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
Simultaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage and infarction is a quite rare presentation in a patient with a spontaneous dissecting aneurysm of the anterior cerebral artery. Identifying relevant radiographic features and serial angiographic surveillance as well as mode of clinical manifestation, either hemorrhage or infarction, could sufficiently determine appropriate treatment. Enlargement of ruptured aneurysm and progressing arterial stenosis around the aneurysm indicates impending risk of subsequent stroke. In this setting, prompt treatment with stent-assisted endovascular embolization can be a reliable alternative to direct surgery. When multiple arterial dissections are coexistent, management strategy often became complicated. However, satisfactory clinical results can be obtained by acknowledging responsible arterial site with careful radiographic inspection and antiplatelet medication.
Dissecting aneurysm; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Cerebral infarction; Anterior cerebral artery; Endovascular embolization
Life expectancy for humans has increased dramatically and with this there has been a considerable increase in the number of patients suffering from lumbar spine disease. Symptomatic lumbar spinal disease should be treated, even in the elderly, and surgical procedures such as fusion surgery are needed for moderate to severe lumbar spinal disease. However, various perioperative complications are associated with fusion surgery. The aim of this study was to examine perioperative complications and assess risk factors associated with lumbar spinal fusion, focusing on geriatric patients at least 70 years of age in the Republic of Korea.
We retrospectively investigated 489 patients with various lumbar spinal diseases who underwent lumbar spinal fusion surgery between 2003 and 2007 at our institution. Three fusion procedures and the number of fused segments were analyzed in this study. Chronic diseases were also evaluated. Risk factors for complications and their association with age were analyzed.
In this study, 74 patients experienced complications (15%). The rate of perioperative complications was significantly higher in patients 70 years of age or older than in other age groups (univariate analysis, p=0.001; multivariate analysis, p=0.004). However, perioperative complications were not significantly associated with the other factors tested (sex, comorbidities, operation procedures, fusion segments involved).
Increasing age was an important risk factor for perioperative complications in patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery whereas other factors were not significant. We recommend good clinical judgment and careful selection of geriatric patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery.
Complication; Elderly patients; Lumbar spinal fusion
Contrary to some clinical belief, there were quite a few studies regarding animal models of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in vivo suggesting that prior use of statins may improve outcome after ICH. This study reports the effect of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitor, simvastatin given before experimental ICH.
Fifty-one rats were subjected to collagenase-induced ICH, subdivided in 3 groups according to simvastatin treatment modality, and behavioral tests were done. Hematoma volume, brain water content and hemispheric atrophy were analyzed. Immunohistochemical staining for microglia (OX-42) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was performed and caspase-3 activity was also measured.
Pre-simvastatin therapy decreased inflammatory reaction and perihematomal cell death, but resulted in no significant reduction of brain edema and no eNOS expression in the perihematomal region. Finally, prior use of simvastatin showed less significant improvement of neurological outcome after experimental ICH when compared to post-simvastatin therapy.
The present study suggests that statins therapy after ICH improves neurological outcome, but prior use of statins before ICH might provide only histological improvement, providing no significant impact on neurological outcome against ICH.
Inflammation; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Neuroprotection; Outcome; Rat; Statins
We conducted this study to evaluate the clinical impact of early enteral nutrition (EN) on in-hospital mortality and outcome in patients with critical hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
We retrospectively analyzed 123 ICH patients with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 3-12. We divided the subjects into two groups : early EN group (< 48 hours, n = 89) and delayed EN group (≥ 48 hours, n = 34). Body weight, total intake and output, serum albumin, C-reactive protein, infectious complications, morbidity at discharge and in-hospital mortality were compared with statistical analysis.
The incidence of nosocomial pneumonia and length of intensive care unit stay were significantly lower in the early EN group than in the delayed EN group (p < 0.05). In-hospital mortality was less in the early EN group than in the delayed EN group (10.1% vs. 35.3%, respectively; p = 0.001). By multivariate analysis, early EN [odds ratio (OR) 0.229, 95% CI : 0.066-0.793], nosocomial pneumonia (OR = 5.381, 95% CI : 1.621-17.865) and initial GCS score (OR = 1.482 95% CI : 1.160-1.893) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality in patients with critical hypertensive ICH.
