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Marcia Katz, Hugh S. Wisoff and Robert D. Zimmerman

✓ Unique radiographic and autopsy findings are described in a patient with bilateral basilar artery-middle meningeal artery (BA-MMA) anastomoses associated with a ruptured aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery. The literature, anatomy, and embryology of BA-MMA anastomosis is reviewed.

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Marc S. Arginteanu, Karin Hague, Robert Zimmerman, Mark J. Kupersmith, John H. Shaiu, John Schaeffer and Kalmon D. Post

✓ The authors report the case of a 55-year-old woman who developed a symptomatic craniopharyngioma within 2 years of obtaining a normal magnetic resonance image of her brain. Craniopharyngiomas are histologically benign tumors. They are thought to arise from embryonic remnants of Rathke's pouch and sac and to manifest themselves clinically after a steady growth that commences in fetal life. To the authors' knowlege, this is the first report that documents a tumor arising de novo in the sixth decade of life. This report appears to challenge the concept of the origin and natural history of craniopharyngiomas.

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Mark K. Lyons, John L. D. Atkinson, Robert E. Wharen, H. Gordon Deen, Richard S. Zimmerman and Susan M. Lemens

Object. The authors report a retrospective analysis of 194 patients surgically treated at their institutions for symptomatic lumbar synovial cysts from January 1974 to January 1996.

Methods. Patient characteristics including age, sex, symptoms, signs, and preoperative neuroimaging studies were reviewed. Surgical procedures, complications, results, and pathological findings were correlated with preoperative assessment. One hundred ninety-four patients were surgically treated for symptomatic lumbar synovial cysts. Eighty percent were diagnosed and treated between 1987 and 1996. There were 100 men and 94 women with an average age of 66 years (range 28–94 years). The most common symptoms were painful radiculopathy (85%) and neurogenic single or multiroot claudication (44%). However, sensory loss (43%) and motor weakness (27%) were also presenting symptoms. Eleven percent of patients had undergone previous lumbar surgery prior to being referred to the Mayo Clinic. Preoperative neurological examination demonstrated motor weakness (40%), sensory loss (45%), reflex changes (57%), and variants of cauda equina syndrome (13%). In 19% of patients, normal neurological status was demonstrated. There was equal left/right-sided laterality, and eight patients presented with bilateral synovial cysts. The most commonly affected level was L4–5 (64%). All patients underwent laminectomy and resection of the cyst. Concomitant fusion was performed in 18 patients in whom clinical evidence of instability had been observed. However, subsequent fusion was required in only four patients who developed symptomatic spondylolisthesis. Surgery-related complications included cerebrospinal fluid leak (three patients), discitis (one patient), epidural hematoma (one patient), seroma (one patient), and deep vein thrombosis (one patient). One patient died 3 days after surgery of cardiac dysrhythmia. Follow-up data obtained for at least 6 months postoperatively were available in 147 patients. Of these, 134 (91%) reported good relief of their pain and 82% experienced improvement in their motor deficits.

Conclusions. Lumbar synovial cysts are a more common cause of lumbar radicular pain than previously thought. Surgical removal of the cyst is a safe and effective treatment for symptomatic relief in patients with lumbar synovial cysts. A concomitant fusion procedure may be performed in select cases. In this study, only a few patients developed symptomatic spinal instability requiring a second operation.

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Thomas W. Langfitt, Walter D. Obrist, Abass Alavi, Robert I. Grossman, Robert Zimmerman, Jurg Jaggi, Barbara Uzzell, Martin Reivich and Dreux R. Patton

✓ Results of computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), xenon-133 measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF), and neuropsychological assessments are described in three head-injured patients. The patients were selected because they presented with intracranial hemorrhage diagnosed by CT. Two of the patients were studied acutely and again approximately 6 months later. In the acute stage, MRI was superior to CT in identifying the precise location and extent of intracranial hemorrhage and associated edema. Small subdural hematomas diagnosed on MRI were missed with CT scanning. The extent of apparent encephalomalacia in the chronic stages of injury was also better defined with MRI. Position emission tomography showed disturbances of glucose metabolism that extended beyond the structural abnormalities demonstrated by MRI and CT; anterior temporal lobe dysfunction was particularly evident in all three patients. Regional CBF studies failed to detect a number of the abnormalities seen on MRI and CT, and even ignored the metabolic dysfunction evident on PET that should have been accompanied by changes in regional CBF. The neuropsychological studies localized frontal lesions, but did not reveal abnormalities attributable to the structural lesions and the reduced metabolism in the anterior temporal lobes.

