J C Watson

National Institutes of Health, Maryland, United States

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Publications (8)75.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Deleterious effects of strokes may be ameliorated when thrombolysis (i.e., with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) restores circulation. However, reperfusion injury, mediated by oxygen free radicals (reactive oxygen species [ROS]), may limit the benefits of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator treatment. We hypothesized that, during reperfusion, exogenous nitric oxide (NO) would reduce stroke size by quenching ROS. To investigate this hypothesis, we used two in vivo ischemia-reperfusion models, i.e., autologous cerebral embolism in rabbits and filament middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Using these models, we measured ROS levels (rabbit model) and stroke volumes (rat model) in response to transient ischemia, with and without intracarotid administration of ultrafast NO donor proline NO (proliNO). In the rabbit cerebral embolism model, intracarotid administration of proliNO (10(-6) mol/L) (n = 6) during reperfusion decreased free radical levels from 538 +/- 86 nmol/L in the vehicle-treated group (n = 7) to 186 +/- 31 nmol/L (2,3'-dihydroxybenzoic acid; P < 0.001) and from 521 +/- 86 nmol/L (n = 7) to 201 +/- 39 nmol/L (2,5'-dihydroxybenzoic acid; P < 0.002). In the rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model, intracarotid administration of proliNO (10(-5) mol/L) (n = 10) during reperfusion reduced the brain infarction volume from 256 +/- 48 mm3 in the vehicle-treated group (n = 8) to 187 +/- 41 mm3 (P < 0.005). In both experimental groups, intracarotid infusion of proliNO did not affect regional cerebral blood flow, mean arterial blood pressure, or brain and body temperatures. The beneficial effects of early restoration of cerebral circulation after cerebral ischemia were enhanced by intracarotid infusion of proliNO, most likely because of ROS scavenging by NO. These findings suggest the possibility of preventive treatment of reperfusion injury using NO donors.
    Neurosurgery 04/2001; 48(4):884-92; discussion 892-3. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Generally accepted contraindications to using a transsphenoidal approach for resection of tumors that arise in or extend into the suprasellar region include a normal-sized sella turcica, normal pituitary function, and adherence of tumor to vital intracranial structures. Thus, the transsphenoidal approach has traditionally been restricted to the removal of tumors involving the pituitary fossa and, occasionally, to suprasellar extensions of such tumors if the sella is enlarged. However, conventional transcranial approaches to the suprasellar region require significant brain retraction and offer limited visualization of contralateral tumor extension and the interface between the tumor and adjacent structures, such as the hypothalamus, third ventricle, optic apparatus, and major arteries. In this paper the authors describe successful removal of suprasellar tumors by using a modified transsphenoidal approach that circumvents some of the traditional contraindications to transsphenoidal surgery, while avoiding some of the disadvantages of transcranial surgery. Four patients harbored tumors (two craniopharyngiomas and two hemangioblastomas) that arose in the suprasellar region and were located either entirely (three patients) or primarily (one patient) within the suprasellar space. All patients had a normal-sized sella turcica. Preoperatively, three of the four patients had significant endocrinological deficits signifying involvement of the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, or pituitary gland. Two patients exhibited preoperative visual field defects. For tumor excision, a recently described modification of the traditional transsphenoidal approach was used. Using this modification, one removes the posterior portion of the planum sphenoidale, allowing access to the suprasellar region. Total resection of tumor was achieved (including absence of residual tumor on follow-up imaging) in three of the four patients. In the remaining patient, total removal was not possible because of adherence of tumor to the hypothalamus and midbrain. One postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak occurred. Postoperative endocrinological function was worse than preoperative function in one patient. No other new postoperative endocrinological or neurological deficits were encountered. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using a modified transsphenoidal approach for resection of certain suprasellar, nonpituitary tumors.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 07/2000; 92(6):1028-35. