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1.  Radiosurgical Techniques and Clinical Outcomes of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Brainstem Arteriovenous Malformations 
Brainstem arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is rare and radiosurgical management is complicated by the sensitivity of the adjacent neurological structures. Complete obliteration of the nidus is not always possible. We describe over 20 years of radiosurgical procedures for brainstem AVMs, focusing on clinical outcomes and radiosurgical techniques.
Between 1992 and 2011, the authors performed gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in 464 cerebral AVMs. Twenty-nine of the 464 patients (6.3%) reviewed had brainstem AVMs. This series included sixteen males and thirteen females with a mean age of 30.7 years (range : 5-71 years). The symptoms that led to diagnoses were as follows : an altered mentality (5 patients, 17.3%), motor weakness (10 patients, 34.5%), cranial nerve symptoms (3 patients, 10.3%), headache (6 patients, 20.7%), dizziness (3 patients, 10.3%), and seizures (2 patients, 6.9%). Two patients had undergone a previous nidus resection, and three patients had undergone a previous embolization. Twenty-four patients underwent only GKRS. With respect to the nidus type and blood flow, the ratio of compact type to diffuse type and high flow to low flow were 17 : 12 and 16 : 13, respectively. In this series, 24 patients (82.8%) had a prior hemorrhage. The mean target volume was 1.7 cm3 (range 0.1-11.3 cm3). The mean maximal and marginal radiation doses were 38.5 Gy (range 28.6-43.6 Gy) and 23.4 Gy (range 18-27 Gy), and the mean isodose profile was 61.3% (range 50-70%).
Twenty-four patients had brainstem AVMs and were followed for more than 3 years. Obliteration of the AVMs was eventually documented in 17 patients (70.8%) over a mean follow-up period of 77.5 months (range 36-216 months). With respect to nidus type and blood flow, the obliteration rate of compact types (75%) was higher than that of diffuse types (66.7%), and the obliteration rate of low flow AVMs (76.9%) was higher than that of high flow AVMs (63.6%) (p<0.05). Two patients (6.9%) with three hemorrhagic events suffered a hemorrhage during the follow-up period. The annual bleeding rate of AVM after GKRS was 1.95% per year. No adverse radiation effects or delayed cystic formations were found.
GKRS has an important clinical role in treatment of brainstem AVMs, which carry excessive surgical risks. Angiographic features and radiosurgical techniques using a lower maximal dose with higher isodose profiles are important for lesion obliteration and the avoidance of complications.
PMCID: PMC3550421  PMID: 23346325
Brainstem; Arteriovenous malformation; Gamma knife radiosurgery
2.  Long Term Outcomes of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia-Minimum 5-Year Follow-Up 
Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is the least invasive surgical option for patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, the indications and long term outcomes of GKRS are still controversial. Additionally, a series with uniform long-term follow-up data for all patients has been lacking. In the present study, the authors analyzed long-term outcomes in a series of patients with TN who underwent a single GKRS treatment followed by a minimum follow-up of 60 months.
From 1994 to 2009, 40 consecutive patients with typical, intractable TN received GKRS. Among these, 22 patients were followed for >60 months. The mean maximum radiation dose was 77.1 Gy (65.2-83.6 Gy), and the 4 mm collimator was used to target the radiation to the root entry zone.
The mean age was 61.5 years (25-84 years). The mean follow-up period was 92.2 months (60-144 months). According to the pain intensity scale in the last follow-up, 6 cases were grades I-II (pain-free with or without medication; 27.3%) and 7 cases were grade IV-V (<50% pain relief with medication or no pain relief; 31.8%). There was 1 case (facial dysesthesia) with post-operative complications (4.54%).
The long-term results of GKRS for TN are not as satisfactory as those of microvascular decompression and other conventional modalities, but GKRS is a safe, effective and minimally invasive technique which might be considered a first-line therapy for a limited group of patients for whom a more invasive kind of treatment is unsuitable.
PMCID: PMC3393862  PMID: 22792424
Trigeminal neuralgia; Gamma knife radiosurgery; Long-term follow-up
3.  Clinical Outcomes of Pulsed Radiofrequency Neuromodulation for the Treatment of Occipital Neuralgia 
Occipital neuralgia is characterized by paroxysmal jabbing pain in the dermatomes of the greater or lesser occipital nerves caused by irritation of these nerves. Although several therapies have been reported, they have only temporary therapeutic effects. We report the results of pulsed radiofrequency treatment of the occipital nerve, which was used to treat occipital neuralgia.
