Cerebral vasospasm is a common and potentially devastating complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Inflammatory processes seem to play a major role in the pathogenesis of vasospasm. C-reactive protein (CRP) constitutes a highly sensitive inflammatory marker. Elevation of serum CRP levels has been demonstrated in patients with aSAH. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the possible relationship between CRP levels in the serum and transcranial Doppler (TCD) and the development of vasospasm in patients with aSAH.
A total of 61 adult patients in whom aSAH was diagnosed were included in the study from November 2008 to May 2011. The patients' demographics, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, CT scans, digital subtraction angiography studies, and daily neurological examinations were recorded. Serial serum CRP measurements were obtained on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 and TCD was measured on days 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13. All patients underwent either surgical or endovascular treatment within 24 hours of their hemorrhagic attacks.
Serum CRP levels peaked on the 3rd postoperative day. There were significant differences between the vasospasm group and the non-vasospasm group on the 1st, 3rd and 5th day. There were significant differences between the vasospasm group and the non-vasospasm group on the 3rd day in the mean middle cerebral artery velocities on TCD.
Patients with high levels of CRP on the 1st postoperative day and high velocity of mean TCD on the 3rd postoperative day may require closer observation to monitor for the development of vasospasm.
Cerebral aneurysms; C-reactive protein; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vasospasm
Chronic neck or back pain can be managed with various procedures. Although these procedures are usually well-tolerated, a variety of side effects have been reported. In this study we reviewed cases of unexpected temporary adverse events after blocks and suggest possible causes.
We reviewed the records of patients treated with spinal pain blocks between December 2009 and January 2011. The types of blocks performed were medial branch blocks, interlaminar epidural blocks and transforaminal epidural blocks. During the first eight months of the study period (Group A), 2% mepivacaine HCL and triamcinolone was used, and during the last six months of the study period (Group B), mepivacaine was diluted to 1% with normal saline.
There were 704 procedures in 613 patients. Ten patients had 12 transient neurologic events. Nine patients were in Group A and one was in Group B. Transient complications occurred in four patients after cervical block and in eight patients after lumbar block. Side effects of lumbar spine blocks were associated with the concentration of mepivacaine (p<0.05). The likely causes were a high concentration of mepivacaine in five patients, inadvertent vascular injection in three patients, intrathecal leak of local anesthetics in one, and underlying conversion disorder in one.
Spinal pain blocks are a good option for relieving pain, but clinicians should always keep in mind the potential for development of inevitable complications. Careful history-taking, appropriate selection of the anesthetics, and using real-time fluoroscopy could help reduce the occurrence of adverse events.
Adverse effect; Spinal pain; Conversion disorder; Medial branch blocks; Paralysis; C2 ganglion block
Pituitary apoplexy is life-threatening clinical syndrome caused by the rapid enlargement of a pituitary tumor due to hemorrhage and/or infarction. The pathogenesis of pituitary apoplexy is not completely understood. We analyzed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pituitary tumors and subsequently correlated the radiological findings with the clinical presentation. Additionally, immunohistochemistry was also performed to determine whether certain biomarkers are related to radiological apoplexy.
Thirty-four cases of pituitary adenoma were enrolled for retrospective analysis. In this study, the radiological apoplexy was defined as cases where hemorrhage, infarction or cysts were identified on MRI. Acute clinical presentation was defined as the presence of any of the following symptoms: severe sudden onset headache, decreased visual acuity and/or visual field deficit, and acute mental status changes. Angiogenesis was quantified by immunohistochemical expression of fetal liver kinase 1 (Flk-1), neuropilin (NRP) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, while microvascular density (MVD) was assessed using Endoglin and CD31.
Clinically, fourteen patients presented with acute symptoms and 20 for mild or none clinical symptoms. Radiologically, fifteen patients met the criteria for radiological apoplexy. Of the fifteen patients with radiologic apoplexy, 9 patients presented acute symptoms whereas of the 19 patient without radiologic apoplexy, 5 patients presented acute symptoms. Of the five biomarkers tracked, only VEGF was found to be positively correlated with both radiological and nonradiological apoplexy.
