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Kunal S. Patel, Mingrui Zhao, Hongtao Ma and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

The ability to predict seizure occurrence is extremely important to trigger abortive therapies and to warn patients and their caregivers. Optical imaging of hemodynamic parameters such as blood flow, blood volume, and tissue and hemoglobin oxygenation has already been shown to successfully localize epileptic events with high spatial and temporal resolution. The ability to actually predict seizure occurrence using hemodynamic parameters is less well explored.

Methods

In this article, the authors critically review data from the literature on neocortical epilepsy and optical imaging, and they discuss the preictal hemodynamic changes and their application in neurosurgery.

Results

Recent optical mapping studies have demonstrated preictal hemodynamic changes in both human and animal neocortex.

Conclusions

Optical measurements of blood flow and oxygenation may become increasingly important for predicting and localizing epileptic events. The ability to successfully predict ictal onsets may be useful to trigger closed-loop abortive therapies.

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Kunal S. Patel, Nelson Moussazadeh, Werner K. Doyle, Douglas R. Labar and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a viable option for patients with medically intractable epilepsy. However, there are no studies examining its effect on individuals with brain tumor–associated intractable epilepsy. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of VNS in patients with brain tumor–associated medically intractable epilepsy.

Methods

Epilepsy surgery databases at 2 separate epilepsy centers were reviewed to identify patients in whom a VNS device was placed for tumor-related intractable epilepsy between January 1999 and December 2011. Preoperative and postoperative seizure frequency and type as well as antiepileptic drug (AED) regimens and degree of tumor progression were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed using odds ratios and t-tests to examine efficacy.

Results

Sixteen patients were included in the study. Eight patients (50%) had an improved outcome (Engel Class I, II, or III) with an average follow-up of 39.6 months. The mean reduction in seizure frequency was 41.7% (p = 0.002). There was no significant change in AED regimens. Seizure frequency decreased by 10.9% in patients with progressing tumors and by 65.6% in patients with stable tumors (p = 0.008).

Conclusions

Vagus nerve stimulation therapy in individuals with brain tumor–associated medically intractable epilepsy was shown to be comparably effective in regard to seizure reduction and response rates to the general population of VNS therapy patients. Outcomes were better in patients with stable as opposed to progressing tumors. The authors' findings support the recommendation of VNS therapy in patients with brain tumor–associated intractable epilepsy, especially in cases in which imminent tumor progression is not expected. Vagus nerve stimulation may not be indicated in more malignant tumors.

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Kunal S. Patel, Ricardo J. Komotar, Oszkar Szentirmai, Nelson Moussazadeh, Daniel M. Raper, Robert M. Starke, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is expanding in acceptance, yet postoperative CSF leak rates remain a concern. This study presents the Cornell closure protocol, which has yielded significantly lower postoperative CSF leak rates compared with prior reports, as an algorithm that can be used by centers having difficulty with CSF leak.

Methods

A single closure algorithm for endoscopic surgery has been used since January 2010 at Weill Cornell Medical College. A prospective database noting intraoperative CSF leak, closure technique, and postoperative CSF leak was reviewed. The authors used a MEDLINE search to identify similar studies and compared CSF leak rates to those of patients treated using the Cornell algorithm.

Results

The retrospective study of a prospectively acquired database included 209 consecutive patients. In 84 patients (40%) there was no intraoperative CSF leak and no postoperative CSF leak. In the 125 patients (60%) with an intraoperative CSF leak, 35 of them with high-flow leaks, there were 0 (0%) postoperative CSF leaks.

Conclusions

It is possible to achieve a CSF leak rate of 0% by using this closure protocol. With proper experience, endoscopic skull base surgery should not be considered to have a higher CSF leak rate than open transcranial or microscopic transsphenoidal surgery.

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Aikaterini Patrona, Kunal S. Patel, Evan D. Bander, Alpesh Mehta, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Surgery within the cavernous sinus (CS) remains a controversial topic because of the delicate and complex anatomy. The risk also varies with tumor consistency. Softer tumors such as pituitary adenomas are more likely to be surgically treated, while firm tumors such as meningiomas are often treated with radiosurgery. However, a wide range of pathologies that can involve the CS are amenable to surgery. The authors describe and analyze their results using endonasal endoscopic “medial-to-lateral” approaches for nonadenomatous, nonmeningeal tumors, in relation to the degree of invasion within the CS.

METHODS

A prospectively acquired database of consecutive endoscopic approaches for tumors with verified intraoperative CS invasion was reviewed. Pituitary adenomas and meningiomas were excluded. Degree of invasion of the CS was classified using the Knosp-Steiner (KS) grading system as well as the percentage of cavernous carotid artery (CCA) encasement. Extent of resection of the entire tumor and of the CS component was assessed by independent neuroradiologists using volumetric measurements of the pre- and postoperative MRI studies. Demographic data and complications were noted.

