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Benoît Pirotte, Boris Krischek, Marc Levivier, Serge Bolyn, Jean-Marie Brucher and Jacques Brotchi

✓ Angiolipomas (ALs) are hamartomas composed of abnormally differentiated vessels and mature adipose tissue. Although they are most commonly found in peripheral tissues, ALs sometimes grow in the spinal epidural space. Intracranial ALs (ICALs) are rare: only seven cases have been reported in the literature. The authors describe the case of a 70-year-old woman who presented with ocular symptoms from a clinically and radiologically progressing parasellar ICAL. The radiological as well as the microsurgical findings are illustrated and compared with the seven previously published cases. The most frequent location of ALs is the skull base, especially the parasellar region. Other ICALs were diagnosed as components of cerebral arteriovenous malformations and were not symptomatic by themselves. Neuroradiological studies of ICALs usually demonstrate the characteristics of both adipose and vascular tissues. However, a review of the literature shows that the diagnosis had not been suspected preoperatively in any of the cases. Operative descriptions emphasize that most neurosurgeons were caught off guard by the profuse bleeding and the unusual relationship of this unexpected lesion to the cavernous sinus, so that removal was rarely complete. The authors conclude that preoperative diagnosis of ICALs is achievable based on magnetic resonance analysis, which should help optimize the microsurgical management of these lesions.

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Boris Krischek, Hidetoshi Kasuya, Hiroyuki Akagawa, Atsushi Tajima, Akira Narita, Hideaki Onda, Tomokatsu Hori and Ituro Inoue

Object

Recent investigators found that the presence of three tandem polymorphisms of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene—promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) T-786C, intron-4 27-bp variable number of tandem repeats, and the G894T SNP in exon 7—was indicative of intracranial aneurysms more prone to rupture in a Caucasian patient sample. In the present study, the authors sought to determine whether the presence of these eNOS polymorphisms could indicate which Japanese patients with aneurysms were more endangered by a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods

The three eNOSpolymorphisms were genotyped in 297 patients with ruptured aneurysms (RAs), 108 patients with unruptured aneurysms (UAs), and 176 healthy volunteers by using polymerase chain reaction.

The distribution of the variant alleles did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) between the RA group and the UA group. The frequency of the corresponding genotypes between the two groups and a haplotype analysis did not show any significant differences. Further comparisons of the RA and UA groups with the control group did not yield any significant allele or genotype frequency differences.

Conclusions

These data show that the examined set of eNOS polymorphisms were not indicative of which Japanese patients with intracranial aneurysms would suffer an SAH. The presence of eNOS polymorphisms is not useful in identifying intracranial aneurysms that are more prone to rupture in a Japanese patient sample.

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Kyle Juraschka, Osaama H. Khan, Bruno L. Godoy, Eric Monsalves, Alexandra Kilian, Boris Krischek, Aisha Ghare, Allan Vescan, Fred Gentili and Gelareh Zadeh

Object

While the use of endoscopic approaches has become increasingly accepted in the resection of pituitary adenomas, limited evidence exists regarding the success of this technique for patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas. This study reviews the outcomes of a large cohort of patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery at the authors' institution and focuses on identifying factors that can predict extent of resection and hence aid in developing guidelines and indications for the use of endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery versus open craniotomy approaches to large and giant pituitary adenomas.

Methods

The authors reviewed 487 patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal resection of sellar masses. From this group, 73 consecutive patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas (defined as maximum diameter ≥ 3 cm and tumor volume ≥ 10 cm3) who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery between January 1, 2006, and June 6, 2012, were included in the study. Clinical presentation, radiological studies, laboratory investigations, tumor pathology data, clinical outcomes, extent of resection measured by volumetric analysis, and complications were analyzed.

Results

The mean preoperative tumor diameter in this series was 4.1 cm and the volume was 18 cm3. The average resection rate was 82.9%, corresponding with a mean residual volume of 3 cm3. Gross-total resection was achieved in 16 patients (24%), near-total in 11 (17%), subtotal in 24 (36%), and partial in 15 (23%). Seventy-three percent of patients experienced improvement in visual acuity, while 24% were unchanged. Visual fields were improved in 61.8% and unchanged in 5.5%. Overall, 27 patients (37%) experienced a total of 32 complications. The most common complications were sinusitis (14%) and CSF leak (10%). Six patients underwent subsequent radiation therapy because of aggressive tumor histopathology. No deaths occurred in this cohort of patients. Statistically significant predictors of extent of resection included highest Knosp grade (p = 0.001), preoperative tumor volume (p = 0.025), preoperative maximum tumor diameter (p = 0.002), hemorrhagic component (p = 0.027), posterior extension (p = 0.001), and sphenoid sinus invasion (p = 0.005).

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery is an effective treatment method for patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas, which results in high (> 80%) rates of resection and improvement in visual function. It is not associated with high rates of major complications and is safe when performed by experienced surgeons. The preoperative Knosp grade, tumor volume, tumor diameter, hemorrhagic components on MRI, posterior extension, and sphenoid sinus invasion may allow a prediction of extent of resection and in these patients a staged operation may be required to maximize extent of resection.

