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Open access

Vincent C. Ye, Alexander P. Landry, Teresa Purzner, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Nilesh Mohan, Philip J. O’Halloran, Andrew Gao, and Gelareh Zadeh

BACKGROUND

Adult brainstem gliomas are rare entities that demonstrate heterogeneous biology and appear to be distinct from both their pediatric counterparts and adult supratentorial gliomas. Although the role of histone 3 mutations is being increasingly understood in this disease, the effect of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations remains unclear, largely because of limited data.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 29-year-old male with an IDH1-mutant, World Health Organization grade III anaplastic astrocytoma in the dorsal medulla, and they provide a review of the available literature on adult IDH-mutant brainstem glioma. The authors have amassed a cohort of 15 such patients, 7 of whom have survival data available. Median survival is 56 months in this small cohort, which is similar to that for IDH wild-type adult brainstem gliomas.

LESSONS

The authors’ work reenforces previous literature suggesting that the role of IDH mutation in glioma differs between brainstem and supratentorial lesions. Therefore, the authors advocate that adult brainstem gliomas be studied in terms of major molecular subgroups (including IDH mutant) because these gliomas may exhibit fundamental differences from each other, from pediatric brainstem gliomas, and from adult supratentorial gliomas.

Free access

Georgios P. Skandalakis, Spyridon Komaitis, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Evgenia Lani, Chrysoula Kontrafouri, Evangelos Drosos, Faidon Liakos, Maria Piagkou, Dimitris G. Placantonakis, John G. Golfinos, Kostas N. Fountas, Eftychia Z. Kapsalaki, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, George Stranjalis, and Christos Koutsarnakis

OBJECTIVE

Although a growing body of data support the functional connectivity between the precuneus and the medial temporal lobe during states of resting consciousness as well as during a diverse array of higher-order functions, direct structural evidence on this subcortical circuitry is scarce. Here, the authors investigate the very existence, anatomical consistency, morphology, and spatial relationships of the cingulum bundle V (CB-V), a fiber tract that has been reported to reside close to the inferior arm of the cingulum (CingI).

METHODS

Fifteen normal, formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres from adults were treated with Klingler’s method and subsequently investigated through the fiber microdissection technique in a medial to lateral direction.

RESULTS

A distinct group of fibers is invariably identified in the subcortical territory of the posteromedial cortex, connecting the precuneus and the medial temporal lobe. This tract follows the trajectory of the parietooccipital sulcus in a close spatial relationship with the CingI and the sledge runner fasciculus. It extends inferiorly to the parahippocampal place area and retrosplenial complex area, followed by a lateral curve to terminate toward the fusiform face area (Brodmann area [BA] 37) and lateral piriform area (BA35). Taking into account the aforementioned subcortical architecture, the CB-V allegedly participates as a major subcortical stream within the default mode network, possibly subserving the transfer of multimodal cues relevant to visuospatial, facial, and mnemonic information to the precuneal hub. Although robust clinical evidence on the functional role of this stream is lacking, the modern neurosurgeon should be aware of this tract when manipulating cerebral areas en route to lesions residing in or around the ventricular trigone.

CONCLUSIONS

Through the fiber microdissection technique, the authors were able to provide original, direct structural evidence on the existence, morphology, axonal connectivity, and correlative anatomy of what proved to be a discrete white matter pathway, previously described as the CB-V, connecting the precuneus and medial temporal lobe.

Free access

Georgios P. Skandalakis, Spyridon Komaitis, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Evgenia Lani, Chrysoula Kontrafouri, Evangelos Drosos, Faidon Liakos, Maria Piagkou, Dimitris G. Placantonakis, John G. Golfinos, Kostas N. Fountas, Eftychia Z. Kapsalaki, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, George Stranjalis, and Christos Koutsarnakis

OBJECTIVE

Although a growing body of data support the functional connectivity between the precuneus and the medial temporal lobe during states of resting consciousness as well as during a diverse array of higher-order functions, direct structural evidence on this subcortical circuitry is scarce. Here, the authors investigate the very existence, anatomical consistency, morphology, and spatial relationships of the cingulum bundle V (CB-V), a fiber tract that has been reported to reside close to the inferior arm of the cingulum (CingI).

METHODS

Fifteen normal, formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres from adults were treated with Klingler’s method and subsequently investigated through the fiber microdissection technique in a medial to lateral direction.

RESULTS

A distinct group of fibers is invariably identified in the subcortical territory of the posteromedial cortex, connecting the precuneus and the medial temporal lobe. This tract follows the trajectory of the parietooccipital sulcus in a close spatial relationship with the CingI and the sledge runner fasciculus. It extends inferiorly to the parahippocampal place area and retrosplenial complex area, followed by a lateral curve to terminate toward the fusiform face area (Brodmann area [BA] 37) and lateral piriform area (BA35). Taking into account the aforementioned subcortical architecture, the CB-V allegedly participates as a major subcortical stream within the default mode network, possibly subserving the transfer of multimodal cues relevant to visuospatial, facial, and mnemonic information to the precuneal hub. Although robust clinical evidence on the functional role of this stream is lacking, the modern neurosurgeon should be aware of this tract when manipulating cerebral areas en route to lesions residing in or around the ventricular trigone.

CONCLUSIONS

Through the fiber microdissection technique, the authors were able to provide original, direct structural evidence on the existence, morphology, axonal connectivity, and correlative anatomy of what proved to be a discrete white matter pathway, previously described as the CB-V, connecting the precuneus and medial temporal lobe.

Full access

Pantelis Stavrinou, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Stefan Grau, Christina Hamisch, Norbert Galldiks, Sotirios Katsigiannis, Christoph Kabbasch, Marco Timmer, Roland Goldbrunner, and George Stranjalis

OBJECTIVE

Data on the survival effects of supportive care compared to second-line multimodal treatment for glioblastoma progression are scarce. Thus, the authors assessed survival in two population-based, similar cohorts from two European university hospitals with different treatment strategies at first progression.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma treated at two neurooncological centers. After diagnosis, patients from both centers received identical treatments, but at tumor progression each center used a different approach. In the majority of cases, at center A (Greece), supportive care or a single therapeutic modality was offered at progression, whereas center B (Germany) provided multimodal second-line therapy. The main outcome measure was survival after progression (SaP). The influence of the treatment strategy on SaP was assessed by multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

One hundred three patients from center A and 156 from center B were included. Tumor progression was observed in 86 patients (center A) and 136 patients (center B). At center A, 53 patients (72.6%) received supportive care alone, while at center B, 91 patients (80.5%) received second-line treatment. Progression-free survival at both centers was similar (9.4 months [center A] vs 9.0 months [center B]; p = 0.97), but SaP was significantly improved in the patients treated with multimodal second-line therapy at center B (7 months, 95% CI 5.3–8.7 months) compared to those treated with supportive care or a single therapeutic modality at center A (4.5 months, 95% CI 3.5–5.5 months; p = 0.003). In the multivariate analysis, the treatment center was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR 1.59, 95% CI 0.17–2.15; p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment strategy favoring multimodal second-line treatment over minimal treatment or supportive care at glioblastoma progression is associated with significantly better overall survival.