Preventative treatments for unruptured cerebral aneurysms include craniotomy, endovascular treatment, and follow up. Since there is no agreement as to the best procedure, it is important to provide adequate information so that the patient and physician can share in the decision-making process. A multi-media DVD was created to inform patients of the facts. This study examined how effectively this DVD changes patients’ recognition including knowledge of unruptured cerebral aneurysms. Forty-seven patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms who sought neurosurgery consultation between December 2005 and February 2006 completed a questionnaire before and after watching the DVD, as well as at 3 months follow up. Before watching the DVD, the average knowledge score was 8.72 out of 15 total points. The average score increased to 12.4 after watching the DVD (p < 0.001). At 3 months follow up, the average score was 10.34, which was still higher than before watching the DVD (p < 0.01). Participants’ knowledge about treatment methods also increased after watching the DVD (p < 0.001). Compared to 63.2% who were satisfied with their treatment decision before watching the DVD, 69.6% were satisfied with their decision after watching the DVD. All participants responded that the use of multi-media images was helpful in better understanding treatment options and in making informed decisions. The DVD was favorably accepted as a decision support tool by patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysm and effectively increased patients’ knowledge.
The effect of raloxifene on cerebral vasospasm following experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) was investigated in a rat model. Seven groups of seven rats underwent no SAH, no treatment; SAH only; SAH plus vehicle; SAH plus 3 days intraperitoneal raloxifene treatment; SAH plus 4 days intraperitoneal raloxifene treatment; SAH plus 3 days intrathecal raloxifene treatment; and SAH plus 4 days intrathecal raloxifene treatment. The basilar artery cross-sectional areas were measured at 72 or 96 hours following SAH. The results showed raloxifene decreased SAH-induced cerebral vasospasm in all treatment groups, and suggested no difference between intraperitoneal and intrathecal application, or between 3 days and 4 days of raloxifene treatment. The present study demonstrates that raloxifene is a potential therapeutic agent against cerebral vasospasm after SAH.
The prognostic factors were retrospectively analyzed in 30 patients aged 70 years or over with supratentorial malignant gliomas treated by surgery in our hospital. The histological diagnosis was confirmed as grade 3 in 13 patients and grade 4 in 17. Seventeen patients received adjuvant radiation therapy. Only 10 patients underwent chemotherapy. Survival time was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. Prognostic factors were obtained from the Cox proportional hazards model. Univariate analysis showed preoperative Karnofsky performance status (KPS) score of 70 or greater and radiation therapy were significantly associated with longer survival. However, multivariate analysis revealed that preoperative KPS score of 70 or greater was the only independent prognostic factor and radiation therapy lost its significance due to selection bias. Neurological deterioration and medical complications occurred in six and seven patients, respectively. Performance status rather than histological grade is the key prognostic factor in elderly patients with supratentorial malignant gliomas. Patients with good preoperative KPS score should be aggressively treated with extensive resection and radiotherapy.
A 33-year-old woman presented with a rare intracranial pial arteriovenous fistula manifesting as monoparesis and hypesthesia of the right lower extremity. Computed tomography demonstrated an approximately 10-mm diameter subcortical hematoma in the left postcentral gyrus. Two months after suffering the ictus, angiography demonstrated a pial arteriovenous fistula in the late arterial phase fed by the left paracentral artery and drained into the left precentral vein. No nidus or dural arteriovenous fistula was detected. Left parietal craniotomy was performed and the pial arteriovenous fistula was extirpated by electrocoagulation. Intraoperative angiography demonstrated disappearance of the fistula. She experienced no postoperative neurological deterioration, but hypesthesia of the right leg persisted. Obliteration of the pial arteriovenous fistula was reconfirmed by postoperative angiography. She suffered no rebleeding episodes during the 36-month follow-up period. Pial arteriovenous fistula causing mild symptoms should be treated by flow disconnection because the direct arteriovenous shunt and attendant high blood flow usually results in huge venous varices. To determine whether direct surgery or endovascular treatment is appropriate, the position and shape of the lesion must be known.
