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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Tonsillobiventral fissure approach to the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle

J Neurosurg (127): 768-774, 2017

Surgical access to the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle (LR) is suboptimal with existing transvermian and telovelar approaches because of limited lateral exposure, significant retraction of the cerebellar tonsil, and steep trajectories near brainstem perforator arteries. The goal in this study was to assess surgical exposure of the tonsillobiventral fissure approach to the LR, and to describe the relevant anatomy.

METHODS Two formaldehyde-fixed cerebella were used to study the anatomical relationships of the LR. Also, the tonsillobiventral fissure approach was simulated in 8 specimens through a lateral suboccipital craniotomy.

RESULTS The pattern of the cerebellar folia and the cortical branches of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery were key landmarks to identifying the tonsillobiventral fissure. Splitting the tonsillobiventral fissure allowed a direct and safe surgical trajectory to the LR and into the cerebellopontine cistern. The proposed approach reduces cervical flexion and optimizes the surgical angle of attack.

CONCLUSIONS The tonsillobiventral fissure approach is a feasible and effective option for exposing the LR. This approach has more favorable trajectories and positions for the patient and the surgeon, and it should be added to the armamentarium for lesions in this location.

The Superior Frontal Transsulcal Approach to the Anterior Ventricular System

OBJECTIVE: To explore the superior frontal sulcus (SFS) morphology, trajectory of the applied surgical corridor, and white matter bundles that are traversed during the superior frontal transsulcal transventricular approach.

METHODS: Twenty normal, adult, formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres and 2 cadaveric heads were included in the study. The topography, morphology, and dimensions of the SFS were recorded in all specimens. Fourteen hemispheres were investigated through the fiber dissection technique whereas the remaining 6 were explored using coronal cuts. The cadaveric heads were used to perform the superior frontal transsulcal transventricular approach. In addition, 2 healthy volunteers underwent diffusion tensor imaging and tractography reconstruction studies.

RESULTS: The SFS was interrupted in 40% of the specimens studied and was always parallel to the interhemispheric fissure. The proximal 5 cm of the SFS (starting from the SFS precentral sulcus meeting point) were found to overlie the anterior ventricular system in all hemispheres. Five discrete white matter layers were identified en route to the anterior ventricular system (i.e., the arcuate fibers, the frontal aslant tract, the external capsule, internal capsule, and the callosal radiations). Diffusion tensor imaging studies confirmed the fiber tract architecture.

CONCLUSIONS: When feasible, the superior frontal transsulcal transventricular approach offers a safe and effective corridor to the anterior part of the lateral ventricle because it minimizes brain retraction and transgression and offers a wide and straightforward working corridor. Meticulous preoperative planning coupled with a sound microneurosurgical technique are prerequisites to perform the approach successfully

 

 

The anterior temporal artery: an underutilized but robust donor for revascularization of the distal middle cerebral artery

J Neurosurg 127:740–747, 2017

The anterior temporal artery (ATA) supplies an area of the brain that, if sacrificed, does not cause a noticeable loss of function. Therefore, the ATA may be used as a donor in intracranial-intracranial (IC-IC) bypass procedures. The capacities of the ATA as a donor have not been studied previously. In this study, the authors assessed the feasibility of using the ATA as a donor for revascularization of different segments of the distal middle cerebral artery (MCA).

METHODS The ATA was studied in 15 cadaveric specimens (8 heads, excluding 1 side). First, the cisternal segment of the artery was untethered from arachnoid adhesions and small branches feeding the anterior temporal lobe and insular cortex, to evaluate its capacity for a side-to-side bypass to insular, opercular, and cortical segments of the MCA. Any branch entering the anterior perforated substance was preserved. Then, the ATA was cut at the opercular-cortical junction and the capacity for an end-to-side bypass was assessed.

RESULTS From a total of 17 ATAs, 4 (23.5%) arose as an early MCA branch. The anterior insular zone and the frontal parasylvian cortical arteries were the best targets (in terms of mobility and caliber match) for a side-to-side bypass. Most of the insula was accessible for end-to-side bypass, but anterior zones of the insula were more accessible than posterior zones. End-to-side bypass was feasible for most recipient cortical arteries along the opercula, except for posterior temporal and parietal regions. Early ATAs reached significantly farther on the insular MCA recipients than non-early ATAs for both side-to-side and end-to-side bypasses.

