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Arthur Wagner, Youssef Shiban, Nicole Lange, Ann-Kathrin Joerger, Ute Hoffmann, Bernhard Meyer, and Ehab Shiban

OBJECTIVE

Meningiomas are the most common intracranial neoplasm. Evidence concerning surgical management and outcome is abundant, while the implications for the quality of life (QOL) of a patient confronted with the diagnosis and undergoing surgery are unclear. The authors conducted a prospective study to evaluate QOL in relation to psychological comorbidities comorbidities.

METHODS

A prospective study of patients undergoing elective surgery for the removal of an intracranial meningioma was performed. The authors evaluated depression (Allgemeine Depressionsskala K score) and anxiety (Post-Traumatic Stress Scale–10 [PTSS-10]; State Trait Anxiety Inventory–State Anxiety and –Trait Anxiety [STAI-S and STAI-T]; and Anxiety Sensitivity Index–3 [ASI-3]) scores before surgery and at 3 and 12 months after surgery. The correlation between preoperative psychological burden and postoperative QOL as measured by the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey and EQ-5L questionnaires was analyzed. Incidence and influence of these psychiatric comorbidities on clinical outcome were examined.

RESULTS

A total of 78 patients undergoing resection of a meningioma between January 2013 and September 2017 participated in the preoperative psychological screening and 71 patients fully completed postoperative follow-up examination after 1 year of follow-up. At presentation, 48 patients (67.7%) had abnormal anxiety scores, which decreased to 29.6% (p = 0.003). On follow-up at 12 months, mean EQ-5L visual analog scale scores were significantly lower in patients with pathological scores on the PTSS-10 (0.84 vs 0.69; p = 0.004), STAI-S (0.86 vs 0.68; p = 0.001), and STAI-T (0.85 vs 0.71; p = 0.011). Neurological status (modified Rankin Scale) improved slightly and showed some correlation with psychological comorbidities QOL scores (p = 0.167). There was a nonsignificant increase of EQ-5L scores over the period of follow-up (p = 0.174) in the repeated-measures analysis. In the regression analysis, impaired QOL and physical disability on follow-up correlated with elevated preoperative anxiety and depression levels.

CONCLUSIONS

The QOL and physical disability of patients undergoing resection of an intracranial meningioma highly depend on preoperative anxiety and depression levels. Stress and anxiety scores generally decrease after the resection, which leads us to conclude that there is a tremendous emotional burden caused by an upcoming surgery, necessitating close psychooncological support in order to uphold functional outcome and health-related QOL in the postoperative course.

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Maria Wostrack, Florian Ringel, Sven O. Eicker, Max Jägersberg, Karl Schaller, Johannes Kerschbaumer, Claudius Thomé, Ehab Shiban, Michael Stoffel, Benjamin Friedrich, Victoria Kehl, Peter Vajkoczy, Bernhard Meyer, and Julia Onken

OBJECTIVE

Spinal ependymomas are rare glial neoplasms. Because their incidence is low, only a few larger studies have investigated this condition. There are no clear data concerning prognosis and therapy. The aim of the study was to describe the natural history, perioperative clinical course, and local tumor control of adult patients with spinal ependymomas who were surgically treated under modern treatment standards.

METHODS

The authors performed a multicenter retrospective study. They identified 158 adult patients with spinal ependymomas who had received surgical treatment between January 2006 and June 2013. The authors analyzed the clinical and histological aspects of these cases to identify the predictive factors for postoperative morbidity, tumor resectability, and recurrence.

RESULTS

Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 80% of cases. At discharge, 37% of the patients showed a neurological decline. During follow-up the majority recovered, whereas 76% showed at least preoperative status. Permanent functional deterioration remained in 2% of the patients. Transient deficits were more frequent in patients with cervically located ependymomas (p = 0.004) and in older patients (p = 0.002). Permanent deficits were independently predicted only by older age (p = 0.026). Tumor progression was observed in 15 cases. The 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 80%, and GTR (p = 0.037), WHO grade II (p = 0.009), and low Ki-67 index (p = 0.005) were independent prognostic factors for PFS. Adjuvant radiation therapy was performed in 15 cases. No statistically relevant effects of radiation therapy were observed among patients with incompletely resected ependymomas (p = 0.079).

