Surgical Outcome of Patients With Supratentorial Meningiomas Aged 80 Years or Older

Neurosurgery 94:399–412, 2024

Demographic changes will lead to an increase in old patients, a population with significant risk of postoperative morbidity and mortality, requiring neurosurgery for meningiomas. This multicenter study aims to report neurofunctional status after resection of patients with supratentorial meningioma aged 80 years or older, to identify factors associated with outcome, and to validate a previously proposed decision support tool.

METHODS: Neurofunctional status was assessed by the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS). Patients were categorized in poor (KPS ≤40), intermediate (KPS 50-70), and good (KPS ≥80) preoperative subgroups. Volumetric analyses of tumor and peritumoral brain edema (PTBE) were performed; volumes were scored as small (<10 cm3 ), medium (10-50 cm3 ), and large (>50 cm3 ).

RESULTS: The study population consisted of 262 patients, and the median age at surgery was 83.0 years. The median preoperative KPS was 70; 117 (44.7%) patients were allotted to the good, 113 (43.1%) to the intermediate, and 32 (12.2%) to the poor subgroup. The median tumor and PTBE volumes were 30.2 cm 3 and 27.3 cm3 ; large PTBE volume correlated with poor preoperative KPS status (P = .008). The 90-day and 1-year mortality rates were 9.0% and 13.2%, respectively. Within the first postoperative year, 101 (38.5%) patients improved, 87 (33.2%) were unchanged, and 74 (28.2%) were functionally worse (including deaths). Each year increase of age associated with 44% (23%-70%) increased risk of 90-day and 1-year mortality. In total, 111 (42.4%) patients suffered from surgery-associated complications. Maximum tumor diameter ≥5 cm (odds ratio 1.87 [1.12-3.13]) and large tumor volume (odds ratio 2.35 [1.01-5.50]) associated with increased risk of complications. Among patients with poor preoperative status and large PTBE, most (58.3%) benefited from surgery.

CONCLUSION: Patients with poor preoperative neurofunctional status and large PTBE most often showed postoperative improvements. The decision support tool may be of help in identifying cases that most likely benefit from surgery.

Preoperative Versus Postoperative Radiosurgery of Brain Metastases: A Meta-Analysis

World Neurosurg. (2024) 182:35-41

OBJECTIVE: While postoperative resection cavity radiosurgery (post-SRS) is an accepted treatment paradigm for brain metastasis (BM) patients who undergo surgical resection, there is emerging interest in preoperative radiosurgery (preSRS) followed by surgical resection as an alternative treatment paradigm. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of the available literature on this matter.

METHODS: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a search of all studies evaluating pre-SRS and postSRS was completed. Local recurrence (LR), overall survival (OS), radiation necrosis (RN), and leptomeningeal disease (LMD) were evaluated from the available data. Moderator analysis and pooled effect sizes were performed using a proportional meta-analysis with R using the metafor package. Statistics are presented as mean [95% confidence interval].

RESULTS: We identified 6 pre-SRS and 33 post-SRS studies with comparable tumor volume (4.5-17.6 cm3 ). There were significant differences in the pooled estimates of LR and LMD, favoring pre-SRS over post-SRS. Pooled aggregate for LR was 11.0% [4.9-13.7] and 17.5% [15.1-19.9] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.014). Similarly, pooled estimates of LMD favored pre-SRS, 4.4% [2.6-6.2], relative to post-SRS, 12.3% [8.9-15.7] (P [ 0.019). In contrast, no significant differences were found in terms of RN and OS. Pooled estimates for RN were 6.4% [3.1-9.6] and 8.9% [6.3-11.6] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.393), respectively. Pooled estimates for OS were 60.2% [55.8-64.6] and 60.5% [56.9-64.0] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.974).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis supports further exploration of pre-SRS as a strategy for the treatment of BM.

Surgical Management of Craniospinal Axis Solitary Fibrous Tumors

Neurosurgery 94:358–368, 2024

Meningeal solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) comprise 0.4% of primary central nervous system neoplasms and carry metastatic potential. Disease course and optimal management are largely unknown, and there is currently no literature rigorously describing neurological outcomes in surgically managed SFTs. We present one of the largest craniospinal SFT series, analyze patient outcomes, and extensively review the associated literature.

