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Nicolas W. Villelli, David M. Lewis, Thomas J. Leipzig, Andrew J. DeNardo, Troy D. Payner and Charles G. Kulwin

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative angiography can be a valuable tool in the surgical management of vascular disorders in the CNS. This is typically accomplished via femoral artery puncture; however, this can be technically difficult in patients in the prone position. The authors describe the feasibility of intraoperative angiography via the popliteal artery in the prone patient.

METHODS

Three patients underwent intraoperative spinal angiography in the prone position via vascular access through the popliteal artery. Standard angiography techniques were used, along with ultrasound and a micropuncture needle for initial vascular access. Two patients underwent intraoperative angiography to confirm the obliteration of dural arteriovenous fistulas. The third patient required unexpected intraoperative angiography when a tumor was concerning for a vascular malformation in the cervical spine.

RESULTS

All 3 patients tolerated the procedure without complication. The popliteal artery was easily accessed without any adaptation to typical patient positioning for these prone-position cases. This proved particularly beneficial when angiography was not part of the preoperative plan.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative angiography via the popliteal artery is feasible and well tolerated. It presents significant benefit when obtaining imaging studies in patients in a prone position, with the added benefit of easy access, familiar anatomy, and low concern for catheter thrombosis or kinking.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Stylianos Mourtzoukos, Andreas Stadlbauer, Björn Sommer and Rudolf Rammensee

OBJECTIVE

There is no established method of noninvasive intracranial pressure (NI-ICP) monitoring that can serve as an alternative to the gold standards of invasive monitoring with external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In this study a new method of NI-ICP monitoring performed using algorithms to determine ICP based on acoustic properties of the brain was applied in patients undergoing invasive ICP (I-ICP) monitoring, and the results were analyzed.

METHODS

In patients with traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage who were undergoing treatment in a neurocritical intensive care unit, the authors recorded ICP using the gold standard method of invasive external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In addition, the authors simultaneously measured the ICP noninvasively with a device (the HS-1000) that uses advanced signal analysis algorithms for acoustic signals propagating through the cranium. To assess the accuracy of the NI-ICP method, data obtained using both I-ICP and NI-ICP monitoring methods were analyzed with MATLAB to determine the statistical significance of the differences between the ICP measurements obtained using NI-ICP and I-ICP monitoring.

RESULTS

Data were collected in 14 patients, yielding 2543 data points of continuous parallel ICP values in recordings obtained from I-ICP and NI-ICP. Each of the 2 methods yielded the same number of data points. For measurements at the ≥ 17–mm Hg cutoff, which was arbitrarily chosen for this preliminary analysis, the sensitivity and specificity for the NI-ICP monitoring were found to be 0.7541 and 0.8887, respectively. Linear regression analysis indicated that there was a strong positive relationship between the measurements. Differential pressure between NI-ICP and I-ICP was within ± 3 mm Hg in 63% of data-paired readings and within ± 5 mm Hg in 85% of data-paired readings. The receiver operating characteristic–area under the curve analysis revealed that the area under the curve was 0.895, corresponding to the overall performance of NI-ICP monitoring in comparison with I-ICP monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides the first clinical data on the accuracy of the HS-1000 NI-ICP monitor, which uses advanced signal analysis algorithms to evaluate properties of acoustic signals traveling through the brain in patients undergoing I-ICP monitoring. The findings of this study highlight the capability of this NI-ICP device to accurately measure ICP noninvasively. Further studies should focus on clinical validation for elevated ICP values.

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Mark P. Garrett, Richard W. Williamson, Michael A. Bohl, C. Roger Bird and Nicholas Theodore

OBJECTIVE

For a diagnosis of brain death (BD), ancillary testing is performed if patient factors prohibit a complete clinical examination and apnea test. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guidelines identify cerebral angiography (CA), cerebral scintigraphy, electroencephalography, and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography as accepted ancillary tests. CA is widely considered the gold standard of these, as it provides the most reliable assessment of intracranial blood flow. CT angiography (CTA) is a noninvasive and widely available study that is also capable of identifying absent or severely diminished intracranial blood flow, but it is not included among the AAN's accepted ancillary tests because of insufficient evidence demonstrating its reliability. The objective of this study was to assess the statistical performance of CTA in diagnosing BD, using clinical criteria alone or clinical criteria plus CA as the gold-standard comparisons.

METHODS

The authors prospectively enrolled 22 adult patients undergoing workup for BD. All patients had cranial imaging and clinical examination results consistent with BD. In patients who met the AAN clinical criteria for BD, the authors performed CA and CTA so that both tests could be compared with the gold-standard clinical criteria. In cases that required ancillary testing, CA was performed as a confirmatory study, and CTA was then performed to compare against clinical criteria plus CA. Radiographic data were evaluated by an independent neuroradiologist. Test characteristics for CTA were calculated.

