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Petra M. Klinge, Heike Beck, Thomas Brinker, Gerhard F. Walter, and Madjid Samii

Object. Investigation into a potential treatment for the acute period following onset of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is hampered by the lack of a standardized experimental model. For that purpose the authors elaborated on a small-animal model in which computer-controlled intracisternal blood infusion is used and investigated whether this model can reliably reproduce acute neuronal injury after SAH.

Methods. Whole autologous blood (blood-infused group) or isotonic saline (control group) was infused into the cisterna magna or olfactory cistern of rats. The infusions decreased exponentially during a 5-minute period. Throughout the infusion period, intracranial pressure (ICP) was monitored. Neuronal injury was quantified by observing tissue immunoreactivity to a 70-kD heat shock protein (HSP70) and comparing this with the tissue's reaction to hematoxylin and eosin staining. On Days 1, 3, and 5, the CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus regions of the hippocampus were analyzed, respectively.

During saline infusion ICP increased within seconds beyond 80 mm Hg and afterward decreased in accordance with the infusion rate. During the infusion of blood, the same initial pressure peak was found, but the ICP remained increased beyond this pressure level throughout the 5-minute infusion period. The HSP70 immunoreactivity in the saline-infused group was found only on Day 1 in the CA1 region and the dentate gyrus, but not in the CA3. After injection of whole blood, there was HSP70-positive staining in the CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus regions throughout the observation period.

Conclusions. The controlled cisternal infusion of blood caused neuronal injury that resembled that of previous experimental models that produce SAH by rupture of intracranial vessels with endovascular techniques. Unlike those experiments, the intracisternal infusion technique presented by the authors provides more standardized bleeding with regard to ICP, the volume of subarachnoid blood, and the extent of acute cellular injury.

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Petra M. Klinge, Abigail McElroy, John E. Donahue, Thomas Brinker, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Michael D. Beland

OBJECTIVE

The craniocervical junction (CCJ) is anatomically complex and comprises multiple joints that allow for wide head and neck movements. The thecal sac must adjust to such movements. Accordingly, the thecal sac is not rigidly attached to the bony spinal canal but instead tethered by fibrous suspension ligaments, including myodural bridges (MDBs). The authors hypothesized that pathological spinal cord motion is due to the laxity of such suspension bands in patients with connective tissue disorders, e.g., hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

METHODS

The ultrastructure of MDBs that were intraoperatively harvested from patients with Chiari malformation was investigated with transmission electron microscopy, and 8 patients with EDS were compared with 8 patients without EDS. MRI was used to exclude patients with EDS and craniocervical instability (CCI). Real-time ultrasound was used to compare the spinal cord at C1–2 of 20 patients with EDS with those of 18 healthy control participants.

RESULTS

The ultrastructural damage of the collagen fibrils of the MDBs was distinct in patients with EDS, indicating a pathological mechanical laxity. In patients with EDS, ultrasound revealed increased cardiac pulsatory motion and irregular displacement of the spinal cord during head movements.

CONCLUSIONS

Laxity of spinal cord suspension ligaments and the associated spinal cord motion disorder are possible pathogenic factors for chronic neck pain and headache in patients with EDS but without radiologically proven CCI.

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Petra M. Klinge, Georg Berding, Thomas Brinker, Wolfram H. Knapp, and Madjid Samii

Object. In this study the authors use positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular reserve (CVR) in chronic hydrocephalus.

Methods. Ten patients whose mean age was 67 ± 10 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) were compared with 10 healthy volunteers who were 25 ± 3 years of age. Global CBF and CVR were determined using 15O—H2O and PET prior to shunt placement and 7 days and 7 months thereafter. The CVR was measured using 1 g acetazolamide. Neurological status was assessed based on a score assigned according to the methods of Stein and Langfitt.

Seven months after shunt placement, five patients showed clinical improvement (Group A) and five did not (Group B). The average global CBF before shunt deployment was significantly reduced in comparison with the control group (40 ± 8 compared with 61 ± 7 ml/100 ml/minute; mean ± SD, p < 0.01). In Group A the CBF values were significantly lower than in Group B (36 ± 7 compared with 44 ± 8 ml/100 ml/minute; p < 0.05). The CVR before surgery, however, was not significantly different between groups (Group A = 43 ± 21%, Group B = 37 ± 29%). After shunt placement, there was an increase in the CVR in Group A to 52 ± 37% after 7 days and to 68 ± 47% after 7 months (p < 0.05), whereas in Group B the CVR decreased to 14 ± 18% (p < 0.05) after 7 days and returned to the preoperative level (39 ± 6%) 7 months after shunt placement.

Conclusions. The preliminary results indicate that a reduced baseline CBF before surgery does not indicate a poor prognosis. Baseline CBF before shunt placement and preoperative CVR are not predictive of clinical outcome. A decrease in the CVR early after shunt placement, however, is related to poor late clinical outcome, whereas early improvement in the CVR after shunt placement indicates a good prognosis.

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Petra M. Klinge, Georg Berding, Thomas Brinker, Wolfram H. Knapp, and Madjid Samii

Object

In this study the authors use positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular reserve (CVR) in chronic hydrocephalus.

Methods

Ten patients whose mean age was 67 ± 10 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) were compared with 10 healthy volunteers who were 25 ±3 years of age. Global CBF and CVR were determined using 15O–H2O and PET prior to shunt placement and 7 days and 7 months thereafter. The CVR was measured using 1 g acetazolamide. Neurological status was assessed based on a score assigned according to the methods of Stein and Langfitt.

Seven months after shunt placement, five patients showed clinical improvement (Group A) and five did not (Group B). The average global CBF before shunt deployment was significantly reduced in comparison with the control group (40 ± 8 compared with 61 ± 7 ml/100 ml/minute; mean ± SD, p < 0.01). In Group A the CBF values were significantly lower than in Group B (36 ± 7 compared with 44 ± 8 ml/100 ml/minute; p < 0.05). The CVR before surgery, however, was not significantly different between groups (Group A = 43 ± 21%, Group B = 37 ± 29%). After shunt placement, there was an increase in the CVR in Group A to 52 ± 37% after 7 days and to 68 ± 47% after 7 months (p < 0.05), whereas in Group B the CVR decreased to 14 ± 18% (p < 0.05) after 7 days and returned to the preoperative level (39 ± 6%) 7 months after shunt placement.

Conclusions

The preliminary results indicate that a reduced baseline CBF before surgery does not indicate a poor prognosis. Baseline CBF before shunt placement and preoperative CVR are not predictive of clinical outcome. A decrease in the CVR early after shunt placement, however, is related to poor late clinical outcome, whereas early improvement in the CVR after shunt placement indicates a good prognosis.