Long-term outcomes after surgery for brainstem cavernous malformations: analysis of 46 consecutive cases

J Neurosurg 138:900–909, 2023

The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcomes after resection of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) and to assess the usefulness of the Lawton grading system in these cases.

METHODS This retrospective study analyzed 46 consecutive patients with BSCMs operated on between July 1990 and December 2020. Outcomes at the last follow-up were defined as favorable (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–2) or unfavorable (mRS score > 2).

RESULTS The study cohort comprised 24 men (52%) and 22 women (48%), ranging in age from 8 to 78 years old (median 37 years). In 19 patients (41%), the preoperative mRS score was > 2. All patients had hemorrhagic BSCM. There were 12 (26%) mesencephalic, 19 (41%) pontine, 7 (15%) medullary, and 8 (17%) cerebellar peduncle lesions, with a maximal diameter ranging from 5 to 40 mm (median 15 mm). In total, 24 BSCMs (52%) had bilateral extension crossing the brainstem midline. Lawton grades of 0, I, II, III, IV, V, and VI were defined in 3 (7%), 2 (4%), 10 (22%), 11 (24%), 8 (17%), 7 (15%), and 5 (11%) cases, respectively. Total resection of BSCMs was attained in 43 patients (93%). There were no perioperative deaths. Excluding the 3 most recent cases, the length of follow-up ranged from 56 to 365 months. The majority of patients demonstrated good functional recovery, but regress of the preexisting oculomotor nerve deficit was usually incomplete. No new hemorrhagic events were noted after total resection of BSCMs. In 42 patients (91%), the mRS score at the time of last follow-up was ≤ 2 (favorable outcome), and in 18 (39%), it was 0 (absence of neurological symptoms). Forty-four patients (96%) demonstrated clinical improvement and 2 (4%) had no changes compared with the preoperative period. Multivariate analysis revealed that only lower Lawton grade had a statistically significant independent association (p = 0.0280) with favorable long-term outcome. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for prediction of favorable outcome with 7 available Lawton grades of BSCM was 0.93.

CONCLUSIONS Resection of hemorrhagic BSCMs by an experienced neurosurgeon may be performed safely and effectively, even in severely disabled patients. In the authors’ experience, preexisting oculomotor nerve palsy represents the main cause of permanent postoperative neurological morbidity. The Lawton grading system effectively predicts longterm outcome after surgery.

Prognostic factors for long-term outcomes of microvascular decompression in the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a retrospective analysis of 97 patients

J Neurosurg 137:820–827, 2022

The authors aimed to investigate predictors of postoperative outcomes of microvascular decompression (MVD) for the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS A cohort of 97 patients with medically refractory GPN who underwent MVD at the authors’ institution between January 2010 and July 2019 was retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to identify predictors of long-term outcome in patients after MVD.

RESULTS Eighty-nine patients (91.8%) reported immediate and complete relief of pain after the procedure. Of the remaining 8 patients (8.2%), 6 achieved partial pain relief and pain gradually diminished within 2 weeks after surgery, and 2 did not experience postoperative pain relief. In univariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone (HR 3.591, 95% CI 1.660–7.767, p = 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 2.449, 95% CI 1.177–5.096, p = 0.017) were significantly associated with worse pain-free survival. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression (HR 8.192, 95% CI 2.960–22.669, p < 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 5.450, 95% CI 2.069–14.356, p = 0.001) remained independently associated with worse pain-free survival.

CONCLUSIONS Venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone and lower degree of neurovascular conflict were significantly correlated with shorter pain-free survival in patients who underwent MVD for GPN. Microvascular decompression is a safe, feasible, and durable approach with a low complication rate for the treatment of GPN.

MGMT-Positive vs MGMT-Negative PatientsWith Glioblastoma: Identification of Prognostic Factors and Resection Threshold

Neurosurgery 88:E323–E329, 2021

The importance of the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status as a predictive factor for the response to chemotherapy with temozolomide is well established. Its significance though at stratifying glioblastoma (GBM) patients in regard to their prognostic factors and the impact of surgical approach on them has not been identified.

OBJECTIVE: To reveal possible differences in the prognostic factors and the impact of surgery between GBM patients stratified according to their MGMT status.

