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Gene H. Barnett, David W. Miller and Joseph Weisenberger

Object. The goal of this study was to develop and assess the use and limitations of performing brain biopsy procedures by using image-guided surgical navigation systems (SNSs; that is, frameless stereotactic systems) with scalp-applied fiducial markers.

Methods. Two hundred eighteen percutaneous brain biopsies were performed in 213 patients by using a frameless stereotactic SNS that operated with either sonic or optical digitizer technology and scalp-applied fiducial markers for the purpose of registering image space with operating room space. Common neurosurgical and stereotactic instrumentation was adapted for use with a localizing wand, and recently developed target and trajectory guidance software was used.

Eight (3.7%) of the 218 biopsy specimens were nondiagnostic; five of these (2.4%) were obtained during procedures in 208 supratentorial lesions and three were obtained during procedures in 10 infratentorial lesions (30%; p < 0.001). Complications related to the biopsy procedure occurred in eight patients (seven of whom had supratentorial lesions and one of whom had an infratentorial lesion, p > 0.25). Five complications were intracerebral hemorrhages (two of which required craniotomy), two were infections, and one was wound breakdown after instillation of intratumoral carmustine following biopsy. There were only three cases of sustained morbidity, and there were two deaths and one delayed deterioration due to disease progression.

Two surgeons performed the majority of the procedures (193 cases). The three surgeons who performed more than 10 biopsies had complication rates lower than 5%, whereas two of the remaining four surgeons had complication rates greater than 10% (p = 0.15).

Twenty-three additional procedures were performed in conjunction with the biopsies: nine brachytherapies; five computer-assisted endoscopies; four cyst aspirations; two instillations of carmustine; two placements of Ommaya reservoirs; and one craniotomy.

Conclusions. Brain biopsy procedures in which guidance is provided by a frameless stereotactic SNS with scalp-applied fiducial markers represents a safe and effective alternative to frame-based stereotactic procedures for supratentorial lesions. There were comparable low rates of morbidity and a high degree of diagnostic success. Strategies for performing posterior fossa biopsies are suggested.

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Joseph P. Broderick, Thomas Brott, Thomas Tomsick, Rosemary Miller and Gertrude Huster

✓ The authors report a study of all instances of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (188 cases) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (80 cases) that occurred in the Greater Cincinnati area during 1988. Adjusted for age, sex, and race, the annual incidence of ICH was 15 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval 13 to 17) versus six per 100,000 for SAH (95% confidence interval 5 to 8). The incidence of ICH was at least double that of SAH for women, men, and whites and approximately 1½ times that for blacks. The 30-day mortality rate of 44% for ICH was not significantly different from the 46% mortality rate for SAH. Despite the evidence that ICH is more than twice as common and the disorder just as deadly as SAH, clinical and laboratory research continues to focus primarily on SAH.

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Joseph C. T. Chen, Javad Rahimian, Michael R. Girvigian and Michael J. Miller

✓ Radiosurgery has emerged as an indispensable component of the multidisciplinary approach to neoplastic, functional, and vascular diseases of the central nervous system. In recent years, a number of newly developed integrated systems have been introduced for radiosurgery and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy treatments. These modern systems extend the flexibility of radiosurgical treatment in allowing the use of frameless image-guided radiation delivery as well as high-precision fractionated treatments. The Novalis linear accelerator system demonstrates adequate precision and reliability for cranial and extracranial radiosurgery, including functional treatments utilizing either frame-based or frameless image-guided methods.

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Ryan Snowden, Justin Miller, Tome Saidon, Joseph D. Smucker, K. Daniel Riew and Rick Sasso

