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Jon D. Weingart, Eric P. Sipos and Henry Brem

✓ This study was designed to explore the question of whether minocycline, a semisynthetic tetracycline shown to inhibit tumor-induced angiogenesis, could control the growth of the rat intracranial 9L gliosarcoma. Minocycline was tested alone and in combination with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) in vivo. Treatment was started at the time of intracranial implantation of 9L gliosarcoma into male Fischer 344 rats, 5 days later, or after tumor resection.

Minocycline was delivered locally with a controlled-release polymer or systemically by intraperitoneal injection. Systemic minocycline did not extend survival time. Local treatment with minocycline by a controlled-release polymer implanted at the time of tumor implantation extended median survival time by 530% (p < 0.001) compared to treatment with empty polymer. When treatment was begun 5 days after tumor implantation, minocycline delivered locally or systemically had no effect on survival. However, after tumor resection, treatment with locally delivered minocycline resulted in a 43% increase in median survival time (p < 0.002) compared to treatment with empty polymer. Treatment with a combination of minocycline delivered locally in a controlled-release polymer and systemic BCNU 5 days after tumor implantation resulted in a 93% extension of median survival time compared to BCNU alone (p < 0.002). In contrast, treatment with a combination of systemic minocycline and BCNU did not increase survival time compared to systemic BCNU alone. These results demonstrate that minocycline affects tumor growth when delivered locally and suggest that minocycline may be a clinically effective modulator of intracranial tumor growth when used in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent and surgical resection.

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Benjamin S. Carson, Jon D. Weingart, Michael Guarnieri and Paul G. Fisher

✓ This 9-year-old boy with a history of behavioral problems and worsening psychosis responded initially to treatment with haloperidol. However, a magnetic resonance image obtained as part of his psychiatric evaluation revealed an anterior third ventricle tumor and mild-to-moderate hydrocephalus. The resected tumor was found on pathological examination to be a choroid plexus papilloma. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course and remained free of psychosis or mood disorder at 1-year follow-up examination.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Alex L. Coon, James M. Frazier, Eric Amundson, Ira Garonzik, Alessandro Olivi and Jon D. Weingart

Object. Image-guided stereotactic brain biopsy is associated with transient and permanent incidences of morbidity in 9 and 4.5% of patients, respectively. The goal of this study was to perform a critical analysis of risk factors predictive of an enhanced operative risk in frame-based and frameless stereotactic brain biopsy.

Methods. The authors reviewed the clinical and neuroimaging records of 270 patients who underwent consecutive frame-based and frameless image-guided stereotactic brain biopsies. The association between preoperative variables and biopsy-related morbidity was assessed by performing a multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Transient and permanent stereotactic biopsy-related morbidity was observed in 23 (9%) and 13 (5%) patients, respectively. A hematoma occurred at the biopsy site in 25 patients (9%); 10 patients (4%) were symptomatic. Diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR] 3.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.37–10.17, p = 0.01), thalamic lesions (OR 4.06, 95% CI 1.63–10.11, p = 0.002), and basal ganglia lesions (OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.05–10.25, p = 0.04) were independent risk factors for morbidity. In diabetic patients, a serum level of glucose that was greater than 200 mg/dl on the day of biopsy had a 100% positive predictive value and a glucose level lower than 200 mg/dl on the same day had a 95% negative predictive value for biopsy-related morbidity. Pontine biopsy was not a risk factor for morbidity. Only two (4%) of 45 patients who had epilepsy before the biopsy experienced seizures postoperatively. The creation of more than one needle trajectory increased the incidence of neurological deficits from 17 to 44% when associated with the treatment of deep lesions (those in the basal ganglia or thalamus; p = 0.05), but was not associated with morbidity when associated with the treatment of cortex lesions.

Conclusions. Basal ganglia lesions, thalamic lesions, and patients with diabetes were independent risk factors for biopsy-associated morbidity. Hyperglycemia on the day of biopsy predicted morbidity in the diabetic population. Epilepsy did not predispose to biopsy-associated seizure. For deep-seated lesions, increasing the number of biopsy samples along an established track rather than performing a second trajectory may minimize the incidence of morbidity. Close perioperative observation of glucose levels may be warranted.

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Graeme F. Woodworth, Matthew J. McGirt, Amer Samdani, Ira Garonzik, Alessandro Olivi and Jon D. Weingart

Object

The gold standard for stereotactic brain biopsy target localization has been frame-based stereotaxy. Recently, frameless stereotactic techniques have become increasingly utilized. Few authors have evaluated this procedure, analyzed preoperative predictors of diagnostic yield, or explored the differences in diagnostic yield and morbidity rate between the frameless and frame-based techniques.