CONCLUSIONS

Due to its beneficial value for PFS, GTR is important in the treatment of spinal ependymoma. Gross-total resection is feasible in the majority of cases, with acceptable rates of permanent deficits. Also, Ki-67 appears to be an important prognostic factor and should be included in a grading scheme for spinal ependymomas.

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Ehab Shiban, Elisabeth Török, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Jens Lehmberg

OBJECT

Far-lateral or extreme-lateral approaches to the skull base allow access to the lateral and anterior portion of the lower posterior fossa and foramen magnum. These approaches include a certain extent of resection of the condyle, which potentially results in craniocervical junction instability. However, it is debated what extent of condyle resection is safe and at what extent of condyle resection an occipitocervical fusion should be recommended. The authors reviewed cases of condyle resection/destruction with regard to necessity of occipitocervical fusion.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients in whom a far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection of various extents was performed between January 2007 and December 2014.

RESULTS

Twenty-one consecutive patients who had undergone a unilateral far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection were identified. There were 10 male and 11 female patients with a median age of 61 years (range 22–83 years). The extent of condyle resection was 25% or less in 15 cases, 50% in 1 case, and greater than 75% in 5 cases. None of the patients who underwent condyle resection of 50% or less was placed in a collar postoperatively or developed neck pain. Two of the patients with condyle resection of greater than 75% were placed in a semirigid collar for a period of 3 months postoperatively and remained free of pain after this period. At last follow-up none of the cases showed any clear sign of radiological or clinical instability.

CONCLUSIONS

The unilateral resection or destruction of the condyle does not necessarily result in craniocervical instability. No evident instability was encountered even in the 5 patients who underwent removal of more than 75% of the condyle. The far- or extreme-lateral approach may be safer than generally accepted with regard to craniocervical instability as generally considered and may not compel fusion in all cases with condylar resection of more than 75%.

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Ehab Shiban, Sandro M. Krieg, Bernhard Haller, Niels Buchmann, Thomas Obermueller, Tobias Boeckh-Behrens, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

OBJECT

Subcortical stimulation is a method used to evaluate the distance from the stimulation site to the corticospinal tract (CST) and to decide whether the resection of an adjacent lesion should be terminated to prevent damage to the CST. However, the correlation between stimulation intensity and distance to the CST has not yet been clearly assessed. The objective of this study was to investigate the appropriate correlation between the subcortical stimulation pattern and the distance to the CST.

METHODS

Monopolar subcortical motor evoked potential (MEP) mapping was performed in addition to continuous MEP monitoring in 37 consecutive patients with lesions located in motor-eloquent locations. The proximity of the resection cavity to the CST was identified by subcortical MEP mapping. At the end of resection, the point at which an MEP response was still measurable with minimal subcortical MEP intensity was marked with a titanium clip. At this location, different stimulation paradigms were executed with cathodal or anodal stimulation at 0.3-, 0.5-, and 0.7-msec pulse durations. Postoperatively, the distance between the CST as defined by postoperative diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking and the titanium clip was measured. The correlation between this distance and the subcortical MEP electrical charge was calculated.

RESULTS

Subcortical MEP mapping was successful in all patients. There were no new permanent motor deficits. Transient new postoperative motor deficits were observed in 14% (5/36) of cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75% (27/36) and subtotal resection (> 80% of tumor mass) in 25% (9/36) of cases. Stimulation intensity with various pulse durations as well as current intensity was plotted against the measured distance between the CST and the titanium clip on postoperative MRI using diffusion-weighted imaging fiberitracking tractography. Correlational and regression analyses showed a nonlinear correlation between stimulation intensity and the distance to the CST. Cathodal stimulation appeared better suited for subcortical stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS

Subcortical MEP mapping is an excellent intraoperative method to determine the distance to the CST during resection of motor-eloquent lesions and is highly capable of further reducing the risk of a new neurological deficit.

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Ehab Shiban, Sandro M. Krieg, Thomas Obermueller, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

OBJECT

Resection of a motor eloquent lesion has become safer because of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IOM). Stimulation of subcortical motor evoked potentials (scMEPs) is increasingly used to optimize patient safety. So far, scMEP stimulation has been performed intermittently during resection of eloquently located lesions. Authors of the present study assessed the possibility of using a resection instrument for continuous stimulation of scMEPs.

