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Peng Li, Haibo Ren, Shizhen Zhang and Wei Wang

Object

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of cavernous sinus hemangiomas (CSHs). The authors report on 16 patients who underwent GKS as a primary or adjuvant treatment for CSH.

Methods

Sixteen patients harboring CSHs (14 women and 2 men ranging in age from 21 to 65 years [mean 41.3 years]) underwent GKS at West China Hospital. In 4 patients the diagnosis was based on histological findings; in the other 12 patients it was based on findings on MR images. After patients were given a local anesthetic agent, the treatments were performed using a Leksell Gamma Knife model C. Gadolinium-enhanced MR images of T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and FLAIR sequences were obtained to determine the pretreatment location of the lesion. A mean peripheral dose of 13.3 Gy (range 11–14 Gy) was directed to the 40%–50% isodose line.

Results

The mean follow-up time in this study was 21.5 months (range 12–36 months). In 11 of 12 patients with symptoms, clinical improvement was reported at an average of 3.3 months (range 1–8 months) after GKS. Significant or partial tumor shrinkage was observed in 14 patients (87.5%) at the last follow-up. No new neurological impairments were reported after GKS.

Conclusions

Magnetic resonance imaging may play an important role in the preoperative diagnosis of CSHs. Gamma Knife surgery may be a safe and effective primary or adjuvant treatment option for CSHs; however, long-term follow-up with more cases is needed to verify the benefits of this treatment.

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Ming-Ying Lan and Wei-Hsin Wang

This is a 37-year-old woman who presented with weight gain, a moon-shaped face, and muscle weakness for 4 months. Cushing’s disease was confirmed after a series of diagnostic tests. MRI demonstrated a pituitary macroadenoma with right cavernous sinus invasion and encasement of the right ICA. An endoscopic endonasal approach was performed, and gross-total resection could be achieved without injury of the cranial nerves. The Cushing’s syndrome improved gradually after the surgery. Histopathology revealed a corticotroph adenoma. In this surgical video, we demonstrate the strategies of tumor resection according to a surgical anatomy-based classification of the cavernous sinus from an endonasal perspective.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/aNXFRdGfjpI.

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Chen Wang, Xiao-Jun Yuan, Ma-Wei Jiang and Li-Feng Wang

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical features and outcome of medulloblastoma in Chinese children. The authors analyze the reasons that treatment is abandoned and attempt to provide evidence-based recommendations for improving the prognosis of medulloblastoma in this population.

METHODS

A total of 67 pediatric cases of newly diagnosed medulloblastoma were included in this study. All of the children were treated at Xinhua Hospital between January 2007 and June 2013. The authors retrospectively analyzed the clinical data, treatment modalities, and outcome. The male-to-female ratio was 2:1, and the patients’ median age at diagnosis was 51.96 months (range 3.96–168.24 months). The median duration of follow-up was 32 months (range 3–70 months).

RESULTS

At the most recent follow-up date, 31 patients (46%) were alive, 30 (45%) had died, and 6 (9%) had been lost to follow-up. The estimated 3-year overall survival and progression-free survival, based on Kaplan-Meier analysis, were 55.1% ± 6.4% and 45.6% ± 6.7%, respectively. Univariate analysis showed that standard-risk group (p = 0.009), postoperative radiotherapy (RT) combined with chemotherapy (p < 0.001), older age (≥ 3 years) at diagnosis (p = 0.010), gross-total resection (p = 0.012), annual family income higher than $3000 (p = 0.033), and living in urban areas (p = 0.008) were favorable prognostic factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that postoperative RT combined with chemotherapy was an independent prognostic factor (p < 0.001). The treatment abandonment rate in this cohort was 31% (21 of 67 cases).

CONCLUSIONS

There was a large gap between the outcome of medulloblastoma in Chinese children and the outcome in Western children. Based on our data, treatment abandonment was the major cause of therapeutic failure. Parents’ misunderstanding of medulloblastoma played a major role in abandonment, followed by financial and transportation difficulties. Establishment of multidisciplinary treatment teams could improve the prognosis of medulloblastoma in Chinese children.

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Wenhua Chen, Wei Xing, Zhongming He, Ya Peng, Caoye Wang and Qi Wang

OBJECTIVE

The study aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of 320-detector row nonsubtracted and subtracted volume CT angiography (VCTA) in detecting small cerebral aneurysms (< 3 mm) compared with 3D digital subtraction angiography (3D DSA).

METHODS

Six hundred sixty-two patients underwent 320-detector row VCTA and 3D DSA for suspected cerebral aneurysms. Five neuroradiologists independently reviewed VCTA and 3D DSA images. The 3D DSA was considered the reference standard, and the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of nonsubtracted and subtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were analyzed. A p value < 0.05 was considered a significant difference.

