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.

Reappraisal of Intracerebral Hemorrhages and Intracerebral Hemorrhage Grading Scale Score in Surgically and Medically Managed Cerebellar Intracerebral Hemorrhage


Neurosurgery 92:1021–1028, 2023

As compared with supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH), bleeds that occur within the cerebellum require special consideration given the nature of the posterior fossa.

OBJECTIVE: To validate ICH and ICH grading scale (ICH-GS) scores in patients with cerebellar hemorrhage and examine the outcomes of patients managed surgically as compared with those who underwent conservative treatment.

METHODS: This observational multicenter study included 475 patients with cerebellar hemorrhage from 9 different neurosurgical departments in Germany between 2005 and 2021. The prognostic accuracy of ICH and ICH-GS scores were calculated by the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curves. Analyzed outcomes were the inhospital mortality, mortality at 6 months, in-hospital outcome, and outcome at 6 months.

RESULTS: Of 403 patients, 252 patients (62.5%) underwent surgical treatment and 151 patients (37.5%) conservative treatment. Both ICH and ICH-GS scores demonstrated good prognostic accuracy regarding both overall mortality and functional outcomes. In those patients presenting with severe cerebellar hemorrhages, ie, ICH score >3 and ICH-GS score >11, overall mortality was significantly lower in surgically treated patients. Mortality was significantly higher in those patients managed surgically who presented with ICH scores ≤3; in such patients, improved outcomes were noted when the hematoma was treated conservatively.

CONCLUSION: ICH and ICH scores are useful tools for prediction of survival and outcome in patients with cerebellar ICH. Surgical management may be beneficial for those who present with severe cerebellar ICH as reflected by ICH scores >3, while conservative management seems reasonable in patients with lower ICH scores.

The need to consider return to work as a main outcome in patients undergoing surgery for diffuse low‐grade glioma: a systematic review

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2789–2809

For a long time, return to work (RTW) has been neglected in patients harboring a diffuse low-grade glioma (LGG). However, a majority of LGG patients worked at time of diagnosis. Moreover, these patients now live longer given current treatment paradigms, especially thanks to early maximal surgery.

Methods We systematically searched available medical databases for studies that reported data on RTW in patients who underwent resection for LGG.

Results A total of 30 studies were selected: 19 considered RTW (especially rate and timing) as an outcome and 11 used scales of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) which included work-related aspects. Series that considered RTW as a main endpoint were composed of 1014 patients, with postoperative RTW rates ranging from 31 to 97.1% (mean 73.1%). Timing to RTW ranged from 15 days to 22 months (mean 6.3 months). Factors related to an increased proportion of RTW were: younger age, better neurologic status, having a white-collar occupation, working pre-operatively, being the sole breadwinner, the use of awake surgery, and greater extent of resection. Female sex, older age, poor neurologic status, pre-operative history of work absences, slow lexical access speed, and postoperative seizures were negatively related to RTW. No studies that used HRQoL scales directly investigated RTW rate or timing.

Conclusions RTW was scarcely analyzed in LGG patients who underwent resection. However, because they are usually young, with no or only mild functional deficits and have a longer life expectancy, postoperative RTW should be assessed more systematically and accurately as a main outcome. As majority (61.5–100%) of LGG patients were working at time of surgery, the responsibility of neurosurgeons is to bring these patients back to their previous activities according to his/her wishes. RTW might also be included as a critical endpoint for future prospective studies and randomized control trials on LGGs.

Functional and radiological outcome of anterior retroperitoneal versus posterior transforaminal interbody fusion in the management of single-level lumbar degenerative disease

Neurosurg Focus 49 (3):E2, 2020

In this study the authors compared the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and posterior transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) techniques in a homogeneous group of patients affected by single-level L5–S1 degenerative disc disease (DDD) and postdiscectomy syndrome (PDS). The purpose of the study was to analyze perioperative, functional, and radiological data between the two techniques.

METHODS A retrospective analysis of patient data was performed between 2015 and 2018. Patients were clustered into two homogeneous groups (group 1 = ALIF, group 2 = TLIF) according to surgical procedure. A statistical analysis of clinical perioperative and radiological findings was performed to compare the two groups. A senior musculoskeletal radiologist retrospectively revised all radiological images.

