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Patrick L. Semple, John A. Jane Jr., M. Beatriz S. Lopes and Edward R. Laws

Object

The aim of this study was to correlate the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings in pituitary apoplexy with histopathological results and determine whether the histopathology influences clinical presentation and outcome.

Methods

The records of 36 patients with histologically confirmed pituitary apoplexy, who were treated surgically at the University of Virginia Health System between 1996 and 2006, were retrospectively reviewed. The MR images were divided into 3 groups: 1) infarction alone; 2) hemorrhage with or without infarction; and 3) tumor only with no evidence of apoplexy. The histological examination was divided into infarction alone or hemorrhagic infarction/hemorrhage. The MR imaging findings were then correlated with the histopathological results to assess how accurately the histopathology was predicted by the MR imaging. The clinical features and outcomes of the two histopathological groups were also compared.

Results

The MR imaging findings were able to predict the histopathology accurately in the majority of cases. The group of patients with infarction had less severe clinical features and a better outcome than those with hemorrhagic infarction/hemorrhage.

Conclusions

Magnetic resonance imaging findings in the setting of pituitary apoplexy accurately predict the nature of the apoplectic process and help to guide the type and timing of therapy.

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Jay Jagannathan, Aaron S. Dumont, Daniel M. Prevedello, Christopher I. Shaffrey and John A. Jane Jr.

✓Sports-related injuries to the spine, although relatively rare compared with head injuries, contribute to significant morbidity and mortality in children. The reported incidence of traumatic cervical spine injury in pediatric athletes varies, and most studies are limited because of the low prevalence of injury. The anatomical and biomechanical differences between the immature spine of pediatric patients and the mature spine of adults that make pediatric patients more susceptible to injury include a greater mobility of the spine due to ligamentous laxity, shallow angulations of facet joints, immature development of neck musculature, and incomplete ossification of the vertebrae. As a result of these differences, 60 to 80% of all pediatric vertebral injuries occur in the cervical region. Understanding pediatric injury biomechanics in the cervical spine is important to the neurosurgeon, because coaches, parents, and athletes who place themselves in positions known to be associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) run a higher risk of such injury and paralysis. The mechanisms of SCI can be broadly subclassified into five types: axial loading, dislocation, lateral bending, rotation, and hyperflexion/hyperextension, although severe injuries often result from a combination of more than one of these subtypes. The aim of this review was to detail the characteristics and management of pediatric cervical spine injury.

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Paolo Cappabianca, Theodore H. Schwartz, John A. Jane Jr., M.D. and Gabriel Zada

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Robert M. Starke, Brian J. Williams, John A. Jane Jr. and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas often recur after microsurgery and thereby require further treatment. Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) has been used to treat recurrent adenomas. In this study, the authors evaluated outcomes following GKS of nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas and assessed predictors of tumor control, neurological deficits, and delayed hypopituitarism.

Methods

Between June 1989 and March 2010, 140 consecutive patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas were treated using GKS at the University of Virginia. The median patient age was 51 years (range 21–82 years), and 56% of patients were male. Mean tumor volume was 5.6 cm3 (range 0.6–35 cm3). Thirteen patients were treated with GKS as primary therapy, and 127 had undergone at least 1 open resection prior to GKS. Ninety-three patients had a history of hormone therapy prior to GKS. The mean maximal dose of GKS was 38.6 Gy (range 10–70 Gy), the mean marginal dose was 18 Gy (range 5–25 Gy), and the mean number of isocenters was 9.8 (range 1–26). Follow-up evaluations were performed in all 140 patients, ranging from 0.5 to 17 years (mean 5 years, median 4.2 years).

Results

Tumor volume remained stable or decreased in 113 (90%) of 125 patients with available follow-up imaging. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated radiographic progression free survival at 2, 5, 8, and 10 years to be 98%, 97%, 91%, and 87%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, a tumor volume greater than 5 cm3 (hazard ratio = 5.0, 95% CI 1.5–17.2; p = 0.023) was the only factor predictive of tumor growth. The median time to tumor progression was 14.5 years. Delayed hypopituitarism occurred in 30.3% of patients. No factor was predictive of post-GKS hypopituitarism. A new or worsening cranial nerve deficit occurred in 16 (13.7%) of 117 patients. Visual decline was the most common neurological deficit (12.8%), and all patients experiencing visual decline had evidence of tumor progression. In multivariate analysis, a tumor volume greater than 5 cm3 (OR = 3.7, 95% CI 1.2–11.7; p = 0.025) and pre-GKS hypopituitarism (OR = 7.5, 95% CI 1.1–60.8; p = 0.05) were predictive of a new or worsened neurological deficit.

Conclusions

In patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas, GKS confers a high rate of tumor control and a low rate of neurological deficits. The most common complication following GKS is delayed hypopituitarism, and this occurs in a minority of patients.

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Stephen J. Monteith, Robert M. Starke, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

Subnormal postoperative serum cortisol levels indicate successful surgery and predict long-term remission of Cushing disease. Given the short serum half-lives of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol, it is unclear why the decline in cortisol postoperatively is delayed for 18–36 hours. Furthermore, the relevance of the rate of cortisol drop immediately after surgery has not been investigated.

Methods

Patient data were analyzed from a prospectively accrued database. After surgery, cortisol replacement was withheld and serum cortisol measurements were obtained every 6 hours until values of 1.0–2.0 μg/dl or less were reached. The authors selected patients in whom serum cortisol dropped to 2 μg/dl or less after surgery (101 patients). Tumor resection was categorized as follows: 1) complete resection using the histological pseudocapsule as a surgical capsule, 2) complete piecemeal resection), 3) known incomplete resection, and 4) total hypophysectomy.

