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Na Young Jung, Chang Kyu Park, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung, and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECTIVE

Although neurosurgical procedures are effective treatments for controlling involuntary tremor in patients with essential tremor (ET), they can cause cognitive decline, which can affect quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this study is to assess the changes in the neuropsychological profile and QOL of patients following MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy for ET.

METHODS

The authors prospectively analyzed 20 patients with ET who underwent unilateral MRgFUS thalamotomy at their institute in the period from March 2012 to September 2014. Patients were regularly evaluated with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST), neuroimaging, and cognition and QOL measures. The Seoul Neuropsychological Screening Battery was used to assess cognitive function, and the Quality of Life in Essential Tremor Questionnaire (QUEST) was used to evaluate the postoperative change in QOL.

RESULTS

The total CRST score improved by 67.3% (from 44.75 ± 9.57 to 14.65 ± 9.19, p < 0.001) at 1 year following MRgFUS thalamotomy. Mean tremor scores improved by 68% in the hand contralateral to the thalamotomy, but there was no significant improvement in the ipsilateral hand. Although minimal cognitive decline was observed without statistical significance, memory function was much improved (p = 0.031). The total QUEST score also showed the same trend of improving (64.16 ± 17.75 vs 27.38 ± 13.96, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report that MRgFUS thalamotomy had beneficial effects in terms of not only tremor control but also safety for cognitive function and QOL. Acceptable postoperative changes in cognition and much-improved QOL positively support the clinical significance of MRgFUS thalamotomy as a new, favorable surgical treatment in patients with ET.

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Hyun Ho Jung, Won Seok Chang, Itay Rachmilevitch, Tal Tlusty, Eyal Zadicario, and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECT

The authors report different MRI patterns in patients with essential tremor (ET) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) after transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) and discuss possible causes of occasional MRgFUS failure.

METHODS

Between March 2012 and August 2013, MRgFUS was used to perform unilateral thalamotomy in 11 ET patients and bilateral anterior limb capsulotomy in 6 OCD patients; in all patients symptoms were refractory to drug therapy. Sequential MR images were obtained in patients across a 6-month follow-up period.

RESULTS

For OCD patients, lesion size slowly increased and peaked 1 week after treatment, after which lesion size gradually decreased. For ET patients, lesions were visible immediately after treatment and markedly reduced in size as time passed. In 3 ET patients and 1 OCD patient, there was no or little temperature rise (i.e., < 52°C) during MRgFUS. Successful and failed patient groups showed differences in their ratio of cortical-to-bone marrow thickness (i.e., skull density).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found different MRI pattern evolution after MRgFUS for white matter and gray matter. Their results suggest that skull characteristics, such as low skull density, should be evaluated prior to MRgFUS to successfully achieve thermal rise.

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Won Seok Chang, Hae Yu Kim, Jin Woo Chang, Yong Gou Park, and Jong Hee Chang

Object

Whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT), open resection, and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are widely used for treatment of metastatic brain lesions, and many physicians recommend WBRT for multiple brain metastases. However, WBRT can be performed only once per patient, with rare exceptions. Some patients may require SRS for multiple metastatic brain lesions, particularly those patients harboring more than 10 lesions. In this paper, treatment results of SRS for brain metastasis were analyzed, and an attempt was made to determine whether SRS is effective, even in cases involving multiple metastatic brain lesions.

Methods

The authors evaluated the cases of 323 patients who underwent SRS between October 2005 and October 2008 for the treatment of metastatic brain lesions. Treatment was performed using the Gamma Knife model C or Perfexion. The patients were divided into 4 groups according to the number of lesions visible on MR images: Group 1, 1–5 lesions; Group 2, 6–10 lesions: Group 3, 11–15 lesions; and Group 4, > 15 lesions. Patient survival and progression-free survival times, taking into account both local and distant tumor recurrences, were analyzed.

Results

The patients consisted of 172 men and 151 women with a mean age at SRS of 59 years (range 30–89 years). The overall median survival time after SRS was 10 months (range 8.7–11.4 months). The median survival time of each group was as follows: Group 1, 10 months; Group 2, 10 months; Group 3, 13 months; and Group 4, 8 months. There was no statistical difference between survival times after SRS (log-rank test, p = 0.554), although the probability of development of new lesions in the brain was greater in Group 4 (p = 0.014). Local tumor control rates were not statistically different among the groups (log-rank test, p = 0.989); however, remote disease progression was more frequent in Group 4 (log-rank test, p = 0.014).

