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Da Li, Yu-Ming Jiao, Liang Wang, Fu-Xin Lin, Jun Wu, Xian-Zeng Tong, Shuo Wang, and Yong Cao

OBJECTIVE

Surgical management of brainstem lesions is challenging due to the highly compact, eloquent anatomy of the brainstem. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of preoperative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) in brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs).

METHODS

A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial was performed by using stratified blocked randomization. The primary eligibility criterion of the study was being a surgical candidate for brainstem CMs (with informed consent). The study enrolled 23 patients who underwent preoperative DTI/DTT and 24 patients who did not (the control group). The pre- and postoperative muscle strength of both limbs and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were evaluated. Muscle strength of any limb at 12 months after surgery at the clinic visit was the primary outcome; worsened muscle strength was considered to be a poor outcome. Outcome assessors were blinded to patient management. This study reports the preliminary results of the interim analysis.

RESULTS

The cohort included 47 patients (22 women) with a mean age of 35.7 years. The clinical baselines between these 2 groups were not significantly different. In the DTI/DTT group, the corticospinal tract was affected in 17 patients (73.9%): it was displaced, deformed/partially interrupted, or completely interrupted in 6, 7, and 4 patients, respectively. The surgical approach and brainstem entry point were adjusted in 3 patients (13.0%) based on DTI/DTT data. The surgical morbidity of the DTI/DTT group (7/23, 30.4%) was significantly lower than that of the control group (19/24, 79.2%, p = 0.001). At 12 months, the mean mRS score (1.1, p = 0.034) and percentage of patients with worsened motor deficits (4.3%, p = 0.006) were significantly lower in the DTI/DTT group than in the control group (1.7% and 37.5%). Multivariate logistic regression identified the absence of preoperative DTI/DTT (OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.01–0.73, p = 0.028) and use of the 2-point method (OR 4.15, 95% CI 1.38–12.49, p = 0.011) as independent adverse factors for a worsened motor deficit. The multivariate model found a significant correlation between poor mRS score and both an increased preoperative mRS score (t = 3.559, p = 0.001) and absence of preoperative DTI/DTT (t = −2.747, p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS

DTI/DTT noninvasively allowed for visualization of the anatomical relationship between vital tracts and pathologies as well as facilitated the brainstem surgical approach and entry-point decision making. The technique was valuable for complex neurosurgical planning to reduce morbidity. Nonetheless, DTI/DTT data should be interpreted cautiously.

■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: randomized controlled trial; evidence: class I.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01758211 (ClinicalTrials.gov)

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Tao Yu, Xingwen Sun, Yan You, Jie Chen, Jun-mei Wang, Shuo Wang, Ning Lin, Buqing Liang, and Jizong Zhao

Brain capillary telangiectasias (BCTs) are usually small and benign with a predilection in the pons and basal ganglion. Reports of large and symptomatic BCTs are rare. Large BCTs have a much higher risk of causing uncontrolled bleeding and severe neurological defects, and they can be fatal if left untreated. Therefore, large BCTs should be managed with special caution. Because of the lack of reports, diagnosis of large BCTs has been difficult. Strategies of management are undefined for large or giant BCTs.

The current study presents 5 cases of giant and large BCTs. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest series of this disease ever reported. Radiological findings, histopathological characteristics, clinical presentations, and surgical management were analyzed in 5 symptomatic, unusually large BCTs (mean diameter 5.06 cm, range 1.8–8 cm).

Four patients presented with focal or generalized seizures, and 1 patient presented with transient vision loss attributed to the lesions. Gross-total resection of the lesion was achieved in all patients. After surgery, the 4 patients with seizures were symptom free for follow-up periods varying from more than 1 to 5 years with no additional neurological deficits.

The unique location, radiological characteristics, and clinical course suggest that giant BCTs could be a different entity from small BCTs. Surgery might be a good option for treatment of patients with intractable neurological symptoms, especially in those with surgically accessible locations. Complete removal would be anticipated to provide relief of the symptoms without causing new neurological deficits.

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Xiaofeng Deng, Yan Zhang, Long Xu, Bo Wang, Shuo Wang, Jun Wu, Dong Zhang, Rong Wang, Jia Wang, and Jizong Zhao

OBJECT

Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital malformations that may grow in the language cortex but usually do not lead to aphasia. In contrast, language dysfunction is a common presentation for patients with a glioma that involves language areas. The authors attempted to demonstrate the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between cerebral AVMs and gliomas by blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI) evaluation.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical and imaging data of 63 patients with an unruptured cerebral AVM (AVM group) and 38 patients with a glioma (glioma group) who underwent fMRI. All the patients were right handed, and all their lesions were located in the left cerebral hemisphere. Patients were further categorized into 1 of the 2 following subgroups according to their lesion location: the BA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the inferior frontal or the middle frontal gyri [the Broca area]) and the WA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the supramarginal, angular, or superior temporal gyri [the Wernicke area]). Lateralization indices of BOLD signal activations were calculated separately for the Broca and Wernicke areas. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

