Neurosurgery Blog


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

Esophageal perforation after anterior cervical spine surgery


J Neurosurg Spine 25:285–291, 2016

Esophageal perforation is a rare but well-known complication of anterior cervical spine surgery. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature to evaluate symptomatology, direct causes, repair methods, and associated complications of esophageal injury.

Methods A PubMed search that adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines included relevant clinical studies and case reports (articles written in the English language that included humans as subjects) that reported patients who underwent anterior spinal surgery and sustained some form of esophageal perforation. Available data on clinical presentation, the surgical procedure performed, outcome measures, and other individual variables were abstracted from 1980 through 2015.

Results The PubMed search yielded 65 articles with 153 patients (mean age 44.7 years; range 14–85 years) who underwent anterior spinal surgery and sustained esophageal perforation, either during surgery or in a delayed fashion. The most common indications for initial anterior cervical spine surgery in these cases were vertebral fracture/dislocation (n = 77), spondylotic myelopathy (n = 15), and nucleus pulposus herniation (n = 10). The most commonly involved spinal levels were C5–6 (n = 51) and C6–7 (n = 39). The most common presenting symptoms included dysphagia (n = 63), fever (n = 24), neck swelling (n = 23), and wound leakage (n = 18). The etiology of esophageal perforation included hardware failure (n = 31), hardware erosion (n = 23), and intraoperative injury (n = 14). The imaging modalities used to identify the esophageal perforations included modified contrast dye swallow studies, CT, endoscopy, plain radiography, and MRI. Esophageal repair was most commonly achieved using a modified muscle flap, as well as with primary closure. Outcomes measured in the literature were often defined by the time to oral intake following esophageal repair. Complications included pneumonia (n = 6), mediastinitis (n = 4), osteomyelitis (n = 3), sepsis (n = 3), acute respiratory distress syndrome (n = 2), and recurrent laryngeal nerve damage (n = 1). The mortality rate of esophageal perforation in the analysis was 3.92% (6 of 153 reported patients).

Conclusions Esophageal perforation after anterior cervical spine surgery is a rare complication. This systematic review demonstrates that these perforations can be stratified into 3 categories based on the timing of symptomatic onset: intraoperative, early postoperative (within 30 days of anterior spinal surgery), and delayed. The most common source of esophageal injury is hardware erosion or migration, each of which may vary in their time to symptomatic manifestation.

Cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation for aneurysms


J Neurosurg 125:720–729, 2016

To address the challenges of microsurgically treating broad-based, frail, and otherwise complex aneurysms that are not amenable to direct clipping, alternative techniques have been developed. One such technique is to use cotton to augment clipping (“cotton-clipping” technique), which is also used to manage intraoperative aneurysm neck rupture, and another is to reinforce unclippable segments or remnants of aneurysm necks with cotton (“cottonaugmentation” technique). This study reviews the natural history of patients with aneurysms treated with cotton-clipping and cotton-augmentation techniques.

Methods The authors queried a database consisting of all patients with aneurysms treated at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2014, to identify cases in which cotton-clipping or cotton-augmentation strategies had been used. Management was categorized as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used within the blades of the aneurysm clip and as the cotton-clipping technique if cotton was used to reinforce aneurysms or portions of the aneurysm that were unclippable due to the presence of perforators, atherosclerosis, or residual aneurysms. Data were reviewed to assess patient outcomes and annual rates of aneurysm recurrence or hemorrhage after the initial procedures were performed.

Results The authors identified 60 aneurysms treated with these techniques in 57 patients (18 patients with ruptured aneurysms and 39 patients with unruptured aneurysms) whose mean age was 53.1 years (median 55 years; range 24–72 years). Twenty-three aneurysms (11 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage) were treated using cotton-clipping and 37 with cotton-augmentation techniques (7 cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage). In total, 18 patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at the time of discharge was 4.4. At a mean follow-up of 60.9 ± 35.6 months (median 70 months; range 10–126 months), the mean GOS score at last follow-up was 4.8. The total number of patient follow-up years was 289.4. During the follow-up period, none of the cotton-clipped aneurysms increased in size, changed in configuration, or rebled. None of the patients experienced early rebleeding. The annual hemorrhage rate for aneurysms treated with cotton-augmentation was 0.52% and the recurrence rate was 1.03% per year. For all patients in the study, the overall risk of hemorrhage was 0.35% per year and the annual recurrence rate was 0.69%.