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to compare the effect of index level sagittal alignment on cephalad radiographic adjacent segment pathology (RASP) in patients undergoing cervical total disc arthroplasty (TDA) or anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected radiographic data from 79 patients who underwent TDA or ACDF and were enrolled and followed prospectively at two centers in a multicenter FDA investigational device exemption trial of the Bryan cervical disc prosthesis used for arthroplasty. Neutral lateral radiographs were obtained pre- and postoperatively and at 1, 2, 4, and up to 7 years following surgery. The index level Cobb angle was measured both pre- and postoperatively. Cephalad disc degeneration was determined by a previously described measurement of the disc height/anteroposterior (AP) distance ratio.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight patients (n = 33 ACDF; n = 35 TDA) had complete radiographs and were included for analysis. Preoperatively, there was no difference in the index level Cobb angle between the ACDF and TDA patients. Postoperatively, the ACDF patients had a larger segment lordosis compared to the TDA patients (p = 0.002). Patients who had a postoperative kyphotic Cobb angle were more likely to have undergone TDA (p = 0.01). A significant decrease in the disc height/AP distance ratio occurred over time (p = 0.035), by an average of 0.01818 at 84 months. However, this decrease was not influenced by preoperative alignment, postoperative alignment, or type of surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

In this cohort of patients undergoing TDA and ACDF, the authors found that preoperative and postoperative sagittal alignment have no effect on RASP at follow-up of at least 7 years. They identified time as the only significant factor affecting RASP.

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Joseph C. T. Chen, Michael Girvigian, Hugh Greathouse, Michael Miller and Javad Rahimian

Object. Radiosurgery has emerged as an important treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Substantial advantages have been demonstrated in safety and comfort over other modalities. Radiosurgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia has been well investigated with gamma knife devices involving fixed cobalt sources. Few reports exist concerning trigeminal neuralgia treated using linear accelerator (LINAC)—based devices. In recent years these devices have reached the level of mechanical precision that is required for such functional treatments. The authors describe their initial experience with radiosurgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia when using a BrainLAB Novalis LINAC device equipped with the commercially available 4-mm collimator.

Methods. A total of 32 patients were treated in a 12-month period between November 2002 and November 2003. The median patient age was 67 years (range 38–84 years). Facial pain was graded using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) scoring system. All patients' pain was BNI Grade IV or V prior to treatment. Of these patients, 22 were undergoing initial treatment, and 10 were undergoing retreatment for recurrent pain following various treatments including percutaneous procedures, gamma knife surgery (GKS), or microvascular decompression. Two patients had multiple sclerosis. In patients undergoing initial radiosurgery, the most proximal segment of the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve received 85 to 90 Gy administered in a 5— or 7—noncoplanar arc single-isocenter plan with a 4-mm circular collimator. In patients undergoing repeated radiosurgery, the target received 60 Gy.

Overall good and excellent results (BNI Grade I, II, or III) were achieved in 25 (78%) of 32 patients. The median time to pain relief was 6 weeks. Fair results (improvement in pain with BNI Grade IV) were achieved in three patients (9%), and poor results (no improvement in pain and BNI Grade IV or V) were seen in four (13%). Two patients demonstrated new trigeminal dysfunction following treatment. No other complications occurred.

Conclusions. High-precision imaging and LINAC instrumentation have allowed for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia with results and safety comparable to those achieved using GKS. Linear accelerator—based radiosurgery with the Novalis device is a safe and effective method of managing trigeminal neuralgia and may become the preferred means at centers where the technology is available.

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Christoph J. Griessenauer, Elias Rizk, Joseph H. Miller, Philipp Hendrix, R. Shane Tubbs, Mark S. Dias, Kelsie Riemenschneider and Joshua J. Chern

Object

Tectal plate gliomas are generally low-grade astrocytomas with favorable prognosis, and observation of the lesion and management of hydrocephalus remain the mainstay of treatment.

Methods

A cohort of patients with tectal plate gliomas at 2 academic institutions was retrospectively reviewed.

Results

Forty-four patients with a mean age of 10.2 years who harbored tectal plate gliomas were included in the study. The mean clinical and radiological follow-up was 7.6 ± 3.3 years (median 7.9 years, range 1.5–14.7 years) and 6.5 ± 3.1 years (median 6.5 years, range 1.1–14.7 years), respectively. The most frequent intervention was CSF diversion (81.8% of patients) followed by biopsy (11.4%), radiotherapy (4.5%), chemotherapy (4.5%), and resection (2.3%). On MR imaging tectal plate gliomas most commonly showed T1-weighted isointensity (71.4%), T2-weighted hyperintensity (88.1%), and rarely enhanced (19%). The initial mean volume was 1.6 ± 2.2 cm3 and it increased to 2.0 ± 4.4 cm3 (p = 0.628) at the last follow-up. Frontal and occipital horn ratio (FOHR) and third ventricular width statistically decreased over time (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively).