A 32-year-old man presented with a rare case of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) associated with dural sinus thrombosis (DST) manifesting as severe postural headache which was relieved by lying down. Initial cerebrospinal fluid pressure was low. He was treated with hydration and rest under a diagnosis of SIH. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging after 1 month showed signs of both DST and SIH. However, the patient did not demonstrate any of the classical symptoms associated with DST. The patient underwent an epidural blood patch procedure. His headache was relieved and MR imaging showed improvement of both SIH and DST. This case suggests that epidural blood patch may be effective in some cases of SIH associated with DST.
A 21-year-old woman presented with an unruptured large intracavernous aneurysm, which was spontaneously revascularized via unusual collateral pathways a short time after extracranial-intracranial bypass and surgical ligation of the proximal internal carotid artery. The patient had been treated for a large basilar trunk aneurysm with intraaneurysmal embolization using Guglielmi detachable coils, and an intracavernous carotid artery aneurysm treated conservatively. Two years later, the patient presented with right abducens nerve palsy, and was referred to our hospital. She had small nevi in the right forehead and eyelid. Cerebral angiography revealed enlargement of the intracavernous aneurysm. Superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery bypass followed by surgical carotid artery ligation were performed, and good patency of bypass and disappearance of the aneurysm were confirmed by intraoperative angiography. However, follow-up magnetic resonance angiography and cerebral angiography on the 20th postoperative day revealed revascularization of the internal carotid artery and the intracavernous carotid artery aneurysm via unusual collateral pathways. Subsequently, the recurrent aneurysm and the recanalized internal carotid artery were occluded by endovascular procedures. Histological examination of the nevus showed lack of properly organized vascular structures, and the diagnosis was angiodysplasia. The early development of unusual collateral pathway, and aneurysm formation at a young age might be related to the angiodysplasia. Revascularization is possible within a short time even in cases of intracavernous carotid artery aneurysm successfully treated with surgical ligation of the parent artery.
A 65-year-old male with moyamoya disease underwent surgical resection of a microbleed simultaneously with revascularization surgery. Histological examination identified several fragile arteries surrounding the microbleed. Microbleeds detected by T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging are considered to be a general marker of vascular vulnerability in cerebral angiopathy with a tendency to bleeding. The microbleeds observed in patients with moyamoya disease probably originate in bleeding from the fragile arteries.
A 48-year-old female presented with an extremely rare primary tumor of the pineal region with papillary features manifesting as morning headaches persisting for 1 month. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a well-defined mass, with some cystic components, in the region of the pineal gland. The tumor was completely removed through an occipital transtentorial approach in the prone position. Histological examination found a distinctive papillary growth pattern in which the vessels were covered by multiple layers of tumor cells. The histological diagnosis was papillary tumor of the pineal region (PTPR), which has recently been described as a distinct clinicopathological entity requiring careful follow up because the prognosis is not well understood. Postoperatively, the patient has continued to do well, with no recurrence at the 8-month follow-up examination. PTPR should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pineal tumors. PTPR may have been frequently misinterpreted in the past as either ependymoma or choroid plexus papilloma due to the similar morphology.
A 22-year-old woman presented with a basal encephalocele associated with hypoplasia of the internal carotid artery (ICA) manifesting as a 6-year history of decreased vision in the right eye. She underwent encephalo-arterio-synangiosis under a diagnosis of hypoplasia of the ICA at age 6 years. Magnetic resonance imaging showed the encephalocele medial to the right temporal lobe. Frontotemporal craniotomy was performed for resection of the encephalocele and repair of the defect of the skull base. The pathogeneses of these developmental anomalies were probably related to developmental failure of the embryonic primordium during the 4th and 10th weeks.
An 88-year-old man presented with Rathke’s cleft cyst (RCC) manifesting as complete cavernous sinus syndrome. He had no headache, endocrinological symptom, or blood abnormality. Neuroimaging revealed a cystic intrasellar lesion with lateral extension. The patient underwent surgery by a transsphenoidal approach. Histological examination revealed squamous and cuboidal epithelium. The diagnosis was RCC. RCC is rarely symptomatic, but enlargement and compression of the surrounding structures usually causes headache, visual field defects, or symptoms of pituitary dysfunction. The present case shows that RCC may manifest as complete cavernous sinus syndrome.