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Yun-Sik Dho, Yong Hwy Kim, Young-Bem Se, Doo Hee Han, Jung Hee Kim, Chul-Kee Park, Kyu-Chang Wang and Dong Gyu Kim

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) is commonly used for the treatment of craniopharyngioma; therefore, it is essential to analyze outcomes in order to understand the benefits and drawbacks. The goal of this paper was to evaluate the clinical features and outcomes associated with this treatment approach.

METHODS

From July 2010 to March 2016, 82 adult craniopharyngioma patients underwent an EEA at the authors’ institution. Of these cases, intraoperative records and immediate postoperative MR images were available for 68 patients. The patients underwent systemized endocrinological evaluation. Eighteen of 68 patients who underwent EEA for recurrence or regrowth of residual lesions after previous surgical management were excluded in the analysis of the anatomical tumor classification. The authors retrospectively analyzed preoperative clinical features and previous anatomical classifications, focusing on the relationship of the pituitary stalk and tumor, to determine predictive factors for the clinical outcome, such as the extent of resection, visual function, endocrinological function, recurrence rate, and complications.

RESULTS

The mean tumor size was 2.5 cm (3.1 cm for primary tumors and 1.9 cm for recurrent lesions). Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 62 (91.1%) patients (48 [96.0%] patients with primary tumors and 14 [77.8%] patients with recurrent tumors). The rate of GTR was higher in the primary group than in the group with recurrence (p = 0.038). The overall pre- and postoperative visual impairment scale (VIS) scores were 40.8 and 22.1, respectively (50.9 and 14.3 in the primary group and 30.7 and 29.9 in patients with recurrence, respectively). The improvement rate in VIS score was higher in the primary group than in the recurrent group (p = 0.001). Endocrinological function was improved in 4 patients (5.9%) and deteriorated in 32 of 68 patients (47.1%). Tumor invasion into the center of the pituitary stalk affected the postoperative outcomes most significantly. Cognitive dysfunction was observed in 22 patients before surgery and improved in 20 patients (90.9%) after surgery. Hydrocephalus was found in 7 patients and resolved after surgery in all cases. CSF leakage occurred in 2 (2.9%) of 68 patients and was repaired by revision surgery in both patients. Ten patients without CSF leakage also received antibiotics for the treatment of meningitis. The infection rate was higher in the recurrent group. Postoperative endocrinological evaluation showed no deficits in 12 patients and panhypopituitarism in 55 patients. The remaining patient had growth hormone deficiency. Forty-three patients had new-onset diabetes insipidus, and 1 patient had persistent diabetes insipidus after surgery. There were 2 (2.9%) cases of recurrence during the mean 30.7-month follow-up period; one patient underwent radiosurgery and the other underwent reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA resulted in excellent surgical outcomes and acceptable morbidity rates, regardless of the anatomical location of the tumor. Invasion of the craniopharyngioma into the center of the pituitary stalk has strong predictive power for postoperative endocrinological outcome.

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Na Young Jung, Chang Kyu Park, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECTIVE

Although neurosurgical procedures are effective treatments for controlling involuntary tremor in patients with essential tremor (ET), they can cause cognitive decline, which can affect quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this study is to assess the changes in the neuropsychological profile and QOL of patients following MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy for ET.

METHODS

The authors prospectively analyzed 20 patients with ET who underwent unilateral MRgFUS thalamotomy at their institute in the period from March 2012 to September 2014. Patients were regularly evaluated with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST), neuroimaging, and cognition and QOL measures. The Seoul Neuropsychological Screening Battery was used to assess cognitive function, and the Quality of Life in Essential Tremor Questionnaire (QUEST) was used to evaluate the postoperative change in QOL.

RESULTS

The total CRST score improved by 67.3% (from 44.75 ± 9.57 to 14.65 ± 9.19, p < 0.001) at 1 year following MRgFUS thalamotomy. Mean tremor scores improved by 68% in the hand contralateral to the thalamotomy, but there was no significant improvement in the ipsilateral hand. Although minimal cognitive decline was observed without statistical significance, memory function was much improved (p = 0.031). The total QUEST score also showed the same trend of improving (64.16 ± 17.75 vs 27.38 ± 13.96, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report that MRgFUS thalamotomy had beneficial effects in terms of not only tremor control but also safety for cognitive function and QOL. Acceptable postoperative changes in cognition and much-improved QOL positively support the clinical significance of MRgFUS thalamotomy as a new, favorable surgical treatment in patients with ET.

