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Jacob S. Young, Nadeem Al-Adli, Youssef E. Sibih, Katrina L. Scotford, Megan Casey, Steven James, and Mitchel S. Berger

A cancer diagnosis is life altering and frequently associated with both acute and long-lasting psychosocial and behavioral distress for patients. The impact of a diffuse glioma diagnosis on mental health is an important aspect of the patient experience with their disease. This needs to be understood by neurosurgeons so these concerns can be appropriately addressed in a timely fashion and integrated into the multidisciplinary care of neuro-oncology patients. The relatively grave prognosis associated with diffuse gliomas, the morbidity associated with treatment, and the constant threat of developing a new neurological deficit all can negatively affect a patient’s mental ability to cope and ultimately manifest in mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. The objective of this systematic review was to describe the variety of behavioral health disorders patients may experience following a glioma diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options. The PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched through July 1, 2022, using broad search terms, which resulted in 5028 studies that were uploaded to Covidence systematic review software. Duplicates, non–English-language studies, and studies with irrelevant outcomes or incorrect design were removed (n = 3167). A total of 92 articles reporting behavioral health outcomes in brain tumor patients were categorized and extracted for associations with overall mental health, anxiety, depression, distress, stress, pharmacology, interventions, and mental health in caregivers. The authors identified numerous studies reporting the prevalence of mental health disorders and their negative influence in this population. However, there is a paucity of literature on therapeutic options for patients. Given the strong correlation between patient quality of life and mental well-being, there is a considerable need for early recognition and treatment of these behavioral health disorders to optimize everyday functioning for patients.

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John J. Y. Zhang, Keng Siang Lee, Doris D. Wang, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Gliomas arising from the insular cortex can be epileptogenic, with a significant proportion of patients having medically refractory epilepsy. The impact of surgery on seizure control for such tumors is not well established. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate seizure outcomes after resection of insular gliomas using a meta-analysis and institutional experience.

METHODS

Three databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) were systematically searched for published studies of seizure outcomes after insular glioma resection from database inception to March 27, 2021. In addition, data were retrospectively collected on all adults (age > 17 years) who had undergone insular glioma resection between June 1997 and June 2015 at the authors’ institution. Primary outcome measures were seizure freedom rates at 1 year and the last follow-up. Secondary outcome measures consisted of persistent postoperative neurological deficit beyond 90 days, mortality, and tumor progression or recurrence.

RESULTS

Eight studies reporting on 453 patients who had undergone 460 operations were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled mean age of the patients was 42 years. The pooled percentages of patients with extents of resection (EORs) ≥ 90%, 70%–89%, and < 70% were 55%, 33%, and 11%, respectively. The pooled seizure freedom rate at 1 year was 73% for Engel class IA and 78% for Engel class I. The pooled seizure freedom rate at the last follow-up was 60% for Engel class IA and 79% for Engel class I. The pooled percentage of persistent neurological deficit beyond 90 days was 3%. At the authors’ institution, 109 patients had undergone resection of insular glioma. A greater EOR was the only significant independent predictor of seizure freedom after surgery (HR 0.290, p = 0.017). The optimal threshold for seizure freedom corresponded to an EOR of 81%. Patients with an EOR > 81% had a significantly higher seizure freedom rate (OR 2.16, p = 0.048).

CONCLUSIONS

Maximal safe resection can be performed with minimal surgical morbidity to achieve favorable seizure freedom rates in both the short and long term. When gross-total resection is not possible, an EOR > 81% confers the greatest sensitivity and specificity for achieving seizure freedom.

Systematic review registration no.: CRD42021249404 (https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/)

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Marco Riva, Stephen M. Wilson, Ruofan Cai, Antonella Castellano, Kesshi M. Jordan, Roland G. Henry, Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini, Mitchel S. Berger, and Edward F. Chang

OBJECTIVE

Electrocortical stimulation mapping (ECS) is widely used to identify essential language areas, but sentence-level processing has rarely been investigated.

METHODS

While undergoing awake surgery in the dominant left hemisphere, 6 subjects were asked to comprehend sentences varying in their demands on syntactic processing.

RESULTS

In all 6 subjects, stimulation of the inferior frontal gyrus disrupted comprehension of passive sentences, which critically depend on syntactic processing to correctly assign grammatical roles, without disrupting comprehension of simpler tasks. In 4 of the 6 subjects, these sites were localized to the pars opercularis. Sentence comprehension was also disrupted by stimulation of other perisylvian sites, but in a more variable manner.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that there may be language regions that differentially contribute to sentence processing and which therefore are best identified using sentence-level tasks. The functional consequences of resecting these sites remain to be investigated.

