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Takahiro Ota, Kensuke Kawai, Kyousuke Kamada, Taichi Kin and Nobuhito Saito

Object

Intraoperative monitoring of visual evoked potentials (VEPs) has been regarded as having limited significance for the preservation of visual function during neurosurgical procedures, mainly due to its poor spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. The authors evaluated the usefulness of cortically recorded VEPs, instead of the usual scalp VEPs, as intraoperative monitoring focusing on the posterior visual pathway.

Methods

In 17 consecutive patients who underwent microsurgical procedures for lesions near the posterior visual pathway, cortical responses were recorded using 1-Hz flashing light-emitting diodes and subdural strip electrodes after induction of general anesthesia with sevoflurane or propofol. The detectability and waveform of the initial response, stability, and changes during microsurgical manipulations were analyzed in association with the position of electrodes and postoperative changes in visual function.

Results

Initial VEPs were detected in 82% of all patients. The VEPs were detected in 94% of patients without total hemianopia in whom electrodes were placed sufficiently near the occipital pole; in these cases the recordings were not significantly affected by anesthesia. The detectability rates of the negative peak before 100 msec (N1), positive peak ~ 100 msec (P100), and negative peak after 100 msec (N2) were 36, 50, and 100%, respectively. The mean latencies and amplitudes of N1, P100, and N2 were 90.0 ± 15.9 msec and 61.0 ± 64.0 μV, 103.9 ± 13.5 msec and 34.3 ± 38.6 μV, and 125.7 ± 12.2 msec and 44.9 ± 48.9 μV, respectively, showing great variability. In 11 patients, the initial waveforms of VEP remained stable during microsurgical procedures, and the visual status did not change postoperatively, while it disappeared in 2 patients who presented with postoperative hemianopia.

Conclusions

Direct recording from the visual cortices under general anesthesia achieved satisfactory detectability of the visual response to a light-emitting diode flashing light. Although the initial waveforms varied greatly among patients, they were stable during microsurgical procedures, and the changes were consistent with postoperative visual function. Intraoperative cortical VEP monitoring is a potentially useful procedure to monitor the functional integrity of the posterior visual pathway.

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Masahiro Shin, Kenji Kondo, Shunya Hanakita, Hirotaka Hasegawa, Masanori Yoshino, Yu Teranishi, Taichi Kin and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECTIVE

Reports about endoscopic endonasal surgery for skull base tumors involving the lateral part of petrous apex remain scarce. The authors present their experience with the endoscopic transsphenoidal anterior petrosal (ETAP) approach through the retrocarotid space for tumors involving the internal auditory canal, jugular fossa, and cavernous sinus.

METHODS

The authors performed the ETAP approach in 10 patients with 11 tumors (bilateral in 1 patient) that extensively occupied the lateral part of petrous apex, e.g., the internal auditory canal and jugular fossa. Eight patients presented with diplopia (unilateral abducens nerve palsy), 3 with tinnitus, and 1 with unilateral hearing loss with facial palsy. After wide anterior sphenoidotomy, the sellar floor, clival recess, and carotid prominence were verified. Tumors were approached via an anteromedial petrosectomy through the retrocarotid triangular space, defined by the cavernous and vertical segments of the internal carotid artery (ICA), the clivus, and the petrooccipital fissure. The surgical window was easily enlarged by drilling the petrous bone along the petrooccipital fissure. After exposure of the tumor and ICA, dissection and resection of the tumor were mainly performed under direct visualization with 30° and 70° endoscopes.

RESULTS

Gross-total resection was achieved in 8 patients (9 tumors). In a patient with invasive meningioma, the tumor was strongly adherent to the ICA, necessitating partial resection. Postoperatively, all 8 patients who had presented with abducens nerve palsy preoperatively showed improvement within 6 months. In the patient presenting with hearing loss and facial palsy, the facial palsy completely resolved within 3 months, but hearing loss remained. Regarding complications, 3 patients showed mild and transient abducens nerve palsy resolving within 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Postoperative CSF rhinorrhea requiring surgical repair was observed in 1 patient. No patient exhibited hearing deterioration, facial palsy, or symptoms of lower cranial nerve palsy after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The ETAP approach can offer a simple, less invasive option for invasive skull base tumors involving petrous regions, including the internal auditory canal, jugular fossa, and cavernous sinus. The ETAP approach can reach more extensive areas in the extradural regions around the petrous bone. The authors' results indicate that the transsphenoidal retrocarotid route is sufficient to approach the petrosal areas in select cases. Further expansion of the surgical field is not always necessary. However, experience with intradural lesions remains limited, and the extent of tumor resection largely depends on tumor characteristics. Application of the ETAP approach should thus be carefully determined in each patient, taking into consideration the size of the retrocarotid window and tumor characteristics.

