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Courtney M. Schusse, Kris Smith and Cornelia Drees

OBJECTIVE

Hemispherectomy is a surgical technique that is established as a standard treatment in appropriately selected patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. It has proven to be successful in pediatric patients with unilateral hemispheric lesions but is underutilized in adults. This study retrospectively evaluated the clinical outcomes after hemispherectomy in adult patients with refractory epilepsy.

METHODS

This study examined 6 cases of hemispherectomy in adult patients at Barrow Neurological Institute. In addition, all case series of hemispherectomy in adult patients were identified through a literature review using MEDLINE and PubMed. Case series of patients older than 18 years were included; reports of patients without clear follow-up duration or method of validated seizure outcome quantification were excluded. Seizure outcome was based on the Engel classification.

RESULTS

A total of 90 cases of adult hemispherectomy were identified, including 6 newly added by Barrow Neurological Institute. Sixty-five patients underwent functional hemispherectomy; 25 patients had anatomical hemispherectomy. Length of follow-up ranged from 9 to 456 months. Seizure freedom was achieved in 80% of patients. The overall morbidity rate was low, with 9 patients (10%) having new or additional postoperative speech or language dysfunction, and 19 patients (21%) reporting some worsening of hemiparesis. No patients lost ambulatory or significant functional ability, and 2 patients had objective ambulatory improvement. Among the 41 patients who underwent additional formal neuropsychological testing postoperatively, overall stability or improvement was seen.

CONCLUSIONS

Hemispherectomy is a valuable surgical tool for properly selected adult patients with pre-existing hemiparesis and intractable epilepsy. In published cases, as well as in this series, the procedure has overall been well tolerated without significant morbidity, and the majority of patients have been rendered free of seizures.

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Adel Elnashar, Smruti K. Patel, Almaz Kurbanov, Kseniya Zvereva, Jeffrey T. Keller and Andrew W. Grande

OBJECTIVE

Percutaneous stereotactic radiofrequency rhizotomy (PSR) is often used to treat trigeminal neuralgia, a serious condition that results in lancinating, episodic facial pain. Thorough understanding of the microsurgical anatomy of the foramen ovale (FO) and its surrounding structures is required for efficient, effective, and safe use of this technique. This morphometric study compares anatomical and surgical orientations to identify the variations of the FO and assess cannulation difficulty.

METHODS

Bilateral foramina from 174 adult human dry skulls (348 foramina) were analyzed using anatomical and surgical orientations in photographs from standardized projections. Measurements were obtained for shape, size, adjacent structures, and morphometric variability effect on cannulation. The risk of potential injury to surrounding structures was also assessed.

RESULTS

The authors identified 6 distinctive shapes of the FO and 5 anomalous variants from the anatomical view, and 6 shapes from the surgical view. In measurements of surface area of this foramen obtained using the surgical view, loss (average 18.5% ± 5.7%) was significant compared with the anatomical view. Morphometrically, foramen size varied significantly and obstruction from a calcified pterygoalar ligament occurred in 7.8% of specimens. Importantly, 8% of foramina were difficult to cannulate, thus posing a 12% risk of inadvertent cannulation of the foramen lacerum.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant variability in the FO’s shape and size probably affected its safe and effective cannulation. Preoperative imaging by 3D head CT may be helpful in predicting ease of cannulation and in guiding treatment decisions, such as a percutaneous approach over microvascular decompression or radiosurgery.

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Fengming Lan, Qing Qin, Huiming Yu and Xiao Yue

OBJECTIVE

Although glucose metabolism reengineering is a typical feature of various tumors, including glioma, key regulators of glycolytic reprogramming are still poorly understood. The authors sought to investigate whether glycolysis inhibition by microRNA (miR)–448 increases radiosensitivity in glioma cells.

METHODS

The authors used glioma tissue samples from glioma patients, cells from glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines and normal human astrocyte cells, and subcutaneous tumor–bearing U87 cells in mice to examine the effects of signaling regulation by miR-448 in the response of glioma tissues and cells to radiation treatment. Techniques used for investigation included bioinformatics analyses, biochemical assays, luciferase reporter assays, and establishment of subcutaneous tumors in a mouse model. Glucose consumption, LDH activity, and cellular ATP were measured to determine the ability of glioma cells to perform glycolysis. Expression of HIF-1α was measured as a potential target gene of miR-448 in glycolysis.