METHODS: All surgically managed SFTs at our institution between January 2005 and March 2023 were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, tumor and radiographic features, treatment, and clinical outcomes were collected. Neurological function was quantified using Frankel grade and Neurologic Assessment in NeuroOncology scores. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis, log-rank test, and Kaplan–Meier survival analysis were performed.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients satisfied inclusion criteria. Tumor locations included 15 supratentorial, three infratentorial, and three spinal. All patients underwent surgical resection, and 16 (76.2%) underwent radiation. Six (28.6%) patients had tumor recurrence, and three (14.3%) developed metastasis. Younger age and higher postoperative Frankel grade were significantly associated with increased overall survival (OS) (P = .011, P = .002, respectively). All patients symptomatically improved or stabilized after surgery, and Neurologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology score (P = .001) and functional status significantly improved postoperatively (Karnofsky Performance Status: 65.2 ± 25.2 vs 91.4 ± 13.5, P = .001). Sex, adjuvant radiation, and extent of resection were not significantly associated with OS.

CONCLUSION: SFT of the central nervous system is a rare entity with a variable clinical course. Surgical resection was associated with improved postoperative functional and neurological status. Higher postoperative neurological function was significantly associated with OS. Further studies are warranted to validate a standardized treatment algorithm and investigate the efficacy of adjuvant radiation in SFT.

Confocal laser endomicroscopy in glial tumors—a histomorphological analysis

Neurosurgical Review (2024) 47:65

The extent of resection and neurological outcome are important prognostic markers for overall survival in glioma patients. Confocal laser endomicroscopy is a tool to examine tissue without the need for fixation or staining. This study aims to analyze gliomas in confocal laser endomicroscopy and identify reliable diagnostic criteria for glial matter and glial tumors.

Material and methods One-hundred-and-five glioma specimens were analyzed using a 670-nm confocal laser endomicroscope and then processed into hematoxylin-eosin-stained frozen sections. All confocal images and frozen sections were evaluated for the following criteria: presence of tumor, cellularity, nuclear pleomorphism, changes of the extracellular glial matrix, microvascular proliferation, necrosis, and mitotic activity. Recurring characteristics were identified. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were assessed for each feature.

Results All 125 specimens could be processed and successfully analyzed via confocal laser endomicroscopy. We found diagnostic criteria to identify white and grey matter and analyze cellularity, nuclear pleomorphism, changes in the glial matrix, vascularization, and necrosis in glial tumors. An accuracy of > 90.0 % was reached for grey matter, cellularity, and necrosis, > 80.0 % for white matter and nuclear pleomorphism, and > 70.0 % for microvascular proliferation and changes of the glial matrix. Mitotic activity could not be identified. Astroglial tumors showed significantly less nuclear pleomorphism in confocal laser endomicroscopy than oligodendroglial tumors (p < 0.001). Visualization of necrosis aids in the differentiation of low grade gliomas and high grade gliomas (p < 0.002).

Conclusion Autofluorescence-based confocal laser endomicroscopy proved not only useful in differentiation between tumor and brain tissue but also revealed useful clues to further characterize tissue without processing in a lab. Possible applications include the improvement of extent of resection and the safe harvest of representative tissue for histopathological and molecular genetic diagnostics.

Clinical outcomes of solitary fibrous tumors and hemangiopericytomas and risk factors related to recurrence and survival based on the 2021 WHO classification of central nervous system tumors

J Neurosurg 140:69–79, 2024

OBJECTIVE The authors aimed to explore the clinical outcomes and risk factors related to recurrence of and survival from solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) and hemangiopericytomas (HPCs) that were reclassified according to the 2021 WHO classification of central nervous system (CNS) tumors.

METHODS The authors retrospectively collected and analyzed the clinical and pathological data of SFTs and HPCs recorded from January 2007 to December 2021. Two neuropathologists reassessed pathological slides and regraded specimens on the basis of the 2021 WHO classification. The prognostic factors related to progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were statistically assessed with univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses.