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Masahiro Shin, Hirotaka Hasegawa, Satoru Miyawaki, Akinobu Kakigi, Tsuguto Takizawa, Kenji Kondo, Taketo Shiode, Taichi Kin and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECTIVE

The posterior petrosal approach is an established surgical method offering wide access to skull base lesions through mastoid air cells. The authors describe their experience with the endoscopic transmastoid “posterior petrosal” approach (EPPAP) for skull base tumors involving the internal auditory canal (IAC), jugular foramen, and hypoglossal canal.

METHODS

The EPPAP was performed for 7 tumors (3 chordomas, 2 chondrosarcomas, 1 schwannoma, and 1 solitary fibrous tumor). All surgical procedures were performed under endoscopic visualization with mastoidectomy. The compact bone of the mastoid air cells and posterior surface of the petrous bone are carefully removed behind the semicircular canals. When removal of cancellous bone is extended superomedially through the infralabyrinthine space, the surgeon can expose the IAC and petrous portion of the internal carotid artery to reach the petrous apex (infralabyrinthine route). When removal of cancellous bone is extended inferomedially along the sigmoid sinus, the surgeon can safely reach the jugular foramen (transjugular route). Drilling of the inferior surface of petrous bone is extended further inferoposteriorly behind the jugular bulb to approach the hypoglossal canal and parapharyngeal space through the lateral aspect of the occipital condyle (infrajugular route).

RESULTS

Of the 7 tumors, gross-total resection was achieved in 4 (57.1%), subtotal resection (> 95% removal) in 2 (28.6%), and partial resection (90% removal) in 1 (14.2%). Postoperatively, 2 of 3 patients with exudative otitis media showed improvement of hearing deterioration, as did 2 patients with tinnitus. Hypoglossal nerve palsy and swallowing difficulty were improved after surgery in 2 patients and 1 patient, respectively. In 1 patient with severe cranial nerve deficits before surgery, symptoms did not show any improvement.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors present their preliminary experience with EPPAP for skull base tumors in the petrous part of the temporal bone and the lateral part of the occipital condyle involving the cranial nerves and internal carotid arteries. The microscope showed a higher-quality image and illumination in the low-power field. However, the endoscope could offer wider visualization of the surgical field and contribute to minimizing the size of the surgical pathways, necessity of brain retraction, and eventually the invasiveness of surgery. Thus, the EPPAP may be safe and effective for skull base tumors in the petrous region, achieving balance between the radicality and invasiveness of the skull base surgery.

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Masahiro Shin, Kenji Kondo, Shunya Hanakita, Keigo Suzukawa, Taichi Kin, Masaaki Shojima, Daichi Nakagawa and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECT

In recent years, application of endoscopic transnasal surgery (ETS) has been expanded to orbital lesions, and preliminary results have started to be published for medially located soft mass lesions. However, reports on experience with endoscopic intraorbital surgery aimed at resection of invasive skull base tumors remains quite limited. This report presents the authors’ experience with ETS for locally aggressive tumors involving the orbit.

METHODS

ETS was performed for 15 cases of aggressive tumors involving the orbit: 5 meningiomas (meningothelial, n = 3; atypical, n = 1; anaplastic, n = 1), 4 chordomas, 2 chondrosarcomas, and 4 others (metastasis from systemic myxofibrosarcoma, schwannoma, inverted papilloma, and acinic cell carcinoma, n = 1 each). Among these, 9 tumors were located outside the periorbita and 6 inside the periorbita. In 6 intraperiosteal tumors, 5 were intraconal lesions, of which 3 arose in the muscle cone (anaplastic meningioma, optic sheath meningioma, and metastatic myxofibrosarcoma), and 2 meningothelial meningioma had invaded from the sphenoid ridge or the cavernous sinus into the muscle cone through the optic canal and the superior orbital fissure. A case of schwannoma originated around the cavernous sinus and pterygopalatine fossa and extended extraconally into the periorbita. Intraoperatively, ethmoid air cells and the lamina papyracea were removed, and extraperiosteal tumors were safely approached. For intraperiosteal tumors, the periorbita was widely opened, and the tumors were approached through the surgical window between the rectus and oblique muscles.