RESULTS

Fifteen patients (mean age 51.1 years who received endoscopic surgery between 2007 and 2013 met the selection criteria. There were 11 malignant tumors, including chordoma, chondrosarcoma, hemangiopericytoma, lymphoma, and metastatic cancer, and 4 benign tumors, including 3 cavernous hemangiomas and 1 dermoid. All cases were discussed before treatment in a tumor board. Adjuvant treatment options included chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The mean pre- and postoperative tumor volumes were 12.74 ml and 3.86 ml. Gross-total resection (GTR; ie, resection greater than 95%) was the goal in 13 cases and was achieved in 6 patients (46%) while in addition 5 patients had a greater than 80% resection. Gross-total resection in the CS was accomplished in 55% of the tumors with KS Grades 1–2 and in 16.6% of the tumors with KS grades 3–4, respectively. Likewise, GTR was accomplished in 55% of the tumors with CCA encasement under 75% and in 14.3% of the lesions with CCA encasement over 75%, irrespective of tumor volume and underlying pathology. There were 18 preexisting cranial neuropathies involving cranial nerves III–VI, of which 9 fully resolved, 4 improved, and 3 remained unchanged; 2 of these worsened with tumor recurrence. Surgical complications included 1 transient new cranial nerve VI palsy associated with Horner's syndrome and 1 case of panhypopituitarism. There were no postoperative CSF leaks and no infections. The mean extended follow-up was 34.4 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Endonasal endoscopic approaches can play a role in the management of nonmeningeal, nonadenomatous tumors invading the CS, either through biopsy, debulking, or GTR. An advantage of this method is the relief of preexisting cranial neuropathies with low risk for new neurological deficit. Extent of resection within the CS varies with KS grade and degree of carotid encasement irrespective of the underlying pathology. The goals of surgery should be clearly established preoperatively in consultation with radiation and medical oncologists.

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Shaan M. Raza, Matei A. Banu, Angela Donaldson, Kunal S. Patel, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

The intraoperative detection of CSF leaks during endonasal endoscopic skull base surgery is critical to preventing postoperative CSF leaks. Intrathecal fluorescein (ITF) has been used at varying doses to aid in the detection of intraoperative CSF leaks. However, the sensitivity and specificity of ITF at certain dosages is unknown.

METHODS

A prospective database of all endoscopic endonasal procedures was reviewed. All patients received 25 mg ITF diluted in 10 ml CSF and were pretreated with dexamethasone and Benadryl. Immediately after surgery, the operating surgeon prospectively noted if there was an intraoperative CSF leak and fluorescein was identified. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive power of ITF for detecting intraoperative CSF leak were calculated. Factors correlating with postoperative CSF leak were determined.

RESULTS

Of 419 patients, 35.8% of patients did not show a CSF leak. Fluorescein-tinted CSF (true positive) was noted in 59.7% of patients and 0 false positives were encountered. CSF without fluorescein staining (false negative) was noted in 4.5% of patients. The sensitivity and specificity of ITF were 92.9% and 100%, respectively. The negative and positive predictive values were 88.8% and 100%, respectively. Postoperative CSF leaks only occurred in true positives at a rate of 2.8%.

CONCLUSIONS

ITF is extremely specific and very sensitive for detecting intraoperative CSF leaks. Although false negatives can occur, these patients do not appear to be at risk for postoperative CSF leak. The use of ITF may help surgeons prevent postoperative CSF leaks by intraoperatively detecting and confirming a watertight repair.

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Kunal S. Patel, Shaan M. Raza, Edward D. McCoul, Aikaterini Patrona, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Mark M. Souweidane, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Craniopharyngiomas are benign parasellar tumors for which surgical removal, although potentially curative, often leads to morbidity with resulting decreases in quality of life (QOL). The endonasal endoscopic approach is a minimal-access technique for removing these tumors and may reduce postoperative morbidity. The QOL following this method for resection of craniopharyngiomas has not been documented.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a database of consecutive endonasal endoscopic surgeries done at Weill Cornell Medical College. Adult patients with histologically proven craniopharyngiomas were included who had completed either only postoperative (> 9 months) or both pre- and postoperative QOL forms, the Anterior Skull Base Quality of Life (ASBQ) questionnaire, and the 22-Item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22). Rates of gross-total resection (GTR), complications, and visual and endocrine function were collected. Retrospective independence (Wen score) was also assigned. A contemporaneous group of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic pituitary macroadenoma resection was used as a control.

RESULTS

This study included 33 procedures performed in 31 patients. The average postoperative ASBQ score was 3.35 and the SNOT-22 score was 19.6. Better QOL was associated with GTR and postoperative radiation. Worse QOL was associated with persistent visual defects, hypopituitarism, tumor recurrence, increase in body mass index, and worsening Wen score. In a subset of 10 patients, both pre- and postoperative (> 9 months) QOL scores were obtained. Both ASBQ and SNOT-22 scores showed stability and a trend toward improvement, from 2.93 ± 0.51 to 2.96 ± 0.47 (ASBQ) and 23.7 ± 10.8 to 18.4 ± 11.6 (SNOT-22). Compared with 62 patients undergoing endoscopic pituitary macroadenoma resection, patients with craniopharyngiomas had worse postoperative QOL on the ASBQ (3.35 vs 3.80; p = 0.023) and SNOT-22 (19.6 vs 13.4; p = 0.12).

