1 Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka University Medical School, Osaka, Japan; Department of Neurosurgery, Suita Municipal Hospital, Osaka, Japan; and Department of Neurosurgery, Kansai Rousai Hospital, Hyogo, Japan
Object. To enhance visual confirmation of regional anatomy, endoscopy was introduced during microsurgery for cerebral aneurysms. The risks and benefits are analyzed in the present study.
Methods. The endoscopic technique was used during microsurgery for 54 aneurysms in 48 patients. Forty-three aneurysms were located in the anterior circulation and 11 were in the posterior circulation. Thirty-eight aneurysms (70.4%) had not ruptured. All ruptured aneurysms in the present series produced Hunt and Hess Grade I or II subarachnoid hemorrhage.
After initial exposure achieved with the aid of a microscope, the rigid endoscope was introduced to confirm the regional anatomy, including the aneurysm neck and adjacent structures. The necks of 43 aneurysms were clipped using microscopic control or simultaneous microscopic/endoscopic control. After clipping, the positions of the clip and nearby structures were inspected using the endoscope.
Use of the neuroendoscope provided useful information that further clarified the regional anatomy in 44 cases (81.5%) either before or after neck clipping. In nine cases (16.7%), these details were available only with the use of the endoscope. In five cases (9.3%), the surgeons reapplied the clip on the basis of endoscopic information obtained after the initial clipping. There were two cases in which surgical complications were possibly related to the endoscopic procedures (one patient with asymptomatic cerebral contusion and another with transient oculomotor palsy).
Conclusions. It is the authors' impression that the use of the endoscope in the microsurgical management of cerebral aneurysms enhanced the safety and reliability of the surgery. However, there is a prerequisite for the surgeon to be familiar with this instrumentation and fully prepared for the risks and inconveniences of endoscopic procedures.
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