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Jerry L. Hubbard, Bernd W. Scheithauer, David B. Kispert, Sandra M. Carpenter, Mark R. Wick and Edward R. Laws Jr.

✓ The records of 34 patients over 16 years of age with cerebellar medulloblastoma were retrospectively reviewed. All patients were treated by surgery, and all surviving patients were given radiation therapy. The imaging characteristics of this rare entity were evaluated with regard to the tumor location in the cerebellum, and the prognostic effects of histological characteristics such as neuronal or glial differentiation and the presence of desmoplasia were investigated. Neither histological parameters nor tumor location (median, paramedian, or lateral cerebellar) affected patient survival. The desmoplastic variant was encountered in 38% of these adult medulloblastomas and occurred in all three cerebellar locations. The degree of surgical resection did not have a major effect on long-term survival; long-term survival was possible even in patients who had received only a biopsy. The extent of initial radiation therapy was positively correlated with recurrence-free survival; full neuraxis irradiation was associated with a 13% incidence of delayed spinal metastases, whereas 75% of patients treated with irradiation of only the posterior fossa and/or the whole brain developed spinal deposits. A similar local recurrence rate (12.5%) was noted in both irradiation groups. Chemotherapy resulted in palliation in some patients with metastatic disease.

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Jerry L. Hubbard, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Charles F. Abboud and Edward R. Laws Jr.

✓ Controversy exists regarding the effects of bromocriptine on the success of transsphenoidal surgery for patients with prolactinomas. Various studies on this drug have reported adverse effects, improvement, and no effect upon the subsequent surgical outcome. The authors have retrospectively reviewed the case histories of 55 patients with immunocytochemically confirmed prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas operated on by a transsphenoidal approach between 1981 and 1985. All patients had received bromocriptine in a variety of doses and for variable durations prior to surgery.

Thirty-nine patients were women and 16 were men, with an age range of 8 to 72 years. Basal prolactin levels prior to bromocriptine treatment ranged from 38 to 100 ng/ml in 11 patients, from 101 to 200 ng/ml in 12, and greater than 200 ng/ml in 29. The “cure” rates were 54%, 58%, and 38%, respectively. Thirty-one patients had microadenomas, with a postoperative cure rate of 68%; 12 had diffuse expansive adenomas, with a 17% cure rate; and 12 had grossly invasive tumors, with a 17% cure rate. A response to preoperative bromocriptine therapy was defined as a return of the basal prolactin level to normal: 18 patients were responders and 29 were hyporesponders; in eight the data were not available. The postoperative cure rate was 50% for the responders and 31% for the hyporesponders. Taking into acount the distribution of tumor type, there was no actual difference in outcome between the responder and the hyporesponder groups. The total bromocriptine dose received preoperatively was nearly identical for all groups. No significant differences in the frequency or extent of fibrosis, calcification, or prolactin immunoreactivity were observed in the 55 patients when compared with 26 control prolactinomas not treated with bromocriptine. It is concluded that short-term bromocriptine treatment does not adversely affect surgical outcome in any of the prolactin-secreting adenoma groups, nor does response or lack of response to bromocriptine predict surgical outcome.

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Jerry L. Hubbard and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.

✓ Focal incomplete cerebral ischemia was created in 20 adult cats by retro-orbital middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion under halothane anesthesia. Arterial blood gas, cerebral blood flow (CBF), bilateral electroen-cephalographic (EEG) recordings, and systemic arterial blood pressure (SABP) were monitored for the 1st hour of occlusion. Ten animals were treated with 10 mg/kg of naloxone within 10 minutes of MCA clipping, followed by a continuous infusion of naloxone at 2 mg/kg/hr for the duration of the occlusion (8 hours). Ten animals were treated in a similar fashion with physiological saline (control). Blood flow was restored after 8 hours. The brains were examined at the time of death or 7 days after the occlusion period. There was no difference between the two groups regarding cerebral infarction size or distribution, neurological outcome, SABP, PaCO2, or CBF. Minor changes in EEG amplitude observed in the naloxone-treated group appear to represent interaction of the drug with halothane after prolonged administration. The authors conclude that naloxone did not modify the outcome of focal cerebral ischemia in the cat.