CONCLUSIONS

This report of validated site-specific QOL following endoscopic surgery for craniopharyngiomas shows an overall maintenance of postoperative compared with preoperative QOL. Better QOL could be seen in patients with GTR and radiation therapy, and worse QOL was found in patients with visual or endocrine deficits. Nevertheless, patients with craniopharyngiomas still had worse QOL than those undergoing similar surgery for pituitary macroadenomas, confirming the worse prognosis of craniopharyngiomas even when removed via a minimally invasive approach. These measures should serve as benchmarks for comparison with open transcranial approaches to similar tumors.

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Graeme F. Woodworth, Kunal S. Patel, Benjamin Shin, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Edward D. McCoul, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

This study details the extent of resection and complications associated with endonasal endoscopic surgery for pituitary tumors invading the cavernous sinus (CS) using a moderately aggressive approach to maximize extent of resection through the medial CS wall while minimizing the risk of cranial neuropathy and blood loss. Tumor in the medial CS was aggressively pursued while tumor in the lateral CS was debulked in preparation for radiosurgery.

Methods

A prospective surgical database of consecutive endonasal pituitary surgeries with verified CS invasion on intraoperative visual inspection was reviewed. The extent of resection as a whole and within the CS was assessed by an independent neuroradiologist using pre- and postoperative Knosp-Steiner (KS) categorization and volumetrics of the respective MR images. The extent of resection and clinical outcomes were compared for medial (KS 1–2) and lateral (KS 3–4) lesions.

Results

Thirty-six consecutive patients with pituitary adenomas involving the CS who had surgery via an endonasal endoscopic approach were identified. The extent of resection was 84.6% for KS 1–2 and 66.6% for KS 3–4 (p = 0.04). The rate of gross-total resection was 53.8% for KS 1–2 and 8.7% for KS 3–4 (p = 0.0006). Six patients (16.7%) had preoperative cranial neuropathies, and all 6 had subjective improvement after surgery. Surgical complications included 2 transient postoperative cranial neuropathies (5.6%), 1 postoperative CSF leak (2.8%), 1 reoperation for mucocele (2.8%), and 1 infection (2.8%).

Conclusions

The endoscopic endonasal “medial-to-lateral” approach permits safe debulking of tumors in the medial and lateral CS. Although rates of gross-total resection are moderate, particularly in the lateral CS, the risk of permanent cranial neuropathy is extremely low and there is a high chance of improvement of preexisting deficits. This approach can also facilitate targeting for postoperative radiosurgery.

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Matei A. Banu, Alpesh Mehta, Malte Ottenhausen, Justin F. Fraser, Kunal S. Patel, Oszkar Szentirmai, Vijay K. Anand, Apostolos J. Tsiouris and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Although the endonasal endoscopic approach has been applied to remove olfactory groove meningiomas, controversy exists regarding the efficacy and safety of this approach compared with more traditional transcranial approaches. The endonasal endoscopic approach was compared with the supraorbital (eyebrow) keyhole technique, as well as a combined “above-and-below” approach, to evaluate the relative merits of each approach in different situations.

METHODS

Nineteen cases were reviewed and divided according to operative technique into 3 different groups: purely endonasal (6 cases); supraorbital eyebrow (microscopic with endoscopic assistance; 7 cases); and combined endonasal endoscopic with either the bicoronal or eyebrow microscopic approach (6 cases). Resection was judged on postoperative MRI using volumetric analysis. Tumors were assessed based on the Mohr radiological classification and the presence of the lion’s mane sign.

RESULTS

The mean age at surgery was 61.4 years. The mean tumor volume was 19.6 cm3 in the endonasal group, 33.5 cm3 in the supraorbital group, and 37.8 cm3 in the combined group. Significant frontal lobe edema was identified in 10 cases (52.6%). The majority of tumors were either Mohr Grade II (moderate) (42.1%) or Grade III (large) (47.4%). Gross-total resection was achieved in 50% of the endonasal cases, 100% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases with endoscopic assistance, and 66.7% of the combined cases. The extent of resection was 87.8% for the endonasal cases, 100% for the supraorbital eyebrow cases, and 98.9% for the combined cases. Postoperative anosmia occurred in 100% of the endonasal and combined cases and only 57.1% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases. Excluding anosmia, permanent complications occurred in 83.3% of the cases in the endoscopic group, 0% of the cases in the supraorbital eyebrow group, and 16.7% of cases in the combined group (p = 0.017). There were 3 tumor recurrences: 2 in the endonasal group and 1 in the combined group.

CONCLUSIONS

The supraorbital eyebrow approach, with endoscopic assistance, leads to a higher extent of resection and lower rate of complications than the purely endonasal endoscopic approach. The endonasal endoscopic approach by itself may be suitable for a small percentage of cases. The combined above-and-below approaches are useful for large tumors with invasion of the ethmoid sinuses.