Publications by authors named "Joerg-Christian Tonn"

64 Publications

Role of surgery for glioblastoma: response to letters from Dr. Gerritsen and his colleagues and Dr. Vargas Lopez.

Neuro Oncol 2021 Jan 20. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa305DOI Listing
January 2021

Extent and prognostic value of MGMT promotor methylation in glioma WHO grade II.

Sci Rep 2020 11 12;10(1):19758. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Division of Neuro-Oncology, Department of Neurosurgery, Ludwig Maximilians University School of Medicine, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

MGMT promotor methylation is associated with favourable outcome in high-grade glioma. In glioma WHO grade II, it is unclear whether the extent of MGMT promotor methylation and its prognostic role is independent from other molecular markers. We performed a retrospective analysis of 155 patients with glioma WHO grade II. First, all 155 patients were assigned to three molecular groups according to the 2016 WHO classification system: (1) oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p19q co-deleted (n = 81); (2) astrocytoma, IDH-mutant and 1p19q non-codeleted (n = 54); (3) astrocytoma, IDH-wildtype (n = 20). MGMT promotor methylation was quantified using Sanger sequencing of the CpG sites 74-98 within the MGMT promotor region. Highest numbers of methylated CpG sites were found for oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p19q co-deleted. When 1p19q co-deletion was absent, numbers of methylated CpG sites were higher in the presence of IDH-mutation. Accordingly, lowest numbers were seen in the IDH-wildtype subpopulation. In the entire cohort, larger numbers of methylated CpG sites were associated with favourable outcome. When analysed separately for the three WHO subgroups, a similar association was only retained in astrocytoma, IDH-wildtype. Collectively, extent of MGMT promotor methylation was strongly associated with other molecular markers and added prognostic information in astrocytoma, IDH-wildtype. Evaluation in prospective cohorts is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76312-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7661705PMC
November 2020

Interleukin-6 as inflammatory marker of surgical site infection following spinal surgery.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2020 Oct 29. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Neurosurgical Clinic, Clinic of the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilians University), Campus Grosshadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, D-81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: In order to elucidate whether serum inflammatory markers identify patients with local surgical site infection(SSI) as underlying disease for recurrent or new symptomatology following spine surgery, we evaluated the diagnostic potential of interleukin-6(IL-6) as a marker of SSI. The diagnostic significance of IL-6 was compared to the standard serum inflammatory markers C-reactive protein(CRP) and white blood cell count (WBCC).

Method: Ninety-eight consecutive patients with readmission due to recurrent or new symptomology after spinal surgery of degenerative spine disorders entered the study. Baseline patients' characteristics and the abovementioned inflammatory markers were collected, and arithmetical means with standard deviation, area under the curve (AUC), thresholds, sensitivity, specificity, positive(+)likelihood ratio (LR), and negative(-)LR with corresponding 95% confidence interval(95%CI) were calculated and correlated with presence or absence of SSI.

Results: Nine patients suffered from a SSI, whereas the remaining 89 patients had a recurrent/adjacent-segment degenerative disorder without evidence of infection. The most significant parameter for diagnosing a SSI was serum IL-6 (cut-off value > 15.3 pg/ml, AUC = 0.954, SE = 85.7%, SP = 97.3%), followed by CRP (cut-off value = 0.8 mg/dl, AUC = 0.916, SE = 88.9%, SP = 84.5%) CONCLUSIONS: In the case of recurrent or new symptomatology following spinal surgery, serum IL-6 has the highest diagnostic potential for diagnosing spinal SSI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-020-04628-8DOI Listing
October 2020

Vertebral Body Replacement With an Anchored Expandable Titanium Cage in the Cervical Spine: A Clinical and Radiological Evaluation.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2020 Dec;20(1):109-118

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: Expandable cervical cages have been used successfully to reconstruct the anterior spinal column.

Objective: To perform clinical and radiological evaluation of vertebral body replacement with an anchored expandable titanium cage in the cervical spine after single-level and 2-level corpectomies.

Methods: Between 2011 and 2017, 40 patients underwent a single-level (N = 32) or 2-level (N = 8) anterior corpectomy and fusion using an anchored expandable vertebral body replacement cage. Clinical and radiological data at admission, postoperatively, and at 3- and 12-mo follow-up were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical assessment was performed via standardized neurological evaluation, Odom score, and McCormick classification. Radiological assessment was performed via evaluation of sagittal profile, postoperative position, fusion, and subsidence rates.

Results: Mean last follow-up was 14.8 ± 7 mo. Overall clinical and myelopathy-related improvements were shown directly after operation and at last follow-up. A stable centralized positioning of cages was achieved in 37 patients (93%). A mild ventral (>1.5 mm) malplacement was noted in 3 patients (7%) without clinical consequences. Sagittal alignment and preoperative cervical kyphosis improved significantly (7.8° gain of lordosis) and remained stable. Mean preoperative height of operated segments increased by 10 mm postoperatively and remained stable. Fusion rate in non-neoplastic patients and subsidence rate at last follow-up comprised 87.5% and 17.8%. With exception of 1 patient suffering from severe osteoporosis and cage subsidence, no patient needed additional secondary stabilization.

Conclusion: Anterior corpectomy and fusion by an expandable anchored titanium cage with anchor screws without additional instrumentation resulted in overall clinical improvement and radiological anterior column support, achieving significant and reliable restoration of the physiological sagittal cervical profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa296DOI Listing
December 2020

Treatment Monitoring of Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy using F-FET PET in Patients with Melanoma and Lung Cancer Brain Metastases: Initial Experiences.

J Nucl Med 2020 Sep 4. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

University of Cologne, Germany.

