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Rohit K. Khanna, Christopher J. Pham, Ghaus M. Malik, Eric M. Spickler, Bharat Mehta and Mark L. Rosenblum

✓ Bilateral superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) enlargement has rarely been shown to occur in patients with septic and aseptic cavernous sinus thrombosis, Graves' disease due to obstruction of the SOV by enlarged extraocular muscles, or carotid—cavernous fistulas caused by retrograde flow. The authors describe 11 patients with bilateral SOV enlargement associated with cerebral swelling as detected by computerized tomography scanning. The bilaterally enlarged SOVs returned to a normal size following resolution of cerebral swelling and elevated intracranial pressure. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of bilateral SOV enlargement associated with diffuse cerebral swelling that subsequently resolved after treatment of the cerebral edema. The authors believe that the bilateral SOV enlargement was caused by mechanical cavernous sinus venous stagnation due to cerebral swelling, a syndrome that occurs more commonly than currently appreciated.

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Kathleen J. Helton, Michael Edwards, R. Grant Steen, Thomas E. Merchant, Mark V. Sapp, Frederick A. Boop and James Langston

Object. After the resection of brain tumors in pediatric patients, it can be difficult to differentiate recurrent tumor from treatment effects. Although late-delayed reactions are thought to be permanent, in this study the authors sought to characterize transient brain lesions (TBLs) in the late-delayed period that completely resolved without imaging or neurological sequelae.

Methods. In a retrospective review of an institutional neuroimaging brain tumor database, 11 patients were identified who met the imaging criteria (transient T2-weighted hyperintense enhancing lesions outside of the tumor bed, which occurred after radiation and/or chemotherapy) and had undergone three-dimensional dosimetry; their radiographic, clinical, and radiation-dosimetry results were analyzed. In the 11 patients who had been treated with multiple protocols 17 loci of abnormality, including 43 discrete, asymptomatic TBLs, were detected. The median TBL diameter was 1 cm or smaller, without mass effect or necrosis, and occurred 10 months after radiation therapy, 11 months after chemotherapy, resolved by 3 months, and occurred within the high-dose radiation treatment volume (median 55.8 Gy). The findings from extended follow up revealed the development of additional permanent complications of radiation therapy within the radiation port in five of the 11 patients.

Conclusions. A benign form of treatment-induced brain injury in children, TBLs should be treated using short-interval follow up. When these lesions are identified as a result of their characteristic imaging features, location, and temporal course, TBLs may be clearly distinguished from recurrent tumor or radiation necrosis and do not require biopsy. Further studies are needed to determine whether patients with TBLs are at an increased risk of developing more severe treatment-related brain injury.

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Kathleen J. Helton, Michael Edwards, R. Grant Steen, Thomas E. Merchant, Mark V. Sapp, Frederick A. Boop and James Langston

Object

After the resection of brain tumors in pediatric patients, it can be difficult to differentiate recurrent tumor from treatment effects. Although late-delayed reactions are thought to be permanent, in this study the authors sought to characterize transient brain lesions (TBLs) in the late-delayed period that completely resolved without imaging or neurological sequelae.

Methods

In a retrospective review of an institutional neuroimaging brain tumor database, 11 patients were identified who met the imaging criteria (transient T2-weighted hyperintense enhancing lesions outside of the tumor bed, which occurred after radiation and/or chemotherapy) and had undergone three-dimensional dosimetry; their radiographic, clinical, and radiation-dosimetry results were analyzed. In the 11 patients who had been treated with multiple protocols 17 loci of abnormality, including 43 discrete, asymptomatic TBLs, were detected. The median TBL diameter was 1 cm or smaller, without mass effect or necrosis, and occurred 10 months after radiation therapy, 11 months after chemotherapy, resolved by 3 months, and occurred within the high-dose radiation treatment volume (median 55.8 Gy). The findings from extended follow up revealed the development of additional permanent complications of radiation therapy within the radiation port in five of the 11 patients.