These findings indicate that early EN is an important predictor of outcome in patients with critical hypertensive ICH.
Enteral nutrition; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Mortality
Sildenafil citrate (Viagra®; Pfeizer US Pharmaceutical Group, New York, NY, USA) is a potent vasodilating agent to treat male erectile dysfunction. Among its adverse effects, hemorrhagic stroke has not been widely reported yet. We present a case of a 33-year-old healthy man who ingested 50 mg sildenafil a half hour before onset of headache, nervousness and speech disturbance. Head computed tomogram of this stuporous man showed huge intracerebral hemorrhage and thick subarachnoid hemorrhage, but angiography failed to disclose any vascular anomalies. Subsequent surgical procedure was followed, and rehabilitation was provided thereafter. Sildenafil seems to act by redistributing arterial blood flow, and concurrent sympathetic hyperactivity, which lead to such hemorrhagic presentation. Extreme caution should be paid on even in a young adult male patient wven without known risk factors.
Intracerebral hemorrhage; Risk factors; Sildenafil; Subarachnoid hemorrhage
C1 lateral mass and C2 pedicle (C1LM-C2P) fixation is a relatively new technique for atlantoaxial stabilization. Complications from C1LM-C2P fixation have been rarely reported. The authors report unilateral rod migration into the posterior fossa as a rare complication after this posterior C1-C2 stabilization technique. A 23-year-old man suffered severe head trauma and cervical spine injury after vehicle accident. He was unconscious for 2 months and regained consciousness. He underwent C1LM-C2P fixation for stabilization of type II odontoid process fracture described by Harms. The patient recovered without a major complication. Twenty months after operation, brain computed tomogram performed at psychology department for disability evaluation showed rod migration into the right cerebellar hemisphere. The patient had mild occipital headache and dizziness only regarding the misplaced rod. He refused further operation for rod removal. To our knowledge, this complication is the first report regarding rod migration after Harms method. We should be kept in mind the possibility of rod migration, and C1LM-C2P fixation should be performed with meticulous technique and long-term follow-up.
Atlantoaxial fixation; Harms technique; Migration; Odontoid process fracture; Rod
In the thoracic spine, insertion of a pedicle screw is annoying due to small pedicle size and wide morphological variation between different levels of the spine and between individuals. The aim of our study was to analyze radiologic parameters of the pedicle morphometry from T1 to T8 using computed tomographic myelography (CTM) in Korean population.
For evaluation of the thoracic pedicle morphometry, the authors prospectively analyzed a consecutive series of 26 patients with stable thoracic spines. With the consent of patients, thoracic CTM were performed, from T1 to T8. We calculated the transverse outer diameters and the transverse angles of the pedicle, distance from the cord to the inner cortical wall of the pedicle, and distance from the cord to the dura.
Transverse outer pedicle diameter was widest at T1 (7.66 ± 2.14 mm) and narrowest at T4 (4.38 ± 1.55 mm). Transverse pedicle angle was widest at T1 (30.2 ± 12.0°) and it became less than 9.0° below T6 level. Theoretical safety zone of the medial perforation of the pedicle screw, namely, distance from the cord to inner cortical wall of the pedicle was more than 4.5 mm.
Based on this study, we suggest that the current pedicle screw system is not always suitable for Korean patients. Computed tomography is required before performing a transpedicular screw fixation at the thoracic levels.
Korean; Thoracic vertebrae; Pedicle screw; Safety zone
This study was aimed to identify the incidence and risk factors of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) colonization in neurosurgical practice of field, with particular attention to intensive care unit (ICU).
This retrospective study was carried out on the Neurosurgical ICU (NICU), during the period from January. 2005 to December. 2007, in 414 consecutive patients who had been admitted to the NICU. Demographics and known risk factors were retrieved and assessed by statistical methods.
