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Benjamin Brokinkel, Markus Holling, Dorothee Cäcilia Spille, Katharina Heß, Cristina Sauerland, Caroline Bleimüller, Werner Paulus, Johannes Wölfer and Walter Stummer

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to compare long-term prognosis after meningioma surgery in elderly and younger patients as well as to compare survival of elderly patients with surgically treated meningioma to survival rates for the general population.

METHODS

Five hundred meningioma patients (median follow-up 90 months) who underwent surgery between 1994 and 2009 were subdivided into “elderly” (age ≥ 65 years, n = 162) and “younger” (age < 65 years, n = 338) groups for uni- and multivariate analyses. Mortality was compared with rates for the age- and sex-matched general population.

RESULTS

The median age at diagnosis was 71 in the elderly group and 51 years in the younger group. Sex, intracranial tumor location, grade of resection, radiotherapy, and histopathological subtypes were similar in the 2 groups. High-grade (WHO Grades II and III) and spinal tumors were more common in older patients than in younger patients (15% vs 8%, p = 0.017, and 12% vs 4%, p = 0.001, respectively). The progression-free interval (PFI) was similar in the 2 groups, whereas mortality at 3 months after surgery was higher and median overall survival (OS) was shorter in older patients (7%, 191 months) than in younger patients (1%, median not reached; HR 4.9, 95% CI 2.75–8.74; p < 0.001). Otherwise, the median OS in elderly patients did not differ from the anticipated general life expectancy (HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.70–1.50; p = 0.886). Within the older patient group, PFI was lower in patients with high-grade meningiomas (HR 24.74, 95% CI 4.23–144.66; p < 0.001) and after subtotal resection (HR 10.57, 95% CI 2.23–50.05; p = 0.003). Although extent of resection was independent of perioperative mortality, the median OS was longer after gross-total resection than after subtotal resection (HR 2.7, 95% CI 1.09–6.69; p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS

Elderly patients with surgically treated meningioma do not suffer from impaired survival compared with the age-matched general population, and their PFI is similar to that of younger meningioma patients. These data help mitigate fears concerning surgical treatment of elderly patients in an aging society.

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Eric Suero Molina, Johannes Wölfer, Christian Ewelt, André Ehrhardt, Benjamin Brokinkel and Walter Stummer

OBJECTIVE

Fluorescence guidance with 5–aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) helps improve resections of malignant gliomas. However, one limitation is the low intensity of blue light for background illumination. Fluorescein has recently been reintroduced into neurosurgery, and novel microscope systems are available for visualizing this fluorochrome, which highlights all perfused tissues but has limited selectivity for tumor detection. Here, the authors investigate a combination of both fluorochromes: 5-ALA for distinguishing tumor and fluorescein for providing tissue fluorescence of adjacent brain tissue.

METHODS

The authors evaluated 6 patients who harbored cerebral lesions suggestive of high-grade glioma. Patients received 5-ALA (20 mg/kg) orally 4 hours before induction of anesthesia. Low-dose fluorescein (3 mg/kg intravenous) was injected immediately after anesthesia induction. Pentero microscopes (equipped either with Yellow 560 or Blue 400 filters) were used to visualize fluorescence. To simultaneously visualize both fluorochromes, the Yellow 560 module was combined with external blue light illumination (D-light C System).

RESULTS

Fluorescein-induced fluorescence created a useful background for protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) fluorescence, which appeared orange to red, surrounded by greenly fluorescent normal brain and edematous tissue. Green brain-tissue fluorescence was helpful in augmenting background. Levels of blue illumination that were too strong obscured PPIX fluorescence. Unspecific extravasation of fluorescein was noted at resection margins, which did not interfere with PPIX fluorescence detection.

CONCLUSIONS

Dual labeling with both PPIX and fluorescein fluorescence is feasible and gives superior background information during fluorescence-guided resections. The authors believe that this technique carries potential as a next step in fluorescence-guided resections if it is completely integrated into the surgical microscope.

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Katharina Hess, Dorothee Cäcilia Spille, Alborz Adeli, Peter B. Sporns, Caroline Brokinkel, Oliver Grauer, Christian Mawrin, Walter Stummer, Werner Paulus and Benjamin Brokinkel

OBJECTIVE

Identification of risk factors for perioperative epilepsy remains crucial in the care of patients with meningioma. Moreover, associations of brain invasion with clinical and radiological variables have been largely unexplored. The authors hypothesized that invasion of the cortex and subsequent increased edema facilitate seizures, and they compared radiological data and perioperative seizures in patients with brain-invasive or noninvasive meningioma.

METHODS

Correlations of brain invasion with tumor and edema volumes and preoperative and postoperative seizures were analyzed in univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS

Totals of 108 (61%) females and 68 (39%) males with a median age of 60 years and harboring totals of 92 (52%) grade I, 79 (45%) grade II, and 5 (3%) grade III tumors were included. Brain invasion was found in 38 (22%) patients and was absent in 138 (78%) patients. The tumors were located at the convexity in 72 (41%) patients, at the falx cerebri in 26 (15%), at the skull base in 69 (39%), in the posterior fossa in 7 (4%), and in the ventricle in 2 (1%); the median tumor and edema volumes were 13.73 cm3 (range 0.81–162.22 cm3) and 1.38 cm3 (range 0.00–355.80 cm3), respectively. As expected, edema volume increased with rising tumor volume (p < 0.001). Brain invasion was independent of tumor volume (p = 0.176) but strongly correlated with edema volume (p < 0.001). The mean edema volume in noninvasive tumors was 33.0 cm3, but in invasive tumors, it was 130.7 cm3 (p = 0.008). The frequency of preoperative seizures was independent of the patients’ age, sex, and tumor location; however, the frequency was 32% (n = 12) in patients with invasive meningioma and 15% (n = 21) in those with noninvasive meningioma (p = 0.033). In contrast, the probability of detecting brain invasion microscopically was increased more than 2-fold in patients with a history of preoperative seizures (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.13–5.88; p = 0.025). In univariate analyses, the rate of preoperative seizures correlated slightly with tumor volume (p = 0.049) but strongly with edema volume (p = 0.014), whereas seizure semiology was found to be independent of brain invasion (p = 0.211). In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, tumor location, tumor and edema volumes, and WHO grade, rising tumor volume (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00–1.03; p = 0.042) and especially brain invasion (OR 5.26, 95% CI 1.52–18.15; p = 0.009) were identified as independent predictors of preoperative seizures. Nine (5%) patients developed new seizures within a median follow-up time of 15 months after surgery. Development of postoperative epilepsy was independent of all clinical variables, including Simpson grade (p = 0.133), tumor location (p = 0.936), brain invasion (p = 0.408), and preoperative edema volume (p = 0.081), but was correlated with increasing preoperative tumor volume (p = 0.004). Postoperative seizure-free rates were similar among patients with invasive and those with noninvasive meningioma (p = 0.372).

CONCLUSIONS

Brain invasion was identified as a new and strong predictor for preoperative, but not postoperative, seizures. Although also associated with increased peritumoral edema, seizures in patients with invasive meningioma might be facilitated substantially by cortical invasion itself. Consideration of seizures in consultations between the neurosurgeon and neuropathologist can improve the microscopic detection of brain invasion.

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Benjamin Brokinkel, Johanna Sicking, Dorothee Cäcilia Spille, Katharina Hess, Werner Paulus and Walter Stummer

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Astrid Arning, Astrid Jeibmann, Stephan Köhnemann, Benjamin Brokinkel, Christian Ewelt, Klaus Berger, Jürgen Wellmann, Ulrike Nowak-Göttl, Walter Stummer, Monika Stoll and Markus Holling

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral aneurysms (CAs) affect 2%–5% of the population, and familial predisposition plays a significant role in CA pathogenesis. Several lines of evidence suggest that genetic variations in matrix metalloproteinase genes (MMP) are involved in the etiopathology of CAs. The authors performed a case-control study to investigate the effect of 4 MMP variants from the ADAMTS family on the pathogenesis of CAs.

METHODS

To identify susceptible genetic variants, the authors investigated 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 4 genes from the ADAMTS family (ADAMTS2, -7, -12, and -13) known to be associated with vascular diseases. The study included 353 patients with CAs and 1055 healthy adults.

RESULTS

The authors found significant associations between CA susceptibility and genetic variations in 3 members of the ADAMTS family. The largest risk for CA (OR 1.32, p = 0.006) was observed in carriers of the ADAMTS2 variant rs11750568, which has been previously associated with pediatric stroke. Three SNPs under investigation are associated with a protective effect in CA pathogenesis (ADAMTS12 variant rs1364044: OR 0.65, p = 0.0001; and ADAMTS13 variants rs739469 and rs4962153: OR 0.77 and 0.63, p = 0.02 and 0.0006, respectively), while 2 other ADAMTS13 variants may confer a significant risk (rs2301612: OR 1.26, p = 0.011; rs2285489: OR 1.24, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that reduced integrity of the endothelial wall, as conferred by ADAMTS variants, together with inflammatory processes and defective vascular remodeling plays an important role in CA pathogenesis, although the mechanism of action remains unknown. The authors' findings may lead to specific screening of at-risk populations in the future.

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Eric Suero Molina, Stephanie Schipmann, Isabelle Mueller, Johannes Wölfer, Christian Ewelt, Matthias Maas, Benjamin Brokinkel and Walter Stummer

OBJECTIVE

Awake craniotomies have become a feasible tool over time to treat brain tumors located in eloquent regions. Different techniques have been applied in neurooncology centers. Both “asleep-awake-asleep” (asleep) and “conscious sedation” were used subsequently at the authors’ neurosurgical department. Since 2013, the authors have only performed conscious sedation surgeries, predominantly using the α2-receptor agonist dexmedetomidine as the anesthetic drug. The aim of this study was to compare both mentioned techniques and evaluate the clinical use of dexmedetomidine in the setting of awake craniotomies for glioma surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed patients who underwent operations either under the asleep condition using propofol-remifentanil or under conscious sedation conditions using dexmedetomidine infusions. In the asleep group patients were intubated with a laryngeal mask and extubated for the assessment period. Adverse events, as well as applied drugs with doses and frequency of usage, were recorded.

RESULTS

From 224 awake surgeries between 2009 and 2015, 180 were performed for the resection of gliomas and included in the study. In the conscious sedation group (n = 75) significantly fewer opiates (p < 0.001) and vasoactive (p < 0.001) and antihypertensive (p < 0.001) drugs were used in comparison with the asleep group (n = 105). Furthermore, the postoperative length of stay (p < 0.001) and the surgical duration (p < 0.001) were significantly lower in the conscious sedation group.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of dexmedetomidine creates excellent conditions for awake surgeries. It sedates moderately and acts as an anxiolytic. Thus, after ceasing infusion it enables quick and reliable clinical neurological assessment of patients. This might lead to reducing the amount of administered antihypertensive and vasoactive drugs as well as the length of hospitalization, while likely ensuring more rapid surgery.