women), ranging in age from 56 to 77 years (mean 65.6 years), were diagnosed with CPAC AVMs according to the authors' definition. Six patients presented with hemorrhage, 3 with TN, and the remaining patient developed a hemorrhage subsequent to TN. Seven AVMs were associated with the trigeminal nerve (Group V), and 3 with the facial-vestibulocochlear nerve complex (Group VII–VIII). All patients in Group VII–VIII presented with the hemorrhage instead of hemifacial spasm. Regarding angioarchitecture, the intrinsic pontine arteries provided the blood supply for all CPAC AVMs in Group V. In addition, 5 of 7 AVMs with hemorrhagic episodes accompanied flow-related aneurysms, although no aneurysm was detected in patients with TN alone. With respect to treatment, all patients with hemorrhagic presentation underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), resulting in favorable outcomes except for 1 patient who experienced rebleeding after GKS, which was caused by the repeated rupture of a feeder aneurysm. The AVMs causing TN were managed with surgery, GKS, or a combination, according to the nidus-nerve relationship. All patients eventually obtained pain relief.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical symptoms caused by CPAC AVMs occur at an older age compared with AVMs in other locations; CPAC AVMs also have distinctive angioarchitectures according to their location in the CPAC. Although GKS is likely to be an effective treatment option for the CPAC AVMs with hemorrhagic presentations, it seems ideal to obliterate the flow-related aneurysms before performing GKS, although this is frequently challenging. For CPAC AVMs with TN, it is important to evaluate the nidus-nerve relationship before treatment, and GKS is especially useful for patients who do not require urgent pain relief.

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Takatoshi Sorimachi, Yukihiko Fujii, Kenichi Morita and Ryuichi Tanaka

Object

Hematoma enlargement is a major cause of poor outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). A combination of rapid administration of antifibrinolytics and strict blood pressure (BP) control for prevention of hematoma enlargement has been recently reported. The authors examined the incidence and predictors of hematoma enlargement in patients with ICH who were treated with this therapy.

Methods

Rapid administration of antifibrinolytic agents consisted of intravenous administration of 2 g tranexamic acid over 10 minutes. Systolic BP was strictly maintained below 150 mm Hg using intravenous nicardipine. Immediately after diagnosis of ICH on computed tomography (CT), 188 patients who were admitted within 24 hours of symptom onset were treated with a combination of rapid administration of antifibrinolytic agents and BP control. Hematoma enlargement was determined on the basis of a second CT scan performed the day after admission. Several factors, including those that have been reported to affect hematoma enlargement, were compared between patients with and without hematoma enlargement.

Hematoma enlargement (≥ 20% volume increase) was observed in eight (4.3%) of 188 patients. Previous use of antiplatelet agents was significantly more frequent in patients with hematoma enlargement (p < 0.05). No significant between-group difference was found for any other factors.

Conclusions

Previous use of antiplatelet agents was a predictor of hematoma enlargement in patients with ICH treated with rapid administration of antifibrinolytic agents and BP control.

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Takatoshi Sorimachi, Yukihiko Fujii, Naoto Tsuchiya, Takeo Nashimoto, Masatsune Saito, Kenichi Morita, Yasushi Ito and Ryuichi Tanaka

Object. The aim in this study was the investigation of back pressure in arteries distal to the occlusion site during intraarterial thrombolysis as well as the usefulness of back pressure measurement in combination with diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to predict the occurrence of ischemic lesions following good recanalization.

