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Kiyohiro Houkin and Satoshi Kuroda

✓ The authors examine the quality of intraoperative photography in which digital recording technology, including a microdigital camera and digital video paired with an operating microscope, is used during neurosurgery. A microdigital camera developed for this purpose (1.4 million pixels) was attached to an operating microscope and used during surgery. The same surgical views with precisely the same optical conditions were taken through the microscope by using both a conventional 35-mm camera and the microdigital camera, and the quality of the final output was compared. In addition, the quality of the digital camera photographs was compared with the still photograph clipped from the digital video recording.

The quality of the photographs taken with a microdigital camera was superior to the quality of those obtained with the conventional 35-mm camera. The success rate of recording (what you see is what you get) was almost 100%. The quality of the still photographs clipped from the digital video was nearly equal to those taken with the digital camera. The microdigital camera system is superior to the conventional 35-mm camera in neurosurgery in terms of its success rate and the quality of the photography. It is also a space-saving system for storing the huge amount of data generated in the recording of surgical procedures, and the cost/performance ratio is superior to that of the conventional method. Digital technology including digital cameras and videos is very useful for clear recording of microsurgical procedures.

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Yoshihiro Minamida, Takeshi Mikami, Kazuo Hashi, and Kiyohiro Houkin

Object. The authors performed a retrospective analysis of a consecutive series of craniopharyngiomas and their recurrences, which were managed with surgery alone.

Methods. In the past 20 years, 37 consecutive patients with craniopharyngiomas underwent surgery without adjuvant radiotherapy. During that period there was a consistent strategy that surgical management was the first choice of treatment whenever possible.

Of these 37 patients, 11 experienced tumor recurrence (29.7%) during the mean follow-up period of 11.1 years. Of these 11 patients, seven experienced recurrence after neuroimaging-confirmed total removal, and four patients experienced recurrence after partial or incomplete removal. In these 11 patients, surgical removal was performed 17 times. Using a proper surgical approach (mainly a basal interhemispheric approach) and meticulous microsurgical techniques, total removal of the recurrent tumor was achieved in nine surgeries (52.9). The mortality and morbidity rates associated with these 17 surgeries were 0% and 9.1%, respectively. In most cases, visual function was preserved or improved and intellectual performance was also preserved.

Conclusions. Recurrence of craniopharyngioma can be safely managed by using meticulous contemporary microsurgical techniques without additional radiotherapy. The role of surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy for craniopharyngiomas may vary in the future, depending on innovations in treatment and technology. Nevertheless, surgery can be still a major therapeutic option in the management of recurrent craniopharyngiomas.

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Kiyohiro Houkin, Hiroshi Abe, Tetsuyuki Yoshimoto, and Akihiro Takahashi

✓ Whether a diagnosis of moyamoya disease is justified in patients with typical angiographic evidence of moyamoya disease unilaterally and normal angiographic findings contralaterally remains controversial. In this study the authors analyzed longitudinal angiographic change, familial occurrence, and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with “unilateral” moyamoya disease. Over a 10-year period, 10 cases of unilateral moyamoya disease were followed using conventional angiography or magnetic resonance angiography. Basic FGF in CSF, obtained from the subarachnoid space of the cerebral cortex during revascularization surgery, was measured in five cases. Among the 10 cases of unilateral moyamoya disease, only one pediatric case showed obvious signs of progression to typical bilateral disease. The other nine cases (including six adults and three children) remained stable throughout follow-up radiological examinations (magnetic resonance angiography) with a mean observation period of 3.5 years. There was no familial occurrence in these cases of unilateral moyamoya disease. Levels of bFGF, which are high in typical moyamoya disease, were low in these patients. The progression from unilateral moyamoya disease to the typical bilateral form of the disease appears to be infrequent. The low levels of bFGF in the CSF of these patients and the lack of familial occurrence strongly suggest that most cases of unilateral moyamoya disease, especially those found in adults, are distinct from typical bilateral moyamoya disease.

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Kiyohiro Houkin, Ingrid L. Kwee, and Tsutomu Nakada

✓ Serial proton (1H) and phosphorus-31 (31P) magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy of cerebral infarction was performed in rats to assess the sensitivity of these techniques for use in clinical cerebral infarction. In this experimental chronic infarction model, 31P spectroscopy tended to return to a “normal” pattern within 24 hours after induction of infarction in spite of pathologically proven completed infarction and, therefore, appeared not to be sensitive enough for clinical application. On the other hand, proton spectroscopy invariably showed persistent high lactate levels and was capable of distinguishing completed infarction from reperfused recovered brain. Persistent high lactate levels appear to be a good MR spectroscopic indicator of completed infarction.

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Shuji Hamauchi, Toshitaka Seki, Toru Sasamori, and Kiyohiro Houkin

Intermediate incisions are considered necessary to pass a catheter tube from the head to the abdomen in ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunting via a frontal bur hole. However, an intermediate incision can sometimes become dehiscent, resulting in CSF leakage or infection of the shunt system in the early period after shunt implantation, particularly in infant patients. In this article, the authors describe a novel method of VP shunt insertion that does not require an intermediate incision. This nonintermediate-incision VP shunt procedure was performed in 3 infant patients with hydrocephalus and was not associated with any complications. This method can eliminate the intermediate incision, which is a disadvantage of VP shunt insertion via a frontal bur hole.

