Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Degree of Vascular Encasement in Sphenoid Wing Meningiomas Predicts Postoperative Ischemic Complications

Neurosurgery 80:957–966, 2017

Sphenoid wing meningiomas (SWMs) can encase arteries of the circle of Willis, increasing their susceptibility to intraoperative vascular injury and severe ischemic complications.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the effect of circumferential vascular encasement in SWM on postoperative ischemia.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 75 patients surgically treated for SWM from 2009 to 2015 was undertaken to determine the degree of circumferential vascular encasement (0◦-360◦) as assessed by preoperativemagnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A novel grading system describing “maximum”and “total” arterial encasement scores was created. Postoperative MRIs were reviewed for total ischemia volume measured on sequential diffusionweighted images.

RESULTS: Of the 75 patients, 89.3% had some degree of vascular involvement with a median maximum encasement score of 3.0 (2.0-3.0) in the internal carotid artery (ICA), M1, M2, and A1 segments; 76% of patients had some degree of ischemia with median infarct volume of 3.75 cm3 (0.81-9.3 cm3). Univariate analysis determined risk factors associated with larger infarction volume, which were encasement of the supraclinoid ICA (P < .001), M1 segment (P < .001), A1 segment (P = .015), and diabetes (P = .019). As the maximum encasement score increased from 1 to 5 in each of the significant arterial segments, so did mean and median infarction volume (P < .001). Risk for devastating ischemic injury >62 cm3 was found when the ICA, M1, and A1 vessels all had ≥360◦ involvement (P = .001). Residual tumorwas associated with smaller infarct volumes (P=.022). As infarction volume increased, so did modified Rankin Score at discharge (P = .025).

CONCLUSION: Subtotal resection should be considered in SWM with significant vascular encasement of proximal arteries to limit postoperative ischemic complications.


Cystic Craniopharyngiomas: Microsurgical or Stereotactic Treatment?

Neurosurgery (2017) 80 (5): 733-743

Prognosis and treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas are poorly defined.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze progression-free survival (PFS) and safety profile of cystic craniopharyngiomas undergoing resection or minimally invasive drainage procedures. We compared further outcome measurements for cystic and solid tumors undergoing resection to elucidate the impact of the initial tumor composition on both PFS and the toxicity profile.

METHODS: All patients with craniopharyngiomas consecutively treated between 1999 and 2014 were included. A treatment decision in favor of microsurgery or stereotactic treatment was made interdisciplinarily. For stereotactic drainage, a catheter was implanted, allowing both permanent upstream (into ventricular spaces) and downstream (into prepontine cistern) drainage. Study endpoints were tumor progression, functional outcome, and treatment toxicity. Functional endocrinological and visual outcome analyses referred to data obtained preoperatively and 6 weeks after treatment. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. Prognostic factors were obtained from proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients were included. The distribution of clinical and tumor-related data was well balanced among patients with solid (n = 35) and cystic (n = 44) tumors and those undergoing microsurgical or stereotactic treatment. Cystic tumors had shorter PFS (5-year PFS: 53.6% vs 66.8%, P= .10) and needed significantly more therapeutic interventions, which was independent of the initial treatment mode. The endocrinological deterioration rate was high for both solid and cystic tumors after microsurgery (59.4% and 85.7%, respectively), whereas it was significantly lower for cystic tumors undergoing stereotactic treatment (23.1%, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Stereotactic bidirectional drainage of cystic craniopharyngiomas is effective and provides a better endocrinological outcome than conventional microsurgery.

Comparison of posterior fossa volumes and clinical outcomes after decompression of Chiari malformation Type I

J Neurosurg Pediatr 19:511–517, 2017

Previous studies have indicated an association of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) and a small posterior fossa. Most of these studies have been limited by 2D quantitative methods, and more recent studies utilizing 3D methodologies are time-intensive with manual segmentation. The authors sought to develop a more automated tool to calculate the 3D posterior fossa volume, and correlate its changes after decompression with surgical outcomes.

METHODS A semiautomated segmentation program was developed, and used to compare the pre- and postoperative volumes of the posterior cranial fossa (PCF) and the CSF spaces (cisterna magna, prepontine cistern, and fourth ventricle) in a cohort of pediatric patients with CM-I. Volume changes were correlated with postoperative symptomatic improvements in headache, syrinx, tonsillar descent, cervicomedullary kinking, and overall surgical success.