RESULTS A total of 146 patients (74 men and 72 women, mean ± SD [range] age 46.1 ± 14.3 [3–78] years) were reviewed, and 86, 35, and 25 patients were reclassified as having grade 1, 2, and 3 SFTs on the basis of the 2021 WHO classification, respectively. The median PFS and OS of the patients with WHO grade 1 SFT were 105 months and 199 months after initial diagnosis; for patients with WHO grade 2 SFT, 77 months and 145 months; and for patients with WHO grade 3 SFT, 44 months and 112 months, respectively. Of the entire cohort, 61 patients experienced local recurrence and 31 died, of whom 27 (87.1%) died of SFT and relevant complications. Ten patients had extracranial metastasis. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, subtotal resection (STR) (HR 4.648, 95% CI 2.601–8.304, p < 0.001), tumor located in the parasagittal or parafalx region (HR 2.105, 95% CI 1.099–4.033, p = 0.025), tumor in the vertebrae (HR 3.352, 95% CI 1.228–9.148, p = 0.018), WHO grade 2 SFT (HR 2.579, 95% CI 1.343–4.953, p = 0.004), and WHO grade 3 SFT (HR 5.814, 95% CI 2.887–11.712, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with shortened PFS, whereas STR (HR 3.217, 95% CI 1.435–7.210, p = 0.005) and WHO grade 3 SFT (HR 3.433, 95% CI 1.324–8.901, p = 0.011) were significantly associated with shortened OS. In univariate analyses, patients who received adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) after STR had longer PFS than patients who did not receive RT.

CONCLUSIONS The 2021 WHO classification of CNS tumors better predicted malignancy with different pathological grades, and in particular WHO grade 3 SFT had worse prognosis. Gross-total resection (GTR) can significantly prolong PFS and OS and should serve as the most important treatment method. Adjuvant RT was helpful for patients who underwent STR but not for patients who underwent GTR.

Decoding the clinical effects of low-grade glioma–induced cortical excitability

J Neurosurg 140:18–26, 2024

Patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) in eloquent regions often present with seizures, and findings on detailed neuropsychological testing are often abnormal. This study evaluated the association between cortical excitability, seizures, and cognitive function in patients with LGG.

METHODS LGG patients who underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) from January 2021 to December 2022 were studied. Cortical excitability was measured using the resting motor thresholds (RMTs) of the upper and lower extremities. Early postoperative seizures served as the seizure endpoint. Neuropsychological assessment was completed prior to surgery contemporaneous with the TMS studies.

RESULTS A total of 31 patients were analyzed for seizure outcome. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) upper-extremity RMT was 39% (34%–46%) of maximum stimulator output, and the median (IQR) lower-extremity RMT was 69% (51%79%). Lower-extremity RMT was higher in patients with early postoperative seizures, especially in those with motor region tumors (p = 0.02); however, RMT was not associated with seizures at presentation or long-term seizure control. A total of 26 patients completed neuropsychological assessment. There were significant negative correlations between upper-extremity RMT and psychomotor processing speed (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Fourth Edition [WAIS-IV] Processing Speed Index r = −0.42, p = 0.031; WAIS-IV Coding r = −0.41, p = 0.036; WAIS-IV Symbol Search r = −0.39, p = 0.048), executive function (Trail Making Test Part B r = −0.41, p = 0.036), and hand dexterity (Grooved Pegboard Test r = −0.50, p = 0.047).

CONCLUSIONS RMT was positively correlated with early postoperative seizure risk and negatively correlated with psychomotor processing speed, executive function, and hand dexterity. These findings support the theory of local and regional resting oscillatory network dysfunction from a glioma-brain network.

Does waiting for surgery matter? How time from diagnostic MRI to resection affects outcomes in newly diagnosed glioblastoma

J Neurosurg 140:80–93, 2024

Maximal safe resection is the standard of care for patients presenting with lesions concerning for glioblastoma (GBM) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Currently, there is no consensus on surgical urgency for patients with an excellent performance status, which complicates patient counseling and may increase patient anxiety. This study aims to assess the impact of time to surgery (TTS) on clinical and survival outcomes in patients with GBM.

METHODS This is a retrospective study of 145 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed IDH–wild-type GBM who underwent initial resection at the University of California, San Francisco, between 2014 and 2016. Patients were grouped according to the time from diagnostic MRI to surgery (i.e., TTS): ≤ 7, > 7–21, and > 21 days. Contrast-enhancing tumor volumes (CETVs) were measured using software. Initial CETV (CETV1) and preoperative CETV (CETV2) were used to evaluate tumor growth represented as percent change (ΔCETV) and specific growth rate (SPGR; % growth/day). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were measured from the date of resection and were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analyses.

