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Aatman Shah, Omar Choudhri, Henry Jung and Gordon Li

In this review paper the authors analyze new therapeutic options for the embolization of meningiomas, as well as the future of meningioma treatment through recent relevant cohorts and articles. They investigate various embolic materials, types of meningiomas amenable to embolization, imaging techniques, and potential imaging biomarkers that could aid in the delivery of embolic materials. They also analyze perfusion status, complications, and new technical aspects of endovascular preoperative embolization of meningiomas. A literature search was performed in PubMed using the terms “meningioma” and “embolization” to investigate recent therapeutic options involving embolization in the treatment of meningioma. The authors looked at various cohorts, complications, materials, and timings of meningioma treatment. Liquid embolic materials are preferable to particle agents because particle embolization carries a higher risk of hemorrhage. Liquid agents maximize the effect of devascularization because of deeper penetration into the trunk and distal tumor vessels. The 3 main imaging techniques, MRI, CT, and angiography, can all be used in a complementary fashion to aid in analyzing and treating meningiomas. Intraarterial perfusion MRI and a new imaging modality for identifying biomarkers, susceptibility-weighted principles of echo shifting with a train of observations (SW-PRESTO), can relay information about perfusion status and degrees of ischemia in embolized meningiomas, and they could be very useful in the realm of therapeutics with embolic material delivery. Direct puncture is yet another therapeutic technique that would allow for more accurate embolization and less blood loss during resection.

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Gordon Li, Steven Chang, John R. Adler Jr. and Michael Lim

✓ Glomus jugulare tumors are rare, slow-growing vascular lesions that arise from the chief cells of the paraganglia within the jugular bulb. They can be associated with the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve (Jacobsen nerve) or the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (Arnold nerve) and are also referred to as chemodectomas or nonchromaffin paragangliomas. Optimal treatment of these histologically benign tumors remains controversial. Surgery remains the treatment of choice, but can carry high morbidity rates. External-beam radiation was originally used for subtotal resections and in patients who were poor surgical candidates; however, radiosurgery has recently been introduced as an effective and safe treatment option for patients with these tumors. In this article the authors discuss the history of radiation therapy for glomus jugulare tumors, focusing on recent radiosurgical results.

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Gordon Li, Chirag Patil, John R. Adler, Shivanand P. Lad, Scott G. Soltys, Iris C. Gibbs, Laurie Tupper and Maxwell Boakye

Object

By targeting the medial branches of the dorsal rami, radiofrequency ablation and facet joint injections can provide temporary amelioration of facet joint–producing (or facetogenic) back pain. The authors used CyberKnife radiosurgery to denervate affected facet joints with the goal of obtaining a less invasive yet more thorough and durable antinociceptive rhizotomy.

Methods

Patients with refractory low-back pain, in whom symptoms are temporarily resolved by facet joint injections, were eligible. The patients were required to exhibit positron emission tomography–positive findings at the affected levels. Radiosurgical rhizotomy, targeting the facet joint, was performed in a single session with a marginal prescription dose of 40 Gy and a maximal dose of 60 Gy.

Results

Seven facet joints in 5 patients with presumptive facetogenic back pain underwent CyberKnife lesioning. The median follow-up was 9.8 months (range 3–16 months). The mean planning target volume was 1.7 cm3 (range 0.9–2.7 cm3). A dose of 40 Gy was prescribed to a mean isodose line of 79% (range 75–80%). Within 1 month of radiosurgery, improvement in pain was observed in 3 of the 5 patients with durable responses at 16, 12, and 6 months, respectively, of follow-up. Two patients, after 12 and 3 months of follow-up, have neither improved nor worsened. No patient has experienced acute or late-onset toxicity.

Conclusions

These preliminary results suggest that CyberKnife radiosurgery could be a safe, effective, and non-invasive alternative to radiofrequency ablation for managing facetogenic back pain. No patient suffered recurrent symptoms after radiosurgery. It is not yet known whether pain relief due to such lesions will be more durable than that produced by alternative procedures. A larger series of patients with long-term follow-up is ongoing.

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Chirag G. Patil, Anand Veeravagu, Regina S. Bower, Gordon Li, Steven D. Chang, Michael Lim and John R. Adler Jr.

Object

Patients with atypical trigeminal neuralgia (TN) have unilateral pain in the trigeminal distribution that is dull, aching, or burning in nature and is constant or nearly constant. Studies of most radiosurgical and surgical series have shown lower response rates in patients with atypical TN. This study represents the first report of the treatment of atypical TN with frameless CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods

Between 2002 and 2007, 7 patients that satisfied the criteria for atypical TN and underwent SRS were included in our study. A 6–8-mm segment of the trigeminal nerve was targeted, excluding the proximal 3 mm at the brainstem. All patients were treated in a single session with a median maximum dose of 78 Gy and a median marginal dose of 64 Gy.

