Supracerebellar transtentorial (SCTT) approaches have become a popular option for treatment of a variety of pathologies in the medial and basal temporal and occipital lobes and thalamus. Transtentorial approaches provide numerous advantages over transcortical approaches, including obviating the need to traverse eloquent cortex, not requiring parenchymal retraction, and circumventing critical vascular structures. All of these approaches require a tentorial opening, and numerous techniques for retraction of the incised tentorium have been described, including sutures, fixed retractors, and electrocautery. However, all of these techniques have considerable drawbacks and limitations. The authors describe a novel application of clip retraction of the tentorium to the supracerebellar approaches in which an aneurysm clip is used to suspend the tentorial flap, and an illustrative case is provided. Clip retraction of the tentorium is an efficient, straightforward adaptation of an established technique, typically used for subtemporal approaches, that improves visualization and surgical ergonomics with little risk to nearby venous structures. The authors find this technique particularly useful for the contralateral SCTT approaches.
Jacob F. Baranoski, Ankush Bajaj, Colin J. Przybylowski, Joshua S. Catapano, Fabio A. Frisoli, Michael J. Lang, and Michael T. Lawton
Colin J. Przybylowski, Jacob F. Baranoski, Veronica M. So, Jeffrey Wilson, and Nader Sanai
The choice of transsylvian versus transcortical corridors for resection of insular gliomas remains controversial. Functional pathway compromise from transcortical transgression and vascular injury during transsylvian dissection are the primary concerns. In this study, data from a single-center experience with both approaches were compared to determine whether one approach was associated with a higher rate of morbidity than the other.
The authors identified 100 consecutive patients who underwent resection of pure insular gliomas at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Volumetric analysis was performed using FLAIR and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI for low- and high-grade gliomas, respectively, for extent of resection (EOR) and diffusion-weighted sequences were used to detect for postoperative ischemia. Step-wise logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of neurological morbidity.
Data from 100 patients with low-grade or high-grade insular gliomas were analyzed. Fifty-two patients (52%) underwent a transsylvian approach, and 48 patients (48%) underwent a transcortical approach. The mean (± SD) EOR was 91.6% ± 12.4% in the transsylvian group and 88.6% ± 14.2% in the transcortical group (p = 0.26). Clinical outcome metrics for the 2 groups were similar. Overall, 13 patients (25%) in the transsylvian group and 10 patients (21%) in the transcortical group had evidence of ischemia on postoperative MR images. For both approaches, high-grade histology was associated with permanent morbidity (p = 0.01). For patients with gliomas located within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula, development of postoperative ischemia was associated with only the transsylvian approach (46% vs 0%, p = 0.02).
Areas of restricted diffusion are common on postoperative MRI following resection of insular gliomas, but only a minority of these patients develop permanent neurological deficits. Insular glioma patients with high-grade histology may be at particular risk for developing symptomatic postoperative ischemia. Both the transcortical and transsylvian corridors are associated with reasonable morbidity profiles, although gliomas situated within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula are more safely accessed with a transcortical approach.
Harsh Deora, Kuntal Kanti Das, Awadhesh Jaiswal, and Sanjay Behari
Colin J. Przybylowski, Tyler S. Cole, Jacob F. Baranoski, Andrew S. Little, Kris A. Smith, and Andrew G. Shetter
The objective of this study was to assess long-term outcomes of facial pain and numbness after radiosurgery for multiple sclerosis (MS)–related trigeminal neuralgia (MS-TN).
The authors conducted a retrospective review of their Gamma Knife radiosurgeries (GKRSs) to identify all patients treated for MS-TN (1998–2014) with at least 3 years of follow-up. Treatment and clinical data were obtained via chart review and mailed or telephone surveys. Pain control was defined as a facial pain score of I–IIIb on the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) Facial Pain Intensity Scale. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to determine the rates of pain control after index and first salvage GKRS procedures. Patients could have had more than 1 salvage procedure. Pain control rates were based on the number of patients at risk during follow-up.
