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Ho Jun Seol, Chun Kee Chung and Hyun Jib Kim

Object. The anterior upper thoracic spine (T1–3) is difficult to access because most neurosurgeons are unfamiliar with the anatomy. This study was performed to evaluate the different surgical options by retrospectively analyzing data on operations performed for anterior upper thoracic compression at the authors' institution.

Methods. Eighteen patients underwent surgery between November 1993 and May 2001. There were eight men and 10 women; their mean age was 55 years (range 28–80 years). All patients presented with pain and/or neurological deficits. The causes of anterior compression were diverse, although metastatic spinal tumor was most common. The approach chosen was primarily dictated by the axial involvement of the lesion. Anterior approaches, mainly the transmanubrium approach, were performed in six and posterior approaches in 12. In all cases except one, in which only an iliac bone graft was placed, instrumentation was used. The mean follow-up period was 11.4 months (range 1–57 months). One postoperative death occurred. Postoperative follow-up imaging studies, especially plain radiography, demonstrated no instrumentation failure. Improvement was shown in eight patients, an aggravation of symptoms in one, and stable clinical status in eight.

Conclusions. Decompression may be achieved on the anterior side of the upper thoracic spine if the operative approach is scrupulously chosen; this choice involves consideration of the locations of the lesion, the nature of the primary disease, and the surgery-related risk.

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Ji Eun Choi, Ho Jun Seol and Yang-Sun Cho

Endodermal cyst is a rare developmental cyst of the CNS, such as a Rathke cleft and colloid cyst lined by columnar epithelium of presumed endodermal origin. Intracranial endodermal cysts are rare, and most are found in the posterior fossa. The authors report a case of petroclival endodermal cyst with extensive bone destruction. A 12-year-old boy presented with transient facial weakness and headache. Imaging revealed a 3 × 3 × 4–cm, partial rim, enhanced cystic lesion in the petroclival area that was isointense on T1-weighted imaging and hyperintense in T2-weighted imaging. The cyst wall was partially removed and the cyst was obliterated using a lateral approach. Histological examination revealed ciliated, simple-to-pseudostratified cuboidal epithelium with a basement membrane that was consistent with an endodermal cyst, with the rare finding of xanthogranulomatous changes.

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Byung Sup Kim, Yuil Kim, Doo-Sik Kong, Do-Hyun Nam, Jung-Il Lee, Yeon-Lim Suh and Ho Jun Seol

OBJECTIVE

The authors conducted this retrospective study to investigate the clinical outcomes of intracranial solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) and hemangiopericytoma (HPC), defined according to the 2016 WHO classification of central nervous system (CNS) tumors.

METHODS

Histopathologically proven intracranial SFT and HPC cases treated in the period from June 1996 to September 2014 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. Two neuropathologists reviewed pathological slides and regraded the specimens according to the 2016 WHO classification. Factors associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were statistically evaluated with uni- and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS

The records of 47 patients—10 with SFT, 33 with HPC, and 4 with anaplastic HPC—were reviewed. A malignant transition from conventional SFT to WHO grade III SFT/HPC was observed in 2 cases, and 13 HPC cases were assigned grade III SFT/HPC. Mean and median follow-ups were 114.6 and 94.7 months, respectively (range 7.1–366.7 months). Gross-total resection (GTR) was significantly associated with longer PFS and OS (p = 0.012 for both), and adjuvant radiation therapy versus no such therapy led to significantly longer PFS (p = 0.018). Extracranial metastases to the liver, bone, lung, spine, and kidney occurred in 10 patients (21.3%). Grade III SFT/HPC was strongly correlated with the development of extracranial metastases (p = 0.031).

CONCLUSIONS

The 2016 WHO classification of CNS tumors reflected the different types of pathological malignant progression and clinical outcomes better than prior classifications. Gross-total resection should be the primary treatment goal in patients with SFT/HPC, regardless of the pathological grade, and radiation can be administered as adjuvant therapy for patients with SFT/HPC that shows an aggressive phenotype or that is not treated with GTR.

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Kyung Hwan Kim, So Jeong Kang, Jung-Won Choi, Doo-Sik Kong, Ho Jun Seol, Do-Hyun Nam and Jung-Il Lee

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to verify the effect of proactive Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of asymptomatic meningioma compared with the natural course without any therapeutic intervention.

