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Reinier Alvarez, Rupesh Kotecha, Michael W. McDermott, and Vitaly Siomin

BACKGROUND

Providing the standard of care to patients with glioblastoma (GBM) during the novel coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenge, particularly if a patient tests positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Further difficulties occur in eloquent cortex tumors because awake speech mapping can theoretically aerosolize viral particles and expose staff. Moreover, microscopic neurosurgery has become difficult because the use of airborne-level personal protective equipment (PPE) crowds the space between the surgeon and the eyepiece. However, delivering substandard care will inevitably lead to disease progression and poor outcomes.

OBSERVATIONS

A 60-year-old man with a left insular and frontal operculum GBM was found to be COVID-19 positive. Treatment was postponed pending a negative SARS-CoV-2 result, but in the interim, he developed intratumoral hemorrhage with progressive expressive aphasia. Because the tumor was causing dominant hemisphere language symptomatology, an awake craniotomy was the recommended surgical approach. With the use of airborne-level PPE and a surgical drape to protect the surgeon from the direction of potential aerosolization, near-total gross resection was achieved.

LESSONS

Delaying the treatment of patients with GBM who test positive for COVID-19 will lead to further neurological deterioration. Optimal and timely treatment such as awake speech mapping for COVID-19–positive patients with GBM can be provided safely.

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Alfio Spina, Nicola Boari, and Pietro Mortini

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Benjamin I. Rapoport, Michael W. McDermott, and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Seunggu J. Han, Stephen T. Magill, Phiroz E. Tarapore, Jonathan C. Horton, and Michael W. McDermott

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas frequently produce visual loss by direct compression from tumor, constriction of the optic nerve (ON) under the falciform ligament, and/or ON ischemia. The authors hypothesized that changes in visual function after tumor removal may be related to changes in blood supply to the ON that might be seen in the pial circulation at surgery. Indocyanine green (ICG) angiography was used to attempt to document these changes at surgery. The first patient in whom the technique was used had a left-sided, 1.4-cm, tuberculum meningioma. Time-lapse comparison of images was done postsurgery, and the comparison of video images revealed both faster initial filling and earlier complete filling of the ON pial circulation, suggesting improved pial blood flow after surgical decompression. In follow-up the patient had significant improvements in both visual acuity and visual fields function. Intraoperative ICG angiography of the ON can demonstrate measurable changes in pial vascular flow that may be predictive of postoperative visual outcome. The predictive value of this technique during neurosurgical procedures around the optic apparatus warrants further investigation in a larger cohort.

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Benjamin I. Rapoport, Michael W. McDermott, and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Roberto C. Heros

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William T. Curry, Michael W. McDermott, Bob S. Carter, and Fred G. Barker II

Object. The goal of this study was to determine the risk of adverse outcomes after contemporary surgical treatment of meningiomas in the US and trends in patient outcomes and patterns of care.

Methods. The authors performed a retrospective cohort study by using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample covering the period of 1988 to 2000. Multivariate regression models with disposition end points of death and hospital discharge were used to test patient, surgeon, and hospital characteristics, including volume of care, as outcome predictors.

Multivariate analyses revealed that larger-volume centers had lower mortality rates for patients who underwent craniotomy for meningioma (odds ratio [OR] 0.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59–0.93, p = 0.01). Adverse discharge disposition was also less likely at high-volume hospitals (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62–0.80, p < 0.001). With respect to the surgeon caseload, there was a trend toward a lower rate of mortality after surgery when higher-caseload providers were involved, and a significantly less frequent adverse discharge disposition (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62–0.80, p <, 0.001).

The annual meningioma caseload in the US increased 83% between 1988 and 2000, from 3900 patients/year to 7200 patients/year. In-hospital mortality rates decreased 61%, from 4.5% in 1988 to 1.8% in 2000. Reductions in the mortality rates were largest at high-volume centers (a 72% reduction in the relative mortality rate at largest-volume-quintile centers, compared with a 6% increase in the relative mortality rate at lowest-volume-quintile centers). The number of US hospitals where craniotomies were performed for meningiomas increased slightly. Fewer centers hosted one meningioma resection annually, whereas the largest centers had disproportionate increases in their caseloads, indicating a modest centralization of meningioma surgery in the US during this interval.

Conclusions. The mortality and adverse hospital discharge disposition rates were lower when meningioma surgery was performed by high-volume providers. The annual US caseload increased, whereas the mortality rates decreased, especially at high-volume centers.

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Matthew J. Shepard and W. Jeffrey Elias

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Justin S. Smith, Anita Lal, Miranda Harmon-Smith, Andrew W. Bollen, and Michael W. McDermott

Object

The clinical behavior of meningiomas is variable. Because multiple growth factor receptors have been identified in these tumors, the authors sought to assess the capacity of the expression patterns of a subset of these receptors to stratify meningioma cases.

Methods

Eighty-four meningiomas were analyzed, including 36 benign, 29 atypical, and 19 malignant lesions. Immunohistochemical staining was performed for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)–β, basic fibroblast growth factor receptor (BFGFR), and MIB-1. Survival analyses were performed using follow-up data obtained in patients with newly diagnosed tumors.

Immunoreactivity for EGFR was observed in 47% of benign, 48% of atypical, and 42% of malignant tumors. Staining for BFGFR was identified in 89% of benign, 97% of atypical, and 95% of malignant lesions. Immunostaining for PDGFR-β was evident in all the lesions assessed. Mean MIB-1 indices for benign, atypical, and malignant cases were 3.6 (range 0.5–15.3), 8.2 (range 1.5–23.1) and 18.3 (range 1.0–55.8), respectively. Overall mean follow-up duration was 9.0 years (range 5.1–18.8 years). Lack of EGFR immunoreactivity was identified as a strong predictor of shorter overall survival in patients with atypical meningioma (p = 0.003, log-rank test). This association was not evident in cases of benign or malignant meningiomas.

Conclusions

There is a significant association between EGFR immunoreactivity and prolonged survival in patients with atypical meningioma. Given the variable behavior of atypical meningiomas, EGFR assessment could improve existing strategies for patient stratification and treatment.

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Michael E. Sughrue, Nader Sanai, Gopal Shangari, Andrew T. Parsa, Mitchel S. Berger, and Michael W. McDermott

Object

Despite an increased understanding of the biology of malignant meningioma tumor progression, there is a paucity of published clinical data on factors affecting outcomes following treatment for these lesions. The authors present the largest case series to date dealing with these tumors, providing analysis of 63 patients.

Methods

The authors identified all patients undergoing resection of WHO Grade III tumors at their institution over a 16-year period. They analyzed clinical data from these patients, and performed Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses to determine the impact of different clinical characteristics and different treatment modalities on survival following initial and repeat surgery for these lesions.

Results

Sixty-three patients met inclusion criteria and were analyzed further. The median clinical follow-up time was 5 years (range 1–22 years). The 2-, 5-, and 10-year overall survival rates following initial operation were 82, 61, and 40%, respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated a marked survival benefit with repeat operation (53 vs 25 months, p = 0.02). Interestingly, patients treated with near-total resection experienced improved overall survival when compared with patients treated with gross-total resection at initial (p = 0.035) and repeat operations (p = 0.005). Twelve (19%) of 63 patients experienced significant neurological morbidity referable to the resection of their tumors.

Conclusions

Surgery is an effective treatment for WHO Grade III meningiomas at presentation and recurrence; however, aggressive attempts to achieve gross-total resection can be associated with significant neurological risk.