Neurosurgery Blog


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

Spine Navigation Based on 3-Dimensional Robotic Fluoroscopy for Accurate Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Placement

World Neurosurg. (2017) 108:76-83.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is associated with obstructed visibility of anatomic landmarks and increased radiation exposure, leading to higher incidence of pedicle screw mispositioning. To address these drawbacks, intraoperative 3-dimensional fluoroscopy (io3DF) and navigation are being increasingly used. We aimed to present our dedicated multifunctional hybrid operating room (HyOR) setup and evaluate the accuracy and safety of io3DF image-guided spinal navigation in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with percutaneous pedicle screw (PPS) placement.

METHODS: The HyOR includes a fixed 3D multiaxis robotic fluoroscopy arm that moves automatically to the preprogrammed position when needed. An initial io3DF assessment is performed to collect intraoperative images, which are automatically transferred into the navigation system. These data are used to calibrate the PPSs and insert them under computer-assisted navigation. A second io3DF is performed for verifying PPS position.

RESULTS: Between January 2014 and December 2016, 66 consecutive patients (age, 58.6  14.1 years) were treated for refractory lumbar degenerative pain. Seventy-three spinal levels were treated, and 276 screws were placed, with 4.2 ± 0.76 screws per patient. There was no measurable radiation to the HyOR staff, whereas the mean radiation dose per patient was 378.3  uGym2. The overall accuracy rate of PPS placement was 99.6%. There were no significant procedure-related complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Spine navigation based on io3DF images enabled us to avoid radiation exposure to the operating room team while delivering minimal but sufficient radiation doses to our patients. This approach achieved an accuracy rate of 99.6% for PPS placement in the safe zone, without significant complications.

Anatomic Features of Paraclinoid Aneurysms

Neurosurgery 81:949–957, 2017

Paraclinoid aneurysms are among the most challenging aneurysms to treat. Computed tomography (CT) angiography helps in evaluating the radiological characteristics of these aneurysms next to bony structures.

OBJECTIVE: To present the CT angiography characteristics of paraclinoid aneurysms in order to better understand such pathology.

METHODS: The study examined CT angiography-based anatomical characteristics obtained retrospectively from 136 patients with 144 paraclinoid aneurysms selected from single-defined catchment populations in Finland. We examined the diameters of the parent artery (internal carotid artery), the location of the aneurysm, its dimensions (width, height, neck), and aneurysm wall irregularity.

RESULTS:We analyzed 144 paraclinoid aneurysms in 136 patients admitted to the hospital during 2000-2014.Multivariable analysis reveals that rupture aneurysms have the following radiological features: aneurysm larger than 5 mm in diameter (P = .006), irregular wall (P = .046), superior location, larger aspect ratio (P = .039), and neck wider than parent artery (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Smaller diameter of the internal carotid artery and superior location, as well as a large and irregular aneurysm wall, are radiological characteristics of ruptured paraclinoid aneurysms, which CT angiography can measure easily.

Cervical Spine Deformity—Part 3: Posterior Techniques, Clinical Outcome, and Complications

Neurosurgery 81:893–898, 2017

The goals of cervical deformity surgery include deformity correction, restoration of horizontal gaze, decompression of neural elements, spinal stabilization with a biomechanically sound construct, and meticulous arthrodesis technique to prevent pseudoarthrosis and minimizing surgical complications.

Many different surgical options exist, but selecting the correct approach that ensures the optimal clinical outcome can be challenging and often controversial. In this last part of the cervical deformity review series, various posterior deformity correction techniques are discussed in detail, along with an overview of surgical outcome and postoperative complications.

Efficacy and outcomes of facial nerve–sparing treatment approach to cerebellopontine angle meningiomas

J Neurosurg 127:1231–1241, 2017

Advanced microsurgical techniques contribute to reduced morbidity and improved surgical management of meningiomas arising within the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). However, the goal of surgery has evolved to preserve the quality of the patient’s life, even if it means leaving residual tumor. Concurrently, Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has become an acceptable and effective treatment modality for newly diagnosed, recurrent, or progressive meningiomas of the CPA. The authors review their institutional experience with CPA meningiomas treated with GKRS, surgery, or a combination of surgery and GKRS. They specifically focus on rates of facial nerve preservation and characterize specific anatomical features of tumor location with respect to the internal auditory canal (IAC).

