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Kenneth C. Liu, Robert M. Starke, Christopher R. Durst, Tony R. Wang, Dale Ding, R. Webster Crowley and Steven A. Newman

OBJECTIVE

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) may cause blindness due to elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Venous sinus stenosis has been identified in select patients, leading to stenting as a potential treatment, but its effects on global ICP have not been completely defined. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the effects of venous sinus stenting on ICP in a small group of patients with IIH.

METHODS

Ten patients for whom medical therapy had failed were prospectively followed. Ophthalmological examinations were assessed, and patients with venous sinus stenosis on MR angiography proceeded to catheter angiography, venography with assessment of pressure gradient, and ICP monitoring. Patients with elevated ICP measurements and an elevated pressure gradient across the stenosis were treated with stent placement.

RESULTS

All patients had elevated venous pressure (mean 39.5 ± 14.9 mm Hg), an elevated gradient across the venous sinus stenosis (30.0 ± 13.2 mm Hg), and elevated ICP (42.2 ± 15.9 mm Hg). Following stent placement, all patients had resolution of the stenosis and gradient (1 ± 1 mm Hg). The ICP values showed an immediate decrease (to a mean of 17.0 ± 8.3 mm Hg), and further decreased overnight (to a mean of 8 ± 4.2 mm Hg). All patients had subjective and objective improvement, and all but one improved during follow-up (median 23.4 months; range 15.7–31.6 months). Two patients developed stent-adjacent stenosis; retreatment abolished the stenosis and gradient in both cases. Patients presenting with papilledema had resolution on follow-up funduscopic imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) and improvement on visual field testing. Patients presenting with optic atrophy had optic nerve thinning on follow-up OCT, but improved visual fields.

CONCLUSIONS

For selected patients with IIH and venous sinus stenosis with an elevated pressure gradient and elevated ICP, venous sinus stenting results in resolution of the venous pressure gradient, reduction in ICP, and functional, neurological, and ophthalmological improvement. As patients are at risk for stent-adjacent stenosis, further follow-up is necessary to determine long-term outcomes and gain an understanding of venous sinus stenosis as a primary or secondary pathological process behind elevated ICP.

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Ricardo J. Komotar, Daniel M. S. Raper, Robert M. Starke, J. Bryan Iorgulescu and Philip H. Gutin

Object

Meningiomas are one of the more common intracranial neoplasms. The risk of seizures and secondary aspiration, brain edema, and brain injury often leads practitioners to administer prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) perioperatively. The efficacy of this practice remains controversial, however, with prior investigations reaching conflicting results and recent studies focusing on AED side effects. The authors performed a systematic analysis of outcomes following supratentorial meningioma resection with and without prophylactic AED administration in the hope of clarifying the role of AEDs in the perioperative care of patients with these lesions.

Methods

A MEDLINE search of the literature (1979–2010) was performed. Comparisons were made for patient and tumor characteristics as well as success of repair, morbidity, and seizure outcome. Statistical analyses of categorical variables were undertaken using chi-square and Fisher exact tests.

Results

Nineteen studies, involving 698 patients, were included. There were no significant differences in the extent of resection, perioperative mortality, or recurrence between the AED and no-AED cohorts. Likewise, there were no significant differences in the incidence of early or late seizures between the cohorts.

Conclusions

The results of this systematic analysis supports the conclusion that the prophylactic administration of anticonvulsants during resection of supratentorial meningiomas provides no benefit in the prevention of either early or late postoperative seizures. Despite their traditional role in this patient population, the routine use of AEDs should be carefully reconsidered.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Robert M. Starke, Brian J. Williams, Claire Hiles, James H. Nguyen, Mohamed Y. Elsharkawy and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Skull base meningiomas are challenging tumors owing in part to their close proximity to important neurovascular structures. Complete microsurgical resection can be associated with significant morbidity, and recurrence rates are not inconsequential. In this study, the authors evaluate the outcomes of skull base meningiomas treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) both as an adjunct to microsurgery and as a primary treatment modality.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively compiled database detailing the outcomes in 255 patients with skull base meningiomas treated at the University of Virginia from 1989 to 2006. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 24 months. The group comprised 54 male and 201 female patients, with a median age of 55 years (range 19–85 years). One hundred nine patients were treated with upfront radiosurgery, and 146 patients were treated with GKS following resection. Patients were assessed clinically and radiographically at routine intervals following GKS. Factors predictive of new neurological deficit following GKS were assessed via univariate and multivariate analysis, and Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox multivariate regression analysis were used to assess factors predictive of tumor progression.

