Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Which Cerebral Cavernous Malformations are Most Difficult to Dissect From Surrounding Eloquent Brain Tissue?

Neurosurgery 81:498–503, 2017

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) may lead to repetitive intracerebral hemorrhage. In selected cases, a surgical resection is indicated.

OBJECTIVE: To identify magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of CCM that correlate with the difficulty of dissection and postoperative outcome.

METHODS: This study prospectively analyzed pre- and postoperative MRI features, intraoperative findings (surgical questionnaire), and postoperative outcome of 41 patients with eloquent CCM. Based on the results of the surgeon’s questionnaire and postoperative MRI findings, all surgical procedureswere dichotomized in a “difficult”(groupA) or “not difficult” (group B) lesion dissection. Based on the correlation of preoperative MRI features with groups A and B, a 3-tiered classification was established and tested for sensitivity and specificity.

RESULTS: In 22 patients, dissection of the lesion was rated difficult. This was significantly correlated with amount of postoperative diffusion restriction on MRI (P=.001) and postoperative outcome(P=.05). Various preoperative MRI featureswere tested for correlation and combined in a 3-tiered classification. Receiver operating characteristics revealed excellent and good results for predicting difficulty of dissection for the different classification types.

CONCLUSION: We provide a meticulous analysis and new classification of preoperative MRI features that seem to be involved in the microsurgical resection of CCM.

Early retreatment after surgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1627–1632

Although a rerupture after surgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms is rare, it is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The causes for retreatment and rupture after surgical clipping are not clearly defined.

Methods From a prospectively maintained database of 244 patients who had undergone surgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms, we selected patients who experienced retreatment or rerupture within 30 days after surgical clipping. Aneurysm occlusions were examined by microvascular Doppler ultrasonography and indocyanine green video-angiography. Indications for retreatment included rerupture and partial occlusion. We analyzed the characteristics and causes of early retreatment.

Results Six patients (2.5%, 95% CI 0.9 to 5.3%) were retreated within 30 days after surgical clipping, including two patients (0.8%, 95% CI 0.1 to 2.9%) who experienced a rerupture. The retreated aneurysms were found in the anterior communicating artery (AcomA) (n = 5) and basilar artery (n = 1). Retreatment of the AcomA (7.5%) was performed significantly more frequently than that of other arteries (0.56%) (p < 0.01). A laterally projected AcomA aneurysm (17.4%) was more frequently retreated than were other aneurysm types (2.3%). Cases of laterally projecting AcomA aneurysms tended to result from an incomplete clip placed using a pterional approach from the opposite side of the aneurysm projection.

Conclusions Despite developments, the rates of retreatment and rerupture after surgical clipping remain similar to those reported previously. Retreatment of the AcomA was significantly more frequent than was retreatment of other arteries. Patients underwent retreatment more frequently when they were originally treated for lateral type aneurysms using a pterional approach from the opposite side of the aneurysm projection. The treatment method and evaluation modalities should be considered carefully for AcomA aneurysms in particular.

Exploring the brain through posterior hypothalamus surgery for aggressive behavior

Neurosurg Focus 43 (3):E14, 2017

Neurological surgery offers an opportunity to study brain functions, through either resection or implanted neuromodulation devices. Pathological aggressive behavior in patients with intellectual disability is a frequent condition that is difficult to treat using either supportive care or pharmacological therapy.

The bulk of the laboratory studies performed throughout the 19th century enabled the formulation of hypotheses on brain circuits involved in the generation of emotions.

Aggressive behavior was also studied extensively. Lesional radiofrequency surgery of the posterior hypothalamus, which peaked in the 1970s, was shown to be an effective therapy in many reported series. As with other surgical procedures for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, however, this therapy was abandoned for many reasons, including the risk of its misuse.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) offers the possibility of treating neurological and psychoaffective disorders through relatively reversible and adaptable therapy. Deep brain stimulation of the posterior hypothalamus was proposed and performed successfully in 2005 as a treatment for aggressive behavior. Other groups reported positive outcomes using target and parameter settings similar to those of the original study. Both the lesional and DBS approaches enabled researchers to explore the role of the posterior hypothalamus (or posterior hypothalamic area) in the autonomic and emotional systems.


