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Ignazio G. Vetrano and Vittoria Nazzi

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Ignazio G. Vetrano, Francesco Prada, Ilaria F. Nataloni, Massimiliano Del Bene, Francesco Dimeco and Laura G. Valentini

Hemangioblastomas are benign, highly vascularized intramedullary lesions that may also extend into the intradural space. Surgery represents the standard therapy, with the goal of obtaining complete resection even at the risk of neurological morbidity. MRI is the gold standard for diagnosis and assessment of intramedullary tumors. Nevertheless, sometimes MRI may not accurately differentiate between different types of intramedullary tumors, in particular if they are associated with syringes or intra- and peritumoral cysts. This could subsequently affect surgical strategies. Intraoperative ultrasound (ioUS) has become in the last few years a very useful tool for use during neurosurgical procedures. Various ioUS modalities such as B-mode and Doppler have been applied during neurosurgical procedures. On the other hand, the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is not yet well defined and standardized in this field. We report a case of a young patient harboring a cervicothoracic intramedullary tumor, for which the preoperative neuroradiologi-cal diagnosis was in favor of a diffuse astrocytoma with nodular components whereas ioUS demonstrated 3 distinct intramedullary nodules. CEUS showed highly vascularized lesions, compatible with hemangioblastomas. These findings, particularly those obtained with CEUS, allowed better definition of the lesions for diagnosis, enhanced understanding of the physiopathological aspects, and permitted the localization of all 3 nodules, thus limiting spinal cord manipulation and allowing complete resection of the lesions, with an uneventful postoperative neurological course.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of intraoperative CEUS in a case of intramedullary hemangioblastoma.

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Francesco Acerbi, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Tommaso Sattin, Camilla de Laurentis, Lorenzo Bosio, Zefferino Rossini, Morgan Broggi, Marco Schiariti and Paolo Ferroli

OBJECTIVE

Indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) is an intraoperative technique used to highlight vessels in neurovascular surgery. Its application in the study of the vascular pathophysiology in CNS tumors and its role in their surgical management are still rather limited. A recent innovation of ICG-VA (i.e., the FLOW 800 algorithm integrated in the surgical microscope) allows a semiquantitative evaluation of cerebral blood flow. The aim of this study was to evaluate for the first time the systematic application of ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis during surgical removal of CNS tumors.

METHODS

Between May 2011 and December 2017, all cases in which ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis were used at least one time before, during, or after the tumor resection, and in which surgical videos were available, were retrospectively reviewed. Results of the histological analysis were analyzed together with the intraoperative ICG-VA with FLOW 800 in order to investigate the tumor-related videoangiographic features.

RESULTS

Seventy-one patients who underwent surgery for cerebral and spinal tumors were intraoperatively analyzed using ICG-VA with FLOW 800, either before or after tumor resection, for a total of 93 videoangiographic studies. The histological diagnosis was meningioma in 25 cases, glioma in 14, metastasis in 7, pineal region tumor in 5, hemangioblastoma in 4, chordoma in 3, and other histological types in 13 cases. The authors identified 4 possible applications of ICG-VA and FLOW 800 in CNS tumor surgery: extradural surveys allowed exploration of sinus patency and the course of veins before dural opening; preresection surveys helped in identifying pathological vascularization (arteriovenous fistulas and neo-angiogenesis) and regional venous outflow, and in performing temporary venous clipping tests, when necessary; postresection surveys were conducted to evaluate arterial and venous patency and parenchymal perfusion after tumor removal; and a premyelotomy survey was conducted in intramedullary tumors to highlight the posterior median sulcus.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found ICG-VA with FLOW 800 to be a useful method to monitor blood flow in the exposed vessels and parenchyma during microsurgical removal of CNS tumors in selected cases. In particular, a preresection survey provides useful information about pathophysiological changes of brain vasculature related to the tumor and aids in the individuation of helpful landmarks for the surgical approach, and the postresection survey helps to prevent potential complications associated with the resection (such as local hypoperfusion or venous infarction).

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Francesco Acerbi, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Tommaso Sattin, Jacopo Falco, Camilla de Laurentis, Costanza M. Zattra, Lorenzo Bosio, Zefferino Rossini, Morgan Broggi, Marco Schiariti and Paolo Ferroli

OBJECTIVE

The best management of veins encountered during the neurosurgical approach is still a matter of debate. Even if venous sacrifice were to lead to devastating consequences, under certain circumstances, it might prove to be desirable, enlarging the surgical field or increasing the extent of resection in tumor surgery. In this study, the authors present a large series of patients with vascular or oncological entities, in which they used indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) with FLOW 800 analysis to study the patient-specific venous flow characteristics and the management workflow in cases in which a venous sacrifice was necessary.

