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Abdeljabar El Andaloussi, Yu Han and Maciej S. Lesniak

Object

Regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells have been shown to play an important role in the regulation of the immune response. Whereas the presence of these cells has been associated with immune suppression, the lack of regulatory T (Treg) cells has been shown to induce autoimmunity. The purpose of this study was to define the role of Treg cells in tumors of the central nervous system (CNS).

Methods

The authors implanted syngeneic GL261 tumor cells in the brains or flanks of C57BL/6 mice. The resulting tumors were later removed at specific time points, and the presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was analyzed by performing flow cytometry for the presence of Treg cells. In a separate experiment, mice with GL261 tumors were treated with injections of anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to determine whether depletion of Treg cells may have an impact on the length of survival in mice with brain tumors.

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes isolated from mice with GL261 tumors were found to have a significant increase in the presence of Treg cells compared with control lymphocytes (p < 0.05). Moreover, Treg cells isolated in murine brain tumors expressed FoxP3, CTLA-4, and CD62L. Mice treated with anti-CD25 mAb lived significantly longer than tumor-bearing control animals (p < 0.05). An analysis of brains in surviving animals showed a depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate that CD4+CD25+ Treg cells play an important role in suppressing the immune response to CNS tumors. These Treg cells may therefore represent a potentially novel target for immunotherapy of malignant gliomas.

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Chen-Yu Ding, Han-Pei Cai, Hong-Liang Ge, Liang-Hong Yu, Yuan-Xiang Lin and De-Zhi Kang

OBJECTIVE

The relationship between lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and various cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases is inconsistent. However, the connection between Lp-PLA2 level and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) remains unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between the Lp-PLA2 levels in the early stages of aSAH and the occurrence of DCI.

METHODS

The authors evaluated 114 patients with aSAH who were enrolled into a prospective observational cohort study. Serum Lp-PLA2 level at admission (D0), on the first morning (D1), and on the second morning of hospitalization (D2) were determined using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The relationship between Lp-PLA2 levels and DCI was analyzed.

RESULTS

Forty-three patients with aSAH (37.72%) experienced DCI. Mean serum Lp-PLA2 level decreased from 183.06 ± 61.36 μg/L at D0 (D0 vs D1, p = 0.303), to 175.32 ± 51.49 μg/L at D1 and 167.24 ± 54.10 μg/L at D2 (D0 vs D2, p = 0.040). The Lp-PLA2 level changes (D0-D1 and D0-D2) were comparable between patients with and without DCI. Multivariate model analysis revealed Lp-PLA2 level (D0) > 200 μg/L was a more significant factor of DCI compared with Lp-PLA2 (D1) and Lp-PLA2 (D2), and was a strong predictor of DCI (odds ratio [OR] 6.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.05–18.94, p = 0.001) after controlling for World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade (OR 3.35, 95% CI 1.18–9.51, p = 0.023) and modified Fisher grade (OR 6.07, 95% CI 2.03–18.14, p = 0.001). WFNS grade (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.792), modified Fisher grade (AUC = 0.731), and Lp-PLA2 level (D0; AUC = 0.710) were all strong predictors of DCI. The predictive powers of WFNS grade, modified Fisher grade, and Lp-PLA2 (D0) were comparable (WFNS grade vs Lp-PLA2: p = 0.233; modified Fisher grade vs Lp-PLA2: p = 0.771). The poor-grade patients with Lp-PLA2 (D0) > 200 μg/L had significantly worse DCI survival rate than poor-grade patients with Lp-PLA2 (D0) ≤ 200 μg/L (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The serum level of Lp-PLA2 was significantly elevated in patients with DCI, and decreased within the first 2 days after admission. Lp-PLA2 in the early stages of aSAH might be a novel predictive biomarker for the occurrence of DCI.

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Adam M. Sonabend, Ilya V. Ulasov, Yu Han and Maciej S. Lesniak

Adenoviruses historically have been one of the main vectors used in human gene therapy. To date, the majority of brain tumor trials of these vectors have used replication-defective viruses. The relative lack of success obtained with replication-defective vectors has prompted a search for new and improved therapies. In this context, oncolytic (conditionally replicative) adenoviruses, which selectively bind and replicate only in tumor cells, have gained increasing importance. These adenoviruses, once they are rendered conditionally replicative by transductional and transcriptional modifications, offer significant promise for patients with malignant glioma. In this review, the authors discuss the genetic approaches to adenoviral modification and their applications in the field of neurooncology.

