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Jason Heth

Glomus tumors are a fascinating group of lesions. It is a challenge for neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists to resect them completely with minimal morbidity. Laboratory researchers have discovered extremely interesting genetic and molecular biology factors involved in the development and growth of glomus tumors. In this article the author reviews the genetics, protein mutations, angiogenesis and apoptosis associated with tumor formation, and the secretion of vasoactive substances is discussed as well. It is hoped that with further research less invasive measures may be developed to treat these tumors.

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Jason A. Heth and Ossama Al-Mefty

Cavernous sinus meningiomas were once considered unresectable. The development of microsurgical and skull base techniques as well as advances in anesthesia and neuroradiology have allowed safe and systematic treatment of these lesions. Proper evaluation and patient counseling are required. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and surgical approaches are crucial to success, as is knowledge of the possible adverse outcomes including cranial neuropathy and stroke. The authors discuss these issues in the treatment of cavernous sinus meningiomas.

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Jason A. Heth, Matthew A. Howard III and Nicholas Rossi

✓ The authors report on a patient who developed acute-onset paraparesis after underoing a thoracotomy 40 years earlier for a carcinoid adenoma. No infectious or neoplastic origin could be found to explain the patient's current clinical course and radiographic findings. The postoperative events in this case are discussed, as well as the literature regarding postthoracotomy complications.

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Jason A. Heth, Patricia Kirby and Arnold H. Menezes

✓ The authors present a case of familial clear cell meningioma in which the proband is a child with an intraspinal tumor. The clear cell meningioma variant has recently been studied. The literature regarding clear cell meningioma is reviewed.

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Jason A. Heth, Christopher M. Loftus, John G. Piper and William Yuh

✓ The authors report the case of a patient with transient ischemic attacks who was evaluated by duplex scanning, which demonstrated total carotid artery occlusion. Arteriography revealed what appeared to be a classic “string sign” in the cervical carotid artery, and a standard endarterectomy was planned. At surgery the internal carotid artery was found to be congenitally atretic, accounting for the string appearance of the arteriogram. The etiology, associated anomalies, differential diagnosis, and diagnostic evaluation of such lesions are discussed.

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Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, John E. Ziewacz, Jason A. Heth and Stephen E. Sullivan

In cases of temporal horn entrapment caused by primary malignant central nervous system tumors, the goal is to restore physiological flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) while preventing the spread of malignant tumor cells to distant sites. This goal is usually accomplished by placement of a traditional ventriculoperitoneal, ventriculopleural, or ventriculoatrial shunt. In this study, the authors describe a novel treatment approach using placement of a frontal-to-temporal horn shunt as an alternative to distal CSF diversion. Stereotactic surgery was used for placement of frontal-to-temporal horn shunts in 3 patients who presented with focal compressive symptoms caused by temporal horn dilation. Serial imaging studies confirmed temporal horn decompression with symptom resolution after a maximum of 20 months of follow-up (minimum 2 months in 1 patient who died of tumor progression). The authors believe this simple technique may be considered for use in all patients with neurological symptoms resulting from temporal horn dilation caused by malignant central nervous system neoplasms in which seeding of distant sites by CSF diversion is a concern.