METHODS

Between May 2011 and December 2017, 1972 patients were admitted to the authors’ division for tumor and/or neurovascular surgery. They retrospectively reviewed all cases in which ICG-VA and FLOW 800 were used intraoperatively with a specific target in the venous angiographic phase or for the management of venous sacrifice, and whose surgical videos and FLOW 800 analysis were available.

RESULTS

A total of 296 ICG-VA and FLOW 800 studies were performed intraoperatively. In all cases, the venous structures were clearly identifiable and were described according to the flow direction and speed. The authors therefore defined different patterns of presentation: arterialized veins, thrombosed veins, fast-draining veins with anterograde flow, slow-draining veins with anterograde flow, and slow-draining veins with retrograde flow. In 16 cases we also performed a temporary clipping test to predict the effect of the venous sacrifice by the identification of potential collateral circulation.

CONCLUSIONS

ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis can provide complete and real-time intraoperative information regarding patient-specific venous drainage pattern and can guide the decision-making process regarding venous sacrifice, with a possible impact on reduction of surgical complications.

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Francesco Prada, Massimiliano Del Bene, Riccardo Fornaro, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Alberto Martegani, Luca Aiani, Luca Maria Sconfienza, Giovanni Mauri, Luigi Solbiati, Bianca Pollo and Francesco DiMeco

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to assess the capability of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to identify residual tumor mass during glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) surgery, to increase the extent of resection.

METHODS

The authors prospectively evaluated 10 patients who underwent surgery for GBM removal with navigated ultrasound guidance. Navigated B-mode and CEUS were performed prior to resection, during resection, and after complete tumor resection. Areas suspected for residual tumors on B-mode and CEUS studies were localized within the surgical field with navigated ultrasound and samples were sent separately for histopathological analysis to confirm tumor presence.

RESULTS

In all cases tumor remnants were visualized as hyperechoic areas on B-mode, highlighted as CEUS-positive areas, and confirmed as tumoral areas on histopathological analysis. In 1 case only, CEUS partially failed to demonstrate residual tumor because the residual hyperechoic area was devascularized prior to ultrasound contrast agent injection. In all cases CEUS enhanced B-mode findings.

CONCLUSIONS

As has already been shown in other neoplastic lesions in other organs, CEUS is extremely specific in the identification of residual tumor. The ability of CEUS to distinguish between tumor and artifacts or normal brain on B-mode is based on its capacity to show the vascularization degree and not the echogenicity of the tissues. Therefore, CEUS can play a decisive role in the process of maximizing GBM resection.

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Ignazio G. Vetrano, Francesco Acerbi, Jacopo Falco, Grazia Devigili, Sara Rinaldo, Giuseppe Messina, Francesco Prada, Antonio D’Ammando and Vittoria Nazzi

OBJECTIVE

Benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) include mainly schwannomas—the most common tumors arising from peripheral nerves—and neurofibromas. Due to their origin, distinguishing between functional intact nerve and the fibers from whence the PNST arose may not always be easy to perform. The introduction of intraoperative tools to better visualize these tumors could be helpful in achieving a gross-total resection. In this study, the authors present a series of patients harboring PNST in which the surgery was performed under fluorescein guidance.

METHODS

Between September 2018 and February 2019, 20 consecutive patients with a total of 25 suspected PNSTs underwent fluorescein-guided surgery performed under microscopic view with a dedicated filter integrated into the surgical microscope (YELLOW 560) and with intraoperative monitoring. All patients presented with a different degree of contrast enhancement at preoperative MRI. Fluorescein was intravenously injected after intubation at a dose of 1 mg/kg. Preoperative clinical and radiological data, intraoperative fluorescein characteristics, and postoperative neurological and radiological outcomes were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

Six patients were affected by neurofibromatosis or schwannomatosis. There were 14 schwannomas, 8 neurofibromas, 1 myxoma, 1 reactive follicular hyperplasia, and 1 giant cell tumor of tendon sheath. No patient experienced worsening of neurological status after surgery. No side effects related to fluorescein injection were found in this series. Fluorescein allowed an optimal intraoperative distinction between tumor and surrounding nerves in 13 of 14 schwannomas and in all neurofibromas. In 6 neurofibromas and in 1 schwannoma, the final YELLOW 560 visualization showed the presence of small tumor remnants that were not visible under white-light illumination and that could be removed, obtaining a gross-total resection.

CONCLUSIONS

Fluorescein was demonstrated to be a feasible, safe, and helpful intraoperative adjunct to better identify and distinguish PNSTs from intact functional nerves, with a possible impact on tumor resection, particularly in diffuse neurofibromas.