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Raphael Guzman and M. Sean Grady

✓ A case of cerebellar hemangioblastoma with a coexistent arterial aneurysm on the feeding artery of the tumor is reported. The patient presented with an acute onset of headache, loss of consciousness, and left-sided hemiparesis due to a posterior fossa hemorrhage found adjacent to a hemangioblastoma. Four-vessel angiography revealed an aneurysm on the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA), which was the main feeding vessel of the hemangioblastoma. Successful total excision of the hemangioblastoma and clipping of the AICA aneurysm achieved in a one-stage operation was demonstrated on postoperative angiography.

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Raphael Guzman, Alain Barth, Karl-Olof Lövblad, Marwan El-Koussy, Joachim Weis, Gerhard Schroth and Rolf W. Seiler

Object. Brain abscesses and other purulent brain processes represent potentially life-threatening conditions for which immediate correct diagnosis is necessary to administer treatment. Distinguishing between cystic brain tumors and abscesses is often difficult using conventional imaging methods. The authors' goal was to study the ability of diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to differentiate between these two pathologies in patients within the clinical setting.

Methods. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging studies and calculation of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were completed in a consecutive series of 16 patients harboring surgically verified purulent brain processes. This study group included 11 patients with brain abscess (one patient had an additional subdural hematoma and another also had ventriculitis), two with subdural empyema, two with septic embolic disease, and one patient with ventriculitis. Data from these patients were compared with similar data obtained in 16 patients matched for age and sex, who harbored surgically verified neoplastic cystic brain tumors. In patients with brain abscess, subdural empyema, septic emboli, and ventriculitis, these lesions appeared hyperintense on DW MR images, whereas in patients with tumor, the lesion was visualized as a hypointense area. The ADC values calculated in patients with brain infections (mean 0.68 × 103 mm2/sec) were significantly lower than those measured in patients with neoplastic lesions (mean 1.63 × 103 mm2/sec; p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging can be used to identify infectious brain lesions and can help to differentiate between brain abscess and cystic brain tumor, thus making it a strong additional imaging modality in the early diagnosis of central nervous system purulent brain processes.

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Jan Gralla, Raphael Guzman, Caspar Brekenfeld, Luca Remonda and Claus Kiefer

Object. Conventional imaging for neuronavigation is performed using high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scanning or a T1-weighted isovoxel magnetic resonance (MR) sequence. The extension of some lesions, however, is depicted much better on T2-weighted MR images. A possible fusion process used to match low-resolution T2-weighted MR image set with a referenced CT or T1-weighted data set leads to poor resolution in the three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and decreases accuracy, which is unacceptable for neuronavigation. The object of this work was to develop a 3D T2-weighted isovoxel sequence (3D turbo—spin echo [TSE]) for image-guided neuronavigation of the whole brain and to evaluate its clinical application.

Methods. The authors performed a phantom study and a clinical trial on a newly developed T2-weighted isovoxel sequence, 3D TSE, for image-guided neuronavigation using a common 1.5-tesla MR imager (Siemens Sonata whole-body imager). The accuracy study and intraoperative image guidance were performed with the aid of the pointer-based Medtronic Stealth Station Treon.

The 3D TSE data set was easily applied to the navigational setup and demonstrated a high registration accuracy during the experimental trial and during an initial prospective clinical trial in 25 patients. The sequence displayed common disposable skin fiducial markers and provided convincing delineation of lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images such as low-grade gliomas and cavernomas in its clinical application.

Conclusions. Three-dimensional TSE imaging broadens the spectrum of navigational and intraoperative data sets, especially for lesions that appear hyperintense on T2-weighted images. The accuracy of its registration is very reliable and it enables high-resolution reconstruction in any orientation, maintaining the advantages of image-guided surgery.

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Shivanand P. Lad, Raphael Guzman, Michael E. Kelly, Gordon Li, Michael Lim, Karl Lovbald and Gary K. Steinberg

✓Vasospasm following cerebral aneurysm rupture is one of the most devastating sequelae and the most common cause of delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND). Because vasospasm also is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients who survive the initial bleeding episode, it is imperative not only to diagnose the condition but also to predict which patients are likely to become symptomatic. The exact pathophysiology of vasospasm is complex and incompletely elucidated. Early recognition of vasospasm is essential because the timely use of several therapeutic interventions can counteract this disease and prevent the occurrence of DIND. However, the prompt implementation of these therapies depends on the ability to predict impending vasospasm or to diagnose it at its early stages.

A number of techniques have been developed during the past several decades to evaluate cerebral perfusion, including positron emission tomography, xenon-enhanced computed tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, perfusion- and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and perfusion computed tomography. In this article, the authors provide a general overview of the currently available perfusion imaging techniques and their applications in treating vasospasm after a patient has suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The use of cerebral perfusion imaging techniques for the early detection of vasospasm is becoming more common and may provide opportunities for early therapeutic intervention to counteract vasospasm in its earliest stages and prevent the occurrence of DINDs.

