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Orin Bloch, Seunggu J. Han, Soonmee Cha, Matthew Z. Sun, Manish K. Aghi, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

Extent of resection (EOR) has been shown to be an important prognostic factor for survival in patients undergoing initial resection of glioblastoma (GBM), but the significance of EOR at repeat craniotomy for recurrence remains unclear. In this study the authors investigate the impact of EOR at initial and repeat resection of GBM on overall survival.

Methods

Medical records were reviewed for all patients undergoing craniotomy for GBM at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center from January 1, 2005, through August 15, 2009. Patients who had a second craniotomy for pathologically confirmed recurrence following radiation and chemotherapy were evaluated. Volumetric EOR was measured and classified as gross-total resection (GTR, > 95% by volume) or subtotal resection (STR, ≤ 95% by volume) after independent radiological review. Overall survival was compared between groups using univariate and multivariate analysis accounting for known prognostic factors, including age, eloquent location, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), and adjuvant therapies.

Results

Multiple resections were performed in 107 patients. Fifty-two patients had initial GTR, of whom 31 (60%) had GTR at recurrence, with a median survival of 20.4 months (standard error [SE] 1.0 months), and 21 (40%) had STR at recurrence, with a median survival of 18.4 months (SE 0.5 months) (difference not statistically significant). Initial STR was performed in 55 patients, of whom 26 (47%) had GTR at recurrence, with a median survival of 19.0 months (SE 1.2 months), and 29 (53%) had STR, with a median survival of 15.9 months (SE 1.2 months) (p = 0.004). A Cox proportional hazards model was constructed demonstrating that age (HR 1.03, p = 0.004), KPS score at recurrence (HR 2.4, p = 0.02), and EOR at repeat resection (HR 0.62, p = 0.02) were independent predictors of survival. Extent of initial resection was not a statistically significant factor (p = 0.13) when repeat EOR was included in the model, suggesting that GTR at second craniotomy could overcome the effect of an initial STR.

Conclusions

Extent of resection at recurrence is an important predictor of overall survival. If GTR is achieved at recurrence, overall survival is maximized regardless of initial EOR, suggesting that patients with initial STR may benefit from surgery with a GTR at recurrence.

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Justin S. Smith, Soonmee Cha, Mary Catherine Mayo, Michael W. McDermott, Andrew T. Parsa, Susan M. Chang, William P. Dillon, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object

Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is an invaluable tool in the diagnosis of acute stroke and other types of brain injury. Abnormalities in and around the resection cavity on diffusion-weighted imaging have been observed following surgery for infiltrating glioma. The purpose of this study was to investigate prospectively the incidence, time course, and ultimate outcome of these abnormalities.

Methods

Forty-four consecutive patients with newly diagnosed gliomas were prospectively observed using serial MR imaging including diffusion-weighted sequences. Clinical and surgical data were also collected. Immediately postoperatively neuroimaging identified 28 patients (64%) in whom areas of reduced diffusion appeared in or around the resection cavity (mean volume 8.2 ± 1.5 cm3). Complete resolution of this reduced diffusion was demonstrated within 90 days in 24 patients (86%). On subsequent neuroimages these areas demonstrated Gd enhancement as early as postoperative Day 15 and as late as Day 198 and ultimately took on the appearance of encephalomalacia in 26 (93%) of 28 cases. Postoperative reduced diffusion was not predicted by the clinical or surgical parameters that were assessed. No clinical deficits were attributable to the reduced diffusion.

Conclusions

An abnormality related to diffusion-weighted sequences on postoperative MR imaging can occur after resection of newly diagnosed gliomas. In this study the abnormality typically resolved and was replaced by contrast enhancement on follow-up imaging, ultimately demonstrating encephalomalacia on long-term follow up. Findings on neuroimaging during the period of enhancement could be confused with recurrent tumor and interpreted as early treatment failure. Based on the findings of this study the authors strongly suggest that the inclusion of diffusion-weighted sequences in postoperative MR imaging is essential, as is MR imaging immediately before radiation therapy to monitor disease progression. A new enhancement observed after glioma surgery should be interpreted in the context of the diffusion-weighted image obtained immediately postoperatively.