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Daniel Ikeda and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Yun-Tao Lu, Song-Tao Qi, Jia-Ming Xu, Jun Pan and Jin Shi

OBJECT

This study aimed to identify the membranous septation between the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The clinical impact of this septation in the surgical removal of infradiaphragmatic craniopharyngioma (Id-CP) is also clarified.

METHODS

The sellar regions from 8 fetal and 6 adult cadavers were dissected. After staining first with H & E and then with picro-Sirius red, the membranous structures were observed and measured under normal light and polarization microscopy. The pre- and postsurgical images and intraoperative procedures in 28 cases of childhood Id-CP were reviewed and analyzed.

RESULTS

There is a significant membranous septation (termed the adenoneurohypophysis septation [ANHS]) lying behind the intermediate lobe to separate the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The average thicknesses are 21.9 ± 16.9 μm and 79.1 ± 43.2 μm in fetal and adult heads, respectively. The median segment of the septation is significantly thicker than the upper and lower segments. The ANHS extends from the suprasellar pars tuberalis to the sellar floor, where it is fused with the pituitary capsule. During Id-CP surgery performed via a transcranial approach, the ANHS can be identified to reserve the neurohypophysis. Moreover, by understanding the anatomy of this membrane, the pituitary stalk was preserved in 3 patients (10.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

There is a significant membrane separating the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland, which lies behind the intermediate lobe. Understanding the anatomy of this septation is important for identifying and preserving the neurohypophysis and pituitary stalk during Id-CP surgery.

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Yun Bao, Jun Pan, Song-tao Qi, Yun-tao Lu and Jun-xiang Peng

OBJECT

Craniopharyngiomas are associated with a high rate of recurrence. The surgical management of recurrent lesions has been among the most challenging neurosurgical procedures because of the craniopharyngioma's complex topographical relationship with surrounding structures. The aim of this study was to define the determinative role of the site of origin on the growth pattern and clinical features of recurrent craniopharyngiomas.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 52 patients who had undergone uniform treatment by a single surgeon. For each patient, data concerning symptoms and signs, imaging features, hypothalamic-pituitary function, and recurrence-free survival rate were collected.

RESULTS

For children, delayed puberty was more frequent in the group with Type I (infradiaphragmatic) craniopharyngioma than in the group with Type TS (tuberoinfundibular and suprasellar extraventricular) lesions (p < 0.05). For adults, blindness was more frequent in the Type I group than in the Type TS group (p < 0.05). Nausea or vomiting, delayed puberty, and growth retardation were more frequent in children than in adults (p < 0.05). Overall clinical outcome was good in 48.07% of the patients and poor in 51.92%. Patients with Type TS recurrent tumors had significantly worse functional outcomes and hypothalamic function than patients with the Type I recurrent tumors but better pituitary function especially in children.

CONCLUSIONS

The origin of recurrent craniopharyngiomas significantly affected the symptoms, signs, functional outcomes, and hypothalamic-pituitary functions of patients undergoing repeated surgery. Differences in tumor growth patterns and site of origin should be considered when one is comparing outcomes and survival across treatment paradigms in patients with recurrent craniopharyngiomas.

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Song-tao Qi, Jun Fan, Xi-an Zhang and Jun Pan

Object

A precise understanding of the ambient cistern and its associated arachnoid membranes is helpful for accessing perimesencephalic lesions. However, few studies of the arachnoid membranes related to the ambient cistern have been published, and, additionally, some aspects of the ambient cistern also require further examination. The goal of this study was to reinvestigate and expound on the anatomical features of the cistern and membranes.

Methods

The ambient cisterns and its associated arachnoid membranes were examined in 20 adult cadaveric brains using an operative microscope.

Results

The perimesencephalic membrane is a set of inner arachnoid membranes surrounding the midbrain at the level of the tentorial incisura. It arises from the outer arachnoidal membranes covering the tentorial edge and the dorsum sellae and can be subdivided into anterior and posterior portions. The anterior membrane is actually the mesencephalic leaf of Liliequist membrane, which is divided into medial and lateral parts by the oculomotor nerve. The posterior membrane can be divided into horizontal and ascending parts. The ambient cistern is located above the perimesencephalic membrane and contains the anterior choroidal arteries, the posterior cerebral arteries, the basal vein, and sometimes the segments of the superior cerebellar arteries. It communicates with the carotid cistern, the interpeduncular cistern, the oculomotor cistern, the cerebellopontine and cerebellomesencephalic cistern, and the quadrigeminal cistern.

Conclusions

This study updates some information about the ambient cistern and its arachnoid membranes. The perimesencephalic membrane was identified and described in detail. The ambient cistern was verified to be a supratentorial cistern above the perimesencephalic membrane. The borders and contents of this cistern, as well as its relationship with adjacent cisterns, were also redefined.

