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Quintino Giorgio D'Alessandris, Corrado Lucantoni, Francesco Signorelli and Liverana Lauretti

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Roberto Pallini, Angelo Tancredi, Patrizia Casalbore, Delio Mercanti, Luigi M. Larocca, Alessandro Consales, Liverana Lauretti and Eduardo Fernandez

The authors report the case of a young man suffering from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) who harbored bilateral acoustic schwannomas and a parasellar meningioma. Neuroimaging studies performed during a 4-year follow-up period showed that the bilateral schwannomas had grown very little and at similar rates. However, after the meningioma had infiltrated the tentorium and approached the ipsilateral schwannoma at the incisura, both Schwann cell tumors started to grow rapidly, particularly the one adjacent to the meningioma, of which the percentage of annual growth rate increased by approximately a factor of 102. At the same time, magnetic resonance imaging showed that this tumor also changed its features. During surgery, the acoustic schwannoma was firmly adherent to both meningioma and tentorium. Histological examination revealed meningotheliomatous cells in the schwannoma adjacent to the meningioma. Antiphosphotyrosine immunoblotting of PC12 cells was compatible with the presence of an epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like molecule in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of the patient. This factor was not detected in the CSF of five other NF2 patients, two of whom bore associated bilateral acoustic schwannomas and meningioma in remote locations. It is hypothesized that the meningotheliomatous cells infiltrating the schwannoma triggered an autocrine/paracrine growth-stimulatory mechanism that involved an EGF-like factor.

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Liverana Lauretti, Quintino Giorgio D'Alessandris, Massimo Fantoni, Tiziana D'Inzeo, Eduardo Fernandez, Roberto Pallini and Giancarlo Scoppettuolo

The authors report on the first case of the intraventricular administration of tigecycline described in the Western literature. A 22-year-old man developed cerebrospinal fluid infection from an extremely drug-resistant strain of Acinetobacter baumannii as a complication of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for the removal of a giant pituitary adenoma. The patient was safely and successfully treated with the prolonged intraventricular administration of tigecycline. Here, the authors provide the schedule details that can be invaluable in treating meningitis from extremely drug-resistant bacterial strains. Intraventricular tigecycline can be a valuable tool against multidrug-resistant central nervous system infections.

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Nicola Montano, Quintino Giorgio D'Alessandris, Manuela D'Ercole, Liverana Lauretti, Roberto Pallini, Rina Di Bonaventura, Giuseppe La Rocca, Federico Bianchi and Eduardo Fernandez

OBJECT

Only a few published studies of the surgical treatment of benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors (BPNSTs), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), and peripheral non–neural sheath tumors (PNNSTs) have analyzed the results and possible prognostic factors using multivariate analysis. The authors report on their surgical series of cases of BPNSTs, MPNSTs, and PNNSTs with long-term follow-up and analyze the role of selected factors with respect to the prognosis and risk of recurrence of these tumors using multivariate analysis. They also review the pertinent literature and discuss their results in its context.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from cases involving patients who underwent resection of a peripheral nerve tumor between January 1983 and December 2013 at their institution. Of a total of 200 patients, 150 patients (with 173 surgically treated tumors) had adequate follow-up data available for analysis. Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS), and motor and sensory function were assessed by means of the Louisiana State University grading system. They also analyzed the relationship between tumor recurrence and patient sex, patient age, diagnosis of neurofibromatosis (NF), tumor histopathology, tumor size, tumor location, and extent of resection (subtotal vs gross-total resection), using univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS

There was a statistically significant improvement in the mean VAS pain score (preoperative 3.96 ± 2.41 vs postoperative 0.95 ± 1.6, p = 0.0001). Motor strength and sensory function were significantly improved after resection of tumors involving the brachial plexus (p = 0.0457 and p = 0.0043, respectively), tumors involving the upper limb (p = 0.0016 and p = 0.0016, respectively), BPNSTs (p = 0.0011 and p < 0.0001, respectively), and tumors with dimensions less than 5 cm (motor strength: p = 0.0187 and p = 0.0021 for ≤ 3 cm and 3–5 cm tumors, respectively; sensory function: p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0001 for ≤ 3 cm and 3–5 cm tumors, respectively). Sensory function showed a statistically significant improvement also in patients who had undergone resection of tumors involving the lower limb (p = 0.0118). Total resection was associated with statistically significant improvement of motor strength (p = 0.0251) and sensory function (p < 0.0001). In univariate analysis, a history of NF (p = 0.0034), a diagnosis of MPNST or PNNST (p < 0.0001), and subtotal resection (p = 0.0042) were associated with higher risk of tumor recurrence. In multivariate analysis (logistic regression analysis), a history of NF (OR 9.28%, 95% CI 1.62–52.94, p = 0.0121) and a diagnosis of MPNST (OR 0.03%, 95% CI 0.002–0.429, p = 0.0098) or PNNST (OR 0.081%, 95% CI 0.013–0.509, p = 0.0077) emerged as independent prognostic factors for tumor recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS

A total resection should be attempted in all cases of peripheral nervous system tumors (irrespective of the supposed diagnosis and tumor dimensions) because it is associated with better prognosis in term of functional outcome and overall survival. Moreover, a total resection predicts a lower risk of tumor recurrence. Patients with a history of NF and tumors with malignant histology remain a challenge both for neurosurgeons and oncologists due to higher recurrence rates and the lack of standardized adjuvant therapies.

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Liverana Lauretti, Quintino Giorgio D'Alessandris and Eduardo Fernandez