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

Ventriculostomy-associated hemorrhage: a risk assessment by radiographic simulation

J Neurosurg 127:532–536, 2017

Ventriculostomy entry sites are commonly selected by freehand estimation of Kocher’s point or approximations from skull landmarks and a trajectory toward the ipsilateral frontal horn of the lateral ventricles. A recognized ventriculostomy complication is intracranial hemorrhage from cortical vessel damage; reported rates range from 1% to 41%. In this report, the authors assess hemorrhagic risk by simulating traditional ventriculostomy trajectories and using CT angiography (CTA) with venography (CTV) data to identify potential complications, specifically from cortical draining veins.

METHODS Radiographic analysis was completed on 50 consecutive dynamic CTA/CTV studies obtained at a tertiarycare academic neurosurgery department. Image sections were 0.5 mm thick, and analysis was performed on a venous phase that demonstrated high-quality opacification of the cortical veins and sagittal sinus. Virtual ventriculostomy trajectories were determined for right and left sides using medical diagnostic imaging software. Entry points were measured along the skull surface, 10 cm posteriorly from the nasion, and 3 cm laterally for both left and right sides. Cannulation was simulated perpendicular to the skull surface. Distances between the software-traced cortical vessels and the virtual catheter were measured. To approximate vessel injury by twist drill and ventricular catheter placement, veins within a 3-mm radius were considered a hemorrhage risk.

RESULTS In 100 virtual lines through Kocher’s point toward the ipsilateral ventricle, 19% were predicted to cause cortical vein injury and suspected hemorrhage (radius ≤ 3 mm). Little difference existed between cerebral hemispheres (right 18%, left 20%). The average (± SD) distance from the trajectory line and a cortical vein was 7.23 ± 4.52 mm. In all 19 images that predicted vessel injury, a site of entry for an avascular zone near Kocher’s point could be achieved by moving the trajectory less than 1.0 cm laterally and less than 1.0 cm along the anterior/posterior axis, suggesting that empirical measures are suboptimal, and that patient-specific coordinates based on preprocedural CTA/CVA imaging may optimize ventriculostomy in the future.

CONCLUSIONS In this institutional radiographic imaging analysis, traditional methods of ventriculostomy site selection predicted significant rates of cortical vein injury, matching described rates in the literature. CTA/CTV imaging potentiates identification of patient-specific cannulation sites and custom trajectories that avoid cortical vessels, which may lessen the risk of intracranial hemorrhage during ventriculostomy placement. Further development of this software is underway to facilitate stereotactic ventriculostomy and improve outcomes.

Early retreatment after surgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1627–1632

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Efficacy, complications and cost of surgical interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a systematic review of the literature

Acta Neurochirurgica 2017 (159) 33–49

To define the efficacy, complication profile and cost of surgical options for treating idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) with respect to the following endpoints: vision and headache improvement, normal CSF pressure restoration, papilloedema resolution, relapse rate, operative complications, cost of intervention and quality of life.

Methods

A systematic review of the surgical treatment of IIH was carried out. Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were systematically searched from 1985 to 2014 to identify all relevant manuscripts written in English. Additional studies were identified by searching the references of retrieved papers and relative narrative reviews.

Results

Forty-one (41) studies were included (36 case series and 5 case reports), totalling 728 patients. Three hundred forty-one patients were treated with optic nerve sheath fenestration (ONSF), 128 patients with lumboperitoneal shunting (LPS), 72 patients with ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS), 155 patients with venous sinus stenting and 32 patients with bariatric surgery. ONSF showed considerable efficacy in vision improvement, while CSF shunting had a superior headache response. Venous sinus stenting demonstrated satisfactory results in both vision and headache improvement along with the best complication profile and low relapse rate, but longer follow-up periods are needed. The complication rate of bariatric surgery was high when compared to other interventions and visual outcomes have not been reported adequately. ONSF had the lowest cost.

Conclusions

No surgical modality proved to be clearly superior to any other in IIH management. However, in certain contexts, a given approach appears more justified. Therefore, a treatment algorithm has been formulated, based on the extracted evidence of this review. The traditional treatment paradigm may need to be re-examined with sinus stenting as a first-line treatment modality.