RESULTS Forty-two pediatric patients were included in this study. The mean percentage increase in PCF volume was significantly greater in patients who showed clinical improvement versus no improvement in headache (5.89% vs 1.54%, p < 0.05) and tonsillar descent (6.52% vs 2.57%, p < 0.05). Overall clinical success was associated with a larger postoperative PCF volume increase (p < 0.05). These clinical improvements were also significantly associated with a larger increase in the volume of the cisterna magna (p < 0.05). The increase in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume was also larger in patients who showed improvement in syrinx (6.63% vs 2.58%, p < 0.05) and cervicomedullary kinking (9.24% vs 3.79%, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS A greater increase in the postoperative PCF volume, and specifically an increase in the cisterna magna volume, was associated with a greater likelihood of clinical improvements in headache and tonsillar descent in patients with CM-I. Larger increases in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume were also associated with a greater likelihood of improvement in syrinx and cervicomedullary kinking.


Craniotomy for perisellar meningiomas: comparison of simple (appropriate for endoscopic approach) versus complex anatomy and surgical outcomes

J Neurosurg 126:1191–1200, 2017

Microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas has remained the gold standard for treatment, with extended endoscopic endonasal surgery emerging as a viable alternative. Historical microsurgical series do not distinguish based on tumor anatomy, but are being used as a comparison against endonasal surgery. In this study, the authors retrospectively reviewed and compared the anatomy of perisellar meningiomas seen at their institution. The tumors were separated into 2 groups based on whether they would be appropriate for endoscopic resection, and the authors compared the surgical outcomes.

METHODS Between 2001 and 2013, 53 patients (73.6% women) with perisellar meningiomas underwent open microsurgical resection at Vancouver General Hospital performed by the senior author (R.A.). These tumors were separated into 2 groups based on their anatomy, and the authors analyzed the resection rates, surgical results, patient quality of life, and complications.

RESULTS Among the 53 patients who presented with perisellar meningiomas, the authors were able to identify 18 lesions with “simple” anatomy suitable for endoscopic resection and 35 lesions with “complex” anatomy suitable for craniotomy resection. The mean age of patients in the study cohort was 57.4 years (range 33–91 years), and most patients presented with visual loss (68.0%) and visual field restriction (64.2%). There were no major differences in patient demographic data between the 2 groups. Patients with simple anatomy had smaller lesions (2.1 vs 3.5 cm; p = 0.004), no optic canal invasion (89% vs 26%; p < 0.0001), minimal vascular encasement (cortical cuff 83% vs 9%; p < 0.0001), and a rounded tumor shape (100% vs 31.8%; p = 0.0001) when compared with those with complex anatomy. The majority of lesions originated from the tuberculum sellae and planum sphenoidale. A greater degree of resection was achieved in the favorable anatomy group (99% vs 87.1%; p < 0.0001). Vision was improved or normalized in 96.6% of patients. Patients in the cohort with complex anatomy had more transient complications; there were no incidents of surgical-site infection, meningitis, or death in this series. One patient who underwent removal of a recurrent lesion experienced a CSF leak that required endoscopic repair. The overall persisting complications rate was higher in the group with complex anatomy (11.1% vs 37.1%; p = 0.0498); overall, 28.3% of patients experienced disabling complications. Patient-perceived quality of life improved in the simple anatomy group following surgery (DSF-36 +16.6 vs -8.4; p = 0.0045).

CONCLUSIONS Extended endoscopic surgery is emerging as a viable alternative to microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas. The authors identified 2 patient groups based on tumor anatomy, with distinctly separate surgical outcomes. In the future, patients considered for endoscopic resection should be compared against the surgical group with simple anatomy that includes smaller tumors, no vascular encasement, and limited optic canal invasion.



Volumetric growth rates of meningioma and its correlation with histological diagnosis and clinical outcome

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:435–445

Tumour growth has been used to successfully predict progression-free survival in low-grade glioma. This systematic review sought to establish the evidence base regarding the correlation of volumetric growth rates with histological diagnosis and potential to predict clinical outcome in patients with meningioma.

Methods This systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Databases were searched for full text English articles analysing volumetric growth rates in patients with a meningioma.

Results Four retrospective cohort studies were accepted, demonstrating limited evidence of significantly different tumour doubling rates and shapes of growth curves between benign and atypical meningiomas. Heterogeneity of patient characteristics and timing of volumetric assessment, both pre- and post-operatively, limited pooled analysis of the data. No studies performed statistical analysis to demonstrate the clinical utility of growth rates in predicting clinical outcome.

Conclusion This systematic review provides limited evidence in support of the use of volumetric growth rates in meningioma to predict histological diagnosis and clinical outcome to guide future monitoring and treatment.

