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Fangxiang Chen and Peter Nakaji

Object

An optimal entry point for endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) helps protect critical structures from undue manipulation. A commonly accepted ideal entry point is 3 cm from the midline and 1 cm anterior to the coronal suture. The authors of this study reexamine this ideal entry point.

Methods

Trajectory views from MR images or CT scans used for cranial image guidance in 53 patients (age range 3–85 years) who had undergone ETV were retrospectively evaluated. The trajectory from the tuber cinereum back through the center of the foramen of Monro was projected to the surface of the head. The relation of the entry point to the midline and the coronal suture was established.

Results

The mean perpendicular distance from the ideal entry point to the midline was 30.1 ± 7 mm (median 31.9 mm, range 12.5–42.2 mm). The mean perpendicular distance to the coronal suture was 8.9 ± 14.1 mm posterior (median 10.4 mm), ranging from 30.6 mm anterior to 35.8 mm posterior. The entry point tended to be located more posteriorly in women and adults: 5.8 ± 15.4 mm posterior in males versus 13.1 ± 13.2 mm posterior in females (p = 0.08) and 9.1 ± 14.8 mm posterior in adults versus 8.2 ± 11.7 mm posterior in children (p = 0.84).

Conclusions

While the entry point may need to be modified from the ideal trajectory for other anatomical reasons, such as a trajectory through the motor cortex, in general, the authors found that the optimal entry point for ETV was more posterior than previously published and highly variable. Using image guidance or a customized trajectory based on analysis of a patient's own imaging is highly preferable to using an empirical ideal trajectory.

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Fangxiang Chen, Tsinsue Chen and Peter Nakaji

Object

The coronal suture is often used as an empirical landmark for the entry point for endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The trajectory for the approach is often drawn based on midsagittal MRI findings. However, because the coronal suture is not perpendicular to the midline, this method may be inaccurate.

Methods

The junction of the coronal and sagittal sutures was exposed at the outer table of the cranium of 15 cadavers. An ideal coronal line was established perpendicular to the sagittal suture at the junction of the sagittal and coronal sutures. The distance from this ideal coronal line at the level of the coronal-sagittal junction to the actual coronal suture was measured at 1-cm intervals. The measured distance between the 2 planes was termed the distance to the coronal suture.

Results

The coronal suture bows forward as it moves from medial to lateral. From 1–6 cm lateral to the sagittal suture, the distance to the coronal suture was 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, and 1.4 cm, respectively. There was no significant difference between the right and left sides.

Conclusions

The position of a bur hole for endoscopic third ventriculostomy should be moved posteriorly with respect to the coronal suture the more laterally it is placed. Although the adjustment is small, it may be crucial. Failure to make this adjustment may result in suboptimal bur hole placement and increase the risk of morbidity.

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Matthew Quigley

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Pankaj A. Gore, Peter Nakaji, Vivek Deshmukh and Harold L. Rekate

✓ Simultaneous endoscopic and microsurgical (synchronous) approaches represent a new paradigm in the treatment of complex ventricular lesions. This technique is well suited for lesions that involve multiple ventricular or cisternal compartments, have a nonlinear axis, or adhere to critical anatomical or neurovascular structures. Two distinct operative corridors, one endoscopic and the other microsurgical, are used during synchronous approaches to address such lesions, increasing the likelihood of a safe and complete resection.

The authors present the cases of two children and an adult treated via synchronous approaches. All patients had multi-compartmental lesions involving the ventricles and/or cisterns. One patient presented with a suprasellar Rathke cyst with a significant third ventricular component, one with a hypothalamic hamartoma having a substantial cisternal component, and the remaining patient with a choroid plexus papilloma in the left lateral ventricle that extended from midbody to the temporal horn.

In the cases of the Rathke cyst and the hamartoma, debulking in the third ventricle and controlled detachment of the lesion from the hypothalamus were undertaken using endoscopy, and simultaneous resection of the suprasellar component was performed through a subfrontal craniotomy. In the case of the choroid plexus papilloma, selective cautery of the choroidal feeding vessels and detachment from the temporal tela choroidea were performed using endoscopy, and the tumor from the ventricular body to the atrium was resected via a craniotomy. In each case the resection concluded with the intersection of endoscopic and microsurgical fields. All three patients had good outcomes.

Endoscopic and microsurgical approaches can be used concurrently to treat multicompartment ventricular and/or cisternal lesions with good results. The probable advantages of this method are more complete resection and improved safety.