CONCLUSIONS The ATA is a robust arterial donor for IC-IC bypass procedures, including side-to-side and end-to-side techniques. The evidence provided in this work supports the use of the ATA as a donor for distal MCA revascularization in well-selected patients.

 

The midline suboccipital subtonsillar approach to the cerebellomedullary cistern

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1613–1617

Lesions lateral to the lower brainstem in an area extending from the foraminae of Luschka to the foramen magnum are rare and include different pathologies. There is no consensus on an ideal surgical approach.

Method: To gain access to this area, we use the midline suboccipital subtonsillar approach (STA). This midline approach with unilateral retraction of the cerebellar tonsil enables entry into the cerebellomedullary cistern.

Conclusions: The STA offers excellent access with a panoramic view of the cerebellomedullary cistern and its structures and therefore can be useful for a number of different pathologies in the lower petroclival area.

Is less always better? Keyhole and standard subtemporal approaches

J Neurosurg 127:157–164, 2017

The subtemporal approach is one of the surgical routes used to reach the interpeduncular fossa. Keyhole subtemporal approaches and zygomatic arch osteotomy have been proposed in an effort to decrease the amount of temporal lobe retraction. However, the effects of these modified subtemporal approaches on temporal lobe retraction have never been objectively validated.

METHODS A keyhole and a classic subtemporal craniotomy were executed in 4 fresh-frozen silicone-injected cadaver heads. The target was defined as the area bordered by the superior cerebellar artery, the anterior clinoid process, supraclinoid internal carotid artery, and the posterior cerebral artery. Once the target was fully visualized, the authors evaluated the amount of temporal lobe retraction by measuring the distance between the base of the middle fossa and the temporal lobe. In addition, the volume of the surgical and anatomical corridors was assessed as well as the surgical maneuverability using navigation and 3D moldings. The same evaluation was conducted after a zygomatic osteotomy was added to the two approaches.

RESULTS Temporal lobe retraction was the same in the two approaches evaluated while the surgical corridor and the maneuverability were all greater in the classic subtemporal approach.

CONCLUSIONS The zygomatic arch osteotomy facilitates the maneuverability and the surgical volume in both approaches, but the temporal lobe retraction benefit is confined to the lateral part of the middle fossa skull base and does not result in the retraction necessary to expose the selected target.

A method for safely resecting anterior butterfly gliomas

J Neurosurg 126:1795–1811, 2017

Gliomas invading the anterior corpus callosum are commonly deemed unresectable due to an unacceptable risk/benefit ratio, including the risk of abulia. In this study, the authors investigated the anatomy of the cingulum and its connectivity within the default mode network (DMN). A technique is described involving awake subcortical mapping with higher attention tasks to preserve the cingulum and reduce the incidence of postoperative abulia for patients with so-called butterfly gliomas.

METHODS The authors reviewed clinical data on all patients undergoing glioma surgery performed by the senior author during a 4-year period at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Forty patients were identified who underwent surgery for butterfly gliomas. Each patient was designated as having undergone surgery either with or without the use of awake subcortical mapping and preservation of the cingulum. Data recorded on these patients included the incidence of abulia/akinetic mutism. In the context of the study findings, the authors conducted a detailed anatomical study of the cingulum and its role within the DMN using postmortem fiber tract dissections of 10 cerebral hemispheres and in vivo diffusion tractography of 10 healthy subjects.

RESULTS Forty patients with butterfly gliomas were treated, 25 (62%) with standard surgical methods and 15 (38%) with awake subcortical mapping and preservation of the cingulum. One patient (1/15, 7%) experienced postoperative abulia following surgery with the cingulum-sparing technique. Greater than 90% resection was achieved in 13/15 (87%) of these patients.

CONCLUSIONS This study presents evidence that anterior butterfly gliomas can be safely removed using a novel, attention-task based, awake brain surgery technique that focuses on preserving the anatomical connectivity of the cingulum and relevant aspects of the cingulate gyrus.

