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Urs D. Schmid and Rolf W. Seiler

✓ In 61 patients (38 adults and 23 children) with surgically treatable tumors of the posterior fossa and obstructive hydrocephalus the following treatment for hydrocephalus was employed: 1) a high dose of steroids was given after diagnosis; 2) a frontal ventricular catheter with a subcutaneous fluid reservoir (Rickham) was inserted within 2 to 5 days; 3) a temporary external ventricular drainage system was attached to the reservoir if, despite the steroids, intracranial pressure was over 30 cm H2O; and 4) tumor excision was performed within 5 days to reopen the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathways. In view of the wide range of potential complications, it was decided not to use a shunt before craniotomy. A shunt was inserted only if the CSF pathways remained obstructed after tumor removal. With this regimen, 93% of all patients (100% of the adults and 83% of the children) were shunt-free after the operation, without fatal complications. The infection rate was 4.9%.

It was concluded that the severity of symptoms of raised intracranial pressure from hydrocephalus, the intraventricular pressure, and the size or location of the tumor prior to surgery do not have prognostic value as to which patients will require a shunt after surgery.

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Indra Yousry, Bernhard Moriggl, Markus Holtmannspoetter, Urs D. Schmid, Thomas P. Naidich and Tarek A. Yousry

Object. The trigeminal nerve conducts both sensory and motor impulses. Separate superior and inferior motor roots typically emerge from the pons just anterosuperomedial to the entry point of the sensory root, but to date these two motor roots have not been adequately displayed on magnetic resonance (MR) images. The specific aims of this study, therefore, were to identify the superior and inferior motor roots, to describe their exact relationship to the sensory root, and to assess the neurovascular relationships among all three roots of the trigeminal nerve.

Methods. Thirty-three patients and seven cadaveric specimens (80 sides) were studied using three-dimensional (3D) Fourier transform constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) imaging. The 33 patients were also studied by obtaining complementary time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography sequences with and without contrast enhancement.

At least one motor root was identified in all sides examined: in 51.2% of the sides a single motor root, in 37.5% two motor roots, and in 11.2% three motor roots. The superior cerebellar artery (SCA) and the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) contacted the sensory root in 45.5% of patients and 42.9% of specimens. The SCA often contacted the superior motor root (48.5% of patients and 50% of specimens) and less frequently the inferior motor root (26.5% of patients and 20% of specimens).

Conclusions. Three-dimensional CISS and complementary 3D TOF MR angiography sequences reliably display sensory, superior motor, and inferior motor roots of the trigeminal nerve and their relationships to the SCA and AICA.

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Tarek Ahmed Yousry, Urs Dieter Schmid, Dorothea Schmidt, Thomas Hagen, Andre Jassoy and Maximilian Friedrich Reiser

The authors evaluated the anatomical location of the central sulcus (CS) in 24 cerebral hemispheres (eight in which tumors were located centrally, 16 in controls) using: 1) classic anatomical landmarks seen on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (24 hemispheres); 2) functional MR imaging (24 hemispheres); and 3) intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping (eight hemispheres). On MR imaging the CS was identified with certainty in 79% of hemispheres (four of eight in patients, 15 of 16 in controls). Functional MR imaging identified a parenchymal “motor hand area” in only 83% (20 of 24 hemispheres; five of eight in patients, 15 of 16 in controls); this area was located in the precentral gyrus in 16 (80%) of 20, additionally in the postcentral gyrus in 10 (50%) of 20, and exclusively in the postcentral gyrus in four (20%) of 20. In contrast, functional MR imaging detected one to three sulcal veins presumably draining blood from the adjacent motor hand area in 100% (24 of 24) of the hemispheres studied, and anatomical MR imaging and intraoperative mapping localized these veins in the CS. It is concluded that sulcal veins lying deep within the CS: 1) drain activated blood from the adjacent pre- or postcentral cortex during performance of a motor hand task; 2) can be identified easily with functional MR imaging; and 3) are an anatomical landmark for noninvasive indentification of the CS, and thus the sensorimotor strip. The detection of these veins provides a more consistent landmark than the detection of parenchymal motor areas by functional MR imaging; this technique may be used when classic anatomical landmarks fail to identify the sensorimotor strip.