We investigated the value of O-(2-[F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (F-FET) PET for treatment monitoring of immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) or targeted therapy (TT) alone or in combination with radiotherapy in patients with brain metastases (BM) since contrast-enhanced MRI often remains inconclusive. We retrospectively identified 40 patients with 107 BM secondary to melanoma ( = 29 with 75 BM) or non-small cell lung cancer ( = 11 with 32 BM) treated with ICI or TT who had F-FET PET ( = 60 scans) for treatment monitoring from 2015-2019. The majority of patients ( = 37; 92.5%) had radiotherapy during the course of disease. In 27 patients, F-FET PET was used for the differentiation of treatment-related changes from BM relapse following ICI or TT. In 13 patients, F-FET PET was performed for response assessement to ICI or TT using baseline and follow-up scans (median time between scans, 4.2 months). In all lesions, static and dynamic F-FET PET parameters were obtained (i.e., mean tumor-to-brain ratios (TBR), time-to-peak values). Diagnostic accuracies of PET parameters were evaluated by receiver-operating-characteristic analyses using the clinical follow-up or neuropathological findings as reference. A TBR threshold of 1.95 differentiated BM relapse from treatment-related changes with an accuracy of 85% ( = 0.003). Metabolic responders to ICI or TT on F-FET PET had a significantly longer stable follow-up (threshold of TBR reduction relative to baseline, ≥10%; accuracy, 82%; = 0.004). Furthermore, at follow-up, time-to-peak values in metabolic responders increased significantly ( = 0.019). F-FET PET may add valuable information for treatment monitoring in BM patients treated with ICI or TT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.120.248278DOI Listing
September 2020

Microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia in the elderly: efficacy and safety.

J Neurol 2021 Feb 30;268(2):532-540. Epub 2020 Aug 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Objective: The safety and efficacy of surgical microvascular decompression (MVD) in elderly patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is controversially discussed in the literature. A widespread reluctance to expose this cohort to major intracranial surgery persists. Our aim was to compare the efficacy and safety between older and younger patients with TN.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 139 MVD procedures (103 patients < 70 and 36 patients ≥ 70) were included. Surgical fitness was assessed by the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) grade. The pain-free interval was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis only in patients with a recent follow-up visit. Independent risk factors for recurrence in patients with a minimum 12-month follow-up were determined.

Results: Patients ≥ 70 showed a significantly higher number of comorbidities. Pain intensity, affection of trigeminal branches and symptom duration was similar between groups. No significant difference in treatment associated complications and permanent neurological deficits was shown. There was no treatment-related mortality. A tendency towards a lower recurrence rate in patients < 70 did not reach statistical significance (17.6% vs. 28.6%, P = 0.274). Pain-free interval was not different between both cohorts (78.7 vs. 73.5 months, P = 0.391).

Conclusion: Despite a higher prevalence of comorbidities in elderly patients, complication rates and neurological deficits after MVD were comparable to younger patients. Rates of immediate and long-term pain relief compared favorably to previous studies and were similar between elderly and younger patients. These data endorse MVD as a safe and effective first-line surgical procedure for elderly patients with TN and neurovascular conflict on MRI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10187-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7880960PMC
February 2021

[Case report of frontobasal reconstruction and volume augmentation using a free gracilis muscle flap and autologous fat grafting: utilising the free flap as a scaffold for fat transplantation].

Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir 2020 Aug 21;52(4):330-334. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Abteilung für Hand-, Plastische und Ästhetische Chirurgie, Klinikum der Universität München, LMU München.

This case report shows the interdisciplinary treatment of a 28-year-old woman suffering from a pronounced frontal volume defect after severe craniocerebral trauma. The combination of cranioplasty using a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) implant, free gracilis muscle flap transfer for soft tissue coverage and serial autologous fat grafting into the muscle flap for subsequent contouring enabled both an adequate and aesthetic reconstruction. This example demonstrates the feasibility of treating increasingly complex composite defects in a multidisciplinary setting, when plastic surgeons are involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1150-7601DOI Listing
August 2020

A high-definition 3D exoscope as an alternative to the operating microscope in spinal microsurgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jul 10:1-10. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Objective: Since the 1970s, the operating microscope (OM) has been a standard for visualization and illumination of the surgical field in spinal microsurgery. However, due to its limitations (e.g., size, costliness, and the limited movability of the binocular lenses, in addition to discomfort experienced by surgeons due to the posture required), there are efforts to replace the OM with exoscopic video telescopes. The authors evaluated the feasibility of a new 3D exoscope as an alternative to the OM in spine surgeries.

Methods: Patients with degenerative pathologies scheduled for single-level lumbar or cervical spinal surgery with use of a high-definition 3D exoscope were enrolled in a prospective cohort study between January 2019 and September 2019. Age-, sex-, body mass index-, and procedure-matched patients surgically treated with the assistance of the OM served as the control group. Operative baseline and postoperative outcome parameters were assessed. Periprocedural handling, visualization, and illumination by the exoscope, as well as surgeons' comfort level in terms of posture, were scored using a questionnaire.

Results: A 3D exoscope was used in 40 patients undergoing lumbar posterior decompression (LPD) and 20 patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF); an equal number of controls in whom an OM was used were studied. Compared with controls, there were no significant differences for mean operative time (ACDF: 132 vs 116 minutes; LPD: 112 vs 113 minutes) and blood loss (ACDF: 97 vs 93 ml; LPD: 109 vs 55 ml) as well as postoperative improvement of symptoms (ACDF/Neck Disability Index: p = 0.43; LPD/Oswestry Disability Index: p = 0.76). No intraoperative complications occurred in either group. According to the attending surgeon, the intraoperative handling of instruments was rated to be comparable to that of the OM, while the comfort level of the surgeon's posture intraoperatively (especially during "undercutting" procedures) was rated as superior. In cases of ACDF procedures and long approaches, depth perception, image quality, and illumination were rated as inferior when compared with the OM. By contrast, for operating room nursing staff participating in 3D exoscope procedures, the visualization of intraoperative process flow and surgical situs was rated to be superior to the OM, especially for ACDF procedures.

