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Surgery can be a highly effective treatment for medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The emergence of minimally invasive resective and nonresective treatment options has led to interest in epilepsy surgery among patients and providers. Nevertheless, not all procedures are appropriate for all patients, and it is critical to consider seizure outcomes with each of these approaches, as seizure freedom is the greatest predictor of patient quality of life. Standard anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) remains the gold standard in the treatment of TLE, with seizure freedom resulting in 60-80% of patients. It is currently the only resective epilepsy surgery supported by randomized controlled trials and offers the best protection against lateral temporal seizure onset. Selective amygdalohippocampectomy techniques preserve the lateral cortex and temporal stem to varying degrees and can result in favorable rates of seizure freedom but the risk of recurrent seizures appears slightly greater than with ATL, and it is not clear whether neuropsychological outcomes are improved with selective approaches. Stereotactic radiosurgery presents an opportunity to avoid surgery altogether, with seizure outcomes now under investigation. Stereotactic laser thermo-ablation allows destruction of the mesial temporal structures with low complication rates and minimal recovery time, and outcomes are also under study. Finally, while neuromodulatory devices such as responsive neurostimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation have a role in the treatment of certain patients, these remain palliative procedures for those who are not candidates for resection or ablation, as complete seizure freedom rates are low. Further development and investigation of both established and novel strategies for the surgical treatment of TLE will be critical moving forward, given the significant burden of this disease.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stereotactic frame placement for radiosurgery is assumed to be an uncomfortable experience. We developed angled anterior posts for the Leksell frame to avoid pin penetration of the temporalis muscle. This study aimed to determine the frequency of angled post requirement and quantify the patient pain experience from frame placement. We prospectively enrolled 63 patients undergoing radiosurgery. Angled posts were used when conventional post trajectory was posterior or within 3mm of the superior temporal line to avoid temporalis muscle penetration. Pain scores (0 to 10) were collected prior to frame placement, immediately after frame placement, before radiosurgery, after radiosurgery, and a day after radiosurgery. A total of 63 patients were enrolled: 33 (48%) patients required angled posts. Women were significantly more likely to require angled posts than men (60.0% versus 33.3%, respectively; p=0.034). Mean pain scores were very low, ranging from 0.33 to 2.23. There were no significant differences in pain outcomes between both groups at all time points. Stereotactic frame placement is not perceived to be a painful procedure. This information may be useful when counseling patients about the pain experience with frame application and the option of using angled anterior posts.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - In this case report, we present a novel, minimally invasive image-guided approach to drainage of a petrous apex lesion.
PATIENT(S) - A 34-year-old man diagnosed with a petrous apex lesion consistent with cholesterol granuloma. The granuloma was large and caused mild compression of the brainstem with associated neurologic symptoms and seizure-like activity.
INTERVENTIONS - Based on the anatomic location of the lesion, it was determined that the treatment plan would be to surgically drain the lesion via 2 linear paths-one after an infralabyrinthine approach and the other a subarcuate approach. Customized microstereotactic frames that mount on bone-implanted markers and constrain the drill along the desired path were used to accurately drill these desired paths and avoid damage to surrounding critical structures. After a simple mastoidectomy, the petrous apex was successfully reached without damage to vital adjacent structures by drilling the 2 linear channels using 2 custom microstereotactic frames.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Viscous brown liquid and debris was recovered by irrigating through one of the channels and suctioning through the other.
RESULTS - Drainage of the petrous apex was successfully performed via 2 linear channels without any complications. Custom microstereotactic frames were used to accurately drill those linear channels. Postoperative CT ensured no complications. Postoperative course of the patient was remarkable with normal hearing and normal facial nerve function.
CONCLUSION - We presented a successful implementation of an image-guided approach to drain petrous apex.