METHODS

From January 2006 to May 2017, 354 patients newly diagnosed with asymptomatic meningioma were reviewed and categorized into GKS (n = 153) and observation (n = 201) groups. Clinical and radiological progression rates were examined, and changes in volume were analyzed.

RESULTS

Clinical progression (i.e., clinician-judged progression), combining symptomatic progression (n = 43) and clinician-judged increase in size using images routinely acquired (n = 34), occurred in 4 patients (2.6%) and 73 patients (36.3%) in the GKS and observation groups, respectively (p < 0.001). The clinical progression-free survival (PFS) rates in the GKS and observation groups were 98.7% and 64.6%, respectively, at 5 years (p < 0.001), and 92.9% and 42.7%, respectively, at 10 years (p < 0.001). The radiological tumor control rate was 94.1% in the GKS group, and radiological progression was noted in 141 patients (70.1%) in the observation group. The radiological PFS rates in the GKS and observation groups were 94.4% and 38.5%, respectively, at 5 years (p < 0.001), and 88.5% and 7.9%, respectively, at 10 years (p < 0.001). Young age, absence of calcification, peritumoral edema, and high T2 signal intensity were correlated with clinical progression in the observation group. Volumetric analysis showed that untreated tumors gradually increased in size. However, GKS-treated tumors shrank gradually, although transient volume expansion was observed in the first 6 months. Adverse events developed in 26 of the 195 GKS-treated patients (13.3%), including 1 (0.5%) major event requiring microsurgery due to severe edema after GKS. Peritumoral edema was related to the development of adverse events (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

Asymptomatic meningioma is a benign disease; however, nearly two-thirds of patients experience tumor growth and one-third of untreated patients eventually require neurosurgical interventions during watchful waiting. GKS can control tumors clinically and radiologically with high probability. Although the risk of transient adverse events exists, proactive GKS may be a reasonable treatment option when there are no comorbidities limiting life expectancy.

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Chiman Jeon, Kyung Rae Cho, Jung Won Choi, Doo-Sik Kong, Ho Jun Seol, Do-Hyun Nam and Jung-Il Lee

OBJECTIVE

This study was performed to evaluate the role of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) as a primary treatment for central neurocytomas (CNs).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively assessed the treatment outcomes of patients who had undergone primary treatment with GKRS for CNs in the period between December 2001 and December 2018. The diagnosis of CN was based on findings on neuroimaging studies. The electronic medical records were retrospectively reviewed for additional relevant preoperative data, and clinical follow-up data had been obtained during office evaluations of the treated patients. All radiographic data were reviewed by a dedicated neuroradiologist.

RESULTS

Fourteen patients were treated with GKRS as a primary treatment for CNs in the study period. Seven patients (50.0%) were asymptomatic at initial presentation, and 7 (50.0%) presented with headache. Ten patients (71.4%) were treated with GKRS after the diagnosis of CN based on characteristic MRI findings. Four patients (28.6%) initially underwent either stereotactic or endoscopic biopsy before GKRS. The median tumor volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 0.46–18.1 cm3). The median prescription dose delivered to the tumor margin was 15 Gy (range 5.5–18 Gy). The median maximum dose was 30 Gy (range 11–36 Gy). Two patients were treated with fractionated GKRS, one with a prescription dose of 21 Gy in 3 fractions and another with a dose of 22 Gy in 4 fractions. Control of tumor growth was achieved in all 14 patients. The median volume reduction was 26.4% (range 0%–78.3%). Transient adverse radiation effects were observed in 2 patients but resolved with improvement in symptoms. No recurrences were revealed during the follow-up period, which was a median of 25 months (range 12–89 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Primary GKRS for CNs resulted in excellent tumor control rates without recurrences. These results suggest that GKRS may be a viable treatment option for patients with small- to medium-sized or incidental CNs.

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Ho Jun Seol, Kyu-Chang Wang, Seung-Ki Kim, Yong-Seung Hwang, Ki Joong Kim and Byung-Kyu Cho

Object

Patients with moyamoya disease complain of headache before surgery, after surgery, or in both periods. To clarify the pathophysiological features of these headaches which are one of the major symptoms in moyamoya disease after indirect bypass surgery, the authors reviewed data obtained in patients with moyamoya disease who underwent such surgery at their institute.

