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Knut Eberhardt, Oliver Ganslandt and Andreas Stadlbauer

Object

The goal of this study was to investigate the usefulness and diagnostic potential of an improved MR myelography approach using a dedicated, heavily T2-weighted, 3D MRI sequence in combination with image fusion. A further aim was to compare dural areas and volumes of normal and pathological altered lumbar spine levels, and accuracy in the assessment of the stenoses, with those obtained by postmyelographic CT.

Methods

Fifty patients underwent myelography, postmyelographic CT, and the improved MR myelography approach using a dedicated, heavily T2-weighted, 3D MRI sequence and image fusion. Dural cross-sectional areas and volumes for normal lumbar levels and levels with stenosis were calculated for postmyelographic CT and MR myelography data. The significant differences and Pearson correlations between dural cross-sectional areas and volumes from L1–2 to L5–S1 of postmyelographic CT and MR myelography were analyzed. The 99% CIs for normal and stenotic levels in patients with claudication distances less than 100 meters were calculated.

Results

For both dural areas and volumes in normal lumbar levels, the authors found no significant differences and strong correlations between postmyelographic CT and MR myelography. For the lower lumbar levels (L4–5 and L5–S1) they found significantly larger dural areas on MR myelography compared with postmyelographic CT, but not for the upper levels (L2–3 and L3–4). Dural volume analysis revealed significantly larger volumes for MR myelography at all 4 lumbar levels with stenoses in the cohort (L2–3 to L5–S1). Complete separation with no overlap was found between the 99% CIs for normal levels and stenotic levels.

Conclusions

Differences in dural areas and volumes in this study may have been caused by the fact that in the case of a severely compressed thecal sac, the viscosity of the intrathecally applied contrast agent is too high in the framework of myelography. The gravitationally dependent component is thus too low to achieve sufficient fluid contrast. An optimized MR myelography approach—a dedicated 3D MR myelography sequence with high spatial resolution in combination with image fusion—is required to achieve a more reliable diagnosis of lumbar spine stenoses, especially with severe compression, compared with postmyelographic CT. This MR myelography approach may be helpful in preventing overestimation of lumbar spine stenoses. The upper limits of 99% CIs for stenotic levels can be interpreted as an indication for surgical treatment. However, further studies that include postoperative outcomes are required.

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Rudolf Fahlbusch, Oliver Ganslandt, Michael Buchfelder, Werner Schott and Christopher Nimsky

Object. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether intraoperative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging can increase the efficacy of transsphenoidal microsurgery, primarily in non—hormone-secreting intra- and suprasellar pituitary macroadenomas.

Methods. Intraoperative imaging was performed using a 0.2-tesla MR imager, which was located in a specially designed operating room. The patient was placed supine on the sliding table of the MR imager, with the head placed near the 5-gauss line. A standard flexible coil was placed around the patient's forehead. Microsurgery was performed using MR-compatible instruments. Image acquisition was started after the sliding table had been moved into the center of the magnet. Coronal and sagittal T1-weighted images each required over 8 minutes to acquire, and T2-weighted images were obtained optionally. To assess the reliability of intraoperative evaluation of tumor resection, the intraoperative findings were compared with those on conventional postoperative 1.5-tesla MR images, which were obtained 2 to 3 months after surgery.

Among 44 patients with large intra- and suprasellar pituitary adenomas that were mainly hormonally inactive, intraoperative MR imaging allowed an ultra-early evaluation of tumor resection in 73% of cases; such an evaluation is normally only possible 2 to 3 months after surgery. A second intraoperative examination of 24 patients for suspected tumor remnants led to additional resection in 15 patients (34%).

Conclusions. Intraoperative MR imaging undoubtedly offers the option of a second look within the same surgical procedure, if incomplete tumor resection is suspected. Thus, the rate of procedures during which complete tumor removal is achieved can be improved. Furthermore, additional treatments for those patients in whom tumor removal was incomplete can be planned at an early stage, namely just after surgery.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Stylianos Mourtzoukos, Andreas Stadlbauer, Björn Sommer and Rudolf Rammensee

OBJECTIVE

There is no established method of noninvasive intracranial pressure (NI-ICP) monitoring that can serve as an alternative to the gold standards of invasive monitoring with external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In this study a new method of NI-ICP monitoring performed using algorithms to determine ICP based on acoustic properties of the brain was applied in patients undergoing invasive ICP (I-ICP) monitoring, and the results were analyzed.

METHODS

In patients with traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage who were undergoing treatment in a neurocritical intensive care unit, the authors recorded ICP using the gold standard method of invasive external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In addition, the authors simultaneously measured the ICP noninvasively with a device (the HS-1000) that uses advanced signal analysis algorithms for acoustic signals propagating through the cranium. To assess the accuracy of the NI-ICP method, data obtained using both I-ICP and NI-ICP monitoring methods were analyzed with MATLAB to determine the statistical significance of the differences between the ICP measurements obtained using NI-ICP and I-ICP monitoring.