Methods. Twenty-five consecutive patients with severe hemiparesis caused by embolism of the internal carotid artery (10 patients) and the proximal middle cerebral artery (15 patients) were treated using intraarterial thrombolysis. Systolic back pressure, measured through a microcatheter in the artery just distal to the emboli, ranged from 22 to 78 mm Hg. According to an angiographic inclusion criterion for good recanalization—that is, recanalization of the M2 or more distal arteries at the end of thrombolysis—21 of 25 patients underwent evaluation in this study. In 14 patients volumes of low-density areas on computerized tomography (CT) scans obtained 2 months postthrombolysis were smaller in comparison with volumes of hyperintense areas on DW MR images acquired before treatment, whereas these low-density areas were larger in seven patients. Compared with those on initial DW MR images, the volume of abnormalities on CT scans obtained 2 months posttreatment were significantly reduced in patients with a systolic back pressure greater than 30 mm Hg (16 patients) than in those with a back pressure of 30 mm Hg or less (five patients) (p < 0.05). Systolic back pressures greater than 30 mm Hg were associated with significantly better modified Rankin Scale scores than those 30 mm Hg or less (p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Back pressure measurement in combination with DW MR imaging can be used to predict the occurrence of infarction as demonstrated on CT scans following thrombolysis.

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Ken-ichi Morita, Hitoshi Matsuzawa, Yukihiko Fujii, Ryuichi Tanaka, Ingrid L. Kwee and Tsutomu Nakada

Object. Histopathological studies indicate that cerebral edema associated with tumors (peritumoral edema) does not represent a single pathophysiological or clinical entity. In this study the authors investigated peritumoral edema by performing lambda chart analysis (LCA), a noninvasive technique that can be used to make visible and analyze apparent water diffusivity in tissues in vivo, and assessed the utility of LCA in differentiating high-grade gliomas from nonglial tumors.

Methods. The water diffusivity characteristics of peritumoral edema associated with four tumor groups—12 high-grade gliomas, five low-grade gliomas, 11 metastatic tumors, and 15 meningiomas—were assessed in 43 patients by performing magnetic resonance imaging with the aid of a 3-tesla magnetic resonance imaging system. In all tumor groups, peritumoral edema exhibited greater trace values and reduced anisotropy compared with normal white matter. Edema associated with high-grade gliomas had significantly higher trace values than edema associated with the other three tumor groups, although the anisotropic angles of those groups were comparable.

Conclusions. Lambda chart analysis identified two distinct types of peritumoral edema: edema associated with high-grade gliomas and edema associated with low-grade gliomas or nonglial tumors. The apparent water diffusivity was significantly greater in high-grade gliomas, whereas the anisotropy in these lesions was comparable to that of edema in other tumors. These findings indicated that water movement in areas of edema, predominantly in the extracellular spaces, was less restricted in high-grade gliomas, a phenomenon that likely reflected the destruction of the extracellular matrix ultrastructure by malignant cell infiltration and consequently greater water diffusion. Although preliminary, this study indicates that LCA could be used as a clinical tool for differentiating high-grade gliomas and for evaluating the extent of cellular infiltration.

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Shigeru Kobayashi, Hisatoshi Baba, Kenichi Takeno, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Kenzo Uchida, Yasuo Kokubo, Eiki Nomura, Chisato Morita, Hidezo Yoshizawa and Adam Meir

Object

The vascular terminations (vascular buds) in the bone–disc junction area are structurally very similar to cartilage. In all previous studies to date, however, the roles of cartilage canals and vascular buds were mainly discussed using histological and transparent sections but not electron microscopic sections. The purpose of this study was to clarify the ultrastructure of the vascular bud seen in the bone–disc junction in comparison to the cartilage canal.

Methods

Japanese white rabbits from 2 days to 6 months of age were used in this study. The bone–disc junctions were examined by microangiogram and light and electron microscopy, and morphological changes and their association with the age of the animals were noted.

Results

The fine structure of the vascular bud was similar to that of the cartilage canal that nourished the growing cartilage. They were composed of arteries, veins, capillaries, cells resembling fibroblasts, and macrophages. The capillaries in the cartilage canal were all the fenestrated type. Vascular buds were seen over the entire bone–cartilage interface, with maximum density in the area related to the nucleus pulposus. They projected into the bone–disc junction area from the vertebral body contacting the cartilaginous endplate directly.

Conclusions

The results of this study clarify the formation process and ultrastructure of the vascular bud seen in the bone–disc junction. The authors found a strong structural resemblance between the vascular bud and the cartilage canal and hypothesize that the immature cells seen surrounding the cartilage canal and vascular bud represent a common precursor for the 3 main types of connective tissue cells seen during early vertebral development.