Endoscopic endonasal transclival resection of a ventral pontine cavernous malformation

J Neurosurg 127:553–558, 2017

Brainstem cavernous malformations are challenging due to the critical anatomy and potential surgical risks. Anterolateral, lateral, and dorsal surgical approaches provide limited ventral exposure of the brainstem.

The authors present a case of a midline ventral pontine cavernous malformation resected through an endoscopic endonasal transclival approach based on minimal brainstem transection, negligible cranial nerve manipulation, and a straightforward trajectory.

Technical and reconstruction technique advances in endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery provide a direct, safe, and effective corridor to the brainstem.

Surgical management of spinal osteoblastomas

J Neurosurg Spine 27:321–327, 2017

Osteoblastoma is a rare primary benign bone tumor with a predilection for the spinal column. Although of benign origin, osteoblastomas tend to behave more aggressively clinically than other benign tumors. Because of the low incidence of osteoblastomas, evidence-based treatment guidelines and high-quality research are lacking, which has resulted in inconsistent treatment. The goal of this study was to determine whether application of the Enneking classification in the management of spinal osteoblastomas influences local recurrence and survival time.

METHODS A multicenter database of patients who underwent surgical intervention for spinal osteoblastoma was developed by the AOSpine Knowledge Forum Tumor. Patient data pertaining to demographics, diagnosis, treatment, crosssectional survival, and local recurrence were collected. Patients in 2 cohorts, based on the Enneking classification of the tumor (Enneking appropriate [EA] and Enneking inappropriate [EI]), were analyzed. If the final pathology margin matched the Enneking-recommended surgical margin, the tumor was classified as EA; if not, it was classified as EI.

RESULTS A total of 102 patients diagnosed with a spinal osteoblastoma were identified between November 1991 and June 2012. Twenty-nine patients were omitted from the analysis because of short follow-up time, incomplete survival data, or invalid staging, which left 73 patients for the final analysis. Thirteen (18%) patients suffered a local recurrence, and 6 (8%) patients died during the study period. Local recurrence was strongly associated with mortality (relative risk 9.2; p = 0.008). When adjusted for Enneking appropriateness, this result was not altered significantly. No significant differences were found between the EA and EI groups in regard to local recurrence and mortality.

CONCLUSIONS In this evaluation of the largest multicenter cohort of spinal osteoblastomas, local recurrence was found to be strongly associated with mortality. Application of the Enneking classification as a treatment guide for preventing local recurrence was not validated.

Preservation of hearing following awake surgery via the retrosigmoid approach for vestibular schwannomas in eight consecutive patients

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1579–1585

Hearing preservation in patients with vestibular schwannomas remains difficult by microsurgery or radiosurgery.

Method: In this study, awake surgery via the retrosigmoid approach was performed for vestibular schwannomas (volume, 11.6 ± 11.2 ml; range, 1.3–26.4 ml) in eight consecutive patients with preoperative quartering of pure tone audiometry (PTA) of 53 ± 27 dB.

:Results After surgery, hearing was preserved in seven patients and improved in one patient. The postoperative quartering PTA was 51 ± 21 dB. Serviceable hearing (class A + B + C) using the American Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) classification was preserved in all patients. Preoperative useful hearing (AAO-HNS class A + B) was observed in three patients, and useful hearing was preserved in all three of these patients after surgery. In addition, useful facial nerve function (House-Blackmann Grade 1) was preserved in all patients.

:Conclusions These results suggest that awake surgery for vestibular schwannomas is associated with low patient morbidity, including with respect to hearing and facial nerve function.

Cystic Vestibular Schwannomas Respond Best to Radiosurgery

Neurosurgery 81:490–497, 2017

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) have a well-documented response to Gamma Knife R  (Elekta AB, Stockholm, Sweden) Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, there are limited data available regarding the volumetric response of cystic tumors.

OBJECTIVE: This report correlates the radiographic appearance of VS before radiosurgery with the delayed volumetric response.

