Clinical Neuroscience

[Administration of preemptive analgesia by diclofenac to prevent acute postcraniotomy headache]

SIMON Éva, BÁNK Judit, GÁL Judit, SIRÓ Péter, NOVÁK László, FÜLESDI Béla, MOLNÁR Csilla

SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(09-10)

[Purpose - Postcraniotomy headache (PCH) is a frequent perioperative complication in neuroanesthesia. The aim of the present work was to assess the incidence of PCH and to test the efficacy and safety of preoperatively administered diclofenac. Methods - Patients undergoing craniotomies for intracranial tumor resections were enrolled. In the case group 100 mg diclofenac p.o. one hour prior to surgery was used as a preemptive analgesic along with infiltration of the surgical site with a combination of lidocaine and epinephrine. In controls only surgical site infiltration was used. VAS scores were assessed preoperatively, on the day of surgery (DoS), on the 1st and 5th postoperative days. Results - We have found that PCH of any severity is between 50-90% during the first five days after surgery. The number of cases characterized as “no pain” significantly decreased in the early postoperative period, but remained in both groups still higher on the 5th postoperative day than observed preoperatively. In both groups, the number of headaches characterized as mild pain remained relatively stable and substantial increases in case numbers were observed in moderate and severe headaches, showing a declining tendency over time in the postoperative period. A significant effect of diclofenac pretreatment was observed compared to controls on DoS (χ2: 10.429, p<0.015), on the 1st (χ2: 8.75, p<0.032) and 5th postoperative days (χ2: 14.3, p<0.002). Conclusions - The relatively low incidence of severe PCH on day five in the diclofenac group may indicate that preoperatively administered diclofenac effectively reduces postcraniotomy headache. A randomized study is encouraged to test this hypothesis.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Burning sensation in oral cavity - burning mouth syndrome in everyday medical practice]


[Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) refers to chronic orofacial pain, unaccompanied by mucosal lesions or other evident clinical signs. It is observed principally in middle-aged patients and postmenopausal women. BMS is characterized by an intense burning or stinging sensation, preferably on the tongue or in other areas of the oral mucosa. It can be accompanied by other sensory disorders such as dry mouth or taste alterations. Probably of multifactorial origin, and often idiopathic, with a still unknown etiopathogenesis in which local, systemic and psychological factors are implicated. Currently there is no consensus on the diagnosis and classification of BMS. This study reviews the literature on this syndrome, with special reference to the etiological factors that may be involved and the clinical aspects they present. The diagnostic criteria that should be followed and the therapeutic management are discussed with reference to the most recent studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[A prospective study evaluating the clinical characteristics of cluster headache]


[Introduction - Although cluster headache (CH) is one of the most severe human pain syndromes, its symptoms and therapeutic possibilities may be suboptimally recognised in current medical practice in Hungary. Aim - To present the clinical characteristics of CH based on a prospective study of patients attending the Headache Service of the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University. Methods - We collected information about the symptoms, diagnosis and previous treatment of CH patients by filling in a 108-item questionnaire during outpatient visits. Results - In the 5-year period between 2004 and 2008 we obtained data from 78 CH patients (57 males and 21 females; mean age: 44.6±14.6 years). The male:female ratio did not change in subgroups based on disease onset (calendar years). Ninety-three percent considered CH the most severe pain state of their life. The pain was strictly unilateral, affecting the territory of the 1st trigeminal division in all patients. The attacks were accompanied by signs of ipsilateral cranial parasympathetic activation (lactimation 83%, conjunctival injection 67%, rhinorrhea 56%, nasal congestion 43%); less frequently, signs of sympathetic dysfunction (ptosis 48%, miosis 7%) were also present. Two patients had attacks showing the typical localisation, severity and time course of CH attacks, but not accompanied by autonomic phenomena. A considerable part of the patients also observed symptoms that are usually ascribed to migraine (nausea 41%, vomiting 18%, photophobia 68%, phonophobia 58%). This may have been instrumental in the fact that, regardless of the characteristic clinical symptoms, the diagnosis of CH took 10 years on average. At the time of their examination 63% of patients were not using adequate abortive medications and 59% did not have an adequate prophylactic measure. Discussion - Cluster headache is characterised by attacks of devastating pain that warrant an early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Our study underlines that information about the diagnosis and therapy of CH should be emphasized on occasions of neurology specialty training and continuing medical education.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

SZOK Délia

Clinical Neuroscience

[Tissue water content determination based on T1 relaxation time of water and quantitative cerebral 1H MRS at 3T using water as an internal reference]

FILE Györgyi, BAJZIK Gábor, DÓCZI Tamás, ORSI Gergely, PERLAKI Gábor, LELOVICS Zsuzsanna, ARADI Mihály, SCHWARCZ Attila

[Objective - Application of a quantitative MR-spectroscopic method for 3T clinical scanners based on tissue water content as an internal reference. Patients and methods - Six (22±2 yrs) volunteers were involved in the study. We performed T1 relaxation time measurements in a particular slice of the brain at 1T and 3T. Based on the validated water content measurement at 1T, the correlation of relaxation time T1 and water content was determined at 3T. The resulting water content served as internal reference for the quantification of localizated MRspectroscopic measurement. Results - At 3T our method resulted in 37.6±0.5 mol/l and 46.4±1.5 mol/l tissue water content in the white and gray matter, respectively. Calibration based on water content led to following metabolite concentrations: N-acetyl-aspartate 7.79±0.67 mmol/l; creatine 3.76±0.28 mmol/l; choline 3.68±0.47 mmol/l; myo-inositol 10.35±3.70 mmol/l in the white matter; and N-acetyl-aspartate 8.20±0.45 mmol/l; creatine 4.76±0.18 mmol/l; choline 2.64±0.35 mmol/l; myo-inositol 8.32±1.42 mmol/l in the grey matter. Conclusions - Tissue water content based on T1 value at 3T shows good accordance with gravimetric or other MR methods in the literature. Using it as an internal reference resulted in white matter metabolite concentrations that are in the range of previously published data. Comparing metabolite values of grey matter is more difficult because data in the literature substantially differ. The presented method is simple and easily applicable on any MR scanner without complicated correction and calibration steps.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Acute effect of sphenopalatine ganglion block with lidocaine in a patient with SUNCT


Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing/short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with cranial autonomic features (SUNCT/SUNA) is a rare severe headache. At the time of an attack, it can hinder a patient from eating and requires acute intervention. The sphenopalatine ganglion is an extracranial parasympathetic ganglion with both sensory and autonomic fibers. Sphenopalatine ganglion block has long been used in the treatment of headache, particularly when conventional methods have failed. Here, we present a patient who was resistant to intravenous lidocaine, but responded rapidly to sphenopalatine ganglion block during an acute episode of SUNCT/SUNA.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.