METHODS

An ultrasonic surgical aspirator was attached to an IOM stimulator and was used as a monopolar subcortical stimulation probe. The effect of the aspirator’s use at different ultrasound power levels (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) on stimulation intensity was examined in a saline bath. Afterward monopolar stimulation with the surgical aspirator was used during the resection of subcortical lesions in the vicinity of the corticospinal tract in 14 patients in comparison with scMEP stimulation via a standard stimulation electrode. During resection, the stimulation current at which an MEP response was still measurable with subcortical stimulation using the surgical aspirator was compared with the corresponding stimulation current needed using a standard monopolar subcortical stimulation probe at the same location.

RESULTS

The use of ultrasound at different energy levels did result in a slight but irrelevant increase in stimulation energy via the tip of the surgical aspirator in the saline bath. Stimulation of scMEPs using the surgical aspirator or monopolar probe was successful and almost identical in all patients. One patient developed a new permanent neurological deficit. Transient new postoperative paresis was observed in 28% (4 of 14) of cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 64% (9 of 14) cases and subtotal resection (> 80% of tumor mass) in 35% (5 of 14).

CONCLUSIONS

Continuous motor mapping using subcortical stimulation via a surgical aspirator, in comparison with the sequential use of a standard monopolar stimulation probe, is a feasible and safe method without any disadvantages. Compared with the standard probe, the aspirator offers continuous information on the distance to the corticospinal tract.

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Maria Wostrack, Ehab Shiban, Thomas Obermueller, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

Object

Intradural cauda equina and conus medullaris tumors (CECMTs) are rare. Only a few large clinical series exist to date. Therefore, clinical symptoms, surgical complications, and outcomes are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to evaluate outcome after surgery of CECMTs and to identify the factors associated with a worse clinical prognosis based on the results of a series with sufficiently high number of cases.

Methods

All cases of intradural CECMTs treated surgically at the authors' department between March 2006 and May 2012 were retrospectively evaluated. Arachnoid cysts and multifocal tumors were excluded. Sixty-eight adult patients met the inclusion criteria (35 female and 33 male patients; median age 56 years). Follow-up data were available for 72% (n = 49) in a median period of 9 months.

Results

Overall, 18 tumors were located intramedullary and 50 extramedullary. The majority were nerve sheath tumors (n = 27), ependymomas (n = 17), and meningiomas (n = 9). The most common preoperative symptom was pain. The rate of new transient postoperative impairment was 18% (n = 12), and new permanent deficits were observed in only 6% (n = 4). Overall neurological improvement was achieved in 62%. The reversibility of preoperative symptoms was related to the interval between the time of symptom onset and the time of surgery and to the presence of preoperative neurological deficits. Surgery of ependymoma and carcinoma metastases was associated with a higher rate of morbidity.

Conclusions

Intradural CECMTs present as a group of tumors with varying histological features and clinical symptoms. Symptomatic manifestation is usually unspecific, mimicking degenerative lumbar spine syndromes. Despite a significant risk of transient deterioration, early surgery is advisable because more than 94% of patients maintain at least their preoperative status and more than 60% improve during follow-up. The reversibility of preoperative symptoms is related to the duration between symptom onset and surgery and to the presence of preoperative neurological deficits. The prognosis for recovery from cauda equina or conus medullaris syndrome is less favorable than for other deficits. Surgery of ependymoma is associated with a higher morbidity rate than other benign entities.

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Jens Gempt, Sandro M. Krieg, Stefanie Hüttinger, Niels Buchmann, Yu-Mi Ryang, Ehab Shiban, Bernhard Meyer, Claus Zimmer, Annette Förschler, and Florian Ringel

Object

The aim of surgical glioma treatment is the complete resection of tumor tissue while preserving neurological function. Surgery-related neurological deficits arise from direct damage to the cortical or subcortical structures or from ischemia. The authors aimed to assess the incidence of resection-related ischemia of newly diagnosed or recurrent supratentorial gliomas and the sensitivity of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IOM) of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) for detecting such ischemic events and their influence on neurological motor function.

Methods

Between January 2009 and December 2010, 70 patients with tumors in motor-eloquent brain areas underwent intraoperative MEP monitoring during glioma resection and were examined by early postoperative MRI including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) mapping. Postoperative areas of restricted diffusion were assessed by investigators blinded to the course of intraoperative MEPs and the neurological course.

