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

Stabilization of Tumor-Associated Craniovertebral Junction Instability

Neurosurgery 81:251–258, 2017

Whether primary or metastatic, tumors of the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) are rare and challenging.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the surgical indications, operative variables, and outcomes in patients with tumors of the CVJ undergoing occipitocervical (OC) stabilization.

METHODS: A single-institution, retrospective case series was performed from a prospectively maintained spine database. Patients with primary or metastatic tumors of the CVJ who underwent OC stabilization were identified. Out of 46 patients who underwent OC fusion, 39 were for tumor. Paired t-tests and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were performed to assess for postoperative changes.

RESULTS: Ten patients (26%) harbored primary tumors, and the remaining 29 (74%) had metastatic disease. Of the metastatic patients, 14 had a neurological deficit, 10 had severe neck pain, and 5 were deemed mechanically unstable. Postoperative visual analog pain scoreswere significantly reduced at all 3 follow-up times (P<.001, 95% confidence interval [CI; 3.2, 6.0]; P = .001, 95% CI [2.6, 7.7]; P = .020, 95% CI [0.6, 5.5]). The percentage of patients who were ambulatory and neurologically improved or intact remained stable postoperatively with no significant declines. There were 2 perioperative mortalities (5%), and 13 patients (33%) experienced a major complication.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with primary or metastatic tumor of the CVJ, OC stabilization using a cervical screw-rod system affixed to a midline-keel buttress plate, with or without posterior decompression, is a reliable method for CVJ stabilization in the oncologic setting. Improvement in pain and preservation of neurological function was seen.

 

Complications of ventricular entry during craniotomy for brain tumor resection

J Neurosurg 127:426–432, 2017

Recent studies have demonstrated that periventricular tumor location is associated with poorer survival and that tumor location near the ventricle limits the extent of resection. This finding may relate to the perception that ventricular entry leads to further complications and thus surgeons may choose to perform less aggressive resection in these areas. However, there is little support for this view in the literature. This study seeks to determine whether ventricular entry is associated with more complications during craniotomy for brain tumor resection.

METHODS A retrospective analysis of patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor resection at Henry Ford Hospital between January 2010 and November 2012 was conducted. A total of 183 cases were reviewed with attention to operative entry into the ventricular system, postoperative use of an external ventricular drain (EVD), subdural hematoma, hydrocephalus, and symptomatic intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH).

RESULTS Patients in whom the ventricles were entered had significantly higher rates of any complication (46% vs 21%). Complications included development of subdural hygroma, subdural hematoma, intraventricular hemorrhage, subgaleal collection, wound infection, urinary tract infection/deep venous thrombosis, hydrocephalus, and ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement. Specifically, these patients had significantly higher rates of EVD placement (23% vs 1%, p < 0.001), hydrocephalus (6% vs 0%, p = 0.03), IVH (14% vs 0%, p < 0.001), infection (15% vs 5%, p = 0.04), and subgaleal collection (20% vs 4%, p < 0.001). It was also observed that VP shunt placement was only seen in cases of ventricular entry (11% vs 0%, p = 0.001) with 3 of 4 of these patients having a large ventricular entry (defined here as entry greater than a pinhole [< 3 mm] entry). Furthermore, in a subset of glioblastoma patients with and without ventricular entry, Kaplan- Meier estimates for survival demonstrated a median survival time of 329 days for ventricular entry compared with 522 days for patients with no ventricular entry (HR 1.13, 95% CI 0.65–1.96; p = 0.67).

CONCLUSIONS There are more complications associated with ventricular entry during brain tumor resection than in nonviolated ventricular systems. Better strategies for management of periventricular tumor resection should be actively sought to improve resection and survival for these patients.

 

The paramedian supracerebellar infratentorial approach

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1529–1532

Lesions of the superior cerebellar surface, pineal region, lateral and dorsal midbrain and mesial temporal lobe are challenging to treat and often require neurosurgical intervention.

Methods The paramedian variation of the supracerebellar infratentorial approach utilizes the downward slope of the cerebellum to facilitate exposure and the lower density of cerebellar bridging veins away from the midline decreases the need to sacrifice larger venous channels. We also discuss our experiences with the approach, and some of the drawbacks and nuances that we have encountered as it has evolved over the years.

Conclusions This approach is versatile and effective and the authors’ surgical approach of choice for resecting these challenging lesions.