METHODS Medical records of 76 patients with radiographic evidence or a postoperative diagnosis of CPA meningioma, treated by a single surgeon between 1992 and 2016, were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm in greatest dimension were treated with GKRS, while patients with tumors 2.5 cm or larger underwent facial nerve–sparing microsurgical resection where appropriate. Various patient, clinical, and tumor data were gathered. Anatomical features of the tumor origin as seen on preoperative imaging confirmed by intraoperative investigation were evaluated for prognostic significance. Facial nerve preservation rates were evaluated.

RESULTS According to our treatment paradigm, 51 (67.1%) patients underwent microsurgical resection and 25 (32.9%) patients underwent GKRS. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 34 (66.7%) patients, and subtotal resection (STR) in 17 (33.3%) patients. Tumors recurred in 12 (23.5%) patients initially treated surgically, requiring additional surgery and/or GKRS. Facial nerve function was unchanged or improved in 68 (89.5%) patients. Worsening facial nerve function occurred in 8 (10.5%) patients, all of whom had undergone microsurgical resection. Upfront treatment with GKRS for CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm was associated with preservation of facial nerve function in all patients over a median follow-up of 46 months, regardless of IAC invasion and tumor origin. Anatomical origin was associated with extent of resection but did not correlate with postoperative facial nerve function. Tumor size, extent of resection, and the presence of an arachnoid plane separating the tumor and the contents of the IAC were associated with postoperative facial nerve outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS CPA meningiomas remain challenging lesions to treat, given their proximity to critical neurovascular structures. GKRS is a safe and effective option for managing CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm without associated mass effect or acute neurological symptoms. Maximal safe resection with preservation of neurological function can be performed for tumors 2.5 cm or larger without significant risk of facial nerve dysfunction, and, when combined with GKRS for recurrence and/or progression, provides excellent disease control. Anatomical features of the tumor origin offer critical insights for optimizing facial nerve preservation in this cohort.

Endoscopic treatment of middle fossa arachnoid cysts

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2313–2317

Endoscopic treatment of middle fossa arachnoid cysts is an alternative option to microsurgical fenestration and shunting procedures. The procedure is minimally invasive and obviates the morbidity of craniotomy and shunting.

Methods Operative charts and videos of patients undergoing endoscopic fenestration of middle fossa arachnoid cysts were retrieved from the senior author’s database of endoscopic procedures and reviewed. Description of the surgical techniques was then formulated.

Conclusions Endoscopic fenestration of middle fossa arachnoid cysts entails communicating the cyst cavity to the basal cisterns via multiple fenestrations that should be made as large as possible with care to avoid injury of the juxtaposed neurovascular structures.

Outcomes After Endoscopic Endonasal Resection of Craniopharyngiomas in the Pediatric Population

World Neurosurg. (2017) 108:6-14.

Craniopharyngiomas have traditionally been treated via open transcranial approaches. More recently, endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches have been increasingly used; however, few case series exist in the pediatric population.

METHODS: A retrospective review of patients (aged <18 years) undergoing endoscopic transsphenoidal resection of craniopharyngiomas between 1995 and 2016 was performed. Preoperative data included presenting symptoms, tumor size, location, and components. Postoperative outcomes included symptom resolution, visual outcomes, endocrine outcomes, disease recurrence, and major complications.