RESULTS Seventy-two patients were comparable in terms of demographic features and surgical diagnosis and included in the study, involving 32 (44.4%) male and 40 (55.6%) female patients with an average age of 47.7 years. The mean follow-up duration was 49.7 months. Thirty-six patients (50%) were clustered in group 1, including 31 (86%) with DDD and 5 (14%) with PDS. Thirty-six patients (50%) were clustered in group 2, including 28 (78%) with DDD and 8 (22%) with PDS. A significant reduction in surgical time (107.4 vs 181.1 minutes) and blood loss (188.9 vs 387.1 ml) in group 1 (p < 0.0001) was observed. No significant differences in complications and reoperation rates between the two groups (p = 0.561) was observed. A significant improvement in functional outcome was observed in both groups (p < 0.001), but no significant difference between the two groups was found at the last follow-up. In group 1, a faster median time of return to work (2.4 vs 3.2 months) was recorded. A significant improvement in L5–S1 postoperative lordosis restoration was registered in the ALIF group (9.0 vs 5.0, p = 0.023).

CONCLUSIONS According to these results, interbody fusion is effective in the surgical management of discogenic pain. Even if clinical benefits were achieved earlier in the ALIF group (better scores and faster return to work), both procedures improved functional outcomes at last follow-up. The ALIF group showed significant reduction of blood loss, shorter surgical time, and better segmental lordosis restoration when compared to the TLIF group. No significant differences in postoperative complications were observed between the groups. Based on these results, the ALIF technique enhances radiological outcome improvement in spinopelvic parameters when compared to TLIF in the management of adult patients with L5–S1 DDD.

Is supratotal resection achievable in low-grade gliomas? Feasibility, putative factors, safety, and functional outcome

J Neurosurg 132:1692–1705, 2020

Surgery for low-grade gliomas (LGGs) aims to achieve maximal tumor removal and maintenance of patients’ functional integrity. Because extent of resection is one of the factors affecting the natural history of LGGs, surgery could be extended further than total resection toward a supratotal resection, beyond tumor borders detectable on FLAIR imaging. Supratotal resection is highly debated, mainly due to a lack of evidence of its feasibility and safety. The authors explored the intraoperative feasibility of supratotal resection and its short- and long-term impact on functional integrity in a large cohort of patients. The role of some putative factors in the achievement of supratotal resection was also studied.

METHODS Four hundred forty-nine patients with a presumptive radiological diagnosis of LGG consecutively admitted to the neurosurgical oncology service at the University of Milan over a 5-year period were enrolled. In all patients, a policy was adopted to perform surgery according to functional boundaries, aimed at achieving a supratotal resection whenever possible, without any patient or tumor a priori selection. Feasibility, general safety, and tumor or patient putative factors possibly affecting the achievement of a supratotal resection were analyzed. Postsurgical patient functional performance was evaluated in five cognitive domains (memory, language, praxis, executive functions, and fluid intelligence) using a detailed neuropsychological evaluation and quality of life (QOL) examination.

RESULTS Total resection was feasible in 40.8% of patients, and supratotal resection in 32.3%. The achievement of a supratotal versus total resection was independent of age, sex, education, tumor volume, deep extension, location, handedness, appearance of tumor border, vicinity to eloquent sites, surgical mapping time, or surgical tools applied. Supratotal resection was associated with a long clinical history and histological grade II, suggesting that reshaping of brain networks occurred. Although a consistent amount of apparently MRI-normal brain was removed with this approach, the procedure was safe and did not carry additional risk to the patient, as demonstrated by detailed neuropsychological evaluation and QOL examination. This approach also improved seizure control.

CONCLUSIONS Supratotal resection is feasible and safe in routine clinical practice. These results show that a long clinical history may be the main factor associated with its achievement.

Utility of a Quantitative Approach Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Prognostication Regarding Motor and Functional Outcomes in Patients With Surgically Resected Deep Intracranial Cavernous Malformations

Neurosurgery 86:665–675, 2020

Resection of deep intracranial cavernous malformations (CMs) is associated with a higher risk of neurological deterioration and uncertainty regarding clinical outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To examine diffusion tractography imaging (DTI) data evaluating the corticospinal tract (CST) in relation to motor and functional outcomes in patients with surgically resected deep CMs.

