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Charles Y. Liu and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

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Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Kurtis I. Auguste and Michael T. Lawton

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Kaisorn Chaichana, Scott Parker, Alessandro Olivi and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Object

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumor in adults. Although the average survival is ~ 12 months, individual survival is heterogeneous. The ability to predict short- and long-term survivors is limited. Therefore, the aims of this study were to ascertain preoperative risk factors associated with survival, develop a preoperative prognostic grading system, and evaluate the utility of this grading system in predicting survival for patients undergoing resection of a primary intracranial GBM.

Methods

Cases involving adult patients who underwent surgery for an intracranial primary (de novo) GBM between 1997 and 2007 at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, an academic tertiary-care institution, were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify preoperative factors associated with survival, after controlling for extent of resection and adjuvant therapies. The identified associations with survival were then used to develop a grading system based on preoperative variables. Survival as a function of time was plotted using the Kaplan-Meier method, and survival rates were compared using Log-rank analysis. Associations with p < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results

Of the 393 patients in this study, 310 (79%) had died as of most recent follow-up (median time from surgery to death 11.9 months). The preoperative factors, independent of extent of resection and adjuvant therapies (carmustine wafers, temozolomide, and radiation), found to be negatively associated with survival were: age > 60 years (p < 0.0001), Karnofsky performance status score ≤ 80 (p < 0.0001), motor deficit (p = 0.02), language deficit (p = 0.001), and periventricular tumor location (p = 0.04). Patients possessing 0–1, 2, 3, and 4–5 of these variables were assigned a preoperative grade of 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Patients with a preoperative grade of 1, 2, 3, and 4 had a median survival of 16.6, 10.2, 6.8, and 6.1 months, respectively.

Conclusions

The present study found that older age, poor performance status, motor deficit, language deficit, and periventricular tumor location independently predicted poorer survival in patients undergoing GBM resection. A grading system based on these factors was able to identify 4 distinct groups of patients with different survival rates. This grading system, based only on preoperative variables, may provide patients and physicians with prognostic information that may guide medical and surgical therapy before any intervention is pursued.

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Andrew E. Sloan

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Courtney Pendleton, Edward S. Ahn and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Object

Harvey Cushing, credited with pioneering the field of neurosurgery as a distinct surgical subspecialty in the US, was at the forefront of neurooncology, publishing seminal papers on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric brain tumors during the latter part of his career. However, his contributions to the surgical treatment of these lesions during the early stages of his tenure at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, from 1896 to 1912, remain largely unknown.

Methods

After obtaining institutional review board approval, and through the courtesy of the Alan Mason Chesney Archives, the authors reviewed the Johns Hopkins Hospital surgical files from the years 1896 to 1912. Patients younger than 18 years of age, presenting with symptoms suspicious for an intracranial tumor, and undergoing surgical intervention by Cushing were selected for further analysis.

Results

Of the 40 pediatric patients undergoing surgery for suspected intracranial neoplasms, 26 were male. The mean age among the entire sample was 10.1 years. Cushing used three main operative approaches in the surgical treatment of pediatric intracranial neoplasms: infratentorial/suboccipital, subtemporal, and hemisphere flap. Twenty-three patients had negative findings following both the primary and subsequent surgical interventions conducted by Cushing. Postoperative conditions following the primary surgical intervention were improved in 24 patients. Twelve patients (30%) died during their inpatient stay for the primary intervention. The mean time to the last follow-up was 24.9 months; the mean time to death was 10.0 months.

Conclusions

Cushing strove to maximize exposure while minimizing blood loss in an attempt to increase his ability to successfully treat pediatric brain tumors. His early contributions to the field of pediatric neurooncology demonstrate his commitment to advancing the field of neurosurgery.

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Kurtis I. Auguste, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and Mitchel S. Berger

Patients with brain tumors are at considerable risk for the formation of venous thromboemboli. One method of preventing these complications is mechanical prophylaxis in which an external pneumatic compression device and graduated elastic compression stockings are used. Evidence indicates that these devices prevent deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) by limiting venous stasis and increasing fibrinolytic activity at both the local and systemic levels. The authors present evidence for the occurrence of both mechanisms and discuss the use of mechanical compression in the setting of surgery for brain tumors. They also present data proving the efficacy of these devices in patients who undergo craniotomy with motor mapping for resection of glioma and in whom the contralateral leg receives no prophylaxis. Finally, they comment on the use of anticoagulation therapy both in addition to and in place of mechanical prophylaxis.

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Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Edward F. Chang and Michael W. McDermott

Object

Meningiomas arising from the falcotentorial junction are rare. As a result, their clinical presentation and surgical management are not well described. During the past 3 years, the authors have treated six patients with falcotentorial meningiomas.

Methods

Most patients presented with symptoms related to raised intracranial pressure, including headaches, papilledema, and visual and gait disturbances. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a smooth, oval, or round mass, which was typically homogeneously enhancing. Angiography was useful in evaluating arterial supply for embolization, when possible, and determining the status of venous collateral supply and sinus patency. The authors detail the surgical technique used in all six patients. Postoperatively, patients experienced transient cortical blindness, which in all cases spontaneously resolved during the course of several days to weeks. They provide a comprehensive description of the presentation and surgical management of falcotentorial meningiomas.