METHODS: This study reviewed our SRS experience with 219 VS patients between 2003 and 2013. Patients were treatment naïve and had a significant extracanalicular tumor volume. Magnetic resonance imaging at the time of SRS identified 42 contrast-enhancing macrocystic tumors, 45 contrast-enhancing microcystic tumors, and 132 homogeneously enhancing tumors with no intratumoral cyst formation. The median follow-up was 49.1 months. The median tumor volume was 2.6 cm3 (0.70-16.1 cm3) and the median dose was 12.5 Gy (11-13 Gy).

RESULTS: The actuarial tumor control rate was 99.4% at 2 years and 96.4% at 5 years. A volumetric reduction of >20% occurred in 85.4% of macrocystic tumors, 76.1% of microcystic tumors, and 62.8% of homogeneously enhancing VS. The median volume decrease per year for macrocystic, microcystic, and homogenous tumors was 17.2%, 7.5%, and 7.9% per year respectively (P < .001). A 2:1 blinded volumetric case match showed a significant size reduction in macrocystic tumors compared to noncystic tumors (P = .007). Serviceable hearing was maintained in 61.5% of patients that had Gardner-Robertson grade I-II hearing before treatment. Surgical resection or repeat radiosurgery was performed in 8 patients (3.6%) who had sustained tumor progression.

CONCLUSION: SRS provided VS tumor control in >95% of patients, regardless of radiographic characteristics. Tumor volume regression was most evident in patients with cystic tumors.

Spinal navigation for posterior instrumentation of C1–2 instability using a mobile intraoperative CT scanner

J Neurosurg Spine 27:268–275, 2017

Spinal navigation techniques for surgical fixation of unstable C1–2 pathologies are challenged by complex osseous and neurovascular anatomy, instability of the pathology, and unreliable preoperative registration techniques. An intraoperative CT scanner with autoregistration of C-1 and C-2 promises sufficient accuracy of spinal navigation without the need for further registration procedures. The aim of this study was to analyze the accuracy and reliability of posterior C1–2 fixation using intraoperative mobile CT scanner–guided navigation.

METHODS In the period from July 2014 to February 2016, 10 consecutive patients with instability of C1–2 underwent posterior fixation using C-2 pedicle screws and C-1 lateral mass screws, and 2 patients underwent posterior fixation from C-1 to C-3. Spinal navigation was performed using intraoperative mobile CT. Following navigated screw insertion in C-1 and C-2, intraoperative CT was repeated to check for the accuracy of screw placement. In this study, the accuracy of screw positioning was retrospectively analyzed and graded by an independent observer.

RESULTS The authors retrospectively analyzed the records of 10 females and 2 males, with a mean age of 80.7 ± 4.95 years (range 42–90 years). Unstable pathologies, which were verified by fracture dislocation or by flexion/extension radiographs, included 8 Anderson Type II fractures, 1 unstable Anderson Type III fracture, 1 hangman fracture Levine Effendi Ia, 1 complex hangman-Anderson Type III fracture, and 1 destructive rheumatoid arthritis of C1–2. In 4 patients, critical anatomy was observed: high-riding vertebral artery (3 patients) and arthritis-induced partial osseous destruction of the C-1 lateral mass (1 patient). A total of 48 navigated screws were placed. Correct screw positioning was observed in 47 screws (97.9%). Minor pedicle breach was observed in 1 screw (2.1%). No screw displacement occurred (accuracy rate 97.9%).

CONCLUSION Spinal navigation using intraoperative mobile CT scanning was reliable and safe for posterior fixation in unstable C1–2 pathologies with high accuracy in this patient series.

Awake Craniotomy vs Craniotomy Under General Anesthesia for Perirolandic Gliomas

Neurosurgery 81:481–489, 2017

A craniotomy with direct cortical/subcortical stimulation either awake or under general anesthesia (GA) present 2 approaches for removing eloquent region tumors. With a reported higher prevalence of intraoperative seizures occurring during awake resections of perirolandic lesions, oftentimes, surgery under GA is chosen for these lesions.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a single-surgeon’s experience with awake craniotomies (AC) vs surgery under GA for resecting perirolandic, eloquent, motor-region gliomas.

METHODS: Between 2005 and 2015, a retrospective analysis of 27 patients with perirolandic, eloquent, motor-area gliomas that underwent an AC were case-control matched with 31 patients who underwent surgery under GA for gliomas in the same location. All patients underwent direct brain stimulation with neuromonitoring and perioperative risk factors, extent of resection, complications, and discharge status were assessed.