In the AVM group, right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in 23 patients (36.5%), including 6 with right-sided lateralization in the Broca area alone, 12 in the Wernicke area alone, and 5 in both areas. More specifically, in the 34 patients in the AVM-BA subgroup, right-sided lateralization of the Broca area was detected in 9 patients (26.5%), and right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area was detected in 4 (11.8%); in the 29 patients in the AVM-WA subgroup, 2 (6.9%) had right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and 13 (44.8%) had right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area. In the glioma group, 6 patients (15.8%) showed right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area, including 2 patients in the glioma-BA subgroup and 4 patients in the glioma-WA subgroup. No patient showed right-sided lateralization of the Broca area. Moreover, although the incidence of right-sided lateralization was higher in cases of low-grade gliomas (5 in 26 [19.2%]) than in high-grade gliomas (1 in 12 [8.3%]), no significant difference was detected between them (p = 0.643). Compared with the AVM group, the incidence of aphasia was significantly higher (p < 0.001), and right-sided lateralization of language areas was significantly rarer (p = 0.026) in the glioma group.

CONCLUSIONS

Right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in patients with a cerebral AVM and in those with a glioma, suggesting that language cortex reorganization may occur with both diseases. However, the potential of reorganization in patients with gliomas seems to be insufficient compared with patients AVMs, which is suggested by clinical manifestations and the fMRI findings. Moreover, this study seems to indicate that in patients with an AVM, a nidus near the Broca area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and a nidus near the Wernicke area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area.

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Liang-Hua Ma, Guang Li, Hong-Wei Zhang, Zhi-Yu Wang, Jun Dang, Shuo Zhang, Lei Yao, and Xiao-Meng Zhang

Object

This study was undertaken to analyze outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) with or without whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT).

Methods

One hundred seventy-one patients comprised the study population. Fifty-four patients received HSRT alone, and 117 patients received both HSRT and WBRT. The median survival time (MST) was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Recursive Partitioning Analysis (RPA) and Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) were also used to evaluate the results. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine significant prognostic factors for overall survival. Tumor control, radiation toxicity, and cause of death in the HSRT and HSRT+WBRT groups were evaluated.

Results

The MST for all patients was 13 months. According to the Kaplan-Meier method, the probability of survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 51.2%, 21.7%, and 10.1%. The MSTs for RPA Classes I, II, and III were 19, 12, and 5 months, respectively; and the MSTs for GPA Scores 4, 3, 2, and 1 were 24, 14, 12, and 6 months, respectively. The MSTs in the HSRT+WBRT and HSRT groups were 13 and 9 months (p = 0.044), respectively, for all patients, 13 and 8 months (p = 0.031), respectively, for patients with multiple brain metastases, and 16 and 15 months (p = 0.261), respectively, for patients with a single brain metastasis. The multivariate analysis showed that HSRT+WBRT was a significant factor only for patients with multiple brain metastases (p = 0.010). The Kaplan-Meier–estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 92.2%, 82.7%, 79.5%, and 68.3% in the HSRT+WBRT group and 73.5%, 58.4%, 51.0%, and 43.3% in the HSRT group, respectively, in all 165 patients (p = 0.001). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 94.3%, 81.9%, 79.6%, and 76.7%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 77.8%, 61.4%, 52.6%, and 48.2%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 80 patients harboring a single metastasis (p = 0.009). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 90.5%, 83.5%, 79.5%, and 60.9%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 68.2%, 54.5%, 48.5%, and 36.4%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 85 patients with multiple metastases (p = 0.010). The toxicity incidences of Grade 3 or worse were 6.0% (7 of 117 patients) in the HSRT+WBRT group and 1.9% (1 of 54 patients) in the HSRT group (p = 0.438). The differences in neurological death rates between the HSRT+WBRT group and the HSRT group were not statistically significant (34.4% vs 44.7%, p = 0.125, in all patients; 30.0% vs 52.0%, p = 0.114, in patients with a single metastasis; and 38.0% vs 36.4%, p = 0.397, in patients with multiple metastases).

Conclusions

The overall survival results in the present study were similar to those in other studies. Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy provides an alternative method to traditional stereotactic radiosurgery. We suggest that WBRT should be combined with HSRT in patients with single or multiple newly diagnosed brain metastases from NSCLC.