Methods

The authors surveyed 204 children with moyamoya disease younger than 17 years of age who underwent indirect bypass surgery consecutively between 1988 and 2000. If headache and associated symptoms disturbed their daily activity, required rest and/or medication, and occurred at least once a month, the headache was regarded as significant and the patient was included in the study. A postoperative headache was defined as the presence of significant headache 12 months after the operation or later. Preoperative headache was documented in 44 patients. Postoperative headache was observed in 63% (28 of 44) of the patients with preoperative headache and in 6.3% (10 of 160) of those without preoperative headache. Aggravation on postoperative magnetic resonance images or single-photon emission computerized tomography scans did not correlate with this symptom (p = 0.729 and 0.203, respectively). The clinical course had the following features: 1) a coexisting stage of headache and transient ischemic attack; 2) a second stage of headache only; and 3) a final stage of improvement or disappearance of headache.

Conclusions

The authors demonstrated that headaches can persist or develop after indirect bypass surgery despite successful prevention of cerebral ischemia. In addition to decreased cerebral blood flow, progressive recruitment and redistribution of blood flow should be considered as a cause of headaches in patients with moyamoya disease.

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Kyung Hwan Kim, Doo-Sik Kong, Kyung Rae Cho, Min Ho Lee, Jung-Won Choi, Ho Jun Seol, Sung Tae Kim, Do-Hyun Nam and Jung-Il Lee

OBJECTIVE

Fractionated Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) represents a feasible option for patients with large brain metastases (BM). However, the dose-fractionation scheme balanced between local control and radiation-induced toxicity remains unclear. Therefore, the authors conducted a dose-escalation study using fractionated GKS as the primary treatment for large (> 3 cm) BM.

METHODS

The exclusion criteria were more than 3 lesions, evidence of leptomeningeal disease, metastatic melanoma, poor general condition, and previously treated lesions. Patients were randomized to receive 24, 27, or 30 Gy in 3 fractions (8, 9, or 10 Gy per fraction, respectively). The primary endpoint was the development of radiation necrosis assessed by a neuroradiologist blinded to the study. The secondary endpoints included the local progression-free survival (PFS) rate, change in tumor volume, development of distant intracranial progression, and overall survival.

RESULTS

Between September 2016 and April 2018, 60 patients were eligible for the study, with 46 patients (15, 17, and 14 patients in the 8-, 9-, and 10-Gy groups, respectively) available for analysis. The median follow-up duration was 9.6 months (range 2.5–25.1 months). The 6-month estimated cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis was 0% in the 8-Gy group, 13% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0%–29%) in the 9-Gy group, and 37% (95% CI 1%–58%) in the 10-Gy group. Being in the 10-Gy group was a significant risk factor for the development of radiation necrosis (p = 0.047; hazard ratio [HR] 7.2, 95% CI 1.1–51.4). The 12-month local PFS rates were 65%, 80%, and 75% in the 8-, 9-, and 10-Gy groups, respectively. Being in the 8-Gy group was a risk factor for local treatment failure (p = 0.037; HR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–29.6). The mean volume change from baseline was a 47.5% decrease in this cohort. Distant intracranial progression and overall survival did not differ among the 3 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In this dose-escalation study, 27 Gy in 3 fractions appeared to be a relevant regimen of fractionated GKS for large BM because 30 Gy in 3 fractions resulted in unacceptable toxicities and 24 Gy in 3 fractions was associated with local treatment failure.

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Min Ho Lee, Kyung Hwan Kim, Kyung Rae Cho, Jung Won Choi, Doo-Sik Kong, Ho Jun Seol, Do-Hyun Nam and Jung-Il Lee

OBJECTIVE

Fractionated Gamma Knife surgery (FGKS) has recently been used to treat large brain metastases. However, little is known about specific volume changes of lesions during the course of treatment. The authors investigated short-term volume changes of metastatic lesions during FGKS.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 33 patients with 40 lesions who underwent FGKS for intracranial metastases of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC; 25 patients with 32 lesions) and breast cancer (8 patients with 8 lesions). FGKS was performed in 3–5 fractions. Baseline MRI was performed before the first fraction. MRI was repeated after 1 or 2 fractions. Adaptive planning was executed based on new images. The median prescription dose was 8 Gy (range 6–10 Gy) with a 50% isodose line.