Results

Among the 70 enrolled patients, a MEP amplitude decline below 50% of the baseline level was observed in 21 patients (30%). Sixteen of these patients (76%) had ischemic lesions identified on postoperative MRI scans. Forty-nine patients (70%) showed no decline in MEP amplitude, and only 16 (33%) of these patients harbored ischemic lesions. Moreover, 9 (69%) of 13 patients with a permanent loss of MEP amplitude showed postoperative ischemic lesions. Factors that promoted the occurrence of postoperative infarction were previous radiotherapy and location of the tumor close to the central arteries.

Conclusions

Alterations in the MEP amplitude during tumor resection and postoperative ischemic lesions are associated with postoperative impairment of motor function. Rather than cortical or subcortical structural damage of eloquent brain tissue alone, peri- or postoperative ischemic lesions play a crucial role in the development of surgery-related motor deficits.

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Sandro M. Krieg, Michael Schäffner, Ehab Shiban, Doris Droese, Thomas Obermüller, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

Object

Resection of gliomas in or adjacent to the motor system is widely performed using intraoperative neuromonitoring (IOM). For resection of cerebral metastases in motor-eloquent regions, however, data are sparse and IOM in such cases is not yet widely described. Since recent studies have shown that cerebral metastases infiltrate surrounding brain tissue, this study was undertaken to assess the value and influence of IOM during resection of supratentorial metastases in motor-eloquent regions.

Methods

Between 2006 and 2011, the authors resected 206 consecutive supratentorial metastases, including 56 in eloquent motor areas with monitoring of monopolar direct cortically stimulated motor evoked potentials (MEPs). The authors evaluated the relationship between the monitoring data and the course of surgery, clinical data, and postoperative imaging.

Results

Motor evoked potential monitoring was successful in 53 cases (93%). Reduction of MEP amplitude correlated better with postoperative outcomes when the threshold for significant amplitude reduction was set at 80% (only > 80% reduction was considered significant decline) than when it was set at 50% (> 50% amplitude reduction was considered significant decline). Evidence of residual tumor was seen on MR images in 28% of the cases with significant MEP reduction. No residual tumor was seen in any case of stable MEP monitoring. Moreover, preoperative motor deficit, recursive partitioning analysis Class 3, and preoperative radiotherapy were independent risk factors for a new surgery-related motor weakness (occurring in 64% of patients with and 11% of patients without radiotherapy, p > 0.01).

Conclusions

Continuous MEP monitoring provides reliable monitoring of the motor system and also influences the course of operation in resection of cerebral metastases. However, in establishing warning criteria, only an amplitude decline > 80% of the baseline should be considered significant.

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Sandro M. Krieg, Ehab Shiban, Niels Buchmann, Jens Gempt, Annette Foerschler, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel

Object

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is a newly evolving technique. Despite its supposed purpose (for example, preoperative central region mapping), little is known about its accuracy compared with established modalities like direct cortical stimulation (DCS) and functional MR (fMR) imaging. Against this background, the authors performed the current study to compare the accuracy of nTMS with DCS and fMR imaging.

Methods

Fourteen patients with tumors in or close to the precentral gyrus were examined using nTMS for motor cortex mapping, as were 12 patients with lesions in the subcortical white matter motor tract. Moreover, preoperative fMR imaging and intraoperative mapping of the motor cortex were performed via DCS, and the outlining of the motor cortex was compared.

Results

In the 14 cases of lesions affecting the precentral gyrus, the primary motor cortex as outlined by nTMS correlated well with that delineated by intraoperative DCS mapping, with a deviation of 4.4 ± 3.4 mm between the two methods. In comparing nTMS with fMR imaging, the deviation between the two methods was much larger: 9.8 ± 8.5 mm for the upper extremity and 14.7 ± 12.4 mm for the lower extremity. In 13 of 14 cases, the surgeon admitted easier identification of the central region because of nTMS. The procedure had a subjectively positive influence on the operative results in 5 cases and was responsible for a changed resection strategy in 2 cases. One of 26 patients experienced nTMS as unpleasant; none found it painful.

Conclusions

Navigated TMS correlates well with DCS as a gold standard despite factors that are supposed to contribute to the inaccuracy of nTMS. Moreover, surgeons have found nTMS to be an additional and helpful modality during the resection of tumors affecting eloquent motor areas, as well as during preoperative planning.