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Yoshifumi Mizobuchi, Kenji Shouno, Kohei Nakajima and Shinji Nagahiro

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Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

Patterns of vascular compression in unsuccessfully operated patients

Shinji Nagahiro, Akira Takada, Yasuhiko Matsukado and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ To determine the causative factors of unsuccessful microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm, the follow-up results in 53 patients were assessed retrospectively. The mean follow-up period was 36 months. There were 32 patients who had compression of the seventh cranial nerve ventrocaudally by an anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) or a posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Of these 32 patients, 30 (94%) had excellent postoperative results. Of 14 patients with more severe compression by the vertebral artery, nine (64%) had excellent results, three (21%) had good results, and two (14%) had poor results; in this group, three patients with excellent results experienced transient spasm recurrence. There were seven patients in whom the meatal branch of the AICA coursed between the seventh and eighth cranial nerves and compressed the dorsal aspect of the seventh nerve; this was usually associated with another artery compressing the ventral aspect of the nerve (“sandwich-type” compression). Of these seven patients, five (71%) had poor results including operative failure in one and recurrence of spasm in four. The authors conclude that the clinical outcome was closely related to the patterns of vascular compression.

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Yoshihisa Murayama, Kazuhide Sakurama, Koichi Satoh and Shinji Nagahiro

✓ The carotid artery (CA) dural ring is an important structure in aneurysm surgery of the paraclinoid region. The authors used three-dimensional computerized tomography (3D-CT) angiography to study the CA dural ring.

Three-dimensional computerized tomography angiography was performed in patients with cerebral aneurysms and other cerebrovascular diseases. The paraclinoid segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) was examined by the shaded surface reconstruction method on targeted 3D-CT angiography. The concavity was recognized in the paraclinoid segment of the ICA. The relationship between the concavity and the dural ring was investigated with anatomical studies and surgical findings.

In anatomical studies, the concavity in the paraclinoid segment of the ICA on 3D-CT angiography coincided with the level of attachment of the dural ring. Using 3D-CT angiography, it is possible to identify the location of the dural ring in patients being considered for aneurysm surgery.

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Shinji Nagahiro, Akira Takada, Satoshi Goto, Yutaka Kai and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ Results in three patients with thrombosed giant aneurysms of the vertebral artery are reported. Each of the aneurysms presented as a mass lesion. On postcontrast computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, each aneurysm demonstrated a patent lumen and intrathrombotic vascular channels. Two patients died and were autopsied, and the other patient was successfully treated. Pathological examination revealed that the aneurysms had staged clots, an open lumen, intrathrombotic channels with endothelial lining, and aneurysmal walls with intimal thickening. The authors suggest that the development of the intrathrombotic capillary channels may be an important factor in the growth of thrombosed giant aneurysm of the vertebral artery. Trapping of the aneurysm followed by aneurysmectomy appears to be the best treatment for this type of aneurysm.

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Shinji Nagahiro, Jun-ichiro Hamada, Yuji Sakamoto and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ The authors assessed the reliability of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging contrast enhancement for the detection and follow-up evaluation of dissecting aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar circulation. Twenty consecutively admitted patients who underwent both gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging and conventional angiography were reviewed. Enhancement of the dissecting aneurysm was seen in all but one of the 20 patients, including 10 (71%) of 14 patients examined in the chronic phases, when the T1-hyperintensity signal that corresponded to the intramural hematoma was unrecognizable. The enhanced area corresponded to the “pearl sign” or aneurysm dilation noted on the comparable angiogram. On follow-up MR studies enhancement had spontaneously disappeared in four patients at a time when comparable vertebral angiograms revealed disappearance of the aneurysm dilation. The enhancement persisted in five of nine patients examined more than 24 weeks after symptom onset; in all five patients the aneurysm dilation remained on comparable angiograms. Dynamic MR studies showed rapid and remarkable enhancements with their peaks during the immediate dynamic phase after injection of the contrast material. The authors conclude that gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging is useful for the detection and follow-up evaluation of dissecting aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar circulation.

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Junichiro Satomi, A. Ammar Ghaibeh, Hiroki Moriguchi and Shinji Nagahiro


The severity of clinical signs and symptoms of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are well correlated with their pattern of venous drainage. Although the presence of cortical venous drainage can be considered a potential predictor of aggressive DAVF behaviors, such as intracranial hemorrhage or progressive neurological deficits due to venous congestion, accurate statistical analyses are currently not available. Using a decision tree data mining method, the authors aimed at clarifying the predictability of the future development of aggressive behaviors of DAVF and at identifying the main causative factors.


Of 266 DAVF patients, 89 were eligible for analysis. Under observational management, 51 patients presented with intracranial hemorrhage/infarction during the follow-up period.