 

Surgical Approaches to the Temporal Horn: An Anatomic Analysis of White Matter Tract Interruption

Operative Neurosurgery 13:258–270, 2017

Surgical access to the temporal horn is necessary to treat tumors and vascular lesions, but is used mainly in patients with mediobasal temporal epilepsy. The surgical approaches to this cavity fall into 3 primary categories: lateral, inferior, and transsylvian. The current neurosurgical literature has underestimated the interruption of involved fiber bundles and the correlated clinical manifestations.

OBJECTIVE: To delineate the interruption of fiber bundles during the different approaches to the temporal horn.

METHODS:We simulated the lateral (trans-middle temporal gyrus), inferior (transparahippocampal gyrus), and transsylvian approaches in 20 previously frozen, formalin-fixed human brains (40 hemispheres). Fiber dissection was then done along the lateral and inferior aspects under the operating microscope. Each stage of dissection and its respective fiber tract interruption were defined.

RESULTS: The lateral (trans-middle temporal gyrus) approach interrupted “U” fibers, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (inferior arm), occipitofrontal fasciculus (ventral segment), uncinate fasciculus (dorsolateral segment), anterior commissure (posterior segment), temporopontine, inferior thalamic peduncle (posterior fibers), posterior thalamic peduncle (anterior portion), and tapetum fibers. The inferior (transparahippocampal gyrus) approach interrupted “U” fibers, the cingulum (inferior arm), and fimbria, and transected the hippocampal formation. The transsylvian approach interrupted “U”fibers (anterobasal region of the extreme capsule), the uncinate fasciculus (ventromedial segment), and anterior commissure (anterior segment), and transected the anterosuperior aspect of the amygdala.

CONCLUSION: White matter dissection improves our knowledge of the complex anatomy surrounding the temporal horn. Identifying the fiber bundles at risk during each surgical approach adds important information for choosing the appropriate surgical strategy.

 

Transtentorial transcollateral sulcus approach to the ventricular atrium

J Neurosurg 126:1246–1252, 2017

Conventional approaches to the atrium of the lateral ventricle may be associated with complications related to direct cortical injury or brain retraction. The authors describe a novel approach to the atrium through a retrosigmoid transtentorial transcollateral sulcus corridor.

METHODS: Bilateral retrosigmoid craniotomies were performed on 4 formalin-fixed, colored latex–injected human cadaver heads (a total of 8 approaches). Microsurgical dissections were performed under 3× to 24× magnification, and endoscopic visualization was provided by 0° and 30° rigid endoscope lens systems. Image guidance was provided by coupling an electromagnetic tracking system with an open source software platform. Objective measurements on cortical thickness traversed and total depth of exposure were recorded. Additionally, the basal occipitotemporal surfaces of 10 separate cerebral hemisphere specimens were examined to define the surface topography of sulci and gyri, with attention to the appearance and anatomical patterns and variations of the collateral sulcus and the surrounding gyri.

RESULTS: The retrosigmoid approach allowed for clear visualization of the basal occipitotemporal surface. The collateral sulcus was identified and permitted easy endoscopic access to the ventricular atrium. The conical corridor thus obtained provided an average base working area of 3.9 cm2 at an average depth of 4.5 cm. The mean cortical thickness traversed to enter the ventricle was 1.4 cm. The intraventricular anatomy of the ipsilateral ventricle was defined clearly in all 8 exposures in this manner. The anatomy of the basal occipitotemporal surface, observed in a total of 18 hemispheres, showed a consistent pattern, with the collateral sulcus abutted by the parahippocampal gyrus medially, and the fusiform and lingual gyrus laterally. The collateral sulcus was found to be caudally bifurcated in 14 of the 18 specimens.

CONCLUSIONS: The retrosigmoid supracerebellar transtentorial transcollateral sulcus approach is technically feasible. This approach has the potential advantage of providing a short and direct path to the atrium, hence avoiding violation of deep neurovascular structures and preserving eloquent areas. Although this approach appears unconventional, it may provide a minimally invasive option for the surgical management of selected lesions within the atrium of the lateral ventricle.

 

The 6 thalamic regions: surgical approaches to thalamic cavernous malformations, operative results, and clinical outcomes

The 6 thalamic regions- surgical approaches to thalamic cavernous malformations, operative results, and clinical outcomes

J Neurosurg 123:676–685, 2015

The ideal surgical approach to thalamic cavernous malformations (CMs) varies according to their location within the thalamus. To standardize surgical approaches, the authors have divided the thalamus into 6 different regions and matched them with the corresponding surgical approach.

