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J. Marc Simard and William A. Friedman

✓ A device is described that performs automatic artifact rejection for somatosensory evoked response analysis in intraoperative and other electrically noisy environments. Although based on amplitude discrimination, rejection is not triggered by the large stimulus-dependent voltage transients associated with somatosensory evoked potentials. The device readily interfaces with commercially available evoked potential equipment.

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Charles C. Park, Moon L. Shin and J. Marc Simard

✓ Activation of complement results in formation of membrane attack complexes (MACs) that can insert themselves either into cells that initiate complement activation or into nearby (“innocent bystander”) cells. The MACs form large-conductance, nonspecific ion channels that can cause lytic or sublytic cell damage. The authors used a highly sensitive patch clamp technique to assess the contribution of the bystander effect to the pathophysiology of cerebral vasospasm. They compared the effect of complement activation by autologous aged versus fresh erythrocytes on the membrane conductance of freshly isolated rat cerebral artery smooth-muscle cells. In the presence of autologous serum aged, but not fresh, erythrocytes caused a large increase in membrane conductance, an effect that was prevented by heat-inactivating the serum. Ethyleneglycol tetraacetic acid in the presence of Mg++ attenuated the effect, indicating that complement activation was taking place via the classic pathway. The effect was reproduced by zymosan-activated autologous serum, suggesting that such changes in conductance could result from insertion of MACs secondary to a bystander effect. Both C8- and C9-depleted heterologous sera produced minimal effects that were converted to full effect by addition of the missing complement component. Superoxide dismutase plus catalase did not attenuate the conductance changes produced by autologous serum plus aged erythrocytes. Autologous serum plus aged erythrocyte membrane ghosts that were free of lysate caused a typical increase in conductance. This study demonstrates that complement activation by aged erythrocytes can result in MAC insertion into innocent bystander smooth-muscle cell membranes and that this mechanism, heretofore undescribed, may contribute to development of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Charles C. Park, Moon L. Shin and J. Marc Simard

Activation of complement results in formation of membrane attack complexes (MACs) that can insert themselves either into cells that initiate complement activation or into nearby (“innocent bystander”) cells. The MACs form large-conductance, nonspecific ion channels that can cause lytic or sublytic cell damage. The authors used a highly sensitive patch clamp technique to assess the contribution of the bystander effect to the pathophysiology of cerebral vasospasm. They compared the effect of complement activation by autologous aged versus fresh erythrocytes on the membrane conductance of freshly isolated rat cerebral artery smooth-muscle cells. In the presence of autologous serum, aged, but not fresh, erythrocytes caused a large increase in membrane conductance, an effect that was prevented by heat-inactivating the serum. Ethyleneglycol tetraacetic acid in the presence of Mg++ attenuated the effect, indicating that complement activation was taking place via the classic pathway. The effect was reproduced by zymosan-activated autologous serum, suggesting that such changes in conductance could result from insertion of MACs secondary to a bystander effect. Both C8- and C9-depleted heterologous sera produced minimal effects that were converted to full effect by addition of the missing complement component. Superoxide dismutase plus catalase did not attenuate the conductance changes produced by autologous serum plus aged erythrocytes. Autologous serum plus aged erythrocyte membrane ghosts that were free of lysate caused a typical increase in conductance. This study demonstrates that complement activation by aged erythrocytes can result in MAC insertion into innocent bystander smooth-muscle cell membranes and that this mechanism, heretofore undescribed, may contribute to development of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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J. Marc Simard, Kristopher T. Kahle and Volodymyr Gerzanich

