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Kristin Huntoon, Edward H. Oldfield, and Russell R. Lonser

Arvid Lindau, MD, PhD, consolidated the disparate array of benign and malignant visceral and nervous system lesions into the neoplastic syndrome known as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. Based on this pioneering work, Dr. Lindau was awarded both a Rockefeller fellowship to work in Dr. Harvey Cushing's laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Lennmalm Prize. While working in Dr. Cushing's laboratory, Dr. Lindau continued his study of CNS hemangioblastomas. His work with Dr. Cushing led to their lifelong friendship and scientific collaboration. In this paper the authors describe Arvid Lindau's pioneering work in nervous system tumor pathology, his relationship to Dr. Cushing, and his role in advancing neurological surgery and research in Europe.

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Prashant Chittiboina, John D. Heiss, and Russell R. Lonser

An intraoperative MRI (iMRI)–compatible system has been developed for direct placement of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) cannulae using real-time imaging. To establish the precision and feasibility of this technology, the authors analyzed findings in patients who underwent direct iMRI CED cannula placement.

Three consecutive patients underwent iMRI-guided placement of CED infusion cannulae (6 cannulae) for treatment of diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (2 patients) or Parkinson's disease (1 patient). Convective infusion cannulae were guided to the target using the ClearPoint iMRI-based navigation platform (MRI Interventions, Inc.). Placement accuracy was analyzed.

Real-time iMRI during infusion cannula insertion allowed for monitoring of trajectory accuracy during placement. During cannula insertion, no reinsertions or changes due to errors in targeting were necessary. The mean radial error was 1.0 ± 0.5 mm (± SD). There was no correlation between the total length of the planned trajectory and the radial error (Pearson's coefficient: −0.40; p = 0.5). The mean anteroposterior and lateral errors were 0.9 ± 0.5 and 0.3 ± 0.2 mm, respectively. The mean in-plane distance error was 1.0 ± 0.4 mm. The mean tip error (scalar distance between the planned target and actual tip) was 1.9 ± 0.9 mm. There was no correlation between the length of the planned trajectory and any of the measured errors. No complications were associated with cannula placement.

Real-time iMRI-based targeting and monitoring of infusion cannula placement is a safe, effective, and accurate technique that should enable more selective perfusion of brain regions.

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Prashant Chittiboina, Blake K. Montgomery, Corina Millo, Peter Herscovitch, and Russell R. Lonser

OBJECT

High-resolution PET (hrPET) performed using a high-resolution research tomograph is reported as having a resolution of 2 mm and could be used to detect corticotroph adenomas through uptake of18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG). To determine the sensitivity of this imaging modality, the authors compared18F-FDG hrPET and MRI detection of pituitary adenomas in Cushing disease (CD).

METHODS

Consecutive patients with CD who underwent preoperative18F-FDG hrPET and MRI (spin echo [SE] and spoiled gradient recalled [SPGR] sequences) were prospectively analyzed. Standardized uptake values (SUVs) were calculated from hrPET and were compared with MRI findings. Imaging findings were correlated to operative and histological findings.

RESULTS

Ten patients (7 females and 3 males) were included (mean age 30.8 ± 19.3 years; range 11–59 years). MRI revealed a pituitary adenoma in 4 patients (40% of patients) on SE and 7 patients (70%) on SPGR sequences.18F-FDG hrPET demonstrated increased18F-FDG uptake consistent with an adenoma in 4 patients (40%; adenoma size range 3–14 mm). Maximum SUV was significantly higher for18F-FDG hrPET–positive tumors (difference = 5.1, 95% CI 2.1–8.1; p = 0.004) than for18F-FDG hrPET–negative tumors.18F-FDG hrPET positivity was not associated with tumor volume (p = 0.2) or dural invasion (p = 0.5). Midnight and morning ACTH levels were associated with18F-FDG hrPET positivity (p = 0.01 and 0.04, respectively) and correlated with the maximum SUV (R = 0.9; p = 0.001) and average SUV (R = 0.8; p = 0.01). All18F-FDG hrPET–positive adenomas had a less than a 180% ACTH increase and18F-FDG hrPET–negative adenomas had a greater than 180% ACTH increase after CRH stimulation (p = 0.03). Three adenomas were detected on SPGR MRI sequences that were not detected by18F-FDG hrPET imaging. Two adenomas not detected on SE (but no adenomas not detected on SPGR) were detected on18F-FDG hrPET.

CONCLUSIONS

While18F-FDG hrPET imaging can detect small functioning corticotroph adenomas and is more sensitive than SE MRI, SPGR MRI is more sensitive than18F-FDG hrPET and SE MRI in the detection of CD-associated pituitary adenomas. Response to CRH stimulation can predict18F-FDG hrPET–positive adenomas in CD.

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Russell R. Lonser, Malisa Sarntinoranont, Paul F. Morrison, and Edward H. Oldfield

Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a bulk flow–driven process. Its properties permit direct, homogeneous, targeted perfusion of CNS regions with putative therapeutics while bypassing the blood-brain barrier. Development of surrogate imaging tracers that are co-infused during drug delivery now permit accurate, noninvasive real-time tracking of convective infusate flow in nervous system tissues. The potential advantages of CED in the CNS over other currently available drug delivery techniques, including systemic delivery, intrathecal and/or intraventricular distribution, and polymer implantation, have led to its application in research studies and clinical trials. The authors review the biophysical principles of convective flow and the technology, properties, and clinical applications of convective delivery in the CNS.