A total of 52 patients had VRE colonization among 414 patients enrolled, with an overall prevalence rate of 6.1%. E. faecium was the most frequently isolated pathogen, and 92.3% of all VRE were isolated from urine specimen. Active infection was noticed only in 2 patients with bacteremia and meningitis. Relative antibiotic agents were third-generation cephalosporin in 40%, and vancomycin in 23%, and multiple antibiotic usages were also identified in 13% of all cases. Multivariate analyses showed Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score less than 8, placement of Foley catheter longer than 2 weeks, ICU stay over 2 weeks and presence of nearby VRE-positive patients had a significantly independent association with VRE infection.
When managing the high-risk patients being prone to be infected VRE in the NICU, extreme caution should be paid upon. Because prevention and outbreak control is of ultimate importance, clinicians should be alert the possibility of impending colonization and infection by all means available. The most crucial interventions are careful hand washing, strict glove handling, meticulous and active screening, and complete segregation.
Glasgow coma scale score; Intensive care unit; Neurosurgery; Segregation; Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus
Although prophylactic antiepileptic drug (AED) use in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a common practice, lack of uniform definitions and guidelines for seizures and AEDs rendered this prescription more habitual instead of evidence-based manner. We herein evaluated the incidence and predictive factors of seizure and complications about AED use.
From July 1999 to June 2007, data of a total of 547 patients with aneurysmal SAH who underwent operative treatments were reviewed. For these, the incidence and risk factors of seizures and epilepsy were assessed, in addition to complications of AEDs.
Eighty-three patients (15.2%) had at least one seizure following SAH. Forty-three patients (7.9%) had onset seizures, 34 (6.2%) had perioperative seizures, and 17 (3.1%) had late epilepsy. Younger age (< 40 years), poor clinical grade, thick hemorrhage, acute hydrocephalus, and rebleeding were related to the occurrence of onset seizures. Cortical infarction and thick hemorrhage were independent risk factors for the occurrence of late epilepsy. Onset seizures were not predictive of late epilepsy. Moreover, adverse drug effects were identified in 128 patients (23.4%) with AEDs.
Perioperative seizures are not significant predictors for late epilepsy. Instead, initial amount of SAH and surgery-induced cortical damage should be seriously considered as risk factors for late epilepsy. Because AEDs can not prevent early postoperative seizures (< 1 week) and potentially cause unexpected side effects, long-term use should be readjusted in high-risk patients.
Aneurysm; Antiepileptic drug; Complication; Epilepsy; Risk factors; Seizure
Bilateral C1-2 transarticular screw fixation (TAF) with interspinous wiring has been the best treatment for atlantoaxial instability (AAI). However, several factors may disturb satisfactory placement of bilateral screws. This study evaluates the usefulness of unilateral TAF when bilateral TAF is not available.
Between January 2003 and December 2007, TAF was performed in 54 patients with AAI. Preoperative studies including cervical x-ray, three dimensional computed tomogram, CT angiogram, and magnetic resonance image were checked. The atlanto-dental interval (ADI) was measured in preoperative period, immediate postoperatively, and postoperative 1, 3 and 6 months.
Unilateral TAF was performed in 27 patients (50%). The causes of unilateral TAF were anomalous course of vertebral artery in 20 patients (74%), severe degenerative arthritis in 3 (11%), fracture of C1 in 2, hemangioblastoma in one, and screw malposition in one. The mean ADI in unilateral group was measured as 2.63 mm in immediate postoperatively, 2.61 mm in 1 month, 2.64 mm in 3 months and 2.61 mm in 6 months postoperatively. The mean ADI of bilateral group was also measured as following; 2.76 mm in immediate postoperative, 2.71 mm in 1 month, 2.73 mm in 3 months, 2.73 mm in 6 months postoperatively. Comparison of ADI measurement showed no significant difference in both groups, and moreover fusion rate was 100% in bilateral and 96.3% in unilateral group (p=0.317).
