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Konstantinos Margetis, Prajwal Rajappa, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

A critical goal in neurosurgical oncology is maximizing the extent of tumor resection while minimizing the risk to normal white matter tracts. Frameless stereotaxy and white matter mapping are indispensable tools in this effort, but deep tumor margins may not be accurately defined because of the “brain shift” at the end of the operation. The authors investigated the safety and efficacy of a technique for marking the deep margins of intraaxial tumors with stereotactic injection of Indigo Carmine dye.

METHODS

Investigational New Drug study approval for a prospective study in adult patients with gliomas was obtained from the FDA (Investigational New Drug no. 112680). At surgery, 1–3 stereotactic injections of 0.01 ml of Indigo Carmine dye were performed through the initial bur holes into the deep tumor margins before elevation of the bone flap. White light microscopic resection was conducted in standard fashion by using frameless stereotactic navigation until the injected margins were identified. The resection of the injected tumor margins and the extent of resection of the whole tumor volume were determined by using postoperative volumetric MRI.

RESULTS

In total 17 injections were performed in 10 enrolled patients (6 male, 4 female), whose mean age was 49 years. For all patients, the injection points were identified intraoperatively and tumor was resected at these points. The staining pattern was reproducible; it was a sphere of stained tissue approximately 5 mm in diameter. A halo of stained tissue and a backflow of dye through the needle tract were also noted, but these were clearly distinct from the staining pattern of the injection point, which was vividly colored and demarcated. Postoperative MR images verified the resection of all injection points. The mean extent of resection of the tumor as a whole was 97.1%. For 1 patient, a brain abscess developed on postoperative Day 16 and needed additional surgical treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic injection of Indigo Carmine dye can be used to demarcate multiple deep tumor margins, which can be readily identified intraoperatively by using standard white light microscopy. This technique may enhance the accuracy of frameless stereotactic navigation and increase the extent of resection of intraaxial tumors.

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Osaama H. Khan, M.Sc., Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

This paper describes a consecutive series of skull base meningiomas resected using an endoscopic endonasal approach through various corridors at a single institution over 7 years. The impact of case selection and experience, the presence of a cortical cuff between the tumor and surrounding vessels, and brain edema on morbidity and rates of gross-total resection (GTR) were examined.

Methods

A retrospective review of a series of 46 skull base meningiomas from a prospective database was conducted. The series of cases were divided by location: olfactory groove (n = 15), tuberculum and planum (n = 20), sellar/cavernous (n = 9) and petroclival (n = 2). Gross-total resection was never intended in the sellar/cavernous tumors, which generally invaded the cavernous sinus. Clinical charts, volumetric imaging, and pathology were reviewed to assess the extent of resection and complications. Cases were divided based on a time point in which surgical technique and case selection improved into Group 1 (surgery prior to June 2008; n = 21) and Group 2 (surgery after June 2008; n = 25) and into those with and without a cortical cuff and with and without brain edema.

Results

Improved case selection had the greatest impact on extent of resection. For the entire cohort, rates of GTR went from 38% to 76% (p = 0.02), and for cases in which GTR was the intent, the rates went from 63% to 84% (not significant), which was mostly driven by the planum and tuberculum meningiomas, which went from 75% to 91.7 % (nonsignificant difference). The presence of a cortical cuff and brain edema had no impact on outcomes. There were 3 CSF leaks (6.5%) but all were in Group 1. Hence, CSF leak improved from 14.2% to 0% with surgical experience. Lessons learned for optimal case selection are discussed.

Conclusions

Surgical outcome for endonasal endoscopic resection of skull base meningiomas depends mostly on careful case selection and surgical experience. Imaging criteria such as the presence of a cortical cuff or brain edema are less important.

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Andrew R. Conger, M.S., Joshua Lucas, Gabriel Zada, Theodore H. Schwartz, and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Endoscopic approaches to the midline ventral skull base have been extensively developed and refined for resection of cranial base tumors over the past several years. As these techniques have improved, both the degree of resection and complication rates have proven comparable to those for transcranial approaches, while visual outcomes may be better via endoscopic endonasal surgery and hospital stays and recovery times are often shorter. Yet for all of the progress made, the steep learning curve associated with these techniques has hampered more widespread implementation and adoption. The authors address this obstacle by coupling a thorough description of the technical nuances for endoscopic endonasal craniopharyngioma resection with detailed illustrations of the important steps in the operation. Traditionally, transsphendoidal approaches to craniopharyngiomas have been restricted to lesions mostly confined to the sella. However, recently, endoscopic endonasal resections are more frequently employed for extrasellar and purely third ventricle craniopharyngiomas, whose typical retrochiasmatic location makes them ideal candidates for endoscopic transnasal surgery.

The endonasal endoscopic approach offers many advantages, including direct access to the long axis of the tumor, early tumor debulking with minimal manipulation of the optic apparatus, more precise visualization of tumor planes, particularly along the undersurface of the chiasm and the roof of the third ventricle, and a minimal-access corridor that obviates the need for brain retraction. Although much emphasis has been placed on technical tenets of exposure and “how to get there,” this article focuses on nuances of tumor resection “when you are there.” Three operative videos illustrate our discussion of technical tenets.

