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Jia-Ping Zheng, Chu-Zhong Li, and Guo-Qiang Chen

OBJECTIVE

The aim of the present study was to investigate the practical value of a multimaterial and multicolor 3D-printed model in anatomical teaching, surgical training, and preoperative planning of transnasal endoscopic surgery for pituitary adenoma.

METHODS

Multimodality neuroimaging data were obtained in a 42-year-old healthy male volunteer and a 40-year-old female patient with an invasive nonfunctional pituitary adenoma. Three 3D-printed models were produced: a monomaterial and monocolor model, a monomaterial and multicolor model, and a multimaterial and multicolor model. The effects on anatomical teaching and surgical training for exposing the vidian nerve were assessed by 12 residents, and the training effect was validated on cadavers. The practical values for preoperative planning were evaluated by 6 experienced neurosurgeons. All evaluations were based on 5-point Likert questionnaires.

RESULTS

The multimaterial and multicolor model was superior to the monomaterial models in surgical training for exposing the vidian nerve (Fisher test; p < 0.05). In addition, the multimaterial and multicolor model was superior to the monomaterial models in anatomical teaching and preoperative planning (Friedman test; p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Multimaterial and multicolor 3D printing technology makes it convenient and efficient to produce a practical model for simulating individualized and complex anatomical structures in the sellar region. Furthermore, the multimaterial model can provide a more realistic manipulative experience for surgical training and facilitate the preoperative planning.

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Yixuan Zhai, Jiwei Bai, Mingxuan Li, Shuai Wang, Chuzhong Li, Xinting Wei, and Yazhuo Zhang

OBJECTIVE

Chordoma shows poor patient prognosis because of its high recurrence rate. Even though many clinical factors and biomarkers are reported to be associated with prognosis, no prediction model has been applied clinically. Thus, the authors aim to derive and validate a prognostic nomogram to predict progression-free survival (PFS) of chordoma.

METHODS

A total of 201 patients were randomly divided into a derivation group (151 cases) and a validation group (50 cases). The expression levels of biomarkers were quantified using tissue microarray analysis. A nomogram was established via univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis in the derivation group. The predictive performance of the nomogram was then tested in the validation group.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up interval was 57 months (range 26–107 months). One clinical factor and 3 biomarkers were confirmed to be associated with PFS, including degree of resection, E-cadherin, Ki-67, and VEGFA. The nomogram with these prognostic factors had areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87 and 0.95 in the derivation group at 3 years and 5 years, respectively, compared with 0.87 and 0.84 in the validation group. Calibration and score-stratified survival curve were good in the derivation group and validation group, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The established nomogram performs well for predicting the PFS of chordoma and for risk stratification, which could facilitate prognostic evaluation and follow-up.

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Yixuan Zhai, Jiwei Bai, Shuai Wang, Hua Gao, Mingxuan Li, Chuzhong Li, Songbai Gui, and Yazhuo Zhang

OBJECTIVE

In this study, the authors’ aim was to research clinical features and prognostic factors in patients harboring clival chordomas and explore the relationship between platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) expression and tumor invasion and prognosis of clival chordoma.

METHODS

A total of 242 patients were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical information, including extent of resection, Al-Mefty classification, postoperative complications, and postoperative radiotherapy, was reviewed. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate survival time. Immunohistochemical analysis, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and Western blotting were used to measure the expression level of proteins or mRNA. Transwell assaying was performed to measure the invasive ability of the tumor cells.

RESULTS

According to the Al-Mefty classification, there were 37, 112, and 93 type I, II, and III tumors, respectively. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 86 cases (35.5%), subtotal resection (STR) in 63 cases (26.0%), and partial resection (PR) in 93 cases (38.4%). The 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates in the GTR group were significantly higher than those in the non–total resection (NTR; i.e., STR and PR) group (p < 0.001). The 5-year PFS and OS rates for patients with type I tumors were significantly higher than those for patients harboring types II and III tumors (p < 0.001). In the NTR group, the median PFS and OS of patients with lower PDGFR-β expression were significantly longer than those of patients with higher PDGFR-β expression. Reduction of PDGFR-β suppressed the invasion ability of cells in vitro. In addition, reduction of PDGFR-β can obviously downregulate the expression levels of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) or phospho-mTOR.

CONCLUSIONS

Extent of resection, Al-Mefty classification, primary tumor, postoperative radiotherapy, and PDGFR-β expression level are valuable prognostic factors in patients with clival chordomas. PDGFR-β could regulate invasion through the mTOR pathway in clival chordoma cells.

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Yisen Zhang, Zhongbin Tian, Chuzhong Li, Jian Liu, Ying Zhang, Xinjian Yang, and Yazhuo Zhang

OBJECTIVE

Internal carotid artery (ICA) injuries during endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) are catastrophic complications. Alongside the advancements in medical instrumentation and material, there is a need to modify previous treatment modalities and principles.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 3658 patients who underwent EES performed at the authors’ institution between January 2012 and December 2017 was conducted. Ultimately, 20 patients (0.55%) with ICA injury following EES were enrolled for analysis. Data collection included demographic data, preoperative diagnosis, injury setting, repair method, and immediate and follow-up angiographic and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

