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P. David Adelson, Paul Robichaud, Ronald L. Hamilton, and Patrick M. Kochanek

✓ Diffuse cerebral swelling after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) develops more commonly in children than adults; however, models of diffuse brain injury in immature animals are lacking. The authors developed a new model of diffuse severe TBI in immature rats by modifying a recently described closed head injury model for adult rats. A total of 105 Sprague—Dawley immature rats (17 days old; average weight 38.5 ± 5.46 g) were subjected to head impact using variable weights (0 g (sham), 75 g, 100 g, or 125 g) delivered from a height of 2 m onto a metal disk cemented to the intact cranium. Mortality, physiological and neurological parameters (from early reflex recovery to escape), and early histopathological changes were assessed. During the acute period after severe injury (SI) (100 g delivered from a height of 2 m; 50 rats), apnea was frequently observed and the mortality rate was 38%. Neurological recovery was complete in the sham-injured animals (11 rats) by 4.1 ± 0.23 minutes (mean ± standard error of the mean), but was delayed in both moderately injured (MI) (75 g/2 m; 11 rats) (14.97 ± 3.99 minutes) and SI (20.57 ± 1.31 minutes (p < 0.05)) rats. In the first 24 hours, the sham-injured animals were more active than the injured ones as reflected by a greater net weight gain: 2.9 ± 1.0 g, 1.2 ± 1.6 g, and −0.6 ± 2.1 g in sham-injured, MI, and SI animals, respectively. Immediately after injury, transient hypertension (lasting < 15 seconds) was followed by hypotension (lasting < 3 minutes) and loss of temperature regulation. Both injuries also induced apnea (0.75 ± 0.7 minutes and 1.27 ± 0.53 minutes in MI and SI groups, respectively), which either resolved or deteriorated to death. Intubation and assisted ventilation in animals with SI for 9.57 ± 3.27 minutes in the peritrauma period eliminated mortality (p < 0.05, intubated vs. nonintubated). Histologically, after SI, there was diffuse edema throughout the corpus callosum below the region of injury and in the thalami. Other injuries included neuronal death in the deep nuclei, bilateral disruption of CA3, diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage, and, in some, ventriculomegaly. Following a diffuse TBI in immature rats, SI produced a mortality rate, neurological deficit, and histological changes similar to those previously reported for an injury resulting from a 450-g weight dropped from 2 m in adult rats. A graded insult was achieved by maintaining the height of the weight drop but varying the weights. Weight loss, acute physiological instability, and acute neurological deficits were also indicative of an SI. Mortality was eliminated when ventilatory support was used during the peritrauma period. This model should be useful in studying the response of the immature rat to diffuse severe TBI.

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Bennet Omalu, Jennifer L. Hammers, Julian Bailes, Ronald L. Hamilton, M. Ilyas Kamboh, Garrett Webster, and Robert P. Fitzsimmons

Following his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players in 2002, Dr. Bennet Omalu hypothesized that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans may belong to the CTE spectrum of diseases. The CTE surveillance at the Brain Injury Research Institute was therefore expanded to include deceased military veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The authors report the case of a 27-year-old United States Marine Corps (USMC) Iraqi war veteran, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman, who committed suicide by hanging after two deployments to Fallujah and Ramadi. He experienced combat and was exposed to mortar blasts and improvised explosive device blasts less than 50 m away. Following his second deployment he developed a progressive history of cognitive impairment, impaired memory, behavioral and mood disorders, and alcohol abuse. Neuropsychiatric assessment revealed a diagnosis of PTSD with hyperarousal (irritability and insomnia) and numbing. He committed suicide approximately 8 months after his honorable discharge from the USMC. His brain at autopsy appeared grossly unremarkable except for congestive brain swelling. There was no atrophy or remote focal traumatic brain injury such as contusional necrosis or hemorrhage. Histochemical and immunohistochemical brain tissue analysis revealed CTE changes comprising multifocal, neocortical, and subcortical neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic threads (ranging from none, to sparse, to frequent) with the skip phenomenon, accentuated in the depths of sulci and in the frontal cortex. The subcortical white matter showed mild rarefaction, sparse perivascular and neuropil infiltration by histiocytes, and mild fibrillary astrogliosis. Apolipoprotein E genotype was 3/4. The authors report this case as a sentinel case of CTE in an Iraqi war veteran diagnosed with PTSD to possibly stimulate new lines of thought and research in the possible pathoetiology and pathogenesis of PTSD in military veterans as part of the CTE spectrum of diseases, and as chronic sequelae and outcomes of repetitive traumatic brain injuries.

