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Hideo Otsuki, Susumu Nakatani, Mami Yamasaki, Akira Kinoshita, Fuminori Iwamoto and Naoki Kagawa

✓ The result of combining the ultrasound Coded Excitation method and an ultrasound contrast agent (UCA), the Coded Harmonic Angio (CHA) technique provides arterial images with exceptional spatial, temporal, and contrast resolution that are comparable to those produced by conventional digital subtraction angiography. The authors report on their experience with intraoperative ultrasound arteriography performed using the transdural CHA technique in three patients: one harboring a meningioma, another with a middle cerebral artery aneurysm, and a third with an arteriovenous malformation. The present study demonstrates how intraoperative cerebral ultrasound arteriography can be applied to assess the adequacy of neurovascular procedures without the presence of an experienced operator.

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Mami Yamasaki, Norio Arita, Shoju Hiraga, Shuichi Izumoto, Kazuyoshi Morimoto, Susumu Nakatani, Ken Fujitani, Noriko Sato and Toru Hayakawa

✓ To clarify the clinicopathological features of X-linked hydrocephalus, the authors studied 30 affected males from 15 families. In utero ultrasonography, performed at 21 to 40 weeks of gestation, revealed 18 fetuses with hydrocephalus. Computerized tomography (CT) revealed bilateral enlargement of the lateral ventricle with preponderant dilation of the posterior horn. In five patients with complete magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, the most specific finding was localized atrophy of the anterior vermian lobe. Other MR imaging findings included a large massa intermedia, flat corpora quadrigemina, a small brainstem, and diffuse hypoplasia of the cerebral white matter. In all cases, the corpus callosum was hypoplastic or aplastic. The aqueduct was patent in four of five cases. Asymmetrical reduction of the ventricular size and a rippled ventricular wall were characteristic postshunt CT findings. Progressive macrocephaly and symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure were ameliorated by the shunt; however, the neurological outcome was not improved by shunting. Of 14 patients who lived to be between 2 and 18 years of age, all are retarded. These results indicate that X-linked hydrocephalus is not a disease of simple ventriculomegaly due to aqueduct stenosis alone but involves other complicated central nervous system anomalies.

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Yonehiro Kanemura, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Hiroaki Sakamoto, Tomoko Shofuda, Hiroyuki Kamiguchi and Mami Yamasaki

Object

Mutations in the gene that codes for the human neural cell adhesion molecule L1 (L1CAM), are known to cause a wide variety of anomalies, now understood as phenotypic expressions of L1 syndrome. The correlations between genotype and phenotype, however, are not fully established. The authors report the results of a nationwide investigation of L1CAM gene mutations that was performed to improve the understanding of L1-mediated molecular mechanisms of X-linked hydrocephalus and to establish neurorimaging criteria for this severe form of L1 syndrome.

Methods

Ninety-six genomic DNA samples from members of 57 families were obtained from the Congenital Hydrocephalus Research Committee. By using polymerase chain reaction and direct DNA sequencing, the authors identified 25 different L1CAM gene mutations, 20 of them novel, in 26 families with X-linked hydrocephalus. All the mutations were L1CAM loss-of-function mutations, and all the patients had severe hydrocephalus and severe mental retardation. In all cases, specific abnormalities were visible on neuroimaging: a rippled ventricular wall after shunt placement, an enlarged quadrigeminal plate, a large massa intermedia, and hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis (anterior or total). The patients also had adducted thumbs, spastic paraplegia, and hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, which are characteristic of L1 syndrome.

Conclusions

The L1CAM loss-of-function mutations cause a severe form of L1 syndrome, unlike the milder form produced by mutations in the L1CAM cytoplasmic domain. We also identified neurorimaging criteria for this severe form of L1 syndrome. These criteria can be used to predict loss-of-function mutations in patients with X-linked hydrocephalus and to help in diagnosing this syndrome.

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Mami Yamasaki, Masahiro Nonaka, Nobuhiro Suzumori, Hiroaki Nakamura, Hiroshi Fujita, Akira Namba, Yoshimasa Kamei, Takahiro Yamada, Ritsuko K. Pooh, Mitsuyo Tanemura, Norihito Sudo, Masato Nagasaka, Ema Yoshioka, Tomoko Shofuda and Yonehiro Kanemura

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of prenatal L1CAM gene testing for X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH).

Methods

In a nationwide study conducted in Japan between 1999 and 2009, the authors identified 51 different L1CAM gene mutations in 56 families with XLH. Of these 56 families, 9 obligate carriers requested prenatal gene mutation analysis for the fetal L1CAM gene in 14 pregnancies.

Results

In 2004, new clinical guidelines for genetic testing were established by 10 Japanese genetic medicine–related societies. These guidelines stated that the genetic testing of carriers should be done only with their consent and with genetic counseling. Therefore, because females are carriers, since 2004, L1CAM gene analysis has not been performed for female fetuses. The authors report on 7 fetal genetic analyses that were performed at the request of families carrying L1CAM mutations, involving 3 female (prior to 2004) and 4 male fetuses. Of the 7 fetuses, 3 (1 male and 2 female) carried L1CAM mutations. Of these 3, 1 pregnancy (the male fetus) was terminated; in the other cases, the pregnancies continued, and 3 female and 3 male babies without the XLH phenotype were born.

Conclusions

Prenatal L1CAM gene testing combined with genetic counseling was beneficial for families carrying L1CAM mutations.