Conclusions: A 3D exoscope seems to be a safe alternative for common spinal procedures with the unique advantage of excellent comfort for the surgical team, but the drawback is the still slightly inferior visualization/illumination quality compared with the OM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.4.SPINE20374DOI Listing
July 2020

Intraspinal epidermoid and dermoid cysts-tumor resection with multimodal intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and long-term outcome.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2020 11 10;162(11):2895-2903. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Neurosurgical Clinic, Clinic of the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilians University), Campus Grosshadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, D-81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Intraspinal epidermoid/dermoid cysts are very rare, benign tumors arising from pathological displacement of epidermal cells into the spinal canal. Literature data about the long-term outcome after microsurgical resection with multimodal intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) are lacking. We analyzed one of the largest case series with special regard to intraoperative characteristics and long-term outcome after IONM-aided surgery.

Method: All 12 patients (m:f = 1.4:1) who underwent microsurgical tumor resection with multimodal IONM for intraspinal epidermoid/dermoid tumors between 1998 and 2019 in our university hospital were included. We retrospectively investigated the patients' characteristics, imaging/surgical parameters, and postoperative long-term outcomes.

Results: Symptomatic tumor manifestation was seen during adulthood in 4 patients (median age 33.0 years) and during childhood in 8 patients (median age 4.3 years). Spinal dysraphism was the most often comorbidity (75%). The most frequent symptoms at diagnosis were spastic pareses (75%), ataxia (58%), and vegetative disorders (42%). Tumors were most often lumbosacral (L1-L5 42%, L5-S3 50%) and intradural-extramedullary (92%). For microsurgical resection, IONM with EMG, SSEPs, and TcMEPs of the limbs and pudendal nerve/anal sphincter was always applied and feasible; intraoperative corrective actions were initiated in three cases due to transient IONM deterioration. None of the patients showed a postoperative deterioration of the neurological status with a gross total resection rate of 92%. Pain situation, McCormick grade, and mJOA Score were improved at long-term follow-up (median 4.8 years).

Conclusions: IONM-aided resection of intraspinal epidermoid/dermoid tumors is feasible both in adult and pediatric cases and enables a satisfying clinical and surgical outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-020-04446-yDOI Listing
November 2020

Glioblastoma in adults: a Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) and European Society of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) consensus review on current management and future directions.

Neuro Oncol 2020 08;22(8):1073-1113

Department of Neurology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Glioblastomas are the most common form of malignant primary brain tumor and an important cause of morbidity and mortality. In recent years there have been important advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and biology of these tumors, but this has not translated into significantly improved outcomes for patients. In this consensus review from the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) and the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO), the current management of isocitrate dehydrogenase wildtype (IDHwt) glioblastomas will be discussed. In addition, novel therapies such as targeted molecular therapies, agents targeting DNA damage response and metabolism, immunotherapies, and viral therapies will be reviewed, as well as the current challenges and future directions for research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594557PMC
August 2020

Primary dural lymphomas: Clinical presentation, management, and outcome.

Cancer 2020 Jun 16;126(12):2811-2820. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Background: Clinical experience is limited for primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma that arises from the dura mater, which is denoted with the term primary dural lymphoma (PDL). This study was aimed at determining the relative incidence, presentation, and outcomes of PDL.

Methods: The institutional databases of the Divisions of Neuro-Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine were retrospectively searched for patients with primary CNS lymphoma. Patients with pathologically confirmed dural lymphoma and no evidence of primary cerebral or systemic involvement were identified. Clinical data, diagnostic findings, treatments, and outcomes were recorded.

Results: A total of 20 patients with PDL were identified, and they represented 6.3% of the individuals with primary CNS lymphomas (20 of 316). Histopathological examination of PDL revealed the following underlying subtypes: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (10 of 20 patients), marginal zone lymphoma (6 of 20), follicular lymphoma (2 of 20), undefined B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (1 of 20), and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (1 of 20). On imaging, all tumors appeared as extra-axial masses with avid contrast enhancement and mostly mimicked meningioma. The median apparent diffusion coefficient value was 667 ± 26 mm /s. Cerebrospinal fluid analyses and symptoms were nonspecific, and the diagnosis rested on tissue analysis. Therapeutic approaches included surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The median overall survival was not reached after 5 years. Three patients were deceased at database closure because of tumor progression. The extent of tumor resection correlated positively with overall survival (P = .044).

Conclusions: PDL is a rare variant of primary CNS lymphoma that can be radiographically mistaken for meningioma. The outcome is excellent with multimodality treatment, and aggressive surgery may convey a survival advantage in select cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32834DOI Listing
June 2020

Clinical Results After Single-fraction Radiosurgery for 1,002 Vestibular Schwannomas.

Cureus 2019 Dec 16;11(12):e6390. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Neurosurgery, Radiosurgery, European CyberKnife Center, Munich, DEU.

Background Herein, we report clinical results for patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for vestibular schwannomas (VS) over a period of 10 years. Methods Clinical data and imaging follow-up were stored in a database of 1,378 patients, with 1,384 VS treated consecutively between 2005 and 2018 and analyzed retrospectively. A total of 996 patients with 1,002 tumors with at least one year of follow-up were included for analysis. Results Median follow-up was 3·6 years (1-12·5 years). The three, five, and 10-year Kaplan-Meier estimated local tumor control was 96·6%, 92·3%, and 90·8%, respectively. The median hearing loss of the affected ear as compared to its healthy counterpart was 17 dB at treatment start and increased to 23 and 29 dB at one and five years. Six patients (0·6%) developed symptomatic hydrocephalus and underwent the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. In 30 patients (3·0%), trigeminal sensory dysfunction developed, five patients (0·5%) had a mild transient weakness, and nine patients (0·9%) had a permanent facial weakness (House-Brackmann Grade > II) after SRS. Conclusion Single fraction SRS proves to be highly effective and shows low treatment-related toxicity for VS. SRS should be considered a primary treatment option for small and middle-sized VS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6957120PMC
December 2019

Surgery of degenerative thoracic spinal stenosis-long-term outcome with quality-of-life after posterior decompression via an uni- or bilateral approach.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2020 02 23;162(2):317-325. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Neurosurgical Clinic, Clinic of the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilians University), Campus Grosshadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, D-81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: The rate of degenerative thoracic spinal stenosis (TSS) as underlying pathology for myelopathy is not precisely known, and larger case series are only available for the Asian region. We present one of the largest European series to evaluate rate and clinical outcome after dorsal decompression via a uni- or bilateral approach.

