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Michael C. Brodsky, William F. Hoyt, Stanley L. Barnwell and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors describe the case of a young man who presented with a central scotoma in one eye and a temporal hemianopsia in the other. Magnetic resonance imaging showed distinctive bilobed thickening of the chiasm and a “potbelly” expansion of the contiguous optic nerves. The distal portions of the intracranial optic nerves appeared normal. At craniotomy, incision of the lamina terminalis exposed intraventricular craniopharyngioma with anterior extension into the chiasm and proximal optic nerves. Partial resection of the tumor restored normal vision.

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Griffith R. Harsh IV, George W. Sypert, Philip R. Weinstein, Donald A. Ross and Charles B. Wilson

✓ Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a well-documented cause of cervical spine stenosis and myelopathy among Japanese patients. Reports of OPLL in North Americans are rare. Choices of diagnostic method and treatment for this entity remain controversial. The authors report the results of management of 20 patients in the United States with symptomatic OPLL of the cervical spine. These represented 10% to 20% of patients operated on over the last 3 years for myelopathy secondary to structural spinal compression. Most of these OPLL patients were Caucasian (60%), male (male:female 4:1), and middle-aged (median age 47.5 years). Six had previously undergone laminectomy or discectomy. Cervical roentgenograms and standard myelography occasionally suggested the diagnosis. Axial computerized tomography (CT) metrizamide myelography with small interslice intervals proved invaluable for diagnosis and operative planning. Magnetic resonance imaging was not necessary for diagnosis. Retrovertebral calcification extended over one to five bodies (mean 2.75). The mass ranged in size from 5 to 16 mm in anteroposterior diameter and reduced the residual canal diameter to a mean (± standard deviation) caliber of 9.42 ± 2.41 mm (mean narrowing ratio 0.44 ± 0.12).

Anterior cervical decompression by medial corpectomy and discectomy with fusion uniformly reduced preoperative myelopathy. Complications were limited to transient neurological deterioration in two patients, recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy in one, and halo device pin site infections in two. At a mean postoperative interval of 15 months, improvement was seen in each category of deficit: extremity weakness, hypesthesia, hypertonia, and urinary dysfunction. All fusions produced solid unions.

It is concluded that OPLL of the cervical spine is an unexpectedly prevalent cause of myelopathy among patients treated in the United States. Thin-section axial CT metrizamide myelography with small interslice intervals is essential for the investigation of patients who may have OPLL. Anterior decompression and stabilization by medial corpectomy, discectomy, removal of the calcified mass, and fusion is a safe and effective method of treatment.

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Judith Murovic, Krzysztof Turowski, Charles B. Wilson, Takao Hoshino and Victor Levin

✓ Ninety-seven patients with supratentorial malignant gliomas who received postoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1977 through 1984 showed improvement in their follow-up computerized tomography (CT) scans. Twenty-one of these 97 “CT responders” were designated “complete responders” because on serial CT scans they had complete disappearance of the tumor mass and contrast enhancement, which had been present postoperatively. In the remaining 76 patients, CT scans showed reduction in the size, but not disappearance, of the lesions, and these were designated “partial responders.” Fifty-eight partial responders had glioblastoma multiforme (GM); their median survival time was 72 weeks. The median survival time for the 11 complete responders with GM has not yet been achieved, but survival at the 53rd percentile is 172 weeks. Among patients with highly anaplastic astrocytoma, the median survival time was 211 weeks for the 10 complete responders and 125 weeks for the 18 partial responders. Eleven of the 21 complete responders are alive at a median postoperative follow-up time of 163 weeks (range 114 to 470 weeks). Eighteen of these patients had subtotal resection of tumor; three patients had gross total tumor resections, but postoperative CT scans showed evidence of residual or possibly recurrent tumor within 1.5 to 4.5 months. Resolution of the tumor mass and contrast enhancement took 9 to 151 weeks; the time to resolution did not depend upon the configuration of the remaining tumor mass and contrast enhancement after surgery. In this study, patients with malignant gliomas whose CT scans eventually showed sustained complete disappearance of the tumor mass and contrast enhancement had a more favorable prognosis than did patients whose CT scans showed improvement, but not complete disappearance, of the tumor. These CT findings may prove useful in determining the prognosis of patients with malignant gliomas.

