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David N. Louis, Allan J. Hamilton, Raymond A. Sobel and Robert G. Ojemann

✓ A sphenoid-wing meningioma in a 60-year-old woman was accompanied by elevated serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, which returned to normal after removal of the tumor. Light microscopic examination revealed a secretory meningioma containing numerous pseudopsammoma bodies and a prominent vascular pattern. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the tumor cells and pseudopsammoma bodies to be CEA-positive. This case illustrates the possibility that secretory meningioma may be associated with clinically detectable secretion of CEA. The report also documents the rare occurrence of elevated serum CEA in a primary benign intracranial tumor.

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Stephen B. Tatter, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Jeffrey A. Golden, Robert G. Ojemann and David N. Louis

✓ Two cases are reported of third ventricle masses that were clinically and radiographically indistinguishable from pure colloid cysts. A 21- and a 36-year-old man presented with 5-year and 10-day histories of headache, respectively. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging revealed smooth, homogeneous masses in the anterior third ventricle that were iso- to hyperintense on T1-weighted MR images and hyperintense on T2-weighted images. There was little enhancement with intravenous contrast material. In both patients, craniotomies were performed and histopathological examination revealed xanthogranulomas of the choroid plexus with only microscopic foci of colloid cyst-like structures. These cases illustrate that xanthogranulomas of the third ventricle may clinically and radiologically mimic pure colloid cysts, that a range of MR imaging signals can be seen, and that craniotomy rather than stereotactic aspiration is the indicated treatment.

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David N. Louis, E. P. Richardson Jr., G. Richard Dickersin, Debra A. Petrucci, Andrew E. Rosenberg and Robert G. Ojemann

✓ A case of primary intracranial leiomyosarcoma is presented, with clinical, radiological, light microscopic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural data. The histogenesis is discussed and the literature on smoothmuscle tumors of the central nervous system is reviewed.

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Robert G. Louis Jr., Chun Po Yen, Carrie A. Mohila, James W. Mandell and Jason Sheehan

The authors report the case of a patient with an intraosseous spinal arteriovenous malformation (AVM) presenting as an epidural mass lesion that was causing spinal cord compression. The 59-year-old woman had bilateral numbness, weakness, and hyperreflexia of both legs. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed intermediate T1 signal and hyperintense T2 signal involving the right transverse process, bilateral pedicles, and T-5 spinous process; the lesion's epidural extension was causing severe canal compromise and cord displacement. Coil embolization was performed, and the patient underwent resection, after which preoperative symptoms improved. Histopathological analysis revealed a benign vascular proliferation consistent with an intraosseous spinal AVM. On review of the literature, the authors found this case to be the second intraosseous spinal AVM, and the first in a patient whose clinical presentation was consistent with that of a mass lesion of the bone.

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L. Fernando Gonzalez, Cameron G. McDougall, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Louis J. Kim and Robert F. Spetzler

Object.

The aim of this study was to assess the incidence, indications, complications, and angiography results associated with balloon-assisted coil embolization (BACE) of intracranial aneurysms and to compare these factors with those for conventional coil embolization (CE).

Methods.

Between 1995 and 2005, 827 intracranial aneurysms in 757 consecutive patients were packed with coils. Balloon-assisted coil embolization was used in 8.6% (71 of 827) of the coil insertion procedures and was more frequently used in large aneurysms, un-ruptured lesions, and those located on the vertebrobasilar system and carotid artery. Procedure-related complications leading to death or dependency were significantly higher in BACEs (14.1%) compared with those in CEs (3%). Packing densities and the results of 6-month follow-up angiography studies did not differ significantly between the two types of treatments. There was a strong trend for a higher retreatment rate in the aneurysms treated with BACE.

Conclusions.

Balloon-assisted coil embolization of intracranial aneurysms is associated with a high complication rate and should only be used if conventional CE of these lesions is impossible or has failed and if anticipated surgical risks are too high. The BACE procedure does not improve the occlusion rates of the aneurysms on follow-up evaluation.

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Robert Dallapiazza, Aaron E. Bond, Yuval Grober, Robert G. Louis, Spencer C. Payne, Edward H. Oldfield and John A. Jane Jr.

Object

The object of this study was to compare surgical outcomes and complications in a contemporaneous series of patients undergoing either microscopic or endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas without imaging evidence of cavernous sinus invasion.

Methods

This is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database from a single institution. Data were collected from patients whose surgery had occurred in the period from June 2010 to January 2013. Patients who underwent microscopic or endoscopic surgery for Knosp Grade 0, 1, or 2 nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas were included in the study. Patients who had clinically secreting or Knosp Grade 3 or 4 tumors and patients who were undergoing revision surgery were excluded from analysis. Eligible patient records were analyzed for outcomes and complications. Statistical analyses were performed on tumor volume, intraoperative factors, postoperative complications, and degree of resection on 1-year postoperative MRI. The results were used to compare the outcomes after microscopic and endoscopic approaches.

