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Patrick D. S. Chan, J. Max Findlay, Bozena Vollrath, David A. Cook, Michael Grace, Ming H. Chen and Robert A. Ashforth

✓ Despite growing clinical use of transluminal balloon angioplasty (TBA) to treat cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the precise mechanism of action of balloon dilation on the cerebral arterial wall is unknown. In this experiment the authors examined the pharmacological and morphological changes in 10 normal and 12 vasospastic canine basilar arteries following in vitro silicone microballoon TBA. For the SAH group in which the double-hemorrhage model was used, vasospasm was confirmed by angiography and the animals were killed on Day 7 after the first SAH. In vitro TBA was performed on basilar arteries from normal and SAH dogs immediately after sacrifice and removal of the brain. The procedure was performed while the arteries were maintained in oxygenated Krebs buffer. In the pharmacological studies, potassium chloride, prostaglandin F, serotonin, and noradrenaline were used as vasoconstrictors, and bradykinin and calcium ionophore A23187 were used to produce an endothelium-dependent dilation. In both normal and vasospastic groups, the pharmacological responses of dilated segments of basilar arteries were compared to those of nondilated segments of the same arteries.

Vessels from all groups were examined using scanning electron microscopy (EM) and transmission EM. Scanning EM was used to study the intact vessel wall, the smooth-muscle cell layer obtained after digestion with hydrochloric acid, and the extracellular matrix obtained after digestion with bleach. Cross-sections of the vessel wall were examined using transmission EM.

The most striking finding was that immediately after in vitro TBA of both normal and vasospastic canine basilar arteries, there was a significant reduction (p < 0.05) of responses to both vasoconstrictors and vasorelaxants. As revealed by scanning EM and transmission EM, both normal and vasospastic vessels dilated with TBA showed flattening and patchy denudation of the endothelium, and straightening and occasional rupturing of the internal elastic lamina. In addition, vasospastic vessels dilated with TBA showed decreased surface rippling and mild stretching and straightening of smooth-muscle cells, and mild thinning of the tunica media. There was no gross vascular disruption or obvious change in the extracellular matrix of the vessel walls of either normal or vasospastic arteries after TBA. These results suggest that functional impairment of vasoreactivity in the vessel wall as a result of mechanical stretching of the smooth-muscle layer plays a more important role than structural alteration, at least in the immediate dilation produced in vasospastic arteries byTBA.

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Michael Chan, Sebastian R. Herrera, Sergey Neckrysh, Adam Wallace, Tibor Valyi-Nagy and Fady T. Charbel

The authors report a case of primitive neuroectodermal tumor induced by radiation therapy of craniopharyngioma. This African-American male patient originally presented with craniopharyngioma, for which he underwent resection and whole-brain radiation therapy. Eight years later, at the age of 20 years, he returned with a left facial droop and left hemiparesis. A right basal ganglia mass was identified and resected. Histopathological examination identified the lesion as primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

Although radiation therapy has shown to be beneficial in decreasing the recurrence rate in subtotally resected craniopharyngioma, the risks of radiation treatment should be clearly communicated to the patients, their families, and neurosurgeons before starting such treatment. This report expands the spectrum of reported radiation-induced neoplasms in the CNS.

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Michael Chan, Ali Alaraj, Mateo Calderon, Sebastian Ramon Herrera, Weihua Gao, Sean Ruland and Ben Zion Roitberg

Object

Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage treated using external ventricular drainage due to obstructive hydrocephalus commonly remain shunt-dependent. Based on identified risk factors for external ventricular drain (EVD) challenge failure, the authors sought to determine the likelihood that a patient will require a permanent shunt.

Methods

The authors reviewed 89 consecutive cases of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage with obstructive hydrocephalus for parameters associated with EVD challenge failure and permanent shunt requirement. Significant parameters were combined in a discriminant function analysis to create a failure risk index (FRI). Linear regression analysis was performed correlating the FRI with the actual rate of shunt dependency.

Results

Patients requiring a permanent shunt had: a larger third ventricular diameter (7.0 vs 5.4 mm; p = 0.02) and a higher Hunt and Hess grade (3 vs 2; p = 0.02) at the time of admission; and a larger third ventricular diameter (6.6 vs 5.2 mm; p = 0.04), a larger bicaudate diameter (31.9 vs 30.2 mm; p = 0.03), and higher CSF protein levels (76.5 vs 40.3 mg/dl; p < 0.0001) at the onset of EVD challenge. These patients were also more likely to be female (p = 0.01) and have a posterior circulation location of their aneurysm (p = 0.01). The FRI score was calculated based on a weighted combination of the above parameters. Linear regression analysis between FRI values and the percentage of patients who required a permanent shunt had a correlation coefficient of 91%; the risk of a permanent shunt requirement increased linearly with a rising FRI score.

