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Jeffrey A. Steinberg, David D. Gonda, Karra Muller, and Joseph D. Ciacci

Intramedullary spinal cord hematomas are a rare neurosurgical pathological entity typically arising from vascular and neoplastic lesions. Endometriosis is an extremely rare cause of intramedullary spinal cord hematoma, with only 5 previously reported cases in the literature. Endometriosis is characterized by ectopic endometrial tissue, typically located in the female pelvic cavity, that causes a cyclical pain syndrome, bleeding, and infertility. In the rare case of intramedullary endometriosis of the spinal cord, symptoms include cyclical lower-extremity radiculopathies and voiding difficulties, and can acutely cause cauda equina syndrome. The authors report a case of endometriosis of the conus medullaris, the first to include radiological, intraoperative, and histopathological imaging. A brief review of the literature is also presented, with discussion including etiological theories surrounding intramedullary endometriosis.

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David D. Gonda, Vincent J. Cheung, Karra A. Muller, Amit Goyal, Bob S. Carter, and Clark C. Chen

Differentiating between low-grade gliomas (LGGs) of astrocytic and oligodendroglial origin remains a major challenge in neurooncology. Here the authors analyzed The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) profiles of LGGs with the goal of identifying distinct molecular characteristics that would afford accurate and reliable discrimination of astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors. They found that 1) oligodendrogliomas are more likely to exhibit the glioma-CpG island methylator phenotype (G-CIMP), relative to low-grade astrocytomas; 2) relative to oligodendrogliomas, low-grade astrocytomas exhibit a higher expression of genes related to mitosis, replication, and inflammation; and 3) low-grade astrocytic tumors harbor microRNA profiles similar to those previously described for glioblastoma tumors. Orthogonal intersection of these molecular characteristics with existing molecular markers, such as IDH1 mutation, TP53 mutation, and 1p19q status, should facilitate accurate and reliable pathological diagnosis of LGGs.