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Andrew J. Gogos, Jacob S. Young, Matheus P. Pereira, Ramin A. Morshed, Matthew B. Potts, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Although most patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) present after a seizure, a small proportion is diagnosed after neuroimaging is performed for a sign or symptom unrelated to the tumor. While these tumors invariably grow, some surgeons argue for a watchful waiting approach. Here, the authors report on their experience in the surgical treatment of patients with incidental LGG (iLGG) and describe the neurological outcomes, survival, and complications.

METHODS

Relevant cases were identified from a prospective registry of patients undergoing glioma resection at the University of California, San Francisco, between 1997 and 2019. Cases were considered iLGG when the lesion was noted on imaging performed for a reason unrelated to the tumor. Demographic, clinical, pathological, and imaging data were extracted from the electronic medical record. Tumor volumes, growth, and extent of resection were calculated from pre- and postoperative volumetric FLAIR sequences.

RESULTS

One hundred thirteen of 657 (17.2%) first-time resections for LGG were for incidental lesions. The most common reasons for the discovery of an iLGG were headaches (without mass effect, 34.5%) or trauma (16.8%). Incidental tumors were no different from symptomatic lesions in terms of laterality or location, but they were significantly smaller (22.5 vs 57.5 cm3, p < 0.0001). There was no difference in diagnosis between patients with iLGG and those with symptomatic LGG (sLGG), incorporating both molecular and pathological data. The median preoperative observation time for iLGG was 3.1 months (range 1 month–12 years), and there was a median growth rate of 3.9 cm3/year. Complete resection of the FLAIR abnormality was achieved in 57% of patients with incidental lesions but only 23.8% of symptomatic lesions (p < 0.001), and the residual volumes were smaller for iLGGs (2.9 vs 13.5 cm3, p < 0.0001). Overall survival was significantly longer for patients with incidental tumors (median survival not reached for patients with iLGG vs 14.6 years for those with sLGG, p < 0.0001). There was a 4.4% rate of neurological deficits at 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors present the largest cohort of iLGGs. Patient age, tumor location, and molecular genetics were not different between iLGGs and sLGGs. Incidental tumors were smaller, a greater extent of resection could be achieved, and overall survival was improved compared to those for patients with sLGG. Operative morbidity and rates of neurological deficit were acceptably low; thus, the authors advocate upfront surgical intervention aimed at maximal safe resection for these incidentally discovered lesions.

Free access

Andrew J. Gogos, Jacob S. Young, Matheus P. Pereira, Ramin A. Morshed, Matthew B. Potts, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Although most patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) present after a seizure, a small proportion is diagnosed after neuroimaging is performed for a sign or symptom unrelated to the tumor. While these tumors invariably grow, some surgeons argue for a watchful waiting approach. Here, the authors report on their experience in the surgical treatment of patients with incidental LGG (iLGG) and describe the neurological outcomes, survival, and complications.

METHODS

Relevant cases were identified from a prospective registry of patients undergoing glioma resection at the University of California, San Francisco, between 1997 and 2019. Cases were considered iLGG when the lesion was noted on imaging performed for a reason unrelated to the tumor. Demographic, clinical, pathological, and imaging data were extracted from the electronic medical record. Tumor volumes, growth, and extent of resection were calculated from pre- and postoperative volumetric FLAIR sequences.

RESULTS

One hundred thirteen of 657 (17.2%) first-time resections for LGG were for incidental lesions. The most common reasons for the discovery of an iLGG were headaches (without mass effect, 34.5%) or trauma (16.8%). Incidental tumors were no different from symptomatic lesions in terms of laterality or location, but they were significantly smaller (22.5 vs 57.5 cm3, p < 0.0001). There was no difference in diagnosis between patients with iLGG and those with symptomatic LGG (sLGG), incorporating both molecular and pathological data. The median preoperative observation time for iLGG was 3.1 months (range 1 month–12 years), and there was a median growth rate of 3.9 cm3/year. Complete resection of the FLAIR abnormality was achieved in 57% of patients with incidental lesions but only 23.8% of symptomatic lesions (p < 0.001), and the residual volumes were smaller for iLGGs (2.9 vs 13.5 cm3, p < 0.0001). Overall survival was significantly longer for patients with incidental tumors (median survival not reached for patients with iLGG vs 14.6 years for those with sLGG, p < 0.0001). There was a 4.4% rate of neurological deficits at 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors present the largest cohort of iLGGs. Patient age, tumor location, and molecular genetics were not different between iLGGs and sLGGs. Incidental tumors were smaller, a greater extent of resection could be achieved, and overall survival was improved compared to those for patients with sLGG. Operative morbidity and rates of neurological deficit were acceptably low; thus, the authors advocate upfront surgical intervention aimed at maximal safe resection for these incidentally discovered lesions.

