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Myolipoma in a tethered cord

Case report and review of the literature

Peter G. Brown and Ellen G. Shaver

✓ The intradural myolipoma is a very rare tumor, consisting of fully differentiated striated muscle fibers mingled with fat. Only four previous cases have been identified. The authors present a case in which this tumor was associated with a symptomatic tethered spinal cord in an 18-year-old man.

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Hubert L. Rosomoff, Fred Carroll, Jerry Brown and Peter Sheptak

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Frederick A. Simeone, John P. Laurent, Peter J. Trepper, Daniel J. Brown and John Cotter

✓ Intermittent occlusion of the descending aorta just below the origin of the brachiocephalic vessels by a preformed balloon passed via the femoral artery is capable of significantly increasing the pressure and flow in the common carotid artery. Regional cerebral blood flow determination by the krypton-85 washout technique measured maximum increases of over 40% of the controls, which could easily be achieved and maintained. This technique apparently takes advantage of the finite delay in autoregulatory response to the increased arterial pressure before the onset of maximal autoregulation. Dogs were “pumped” in this way for up to 18 hours and survived in good health. Principal problems with this technique were the development of cerebral edema in the presence of diffuse established cerebral anoxia, and a shock-like cardiovascular response if the intermittent aortic occlusion was discontinued too abruptly. The clinical application of this technique to cerebral ischemia secondary to postoperative vasospasm may not require the extremes of hyperperfusion used in these experiments.

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Frederick A. Simeone, Peter J. Trepper and Daniel J. Brown

✓ Prolonged experimental cerebral vasospasm, determined by angiography, can be produced in animals by puncture of an intracranial artery (IAP) or subarachnoid injection of blood (SAI). Following these stimuli, several patterns of blood flow evolve. The biphasic pattern, seen only with hemorrhage from mechanical trauma to the vessel, seems to resemble most closely the clinical phenomenon. Presumably because of autoregulation, only angiographic constriction of cerebral arteries to less than one-half of their control value is associated with significant reduction of cerebral blood flow. Cerebral blood flow recordings and vessel caliber measurements should complement experiments in cerebral vasospasm to ascertain whether the spasm is producing significant ischemia and to assess the efficacy of subsequent treatment techniques.

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Daniel L. Peterson, Peter J. Sheridan and Willis E. Brown Jr.

✓ The scientific understanding of the biology of human brain tumors has advanced in large part through the use of animal models. For most of this century, investigators have been evaluating the inciting factors in brain tumor development, and applying this knowledge to direct tumor growth in laboratory animals. Virus-induced, carcinogen-induced, and transplant-based models have been vigorously investigated. As knowledge of the molecular biology of neoplasia has advanced, transgenic technology has been introduced. The authors review the development of animal models for brain tumor, and focus on the role of transgenic models in elucidating the complex process of central nervous system neoplasia.

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Ming-Yuan Tseng, Peter J. Hutchinson, Hugh K. Richards, Marek Czosnyka, John D. Pickard, Wendy N. Erber, Stephen Brown and Peter J. Kirkpatrick


Delayed ischemic deficits (DIDs), a major source of disability following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), are usually associated with severe cerebral vasospasm and impaired autoregulation. Systemic erythropoietin (EPO) therapy has been demonstrated to have neuroprotective properties acting via EPO receptors on cerebrovascular endothelia and ischemic neurons. In this trial, the authors explored the potential neuroprotective effects of acute EPO therapy following aSAH.


Within 72 hours of aSAH, 80 patients (age range 24–82 years) were randomized to receive intravenous EPO (30,000 U) or placebo every 48 hours for a total of 90,000 U. Primary end points were the incidence, duration, and severity of vasospasm and impaired autoregulation on transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Secondary end points were incidence of DIDs and outcome at discharge and at 6 months.