Current surgical treatments for refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN) include microvascular decompression (MVD), percutaneous rhizotomy, and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). We aimed to map the trends of utilization of these procedures in the USA and examine factors associated with morbidities and discharge outcome. We performed a retrospective cohort study with time trends of patients admitted to US hospitals for TN between 1988 and 2008 who received MVD, percutaneous rhizotomy, or SRS as reported in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine patient demographics, hospital characteristics, and other hospitalization factors affecting complications and discharges. The use of MVD increased significantly by 194% from 1988 to 2008 while rhizotomy decreased by 92%. The use of radiosurgery, introduced in the early 1990s, peaked in 2004 and has declined since. Univariate analysis revealed patient age, length of hospitalization, hospital teaching status, and hospital patient volume to be associated with discharge and complications. Multivariate analysis showed that for MVD, younger age and high hospital volume were predictive of a good discharge outcome. For rhizotomy, age, median income, urban location, and hospital volumes were associated with discharge outcome, but only teaching status, urban location, and hospital volume were associated with complications. For SRS, patient age and length of stay were found to be important by multivariate analysis on discharge. Mortality rates for MVD (0.22%), rhizotomy (0.42%), and SRS (0.12%) were low. The clinical practices for surgical treatment of TN have evolved over time with the rise of MVD and dwindling of rhizotomy procedures.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
We evaluated the local control of gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSRS) in the treatment of cerebral metastases from primary tumors that rarely metastasize to the central nervous system (CNS). There is little published data on this subject with very few series on specific primary tumors. We present our experience treating these lesions with GKSRS combined with a review of the salient literature. A retrospective study of 36 patients who collectively underwent 44 GKSRS procedures for CNS metastatic disease was undertaken. Our series includes four patients with sarcoma, two with prostate cancer, three with thyroid cancer, five with endometrial cancer, seven with ovarian cancer, two with cervical cancer, six with esophageal cancer, two with bladder cancer, one with liver cancer, one with pancreatic cancer, and three with testicular cancer. With 44 gamma knife sessions treating 74 tumors, 63 tumors showed no radiographic evidence of progression, and 13 tumors demonstrated radiographic progression between one and 12 months after gamma knife treatment. In six patients in the population, further treatment with GKSRS was necessary due to enlargement of untreated lesions or new metastatic disease. GKSRS for uncommon CNS metastases is appears to be efficacious in controlling the treated tumor. The majority of tumors treated in our study did not progress post gamma knife.
OBJECTIVE - To conduct a retrospective review of outcomes in 15 patients with 18 foraminal tumors, including 17 benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors and 1 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, who underwent CyberKnife (Accuray, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) radiosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center from 1999 to 2006.
METHODS - Symptoms and findings, neurofibromatosis (NF) association, previous radiation, imaging, dosimetry, tumor volume, central necrosis, and the relation of these factors to outcomes were evaluated.
RESULTS - Before treatment, 1 asymptomatic patient had radiculopathic findings, 3 patients experienced local pain with intact neurological examinations, and 7 patients had radiculopathic complaints with intact (1 patient), radiculopathic (4 patients), or radiculomyelopathic examinations (2 patients). Five patients had myelopathic complaints and findings. Three patients had NF1-associated neurofibromas, 1 patient with NF2 had a schwannoma, and 1 patient had a schwannomatosis-related lesion. Two likely radiation-induced lesions, a neurofibroma and a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, were observed. Prescribed doses ranging from 16 to 24 Gy, delivered in 1 to 3 fractions of 6 to 20 Gy, resulted in maximum tumor doses ranging from 20.9 to 30 Gy. Target volumes ranged from 1.36 to 16.9 mL. After radiosurgery, the asymptomatic case remained asymptomatic, and neurological findings improved. Thirteen of 15 symptomatic patients with (12 patients) or without (3 patients) neurological findings improved (3 cases after resection) or remained stable, and 2 patients worsened. Symptoms and examinations remained stable or improved in 8 (80%) of 10 patients with schwannomas and 3 (60%) of 5 patients with neurofibromas. Tumor volumes decreased in 12 (67%) of 18 tumors and increased in 3 tumors. Tumor volumes decreased in 8 of 10 schwannomas and 3 of 7 neurofibromas. Central necrosis developed in 8 (44%) of 18 tumors.