RESULTS

miR-448 was detected and determined to be significantly downregulated in both glioma tissues from glioma patients and GBM cell lines. Furthermore, miR-448 acted as a tumor-inhibiting factor and suppressed glycolysis in glioma by negatively regulating the activity of HIF-1α signaling and then interfering with its downstream regulators relative to glycolysis, HK1, HK2, and LDHA. Interestingly, overexpression of miR-448 increased the x-radiation sensitivity of glioma cells. Finally, in in vivo experiments, subcutaneous tumor–bearing U87 cells in a mouse model verified that high expression of miR-448 also enhanced glioma radiosensitivity via inhibiting glycolytic factors.

CONCLUSIONS

miR-448 can promote radiosensitivity by inhibiting HIF-1α signaling and then negatively controlling the glycolysis process in glioma. A newly identified miR-448–HIF-1α axis acts as a potentially valuable therapeutic target that may be useful in overcoming radioresistance in glioma treatment.

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Timothee Jacquesson, Fang-Chang Yeh, Sandip Panesar, Jessica Barrios, Arnaud Attyé, Carole Frindel, Francois Cotton, Paul Gardner, Emmanuel Jouanneau and Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECTIVE

Diffusion imaging tractography has allowed the in vivo description of brain white matter. One of its applications is preoperative planning for brain tumor resection. Due to a limited spatial and angular resolution, it is difficult for fiber tracking to delineate fiber crossing areas and small-scale structures, in particular brainstem tracts and cranial nerves. New methods are being developed but these involve extensive multistep tractography pipelines including the patient-specific design of multiple regions of interest (ROIs). The authors propose a new practical full tractography method that could be implemented in routine presurgical planning for skull base surgery.

METHODS

A Philips MRI machine provided diffusion-weighted and anatomical sequences for 2 healthy volunteers and 2 skull base tumor patients. Tractography of the full brainstem, the cerebellum, and cranial nerves was performed using the software DSI Studio, generalized-q-sampling reconstruction, orientation distribution function (ODF) of fibers, and a quantitative anisotropy–based generalized deterministic algorithm. No ROI or extensive manual filtering of spurious fibers was used. Tractography rendering was displayed in a tridimensional space with directional color code. This approach was also tested on diffusion data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) database.

RESULTS

The brainstem, the cerebellum, and the cisternal segments of most cranial nerves were depicted in all participants. In cases of skull base tumors, the tridimensional rendering permitted the visualization of the whole anatomical environment and cranial nerve displacement, thus helping the surgical strategy.

CONCLUSIONS

As opposed to classical ROI-based methods, this novel full tractography approach could enable routine enhanced surgical planning or brain imaging for skull base tumors.

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Shahan Momjian, Rémi Tyrand, Basile N. Landis and Colette Boëx

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative neuromonitoring of the chemical senses (smell and taste) has never been performed. The objective of this study was to determine if olfactory-evoked potentials could be obtained intraoperatively under general anesthesia.

METHODS

A standard olfactometer was used in the surgical theater with hydrogen sulfide (4 ppm, 200 msec). Olfactory-evoked potentials were recorded in 8 patients who underwent neurosurgery for resection of cerebral lesions. These patients underwent routine target-controlled propofol and sufentanil general anesthesia. Frontal, temporal, and parietal scalp subdermal electrodes were recorded ipsilaterally and contralaterally at the site of the surgery. Evoked potentials were computed if at least 70 epochs (0.5–100 Hz) satisfying the artifact rejection criterion (threshold 45 μV) could be extracted from signals of electrodes.

RESULTS

Contributive recordings were obtained for 5 of 8 patients (3 patients had fewer than 70 epochs with an amplitude < 45 μV). Olfactory-evoked potentials showed N1 responses (mean 442.8 ± 40.0 msec), most readily observed in the patient who underwent midline anterior fossa neurosurgery. No component of later latencies could be recorded consistently.