Outcomes in craniotomy vs endoscopic craniopharyngioma resection

Neurosurg Focus 41 (6):E6, 2016

Craniopharyngiomas have historically been resected via transcranial microsurgery (TCM). In the last 2 decades, the extended endoscopic endonasal (transtuberculum) approach to these tumors has become more widely accepted, yet there remains controversy over which approach leads to better outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in outcomes were identified between TCM and extended endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEEAs) in adult patients undergoing primary resection of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas at a single institution.

Methods A retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of their histopathologically confirmed craniopharyngiomas at the authors’ institution between 2005 and 2015 was performed. Pediatric patients, revision cases, and patients with tumors greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean volume were excluded. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those undergoing primary TCM and those undergoing a primary EEEA. Preoperative patient demographics, presenting symptoms, and preoperative tumor volumes were determined. Extent of resection, tumor histological subtype, postoperative complications, and additional outcome data were obtained. Statistical significance between variables was determined utilizing Student t-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests when applicable.

Results After exclusions, 21 patients satisfied the aforementioned inclusion criteria, 12 underwent TCM for resection while 9 benefitted from the EEEA. There were no significant differences in patient demographics, presenting symptoms, tumor subtype, or preoperative tumor volumes, no tumors had significant lateral or prechiasmatic extension. The extent of resection was similar between these 2 groups, as was the necessity for additional surgery or adjuvant therapy. CSF leakage was encountered only in the EEEA group (2 patients). Importantly, the rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher in the EEEA group than in the TCM group (88.9% vs 25.0%, p = 0.0075). Postoperative visual deterioration only occurred in the TCM group (3 patients). Recurrence was uncommon, with similar rates between the groups. Other complication rates, overall complication risk, and additional outcome measures were similar between these groups as well.

Conclusions Based on this study, most outcome variables appear to be similar between TCM and EEEA routes for similarly sized tumors in adults. The multidisciplinary EEEA to craniopharyngioma resection represents a safe and compelling alternative to TCM. The authors’ data demonstrate that postoperative visual improvement is statistically more likely in the EEEA despite the increased risk of CSF leakage. These results add to the growing evidence that the EEEA may be considered the approach of choice for resection of select confined primary craniopharyngiomas without significant lateral extension in centers with experienced surgeons. Further prospective, multiinstitutional collaboration is needed to power studies capable of fully evaluating indications and appropriate approaches for craniopharyngiomas.

Reoperation for Recurrent Glioblastoma and Its Association With Survival Benefit

multifocal glioblastoma

Neurosurgery 79:678–689, 2016

Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor. Despite current treatment, recurrence is inevitable. There are no clear guidelines for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors at initial surgery predictive of reoperation, and the prognostic variables associated with survival, including reoperation for recurrence.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed, including adult patients diagnosed with glioblastoma between January 2010 and December 2013. Student t test and Fisher exact test compared continuous and categorical variables between reoperation and nonreoperation groups. Univariable and Cox regression multivariable analysis was performed.

RESULTS: In a cohort of 204 patients with de novo glioblastoma, 49 (24%) received reoperation at recurrence. The median overall survival in the reoperation group was 20.1 months compared with 9.0 months in the nonreoperation group (P = .001). Reoperation was associated with longer overall survival in our total population (hazard ratio, 0.646; 95% confidence interval, 0.543-0.922; P = .016) but subject to selection bias. Subgroup analyses excluding patients unlikely to be considered for reoperation suggested a much less significant effect of reoperation on survival, which warrants further study with larger cohorts. Factors at initial surgery predictive for reoperation were younger age, smaller tumor size, initial extent of resection $50%, shorter inpatient stay, and maximal initial adjuvant therapy. When unfavorable patient characteristics are excluded, reoperation is not an independent predictor of survival.

CONCLUSION: Patients undergoing reoperation have favorable prognostic characteristics, which may be responsible for the survival difference observed. We recommend that a large clinical registry be developed to better aid consistent and homogenous data collection.

A study of prognostic factors in 45 cases of atypical meningioma

Radiation Therapy for Residual or Recurrent Atypical Meningioma

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1661–1667

Atypical meningioma differs from Grade I meningioma in terms of high recurrence rate and short life expectancy. We evaluated the clinical course of atypical meningioma and investigated prognostic factors affecting its outcomes.