Contribution of Lordotic Correction on C5 Palsy Following Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion

Neurosurgery 79:816–822, 2016

C5 palsy is a well-reported complication of cervical spine surgery. The implication of sagittal cervical alignment parameters and their changes after surgery on the incidence of C5 palsy remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: We review cervical alignment changes in our cases of C5 palsy after cervical laminectomy and fusion.

METHODS: Cases of C5 palsy were retrospectively compared with a control group. Preoperative and postoperative upright plain film radiographs were analyzed in blinded fashion.

RESULTS: Spine registry analysis identified 148 patients who underwent cervical laminectomy and fusion by the senior author over 5 years. There were 18 (12%) cases complicated by postoperative C5 palsy. Nine of these 18 patients had prerequisite upright films and were compared with a randomly constructed case control group of 20 patients. There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups in age, proportion of males, and preoperative Nurick score. Measures of sagittal alignment did not differ significantly between the 2 groups on preoperative and postoperative imaging. When comparing the amount of alignment change between preoperative and postoperative upright imaging, however, patients with C5 palsy had a statistically higher amount of average C4-C5 Cobb angle change (22.53 vs 0.78; P = .01). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that lordotic change in both C4-C5 and C2-C7 Cobb angles were associated with development of palsy.

CONCLUSION: Lordotic cervical correction, as measured on upright imaging, was statistically larger in patients who had C5 palsy. The role of deformity correction in C5 palsy deserves further study and may inform intraoperative decision making.

Hydrocephalus: an underrated long-term complication of microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia

External lumbar drain- A pragmatic test for prediction of shunt outcomes in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:2203–2206

Hydrocephalus is a common complication of posterior fossa surgery, but its real incidence after microvascular decompression (MVD) for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) still remains unclear. The aim of this study was to focus on the potential association between MVD and hydrocephalus as a surgery-related complication.

Methods All patients who underwent MVD procedure for idiopathic TN at our institute between 2009 and 2014 were reviewed to search for early or late postoperative hydrocephalus.

Results There were 259 consecutive patients affected by idiopathic TN who underwent MVD procedure at our institution between 2009 and 2014 (113 men, 146 women; mean age 59 years, range 30–87 years; mean follow-up 40.92 months, range 8–48 months). Nine patients (3.47 %) developed communicating hydrocephalus after hospital discharge and underwent standard ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. No cases of acute hydrocephalus were noticed.

Conclusions Our study suggests that late communicating hydrocephalus may be an underrated potential long-term complication of MVD surgery.

 

Complication Rates Associated With Adult Cervical Deformity Surgery

prospective-multicenter-assessment-of-early-complication-rates-associated-with-adult-cervical-deformity-surgery-in-78-patients

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.

Fewer complications with bolt-connected than tunneled external ventricular drainage

evd_catheter_3001401_1_m

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1491–1494

Ventriculostomy/external ventricular drain (EVD) is a common neurosurgical procedure. Various techniques are used to fixate the drain and the objective of this study was, in a retrospective setting, to compare the incidence of complications when using bolt-connected EVD (BC-EVD) versus tunneled EVD (T-EVD).

Methods All patients subjected to an EVD performed through a new burr hole from 2009 through 2010 at two Depts. of Neurosurgery in Denmark (Odense and Aarhus) were retrospectively identified. Patient files were evaluated for EVD fixation technique (tunneled or bolt-connected EVD) and complications including unintended removal, catheter obstruction, infection, CSF leakage, and mechanical problems.

Results A total of 271 patients with 272 separate EVDs met the inclusion criteria. There was a statistically higher rate of complications leading to reinsertion in the tunneled EVD group (40 %), compared to the bolt-connected EVD group (6.5 %). There was no significant difference in infection rates.

Conclusions Tunneled EVD has a relatively high frequency of complications leading to reinsertion. The use of Bolt-connected EVD technique can lower this frequency significantly. The number needed to treat is three for preventing a complication requiring reinsertion. Infection rates are low for both types of ventriculostomies. Accordingly, we recommend use of Bolt-connected EVDs in neurosurgical practice.

Routine early CT scanning after craniotomy: is it effective for the early detection of postoperative intracranial hematoma?

postoperative intracranial hematoma

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1447–1452

Postoperative intracranial hematoma (POIH) is a frequent sequela secondary to cranial surgery. The role of routine early postoperative computed tomography (CT) scanning in the detection of POIH remains controversial. The study was aimed at analyzing the effect of routine early CT scanning after craniotomy for the early detection of POIH.

