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Open access

Bifocal germ cell tumor of pineal germinoma and neurohypophyseal embryonal carcinoma: illustrative case

Yu Naruse, Shinya Jinguji, Ryo Hiruta, Ayako Toda, Kenichiro Nagai, Shingo Kudo, Hideki Sano, Rei Sekine, Osamu Suzuki, Mudathir Bakhit, and Masazumi Fujii

BACKGROUND

Bifocal germ cell tumors, with primarily identical tissue composition, occur concurrently in the neurohypophyseal and pineal regions.

OBSERVATIONS

A 16-year-old male patient exhibited increased intracranial pressure symptoms, with concurrent tumors in the pineal and neurohypophyseal regions, causing obstructive hydrocephalus. His serum human chorionic gonadotropin level was elevated, measuring 506.6 mIU/mL. Upon gross endoscopic examination, the pineal tumor appeared white, whereas the neurohypophyseal tumor appeared red and hemorrhagic. Because of the limited sample size of the latter, a frozen section biopsy was feasible only for the pineal lesion, which indicated the presence of a germinoma. Subsequently, carboplatin and etoposide were administered, resulting in the reduction of the pineal tumor, but no effect was observed in the neurohypophyseal tumor. Histopathological analysis confirmed the pineal lesion as a germinoma, whereas the neurohypophyseal lesion was an embryonal carcinoma. Thus, the treatment was altered to ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE), leading to a response in both tumors. The patient underwent three additional cycles of ICE therapy and high-dose chemotherapy, followed by whole craniospinal irradiation, achieving complete remission.

LESSONS

Although most bifocal germ cell tumors share the same histological tissue, occasional differences may arise, necessitating separate biopsies for accurate assessment.

Open access

Rare variant of large pediatric glioneuronal tumor with novel MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion: illustrative case

David Chenoweth, Hashim Syed, Nahom Teferi, Meron Challa, Jane E Persons, Kathryn L Eschbacher, Maggie Seblani, and Brian J Dlouhy

BACKGROUND

Glioneuronal tumors (GNTs) comprise a rare class of central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms with varying degrees of neuronal and glial differentiation that predominately affect children and young adults. Within the current 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of CNS tumors, GNTs encompass 14 distinct tumor types. Recently, the use of whole-genome DNA methylation profiling has allowed more precise classification of this tumor group.

OBSERVATIONS

A 3-year-old male presented with a 3-month history of increasing head circumference, regression of developmental milestones, and speech delay. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was notable for a large left hemispheric multiseptated mass with significant mass effect and midline shift that was treated with near-total resection. Histological and molecular assessment demonstrated a glioneuronal tumor harboring an MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion. By DNA methylation profiling, this tumor matched to a provisional methylation class known as “glioneuronal tumor kinase-fused” (GNT kinase-fused). The patient was later started on targeted therapy with larotrectinib.

LESSONS

This is the first report of an MYO5A::NTRK3 fusion in a pediatric GNT. GNT kinase-fused is a provisional methylation class not currently included in the WHO classification of CNS tumors. This case highlights the impact of thorough molecular characterization of CNS tumors, especially with the increasing availability of novel gene targeting therapies.

Open access

Fluorescence and immune-cell infiltration of nonneoplastic, postbrachytherapy brain tissue in 5-ALA–guided resection of recurrent anaplastic meningioma: illustrative case

Rishab Ramapriyan, Victoria E Clark, 1 PhD, Maria Martinez-Lage, Brian Hsueh, 1 PhD, Brian V Nahed, 1 MSc, William T Curry, Bryan D Choi, 1 PhD, Bob S Carter, and 1 PhD

BACKGROUND

5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence-guided surgery is a well-established technique for resecting high-grade gliomas. However, its application in meningiomas, especially those previously treated with radiation therapy, remains under investigation.

OBSERVATIONS

A 48-year-old female with recurrent anaplastic meningioma, World Health Organization grade 3, underwent a right-sided craniotomy using off-label 5-ALA as a surgical adjunct. The patient had previously undergone brachytherapy seed implantation (20 × cesium 131) for tumor management. During the surgery, a large fluorescent tumor mass adjacent to the brachytherapy-treated area was resected, and the prior brachytherapy seeds were removed. Interestingly, the surrounding brain tissue in the irradiated area showed robust 5-ALA fluorescence. Pathological examination confirmed that the fluorescent brain tissue was nonneoplastic and associated with lymphocyte and macrophage infiltration.

LESSONS

This case report presents unique 5-ALA fluorescence in nonneoplastic tissue following brachytherapy, which was found during the resection of recurrent anaplastic meningioma. This phenomenon may reflect an intricate interplay among radiation therapy, immune cells, the tumor microenvironment, and 5-ALA metabolism. Given that false-positive findings in fluorescence-guided surgery can lead to unnecessary tissue resection and increased surgical morbidity, further research is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon and its implications for meningioma surgery.