RESULTS Of the 145 patients (median TTS 10 days), 56 (39%), 53 (37%), and 36 (25%) underwent surgery ≤ 7, > 7–21, and > 21 days from initial imaging, respectively. Median OS and PFS among the study cohort were 15.5 and 10.3 months, respectively, and did not differ among the TTS groups (p = 0.81 and 0.17, respectively). Median CETV1 was 35.9, 15.7, and 10.2 cm 3 across the TTS groups, respectively (p < 0.001). Preoperative biopsy and presenting to an outside hospital emergency department were associated with an average 12.79-day increase and 9.09-day decrease in TTS, respectively. Distance from the treating facility (median 57.19 miles) did not affect TTS. In the growth cohort, TTS was associated with an average 2.21% increase in ΔCETV per day; however, there was no effect of TTS on SPGR, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), postoperative deficits, survival, discharge location, or hospital length of stay. Subgroup analyses did not identify any high-risk groups for which a shorter TTS may be beneficial.

CONCLUSIONS An increased TTS for patients with imaging concerning for GBM did not impact clinical outcomes, and while there was a significant association with ΔCETV, SPGR remained unaffected. However, SPGR was associated with a worse preoperative KPS, which highlights the importance of tumor growth speed over TTS. Therefore, while it is ill advised to wait an unnecessarily long time after initial imaging studies, these patients do not require urgent/emergency surgery and can seek tertiary care opinions and/or arrange for additional preoperative support/resources. Future studies are needed to explore subgroups for whom TTS may impact clinical outcomes.

Unique molecular, clinical, and treatment aspects of gliomas in adolescents and young adults

J Neurosurg 139:1619–1627, 2023

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with glioma have historically had poorer outcomes than similar patients of younger or older age, a disparity thought to be attributable to the social and economic challenges faced by this group in the transition from childhood to adult life, delays in diagnosis, low participation of AYA patients in clinical trials, and the lack of standardized treatment approaches specific to this patient group.

Recent work from many groups has informed a revision of the World Health Organization classification schema for gliomas to identify biologically divergent pediatric and adult-type tumors, both types of which may occur in AYA patients, and revealed exciting opportunities for the use of targeted therapies for many of these patients. In this review, the authors focus on the glioma types of specific concern to practitioners caring for AYA patients and the factors that should be considered in the development of multidisciplinary teams to facilitate their care.

Predictors of Progression-Free Survival in Patients With Spinal Intramedullary Ependymoma: A Multicenter Retrospective Study by the Neurospinal Society of Japan

Neurosurgery 93:1046–1056, 2023

Ependymoma is the most common spinal intramedullary tumor. Although clinical outcomes have been described in the literature, most of the reports were based on limited numbers of cases or been confined to institutional experience. The objective of this study was to analyze more detailed characteristics of spinal intramedullary ependymoma (SIE) and provide clinical factors associated with progression-free survival (PFS).

METHODS: This retrospective observational multicenter study included consecutive patients with SIE in the cervical or thoracic spine treated surgically at a total of 58 institutions between 2009 and 2020. The results of pathological diagnosis at each institute were confirmed, and patients with myxopapillary ependymoma, subependymoma, or unverified histopathology were strictly excluded from this study. Outcome measures included surgical data, surgery-related complications, postoperative systemic adverse events, postoperative adjuvant treatment, postoperative functional condition, and presence of recurrence.

RESULTS: This study included 324 cases of World Health Organization grade II (96.4%) and 12 cases of World Health Organization grade III (3.6%). Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 76.5% of cases. Radiation therapy (RT) was applied after surgery in 16 cases (4.8%), all of which received local RT and 5 of which underwent chemotherapy in combination. Functional outcomes were significantly affected by preoperative neurological symptoms, tumor location, extent of tumor resection, and recurrence. Multivariate regression analysis suggested that limited extent of tumor resection or recurrence resulted in poor functional outcomes. Multiple comparisons among the groups undergoing GTR, subtotal resection and biopsy, or partial resection of the tumor showed that the probability of PFS differed significantly between GTR and other extents of resection.

CONCLUSION: When GTR can be safely obtained in the surgery for SIE, functional maintenance and longer PFScan be expected.


Circulating Brain Injury Biomarkers: A Novel Method for Quantification of the Impact on the Brain After Tumor Surgery

Neurosurgery 93:847–856, 2023

Clinical methods to quantify brain injury related to neurosurgery are scarce. Circulating brain injury biomarkers have recently gained increased interest as new ultrasensitive measurement techniques have enabled quantification of brain injury through blood sampling.