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Gurpreet S. Gandhoke, Sabri Yilmaz, Lorelei Grunwaldt, Ronald L. Hamilton, David J. Salvetti, and Stephanie Greene

While spinal epidural arteriovenous malformations, fistulas, and shunts are well reported, the presence of a venous malformation in the spinal epidural space is a rare phenomenon. Herein, the authors report the clinical presentation, imaging findings, pathological features, and the outcome of surgical and percutaneous interventional management of a mediastinal and spinal epidural venous malformation in a young woman who presented clinically with neurogenic claudication from presumed venous hypertension precipitating the formation of a syrinx. The patient underwent a C6–T5 osteoplastic laminectomy for decompression of the spinal canal and subtotal resection of the epidural venous malformation, followed by percutaneous sclerotherapy of the mediastinal and residual anterior spinal venous malformation. She developed transient loss of dorsal column sensation, which returned to baseline within 3 weeks of the surgery. A 6-month postoperative MRI study revealed complete resolution of the syrinx and the mediastinal venous malformation. Twelve months after the surgery, the patient has had resolution of all neurological symptoms with the exception of her premorbid migraine headaches. A multidisciplinary approach with partial resection and the use of percutaneous sclerotherapy for the residual malformation can be used to successfully treat a complex venous malformation.

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Nathan T. Zwagerman, Michael M. McDowell, Ronald L. Hamilton, Edward A. Monaco III, John C. Flickinger, and Peter C. Gerszten

OBJECTIVE

Increased survival time after diagnosis of neoplastic disease has resulted in a gradual increase in spine tumor incidence. Radiosurgery is frequently a viable alternative to operative management in a population with severe medical comorbidities. The authors sought to assess the histopathological consequences of radiosurgery in the subset of patients progressing to operative intervention.

METHODS

Eighteen patients who underwent radiosurgery for spine tumors between 2008 and 2014 subsequently progressed to surgical treatment. A histopathological examination of these cases was performed. Indications for surgery included symptomatic compression fractures, radiographic instability, and symptoms of cord or cauda equina compression. Biopsy samples were obtained from the tumor within the radiosurgical zone in all cases and were permanently fixated. Viable tumor samples were stained for Ki 67.

RESULTS

Fifteen patients had metastatic lesions and 3 patients had neurofibromas. The mean patient age was 57 years. The operative indication was symptomatic compression in 10 cases (67%). The most frequent metastatic lesions were breast cancer (4 cases), renal cell carcinoma (3), prostate cancer (2), and endometrial cancer (2). In 9 (60%) of the 15 metastatic cases, histological examination of the lesions showed minimal evidence of inflammation. Viable tumor at the margins of the radiosurgery was seen in 9 (60%) of the metastatic cases. Necrosis in the tumor bed was frequent, as was fibrotic bone marrow. Vascular ectasia was seen in 2 of 15 metastatic cases, but sclerosis with ectasia was frequent. No evidence of malignant conversion was seen in the periphery of the lesions in the 3 neurofibroma cases. In 1 case of neurofibroma, the lesion demonstrated some small areas of remnant tumor in the radiosurgical target zone.