Conclusions

An excellent outcome can be expected when surgery is predicated on detailed preoperative neuroimaging and knowledge of the nuances of the surgical technique.

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Toba Niazi, Alfredo Quinoñes-Hinojosa and Meic H. Schmidt

✓ Halo orthoses are commonly used in the management of a variety of cervical spinal pathological conditions. Although placement of the cranial pins was initially believed to be safe with minimal complications, minor complications related to the cranial pins have the potential to create a setting for formation of cerebral abscesses. The risk of death due to cerebral abscesses has declined in the modern antibiotic era, but cerebral abscesses are associated with long-standing neurological morbidity that should not be considered negligible. Prevention by careful pin placement and hygiene and appropriate early management are crucial to prevent more serious complications. The authors report the case of a patient treated with a halo orthosis after incurring cervical spinal trauma who developed a cerebral abscess as a complication related to the cranial pins of the halo fixation device. They review the literature in an attempt to formulate a standardized treatment algorithm to prevent this disease process and to treat an abscess if it should form.

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Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Steven G. Ojemann, Nader Sanai, William P. Dillon and Mitchel S. Berger

Object. Broca identified the posterior third of the inferior frontal gyrus as a locus essential for the production of fluent speech. The authors have conducted this retrospective analysis in an attempt to find readily identifiable landmarks on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging that correspond to intraoperative cortical stimulation-induced speech arrest. These landmarks demonstrate novel structural—functional relationships that can be used preoperatively to predict the location of the Broca area.

Methods. Using a neuronavigation system, sites where stimulation produced speech arrest (Broca area) were recorded in a consecutive series of patients undergoing awake tumor resections in the perisylvian territory of the dominant hemisphere. The authors reviewed 33 consecutive patients by projecting the MR imaging data sets and marking the site where the Broca area was identified. Sulcus topography was analyzed with respect to this site by scrolling into neighboring planes and classifying the frontal operculum into one of the four schemes of sulcus variability described by Ebeling, et al. The following categories of frontal opercula were found: 18 (69%) of 26 were Type I, eight (31%) of 26 were Type III, and seven cases eluded classification because of sulcal effacement. For patients with Type I anatomy, the Broca area was adjacent to, and distributed evenly around, the inferior precentral sulcus (IPS). Quantitatively, the site of speech arrest was located a mean of 2.4 ± 0.25 cm from the anteroinferior aspect of the pars opercularis, where it abuts the subarachnoid space surrounding the apex of the pars triangularis. For all patients with Type III anatomy, the Broca area was adjacent to the accessory sulcus that lies immediately posterior to the IPS. In these patients the mean distance from the anterior inferior pars opercularis was 2.3 ± 0.29 cm. The mean distance from the Broca area to the edge of the tumor for the 26 patients with clear sulcal anatomy was 1.29 ± 0.12 cm.

Conclusions. The results indicate a correlation between the structure of the frontal operculum as seen on MR imaging and the functional localization of speech arrest in the dominant hemisphere. Additionally, sulcal landmarks that can be used preoperatively to predict the location of the Broca area within the inferior frontal gyrus are described based on the patient population. This information will allow the surgeon to determine if an awake craniotomy is necessary to identify the Broca area when planning a surgical procedure near the dominant frontal operculum.

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Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Matthew J. McGirt, John Laterra, Alessandro Olivi and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Object

Unlike their malignant counterparts, low-grade gliomas are associated with prolonged survival. However, these tumors have a propensity to progress after resection and ultimately undergo malignant degeneration. The factors associated with recurrence and malignant degeneration remain relatively unknown. The authors set out to determine factors that were independently associated with recurrence and malignant degeneration in patients who underwent resection of a hemispheric low-grade glioma.

Methods

Adult patients who underwent craniotomy and resection of a hemispheric low-grade glioma (WHO Grade II) at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution's academic tertiary-care institution between 1996 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify associations with tumor recurrence and malignant degeneration.

Results

Of the 191 consecutive patients with low-grade gliomas in this series (89 fibrillary astrocytomas, 89 oligodendrogliomas, and 13 mixed gliomas), 83 (43%) and 44 (23%) experienced tumor recurrence and malignant degeneration at last follow-up, respectively. The 5-year progression-free and malignancy-free survival rates were 44 and 74%, respectively. Independent predictors of recurrence were duration of longest lasting symptom (relative risk [RR] 0.978, 95% CI 0.954–0.996, p = 0.01), tumor size (RR 1.328, 95% CI 1.109–1.602, p = 0.002), and preoperative contrast enhancement (RR 2.558, 95% CI 1.241–5.021, p = 0.01). Independent factors associated with malignant degeneration were fibrillary astrocytoma pathology (RR 1.800, 95% CI 1.008–4.928, p = 0.04), tumor size (RR 1.086, 95% CI 1.044–1.358, p = 0.04), and gross-total resection (RR 0.526, 95% CI 0.221–1.007, p = 0.05).

Conclusions

The identification and consideration of factors associated with recurrence and malignant progression may help guide treatment strategies aimed at delaying recurrence and preventing malignant degeneration for patients with hemispheric low-grade gliomas.