Conclusions Cotton-clipping is an effective and durable treatment strategy for intraoperative aneurysm rupture and for management of broad-based aneurysms. Cotton-augmentation can be safely used to manage unclippable or partially clipped intracranial aneurysms and affords protection from early aneurysm re-rupture and a relatively low rate of late rehemorrhage.

Optic nerve pial circulation in tuberculum meningioma surgery


J Neurosurg 125:565–569, 2016

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas frequently produce visual loss by direct compression from tumor, constriction of the optic nerve (ON) under the falciform ligament, and/or ON ischemia. The authors hypothesized that changes in visual function after tumor removal may be related to changes in blood supply to the ON that might be seen in the pial circulation at surgery. Indocyanine green (ICG) angiography was used to attempt to document these changes at surgery.

The first patient in whom the technique was used had a left-sided, 1.4-cm, tuberculum meningioma. Time-lapse comparison of images was done postsurgery, and the comparison of video images revealed both faster initial filling and earlier complete filling of the ON pial circulation, suggesting improved pial blood flow after surgical decompression. In follow-up the patient had significant improvements in both visual acuity and visual fields function. Intraoperative ICG angiography of the ON can demonstrate measurable changes in pial vascular flow that may be predictive of postoperative visual outcome.

The predictive value of this technique during neurosurgical procedures around the optic apparatus warrants further investigation in a larger cohort.

The Simpson grading revisited


J Neurosurg 125:551–560, 2016

Recent advances in radiotherapy and neuroimaging have called into question the traditional role of aggressive resections in patients with meningiomas. In the present study the authors reviewed their institutional experience with a policy based on maximal safe resections for meningiomas, and they analyzed the impact of the degree of resection on functional outcome and progression-free survival (PFS).

Methods The authors retrospectively analyzed 901 consecutive patients with primary meningiomas (716 WHO Grade I, 174 Grade II, and 11 Grade III) who underwent resections at the University Hospital of Bonn between 1996 and 2008. Clinical and treatment parameters as well as tumor characteristics were analyzed using standard statistical methods.

Results The median follow-up was 62 months. PFS rates at 5 and 10 years were 92.6% and 86.0%, respectively. Younger age, higher preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, and convexity tumor location, but not the degree of resection, were identified as independent predictors of a good functional outcome (defined as KPS Score 90– 100). Independent predictors of PFS were degree of resection (Simpson Grade I vs II vs III vs IV), MIB-1 index (< 5% vs 5%–10% vs >10%), histological grade (WHO I vs II vs III), tumor size (≤ 6 vs > 6 cm), tumor multiplicity, and location. A Simpson Grade II rather than Grade I resection more than doubled the risk of recurrence at 10 years in the overall series (18.8% vs 8.5%). The impact of aggressive resections was much stronger in higher grade meningiomas.

Conclusions A policy of maximal safe resections for meningiomas prolongs PFS and is not associated with increased morbidity.

App-assisted external ventricular drain insertion


J Neurosurg 125:754–758, 2016

The freehand technique for insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is based on fixed anatomical landmarks and does not take individual variations into consideration. A patient-tailored approach based on augmented-reality techniques using devices such as smartphones can address this shortcoming. The Sina neurosurgical assist (Sina) is an Android mobile device application (app) that was designed and developed to be used as a simple intraoperative neurosurgical planning aid. It overlaps the patient’s images from previously performed CT or MRI studies on the image seen through the device camera.

The device is held by an assistant who aligns the images and provides information about the relative position of the target and EVD to the surgeon who is performing EVD insertion. This app can be used to provide guidance and continuous monitoring during EVD placement.