Conclusions

A benign form of treatment-induced brain injury in children, TBLs should be treated using short-interval follow up. When these lesions are identified as a result of their characteristic imaging features, location, and temporal course, TBLs may be clearly distinguished from recurrent tumor or radiation necrosis and do not require biopsy. Further studies are needed to determine whether patients with TBLs are at an increased risk of developing more severe treatment-related brain injury.

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Neal Luther, Anders Cohen and Mark M. Souweidane

Object

Concern regarding the ability to accomplish adequate hemostasis during intracranial neuroendoscopy is often cited as a potential obstacle for primary endoscopic tumor management. In this study, the rate of clinically significant hemorrhage encountered as a result of endoscopic surgery for an intraventricular brain tumor is examined.

Methods

A total of 86 patients underwent an endoscopic biopsy procedure or resection of an intraventricular tumor. Recognized hemorrhagic sequelae occurred at a rate of 3.5% per patient. Visual obscuration due to the presence of intraventricular bleeding necessitated aborting the procedure before completion of the objective in two cases. There was a hemorrhagic event resulting in relevant morbidity in one patient, who suffered a bilateral diencephalic stroke after attempted tumor biopsy sampling.

Conclusions

The low hemorrhagic complication rate described in this series counters the misconception surrounding ineffective hemostasis during intracranial endoscopy for tumors and provides further evidence that this minimally invasive approach is a safe alternative to some conventional intracranial approaches.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Gary K. Steinberg, Lawrence Wechsler, Carolyn C. Meltzer, Elaine Elder, James Gebel, Sharon DeCesare, Tudor Jovin, Ross Zafonte, Jonathan Lebowitz, John C. Flickinger, David Tong, Michael P. Marks, Catriona Jamieson, Desiree Luu, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Jeffrey Teraoka

Object

No definitive treatment exists to restore lost brain function following a stroke. Transplantation of cultured neuronal cells has been shown to be safe and effective in animal models of stroke and safe in a Phase 1 human trial. In the present study the authors tested the usefulness of human neuron transplantation followed by participation in a 2-month stroke rehabilitation program compared with rehabilitation alone in patients with substantial fixed motor deficits associated with a basal ganglia stroke.

Methods

Human neuronal cells (LBS-Neurons; Layton BioScience, Inc.) were delivered frozen and then thawed and formulated on the morning of surgery. The entry criteria in this randomized, observer-blinded trial of 18 patients included age between 18 and 75 years, completed stroke duration of 1 to 6 years, presence of a fixed motor deficit that was stable for at least 2 months, and no contraindications to stereotactic surgery. Patients were randomized at two centers to receive either 5 or 10 million implanted cells in 25 sites (seven patients per group) followed by participation in a stroke rehabilitation program, or to serve as a nonsurgical control group (rehabilitation only; four patients). The surgical techniques used were the same at both centers. All patients underwent extensive pre- and postoperative motor testing and imaging. Patients received cyclosporine A for 1 week before and 6 months after surgery. The primary efficacy measure was a change in the European Stroke Scale (ESS) motor score at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included Fugl-Meyer, Action Research Arm Test, and Stroke Impact Scale scores, as well as the results of other motor tests. Nine strokes were ischemic in origin and nine were hemorrhagic.

All 14 patients who underwent surgery (ages 40–70 years) underwent uncomplicated surgeries. Serial evaluations (maximum duration 24 months) demonstrated no cell-related adverse serological or imaging-defined effects. One patient suffered a single seizure, another had a syncopal event, and in another there was burr-hole drainage of an asymptomatic chronic subdural hematoma. Four of seven patients who received 5 million cells (mean improvement 6.9 points) and two of seven who received 10 million cells had improved ESS scores at 6 months; however, there was no significant change in the ESS motor score in patients who received cell implants (p = 0.756) compared with control or baseline values (p = 0.06). Compared with baseline, wrist movement and hand movement scores recorded on the Fugl-Meyer Stroke Assessment instrument were not improved (p = 0.06). The Action Research Arm Test gross hand-movement scores improved compared with control (p = 0.017) and baseline (p = 0.001) values. On the Stroke Impact Scale, the 6-month daily activities score changed compared with baseline (p = 0.045) but not control (p = 0.056) scores, and the Everyday Memory test score improved in comparison with baseline (p = 0.004) values.