Results

Meningiomas were centered over the cerebellopontine angle in 43 patients (17%), the clivus in 40 (16%), the petroclival region in 28 (11%), the petrous region in 6 (2%), and the parasellar region in 138 (54%). The median duration of follow-up was 6.5 years (range 2–18 years). The mean preradiosurgery tumor volume was 5.0 cm3 (range 0.3–54.8 cm3).

At most recent follow-up, 220 patients (86%) displayed either no change or a decrease in tumor volume, and 35 (14%) displayed an increase in volume. Actuarial progression-free survival at 3, 5, and 10 years was 99%, 96%, and 79%, respectively. In Cox multivariate analysis, pre-GKS covariates associated with tumor progression included age greater then 65 years (HR 3.41, 95% CI 1.63–7.13, p = 0.001) and decreasing dose to tumor margin (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.80–1.00, p = 0.05).

At most recent clinical follow-up, 230 patients (90%) demonstrated no change or improvement in their neurological condition and the condition of 25 patients had deteriorated (10%). In multivariate analysis, the factors predictive of new or worsening symptoms were increasing duration of follow-up (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.02, p = 0.015), tumor progression (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.60–5.31, p < 0.001), decreasing maximum dose (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.84–0.97, p = 0.007), and petrous or clival location versus parasellar, petroclival, and cerebellopontine angle location (OR 3.47, 95% CI 1.23–9.74, p = 0.018).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high rate of tumor control and neurological preservation in patients with skull base meningiomas. After radiosurgery, better outcomes were observed for those receiving an optimal radiosurgery dose and harboring tumors located in a cerebellopontine angle, parasellar, or petroclival location.

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Kunal S. Patel, Ricardo J. Komotar, Oszkar Szentirmai, Nelson Moussazadeh, Daniel M. Raper, Robert M. Starke, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is expanding in acceptance, yet postoperative CSF leak rates remain a concern. This study presents the Cornell closure protocol, which has yielded significantly lower postoperative CSF leak rates compared with prior reports, as an algorithm that can be used by centers having difficulty with CSF leak.

Methods

A single closure algorithm for endoscopic surgery has been used since January 2010 at Weill Cornell Medical College. A prospective database noting intraoperative CSF leak, closure technique, and postoperative CSF leak was reviewed. The authors used a MEDLINE search to identify similar studies and compared CSF leak rates to those of patients treated using the Cornell algorithm.

Results

The retrospective study of a prospectively acquired database included 209 consecutive patients. In 84 patients (40%) there was no intraoperative CSF leak and no postoperative CSF leak. In the 125 patients (60%) with an intraoperative CSF leak, 35 of them with high-flow leaks, there were 0 (0%) postoperative CSF leaks.

Conclusions

It is possible to achieve a CSF leak rate of 0% by using this closure protocol. With proper experience, endoscopic skull base surgery should not be considered to have a higher CSF leak rate than open transcranial or microscopic transsphenoidal surgery.

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Chun-Po Yen, Dale Ding, Ching-Hsiao Cheng, Robert M. Starke, Mark Shaffrey and Jason Sheehan

Object

A relatively benign natural course of unruptured cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has recently been recognized, and the decision to treat incidentally found AVMs has been questioned. This study aims to evaluate the long-term imaging and clinical outcomes of patients with asymptomatic, incidentally discovered AVMs treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

Thirty-one patients, each with an incidentally diagnosed AVM, underwent GKS between 1989 and 2009. The nidus volumes ranged from 0.3 to 11.1 cm3 (median 3.2 cm3). A margin dose between 15 and 26 Gy (median 20 Gy) was used to treat the AVMs. Four patients underwent repeat GKS for still-patent AVM residuals after the initial GKS procedure. Clinical follow-up ranged from 24 to 196 months, with a mean of 78 months (median 51 months) after the initial GKS.

