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| NI FEATURE: CENTS (CONCEPTS, ERGONOMICS, NUANCES, THERBLIGS, SHORTCOMINGS) - ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 779--796
Brain-stem hemangioblastomas: The seemingly innocuous lesion in a perilous location
Jeena Joseph, Sanjay Behari, Shruti Gupta, Kamlesh Singh Bhaisora, Anish Gandhi, Arun Srivastava, Awadhesh K Jaiswal
Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Introduction: Hemangioblastomas [75% sporadic, 25% with Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) disease] are highly vascular, benign lesions. The surgical nuances, management, and complication avoidance in brain-stem hemangioblastomas (BHs) have been studied.
Material and Methods: Over 18 years, 27(mean age: 29 years; range 15-60 years) consecutive cases of BH underwent microsurgical excision. All patients were assessed clinico-radiologically for neurological deficits and screened for VHL disease. Outcome of the patients was based on Karnofsky Performance Status scale (KPS).
Results: 12 out of 19 (70.4%) patients with hydrocephalus underwent a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion procedure. Lower cranial nerve palsy was present in 10 (37%) patients and motor weakness in 13 (48%). The tumours [mean size 3.34 ± 1.06 cm, range: 1.4-5.5 cm; 11 solid, rest solid-cystic; 18 (66.7%) subpial and 9 (33.33%) intramedullary] were divided into four categories based on size: A: <2 cm (n = 5,18.5%); B: 2-3 cm (n = 10,37%); C: 3-4 cm (n = 6,22.2%); D: >4 cm (n = 6,22.2%). Their location was at posterior cervicomedullary junction (n = 12); pontomedullary junction (n = 7); pons (n = 3), medulla (n = 3) and ponto-mesencephalic region (n = 2). Multiple flow voids were seen in >50% patients with tumour >2 cm. 5 patients had syringomyelia; and, 8 had diffuse cervical cord expansion. Two patients with a large vascular tumour underwent preoperative embolization. Six patients had VHL disease; one underwent bilateral adrenalectomy for refractory hypertension; and, the another, nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. Twenty-six patients underwent a midline suboccipital craniectomy; and, 1 with a cerebellopontine angle tumour, a retromastoid craniectomy. 15 patients underwent total excision; 10 patients, near-total (<10% remaining) excision, and 2 patients, a subtotal (>10% remaining)) excision. Three patients (2 with VHL disease) expired due to exsanguinating hemorrhage, spreading venous thrombosis and aspiration pneumonitis, respectively. At follow-up visit (median: 25 ± interquartile range 2-56months), 17 patients had improved KPS, 4 remained in same status and 3 (recently operated, on tracheostomy) had worsened KPS.
Conclusions: Significant improvement is achievable in neurological status in patients following successful extirpation of a brain-stem hemangioblastoma, despite a turbulent perioperative period. Leaving tumour capsule adherent to the brain-stem often helps in preserving brain-stem function. Postoperatively, the patients should be monitored for their respiratory and lower cranial nerve status to prevent aspiration pneumonitis.
Dr. Sanjay Behari
Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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