RESULTS

Gross-total resection was achieved for 12 of the 15 tumors, including 2 intraconal lesions. After surgery, exophthalmos resolved in all 8 patients with this symptom, and diplopia resolved in 5 of 6 patients. Improvement of visual symptoms was reported by 4 of 5 patients with loss of visual acuity or constriction of the visual field. Postoperatively, 1 patient showed mild, transient worsening of existing facial dysesthesia, and another showed transient ptosis and mild hypesthesia of the forehead on the affected side. All those symptoms resolved within 3 months. No patients showed enophthalmos, worsening of diplopia or visual function, or impairment of olfaction after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

ETS appears acceptable as a less-invasive alternative for treating aggressive tumors involving the orbit. For extraperiosteal tumors, gross-total removal can generally be achieved without neurological complications. For intraperiosteal tumors, surgical indications should be carefully discussed, considering the relationship between the tumor and normal anatomy. Wide opening of the periorbital window is advocated to create a sufficient surgical pathway between the extraocular muscles, allowing a balance between functional preservation and successful tumor resection.

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Keisuke Takai, Taichi Kin, Hiroshi Oyama, Masaaki Shojima and Nobuhito Saito

Object

There have been significant advances in understanding the angioarchitecture of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). However, the major intradural retrograde venous drainage system has not been investigated in detail, including the most proximal sites of intradural radiculomedullary veins as they connect to the dura mater, which are the final targets of interruption in both microsurgical and endovascular treatments.

Methods

Between April 1984 and March 2011, 27 patients with 28 AVFs were treated for spinal dural AVFs at the authors' university hospital. The authors assessed vertebral levels of feeding arteries and dural AVFs by using conventional digital subtraction angiography. They also assessed 3D locations of the most proximal sites of intradural radiculomedullary veins and the 3D positional relationship between the major intradural retrograde venous drainage system and intradural neural structures, including the spinal cord, spinal nerves, and the artery of Adamkiewicz, by using operative video recordings plus 3D rotational angiography and/or 3D computer graphics. In addition, they statistically assessed the clinical results of 27 cases. Of these lesions, 23 were treated with open microsurgery and the rest were treated with endovascular methods.

Results

Feeding arteries consisted of T2–10 intercostal arteries with 19 lesions, T-12 subcostal arteries with 3 lesions, and L1–3 lumbar arteries with 6 lesions. The 3D locations of the targets of interruption (the most proximal sites of intradural radiculomedullary veins as they connect to the dura mater) were identified at the dorsolateral portion of the dura mater adjacent to dorsal roots in all 19 thoracic lesions, whereas they were identified at the ventrolateral portion of the dura mater adjacent to ventral roots in 7 (78%) of 9 cases of conus medullaris/lumbar lesions (p < 0.001). The major intradural retrograde venous drainage system was located dorsal to the spinal cord in all 19 thoracic lesions, whereas it was located ventral to the spinal cord in 4 (44%) of 9 cases of conus/lumbar lesions (p = 0.006). In 3 (11%) of 27 cases, AVFs had a common origin of the artery of Adamkiewicz. In 2 lumbar lesions, the artery of Adamkiewicz ascended very close to the vein because of its ventral location. Although all lesions were successfully obliterated without major complications and both gait and micturition status significantly improved (p = 0.005 and p = 0.015, respectively), conus/lumbar lesions needed careful differential diagnosis from ventral intradural perimedullary AVFs, because the ventral location of these lesions contradicted the Spetzler classification system.

Conclusions

The angioarchitecture of spinal dural AVFs in the thoracic region is strikingly different from that in conus/lumbar regions with regard to the intradural retrograde venous drainage system. One should keep in mind that spinal dural AVFs are not always dorsal types, especially in conus/lumbar regions.

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Keisuke Takai, Taichi Kin, Hiroshi Oyama, Akira Iijima, Masaaki Shojima, Hajime Nishido and Nobuhito Saito

Object

Digital subtraction (DS) angiography is the gold standard for diagnosing spinal vascular malformations. Recently, multidetectorrow spiral CT and contrast-enhanced MR angiography have been introduced as screening examinations before DS angiography. These methods, however, do not always determine the accurate location of an arteriovenous shunt because the resulting images lack information about the spinal cord or the dura mater.

Methods

Between April 2009 and December 2010, 13 patients underwent imaging evaluations for spinal vascular malformations at the authors' university hospital. This group included 8 patients with spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), 3 with perimedullary AVFs, and 2 with intramedullary arteriovenous malformations. Using data from these patients, the authors attempted to develop 3D computer graphics (CG) based upon the fusion of 3D rotational angiography and postmyelographic CT. They subsequently verified the accuracy of this imaging method. Ten of these 13 patients underwent surgical treatment for their lesions (11 AVFs), and for these 11 lesions the authors compared the diagnoses obtained using 3D CG with those obtained using conventional DS angiography.