METHODS: Perilesional CST was characterized as disrupted, displaced, or normal. Mean fractional anisotropy (FA) values were obtained for whole ipsilateral CST and in 3 regions: subcortical (proximal), perilesional, and distally. Mean FA values in anatomically equivalent regions in the contralateral CST were obtained. Clinical and radiological data were collected independently.Multivariable regression analysis was used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 18 patients [brainstem (15) and thalamus/basal ganglia (3); median follow-up: 270 d] were identified over 2 yr. The CST was identified preoperatively as disrupted (6), displaced (8), and normal (4). Five of 6 patientswith disruption hadweakness. Higher preoperative mean FA values for distal ipsilateral CST segmentwere associated with better preoperative lower (P < .001), upper limb (P = .004), postoperative lower (P = .005), and upper limb (P < .001) motor examination. Preoperative mean FA values for distal ipsilateral CST segment (P = .001) and contralateral perilesional CST segment (P < .001) were negatively associated with postoperative modified Rankin scale scores.

CONCLUSION: Lower preoperative mean FA values for overall and defined CST segments corresponded to worse patient pre- and postoperative motor examination and/or functional status. FA value for the distal ipsilateral CST segment has prognostic potential with respect to clinical outcomes.

Fronto-orbitozygomatic approach: functional and cosmetic outcomes in a series of 169 patients

J Neurosurg 128:466–474, 2018

Advantages of the fronto-orbitozygomatic (FOZ) approach have been reported extensively in the literature; nevertheless, restoration of normal anatomy and the esthetic impact of surgery are increasingly important issues for patients and neurosurgeons. The aim of this study was to analyze functional and cosmetic outcomes in a series of 169 patients with different pathologies who underwent surgery in which the FOZ approach was used.

METHODS Between January 2000 and December 2014, 250 consecutive patients underwent surgery with an FOZ approach as the primary surgical treatment. Follow-up data were available for only 169 patients; 103 (60.9%) of these patients were female and 66 (39.1%) were male, and their ages ranged from 6 to 77 years (mean 46.9 years; SD 15.6 years). Mean follow-up time was 66 months (range 6–179 months; SD 49.5 months). Evaluation of clinical outcomes was performed with a focus on 4 main issues: surgical complications, functional outcome, cosmetic outcome, and patient satisfaction. The additional time needed to perform orbitotomy and orbital reconstruction was also evaluated.

RESULTS The permanent postoperative complications included forehead hypesthesia (41.4%) and dysesthesia (15.3%), frontal muscle weakness (10.3%), exophthalmos (1.4%), enophthalmos (4.1%), diplopia (6.6%; 2% were related to surgical approach), and persistent periorbital and eyelid swelling (3%). Approximately 90% of the patients reported subjectively that surgery did not affect their quality of life or complained of only minor problems that did not influence their quality of life significantly. The mean time needed for orbitotomy and orbital reconstruction was approximately half an hour.

CONCLUSIONS Comprehensive knowledge of the potential complications and overall clinical outcomes of the FOZ approach can be of great utility to neurosurgeons in balancing the well-known benefits of the approach with potential additional morbidities.


Clinical relevance of anterior cerebral artery asymmetry in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:1070–1076, 2017

An asymmetry of the A1 segments (A1SA) of the anterior cerebral arteries (ACAs) is an assumed risk factor for the development of anterior communicating artery aneurysms (ACoAAs). It is unknown whether A1SA is also clinically relevant after aneurysm rupture. The authors of this study investigated the impact of A1SA on the clinical course and outcome of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS The authors retrospectively analyzed data on consecutive SAH patients treated at their institution between January 2005 and December 2012. The occurrence and severity of cerebral infarctions in the ACA territories were evaluated on follow-up CT scans up to 6 weeks after SAH. Moreover, the risk for an unfavorable outcome (defined as > 3 points on the modified Rankin Scale) at 6 months after SAH was assessed.

RESULTS A total of 594 patients were included in the final analysis. An A1SA was identified on digital subtraction angiography studies from 127 patients (21.4%) and was strongly associated with ACoAA (p < 0.0001, OR 13.7). An A1SA independently correlated with the occurrence of ACA infarction in patients with ACoAA (p = 0.047) and in those without an ACoAA (p = 0.015). Among patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA was independently associated with the severity of ACA infarction (p = 0.023) and unfavorable functional outcome (p = 0.045, OR = 2.4).

CONCLUSIONS An A1SA is a common anatomical variation in SAH patients and is strongly associated with ACoAA. Moreover, the presence of A1SA independently increases the likelihood of ACA infarction. In SAH patients undergoing ACoAA coiling, A1SA carries the risk for severe ACA infarction and thus an unfavorable outcome.


