Robert M. Starke, Ricardo J. Komotar and E. Sander Connolly
Moyamoya disease is a chronic cerebrovascular occlusive disorder that results in severe morbidity and death. There is much controversy surrounding the optimal treatment for adult patients with the disorder. There have been no randomized trials to assess the efficacy of any single surgical treatment, and existing case series suffer from inadequate power, selection bias, and inherent differences in patient characteristics. In this article the authors review the literature concerning the optimal surgical treatment of adult patients with moyamoya disease.
Jason Sheehan, Dale Ding and Robert M. Starke
Badih Daou, Christine Hammer, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris
Dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries can result in the development of aneurysmal dilations. These dissecting pseudoaneurysms can enlarge and cause symptoms. The objective of this study is to provide insight into the progression of dissecting pseudoaneurysms and the treatments required to manage them.
A review of the electronic medical records was conducted to detect patients with carotid and vertebral artery dissection. An imaging review was conducted to identify patients with dissecting pseudoaneurysms. One hundred twelve patients with 120 dissecting pseudoaneurysms were identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the factors associated with undergoing further interventions other than medical treatment, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, pseudoaneurysms resulting in ischemic and nonischemic symptoms, and clinical outcome.
Overall, 18.3% of pseudoaneurysms were intracranial and 81.7% were extracranial, and the average size was 7.3 mm. The mean follow-up time was 29.3 months; 3.3% of patients had a recurrent transient ischemic attack, no patients had a recurrent stroke, and 14.2% of patients had recurrence of nonischemic symptoms (headache, neck pain, Horner syndrome, or cranial nerve palsy). Follow-up imaging demonstrated that 13.8% of pseudoaneurysms had enlarged, 30.2% had healed, and 56% had remained stable. In total, 20.8% of patients had an intervention other than medical treatment. Interventions included stenting, coiling, flow diversion, and clipping. Predictors of intervention included increasing size, size > 10 mm, location in the C2 (petrous) segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA), younger age, hyperlipidemia, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, and any symptom development. Significant predictors of enlargement included smoking, history of trauma, C2 location, hyperlipidemia, and larger initial pseudoaneurysm size. Predictors of pseudoaneurysm resulting in recurrent ischemic and nonischemic symptoms included increasing size and location in the petrous segment of the ICA. Smoking was a predictor of unfavorable outcome.
Dissecting pseudoaneurysms have a benign course and most will not cause symptoms or enlarge on follow-up. Medical treatment can be a sufficient, initial treatment for dissecting pseudoaneurysms.
Thana Theofanis, Nohra Chalouhi, Richard Dalyai, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris
The authors conducted a study to assess the safety and efficacy of microsurgical resection of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and determine predictors of complications.
A total of 264 patients with cerebral AVMs were treated with microsurgical resection between 1994 and 2010 at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience. A review of patient data was performed, including initial hemorrhage, clinical presentation, Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, treatment modalities, clinical outcomes, and obliteration rates. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine predictors of operative complications.
Of the 264 patients treated with microsurgery, 120 (45%) patients initially presented with hemorrhage. There were 27 SM Grade I lesions (10.2%), 101 Grade II lesions (38.3%), 96 Grade III lesions (36.4%), 31 Grade IV lesions (11.7%), and 9 Grade V lesions (3.4%). Among these patients, 102 (38.6%) had undergone prior endovascular embolization. In all patients, resection resulted in complete obliteration of the AVM. Complications occurred in 19 (7.2%) patients and resulted in permanent neurological deficits in 5 (1.9%). In multivariate analysis, predictors of complications were increasing AVM size (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.5–6.6; p = 0.001), increasing number of embolizations (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.2; p = 0.01), and unruptured AVMs (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1–7.2; p = 0.05).
Microsurgical resection of AVMs is highly efficient and can be undertaken with low rates of morbidity at high-volume neurovascular centers. Unruptured and larger AVMs were associated with higher complication rates.
Allan D. Levi, Robert M. Starke, Ricardo J. Komotar and Robert E. Harbaugh
Ricardo J. Komotar, Daniel M. S. Raper, Robert M. Starke, J. Bryan Iorgulescu and Philip H. Gutin
Meningiomas are one of the more common intracranial neoplasms. The risk of seizures and secondary aspiration, brain edema, and brain injury often leads practitioners to administer prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) perioperatively. The efficacy of this practice remains controversial, however, with prior investigations reaching conflicting results and recent studies focusing on AED side effects. The authors performed a systematic analysis of outcomes following supratentorial meningioma resection with and without prophylactic AED administration in the hope of clarifying the role of AEDs in the perioperative care of patients with these lesions.
A MEDLINE search of the literature (1979–2010) was performed. Comparisons were made for patient and tumor characteristics as well as success of repair, morbidity, and seizure outcome. Statistical analyses of categorical variables were undertaken using chi-square and Fisher exact tests.
Nineteen studies, involving 698 patients, were included. There were no significant differences in the extent of resection, perioperative mortality, or recurrence between the AED and no-AED cohorts. Likewise, there were no significant differences in the incidence of early or late seizures between the cohorts.
The results of this systematic analysis supports the conclusion that the prophylactic administration of anticonvulsants during resection of supratentorial meningiomas provides no benefit in the prevention of either early or late postoperative seizures. Despite their traditional role in this patient population, the routine use of AEDs should be carefully reconsidered.
Robert M. Starke, Justin M. Cappuzzo, Nicholas J. Erickson and Jonathan H. Sherman
Cystic lesions of the pineal gland are most often uncomplicated benign lesions with typical MRI characteristics. The authors aimed to study pineal lesion characteristics on MRI to better distinguish benign pineal cysts from other pineal region malignancies as well as to determine which characteristics were predictive of the latter malignancies. They also aimed to study risk factors predictive of hydrocephalus or malignancy in patients harboring these lesions.
