Peritumoral Edema/Tumor Volume Ratio: A Strong Survival Predictor for Posterior Fossa Metastases

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 1, July 2019, Pages 117–125

Twenty percent of all brain metastases (BM) occur in the posterior fossa (PF). Radiotherapy sometimes associated with surgical resection remains the therapeutic option, while Karnovsky performance status and graded prognostic assessment (GPA) are the best preoperative survival prognostic factors.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the prognostic role of peritumoral brain edema in the PF, which has never been explored though its role in supratentorial BM has been debated.

METHODS: A total of 120 patients diagnosed with PF metastasis who underwent surgical resection were included retrospectively in this analysis. Clinical data were retrieved from electronic patient medical files. The tumor volumes and their associated edema were calculated via manual delineation; subsequently the edema/tumor volume ratio was determined.

RESULTS: In multivariate analysis with Cox multivariate proportional hazard model, the edema to tumor volumes ratio (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.727, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.427- 2.083; P < .0001) was identified as a new strong independent prognosis factor on overall survival (OS) whereas edema volume alone was not (P = .469). Moreover, BM complete resection (HR: 0.447, 95% CI 0.277-0.719; P < .001), low (0-1) World Health Organization status at diagnosis (HR: 2.109, 95% CI 1.481-3.015; P < .0001), high GPA class at diagnosis (HR: 1.77, 95% CI 0.9-2.9; P < .04), and postoperative brain irradiation (HR: 2.019, 95% CI 1.213-3.361; P < .007] were all confirmed as independent predictive factors for survival.

CONCLUSION: The edema/tumor ratio appears to greatly influence OS in patients suffering from PF metastases unlike the extent of edema alone. This easily determined as well as strong prognostic factor could be used as an interesting tool in clinical practice to help the management of these patients.

Training for brain tumour resection: a realistic model with easy accessibility

Training for brain tumour resection- a realistic model with easy accessibility

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:1975–1981

Resection of intrinsic and extrinsic brain tumours requires an understanding of sulcal and gyral anatomy, familiarity with tissue consistency and tissue manipulation. As yet, these skills are acquired by observation and supervised manipulation during surgery, thus accepting a potential learning curve at the expense of the patient in a live surgical situation. A brain tumour model could ensure optimised manual skills and understanding of surgical anatomy acquired in an elective and relaxed teaching situation. We report and evaluate a brain tumour model, regarding availability, realistic representation of sulcal and gyral anatomy and tissue consistency.

Method Freshly prepared agar-agar solution with different concentrations was added with highlighter ink and injected into fresh sheep brains.

Results Hardened agar-agar solution formed masses comparable to malignant brain tumours. Variation of the agar-agar concentration influenced diffusion of agar-agar solution in the adjacent brain tissue. Higher concentrated agar-agar solutions formed sharply delimitated masses mimicking cerebral metastases and lower concentrated agar-agar solutions tended to diffuse into the adjacent cerebral tissue. Adding highlighter ink to the agar-agar solution produced fluorescence after blue light excitation comparable to the 5-ALA induced fluorescence of malignant glioma.

Conclusions The described in vitro sheep brain tumor model is simple and realistic, available practically everywhere and cheap. Therefore, it could be useful for young neurosurgical residents to acquire basic neuro-oncological skills, experiencing properties of the cerebral brain texture and its haptic perception and to learn handling of neurosurgical equipment.