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Jeffrey T. Jacob, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Cormac O. Maher and Fredric B. Meyer

✓The authors present the unusual case of a 9-year-old girl who sustained injury to her brainstem as a result of the orbital penetration of a metal projectile (nail) into the juxtamedullary region. This case and others reported in the literature associate this type of injury with relatively minor complications. Thorough imaging of the intracranial contents and surgical removal of the projectile is recommended.

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Bruce E. Pollock, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Paul D. Brown and Todd B. Nippoldt

Object

The authors reviewed outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for patients with acromegaly and analyzed factors associated with biochemical remission.

Methods

Retrospective analysis was performed for 46 consecutive cases of growth hormone (GH)–producing pituitary adenomas treated by radiosurgery between 1991 and 2004. Biochemical remission was defined as a fasting GH less than 2 ng/ml and a normal age- and sex-adjusted insulin-like growth factor–I (IGF-I) level while patients were not receiving any pituitary suppressive medications. The median follow up after radiosurgery was 63 months (range 22–168 months).

Twenty-three patients (50%) had biochemical remission documented at a median of 36 months (range 6–63 months) after one radiosurgical procedure. The actuarial rates of biochemical remission at 2 and 5 years after radiosurgery were 11 and 60%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that IGF-I levels less than 2.25 times the upper limit of normal (hazard ratio [HR] 2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–6.9, p = 0.02) and the absence of pituitary suppressive medications at the time of radiosurgery (HR 4.2, 95% CI 1.4–13.2, p = 0.01) correlated with biochemical remission. The incidence of new anterior pituitary deficits was 10% at 2 years and 33% at 5 years.

Conclusions

Discontinuation of pituitary suppressive medications at least 1 month before radiosurgery significantly improved endocrine outcomes for patients with acromegaly. Patients with GH–producing pituitary adenomas should not undergo further radiation therapy or surgery for at least 5 years after radiosurgery because GH and IGF-I levels continue to normalize over that interval.

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Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Diane A. Edwards and William E. Krauss

Object

The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of intracranial cavernous malformations (CMs) in a large series of predominantly Caucasian patients with spinal cord CMs. The authors also studied the natural history of spinal CMs in patients who were treated nonoperatively.

Methods

The medical records of 67 consecutive patients (32 female and 35 male patients) in whom a spinal CM was diagnosed between 1994 and 2002 were reviewed. The patients’ mean age at presentation was 50 years (range 13–82 years). Twenty-five patients underwent resection of the lesion. Forty-two patients in whom the spinal CM was diagnosed using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were followed expectantly. Thirty-three (49%) of 67 patients underwent both spinal and intracranial MR imaging. All available imaging studies were reviewed to determine the coexistence of an intracranial CM.

Fourteen (42%) of the 33 patients with spinal CMs who underwent intracranial MR imaging harbored at least one cerebral CM in addition to the spinal lesion. Six (43%) of these 14 patients did not have a known family history of CM. Data obtained during the long-term follow-up period (mean 9.7 years, total of 319 patient-years) were available for 33 of the 42 patients with a spinal CM who did not undergo surgery. Five symptomatic lesional hemorrhages (neurological events), four of which were documented on neuroimaging studies, occurred during the follow-up period, for an overall event rate of 1.6% per patient per year. No patient experienced clinically significant neurological deficits due to recurrent hemorrhage.

Conclusions

As many as 40% of patients with a spinal CM may harbor a similar intracranial lesion, and approximately 40% of patients with coexisting spinal and intracranial CMs may have the nonfamilial (sporadic) form of the disease. Patients with symptomatic spinal CMs who are treated nonoperatively may have a small risk of clinically significant recurrent hemorrhage. The findings will aid in evaluation of surveillance images and in counseling of patients with spinal CMs, irrespective of family history.

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Matthew L. Carlson, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Bruce E. Pollock, Brian A. Neff, Nicole M. Tombers, Colin L. W. Driscoll and Michael J. Link

Object

The goals of this retrospective cohort study were as follows: 1) to describe the long-term prevalence and timing of hearing deterioration following low-dose (12- to 13-Gy marginal dose) stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for vestibular schwannoma (VS); and 2) to identify clinical variables associated with long-term preservation of useful hearing following treatment.