 

Effects of Cranioplasty on Cerebral Blood Flow Following Decompressive Craniectomy

Neurosurgery 81:204–216, 2017

Cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy (DC) is routinely performed for reconstructive purposes and has been recently linked to improved cerebral blood flow (CBF) and neurological function.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review all available literature to evaluate the effect of cranioplasty on CBF and neurocognitive recovery.

METHODS: A PubMed, Google Scholar, and MEDLINE search adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines included studies reporting patients who underwent DC and subsequent cranioplasty in whom cerebral hemodynamics were measured before and after cranioplasty.

RESULTS: The search yielded 21 articles with a total of 205 patients (range 3–76 years) who underwent DC and subsequent cranioplasty. Two studies enrolled 29 control subjects for a total of 234 subjects. Studies used different imaging modalities, including CT perfusion (n = 10), Xenon-CT (n = 3), single-photon emission CT (n = 2), transcranial Doppler (n = 6), MR perfusion (n = 1), and positron emission tomography (n = 2). Precranioplasty CBF evaluation ranged from 2 days to 6 months; postcranioplasty CBF evaluation ranged from 7 days to 6 months. All studies demonstrated an increase in CBF ipsilateral to the side of the cranioplasty. Nine of 21 studies also reported an increase in CBF on the contralateral side.Neurological function improved in an overwhelming majority of patients after cranioplasty.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review suggests that cranioplasty improves CBF following DC with a concurrent improvement in neurological function. The causative impact of CBF on neurological function, however, requires further study.

Effect of venous stenting on intracranial pressure in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1429–1437

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is characterised by an increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in the absence of any central nervous system disease or structural abnormality and by normal CSF composition. Management becomes complicated once surgical intervention is required. Venous sinus stenosis has been suggested as a possible aetiology for IIH. Venous sinus stenting has emerged as a possible interventional option. Evidence for venous sinus stenting is based on elimination of the venous pressure gradient and clinical response. There have been no studies demonstrating the immediate effect of venous stenting on ICP.

Methods Patients with a potential or already known diagnosis of IIH were investigated according to departmental protocol. ICP monitoring was performed for 24 h. When high pressures were confirmed, CT venogram and catheter venography were performed to look for venous stenosis to demonstrate a pressure gradient. If positive, venous stenting would be performed and ICP monitoring would continue for a further 24 h after deployment of the venous stent.

Results Ten patients underwent venous sinus stenting with concomitant ICP monitoring. Nine out of ten patients displayed an immediate reduction in their ICP that was maintained at 24 h. The average reduction in mean ICP and pulsatility was significant (p = 0.003). Six out of ten patients reported a symptomatic improvement within the first 2 weeks.

Conclusions Venous sinus stenting results in an immediate reduction in ICP. This physiological response to venous stenting has not previously been reported. Venous stenting could offer an alternative treatment option in correctly selected patients with IIH.

Critical review of brain AVMsurgery, surgical results and natural history in 2017

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1457–1478

An understanding of the present standing of surgery, surgical results and the role in altering the future morbidity and mortality of untreated brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) is appropriate considering the myriad alternative management pathways (including radiosurgery, embolization or some combination of treatments), varying risks and selection biases that have contributed to confusion regarding management. The purpose of this review is to clarify the link between the incidence of adverse outcomes that are reported from a management pathway of either surgery or no intervention with the projected risks of surgery or no intervention.

Methods A critical review of the literature was performed on the outcomes of surgery and non-intervention for bAVM. An analysis of the biases and how these may have influenced the outcomes was included to attempt to identify reasonable estimates of risks.

Results In the absence of treatment, the cumulative risk of future hemorrhage is approximately 16% and 29% at 10 and 20 years after diagnosis of bAVM without hemorrhage and 35% and 45% at 10 and 20 years when presenting with hemorrhage (annualized, this risk would be approximately 1.8% for unruptured bAVMs and 4.7% for 8 years for bAVMs presenting with hemorrhage followed by the unruptured bAVM rate). The cumulative outcome of these hemorrhages depends upon whether the patient remains untreated and is allowed to have a further hemorrhage or is treated at this time. Overall, approximately 42% will develop a new permanent neurological deficit or death from a hemorrhagic event. The presence of an associated proximal intracranial aneurysm (APIA) and restriction of venous outflow may increase the risk for subsequent hemorrhage. Other risks for increased risk of hemorrhage (age, pregnancy, female) were examined, and their purported association with hemorrhage is difficult to support. Both the Spetzler-Martin grading system (and its compaction into the Spetzler-Ponce tiers) and Lawton-Young supplementary grading system are excellent in predicting the risk of surgery. The 8-year risk of unfavorable outcome from surgery (complication leading to a permanent new neurological deficit with a modified Rankin Scale score of greater than one, residual bAVM or recurrence) is dependent on bAVM size, the presence of deep venous drainage (DVD) and location in critical brain (eloquent location). For patients with bAVMs who have neither a DVD nor eloquent location, the 8-year risk for an unfavorable outcome increases with size (increasing from 1 cm to 6 cm) from 1% to 9%. For patients with bAVMwho have either a DVD or eloquent location (but not both), the 8- year risk for an unfavorable outcome increases with the size (increasing from 1 cm to 6 cm) from 4% to 35%. For patients with bAVM who have both a DVD and eloquent location, the 8-year risk for unfavorable outcome increases with size (increasing from 1 cm to 3 cm) from 12% to 38%.