The author describes the technique of Sina-assisted EVD insertion into the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle and reports on its clinical application in 5 cases as well as the results of ex vivo studies of ease of use and precision. The technique has potential for further development and use with other augmented-reality devices.

Complication Rates Associated With Adult Cervical Deformity Surgery


Neurosurgery 79:378–388, 2016

Few reports have focused on treatment of adult cervical deformity (ACD).

OBJECTIVE: To present early complication rates associated with ACD surgery.

METHODS: A prospective multicenter database of consecutive operative ACD patients was reviewed for early (#30 days from surgery) complications. Enrollment required at least 1 of the following: cervical kyphosis .10 degrees, cervical scoliosis .10 degrees, C2-7 sagittal vertical axis .4 cm, or chin-brow vertical angle .25 degrees.

RESULTS: Seventy-eight patients underwent surgical treatment for ACD (mean age, 60.8 years). Surgical approaches included anterior-only (14%), posterior-only (49%), anterior-posterior (35%), and posterior-anterior-posterior (3%). Mean numbers of fused anterior and posterior vertebral levels were 4.7 and 9.4, respectively. A total of 52 early complications were reported, including 26 minor and 26 major. Twenty-two (28.2%) patients had at least 1 minor complication, and 19 (24.4%) had at least 1 major complication. Overall, 34 (43.6%) patients had at least 1 complication. The most common complications included dysphagia (11.5%), deep wound infection (6.4%), new C5 motor deficit (6.4%), and respiratory failure (5.1%). One (1.3%) mortality occurred. Early complication rates differed significantly by surgical approach: anterior-only (27.3%), posterior-only (68.4%), and anterior-posterior/posterior-anterior- posterior (79.3%) (P = .007).

CONCLUSION: This report provides benchmark rates for overall and specific ACD surgery complications. Although the surgical approach(es) used were likely driven by the type and complexity of deformity, there were significantly higher complication rates associated with combined and posterior-only approaches compared with anterior-only approaches. These findings may prove useful in treatment planning, patient counseling, and ongoing efforts to improve safety of care.

A new comorbidities index for risk stratification for treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms

Aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 125:713–719, 2016

Comorbidities have an impact on risk stratification for outcomes in analyses of large patient databases. Although the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI) are the most commonly used comorbidity indexes, these have not been validated for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms; therefore, the authors created a comorbidity index specific to these patients.

Methods The authors extracted all records involving unruptured cerebral aneurysms treated with clipping, coiling, or both from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2002–2010). They assessed the effect of 37 variables on poor outcome and used the results to create a risk score for these patients. The authors used a validation data set and bootstrapping to evaluate the new index and compared it to CCI and ECI in prediction of poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and hospital charges.

Results The index assigns integer values (-2 to 7) to 20 comorbidities: neurological disorder, renal insufficiency, gastrointestinal bleeding, paralysis, acute myocardial infarction, electrolyte disorder, weight loss, metastatic cancer, drug abuse, arrhythmia, coagulopathy, cerebrovascular accident, psychosis, alcoholism, perivascular disease, valvular disease, tobacco use, hypothyroidism, depression, and hypercholesterolemia. Values are summed to determine a patient’s risk score. The new index was better at predicting poor outcome than CCI or ECI (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.814 [95% CI 0.798–0.830], vs 0.694 and 0.712, respectively, for the other indices), and it was also better at predicting mortality (AUC 0.775 [95% CI 0.754–0.792], vs 0.635 and 0.657, respectively, for CCI and ECI).

Conclusions This new comorbidity index outperforms the CCI and ECI in predicting poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and total charges for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysm. Reevaluation of other patient cohorts is warranted to determine the impact of more accurate patient stratification.

Optic nerve mobilization to enhance the exposure of the pituitary stalk during craniopharyngioma resection


J Neurosurg 125:683–688, 2016

Preservation of the pituitary stalk and its vasculature is a key step in good postoperative endocrinological outcome in patients with craniopharyngiomas. In this article, the authors describe the surgical technique of medial optic nerve mobilization for better inspection and preservation of the pituitary stalk.

