Clinical Neuroscience

[Image fusion guided brachytherapy of brain tumors]


MAY 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(05-06)

[The paper is the summary of mostly published works of the clinical results of intracavitary Yttrium-90 colloid irradiation of recurrent cystic craniopharyngiomas, and Iodine-125 interstitial irradiation of gliomas, pinealomas, brainstem tumors, recurrent meningeomas, solid craniopharyngiomas and metastases. It concisely demonstrates the usefulness of image fusion in the verification of isotope seeds and catheters, the comparison of 125 Iodine stereotactic brachytherapy and LINAC radiosurgery modalities on physical dose distribution and radiobiological efficacy, and the analysis of volumetric changes after interstitial irradiation of gliomas. Results of the immunohistochemical study deal with the role of microglia/macrophage system in the tissue response to I- 125 interstitial brachytherapy of cerebral gliomas. Due to financial reasons, gamma knife and Linac are not available to many countries and neurosurgical institutes. In the absence of the above mentioned radiosurgical methods, we have shown brachytherapy as an alternative solution in the treatment of different types of inoperable or recurrent brain tumors. The observed results may be noticable at LINAC and gamma knife irradiation too.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 2)]


[Teaching of neurologists is indisposed worldwide. University tutors are engaged in teaching, research and patient-care. This triple challenge is very demanding, and results in permanent insecurity of University employees. To compensate for the insufficient clinical training, some institutes in the USA employ academic staff members exclusively for teaching. The formation of new subspecialties hinders the education and training of general neurologists. At the present four generations of medical doctors are working together in the hospitals. The two older generations educate the younger neurologists who have been brought up in the world of limitless network of sterile information. Therefore their manual skills at the bedside and knowledge regarding emergency treatment are deficient. Demographics of medical doctors changed drastically. Twice as many women are working in neurology and psychiatry than men. Integrity of neurology is threatened by: 1. Separation of the cerebrovascular diseases from general neurology. Development of "stroke units" was facilitated by the better reimbursement for treatment and the interest of the pharmaceutical companies. The healthcare politics assisted to split the neurology into two parts. The independent status of “stroke departments” will reduce the rest of clinical neurology to outpatient service. 2. The main argumentation to segregate the rare neurological diseases was that their research will provide benefit for the diseases with high prevalence. This argumentation can rather be considered territorial imperative. The separation of rare diseases interferes with the teaching of differential diagnostics during neurological training. The traditional pragmatic neurology can not be retrieved. The faculty of neurology could retain its integrity because of the improvement of diagnostic methods and the more and more effective drugs. Nevertheless, even the progression of neurological sciences induces dissociation of clinical neurology. Neurology shall suffer fragmentation if the professional authorities fail to control the separation of subspecialties, if teaching of future neurologists, including practical knowledge and skills of diagnostic decision making, is not supported.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Epidemiology of dementia in Hungary]

ÉRSEK Katalin, KÁRPÁTI Krisztián, KOVÁCS Tibor, CSILLIK Gabriella, GULÁCSI L. Ádám, GULÁCSI László

[Objective - To estimate the epidemiology and the distribution of disease severity of dementia in Hungary, using published data. To estimate the demented population of 2008 and to make a projection for 2050. Methodology - With an outlook for the international professional literature and the available Hungarian information we examine the epidemiology of dementia in Hungary by age-groups and disease severity (according to MMSE categories), then make our estimation for the entire population. Results - Based on the estimation of the number of demented people in Hungary there is a noticeable difference between the domestic and the internationally published data. According to previous Hungarian studies, the number of the demented subjects vary between 530 and 917 thousand patients. Multiplying the elderly age-group’s populations by the global prevalence data it results in 101 thousand of demented patients. Estimation by the domestic published data we remarkably overestimate the presumed value, whereas by using the global prevalence figures we underestimate. Conclusions - There is a strong need for a representative study to obtain exact figures on the prevalence of dementia in Hungary. Getting exact figures of the Hungarian prevalence of dementia it is a strong need an overall representative study. With the lack of it the health and social care systems are not able to prepare for providing the increasing number of patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intracranial propagation of invasive aspergilloma in an immuncompromised patient]


