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Victor M. Lu, Mohammed A. Alvi, Kerrie L. McDonald and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGGs), including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, present a prognostic challenge given their lethality and rarity. A substitution mutation of lysine for methionine at position 27 in histone H3 (H3K27M) has been shown to be highly specific to these tumors. Data are accumulating regarding the poor outcomes of patients with these tumors; however, the quantification of pooled outcomes has yet to be done, which could assist in prioritizing management. The aim of this study was to quantitatively pool data in the current literature on the H3K27M mutation as an independent prognostic factor in pHGG.

METHODS

Searches of seven electronic databases from their inception to March 2018 were conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data were extracted and pooled using a meta-analysis of proportions. Meta-regression was used to identify potential sources of heterogeneity.

RESULTS

Six observational studies satisfied the selection criteria for inclusion. They reported the survival outcomes of a pooled cohort of 474 pHGG patients, with 258 (54%) and 216 (46%) patients positive and negative, respectively, for the H3K27M mutation. Overall, the presence of the mutation was independently and significantly associated with a worse prognosis (HR 3.630, p < 0.001). Overall survival was significantly shorter (by 2.300 years; p = 0.008) when the H3K27M mutation was present in pHGG. Meta-regression did not identify any study covariates of heterogeneous concern.

CONCLUSIONS

According to the current literature, pHGG patients positive for the H3K27M mutation are more than 3 times more susceptible to succumbing to this disease by more than 2 years, compared to patients negative for the mutation. More robust outcome data are required to improve our quantitative understanding of this pathological entity in order to assist in prioritizing clinical management. Future larger prospective studies are required to overcome inherent biases in the current literature to validate the quantitative findings of this study.

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Victor M. Lu, Kevin Phan, Sean P. Crowley and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Surgery is the definitive treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). It involves posterior fossa decompression, which can be performed along with C-1 laminectomy, reconstructive duraplasty, or tonsil shrinkage. The aim of this study was to provide an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the latest available evidence regarding posterior fossa decompression only (PFDO) versus posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) in the treatment of CM-I in children.

METHODS

A literature search was performed in compliance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines for article identification, screening, eligibility, and inclusion. Relevant articles were identified from 6 electronic databases from their inception to April 2016. These articles were screened against established criteria for inclusion into this study.

RESULTS

From 12 relevant studies identified, 1492 pediatric patients treated via PFDD were compared with 1963 pediatric patients treated by PFDO for CM-I. PFDD was associated with greater overall clinical improvement (p = 0.009), along with longer length of stay (p < 0.0001) and more postoperative complications (p = 0.0001) compared with PFDO. No difference was observed between PFDD and PFDO in terms of revision surgery incidence (p = 0.13), estimated blood loss (p = 0.14), syrinx improvement (p = 0.09), or scoliosis improvement (p = 0.95).

CONCLUSIONS

It appears that the addition of duraplasty to posterior decompression in the definitive treatment of CM-I in children may alter surgical and performance outcomes. In particular, parameters of overall clinical improvement, length of stay, and postoperative complication may differ between children undergoing PFDD and those undergoing PFDO. Current evidence in the literature is of low to very low quality that, as of yet, has not been able to completely control for inherent selection bias both in study design and surgeon preference. Future, large prospective registries and randomized controlled trials are warranted to validate the findings of this study.

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Victor M. Lu, Erica A. Power, Liang Zhang and David J. Daniels

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), otherwise known as diffuse midline glioma with H3K27M mutation, is a devastating brainstem glioma without a cure. Efforts are currently underway to better optimize molecular diagnoses through biological sampling, which today remains largely limited to surgical biopsy sampling. Surgical intervention is not without its risks, and therefore a preference remains for a less invasive modality that can provide biological information about the tumor. There is emerging evidence to suggest that a liquid biopsy, targeting biofluids such as CSF and blood plasma, presents an attractive alternative for brain tumors in general. In this update, the authors provide a summary of the progress made to date regarding the use of liquid biopsy to diagnose and monitor DIPG, and they also propose future development and applications of this technique moving forward, given its unique histone biology.

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Victor M. Lu, Kendall A. Snyder, Eniola R. Ibirogba, Rodrigo Ruano, David J. Daniels and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Open prenatal myelomeningocele (MMC) repair is typically associated with reversal of in utero hindbrain herniation (HBH) and has been posited to be associated with a reduction in both postoperative prenatal and immediate postnatal hydrocephalus (HCP) risks. However, the long-term postnatal risk of HCP following HBH reversal in these cases has not been well defined. The authors describe the results of a long-term HCP surveillance in a cohort of patients who underwent prenatal MMC repair at their institution.

METHODS

A retrospective review of all prenatal MMC repair operations performed at the Mayo Clinic between 2012 and 2017 was conducted. Pertinent data regarding the clinical courses of these patients before and after MMC repair were summarized. Outcomes of interest were occurrences of HBH and HCP and the need for intervention.

RESULTS

A total of 9 prenatal MMC repair cases were identified. There were 7 cases in which MRI clearly demonstrated prenatal HBH, and of these 86% (6/7) had evidence of HBH reversal after repair and prior to delivery. After a mean postnatal follow-up of 20 months, there were 3 cases of postnatal HCP requiring intervention. One case that failed to show complete HBH reversal after MMC repair required early ventriculoperitoneal shunting. The other 2 cases were of progressive, gradual-onset HCP despite complete prenatal HBH reversal, requiring endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization at ages 5 and 7 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Although prenatal MMC repair can achieve HBH reversal in a majority of well-selected cases, the prevention of postnatal HCP requiring intervention appears not to be predicated on this outcome alone. In fact, it appears that in a subset of cases in which HBH reversal is achieved, patients can experience a progressive, gradual-onset HCP within the 1st year of life. These findings support continued rigorous postnatal surveillance of all prenatal MMC repair patients, irrespective of postoperative HBH outcome.