Results

The median time to reach a cortisol level of less than or equal to 2.0 μg/dl was 9.9, 19.4, 25.3, and 29.5 hours with hypophysectomy, pseudocapsule, incomplete resection, and piecemeal techniques, respectively. Pseudocapsule resection produced a faster decline in cortisol than piecemeal techniques (p = 0.0001), but not as rapid a decline as hypophysectomy (p = 0.033).

Conclusions

Complete resection by other techniques is associated with delayed cortisol decline compared with pseudocapsule surgery, which may represent the product of residual tumor cells and therefore may explain the higher rate of recurrent disease associated with piecemeal techniques. The prompt drop in cortisol after hypophysectomy compared with patients with pseudocapsule surgery suggests that the corticotrophs of the normal gland can secrete ACTH for 10–36 hours after surgery despite prolonged and severe hypercortisolism.

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Jeffrey H. Wisoff, John A. Jane Jr., Warren Selman and Rudolf Fahlbusch

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Jay Jagannathan, Daniel M. Prevedello, Vivek S. Ayer, Aaron S. Dumont, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward R. Laws

Object

In this study the authors address the efficacy and safety of frameless stereotaxy in transsphenoidal surgery.

Methods

One thousand transsphenoidal operations were performed at the authors' institution between June 2000 and July 2005. This series consists of a retrospective review of 176 patients entered in a prospectively obtained database who underwent frameless stereotactic transsphenoidal surgery in which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, computerized tomography (CT) scanning, or fluoroscopic guidance was used. Of the 176 patients, 104 (59%) had suprasellar extension of their tumor, 70 (40%) had involvement of the visual apparatus, and 65 (37%) had cavernous sinus involvement. All patients underwent detailed pre- and postoperative neurological, endocrinological, radiographic, and ophthalmological follow-up evaluations. Records were reviewed retrospectively for intraoperative and postoperative complications related to the surgical approach.

No instances of visual deterioration, carotid artery (CA) stenosis, or stroke were observed following transsphenoidal surgery. Only one patient sustained damage to the CA intraoperatively, and this was controlled in the operating room. Five patients (3%) required an intensive care unit stay postoperatively. Intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage was encountered in 112 patients (64%) and was more frequently observed in tumors with suprasellar involvement.

Conclusions

Frameless stereotaxy is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of recurrent or invasive sellar masses. All three frameless stereotaxy modalities provided accurate information regarding the anatomical midline and the trajectory to the sella turcica. The MR imaging, CT scanning, and fluoroscopic stereotaxy modalities all have unique advantages as well as specific limitations.

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Editorial

Craniopharyngioma

Edward R. Laws Jr. and John A. Jane Jr.

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John A. Jane Jr., Erin Kiehna, Spencer C. Payne, Stephen V. Early and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Object

Although the transsphenoidal approach for subdiaphragmatic craniopharyngiomas has been performed for many years, there are few reports describing the role of the endoscopic transsphenoidal technique for suprasellar craniopharyngiomas. The purpose of this study was to report the outcomes of the endoscopic transsphenoidal approach for adults with craniopharyngiomas in whom the goal was gross-total resection.

Methods

Twelve patients were identified who were older than 18 years at the time of their pure endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery. Their medical records and imaging studies were retrospectively reviewed.

Results

Gross-total resection was achieved in 42% of cases when assessed by intraoperative impression alone and in 75% when assessed by the first postoperative MR imaging study. However, 83% of patients achieved at least a 95% resection when assessed by both intraoperative impression and the first postoperative MR imaging study. Permanent diabetes insipidus occurred postoperatively in 44% of patients. Six (67%) of 9 patients who had a functioning hypothalamic-pituitary axis preoperatively developed panhypopituitarism after surgery. Visual improvement or normalization occurred in 78% of patients with preoperative visual deficits. Although no patient experienced a postoperative CSF leak, 1 patient was treated for meningitis.

Conclusions

The authors have achieved a high rate of radical resection and symptomatic improvement with the endoscopic transsphenoidal technique for both subdiaphragmatic (sellar/suprasellar) and supradiaphragmatic (suprasellar) craniopharyngiomas. However, this is also associated with a high incidence of new endocrinopathy. Endoscopic assessment of tumor resection may be more sensitive for residual tumor than the first postoperative MR imaging study.

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Daniel M. Prevedello, Francesco Doglietto, John A. Jane Jr., Jay Jagannathan, Joseph Han and Edward R. Laws Jr.

✓The history of the endoscope exemplifies the manner in which technological advances influence medicine and surgery. Endoscopic systems have evolved and improved, and they currently provide detailed visualization of a variety of deep organ structures. Otorhinolaryngological surgeons have used the endoscope for more than 30 years. In the 1990s, a number of influential neurosurgeons and otorhinolaryngological surgeons began performing purely endoscopic pituitary surgery. Endoscopic transsphenoidal operations are now extending beyond the sella. The collaboration between otorhinolaryngologists and neurosurgeons has produced a new subspecialty of “endoscopic skull base surgery.” There is a great deal of progress still to be made in developing skills, instruments, and improving skull base repair. The extended skull base approaches allow surgical exposures from the olfactory groove to C-2 and to the infratemporal region and jugular fossa laterally. This article discusses the history of the endoscope, the pivotal technological advances, and the key figures in the burgeoning field of endoneurosurgery.