RESULTS: Sixteen pediatric patients with mean age of 11.0 years (range, 5-15 years) were included. The median follow-up time was 56.2 months. Mean maximal tumor diameter was 3.98 cm. Most of the tumors had suprasellar (93.8%) and intrasellar (68.8%) components. The gross total resection rate was 93.8%. The most common presenting symptoms were vision changes (81.3%) and increased intracranial pressure (56.3%). Most patients (66.7%) had their presenting symptoms resolved by their first postoperative visit. Vision improved or remained normal in 69.2% of patients. Postoperatively, new incidence of panhypopituitarism or diabetes insipidus developed in 63.6% and 46.7% of patients, respectively. New hypothalamic obesity developed in 28.6% of patients. The postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak rate was 18.8%. One patient died of intraventricular hemorrhage postoperatively. The major complication rate was 12.5%. Disease recurrence occurred in 1 patient with gross total resection (6.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic transsphenoidal resection for craniopharyngiomas can achieve high rates of total resection with low rates of disease recurrence in larger tumors than previously described. However, hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction and cerebrospinal fluid leak remain significant postoperative morbidities

The Role of Hypoxia in Angiogenesis and Extracellular Matrix Regulation of Intervertebral Disc Cells During Inflammatory Reactions

Neurosurgery 81:867–875, 2017

The intervertebral disc (IVD) is an avascular structure, and is therefore stable under hypoxic conditions. Previous studies have demonstrated that hypoxia might be related to symptomatic degenerative disc diseases (DDDs); however, the pathomechanism is still poorly understood.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the effect of hypoxia on the production of inflammatory mediators, angiogenic factors, and extracellularmatrix-regulating enzymes of IVD cells during inflammatory reactions.

METHODS: Human nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) cells harvested during surgery for DDDs were cultured in macrophage conditioned media or interleukin (IL)-1β-stimulated media under hypoxic (2%) and normoxic (21%) conditions. Hypoxiainducible factor-1α transcription factor activation was analyzed by western blotting. IL-6, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1,MMP-3, tissue inhibitor ofmetalloprotease (TIMP)-1, and TIMP-2 in conditioned media weremeasured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: NP cells expressed higher hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in the IL-1β-stimulated group under hypoxic condition. MMP-1 was significantly increased in the AF cells under hypoxic condition; TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were significantly decreased in both naïve NP and AF cells during hypoxia. Both cells in macrophage conditioned media significantly diminished the production of IL-6 and VCAM, while VEGF significantly increased during hypoxia. After 1 ng/mL IL-1β stimulation, IL-8, VEGF, MMP-1, and MMP-3 were significantly increased in both cell types during hypoxia, while VCAM, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were decreased.

CONCLUSION: We found that hypoxia can enhance the angiogenic ability of IVD during inflammatory reactions, and cause progress in development of DDD via extracellular matrix regulation in this in vitro study.

A novel weighted scoring system for estimating the risk of rapid growth in untreated intracranial meningiomas

J Neurosurg 127:971–980, 2017

Advances in neuroimaging techniques have led to the increased detection of asymptomatic intracranial meningiomas (IMs). Despite several studies on the natural history of IMs, a comprehensive evaluation method for estimating the growth potential of these tumors, based on the relative weight of each risk factor, has not been developed. The aim of this study was to develop a weighted scoring system that estimates the risk of rapid tumor growth to aid treatment decision making.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 232 patients with presumed IM who had been prospectively followed up in the absence of treatment from 1997 to 2013. Tumor volume was measured by imaging at each follow-up visit, and the growth rate was determined by regression analysis. Predictors of rapid tumor growth (defined as ≥ 2 cm3/year) were identified using a logistic regression model; each factor was awarded a score based on its own coefficient value. The probability (P) of rapid tumor growth was estimated using the following formula:

[Eq. 1]

RESULTS Fifty-nine tumors (25.4%) showed rapid growth. Tumor size (OR per cm3 1.07, p = 0.000), absence of calcification (OR 3.87, p = 0.004), peritumoral edema (OR 2.74, p = 0.025), and hyperintense or isointense signal on T2- weighted MRI (OR 3.76, p = 0.049) were predictors of tumor growth rate. In the Asan Intracranial Meningioma Scoring System (AIMSS), tumor size was categorized into 3 groups of < 2.5 cm, ≥ 2.5 to < 4.0 cm, and ≥ 4.0 cm in diameter and awarded a score of 0, 3, and 6, respectively; the parameters of calcification and peritumoral edema were categorized into 2 groups based on their presence or absence and given a score of 0 or 2 and 1 or 0, respectively; and the signal on T2-weighted MRI was categorized into 2 groups of hypointense and hyperintense/isointense and given a score of 0 or 2, respectively. The risk of rapid tumor growth was estimated to be < 10% when the total score was 0–2, 10%–50% when the total score was 3–6, and ≥ 50% when the total score was 7–11 (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, p = 0.9958). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.86.