Conclusion Patients with a Spetzler-Ponce A bAVM expecting a good quality of life for the next 8 years are likely to do better with surgery in expert centers than remaining untreated. Ongoing research is urgently required on the outcome of management pathways for bAVM.

Factors Associated With Pre- and Postoperative Seizures in 1033 Patients Undergoing Supratentorial Meningioma Resection

Neurosurgery 81:297–306, 2017

Risk factors for pre- and postoperative seizures in supratentorial meningiomas are understudied compared to other brain tumors.

OBJECTIVE: To report seizure frequency and identify factors associated with pre- and postoperative seizures in a large single-center population study of patients undergoing resection of supratentorial meningioma.

METHODS: Retrospective chart review of 1033 subjects undergoing resection of supratentorial meningioma at the author’s institution (1991-2014). Multivariate regression was used to identify variables significantly associated with pre- and postoperative seizures.

RESULTS: Preoperative seizures occurred in 234 (22.7%) subjects. At 5 years postoperative, probability of seizure freedom was 89.9% among subjects without preoperative seizures and 62.2% with preoperative seizures. Multivariate analysis identified the following predictors of preoperative seizures: presence of ≥1 cmperitumoral edema (odds ratio [OR]: 4.45, 2.55-8.50), nonskull base tumor location (OR: 2.13, 1.26-3.67), greater age (OR per unit increase: 1.03, 1.01-1.05), while presenting symptom of headache (OR: 0.50, 0.29- 0.84) or cranial nerve deficit (OR: 0.36, 0.17-0.71) decreased odds of preoperative seizures. Postoperative seizures after dischargewere associated with preoperative seizures (OR: 5.70, 2.57-13.13), in-hospital seizure (OR: 4.31, 1.28-13.67), and among patients without preoperative seizure, occurrence ofmedical or surgical complications (OR 3.39, 1.09-9.48). Perioperative anti-epileptic drug use was not associated with decreased incidence of postoperative seizures.

CONCLUSIONS: Nonskull base supratentorial meningiomaswith surrounding edema have the highest risk for preoperative seizure. Long-term follow-up showing persistent seizures in meningioma patients with preoperative seizures raises the possibility that these patients may benefit from electrocorticographic mapping of adjacent cortex and resection of noneloquent, epileptically active cortex.

Comparison of anti-siphon devices—how do they affect CSF dynamics in supine and upright posture?

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1389–1397

Three different types of anti-siphon devices (ASDs) have been developed to counteract siphoning induced overdrainage in upright posture. However, it is not known how the different ASDs affect CSF dynamics under the complex pressure environment seen in clinic due to postural changes. We investigated which ASDs can avoid overdrainage in upright posture best without leading to CSF accumulation.

Methods Three shunts each of the types Codman Hakim with SiphonGuard (flow-regulated), Miethke miniNAV with proSA (gravitational), and Medtronic Delta (membrane controlled) were tested. The shunts were compared on a novel in vitro setup that actively emulates the physiology of a shunted patient. This testing method allows determining the CSF drainage rates, resulting CSF volume, and intracranial pressure in the supine, sitting, and standing posture.

Results The flow-regulated ASDs avoided increased drainage by closing their primary flow path when drainage exceeded 1.39 ± 0.42 mL/min. However, with intraperitoneal pressure increased in standing posture, we observed reopening of the ASD in 3 out of 18 experiment repetitions. The adjustable gravitational ASDs allow independent opening pressures in horizontal and vertical orientation, but they did not provide constant drainage in upright posture (0.37 ± 0.03 mL/min and 0.26 ± 0.03 mL/min in sitting and standing posture, respectively). Consequently, adaptation to the individual patient is critical. The membrane-controlled ASDs stopped drainage in upright posture. This eliminates the risk of overdrainage, but leads to CSF accumulation up to the volume observed without shunting when the patient is upright.