Open access

“Open-window” craniectomy for the removal of frontal sinus mucosa to prevent a delayed mucocele: illustrative case

W. Caleb Rutledge, 1 2 MS, Ahmad Ozair, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, Brian Niehaus, and Michael W. McDermott

BACKGROUND

Frontal craniotomies for a medial subfrontal approach necessitate crossing the frontal sinus. Large superior extensions of the frontal sinus into frontal bone can result in mucosal retention in a free craniotomy bone flap, leading to a delayed mucocele with significant associated morbidity. The authors describe an “open-window” craniectomy technique that permits mucosal removal under direct vision and maintains the inner table on the bone flap’s inferior side, helping to seal off the sinus opening with a pericranial flap.

OBSERVATIONS

An illustrative case involving a medial right frontal craniotomy for a third ventricle mass in a patient with a large superior extension of the frontal sinus into frontal bone is presented. After creating a free frontal bone flap, the inner table was drilled out to the margins of the frontal sinus cavity and any remaining mucosa was cleared. A portion of the inner table above the bone flap’s inferior margin was left in place, resembling an open window when viewed from the inner table side. The remaining anterior and posterior wall of the flap inferiorly provided a matched surface for the opening into the remaining frontal sinus, which was covered by pericranium. Long-term follow-up indicated no major complications or delayed mucocele.

LESSONS

The open-window craniectomy technique can be considered for frontal sinus violations in patients with large superior frontal bone extension.

Open access

Brainstem anesthesia during awake craniotomy: illustrative case

Yun Chen, Mei Sun, Hongmin Bai, Ruixin Yang, and Huan He

BACKGROUND

Awake craniotomy (AC) is performed to remove the lesions near or in eloquent areas, during which the patients are alert and without any airway instrument. Apnea is a severe complication in AC. Here, the authors describe a case of sudden apnea induced by unexpected local anesthesia of the brainstem during AC.

OBSERVATIONS

A 42-year-old male underwent AC for a large, recurrent, bilateral frontal lobe mass and experienced transient apnea and loss of brainstem reflexes during the surgery. The patient recovered spontaneous breath rhythm just a few minutes after the removal of a lidocaine cotton pledget, which was found near the patient’s midbrain. Then the patient awoke and cooperated to finish the surgery.

LESSONS

The administration of a local anesthetic subdurally in AC is common but risky. The scouring action of cerebral spinal fluid can spread those agents and cause unexpected brainstem anesthesia. A lower concentration of the anesthetic and keeping away from the cistern can make it safer.

Open access

Intracranial solitary fibrous tumor in a 15-year-old girl: illustrative case

Kuan Lu, Xiaoqing Qu, Jingcheng Jiang, Quanjun Zheng, Yongsheng Ao, and Lihua Qiu

BACKGROUND

Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is an infrequent spindle cell tumor derived from mesenchymal tissue, which can manifest in diverse anatomical locations, primarily in the pleural cavity and infrequently in the central nervous system. SFT is predominantly observed in individuals aged between 40 and 50 years old, with a slightly higher occurrence in males than in females.

OBSERVATIONS

This case report describes a female, age 15, who had migraines for 2 months prior to the diagnosis of an intracranial tumor. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed a mass located in the right parietooccipital region with surrounding edema and a compressed right lateral ventricle. Neurosurgery was utilized to successfully remove the mass, and single intracranial fibrous tumor (grade I) was identified by postoperative pathological analysis. During an 8-month follow-up period, the patient did not experience any recurrences.

LESSONS

SFT is often misdiagnosed as meningioma because of their similar imaging characteristics. However, identifying the distinctive features of SFT on magnetic resonance imaging can distinguish it from meningioma and help to select appropriate treatment. The complete preoperative imaging data for this case indicated a highly vascularized tumor. Preoperative vascular embolization treatment reduced any difficulties during the subsequent tumor resection and minimized intraoperative bleeding.

Open access

Operative planning for a functional precision medicine assay of recurrent high-grade glioma: illustrative case

Andrew P Mathews, William J Shelton, Erika Santos Horta, Prashanth Reddy Damalcheruvu, J. Stephen Nix, Murat Gokden, and Analiz Rodriguez

BACKGROUND

Functional precision medicine (FPM) represents a personalized and efficacious modality for treating malignant neoplasms. However, acquiring sufficient live tissue to perform FPM analyses is complicated by both difficult identification on imaging and radiation necrosis, particularly in cases of recurrence. The authors describe a case of planning biopsy trajectories for an FPM assay in a patient with recurrent high-grade glioma.

OBSERVATIONS

A 25-year-old male with a history of recurrent high-grade glioma was scheduled for laser ablation and biopsy with ChemoID assaying after regions of potential recurrence were identified on follow-up imaging. Preoperative magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy of the regions showed areas of high choline/creatine ratios within lesions of radiation necrosis, which helped in planning the biopsy trajectories to selectively target malignancies for FPM analysis. ChemoID results showed high tumor susceptibility to lomustine, which was implemented as adjuvant therapy.