[Aspergillus infection of the central nervous system is a rare disease, occasionally seen among immunocompromised patients. The most frequent pathway is hematogenic dissemination. Less known is the direct propagation from the paranasal sinuses, which is usually observed in immunocompetent patients. We report a patient who developed cavernous sinus syndrome due to an invasive intracranial aspergilloma after longlasting chemo- and steroid therapy for chronic lymphoid leukemia and immunhemolytic anemia. The characteristic features seen on radiological images - brain CT and MRI - suggested the possibility of invasive aspergilloma. Postoperative histology defined the diagnosis. Our case review highlights the importance of considering the possibility of an invasive opportunistic infection of the CNS in an immunocompromised patient presenting a new neurological sign.]

Clinical Neuroscience


Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 1)]


[The neurological practice suffered considerable changes during the last twenty years. The recent therapeutic methods and the acceptance of the ideology of evidence based medicine, which is based on confidence in statistics, changed the reasoning of the neurologists. Therapy protocols intrude into the field of individual medicine, and doctors accept treatment schemes to alleviate responsibility of their decisions. In contrast with this, recent achievements in pharmacogenetics emphasize the importance of individual drug therapies. The protocol of intravenous cerebral thrombolysis does not require defining the origin of cerebral ischaemia in the acute stage, therefore, this procedure can be regarded as human experiment. According to the strict protocol thrombolysis might be indicated only in 1-8% of patients with cerebral ischaemia. According to the Cohrane database more trials are needed to clarify which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. Because of the change in therapeutic principles transient ischaemic attack has been newly defined as “acute neurovascular syndrome”. Multiplication of neurological subspecialties has been facilitated by the development of diagnostic tools and the discovery of effective new drugs. The specialization led to narrowing of interest and competency of clinicians. Several new neurological scientific societies were founded for the representation of specific disorders. In Hungary, between 1993 and 2000 nine scientific societies were grounded within the field of clinical neurology. These societies should be thankful to the pharmaceutical industries for their existence. In some European countries in 2007 only three neurological subspecialties were accepted, which are neurophysiology, neuro-rehabilitation and childneurology. Neuro-radiology is in the hands of general radiologists, the specialization is not granted for neurologists. Because of the subspecialization the general professionalism of neurologists has diminished. Among young neurologists the propedeutic skills suffered most seriously. Subspecialisation of teachers also interferes with the practice oriented teaching of medical students and residents.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[125I brachytherapy of pineal parenchymal tumours]

JULOW Jenő, VIOLA Árpád, MAJOR Tibor, VALÁLIK István, SÁGI Sarolta, MANGEL László, KOVÁCS Rita Beáta, HÁVEL János, KISS Tibor

[Introduction - Pineal parenchymal tumours make up 0,3% of all brain tumours. Stereotactic biopsy has by now become an indispensable method to detect these tumours and it can be safely performed. Patients and method - Two patients with pineoblastoma were treated with 125I brachytherapy. The MRI and CT images taken 15 and 18 months after irradiation showed significant tumour shrinkage. Results - Tumour volume was 0.76 cm3 in the control CT image in Case 1, a shrinkage by 73% compared to 2.87 cm3 measured at the time of planning the interstitial irradiation. In Case 2, tumour volume measured on the control MRI examination was 0.29 cm3 as opposed to 1.27 cm3 of original tumour volume, which represents a 77% shrinkage. Conclusion - The insertion of isotope seeds was performed at the same time as the biopsy, because thus the knowledge of the histological diagnosis could spare the patients from a second stereotactic intervention. The CT- and image fusion guided 125I stereotactical brachytherapy is a procedure that can be dosimetrically precisely planned and surgically accurately and safely performed.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[CT- and image fusion guided 125I stereotactic brachytherapy of acoustic neurinoma: three cases]

VIOLA Árpád, MAJOR Tibor, VALÁLIK István, SÁGI Sarolta, MANGEL László, SPELLENBERG Sándor, HÁVEL János, JULOW Jenő