Conclusions While all tested ASDs reduced overdrainage, their actual performance will depend on a patient’s specific needs because of the large variation in the way the ASDs influence CSF dynamics: while the flow-regulated shunts provide continuous drainage in upright posture, the gravitational ASDs allow and require additional adaptation, and the membrane-controlled ASDs show robust siphon prevention by a total stop of drainage.

Endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus for embolization of carotid-cavernous fistula

J Neurosurg 127:327–331, 2017

Endovascular embolization is the treatment of choice for carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs), but failure to catheterize the cavernous sinus may occur as a result of vessel tortuosity, hypoplasia, or stenosis. In addition to conventional transvenous or transarterial routes, alternative approaches should be considered. The authors present a case in which a straightforward route to the CCF was accessed via transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.

This 82-year-old man presented with severe chemosis and proptosis of the right eye. Digital subtraction angiography revealed a Type B CCF with a feeding artery arising from the meningohypophyseal trunk of the right cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery. The CCF drained through a thrombosed right superior ophthalmic vein that ended deep in the orbit; there were no patent sinuses or venous plexuses connecting to the CCF. An endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture created direct access to the nidus for embolization. Embolic agents were deployed through the puncture needle to achieve complete obliteration.

Endoscope-assisted transsphenoidal puncture of the cavernous sinus is a feasible alternative to treat difficult-to-access CCFs in a neurosurgical hybrid operating suite.

 

Association between shunt-responsive idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and alcohol

J Neurosurg 127:240–248, 2017

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is characterized by ventriculomegaly, gait difficulty, incontinence, and dementia. The symptoms can be ameliorated by CSF drainage. The object of this study was to identify factors associated with shunt-responsive iNPH.

METHODS The authors reviewed the medical records of 529 patients who underwent shunt placement for iNPH at their institution between July 2001 and March 2015. Variables associated with shunt-responsive iNPH were identified using bivariate and multivariate analyses. Detailed alcohol consumption information was obtained for 328 patients and was used to examine the relationship between alcohol and shunt-responsive iNPH. A computerized patient registry from 2 academic medical centers was queried to determine the prevalence of alcohol abuse among 1665 iNPH patients.

RESULTS Bivariate analysis identified associations between shunt-responsive iNPH and gait difficulty (OR 4.59, 95% CI 2.32–9.09; p < 0.0001), dementia (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.14–2.80; p = 0.01), incontinence (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.13–2.76; p = 0.01), and alcohol use (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.23–3.16; p = 0.03). Borderline significance was observed for hyperlipidemia (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.99–2.45; p = 0.054), a family history of hyperlipidemia (OR 3.09, 95% CI 0.93–10.26, p = 0.054), and diabetes (OR 1.83, 95% CI 0.96–3.51; p = 0.064). Multivariate analysis identified associations with gait difficulty (OR 3.98, 95% CI 1.81–8.77; p = 0.0006) and alcohol (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.10–3.39; p = 0.04). Increased alcohol intake correlated with greater improvement after CSF drainage. Alcohol abuse was 2.5 times more prevalent among iNPH patients than matched controls.

CONCLUSIONS Alcohol consumption is associated with the development of shunt-responsive iNPH.

 

A New Classification for Pathologies of Spinal Meninges—Part 2: Primary and Secondary Intradural Arachnoid Cysts

Neurosurgery 81:217–229, 2017

Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are rare causes of radiculopathy or myelopathy. Treatment options include resection, fenestration, or cyst drainage.

OBJECTIVE: To classify intradural spinal arachnoid cysts and present results of their treatment.

METHODS: Among 1519 patientswith spinal space occupying lesions, 130 patients demonstrated intradural arachnoid cysts. Neuroradiological and surgical features were reviewed and clinical data analyzed.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients presented arachnoid cysts as a result of an inflammatory leptomeningeal reaction related to meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intrathecal injections, intradural surgery, or trauma, ie, secondary cysts. For the remaining 109 patients, no such history could be elucidated, ie, primary cysts. Forty-six percent of primary and 86% of secondary cysts were associated with syringomyelia. Patients presented after an average history of 53±88 months. Therewere 122 thoracic and 7 lumbar cysts plus 1 cervical cyst. Fifty-nine patients with primary and 15 patients with secondary cysts underwent laminotomies with complete or partial cyst resection and duraplasty. Mean follow-up was 57 ± 52 months. In the first postoperative year, profound improvements for primary cysts were noted, in contrast to marginal changes for secondary cysts. Progression-free survival for 10 years following surgery was determined as 83% for primary compared to 15% for secondary cysts. Despite differences in clinical presentation, progression-free survival was almost identical for patients with or without syringomyelia.

