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Fred H. Hochberg and Douglas C. Miller

✓ Primary lymphoma of the central nervous system (CNS), including reticulum cell sarcoma, microglioma, and histiocytic lymphoma, represents less than 1% of all primary brain tumors. In the last 10 years, this tumor has tripled in frequency in the nonimmunosuppressed population. By 1991, the tumor will be the most common neurological neoplasm by virtue of the increase in sporadic occurrence and in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) population. Three percent of AIDS patients will develop this tumor either prior to AIDS diagnosis or during their subsequent course. In addition to acquired immunosuppression, patients with inherited disorders (such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, severe combined immunodeficiency, and X-linked immunodeficiency) and other acquired disorders of the immune system are predisposed to the development of CNS lymphoma. Immunological studies have suggested a role for Epstein-Barr virus in the production of this tumor. Although subtypes exist, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the CNS most commonly consists of histiocytic cells or large immunoblastic cells bearing B cell surface markers in close proximity to the lateral and third ventricles. Sixty percent of these deposits are multiple, and subarachnoid invasion is seen in one-quarter of patients. Vitreous involvement of the eye occurring prior to and during the course of CNS lymphoma has been noted in up to 25% of patients. The involvement of multiple areas of the neuraxis, the eye, and multiple intracranial sites often occurs in the absence of obvious systemic lymphoma. Therapeutic trials of brain radiation therapy are associated with median survivals of less than 1 year. Uniform complete responses of intracranial deposits are recorded following chemotherapy with high-dose intravenous methotrexate, CHOP (cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunomycin/doxorubicin, Oncovin (vincristine), and prednisone), high-dose cytosine arabinoside, and intra-arterial methotrexate with barrier modification.

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Infection after depressed fracture of skull

Implications for management of nonmissile injuries

Bryan Jennett and J. Douglas Miller

✓ The authors analyze and discuss the 10% infection rate among 359 civilians with compound skull fractures. Infection results from incomplete debridement, for which antibiotics are no substitute. Inadequate treatment usually derives from missing the diagnosis of depressed fracture completely, but sometimes from underestimating the seriousness of the individual injury. Many patients with this injury never lose consciousness, do not have immediate x-ray studies, and are not admitted to hospital; infection is a serious risk in this group. Complete removal of all bone fragments, as recommended for missile injuries, is not necessary. If bone is replaced, the incidence of infection (and of epilepsy) is not greater, and the need for cranioplasty avoided; bone can be safely replaced even when surgery is delayed for 24 hours and when the dura is torn.

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Douglas C. Miller, Frederick F. Lang and Fred J. Epstein

Histopathological features that suggest the diagnosis of ganglioglioma require, in most cases, confirmation by special stains to distinguish these tumors from other gliomas. For this purpose, immunostaining for synaptophysin, which has previously been shown to selectively label the cell surface of neoplastic ganglion cells, was used to retrospectively examine glioma tumor specimens. Sixty-three cases of ganglioglioma were identified. The files of the Division of Neuropathology of New York University Medical Center contained 45 tumors that had been diagnosed as ganglioglioma, of which 42 were verified by synaptophysin; three cases were reclassified, two as astrocytomas and one as a gangliocytic paraganglioma. Thus, a tumor identified as ganglioglioma based on other criteria was likely to be a ganglioglioma. The other 21 cases of gangliogliomas were originally diagnosed as astrocytoma or mixed glioma, but were shown by synaptophysin staining to be gangliogliomas. In some cases the ultimate diagnosis was obtained after radical surgery provided relatively abundant amounts of tissue, thereby limiting sampling errors, in contrast to the biopsies from which the original diagnoses were made.

Histopathological review of these cases demonstrated that four features represent important clues to the correct diagnosis: 1) clusters of large cells potentially representing neurons (without such cells the tumor cannot be classified as a ganglioglioma); 2) no perineuronal clustering of the glial cells around the alleged neoplastic neurons; 3) fibrosis (desmoplasia); and 4) calcification. Binucleate neurons, previously suggested to be common in gangliogliomas, were not frequently found in this series, and lymphocytic infiltrates, while common, are so often found in other tumors that they gave no specific hint that any single neoplasm was a ganglioglioma. The glial elements were astrocytic in all cases, except that one tumor also had oligodendroglial and ependymal patterns. Four tumors also had small mature neurons, as seen in neurocytomas. Cells from one tumor were successfully grown in short-term tissue culture; the culture contained large dividing neurons with synaptophysin immunoreactivity as well as smaller dividing cells, demonstrating that the neuronal cells are a proliferating element in gangliogliomas.