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Zhi-Hong Zheng, Yi Lin, Pin-Shuo Su, Peng-Wei Wang, Wei-Ting Tsai, and Dueng-Yuan Hueng

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Yuanxiang Lin, Fuxin Lin, Dezhi Kang, Yuming Jiao, Yong Cao, and Shuo Wang

OBJECTIVE

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) findings may facilitate clinical decision making in patients with supratentorial cavernous malformations adjacent to the corticospinal tract (CST-CMs). The objective of this study was to determine the predictive value of preoperative DTI findings for surgical outcomes in patients with CST-CMs.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained database of patients with CM referred to the authors' hospital between September 2012 and October 2015 was reviewed to identify all consecutive surgically treated patients with CST-CM. All patients had undergone sagittal T1-weighted anatomical imaging and DTI before surgery. Both DTI findings and clinical characteristics of the patients and lesions were analyzed with respect to surgery-related motor deficits. DTI findings included lesion-to-CST distance (LCD) and the alteration (i.e., deviation, interruption, or degeneration due to the CM) of CST on preoperative DTI images. Surgery-related motor deficits at 1 week and the last clinic visit (≥ 3 months) after surgery were defined as short-term and long-term deficits, respectively. Preoperative and final modified Rankin Scale scores were also analyzed to identify the surgical outcomes in these patients.

RESULTS

A total of 56 patients with 56 CST-CMs were included in this study. The mean LCD was 3.9 ± 3.2 mm, and alterations of the CST were detected in 20 (36.7%) patients. One week after surgery, 21 (37.5%) patients had short-term surgery-related motor deficits, but only 14 (25.0%) patients had long term deficits at the last clinical visit. The mean patient follow-up was 14.7 ± 10.1 months. The difference between preoperative and final modified Rankin Scale scores was not statistically significant (p = 0.490). Multivariate analysis showed that both short-term (p < 0.001) and long-term (p = 0.002) surgery-related motor deficits were significantly associated with LCD. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve results were as follows: for short-term surgery-related motor deficits, the area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.860, and the cutoff point was LCD = 2.55 mm; for long-term deficits, the AUC was 0.894, and the cutoff point was LCD = 2.30 mm. Both univariate (p = 0.012) and multivariate (p = 0.049) analyses revealed that CST alteration on preoperative DTI was significantly correlated with short-term surgery-related motor deficits. On univariate analysis, deep location of the CST-CMs was significantly correlated with long-term motor deficits (p = 0.016). Deep location of the CST-CMs had a trend toward significance with long-term motor deficits on the multivariate analysis (p = 0.060).

CONCLUSIONS

To facilitate clinical practice, the authors propose that 3.00 mm (2.55 to ∼3.00 mm) may be the safe LCD for surgery in patients with CST-CMs. A CST alteration on preoperative DTI and a deep location of the CST-CM may be risk factors for short- and long-term surgery-related motor deficits, respectively. A randomized controlled trial is needed to demonstrate the predictive value of preoperative DTI findings on surgical outcomes in patients with CST-CMs in future studies.

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Xiaofeng Deng, Faliang Gao, Dong Zhang, Yan Zhang, Rong Wang, Shuo Wang, Yong Cao, Yuanli Zhao, Yuesong Pan, Xingju Liu, Qian Zhang, and Jizong Zhao

OBJECTIVE

The optimal surgical modality for moyamoya disease (MMD) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the surgical effects of direct bypass (DB) and indirect bypass (IB) in the treatment of adult ischemic-type MMD.

METHODS

Adult patients with ischemic-type MMD who underwent either DB or IB from 2009 to 2015 were identified retrospectively from a prospective database. Patients lost to follow-up or with a follow-up period less than 12 months were excluded. Recurrent stroke events and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at the last follow-up were compared between the 2 surgical groups after 1:1 propensity score matching.

RESULTS

A total of 220 patients were considered, including 143 patients who underwent DB and 77 patients who underwent IB. After propensity score matching, 70 pairs were obtained. The median follow-up period was 40.5 months (range 14–75 months) in the DB group and 31.5 months (range 14–71 months) in the IB group (p = 0.004). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients who received DB had a longer stroke-free time (mean 72.1 months) compared with patients who received IB (mean 61.0 months) (p = 0.045). Good neurological status (mRS score ≤ 2) was achieved in 64 patients in the DB group (91.4%) and 66 patients in the IB group (94.3%), but there was no significant difference (p = 0.512).

CONCLUSIONS

Although neurological function outcome was not determined by the surgical modality, DB is more effective in preventing recurrent ischemic strokes than IB for adult ischemic-type MMD.

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Meng Zhao, Xiaofeng Deng, Dong Zhang, Shuo Wang, Yan Zhang, Rong Wang, and Jizong Zhao

OBJECTIVE

The risk factors and clinical significance of postoperative complications in moyamoya disease are still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the predictors of postoperative complications in moyamoya disease and examine the impact of complications on outcomes.