Even though bilateral TAF is best option for AAI in biomechanical perspectives, unilateral screw fixation also can be a useful alternative in otherwise dangerous or infeasible cases through bilateral screw placement.
Atlatoaxial instability (AAI); Atlantodental interval (ADI); Transarticular screw fixation (TAF); Unilateral; Vertebral artery
Although endovascular intervention is the first-line treatment of intracranial aneurysm, intraprocedural rupture or extravasation is still an endangering event. We describe two interesting cases of extravasation during embolotherapy for ruptured peripheral cerebral pseudoaneurysms. Two male patients were admitted after development of sudden headache with presentation of intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage, respectively. Initial angiographic assessment failed to uncover any aneurysmal dilatation in both patients. Two weeks afterwards, catheter angiography revealed aneurysms each in the peripheral middle cerebral artery and anterior inferior cerebellar artery. Under a general anesthesia, endovascular embolization was attempted without systemic heparinization. In each case, sudden extravasation was noted around the aneurysm during manual injection of contrast after microcatheter navigation. Immediate computed tomographic scan showed a large amount of contrast collection within the brain, but they tolerated and made an unremarkable recovery thereafter. Intraprocedural extravasation is an endangering event and needs prompt management, however proximal plugging with coil deployment can be sufficient alternative, if one confronts with peripheral pseudoaneurysm. Peculiar angiographic features are deemed attributable to extremely fragile, porous vascular wall of the pseudoaneurysm. Accordingly, it should be noted that extreme caution being needed to handle such a friable vascular lesion.
Endovascular embolization; Extravasation; Pseudoaneurysm
A 64-year-old man with TBI was admitted to our institute. In following days, he showed unusual behavior of agitation, restlessness, emotional instability and inattention. Post-traumatic delirium was tentatively diagnosed, and donepezil was given for his cognitive dysfunction. Although there was partial relief of agitation, he sustained back pain despite medication. Lumbar magnetic resonance image revealed SDH along the whole lumbar spine, and surgical drainage was followed. Postoperatively, his agitation disappeared and further medication was discontinued. We report a unique case of post-traumatic delirium in a patient with concomitant TBI and spinal subdural hemorrhage (SDH) that resolved with operative drainage of spinal hemorrhage.
Back pain; Delirium; Subdural hematoma; Traumatic brain injury
Angiosarcoma of the brain, either primary or metastatic is extremely rare. Moreover, angiosarcoma metastasizing to the brain is also highly unlike to occur comparing with metastases to the other organs. Thus, an ideal treatment strategy has not been established. A 67-year-old man with past surgical history of a scalp angiosarcoma underwent surgical resection of intracranial invasion. Because of wide scalp flap excision and resultant poor vascularity of the scalp flap, additional radiation was not provided. Because adjuvant therapy is impossible due to poor scalp condition, more careful but ample resection of the primary lesion is essential to conduct initial operation.
Brain neoplasm; Metastasis; Scalp Angiosarcoma; Scalp flap
Postoperative delirium (POD) is characterized by an acute change in cognitive function and can result in longer hospital stays, higher morbidity rates, and more frequent discharges to long-term care facilities. In this study, we investigated the incidence and risk factors of POD in 224 patients older than 70 years of age, who had undergone a neurosurgical operation in the last two years.
Data related to preoperative factors (male gender, >70 years, previous dementia or delirium, alcohol abuse, serum levels of sodium, potassium and glucose, and co morbidities), perioperative factors (type of surgery and anesthesia, and duration of surgery) and postoperative data (length of stay in recovery room, severity of pain and use of opioid analgesics) were retrospectively collected and statistically analyzed.
POD appeared in 48 patients (21.4%) by postoperative day 3. When we excluded 26 patients with previous dementia or delirium, 17 spontaneously recovered by postoperative day 14, while 5 patients recovered by postoperative 2 months with medication, among 22 patients with newly developed POD. The univariate risk factors for POD included previously dementic or delirious patients, abnormal preoperative serum glucose level, pre-existent diabetes, the use of local anesthesia for the operation, longer operation time (>3.2 hr) or recovery room stay (>90 min), and severe pain (VAS>6.8) requiring opioid treatment (p<0.05). Backward regression analysis revealed that previously dementic patients with diabetes, the operation being performed under local anesthesia, and severe postoperative pain treated with opioids were independent risk factors for POD.