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Lukas Goertz, Christina Hamisch, Christoph Kabbasch, Jan Borggrefe, Marion Hof, Anna-Katharina Dempfle, Moritz Lenschow, Pantelis Stavrinou, Marco Timmer, Gerrit Brinker, Roland Goldbrunner and Boris Krischek

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral infarction is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality related to microsurgical clipping of intracranial aneurysms. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of aneurysm shape and neck configuration on cerebral infarction after aneurysm surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed consecutive cases of ruptured and unruptured aneurysms treated with microsurgical clipping at their institution between 2010 and 2018. Three-dimensional reconstructions from preoperative computed tomography and digital subtraction angiography were used to determine aneurysm shape (regular/complex) and neck configuration (regular/irregular). Morphological and procedure-related risk factors for cerebral infarction were identified using univariate and multivariate statistical analyses.

RESULTS

Among 243 patients with 252 aneurysms (148 ruptured, 104 unruptured), the overall cerebral infarction rate was 17.1%. Infarction tended to occur more often in aneurysms with complex shape (p = 0.084). Likewise, aneurysms with an irregular neck had a significantly higher rate of infarction (37.5%) than aneurysms with regular neck configuration (10.1%, p < 0.001). Aneurysms with an irregular neck were associated with a higher rate of intraoperative rupture (p = 0.003) and temporary parent artery occlusion (p = 0.037). In the multivariate analysis, irregular neck configuration was identified as an independent risk factor for infarction (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.9–9.4, p < 0.001), whereas the association between aneurysm shape and infarction was not significant (p = 0.966).

CONCLUSIONS

Irregular aneurysm neck configuration represents an independent risk factor for cerebral infarction during microsurgical clipping of both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.

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Guenther C. Feigl, Rainer Ritz, Mario Moraes, Jan Klein, Kristofer Ramina, Alireza Gharabaghi, Boris Krischek, Soeren Danz, Antje Bornemann, Marina Liebsch and Marcos S. Tatagiba

Object

Several studies have revealed that the gross-total resection (GTR) of malignant brain tumors has a significant influence on patient survival. Frequently, however, GTR cannot be achieved because the borders between healthy brain and diseased tissue are blurred in the infiltration zones of malignant brain tumors. Especially in eloquent cortical areas, resection is frequently stopped before total removal is achieved to avoid causing neurological deficits. Interestingly, 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has been shown to help visualize tumor tissue intraoperatively and, thus, can significantly improve the possibility of achieving GTR of primary malignant brain tumors. The aim of this study was to go one step further and evaluate the utility and limitations of fluorescence-guided resections of primary malignant brain tumors in eloquent cortical areas in combination with intraoperative monitoring based on multimodal functional imaging data.

Methods

Eighteen patients with primary malignant brain tumors in eloquent areas were included in this prospective study. Preoperative neuroradiological examinations included MR imaging with magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo (MPRAGE), functional MR, and diffusion tensor imaging sequences to visualize functional areas and fiber tracts. Imaging data were analyzed offline, loaded into a neuronavigational system, and used intraoperatively during resections. All patients received 5-ALA 6 hours before surgery. Fluorescence-guided tumor resections were combined with intraoperative monitoring and cortical as well as subcortical stimulation to localize functional areas and fiber tracts during surgery.

Results

Twenty-five procedures were performed in 18 consecutive patients. In 24% of all surgeries, resection was stopped because a functional area or cortical tract was identified in the resection area or because motor evoked potential amplitudes were reduced in an area where fluorescent tumor cells were still seen intraoperatively. Grosstotal resection could be achieved in 16 (64%) of the surgeries with preservation of all functional areas and fiber tracts. In 2 patients presurgical hemiparesis became accentuated postoperatively, and 1 of these patients also suffered from a new homonymous hemianopia following a second resection.

Conclusions

The authors' first results show that tumor resections with 5-ALA in combination with intraoperative cortical stimulation have the advantages of both methods and, thus, provide additional safety for the neurosurgeon during resections of primary malignant brain tumors in eloquent areas. Nonetheless, more cases and additional studies are necessary to further prove the advantages of this multimodal strategy.

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Sameer Agnihotri, Isabel Gugel, Marc Remke, Antje Bornemann, Georgios Pantazis, Stephen C. Mack, David Shih, Sanjay K. Singh, Nesrin Sabha, Michael D. Taylor, Marcos Tatagiba, Gelareh Zadeh and Boris Krischek

Object

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are common benign tumors of the vestibular nerve that cause significant morbidity. The current treatment strategies for VS include surgery or radiation, with each treatment option having associated complications and side effects. The transcriptional landscape of schwannoma remains largely unknown.

Methods

In this study the authors performed gene-expression profiling of 49 schwannomas and 7 normal control vestibular nerves to identify tumor-specific gene-expression patterns. They also interrogated whether schwannomas comprise several molecular subtypes using several transcription-based clustering strategies. The authors also performed in vitro experiments testing therapeutic inhibitors of over-activated pathways in a schwannoma cell line, namely the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

Results

The authors identified over 4000 differentially expressed genes between controls and schwannomas with network analysis, uncovering proliferation and anti-apoptotic pathways previously not implicated in VS. Furthermore, using several distinct clustering technologies, they could not reproducibly identify distinct VS subtypes or significant differences between sporadic and germline NF2–associated schwannomas, suggesting that they are highly similar entities. The authors identified overexpression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling networks in their geneexpression study and evaluated this pathway for therapeutic targeting. Testing the compounds BEZ235 and PKI-587, both novel dual inhibitors of PI3K and mTOR, attenuated tumor growth in a preclinical cell line model of schwannoma (HEI-293). In vitro findings demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway with next-generation compounds led to decreased cell viability and increased cell death.

Conclusions

These findings implicate aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway as a molecular mechanism of pathogenesis in VS and suggest inhibition of this pathway as a potential treatment strategy.