Methods The regions were defined as Region 1 (anteroinferior), Region 2 (medial), Region 3 (lateral), Region 4 (posterosuperior), Region 5 (lateral posteroinferior), and Region 6 (medial posteroinferior). The senior author’s surgical experience with 46 thalamic CMs was reviewed according to this classification. An orbitozygomatic approach was used for Region 1; anterior ipsilateral transcallosal for Region 2; anterior contralateral transcallosal for Region 3; posterior transcallosal for Region 4; parietooccipital transventricular for Region 5; and supracerebellar-infratentorial for Region 6.

Results Region 3 was the most common location (17 [37%]). There were 5 CMs in Region 1 (11%), 9 in Region 2 (20%), 17 in Region 3 (37%), 3 in Region 4 (6%), 4 in Region 5 (9%), and 8 in Region 6 (17%). Complete resection was achieved in all patients except for 2, who required a second-stage operation. The mean follow-up period was 1.7 years (range 6 months–9 years). At the last clinical follow-up, 40 patients (87%) had an excellent or good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] scores 0–2) and 6 (13%) had poor outcome (mRS scores 3–4). Relative to their preoperative condition, 42 patients (91%) were unchanged or improved, and 4 (9%) were worse.

Conclusions The authors have presented the largest series reported to date of surgically treated thalamic CMs, achieving excellent results using this methodology. In the authors’ experience, conceptually dividing the thalamus into 6 different regions aids in the selection of the ideal surgical approach for a specific region.

The 6 thalamic regions: surgical approaches to thalamic cavernous malformations, operative results, and clinical outcomes

Cavernous_Malformation_of_Thalamus

J Neurosurg (123)3: 676-685

The ideal surgical approach to thalamic cavernous malformations (CMs) varies according to their location within the thalamus. To standardize surgical approaches, the authors have divided the thalamus into 6 different regions and matched them with the corresponding surgical approach.

METHODS
The regions were defined as Region 1 (anteroinferior), Region 2 (medial), Region 3 (lateral), Region 4 (posterosuperior), Region 5 (lateral posteroinferior), and Region 6 (medial posteroinferior). The senior author’s surgical experience with 46 thalamic CMs was reviewed according to this classification. An orbitozygomatic approach was used for Region 1; anterior ipsilateral transcallosal for Region 2; anterior contralateral transcallosal for Region 3; posterior transcallosal for Region 4; parietooccipital transventricularfor Region 5; and supracerebellar-infratentorial for Region 6.

RESULTS
Region 3 was the most common location (17 [37%]). There were 5 CMs in Region 1 (11%), 9 in Region 2 (20%), 17 in Region 3 (37%), 3 in Region 4 (6%), 4 in Region 5 (9%), and 8 in Region 6 (17%). Complete resection was achieved in all patients except for 2, who required a second-stage operation. The mean follow-up period was 1.7 years (range 6 months-9 years). At the last clinical follow-up, 40 patients (87%) had an excellent or good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] scores 0–2) and 6 (13%) had poor outcome (mRS scores 3–4). Relative to their preoperative condition, 42 patients (91%) were unchanged or improved, and 4 (9%) were worse.

CONCLUSIONS
The authors have presented the largest series reported to date of surgically treated thalamic CMs, achieving excellent results using this methodology. In the authors’ experience, conceptually dividing the thalamus into 6 different regions aids in the selection of the ideal surgical approach for a specific region.

Quantitative analysis of the Kawase versus the modified Dolenc-Kawase approach for middle cranial fossa lesions with variable anteroposterior extension

The_Middle_Fossa_Approach_and_Extended_Middle

J Neurosurg 123(1):14-22

The surgical corridor to the upper third of the clivus and ventral brainstem is hindered by critical neurovascular structures, such as the cavernous sinus, petrous apex, and tentorium. The traditional Kawase approach provides a 10 × 5–mm fenestration at the petrous apex of the temporal bone be tween the 5th cranial nerve and internal auditory canal. Due to interindividual variability, sometimes this area proves to be insufficient as a corridor to the posterior cranial fossa. The authors describe a modification to the technique of the extradural anterior petrosectomy consisting of additional transcavernous exploration and medial mobilization of the cisternal component of the trigeminal nerve. This approach is termed the modified Dolenc-Kawase (MDK) approach.

