Surgical lysis of the thickened arachnoid membrane is the first choice of treatment in spinal arachnoid pathologies that cause flow disturbances or blockage of CSF. However, it is important to consider that while extensive lysis of the arachnoid may temporarily provide a wide pathway for CSF, an extensive lytic procedure may later cause secondary adhesion. Thus, it is ideal for the proper extent of the arachnoid lysis to be determined after careful analysis of regional CSF flow. The authors report their limited experience with intraoperative visualization of CSF flow in spinal arachnoid pathologies. Two patients with a dorsal arachnoid web (DAW) with cervical syringomyelia and 1 patient with focal adhesive arachnoiditis causing edema of the spinal cord were surgically treated at the authors' institution between 2007 and 2013. In all cases, the presence of a DAW or focal adhesive arachnoiditis was suspected from the findings on MRI, namely 1) an indentation on the upper thoracic spinal cord and 2) syringomyelia and/or edema of the spinal cord above the indentation. Exploratory surgery disclosed a transversely thickened arachnoid septum on the dorsal side of the indented cord. To prove blockage of the CSF by the septum and to decide on the extent of arachnoid lysis, regional CSF flow around the arachnoid septum was visualized by subarachnoid injection of gentian violet solution close to the web. Injected dye stagnated just close to the arachnoid septum in all cases, and these findings documented CSF blockage by the septum. In 2 cases, a 2-minute observation showed that the injected dye stayed close to the web without diffusion. The authors performed not only resection of the web itself but also lysis of the thickened arachnoid on both sides of the spinal cord to make a CSF pathway on the ventral side. In the third case, the dye stagnated close to the web at first but then diffused through the nerve root to the ventral CSF space. The lysis procedure was completed after exclusive removal of the dorsal web. Postoperative MR images confirmed reduction of the syrinx and/or improvement of the edema in all cases, suggesting that the extent of arachnoid lysis was optimal in each case. No adverse effect was observed after subarachnoid injection of gentian violet. The authors believe that their technique of visualizing regional CSF flow will be helpful to decide the optimal extent of lysis in some local arachnoid pathologies.
Satoshi Yamaguchi, Kazutoshi Hida, Masaaki Takeda, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Mizuki Morishige, Naoto Yamada and Kaoru Kurisu
Manish Kolakshyapati, Fusao Ikawa, Masaru Abiko, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Yasuyuki Kinoshita, Masaaki Takeda, Kaoru Kurisu and The Alumni Association Group of the Department of Neurosurgery at Hiroshima University
Elderly patients are particularly at risk for severe morbidity following surgery. Among the various risk factors, age and skull base location of meningioma are known to be poor prognostic factors in meningioma surgery. The authors conducted this study to analyze significant preoperative risk factors in elderly patients with skull base meningioma.
A total of 265 elderly patients (≥ 65 years old) with meningioma were surgically treated at the authors’ institute and affiliated hospitals between 2000 and 2016, and these cases were reviewed. Among them, 57 patients with skull base meningioma were evaluated. Among the various risk factors, the authors analyzed age, sex, Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, and tumor size, location, and pathology. Body mass index (BMI) and serum albumin were investigated as the frailty factors. The authors also reviewed 11 surgical studies of elderly patients ≥ 60 years old with meningioma.
The mean age was 72.4 ± 5.7 years, and 42 patients were female (73.6%). The mean size of meningioma was 36.6 ± 14.8 mm at the maximum diameter, and the mean follow-up period was 31.1 ± 31.5 months. (The continuous variables are expressed as the mean ± SD.) Histopathological investigation revealed a higher incidence (71.9%) of WHO Grade I. The rates of deterioration after surgery, at 3 months, and at 1 year were 33.3%, 37.3%, and 39.1%, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed location, preoperative KPS score, BMI level 2, and serum albumin level (p = 0.010, 0.017, 0.0012, and 0.0019, respectively) to be poor prognostic factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that location (p = 0.038) and BMI (p = 0.035) were risk factors for KPS score deterioration immediately after surgery. According to the 11 papers reviewed, the median rate (25th–75th percentile) of skull base–related location was 43.5% (39.6–47.75); for asymptomatic status the mean was 24%; and for mortality at 3 months and 1 year the medians were 6.3% (0.7–7.1) and 8% (4.8–9.4), respectively.
Careful preoperative assessment based on the frailty concept was essential for better outcome in elderly patients with skull base meningioma. The BMI is appropriate as a quantitative factor for measure of frailty, particularly in elderly individuals with skull base meningioma. Further prospective randomized controlled trials are necessary to validate frailty as a preoperative risk factor. Not only patient selection but also surgical timing was an important factor.
Kiyoharu Shimizu, Masaaki Takeda, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Shunichi Tanaka, Yushi Nagano, Hitoshi Yamahata, Kaoru Kurisu and Satoshi Yamaguchi
Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) commonly present with symptoms of myelopathy due to venous congestion in the spinal cord; asymptomatic SDAVFs are rarely encountered. To elucidate the clinical characteristics of asymptomatic SDAVFs, the authors present 5 new cases of asymptomatic SDAVF and report the results of their systematical review of the associated literature.
