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27.04.2019 | Technical Note - Functional Neurosurgery - Other | Ausgabe 7/2019

Acta Neurochirurgica 7/2019

Wedge-technique for transposition of the vertebral artery in microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm: technical nuances and surgical outcomes

Zeitschrift:
Acta Neurochirurgica > Ausgabe 7/2019
Autoren:
Yoichi Nonaka, Naokazu Hayashi, Mitsunori Matsumae, Takanori Fukushima
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Functional Neurosurgery - Other

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Abstract

Background

Transposition of the vertebral artery (VA) for microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm (HFS) is often challenging. Various procedures have been proposed to transpose the immobile tortuous VA that cannot be decompressed satisfactorily in the usual manner.

Methods

A Teflon piece that is cut into a wedge shape was used for transposition of the VA as an offending artery in HFS. One or more wedge-shaped Teflon pieces were simply inserted into a small space between the VA and the brainstem or cerebellar hemisphere without any contact with the entry into the root exit zone (REZ) of the facial nerve. A minimal space can be created by slight mobilization of the VA through rostral or caudal, or in between to the lower cranial nerves (LCNs). In cases of a hypertrophic VA that is hard to mobilize, two or more rigid wedge-shaped Teflon pieces that are coated by fibrin glue can be applied to obtain adequate mobilization of the VA. Moreover, a much harder Teflon bar, which is bent into a V shape, can be used in cases of an immobile VA. Once the VA is transposed to an appropriate position, the Teflon, VA, and contacted surface of the brainstem are fixed together by drops of fibrin glue.

Results

The offending arteries were VA-posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) in eight cases, VA in four cases, PICA in four cases, VA-anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) in one case, and AICA in one case. Eighteen cases of HFS were successfully treated using the “Wedge technique.” Symptoms disappeared within 2 weeks in all patients. Transient facial nerve palsy developed in one case, and transient hoarseness developed in one case.

Conclusions

The wedge technique is a simple straight-line maneuver that facilitates sufficient transposition of the VA without any related complications. This technique is also useful for other large offending vessels, such as the anterior or posterior inferior cerebellar arteries, which are hard to mobilize due to the torque of the vessels.

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