Microvascular failure largely underlies the damaging secondary events that accompany traumatic brain injury (TBI). Changes in capillary permeability result in the extravasation of extracellular fluid, inflammatory cells, and blood, thereby producing cerebral edema, inflammation, and progressive secondary hemorrhage (PSH). Recent work in rat models of TBI and stroke have implicated 2 ion transport proteins expressed in brain endothelial cells as critical mediators of edema formation: the constitutively expressed Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter, NKCC1, and the trauma/ischemia-induced SUR1-regulated NCCa-ATP (SUR1/TRPM4) channel. Whereas NKCC1 function requires adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), activation of SUR1/TRPM4 occurs only after ATP depletion. This opposite dependence on intracellular ATP levels implies that one or the other mechanism will activate/deactivate as ATP concentrations rise and fall during periods of ischemia/reperfusion, resulting in continuous edema formation regardless of cellular energy status. Moreover, with critical ATP depletion, sustained opening of SUR1/TRPM4 channels results in the oncotic death of endothelial cells, leading to capillary fragmentation and PSH. Bumetanide and glibenclamide are 2 well-characterized, safe, FDA-approved drugs that inhibit NKCC1 and the SUR1/TRPM4 channel, respectively. When used alone, these drugs have provided documented beneficial effects in animal models of TBI- and ischemiaassociated cerebral edema and PSH. Given the mechanistic and temporal differences by which NKCC1 and the SUR1/TRPM4 channel contribute to the pathophysiological mechanisms of these events, combination therapy with bumetanide and glibenclamide may yield critical synergy in preventing injury-associated capillary failure.

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Danny Liang, Sergei Bhatta, Volodymyr Gerzanich and J. Marc Simard

✓Cerebral edema is caused by a variety of pathological conditions that affect the brain. It is associated with two separate pathophysiological processes with distinct molecular and physiological antecedents: those related to cytotoxic (cellular) edema of neurons and astrocytes, and those related to transcapillary flux of Na+ and other ions, water, and serum macromolecules. In this review, the authors focus exclusively on the first of these two processes. Cytotoxic edema results from unchecked or uncompensated influx of cations, mainly Na+, through cation channels. The authors review the different cation channels that have been implicated in the formation of cytotoxic edema of astrocytes and neurons in different pathological states. A better understanding of these molecular mechanisms holds the promise of improved treatments of cerebral edema and of the secondary injury produced by this pathological process.

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J. Marc Simard, E. Francois Aldrich, David Schreibman, Robert F. James, Adam Polifka and Narlin Beaty

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) predisposes to delayed neurological deficits, including stroke and cognitive and neuropsychological abnormalities. Heparin is a pleiotropic drug that antagonizes many of the pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in secondary brain injury after aSAH.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis in 86 consecutive patients with Fisher Grade 3 aSAH due to rupture of a supratentorial aneurysm who presented within 36 hours and were treated by surgical clipping within 48 hours of their ictus. Forty-three patients were managed postoperatively with a low-dose intravenous heparin infusion (Maryland low-dose intravenous heparin infusion protocol: 8 U/kg/hr progressing over 36 hours to 10 U/kg/hr) beginning 12 hours after surgery and continuing until Day 14 after the ictus. Forty-three control patients received conventional subcutaneous heparin twice daily as deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis.

Results

Patients in the 2 groups were balanced in terms of baseline characteristics. In the heparin group, activated partial thromboplastin times were normal to mildly elevated; no clinically significant hemorrhages or instances of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or deep vein thrombosis were encountered. In the control group, the incidence of clinical vasospasm requiring rescue therapy (induced hypertension, selective intraarterial verapamil, and angioplasty) was 20 (47%) of 43 patients, and 9 (21%) of 43 patients experienced a delayed infarct on CT scanning. In the heparin group, the incidence of clinical vasospasm requiring rescue therapy was 9% (4 of 43, p = 0.0002), and no patient suffered a delayed infarct (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

In patients with Fisher Grade 3 aSAH whose aneurysm is secured, postprocedure use of a low-dose intravenous heparin infusion may be safe and beneficial.

