On June 5, 1968, having won the Democratic Party presidential primary in California, Senator Robert F. Kennedy delivered a victory speech to supporters at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Just after 12:15 am (Pacific daylight savings time), a lone assassin shot Kennedy 3 times at point-blank range. One of the bullets struck Kennedy in the right posterior auricular region. Within the ensuing 26 hours, Kennedy was transported to 2 hospitals, underwent emergency surgery, and eventually died of severe brain injury. Although this story has been repeated in the press and recounted in numerous books, this is the first analysis of the senator’s injuries and subsequent surgical care to be reported in the medical literature. The authors review eyewitness reports on the mechanism of injury, the care rendered for 3 hours prior to the emergency craniotomy, the clinical course, and, ultimately, the autopsy.
Jordan M. Komisarow, Theodore Pappas, Megan Llewellyn and Shivanand P. Lad
Lefko T. Charalambous, Anirudh Penumaka, Jordan M. Komisarow, Amanda C. Hemmerich, Thomas J. Cummings, Patrick J. Codd and Allan H. Friedman
Intracranial intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (IPEH), also referred to as Masson’s tumor, is a condition that rarely occurs in the nervous system. IPEH most frequently occurs extracranially in the skin of the face, skull, neck, and trunk and can easily be mistaken clinically, radiologically, and histologically for angiosarcoma, organizing hematoma, or other vascular malformations. IPEH accounts for roughly 2% of all vascular tumors and is extremely rare intracranially, with only 23 reported cases compared with more than 300 cases of IPEH occurring in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. To date, it has never been reported to occur in the pineal region. The authors report the case of a patient with an IPEH in the pineal region who underwent complex resection and experienced reversal of neurological symptoms.
Carrie R. Muh, Naomi D. Chou, Shervin Rahimpour, Jordan M. Komisarow, Tracy G. Spears, Herbert E. Fuchs, Sandra Serafini and Gerald A. Grant
To determine resection margins near eloquent tissue, electrical cortical stimulation (ECS) mapping is often used with visual naming tasks. In recent years, auditory naming tasks have been found to provide a more comprehensive map. Differences in modality-specific language sites have been found in adult patients, but there is a paucity of research on ECS language studies in pediatric patients. The goals of this study were to evaluate word-finding distinctions between visual and auditory modalities and identify which cortical subregions most often contain critical language function in a pediatric population.
Twenty-one pediatric patients with epilepsy or temporal lobe pathology underwent ECS mapping using visual (n = 21) and auditory (n = 14) tasks. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine whether the frequency of errors in the stimulated trials was greater than the patient’s baseline error rate for each tested modality and subregion.
While the medial superior temporal gyrus was a common language site for both visual and auditory language (43.8% and 46.2% of patients, respectively), other subregions showed significant differences between modalities, and there was significant variability between patients. Visual language was more likely to be located in the anterior temporal lobe than was auditory language. The pediatric patients exhibited fewer parietal language sites and a larger range of sites overall than did adult patients in previously published studies.
There was no single area critical for language in more than 50% of patients tested in either modality for which more than 1 patient was tested (n > 1), affirming that language function is plastic in the setting of dominant-hemisphere pathology. The high rates of language function throughout the left frontal, temporal, and anterior parietal regions with few areas of overlap between modalities suggest that ECS mapping with both visual and auditory testing is necessary to obtain a comprehensive language map prior to epileptic focus or tumor resection.
Ranjith Babu, Jordan M. Komisarow, Vijay J. Agarwal, Shervin Rahimpour, Akshita Iyer, Dylan Britt, Isaac O. Karikari, Peter M. Grossi, Steven Thomas, Allan H. Friedman and Cory Adamson
The prognosis of elderly patients with glioblastoma (GBM) is universally poor. Currently, few studies have examined postoperative outcomes and the effects of various modern therapies such as bevacizumab on survival in this patient population. In this study, the authors evaluated the effects of various factors on overall survival in a cohort of elderly patients with newly diagnosed GBM.
A retrospective review was performed of elderly patients (≥ 65 years old) with newly diagnosed GBM treated between 2004 and 2010. Various characteristics were evaluated in univariate and multivariate stepwise models to examine their effects on complication risk and overall survival.
A total of 120 patients were included in the study. The median age was 71 years, and sex was distributed evenly. Patients had a median Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score of 80 and a median of 2 neurological symptoms on presentation. The majority (53.3%) of the patients did not have any comorbidities. Tumors most frequently (43.3%) involved the temporal lobe, followed by the parietal (35.8%), frontal (32.5%), and occipital (15.8%) regions. The majority (57.5%) of the tumors involved eloquent structures. The median tumor size was 4.3 cm. Every patient underwent resection, and 63.3% underwent gross-total resection (GTR). The vast majority (97.3%) of the patients received the postoperative standard of care consisting of radiotherapy with concurrent temozolomide. The majority (59.3%) of patients received additional agents, most commonly consisting of bevacizumab (38.9%). The median survival for all patients was 12.0 months; 26.7% of patients experienced long-term (≥ 2-year) survival. The extent of resection was seen to significantly affect overall survival; patients who underwent GTR had a median survival of 14.1 months, whereas those who underwent subtotal resection had a survival of 9.6 months (p = 0.038). Examination of chemotherapeutic effects revealed that the use of bevacizumab compared with no bevacizumab (20.1 vs 7.9 months, respectively; p < 0.0001) and irinotecan compared with no irinotecan (18.0 vs 9.7 months, respectively; p = 0.027) significantly improved survival. Multivariate stepwise analysis revealed that older age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06 [95% CI1.02–1.10]; p = 0.0077), a higher KPS score (HR 0.97 [95% CI 0.95–0.99]; p = 0.0082), and the use of bevacizumab (HR 0.51 [95% CI 0.31–0.83]; p = 0.0067) to be significantly associated with survival.
This study has demonstrated that GTR confers a modest survival benefit on elderly patients with GBM, suggesting that safe maximal resection is warranted. In addition, bevacizumab significantly increased the overall survival of these elderly patients with GBM; older age and preoperative KPS score also were significant prognostic factors. Although elderly patients with GBM have a poor prognosis, they may experience enhanced survival after the administration of the standard of care and the use of additional chemotherapeutics such as bevacizumab.
Eric W. Sankey, Jenna S. Hynes, Jordan M. Komisarow, Jake Maule, Andrew S. Griffin, Sarah K. Dotters-Katz, Courtney J. Mitchell and Allan H. Friedman
Intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (IPEH), commonly known as Masson’s tumor, is a benign lesion that manifests as an excessive proliferation of endothelial cells within a vessel wall. IPEH is extremely rare in the brain, with only 36 intracranial cases previously described in the literature. It is commonly mistaken for more malignant pathologies, such as angiosarcoma. Careful histopathological examination is required for diagnosis, as no clinical or radiographic features are characteristic of this lesion. In this first published case of intracranial IPEH presenting during pregnancy, the authors describe a 32-year-old female with a left frontal intraparenchymal hemorrhage resulting in complete expressive aphasia at 28 weeks 6 days’ gestation. An MRI scan obtained at a local hospital demonstrated an area of enhancement within the hemorrhage. The patient underwent a left frontoparietal craniotomy for hematoma evacuation and gross-total resection (GTR) of an underlying hemorrhagic mass at 29 weeks’ gestation. This case illustrates the importance of multidisciplinary patient care and the feasibility of intervention in the early third trimester with subsequent term delivery. While GTR of IPEH is typically curative, the decision to proceed with surgical treatment of any intracranial lesion in pregnancy must balance maternal stability, gestational age, and suspected pathology.