OBJECTIVE: To establish the time profile of the increase in the circulating brain injury biomarkers glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), tau, and neurofilament light (NfL) after glioma surgery and to explore possible relationships between these biomarkers and outcome regarding volume of ischemic injury identified with postoperative MRI and new neurological deficits.

METHODS: In this prospective study, 34 adult patients scheduled for glioma surgery were included. Plasma concentrations of brain injury biomarkers were measured the day before surgery, immediately after surgery, and on postoperative days 1, 3, 5, and 10.

RESULTS: Circulating brain injury biomarkers displayed a postoperative increase in the levels of GFAP (P < .001), tau (P < .001), and NfL (P < .001) on Day 1 and a later, even higher, peak of NFL at Day 10 (P = .028). We found a correlation between the increased levels of GFAP, tau, and NfL on Day 1 after surgery and the volume of ischemic brain tissue on postoperative MRI. Patients with new neurological deficits after surgery had higher levels of GFAP and NfL on Day 1 compared with those without new neurological deficits.

CONCLUSION: Measuring circulating brain injury biomarkers could be a useful method for quantification of the impact on the brain after tumor surgery or neurosurgery in general.

Novel Postoperative Serum Biomarkers in Atypical Meningiomas: A Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 93:599–610, 2023

There has been no known serum biomarker to predict the prognosis of atypical meningioma.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prognostic impact of serum biomarkers in patients newly diagnosed with resected intracranial atypical meningiomas.

METHODS: This study enrolled 523 patients with atypical meningioma who underwent surgical resection between 1998 and 2018 from 5 Asian institutions. Serum laboratory data within 1 week after surgery were obtained for analysis. Optimal cutoffs were calculated for each serum marker using the maxstat package of R.

RESULTS: Of 523 patients, 19.5% underwent subtotal resection and 29.8% were treated with adjuvant radiation therapy (ART). Among the 523 patients, 454 were included in the multivariate analysis for the progression/recurrence (P/R) rate excluding patients with incomplete histopathologic or laboratory data. On multivariate analysis, tumor size >5 cm, subtotal resection, and postoperative aspartate aminotransferase/alanine transaminase (De Ritis) ratio >2 were associated with higher P/R rates, whereas ART and postoperative platelet count >137 × 103 / μ L were associated with lower P/R rates. In the subgroup of patients treated with ART, tumor size >5 cm and postoperative neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio >21 were associated with higher P/R rates. By contrast, postoperative De Ritis ratio >2 remained an adverse prognosticator in patients not treated with ART.

CONCLUSION: Postoperative De Ritis ratio, platelet count, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio were revealed as a novel serum prognosticator in newly diagnosed atypical meningiomas. Additional studies are warranted to validate its clinical significance and biological background.

Pseudoprogression versus true progression in glioblastoma: what neurosurgeons need to know

J Neurosurg 139:748–759, 2023

Management of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) is complex and involves implementing standard therapies including resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, as well as novel immunotherapies and targeted small-molecule inhibitors through clinical trials and precision medicine approaches. As treatments have advanced, the radiological and clinical assessment of patients with GBM has become even more challenging and nuanced.

Advances in spatial resolution and both anatomical and physiological information that can be derived from MRI have greatly improved the noninvasive assessment of GBM before, during, and after therapy.

Identification of pseudoprogression (PsP), defined as changes concerning for tumor progression that are, in fact, transient and related to treatment response, is critical for successful patient management. These temporary changes can produce new clinical symptoms due to mass effect and edema. Differentiating this entity from true tumor progression is a major decision point in the patient’s management and prognosis.

Providers may choose to start an alternative therapy, transition to a clinical trial, consider repeat resection, or continue with the current therapy in hopes of resolution. In this review, the authors describe the invasive and noninvasive techniques neurosurgeons need to be aware of to identify PsP and facilitate surgical decision-making.

Analysis of Prognostic Factors and Surgical Management of Elderly Patients with Low-Grade Gliomas

World Neurosurg. (2023) 176:e20-e31

The number of elderly patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) is increasing, but their prognostic factors and surgical treatment are still controversial. This paper aims to investigate the prognostic factors of overall survival and cancer-specific survival in elderly patients with LGG and analyze the optimal surgical treatment strategy.

METHODS: Patients in the study were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database and patients were randomized into a training and a test set (7:3). Clinical variables were analyzed by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis to screen for significant prognostic factors, and nomograms visualized the prognosis. In addition, survival analysis of elderly patients regarding different surgical management was also analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curves.