RESULTS

Data were collected in 14 patients, yielding 2543 data points of continuous parallel ICP values in recordings obtained from I-ICP and NI-ICP. Each of the 2 methods yielded the same number of data points. For measurements at the ≥ 17–mm Hg cutoff, which was arbitrarily chosen for this preliminary analysis, the sensitivity and specificity for the NI-ICP monitoring were found to be 0.7541 and 0.8887, respectively. Linear regression analysis indicated that there was a strong positive relationship between the measurements. Differential pressure between NI-ICP and I-ICP was within ± 3 mm Hg in 63% of data-paired readings and within ± 5 mm Hg in 85% of data-paired readings. The receiver operating characteristic–area under the curve analysis revealed that the area under the curve was 0.895, corresponding to the overall performance of NI-ICP monitoring in comparison with I-ICP monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides the first clinical data on the accuracy of the HS-1000 NI-ICP monitor, which uses advanced signal analysis algorithms to evaluate properties of acoustic signals traveling through the brain in patients undergoing I-ICP monitoring. The findings of this study highlight the capability of this NI-ICP device to accurately measure ICP noninvasively. Further studies should focus on clinical validation for elevated ICP values.

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Andreas Stadlbauer, Ewald Moser, Stephan Gruber, Christopher Nimsky, Rudolf Fahlbusch and Oliver Ganslandt

Object. It is often difficult to delineate the extent of invasion of high- and low-grade gliomas into normal brain tissue by using conventional T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Knowledge of the relationship between the tumor infiltration zone and normal brain, however, is one of the prerequisites for performing as radical a tumor resection as possible. Proton MR spectroscopy allows noninvasive measurements of the concentrations and spatial distributions of brain metabolites and, therefore, may provide biochemical information in vivo, that is useful in distinguishing pathological from normal areas of the brain.

The authors have developed a method to use the properties of MR spectroscopy to investigate intraoperatively pathological changes in the spatial distribution of choline (Cho)-containing compounds, total creatine, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in brain tumors with the aid of frameless stereotaxy.

Methods. Maps of the Cho/NAA ratio were calculated and automatic segmentation of the tumors was performed. Spectroscopic images of the segmented tumor were matched to an anatomical three-dimensional (3D) MR imaging set by applying a fully automated mutual-information algorithm. The resulting 3D MR image can be used subsequently for neurosurgical planning, transfer to a frameless stereotactic system, and display in the navigation microscope during surgery leading to 1H-MR spectroscopy-guided navigation.

Conclusions. This method may allow better intraoperative identification of tumor border zones based on metabolic changes due to tumor infiltration.

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Laszlo Barany, Cintia Meszaros, Oliver Ganslandt, Michael Buchfelder and Peter Kurucz

OBJECTIVE

The septum pellucidum is a bilateral thin membranous structure representing the border between the frontal horns of the lateral ventricles. Its most examined components are the septal veins due to their surgical importance during endoscopic septum pellucidotomy (ESP), which is a well-accepted method for surgical treatment of unilateral hydrocephalus. It is widely accepted that the septum pellucidum contains nerve fibers as well, but interestingly, no anatomical study has been addressed to its neural components before. The aim of the present study was to identify these elements as well as their relations to the septal veins and to define major landmarks within the ventricular system for neurosurgical use.

METHODS

Nine formalin-fixed human cadaveric brains (18 septa pellucida) were involved in this study. A central block containing both septa pellucida was removed and frozen at −30°C for 2 weeks in 7 cases. The fibers of the septum pellucidum and the adjacent areas including the venous elements were dissected under magnification by using homemade wooden spatulas and microsurgical instruments. In 2 cases a histological technique was used to validate the findings of the dissections. The blocks were sliced, embedded in paraffin, cut in 7-µm-thick slices, and then stained as follows: 1) with H & E, 2) with Luxol fast blue combined with cresyl violet, and 3) with Luxol fast blue combined with Sirius red.

RESULTS

The septum pellucidum and the subjacent septum verum form the medial wall of the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle. Both structures contain nerve fibers that were organized in 3 groups: 1) the precommissural fibers of the fornix; 2) the inferior fascicle; and 3) the superior fascicle of the septum pellucidum. The area directly rostral to the postcommissural column of the fornix consisted of macroscopically identifiable gray matter corresponding to the septal nuclei. The histological examinations validated the findings of the authors’ fiber dissections.

