We report a case of cervicomedullary compression by an anomalous vertebral artery treated using microsurgical decompression with intraoperative monitoring. A 68-year-old woman presented with posterior neck pain and gait disturbance. MRI revealed multiple abnormalities, including an anomalous vertebral artery that compressed the spinal cord at the cervicomedullary junction. Suboccipital craniectomy with C1 laminectomy was performed. The spinal cord was found to be compressed by the vertebral arteries, which were retracted dorsolaterally. At that time, the somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) changed. After release of the vertebral artery, the SSEP signal normalized instantly. The vertebral artery was then lifted gently and anchored to the dura. There was no other procedural complication. The patient's symptoms improved. This case demonstrates that intraoperative monitoring may be useful for preventing procedural complications during spinal cord microsurgical decompression.
Vertebral artery; Microvascular decompression; Cervicomedullary junction; Intraoperative monitoring
Cauda equina syndrome (CES) associated with dural ectasia is a rare neurologic complication in patients with longstanding ankylosing spondylitis (AS). We report a 68-year-old male with a 30-year history of AS who presented a typical symptom and signs of progressive CES, urinary incontinence and neuropathic pain of the lumbosacral radiculopathy. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings showed the unique appearances of dural ectasia, multiple dural diverticula, erosion of posterior element of the lumbar spine, tethering of the conus medullaris and adhesion of the lumbosacral nerve roots to the posterior aspect of the dural ectasia. Considering the progressive worsening of the clinical signs, detethering of the conus medullaris through resection of the filum terminale was performed through a limited laminectomy. However, the urinary incontinence did not improve and there was a partial relief of the neuropathic leg pain only. The possible pathogenetic mechanism of CES-AS and the dural ectasia in this patient with longstanding AS are discussed with a literature review.
Ankylosing spondylitis; Cauda equina syndrome; Dural ectasia; Filum terminale
The authors report a case of symptomatic epidural gas accumulation 2 weeks after the multi-level lumbar surgery, causing postoperative recurrent radiculopathy. The accumulation of epidural gas compressing the dural sac and nerve root was demonstrated by CT and MRI at the distant two levels, L3-4 and L5-S1, where vacuum in disc space was observed preoperatively and both laminectomy and discectomy had been done. However, postoperative air was not identified at L4-5 level where only laminectomy had been done in same surgical field, which suggested the relationship between postoperative epidural gas and the manipulation of disc structure. Conservative treatment and needle aspiration was performed, but not effective to relieve patient's symptoms. The patient underwent revision surgery to remove the gaseous cyst. Her leg pain was improved after the second operation.
Epidural gas; Vacuum phenomenon; Lumbar spine; Recurrent radiculopathy; Spinal surgery
Spinal subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAH) can extend into the intracranial subarachnoid space, but, severe cerebral vasospasm is rare complication of the extension of intracranial SAH from a spinal subarachnoid hematoma. A 67-year-old woman started anticoagulant therapy for unstable angina. The next day, she developed severe back pain and paraplegia. MRI showed intradural and extramedullar low signal intensity at the T2-3, consistent with intradural hematoma. High signal intensity was also noted in the spinal cord from C5 to T4. We removed subarachnoid hematoma compressing the spinal cord. The following day, the patient complained of severe headache. Brain CT revealed SAH around both parietal lobes. Three days later, her consciousness decreased and left hemiplegia also developed. Brain MRI demonstrated multiple cerebral infarctions, mainly in the right posterior cerebral artery territory, left parietal lobe and right watershed area. Conventional cerebral angiography confirmed diffuse severe vasospasm of the cerebral arteries. After intensive care for a month, the patient was transferred to the rehabilitation department. After 6 months, neurologic deterioration improved partially. We speculate that surgeons should anticipate possible delayed neurological complications due to cerebral vasospasm if intracranial SAH is detected after spinal subarachnoid hematoma.
