Computerized tomography-guided stereotactic surgery for brainstem masses: a risk-benefit analysis in 71 patients

Rajshekhar, Vedantam ; Chandy, Mathew J. (1995) Computerized tomography-guided stereotactic surgery for brainstem masses: a risk-benefit analysis in 71 patients Journal of Neurosurgery, 82 (6). pp. 976-981. ISSN 0022-3085

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The benefits of the use of computerized tomography (CT)-guided stereotactic surgical techniques for the management of intrinsic brainstem masses diagnosed from clinical evaluation and imaging studies were evaluated vis-à-vis the risks involved in 71 consecutive patients. Seventy-two procedures were performed. The masses were diffuse, involving two or three contiguous brainstem segments, in 60 patients and focal in 11 patients. On the CT scans, 25 patients had hypodense nonenhancing masses, two had isodense nonenhancing masses, 19 had ring-enhancing masses, and 25 had heterogeneously enhancing masses. A positive biopsy was obtained in 68 of 69 patients (98.5%) undergoing a biopsy procedure. In nine patients (12.6%) with suspected malignant masses a benign pathology was diagnosed (four tuberculomas, two epidermoid cysts, one pyogenic abscess, one epidermal cyst, and one case of encephalitis). Additionally, fluid from cystic masses could be aspirated in eight cases, providing benefit in six (four patients had benign lesions and two had neoplastic lesions). Thereby, a total of 13 patients (18.3%) were deemed to have benefited from the surgery (two patients were included in both categories). Patients with focal masses and ring-enhancing masses had the highest proportion of benign lesions (60% and 36.8%, respectively) and therefore derived the most benefit from histological verification. There was no procedurerelated mortality. One patient (1.4%) suffered permanent morbidity and four others (5.6%) had transient worsening attributable to the procedure. The authors conclude that CT-guided stereotactic surgery of the brainstem is safe and reliable. Histological verification of all enhancing (especially ring-enhancing) and focal brainstem masses should be undertaken to identify patients with benign nonneoplastic lesions. Selected patients with diffuse hypodense nonenhancing masses with atypical clinical or imaging features may also benefit from stereotactic biopsy. Even in these patients the lack of enhancement on a contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance image, rather than the diffuse location of the tumor alone, should form the basis for diagnosing a malignant glioma. The main value of stereotactic surgery lies in the identification of benign masses in a significant proportion of patients with intrinsic brainstem masses and in providing a rapid and safe method for evacuation of the contents of cystic masses.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Keywords:Brainstem; Brain Tumor; Glioma; Tuberculoma; Stereotactic Surgery
ID Code:67159
Deposited On:29 Oct 2011 03:48
Last Modified:29 Oct 2011 03:48

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