Conclusions

An FRI score created by discriminant function analysis can predict whether or not a permanent shunt is required, even if separate factors are not in agreement with each other or show a weak correlation when considered separately. An increased FRI score was strongly and linearly correlated with the risk of EVD challenge failure. A prospective study is necessary to validate the FRI.

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Michael L. J. Apuzzo, William R. Dobkin, Chi-Shing Zee, James C. Chan, Steven L. Giannotta and Martin H. Weiss

✓ Infestations of the human brain with the larval stage of Taenia solium, once an infrequent diagnosis in the United States, is now a more frequently encountered clinical entity especially in population centers with high immigrant flux. During a recent 5-year period 45 cases of intraventricular cysticercosis have been evaluated and treated. Modes of involvement included isolated cyst formation, ependymitis, or combinations of both. Evidence of associated parenchymatous involvement was present in 20% of cases. Sites of infestation included the lateral ventricle (five cases), third ventricle (12 cases), Sylvian aqueduct (four cases), and fourth ventricle (24 cases). Mean post-therapy follow-up periods for this series exceed 36 months. This experience indicates that direct excision is the treatment of choice for ventricular cystic lesions, but that management, operative planning, and expectations should be influenced by considerations of: 1) the potential for acute clinical deterioration (38%); 2) the potential for cyst migration; 3) attendant ependymitis, defined by computerized tomography or verified at surgery; 4) the potential for increase in cyst volume with local mass effect; 5) selection and institution of corridors of surgical access that establish alternative routes of cerebrospinal fluid flow; and 6) the possibility of cyst excision by a stereotaxic endoscopic procedure.

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James L. West, Michael H. Soike, Jaclyn J. Renfrow, Michael D. Chan, Adrian W. Laxton and Stephen B. Tatter

OBJECTIVE

Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions of the sella turcica that usually come to neurosurgical attention due to compression of the optic apparatus (OA) and headaches. Treatment options for these lesions include observation, aspiration of cyst contents, or open resection of the cyst with the cyst wall. All of these options involve the potential for cyst recurrence or enlargement. In this study the authors report on a potential new therapeutic option for RCCs, i.e., stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of 5 patients with histologically confirmed, multiply recurrent RCCs who were treated with single-fraction SRS at a tertiary referral academic medical center.

RESULTS

The total cohort consisted of 5 female patients with an average age of 31.8 years. The most common presenting symptom was headache followed by blurry vision. The symptoms were present on average for 7 months before intervention. The median number of surgeries prior to radiosurgery was 2. The average volume of lesion treated was 0.34 cm3. The median SRS dose was 12.5 Gy prescribed to the 50% isodose line with an average prescription coverage of 96.6%. The median dose to the OA was 5 Gy. At last follow-up, 3 of 5 cysts had completely regressed, 1 had regressed by more than 50% but was still present, and 1 was stable, with an overall mean follow-up duration of 34.2 months. There were no neurological, endocrinological, or visual complications attributable to SRS during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS

RCCs can be a challenging clinical entity to treat, especially when they are multiply recurrent. In patients with an average of 2 previous surgeries for resection, a single SRS session prevented recurrence universally, with an average follow-up of almost 3 years. These results indicate that further investigation of the treatment of RCCs with SRS is indicated.

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Nimodipine treatment in poor-grade aneurysm patients

Results of a multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Kenneth C. Petruk, Michael West, Gerard Mohr, Bryce K. A. Weir, Brien G. Benoit, Fred Gentili, Lew B. Disney, Moe I. Khan, Michael Grace, Renn O. Holness, Melinda S. Karwon, Robert M. Ford, G. Stuart Cameron, William S. Tucker, G. Barrie Purves, Jack D. R. Miller, K. Michael Hunter, Michael T. Richard, Felix A. Durity, Richard Chan, Lawrence J. Clein, Falah B. Maroun and Alain Godon

✓ A multicenter, randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial of nimodipine in poor-grade aneurysm patients was carried out in 17 Canadian hospitals. Of 188 patients enrolled in the trial, 32 were excluded for protocol violations and two were excluded due to statistical considerations, leaving 154 patients for valid outcome analysis. Nimodipine treatment was associated with a significantly better outcome (p < 0.001): 21 (29.2%) of 72 nimodipine-treated patients had a good outcome at 3 months after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) compared to eight (9.8%) of 82 placebo-treated patients. Delayed ischemic deficits from vasospasm alone were significantly less frequent in the nimodipine group (p < 0.05) with permanent deficits occurring in five nimodipine-treated patients (6.9%) and in 22 placebo-treated patients (26.8%). Improvement in the good outcome rate and reduction in delayed ischemic deficits from vasospasm alone occurred in both Grade 3 and 4 patients, with no difference between nimodipine- and placebo-treated patients being found in Grade 5 patients.

