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Tzuu-Yuan Huang, Jun-ichi Kuratsu, Hideo Takeshima, Toru Nishi and Yukitaka Ushio

Adhesion molecules play a role in tumor growth, invasiveness, and the metastatic process. The expression of CD44 adhesion molecules in 11 intracranial germinoma specimens was investigated using anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody and immunohistochemical methods. In six of 11 specimens studied, CD44 antibodies were bound to the membrane of tumor cells; in five of six specimens, CD44 antigen was also present in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. The only three patients who showed CD44-positive expression in tumor cells, lymphocytes, and extracellular matrix (ECM) exhibited either cerebrospinal fluid dissemination or multiple tumors at different locations. In all 11 specimens, no expression of CD44 in normal glial cells or capillary endothelium was detected. According to the authors' findings, the expression of CD44 in intracranial germinomas is similar to that of gonadal seminomas. Analysis of the results further suggests the possibility that the expression of CD44 in intracranial germinoma tumor cells, lymphocytes, and ECM may contribute to tumor cell migration, adhesion to cerebrospinal fluid dissemination, and/or multiple tumor locations.

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Toru Iwama, Nobuo Hashimoto, Yasushi Takagi, Michihiro Tanaka, Satoshi Yamamoto, Shogo Nishi and Kohei Hayashida

✓ In patients with intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), clinical symptoms and angiographic findings vary. The relevance of disturbed venous drainage to clinical symptoms and prognosis has been recognized. However, the roles of cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism, which are impaired by shunt flow or disturbed venous drainage, have not been fully evaluated. The authors studied the cerebral hemodynamic and metabolic status in 10 patients with intracranial dural AVFs using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. Ten patients with dural AVFs underwent a PET study before treatment. The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), regional oxygen extraction fraction (rOEF), regional cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (rCMRO2), and regional cerebral blood volume (rCBV) were measured using the 15O-labeled gas inhalation steady-state method. The PET parameters that were obtained were analyzed and compared with the patients' neurological and angiographic findings. In six of the 10 patients, a PET study was also performed after treatment. Before treatments, all four patients with cerebral symptoms showed a severe reduction in rCBF and a mild elevation in the rOEF. The areas showing reduced rCBF corresponded with areas in which retrograde venous drainage into the cortical veins and delayed parenchymal circulation were seen on angiograms. In another two patients with occlusion of the affected sinus and/or retrograde drainage into the cortical veins, mild abnormalities were demonstrated in rCBF mapping. In the remaining four patients, all PET parameters except rCBV were within normal limits and venous flow was not impaired on the angiograms. In four patients who underwent surgical excision or transvenous embolization of the affected sinus, the cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism were improved, as were the clinical symptoms. In two patients who underwent transarterial embolization of the feeding vessels only or craniotomy, no hemodynamic improvement was achieved. Our results indicate that hemodynamic insufficiency detected by the PET study corresponded well with cerebral symptoms and angiographic findings of retrograde venous drainage into the cortical veins and delayed parenchymal circulation, but not with sinus occlusion or arterial blood supply. Eradication or prevention of retrograde venous drainage from the affected sinus into the cortical veins should be a treatment goal in patients with dural AVFs.

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Shigeo Yamashiro, Toru Nishi, Kazunari Koga, Tomoaki Goto, Daisuke Muta, Jun-ichi Kuratsu and Shodo Fujioka

Object

The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life (QOL) of patients who underwent surgery for asymptomatic unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs).

Methods

The authors assessed QOL in 149 patients who had undergone microsurgical clipping of asymptomatic UIAs. They surveyed these patients using universal methods such as the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) for health-related QOL and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for anxiety and depression assessments.

Results

The patients' mean scores for each of the eight domains of SF-36 were comparable to those of a Japanese reference population. Analysis of data from the average-QOL and low-QOL subgroups showed that the low-QOL group contained a higher number of patients with preexisting heart diseases and restricted activities of daily living. Operative procedures and complications did not affect QOL.

Conclusions

Because 86% of the patients who underwent surgery manifested a QOL similar to the reference population, the authors suggest that elective surgery for asymptomatic UIAs is a reasonable treatment, especially in patients who are troubled by the risk of rupture. Postoperative decreases in QOL are not invariably attributable to the operation or its associated complications, but may be correlated with other chronic disorders. To select the appropriate treatment for asymptomatic UIAs, neurosurgeons and patients need information on the expected postoperative QOL.