Method: We investigated patients' characteristics, imaging/surgical parameters, and outcomes with quality-of-life (QOL) in all patients who underwent surgical treatment for TSS between 2013 and 2018 in a university neurosurgical clinic.

Results: From 645 patients with surgery for degenerative spondylotic myelopathy within 6 years, 28 patients (4.3%) suffered from TSS. Median age was 70.4 years with a slight predominance of the female sex (m:f = 1:1.3). The most frequent symptoms (mean duration 7.6 months) were ataxia (61%) and sensory changes (50%). The stenoses (median Naganawa score 3) mostly resulted from a combined osseous/ligamentous hypertrophy and disc prolapse, the majority located below Th8 (75%). Nineteen patients with lateralized compression underwent bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach (fenestration/hemilaminectomy with "undercutting" procedure), and 9 patients with circular pathology underwent bilateral-approached decompression (laminectomy). There were no significant differences of patients' characteristics, blood loss, operation time, and in-patient stay between both surgical groups. Independent from the mode of surgery, the spinal canal was significantly (p < 0.001) widened (median Naganawa score 0), and pain (p = 0.04), myelopathy (mJOA score p = 0.01), and QOL (Oswestry Disability Index, p = 0.03; SF-36-MCS, p = 0.01) were significantly improved at long-term follow-up (mean 35.1 months).

Conclusions: Non-tumorous myelopathy is caused in about 4% of patients by TSS and can be effectively treated by surgical decompression via both a uni- or bilateral approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-019-04191-xDOI Listing
February 2020

Spinal intradural extramedullary arachnoid cysts in adults-operative therapy and clinical outcome.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2020 03 7;162(3):691-702. Epub 2019 Dec 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital LMU, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Spinal arachnoid cysts (SAC) are rare mostly idiopathic intradural lesions with compression of the spinal cord and clinical signs of radiculo- and/or myelopathy. We retrospectively analyzed radiological and clinical characteristics of patients with surgical treatment of SAC including a subgroup evaluation of long-term outcome and QoL.

Method: Patients with SAC treated between 1993 and 2017 were evaluated. Craniocaudal (c.c.) and anteroposterior (a.p) cyst diameters were measured pre- and post-OP. McCormick and Odom score for myelopathy, general outcome and QoL (SF-36, EORTC-QLQ30) were recorded.

Results: A total of 72 patients (female:male = 1.9:1) were analyzed with mean FU of 44.8 ± 60 months (long-term data from 25 patients with FU 78.2 ± 63.9 months). All had surgery due to solitary cysts: 10 cervical (13.9%), 45 thoracic (62.5%), and 17 lumbosacral (23.6%), the majority (79.2%) located dorsally. Main symptoms were gait disturbance (80%), dysesthesia (64%) and paresis (80%). Patients had (hemi-)laminectomy with cyst fenestration in 48 (66.7%) and complete resection in 18 cases (25.0%). Four cases (5.5%) were treated by cystoperitoneal shunt, 2 by marsupialization (2.8%). In total, 11 revisions were necessary in 9/72 (12.5%) patients (one patient underwent 3 revisions). Two patients were reoperated for wound revision/epidural hematoma (each n = 1). Seven patients needed additional cyst wall resection after 1.5-31.0 months due to insufficient cyst shrinking and persistent clinical symptoms after first surgery; most of the cysts were multiple septated and of post-hemorrhagic origin. The mean c.c. size decreased from 5.2 ± 3.7 cm pre-OP to 2.7 ± 3.9 cm (p < 0.05); the a.p. diameter decreased from 1.0 ± 0.5 cm to 0.3 ± 0.3 cm (p < 0.0001) without significant differences between fenestration and resection. McCormick and Odom scores revealed improved symptoms, particularly of gait disturbance, sensory deficits, and general performance. Long-term FU displayed satisfying QoL performance without differences of fenestration or resection.

Conclusion: SAC mostly affect women and are predominantly located in the thoracic spine, becoming apparent with clinical myelopathy. For cysts without intracystic septae and compartments, both fenestration and resection of the cyst wall provided significant reduction of cyst size and clinical improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-019-04156-0DOI Listing
March 2020

Prognostic value of a bilateral motor threshold criterion for facial corticobulbar MEP monitoring during cerebellopontine angle tumor resection.