Method: We reviewed 45 patients with atypical meningioma who underwent surgical intervention between January 2000 and December 2013. The mean age of the patients and mean follow-up period was 58.7 years and 81.0 months, respectively. Analyses included factors such as patient age, gender, location and size of tumor, extent of surgical resection (Simpson Grading System), and MIB-1 labeling index (LI). Univariate analysis was used to detect prognostic factors associated with recurrence and survival.

Results: The 5-year recurrence-free rate for all 45 patients was 58.4 %; 5 and 10-year survival rates were 83.2 % and 79.9 %, respectively. In univariate analyses, age >60 years, and MIB-1 LI correlated with disease recurrence, whereas age >60 years, subtotal surgical resection, MIB-1 LI, and indication for radiotherapy correlated with death. MIB-1 LI levels higher than 12.8 % and 19.7 % predicted recurrence and death, respectively. In our cohort, 26 patients received postoperative radiotherapy including conventional radiation (n = 21) or gamma knife radiosurgery (n = 5). Postoperative radiotherapy did not decrease recurrence rates in our cohort (p = 0.63). Six and two patients who died during the study period underwent conventional radiation and radiosurgery, respectively.

Conclusions: Age, male gender, extent of surgical resection, and higher MIB-1 LI influenced the outcome of atypical meningioma. In our cohort, postoperative radiotherapy failed to provide long-term tumor control. Following incomplete surgical resection of atypical meningioma in elderly patients, adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy may not be an ideal treatment option, particularly when MIB-1 LI is higher than 19.7 %.

Opening the Internal Hematoma Membrane Does Not Alter the Recurrence Rate of Chronic Subdural Hematomas: A Prospective Randomized Trial

Is systematic post-operative CT scan indicated after chronic subdural hematoma surgery?


Factors determining the recurrence of chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) are not clear. Whether opening the so-called internal hematoma membrane is useful has not been investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether splitting the inner hematoma membrane influences the recurrence rate in patients undergoing burr-hole craniotomy for CSDH.

METHODS: Fifty-two awake patients undergoing surgery for 57 CSDHs were prospectively randomized to either partial opening of the inner hematoma membrane (group A) or not (group B) after enlarged burr-hole craniotomy and hematoma evacuation. Drainage was left in situ for several days postoperatively. Groups were comparable with regard to demographic, clinical, and imaging variables. Outcome was assessed after 3e6 weeks for the combined outcome variable of reoperation or residual hematoma of one third or more of the original hematoma thickness.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients underwent reoperation for clinical deterioration or residual hematoma during follow- up (n = 6 in group A, 21%; n = 8 in group B, 28 %) (P = 0.537). Residual hematoma of ≥ one third not requiring surgery was present in 7 patients in group A (25%) and 10 patients in group B (36%) (P = 0.383). The overall cumulative failure rate (reoperation or hematoma thickness ≥ one third) was 13/28 (46%) in group A and 18/28 in group B (P = 0.178; relative risk, 0.722 [95% confidence interval, 0.445-1.172]; absolute risk reduction -16% =95% confidence interval, -38% to 8%]).

CONCLUSIONS: Opening the internal hematoma membrane does not alter the rate of patients requiring revision surgery and the number of patients showing a marked residual hematoma 6 weeks after evacuation of a CSDH.


Internal and external spheno-orbital meningioma varieties: different outcomes and prognoses

SO Meningiomas

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1587–1596

Internal variation among spheno-orbital meningiomas  (SOM) is surgically challenging. Optic canal invasion  management is discussed.

Method This retrospective study includes 70 patients with  SOM who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2012.  Preoperative ophthalmological, neurological and aesthetic  clinical signs were collected. All patients benefitted from repeated  tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  The surgical team consisted of a neurosurgeon and a plastic  surgeon. In the majority of cases, resection was followed by  bone reconstruction using an autologous iliac crest graft. The  extent of resection was evaluated on the dural and osseous  sides. Early clinical outcomes, long-term follow-up, recurrence  and adjuvant therapies were reported.

Results The mean age was 52 years old, and 91 % of the  patients were women. Initial symptoms primarily included  proptosis (65 %), decreased visual acuity (39 %) and soft  tissue tumefaction (16 %).We classified 40 cases as the internal  variety when considering the inner third of the greater  wing of the sphenoid, optic canal, anterior clinoid process or  cavernous sinus. The remaining cases were described as the  external variety. The complete resection rates for the internal  and external varieties were 12 % and 61 %, respectively  (P< 0.001). In total, 90% of cases were grade I meningiomas.  For grade I, we reported 30 % recurrence, and 50 % of these  cases recurred in the first 2 years. Grade II cases without early  adjuvant radiotherapy increased at 2 years.We did not observe  any difference in recurrence rate among grade I tumours with  or without tumour remnants. At the end of follow-up, visual  acuity was stabilised or increased in 88 % of patients. In addition,  14 % of patients experienced persistent pain at the  location of the iliac harvesting site.