Spinal subarachnoid hematoma; Intracranial subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vasospasm; Cerebral infarction
We present a case of angiographically confirmed transection of the cisternal segment of the anterior choroidal artery (AChA) associated with a severe head trauma in a 15-year old boy. The initial brain computed tomography scan revealed a diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and pneumocephalus with multiple skull fractures. Subsequent cerebral angiography clearly demonstrated a complete transection of the AChA at its origin with a massive extravasation of contrast medium as a jet trajectory creating a plume. We speculate that severe blunt traumatic force stretched and tore the left AChA between the internal carotid artery and the optic tract. In a simulation of the patient's brain using a fresh-frozen male cadaver, the AChA is shown to be vulnerable to stretching injury as the ipsilateral optic tract is retracted. We conclude that the arterial injury like an AChA rupture should be considered in the differential diagnosis of severe traumatic SAH.
Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage; Anterior choroidal artery; Transection; Angiography; Cadaver
Due to improvements in emergency resuscitation provided by rescue teams, more trauma victims who could have died due to sudden heart failure at the scene are brought to the hospital following resuscitation. Most of these patients present with major organ injuries and hypovolemic shock at the time of trauma. However, head trauma associated with sudden heart arrest is rare. Here, we report a case of ring fracture with pontomedullary laceration that led to sudden heart arrest.
Trauma; Resuscitation; Heart arrest; Fracture
Penetrating cerebral injuries caused by foreign bodies occur rarely due to the substantial mechanical protection offered by the skull. Throughout most of history, the brain, residing in a "closed box" of bone, has not been vulnerable to external aggression. Recently, we encountered a serious penetrating craniocerebral injury caused by a nail gun. Total excision of the offending nail via emergency craniotomy was performed, but the patient's neurologic status was not improved in spite of aggressive rehabilitative treatment. Here, we report on this troublesome case in light of a review of the relevant literature.
Head; Injury; Penetrating
To assess the effect of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) transplantation in the expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats.
BMMNCs were isolated from tibia and femur by a density gradient centrifugation. After establishment of acute transection SCI, rats were divided into experiment (BMMNCs), experiment control (0.1 M PBS infused) and sham surgery groups (laminectomy without any SCI). Locomotor function was assessed weekly for 5 weeks post-injury using BBB locomotor score and urinary bladder function daily for 4 weeks post-injury. Activity of NF-κB in spinal cord was assessed by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.
At each time point post-injury, sham surgery group had significantly higher Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan locomotor and urinary bladder function scores than experiment and experiment control group (p<0.05). At subsequent time interval there were gradual improvement in both experiment and experiment control group, but experiment group had higher score in comparison to experiment control group (p<0.05). Comparisons were also made for expression of activated NF-κB positive cells and level of NF-κB messenger RNA in spinal cord at various time points between the groups. Activated NF-κB immunoreactivity and level of NF-κB mRNA expression were significantly higher in control group in comparison to experiment and sham surgery group (p<0.05).
BMMNCs transplantation attenuates the expression of NF-κB in injured spinal cord tissue and thus helps in recovery of neurological function in rat models with SCI.
Cell transplantation; Inflammation; Mononuclear cells; Neuroprotective agent; NF-κB; Spinal cord injury
Neurosurgeons have been trying to reduce surgical invasiveness by applying minimally invasive keyhole approaches. Therefore, this paper clarifies the detailed surgical technique, its limitations, proper indications, and contraindications for a superciliary keyhole approach as a minimally invasive modification of a pterional approach. Successful superciliary keyhole surgery for unruptured aneurysms requires an understanding of the limitations and the use of special surgical techniques. Essentially, this means the effective selection of surgical indications, usage of the appropriate surgical instruments with a tubular shaft, and refined surgical techniques, including straightforward access to the aneurysm, clean surgical dissection, and the application of clips with an appropriate configuration. A superciliary keyhole approach allows unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms to be clipped safely, rapidly, and less invasively on the basis of appropriate surgical indications.
