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Yukihiko Fujii, Naoki Nakayama and Tsutomu Nakada

Because of the high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, T2-weighted images obtained using high-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems can be expected to provide high anatomical and contrast resolution. Furthermore, the improved structural and contrast resolution of these high S/N T2-weighted images can be processed for optimum perceptual resolution through the application of gray-scale reversal and expansion of the gray-scale window, known as T2-reversed (T2R) imaging. In this study, the authors investigated high-resolution T2R MR imaging performed on a high-field (3-tesla) system for its clinical utility in detecting various physiological and pathological conditions.

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Yukihiko Fujii, Naoki Nakayama and Tsutomu Nakada

Because of the high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, T2-weighted images obtained using high-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems can be expected to provide high anatomical and contrast resolution. Furthermore, the improved structural and contrast resolution of these high S/N T2-weighted images can be processed for optimum perceptual resolution through the application of gray-scale reversal and expansion of the gray-scale window, known as T2-reversed (T2R) imaging. In this study, the authors investigated high-resolution T2R MR imaging performed on a high-field (3-tesla) system for its clinical utility in detecting various physiological and pathological conditions.

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

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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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Tsutomu Nakada, Naoki Nakayama, Yukihiko Fujii and Ingrid L. Kwee

✓ The utility of three-dimensional anisotropy contrast (3DAC) magnetic resonance (MR) axonography, a method sensitive to neuronal fibers and their directionality, was investigated in the clinical setting using a 3-tesla MR imaging system based on a General Electric Signa platform. The study focused on healthy volunteers and patients with common structural central nervous system disorders, namely chronic infarction, brainstem cavernous hemangioma, supratentorial meningioma, and astrocytoma. Three orthogonal anisotropic diffusion-weighted images were first obtained. Three primary colors were each assigned to a diffusion-weighted image, respectively, and the images were subsequently combined into a single-color image in full-color spectrum (3DAC MR axonography image). Fiber-tract definition in the cerebral peduncle of the midbrain of healthy volunteers showed intersubject variation, with two general patterns recognized: dispersed (60% of cases) and compact (40% of cases). Pathological alterations in the fiber tracts were readily identified in cases involving wallerian degeneration of the pyramidal tract, as illustrated in the cases of chronic infarction. Displacement of major tracts, such as the medial lemniscus or corticospinal tract, as well as fiber directionality, was also easily recognized in cases of mass lesions. As an imaging method uniquely capable of providing information regarding axonal connectivity, 3DAC MR axonography appears to have promising potential for routine clinical application.

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Ken Kazumata, Khin Khin Tha, Haruto Uchino, Tohru Shiga, Hideo Shichinohe, Masaki Ito, Naoki Nakayama and Takeo Abumiya

OBJECTIVE

After revascularization surgery, hyperperfusion and ischemia are associated with morbidity and mortality in adult moyamoya disease (MMD). However, structural changes within the brain following revascularization surgery, especially in the early postsurgical period, have not been thoroughly studied. Such knowledge may enable improved monitoring and clinical management of hyperperfusion and ischemia in MMD. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the topographic and temporal profiles of cerebral perfusion and related white matter microstructural changes following revascularization surgery in adult MMD.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 20 consecutive surgeries performed in 17 adults. Diffusion imaging in parallel with serial measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using SPECT was performed. Both voxel-based and region-of-interest analyses were performed, comparing neuroimaging parameters of postoperative hemispheres with those of preoperative hemispheres at 4 different time points within 2 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS

Voxel-based analysis showed a distinct topographic pattern of cerebral perfusion, characterized by increased rCBF in the basal ganglia for the first several days and gradually increased rCBF in the lateral prefrontal cortex over 1 week (p < 0.001). Decreased rCBF was also observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, occipital lobe, and cerebellum contralateral to the surgical hemisphere (p < 0.001). Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity (AD), as well as increased radial diffusivity (RD), were demonstrated in both the anterior and posterior limbs of the internal capsule (p < 0.001). Diffusion parameters demonstrated the greatest changes in both FA and RD on Days 1–2 and in AD on Days 3–6; FA, RD, and AD recovered to preoperative levels on Day 14. Patients with transient neurological deteriorations (TNDs), as compared with those without, demonstrated greater increases in rCBF in both the lateral prefrontal cortex and striatum as well as smaller FAs in the posterior limb of the internal capsule (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The excessively increased rCBF and the recovery process were heterogeneous across brain regions, demonstrating a distinct topographic pattern during the initial 2 weeks following revascularization surgery in MMD. Temporary impairments in the deep white matter tract and immediate postoperative ischemia were also identified. The study results characterized postoperative brain perfusion as well as the impact of revascularization surgery on the brain microstructure. Notably, rCBF and white matter changes correlated to TNDs, suggesting that these changes represent potential neuroimaging markers for tracking tissue structural changes associated with hyperperfusion during the acute postoperative period following revascularization surgery for MMD.

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Yusuke Shimoda, Toshiya Osanai, Naoki Nakayama, Satoshi Ushikoshi, Masaaki Hokari, Hideo Shichinohe, Takeo Abumiya, Ken Kazumata and Kiyohiro Houkin

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant systemic disorder characterized by the enlargement of capillaries, recurrent nosebleeds, and multiple arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Although cerebral AVMs are traditionally considered to be congenital lesions, some reports have described de novo AVMs, which suggests that the authors believed them to be dynamic conditions. In this article, the authors describe the case of a 5-year-old boy with HHT in whom a de novo cerebral AVM was detected after a negative MRI result at 5 months. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of a de novo AVM in a patient with HHT. In patients with a family history of HHT, de novo AVMs are possible, even when no lesions are detected at the first screening. Therefore, regular screenings need to be performed, and the family should be informed that AVMs could still develop despite normal MRI results.

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Ken Kazumata, Masaki Ito, Kikutaro Tokairin, Yasuhiro Ito, Kiyohiro Houkin, Naoki Nakayama, Satoshi Kuroda, Tatsuya Ishikawa and Hiroyasu Kamiyama

Object

Although combined direct and indirect anastomosis in patients with moyamoya disease immediately increases cerebral blood flow, the surgical procedure is more complex. Data pertinent to the postoperative complications associated with combined bypass are relatively scarce compared with those associated with indirect bypass. This study investigated the incidence and characteristics of postoperative stroke in combined bypass and compared them with those determined from a literature review to obtain data from a large population.

Methods

A total of 358 revascularization procedures in 236 patients were retrospectively assessed by reviewing clinical charts and radiological data. PubMed was searched for published studies on surgical treatment to determine the incidence of postoperative complications in a larger population.

Results

Seventeen instances of postoperative stroke were observed in 16 patients (4.7% per surgery, 95% CI 2.8%–7.5%). Postoperative stroke was more frequent (7.9% per surgery) in adults than in pediatric patients (1.7% per surgery, OR 4.07, 95% CI 1.12–14.7; p < 0.05). Acute progression of stenoocclusive changes were identified in the major cerebral arteries (anterior cerebral artery, n = 3; middle cerebral artery, n = 1; posterior cerebral artery, n = 2). The postoperative stroke rate was comparable with that (5.4%) determined from a literature search that included studies reporting more than 2000 direct/combined procedures. No differences in the stroke rates between the direct/combined and indirect procedures were found. In the literature review, direct/combined bypass was more often associated with excellent revascularization (angiographic opacification greater than two-thirds) than indirect bypass (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

This experience of 358 consecutive procedures is one of the largest series for which the postoperative stoke rate for direct/combined bypass performed with a unified strategy has been reported. A systematic review confirmed that the postoperative stroke rate for the direct/combined procedure was comparable to that for the indirect procedure.