Neurosurgery Blog


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

Combined thalamic and subthalamic deep brain stimulation for tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:265–269

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the thalamic ventral intermediate (Vim) or the subthalamic nucleus (STN) reportedly improves medication-refractory Parkinson’s disease (PD) tremor. However, little is known about the potential synergic effects of combined Vim and STN DBS.

We describe a 79-year-old man with medication-refractory tremor-dominant PD. Bilateral Vim DBS electrode implantation produced insufficient improvement. Therefore, the patient underwent additional unilateral left-sided STN DBS. Whereas Vim or STN stimulation alone led to partial improvement, persisting tremor resolution occurred after simultaneous stimulation.

The combination of both targets may have a synergic effect and is an alternative option in suitable cases.

Different Risk Factors of Proximal Junctional Kyphosis and Proximal Junctional Failure Following Long Instrumented Fusion to the Sacrum for Adult Spinal Deformity

Neurosurgery 80:279–286, 2017

The failure modes, time to development, and clinical relevance are known to differ between proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and proximal junctional failure (PJF). However, there are no reports that study the risk factors of PJK and PJF separately.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for PJK and PJF separately.

METHODS: A retrospective study of 160 consecutive patients who underwent a long instrumented fusion to the sacrum for adult spinal deformity with a minimum follow-up of years was conducted. A separate survivorship analysis of PJK and PJF was performed using the Cox proportional hazards model for the 3 categorical parameters of surgical, radiographic, and patient factors.

RESULTS: PJK developed in 27 patients (16.9%) and PJF in 29 patients (18.1%). The median survival time was 17.0 months for PJK and 3.0 months for PJF. Multivariate analyses revealed that a high body mass index was an independent risk factor for PJK (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.179), whereas the significant risk factors for PJF were older age, the presence of osteoporosis, the uppermost instrumented vertebra level at T11-L1, and a greater preoperative sagittal vertical axis (HR = 1.082, 6.465, 5.236, and 1.017, respectively). A large correction of sagittal deformity was shown to be a risk factor for PJF on univariate analyses, but not on multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSION: PJK developed at a median of 17 months and PJF at a median of 3 months. A high body mass index was an independent risk factor for PJK, whereas older age, osteoporosis, uppermost instrumented vertebra level at the thoracolumbar junction, and greater preoperative sagittal vertical axis were risk factors for PJF.


Responses to aruba: a systematic review

J Neurosurg 126:486–494, 2017

The ARUBA study (A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations [AVMs]) on unruptured brain AVMs has been the object of comments and editorials. In the present study the authors aim to systematically review critiques, discuss design issues, and propose a framework for future trials.

Methods: The authors performed a systematic review of the French and English literature on the ARUBA study published between January 2006 and February 2015. The electronic search, including the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (PubMed and Ovid), CINAHL, and EMBASE databases, was complemented by hand searching and cross-referencing. The comments were categorized as items related to the design, the conduct, and the analysis and interpretation of the trial.

Results: Thirty-one articles or letters were identified. The pragmatic design, with heterogeneity of patients and lack of standardization of the treatment arm, were frequently stated concerns. The choice of outcome measures was repeatedly criticized. During the trial, low enrollment rates, selection bias, and premature interruption of enrollment were frequent comments. The short follow-up period, the lack of subgroup analyses, the lack of details on the results of the various treatments, and a contentious interpretation of results were noted at the analysis stage. A fundamental problem was the primary hypothesis testing conservative management. The authors believe that other trials are needed. Future trials could be pragmatic, test interventions stratified at the time of randomization, and look for long-term, hard clinical out- comes in a large number of patients.

Conclusions: In the authors’ view, the ARUBA trial is a turning point in the history of brain AVM management; future trials should aim at integrating trial methodology and clinical care in the presence of uncertainty.

Lateral Orbitotomy Approach for Lesions Involving the Middle Fossa

Neurosurgery 80:309–322, 2017

Classically used for treatment of orbital lesions,the lateral orbitotomy with cantholysis can be combined with a temporal craniectomy for lesions involving the middle cranial fossa.

OBJECTIVE: To present a single-center experience with the lateral orbitotomy approach for lesions involving the middle fossa.