Methods This operative technique has been applied in 3 patients. Following tumor exposure via a frontolateral approach, the pituitary stalk could be seen partially hidden under the optic nerve and the optic chiasm. The subchiasmatic and opticocarotid spaces were narrow, and tumor dissection from the pituitary stalk under direct vision was not possible. The optic canal was therefore unroofed, the falciform ligament was incised, and the lateral part of the tuberculum sellae was drilled medial to the optic nerve. The optic nerve could be mobilized medially to widen the opticocarotid triangle, which enhanced visualization of and access to the pituitary stalk.

Results By using the optic nerve mobilization technique, the tumor could be removed completely, and the pituitary stalk and its vasculature were preserved in all patients. In 2 patients, vision improved after surgery, while in 1 patient it remained normal, as it was before surgery. The hormonal status remained normal after surgery in 2 patients. In the patient with preoperative hormonal deficiencies, improvement occurred early after surgery and hormonal levels were normal after 3 months. No approach-related complications occurred.

Conclusions This early experience shows that this technique is safe and could be used as a complementary step during microsurgery of craniopharyngiomas. It allows for tumor dissection from the pituitary stalk under direct vision. The pituitary stalk can thus be preserved without jeopardizing the optic nerve.

Vision after trans-sylvian or temporobasal selective amygdalohippocampectomy: a prospective randomised trial


Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1757–1765

Selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) is an accepted surgical procedure for treatment of pharmacoresistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, but it may lead to postoperative visual field deficits (VFDs). Here we present a prospective randomised trial comparing the postoperative VFDs after either a trans-sylvian or temporobasal approach for SAH.

Method Forty-eight patients were randomly assigned to transsylvian (n= 24) or temporobasal (n =24) SAH. Postoperative VFD were quantitatively evaluated using automated static and kinetic perimetry. In 24 cases, diffusion tensor imaging-based deterministic fibre-tracking of the optic radiation was performed. The primary endpoint was absence of postoperative VFD. The secondary endpoint was seizure outcome and driving ability.

Results Three patients (13 %) from the trans-sylvian group showed no VFD, compared to 11 patients (46 %) from the temporobasal group without VFD (p = 0.01, RR = 3.7; CI= 1.2–11.5). Fifteen patients from each group (63 %) became completely seizure-free (ILAE1). Among those seizure-free cases, five trans-sylvian (33 %) and ten temporobasal (66 %) patients could apply for a driving licence (NNT= 3) when VFDs were considered. Although the trans-sylvian group experienced more frequent VFDs, the mean functional visual impairment showed a tendency to be less pronounced compared with the temporobasal group. DTI-based tracking of the optic radiation revealed that a lower distance of optic radiation to the temporal base correlated with increased rate of VFD in the temporobasal group.

Conclusions Temporobasal SAH shows significantly fewer VFDs and equal seizure-free rate compared with the trans-sylvian SAH. However, in patients in whom the optic radiation is close to the temporal base, the trans-sylvian approach may be a preferred alternative.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for treatment of adult hydrocephalus: long-term follow-up of 163 patients


Neurosurg Focus 41 (3):E3, 2016

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV in Calgary, Canada, over a span of 20 years (1994–2014). Patients were dichotomized into a primary or secondary ETV cohort based on whether ETV was the initial treatment modality for the hydrocephalus or if other CSF diversion procedures had been previously attempted respectively. Primary outcomes were subjective patient-reported clinical improvement within 12 weeks of surgery and the need for any CSF diversion procedures after the initial ETV during the span of the study. Categorical and actuarial data analysis was done to compare the outcomes of the primary versus secondary ETV cohorts.

