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Chih-Hsiang Liao, Wen-Hsien Chen, Nien-Chen Liao and Yuang-Seng Tsuei

This video presents a case of new-onset visual blurring, diplopia, and conjunctival injection after head injury. CTA of the brain revealed a direct carotid-cavernous fistula (dCCF) of the right side. Careful evaluation of CTA source images revealed that the fistula point was at the ventromedial aspect of the right cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA), about 3.6 × 3.6 mm2 in size, with 3 main outflow channels (2 intracranial and 1 extracranial) (CTA-guided concept). DSA of the brain also confirmed the diagnosis but was unable to locate the fistula point in a large-sized dCCF. Through a transfemoral artery approach, 3 microcatheters were navigated to each peripheral channel to initiate outflow-targeted embolization. Intracranial refluxes were blocked first to avoid cerebral hemorrhages, followed by the extracranial outflow. During embolization, accidental dislodge of one coil into the sphenoparietal vein occurred, but no attempt of coil retrieval was made. Complete obliteration of the dCCF was achieved, and the patient recovered well without new neurological deficits. 4D MRA at the 3-month follow-up showed no residual dCCF.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/LH2lNVRZSPk.

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Chien-Lun Tang, Chih-Hsiang Liao, Wen-Hsien Chen, Shih-Chieh Shen, Chung-Hsin Lee, Hsu-Tung Lee and Yuang-Seng Tsuei

Endovascular embolization is the treatment of choice for carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs), but failure to catheterize the cavernous sinus may occur as a result of vessel tortuosity, hypoplasia, or stenosis. In addition to conventional transvenous or transarterial routes, alternative approaches should be considered. The authors present a case in which a straightforward route to the CCF was accessed via transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.

This 82-year-old man presented with severe chemosis and proptosis of the right eye. Digital subtraction angiography revealed a Type B CCF with a feeding artery arising from the meningohypophyseal trunk of the right cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery. The CCF drained through a thrombosed right superior ophthalmic vein that ended deep in the orbit; there were no patent sinuses or venous plexuses connecting to the CCF. An endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture created direct access to the nidus for embolization. Embolic agents were deployed through the puncture needle to achieve complete obliteration. Endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus is a feasible alternative to treat difficult-to-access CCFs in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.

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Po-Yu Liu, Yuang-Seng Tsuei and Zhi-Yuan Shi

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Hsi-Kai Tsou, Shao-Ching Chao, Chao-Jan Wang, Hsien-Te Chen, Chiung-Chyi Shen, Hsu-Tung Lee and Yuang-Seng Tsuei

Object

The authors assessed the effectiveness of percutaneous pulsed radiofrequency treatment for providing pain relief in patients with chronic low-back pain with or without lower-limb pain.

Methods

Data were obtained in 127 patients who had chronic low-back pain with or without lower-limb pain due to a herniated intervertebral disc or previous failed back surgery and who underwent pulsed radiofrequency treatment. Their conditions were proven by clinical features, physical examination, and imaging studies. Low-back pain was treated with pulsed radiofrequency applied to the L-2 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and lower-limb pain was treated with pulsed radiofrequency applied to the L3–S1 DRG. Patients underwent uni- or bilateral treatment depending on whether their low-back pain was unilateral or bilateral. A visual analog scale was used to assess pain. The patients were followed up for 3 years postoperatively.

Results

In patients without lower-limb pain (Group A), 27 (55.10%) of 49 patients had initial improvement ≥ 50% at 3-month follow-up. At 1-year follow-up, 20 (44.44%) of 45 patients in Group A had pain relief ≥ 50%. An analysis of patients with pain relief ≥ 50% for at least 1 month showed that the greatest effect was at 3 months after treatment. In patients with low-back pain and lower-limb pain (Group B), 37 (47.44%) of 78 patients had initial improvement ≥ 50% at 3-month follow-up. At 1-year follow-up, 34 (45.95%) of 74 patients had pain relief effect ≥ 50%. An analysis of patients in Group B with pain relief ≥ 50% for at least 1 month showed that the greatest effect was at 1 month after treatment.

Conclusions

The results of this prospective analysis showed that treatment with pulsed radiofrequency applied at the L-2 DRG is safe and effective for treating for chronic low-back pain. Satisfactory pain relief was obtained in the majority of patients in Group A with the effect persisting for at least 3 months. The results indicate that pulsed radiofrequency provided intermediate-term relief of low-back pain. Further studies with long-term follow-up are necessary.