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Vijay Agarwal, Ali Zomorodi, Pascal Jabbour, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Ranjith Babu, Adam Back and L. Fernando Gonzalez

We present a case of a patient with rapid loss of motor strength in his lower extremities. He became bedridden with bowel and bladder incontinence, and developed saddle anesthesia. MRI of the lumbar spine showed edema in the conus medullaris and multiple flow voids within the spinal canal. A spinal angiogram showed a dorsal Type I spinal AVF. This was treated successfully with Onyx 18 (eV3, Irvine, CA). The patient showed rapid post-procedure improvement, and at discharge from the hospital to a rehabilitation center he was fully ambulatory. At 3-year follow-up, the patient was found to ambulate without difficulty. He also had improved saddle anesthesia, and he was voiding spontaneously. There was no evidence of flow voids on repeat MRI of the lumbar spine.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/SDYNIGNQIW8.

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Vijay Agarwal, Ali Zomorodi, Cameron Mcdougal, Ranjith Babu, Adam Back and L. Fernando Gonzalez

We present the case of a balloon-assisted, stent-supported coil embolization of a basilar tip aneurysm. Initially, a balloon extending from the basilar artery into the right PCA was placed.3 However, even with a more proximal purchase, coils were found to impinge on the left PCA. Subsequently, a transcirculation approach was performed, where the left posterior communicating artery was utilized as a conduit for balloon support and the coils were embolized from the ipsilateral vertebral artery.1 However, after this transcirculation approach was completed, there was a coil tail extruding from the aneurysm. The balloon was then removed over an exchange wire and a horizontal stent advanced, spanning the entire neck of the aneurysm, eliminating the extruded coil.2

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/bMbtZoPnYvo.

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Vijay Agarwal, Ranjith Babu, Jordan Grier, Owoicho Adogwa, Adam Back, Allan H. Friedman, Takanori Fukushima and Cory Adamson

Object

Tumors of the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) have always proven difficult for neurosurgeons to optimally manage. Studies investigating the natural history and treatment of vestibular schwannomas have dominated the literature in this regard. Distinguishing meningiomas from schwannomas in this location carries particular importance as each tumor type has certain prognostic and surgical considerations. In this study, the authors have characterized the outcomes of 34 patients surgically treated for CPA meningiomas and have investigated various factors that may affect postoperative neurological function.

Methods

The medical records of patients with CPA meningiomas who underwent surgery from 2005 to 2013 at the Duke University Health System were reviewed. Various patient, clinical, and tumor data were gathered from the medical records including patient demographics, pre- and postoperative neurological examinations, duration of symptoms, procedural details, tumor pathology and size, and treatment characteristics. Differences in continuous variables were then analyzed using the Student t-test while categorical variables were evaluated using the chi-square test.

Results

A total of 34 patients underwent surgical treatment for CPA meningiomas during the 8-year period. Jugular foramen invasion was seen in 17.6% of tumors, with nearly half (41.2%) extending into the internal acoustic canal. The most common presenting symptom was hearing loss (58.8%), followed by headache (52.9%) and facial numbness/pain (50.0%). The most common cranial nerve (CN) affected was CN X (11.8%), followed by CNs VI and VII (5.9%). Postoperatively, no patients experienced a decrease in hearing, with only 5.9% of patients experiencing facial nerve palsies. Patients with tumors larger than 3 cm had a significantly higher incidence of permanent CN deficits than those with smaller tumors (45.5% vs 5.9%, respectively; p = 0.011). Also, tumor extension into the jugular foramen was associated with the occurrence of lower CN deficits, none of which occurred in tumors without jugular foramen invasion. Internal acoustic canal tumor extension was not seen to be associated with postoperative complications or CN deficits.

Conclusions

Meningiomas of the CPA are challenging lesions to treat surgically. However, the risk of facial palsy and hearing loss is significantly lower when compared with vestibular schwannomas. Novel methods for preoperative differentiation are needed to appropriately counsel patients on surgical risks. Also, due to the significant potential for neurological deficits, further studies are needed to investigate the utility of radiotherapy for these lesions.

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Jacob H. Bagley, Ranjith Babu, Allan H. Friedman and Cory Adamson

Object

Low-grade gliomas (LGGs) are indolent tumors that have the potential to dedifferentiate into malignant high-grade tumors. Recent studies have demonstrated that cerebellar low-grade tumors have a better prognosis than supratentorial tumors, although no study has focused on the risk factors for poor prognosis in cerebellar LGGs in adults. The authors of the current study aimed to address both of these concerns by using a large cohort derived from a national cancer registry and a smaller cohort derived from their institution's experience.

Methods

Adults with diagnosed Grade I and Grade II gliomas of the cerebellum were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to predict rates of survival, and the log-rank test was applied to evaluate differences in Kaplan-Meier survival curves. An institutional cohort was created by isolating all patients whose surgical pathology revealed an LGG of the cerebellum. Excluded from analysis were patients in whom a glioma was first diagnosed under the age of 18 years and those whose tumors could not be definitively determined to arise from the cerebellum.

Results

Data from the local cohort (11 patients) demonstrated that the most common presenting symptom was headache, which occurred in more than 70% of the cohort. Approximately half of the patients in this cohort had symptomatic improvement after treatment. Results from the SEER cohort (166 patients) revealed that adults with Grade I gliomas were slightly younger than those with Grade II tumors (p < 0.01), but no other demographic differences were observed. Patients with Grade I tumors were twice as likely to undergo gross-total resection (54% vs 21%), and those with Grade II gliomas were much more likely to receive postoperative radiation (3% vs 48%). Five-year survival was greater in the patients with Grade I gliomas than in those with Grade II lesions (91% vs 70%). Multivariate analysis revealed that an age ≥ 40 years (HR 7.30, 95% CI 3.55–15.0, p < 0.0001) and Grade II tumors (HR 2.76, 95% CI 1.12–6.84, p = 0.028) were risk factors for death, whereas female sex was protective (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.14–0.59, p < 0.001). Log-rank tests revealed that a cerebellar location was protective (p < 0.0001), but this relationship was only true for Grade II tumors (p < 0.0001). Survival in patients with Grade I gliomas was not different based on the various lesion locations (p = 0.21).

Conclusions

Taken together, adults with cerebellar WHO Grade I and II astrocytomas have a much more favorable survival curve than those with similar supratentorial tumors. Research demonstrates that the primary driver of this phenomenon is the improved survival in patients with cerebellar Grade II gliomas.

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Ranjith Babu, Jacob H. Bagley, Chunhui Di, Allan H. Friedman and Cory Adamson

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a subtype of stoke that may cause significant morbidity and mortality. Brain injury due to ICH initially occurs within the first few hours as a result of mass effect due to hematoma formation. However, there is increasing interest in the mechanisms of secondary brain injury as many patients continue to deteriorate clinically despite no signs of rehemorrhage or hematoma expansion. This continued insult after primary hemorrhage is believed to be mediated by the cytotoxic, excitotoxic, oxidative, and inflammatory effects of intraparenchymal blood. The main factors responsible for this injury are thrombin and erythrocyte contents such as hemoglobin. Therapies including thrombin inhibitors, N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists, chelators to bind free iron, and antiinflammatory drugs are currently under investigation for reducing this secondary brain injury. This review will discuss the molecular mechanisms of brain injury as a result of intraparenchymal blood, potential targets for therapeutic intervention, and treatment strategies currently in development.