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Russell R. Lonser, Scott D. Wait, John A. Butman, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, McClellan M. Walther, Lance S. Governale and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

Hemangioblastomas in the lumbosacral region are rare, and the authors of prior reports have not defined the surgical management, histopathological features, or outcome in a group of patients after resection of these tumors. To identify features that will help guide the operative and clinical management of these lesions, the authors reviewed data obtained in a series of patients with von Hippel—Lindau syndrome who underwent resection of lumbosacral nerve root hemangioblastomas.

Methods

Six consecutive patients (three men and three women; mean age at surgery 39 years [range 31–48 years]) who underwent operations for resection of lumbosacral nerve root hemangioblastomas were included in this study. The mean follow-up period was 23 months (range 6–45 months). Data derived from examination, hospital charts, operative findings, histopathological analysis, and magnetic resonance imaging were used to analyze surgical management and clinical outcome. The resected tumors were located in the lumbar (five cases) or sacral (one case) regions; the mean tumor size was 2728 mm3 (range 80–15,022 mm3). Consistent with central nervous system (CNS) regional variation of space available to accommodate the neural compressive effect of the hemangioblastoma size, the mean tumor volume (2728 mm3) of these symptomatic lesions was much larger than that of symptomatic hemangioblastomas resected in the other regions of the CNS. Histopathological examination showed infiltration of the associated nerve root by the hemangioblastoma in each case. In five of the six patients complete resection was achieved, and in one patient intradural exploration of two hemangioblastomas was performed, but resection was not achieved because of motor root involvement. In all cases involving complete resections the patients experienced symptomatic improvement.

Conclusions

Lumbosacral nerve root hemangioblastomas can be safely removed in most patients with von Hippel—Lindau syndrome. Generally, hemangioblastomas of the lumbosacral nerve roots should be resected when they become symptomatic. Because these neoplasms appear to originate from the nerve root, it is necessary to sacrifice the nerve root from which the hemangioblastoma originates to achieve complete resection.

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Lance S. Governale, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, Zhengping Zhuang and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Meningioma has been included in the constellation of tumors associated with von Hippel—Lindau (VHL) disease in previously published reports. It is unclear whether these tumors are an uncommon component of VHL disease or are more readily detected in these patients because of the frequency with which they undergo central nervous system imaging as part of the routine management of VHL disease. The authors report the case of a patient with VHL disease in whom a progressively enlarging supratentorial mass developed and was diagnosed as a hemangioblastoma because of its appearance on serial magnetic resonance images. At surgery the tumor displayed the typical features of a meningioma and was given the histological diagnosis of fibrous meningioma. Single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis of the tumor DNA revealed a loss of heterozygosity at the neurofibromatosis Type 2 gene locus, known to be associated with sporadically occurring meningiomas. Despite this finding, the VHL gene locus on the allele from the patient's unaffected parent was normal. Thus it is unlikely that the occurrence of this patient's fibrous meningioma was associated with underlying VHL disease. Given the high frequency of neuroimaging sessions in patients with VHL disease, some supratentorial lesions that have been given radiological diagnoses of hemangioblastomas may be incidental meningiomas.

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Michael Y. Chen, Russell R. Lonser, Paul F. Morrison, Lance S. Governale and Edward H. Oldfield

Object. Although recent studies have shown that convection can be used to distribute macromolecules within the central nervous system (CNS) in a homogeneous, targeted fashion over clinically significant volumes and that the volume of infusion and target location (gray as opposed to white matter) influence distribution, little is known about other factors that may influence optimum use of convection-enhanced distribution. To understand the variables that affect convective delivery more fully, we examined the rate of infusion, delivery cannula size, concentration of infusate, and preinfusion sealing time.

Methods. The authors used convection to deliver 4 µl of 14C-albumin to the striatum of 40 rats. The effect of the rate of infusion (0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 µl/minute), cannula size (32, 28, and 22 gauge), concentration of infusate (100%, 50%, and 25%), and preinfusion sealing time (0 and 70 minutes) on convective delivery was examined using quantitative autoradiography, National Institutes of Health image analysis software, scintillation analysis, and histological analysis.

Higher rates of infusion (1 and 5 µl/minute) caused significantly (p < 0.05) more leakback of infusate (22.7 ± 11.7% and 30.3 ± 7.8% [mean ± standard deviation], respectively) compared with lower rates (0.1 µl/minute [4 ± 3.6%] and 0.5 µl/minute [5.2 µ 3.6%]). Recovery of infusate was significantly (p < 0.05) higher at the infusion rate of 0.1 µl/minute (95.1 ± 2.8%) compared with higher rates (85.2 ± 4%). The use of large cannulae (28 and 22 gauge) produced significantly (p < 0.05) more leakback (35.7 ± 8.1% and 21.1 ± 7.5%, respectively) than the smaller cannula (32 gauge [5.2 ± 3.6%]). Varying the concentration of the infusate and the preinfusion sealing time did not alter the volume of distribution, regional distribution, or infusate recovery.

Conclusions. Rate of infusion and cannula size can significantly affect convective distribution of molecules, whereas preinfusion sealing time and variations in infusate concentration have no effect in this small animal model. Understanding the parameters that influence convective delivery within the CNS can be used to enhance delivery of potentially therapeutic agents in an experimental setting and to indicate the variables that will need to be considered for optimum use of this approach for drug delivery in the clinical setting.

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Russell R. Lonser, Robert J. Weil, Paul F. Morrison, Lance S. Governale and Edward H. Oldfield

Object. Although many macromolecules have treatment potential for peripheral nerve disease, clinical use of these agents has been restricted because of limitations of delivery including systemic toxicity, heterogeneous dispersion, and inadequate distribution. In an effort to overcome these obstacles, the authors examined the use of convection to deliver and distribute macromolecules into peripheral nerves.

Methods. For convective delivery, the authors used a gas-tight, noncompliant system that provided continuous flow through a small silica cannula (inner diameter 100 µm, outer diameter 170 µm) inserted into a peripheral nerve. Increases in the volume of infusion (Vi) (10, 20, 30, 40, and 80 µl) of 14C-labeled (nine nerves) or gadolinium-labeled (two nerves) albumin were infused unilaterally or bilaterally into the tibial nerves of six primates (Macaca mulatta) at 0.5 µl/minute. The volume of distribution (Vd), percentage recovery, and delivery homogeneity were determined using quantitative autoradiography, an imaging program developed by the National Institutes of Health, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, scintillation counting, and kurtosis (K) analysis. One animal that was infused bilaterally with gadolinium-bound albumin (40 µl to each nerve) underwent MR imaging and was observed for 16 weeks after infusion.

The Vd increased with the Vi in a logarithmic fashion. The mean Vd/Vi ratio over all Vi was 3.7 ± 0.8 (mean ± standard deviation). The concentration across the perfused region was homogeneous (K = −1.07). The infusate, which was limited circumferentially by the epineurium, followed the parallel arrangement of axonal fibers and filled long segments of nerve (up to 6.8 cm). Recovery of radioactivity was 75.8 ± 9%. No neurological deficits arose from infusion.

Conclusions. Convective delivery of macromolecules to peripheral nerves is safe and reliable. It overcomes obstacles associated with current delivery methods and allows selective regional delivery of putative therapeutic agents to long sections of nerve. This technique should permit the development of new treatments for numerous types of peripheral nerve lesions.