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Alessia Imperato, Alessandra Marini, Pietro Spennato, Giuseppe Mirone, and Giuseppe Cinalli

The authors present a pediatric case of a pineoblastoma treated with gross-total removal through an occipital interhemispheric transtentorial approach (OITA). The child presented with acute hydrocephalus that was treated by endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and tumor biopsy through a single burr hole. Histology revealed a pineoblastoma. Microsurgical total removal was performed 3 months after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. OITA was chosen on the basis of the tumor’s location below the Herophilus-Galen line of sight. In this video, the authors show the positioning, the operating devices, the approach, and the microsurgical dissection, indicating all the neurovascular structures encountered.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.4.FOCVID2122.

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Sonja Vulcu, Leonie Eickele, Giuseppe Cinalli, Wolfgang Wagner, and Joachim Oertel

OBJECT

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the procedure of choice in the treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus. The excellent clinical and radiological success rates are well known. Nevertheless, very few papers have addressed the very long term outcomes of the procedure in very large series. The authors present a large case series of 113 patients who underwent 126 ETVs, and they highlight the initial postoperative outcome after 3 months and long-term follow-up with an average of 7 years.

METHODS

All patients who underwent ETV at the Department of Neurosurgery, Mainz University Hospital, between 1993 and 1999 were evaluated. Obstructive hydrocephalus was the causative pathology in all cases.

RESULTS

The initial clinical success rate was 82% and decreased slightly to 78% during long-term follow-up. Long-term success was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves. Overall, ETV failed in 31 patients. These patients underwent a second ETV or shunt treatment. A positive impact on long-term success was seen for age older than 6 months, and for obstruction due to cysts or benign aqueductal stenosis. The complication rate was 9% with 5 intraoperative and 5 postoperative events.

CONCLUSIONS

The high clinical success rate in short-term and long-term follow-up confirms ETV’s status as the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus, especially for distinct pathologies. The patient’s age and underlying pathology may influence the outcome. These factors should be considered carefully preoperatively by the surgeon.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Alessia Imperato, Giuseppe Mirone, Giuliana Di Martino, Giancarlo Nicosia, Claudio Ruggiero, Ferdinando Aliberti, and Pietro Spennato

OBJECTIVE

Neuroendoscopic removal of intraventricular tumors is difficult and time consuming because of the lack of an effective decompression system that can be used through the working channel of the endoscope. The authors report on the utilization of an endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator in the resection of intraventricular tumors.

METHODS

Twelve pediatric patients (10 male, 2 female), ages 1–15 years old, underwent surgery via a purely endoscopic approach using a Gaab rigid endoscope and endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator. Two patients presented with intraventricular metastases from high-grade tumors (medulloblastoma, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor), 2 with subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (associated with tuberous sclerosis), 2 with low-grade intraparaventricular tumors, 4 with suprasellar tumors (2 craniopharyngiomas and 2 optic pathway gliomas), and 2 with pineal tumors (1 immature teratoma, 1 pineal anlage tumor). Hydrocephalus was present in 5 cases. In all patients, the endoscopic trajectory and ventricular access were guided by electromagnetic neuronavigation. Nine patients underwent surgery via a precoronal bur hole while supine. In 2 cases, surgery was performed through a frontal bur hole at the level of the hairline. One patient underwent surgery via a posterior parietal approach to the trigone while in a lateral position. The endoscopic technique consisted of visualization of the tumor, ventricular washing to dilate the ventricles and to control bleeding, obtaining a tumor specimen with biopsy forceps, and ultrasonic aspiration of the tumor. Bleeding was controlled with irrigation, monopolar coagulation, and a thulium laser.

RESULTS

In 7 cases, the resection was total or near total (more than 90% of lesion removed). In 5 cases, the resection was partial. Histological evaluation of the collected material (withdrawn using biopsy forceps and aspirated with an ultrasonic aspirator) was diagnostic in all cases. The duration of surgery ranged from 30 to 120 minutes. One case was complicated by subdural hygroma requiring a subduro-peritoneal shunt implant.

