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Alexander G. Chartrain, Ahmed J. Awad, Jonathan J. Rasouli, Robert J. Rothrock and Brian H. Kopell

A 59-year-old woman with a 30-year history of essential tremor refractory to medical therapy underwent staged deep brain stimulation of the ventralis intermedius nucleus of the thalamus (VIM). Left-sided lead placement was performed first. Once in the operating room, microelectrode recording (MER) was performed to confirm the appropriate trajectory and identify the VIM border with the ventralis caudalis nucleus. MER was repeated after repositioning 2 mm anteriorly to reduce the likelihood of stimulation-induced paresthesias. Physical examination prior to permanent lead placement demonstrated micro-lesion effect, suggesting optimal trajectory. After implantation of the permanent lead, physical examination showed excellent results.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/nn3KRdmRCZ4.

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Jason A. Ellis, Robert J. Rothrock, Gaetan Moise, Paul C. McCormick II, Kurenai Tanji, Peter Canoll, Michael G. Kaiser and Paul C. McCormick

Primary spinal primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) are uncommon malignancies that are increasingly reported in the literature. Spinal PNETs, like their cranial counterparts, are aggressive tumors and patients with these tumors typically have short survival times despite maximal surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Because no standard management guidelines exist for treating these tumors, a multitude of therapeutic strategies have been employed with varying success. In this study the authors perform a comprehensive review of the literature on primary spinal PNETs and provide 2 new cases that highlight the salient features of their clinical management.

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Randy S. D’Amico, Justin A. Neira, Jonathan Yun, Nikita G. Alexiades, Matei Banu, Zachary K. Englander, Benjamin C. Kennedy, Timothy H. Ung, Robert J. Rothrock, Alexander Romanov, Xiaotao Guo, Binsheng Zhao, Adam M. Sonabend, Peter Canoll and Jeffrey N. Bruce

OBJECTIVE

Intracerebral convection-enhanced delivery (CED) has been limited to short durations due to a reliance on externalized catheters. Preclinical studies investigating topotecan (TPT) CED for glioma have suggested that prolonged infusion improves survival. Internalized pump-catheter systems may facilitate chronic infusion. The authors describe the safety and utility of long-term TPT CED in a porcine model and correlation of drug distribution through coinfusion of gadolinium.

METHODS

Fully internalized CED pump-catheter systems were implanted in 12 pigs. Infusion algorithms featuring variable infusion schedules, flow rates, and concentrations of a mixture of TPT and gadolinium were characterized over increasing intervals from 4 to 32 days. Therapy distribution was measured using gadolinium signal on MRI as a surrogate. A 9-point neurobehavioral scale (NBS) was used to identify side effects.

RESULTS

All animals tolerated infusion without serious adverse events. The average NBS score was 8.99. The average maximum volume of distribution (Vdmax) in chronically infused animals was 11.30 mL and represented 32.73% of the ipsilateral cerebral hemispheric volume. Vdmax was achieved early during infusions and remained relatively stable despite a slight decline as the infusion reached steady state. Novel tissue TPT concentrations measured by liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy correlated with gadolinium signal intensity on MRI (p = 0.0078).

CONCLUSIONS

Prolonged TPT-gadolinium CED via an internalized system is safe and well tolerated and can achieve a large Vdmax, as well as maintain a stable Vd for up to 32 days. Gadolinium provides an identifiable surrogate for measuring drug distribution. Extended CED is potentially a broadly applicable and safe therapeutic option in select patients.