RESULTS: The postoperative Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) was significantly lower for theGApatients at 81.1 compared to theACpatients at 93.3 (P=.040). The extent of resection for GA patients was 79.6% while the AC patients had an 86.3% resection (P = .136). There were significantly more 100% total resections in the AC patients 25.9% compared to the GA group (6.5%; P=.041). Patients in theGAgroup had a longer mean length of hospitalization of 7.9 days compared to the AC group at 4.2 days (P = .049).

CONCLUSION: We show that AC can be performed with more frequent total resections, better postoperative KPS, shorter hospitalizations, as well as similar perioperative complication rates compared to surgery under GA for perirolandic, eloquent motor-region glioma.

Image-guided endoscopic surgery for spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hematoma

J Neurosurg 127:537–542, 2017

Endoscopic removal of intracerebral hematomas is becoming increasingly common, but there is no standard technique. The authors explored the use of a simple image-guided endoscopic method for removal of spontaneous supratentorial hematomas.

METHODS Virtual reality technology based on a hospital picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) was used in 3D hematoma visualization and surgical planning. Augmented reality based on an Android smartphone app, Sina neurosurgical assist, allowed a projection of the hematoma to be seen on the patient’s scalp to facilitate selection of the best trajectory to the center of the hematoma. A obturator and transparent sheath were used to establish a working channel, and an endoscope and a metal suction apparatus were used to remove the hematoma.

RESULTS A total of 25 patients were included in the study, including 18 with putamen hemorrhages and 7 with lobar cerebral hemorrhages. Virtual reality combined with augmented reality helped in achieving the desired position with the obturator and sheath. The median time from the initial surgical incision to completion of closure was 50 minutes (range 40–70 minutes). The actual endoscopic operating time was 30 (range 15–50) minutes. The median blood loss was 80 (range 40–150) ml. No patient experienced postoperative rebleeding. The average hematoma evacuation rate was 97%. The mean (± SD) preoperative Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 6.7 ± 3.2; 1 week after hematoma evacuation the mean GCS score had improved to 11.9 ± 3.1 (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS Virtual reality using hospital PACS and augmented reality with a smartphone app helped precisely localize hematomas and plan the appropriate endoscopic approach. A transparent sheath helped establish a surgical channel, and an endoscope enabled observation of the hematoma’s location to achieve satisfactory hematoma removal.

The midline suboccipital subtonsillar approach to the cerebellomedullary cistern

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1613–1617

Lesions lateral to the lower brainstem in an area extending from the foraminae of Luschka to the foramen magnum are rare and include different pathologies. There is no consensus on an ideal surgical approach.

Method: To gain access to this area, we use the midline suboccipital subtonsillar approach (STA). This midline approach with unilateral retraction of the cerebellar tonsil enables entry into the cerebellomedullary cistern.

Conclusions: The STA offers excellent access with a panoramic view of the cerebellomedullary cistern and its structures and therefore can be useful for a number of different pathologies in the lower petroclival area.

Tractography guides the approach for resection of thalamopeduncular tumors

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1597–1601

Thalamopeduncular tumors arise at the junction of the inferior thalamus and cerebral peduncle, and present with a common clinical syndrome of progressive spastic hemiparesis.

Method Formal preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were performed. Postoperative MRI was obtained to evaluate the extent of tumor resection. A prospective analysis of clinical outcomes was then conducted by the senior author.

Conclusions Preoperative tractography is a useful adjunct to surgical planning in tumors that displace motor pathways. Gross total resection of pilocytic astrocytomas usually results in cure, and therefore should be entertained when developing treatment strategies for thalamopeduncular tumors of childhood.

Bypass surgery for complex middle cerebral artery aneurysms: an algorithmic approach to revascularization

J Neurosurg 127:463–479, 2017

Management of complex aneurysms of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) can be challenging. Lesions not amenable to endovascular techniques or direct clipping might require a bypass procedure with aneurysm obliteration. Various bypass techniques are available, but an algorithmic approach to classifying these lesions and determining the optimal bypass strategy has not been developed. The objective of this study was to propose a comprehensive and flexible algorithm based on MCA aneurysm location for selecting the best of multiple bypass options.

