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Nobuhiro Mikuni, Takeshi Satow, Junya Taki, Namiko Nishida, Rei Enatsu and Nobuo Hashimoto

✓ Difficulty swallowing due to damage of the vagus nerve is one of the most devastating complications of surgery in and around the medulla oblongata; therefore, intraoperative anatomical and functional evaluation of this nerve is crucial. The authors applied endotracheal tube surface electrodes to record electromyography (EMG) activity from vocal cords innervated by the vagus nerve. The vagal nucleus or rootlet was electrically stimulated during surgery and vocalis muscle EMG activities were displayed by auditory and visual signals. This technique was used successfully to identify the vagus motor nerve and evaluate its integrity during surgery. The advantages of this method compared with the use of needle electrodes include safe simple electrode placement and stable recording during surgery. In cases involving a pontine cavernoma pressing the nucleus or a jugular foramen tumor encircling the rootlet, this method would be particularly valuable. Additional studies with a larger number of patients are needed to estimate the significance of this method as a means of functional monitoring to predict clinical function.

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Nobuhiro Mikuni, Tsutomu Okada, Namiko Nishida, Junya Taki, Rei Enatsu, Akio Ikeda, Yukio Miki, Takashi Hanakawa, Hidenao Fukuyama and Nobuo Hashimoto

Object

The utility of subcortical electrical stimulation and fiber tracking were compared to estimate the pyramidal tract near brain tumors.

Methods

In 22 patients, the white matter at the bottom of a tumor was electrically stimulated near the fiber tracking of the pyramidal tract shown on a neuronavigation system. The distance between the center of the fiber tracking of these tracts and the stimulated region was measured and defined as the motor evoked potential (MEP) response. The MEP was consistently produced at distances less than 7 mm (six patients), but was consistently absent at distances more than 13 mm (seven patients) from the fiber tracking of the pyramidal tracts. In the nine patients in whom the distance was between 8 and 12 mm, an MEP was elicited when stimulation was applied at the level of the corona radiata. Motor function was preserved or even improved with appropriate tumor resection in all patients.

Conclusions

The anteroposteriorly running superior longitudinal fasciculus could cause complications in the fiber tracking of upper-extremity motor pathways at the level of the corona radiata. During resection of tumors located near the corona radiata, subcortical electrical stimulation should be applied at some distance from the pyramidal tract, as estimated by fiber tracking.

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Rei Enatsu, Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, Juan Bulacio, John C. Mosher, Richard C. Burgess, Imad Najm and Dileep R. Nair

OBJECT

The frontal and insular fiber network in humans remains largely unknown. This study investigated the connectivity of the frontal and anterior insular network in humans using cortico-cortical evoked potential (CCEP).

METHODS

This retrospective analysis included 18 patients with medically intractable focal epilepsy who underwent stereoelectroencephalography and CCEP. Alternating 1-Hz electrical stimuli were delivered to parts of the frontal lobe and anterior insula (prefrontal cortex [PFC], ventrolateral and dorsolateral premotor area [vPM and dPM, respectively], presupplementary motor area [pre-SMA], SMA, frontal operculum, and anterior insula). A total of 40–60 stimuli were averaged in each trial to obtain CCEP responses. The distribution of CCEP was evaluated by calculating the root mean square of CCEP responses.

RESULTS

Stimulation of the PFC elicited prominent CCEP responses in the medial PFC and PMs over the ipsilateral hemisphere. Stimulation of the vPM and dPM induced CCEP responses in the ipsilateral frontoparietal areas. Stimulation of the pre-SMA induced CCEP responses in the ipsilateral medial and lateral frontal areas and contralateral pre-SMA, whereas stimulation of the SMA induced CCEP responses in the bilateral frontoparietal areas. Stimulation of the frontal operculum induced CCEP responses in the ipsilateral insula and temporal operculum. CCEPs were observed in the ipsilateral medial, lateral frontal, and frontotemporal operculum in the anterior insular stimulation. Stimulation of the vPM and SMA led to the network in the dominant hemisphere being more developed.

CONCLUSIONS

Various regions within the frontal lobe and anterior insula were linked to specific ipsilateral and contralateral regions, which may reflect distinct functional roles.

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Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, Jeffrey Mullin, Sumeet Vadera, Juan Bulacio, Gwyneth Hughes, Stephen Jones, Rei Enatsu and Imad Najm

Object

Despite its long-reported successful record, with almost 60 years of clinical use, the technical complexity regarding the placement of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) depth electrodes may have contributed to the limited widespread application of the technique in centers outside Europe. The authors report on a simplified and novel SEEG surgical technique in the extraoperative mapping of refractory focal epilepsy.

Methods

The proposed technique was applied in patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy. Data regarding general demographic information, method of electrode implantation, time of implantation, number of implanted electrodes, seizure outcome after SEEG-guided resections, and complications were prospectively collected.

Results

From March 2009 to April 2012, 122 patients underwent SEEG depth electrode implantation at the Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center in which the authors' technique was used. There were 65 male and 57 female patients whose mean age was 33 years (range 5–68 years). The group included 21 pediatric patients (younger than 18 years). Planning and implantations were performed in a single stage. The time for planning was, on average, 33 minutes (range 20–47 minutes), and the time for implantation was, on average, 107 minutes (range 47–150 minutes). Complications related to the SEEG technique were observed in 3 patients. The calculated risk of complications per electrode was 0.18%. The seizure-free rate after SEEG-guided resections was 62% in a mean follow-up period of 12 months.

Conclusions

The authors report on a safe, simplified, and less time-consuming method of SEEG depth electrode implantation, using standard and widely available surgical tools, making the technique a reasonable option for extraoperative monitoring of patients with medically intractable epilepsy in centers lacking the Talairach stereotactic armamentarium.

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Nobuhiro Mikuni, Tsutomu Okada, Rei Enatsu, Yukio Miki, Takashi Hanakawa, Shin-ichi Urayama, Kenichiro Kikuta, Jun A. Takahashi, Kazuhiko Nozaki, Hidenao Fukuyama and Nobuo Hashimoto

Object

The authors evaluated the clinical impact of combining functional neuronavigation with subcortical electrical stimulation to preserve motor function following the removal of brain tumors.

Methods

Forty patients underwent surgery for treatment of brain tumors located near pyramidal tracts that had been identified by fiber tracking. The distances between the electrically stimulated white matter and the pyramidal tracts were measured intraoperatively with tractography-integrated functional neuronavigation, and correlated with subcortical motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and clinical symptoms during and after resection of the tumors.

Motor function was preserved after appropriate tumor resection in all cases. In 18 of 20 patients, MEPs were elicited from the subcortex within 1 cm of the pyramidal tracts as measured using intraoperative neuronavigation. During resection, improvement of motor weakness was observed in two patients, whereas transient mild motor weakness occurred in two other patients. In 20 patients, the distances between the stimulated subcortex and the estimated pyramidal tracts were more than 1 cm, and MEPs were detected in only three of these patients following stimulation.

Conclusions

Intraoperative functional neuronavigation and subcortical electrical stimulation are complementary techniques that may facilitate the preservation of pyramidal tracts around 1 cm of resected tumors.