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Local cerebral blood volume in head-injured patients

Determination by emission computed tomography of 99mTc-labeled red cells

David E. Kuhl, Abass Alavi, Edward J. Hoffman, Michael E. Phelps, Robert A. Zimmerman, Walter D. Obrist, Derek A. Bruce, Joel H. Greenberg and Barbara Uzzell

✓ Local cerebral blood volume (CBV) was mapped in 10 normal subjects and in 30 patients after head injury. In normal subjects, the mean CBV was 4.34 ml/100 gm. The coefficient of variation was 12% for the group mean, and 3% for values obtained in duplicate studies of individuals. Patients with head injuries were divided into three groups according to the stage of their illness: acute illness, early recovery, and later recovery. Averages of mean CBV were within one standard deviation of normal. In contrast, consistent changes were found in serial studies of the mean CBV in the same patient. Compared to recovery values, levels of mean CBV measured soon after injury were reduced, largely at the expense of the gray-matter compartment. In five adults with predominantly unilateral lesions, there was an average early reduction in mean CBV and cerebral blood flow of 15% and 36%, respectively. In three children with diffuse brain swelling, there was an average early mean CBV reduction of 12%; a single child had early increased mean CBV at a time when intracranial pressure was high. Greater changes were seen in local CBV on individual sections. There were mixed zones of hypervolemia and hypovolemia in regions of infarction and intracerebral hematoma. Subdural hematomas had consistent medial margins of increased local CBV, representing dilated blood vessels of the underlying cortex. The presence and displacement of this hypervolemic zone were sensitive indicators of persistent subdural collection and mass effect, even when the collection was lucent to x-ray computed tomography.

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Roger J. Packer, Leslie N. Sutton, Joel W. Goldwein, Giorgio Perilongo, Greta Bunin, Janis Ryan, Bruce H. Cohen, Gulio D'Angio, Eric D. Kramer, Robert A. Zimmerman, Lucy B. Rorke, Audrey E. Evans and Luis Schut

✓ Between 1975 and 1989, 108 children with newly diagnosed medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (MB/PNET) of the posterior fossa were treated at the authors' institution. The patients were managed uniformly, and treatment included aggressive surgical resections, postoperative staging evaluations for extent of disease, and craniospinal radiation therapy with a local boost.

Beginning in 1983, children with MB/PNET were prospectively assigned to risk groups; those with “standard-risk” MB/PNET were treated with radiation therapy alone, while those in the “poor-risk” group received similar radiation therapy plus adjuvant chemotherapy with 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU), vineristine, and cisplatin. The 5-year actuarial disease-free survival rate for all patients treated between 1975 and 1982 was 68%, and 73% when patients who died within 2 weeks after operation were excluded. This survival rate was statistically better for patients treated after 1982 (82%) compared to those treated between 1975 and 1982 (49%) (p < 0.004). There was no difference in disease-free survival rates over time for children with standard-risk factors; however, there was a significant difference in the 5-year survival rate for poor-risk patients treated prior to 1982 (35%) compared to those treated later (87%) (p < 0.001). For the group as a whole, a younger age at diagnosis correlated with a poorer survival rate; however, this relationship between age and outcome was significant only for children treated before 1983 (p < 0.001). These results demonstrated an encouraging survival rate for children with MB/PNET, especially those treated with aggressive surgical resection followed by both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The results strongly suggest that chemotherapy has a role for some, and possibly all, children with MB/PNET.