Conclusions

Human neuronal cells can be produced in culture and implanted stereotactically into the brains of patients with motor deficits due to stroke. Although a measurable improvement was noted in some patients and this translated into improved activities of daily living in some patients as well, this study did not find evidence of a significant benefit in motor function as determined by the primary outcome measure. This experimental trial indicates the safety and feasibility of neuron transplantation for patients with motor stroke.

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Mark E. Wagshul, John J. Chen, Michael R. Egnor, Erin J. McCormack and Patricia E. Roche

Object

A recently developed model of communicating hydrocephalus suggests that ventricular dilation may be related to the redistribution of pulsations in the cranium from the subarachnoid spaces (SASs) into the ventricles. Based on this model, the authors have developed a method for analyzing flow pulsatility in the brain by using the ratio of aqueductal to cervical subarachnoid stroke volume and the phase of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, which is obtained at multiple locations throughout the cranium, relative to the phase of arterial flow.

Methods

Flow data were collected in a group of 15 healthy volunteers by using a series of images acquired with cardiac-gated, phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging.

The stroke volume ratio was 5.1 ± 1.8% (mean ± standard deviation). The phase lag in the aqueduct was −52.5 ± 16.5° and the phase lag in the prepontine cistern was −22.1 ± 8.2°. The flow phase at the level of C-2 was +5.1 ± 10.5°, which was consistent with flow synchronous with the arterial pulse. The subarachnoid phase lag ventral to the pons was shown to decrease progressively to zero at the craniocervical junction. Flow in the posterior cervical SAS preceded the anterior space flow.

Conclusions

Under normal conditions, pulsatile ventricular CSF flow is a small fraction of the net pulsatile CSF flow in the cranium. A thorough review of the literature supports the view that modified intracranial compliance can lead to redistribution of pulsations and increased intraventricular pulsations. The phase of CSF flow may also reflect the local and global compliance of the brain.

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Eric M. Horn, Michael Beaumont, Xiao Zheng Shu, Adrian Harvey, Glenn D. Prestwich, Kris M. Horn, Alan R. Gibson, Mark C. Preul and Alyssa Panitch

Object

Therapies that use bioactive materials as replacement extracellular matrices may hold the potential to mitigate the inhibition of regeneration observed after central nervous system trauma. Hyaluronic acid (HA), a nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan ubiquitous in all tissues, was investigated as a potential neural tissue engineering matrix.

Methods

Chick dorsal root ganglia were cultured in 3D hydrogel matrices composed of cross-linked thiol-modified HA or fibrin. Samples were cultured and images were acquired at 48-, 60-, and 192-hour time points. Images of all samples were analyzed at 48 hours of incubation to quantify the extent of neurite growth. Cultures in cross-linked thiolated HA exhibited more than a 50% increase in neurite length compared with fibrin samples. Furthermore, cross-linked thiolated HA supported neurites for the entire duration of the culture period, whereas fibrin cultures exhibited collapsed and degenerating extensions beyond 60 hours.

Two concentrations of the thiolated HA (0.5 and 1%) were then placed at the site of a complete thoracic spinal cord transection in rats. The ability of the polymer to promote regeneration was tested using motor evoked potentials, retrograde axonal labeling, and behavioral assessments. There were no differences in any of the parameters between rats treated with the polymer and controls.

Conclusions

The use of a cross-linked HA scaffold promoted robust neurite outgrowth. Although there was no benefit from the polymer in a rodent spinal cord injury model, the findings in this study represent an early step in the development of semisynthetic extracellular matrice scaffolds for the treatment of neuronal injury.

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Bert A. Coert, Steven D. Chang, Huy M. Do, Michael P. Marks and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Patients with fusiform aneurysms can present with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), mass effect, ischemia, or unrelated symptoms. The absence of an aneurysm neck impedes the direct application of a clip and endovascular coil deployment. To evaluate the effects of their treatments, the authors retrospectively analyzed a consecutive series of patients with posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms treated at Stanford University Medical Center between 1991 and 2005.