CONCLUSIONS: Complete or partial resection leads to favorable short- and long-term results for primary arachnoid cysts. For secondary cysts, surgery can only provide clinical stabilization for a limited time due to the often extensive arachnoiditis.

 

Complications in awake versus asleep DBS

J Neurosurg 127:360–369, 2017

As the number of deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedures performed under general anesthesia (“asleep” DBS) increases, it is more important to assess the rates of adverse events, inpatient lengths of stay (LOS), and 30-day readmission rates in patients undergoing these procedures compared with those in patients undergoing traditional “awake” DBS without general anesthesia.

METHODS All patients in an institutional database who had undergone awake or asleep DBS procedures performed by a single surgeon between August 2011 and August 2014 were reviewed. Adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmissions were analyzed.

RESULTS A total of 490 electrodes were placed in 284 patients, of whom 126 (44.4%) underwent awake surgery and 158 (55.6%) underwent asleep surgery. The most frequent overall complication for the cohort was postoperative mental status change (13 patients [4.6%]), followed by hemorrhage (4 patients [1.4%]), seizure (4 patients [1.4%]), and hardwarerelated infection (3 patients [1.1%]). Mean LOS for all 284 patients was 1.19 ± 1.29 days (awake: 1.06 ± 0.46 days; asleep: 1.30 ± 1.67 days; p = 0.08). Overall, the 30-day readmission rate was 1.4% (1 awake patient, 3 asleep patients). There were no significant differences in complications, LOS, and 30-day readmissions between awake and asleep groups.

CONCLUSIONS Both awake and asleep DBS can be performed safely with low complication rates. The authors found no significant differences between the 2 procedure groups in adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmission rates.

Predictors of admission and shunt revision during emergency department visits for shunt-treated adult patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension

J Neurosurg 127:233–239, 2017

Factors associated with emergency department admission and/or shunt revision for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are unclear. In this study, the associations of several factors with emergency department admission and shunt revision for IIH were explored.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of 31 patients (169 total emergency department visits) who presented to the emergency department for IIH-related symptoms between 2003 and 2015. Demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, IIH diagnosis and treatment history, ophthalmological examination, diagnostic lumbar puncture (LP), imaging findings, and data regarding admission and management decisions were collected. Multivariable general linear models regression analysis was performed to assess the predictive factors associated with admission and shunt revision.

RESULTS Thirty-one adult patients with a history of shunt placement for IIH visited the emergency department a total of 169 times for IIH-related symptoms, with a median of 3 visits (interquartile range 2–7 visits) per patient. Five patients had more than 10 emergency department visits. Baseline factors associated with admission included male sex (OR 10.47, 95% CI 2.13–51.56; p = 0.004) and performance of an LP (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.31–7.31; p = 0.01). Contrastingly, older age at presentation (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.99; p = 0.01), and a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.89–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against admission. The presence of papilledema (OR 11.62, 95% CI 3.20–42.16; p < 0.001), Caucasian race (OR 40.53, 95% CI 2.49–660.09 p = 0.009), and systemic hypertension (OR 7.73, 95% CI 1.11–53.62; p = 0.03) were independent risk factors for shunt revision. In addition, a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77–0.96; p = 0.009) and older age at presentation (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.87–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against shunt revision, while there was suggestive evidence that presence of a programmable shunt (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05–1.14; p = 0.07) was a protective factor against shunt revision. Of note, location of the proximal catheter in the ventricle or lumbar subarachnoid space was not significantly associated with admission or shunt revision in the multivariable analyses.

CONCLUSIONS The decision to admit a shunt-treated patient from the emergency department for symptoms related to IIH is challenging. Knowledge of factors associated with the need for admission and/or shunt revision is required. In this study, factors such as male sex, younger age at presentation, lower number of prior emergency department visits, and performance of a diagnostic LP were independent predictors of admission. In addition, papilledema was strongly predictive of the need for shunt revision, highlighting the importance of an ophthalmological examination for shunt-treated adults with IIH who present to the emergency department.

