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Sepehr Sani, Kirk W. Jobe and Richard W. Byrne

✓ Intracranial nail injuries to the brain are rare. Various techniques for the removal of penetrating nails have been reported, but to date successful nail extraction following an injury involving the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) has not been reported.

The authors report the case of a nail-gun injury to the midline parietal region with penetration of the SSS. They describe an original surgical technique involving the use of a graft patch of temporal fascia and muscle to repair the SSS following extraction of the nail. The procedure resulted in preservation of distal flow across the sinus and a good neurological outcome. Technical considerations in the repair of penetrating posterior SSS injuries are discussed.

Penetrating nail injuries to the brain involving the SSS can be successfully repaired with maintenance of sinus patency.

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Sepehr Sani, Kirk W. Jobe and Demetrius K. Lopes

Object

Until recently, wide-necked aneurysms were not considered amenable to treatment with coil embolization. The recent introduction of intracranial stents has provided a method of preventing coil migration out of wide-necked aneurysms. The Neuroform2 Treo is a modification of the Neuroform stent; the new version has a higher metal/artery ratio. The authors' initial experience with the use of this stent in combination with coil embolization to treat wide-necked intracranial aneurysms is reported and technical considerations are discussed.

Methods

The authors' first 10 consecutive patients with wide-necked intracranial aneurysms were included in this study. Inclusion criteria restricted the group to adult patients with wide-necked intracranial aneurysms (ruptured and unruptured lesions). A wide neck was defined as a dome/neck ratio of less than 2 or a neck that was 4 mm or wider as measured on angiograms. Immediate postprocedure angiography studies were performed to determine successful coil occlusion of the aneurysm as well as patency of the parent vessel. Six-month follow-up angiograms were obtained in all patients.

Ten aneurysms with poor dome/neck ratios (< 2) were studied in 10 patients. In all cases the stent was delivered to the aneurysm site and positioned without difficulty. No branch artery compromise was observed. A technical difficulty occurred in one case, with prolapse of a coil into the parent vessel, which was successfully corrected with no adverse clinical effects. There were no clinical or neurological complications associated with endovascular treatment of aneurysms in this series. One patient required further coil embolization because of findings on the 6-month follow-up cerebral angiogram.

Conclusions

The Neuroform2 Treo navigates similarly to the Neuroform2, with the advantage of increased aneurysm neck coverage. This feature may lower the retreatment rates for wide-necked cerebral aneurysms.

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Sepehr Sani, Kirk Jobe, Adam Smith, Jeffrey H. Kordower and Roy A. E. Bakay

Object

Given the success of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a variety of applications (for example, Parkinson disease and essential tremor), other indications for which there is currently little effective therapy are being evaluated for clinical use of DBS. Obesity may be one such indication. Studies of the control of feeding and appetite by neurosurgical lesioning have been completed previously. This study was conducted to test the authors' hypothesis that continuous bilateral stimulatory inhibition of the rat lateral hypothalamic nucleus (LH) would lead to significant and sustained decrease in food intake and subsequent weight loss.

Methods

Sixteen Sprague–Dawley rats were maintained on a high-fat diet. Daily food intake and weight gain were measured for 7 days, at which time the animals underwent stereotactic placement of 0.25-mm-diameter bipolar stimulating electrodes bilaterally in the LH. On postoperative Day 7, eight animals began to receive continuous stimulation of the LH. The remaining eight animals were left unstimulated as the control group. Individual animal weight, food intake, and water intake were monitored daily and continuously throughout the experiment until postoperative Day 24.

Results

There was a decreased rate of weight gain after surgery in all animals, but the unstimulated group recovered and resumed a linear weight gain curve. The stimulated group, however, failed to show weight gain and remained below the mean baseline for body mass. There was a significant weight loss between the stimulated and unstimulated groups. On postoperative Day 24, compared with the day of surgery (Day 0), the unstimulated group had a mean weight gain of 13.8%, whereas the stimulated group had a 2.3% weight loss on average (p = 0.001), yielding a 16.1% weight difference between the two groups.