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Tatsuya Ishikawa, Kiyohiro Houkin, Kouichi Tokuda, Susumu Kawaguchi, and Takeshi Kashiwaba

✓ Dural arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are considered to be acquired lesions that develop secondary to venous obstruction, which sometimes happens in head trauma. However, there has been a report of an anterior cranial fossa dural AVM that occurred independently of a history of head trauma, and there has been speculation that these malformations are congenital.

The authors recount their experience with a patient who had an anterior cranial fossa dural AVM that was discovered incidentally. The lesion was fed by the bilateral anterior ethmoidal arteries and drained into the superior sagittal sinus via frontal cortical veins. The patient had a history of severe head trauma that had occurred 30 years earlier.

This is the first case report in which a previous head trauma is strongly believed to be the cause of an anterior cranial fossa dural AVM. The authors postulate that anterior cranial fossa dural AVMs can develop secondary to a head trauma.

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Haruto Uchino, Ken Kazumata, Masaki Ito, Naoki Nakayama, and Kiyohiro Houkin


A specific population of young patients with moyamoya disease (MMD) persistently experience physical symptoms not attributable to focal ischemia. These symptoms, highly suggestive of orthostatic intolerance (also termed “orthostatic dysregulation”), were investigated and reported as potential determinants of quality of life in young MMD patients.


Forty-six patients (6–30 years of age) were selected from a group of 122 patients who were diagnosed with MMD before 18 years of age. The authors administered a structured questionnaire consisting of 11 items based on screening checklists published in the Japanese clinical guidelines for juvenile orthostatic dysregulation in young patients. The results were tabulated, and correlations with clinical data were explored.


Thirty-seven (80%) patients (mean age 15.9 years) responded to the questionnaire. Frequent headache, vertigo/dizziness on standing, fatigue, difficulty with getting out of bed, and motion sickness were the top 5 symptoms, resulting in 57% of patients being unable to attend school. Forty-three percent of the patients demonstrated multiple symptoms suggestive of orthostatic intolerance, even as long as 5 years after revascularization surgery. The number of symptoms was inversely associated with the number of years after surgery (p = 0.028). The number of symptoms was not associated with a history of surgery, clinical presentations, vascular involvement, cerebral perfusion, brain lesions, or history of transient ischemic attacks.


The present study provided novel insight into the symptomatology of young patients with MMD. Failure to notice nonfocal physical symptoms can significantly impair quality of life in young patients with MMD even years after successful revascularization surgery. These symptoms may serve as independent clinical markers used to assess disease outcome, although the underlying mechanisms of this disease are, as of yet, unclear.

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Takeo Baba, Yoshihiro Minamida, Takeshi Mikami, Izumi Koyanagi, and Kiyohiro Houkin

✓ The authors report on the case of a 14-year-old boy who presented with bilateral visual impairment due to optic canal stenosis caused by hyperplasia of the bone marrow arising from anemia. The patient had hereditary hemolytic anemia with unstable hemoglobin of the Christchurch type. This congenital form of anemia caused hyperplasia of the bone marrow as well as hyperostosis of the entire calvarial bone, which in turn led to optic canal stenosis. The patient underwent surgical decompression of the optic canal, resulting in significant improvement in visual acuity. Pathological findings in the calvarial bone indicated hypertrophic bone marrow with no other specific features such as neoplastic pattern or fibrous dysplasia. With the exception of objective hearing impairment, no other significant cranial neuropathy has been detected thus far.

On reviewing the published literature, this case was found to be the first in which hyperostosis due to congenital anemia resulted in symptomatic entrapment neuropathy of the optic nerve. The authors concluded that surgical decompression effectively improves visual acuity.

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Takeshi Mikami, Yoshihiro Minamida, Izumi Koyanagi, Takeo Baba, and Kiyohiro Houkin


An anterior clinoidectomy can provide enormous benefits, facilitating the management of paraclinoid and upper basilar artery lesions, but it also carries the potential risk of cerebrospinal fluid leaks. The aim of this study was to assess the variation in the pneumatization of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) in an attempt to reduce the complications associated with an anterior clinoidectomy.


The authors analyzed the anatomical variations in the pneumatization of the ACP and optical strut (OS) in 600 sides of 300 consecutive patients by using multidetector-row computed tomography (CT). Computed tomography scans with a 0.5-mm thickness were obtained, and coronal and sagittal reconstructions of the images were displayed in all cases. Pneumatization of the ACP was found in 9.2% of all sides. The origin of pneumatization was the sphenoid sinus in 81.8% of all the sides, the ethmoid sinus in 10.9%, and both of these sinuses in 7.3%. Pneumatized patterns were divided into three groups according to the route: 74.5% were Type I, in which pneumatization occurred via the OS; 14.5% were Type II, pneumatization via the anterior root (AR); and 10.9% were Type III, pneumatization via both the OS and the AR. The origin of pneumatization and the pneumatization pattern showed statistical dependence (p < 0.001). Pneumatization of the OS beyond its narrowest point was found in 6.8% of all sides.


An awareness of the different variations in pneumatization can prevent destruction of the mucous membrane and facilitate orientation during reconstruction with cranialization. During an anterior clinoidectomy, preoperative CT assessments are necessary to evaluate pneumatization of the ACP.