Results

Forty-three patients underwent microscopic transsphenoidal surgery, and 56 underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery. There were no statistical differences in the intraoperative extent of resection or endocrinological complications. There were significantly more intraoperative CSF leaks in the endoscopic group (58% vs 16%); however, there was no difference in the incidence of postoperative CSF rhinorrhea (12% microscopic vs 7% endoscopic). Length of hospitalization was significantly shorter in patients undergoing an endoscopic approach (3.0 days vs 2.4 days). Two-month follow-up imaging was available in 95% of patients, and 75% of patients had 1-year follow-up imaging. At 2 months postprocedure, there was no evidence of residual tumor in 79% (31 of 39) and 85% (47 of 55) of patients in the microscopic and endoscopic groups, respectively. At 1 year postprocedure, 83% (25 of 30) of patients in the microscopic group had no evidence of residual tumor and 82% (36 of 44) of those in the endoscopic group had no evidence of residual tumor.

Conclusions

The microscopic and endoscopic techniques provide similar outcomes in the surgical treatment of Knosp Grades 0–2 nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Christopher T. Wartmann, Robert G. Louis Jr., Mohammadali M. Shoja, Jason Cormier and Marios Loukas

Object

Graft sources for lumbar fusion include synthetic materials, donor grafts, and autologous bone such as the iliac crest. Considering the data indicating that autologous bone grafts generate the best results for fusion, the next logical step is to seek alternative donor sites in an attempt to reduce the complications associated with these procedures. To the authors' knowledge, autologous scapula has not been explored as a potential source for posterior lumbar fusion graft material. Therefore, the following study was performed to verify the utility of this bone in these procedures.

Methods

Six adult cadavers (mean age 71 years), four formalin-fixed and two fresh specimens, were used in this study. With the cadaver in the prone position, an incision was made over the spine of the scapula. Soft tissues were stripped from the middle of this region of the scapula, and bone segments were removed with a bone saw and used for a posterior lumbar fusion procedure.

Results

A mean length of 11.5 cm was measured for the spine of the scapula and the mean thicknesses of this bone at its medial part, segment just medial to the spinoglenoid notch, and acromion were 1 cm, 2.2 cm, and 2.5 cm, respectively. No obvious injury to surrounding vessels or nerves was found using this procedure, and adequate fusion was achieved with it.

Conclusions

Following clinical testing, such a bone substitute as autologous scapular spine might be a reasonable alternative to iliac crest grafts for use in posterior lumbar fusion procedures.

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R. Shane Tubbs, William Stetler, Robert G. Louis Jr., Ankmalika A. Gupta, Marios Loukas, David R. Kelly, Mohammadali M. Shoja and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Object

The spinal accessory nerve (SAN) has been reported to have a distinctly coiled appearance in its course through the posterior cervical triangle of the neck. As this is unusual compared with other peripheral nerves including the cranial nerves, the present histological analysis was performed to further elucidate the reason for this anatomy with potential application in nerve injury and repair.

Methods

Ten adult cadavers underwent dissection of the neck. The SAN was harvested proximally and within the posterior cervical triangle. For comparison with other cranial nerves within the neck, the cervical vagus and hypoglossal nerves were also harvested. All nerves underwent histological analysis. Additionally, 2 human fetuses (11 and 20 weeks' gestation) underwent examination of the SAN in the posterior cervical triangle, and 3 randomly selected specimens were submitted for electromicroscopy.

Results

All SANs were found to have a straight gross configuration proximal to the posterior triangle and a coiled appearance within this geometrical area. Histologically, no differences were identified for the SAN in these 2 locations (that is, proximal to and within the posterior cervical triangle). The histology of the SAN both with routine analysis and electron microscopy was similar in both regions and to nerves used as controls (for example, vagus and hypoglossal nerves). Interestingly, both fetal specimens were found to have coiled SANs in the posterior cervical triangle.

Conclusions

Based on this study, it appears that the tortuous course of the SAN in the posterior triangle arises from functional as opposed to structural forces. It is hoped that this analysis will provide some insight into the nature behind the morphology observed in the SAN within the posterior cervical triangle and aid in future investigations regarding its injury. Moreover, such a coiled nature of this nerve may assist the neurosurgeon in identifying it during, for example, neurotization procedures.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, Robert G. Louis Jr., Mohammadali M. Shoja, Cameron S. Askew, April Phantana-Angkool, E. George Salter and W. Jerry Oakes

Object

The basal vein of Rosenthal (BV) courses from the premesencephalic cistern, through the ambient cistern, and terminates in the quadrigeminal cistern. The aim of this study was to describe and quantitate the surgical anatomy of this structure and specifically to provide landmarks for identifying this vessel along its course. These data may be of use, for example, to surgeons using subtemporal operative approaches through regions where this vessel is concealed.

Methods

The authors examined 15 latex-injected adult cadaveric brains (30 sides) to delineate the morphological characteristics of the BV. Dissections of the BV were then performed and measurements were made between this structure and the tentorial incisura at the anterior, middle, and posterior borders of the lateral midbrain.

All specimens were found to have a left and right BV with varying morphological characteristics. The mean distance between the BV and posterior cerebral artery at the midpoint of the lateral midbrain was 16 mm. The BV was always found superomedial to the posterior cerebral artery along the lateral aspect of the midbrain, and the BV ranged in diameter from 1 to 5 mm. The BV drained into the vein of Galen in all but two specimens. The mean distances from the tentorial edge to the BV at the anterior, middle, and posterior borders of the lateral midbrain were 11, 13, and 4 mm, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found when comparing left and right sides or male and female specimens.

Conclusions

The authors hope that these data will help the neurosurgeon operating near the BV to avoid injury to this important structure.

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