[Gamma knife and multi leaf collimator Linac have recently gained significant space in the treatment of acustic neurinomas. As our neurosurgical department does not own gamma knife or Linac, we have successfully pursued the 125Iodine interstitial irradiation of three acustic neurinomas. Our patients were elderly people with poor general condition, therefore we decided to undertake interstitial irradiation because of the low tolerance for surgery. The follow-up period until March 2002, lasted five, 23 and 40 months in the three cases. At the end of the follow-up period the audiometrical examination stated slight enhancement of hearing in case one and case two. In case one, the tumor volume, as measured on the control MRI was 5.32 cm3, which meant a 21% shrinkage in contrast to the 6.74 cm3 target volume at the brachytherapy. In case two, the shrinkage was even more apparent. The tumor volume measured on the control MRI examination was 6.64 cm3, which was a 42% shrinkage of the 11.45 cm3 target volume at the moment of brachytherapy. Due to financial reasons, gamma knife and Linac are not available for many countries and neurosurgical institutes. In the absence of the above mentioned radiosurgical methods, we have shown brachytherapy as a new alternative and solution in the treatment of acoustic neurinoma in three patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Objective - The aim of this study is to reveal the volumetrical changes in tumor necrosis, reactive zone and edema following low-dose rate I-125 interstitial irradiation of 20 inoperable (partially irresecable, partially inoperable) lowgrade gliomas. Methods - The volumes of the three regions on imagefused control CT/MRI images were measured for a 24- month period with 36 occasions. The delivered dose on the tumor surface (GTV) was 50-60 Gy. Dose planning and image fusion were performed with the BrainLab Target 1.19 software, mathematical and statistical computations were carried out with the Matlab Numeric Computation and Visualization software. The control images with the „triple ring” were fused with the planning images, and the isodose curves were adjusted to them. Results - Relative volumes normalized to volume of the reference dose were calculated and plotted in the time domain. The mean values of volumes were determined from the patients' measured data then a polynom was fitted to the mean values using the polynomial curve fitting method. The accuracy of our results were verified by statistical tools. Conclusions - The new polynomial prediction approach using image fusion analysis of the volume of tumor necrosis, reactive ring and edema caused by interstitial irradiation as a function of time provides valuable information for 1. selecting the best patient’s treatment option, 2. following up patient’s condition and 3. planning reirradiation or reoperation if necessary.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Volumetric changes following 125 I interstitial irradiation of low grade gliomas]

JULOW Jenő, VIOLA Árpád, MAJOR Tibor, MANGEL László, BAJZIK Gábor, REPA Imre, SÁGI Sarolta, VALÁLIK István, EMRI Miklós, TRÓN Lajos, NÉMETH György

[Background - Image fusion permits quantitative analysis of the consequences of 125 Iodine interstitial irradiation of brain tumors. The volume of tumor necrosis, reactive zone and edema can be compared to the dosimetric data. Patients and method - Nineteen patients with low grade glioma were analyzed on the average 14.5 months following 125 Iodine interstitial irradiation. Dose planning and image fusion were performed with the Target 1.19 (BrainLab) software. The CT/MR images showing the so called “triple ring” (necrosis, reactive ring and edema) developing after the interstitial irradiation of brain tumors were fused with the planning images and the isodose curves. The volume of the three regions was measured. Values at the intersections of isodose curves and necrosis borders were averaged and used for calculation of tumor necrosis. The volume of normal brain tissue irradiated by given dose values, as well as homogeneity and conformality indices were also determined. Results - The relative volumes of the different parts of the “triple-ring” compared to the reference dose volume were the following: necrosis 54.9%, reactive zone 59.7%, and edema 445.3% . Tumor necrosis developed at 71.9 Gy dose. At the irradiation of an average size glioma with a volume of 12.7 cm3, 5 to 7 cm3 normal brain tissue around the tumor received 60-70 Gy dose. The average homogeneity and conformality indices were 0.24 and 0.57, respectively. Conclusion - The analysis of changes in the volume of edema, reactive ring and necrosis caused by interstitial irradiation, and their correlation with the dozimetric data using the image fusion method provide useful information for patient follow-up, clinical management and further therapeutic decisions.]