Conclusions

Bilateral electrical stimulatory inhibition of the LH is effective in causing significant and sustained weight loss in rats.

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Juan C. Jimenez, Sepehr Sani, Berton Braverman, Harel Deutsch and John K. Ratliff

Object

A desire to prevent complications resulting from spinal surgery led to the development of intraoperative monitoring. Intraoperative electromyography (EMG) provides useful diagnostic information regarding nerve root function during spinal and peripheral nerve surgeries. The C-5 nerve root is considered particularly vulnerable to injury during cervical surgery. Despite advances in techniques, the incidence of postoperative C-5 palsy has not changed.

Methods

The authors reviewed prospectively collected data obtained in 161 patients who underwent 171 cervical procedures. In 116 procedures, operative monitoring was modified to include continuous C-5 EMG from the deltoid muscle. In cases in which spontaneous C-5 activity occurred, an appropriate change in operative manipulation was made. A historical control group consisted of a retrospective review of 55 procedures that were monitored using conventional techniques.

In the retrospective cohort, four (7.3%) of 55 patients presented after undergoing surgery for C-5 nerve root palsy. In each patient conventional monitoring revealed unremarkable findings. In the prospective cohort, intraoperative spontaneous EMG activity necessitated a change in either positioning or operative technique in three cases. Only one patient (0.9%) experienced postoperative C-5 palsy. Postoperative C-5 palsy occurred in no patient in whom there was no intraoperative evidence of root irritation (p < 0.03, chi-square test).

Conclusions

The incidence of postoperative C-5 palsies was reduced from 7.3% to 0.9% due to intraoperative continuous EMG monitoring. No patient suffered a postoperative C-5 palsy when intraoperative evidence of root irritation was absent.

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Sepehr Sani, Tibor Boco, Steven L. Lewis, Elizabeth Cochran, Ajay J. Patel and Richard W. Byrne

Microfibrillar collagen hemostat, known by its trade name Avitene, has been used in neurosurgery for decades. Complications with this product have been documented in other surgical specialties and described as mostly immune-mediated foreign-body reactions that can lead to a granulomatous reaction. There has never been a case of disseminated encephalomyelitis associated with this topical hemostatic agent. In this report the authors present a case of postoperative acute disseminated encephalomyelitis after exposure to Avitene. Possible pathophysiological mechanisms are discussed and the pertinent literature is reviewed.

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Julie G. Pilitsis, Leo Verhagen Metman, John R. Toleikis, Lindsay E. Hughes, Sepehr B. Sani and Roy A. E. Bakay

Object

Although nucleus ventralis intermedius stimulation has been shown to be safe and efficacious in the treatment of essential tremor, there is a subset of patients who eventually lose benefit from their stimulation. Proposed causes for this phenomenon include tolerance, disease progression, and suboptimal location. The goal of this study was to assess the factors that may lead to both stimulation failure, defined as loss of meaningful tremor relief, and less satisfactory outcomes, defined as leads requiring voltages > 3.6 V for effective tremor control.

Methods

The authors present their clinical outcomes from 31 leads in 27 patients who had effective tremor control for > 1 year following nucleus ventralis intermedius stimulation. All patients postoperatively had a mean decrease in both the writing and drawing subscales of the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin Tremor Rating Scale (p < 0.001).

Results

After a mean follow-up of 40 months, 22 patients continued to have tremor control with stimulation. Four patients eventually lost efficacy of their stimulation at a mean of 39 months. There was no difference in age, duration of disease, or disease severity between the groups. Examination of perioperative factors revealed that suboptimal anteroposterior positioning as evidenced on intraoperative fluoroscopy occurred significantly more frequently in patients with stimulation failure (p = 0.018). In patients with less satisfactory outcomes, no difference was seen between group demographics. Fluoroscopy again revealed suboptimal positioning more frequently in these patients (p = 0.005).

Conclusions

This study provides further evidence that suboptimal lead position in combination with disease progression or tolerance may result in less satisfactory long-term outcomes.