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Mario Giordano, Karsten H. Wrede, Lennart H. Stieglitz, Madjid Samii and Wolf O. Lüdemann

Object

The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of software-assisted 3D reconstruction performed using a neuronavigation system to delineate the anatomy and variation patterns of the pineal region venous complex, and then to compare these data with previous anatomical findings.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the neuroimages obtained in 100 patients with intracranial lesions (50 computed tomography [CT] scans obtained with contrast agents and 50 magnetic resonance [MR] images obtained with gadolinium) by using a neuronavigation workstation for 3D reconstruction. Particular attention was given to the internal cerebral vein, basal vein (BV), and the vein of Galen. The various connection patterns between the major vessels were classified and statistically analyzed.

Conclusions

The venous system of the pineal region shows a wide range of sex-related variations. In the female patient the absence of a BV (Type 0) is significantly more frequent than in the male. In this study the authors illustrate the ability to depict the venous drainage patterns in the pineal region for all cases studied by using 3D neuronavigation software without the need for additional examinations. This simple tool provides important information for surgical planning and may be of significant help intraoperatively.

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Wolf O. Lüdemann, Richard Obler, Marcos Tatagiba and Madjid Samii

✓ The authors report the case of an 11-year-old boy with a malignant meningioma of the right frontal meninges. The tumor was asymptomatic, despite visible exophytic extracranial growth. Neuroimaging demonstrated an en plaque meningioma bulging into the brain. Six months after the tumor had been totally removed by surgery, an isolated subcutaneous metastasis developed at the right preauricular area of the scalp, originating at the scar left by the first surgery. After removal of this metastasis, radiotherapy was conducted.

To date the follow-up examinations have not revealed any additional metastases. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of a seeding of a subcutaneous metastasis in a child with a malignant meningioma. The authors review the literature with reference to malignant meningiomas and their formation of metastasis.

In cases of malignant meningiomas, piecemeal tumor removal carries the risk of iatrogenic cell dissemination even when precautions are taken.