METHODS: Twenty-five patients underwent lateral orbitotomies from April 2012 to July 2015. Excluding patients with solely intraorbital pathologies, 13 patients’clinical and radio- graphic records were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS: Signs/symptoms in the 13 patients (ages 28-81) included proptosis (69%), decreased visual acuity (31%), diplopia (54%), and afferent pupillary defect (69%). Pathologies were meningioma (8), esthesioneuroblastoma, lymphoma, chordoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Surgical goals were maximal safe resection in 8 patients, palliative debulking in 3 patients, and cavernous sinus biopsy in 2 patients. In 8 patients for whom maximal resection was the goal, 2 had gross total resection, while 6 had near-total resection. All patients (3) for whom palliation was the goal had symptomatic improvement. Both cavernous sinus biopsies obtained diagnostic tissue without complications. All patients with proptosis (n = 9) and diplopia (n = 7), and 2 of 4 patients with decreased visual acuity had improvement in their symptoms. No patient reported worsening of their symptoms. Mean follow-up was 12 mo (2-30 mo). Complica- tions included oculorrhea (1), pseudomeningocele (2), transient ptosis (2), and forehead numbness (1).

CONCLUSION: The lateral orbitotomy is a promising approach for carefully selected lesions with involvement of both the lateral orbit and middle cranial fossa. It provides minimally invasive access for biopsy, decompression, or resection.

Mesial Extratemporal Lobe Epilepsy: Clinical Features and Surgical Strategies

Neurosurgery 80:269–278, 2017

Extratemporal lobe epilepsy surgery remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Scalp electroencephalography (EEG) correlates, clinical semiology, and imaging findings are often ambiguous or difficult to interpret, necessitating the need for invasive recordings. This is particularly true for those extratemporal lobe epilepsy cases in which seizures develop from the midline.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the clinical features and surgical strategies in mesial extratemporal lobe epilepsy.

METHODS: A retrospective study reviewing clinical and surgical characteristics was conducted in 30 patients who underwent epilepsy surgery in mesial extratemporal areas at our institution between 1991 and 2011.

RESULTS: Although the location of the epileptogenic zone was associated with specific seizure types, semiology proved to be heterogeneous. Although scalp EEG was of good lateralizing value, it was poor for localizing the epileptogenic zone, necessitating a frequent need for invasive electroencephalographic recordings.

CONCLUSION: Surgical resections in mesial extratemporal regions were found to be safe and resulted in satisfactory seizure outcomes.

Impact of obesity on complications and outcomes: a comparison of fusion and nonfusion lumbar spine surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 26:158–162, 2017

Prior studies have shown obesity to be associated with higher complication rates but equivalent clinical outcomes following lumbar spine surgery. These findings have been reproducible across lumbar spine surgery in general and for lumbar fusion specifically. Nevertheless, surgeons seem inclined to limit the extent of surgery, perhaps opting for decompression alone rather than decompression plus fusion, in obese patients. The purpose of this study was to ascertain any difference in clinical improvement or complication rates between obese and nonobese patients following decompression alone compared with decompression plus fusion for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).

Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), formerly known as the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N 2 QOD), was queried for patients who had undergone decompression plus fusion (D+F group) versus decompression alone (D+0 group) for LSS and were stratified by a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m 2 (obese) or < 30 kg/m 2 (nonobese). Demographic, surgical, and health-related quality of life data were compared.

Results: In the nonobese cohort, 947 patients underwent decompression alone and 319 underwent decompression plus fusion. In the obese cohort, 844 patients had decompression alone and 337 had decompression plus fusion. There were no significant differences in the Oswestry Disability Index score or in leg pain improvement at 12 months when comparing decompression with fusion to decompression without fusion in either obese or nonobese cohorts. However, absolute improvement in back pain was less in the obese group when decompression alone had been performed. Blood loss and operative time were lowest in the nonobese D+0 cohort and were higher in obese patients with or without fusion. Obese patients had a longer hospital stay (4.1 days) than the nonobese patients (3.3 days) when fusion had been performed. In-hospital stay was similar in both obese and nonobese D+0 cohorts. No significant differences were seen in 30-day readmission rates among the 4 cohorts.

Conclusions: Consistent with the prior literature, equivalent clinical outcomes were found among obese and non-obese patients treated for LSS. In addition, no difference in clinical outcomes as related to the extent of the surgical procedure was observed between obese and nonobese patients. Within the D+0 group, the nonobese patients had slightly better back pain scores at 2 years postoperatively. There may be a higher blood product requirement in obese patients following spine surgery, as well as an extended hospital stay, when fusion is performed. While obesity may influence the decision for or against surgery, the data suggest that obesity should not necessarily alter the appropriate procedure for well-selected surgical candidates.

