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Jürgen Honegger, Michael Buchfelder and Rudolf Fahlbusch

This study aimed to elucidate the endocrine outcome of craniopharyngioma surgery. In particular, endocrine results were analyzed in relation to the surgical approach. The study includes 161 patients who underwent pre- and postoperative endocrine assessment, 143 of whom had not previously undergone surgery.

Diabetes insipidus was the most common postoperative deficiency in both the transcranial and transsphenoidal groups. In the case of primary surgery (surgery as initial therapy), the overall percentage of patients with diabetes insipidus increased from 16.1% preoperatively to 59.4% postoperatively. After transcranial surgery, the rate of anterior pituitary deficiency also increased. However, normal preoperative anterior pituitary function was maintained in more than 50% of patients for each endocrine axis. Similar results were attained in the group of patients undergoing complete tumor removal. The best result was achieved for gonadal function: the incidence of hypogonadism increased only slightly from 77.4 to 79.8%. During transsphenoidal surgery, anterior pituitary function was generally preserved. An additional deficient axis was encountered postoperatively in only four (11.4%) of 35 primary surgery cases. Endocrine results were not inferior in patients with a ventrally displaced pituitary. This variant required midline incision of the gland for exposure of the craniopharyngioma. Panhypopituitarism was encountered in only one of eight patients in whom the pituitary stalk was partially resected because of tumor infiltration. None of the 88 patients who remained recurrence-free demonstrated endocrine deterioration during follow-up review, compared with the early postoperative assessment 3 months postsurgery. On the other hand, complete recovery of one endocrine axis was observed in nine of these patients during later follow-up evaluations. In five of them, diabetes insipidus had regressed.

The authors conclude that it is worth preserving the pituitary stalk and gland at surgery because anterior pituitary function is more often maintained than is generally believed. Postoperative diabetes insipidus must be accepted as a consequence of complete removal of the pituitary. However, pituitary function may recover and diabetes insipidus in particular may abate with time.

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Uwe M. H. Schrell, Hans Uwe Koch, Rolf Marschalek, Thomas Schrauzer, Marc Anders, Eric Adams and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Object. It has been demonstrated that growth of cerebral meningiomas found in humans is controlled by a variety of factors, including growth factors, aminergic agents, neuropeptides, and steroids. To further our knowledge of this process, the authors investigated the presence and function of the cytokines leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and oncostatin M (OSM) on meningioma cell proliferation.

Methods. Active transcription of LIF, IL-6, and OSM, their related receptors (LIF-R, IL-6-R, and gp130), and the consecutive signal-transducing molecules (STAT 1, STAT 3, and STAT 5a) were analyzed in reverse transcriptase—polymerase chain reaction experiments.

The presence of endogenous LIF, IL-6, and OSM proteins was demonstrated in the supernatant of cultured meningioma cells using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot experiments, thus indicating an autocrine signaling pathway for all three cytokines.

The biological function of all three cytokines was evaluated by studying their effects on meningioma cell growth. Recombinant LIF and IL-6 showed no significant growth modulating effects; however, recombinant OSM decreased meningioma cell growth by 66%. The antiproliferative potency of OSM was demonstrated by cell count experiments, the [3H]thymidine incorporation assay, and cell cycle analysis.

Conclusions. These in vitro data support the concept that growth of meningioma cells may be modulated by cytokines, and they also indicate that recombinant OSM may be one future candidate for use in the adjuvant treatment of inoperable and recurrent meningiomas.

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Jürgen Honegger, Michael Buchfelder and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Object. This study aimed to elucidate the endocrinological outcome of craniopharyngioma surgery. In particular, endocrinological results were analyzed in relation to the surgical approach. The study includes 143 patients who underwent pre- and postoperative endocrinological assessment and who had not previously undergone surgery.

