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Keiya Iijima, Masafumi Hirato, Takaaki Miyagishima, Keishi Horiguchi, Kenichi Sugawara, Junko Hirato, Hideaki Yokoo, and Yuhei Yoshimoto

OBJECT

Image-guided stereotactic brain tumor biopsy cannot easily obtain samples of small deep-seated tumor or selectively sample the most viable region of malignant tumor. Image-guided stereotactic biopsy in combination with depth microrecording was evaluated to solve such problems.

METHODS

Operative records, MRI findings, and pathological specimens were evaluated in 12 patients with small deep-seated brain tumor, in which image-guided stereotactic biopsy was performed with the aid of depth microrecording. The tumors were located in the caudate nucleus (1 patient), thalamus (7 patients), midbrain (2 patients), and cortex (2 patients). Surgery was performed with a frameless stereotactic system in 3 patients and with a frame-based stereotactic system in 9 patients. Microrecording was performed to study the electrical activities along the trajectory in the deep brain structures and the tumor. The correlations were studied between the electrophysiological, MRI, and pathological findings. Thirty-two patients with surface or large brain tumor were also studied, in whom image-guided stereotactic biopsy without microrecording was performed.

RESULTS

The diagnostic yield in the group with microrecording was 100% (low-grade glioma 4, high-grade glioma 4, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 3, and germinoma 1), which was comparable to 93.8% in the group without microrecording. The postoperative complication rate was as low as that of the conventional image-guided method without using microelectrode recording, and the mortality rate was 0%, although the target lesions were small and deep-seated in all cases. Depth microrecording revealed disappearance of neural activity in the tumor regardless of the tumor type. Neural activity began to decrease from 6.3 ± 4.5 mm (mean ± SD) above the point of complete disappearance along the trajectory. Burst discharges were observed in 6 of the 12 cases, from 3 ± 1.4 mm above the point of decrease of neural activity. Injury discharges were often found at 0.5–1 mm along the trajectory between the area of decreased and disappeared neural activity. Close correlations between electrophysiological, MRI, and histological findings could be found in some cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Image-guided stereotactic biopsy performed using depth microrecording was safe, it provided accurate positional information in real time, and it could distinguish the tumor from brain structures during surgery. Moreover, this technique has potential for studying the epileptogenicity of the brain tumor.

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Atushi Sasaki, Junko Hirato, Yoichi Nakazato, Masaru Tamura, and Hirotaka Kadowaki

✓ A total resection of a left frontal lobe tumor in a 26-year-old man revealed differentiated ganglioglioma with small foci of atypical glial cells exhibiting mild atypia. Six and one-half years later, a large, well-demarcated tumor recurred; at that time, histological analysis revealed both typical ganglioglioma and highly cellular anaplastic areas, the latter predominating. Although the patient subsequently underwent total and subtotal resections, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, tumors continued to recur at progressively shorter intervals and he died at the age of 35 years. Biopsies of tissue obtained at the last three resections and the autopsy revealed only anaplastic tumor cells. Routine histological examinations indicated that these tumors were uniformly composed of undifferentiated cells. However, pathological studies using immunohistochemical analysis, electron microscopy, and immunoblot analysis demonstrated that a small number of recurrent anaplastic cells had astrocytic features. Results of Ki-67/MIB-1 labeling and silver nucleolar organizer region counts for those cells were high for glial tumors. A retrospective study of the initial tumor showed slightly high MIB-1 labeling for atypical glial cells. This case is characterized by pathological findings of recurrent tumors that correspond to an unusual form of malignant glioma exhibiting slight astrocytic differentiation. The present case suggests that a longer follow-up period (> 5 years) is necessary in cases of ganglioglioma with mild atypia and that careful examinations, including proliferating potential analysis of initial tumor cells, could be important for the diagnosis and treatment of ganglioglioma.

