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Adib A. Abla, Timothy Uschold, Mark C. Preul and Joseph M. Zabramski


The aim of this study was to describe a turkey wing model for microvascular anastomosis training and compare it to the previously outlined chicken wing model.


The authors compared diameter measurements in each of 5 turkey and 5 chicken brachial arteries at 3 equidistant points. Usable vessel length was measured (from joint to joint) in each of the specimens. A survey was created and distributed at a bypass training course to assess the attendees' impressions of various practice models used for bypass.


The turkey wing brachial artery was consistently larger in diameter (p < 0.01) and longer (p < 0.01) than the chicken wing artery and showed less variability in the vessel diameter (1.47 ± 0.14 mm in the turkey vs 1.07 ± 0.25 mm in the chicken). In a survey of 15 bypass course participants, the live rat training model scored highest overall and was ranked as the best model for training; however, the turkey wing model was ranked second best and was consistently scored ahead of the chicken wing and silastic tube training models.


The authors' institutional preference has shifted to the use of a turkey wing artery as the initial model for microanastomosis training. Advantages in terms of vessel size and tissue durability favor this model over the chicken wing as part of a graduated instruction process.

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Timothy Uschold, Adib A. Abla, David Fusco, Ruth E. Bristol and Peter Nakaji


The heterogeneous clinical manifestations and operative characteristics of pathological entities in the pineal region represent a significant challenge in terms of patient selection and surgical approach. Traditional surgical options have included endoscopic transventricular resection; open supratentorial microsurgical approaches through the midline, choroidal fissure, lateral ventricle, and tentorium; and supracerebellar infratentorial (SCIT) approaches through the posterior fossa. The object of the current study was to review the preoperative characteristics and outcomes for a cohort of patients treated purely via the novel endoscopically controlled SCIT approach.


A single-institution series of 9 consecutive patients (4 male and 5 female patients [10 total cases]; mean age 21 years, range 6–37 years) treated via the endoscopically controlled SCIT approach for a pathological entity in the pineal region was retrospectively reviewed. The mean follow-up time was 13.2 months.


The endoscopically controlled SCIT approach was successfully used to approach a variety of pineal lesions, including pineal cysts (6 patients), epidermoid tumor, WHO Grade II astrocytoma (initial biopsy and recurrence), and malignant mixed germ cell tumor (1 patient each). Gross-total resection and/or adequate cyst fenestration was achieved in 8 cases. Biopsy with conservative debulking was performed for the single case of low-grade astrocytoma and again at the time of recurrence.

The mean preoperative tumor and cyst volumes were 9.9 ± 4.4 and 3.7 ± 3.2 cm3, respectively. The mean operating times were 212 ± 71 minutes for tumor cases and 177 ± 72 minutes for cysts. Estimated blood loss was less than 150 ml for all cases. A single case (pineal cyst) was converted to an open microsurgical approach to enhance visualization. There were no operative complications, as well as no documented CSF leaks, additional CSF diversion procedures, or air emboli. Seven patients underwent concomitant third ventriculostomy into the quadrigeminal cistern. At the time of the last follow-up evaluation, all patients had a stable or improved modified Rankin Scale score.


The endoscopically controlled SCIT approach may be used for the biopsy and resection of appropriately selected solid tumors of the pineal region, in addition to the fenestration and/or resection of pineal cysts. Preoperative considerations include patient presentation, anticipated disease and vascularity, degree of local venous anatomical distortion, and selection of optimal paramedian trajectory.

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Giriraj K. Sharma, Jennifer M. Eschbacher, Timothy D. Uschold and Nicholas Theodore

Neuroblastoma-like schwannoma is a rare nerve sheath tumor with histological features resembling a neuroblastoma. A comprehensive literature review identified only 10 previous case reports of this condition. The authors present the first reported case of a neuroblastoma-like schwannoma at a spinal nerve root. The patient, a 61-year-old woman, presented with severe pain in the right lower extremity that failed to resolve after conservative management. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an intradural enhancing lesion extending out of the right neural foramen at L1–2. A right L1–2 hemilaminectomy and facetectomy with gross-total resection of the tumor was performed without complications. Neuroblastoma-like schwannoma was diagnosed based on histopathological examination of the biopsied tumor specimen. A postoperative course of serial examination and imaging was chosen based on a suspected benign postoperative course as in the case of a completely resected schwannoma. The authors present the novel case of neuroblastoma-like schwannoma at a lumbar spinal nerve root and describe the distinguishing pathological features of this rare lesion.

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Eduardo Martinez-del-Campo, Samuel Kalb, Hector Soriano-Baron, Jay D. Turner, Matthew T. Neal, Timothy Uschold and Nicholas Theodore


Atlantooccipital dislocation (AOD) in adults cannot be diagnosed with adequate specificity and sensitivity using only CT or plain radiography, and the spine literature offers no guidelines. In children, the most sensitive and specific radiographic measurement for the diagnosis of AOD is the CT-based occipital condyle–C1 interval (CCI). The goal of the current study was to identify the normal CCI in healthy adults and compare it with the CCI in adults with AOD to establish a highly sensitive and specific cutoff value for the neuroimaging diagnosis of AOD.


A total of 81 patients, 59 without AOD and 22 with AOD, were included in this study. Measurements obtained from thin-slice CT scans of the craniovertebral joint to assess atlantooccipital dislocation included the CCI, condylar sum, the Wholey and Harris intervals, Powers and Sun ratios, Wackenheim line, and Lee X-lines.


The group of patients without AOD included 30 men (50.8%) and 29 women (49.2%) with a mean age of 42.4 ± 16 years (range 19–87 years). The group of patients with AOD included 10 men (45.5%) and 12 women (54.5%) with a mean age of 38.2 ± 9.7 years (range 20–56 years). Interrater reliabilities within a 95% CI were all greater than 0.98 for CCI measurements. A total of 1296 measurements of the CCI were made in 81 patients. The mean CCI for non-AOD patients was 0.89 ± 0.12 mm, the single largest CCI measurement was 1.4 mm, and the largest mean for either right or left CCI was 1.2 mm. The mean condylar sum was 1.8 ± 0.2 mm, and the largest condylar sum value was 2.2 mm. Linear regression with age predicted an increase in CCI of 0.001 mm/year (p < 0.05). The mean CCI in AOD patients was 3.35 ± 0.18 mm (range 1.5 mm–6.4 mm). The shortest single CCI measurements in the AOD patients were 1.1 mm and 1.2 mm. The mean condylar sum for all 22 AOD patients was 6.7 ± 2.7 mm and the shortest condylar sums were 3.0 mm. Cutoff values for AOD were set at 1.5 mm for the CCI and 3.0 mm for the condylar sum, both with a sensitivity of 1 and false-negative rate of 0. Sensitivity for the Powers, Wholey, Harris, Sun, Wackenheim, and Lee criteria were determined to be 0.55, 0.46, 0.27, 0.23, 0.41, and 0.41, respectively.


The CCI is shorter in adult patients as opposed to the pediatric population. The revised CCI (1.5 mm) and condylar sum (3.0 mm) cutoff values have the highest sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of AOD in the adult population.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010