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Joseph Maarrawi, Patrick Mertens, Jacques Luaute, Christophe Vial, Nicole Chardonnet, Maryse Cosson and Marc Sindou

Object

To manage refractory upper-limb spasticity, selective peripheral neurotomy (SPN) is proposed when the spastic muscles to be treated are under the control of a single or a few peripheral nerves. The aim of this study was to assess prospectively the long-term effects of SPN.

Methods

Thirty-one patients with disabling upper-limb spasticity were selected by a multidisciplinary team using clinical, analytical, and functional scales as well as nerve block tests for assessment. Sixty-four SPNs were performed at the level of the musculocutaneous (15 SPNs), the median (25 SPNs), and the ulnar (24 SPNs) nerves. Results of a long term follow up (mean 4.5 years) showed statistically significant improvement on 1) analytical assessment (p < 0.01): resting position, active amplitude, and motor strength; 2) Ashworth Scale scoring (p < 0.01); 3) hand function assessment (p < 0.01); and 4) rating of daily activities. Four patients with severe painful spasticity experienced complete pain relief after surgery. On the basis of a Visual Analog Scale ranging from 0 to 100, the mean degree of patient satisfaction was 61.5. Complications occurred in five patients (15%): two postoperative hematomas, one (temporary) hypesthesia, and one transient paresia of the wrist and finger flexors.

Conclusions

Selective peripheral neurotomy leads to long-term satisfactory improvement in function and/or comfort with a low morbidity rate in appropriately selected patients suffering from severe harmful spasticity of the upper limb that has been refractory to conservative therapy. Patients must be selected after complete assessment by a multidisciplinary team.

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Roberto C. Heros

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Marc P. Sindou and Jorge E. Alvernia

Object

Radical removal of meningiomas involving the major dural sinuses remains controversial. In particular, whether the fragment invading the sinus must be resected and whether the venous system must be reconstructed continue to be issues of debate. In this paper the authors studied the effects, in terms of tumor recurrence rate as well as morbidity and mortality rates, of complete lesion removal including the invaded portion of the sinus and the consequences of restoring or not restoring the venous circulation.

Methods

The study consisted of 100 consecutive patients who had undergone surgery for meningiomas originating at the superior sagittal sinus in 92, the transverse sinus in five, and the confluence of sinuses in three. A simplified classification scheme based on the degree of sinus involvement was applied: Type I, lesion attachment to the outer surface of the sinus wall; Type II, tumor fragment inside the lateral recess; Type III, invasion of the ipsilateral wall; Type IV, invasion of the lateral wall and roof; and Types V and VI, complete sinus occlusion with or without one wall free, respectively. Lesions with Type I invasion were treated by peeling the outer layer of the sinus wall. In cases of sinus invasion Types II to VI, two strategies were used: a nonreconstructive (coagulation of the residual fragment or global resection) and a reconstructive one (suture, patch, or bypass). Gross-total tumor removal was achieved in 93% of cases, and sinus reconstruction was attempted in 45 (65%) of the 69 cases with wall and lumen invasion. The recurrence rate in the study overall was 4%, with a follow-up period from 3 to 23 years (mean 8 years). The mortality rate was 3%, all cases due to brain swelling after en bloc resection of a Type VI meningioma without venous restoration. Eight patients—seven of whom harbored a lesion in the middle third portion of the superior sagittal sinus—had permanent neurological aggravation, likely due to local venous infarction. Six of these patients had not undergone a venous repair procedure.

Conclusions

The relatively low recurrence rate in the present study (4%) favors attempts at complete tumor removal, including the portion invading the sinus. The subgroup of patients without venous reconstruction displayed statistically significant clinical deterioration after surgery compared with the other subgroups (p = 0.02). According to this result, venous flow restoration seems justified when not too risky.

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Mikhail Chernov

Object.

Radical removal of meningiomas involving the major dural sinuses remains controversial. In particular, whether the fragment invading the sinus must be resected and whether the venous system must be reconstructed continue to be issues of debate. In this paper the authors studied the effects, in terms of tumor recurrence rate as well as morbidity and mortality rates, of complete lesion removal including the invaded portion of the sinus and the consequences of restoring or not restoring the venous circulation.

Methods.