Repeat angiography after Day 4 was carried out in 124 patients. There was no significant difference in the incidence of moderate or severe diffuse spasm, which was seen in 64.3% of nimodipine-treated patients and 66.2% of placebo-treated patients. The authors conclude that nimodipine treatment in poor-grade patients with SAH results in an increase in the number of good outcomes and a reduction in the incidence of delayed neurological deterioration due to vasospasm. This effect occurs by a mechanism other than prevention of large-vessel spasm as visualized on angiography.

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D. Clay Cochran, Michael D. Chan, Mebea Aklilu, James F. Lovato, Natalie K. Alphonse, J. Daniel Bourland, James J. Urbanic, Kevin P. McMullen, Edward G. Shaw, Stephen B. Tatter and Thomas L. Ellis

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) has been reported as an effective modality for treating brain metastases from renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The authors aimed to determine if targeted agents such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and bevacizumab affect the patterns of failure of RCC after GKS.

Methods

Between 1999 and 2010, 61 patients with brain metastases from RCC were treated with GKS. A median dose of 20 Gy (range 13–24 Gy) was prescribed to the margin of each metastasis. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine local control, distant failure, and overall survival rates. Cox proportional hazard regression was performed to determine the association between disease-related factors and survival.

Results

Overall survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 38%, 17%, and 9%, respectively. Freedom from local failure at 1, 2, and 3 years was 74%, 61%, and 40%, respectively. The distant failure rate at 1, 2, and 3 years was 51%, 79%, and 89%, respectively. Twenty-seven percent of patients died of neurological disease. The median survival for patients receiving targeted agents (n = 24) was 16.6 months compared with 7.2 months (n = 37) for those not receiving targeted therapy (p = 0.04). Freedom from local failure at 1 year was 93% versus 60% for patients receiving and those not receiving targeted agents, respectively (p = 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that the use of targeted agents (hazard ratio 3.02, p = 0.003) was the only factor that predicted for improved survival. Two patients experienced post-GKS hemorrhage within the treated volume.

Conclusions

Targeted agents appear to improve local control and overall survival in patients treated with GKS for metastastic RCC.

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Elizabeth N. Kuhn, Glen B. Taksler, Orrin Dayton, Amritraj G. Loganathan, Tamara Z. Vern-Gross, J. Daniel Bourland, Adrian W. Laxton, Michael D. Chan and Stephen B. Tatter

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate patterns of failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for meningiomas and factors that may influence these outcomes.

Methods

Based on a retrospective chart review, 279 patients were treated with SRS for meningiomas between January 1999 and March 2011 at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Disease progression was determined using serial imaging, with a minimum follow-up of 6 months (median 34.2 months).

Results

The median margin dose was 12.0 Gy (range 8.8–20 Gy). Local control rates for WHO Grade I tumors were 96.6%, 84.4%, and 75.7% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. WHO Grade II and III tumors had local control rates of 72.3%, 57.7%, and 52.9% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Tumors without pathological grading had local control rates of 98.7%, 97.6%, and 94.2% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Of the local recurrences, 63.1% were classified as marginal (within 2 cm of treatment field). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year rates of distant failure were 6.5%, 10.3%, and 16.6%, respectively, for Grade I tumors and 11.4%, 17.2%, and 22.4%, respectively, for Grade II/III tumors. Tumors without pathological grading had distant failure rates of 0.7%, 3.2%, and 6.5% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Wilcoxon analysis revealed that multifocal disease (p < 0.001) and high-grade histology (WHO Grade II or III; p < 0.001) were significant predictors of local recurrence. Additionally, male sex was a significant predictor of distant recurrence (p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis also showed that doses greater than or equal to 12 Gy were associated with improved local control (p = 0.015).

Conclusions

In this patient series, 12 Gy was the minimum sufficient margin dose for the treatment of meningiomas. Male sex is a risk factor for distant failure, whereas high-grade histology and multifocal disease are risk factors for local failure.

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Ann Liu, Elizabeth N. Kuhn, John T. Lucas Jr., Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter and Michael D. Chan

OBJECT

Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder predisposing patients to meningiomatosis. The role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is poorly defined in NF2, and although the procedure has excellent control rates in the non-NF2 population, its utility has been questioned because radiation has been hypothesized to predispose patients to malignant transformation of benign tumors. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to examine the use of SRS specifically for meningiomas in patients with NF2.