METHODS

The authors reviewed consecutive cases involving adult moyamoya disease patients who underwent indirect, direct, or combined bypass surgery in their hospital between 2009 and 2015. Preoperative clinical characteristics and radiographic features were recorded. Postoperative complications within 14 days after surgery were examined. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the risk factors for either postoperative ischemia or postoperative cerebral hyperperfusion. Outcome data, including recurrent strokes and neurological status (modified Rankin Scale [mRS]) during follow-up, were collected. Outcomes were compared between patients who had complications with those without complications, using propensity-score analysis to account for between-group differences in baseline characteristics.

RESULTS

A total of 500 patients (610 hemispheres) were included in this study. Postoperative complications were observed in 74 operations (12.1%), including new postoperative ischemia in 30 cases (4.9%), hyperperfusion in 27 (4.4%), impaired wound healing in 12 (2.0%), and subdural effusion in 6 (1.0%). The complication rates for different surgery types were as follows: 12.6% (n = 25) for indirect bypass, 12.7% (n = 37) for direct bypass, and 10.0% (n = 12) for combined bypass (p = 0.726). Postoperative ischemic complications occurred in 30 hemispheres (4.9%) in 30 different patients, and postoperative symptomatic hyperperfusion occurred after 27 procedures (4.4%). Advanced Suzuki stage (OR 1.669, 95% CI 1.059–2.632, p = 0.027) and preoperative ischemic presentation (OR 5.845, 95% CI 1.654–20.653, p = 0.006) were significantly associated with postoperative ischemia. Preoperative ischemic presentation (OR 5.73, 95% CI 1.27–25.88, p = 0.023) and admission modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.06–3.10, p = 0.031) were significantly associated with symptomatic postoperative cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS). Compared with patients without postoperative complications, patients who experienced any postoperative complications had longer hospital stays and worse mRS scores at discharge (both p < 0.0001). At the final follow-up, no significant differences in functional disability (mRS score 3–6, 11.9% vs 4.5%, p = 0.116) and future stroke events (p = 0.513) between the 2 groups were detected.

CONCLUSIONS

Advanced Suzuki stage and preoperative ischemic presentation were independent risk factors for postoperative ischemia; the mRS score on admission and preoperative ischemic presentation were independently associated with postoperative CHS. Although patients with postoperative complications had worse neurological status at discharge, postoperative complications had no associations with future stroke events or functional disability during follow-up.

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Yuming Jiao, Fuxin Lin, Jun Wu, Hao Li, Lijun Wang, Zhen Jin, Shuo Wang, and Yong Cao

OBJECTIVE

Case selection for the surgical treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) remains challenging. This study aimed to construct a predictive grading system combining lesion-to-eloquence distance (LED) for selecting patients with BAVMs for surgery.

METHODS

Between September 2012 and September 2015, the authors retrospectively studied 201 consecutive patients with BAVMs. All patients had undergone preoperative functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), followed by resection. Both angioarchitectural factors and LED were analyzed with respect to the change between preoperative and final postoperative modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. LED refers to the distance between the lesion and the nearest eloquent area (eloquent cortex or eloquent fiber tracts) measured on preoperative fMRI and DTI. Based on logistic regression analysis, the authors constructed 3 new grading systems. The HDVL grading system includes the independent predictors of mRS change (hemorrhagic presentation, diffuseness, deep venous drainage, and LED). Full Score combines the variables in the Spetzler-Martin (S-M) grading system (nidus size, eloquence of adjacent brain, and venous drainage) and the HDVL. For the third grading system, the fS-M grading system, the authors added information regarding eloquent fiber tracts to the S-M grading system. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves was compared with those of the S-M grading system and the supplementary S-M grading system of Lawton et al.

RESULTS

LED was significantly correlated with a change in mRS score (p < 0.001). An LED of 4.95 mm was the cutoff point for the worsened mRS score. Hemorrhagic presentation, diffuseness, deep venous drainage, and LED were independent predictors of a change in mRS score. Predictive accuracy was highest for the HDVL grading system (area under the ROC curve 0.82), followed by the Full Score grading system (0.80), the fS-M grading system (0.79), the supplementary S-M grading system (0.76), and least for the S-M grading system (0.71). Predictive accuracy of the HDVL grading system was significantly better than that of the Spetzler-Martin grade (p = 0.040).

CONCLUSIONS

LED was a significant predictor for the preoperative risk evaluation for surgery. The HDVL system was a good predictor of neurological outcomes after BAVM surgery. Adding the consideration of the involvement of eloquent fiber tracts to preoperative evaluation can effectively improve its predictive accuracy.