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Marta Ortega-Martínez, Jose M. Cabezudo, Ignacio Fernández-Portales, Manuel Pineda-Palomo, Jose Antonio Rodríguez-Sánchez and Luis Miguel Bernal-García

✓Hemangioblastomas are low-grade, highly vascular tumors commonly associated with von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) syndrome and most often appearing in the cerebellum. They very rarely occur in the spinal nerve roots, and an origin in the filum terminale is exceptional with no instances of multiple hemangioblastomas of the filum terminale reported in the literature. Because of their vascular nature, these lesions can enlarge and become symptomatic in the context of the changes that take place during pregnancy, as has been noted with cerebellar hemangioblastomas. In any case, the evolution of spinal hemangioblastomas during pregnancy is not well known given its rarity. The conjunction of both processes—that is, multiple hemangioblastomas arising in the filum terminale and pregnancy—is unique. The authors describe the case of a 41-year-old woman with multiple hemangioblastomas of the filum terminale and no other evidence of VHL syndrome, in whom pregnancy precipitated symptoms. The interruption of gestation led to a remission of the symptoms. The literature concerning filum terminale hemangioblastomas and pregnancy is also reviewed.

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Alejandro Urban-Baeza, Barón Zárate-Kalfópulos, Samuel Romero-Vargas, Claudia Obil-Chavarría, Luis Brenes-Rojas and Alejandro Reyes-Sánchez

OBJECT

This prospective cohort study was designed to determine the influence of depressive symptoms on patient expectations and the clinical outcomes of the surgical management of lumbar spinal stenosis.

METHODS

Patients with an age > 45 years, a diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis at one level, and an indication for decompressive surgery were included in this study. Data for all of the following parameters were recorded: age, sex, highest level of education, and employment status. Depression symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), disability (Oswestry Disability Index), and back and leg pain (visual analog scale) were assessed before surgery and at 12 months thereafter. The reasons for surgery and patient expectations (North American Spine Society lumbar spine questionnaire) were noted before surgery. The global effectiveness of surgery (Likert scale) was assessed at the 1-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight patients were divided into two groups based on the presence (Group 1) or absence (Group 2) of depressive symptoms preoperatively; each group comprised 29 patients. Demographic data were similar in both groups before surgery. The main reason to undergo surgery was “fear of a worse situation” in 34% of the patients in Group 1 and “to reduce pain” in 24% of the patients in Group 2. The most prevalent expectation was to improve my social life and my mental health in both groups. Surgery had a relieving effect on the depressive symptoms in 14 patients (48%). Thus, in the postoperative period, the number of patients who were free of depressive symptoms was 43 compared with the 15 who were depressed (p = 0.001). The 15 patients with persistent depression symptoms after surgery had a worse clinical outcome compared with the 43 patients free of depression symptoms at the 1-year follow-up in terms of severe back pain (20% vs 0%, respectively), severe leg pain (40% vs 2.3%, respectively), and severe disability (53% vs 9.3%, respectively). Only 33% of patients with persistent depression symptoms after surgery chose the option “surgery helped a lot” compared with 76% of patients without depression symptoms. Moreover, in terms of expectations regarding improvement in back pain, leg pain, walking capacity, independence, physical duties, and social activities, fewer patients were “completely satisfied” in the group with persistent depression symptoms after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery for spinal stenosis had a relieving effect on preoperative depression symptoms at the 1-year follow-up. The persistence of depressive symptoms after surgery correlated with a worse clinical outcome and a higher rate of unmet expectations. Screening measures to detect and treat depression symptoms in the perioperative period could lead to better clinical results and increased patient satisfaction.

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Jean G. de Oliveira, Luis A. B. Borba, Aziz Rassi-Neto, Samuel M. de Moura, Santiago L. Sanchez-Júnior, Márcio S. Rassi, Carlos Vanderlei M. de Holanda and Miguel Giudicissi-Filho

Object

Intracranial aneurysms may grow closer to anterior optic pathways, causing mass effect over these anatomical structures, including visual deficit. The authors retrospectively reviewed a series of aneurysms in patients presenting with visual field deficit caused by mass effect, to analyze the aneurysm's characteristics, the neurosurgical management of these aneurysms, as well as their clinical, visual, and radiological outcomes.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical charts, neuroimaging examination results, and surgical videos of 15 patients presenting with visual symptoms caused by an aneurysm's mass effect over the anterior optic pathways. These patients were treated at the Department of Neurosurgery, Center of Neurology and Neurosurgery Associates, Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo, Brazil. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the variables related to partial or total recovery of the visual symptoms.

Results

All patients underwent microsurgical clip placement and emptying of their aneurysms. After a mean follow-up of 38.5 months, the mean postoperative Glasgow Outcome Scale score was 4.33, and the visual outcomes were as follows: 1 patient (6.6%) unchanged, 7 (46.6%) improved, and 7 (46.6%) experienced complete recovery from visual deficits. The variables that influenced the visual outcomes were the size of the aneurysm (p = 0.039), duration of the visual symptoms (p = 0.002), aneurysm wall calcification (p = 0.010), and intraluminal thrombosis (p = 0.007). Postoperative examination using digital subtraction angiography showed complete aneurysm occlusion in 14 (93.3%) of the 15 patients.

Conclusions

Intracranial aneurysms causing mass effect over the anterior optic pathways usually present with complex features. The best treatment option must include not only the aneurysm occlusion but also relief of the mass effect. Microsurgical clip placement with reduction of aneurysmal mass effect achieved improvement in visual ability or recovery from visual impairment, as well as total aneurysm occlusion, in 93.3% of the study group. Therefore, this option is well supported as the first choice of treatment for intracranial aneurysms presenting with mass effect over the anterior visual pathways.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010