CONCLUSIONS The authors suggest a weighted scoring system (AIMSS) that predicts the specific probability of rapid tumor growth for patients with untreated IM. This scoring system will aid treatment decision making in clinical settings by screening out patients at high risk for rapid tumor growth.

The medial orbito-frontal approach for orbital tumors

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2223–2227

A variety of lesions can affect the orbit. Surgical approaches must be available to provide 360 degrees of access. For tumors occupying the superomedial intraconal quadrant, there is a rationale to selecting the medial orbito-frontal approach.

Methods This article outlines the relevant surgical anatomy and the different surgical steps of this approach.

Results The medial orbito-frontal approach offers a full exposure of the superomedial intraconal quadrant and avoids crossing the plane of the optic nerve.

Conclusion In selected intraconal tumor cases, this transcranial epidural intraorbital approach is a straightforward corridor through reliable landmarks that can be routinely performed.

Correlation of volumetric growth and histological grade in 50 meningiomas

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2169–2177

Advances in radiological imaging techniques have enabled volumetric measurements of meningiomas to be easily monitored using serial imaging scans. There is limited literature on the relationship between tumour growth rates and the WHO classification of meningiomas despite tumour growth being a major determinant of type and timing of intervention. Volumetric growth has been successfully used to assess growth of low-grade glioma; however, there is limited information on the volumetric growth rate (VGR) of meningiomas. This study aimed to determine the reliability of VGR measurement in patients with meningioma, assess the relationship between VGR and 2016 WHO grading as well as clinical applicability of VGR in monitoring meningioma growth.

Methods All histologically proven intracranial meningiomas that underwent resection in a single centre between April 2009 and April 2014 were reviewed and classified according to the 2016 edition of the Classification of the Tumours of the CNS. Only patients who had two pre-operative scans that were at least 3 months apart were included in the study. Two authors performed the volumetric measurements using the Slicer 3D software independently and the inter-rater reliability was assessed. Multiple regression analyses of factors affecting the VGR and VDE of meningiomas were performed using the R statistical software with p < 0.05 considered to be statistically significant.

Results Of 548 patients who underwent resection of their meningiomas, 66 met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen cases met the exclusion criteria (NF2, spinal location, previous surgical or radiation treatment, significant intra-osseous component and poor quality imaging). Forty-two grade I and 8 grade II meningiomas were included in the analysis. The VGR was significantly higher for grade II meningiomas. Using receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the optimal threshold that distinguishes between grade I and II meningiomas is 3 cm3/year. Higher histological grade, high initial tumour volume, MRI T2-signal hyperintensity and presence of oedema were found to be significant predictors of higher VGR.

Conclusion Reliable tools now exist to evaluate and monitor volumetric growth of meningiomas. Grade II meningiomas have significantly higher VGR compared with grade I meningiomas and growth of more than 3 cm3/year is strongly suggestive of a higher grade meningioma. A larger, multi-centre prospective study to investigate the applicability of velocity of growth to predict the outcome of patients with meningioma is warranted.


The superior fovea triangle approach: a novel safe entry zone to the brainstem

J Neurosurg 127:1134–1138, 2017

The authors describe a safe entry zone, the superior fovea triangle, on the floor of the fourth ventricle for resection of deep dorsal pontine lesions at the level of the facial colliculus.

Clinical data from a patient undergoing a suboccipital telovelar transsuperior fovea triangle approach to a deep pontine cavernous malformation were reviewed and supplemented with 6 formalin-fixed adult human brainstem and 2 silicone-injected adult human cadaveric heads using the fiber dissection technique to illustrate the utility of this novel safe entry zone.

