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Zhiyong Bi, Xiaohui Ren, Junting Zhang and Wang Jia

OBJECT

Intracranial subependymomas are rarely reported due to their extremely low incidence. Knowledge about subependymomas is therefore poor. This study aimed to analyze the incidence and clinical, radiological, and pathological features of intracranial subependymomas.

METHODS

Approximately 60,000 intracranial tumors were surgically treated at Beijing Tiantan Hospital between 2003 and 2013. The authors identified all cases in which patients underwent resection of an intracranial tumor that was found to be pathological examination demonstrated to be subependymoma and analyzed the data from these cases.

RESULTS

Forty-three cases of pathologically confirmed, surgically treated intracranial subependymoma were identified. Thus in this patient population, subependymomas accounted for approximately 0.07% of intracranial tumors (43 of an estimated 60,000). Radiologically, 79.1% (34/43) of intracranial subependymomas were misdiagnosed as other diseases. Pathologically, 34 were confirmed as pure subependymomas, 8 were mixed with ependymoma, and 1 was mixed with astrocytoma. Thirty-five patients were followed up for 3.0 to 120 months after surgery. Three of these patients experienced tumor recurrence, and one died of tumor recurrence. Univariate analysis revealed that shorter progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly associated with poorly defined borders. The association between shorter PFS and age < 14 years was almost significant (p = 0.51), and this variable was also included in the multivariate analysis. However, multivariate analysis showed showed only poorly defined borders to be an independent prognostic factor for shorter PFS (RR 18.655, 95% CI 1.141–304.884, p = 0.040). In patients 14 years of age or older, the lesions tended to be pure subependymomas located in the unilateral supratentorial area, total removal tended to be easier, and PFS tended to be longer. In comparison, in younger patients subependymomas tended to be mixed tumors involving the bilateral infratentorial area, with a lower total removal rate and shorter PFS.

CONCLUSIONS

Intracranial subependymoma is a rare benign intracranial tumor with definite radiological features. Long-term survival can be expected, although poorly defined borders are an independent predictor of shorter PFS. All the features that differ between tumors in younger and older patients suggest that they might have different origins, biological behaviors, and prognoses.

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Xiaofeng Deng, Yan Zhang, Long Xu, Bo Wang, Shuo Wang, Jun Wu, Dong Zhang, Rong Wang, Jia Wang and Jizong Zhao

OBJECT

Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital malformations that may grow in the language cortex but usually do not lead to aphasia. In contrast, language dysfunction is a common presentation for patients with a glioma that involves language areas. The authors attempted to demonstrate the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between cerebral AVMs and gliomas by blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI) evaluation.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical and imaging data of 63 patients with an unruptured cerebral AVM (AVM group) and 38 patients with a glioma (glioma group) who underwent fMRI. All the patients were right handed, and all their lesions were located in the left cerebral hemisphere. Patients were further categorized into 1 of the 2 following subgroups according to their lesion location: the BA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the inferior frontal or the middle frontal gyri [the Broca area]) and the WA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the supramarginal, angular, or superior temporal gyri [the Wernicke area]). Lateralization indices of BOLD signal activations were calculated separately for the Broca and Wernicke areas. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

In the AVM group, right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in 23 patients (36.5%), including 6 with right-sided lateralization in the Broca area alone, 12 in the Wernicke area alone, and 5 in both areas. More specifically, in the 34 patients in the AVM-BA subgroup, right-sided lateralization of the Broca area was detected in 9 patients (26.5%), and right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area was detected in 4 (11.8%); in the 29 patients in the AVM-WA subgroup, 2 (6.9%) had right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and 13 (44.8%) had right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area. In the glioma group, 6 patients (15.8%) showed right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area, including 2 patients in the glioma-BA subgroup and 4 patients in the glioma-WA subgroup. No patient showed right-sided lateralization of the Broca area. Moreover, although the incidence of right-sided lateralization was higher in cases of low-grade gliomas (5 in 26 [19.2%]) than in high-grade gliomas (1 in 12 [8.3%]), no significant difference was detected between them (p = 0.643). Compared with the AVM group, the incidence of aphasia was significantly higher (p < 0.001), and right-sided lateralization of language areas was significantly rarer (p = 0.026) in the glioma group.

CONCLUSIONS

Right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in patients with a cerebral AVM and in those with a glioma, suggesting that language cortex reorganization may occur with both diseases. However, the potential of reorganization in patients with gliomas seems to be insufficient compared with patients AVMs, which is suggested by clinical manifestations and the fMRI findings. Moreover, this study seems to indicate that in patients with an AVM, a nidus near the Broca area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and a nidus near the Wernicke area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area.

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Lingling Fang, Jia Huang, Qian Zhang, Raymond C. K. Chan, Rong Wang and Weiqing Wan

OBJECTIVE

Dysexecutive syndrome is common in patients with moyamoya disease (MMD), a chronic cerebrovascular disease that is characterized by stenosis of the bilateral internal carotid arteries and progressive collateral revascularization, and MMD can be classified as ischemic or hemorrhagic according to the disease presentation and history. In this study, the authors aimed to determine which aspects of executive function are impaired in patients with MMD, in addition to the specific dysexecutive functions present among its clinical subtypes and the mechanisms underlying dysexecutive function in these patients.

METHODS

The authors administered 5 typical executive function tests (the Stroop test, the Hayling Sentence Completion Test [HSCT], the verbal fluency [VF] test, the N-back test, and the Sustained Attention to Response Task [SART]) to 49 patients with MMD and 47 IQ-, age-, education-, and social status–matched healthy controls. The dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX) was also used to assess participants' subjective feelings about their executive function. A total of 39 of the patients were evaluated by CT perfusion (CTP) before the assessments were performed, and the correlations among the performances of the patients on the above tests with the parameters of cerebral blood volume, cerebral blood flow (CBF), mean transit time (MTT), and time-to-peak (TTP) in the frontal lobes of these patients were also analyzed.

RESULTS

Many aspects of executive function in the patients with MMD were significantly poorer than those in the healthy controls, and the patients performed particularly poorer on the VF test, HSCT, N-back test, and SART. The patients with hemorrhagic MMD exhibited worse executive inhibition, executive processing, and semantic inhibition compared with those with ischemic MMD, but the latter group presented a worse working memory and poorer sustained attention. There were no significant differences in the DEX scores between the patients with MMD and healthy controls. The other findings were as follows: CBF was significantly positively correlated with the number correct on part B of the HSCT (r = 0.481, p = 0.01) and accuracy on the 0-back task of the N-back (r = 0.346, p = 0.031); MTT was significantly positively correlated with accuracy on the 2-back task of the N-back (r = 0.349, p = 0.034) and factor 5 of the DEX (r = 0.359, p = 0.032); and TTP was significantly positively correlated with the number correct on part B of the HSCT (r = 0.402, p = 0.034) and the 1-back reaction time of the N-back (r = 0.356, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

The patients with MMD exhibited impairments in semantic inhibition, executive processing, working memory, and sustained attention, but they were not aware of these deficits. Moreover, differences in dysexecutive function existed between the different subtypes of MMD. Hypoperfusion of the frontal lobe may be related to working memory and semantic inhibition impairments in patients with MMD.