J Clin Monit Comput 2020 Dec 29;34(6):1331-1341. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

In intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM), facial nerve motor function (FaNMF) is assessed by facial muscle corticobulbar motor evoked potentials (FMcoMEP). Mostly only amplitude decrease is used as warning criterion. We related a refined criterion for FMcoMEP consisting of a bilateral final-to-baseline motor threshold ratio with standard criteria and postoperative FaNMF. 79 patients (45 females; 48 ± 16 years) undergoing IONM-guided cerebellopontine angle tumor surgery were retrospectively analyzed. An intraoperative final-to-baseline motor threshold increase ≥ 20% ipsi- versus contralaterally (bFBMT20) was correlated to postoperative FaNMF at day 1 (D1), 7 (D7) and 3 months (3 M). An ipsilateral-only final-to-baseline motor threshold increase ≥ 20 mA (iAMT20) and amplitude decrement ≥ 50% (iAR50) served as reference. Tumors included vestibular schwannomas (68%), meningiomas (19%) and others (13%). Mean tumor diameter was 2.7 ± 1.1 cm. Postoperatively, HB-increase ≥ 2 was seen in 27% (D1), 17% (D7), and 6% (3 M) of patients, respectively. FMcoMEP were obtained in 75/79 cases. Pathological bFBMT20, iAMT20 and iAR50 were seen in 17, 17, and 46 cases, respectively. Area under the ROC curve for bFBMT20 (iAMT20) was 0.894 (0.868) at D1; 0.903 (0.822) at D7 and 0.941 (0.959) at 3 M. iAR50 performed worse at all time points. Diagnostic odds ratios were highest for bfBMT20 compared to iAMT20 and iAR50 for D1 (172.5 vs. 8.7 vs. 0.45) and D7 (51.4 vs. 6.1 vs. 0.8). The refined parameter bFBMT20 provides a valuable contribution to the prognostic assessment of FaNMF. Due to its bihemispheric character, it might thus circumvent false-positive events which affect FMcoMEP bilaterally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10877-019-00434-5DOI Listing
December 2020

Identification of Distant Metastases From Recurrent Gliosarcoma Using Whole-Body 18F-FDG PET/CT.

Clin Nucl Med 2019 Nov;44(11):923-924

From the Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich.

A 51-year-old man presented with recurrent gliosarcoma and increasing cough over the last months. On F-FDG PET/CT, solid lung masses with high F-FDG uptake were present. A biopsy taken from a lung lesion indicated distant metastases from gliosarcoma. Gliosarcoma, a rare malignant central nervous system tumor, presents with extracranial metastases in only less than 10%. As highlighted by this case, F-FDG PET/CT can be used for whole-body staging in patients with metastatic brain tumor. Vice versa, highly F-FDG-avid lung lesions in patients with brain tumors should lead to distant metastases as differential diagnosis despite their rare occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RLU.0000000000002790DOI Listing
November 2019

EANO guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of vestibular schwannoma.

Neuro Oncol 2020 01;22(1):31-45

Department of Neurosurgery Ludwig-Maximilians University and DKTK partner site, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

The level of evidence to provide treatment recommendations for vestibular schwannoma is low compared with other intracranial neoplasms. Therefore, the vestibular schwannoma task force of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology assessed the data available in the literature and composed a set of recommendations for health care professionals. The radiological diagnosis of vestibular schwannoma is made by magnetic resonance imaging. Histological verification of the diagnosis is not always required. Current treatment options include observation, surgical resection, fractionated radiotherapy, and radiosurgery. The choice of treatment depends on clinical presentation, tumor size, and expertise of the treating center. In small tumors, observation has to be weighed against radiosurgery, in large tumors surgical decompression is mandatory, potentially followed by fractionated radiotherapy or radiosurgery. Except for bevacizumab in neurofibromatosis type 2, there is no role for pharmacotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6954440PMC
January 2020

Indication and technical implementation of the intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during spine surgeries-a transnational survey in the German-speaking countries.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2019 09 21;161(9):1865-1875. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Neurosurgical Clinic, Clinic of the University of Munich (Ludwig Maximilians University), Campus Grosshadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is widely used in spine surgery (sIONM). But guidelines are lacking and its use is mainly driven by individual surgeons' preferences and medicolegal advisements. To gain an overview over the current status of sIONM implementation, we conducted a transnational survey in the German-speaking countries.

Methods: We developed a Web interface-based survey assessing prevalence, indication, technical implementation, and general satisfaction regarding sIONM in German, Austrian, and Swiss spine centers. The electronic survey was performed between November 2017 and April 2018, including both neurosurgical and orthopedic spine centers.

Results: A total of 463 German, 60 Austrian, and 52 Swiss spine centers were contacted with participation rates of 64.1% (Germany), 68.3% (Austria), and 55.8% (Switzerland). Some 75.9% participating neurosurgical spine centers and only 14.7% of the orthopedic spine centers applied sIONM. Motor- and somatosensory-evoked potentials (93.7% and 94.3%, respectively) were the most widely available modalities, followed by direct wave (D wave; 66.5%). Whereas sIONM utilization was low in spine surgeries for degenerative, traumatic, and extradural tumor diseases, it was high for scoliosis and intradural tumor surgeries. Overall, the general satisfaction within the institutional setting regarding technical skills, staff, performance, and reliability of sIONM was rated as "high" by more than three-quarters of the centers. However, shortage of skilled staff was claimed to be a negative factor by 41.1% of the centers and reimbursement was considered to be insufficient by 83.5%.

Conclusions: sIONM availability was high in neurosurgical but low in orthopedic spine centers. Main modalities were motor/somatosensory-evoked potentials and main indications were scoliosis and intradural spinal tumor surgeries. A more frequent sIONM use, however, was mainly limited by the shortage of skilled staff and restricted reimbursement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-019-03974-6DOI Listing
September 2019

Teaching NeuroImages: Advanced imaging of neurosarcoidosis with Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT.