RESULTS

On follow-up MRI, 18 of 40 lesions (45.0%) showed decreased tumor volumes (TVs). A significant difference was observed between baseline (median 15.8 cm3) and follow-up (median 14.2 cm3) volumes (p < 0.001). A conformity index was significantly decreased when it was assumed that adaptive planning was not implemented, from baseline (mean 0.96) to follow-up (mean 0.90, p < 0.001). The average reduction rate was 1.5% per day. The median follow-up duration was 29.5 weeks (range 9–94 weeks). During the follow-up period, local recurrence occurred in 5 lesions.

CONCLUSIONS

The TV showed changes with a high dose of radiation during the course of FGKS. Volumetric change caused a significant difference in the clinical parameters. It is expected that adaptive planning would be helpful in the case of radiosensitive tumors such as NSCLCs or breast cancer to ensure an adequate dose to the target area and reduce unnecessary exposure of normal tissue to radiation.

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Kyung-Il Jo, Yong Seok Im, Doo-Sik Kong, Ho Jun Seol, Do-Hyun Nam, Yoon-Duck Kim and Jung-Il Lee

Object

The goal of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of multisession Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of benign orbital tumors.

Methods

Twenty-three patients who retained their vision despite having tumors touching their optic nerve were treated with multisession (4-fraction) GKS. The median tumor volume was 2800 mm3 (range 211–10,800 mm3), and the median cumulative margin dose was 20 Gy (range 18–22 Gy).

Results

The median clinical follow-up duration in these patients was 38 months (range 9–74 months). No patient experienced tumor progression in this study. In particular, a higher degree of tumor shrinkage was found in the 7 patients with cavernous hemangiomas than in patients with other types of lesions (p < 0.05). Of the 23 patients whose preoperative vision was preserved, 11 showed improvement in visual acuity and/or visual field and 12 showed stable visual acuity. No GKS-related adverse events were noted during or after treatment.

Conclusions

Multisession radiosurgery using the Gamma Knife may be a good strategy for tumors in direct contact with the optic nerve. A cumulative margin dose of up to 22 Gy delivered in 4 sessions is safe for preservation of visual function with a high probability of tumor control.

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Chiman Jeon, Chang-Ki Hong, Kyung In Woo, Sang Duk Hong, Do-Hyun Nam, Jung-Il Lee, Jung Won Choi, Ho Jun Seol and Doo-Sik Kong

OBJECTIVE

Tumors involving Meckel’s cave remain extremely challenging because of the surrounding complex neurovascular structures and deep-seated location. The authors investigated a new minimal-access technique using the endoscopic transorbital approach (eTOA) through the superior eyelid crease to Meckel’s cave and middle cranial fossa lesions and reviewed the most useful surgical procedures and pitfalls of this approach.

METHODS

Between September 2016 and January 2018, the authors performed eTOA in 9 patients with tumors involving Meckel’s cave and the middle cranial fossa. The lesions included trigeminal schwannoma in 4 patients, meningioma in 2 patients, metastatic brain tumor in 1 patient, chondrosarcoma in 1 patient, and dermoid cyst in 1 patient. In 7 of the 9 patients, eTOA alone was performed, while the other 2 patients underwent a combined eTOA and endoscopic endonasal approach or retrosigmoid craniotomy. Data including details of surgical techniques and clinical outcomes were recorded.

RESULTS

Gross-total resection was performed in 7 of the 9 patients (77.8%). Four patients underwent extended eTOA (with lateral orbital rim osteotomy). Drilling of the trapezoid sphenoid floor, a middle fossa “peeling” technique, and full visualization of Meckel’s cave were applied to approach the lesions. Tumors were exposed and removed extradurally in 3 patients and intradurally in 6 patients. There was no postoperative CSF leak.

CONCLUSIONS

The eTOA affords a direct route to access Meckel’s cave and middle cranial fossa lesions. With experience, this novel approach can be successfully applied to selected skull base lesions. To achieve successful removal of the tumor, emphasis should be placed on the importance of adequately removing the greater sphenoid wing and vertical crest. However, because of limited working space eTOA may not be an ideal approach for posterior fossa lesions.