METHODS Aneurysms of the MCA that required bypass as part of treatment were identified from a large prospectively maintained database of vascular neurosurgeries. According to its location relative to the bifurcation, each aneurysm was classified as a prebifurcation, bifurcation, or postbifurcation aneurysm.

RESULTS Between 1998 and 2015, 30 patients were treated for 30 complex MCA aneurysms in 8 (27%) prebifurcation, 5 (17%) bifurcation, and 17 (56%) postbifurcation locations. Bypasses included 8 superficial temporal artery–MCA bypasses, 4 high-flow extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) bypasses, 13 IC-IC bypasses (6 reanastomoses, 3 reimplantations, 3 interpositional grafts, and 1 in situ bypass), and 5 combination bypasses. The bypass strategy for prebifurcation aneurysms was determined by the involvement of lenticulostriate arteries, whereas the bypass strategy for bifurcation aneurysms was determined by rupture status. The location of the MCA aneurysm in the candelabra (Sylvian, insular, or opercular) determined the bypass strategy for postbifurcation aneurysms. No deaths that resulted from surgery were found, bypass patency was 90%, and the condition of 90% of the patients was improved or unchanged at the most recent follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS The bypass strategy used for an MCA aneurysm depends on the aneurysm location, lenticulostriate anatomy, and rupture status. A uniform bypass strategy for all MCA aneurysms does not exist, but the algorithm proposed here might guide selection of the optimal EC-IC or IC-IC bypass technique.

Intracranial Aneurysm Parameters for Predicting a Future Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Neurosurgery 81:432–440, 2017

Retrospective studies have suggested that aneurysm morphology is a risk factor for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether various morphological indices of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) predict a future rupture.

METHODS: A total of 142 patients with UIAs diagnosed between 1956 and 1978 were followed prospectively until SAH, death, or the last contact. Morphological UIA indices from standard angiographic projections weremeasured at baseline and adjusted inmultivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses for established risk factors for SAH.

RESULTS: During a follow-up of 3064 person-years, 34 patients suffered froman aneurysm rupture. In multivariable analyses, aneurysm volume, volume-to-ostium area ratio, and the bottleneck factor separately as continuous variables predicted aneurysm rupture. All the morphological indices were higher (P < .01) after the rupture than before. In final multivariable analyses, current smoking (adjusted hazard ratio 2.50, 95% CI 1.03-6.10, P = .044), location in the anterior communicating artery (4.28, 1.38-13.28, P=.012), age (inversely; 0.95 per year, 0.91-1.00, P = .043), and UIA diameter ≥7 mm at baseline (2.68, 1.16-6.21, P = .021) were independent risk factors for a future rupture. Aneurysm growth during the followup was associated with smoking (P < .05) and SAH (P < .001), but not with the aneurysm indices.

CONCLUSION: Of the morphological indices, UIA volume seems to predict a future rupture. However, as volume correlates with the maximum diameter of the aneurysm, it seems to add little to the predictive value of the maximum diameter. Retrospective studies using indices that are measured after rupture are of little value in risk prediction.


Correction of severe spinopelvic mismatch: decreased blood loss with lateral hyperlordotic interbody grafts as compared with pedicle subtraction osteotomy

Neurosurg Focus 43 (2):E15, 2017

Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) provides extensive correction in patients with fixed sagittal plane imbalance but is associated with high estimated blood loss (EBL). Anterior column realignment (ACR) with lateral graft placement and sectioning of the anterior longitudinal ligament allows restoration of lumbar lordosis (LL). The authors compare peri- and postoperative measures in 2 groups of patients undergoing correction of a sagittal plane imbalance, either through PSO or the use of lateral lumbar fusion and ACR with hyperlordotic (20°–30°) interbody cages, with stabilization through standard posterior instrumentation in all cases.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective chart review of cases involving a lumbar PSO or lateral lumbar interbody fusion and ACR (LLIF-ACR) between 2010 and 2015 at the authors’ institution. Patients who had a PSO in the setting of a preexisting fusion that spanned more than 4 levels were excluded. Demographic characteristics, spinopelvic parameters, EBL, operative time, and LOS were analyzed and compared between patients treated with PSO and those treated with LLIF-ACR.

