Derek Yecies, Katie Shpanskaya, Rashad Jabarkheel, Maryam Maleki, Lisa Bruckert, Samuel H. Cheshier, David Hong, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom
Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common complication following the resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. The pathophysiology of PFS remains incompletely elucidated; however, the wide-ranging symptoms of PFS suggest the possibility of widespread cortical dysfunction. In this study, the authors utilized arterial spin labeling (ASL), an MR perfusion modality that provides quantitative measurements of cerebral blood flow without the use of intravenous contrast, to assess cortical blood flow in patients with PFS.
A database of medulloblastoma treated at the authors’ institution from 2004 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed, and 14 patients with PFS were identified. Immediate postoperative ASL for patients with PFS and medulloblastoma patients who did not develop PFS were compared. Additionally, in patients with PFS, ASL following the return of speech was compared with immediate postoperative ASL.
On immediate postoperative ASL, patients who subsequently developed PFS had statistically significant decreases in right frontal lobe perfusion and a trend toward decreased perfusion in the left frontal lobe compared with controls. Patients with PFS had statistically significant increases in bilateral frontal lobe perfusion after the resolution of symptoms compared with their immediate postoperative imaging findings.
ASL perfusion imaging identifies decreased frontal lobe blood flow as a strong physiological correlate of PFS that is consistent with the symptomatology of PFS. This is the first study to demonstrate that decreases in frontal lobe perfusion are present in the immediate postoperative period and resolve with the resolution of symptoms, suggesting a physiological explanation for the transient symptoms of PFS.
Derek Yecies, Rashad Jabarkheel, Michelle Han, Yong-Hun Kim, Lisa Bruckert, Katie Shpanskaya, Augustus Perez, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom
Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common postoperative complication following resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. It typically presents 1 to 2 days after surgery with mutism, ataxia, emotional lability, and other behavioral symptoms. Recent structural MRI studies have found an association between PFS and hypertrophic olivary degeneration, which is detectable as T2 hyperintensity in the inferior olivary nuclei (IONs) months after surgery. In this study, the authors investigated whether immediate postoperative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the ION can serve as an early imaging marker of PFS.
The authors retrospectively reviewed pediatric brain tumor patients treated at their institution, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, from 2004 to 2016. They compared the immediate postoperative DTI studies obtained in 6 medulloblastoma patients who developed PFS to those of 6 age-matched controls.
Patients with PFS had statistically significant increased mean diffusivity (MD) in the left ION (1085.17 ± 215.51 vs 860.17 ± 102.64, p = 0.044) and variably increased MD in the right ION (923.17 ± 119.2 vs 873.67 ± 60.16, p = 0.385) compared with age-matched controls. Patients with PFS had downward trending fractional anisotropy (FA) in both the left (0.28 ± 0.06 vs 0.23 ± 0.03, p = 0.085) and right (0.29 ± 0.06 vs 0.25 ± 0.02, p = 0.164) IONs compared with age-matched controls, although neither of these values reached statistical significance.
Increased MD in the ION is associated with development of PFS. ION MD changes may represent an early imaging marker of PFS.