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Jürgen Honegger, Michael Buchfelder, and Rudolf Fahlbusch

This study aimed to elucidate the endocrine outcome of craniopharyngioma surgery. In particular, endocrine results were analyzed in relation to the surgical approach. The study includes 161 patients who underwent pre- and postoperative endocrine assessment, 143 of whom had not previously undergone surgery.

Diabetes insipidus was the most common postoperative deficiency in both the transcranial and transsphenoidal groups. In the case of primary surgery (surgery as initial therapy), the overall percentage of patients with diabetes insipidus increased from 16.1% preoperatively to 59.4% postoperatively. After transcranial surgery, the rate of anterior pituitary deficiency also increased. However, normal preoperative anterior pituitary function was maintained in more than 50% of patients for each endocrine axis. Similar results were attained in the group of patients undergoing complete tumor removal. The best result was achieved for gonadal function: the incidence of hypogonadism increased only slightly from 77.4 to 79.8%. During transsphenoidal surgery, anterior pituitary function was generally preserved. An additional deficient axis was encountered postoperatively in only four (11.4%) of 35 primary surgery cases. Endocrine results were not inferior in patients with a ventrally displaced pituitary. This variant required midline incision of the gland for exposure of the craniopharyngioma. Panhypopituitarism was encountered in only one of eight patients in whom the pituitary stalk was partially resected because of tumor infiltration. None of the 88 patients who remained recurrence-free demonstrated endocrine deterioration during follow-up review, compared with the early postoperative assessment 3 months postsurgery. On the other hand, complete recovery of one endocrine axis was observed in nine of these patients during later follow-up evaluations. In five of them, diabetes insipidus had regressed.

The authors conclude that it is worth preserving the pituitary stalk and gland at surgery because anterior pituitary function is more often maintained than is generally believed. Postoperative diabetes insipidus must be accepted as a consequence of complete removal of the pituitary. However, pituitary function may recover and diabetes insipidus in particular may abate with time.

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Jürgen Honegger, Michael Buchfelder, and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Object. This study aimed to elucidate the endocrinological outcome of craniopharyngioma surgery. In particular, endocrinological results were analyzed in relation to the surgical approach. The study includes 143 patients who underwent pre- and postoperative endocrinological assessment and who had not previously undergone surgery.

Methods. Diabetes insipidus was the most common postoperative deficiency in both the transcranial and transsphenoidal groups. The overall percentage of patients with diabetes insipidus increased from 16.1% preoperatively to 59.4% postoperatively. After transcranial surgery, the rate of anterior pituitary deficiency also increased. However, normal preoperative anterior pituitary function was maintained in more than 50% of patients for each endocrine axis. Similar results were attained in the group of patients undergoing complete tumor removal. The best result was achieved for gonadal function: the incidence of hypogonadism increased only slightly from 77.4 to 79.8%. The rate of anterior pituitary failure at presentation was much higher in the transsphenoidal than in the transcranial group. During transsphenoidal surgery, intact anterior pituitary functions were generally preserved. The rate of panhypopituitarism increased only slightly, from 40% before surgery to 42.9% after surgery. Endocrinological results were not inferior in patients with a ventrally displaced pituitary. This variant required midline incision of the gland for exposure of the craniopharyngioma. In the entire series of 143 patients the pituitary stalk was generally preserved. Postoperative panhypopituitarism was encountered in only one of eight patients in whom the pituitary stalk was partially resected because of tumor infiltration. None of the 88 patients who remained recurrence-free demonstrated endocrinological deterioration during follow-up review, compared with the early postoperative assessment 3 months postsurgery. On the other hand, complete recovery of one endocrine axis was observed in nine of these patients during later follow-up evaluations. In five of them, diabetes insipidus had regressed.

Conclusions. It is worth preserving the pituitary stalk and gland at surgery because of the definite chance that intact anterior pituitary functions can be maintained. Postoperative diabetes insipidus must be accepted as a common sequela following attempts at complete removal of the craniopharyngioma.

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Rudolf Fahlbusch, Jürgen Honegger, Werner Paulus, Walter Huk, and Michael Buchfelder

The surgical management of 168 consecutive patients harboring craniopharyngiomas treated between January 1983 and April 1997 is described. In 148 patients undergoing initial (primary) surgery, the pterional approach was most frequently used (39.2%) followed by the transsphenoidal approach (23.6%). For large retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas, the bifrontal interhemispheric approach was used increasingly over the pterional approach and led to improved surgical results. Total tumor removal was accomplished in 45.7% of transcranial and 85.7% of transsphenoidal procedures. The main reasons for incomplete removal were attachment and/or infiltration of the hypothalamus, major calcifications, and attachment to vascular structures. The success rate in total tumor removal was inferior in the cases of tumor recurrence. The operative mortality rate in transcranial surgery was 1.1% in primary cases and 10.5% in cases of tumor recurrence. No patient died in the group undergoing transsphenoidal surgery. The rate of recurrence-free survival after total removal was 86.9% at 5 years and 81.3% at 10 years. In contrast, the 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was only 48.8% after subtotal removal and 41.5% after partial removal. Following primary surgery, the actuarial survival rate was 92.7% at 10 years, with the best results after complete tumor removal. At last follow up, 117 (79%) of 148 patients who underwent primary surgery were independent and without impairment.