Methods

Forty-nine patients (mean age 53 years, male/female ratio 1.2:1) treated at the authors' medical center form the basis of the analysis. Twenty-nine patients presented with an SAH. The patients presenting without SAH had cranial nerve dysfunction (five patients), symptoms of mass effect (eight patients), ischemia (six patients), or unrelated symptoms (one patient). The aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) (21 patients); vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) or basilar artery (BA) (18 patients); and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) (10 patients). Pretreatment clinical grades were determined using the Hunt and Hess scale; for patients with un-ruptured aneurysms (Hunt and Hess Grade 0) functional subgrades were added. Outcome was evaluated using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score during a mean follow-up period of 33 months.

Overall long-term outcome was good (GOS Score 4 or 5) in 59%, poor (GOS Score 2 or 3) in 16%, and fatal (GOS Score 1) in 24% of the patients. In a univariate analysis, poor outcome was predicted by age greater than 55 years, VBJ location, pretreatment Hunt and Hess grade in patients presenting with SAH, and incomplete aneurysm thrombosis after endovascular treatment. In a multivariate analysis, age greater than 55 years was the confounding factor predicting poor outcome. Stratification by aneurysm location removed the effect of age. Of 13 patients with residual aneurysm after treatment, five (38%) subsequently died of SAH (three patients) or progressive mass effect/brainstem ischemia (two patients).

Conclusions

Certain posterior circulation aneurysm locations (PCA, VA–PICA, and BA–VBJ) represent separate disease entities affecting patients at different ages with distinct patterns of presentation, treatment options, and outcomes. Favorable overall long-term outcome can be achieved in 90% of patients with PCA aneurysms, in 60% of those with VA–PICA aneurysms, and in 39% of those with BA–VBJ aneurysms when using endovascular and surgical techniques. The natural history of the disease was poor in patients with incomplete aneurysm thrombosis after treatment.

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Michael E. Kelly, Raphael Guzman, John Sinclair, Teresa E. Bell-Stephens, Regina Bower, Scott Hamilton, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Steven D. Chang, John R. Adler, Richard P. Levy and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Posterior fossa arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are relatively uncommon and often difficult to treat. The authors present their experience with multimodality treatment of 76 posterior fossa AVMs, with an emphasis on Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs.

Methods

Seventy-six patients with posterior fossa AVMs treated with radiosurgery, surgery, and endovascular techniques were analyzed.

Results

Between 1982 and 2006, 36 patients with cerebellar AVMs, 33 with brainstem AVMs, and 7 with combined cerebellar–brainstem AVMs were treated. Natural history data were calculated for all 76 patients. The risk of hemorrhage from presentation until initial treatment was 8.4% per year, and it was 9.6% per year after treatment and before obliteration. Forty-eight patients had Grades III–V AVMs with a mean follow-up of 4.8 years (range 0.1–18.4 years, median 3.1 years). Fifty-two percent of patients with Grades III–V AVMs had complete obliteration at the last follow-up visit. Three (21.4%) of 14 patients were cured with a single radiosurgery treatment, and 4 (28.6%) of 14 with 1 or 2 radiosurgery treatments. Twenty-one (61.8%) of 34 patients were cured with multimodality treatment. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score after treatment was 3.8. Multivariate analysis performed in the 48 patients with Grades III–V AVMs showed radiosurgery alone to be a negative predictor of cure (p = 0.0047). Radiosurgery treatment alone was not a positive predictor of excellent clinical outcome (GOS Score 5; p > 0.05). Nine (18.8%) of 48 patients had major neurological complications related to treatment.

Conclusions

Single-treatment radiosurgery has a low cure rate for posterior fossa Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs. Multimodality therapy nearly tripled this cure rate, with an acceptable risk of complications and excellent or good clinical outcomes in 81% of patients. Radiosurgery alone should be used for intrinsic brainstem AVMs, and multimodality treatment should be considered for all other posterior fossa AVMs.