Cerebral aneurysm; Contraindications; Minimally invasive surgical procedures; Surgical technique
Neural tissue transplantation has been a promising strategy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, transplantation has the disadvantages of low-cell survival and/or development of dyskinesia. Transplantation of cell aggregates has the potential to overcome these problems, because the cells can extend their axons into the host brain and establish synaptic connections with host neurons. In this present study, aggregates of human brain-derived neural stem cells (HB-NSC) were transplanted into a PD animal model and compared to previous report on transplantation of single-cell suspensions.
Rats received an injection of 6-OHDA into the right medial forebrain bundle to generate the PD model and followed by injections of PBS only, or HB-NSC aggregates in PBS into the ipsilateral striatum. Behavioral tests, multitracer (2-deoxy-2-[18F]-fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]-FDG) and [18F]-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-2-carbomethoxy-3-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane ([18F]-FP-CIT) microPET scans, as well as immunohistochemical (IHC) and immunofluorescent (IF) staining were conducted to evaluate the results.
The stepping test showed significant improvement of contralateral forelimb control in the HB-NSC group from 6-10 weeks compared to the control group (p<0.05). [18F]-FP-CIT microPET at 10 weeks posttransplantation demonstrated a significant increase in uptake in the HB-NSC group compared to pretransplantation (p<0.05). In IHC and IF staining, tyrosine hydroxylase and human β2 microglobulin (a human cell marker) positive cells were visualized at the transplant site.
These results suggest that the HB-NSC aggregates can survive in the striatum and exert therapeutic effects in a PD model by secreting dopamine.
Parkinson's disease; Cell transplantation; Human brain-derived neural stem cells; Cell aggregates; Rat model; [18F]-FP-CIT microPET
In most patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), pain and/or paresthesia disappeared or decreased in a month after endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR). However, subpopulation of patients showed delayed improvement following ECTR. We analyzed the delayed improvement hands to investigate the characteristics of those patients and to determine the predictable factors of delayed improvement.
Single-portal ECTRs were performed in 1194 hands of 793 CTS patients from 2002 to 2011. Five-hundred seventy hands with minimal 1-year postoperative follow-up were included. We divided the 545 satisfied hands into early (group A) and delayed (group B) groups according to improvement period of 1 month. Demographic data, clinical severity and electrodiagnostic abnormality were compared between groups.
Group A included 510 hands and group B included 35 hands. In group B, 11 hands improved in 2 months, 15 hands in 3 months and 9 hands in 6 months, respectively. In group A/B, according to clinical severity, 60/1 hands were graded to I, 345/24 hands to II, 105/10 hands to III. In group A/B, based on electrodiagnostic abnormality, 57/3 hands were classified to mild, 221/11 hands to moderate and 222/21 hands to severe group. Statistical analysis between groups did not reach significance but electrodiagnostic or clinical severity had a tendency to affect the delayed response.
It is difficult to predict the factors contributing to postoperatively-delayed response in subpopulation of CTS patients. However, we recommend that postoperative observation for at least 6 months is necessary in patients without symptomatic improvement.
Carpal tunnel syndrome; Endoscopy; Surgical decompression; Delayed improvement
Blood blister-like aneurysms (BBAs) resemble arterial dissections. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between these two disease entities and highlight commonalities and distinct features.
Among 871 consecutive patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, 11 BBAs of internal carotid artery and seven vertebral artery dissections (VADs) with a short segmental eccentric dilatation (Mizutani type 4), which is morphologically similar to a BBA, were selected. The following clinical factors were studied in each group : age, gender, risk factors, Hunt and Hess grade (HHG), Fisher grade (FG), vasospasms, hydrocephalus, perioperative rebleeding rate, and treatment outcome.
