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Mark Daniel Anderson and Sudhakar Tummala

Herpes simplex or herpes zoster reactivation after spinal surgery is rarely reported. This case report and review of the literature describes patients in whom this reactivation occurs to clarify the diagnosis and management. In addition to reporting their case, the authors reviewed case reports and series published between 1980 and 2012 found through a PubMed search. Herpes reactivation is generally confined to a vesicular rash that can be treated with acyclovir. However, occasional dissemination has occurred and has led to myelitis or encephalitis. Atypical presentations led to delays in diagnosis, delayed treatment, and poor neurological outcome. While rare, herpes simplex or herpes zoster reactivation is a complication of spine surgery that must be considered in the face of new-onset focal neurological symptoms in a dermatome pattern without a structural cause, even without a rash.

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Sujit S. Prabhu, Jaime Gasco, Sudhakar Tummala, Jefrey S. Weinberg and Ganesh Rao

Object

The object of this study was to describe the utility and safety of using a single probe for combined intraoperative navigation and subcortical mapping in an intraoperative MR (iMR) imaging environment during brain tumor resection.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed those patients who underwent resection in the iMR imaging environment, as well as functional electrophysiological monitoring with continuous motor evoked potential (MEP) and direct subcortical mapping combined with diffusion tensor imaging tractography.

Results

As a navigational tool the monopolar probe used was safe and accurate. Positive subcortical fiber MEPs were obtained in 10 (83%) of the 12 cases. In 10 patients in whom subcortical MEPs were recorded, the mean stimulus intensity was 10.4 ± 5.2 mA and the mean distance from the probe tip to the corticospinal tract (CST) was 7.4 ± 4.5 mm. There was a trend toward worsening neurological deficits if the distance to the CST was short, and a small minimum stimulation threshold was recorded indicating close proximity of the CST to the resection margins. Gross-total resection (95%–100% tumor removal) was achieved in 11 cases (92%), whereas 1 patient (8%) had at least a 90% tumor resection. At the end of 3 months, 2 patients (17%) had persistent neurological deficits.

Conclusions

The monopolar probe can be safely implemented in an iMR imaging environment both for navigation and stimulation purposes during the resection of intrinsic brain tumors. In this study there was a trend toward worsening neurological deficits if the distance from the probe to the CST was short (< 5 mm) indicating close proximity of the resection cavity to the CST. This technology can be used in the iMR imaging environment as a surgical adjunct to minimize adverse neurological outcomes.

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Marcos V. C. Maldaun, Shumaila N. Khawja, Nicholas B. Levine, Ganesh Rao, Frederick F. Lang, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, Sudhakar Tummala, Charles E. Cowles, David Ferson, Anh-Thuy Nguyen, Raymond Sawaya, Dima Suki and Sujit S. Prabhu

Object

The object of this study was to describe the experience of combining awake craniotomy techniques with high-field (1.5 T) intraoperative MRI (iMRI) for tumors adjacent to eloquent cortex.

Methods

From a prospective database the authors obtained and evaluated the records of all patients who had undergone awake craniotomy procedures with cortical and subcortical mapping in the iMRI suite. The integration of these two modalities was assessed with respect to safety, operative times, workflow, extent of resection (EOR), and neurological outcome.

Results

Between February 2010 and December 2011, 42 awake craniotomy procedures using iMRI were performed in 41 patients for the removal of intraaxial tumors. There were 31 left-sided and 11 right-sided tumors. In half of the cases (21 [50%] of 42), the patient was kept awake for both motor and speech mapping. The mean duration of surgery overall was 7.3 hours (range 4.0–13.9 hours). The median EOR overall was 90%, and gross-total resection (EOR ≥ 95%) was achieved in 17 cases (40.5%). After viewing the first MR images after initial resection, further resection was performed in 17 cases (40.5%); the mean EOR in these cases increased from 56% to 67% after further resection. No deficits were observed preoperatively in 33 cases (78.5%), and worsening neurological deficits were noted immediately after surgery in 11 cases (26.2%). At 1 month after surgery, however, worsened neurological function was observed in only 1 case (2.3%).

Conclusions

There was a learning curve with regard to patient positioning and setup times, although it did not adversely affect patient outcomes. Awake craniotomy can be safely performed in a high-field (1.5 T) iMRI suite to maximize tumor resection in eloquent brain areas with an acceptable morbidity profile at 1 month.