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Pankaj A. Gore, Harvinder Maan, Steve Chang, Alan M. Pitt, Robert F. Spetzler and Peter Nakaji

Object

Postsurgical pneumocephalus is an unavoidable sequela of craniotomy. Sufficiently large volumes of intracranial air can cause headaches, lethargy, and neurological deficits. Supplemental O2 to increase the rate of absorption of intracranial air is a common but unsubstantiated neurosurgical practice. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first prospective study to examine the efficacy of this therapy and its effect on the rate of pneumocephalus absorption.

Methods

Thirteen patients with postoperative pneumocephalus that was estimated to be ≥ 30 ml were alternately assigned to breathe 100% O2 using a nonrebreather mask (treatment group) or to breathe room air (control group) for 24 hours. Head computed tomography (CT) scans without contrast enhancement were obtained at the beginning and end of treatment or control therapy. A neuroradiologist blinded to the type of treatment used software to calculate the 3D volume of the pneumocephalus from the CT scans. The percentage of pneumocephalus absorption was calculated for each study participant.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference between the treatment and control groups regarding the mean initial pneumocephalus volume or time interval between CT scans. There was a significant difference (p = 0.009) between the mean rate of pneumocephalus volume reduction in the treatment (65%) and control groups (31%) per 24 hours. No patient suffered adverse effects related to treatment.

Conclusions

Administration of postsurgical supplemental O2 through a nonrebreather mask significantly increases the absorption rate of postcraniotomy pneumocephalus as compared with breathing room air.

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Timothy Uschold, Adib A. Abla, David Fusco, Ruth E. Bristol and Peter Nakaji

Object

The heterogeneous clinical manifestations and operative characteristics of pathological entities in the pineal region represent a significant challenge in terms of patient selection and surgical approach. Traditional surgical options have included endoscopic transventricular resection; open supratentorial microsurgical approaches through the midline, choroidal fissure, lateral ventricle, and tentorium; and supracerebellar infratentorial (SCIT) approaches through the posterior fossa. The object of the current study was to review the preoperative characteristics and outcomes for a cohort of patients treated purely via the novel endoscopically controlled SCIT approach.

Methods

A single-institution series of 9 consecutive patients (4 male and 5 female patients [10 total cases]; mean age 21 years, range 6–37 years) treated via the endoscopically controlled SCIT approach for a pathological entity in the pineal region was retrospectively reviewed. The mean follow-up time was 13.2 months.

Results

The endoscopically controlled SCIT approach was successfully used to approach a variety of pineal lesions, including pineal cysts (6 patients), epidermoid tumor, WHO Grade II astrocytoma (initial biopsy and recurrence), and malignant mixed germ cell tumor (1 patient each). Gross-total resection and/or adequate cyst fenestration was achieved in 8 cases. Biopsy with conservative debulking was performed for the single case of low-grade astrocytoma and again at the time of recurrence.

The mean preoperative tumor and cyst volumes were 9.9 ± 4.4 and 3.7 ± 3.2 cm3, respectively. The mean operating times were 212 ± 71 minutes for tumor cases and 177 ± 72 minutes for cysts. Estimated blood loss was less than 150 ml for all cases. A single case (pineal cyst) was converted to an open microsurgical approach to enhance visualization. There were no operative complications, as well as no documented CSF leaks, additional CSF diversion procedures, or air emboli. Seven patients underwent concomitant third ventriculostomy into the quadrigeminal cistern. At the time of the last follow-up evaluation, all patients had a stable or improved modified Rankin Scale score.

Conclusions

The endoscopically controlled SCIT approach may be used for the biopsy and resection of appropriately selected solid tumors of the pineal region, in addition to the fenestration and/or resection of pineal cysts. Preoperative considerations include patient presentation, anticipated disease and vascularity, degree of local venous anatomical distortion, and selection of optimal paramedian trajectory.

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Samira Zabihyan, Hamid Etemadrezaie, Humain Baharvahdat, Aslan Baradaran, Babak Ganjeefar, Michael A. Bohl and Peter Nakaji

The authors report the case of a 15-year-old girl with a third ventricle colloid cyst. She presented with prolonged headache, nausea, vomiting, and loss of visual acuity with bilateral papilledema. Computed tomography and MRI revealed severe biventricular hydrocephalus with transependymal periventricular fluid and a minimally enhancing cystic mass of the third ventricle. The patient was diagnosed with a colloid cyst and obstructive hydrocephalus, and endoscopic resection with ablation of the cyst remnant was performed. While attempting to extricate the cyst from the patient's head, control of the cyst was lost and the cyst fell into the lateral ventricle beyond the surgeon's view. Postoperative imaging showed that the cyst had settled in the right occipital horn. After 3 years of follow-up, imaging suggests growth of the cyst in its new position without necrosis or displacement on prone imaging.