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Song-tao Qi, Yi Liu, Jun Pan, Silky Chotai and Lu-xiong Fang

Object

The completeness of meningioma resection depends on the resection of dura mater invaded by the tumor. The pathological changes of the dura around the tumor can be interpreted by evaluating the dural tail sign (DTS) on MRI studies. The goal of this study was to clarify the pathological characteristics of the DTSs, propose a classification based on the histopathological and radiological correlation, and identify the invasive range of tumor cells in different types of DTS.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 179 patients with convexity meningiomas who underwent Simpson Grade I resection. All patients underwent an enhanced MRI examination preoperatively. The convexity meningiomas were dichotomized into various subtypes in accordance with the 2007 WHO classification of tumors of the CNS, and the DTS was identified based on the Goldsher criteria. The range of resection of the involved dura was 3 cm from the base of the tumor, which corresponded with the length of DTS on MRI studies. Histopathological examination of dura at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 cm from the base of the tumor was conducted, and the findings were correlated with the preoperative MRI appearance of the DTS.

Results

A total of 154 (86%) of 179 convexity meningiomas were classified into WHO Grade I subtype, including transitional (44 [28.6%] of 154), meningothelial (36 [23.4%] of 154), fibrous (23 [14.9%] of 154), psammomatous (22 [14.3%] of 154), secretory (10 [6.5%] of 154), and angiomatous (19 [12.3%] of 154). The other 25 (14%) were non–Grade I (WHO) tumors, including atypical (12 [48%] of 25), anaplastic (5 [20%] of 25), and papillary (8 [32%] of 25). The DTS was classified into 5 types: smooth (16 [8.9%] of 179), nodular (36 [20.1%] of 179), mixed (57 [31.8%] of 179), symmetrical multipolar (15 [8.4%] of 179), and asymmetrical multipolar (55 [30.7%] of 179). There was a significant difference in distribution of DTS type between Grade I and non–Grade I tumors (p = 0.004), whereas the difference was not significant among Grade I tumors (0.841) or among non–Grade I tumors (p = 0.818). All smooth-type DTSs were encountered in Grade I tumors, and the mixed DTS (52 [33.8%] of 154) was the most common type in these tumors. Nodular-type DTS was more commonly seen in non–Grade I tumors (12 [48%] of 25). Tumor invasion was found in 88.3% (158 of 179) of convexity meningiomas, of which the range of invasion in 82.3% (130 of 158) was within 2 cm and that in 94.9% (150 of 158) was within 2.5 cm. The incidence of invasion and the range invaded by tumor cells varied in different types of DTS, and differences were statistically significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Nodular-type DTS on MRI studies might be associated with non–Grade I tumors. The range of dural resection for convexity meningiomas should be 2.5 cm from the tumor base, and if this extent of resection is not feasible, the type of DTS should be considered. However, for skull base meningiomas, in which mostly Simpson Grade II resection is achieved, the use of this classification should be further validated. The classification of DTS enables the surgeon to predict preoperatively and then to achieve the optimal range of dural resection that might significantly reduce the recurrence rate of meningiomas.

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Ruth Prieto, Inés Castro-Dufourny, Rodrigo Carrasco, Laura Barrios and José María Pascual

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Xi-an Zhang, Song-tao Qi, Jun Fan, Guang-long Huang and Jun-xiang Peng

Object

The aim of this study was to describe the similarity of configuration between the arachnoid complex in the posterior half of the incisural space and the Liliequist membrane.

Methods

Microsurgical dissection and anatomical observation were performed in 20 formalin-fixed adult cadaver heads. The origin, distribution, and configuration of the arachnoid membranes and their relationships with the vascular structures in the posterior half of the incisural space were examined.

Results

The posterior perimesencephalic membrane and the cerebellar precentral membrane have a common origin at the tentorial edge and form an arachnoid complex strikingly resembling an inverted Liliequist membrane. Asymmetry between sides is not uncommon. If the cerebellar precentral membrane is hypoplastic on one side or both, the well-developed quadrigeminal membrane plays a prominent part in partitioning the subarachnoid space in the posterior half of the incisural space.

Conclusions

The arachnoid complex in the posterior half of the incisural space can be regarded as an inverted Liliequist membrane. This concept can help neurosurgeons to gain better understanding of the surgical anatomy at the level of the tentorial incisura.

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Chao-hu Wang, Song-Tao Qi, Jun Fan, Jun Pan, Jun-Xiang Peng, Jing Nie, Yun Bao, Ya-Wei Liu, Xi’an Zhang and Yi Liu

OBJECTIVE

Nuclear β-catenin, a hallmark of active canonical Wnt signaling, can be histologically detected in a subset of cells and cell clusters in up to 94% of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma (ACP) samples. However, it is unclear whether nuclear β-catenin–containing cells within human ACPs possess the characteristics of tumor stem cells, and it is unknown what role these cells have in ACP.

METHODS

Primary ACP cells were cultured from 12 human ACP samples. Adamantinomatous CP stem cell–like cells (CSLCs) showing CD44 positivity were isolated from the cultured primary ACP cells by performing magnetic-activated cell sorting. The tumor sphere formation, cell cycle distribution, stemness marker expression, and multidifferentiation potential of the CD44− cells and the CSLCs were analyzed.

RESULTS

Compared with the CD44− cells, the cultured human CSLCs formed tumor spheres and expressed CD44 and CD133; moreover, these cells demonstrated nuclear translocation of β-catenin. In addition, the CSLCs demonstrated osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation capacities compared with the CD44− cells. The CSLCs also displayed the capacity for tumor initiation in human–mouse xenografts.

CONCLUSIONS

These results indicate that CSLCs play an important role in ACP development, calcification, and cystic degeneration.