The superior fovea has a triangular shape that is an important landmark for the motor nucleus of the trigeminal, abducens, and facial nerves. The inferior half of the superior fovea triangle may be incised to remove deep dorsal pontine lesions through the floor of the fourth ventricle.

The superior fovea triangle may be used as a safe entry zone for dorsally located lesions at the level of the facial colliculus.

Surgical Performance in Minimally Invasive Surgery Plus Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation

Neurosurgery 81:860–866, 2017

Minimally invasive thrombolytic evacuation of intracerebral hematoma is being investigated in the ongoing phase III clinical trial of Minimally Invasive Surgery plus recombinant Tissue plasminogen activator for Intracerebral hemorrhage Evacuation (MISTIE III).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of catheter placement and efficacy of hematoma evacuation in relation to surgical approach and surgeon experience.

METHODS:We performed a trial midpoint interim assessment of 123 cases that underwent the surgical procedure. Accuracy of catheter placement was prospectively assessed by the trial Surgical Center based on prearticulated criteria. Hematoma evacuation efficacy was evaluated based on absolute volume reduction, percentage hematoma evacuation, and reaching the target end-of-treatment volume of <15 mL. One of 3 surgical trajectories was used: anterior (A), posterior (B), and lobar (C). Surgeonswere classified based on experience with the MISTIE procedure as prequalified, qualified with probation, and fully qualified.

RESULTS: The average hematoma volume was 49.7 mL (range 20.0-124), and the mean evacuation rate was 71% (range 18.4%-99.8%). First placed catheters were 58% in good position, 28% suboptimal (but suitable to dose), and 14% poor (requiring repositioning). Posterior trajectory (B) was associated with significantly higher rates of poor placement (35%, P = .01). There was no significant difference in catheter placement accuracy among surgeons of varying experience. Hematoma evacuation efficacy was not significantly different among the 3 surgical approaches or different surgeons’ experience.

CONCLUSION: Ongoing surgical education and quality monitoring in MISTIE III have resulted in consistent rates of hematoma evacuation despite technical challenges with the surgical approaches and among surgeons of varying experience.


Efficacy of deep rTMS for neuropathic pain in the lower limb: a randomized, double-blind crossover trial of an H-coil and figure-8 coil

J Neurosurg 127:1172–1180, 2017

Electrical motor cortex stimulation can relieve neuropathic pain (NP), but its use requires patients to undergo an invasive procedure. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) using a figure-8 coil can relieve NP noninvasively, but its ability to relieve lower limb pain is still limited. Deep rTMS using an H-coil can effectively stimulate deep brain regions and has been widely used for the treatment of various neurological diseases; however, there have been no clinical studies comparing the effectiveness of figure-8 coils and H-coils. This study assessed the clinical effectiveness of 5 once-daily stimulations with H-coils and figure-8 coils in patients with NP.

METHODS This randomized, double-blind, 3-way crossover trial examined 18 patients with NP who sequentially received 3 types of stimulations in the M1 for 5 consecutive days; each 5-day stimulation period was followed by a 17-day follow-up period before crossing over to the next type of stimulation. During each rTMS session, patients received a 5-Hz rTMS to the M1 region corresponding to the painful lower limb. The visual analog scale (VAS) and the Japanese version of the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire 2 (SF-MPQ2-J) were used to measure pain intensity. The primary outcome was VAS score reduction immediately after and 1 hour after intervention.

