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Andrew E. Sloan

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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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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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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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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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Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Mittul Gulati, Vineeta Singh and Michael T. Lawton

Although intracranial hemorrhage accounts for approximately 10 to 15% of all cases of stroke, it is associated with a high mortality rate. Bleeding disorders account for a small but significant risk factor associated with intracranial hemorrhage. In conditions such as hemophilia and acute leukemia associated with thrombocytopenia, massive intracranial hemorrhage is often the cause of death. The authors present a comprehensive review of both the physiology of hemostasis and the pathophysiology underlying spontaneous ICH due to coagulation disorders. These disorders are divided into acquired conditions, including iatrogenic and neoplastic coagulopathies, and congenital problems, including hemophilia and rarer diseases. The authors also discuss clinical features, diagnosis, and management of intracranial hemorrhage resulting from these bleeding disorders.

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Courtney Pendleton, Allan J. Belzberg, Robert J. Spinner and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Harvey Cushing is widely regarded as one of the forefathers of neurosurgery, and is primarily associated with his work on intracranial pathology. However, he had a clinical and academic interest in peripheral nerve surgery. Through the courtesy of the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, the surgical records of the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1896 to 1912 were reviewed. The records of a single patient undergoing brachial plexus exploration and cervical rib resection were selected for detailed review. The operative report and accompanying illustrations demonstrate Cushing’s interest in adding approaches to the pathology of the brachial plexus to his operative armamentarium.

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

Object

Seizures are a common presenting symptom and cause of morbidity for patients with malignant astrocytomas. The authors set out to determine preoperative seizure characteristics, effects of surgery on seizure control, and factors associated with prolonged seizure control in patients with malignant astrocytomas.

Methods

Cases involving adult patients who underwent primary resection of a hemispheric anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) or glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between 1996 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate logistical regression analysis was used to identify associations with pre-operative seizures, and multivariate proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify associations with prolonged seizure control following resection.

Results

Of the 648 patients (505 with GBM, 143 with AA) in this series, 153 (24%) presented with seizures. The factors more commonly associated with preoperative seizures were AA pathology (p = 0.03), temporal lobe involvement (p = 0.04), and cortical location (p = 0.04), while the factors less commonly associated with preoperative seizures were greater age (p = 0.03) and larger tumor size (p ≤ 0.001). Among those patients with a history of seizures, outcome 12 months after surgery was Engel Class I (seizure free) in 77%, Class II (rare seizures) in 12%, Class III (meaningful improvement) in 6%, and Class IV (no improvement) in 5%. Postoperative seizures were rare in patients without a history of preoperative seizures. The factor positively associated with prolonged seizure control was increased Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.002), while the factors negatively associated with seizure control were preoperative uncontrolled seizures (p = 0.03) and parietal lobe involvement (p = 0.005). Seizure recurrence in patients with postoperative seizure control was independently associated with tumor recurrence (p = 0.006).

Conclusions

The identification and consideration of factors associated with prolonged seizure control may help guide treatment strategies aimed at improving the quality of life for patients with malignant astrocytomas.