RESULTS: Six prognostic factors were screened by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis on the training set: tumor site, laterality, histological type, the extent of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and all factors were visualized by nomogram. And we evaluated the accuracy of the nomogram model using consistency index, calibration plots, receiver operator characteristic curves, and decision curve analysis, showing that the nomogram has strong accuracy and applicability. We also found that gross total resection improved overall survival and cancer-specific survival in patients with LGG aged ‡65 years relative to those who did not undergo surgery (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, we created and validated prognostic nomograms for elderly patients with LGG, which can help clinicians to provide personalized treatment services and clinical decisions for their patients. More importantly, we found that older age alone should not preclude aggressive surgery for LGGs.

Brain metastasis resection: the impact of fluorescence guidance (MetResect study)

Neurosurg Focus 55(2):E10, 2023

Maximal resection of brain metastases (BMs) improves both progression-free survival and overall survival (OS). Fluorescein sodium (FL) in combination with the YELLOW 560-nm filter is a safe and feasible method for visualizing residual tumor tissue during BM resection. The authors of this study aimed to show that use of FL would positively influence the volumetric extent of resection (EOR) and thus the survival outcome in patients undergoing BM resection.

METHODS Analyzing their institution’s prospective brain tumor registry, the authors identified 539 consecutive patients with BMs (247 women, mean age 62.8 years) by using preoperative high-quality MR images for volumetric analysis. BMs were resected under white light (WL) in 293 patients (54.4%; WL group) and under FL guidance in 246 patients (45.6%; FL group). Sex, age, presurgical Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), recursive partitioning analysis class, and adjuvant treatment modalities were well balanced between the two groups. Volumetric analysis was performed in a blinded fashion by quantifying pre- and postoperative tumor volume based on gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted sequences.

RESULTS In the FL group, the postoperative tumor volume was significantly smaller (p = 0.01), and hence the quantitative EOR was significantly larger (p = 0.024) and OS was significantly longer (p = 0.0001) (log-rank testing). Multivariate Cox regression modeling showed that age, presurgical KPS, metastasis status, and FL-guided resection are independent prognostic factors for survival.

CONCLUSIONS Compared with WL resection, FL-guided BM resection increased resection quality, significantly improved EOR, and prolonged OS.

Fiber Density and Structural Brain Connectome in Glioblastoma Are Correlated With Glioma Cell Infiltration

Neurosurgery 92:1234–1242, 2023

Glioblastoma (GBM) preferred to infiltrate into white matter (WM) beyond the recognizable tumor margin.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether fiber density (FD) and structural brain connectome can provide meaningful information about WM destruction and glioma cell infiltration.

METHODS: GBM cases were collected based on inclusion criteria, and baseline information and preoperative MRI results were obtained. GBM lesions were automatically segmented into necrosis, contrast-enhanced tumor, and edema areas. We obtained the FD map to compute the FD and lnFD values in each subarea and reconstructed the structural brain connectome to obtain the topological metrics in each subarea. We also divided the edema area into a nonenhanced tumor (NET) area and a normal WM area based on the contralesional lnFD value in the edema area, and computed the NET ratio.

RESULTS: Twenty-five GBM cases were included in this retrospective study. The FD/lnFD value and topological metrics (aCp, aLp, aEg, aEloc, and ar) were significantly correlated with GBM subareas, which represented the extent of WM destruction and glioma cell infiltration. The FD/lnFD values and topological parameters were correlated with the NET ratio. In particular, the lnFD value in the edema area was correlated with the NET ratio (coefficient, 0.92). Therefore, a larger lnFD value indicates more severe glioma infiltration in the edema area and suggests an extended resection for better clinical outcomes.

CONCLUSION: The FD and structural brain connectome in this study provide a new insight into glioma infiltration and a different consideration of their clinical application in neurooncology.

Surgical complications and recurrence factors for asymptomatic meningiomas: a single‑center retrospective study

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1345–1353

Observation is the first management option in asymptomatic meningiomas, but when an enlargement or mass effect is observed, surgery is indicated. This study is aimed at exploring risk factors for complications and recurrence after surgery for asymptomatic meningioma. We also examined the impact of preoperative tumor embolization, which is considered controversial.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed 109 patients with primary asymptomatic meningiomas surgically treated at our institute between April 2007 and March 2021. Patients who only had headaches as a nonspecific complaint were included in the asymptomatic group. Complications, time to recurrence, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score were the endpoints of the study. Risk factors for complications and recurrence were explored. Moreover, the effect of the resection on nonspecific headaches was also explored.