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of thrombolytic agents in the treatment of stroke has yielded surprisingly modest success, possibly because of reperfusion injury mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, scavenging ROS may be of therapeutic value in the treatment of stroke. Nitroxides are low-weight superoxide dismutase mimics, which allows them to act as cell-permeable antioxidants. In this study the nitroxide 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6,-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (Tempol) is investigated to determine its ability to reduce reperfusion injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 280 g and 350 g underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion with an intraluminal suture for 60 minutes. Regional cerebral blood flow, blood pressure, cerebral temperature, and rectal temperature were monitored during the procedure. After reperfusion, the animals were randomized to groups receiving blinded intravenous administration of either Tempol (10 mg/kg; eight animals) or vehicle (eight animals) over the first 20 minutes of reperfusion (Study I). In a second study to determine dose dependency, animals were randomized to groups receiving Tempol (20 mg/kg; eight animals), low-dose Tempol (5 mg/kg; eight animals), or vehicle (eight animals; Study II). The rats were killed after 4 hours of reperfusion, and brain sections were stained with 2,3,5 triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Infarct volumes were measured using digital imaging. Animals receiving Tempol had significantly reduced infarct volumes at doses of 20 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg compared with controls (49.01+/-18.22% reduction [p = 0.003] and 47.47+/-34.57 [p = 0.02], respectively). No significant differences in the physiological variables measured were observed between groups. Tempol provides significant neuroprotection after reperfusion in a rat model of transient focal ischemia. These results support the importance of ROS in reperfusion injury and encourage further study of this molecule as a therapeutic agent following thrombolysis.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 05/2000; 92(4):646-51. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors present their neurosurgical experience with Carney complex. Carney complex, characterized by spotty skin pigmentation, cardiac myxomas, primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease, pituitary tumors, and nerve sheath tumors (NSTs), is a recently described, rare, autosomal-dominant familial syndrome that is relatively unknown to neurosurgeons. Neurosurgery is required to treat pituitary adenomas and a rare NST, the psammomatous melanotic schwannoma (PMS), in patients with Carney complex. Cushing's syndrome, a common component of the complex, is caused by primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease and is not secondary to an adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma. The authors reviewed 14 cases of Carney complex, five from the literature and nine from their own experience. Of the 14 pituitary adenomas recognized in association with Carney complex, 12 developed growth hormone (GH) hypersecretion (producing gigantism in two patients and acromegaly in 10), and results of immunohistochemical studies in one of the other two were positive for GH. The association of PMSs with Carney complex was established in 1990. Of the reported tumors, 28% were associated with spinal nerve sheaths. The spinal tumors occurred in adults (mean age 32 years, range 18-49 years) who presented with pain and radiculopathy. These NSTs may be malignant (10%) and, as with the cardiac myxomas, are associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality. Because of the surgical comorbidity associated with cardiac myxoma and/or Cushing's syndrome, recognition of Carney complex has important implications for perisurgical patient management and family screening. Study of the genetics of Carney complex and of the biological abnormalities associated with the tumors may provide insight into the general pathobiological abnormalities associated with the tumors may provide insight into the general pathobiological features of pituitary adenomas and NSTs.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 04/2000; 92(3):413-8. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • New England Journal of Medicine 11/1999; 341(18):1399-400. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Negative sellar exploration (despite the results of endocrine evaluation indicating Cushing's disease), the high incidence of failure of total hypophysectomy, and remission of Cushing's syndrome after unsuccessful hypophysectomy and sellar irradiation suggest that the etiology of refractory Cushing's disease, in some patients, lies near the sella but not in the pituitary gland. We present 5 patients, out of 626 who received surgery for Cushing's disease, in whom an ACTH-secreting extrapituitary parasellar adenoma was identified: 2 after unsuccessful total hypophysectomy for the treatment of refractory Cushing's disease, 2 after unsuccessful hemihypophysectomy (the first, 2 yr before treatment at the NIH for Nelson's syndrome; and the second, with recurrent