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John A. Boockvar, Apostolos J. Tsiouris, Christoph P. Hofstetter, Ilhami Kovanlikaya, Sherese Fralin, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Stephen M. Seedial, Susan C. Pannullo, Theodore H. Schwartz, Philip Stieg, Robert D. Zimmerman, Jared Knopman, Ronald J. Scheff, Paul Christos, Shankar Vallabhajosula and Howard A. Riina


The authors assessed the safety and maximum tolerated dose of superselective intraarterial cerebral infusion (SIACI) of bevacizumab after osmotic disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with mannitol in patients with recurrent malignant glioma.


A total of 30 patients with recurrent malignant glioma were included in the current study.


The authors report no dose-limiting toxicity from a single dose of SIACI of bevacizumab up to 15 mg/kg after osmotic BBB disruption with mannitol. Two groups of patients were studied; those without prior bevacizumab exposure (naïve patients; Group I) and those who had received previous intravenous bevacizumab (exposed patients; Group II). Radiographic changes demonstrated on MR imaging were assessed at 1 month postprocedure. In Group I patients, MR imaging at 1 month showed a median reduction in the area of tumor enhancement of 34.7%, a median reduction in the volume of tumor enhancement of 46.9%, a median MR perfusion (MRP) reduction of 32.14%, and a T2-weighted/FLAIR signal decrease in 9 (47.4%) of 19 patients. In Group II patients, MR imaging at 1 month showed a median reduction in the area of tumor enhancement of 15.2%, a median volume reduction of 8.3%, a median MRP reduction of 25.5%, and a T2-weighted FLAIR decrease in 0 (0%) of 11 patients.


The authors conclude that SIACI of mannitol followed by bevacizumab (up to 15 mg/kg) for recurrent malignant glioma is safe and well tolerated. Magnetic resonance imaging shows that SIACI treatment with bevacizumab can lead to reduction in tumor area, volume, perfusion, and T2-weighted/FLAIR signal.

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William G. Negendank, Rolf Sauter, Truman R. Brown, Jeffrey L. Evelhoch, Andrea Falini, Efstathios D. Gotsis, Arend Heerschap, Kyousuke Kamada, Benjamin C. P. Lee, Michel M. Mengeot, Ewald Moser, Kristin A. Padavic-Shaller, John A. Sanders, Thomas A. Spraggins, Arthur E. Stillman, Burckhard Terwey, Thomas J. Vogl, Karsten Wicklow and Robert A. Zimmerman

✓ The authors represent a cooperative group of 15 institutions that examined the feasibility of using metabolic features observed in vivo with 1H-magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy to characterize brain tumors of the glial type. The institutions provided blinded, centralized MR spectroscopy data processing along with independent central review of MR spectroscopy voxel placement, composition and contamination by brain, histopathological typing using current World Health Organization criteria, and clinical data. Proton 1H-MR spectroscopy was performed using a spin-echo technique to obtain spectra from 8-cc voxels in the tumor and when feasible in the contralateral brain. Eighty-six cases were assessable, 41 of which had contralateral brain spectra. Glial tumors had significantly elevated intensities of choline signals, decreased intensities of creatine signals, and decreased intensities of N-acetylaspartate compared to brain. Choline signal intensities were highest in astrocytomas and anaplastic astrocytomas, and creatine signal intensities were lowest in glioblastomas. However, whether expressed relative to brain or as intratumoral ratios, these metabolic characteristics exhibited large variations within each subtype of glial tumor. The resulting overlaps precluded diagnostic accuracy in the distinction of low- and high-grade tumors. Although the extent of contamination of the 1HMR spectroscopy voxel by brain had a marked effect on metabolite concentrations and ratios, selection of cases with minimal contamination did not reduce these overlaps. Thus, each type and grade of tumor is a metabolically heterogeneous group. Lactate occurred infrequently and in all grades. Mobile lipids, on the other hand, occurred in 41% of high-grade tumors with higher mean amounts found in glioblastomas. This result, coupled with the recent demonstration that intratumoral mobile lipids correlate with microscopic tumor cell necrosis, leads to the hypothesis that mobile lipids observed in vivo in 1H-MR spectroscopy may correlate independently with prognosis of individual patients.