Surgery of insular and paralimbic diffuse low-grade gliomas: technical considerations


J Neurooncol (2016) 130:289–298

Once considered a ‘‘no man’s land’’ especially when invaded by a diffuse low grade glioma (DLGG), the insula remains to this day a surgical challenge. Surgery for insular DLGG involves consideration of its hidden location under the potentially eloquent operculae, the proximity to vascular tree and high density of functions not only in the insular cortex but also in the white fiber pathways passing under the insular lobe. The natural history of DLGG and the potential benefits and consequences of the surgical approach also need a close look.

In the last decade, a better knowledge of the functional anatomy and connectivity of this region, as well as an improvement in surgical techniques as direct stimulation mapping, combined with an increasing literature showing a favorable impact of maximal resection for DLGG, were deciding factors in the paradigmatic shift from expectative treatment to early surgical management.

Here, our goal is to discuss the structural and functional aspects of the insula, the specificities of insular and paralimbic DLGG by emphasizing the technical considerations of surgery in this region, as well as its oncological and functional outcomes. In summary, this new strategy based upon early maximal safe surgical resection showed both oncological benefit and preservation of quality of life—or even an improvement thanks to epilepsy relief.

Comparison of Outcome Between Surgical and Conservative Management of Symptomatic Spinal Cord Cavernous Malformations

Comparison of Outcome Between Surgical and Conservative Management of Symptomatic Spinal Cord Cavernous Malformations

Neurosurgery 78:552–561, 2016

Intramedullary cavernous malformations (CMs) are rare lesions with unclear natural history.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the functional outcomes of spinal CMs managed surgically and conservatively.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of patients diagnosed with intramedullary CMs seen at our institution from 2006 to 2013. Functional outcomes of patients were assessed by treatment modality with the Modified McCormick Scale and Karnofsky Performance Status.

RESULTS: We identified a total of 85 study-eligible patients; 51 (60.0%) were male. Mean age of patients was 40.5 years. Fifty-eight patients underwent microsurgical removal, and 27 patients underwent conservative management. All patients except 1 harbored a single symptomatic intramedullary CM. Mean follow-up time was 42.8 months. For the surgical group (n = 58), 51 CMs were completely resected. During the follow-up period, 40 patients (69.0%) within the surgical group had improvement in neurological state, 16 patients (27.6%) remained unchanged, and 2 patients (3.4%) experienced deteriorated functional status. In the conservative group, 4 patients (14.8%) had improvement of their symptoms, 19 patients (70.4%) remained in baseline, and 4 patients (14.8%) deteriorated. No significant statistical difference was observed in followup Karnofsky Performance Status assessment (odds ratio = 0.89; 95% confidence interval = 0.73-1.08; P = .15) or Modified McCormick Scale assessment (odds ratio = 0.90; 95% confidence interval = 0.74-1.10; P = .30) after adjustment for preoperative lesion size and location. Annual hemorrhagic risk was 3.9% in conservatively managed patients. In contrast, no patients experienced subsequent hemorrhages after surgical resection.

CONCLUSION: Surgical resection of intramedullary CMs eliminates the risk of subsequent hemorrhagic and may achieve satisfactory outcome when patients are carefully selected. Although conservative management is recommended in patients at high surgical risk, they should be closely monitored because of persistent hemorrhagic risk.

Predictors of Poor Quality of Life 1 Year After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

A Simple and Quantitative Method to Predict Symptomatic Vasospasm After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Based on Computed Tomography- Beyond the Fisher Scale

Neurosurgery 78:256–264, 2016

Risk factors for poor quality of life (QOL) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remain poorly described.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the frequency and predictors of poor QOL 1 year after SAH.

METHODS: We studied 1-year QOL in a prospectively collected cohort of 1181 consecutively admitted SAH survivors between July 1996 and May 2013. Patient clinical, radiographic, surgical, and acute clinical course information was recorded. Reduced QOL (overall, physical, and psychosocial) at 1 year was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile and defined as 2 SD below population-based normative Sickness Impact Profile values. Logistic regression leveraging multiple imputation to handle missing data was used to evaluate reduced QOL.

