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Christina Hamisch, Philipp Kickingereder, Matthias Fischer, Thorsten Simon and Maximilian I. Ruge

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have shed light on the molecular makeup of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas and led to the identification of potential treatment targets for these lesions, which account for the majority of pediatric brainstem tumors (pedBSTs). Therefore, stereotactic biopsy–driven molecular characterization of pedBSTs may become an important prerequisite for the management of these fatal brain tumors. The authors conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis to precisely determine the safety and diagnostic success of stereotactic biopsy of pedBSTs.

METHODS

A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Web of Science yielded 944 potentially eligible abstracts. Meta-analysis was conducted on 18 studies (including the authors’ own institutional series), describing a total of 735 biopsy procedures for pedBSTs. The primary outcome measures were diagnostic success and procedure-related complications. Pooled estimates were calculated based on the Freeman-Tukey double-arcsine transformation and DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model. Heterogeneity, sensitivity, and meta-regression analyses were also conducted.

RESULTS

The weighted average proportions across the analyzed studies were 96.1% (95% CI 93.5%–98.1%) for diagnostic success, 6.7% (95% CI 4.2%–9.6%) for overall morbidity, 0.6% (95% CI 0.2%–1.4%) for permanent morbidity, and 0.6% (95% CI 0.2%–1.3%) for mortality. Subgroup analyses at the study level identified no significant correlation between the outcome measures and the distribution of the chosen biopsy trajectories (transfrontal vs transcerebellar), age, year of publication, or the number of biopsy procedures annually performed in each center.

CONCLUSION

Stereotactic biopsy of pedBSTs is safe and allows successful tissue sampling as a prerequisite for the molecular characterization and the identification of potentially druggable targets toward more individualized treatment concepts to improve the outcome for children harboring such lesions.

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Lukas Goertz, Muriel Pflaeging, Christina Hamisch, Christoph Kabbasch, Lenhard Pennig, Niklas von Spreckelsen, Kai Laukamp, Marco Timmer, Roland Goldbrunner, Gerrit Brinker and Boris Krischek

OBJECTIVE

Timely aneurysm occlusion and neurointensive care treatment are key principles in the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) to prevent secondary brain injury. Patients with early (EHA) and delayed hospital admission (DHA) were compared in terms of clinical presentation, treatment strategies, aSAH-related complications, and outcome.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, consecutive aSAH patients were treated at a single neurovascular center between 2009 and 2019. Propensity score matching was performed to account for divergent baseline characteristics.

RESULTS

Among 509 included patients, 55 were admitted more than 48 hours after ictus (DHA group). DHA patients were significantly younger (52 ± 11 vs 56 ± 14 years, p = 0.03) and had lower World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies scores (p < 0.01) than EHA patients. In 54.5% of the cases, DHA patients presented with neurological deterioration or aggravated symptoms. Propensity score matching revealed a higher vasospastic infarction rate in the DHA group (41.5%) than in the EHA group (22.6%) (p = 0.04). A similar portion of patients in both groups achieved favorable outcome at midterm follow-up (77.3% vs 73.6%, p = 0.87). DHA patients (62.3%) received conventional coiling more often than EHA patients (41.5%) (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

DHA patients are at an increased risk of cerebral infarction. Nevertheless, state-of-the-art neurointensive care treatment can result in a good clinical outcome.

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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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Pantelis Stavrinou, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Stefan Grau, Christina Hamisch, Norbert Galldiks, Sotirios Katsigiannis, Christoph Kabbasch, Marco Timmer, Roland Goldbrunner and George Stranjalis

OBJECTIVE

Data on the survival effects of supportive care compared to second-line multimodal treatment for glioblastoma progression are scarce. Thus, the authors assessed survival in two population-based, similar cohorts from two European university hospitals with different treatment strategies at first progression.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma treated at two neurooncological centers. After diagnosis, patients from both centers received identical treatments, but at tumor progression each center used a different approach. In the majority of cases, at center A (Greece), supportive care or a single therapeutic modality was offered at progression, whereas center B (Germany) provided multimodal second-line therapy. The main outcome measure was survival after progression (SaP). The influence of the treatment strategy on SaP was assessed by multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

One hundred three patients from center A and 156 from center B were included. Tumor progression was observed in 86 patients (center A) and 136 patients (center B). At center A, 53 patients (72.6%) received supportive care alone, while at center B, 91 patients (80.5%) received second-line treatment. Progression-free survival at both centers was similar (9.4 months [center A] vs 9.0 months [center B]; p = 0.97), but SaP was significantly improved in the patients treated with multimodal second-line therapy at center B (7 months, 95% CI 5.3–8.7 months) compared to those treated with supportive care or a single therapeutic modality at center A (4.5 months, 95% CI 3.5–5.5 months; p = 0.003). In the multivariate analysis, the treatment center was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR 1.59, 95% CI 0.17–2.15; p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment strategy favoring multimodal second-line treatment over minimal treatment or supportive care at glioblastoma progression is associated with significantly better overall survival.