Patients were diagnosed with occipital neuralgia according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders classification criteria. We performed pulsed radiofrequency neuromodulation when patients presented with clinical findings suggestive occipital neuralgia with positive diagnostic block of the occipital nerves with local anesthetics. Patients were analyzed according to age, duration of symptoms, surgical results, complications and recurrence. Pain was measured every month after the procedure using the visual analog and total pain indexes.
From 2010, ten patients were included in the study. The mean age was 52 years (34-70 years). The mean follow-up period was 7.5 months (6-10 months). Mean Visual Analog Scale and mean total pain index scores declined by 6.1 units and 192.1 units, respectively, during the follow-up period. No complications were reported.
Pulsed radiofrequency neuromodulation of the occipital nerve is an effective treatment for occipital neuralgia. Further controlled prospective studies are necessary to evaluate the exact effects and long-term outcomes of this treatment method.
PMCID: PMC3393863  PMID: 22792425
Occipital neuralgia; Pulsed radiofrequency; Neuromodulation
4.  Hemifacial Spasm Developed after Contralateral Vertebral Artery Ligation 
Although the mechanism of hemifacial spasm (HFS) is not yet well established, vascular compression of the facial nerve root exit zone and hyperexcitability of the facial nucleus have been suggested. We report a case of HFS in the setting of coinciding intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) of the pons and proximal ligation of the contralateral vertebral artery (VA) for the treatment of a fusiform aneurysm of the distal VA and discuss the possible etiologies of HFS in this patient. A 51-year-old male with an ICH of the pons was admitted to our hospital. Neuroimaging studies revealed an incidental fusiform aneurysm of the right VA distal to the origin of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Eight months after proximal ligation of the VA the patient presented with intermittent spasm of the left side of his face. Pre- and post-ligation magnetic resonance angiography revealed an enlarged diameter of the VA. The spasm completely disappeared after microvascular decompression.
PMCID: PMC3291710  PMID: 22396847
Hemifacial spasm; Vertebral artery; Ligation; Aneurysm; Decompression; Hemodynamics
5.  Pulsed Radiofrequency Neuromodulation Treatment on the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve for the Treatment of Meralgia Paresthetica 
We describe a rare case of pulsed radiofrequency treatment for pain relief associated with meralgia paresthetica. A 58-year-old female presented with pain in the left anterior lateral thigh. An imaging study revealed no acute lesions compared with a previous imaging study, and diagnosis of meralgia paresthetica was made. She received temporary pain relief with lateral femoral cutaneous nerve blocks twice. We performed pulsed radiofrequency treatment, and the pain declined to 25% of the maximal pain intensity. At 4 months after the procedure, the pain intensity did not aggravate without medication. Pulsed radiofrequency neuromodulation treatment on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve may offer an effective, low risk treatment in patients with meralgia paresthetica who are refractory to conservative medical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3206281  PMID: 22053239
Meralgia paresthetica; Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve; Pulsed radiofrequency; Neuromodulation
6.  Neuroprotective Effects by Nimodipine Treatment in the Experimental Global Ischemic Rat Model : Real Time Estimation of Glutamate 
Glutamate is a key excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and its excessive release plays a key role in the development of neuronal injury. In order to define the effect of nimodipine on glutamate release, we monitored extracellular glutamate release in real-time in a global ischemia rat model with eleven vessel occlusion.
Twelve rats were randomly divided into two groups: the ischemia group and the nimodipine treatment group. The changes of extracellular glutamate level were measured using microdialysis amperometric biosensor, in coincident with cerebral blood flow (CBF) and electroencephalogram. Nimodipine (0.025 µg/100 gm/min) was infused into lateral to the CBF probe, during the ischemic period. Also, we performed Nissl staining method to assess the neuroprotective effect of nimodipine.
During the ischemic period, the mean maximum change in glutamate concentration was 133.22±2.57 µM in the ischemia group and 75.42±4.22 µM (p<0.001) in the group treated with nimodipine. The total amount of glutamate released was significantly different (p<0.001) between groups during the ischemic period. The %cell viability in hippocampus was 47.50±5.64 (p<0.005) in ischemia group, compared with sham group. But, the %cell viability in nimodipine treatment group was 95.46±6.60 in hippocampus (p<0.005).
