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Yoichi Katayama, Chikashi Fukaya and Takamitsu Yamamoto

Object. The goal of this study was to identify the neurological characteristics of patients with poststroke pain who show a favorable response to motor cortex (MC) stimulation used to control their pain.

Methods. The neurological characteristics of 31 patients treated by MC stimulation were analyzed. In 15 patients (48%), excellent or good pain control (pain reduction > 60%) was achieved for follow-up periods of more than 2 years by using MC stimulation at intensities below the threshold for muscle contraction. Satisfactory pain control was achieved in 13 (73%) of 18 patients in whom motor weakness in the painful area was virtually absent or mild, but in only two (15%) of the 13 patients who demonstrated moderate or severe weakness in the painful area (p < 0.01). Muscle contraction was inducible in the painful area in 20 patients when stimulated at a higher intensity. No such muscle response was inducible in the remaining 11 patients, no matter how extensively the authors attempted to determine appropriate stimulation sites. Satisfactory pain control was achieved in 14 (70%) of the 20 patients in whom muscle contraction was inducible, but in only one (9%) of the 11 patients in whom muscle contraction was not inducible (p < 0.01). No significant relationship was observed between pain control and various sensory symptoms, including the presence of hypesthesia, spontaneous dysesthesia, hyperpathia, and allodynia, or the disappearance of the N20 component of the median nerve—evoked somatosensory scalp potential. No significant relationship existed between the effect of MC stimulation on the pain and stimulation-induced phenomena, including paresthesia, improvement in motor performance, and attenuation of involuntary movements.

Conclusions. These findings suggest that the pain control afforded by MC stimulation requires neuronal circuits that are maintained by the presence of intact corticospinal tract neurons originating from the MC. Preoperative evaluation of motor weakness of the painful area appears to be useful for predicting a favorable response to MC stimulation in the control of poststroke pain.

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Hideki Oshima, Yoichi Katayama and Teruyasu Hirayama

Object. The collateral vessels in moyamoya disease appear to retain their ability to constrict during hypocapnia but not to dilate during hypercapnia. It has been claimed that hypercapnia, as well as hypocapnia, decreases the blood flow in regions perfused by collateral vessels, presumably because of intracerebral steal. If this holds true, the decrease in blood flow may be proportional to the global hyperemia in the brain. To establish appropriate hemodynamic control during revascularization surgery, the authors monitored the jugular bulb oxygen saturation (SjO2) intraoperatively, a method that could sensitively detect global hyperemia.

Methods. A total of 17 patients, most of whom presented with transient ischemic attacks or fluctuating neurological deficits, underwent intraoperative monitoring of their SjO2 and end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) after a state of anesthesia had been induced with isoflurane (Group 1) or propofol (Group 2). In eight of these patients, the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) of the collateral vessel territory was also monitored by laser Doppler flowmetry during the period of cortical exposure, and a total of 113 data sets (averaged values during 2.5-minute intervals) was collected. There was fluctuation in the ETCO2 levels ranging from 36 to 44 mm Hg. The mean SjO2 level was clearly greater (p < 0.01) in Group 1 (71.8 ± 2.2%) than in Group 2 (63.3 ± 2.1%). An episodic fall in rCBF was observed in association with a transient increase in SjO2. Such an event was not uncommon in Group 1 and there was a greater risk of rCBF decreasing when SjO2 exceeded a cutoff level of 76% (p < 0.01). This level could sometimes be reached at a broad range of ETCO2 readings (37–44 mm Hg). In Group 2, similar events sometimes occurred when SjO2 increased beyond 70%. However, this level could be reached only with a higher ETCO2 (42–44 mm Hg). The rCBF level was negatively correlated to SjO2 (p < 0.01), but not always to ETCO2, indicating that the episodic fall in rCBF was closely related to global hyperemia rather than the absolute level of hypercapnia.

Conclusions. The observed association between a fall in rCBF and global hyperemia supports the intracerebral steal hypothesis and indicates that it is prudent to avoid excessive global hyperemia. The optimal range of CO2 for isoflurane is more restricted than that for propofol, presumably because isoflurane induces hyperemia by itself. Monitoring of SjO2 appears to represent the most practical technique for detecting global hyperemia as well as global ischemia, both of which may cause ischemic complications in moyamoya disease.