METHODS: The authors retrospectively analyzed 186 patients with a newly diagnosed primary supratentorial GBM treated with surgical resection followed by standard radiation and chemotherapy. A prospective quantitative volumetric analysis of tumor characteristics identified on magnetic resonance imaging was performed.

RESULTS: For the 109 patients with unmethylated MGMT promoter, extent of resection (EOR) represented independent predictor of survival, whereas residual tumor volume (RTV), Karnofsky Performance Score, and age were found to be independent prognostic factors of survival for the 77 patients with methylated MGMT promoter. For the group of patients with unmethylated and the group with methylated MGMT promoter, an EOR threshold of 70% and 98% and an RTV threshold of 1.5 and 1 cm3 were identified, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The selection of patients according to the MGMT promoter methylation status resulted in different prognostic factors and different resection thresholds for each patient population. A survival benefit seen from 70% EOR threshold in patients with MGMT unmethylated GBM supports the doctrine of maximum safe resection rather than the “all or- nothing” approach.

A grading scale for surgically treated patients with spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage: the Surgical Swedish ICH Score

J Neurosurg 133:800–807, 2020

The authors aimed to develop the first clinical grading scale for patients with surgically treated spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

METHODS A nationwide multicenter study including 401 ICH patients surgically treated by craniotomy and evacuation of a spontaneous supratentorial ICH was conducted between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2015. All neurosurgical centers in Sweden were included. All medical records and neuroimaging studies were retrospectively reviewed. Independent predictors of 30-day mortality were identified by logistic regression. A risk stratification scale (the Surgical Swedish ICH [SwICH] Score) was developed using weighting of independent predictors based on strength of association.

RESULTS Factors independently associated with 30-day mortality were Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (p =0.00015), ICH volume ≥ 50 mL (p = 0.031), patient age ≥ 75 years (p = 0.0056), prior myocardial infarction (MI) (p =0.00081), and type 2 diabetes (p = 0.0093). The Surgical SwICH Score was the sum of individual points assigned as follows: GCS score 15–13 (0 points), 12–5 (1 point), 4–3 (2 points); age ≥ 75 years (1 point); ICH volume ≥ 50 mL (1 point); type 2 diabetes (1 point); prior MI (1 point). Each increase in the Surgical SwICH Score was associated with a progressively increased 30-day mortality (p = 0.0002). No patient with a Surgical SwICH Score of 0 died, whereas the 30-day mortality rates for patients with Surgical SwICH Scores of 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 5%, 12%, 31%, and 58%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS The Surgical SwICH Score is a predictor of 30-day mortality in patients treated surgically for spontaneous supratentorial ICH. External validation is needed to assess the predictive value as well as the generalizability of the Surgical SwICH Score.

Risk factors associated with postoperative recurrence in atypical intracranial meningioma

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:2563–2570

Atypical meningioma (AM) has a high rate of local recurrence after surgery, and the role of adjuvant radiotherapy in AM remains controversial. We analysed progression-free survival (PFS) and identified the factors associated with postoperative recurrence in AM patients.

Methods Data were obtained from 263 AM patients who underwent surgery at our institution between October 2009 and September 2018. Analyses included factors such as the extent of surgical resection, MIB-1 labelling index, brain invasion and therapy modality. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess recurrence-related prognostic factors.

Result The median follow-up duration was 41 months, and the median PFS was 28 months. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 213 (81.0%) patients, and 86 (32.7%) patients received postoperative radiation therapy (RT). During follow-up, there were 61 (23.2%) tumour recurrences. In a Cox multivariate analysis, MIB-1 labelling index (hazard ratio = 2.637; p < 0.001), secondary tumour (hazard ratio = 3.541; p < 0.001), tumour size (hazard ratio = 1.818; p = 0.032) and extent of resection (hazard ratio = 2.861; p < 0.001) were independent significant predictors of tumour recurrence. RTwas associated with reduced tumour recurrence in subtotal resection (STR) (p = 0.023) but not GTR (p = 0.923). An analysis of 6 meningioma patients who underwent more than 3 operations suggested that the recurrence time became shorter and the MIB-1 labelling index increased as the number of recurrences increased.

Conclusions MIB-1 labelling index, secondary tumour, tumour size and extent of resection were powerful predictors of recurrence in AM patients. Postoperative RT did not decrease the risk of recurrence in GTR patients.