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Prediction of tumor doubling time in recurrent meningiomas

Cell kinetics studies with bromodeoxyuridine labeling

Kyung G. Cho, Takao Hoshino, Tadashi Nagashima, Judith A. Murovic and Charles B. Wilson

✓ Eight patients with recurrent meningiomas (four malignant, two hemangiopericytic, and two nonmalignant) were given intravenous bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), 200 mg/sq m, at the time of surgery to label cells in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis phase; labeled cells were detected in excised tumor specimens by immunoperoxidase staining using anti-BUdR monoclonal antibody. These tumors showed a wide range of BUdR labeling indices (LI's), calculated as the percentage of BUdR-labeled cells divided by the total number of cells scored, from 0.3% to 5.4%. The tumor doubling times (Td's), estimated from serial computerized tomography scans, ranged from 8 to 440 days and showed a close inverse correlation with the BUdR LI's. A semilogarithmic linear regression analysis of these values yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.99. Tumor doubling time (Td) can be estimated using the formula: Td = 500 × Exp (−0.73 × LI), where Exp signifies the natural log base. By predicting the growth rate of meningiomas, the BUdR LI may supplement histopathological diagnosis and improve both the determination of prognosis and the design of treatment modalities in individual patients.

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Ali K. Choucair, Victor A. Levin, Philip H. Gutin, Richard L. Davis, Pamela Silver, Michael S. B. Edwards and Charles B. Wilson

✓ To determine the percentage of patients who developed multiple central nervous system (CNS) gliomas during postoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the authors reviewed the records of 1047 patients treated between December 2, 1976, and August 16, 1985, who had an original diagnosis of supratentorial glioblastoma multiforme or other anaplastic glioma. The occurrence of multiple lesions was verified by neurodiagnostic studies (computerized tomography or myelography) or by findings at operation or autopsy. Twelve patients (1.1%) who presented with multiple lesions were excluded from this analysis. There were 405 patients with glioblastoma multiforme; their median age was 46.5 years (range 22 to 70 years). Eighteen (5%) of these patients had multiple CNS lesions, five of which were in the spinal cord. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 59.5 weeks (range 10 to 182 weeks). There were 630 patients with anaplastic glioma (which included mixed malignant glioma and highly anaplastic, gemistocytic, moderately anaplastic, and anaplastic astrocytomas); their median age was 30 years (range 2 to 62 years). Fifty-four (8.6%) of these patients had multiple lesions, 10 of which were in the spinal cord; only one case of extraneural metastasis was found. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 101 weeks (range 14 to 459 weeks). These results show that more than 90% of CNS gliomas recur at the site of the original tumor. Considering the high frequency of intellectual dysfunction after whole-brain radiation therapy, the use of focal radiation fields appears to be the most judicious approach to the treatment of patients with gliomas.

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David S. Baskin and Charles B. Wilson

✓ A series of 74 patients with craniopharyngiomas were treated during a 15-year period. Of the 74 patients, 40 were males and 34 were females, with a mean age of 27 years (range 3 to 65 years). Twenty-eight patients (38%) were less than 18 years of age. Remission was defined as clinical improvement with stable ophthalmological and neurological status, radiological evidence of a decrease in tumor size, and either a continued decrease or a stable tumor size on follow-up radiological evaluations. A fair result was considered remission with new neurological deficits related to surgical intervention. All other results were considered a failure. The mean follow-up period in this study was 4 years, with 100% of the patients monitored.

In children, the most common presentation was that of growth failure (93%). In adults, sexual dysfunction was the most common presentation, with 88% of males presenting with impotence or marked decrease in sexual drive, and 82% of females presenting with primary or secondary amenorrhea, often associated with galactorrhea. Considering the pediatric and adult populations together, the most common presenting symptom was visual dysfunction, with 71% of patients presenting in this manner. Fifty percent of patients presented with severe headache. The most frequent preoperative finding was a visual field defect, with 72% of patients so affected; 42% of patients had preoperative hypothyroidism and 24% had hypoadrenalism. Diabetes insipidus was present preoperatively in 23%. Hydrocephalus was uncommon, being present in only 15%.

A subfrontal craniotomy was used in 47% of patients, a transsphenoidal approach in 39%, a subtemporal approach in 11%, a transcallosal approach in 5%, and a suboccipital craniectomy in 2%. Multiple procedures were required in 15% of patients in order to provide significant relief of compressive symptomatology. The results of therapy indicate that total tumor removal was deemed to have been achieved in only seven patients, six of whom have had no recurrence. However, 91% of patients are in remission, one had a fair result, and two died as a direct result of surgical intervention. One patient died from uncontrolled disease, and three patients died from unrelated causes. The results of this study indicate that radical subtotal removal followed by radiotherapy is an acceptable treatment for craniopharyngioma.