Methods. Diabetes insipidus was the most common postoperative deficiency in both the transcranial and transsphenoidal groups. The overall percentage of patients with diabetes insipidus increased from 16.1% preoperatively to 59.4% postoperatively. After transcranial surgery, the rate of anterior pituitary deficiency also increased. However, normal preoperative anterior pituitary function was maintained in more than 50% of patients for each endocrine axis. Similar results were attained in the group of patients undergoing complete tumor removal. The best result was achieved for gonadal function: the incidence of hypogonadism increased only slightly from 77.4 to 79.8%. The rate of anterior pituitary failure at presentation was much higher in the transsphenoidal than in the transcranial group. During transsphenoidal surgery, intact anterior pituitary functions were generally preserved. The rate of panhypopituitarism increased only slightly, from 40% before surgery to 42.9% after surgery. Endocrinological results were not inferior in patients with a ventrally displaced pituitary. This variant required midline incision of the gland for exposure of the craniopharyngioma. In the entire series of 143 patients the pituitary stalk was generally preserved. Postoperative panhypopituitarism was encountered in only one of eight patients in whom the pituitary stalk was partially resected because of tumor infiltration. None of the 88 patients who remained recurrence-free demonstrated endocrinological deterioration during follow-up review, compared with the early postoperative assessment 3 months postsurgery. On the other hand, complete recovery of one endocrine axis was observed in nine of these patients during later follow-up evaluations. In five of them, diabetes insipidus had regressed.

Conclusions. It is worth preserving the pituitary stalk and gland at surgery because of the definite chance that intact anterior pituitary functions can be maintained. Postoperative diabetes insipidus must be accepted as a common sequela following attempts at complete removal of the craniopharyngioma.

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Rudolf Fahlbusch, Jürgen Honegger, Werner Paulus, Walter Huk and Michael Buchfelder

Object. The goal of this study was to assess the outcome of surgical management in 168 consecutive patients harboring craniopharyngiomas treated between January 1983 and April 1997.

Methods. In 148 patients undergoing initial (primary) surgery, the pterional approach was most frequently used (39.2%), followed by the transsphenoidal approach (23.6%). For large retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas, the bifrontal interhemispheric approach was used increasingly over the pterional approach and led to improved surgical results. Total tumor removal was accomplished in 45.7% of transcranial and 85.7% of transsphenoidal procedures. The main reasons for incomplete removal were attachment to and/or infiltration of the hypothalamus, major calcifications, and attachment to vascular structures. The success rate in total tumor removal was inferior in the cases of tumor recurrence. The operative mortality rate in transcranial surgery was 1.1% in primary cases and 10.5% in cases of tumor recurrence. No patient died in the group that underwent transsphenoidal surgery. The rate of recurrence-free survival after total removal was 86.9% at 5 years and 81.3% at 10 years. In contrast, the 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was only 48.8% after subtotal removal and 41.5% after partial removal. Following primary surgery, the actuarial survival rate was 92.7% at 10 years, with the best results after complete tumor removal. At last follow up, 117 (79%) of 148 patients who underwent primary surgery were independent and without impairment.

Conclusions. Total tumor removal while avoiding hazardous intraoperative manipulation provides favorable early results and a high rate of long-term control in craniopharyngiomas.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Rudolf Fahlbusch, Christopher Nimsky, Helmut Kober, Martin Möller, Ralf Steinmeier, Johann Romstöck and Jürgen Vieth

The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical outcome in 50 patients with lesions around the motor cortex who underwent surgery in which functional neuronavigation was performed.

The sensorimotor cortex was identified in all patients with the use of magnetoencephalography (MEG). The MEG-source localizations were superimposed onto a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image, and the image data set was then implemented into a neuronavigation system. Based on this setup, the surgeon chose the best surgical strategy. During surgery, the pre- and postcentral gyrus were identified by neuronavigation, and in addition, the central sulcus was localized using intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. In all cases MEG localizations of the sensory or motor cortex were correct. In 30% of the patients preoperative paresis improved, in 66% no additional deficits occurred, and in only 4% (two patients) deterioration of neurological function occurred. In one of these patients the deterioration was not related to the method.

The method of incorporating functional data into neuronavigation systems is a promising tool that can be used in more radical surgery to cause less morbidity around eloquent brain areas.

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Werner Paulus, Johann Romstöck, Manfred Weidenbecher, WalterJ. Huk and Rudolf Fahlbusch

✓ Middle ear adenocarcinoma is a very rare, locally invasive neoplasm assumed to arise from the middle ear mucosa. Although endolymphatic sac tumor (aggressive papillary middle ear tumor) and jugulotympanic paraganglioma may show brain invasion, intracranial extension of histologically confirmed middle ear adenocarcinoma has not been previously reported. The authors describe a 53-year-old man who suffered from otalgia and tinnitus for more than 10 years and from neurological deficits for 1 year due to a large temporal bone tumor that invaded the temporal lobe. A combined neurosurgical and otolaryngological resection was performed. Pathological analysis revealed a low-grade adenocarcinoma of a mixed epithelial—neuroendocrine phenotype, which showed a close histological similarity to, and topographical relationship with, middle ear epithelium. The authors conclude that middle ear adenocarcinoma belongs to the spectrum of extracranial tumors that have possible local extension to the brain.

