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Cheng-Bei Li, Lai-Rong Song, Da Li, Jian-Cong Weng, Li-Wei Zhang, Jun-Ting Zhang and Zhen Wu

OBJECTIVE

The overall survival and pertinent adverse factors for primary intracranial malignant melanoma (PIMM) have not been previously determined. This aim of this study was to determine the rates of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) and identify the adverse factors for PIMM.

METHODS

This study included 15 cases from the authors’ own series and 100 cases with detailed clinical data that were obtained from the literature from 1914 to 2018 using the Ovid Medline, EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane, and EBSCO databases. Patient demographics, treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy [RT]), PFS, and OS were reviewed. Data from prior publications were processed and used according to PRISMA guidelines.

RESULTS

Diffuse lesions were identified in 24 (20.9%) patients, who had a younger age (p < 0.001). The mean follow-up time was 16.6 months, and 76 (66.1%) deaths occurred. The 6-month, 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year OS rates of the whole cohort were 62.8%, 49.9%, 28.9%, and 17.2%, respectively, with an estimated median survival time (EMST) of 12.0 months. The multivariate analysis revealed that gross-total resection (GTR) (HR 0.299, 95% CI 0.180–0.497, p < 0.001), radiotherapy (HR 0.577, 95% CI 0.359–0.929, p = 0.024), and chemotherapy (HR 0.420, 95% CI 0.240–0.735, p = 0.002) predicted a better OS. The EMST was 5.0 months in patients with diffuse-type PIMM and 13.0 months in patients with the solitary type. Patients receiving GTR with adjuvant RT and/or chemotherapy (GTR + [RT and/or chemo]) had significantly higher 1-year and 5-year OS rates (73.0% and 40.1%, respectively) and a longer EMST (53 months) than patients who underwent GTR alone (20.5 months) or RT and/or chemotherapy without GTR (13.0 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Optimal outcomes could be achieved by radical resection plus postoperative radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Patients with diffuse PIMM have a more severe clinical spectrum and poorer survival than patients with solitary PIMM. Immunotherapy and targeted therapy show promise as treatment options for PIMM based on results in patients with brain metastases from extracranial melanoma.

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Peng Li, Haibo Ren, Shizhen Zhang and Wei Wang

Object

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of cavernous sinus hemangiomas (CSHs). The authors report on 16 patients who underwent GKS as a primary or adjuvant treatment for CSH.

Methods

Sixteen patients harboring CSHs (14 women and 2 men ranging in age from 21 to 65 years [mean 41.3 years]) underwent GKS at West China Hospital. In 4 patients the diagnosis was based on histological findings; in the other 12 patients it was based on findings on MR images. After patients were given a local anesthetic agent, the treatments were performed using a Leksell Gamma Knife model C. Gadolinium-enhanced MR images of T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and FLAIR sequences were obtained to determine the pretreatment location of the lesion. A mean peripheral dose of 13.3 Gy (range 11–14 Gy) was directed to the 40%–50% isodose line.

Results

The mean follow-up time in this study was 21.5 months (range 12–36 months). In 11 of 12 patients with symptoms, clinical improvement was reported at an average of 3.3 months (range 1–8 months) after GKS. Significant or partial tumor shrinkage was observed in 14 patients (87.5%) at the last follow-up. No new neurological impairments were reported after GKS.

Conclusions

Magnetic resonance imaging may play an important role in the preoperative diagnosis of CSHs. Gamma Knife surgery may be a safe and effective primary or adjuvant treatment option for CSHs; however, long-term follow-up with more cases is needed to verify the benefits of this treatment.

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Da Li, Shu-Yu Hao, Zhen Wu, Li-Wei Zhang and Jun-Ting Zhang

Medulla oblongata teratomas are rare. The authors report 2 new cases of teratomas that occurred exclusively in the medulla oblongata. The first case was in a 9-year-old boy who presented with a 6-month history of neck pain and repeated paroxysmal vomiting. Based on preoperative radiographic findings, the initial diagnosis was of an intraaxial medulla oblongata hemangioblastoma. Intraoperatively, the cystic component of the tumor was gray, gelatinous, and soft in consistency. The solid component was light pink, rubbery, and nodular in appearance, with an identifiable boundary. The lesion was completely removed. Histopathological investigation revealed a mature teratoma. Postoperatively, the patient was supported with ventilator assistance and received a tracheotomy, but died of intracranial infection. The second case was in a 10-year-old boy with intermittent headache for 1 month. Radiographs revealed an exophytic cystic and solid lesion with dorsal involvement of the medulla oblongata. The lesion was predominantly solid, pinkish gray, tenacious, and moderately vascularized, with clearly delineated surgical dissection planes. The histopathological examination confirmed a diagnosis of immature teratoma. Total resection was achieved, followed by postoperative chemotherapy. He was alive without recurrence of the lesion or symptoms at 59 months after surgery.

