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Manish Kumar Kasliwal and Ashish Suri

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Yaron A. Moshel, Joshua D.S. Marcus, Erik C. Parker and Patrick J. Kelly


The object of this study was to identify characteristic preoperative angiographic and MR imaging features of safely resectable insular gliomas and describe the surgical techniques and postoperative clinical outcomes.


Thirty-eight patients with insular gliomas underwent transsylvian resection between 1995 and 2007. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, pathological findings, and neurological outcomes were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative MR imaging–defined tumor volumes were superimposed onto the preoperative stereotactic cerebral angiograms to determine whether the insular tumor was confined lateral to (Group I) or extended medially around (Group II) the lenticulostriate arteries (LSAs).


Twenty-five patients (66%) had tumors situated lateral to the LSAs and 13 (34%) had tumors encasing the LSAs. Insular gliomas situated lateral to the LSAs led to significant medial displacement of these vessels (161 ± 39%). In 20 (80%) of these 25 cases the boundaries between tumor and brain parenchyma were well demarcated on preoperative T2-weighted MR images. In contrast, there was less displacement of the LSAs (130 ± 14%) in patients with insular gliomas extending around the LSAs on angiography. In 11 (85%) of these 13 cases, the tumor boundaries were diffuse on T2-weighted MR images. Postoperative hemiparesis or worsening of a preexisting hemiparesis, secondary to LSA compromise, occurred in 5 patients, all of whom had tumor volumes that extended medial to the LSAs. Gross-total or near-total resection was achieved more frequently in cases in which the insular glioma remained lateral to the LSAs (84 vs 54%).


Insular gliomas with an MR imaging–defined tumor volume located lateral to the LSAs on stereotactic angiography displace the LSAs medially by expanding the insula, have well-demarcated tumor boundaries on MR images, and can be completely resected with minimal neurological morbidity. In contrast, insular tumors that appear to surround the LSAs do not displace these vessels medially, are poorly demarcated from normal brain parenchyma on MR images, and are associated with higher rates of neurological morbidity if aggressive resection is pursued. Preoperative identification of these anatomical growth patterns can be of value in planning resection.

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Stephen M. Russell, Robert Elliott, David Forshaw, Patrick J. Kelly and John G. Golfinos

Object. The goal of this study is to report the incidence and clinical evolution of neurological deficits in patients who underwent resection of gliomas confined to the parietal lobe.

Methods. Patient demographics, findings of serial neurological examinations, tumor location and neuroimaging characteristics, extent of resection, and surgical outcomes were tabulated by reviewing inpatient and office records, as well as all pre- and postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained in 28 consecutive patients who underwent resection of a glial neoplasm found on imaging studies to be confined to the parietal lobe. Neurological deficits were correlated with hemispheric dominance, location of the lesion within the superior or inferior parietal lobules, subcortical extension, and involvement of the postcentral gyrus.

The tumors were located in the dominant hemisphere in 18 patients (64%); had a mean diameter of 39 mm (range 14–69 mm); were isolated to the superior parietal lobule in six patients (21%) and to the inferior parietal lobule in eight patients (29%); and involved both lobules in 14 patients (50%). Gross-total resection, documented by MR imaging, was achieved in 24 patients (86%). Postoperatively, nine patients (32%) experienced new neurological deficits, whereas seven (25%) had an improvement in their preoperative deficit. A correlation was noted between larger tumors and the presence of neurological deficits both before and after resection. Postoperatively higher-level (association) parietal deficits were noted only in patients with tumors involving both the superior and inferior parietal lobules in the dominant hemisphere. At the 3-month follow-up examination, five of nine new postoperative deficits had resolved.

Conclusions. Neurological deterioration and improvement occur after resection of parietal lobe gliomas. Parietal lobe association deficits, specifically the components of Gerstmann syndrome, are mostly associated with large tumors that involve both the superior and inferior parietal lobules of the dominant hemisphere. New hemineglect or sensory extinction was not noted in any patient following resection of lesions located in the nondominant hemisphere. Nevertheless, primary parietal lobe deficits (for example, a visual field loss or cortical sensory syndrome) occurred in patients regardless of hemispheric dominance.

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Alon Y. Mogilner, Djordje Sterio, Ali R. Rezai, Martin Zonenshayn, Patrick J. Kelly and Aleksandar Beric

Object. A substantial number of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) who have undergone unilateral stereotactic pallidotomy ultimately develop symptom progression, becoming potential candidates for further surgical treatment. Bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a subset of patients with refractory PD. Microelectrode recording is performed to help localize the STN and guide final placement of the electrode. Potential alterations in physiological features of the STN after pallidotomy may complicate localization of this structure in this group of patients.

Methods. Bilateral STN DBS surgery guided by microelectrode recording was performed in six patients who had undergone previous unilateral pallidotomies. Physiologically obtained parameters of the STN, including trajectory length, mean firing rate, cell number, and cell density were calculated. These data were compared with those from the side without prior pallidotomy within each patient, as well as with those from our series of 49 subthalamic nuclei explored in 26 patients who had not undergone prior pallidotomy but who underwent bilateral STN stimulator placement.