CONCLUSIONS

This case series demonstrates important histopathological characteristics of spinal lesions treated by SRS. Regions with the highest exposure to radiation appear to be densely necrotic and show little evidence of tumor growth, whereas peripheral regions distant from the radiation dosage are more likely to demonstrate viable tumor in malignant and benign neoplasms. Physiological tissue appears to be similarly affected. With additional investigation, a more homogenized field of hypofractionated radiation exposure may allow for tumor obliteration with relative preservation of critical anatomical structures.

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Ali I. Raja, Gabrielle A. Yeaney, Regina I. Jakacki, Ronald L. Hamilton, and Ian F. Pollack

Neurocytomas are rare tumors of the central nervous system that are typically located in the ventricular system. The authors report a case of a child with neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) who had a tumor of the optic nerves and chiasm with signal abnormality extending through the diencephalon, as well as an occipital lobe mass, which was presumed to be part of the visual pathway neoplasm. Because the occipital lobe lesion slowly increased in size over time, while the other areas remained stable, a biopsy was performed. Pathological evaluation revealed an extraventricular neurocytoma of extraventricular neurocytoma. To the authors' knowledge, neurocytomas have not been previously reported in patients with NF1. Because visual pathway gliomas are extremely common in children with NF1, they are often treated empirically as low-grade gliomas without histological confirmation. The importance of obtaining a biopsy in lesions that have atypical imaging features is highlighted.

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Ian F. Pollack, Ronald L. Hamilton, C. David James, Sydney D. Finkelstein, Judith Burnham, Allan J. Yates, Emiko J. Holmes, Tianni Zhou, Jonathan L. Finlay, and Group for the Children’s Oncology

Object

In reporting on molecular studies involving malignant gliomas in adults, authors have noted that deletions of PTEN and amplification of EGFR are common and may contribute to tumor development, providing a rationale for a number of therapies aimed at these molecular targets. The frequency of comparable abnormalities has not been defined in a sizable pediatric cohort. To address this issue, we examined tumor samples from the Children’s Cancer Group 945 study, a large randomized trial of treatment for childhood malignant gliomas.

Methods

Tissue sections in 62 evaluable cases were examined, and the tumors were isolated by microdissection. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was used to detect PTEN mutations. Deletions of PTEN were also assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 27 cases and loss of heterozygosity analysis in 54; EGFR was assessed using immunohistochemistry to identify areas with maximal EGFR expression, followed by FISH to determine EGFR amplification.

Alteration of the PTEN sequence was detected in just one of 62 tumors, in conjunction with loss of chromosome 10; PTEN deletions without mutation were evident in seven additional tumors. The PTEN alterations were more common in glioblastoma multiforme (seven of 25 tumors) than other tumor subgroups (one of 37 tumors) (p = 0.0056). Although 14 of 38 evaluable tumors had increased EGFR expression compared to normal tissue, only one tumor exhibited amplification of EGFR.

Conclusions

Alterations in PTEN and amplification of EGFR are uncommon in pediatric malignant gliomas, in contrast to adult malignant gliomas. From this one can infer that the pediatric and adult tumors involve distinct molecular causes. The results of this study have important implications for the adaptation of glioma therapies aimed at molecular targets in adults to the treatment of childhood gliomas, and highlight the need for investigations of therapies specifically directed toward childhood tumors.

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Samuel S. Shin, Geoffrey Murdoch, Ronald L. Hamilton, Amir H. Faraji, Hideyuki Kano, Nathan T. Zwagerman, Paul A. Gardner, L. Dade Lunsford, and Robert M. Friedlander

OBJECT

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a therapeutic option for repeatedly hemorrhagic cavernous malformations (CMs) located in areas deemed to be high risk for resection. During the latency period of 2 or more years after SRS, recurrent hemorrhage remains a persistent risk until the obliterative process has finished. The pathological response to SRS has been studied in relatively few patients. The authors of the present study aimed to gain insight into the effect of SRS on CM and to propose possible mechanisms leading to recurrent hemorrhages following SRS.