Results

Outcomes in 7 patients with a mean age of 61.6 years and a median follow-up of 20 months are reported. Following SRS, 4 patients had complete pain relief, 2 had minimal pain relief with some decrease in the intensity of their pain, and 1 patient experienced no pain relief. Pain relief was reported within 1 week of SRS in 4 patients and at 4 months in 2 patients. After a median follow-up of 28 months, pain did not recur in any of the 4 patients who had reported complete pain relief. Complications after SRS included bothersome numbness in 3 patients and significant dysesthesias in 1 patient.

Conclusions

The authors have previously reported a 90% rate of excellent pain relief in patients with classic TN treated with CyberKnife SRS. Compared with patients with classic TN, patients with atypical TN have a lower rate of pain relief. Nevertheless, the nearly 60% rate of success after SRS achieved in this study is still comparable to or better than results achieved with any other treatment modality for atypical TN.

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Zachary D. Guss, Sachin Batra, Gordon Li, Steven D. Chang, Andrew T. Parsa, Daniele Rigamonti, Lawrence Kleinberg and Michael Lim

In this article the authors review the literature for recent studies of radiosurgical treatment for glomus jugulare. These studies demonstrate that radiosurgery results in similar glomus jugulare tumor control and a superior morbidity profile compared with surgical treatment. In addition, patients treated with radiosurgery usually remain stable clinically or improve. Given the indolent nature of these tumors, however, more follow-up is required to ensure that the immediate benefits are lasting. These preliminary reports demonstrate that the use of radiosurgery as a primary treatment for glomus jugulare should be extended to encompass more of the patients who are currently assigned to microsurgical treatment.

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Shivanand P. Lad, Raphael Guzman, Michael E. Kelly, Gordon Li, Michael Lim, Karl Lovbald and Gary K. Steinberg

✓Vasospasm following cerebral aneurysm rupture is one of the most devastating sequelae and the most common cause of delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND). Because vasospasm also is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients who survive the initial bleeding episode, it is imperative not only to diagnose the condition but also to predict which patients are likely to become symptomatic. The exact pathophysiology of vasospasm is complex and incompletely elucidated. Early recognition of vasospasm is essential because the timely use of several therapeutic interventions can counteract this disease and prevent the occurrence of DIND. However, the prompt implementation of these therapies depends on the ability to predict impending vasospasm or to diagnose it at its early stages.

A number of techniques have been developed during the past several decades to evaluate cerebral perfusion, including positron emission tomography, xenon-enhanced computed tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, perfusion- and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and perfusion computed tomography. In this article, the authors provide a general overview of the currently available perfusion imaging techniques and their applications in treating vasospasm after a patient has suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The use of cerebral perfusion imaging techniques for the early detection of vasospasm is becoming more common and may provide opportunities for early therapeutic intervention to counteract vasospasm in its earliest stages and prevent the occurrence of DINDs.

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Allen L. Ho, John G. D. Cannon, Jyodi Mohole, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Eric S. Sussman, Gordon Li, Michael S. B. Edwards, Samuel H. Cheshier and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Topical antimicrobial compounds are safe and can reduce cost and complications associated with surgical site infections (SSIs). Topical vancomycin has been an effective tool for reducing SSIs following routine neurosurgical procedures in the spine and following adult craniotomies. However, widespread adoption within the pediatric neurosurgical community has not yet occurred, and there are no studies to report on the safety and efficacy of this intervention. The authors present the first institution-wide study of topical vancomycin following open craniotomy in the pediatric population.

METHODS

In this retrospective study the authors reviewed all open craniotomies performed over a period from 05/2014 to 12/2016 for topical vancomycin use, SSIs, and clinical variables associated with SSI. Topical vancomycin was utilized as an infection prophylaxis and was applied as a liquid solution following replacement of a bone flap or after dural closure when no bone flap was reapplied.

RESULTS

Overall, 466 consecutive open craniotomies were completed between 05/2014 and 12/2016, of which 43% utilized topical vancomycin. There was a 1.5% SSI rate in the nontopical cohort versus 0% in the topical vancomycin cohort (p = 0.045). The number needed to treat was 66. There were no significant differences in risk factors for SSI between cohorts. There were no complications associated with topical vancomycin use.

CONCLUSIONS

Routine topical vancomycin administration during closure of open craniotomies can be a safe and effective tool for reducing SSIs in the pediatric neurosurgical population.