METHODS
The authors describe a volumetric analysis of temporal bones with 3D laser scanning of dry and drilled bones for respective triangles and rhomboid areas, and they compare the difference of exposure with traditional versus modified approaches on cadaver dissection. Twelve dry temporal bones were laser scanned, and mesh-based volumetric analysis was done followed by drilling of the Kawase triangle and MDK rhomboid. Five cadaveric heads were drilled on alternate sides with both approaches for evaluation of the area exposed, surgical freedom, and angle of approach.

RESULTS
The MDK approach provides an approximately 1.5 times larger area and 2.0 times greater volume of bone at the anterior petrous apex compared with the Kawase’s approach. Cadaver dissection objectified the technical feasibility of the MDK approach, providing nearly 1.5–2 times larger fenestration with improved view and angulation to the posterior cranial fossa. Practical application in 6 patients with different lesions proves clinical applicability of the MDK approach.

CONCLUSIONS
The larger fenestration at the petrous apex achieved with the MDK approach provides greater surgical freedom at the Dorello canal, gasserian ganglion, and prepontine area and better anteroposterior angulation than the traditional Kawase approach. Additional anterior clinoidectomy and transcavernous exposure helps in dealing with basilar artery aneurysms.

Keywords: Kawase,Dolenc,petrous,cadaver,quantitative,petrosectomy,skull base

Intraoperative subcortical mapping of a language-associated deep frontal tract connecting the superior frontal gyrus to Broca’s area in the dominant hemisphere of patients with glioma

Intraoperative subcortical mapping of a language-associated deep frontal tract connecting the superior frontal gyrus to Broca’s area in the dominant hemisphere of patients with glioma

J Neurosurg 122:1390–1396, 2015

The deep frontal pathway connecting the superior frontal gyrus to Broca’s area, recently named the frontal aslant tract (FAT), is assumed to be associated with language functions, especially speech initiation and spontaneity. Injury to the deep frontal lobe is known to cause aphasia that mimics the aphasia caused by damage to the supplementary motor area. Although fiber dissection and tractography have revealed the existence of the tract, little is known about its function. The aim of this study was to determine the function of the FAT via electrical stimulation in patients with glioma who underwent awake surgery.

Methods The authors analyzed the data from subcortical mapping with electrical stimulation in 5 consecutive cases (3 males and 2 females, age range 40–54 years) with gliomas in the left frontal lobe. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography of the FAT were performed in all cases. A navigation system and intraoperative MRI were used in all cases. During the awake phase of the surgery, cortical mapping was performed to find the precentral gyrus and Broca’s area, followed by tumor resection. After the cortical layer was removed, subcortical mapping was performed to assess language-associated fibers in the white matter.

Results In all 5 cases, positive responses were obtained at the stimulation sites in the subcortical area adjacent to the FAT, which was visualized by the navigation system. Speech arrest was observed in 4 cases, and remarkably slow speech and conversation was observed in 1 case. The location of these sites was also determined on intraoperative MR images and estimated on preoperative MR images with DTI tractography, confirming the spatial relationships among the stimulation sites and white matter tracts. Tumor removal was successfully performed without damage to this tract, and language function did not deteriorate in any of the cases postoperatively.

Conclusions The authors identified the left FAT and confirmed that it was associated with language functions. This tract should be recognized by clinicians to preserve language function during brain tumor surgery, especially for tumors located in the deep frontal lobe on the language-dominant side.

Frontal operculum gliomas: language outcome following resection

Frontal operculum gliomas- language outcome following resection

J Neurosurg 122:725–734, 2015

The dominant hemisphere frontal operculum may contain critical speech and language pathways, and due to these properties, patients with tumors of the opercular region may be at higher risk for postoperative speech dysfunction. However, the likelihood of incurring temporary or permanent language dysfunction is unknown.

Methods The authors retrospectively analyzed their cohort of patients with frontal gliomas to identify those tumors that predominantly involved the dominant frontal operculum. Each tumor was classified as involving the pars orbitalis, pars triangularis, pars opercularis, or a combination of some or all of these areas. The authors then identified and compared characteristics between those patients experiencing transient or permanent speech deficits, as opposed to those with no language dysfunction.