LESSONS

FPM therapy in the setting of recurrence is complicated by radiation necrosis, which can present as malignancy on imaging and interfere with tissue acquisition during biopsy or resection. Thus, operative approaches should be carefully planned with the assistance of imaging modalities such as MR spectroscopy to better ensure effective tissue acquisition for accurate FPM analysis and to promote more definitive treatment of recurrence.

Open access

Laser interstitial thermal therapy as a radiation-sparing approach for central nervous system tumors in children with cancer predisposition syndromes: report of a child with Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Illustrative case

Sergio W Guadix, Abhinav Pandey, Carson Gundlach, Michael Walsh, Nelson S Moss, and Mark M Souweidane

BACKGROUND

Ionizing radiation and alkylating chemotherapies increase secondary malignancy risk in patients with cancer predisposition syndromes (CPSs), such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive ablation technique that has not been associated with mutagenic risks. We describe the case of a child with LFS and a history of treated choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC) who developed a second primary glial tumor that was safely treated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–guided LITT.

OBSERVATIONS

A 4-year-old male with left parietal World Health Organization grade III CPC associated with a TP53 germline mutation was evaluated. The patient underwent neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy before near-total resection, followed by 131I-8H9 immunotherapy and 30 fractions of 54-Gy proton radiotherapy. He remained without evidence of disease for 2 years before developing a slow-growing mass adjacent to the left frontal ventricular horn. Stereotactic biopsy revealed a glial neoplasm. Given the nonsuperficial location and focality of the lesion, MRI-guided LITT was performed for ablative therapy. There were no complications, and 2 years of surveillance revealed continued retraction of the ablated tumor focus and no subsequent disease.

LESSONS

Alternatives to mutagenic therapies for brain tumors should be explored for patients with CPS. LITT paired with imaging surveillance is a logical strategy to ensure durable outcomes and mitigate treatment-related secondary neoplasms.

Open access

BRAF-mutated suprasellar glioblastoma mimicking craniopharyngioma: illustrative case

Bryan Zheng, Belinda Shao, Jennifer Mingrino, Jonathan Poggi, Richard S Dowd, Douglas C Anthony, John E Donahue, and Curtis E Doberstein

BACKGROUND

Suprasellar masses commonly include craniopharyngiomas and pituitary adenomas. Suprasellar glioblastoma is exceedingly rare with only a few prior case reports in the literature. Suprasellar glioblastoma can mimic craniopharyngioma or other more common suprasellar etiologies preoperatively.

OBSERVATIONS

A 65-year-old male with no significant history presented to the emergency department with a subacute decline in mental status. Work-up revealed a large suprasellar mass with extension to the right inferior medial frontal lobe and right lateral ventricle, associated with significant vasogenic edema. The patient underwent an interhemispheric transcallosal approach subtotal resection of the interventricular portion of the mass. Pathological analysis revealed glioblastoma, MGMT partially methylated, with a BRAF V600E mutation.

LESSONS

Malignant glioblastomas can mimic benign suprasellar masses and should remain on the differential for a diverse set of brain masses with a broad range of radiological and clinical features. For complex cases accessible from the ventricle where the pituitary complex cannot be confidently preserved via a transsphenoidal approach, an interhemispheric approach is also a practical initial surgical option. In addition to providing diagnostic value, molecular profiling may also reveal therapeutically significant gene alterations such as BRAF mutations.

Open access

The infundibulochiasmatic angle and the favorability of an endoscopic endonasal approach in type IV craniopharyngioma: illustrative case

Guilherme Finger, Maria Jose C Ruiz, Eman H Salem, Matthew D Marquardt, Kyle C Wu, Lucas P Carlstrom, Ricardo L Carrau, Luciano M Prevedello, and Daniel M Prevedello

BACKGROUND

Lesions located in the floor of the third ventricle are among the most difficult to access in neurosurgery. The neurovascular structures can limit transcranial exposure, whereas tumor extension into the third ventricle can limit visualization and access. The midline transsphenoidal route is an alternative approach to tumor invading the third ventricle if the tumor is localized at its anterior half and a working space between the optic apparatus and the pituitary infundibulum exists. The authors introduce the “infundibulochiasmatic angle,” a valuable measurement supporting the feasibility of the translamina terminalis endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for resection of type IV craniopharyngiomas.

OBSERVATIONS

Due to a favorable infundibulochiasmatic angle measurement on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an endoscopic endonasal transsellar transtubercular approach was performed to resect a type IV craniopharyngioma. At 2-month follow-up, the patient’s neurological exam was unremarkable, with improvement in bitemporal hemianopsia. Postoperative MRI confirmed gross-total tumor resection.

LESSONS

The infundibulochiasmatic angle is a radiological tool for evaluating the feasibility of EEA when resecting tumors in the anterior half of the third ventricle. Advantages include reduced brain retraction and excellent rates of resection, with minimal postoperative risks of cerebrospinal fluid leakage and permanent pituitary dysfunction.