While pituitary apoplexy is currently defined in cases where clinical symptoms can be histologically confirmed, we contend that cases of radiologically identified pituitary hemorrhages that present with mild or no symptoms should be designated subacute or subclinical apoplexy. VEGF is believed to have a positive correlation with pituitary hemorrhage. Considering the high rate of symptomatic or asymptomatic pituitary tumor hemorrhage, additional studies are needed to detect predictors of the pituitary hemorrhage.
Pituitary adenoma; Pituitary apoplexy; Pituitary hemorrhage; Angiogenesis; Microvascular density; VEGF
Spontaneous acute subdural hematomas (aSDH) secondary to ruptured intracranial aneurysms are rarely reported. This report reviews the clinical features, diagnostic modalities, treatments, and outcomes of this unusual and often fatal condition.
We performed a database search for all cases of intracranial aneurysms treated at our hospital between 2005 and 2010. Patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms who presented with aSDH on initial computed tomography (CT) were selected for inclusion. The clinical conditions, radiologic findings, treatments, and outcomes were assessed.
A total of 551 patients were treated for ruptured intracranial aneurysms during the review period. We selected 23 patients (4.2%) who presented with spontaneous aSDH on initial CT. Ruptured aneurysms were detected on initial 3D-CT angiography in all cases. All ruptured aneurysms were located in the anterior portion of the circle of Willis. The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade on admission was V in 17 cases (73.9%). Immediate decompressive craniotomy was performed 22 cases (95.7%). Obliteration of the ruptured aneurysm was achieved in all cases. The Glasgow outcome scales for the cases were good recovery in 5 cases (21.7%), moderate disability to vegetative in 7 cases (30.4%), and death in 11 cases (47.8%).
Spontaneous aSDH caused by a ruptured intracranial aneurysm is rare pattern of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. For early detection of aneurysm, 3D-CT angiography is useful. Early decompression with obliteration of the aneurysm is recommended. Outcomes were correlated with the clinical grade and CT findings on admission.
Acute subdural hematoma; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Intracranial aneurysm; CT angiography
We investigated the neuroprotective effect of anthocyanin, oxygen radical scavenger extracted from raspberries, after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats.
The animals were divided into two groups : the vehicle-treated group (control group, n=20) received an oral administration of normal saline via stomach intubation immediately after SCI, and the anthocyanin-treated group (AT group, n=20) received 400 mg/kg of cyanidin 3-O-β-glucoside (C3G) in the same way. We compared the neurological functions, superoxide expressions and lesion volumes in two groups.
At 14 days after SCI, the AT group showed significant improvement of the BBB score by 16.7±3.4%, platform hang by 40.0±9.1% and hind foot bar grab by 30.8±8.4% (p<0.05 in all outcomes). The degree of superoxide expression, represented by the ratio of red fluorescence intensity, was significantly lower in the AT group (0.98±0.38) than the control group (1.34±0.24) (p<0.05). The lesion volume in lesion periphery was 32.1±2.4 µL in the control and 24.5±2.3 µL in the AT group, respectively (p<0.05), and the motor neuron cell number of the anterior horn in lesion periphery was 8.3±5.1 cells/HPF in the control and 13.4±6.3 cells/HPF in the AT group, respectively (p<0.05).
Anthocyanin seemed to reduce lesion volume and neuronal loss by its antioxidant effect and these resulted in improved functional recovery.
Spinal cord trauma; Anthocyanin; Antioxidants
The majority of cases of pneumocephalus are secondary to trauma or medical intervention. Spontaneous, non-traumatic pneumocephalus is an uncommon condition. Most cases of spontaneous pneumocephalus require surgery. However, if there is no evidence of infection or cerebrospinal fluid leak, bed rest and follow-up imaging is an alternative treatment. Herein, we report a 31-year-old man with spontaneous pneumocephalus associated with pneumosinus dilatans.
Spontaneous pneumocephalus; Hyperpneumatization; Pneumosinus dilatans
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between asymptomatic urinary tract infection (aUTI) and postoperative spine infection.
A retrospective review was done in 355 women more than 65 years old who had undergone laminectomy and/or discectomy, and spinal fusion, between January 2004 and December 2008. Previously postulated risk factors (i.e., instrumentation, diabetes, prior corticosteroid therapy, previous spinal surgery, and smoking) were investigated. Furthermore, we added aUTI that was not previously considered.
