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Peter M. Grossi, Yoichi Nonaka, Kentaro Watanabe and Takanori Fukushima

Lesions of the ventrolateral brainstem, clivus, and cerebellopontine angle pose significant challenges for surgeons, and the rate of morbidity and mortality from classic neurosurgical approaches has proven to be unacceptably high. Early attempts to expose this region consisted primarily of an extended suboccipital craniectomy, with opening of the tentorium and ligation of the sigmoid sinus for additional exposure. During the 1960s, technological innovations including the surgical microscope and the pneumatic drill allowed surgeons to gain additional exposure by removing more bone from the base of the skull. This let surgeons define combined infra- and supratentorial approaches, which rely less on brain retraction to resect these difficult tumors successfully. These approaches rely on a combined posterior mastoid approach with an anterior petrosectomy. The evolution of this approach is discussed in this paper.

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Takuji Yamamoto, Kentaro Mori, Takanori Esaki, Yasuaki Nakao, Joji Tokugawa and Mitsuya Watanabe

OBJECT

Although cerebral vasospasm (CV) is one of the most important predictors for the outcome in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), no treatment has yet been established for this condition. This study investigated the efficacy of continuous direct infusion of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) solution into the intrathecal cistern in patients with an aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS

An SAH caused by a ruptured aneurysm was identified on CT scans within 72 hours after SAH onset. All patients were treated by surgical clipping and randomized into 2 groups: a control group of patients undergoing a standard treatment and a magnesium (Mg) group of patients additionally undergoing continuous infusion of 5 mmol/L MgSO4 solution for 14 days. The Mg2+ concentrations in serum and CSF were recorded daily. Neurological examinations were performed by intensive care clinicians. Delayed cerebral ischemia was monitored by CT or MRI. To assess the effect of the Mg treatment on CV, the CVs were graded on the basis of the relative degree of constriction visible on cerebral angiograms taken on Day 10 after the SAH, and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography was performed daily to measure blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Neurological outcomes and mortality rates were evaluated with the Glasgow Outcome Scale and modified Rankin Scale at 3 months after SAH onset.

RESULTS

Seventy-three patients admitted during the period of April 2008 to March 2013 were eligible and enrolled in this study. Three patients were excluded because of violation of protocol requirements. The 2 groups did not significantly differ in age, sex, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade, or Fisher grade. In the Mg group, the Mg2+ concentration in CSF gradually increased from Day 4 after initiation of the continuous MgSO4 intrathecal administration. No such increase was observed in the control group. No significant changes in the serum Mg2+ levels were observed for 14 days, and no cardiovascular complications such as bradycardia or hypotension were observed in any of the patients. However, bradypnea was noted among patients in the Mg group. The Mg group had a significantly better CV grade than the control group (p < 0.05). Compared with the patients in the Mg group, those in the control group had a significantly elevated blood flow velocity in the MCA. Both groups were similar in the incidences of cerebral infarction, and the 2 groups also did not significantly differ in clinical outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Continuous cisternal irrigation with MgSO4 solution starting on Day 4 and continuing to Day 14 significantly inhibited CV in patients with aneurysmal SAH without severe cardiovascular complications. However, this improvement in CV neither reduced the incidence of delayed cerebral ischemia nor improved the functional outcomes in patients with SAH.

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Nobuyasu Takeuchi, Toru Horikoshi, Hiroyuki Kinouchi, Arata Watanabe, Takashi Yagi, Kentaro Mitsuka and Nobuo Senbokuya

Object

The size of the subarachnoid space in the optic nerve sheath (ONS) on MR images is thought to reflect intracranial pressure. The diagnostic value of this space was investigated in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) syndrome.

Methods

Coronal fat-saturated T2-weighted MRI of the orbit was performed in 15 patients with SIH fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for headache caused by low CSF pressure of the International Classification of Headache Disorders or the criteria for spontaneous spinal CSF leaks and intracranial hypotension. The size of the subarachnoid space in the ONS was measured in 2 slices behind the eyeballs. The images were compared before and after treatment. The CSF pressure was measured by lumbar puncture.

Results

Before treatment, the diameter of the ONS subarachnoid space ranged from 2.58 to 4.21 mm (mean 3.34 mm) and the thickness from 0 to 0.48 mm (mean 0.15 mm). Both measurements showed significant correlations with CSF opening pressure, and 8 patients had no CSF space before treatment. The size of CSF space increased in many patients after effective treatment.

Conclusions

Disappearance of the CSF space in the ONS was frequently observed in patients with SIH. This characteristic finding may be useful in the diagnosis of SIH as well as in the evaluation of treatment effectiveness.

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Yasuo Aihara, Sinichiro Watanabe, Kosaku Amano, Kana Komatsu, Kentaro Chiba, Kosuke Imanaka, Tomokatsu Hori, Takashi Ohba, Hitoshi Dairoku, Yoshikazu Okada, Osami Kubo and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) in CSF can provide a very high diagnostic value in cases of intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs), especially in pure germinomas, to the level of not requiring histological confirmation. Unlike other tumor markers, reliable data analysis with respect to the diagnostic value of PLAP serum or CSF levels has not been available until now. This is the first systematic and comprehensive study examining the diagnostic value of CSF PLAP in patients with intracranial GCTs.

