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Hemorrhagic vestibular schwannoma: an unusual clinical entity

Case report

Dean Chou, Prakash Sampath, and Henry Brem

Hemorrhagic vestibular schwannomas are rare entities, with only a few case reports in the literature during the last 25 years. The authors review the literature on vestibular schwannoma hemorrhage and the presenting symptoms of this entity, which include headache, nausea, vomiting, sudden cranial nerve dysfunction, and ataxia. A very unusual case is presented of a 36-year-old man, who unlike most of the patients reported in the literature, had clinically silent vestibular schwannoma hemorrhage. The authors also discuss the management issues involved in more than 1000 vestibular schwannomas treated at their institution during a 25-year period.

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Late-onset facial nerve degeneration after vestibular schwannoma surgery: incidence, putative mechanisms, and prevention

Prakash Sampath, Laurence D. Rhines, Michael J. Holliday, Henry Brem, and Donlin M. Long

Delayed facial nerve dysfunction after vestibular schwannoma surgery is a poorly understood phenomenon that has been reported to occur in 15 to 29% of patients undergoing microsurgery. It is a condition characterized by spontaneous deterioration of facial nerve function in a patient who has otherwise normal or near-normal facial function in the immediate postoperative period. This delayed paralysis is generally reported to occur in the first few days postsurgery, with the majority of patients eventually recovering their immediate postoperative facial function. However, infrequently, it can also occur more than 1 week after surgery (so-called late-onset facial nerve palsy).

The authors reviewed facial nerve outcome in 611 patients who underwent microsurgery between 1973 and 1994. The facial nerve was anatomically preserved in 596 patients (97.5%), and 90% of patients had House-Brackmann[6] Grade 1 or 2 function 1 year after surgery. Late-onset facial dysfunction was seen in 13 patients (2.1%). All of these had significant deterioration in facial nerve function between 1 and 4 weeks postoperatively, and all showed improvement by 1 year. In this study, the focus on these patients who developed late-onset facial palsy. The incidence, treatment strategies, and outcomes will be discussed with emphasis on possible pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to this relatively rare condition.

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Facial nerve injury in acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) surgery: etiology and prevention

Prakash Sampath, Michael J. Holliday, Henry Brem, John K. Niparko, and Donlin M. Long

Facial nerve injury associated with acoustic neuroma surgery has declined in incidence but remains a clinical concern. A retrospective analysis of 611 patients surgically treated for acoustic neuroma between 1973 and 1994 was undertaken to understand patterns of facial nerve injury more clearly and to identify factors that influence facial nerve outcome.

Anatomical preservation of the facial nerve was achieved in 596 patients (97.5%). In the immediate postoperative period, 62.1% of patients displayed normal or near-normal facial nerve function (House-Brackmann Grade 1 or 2). This number rose to 85.3% of patients at 6 months after surgery and by 1 year, 89.7% of patients who had undergone acoustic neuroma surgery demonstrated normal or near-normal facial nerve function.

The surgical approach appeared to have no effect on the incidence of facial nerve injury. Poor facial nerve outcome (House-Brackmann Grade 5 or 6) was seen in 1.58% of patients treated via the suboccipital approach and in 2.6% of patients treated via the translabyrinthine approach. When facial nerve outcome was examined with respect to tumor size, there clearly was an increased incidence of facial nerve palsy seen in the immediate postoperative period in cases of larger tumors: 60.8% of patients with tumors smaller than 2.5 cm had normal facial nerve function, whereas only 37.5% of patients with tumors larger than 4 cm had normal function. This difference was less pronounced, however, 6 months after surgery, when 92.1% of patients with tumors smaller than 2.5 cm had normal or near normal facial function, versus 75% of patients with tumors larger than 4 cm.

The etiology of facial nerve injury is discussed with emphasis on the pathophysiology of facial nerve palsy. In addition, on the basis of the authors' experience with these complex tumors, techniques of preventing facial nerve injury are discussed.

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Comparative analysis of paracrine immunotherapy in experimental brain tumors

Maciej S. Lesniak, Prakash Sampath, Francesco DiMeco, Michael P. Viglione, Betty M. Tyler, Drew M. Pardoll, and Henry Brem

Object

Local delivery of cytokines has been shown to have a potent antitumor activity against a wide range of malignant brain tumors. In this study, the authors examined the efficacy of treating central nervous system (CNS) tumors by transfecting poorly immunogenic B16/F10 melanoma cells with interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, or granulocyte-macrophage–colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) gene, and using these cells to deliver the cytokine locally at the site of the CNS tumor. The object was to determine which cytokine would possess the greatest antitumor activity and to further elucidate its mechanism of action.

Methods

The transfected B16/F10 cells were irradiated to prevent replication and injected intracranially into C57BL/6 mice (10 mice per group) along with nonirradiated, nontransfected B16/F10 (wild-type) melanoma cells. Sixty percent of mice treated with IL-2 (p < 0.001 compared with control) and 10% treated with IL-4 (median survival = 31 days, p < 0.001 compared with control) were long term survivors (> 120 days). The median survival for animals treated with GM-CSF was 22 days with no long term survivors (p = 0.01 compared with control). Control animals that received only wild-type cells had a median survival of 18 days (range 15–20 days). Histopathological examination of brains from animals killed at different times showed minimal infiltration of tumor cells in the IL-2 group, moderate infiltration of tumor cells in the IL-4 group, and gross tumor invasion and tissue necrosis in the GM-CSF group. Animals treated with IL-2 showed a strong CD8 T cell–mediated response, whereas IL-4 evoked a prominent eosinophilic infiltrate in the area of the tumor.

Conclusions

High levels of locally expressed IL-2 rather than IL-4 or GM-CSF stimulate a strong immunological cytotoxic antitumor response that leads to significant prolongation of survival in mice challenged with B16/F10 intracranial melanoma tumor cells. Consequently, IL-2 may be a superior candidate for use in paracrine immunotherapy.