Conclusions The internal SOM variety exhibited a reduced  total resection rate and a shorter progression-free survival  (PFS). Unroofing of the optic canal extended PFS. Among  grade I cases, the persistence of a negligible tumour remnant  did not alter the probability of recurrence. For superior grades,  radiotherapy must be administered in addition to surgery as  soon as possible. SOMs require prolonged follow-up.  Autologous iliac reconstruction is related to substantial morbidity  and could be replaced by prosthetic bone threedimensional  reconstruction.

Long-term Outcomes of Patients With Giant Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations

giant AVM

Neurosurgery 79:116–124, 2016

Giant intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare cerebrovascular lesions that pose management challenges.

OBJECTIVE: To further clarify outcomes in patients with giant cerebral AVMs managed with conservative or interventional therapies.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of all patients diagnosed with AVMs evaluated at our institution from 1990 to 2013. Patients with a single intracranial AVM .6 cm were included. Patients were divided into 2 groups: conservative management or intervention (microsurgery, radiosurgery, or embolization). Functional outcome was assessed with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS: A total of 55 patients with giant AVMs were included, and 35 patients (63.6%) had clinical follow-up with a mean of 11.8 years. Spetzler-Martin grades were as follows: grade III, n = 2 (3.6%); grade IV, n = 15 (27.3%); and grade V, n = 38 (69.1%). Twenty-four patients (43.6%) were conservatively managed. The patients in the conservatively managed group had larger AVMs (P , .05) with more frequent involvement of the temporal lobe (P = .02). Five patients (26.3%) in the conservatively managed group and 5 (31.3%) in the intervention group experienced hemorrhage during follow-up, translating to an annualized risk of 2.7% and 4.1%, respectively. No significant difference in risk of first subsequent hemorrhage was observed (P = .78). Despite comparable mRS scores at presentation, we observed a trend toward better outcomes (mRS , 2) in patients undergoing conservative management (P = .06) compared with the intervention group at last follow-up.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that interventions for giant AVMs should be considered cautiously because hemorrhagic risk is similar regardless of management strategy and functional outcome is likely to be same or better in the conservatively managed population.

Low-grade Glioma Surgery in Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Hypnosis for Awake Surgery of Low-grade Gliomas

Neurosurgery 78:775–786, 2016

The ideal treatment strategy for low-grade gliomas (LGGs) is a controversial topic. Additionally, only smaller single-center series dealing with the concept of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) have been published.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate determinants for patient outcome and progression-freesurvival (PFS) after iMRI-guided surgery for LGGs in a multicenter retrospective study initiated by the German Study Group for Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

METHODS: A retrospective consecutive assessment of patients treated for LGGs (World Health Organization grade II) with iMRI-guided resection at 6 neurosurgical centers was performed. Eloquent location, extent of resection, first-line adjuvant treatment, neurophysiological monitoring, awake brain surgery, intraoperative ultrasound, and fieldstrength of iMRI were analyzed, as well as progression-free survival (PFS), new permanent neurological deficits, and complications. Multivariate binary logistic and Cox regression models were calculated to evaluate determinants of PFS, gross total resection (GTR), and adjuvant treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 288 patients met the inclusion criteria. On multivariate analysis, GTR significantly increased PFS (hazard ratio, 0.44; P < .01), whereas “failed” GTR did not differ significantly from intended subtotal-resection. Combined radiochemotherapy as adjuvant therapy was a negative prognostic factor (hazard ratio: 2.84, P < .01). Field strength of iMRI was not associated with PFS. In the binary logistic regression model, use of high-field iMRI (odds ratio: 0.51, P < .01) was positively and eloquent location (odds ratio: 1.99, P < .01) was negatively associated with GTR. GTR was not associated with increased rates of new permanent neurological deficits.

CONCLUSION: GTR was an independent positive prognostic factor for PFS in LGG surgery. Patients with accidentally left tumor remnants showed a similar prognosis compared with patients harboring only partially resectable tumors. Use of high-field iMRI was significantly associated with GTR. However, the field strength of iMRI did not affect PFS.