METHODS

The authors searched a tumor registry for all patients with NF2 who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for meningioma in the period from January 1, 1999, to September 19, 2013, at a single tertiary care cancer center. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for patient and tumor characteristics and outcomes.

Results

Among the 12 patients who met the search criteria, 125 meningiomas were identified, 87 (70%) of which were symptomatic or progressive and thus treated with GKRS. The median age at the first GKRS was 31 years (interquartile range [IQR] 27–37 years). Five patients (42%) had multiple treatments with a median of 27 months (IQR 14–50 months) until the subsequent GKRS. The median follow-up in surviving patients was 43 months (IQR 34–110 months). The 5-year local tumor control and distant treatment failure rates were 92% and 77%, respectively. Toxicities occurred in 25% of the GKRS treatments, although the majority were Grade 1 or 2. At the last follow-up, 4 patients (33%) had died a neurological death at a median age of 39 years (IQR 37–46 years), and their cases accounted for 45% of all tumors, 55% of all treated tumors, and 58% of all GKRSs. Univariate analysis revealed several predictive variables for distant failure, including male sex (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.086–0.92, p = 0.036), age at distant failure (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.90–0.95, p < 0.0001), and prior number of GKRS treatments (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, p = 0.0049). Local failure, maximum size of the treated tumor, delivered tumor margin dose, and WHO grade were not significant. On multivariate analysis, age at distant failure (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88–0.95, p < 0.0001) and prior number of GKRSs (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.5, p = 0.004) remained significant. No malignant transformation events among treated tumors were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiosurgery represents a feasible modality with minimal toxicity for NF2-associated meningiomas. Increasing patient age was associated with a decreased rate of distant failure, whereas an increasing number of prior GKRS treatments predicted distant failure. Further studies are necessary to determine the long-term patterns of treatment failure in these patients.

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Courtney A. Jensen, Michael D. Chan, Thomas P. McCoy, J. Daniel Bourland, Allan F. deGuzman, Thomas L. Ellis, Kenneth E. Ekstrand, Kevin P. McMullen, Michael T. Munley, Edward G. Shaw, James J. Urbanic and Stephen B. Tatter

Object

As a strategy to delay or avoid whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after resection of a brain metastasis, the authors used high-resolution MR imaging and cavity-directed radiosurgery for the detection and treatment of further metastases.

Methods

Between April 2001 and October 2009, 112 resection cavities in 106 patients with no prior WBRT were treated using radiosurgery directed to the tumor cavity and for any synchronous brain metastases detected on high-resolution MR imaging at the time of radiosurgical planning. A median dose of 17 Gy to the 50% isodose line was prescribed to the gross tumor volume, defined as the rim of enhancement around the resection cavity. Patients were followed up via serial imaging, and new brain metastases were generally treated using additional radiosurgery, with salvage WBRT typically reserved for local treatment failure at a resection cavity, numerous failures, or failures occurring at short time intervals. Local and distant treatment failures were determined based on imaging results. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated to estimate local and distant treatment failure rates, overall survival, neurological cause–specific survival, and time delay to salvage WBRT.

Results

Radiosurgery was delivered to the resection cavity alone in 57.5% of patients, whereas 24.5% of patients also received treatment for 1 synchronous metastasis, 11.3% also received treatment for 2 synchronous metastases, and 6.6% also received treatment for 3–10 additional lesions. The median overall survival was 10.9 months. Overall survival at 1 year was 46.8%. The local tumor control rate at 1 year was 80.3%. The disease control rate in distant regions of the brain at 1 year was 35.4%, with a median time of 6.9 months to distant failure. Thirty-nine of 106 patients eventually received salvage WBRT, and the median time to salvage WBRT was 12.6 months. Kaplan-Meier estimates showed that the rate of requisite WBRT at 1 year was 45.9%. Neurological cause–specific survival at 1 year was 50.1%. Leptomeningeal failure occurred in 8 patients. One patient had treatment failure within the resection tract. Seven patients required reoperation: 2 for resection cavity recurrence, 3 for radiation necrosis, 1 for hydrocephalus, and 1 for a CSF cutaneous fistula. On multivariate analysis, a preoperative tumor diameter > 3 cm was predictive of local treatment failure.

Conclusions

Cavity-directed radiosurgery combined with high-resolution MR imaging detection and radiosurgical treatment of synchronous brain metastases is an effective strategy for delaying and even foregoing WBRT in most patients. This technique provides acceptable local disease control, although distant treatment failure remains significant.