Conclusions

In this study, patients harboring more than 15 metastatic brain lesions were found to have faster development of new lesions in the brain. This may be due to the biological properties of the patients' primary lesions, for example, having a greater tendency to disseminate hematogenously, especially to the brain, or a higher probability of missed or invisible lesions (microscopic metastases) to treat on stereotactic MR images at the time of radiosurgery. However, the mean survival times after SRS were not statistically different between groups. According to the aforementioned results, SRS may be a good treatment option for local control of metastatic lesions and for improved survival in patients with multiple metastatic brain lesions, even those patients who harbor more than 15 metastatic brain lesions, who, after SRS, may have early and easily detectable new metastatic lesions.

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Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung, Eyal Zadicario, Itay Rachmilevitch, Tal Tlusty, Shuki Vitek, and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECT

Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) was recently introduced as treatment for movement disorders such as essential tremor and advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although deep brain target lesions are successfully generated in most patients, the target area temperature fails to increase in some cases. The skull is one of the greatest barriers to ultrasonic energy transmission. The authors analyzed the skull-related factors that may have prevented an increase in target area temperatures in patients who underwent MRgFUS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from clinical trials that involved MRgFUS for essential tremor, idiopathic PD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Data from 25 patients were included. The relationships between the maximal temperature during treatment and other factors, including sex, age, skull area of the sonication field, number of elements used, skull volume of the sonication field, and skull density ratio (SDR), were determined.

RESULTS

Among the various factors, skull volume and SDR exhibited relationships with the maximum temperature. Skull volume was negatively correlated with maximal temperature (p = 0.023, r2 = 0.206, y = 64.156 − 0.028x, whereas SDR was positively correlated with maximal temperature (p = 0.009, r2 = 0.263, y = 49.643 + 11.832x). The other factors correlate with the maximal temperature, although some factors showed a tendency to correlate.

CONCLUSIONS

Some skull-related factors correlated with the maximal target area temperature. Although the number of patients in the present study was relatively small, the results offer information that could guide the selection of MRgFUS candidates.

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Myung Ji Kim, So Hee Park, Kyung Won Chang, Yuhee Kim, Jing Gao, Maya Kovalevsky, Itay Rachmilevitch, Eyal Zadicario, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung, and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECTIVE

Magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) provides real-time monitoring of patients to assess tremor control and document any adverse effects. MRgFUS of the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus has become an effective treatment option for medically intractable essential tremor (ET). The aim of this study was to analyze the correlations of clinical and technical parameters with 12-month outcomes after unilateral MRgFUS thalamotomy for ET to help guide future clinical treatments.

METHODS

From October 2013 to January 2019, data on unilateral MRgFUS thalamotomy from the original pivotal study and continued-access studies from three different geographic regions were collected. Authors of the present study retrospectively reviewed those data and evaluated the efficacy of the procedure on the basis of improvement in the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) subscore at 1 year posttreatment. Safety was based on the rates of moderate and severe thalamotomy-related adverse events. Treatment outcomes in relation to various patient- and sonication-related parameters were analyzed in a large cohort of patients with ET.

RESULTS

In total, 250 patients were included in the present analysis. Improvement was sustained throughout the 12-month follow-up period, and 184 (73.6%) of 250 patients had minimal or no disability due to tremor (CRST subscore < 10) at the 12-month follow-up. Younger age and higher focal temperature (Tmax) correlated with tremor improvement in the multivariate analysis (OR 0.948, p = 0.013; OR 1.188, p = 0.025; respectively). However, no single statistically significant factor correlated with Tmax in the multivariate analysis. The cutoff value of Tmax in predicting a CRST subscore < 10 was 55.8°C. Skull density ratio (SDR) was positively correlated with heating efficiency (β = 0.005, p < 0.001), but no significant relationship with tremor improvement was observed. In the low-temperature group, 1–3 repetitions to the right target with 52°C ≤ Tmax ≤ 54°C was sufficient to generate sustained tremor suppression within the investigated follow-up period. The high-temperature group had a higher rate of balance disturbances than the low-temperature group (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors analyzed the data of 250 patients with the aim of improving practices for patient screening and determining treatment endpoints. These results may improve the safety, efficacy, and efficiency of MRgFUS thalamotomy for ET.

Free access

So Hee Park, Myung Ji Kim, Hyun Ho Jung, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Seok Choi, Itay Rachmilevitch, Eyal Zadicario, and Jin Woo Chang

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) remains fatal due to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which interferes with the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of repeated disruption of the BBB (BBBD) with MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) in patients with GBM during standard adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy.

METHODS

This study was a prospective, single-center, single-arm study. BBBD with MRgFUS was performed adjacent to the tumor resection margin on the 1st or 2nd day of the adjuvant TMZ chemotherapy at the same targets for 6 cycles. T2*-weighted/gradient echo (GRE) MRI was performed immediately after every sonication trial, and comprehensive MRI was performed at the completion of all sonication sessions. Radiological, laboratory, and clinical evaluations were performed 2 days before each planned BBBD.