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Na Young Jung, Chang Kyu Park, Minsoo Kim, Phil Hyu Lee, Young Ho Sohn and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECTIVE

Recently, MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) has emerged as an innovative treatment for numerous neurological disorders, including essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and some psychiatric disorders. Thus, clinical applications with this modality have been tried using various targets. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility, initial effectiveness, and potential side effects of unilateral MRgFUS pallidotomy for the treatment of parkinsonian dyskinesia.

METHODS

A prospective, nonrandomized, single-arm clinical trial was conducted between December 2013 and May 2016 at a single tertiary medical center. Ten patients with medication-refractory, dyskinesia-dominant PD were enrolled. Participants underwent unilateral MRgFUS pallidotomy using the Exablate 4000 device (InSightec) after providing written informed consent. Patients were serially evaluated for motor improvement, neuropsychological effects, and adverse events according to the 1-year follow-up protocol. Primary measures included the changes in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS) scores from baseline to 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Secondary measures consisted of neuropsychological batteries and quality of life questionnaire (SF-36). Technical failure and safety issues were also carefully assessed by monitoring all events during the study period.

RESULTS

Unilateral MRgFUS pallidotomy was successfully performed in 8 of 10 patients (80%), and patients were followed up for more than 6 months. Clinical outcomes showed significant improvements of 32.2% in the “medication-off” UPDRS part III score (p = 0.018) and 52.7% in UDysRS (p = 0.017) at the 6-month follow-up, as well as 39.1% (p = 0.046) and 42.7% (p = 0.046) at the 1-year follow-up, respectively. These results were accompanied by improvement in quality of life. Among 8 cases, 1 patient suffered an unusual side effect of sonication; however, no patient experienced persistent aftereffects.

CONCLUSIONS

In the present study, which marks the first Phase I pilot study of unilateral MRgFUS pallidotomy for parkinsonian dyskinesia, the authors demonstrated the efficacy of pallidal lesioning using MRgFUS and certain limitations that are unavoidably associated with incomplete thermal lesioning due to technical issues. Further investigation and long-term follow-up are necessary to validate the use of MRgFUS in clinical practice.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02003248 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Man Kyu Choi, Dae Jean Jo and Chang Kyu Park

OBJECTIVE

Late-onset neurological deficits are a rare complication of spinal tuberculosis that may be caused by proximal adjacent segment degeneration (ASD) above the kyphus. The objective of this study was to report several cases of neurological deficits due to proximal ASD in patients with post-tuberculous kyphotic deformity and discuss the characteristics of the authors’ corrective surgical technique.

METHODS

The inclusion criteria in this study were severe angular kyphosis due to a post-tuberculous kyphotic deformity and a late-onset neurological deficit. The cause of these deficits was related to a lesion in the proximal cephalad portion of the kyphotic deformity. Surgical intervention, including decompression and compromised restoration of the sagittal imbalance, was performed in all patients. Preoperative surgical planning with a radiological evaluation included CT, plain radiograph, and MRI studies. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

RESULTS

The main goal of our surgical technique was the correction of sagittal malalignment by positioning the patient’s head above the kyphotic deformity on the sagittal plane, excluding aggressive osteotomy. The neurological symptoms showed immediate improvements postoperatively, except in 1 patient. Compared to the preoperative value of 66.9, the mean ODI score improved to 42.6 at the final follow-up for all patients. Preoperatively, the mean values of the angles of deformity and the sagittal vertical axis were 99.7° and 157.7 mm, respectively, and decreased to 75.3° and 46.0 mm, respectively, at the final follow-up. No major complications were observed, and the patients’ self-satisfaction was high with respect to both cosmetic and functional outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinicians should be aware of the degeneration of the vertebrae above the kyphotic segment in patients with post-tuberculosis deformity. Successful neurological recovery and compromised sagittal balance could be obtained by using our “head on kyphus” surgical concept.