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Fangxiang Chen and Peter Nakaji

Object

An optimal entry point for endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) helps protect critical structures from undue manipulation. A commonly accepted ideal entry point is 3 cm from the midline and 1 cm anterior to the coronal suture. The authors of this study reexamine this ideal entry point.

Methods

Trajectory views from MR images or CT scans used for cranial image guidance in 53 patients (age range 3–85 years) who had undergone ETV were retrospectively evaluated. The trajectory from the tuber cinereum back through the center of the foramen of Monro was projected to the surface of the head. The relation of the entry point to the midline and the coronal suture was established.

Results

The mean perpendicular distance from the ideal entry point to the midline was 30.1 ± 7 mm (median 31.9 mm, range 12.5–42.2 mm). The mean perpendicular distance to the coronal suture was 8.9 ± 14.1 mm posterior (median 10.4 mm), ranging from 30.6 mm anterior to 35.8 mm posterior. The entry point tended to be located more posteriorly in women and adults: 5.8 ± 15.4 mm posterior in males versus 13.1 ± 13.2 mm posterior in females (p = 0.08) and 9.1 ± 14.8 mm posterior in adults versus 8.2 ± 11.7 mm posterior in children (p = 0.84).

Conclusions

While the entry point may need to be modified from the ideal trajectory for other anatomical reasons, such as a trajectory through the motor cortex, in general, the authors found that the optimal entry point for ETV was more posterior than previously published and highly variable. Using image guidance or a customized trajectory based on analysis of a patient's own imaging is highly preferable to using an empirical ideal trajectory.

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Fangxiang Chen, Tsinsue Chen and Peter Nakaji

Object

The coronal suture is often used as an empirical landmark for the entry point for endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The trajectory for the approach is often drawn based on midsagittal MRI findings. However, because the coronal suture is not perpendicular to the midline, this method may be inaccurate.

Methods

The junction of the coronal and sagittal sutures was exposed at the outer table of the cranium of 15 cadavers. An ideal coronal line was established perpendicular to the sagittal suture at the junction of the sagittal and coronal sutures. The distance from this ideal coronal line at the level of the coronal-sagittal junction to the actual coronal suture was measured at 1-cm intervals. The measured distance between the 2 planes was termed the distance to the coronal suture.

Results

The coronal suture bows forward as it moves from medial to lateral. From 1–6 cm lateral to the sagittal suture, the distance to the coronal suture was 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, and 1.4 cm, respectively. There was no significant difference between the right and left sides.

Conclusions

The position of a bur hole for endoscopic third ventriculostomy should be moved posteriorly with respect to the coronal suture the more laterally it is placed. Although the adjustment is small, it may be crucial. Failure to make this adjustment may result in suboptimal bur hole placement and increase the risk of morbidity.

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Robert F. Spetzler, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Joseph M. Zabramski and Peter Nakaji

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Harjot Thind, Douglas A. Hardesty, Joseph M. Zabramski, Robert F. Spetzler and Peter Nakaji

OBJECT

The successful treatment of an intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) requires complete obliteration of blood flow through the fistulous point. Surgical ligation is often used along with endovascular techniques. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) can be used to confirm fistula obliteration; however, this technique can be cumbersome intraoperatively and difficult to correlate anatomically with the surgical field. Near-infrared indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography has been described as a complementary tool for this purpose.

METHODS

The authors examined intracranial dAVF cases in which microscope-integrated intraoperative ICG videoangiography was used to identify and/or confirm obliteration of the dAVF during surgery. Retrospective evaluation of all intracranial dAVF cases treated with surgical ligation over a 10-year period at the Barrow Neurological Institute (n = 47) revealed 28 cases in which ICG videoangiography was used. The results were compared with findings on preoperative and intraoperative or postoperative DSA.

RESULTS

ICG videoangiography successfully confirmed the fistulous point intraoperatively in 96% (22/23) of the cases. It also revealed complete obliteration of fistulas, comparable to intraoperative or postoperative DSA, in 91% (21/23) of the cases. The false-negative rate of ICG was 8.7% (2/23), which is similar to the false-negative rate of intraoperative DSA alone (10.5% [2/19]).

CONCLUSIONS

Microscope-based ICG videoangiography provides real-time information about the intraoperative anatomy of dAVFs. In addition, it can confirm complete obliteration of a fistula. This technique may be useful during dAVF surgery as an independent form of angiography or as an adjunct to intraoperative or postoperative DSA.