Cushing's disease 5 yr after negative transsphenoidal exploration), and 1 with a preoperative diagnosis of an intraclival microadenoma, which was cured by resection of the tumor. In all cases, an extrapituitary parasellar microadenoma was confirmed unequivocally as the cause of the disease, by negative pathology of the resected pituitary gland (patients 1, 2, 3, and 5), and/or the remission of the disease after selective resection of the extrasellar adenoma (patients 3, 4, and 5). Three of 5 patients had a partial empty sella. These patients support the thesis that ACTH-secreting tumors can arise exclusively from remnants of Rathke's pouch, rather than from the adenohypophysis (anterior lobe or pars tuberalis of the pituitary gland) and can be a cause of Cushing's disease. In the sixth presented case, an extrapituitary tumor was suspected at surgery after negative pituitary exploration, but serial sections of the hemihypophysectomy specimen revealed a microscopic focus of tumor at the margin of the resected gland. This case demonstrates the importance of negative pituitary histology to establish the presence of an extrapituitary parasellar tumor as an exclusive source of ACTH, and it supports the value of clinical outcome to establish the diagnosis with selective adenomectomy of an extrapituitary parasellar tumor. In patients with negative pituitary magnetic resonance imaging, especially in the presence of a partial empty sella, the diagnostic and surgical approach in Cushing's disease should consider the identification and resection of extrapituitary parasellar adenoma, which can avoid total hypophysectomy, as was possible in 3 of our 5 patients.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 09/1999; 84(8):2912-23. · 6.43 Impact Factor
  • J C Watson, E H Oldfield
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are the most common spinal vascular malformation. The spinal dural AVF is a disease of adults, primarily men, that is a cause of subacute progressive lower extremity myelopathy. The challenge for the optimum management of these patients is in making an accurate, early diagnosis. Definitive surgical intervention by interruption of the intradural draining vein is the treatment of choice.
    Neurosurgery Clinics of North America 02/1999; 10(1):73-87. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pituitary surgery has been reported to produce remission of Cushing's disease with preservation of pituitary function in only 60 to 70% of patients. The inability to identify an adenoma accounts for most failed sellar explorations. Most negative surgical explorations occur in patients in whom magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the pituitary demonstrates normal findings, which happens in at least 35 to 45% of patients with Cushing's disease. To examine the usefulness of intraoperative ultrasonography (IOUS) for identifying an adenoma in patients with no demonstrable tumor (negative findings) on pituitary MR imaging. we prospectively assessed the results of IOUS in 68 patients with a negative (59 patients) or equivocal (nine patients) MR image from a consecutive series of 107 patients with Cushing's disease (64%). We compared surgical findings and outcomes in these 68 patients with a group of 68 patients with Cushing's disease and negative findings on MR imaging in whom IOUS was not available. Intraoperative ultrasonography localized a tumor in 47 (69%) of 68 patients with negative findings on MR imaging. Surprisingly, the size of the adenomas that were detected with IOUS compared with the size of those not detected did not differ (6.8+/-3.4 mm compared with 6.1+/-2.8 mm [mean+/-standard deviation], respectively [p=0.51). In four patients, no adenoma was found at surgery or in the pathological specimen ("true negative"). In eight patients, nine abnormalities detected by IOUS that were suspected adenomas were negative on exploration ("false positive"). Thus, IOUS has a sensitivity of 73% and a positive predictive value of 84% for detecting pituitary adenomas in patients with Cushing's disease and negative findings on MR imaging. Compared with the 68 patients who did not undergo IOUS. remission after surgery was improved (61 patients [90%] compared with 57 patients [84%]), the number of tumors found on exploration was increased (61 tumors compared with 51 tumors, p=0.02), and the number of hemihypophysectomies was decreased (five compared with 15; p=0.02) with IOUS. When the groups were compared after excluding patients with prior pituitary surgery, tumors were found in 91% versus 72% (p=0.008), and remission occurred in 95% versus 87% of patients, respectively, in the groups that had or did not have IOUS. The IOUS is a sensitive imaging modality when used in patients with Cushing's disease in whom findings on pituitary MR imaging are negative. The improved ability to detect and localize these tumors by using IOUS positively affects surgical outcome.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 01/1999; 89(6):927-32. · 3.15 Impact Factor