Venous air embolism in the sitting position in cranial neurosurgery

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:339–346

There is an ongoing debate about the sitting position (SP) in neurosurgical patients. The SP provides a number of advantages as well as severe complications such as commonly concerning venous air embolism (VAE). The best monitoring system for the detection of VAE is still controversial.

Methods: In this retrospective analysis we compared 208 patients. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) or transthoracic Doppler (TTD) were used as monitoring devices to detect VAE; 101 cases were monitored with TEE and 107 with TTD.

Results: The overall incidence of VAE was 23% (TTD: 10%; TEE: 37%), but the incidence of clinically relevant VAE (drop in end-tidal carbon dioxide above 3 mmHg) was higher in the TTD group (9 out of 17 VAE, 53%) compared to the TEE group (19 out of 62 VAE, 31%). None of the patients with recorded VAE had clinically significant sequelae.

Conclusions: In this small sample we found more VAE events in the TEE group, but the incidence of clinically relevant VAE was rare and comparable to other data. There is no consensus in the definition of clinically relevant VAE.


The Impact of Intracranial Tumor Proximity to White Matter Tracts on Morbidity and Mortality

Neurosurgery 80:193–200, 2017

Using difusion tensor imaging (DTI) in neurosurgical planning allows identification of white matter tracts and has been associated with a reduction in postoperative functional deficits.
OBJECTIVE: This study explores the relationship between the lesion-to-tract distance (LTD) and postoperative morbidity and mortality in patients with brain tumors in order to evaluate the role of DTI in predicting postoperative outcomes.

METHODS: Adult patients with brain tumors (n = 60) underwent preoperative DTI. Three major white matter pathways (superior longitudinal fasciculi [SLF], cingulum, and corticospinal tract) were identified using DTI images, and the shortest LTD was measured for each tract. Postoperative morbidity and mortality information was collected from electronic medical records.

RESULTS: The ipsilesional corticospinal tract LTD and left SLF LTD were significantly associated with the occurrence rate of total postoperative motor (P = .018) and language (P < .001) deficits, respectively. The left SLF LTD was also significantly associated with the occurrence rate of new postoperative language deficits (P = .003), and the LTD threshold that best predicted this occurrence was 1 cm (P < .001). Kaplan–Meier log-rank survival analyses in patients having high-grade tumors demonstrated a significantly higher mortality for patients with a left SLF LTD <1 cm (P = .01).

CONCLUSION: Measuring tumor proximity to major white matter tracts using DTI can inform clinicians of the likelihood of postoperative functional deficits. A distance of 1 cm or less from eloquent white matter structures most significantly predicts the occurrence of new deficits with current surgical and imaging techniques.


Incidence and predictors of dural venous sinus pressure gradient in idiopathic intracranial hypertension and non-idiopathic intracranial hypertension headache patients: results from 164 cerebral venograms

Journal of Neurosurgery – 126(2):Pages 347-353

Cerebral venous pressure gradient (CVPG) from dural venous sinus stenosis is implicated in headache syndromes such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The incidence of CVPG in headache patients has not been reported.

METHODS: The authors reviewed all cerebral venograms with manometry performed for headache between January 2008 and May 2015. Patient demographics, headache etiology, intracranial pressure (ICP) measurements, and radiographic and manometric results were recorded. CVPG was defined as a difference ≥ 8 mm Hg by venographic manometry.

RESULTS: One hundred sixty-four venograms were performed in 155 patients. There were no procedural complications. Ninety-six procedures (58.5%) were for patients with IIH. The overall incidence of CVPG was 25.6% (42 of 164 procedures): 35.4% (34 of 96 procedures) in IIH patients and 11.8% (8 of 68 procedures) in non-IIH patients. Sixty procedures (36.6%) were performed in patients with preexisting shunts. Seventy-seven patients (49.7%) had procedures preceded by an ICP measurement within 4 weeks of venography, and in 66 (85.7%) of these patients, the ICP had been found to be elevated. CVPG was seen in 8.3% (n = 5) of the procedures in the 60 patients with a preexisting shunt and in 0% (n = 0) of the 11 procedures in the 77 patients with normal ICP (p < 0.001 for both). Noninvasive imaging (MR venography, CT venography) was assessed prior to venography in 112 (68.3%) of 164 cases, and dural venous sinus abnormalities were demonstrated in 73 (65.2%) of these cases; there was a trend toward CVPG (p = 0.07). Multivariate analysis demonstrated an increased likelihood of CVPG in patients with IIH (OR 4.97, 95% CI 1.71–14.47) and a decreased likelihood in patients with a preexisting shunt (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.02–0.44).