Five databases were systematically searched for all relevant English-language articles on SDAVFs published from 1990 to 2018. The clinical features and imaging findings of asymptomatic SDAVFs were collected and compared with those of symptomatic SDAVFs.
Twenty cases, including the 5 cases from the authors’ experience, were found. Asymptomatic SDAVFs were more prevalent in the cervical region (35.0%); cervical lesions account for only 2% of all symptomatic SDAVFs. The affected perimedullary veins tended to drain more cranially (50.0%) than caudally (10.0%). Four cases of asymptomatic SDAVF became symptomatic, 1 case spontaneously disappeared, and the remaining 15 cases were unchanged or surgically treated.
The higher prevalence of asymptomatic SDAVFs in the cervical spine might be a distinct feature of asymptomatic SDAVFs. Given that venous congestion is the pathophysiology of a symptomatic SDAVF, abundant collateral venous pathways and unique flow dynamics of the CSF in the cervical spine might prevent asymptomatic cervical SDAVFs from becoming symptomatic. In cases in which venous congestion is avoidable, not all asymptomatic SDAVFs will become symptomatic.
Takeshi Funaki, Jun C. Takahashi, Yasushi Takagi, Takayuki Kikuchi, Kazumichi Yoshida, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Hiroharu Kataoka, Tomohisa Okada, Yasutaka Fushimi and Susumu Miyamoto
Unstable moyamoya disease, reasonably defined as cases exhibiting either rapid disease progression or repeated ischemic stroke, represents a challenge in the treatment of moyamoya disease. Despite its overall efficacy, direct bypass for such unstable disease remains controversial in terms of safety. This study aims to reveal factors associated with unstable disease and to assess its impact on postoperative silent or symptomatic ischemic lesions.
This retrospective cohort study included both pediatric and adult patients with moyamoya disease who had undergone 140 consecutive direct bypass procedures at Kyoto University Hospital. “Unstable moyamoya disease” was defined as either the rapid progression of a steno-occlusive lesion or repeat ischemic stroke, either occurring within 6 months of surgery. The extent of progression was determined through a comparison of the findings between 2 different MR angiography sessions performed before surgery. The clinical variables of the stable and unstable disease groups were compared, and the association between unstable disease and postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)–detected lesion was assessed through univariate and multivariate analyses with generalized estimating equations.
Of 134 direct bypass procedures performed after patients had undergone at least 2 sessions of MR angiography, 24 (17.9%) were classified as cases of unstable disease. Age younger than 3 years (p = 0.029), underlying disease causing moyamoya syndrome (p = 0.049), and radiographic evidence of infarction (p = 0.030) were identified as factors associated with unstable disease. Postoperative DWI-defined lesions were detected after 13 of 140 procedures (9.3%), although only 4 lesions (2.9%) could be classified as a permanent complication. The incidence of postoperative DWI-detected lesions in the unstable group was notable at 33.3% (8 of 24). Univariate analysis revealed that unstable disease (p < 0.001), underlying disease (p = 0.028), and recent stroke (p = 0.012) were factors associated with DWI-detected lesions. Unstable disease remained statistically significant after adjustment for covariates in both the primary and sensitivity analyses (primary analysis: OR 6.62 [95% CI 1.79–24.5]; sensitivity analysis: OR 5.36 [95% CI 1.47–19.6]).
Unstable moyamoya disease, more prevalent in younger patients and those with underlying disease, is a possible risk factor for perioperative ischemic complications. Recognition of unstable moyamoya disease may contribute to an improved surgical result through focused perioperative management based on appropriate surgical risk stratification.
Satoshi Yamaguchi, Masaaki Takeda, Toshiyuki Takahashi, Hitoshi Yamahata, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Tadaaki Niiro, Junya Hanakita, Kazutoshi Hida, Kazunori Arita and Kaoru Kurisu
Spinal meningioma and schwannoma are the most common spinal intradural extramedullary tumors, and the differentiation of these 2 tumors by CT and MRI has been a matter of debate. The purpose of this article is to present a case series of spinal meningiomas showing unique imaging features: a combination of a fan-shaped spinal cord and a streak in the tumor. The authors termed the former imaging feature “ginkgo leaf sign” and evaluated its diagnostic value.
The authors present 7 cases of spinal meningioma having the ginkgo leaf sign. Thirty spinal extramedullary tumors arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord were studied to evaluate the diagnostic value of the ginkgo leaf sign for spinal meningiomas. Among 30 cases, 12 tumors were spinal meningiomas and 18 tumors from the control group were all schwannomas.
Seven of the 12 spinal meningiomas were positive for the ginkgo leaf sign. The sign was not present in the control group tumors. The overall ability to use the ginkgo leaf sign to detect meningioma indicated a sensitivity of 58%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100%, and negative predictive value of 78%.
The ginkgo leaf sign is highly specific to spinal meningiomas arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord. In the present series, the ginkgo leaf sign was perfectly predictive for spinal meningioma.