Of the 50 living patients who underwent GKRS, 42 responded to surveys (31 women [74%], median age 59 years, range 32–76 years). During the initial GKRS, the trigeminal nerve root entry zone was targeted with a single isocenter, using a 4-mm collimator with the 90% isodose line completely covering the trigeminal nerve and the 50% isodose line abutting the surface of the brainstem. The median maximum radiation dose was 85 Gy (range 50–85 Gy). The median follow-up period was 78 months (range 36–226 months). The rate of pain control after the index GKRS (n = 42) was 62%, 29%, 22%, and 13% at 1, 3, 5, and 7 years, respectively. Twenty-eight patients (67%) underwent salvage treatment, including 25 (60%) whose first salvage treatment was GKRS. The rate of pain control after the first salvage GKRS (n = 25) was 84%, 50%, 44%, and 17% at 1, 3, 5, and 7 years, respectively. The rate of pain control after the index GKRS with or without 1 salvage GKRS (n = 33) was 92%, 72%, 52%, 46%, and 17% at 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years, respectively. At last follow-up, 9 (21%) of the 42 patients had BNI grade I facial pain, 35 (83%) had achieved pain control, and 4 (10%) had BNI grade IV facial numbness (very bothersome in daily life).
Index GKRS offers good short-term pain control for MS-TN, but long-term pain control is uncommon. If the index GKRS fails, salvage GKRS appears to offer beneficial pain control with low rates of bothersome facial numbness.
Robert M. Starke, Colin J. Przybylowski, Mukherjee Sugoto, Francis Fezeu, Ahmed J. Awad, Dale Ding, James H. Nguyen, and Jason P. Sheehan
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become a common treatment modality for intracranial meningiomas. Skull base meningiomas greater than 8 cm3 in volume have been found to have worse outcomes following SRS. When symptomatic, patients with these tumors are often initially treated with resection. For tumors located in close proximity to eloquent structures or in patients unwilling or unable to undergo a resection, SRS may be an acceptable therapeutic approach. In this study, the authors review the SRS outcomes of skull base meningiomas greater than 8 cm3 in volume, which corresponds to a lesion with an approximate diameter of 2.5 cm.
The authors reviewed the data in a prospectively compiled database documenting the outcomes of 469 patients with skull base meningiomas treated with single-session Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS). Seventy-five patients had tumors greater than 8 cm3 in volume, which was defined as a large tumor. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 6 months, but patients were included if they had a complication at any time point. Thirty patients were treated with upfront GKRS, and 45 were treated following microsurgery. Patient and tumor characteristics were assessed to determine predictors of new or worsening neurological function and tumor progression following GKRS.
After a mean follow-up of 6.5 years (range 0.5–21 years), the tumor volume was unchanged in 37 patients (49%), decreased in 26 patients (35%), and increased in 12 patients (16%). Actuarial rates of progression-free survival at 3, 5, and 10 years were 90.3%, 88.6%, and 77.2%, respectively. Four patients had new or worsened edema following GKRS, but preexisting edema decreased in 3 patients. In Cox multivariable analysis, covariates associated with tumor progression were 1) presentation with any cranial nerve (CN) deficit from III to VI (hazard ratio [HR] 3.78, 95% CI 1.91–7.45; p < 0.001), history of radiotherapy (HR 12.06, 95% CI 2.04–71.27; p = 0.006), and tumor volume greater than 14 cm3 (HR 6.86, 95% CI 0.88–53.36; p = 0.066). In those patients with detailed clinical follow-up (n = 64), neurological function was unchanged in 37 patients (58%), improved in 16 patients (25%), and deteriorated in 11 patients (17%). In multivariate analysis, the factors predictive of new or worsening neurological function were history of surgery (OR 3.00, 95% CI 1.13–7.95; p = 0.027), presentation with any CN deficit from III to VI (OR 3.94, 95% CI 1.49–10.24; p = 0.007), and decreasing maximal dose (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.63–0.93; p = 0.007). Tumor progression was present in 64% of patients with new or worsening neurological decline.
Stereotactic radiosurgery affords a reasonable rate of tumor control for large skull base meningiomas and does so with a low incidence of neurological deficits. Those with a tumor less than 14 cm3 in volume and without presenting CN deficit from III to VI were more likely to have effective tumor control.
Colin J. Przybylowski, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Fabio A. Frisoli, Xiaochun Zhao, Claudio Cavallo, Leandro Borba Moreira, Sirin Gandhi, Nader Sanai, Kaith K. Almefty, Michael T. Lawton, and Andrew S. Little
Recently, the prognostic value of the Simpson resection grading scale has been called into question for modern meningioma surgery. In this study, the authors analyzed the relationship between Simpson resection grade and meningioma recurrence in their institutional experience.