Randomization characteristics were balanced except for age, with the EPO group being older (mean age 59.6 vs 53.3 years, p = 0.034). No differences were demonstrated in the incidence of vasospasm and adverse events; however, patients receiving EPO had a decreased incidence of severe vasospasm from 27.5 to 7.5% (p = 0.037), reduced DIDs with new cerebral infarcts from 40.0 to 7.5% (p = 0.001), a shortened duration of impaired autoregulation (ipsilateral side, p < 0.001), and more favorable outcome at discharge (favorable Glasgow Outcome Scale score, p = 0.039). Among the 71 survivors, the EPO group had fewer deficits measured with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (median Score 2 vs 6, p = 0.008).


This preliminary study showed that EPO seemed to reduce delayed cerebral ischemia following aSAH via decreasing severity of vasospasm and shortening impaired autoregulation.

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Kristin J. Redmond, Simon S. Lo, Scott G. Soltys, Yoshiya Yamada, Igor J. Barani, Paul D. Brown, Eric L. Chang, Peter C. Gerszten, Samuel T. Chao, Robert J. Amdur, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Matthias Guckenberger, Bin S. Teh, Jason Sheehan, Charles R. Kersh, Michael G. Fehlings, Moon-Jun Sohn, Ung-Kyu Chang, Samuel Ryu, Iris C. Gibbs and Arjun Sahgal


Although postoperative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal metastases is increasingly performed, few guidelines exist for this application. The purpose of this study is to develop consensus guidelines to promote safe and effective treatment for patients with spinal metastases.


Fifteen radiation oncologists and 5 neurosurgeons, representing 19 centers in 4 countries and having a collective experience of more than 1300 postoperative spine SBRT cases, completed a 19-question survey about postoperative spine SBRT practice. Responses were defined as follows: 1) consensus: selected by ≥ 75% of respondents; 2) predominant: selected by 50% of respondents or more; and 3) controversial: no single response selected by a majority of respondents.


Consensus treatment indications included: radioresistant primary, 1–2 levels of adjacent disease, and previous radiation therapy. Contraindications included: involvement of more than 3 contiguous vertebral bodies, ASIA Grade A status (complete spinal cord injury without preservation of motor or sensory function), and postoperative Bilsky Grade 3 residual (cord compression without any CSF around the cord). For treatment planning, co-registration of the preoperative MRI and postoperative T1-weighted MRI (with or without gadolinium) and delineation of the cord on the T2-weighted MRI (and/or CT myelogram in cases of significant hardware artifact) were predominant. Consensus GTV (gross tumor volume) was the postoperative residual tumor based on MRI. Predominant CTV (clinical tumor volume) practice was to include the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor, the relevant anatomical compartment and any residual disease. Consensus was achieved with respect to not including the surgical hardware and incision in the CTV. PTV (planning tumor volume) expansion was controversial, ranging from 0 to 2 mm. The spinal cord avoidance structure was predominantly the true cord. Circumferential treatment of the epidural space and margin for paraspinal extension was controversial. Prescription doses and spinal cord tolerances based on clinical scenario, neurological compromise, and prior overlapping treatments were controversial, but reasonable ranges are presented. Fifty percent of those surveyed practiced an integrated boost to areas of residual tumor and density override for hardware within the beam path. Acceptable PTV coverage was controversial, but consensus was achieved with respect to compromising coverage to meet cord constraint and fractionation to improve coverage while meeting cord constraint.


The consensus by spinal radiosurgery experts suggests that postoperative SBRT is indicated for radioresistant primary lesions, disease confined to 1–2 vertebral levels, and/or prior overlapping radiotherapy. The GTV is the postoperative residual tumor, and the CTV is the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor and anatomical compartment plus residual disease. Hardware and scar do not need to be included in CTV. While predominant agreement was reached about treatment planning and definition of organs at risk, future investigation will be critical in better understanding areas of controversy, including whether circumferential treatment of the epidural space is necessary, management of paraspinal extension, and the optimal dose fractionation schedules.