Stroke leaves serious neurological sequelae, which require long-term medical and social care, imposing financial and mental burdens on the patients and their families, and causing enormous losses to society. It is currently required that medical resources be used efficiently and the cost-effectiveness of treatment be analyzed carefully. We conducted a follow-up survey of stroke patients admitted to the hospital attached to our university in order to build a picture of the current status of chronic-phase stroke medical treatment. In total, 330 patients were analyzed in this study. We evaluated utility and medical cost at one year after onset. To investigate the relationship between activities of daily living (ADL) classified according to the modified Rankin scale (mRS) and quality of life (QOL), utility was calculated for each ADL level. Utility at 1 year post-onset for each mRS level was: ADL0, 0.89; ADL1, 0.79; ADL2, 0.65; ADL3, 0.58; ADL4, 0.36; and ADL5, 0.09. A significant correlation was seen between utility and mRS. Direct monthly medical costs at 1 year post-onset were 61,536 yen in the ADL0 group and 383,444 yen in the ADL5 group, indicating that a worse ADL score required higher medical costs. Direct monthly costs were significantly different between ADL levels. This present study has clarified the QOL and medical costs of chronic-phase stroke patients, and many cost-utility analyses will be based on our data in the future in Japan.
The characteristics of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) accompanying chronic liver disease (CLD) were investigated in ICH patients hospitalized between 1998 and 2008 divided into the CLD group (55 ICHs in 49 patients) and the idiopathic group without CLD (668 ICHs in 648 patients). The CLD group included a subgroup with liver cirrhosis (LC). Age, sex, history of hypertension, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score on admission, and hematoma locations were reviewed. Outcomes on discharge and causes of in-hospital death were also studied. Factors associated with life prognosis in CLD patients were investigated using uni- and multivariate analyses. History of hypertension and deep cerebral hemorrhage were less frequent in the LC subgroup compared to the idiopathic group. Distributions of GCS scores on admission were not significantly different, but incidence of in-hospital death was significantly higher in the CLD group than in the idiopathic group. LC was an independent prognostic factor for CLD patients, but hematoma enlargement was not. Death primarily due to ICH was less frequent in the CLD group than in the idiopathic group. In conclusion, hemostatic disorders seemed to be related to site of hemorrhage, but not to life prognosis in the CLD group. Prognosis was mainly worsened by non-neurological complications.
Antiangiogenic strategy is promising for malignant glioma. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) are unique anticancer agents that exhibit antiangiogenic effects. The in vitro and in vivo antiangiogenic effects of HDACIs, valproic acid (VPA), were investigated in malignant glioma in the brain. In vitro, VPA preferentially inhibited endothelial cell proliferation compared to glioma cell proliferation at the optimum concentration in a dose-dependent manner. VPA reduced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. VPA was also found to inhibit tube formation in the angiogenesis assay. In vivo, treatment with VPA combined with irinotecan reduced the number of vessels expressing factor VIII in the brain tumor model. VPA inhibits glioma angiogenesis by direct (inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation) and indirect (decreased secretion of VEGF by glioma cells) mechanisms. These data suggest a potential role for VPA as an adjuvant therapy for patients with malignant glioma.
Combined vaccines containing GL261 murine glioma cells and F-2 murine endothelial cells fixed with glutaraldehyde-phosphate buffered saline were injected into the intradermal tissue of the tail base of C57BL/6 mice. After the vaccination, GL261 cells were injected subcutaneously into the left flank of the mice. Vaccination with fixed F-2 cells induced the development of relatively high amounts of interferon-gamma-releasing cells after in vitro re-stimulation with vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor 2 peptide. Tumor growth was inhibited after preventive use of the combined vaccine, prepared from GL261 and F-2 cells. Tumor specimens obtained from the combined vaccine group in a therapeutic experiment showed significantly decreased vessel count. Glioma immunotherapy with a combined vaccine prepared from tumor cells and endothelial cells might represent a new clinical strategy, as such combinations may theoretically affect both high-grade glioma cells and their environment.