Conclusions

The authors' results support existing evidence that tectal plate gliomas frequently follow a benign clinical and radiographic course and rarely require any intervention beyond management of associated hydrocephalus.

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Benjamin J. Ditty, Nidal B. Omar, Paul M. Foreman, Joseph H. Miller, Kimberly P. Kicielinski, Winfield S. Fisher III and Mark R. Harrigan

OBJECTIVE

Patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) commonly present with seizure. Seizure outcomes in patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are poorly defined. A case series of patients with cerebral AVMs treated with SRS is presented to evaluate long-term seizure outcome.

METHODS

A retrospective review of the medical record was performed, identifying 204 consecutive patients with AVMs treated with SRS between January 1991 and June 2012. Clinical and radiographic data were evaluated. Seizure outcome was measured using the Engel Epilepsy Surgery Outcome Scale. Mean duration of follow-up was 37.1 months (SD 38.3 months) with a minimum follow-up period of 1 month.

RESULTS

Of the 204 patients with cerebral AVMs treated with SRS, 78 patients (38.2%) presented with seizures and 49 of those patients were treated with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Following SRS, 63 (80.8%) of the 78 patients who had had seizures prior to SRS were seizure-free at a mean follow-up time of 37.2 months (SD 41.3 months). Of the 49 patients who had been treated with AEDs, 17 were still taking AEDs at last follow-up. Of the 126 patients who did not present with seizures prior to treatment with SRS, only 5 patients (4.0%) had seizures in the post-SRS period. There was no significant correlation between post-SRS seizure status and patient demographic features, comorbidities, AVM characteristics, history of operative intervention, pre- or posttreatment hemorrhage, or radiographic degree of AVM resolution.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of cerebral AVMs is effective at providing long-term control of seizures. A substantial number of patients who were treated with SRS were not only seizure free at their last follow-up, but had been successfully weaned from antiepileptic medications.

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Jonathan S. Fain, Francis H. Tomlinson, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Joseph E. Parisi, Geoffrey P. Fletcher, Patrick J. Kelly and Gary M. Miller

✓ Small asymptomatic cysts of the pineal gland represent a common incidental finding in adults undergoing computerized tomography or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or at postmortem examination. In contrast, large symptomatic pineal cysts are rare, being limited to individual case reports or small series. The authors have reviewed 24 cases of large pineal cysts. The mean patient age at presentation was 28.7 years (range 15 to 46 years); 18 were female and six male. Presenting features in 20 symptomatic cases included: headache in 19; nausea and/or vomiting in seven; papilledema in five; visual disturbances in five (diplopia in three, “blurred vision” in two, and unilateral partial oculomotor nerve palsy in one); Parinaud's syndrome in two; hemiparesis in one; hemisensory aberration in one; and seizures in one. Four lesions were discovered incidentally. Magnetic resonance imaging typically demonstrated a 0.8- to 3.0-cm diameter mass (mean 1.7 cm) with homogeneous decreased signal intensity on T1-weighted images, increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images, and a distinct margin. Hydrocephalus was present in eight cases. The cysts were surgically excised via an infratentorial/supracerebellar approach (23 cases) or stereotactically biopsied (one case). Histological examination revealed a cyst wall 0.5 to 2.0 mm thick comprised of three layers: an outer fibrous layer, a middle layer of pineal parenchymal cells with variable calcification, and an inner layer of hypocellular glial tissue often exhibiting Rosenthal fibers and/or granular bodies. Evidence of prior hemorrhage, mild astrocytic degenerative atypia, and disorganization of pineal parenchyma were often present. Postoperative follow-up review in all 24 cases (range 3 months to 10 years) revealed no complications in 21, mild ocular movement deficit in one, gradually resolving Parinaud's syndrome in one, and radiographic evidence of a postoperative venous infarct of the superior cerebellum with ataxia of 1 week's duration in one. Of the patients referred for study, the cysts were most often initially misdiagnosed as a pineocytoma in eight and a pilocytic astrocytoma in three. Only two patients were correctly diagnosed as having pineal cysts. This stresses the importance of recognizing the histopathological spectrum of pineal cysts, as well as correlation with radiographic findings, if a correct diagnosis is to be attained.

