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Derek G. Southwell, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, David W. Perry and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECT

To avoid iatrogenic injury during the removal of intrinsic cerebral neoplasms such as gliomas, direct electrical stimulation (DES) is used to identify cortical and subcortical white matter pathways critical for language, motor, and sensory function. When a patient undergoes more than 1 brain tumor resection as in the case of tumor recurrence, the use of DES provides an unusual opportunity to examine brain plasticity in the setting of neurological disease.

METHODS

The authors examined 561 consecutive cases in which patients underwent DES mapping during surgery forglioma resection. “Positive” and “negative” sites—discrete cortical regions where electrical stimulation did (positive) or did not (negative) produce transient sensory, motor, or language disturbance—were identified prior to tumor resection and documented by intraoperative photography for categorization into functional maps. In this group of 561 patients, 18 were identified who underwent repeat surgery in which 1 or more stimulation sites overlapped with those tested during the initial surgery. The authors compared intraoperative sensory, motor, or language mapping results between initial and repeat surgeries, and evaluated the clinical outcomes for these patients.

RESULTS

A total of 117 sites were tested for sensory (7 sites, 6.0%), motor (9 sites, 7.7%), or language (101 sites, 86.3%) function during both initial and repeat surgeries. The mean interval between surgical procedures was 4.1 years. During initial surgeries, 95 (81.2%) of 117 sites were found to be negative and 22 (18.8%) of 117 sites were found to be positive. During repeat surgeries, 103 (88.0%) of 117 sites were negative and 14 (12.0%) of 117 were positive. Of the 95 sites that were negative at the initial surgery, 94 (98.9%) were also negative at the repeat surgery, while 1 (1.1%) site was found to be positive. Of the 22 sites that were initially positive, 13 (59.1%) remained positive at repeat surgery, while 9 (40.9%) had become negative for function. Overall, 6 (33.3%) of 18 patients exhibited loss of function at 1 or more motor or language sites between surgeries. Loss of function at these sites was not associated with neurological impairment at the time of repeat surgery, suggesting that neurological function was preserved through neural circuit reorganization or activation of latent functional pathways.

CONCLUSIONS

The adult central nervous system reorganizes motor and language areas in patients with glioma. Ultimately, adult neural plasticity may help to preserve motor and language function in the presence of evolving structural lesions. The insight gained from this subset of patients has implications for our understanding of brain plasticity in clinical settings.

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Derek G. Southwell, Harjus S. Birk, Seunggu J. Han, Jing Li, Jeffrey W. Sall and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Maximal safe resection is a primary objective in the management of gliomas. Despite this objective, surgeons and referring physicians may, on the basis of radiological studies alone, assume a glioma to be unresectable. Because imaging studies, including functional MRI, may not localize brain functions (such as language) with high fidelity, this simplistic approach may exclude some patients from what could be a safe resection. Intraoperative direct electrical stimulation (DES) allows for the accurate localization of functional areas, thereby enabling maximal resection of tumors, including those that may appear inoperable based solely on radiological studies. In this paper the authors describe the extent of resection (EOR) and functional outcomes following resections of tumors deemed inoperable by referring physicians and neurosurgeons.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively examined the cases of 58 adult patients who underwent glioma resection within 6 months of undergoing a brain biopsy of the same lesion at an outside hospital. All patients exhibited unifocal supratentorial disease and preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale scores ≥ 70. The EOR and 6-month functional outcomes for this population were characterized.

RESULTS

Intraoperative DES mapping was performed on 96.6% (56 of 58) of patients. Nearly half of the patients (46.6%, 27 of 58) underwent an awake surgical procedure with DES. Overall, the mean EOR was 87.6% ± 13.6% (range 39.0%–100%). Gross-total resection (resection of more than 99% of the preoperative tumor volume) was achieved in 29.3% (17 of 58) of patients. Subtotal resection (95%–99% resection) and partial resection (PR; < 95% resection) were achieved in 12.1% (7 of 58) and 58.6% (34 of 58) of patients, respectively. Of the cases that involved PR, the mean EOR was 79.4% ± 12.2%. Six months after surgery, no patient was found to have a new postoperative neurological deficit. The majority of patients (89.7%, 52 of 58) were free of neurological deficits both pre- and postoperatively. The remainder of patients exhibited either residual but stable deficits (5.2%, 3 of 58) or complete correction of preoperative deficits (5.2%, 3 of 58).

CONCLUSIONS

The use of DES enabled maximal safe resections of gliomas deemed inoperable by referring neurosurgeons. With rare exceptions, tumor resectability cannot be determined solely by radiological studies.

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Derek G. Southwell, Harjus S. Birk, Paul S. Larson, Philip A. Starr, Leo P. Sugrue and Kurtis I. Auguste

Hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) are benign lesions that cause medically refractory seizures, behavioral disturbances, and endocrine dysfunction. Open resection of HHs does not guarantee seizure freedom and carries a relatively high risk of morbidity. Minimally invasive stereotactic laser ablation has recently been described as an effective and safe alternative for HH treatment. Prior studies have not, however, assessed HH lesion size and morphology, 2 factors that may influence treatment results and, ultimately, the generalizability of their findings. In this paper, the authors describe seizure outcomes for 5 pediatric patients who underwent laser ablation of sessile HHs. Lesions were treated using a frameless, interventional MRI-guided approach, which facilitated laser targeting to specific components of these complex lesions. The authors’ experiences in these cases substantiate prior work demonstrating the effectiveness of laser therapy for HHs, while elucidating HH complexity as a potentially important factor in laser treatment planning, and in the interpretation of early studies describing this treatment method.

