✓ The postoperative survival time of 170 nonrandomized patients treated for cerebral oligodendrogliomas in Norway from 1953 to 1977 was studied. Survival times were significantly prolonged if postoperative irradiation was performed in addition to surgery (median survival time 26.5 vs. 38 months, p = 0.039). In the group without postoperative radiotherapy, the 5-year rate of survival was 27% compared with 36% in the irradiated patients. The respective survival rates after 8 years were 14% versus 17%; thus, there was little effect on long-term survival. Irradiation appears not to be of benefit after “total” removal. Patients with partly resected lesions appeared to benefit from postoperative radiotherapy; the median survival period after subtotal tumor resection was 37 months with and 26 months without radiotherapy (p = 0.0089). The findings also indicate that irradiation doses between 40 and 50 Gy were as effective as doses between 50 and 60 Gy in increasing the patients' probability of surviving 5 years after subtotal tumor resection. Since the risk of radiation necrosis is proportional to the dose applied, the lower dose is recommended. These conclusions were also valid when adjustments were made for prognostically significant histological and clinical features.
Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Sverre J. Mørk, Geir E. Eide, Tore B. Halvorsen, Reidulv Hatlevoll, Torfinn Solgaard, Olav Dahl and Jeremy Ganz
Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid and Helge Nornes
✓Blood flow velocities in basal cerebral arteries were recorded noninvasively in 28 patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) and were correlated with the angiographic findings. In normal arteries remote from the AVM, flow velocities ranged from 44 to 94 cm/sec (median 65 cm/sec) with pulsatility indexes from 0.65 to 1.10 (median 0.87). This is consistent with findings in normal individuals. Arteries feeding the AVM's were identified by the high flow velocities (ranging from 75 to 237 cm/sec, median 124 cm/sec). The pulsatility index ranged from 0.22 to 0.74 (median 0.48). The difference of these results from findings in normal remote arteries was highly significant (p < 0.001). Hyperventilation tests illustrated the hemodynamic difference between an AVM and normal cerebrovascular beds.
Flow velocity measurements permitted noninvasive diagnosis of AVM's in 26 of the 28 patients. Furthermore, the identification of individual feeding arteries permitted good definition of the anatomical localization of individual AVM's. Flow velocity measurements combined with computerized tomography scans are useful in the diagnosis of AVM's. With the feeding artery's configuration identified on angiography, flow velocity measurements permit a new insight into the “hemodynamic dimension” of an AVM and its possible effects on adjacent normal brain-tissue perfusion in the individual patient.
Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Søren Jacob Bakke, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber and Helge Nornes
✓ Noninvasive transcranial Doppler recordings were correlated to the angiographic findings in 77 patients with carotid artery disease. Stenoses reducing the luminal area of the internal carotid artery by 75% or more also reduced the pulsatility transmission index (PTI) of the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA). The PTI is the pulsatility index of the artery under study expressed as a percent of the pulsatility index of another intracranial artery with presumed unimpeded inflow in the same individual. For stenoses in the 75% to 89% category, PTI reduction was significantly greater in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis, indicating an impaired potential for collateral flow in these patients. The PTI reduction probably reflects both the pressure drop across the stenosis and the cerebral autoregulatory response. Two criteria proved useful in demonstrating collateral MCA supply through the circle of Willis. On the recipient side, retrograde flow in the proximal anterior cerebral artery was demonstrated in 29 of the 31 patients when this flow pattern was disclosed angiographically. In 26 of these patients, the anterior cerebral artery on the supplying side also had clearly increased flow velocity. Increased flow velocities in the proximal posterior cerebral artery were present in 26 of the 30 vessels that were acting as a collateral channel to the ipsilateral MCA.
Sverre J. Mørk, Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Tore B. Halvorsen, Egil H. Lehmann, Torfinn Solgaard, Reidulv Hatlevoll, Sverre Harvei and Jeremy Ganz
✓ The cases of 208 patients with histologically confirmed oligodendrogliomas were studied. The incidence represents 4.2% of all primary brain tumors diagnosed in the Norwegian population over a 25-year period. All of these tumors were cerebral and the majority affected the frontal lobe. The patients' median age at diagnosis was 47 years, with a range from 3 to 76 years; 6% of the oligodendrogliomas occurred in children. The median duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 20.5 months (mean 43 months). Plain skull x-ray films showed calcified deposits in 28% of the tumors. At operation, most of the tumors were poorly defined, without cyst formation, hematoma necrosis, or calcification. The median duration of disease from onset of symptoms until death was 14 months in nine untreated cases. In surgically treated oligodendroglioma patients the median survival time from onset of symptoms was 74 months. The median postoperative survival time was 35 months (mean 52 months). Tumor calcification, as seen on plain skull x-ray films, was associated with a significantly longer survival period. The surgical findings of gross necrosis, gross hypervascularity, and soft tumor consistency were all related to a shorter total duration of disease. Grossly well demarcated lesions were associated with a significantly longer postoperative survival. The length of postoperative survival correlated with the preoperative clinical status. The cumulative proportion of patients surviving 5 years was 0.342. The patient's age and sex did not have a statistically significant influence on survival time. The extent of surgical excision only seemed to play a role when the neurosurgeon considered that he had removed the whole lesion: these patients had a median postoperative survival period 14 months longer than the other oligodendroglioma patients. The ABO blood group of the oligodendroglioma patient was of prognostic value. In particular, patients with blood group A had a distinctly poorer prognosis than patients with O or B blood. The survival data from this unselected series indicate that cerebral oligodendrogliomas have a less favorable prognosis than has generally been believed.