Methods

A consecutive series of 110 frameless and 160 frame-based image-guided stereotactic biopsy procedures was reviewed. Associated variables for both techniques were reviewed and compared. All stereotactic biopsy procedures were included in a risk factor analysis of nondiagnostic biopsy sampling.

Frameless stereotaxy led to a diagnostic yield of 89%, with a total permanent morbidity rate of 6% and a mortality rate of 1%. Larger lesions were fivefold more likely to yield diagnostic tissues. Deep-seated lesions were 2.7-fold less likely to yield diagnostic tissues compared with cortical lesions. Frameless compared with frame-based stereotactic biopsy procedures showed no significant differences in diagnostic yield or transient or permanent morbidity. For cortical lesions, more than one needle trajectory was required more frequently to obtain diagnostic tissues with frame-based as opposed to frameless stereotaxy, although this factor was not associated with morbidity.

Conclusions

With regard to diagnostic yield and complication rate, the frameless stereotactic biopsy procedure was found to be comparable to or better than the frame-based method. Smaller and deep-seated lesions together were risk factors for a nondiagnostic tissue yield. Frameless stereotaxy may represent a more efficient means of obtaining biopsy specimens of cortical lesions but is otherwise similar to the frame-based technique.

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Henry Brem, Rafael J. Tamargo, Alessandro Olivi, Michael Pinn, Jon D. Weingart, Moody Wharam and Jonathan I. Epstein

✓ Sustained drug delivery by biodegradable polymer devices can increase the therapeutic efficacy of drugs by producing high local tissue concentrations over extended periods of time. It has been shown previously that implantation of controlled-release polymers impregnated with the nitrosourea carmustine (BCNU) extended the period of survival in rats bearing the 9L glioma compared with similar rats treated with systemically administered BCNU. This study evaluated the effect on the monkey brain of interstitial delivery of BCNU by the biodegradable polyanhydride copolymer poly[bis(p-carboxyphenoxy)propane]anhydride (PCPP) and sebacic acid (SA) in a 20:80 formulation (PCPP:SA). The effect of combining interstitial BCNU with radiation therapy was also evaluated. Eighteen male cynomologus monkeys were randomly assigned to one of four groups: a control group; a group with implantation of empty polymer; a group with implantation of BCNU-loaded polymer; and a group with implantation of empty polymer in the right hemisphere and BCNU-loaded polymer in the left hemisphere, followed by irradiation. The effects were evaluated radiologically and histologically at specified times. A local reaction by the brain to the polymer was found, which was greater when the polymer contained BCNU. Local cerebral edema was observed radiographically on postoperative Day 14 and had resolved by Day 72. Histologically, a subacute cellular inflammatory response was seen on postoperative Day 16, which had changed to a chronic inflammatory response by Day 72. In the group with radiation therapy administered to the hemisphere bearing BCNU-loaded polymer, only localized pathological changes were detected. In all animals, brain distant from the polymer implantation site was normal. No neurological or general deleterious effects were seen in any of the animals. It is concluded that the interstitial delivery of BCNU by the polyanhydride polymer PCPP:SA is safe in the primate brain and that concomitant radiation therapy did not lead to any adverse effects. These experimental findings are important to an understanding of the clinical effects of PCPP:SA implants in treating brain diseases.

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Frank J. Attenello, Matthew J. McGirt, April Atiba, Muraya Gathinji, Ghazala Datoo, Jon Weingart, Benjamin Carson and George I. Jallo

Object

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is often associated with scoliosis. It remains unclear which subgroups of patients are most likely to experience progression of spinal deformity after cervicomedullary decompression. The authors' goal was to determine the time frame of curvature progression and assess which patient subgroups are at greatest risk for progression of spinal deformity after surgery.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all pediatric patients with significant scoliosis in whom suboccipital decompression was performed to treat for CM-I during a 10-year period at a single academic institution. Clinical, radiological, and operative variables were assessed as independent factors for failure (worsening of scoliosis) by using a univariate regression analysis.

Results

Twenty-one children (mean age 9 ± 3 years; 4 male) underwent hindbrain decompression for CM-I–associated scoliosis and were followed for a mean of 39 months. All patients harbored a syrinx. Eight patients (38%) experienced improvement in scoliosis curvature, whereas 10 (48%) suffered a progression. Thoracolumbar junction scoliosis (p = 0.04) and failure of the syrinx to improve (p = 0.05) were associated with 5- and 4-fold respective increases in the likelihood of deformity progression. Each increasing degree of preoperative Cobb angle was associated with an 11% increase in the likelihood of scoliotic curve progression (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Over one third of patients with CM-I–associated scoliosis will improve after cervicomedullary decompression alone. Cervicomedullary decompression is a good first-line option, particularly in children with concordant posterior fossa symptoms. Patients presenting with more severe scoliosis (increasing Cobb angle) or scoliosis that crosses the thoracolumbar junction may benefit from earlier orthopedic involvement and should be monitored regularly for curvature progression after cervicomedullary decompression. In cases in which there is a failure of the syrinx to show improvement after suboccipital decompression, the patients are also more likely to develop curvature progression.