Among 355 patients, 42 met the criteria for aUTI (Bacteriuria ≥ 105 CFU/mL and no associated symptoms). A postoperative spine infection was evident in 15 of 355 patients. Of the previously described risk factors, multi-levels (p < 0.05), instrumentation (p < 0.05) and diabetes (p < 0.05) were proven risk factors, whereas aUTI (p > 0.05) was not statistically significant. However, aUTI with Foley catheterization was statistically significant when Foley catheterization was added as a variable to the all existing risk factors.
aUTI is not rare in elderly women admitted to the hospital for lumbar spine surgery. The results of this study suggest that aUTI with Foley catheterization may be considered a risk factor for postoperative spine infection in elderly women. Therefore, we would consider treating aUTI before operating on elderly women who will need Foley catheterization.
Asymptomatic UTI; Postoperative spine infection; Elderly women
Osteolipoma is an ossified lipoma with distinct components of fat and bone. We present a case of interhemispheric osteolipoma associated with total agenesis of the corpus callosum. A 20-year-old man complained of severe headache, nausea and vomiting. Brain computed tomography showed a low-density mass in an interhemispheric fissure, with high T1 and T2 magnetic resonance signals compatible with fat. The mass measured 4.9 × 2.9 cm in size and showed peripheral calcifications. There was another small piece of same signal mass within the lateral ventricular choroid plexus. The interhemispheric lesion was removed by an interhemispheric approach. Osteolipoma is rare in interhemispheric region, however, it should be a differential diagnosis of lesions with fat intensity mass and calcifications.
Agenesis; Corpus callosum; Intracranial; Lipoma; Osteolipoma
Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) are generally considered to be cured following angiographically proven complete resection. However, rare instances of AVM recurrence have been reported in both children and adults with negative findings on postoperative angiography. The authors present the case of a 12-year-old boy with recurrent AVM. The AVM was originally fed by the pericallosal arteries on both sides, and it showed changing patterns of supply at recurrence. The authors concluded that a negative postoperative angiogram is not necessarily indicative of a cure. Repeat angiography and regular follow-up examinations should be performed to exclude the possibility of recurrence, especially in children.
Arteriovenous malformations; Cerebral angiography; Recurrence
Barbiturate coma therapy (BCT) has been known to be an useful method to control increased intracranial pressure (IICP) refractory to medical and surgical treatments. We have used BCT for patients with severe IICP during the past 10 years, and analyzed our results with review of literatures.
We analyzed 92 semicomatose or comatose patients with Glasgow coma scale (GCS) of 7 or less with severe IICP due to cerebral edema secondary to parenchymal damages irrespective of their causes. Forty patients who had received BCT with ICP monitoring from January 1997 to December 2006 were included in BCT group, and fifty-two patients who had been managed without BCT from January 1991 to December 1995 were divided into control group. We compared outcomes with Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) and survival rate between the two groups.
Good outcome (GOS=4 and 5) rates at 3-month after insult were 27.5% and 5.8% in BCT and control group, respectively (p<0.01). One-year survival rates were 35.9% and 12.5% in BCT and control group, respectively (p<0.01). In BCT group, the mean age of good outcome patients (37.1 ± 14.9) was significantly lower than that of poor outcome patients (48.1 ± 13.5) (p<0.05).
With our 10-year experience, we suggest that BCT is an effective treatment method for severe IICP patients for better survival and GOS, especially for younger patients.
Barbiturate coma; Increased intracranial pressure; Survival; Glasgow outcome scale
Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare immunologic disorder characterized by histiocyte proliferation in multiple organ systems. Eosinophilic granuloma, a benign bone lesion, represents a focal form of LCH. We experienced a case of Langerhans' cell histiocytosis in a patient who presented with intracranial epidural hematoma and cyst on the midline of the frontal skull. A 10-year-old boy presented with a rapidly growing large scalp mass on the midline frontal area after mild head trauma. The scalp mass was painless and immobile. Plain skull x-ray showed a punched-out bone lesion. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed a non-enhancing osteolytic lesion presenting with an epidural hematoma and cyst on the midline of the frontal skull. The lesion of the skull was completely resected and the patient's recovery was uneventful. The acute presentation of a solitary eosinophilic granuloma of skull with an epidural hematoma has been described in only five cases in the literature and we report the first case of LCH presenting as an intracranial epidural hematoma on frontal area.
Langerhans' cell histiocytosis; Epidural hematoma; Eosinophilic granuloma; Head trauma