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Hiroki Hori, Toshio Yamaguchi, Yoshiyuki Konishi, Takaomi Taira and Yoshihiro Muragaki


This study evaluated changes of fractional anisotropy (FA) in the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus after transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound (TcMRgFUS) thalamotomy and their associations with clinical outcome.


Clinical and radiological data of 12 patients with medically refractory essential tremor (mean age 76.5 years) who underwent TcMRgFUS thalamotomy with VIM targeting were analyzed retrospectively. The Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) score was calculated before and at 1 year after treatment. Measurements of the relative FA (rFA) values, defined as ratio of the FA value in the targeted VIM to the FA value in the contralateral VIM, were performed before thalamotomy, and 1 day and 1 year thereafter.


TcMRgFUS thalamotomy was well tolerated and no long-term complications were noted. At 1-year follow-up, 8 patients demonstrated relief of tremor (improvement group), whereas in 4 others persistent tremor was noted (recurrence group). In the entire cohort, mean rFA values in the targeted VIM before treatment, and at 1 day and 1 year after treatment, were 1.12 ± 0.15, 0.44 ± 0.13, and 0.82 ± 0.22, respectively (p < 0.001). rFA values were consistently higher in the recurrence group compared with the improvement group, and the difference reached statistical significance at 1 day (p < 0.05) and 1 year (p < 0.01) after treatment. There was a statistically significant (p < 0.01) positive correlation between rFA values in the targeted VIM at 1 day after thalamotomy and CRST score at 1 year after treatment. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that the optimal cutoff value of rFA at 1 day after thalamotomy for prediction of symptomatic improvement at 1-year follow-up is 0.54.


TcMRgFUS thalamotomy results in significant decrease of rFA in the targeted VIM, at both 1 day and 1 year after treatment. Relative FA values at 1 day after treatment showed significant correlation with CRST score at 1-year follow-up. Therefore, FA may be considered a possible imaging biomarker for early prediction of clinical outcome after TcMRgFUS thalamotomy for essential tremor.

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Shiro Horisawa, Toshio Yamaguchi, Keiichi Abe, Hiroki Hori, Masatake Sumi, Yoshiyuki Konishi and Takaomi Taira

Musician’s dystonia (MD) is a type of focal hand dystonia that develops only while playing musical instruments and interferes with skilled and fine movements. Lesioning of the ventro-oral (Vo) nucleus of the thalamus (Vo-thalamotomy) using radiofrequency can cause dramatic improvement in MD symptoms. Focused ultrasound (FUS) can make intracranial focal lesions without an incision. The authors used MRI-guided FUS (MRgFUS) to create a lesion on the Vo nucleus to treat a patient with MD. Tubiana’s MD scale (TMDS) was used to evaluate the condition of musical play ranging from 1 to 5 (1: worst, 5: best). The patient was a 35-year-old right-handed man with involuntary flexion of the right second, third, and fourth fingers, which occurred while playing a classical guitar. Immediately after therapeutic sonications of FUS Vo-thalamotomy, there was dramatic improvement in the MD symptoms. The TMDS scores before; at 0 and 1 week after; and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after MRgFUS Vo-thalamotomy were 1, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, and 5, respectively. No complications were observed. Focused ultrasound Vo-thalamotomy can be an effective treatment for MD.

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Noriko Tamura, Motohiro Hayashi, Mikhail Chernov, Manabu Tamura, Ayako Horiba, Yoshiyuki Konishi, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Hiroshi Iseki and Yoshikazu Okada


The focus of the present study was the evaluation of outcomes after unstaged and staged-volume Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in children harboring intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).