CONCLUSIONS

The nerve elements of the septum pellucidum as well as the subjacent septum verum were identified with fiber dissection and verified with histology for the first time. The septal nuclei located just anterior to the fornix and the precommissural fibers of the fornix should be preserved during ESP. Considering the venous anatomy as well as the neural architecture of the septum pellucidum, the fenestration should ideally be placed above the superior edge of the fornix and preferably dorsal to the interventricular foramen.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Rudolf Fahlbusch, Christopher Nimsky, Helmut Kober, Martin Möller, Ralf Steinmeier, Johann Romstöck and Jürgen Vieth

Object. The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical outcome in 50 patients with lesions around the motor cortex who underwent surgery in which functional neuronavigation was performed.

Methods. The sensorimotor cortex was identified in all patients with the use of magnetoencephalography (MEG). The MEG-source localizations were superimposed onto a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image and the image data set was implemented into a neuronavigation system. Based on this setup, the surgeon chose the best surgical strategy. During surgery, the pre- and postcentral gyri were identified by neuronavigation and, in addition, the central sulcus was localized using intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. In all cases MEG localizations of the sensory or motor cortex were correct. In 30% of the patients preoperative paresis improved, in 66% no additional deficits occurred, and in only 4% (two patients) deterioration of neurological function occurred. In one of these patients the deterioration was not related to the procedure.

Conclusions. The method of incorporating functional data into neuronavigation systems is a promising tool that can be used in more radical surgery to lessen morbidity around eloquent brain areas.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Rudolf Fahlbusch, Christopher Nimsky, Helmut Kober, Martin Möller, Ralf Steinmeier, Johann Romstöck and Jürgen Vieth

The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical outcome in 50 patients with lesions around the motor cortex who underwent surgery in which functional neuronavigation was performed.

The sensorimotor cortex was identified in all patients with the use of magnetoencephalography (MEG). The MEG-source localizations were superimposed onto a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image, and the image data set was then implemented into a neuronavigation system. Based on this setup, the surgeon chose the best surgical strategy. During surgery, the pre- and postcentral gyrus were identified by neuronavigation, and in addition, the central sulcus was localized using intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. In all cases MEG localizations of the sensory or motor cortex were correct. In 30% of the patients preoperative paresis improved, in 66% no additional deficits occurred, and in only 4% (two patients) deterioration of neurological function occurred. In one of these patients the deterioration was not related to the method.

The method of incorporating functional data into neuronavigation systems is a promising tool that can be used in more radical surgery to cause less morbidity around eloquent brain areas.

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Karl Roessler, Maximilian Krawagna, Arnd Dörfler, Michael Buchfelder and Oliver Ganslandt

Object

Indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography (VA) in cerebral aneurysm surgery allows confirmation of blood flow in parent, branching, and perforating vessels as well as assessment of remnant aneurysm parts after clip application. A retrospective analysis and review of the literature were conducted to determine the current essential advantages of ICG-VA in aneurysm surgery.

Methods

The authors retrospectively evaluated all aneurysm cases treated with the aid of intraoperative ICG-VA at a single institution between 2007 and 2013. They also analyzed the literature published since the initial description of ICG-VA in 2003.

Results

Two hundred forty-six procedures were performed in 232 patients harboring 295 aneurysms. The patients, whose mean age was 54 years, consisted of 159 women and 73 men. One hundred twenty-four surgeries were performed after subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 122 were performed for incidental aneurysms. Single aneurysms were clipped in 185 patients, and multiple aneurysms were clipped in 47 (mean aneurysm diameter 6.9 mm, range 2–40 mm). No complications associated with ICG-VA occurred. Intraoperative microvascular Doppler ultrasonography was performed before ICG-VA in all patients, and postoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) studies were available in 121 patients (52.2%) for retrospective comparative analysis. In 22 (9%) of 246 procedures, the clip position was modified intraoperatively as a consequence of ICG-VA. Stenosis of the parent vessels (16 procedures) or occlusion of the perforators (6 procedures), not detected by micro-Doppler ultrasonography, were the most common problems demonstrated on ICG-VA. In another 11 procedures (4.5%), residual perfusion of the aneurysm was observed and one or more additional clips were applied. Vessel stenosis or a compromised perforating artery occurred independent of aneurysm location and was about equally common in middle cerebral artery and anterior communicating artery aneurysms. In 2 procedures (0.8%), aneurysm puncture revealed residual blood flow within the lesion, which had not been detected by the ICG-VA. In the postoperative DSA studies, unexpected small (< 2 mm) aneurysm neck remnants, which had not been detected on intraoperative ICG-VA, were found in 11 (9.1%) of 121 patients. However, these remnants remained without consequence except in 1 patient with a 6-mm residual aneurysm dome, which was subsequently embolized with coils.

Conclusions

In a large cohort of consecutive patients, ICG-VA proved to be a helpful intraoperative tool and led to a significant intraoperative clip modification rate of 15%. However, small, < 2-mm-wide neck remnants and a 6-mm residual aneurysm were missed by intraoperative ICG-VA in up to 10% of patients. Results in this study confirm that DSA is indispensable for postoperative quality assessment in complex aneurysm surgery.