Results Forty-three patients were identified for inclusion in this analysis. Transient deficits occurred in 12 patients (27.9%), while 4 patients (9.8%) had persistent deficits involving language. Individuals with preoperative language deficits and patients with seizures characterized by speech dysfunction appear to be at the highest risk to develop a deficit (relative risks 3.09 and 1.75, respectively). No patient with a tumor involving the pars orbitalis experienced a persistent deficit.

Conclusions Resection of gliomas is widely recognized as a critical element of improved outcome. Given the low rate of language morbidity reported in this group of patients, resection of gliomas within the dominant frontal operculum is well-tolerated with acceptable morbidity and, in this particular location, should not be a deterrent in the overall management of these tumors.

Trigeminal neuralgia due to neurovascular conflicts from venous origin: an anatomical-surgical study

Trigeminal neuralgia due to neurovascular conflicts from venous origin- an anatomical-surgical study-1

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:455–466

Veins as the source of trigeminal neuralgias (TN) lead to controversies. Only a few studies have specifically dealt with venous implication in neurovascular conflicts (NVC). The aim of this study was the anatomical-surgical description of the compressive veins found during microvascular decompression (MVD).

Methods Patients retained were those in whom a vein was considered compressive, alone, or in association with an artery. The study defined the type of vein involved, its situation along, the location around the root, and management. For this study, denomination of veins in relation with the root was revisited.

Results Of the 326 consecutive patients who underwent MVD from 2005 to 2013, 124 (38.0 %) had a venous conflict, alone in 29 (8.9 %), or in association with an artery in 95 (29.1 %). The compressive veins belonged to one of the two venous systems described: the superficial or the deep superior petrosal venous system (sSPVS or dSPVS). A vein from sSPVS was found compressive in 81 cases (59.6 %), for the major part it was the pontine affluent of the superior petrosal vein (48 cases). The conflict was situated at TREZ in 28.4 %, midcisternal portion in 50.6 %, and porus in 8.6 %. The dSPVS was found compressive in 55 cases (40.4 %), almost always a transverse vein at porus (51 cases). Decompression was coagulation-division of the conflicting vein in 36.8 % and simple cleavage in the other.

Conclusions The study shows the frequent implication of veins in NVC as the source of TN. NVC are not only at TREZ but also at mid-cisternal portion and porus of Meckel cave.

Utility of postmortem imaging system for anatomical education in skull base surgery

Utility of postmortem imaging system for anatomical education in skull base surgery

Neurosurg Rev (2015) 38:165–170

Although cadaver dissections are important for skull base surgeons to acquire anatomical knowledge and techniques, their opportunities are limited in Japan. The Autopsy Imaging Center of the University of Fukui Hospital has both a CT scanner and an MR unit solely for deceased patients.

The authors applied the postmortemimaging to cadaver dissections and evaluated its usefulness in surgical education. Ten sides of five formalin-fixed cadaver heads were dissected by ten neurosurgeons. Five neurosurgeons were young, three were moderately experienced, and two were experts in skull base surgery. They performed orbitozygomatic, anterior transpetrosal, posterior transpetrosal, and transcondylar approaches. CT bone images were taken before and after dissections, and MR images were taken before dissection to merge with the CT bone images. The usefulness of the images for each neurosurgeon and for each skull base approach was evaluated.

The postmortem imaging system was useful for all neurosurgeons, especially in anterior transpetrosal, posterior transpetrosal, and transcondylar approaches. They could find the insufficiency or excessiveness of their drilling of specific bony structures with the images. Even the experts in skull base surgery could identify regions in which they could add drilling safely to widen the surgical field more.

The postmortem imaging system was useful for skull base cadaver dissections. This system is expected to be utilized for education and research on surgical anatomy.

Three-Dimensional Microsurgical Anatomy and the Safe Entry Zones of the Brainstem

Three-Dimensional Microsurgical Anatomy and the Safe Entry Zones of the Brainstem

Operative Neurosurgery 10:602–620, 2014

There have been no studies of the structure and safe surgical entry zones of the brainstem based on fiber dissection studies combined with 3-dimensional (3-D) photography.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the 3-D internal architecture and relationships of the proposed safe entry zones into the midbrain, pons, and medulla.

