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Franco DeMonte, Sydney J. Peerless and Richard N. Rankin

✓ A 57-year-old woman presented with symptomatic triple tandem stenosis of the left carotid artery. Transluminal angioplasty of an atherosclerotic stenosis at the origin of the common carotid artery was performed retrogradely through a distal arteriotomy after endarterectomy. The postangioplasty effluent was collected and analyzed. Cholesterol crystals and amorphous plaque debris were identified, indicating a source for distal embolization. The clinical significance of this small amount of debris embolizing to the intracranial circulation is uncertain, but should be of concern when considering angioplasty of the cerebral circulation.

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Franco DeMonte and Ossama Al-Mefty

✓ The syndrome of fat embolism is a well-known clinicopathological entity that may appear 2 to 4 days after skeletal trauma; nontraumatic causes have been recognized, however. This report details the fat embolism syndrome occurring in a patient after surgery within the cavernous sinus to remove a dermoid tumor.

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Franco DeMonte, Harold K. Smith and Ossama Al-Mefty

✓ Despite recent advances in surgery of the cavernous sinus, meningiomas in that area offer a formidable challenge. The rationale for aggressive surgical removal of cavernous sinus meningiomas is based on the presumption that the extent of removal is inversely related to the rate of recurrence. Over the past 10 years, 41 patients with histologically benign meningiomas involving the cavernous sinus underwent aggressive surgery. Total removal, as confirmed by intraoperative inspection and postoperative radiological studies, was achieved in 31 patients (76%). Twelve patients have been followed for more than 5 years; 10 underwent total tumor removal and only one of these experienced recurrence (5 years after surgery). The other two patients underwent subtotal removal and had symptomatic and radiological evidence of regrowth 3 and 4 years after surgery. Pre-existing cranial nerve deficits improved in only 14% of the patients, remained unchanged in 80%, and worsened permanently in 6%. Seven patients experienced a total of 10 new cranial nerve deficits, four of which involved the nerves subserving ocular motor function. Extraocular muscle function did not worsen in the 25 patients with a seeing eye ipsilateral to the tumor, and no instance of visual worsening occurred.

Two patients died 4 months after surgery, one from severe delayed vasospasm and hypothalamic infarction and the other because of a myocardial infarction. Another patient died from a pulmonary embolus on the 9th postoperative day. There were three instances of cerebral ischemia; one was transient, lasting less than 24 hours, while two were related to injury of the middle cerebral artery and resulted in residual hemiplegia. Other complications included three cases of nonfatal pulmonary emboli, two cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and one instance each of exposure keratitis, acute hypothyroidism, and cerebral edema.

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George A. Younis, Raymond Sawaya, Franco DeMonte, Kenneth R. Hess, Steffen Albrecht and Janet M. Bruner

✓ A series of 25 patients with aggressive meningeal tumors was studied to determine the efficacy of various management options. The median age of the patients was 52 years, with a range of 13 to 73 years. A marked male preponderance (64%) was noted. Twenty of 25 patients experienced recurrence during a median follow-up time of 47 months. Survival and freedom from recurrence varied with histological diagnosis. Recurrence was noted sooner in patients who had received partial resections on first presentation of tumor than in those who had received total resections at first presentation. Survival time was also shorter for patients who underwent partial resections at first presentation than for patients who underwent total resections.

Patients' prognoses did not improve as a result of either chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Of six patients with extracranial metastases, the median time to metastasis was 102 months, with a 5-year metastasis-free rate of 85%. The most common sites of metastasis in these six patients were lung and bone. In each tumor type, histological features used in diagnosis and radiological features studied from computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were evaluated, compared, and discussed. Of eight patients studied with an in vivo bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR) labeling index (LI), seven showed an LI of 1% or more. The authors support the incorporation of the BUdR LI into the diagnostic process to provide a better estimate of the potential for tumor recurrence.

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David Y. Eng, Franco DeMonte, Lawrence Ginsberg, Gregory N. Fuller and Kurt Jaeckle

✓ Central neurocytoma was first described in the literature in 1982 and has been noted to be a benign neuronal tumor usually located in the ventricular system. Of the more than 100 reported cases, only seven recurrences have been reported, all of which have been local. The authors report two cases of recurrent central neurocytoma that disseminated through the ventricular system with seeding to the spine, as evidenced by magnetic resonance images and positive cerebrospinal fluid cytology. The histological appearance of these two tumors was typical for the lesion and lacked evidence of malignant change. Central neurocytoma may not be as benign as previously thought, and the recognition of this more malignant behavior has implications for patient follow up and therapy.