Twenty-two children (median age 9.5 years) underwent GKS for AVMs and were followed up for at least 2 years thereafter. The disease manifested with intracranial hemorrhage in 77% of cases. In 68% of patients the lesion affected eloquent brain structures. The volume of the nidus ranged from 0.1 to 6.7 cm3. Gamma Knife surgery was guided mainly by data from dynamic contrast-enhanced CT scans, with preferential targeting of the junction between the nidus and draining vein. The total prescribed isodose volume was kept below 4.0 cm3, and the median margin dose was 22 Gy (range 20–25 Gy). If the volume of the nidus was larger than 4.0 cm3, a second radiosurgical session was planned for 3–4 years after the first one. Nine patients in the present series underwent unstaged radiosurgery, whereas staged-volume treatment was scheduled in 13 patients.


Complete obliteration of the AVM was noted in 17 (77%) of 22 patients within a median period of 47 months after the last radiosurgical session. Complete obliteration of the lesion occurred in 89% of patients after unstaged treatment and in 62.5% after staged GKS. Four (67%) of 6 high-grade AVMs were completely obliterated. Complications included 3 bleeding episodes, the appearance of a region of hyperintensity on T2-weighted MR images in 2 patients who had no symptoms, and reappearance of the nidus in the vicinity of the completely obliterated AVM in 1 patient.


Radiosurgery is a highly effective management option for intracranial AVMs in children. For larger lesions, staged GKS may be applied successfully. Initial targeting of the nidus adjacent to the draining vein and application of a sufficient radiation dose to a relatively small volume (≤ 4 cm3) provides a good balance between a high probability of obliteration and a low risk of treatment-related complications.

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Taiichi Saito, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Manabu Tamura, Masayuki Nitta, Shunsuke Tsuzuki, Yoshiyuki Konishi, Kotoe Kamata, Ryuta Kinno, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Hiroshi Iseki and Takakazu Kawamata


Identification of language areas using functional brain mapping is sometimes impossible using current methods but essential to preserve language function in patients with gliomas located within or near the frontal language area (FLA). However, the factors that influence the failure to detect language areas have not been elucidated. The present study evaluated the difficulty in identifying the FLA in dominant-side frontal gliomas that involve the pars triangularis (PT) to determine the factors that influenced failed positive language mapping.


Awake craniotomy was performed on 301 patients from April 2000 to October 2013 at Tokyo Women's Medical University. Recurrent cases were excluded, and patients were also excluded if motor mapping indicated their glioma was in or around the motor area on the dominant or nondominant side. Eighty-two consecutive cases of primary frontal glioma on the dominant side were analyzed for the present study. MRI was used for all patients to evaluate whether tumors involved the PT and to perform language functional mapping with a bipolar electrical stimulator. Eighteen of 82 patients (mean age 39 ± 13 years) had tumors that showed involvement of the PT, and the detailed characteristics of these 18 patients were examined.


The FLA could not be identified with intraoperative brain mapping in 14 (17%) of 82 patients; 11 (79%) of these 14 patients had a tumor involving the PT. The negative response rate in language mapping was only 5% in patients without involvement of the PT, whereas this rate was 61% in patients with involvement of the PT. Univariate analyses showed no significant correlation between identification of the FLA and sex, age, histology, or WHO grade. However, failure to identify the FLA was significantly correlated with involvement of the PT (p < 0.0001). Similarly, multivariate analyses with the logistic regression model showed that only involvement of the PT was significantly correlated with failure to identify the FLA (p < 0.0001). In 18 patients whose tumors involved the PT, only 1 patient had mild preoperative dysphasia. One week after surgery, language function worsened in 4 (22%) of 18 patients. Six months after surgery, 1 (5.6%) of 18 patients had a persistent mild speech deficit. The mean extent of resection was 90% ± 7.1%.


Identification of the FLA can be difficult in patients with frontal gliomas on the dominant side that involve the PT, but the positive mapping rate of the FLA was 95% in patients without involvement of the PT. These findings are useful for establishing a positive mapping strategy for patients undergoing awake craniotomy for the treatment of frontal gliomas on the dominant side. Thoroughly positive language mapping with subcortical electrical stimulation should be performed in patients without involvement of the PT. More careful continuous neurological monitoring combined with subcortical electrical stimulation is needed when removing dominant-side frontal gliomas that involve the PT.