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Jacob S. Young, Andrew J. Gogos, Matheus P. Pereira, Ramin A. Morshed, Jing Li, Matthew J. Barkovich, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

Tumor proximity to the ventricle and ventricular entry (VE) during surgery have both been associated with worse prognoses; however, the interaction between these two factors is poorly understood. Given the benefit of maximal tumor resection, it is imperative for surgical planning and technique to know if VE has negative consequences for patient survival and tumor dissemination.

METHODS

The University of California, San Francisco tumor registry was searched for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent supratentorial glioblastoma (GBM) who underwent resection by the senior author between 2013 and 2018. Tumor location with respect to the subventricular zone (SVZ), size, and extent of resection were assessed using pre- and postoperative imaging. VE was determined by postoperative imaging and/or the operative report.

RESULTS

In this 200-patient cohort of newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM, 26.5% of patients had VE during resection. Patients with VE were more likely to have preexisting subependymal disease (41.5% vs 15.0%, p < 0.001). Comparing patients with VE to those without VE, there was no difference in the rates of postoperative hydrocephalus (1.9% vs 4.8%, p = 0.36), ventriculoperitoneal shunting (0% vs 3.4%, p = 0.17), pseudomeningoceles (7.5% vs 5.4%, p = 0.58), or subdural hematomas (11.3% vs 3.4%, p = 0.07). Importantly, rates of subsequent leptomeningeal disease (7.5% vs 10.2%, p = 0.57) and distant parenchymal recurrence (17.0% vs 23.1%, p = 0.35) were not different between the groups. Newly diagnosed patients with tumors contacting the SVZ (type I or II) had worse survival than patients with tumors that did not contact the SVZ (type III or IV) (1.27 vs 1.84 years, p = 0.014, HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.08–3.03), but VE was not associated with worse survival in these patients with high-risk SVZ type I and II tumors (1.15 vs 1.68 years, p = 0.151, HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.26–1.34).

CONCLUSIONS

VE was well tolerated, with postoperative complications being rare events. There was no increase in leptomeningeal spread or distant parenchymal recurrence in patients with VE. Finally, although survival was worse for patients with preoperative subependymal disease, VE did not change survival for patients with tumors contacting the ventricle. Therefore, VE during GBM resection is not associated with adverse patient outcomes and should be used by surgeons to enhance extent of resection.

CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: retrospective cohort; evidence: class II.

Free access

Matheus P. Pereira, Taemin Oh, Rushikesh S. Joshi, Alexander F. Haddad, Kaitlyn M. Pereira, Robert C. Osorio, Kevin C. Donohue, Zain Peeran, Sweta Sudhir, Saket Jain, Angad Beniwal, José Gurrola II, Ivan H. El-Sayed, Lewis S. Blevins Jr., Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Sandeep Kunwar, and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Life expectancy has increased over the past century, causing a shift in the demographic distribution toward older age groups. Elderly patients comprise up to 14% of all patients with pituitary tumors, with most lesions being nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). Here, the authors evaluated demographics, outcomes, and postoperative complications between nonelderly adult and elderly NFPA patients.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 908 patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for NFPA at a single institution from 2007 to 2019 was conducted. Clinical and surgical outcomes and postoperative complications were compared between nonelderly adult (age ≥ 18 and ≤ 65 years) and elderly patients (age > 65 years).

RESULTS

There were 614 and 294 patients in the nonelderly and elderly groups, respectively. Both groups were similar in sex (57.3% vs 60.5% males; p = 0.4), tumor size (2.56 vs 2.46 cm; p = 0.2), and cavernous sinus invasion (35.8% vs 33.7%; p = 0.6). Regarding postoperative outcomes, length of stay (1 vs 2 days; p = 0.5), extent of resection (59.8% vs 64.8% gross-total resection; p = 0.2), CSF leak requiring surgical revision (4.3% vs 1.4%; p = 0.06), 30-day readmission (8.1% vs 7.3%; p = 0.7), infection (3.1% vs 2.0%; p = 0.5), and new hypopituitarism (13.9% vs 12.0%; p = 0.3) were similar between both groups. Elderly patients were less likely to receive adjuvant radiation (8.7% vs 16.3%; p = 0.009), undergo future reoperation (3.8% vs 9.5%; p = 0.003), and experience postoperative diabetes insipidus (DI) (3.7% vs 9.4%; p = 0.002), and more likely to have postoperative hyponatremia (26.7% vs 16.4%; p < 0.001) and new cranial nerve deficit (1.9% vs 0.0%; p = 0.01). Subanalysis of elderly patients showed that patients with higher Charlson Comorbidity Index scores had comparable outcomes other than higher DI rates (8.1% vs 0.0%; p = 0.006). Elderly patients’ postoperative sodium peaked and troughed on postoperative day 3 (POD3) (mean 138.7 mEq/L) and POD9 (mean 130.8 mEq/L), respectively, compared with nonelderly patients (peak POD2: mean 139.9 mEq/L; trough POD8: mean 131.3 mEq/L).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ analysis revealed that TSS for NFPA in elderly patients is safe with low complication rates. In this cohort, more elderly patients experienced postoperative hyponatremia, while more nonelderly patients experienced postoperative DI. These findings, combined with the observation of higher DI in patients with more comorbidities and elderly patients experiencing later peaks and troughs in serum sodium, suggest age-related differences in sodium regulation after NFPA resection. The authors hope that their results will help guide discussions with elderly patients regarding risks and outcomes of TSS.

Restricted access

Jacob S. Young, Andrew J. Gogos, Alexander A. Aabedi, Ramin A. Morshed, Matheus P. Pereira, Samuel Lashof-Regas, Ziba Mansoori, Tracy Luks, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, and Mitchel S. Berger

OBJECTIVE

The supplementary motor area (SMA) is an eloquent region that is frequently a site for glioma, or the region is included in the resection trajectory to deeper lesions. Although the clinical relevance of SMA syndrome has been well described, it is still difficult to predict who will become symptomatic. The object of this study was to define which patients with SMA gliomas would go on to develop a postoperative SMA syndrome.

METHODS

The University of California, San Francisco, tumor registry was searched for patients who, between 2010 and 2019, had undergone resection for newly diagnosed supratentorial diffuse glioma (WHO grades II–IV) performed by the senior author and who had at least 3 months of follow-up. Pre- and postoperative MRI studies were reviewed to confirm the tumor was located in the SMA region, and the extent of SMA resection was determined by volumetric assessment. Patient, tumor, and outcome data were collected retrospectively from documents available in the electronic medical record. Tumors were registered to a standard brain atlas to create a frequency heatmap of tumor volumes and resection cavities.

RESULTS

During the study period, 56 patients (64.3% male, 35.7% female) underwent resection of a newly diagnosed glioma in the SMA region. Postoperatively, 60.7% developed an SMA syndrome. Although the volume of tumor within the SMA region did not correlate with the development of SMA syndrome, patients with the syndrome had larger resection cavities in the SMA region (25.4% vs 14.2% SMA resection, p = 0.039). The size of the resection cavity in the SMA region did not correlate with the severity of the SMA syndrome. Patients who developed the syndrome had cavities that were located more posteriorly in the SMA region and in the cingulate gyrus. When the frontal aslant tract (FAT) was preserved, 50% of patients developed the SMA syndrome postoperatively, whereas 100% of the patients with disruption of the FAT during surgery developed the SMA syndrome (p = 0.06). Patients with SMA syndrome had longer lengths of stay (5.6 vs 4.1 days, p = 0.027) and were more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation facility (41.9% vs 0%, p < 0.001). There was no difference in overall survival for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients with SMA syndrome compared to those without SMA syndrome (1.6 vs 3.0 years, p = 0.33).

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with SMA glioma, more extensive resections and resections involving the posterior SMA region and posterior cingulate gyrus increased the likelihood of a postoperative SMA syndrome. Although SMA syndrome occurred in all cases in which the FAT was resected, FAT preservation does not reliably avoid SMA syndrome postoperatively.

