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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.

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Melanie A. Morrison, Anthony T. Lee, Alastair J. Martin, Cameron Dietiker, Ethan G. Brown, and Doris D. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Direct visualization of the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus on standard MRI sequences remains elusive. Therefore, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for essential tremor (ET) indirectly targets the VIM using atlas-derived consensus coordinates and requires awake intraoperative testing to confirm clinical benefits. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of proton density (PD)–weighted MRI and tractography of the intersecting dentato-rubro-thalamic tract (DRTT) for direct “intersectional” targeting of the VIM in ET.

METHODS

DBS targets were selected by identifying the VIM on PD-weighted images relative to the DRTT in 2 patients with ET. Tremor reduction was confirmed with intraoperative clinical testing. Intended target coordinates based on the direct intersectional targeting technique were compared with consensus coordinates obtained with indirect targeting. Pre- and postoperative tremor scores were assessed using the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin tremor rating scale (TRS).

RESULTS

Planned DBS coordinates based on direct versus indirect targeting of the VIM differed in both the anteroposterior (range 0 to 2.3) and lateral (range −0.7 to 1) directions. For 1 patient, indirect targeting—without PD-weighted visualization of the VIM and DRTT—would have likely resulted in suboptimal electrode placement within the VIM. At the 3-month follow-up, both patients demonstrated significant improvement in tremor symptoms subjectively and according to the TRS (case 1: 68%, case 2: 72%).

CONCLUSIONS

Direct intersectional targeting of the VIM using PD-weighted imaging and DRTT tractography is a feasible method for DBS placement in patients with ET. These advanced targeting techniques can supplement awake intraoperative testing or be used independently in asleep cases to improve surgical efficiency and confidence.

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Kunal P. Raygor, Anthony T. Lee, Noah Nichols, Doris D. Wang, Mariann M. Ward, Nicholas M. Barbaro, and Edward F. Chang

OBJECTIVE

Common surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) include microvascular decompression (MVD) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The use of MVD in elderly patients has been described but has yet to be prospectively compared to SRS, which is well-tolerated and noninvasive. The authors aimed to directly compare long-term pain control and adverse event rates for first-time surgical treatments for idiopathic TN in the elderly.

METHODS

A prospectively collected database was reviewed for TN patients who had undergone treatment between 1997 and 2017 at a single institution. Standardized collection of preoperative demographics, surgical procedure, and postoperative outcomes was performed. Data analysis was limited to patients over the age of 65 years who had undergone a first-time procedure for the treatment of idiopathic TN with at least 1 year of follow-up.

RESULTS

One hundred ninety-three patients meeting the study inclusion criteria underwent surgical procedures for TN during the study period (54 MVD, 24 MVD+Rhiz, 115 SRS). In patients in whom an artery was not compressing the trigeminal nerve during MVD, a partial sensory rhizotomy (MVD+Rhiz) was performed. Patients in the SRS cohort were older than those in the MVD and MVD+Rhiz cohorts (mean ± SD, 79.2 ± 7.8 vs 72.9 ± 5.7 and 70.9 ± 4.8 years, respectively; p < 0.0001) and had a higher mean Charlson Comorbidity Index (3.8 ± 1.1 vs 3.0 ± 0.9 and 2.9 ± 1.0, respectively; p < 0.0001). Immediate or short-term postoperative pain-free rates (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] pain intensity score I) were 98.1% for MVD, 95.8% for MVD+Rhiz, and 78.3% for SRS (p = 0.0008). At the last follow-up, 72.2% of MVD patients had a favorable outcome (BNI score I–IIIa) compared to 54.2% and 49.6% of MVD+Rhiz and SRS patients, respectively (p = 0.02). In total, 0 (0%) SRS, 5 (9.3%) MVD, and 1 (4.2%) MVD+Rhiz patients developed any adverse event. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis demonstrated that procedure type (p = 0.001) and postprocedure sensory change (p = 0.003) were statistically significantly associated with pain control.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study cohort, patients who had undergone MVD had a statistically significantly longer duration of pain freedom than those who had undergone MVD+Rhiz or SRS as their first procedure. Fewer adverse events were seen after SRS, though the MVD-associated complication rate was comparable to published rates in younger patients. Overall, the results suggest that both MVD and SRS are effective options for the elderly, despite their advanced age. Treatment choice can be tailored to a patient’s unique condition and wishes.