In all patients, analysis of STN cellular activity on the side ipsilateral to the pallidotomy demonstrated a lower mean firing frequency than on the contralateral, intact side. The physiological features on the intact side were not significantly different from those found in our series of patients who had not undergone prior pallidotomy.

Conclusions. Physicians who perform STN surgery in patients with prior pallidotomy should be aware of the electrophysiological differences between the STN that had undergone pallidotomy and the one that had not, to avoid prolonging recording time to search for the typical STN. The implications of these findings for the current models of information processing in the basal ganglia are discussed.

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Richard Kim, Ron Alterman, Patrick J. Kelly, Enrico Fazzini, David Eidelberg, Alaksandar Beric and Djorje Sterio

Unilateral pallidotomy is a safe and effective treatment for medically refractory bradykinetic Parkinson's disease, especially in those patients with levodopa-induced dyskinesia and severe on-off fluctuations. The efficacy of bilateral pallidotomy is less certain.

The authors completed 11 of 12 attempted bilateral pallidotomies among 150 patients undergoing pallidotomy at New York University. In all but one patient, the pallidotomies were separated by at least 9 months. Patients were selected for bilateral pallidotomy if they exhibited bilateral rigidity, bradykinesia, or levodopa-induced dyskinesia prior to treatment or if they exhibited disease progression contralateral to their previously treated side.

The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and timed upper-extremity tasks of the Core Assessment Protocol for Intracerebral Transplantation (CAPIT) were administered to all 12 patients in the “off” state (12 hours without receiving medications) preoperatively and again at 6 and 12 months after each procedure. The median UPDRS and contralateral CAPIT scores improved 60% following the initial procedure (p = 0.008, Wilcoxon rank sums test). The second pallidotomy generated only an additional 10% improvement in the UPDRS and CAPIT scores ipsilateral to the original procedure (p = 0.05). Worsened speech was observed in two cases. In the 12th case, total speech arrest was noted during test stimulation. Speech returned within minutes after stimulation was halted. Lesioning was not performed.

These results indicate that bilateral pallidotomy has a narrow therapeutic window. Motor improvement ipsilateral to the first lesion leaves little room for further improvement from the second lesion and the risk of speech deficit is greatly enhanced. Chronic pallidal stimulation contralateral to a previously successful pallidotomy may prove to be a safer alternative for the subset of patients who require bilateral procedures.

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Howard L. Weiner and Patrick J. Kelly

✓ The authors report their experience using a novel surgical approach for resecting tumors located in the posterior parahippocampal gyrus. Prior attempts to resect epileptogenic foci in this location have been limited by a significant risk of injury to lateral temporal lobe cortical and vascular structures. To avoid these potential complications, the authors have used a lateral occipitosubtemporal, computer-assisted stereotactic volumetric approach to resect radiographically defined tumors in seven patients with intraaxial neoplasms of the posteromedial temporal lobe. This series included one female and six male patients, ranging in age from 15 to 67 years, who presented with seizures, visual field loss, or headache. Gross-total resection of three high-grade gliomas, two gangliogliomas, and one mixed glioma was accomplished with no permanent morbidity or operative mortality. The authors conclude that this approach is advantageous for resecting tumors in this location because, by avoiding unnecessary brain resection or retraction, it significantly reduces the risk of injury to lateral temporal lobe structures, helps maintain precise spatial and anatomical orientation for the surgeon, and, like all computer-assisted volumetric approaches, delineates the margin between the tumor and surrounding neural tissue.

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Francis H. Tomlinson, Paul J. Kurtin, Vera J. Suman, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Judith R. O'Fallon, Patrick J. Kelly, Clifford R. Jack Jr. and Brian P. O'Neill

✓ The authors report on a clinicopathological study of 89 surgical patients with histologically proven primary parenchymal brain lymphoma, all diagnosed between January 1975 and December 1990. The cohort included 60 men and 29 women whose median age at diagnosis was 60 years (range 14 to 84 years). The duration of symptoms was less than 8 weeks in 48% of the patients. Symptom groups included focal neurological deficit (73%), neuropsychiatric symptoms (28%), seizures (9%), and increased intracranial pressure (3%). A total of 132 tumors were seen in 89 patients: the most common sites were frontal (32 patients), temporoparietal (31 patients), and basal ganglia (17 patients); multiple lesions were reported in 23 patients. No patient had antecedent of human immunodeficiency virus positivity or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A family history of cancer was present in 33% of the patients, three-quarters of whom were first-degree relatives. Histological subtypes (National Cancer Institute Working Formulation) included 64 large cell (72%) and 13 immunoblastic (15%) tumors. Phenotype was determined in 66 patients: 63 were B-cell type and three were T-cell type. Surgical resection was performed in 47% of the cases, with the remainder undergoing biopsy only. All but six patients received radiation therapy. Thirty-one patients received chemotherapy, whereas 46 patients did not; data on the remaining 12 patients were unavailable. The end point of the study was death from any cause. At the time of last contact, 69 of the patients (78%) had died; the median survival time for this study group was 20.9 months. On univariate analysis, prognostic factors significantly associated with survival included age at diagnosis, family history of cancer, and focal neurological deficit. Multivariate analysis revealed four unfavorable prognostic factors: age greater than or equal to 60 years, history of cancer in first-degree relatives, focal deficit, and ependymal contact. After adjustment for these variables, clinical syndrome, size and number of lesions, extent of surgery, histological cell type, radiation dose, and use of chemotherapy were not significantly associated with survival.

