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Robert M. Starke, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Nicholas J. Erickson and Jonathan H. Sherman

OBJECTIVE

Cystic lesions of the pineal gland are most often uncomplicated benign lesions with typical MRI characteristics. The authors aimed to study pineal lesion characteristics on MRI to better distinguish benign pineal cysts from other pineal region malignancies as well as to determine which characteristics were predictive of the latter malignancies. They also aimed to study risk factors predictive of hydrocephalus or malignancy in patients harboring these lesions.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively compiled database documenting the outcomes of patients with suspected pineal cysts on MRI who had presented in the period from 1998 to 2004. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics were assessed in a univariate logistic regression analysis to predict the following dependent variables: development of hydrocephalus, biopsy-confirmed malignancy, and intervention. Possible inherent patient and lesion characteristics included age, sex, T1 and T2 MRI signal pattern, contrast enhancement pattern, presence of cyst, presence of blood, complexity of lesion, presence of calcification, and duration of follow-up. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics that were predictive in the univariate analysis (p < 0.15) were included in the multivariable logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

Of the 79 patients with benign-appearing pineal cysts, 26 (33%) were male and 53 (67%) were female, with a median age of 38 years (range 9–86 years). The median cyst radius was 5 mm (range 1–20 mm). Two patients (2.5%) had evidence of calcifications, 7 (9%) had multicystic lesions, and 25 (32%) had some evidence of contrast enhancement.

The median follow-up interval was 3 years (range 0.5–13 years). Seven patients (9%) had an increase in the size of their lesion over time. Eight patients (10%) had a hemorrhage, and 11 patients (14%) developed hydrocephalus. Nine (11%) received ventriculoperitoneal shunts for the development of hydrocephalus, and 12 patients (16%) were found to have malignancies following biopsy or resection. In the multivariate analysis, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 1.6, 95% CI 2.86–74.74, p = 0.013) and hemorrhage (OR 26.9, 95% CI 3.4–212.7, p = 0.022) were predictive of hydrocephalus. Increasing lesion size and hydrocephalus were near perfect predictors of malignancy and thus were removed from multivariate analysis. In addition, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 8.8, 95% CI 2.0–38.6, p = 0.004) and hemorrhage (OR 6.8, 95% CI 1.1–40.5, p = 0.036) were predictive of malignancy.

CONCLUSIONS

Although cystic abnormalities of the pineal gland are often benign lesions, they are frequently monitored over time, as other pineal region pathologies may appear similarly on MRI. Patients with growing lesions, contrast enhancement, and hemorrhage on MRI are more likely to develop hydrocephalus and have malignant pathology on histological examination and should therefore be followed up with serial MRI with a lower threshold for neurosurgical intervention.

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Siri Sahib S. Khalsa, Alan Siu, Tiffani A. DeFreitas, Justin M. Cappuzzo, John S. Myseros, Suresh N. Magge, Chima O. Oluigbo and Robert F. Keating

OBJECTIVE

Previous studies have indicated an association of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) and a small posterior fossa. Most of these studies have been limited by 2D quantitative methods, and more recent studies utilizing 3D methodologies are time-intensive with manual segmentation. The authors sought to develop a more automated tool to calculate the 3D posterior fossa volume, and correlate its changes after decompression with surgical outcomes.

METHODS

A semiautomated segmentation program was developed, and used to compare the pre- and postoperative volumes of the posterior cranial fossa (PCF) and the CSF spaces (cisterna magna, prepontine cistern, and fourth ventricle) in a cohort of pediatric patients with CM-I. Volume changes were correlated with postoperative symptomatic improvements in headache, syrinx, tonsillar descent, cervicomedullary kinking, and overall surgical success.

RESULTS

Forty-two pediatric patients were included in this study. The mean percentage increase in PCF volume was significantly greater in patients who showed clinical improvement versus no improvement in headache (5.89% vs 1.54%, p < 0.05) and tonsillar descent (6.52% vs 2.57%, p < 0.05). Overall clinical success was associated with a larger postoperative PCF volume increase (p < 0.05). These clinical improvements were also significantly associated with a larger increase in the volume of the cisterna magna (p < 0.05). The increase in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume was also larger in patients who showed improvement in syrinx (6.63% vs 2.58%, p < 0.05) and cervicomedullary kinking (9.24% vs 3.79%, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

A greater increase in the postoperative PCF volume, and specifically an increase in the cisterna magna volume, was associated with a greater likelihood of clinical improvements in headache and tonsillar descent in patients with CM-I. Larger increases in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume were also associated with a greater likelihood of improvement in syrinx and cervicomedullary kinking.

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Justin M. Cappuzzo, Ryan M. Hess, John F. Morrison, Jason M. Davies, Kenneth V. Snyder, Elad I. Levy and Adnan H. Siddiqui

OBJECTIVE

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a commonly occurring disease, particularly among young women of child-bearing age. The underlying pathophysiology for this disease has remained largely unclear; however, the recent literature suggests that focal outflow obstruction of the transverse sinus may be the cause. The purpose of this study was to report one group’s early experience with transverse venous sinus stenting in the treatment of IIH and assess its effectiveness.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review to identify patients who had undergone stenting of an outflow-obstructed transverse venous sinus for the treatment of IIH at Gates Vascular Institute between January 2015 and November 2017. Patient demographic data of interest included age, sex, BMI, and history of smoking, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, hormonal contraceptive use, and acetazolamide therapy. Each patient’s presenting signs and symptoms and whether those symptoms improved with treatment were reviewed. The average opening lumbar puncture (LP) pressure preprocedure, average pressure gradient across the obstructed segment prior to stenting, treatment failure rate (need for shunt placement), and mean follow-up period were calculated.

RESULTS

Of the 18 patients who had undergone transverse venous stenting for IIH, 16 (88.9%) were women. The mean age of all the patients was 38.3 years (median 38 years). Mean BMI was 34.2 kg/m2 (median 33.9 kg/m2). Presenting symptoms were headache (16 patients [88.9%]), visual disturbances (13 patients [72.2%]), papilledema (8 patients [44.4%]), tinnitus (3 patients [16.7%]), and auditory bruit (3 patients [16.7%]). The mean opening LP pressure pre-procedure was 35.6 cm H2O (median 32 cm H2O). The mean pressure gradient measured proximally and distally to the area of focal obstruction within the transverse sinus was 16.5 cm H2O (median 15 cm H2O). Postprocedurally, 14 patients (77.8%) continued to have headaches; 6 (33.3%) continued to have visual disturbances. No patients continued to have auditory bruit (0%) or papilledema (0%). One patient (5.6%) had new-onset tinnitus postprocedure. Overall improvement of symptoms was noted in 16 patients (88.9%) postprocedure, with 1 patient (5.6%) requiring shunt placement and 2 other patients (11.1%) requiring postprocedural LP to monitor intracranial pressure to determine candidacy for further surgical interventions to treat residual symptoms. The mean duration of follow-up was 194.2 days.

CONCLUSIONS

Transverse sinus stenting is a rapidly developing technique that has shown good effectiveness and safety in the literature. Authors of the present study found that stenting a flow-obstructed transverse sinus in patients with IIH was a safe and effective way to treat the condition.