From the real-time monitoring and Nissl staining results, we suggest that the nimodipine treatment is responsible for the protection of the neuronal cell death through the suppression of extracellular glutamate release in the 11-VO global ischemia model of rat.
PMCID: PMC3070888  PMID: 21494355
Nimodipine; Glutamate; Eleven vessel occlusion ischemia model; Real-time monitoring; Nissl staining
7.  Radiosurgical Considerations in the Treatment of Large Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations 
In order to establish the role of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) in large intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), we analyzed clinical characteristics, radiological features, and radiosurgical outcomes.
Between March 1992 and March 2005, 28 of 33 patients with large AVMs (> 10 cm3 in nidus-volume) who were treated with GKS underwent single session radiosurgery (RS), and the other 5 patients underwent staged volumetric RS. Retrospectively collected data were available in 23 cases. We analyzed treatment outcomes in each subdivided groups and according to the AVM sizes. We compared the estimated volume, defined as primarily estimated nidus volume using MR images, with real target volume after excluding draining veins and feeding arteries embedded into the nidus.
Regarding those patients who underwent single session RS, 44.4% (8/18) had complete obliteration; regarding staged volumetric RS, the obliteration rate was 40% (2/5). The complete obliteration rate was 60% (6/10) in the smaller nidus group (10-15 cm3 size), and 25% (2/8) in the larger nidus group (over 15 cm3 size). One case of cerebral edema and two cases (8.7%) of hemorrhage were seen during the latent period. The mean real target volume for 18 single sessions of RS was 17.1 cm3 (10.1-38.4 cm3), in contrast with the mean estimated volume of 20.9 cm3 (12.0-45.0 cm3).
The radiosurgical treatment outcomes of large AVMs are generally poor. However, we presume that the recent development in planning software and imaging devices aid more accurate measurement of the nidus volume, therefore improving the treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC2773398  PMID: 19893730
Gamma Knife radiosurgery; Arteriovenous Malformation; Intracerebral Hemorrhage; Obliteration; Complication; Outcome
8.  Multi-Modality Treatment for Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformation Associated with Arterial Aneurysm 
Intracranial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) associated with aneurysm has been infrequently encountered and the treatment for this malady is challenging. We report here on our clinical experience with AVMs associated with arterial aneurysms that were managed by multimodality treatments, including clipping of the aneurysm, microsurgery, Gamma-knife radiosurgery (GKS) and Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) embolization.
We reviewed the treatment plans, radiological findings and clinical courses of 21 patients who were treated with GKS for AVM associated with aneurysm.
Twenty-seven aneurysms in 21 patients with AVMs were enrolled in this study. Hemorrhage was the most frequent presenting symptom (17 patients : 80.9%). Bleeding was caused by an AVM nidus in 11 cases, aneurysm rupture in 5 and an undetermined origin in 1. Five patients were treated for associated aneurysm with clipping followed by GKS for the AVM and 11 patients were treated with GDC embolization combined with GKS for an AVM. Although 11 associated aneurysms remained untreated after GKS, none of them ruptured and 4 aneurysms regressed during the follow up period. Two aneurysms increased in size despite the disappearance of the AVM nidus after GKS and then these aneurysms were treated with GDC embolization.
If combined treatment using microsurgery, GKS and endovascular treatment can be adequately used for these patients, a better prognosis can be obtained. In particular, GKS and GDC embolization are considered to have significant roles to minimize neurologic injury.
PMCID: PMC2744020  PMID: 19763213
Arteriovenous malformation; Aneurysm; Radiosurgery; Endovascular treatment; GDC embolization
9.  Transient Neurologic Deterioration after Total Removal of Parasagittal Meningioma Including Completely Occluding Superior Sagittal Sinus 
In surgical planning of the parasagittal meningioma, invasion and occlusion of the superior sagittal sinus are important factors. When tumor is located within anterior 1/3, or when angiographic finding shows total occlusion of superior sagittal sinus, it is regarded that the ligation of superior sagittal sinus is safe. We report a case of parasagittal meningioma in 59-year-old male patient with complete occlusion of superior sagittal sinus which was confirmed by preoperative angiography, who developed temporary neurologic deterioration after superior sagittal sinus ligation and resection.
