Ahead of Print: Use of Actuator-Driven Pulsed Water Jet in Brain and Spinal Cord Cavernous Malformations Resection

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 7.57.31 PMBACKGROUND: A piezo actuator-driven pulsed water jet (ADPJ) system is a novel surgical instrument that enables dissection of tissue without thermal damage. It can potentially resect intra-axial lesions while preserving neurological function.

OBJECTIVE: To report our first experience of applying an ADPJ system to brain and spinal cord cavernous malformations.

METHODS: Four patients (2 women and 2 men, mean age 44.5 years) with brain (n = 3) and spinal cord (n = 1) cavernous malformations were enrolled in the study. All surgeries were performed with the aid of the ADPJ system. Postoperative neurological function and radiological findings were evaluated.

RESULTS: The ADPJ system was useful in dissecting boundaries between the lesion and surrounding brain/spinal cord tissues. The pulsed water jet provided a clear surgical view and helped surgeons follow the margins. Water jet dissection peeled off the brain and spinal cord tissues from the lesion wall. Surrounding gliotic tissue was preserved. As a consequence, the cavernous malformations were successfully removed. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging confirmed total removal of lesions in all cases. Preoperative neurological symptoms completely resolved in 2 patients. The others experienced partial recovery. No patients developed new postoperative neurological deficits; facial palsy temporarily worsened in 1 patient who underwent a suprafacial colliculus approach for the brainstem lesion.

CONCLUSION: The ADPJ provided a clear surgical field and enabled surgeons to dissect boundaries between lesions and surrounding brain and spinal cord gliotic tissue. The ADPJ system is a feasible option for cavernous malformation surgery, enabling successful tumor removal and preservation of neurological function.

From: Use of Actuator-Driven Pulsed Water Jet in Brain and Spinal Cord Cavernous Malformations Resection by Endo et al.

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