CONCLUSIONS: CVPG is uncommon in IIH patients, rare in those with preexisting shunts, and absent in those with normal ICP.

Outcome and prognostic factors after delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:307–315

Data of patients suffering from delayed second subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) after aneurysm treatment are still missing. Patients become clearly older than before. Thus, the risk suffering from a second delayed SAH rises. The aim of this study was to analyse clinical outcome and prognostic factors in patients after delayed second SAH.

Method From 1999 to 2013, 18 of 1,493 patients (1.2%) suffered from a second SAH. Clinical and radiological character- istics were entered into a prospective conducted database. Outcome was assessed according to modified Rankin Scale 6 months after second SAH. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results Eighteen patients were admitted to our department with a second SAH. The second SAH occurred at a mean interval of 144 months after surgical treatment and 78 months after endovascular treatment (P < 0.05), with an overall mean interval of 125 months. The earliest event of second SAH was after 35 months. In 11 (61%) patients, a de novo aneurysm was detected; in one patient (6%), no cause of second SAH was detected. In six (33%) cases, re-rupture of the formerly secured aneurysm was found. Half of the rebleedings occurred from a basilar aneurysm, 33% from an aneurysm of anterior communicating artery and in one patient from a median cere- bral artery aneurysm. At second SAH, 8 of 18 patients pre- sented WFNS grade I-III at time of admission (44%). Overall, favourable outcome was achieved in seven patients (39%). Four patients died (22%), one of them before treatment. Favourable outcome seems to be associated with younger age. In our patients, 39% achieved a favourable outcome after second SAH.

Conclusions A delayed second SAH is a rare entity. After delayed second SAH, age seems to be a prognostic factor for patients’ outcome and patients seem to have a worse prognosis. Nonetheless, up to 40% of patients can achieve a favourable outcome.

The Fluoropen: a simple low-cost device to detect intraoperative fluorescein fluorescence in stereotactic needle biopsy of brain tumors

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:371–375

The use of fluorescein fluorescence-guided stereotactic needle biopsy has been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy and to expedite operative procedure in the stereotactic needle biopsy of high-grade gliomas. We developed a device (Fluoropen) for detecting fluorescence in brain tumor tissues obtained by fluorescein fluorescence-guided stereotactic needle biopsy.

Methods: The Fluoropen is a device consisting of a light source fitted with color filters to create the required emission and visualization wavelengths. The proof-of-concept study consisted of four consecutive patients who underwent fluorescein fluorescence-guided frameless stereotactic biopsy of brain tumor. Each sample was examined for the presence of fluorescence using the Fluoropen and compared with a microscope with fluorescence visualization capability.

Results: A total of six samples were obtained from four stereotactic needle biopsy procedures. Four out of five samples (80%) taken from the contrast-enhancing part of the tumors were shown to be fluorescent under the microscope fitted with fluorescence module and the Fluoropen. One non-contrast enhancing lesion was non-fluorescent using both the microscope fitted with fluorescence module and the Fluoropen. The Fluoropen was shown to have 100% concordance with the microscope fitted with fluorescence module.

Conclusions: The Fluoropen is a low-cost and simple standalone device for the detection of fluorescein fluorescence that can expedite stereotactic needle biopsy by providing instant confirmation of the diagnostic sample and therefore avoid the need for an intraoperative frozen section. In patients with non-contrast enhancing tumors and those who were pre-treated with dexamethasone prior to surgery, fluorescein fluorescence-guided stereotactic needle biopsy will need to be used with caution.

Staged-Volume Radiosurgery of Large Arteriovenous Malformations Improves Outcome by Reducing the Rate of Adverse Radiation Effects

Neurosurgery 80:180–192, 2017

The treatment of large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains challenging. Recently, staged-volume radiosurgery (SVRS) has become an option.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcome of SVRS on large AVMs with our historical, single- stage radiosurgery (SSRS) series.