Resection of medulla oblongata teratoma is challenging, with inherent surgical risks that are contingent on the tumor growth pattern. Teratomas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of brainstem lesions. Chemotherapy has been suggested for immature teratomas. Long-term follow-up and larger studies of teratomas in unusual locations are required to improve practitioners' understanding of this disease's treatment and outcomes.

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Feilong Gong, Peng Li, Bin Li, Shizhen Zhang, Xinjie Zhang, Sen Yang, Hongbin Liu and Wei Wang

OBJECTIVE

Anterior capsulotomy (AC) is sometimes used as a last resort for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Previous studies assessing neuropsychological outcomes in patients with OCD have identified several forms of cognitive dysfunction that are associated with the disease, but few have focused on changes in cognitive function in OCD patients who have undergone surgery. In the present study, the authors investigated the effects of AC on the cognitive function of patients with treatment-refractory OCD.

METHODS

The authors selected 14 patients with treatment-refractory OCD who had undergone bilateral AC between 2007 and 2013, 14 nonsurgically treated OCD patients, and 14 healthy control subjects for this study. The 3 groups were matched for sex, age, and education. Several neuropsychological tests, including Similarities and Block Design, which are subsets of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; Immediate and Delayed Logical Memory and Immediate and Delayed Visual Reproduction, which are subsets of the Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised; and Corrects, Categories, Perseverative Errors, Nonperseverative Errors, and Errors, subtests of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, were conducted in all 42 subjects at baseline and after AC, after nonsurgical treatment, or at 6-month intervals, as appropriate. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used to measure OCD symptoms in all 28 OCD patients.

RESULTS

The Y-BOCS scores decreased significantly in both OCD groups during the 12-month follow-up period. Surgical patients showed higher levels of improvement in verbal memory, visual memory, visuospatial skills, and executive function than the nonsurgically treated OCD patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of this study suggest that AC not only reduces OCD symptoms but also attenuates moderate cognitive deficits.

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Da Li, Shu-Yu Hao, Gui-Jun Jia, Zhen Wu, Li-Wei Zhang and Jun-Ting Zhang

Object

Cerebral cavernous malformations have been studied widely, but the natural history of brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) is not well defined, and hemorrhages caused by brainstem CMs are devastating. The goal of this study was to quantify the hemorrhage risks and functional outcomes of patients with brainstem CMs.

Methods

This prospective, longitudinal, cohort study included patients with brainstem CMs diagnosed between 1985 and 2012. The clinical courses of all patients were recorded. Predictors of hemorrhage and the overall untreated outcomes were evaluated.

Results

A total of 331 patients (46.5% female) were included, with a mean follow-up duration of 6.5 years. The annual hemorrhage rates in patients initially presenting with hemorrhage with (n = 215) or without (n = 34) focal neurological deficits were 15.9% and 12.4%, respectively. However, the annual hemorrhage rate was 8.7% in patients initially presenting without hemorrhage (n = 82). The risk factors for hemorrhage were female sex (hazard ratio [HR] 1.445, p = 0.041), prior hemorrhage (HR 1.277, p = 0.029), and perilesional edema (HR 1.830, p = 0.002). Overall, neurological function at the most recent assessment was improved compared with neurological function at diagnosis. Additionally, 307 patients (92.7%) improved or stabilized, 268 (81.0%) lived independently, and 95 (28.7%) completely recovered. Predictors favoring complete recovery were no prospective hemorrhage (HR 1.958, p = 0.001), younger age (HR 1.268, p = 0.001), and small lesion size (HR 1.578, p = 0.004).

Conclusions

Patients' initial presentation predicts their prospective annual hemorrhage rate. This study suggests that several strong risk factors for hemorrhage and predictors of brainstem CM outcomes may enable clinicians to evaluate the potential hemorrhage risks of their patients and design personalized treatments.

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Liang-Hua Ma, Guang Li, Hong-Wei Zhang, Zhi-Yu Wang, Jun Dang, Shuo Zhang, Lei Yao and Xiao-Meng Zhang

Object

This study was undertaken to analyze outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) with or without whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT).