RESULTS

Four patients could not complete the standard BD workup and were excluded from analysis. Of the remaining 18 patients, 16 met AAN criteria for BD, 9 of whom required ancillary testing with CA. Of the 16 patients, 2 who also required CA ancillary testing were found to have persistent intracranial flow and were not declared brain dead at that time. These patients also underwent CTA; the results were concordant with the CA results. Six patients who were diagnosed with BD on the basis of clinical criteria alone also underwent CA, with 100% sensitivity. For all 18 patients included in the study, CTA had a sensitivity of 75%, a specificity of 100%, a positive predictive value of 100%, and a negative predictive value of 33%.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical examination with or without CA remains the gold standard in BD testing. Studies assessing the statistical performance of CTA in BD testing should compare CTA to these gold standards. The statistical performance of CTA in BD testing is comparable to several of the nationally accepted ancillary tests. These data add to the growing medical literature supporting the use of CTA as a reliable ancillary test in BD testing.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Go Yoshida, Sho Kobayashi, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, Daisuke Togawa and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative neuromonitoring may be valuable for predicting postoperative neurological complications, and transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) are the most reliable monitoring modality with high sensitivity. One of the most frequent problems of TcMEP monitoring is the high rate of false-positive alerts, also called “anesthetic fade.” The purpose of this study was to clarify the risk factors for false-positive TcMEP alerts and to find ways to reduce false-positive rates.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 703 patients who underwent TcMEP monitoring under total intravenous anesthesia during spinal surgery within a 7-year interval. They defined an alert point as final TcMEP amplitudes ≤ 30% of the baseline. Variations in body temperature (maximum − minimum body temperature during surgery) were measured. Patients with false-positive alerts were classified into 2 groups: a global group with alerts observed in 2 or more muscles of the upper and lower extremities, and a focal group with alerts observed in 1 muscle.

RESULTS

False-positive alerts occurred in 100 cases (14%), comprising 60 cases with global and 40 cases with focal alerts. Compared with the 545 true-negative cases, in the false-positive cases the patients had received a significantly higher total propofol dose (1915 mg vs 1380 mg; p < 0.001). In the false-positive cases with global alerts, the patients had also received a higher mean propofol dose than those with focal alerts (4.5 mg/kg/hr vs 4.2 mg/kg/hr; p = 0.087). The cutoff value of the total propofol dose for predicting false-positive alerts, with the best sensitivity and specificity, was 1550 mg. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that a total propofol dose > 1550 mg (OR 4.583; 95% CI 2.785–7.539; p < 0.001), variation in body temperature (1°C difference; OR 1.691; 95% CI 1.060–2.465; p < 0.01), and estimated blood loss (500-ml difference; OR 1.309; 95% CI 1.155–1.484; p < 0.001) were independently associated with false-positive alerts.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative total propofol dose > 1550 mg, larger variation in body temperature, and greater blood loss are independently associated with false-positive alerts during spinal surgery. The authors believe that these factors may contribute to the false-positive global alerts that characterize anesthetic fade. As it is necessary to consider multiple confounding factors to distinguish false-positive alerts from true-positive alerts, including variation in body temperature or ischemic condition, the authors argue the importance of a team approach that includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, and medical engineers.

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Jorge Tirado-Caballero, Andres Muñoz-Nuñez, Santiago Rocha-Romero, Mónica Rivero-Garvía, Emilio Gomez-González and Javier Marquez-Rivas

Intracranial pressure (ICP) measurements are imperative for the proper diagnosis and treatment of several neurological disorders. Telemetric sensors have shown their utility for ICP estimation in short-term monitoring in humans. However, their long-term reliability is uncertain. The authors present the case of a 37-year-old woman diagnosed with benign intracranial hypertension and obesity. The patient underwent gastric bypass surgery for ICP control. In order to monitor ICP before and after bariatric surgery, a Neurovent-P-tel sensor was implanted in the left frontal lobe. After gastric bypass, normal ICP values were recorded, and the patient’s visual fields improved. However, the patient experienced incapacitating daily headaches. The authors decided to implant a Codman Microsensor ICP transducer in the right frontal lobe to assess the long-term reliability of the Neurovent-P-tel measurements. A comparison of the recordings at 24 and 48 hours showed good correlation and reliability during long-term monitoring with the Neurovent-P-tel, with minimal zero drift after 11 months of implantation.

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Ali Kooshkabadi, Brian Jankowitz, Phillip A. Choi, Gregory M. Weiner and Stephanie Greene

The authors present the case of a boy who was successfully managed through the spontaneous thrombosis of a cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm, the subsequent occlusion of the ICA, its recanalization, and ultimate endovascular sacrifice, using only two angiograms because of the diagnostic capability of CT angiography. Spontaneous recanalization of the ICA following occlusion in the setting of a giant aneurysm has not been previously reported.

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Farouk Olubajo, Tatyana Yermakova, J. Robin Highley and Vasileios Arzoglou

Idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis (IHSP), a rare diffuse inflammatory thickening of the dura mater, and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) are known entities but they have never been reported as concomitant diagnoses. To their knowledge, the authors present the first reported case in the international literature with supportive evidence for both IHSP (based on MRI, intraoperative, and histological findings) and GBS (based on history, clinical examination, and electrophysiological findings). They review the literature on IHSP and the diagnostic criteria for GBS, with the view of identifying a possible causative connection.

