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Michael Y. Wang, Tetsuya Goto, Enrico Tessitore, and Anand Veeravagu

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Toshihiro Ogiwara, Tetsuya Goto, Alhusain Nagm, and Kazuhiro Hongo

Objective

The intelligent arm-support system, iArmS, which follows the surgeon’s arm and automatically fixes it at an adequate position, was developed as an operation support robot. iArmS was designed to support the surgeon’s forearm to prevent hand trembling and to alleviate fatigue during surgery with a microscope. In this study, the authors report on application of this robotic device to endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) and evaluate their initial experiences.

Methods

The study population consisted of 43 patients: 29 with pituitary adenoma, 3 with meningioma, 3 with Rathke’s cleft cyst, 2 with craniopharyngioma, 2 with chordoma, and 4 with other conditions. All patients underwent surgery via the endonasal transsphenoidal approach using a rigid endoscope. During the nasal and sphenoid phases, iArmS was used to support the surgeon’s nondominant arm, which held the endoscope. The details of the iArmS and clinical results were collected.

Results iArmS followed the surgeon’s arm movement automatically. It reduced the surgeon’s fatigue and stabilized the surgeon’s hand during ETSS. Shaking of the video image decreased due to the steadying of the surgeon’s scope-holding hand with iArmS. There were no complications related to use of the device.

Conclusions

The intelligent armrest, iArmS, seems to be safe and effective during ETSS. iArmS is helpful for improving the precision and safety not only for microscopic neurosurgery, but also for ETSS. Ongoing advances in robotics ensure the continued evolution of neurosurgery.

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Prajak Saesue, Tetsuyoshi Horiuchi, Tetsuya Goto, Yuichiro Tanaka, and Kazuhiro Hongo

Object. In vascular smooth-muscle cells, the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE) is involved in the regulation of [Na+]i, pHi through [H+], and cell volume. Recently, investigations have determined that this exchanger contributes to ischemia and reperfusion injury in coronary circulation. Nonetheless, there is limited information on this glycoprotein in cerebral circulation, especially microcirculation. Thus, the authors in the present study examined the role of NHE in the regulation of cerebral arteriolar tone and its related mechanisms in vitro.

Methods. The internal diameter of isolated pressurized intracerebral arterioles in rats was monitored with the aid of a microscope. To examine the basal activity of NHE two kinds of Na+/H+ exchange inhibitors (FR183998 and 5-[N,N-hexamethylene] amiloride) were administered in the arterioles. Furthermore the authors studied the effects of nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor (NG methyl-l-arginine), Na+/K+—adenosine triphosphatase (NKA) inhibitor (ouabain), and the Na+/Ca++ exchange inhibitor (SEA0400) on the vascular response induced by either of the Na+/H+ exchange inhibitors.

Both of the Na+/H+ exchange inhibitors constricted the arteriole. Subsequent application of NO synthase inhibitor further decreased the diameter of the arterioles. The Na+/H+ exchange inhibitor—induced constriction was completely abolished in the presence of ouabain and SEA0400.

Conclusions. The NHE is active in the basal condition and regulates cerebral arteriolar tone through NKA and the Na+/Ca++ exchanger. Endogenous NO is not related to the activity of NHE in basal conditions.

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Tetsuya Goto, Kazuhiro Hongo, Jun-ichi Koyama, and Shigeaki Kobayashi

Object. Robotic surgery can be used as a novel technology in ultramicrosurgery. A microscopic-manipulator (micromanipulator) system, which has a rigid neuroendoscope and three guiding manipulators, was developed in Japan for less invasive telerobotic neurosurgery. To apply this system in a clinical setting, it is necessary to confirm that it is capable of performing various surgical procedures including cutting, coagulation, and bleeding control. The authors chose the potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser for such procedures. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the feasibility of this system mounted with the KTP laser.

Methods. A prototypical micromanipulator system was tested in rats. Two kinds of in vivo experiments were performed using the KTP laser: coagulation and biopsy. The coagulated lesions were precisely aligned and their maximum depths were proportional to the energy applied during the coagulation experiment. The diagnosable specimens were obtained during the biopsy experiment. The micromanipulator system was able to perform all surgical procedures accurately. There was no complication relating to the use of the micromanipulator system such as brain injury or uncontrollable bleeding.

Conclusions. The results from this study proved that this system works precisely and safely and will become a new neurosurgical tool in managing lesions that are difficult to treat using conventional microsurgery or neuroendoscopic surgery.

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Tetsuyoshi Horiuchi, Tetsuya Goto, Yuichiro Tanaka, Kunihiko Kodama, Keiji Tsutsumi, Kiyoshi Ito, and Kazuhiro Hongo

OBJECT

Although a number of studies have assessed the surgical treatment of paraclinoid-segment carotid artery aneurysms and resulting visual complications, less attention has been given to the results with respect to the superior hypophyseal artery (SHA). The authors evaluated the relationship between the aneurysm, the SHA itself, and postoperative visual function in patients with ruptured and unruptured SHA aneurysms.