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Derek G. Southwell, Marco Riva, Kesshi Jordan, Eduardo Caverzasi, Jing Li, David W. Perry, Roland G. Henry and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

The dominant inferior parietal lobule (IPL) contains cortical and subcortical regions essential for language. Although resection of IPL tumors could result in language deficits, little is known about the likelihood of postoperative language morbidity or the risk factors predisposing to this outcome.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively examined a series of patients who underwent resections of gliomas from the dominant IPL. Postoperative language outcomes were characterized across the patient population. To identify factors associated with postoperative language morbidity, the authors then compared features between those patients who experienced postoperative deficits and those who experienced no postoperative language dysfunction.

RESULTS

Twenty-four patients were identified for analysis. Long-term language deficits occurred in 29.2% of patients (7 of 24): 3 of these patients had experienced preoperative language deficits, whereas new long-term language deficits occurred in 4 patients (16.7%; 4 of 24). Of those patients who exhibited preoperative language deficits, 62.5% (5 of 8) experienced long-term resolution of their language deficits with surgical treatment. All patients underwent intraoperative brain mapping by direct electrical stimulation. Awake, intraoperative cortical language mapping was performed on 17 patients (70.8%). Positive cortical language sites were identified in 23.5% of these patients (4 of 17). Awake, intraoperative subcortical language mapping was performed in 8 patients (33.3%). Positive subcortical language sites were identified in 62.5% of these patients (5 of 8). Patients with positive cortical language sites exhibited a higher rate of long-term language deficits (3 of 4, 75%), compared with those who did not (1 of 13, 7.7%; p = 0.02). Although patients with positive subcortical language sites exhibited a higher rate of long-term language deficits than those who exhibited only negative sites (40.0% vs 0.0%, respectively), this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.46). Additionally, patients with long-term language deficits were older than those without deficits (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

In a small number of patients with preoperative language deficits, IPL glioma resection resulted in improved language function. However, in patients with intact preoperative language function, resection of IPL gliomas may result in new language deficits, especially if the tumors are diffuse, high-grade lesions. Thus, language-dominant IPL glioma resection is not risk-free, yet it is safe and its morbidity can be reduced by the use of cortical and subcortical stimulation mapping.

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Martin J. Rutkowski, Ryan M. Alward, Rebecca Chen, Jeffrey Wagner, Arman Jahangiri, Derek G. Southwell, Sandeep Kunwar, Lewis Blevins, Han Lee and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

In 2004, the WHO classified atypical pituitary adenoma as a distinct adenoma subtype. However, the clinical significance of this distinction remains undetermined. The authors sought to define patient characteristics, tumor features, and treatment outcomes associated with atypical pituitary adenoma.

METHODS

The authors reviewed records of patients who underwent resection of pituitary adenoma at the University of California, San Francisco, between 2007 and 2014. Per institutional protocol, adenomas exhibiting mitotic activity underwent evaluation for all 3 markers of atypicality (mitotic index, extensive p53 staining, and MIB-1 index ≥ 3%). Statistical analyses were performed using χ2, Fisher’s exact test, t-test, log-rank, and logistic regression.

RESULTS

Between 2007 and 2014, 701 patients underwent resection for pituitary adenoma. Among these patients, 122 adenomas exhibited mitotic activity and therefore were evaluated for all 3 markers of atypicality, with 36 tumors (5%) proving to be atypical. There were 21 female patients (58%) and 15 male patients (42%) in the atypical cohort, and 313 female patients (47%) and 352 male patients (53%) in the nonatypical cohort (p = 0.231). The mean age of patients in the atypical cohort was 37 years (range 10–65 years), which was significantly lower than the mean age of 49 years (range 10–93 years) for patients in the nonatypical cohort (p < 0.001). The most common presenting symptoms for patients with atypical adenomas were headaches (42%) and visual changes (33%). Atypical adenomas were more likely to be functional (78%) than nonatypical adenomas (42%; p < 0.001). Functional atypical adenomas were significantly larger than functional nonatypical adenomas (mean diameter 2.2 vs 1.4 cm; p = 0.009), as were nonfunctional atypical adenomas compared with nonfunctional nonatypical adenomas (mean diameter 3.3 vs 2.3 cm; p = 0.01). Among the entire adenoma cohort, larger presenting tumor size was associated with cavernous sinus invasion (p < 0.001), and subtotal resection was associated with cavernous sinus invasion (p < 0.001) and larger size (p < 0.001) on binomial multivariate regression. The median time until recurrence was 56 months for atypical adenomas, 129 months for functional nonatypical adenomas, and 204 months for nonfunctional nonatypical adenomas (p < 0.001). Functional atypical adenomas recurred more frequently and significantly earlier than functional nonatypical adenomas (p < 0.001). When accounting for extent of resection, cavernous sinus invasion, size, age, sex, and functional subtype, atypicality remained a significant predictor of earlier recurrence among functional adenomas (p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

When compared with nonatypical pituitary adenomas, atypical adenomas are more likely to present in younger patients at a larger size, are more often hormonally hypersecretory, and are associated with earlier recurrence. These features lend credence to atypical pituitary adenomas being a distinct clinical entity in addition to a discrete pathological diagnosis.