METHODS: We have been prospectively collecting data of patients treated by SVRS since 2007. There were 84 patients who had a median age of 37 years (range, 9-62 years) who were treated until July 2013. The outcomes of 76 of those who had follow-ups available were analyzed and compared with the outcomes of 122 patients treated with the best SSRS technique.

RESULTS: There were 21.5% of AVMs that were deep seated, and 44% presented with hemorrhage resulting in 45% fixed neurological deficit. There were 14% of patients who had undergone embolization before radiosurgery. The median nidus treatment volume was 19.7 cm 3 (6.65-68.7) and 17.5 Gy (13-22.5) prescription isodose was given. Of the 44 lesions having radiological follow-up at 4 years, 61.4% were completely obliterated. Previous embolization (50% with and 63% without) and higher Spetzler-Martin grades appeared to be the negative factors in successful obliteration, but treatment volume was not. Within 3 years after radiosurgery, the annual bleed rates of unruptured and previously ruptured AVMs were 3.2% and 5.6%, respectively. Three bleeds were fatal and 2 resulted in significant modified Rankin scale 3 morbidity. These rates differ little from SSRS. Temporary adverse radiation effects (AREs) did not change significantly, but permanent AREs dropped from 15% to 6.5% (P = .03) compared with SSRS.

CONCLUSION: Obliteration and hemorrhage rates of large AVMs treated by SVRS are similar to historical SSRS. However, SVRS offers a lower rate of AREs.


Fluorescein sodium-guided resection of cerebral metastases

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:363–367

Cerebral metastasis (CM) is the most common malignancy affecting the brain. In patients eligible for surgery, complete tumor removal is the most important predictor of overall survival and neurological outcome. The emergence of surgical microscopes fitted with a fluorescein-specific filter have facilitated fluorescein-guided microsurgery and identifi- cation of tumor tissue. In 2012, we started evaluating fluores- cein (FL) with the dedicated microscope filter in cerebral me- tastases (CM). After describing the treatment results of our first 30 patients, we now retrospectively report on 95 patients.

Methods: Ninety-five patients with CM of different primary cancers were included (47 women, 48 men, mean age, 60 years, range, 25–85 years); 5 mg/kg bodyweight of FL was intrave- nously injected at induction of anesthesia. A YELLOW 560-nm filter (Pentero 900, ZEISS Meditec, Germany) was used for microsurgical tumor resection and resection control. The extent of resection (EOR) was assessed by means of early postoperative contrast-enhanced MRI and the grade of fluorescent staining as described in the surgical reports. Furthermore, we evaluated information on neurological outcome and surgical complications as well as any adverse events.

Results: Ninety patients (95%) showed bright fluorescent staining that markedly enhanced tumor visibility. Five patients (5%); three with adenocarcinoma of the lung, one with melanoma of the skin, and one with renal cell carcinoma) showed insufficient FL stain- ing. Thirteen patients (14%) showed residual tumor tissue on the postoperative MRI. Additionally, the MRI of three patients did not confirm complete resection beyond doubt. Thus, gross-total resection had been achieved in 83% (n = 79) of patients. No adverse events were registered during the postoperative course.

Conclusions: FL and the YELLOW 560-nm filter are safe and feasible tools for increasing the EOR in patients with CM. Further prospective evaluation of the FL-guided technique in CM-surgery is in planning.

Trigeminal neuralgia due to venous neurovascular conflicts

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159: 237

Implication of veins as neurovascular conflict (NVC) in the genesis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) remains a matter of debate. Few reports dealing with venous NVC have been published. The objective of this study is to describe the outcome in a historical cohort of consecutive patients with classical TN due to venous compression.

Methods: All patients with TN treated by microvascular decompression (MVD) from 2005 to 2013 were included if a marked venous compression was found at the surgery either alone or accompanied by an artery. Patients were evaluated for clinical presentation, operative findings and the long-term outcome. Outcome was considered favourable if patients were classed as BNI I or II (i.e. not requiring any medication). Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine probability of a favourable outcome at 10 years of follow-up.

Results:  Out of the overall series of 313 patients having been treated by MVD and considered for the study, in 55 (17.5 %) a vein was the main compressive vessel; in 26 (8.3 %) it was the only compressive vessel. Probability of relief with no need for medication at 10 years was 70.6 %. The patients with focal arachnoiditis had a poor long-term outcome, i.e. BNI III-V, in 85.7 % compared with 20.8 % without arachnoiditis (p = 0.0037 Fisher’s exact test). No differences in outcome were found between patients presenting with purely venous compression and patients with mixed compression. Outcome was similarly good for patients with atypical neuralgia when compared to patients with typical clinical presentation.

