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Roland Roelz, Vera Van Velthoven, Peter Reinacher, Volker Arnd Coenen, Irina Mader, Horst Urbach, and Stephan Meckel

A large spectrum of possible diagnoses must be taken into consideration when a contrast-enhancing lesion of the pontomedullary region is found on MRI. Among these diagnoses are neoplastic, inflammatory, and infectious, as well as vascular pathologies. The authors report a rare case of an intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) with perimedullary spinal venous drainage (Cognard Type V) that initially presented as a unilateral contrast-enhancing pontomedullary lesion mimicking a brainstem neoplasm in a 76-year-old man. Following occlusion of the DAVF by transarterial embolization that resulted in clinical and radiological improvement, the fistula recurred 10 months later and was finally cured by a combined endovascularand surgical approach that resulted in complete occlusion. Clinical symptoms and MRI findings gradually improved following this treatment. A literature review on the MRI findings of Cognard Type V DAVF was performed. Centrally located medullary or pontomedullary edema represents the typical imaging finding, while unilateral edema as seen in the authors’ patient is exceptionally rare. The hallmark imaging finding suggestive of DAVF consisting of perimedullary engorged vessels may not always be present or may only be very subtly visible. Therefore, the authors suggest performing contrast-enhanced MR angiography or even digital subtraction angiography in the presence of an unclear edematous brainstem lesion before scheduling stereotactic biopsy.

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Ramazan Jabbarli, Matthias Reinhard, Roland Roelz, Klaus Kaier, Astrid Weyerbrock, Christian Taschner, Christian Scheiwe, and Mukesch Shah

OBJECTIVE

An asymmetry of the A1 segments (A1SA) of the anterior cerebral arteries (ACAs) is an assumed risk factor for the development of anterior communicating artery aneurysms (ACoAAs). It is unknown whether A1SA is also clinically relevant after aneurysm rupture. The authors of this study investigated the impact of A1SA on the clinical course and outcome of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed data on consecutive SAH patients treated at their institution between January 2005 and December 2012. The occurrence and severity of cerebral infarctions in the ACA territories were evaluated on follow-up CT scans up to 6 weeks after SAH. Moreover, the risk for an unfavorable outcome (defined as > 3 points on the modified Rankin Scale) at 6 months after SAH was assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 594 patients were included in the final analysis. An A1SA was identified on digital subtraction angiography studies from 127 patients (21.4%) and was strongly associated with ACoAA (p < 0.0001, OR 13.7). An A1SA independently correlated with the occurrence of ACA infarction in patients with ACoAA (p = 0.047) and in those without an ACoAA (p = 0.015). Among patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA was independently associated with the severity of ACA infarction (p = 0.023) and unfavorable functional outcome (p = 0.045, OR = 2.4).

CONCLUSIONS

An A1SA is a common anatomical variation in SAH patients and is strongly associated with ACoAA. Moreover, the presence of A1SA independently increases the likelihood of ACA infarction. In SAH patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA carries the risk for severe ACA infarction and thus an unfavorable outcome.

Clinical trial registration no.: DRKS00005486 (http://www.drks.de/)

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Ulrich Hubbe, Jan-Helge Klingler, Roland Roelz, Christoph Scholz, Katerina Argiti, Panagiotis Fistouris, Jürgen Beck, and Ioannis Vasilikos

OBJECTIVE

A major challenge of a minimally invasive spinal approach (MIS) is maintaining freedom of maneuverability through small operative corridors. Unfortunately, during tubular resection of intradural pathologies, the durotomy and its accompanying tenting sutures offer a smaller operating window than the maximum surface of the tube’s base. The objective of this study was to evaluate if a novel double tubular technique could expand the surgical visual field during MIS resection of intradural pathologies.

METHODS

A total of 25 MIS resections of intradural extramedullary pathologies were included. A posterior tubular interlaminar fenestration was performed in all surgeries. A durotomy covering the whole diameter of the tubular base was the standard in all cases. After placement of two tenting sutures on each side of the durotomy and application of tension, the resulting surface of the achieved dura fenestration was measured after optical analysis of the intraoperative video. In the next step, a second tube, 2 mm thinner than and the same length as the first, was inserted telescopically into the first tube, resulting an angulated fulcrum effect on the tenting sutures.

RESULTS

Optical surface analysis of the dura fenestration before and after the second tubular insertion verified a significant widening of the visual field of 43.1% (mean 18.84 mm2, 95% CI 16.8–20.8, p value < 0.001). There were no ruptured tenting sutures through the increased tension. Postoperative MRIs verified complete resection of the pathologies.

CONCLUSIONS

Inserting a second tube telescopically during posterior minimally invasive tubular spinal intradural surgery leads to an angulated fulcrum effect on the dura tenting sutures which consequently increases the surface of the dura fenestration and induces a meaningful widening of the visual field.

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Xin-Ben Hu, Feng-Jie Zhu, Fang Shen, Guang-Yu Ying, and Yong-Jian Zhu

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Jürgen Beck, Ulrich Hubbe, Jan-Helge Klingler, Roland Roelz, Luisa Mona Kraus, Florian Volz, Niklas Lützen, Horst Urbach, Kristin Kieselbach, and Christian Fung

OBJECTIVE

Spinal CSF leaks cause spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). Surgical closure of spinal CSF leaks is the treatment of choice for persisting leaks. Surgical approaches vary, and there are no studies in which minimally invasive techniques were used. In this study, the authors aimed to detail the safety and feasibility of minimally invasive microsurgical sealing of spinal CSF leaks using nonexpandable tubular retractors.

METHODS

Consecutive patients with SIH and a confirmed spinal CSF leak treated at a single institution between April 2019 and December 2020 were included in the study. Surgery was performed via a dorsal 2.5-cm skin incision using nonexpandable tubular retractors and a tailored interlaminar fenestration and, if needed, a transdural approach. The primary outcome was successful sealing of the dura, and the secondary outcome was the occurrence of complications.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight patients, 65.5% of whom were female (median age 46 years [IQR 36–55 years]), with 38 ventral leaks, 17 lateral leaks, and 2 CSF venous fistulas were included. In 56 (96.6%) patients, the leak could be closed, and in 2 (3.4%) patients the leak was missed because of misinterpretation of the imaging studies. One of these patients underwent successful reoperation, and the other patient decided to undergo surgery at another institution. Two other patients had to undergo reoperation because of insufficient closure and a persisting leak. The rate of permanent neurological deficit was 1.7%, the revision rate for a persisting or recurring leak was 3.4%, and the overall revision rate was 10.3%. The rate of successful sealing during the primary closure attempt was 96.6% and 3.4% patients needed a secondary attempt. Clinical short-term outcome at discharge was unchanged in 14 patients and improved in 25 patients, and 19 patients had signs of rebound intracranial hypertension.

CONCLUSIONS

Minimally invasive surgery with tubular retractors and a tailored interlaminar fenestration and, if needed, a transdural approach is safe and effective for the treatment of spinal CSF leaks. The authors suggest performing a minimally invasive closure of spinal CSF leaks in specialized centers.