Predictive factors for decompressive hemicraniectomy in malignant middle cerebral artery infarction

Predictive factors for decompressive hemicraniectomy in malignant middle cerebral artery infarction

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:865–873

The mortality rate of patients with brain oedema after malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction approaches 80 % without surgical intervention. Surgical treatment with ipsilateral decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) has been shown to dramatically improve survival rates. DHC currently lacks established inclusion criteria and additional research is needed to assess the impact of prognostic factors on functional outcome. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of prognostic factors on functional outcome.

Method A retrospective cohort study was carried out including 46 patients who underwent DHC at the Karolinska University Hospital between 2004 and 2014. The maximum time to surgery was 5 days after symptom debut. The primary endpoint was a dichotomised score on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) 3 months after surgery, with favourable outcome defined as mRS ≤ 4.

Results When the study population was dichotomised according to the primary endpoint, a significant difference between the groups was seen in preoperative Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), blood glucose levels and the infarction’s involvement of the basal ganglia (p <0.05). In a logistic regression model, preoperative GCS contributed significantly with a 59.6 % increase in the probability of favourable outcome for each point gained in preoperative GCS (p=0.035).

Conclusions The results indicate that preoperative GCS, blood glucose and the infarction’s involvement of the basal ganglia are strong predictors of clinical outcome. These factors should be considered when assessing the probable outcome of DHC, and additional research based on these factors may contribute to improved inclusion criteria for DHC.

Surgical Decompression of Arachnoid Cysts Leads to Improved Quality of Life

Suprasellar Arachnoid Cysts- Toward a New Simple Classification Based on Prognosis and Treatment Modality

Neurosurgery 78:613–625, 2016

There is no previous prospective study on the outcome of surgical decompression of intracranial arachnoid cysts (AC).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate if surgical fenestration for AC leads to change in patients’ health-related quality of life.

METHODS: Prospective study including 76 adult patients operated for AC. Patients responded to Short Form-36 and Glasgow Benefit Inventory quality of life questionnaires, and to visual analogue scales, assessing headache and dizziness pre- and postoperatively. Patient scores were compared with those of a large sample of healthy individuals.

RESULTS: Preoperatively, 84.2% of the patients experienced headache and 70.1% dizziness. Mean pre- versus postoperative Visual Analogue Scale scores for headache and dizziness dropped from 45.6 to 25.7 and from 35.2 to 12.2, respectively. Preoperative Short Form-36 scores were significantly below age norms in all subscales, but improved after surgery into normal range in 7 out of 8 subscales for middle-aged and older patients. Younger patients’ scores remained lower than age norm in 6 out of 8 subscales. A significant postoperative improvement was seen in 3 out of 4 Glasgow Benefit Inventory subscales. Improvement in headache and/or dizziness, but not preoperative cyst size or reduction in cyst volume, correlated with improvement in 6 out of 8 Short Form-36 subscales and 3 out of 4 Glasgow Benefit Inventory subscales. Only 1 patient experienced a severe complication causing permanent invalidity.

CONCLUSION: Surgery for AC can be performed with a fairly low risk of complications and yields significant improvement in quality of life correlated to postoperative improvement in headache and dizziness. These findings may justify a more liberal approach to surgical treatment for AC.

Advanced MRI may complement histological diagnosis of lower grade gliomas and help in predicting survival

Advanced MRI may complement histological diagnosis of lower grade gliomas and help in predicting survival

J Neurooncol (2016) 126:279–288

MRI grading of grade II and III gliomas may have an important impact on treatment decisions. Occasionally, both conventional MRI (cMRI) and histology fail to clearly establish the tumour grade. Three cMRI features (no necrosis; no relevant oedema; absent or faint contrast enhancement) previously validated in 196 patients with supratentorial gliomas directed our selection of 68 suspected low-grade gliomas (LGG) that were also investigated by advanced MRI (aMRI), including perfusion weighted imaging (PWI), diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and spectroscopy. All the gliomas had histopathological diagnoses.

Sensitivity and specificity of cMRI preoperative diagnosis were 78.5 and 38.5 %, respectively, and 85.7 and 53.8 % when aMRI was included, respectively. ROC analysis showed that cut-off values of 1.29 for maximum rCBV, 1.69 for minimum rADC, 2.1 for rCho/Cr ratio could differentiate between LGG and HGG with a sensitivity of 61.5, 53.8, and 53.8 % and a specificity of 54.7, 43 and 64.3 %, respectively. A significantly longer OS was observed in patients with a maximum rCBV\1.46 and minimum rADC[1.69 (80 vs 55 months, p = 0.01; 80 vs 51 months, p = 0.002, respectively). This result was also confirmed when cases were stratified according to pathology (LGG vs HGG). The ability of aMRI to differentiate between LGG and HGG and to predict survival improved as the number of aMRI techniques considered increased.

