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The Surgical Treatment of Arnold-Chiari Malformation in Adults

An Explanation of Its Mechanism and Importance of Encephalography in Diagnosis

W. James Gardner and Robert J. Goodall

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James T. Stuntz and Robert M. Shuman

✓ A case is presented in which the atrial tip of a ventriculoatrial shunt formed a fistulous connection with the bronchial tree in a child. This resulted in acute bronchopneumonia, pneumocephalus, and ventriculitis. Pneumocephalus was created by an artificial respirator forcing air along the shunt tract during treatment of bronchopneumonia. Sudden death was related to transtentorial herniation. The diagnosis of a cerebrobronchial fistula should be entertained in shunt patients with respiratory distress and radiographic pulmonary densities unresponsive to antibiotics.

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Robert M. Crowell and James G. Wepsic

✓ Two teen-age male cousins with hereditary multiple exostoses developed cord compression secondary to chondrosarcoma. The clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, surgical treatment, pathological findings, and postoperative course are described in each patient.

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Robert A. Ratcheson and James A. Ferrendelli

✓ Regional cortical levels of organic phosphates and carbohydrates were measured in cat brains, enzymatically inactivated by the technique of “funnel freezing” 1 hour after occlusion of a middle cerebral artery (MCA). Significant metabolic alterations occurred in all hemispheres ipsilateral to the site of occlusion. However, there was marked interindividual variability, with changes ranging from only slight increases in lactate, pyruvate, and adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in small regions of cortex at one extreme, to profound depletion of high-energy phosphates, depression of glucose and pyruvate levels, and increased lactate, adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and AMP levels in much of the hemisphere of the most severely involved animals. In contrast, metabolic changes in the hemisphere contralateral to the site of occlusion were very few or nonexistent. In addition, in all ipsilateral hemispheres there were regions peripheral to the areas of greatest metabolic alteration where there was excessive elevation of glucose levels. The results demonstrate that occlusion of a major cerebral vessel does not produce metabolic changes that are consistent in their distribution or severity. However, the findings of this study probably depict some of the complicated metabolic events that occur clinically during thrombotic or embolic infarction of brain.

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Robert A. Moody and James L. Poppen

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James K. Liu and Robert W. Jyung

Cholesterol granulomas are cystic lesions that typically arise in the petrous apex as a result of an inflammatory giant-cell reaction to cholesterol crystal deposits that are formed when normal aeration and drainage of temporal bone air cells become occluded resulting in transudation of blood into the petrous air cells. Surgical strategies include simple cyst decompression, radical excision of the cyst wall, or fenestration and drainage with silastic tubing. The authors present a giant cholesterol granuloma compressing the cerebellopontine angle and brainstem in a 35 year-old male who presented with progressive facial nerve weakness, sensorineural hearing loss, and vertigo. A combined transmastoid middle fossa extradural approach was performed to remove the cyst contents and decompress the brain-stem. A near total excision of the cyst wall was achieved with a small remnant adherent to the posterior fossa dura. Two separate silastic catheters were placed into the cyst cavity to provide “dual exhaust” drainage. One catheter drained the cyst cavity into the sphenoid sinus via a window made in the anteromedial triangle between V1 and V2. The second catheter drained the cyst cavity into the mastoidectomy cavity and middle ear. Postoperative MRI demonstrated regression of the cyst and excellent decompression of the brainstem. The patient experienced return of normal facial nerve function while hearing loss remained unchanged. He remained free of recurrence at 4 years postoperatively. The theoretical advantages of cyst wall removal combined with dual catheter drainage are longer term patency of cyst drainage and decrease of cyst recurrence. In this operative video atlas report, we describe the step-by-step technique and illustrate the operative nuances and surgical pearls to safely and efficiently perform the “dual exhaust” catheter drainage and resection of a giant cholesterol granuloma via a combined transmastoid middle fossa approach.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/iZpYBP26ghA.

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James K. Liu and Robert W. Jyung

Large acoustic neuromas, greater than 3 cm, can be technically challenging tumors to remove because of their intimate relationship with the brainstem and surrounding cranial nerves. Successful tumor resection involves functional preservation of the facial nerve and neurovascular structures. The translabyrinthine approach is useful for surgical resection of acoustic neuromas of various sizes in patients with poor preoperative hearing. The presigmoid surgical corridor allows direct exposure of the tumor in the cerebellopontine angle without any fixed cerebellar retraction. Early identification of the facial nerve at the fundus facilitates facial nerve preservation. Large acoustic tumors can be readily removed with a retractorless translabyrinthine approach using dynamic mobilization of the sigmoid sinus. In this operative video atlas report, the authors demonstrate their operative nuances for resection of a large acoustic neuroma via a translabyrinthine approach using a retractorless technique. Facial nerve preservation is achieved by maintaining a plane of dissection between the tumor capsule and the tumor arachnoid so that a layer of arachnoid protects the blood supply to the facial nerve. Multilayered closure is achieved with a fascial sling technique in which an autologous fascia lata graft is sutured to the dural defect to suspend the fat graft in the mastoidectomy defect. We describe the step-by-step technique and illustrate the operative nuances and surgical pearls to safely and efficiently perform the retractorless translabyrinthine approach, tumor resection, facial nerve preservation, and multi-layered reconstruction of the skull base dural defect to prevent postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/ros98UxqVMw.

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Donald F. Huelke, James O'Day and Robert A. Mendelsohn

✓ The National Crash Severity Study data in which occupants sustained severe, serious, critical-to-life, or fatal cervical injuries were reviewed. Of passenger cars damaged severely enough to be towed from the scene, it is estimated that one in 300 occupants sustained a neck injury of a severe nature. The neck-injury rate rose to one in 14 occupants for those ejected from their cars, although many of these injuries resulted from contacts within the car before or during the process of ejection. Severe neck injuries were rather rare in cars struck in the rear, but were more common in frontal and side impacts. Occupants between 16 and 25 years of age had such injuries more than twice as often as those in any other age group. Most of the neck injuries of a more severe nature involved the cervical spine or spinal cord. Injuries of the anterior aspect of the neck were relatively infrequent, and usually resulted from direct blunt impacts. National projections of the number of fatalities related to cervical injuries indicates that 5940 deaths, or approximately 20% of all in-car deaths, include fatal cervical spine injuries, and that about 500 cases of quadriplegia per year result from automobile accidents.

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Richard F. Bulger, James E. Rejowski and Robert A. Beatty

✓ In a series of 375 patients with anterior cervical fusions, long-term follow-up results complete with laryngeal examination were obtained in 102 patients. One patient was found to have an inferior laryngeal nerve palsy, and one had a superior laryngeal nerve palsy. Both deficits were thought to be the result of surgical trauma. Measures to minimize the incidence of vocal cord paralysis include careful surgical technique and knowledge of the surgical anatomy of the laryngeal nerves. Suggestions are given for the assessment of postoperative hoarseness, and for the management of vocal cord paralysis.

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James C. White and Robert W. Gentry