METHODS: Fifteen formalin and alcohol-fixed human brainstems were dissected by using fiber dissection techniques, ·6 to ·40 magnification, and 3-D photography to define the anatomy and the safe entry zones. The entry zones evaluated were the perioculomotor, lateral mesencephalic sulcus, and supra- and infracollicular areas in the midbrain; the peritrigeminal zone, supra- and infrafacial approaches, acoustic area, and median sulcus above the facial colliculus in the pons; and the anterolateral, postolivary, and dorsal medullary sulci in the medulla.

RESULTS: The safest approach for lesions located below the surface is usually the shortest and most direct route. Previous studies have often focused on surface structures. In this study, the deeper structures that may be at risk in each of the proposed safe entry zones plus the borders of each entry zone were defined. This study includes an examination of the relationships of the cerebellar peduncles, long tracts, intra-axial segments of the cranial nerves, and important nuclei of the brainstem to the proposed safe entry zones.

CONCLUSION: Fiber dissection technique in combination with the 3-D photography is a useful addition to the goal of making entry into the brainstem more accurate and safe.

Keyhole Supracerebellar Transtentorial Transcollateral Sulcus Approach to the Lateral Ventricle

Keyhole Supracerebellar Transtentorial Transcollateral Sulcus Approach to the Lateral Ventricle

Neurosurgery 73[ONS Suppl 2]:onsE295–onsE301, 2013

Meningiomas of the lateral ventricles are commonly located in the atria. Surgical access to such tumors is challenging because of their deep location and proximity to critical neurovascular structures, particularly if situated on the dominant side. Although a number of approaches have been described in the literature, most carry the risk of postoperative neuropsychological, visual, or speech deficits, especially when operating on the dominant hemisphere. The supracerebellar transtentorial transcollateral sulcus (STTCS) approach offers the potential to circumvent functionally important structures, reducing the risk of these approach-related neurological deficits.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: Two patients with dominant hemisphere trigonal meningiomas underwent surgical resection with the use of the STTCS approach. Neuronavigation was used to carefully plan the incision, craniotomy, and exposure, and also intraoperatively to orientate the operating surgeon at key steps, particularly when raising the tentorial flap in line with the tumor. Endoscopy was used to provide increased light intensity, an extended viewing angle, and higher magnification in comparison with a microscope. Specially designed tube-shaft instruments were also used to assist with manipulation through the narrow surgical corridor. In both cases, the tumors were fully resected without approach-related morbidity.

CONCLUSION: The STTCS approach provides good access to tumors located in the trigonal region, reducing the risk of iatrogenic language or visual field deficits. In dominant hemisphere lesions, in the hands of an experienced neurosurgeon, the STTCS approach is an effective alternative to existing techniques.

Interactive presurgical simulation applying 3D techniques

3D CG data and the color-printed plaster model for a left tentorial meningioma

J Neurosurg 119:94–105, 2013

In this paper, the authors’ goal was to report their novel presurgical simulation method applying interactive virtual simulation (IVS) using 3D computer graphics (CG) data and microscopic observation of color-printed plaster models based on these CG data in surgery for skull base and deep tumors.

Methods. For 25 operations in 23 patients with skull base or deep intracranial tumors (meningiomas, schwannomas, epidermoid tumors, chordomas, and others), the authors carried out presurgical simulation based on 3D CG data created by image analysis for radiological data. Interactive virtual simulation was performed by modifying the 3D CG data to imitate various surgical procedures, such as bone drilling, brain retraction, and tumor removal, with manipulation of a haptic device. The authors also produced color-printed plaster models of modified 3D CG data by a selective laser sintering method and observed them under the operative microscope.

Results. In all patients, IVS provided detailed and realistic surgical perspectives of sufficient quality, thereby allowing surgeons to determine an appropriate and feasible surgical approach. Surgeons agreed that in 44% of the 25 operations IVS showed high utility (as indicated by a rating of “prominent”) in comprehending 3D microsurgical anatomies for which reconstruction using only 2D images was complicated. Microscopic observation of color-printed plaster models in 12 patients provided further utility in confirming realistic surgical anatomies.

