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Bahram Mokri, David G. Piepgras and O. Wayne Houser

✓ Traumatic dissections of the extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) in 18 patients aged 19 to 55 years were studied. All had suffered blunt head or neck injury of marked or moderate severity; motor-vehicle accidents were the leading cause of the injury. Delayed focal cerebral ischemic symptoms were the most common presenting symptoms. Less commonly noted was focal unilateral headache associated with oculosympathetic paresis or bruit. Following a head injury, the abrupt onset of focal cerebral symptoms after a lucid interval should raise the suspicion of arterial injury, particularly when computerized tomography fails to show abnormalities that would explain the evolving neurological deficits on the basis of direct trauma to the brain. Unilateral headaches, oculosympathetic palsy, and bruits also help in establishing the diagnosis. Focal cerebral ischemic symptoms may develop months or years after the initial trauma. These delayed symptoms are caused by embolization from a thrombus within a residual dissecting aneurysm. Common angiographic findings, in decreasing order of frequency, are: aneurysm, stenosis of the lumen, occlusion, intimal flap, distal branch occlusion (embolization), and slow ICA-to-middle cerebral artery flow. Although two patients died as the result of massive cerebral infarction and edema and some were left with severe neurological deficits, most made a good recovery. Residual dissecting aneurysms and occlusion seem to occur more frequently with traumatic dissections than with spontaneous dissections of the extracranial ICA.

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John R. Little, O. Wayne Houser and Collin S. MacCarty

✓ The authors review 17 cases of aqueductal stenosis in adults and describe five modes of clinical presentation. The average duration of symptoms was 6 years. Dementia was infrequent. Skull x-ray films frequently demonstrated some degree of cranial enlargement and signs of chronic increased intracranial pressure. Characteristic alterations of the sella included elongation of the anterior wall and flattening, erosion, and anterior displacement of the dorsum. Aqueductal configurations as defined by ventriculography and pneumoencephalography in all cases, and the angiographic findings in seven cases are described. Most of the patients improved substantially after shunt insertion. The clinical findings suggested that aqueductal narrowing and associated hydrocephalus had been present in most of these patients since early life.

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Marc R. Mayberg, O. Wayne Houser and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Scanning electron microscopy of feline basilar arterial endothelium 4 hours and 1, 3, 5, and 7 days after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) showed longitudinal furrows that correlated with angiographically demonstrated vasospasm. These ridges persisted after fixation at physiological pressure, and probably reflected medial contraction with undulation of the underlying elastic lamina. No change in endothelial cell morphology or thrombogenesis was observed as long as 7 days after SAH. There is no evidence from this study to suggest that ischemia from vasospasm is a product of thromboembolism from damaged endothelial surfaces.

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Thomas J. Rosenbaum, O. Wayne Houser and Edward R. Laws

✓ The authors report a case of pituitary apoplexy occurring several hours after carotid angiography. The event was associated with stupor, focal headache, and left hemiparesis. Repeat angiography demonstrated intracranial occlusion of the right internal carotid artery. At surgery, a hemorrhagic pituitary adenoma was found to be compressing the internal carotid artery, and the removal of the tumor resulted in restoration of flow. The mechanism, presenting symptoms and signs, and treatment of pituitary apoplexy causing compression of a major vessel are discussed.

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Michael J. Ebersold, O. Wayne Houser and Lynn M. Quast

✓ The records of 1005 patients who underwent iopamidol myelography between January and September, 1988, were reviewed. In this group, 50 patients had histories suggestive of untoward sequelae associated with iodine intake, contact, or administration. The charts of these patients were carefully reviewed, and none of them had any reactions or sequelae suggestive of toxicity or an allergic response after iopamidol myelography. It is concluded that, even in patients with a previous history suggestive of intolerance to iodine administration, iopamidol myelography is generally a safe procedure.