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Tae Sung Park

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Anand Veeravagu, Raphael Guzman, Chirag G. Patil, Lewis C. Hou, Marco Lee and Gary K. Steinberg

✓Neurosurgical interventions for moyamoya disease (MMD) in pediatric patients include direct, indirect, and combined revascularization procedures. Each technique has shown efficacy in the treatment of pediatric MMD; however, no single study has demonstrated the superiority of one technique over another. In this review, the authors explore the various studies focused on the use of these techniques for MMD in the pediatric population. They summarize the results of each study to clearly depict the clinical outcomes achieved at each institution that had utilized direct, indirect, or combined techniques. In certain studies, multiple techniques were used, and the clinical or radiological outcomes were compared accordingly.

Direct techniques have been shown to aid a reduction in perioperative strokes and provide immediate revascularization to ischemic areas; however, these procedures are technically challenging, and not all pediatric patients are appropriate candidates. Indirect techniques have also shown efficacy in the pediatric population but may require a longer period for revascularization to occur and perfusion deficits to be reversed. The authors concluded that the clinical efficacy of one technique over another is still unclear, as most studies have had small populations and the same outcome measures have not been applied. Authors who compared direct and indirect techniques noted approximately equal clinical outcomes with differences in radiological findings. Additional, larger studies are needed to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques for the pediatric age group.

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Robert H. Andres, Raphael Guzman, Angélique D. Ducray, Pasquale Mordasini, Atul Gera, Alain Barth, Hans R. Widmer and Gary K. Steinberg

✓ Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), for which no effective treatment strategy is currently available, constitutes one of the most devastating forms of stroke. As a result, developing therapeutic options for ICH is of great interest to the medical community. The 3 potential therapies that have the most promise are cell replacement therapy, enhancing endogenous repair mechanisms, and utilizing various neuroprotective drugs. Replacement of damaged cells and restoration of function can be accomplished by transplantation of cells derived from different sources, such as embryonic or somatic stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and genetically modified cell lines. Early experimental data showing the benefits of cell transplantation on functional recovery after ICH have been promising. Nevertheless, several studies have focused on another therapeutic avenue, investigating novel ways to activate and direct endogenous repair mechanisms in the central nervous system, through exposure to specific neuronal growth factors or by inactivating inhibitory molecules. Lastly, neuroprotective drugs may offer an additional tool for improving neuronal survival in the perihematomal area. However, a number of scientific issues must be addressed before these experimental techniques can be translated into clinical therapy. In this review, the authors outline the recent advances in the basic science of treatment strategies for ICH.

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Raphael Guzman, Raymond Choi, Atul Gera, Alejandro De Los Angeles, Robert H. Andres and Gary K. Steinberg

✓ The use of stem cell transplantation to restore neurological function after stroke is being recognized as a potential novel therapy. Before stem cell transplantation can become widely applicable, however, questions remain about the optimal site of delivery and timing of transplantation. In particular, there seems to be increasing evidence that intravascular cell delivery after stroke is a viable alternative to intracerebral transplantation. In this review, the authors focus on the intravascular delivery of stem cells for stroke treatment with an emphasis on timing, transendothelial migration and possible mechanisms leading to neuroprotection, angiogenesis, immunomodulation, and neural plasticity. They also review current concepts of in vivo imaging and tracking of stem cells after stroke.

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Michael E. Kelly, Raphael Guzman, John Sinclair, Teresa E. Bell-Stephens, Regina Bower, Scott Hamilton, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Steven D. Chang, John R. Adler, Richard P. Levy and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Posterior fossa arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are relatively uncommon and often difficult to treat. The authors present their experience with multimodality treatment of 76 posterior fossa AVMs, with an emphasis on Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs.

Methods

Seventy-six patients with posterior fossa AVMs treated with radiosurgery, surgery, and endovascular techniques were analyzed.

Results

Between 1982 and 2006, 36 patients with cerebellar AVMs, 33 with brainstem AVMs, and 7 with combined cerebellar–brainstem AVMs were treated. Natural history data were calculated for all 76 patients. The risk of hemorrhage from presentation until initial treatment was 8.4% per year, and it was 9.6% per year after treatment and before obliteration. Forty-eight patients had Grades III–V AVMs with a mean follow-up of 4.8 years (range 0.1–18.4 years, median 3.1 years). Fifty-two percent of patients with Grades III–V AVMs had complete obliteration at the last follow-up visit. Three (21.4%) of 14 patients were cured with a single radiosurgery treatment, and 4 (28.6%) of 14 with 1 or 2 radiosurgery treatments. Twenty-one (61.8%) of 34 patients were cured with multimodality treatment. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score after treatment was 3.8. Multivariate analysis performed in the 48 patients with Grades III–V AVMs showed radiosurgery alone to be a negative predictor of cure (p = 0.0047). Radiosurgery treatment alone was not a positive predictor of excellent clinical outcome (GOS Score 5; p > 0.05). Nine (18.8%) of 48 patients had major neurological complications related to treatment.

Conclusions

Single-treatment radiosurgery has a low cure rate for posterior fossa Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs. Multimodality therapy nearly tripled this cure rate, with an acceptable risk of complications and excellent or good clinical outcomes in 81% of patients. Radiosurgery alone should be used for intrinsic brainstem AVMs, and multimodality treatment should be considered for all other posterior fossa AVMs.