 

The Survival Advantage of “Supratotal” Resection of Glioblastoma Using Selective Cortical Mapping and the Subpial Technique

Neurosurgery 81:275–288, 2017

A substantial body of evidence suggests that cytoreductive surgery is a prerequisite to prolonging survival in patients with glioblastoma (GBM).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and impact of “supratotal” resections beyond the zone of enhancement seen on magnetic resonance imaging scans, using a subpial technique.

METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 86 consecutive patients with primary GBM, managed by the senior author, using a subpial resection technique with or without carmustine (BCNU) wafer implantation. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was used to analyze clinical, radiological, and outcome variables. Overall impacts of extent of resection (EOR) and BCNUwafer placementwere compared using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

RESULTS: Mean patient age was 56 years. The median OS for the group was 18.1 months. Median OS for patients undergoing gross total, near-total, and subtotal resection were 54, 16.5, and 13.2 months, respectively. Patients undergoing near-total resection (P = .05) or gross total resection (P<.01) experienced statistically significant longer survival time than patients undergoing subtotal resection as well as patients undergoing≥95% EOR (P<.01) when compared to <95% EOR. The addition of BCNU wafers had no survival advantage.

CONCLUSIONS: The subpial technique extends the resection beyond the contrast enhancement and is associated with an overall survival beyond that seen in similar series where resection of the enhancement portion is performed. The effect of supratotal resection on survival exceeded the effects of age, Karnofsky performance score, and tumor volume. A prospective study would help to quantify the impact of the subpial technique on quality of life and survival as compared to a traditional resection limited to the enhancing tumor.

 

Preserving normal facial nerve function and improving hearing outcome in large vestibular schwannomas with a combined approach

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1197–1211

To perform planned subtotal resection followed by gamma knife surgery (GKRS) in a series of patients with large vestibular schwannoma (VS), aiming at an optimal functional outcome for facial and cochlear nerves.

Methods Patient characteristics, surgical and dosimetric features, and outcome were collected prospectively at the time of treatment and during the follow-up.

Results A consecutive series of 32 patients was treated between July 2010 and June 2016. Mean follow-up after surgery was 29 months (median 24, range 4–78). Mean presurgical tumor volume was 12.5 cm3 (range 1.47–34.9). Postoperative status showed normal facial nerve function (House– Brackmann I) in all patients. In a subgroup of 17 patients with serviceable hearing before surgery and in which cochlear nerve preservation was attempted at surgery, 16 (94.1%) retained serviceable hearing. Among them, 13 had normal hearing (Gardner–Robertson class 1) before surgery, and 10 (76.9%) retained normal hearing after surgery. Mean duration between surgery and GKRS was 6.3 months (range 3.8–13.9). Mean tumor volume at GKRS was 3.5 cm3 (range 0.5–12.8), corresponding to mean residual volume of 29.4% (range 6– 46.7) of the preoperative volume. Mean marginal dose was 12 Gy (range 11–12). Mean follow-up after GKRS was 24 months (range 3–60). Following GKRS, there were no new neurological deficits, with facial and hearing functions remaining identical to those after surgery in all patients. Three patients presented with continuous growth after GKRS, were considered failures, and benefited from the same combined approach a second time.

Conclusion Our data suggest that large VS management, with planned subtotal resection followed by GKRS, might yield an excellent clinical outcome, allowing the normal facial nerve and a high level of cochlear nerve functions to be retained. Our functional results with this approach in large VS are comparable with those obtained with GKRS alone in small- and medium-sized VS. Longer term follow-up is necessary to fully evaluate this approach, especially regarding tumor control.

 

Trigeminal nerve contrast enhancement after radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 127:219–225, 2017

Contrast enhancement of the retrogasserian trigeminal nerve on MRI scans frequently develops after radiosurgical ablation for the management of medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The authors sought to evaluate the clinical significance of this imaging finding in patients who underwent a second radiosurgical procedure for recurrent TN.

METHODS During a 22-year period, 360 patients underwent Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as their first surgical procedure for TN at the authors’ center. The authors retrospectively analyzed the data from 59 patients (mean age 72 years, range 33–89 years) who underwent repeat SRS for recurrent pain at a median of 30 months (range 6–146 months) after the first SRS. The isocenter was 4 mm, and the median maximum doses for the first and second procedures were 80 Gy and 70 Gy, respectively. A neuroradiologist and a neurosurgeon blinded to the treated side evaluated the presence of nerve contrast enhancement on MRI series at the time of the repeat procedure. The authors correlated the presence of this imaging change with clinical outcomes. Pain outcomes and development of trigeminal sensory dysfunction were evaluated with the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) Pain Scale and BNI Numbness Scale, respectively. The mean length of follow-up after the second SRS was 58 months (95% CI 49–68 months).