Results A total of 163 adult patients with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV were identified and followed over an average of 98.6 months (range 0.1–230.4 months). All patients presented with signs of intracranial hypertension or other neurological symptoms. The primary ETV group consisted of 112 patients, and the secondary ETV consisted of 51 patients who presented with failed ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts. After the initial ETV procedure, clinical improvement was reported more frequently by patients in the primary cohort (87%) relative to those in the secondary ETV cohort (65%, p = 0.001). Additionally, patients in the primary ETV group required fewer reoperations (p < 0.001), with cumulative ETV survival time favoring this primary ETV cohort over the course of the follow-up period (p < 0.001). Fifteen patients required repeat ETV, with all but one experiencing successful relief of symptoms. Patients in the secondary ETV cohort also had a higher incidence of complications, with one occurring in 8 patients (16%) compared with 2 in the primary ETV group (2%; p = 0.010), although most complications were minor.

Conclusions ETV is an effective long-term treatment for selected adult patients with hydrocephalus. The overall ETV success rate when it was the primary treatment modality for adult hydrocephalus was approximately 87%, and 99% of patients experience symptomatic improvement after 2 ETVs. Patients in whom VP shunt surgery fails prior to an ETV have a 22% relative risk of ETV failure and an almost eightfold complication rate, although mostly minor, when compared with patients who undergo a primary ETV. Most ETV failures occur within the first 7 months of surgery in patients treated with primary ETV, but the time to failure is more prolonged in patients who present with failed previous shunts.

Surgical Management of the Elderly With Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury


Neurosurgery 79:418–425, 2016

Aging of the population has modified the epidemiology of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) as evidenced by the establishment of a bimodal distribution of injuries with increased frequency of fall-related injuries among the elderly.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the economic impact of older age (65 years of age and older), using a cost-utility analysis, in the context of acute surgical management and rehabilitation of traumatic cervical SCI, given the paucity of economic studies involving elderly individuals with SCI.

METHODS: The cost-utility analysis was performed from the perspective of a public health care insurer. A time horizon of 6 months from SCI onset was used. Costs were estimated in 2014 US dollars. Utilities were generated from the Surgical Timing in Acute Spinal Cord Injury study.

RESULTS: The baseline analysis indicated that surgical and rehabilitative management of acute cervical SCI in the elderly (n = 17) is costlier, but similarly effective, than that in younger adults (n = 47). When considering acute spinal surgical management and rehabilitation of younger adults with SCI as the baseline, the incremental costeffectiveness ratio analysis revealed an additional cost of $5 655 557 per quality-adjusted life-year gained when managing elderly patients with traumatic cervical SCI. The probabilistic analysis confirmed that spinal surgery in the elderly is costlier, but similarly effective, in younger adults after SCI, even though there is no definitive dominance.

CONCLUSION: This economic analysis indicates that surgical management and rehabilitation of acute traumatic cervical SCI in the elderly are costlier but similarly effective compared with younger adults with similar impairment.

Minimally invasive subpial tonsillectomy for Chiari I decompression


Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1807–1811

A number of different surgical techniques have been used through the years to address Chiari I malformation (CMI).

Methods This article describes how we surgically manage CMI at two high-volume centers. We call the technique the minimally invasive subpial tonsillectomy (MIST). The technique consists of a minimalistic dissection and craniectomy with a short, linear durotomy for the subpial tonsillar resection. The dura is closed without the use of a duraplasty.

Conclusions We describe our current methods of surgery for CMI.

Benefit of Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion vs Posterolateral Spinal Fusion in Lumbar Spine Disorders


Neurosurgery 79:397–405, 2016

Despite increasing use and potential benefits of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) compared with posterolateral spinal fusion (PSF), previous studies have not documented improved clinical outcomes with TLIF vs PSF.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of TLIF with PSF in patients with spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, and adjacent level disease.

METHODS: The National Neurosurgical Quality and Outcomes Database was queried for patients who had a lumbar fusion. Eighty-five percent (1722) of enrolled cases had 12-month follow-up data. There were 306 PSF patients and 1230 TLIF patients. PSF cases within each diagnostic subgroup were propensity-matched to patients who had TLIF. Sufficient propensity-matched controls were available for patients with spondylolisthesis (109), spinal stenosis (63), and adjacent segment disease (47).

