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Davis G. Taylor and John A. Jane Jr.

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Davis G. Taylor, Panagiotis Mastorakos, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward H. Oldfield

OBJECTIVE

A subset of patients with Chiari I malformation demonstrate patent subarachnoid spaces around the cerebellum, indicating that reduced posterior fossa volume alone does not account for tonsillar descent. The authors distinguish two subsets of Chiari I malformation patients based on the degree of “posterior fossa crowdedness” on MRI.

METHODS

Two of the coauthors independently reviewed the preoperative MR images of 49 patients with Chiari I malformation and categorized the posterior fossa as “spacious” or “crowded.” Volumetric analysis of posterior fossa structures was then performed using open-source DICOM software. The preoperative clinical and imaging features of the two groups were compared.

RESULTS

The posterior fossae of 25 patients were classified as spacious and 20 as crowded by both readers; 4 were incongruent. The volumes of the posterior fossa compartment, posterior fossa tissue, and hindbrain (posterior fossa tissue including herniated tonsils) were statistically similar between the patients with spacious and crowed subtypes (p = 0.33, p = 0.17, p = 0.20, respectively). However, patients in the spacious and crowded subtypes demonstrated significant differences in the ratios of posterior fossa tissue to compartment volumes as well as hindbrain to compartment volumes (p = 0.001 and p = 0.0004, respectively). The average age at surgery was 29.2 ± 19.3 years (mean ± SD) and 21.9 ± 14.9 years for spacious and crowded subtypes, respectively (p = 0.08). Syringomyelia was more prevalent in the crowded subtype (50% vs 28%, p = 0.11).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' study identifies two subtypes of Chiari I malformation, crowded and spacious, that can be distinguished by MRI appearance without volumetric analysis. Earlier age at surgery and presence of syringomyelia are more common in the crowded subtype. The presence of the spacious subtype suggests that crowdedness alone cannot explain the pathogenesis of Chiari I malformation in many patients, supporting the need for further investigation.

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Davis G. Taylor, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward H. Oldfield

OBJECTIVE

Extracapsular resection of pituitary microadenomas improves remission rates, but the application of pseudocapsular techniques for macroadenomas has not been well described. In larger tumors, the extremely thin, compressed normal gland or its complete absence along the tumor’s anterior surface limits the application of the traditional pseudocapsular technique that can be used for microadenomas. However, in the authors’ experience, the interface between the pseudocapsule at the posterior margin of the adenoma and the compressed normal gland behind it is universally present, providing a surgical dissection plane. In mid-2010, the authors began using a new surgical technique to identify and use this interface for the resection of larger macroadenomas, a technique that can be used with the microscope or the endoscope.

METHODS

The authors performed a cohort study using prospectively collected preoperative imaging reports and operative details and retrospectively reviewed postoperative images and clinical follow-up of patients with a pituitary macroadenoma 20–40 mm in maximum diameter undergoing microscopic transsphenoidal resection. Since dissection of the tumor capsule only pertains to encapsulated tumor within the sella and not to tumor invading the cavernous sinus, assessment of tumor removal of noninvasive tumors emphasized the entire tumor, while that of invasive tumors emphasized the intrasellar component only. The incidence of residual tumor on postoperative imaging, new-onset endocrinopathy, and recovery of preoperative pituitary deficits was compared between patients who underwent surgery before (Group A) and after (Group B) implementation of the new technique.

RESULTS

There were 34 consecutive patients in Group A and 74 consecutive patients in Group B. Tumors in 18 (53%) Group A and 40 (54%) Group B patients had no evidence of cavernous sinus invasion on MRI. Use of the posterior pseudocapsule technique reduced the incidence of intrasellar residual tumor on postoperative MRI for tumors without cavernous sinus invasion (39% [Group A] vs 10%, p < 0.05) and in all tumors regardless of invasion (50% vs 18%, p < 0.005). The incidence of new endocrinopathy was less likely (25% vs 12%, p = 0.098) and the recovery of prior deficits more likely (13% vs 27%, p = 0.199) among patients treated using the pseudocapsule approach, although the differences are not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of the posterior pseudocapsule dissection plane can enhance the resection of pituitary macroadenomas.

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Thomas J. Buell, Davis G. Taylor, Ching-Jen Chen and Bhiken I. Naik

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Adeel Ilyas, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Panagiotis Mastorakos, Davis G. Taylor, I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Cheng-Chia Lee and Jason Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Cyst formation can occasionally occur after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Given the limited data regarding post-SRS cyst formation in patients with AVM, the time course, natural history, and management of this delayed complication are poorly defined. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the incidence, time course, and optimal management of cyst formation after SRS for AVMs.

METHODS

A literature review was performed using PubMed to identify studies reporting cyst formation in AVM patients treated with SRS. Baseline and outcomes data, including the incidence and management of post-SRS cysts, were extracted from each study that reported follow-up duration. The mean time to cyst formation was calculated from the subset of studies that reported individual patient data.

RESULTS

Based on pooled data from 22 studies comprising the incidence analysis, the overall rate of post-SRS cyst formation was 3.0% (78/2619 patients). Among the 26 post-SRS cyst patients with available AVM obliteration data, nidal obliteration was achieved in 20 (76.9%). Of the 64 cyst patients with available symptomatology and management data, 21 (32.8%) were symptomatic; 21 cysts (32.8%) were treated with surgical intervention, whereas the remaining 43 (67.2%) were managed conservatively. Based on a subset of 19 studies reporting individual time-to-cyst-formation data from 63 patients, the mean latency period to post-SRS cyst formation was 78 months (6.5 years).

CONCLUSIONS

Cyst formation is an uncommon complication after SRS for AVMs, with a relatively long latency period. The majority of post-SRS cysts are asymptomatic and can be managed conservatively, although enlarging or symptomatic cysts may require surgical intervention. Long-term follow-up of AVM patients is crucial to the appropriate diagnosis and management of post-SRS cysts.

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Toshihiro Ogiwara, Alhusain Nagm and Kazuhiro Hongo

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Thomas J. Buell, Daniel M. S. Raper, I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Dale Ding, Ching-Jen Chen, Davis G. Taylor and Kenneth C. Liu

Stenosis of the transverse sinus (TS) and sigmoid sinus (SS), with a trans-stenosis pressure gradient, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). MRI has shown improvement in TS and SS stenosis after high-volume lumbar puncture (HVLP) in a subset of patients with IIH. The authors present the first report of an IIH patient with immediate post-HVLP TS and SS trans-stenosis pressure gradient reduction and an attendant increase in TS and SS cross-sectional area confirmed using intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS). Recurrence of the patient’s TS-SS stenosis coincided with elevated HVLP opening pressure, and venous sinus stent placement resulted in clinical improvement. This report suggests that TS and SS stenosis may be a downstream effect of elevated intracranial pressure in IIH, rather than its principal etiological mechanism. However, the authors hypothesize that endovascular stenting may obliterate a positive feedback loop involving trans-stenosis pressure gradients, and still benefit appropriately selected patients.

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Zengpanpan Ye, Xiaolin Ai and Chao You

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Zengpanpan Ye, Xiaolin Ai and Chao You