METHODS

During a 13-year interval between 2001 and 2013, bleeding recurred in 9 patients with CMs that had been treated using Gamma Knife surgery at the authors' institution. Microsurgical removal was subsequently performed in 5 of these patients, who had recurrent hemorrhages between 4 months and 7 years after SRS. Specimens from 4 patients were available for analysis and used for this report.

RESULTS

Histopathological analysis demonstrated that vascular sclerosis develops as early as 4 months after SRS. In the samples from 2 to 7 years after SRS, sclerotic vessels were prominent, but there were also vessels with incomplete sclerosis as well as some foci of neovascularization.

CONCLUSIONS

Recurrent bleeding after SRS for CM could be related to incomplete sclerosis of the vessels, but neovascularization may also play a role.

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Mark W. Youngblood, Daniel Duran, Julio D. Montejo, Chang Li, Sacit Bulent Omay, Koray Özduman, Amar H. Sheth, Amy Y. Zhao, Evgeniya Tyrtova, Danielle F. Miyagishima, Elena I. Fomchenko, Christopher S. Hong, Victoria E. Clark, Maximilien Riche, Matthieu Peyre, Julien Boetto, Sadaf Sohrabi, Sarah Koljaka, Jacob F. Baranoski, James Knight, Hongda Zhu, M. Necmettin Pamir, Timuçin Avşar, Türker Kilic, Johannes Schramm, Marco Timmer, Roland Goldbrunner, Ye Gong, Yaşar Bayri, Nduka Amankulor, Ronald L. Hamilton, Kaya Bilguvar, Irina Tikhonova, Patrick R. Tomak, Anita Huttner, Matthias Simon, Boris Krischek, Michel Kalamarides, E. Zeynep Erson-Omay, Jennifer Moliterno, and Murat Günel

OBJECTIVE

Recent large-cohort sequencing studies have investigated the genomic landscape of meningiomas, identifying somatic coding alterations in NF2, SMARCB1, SMARCE1, TRAF7, KLF4, POLR2A, BAP1, and members of the PI3K and Hedgehog signaling pathways. Initial associations between clinical features and genomic subgroups have been described, including location, grade, and histology. However, further investigation using an expanded collection of samples is needed to confirm previous findings, as well as elucidate relationships not evident in smaller discovery cohorts.

METHODS

Targeted sequencing of established meningioma driver genes was performed on a multiinstitution cohort of 3016 meningiomas for classification into mutually exclusive subgroups. Relevant clinical information was collected for all available cases and correlated with genomic subgroup. Nominal variables were analyzed using Fisher’s exact tests, while ordinal and continuous variables were assessed using Kruskal-Wallis and 1-way ANOVA tests, respectively. Machine-learning approaches were used to predict genomic subgroup based on noninvasive clinical features.

RESULTS

Genomic subgroups were strongly associated with tumor locations, including correlation of HH tumors with midline location, and non-NF2 tumors in anterior skull base regions. NF2 meningiomas were significantly enriched in male patients, while KLF4 and POLR2A mutations were associated with female sex. Among histologies, the results confirmed previously identified relationships, and observed enrichment of microcystic features among “mutation unknown” samples. Additionally, KLF4-mutant meningiomas were associated with larger peritumoral brain edema, while SMARCB1 cases exhibited elevated Ki-67 index. Machine-learning methods revealed that observable, noninvasive patient features were largely predictive of each tumor’s underlying driver mutation.

CONCLUSIONS

Using a rigorous and comprehensive approach, this study expands previously described correlations between genomic drivers and clinical features, enhancing our understanding of meningioma pathogenesis, and laying further groundwork for the use of targeted therapies. Importantly, the authors found that noninvasive patient variables exhibited a moderate predictive value of underlying genomic subgroup, which could improve with additional training data. With continued development, this framework may enable selection of appropriate precision medications without the need for invasive sampling procedures.