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Julia J. Compton, Nadia N. Issa Laack, Laurence J. Eckel, David A. Schomas, Caterina Giannini, and Fredric B. Meyer

Object

Gangliogliomas comprise less than 1% of all brain tumors and occur most often in children. Therefore, there are a limited number of patients and data involving the use or role of adjuvant therapy after subtotal resections (STRs) of gangliogliomas. The objective of this study was to examine and review the Mayo Clinic experience of 88 patients with gangliogliomas, their follow-up, risk of recurrence, and the role of radiation therapy after STR or only biopsy.

Methods

Eighty-eight patients with gangliogliomas diagnosed between 1970 and 2007 were reviewed. Data on clinical outcomes and therapy received were analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival.

Results

The median age at diagnosis was 19 years. The median potential follow-up as of June 2008 was 142 months (range 9–416 months). Fifteen-year overall survival was 94%, median PFS was 5.6 years, with a 10-year PFS rate of 37%. Progression-free survival was dramatically affected by extent of initial resection (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

This single-institution retrospective series of patients with gangliogliomas is unique given its large cohort size with a long follow-up duration, and confirms the excellent long-term survival rate in this group. The study also shows the importance of resection extent on likelihood of recurrence. Patients with gangliogliomas who undergo STR or biopsy alone have poor PFS. Radiation therapy may delay time to progression in patients with unresectable disease.

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Jamie J. Van Gompel, Kelly K. Koeller, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, Peter C. Burger, Federico Roncaroli, Gregory A. Worrell, and Caterina Giannini

Object

Supratentorial cortical ependymomas (CE) are rare, with 7 cases reported. The lesions, typically occurring in the superficial cortex in young adults and associated with a history of seizures, are not fully characterized. Furthermore, their relationship with the recently described angiocentric glioma (AG) is still being debated. This study was undertaken to summarize the authors' experience with CEs.

Methods

Between 1997 and 2009, 202 cases of ependymoma were surgically treated at the Mayo Clinic, 49 of which were supratentorial. Among these, 9 CE cases were retrospectively identified. Clinical, imaging, and pathological features of each case were reviewed.

Results

Tumors arose from the frontal (5 cases), parietal (3), and occipital (1) lobes. No tumor occurred in the temporal lobe, despite its reported association with seizures. The mean age at presentation was 27 ± 19 years (± SD) and age at resection was 36 ± 16 years. The mean size of the lesion was 16 ± 14 cm3. Seizures were the presenting symptom in 78%. Cross-sectional imaging in 8 cases was characterized by a heterogeneous mass with multiple cystlike areas and enhancement of the soft-tissue component. Gross-total resection was achieved in 8 of 9 tumors. Pathologically, 6 were low-grade (WHO Grade II) and 3 were anaplastic (WHO Grade III) ependymomas. All tumors exhibited the focal presence of perivascular pseudorosettes, but only 1 (11%) exhibited the focal presence of a true rosette. A bipolar spindle cell component resembling AG was present in 3 (33%) and “Schwannian-like” nodules in 2 (22%). Subpial aggregation and peripheral infiltration were present in 4 cases (44%). With a mean postsurgery follow-up of 62 ± 38 months, only 2 lesions recurred locally after imaging-confirmed gross-total resection, both being Grade III. In 5 (71%) of 7 patients presenting with seizures an Engel Class I outcome was achieved.

Conclusions

Cortical ependymomas represent a rare type of ependymoma occurring superficially in the cortex. Morphologically, these tumors are protean, varying from classic to epithelioid, clear cell, and tanycytic. Some also exhibited features typical of AG. Most tumors were low grade and cured with resection. Anaplastic tumors occur and may recur locally despite provision of radiation therapy. Cortical ependymomas frequently, but not always, present with seizures, but despite their high association with epilepsy, none occurred in the temporal lobe in any of the authors' 9 patients. Overall, CEs appear to have a relatively favorable prognosis compared with other supratentorial ependymomas.

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Editorial

Biopsies and neuropathology

Caterina Giannini and Fredric B. Meyer

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Jamie J. Van Gompel, S. Matthew Stead, Caterina Giannini, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, Todd Fountain, Elson So, Aaron Cohen-Gadol, Kendall H. Lee, and Gregory A. Worrell

Object

Cerebral cortex electrophysiology is poorly sampled using standard, low spatial resolution clinical intracranial electrodes. Adding microelectrode arrays to the standard clinical macroelectrode arrays increases the spatial resolution and may ultimately improve the clinical utility of intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG). However, the safety of hybrid electrode systems containing standard clinical macroelectrode and microelectrode arrays is not yet known. The authors report on their preliminary experience in 24 patients who underwent implantation of hybrid electrodes.

Methods

In this study, 24 consecutive patients underwent long-term iEEG monitoring with implanted hybrid depth and subdural grid and strip electrodes; both clinical macroelectrodes and research microelectrodes were used. The patients included 18 women and 6 men with an average age of 35 ± 12 years (range 21–65). The mean hospital stay was 11 ± 4 days (range 5–20), with mean duration of implantation 7.0 ± 3.2 days (range 3–15). Data from the 198 consecutive craniotomies for standard clinical subdural grid insertion (prior to surgery in the 24 patients described here) were used for comparison to investigate the relative risk of complications.

Results

Focal seizure identification and subsequent resection was performed in 20 patients. One patient underwent a subsequent operation after neurological deterioration secondary to cerebral swelling and a 5-mm subdural hematoma. There were no infections. The overall complication rate was 4.2% (only 1 patient had a complication), which did not significantly differ from the complication rate previously reported by the authors of 6.6% when standard subdural and depth intracranial electrodes were used. There were no deaths or permanent neurological deficits related to electrode implantation.

Conclusions

The authors demonstrate the use of hybrid subdural strip and grid electrodes containing high-density microwire arrays and standard clinical macroelectrodes. Hybrid electrodes provide high spatial resolution electrophysiology of the neocortex that is impossible with standard clinical iEEG. In this initial study in 24 patients, the complication rate is acceptable, and there does not appear to be increased risk associated with the use of hybrid electrodes compared with standard subdural and depth iEEG electrodes. More research is required to show whether hybrid electrode recordings will improve localization of epileptic foci and tracking the generation of neocortical seizures.