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Edson Bor-Seng-Shu and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

Object.

The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the cumulative incidence, duration, and time course of cerebral vasospasm after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a cohort of 299 patients.

Methods.

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography studies of blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral and basilar arteries (VMCA and VBA, respectively) were performed at regular intervals during the first 2 weeks posttrauma in association with 133Xe cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements. According to current definitions of vasospasm, five different criteria were used to classify the patients: A (VMCA > 120 cm/second); B (VMCA > 120 cm/second and a Lindegaard ratio [LR] > 3); C (spasm index [SI] in the anterior circulation > 3.4); D (VBA > 90 cm/second); and E (SI in the posterior circulation > 2.5). Criteria C and E were considered to represent hemodynamically significant vasospasm. Mixed-effects spline models were used to analyze the data of multiple measurements with an inconsistent sampling rate.

Overall 45.2% of the patients demonstrated at least one criterion for vasospasm. The patients in whom vasospasm developed were significantly younger and had lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores on admission. The normalized cumulative incidences were 36.9 and 36.2% for patients with Criteria A and B, respectively. Hemodynamically significant vasospasm in the anterior circulation (Criterion C) was found in 44.6% of the patients, whereas vasospasm in the BA—Criterion D or E—was found in only 19 and 22.5% of the patients, respectively. The most common day of onset for Criteria A, B, D, and E was postinjury Day 2. The highest risk of developing hemodynamically significant vasospasm in the anterior circulation was found on Day 3. The daily prevalence of vasospasm in patients in the intensive care unit was 30% from postinjury Day 2 to Day 13. Vasospasm resolved after a duration of 5 days in 50% of the patients with Criterion A or B and after a period of 3.5 days in 50% of those patients with Criterion D or E. Hemodynamically significant vasospasm in the anterior circulation resolved after 2.5 days in 50% of the patients. The time course of that vasospasm was primarily determined by a decrease in CBF.

Conclusions.

The incidence of vasospasm after TBI is similar to that following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Because vasospasm is a significant event in a high proportion of patients after severe head injury, close TCD and CBF monitoring is recommended for the treatment of such patients.

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Erich Talamoni Fonoff, William Omar Contreras Lopez, Ywzhe Sifuentes Almeida de Oliveira, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to show that microendoscopic guidance using a double-channel technique could be safely applied during percutaneous cordotomy and provides clear real-time visualization of the spinal cord and surrounding structures during the entire procedure.

METHODS

Twenty-four adult patients with intractable cancer pain were treated by microendoscopic-guided percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) cordotomy using the double-channel technique under local anesthesia. A percutaneous lateral puncture was performed initially under fluoroscopy guidance to localize the target. When the subarachnoid space was reached by the guiding cannula, the endoscope was inserted for visualization of the spinal cord and surrounding structures. After target visualization, a second needle was inserted to guide the RF electrode. Cordotomy was performed by a standard RF method.

RESULTS

The microendoscopic double-channel approach provided real-time visualization of the target in 91% of the cases. The other 9% of procedures were performed by the single-channel technique. Significant analgesia was achieved in over 90% of the cases. Two patients had transient ataxia that lasted for a few weeks until total recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of percutaneous microendoscopic cordotomy with the double-channel technique is useful for specific manipulations of the spinal cord. It provides real-time visualization of the RF probe, thereby adding a degree of safety to the procedure.

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Sergio Brasil, Marcelo de-Lima-Oliveira, Edson Bor-Seng-Shu, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

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Roberto Sergio Martins, Mario Gilberto Siqueira, Carlos Otto Heise, Luciano Foroni, Hugo Sterman Neto, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

OBJECTIVE

Nerve transfers are commonly used in treating complete injuries of the brachial plexus, but donor nerves are limited and preferentially directed toward the recovery of elbow flexion and shoulder abduction. The aims of this study were to characterize the anatomical parameters for identifying the nerve to the levator scapulae muscle (LSN) in brachial plexus surgery, to evaluate the feasibility of transferring this branch to the suprascapular nerve (SSN) or lateral pectoral nerve (LPN), and to present the results from a surgical series.

METHODS

Supra- and infraclavicular exposure of the brachial plexus was performed on 20 fresh human cadavers in order to measure different anatomical parameters for identification of the LSN. Next, an anatomical and histomorphometric evaluation of the feasibility of transferring this branch to the SSN and LPN was made. Lastly, the effectiveness of the LSN-LPN transfer was evaluated among 10 patients by quantifying their arm adduction strength.

RESULTS

The LSN was identified in 95% of the cadaveric specimens. A direct coaptation of the LSN and SSN was possible in 45% of the specimens (n = 9) but not between the LSN and LPN in any of the specimens. Comparison of axonal counts among the three nerves did not show any significant difference. Good results from reinnervation of the major pectoral muscle (Medical Research Council grade ≥ 3) were observed in 70% (n = 7) of the patients who had undergone LSN to LPN transfer.

CONCLUSIONS

The LSN is consistently identified through a supraclavicular approach to the brachial plexus, and its transfer to supply the functions of the SSN and LPN is anatomically viable. Good results from an LSN-LPN transfer are observed in most patients, even if long nerve grafts need to be used.

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Nícollas Nunes Rabelo, Bruno Braga Sisnando da Costa, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, and Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo

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Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, Fabrício Freitas de Almeida, Ywzhe Sifuentes Almeida de Oliveira, and Erich Talamoni Fonoff

Object

Over the past few decades, various authors have performed open or stereotactic trigeminal nucleotractotomy for the treatment of neuropathic facial pain resistant to medical treatment. Stereotactic procedures can be performed percutaneously under local anesthesia, allowing intraoperative neurological examination as a method for target refinement. However, blind percutaneous procedures in the region of the atlantooccipital transition carry a considerably high risk of vascular injuries that may bring prohibitive neurological deficit or even death. To avoid such complications, the authors present the first clinical use of microendoscopy to assist percutaneous radiofrequency trigeminal nucleotractotomy. The aim of this article is to demonstrate intradural microendoscopic visualization of the medulla oblongata through an atlantooccipital percutaneous approach.

Methods

The authors present a case of severe postherpetic facial neuralgia in a patient who underwent the procedure and had satisfactory results. Stereotactic computational image planning for targeting the spinal trigeminal tract and nucleus in the posterolateral medulla was performed, allowing for an accurate percutaneous approach. Immediately before radiofrequency electrode insertion, a fine endoscope was introduced to visualize the structures in the cisterna magna.

Results

Microendoscopic visualization offered clear identification of the pial surface of the medulla oblongata and its blood vessels, the arachnoid membrane, cranial nerve rootlets and their entry zone, and larger vessels such as the vertebral arteries and the branches of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery.

Conclusions

The initial application of this technique suggests that percutaneous microendoscopy may be useful for particular manipulation of the medulla oblongata, increasing the safety of the procedure and likely improving its effectiveness.

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Davi J. Fontoura Solla, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, and Wellingson Silva Paiva

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Sergio Brasil, Wellingson Silva Paiva, Ricardo de Carvalho Nogueira, Angela Macedo Salinet, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

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Almir Ferreira de Andrade, Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo, Robson Luis Oliveira de Amorim, Wellingson S. Paiva, Guilherme Lepski, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira

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Weston Northam, Kristi Hildebrand, Scott Elton, and Carolyn Quinsey