A 69-year-old woman without diabetes or hypertension presented with a large posterior communicating artery aneurysm projecting beneath the oculomotor nerve manifesting as a 2-week history of progressive diplopia. Neurological examination revealed external ophthalmoplegia and blepharoptosis without pupil involvement. Neuroimaging showed a large aneurysm in the left internal carotid artery projecting postero-inferiorly. Craniotomy and neck clipping of the aneurysm revealed the origin at the junction of the internal carotid artery and posterior communicating artery, and elevation of the oculomotor nerve. Pupil-sparing oculomotor nerve palsy is often assumed to be caused by ischemic injury such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Sometimes compressive lesion can cause pupil-sparing oculomotor nerve palsy with a short interval from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis. Despite the 2-week interval from the onset of symptoms, this patient presented with pupil-sparing oculomotor nerve palsy caused by compressive lesion. Involvement or sparing of the pupil is often considered to be the most important criterion in the diagnosis of isolated oculomotor nerve palsy. This unique case demonstrated that unusual compressive lesions must be taken into consideration in the diagnosis of pupil-sparing oculomotor nerve palsy.
A 61-year-old man with a history of cerebellar infarction was transferred to our hospital for the treatment of vertebral artery (VA) stenosis. The VA dissection was treated with endovascular stent placement followed by coil embolization in which shrinkage of the dissecting aneurysm was confirmed by the three-dimensional driven equilibrium (3D DRIVE) sequence. Using 3D DRIVE, the outer contour of the aneurysm was well visualized, free from the influence of the metallic devices. 3D DRIVE may be useful in the follow-up assessment of the vertebrobasilar artery after stent-assisted coil embolization.
Three cases of extracranial carotid artery (ECA) aneurysm were treated with various surgical options. Two female patients (74 and 37-year-old women) presented with pulsatile masses in their necks, which were confirmed as ECA aneurysms. Another 65-year-old woman presented with a calcified mass in her neck caused by an ECA aneurysm. The first case was treated with aneurysmorrhaphy with primary closure, the second with replacement of the involved site with vascular prosthesis, and the third with a high flow bypass with proximal ligation of the internal carotid artery. All three different surgical techniques were successful. ECA aneurysms are rare and require careful selection of the surgical method according to etiology, shape, and location of the ECA aneurysm. Proficiency in various vascular reconstruction techniques is a desirable prerequisite for the surgeon in-charge.
A 58-year-old woman with multiple right internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms detected incidentally was referred to us. Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) angiography revealed a broad-necked paraclinoid aneurysm and an aneurysm on the C1 segment. Aneurysm clipping with preservation of the anterior choroidal artery and posterior communicating artery was not possible because these vessels could not be adequately identified. Intraoperative digital subtraction angiography during obliteration of the cervical portion of the ICA confirmed retrograde flow from the extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass to the right ophthalmic artery and stagnation of flow in the aneurysms. The cervical portion of the ICA was ligated. Postoperative three-dimensional CT angiography confirmed complete occlusion of both aneurysms and absence of ischemic lesions involving branches of the ICA. Reversal of the blood flow in the ICA via the EC-IC bypass primarily into the ophthalmic artery as the flow outlet by obliterating the cervical portion of the ICA was successful. To prevent ischemia in the territory fed by the perforating arteries of the ICA, tailored flow alteration treatment may be superior to simple parent artery occlusion of the ICA with/without bypass. The pattern of flow alteration should be deliberately based on individual anatomic variations, especially the preservation of flow outlets.
A 22-year-old woman developed an unruptured fusiform aneurysm of the internal carotid artery 7 months after being diagnosed with Wagener's granulomatosis. Intracranial aneurysmal formation is an extremely rare complication of Wegener's granulomatosis. This rare case of intracranial aneurysm was treated by endovascular balloon occlusion.