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Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Bruce W. Pearson, David G. Piepgras, O. Wayne Houser and Bahram Mokri

✓ Results, complications, and operative techniques of the surgical management of 20 aneurysms of the distal extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) in 19 patients are reviewed. The proximity of these aneurysms to the styloid process is not considered as a chance occurrence, and the possibility is raised that these lesions are related to trauma from that structure. False aneurysms from spontaneous dissections are believed to occur only in those dissections that begin distally; they are not found in dissections that begin proximally. Treatment was individualized and dependent upon: 1) the size and location of the aneurysm; 2) symptomatology; and 3) hemodynamic considerations based upon intraoperative cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements determined from the clearance of xenon-133 injected into the ipsilateral ICA. Methods of treatment included: resection of the aneurysm with placement of an interposition saphenous vein graft in seven patients; resection of the aneurysm with end-to-end anastomosis of the ICA in five; ICA ligation in three; clipping of the aneurysm in one; and extracranial-to-intracranial bypass in four. One patient sustained a postoperative cerebral ischemic complication from embolization which resulted in a mild permanent impairment in right hand dexterity. There were no other cerebral ischemic complications in the group, largely attributable, it is thought, to the use of intraoperative CBF measurements and continuous electroencephalograms. Four patients had transient dysphagia from traction damage to the pharyngeal and superior laryngeal nerves, and one patient with preoperative difficulty in swallowing required a gastrostomy. Long-term results have been excellent. Use of the operating microscope facilitated the suturing of the distal anastomosis in cases in which the ICA was reconstructed by an interposition vein graft or end-to-end anastomosis.

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O. Wayne Houser, Burton M. Onofrio, Glenn S. Forbes and H. L. Baker Jr.

✓ Chemonucleolysis was performed in 103 patients for lumbar disc prolapse. Multiple (two) interspaces were injected in only seven patients. Radiographically, all patients had myelographic or computerized tomography evidence of disc prolapse. Eighty-seven of 100 patients who were available for follow-up review had improved. Ten of 13 patients with persistent symptoms required a laminectomy. Altered spinal alignment was evident in five of the 13 patients with persistent symptoms: retrolisthesis in three and myelographic disc defect on the convex aspect of the scoliosis in two. Review of radiographic studies was carried out in an attempt to establish guidelines for patient selection so as to decrease the rate of failure in chymopapain treatment.

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Theodore C. Larson III, O. Wayne Houser, Burton M. Onofrio and David G. Piepgras

✓ The records of five patients with primary melanoma of the spinal cord were reviewed. The tumor most frequently presented as an intramedullary middle or lower thoracic cord lesion. The average duration of symptoms before pathological diagnosis was 29 months, and the average survival after laminectomy and radiation therapy was 6 years 7 months. The findings in this series, when compared with those in the literature, suggest that primary spinal melanoma is a more indolent malignancy than previously reported or than melanoma metastatic to the central nervous system.

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Atheromatous disease of the carotid artery

Correlation of angiographic, clinical, and surgical findings

O. Wayne Houser, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Colin B. Holman, Burton A. Sandok and Robert C. Burton

✓Angiograms of patients who underwent carotid artery surgery were correlated with the surgical findings, cerebral blood flow measurements, and the following manifestations of cerebral ischemia: amaurosis fugax, transient cerebral ischemia,small completed infarct, generalized cerebral ischemia, and progressing stroke. The degree of carotid stenosis and presence of ulcerating plaques and soft thrombi could be predicted accurately; tiny ulcerations were not angiographically identifiable in the presence of severe stenosis. Generalized cerebral ischemia corresponded closely with severe degrees of bilateral carotid stenosis or unilateral occlusion in conjunction with contralateral stenosis. Internal carotid to middle cerebral artery slow flow was found in many patients with a progressing stroke or an unstable neurological state. Retrograde ophthalmic flow was found frequently in symptomatic patients with high-grade stenotic lesions at the origin of the internal carotid artery. Localized alterations included small vessel occlusion, retrograde collateral flow, avascular areas, focal slow flow, and reactive hyperemia and were correlated with symptoms of focal cerebral ischemia.