Conclusions: Venous NVC as a cause of TN is far from rare. MVD with complete liberation of the entire root in cases with clear-cut venous compression on imaging studies gives a good probability of long-term pain relief, thus encouraging to propose surgery for such patients.

Cushing’s disease: pathobiology, diagnosis, and management

J Neurosurg 126:404–417, 2017

Cushing’s disease (CD) is the result of excess secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a benign monoclonal pituitary adenoma. The excessive secretion of ACTH stimulates secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands, resulting in supraphysiological levels of circulating cortisol.
The pathophysiological levels of cortisol are associated with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and early death. Successful resection of the CD-associated ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma is the treatment of choice and results in immediate biochemical remission with preservation of pituitary function.
Accurate and early identification of CD is critical for effective surgical management and optimal prognosis. The authors review the current pathophysiological principles, diagnostic methods, and management of CD.

Blister Aneurysms of the Internal Carotid Artery: Microsurgical Results and Management Strategy

Neurosurgery (2017) 80 (2): 235-247

Blister aneurysms of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) are challenging lesions with high intraoperative rupture rates and significant morbidity. An optimal treatment strategy for these aneurysms has not been established.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze treatment strategy, operative techniques, and outcomes in a consecutive 17-year series of ICA blister aneurysms treated microsurgically.

METHODS: Seventeen patients underwent blister aneurysm treatment with direct clipping, bypass and trapping, or clip-reinforced wrapping.

RESULTS: Twelve aneurysms (71%) were treated with direct surgical clipping. Three patients required bypass: 1 superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass, 1 external carotid artery to middle cerebral artery bypass, and 1 ICA to middle cerebral artery bypass. One patient was treated with clip-reinforced wrapping. Initial treatment strategy was enacted 71% of the time. Intraoperative rupture occurred in 7 patients (41%), doubling the rate of a poor outcome (57% vs 30% for patients with and without intraoperative rupture, respectively). Severe vasospasm developed in 9 of 16 patients (56%). Twelve patients (65%) were improved or unchanged after treatment, and 10 patients (59%) had good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale scores of 1 or 2).

CONCLUSION: ICA blister aneurysms can be cautiously explored and treated with direct clipping as the first-line technique in the majority of cases. Complete trapping of the parent artery with temporary clips and placing permanent clip blades along normal arterial walls enables clipping that avoids intraoperative aneurysm rupture. Trapping/bypass is used as the second-line treatment, maintaining a low threshold for bypass with extensive or friable pathology of the carotid wall and in patients with incomplete circles of Willis.


Ventriculostomy-related infections in subarachnoid hemorrhage patients

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:317–323

This study was performed to investigate the incidence and etiology of ventriculostomy-related infections (VRIs) in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and to assess adherence to local clinical guidelines regarding empirical antimicrobial therapy and diagnostic routines.

Methods: A total of 191 consecutive SAH patients treated in the neuro-intensive care unit of Uppsala University Hospital between 2010 and 2013 were included retrospectively. Information regarding cerebrospinal fluid samples, bacterial cultures, ventriculostomy treatment, patient characteristics, and antibiotic treatment were collected from electronic patient records.

Results: Eleven patients developed VRI, resulting in an incidence of 5.8% per patient, 5.4% per ventriculostomy catheter, and 4.1 per 1000 catheter days. Coagulase-negative staphylococci caused nine cases of VRI and Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus caused one each. Empirical VRI therapy was initiated on 97 occasions in 81 subjects (42.4%). Out of the 11 patients with VRI, four did not receive empirical antibiotic therapy before the positive culture result. The clinical actions performed after analysis of CSF samples were in line with the action suggested by the local guidelines in 307 out of 592 cases (51.9%).

Conclusions: The incidence of VRI in our cohort was comparable to what has previously been reported. Coagulase-negative staphylococci was the most common agent. Our study demonstrates the difficulty in diagnosing VRI in SAH patients. Improved adherence to clinical guidelines could to some extent reduce the use of empirical antibiotic treatment, but better diagnostic methods and routines are needed.