PMCID: PMC2729830  PMID: 19707499
Parasagittal meningioma; Superior sagittal sinus ligation; Transient neurologic deterioration
10.  The Treatment Outcome of Elderly Patients with Idiopathic Trigeminal Neuralgia : Micro-Vascular Decompression versus Gamma Knife Radiosurgery 
This study was designed to compare the efficacy of micro-vascular decompression (MVD) and Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for elderly idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia patients by analyzing the clinical outcome.
In the past 10 years, 27 elderly patients were treated with MVD while 18 patients were treated with GKRS (>65-years-old). We reviewed their clinical characteristics and clinical courses after treatment as well as the treatment outcomes. For patients who were treated with MVD, additional treatment methods such as rhizotomy were combined in some areas. In GKRS, we radiated the root entry zone (REZ) with the mean maximum dose of 77.8 (70-84.3) Gy and one 4 mm collimator.
The mean age was 68.1 years for MVD, and 71.1 years for GKS group. The average time interval between first presenting symptom and surgery was 84.1 (1-361) months, and 51.4 (1-120) months, respectively. The mean follow-up period after the surgery was 35.9 months for MVD, and 33.1 months for GKRS. According to Pain Intensity Scale, MVD group showed better prognosis with 17 (63%) cases in grade I-II versus 10 (55.6%) cases in GKRS group after the treatment. The pain recurrence rate during follow up did not show much difference with 3 (11.1%) in MVD, and 2 (11.1%) in GKRS. After the treatment, 2 cases of facial numbness, and 1 case each of herpes zoster, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, hearing disturbance, and subdural hematoma occurred in MVD Group. In GKRS, there was 1 (5.6%) case of dysesthesia but was not permanent. Three cases were retreated by GKRS but the prognosis was not as good as when the surgery was used as primary treatment, with 1 case of grade I-II, and 1 case of recurrence. The maximal relieve of pain was seen just after surgery in MVD group, and 1 year after treatment in GKRS group.
For trigeminal neuralgia patients with advanced age, MVD showed advantages in immediately relieving the pain. However, in overall, GKRS was preferable, despite the delayed pain relief, due to the lower rate of surgical complications that arise owing to the old age.
PMCID: PMC2588323  PMID: 19096677
Elderly patient; Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia; Micro-vascular decompression; Gamma knife radiosurgery
11.  Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm Associated with Vertebrobasilar Artery 
Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is considered as a reversible pathophysiological condition mainly induced by continuous vascular compression of the facial nerve root exit zone (REZ) at the cerebellopontine angle. As an offending vessel, vertebrobasilar artery tends to compress much more heavily than others. The authors analyzed HFS caused by vertebrobasilar artery and described the relationships between microsurgical findings and clinical courses.
Out of 1,798 cases treated with microvascular decompression (MVD) from Jan. 1980 to Dec. 2004, the causative vessels were either vertebral artery or basilar artery in 87 patients. Seventy-nine patients were enrolled in this study. Preoperatively, computed tomography (CT) or brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with 3-dimentional short range MR technique was performed and CT was checked immediately or 2-3 days after anesthetic recovery. The authors retrospectively analyzed the clinical features, the compression patterns of the vessels at the time of surgery and treatment outcomes.
There were 47 were male and 32 female patients. HFS developed on the left side in 52 cases and on the right side in 27. The mean age of onset was 52.3 years (range 19-60) and the mean duration of symptoms was 10.7 years. Many patients (39 cases; 49.1%) had past history of hypertension. HFS caused only by the vertebral artery was 8 cases although most of the other cases were caused by vertebral artery (VA) in combination with its branching arteries. Most frequently, the VA and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) were the simultaneous causative blood vessels comprising 32 cases (40.5%), and in 27 cases (34.2%) the VA and the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) were the offenders. Facial symptoms disappeared in 61 cases (77.2%) immediately after the operation and 68 cases (86.1%) showed good outcome after 6 months. Surgical outcome just after the operation was poor in whom the perforators arose from the offending vessels concurrently (p<0.05).
In case where the vertebral artery is a cause of HFS, commonly branching arteries associated with main arterial compression on facial REZ requires more definite treatment for proper decompression because of its relatively poor results compared to the condition caused by other vascular compressive origins.
PMCID: PMC2588300  PMID: 19096662
Hemifacial spasm; Vertebrobasilar artery

Results 1-11 (11)