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Editorial

Stereotactic radiosurgery coding and reimbursement

John A. Wilson and R. Patrick Jacob

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Steven K. Jacobs, Debra J. Wilson, Paul L. Kornblith, and Elizabeth A. Grimm

✓ Nine patients with malignant glioma were treated with the lymphokine interleukin-2 (IL-2) or with lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, and one patient received combination therapy with both LAK cells and IL-2. The LAK cells were generated by culturing recombinant IL-2 with peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from brain-tumor patients. Escalating doses of LAK cells (108 to 1010) or IL-2 (104 to 106 U) were administered intraoperatively by direct injection into the brain tissue surrounding the cavity left by debulking the tumor. There were no signs of systemic or neural toxicity following treatment. The selective killing of the tumor by LAK cells used for these treatments was demonstrated by a chromium release microcytotoxicity assay which showed in vitro the ability of the LAK cells to lyse glioma cells but not normal cells.

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Steven K. Jacobs, Debra J. Wilson, Paul L. Kornblith, and Elizabeth A. Grimm

✓ Culture of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from brain-tumor patients with recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2) results in the activation of lymphokine-activated killer cells (LAK) with the capacity to lyse autologous and allogeneic glioblastoma. In this study, PBL obtained from brain-tumor patients were cultured with or without IL-2 for 3 to 7 days and then tested for their ability to lyse target cells in a 4-hour chromium release cytotoxicity assay. The PBL were drawn 1 to 2 weeks following operative tumor debulking. Cells used as targets included fresh brain-tumor cells obtained at the time of craniotomy, fresh brain-tumor cells grown from 1 to 3 weeks in tissue culture, fresh autologous PBL, and allogeneic glioblastoma cells grown in tissue culture.

Peripheral blood lymphocytes from brain-tumor patients that were cultured without IL-2 did not significantly lyse autologous or allogeneic glioblastoma. However, when these PBL were cultured with IL-2, LAK were generated which produced marked lysis of autologous as well as allogeneic tissue-culture glioblastoma in all of eight cases. Significant lysis of autologous fresh tumor by patient LAK was observed in four of five experiments. By contrast, patient LAK did not kill autologous normal PBL. The ability to generate LAK was not influenced by the patient's age, previous therapy, or the administration of steroids.

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Colin J. Przybylowski, Jacob F. Baranoski, Veronica M. So, Jeffrey Wilson, and Nader Sanai

OBJECTIVE

The choice of transsylvian versus transcortical corridors for resection of insular gliomas remains controversial. Functional pathway compromise from transcortical transgression and vascular injury during transsylvian dissection are the primary concerns. In this study, data from a single-center experience with both approaches were compared to determine whether one approach was associated with a higher rate of morbidity than the other.

METHODS

The authors identified 100 consecutive patients who underwent resection of pure insular gliomas at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Volumetric analysis was performed using FLAIR and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI for low- and high-grade gliomas, respectively, for extent of resection (EOR) and diffusion-weighted sequences were used to detect for postoperative ischemia. Step-wise logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of neurological morbidity.

RESULTS

Data from 100 patients with low-grade or high-grade insular gliomas were analyzed. Fifty-two patients (52%) underwent a transsylvian approach, and 48 patients (48%) underwent a transcortical approach. The mean (± SD) EOR was 91.6% ± 12.4% in the transsylvian group and 88.6% ± 14.2% in the transcortical group (p = 0.26). Clinical outcome metrics for the 2 groups were similar. Overall, 13 patients (25%) in the transsylvian group and 10 patients (21%) in the transcortical group had evidence of ischemia on postoperative MR images. For both approaches, high-grade histology was associated with permanent morbidity (p = 0.01). For patients with gliomas located within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula, development of postoperative ischemia was associated with only the transsylvian approach (46% vs 0%, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Areas of restricted diffusion are common on postoperative MRI following resection of insular gliomas, but only a minority of these patients develop permanent neurological deficits. Insular glioma patients with high-grade histology may be at particular risk for developing symptomatic postoperative ischemia. Both the transcortical and transsylvian corridors are associated with reasonable morbidity profiles, although gliomas situated within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula are more safely accessed with a transcortical approach.

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Neil Kaushal, Keith J. Orland, Andrew M. Schwartz, Jacob M. Wilson, Nicholas D. Fletcher, Anuj Patel, Bryan Menapace, Michelle Ramirez, Martha Wetzel, Dennis Devito, and Joshua Murphy

OBJECTIVE

Posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can be associated with significant blood loss. It has been suggested that blood loss is greater in different racial groups. The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in blood loss between African American and Caucasian patients undergoing PSF for AIS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of patients aged 10–18 years with AIS who were treated with PSF from 2014 to 2017 at a single children’s healthcare system. Patient demographic, radiographic, and operative data were obtained from medical records. Intraoperative blood loss was calculated using the formula described by Waters et al. Patients who declined reporting their race or had prior spinal surgery, neuromuscular or syndromic diagnoses, a history of cardiac or thoracic surgery, or a bleeding disorder were excluded. Blood loss variables were log-transformed for normality and modeled using multivariable linear regression.

RESULTS

A total of 433 PSFs for AIS qualified for the analysis. The average age was 14.1 years, and 73.7% of the patients were female. With respect to race, 44.6% identified themselves as African American. There was no significant difference in blood loss (p = 0.31) or blood loss per level fused (p = 0.36) in African American patients. African American patients, however, did have significantly lower preoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and greater operating room time than Caucasian patients (p < 0.001). There was no difference between race and transfusion rate.

CONCLUSIONS

There appears to be no relationship between race and blood loss during PSF for AIS. Standardized protocols for minimizing perioperative blood loss can be applied to both Caucasian and African American patients.