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Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Aditya N. Halthore, Scott L. Parker, Alessandro Olivi, Jon D. Weingart, Henry Brem and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Object

The median survival duration for patients with glioblastoma is approximately 12 months. Maximizing quality of life (QOL) for patients with glioblastoma is a priority. An important, yet understudied, QOL component is functional independence. The aims of this study were to evaluate functional outcomes over time for patients with glioblastoma, as well as identify factors associated with prolonged functional independence.

Methods

All patients who underwent first-time resection of either a primary (de novo) or secondary (prior lower grade glioma) glioblastoma at a single institution from 1996 to 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score ≥ 80 were included. Kaplan-Meier, log-rank, and multivariate proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify associations (p < 0.05) with functional independence (KPS score ≥ 60) following glioblastoma resection.

Results

The median follow-up duration time was 10 months (interquartile range [IQR] 5.6–17.0 months). A patient's preoperative (p = 0.02) and immediate postoperative (within 2 months) functional status was associated with prolonged survival (p < 0.0001). Of the 544 patients in this series, 302 (56%) lost their functional independence at a median of 10 months (IQR 6–16 months). Factors independently associated with prolonged functional independence were: preoperative KPS score ≥ 90 (p = 0.004), preoperative seizures (p = 0.002), primary glioblastoma (p < 0.0001), gross-total resection (p < 0.0001), and temozolomide chemotherapy (p < 0.0001). Factors independently associated with decreased functional independence were: older age (p < 0.0001), coexistent coronary artery disease (p = 0.009), and incurring a new postoperative motor deficit (p = 0.009). Furthermore, a decline in functional status was independently associated with tumor recurrence (p = 0.01).

Conclusions

The identification and consideration of these factors associated with prolonged functional outcome (preoperative KPS score ≥ 90, seizures, primary glioblastoma, gross-total resection, temozolomide) and decreased functional outcome (older age, coronary artery disease, new postoperative motor deficit) may help guide treatment strategies aimed at improving QOL for patients with glioblastoma.

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Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Thomas Kosztowski, Ashwini Niranjan, Alessandro Olivi, Jon D. Weingart, John Laterra, Henry Brem and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Object

Patients harboring anaplastic astrocytomas (AAs) typically have a poor prognosis, with median survival times of approximately 3 years following resection. However, a significant variability in individual outcomes remains, with some patients surviving for a few months and others for several years. The ability to predict patient outcomes based on preoperative variables would help prognosticate survival and may also guide treatment strategies. The prognostic implications of a preoperative contrast-enhancing AA remain poorly understood.

Methods

The medical records of all patients who underwent a craniotomy for a hemispheric AA from 1996 to 2006 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify independent associations with recurrence and survival. The Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank analysis were used to plot and compare outcomes for patients with and without preoperative contrast enhancement.

Results

One hundred sixty-five patients were available for analysis. The AAs were contrast enhancing in 102 patients (62%), and nonenhancing in 63 patients (38%). There were no significant differences in clinical and treatment-related variables between patients with and without contrast enhancement. After multivariate analysis, contrast enhancement was independently associated with decreased survival (p = 0.02) and increased recurrence (p = 0.04). The 5-year overall survival rates for patients with contrast-enhancing versus nonenhancing tumors were 31 and 38.5%, respectively. The 3-year rates of progression-free survival for patients with contrast-enhancing versus nonenhancing tumors were 32 and 56%, respectively. Interestingly, heterogeneously enhancing tumors appear to result in poorer outcomes as compared with other types of enhancement (such as ring enhancing, nodular, and others). Among patients with contrast-enhancing AAs, gross-total resection significantly delayed recurrence (p = 0.05) but did not significantly prolong survival (p = 0.52).

Conclusions

This study may provide insights into risk-stratifying patients with AAs, and most specifically those with AAs that enhance with contrast administration.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Frank J. Attenello, Ghazala Datoo, Muraya Gathinji, April Atiba, Jon D. Weingart, Benjamin Carson and George I. Jallo

Object

Indications for duraplasty in treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) remain unclear. In the present study, the authors evaluate their surgical experience to determine whether intraoperative ultrasonography is effective in the selection of patients with CM-I who can be adequately treated with craniectomy alone without duraplasty.