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Arthur Hosmann, Mohammed Jaber, Thomas Roetzer-Pejrimovsky, Gerald Timelthaler, Martin Borkovec, Barbara Kiesel, Lisa I. Wadiura, Matthias Millesi, Petra A. Mercea, Joanna Phillips, Shawn Hervey-Jumper, Anna S. Berghoff, Johannes A. Hainfellner, Mitchel S. Berger, Walter Stummer, and Georg Widhalm

OBJECTIVE

Early markers are urgently needed in low-grade glioma (LGG) evaluation to rapidly estimate the individual patient’s prognosis and to determine the optimal postoperative management. Generally, visible 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence is present in only a few LGGs. Recently, the authors identified visible 5-ALA fluorescence as a powerful intraoperative marker for unfavorable outcome in LGG treatment. However, its precise histopathological correlate is unclear. Neoangiogenesis represents a crucial event in tumor evolution, and CD34 is an established marker for vascular endothelial progenitors potentially indicating tumor progression. The aim of this study was thus to correlate 5-ALA fluorescence and CD34 microvascularity as well as to investigate the prognostic value of CD34 in a large series of LGGs.

METHODS

In this retrospective study including 3 specialized centers, patients with histopathologically confirmed isocitrate dehydrogenase–mutated LGGs (WHO grade II) receiving 5-ALA prior to resection were included. During surgery, the presence of visible fluorescence was analyzed and one representative tumor sample from the area with the maximum fluorescence effect (tumor with focal fluorescence or nonfluorescing tumor) was selected for each LGG. All fluorescing or nonfluorescing tumor samples were stained for CD34 and semiquantitatively analyzed for microvascular proliferation patterns (physiological vessels, branching capillaries, or microvessel clusters) as well as automatically quantified for CD34 microvessel density (MVD) by standardized histomorphometry software. These semiquantitative/quantitative CD34 data were correlated to the fluorescence status and patient outcome including progression-free survival (PFS), malignant transformation–free survival (MTFS), and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS

In a total of 86 LGGs, visible fluorescence was found during surgery in 13 (15%) cases. First, the semiquantitative CD34 score significantly correlated with intraoperative fluorescence (p = 0.049). Accordingly, the quantitative CD34 MVD was significantly higher in tumors showing fluorescence (p = 0.03). Altogether, the semiquantitative CD34 score showed a strong correlation with quantitative CD34 MVD (p < 0.001). At a mean follow-up of 5.4 ± 2.6 years, microvessel clusters in semiquantitative analysis were a prognostic marker for poor PFS (p = 0.01) and MTFS (p = 0.006), but not OS (p = 0.28). Finally, quantitative CD34 MVD > 10 vessels/mm2 was a prognostic marker for poor PFS (p = 0.01), MTFS (p = 0.008), and OS (p = 0.049).

CONCLUSIONS

The data indicate that CD34 microvascularity is associated with intraoperative 5-ALA fluorescence and outcomes in patients with LGG. Thus, visible fluorescence in LGGs might indicate increased CD34 microvascularity, serving as an early prognostic marker for unfavorable patient outcome that is already available during surgery.

Open access

John P. Andrews, Nathan Cahn, Benjamin A. Speidel, Jason E. Chung, Deborah F. Levy, Stephen M. Wilson, Mitchel S. Berger, and Edward F. Chang

OBJECTIVE

Broca’s aphasia is a syndrome of impaired fluency with retained comprehension. The authors used an unbiased algorithm to examine which neuroanatomical areas are most likely to result in Broca’s aphasia following surgical lesions.

METHODS

Patients were prospectively evaluated with standardized language batteries before and after surgery. Broca’s area was defined anatomically as the pars opercularis and triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus. Broca’s aphasia was defined by the Western Aphasia Battery language assessment. Resections were outlined from MRI scans to construct 3D volumes of interest. These were aligned using a nonlinear transformation to Montreal Neurological Institute brain space. A voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) algorithm was used to test for areas statistically associated with Broca’s aphasia when incorporated into a resection, as well as areas associated with deficits in fluency independent of Western Aphasia Battery classification. Postoperative MRI scans were reviewed in blinded fashion to estimate the percentage resection of Broca’s area compared to areas identified using the VLSM algorithm.

