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Christopher S. Hong, Daniel M. Prevedello, and J. Bradley Elder

OBJECT

Tubular brain retractors may improve access to deep-seated brain lesions while potentially reducing the risks of collateral neurological injury associated with standard microsurgical approaches. Here, microscope-assisted resection of lesions using tubular retractors is assessed to determine if it is superior to endoscope-assisted surgery due to the technological advancements associated with modern tubular ports and surgical microscopes.

METHODS

Following institutional approval of the tubular port, data obtained from the initial 20 patients to undergo transportal resection of deep-seated brain lesions were analyzed in this study. The pathological entities of the resected tissues included metastatic tumors (8 patients), glioma (7), meningioma (1), neurocytoma (1), radiation necrosis (1), primitive neuroectodermal tumor (1), and hemangioblastoma (1). Surgery incorporated endoscopic (5 patients) or microscopic (15) assistance. The locations included the basal ganglia (11 patients), cerebellum (4), frontal lobe (2), temporal lobe (2), and parietal lobe (1). Cases were reviewed for neurological outcomes, extent of resection (EOR), and complications. Technical data for the port, surgical microscope, and endoscope were analyzed.

RESULTS

EOR was considered total in 14 (70%), near total (> 95%) in 4 (20%), and subtotal (< 90%) in 2 (10%) of 20 patients. Incomplete resection was associated with the basal ganglia location (p < 0.05) and use of the endoscope (p < 0.002). Four of 5 (80%) endoscope-assisted cases were near-total (2) or subtotal (2) resection. Histopathological diagnosis, presenting neurological symptoms, and demographics were not associated with EOR. Complication rates were low and similar between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Initial experience with tubular retractors favors use of the microscope rather than the endoscope due to a wider and 3D field of view. Improved microscope optics and tubular retractor design allows for binocular vision with improved lighting for the resection of deep-seated brain lesions.

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Walavan Sivakumar, J. Bradley Elder, and Mark H. Bilsky

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common neurosurgical procedure, and the benefits, long-term outcomes, and complications are well described in the literature. The development of a juxtafacet joint cyst resulting in radiculopathy is a rare outcome after ACDF and merits further description. The authors describe a patient in whom a juxtafacet joint cyst developed after ACDF procedures, resulting in surgical intervention. When a juxtafacet joint cyst develops after ACDF, symptoms can include radiculopathy, neck pain, and neurological symptoms such as paresthesias and motor weakness. The presence of a juxtafacet joint cyst implies instability in that region of the spine. Patients with this pathological entity may require decompression of neural elements and fusion across the segment involved with the cyst.

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Ahmed Mohyeldin, Russell R. Lonser, and J. Bradley Elder

OBJECT

The object of this study was to assess the feasibility, accuracy, and safety of real-time MRI-compatible frameless stereotactic brain biopsy.

METHODS

Clinical, imaging, and histological data in consecutive patients who underwent stereotactic brain biopsy using a frameless real-time MRI system were analyzed.

RESULTS

Five consecutive patients (4 males, 1 female) were included in this study. The mean age at biopsy was 45.8 years (range 29–60 years). Real-time MRI permitted concurrent display of the biopsy cannula trajectory and tip during placement at the target. The mean target depth of biopsied lesions was 71.3 mm (range 60.4–80.4 mm). Targeting accuracy analysis revealed a mean radial error of 1.3 ± 1.1 mm (mean ± standard deviation), mean depth error of 0.7 ± 0.3 mm, and a mean absolute tip error of 1.5 ± 1.1 mm. There was no correlation between target depth and absolute tip error (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r = 0.22). All biopsy cannulae were placed at the target with a single penetration and resulted in a diagnostic specimen in all cases. Histopathological evaluation of biopsy samples revealed dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (1 case), breast carcinoma (1 case), and glioblastoma multiforme (3 cases).

CONCLUSIONS

The ability to place a biopsy cannula under real-time imaging guidance permits on-the-fly alterations in the cannula trajectory and/or tip placement. Real-time imaging during MRI-guided brain biopsy provides precise safe targeting of brain lesions.