Arachnoiditis as an outcome factor for microvascular decompression in classical trigeminal neuralgia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1589–1598

Neurovascular conflict is considered a key element of classical trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and consequently, mi- crovascular decompression (MVD) is an effective treatment. Nevertheless, failures of MVD are described by many authors. In some patients, the arachnoid membranes surrounding the trigeminal nerve and neighbouring vessels may be thickened and adhesive. Here we analyse the impact of such focal arachnoiditis on outcome after MVD for TN.

Methods A cohort of prospectively followed patients after their MVD was reviewed for intraoperative, imaging and clinical data if findings of arachnoiditis during MVD were described. Long-term outcome assessment was the main endpoint.

Results We reviewed data from 395 MVD procedures, performed for TN from 2001 to 2014. Intraoperative evidence of focal arachnoiditis, as described by the surgeon, has been noted in 51 patients (13%). In 35 (68.6%), neuralgia was typical and in the other 17 (31.4%) it was atypical.
As expected by definition, neurovascular conflict was found in 49 interventions (96%); it was predominantly arterial in 27 (52.9%). Accompanying arachnoiditis was encountered: mild in 20 interventions (39.2%), severe in 31 (60.8%).
A successful result (BNI I or II) was achieved in 29 patients (56.9%). The other 22 patients (43.1%) had persistence or recurrence of pain. Overall KM probability of being pain free at 15 years was 72%.

Conclusions Intraoperative finding of arachnoiditis during MVD for classical trigeminal neuralgia is associated with poorer outcome than that of classical trigeminal neuralgia in general. This is particularly true for low grades of conflict.

Is surgical resection useful in elderly newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients?

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1779–1787

The incidence of glioblastoma among elderly patients is constantly increasing. The value of radiation therapy and concurrent/adjuvant chemotherapy has been widely assessed. So far, the role of surgery has not been thoroughly investigated. The study aimed to evaluate safety and impact of several entities of surgical resection on outcome of elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma treated by a multimodal approach.

Methods Patients ≥ 65 years, underwent surgery were included. The extent of surgical resection (EOR) was defined as complete resection (CR = 100%), gross total resection (GTR = 90–99%), sub-total resection (STR = 78–90%), partial resection (PR = 30– 78%), and biopsy. After surgery, all patients received adjuvant radiotherapy (60/2 Gy fraction) with concomitant/adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy.

Results From March 2004 to December 2015, 178 elderly with a median age of 71 years (range 65–83 years) were treated. CR was obtained in 8 (4.5%), GTR in 63 (35.4%), STR in 46 (25.8%), PR in 16 (9.0%), and biopsy in 45 (25.3%). RTwas started in all patients, concurrent/adjuvant CHTin 149 (83.7%) and 132 (74.2%). The median follow-up time was 12.2 months (range 0.4– 50.4 months). The median, 1- and 2-year progression-free survival was 8.9 months (95%CI 7.8–100 months), 32.0 ± 3.5%, and 12.9 ± 2.6%. The median, 1- and 2-year overall survival were 12.2 (95%CI 11.3–13.1 months), 51.1 ± 3.7%, and 16.3 ± 2.9%. Tumor location, extent of resection, and neurological status after surgery statistically affected survival (p ≪ 0.01).

Conclusion Maximal surgical resection is safe and feasible in elderly patients with influence on survival. A preoperative evaluation has to be carried out.

Favorable clinical outcome following surgical evacuation of deep-seated and lobar supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1737–1747

In spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the role of surgical treatment remains controversial, particularly in deep-seated ICHs. We hypothesized that early mortality and long-term functional outcome differ between patients with surgically treated lobar and deep-seated ICH.

Method Patients who underwent craniotomy for ICH evacuation from 2009 to 2015 were retrospectively evaluated and categorized into two subgroups: lobar and deep-seated ICH. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to evaluate long-term functional outcome.