RESULTS The PSO group included 14 patients and the LLIF-ACR group included 13 patients. The mean follow-up was 13 months in the LLIF-ACR group and 26 months in the PSO group. The mean EBL was significantly lower in the LLIF-ACR group, measuring approximately 50% of the mean EBL in the PSO group (1466 vs 2910 ml, p < 0.01). Total LL correction was equivalent between the 2 groups (35° in the PSO group, 31° in the LLIF-ACR group, p > 0.05), as was the preoperative PI-LL mismatch (33° in each group, p > 0.05) and the postoperative PI-LL mismatch (< 1° in each group, p = 0.05). The fusion rate as assessed by the need for reoperation due to pseudarthrosis was lower in the LLIF-ACR group but not significantly so (3 revisions in the PSO group due to pseudarthrosis vs 0 in the LLIF-ACR group, p > 0.5). The total operative time and LOS were not significantly different in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS This is the first direct comparison of the LLIF-ACR technique with the PSO in adult spinal deformity correction. The study demonstrates that the LLIF-ACR provides equivalent deformity correction with significantly reduced blood loss in patients with a previously unfused spine compared with the PSO. This technique provides a powerful means to avoid PSO in selected patients who require spinal deformity correction.

Risk Factors to Predict Neurologic Complications After Endovascular Treatment of Unruptured Paraclinoid Aneurysms


Unruptured paraclinoid aneurysms are often asymptomatic, and endovascular coiling is the main treatment. However, endovascular treatment of these lesions still leads to neurologic complications. We aimed to identify predictors of neurologic complications in these lesions.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed patients with unruptured paraclinoid aneurysms who were treated with endovascular coiling between January 2014 and December 2015. A neurologic complication was defined as any transient or permanent increase in the modified Rankin Scale score after aneurysm embolization. Univariate and mulitivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the risk factors of neurologic complications.

RESULTS: Of the 443 unruptured paraclinoid aneurysms that were included in this study, the incidence of neurologic complications was 5.2%. Neurologic complications were highly correlated with hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 3.147; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.217e8.138; P [ 0.018), cerebral ischemic comorbidities (OR, 3.396; 95% CI, 1.378e 8.374; P [ 0.008), and aneurysm size (OR, 7.714; 95% CI, 1.784e31.635; P < 0.001), and irregular shape (OR, 3.157; 95% CI, 1.239e8.043; P [ 0.016) in the univariate analysis. Cerebral ischemic comorbidities (OR, 2.837, 95% CI, 1.070e 7.523; P [ 0.036) and aneurysm size as dichotomous variables (OR, 7.557; 95% CI, 2.975e19.198; P < 0.001) were strongly correlated with neurologic complications in the final adjusted multivariate logistic analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Unruptured paraclinoid aneurysms after endovascular treatments had 5.2% of neurologic complications. Cerebral ischemic comorbidities and aneurysm size were predictors of neurologic complications.


Pelvic retroversion: a compensatory mechanism for lumbar stenosis

J Neurosurg Spine 27:137–144, 2017

The flexed posture of the proximal (L1–3) or distal (L4–S1) lumbar spine increases the diameter of the spinal canal and neuroforamina and can relieve symptoms of neurogenic claudication. Distal lumbar flexion can result in pelvic retroversion; therefore, in cases of flexible sagittal imbalance, pelvic retroversion may be compensatory for lumbar stenosis and not solely compensatory for the sagittal imbalance as previously thought. The authors investigate underlying causes for pelvic retroversion in patients with flexible sagittal imbalance.

METHODS One hundred thirty-eight patients with sagittal imbalance who underwent a total of 148 fusion procedures of the thoracolumbar spine were identified from a prospective clinical database. Radiographic parameters were obtained from images preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 6-month and 2-year follow-up. A cohort of 24 patients with flexible sagittal imbalance was identified and individually matched with a control cohort of 23 patients with fixed deformities. Flexible deformities were defined as a 10° change in lumbar lordosis between weight-bearing and non–weight-bearing images. Pelvic retroversion was quantified as the ratio of pelvic tilt (PT) to pelvic incidence (PI).

