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Chifumi Kitanaka, Masao Matsutani, Shigeo Sora, Sachiko Kitanaka, Ayako Tanae and Itsuro Hibi

✓ Although precocious puberty is common in boys with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-secreting brain tumors, it is extremely rare in girls. The authors describe a 6-year-old girl with an hCG-secreting suprasellar immature teratoma who presented with diabetes insipidus, increased intracranial pressure, and precocious puberty. On admission, breast budding was observed. The serum hCG level was 1230 mIU/ml. Both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) remained below detectable levels, even after gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation. Serum estrogen and androgen were moderately elevated. After chemotherapy, breast budding disappeared with normalization of serum hCG.

It has been believed that hCG does not produce precocious puberty in girls in the absence of FSH, and this has been used as an explanation for the rarity of precocious puberty in girls with hCG-secreting brain tumors. However, it has also been reported that hCG has not only LH activity but also intrinsic, although weak, FSH-like activity. In the present case, this FSH-like activity was considered to have played a role in the development of precocious puberty. It is speculated that a very high level of serum hCG can produce precocious puberty in girls. The rarity of intracranial germ-cell tumors with a high potential of hCG secretion may be one of the reasons why hCG-induced precocious puberty is uncommon in girls.

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Akio Morita, Shigeo Sora, Mamoru Mitsuishi, Shinichi Warisawa, Katopo Suruman, Daisuke Asai, Junpei Arata, Shoichi Baba, Hidechika Takahashi, Ryo Mochizuki and Takaaki Kirino

Object. To enhance the surgeon's dexterity and maneuverability in the deep surgical field, the authors developed a master—slave microsurgical robotic system. This concept and the results of preliminary experiments are reported in this paper.

Methods. The system has a master control unit, which conveys motion commands in six degrees of freedom (X, Y, and Z directions; rotation; tip flexion; and grasping) to two arms. The slave manipulator has a hanging base with an additional six degrees of freedom; it holds a motorized operating unit with two manipulators (5 mm in diameter, 18 cm in length). The accuracy of the prototype in both shallow and deep surgical fields was compared with routine freehand microsurgery. Closure of a partial arteriotomy and complete end-to-end anastomosis of the carotid artery (CA) in the deep operative field were performed in 20 Wistar rats. Three routine surgical procedures were also performed in cadavers.

The accuracy of pointing with the nondominant hand in the deep surgical field was significantly improved through the use of robotics. The authors successfully closed the partial arteriotomy and completely anastomosed the rat CAs in the deep surgical field. The time needed for stitching was significantly shortened over the course of the first 10 rat experiments. The robotic instruments also moved satisfactorily in cadavers, but the manipulators still need to be smaller to fit into the narrow intracranial space.

Conclusions. Computer-controlled surgical manipulation will be an important tool for neurosurgery, and preliminary experiments involving this robotic system demonstrate its promising maneuverability.

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Sunho Ko, Atsushi Nakazawa, Yusuke Kurose, Kanako Harada, Mamoru Mitsuishi, Shigeo Sora, Naoyuki Shono, Hirofumi Nakatomi, Nobuhito Saito and Akio Morita

OBJECTIVE

Advanced and intelligent robotic control is necessary for neurosurgical robots, which require great accuracy and precision. In this article, the authors propose methods for dynamically and automatically controlling the motion-scaling ratio of a master-slave neurosurgical robotic system to reduce the task completion time.

METHODS

Three dynamic motion-scaling modes were proposed and compared with the conventional fixed motion-scaling mode. These 3 modes were defined as follows: 1) the distance between a target point and the tip of the slave manipulator, 2) the distance between the tips of the slave manipulators, and 3) the velocity of the master manipulator. Five test subjects, 2 of whom were neurosurgeons, sutured 0.3-mm artificial blood vessels using the MM-3 neurosurgical robot in each mode.

RESULTS

The task time, total path length, and helpfulness score were evaluated. Although no statistically significant differences were observed, the mode using the distance between the tips of the slave manipulators improves the suturing performance.

CONCLUSIONS

Dynamic motion scaling has great potential for the intelligent and accurate control of neurosurgical robots.