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  • Author or Editor: Jay Jagannathan x
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Jay Jagannathan, Russell R. Lonser, Rene Smith, Hetty L. DeVroom and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

Despite the frequency of cerebellar hemangioblastomas in von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) disease, their optimum contemporary management has not been defined, and is made complex because of the multiple, progressive, and protean nature of the tumors found in patients with this disorder. To examine modern management and outcomes of cerebellar hemangioblastomas in VHL disease, the authors reviewed findings in patients with this disease who underwent resection of cerebellar hemangioblastomas.

Methods

Consecutive patients with VHL disease who underwent surgery for cerebellar hemangioblastoma(s) at the National Institutes of Health were included. Eighty consecutive patients (44 female and 36 male patients) underwent 126 operations for removal of 164 cerebellar hemangioblastomas (age at surgery 37.8 ± 10.3 years, follow-up duration 96.0 ± 60.3 months). Serial clinical examinations, imaging studies, and operative records were analyzed.

Results

Symptoms and signs included headache (94 operations; 75%), ataxia (55%), dysmetria (29%), and hydrocephalus (28%). Although the primary objective of surgery was resection of the hemangioblastoma considered responsible for symptoms (136 of the hemangioblastomas [83%]), 28 additional hemangioblastomas (17%) were removed during the same surgeries. Tumors associated with symptoms were larger (diameter 1.8 ± 1.9 cm; volume 2.8 ± 3.4 cm3; p < 0.05) and more likely to be associated with peritumoral edema or peritumoral cysts (100% associated with edema and/or cyst; p < 0.05) than asymptomatic tumors (diameter 1.1 ± 0.9 cm; volume 0.7 ± 0.4 cm3; 18%). More tumors were located in the posterior (74%) compared with the anterior (26%) half of the cerebellum (p < 0.05). Three months after resection, symptom improvement/stabilization had occurred following 124 of the operations (98%). Preoperative hydrocephalus resolved after tumor removal in 33 cases (94%) and did not require cerebrospinal fluid diversion. Long-term imaging follow-up (61.5 ± 15.0 months) revealed no recurrences.

Conclusions

Symptoms and signs caused by cerebellar hemangioblastomas in VHL disease are associated with edema and peritumoral cyst formation/propagation and are treated safely and effectively with resection. Cerebrospinal fluid diversion is rarely necessary after complete tumor removal in patients with preoperative hydrocephalus. Cerebellar hemangioblastomas are preferentially distributed in the posterior half of the cerebellum, as they are in the brainstem and spinal cord. Tumor recurrence is avoided by meticulous extracapsular resection.

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Jay Jagannathan, Rene Smith, Hetty L. DeVroom, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, Constantine A. Stratakis, Lynnette K. Nieman and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

Many patients with Cushing disease still have active or recurrent disease after pituitary surgery. The histological pseudocapsule of a pituitary adenoma is a layer of compressed normal anterior lobe that surrounds the adenoma and can be used during surgery to identify and guide removal of the tumor. In this study the authors examined the results of using the pseudocapsule as a surgical capsule in the resection of adenomas in patients with Cushing disease.

Methods

The authors reviewed a prospective database of data obtained in patients with Cushing disease who underwent surgery. The analysis included all cases in which a lesion was identified during surgery and in which the lesion was believed to be confined to the pituitary gland in patients with Cushing disease between January 1990 and March 2007. Since the objective was to determine the success of using the pseudocapsule as a surgical capsule, patients with invasive tumors and patients in whom no lesion was identified during surgery—challenging cases for surgical success—were excluded from analysis.

Results

In 261 patients an encapsulated adenoma was identified at surgery. Tumor was visible on MR imaging in 135 patients (52%); in 126 patients (48%) MR imaging detected no tumor. The range of tumor size overlapped considerably in the groups with positive and negative MR imaging results, indicating that in addition to size other features of the adenoma influence the results of MR imaging. In 252 patients hypercortisolism resolved after the first operation, whereas in 9 patients (3 with positive MR imaging and 6 with negative MR imaging) early reoperation was required. Hypercortisolism resolved in all 261 patients (256 with hypocortisolism and 5 with eucortisolism) before hospital discharge. Forty-six patients (18%) had postoperative electrolyte abnormalities (30 with hyponatremia and 16 with diabetes insipidus), but only 2 patients required treatment at discharge. The mean clinical follow-up duration was 84 months (range 12–215 months). Six patients (2%) had recurrence of hypercortisolism, all of whom were treated successfully with reoperation.

Conclusions

Because of their small size, adenomas can be challenging to identify in patients with Cushing disease. Use of the histological pseudocapsule of an adenoma allows accurate identification of the tumor and helps guide its complete excision. With this approach the overall remission rate is high and the rate of complications is low.