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Kris A. Smith and Robert F. Spetzler

✓ The use of the supratentorial—infraoccipital approach is reported in seven patients with posteromedial temporal lobe lesions. No patient had permanent morbidity. Gross total resection of three low-grade gliomas and two gangliogliomas was achieved in five patients; one patient had subtotal resection of a low-grade glioma with adjacent gliosis, and one was initially thought to have a glioma but proved to have encephalomalacia on final pathological analysis. The patients ranged in age from 5 to 34 years. All seven patients presented with seizures, and four had uncontrolled seizures preoperatively. Six have been seizure-free since surgery (mean follow-up period 15 months), and one is well controlled on anticonvulsant medication. An anatomical study was performed to delineate the microsurgical anatomy relevant to operating on the medial temporal lobe through this posterior approach. A viewing wand intraoperative navigational system was utilized with this approach and proved helpful in gaining access as far anterior as the uncus through this occipital craniotomy. This approach is favorable in selected patients with posterior, medial, temporal lobe tumors because resection of otherwise difficult lesions may be accomplished without sacrificing lateral temporal lobe cortex or transecting the optic radiations.

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Kris A. Smith and Harold L. Rekate

✓ Tethering of the spinal cord in the lumbar and sacral regions of children with congenital anomalies is a well-recognized problem; however, tethering in the cervical region has rarely been reported. A search of the literature revealed no reports of symptomatic postoperative cervical spinal cord tethering. The authors present five cases of delayed postoperative cervical spinal cord tethering and discuss the benefit of detethering in these patients. All five patients were young (16 to 42 years of age) at presentation. All had done well after an initial surgical procedure but returned between 1 and 31 years postoperatively with symptoms including severe headache, upper-extremity pain, and progressive neurological deficits. In each case, magnetic resonance imaging indicated dorsal tethering of the cord in the cervical region. Surgical exploration with microscopic sharp detethering of the cervical cord was performed on each patient with favorable results. To avoid retethering, wide Tutoplast duraplasty is recommended.

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Erratum

Prospective trial of gross-total resection with Gliadel wafers followed by early postoperative Gamma Knife radiosurgery and conformal fractionated radiotherapy as the initial treatment for patients with radiographically suspected, newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme

L. Fernando Gonzalez and Kris A. Smith

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Ryan Smith, Kris A. Smith, Christopher A. Biggs and Adrienne C. Scheck

Object

The goal of this study was to develop an assay that makes possible the assessment of the glioma cell response to single-fraction high-dose Gamma Knife surgery. In this assay, the isolation of radioresistant cell subpopulations facilitates mechanistic studies of radioresistance.

Methods

A tissue-equivalent paraffin phantom with an aperture capable of holding an Opticell cell culture cassette was developed for treatment with the Leksell Gamma Knife model C. A second apparatus, which the authors also created, uses the manufacturer-supplied polystyrene phantom, thereby allowing this assay to be performed in the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. After treatment, the cells were morphologically assessed to determine their response to radiation treatment. Two specific parameters were used to determine radiosensitivity: 1) the diameter of the clearing zone, defined as the central region of cell death; and 2) the number of surviving colonies within this central high-dose clearing zone.

Results

Radioresistance was compared in 2 different cell lines from glioblastomas. The first cell line, ME, was established from a primary tumor before its treatment, and the second cell line, DIV, was established from a tumor that recurred after treatment with chemotherapy and fractionated radiotherapy. The ME cell line had the most robust response to radiosurgery, as characterized by a consistently larger clearing zone (28.33 ± 1.1 mm). In contrast, the clearing zone produced when the DIV cell line was used was 24.0 ± 1 mm, indicating an approximate response difference of 5 Gy. The mean number of surviving colonies within the clearing zone for the ME cell line was 1.33 ± 1 compared with that for the DIV cell line, which was 66.67 ± 2.

Conclusions

The authors developed a biological dosimeter to model the response of cells from glioblastomas to single-fraction high-dose radiation. This system also allows the identification and isolation of radioresistant cells.

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Kris A. Smith, Gary E. Kraus, Blake A. Johnson and Robert F. Spetzler

✓ The case of a giant posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysm is reported in which the initial presentation was coma secondary to obstructive hydrocephalus. The primary radiological diagnosis was a probable craniopharyngioma. A cerebral angiogram revealed a partially thrombosed giant PCoA aneurysm on the right side. The patient underwent pterional craniotomy with aneurysm clipping and thrombectomy to relieve mass effect, and has made a good recovery. Review of the literature documents that giant PCoA aneurysms are rare. This is believed to be the first reported case of a PCoA aneurysm presenting as a third ventricle mass with obstructive hydrocephalus. The magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of those third ventricle masses that mandate vascular workup are discussed.

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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Sudarshan Iyer, Stephen W. Coons and Kris A. Smith

Intradural spinal teratomas are rare tumors of the spinal cord that are infrequently encountered in children. Although the mechanistic basis for the formation of these tumors is unclear, several lines of evidence suggest that a dysembryogenic process in the embryo results in their formation. The authors present a case of spinal intradural teratoma in an 18-year-old, previously healthy man and review the literature linking the development of these tumors to defects in neurulation and embryogenesis.

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Nader Sanai, Laura A. Snyder, Norissa J. Honea, Stephen W. Coons, Jennifer M. Eschbacher, Kris A. Smith and Robert F. Spetzler

Object

Greater extent of resection (EOR) for patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) corresponds with improved clinical outcome, yet remains a central challenge to the neurosurgical oncologist. Although 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)–induced tumor fluorescence is a strategy that can improve EOR in gliomas, only glioblastomas routinely fluoresce following 5-ALA administration. Intraoperative confocal microscopy adapts conventional confocal technology to a handheld probe that provides real-time fluorescent imaging at up to 1000× magnification. The authors report a combined approach in which intraoperative confocal microscopy is used to visualize 5-ALA tumor fluorescence in LGGs during the course of microsurgical resection.

Methods

Following 5-ALA administration, patients with newly diagnosed LGG underwent microsurgical resection. Intraoperative confocal microscopy was conducted at the following points: 1) initial encounter with the tumor; 2) the midpoint of tumor resection; and 3) the presumed brain-tumor interface. Histopathological analysis of these sites correlated tumor infiltration with intraoperative cellular tumor fluorescence.

Results

Ten consecutive patients with WHO Grades I and II gliomas underwent microsurgical resection with 5-ALA and intraoperative confocal microscopy. Macroscopic tumor fluorescence was not evident in any patient. However, in each case, intraoperative confocal microscopy identified tumor fluorescence at a cellular level, a finding that corresponded to tumor infiltration on matched histological analyses.

Conclusions

Intraoperative confocal microscopy can visualize cellular 5-ALA–induced tumor fluorescence within LGGs and at the brain-tumor interface. To assess the clinical value of 5-ALA for high-grade gliomas in conjunction with neuronavigation, and for LGGs in combination with intraoperative confocal microscopy and neuronavigation, a Phase IIIa randomized placebo-controlled trial (BALANCE) is underway at the authors' institution.