Methods

One hundred seventy-one patients comprised the study population. Fifty-four patients received HSRT alone, and 117 patients received both HSRT and WBRT. The median survival time (MST) was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Recursive Partitioning Analysis (RPA) and Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) were also used to evaluate the results. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine significant prognostic factors for overall survival. Tumor control, radiation toxicity, and cause of death in the HSRT and HSRT+WBRT groups were evaluated.

Results

The MST for all patients was 13 months. According to the Kaplan-Meier method, the probability of survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 51.2%, 21.7%, and 10.1%. The MSTs for RPA Classes I, II, and III were 19, 12, and 5 months, respectively; and the MSTs for GPA Scores 4, 3, 2, and 1 were 24, 14, 12, and 6 months, respectively. The MSTs in the HSRT+WBRT and HSRT groups were 13 and 9 months (p = 0.044), respectively, for all patients, 13 and 8 months (p = 0.031), respectively, for patients with multiple brain metastases, and 16 and 15 months (p = 0.261), respectively, for patients with a single brain metastasis. The multivariate analysis showed that HSRT+WBRT was a significant factor only for patients with multiple brain metastases (p = 0.010). The Kaplan-Meier–estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 92.2%, 82.7%, 79.5%, and 68.3% in the HSRT+WBRT group and 73.5%, 58.4%, 51.0%, and 43.3% in the HSRT group, respectively, in all 165 patients (p = 0.001). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 94.3%, 81.9%, 79.6%, and 76.7%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 77.8%, 61.4%, 52.6%, and 48.2%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 80 patients harboring a single metastasis (p = 0.009). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 90.5%, 83.5%, 79.5%, and 60.9%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 68.2%, 54.5%, 48.5%, and 36.4%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 85 patients with multiple metastases (p = 0.010). The toxicity incidences of Grade 3 or worse were 6.0% (7 of 117 patients) in the HSRT+WBRT group and 1.9% (1 of 54 patients) in the HSRT group (p = 0.438). The differences in neurological death rates between the HSRT+WBRT group and the HSRT group were not statistically significant (34.4% vs 44.7%, p = 0.125, in all patients; 30.0% vs 52.0%, p = 0.114, in patients with a single metastasis; and 38.0% vs 36.4%, p = 0.397, in patients with multiple metastases).

Conclusions

The overall survival results in the present study were similar to those in other studies. Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy provides an alternative method to traditional stereotactic radiosurgery. We suggest that WBRT should be combined with HSRT in patients with single or multiple newly diagnosed brain metastases from NSCLC.

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Shikun Zhan, Fafa Sun, Yixin Pan, Wei Liu, Peng Huang, Chunyan Cao, Jing Zhang, Dianyou Li and Bomin Sun

OBJECTIVE

Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of primary Meige syndrome. However, assessments of its efficacy and safety have been limited to several case reports and small studies.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study to assess the efficacy and safety of bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation in 15 patients with primary Meige syndrome who responded poorly to medical treatments or botulinum toxin injections. Using the movement and disability subscores of the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale, the authors evaluated the severity of patients’ dystonia and related before surgery and at final follow-up during neurostimulation. The movement scale was assessed based on preoperative and postoperative video documentation by an independent rater who was unaware of each patient’s neurostimulation status. Quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form General Health Survey.

RESULTS

The dystonia movement subscores in 14 consecutive patients improved from 19.3 ± 7.6 (mean ± standard deviation) before surgery to 5.5 ± 4.5 at final follow-up (28.5 ± 16.5 months), with a mean improvement of 74% (p < 0.05). The disability subscore improved from 15.6 ± 4.9 before surgery to 6.1 ± 3.5 at final follow-up (p < 0.05). In addition, the postoperative SF-36 scores increased markedly over those at baseline. The authors also found that bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus immediately improved patient symptoms after stimulation and required lower stimulation parameters than those needed for pallidal deep brain stimulation for primary Meige syndrome. Four adverse events occurred in 3 patients; all of these events resolved without permanent sequelae.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings provide further evidence to support the long-term efficacy and safety of subthalamic nucleus stimulation as an alternative treatment for patients with medically intractable Meige syndrome.

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Zhe-Feng Zhao, Li-Zhuang Yang, Chuan-Lu Jiang, Yong-Ri Zheng and Jin-Wei Zhang

Object

The authors' goal was to observe histopathological changes in the trigeminal nerve after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in rhesus monkeys, and to investigate the radiobiological mechanism of GKS for primary trigeminal neuralgia. The nerve length–dosage effect of irradiation is also discussed.