The mean age was 47.9 years in the BBAs group and 46.4 years in the type 4 VADs group. All the BBA patients were female, whereas there was a slight male predominance in the type 4 VAD group (male : female ratio of 4 : 3). In the BBA and type 4 VAD groups that underwent less aggressive treatment to save the parent artery, 29% (n=2/7) and 66.6% (n=2/3), respectively, eventually required retreatment. Perioperative rebleeding occurred in 72.7% (n=8) and 28.6% (n=2) of patients in the BBA and type 4 VAD groups, respectively. There was no statistical difference in the other clinical factors in both groups, except for the male dominancy in the type 4 VAD group (p=0.011).
BBAs and ruptured type 4 VADs have a similar morphological appearance but there is a distinct clinical feature in gender and perioperative rebleeding rates. Complete isolation of an aneurysm from the parent artery might be the most important discipline for the treatment of these diseases.
Aneurysm; Dissection; Internal carotid artery; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vertebral artery
Clip artifacts limit the visualization of intracranial structures in CT scans from patients after aneurysmal clipping with cobalt alloy clips. This study is to analyze the parameters influencing the degree of clip artifacts.
Postoperative CT scans of 60 patients with straight cobalt alloy-clipped aneurysms were analyzed for the maximal diameter of white artifacts and the angle and number of streak artifacts in axial images, and the maximal diameter of artifacts in three-dimensional (3-D) volume-rendered images. The correlation coefficient (CC) was determined between each clip artifact type and the clip blade length and clip orientation to the CT scan (angle a, lateral clip inclination in axial images; angle b, clip gradient to scan plane in lateral scout images).
Angle b correlated negatively with white artifacts (r=-0.589, p<0.001) and positively with the angle (r=0.636, p<0.001) and number (r=0.505, p<0.001) of streak artifacts. Artifacts in 3-D images correlated with clip blade length (r=0.454, p=0.004). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that angle b was the major parameter influencing white artifacts and the angle and number of streak artifacts in axial images (p<0.001), whereas clip blade length was a major factor in 3-D images (p=0.034).
Use of a clip orientation perpendicular to the scan gantry angle decreased the amount of white artifacts and allowed better visualization of the clip site.
Artifacts; Clip; Intracranial aneurysm; Multidetector computed tomography
To determine the efficacy of endoscopic surgery in combination with long-acting somatostatin analogues (SSAs) in treating patients with growth hormone (GH)-secreting pituitary tumor.
We performed retrospective analysis of 133 patients with GH producing pituitary adenoma who underwent pure endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery in our center from January 2007 to July 2012. Patients were followed up for a range of 3-48 months. The radiological remission, biochemical remission and complication were evaluated.
A total of 110 (82.7%) patients achieved radiological complete resection, 11 (8.2%) subtotal resection, and 12 (9.0%) partial resection. Eighty-eight (66.2%) patients showed nadir GH level less than 1 ng/mL after oral glucose administration. No mortality or severe disability was observed during follow up. Preoperative long-acting SSA successfully improved left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) and blood glucose in three patients who subsequently underwent success operation. Long-acting SSA (20 mg every 30 days) achieved biochemical remission in 19 out 23 (82.6%) patients who showed persistent high GH level after surgery.
Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery can biochemically cure the majority of GH producing pituitary adenoma. Post-operative use of SSA can improve biochemical remission.
GH producing pituitary adenoma; Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery; Somatostatin analogue
The epidural fluid collection (EFC) as a complication of cranioplasty is not well-described in the literature. This study aimed to identify the predictive factors for the development of EFC as a complication of cranioplasty, and its outcomes.
From January 2004 to December 2012, 117 cranioplasty were performed in our institution. One-hundred-and-six of these patients were classified as either having EFC, or not having EFC. The two groups were compared to identify risk factors for EFC. Statistical significance was tested using the t-test and chi-square test, and a logistic regression analysis.