Total tumor removal while avoiding hazardous intraoperative manipulation provides favorable early results and a high rate of long-term control in craniopharyngiomas.

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Rudolf Fahlbusch, Jürgen Honegger, Werner Paulus, Walter Huk, and Michael Buchfelder

Object. The goal of this study was to assess the outcome of surgical management in 168 consecutive patients harboring craniopharyngiomas treated between January 1983 and April 1997.

Methods. In 148 patients undergoing initial (primary) surgery, the pterional approach was most frequently used (39.2%), followed by the transsphenoidal approach (23.6%). For large retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas, the bifrontal interhemispheric approach was used increasingly over the pterional approach and led to improved surgical results. Total tumor removal was accomplished in 45.7% of transcranial and 85.7% of transsphenoidal procedures. The main reasons for incomplete removal were attachment to and/or infiltration of the hypothalamus, major calcifications, and attachment to vascular structures. The success rate in total tumor removal was inferior in the cases of tumor recurrence. The operative mortality rate in transcranial surgery was 1.1% in primary cases and 10.5% in cases of tumor recurrence. No patient died in the group that underwent transsphenoidal surgery. The rate of recurrence-free survival after total removal was 86.9% at 5 years and 81.3% at 10 years. In contrast, the 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was only 48.8% after subtotal removal and 41.5% after partial removal. Following primary surgery, the actuarial survival rate was 92.7% at 10 years, with the best results after complete tumor removal. At last follow up, 117 (79%) of 148 patients who underwent primary surgery were independent and without impairment.

Conclusions. Total tumor removal while avoiding hazardous intraoperative manipulation provides favorable early results and a high rate of long-term control in craniopharyngiomas.

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Jürgen Honegger, Carsten Prettin, Friedrich Feuerhake, Manfred Petrick, Jürgen Schulte-Mönting, and Martin Reincke

Object. The cell cycle—dependent nuclear antigen Ki-67 is related to growth potential in a variety of tumors. Elevated expression of Ki-67 was previously shown in recurrent pituitary adenomas; however, it has remained unclear whether this expression is related to the growth velocity or invasive behavior of these tumors. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation of Ki-67 antigen expression, growth velocity, and invasiveness in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.

Methods. Between April 1998 and April 2002, 23 patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas who had participated in an observation period in which multiple computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging studies had been performed were surgically treated in our department. Tumor volumes were assessed using a stereological method based on the Cavalieri principle. The growth rate was calculated for each patient. Expression of Ki-67 antigen was examined using the monoclonal antibody MIB-1.

The assessed growth velocity of the adenomas was best described by a linear growth model. The correlation between Ki-67 expression and growth rate was highly significant. Rapidly growing adenomas (>0.07% daily increase in size) were found to have a Ki-67 labeling index (LI) exceeding 1.5%, whereas all five adenomas with a very slow growth rate (< 0.02% daily increase in size) had a Ki-67 LI lower than 1.5%. No correlation was found between the growth rate and the invasive character of the adenomas.

Conclusions. Expression of Ki-67 antigen is significantly correlated to the growth velocity of pituitary adenomas. Invasive behavior is a feature independent of proliferative activity. The extent of Ki-67 expression is helpful for clinical decision making and routine assessment of Ki-67 is recommended during the histopathological workup of pituitary adenomas.

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Jürgen Honegger, Josef Zentner, Joachim Spreer, Hans Carmona, and Andreas Schulze-Bonhage

Object. Postoperative cerebellar hemorrhage as a complication of supratentorial surgery is an increasingly recognized clinical entity. So far, it has remained unclear whether this complication constitutes an intraoperative or postoperative event. The observation of such cases prompted the authors to analyze retrospectively their series of supratentorial craniotomies. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of cerebellar hemorrhage and its temporal relationship to supratentorial surgery.

Methods. The authors reviewed discharge notes and reports on postoperative computerized tomography (CT) scans for 1650 patients who had undergone supratentorial craniotomy between January 1998 and February 2001.

The retrospective study led to the identification of 10 patients who had sustained cerebellar hemorrhage as a complication of supratentorial surgery. Because it was routine to perform CT scanning following craniotomy, an early CT scan obtained within the 1st postoperative hour (mean 24 minutes after wound closure) was available in eight of the 10 patients. In seven of these patients no hemorrhage was found immediately after surgery, and in only one patient was there the suspicion of cerebellar hemorrhage. In the whole series of 10 patients, cerebellar hemorrhage was detected during the later postoperative course, after a mean interval of 7 hours and 35 minutes (range 1 hour and 49 minutes–144 hours) following surgery. The incidence of cerebellar hemorrhage was 0.6% of all patients who underwent supratentorial surgery. Among patients suffering from epilepsy the incidence was 4.6%, and in those patients who underwent temporal lobe resection it was 12.9%.

