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Yasuo Aihara, Ichiro Shoji and Yoshikazu Okada

Object

The CSF shunt valve is a medical device whose main function is to regulate intracranial pressure and drain excess CSF. The authors have developed a new therapeutic method for treating hydrocephalus, namely the tandem shunt valve system, which has the potential of flexibly controlling the CSF flow rate and intracranial pressure in patients.

Methods

The properties of the tandem system were verified by performing in vitro experiments. An in vitro system with a manometer was built to measure pressure and flow rates of water in open systems using the Codman Hakim Programmable Valve and the Strata adjustable pressure programmable valve. A single valve and 2 single shunt valves connected in series (the tandem shunt valve system) were connected to the manometer to check the final pressure.

Results

Conventional single shunt valve systems require valve pressures to be set higher to slow down the CSF flow rate, which inevitably results in a higher final pressure. On the other hand, the tandem shunt valve system uses the combination of 2 valves to slow the CSF flow rate without increasing the final pressure.

Conclusions

The authors succeeded in experimentally demonstrating in vitro results of tandem systems and their effectiveness by applying a model to show that the valve with the higher pressure setting determined the final pressure of the entire system and the flow rate became slower than single shunt valve systems.

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Seiichiro Eguchi, Yasuo Aihara, Kohji Yamaguchi and Yoshikazu Okada

A fetus at 30 gestational weeks was observed on fetal ultrasonography to have a dilated right lateral ventricle. After delivery, the entity was diagnosed as a prenatal intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) due to a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Ultrasonography and MRI examinations performed before birth indicated a cerebral aneurysm in the territory of the right middle cerebral artery. However, digital subtraction angiography revealed an intracystic hemorrhage due to a ruptured cerebral AVM.

Arteriovenous malformations in children are rare, difficult to diagnose, and result in permanent sequelae after delayed treatment. Patient prognosis depends on early and accurate diagnosis and intervention. Outcomes can be improved if an AVM in a child is detected at the onset of ICH for young infants in the prenatal or early postnatal periods. Early AVM diagnosis is limited to fetal ultrasonography and MRI, and special consideration through invasive examination including neonatal digital subtraction angiography is urged unless a correct and clear diagnosis is made at an early stage. Prenatal ICH due to an AVM is rare. The authors discuss their observations and findings.

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R. Loch Macdonald, Daniel J. Curry, Yasuo Aihara, Zhen-Du Zhang, Babak S. Jahromi and Reza Yassari

Object. Interest has developed in the use of magnesium (Mg++) as a neuroprotectant and antivasospastic agent. Magnesium may increase cerebral blood flow (CBF) and reduce the contraction of cerebral arteries caused by various stimuli. In this study the authors tested the hypothesis that a continuous intravenous infusion of Mg++ reduces cerebral vasospasm after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods. A dose-finding study was conducted in five monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) to determine what doses of intravenous MgSO4 elevate the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of Mg++ to vasoactive levels and to determine what effects these doses have on the diameters of cerebral arteries, as shown angiographically. After a standard dose of MgSO4 had been selected it was then administered in a randomized, controlled, blinded study to 10 monkeys (five animals/group) with SAH, beginning on Day 0 and continuing for 7 days, at which time angiography was repeated. A 0.086-g/kg bolus of MgSO4 followed by an infusion of 0.028 g/kg/day MgSO4 significantly elevated serum and CSF levels of Mg++ (five monkeys). Magnesium sulfate significantly elevated the serum level of total Mg++ from a control value of 0.83 ± 0.04 mmol/L to 2.42 ± 1.01 mmol/L on Day 7 and raised the CSF level from 1.3 ± 0.04 mmol/L to 1.76 ± 0.14 mmol/L. There was no angiographic evidence of any effect of MgSO4 on normal cerebral arteries. After SAH, the vasospasm in the middle cerebral artery was not significantly reduced (46 ± 8% in the MgSO4-treated group compared with 35 ± 6% in the placebo [vehicle]-treated group, p > 0.05, unpaired t-test).

Conclusions. Magnesium sulfate did not significantly reduce cerebral vasospasm after SAH in the doses tested. An investigation of SAH is warranted mainly to test whether a benefit can be achieved by neuroprotection or by augmentation of CBF by dilation of small vessels and/or collateral pathways.

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Yasuo Aihara, Sinichiro Watanabe, Kosaku Amano, Kana Komatsu, Kentaro Chiba, Kosuke Imanaka, Tomokatsu Hori, Takashi Ohba, Hitoshi Dairoku, Yoshikazu Okada, Osami Kubo and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) in CSF can provide a very high diagnostic value in cases of intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs), especially in pure germinomas, to the level of not requiring histological confirmation. Unlike other tumor markers, reliable data analysis with respect to the diagnostic value of PLAP serum or CSF levels has not been available until now. This is the first systematic and comprehensive study examining the diagnostic value of CSF PLAP in patients with intracranial GCTs.

METHODS

From 2004 to 2014, 74 patients (average age 19.6 ± 10.6 years) with intracranial GCTs were evaluated using PLAP from their CSF and histological samples. Chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay was utilized to measure CSF PLAP in the following tumor sites: pineal (n = 32), pituitary stalk, suprasellar (n = 16), basal ganglia (n = 15), intraventricular (n = 9), and cerebellar (n = 5) regions. In addition to classifying GCT cases, all patients underwent tumor biopsy for correlation with tumor marker data.

RESULTS

PLAP in combination with other tumor markers resulted in extremely high sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic value of intracranial GCTs. Intracranial GCT cases were classified into 1) germinomas, both “pure” and syncytiotrophoblastic giant cell types (n = 38); 2) nongerminomatous GCTs, choriocarcinomas (n = 9) and teratomas (n = 4); and 3) nongerminomas, other kinds of tumors (n = 23). Consequently, all patients received chemoradiation therapy based on elevation of PLAP and the histopathological results. It was also speculated that the level of PLAP could show the amount of intracranial germ cell components of a GCT. PLAP was 100% upregulated in all intracranial germinoma cases. The absence of CSF PLAP proved that the tumor was not a germinoma.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study is the first systematic and comprehensive examination of the diagnostic value of the tumor marker PLAP in pediatric patients with intracranial GCT. Using the level of PLAP in CSF, we were able to detect the instances of intracranial germinoma with very high reliability, equivalent to a pathological diagnosis.