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Derek Yecies, Paul Graham Fisher, Samuel Cheshier, Michael Edwards and Gerald Grant

OBJECTIVE

Primarily metastatic juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA) is rare, likely representing 2%–3% of all cases of JPA. Due to the rarity of primarily metastatic JPA, there is currently no standard treatment paradigm and the long-term outcomes are not fully known. The goal of this case series was to add to the current understanding of this disease process.

METHODS

The authors searched a comprehensive database of pediatric patients with brain and spinal cord tumors treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital from 1997 to 2016 and identified 5 patients with primarily metastatic JPA. A retrospective chart review was performed and details of the patients’ treatment and clinical course were recorded for further analysis.

RESULTS

For the 5 patients with primarily metastatic JPA, the mean follow-up period was 12.3 years. All patients in our series had biopsies or subtotal resections and upfront treatment. Three patients were treated with chemotherapy alone, one was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and one was treated with radiotherapy alone. Four patients had stable disease after initial treatment, and one patient had multiple episodes of progressive disease but underwent successful salvage therapy and has had stable disease for 19 years. One patient died of an intracerebral hemorrhage 10 years following initial radiation treatment believed to be secondary to radiation vasculopathy.

CONCLUSIONS

Evaluation of the entire neuraxis should be performed in all instances of initial JPA diagnosis to properly assess for primarily metastatic disease. Many patients with primarily metastatic JPA will have stable disease after upfront treatment, although the higher rate of stable disease found in this series relative to other reports is likely secondary to the small sample size.

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Yuhao Huang, Derek Yecies, Lisa Bruckert, Jonathon J. Parker, Allen L. Ho, Lily H. Kim, Linden Fornoff, Max Wintermark, Brenda Porter, Kristen W. Yeom, Casey H. Halpern and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Completion corpus callosotomy can offer further remission from disabling seizures when a prior partial corpus callosotomy has failed and residual callosal tissue is identified on imaging. Traditional microsurgical approaches to section residual fibers carry risks associated with multiple craniotomies and the proximity to the medially oriented motor cortices. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) represents a minimally invasive approach for the ablation of residual fibers following a prior partial corpus callosotomy. Here, the authors report clinical outcomes of 6 patients undergoing LITT for completion corpus callosotomy and characterize the radiological effects of ablation.

METHODS

A retrospective clinical review was performed on a series of 6 patients who underwent LITT completion corpus callosotomy for medically intractable epilepsy at Stanford University Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford between January 2015 and January 2018. Detailed structural and diffusion-weighted MR images were obtained prior to and at multiple time points after LITT. In 4 patients who underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), streamline tractography was used to reconstruct and evaluate tract projections crossing the anterior (genu and rostrum) and posterior (splenium) parts of the corpus callosum. Multiple diffusion parameters were evaluated at baseline and at each follow-up.

RESULTS

Three pediatric (age 8–18 years) and 3 adult patients (age 30–40 years) who underwent completion corpus callosotomy by LITT were identified. Mean length of follow-up postoperatively was 21.2 (range 12–34) months. Two patients had residual splenium, rostrum, and genu of the corpus callosum, while 4 patients had residual splenium only. Postoperative complications included asymptomatic extension of ablation into the left thalamus and transient disconnection syndrome. Ablation of the targeted area was confirmed on immediate postoperative diffusion-weighted MRI in all patients. Engel class I–II outcomes were achieved in 3 adult patients, whereas all 3 pediatric patients had Engel class III–IV outcomes. Tractography in 2 adult and 2 pediatric patients revealed time-dependent reduction of fractional anisotropy after LITT.

CONCLUSIONS

LITT is a safe, minimally invasive approach for completion corpus callosotomy. Engel outcomes for completion corpus callosotomy by LITT were similar to reported outcomes of open completion callosotomy, with seizure reduction primarily observed in adult patients. Serial DTI can be used to assess the presence of tract projections over time but does not classify treatment responders or nonresponders.

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Derek Yecies, Katie Shpanskaya, Rashad Jabarkheel, Maryam Maleki, Lisa Bruckert, Samuel H. Cheshier, David Hong, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common complication following the resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. The pathophysiology of PFS remains incompletely elucidated; however, the wide-ranging symptoms of PFS suggest the possibility of widespread cortical dysfunction. In this study, the authors utilized arterial spin labeling (ASL), an MR perfusion modality that provides quantitative measurements of cerebral blood flow without the use of intravenous contrast, to assess cortical blood flow in patients with PFS.

METHODS

A database of medulloblastoma treated at the authors’ institution from 2004 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed, and 14 patients with PFS were identified. Immediate postoperative ASL for patients with PFS and medulloblastoma patients who did not develop PFS were compared. Additionally, in patients with PFS, ASL following the return of speech was compared with immediate postoperative ASL.

RESULTS

On immediate postoperative ASL, patients who subsequently developed PFS had statistically significant decreases in right frontal lobe perfusion and a trend toward decreased perfusion in the left frontal lobe compared with controls. Patients with PFS had statistically significant increases in bilateral frontal lobe perfusion after the resolution of symptoms compared with their immediate postoperative imaging findings.

CONCLUSIONS

ASL perfusion imaging identifies decreased frontal lobe blood flow as a strong physiological correlate of PFS that is consistent with the symptomatology of PFS. This is the first study to demonstrate that decreases in frontal lobe perfusion are present in the immediate postoperative period and resolve with the resolution of symptoms, suggesting a physiological explanation for the transient symptoms of PFS.

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Derek Yecies, Rashad Jabarkheel, Michelle Han, Yong-Hun Kim, Lisa Bruckert, Katie Shpanskaya, Augustus Perez, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common postoperative complication following resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. It typically presents 1 to 2 days after surgery with mutism, ataxia, emotional lability, and other behavioral symptoms. Recent structural MRI studies have found an association between PFS and hypertrophic olivary degeneration, which is detectable as T2 hyperintensity in the inferior olivary nuclei (IONs) months after surgery. In this study, the authors investigated whether immediate postoperative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the ION can serve as an early imaging marker of PFS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed pediatric brain tumor patients treated at their institution, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, from 2004 to 2016. They compared the immediate postoperative DTI studies obtained in 6 medulloblastoma patients who developed PFS to those of 6 age-matched controls.

RESULTS

Patients with PFS had statistically significant increased mean diffusivity (MD) in the left ION (1085.17 ± 215.51 vs 860.17 ± 102.64, p = 0.044) and variably increased MD in the right ION (923.17 ± 119.2 vs 873.67 ± 60.16, p = 0.385) compared with age-matched controls. Patients with PFS had downward trending fractional anisotropy (FA) in both the left (0.28 ± 0.06 vs 0.23 ± 0.03, p = 0.085) and right (0.29 ± 0.06 vs 0.25 ± 0.02, p = 0.164) IONs compared with age-matched controls, although neither of these values reached statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased MD in the ION is associated with development of PFS. ION MD changes may represent an early imaging marker of PFS.