Conclusions. The authors have demonstrated that cerebellar hemorrhage as a complication of supratentorial surgery arises not as an intraoperative event, but as a postoperative event. Resective nontumorous temporal lobe procedures place patients at particular risk for this complication. Evidence suggests that the complication might be precipitated by postoperative suction drainage.

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Thomas M. Freiman, Rainer Surges, Vassilios I. Vougioukas, Ulrich Hubbe, Jochen Talazko, Josef Zentner, Jürgen Honegger, and Andreas Schulze-Bonhage

✓ The development of visual hallucinations after loss of vision is known as the Charles Bonnet syndrome. This phenomenon was first described in 1760 by Charles Bonnet and others during their observations of elderly patients with degeneration of the retina or cornea. To date a clear association between visual hallucinations and neurosurgical procedures has not been reported. Because of their clear demarcation, however, surgical lesions in the cerebrum offer a unique opportunity to determine the pathoanatomical aspects of visual hallucinations. During a 3-year period, 41 consecutive patients who acquired visual field defects after neurosurgery were examined for the occurrence of visual hallucination. Postoperatively, four of these patients experienced visual hallucinations. In two of them an upper quadrantanopia developed after the patients had undergone selective amygdalohippocampectomy. In the other two patients a complete hemianopia developed, in one case after resection of a parietal astrocytoma and in the other after resection of an occipital glioblastoma multiforme. The visual hallucinations were transient and gradually disappeared between 4 days and 6 months postoperatively. The patients were aware of the fact that their hallucinations were fictitious and displayed no psychosis. Electroencephalographic recordings were obtained in only two patients and epileptic discharges were found.

Deafferentiation of cortical association areas may lead to the spontaneous generation of complex visual phenomena. In the present series this phenomenon occurred in approximately 10% of patients with postoperative visual field defects. In all four cases the central optic radiation was damaged between the lateral geniculate nucleus and the primary visual cortex. The complex nature of the visual hallucination indicates that they were generated in visual association areas.

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Kathrin Machetanz, Florian Grimm, Thomas V. Wuttke, Josua Kegele, Holger Lerche, Marcos Tatagiba, Sabine Rona, Alireza Gharabaghi, Jürgen Honegger, and Georgios Naros

OBJECTIVE

There is an increasing interest in stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) for invasive evaluation of insular epilepsy. The implantation of insular SEEG electrodes, however, is still challenging due to the anatomical location and complex functional segmentation in both an anteroposterior and ventrodorsal (i.e., superoinferior) direction. While the orthogonal approach (OA) is the shortest trajectory to the insula, it might insufficiently cover these networks. In contrast, the anterior approach (AOA) or posterior oblique approach (POA) has the potential for full insular coverage, with fewer electrodes bearing a risk of being more inaccurate due to the longer trajectory. Here, the authors evaluated the implantation accuracy and the detection of epilepsy-related SEEG activity with AOA and POA insular trajectories.

METHODS

This retrospective study evaluated the accuracy of 220 SEEG electrodes in 27 patients. Twelve patients underwent a stereotactic frame-based procedure (frame group), and 15 patients underwent a frameless robot-assisted surgery (robot group). In total, 55 insular electrodes were implanted using the AOA or POA considering the insular anteroposterior and ventrodorsal functional organization. The entry point error (EPE) and target point error (TPE) were related to the implantation technique (frame vs robot), the length of the trajectory, and the location of the target (insular vs noninsular). Finally, the spatial distribution of epilepsy-related SEEG activity within the insula is described.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in EPE (mean 0.9 ± 0.6 for the nonsinsular electrodes and 1.1 ± 0.7 mm for the insular electrodes) and TPE (1.5 ± 0.8 and 1.6 ± 0.9 mm, respectively), although the length of trajectories differed significantly (34.1 ± 10.9 and 70.1 ± 9.0 mm, repsectively). There was a significantly larger EPE in the frame group than in the robot group (1.5 ± 0.6 vs 0.7 ± 0.5 mm). However, there was no group difference in the TPE (1.5 ± 0.8 vs 1.6 ± 0.8 mm). Epilepsy-related SEEG activity was detected in 42% (23/55) of the insular electrodes. Spatial distribution of this activity showed a clustering in both anteroposterior and ventrodorsal directions. In purely insular onset cases, subsequent insular lesionectomy resulted in a good seizure outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The implantation of insular electrodes via the AOA or POA is safe and efficient for SEEG implantation covering both anteroposterior and ventrodorsal functional organization with few electrodes. In this series, there was no decrease in accuracy due to the longer trajectory of insular SEEG electrodes in comparison with noninsular SEEG electrodes. The results of frame-based and robot-assisted implantations were comparable.