This study is a retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of a WHO grade I intracranial meningioma at the authors’ institution from 2007 to 2017. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess for predictors of Simpson grade IV resection and postoperative neurological morbidity. Cox multivariate analysis was used to assess for predictors of tumor recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests were used to assess and compare recurrence-free survival (RFS) of Simpson resection grades, respectively.
A total of 492 patients with evaluable data were included for analysis, including 394 women (80.1%) and 98 men (19.9%) with a mean (SD) age of 58.7 (12.8) years. The tumors were most commonly located at the skull base (n = 302; 61.4%) or the convexity/parasagittal region (n = 139; 28.3%). The median (IQR) tumor volume was 6.8 (14.3) cm3. Simpson grade I, II, III, or IV resection was achieved in 105 (21.3%), 155 (31.5%), 52 (10.6%), and 180 (36.6%) patients, respectively. Sixty-three of 180 patients (35.0%) with Simpson grade IV resection were treated with adjuvant radiosurgery. In the multivariate analysis, increasing largest tumor dimension (p < 0.01) and sinus invasion (p < 0.01) predicted Simpson grade IV resection, whereas skull base location predicted neurological morbidity (p = 0.02). Tumor recurrence occurred in 63 patients (12.8%) at a median (IQR) of 36 (40.3) months from surgery. Simpson grade I resection resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade II resection (p = 0.02), Simpson grade III resection (p = 0.01), and Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.01) or without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01). In the multivariate analysis, Simpson grade I resection was independently associated with no tumor recurrence (p = 0.04). Simpson grade II and III resections resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01) but similar RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.82). Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01).
The Simpson resection grading scale continues to hold substantial prognostic value in the modern neurosurgical era. When feasible, Simpson grade I resection should remain the goal of intracranial meningioma surgery. Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in similar RFS compared with Simpson grade II and III resections.
Mark Quigg, Chun-Po Yen, Micaela Chatman, Anders H. Quigg, Ian T. McNeill, Colin J. Przybylowski, Guofen Yan, and Jason P. Sheehan
Diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension may be associated with complications following fractionated radiotherapy. To date no studies have determined the risk of radiation toxicity in patients with DM or hypertension who have undergone Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The goal of the present study was to determine associations between DM or hypertension and other factors in the development of radiotoxicity, as measured by radiation-induced changes (RICs) on MR images following radiosurgery for AVM.
Using univariate methods and multivariate logistic regression, the authors compared the RIC status in patients 18 years of age and older with these patients' history of, or medication use for, DM or hypertension; tobacco use; patient age and sex; AVM volume; Spetzler-Martin AVM severity scale (Grades I and II vs Grades III–V); AVM surgery, AVM embolization, or hemorrhage prior to radiosurgery; AVM location; number of draining veins; and radiosurgery margin dose.
Radiation-induced changes occurred in 38% of 539 adults within a mean (± standard deviation) of 12 ± 10 months after radiosurgery, as observed during a median follow-up time of 55 months. Among patients in whom RICs occurred, 34% had headaches, neurological deficits, or new-onset seizures. Larger RICs were associated with worse symptoms. According to a univariate analysis, DM (3% of patients), larger AVM volume, worse Spetzler-Martin grade, lack of AVM surgery prior to radiosurgery, lack of hemorrhage prior to radiosurgery, and smaller margin dose of radiation had significant associations with the presence of RICs. Hypertension (20%), patient sex, tobacco use, number of draining veins, superficial or deep location of the lesion, and AVM embolization prior to radiosurgery had no association with the presence of RICs. According to a multivariate analysis, larger AVM volume, worse Spetzler-Martin grade, and no AVM surgery prior to radiosurgery predicted the occurrence of an RIC. Diabetes mellitus had borderline significance.
Vascular factors such as hypertension, patient sex, and tobacco use did not convey additional risks of radiotoxicity, but DM remained a possible cardiovascular risk factor in the development of RICs.
Dale Ding, Mark Quigg, Robert M. Starke, Zhiyuan Xu, Chun-Po Yen, Colin J. Przybylowski, Blair K. Dodson, and Jason P. Sheehan
The temporal lobe is particularly susceptible to epileptogenesis. However, the routine use of anticonvulsant therapy is not implemented in temporal lobe AVM patients without seizures at presentation. The goals of this case-control study were to determine the radiosurgical outcomes for temporal lobe AVMs and to define the effect of temporal lobe location on postradiosurgery AVM seizure outcomes.