Methods

One of 5 rhesus monkeys randomly served as a control, and the other 4 monkeys were randomly administered a target radiation dose of 60, 70, 80, or 100 Gy (a different dose in each animal). The size of the collimator was 4 mm, and the target point was the trigeminal nerve root. In each experimental monkey, one side was exposed to single-target-point irradiation, and the contralateral side was exposed to double-target-point irradiation. After 6 months, the trigeminal nerve root was examined using light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry.

Results

At each radiation dose, the damage to the nerve tissue by single-target-point irradiation was identical to that caused by double-target-point irradiation. In the trigeminal nerve tissues of the monkeys irradiated with 60 and 70 Gy, there was limited nerve demyelination and degeneration, fragmentation, or loss of axons. In the trigeminal nerve tissue of the monkey irradiated with 80 Gy, the nerve tissue showed a disordered structure. In the trigeminal nerve tissue of the monkey irradiated with 100 Gy, there was severe derangement in the structure of the nerve tissue, and extensive demyelination, fragmentation, and loss of axons.

Conclusions

The target doses of 60 and 70 Gy have very little impact on the structure of the trigeminal nerve. Irradiation at 80 Gy can cause partial degeneration and loss of axons and demyelination. A 100-Gy dose can cause some necrosis of neurons. Comparing the single-target-point with the double-target-point irradiation, the extent of damage to the nerve tissue is identical, and no difference in the nerve length–dosage effect was found.

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Peng Xu, Wei-Ming Gong, Yao Li, Tao Zhang, Kai Zhang, De-Zhen Yin and Tang-Hong Jia

Object

Chronic mechanical compression of the spinal cord, which is commonly caused by degeneration of the spine, impairs motor and sensory functions insidiously and progressively. Yet the exact mechanisms of chronic spinal cord compression (SCC) remain to be elucidated. To study the pathophysiology of this condition, the authors developed a simple animal experimental model that reproduced the clinical course of mechanical compression of the spinal cord.

Methods

A custom-designed compression device was implanted on the exposed spinal cord of female Wistar rats between the T-7 and T-9 vertebrae. A root canal screw attached to a plastic plate was tightened 1 complete turn (1 pitch) every 7 days for 6 weeks. The placement of the compression device and the degree of compression were validated every week using radiography. Furthermore, a motor sensory deficit index was also calculated every week. After 3, 6, 9, or 12 weeks, the compressed T7–9 spinal cords were harvested and examined histologically.

Results

Lateral projection of the thoracic spine showed a progressively increasing rate of mean spinal cord narrowing in the compression group. Motor and sensory deficiencies were observed from Week 3 onward; paralysis was observed in 2 rats at Week 12. Motor deficiency appeared earlier than sensory deficiency. Obvious pathological changes were observed starting at Week 6. The number of neurons in the gray matter of rats with chronic compression of the spinal cord decreased progressively in the 6- and 9-week compression groups. In the white matter, myelin destruction and loss of axons and glia were noted. The number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL)–positive neurons increased in the ventral-to-dorsal direction. The number of TUNEL-positive cells increased from Week 6 onward and peaked at Week 9.

Conclusions

This practical model accurately reproduces characteristic features of clinical chronic SCC, including progressive motor and sensory disturbances after a latency and insidious neuronal loss.

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Hui-Ren Tao, Tian-Li Yang, Michael S. Chang, Huan Li, Da-Wei Zhang, Hong-Bin Fan, Chao Shen and Zhuo-Jing Luo

Tethered cord is a common finding in congenital scoliosis. The most frequently advocated approach for this condition is to perform prophylactic detethering of the cord before scoliosis corrective surgery. The authors report on a 14-year-old patient with congenital thoracic kyphoscoliosis associated with a tethered cord, who developed progressive paraparesis and was successfully treated by posterior spine shortening osteotomy alone without prophylactic untethering. The patient had a 103° scoliotic curve together with a 93° kyphotic curve with an apical vertebra of T-7. Furthermore, he developed a significant progression of neurological deficits, including weakness of both legs and urinary and bowel incontinence. Preoperative MRI revealed that the spinal cord was entrapped by the apical vertebra and the low-placed conus medullaris was at approximately L-5. A posterior vertebral column resection of T-7 was performed for the purpose of simultaneously correcting the kyphoscoliosis and releasing tension on the tethered cord without a true detethering surgery. The patient's spinal cord function recovered completely from Frankel D to Frankel E by 6 months after the procedure. Evaluation at 31 months after surgery showed maintenance of good curve correction and normal neurological function.