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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Peter Nakaji and Robert F. Spetzler

The supracerebellar infratentorial approach provides access to the dorsal midbrain, pineal region, and tentorial incisura. This approach can be used with the patient in a sitting, prone, park-bench, or supine position. For a patient with a supple neck and favorable anatomy, we prefer the supine position. The ipsilateral shoulder is elevated, the head turned to the contralateral side, the chin is tucked, and the neck extended toward the floor to open the craniocervical angle for added working room. Care must be taken to place the craniotomy laterally to make use of the ascending angle of the tentorium for ease of access to deep-seated lesions.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/BZh6ljmE23k.

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Matthew Quigley

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Nikolay L. Martirosyan, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Peter Nakaji and Robert F. Spetzler

The anterior interhemispheric approach is a workhorse for treatment of lesions in the third ventricle. In this case, we demonstrate the utility of this approach for resecting a complex third ventricular cavernous malformation. We discuss patient positioning, optimal location of the craniotomy, and surgical resection techniques for safe removal of these lesions. We also demonstrate the importance of gravity retraction using the falx to prevent injury to the dominant frontal lobe.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/38woc28er7M.

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Aristotelis S. Filippidis, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Peter Nakaji and Harold L. Rekate

Object

Negative-pressure and low-pressure hydrocephalus are rare clinical entities that are frequently misdiagnosed. They are characterized by recurrent episodes of shunt failure because the intracranial pressure is lower than the opening pressure of the valve. In this report the authors discuss iatrogenic CSF leaks as a cause of low- or negative-pressure hydrocephalus after approaches to the cranial base.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed cases of low-pressure or negative-pressure hydrocephalus presenting after cranial approaches complicated with a CSF leak at their institution.

Results

Three patients were identified. Symptoms of high intracranial pressure and ventriculomegaly were present, although the measured pressures were low or negative. A blocked communication between the ventricles and the subarachnoid space was documented in 2 of the cases and presumed in the third. Shunt revisions failed repeatedly. In all cases, temporary clinical and radiographic improvement resulted from external ventricular drainage at subatmospheric pressures. The CSF leaks were sealed and CSF communication was reestablished operatively. In 1 case, neck wrapping was used with temporary success.

Conclusions

Negative-pressure or low-pressure hydrocephalus associated with CSF leaks, especially after cranial base approaches, is difficult to treat. The solution often requires the utilization of subatmospheric external ventricular drains to establish a lower ventricular drainage pressure than the drainage pressure created in the subarachnoid space, where the pressure is artificially lowered by the CSF leak. Treatment involves correction of the CSF leak, neck wrapping to increase brain turgor and allow the pressure in the ventricles to rise to the level of the opening pressure of the valve, and reestablishing the CSF route.

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Seungwon Yoon, Michael A. Mooney, Michael A. Bohl, John P. Sheehy, Peter Nakaji, Andrew S. Little and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

With drastic changes to the health insurance market, patient cost sharing has significantly increased in recent years. However, the patient financial burden, or out-of-pocket (OOP) costs, for surgical procedures is poorly understood. The goal of this study was to analyze patient OOP spending in cranial neurosurgery and identify drivers of OOP spending growth.

METHODS

For 6569 consecutive patients who underwent cranial neurosurgery from 2013 to 2016 at the authors’ institution, the authors created univariate and multivariate mixed-effects models to investigate the effect of patient demographic and clinical factors on patient OOP spending. The authors examined OOP payments stratified into 10 subsets of case categories and created a generalized linear model to study the growth of OOP spending over time.

RESULTS

In the multivariate model, case categories (craniotomy for pain, tumor, and vascular lesions), commercial insurance, and out-of-network plans were significant predictors of higher OOP payments for patients (all p < 0.05). Patient spending varied substantially across procedure types, with patients undergoing craniotomy for pain ($1151 ± $209) having the highest mean OOP payments. On average, commercially insured patients spent nearly twice as much in OOP payments as the overall population. From 2013 to 2016, the mean patient OOP spending increased 17%, from $598 to $698 per patient encounter. Commercially insured patients experienced more significant growth in OOP spending, with a cumulative rate of growth of 42% ($991 in 2013 to $1403 in 2016).

CONCLUSIONS

Even after controlling for inflation, case-mix differences, and partial fiscal periods, OOP spending for cranial neurosurgery patients significantly increased from 2013 to 2016. The mean OOP spending for commercially insured neurosurgical patients exceeded $1400 in 2016, with an average annual growth rate of 13%. As patient cost sharing in health insurance plans becomes more prevalent, patients and providers must consider the potential financial burden for patients receiving specialized neurosurgical care.