Results

In all 13 cases, 3D CG images of the spinal lesions were successfully developed using the patients' actual data. Four (36%) of 11 AVFs were correctly identified using DS angiography, whereas 10 (91%) were correctly identified using 3D CG. Results from 3D CG of spinal AVFs corresponded well with operative findings, and 3D CG was significantly better than conventional DS angiography at predicting AVF location (p = 0.024, Fisher exact test).

Conclusions

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case series in which 3D CG of spinal vascular malformations was used to provide simultaneous, stereoscopic visualization of the spinal vascular system, spinal cord, dura mater, and bone. The 3D CG method provides precise visual images for the diagnosis and treatment of these lesions.

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Hirotaka Hasegawa, Masahiro Shin, Kenji Kondo, Shunya Hanakita, Akitake Mukasa, Taichi Kin and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECTIVE

Skull base chondrosarcoma is one of the most intractable tumors because of its aggressive biological behavior and involvement of the internal carotid artery and cranial nerves (CNs). One of the most accepted treatment strategies for skull base chondrosarcoma has been surgical removal of the tumor in conjunction with proactive extensive radiation therapy (RT) to the original tumor bed. However, the optimal strategy has not been determined. The goal of this study was to evaluate the early results of endoscopic transnasal surgery (ETS).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 19 consecutive patients who underwent ETS at their institution since 2010. Adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) was performed only for the small residual tumors that were not resected to avoid critical neurological complications. Histological confirmation and evaluation of the MIB-1 index was performed in all cases. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to determine the actuarial rate of tumor-free survival.

RESULTS

The median tumor volume and maximal diameter were 14.5 cm3 (range 1.4–88.4 cm3) and 3.8 cm (range 1.5–6.7 cm), respectively. Nine patients (47%) had intradural extension of the tumor. Gross-total resection was achieved in 15 (78.9%) of the 19 patients, without any disabling complications. In 4 patients, the surgery resulted in subtotal (n = 2, 11%) or partial (n = 2, 11%) resection because the tumors involved critical structures, including the basilar artery or the lower CNs. These 4 patients were additionally treated with SRS. The median follow-up duration was 47, 28, and 27 months after the diagnosis, ETS, and SRS, respectively. In 1 patient with an anterior skull base chondrosarcoma, the tumor relapsed in the optic canal 1 year later and was treated with a second ETS. Favorable tumor control was achieved in all other patients. The actuarial tumor control rate was 93% at 5 years. At the final follow-up, all patients were alive and able to perform independent activities of daily living without continuous neurological sequelae.

CONCLUSIONS

These preliminary results suggest that ETS can achieve sufficient radical tumor removal, resulting in comparative resection rates with fewer neurological complications to those in previous reports. Although the follow-up periods of these cases were relatively short, elective SRS to the small tumor remnant may be rational, achieving successful tumor control in some cases, instead of using proactive extensive RT. Thus, the addition of RT should be discussed with each patient, after due consideration of histological grading and biological behavior. To determine the efficacy of this strategy, a larger case series with a longer follow-up period is essential. However, this strategy may be able to establish evidence in the management of skull base chondrosarcoma, providing less-invasive and effective options as an initial step of treatment.

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Masanori Yoshino, Taichi Kin, Akihiro Ito, Toki Saito, Daichi Nakagawa, Kenji Ino, Kyousuke Kamada, Harushi Mori, Akira Kunimatsu, Hirofumi Nakatomi, Hiroshi Oyama and Nobuhito Saito

OBJECT

The authors assessed whether the combined use of diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) and contrast-enhanced (CE) fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (FIESTA) could improve the accuracy of predicting the courses of the facial and cochlear nerves before surgery.

METHODS

The population was composed of 22 patients with vestibular schwannoma in whom both the facial and cochlear nerves could be identified during surgery. According to DTT, depicted fibers running from the internal auditory canal to the brainstem were judged to represent the facial or vestibulocochlear nerve. With regard to imaging, the authors investigated multifused CE-FIESTA scans, in which all 3D vessel models were shown simultaneously, from various angles. The low-intensity areas running along the tumor from brainstem to the internal auditory canal were judged to represent the facial or vestibulocochlear nerve.