RESULTS

From September 2018, 6 patients underwent 145 BBBD trials at various locations in the brain. The authors observed gadolinium-enhancing spots at the site of BBBD on T1-weighted MRI in 131 trials (90.3%) and 93 trials (64.1%) showed similar spots on T2*-weighted/GRE MRI. When the 2 sequences were combined, BBBD was observed in 134 targets (92.4%). The spots disappeared on follow-up MRI. There were no imaging changes related to BBBD and no clinical adverse effects during the 6 cycles.

CONCLUSIONS

This study is the first in which repetitive MRgFUS was performed at the same targets with a standard chemotherapy protocol for malignant brain tumor. BBBD with MRgFUS was performed accurately, repeatedly, and safely. Although a longer follow-up period is needed, this study allows for the possibility of other therapeutic agents that previously could not be used due to the BBB.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03712293 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Won Seok Chang, Midori Nakajima, Ayako Ochi, Elysa Widjaja, James T. Rutka, Ivanna Yau, Shiro Baba, and Hiroshi Otsubo

Advanced dynamic statistical parametric mapping (AdSPM) with magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to identify MRI-negative epileptogenic lesions in this report. A 15-year-old girl had MRI-negative and pharmacology-resistant focal-onset epilepsy. She experienced two types of seizures. Type I consisted of her arousal from sleep, staring, and a forced head-turning movement to the left, followed by secondary generalization. Type II began with an aura of dizziness followed by staring and postictal headache with fatigue. Scalp video-electroencephalography (EEG) captured two type I seizures originating from the right frontocentral region. MEG showed scattered dipoles over the right frontal region. AdSPM identified the spike source at the bottom of the right inferior frontal sulcus. Intracranial video-EEG captured one type I seizure, which originated from the depth electrode at the bottom of the sulcus and correlated with the AdSPM spike source. Accordingly, the patient underwent resection of the middle and inferior frontal gyri, including the AdSPM-identified spike source. Histopathological examination revealed that the patient had focal cortical dysplasia type IIB. To date, the patient has been seizure free for 2 years while receiving topiramate treatment. This is the first preliminary report to identify MRI-negative epilepsy using AdSPM. Further investigation of AdSPM would be valuable for cases of MRI-negative focal epilepsy.

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Kyoung Su Sung, Ju Hyung Moon, Eui Hyun Kim, Seok-Gu Kang, Se Hoon Kim, Chang-Ok Suh, Sun Ho Kim, Kyu-Sung Lee, Won Seok Chang, and Jong Hee Chang

OBJECTIVE

Solitary fibrous tumor/hemangiopericytoma (SFT/HPC) is a new combined entity for which a soft-tissue–type grading system, ranging from grades I to III, has been introduced in the 2016 WHO classification of tumors of the CNS. The results of the treatment of this new disease entity require evaluation.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reevaluated the pathological findings and medical records of patients with SFT/HPC. This study included 60 patients (27 men and 33 women, median age 42.5 years, range 13–69 years) treated at Severance Hospital between February 1981 and February 2016. Four, 40, and 16 patients were categorized as having SFT/HPC grades I, II, and III, respectively. Among these patients, SFTs diagnosed in 7 patients were regraded as grades I (n = 4), II (n = 2), and III (n = 1).

RESULTS

The median overall survival (OS) was 73.2 months (range 1.4–275.7 months), and the progression-free survival (PFS) after the first operation was 53.8 months (range 1.4–217.7 months). Six patients (10%) showed extracranial metastasis during a median period of 103.7 months (range 31.9–182.3 months). Nineteen patients (31.7%) presented with tumor recurrences. The patients in the grade III group had shorter PFS and OS, as well as a shorter period to extracranial metastasis, compared with patients in the grade II group. In the grade II group, patients who underwent gross-total resection showed longer PFS than those who underwent subtotal resection; however, there was no difference in OS. Patients who underwent adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after surgery had longer PFS compared with that of patients who did not undergo adjuvant RT.

CONCLUSIONS

The SFT/HPC grade I group showed a relatively benign course compared with those of the other groups. The grade III group presented a course with a more aggressive nature than that of the grade II group. In the grade II group, the extent of resection and adjuvant RT was significantly associated with longer PFS. The long-term follow-up and periodic systemic evaluation are mandatory to detect systemic metastasis.