From a database of approximately 1400 patients, the authors generated a case cohort from patients with temporal lobe AVMs with at least 2 years follow-up or obliteration. A control cohort with similar baseline AVM characteristics was generated, blinded to outcome, from patients with non-temporal, cortical AVMs. They evaluated the rates and predictors of seizure freedom or decreased seizure frequency in patients with seizures or de novo seizures in those without seizures.
A total of 175 temporal lobe AVMs were identified based on the inclusion criteria. Seizure was the presenting symptom in 38% of patients. The median AVM volume was 3.3 cm3, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 39% of cases. The median radiosurgical prescription dose was 22 Gy. At a median clinical follow-up of 73 months, the rates of seizure control and de novo seizures were 62% and 2%, respectively. Prior embolization (p = 0.023) and lower radiosurgical dose (p = 0.027) were significant predictors of seizure control. Neither temporal lobe location (p = 0.187) nor obliteration (p = 0.522) affected seizure outcomes. The cumulative obliteration rate was 63%, which was significantly higher in patients without seizures at presentation (p = 0.046). The rates of symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes were 3% and 1%, respectively. The annual risk of postradiosurgery hemorrhage was 1.3%.
Radiosurgery is an effective treatment for temporal lobe AVMs. Furthermore, radiosurgery is protective against seizure progression in patients with temporal lobe AVM–associated seizures. Temporal lobe location does not affect radiosurgery-induced seizure control. The low risk of new-onset seizures in patients with temporal or extratemporal AVMs does not seem to warrant prophylactic use of anticonvulsants.
Jason P. Sheehan, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, Colin J. Przybylowski, Patrick D. Melmer, and David Schlesinger
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been shown to offer a high probability of tumor control for Grade I meningiomas. However, SRS can sometimes incite edema or exacerbate preexisting edema around the targeted meningioma. The current study evaluates the incidence, timing, and degree of edema around parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas following SRS.
A retrospective review was undertaken of a prospectively maintained database of patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery at the University of Virginia Health System. All patients with WHO Grade I parafalcine or parasagittal meningiomas with at least 6 months of clinical follow-up were identified, resulting in 61 patients included in the study. The median radiographic follow-up was 28 months (range 6–158 months). Rates of new or worsening edema were quantitatively assessed using volumetric analysis; edema indices were computed as a function of time following radiosurgery. Statistical methods were used to identify favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors for new or worsening edema.
Progression-free survival at 2 and 5 years was 98% and 90%, respectively, according to Kaplan-Meier analysis. After SRS, new peritumoral edema occurred or preexisting edema worsened in 40% of treated meningiomas. The median time to onset of peak edema was 36 months post-SRS. Persistent and progressive edema was associated with 11 tumors, and resection was undertaken for these lesions. However, 20 patients showed initial edema progression followed by regression at a median of 18 months after radiosurgery (range 6–24 months). Initial tumor volume greater than 10 cm3, absence of prior resection, and higher margin dose were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with increased risk of new or progressive edema after SRS.
Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high rate of tumor control in patients with parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas. However, it can lead to worsening peritumoral edema in a minority of patients. Following radiosurgery, transient edema occurs earlier than persistent and progressive edema. Longitudinal follow-up of meningioma patients after SRS is required to detect and appropriately treat transient as well as progressive edema.
Xiaochun Zhao, Robert T. Wicks, Evgenii Belykh, Colin J. Przybylowski, Mohamed A. Labib, and Peter Nakaji
Neurocysticercosis is primarily managed with anthelminthic, antiepileptic, and corticosteroid therapies. Surgical removal of the larval cyst is indicated when associated mass effect causes neurological symptoms, as demonstrated in two cases. Cyst resection was achieved via the far lateral approach for a cervicomedullary cyst in one patient and via the subtemporal approach for a mesencephalic cyst in another. The cyst wall should be kept intact, when possible, to avoid dissemination of the inflammation-evoking contents. As the contents are usually semisolid and can be removed via suction, it is not necessary to remove the gliotic capsule or adherent portions of the cyst wall in highly eloquent locations.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GqbaJu5sy1o.