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Yu-Duan Tsai, Pao-Chu Yu, Tao-Chen Lee, Han-Shiang Chen, Shih-Ho Wang and Yeh-Lin Kuo

✓ Traumatic injury of the aorta, inferior vena cava, and iliac vessels due to penetration of the anterior anulus fibrosus and anterior longitudinal ligament is a recognized complication of lumbar disc surgery. The authors report, to the best of their knowledge, the first case of discectomy-related superior rectal artery injury treated by endovascular intervention.

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Yu Han, Jianguang Sun, Chenghan Luo, Shilei Huang, Liren Li, Xiang Ji, Xiaozong Duan, Zhenqing Wang and Guofu Pi

OBJECTIVE

Pedicle screw–based dynamic spinal stabilization systems (PDSs) were devised to decrease, theoretically, the risk of long-term complications such as adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after lumbar fusion surgery. However, to date, there have been few studies that fully proved that a PDS can reduce the risk of ASD. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a PDS can influence the incidence of ASD and to discuss the surgical coping strategy for L5–S1 segmental spondylosis with preexisting L4–5 degeneration with no related symptoms or signs.

METHODS

This study retrospectively compared 62 cases of L5–S1 segmental spondylosis in patients who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (n = 31) or K-Rod dynamic stabilization (n = 31) with a minimum of 4 years' follow-up. The authors measured the intervertebral heights and spinopelvic parameters on standing lateral radiographs and evaluated preexisting ASD on preoperative MR images using the modified Pfirrmann grading system. Radiographic ASD was evaluated according to the results of radiography during follow-up.

RESULTS

All 62 patients achieved remission of their neurological symptoms without surgical complications. The Kaplan-Meier curve and Cox proportional-hazards model showed no statistically significant differences between the 2 surgical groups in the incidence of radiographic ASD (p > 0.05). In contrast, the incidence of radiographic ASD was 8.75 times (95% CI 1.955–39.140; p = 0.005) higher in the patients with a preoperative modified Pfirrmann grade higher than 3 than it was in patients with a modified Pfirrmann grade of 3 or lower. In addition, no statistical significance was found for other risk factors such as age, sex, and spinopelvic parameters.

CONCLUSIONS

Pedicle screw–based dynamic spinal stabilization systems were not found to be superior to posterior lumbar interbody fusion in preventing radiographic ASD (L4–5) during the midterm follow-up. Preexisting ASD with a modified Pfirrmann grade higher than 3 was a risk factor for radiographic ASD. In the treatment of degenerative diseases of the lumbosacral spine, the authors found that both of these methods are feasible. Also, the authors believe that no extra treatment, other than observation, is needed for preexisting degeneration in L4–5 without any clinical symptoms or signs.

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Ilya V. Ulasov, Angel A. Rivera, Yu Han, David T. Curiel, Zeng B. Zhu and Maciej S. Lesniak

Object

Gene therapy protocols for malignant gliomas utilize adenoviral vectors that rely almost exclusively on the adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) backbone. The authors have previously shown that chimeric vectors that bind to the Ad3 receptor, or CD46, increase the transduction efficiency of malignant brain tumors. In light of the debate regarding the efficacy of CD46 compared with CD80/CD86 in binding Ad3 virions, the authors now examine the expression and transduction efficiency of Ad5/3 chimeras that bind via CD80/CD86.

Methods

The authors first analyzed CD80/CD86 expression in glioma cell lines. They then used three replication-defective vectors containing a luciferase reporter gene: Ad5/3 (containing the tail and shaft domain of Ad5 and the knob domain of Ad3); Ad3/5 (containing the tail of Ad5, shaft of Ad3, and knob of Ad5); and Ad3/3 (containing the tail of Ad5, shaft of Ad3, and knob of Ad3). These vectors were analyzed both in vitro and in vivo against malignant glioma cells. To examine further the effect of Ad5/3 fiber modification, the authors created an oncolytic vector, conditionally replicative Ad5/3 (CRAd5/3).

Results

The Ad5/3 vector showed a 10- to 100-fold enhanced transduction efficiency of malignant glioma compared with replication-defective wild-type adenovirus (reAd5) (p < 0.05). Moreover the use of Ad5/3 reduced transgene expression by more than 90% in normal human brain cells compared with reAd5. Finally, the use of CRAd5/3 inhibited tumor cell proliferation by 43% more than replication-competent wild-type virus in vitro (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

The results of this study demonstrate that the Ad5/3 vector offers superior transduction efficiency and low toxicity in the setting of brain tumors, and therefore represents a potential new approach to gene therapy for malignant gliomas.