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Anthony T. Lee, Claire Faltermeier, Ramin A. Morshed, Jacob S. Young, Sofia Kakaizada, Claudia Valdivia, Anne M. Findlay, Phiroz E. Tarapore, Srikantan S. Nagarajan, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Gliomas are intrinsic brain tumors with the hallmark of diffuse white matter infiltration, resulting in short- and long-range network dysfunction. Preoperative magnetoencephalography (MEG) can assist in maximizing the extent of resection while minimizing morbidity. While MEG has been validated in motor mapping, its role in speech mapping remains less well studied. The authors assessed how the resection of intraoperative electrical stimulation (IES)–negative, high functional connectivity (HFC) network sites, as identified by MEG, impacts language performance.

METHODS

Resting-state, whole-brain MEG recordings were obtained from 26 patients who underwent perioperative language evaluation and glioma resection that was guided by awake language and IES mapping. The functional connectivity of an individual voxel was determined by the imaginary coherence between the index voxel and the rest of the brain, referenced to its contralesional pair. The percentage of resected HFC voxels was correlated with postoperative language outcomes in tasks of increasing complexity: text reading, 4-syllable repetition, picture naming, syntax (SYN), and auditory stimulus naming (AN).

RESULTS

Overall, 70% of patients (14/20) in whom any HFC tissue was resected developed an early postoperative language deficit (mean 2.3 days, range 1–8 days), compared to 33% of patients (2/6) in whom no HFC tissue was resected (p = 0.16). When bifurcated by the amount of HFC tissue that was resected, 100% of patients (3/3) with an HFC resection > 25% displayed deficits in AN, compared to 30% of patients (6/20) with an HFC resection < 25% (p = 0.04). Furthermore, there was a linear correlation between the severity of AN and SYN decline with percentage of HFC sites resected (p = 0.02 and p = 0.04, respectively). By 2.2 months postoperatively (range 1–6 months), the correlation between HFC resection and both AN and SYN decline had resolved (p = 0.94 and p = 1.00, respectively) in all patients (9/9) except two who experienced early postoperative tumor progression or stroke involving inferior frontooccipital fasciculus.

CONCLUSIONS

Imaginary coherence measures of functional connectivity using MEG are able to identify HFC network sites within and around low- and high-grade gliomas. Removal of IES-negative HFC sites results in early transient postoperative decline in AN and SYN, which resolved by 3 months in all patients without stroke or early tumor progression. Measures of functional connectivity may therefore be a useful means of counseling patients about postoperative risk and assist with preoperative surgical planning.

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Anthony T. Lee, John F. Burke, Pranathi Chunduru, Annette M. Molinaro, Robert Knowlton, and Edward F. Chang

OBJECTIVE

Recent trials for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) highlight the challenges of investigating surgical outcomes using randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Although several reviews have examined seizure-freedom outcomes from existing data, there is a need for an overall seizure-freedom rate estimated from level I data as investigators consider other methods besides RCTs to study outcomes related to new surgical interventions.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the 3 RCTs of TLE in adults and report an overall surgical seizure-freedom rate (Engel class I) composed of level I data. An overall seizure-freedom rate was also collected from level II data (prospective cohort studies) for validation. Eligible studies were identified by filtering a published Cochrane meta-analysis of epilepsy surgery for RCTs and prospective studies, and supplemented by searching indexed terms in MEDLINE (January 1, 2012–April 1, 2018). Retrospective studies were excluded to minimize heterogeneity in patient selection and reporting bias. Data extraction was independently reverified and pooled using a fixed-effects model. The primary outcome was overall seizure freedom following surgery. The historical benchmark was applied in a noninferiority study design to compare its power to a single-study cohort.

RESULTS

The overall rate of seizure freedom from level I data was 72.4% (55/76 patients, 3 RCTs), which was nearly identical to the overall seizure-freedom rate of 71.7% (1325/1849 patients, 18 studies) from prospective cohorts (z = 0.134, p = 0.89; z-test). Seizure-freedom rates from level I and II studies were consistent over the years of publication (R2 < 0.01, p = 0.73). Surgery resulted in markedly improved seizure-free outcomes compared to medical management (RR 10.82, 95% CI 3.93–29.84, p < 0.01; 2 RCTs). Noninferiority study designs in which the historical benchmark was used had significantly higher power at all difference margins compared to using a single cohort alone (p < 0.001, Bonferroni’s multiple comparison test).

CONCLUSIONS

The overall rate of seizure freedom for temporal lobe surgery is approximately 70% for medically refractory epilepsy. The small sample size of the RCT cohort underscores the need to move beyond standard RCTs for epilepsy surgery. This historical seizure-freedom rate may serve as a useful benchmark to guide future study designs for new surgical treatments for refractory TLE.