CONCLUSIONS

The study confirms that olfactory-evoked potentials can be measured in response to olfactory stimuli under general anesthesia. This demonstrates the feasibility of recording olfactory function intraoperatively and opens the potential for neuromonitoring of olfactory function during neurosurgery.

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Zoe E. Teton, Daniel Blatt, Amr AlBakry, James Obayashi, Gulsah Ozturk, Vural Hamzaoglu, Philippe Magown, Nathan R. Selden, Kim J. Burchiel and Ahmed M. Raslan

OBJECTIVE

Despite rapid development and expansion of neuromodulation technologies, knowledge about device and/or therapy durability remains limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term rate of hardware and therapeutic failure of implanted devices for several neuromodulation therapies.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of patients’ device and therapy survival data (Kaplan-Meier survival analysis) for deep brain stimulation (DBS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and spinal cord stimulation (SCS) at a single institution (years 1994–2015).

RESULTS

During the study period, 450 patients underwent DBS, 383 VNS, and 128 SCS. For DBS, the 5- and 10-year initial device survival was 87% and 73%, respectively, and therapy survival was 96% and 91%, respectively. For VNS, the 5- and 10-year initial device survival was 90% and 70%, respectively, and therapy survival was 99% and 97%, respectively. For SCS, the 5- and 10-year initial device survival was 50% and 34%, respectively, and therapy survival was 74% and 56%, respectively. The average initial device survival for DBS, VNS, and SCS was 14 years, 14 years, and 8 years while mean therapy survival was 18 years, 18 years, and 12.5 years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report, for the first time, comparative device and therapy survival rates out to 15 years for large cohorts of DBS, VNS, and SCS patients. Their results demonstrate higher device and therapy survival rates for DBS and VNS than for SCS. Hardware failures were more common among SCS patients, which may have played a role in the discontinuation of therapy. Higher therapy survival than device survival across all modalities indicates continued therapeutic benefit beyond initial device failures, which is important to emphasize when counseling patients.

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Henrik Giese, Benjamin Haenig, Anna Haenig, Andreas Unterberg and Klaus Zweckberger

OBJECTIVE

Craniopharyngiomas are rare and benign tumors of the sellar and/or parasellar region. Primary treatment involves resection followed by adjuvant radiotherapy. While the grade of resection was frequently analyzed following surgery, the neurological outcome and especially neuropsychological deficits and quality of life have been neglected for many decades. Therefore, the authors retrospectively analyzed their patient series and prospectively assessed neuropsychological outcome and quality of life following resection of craniopharyngiomas in adults.

METHODS

In total, 71 patients (39 men and 32 women) with a mean age of 49 years were enrolled in the retrospective analysis. In addition, 36 of the 71 patients were included in the prospective arm of the study and underwent neurological and neuropsychological testing as well as quality of life (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey; SF-36) assessment. Factors influencing outcome were identified and correlations calculated.

RESULTS

Resection was performed mostly using a pterional (41.6%, 47/113 surgical procedures) or bifrontal translamina terminalis (30.1%, 34/113 surgical procedures) approach. Following surgery, visual acuity was significantly improved (> 0.2 diopters) in 32.4% (23/71) of patients, or remained stable in 45.1% (32/71) of patients. During long-term follow up, 80.3% (57/71) of patients developed pituitary insufficiency, particularly involving the corticotropic and thyrotrophic axes. In total, 75% (27/36) of patients showed neuropsychological deviations in at least 1 test item. In particular, attentiveness, cognitive speed, and short-term memory were affected. Referring to the SF-36 score, quality of life was affected in both the mental and physical score in 19.4% (7/36) and 33.3% (12/36), respectively. The risk factors that were identified were a tumor volume larger than 9 cm3, tumor extension toward/into the third ventricle or the brainstem, and resection using a bifrontal translamina terminalis or left-sided approach.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that resection of craniopharyngiomas is frequently associated with postoperative neuropsychological deficits and hence an impaired quality of life. In addition to tumor size and extension toward/into the third ventricle or the brainstem, selection of the surgical approach may play a crucial role in the patient’s neuropsychological outcome and quality of life.