Result Of the 123 patients operated for ICH, 49.6%(n = 61) had lobar and 50.4%(n = 62) deep-seated ICH. At long-term followup (mean 4.2 years), 25 patients (20.3%) were dead, while 51.0% of survivors had a favorable outcome (mRS score ≤ 3). Overall mortality was 13.0% at 30 days and 17.9% at 6 months post-ictus, not influenced by ICH location. Mortality was higher in patients ≥ 65 years old (p = 0.020). The deep-seated group had higher incidence and extent of intraventricular extension, younger age (52.6 ± 9.0 years vs. 58.5 ± 9.8 years; p < 0.05), more frequently pupillary abnormalities, and longer neurocritical care stay (p < 0.05). The proportion of patients with good outcome was 48.0% in deep-seated vs. 54.1% in lobar ICH (p = 0.552). In lobar ICH, independent predictors of long-term outcome were age, hemorrhage volume, preoperative level of consciousness, and pupillary reaction. In deep-seated ICHs, only high age correlated significantly with poor outcome.

Conclusions At long-term follow-up, most ICH survivors had a favorable clinical outcome. Neither mortality nor long-term functional outcome differed between patients operated for lobar or deep-seated ICH. A combination of surgery and neurocritical care can result in favorable clinical outcome, regardless of ICH location.


Prognostic Factors for Satisfaction After Decompression Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Neurosurgery 82:645–651, 2018

Surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis is associated with both short- and long-term benefits with improvements in patient function and pain. Even though most patients are satisfied postoperatively, some studies report that up to onethird of patients are dissatisfied.

OBJECTIVE: To present clinical outcome data and identify prognostic factors related to patient satisfaction 1 yr after posterior decompression surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis.

METHODS: This multicenter register study included 2562 patients. Patients were treated with various types of posterior decompression. Patients with previous spine surgery or concomitant fusion were excluded. Patient satisfaction was analyzed for associations with age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, duration of pain, number of decompressed vertebral levels, comorbidities, and patient-reported outcome measures,which were used to quantify the effect of the surgical intervention.

RESULTS: At 1-yr follow-up, 62.4% of patients were satisfied but 15.1% reported dissatisfaction. The satisfied patients showed significantly greater improvement in all outcome measures compared to the dissatisfied patients. The outcome scores for the dissatisfied patients were relatively unchanged or worse compared to baseline. Association was seen between dissatisfaction, duration of leg pain, smoking status, and patient comorbidities. Patients with good walking capacity at baseline were less prone to be dissatisfied compared to patients with poor walking capacity.

CONCLUSION: This study found smoking, long duration of leg pain, and cancerous and neurological disease to be associated with patient dissatisfaction, whereas good walking capacity at baseline was positively associated with satisfaction after 1 yr.

Outcome after Hunt and Hess Grade V subarachnoid hemorrhage: a comparison of pre-coiling era (1980–1995) versus post-ISAT era (2005–2014)

J Neurosurg 128:100–110, 2018

Outcome analysis of comatose patients (Hunt and Hess Grade V) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is still lacking. The aims of this study were to analyze the outcome of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH and to compare outcomes in the current period with those of the pre–International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) era as well as with published data from trials of decompressive craniectomy (DC) for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction.

METHODS The authors analyzed cases of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH from 1980–1995 (referred to in this study as the earlier period) and 2005–2014 (current period) and compared the results for the 2 periods. The outcomes of 257 cases were analyzed and stratified on the basis of modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores obtained 6 months after SAH. Outcomes were dichotomized as favorable (mRS score of 0–2) or unfavorable (mRS score of 3–6). Data and number needed to treat (NNT) were also compared with the results of decompressive craniectomy (DC) trials for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarctions.

RESULTS Early aneurysm treatment within 72 hours occurred significantly more often in the current period (in 67% of cases vs 22% in earlier period). In the earlier period, patients had a significantly higher 30-day mortality rate (83% vs 39% in the current period) and 6-month mortality rate (94% vs 49%), and no patient (0%) had a favorable outcome, compared with 23% overall in the current period (p < 0.01, OR 32), or 29.5% of patients whose aneurysms were treated (p < 0.01, OR 219). Cerebral infarctions occurred in up to 65% of the treated patients in the current period. Comparison with data from DC MCA trials showed that the NNTs were significantly lower in the current period with 2 for survival and 3 for mRS score of 0–3 (vs 3 and 7, respectively, for the DC MCA trials).

