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Thomas J. Eberts and Robert C. Ransburg

✓ Endodermal sinus tumor (yolk sac carcinoma), a germinal neoplasm, is rarely primary in the cranial cavity. The authors add a third case with the tumor located in the anterior third ventricular (suprasellar) region to the literature. Seventeen previously reported intracranial cases, mostly in the pineal region, are briefly reviewed.

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Thomas A. Sweasey and Robert C. Dauser

✓ A case is reported of eosinophilic granuloma at the cervicothoracic junction presenting with profound quadriparesis preoperatively. The patient underwent excision via an anterior approach, with splitting of the sternum to gain access to the T-1 vertebra. Postoperatively, he has had an excellent return of function.

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Robert C. Cantu, Thomas Souders and Robert S. Hepler

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John E. Coe, J. Robert Rivet and Thomas S. Hargest

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Scott A. Shapiro, Robert L. Campbell and Thomas Scully

✓ Very little is known about the effect of computerized tomography (CT)-documented fourth intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). An analysis of 50 patients with CT-documented fourth IVH treated between 1987 and 1992 is presented. The various etiologies included intraparenchymal hemorrhage with secondary fourth IVH (19 cases), spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (18 cases), spontaneous IVH (seven cases), and trauma (six cases). Overall, 28 patients (56%) had hemorrhagic dilation of the fourth ventricle and all 28 suffered brain death, despite aggressive therapy in 79% of cases. Twenty-two patients (44%) had fourth IVH without dilation; of these, nine (41%) died and 13 (59%) experienced functional survival, despite aggressive care in 90% of cases. The survival rate was significantly worse for patients with dilation of the fourth ventricle (p < 0.01, chi-squared test). Of the 28 patients with fourth IVH associated with dilation, 25 (89%) had diffuse clot, involving the lateral and third ventricles as well, and three (11%) had isolated fourth IVH. Of the 22 patients with fourth IVH and no dilation, 13 (59%) had diffuse IVH (eight of these died and five had functional recovery) and nine (41%) had isolated fourth IVH (one died and eight had functional recovery). Diffuse ventricular clot was associated with an increased mortality rate for patients with fourth IVH and no dilation (p < 0.05).

Of the 28 patients with fourth IVH associated with dilation, 24 (86%) presented with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 3 or 4, one with a GCS score of 6, and three with a GCS score of 13 to 15; all 28 died. For the 22 patients with fourth IVH and no dilation, nine presented with a GCS score of 3 to 5 (eight died and one had functional recovery), three had a GCS score of 6 to 8 (all three had functional survival), two had a GCS score of 9 to 12 (both had functional survival), and eight had a GCS score of 13 to 15 (one died and seven had functional survival). There was a greater chance of higher GCS scores in patients with fourth IVH and no hemorrhagic dilation (p < 0.01). Logistic regression multivariate analysis showed hemorrhagic fourth ventricular dilation to be the most significant outcome predictor (p = 0.0001), followed by GCS score (p = 0.007) and the presence of diffuse IVH (p = 0.0279).

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Rocco A. Armonda, Jeffrey E. Thomas and Robert H. Rosenwasser

The authors present the unique experience of one neurovascular service under the direct supervision of the senior author, for which surgical, endovascular, and intensive care treatments were conducted in a select group of 32 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage who had medically intractable symptomatic vasospasm.

A protocol of early and aggressive treatment was instituted using pentobarbital coma, cerebral angioplasty, and intracranial pressure (ICP) reduction. The patient population consisted of 25 women and seven men, whose ages ranged from 34 to 60 years (average 47 years). The patients' Hunt and Hess grades on presentation were as follows: Grade 0 (one); Grade I (three); Grade II (two); Grade III (nine); Grade IV (10); Grade V (seven). Microsurgical clipping alone was performed in 15 of 32 patients, endosaccular occlusion was performed in 17 of 20 patients, and two patients underwent combined treatment. Subsequent angioplasty was performed in 26 of 32 patients. Additionally, all 32 patients underwent treatment of increased ICP with ventriculostomy placement, removal of the bone flap (11), evacuation of associated intracranial hematoma (five), and decompressive obectomy (four).

Twenty-one patients survived and 11 died. Of the 21 survivors, seven have returned to work, live independently, and have no neurological deficits; eight require minimal assistance at home; four are in rehabilitation with moderate deficits at 3 months; and two remain in a persistent vegetative state.

In this group of aggressively treated patients who received pentobarbital cerebral protection, successful treatment of medically intractable cerebral vasospasm was related to time of treatment (< 2 hours), expeditious reduction of elevated ICP, and angioplasty.

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Rocco A. Armonda, Jeffrey E. Thomas and Robert H. Rosenwasser

Endovascular surgical technology is in the early stages of evolution. A critical phase of this development has been microcatheter technology, which has permitted sufficiently precise intravascular navigation to safely engage the lumen of the aneurysm itself. Digital subtraction angiography, rapid filming techniques and image acquisition, and simultaneous multiplanar imaging capability are indispensable tools that are constantly being refined in the setting of ever-improving computer technology. The marriage of these different technologies has allowed effective endovascular treatment of difficult-to-access aneurysms in medically compromised patients for whom open microsurgery has inherently higher risks.

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Colloid cyst of the third ventricle

A scanning and transmission electron microscopic study

Richard W. Leech, Thomas Freeman and Robert Johnson

✓ Three colloid cysts of the third ventricle were examined by both transmission (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). There was morphological diversity of the cyst surface on SEM, with ciliated and non-ciliated cells present. In some areas, the non-ciliated cells were more numerous and extended above the surface. Individual non-ciliated cells show a wrinkled cell surface and bleb-like structures. The TEM findings correlated well with SEM, revealing two cell types. The non-ciliated cells appeared to have both exocrine and apocrine activity. In ciliated cells, abnormal cilia were related to abnormal centrioles; also present were highly abnormal microvilli. The appearance of the surface was similar to a normal ventricular surface. By allowing a greater assessment of cell types and their distribution, SEM has added one additional dimension in the evaluation of colloid cysts and their possible derivation.