The study consisted of 100 consecutive patients who had undergone surgery for meningiomas originating at the superior sagittal sinus in 92, the transverse sinus in five, and the confluence of sinuses in three. A simplified classification scheme based on the degree of sinus involvement was applied: Type I, lesion attachment to the outer surface of the sinus wall; Type II, tumor fragment inside the lateral recess; Type III, invasion of the ipsilateral wall; Type IV, invasion of the lateral wall and roof; and Types V and VI, complete sinus occlusion with or without one wall free, respectively. Lesions with Type I invasion were treated by peeling the outer layer of the sinus wall. In cases of sinus invasion Types II to VI, two strategies were used: a nonreconstructive (coagulation of the residual fragment or global resection) and a reconstructive one (suture, patch, or bypass). Gross-total tumor removal was achieved in 93% of cases, and sinus reconstruction was attempted in 45 (65%) of the 69 cases with wall and lumen invasion. The recurrence rate in the study overall was 4%, with a follow-up period from 3 to 23 years (mean 8 years). The mortality rate was 3%, all cases due to brain swelling after en bloc resection of a Type VI meningioma without venous restoration. Eight patients—seven of whom harbored a lesion in the middle third portion of the superior sagittal sinus—had permanent neurological aggravation, likely due to local venous infarction. Six of these patients had not undergone a venous repair procedure.

Conclusions.

The relatively low recurrence rate in the present study (4%) favors attempts at complete tumor removal, including the portion invading the sinus. The subgroup of patients without venous reconstruction displayed statistically significant clinical deterioration after surgery compared with the other subgroups (p = 0.02). According to this result, venous flow restoration seems justified when not too risky.

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Marc Sindou, Ernesto Wydh, Emmanuel Jouanneau, Mustapha Nebbal and Thomas Lieutaud

Object

The authors report on the long-term outcome in 100 consecutive patients with meningiomas arising from the cavernous sinus (CS) with compressive extension outside the CS. The treatment in all cases was surgery alone without adjuvant radiosurgery or radiotherapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the percentage of patients in whom surgery alone was able to produce long-term tumor control.

Methods

All 100 patients harbored meningiomas with supra- and/or laterocavernous extension, and 27 had petro-clival extension. Surgery was performed via frontopterionotemporal craniotomy associated with orbital and/or zygomatic osteotomy in 97 patients. Proximal control of the internal carotid artery at the foramen lacerum was undertaken in 65 patients; the paraclinoid carotid segment was exposed extradurally at the space made by the anterior clinoidectomy in 81 patients. For the petroclival tumor extension, a second-stage surgery was performed via a presigmoid–retro-labyrinthine or retrosigmoid approach in 13 and 14 patients, respectively.

Results

The mortality rate was 5% and two patients had severe hemiplegic or aphasic sequelae. The creation or aggravation of disorders in vision, ocular motility, or trigeminal function occurred in 19, 29, and 24% of patients respectively, with a significantly higher rate of complications when resection was performed inside the CS (p < 0.05).

Gross-total removal of both the extra- and intracavernous portions was achieved in 12 patients (Group 1), removal of the extracavernous portions with only a partial resection of the intracavernous portion in 28 patients (Group 2), and removal only of the extracavernous portions was performed in 60 patients (Group 3). The follow-up period ranged from 3 to 20 years (mean 8.3 years). There was no tumor recurrence in Group 1. In the 83 surviving patients in Groups 2 and 3 combined, the tumor remnant did not regrow in 72 patients (86.7%); regrowth was noted in 11 (13.3%).

Conclusions

The results suggest that there is no significant oncological benefit in performing surgery within the CS. Because entering the CS entails a significantly higher risk of complications, radiosurgical treatment should be reserved for remnants with secondary growth and clinical manifestations.

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Marc Sindou, José Leston, Evelyne Decullier and François Chapuis

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term efficacy of microvascular decompression (MVD) and to identify the factors affecting outcome in patients treated for primary trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Only the cases with a clear-cut neurovascular conflict (vascular contact and/or compression of the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve) found at surgery and treated with “pure” MVD (decompression of the root without any additional lesioning or cutting of the adjacent rootlets) were retained.

Methods

The study included 362 patients who were followed up over a period of 1 to 18 years (median follow-up 7.2 years). A Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was generated at 1 and 15 years of follow-up for all of the considered factors. According to Kaplan–Meier analysis, the success rate (defined as pain-free patients without any medication) was 91% at 1 year and estimated to be 73.38% after 15 years of follow-up.

Results

None of the following patient-related factors played any significant role in prognosis: sex, patient age at surgery, history of systemic hypertension, duration of neuralgia before surgery, or history of failed trigeminal surgery. Patients with atypical neuralgia (a baseline of permanent pain) had the same outcome as those with a typical (purely spasmodic) presentation. In addition, the side and topography of the trigeminal nerve did not play a role, whereas involvement of all three divisions of the nerve had a negative effect on outcome. Concerning anatomical factors, neither the type of the compressive vessel nor its location along or around the root was found to be significant. However, the severity of compression was important—the more severe the degree of compression, the better the outcome (p = 0.002). The authors also found that presence of focal arachnoiditis had a negative influence on outcome (p = 0.002).