Results The permanent postoperative complication rate related to the surgical procedure was 1.8%. Of the total, 107 patients (98.2%) with asymptomatic meningiomas who were surgically treated achieved a GOS score of 5 1 year after the operation. Preoperative headache was present in 31 patients and improved postoperatively in 21 patients. Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model showed that preoperative tumor embolization with > 80% resolution of tumor staining (p < 0.001) was negatively related to recurrence, whereas age (p = 0.046) and Simpson grade IV resection (p = 0.041) were positively related to recurrence.

Conclusion Although surgery for asymptomatic meningiomas can, in many cases, be safe, it is not free of complications Thus, surgical intervention for asymptomatic meningiomas should be considered cautiously. However, more than half the patients with headaches showed improvement. Simpson grade IV resection cases should be assessed for recurrence, and preoperative tumor embolization might be effective in controlling recurrence.

Recurrent insular low-grade gliomas: factors guiding the decision to reoperate

J Neurosurg 138:1216–1226, 2023

Reoperation has been established as an effective therapeutic strategy in recurrent diffuse low-grade gliomas (LGGs). Insular gliomas represent a specific surgical challenge because of the surrounding vascular and functional structures. The aim of this study was to investigate the main clinicoradiological factors guiding the decision to reoperate on recurrent insular LGGs (ILGGs).

METHODS In this retrospective consecutive series, the authors screened all patients operated on for an ILGG in their institution who further presented with a tumor regrowth without the development of contrast enhancement. They compared patients who were subsequently offered a reoperation under awake mapping at recurrence or who underwent reoperation after adjuvant treatment had reduced the volume of the initial tumor recurrence (with a proven pathological diagnosis of LGG after the second surgery) to patients who were not selected for a reoperation. The first group (reoperated group; n = 20) included all recurrent ILGG patients who underwent second resection, and the second group (nonreoperated group; n = 60) included patients who did not undergo reoperation but underwent adjuvant oncological treatment.

RESULTS Factors significantly associated with reoperation were extent of resection (EOR) at first surgery (91.9% vs 89.7%, p = 0.014), residual tumor volume (9.5 ± 7.1 mL [range 0–30 mL] vs 6.3 ± 7.3 mL [range 0–30 mL], p = 0.02) at first surgery and left temporopolar infiltration at the time of tumor recurrence (Liebermeister statistical analysis, 4293 voxels survived false discovery rate correction with p < 0.05; maximal z-statistic = 6.50). Infiltration of the anterior perforated substance at tumor recurrence was significantly anticorrelated to reoperation (179 voxels survived false discovery rate correction with p < 0.05; minimal z-statistic = −4.33). The mean EOR was 83.7% at reoperation with a 90% survival rate at last follow-up (9.3 ± 3.8 years), low postsurgical morbidity (Karnofsky Performance Status score ≥ 80 in 95% of patients), a high rate of postoperative professional resumption (95%), and seizure control in 57.1% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS In selected patients with recurrent ILGG without radiographic evidence of malignant transformation, reoperation with intraoperative awake mapping is associated with favorable oncological outcomes and a low postsurgical morbidity. A greater EOR and a lower residual tumor volume at first surgery were significantly associated with reoperation. Patients who benefited from a second surgery typically had a recurrent pattern within cortical areas (such as the temporopolar region), while other patients typically presented with a deeper infiltrative pattern within the anterior perforated substance and the surrounding white matter pathways. Such original findings may be helpful to select the optimal indications of reoperation in recurrent ILGG.

Presence of a fundal fluid cap on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging may predict long-term facial nerve function after resection of vestibular schwannoma via the retrosigmoid approach

J Neurosurg 138:972–980, 2023

Preservation of neurological function is a priority when performing a resection of a vestibular schwannoma (VS). Few studies have examined the radiographic value of a fundal fluid cap—i.e., cerebrospinal fluid in the lateral end of a VS within the internal auditory canal—for prediction of postoperative neurological function. The aim of this study was to clarify whether the presence of a fundal fluid cap on preoperative magnetic resonance images has a clinical impact on facial nerve function after resection of VSs.

METHODS The presence of a fundal fluid cap and its prognostic impact on long-term postoperative facial nerve function were analyzed.