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Takashi Watanabe, Nobuhito Saito, Junko Hirato, Hidetoshi Shimaguchi, Hiroya Fujimaki, and Tomio Sasaki

✓ Complete facial palsy (House—Brackmann Grade VI) developed in a 63-year-old man with a vestibular schwannoma 25 months after he had undergone two gamma knife surgeries performed 33 months apart and involving a cumulative dose of 24 Gy directed to the tumor margin at the 50% isodose line. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated tumor enlargement with central nonenhancement, which initially had been recognized 21 months after the second radiosurgery. Microsurgery was performed to achieve total removal of the tumor. Histological and immunohistochemical examinations of the facial nerve specimen removed from the edge of the tumor revealed a loss of axons, proliferation of Schwann cells, and microvasculitis. In this case, microvasculitis and axonal degeneration were probably the major causes of the radiation-induced facial neuropathy.

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Shoko Merrit Yamada, Yusuke Tomita, Soichiro Shibui, Mikiko Takahashi, Masashi Kawamoto, Sumihito Nobusawa, and Junko Hirato

Astroblastoma is a rare tumor that is thought to occur exclusively in the cerebrum. To the authors’ knowledge, no cases of spinal cord astroblastoma have been reported. A 20-year-old woman presented with numbness in her legs. MRI demonstrated a 2-cm intramedullary enhancing lesion in the spinal cord at the T-1 level. The patient declined to undergo resection of the tumor because she was able to walk unassisted; however, she returned for surgery 1 month later because she had developed paraplegia with bladder and rectal dysfunction, and MRI showed enlargement of the tumor. Intraoperatively, the border between the tumor and normal tissue was poorly defined. Biopsy samples were obtained for histopathological examinations, and a diagnosis of astroblastoma with a Ki-67 index of 5% was made. Considering the rapid tumor growth on MRI and remarkable deterioration in her symptoms, the patient was treated with a combination of radiation therapy, temozolomide (TMZ), and bevacizumab. After completion of the combined treatment, she was able to move her toes, and oral TMZ and bevacizumab injections were continued. Six months later, definite tumor shrinkage was identified on MRI, and the patient was able to stand up from a wheelchair without assistance and walk by herself. No therapeutic regimens for residual astroblastoma are established; however, in this case the authors’ therapeutic strategy was successful in treating the spinal cord astroblastoma.

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Masahiro Sugawa, Kohei Fukuoka, Makiko Mori, Yuki Arakawa, Yutaka Tanami, Sumihito Nobusawa, Junko Hirato, Atsuko Nakazawa, Jun Kurihara, and Katsuyoshi Koh

OBJECTIVE

Embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes (ETMR) is one of the childhood central nervous system tumors with the poorest prognosis; thus, establishing an optimal treatment strategy is essential, However, because of the low incidence and molecular heterogeneity of the tumor, the optimal treatment has not yet been determined. In this study the authors evaluated the prognostic impact of a multimodal treatment approach in patients with ETMR.

METHODS

The authors evaluated 4 patients with ETMR at their institution who showed varied clinical features and also conducted clinical characterization and prognostic analysis of previously reported cases of the ETMR-presenting locus 19q13.42 with a chromosome 19 microRNA cluster (C19MC) amplification, which is known to be a diagnostic hallmark of the tumor.

RESULTS

Of the 4 patients with ETMR in the authors’ institution, in 1 case the patient’s tumor showed a neuroblastoma-like appearance without multilayered rosettes; however, the diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of amplified C19MC. From a clinical standpoint, 2 patients who underwent gross-total resection (GTR) of the tumor and chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) had long-term complete remission with or without local irradiation. In the multivariate analysis of 43 cases with C19MC-altered ETMR reported in the literature, HDC and local irradiation were significantly correlated with better event-free survival (HR 0.17, p = 0.0087; HR 0.17, p = 0.010) and overall survival (OS) (HR 0.29, p = 0.023; HR 0.28, p = 0.019), respectively. GTR was also correlated with better OS (HR 0.40, p = 0.039).

CONCLUSIONS

This case series demonstrated pathological and clinical heterogeneity among ETMR cases and the diagnostic importance of the molecular genetic approach among embryonal tumors, particularly during infancy. Based on the results of the analysis of molecularly uniformed ETMR cases, multimodal treatment may play a significant role in the prognosis of these tumors.