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T. Forcht Dagi

✓ The Keith needle mounted in a suitable handle forms an exquisitely sharp disposable blade of which the haft can easily be shaped for precise microdissection. When reversed, the eye of the needle is suitable for blunt dissection.

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George M. Kleinman, T. Forcht Dagi and Charles E. Poletti

✓ Villonodular synovitis is believed to be an inflammatory, proliferative reaction of synovial tissues. The case of a 65-year-old woman with a cervical epidural mass is presented in which histological examination showed that the lesion was villonodular synovitis, an extremely rare occurrence. Because of its cellularity and occasional multinucleated giant cells, villonodular synovitis may be confused with metastatic malignancies or giant-cell tumor of bone.

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Charles J. Prestigiacomo and T. Forcht Dagi

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Mark C. Preul, Charles Prestigiacomo, T. Forcht Dagi and Javier Fandino

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Tandem lumbar and cervical spinal stenosis

Natural history, prognostic indices, and results after surgical decompression

T. Forcht Dagi, Mary Ann Tarkington and James J. Leech

✓ Spondylotic degeneration can give rise to concurrent stenosis of the lumbar and cervical portions of the spinal canal in tandem. Symptomatic tandem spinal stenosis (TSS) is characterized by the triad of intermittent neurogenic claudication, progressive gait disturbance, and findings of mixed myelopathy and polyradiculopathy in both the upper and lower extremities. Nineteen patients with clinically symptomatic and myelographically proven disease were studied retrospectively. Surgical intervention was directed at decompression of the stenotic lesions in both the cervical and lumbar regions. The most symptomatic level was usually treated first. After a mean follow-up period of 22 months, an excellent outcome was obtained in five patients (26%), four improved (21%), five deteriorated despite initial improvement (26%), and one was unchanged. Three patients could not be traced for follow-up review, and there was one postoperative death. Postoperative improvement correlated inversely with symptom duration. Sphincter disturbance, radiculopathy, myelography, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and electrophysiological data were not prognostically significant. The presentation of TSS mimics amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other forms of motor-neuron disease. In contrast to these conditions, however, TSS is amenable to treatment. Operative sequence and technique could not be related to outcome. Functional recovery in TSS depends on early diagnosis and timely surgical intervention.

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Mark C. Preul, T. Forcht Dagi, Charles J. Prestigiacomo and Chris A. Sloffer

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Daniel D. Cavalcanti, William Feindel, James T. Goodrich, T. Forcht Dagi, Charles J. Prestigiacomo and Mark C. Preul

In the 15th century, brain illustration began to change from a schematic system that involved scant objective rendering of the brain, to accurate depictions based on anatomical dissections that demanded significant artistic talent. Notable examples of this innovation are the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (1498–1504), Andreas Vesalius' association with the bottega of Titian to produce the drawings of Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica (1543), and Christopher Wren's illustrations for Thomas Willis' Cerebri Anatome (1664). These works appeared during the Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment, when advances in brain imaging, or really brain rendering, reflected not only the abilities and dedications of the artists, but also the influences of important cultural and scientific factors. Anatomy and human dissection became popular social phenomena as well as scholarly pursuits, linked with the world of the fine arts. The working philosophy of these artists involved active participation in both anatomical study and illustration, and the belief that their discoveries of the natural world could best be communicated by rendering them in objective form (that is, with realistic perspective). From their studies emerged the beginning of contemporary brain imaging. In this article, the authors examine how the brain began to be imaged in realism within a cultural and scientific milieu that witnessed the emergence of anatomical dissection, the geometry of linear perspective, and the closer confluence of art and science.

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Mark C. Preul, William Feindel, T. Forcht Dagi, Joseph Stratford and Gilles Bertrand

✓ The contributions of Arthur Elvidge (1899–1985), Wilder Penfield's first neurosurgical recruit, to the development of neurosurgery have been relatively neglected, although his work in brain tumors extended the previous work of Percival Bailey and Harvey Cushing. He published rigorous correlations of clinical and histological information and formulated a revised, modern nosology for neuroepithelial tumors, including a modern histological definition of glioblastoma multiforme. Well ahead of his time, he believed that glioblastoma was not strictly localized and was the first to comment that the tumor frequently showed “satellitosis.” He was the first neurosurgeon in North America to use angiography as a radiographic aid in the diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease. Having studied with Egas Moniz, he was the first to detail the use of angiographic examinations specifically for demonstrating cerebrovascular disorders, believing that it would make possible routine surgery of the intracranial blood vessels. Seeking to visualize all phases of angiography, he was the impetus behind the design of one of the first semi-automatic film changers. Elvidge and Egas Moniz made the first observations on thrombosis of the carotid vessels independently of each other. Elvidge elucidated the significance of embolic stroke and commented on the ischemic sequelae of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Besides his contributions to neurosurgery, he codiscovered the mode of transmission of poliomyelitis. Elvidge's soft-spoken manner, his dry wit and candor, mastery of the understatement, love of exotic travel, and consummate dedication to neurosurgery made him a favorite of patients, neurosurgery residents, nurses, and other hospital staff. His accomplishments and example as teacher and physician have become part of neurosurgery's growing legacy.

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Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo, Saul Almeida da Silva, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, Evgenii Belykh, Alessandro Carotenuto, Leandro Borba Moreira, Robert F. Spetzler, T. Forcht Dagi and Mark C. Preul

Fedor Krause, the father of German neurosurgery, traveled to Latin America twice in the final years of his career (in 1920 and 1922). The associations and motivations for his travels to South America and his work there have not been well chronicled. In this paper, based on a review of historical official documents and publications, the authors describe Krause’s activities in South America (focusing on Brazil) within the context of the Germanism doctrine and, most importantly, the professional enjoyment Krause reaped from his trips as well as his lasting influence on neurosurgery in South America. Fedor Krause’s visits to Brazil occurred soon after World War I, when Germany sought to reestablish economic, political, cultural, and scientific power and influence. Science, particularly medicine, had been chosen as a field capable of meeting these needs. The advanced German system of academic organization and instruction, which included connections and collaborations with industry, was an optimal means to reestablish the economic viability of not only Germany but also Brazil. Krause, as a de facto ambassador, helped rebuild the German image and reconstruct diplomatic relations between Germany and Brazil. Krause’s interactions during his visits helped put Brazilian neurosurgery on a firm foundation, and he left an indelible legacy of advancing professionalism and specialization in neurosurgery in Brazil.