RESULTS: Operating room time, estimated blood loss, and length of stay were similar between PSF and TLIF in all 3 propensity-matched groups. In the spondylolisthesis group, there was a greater improvement in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) with TLIF vs PSF at 3 months (19.4 vs 26.0, P = .009), 12 months (20.8 vs 29.3, P = .001), and in percentage reaching minimal clinically important difference at 12 months (80% vs 62%, P = .007). There were no differences in ODI improvement between PSF and TLIF in the stenosis or adjacent segment disease groups.

CONCLUSION: TLIF generated more favorable ODI outcomes than PSF for patients with spondylolisthesis, but not for patients with spinal stenosis or adjacent segment disease. There was also equivalence in operating room time and estimated blood loss between TLIF and PSF, potentially altering the long-standing assumption that PSF is a simpler procedure.

Stereotactic biopsy of brainstem lesions: 21 years experiences of a single center

Stereotactic biopsy of brainstem lesions- 21 years experiences of a single center

J Neurooncol (2016) 129:243–250

Stereotactic biopsies are procedures performed to obtain tumor tissue for diagnostic examinations. Cerebral lesions of unknown entities can safely be accessed and tissue can be examined, resulting in correct diagnosis and according treatment. Stereotactic procedures of lesions in highly eloquent regions such as the brainstem have been performed for more than two decades in our department.

In this retrospective study we focus on results, approaches, modalities of anesthesia, and complications. We performed a retrospective analysis of our prospective database, including 26 patients who underwent stereotactic biopsy of the brainstem between April 1994 and June 2015.

All of the patients underwent preoperative MRI. Riechert– Mundinger-frame was used before 2000, thereafter the Leksell stereotactic frame was used. After 2000 entry and target points were calculated by using BrainLab stereotactic system. We evaluated histopathological results as well as further treatment; additionally we compared complications of local versus general anesthesia and complications of a frontal versus a trans-cerebellar approach. Median age of all patients was 33 years, and median number of tissue samples taken was 12. In all patients a final histopathological diagnosis could be established. 5 patients underwent the procedure under local anesthesia, 21 patients in general anesthesia. In 19 patients a frontal approach was performed, while in 7 patients a trans-cerebellar approach was used. Complications occurred in five patients. Thereby no significant difference was found with regard to approach (frontal versus trans-cerebellar) or anesthesia (local versus general).

Stereotactic biopsies even of lesions in the brainstem are a save way to obtain tumor tissue for final diagnosis, resulting in adequate treatment. Approach can be trans-cerebellar or frontal and procedure can be performed either under local or general anesthesia without significant differences concerning complication rate.

STN DBS for Parkinson’s disease: results from a series of ten consecutive patients implanted under general anaesthesia with intraoperative use of 3D fluoroscopy to control lead placement

Artis Zeego

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1783–1788

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a recognised treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). We present our results of 10 consecutive patients implanted under general anaesthesia (GA) using intraoperative robotic three-dimensional (3D) fluoroscopy (Artis Zeego; Siemens, Erlangen, Germany).

Method Ten patients (nine men, one woman) with a mean age of 57.6 (range, 41–67) years underwent surgery between October 2013 and January 2015. The mean duration of PD was 9.2 [1–10] year. The procedure was performed under GA: placement of the stereotactic frame, implantation of the electrodes (Lead 3389; Medtronic, Minnesota,MN, USA) and 3D intraoperative fluoroscopic control (Artis Zeego) with image fusion with the preoperative MRI scans. All patients were evaluated preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively.

Results The mean operative time was 240.1 (185–325) min. Themean Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) II OFF medication decreased from 23.9 preoperatively to 15.7 postoperatively. The mean OFF medication UPDRS III decreased from 41 to 11.6 and the UPDRS IV decreased from 10.6 to 7. The mean preoperative and postoperative L-Dopa doses were 1,178.5 and 696.5 mg, respectively. Two complications were recorded: one episode of transient confusion (24 h) and one internal pulse generator (IPG) infection.