Methods

Patients with serviceable hearing who underwent SRS for VS between 1997 and 2002 were studied. Data including radiosurgery treatment plans, tumor characteristics, pre- and posttreatment pure tone average, speech discrimination scores, and American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery hearing class were collected. Time to nonserviceable hearing was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate associations with time to nonserviceable hearing were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results

Forty-four patients met the study criteria and were included. The median duration of audiometric follow-up was 9.3 years. Thirty-six patients developed nonserviceable hearing at a mean of 4.2 years following SRS. The Kaplan-Meier estimated rates of serviceable hearing at 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years following SRS were 80%, 55%, 48%, 38%, and 23%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that pretreatment ipsilateral pure tone average (p < 0.001) and tumor size (p = 0.009) were statistically significantly associated with time to nonserviceable hearing.

Conclusions

Durable hearing preservation a decade after low-dose SRS for VS occurs in less than one-fourth of patients. Variables including preoperative hearing capacity and tumor size may be used to predict hearing outcomes following treatment. These findings may assist in pretreatment risk disclosure. Furthermore, these data demonstrate the importance of long-term follow-up when reporting audiometric outcomes following SRS for VS.

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Alexander P. Marston, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Matthew L. Carlson, Bruce E. Pollock, Colin L. W. Driscoll and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Over the last 30 years, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become an established noninvasive treatment alternative for small- to medium-sized vestibular schwannoma (VS). This study aims to further define long-term SRS tumor control in patients with documented pretreatment tumor growth for whom conservative observation failed.

METHODS

A prospective clinical database was queried, and patients with sporadic VS who elected initial observation and subsequently underwent SRS after documented tumor growth between 2004 and 2014 were identified. Posttreatment tumor growth or shrinkage was determined by a ≥ 2-mm increase or decrease in maximum linear dimension, respectively.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight patients met study inclusion criteria. The median pre- and posttreatment observation periods were 16 and 43.5 months, respectively. The median dose to the tumor margin was 13 Gy (range 12–14 Gy), and the median maximum dose was 26 Gy (range 24–28 Gy). At the time of treatment, 59 tumors exhibited extracanalicular (EC) extension, and 9 were intracanalicular (IC). Of the 59 EC VSs, 50 (85%) remained stable or decreased in size following treatment, and 9 (15%) enlarged by > 2 mm. Among EC tumors, the median pretreatment tumor growth rate was 2.08 mm/year for tumors that decreased or were stable, compared with 3.26 mm/year for tumors that grew following SRS (p = 0.009). Patients who demonstrated a pretreatment growth rate of < 2.5 mm/year exhibited a 97% tumor control rate, compared with 69% for those demonstrating ≥ 2.5 mm/year of growth prior to SRS (p = 0.007). No other analyzed variables were found to predict tumor growth following SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, SRS administered using a marginal dose between 12–14 Gy is highly effective in treating VSs in which initial observation fails. Tumor control is achieved in 97% of VSs that exhibit slow (< 2.5 mm/year) pretreatment growth; however, SRS is less successful in treating tumors exhibiting rapid growth (≥ 2.5 mm/year).

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Matthew L. Carlson, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Amy E. Glasgow, Aditya Raghunathan and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) of the eighth cranial nerve (CN) are exceedingly rare. To date the literature has focused on MPNSTs occurring after radiation therapy for presumed benign vestibular schwannomas (VSs), while MPNSTs arising without prior irradiation have received little attention. The objectives of the current study are to characterize the epidemiology, clinical presentation, disease course, and outcome using a large national cancer registry database and a systematic review of the English literature. Additionally, a previously unreported case is presented.

METHODS

The authors conducted an analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, a systematic review of the literature, and present a case report. Data from all patients identified in the SEER database with a diagnosis of MPNST involving the eighth CN, without a history of prior radiation, were analyzed. Additionally, all cases reported in the English literature between January 1980 and March 2015 were reviewed. Finally, 1 previously unreported case is presented.