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Arjun Khanna, Brian P. Walcott, Kristopher T. Kahle and J. Marc Simard

Cerebral edema and hemorrhagic conversion are common, potentially devastating complications of ischemic stroke and are associated with high rates of mortality and poor functional outcomes. Recent work exploring the molecular pathophysiology of the neurogliovascular unit in ischemic stroke suggests that deranged cellular ion homeostasis due to altered function and regulation of ion pumps, channels, and secondary active transporters plays an integral role in the development of cytotoxic and vasogenic edema and hemorrhagic conversion. Among these proteins involved in ion homeostasis, the ischemia-induced, nonselective cation conductance formed by the SUR1-TRPM4 protein complex appears to play a prominent role and is potently inhibited by glibenclamide, an FDA-approved drug commonly used in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Several robust preclinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of glibenclamide blockade of SUR1-TRPM4 activity in reducing edema and hemorrhagic conversion in rodent models of ischemic stroke, prompting the study of the potential protective effects of glibenclamide in humans in an ongoing prospective phase II clinical trial. Preliminary data suggest glibenclamide significantly reduces cerebral edema and lowers the rate of hemorrhagic conversion following ischemic stroke, suggesting the potential use of glibenclamide to improve outcomes in humans.

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Michael T. Koltz, Adam J. Polifka, Andreas Saltos, Robert G. Slawson, Young Kwok, E. Francois Aldrich and J. Marc Simard

Object

The object of this study was to assess outcomes in patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) treated by Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS); lesions were stratified by size, symptomatology, and Spetzler-Martin (S-M) grade.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 102 patients treated for an AVM with single-dose or staged-dose SRS between 1993 and 2004. Lesions were grouped by S-M grade, as hemorrhagic or nonhemorrhagic, and as small (< 3 cm) or large (≥ 3 cm). Outcomes included death, morbidity (new neurological deficit, new-onset seizure, or hemorrhage/rehemorrhage), nidus obliteration, and Karnofsky Performance Scale score.

Results

The mean follow-up was 8.5 years (range 5–16 years). Overall nidus obliteration (achieved in 75% of patients) and morbidity (19%) correlated with lesion size and S-M grade. For S-M Grade I–III AVMs, nonhemorrhagic and hemorrhagic combined, treatment yielded obliteration rates of 100%, 89%, and 86%, respectively; high functional status (Karnofsky Performance Scale Score ≥ 80); and 1% mortality. For S-M Grade IV and V AVMs, outcomes were less favorable, with obliteration rates of 54% and 0%, respectively. The AVMs that were not obliterated had a mean reduction in nidus volume of 69% (range 35%–96%). On long-term follow-up, 10% of patients experienced hemorrhage/rehemorrhage (6% mortality rate), which correlated with lesion size and S-M grade; the mean interval to hemorrhage was 81 months.

Conclusions

For patients with S-M Grade I–III AVMs, SRS offers outcomes that are favorable and that, except for the timing of obliteration, appear to be comparable to surgical outcomes reported for the same S-M grades. Staged-dose SRS results in lesion obliteration in half of patients with S-M Grade IV lesions.

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Jason K. Karimy, Daniel Duran, Jamie K. Hu, Charuta Gavankar, Jonathan R. Gaillard, Yasar Bayri, Hunter Rice, Michael L. DiLuna, Volodymyr Gerzanich, J. Marc Simard and Kristopher T. Kahle

Hydrocephalus, despite its heterogeneous causes, is ultimately a disease of disordered CSF homeostasis that results in pathological expansion of the cerebral ventricles. Our current understanding of the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus is inadequate but evolving. Over this past century, the majority of hydrocephalus cases has been explained by functional or anatomical obstructions to bulk CSF flow. More recently, hydrodynamic models of hydrocephalus have emphasized the role of abnormal intracranial pulsations in disease pathogenesis. Here, the authors review the molecular mechanisms of CSF secretion by the choroid plexus epithelium, the most efficient and actively secreting epithelium in the human body, and provide experimental and clinical evidence for the role of increased CSF production in hydrocephalus. Although the choroid plexus epithelium might have only an indirect influence on the pathogenesis of many types of pediatric hydrocephalus, the ability to modify CSF secretion with drugs newer than acetazolamide or furosemide would be an invaluable component of future therapies to alleviate permanent shunt dependence. Investigation into the human genetics of developmental hydrocephalus and choroid plexus hyperplasia, and the molecular physiology of the ion channels and transporters responsible for CSF secretion, might yield novel targets that could be exploited for pharmacotherapeutic intervention.

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Feng Xu, Bing Leng and Donglei Song