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Paolo Cappabianca, Theodore H. Schwartz, John A. Jane Jr., M.D., and Gabriel Zada

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Matei A. Banu, Oszkar Szentirmai, Lino Mascarenhas, Al Amin Salek, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Postoperative pneumocephalus is a common occurrence after endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery (ESBS). The risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks can be high and the presence of postoperative pneumocephalus associated with serosanguineous nasal drainage may raise suspicion for a CSF leak. The authors hypothesized that specific patterns of pneumocephalus on postoperative imaging could be predictive of CSF leaks. Identification of these patterns could guide the postoperative management of patients undergoing ESBS.

Methods

The authors queried a prospectively acquired database of 526 consecutive ESBS cases at a single center between December 1, 2003, and May 31, 2012, and identified 258 patients with an intraoperative CSF leak documented using intrathecal fluorescein. Postoperative CT and MRI scans obtained within 1–10 days were examined and pneumocephalus was graded based on location and amount. A discrete 0–4 scale was used to classify pneumocephalus patterns based on size and morphology. Pneumocephalus was correlated with the surgical approach, histopathological diagnosis, and presence of a postoperative CSF leak.

Results

The mean follow-up duration was 56.7 months. Of the 258 patients, 102 (39.5%) demonstrated pneumocephalus on postoperative imaging. The most frequent location of pneumocephalus was frontal (73 [71.5%] of 102), intraventricular (34 [33.3%]), and convexity (22 [21.6%]). Patients with craniopharyngioma (27 [87%] of 31) and meningioma (23 [68%] of 34) had the highest incidence of postoperative pneumocephalus compared with patients with pituitary adenomas (29 [20.6%] of 141) (p < 0.0001). The incidence of pneumocephalus was higher with transcribriform and transethmoidal approaches (8 of [73%] 11) than with a transsellar approach (9 of [7%] 131). There were 15 (5.8%) of 258 cases of postoperative CSF leak, of which 10 (66.7%) had pneumocephalus, compared with 92 (38%) of 243 patients without a postoperative CSF leak (OR 3.3, p = 0.027). Pneumocephalus located in the convexity, interhemispheric fissure, sellar region, parasellar region, and perimesencephalic region was significantly correlated with a postoperative CSF leak (OR 4.9, p = 0.006) and was therefore termed “suspicious” pneumocephalus. In contrast, frontal or intraventricular pneumocephalus was not correlated with postoperative CSF leak (not significant) and was defined as “benign” pneumocephalus. The amount of convexity pneumocephalus (p = 0.002), interhemispheric pneumocephalus (p = 0.005), and parasellar pneumocephalus (p = 0.007) (determined using a scale score of 0–4) was also significantly related to postoperative CSF leaks. Using a series of permutation-based multivariate analyses, the authors established that a model containing the learning curve, the transclival/transcavernous approach, and the presence of “suspicious” pneumocephalus provides the best overall prediction for postoperative CSF leaks.

Conclusions

Postoperative pneumocephalus is much more common following extended approaches than following transsellar surgery. Merely the presence of pneumocephalus, particularly in the frontal or intraventricular locations, is not necessarily associated with a postoperative CSF leak. A “suspicious” pattern of air, namely pneumocephalus in the convexity, interhemispheric fissure, sella, parasellar, or perimesencephalic locations, is significantly associated with a postoperative CSF leak. The presence and the score of “suspicious” pneumocephalus on postoperative imaging, in conjunction with the learning curve and the type of endoscopic approach, provide the best predictive model for postoperative CSF leaks.

Free access

Shaan M. Raza, Angela M. Donaldson, Alpesh Mehta, Apostolos J. Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Because multiple anatomical compartments are involved, the surgical management of trigeminal schwannomas requires a spectrum of cranial base approaches. The endoscopic endonasal approach to Meckel's cave provides a minimal access corridor for surgery, but few reports have assessed outcomes of the procedure or provided guidelines for case selection.

Methods

A prospectively acquired database of 680 endoscopic endonasal cases was queried for trigeminal schwannoma cases. Clinical charts, radiographic images, and long-term outcomes were reviewed to determine outcome and success in removing tumor from each compartment traversed by the trigeminal nerve.

Results

Four patients had undergone endoscopic resection of trigeminal schwannomas via the transpterygoid approach (mean follow-up 37 months). All patients had disease within Meckel's cave, and 1 patient had extension into the posterior fossa. Gross-total resection was achieved in 3 patients whose tumors were purely extracranial. One patient with combined Meckel's cave and posterior fossa tumor had complete resection of the extracranial disease and 52% resection of the posterior fossa disease. One patient with posterior fossa disease experienced a sixth cranial nerve palsy in addition to a corneal keratopathy from worsened trigeminal neuropathy. There were no CSF leaks. Over the course of the study, 1 patient with subtotal resection required subsequent stereotactic radiosurgery for disease progression within the posterior fossa.

