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Yuichi Kawasaki, Fumiaki Kanamori, Tetsuya Tsukada, Kazunori Shintai, Syuntaro Takasu, and Yukio Seki

BACKGROUND

Dural arteriovenous fistulas of the hypoglossal canal (HCDAVFs) with dominant drainage to perimedullary veins are extremely rare. These patients are prone to develop slow and progressive myelopathy, however, their clinical course has not been fully elucidated. We report an unusual case of HCDAVF in which the patient demonstrated rapid progression of hemiplegia and respiratory insufficiency.

OBSERVATIONS

An 82-year-old woman demonstrated motor weakness of the left extremities. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging showed a high intensity area in the right medulla oblongata and angiography revealed HCDAVF with dominant drainage to the anterior medullary vein through the anterior condylar vein. Within 3 days, her hemiparesis and respiratory function worsened, and she needed mechanical ventilation. Considering that venous congestion in the medulla oblongata could cause the symptoms, we immediately performed surgical obliteration of the anterior condylar vein. The disappearance of HCDAVF was confirmed by angiography and the patient was weaned from mechanical ventilation 3 days postoperatively. Her left hemiplegia gradually resolved and she was independent in daily life 8 months after the operation.

LESSONS

HCDAVFs with dominant drainage to the perimedullary veins can demonstrate rapid progression of medulla oblongata disturbance. Early disconnection should be considered to provide an opportunity for substantial recovery.

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Masahiro Izawa, Motohiro Hayashi, Mikhail Chernov, Koutarou Nakaya, Taku Ochiai, Noriko Murata, Yuichi Takasu, Osami Kubo, Tomokatsu Hori, and Kintomo Takakura

Object. The authors analyzed of the long-term complications that occur 2 or more years after gamma knife surgery (GKS) for intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods. Patients with previously untreated intracranial AVMs that were managed by GKS and followed for at least 2 years after treatment were selected for analysis (237 cases). Complete AVM obliteration was attained in 130 cases (54.9%), and incomplete obliteration in 107 cases (45.1%). Long-term complications were observed in 22 patients (9.3%). These complications included hemorrhage (eight cases), delayed cyst formation (eight cases), increase of seizure frequency (four cases), and middle cerebral artery stenosis and increased white matter signal intensity on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (one case of each). The long-term complications were associated with larger nidus volume (p < 0.001) and a lobar location of the AVM (p < 0.01). Delayed hemorrhage was associated only with incomplete obliteration of the nidus (p < 0.05). Partial obliteration conveyed no benefit. Delayed cyst formation was associated with a higher maximal GKS dose (p < 0.001), larger nidus volume (p < 0.001), complete nidus obliteration (p < 0.01), and a lobar location of the AVM (p < 0.05).

Conclusions. Incomplete obliteration of the nidus is the most important factor associated with delayed hemorrhagic complications. Partial obliteration does not seem to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. Complete obliteration can be complicated by delayed cyst formation, especially if high maximal treatment doses have been administered.

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Motohiro Hayashi, Takaomi Taira, Taku Ochiai, Mikhail Chernov, Yuichi Takasu, Masahiro Izawa, Nobuo Kouyama, Mihoko Tomida, Osamu Tokumaru, Yoko Katayama, Yoriko Kawakami, Tomokatsu Hori, and Kintomo Takakura

Object. Although reports in the literature indicate that thalamic pain syndrome can be controlled with chemical hypophysectomy, this procedure is associated with transient diabetes insipidus. It was considered reasonable to attempt gamma knife surgery (GKS) to the pituitary gland to control thalamic pain.

Methods. Inclusion criteria in this study were poststroke thalamic pain, failure of all other treatments, intolerance to general anesthetic, and the main complaint of pain and not numbness. Seventeen patients met these criteria and were treated with GKS to the pituitary. The target was the pituitary gland together with the border between the pituitary stalk and the gland. The maximum dose was 140 to 180 Gy. All patients were followed for more than 3 months.

Conclusions. An initial significant pain reduction was observed in 13 (76.5%) of 17 patients. Some patients experienced pain reduction within 48 hours of treatment. Persistent pain relief for more than 1 year was observed in five (38.5%) of 13 patients. Rapid recurrence of pain in fewer than 3 months was observed in four (30.8%) of 13 patients. The only complication was transient diabetes insipidus in one patient. It would seem that GKS of the pituitary might have a role to play in thalamic pain arising after a stroke.