Free access

Ji Hee Kim, Hyun Ho Jung, Jong Hee Chang, Jin Woo Chang, Yong Gou Park, and Won Seok Chang

Object

Intracranial chordomas and chondrosarcomas are histologically low-grade, locally invasive tumors that are reported to be similar in terms of anatomical location, clinical presentation, and radiological findings but different in terms of behavior and outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare clinical outcomes after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of intracranial chordoma and chondrosarcoma.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of the results of radiosurgical treatment of intracranial chordomas and chondrosarcomas. They enrolled patients who had undergone GKS for intracranial chordoma or chondrosarcoma at the Yonsei Gamma Knife Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, from October 2000 through June 2007. Analyses included only patients for whom the disease was pathologically diagnosed before GKS and for whom more than 5 years of follow-up data after GKS were available. Rates of progression-free survival and overall survival were analyzed and compared according to tumor pathology. Moreover, the association between tumor control and the margin radiation dose to the tumor was analyzed, and the rate of tumor volume change after GKS was quantified.

Results

A total of 10 patients were enrolled in this study. Of these, 5 patients underwent a total of 8 sessions of GKS for chordoma, and the other 5 patients underwent a total of 7 sessions of GKS for chondrosarcoma. The 2- and 5-year progression-free survival rates for patients in the chordoma group were 70% and 35%, respectively, and rates for patients in the chondrosarcoma group were 100% and 80%, respectively (log-rank test, p = 0.04). The 2- and 5-year overall survival rates after GKS for patients in the chordoma group were 87.5% and 72.9%, respectively, and rates for patients in the chondrosarcoma group were 100% and 100%, respectively (log-rank test, p = 0.03). The mean rates of tumor volume change 2 years after radiosurgery were 79.64% and 39.91% for chordoma and chondrosarcoma, respectively (p = 0.05). No tumor progression was observed when margin doses greater than 16 Gy for chordoma and 14 Gy for chondrosarcoma were prescribed.

Conclusions

Outcomes after GKS were more favorable for patients with chondrosarcoma than for those with chordoma. The data also indicated that at 2 years after GKS, the rate of volume change is significantly higher for chordomas than for chondrosarcomas. The authors conclude that radiosurgery with a margin dose of more than 16 Gy for chordomas and more than 14 Gy for chondrosarcomas seems to enhance local tumor control with relatively few complications. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal dose of GKS for patients with intracranial chordoma or chondrosarcoma.

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Ji Woong Oh, Kyoung Su Sung, Ju Hyung Moon, Eui Hyun Kim, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung, Jin Woo Chang, Yong Gou Park, Sun Ho Kim, and Jong Hee Chang

OBJECTIVE

This study investigated long-term follow-up data on the combined pituitary function test (CPFT) in patients who had undergone transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) to determine the clinical parameters indicative of hypopituitarism following postoperative Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

METHODS

Between 2001 and 2015, a total of 971 NFPA patients underwent TSS, and 76 of them (7.8%) underwent postoperative GKS. All 76 patients were evaluated with a CPFT before and after GKS. The hormonal states were analyzed based on the following parameters: relevant factors before GKS (age, sex, extent of resection, pre-GKS hormonal states, time interval between TSS and GKS), GKS-related factors (tumor volume; radiation dose to tumor, pituitary stalk, and normal gland; distance between tumor and stalk), and clinical outcomes (tumor control rate, changes in hormonal states, need for hormone-related medication due to hormonal changes).

RESULTS

Of the 971 NFPA patients, 797 had gross-total resection (GTR) and 174 had subtotal resection (STR). Twenty-five GTR patients (3.1%) and 51 STR patients (29.3%) underwent GKS. The average follow-up period after GKS was 53.5 ± 35.5 months, and the tumor control rate was 96%. Of the 76 patients who underwent GKS, 23 were excluded due to pre-GKS panhypopituitarism (22) or loss to follow-up (1). Hypopituitarism developed in 13 (24.5%) of the remaining 53 patients after GKS. A higher incidence of post-GKS hypopituitarism occurred in the patients with normal pre-GKS hormonal states (41.7%, 10/24) than in the patients with abnormal pre-GKS hormonal states (10.3%, 3/29; p = 0.024). Target tumor volume (4.7 ± 3.9 cm3), distance between tumor and pituitary stalk (2.0 ± 2.2 mm), stalk dose (cutoffs: mean dose 7.56 Gy, maximal dose 12.3 Gy), and normal gland dose (cutoffs: maximal dose 13.9 Gy, minimal dose 5.25 Gy) were factors predictive of post-GKS hypopituitarism (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

This study analyzed the long-term follow-up CPFT data on hormonal changes in NFPA patients who underwent GKS after TSS. The authors propose a cutoff value for the radiation dose to the pituitary stalk and normal gland for the prevention of post-GKS hypopituitarism.