Conclusions With improvement in preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the ability to control the position of the leads intraoperatively using Artis Zeego, we now perform this procedure under GA. Our results are comparable to others reported. The significant decrease in the duration of surgery could be associated with a reduced rate of complications (infection, loss of patient collaboration). However, this observation needs to be confirmed.

Hydrocephalus: cerebral aquaporin-4 and computational modeling

Aquaporin-4 channels

Neurosurg Focus 41 (3):E8, 2016

Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels play an important role in brain water homeostasis. Water transport across plasma membranes has a critical role in brain water exchange of the normal and the diseased brain. AQP4 channels are implicated in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus, a disease of water imbalance that leads to CSF accumulation in the ventricular system. Many molecular aspects of fluid exchange during hydrocephalus have yet to be firmly elucidated, but review of the literature suggests that modulation of AQP4 channel activity is a potentially attractive future pharmaceutical therapy. Drug therapy targeting AQP channels may enable control over water exchange to remove excess CSF through a molecular intervention instead of by mechanical shunting.

This article is a review of a vast body of literature on the current understanding of AQP4 channels in relation to hydrocephalus, details regarding molecular aspects of AQP4 channels, possible drug development strategies, and limitations. Advances in medical imaging and computational modeling of CSF dynamics in the setting of hydrocephalus are summarized.

Algorithmic developments in computational modeling continue to deepen the understanding of the hydrocephalus disease process and display promising potential benefit as a tool for physicians to evaluate patients with hydrocephalus.

Human Connectome-Based Tractographic Atlas of the Brainstem Connections and Surgical Approaches

Human Connectome-Based Tractographic Atlas of the Brainstem Connections and Surgical Approaches

Neurosurgery 79:437–455, 2016

The brainstem is one of the most challenging areas for the neurosurgeon because of the limited space between gray matter nuclei and white matter pathways. Diffusion tensor imaging–based tractography has been used to study the brainstem structure, but the angular and spatial resolution could be improved further with advanced diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

OBJECTIVE: To construct a high–angular/spatial resolution, wide-population–based, comprehensive tractography atlas that presents an anatomical review of the surgical approaches to the brainstem.

METHODS: We applied advanced diffusion MRI fiber tractography to a population-based atlas constructed with data from a total of 488 subjects from the Human Connectome Project-488. Five formalin-fixed brains were studied for surgical landmarks. Luxol Fast Blue–stained histological sections were used to validate the results of tractography.

RESULTS: We acquired the tractography of the major brainstem pathways and validated them with histological analysis. The pathways included the cerebellar peduncles, corticospinal tract, corticopontine tracts, medial lemniscus, lateral lemniscus, spinothalamic tract, rubrospinal tract, central tegmental tract, medial longitudinal fasciculus, and dorsal longitudinal fasciculus. Then, the reconstructed 3-dimensional brainstem structure was sectioned at the level of classic surgical approaches, namely supracollicular, infracollicular, lateral mesencephalic, perioculomotor, peritrigeminal, anterolateral (to the medulla), and retro-olivary approaches.

CONCLUSION: The advanced diffusion MRI fiber tracking is a powerful tool to explore the brainstem neuroanatomy and to achieve a better understanding of surgical approaches.

Neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting in adults


J Neurosurg 125:576–584, 2016

Since its revival in the early 1990s, neuroendoscopy has become an integral component of modern neurosurgery. Endoscopic stent placement for treatment of CSF pathway obstruction is a rarely used and underestimated procedure. The authors present the first series of neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting for CSF pathway obstruction in adults with associated results and complications spanning a long-term follow-up of 20 years.

Methods The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively maintained clinical database for endoscopic stent placement performed in adults between 1993 and 2013.

Results Of 526 endoscopic intraventricular procedures, stents were placed for treatment of CSF disorders in 25 cases (4.8%). The technique was used in the management of arachnoid cysts (ACs; n = 8), tumor-related CSF disorders (n = 13), and hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the foramen of Monro (n = 2) or aqueduct (n = 2). The mean follow-up was 87.1 months. No deaths or infections occurred that were related to endoscopic placement of intracranial stents. Late stent dislocation or migration was observed in 3 patients (12%).