RESULTS

A total of 289 patients had early language evaluations, of whom 19 had postoperative Broca’s aphasia. VLSM analysis revealed an area that was highly correlated (p < 0.001) with Broca’s aphasia, spanning ventral sensorimotor cortex and supramarginal gyri, as well as extending into subcortical white matter tracts. Reduced fluency scores were significantly associated with an overlapping region of interest. The fluency score was negatively correlated with fraction of resected precentral, postcentral, and supramarginal components of the VLSM area.

CONCLUSIONS

Broca’s aphasia does not typically arise from neurosurgical resections in Broca’s area. When Broca’s aphasia does occur after surgery, it is typically in the early postoperative period, improves by 1 month, and is associated with resections of ventral sensorimotor cortex and supramarginal gyri.

Open access

Alexander F. Haddad, Jacob S. Young, Ramin A. Morshed, S. Andrew Josephson, Soonmee Cha, and Mitchel S. Berger

BACKGROUND

Lower-grade insular gliomas often appear as expansile and infiltrative masses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, there are nonneoplastic lesions of the insula, such as demyelinating disease and vasculopathies, that can mimic insular gliomas.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report two patients who presented with headaches and were found to have mass lesions concerning for lower-grade insular glioma based on MRI obtained at initial presentation. However, on the immediate preoperative MRI obtained a few weeks later, both patients had spontaneous and complete resolution of the insular lesions.

LESSONS

Tumor mimics should always be in the differential diagnosis of brain masses, including those involving the insula. The immediate preoperative MRI (within 24–48 hours of surgery) must be compared carefully with the initial presentation MRI to assess interval change that suggests tumor mimics to avoid unnecessary surgical intervention.

Free access

Ramin A. Morshed, Anthony T. Lee, Elaina J. Wang, Jacob S. Young, Soonmee Cha, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

The clinical outcomes for patients undergoing resection of diffuse glioma within the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) are understudied. Anatomically, the MFG is richly interconnected to known language areas, and nearby subcortical fibers are at risk during resection. The goal of this study was to determine the functional outcomes and intraoperative mapping results related to resection of MFG gliomas. Additionally, the study aimed to evaluate if subcortical tract disruption on imaging correlated with functional outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 39 patients with WHO grade II–IV diffuse gliomas restricted to only the MFG and underlying subcortical region that were treated with resection and had no prior treatment. Intraoperative mapping results and postoperative neurological deficits by discharge and 90 days were assessed. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to assess subcortical tract integrity on pre- and postoperative imaging.

RESULTS

The mean age of the cohort was 37.9 years at surgery, and the median follow-up was 5.1 years. The mean extent of resection was 98.9% for the cohort. Of the 39 tumors, 24 were left sided (61.5%). Thirty-six patients (92.3%) underwent intraoperative mapping, with 59% of patients undergoing an awake craniotomy. No patients had positive cortical mapping sites overlying the tumor, and 12 patients (33.3%) had positive subcortical stimulation sites. By discharge, 8 patients had language dysfunction, and 5 patients had mild weakness. By 90 days, 2 patients (5.1%) had persistent mild hand weakness only. There were no persistent language deficits by 90 days. On univariate analysis, preoperative tumor size (p = 0.0001), positive subcortical mapping (p = 0.03), preoperative tumor invasion of neighboring subcortical tracts on DTI tractography (p = 0.0003), and resection cavity interruption of subcortical tracts on DTI tractography (p < 0.0001) were associated with an increased risk of having a postoperative deficit by discharge. There were no instances of complete subcortical tract transections in the cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

MFG diffuse gliomas may undergo extensive resection with minimal risk for long-term morbidity. Partial subcortical tract interruption may lead to transient but not permanent deficits. Subcortical mapping is essential to reduce permanent morbidity during resection of MFG tumors by avoiding complete transection of critical subcortical tracts.

Free access

Jacob S. Young, Andrew J. Gogos, Alexander A. Aabedi, Ramin A. Morshed, Matheus P. Pereira, Samuel Lashof-Regas, Ziba Mansoori, Tracy Luks, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

The supplementary motor area (SMA) is an eloquent region that is frequently a site for glioma, or the region is included in the resection trajectory to deeper lesions. Although the clinical relevance of SMA syndrome has been well described, it is still difficult to predict who will become symptomatic. The object of this study was to define which patients with SMA gliomas would go on to develop a postoperative SMA syndrome.