RESULTS A fundal fluid cap was present in 102 of 143 patients who underwent resection of sporadic VSs via the retrosigmoid approach. Facial nerve function was acceptable (House-Brackmann grade I–II) immediately after surgery in 82 (80.4%) patients with a fundal fluid cap and in 26 (63.4%) of those without this sign. The preservation rate of facial nerve function increased in a time-dependent manner after surgery in patients with a fundal fluid cap but plateaued by 3 months postoperatively in those without a fundal fluid cap; the difference was statistically significant at 12 months (96.1% vs 82.9%, p = 0.013) and 24 months (97.1% vs 82.9%, p = 0.006) after surgery. The presence of a fundal fluid cap had a significantly positive effect on long-term facial nerve function at 24 months after surgery when tumor size and intraoperative neuromonitoring response were taken into account (OR 5.55, 95% CI 1.12–27.5, p = 0.034).

CONCLUSIONS Neuromonitoring-guided microsurgery for total resection of VSs is more likely to be successful in terms of preservation of facial nerve function if a fundal fluid cap is present. This preoperative radiographic sign could be helpful when counseling patients and deciding the treatment strategy.

Volumetric Growth and Growth Curve Analysis of Residual Intracranial Meningioma

Neurosurgery 92:734–744, 2023

After meningioma surgery, approximately 1 in 3 patients will have residual tumor that requires ongoing imaging surveillance. The precise volumetric growth rates of these tumors are unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the volumetric growth rates of residual meningioma, growth trajectory, and factors associated with progression.

METHODS: Patients with residual meningioma identified at a tertiary neurosurgery center between 2004 and 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Tumor volumewas measured using manual segmentation, after surgery and at every follow-up MRI scan. Growth rates were ascertained using a linear mixed-effects model and nonlinear regression analysis of growth trajectories. Progression was defined according to the Response Assessment in Neuro- Oncology (RANO) criteria (40% volume increase).

RESULTS: There were 236 patients with residual meningioma. One hundred and thirtytwo patients (56.0%) progressed according to the RANO criteria, with 86 patients being conservatively managed (65.2%) after progression. Thirteen patients (5.5%) developed clinical progression. Over a median follow-up of 5.3 years (interquartile range, 3.5–8.6 years), the absolute growth rate was 0.11 cm3 per year and the relative growth rate 4.3% per year. Factors associated with residual meningioma progression in multivariable Cox regression analysis were skull base location (hazard ratio [HR] 1.60, 95% CI 1.02–2.50) and increasing Ki-67 index (HR 3.43, 95% CI 1.19–9.90). Most meningioma exhibited exponential and logistic growth patterns (median R2 value 0.84, 95% CI 0.60–0.90).

CONCLUSION: Absolute and relative growth rates of residual meningioma are low, but most meet the RANO criteria for progression. Location and Ki-67 index can be used to stratify adjuvant treatment and surveillance paradigms.

Application of Intraoperative Rapid Molecular Diagnosis in Precision Surgery for Glioma: Mimic the World Health Organization CNS5 Integrated Diagnosis

Neurosurgery 92:762–771, 2023

With the advent of the molecular era, the diagnosis and treatment systems of glioma have also changed. A single histological type cannot be used for prognosis grade. Only by combining molecular diagnosis can precision medicine be realized.

OBJECTIVE: To develop an automatic integrated gene detection system (AIGS) for intraoperative detection in glioma and to explore its positive role in intraoperative diagnosis and treatment.

METHODS: We analyzed the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutation status of 105 glioma samples and evaluated the product’s potential value for diagnosis; 37 glioma samples were detected intraoperatively to evaluate the feasibility of using the product in an actual situation. A blinding method was used to evaluate the effect of the detection technology on the accuracy of intraoperative histopathological diagnosis by pathologists. We also reviewed the current research status in the field of intraoperative molecular diagnosis.

RESULTS: Compared with next-generation sequencing, the accuracy of AIGS in detecting IDH1 was 100% for 105 samples and 37 intraoperative samples. The blind diagnostic results were compared between the 2 groups, and the molecular information provided by AIGS increased the intraoperative diagnostic accuracy of glioma by 16.2%. Using the technical advantages of multipoint synchronous detection, we determined the tumor molecular margins for 5 IDH-positive patients and achieved accurate resection at the molecular level. CONCLUSION: AIGS can quickly and accurately provide molecular information during surgery. This methodology not only improves the accuracy of intraoperative pathological diagnosis but also provides an important molecular basis for determining tumor margins to facilitate precision surgery.