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Takashi Tsubokawa, Yoichi Katayama and Takamitsu Yamamoto

✓ Persistent hemiballismus after stroke is often difficult to treat. The ballistic movement is sometimes so violent that progressive exhaustion results. The authors report two such cases, which were successfully treated by chronic thalamic stimulation. The lesions responsible for the ballistic movement in these patients were located near the subthalamic nucleus and in the putamen, respectively. The thalamic nucleus ventrolateralis and nucleus ventralis intermedius were stimulated with 0.2 to 0.3 msec pulses at 50 to 150 Hz and 4 to 7 V continuously during the day. Several weeks later, complete control of the hemiballismus was achieved during stimulation. The improvement was clearly not attributable to spontaneous recovery, because ballistic movement reappeared after termination of the stimulation. The stimulation has remained effective for more than 16 months in both cases without any serious complications. Chronic thalamic stimulation appears to be useful for controlling persistent hemiballismus, as it is for other involuntary movement disorders.

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Takashi Tsubokawa, Yoichi Katayama, Takamitsu Yamamoto, Teruyasu Hirayama and Seigou Koyama

✓ Analysis of the authors' experience over the last 10 years has indicated that excellent pain control has rarely been obtained by thalamic relay nucleus stimulation in patients with thalamic pain. In the present study, 11 patients with thalamic pain were treated by chronic stimulation of the precentral gyrus. In eight patients (73%), the stimulation system was internalized since excellent pain control was achieved during a 1-week test period of precentral gyrus stimulation. In contrast, no clear effect was noted or the original pain was even exacerbated by postcentral gyrus stimulation. The effect of precentral stimulation was unchanged in five patients (45%) for follow-up periods of more than 2 years. In the remaining three patients, the effect decreased gradually over several months. This outcome was significantly better than that obtained in an earlier series tested by the authors with thalamic relay nucleus stimulation (p < 0.05). The pain inhibition usually occurred at intensities below the threshold for production of muscle contraction (pulse duration 0.1 to 0.5 msec, intensity 3 to 8 V). When good pain inhibition was achieved, the patients reported a slight tingling or mild vibration sensation during stimulation projected in the same area of distribution as their pain.

The authors discuss the possibility that, in deafferentation pain, sensory neurons below the level of deafferentation cannot exert their normal inhibitory influences toward deafferented nociceptive neurons because of the development of aberrant connections. Thus, while stimulation of the first- to third-order sensory neurons at the level of the thalamic relay nucleus or below cannot bring about good pain inhibition in patients with thalamic pain, activation of hypothetical fourth-order sensory neurons through precentral stimulation may be able to inhibit deafferented nociceptive neurons within the cortex. None of the patients developed either observable or electroencephalographic seizure activity.

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Takao Watanabe, Yoichi Katayama, Takao Fukushima and Tatsuro Kawamata

Object

The retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal approach with the patient in a semisitting position is an effective alternative to transpetrosal approaches for the treatment of petroclival meningiomas. The authors have made a simple modification to the retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal approach by using the lateral oblique position and preferentially dividing the tentorium with limited drilling of the suprameatal bone, which is termed the “lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach.”

Methods

Twenty-six patients with petroclival meningiomas surgically treated via the lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach were analyzed. All tumors had most of their bulk in the posterior fossa with some degree of extension into the middle fossa and/or Meckel cave. The patient is placed in the lateral oblique position, and a standard retrosigmoid craniotomy is performed. The tentorium medial to the trigeminal nerve is incised toward the free edge, which improves exposure to the petroclival region without extensive resection of the suprameatal petrous bone.

Results

Gross-total resection was achieved in 11 patients (42%). Ten patients (38%) underwent subtotal resection, and 5 patients (19%) underwent partial resection. There was no incidence of operative death, and the postoperative permanent morbidity rate was 15%. All patients except one did well postoperatively and were independent at the time of their last follow-up examinations.

Conclusions

The lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach provides the simplest and safest access to the petroclival region. It offers an advantageous approach to petroclival meningiomas exclusively located in the posterior fossa with minimal extension into the Meckel cave and middle fossa.