RESULTS The average difference between lumbar lordosis on supine MR images and standing radiographs was 15° in the flexible cohort. Sixty-eight percent of the patients in the flexible cohort were diagnosed preoperatively with lumbar stenosis compared with only 22% in the fixed sagittal imbalance cohort (p = 0.0032). There was no difference between the flexible and fixed cohorts with regard to C-2 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) (p = 0.95) or C-7 SVA (p = 0.43). When assessing for postural compensation by pelvic retroversion in the stenotic patients and nonstenotic patients, the PT/PI ratio was found to be significantly greater in the patients with stenosis (p = 0.019).

CONCLUSIONS For flexible sagittal imbalance, preoperative attention should be given to the root cause of the sagittal misalignment, which could be compensation for lumbar stenosis. Pelvic retroversion can be compensatory for both the lumbar stenosis as well as for sagittal imbalance.


Effect of statin treatment on vasospasm-related morbidity and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:291–301, 2017

The efficacy of statin therapy in treating aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remains controversial. In this meta-analysis, the authors investigated whether statin treatment significantly reduced the incidence of cerebral vasospasm and delayed neurological deficits, promoting a better outcome after aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS: A literature search of the PubMed, Ovid, and Cochrane Library databases was performed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies investigating the effect of statin treatment. The end points of cerebral vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND), delayed cerebral infarction, mortality, and favorable outcome were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS Six RCTs and 2 prospective cohort studies met the eligibility criteria, and a total of 1461 patients were included. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in the incidence of cerebral vasospasm (relative risk [RR] 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.96) in patients treated with statins after aneurysmal SAH. However, no significant benefit was observed for DIND (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.70–1.12), delayed cerebral infarction (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.33–1.31), mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.39–1.24) or favorable outcome, according to assessment by the modified Rankin Scale or Glasgow Outcome Scale (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS Treatment with statins significantly decreased the occurrence of vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH. The incidence of DIND, delayed cerebral infarction, and mortality were not affected by statin treatment. Future research should focus on DIND and how statins influence DIND.


Open versus percutaneous instrumentation in thoracolumbar fractures

J Neurosurg Spine 27:235–241, 2017

Percutaneous instrumentation in thoracolumbar fractures is intended to decrease paravertebral muscle damage by avoiding dissection. The aim of this study was to compare muscles at instrumented levels in patients who were treated by open or percutaneous surgery.

METHODS Twenty-seven patients underwent open instrumentation, and 65 were treated percutaneously. A standardized MRI protocol using axial T1-weighted sequences was performed at a minimum 1-year follow-up after implant removal. Two independent observers measured cross-sectional areas (CSAs, in cm2) and region of interest (ROI) signal intensity (in pixels) of paravertebral muscles by using OsiriX at the fracture level, and at cranial and caudal instrumented pedicle levels. An interobserver comparison was made using the Bland-Altman method. Reference ROI muscle was assessed in the psoas and ROI fat subcutaneously. The ratio ROI-CSA/ROI-fat was compared for patients treated with open versus percutaneous procedures by using a linear mixed model. A linear regression analyzed additional factors: age, sex, body mass index (BMI), Pfirrmann grade of adjacent discs, and duration of instrumentation in situ.

RESULTS The interobserver agreement was good for all CSAs. The average CSA for the entire spine was 15.7 cm2 in the open surgery group and 18.5 cm2 in the percutaneous group (p = 0.0234). The average ROI-fat and ROI-muscle signal intensities were comparable: 497.1 versus 483.9 pixels for ROI-fat and 120.4 versus 111.7 pixels for ROI-muscle in open versus percutaneous groups. The ROI-CSA varied between 154 and 226 for open, and between 154 and 195 for percutaneous procedures, depending on instrumented levels. A significant difference of the ROI-CSA/ROI-fat ratio (0.4 vs 0.3) was present at fracture levels T12–L1 (p = 0.0329) and at adjacent cranial (p = 0.0139) and caudal (p = 0.0100) instrumented levels. Differences were not significant at thoracic levels. When adjusting based on age, BMI, and Pfirrmann grade, a significant difference between open and percutaneous procedures regarding the ROI-CSA/ROI-fat ratio was present in the lumbar spine (p < 0.01). Sex and duration of instrumentation had no significant influence.

