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Erico R. Cardoso, Kesava Reddy and Deepak Bose

✓ The influence of vasoconstrictors of intracranial arteries on the amplitude and configuration of the intracranial pulse wave (ICPW) was investigated. Continuous pressure recordings from the descending aorta (systemic arterial pressure) and the third cerebral ventricle (intracranial pressure) were obtained from anesthetized cats. Computerized analysis of the configuration, amplitude, and frequency spectrum of ventricular wave (ICPW) and aortic pulse wave (SAPW) was performed. Artificial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) was injected intracisternally. In 24 control cats, 2 ml artificial CSF was injected into the cisterna magna. This produced a significant increase in amplitude of the ICPW but no change in the SAPW. Ten animals received 14 intracisternal injections of 2 ml autologous blood which caused narrowing of the amplitude of the ICPW as well as of all its components (P1, P2, and P3), with no significant change in the SAPW's. Eight animals were also subjected to cisternal injection of 2 ml of a 10−4-M solution of 5-HT, resulting in findings similar to those produced by autologous blood. Frequency spectrum of the intracranial and aortic pulse waves showed a high degree of correlation between wave amplitudes and height of the fundamental wave in the FFT record.

These results suggest that the cerebral vasospasm that follows cisternal injections of blood and 5-HT in cats can be diagnosed by analysis of the ICPW. This method may allow early diagnosis and continuous monitoring of cerebral vasospasm in humans.

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Kesava K. V. Reddy, Marc R. Del Bigio and Garnette R. Sutherland

✓ Although posttraumatic syringomyelia is a well-established clinicopathological entity, there is a paucity of information on the ultrastructural features of this condition. This study documents the light and electron microscopic features of posttraumatic syringes obtained from two patients who underwent surgical cordectomy. The syringes were lined largely by cell processes of astrocytes. Small regions near the caudal end were lined by flattened ependymal cells that lacked surface specializations. These were thought to represent remnants of the central canal ependyma. The ultrastructural appearance of the syrinx was similar to that of the communicating syringomyelia as well as the periventricular changes that accompany hydrocephalus. The authors conclude that the changes represent the nonspecific sequelae of a distensile force within the syrinx cavity.

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Pitfalls of bungee jumping

Case report and review of the literature

Deon Louw, Kesava K. V. Reddy, Carl Lauryssen and Gideon Louw

✓ A case of cervical spine injury related to bungee jumping is presented. Surgical intervention resulted in resolution of the patient's quadriparesis. The incidence of serious injury connected with this pastime is not inconsiderable, and it is recommended that safer jumping practices be followed. Inspection of bungee equipment and certification of instructors is now voluntary but should be mandated. Jumping heights should be limited and the use of air cushions encouraged.

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Pradeep K. Narotam, Kesava Reddy, Derek Fewer, Fan Qiao and Narendra Nathoo

Object

The repair of dural defects is controversial in contemporary neurosurgery. To date, collagen-based products remain a continued area of interest in the development of dural grafts. The authors conducted a prospective case–control study in which they evaluated collagen matrix in the repair of dural defects following cranial and spinal surgery by using specific clinical and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging outcome measures.

Methods

Enrolled in the study were 79 patients, 36 male (45.6%) and 43 female (54.4%), with a mean age of 53 ± 15.8 years. The pathological diagnosis was brain tumor in 49 cases (62%), vascular conditions in 16 (20.2%), degenerative spine in 10 (12.7%), trauma in two (2.5%), and other in two (2.5%). Most of the patients underwent supratentorial craniotomy (57; 72.2%), whereas 11 patients (13.9%) each underwent posterior fossa and spinal surgery. Sixty-three patients (79.7%) completed the study, which included clinical and MR imaging evaluations at 3 months postsurgery. There were no cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks or delayed hemorrhages. The neurosurgical wound infection rate was 3.8%: superficial wound infection in two cases and deep infection and brain abscess in one case (recurrent brain tumor following radiation therapy).

Among the 63 patients in whom 3-month postsurgery imaging data were available, asymptomatic small pseudomeningoceles were detected on MR imaging in two (3.2%); a minor subgaleal fluid collection, which resolved spontaneously, was apparent in another patient (1.6%). Nonspecific dural enhancement was demonstrated on images obtained in seven patients (11.1%), and asymptomatic spinal epidural enhancement was observed on images obtained in two of three patients who had undergone lumbar laminectomy for spinal stenosis.