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Tarek Ahmed Yousry, Urs Dieter Schmid, Dorothea Schmidt, Thomas Hagen, Andre Jassoy and Maximilian Friedrich Reiser

✓ The authors evaluated the anatomical location of the central sulcus (CS) in 24 cerebral hemispheres (eight in which tumors were located centrally, 16 in controls) using: 1) classic anatomical landmarks seen on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (24 hemispheres); 2) functional MR imaging (24 hemispheres); and 3) intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping (eight hemispheres). On MR imaging the CS was identified with certainty in 79% of hemispheres (four of eight in patients, 15 of 16 in controls). Functional MR imaging identified a parenchymal “motor hand area” in only 83% (20 of 24 hemispheres; five of eight in patients, 15 of 16 in controls); this area was located in the precentral gyrus in 16 (80%) of 20, additionally in the postcentral gyrus in 10 (50%) of 20, and exclusively in the postcentral gyrus in four (20%) of 20. In contrast, functional MR imaging detected one to three sulcal veins presumably draining blood from the adjacent motor hand area in 100% (24 of 24) of the hemispheres studied, and anatomical MR imaging and intraoperative mapping localized these veins in the CS. It is concluded that sulcal veins lying deep within the CS: 1) drain activated blood from the adjacent pre- or postcentral cortex during performance of a motor hand task; 2) can be identified easily with functional MR imaging; and 3) are an anatomical landmark for noninvasive indentification of the CS and thus the sensorimotor strip. The detection of these veins provides a more consistent landmark than the detection of parenchymal motor areas by functional MR imaging; this technique may be used when classic anatomical landmarks fail to identify the sensorimotor strip.

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Indra Yousry, Bernhard Moriggl, Urs D. Schmid, Martin Wiesman, Gunther Fesl, Hartmut Brückmann, Thomas P. Naidich and Tarek A. Yousry

Object. The thin hypoglossal nerve can be very difficult to distinguish on magnetic resonance (MR) images. The authors used a combination of sequences to increase the reliability of MR imaging in its demonstration of the 12th cranial nerve as well as to assess the course of the nerve, display its relationships to adjacent vessels, and provide landmarks for evaluating the nerve in daily practice.

Methods. The study group consisted of 34 volunteers (68 nerves) in whom a three-dimensional (3D) Fourier-transformation constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) sequence and a 3D T1-weighted contrast-enhanced magnetization-prepared rapid-acquisition gradient-echo (MPRAGE) sequence were applied. Two trained neuroradiologists collaboratively identified the hypoglossal trigone, preolivary sulcus, 12th cranial nerve, posterior inferior cerebellar artery, vertebral artery, 12th nerve root sleeve, and the hypoglossal canal on each side.

The 3D CISS sequence successfully demonstrated the hypoglossal trigone (100% of images), 12th nerve root bundles (100% of images), and 12th nerve sleeves (88.2% of images). The canalicular segment was exhibited with the aid of plain 3D CISS sequences in 74% of images and by using contrast-enhanced 3D CISS sequences and contrast-enhanced MPRAGE sequences in 100% of images. The landmarks that proved useful to identify the cisternal segment of the 12th cranial nerve included the hypoglossal trigone, preolivary sulcus, and 12th nerve root sleeve. Neurovascular contact was identified in 61% of root bundles. The roots were distorted in 44% of these contacts.

Conclusions. The contrast-enhanced 3D CISS sequence consistently displayed the cisternal segment as well as the canalicular segments of the hypoglossal nerve and is, therefore, the best sequence to visualize the complete cranial course of this nerve. Landmarks such as the 12th nerve sleeves can assist in the identification of this nerve.

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Indra Yousry, Salvador Camelio, Martin Wiesmann, Urs D. Schmid, Bernhard Moriggl, Hartmut Brückmann and Tarek A. Yousry

Object. The goal of this study was to identify reliably the cisternal segment of the abducent nerve by using the three-dimensional Fourier transform constructive interference in steady-state (3-D CISS) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequence to define landmarks that assist in the identification of the abducent nerve on MR imaging and to describe the nerve's relationship to the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA).

Methods. A total of 26 volunteers underwent 3-D CISS MR imaging, and 10 of these volunteers also underwent MR angiography in which a time-of-flight sequence was used to identify the facial colliculus, the abducent nerve and its apparent origin, Dorello's canal, and the AICA.