RESULTS: Poor overall QOL was observed in 35% of patients. Multivariable analysis revealed that nonwhite ethnicity, high school education or less, history of depression, poor clinical grade (Hunt-Hess Grade $3), and delayed infarction were predictors of poor overall and psychosocial QOL. Poor physical QOL was additionally associated with older age, hydrocephalus, pneumonia, and sepsis. At 1 year, patients with poor QOL had increased difficulty concentrating, cognitive dysfunction, depression, and reduced activities of daily living. More than 91% of patients with poor QOL failed to fully return to work. These patients frequently received physical rehabilitation, but few received cognitive rehabilitation or emotional-behavioral support.

CONCLUSION: Reduced QOL affects as many as one-third of SAH survivors 1 year after SAH. Delayed infarction is the most important in-hospital modifiable factor that affects QOL. Increased attention to cognitive and emotional difficulties after hospital discharge may help patients achieve greater QOL.

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.

Decompressive hemicraniectomy for malignant middle cerebral artery territory infarction: is life worth living?

J Neurosurg 117:749–754, 2012

Although decompressive hemicraniectomy has been shown to reduce death and improve functional outcome following malignant middle cerebral artery territory infarction, there is ongoing debate as to whether surgery should be routinely performed, considering the very high rates of disability and functional dependence in survivors. Through a systematic review of the literature, the authors sought to determine the outcome from a patient’s perspective.

Methods. In September 2010, a MEDLINE search of the English-language literature was performed using various combinations of 12 key words. A total of 16 papers were reviewed and individual study data were extracted.

Results. There was significant variability in study design, patient eligibility criteria, timing of surgery, and methods of outcome assessment. There were 382 patients (59% male, 41% female) with a mean age of 50 years, 25% with dominant-hemisphere infarction. The mortality rate was 24% and the mean follow-up in survivors was 19 months (range 3–114 months). Of 156 survivors with available modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, 41% had favorable functional outcome (mRS Score ≤ 3), whereas 47% had moderately severe disability (mRS Score 4). Among 157 survivors with quality of life assessment, the mean overall reduction was 45%: 67% for physical aspect and 37% for psychosocial aspect. Of 114 screened survivors, depression affected 56% and was moderate or severe in 25%. Most patients and/or caregivers (77% of the 209 interviewed) were satisfied and would give consent again for the procedure.

Conclusions. Despite high rates of physical disability and depression, the vast majority of patients are satisfied with life and do not regret having undergone surgery.


Surgery of Insular Nonenhancing Gliomas: Volumetric Analysis of Tumoral Resection, Clinical Outcome, and Survival in a Consecutive Series of 66 Cases

Neurosurgery 70:1081–1094, 2012.  DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823f5be5

Despite intraoperative technical improvements, the insula remains a challenging area for surgery because of its critical relationships with vascular and neurophysiological functional structures.
OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively investigate the morbidity profile in insular nonenhancing gliomas, with special emphasis on volumetric analysis of tumoral resection.

METHODS: From 2000 to 2010, 66 patients underwent surgery. All surgical procedures were conducted under cortical-subcortical stimulation and neurophysiological monitor- ing. Volumetric scan analysis was applied on T2-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRIs) to establish preoperative and postoperative tumoral volume.

RESULTS: The median preoperative tumor volume was 108 cm3. The median extent of resection was 80%. The median follow-up was 4.3 years. An immediate postoperative worsening was detected in 33.4% of cases; a definitive worsening resulted in 6% of cases. Patients with extent of resection of . 90% had an estimated 5-year overall survival rate of 92%, whereas those with extent of resection between 70% and 90% had a 5-year overall survival rate of 82% (P , .001). The difference between preoperative tumoral volumes on T2-weighted MRI and on postcontrast T1-weighted MRI ([T2 2 T1] MRI volume) was computed to evaluate the role of the diffusive tumoral growing pattern on overall survival. Patients with preoperative volumetric difference , 30 cm3 demonstrated a 5-year overall survival rate of 92%, whereas those with a difference of . 30 cm3 had a 5-year overall survival rate of 57% (P = .02).

CONCLUSION: With intraoperative cortico-subcortical mapping and neurophysiologi- cal monitoring, a major resection is possible with an acceptable risk and a significant result in the follow-up.