In a selected population of suspected LGG, classification by cMRI underestimated the actual fraction of HGG. aMRI slightly increased the diagnostic accuracy compared to histopathology. However, DWI and PWI were prognostic markers independent of histological grade.

Preoperative predictive factors for surgical and functional outcomes in chronic subdural hematoma

Subdural Hematoma

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:135–139

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a frequently encountered neurosurgical condition, especially in the elderly. We investigated predictive factors for surgical and functional outcomes after burr-hole drainage (BHD) surgery.

Methods All patients with CSDH treated by BHD between January 2012 and December 2014 were included in this study. All patients were classified by symptom, clinical grade, time, location, hematoma density, midline shift, and other characteristics. Pre- and postoperative CT evaluation was performed at 0, 3, and 6 months. Clinical grades were classified as described in Markwalder et al. Surgical and clinical outcomes were evaluated with the brain expansion rate and modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Brain expansion rate was calculated as the ratio between post- and pre-operative hematoma thickness. Recurrence was defined as the occurrence of symptoms and hematoma on CT within 6 months.

Results This study included 130 patients over 2 years. Among the variable parameters, young age (<75), iso-density of hematoma on CT, and short duration from symptom to surgery were correlated with good brain expansion. Patients with good brain expansion had fewer recurrences. In terms of mRS, young age, iso-density, and good clinical grade were correlated with good functional outcomes.

Conclusions Clinicians should be more aware of general conditions and medical problems, especially in elderly patients. Membranectomy should be considered in patients with a long duration of symptoms or hypo-dense hematomas to promote good brain expansion and good mRS scores.

Long-term outcomes after supratotal resection of diffuse low-grade gliomas

Long-term outcomes after supratotal resection of diffuse low-grade gliomas

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:51–58

Total or subtotal surgical resection ofWHO grade II glioma (diffuse low-grade glioma, DLGG) can significantly increase survival. Moreover, a supratotal resection, i.e., an extended resection with a margin beyondMR imaging abnormalities, could decrease the risk of malignant transformation. Here, the goal is to analyze the long-term functional and oncological outcomes following supratotal resection for DLGG.

Methods Sixteen consecutive patients who underwent supratotal resection for a DLGG with a minimum follow-up of 8 years after surgery were included. The resection was continued up to functional cortical and subcortical structures defined by intrasurgical electrical mapping. The extent of resection was evaluated on postoperative FLAIR-weighted MR imaging. Data regarding clinicoradiological features, therapeutic management, and outcomes were analyzed.

Results Seven men and nine women (mean age, 41.3 years, range, 26–63 years) were included (seizure in 15 cases, one incidental discovery). All patients resumed a normal life after surgery (no neurological deficits, no epilepsy). The volume of postoperative cavity was larger than the preoperative tumor volume in the 16 patients. Neuropathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of WHO grade II glioma in all cases. No adjuvant treatment was administrated after resection. The mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 132 months (range, 97–198 months). There was no relapse in eight cases. Eight patients experienced tumor recurrence, with an average time to relapse of 70.3 months (range, 32–105 months), but without malignant transformation. Five of them have been retreated, with a reoperation (two cases), chemotherapy (three cases) and radiotherapy (two cases). All patients continue to enjoy a normal life.

Conclusions This is the first series demonstrating the prolonged impact of supratotal resection on malignant transformation of DLGG. These original data may suggest to remove a margin around the FLAIR-weighted MR imaging abnormalities in a more systematic manner for DLGG not involving eloquent structures.

Neurocognitive Changes Associated With Surgical Resection of Left and Right Temporal Lobe Glioma

Temporal lobe tumor

Neurosurgery 77:777–785, 2015

Little is known regarding the neurocognitive impact of temporal lobe tumor resection.

OBJECTIVE: To clarify subacute surgery-related changes in neurocognitive functioning (NCF) in patients with left (LTL) and right (RTL) temporal lobe glioma.

METHODS: Patients with glioma in the LTL (n = 45) or RTL (n = 19) completed comprehensive pre- and postsurgical neuropsychological assessments. NCF was analyzed with 2-way mixed design repeated-measures analysis of variance, with hemisphere (LTL or RTL) as an independent between-subjects factor and pre- and postoperative NCF as a within-subjects factor.

