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Jon Pérez-Bárcena, Catalina Crespí, Guillem Frontera, Juan Antonio Llompart-Pou, Osman Salazar, Victor Goliney, Javier Ibáñez, M. Ross Bullock and Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari

OBJECTIVE

The objectives of this study were to evaluate levels of inflammasome-signaling proteins in serum and CSF of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to correlate these protein levels with intracranial pressure (ICP) and clinical outcomes at 6 months after injury.

METHODS

This is a prospective and observational study in patients with moderate and severe TBI who required an external ventricular drain as part of their treatment. Serum and CSF samples were collected 3 times a day for the first 5 days after TBI. The authors have determined the protein concentration of caspase-1 in the CSF and serum of patients with TBI by using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The ICP value was recorded hourly. The 6-month outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended.

RESULTS

A total of 21 patients were included in this study, and a total of 234 paired serum-CSF samples were analyzed. The area under the curve (AUC) value of caspase-1 in CSF during the 5-day period was 2452.9 pg/mL·hr in the group of patients with high ICP vs 617.6 pg/mL·hr in the patients with low ICP. The differences were mainly on day 2 (19.7 pg/mL vs 1.8 pg/mL; p = 0.06) and day 3 (13.9 pg/mL vs 1 pg/mL; p = 0.05). The AUC value of caspase in CSF during the 5-day period was 1918.9 pg/mL·hr in the group of patients with poor outcome versus 924.5 pg/mL·hr in the patients with good outcome. The protein levels of caspase-1 in CSF were higher in patients with unfavorable outcomes during the first 96 hours after TBI.

CONCLUSIONS

In this cohort of patients with TBI who were admitted to the neurosurgical ICU, the inflammasome protein caspase-1 is increased in the CSF of patients with high ICP, especially on days 2 and 3 after TBI. Also the protein levels of caspase-1 in CSF were higher in patients with poor outcome during the first 96 hours after TBI. Moreover, not only the absolute value of caspase-1 in CSF but also its trend is associated with poor outcomes.

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Paola A. Rivera-Rivera, Marcos Rios-Lago, Sandra Sanchez-Casarrubios, Osman Salazar, Miguel Yus, Mercedes González-Hidalgo, Ana Sanz, Josué Avecillas-Chasin, Juan Alvarez-Linera, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Antonio Oliviero and Juan A. Barcia

OBJECTIVE

The extent of resection is the most important prognostic factor following brain glioma surgery. However, eloquent areas within tumors limit the extent of resection and, thus, critically affect outcomes. The authors hypothesized that presurgical suppression of the eloquent areas within a tumor by continuous cortical electrical stimulation, coupled with appropriate behavioral training (“prehabilitation”), would induce plastic reorganization and enable a more extensive resection.

METHODS

The authors report on 5 patients harboring gliomas involving eloquent brain areas within tumors as identified on intraoperative stimulation mapping. A grid of electrodes was placed over the residual tumor, and continuous cortical electrical stimulation was targeted to the functional areas. The stimulation intensity was adjusted daily to provoke a mild functional impairment while the function was intensively trained.

RESULTS

The stimulation intensity required to impair function increased progressively in all patients, and all underwent another operation a mean of 33.6 days later (range 27–37 days), when the maximal stimulation voltage in all active contacts induced no functional deficit. In all cases, a substantially more extensive resection of the tumor was possible. Intraoperative mapping and functional MRI demonstrated a plastic reorganization, and most previously demonstrated eloquent areas within the tumor were silent, while there was new functional activation of brain areas in the same region or toward the contralateral hemisphere.

CONCLUSIONS

Prehabilitation with continuous cortical electrical stimulation and appropriate behavioral training prior to surgery in patients with WHO Grade II and III gliomas affecting eloquent areas accelerate plastic changes. This can help maximize tumor resection and, thus, improve survival while maintaining function.