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Joseph C. T. Chen, Darlene M. Bugoci, Michael R. Girvigian, Michael J. Miller, Alonso Arellano and Javad Rahimian

Object

Radiosurgery is an important and well-accepted method in the management of brain metastases. Using conventional frame-based techniques, high lesional control rates are expected. The introduction of image-guided techniques allows for improved patient comfort and workflow. Some controversy exists as to the accuracy of imageguided techniques and consequently the impact they might have on control of brain metastases (as opposed to the level of control achieved with frame-based methods). The authors describe their initial 15-month experience with image-guided radiosurgery (IGRS) using Novalis with ExacTrac for management of brain metastases.

Methods

The authors reviewed the cases of brain metastasis treated by means of IGRS in their tertiary regional radiation oncology service over a 15-month period. During the study period 54 patients (median age 57.9 years) harboring 108 metastases were treated with IGRS. The median time from cancer diagnosis to development of brain metastasis was 12 months (range 0–144 months). The median tumor volume was 0.98 cm3 (range 0.03–19.07 cm3). The median prescribed dose was 18 Gy to the 80% isodose line (range 14–20 Gy). Lesions were followed with postradiosurgery MR imaging every 2–3 months following treatment.

Results

The median follow-up period was 9 months (range 0–20 months). Median actuarial survival was 8.6 months following IGRS. Eight patients with 18 lesions died within the first 2 months after the procedure, before scheduled follow-up imaging. Thus 90 lesions (in 46 patients) were followed up with imaging studies. Lesions that were unchanged or reduced in size were considered to be under control. The 6-month actuarial lesion control rate was 88%. Smaller lesions (< 1 cm3) had a statistically improved likelihood of complete imaging response (loss of all contrast-enhancement p = 0.01).

Conclusions

Image-guided radiosurgical treatment of brain metastases resulted in high rates of tumor control comparable to control rates reported for frame-based methods. High control rates were seen for small lesions in which spatial precision in dose delivery is critical. These data suggests that in regard to lesion control, IGRS using Novalis with ExacTrac is equivalent to frame-based radiosurgery methods.

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Avetis Azizyan, Joseph M. Miller, Ramzi I. Azzam, Marcel M. Maya, Pouyan Famini, Barry D. Pressman and Franklin G. Moser

OBJECT

Pituitary apoplexy is a rare and potentially life-threatening disorder that is most commonly characterized by a combination of sudden headache, visual disturbance, and hypothalamic/hormonal dysfunction. In many cases, there is hemorrhagic infarction of an underlying pituitary adenoma. The resulting clinical symptoms are due to compression of the remaining pituitary, cavernous sinuses, or cranial nerves. However, there are only 2 case reports in the literature describing spontaneous retroclival expansion of hemorrhage secondary to pituitary apoplexy. Ten cases of this entity with a review of the literature are presented here.

METHODS

This is a single-institution retrospective review of 2598 patients with sellar and parasellar masses during the 10-year period between 1999 and 2009. The pituitary and brain MRI and MRI studies were reviewed by 2 neuroradiologists for evidence of apoplexy, with particular attention given to retroclival extension.

RESULTS

Eighteen patients (13 men and 5 women; mean age 54 years) were identified with presenting symptoms of sudden onset of headache and ophthalmoplegia, and laboratory findings consistent with pituitary apoplexy. Ten of these patients (8 men and 2 women; mean age 55 years) had imaging findings consistent with retroclival hematoma.

CONCLUSIONS

Retroclival hemorrhage was seen in the majority of cases of pituitary apoplexy (56%), suggesting that it is more common than previously thought.