RESULTS At the time of the repeat SRS, contrast enhancement of the trigeminal nerve on MRI scans was observed in 31 patients (53%). Five years after the SRS, patients with this enhancement had lower actuarial rates of complete pain relief after the repeat SRS (27% [95% CI 7%–47%]) than patients without the enhancement (76% [95% CI 58%–94%]) (p < 0.001). At the 5-year follow-up, patients with the contrast enhancement also had a higher risk for trigeminal sensory loss after repeat SRS (75% [95% CI 59%–91%]) than patients without contrast enhancement (26% [95% CI 10%–42%]) (p = 0.001). Dysesthetic pain after repeat SRS was observed for 8 patients with and for 2 patients without contrast enhancement.

CONCLUSIONS Trigeminal nerve contrast enhancement on MRI scans observed at the time of a repeat SRS for TN was associated with less satisfactory pain control and more frequently detected facial sensory loss. Residual contrast enhancement at the time of a repeat SRS may warrant consideration of dose reduction or further separation of the radiosurgical targets.

Contemporary analysis of the intraoperative and perioperative complications of neurosurgical procedures performed in the sitting position

J Neurosurg 127:182–188, 2017

Historically, performing neurosurgery with the patient in the sitting position offered advantages such as improved visualization and gravity-assisted retraction. However, this position fell out of favor at many centers due to the perceived risk of venous air embolism (VAE) and other position-related complications. Some neurosurgical centers continue to perform sitting-position cases in select patients, often using modern monitoring techniques that may improve procedural safety. Therefore, this paper reports the risks associated with neurosurgical procedures performed in the sitting position in a modern series.

METHODS The authors reviewed the anesthesia records for instances of clinically significant VAE and other complications for all neurosurgical procedures performed in the sitting position between January 1, 2000, and October 8, 2013. In addition, a prospectively maintained morbidity and mortality log of these procedures was reviewed for instances of subdural or intracerebral hemorrhage, tension pneumocephalus, and quadriplegia. Both overall and specific complication rates were calculated in relation to the specific type of procedure.

RESULTS In a series of 1792 procedures, the overall complication rate related to the sitting position was 1.45%, which included clinically significant VAE, tension pneumocephalus, and subdural hemorrhage. The rate of any detected VAE was 4.7%, but the rate of VAE requiring clinical intervention was 1.06%. The risk of clinically significant VAE was highest in patients undergoing suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy with a rate of 2.7% and an odds ratio (OR) of 2.8 relative to deep brain stimulator cases (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–70, p = 0.04). Sitting cervical spine cases had a comparatively lower complication rate of 0.7% and an OR of 0.28 as compared with all cranial procedures (95% CI 0.12–0.67, p < 0.01). Sitting cervical cases were further subdivided into extradural and intradural procedures. The rate of complications in intradural cases was significantly higher (OR 7.3, 95% CI 1.4–39, p = 0.02) than for extradural cases. The risk of VAE in intradural spine procedures did not differ significantly from sitting suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy cases (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.09–5.4, p = 0.7). Two cases (0.1%) had to be aborted intraoperatively due to complications. There were no instances of intraoperative deaths, although there was a single death within 30 days of surgery.

CONCLUSIONS In this large, modern series of cases performed in the sitting position, the complication rate was low. Suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy was associated with the highest risk of complications. When appropriately used with modern anesthesia techniques, the sitting position provides a safe means of surgical access.

Long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of the Prestige LP artificial cervical disc replacement at 2 levels

J Neurosurg Spine 27:7–19, 2017

The aim of this study was to assess long-term clinical safety and effectiveness in patients undergoing anterior cervical surgery using the Prestige LP artificial disc replacement (ADR) prosthesis to treat degenerative cervical spine disease at 2 adjacent levels compared with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicenter FDA-approved clinical trial was conducted at 30 US centers, comparing the low-profile titanium ceramic composite-based Prestige LP ADR (n = 209) at 2 levels with ACDF (n = 188). Clinical and radiographic evaluations were completed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at regular postoperative intervals to 84 months. The primary end point was overall success, a composite variable that included key safety and efficacy considerations.