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Douglas A. Hardesty, Wyatt Ramey, Mohammad Afrasiabi, Brian Beck, Omar Gonzalez, Ana Moran and Peter Nakaji

Object

Coccidioidomycosis is a common fungal infection in the southwestern US. Hydrocephalus is a serious complication of cranial coccidioidomycosis, and the surgical management of coccidioidomycosis-related hydrocephalus has unique challenges. The authors reviewed their institutional experience with hydrocephalus in the setting of coccidioidomycosis.

Methods

The authors retrospectively identified 44 patients diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis-related hydrocephalus at their institution since 1990, who underwent a total of 99 shunting procedures. The authors examined patient demographics, type of shunt and valve used, pressure settings, failure rates, medical treatment, ventricular response to shunting, and other variables.

Results

The majority of patients were young (average age 37 years) men (male/female ratio 28:16) with a mean follow-up of 63 months. Patients of Asian and African descent were overrepresented in the cohort compared with regional demographic data. The overall shunt failure rate during follow-up was 50%, and the average number of revisions required if the shunt failed was 2.5 (range 1–8). Low to moderate draining pressures (mean 88 mm H2O) were used in this cohort. Fourteen patients received intrathecal antifungals, and a trend of initiating intrathecal therapy after need for a shunt revision was observed (p = 0.051). The majority of shunt failures (81%) were due to mechanical blockages in the drainage system. Most patients (59%) had at least partial persistent postoperative ventriculomegaly despite successful CSF diversion. Four patients (9%) died due to coccidioidomycosis during the follow-up period.

Conclusions

Coccidioidomycosis-related hydrocephalus more often affected young males in the study's cohort, especially those of African and Asian descent. Despite the best medical therapy, there was a high rate of shunt failure due to clogged catheters or valves due to the underlying disease process. Many patients continued to have ventriculomegaly even with adequate CSF diversion. The morbidity and mortality of this chronic disease process must be recognized by the treatment team, and patients should be appropriately counseled.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Fangxiang Chen, Lawrence Choi, Justin C. Clark and Peter Nakaji

Object

An optimal entry point and trajectory for endoscopic colloid cyst (ECC) resection helps to protect important neurovascular structures. There is a large discrepancy in the entry point and trajectory in the neuroendoscopic literature.

Methods

Trajectory views from MRI or CT scans used for cranial image guidance in 39 patients who had undergone ECC resection between July 2004 and July 2010 were retrospectively evaluated. A target point of the colloid cyst was extended out to the scalp through a trajectory carefully observed in a 3D model to ensure that important anatomical structures were not violated. The relation of the entry point to the midline and coronal sutures was established. Entry point and trajectory were correlated with the ventricular size.

Results

The optimal entry point was situated 42.3 ± 11.7 mm away from the sagittal suture, ranging from 19.1 to 66.9 mm (median 41.4 mm) and 46.9 ± 5.7 mm anterior to the coronal suture, ranging from 36.4 to 60.5 mm (median 45.9 mm). The distance from the entry point to the target on the colloid cyst varied from 56.5 to 78.0 mm, with a mean value of 67.9 ± 4.8 mm (median 68.5 mm). Approximately 90% of the optimal entry points are located 40–60 mm in front of the coronal suture, whereas their perpendicular distance from the midline ranges from 19.1 to 66.9 mm. The location of the “ideal” entry points changes laterally from the midline as the ventricles change in size.

Conclusions

The results suggest that the optimal entry for ECC excision be located at 42.3 ± 11.7 mm perpendicular to the midline, and 46.9 ± 5.7 mm anterior to the coronal suture, but also that this point differs with the size of the ventricles. Intraoperative stereotactic navigation should be considered for all ECC procedures whenever it is available. The entry point should be estimated from the patient's own preoperative imaging studies if intraoperative neuronavigation is not available. An estimated entry point of 4 cm perpendicular to the midline and 4.5 cm anterior to the coronal suture is an acceptable alternative that can be used in patients with ventriculomegaly.