RESULTS Both the VAS and SF-MPQ2-J showed significant pain improvement immediately after deep rTMS with an H-coil as compared with the sham group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.049, respectively). However, neither outcome measure showed significant pain improvement when using a figure-8 coil. The VAS also showed significant pain improvement 1 hour after deep rTMS with an H-coil (p = 0.004) but not 1 hour after rTMS using a figure-8 coil. None of the patients exhibited any serious adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS The current findings suggest that the use of deep rTMS with an H-coil in the lower limb region of the M1 in patients with NP was tolerable and could provide significant short-term pain relief.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000010536 (


The predictive value of T-tau and AB1-42 levels in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2293–2300

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) has no reliable biomarker to assist in the selection of patients who could benefit from ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunt insertion. The neurodegenerative markers Ttau and Aβ1-42 have been found to successfully differentiate between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and INPH and therefore are candidate biomarkers for prognosis and shunt response in INPH. The aim of this study was to test the predictive value of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) T-tau and Aβ1-42 for shunt responsiveness. In particular, we pay attention to the subset of INPH patients with raised T-tau, who are often expected to be poor surgical candidates.

Methods: Single-centre retrospective analysis of probable INPH patients with CSF samples collected from 2006 to 2016. Index test: CSF levels of T-tau and Aβ1-42. Reference standard: postoperative outcome. ROC analysis assessed the predictive value.

Results: A total of 144 CSF samples from INPH patients were analysed. Lumbar T-tau was a good predictor of postoperative mobility (AUROC 0.80). The majority of patients with a co-existing neurodegenerative disease responded well, including those with high T-tau levels.

Conclusion: INPH patients tended to exhibit low levels of CSF T-tau, and this can be a good predictor outcome. However levels are highly variable between individuals. Raised T-tau and being shunt-responsive are not mutually exclusive, and such patients ought not necessarily be excluded from having a VP shunt.A combined panel of markers may be a more specific method for aiding selection of patients for VP shunt insertion. This is the most comprehensive presentation of CSF samples from INPH patients to date, thus providing further reference values to the current literature.

Interactive iBook-Based Patient Education in a NeuroTrauma Clinic

Neurosurgery 81:787–794, 2017

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Educational interventions may alleviate the burden of TBI for patients and their families. Interactive modalities that involve engagement with the educational material may enhance patient knowledge acquisition when compared to static text-based educational material.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of educational interventions in the outpatient setting on self-reported patient knowledge, with a focus on iPad-based (Apple, Cupertino, California) interactive modules.

METHODS: Patients and family members presenting to a NeuroTrauma clinic at a tertiary care academic medical center completed a presurvey assessing baseline knowledge of TBI or concussion, depending on the diagnosis. Subjects then received either an interactive iBook (Apple) on TBI or concussion, or an informative pamphlet with identical information in text format. Subjects then completed a postsurvey prior to seeing the neurosurgeon.

RESULTS: All subjects (n = 152) significantly improved on self-reported knowledge measures following administration of either an iBook (Apple) or pamphlet (P < .01, 95% confidence interval [CI]). Subjects receiving the iBook (n = 122) performed significantly better on the postsurvey (P < .01, 95% CI), despite equivalent presurvey scores, when compared to those receiving pamphlets (n = 30). Lastly, patients preferred the iBook to pamphlets (P < .01, 95% CI).

CONCLUSION: Educational interventions in the outpatient NeuroTrauma setting led to significant improvement in self-reported measures of patient and family knowledge. This improved understanding may increase compliance with the neurosurgeon’s recommendations and may help reduce the potential anxiety and complications that arise following a TBI.

Long-term outcomes of microvascular decompression and Gamma Knife surgery for trigeminal neuralgia: a retrospective comparison study

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2127–2135

There is still no clear guideline for surgical treatment for patients with medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN). When it comes to which surgical treatment to choose, microvascular decompression (MVD) or Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), we should know the long-term outcome of each treatment.

Methods We analyzed 179 patients undergoing MVD and 52 patients undergoing GKS followed for 1 year or longer. We evaluated the patient’s neurological status including pain relief, complications and recurrence. Results were assessed with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity and facial numbness scores. Overall outcomes were compared between the two groups based on pain relief and complications.