CONCLUSIONS Early and aggressive treatment resulted in a significant improvement in survival rate (NNT = 2) and favorable outcome (NNT = 3 for mRS score of 0–3) for comatose patients with Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH compared with the earlier period. Independent predictors for favorable outcome were younger age and bilateral intact corneal reflexes. Despite a high rate of cerebral infarction (65%) in the current period, 29.5% of the patients who received treatment for their aneurysms during the current era (2005–2014) had a favorable outcome. However, careful individual decision making is essential in these cases.

Surgical management of spinal osteoblastomas

J Neurosurg Spine 27:321–327, 2017

Osteoblastoma is a rare primary benign bone tumor with a predilection for the spinal column. Although of benign origin, osteoblastomas tend to behave more aggressively clinically than other benign tumors. Because of the low incidence of osteoblastomas, evidence-based treatment guidelines and high-quality research are lacking, which has resulted in inconsistent treatment. The goal of this study was to determine whether application of the Enneking classification in the management of spinal osteoblastomas influences local recurrence and survival time.

METHODS A multicenter database of patients who underwent surgical intervention for spinal osteoblastoma was developed by the AOSpine Knowledge Forum Tumor. Patient data pertaining to demographics, diagnosis, treatment, crosssectional survival, and local recurrence were collected. Patients in 2 cohorts, based on the Enneking classification of the tumor (Enneking appropriate [EA] and Enneking inappropriate [EI]), were analyzed. If the final pathology margin matched the Enneking-recommended surgical margin, the tumor was classified as EA; if not, it was classified as EI.

RESULTS A total of 102 patients diagnosed with a spinal osteoblastoma were identified between November 1991 and June 2012. Twenty-nine patients were omitted from the analysis because of short follow-up time, incomplete survival data, or invalid staging, which left 73 patients for the final analysis. Thirteen (18%) patients suffered a local recurrence, and 6 (8%) patients died during the study period. Local recurrence was strongly associated with mortality (relative risk 9.2; p = 0.008). When adjusted for Enneking appropriateness, this result was not altered significantly. No significant differences were found between the EA and EI groups in regard to local recurrence and mortality.

CONCLUSIONS In this evaluation of the largest multicenter cohort of spinal osteoblastomas, local recurrence was found to be strongly associated with mortality. Application of the Enneking classification as a treatment guide for preventing local recurrence was not validated.

Seizure outcomes of temporal lobe epilepsy surgery in patients with normal MRI and without specific histopathology

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:757–766

Seizure outcome following surgery in pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy patients with normal magnetic resonance imaging and normal or non-specific histopathology is not sufficiently presented in the literature.

Methods In a retrospective design, we reviewed data of 263 patients who had undergone temporal lobe epilepsy surgery and identified 26 (9.9%) who met the inclusion criteria. Seizure outcomes were determined at 2-year follow-up. Potential predictors of Engel class I (satisfactory outcome) were identified by logistic regression analyses.

Results Engel class I outcome was achieved in 61.5% of patients, 50% being completely seizure free (Engel class IA outcome). The strongest predictors of satisfactory outcome were typical ictal seizure semiology (p = 0.048) and localised ictal discharges on scalp EEG (p = 0.036).

Conclusion Surgery might be an effective treatment choice for the majority of these patients, although outcomes are less favourable than in patients with magnetic resonance imaging defined lesional temporal lobe epilepsy. Typical ictal seizure semiology and localised ictal discharges on scalp EEG were predictors of Engel class I outcome.

Outcome and prognostic factors after delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:307–315

Data of patients suffering from delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) after aneurysm treatment are still missing. Patients become clearly older than before. Thus, the risk suffering from a second delayed SAH rises. The aim of this study was to analyse clinical outcome and prognostic factors in patients after delayed second SAH.

Method From 1999 to 2013, 18 of 1,493 patients (1.2%) suffered from a second SAH. Clinical and radiological character- istics were entered into a prospective conducted database. Outcome was assessed according to modified Rankin Scale 6 months after second SAH. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results Eighteen patients were admitted to our department with a second SAH. The second SAH occurred at a mean interval of 144 months after surgical treatment and 78 months after endovascular treatment (P < 0.05), with an overall mean interval of 125 months. The earliest event of second SAH was after 35 months. In 11 (61%) patients, a de novo aneurysm was detected; in one patient (6%), no cause of second SAH was detected. In six (33%) cases, re-rupture of the formerly secured aneurysm was found. Half of the rebleedings occurred from a basilar aneurysm, 33% from an aneurysm of anterior communicating artery and in one patient from a median cere- bral artery aneurysm. At second SAH, 8 of 18 patients pre- sented WFNS grade I-III at time of admission (44%). Overall, favourable outcome was achieved in seven patients (39%). Four patients died (22%), one of them before treatment. Favourable outcome seems to be associated with younger age. In our patients, 39% achieved a favourable outcome after second SAH.