Neurology 2019 05;92(21):e2512-e2513

From the Departments of Nuclear Medicine (M.U., H.I., F.V., A.H., P.B., N.L.A.), Neurosurgery (A.H., J.-C.T.), and Radiology (C.C.C.), University Hospital, and Department of Neuropathology (V.R.), LMU Munich; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) (M.U., J.-C.T., P.B., N.L.A.), Partner Site Munich; and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) (M.U., J.-C.T., P.B., N.L.A.), Heidelberg, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007544DOI Listing
May 2019

Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging for detection of postoperative intracranial pyogenic abscesses in neurosurgery.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2019 05 26;161(5):985-993. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Background: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-DWI) is the modality of choice for detecting intracranial abscesses; however, it is unclear whether prior brain surgery has an influence on its diagnostic value. Thus, we assessed the robustness of MRI-DWI and determination of an ADC cutoff value for detecting intracranial abscesses in patients who underwent brain surgery.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 19 patients prior to surgery for postoperative supratentorial parenchymal abscesses by means of MRI-DWI. Forty randomly selected patients with routine postoperative MRI-DWI were used for comparative analyses. Clinical and serum biomarkers (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, white blood cell count) as well as from results of early postoperative imaging findings (computed tomography and/or MRI scan) were recorded. Additionally, ADC values, T1±gadolinium, and T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences were investigated.

Results: After initial surgery, early postoperative control imaging showed evidence of hemorrhage and/or hemostatic agents within the resection cavity in 10/19 patients of the abscess group and in 16/40 patients of the control group. No postoperative ischemia was detected. Neither hemostatic agents nor blood affected the mean ADC values in both the reference group (blood 2.96 ± 0.22 × 10 mm/s vs. no blood 2.95 ± 0.26 × 10 mm/s, p = 0.076) and in the abscess group (blood 0.87 ± 0.07 × 10 mm/s vs. no blood 0.76 ± 0.06 × 10 mm/s, p = 0.128). The mean ADC value within the resection cavity was significantly lower in the abscess group (1.5 T 0.88 ± 0.41 vs. 2.88 ± 0.20 × 10 mm/s, p < .01; 3.0 T 0.75 ± 0.24 vs. 3.02 ± 0.26 × 10 mm/s, p < 0.01). The optimal ADC cut-off for the differentiation of an abscess from normal postoperative findings was found at 1.87 × 10 mm/s (area-under-the-curve 1.0, sensitivity = 100%, specificity = 100%). Moreover, no differences between the abscess patients and the control group were seen with respect to the analyzed serum biomarkers.

Conclusion: MRI-DWI provides a robust tool to discriminate postoperative abscess formation from normal postoperative changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-019-03875-8DOI Listing
May 2019

The surgical perspective in precision treatment of diffuse gliomas.

Onco Targets Ther 2019 22;12:1497-1508. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Department of Neurosurgery, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany,

Over the last decade, advances in molecular and imaging-based biomarkers have induced a more versatile diagnostic classification and prognostic evaluation of glioma patients. This, in combination with a growing therapeutic armamentarium, enables increasingly individualized, risk-benefit-optimized treatment strategies. This path to precision medicine in glioma patients requires surgical procedures to be reassessed within multidimensional management considerations. This article attempts to integrate the surgical intervention into a dynamic network of versatile diagnostic characterization, prognostic assessment, and multimodal treatment options in the light of the latest 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of diffuse brain tumors, WHO grade II, III, and IV. Special focus is set on surgical aspects such as resectability, extent of resection, and targeted surgical strategies including minimal invasive stereotactic biopsy procedures, convection enhanced delivery, and photodynamic therapy. Moreover, the influence of recent advances in radiomics/radiogenimics on the process of surgical decision-making will be touched.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390867PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S174316DOI Listing
February 2019

68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT Differentiates Meningioma From Dural Metastases.

Clin Nucl Med 2019 May;44(5):412-413

Radiation Oncology, and.

A 77-year-old woman with history of breast cancer presented with 2 unclear dural contrast-enhancing lesions on MRI; differential diagnoses were breast cancer metastases and meningiomas. On Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT, the temporal lesion showed high uptake and was classified as meningioma, whereas the lesion at the falx showed barely any Ga-DOTATOC uptake uncharacteristic for meningioma and suggestive for a brain metastasis. After resection, histological specimens from the temporal lesion showed meningioma tissue with distinct SSTR2A expression, whereas the falx lesion revealed a breast cancer metastasis without significant SSTR2A expression. Therefore, Ga-DOTATOC PET represents a powerful imaging modality for the evaluation of unclear dural lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RLU.0000000000002513DOI Listing
May 2019

Low-Dose versus Therapeutic Range Intravenous Unfractionated Heparin Prophylaxis in the Treatment of Patients with Severe Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage After Aneurysm Occlusion.

World Neurosurg 2018 Sep 27;117:e705-e711. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany.

Background: While prophylaxis with intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH) can effectively prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) during the neurocritical care of patients with severe aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), the risk for intracranial bleeding complications might increase. Owing to this therapeutic dilemma, the UFH administration regimen in this critical patient population remains highly controversial.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with severe aSAH (Fisher grade 3-4) receiving either low-dose (activated partial thromboplastin time [aPTT] <40 seconds) or therapeutic range (aPTT 50-60 seconds) UFH during intensive care unit (ICU) treatment after complete surgical/endovascular aneurysm occlusion. The primary outcome was the rate of bleeding/VTE complications and the investigation of potential risk factors.

Results: This study series comprised 410 patients with aneurysmal SAH (aSAH), with a mean age of 54.7 ± 12.6 years, a male:female ratio of 1:2.2, and aSAH-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in 33.2%. After complete aneurysm occlusion, 112 patients (27.3%) received therapeutic dose UFH and 298 patients (72.7%) received low-dose UFH. VTE events occurred in 5.4% of the low-dose UFH cohort and in 6.3% of the therapeutic dose UFH cohort, with no significant differences in the rate and severity of VTE events. However, an increase in initial SAH-associated ICH was significantly (P = 0.007) more frequent in the therapeutic dose cohort (18.8% vs. 3.4%). Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) was the sole risk factor for VTE (P < 0.001), and both an aPTT ≥50 seconds under UFH administration (P = 0.007) and the initial presence of SAH-associated ICH (P = 0.035) were significant risk factors for intracranial bleeding complications.

