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Stöcklein, Veit Michael; Kellert, Lars; Patzig, Maximilian; Küpper, Clemens; Giese, Armin; Ruf, Viktoria; Weller, Jonathan; Kreth, Friedrich-Wilhelm and Schöberl, Florian (2020): Extended stereotactic brain biopsy in suspected primary central nervous system angiitis: good diagnostic accuracy and high safety. In: Journal of neurology, Vol. 268: pp. 367-376 [PDF, 576kB]


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and safety of extended stereotactic brain biopsy (ESBB) in a single center cohort with suspected primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS). METHODS A standardized stereotactic biopsy targeting MRI-positive lesions and collecting samples from the meninges and the cortex as well as from the white matter was performed in 23 patients with clinically suspected PACNS between 2010 and 2017. The relationship between biopsy yield and clinical characteristics, cerebrospinal fluid parameters, MR-imaging, time point of biopsy and exact localization of biopsy as well as number of tissue samples were examined. RESULTS PACNS was confirmed in 7 of 23 patients (30.4%). Alternative diagnoses were identified in 7 patients (30%). A shorter time period between the onset or worsening of symptoms (p = 0.018) and ESBB significantly increased the diagnostic yield. We observed only minor and transient postoperative complications in 3 patients (13.0%). ESBB led to a direct change of the therapeutic regime in 13 of 23 patients (56.5%). Careful neuropathological analysis furthermore revealed that cortical samples were crucial in obtaining a diagnosis. CONCLUSION ESBB is a safe approach with good feasibility, even in critically ill patients, and high diagnostic accuracy in patients with suspected PACNS changing future therapies in 13 of 23 patients (56.5%). Early biopsy after symptom onset/worsening is crucial and (sub)acute MRI-lesions should be targeted with a particular need for biopsy samples from the cortical layer.

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