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Open access

Hannah K. Weiss, Donato R. Pacione, Steven Galetta, and Douglas Kondziolka

BACKGROUND

Disruptions of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) in the nondominant temporal lobe can lead to the rare but significant higher visual-processing disturbance of prosopagnosia. Here, the authors describe a 57-year-old right hand-dominant female with a large breast cancer brain metastasis in the right temporal lobe who underwent resection and subsequent Gamma Knife radiosurgery. She presented with difficulty with facial recognition, but following surgical intervention, the prosopagnosia became more profound.

OBSERVATIONS

Even in nondominant cortex, significant deficits can arise when operating near higher visual-processing centers, including the ILF.

LESSONS

This case highlights the utility of imaging-based tractography obtained from preoperative imaging for resective surgical planning even when operating in areas that do not involve what is traditionally considered elegant areas of the brain. To optimize neurological outcomes in metastatic tumor resection, awareness and diffusion tensor imaging of neighboring, displaced white matter tracts may prevent permanent deficits in higher visual processing.

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Jason Gurewitz, Zane Schnurman, Aya Nakamura, Ralph E. Navarro, Dev N. Patel, Sean O. McMenomey, J. Thomas Roland Jr., John G. Golfinos, and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

In this study, the authors aimed to clarify the relationship between hearing loss and tumor volumetric growth rates in patients with untreated vestibular schwannoma (VS).

METHODS

Records of 128 treatment-naive patients diagnosed with unilateral VS between 2012 and 2018 with serial audiometric assessment and MRI were reviewed. Tumor growth rates were determined from initial and final tumor volumes, with a median follow-up of 24.3 months (IQR 8.5–48.8 months). Hearing changes were based on pure tone averages, speech discrimination scores, and American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery hearing class. Primary outcomes were the loss of class A hearing and loss of serviceable hearing, estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and with associations estimated from Cox proportional hazards models and reported as hazard ratios.

RESULTS

Larger initial tumor size was associated with an increased risk of losing class A (HR 1.5 for a 1-cm3 increase; p = 0.047) and serviceable (HR 1.3; p < 0.001) hearing. Additionally, increasing volumetric tumor growth rate was associated with elevated risk of loss of class A hearing (HR 1.2 for increase of 100% per year; p = 0.031) and serviceable hearing (HR 1.2; p = 0.014). Hazard ratios increased linearly with increasing growth rates, without any evident threshold growth rate that resulted in a large, sudden increased risk of hearing loss.

CONCLUSIONS

Larger initial tumor size and faster tumor growth rates were associated with an elevated risk of loss of class A and serviceable hearing.

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Carolina Gesteira Benjamin, Zane Schnurman, Kimberly Ashayeri, Eman Kazi, Reed Mullen, Jason Gurewitz, John G. Golfinos, Chandranath Sen, Dimitris G. Placantonakis, Donato Pacione, and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

Meningiomas that arise primarily within the cavernous sinus are often believed to be more indolent in their growth pattern. Despite this perceived growth pattern, disabling symptoms can arise even with small tumors. While research has been done on cavernous sinus meningiomas (CSMs) and their treatment, very little is known about their natural growth rates. With a better understanding of the growth rate of CSM, patient treatment and guidance can be can optimized and individualized. The goal of this study was to determine volumetric growth rates of untreated CSMs.

METHODS

Thirty-seven patients with 166 MR images obtained between May 2004 and September 2019 were reviewed, with a range of 2–13 MR images per patient (average of 4.5 MR images per patient). These scans were obtained over an average follow-up period of 45.9 months (median 33.8, range 2.8–136.9 months). All imaging prior to any intervention was included in this analysis. Volumetric measurements were performed and assessed over time.

RESULTS

The estimated volumetric growth rate was 23.3% per year (95% CI 10.2%–38.0%, p < 0.001), which is equivalent to an estimated volume doubling time (VDT) of 3.3 years (95% CI 2.1–7.1 years). There was no significant relationship between growth rate and patient age (p = 0.09) or between growth rate and patient sex (p = 0.78). The median absolute growth rate was 41% with a range of −1% to 1793%. With a definition of “growth” as an increase of greater than 20% during the observed period, 65% of tumors demonstrated growth within their observation interval. Growth rates for each tumor were calculated and tumors were segmented based on growth rate. Of 37 patients, 22% (8) demonstrated no growth (< 5% annual growth, equivalent to a VDT > 13.9 years), 32% (12) were designated as slow growth (annual growth rate 5%–20%, VDT 3.5–13.9 years), 38% (14) were found to have medium growth (annual growth rate 20%–100%, VDT 0.7–3.5 years), and 8% were considered fast growing (annual growth rate > 100%, VDT < 0.7 years).

CONCLUSIONS

This study evaluated CSM volumetric growth rates. A deeper understanding of the natural history of untreated CSMs allows for better counseling and management of patients.