Free access

Julian S. Rechberger, Erica A. Power, Victor M. Lu, Liang Zhang, Jann N. Sarkaria and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) and osmotic pump delivery both have been promoted as promising techniques to deliver drugs to pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs). Correspondingly, the aim of this study was to understand how infusate molecular weight (MW), duration of delivery, and mechanism of delivery (CED or osmotic pump) affect volume of distribution (Vd) in the brainstem, to better inform drug selection and delivery in future DIPG investigations.

METHODS

A series of in vivo experiments were conducted using rat models. CED and osmotic pump delivery systems were surgically implanted in the brainstem, and different MW fluorescent dextran beads were infused either once (acute) or daily for 5 days (chronic) in a volume infused (Vi). Brainstems were harvested after the last infusion, and Vd was quantified using serial sectioning and fluorescence imaging.

RESULTS

Fluorescence imaging showed infusate uptake within the brainstem for both systems without complication. A significant inverse relationship was observed between infusate MW and Vd in all settings, which was distinctly exponential in nature in the setting of acute delivery across the 570-Da to 150-kDa range. Chronic duration and CED technique resulted in significantly greater Vd compared to acute duration or osmotic pump delivery, respectively. When accounting for Vi, acute infusion yielded significantly greater Vd/Vi than chronic infusion. The distribution in CED versus osmotic pump delivery was significantly affected by infusate MW at higher weights.

CONCLUSIONS

Here the authors demonstrate that infusate MW, duration of infusion, and infusion mechanism all impact the Vd of an infused agent and should be considered when selecting drugs and infusion parameters for novel investigations to treat DIPGs.

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Victor M. Lu, Christopher S. Graffeo, Avital Perry, Lucas P. Carlstrom, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Giuseppe Lanzino, Waleed Brinjikji, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks and Alejandro A. Rabinstein

OBJECTIVE

Delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and aneurysm rebleeding contribute to morbidity and mortality in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH); however, the relationship between their impacts on overall functional outcome is incompletely understood.

METHODS

The authors conducted a cohort study of all aSAH during the study period from 2001 to 2016. Primary end points were overall functional outcome and ischemic aSAH sequelae, defined as delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), DCI with infarction, symptomatic vasospasm (SV), and global cerebral edema (GCE). Outcomes were compared between the rebleed and nonrebleed cohorts overall and after propensity-score matching (PSM) for risk factors and treatment modality. Univariate and multivariate ordered logistic regression analyses for functional outcomes were performed in the PSM cohort to identify predictors of poor outcome.

RESULTS

Four hundred fifty-five aSAH cases admitted within 24 hours of aneurysm rupture were included, of which 411 (90%) experienced initial aneurysm ruptures only, while 44 (10%) had clinically confirmed rebleeding. In the overall cohort, rebleeding was associated with significantly worse functional outcome, longer intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), and GCE (all p < 0.01); treatment modality, overall LOS, DCI, DCI with infarction, and SV were nonsignificant. In the PSM analysis of 43 matched rebleed and 43 matched nonrebleed cases, only poor functional outcome and GCE remained significantly associated with rebleeding (p < 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively). Multivariate regression identified that both rebleeding (HR 21.5, p < 0.01) and DCI (HR 10.1, p = 0.01) independently predicted poor functional outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Rebleeding and DCI after aSAH are highly morbid and potentially deadly events after aSAH, which appear to have independent negative impacts on overall functional outcome. Early rebleeding did not significantly affect the risk of delayed ischemic complications.

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Victor M. Lu, Kyle P. O’Connor, Benjamin T. Himes, Desmond A. Brown, Cody L. Nesvick, Ruby G. Siada, Toba N. Niazi, Jonathan Schwartz and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) during infancy is rare, and the clinical outcomes of congenital GBM are not well understood. Correspondingly, the aim of this study was to present a long-term survivor case from the authors’ institution, and establish an integrated cohort of cases across the published literature to better understand the clinical course of this disease in this setting.

METHODS

The authors report the outcomes of an institutional case of congenital GBM diagnosed within the first 3 months of life, and performed a comprehensive literature search for published cases from 2000 onward for an integrated survival analysis. All cases were integrated into 1 cohort, and Kaplan-Meier estimations, Fisher’s exact test, and logistic regression were used to interrogate the data.

RESULTS

The integrated cohort of 40 congenital GBM cases consisted of 23 (58%) females and 17 (42%) males born at a median gestational age of 38 weeks (range 22–40 weeks). Estimates of overall survival (OS) at 1 month was 67%, at 1 year it was 59%, and at 10 years it was 45%, with statistically superior outcomes for subgroups in which patients survived to be treated by resection and chemotherapy. In the overall cohort, multivariable analysis confirmed resection (p < 0.01) and chemotherapy (p < 0.01) as independent predictors of superior OS. Gestational age > 38 weeks (p < 0.01), Apgar scores ≥ 7 at 5 minutes (p < 0.01), absence of prenatal hydrocephalus (p < 0.01), and vaginal delivery (p < 0.01) were associated with greater odds of surgical diagnosis versus autopsy diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Congenital GBM can deviate from the expected poor prognosis of adult GBM in terms of OS. Both resection and chemotherapy confer statistically superior prognostic advantages in those patients who survive within the immediate postnatal period, and should be first-line considerations in the initial management of this rare disease.