RESULTS

For all 22 patients, the rate of fibers depicted by DTT coinciding with the facial nerve was 13.6% (3/22), and that of fibers depicted by DTT coinciding with the cochlear nerve was 63.6% (14/22). The rate of candidates for nerves predicted by multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with the facial nerve was 59.1% (13/22), and that of candidates for nerves predicted by multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with the cochlear nerve was 4.5% (1/22). The rate of candidates for nerves predicted by combined DTT and multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with the facial nerve was 63.6% (14/22), and that of candidates for nerves predicted by combined DTT and multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with the cochlear nerve was 63.6% (14/22). The rate of candidates predicted by DTT coinciding with both facial and cochlear nerves was 0.0% (0/22), that of candidates predicted by multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with both facial and cochlear nerves was 4.5% (1/22), and that of candidates predicted by combined DTT and multifused CE-FIESTA coinciding with both the facial and cochlear nerves was 45.5% (10/22).

CONCLUSIONS

By using a combination of DTT and multifused CE-FIESTA, the authors were able to increase the number of vestibular schwannoma patients for whom predicted results corresponded with the courses of both the facial and cochlear nerves, a result that has been considered difficult to achieve by use of a single modality only. Although the 3D image including these prediction results helped with comprehension of the 3D operative anatomy, the reliability of prediction remains to be established.

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Masanori Yoshino, Hirofumi Nakatomi, Taichi Kin, Toki Saito, Naoyuki Shono, Seiji Nomura, Daichi Nakagawa, Shunsaku Takayanagi, Hideaki Imai, Hiroshi Oyama and Nobuhito Saito

Successful resection of hemangioblastoma depends on preoperative assessment of the precise locations of feeding arteries and draining veins. Simultaneous 3D visualization of feeding arteries, draining veins, and surrounding structures is needed. The present study evaluated the usefulness of high-resolution 3D multifusion medical imaging (hr-3DMMI) for preoperative planning of hemangioblastoma. The hr-3DMMI combined MRI, MR angiography, thin-slice CT, and 3D rotated angiography. Surface rendering was mainly used for the creation of hr-3DMMI using multiple thresholds to create 3D models, and processing took approximately 3–5 hours. This hr-3DMMI technique was used in 5 patients for preoperative planning and the imaging findings were compared with the operative findings. Hr-3DMMI could simulate the whole 3D tumor as a unique sphere and show the precise penetration points of both feeding arteries and draining veins with the same spatial relationships as the original tumor. All feeding arteries and draining veins were found intraoperatively at the same position as estimated preoperatively, and were occluded as planned preoperatively. This hr-3DMMI technique could demonstrate the precise locations of feeding arteries and draining veins preoperatively and estimate the appropriate route for resection of the tumor. Hr-3DMMI is expected to be a very useful support tool for surgery of hemangioblastoma.

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Taichi Kin, Hirofumi Nakatomi, Masaaki Shojima, Minoru Tanaka, Kenji Ino, Harushi Mori, Akira Kunimatsu, Hiroshi Oyama and Nobuhito Saito

Object

In this study, the authors used preoperative simulation employing 3D computer graphics (interactive computer graphics) to fuse all imaging data for brainstem cavernous malformations. The authors evaluated whether interactive computer graphics or 2D imaging correlated better with the actual operative field, particularly in identifying a developmental venous anomaly (DVA).

Methods

The study population consisted of 10 patients scheduled for surgical treatment of brainstem cavernous malformations. Data from preoperative imaging (MRI, CT, and 3D rotational angiography) were automatically fused using a normalized mutual information method, and then reconstructed by a hybrid method combining surface rendering and volume rendering methods. With surface rendering, multimodality and multithreshold techniques for 1 tissue were applied. The completed interactive computer graphics were used for simulation of surgical approaches and assumed surgical fields. Preoperative diagnostic rates for a DVA associated with brainstem cavernous malformation were compared between conventional 2D imaging and interactive computer graphics employing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

Results

The time required for reconstruction of 3D images was 3–6 hours for interactive computer graphics. Observation in interactive mode required approximately 15 minutes. Detailed anatomical information for operative procedures, from the craniotomy to microsurgical operations, could be visualized and simulated three-dimensionally as 1 computer graphic using interactive computer graphics. Virtual surgical views were consistent with actual operative views. This technique was very useful for examining various surgical approaches. Mean (± SEM) area under the ROC curve for rate of DVA diagnosis was significantly better for interactive computer graphics (1.000 ± 0.000) than for 2D imaging (0.766 ± 0.091; p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test).

Conclusions

The authors report a new method for automatic registration of preoperative imaging data from CT, MRI, and 3D rotational angiography for reconstruction into 1 computer graphic. The diagnostic rate of DVA associated with brainstem cavernous malformation was significantly better using interactive computer graphics than with 2D images. Interactive computer graphics was also useful in helping to plan the surgical access corridor.