Conclusions: Even in high-risk neurocritical patients with severe SAH and prolonged ICU treatment, low-dose UFH-administration for VTE prophylaxis is equally effective as therapeutic UFH administration and carries a lower risk of bleeding complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.06.118DOI Listing
September 2018

Painless motor radiculopathy of the cervical spine: clinical and radiological characteristics and long-term outcomes after operative decompression.

J Neurosurg Spine 2018 06 23;28(6):621-629. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

OBJECTIVE Various neurological diseases are known to cause progressive painless paresis of the upper limbs. In this study the authors describe the previously unspecified syndrome of compression-induced painless cervical radiculopathy with predominant motor deficit and muscular atrophy, and highlight the clinical and radiological characteristics and outcomes after surgery for this rare syndrome, along with its neurological differential diagnoses. METHODS Medical records of 788 patients undergoing surgical decompression due to degenerative cervical spine diseases between 2005 and 2014 were assessed. Among those patients, 31 (3.9%, male to female ratio 4.8 to 1, mean age 60 years) presented with painless compressive cervical motor radiculopathy due to neuroforaminal stenosis without signs of myelopathy; long-term evaluation was available in 23 patients with 49 symptomatic foraminal stenoses. Clinical, imaging, and operative findings as well as the long-term course of paresis and quality of life were analyzed. RESULTS Presenting symptoms (mean duration 13.3 months) included a defining progressive flaccid radicular paresis (median grade 3/5) without any history of radiating pain (100%) and a concomitant muscular atrophy (78%); 83% of the patients were smokers and 17% patients had diabetes. Imaging revealed a predominantly anterior nerve root compression at the neuroforaminal entrance in 98% of stenoses. Thirty stenoses (11 patients) were initially decompressed via an anterior surgical approach and 19 stenoses (12 patients) via a posterior surgical approach. Overall reoperation rate due to new or recurrent stenoses was 22%, with time to reoperation shorter in smokers (p = 0.033). Independently of the surgical procedure chosen, long-term follow-up (mean 3.9 years) revealed a stable or improved paresis in 87% of the patients (median grade 4/5) and an excellent general performance and quality of life. CONCLUSIONS Painless cervical motor radiculopathy predominantly occurs due to focal compression of the anterior nerve root at the neuroforaminal entrance. Surgical decompression is effective in stabilizing or improving motor function with a resulting favorable long-term outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2017.10.SPINE17821DOI Listing
June 2018

The role of surgery for brain metastases from solid tumors.

Handb Clin Neurol 2018 ;149:113-121

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Munich LMU, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy including novel targeted therapy strategies and any combination thereof as well as supportive care are the key elements for treatment of brain metastases. Goals of microsurgery are to obtain tissue samples for histologic diagnosis (particularly in case of uncertainty about the unknown primary tumor but also in the context of future targeted therapies), to relieve burden from space-occupying effects, to improve local tumor control, and to prolong overall survival. Complete surgical resection improves local tumor control and may even affect overall survival. Stereotactic radiosurgery is an equal effective alternative for metastases up to 3 cm in diameter, especially in highly eloquent or deep seated location. Gross total resection (as defined by immediate postoperative MRI) does not necessarily have to be combined with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), at least for patients with good performance status and controlled systemic disease. Particularly in cases of incomplete resections, focal irradiation or radiosurgery of the resection cavity or tumor remnant rather than WBRT may be attempted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-811161-1.00008-6DOI Listing
July 2018

EANO guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of ependymal tumors.

Neuro Oncol 2018 03;20(4):445-456

Department of Radiation Oncology, Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse Oncopole, Toulouse, France.

Ependymal tumors are rare CNS tumors and may occur at any age, but their proportion among primary brain tumors is highest in children and young adults. Thus, the level of evidence of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions is higher in the pediatric compared with the adult patient population.The diagnosis and disease staging is performed by craniospinal MRI. Tumor classification is achieved by histological and molecular diagnostic assessment of tissue specimens according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification 2016. Surgery is the crucial initial treatment in both children and adults. In pediatric patients with intracranial ependymomas of WHO grades II or III, surgery is followed by local radiotherapy regardless of residual tumor volume. In adults, radiotherapy is employed in patients with anaplastic ependymoma WHO grade III, and in case of incomplete resection of WHO grade II ependymoma. Chemotherapy alone is reserved for young children <12 months and for adults with recurrent disease when further surgery and irradiation are no longer feasible. A gross total resection is the mainstay of treatment in spinal ependymomas, and radiotherapy is reserved for incompletely resected tumors. Nine subgroups of ependymal tumors across different anatomical compartments (supratentorial, posterior fossa, spinal) and patient ages have been identified with distinct genetic and epigenetic alterations, and with distinct outcomes. These findings may lead to more precise diagnostic and prognostic assessments, molecular subgroup-adapted therapies, and eventually new recommendations pending validation in prospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nox166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5909649PMC
March 2018

Long-Term Functional Outcome of Symptomatic Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms in an Interdisciplinary Treatment Concept.

World Neurosurg 2017 Sep 12;105:849-856. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

Department of Neurosurgery, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Campus Grosshadern, Munich, Germany.

Objective: In symptomatic unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs), data on long-term functional outcome are sparse in the literature, even in the light of modern interdisciplinary treatment decisions. We therefore analyzed our in-house database for prognostic factors and long-term outcome of neurologic symptoms after microsurgical/endovascular treatment.

Methods: Patients treated between 2000 and 2016 after interdisciplinary vascular board decision were included. UIAs were categorized as symptomatic in cases of cranial nerve or brainstem compression. Symptoms were categorized as mild/severe. Long-term development of symptoms after treatment was assessed in a standardized and independent fashion.