RESULTS

The SEER registries identified 30 cases between 1992 and 2012. The average incidence was 0.017 per 1 million persons per year (range 0.000–0.0687 per year). The median age at diagnosis was 55 years, and 16 (53%) were women. Thirteen cases were diagnosed upon autopsy. Of the 17 cases diagnosed while alive, the median follow-up was 118 days, with 3 deaths (18%) observed. When compared with the incidence of benign VS, 1041 VSs present for every 1 MPNST arising from the eighth CN. Including a previously unreported case from the authors' center, a systematic review of the English literature yielded 24 reports. The median age at diagnosis was 44 years, 50% were women, and the median tumor size at diagnosis was 3 cm. Eleven patients (46%) reported isolated audiovestibular complaints typical for VS while 13 (54%) exhibited facial paresis or other signs of a more aggressive process. Treatment included microsurgery alone, microsurgery with adjuvant radiation, or microsurgery with chemoradiation. Sixty-one percent of patients receiving treatment experienced recurrence, 22% of which were diagnosed with drop metastases to the spine. Ultimately, 13 patients (54%) died of progressive disease at a median of 3 months following diagnosis. The ability to achieve gross-total resection was the only feature that was associated with improved disease-specific survival.

CONCLUSIONS

MPNSTs of the eighth CN are extremely rare and portend a poor prognosis. Nearly half of patients initially present with findings consistent with a benign VS, often making an early diagnosis challenging. In light of these data, early radiological and clinical follow-up should be considered in those who elect nonoperative treatment, particularly in patients with a short duration of symptoms or atypical presentation. These data also provide a baseline rate of malignancy that should be considered when estimating the risk of malignant transformation following stereotactic radiosurgery for VS.

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Ravi Kumar, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Kirk M. Welker, Fred M. Cutrer, Michael J. Link, John L. D. Atkinson and Nicholas M. Wetjen

This report reviews a series of 3 patients who developed superficial siderosis following posterior fossa operations in which dural closure was incomplete. In all 3 patients, revision surgery and complete duraplasty was performed to halt the progression of superficial siderosis. Following surgery, 2 patients experienced resolution of their CSF xanthochromia while 1 patient had reduced CSF xanthochromia. In this paper the authors also review the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition. The authors suggest that posterior fossa dural patency and pseudomeningocele are risk factors for the latent development of superficial siderosis and recommend that revision duraplasty be performed in patients with posterior fossa pseudomeningoceles and superficial siderosis to prevent progression of the disease.

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Ravi Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Grant W. Mallory, Jeffrey T. Jacob, David J. Daniels, Nicholas M. Wetjen, Andrew B. Foy, Brent R. O’Neill and Michelle J. Clarke

OBJECT

Nonpowder guns, defined as spring- or gas-powered BB or pellet guns, can be dangerous weapons that are often marketed to children. In recent decades, advances in compressed-gas technology have led to a significant increase in the power and muzzle velocity of these weapons. The risk of intracranial injury in children due to nonpowder weapons is poorly documented.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted at 3 institutions studying children 16 years or younger who had intracranial injuries secondary to nonpowder guns.

RESULTS

The authors reviewed 14 cases of intracranial injury in children from 3 institutions. Eleven (79%) of the 14 children were injured by BB guns, while 3 (21%) were injured by pellet guns. In 10 (71%) children, the injury was accidental. There was 1 recognized assault, but there were no suicide attempts; in the remaining 3 patients, the intention was indeterminate. There were no mortalities among the patients in this series. Ten (71%) of the children required operative intervention, and 6 (43%) were left with permanent neurological injuries, including epilepsy, cognitive deficits, hydrocephalus, diplopia, visual field cut, and blindness.

CONCLUSIONS

Nonpowder guns are weapons with the ability to penetrate a child’s skull and brain. Awareness should be raised among parents, children, and policy makers as to the risk posed by these weapons.