Among the 20 patients, 11 received immediate endovascular therapy and 9 were treated only with packing. Of the 11 patients who received endovascular treatment, 6 were treated by covered stent and 5 by parent artery occlusion (PAO). The preservation rate of injured ICA increased from 20.0% (1 of 5) to 83.3% (5 of 6) after the Willis covered stent graft became available in January 2016. Of the 20 patients in the study, 19 recovered well and 1 patient—who had a pseudoaneurysm and was treated by PAO with a detachable balloon—suffered epistaxis after the hemostat in her nasal cavity was removed in ward, and she died later that day. The authors speculated that the detachable balloon had shifted to the distal part of ICA, although the patient could not undergo a repeat angiogram because she quickly suffered shock and could not be transferred to the catheter room. After the introduction of a hybrid operating room (OR), one patient whose first angiogram showed no ICA injury was found to have a pseudoaneurysm. He received endovascular treatment when he was brought for a repeat angiogram 5 days later in the hybrid OR after removing the hemostat in his nasal cavity. Of the 4 surviving patients treated with PAO, no external carotid artery–ICA bypass was required. The authors propose a modified endovascular treatment protocol for ICA injuries suffered during EES that exploits the advantage of the covered stent graft and the hybrid OR.

CONCLUSIONS

The endovascular treatment protocol used in this study for ICA injuries during EES was helpful in the management of this rare complication. Willis stent placement improved the preservation rate of injured ICA during EES. It would be highly advantageous to manage this complication in a hybrid OR or by a mobile C-arm to get a clear intraoperative angiogram.

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Song-Bai Gui, Sheng-Yuan Yu, Lei Cao, Ji-wei Bai, Xin-Sheng Wang, Chu-Zhong Li, and Ya-Zhuo Zhang

OBJECTIVE

At present, endoscopic treatment is advised as the first procedure in cases of suprasellar arachnoid cysts (SSCs) with hydrocephalus. However, the appropriate therapy for SSCs without hydrocephalus has not been fully determined yet because such cases are very rare and because it is usually difficult to perform the neuroendoscopic procedure in patients without ventriculomegaly given difficulties with ventricular cannulation and the narrow foramen of Monro. The purpose of this study was to find out the value of navigation-guided neuroendoscopic ventriculocystocisternostomy (VCC) for SSCs without lateral ventriculomegaly.

METHODS

Five consecutive patients with SSC without hydrocephalus were surgically treated using endoscopic fenestration (VCC) guided by navigation between March 2014 and November 2015. The surgical technique, success rate, and patient outcomes were assessed and compared with those from hydrocephalic patients managed in a similar fashion.

RESULTS

The small ventricles were successfully cannulated using navigational tracking, and the VCC was accomplished in all patients. There were no operative complications related to the endoscopic procedure. In all patients the SSC decreased in size and symptoms improved postoperatively (mean follow-up 10.4 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic VCC can be performed as an effective, safe, and simple treatment option by using intraoperative image-based neuronavigation in SSC patients without hydrocephalus. The image-guided neuroendoscopic procedure improved the accuracy of the endoscopic approach and minimized brain trauma. The absence of hydrocephalus in patients with SSC may not be a contraindication to endoscopic treatment.

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Ning Qiao, Xiaocui Yang, Chuzhong Li, Guofo Ma, Jie Kang, Chunhui Liu, Lei Cao, Yazhuo Zhang, and Songbai Gui

OBJECTIVE

Due to the proximity of craniopharyngioma to the optic apparatus, one of the most common complications after surgery is visual deterioration. Intraoperative visual evoked potential (VEP), as a means of real-time visual function monitoring, has been integrated into transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma to predict postoperative visual outcome. Compared with pituitary tumor, craniopharyngioma often adheres to optic nerves, with increased risk of postoperative visual impairment. Furthermore, extended endoscopic endonasal surgery (EEES) can provide direct visualization of the surgical plane between the craniopharyngioma and the optic nerves, which contributes to analysis of the mechanism of real-time VEP changes during surgery. Therefore, VEP monitoring applied during EEES for craniopharyngioma may have more clinical value. However, only 9 patients who underwent EEES with VEP monitoring for craniopharyngioma have been sporadically reported to date. In this paper, the authors present the largest series to date analyzing the clinical value of VEP to predict postoperative visual outcome in adult patients with craniopharyngioma.

METHODS

Sixty-five adult patients who underwent EEES with intraoperative VEP monitoring for primary craniopharyngioma were retrospectively reviewed. The association between changes in VEP amplitude and postoperative visual outcome was determined. In addition, other potential prognostic factors with regard to postoperative visual outcomes were included in the analysis.

RESULTS

Gross-total resection was achieved in 59 patients (90.8%). Reproducible and stable VEP was recorded in 128 of 130 eyes (98.5%). During surgery, VEP remained stable in 108 eyes, 10 (9.3%) of which had new visual acuity (VA) and/or visual field (VF) defects after surgery. Transient VEP decrease was recorded in 15 eyes, 4 (26.7%) of which had visual deterioration. Of the 5 eyes with permanent VEP decrease, 3 (60%) experienced postoperative visual impairment. Permanent VEP decrease (OR 19.868, p = 0.007) and tight adhesion (OR 6.104, p = 0.040) were independent adverse factors for postoperative VA deterioration. Tight adhesion (OR 7.150, p = 0.002) and larger tumor volume (OR 1.066, p = 0.001) were significant risk factors for postoperative VF defects.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative VEP monitoring can serve as a real-time warning to guide surgeons to avoid postoperative visual impairment. It effectively predicted VA changes in adult patients with craniopharyngioma after EEES. Tight adhesion and larger tumor volume were also strong predictors of postoperative visual impairment.