Restricted access

Robert C. Osorio, Matheus P. Pereira, Rushikesh S. Joshi, Kevin C. Donohue, Patricia Sneed, Steve Braunstein, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Ivan H. El-Sayed, José Gurrola II, Sandeep Kunwar, Lewis S. Blevins Jr., and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Clinical presentations and outcomes of nonfunctional pituitary adenoma (NFPA) resections can vary widely, and very little prior research has analyzed this variance through a socioeconomic lens. This study sought to determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) influences NFPA presentations and postoperative outcomes, as these associations could aid physicians in understanding case prognoses and complications.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 225 NFPA resections from 2012 to 2019 at their institution. Race, ethnicity, insurance status, estimated income, and having a primary care provider (PCP) were collected as 5 markers of SES. These markers were correlated with presenting tumor burden, presenting symptoms, surgical outcomes, and long-term clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

All 5 examined SES markers influenced variance in patient presentation or outcome. Insurance status’s effects on patient presentations disappeared when examining only patients with PCPs. Having a PCP was associated with significantly smaller tumor size at diagnosis (effect size = 0.404, p < 0.0001). After surgery, patients with PCPs had shorter postoperative hospital lengths of stay (p = 0.043) and lower rates of readmission within 30 days of discharge (OR 0.256, p = 0.047). Despite continuing follow-up for longer durations (p = 0.0004), patients with PCPs also had lower rates of tumor recurrence (p < 0.0001). Higher estimated income was similarly associated with longer follow-up (p = 0.002) and lower rates of tumor recurrence (p = 0.013). Among patients with PCPs, income was not associated with recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS

This study found that while all 5 variables (race, ethnicity, insurance, PCP status, and estimated income) affected NFPA presentations and outcomes, having a PCP was the single most important of these socioeconomic factors, impacting hospital lengths of stay, readmission rates, follow-up adherence, and tumor recurrence. Having a PCP even protected low-income patients from experiencing increased rates of tumor recurrence. These protective findings suggest that addressing socioeconomic disparities may lead to better NFPA presentations and outcomes.

Free access

Alexander F. Haddad, Jacob S. Young, Taemin Oh, Matheus P. Pereira, Rushikesh S. Joshi, Kaitlyn M. Pereira, Robert C. Osorio, Kevin C. Donohue, Zain Peeran, Sweta Sudhir, Saket Jain, Angad Beniwal, Ashley S. Chopra, Narpal S. Sandhu, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Sandeep Kunwar, Ivan H. El-Sayed, José Gurrola II, Lewis S. Blevins Jr., and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas present without biochemical or clinical signs of hormone excess and are the second most common type of pituitary adenomas. The 2017 WHO classification scheme of pituitary adenomas differentiates null-cell adenomas (NCAs) and silent gonadotroph adenomas (SGAs). The present study sought to highlight the differences in patient characteristics and clinical outcomes between NCAs and SGAs.

METHODS

The records of 1166 patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma between 2012 and 2019 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics and clinical outcomes were collected.

RESULTS

Of the overall pituitary adenoma cohort, 12.8% (n = 149) were SGAs and 9.2% (n = 107) NCAs. NCAs were significantly more common in female patients than SGAs (61.7% vs 26.8%, p < 0.001). There were no differences in patient demographics, initial tumor size, or perioperative and short-term clinical outcomes. There was no significant difference in the amount of follow-up between patients with NCAs and those with SGAs (33.8 months vs 29.1 months, p = 0.237). Patients with NCAs had significantly higher recurrence (p = 0.021), adjuvant radiation therapy usage (p = 0.002), and postoperative diabetes insipidus (p = 0.028). NCA pathology was independently associated with tumor recurrence (HR 3.64, 95% CI 1.07–12.30; p = 0.038), as were cavernous sinus invasion (HR 3.97, 95% CI 1.04–15.14; p = 0.043) and anteroposterior dimension of the tumor (HR 2.23, 95% CI 1.09–4.59; p = 0.030).

CONCLUSIONS

This study supports the definition of NCAs and SGAs as separate subgroups of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas, and it highlights significant differences in long-term clinical outcomes, including tumor recurrence and the associated need for adjuvant radiation therapy, as well as postoperative diabetes insipidus. The authors also provide insight into independent risk factors for these outcomes in the adenoma population studied, providing clinicians with additional predictors of patient outcomes. Follow-up studies will hopefully uncover mechanisms of biological aggressiveness in NCAs and associated molecular targets.