METHODS

From 2004 to 2014, 74 patients (average age 19.6 ± 10.6 years) with intracranial GCTs were evaluated using PLAP from their CSF and histological samples. Chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay was utilized to measure CSF PLAP in the following tumor sites: pineal (n = 32), pituitary stalk, suprasellar (n = 16), basal ganglia (n = 15), intraventricular (n = 9), and cerebellar (n = 5) regions. In addition to classifying GCT cases, all patients underwent tumor biopsy for correlation with tumor marker data.

RESULTS

PLAP in combination with other tumor markers resulted in extremely high sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic value of intracranial GCTs. Intracranial GCT cases were classified into 1) germinomas, both “pure” and syncytiotrophoblastic giant cell types (n = 38); 2) nongerminomatous GCTs, choriocarcinomas (n = 9) and teratomas (n = 4); and 3) nongerminomas, other kinds of tumors (n = 23). Consequently, all patients received chemoradiation therapy based on elevation of PLAP and the histopathological results. It was also speculated that the level of PLAP could show the amount of intracranial germ cell components of a GCT. PLAP was 100% upregulated in all intracranial germinoma cases. The absence of CSF PLAP proved that the tumor was not a germinoma.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study is the first systematic and comprehensive examination of the diagnostic value of the tumor marker PLAP in pediatric patients with intracranial GCT. Using the level of PLAP in CSF, we were able to detect the instances of intracranial germinoma with very high reliability, equivalent to a pathological diagnosis.

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Kenichi Oyama, Kentaro Watanabe, Shunya Hanakita, Pierre-Olivier Champagne, Thibault Passeri, Eduard H. Voormolen, Anne Laure Bernat, Nicolas Penet, Takanori Fukushima and Sébastien Froelich

OBJECTIVE

The anteromedial triangle (AMT) is the triangle formed by the ophthalmic (V1) and maxillary (V2) nerves. Opening of this bony space offers a limited access to the sphenoid sinus (SphS). This study aims to demonstrate the utility of the orbitopterygopalatine corridor (OPC), obtained by enlarging the AMT and transposing the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) and V2, as an entrance to the SphS, maxillary sinus (MaxS), and nasal cavity.

METHODS

Five formalin-injected cadaveric specimens were used for this study (10 approaches). A classic pterional approach was performed. An OPC was created through the inferior orbital fissure, between the orbit and the PPF, by transposing the PPF inferiorly. The extent of the OPC was measured using neuronavigation and manual measurements. Two illustrative cases using the OPC to access skull base tumors are presented in the body of the article.

RESULTS

Via the OPC, the SphS, MaxS, ethmoid sinus (EthS), and nasal cavity could be accessed. The use of endoscopic assistance through the OPC achieved better visualization of the EthS, SphS, MaxS, clivus, and nasal cavity. A significant gain in the area of exposure could be achieved using the OPC compared to the AMT (22.4 mm2 vs 504.1 mm2).

CONCLUSIONS

Opening of the AMT and transposition of V2 and the contents of the PPF creates the OPC, a potentially useful deep keyhole to access the paranasal sinuses and clival region through a middle fossa approach. It is a valuable alternative approach to reach deep-seated skull base lesions infiltrating the cavernous sinus and middle cranial fossa and extending into the paranasal sinus.

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Ichiyo Shibahara, Toshihiro Kumabe, Masayuki Kanamori, Ryuta Saito, Yukihiko Sonoda, Mika Watanabe, Ren Iwata, Shuichi Higano, Kentaro Takanami, Yoshihiro Takai and Teiji Tominaga

Object

Assessment of hypoxic conditions in brain tumors is important for predicting tumor aggressiveness and treatment response. A new hypoxia imaging agent, 1-(2-[18F]fluoro-1-[hydroxymethyl]ethoxy)methyl-2-nitroimidazole (FRP-170), with higher image contrast and faster clearance than preexisting hypoxia tracers for PET, was used to visualize hypoxic tissues in 8 patients with glioma.

Methods

The FRP-170 was injected and PET imaging was performed 2 hours later in 8 patients, including 3 with glioblastoma multiforme, 2 with oligodendroglioma, and 1 each with diffuse astrocytoma, anaplastic ganglioglioma, and recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma. All 8 patients also underwent MR imaging, and some patients underwent [11C]methionine or [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose PET, and proton MR spectroscopy for comparison. Tissues obtained at biopsy or radical resection were immunostained with hypoxia-inducible factor–1α (HIF-1α) antibody for the confirmation of hypoxia, except in the patient with recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma who was treated using Gamma Knife surgery.

Results

The FRP-170 PET images showed marked uptake with upregulation of HIF-1α in the 3 glioblastomas multiforme, and moderate uptake in the recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma and one oligodendroglioma, but no uptake in the other tumors. The FRP-170 PET images showed positive correlation with HIF-1α immunoreactivity and some correlation with FDG PET and MR imaging enhancement, but no correlation with [11C]methionine PET. Imaging with FRP-170 PET seemed to be more sensitive for detecting hypoxia than identifying the lactate peak on proton MR spectroscopy.

Conclusions

Imaging with FRP-170 PET can visualize hypoxic lesions in patients with glioma, as confirmed by histological examination. This new method can assess tumor hypoxia preoperatively and noninvasively.