METHODS

From January 1991 through December 2013, 181 patients with 190 paraclinoid carotid artery aneurysms received treatment at Shinshu University Hospital and its affiliated hospitals. The authors retrospectively analyzed charts, operative records, operative videos, and neuroimaging findings for these patients with or without postoperative visual complications.

RESULTS

The authors identified 72 SHA aneurysms in 70 patients (mean age 58 years). Of 69 patients (1 patient died) evaluated, postoperative visual complications occurred in 9 (13.0%). Although the aneurysm size and SHA sacrifice did not lead to postoperative visual impairment, simultaneous treatment of bilateral aneurysms was a risk factor for postoperative visual complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Unilateral SHA impairment may be safe (i.e., it may not induce ischemia of the optic pathway) for many, but not all, patients with SHA aneurysm.

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Tetsuya Goto, Kazuhiro Hongo, Yukinari Kakizawa, Hisashi Muraoka, Yosuke Miyairi, Yuichiro Tanaka, and Shigeaki Kobayashi

✓ The NeuRobot is a telecontrolled microscopic micromanipulator system designed for neurosurgical procedures. The unit houses a three-dimensional endoscope and three robot arms that the surgeon operates without direct contact with the patient. The authors have successfully performed robotics-assisted neurosurgical procedures by using the NeuRobot in a 54-year-old man who had a recurrent atypical meningioma. Following the usual preparation of craniotomy and opening of the dura mater, a portion of the tumor was removed using the NeuRobot with the aid of microscopic observation. No complication related to the use of the NeuRobot was encountered and the patient's postoperative course was uneventful. Although various kinds of robots have been developed for use in neurosurgery in recent years, a robotic telemanipulation system capable of performing several surgical tasks has not previously been introduced to clinical neurosurgery. This is the first case report in which neurosurgical manipulation by a robotics system is described.

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Ridzky Firmansyah Hardian, Tetsuya Goto, Yu Fujii, Kohei Kanaya, Tetsuyoshi Horiuchi, and Kazuhiro Hongo

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to predict postoperative facial nerve function during pontine cavernous malformation surgery by monitoring facial motor evoked potentials (FMEPs).

METHODS

From 2008 to 2017, 10 patients with pontine cavernous malformations underwent total resection via the trans–fourth ventricle floor approach with FMEP monitoring. House-Brackmann grades and Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) scores were obtained pre- and postoperatively. The surgeries were performed using one of 2 safe entry zones into the brainstem: the suprafacial triangle and infrafacial triangle approaches. Six patients underwent the suprafacial triangle approach, and 4 patients underwent the infrafacial triangle approach. A cranial peg screw electrode was used to deliver electrical stimulation for FMEP by a train of 4 or 5 pulse anodal constant current stimulation. FMEP was recorded from needle electrodes on the ipsilateral facial muscles and monitored throughout surgery by using a threshold-level stimulation method.

RESULTS

FMEPs were recorded and analyzed in 8 patients; they were not recorded in 2 patients who had severe preoperative facial palsy and underwent an infrafacial triangle approach. Warning signs appeared in all patients who underwent the suprafacial triangle approach. However, after temporarily stopping the procedures, FMEP findings during surgery showed recovery of the thresholds. FMEPs in patients who underwent the infrafacial triangle approach were stable during the surgery. House-Brackmann grades were unchanged postoperatively in all patients. Postoperative KPS scores improved in 3 patients, decreased in 1, and remained the same in 6 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

FMEPs can be used to monitor facial nerve function during surgery for pontine cavernous malformations, especially when the suprafacial triangle approach is performed.

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Tetsuya Goto, Kazuhiro Hongo, Tomomi Iwashita, Hisashi Nagashima, Susumu Oikawa, Kazuhiko Kyoshima, and Shigeaki Kobayashi

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Tetsuya Goto, Yuichiro Tanaka, Kunihiko Kodama, Yoshikazu Kusano, Keiichi Sakai, and Kazuhiro Hongo

✓The authors report a case in which a 62-year-old woman with a history of subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm was found to have a de novo paraclinoid aneurysm in the right internal carotid artery during a routine medical examination. Surgical clip placement was performed via a contralateral pterional approach under visual evoked potential (VEP) monitoring. The superior hypophyseal artery (SHA) was found to originate from the aneurysm body. The artery was temporarily occluded prior to application of the clip to the aneurysm neck. The VEP signal was lost 3 minutes after the SHA was occluded, and the potentials gradually recovered 10 minutes after the artery was released. The disappearance of VEP signal was reproducible with SHA occlusion. The clip was applied to the aneurysm body to preserve the origin of the SHA. The patient did not have any deterioration of vision after surgery.

Intraoperative VEP monitoring can be used to help determine whether the SHA can be sacrificed safely.

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Tetsuya Goto, Kazuo Kitazawa, Tsuyoshi Tada, Yuichiro Tanaka, Kazuhiro Hongo, and Shigeaki Kobayashi