Results BNI pain intensity and facial numbness scores at the final visit were significantly lower in the MVD group than in the GKS group (P < 0.001, P = 0.04, respectively). Overall outcomes were superior following MVD than following GKS (P < 0.001). Following whichever treatment, there were initially high rates of pain-free status “without medication”: 96.6% in the MVD group and 96.2% in the GKS group. However, 6.1% in the MVD group and 51.9% in the GKS group fell into a “with medication” state within median periods of 1.83 and 3.92 years, respectively (P < 0.001). Kaplan- Meier analysis revealed that pain recurred more often and later in the GKS group than in the MVD group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions Considering the long-term outcomes, MVD should be chosen as the initial surgical treatment for patients with medically refractory TN.

Morphological and Hemodynamic Differences Between Aneurysmal Middle Cerebral Artery Bifurcation and Contralateral Nonaneurysmal Anatomy

Neurosurgery 81:779–786, 2017

The morphological and hemodynamic features differ between middle cerebral artery (MCA) bifurcations with and without aneurysms.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the morphological and hemodynamic differences between aneurysmal MCA bifurcation and contralateral nonaneurysmal anatomy.

METHODS: Computed tomography angiography of 36 patients with unilateral small saccular MCA bifurcation aneurysms was evaluated. The parent–daughter angles (ϕ1 for larger branch and ϕ2 for smaller branch), bifurcation angle (ϕ = ϕ1 + ϕ2), inclination angle (γ angle), and their relationships with the MCA bifurcation locations were analyzed. Computational fluid dynamics simulation was performed in 6 cases to explore the hemodynamics influenced by the bifurcation morphology.

RESULTS: The ϕ angle was significantly higher in aneurysmal than contralateral nonaneurysmal bifurcations (160.8◦ ± 31.0◦ vs 99.0◦ ± 19.2◦, respectively; P = .000); the ϕ1, ϕ2, and γ angles were also higher. However, by regression analysis combined with MCA bifurcation locations, only the ϕ angle might be associated with the aneurysm presence (odds ratio = 1.120, 95% confidence interval = 1.059-1.185) and a ϕ angle cut-off of 124.8◦ was established. Computational fluid dynamics simulation demonstrated that flow resistance of the wider aneurysmal MCA bifurcation was significantly higher than that on the contralateral side.

CONCLUSION: A larger ϕ angle was more prevalent in aneurysmal than nonaneurysmal MCA bifurcations, and the higher flow resistance caused by the larger ϕ angle might be a potential hemodynamic factor associated with MCA aneurysm presence.

A Staged Protocol for Circumferential Minimally Invasive Surgical Correction of Adult Spinal Deformity

Neurosurgery 81:733–739, 2017

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques used for management of adult spinal deformity (ASD) aim to decrease the physiological demand on patients and minimize postoperative complications. A circumferential MIS (cMIS) protocol offers the potential to maximize this advantage over standard open approaches, through the concurrent use of multiple MIS techniques.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate through a case example the execution of a cMIS protocol for management of an ASD patient with severe deformity.

METHODS: Thorough preoperative assessment, surgical planning, and medical optimization were completed. Deformity correction was performed over 2 stages. During the first stage, interbody fusion was performed via an oblique lateral approach at all levels of the lumbar spine intended to be included in the final construct. The patient was kept as an inpatient and mobilized postoperatively. They were then re-imaged with standing films. The second stage occurred after 3 d and involved percutaneous instrumentation of all levels. Posterior fusion of the thoracic levels was achieved through decortication of pars and facets. These areas were accessed through the intermuscular plane established by the percutaneous screws. The patient was mobilizing on their first postoperative day.

RESULTS: In a 66-yr-old female with severe sagittal imbalance and debilitating back pain, effective use of this cMIS protocol allowed for correction of the Cobb angle from 52◦ to 4◦ correction of spinopelvic parameters and 13 cm of sagittal vertical axis improvement. No complications were identified by 2 yr postoperative.

CONCLUSION: As a systematization of multiple MIS techniques combined, in a specific and staged manner, this cMIS protocol could provide a safe and effective approach to the management of ASD.


A Reliable Grading System for Prediction of Chronic Subdural Hematoma Recurrence Requiring Reoperation After Initial Burr-Hole Surgery

Neurosurgery 81:752–760, 2017

There is no widely adopted grading system for the prediction of postoperative recurrence requiring reoperation (RrR) in patients with chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH).