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Jan Hillman, Steen Fridriksson, Ola Nilsson, Zhengquan Yu, Hans Säveland and Karl-Erik Jakobsson

Object. By pursuing a policy of very early aneurysm treatment in neurosurgical centers, in-hospital rebleeds can be virtually eliminated. Nonetheless, as many as 15% of patients with aneurysm rupture suffer ultraearly rebleeding with high mortality rates, and these individuals are beyond the reach of even the most ambitious protocol for diagnosis and referral. Only drugs given immediately after the diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) has been established at the local hospital level can, in theory, contribute to the minimization of such ultraearly rebleeding. The object of this randomized, prospective, multicenter study was to assess the efficacy of short-term antifibrinolytic treatment with tranexamic acid in preventing rebleeding.

Methods. Only patients suffering SAH verified on computerized tomography (CT) scans within 48 hours prior to the first hospital admission were included. A 1-g dose of tranexamic acid was given intravenously as soon as diagnosis of SAH had been verified in the local hospitals (before the patients were transported), followed by doses of 1 g every 6 hours until the aneurysm was occluded; this treatment did not exceed 72 hours. In this study, 254 patients received tranexamic acid and 251 patients were randomized as controls. Age, sex, Hunt and Hess and Fisher grade distributions, as well as aneurysm locations, were congruent between the groups. Outcome was assessed at 6 months post-SAH by using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). Vasospasm and delayed ischemic neurological deficits were classified according to clinical findings as well as by transcranial Doppler (TCD) studies. All events classified as rebleeding were verified on CT scans or during surgery.

Conclusions. More than 90% of patients reached the neurosurgical center within 12 hours of their first hospital admission after SAH; 70% of all aneurysms were clipped or coils were inserted within 24 hours of the first hospital admission. Given the protocol, only one rebleed occurred later than 24 hours after the first hospital admission. Despite this strong emphasis on early intervention, however, a cluster of 27 very early rebleeds still occurred in the control group within hours of randomization into the study, and 13 of these patients died. In the tranexamic acid group, six patients rebled and two died. A reduction in the rebleeding rate from 10.8 to 2.4% and an 80% reduction in the mortality rate from early rebleeding with tranexamic acid treatment can therefore be inferred. Favorable outcome according to the GOS increased from 70.5 to 74.8%. According to TCD measurements and clinical findings, there were no indications of increased risk of either ischemic clinical manifestations or vasospasm that could be linked to tranexamic acid treatment. Neurosurgical guidelines for aneurysm rupture should extend also into the preneurosurgical phase to guarantee protection from ultraearly rebleeds. Currently available antifibrinolytic drugs can provide such protection, and at low cost. The number of potentially saved lives exceeds those lost to vasospasm.

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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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Yu-Hua Huang, Tao-Chen Lee, Tsung-Han Lee, Chen-Chieh Liao, Jason Sheehan and Aij-Lie Kwan

Object

Decompressive craniectomy is a life-saving measure for patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI), but patients undergoing this procedure may still die during an early phase of head injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence, causes, and risk factors of 30-day mortality in traumatically brain-injured patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy.

Methods

The authors included 201 head-injured patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy in this 3-year retrospective study. The main outcome evaluated was 30-day mortality in patients who had undergone craniectomy after TBI. Demographic and clinical data, including information on death, were obtained for subsequent analysis. The authors identified differences between survivors and nonsurvivors in terms of clinical parameters; multivariate logistic regression was used to adjust for independent risk factors of short-term death.

Results

The 30-day mortality rate was 26.4% in traumatically brain-injured patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy. The majority of deaths following decompression resulted from uncontrollable brain swelling and extensive brain infarction, which accounted for 79.2% of mortality. In the multivariate logistic regression mode, the 2 independent risk factors for 30-day mortality were age (OR 1.035 [95% CI 1.006–1.064]; p = 0.018) and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score before decompressive craniectomy (OR 0.769 [95% CI 0.597–0.990]; p = 0.041).

Conclusions

There is a high 30-day mortality rate in traumatically brain-injured patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy. Most of the deaths are attributed to ongoing brain damage, even after decompression. Risk factors of short-term death, including age and preoperative GCS score, are important in patient selection for decompressive craniectomy, and these factors should be considered together to ensure the highest chance of surviving TBI.

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John Girvin