RESULTS At 84 months, the Prestige LP ADR demonstrated statistical superiority over fusion for overall success (observed rate 78.6% vs 62.7%; posterior probability of superiority [PPS] = 99.8%), Neck Disability Index success (87.0% vs 75.6%; PPS = 99.3%), and neurological success (91.6% vs 82.1%; PPS = 99.0%). All other study effectiveness measures were at least noninferior for ADR compared with ACDF. There was no statistically significant difference in the overall rate of implant-related or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events up to 84 months (26.6% and 27.7%, respectively). However, the Prestige LP group had fewer serious (Grade 3 or 4) implant- or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events (3.2% vs 7.2%, log hazard ratio [LHR] and 95% Bayesian credible interval [95% BCI] -1.19 [-2.29 to -0.15]). Patients in the Prestige LP group also underwent statistically significantly fewer second surgical procedures at the index levels (4.2%) than the fusion group (14.7%) (LHR -1.29 [95% BCI -2.12 to -0.46]). Angular range of motion at superior- and inferior-treated levels on average was maintained in the Prestige LP ADR group to 84 months.

CONCLUSIONS The low-profile artificial cervical disc in this study, Prestige LP, implanted at 2 adjacent levels, maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion 84 months after surgery and is a safe and effective alternative to fusion.

The Cost of Brain Surgery: Awake vs Asleep Craniotomy for Perirolandic Region Tumors

Neurosurgery 81:307–314, 2017

Cost effectiveness has become an important factor in the health care system, requiring surgeons to improve efficacy of procedures while reducing costs. An awake craniotomy (AC) with direct cortical stimulation (DCS) presents one method to resect eloquent region tumors; however, some authors assert that this procedure is an expensive alternative to surgery under general anesthesia (GA) with neuromonitoring.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost effectiveness and clinical outcomes between AC and GA patients.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a cohort of 17 patients with perirolandic gliomas who underwent an AC with DCS were case-control matched with 23 patients with perirolandic gliomas who underwent surgery under GA with neuromonitoring (ie, motor-evoked potentials, somatosensory-evoked potentials, phase reversal). Inpatient costs, qualityadjusted life years (QALY), extent of resection, and neurological outcome were compared between the groups.

RESULTS: Total inpatient expense per patient was $34 804 in the AC group and $46 798 in the GA group (P = .046). QALY score for the AC group was 0.97 and 0.47 for the GA group (P = .041). The incremental cost per QALY for the AC group was $82 720 less than the GA group. Postoperative Karnofsky performance status was 91.8 in the AC group and 81.3 in the GA group (P=.047). Length of hospitalization was 4.12 days in the AC group and 7.61 days in the GA group (P = .049).

CONCLUSION: The total inpatient costs for awake craniotomies were lower than surgery under GA. This study suggests better cost effectiveness and neurological outcome with awake craniotomies for perirolandic gliomas.

Relationship of A1 segment hypoplasia to anterior communicating artery aneurysm morphology and risk factors for aneurysm formation

J Neurosurg 127:89–95, 2017

Hypoplasia of the A1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery is frequently observed in patients with anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms. The effect of this anatomical variant on ACoA aneurysm morphology is not well understood.

METHODS Digital subtraction angiography images were reviewed for 204 patients presenting to the authors’ institution with either a ruptured or an unruptured ACoA aneurysm. The ratio of the width of the larger A1 segment to the smaller A1 segment was calculated. Patients with an A1 ratio greater than 2 were categorized as having A1 segment hypoplasia. The relationship of A1 segment hypoplasia to both patient and aneurysm characteristics was then assessed.

RESULTS Of 204 patients that presented with an ACoA aneurysm, 34 (16.7%) were found to have a hypoplastic A1. Patients with A1 segment hypoplasia were less likely to have a history of smoking (44.1% vs 62.9%, p = 0.0410). ACoA aneurysms occurring in the setting of a hypoplastic A1 were also found to have a larger maximum diameter (mean 7.7 vs 6.0 mm, p = 0.0084). When considered as a continuous variable, increasing A1 ratio was associated with decreasing aneurysm dome-to-neck ratio (p = 0.0289). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of A1 segment hypoplasia between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms (18.9% vs 10.7%; p = 0.1605).

CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that a hypoplastic A1 may affect the morphology of ACoA aneurysms. In addition, the relative lack of traditional risk factors for aneurysm formation in patients with A1 segment hypoplasia argues for the importance of hemodynamic factors in the formation of ACoA aneurysms in this anatomical setting.

 

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

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