Of the 117 patients undergoing cranioplasty, 59 (50.4%) suffered complications, and EFC occurred in 48 of the patients (41.0%). In the t-test and chi-test, risk factors for EFC were size of the skull defect (p=0.003) and postoperative air bubbles in the epidural space (p<0.001). In a logistic regression, the only statistically significant factor associated with development of EFC was the presence of postoperative air bubbles. The EFC disappeared or regressed over time in 30 of the 48 patients (62.5%), as shown by follow-up brain computed tomographic scan, but 17 patients (35.4%) required reoperation.
EFC after cranioplasty is predicted by postoperative air bubbles in the epidural space. Most EFC can be treated conservatively. However, reoperation is necessary to resolve about a third of the cases. During cranioplasty, special attention is required when the skull defect is large, since EFC is then more likely.
Cranioplasty; Epidural fluid collection; Size of skull defect
Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is characterized by sudden-onset headache with focal neurologic deficit and prolonged but reversible multifocal narrowing of the distal cerebral arteries. Stroke, either hemorrhagic or ischemic, is a relatively frequent presentation in RCVS, but progressive manifestations of subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction in a patient is seldom described. We report a rare case of a 56-year-old woman with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome consecutively presenting as cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral infarction. When she complained of severe headache with subtle cortical subarachnoid hemorrhage, her angiography was non-specific. But, computed tomographic angiography showed typical angiographic features of this syndrome after four days. Day 12, she suffered mental deterioration and hemiplegia due to contralateral intracerebral hematoma, and she was surgically treated. For recurrent attacks of headache, medical management with calcium channel blockers has been instituted. Normalized angiographic features were documented after 8 weeks. Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome should be considered as differential diagnosis of non-aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, and repeated angiography is recommended for the diagnosis of this under-recognized syndrome.
Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome; Angiography; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Cerebral infarction
Traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the middle meningeal artery (MMA) are rare phenomenon, which are usually associated with head trauma such as an underlying skull fracture. They were usually known to cause acute or delayed epidural hematomas but can be associated with subdural, subarachnoid, or even intracerebral hemorrhage. Sometimes, a high mortality rate was reported in these circumferences. But the natural course of these pseudoaneurysms is not well recognized. The indication and guideline of treatment for pseudoaneurysm are also unclear. This report describes a rare case of angiographically progressive change of traumatic pseudoaneurysm of the middle meningeal artery for one week, which was treated with endovascular embolization.
Pseudoaneurysm; Middle meningeal artery
Isolated traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the basilar artery are extremely rare but often fatal resulting in a mortality rate as high as 50%. A 51-year-old man presented with craniofacial injury after blunt trauma. A brain computed tomography (CT) scan showed thick basal subarachnoid hemorrhage associated with multiple craniofacial fractures, while CT angiography revealed contrast extravasation at the distal basilar artery with pseudoaneurysm formation. After this primary survey, the condition of the patient suddenly deteriorated. Conventional angiography confirmed the contrast extravasation resulted from pseudoaneurysm formation, which was successfully treated with endovascular coil embolization. Decompressive craniectomy and coma therapy with propofol were also performed. However, the patient died on the 7th hospital day because of the poor initial clinical condition. The current case is the first report of acute pseudoaneurysm rupture arising from the basilar artery within the first day after trauma. Our findings suggest the possibility that pseudoaneurysm rupture should be considered if brain CT shows thick traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage on the basal cistern with a basal skull fracture.
