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Chiaho Hua, Barry L. Shulkin, Daniel J. Indelicato, Yimei Li, Xingyu Li, Frederick A. Boop and Thomas E. Merchant


The aim of the study was to document postoperative cerebral glucose distribution before proton therapy using F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) in children with craniopharyngioma.


Between August 2011 and April 2014, 50 patients (20 males, 30 females) enrolled in a prospective trial for craniopharyngioma underwent FDG PET imaging before proton therapy. Proton therapy was delivered using doublescattered beams with a total prescribed dose of 54 cobalt gray equivalent. Tracer uptake in each of 63 anatomical regions was computed after warping PET images to a 3D reference template in Talairach coordinates. Regional uptake was deemed significantly low or high if it exceeded age-corresponding 95% prediction intervals of the normal population. The reference group included 132 children with non-CNS-related diseases and normal-appearing cerebral FDG PET scans.


Median patient age at diagnosis was 8.5 years (range 2–18 years). Forty-eight patients underwent 1–4 tumor-related surgeries before proton therapy, including placement of an Ommaya reservoir in 14 patients. Sixteen patients had symptomatic hydrocephalus that was treated with temporary (external ventricular drain, n = 16) or permanent CSF shunting (ventriculoperitoneal shunt, n = 1). The most commonly seen PET abnormalities in patients before proton therapy were significantly reduced uptake in subregions of the frontal lobe (often involving more than 1 gyrus), medial and ventral portions of the temporal lobe, cingulate gyrus, and caudate nucleus. A significantly high uptake was frequently observed on the contralateral side, including the superior, medial, and inferior temporal gyri and a large portion of the parietal lobe. Statistically significant predictor variables identified in the multivariate analysis for the extent of hypometabolism were sex (p = 0.005), hydrocephalus (p = 0.026), and the number of tumor-related surgeries (p = 0.017).


Postoperative FDG PET of patients with craniopharyngioma revealed metabolic abnormalities in specific regions of the brain. The ability to identify anatomical metabolic defects in individual patients facilitates the investigation of brain injury in children with craniopharyngioma.

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Shih-Shan Lang, Omaditya Khanna, Natalie J. Atkin, Judy E. Palma, Ian Yuan, Phillip B. Storm, Gregory G. Heuer, Benjamin Kennedy, Angela J. Waanders, Yimei Li and Jimmy W. Huh


The lack of a continuous, noninvasive modality for monitoring intracranial pressure (ICP) is a major obstacle in the care of pediatric patients with hydrocephalus who are at risk for intracranial hypertension. Intracranial hypertension can lead to cerebral ischemia and brain tissue hypoxia. In this study, the authors evaluated the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rSO2) in symptomatic pediatric patients with hydrocephalus concerning for elevated ICP.


The authors evaluated the NIRS rSO2 trends in pediatric patients presenting with acute hydrocephalus and clinical symptoms of intracranial hypertension. NIRS rSO2 values were recorded hourly before and after neurosurgical intervention. To test for significance between preoperative and postoperative values, the authors constructed a linear regression model with the rSO2 values as the outcome and pre- and postsurgery cohorts as the independent variable, adjusted for age and sex, and used the generalized estimating equation method to account for within-subject correlation.


Twenty-two pediatric patients underwent NIRS rSO2 monitoring before and after CSF diversion surgery. The mean durations of NIRS rSO2 recording pre- and postoperatively were 13.95 and 26.82 hours, respectively. The mean pre- and postoperative rSO2 values were 73.84% and 80.65%, respectively, and the adjusted mean difference estimated from the regression model was 5.98% (adjusted p < 0.0001), suggestive of improved cerebral oxygenation after definitive neurosurgical CSF diversion treatment. Postoperatively, all patients returned to baseline neurological status with no clinical symptoms of elevated ICP.


Cerebral oxygenation trends measured by NIRS in symptomatic pediatric hydrocephalus patients with intracranial hypertension generally improve after CSF diversion surgery.