Results: Of 98 symptomatic UIAs (microsurgery/endovascular 43/55), 84 patients presented with cranial nerve (NII-VI) compression and 14 patients with brainstem compression symptoms. Permanent morbidity occurred in 9% of patients. Of 119 symptoms (mild/severe 71/48), 60.4% recovered (full/partial 22%/39%) and 29% stabilized by the time of last follow-up; median follow-up was 19.5 months. Symptom recovery was higher in the long-term compared with that at discharge (P = 0.002). Optic nerve compression symptoms were less likely to improve compared with abducens nerve palsies and brainstem compression. Prognostic factors for recovery were duration and severity of symptoms, treatment modality (microsurgery) and absence of ischemia in the multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: This recent study presents for the first time a detailed analysis of relevant prognostic factors for long-term recovery of cranial nerve/brainstem compression symptoms in an interdisciplinary treatment concept, which was excellent in most patients, with lowest recovery rates in optic nerve compression. Symptom recovery was remarkably higher in the long-term compared with recovery at discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2017.06.028DOI Listing
September 2017

The Neurologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (NANO) scale: a tool to assess neurologic function for integration into the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria.

Neuro Oncol 2017 05;19(5):625-635

Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: The Macdonald criteria and the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria define radiologic parameters to classify therapeutic outcome among patients with malignant glioma and specify that clinical status must be incorporated and prioritized for overall assessment. But neither provides specific parameters to do so. We hypothesized that a standardized metric to measure neurologic function will permit more effective overall response assessment in neuro-oncology.

Methods: An international group of physicians including neurologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and neurosurgeons with expertise in neuro-oncology drafted the Neurologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (NANO) scale as an objective and quantifiable metric of neurologic function evaluable during a routine office examination. The scale was subsequently tested in a multicenter study to determine its overall reliability, inter-observer variability, and feasibility.

Results: The NANO scale is a quantifiable evaluation of 9 relevant neurologic domains based on direct observation and testing conducted during routine office visits. The score defines overall response criteria. A prospective, multinational study noted a >90% inter-observer agreement rate with kappa statistic ranging from 0.35 to 0.83 (fair to almost perfect agreement), and a median assessment time of 4 minutes (interquartile range, 3-5).

Conclusion: The NANO scale provides an objective clinician-reported outcome of neurologic function with high inter-observer agreement. It is designed to combine with radiographic assessment to provide an overall assessment of outcome for neuro-oncology patients in clinical trials and in daily practice. Furthermore, it complements existing patient-reported outcomes and cognition testing to combine for a global clinical outcome assessment of well-being among brain tumor patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nox029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5464449PMC
May 2017

Spinal cord hemangioblastomas: significance of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring for resection and long-term outcome.

J Neurosurg Spine 2017 04 16;26(4):483-493. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

OBJECTIVE Spinal cord hemangioblastomas are rare benign tumors developing either sporadically or as part of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. Generally, resection is the treatment of choice. However, the significance of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) for resection and postoperative outcome is still controversial. The authors analyzed the surgical and clinical courses of patients who had undergone resection of spinal cord hemangioblastoma, with special attention to preoperative imaging, the use of IONM, and short- and long-term outcomes. METHODS A series of 24 patients (male/female 1:1, lesion sporadic/associated with VHL 2.4:1) who had undergone 26 operations for the resection of 27 spinal cord hemangioblastomas was analyzed. All patients had undergone pre- and postoperative contrast-enhanced MRI. In all cases, microsurgical tumor removal had been performed under continuous IONM of both somatosensory and transcranial motor evoked potentials as well as electromyographic recording. Clinical characteristics, imaging findings, and operative records were retrospectively analyzed. Outcome parameters included short- and long-term status as regards sensorimotor deficits and a questionnaire on general performance, patient satisfaction, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) at the end of the follow-up period. The impact of IONM findings on postoperative deficits and outcome parameters as well as risk factors affecting functional prognosis was statistically assessed. RESULTS Preoperative symptoms (mean duration 16.2 ± 22.0 months) included sensory changes (100.0%), pain (66.7%), spinal ataxia (66.7%), motor deficit (41.7%), and bladder/bowel dysfunction (12.5%). Average age at the first operation was 36.8 ± 12.8 years. Most tumors (21 intramedullary, 6 intra- and/or extramedullary) were located dorsally (92.6%) and cervically (77.8%) and were accompanied by peritumoral edema and/or syringomyelia (81.5%). Tumor resection was achieved via laminectomy for 15 tumors, hemilaminectomy for 5, laminoplasty for 6, and interlaminar approach for 1. Gross-total resection was accomplished for 26 tumors (96.3%) with no local tumor recurrence during follow-up. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring was nonpathological in 11 operations (42.3%) and pathological in 15 (57.7%). Patients with nonpathological IONM had significantly fewer new sensorimotor deficits (p = 0.005). Long-term follow-up evaluation (mean 7.9 ± 4.0 years postoperatively, 7 patients lost to follow-up) revealed a stable or improved McCormick myelopathy grade in 88.2% of the patients, and 88.2% reported a stable or improved overall outcome according to Odom's criteria. Long-term general performance was excellent with 88.2% having a WHO/Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status grade ≤ 1, 76.5% a Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≥ 80, and 70.6% a Barthel Index (BI) of 100. The mean ODI (11.4% ± 12.5%) indicated only minimal disability. There was a significant correlation between pathological IONM findings and a worse long-term status according to the BI and ODI (p = 0.011 and 0.024, respectively). Additionally, VHL disease was a risk factor affecting functional prognosis (p = 0.044). CONCLUSIONS Microsurgical removal of spinal cord hemangioblastomas with IONM facilitates a satisfying long-term outcome for patients. Nonpathological IONM findings are associated with a lower risk of new sensorimotor deficits and correlate with a better overall long-term outcome. von Hippel-Lindau disease is a risk factor for a worse long-term prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.8.SPINE16595DOI Listing
April 2017