The authors identified the abducent nerve with certainty in 96% of 3-D CISS sequences obtained in the axial and sagittal planes and in 94% obtained in the coronal plane. The nerve emerged from the pontomedullary sulcus in 94% of cases. The facial colliculus could always be identified, and Dorello's canal was identified in 94% of cases. In 76.6% of cases, the abducent nerve was seen to contact the AICA, which passed inferior to the nerve in 63.8% of cases and superior to it in 29.8%.

Conclusions. The anatomical course of the abducent nerve and its relationship to the AICA and other blood vessels can be reliably identified using a 3-D CISS MR sequence with the facial colliculus and Dorello's canal serving as landmarks.

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Jennifer Linn, Bernhard Moriggl, Friederike Schwarz, Thomas P. Naidich, Urs D. Schmid, Martin Wiesmann, Hartmut Bruckmann and Indra Yousry

Object

The aim of this study was to determine whether high-resolution MR imaging is suitable for identifying and differentiating among the nerve root bundles of the glossopharyngeal (cranial nerve [CN] IX), vagus (CN X), and accessory nerves (CN XI) as well as any adjacent vessels.

Methods

Twenty-five patients (50 sides) underwent MR imaging using the 3D constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) sequence, as well as noncontrast and contrast-enhanced 3D time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography. Two individuals scored these studies by consensus to determine how well these sequences displayed the neurovascular contacts and nerve root bundles of CNs IX and X and the cranial and spinal roots of CN XI. Landmarks useful for identifying each lower CN were specifically sought.

Results

The 3D CISS sequence successfully depicted CNs IX and X in 100% of the sides. Nerve root bundles of the cranial segment of CN XI were identified in 88% of the sides and those of the spinal segment of CN XI were noted in 93% of the sides. Landmarks useful in identifying the lower CNs included the vagal trigone, the choroid plexus of the lateral recess, the glossopharyngeal and vagal meatus, the inferior petrosal sinus, and the vertebral artery. The combined use of 3D CISS and 3D TOF sequences demonstrated neurovascular contacts at the nerve root entry or exit zones in 19% of all nerves visualized.

Conclusions

The combined use of 3D CISS MR imaging and 3D TOF MR angiography (with or without contrast) successfully displays the detailed anatomy of the lower CNs and adjacent structures in vivo. These imaging sequences have the potential to aid the preoperative diagnosis of and the presurgical planning for pathology in this anatomical area.

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Ulrike Held, Johann Steurer, Giuseppe Pichierri, Maria M. Wertli, Mazda Farshad, Florian Brunner, Roman Guggenberger, François Porchet, Tamás F. Fekete, Urs D. Schmid, Isaac Gravestock and Jakob M. Burgstaller

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to obtain an unbiased causal treatment estimate of the between-group difference of surgery versus nonoperative treatment with respect to outcomes on quality of life, pain, and disability in patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) 12 months after baseline.

METHODS

The authors included DLSS patients from a large prospective multicenter observational cohort study. Propensity score matching was used, including 15 demographic, clinical, and MRI variables. Linear and logistic mixed-effects regression models were applied to quantify the between-group treatment effect. Unmeasured confounding was addressed in a sensitivity analysis, assessing the robustness of the results.

RESULTS

A total of 408 patients were included in this study, 222 patients after matching, with 111 in each treatment group. Patients with nonoperative treatment had lower quality of life at the 12-month follow-up (−6.21 points, 95% CI −9.93 to −2.49) as well as lower chances of reaching a minimal clinically important difference in Spinal Stenosis Measure (SSM) symptoms (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.53) and SSM function (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.49), than patients undergoing surgery. These results were very robust in case of unmeasured confounding. The surgical complication rate was low; 5 (4.5%) patients experienced a durotomy during intervention, and 5 (4.5%) patients underwent re-decompression.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors used propensity score matching to assess the difference in treatment efficacy of surgery compared with nonoperative treatment in elderly patients with DLSS. This study delivers strong evidence that surgical treatment is superior to nonoperative treatment. It helps in clinical decision-making, especially when patients suffer for a long time, sometimes over many years, hoping for a spontaneous improvement of their symptoms. In light of these new results, the number of years with disability can hopefully be reduced by providing adequate treatment at the right time for this ever-growing elderly and frail population.