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Tej D. Azad, Rogelio Esparza, Navjot Chaudhary and Steven D. Chang

OBJECT

Metastatic disease to the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) is rare but presents unique management challenges. To date, studies on using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for CVJ metastases have been limited to case reports and small case series. The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the utility of SRS in the management of these secondary lesions.

METHODS

Clinical and radiological information from the charts of 25 patients with metastatic disease of the CVJ who were treated with SRS between 2005 and 2013 at the Stanford CyberKnife Center were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

Seven male and 18 female patients with a median age of 58 years (range 34–94 years) were identified. The most common primary tumors were breast cancer (n = 5) and non-small cell lung cancer (n = 5), and the most frequent symptom was neck pain (n = 17). The average tumor volume treated was 15.9 cm3 (range 0.16–54.1 cm3), with a mean marginal radiation dose of 20.3 Gy (range 15–25.5 Gy). The median follow-up was 18 months (range 1–81 months), though 1 patient was lost to follow-up.

SRS provided radiographic tumor stability in over 80% of patients, offered pain alleviation in nearly two-thirds of patients, and produced no serious complications. Moreover, SRS preserved spinal stability in all but 1 patient, in whom pre-SRS stability was established. There was no evidence of radiation toxicity in the patient population. Median survival was 28 months (range 2–81 months), with survival of 13.3% at 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS

In the absence of unstable pathological fracture and spinal cord compression, metastatic tumors of the CVJ can be safely and effectively treated with SRS. This treatment option offers palliative pain relief and can halt tumor progression with only a low risk of complications or spinal instability.

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Eric S. Sussman, Venkatesh Madhugiri, Mario Teo, Troels H. Nielsen, Sunil V. Furtado, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Allen L. Ho, Rogelio Esparza, Tej D. Azad, Michael Zhang and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization surgery is a safe and effective surgical treatment for symptomatic moyamoya disease (MMD) and has been shown to reduce the frequency of future ischemic events and improve quality of life in affected patients. The authors sought to investigate the occurrence of acute perioperative occlusion of the contralateral internal carotid artery (ICA) with contralateral stroke following revascularization surgery, a rare complication that has not been previously reported.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of a prospective database of a single surgeon’s series of revascularization operations in patients with MMD. From 1991 to 2016, 1446 bypasses were performed in 905 patients, 89.6% of which involved direct anastomosis of the superficial temporal artery (STA) to a distal branch of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Demographic, surgical, and radiographic data were collected prospectively in all treated patients.

RESULTS

Symptomatic contralateral hemispheric infarcts occurred during the postoperative period in 34 cases (2.4%). Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed in each of these patients. In 8 cases (0.6%), DSA during the immediate postoperative period revealed associated new occlusion of the contralateral ICA. In each of these cases, revascularization surgery involved direct anastomosis of the STA to an M4 branch of the MCA. Preoperative DSA revealed moderate (n = 1) or severe (n = 3) stenosis or occlusion (n = 4) of the ipsilateral ICA and mild (n = 2), moderate (n = 4), or severe (n = 2) stenosis of the contralateral ICA. The baseline Suzuki stage was 4 (n = 7) or 5 (n = 1). The collateral supply originated exclusively from the intracranial circulation in 4/8 patients (50%), and from both the intracranial and extracranial circulation in the remaining 50% of patients. Seven (88%) of 8 patients improved symptomatically during the acute postoperative period with induced hypertension. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at discharge was worse than baseline in 7/8 patients (88%), whereas 1 patient had only minor deficits that did not affect the mRS score. At the 3-year follow-up, 3/8 patients (38%) were at their baseline mRS score or better, 1 patient had significant disability compared with preoperatively, 2 patients had died, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. Three-year follow-up is not yet available in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute occlusion of the ICA on the contralateral side from an STA-MCA bypass is a rare, but potentially serious, complication of revascularization surgery for MMD. It highlights the importance of the hemodynamic interrelationships that exist between the two hemispheres, a concept that has been previously underappreciated. Induced hypertension during the acute period may provide adequate cerebral blood flow via developing collateral vessels, and good outcomes may be achieved with aggressive supportive management and expedited contralateral revascularization.

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Tej D. Azad, Arjun V. Pendharkar, James Pan, Yuhao Huang, Amy Li, Rogelio Esparza, Swapnil Mehta, Ian D. Connolly, Anand Veeravagu, Cynthia J. Campen, Samuel H. Cheshier, Michael S. B. Edwards, Paul G. Fisher and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric spinal astrocytomas are rare spinal lesions that pose unique management challenges. Therapeutic options include gross-total resection (GTR), subtotal resection (STR), and adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy. With no randomized controlled trials, the optimal management approach for children with spinal astrocytomas remains unclear. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on pediatric spinal astrocytomas.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review of the PubMed/MEDLINE electronic database to investigate the impact of histological grade and extent of resection on overall survival among patients with spinal cord astrocytomas. They retained publications in which the majority of reported cases included astrocytoma histology.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine previously published studies met the eligibility criteria, totaling 578 patients with spinal cord astrocytomas. The spinal level of intramedullary spinal cord tumors was predominantly cervical (53.8%), followed by thoracic (40.8%). Overall, resection was more common than biopsy, and GTR was slightly more commonly achieved than STR (39.7% vs 37.0%). The reported rates of GTR and STR rose markedly from 1984 to 2015. Patients with high-grade astrocytomas had markedly worse 5-year overall survival than patients with low-grade tumors. Patients receiving GTR may have better 5-year overall survival than those receiving STR.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors describe trends in the management of pediatric spinal cord astrocytomas and suggest a benefit of GTR over STR for 5-year overall survival.