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Robert L. Martuza, Douglas C. Miller and David T. MacLaughlin

✓ Frozen tissue samples were obtained from meningiomas in 42 patients. Both cytosolic and nuclear fractions were tested for estradiol and progestin binding using equilibrium binding assays. The results were correlated with the age of the patient and the histological type and cellular density of the tumor.

Cytosolic estradiol binding was noted in 25 (60%) of 42 tumors, with eight (19%) of the 42 having levels over 10 femtomoles (fM)/mg protein. Nuclear estradiol binding was detected in 16 (57%) of 28 tumors, with six (21%) of the 28 having levels over 10 fM/mg protein. Cytosolic progestin binding was noted in 16 (73%) of 22 samples, with levels in nine (41%) of 22 being greater than 10 fM/mg protein. There was no correlation between the level of cytoplasmic progestin binding and either the level of cytoplasmic estradiol binding or the level of nuclear estradiol binding. In several specimens, levels of cytoplasmic progestin binding in excess of 100 fM/mg protein were found in tissues demonstrating little or no estradiol binding by either the nucleus or the cytosol. This discrepancy differs from the situation found in other hormonally responsive tissues such as breast or uterus, and suggests either a possible derangement of the normal cellular hormonal control mechanism or that the measured hormone binder is a molecule other than a classical hormone receptor.

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Wlodimierz Lewelt, Larry W. Jenkins and J. Douglas Miller

✓ To test the hypothesis that concussive brain injury interferes with the normal vasodilator response of the cerebral circulation to hypoxemia, 30 cats were subjected to mild (PaO2 50 mm Hg) and severe (PaO2 30 mm Hg) hypoxemia while measurements were made of arterial and intracranial pressure, regional cerebral blood flow (CBF), and arterial blood gases. Ten cats served as controls, 10 were subjected to mild fluid-percussion injury of the brain (0.8 to 1.7 atmospheres (atm)), and 10 to severe injury (2.4 to 4.1 atm). The CBF response to hypercapnia (PaCO2 50 mm Hg) was also tested in most animals, and the response of CBF autoregulation to hemorrhagic hypotension was tested in four animals of each group. Trauma was found to severely attenuate the capacity of CBF to increase during hypoxemia. Responsiveness to hypoxemia appeared to be better preserved in traumatized animals than was autoregulation, but was less robust than the response to hypercapnia.

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W. Lewelt, L. W. Jenkins and J. Douglas Miller

✓ To test the hypothesis that concussive brain injury impairs autoregulation of cerebral blood flow (CBF), 24 cats were subjected to hemorrhagic hypotension in 10-mm Hg increments while measurements were made of arterial and intracranial pressure, CBF, and arterial blood gases. Eight cats served as controls, while eight were subjected to mild fluid percussion injury of the brain (1.5 to 2.2 atmospheres) and eight to severe injury (2.8 to 4.8 atmospheres). Injury produced only transient changes in arterial and intracranial pressure, and no change in resting CBF. Impairment of autoregulation was found in injured animals, more pronounced in the severe-injury group. This could not be explained on the basis of intracranial hypertension, hypoxemia, hypercarbia, or brain damage localized to the area of the blood flow electrodes. It is, therefore, concluded that concussive brain injury produces a generalized loss of autoregulation for at least several hours following injury.

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Douglas C. Miller, Robert G. Ojemann, Karl H. Proppe, Barry D. McGinnis and Hermes C. Grillo

✓ A patient with a histologically benign intracranial meningioma was found, at the time of initial presentation, also to have a pulmonary tumor. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of the lung mass was consistent with metastatic meningioma. When resected, the pulmonary tumor was found to be histologically benign. The patient has remained well and disease-free for 28 months. Only four other patients with apparently benign metastasizing meningiomas have been described previously.

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Bryan Jennett, J. Douglas Miller and Reinder Braakman

✓ Of 1000 patients with nonmissile depressed skull fractures, 10% had early epilepsy (first week) and 15% developed late epilepsy. The risk of late epilepsy varied widely but could be predicted from clinical data 1 week after injury. In more than one-third of the patients with depressed fractures the risk of late epilepsy is less than 4%, but in some patients it is over 60%. The risk is increased if posttraumatic amnesia exceeds 24 hours, if the dura is torn, if there are focal signs, or if there has been early epilepsy.