A 32-year-old Filipino female presented with Takayasu's arteritis manifesting as an abrupt onset of syncope. Physical examination revealed diminished consciousness, right hemiparesis, and a large discrepancy in blood pressure between the upper and lower extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed cerebral infarcts in the left basal ganglia and the left temporal lobe. Angiography revealed complete occlusion of the left common carotid artery and severe stenosis of the brachiocephalic artery, the right common carotid artery, and the left subclavian artery. Based on the clinical examination and studies, the diagnosis was Takayasu's arteritis, type I. The patient's condition stabilized after 2 months of prednisone and anti-platelet therapy. Single stage multiple stenting in the brachiocephalic artery, the right common carotid artery, and the left subclavian artery was then performed using high pressure inflation to dilate the arteries due to the remarkably rigid lesions that resulted from extensive and diffuse fibrosis throughout the vessel walls. Although a small intimal flap occurred during inflation of the left subclavian artery, re-dilation was possible with the stent. Even with evidence of notable recovery in blood pressure and cerebral blood flow, no further neurological improvement was observed. In view of the favorable short- and intermediate-term results, single stage multiple stenting may be the optimum treatment option for first-line stent-supported angioplasty in patients with Takayasu's arteritis.
Current chemotherapeutic regimens have been used to successfully treat many children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but have resulted in an increased risk of late central nervous system tumors, most commonly meningioma, particularly in patients who have received cranial irradiation. We treated 3 young patients with World Health Organization grade II meningiomas who had previously received cranial irradiation for the treatment of childhood ALL: a cerebellopontine angle tumor in a 19-year-old woman, a petroclival tumor in a 28-year-old man, and a frontal parasagittal tumor in a 19-year-old woman. These cases were difficult to treat due to the aggressive and invasive biology of the tumors. Therefore, we recommend systematic cranial imaging and long follow-up periods for leukemia survivors to detect brain tumors before progression.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) may be overlooked in the absence of typical sensory symptoms. Two patients with CTS lacked the attendant sensory symptoms but experienced difficulties performing a pinching action behind the back (manipulation of the buckle of a baby sling or the hook of a brassiere), a mode of pinching that required wrist flexion. The causative mechanism was probably exacerbation of a latent weakness of the intrinsic muscles of the thumb by wrist flexion, in which the strength of the extrinsic flexors of the thumb and index finger were decreased due to loosening of the tendons. Such symptoms, induced by a specific wrist position, may be help to diagnose a latent weakness in the intrinsic muscles of the thumb, present in patients with CTS.
A 44-year-old woman presented with a rare case of disproportionately large communicating fourth ventricle (DLCFV) associated with syringomyelia and intradural arachnoid cyst in the spinal cord. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt operation was performed for hydrocephalus after subarachnoid hemorrhage. She developed DLCFV, which was then associated with syringomyelia and spinal intradural arachnoid cyst. Shunting of the fourth ventricle improved DLCFV, and then the syringomyelia and arachnoid cyst. Although the aqueduct was patent, independent pressure control of the fourth ventricle and the other ventricles was necessary to improve the symptoms. Shunting of the fourth ventricle should be considered for patients with DLCFV when the symptoms persist despite adequate pressure control of the other ventricles.
A 63-year-old female presented with a rare case of synovial cyst invading the dura mater and mimicking an intradural extramedullary tumor in the lumbar spine. She underwent posterior lumbar fusion with laminar wire fixation from L3 to S1 levels. She complained of severe pain along the anterolateral thigh in both legs for 1 year. Radiological examinations, including magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography revealed an intradural extramedullary lesion at the L2-3 level that was compressing the thecal sac. Histological examination confirmed a synovial cyst. Synovial cyst should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an intradural extramedullary mass causing lumbar radiculopathy.
Idiopathic spinal cord herniation is a rare disease, and surgical treatment is recommended for patients with motor deficits or progressive neurological symptoms. Surgery is performed to release and reposition the tethered spinal cord. In terms of repositioning and prevention of reherniation, various procedures have been proposed; enlargement of the ventral dural defect, primary closure of the defect with sutures, and insertion of a ventral patch for duraplasty. We treated 3 patients with idiopathic spinal cord herniation, using a ventral patch for duraplasty with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene pericardial membrane (the Hammock method), and all 3 cases had good clinical outcome. The specific important technical aspects are described and illustrated. If this procedure is performed meticulously under the microscope by following the specific techniques, the Hammock method is safer and more effective for prevention of reherniation than simple enlargement of the dural defect.