Results

Following GKS, 19 patients (61.3%) had a total AVM obliteration on angiography. In 7 patients (22.6%), no flow voids were observed on MRI but angiographic confirmation was not available. In 5 patients (16.1%), the AVMs remained patent. A small nidus volume was significantly associated with increased AVM obliteration rate. Thirteen patients (41.9%) developed radiation-induced imaging changes: 11 were asymptomatic (35.5%), 1 had only headache (3.2%), and 1 developed seizure and neurological deficits (3.2%). Two patients each had 1 hemorrhage during the latency period (116.5 risk years), yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 1.7% before AVM obliteration.

Conclusions

The decision to treat asymptomatic AVMs, and if so, which treatment approach to use, remain the subject of debate. GKS as a minimally invasive procedure appears to achieve a reasonable outcome with low procedure-related morbidity. In those patients with incidental AVMs, the benefits as well as the risks of radiosurgical intervention will only be fully defined with long-term follow-up.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Christopher R. Durst, R. Webster Crowley and Kenneth C. Liu

Increasing evidence supports dural venous sinus stenosis as the patho-etiology of pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) in a subset of affected patients. In this video, we demonstrate our technique for 1) diagnostic venous manometry to identify a flow-limiting stenosis of the transverse sinus in a PTC patient; and 2) successful treatment of the patient with venous stenting across the structural and physiological stricture in the dural sinus. The pressure gradient decreased from 20 mmHg pre-stent to 3 mmHg post-stent. In order to further quantify the effect of our intervention, concurrent intracranial pressure monitoring was performed.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/auxRg17F8yI.

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I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Kenneth C. Liu, E. Kelly Mrachek, M. Beatriz Lopes and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a commonly employed treatment modality for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, due to the low frequency of delayed cyst formation after AVM SRS, as well as the prolonged time interval between treatment and its occurrence, the characteristics of post-SRS cyst formation are not well defined. Therefore, the aims of this retrospective cohort study are to determine the rate of cyst formation after SRS for AVMs, identify predictive factors, and evaluate the clinical sequelae of post-SRS cysts.

METHODS

The authors analyzed an SRS database for AVM patients who underwent SRS at the University of Virginia and identified those who developed post-SRS cysts. Statistical analyses were performed to determine predictors of post-SRS cyst formation and the effect of cyst formation on new or worsening seizures after SRS.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 1159 AVM patients treated with SRS; cyst formation occurred in 17 patients (post-SRS cyst rate of 1.5%). Compared with patients who did not develop post-SRS cysts, those with cyst formation were treated with a greater number of radiosurgical isocenters (mean 3.8 vs 2.8, p = 0.047), had a longer follow-up (mean 132 vs 71 months, p < 0.001), were more likely to develop radiological radiation-induced changes (RIC) (64.7% vs 36.1%, p = 0.021), and had a longer duration of RIC (57 vs 21 months, p < 0.001). A higher number of isocenters (p = 0.014), radiological RIC (p = 0.002), and longer follow-up (p = 0.034) were found to be independent predictors of post-SRS cyst formation in the multivariate analysis. There was a trend toward a significant association between cyst formation and new or worsening seizures in univariate analysis (p = 0.054).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with greater nidal complexity appear to be more prone to post-SRS cyst formation. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of long-term follow-up for patients who have undergone AVM SRS, even after nidal obliteration is achieved. Post-SRS cysts may be epileptogenic, although seizure outcomes after AVM SRS are multifactorial.

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Robert M. Starke, Dale Ding, Christopher R. Durst, R. Webster Crowley and Kenneth C. Liu

Dissecting vertebral artery (VA) aneurysms are difficult to obliterate when the parent artery cannot be safely occluded. In this video, we demonstrate a combined microsurgical and endovascular treatment technique for a ruptured, dissecting VA aneurysm incorporating the origin of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). We first performed a PICA-PICA side-to-side bypass to preserve flow through the right PICA. An endovascular approach was then utilized to embolize the proximal portion of the aneurysm from the right VA and the distal portion of the aneurysm from the left VA.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/dkkKsX2BiJI.