Conclusions Endoscopic intracranial stent placement in adults is rarely required but is a safe and helpful technique in select cases. It is indicated when reliable and long-lasting restoration of CSF pathway obstructions cannot be achieved with standard endoscopic techniques. In the treatment of tumor-related hydrocephalus, it is a good option to avoid reclosure of the restored CSF pathway by tumor growth. Currently, routine stent placement after endoscopic fenestration of ACs is not recommended. Stent placement for treatment of CSF disorders due to tumor is a good option for avoiding CSF shunting. To avoid stent migration and dislocation, and to allow for easy removal if needed, the device should be fixed to a bur hole reservoir.

A study of prognostic factors in 45 cases of atypical meningioma

Radiation Therapy for Residual or Recurrent Atypical Meningioma

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1661–1667

Atypical meningioma differs from Grade I meningioma in terms of high recurrence rate and short life expectancy. We evaluated the clinical course of atypical meningioma and investigated prognostic factors affecting its outcomes.

Method: We reviewed 45 patients with atypical meningioma who underwent surgical intervention between January 2000 and December 2013. The mean age of the patients and mean follow-up period was 58.7 years and 81.0 months, respectively. Analyses included factors such as patient age, gender, location and size of tumor, extent of surgical resection (Simpson Grading System), and MIB-1 labeling index (LI). Univariate analysis was used to detect prognostic factors associated with recurrence and survival.

Results: The 5-year recurrence-free rate for all 45 patients was 58.4 %; 5 and 10-year survival rates were 83.2 % and 79.9 %, respectively. In univariate analyses, age >60 years, and MIB-1 LI correlated with disease recurrence, whereas age >60 years, subtotal surgical resection, MIB-1 LI, and indication for radiotherapy correlated with death. MIB-1 LI levels higher than 12.8 % and 19.7 % predicted recurrence and death, respectively. In our cohort, 26 patients received postoperative radiotherapy including conventional radiation (n = 21) or gamma knife radiosurgery (n = 5). Postoperative radiotherapy did not decrease recurrence rates in our cohort (p = 0.63). Six and two patients who died during the study period underwent conventional radiation and radiosurgery, respectively.

Conclusions: Age, male gender, extent of surgical resection, and higher MIB-1 LI influenced the outcome of atypical meningioma. In our cohort, postoperative radiotherapy failed to provide long-term tumor control. Following incomplete surgical resection of atypical meningioma in elderly patients, adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy may not be an ideal treatment option, particularly when MIB-1 LI is higher than 19.7 %.

Hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of unruptured posterior communicating artery aneurysms with oculomotor nerve palsy

Hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of unruptured posterior communicating artery aneurysms with oculomotor nerve palsy

J Neurosurg 125:264–268, 2016

Unruptured posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms with oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) have a very high risk of rupture. This study investigated the hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of intracranial aneurysms with high rupture risk by analyzing PCoA aneurysms with ONP.

Methods: Fourteen unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP, 33 ruptured PCoA aneurysms, and 21 asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms were included in this study. The clinical, morphological, and hemodynamic characteristics were compared among the different groups.

Results: The clinical characteristics did not differ among the 3 groups (p > 0.05), whereas the morphological and hemodynamic analyses showed that size, aspect ratio, size ratio, undulation index, nonsphericity index, ellipticity index, normalized wall shear stress (WSS), and percentage of low WSS area differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the 3 groups. Furthermore, multiple comparisons revealed that these parameters differed significantly between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group and between the ruptured group and the asymptomatic unruptured group, except for size, which differed significantly only between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group (p = 0.0005). No morphological or hemodynamic parameters differed between the ONP group and the ruptured group.

Conclusions: Unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP demonstrated a distinctive morphological-hemodynamic pattern that was significantly different compared with asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms and was similar to ruptured PCoA aneurysms. The larger size, more irregular shape, and lower WSS might be related to the high rupture risk of PCoA aneurysms.

September 2016
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Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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