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Xinghua Ding, Chao Zhang, Jason M. Frerich, Anand Germanwala, Chunzhang Yang, Russell R. Lonser, Ying Mao, Zhengping Zhuang, and Mingguang Zhang

Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an autosomal dominant multiorgan tumor syndrome caused by a germline mutation in the VHL gene. Characteristic tumors include CNS hemangioblastomas (HBs), endolymphatic sac tumors, renal cell carcinomas, pheochromocytomas, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Sporadic VHL disease with a de novo germline mutation is rare. The authors describe a case of multiple CNS HBs in a patient with a heterozygous de novo germline mutation at c.239G>T [p.S80I] of VHL. This is the first known case of a sporadic de novo germline mutation of VHL at c.239G>T. Clinicians should continue to consider VHL disease in patients presenting with sporadic CNS HBs, including those without a family history, to confirm or exclude additional VHL-associated visceral lesions.

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Russell R. Lonser, John A. Butman, Kristin Huntoon, Ashok R. Asthagiri, Tianxia Wu, Kamran D. Bakhtian, Emily Y. Chew, Zhengping Zhuang, W. Marston Linehan, and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

The tumors most frequently associated with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease are hemangioblastomas. While they are associated with significant neurological impairment and mortality, their natural history and optimal management have not been fully defined.

Methods

Patients with VHL were enrolled in a prospective study designed to define the natural history of CNS hemangioblastomas. In the present analysis, serial imaging, laboratory, genetic, and clinical data were evaluated in those with at least 2 years of follow-up data.

Results

At study entrance 225 patients (111 males, 114 females) harbored 1921 CNS hemangioblastomas in the supratentorial compartment (21 tumors [1%]), cerebellum (865 [45%]), brainstem (129 [7%]), spinal cord (689 [36%]), cauda equina (212 [11%]), and nerve roots (5 [0.3%]; follow-up 15,819 hemangioblastoma-years). Increased tumor burden was associated with partial deletions in the VHL gene (p = 0.005) and male sex (p = 0.002). Hemangioblastoma development (median 0.3 new tumors/year) was associated with younger age (p < 0.0001) and more tumors at study entrance (p < 0.0001). While 1278 hemangioblastomas (51%) did not grow, 1227 hemangioblastomas (49%) grew in a saltatory (886 [72%]), linear (76 [6%]), or exponential (264 [22%]) pattern. Faster tumor growth was associated with male sex (p = 0.001), symptomatic tumors (p < 0.0001), and tumors associated with cysts (p < 0.0001). Location-dependent tumor size was the primary predictor of eventual symptom formation (159 symptomatic tumors [6.3%]; area under the curve > 0.9).

Conclusions

Central nervous system hemangioblastoma burden in VHL is associated with partial germline deletions and male sex. Unpredictable growth of hemangioblastomas compromises assessment of nonsurgical therapies. The judicious treatment of symptom-producing hemangioblastomas, while avoiding unnecessary treatment of asymptomatic tumors that may not progress, can provide clinical stability. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00005902 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Prashant Chittiboina, John D. Heiss, Katherine E. Warren, and Russell R. Lonser

Object

Coinfused surrogate imaging tracers can provide direct insight into the properties of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) in the nervous system. To better understand the distributive properties of CED in a clinical circumstance, the authors analyzed the imaging findings in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) patients undergoing coinfusion of Gd-DTPA and interleukin-13–Pseudomonas exotoxin (IL13-PE).

Methods

Consecutive patients undergoing CED (maximal rates of 5 or 10 μl/minute) of Gd-DTPA (1 or 5 mM) and IL13-PE (0.125 μg/ml or 0.25 μg/ml) for DIPG were included. Real-time MRI was performed during infusions, and imaging results were analyzed.

Results

Four patients (2 males, 2 females; mean age at initial infusion 13.0 ± 5.3 years; range 5–17 years) underwent 5 infusions into DIPGs. Brainstem infusions were clearly identified on T1-weighted MR images at 1-mM (1 infusion) and 5-mM (4 infusions) coinfused Gd-DTPA concentrations. While the volume of distribution (Vd) increased progressively with volume of infusion (Vi) (mean volume 2.5 ± 0.9 ml; range 1.1–3.7 ml), final Vd:Vi ratios were significantly reduced with lower Gd-DTPA concentration (Vd:Vi for 1 mM of 1.6 compared with a mean Vd:Vi ratio for 5 mM of 3.3 ± 1.0) (p = 0.04). Similarly, anatomical distribution patterns were affected by preferential flow along parallel axial fiber tracts, into prior infusion cannula tracts and intraparenchymal air pockets, and leak back around the infusion cannula at the highest rate of infusion.

Conclusions

Magnetic resonance imaging of a coinfused Gd-DTPA surrogate tracer provided direct insight into the properties of CED in a clinical application. While clinically relevant Vds can be achieved by convective delivery, specific tissue properties can affect distribution volume and pattern, including Gd-DTPA concentration, preferential flow patterns, and infusion rate. Understanding of these properties of CED can enhance its clinical application. Part of clinical trial no. NCT00880061 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Dueng-Yuan Hueng and Huey-Kang Sytwu