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal approaches appear to be well suited for trigeminal schwannomas restricted to Meckel's cave and/or extracranial segments of the nerve. Lateral transcranial skull base approaches should be considered for patients with posterior fossa disease. Further multiinstitutional studies will be necessary for adequate power to help determine relative indications between endoscopic and transcranial skull base approaches.

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A. Gabriella Wernicke, Menachem Z. Yondorf, Luke Peng, Samuel Trichter, Lucy Nedialkova, Albert Sabbas, Fridon Kulidzhanov, Bhupesh Parashar, Dattatreyudu Nori, K. S. Clifford Chao, Paul Christos, Ilhami Kovanlikaya, Susan Pannullo, John A. Boockvar, Philip E. Stieg, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Resected brain metastases have a high rate of local recurrence without adjuvant therapy. Adjuvant whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) remains the standard of care with a local control rate > 90%. However, WBRT is delivered over 10–15 days, which can delay other therapy and is associated with acute and long-term toxicities. Permanent cesium-131 (131Cs) implants can be used at the time of metastatic resection, thereby avoiding the need for any additional therapy. The authors evaluated the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of a novel therapeutic approach with permanent 131Cs brachytherapy at the resection for brain metastases.

Methods

After institutional review board approval was obtained, 24 patients with a newly diagnosed metastasis to the brain were accrued to a prospective protocol between 2010 and 2012. There were 10 frontal, 7 parietal, 4 cerebellar, 2 occipital, and 1 temporal metastases. Histology included lung cancer (16), breast cancer (2), kidney cancer (2), melanoma (2), colon cancer (1), and cervical cancer (1). Stranded 131Cs seeds were placed as permanent volume implants. The prescription dose was 80 Gy at a 5-mm depth from the resection cavity surface. Distant metastases were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or WBRT, depending on the number of lesions. The primary end point was local (resection cavity) freedom from progression (FFP). Secondary end points included regional FFP, distant FFP, median survival, overall survival (OS), and toxicity.

Results

The median follow-up was 19.3 months (range 12.89–29.57 months). The median age was 65 years (range 45–84 years). The median size of resected tumor was 2.7 cm (range 1.5–5.5 cm), and the median volume of resected tumor was 10.31 cm3 (range 1.77–87.11 cm3). The median number of seeds used was 12 (range 4–35), with a median activity of 3.82 mCi per seed (range 3.31–4.83 mCi) and total activity of 46.91 mCi (range 15.31–130.70 mCi). Local FFP was 100%. There was 1 adjacent leptomeningeal recurrence, resulting in a 1-year regional FFP of 93.8% (95% CI 63.2%–99.1%). One-year distant FFP was 48.4% (95% CI 26.3%–67.4%). Median OS was 9.9 months (95% CI 4.8 months, upper limit not estimated) and 1-year OS was 50.0% (95% CI 29.1%–67.8%). Complications included CSF leak (1), seizure (1), and infection (1). There was no radiation necrosis.

Conclusions

The use of postresection permanent 131Cs brachytherapy implants resulted in no local recurrences and no radiation necrosis. This treatment was safe, well tolerated, and convenient for patients, resulting in a short radiation treatment course, high response rate, and minimal toxicity. These findings merit further study with a multicenter trial.

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Collin C. Tebo, Alexander I. Evins, Paul J. Christos, Jennifer Kwon, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Surgical interventions for medically refractory epilepsy are effective in selected patients, but they are underutilized. There remains a lack of pooled data on complication rates and their changes over a period of multiple decades. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of reported complications from intracranial epilepsy surgery from 1980 to 2012.

Methods

A literature search was performed to find articles published between 1980 and 2012 that contained at least 2 patients. Patients were divided into 3 groups depending on the procedure they underwent: A) temporal lobectomy with or without amygdalohippocampectomy, B) extratemporal lobar or multilobar resections, or C) invasive electrode placement. Articles were divided into 2 time periods, 1980–1995 and 1996–2012.

Results

Sixty-one articles with a total of 5623 patients met the study's eligibility criteria. Based on the 2 time periods, neurological deficits decreased dramatically from 41.8% to 5.2% in Group A and from 30.2% to 19.5% in Group B. Persistent neurological deficits in these 2 groups decreased from 9.7% to 0.8% and from 9.0% to 3.2%, respectively. Wound infections/meningitis decreased from 2.5% to 1.1% in Group A and from 5.3% to 1.9% in Group B. Persistent neurological deficits were uncommon in Group C, although wound infections/meningitis and hemorrhage/hematoma increased over time from 2.3% to 4.3% and from 1.9% to 4.2%, respectively. These complication rates are additive in patients undergoing implantation followed by resection.

Conclusions

Complication rates have decreased dramatically over the last 30 years, particularly for temporal lobectomy, but they remain an unavoidable consequence of epilepsy surgery. Permanent neurological deficits are rare following epilepsy surgery compared with the long-term risks of intractable epilepsy.