Conclusions

Pure MVD can offer patients affected by a primary TN a 73.38% probability of long-term (15 years) cure of neuralgia. The presence of a clear-cut and marked vascular compression at surgery (and possibly—although not yet reliably—on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging) is the guarantee of a higher than 90% success rate.

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Jorge E. Alvernia, Nguyen D. Dang and Marc P. Sindou

Object

Convexity meningiomas are expected to have a low recurrence rate given their classically “easy resectability.” Nonetheless, recurrence can occur. Factors playing a role in their recurrence are analyzed here, including the extent of resection and tumor histological type, among others, with a special emphasis on the cleavage plane.

Methods

The authors reviewed 100 cases of convexity meningiomas surgically treated between 1987 and 2001 with a median follow-up of 86 months (range 2–16 years). Preoperative and postoperative functional status, Simpson resection grade, histological type, and intraoperative surgical plane with pial vessel invasion were studied and correlated with the recurrence rate.

Results

The average tumor size was 3.6 ± 0.4 cm. The pre- and postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale scores were 92.6 ± 4.6 and 97.9 ± 2.2, respectively. Ninety-five lesions were benign (WHO Grade I) and 5 were atypical (WHO Grade II). Ninety-one and 9 tumors were subjected to Simpson Grade 1 and 3 resections (three Grade 3a and six Grade 3b), respectively. Surgical deaths did not occur. After a mean follow-up of 7.2 years, 4 meningiomas recurred; 2 (2.2%) after Simpson Grade 1 resections and 2 after Simpson Grade 3 (3a and 3b) resections (22.2%; p = 0.0034). When just the subgroup of Simpson Grade 1/WHO Grade I was studied, the recurrence rate decreased to 1.2% (1 of 86 cases). The recurrence of WHO Grade I tumors was higher in the subpial group than in the extrapial group (p = 0.025). No difference in recurrence according to the cleavage plane was seen in the WHO Grade II subgroup (p = 0.361). As for the subpial group, no difference in recurrence was noted between the WHO Grade I and II subgroups (p = 0.608). Importantly, however, the extrapial subgroup of WHO Grade II lesions had a higher recurrence rate compared with its counterpart in the WHO Grade I subgroup (p = 0.005).

Conclusions

Pial and vascular invasion affect the recurrence rate in convexity meningioma surgery. The recurrence rate of WHO Grade I tumors was higher among those with a subpial plane of dissection than among those with an extrapial one. Histological type did not determine the degree of pial invasion in WHO Grade I and II lesions.

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Mahmoud Messerer, Julie Dubourg, Ghislaine Saint-Pierre, Emmanuel Jouanneau and Marc Sindou

Object

The cavernous sinus and surrounding regions—specifically the Meckel cave, posterior sector of the cavernous sinus itself, and the upper part of the petroclival region—are the location of a large variety of lesions that require individual consideration regarding treatment strategy. These regions may be reached for biopsy by a percutaneous needle inserted through the foramen ovale. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of percutaneous biopsy in a consecutive series of 50 patients referred for surgery between 1991 and 2010.

Methods

Seven biopsies (14%) were unproductive and 43 (86%) were productive, among which 28 lesions subsequently underwent histopathological examination during a second (open) surgery. To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the procedure, results from surgery were compared with those from the biopsy.

Results

Sensitivity of the percutaneous biopsy was 0.83 (95% CI 0.52–0.98), specificity was 1 (95% CI 0.79–1), and κ coefficient was 0.81.

Conclusions

Because of its valuable diagnostic accuracy, percutaneous biopsy of the cavernous sinus and surrounding regions should be performed in patients with parasellar masses when neuroimaging does not provide sufficient information of a histopathological nature. This procedure would enable patients to obtain the most appropriate therapy, such as resective surgery, corticosteroids, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or radiosurgery.

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Paulo Roberto Lacerda Leal, Charlotte Barbier, Marc Hermier, Miguel Angelo Souza, Gerardo Cristino-Filho and Marc Sindou

Object

The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate atrophic changes in trigeminal nerves (TGNs) using measurements of volume (V) and cross-sectional area (CSA) from high-resolution 3-T MR images obtained in patients with unilateral trigeminal neuralgia (TN), and to correlate these data with patient and neurovascular compression (NVC) characteristics and with clinical outcomes.