The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively compiled database documenting the outcomes of patients with suspected pineal cysts on MRI who had presented in the period from 1998 to 2004. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics were assessed in a univariate logistic regression analysis to predict the following dependent variables: development of hydrocephalus, biopsy-confirmed malignancy, and intervention. Possible inherent patient and lesion characteristics included age, sex, T1 and T2 MRI signal pattern, contrast enhancement pattern, presence of cyst, presence of blood, complexity of lesion, presence of calcification, and duration of follow-up. Inherent patient and lesion characteristics that were predictive in the univariate analysis (p < 0.15) were included in the multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Of the 79 patients with benign-appearing pineal cysts, 26 (33%) were male and 53 (67%) were female, with a median age of 38 years (range 9–86 years). The median cyst radius was 5 mm (range 1–20 mm). Two patients (2.5%) had evidence of calcifications, 7 (9%) had multicystic lesions, and 25 (32%) had some evidence of contrast enhancement.
The median follow-up interval was 3 years (range 0.5–13 years). Seven patients (9%) had an increase in the size of their lesion over time. Eight patients (10%) had a hemorrhage, and 11 patients (14%) developed hydrocephalus. Nine (11%) received ventriculoperitoneal shunts for the development of hydrocephalus, and 12 patients (16%) were found to have malignancies following biopsy or resection. In the multivariate analysis, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 1.6, 95% CI 2.86–74.74, p = 0.013) and hemorrhage (OR 26.9, 95% CI 3.4–212.7, p = 0.022) were predictive of hydrocephalus. Increasing lesion size and hydrocephalus were near perfect predictors of malignancy and thus were removed from multivariate analysis. In addition, contrast enhancement on MRI (OR 8.8, 95% CI 2.0–38.6, p = 0.004) and hemorrhage (OR 6.8, 95% CI 1.1–40.5, p = 0.036) were predictive of malignancy.
Although cystic abnormalities of the pineal gland are often benign lesions, they are frequently monitored over time, as other pineal region pathologies may appear similarly on MRI. Patients with growing lesions, contrast enhancement, and hemorrhage on MRI are more likely to develop hydrocephalus and have malignant pathology on histological examination and should therefore be followed up with serial MRI with a lower threshold for neurosurgical intervention.
Robert M. Starke, Felipe C. Albuquerque and Michael T. Lawton
It is with great pleasure that we present this Neurosurgical Focus video supplement on supratentorial cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We were privileged to view a remarkable number of outstanding videos demonstrating current state-of-the-art management of brain AVMs using endovascular and microsurgical modalities. Careful and critical review was required to narrow down the submitted videos to a workable volume for this supplement, which reflects the excellent work being done at multiple centers with these lesions.
This issue consists of videos that represent modern microsurgical and neuroendovascular techniques for the treatment of supratentorial cerebral AVMs. The videos demonstrate cutting-edge therapies as well as standard ones, which will be valuable to both novice and expert neurointerventionists and neurosurgeons. We are honored to be involved with this project and proud of its content and expert authors. We believe you will enjoy the video content of this supplement and hope that it will raise the collective expertise of our community of AVM surgeons.
Robert M. Starke, Brian J. Williams, John A. Jane Jr. and Jason P. Sheehan
Nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas often recur after microsurgery and thereby require further treatment. Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) has been used to treat recurrent adenomas. In this study, the authors evaluated outcomes following GKS of nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas and assessed predictors of tumor control, neurological deficits, and delayed hypopituitarism.
Between June 1989 and March 2010, 140 consecutive patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas were treated using GKS at the University of Virginia. The median patient age was 51 years (range 21–82 years), and 56% of patients were male. Mean tumor volume was 5.6 cm3 (range 0.6–35 cm3). Thirteen patients were treated with GKS as primary therapy, and 127 had undergone at least 1 open resection prior to GKS. Ninety-three patients had a history of hormone therapy prior to GKS. The mean maximal dose of GKS was 38.6 Gy (range 10–70 Gy), the mean marginal dose was 18 Gy (range 5–25 Gy), and the mean number of isocenters was 9.8 (range 1–26). Follow-up evaluations were performed in all 140 patients, ranging from 0.5 to 17 years (mean 5 years, median 4.2 years).
Tumor volume remained stable or decreased in 113 (90%) of 125 patients with available follow-up imaging. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated radiographic progression free survival at 2, 5, 8, and 10 years to be 98%, 97%, 91%, and 87%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, a tumor volume greater than 5 cm3 (hazard ratio = 5.0, 95% CI 1.5–17.2; p = 0.023) was the only factor predictive of tumor growth. The median time to tumor progression was 14.5 years. Delayed hypopituitarism occurred in 30.3% of patients. No factor was predictive of post-GKS hypopituitarism. A new or worsening cranial nerve deficit occurred in 16 (13.7%) of 117 patients. Visual decline was the most common neurological deficit (12.8%), and all patients experiencing visual decline had evidence of tumor progression. In multivariate analysis, a tumor volume greater than 5 cm3 (OR = 3.7, 95% CI 1.2–11.7; p = 0.025) and pre-GKS hypopituitarism (OR = 7.5, 95% CI 1.1–60.8; p = 0.05) were predictive of a new or worsened neurological deficit.
In patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas, GKS confers a high rate of tumor control and a low rate of neurological deficits. The most common complication following GKS is delayed hypopituitarism, and this occurs in a minority of patients.