Our study shows that control of blood glucose levels and management of pain during local anesthesia and in the immediate postoperative period can reduce unexpected POD and help preventing unexpected medicolegal problems and economic burdens.
Anesthesia; Diabetes; Geriatric; Pain; Postoperative delirium (POD)
Post-clipping intraparenchymal hemorrhage of the contralateral hemisphere is a very unusual phenomenon in a patient with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, unless there is an underlying condition. We report a complicated case of 47-year-old man, who underwent uneventful clipping of ruptured aneurysm and experienced vasospasm two weeks later. Vasospasm was treated by intra-arterial nimodipine and systemic hyperdynamic therapy. One week thereafter, he became unconscious due to intraparenchymal hemorrhage on the anterior border-zone of contalateral hemisphere, but intraoperative and pathologic findings failed to disclose any vascular anomaly. We suggest that the anti-spastic regimens cause local hemodynamic redistribution through the vasodilatory effect and in turn, resulted in such an unexpected bleeding.
Border-zone; Cerebral aneurysm; Hyperdynamic therapy; Intraparenchymal hemorrhage (Intra-arterial) Nimodipine injection; Vasospasm
Delayed ischemic deficit or cerebral infarction is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The purpose of this study is to reassess the prognostic impact of intraoperative elements, including factors related to surgery and anesthesia, on the development of cerebral infarction in patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms.
Variables related to surgery and anesthesia as well as predetermined factors were all evaluated via a retrospective study on 398 consecutive patients who underwent early microsurgery for ruptured cerebral aneurysms in the last 7 years. Patients were dichotomized as following; good clinical grade (Hunt-Hess grade I to III) and poor clinical grade (IV and V). The end-point events were cerebral infarctions and the clinical outcomes were measured at postoperative 6 months.
The occurrence of cerebral infarction was eminent when there was an intraoperative rupture, prolonged temporary clipping and retraction time, intraoperative hypotension, or decreased O2 saturation, but there was no statistical significance between the two different clinical groups. Besides the Fisher Grade, multiple logistic regression analyses showed that temporary clipping time, hypotension, and low O2 saturation had odds ratios of 1.574, 3.016, and 1.528, respectively. Cerebral infarction and outcome had a meaningful correlation (γ=0.147, p=0.038).
This study results indicate that early surgery for poor grade SAH patients carries a significant risk of ongoing ischemic complication due to the brain's vulnerability or accompanying cardio-pulmonary dysfunction. Thus, these patients should be approached very cautiously to overcome any anticipated intraoperative threat by concerted efforts with neuro-anesthesiologist in point to point manner.
Cerebral aneurysm; Cerebral infarction; Hypotension; Oxygen saturation; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Temporary clipping
The purpose of this study was to investigate the surgical results and prognostic factors for patients with soft cervical disc herniation with myelopathy.
During the last 7 years, 26 patients with cervical discogenic myelopathy were undertaken anterior discectomy and fusion. Clinical and radiographic features were reviewed to evaluate the surgical results and prognostic factors. The clinical outcome was judged using two grading systems (Herkowitz's scale and Nurick's grade).
Male were predominant (4:1), and C5-6 was the most frequently involved level. Gait disturbance, variable degree of spasticity, discomfort in chest and abdomen, hand numbness were the most obvious signs. Magnetic resonance(MR) images showed that central disc herniation was revealed in 16 cases, and accompanying cord signal changes in 4. Postoperatively, 23 patients showed favorable results (excellent, good and fair) according to Herkowitz's scale.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion effectively reduced myelopathic symptoms due to soft cervical disc herniation. The authors assured that the shorter duration of clinical attention, the lesser the degree of myelopathy and better outcome in discogenic myelopathy.
Cervical vertebrae; Intervertebral disc; Myelopathy