Methods

Anatomical TGN parameters (V and CSA) were obtained in 50 patients (30 women and 20 men; mean age 56.42 years, range 22–79 years) with classic TN before treatment with microvascular decompression (MVD). Parameters were compared between the symptomatic (ipsilateralTN) and asymptomatic (contralateralTN) sides of the face. Twenty normal control subjects were also included. Two independent observers blinded to the side of pain separately analyzed the images. Measurements of V (from the pons to the entrance of the nerve into Meckel's cave) and CSA (at 5 mm from the entry of the TGN into the pons) for each TGN were performed using imaging software and axial and coronal projections, respectively. These data were correlated with patient characteristics (age, duration of symptoms before MVD, side of pain, sex, and area of pain distribution), NVC characteristics (type of vessel involved in NVC, location of compression along the nerve, site of compression around the circumference of the root, and degree of compression), and clinical outcomes at the 2-year follow-up after surgery. Comparisons were made using Bonferroni's test. Interobserver variability was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient.

Results

The mean V of the TGN on the ipsilateralTN (60.35 ± 21.74 mm3) was significantly smaller (p < 0.05) than those for the contralateralTN and controls (78.62 ± 24.62 mm3 and 89.09 ± 14.72 mm3, respectively). The mean CSA of the TGN on the ipsilateralTN (4.17 ± 1.74 mm2) was significantly smaller than those for the contralateralTN and controls (5.41 ± 1.89 mm2 and 5.64 ± 0.85 mm2, respectively). The ipsilateralTN with NVC Grade III (marked indentation) had a significantly smaller mean V than the ipsilateralTN with NVC Grade I (mere contact), although it was not significantly smaller than that of the ipsilateralTN with NVC Grade II (displacement or distortion of root). The ipsilateralTN with NVC Grade III had a significantly smaller mean CSA than the ipsilateralTN with NVC Grades I and II (p < 0.05). The TGN on the ipsilateralTN in cured patients had a smaller mean CSA than that on the ipsilateralTN of patients with partial pain relief or treatment failure (p < 0.05). The same finding was almost found in relation to measurements of V, but the p value was slightly higher at 0.05.

Conclusions

Results showed that TGN atrophy in patients with TN can be demonstrated by high-resolution imaging. These data suggest that atrophic changes in TGNs, which significantly correlated with the severity of compression and clinical outcomes, may help to predict long-term prognosis after vascular decompression.

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Marc Sindou, Mohamed Mahmoudi and Andrei Brînzeu

OBJECT

In spite of solid anatomical and physiological arguments and the promising results of Jannetta in the 1970s, treating essential hypertension by microvascular decompression (MVD) of the brainstem has not gained acceptance as a mainstream technique. The main reason has been a lack of established selection criteria. Because of this, the authors' attempts have been limited to patients referred for MVD for hemifacial spasm (HFS) who also had hypertension likely to be related to neurovascular compression (NVC).

METHODS

Of 201 patients referred for HFS, 48 (23.8%) had associated hypertension. All had high-resolution MR images that demonstrated NVC. All underwent MVD of the root exit/entry zone (REZ) of the ninth and tenth cranial nerves (CN IX-X) and adjacent ventrolateral medulla in addition to the CN VII REZ. Effects on hypertension, graded using the WHO classification, were studied up to the latest follow-up, which was 2–16 years from the time of surgery, 7 years on average. Also, effects of MVD on blood pressure (BP) according to the side of vascular compression were evaluated.

RESULTS

Preoperatively, hypertension was severe in all but 1 of the patients; in spite of medical treatment, 47 patients still had WHO Grade 1 or 2 hypertension, and 18 still had unstable BP. After MVD, at latest follow-up, BP had returned to normal (i.e., systolic pressure < 140 mm Hg) in 28 patients; 14 of these patients (29.10% of the whole series) were able to maintain normal BP without any antihypertensive treatment; the other 14 still required some medication to maintain their BP below 140 mm Hg (p < 0.0001). Also, at latest follow-up, BP remained unstable in only 8 of the 18 patients with instability prior to MVD (p < 0.02). Analysis according to side of compression showed that of the 30 patients with left-sided compression, 17 had their BP normalized (without medication in 11 cases), and of the 18 patients with right-sided compression, 11 had their BP normalized (without medication in 3 cases). The difference between sides was not significant.

CONCLUSIONS

These results argue for considering MVD for the treatment of hypertension likely to be due to NVC at the CN IX-X REZ and adjacent ventrolateral medulla. Criteria for selecting patients with hypertension alone still need to be established and could include the following indications: apparently essential hypertension, likely to be neurogenic, in patients in whom high-resolution MRI shows clear-cut images of NVC at the CN IX-X REZ and adjacent ventrolateral medulla and in whom BP cannot be controlled by medical treatment.