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Oliver Ganslandt, Rudolf Fahlbusch, Christopher Nimsky, Helmut Kober, Martin Möller, Ralf Steinmeier, Johann Romstöck and Jürgen Vieth

Object. The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical outcome in 50 patients with lesions around the motor cortex who underwent surgery in which functional neuronavigation was performed.

Methods. The sensorimotor cortex was identified in all patients with the use of magnetoencephalography (MEG). The MEG-source localizations were superimposed onto a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image and the image data set was implemented into a neuronavigation system. Based on this setup, the surgeon chose the best surgical strategy. During surgery, the pre- and postcentral gyri were identified by neuronavigation and, in addition, the central sulcus was localized using intraoperative recording of somatosensory evoked potentials. In all cases MEG localizations of the sensory or motor cortex were correct. In 30% of the patients preoperative paresis improved, in 66% no additional deficits occurred, and in only 4% (two patients) deterioration of neurological function occurred. In one of these patients the deterioration was not related to the procedure.

Conclusions. The method of incorporating functional data into neuronavigation systems is a promising tool that can be used in more radical surgery to lessen morbidity around eloquent brain areas.

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Christian Strauss, Johann Romstöck and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Object. The authors describe their technique of electrophysiological mapping to assist pericollicular approaches into the rhomboid fossa.

Methods. Surgical approaches to the rhomboid fossa can be optimized by direct electrical stimulation of superficially located nuclei and fibers. Electrophysiological mapping allows identification of facial nerve fibers, nuclei of the abducent and hypoglossal nerves, motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, and the ambiguous nucleus. Stimulation at the surface of the rhomboid fossa performed using the threshold technique allows localization above the area that is located closest to the surface. Simultaneous bilateral electromyographic (EMG) recordings from cranial motor nerves obtained during stimulation document the selectivity of evoked EMG responses. With respect to stimulation parameters and based on morphometric measurements, the site of stimulation can be assumed to be the postsynaptic fibers at the axonal cone. Strict limitation to 10 Hz with a maximum stimulation intensity not exceeding 2 mA can be considered safe. Direct side effects of electrical stimulation were not observed.

Conclusions. Electrical stimulation based on morphometric data obtained on superficial brainstem anatomy defines two safe paramedian supra- and infracollicular approaches to the rhomboid fossa and is particulary helpful in treating intrinsic brainstem lesions that displace normal anatomical structures.

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Johann Romstöck, Christian Strauss and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Object. Electromyography (EMG) monitoring is expected to reduce the incidence of motor cranial nerve deficits in cerebellopontine angle surgery. The aim of this study was to provide a detailed analysis of intraoperative EMG phenomena with respect to their surgical significance.

Methods. Using a system that continuously records facial and lower cranial nerve EMG signals during the entire operative procedure, the authors examined 30 patients undergoing surgery on acoustic neuroma (24 patients) or meningioma (six patients). Free-running EMG signals were recorded from muscles targeted by the facial, trigeminal, and lower cranial nerves, and were analyzed off-line with respect to waveform characteristics, frequencies, and amplitudes. Intraoperative measurements were correlated with typical surgical maneuvers and postoperative outcomes.

Characteristic EMG discharges were obtained: spikes and bursts were recorded immediately following the direct manipulation of a dissecting instrument near the cranial nerve, but also during periods when the nerve had not yet been exposed. Bursts could be precisely attributed to contact activity. Three distinct types of trains were identified: A, B, and C trains. Whereas B and C trains are irrelevant with respect to postoperative outcome, the A train—a sinusoidal, symmetrical sequence of high-frequency and low-amplitude signals—was observed in 19 patients and could be well correlated with additional postoperative facial nerve paresis (in 18 patients).

Conclusions. It could be demonstrated that the occurrence of A trains is a highly reliable predictor for postoperative facial palsy. Although some degree of functional worsening is to be expected postoperatively, there is a good chance of avoiding major deficits by warning the surgeon early. Continuous EMG monitoring is superior to electrical nerve stimulation or acoustic loudspeaker monitoring alone. The detailed analysis of EMG-waveform characteristics is able to provide more accurate warning criteria during surgery.