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  • Author or Editor: Takayuki Hirano x
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Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Yasuko Kusaka, Takayuki Hirano, Tsutomu Saito, Reizo Shirane, Kazuyoshi Takayama and Takashi Yoshimoto

Object. Shock waves have not previously been used as a treatment modality for lesions in the brain and skull because of the lack of a suitable shock wave source and concerns about safety. Therefore, the authors have performed experiments aimed at developing both a new, compact shock wave generator with a holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser and a safe method for exposing the surface of the brain to these shock waves.

Methods. Twenty male Sprague—Dawley rats were used in this study. In 10 rats, a single shock wave was delivered directly to the brain, whereas the protective effect of inserting a 0.7-mm-thick expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) dural substitute between the dura mater and skull before applying the shock wave was investigated in the other 10 rats. Visualizations on shadowgraphy along with pressure measurements were obtained to confirm that the shock wave generator was capable of conveying waves in a limited volume without harmful effects to the target. The attenuation rates of shock waves administered through a 0.7-mm-thick ePTFE dural substitute and a surgical cottonoid were measured to determine which of these materials was suitable for avoiding propagation of the shock wave beyond the target.

Conclusions. Using the shock wave generator with the Ho:YAG laser, a localized shock wave (with a maximum overpressure of 50 bar) can be generated from a small device (external diameter 15 mm, weight 20 g). The placement of a 0.7-mm-thick ePTFE dural substitute over the dura mater reduces the overpressure of the shock wave by 96% and eliminates damage to surrounding tissue in the rat brain. These findings indicate possibilities for applying shock waves in various neurosurgical treatments such as cranioplasty, local drug delivery, embolysis, and pain management.

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Sumito Okuyama, Shinjitsu Nishimura, Yoshiharu Takahashi, Keiichi Kubota, Takayuki Hirano, Ken Kazama, Masato Tomii, Junko Matsuyama, Junichi Mizuno, Tadao Matsushima, Masataka Sato and Kazuo Watanabe


Hypoperfusion during carotid artery cross-clamping (CC) for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) may result in the major complication of perioperative stroke. Median nerve somatosensory evoked potential (MNSSEP) monitoring, which is an established method for the prediction of cerebral ischemia, has low sensitivity in detecting such hypoperfusion. In this study the authors sought to explore the limitations of MNSSEP monitoring compared to tibial nerve somatosensory evoked potential (TNSSEP) monitoring for the detection of CC-related hypoperfusion.


The authors retrospectively analyzed data from patients who underwent unilateral CEA with routine shunt use. All patients underwent preoperative magnetic resonance angiography and were monitored for intraoperative cerebral ischemia by using MNSSEP, TNSSEP, and carotid stump pressure during CC. First, the frequency of MNSSEP and TNSSEP changes during CC were analyzed. Subsequently, variables related to stump pressure were determined by using linear analysis and those related to each of the somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) changes were determined by using logistic regression analysis.


A total of 94 patients (mean age 74 years) were included in the study. TNSSEP identified a greater number of SSEP changes during CC than MNSSEP (20.2% vs 11.7%; p < 0.05). Linear regression analysis demonstrated that hypoplasia of the contralateral proximal segment of the anterior cerebral artery (A1 hypoplasia) (p < 0.01) and hypoplasia of the ipsilateral precommunicating segment of the posterior cerebral artery (P1 hypoplasia) (p = 0.02) independently and negatively correlated with stump pressure. Both contralateral A1 hypoplasia (OR 26.25, 95% CI 4.52–152.51) and ipsilateral P1 hypoplasia (OR 8.75, 95% CI 1.83–41.94) were independently related to the TNSSEP changes. However, only ipsilateral P1 hypoplasia (OR 8.76, 95% CI 1.61–47.67) was independently related to MNSSEP changes.


TNSSEP monitoring appears to be superior to MNSSEP in detecting CC-related hypoperfusion. Correlation with stump pressure and SSEP changes indicates that TNSSEP, and not MNSSEP monitoring, is a reliable indicator of cerebral ischemia in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery.

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Atsuhiro Nakagawa, Takayuki Hirano, Hidefumi Jokura, Hiroshi Uenohara, Tomohiro Ohki, Tokitada Hashimoto, Viren Menezes, Yasuhiko Sato, Yasuko Kusaka, Hideki Ohyama, Tsutomu Saito, Kazuyoshi Takayama, Reizo Shirane and Teiji Tominaga

Object. A pressure-driven continuous jet of water has been reported to be a feasible tool for neuroendoscopic dissection owing to its superiority at selective tissue dissection in the absence of thermal effects. With respect to a safe, accurate dissection, however, continuous water flow may not be suitable for intraventricular use. The authors performed experiments aimed at solving problems associated with continuous flow by using a pulsed holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser-induced liquid jet (LILJ). They present this candidate neuroendoscopic LILJ dissection system, having examined its mechanical characteristics and evaluated its controllability both in a tissue phantom and in a rabbit cadaveric ventricle wall.

Methods. The LILJ generator was incorporated into the tip of a No. 4 French catheter so that the LILJ could be delivered via a neuroendoscope. Briefly, the LILJ was generated by irradiating an internally supplied column of physiological saline with a pulsed Ho:YAG laser (pulse duration time 350 µsec; laser energy 250–700 mJ/pulse) within a No. 4 French catheter (internal diameter 1 mm) and ejecting it from a metal nozzle (internal diameter 100 µm). The Ho:YAG laser energy pulses were conveyed by an optical fiber (core diameter 400 µm) at 3 Hz, whereas physiological saline (4°C) was supplied at a rate of 40 ml/hour. The mechanical characteristics of the pulsed LILJ were investigated using high-speed photography and pressure measurements; thermal effects and controllability were analyzed using an artificial tissue model (10% gelatin of 1 mm thickness). Finally, the ventricle wall of a rabbit cadaver was dissected using the LILJ.

Jet pressure increased in accordance with laser energy from 0.1 to 2 bar; this translated into a penetration depth of 0.08 to 0.9 mm per shot in the ventricle wall of the rabbit cadaver. The gelatin phantom could be cut into the desired shape without significant thermal effects and in the intended manner, with a good surgical view.

Conclusions. The present results show that the pulsed LILJ has the potential to become a safe and reliable dissecting method for endoscopic procedures.