The authors created a decision tree able to assess the risk for the development of aggressive DAVF behavior. Evaluated by 10-fold cross-validation, the decision tree's accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were 85.28%, 88.33%, and 80.83%, respectively. The tree shows that the main factor in symptomatic patients was the presence of cortical venous drainage. In its absence, the lesion location determined the risk of a DAVF developing aggressive behavior.


Decision tree analysis accurately predicts the future development of aggressive DAVF behavior.

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Ryoma Morigaki, Masaaki Uno, Atsuhiko Suzue and Shinji Nagahiro

✓ In this paper the authors describe two patients with recurrent hemiparesis and limb shaking that gradually progressed to hemichorea. Cerebral angiography confirmed severe unilateral internal carotid artery stenosis (95%) contra-lateral to the hemichorea. The cerebral blood flow, assessed using N-isopropyl-p-(iodine-123) iodoamphetamine single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), disclosed markedly decreased vascular reserves in both patients. After carotid endarterectomy was performed, the hemichorea gradually subsided and SPECT confirmed increased cerebral perfusion. The results in these cases indicate that surgical revascularization is effective for hemichorea due to cerebral ischemia with reduced vascular reserve.

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Jun-Ichiro Hamada, Shinji Nagahiro, Chikara Mimata, Takayuki Kaku and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ Two techniques of revascularizing the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) during aneurysm surgery are presented. One involves transposition of the PICA to the vertebral artery proximal to the aneurysm using a superior temporal artery (STA) as a graft. This is used in cases in which the PICA has branched off from the wall of the giant vertebral artery aneurysm. The other technique involves end-to-end anastomosis of the PICA after excision of a giant distal PICA aneurysm located at the cranial loop near the roof of the fourth ventricle. The reconstructions of the PICA described here are surgical procedures designed to preserve normal blood flow in the PICA in patients treated for giant aneurysms involving that artery.

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Mohammad A. Jamous, Shinji Nagahiro, Keiko T. Kitazato, Junichiro Satomi and Koichi Satoh

Object. Estrogen has been shown to play a central role in vascular biology. Although it may exert beneficial vascular effects, its role in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms remains to be determined. To elucidate the role of hormones further, the authors examined the effects of bilateral oophorectomy on the formation and progression of cerebral aneurysms in rats.

Methods. Forty-five female, 7-week-old Sprague—Dawley rats were divided into three equal groups. Group I consisted of intact rats (controls). To induce cerebral aneurysms, the animals in Groups II and III were subjected to ligation of the right common carotid and bilateral posterior renal arteries. One month later, the rats in Group II underwent bilateral oophorectomy. Three months after the experiment began all animals were killed and cerebral vascular corrosion casts were prepared and screened for cerebral aneurysms by using a scanning electron microscope. Plasma was used to determine the level of estradiol and the gelatinase activity.

Hypertension developed in all rats except those in the control group. The estradiol level was significantly lower in Group II than in the other groups (p < 0.01). The incidence of cerebral aneurysm formation in Group II (60%) was three times higher than that in Group III (20%), and the mean size of aneurysms in Group II (76 ± 27 µm, mean ± standard deviation) was larger than that in Group III (28 ± 4.6 µm) (p < 0.05). No aneurysm developed in control animals (Group I), and there was no significant difference in plasma gelatinase activity among the three groups.

Conclusions. The cerebral aneurysm model was highly reproducible in rats. Bilateral oophorectomy increased the susceptibility of rats to aneurysm formation, indicating that hormones play a role in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms.

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Mohammad A. Jamous, Shinji Nagahiro, Keiko T. Kitazato, Koichi Satoh and Junichiro Satomi

Object. The formation of cerebral aneurysms involves complex processes and little is known about the mechanisms by which they originate, grow, and rupture. The purpose of this study was to identify early ultrastructural morphological changes that lead to the formation of experimental cerebral aneurysms.

Methods. Twenty male Sprague—Dawley rats were subjected to cerebral aneurysm induction (renal hypertension and right common carotid artery ligation); 10 intact rats served as the control group. The animals were killed after 2 months, and a vascular corrosion cast of their cerebral arteries was prepared and screened for aneurysm development by using a scanning electron microscope.

Sequential morphological changes observed at the cerebral artery bifurcation in response to hemodynamic shear stress included endothelial changes, intimal pad elevation, and saccular dilation. Endothelial cell changes were the first observed morphological changes; they were followed by various degrees of artery wall dilation. No aneurysmal changes developed in any of the control rats. Of the 20 surgically treated rats, 11 displayed aneurysmal changes. In five of these animals only changes in the endothelial cell imprints could be identified. In the other six rats morphological changes in endothelial cells were associated with different stages of aneurysmal dilation.

Conclusions. This is the first study to demonstrate in vivo early morphological changes that lead to the formation of cerebral aneurysms. The morphological findings indicate the principal role of endothelial cells in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms and suggest that hemodynamic shear stress and blood flow patterns may precipitate these early changes.