RESULTS: About 60% of patients with LTL glioma and 40% with RTL lesions exhibited significant worsening on at least 1 NCF test. Domains most commonly impacted included verbal memory and executive functioning. Patients with LTL tumor showed greater decline than patients with RTL tumor on verbal memory and confrontation naming tests. Nonetheless, over one-third of patients with RTL lesions also showed verbal memory decline.

CONCLUSION: In patients with temporal lobe glioma, NCF decline in the subacute postoperative period is common. As expected, patients with LTL tumor show more frequent and severe decline than patients with RTL tumor, particularly on verbally mediated measures. However, a considerable proportion of patients with RTL tumor also exhibit decline across various domains, even those typically associated with left hemisphere structures, such as verbal memory. While patients with RTL lesions may show even greater decline in visuospatial memory, this domain was not assessed. Nonetheless, neuropsychological assessment can identify acquired deficits and help facilitate early intervention in patients with temporal lobe glioma.

Intracranial meningioma surgery in the elderly (over 65 years): prognostic factors and outcome

Tuberculum Sellae Meningiomas

Acta Neurochir 157 (9): 1549-1557

Meningiomas are more prevalent in elderly individuals; however, the surgical outcome and prognostic factors in this age group are unclear. This retrospective study aimed to identify the prognostic factors of elderly patients with intracranial meningiomas who underwent surgical resection.


Eighty-six patients (aged ≥65) diagnosed with an intracranial meningioma were surgically treated at our department. The clinical, radiological, and follow-up data were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate logistic analyses were performed to identify relationships between factors [age, sex, neurological condition, concomitant disease, American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) classification, preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, tumor location and size, peritumoral edema, and Simpson resection grade] and outcome.


One patient (1.2 %) died within 30 days of surgery. The morbidity rate was 37.2 %. Postoperative morbidities occurred more frequently in the patients with preoperative neurological deficits than in those without (p = 0.049). Univariate analysis identified significant relationships between a low KPS score (≤70) at discharge and preoperative neurological deficits, low preoperative KPS score (≤70), and critical tumor location (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p = 0.04, respectively). In the multivariate logistic analysis, only the preoperative KPS score remained significant for the KPS score at discharge (p = 0.005); there was no significant association with the most recent KPS score.


The outcome of intracranial meningioma resection in elderly individuals is favorable if the preoperative KPS score is >70 and no neurological deficits are present. Treatment decisions should be patient-specific, and additional factors should be considered when operations are performed in patients with a low preoperative KPS score or neurological deficits.

Aneurysm diameter as a risk factor for pretreatment rebleeding: a meta-analysis

MCA aneurysm

J Neurosurg 122:921–928, 2015

Aneurysmal rerupture prior to treatment is a major cause of death and morbidity in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Recognizing risk factors for aneurysmal rebleeding is particularly relevant and might help to identify the aneurysms that benefit from acute treatment. It is uncertain if the size of the aneurysm is related to rebleeding. This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate whether an association could be determined between aneurysm diameter and the rebleeding rate before treatment. Potentially confounding factors such age, aneurysm location, and the presence of hypertension were also evaluated.

Methods The authors systematically searched the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases up to April 3, 2013, for studies of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage that reported the association between aneurysm diameter and pretreatment aneurysmal rebleeding. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria were used to evaluate study quality.

Results Seven studies, representing 2121 patients, were included in the quantitative analysis. The quality of the studies was low in 2 and very low in 5. Almost all of the studies used 10 mm as the cutoff point for size among other classes, and only one used 7 mm. An analysis was performed with this best unifiable cutoff point. Overall rebleeding occurred in 360 (17.0%) of 2121 patients (incidence range, from study to study, 8.7%–28.4%). The rate of rebleeding in small and large aneurysms was 14.0% and 23.6%, respectively. The meta-analysis of the 7 studies revealed that larger size aneurysms were at a higher risk for rebleeding (OR 2.56 [95% CI 1.62–4.06]; p = 0.00; I2 = 60%). The sensitivity analysis did not alter the results. Five of the 7 studies reported data regarding age; 4 studies provided age-adjusted results and identified a persistent relationship between lesion size and the risk of rebleeding. The presence of hypertension was reported in two studies and was more prevalent in patients with rebleeding in one of these. Location (anterior vs posterior circulation) was reported in 5 studies, while in 4 there was no difference in the rebleeding rate. One study identified a lower risk of rebleeding associated with posterior location aneurysms.

Conclusions This meta-analysis showed that aneurysm size is an important risk factor for aneurysmal rebleeding and should be used in the clinical risk assessment of individual patients. The authors’ results confirmed the current guidelines and underscored the importance of acute treatment for large ruptured aneurysms.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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