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Russell R. Lonser, Asad S. Akhter, Mirosław Zabek, J. Bradley Elder, and Krystof S. Bankiewicz

Molecular biological insights have led to a fundamental understanding of the underlying genomic mechanisms of nervous system disease. These findings have resulted in the identification of therapeutic genes that can be packaged in viral capsids for the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions, including neurodegenerative, metabolic, and enzyme deficiency disorders. Recent data have demonstrated that gene-carrying viral vectors (most often adeno-associated viruses) can be effectively distributed by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) in a safe, reliable, targeted, and homogeneous manner across the blood-brain barrier. Critically, these vectors can be monitored using real-time MRI of a co-infused surrogate tracer to accurately predict vector distribution and transgene expression at the perfused site. The unique properties of CED of adeno-associated virus vectors allow for cell-specific transgene manipulation of the infused anatomical site and/or widespread interconnected sites via antero- and/or retrograde transport. The authors review the convective properties of viral vectors, associated technology, and clinical applications.

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Krystof S. Bankiewicz, Tomasz Pasterski, Daniel Kreatsoulas, Jakub Onikijuk, Krzysztof Mozgiel, Vikas Munjal, J. Bradley Elder, Russell R. Lonser, and Mirosław Zabek

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility, accuracy, effectiveness, and safety of an MRI-compatible frameless stereotactic ball-joint guide array (BJGA) as a platform for cannula placement and convection-enhanced delivery (CED).

METHODS

The authors analyzed the clinical and imaging data from consecutive patients with aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency who underwent infusion of adeno-associated virus (AAV) containing the AADC gene (AAV2-AADC).

RESULTS

Eleven patients (7 females, 4 males) underwent bilateral MRI-guided BJGA cannula placement and CED of AAV2-AADC (22 brainstem infusions). The mean age at infusion was 10.5 ± 5.2 years (range 4–19 years). MRI allowed for accurate real-time planning, confirmed precise cannula placement after single-pass placement, and permitted on-the-fly adjustment. Overall, the mean bilateral depth to the target was 137.0 ± 5.2 mm (range 124.0–145.5 mm). The mean bilateral depth error was 0.9 ± 0.7 mm (range 0–2.2 mm), and the bilateral radial error was 0.9 ± 0.6 mm (range 0.1–2.3 mm). The bilateral absolute tip error was 1.4 ± 0.8 mm (range 0.4–3.0 mm). Target depth and absolute tip error were not correlated (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Use of the BJGA is feasible, accurate, effective, and safe for cannula placement, infusion MRI monitoring, and cannula adjustment during CED. The low-profile universal applicability of the BJGA streamlines and facilitates MRI-guided CED.

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Kristin Huntoon, Tianxia Wu, J. Bradley Elder, John A. Butman, Emily Y. Chew, W. Marston Linehan, Edward H. Oldfield, and Russell R. Lonser

OBJECT

Peritumoral cysts are frequently associated with CNS hemangioblastomas and often underlie neurological morbidity and mortality. To determine their natural history and clinical impact, the authors prospectively analyzed hemangioblastoma-associated peritumoral cysts in patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease.

METHODS

Patients with VHL disease who had 2 or more years of follow-up and who were enrolled in a prospective study at the National Institutes of Health were included. Serial prospectively acquired laboratory, genetic, imaging, and clinical data were analyzed.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-two patients (of 225 in the VHL study with at least 2 years of follow-up) had peritumoral cysts that were followed for more than 2 years (total of 292 CNS peritumoral cysts). The mean age at study entrance was 37.4 ± 13.1 years ([mean ± SD], median 37.9, range 12.3–65.1 years). The mean follow-up was 7.0 ± 1.7 years (median 7.3, range 2.1–9.0 years). Over the study period, 121 of the 292 peritumoral cysts (41.4%) became symptomatic. Development of new cysts was associated with a larger number cysts at study enrollment (p = 0.002) and younger age (p < 0.0001). Cyst growth rate was associated with anatomical location (cerebellum cysts grew faster than spine and brainstem cysts; p = 0.0002 and p = 0.0008), younger age (< 35 years of age; p = 0.0006), and development of new neurological symptoms (p < 0.0001). Cyst size at symptom production depended on anatomical location (p < 0.0001; largest to smallest were found, successively, in the cerebellum, spinal cord, and brainstem). The most common location for peritumoral cysts was the cerebellum (184 cysts [63%]; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Peritumoral cysts frequently underlie symptom formation that requires surgical intervention in patients with VHL disease. Development of new cysts was associated with a larger number of cysts at study enrollment and younger age. Total peritumoral cyst burden was associated with germline partial deletion of the VHL gene.

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca