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Russell R. Lonser

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Satoru Shimizu

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Steven M. Sorscher

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Russell R. Lonser, Ronald R. Buggage, and Robert J. Weil

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Marc R. Mayberg

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Gautam U. Mehta, Russell R. Lonser, and Edward H. Oldfield

Although he never performed a pituitary operation for the disease, Harvey Cushing was the first to describe and treat patients with Cushing disease (CD). Other surgeons at the time were reluctant to operate on the pituitary due to the normal sella on skull radiographs in CD and the unclear etiology of the disorder. To better define and understand factors influencing the history of pituitary surgery for CD, the authors analyzed historical texts related to CD biology, diagnosis, and treatment. Cushing's monograph on basophilic pituitary adenomas and cortisol excess appeared in 1932. One year later in 1933, Alfred Pattison performed the first successful pituitary operation for CD by implanting radon seeds in the sella. Resection of a pituitary adenoma for CD was attempted 1 month later in 1933 by Howard Naffziger, resulting in only transient improvement that corresponded to the lack of tumor in the resected tissue. Soon thereafter, Susman in 1935 and Costello in 1936 described pituitary basophilic adenomas at autopsy in patients without premorbid endocrinopathy. They concluded that the adrenal gland was the cause of CD, which resulted in a 3-decade abandonment of pituitary surgery for CD. Jules Hardy in 1963 used the operating microscope to perform the first selective removal of an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)–secreting microadenoma, which established a pituitary cause and defined the modern treatment of CD. Subsequent reports by Hardy, Laws, and Wilson resulted in widespread acceptance of pituitary surgery for CD. Initial reluctance to operate on the pituitary for CD was multifaceted and included general uncertainty surrounding the etiology of Cushing syndrome as well as a lack of early surgical success, both due to the small size of ACTH-secreting adenomas. Selective removal of ACTH-secreting adenomas identified the source of CD and ended the delay in acceptance of pituitary surgery for CD.

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Russell R. Lonser, Lynnette Nieman, and Edward H. Oldfield

Cushing's disease (CD) is the result of excess secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a benign monoclonal pituitary adenoma. The excessive secretion of ACTH stimulates secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands, resulting in supraphysiological levels of circulating cortisol. The pathophysiological levels of cortisol are associated with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and early death. Successful resection of the CD-associated ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma is the treatment of choice and results in immediate biochemical remission with preservation of pituitary function. Accurate and early identification of CD is critical for effective surgical management and optimal prognosis. The authors review the current pathophysiological principles, diagnostic methods, and management of CD.

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Prashant Chittiboina, John D. Heiss, and Russell R. Lonser

An intraoperative MRI (iMRI)–compatible system has been developed for direct placement of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) cannulae using real-time imaging. To establish the precision and feasibility of this technology, the authors analyzed findings in patients who underwent direct iMRI CED cannula placement.

Three consecutive patients underwent iMRI-guided placement of CED infusion cannulae (6 cannulae) for treatment of diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (2 patients) or Parkinson's disease (1 patient). Convective infusion cannulae were guided to the target using the ClearPoint iMRI-based navigation platform (MRI Interventions, Inc.). Placement accuracy was analyzed.

Real-time iMRI during infusion cannula insertion allowed for monitoring of trajectory accuracy during placement. During cannula insertion, no reinsertions or changes due to errors in targeting were necessary. The mean radial error was 1.0 ± 0.5 mm (± SD). There was no correlation between the total length of the planned trajectory and the radial error (Pearson's coefficient: −0.40; p = 0.5). The mean anteroposterior and lateral errors were 0.9 ± 0.5 and 0.3 ± 0.2 mm, respectively. The mean in-plane distance error was 1.0 ± 0.4 mm. The mean tip error (scalar distance between the planned target and actual tip) was 1.9 ± 0.9 mm. There was no correlation between the length of the planned trajectory and any of the measured errors. No complications were associated with cannula placement.

Real-time iMRI-based targeting and monitoring of infusion cannula placement is a safe, effective, and accurate technique that should enable more selective perfusion of brain regions.

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Ahmed Mohyeldin, Russell R. Lonser, and J. Bradley Elder


The object of this study was to assess the feasibility, accuracy, and safety of real-time MRI-compatible frameless stereotactic brain biopsy.


Clinical, imaging, and histological data in consecutive patients who underwent stereotactic brain biopsy using a frameless real-time MRI system were analyzed.


Five consecutive patients (4 males, 1 female) were included in this study. The mean age at biopsy was 45.8 years (range 29–60 years). Real-time MRI permitted concurrent display of the biopsy cannula trajectory and tip during placement at the target. The mean target depth of biopsied lesions was 71.3 mm (range 60.4–80.4 mm). Targeting accuracy analysis revealed a mean radial error of 1.3 ± 1.1 mm (mean ± standard deviation), mean depth error of 0.7 ± 0.3 mm, and a mean absolute tip error of 1.5 ± 1.1 mm. There was no correlation between target depth and absolute tip error (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r = 0.22). All biopsy cannulae were placed at the target with a single penetration and resulted in a diagnostic specimen in all cases. Histopathological evaluation of biopsy samples revealed dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (1 case), breast carcinoma (1 case), and glioblastoma multiforme (3 cases).


The ability to place a biopsy cannula under real-time imaging guidance permits on-the-fly alterations in the cannula trajectory and/or tip placement. Real-time imaging during MRI-guided brain biopsy provides precise safe targeting of brain lesions.

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Edjah K. Nduom, Stuart Walbridge, and Russell R. Lonser


Although pulsatile and continuous infusion paradigms have been described for convective delivery of drugs, the effectiveness and properties of each flow paradigm are unknown. To determine the effectiveness and properties of pulsatile and continuous convective infusion paradigms, the authors compared these convective flow methods in the gray and white matter of primates.


Six primates (Macaca mulatta) underwent convective infusion of Gd-DPTA (5 mM) into the cerebral gray matter (thalamus) or white matter (frontal lobe) using pulsed (intermittent pulses of 15 μl/min) or continuous (1 μl/min) convective flow. Results were assessed by clinical MRI and histological analyses.


Distribution of Gd-DTPA infusate in gray and white matter by pulsed and continuous flow was clearly identified using MRI, which revealed that both convective flow methods demonstrated an increase in the volume of distribution (Vd) with increasing volume of infusion (Vi) in the surrounding gray and white matter. Although the mean (± SD) gray matter Vd:Vi ratio for the pulsed infusions (4.2 ± 0.5) was significantly lower than the mean Vd:Vi ratio for continuous infusions (5.4 ± 0.5; a 22% difference [p = 0.0006]), the difference between pulsed (3.8 ± 0.4) and continuous (4.3 ± 1.2) infusions in white matter was not significantly different (p = 0.3). Pulsed infusions were associated with more leakback (12.3% ± 6.4% of Vi) than continuous infusions (3.9% ± 7.8%), although this difference was not significant (p = 0.2). All animals tolerated the infusions and there was no histological evidence of tissue injury at the infusion sites.


Although pulsed and continuous infusion flow paradigms can be safely and effectively used for convective delivery into both gray and white matter, continuous infusion is associated with a higher Vd:Vi ratio than pulsatile infusion in gray matter. High rates of infusion (15 μl/min) can be used to deliver infusate without any significant leakback and without any clinical or histological evidence of injury.