Conclusions. The authors’ presurgical simulation method applying advanced 3D imaging and modeling techniques provided a realistic environment for practicing microsurgical procedures virtually and enabled the authors to ascertain complex microsurgical anatomy, to determine the optimal surgical strategies, and also to efficiently educate neurosurgical trainees, especially during surgery for skull base and deep tumors.

Correlation between language function and the left arcuate fasciculus detected by diffusion tensor imaging tractography after brain tumor surgery

J Neurosurg 117:839–843, 2012

Disturbance of the arcuate fasciculus in the dominant hemisphere is thought to be associated with language-processing disorders, including conduction aphasia. Although the arcuate fasciculus can be visualized in vivo with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography, its involvement in functional processes associated with language has not been shown dynamically using DTI tractography. In the present study, to clarify the participation of the arcuate fasciculus in language functions, postoperative changes in the arcuate fasciculus detected by DTI tractography were evaluated chronologically in relation to postoperative changes in language function after brain tumor surgery.

Methods. Preoperative and postoperative arcuate fasciculus area and language function were examined in 7 right-handed patients with a brain tumor in the left hemisphere located in proximity to part of the arcuate fasciculus. The arcuate fasciculus was depicted, and its area was calculated using DTI tractography. Language functions were measured using the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB).

Results. After tumor resection, visualization of the arcuate fasciculus was increased in 5 of the 7 patients, and the total WAB score improved in 6 of the 7 patients. The relative ratio of postoperative visualized area of the arcuate fasciculus to preoperative visualized area of the arcuate fasciculus was increased in association with an improvement in postoperative language function (p = 0.0039).

Conclusions. The role of the left arcuate fasciculus in language functions can be evaluated chronologically in vivo by DTI tractography after brain tumor surgery. Because increased postoperative visualization of the fasciculus was significantly associated with postoperative improvement in language functions, the arcuate fasciculus may play an important role in language function, as previously thought. In addition, postoperative changes in the arcuate fasciculus detected by DTI tractography could represent a predicting factor for postoperative language-dependent functional outcomes in patients with brain tumor.

The paramedian supracerebellar-transtentorial approach to the entire length of the mediobasal temporal region

J Neurosurg 116:773–791, 2012. http://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2011.12.JNS11791

The exploration of lesions in the mediobasal temporal region (MTR) has challenged generations of neurosurgeons to achieve an appropriate approach. To address this challenge, the extensive use of the paramedian supracerebellar-transtentorial (PST) approach to expose the entire length of the MTR, as well as the fusiform gyrus, was investigated.

Methods. The authors studied the microsurgical aspects of the PST approach in 20 cadaver brains and 5 cadaver heads under the operating microscope. They evaluated the features, advantages, difficulties, and limitations of the PST approach and refined the surgical technique. They then used the PST approach in 15 patients with large intrinsic MTR tumors (6 patients), tumor in the posterior fusiform gyrus with mediobasal temporal epilepsy (MTE) (1 patient), cavernous malformations in the posterior MTR including the fusiform gyrus (2 patients), or intractable MTE with hippocampal sclerosis (6 patients) from December 2007 to May 2010. Patients ranged in age from 11 to 63 years (mean 35.2 years), and in 9 patients (60%) the lesion was located on the left side.

Results. In all patients with neuroepithelial tumors or cavernous malformations, the lesions were completely and safely resected. In all patients with intractable MTE with hippocampal sclerosis, the anterior two-thirds of the parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus, as well as the amygdala, were removed selectively through the PST approach. There was no surgical morbidity or mortality in this series. Three patients (20%) with high-grade neuroepithelial tumors underwent postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy but needed a second surgery for recurrence during the follow-up period. In all patients with MTE, antiepileptic medication could be decreased to a single drug at lower doses, and no seizure activity has occurred until this point.

Conclusions. The PST approach provides the surgeon precise anatomical orientation when exposing the entire length of the MTR, as well as the fusiform gyrus, for removing any lesion. This is a novel technique especially for removing tumors involving the entire MTR in a single session without damaging neighboring neural or vascular structures. This approach can also be a viable alternative for selective removal of the parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and amygdala in patients with MTE due to hippocampal sclerosis.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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