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Griffith Rutherford Harsh IV, Michael S. B. Edwards and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The clinical and radiographic findings, surgical treatment, and outcome in 16 pediatric patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts are reviewed. The clinical presentation reflected the anatomical location of the lesions. Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans were diagnostic in all cases. Of the nine cysts treated primarily or secondarily by craniotomy for fenestration and drainage into the basilar cisterns, five recurred. Cyst-peritoneal shunting led to diminished cyst size and clinical improvement in all seven cases in which it was used as the initial treatment and in all four cases in which fenestration had been unsuccessful. The results in this series show that cyst-peritoneal shunting is the treatment of choice for most intracranial arachnoid cysts in children.

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Tadashi Nagashima, Judith A. Murovic, Takao Hoshino, Charles B. Wilson and Stephen J. DeArmond

✓ At the start of transsphenoidal microsurgery for removal of various types of pituitary adenomas, 21 patients received a 1-hour intravenous infusion of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR, 200 mg/sq m) to label tumor cells in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis phase (S-phase). Excised tumor specimens were fixed in 70% ethanol and stained by the indirect peroxidase method using anti-BUdR monoclonal antibody as the first antibody. The percentage of BUdR-labeled cells, or S-phase fraction, was calculated for each specimen. The S-phase fraction was less than 0.1% in nine cases, 0.1% to 0.5% in seven, and greater than 0.5% in five. Except in two cases of Nelson's syndrome, in which it was greater than 1%, the S-phase fraction did not correlate with any other variable, including patient age, tumor size, or the duration of signs and symptoms.

The small S-phase fraction of most of the pituitary adenomas correlates well with the clinical behavior of these tumors, which grow much more slowly than other kinds of brain tumors such as gliomas. However, the S-phase fractions varied by as much as one order of magnitude. The higher S-phase fractions may reflect aggressive and invasive growth. These results indicate that immunohistochemical studies of cell kinetics using BUdR and anti-BUdR monoclonal antibodies may provide information about the biological characteristics of pituitary adenomas which could lead to the design of appropriate treatment regimens (including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy) for individual patients.

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Takao Hoshino, Tadashi Nagashima, Judith A. Murovic, Charles B. Wilson, Michael S. B. Edwards, Philip H. Gutin, Richard L. Davis and Stephen J. DeArmond

✓ Thirty-eight patients undergoing surgical removal of neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system were given a 1-hour intravenous infusion of bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), 150 to 200 mg/sq m, to label tumor cells in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis phase (S-phase). The excised tumor specimens were divided into two portions: one was fixed with 70% ethanol and embedded in paraffin and the other was digested with an enzyme cocktail to make a single-cell suspension. The paraffin-embedded tissues were stained by an indirect peroxidase method using anti-BUdR monoclonal antibody (MA) as the first antibody. Single-cell suspensions were reacted with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated anti-BUdR MA's for flow cytometric analysis. S-phase cells that had incorporated BUdR into their DNA were well stained by both methods. The percentage of BUdR-labeled cells, or S-phase fraction, was calculated in tissue sections by microscopic examination and in single-cell suspensions by flow cytometric analysis. The biological malignancy of the tumors was reflected in the S-phase fractions, which were 5% to 20% for glioblastoma multiforme, medulloblastoma, and highly anaplastic astrocytoma, but less than 1% in most moderately anaplastic astrocytomas, ependymomas, and mixed gliomas. Two juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas and two low-grade astrocytomas from children had high S-phase fractions despite the fairly benign and slow-growing nature of these tumors. These results indicate that the S-phase fraction obtained immunocytochemically with anti-BUdR MA's may provide useful information in estimating the biological malignancy of human central nervous system tumors in situ.

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Victor A. Levin, William M. Wara, Richard L. Davis, Pamela Vestnys, Kenneth J. Resser, Kathleen Yatsko, Stephen Nutik, Philip H. Gutin and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors report the results of a randomized study conducted to evaluate the relative benefit of treatment with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) or the combination of procarbazine, 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea, and vincristine (PCV) administered after radiation therapy with hydroxyurea to 76 evaluable patients with glioblastoma multiforme and 72 patients with other anaplastic gliomas. The primary end-point of the study was time to tumor progression. For better-risk patients with Karnofsky performance scores of 70 to 100, results suggest that PCV was of greater benefit than BCNU (p = 0.15 for glioblastoma multiforme; p = 0.13 for other anaplastic gliomas). Median times to tumor progression were 31 and 32 weeks for patients with glioblastoma multiforme; 25th percentile times to progression were 70 and 40 weeks for patients treated with PCV and BCNU, respectively. For patients with other anaplastic gliomas treated with PCV and BCNU, median times to progression were 123 and 77 weeks, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the prognostic variables of age and Karnofsky scores were important for patients with glioblastoma multiforme and other anaplastic gliomas, and that the extent of surgical resection was important for those with other anaplastic gliomas.