Traumatic brain injury; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Basilar artery; Pseudoaneurysm
A fifty-year-old female non-smoker with no other specific medical history visited our institute. She complained of axial back pain with no other neurological deficit. Chest X-ray, chest computed tomography (CT) scan, CT-guided needle aspiration biopsy, whole-body positron emission tomography, spine CT and spine magnetic resonance image findings suggested NSCLC with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, multiple brain metastases, and two isolated metastases to the T3 and L3 vertebral bodies. She underwent chemotherapy with gefitinib (Iressa™) for NSCLC and gamma knife surgery for multiple brain metastases. We performed a two-staged, total en bloc spondylectomy of the T3 and L3 vertebral bodies based on several good prognostic characteristics, such as the lack of metastases to the appendicular bone, good preoperative performance status, and being an excellent responder (Asian, never-smoker and adenocarcinoma histology) to EGFR inhibitors. Improved axial back pain after the surgery enabled her to walk with the aid of a thoracolumbosacral orthosis brace on the third postoperative day. Her Karnofsky performance status score (KPS) was 90 at the time of discharge and has been maintained to date 3 years after surgery. In selected NSCLC patients with good prognostic characteristics, we suggest that locally curative treatment such as total en bloc spondylectomy or radiosurgery should be emphasized to achieve longer term survival for the selected cases.
Lung cancer; Spinal metastasis; Total en bloc spondylectomy
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease of unknown etiology that may affect any organ in the body. The nervous system is involved in 5-16% of cases of sarcoidosis. Here, we report a case of intramedullary sarcoidosis presenting with delayed spinal cord swelling after laminoplasty for the treatment of compressive cervical myelopathy. A 56-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital complaining of upper extremity pain and gait disturbance. The patient had undergone laminoplasty for compressive cervical myelopathy 3 months previously. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large solitary intramedullary lesion with associated extensive cord swelling, signal changes, and heterogeneous enhancement of spinal cord from C2 to C7. Spinal cord biopsy revealed non-necrotizing granulomas with signs of chronic inflammation. The final diagnosis of sarcoidosis was based upon laboratory data, imaging findings, histological findings, and the exclusion of other diagnoses. Awareness of such presentations and a high degree of suspicion of sarcoidosis may help arrive at the correct diagnosis.
Intramedullary; Laminoplasty; Sarcoidosis; Spinal cord
Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS) is increasingly recognized as an uncommon, but serious, complication subsequent to carotid artery stenting (CAS) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The onset of CHS generally occurs within two weeks of CEA and CAS, and a delay in the onset of CHS of over one week after CAS is quite rare. We describe a patient who developed CHS three weeks after CAS with status epilepticus.
Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome; Carotid artery stenting; Carotid artery stenosis; Status epilepticus
Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis (CP) is a very rare but serious form of central nervous system fungal infection that is caused by dematiaceous fungi. It is commonly associated with poor prognosis irrespective of the immune status of the patient. In this study, the authors describe the first case of CP in Korea that occurred in a 75-year-old man without immunodeficiency and showed favorable outcome after surgical excision and antifungal therapy. In addition, the authors herein review the literature regarding characteristics of this rare clinical entity with previously reported cases.
Brain abscess; Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis; Fungal infection; Treatment
Nefopam, a centrally acting analgesic, has been used to control postoperative pain. Reported adverse effects are anticholinergic, cardiovascular or neuropsychiatric. Neurologic adverse reactions to nefopam are confusion, hallucinations, delirium and convulsions. There are several reports about fatal convulsive seizures, presumably related to nefopam. A 71-year-old man was admitted for surgery for a lumbar spinal stenosis. He was administered intravenous analgesics : ketorolac, tramadol, orphenadrine citrate and nefopam HCl. His back pain was so severe that he hardly slept for several days; he even needed morphine and pethidine. At 4 days of administration of intravenous analgesics, the patient suddenly started generalized tonic-clonic seizures for 15 seconds, and subsequently, status epilepticus; these were not responsive to phenytoin and midazolam. After 3 days of barbiturate coma therapy the seizures were controlled. Convulsive seizures related to nefopam appear as focal, generalized, myoclonic types, or status epilepticus, and are not dose-related manifestations. In our case, the possibility of convulsions caused by other drugs or the misuse of drugs was considered. However, we first identified the introduced drugs and excluded the possibility of an accidental misuse of other drugs. Physicians should be aware of the possible occurrence of unpredictable and serious convulsions when using nefopam.
Adverse drug reaction; Barbiturate; Nefopam; Status epilepticus