CONCLUSIONS

In this preliminary series, endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration proved to be a safe and reliable method for achieving extensive decompression or complete removal in the management of intra- and/or paraventricular lesions in pediatric patients.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Maria Rosaria Scala, Alessandra Marini, Alessia Imperato, Giuseppe Mirone, and Pietro Spennato

In this video, the authors present an interhemispheric transcallosal transchoroidal approach to a pineal mass in a 15-year-old boy. He received emergency endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), then an endoscopic biopsy that revealed an immature teratoma. Surgical removal was selected. The mass was located very high in the posterior third ventricle, hidden behind the splenium of the corpus callosum and the vein of Galen, so an interhemispheric transcallosal approach followed by a complete dissection of the whole choroidal fissure was chosen and allowed complete removal of the tumor. Microsurgical dissection is presented, showing clearly in detail all the neurovascular structures encountered.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.4.FOCVID2126.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Isabelle Simon, Guillaume Lot, and Spiros Sgouros

Object

This study is a retrospective analysis of clinical data obtained in 28 patients affected by obstructive hydrocephalus who presented with signs of midbrain dysfunction during episodes of shunt malfunction.

Methods

All patients presented with an upward gaze palsy, sometimes associated with other signs of oculomotor dysfunction. In seven cases the ocular signs remained isolated and resolved rapidly after shunt revision. In 21 cases the ocular signs were variably associated with other clinical manifestations such as pyramidal and extrapyramidal deficits, memory disturbances, mutism, or alterations in consciousness. Resolution of these symptoms after shunt revision was usually slow. In four cases a transient paradoxical aggravation was observed at the time of shunt revision. In 11 cases ventriculocisternostomy allowed resolution of the symptoms and withdrawal of the shunt.

Simultaneous supratentorial and infratentorial intracranial pressure recordings performed in seven of the patients showed a pressure gradient between the supratentorial and infratentorial compartments with a higher supratentorial pressure before shunt revision. Inversion of this pressure gradient was observed after shunt revision and resolution of the gradient was observed in one case after third ventriculostomy. In six recent cases, a focal midbrain hyperintensity was evidenced on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequences at the time of shunt malfunction. This rapidly resolved after the patient underwent third ventriculostomy.

It is probable that in obstructive hydrocephalus at the time of shunt malfunction, the development of a transtentorial pressure gradient could initially induce a functional impairment of the upper midbrain, inducing upward gaze palsy. The persistence of the gradient could lead to a global dysfunction of the upper midbrain.

Conclusions

Third ventriculostomy contributes to equalization of cerebrospinal fluid pressure across the tentorium by restoring free communication between the infratentorial and supratentorial compartments, resulting in resolution of the patient's clinical symptoms.

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Giovanni Miccoli, Domenico Cicala, Pietro Spennato, Alessia Imperato, Claudio Ruggiero, and Giuseppe Cinalli

BACKGROUND

Cavum trigeminale cephaloceles (CTCs) are characterized by a cystic appearance and extension of the posterolateral aspect of Meckel’s cave into the superomedial portion of the petrous apex. A possible mechanism is a transient or sustained increase of intracranial pressure transmitted to Meckel’s cave, leading to its secondary herniation, in the presence of predisposing local factors. The majority of CTCs are incidental findings. Among symptomatic cases, headache, trigeminal neuralgia, cerebrospinal fluid leak, vertigo, ataxia, facial numbness, hearing loss, diplopia, and other visual disturbances have been described.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a case of an 18-month-old male patient referred to their hospital with drowsiness, vomiting, left cranial nerve VI palsy, and papilledema. Neuroradiological investigation revealed the presence of a CTC with a swollen aspect of the left pontine hemisection and indirect signs of intracranial hypertension. The patient was managed with implantation of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

LESSONS

CTCs are rare lesions that are difficult to recognize on neuroimaging, in which they can be mistaken for tumoral or inflammatory lesions. The most frequent asymptomatic forms should be considered as “leave-me-alone” lesions. In cases of intracranial hypertension, according to a supposed theory on the origin of CTCs, the authors recommend treating only the intracranial hypertension instead of performing more invasive surgical procedures, especially in pediatric patients.