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Pamela R. Sherwood, Thomas R. Hedges III, Carlos E. Mendoza-Santiesteban, Carl B. Heilman and Julian K. Wu

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Radek Kolecki, Vikalpa Dammavalam, Abdullah Bin Zahid, Molly Hubbard, Osamah Choudhry, Marleen Reyes, ByoungJun Han, Tom Wang, Paraskevi Vivian Papas, Aylin Adem, Emily North, David T. Gilbertson, Douglas Kondziolka, Jason H. Huang, Paul P. Huang and Uzma Samadani

OBJECTIVE

The precise threshold differentiating normal and elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is variable among individuals. In the context of several pathophysiological conditions, elevated ICP leads to abnormalities in global cerebral functioning and impacts the function of cranial nerves (CNs), either or both of which may contribute to ocular dysmotility. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of elevated ICP on eye-tracking performed while patients were watching a short film clip.

METHODS

Awake patients requiring placement of an ICP monitor for clinical purposes underwent eye tracking while watching a 220-second continuously playing video moving around the perimeter of a viewing monitor. Pupil position was recorded at 500 Hz and metrics associated with each eye individually and both eyes together were calculated. Linear regression with generalized estimating equations was performed to test the association of eye-tracking metrics with changes in ICP.

RESULTS

Eye tracking was performed at ICP levels ranging from −3 to 30 mm Hg in 23 patients (12 women, 11 men, mean age 46.8 years) on 55 separate occasions. Eye-tracking measures correlating with CN function linearly decreased with increasing ICP (p < 0.001). Measures for CN VI were most prominently affected. The area under the curve (AUC) for eye-tracking metrics to discriminate between ICP < 12 and ≥ 12 mm Hg was 0.798. To discriminate an ICP < 15 from ≥ 15 mm Hg the AUC was 0.833, and to discriminate ICP < 20 from ≥ 20 mm Hg the AUC was 0.889.

CONCLUSIONS

Increasingly elevated ICP was associated with increasingly abnormal eye tracking detected while patients were watching a short film clip. These results suggest that eye tracking may be used as a noninvasive, automatable means to quantitate the physiological impact of elevated ICP, which has clinical application for assessment of shunt malfunction, pseudotumor cerebri, concussion, and prevention of second-impact syndrome.

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Faith C. Robertson, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr. and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Ventriculostomy entry sites are commonly selected by freehand estimation of Kocher's point or approximations from skull landmarks and a trajectory toward the ipsilateral frontal horn of the lateral ventricles. A recognized ventriculostomy complication is intracranial hemorrhage from cortical vessel damage; reported rates range from 1% to 41%. In this report, the authors assess hemorrhagic risk by simulating traditional ventriculostomy trajectories and using CT angiography (CTA) with venography (CTV) data to identify potential complications, specifically from cortical draining veins.

METHODS

Radiographic analysis was completed on 50 consecutive dynamic CTA/CTV studies obtained at a tertiary-care academic neurosurgery department. Image sections were 0.5 mm thick, and analysis was performed on a venous phase that demonstrated high-quality opacification of the cortical veins and sagittal sinus. Virtual ventriculostomy trajectories were determined for right and left sides using medical diagnostic imaging software. Entry points were measured along the skull surface, 10 cm posteriorly from the nasion, and 3 cm laterally for both left and right sides. Cannulation was simulated perpendicular to the skull surface. Distances between the software-traced cortical vessels and the virtual catheter were measured. To approximate vessel injury by twist drill and ventricular catheter placement, veins within a 3-mm radius were considered a hemorrhage risk.

RESULTS

In 100 virtual lines through Kocher's point toward the ipsilateral ventricle, 19% were predicted to cause cortical vein injury and suspected hemorrhage (radius ≤ 3 mm). Little difference existed between cerebral hemispheres (right 18%, left 20%). The average (± SD) distance from the trajectory line and a cortical vein was 7.23 ± 4.52 mm. In all 19 images that predicted vessel injury, a site of entry for an avascular zone near Kocher's point could be achieved by moving the trajectory less than 1.0 cm laterally and less than 1.0 cm along the anterior/posterior axis, suggesting that empirical measures are suboptimal, and that patient-specific coordinates based on preprocedural CTA/CVA imaging may optimize ventriculostomy in the future.

CONCLUSIONS

In this institutional radiographic imaging analysis, traditional methods of ventriculostomy site selection predicted significant rates of cortical vein injury, matching described rates in the literature. CTA/CTV imaging potentiates identification of patient-specific cannulation sites and custom trajectories that avoid cortical vessels, which may lessen the risk of intracranial hemorrhage during ventriculostomy placement. Further development of this software is underway to facilitate stereotactic ventriculostomy and improve outcomes.