Awake surgery for incidental WHO grade II gliomas involving eloquent areas

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:575–584.DOI 10.1007/s00701-011-1216-x
WHO grade II glioma (G2G) is a premalignant tumor, usually revealed by seizures in young patients living normal lives. G2G grows constantly and will inevitably become anaplastic. Surgical resection significantly increases the overall survival by delaying malignant transformation. Recently, a similar natural history was demonstrated in a patient with incidental G2G, with continuous growth and risk of anaplasia. Here, the aim was to study for the first time the functional results and extent of resection in a prospective series of patients who underwent resection for incidental G2G within eloquent areas.
Method G2G involving functional regions in the left dominant hemisphere was incidentally diagnosed in 11 asymptomatic patients. Resection was achieved in all cases after demonstration of a volumetric increase on serial MRIs. Intraoperative awake mapping was performed in the 11 patients.
Findings There were no cases of mortality or permanent postoperative deficit. A subtotal, total or even “supratotal” resection was achieved in the 11 cases, with no partial resections. All patients resumed normal social and professional lives, with no seizures (KPS 100). Due to slow tumor re-growth in three patients with subtotal resection, adjuvant chemotherapy was administrated in two cases and radiotherapy in one. With a mean follow-up of 40 months since surgery, there was no anaplastic transformation.
Conclusion These results show that surgery can be considered in incidental G2G, even in critical areas, with a minimal risk and optimal resection, thanks to intraoperative mapping. Such findings raise the question of an early detection.

Long-term Outcome After Resection of Intraspinal Ependymomas: Report of 86 Consecutive Cases

Neurosurgery 67:1622–1631, 2010 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181f96d41

Objective: To evaluate progression-free survival, overall survival (OS) and long-term clinical outcome in a consecutive series of 86 patients with intraspinal ependymomas.

METHODS: Medical charts were retrospectively reviewed. Surviving patients voluntarily participated in a clinical history and physical examination that focused on neurological function and current tumor status.

RESULTS: Follow-up data are nearly 100% complete; mean follow-up time was 82 months. Eighty-five patients (99%) had surgery as a first-line treatment; 14 (17%) of these patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. Of the 85 patients who underwent primary surgery, gross total resection was performed in 60 patients (71%) and subtotal resection in 25 patients (29%). Ten-year progression-free survival rate was 75%; 5-year OS, 97%; and 10-year OS, 91%. Reduced preoperative neurological function and older age at diagnosis were significantly associated with increased risk of death. At follow-up, spontaneous regression of residual tumor after primary surgery may have occurred in 7 of 19 patients (37%). More than 75% of patients had neurological function compatible with an independent life at follow-up. Good preoperative neurological function was significantly associated with favorable outcome. It was not possible to evaluate the effect of radiotherapy on progression-free survival and OS.

CONCLUSION: Gross total resection remains the optimal treatment for patients with spinal ependymoma. Patients should be monitored with a clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging at regular intervals up to 10 years after surgery.

Functional outcome after complete surgical removal of giant vestibular schwannomas

J Neurosurg 112:860–867, 2010. (DOI: 10.3171/2009.7.JNS0989)
The authors evaluated the outcome of radical surgery in a consecutive series of patients with giant vestibular schwannomas (VSs).
Methods. Fifty patients with VSs > 4.0 cm in maximal extrameatal diameter were included in this retrospective study (Group A). The group was compared with a matched group of 167 patients with VSs < 3.9 cm (Group B). In all cases the retrosigmoid approach was used. Outcome measures included completeness of tumor removal, facial nerve function, hearing, and the surgery-related complication rate.
Results. The mean tumor size in Group A was 4.4 cm and that in Group B was 2.3 cm. Total removal was achieved in all Group A patients and in 97.6% of Group B patients. The anatomical integrity of the facial nerve was preserved in 92% in Group A and in 98.8% in Group B. At last follow-up 75% of the patients with giant VSs had excellent or good facial nerve function, 19% had fair function, and 6% had poor function. In 33% of patients (3 cases) with good preoperative hearing level, it was preserved. Newly developed lower cranial nerve dysfunction occurred in 3 patients but proved to be temporary in 2 of them. A CSF leak developed in 6% of those who not previously undergone surgery. Compared with Group B, a significant difference was found only in the rates of the following parameters: excellent facial nerve function, useful and good hearing, lower cranial nerve dysfunction, and blood collection (p < 0.05). The perioperative mortality rate in both groups was 0%.
Conclusions. In patients with a giant VS, total tumor removal can be achieved via the retrosigmoid approach with a 0% mortality rate and low morbidity rate, especially with regards to facial nerve function. In selected cases even hearing preservation is possible. Tumor size significantly correlates with postoperative outcome.