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Hirofumi Nakatomi, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Matthew L. Carlson, Shota Tanaka, Minoru Tanaka, Nobuhito Saito, Christine M. Lohse, Colin L. W. Driscoll and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

The management of vestibular schwannoma (VS) remains controversial. One commonly cited advantage of microsurgery over other treatment modalities is that tumor removal provides the greatest chance of long-term cure. However, there are very few publications with long-term follow-up to support this assertion. The purpose of the current study is to report the very long-term risk of recurrence among a large historical cohort of patients who underwent microsurgical resection.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who had undergone primary microsurgical resection of unilateral VS via a retrosigmoid approach performed by a single neurosurgeon-neurotologist team between January 1980 and December 1999. Complete tumor removal was designated gross-total resection (GTR), and anything less than complete removal was designated subtotal resection (STR). The primary end point was radiological recurrence-free survival. Time-to-event analyses were performed to identify factors associated with recurrence.

RESULTS

Four hundred fourteen patients met the study inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Overall, 67 patients experienced recurrence at a median of 6.9 years following resection (IQR 3.9–12.1, range 1.2–22.5 years). Estimated recurrence-free survival rates at 5, 10, 15, and 20 years following resection were 93% (95% CI 91–96, 248 patients still at risk), 78% (72–85, 88), 68% (60–77, 47), and 51% (41–64, 22), respectively. The strongest predictor of recurrence was extent of resection, with patients who underwent STR having a nearly 11-fold greater risk of recurrence than the patients treated with GTR (HR 10.55, p < 0.001). Among the 18 patients treated with STR, 15 experienced recurrence at a median of 2.7 years following resection (IQR 1.9–8.9, range 1.2–18.7). Estimated recurrence-free survival rates at 5, 10, 15, and 20 years following GTR were 96% (95% CI 93–98, 241 patients still at risk), 82% (77–89, 86), 73% (65–81, 46), and 56% (45–70, 22), respectively. Estimated recurrence-free survival rates at 5, 10, and 15 years following STR were 47% (95% CI 28–78, 7 patients still at risk), 17% (5–55, 2), and 8% (1–52, 1), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Long-term surveillance is required following microsurgical resection of VS even after GTR. Subtotal resection alone should not be considered a definitive long-term cure. These data emphasize the importance of long-term follow-up when reporting tumor control outcomes for VS.

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Lucas P. Carlstrom, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Christopher S. Graffeo, Avital Perry, Michael S. Oldenburg, Robert L. Foote, Bruce E. Pollock, Colin L. Driscoll, Matthew L. Carlson and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Radiation dose to the cochlea has been proposed as a key prognostic factor in hearing preservation following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for vestibular schwannoma (VS). However, understanding of the predictive value of cochlear dose on hearing outcomes following SRS for patients with non-VS tumors of the lateral skull base (LSB) is incomplete. The authors investigated rates of hearing loss following high-dose SRS in patients with LSB non-VS lesions compared with patients with VS.

METHODS

Patients with LSB meningioma or jugular paraganglioma and serviceable pretreatment hearing who underwent SRS treatment during 2007–2016 and received a modiolus dose > 5 Gy were included in a retrospective cohort study, along with a similarly identified control group of consecutive patients with sporadic VS.

RESULTS

Sixteen patients with non-VS tumors and a control group of 43 patients with VS met study criteria. Serviceable hearing, defined as American Academy of Otololaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery class A/B, was maintained in 13 non-VS versus 23 VS patients (81% vs 56%, p = 0.07). All 3 instances of hearing loss in non-VS patients were observed in cerebellopontine angle (CPA) meningiomas. Non-VS with preserved hearing had a median modiolus dose of 6.9 Gy (range 5.7–19.2 Gy), versus 7.4 Gy (range 5.4–7.6 Gy) in those patients with post-SRS hearing loss (p = 0.53). Sporadic VS patients received an overall median modiolus point-dose of 6.8 Gy (range 5.4–11.7 Gy).

CONCLUSIONS

The modiolus dose threshold of 5 Gy does not predict hearing loss in patients with non-VS tumors undergoing SRS, suggesting that dosimetric parameters derived from VS may not be applicable to this population. Differential rates of hearing loss appear to vary by pathology, with paragangliomas and petroclival meningiomas demonstrating decreased risk of hearing loss compared to CPA meningiomas that may directly compress the cochlear nerve similarly to VS.