METHODS

The University of California, San Francisco, tumor registry was searched for patients who, between 2010 and 2019, had undergone resection for newly diagnosed supratentorial diffuse glioma (WHO grades II–IV) performed by the senior author and who had at least 3 months of follow-up. Pre- and postoperative MRI studies were reviewed to confirm the tumor was located in the SMA region, and the extent of SMA resection was determined by volumetric assessment. Patient, tumor, and outcome data were collected retrospectively from documents available in the electronic medical record. Tumors were registered to a standard brain atlas to create a frequency heatmap of tumor volumes and resection cavities.

RESULTS

During the study period, 56 patients (64.3% male, 35.7% female) underwent resection of a newly diagnosed glioma in the SMA region. Postoperatively, 60.7% developed an SMA syndrome. Although the volume of tumor within the SMA region did not correlate with the development of SMA syndrome, patients with the syndrome had larger resection cavities in the SMA region (25.4% vs 14.2% SMA resection, p = 0.039). The size of the resection cavity in the SMA region did not correlate with the severity of the SMA syndrome. Patients who developed the syndrome had cavities that were located more posteriorly in the SMA region and in the cingulate gyrus. When the frontal aslant tract (FAT) was preserved, 50% of patients developed the SMA syndrome postoperatively, whereas 100% of the patients with disruption of the FAT during surgery developed the SMA syndrome (p = 0.06). Patients with SMA syndrome had longer lengths of stay (5.6 vs 4.1 days, p = 0.027) and were more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation facility (41.9% vs 0%, p < 0.001). There was no difference in overall survival for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients with SMA syndrome compared to those without SMA syndrome (1.6 vs 3.0 years, p = 0.33).

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with SMA glioma, more extensive resections and resections involving the posterior SMA region and posterior cingulate gyrus increased the likelihood of a postoperative SMA syndrome. Although SMA syndrome occurred in all cases in which the FAT was resected, FAT preservation does not reliably avoid SMA syndrome postoperatively.

Open access

Jacob S. Young, Ramin A. Morshed, John P. Andrews, Soonmee Cha, and Mitchel S. Berger

BACKGROUND

Prosopagnosia is a rare neurological condition characterized by the impairment of face perception with preserved visual processing and cognitive functioning and is associated with injury to the fusiform gyrus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Reports of this clinical impairment following resection of right temporal lobe diffuse gliomas in the absence of contralateral injury are exceedingly scarce and not expected as a complication of surgery.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe the case of a young female patient found to have an incidental diffuse glioma in the right inferior temporal lobe despite evidence of preoperative ILF disruption by the tumor. Following resection of the lesion, despite the preoperative disruption to the ILF by the tumor, the patient developed prosopagnosia. There was no evidence of contralateral, left-sided ILF injury.

LESSONS

Given the significant functional impairment associated with prosopagnosia, neurosurgeons should be aware of the exceedingly rare possibility of a visual-processing deficit following unilateral and, in this case, right-sided inferior temporal lobe glioma resections. More investigation is needed to determine whether preoperative testing can determine dominance of facial-processing networks for patients with lesions in the right inferior posterior temporooccipital lobe and whether intraoperative mapping could help prevent this complication.

Open access

John P. Andrews, Tarun Arora, Philip Theodosopoulos, and Mitchel S. Berger

BACKGROUND

Meningiomas of the atrium of the lateral ventricle present a unique operative challenge. Parietal transcortical approaches have been described with an oblique approach, but a strictly paramedian approach may offer advantages in a dominant hemisphere atrial meningioma.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient presented with several weeks of intermittent headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an enhancing intraventricular mass in the atrium of the left lateral ventricle. Three-dimensional reconstructions were created from a preoperative MRI, with 1-mm slices for neuronavigation. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was obtained, and tracts were reconstructed in the patient’s three-dimensional brainspace. DTI tractography delineated a paramedian transparietal corridor devoid of functional white matter tracks. The patient was positioned supine, in a semislouch position. A left parietal craniotomy was performed. Neuronavigation identified a gyrus posterior to the sensory cortex, anterior to the optic radiations and medial to superior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculus fiber tracts. The tumor was debulked to allow mobilization to coagulate capsular blood supply. Gross total resection was achieved. The patient was discharged postoperatively on day 3 without neurological deficits.

LESSONS

A paramedian transparietal approach to a dominant hemisphere meningioma of the lateral ventricle can be a safe and effective way to resect tumors in this anatomically unique operative corridor.