RESULTS

According to 3D DSA images, 98 small cerebral aneurysms were identified in 90 of 662 patients. Nonsubtracted VCTA depicted 90 small aneurysms. Ten small aneurysms were missed, and 2 small aneurysms were misdiagnosed. The missed small aneurysms were located almost in the internal carotid artery, near bone tissue. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of nonsubtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were 89.8%, 99.2%, and 96.5%, respectively, on a per-aneurysm basis. Subtracted VCTA depicted 97 small aneurysms. Three small aneurysms were missed, and 2 small aneurysms were misdiagnosed. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of subtracted VCTA in depicting small aneurysms were 96.9%, 99.2%, and 98.6%, respectively, on a per-aneurysm basis. There was no difference in accuracy between subtracted VCTA and 3D DSA (p = 1.000). However, nonsubtracted VCTA had significantly less sensitivity than 3D DSA and subtracted VCTA (p = 0.039 and 0.016, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Subtracted 320-detector row VCTA is sensitive enough to replace 3D DSA in the diagnosis of small cerebral aneurysms (< 3 mm). The accuracy rate of nonsubtracted VCTA was lower than that of subtracted VCTA and 3D DSA, especially in the assessment of small internal carotid artery aneurysms adjacent to the skull base.

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Weijun Peng, Zhihua Xing, Jingjing Yang, Yang Wang, Weihao Wang and Wei Huang

Object

Erythropoietin (EPO) shows promise as a neuroprotective agent in animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, clinical trials of the efficacy of EPO treatment in patients with TBI yield conflicting results. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effect of EPO in experimental animal models of TBI, the goal being to inform the design of future clinical trials.

Methods

The authors identified eligible studies by searching PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, Embase, and Google Scholar in October 2013. Data were pooled using the random-effects model, and results were reported in terms of standardized mean difference. Statistical heterogeneity was examined using both I2 and chi-square tests, and the presence of small study effects was investigated with funnel plots and Egger tests. In-depth analyses were performed for lesion volume and neurobehavioral outcome, and the studies' methodological quality was also evaluated.

Results

Of a total of 290 studies, 13 found an effect of EPO on lesion volume and neurobehavioral outcome. Overall, the methodological quality of the studies was poor, and there was evidence of statistical heterogeneity among the publications as well as small-study effects. However, in-depth analyses showed statistically significant findings in favor of a beneficial effect of EPO after TBI.

Conclusions

Despite limitations of this systematic review that may have influenced the findings, the authors conclude that EPO might be beneficial in treating experimental TBI in terms of reducing lesion volume and improving neurobehavioral outcome. However, this review also indicates that more well-designed and well-reported animal studies are needed.

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Yanxi Liu, Zhan Zhang, Jiangbo Wang, Guangzhi Wu, Wei Yu and Shusen Cui

OBJECTIVE

Both clinical and radiological reports have suggested that the subclavius, a muscle in the costoclavicular space of the thoracic outlet, participates in neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS) in some instances, especially during movements narrowing the costoclavicular space. Magnetic resonance imaging can identify subclavius muscles with signs of nerve impingement, yet the impact of the subclavius in such situations remains unclear. Therefore, the authors investigated whether dividing or sparing the subclavius characterized by nerve impingement on MRI would affect surgical outcomes.

METHODS

In this retrospective nonrandomized study, authors analyzed all NTOS patients with a subclavius muscle characterized by nerve impingement on MRI (loss of normal fat planes surrounding the brachial plexus) in the period between March 2010 and November 2016. Patients were divided into two groups: the sparing group, in which patients had undergone conventional supraclavicular scalenectomy and first rib resection (FRR), and the dividing group, in which patients had undergone scalenectomy, FRR, and subclavius dividing using a modified supraclavicular incision. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, a shoulder range of motion subscale (DASH items 6, 12–15, and 19) concerning overhead activities that can significantly narrow the costoclavicular space, postoperative MRI studies, and patient self-assessments were used to assess surgical outcomes. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify independent factors associated with subscale scores.

RESULTS

From a total of 261 patients screened, 71 were eligible for study inclusion. Compared with the sparing group (33 patients), the dividing group (38 patients) had similar postoperative DASH scores and self-assessments but better subscale scores (9.50 ± 2.76 vs 11.94 ± 2.87, p = 0.0005). Postoperative MRI on hyperabduction showed that the brachial plexus became surrounded by normal fat tissue in the costoclavicular space in the diving group but still had signs of impingement from the untreated subclavius muscle in the sparing group. This observation agreed with a better functional recovery in terms of overhead activities in the dividing group, which was reflected by better subscale scores. Multivariate analyses indicated that the type of treatment and symptom duration prior to surgery influenced the subscale scores independently.

CONCLUSIONS

This study revealed that an untreated radiological nerve-compressing subclavius muscle could lead to a relatively lower degree of recovery in the ability to perform overhead activities for NTOS patients postoperatively, suggesting that such subclavius muscles may participate in positional brachial plexus compression during movements narrowing the costoclavicular space. Dividing the muscles could decompress the costoclavicular space more effectively and may lead to better functional recovery.

