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David Weaver, Louis Pobereskin and John A. Jane

✓ Two cases of traumatic epidural hematomas are presented. Both patients were minimally symptomatic, and neither required surgical intervention. It is suggested that the use of computerized tomography in head trauma will reveal a new class of epidural hematoma patients who may be treated conservatively.

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Louis F. D'Amelio, David J. Musser and Michael Rhodes

✓ A unique case of bilateral compressive injury of the femoral nerves is reported in a 19-year-old man. Traumatic femoral nerve neuropathy following operative injury, penetrating injury, anticoagulant therapy with hemorrhage, and stretch injury has been described previously, and the literature concerning this unusual clinical problem is reviewed. Bilateral traumatic femoral nerve neuropathy resulting from compressive injury has not been previously reported.

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Stephen B. Tatter, Lawrence F. Borges and David N. Louis

✓ Central neurocytoma is a neuronal neoplasm that occurs supratentorially in the lateral or third ventricles. The authors report the clinical, neuroradiological, and neuropathological features of two neurocytomas arising in the spinal cord of two men, aged 65 and 49 years. The patients presented with progressive neurological deficits referable to the cervical spinal cord. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed isodense intramedullary spinal cord tumors at the C3–4 level. Both tumors were initially misdiagnosed as gliomas. In Case 1 the correct diagnosis was made after electron microscopy revealed neuronal features. Immunostaining in Case 2 revealed that tumor cells were positive for synaptophysin and negative for glial fibrillary acidic protein, strongly indicating a neuronal tumor. It is suggested that this spinal cord neoplasm be included under the designation “central neurocytoma.”

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David N. Louis, Allan J. Hamilton, Raymond A. Sobel and Robert G. Ojemann

✓ A sphenoid-wing meningioma in a 60-year-old woman was accompanied by elevated serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, which returned to normal after removal of the tumor. Light microscopic examination revealed a secretory meningioma containing numerous pseudopsammoma bodies and a prominent vascular pattern. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the tumor cells and pseudopsammoma bodies to be CEA-positive. This case illustrates the possibility that secretory meningioma may be associated with clinically detectable secretion of CEA. The report also documents the rare occurrence of elevated serum CEA in a primary benign intracranial tumor.

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Edward R. Smith, Mark Ott, John Wain, David N. Louis and E. Antonio Chiocca

✓ Extracranial meningiomas comprise approximately 2% of all meningiomas. Involvement of peripheral nerves by meningioma, either by a primary tumor or through secondary extension of an intraaxial lesion, is a much rarer entity; there have been only two reported primary brachial plexus meningiomas and one description of secondary involvement of the brachial plexus by extension of an intraaxial lesion. Although thoracic cavity meningiomas have been described in the literature, their pathogenesis is poorly understood. The authors present the case report of a 36-year-old man who was initially treated for a thoracic spinal meningioma that infiltrated the brachial plexus. After resection, progressive and massive growth with infiltration of the brachial plexus and pleural cavity occurred over a 5-year period despite radio- and chemotherapy. The case report is followed by a review of the literature of this rare entity.

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Stephen B. Tatter, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Jeffrey A. Golden, Robert G. Ojemann and David N. Louis

✓ Two cases are reported of third ventricle masses that were clinically and radiographically indistinguishable from pure colloid cysts. A 21- and a 36-year-old man presented with 5-year and 10-day histories of headache, respectively. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging revealed smooth, homogeneous masses in the anterior third ventricle that were iso- to hyperintense on T1-weighted MR images and hyperintense on T2-weighted images. There was little enhancement with intravenous contrast material. In both patients, craniotomies were performed and histopathological examination revealed xanthogranulomas of the choroid plexus with only microscopic foci of colloid cyst-like structures. These cases illustrate that xanthogranulomas of the third ventricle may clinically and radiologically mimic pure colloid cysts, that a range of MR imaging signals can be seen, and that craniotomy rather than stereotactic aspiration is the indicated treatment.

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David W. Cahill, Nasir Bashirelahi, Louis W. Solomon, Thomas Dalton, Michael Salcman and Thomas B. Ducker

✓ Two-thirds of all meningiomas and four-fifths of intraspinal and sphenoidal meningiomas occur in women. Meningiomas frequently enlarge or become symptomatic during pregnancy or during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. There is an increased incidence of meningiomas in women with breast carcinoma.

In a series of 23 patients with meningiomas, the authors assayed biopsy specimens of the tumor for the presence of estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors, using glycerol density gradient centrifugation and dextran-coated charcoal techniques. Significant levels of ER were found in only 17% of the patients, while significant PR levels were detected in 39%. Only one of the 16 tumors from female patients had significant ER levels, whereas three of the seven tumors from men had significant ER levels. Eight of the 16 tumors in women had significant PR levels, whereas only one of the seven tumors in men had a significant PR level. Thus, three out of four tumors with definite ER were from men, whereas eight of nine tumors with definite PR were from women. Of the eight women whose tumors contained PR, three were premenopausal and five postmenopausal. The single tumor with high levels of PR in the male patient was histologically atypical.

The results of this series were compared with six published series of sex steroid assays in meningiomas. These seven series were divided into two groups: one group included two reports from the same laboratories in France, and the other the remaining five reports. Much higher percentages of both ER- and PR-positive tumors were reported from the French group. The authors suggest that this discrepancy may be due to the use of preoperative glucocorticoid therapy in the series from the United States.

Since meningiomas are known to enlarge during periods when levels of circulating progestins are high, the presence of significant quantities of PR in a high percentage of tumors may have therapeutic implications for recurrent, malignant, or incompletely excised tumors, or for medically fragile patients. Conversely, since meningiomas are not known to enlarge during the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle or with exogenous estrogen therapy, the small number of tumors positive for ER may indicate that ER lacks clinical significance. High levels of PR found in a small group of histologically aggressive tumors in several series may indicate that hormonal therapy may be especially useful in this difficult subset of patients.

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Jon Glass, Fred H. Hochberg, Michael L. Gruber, David N. Louis, David Smith and Barbara Rattner

✓ Malignant oligodendrogliomas have been shown to be responsive to chemotherapy. The authors administered systemic chemotherapy to seven patients with oligodendroglioma or anaplastic oligodendroglioma, and to 14 with mixed oligodendroglioma-astrocytoma. Fourteen patients underwent chemotherapy before and seven after irradiation. The PCV (procarbazine, methyl-1-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (CCNU), and vincristine) chemotherapy was administered every 6 weeks (42-day cycles) for two to five cycles as follows: CCNU, 110 mg/sq m on Day 1; procarbazine, 60 mg/sq m/day on Days 8 to 21; and vincristine, 1.4 mg/sq m/day on Days 8 and 29. Complete or partial (> 50% reduction in tumor mass) responses at 20 to 100+ weeks after treatment were noted in 11 (79%) of the 14 patients treated before irradiation, including two with anaplastic oligodendroglioma and nine with mixed tumors. Complete responses were seen in two patients, one with anaplastic oligodendroglioma and one with a mixed tumor. Partial responses were seen in three of seven patients treated after radiotherapy. Stabilization of tumor growth followed PCV chemotherapy in four patients (two treated before and two after radiotherapy). Tumor growth progressed in two patients during therapy despite an initial response and in two patients despite therapy. The authors conclude that mixed oligodendroglial tumors as well as anaplastic oligodendrogliomas are responsive to PCV chemotherapy.