CONCLUSION - CyberKnife radiosurgery resulted in pain relief and functional preservation in selected foraminal peripheral nerve sheath tumors and a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor. Symptomatic and neurological improvements were more noticeable with schwannomas. Myelopathic symptoms may necessitate surgical debulking before radiosurgery.
OBJECTIVE - Stereotactic radiotherapy (ablative radiation) is a modality that holds considerable promise for effective treatment of intracranial and extracranial malignancies. Although tumor vasculature is relatively resistant to small fractionated doses of ionizing radiation, large ablative doses of ionizing radiation lead to effective demise of the tumor vasculature. The purpose of this study was (1) to noninvasively monitor and compare tumor physiologic parameters in response to ablative radiation treatments and (2) to use these noninvasive parameters to optimize the schedule of administration of radiation therapy.
METHODS - Lewis lung carcinoma tumors were implanted into C57BL/6 mice and treated with ablative radiation. The kinetics of change in physiologic parameters of a response to single-dose 20-Gy treatments was measured. Parameters studied included tumor blood flow, apoptosis, and proliferation rates. Serial tumor sections were stained to correlate noninvasive Doppler assessment of tumor blood flow with microvasculature histologic findings.
RESULTS - A single administration of 20 Gy led to an incomplete tumor vascular response, with subsequent recovery of tumor blood flow within 4 days after treatment. Sustained reduction of tumor blood flow by administering the successive ablative radiation treatment before tumor blood flow recovery led to a 3-fold tumor growth delay. The difference in tumor volumes at each measurement time point (every 2 days) was statistically significant (P=.016).
CONCLUSIONS - This study suggests a rational design of schedule optimization for radiation-mediated, vasculature-directed treatments guided by noninvasive assessment of tumor blood flow levels to ultimately improve the tumor response.
We identified 35 patients who had undergone stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for their biochemically proven Cushing's disease in order to assess the efficacy of SRS with regard to control of hypercortisolism, improvement of clinical features and prevention of tumor progression, and subsequent incidence of hypopituitarism. Seventeen (49%) patients achieved control of their cortisol levels following SRS; the mean time to normalization was 7.5 months (range: 1-33). Four (19%) patients experienced recurrent hypercortisolism at a mean time of 35.5 months following therapy (range: 17-64). Control of tumor progression was achieved in 91% patients. Fourteen (40%) patients demonstrated a new pituitary deficiency following SRS. Our results suggest that cortisol levels are normalized more efficiently and with a lower recurrence rate with SRS than with conventional fractionated external beam radiotherapy (EBT). We have confirmed the near 100% tumor control rate reported with SRS. The percentage of patients developing pituitary insufficiency following SRS is less than that of patients having undergone EBT; however, deficits occurred up to 10 years posttreatment. We advocate the use of SRS as the primary therapeutic modality in those patients who are poor surgical candidates, or as the adjunct treatment to microsurgery in eliminating residual tumor cells or disease that is not easily amenable to resection.
The authors report the case of a man who suffered from progressive, disseminated posttraumatic dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) resulting in death, despite aggressive endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical treatment. This 31-year-old man was struck on the head while playing basketball. Two weeks later a soft, pulsatile mass developed at his vertex, and the man began to experience pulsatile tinnitus and progressive headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging and subsequent angiography revealed multiple AVFs in the scalp, calvaria, and dura, with drainage into the superior sagittal sinus. The patient was treated initially with transarterial embolization in five stages, followed by vertex craniotomy and surgical resection of the AVFs. However, multiple additional DAVFs developed over the bilateral convexities, the falx, and the tentorium. Subsequent treatment entailed 15 stages of transarterial embolization; seven stages of transvenous embolization, including complete occlusion of the sagittal sinus and partial occlusion of the straight sinus; three stages of stereotactic radiosurgery; and a second craniotomy with aggressive disconnection of the DAVFs. Unfortunately, the fistulas continued to progress, resulting in diffuse venous hypertension, multiple intracerebral hemorrhages in both hemispheres, and, ultimately, death nearly 5 years after the initial trauma. Endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical treatments are successful in curing most patients with DAVFs. The failure of multimodal therapy and the fulminant progression and disseminated nature of this patient's disease are unique.