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Tonje Haug Nordenmark, Tanja Karic, Cecilie Røe, Wilhelm Sorteberg and Angelika Sorteberg

OBJECTIVE

Although many patients recover to a good functional outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), residual symptoms are very common and may have a large impact on the patient’s daily life. The particular cluster of residual symptoms after aSAH has not previously been described in detail and there is no validated questionnaire that covers the typical problems reported after aSAH. Many of the symptoms are similar to post-concussion syndrome, which often is evaluated with the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ). In the present study, the authors therefore performed an exploratory use of the RPQ as a template to describe post-aSAH syndrome.

METHODS

The RPQ was administered to 128 patients in the chronic phase after aSAH along with a battery of quality-of-life questionnaires. The patients also underwent a medical examination besides cognitive and physical testing. Based on their RPQ scores, patients were dichotomized into a “syndrome” group or “recovery” group.

RESULTS

A post-aSAH syndrome was seen in 33% of the patients and their symptom burden on all RPQ subscales was significantly higher than that of patients who had recovered on all RPQ subscales. The symptom cluster consisted mainly of fatigue, cognitive problems, and emotional problems. Physical problems were less frequently reported. Patients with post-aSAH syndrome scored significantly worse on mobility and pain scores, as well as on quality-of-life questionnaires. They also had significantly poorer scores on neuropsychological tests of verbal learning, verbal short- and long-term memory, psychomotor speed, and executive functions. Whereas 36% of the patients in the recovery group were able to return to their premorbid occupational status, this was true for only 1 patient in the syndrome group.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately one-third of aSAH patients develop a post-aSAH syndrome. These patients struggle with fatigue and cognitive and emotional problems. Patients with post-aSAH syndrome report more pain and reduced quality of life compared to patients without this cluster of residual symptoms and have larger cognitive deficits. In this sample, patients with post-aSAH syndrome were almost invariably excluded from return to work. The RPQ is a simple questionnaire covering the specter of residual symptoms after aSAH. Being able to acknowledge these patients’ complaints as a defined syndrome using the RPQ should help patients to accept and cope, thereby alleviating possible secondary distress produced.

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David R. Howell, Morgan N. Potter, Michael W. Kirkwood, Pamela E. Wilson, Aaron J. Provance and Julie C. Wilson

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to determine which variables assessed during an initial clinical evaluation for concussion are independently associated with time until symptom resolution among pediatric patients.

METHODS

Data collected from a prospective clinical registry of pediatric patients with concussion were analyzed. The primary outcome variable was time from injury until symptom resolution. Predictor variables assessed within 10 days after injury included preinjury factors, Health and Behavior Inventory scores, headache severity, and balance, vestibular, and oculomotor test performances. The researchers used univariate Cox proportional models to identify potential predictors of symptom resolution time and constructed a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model in which total duration of concussion symptoms remained the outcome variable.

RESULTS

The sample consisted of 351 patients (33% female, mean age 14.6 ± 2.2 years, evaluated 5.6 ± 2.6 days after concussion). Univariate Cox proportional hazards models indicated that several variables were associated with a longer duration of symptoms, including headache severity (hazard ratio [HR] 0.90 [95% CI 0.85–0.96]), headache frequency (HR 0.83 [95% CI 0.71–0.96]), confusion (HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.69–0.92]), forgetfulness (HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.68–0.92]), attention difficulties (HR 0.83 [95% CI 0.72–0.96]), trouble remembering (HR 0.84 [95% CI 0.72–0.98]), getting tired often (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.76–0.97]), getting tired easily (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.76–0.98]), dizziness (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.75–0.99]), and abnormal performance on the Romberg test (HR 0.59 [95% CI 0.40–0.85]). A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model indicated that an abnormal performance on the Romberg test was independently associated with a longer duration of symptoms (HR 0.65 [95% CI 0.44–0.98]; p = 0.038).

CONCLUSIONS

For children and adolescents evaluated within 10 days after receiving a concussion, abnormal performance on the Romberg test was independently associated with a longer duration of symptoms during recovery. In line with findings of other recent studies investigating predictors of symptom resolution, postural stability tests may provide useful prognostic information for sports medicine clinicians.