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Mazda K. Turel, Georgios Tsermoulas, Lior Gonen, George Klironomos, Joao Paulo Almeida, Gelareh Zadeh and Fred Gentili

OBJECTIVE

The treatment of recurrent and residual craniopharyngiomas is challenging. In this study the authors describe their experience with these tumors and make recommendations on their management.

METHODS

The authors performed an observational study of adult patients (≥ 18 years) with recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas that were managed at their tertiary center. Retrospective data were collected on demographics and clinical, imaging, and treatment characteristics from patients who had a minimum 2-year follow-up. Descriptive statistics were used and the data were analyzed.

RESULTS

There were 42 patients (27 male, 15 female) with a mean age of 46.3 ± 14.3 years. The average tumor size was 3.1 ± 1.1 cm. The average time to first recurrence was 3.6 ± 5.5 years (range 0.2–27 years). One in 5 patients (8/42) with residual/recurrent tumors did not require any active treatment. Of the 34 patients who underwent repeat treatment, 12 (35.3%) had surgery only (transcranial, endoscopic, or both), 9 (26.5%) underwent surgery followed by adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), and 13 (38.2%) received RT alone. Eighty-six percent (18/21) had a gross-total (n = 4) or near-total (n = 14) resection of the recurrent/residual tumors and had good local control at last follow-up. One of 5 patients (7/34) who underwent repeat treatment had further treatment for a second recurrence. The total duration of follow-up was 8.6 ± 7.1 years. The average Karnofsky Performance Scale score at last follow-up was 80 (range 40–90). There was 1 death.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on this experience and in the absence of guidelines, the authors recommend an individualized approach for the treatment of symptomatic or growing tumors. This study has shown that 1 in 5 patients does not require repeat treatment of their recurrent/residual disease and can be managed with a “scan and watch” approach. On the other hand, 1 in 5 patients who had repeat treatment for their recurrence in the form of surgery and/or radiation will require further additional treatment. More studies are needed to best characterize these patients and predict the natural history of this disease and response to treatment.

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Nir Shimony, Uri Amit, Bella Minz, Rachel Grossman, Marc A. Dany, Lior Gonen, Karina Kandov, Zvi Ram and Avi A. Weinbroum

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to assess in-hospital (immediate) postoperative pain scores and analgesic consumption (primary goals) and preoperative anxiety and sleep quality (secondary goals) in patients who underwent craniotomy and were treated with pregabalin (PGL). Whenever possible, out-of-hospital pain scores and analgesics usage data were obtained as well.

METHODS

This prospective, randomized, double-blind and controlled study was conducted in consenting patients who underwent elective craniotomy for brain tumor resection at Tel Aviv Medical Center between 2012 and 2014. Patients received either 150 mg PGL (n = 50) or 500 mg starch (placebo; n = 50) on the evening before surgery, 1.5 hours before surgery, and twice daily for 72 hours following surgery. All patients spent the night before surgery in the hospital, and no other premedication was administered. Opioids and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs were used for pain, which was self-rated by means of a numerical rating scale (score range 0–10).

RESULTS

Eighty-eight patients completed the study. Data on the American Society of Anesthesiologists class, age, body weight, duration of surgery, and intraoperative drugs were similar for both groups. The pain scores during postoperative Days 0 to 2 were significantly lower in the PGL group than in the placebo group (p < 0.01). Analgesic consumption was also lower in the PGL group, both immediately and 1 month after surgery. There were fewer requests for antiemetics in the PGL group, and the rate of postoperative nausea and vomiting was lower. The preoperative anxiety level and the quality of sleep were significantly better in the PGL group (p < 0.01). There were no PGL-associated major adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS

Perioperative use of twice-daily 150 mg pregabalin attenuates preoperative anxiety, improves sleep quality, and reduces postoperative pain scores and analgesic usage without increasing the rate of adverse effects.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01612832 (clinicaltrials.gov)

Free access

Lior Gonen, Srikant S. Chakravarthi, Alejandro Monroy-Sosa, Juanita M. Celix, Nathaniel Kojis, Maharaj Singh, Jonathan Jennings, Melanie B. Fukui, Richard A. Rovin and Amin B. Kassam

OBJECTIVE

The move toward better, more effective optical visualization in the field of neurosurgery has been a focus of technological innovation. In this study, the authors’ objectives are to describe the feasibility and safety of a new robotic optical platform, namely, the robotically operated video optical telescopic-microscope (ROVOT-m), in cranial microsurgical applications.

METHODS

A prospective database comprising patients who underwent a cranial procedure between April 2015 and September 2016 was queried, and the first 200 patients who met the inclusion criteria were selected as the cohort for a retrospective chart review. Only adults who underwent microsurgical procedures in which the ROVOT-m was used were considered for the study. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were retrieved from electronic medical records. The authors address the feasibility and safety of the ROVOT-m by studying various intraoperative variables and by reporting perioperative morbidity and mortality, respectively. To assess the learning curve, cranial procedures were categorized into 6 progressively increasing complexity groups. The main categories of pathology were I) intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs); II) intraaxial tumors involving noneloquent regions or noncomplex extraaxial tumors; III) intraaxial tumors involving eloquent regions; IV) skull base pathologies; V) intraventricular lesions; and VI) cerebrovascular lesions. In addition, the entire cohort was evenly divided into early and late cohorts.

RESULTS

The patient cohort comprised 104 female (52%) and 96 male (48%) patients with a mean age of 56.7 years. The most common pathological entities encountered were neoplastic lesions (153, 76.5%), followed by ICH (20, 10%). The distribution of cases by complexity categories was 11.5%, 36.5%, 22%, 20%, 3.5%, and 6.5% for Categories I, II, II, IV, V, and VI, respectively. In all 200 cases, the surgical goal was achieved without the need for intraoperative conversion. Overall, the authors encountered 3 (1.5%) major neurological morbidities and 6 (3%) 30-day mortalities. Four of the 6 deaths were in the ICH group, resulting in a 1% mortality rate for the remainder of the cohort when excluding these patients. None of the intraoperative complications were considered to be attributable to the visualization provided by the ROVOT-m. When comparing the early and late cohorts, the authors noticed an increase in the proportion of higher-complexity surgeries (Categories IV–VI), from 23% in the early cohort, to 37% in the late cohort (p = 0.030). In addition, a significant reduction in operating room setup time was demonstrated (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The feasibility and safety of the ROVOT-m was demonstrated in a wide range of cranial microsurgical applications. The authors report a gradual increase in case complexity over time, representing an incremental acquisition of experience with this technology. A learning curve of both setup and execution phases should be anticipated by new adopters of the robot system. Further prospective studies are required to address the efficacy of ROVOT-m. This system may play a role in neurosurgery as an integrated platform that is applicable to a variety of cranial procedures.