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Peter A. Forsyth, Patrick J. Kelly, Terrence L. Cascino, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Edward G. Shaw, Robert P. Dinapoli and Elizabeth J. Atkinson

✓ Fifty-one patients with supratentorial glioma treated with external beam radiotherapy (median dose 59.5 Gy) who then demonstrated clinical or radiographic evidence of disease progression underwent stereotactic biopsy to differentiate tumor recurrence from radiation necrosis. The original tumor histological type was diffuse or fibrillary astrocytoma in 21 patients (41%), oligodendroglioma in 13 (26%), and oligoastrocytoma in 17 (33%); 40 tumors (78%) were low-grade (Kernohan Grade 1 or 2). The median time to suspected disease progression was 28 months. Stereotactic biopsy showed tumor recurrence in 30 patients (59%), radiation necrosis in three (6%), and a mixture of both in 17 (33%); one patient (2%) had a parenchymal radiation-induced chondroblastic osteosarcoma. The tumor type at stereotactic biopsy was similar to the original tumor type and was astrocytoma in 24 patients (47%), oligodendroglioma in eight (16%), oligoastrocytoma in 16 (31%), unclassifiable in two (4%), and chondroblastic osteosarcoma in one patient (2%). At biopsy, however, only 19 tumors (37%) were low grade (Kernohan Grade 1 or 2). Subsequent surgery confirmed the stereotactic biopsy histological findings in eight patients. Follow-up examination showed 14 patients alive with a median survival of 1 year for the entire group. Median survival times after biopsy were 0.83 year for patients with tumor recurrence and 1.86 years for patients with both tumor recurrence and radionecrosis; these findings were significantly different (p = 0.008, log-rank test). No patient with radiation necrosis alone died. Other factors associated with reduced survival were a high proportion of residual tumor (p = 0.024), a low proportion of radionecrosis (p < 0.001), and a Kernohan Grade of × or 4 (p = 0.005).

In conclusion, in patients with previously irradiated supratentorial gliomas in whom radionecrosis or tumor recurrence was clinically or radiographically suspected, results of stereotactic biopsy could be used to differentiate tumor recurrence, radiation necrosis, a mixture of both lesions, or radiation-induced neoplasm. In addition, biopsy results could predict survival rates.

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Jonathan S. Fain, Francis H. Tomlinson, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Joseph E. Parisi, Geoffrey P. Fletcher, Patrick J. Kelly and Gary M. Miller

✓ Small asymptomatic cysts of the pineal gland represent a common incidental finding in adults undergoing computerized tomography or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or at postmortem examination. In contrast, large symptomatic pineal cysts are rare, being limited to individual case reports or small series. The authors have reviewed 24 cases of large pineal cysts. The mean patient age at presentation was 28.7 years (range 15 to 46 years); 18 were female and six male. Presenting features in 20 symptomatic cases included: headache in 19; nausea and/or vomiting in seven; papilledema in five; visual disturbances in five (diplopia in three, “blurred vision” in two, and unilateral partial oculomotor nerve palsy in one); Parinaud's syndrome in two; hemiparesis in one; hemisensory aberration in one; and seizures in one. Four lesions were discovered incidentally. Magnetic resonance imaging typically demonstrated a 0.8- to 3.0-cm diameter mass (mean 1.7 cm) with homogeneous decreased signal intensity on T1-weighted images, increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images, and a distinct margin. Hydrocephalus was present in eight cases. The cysts were surgically excised via an infratentorial/supracerebellar approach (23 cases) or stereotactically biopsied (one case). Histological examination revealed a cyst wall 0.5 to 2.0 mm thick comprised of three layers: an outer fibrous layer, a middle layer of pineal parenchymal cells with variable calcification, and an inner layer of hypocellular glial tissue often exhibiting Rosenthal fibers and/or granular bodies. Evidence of prior hemorrhage, mild astrocytic degenerative atypia, and disorganization of pineal parenchyma were often present. Postoperative follow-up review in all 24 cases (range 3 months to 10 years) revealed no complications in 21, mild ocular movement deficit in one, gradually resolving Parinaud's syndrome in one, and radiographic evidence of a postoperative venous infarct of the superior cerebellum with ataxia of 1 week's duration in one. Of the patients referred for study, the cysts were most often initially misdiagnosed as a pineocytoma in eight and a pilocytic astrocytoma in three. Only two patients were correctly diagnosed as having pineal cysts. This stresses the importance of recognizing the histopathological spectrum of pineal cysts, as well as correlation with radiographic findings, if a correct diagnosis is to be attained.