Conclusions

When used as a dural onlay graft, collagen matrix had a 100% CSF containment rate but might be associated with occult radiological abnormalities.

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Jetan H. Badhiwala, Forough Farrokhyar, Waleed Alhazzani, Blake Yarascavitch, Mohammed Aref, Almunder Algird, Naresh Murty, Edward Kachur, Aleksa Cenic, Kesava Reddy and Saleh A. Almenawer

Object

Information pertaining to the natural history of intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations (ISCCMs) and patient outcomes after surgery is scarce. To evaluate factors associated with favorable outcomes for patients with surgically and conservatively managed ISCCMs, the authors performed a systematic review and metaanalysis of the literature. In addition, they included their single-center series of ISCCMs.

Methods

The authors searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Google Scholar, and The Cochrane Library for studies published through June 2013 that reported cases of ISCCMs. Data from all eligible studies were used to examine the epidemiology, clinical features, and neurological outcomes of patients with surgically managed and conservatively treated ISCCMs. To evaluate several variables as predictors of favorable neurological outcomes, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of individual patient data and performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Variables included patient age, patient sex, lesion spinal level, lesion size, cerebral cavernomas, family history of cavernous malformations, clinical course, presenting symptoms, treatment strategy (operative or conservative), symptom duration, surgical approach, spinal location, and extent of resection. In addition, they performed a meta-analysis to determine a pooled estimate of the annual hemorrhage rate of ISCCMs.

Results

Eligibility criteria were met by 40 studies, totaling 632 patients, including the authors' institutional series of 24 patients. Mean patient age was 39.1 years (range 2–80 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 1.1:1. Spinal levels of cavernomas were cervical (38%), cervicothoracic (2.4%), thoracic (55.2%), thoracolumbar (0.6%), lumbar (2.1%), and conus medullaris (1.7%). Average cavernoma size was 9.2 mm. Associated cerebral cavernomas occurred in 16.5% of patients, and a family history of cavernous malformation was found for 11.9% of evaluated patients. Clinical course was acute with stepwise progression for 45.4% of patients and slowly progressive for 54.6%. Symptoms were motor (60.5%), sensory (57.8%), pain (33.8%), bladder and/or bowel (23.6%), respiratory distress (0.5%), or absent (asymptomatic; 0.9%). The calculated pooled annual rate of hemorrhage was 2.1% (95% CI 1.3%–3.3%). Most (89.9%) patients underwent resection, and 10.1% underwent conservative management (observation). Outcomes were better for those who underwent resection than for those who underwent conservative management (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.46–5.33, p = 0.002). A positive correlation with improved neurological outcomes was found for resection within 3 months of symptom onset (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.31–3.41, p = 0.002), hemilaminectomy approach (OR 3.20, 95% CI 1.16–8.86, p = 0.03), and gross-total resection (OR 3.61, 95% CI 1.24–10.52, p = 0.02). Better outcomes were predicted by an acute clinical course (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.10–2.68, p = 0.02) and motor symptoms (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.08–2.86, p = 0.02); poor neurological recovery was predicted by sensory symptoms (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.35–0.98, p = 0.04). Rates of neurological improvement after resection were no higher for patients with superficial ISCCMs than for those with deep-seated ISCCMs (OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.71–2.60, p = 0.36).

Conclusions

Intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations tend to be clinically progressive. The authors' findings support an operative management plan for patients with a symptomatic ISCCM. Surgical goals include gross-total resection through a more minimally invasive hemilaminectomy approach within 3 months of presentation.

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Wouter I. Schievink, Marcel M. Maya, Franklin G. Moser, Alexander Tuchman, Rachelle B. Cruz, Richard I. Farb, Ryan Rebello, Kesava Reddy and Ravi S. Prasad

Spontaneous CSF–venous fistulas may be present in up to one-fourth of patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension. This is a recently discovered type of CSF leak, and much remains unknown about these fistulas. Spinal CSF–venous fistulas are usually seen in coexistence with a spinal meningeal diverticulum, suggesting the presence of an underlying structural dural weakness at the proximal portion of the fistula. The authors now report the presence of soft-tissue venous/venolymphatic malformations associated with spontaneous spinal CSF–venous fistulas in 2 patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension, suggesting a role for distal venous pathology. In a third patient with spontaneous intracranial hypotension and a venolymphatic malformation, such a CSF–venous fistula is strongly suspected.