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Yoichi Katayama, Takashi Tsubokawa, Teruyasu Hirayama and Kazuhisa Himi

✓ Jugular bulb oxygen saturation (SjO2) was monitored during preoperative embolization procedures in a consecutive series of 15 patients with large supratentorial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) in order to test the hypothesis that changes in the shunt flow ratio can be continuously evaluated from the SjO2. A fiberoptic catheter was placed at the dominant jugular bulb. The SjO2 measured using jugular blood withdrawn before embolization was significantly higher than the SjO2 measured at the end of the final embolization procedure (mean ± standard deviation 84.1% ± 12.7% vs. 74.2% ± 10.9%, p < 0.0001), showing a positive correlation with the AVM volume (r = 0.66, p < 0.001). Continuous monitoring of SjO2 via the fiberoptic catheter revealed a progressive decrease in association with the embolization procedures. Microsurgical resection of the AVM was performed at 1 to 2 weeks after the final embolization. Cases in which postoperative hemispheric deformation was revealed on computerized tomography demonstrated a higher SjO2 at the end of embolization compared to that in the remaining cases (81.6% ± 8.6% vs. 67.8% ± 8.4%, p < 0.008). Hemispheric deformation was observed in all cases in which the SjO2 did not decline to a level below 90% following embolization. The risk of severe hyperemic complications appeared to be greatly diminished when the SjO2 fell to below 80%. Assuming that the oxygen saturation of the perfusion flow (SjpO2) ranges from 50% to 75%, the ratio of the shunt flow to total flow at an SjO2 of 90% was estimated to be 0.6 to 0.8 based on the following equation: shunt flow/(perfusion flow + shunt flow) = (SjO2 − SjpO2)/(arterial oxygen saturation − SjpO2). These results suggest that monitoring the SjO2 provides real-time information concerning the progress of embolization and helps to determine whether the embolization has progressed sufficiently to avoid postoperative hyperemic complications.

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Yoichi Katayama, Takashi Tsubokawa, Tsuyoshi Maeda and Takamitsu Yamamoto

✓ In order to determine adequate therapeutic approaches for cavernous malformations of the third ventricle, the authors reviewed a series of five such malformations managed at their institution and nine others reported in the literature. Four subgroups were identified in terms of the site of origin and could be characterized by different clinical manifestations: visual field defects and endocrine function deficits in patients with malformations in the suprachiasmatic region (six cases); symptoms caused by hydrocephalus in those with malformations in the foramen of Monro region (five cases); and deficits of short-term memory in those with malformations in the lateral wall (two cases) or of the floor of the third ventricle (one case). Unlike cavernous malformations at other locations, malformations of the third ventricle frequently demonstrated rapid growth (43%) and mass effects (71%). The surgical or autopsy findings suggested that the growth was attributable to repeated intralesional hemorrhages. Extralesional hemorrhage was also not uncommon, occurring in 29% of patients. Such tendencies require the adoption of a more aggressive approach to this particular group of cavernous malformations as compared to those in other locations. The risks of regrowth and extralesional hemorrhage appear to be reduced only by complete excision. The surgical approaches adopted should be aimed at providing the best access to the site where the malformation has arisen. The translamina terminalis approach for cavernous malformations in the suprachiasmatic region, the transventricular or transcallosal interfornicial approaches for those in the foramen of Monro region and the transvelum interpositum approach for those in the lateral wall or the floor of the third ventricle appear to be appropriate. In order to select the adequate surgical approach, precise diagnosis of the site of origin is crucial. In addition to neuroimaging techniques, the patient's initial symptoms provide valuable information.

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Yoichi Katayama, Takashi Tsubokawa, Takehiko Hirasawa, Tetsuya Takahata and Norimichi Nemoto

✓ Chordomas that are entirely extraosseous and intradural are extremely rare. The tumors described in the literature were observed mostly in the prepontine region. This is the first case reported of an intradural extraosseous chordoma occurring in the foramen magnum region. The tumor was totally excised. The distinction between an intradural extraosseous chordoma and a classic chordoma is important from a clinical viewpoint because of the potential for complete surgical excision and a more benign growth pattern.