CONCLUSIONS Percutaneous instrumentation decreased muscle atrophy compared with open surgery. The MRI signal differences for T-12 and L-1 fractures indicated less fat infiltration within CSAs in patients who received percutaneous treatment. Differences were not evidenced at thoracic levels, where CSAs were smaller. Fat infiltration was not significantly different at lumbar levels with either procedure in elderly patients with associated discopathy and higher BMI. In younger patients, there was less fat infiltration of lumbar paravertebral muscles with percutaneous procedures.


Optimal treatment of jugular foramen schwannomas

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1517–1527

The goal of treatment for jugular foramen schwannomas (JFSs) is to achieve complete tumor removal with cranial nerve preservation. However, achieving this goal remains a challenge despite the advances in microsurgical techniques. The aim of this study was to determine optimal treatment strategies for JFSs based on a review of a series of 29 surgical cases in our institute.

Materials and methods: Between 1997 and 2013, 29 patients with JFSs underwent surgical treatment by multidisciplinary otoneurosurgical approaches. We retrospectively evaluated various clinical outcomes including the extent of tumor resection, postoperative cranial nerve deficits, and the recurrence rate. Tumor extension was classified using the Kaye and Pellet classification (KPC) system, and the extent of tumor resection was graded as gross total resection (GTR), near total resection (NTR), and subtotal resection (STR). We utilized the House- Brackmann facial nerve grading system (HBFNGS), the average pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry (PTA/SA) tests, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Outcome Measurement System (ASHA NOMS) swallowing scale (ASHA level) for assessment of functional outcomes.

Results: The extent of tumor resection was not related to the degree of immediate postoperative cranial nerve deficits. However, the surgical approach was significantly related to postoperative hearing status and immediate postoperative facial function. Also, among the ten patients who were below the level of acceptable facial function immediately postoperatively, nine patients (90%) recovered to acceptable facial function by the last follow-up. Concerning postoperative swallowing status, all 21 patients recovered swallowing function by the last follow-up. Postoperative Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKRS) was performed for three recurrent and seven residual tumors, and recurrence was not observed in the mean 36-month follow-up period.

Conclusions: A surgical strategy should be tailored to the individual case, and clinicians should consider the possibility of recurrence and further adjuvant treatment.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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Basilar Invagination and Atlanto-Axial Dislocation Video 1

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 2

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 1

Management of a Recurrent Coiled Giant Posterior Cerebral Artery Aneurysm

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Expanded Endonasal Approach for 2012 MERC

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 1

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endovascular-Surgical Approach to Cavernous dAVF

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 4

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 3

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Surgery of AVMs in Motor Areas

NeurosurgeryCNS: The Fenestrated Yaşargil T-Bar Clip

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS. ‘Double-Stick Tape’ Technique for Offending Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Advances in the Treatment and Outcome of Brain Stem Cavernous Malformation Surgery: 300 Patients

3T MRI Integrated Neuro Suite

NeurosurgeryCNS: 3D In Vivo Modeling of Vestibular Schwannomas and Surrounding Cranial Nerves Using DIT

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 7

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 6

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 5

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 4

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Corticotomy Closure Avoids Subdural Collections After Hemispherotomy

NeurosurgeryCNS: Operative Nuances of Side-to-Side in Situ PICA-PICA Bypass Procedure

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Fusiform Aneurysms of the Anterior Communicating Artery

NeurosurgeryCNS. Initial Clinical Experience with a High Definition Exoscope System for Microneurosurgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Typical colloid cyst at the foramen of Monro.

NeurosurgeryCNS: Neuronavigation for Neuroendoscopic Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS:New Aneurysm Clip System for Particularly Complex Aneurysm Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: AICA/PICA Anatomical Variants Penetrating the Subarcuate Fossa Dura

Craniopharyngioma Supra-Orbital Removal

NeurosurgeryCNS: Use of Flexible Hollow-Core CO2 Laser in Microsurgical Resection of CNS Lesions

NeurosurgeryCNS: Ulnar Nerve Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

NeurosurgeryCNS: ICG Videoangiography

NeurosurgeryCNS: Inappropiate aneurysm clip applications

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