Methods

The authors reviewed the records of 256 children who underwent first-time hindbrain decompression for CM-I. Craniectomy alone (without duraplasty) was performed when intraoperative ultrasonography suggested adequate decompression of the subarachnoid spaces ventral and dorsal to the tonsils after suboccipital craniectomy alone. Duraplasty was performed if intraoperative ultrasonography demonstrated persistent dural compression of the tonsils following craniectomy. Symptom recurrence as a function of time was compared between cases of duraplasty versus suboccipital decompression alone stratified by extent of tonsillar herniation.

Results

Duraplasty was performed in 140 patients (55%), and suboccipital decompression alone was performed in 116 patients (45%). Patients underwent follow-up for 29 ± 15 months. Symptoms included headache in 192 patients (75%) and lower cranial nerve and brainstem dysfunction in 68 (27%). In 38 patients (15%) there was tonsillar herniation rostral to the C-1 lamina, in 195 (76%) it extended between the C-1 and C-2 lamina, and in 23 patients (9%) there was herniation caudal to the lower border of the C-2 lamina. In children with tonsillar herniation caudal to C-1, ultrasonography-guided suboccipital decompression alone was associated with a 2-fold increase in the risk of symptom recurrence compared with those who also underwent duraplasty (p = 0.01). In children with tonsillar herniation rostral to C-1, outcome was equivalent between suboccipital decompression alone and duraplasty (p = 0.41).

Conclusions

In the setting of moderate-to-severe tonsillar CM-I, intraoperative ultrasonography demonstrating decompression of the subarachnoid spaces ventral and dorsal to the tonsils may not effectively select patients in whom bone decompression alone is sufficient. Duraplasty may be warranted in cases of tonsillar herniation that extends below the C-1 lamina regardless of intraoperative ultrasonography findings. More objective cerebrospinal fluid flow or volumetric measures may be needed intraoperatively to guide duraplasty in patients with more pronounced tonsillar herniation.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Muraya Gathinji, Frank J. Attenello, Khoi Than, Alessandro Olivi, Jon D. Weingart, Henry Brem and Alf redo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Object

With recent advances in the adjuvant treatment of malignant brain astrocytomas, it is increasingly debated whether extent of resection affects survival. In this study, the authors investigate this issue after primary and revision resection of these lesions.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the cases of 1215 patients who underwent surgery for malignant brain astrocytomas (World Health Organization [WHO] Grade III or IV) at a single institution from 1996 to 2006. Patients with deep-seated or unresectable lesions were excluded. Based on MR imaging results obtained < 48 hours after surgery, gross-total resection (GTR) was defined as no residual enhancement, near-total resection (NTR) as having thin rim enhancement of the resection cavity only, and subtotal resection (STR) as having residual nodular enhancement. The independent association of extent of resection and subsequent survival was assessed via a multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis.

Results

Magnetic resonance imaging studies were available for review in 949 cases. The mean age and mean Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score at time of surgery were 51 ± 16 years and 80 ± 10, respectively. Surgery consisted of primary resection in 549 patients (58%) and revision resection for tumor recurrence in 400 patients (42%). The lesion was WHO Grade IV in 700 patients (74%) and Grade III in 249 (26%); there were 167 astrocytomas and 82 mixed oligoastrocytoma. Among patients who underwent resection, GTR, NTR, and STR were achieved in 330 (35%), 388 (41%), and 231 cases (24%), respectively. Adjusting for factors associated with survival (for example, age, KPS score, Gliadel and/or temozolomide use, and subsequent resection), GTR versus NTR (p < 0.05) and NTR versus STR (p < 0.05) were independently associated with improved survival after both primary and revision resection of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). For primary GBM resection, the median survival after GTR, NTR, and STR was 13, 11, and 8 months, respectively. After revision resection, the median survival after GTR, NTR, and STR was 11, 9, and 5 months, respectively. Adjusting for factors associated with survival for WHO Grade III astrocytoma (age, KPS score, and revision resection), GTR versus STR (p < 0.05) was associated with improved survival. Gross-total resection versus NTR was not associated with an independent survival benefit in patients with WHO Grade III astrocytomas. The median survival after primary resection of WHO Grade III (mixed oligoastrocytomas excluded) for GTR, NTR, and STR was 58, 46, and 34 months, respectively.

Conclusions

In the authors' experience with both primary and secondary resection of malignant brain astrocytomas, increasing extent of resection was associated with improved survival independent of age, degree of disability, WHO grade, or subsequent treatment modalities used. The maximum extent of resection should be safely attempted while minimizing the risk of surgically induced neurological injury.