Conclusions A delayed second SAH is a rare entity. After delayed second SAH, age seems to be a prognostic factor for patients’ outcome and patients seem to have a worse prognosis. Nonetheless, up to 40% of patients can achieve a favourable outcome.

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.

Anaplastic astrocytomas: survival and prognostic factors in a surgical series


Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1053–1061

To study patient characteristics, prognostic factors and overall survival (OS) in a consecutive, surgical series of WHO grade III anaplastic astrocytomas (AA).

Methods Patients were identified from a prospective tumor database at Oslo University Hospital, Norway, and patients undergoing surgery for an AA from 2005–2012 were included. Patients’ medical charts were retrospectively reviewed for data collection.

Results A total of 99 adult patients with histologically verified AA were included. Median age was 52 years (20–81). Biopsy was conducted in 33 % and resection in 67 %. Adjuvant treatment with radiation therapy + temozolomide or radiation therapy only was given in 63 % and 26 %, respectively. The thirty-day mortality rate was 3 %. Median OS was 19 months (95 % CI 11–27 months). Age≥65 years, KPS<70, biopsy as opposed to resection, and no adjuvant treatment were confirmed negative prognostic factors in multivariate analysis. For patients undergoing resection, presence of postoperative contrast-enhanced tumor, not volume of residual tumor, had significant impact on OS in adjusted analysis.

Conclusions Median OS following surgery was 19 months, though much variable outcome was observed among subgroups of AA (95 % CI 11–27 months). Age ≥65 years, KPS<70, biopsy as opposed to resection, and no adjuvant treatment were confirmed negative prognostic factors for OS.

Prognostic factors and survival in a prospective cohort of patients with high-grade glioma treated with carmustine wafers or temozolomide on an intention-to-treat basis

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:211–222.DOI 10.1007/s00701-011-1199-7

Patients with high-grade glioma can be treated with carmustine wafers or following the Stupp protocol. As far as we are aware, no scientific evidence has been published comparing the two treatments. The primary objective of this study was to analyse the survival of groups of patients with each of these treatment modalities. The secondary objective was to assess the influence of the usual prognostic factors on the patients in our hospital.

Methods A prospective cohort of 110 patients with single, supratentorial high-grade glioma treated by craniotomy and tumour resection was retrospectively studied. Half of the patients had carmustine wafers placed during this operation while the others (55) did not, the latter group receiving firstline systemic chemotherapy on an intention-to-treat basis.

Findings Patients treated with carmustine wafers had a median survival of 13.414 months compared with 11.047 in the group without implants (p=0.856). For the overall cohort of patients, the following factors were found to influence survival: age (p<0.0001), postoperative KPS score (p=0.001), histological grade (p=0.004), RPA class (p=0.001), extent of resection (p=0.002) and salvage surgery (p=0.028).

Conclusions In this prospective cohort of patients, analysed on the basis of intention-to-treat at the time of the first surgery, no statistically significant differences in survival were found between the two treatment modalities (carmustine wafers vs. first-line systemic chemotherapy). On the other hand, age, preoperative KPS, histological grade, and RPA class were confirmed to be prognostic factors in this cohort. Finally, the extent of resection was also found to influence survival.

Long-term Follow-up of Pediatric Benign Cerebellar Astrocytomas

Neurosurgery 70:40–48, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822ff0ed

The long-term prognosis of cerebellar astrocytomas needs to be reviewed.

OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the factors influencing tumor recurrence or progression and to determine how long these patient with cerebellar astrocytomas require surveillance with neuroimaging.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 101 children surgically treated for a cerebellar astrocytoma and followed up for >10 years was performed.

RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 18.4 years. Total resection confirmed by postoperative imaging was performed in 51 patients (50.5%; group A). Twenty-three patients (22.8%) had surgical total resection; however, equivocal residual tumor was found on postoperative imaging (group B). Subtotal resection leaving a portion of brainstem or cerebellar peduncle was performed in 27 patients (26.7; group C). Of these 50 residual tumors, 16 (32%) showed spontaneous regression and 8 (16%) showed arrested growth. Radiographic recurrence or progression was noted in 29 patients (28.7%). Only 3 of 51 patients (5.9%) of group A with total resection had recurrence, whereas 26 of 50 residual tumors (52%; groups B and C) progressed. The only factor affecting recurrence or progression by multivariate analysis was the extent of surgical resection. All tumor recurrence or progression except for 1 (96.6%) occurred within 8 years from the original surgery (range, 2-132 months).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall prognosis of cerebellar astrocytomas is good; the 10-year survival rate was 100% and recurrence- or progression-free rate was 71.3% in our cohort. Almost half of residual tumors showed spontaneous regression or arrested growth in the long term. Eight to 10 years is considered to be a reasonable follow-up period by neuroimaging.

In pursuit of prognostic factors in children with pilocytic astrocytomas

Childs Nerv Syst (2010) 26:19–28 DOI 10.1007/s00381-009-0990-8

This study described a 23-year experience in the treatment of children with pilocytic astrocytomas (piloA) with the aim of identifying putative clinical, histopathological, and/or immunohistochemical features that could be related to the outcome of these patients.

Methods Clinical data of 31 patients under 18 years of age with piloA were obtained from 1984 to 2006.

Results The mean age at the time of surgery was 7.8± 4.2 years (1 to 17 years), and the mean follow-up was 5.7± 5.4 years (1 to 20 years). The most common site of tumor formation was the cerebellum (17), followed by brainstem (4), optic chiasmatic hypothalamic region (4), cerebral hemisphere (3), cervical spinal cord (2), and optic nerve (1). Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 23 (74.1%), mainly in those with tumors located in the cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres (P=0.02). The global mortality rate was 6.4%. Nine patients were reoperated. Rosenthal fibers, eosinophilic granular bodies, microvascular proliferation, and lymphocytic infiltration were observed in most cases. The mean Ki-67LI was 4.4 ± 4.5%. In all cases, Gal-3 expression in tumor cells was observed with variable staining pattern.

Conclusions Aside from GTR, no other clinical, histopathological, or immunohistochemical features were found to be related to the prognosis. We postulate that strict follow- up is recommended if piloA is associated with high mitotic activity/Ki67-LI, or if GTR cannot be achieved at surgery. Tumor recurrence or progression of the residual lesion should be strictly observed. In some aspects, childhood piloA remains an enigmatic tumor.

Infratentorial ependymomas: prognostic factors and outcome analysis in a multi-center retrospective series of 106 adult patients

Acta Neurochirurgica (151)8: 947 960. 01/08/2009

This study was undertaken to analyze outcomes and to assess the prognostic impact of age, location, surgery, radiotherapy (RT), and histopathology in a series of adult infratentorial ependymomas. This was a retrospective study of a population of 106 adult patients with infratentorial ependymomas diagnosed between 1990 and 2004. A central pathological review of all cases was performed. Grading was according to the WHO and Marseille’s neograding classifications. The series consisted of 58 males (54.7%) and 48 females (45.3%) in the age range of 18-82 years. Using the WHO classification, 88 patients (83.0%) had grade II and 18 patients (17.0%) grade III ependymomas. Using the Marseille’s neograding system, 91 patients were low-grade and 15 high-grade. Gross total resection was achieved in 66 patients (62.3%). Thirty-seven patients (35.0%) received adjuvant RT. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates for the entire cohort were 86.1% and 80.5%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, a preoperative Karnofski performance status score > 80, no recessus lateral extension and a low histological grade (Marseille’s grading) were associated with a longer overall survival. The 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates for the entire cohort were 70.8% and 57.7%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, no recessus lateral extension, gross total resection and a low histological grade (Marseille’s grading) were associated with a longer progression-free survival. Adjuvant RT was significantly associated with a better overall and progression-free survival in incompletely resected WHO grade II ependymomas. This study highlights the key role of histology in the clinical outcome and the fact that gross total resection is a main prognostic factor and the treatment of choice for posterior fossa ependymomas. The use of adjuvant RT in patients with incompletely resected WHO grade II ependymomas appears beneficial, but its effect on high-grade tumors remains to be determined.