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John W. Hopewell, Ian Paddick, Bleddyn Jones, and Thomas Klinge

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Anne-Marie Langlois, Christian Iorio-Morin, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, L. Dade Lunsford, Nasser Mohammed, Jason P. Sheehan, Roman Liščák, Dušan Urgošík, Douglas Kondziolka, Cheng-chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Ahmet F. Atik, and David Mathieu

OBJECTIVE

Cranial nerve (CN) schwannomas are intracranial tumors that are commonly managed by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). There is a large body of literature supporting the use of SRS for vestibular schwannomas. Schwannomas of the oculomotor nerves (CNs III, IV, and VI) are rare skull base tumors, occurring close to the brainstem and often involving the cavernous sinus. Resection can cause significant morbidity, including loss of nerve function. As for other schwannomas, SRS can be used to manage these tumors, but only a handful of cases have been published so far, often among reports of other uncommon schwannoma locations.

METHODS

The goal of this study was to collect retrospective multicenter data on tumor control, clinical evolution, and morbidity after SRS. This study was performed through the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. Patients managed with single-session SRS for an oculomotor cranial nerve schwannoma (CN III, IV, or VI) were included. The diagnosis was based on diplopia or ptosis as the main presenting symptom and anatomical location on the trajectory of the presumed cranial nerve of origin, or prior resection confirming diagnosis. Demographic, SRS dose planning, clinical, and imaging data were collected from chart review of the treated patients. Chi-square and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Seven institutions submitted data for a total of 25 patients. The median follow-up time was 41 months. The median age at the time of treatment was 52 years. There were 11 CN III schwannomas, 11 CN IV schwannomas, and 3 CN VI schwannomas. The median target volume was 0.74 cm3, and the median marginal dose delivered was 12.5 Gy. After SRS, only 2 patients (including the only patient with neurofibromatosis type 2) had continued tumor growth. Crude local control was 92% (23/25), and the 10-year actuarial control was 86%. Diplopia improved in the majority of patients (11/21), and only 3 had worsening following SRS, 2 of whom also had worsened ptosis, both in the context of tumor progression.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS for schwannomas of the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves is effective and provides tumor control rates similar to those for other cranial nerve schwannomas. SRS allows improvement of diplopia in the majority of patients. SRS should therefore be considered as a first-line treatment option for oculomotor nerve schwannomas.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Cheng-Chia Lee, Kathryn N. Kearns, I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Christopher P. Cifarelli, David E. Arsanious, Roman Liscak, Jaromir Hanuska, Brian J. Williams, Mehran B. Yusuf, Shiao Y. Woo, Natasha Ironside, Rebecca M. Burke, Ronald E. Warnick, Daniel M. Trifiletti, David Mathieu, Monica Mureb, Carolina Benjamin, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb E. Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Kevin M. Cockroft, Scott Simon, Heath B. Mackley, Samer G. Zammar, Neel T. Patel, Varun Padmanaban, Nathan Beatson, Anissa Saylany, John Y. K. Lee, Jason P. Sheehan, and on behalf of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation

OBJECTIVE

Investigations of the combined effects of neoadjuvant Onyx embolization and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have not accounted for initial angioarchitectural features prior to neuroendovascular intervention. The aim of this retrospective, multicenter matched cohort study is to compare the outcomes of SRS with versus without upfront Onyx embolization for AVMs using de novo characteristics of the preembolized nidus.

METHODS

The International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM databases from 1987 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized based on AVM treatment approach into Onyx embolization (OE) and SRS (OE+SRS) or SRS alone (SRS-only) cohorts and then propensity score matched in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was AVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were post-SRS hemorrhage, all-cause mortality, radiological and symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), and cyst formation. Comparisons were analyzed using crude rates and cumulative probabilities adjusted for competing risk of death.

RESULTS

The matched OE+SRS and SRS-only cohorts each comprised 53 patients. Crude rates (37.7% vs 47.2% for the OE+SRS vs SRS-only cohorts, respectively; OR 0.679, p = 0.327) and cumulative probabilities at 3, 4, 5, and 6 years (33.7%, 44.1%, 57.5%, and 65.7% for the OE+SRS cohort vs 34.8%, 45.5%, 59.0%, and 67.1% for the SRS-only cohort, respectively; subhazard ratio 0.961, p = 0.896) of AVM obliteration were similar between the matched cohorts. The secondary outcomes of the matched cohorts were also similar. Asymptomatic and symptomatic embolization-related complication rates in the matched OE+SRS cohort were 18.9% and 9.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Pre-SRS AVM embolization with Onyx does not appear to negatively influence outcomes after SRS. These analyses, based on de novo nidal characteristics, thereby refute previous studies that found detrimental effects of Onyx embolization on SRS-induced AVM obliteration. However, given the risks incurred by nidal embolization using Onyx, this neoadjuvant intervention should be used judiciously in multimodal treatment strategies involving SRS for appropriately selected large-volume or angioarchitecturally high-risk AVMs.

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Douglas Kondziolka and Linda M. Liau

Free access

Douglas Kondziolka and Linda M. Liau

Open access

Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer, and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.

Open access

Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer, and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.