OBJECTIVE: We developed a CSDH grading system to predict RrR based on predictive characteristics that can be objectively assessed at the time of first presentation and initial surgery.

METHODS: Prospectively collected data from 107 consecutive surgical patients with CSDH were reviewed. Predictors of RrR were identified via logistic and lasso regression analyses. A prognostic CSDH grading system was proposed, with the weighing of predictors based on strength of association. The scoring systemwas then applied to the same set of patients in our database for internal validation.

RESULTS: The strongest predictors of RrR were an isodense or hyperdense lesions and laminar or separated lesions, and a postoperative CSDH cavity volume greater than 200 mL. The moderate predictors of RrR were a postoperative CSDH cavity volume of 80 to 200 mL and a preoperative CSDH volume greater than 130 mL. According to the prognostic CSDH grading system, no patients with a score of 0 points had RrR. RrR was observed in 6% of patients with a score of 1 to 2 points, 30% of patients with a score of 3 to 4 points, and 63% of patients with a score of 5 points (ie, the maximum score). The rate of RrR increased steadily with increases in the prognostic CSDH grading score (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: The prognostic CSDH grading system is an applicable tool for RrR risk stratification in patients with CSDH.


Microsurgery for Spetzler-Ponce Class A and B arteriovenous malformations utilizing an outcome score adopted from Gamma Knife radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 127:1105–1116, 2017

The purpose of this study was to adapt and apply the extended definition of favorable outcome established for Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) to surgery for brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs). The aim was to derive both an error around the point estimate and a model incorporating angioarchitectural features in order to facilitate comparison among different treatments.

METHODS A prospective microsurgical cohort was analyzed. This cohort included patients undergoing embolization who did not proceed to microsurgery and patients denied surgery because of perceived risk of treatment. Data on bAVM residual and recurrence during long-term follow-up as well as complications of surgery and preoperative embolization were analyzed. Patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class C bAVMs were excluded because of extreme selection bias. First, patients with a favorable outcome were identified for both Class A and Class B lesions. Patients were considered to have a favorable outcome if they were free of bAVM recurrence or residual at last follow-up, with no complication of surgery or preoperative embolization, and a modified Rankin Scale score of more than 1 at 12 months after treatment. Patients who were denied surgery because of perceived risk, but would otherwise have been candidates for surgery, were included as not having a favorable outcome. Second, the authors analyzed favorable outcome from microsurgery by means of regression analysis, using as predictors characteristics previously identified to be associated with complications. Third, they created a prediction model of favorable outcome for microsurgery dependent upon angioarchitectural variables derived from the regression analysis.

RESULTS From a cohort of 675 patients who were either treated or denied surgery because of perceived risk of surgery, 562 had Spetzler-Ponce Class A or B bAVMs and were included in the analysis. Logistic regression for favorable outcome found decreasing maximum diameter (continuous, OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.51–0.76), the absence of eloquent location (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.12–0.43), and the absence of deep venous drainage (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.36) to be significant predictors of favorable outcome. These variables are in agreement with previous analyses of microsurgery leading to complications, and the findings support the use of favorable outcome for microsurgery. The model developed for angioarchitectural features predicts a range of favorable outcome at 8 years following microsurgery for Class A bAVMs to be 88%–99%. The same model for Class B bAVMs predicts a range of favorable outcome of 62%–90%.

CONCLUSIONS Favorable outcome, derived from GKRS, can be successfully used for microsurgical cohort series to assist in treatment recommendations. A favorable outcome can be achieved by microsurgery in at least 90% of cases at 8 years following microsurgery for patients with bAVMs smaller than 2.5 cm in maximum diameter and, in the absence of either deep venous drainage or eloquent location, patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class A bAVMs of all diameters. For patients with Class B bAVMs, this rate of favorable outcome can only be approached for lesions with a maximum diameter just above 6 cm or smaller and without deep venous drainage or eloquent location.


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


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