Contrast-enhanced shunt series (“shuntography”) compare favorably to other shunt imaging modalities in detecting shunt occlusion

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:63–70

Obstruction is a common cause of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt failure. Head computed tomography and plain x-ray examinations of shunt tubing (“shunt series”) are routinely used in patients readmitted for reemerging symptoms but are of limited value. The validity of shunt series can be improved by applying contrast agent into the system (contrast-enhanced shunt series, a.k.a. a “shuntogram” or “shuntography”). We hypothesized that contrast-enhanced shunt series have a high predictive value for shunt revision surgeries.

Methods: We retrospectively re-evaluated 107 contrast-enhanced shunt series and reviewed the patient histories. We defined outcome parameters for calculating the utility of a pathological contrast-enhanced shunt series in predicting revision surgery.

Results: Of 107 contrast-enhanced shunt series, 41 examinations were positive for obstruction, mainly of the ventricular (36.5 %) and the peritoneal catheter (48.8 %). Within 30 days, 35 successful revision surgeries and 3 revision surgeries without resolution of symptoms were performed. In two cases the shunt tubing was found to be patent. Sixty-six negative examinations resulted in two revision surgeries, in addition to ten surgeries not attempting to restore patency. After 30 days, the specificity of contrast-enhanced shunt series for shunt failure identification was calculated at 92.8 %, the sensitivity at 94.7 %, the positive predictive value at 87.8 %, and the negative predictive value at 97.0 %.

Conclusions: The contrast-enhanced shunt series method is a highly specific examination with a negative predictive value exceeding that of head computed tomography and plain shunt series. Compared to radionuclide marker studies, contrast-enhanced shunt series demonstrate better spatiotemporal resolution, enabling focused local surgical repair.

Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Fourth Edition

Neurosurgery 80:6–15, 2017

The scope and purpose of this work is 2-fold: to synthesize the available evidence and to translate it into recommendations. This document provides recommendations only when there is evidence to support them. As such, they do not constitute a complete protocol for clinical use.

Our intention is that these recommendations be used by others to develop treatment protocols, which necessarily need to incorporate consensus and clinical judgment in areas where current evidence is lacking or insu cient.

We think it is important to have evidence-based recommendations to clarify what aspects of practice currently can and cannot be supported by evidence, to encourage use of evidence-based treatments that exist, and to encourage creativity in treatment and research in areas where evidence does not exist.

The communities of neurosurgery and neuro-intensive care have been early pioneers and supporters of evidence-based medicine and plan to continue in this endeavor. The complete guideline document, which summarizes and evaluates the literature for each topic, and supplemental appendices (A-I) are available online at

Prognostic value of corpus callosum injuries in severe head trauma

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:25–32

This study was performed to investigate the relationship between corpus callosum (CC) injury and prognosis in traumatic axonal injury (TAI).

Method: We retrospectively reviewed 264 patients with severe head trauma who underwent a conventional MR imaging in the first 60 days after injury. They were selected from a prospectively collected database of 1048 patients with severe head trauma admitted in our hospital. TAI lesions were defined as areas of increased signal intensity on T2 and FLAIR or areas of decreased signal on gradient-echo T2. We attempted to determine whether any MR imaging findings of TAI lesions at CC could be related to prognosis. Neurological impairment was assessed at 1 year after injury by means of GOS-E (good outcome being GOS-E 4/5 and bad outcome being GOS-E <4). We adjusted the multivariable analysis for the prognostic factors according to the IMPACT studies: the Core model (age, motor score at admission, and pupillary reactivity) and the Extended model (including CT information and second insults).

Results: We found 97 patients (37 %) with TAI at CC and 167 patients (63 %) without CC lesions at MR. A total of 62 % of the patients with CC lesions had poor outcome, whereas 38 % showed good prognosis. The presence of TAI lesions at the corpus callosum was associated with poor outcome 1 year after brain trauma (p < 0.001, OR 3.8, 95 % CI: 2.04–7.06). The volume of CC lesions measured on T2 and FLAIR se- quences was negatively correlated with the GOS-E after ad- justment for independent prognostic factors (p = 0.01, OR 2.23, 95 % CI:1.17–4.26). Also the presence of lesions at splenium was statistically related to worse prognosis (p = 0.002, OR 8.1, 95 % CI: 2.2–29.82). We did not find statistical significance in outcome between hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic CC lesions.

Conclusions: The presence of CC is associated with a poor outcome. The total volume of the CC lesion is an independent prognostic factor for poor outcome in severe head trauma.

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


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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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