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Wei Xu, Yu Wang, Jing Wang, Xinghai Yang, Weibo Liu, Wang Zhou, Tielong Liu and Jianru Xiao

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of long-term bisphosphonate treatment on reducing local recurrence of sacral giant cell tumors (GCTs) after nerve-sparing surgery.

METHODS

Thirty-five consecutive patients with sacral GCTs who received treatment in Shanghai Changzheng Hospital between January 2000 and December 2010 were included in this study. Between January 2007 and December 2010, 19 patients received bisphosphonates following nerve-sparing surgery. Before January 2007, 16 patients received nerve-sparing surgery alone, and these cases were included as the control group. The difference in clinical data between the groups was compared by Student's t-test and 2-tailed chi-square or Fisher's exact test. The postoperative recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared between the groups by log-rank test. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS

All of the patients had relatively good nerve function. The clinical data were homogeneous between the groups. The local recurrence rate was 10.53% (2 of 19) in the bisphosphonate treatment group and 43.75% (7 of 16) in the control group. The log-rank test showed that the 3-year RFS and 3-year OS in the bisphosphonate treatment group were significantly higher than those in the control group (RFS 89.5% vs 56.3%, p = 0.04; OS 100% vs 81.3%, p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The long-term use of bisphosphonates after nerve-sparing surgery is a viable option for the treatment of sacral GCTs. This approach could reduce local recurrences while preserving nerve function.

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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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Cheng-Loong Liang, Meng-Wei Ho, Kang Lu, Yu-Duan Tsai, Po-Chou Liliang, Kuo-Wei Wang and Han-Jung Chen

Object

The authors conducted a study to assess the eye lens dosimetry in trigeminal neuralgia (TN) treatment when using the Leksell Gamma Knife model C.

Methods

Phantom studies were used to measure the maximal dose reaching the eye lens with and without eye shielding. Six consecutive patients with TN were evaluated for Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). The maximum prescribed dose of 80 Gy was delivered with a single shot using the 4-mm collimator helmet. High-sensitivity thermoluminescence dosimeter chips (TLDCs) were used to measure the dosimetry.

In vitro, the Leksell GammaPlan (LGP) system predicted the mean maximal doses of 1.08 ± 0.08 and 0.15 ± 0.01 Gy (mean ± standard deviation) to the lens ipsilateral to the treated trigeminal nerve without and with eye shielding, respectively. The TLDCs-measured dosimetry indicated the mean maximal doses of 1.12 ± 0.09 and 0.17 ± 0.01 Gy without and with eye shielding, respectively. The maximal doses to the lens contralateral to the nerve were similar.

In vivo, the LGP predicted the mean maximal doses to the lens ipsilateral to the treated nerve as 1.1 ± 0.07 and 0.16 ± 0.02 Gy, respectively, without and with eye shielding. The dosimetry measured by TLDCs indicated the mean maximal dose to the lens ipsilateral to the treated nerve as 0.17 ± 0.02 Gy with eye shielding. The mean maximal doses to the lens contralateral to the nerve were similar. Using the 110 and 125˚ gamma angles, the LGP predicted the mean maximal doses of 0.32 ± 0.04 and 0.12 ± 0.04 Gy to the lens without and with eye shielding, respectively.

Conclusions

Patients with TN undergoing GKS without eye shielding may develop cataracts due to the high radiation dose to the eye lenses. The authors suggest the routine use of bilateral eye shielding for the patients.

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Qing-Song Lin, Wei-Xiong Wang, Yuan-Xiang Lin, Zhang-Ya Lin, Liang-Hong Yu, Yin Kang and De-Zhi Kang

OBJECTIVE

Glutamate excitotoxicity and neuronal apoptosis are suggested to contribute to early brain injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Annexin A7 (ANXA7) has been shown to regulate glutamate release. However, the role of ANXA7 in early brain injury after SAH has not been illustrated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of ANXA7 knockdown in reducing the severity of early brain injury after SAH, and determine the underlying mechanisms.

METHODS

Endovascular perforation was performed to induce SAH in male Sprague-Dawley rats. ANXA7-siRNA was administered via intraventricular injection 5 days before SAH induction. Neurological test, evaluation of SAH grade, assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, measurement of brain water content, Western blot, double immunofluorescence staining, TUNEL staining, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed at 24 hours of SAH induction.

RESULTS

ANXA7 protein expression increased significantly after SAH induction and was seen mainly in neurons. High expression of ANXA7 was associated with poor neurological status. ANXA7 knockdown dramatically ameliorated early brain injury through alleviating BBB disruption and brain edema. Further investigation of the mechanism showed that inhibiting ANXA7 expression can rescue neuronal apoptosis. In addition, ANXA7 knockdown also significantly reduced glutamate release, which was consistent with a significant increase of Bcl-2 expression and decreases of Bax and cleaved caspase-3 expression.

CONCLUSIONS

ANXA7 can induce neuronal apoptosis by affecting glutamate release in rats with SAH. Downregulating the expression of ANXA7 can significantly attenuate early brain injury after SAH. Future therapy targeting ANXA7 may be a promising new choice.