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Predictors of outcome in civilians with gunshot wounds to the head upon presentation

Clinical article

Loyola V. Gressot, Roukoz B. Chamoun, Akash J. Patel, Alex B. Valadka, Dima Suki, Claudia S. Robertson, and Shankar P. Gopinath


Prediction of outcome from initial presentation after a gunshot wound to the head (GSWH) is essential to further clinical decision making. The authors' goals are to report the survival and functional outcomes of these patients, to identify prognostic factors, and to propose a scoring system that can predict their outcome.


The records of 199 patients admitted with a GSWH with dural penetration between 1990 and 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. The inclusion criterion was a CT scan available for review. Patients declared brain dead on presentation were excluded, which yielded a series of 119 patients. Statistical analysis was performed using a logistic regression model.


Fifty-eight (49%) of the 119 patients died. Twenty-three patients (19%) had a favorable outcome defined as a 6-month Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score of moderate disability or good recovery, 35 (29%) had a poor outcome (GOS of persistent vegetative state or severe disability), and 3 (3%) were lost to follow-up. Significant prognostic factors for mortality were age older than 35 years, nonreactive pupils, bullet trajectory of bihemispheric (excluding bifrontal), and posterior fossa involvement compared with unihemispheric and bifrontal. Factors that were moderately associated with higher mortality included intracranial pressure (ICP) above 20 mm Hg and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at presentation of 3 or 4. Upon multivariate analysis, the significant factors for mortality were bullet trajectory and pupillary response. Variables found to be significant for good functional outcome were admission GCS score greater than or equal to 5, pupillary reactivity, and bullet trajectory of unihemispheric or bifrontal. Factors moderately associated with good outcome included age of 35 years or younger, initial ICP 20 mm Hg or lower, and lack of transventricular trajectory. In the multivariate analysis, significant factors for good functional outcome were bullet trajectory and pupillary response, with age moderately associated with improved functional outcomes. The authors also propose a scoring system to estimate survival and functional outcome.


Age, pupils, GCS score, and bullet trajectory on CT scan can be used to determine likelihood of survival and good functional outcome. The authors advocate assessing patients based on these parameters rather than pronouncing a poor prognosis and withholding aggressive resuscitation based upon low GCS score alone.

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Laser ablation after stereotactic radiosurgery: a multicenter prospective study in patients with metastatic brain tumors and radiation necrosis

Manmeet Ahluwalia, Gene H. Barnett, Di Deng, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Eric Leuthardt, Roukoz Chamoun, Kevin Judy, Anthony Asher, Marco Essig, Jorg Dietrich, and Veronica L. Chiang


Laser Ablation After Stereotactic Radiosurgery (LAASR) is a multicenter prospective study of laser interstitial thermal (LITT) ablation in patients with radiographic progression after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases.


Patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score ≥ 60, an age > 18 years, and surgical eligibility were included in this study. The primary outcome was local progression-free survival (PFS) assessed using the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases (RANO-BM) criteria. Secondary outcomes were overall survival (OS), procedure safety, neurocognitive function, and quality of life.


Forty-two patients—19 with biopsy-proven radiation necrosis, 20 with recurrent tumor, and 3 with no diagnosis—were enrolled. The median age was 60 years, 64% of the subjects were female, and the median baseline KPS score was 85. Mean lesion volume was 6.4 cm3 (range 0.4–38.6 cm3). There was no significant difference in length of stay between the recurrent tumor and radiation necrosis patients (median 2.3 vs 1.7 days, respectively). Progression-free survival and OS rates were 74% (20/27) and 72%, respectively, at 26 weeks. Thirty percent of subjects were able to stop or reduce steroid usage by 12 weeks after surgery. Median KPS score, quality of life, and neurocognitive results did not change significantly for either group over the duration of survival. Adverse events were also similar for the two groups, with no significant difference in the overall event rate. There was a 12-week PFS and OS advantage for the radiation necrosis patients compared with the recurrent tumor or tumor progression patients.


In this study, in which enrolled patients had few alternative options for salvage treatment, LITT ablation stabilized the KPS score, preserved quality of life and cognition, had a steroid-sparing effect, and was performed safely in the majority of cases.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01651078 (

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5-Aminolevulinic acid for enhanced surgical visualization of high-grade gliomas: a prospective, multicenter study

Alexander J. Schupper, Rebecca B. Baron, William Cheung, Jessica Rodriguez, Steven N. Kalkanis, Muhammad O. Chohan, Bruce J. Andersen, Roukoz Chamoun, Brian V. Nahed, Brad E. Zacharia, Jerone Kennedy, Hugh D. Moulding, Lloyd Zucker, Michael R. Chicoine, Jeffrey J. Olson, Randy L. Jensen, Jonathan H. Sherman, Xiangnan Zhang, Gabrielle Price, Mary Fowkes, Isabelle M. Germano, Bob S. Carter, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, and Raymund L. Yong


Greater extent of resection (EOR) is associated with longer overall survival in patients with high-grade gliomas (HGGs). 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) can increase EOR by improving intraoperative visualization of contrast-enhancing tumor during fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS). When administered orally, 5-ALA is converted by glioma cells into protoporphyrin IX (PPIX), which fluoresces under blue 400-nm light. 5-ALA has been available for use in Europe since 2010, but only recently gained FDA approval as an intraoperative imaging agent for HGG tissue. In this first-ever, to the authors’ knowledge, multicenter 5-ALA FGS study conducted in the United States, the primary objectives were the following: 1) assess the diagnostic accuracy of 5-ALA–induced PPIX fluorescence for HGG histopathology across diverse centers and surgeons; and 2) assess the safety profile of 5-ALA FGS, with particular attention to neurological morbidity.


This single-arm, multicenter, prospective study included adults aged 18–80 years with Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score > 60 and an MRI diagnosis of suspected new or recurrent resectable HGG. Intraoperatively, 3–5 samples per tumor were taken and their fluorescence status was recorded by the surgeon. Specimens were submitted for histopathological analysis. Patients were followed for 6 weeks postoperatively for adverse events, changes in the neurological exam, and KPS score. Multivariate analyses were performed of the outcomes of KPS decline, EOR, and residual enhancing tumor volume to identify predictive patient and intraoperative variables.


Sixty-nine patients underwent 5-ALA FGS, providing 275 tumor samples for analysis. PPIX fluorescence had a sensitivity of 96.5%, specificity of 29.4%, positive predictive value (PPV) for HGG histopathology of 95.4%, and diagnostic accuracy of 92.4%. Drug-related adverse events occurred at a rate of 22%. Serious adverse events due to intraoperative neurological injury, which may have resulted from FGS, occurred at a rate of 4.3%. There were 2 deaths unrelated to FGS. Compared to preoperative KPS scores, postoperative KPS scores were significantly lower at 48 hours and 2 weeks but were not different at 6 weeks postoperatively. Complete resection of enhancing tumor occurred in 51.9% of patients. Smaller preoperative tumor volume and use of intraoperative MRI predicted lower residual tumor volume.


PPIX fluorescence, as judged by the surgeon, has a high sensitivity and PPV for HGG. 5-ALA was well tolerated in terms of drug-related adverse events, and its application by trained surgeons in FGS for HGGs was not associated with any excess neurological morbidity.

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2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting Los Angeles, CA • April 22–26, 2017