Methods Routine early postoperative CT scanning was performed at our institute, and a retrospective study was conducted to analyze the data. POIH was defined as an intra- cranial hematoma requiring surgical management.

Results A total of 1,148 patients undergoing craniotomy were included in this study; 28 of these patients developed POIH. The majority of POIH cases (15/28, 54 %) were detected during the first 6 h following craniotomy. A routine CT scan was per- formed on all included patients but two; however, CT scans detected only 16 POIH cases. During the first 6 h, the rate at which CT scans detected POIH was 1.9 % (15/786); subse- quently, the rate decreased to only 0.3 % (1/360; p<0.05, compared with the rate during the first 6h). Among patients without clinical manifestations, the rate at which the routine post-craniotomy CT scan detected POIH was only 0.7 % (5/721) (p<0.05, compared with the incidence of POIH). Finally, among high-risk POIH patients, the POIH-positive rate of routine CT scanning was elevated.

Conclusions It appears that routine early CT scan is ineffective for the detection of POIH in patients undergoing craniotomy. However, if the strategy for routine scanning can be improved, its effect may be beneficial.

Early postoperative haematomas in neurosurgery

220131666

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:837–846

A postoperative haematoma can be a very serious complication following a neurosurgical procedure. Patients should be informed about the risks of such an event prior to surgery. From a practical point of view, it would be important to know when the patient is most likely to deteriorate and to require surgery because of a postoperative haematoma and when it might be safe to transfer the patient to the regular ward. The up-to-date studies regarding this topic are few.

Methods We therefore undertook the present retrospective study, including a cohort of all patients operated on at the Department of Neurosurgery in Lund during the years 2011– 2014, with the aim to define the time windows for clinical deterioration and reoperation, and whether risk factors such as anticoagulant agents/antiplatelet therapy, emergency versus elective surgery and abnormal coagulation blood values were present. We also defined the type of surgery resulting in postoperative haematoma and tried to find the clinical state of the patients when they deteriorated, as well as the outcome at 3 months postoperatively.

Results During the time period from June 2011 to November 2014, a total of 7,055 surgical procedures of all kinds were registered at our department. By the search for the diagnosis codes AWE00 and AWD00 (reoperation for deep haemorrhage and for superficial haemorrhage respectively), we identified 93 reoperations, meaning a percentage of 1.3 %. Thirtyfour of the reoperations were done within the first 24 h. Twenty-four patients were reoperated on >24 h but ≤72 h after the first operation. Only four patients who were initially doing well postoperatively showed a delayed clinical deterioration within the time frame from>6 h and ≤24 h postoperatively. This means that 0.06 % of the patients who were operated upon were doing well initially, being completely awake and with no new neurological deficit and no deterioration within the first 6 h postoperatively, and then deteriorated from a postoperative haematoma within the time frame of>6 h and ≤24 h postoperatively.

Conclusions We could conclude that no exact time window distinguished very early from somewhat later postoperative haematomas in our material. However, all but two patients deteriorating between 6 and 24 h after the operation had at least one of the following risk factors defined for postoperative haematoma: meningioma surgery, anticoagulant agents/antiplatelet therapy prior to surgery (including Dalteparin [Fragmin®], Enoxaparinnatrium [Klexane®], Warfarin [Waran®], ASA [Trombyl®] or ASA and caffeine [Treo®]), emergency operation, posterior fossa surgery or chronic subdural haematoma in a patient with a shunt. This material is too small to make any definitive conclusions, but a suggestion could be to include these factors when considering the transfer of a patient from the postoperative intensive care unit to the regular ward.

Delayed Facial Palsy After Vestibular Schwannoma Resection

vestibular-schwannoma

Neurosurgery 78:251–255, 2016

Preservation of facial nerve function following vestibular schwannoma surgery is a high priority. Even those patients with normal to near-normal function in the early postoperative period remain at risk for delayed facial palsy (DFP).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence and prognosis of DFP and to identify risk factors for its occurrence.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of 489 patients who underwent vestibular schwannoma resection at our institution between 2000 and 2014. Delayed facial palsy was defined as deterioration in facial function of at least 2 House-Brackmann (HB) grades between postoperative days 5 to 30. Only patients with a HB grade of I to III by postoperative day 5 were eligible for study inclusion.

RESULTS: One hundred twenty-one patients with HB grade IV to VI facial weakness at postoperative day 5 were excluded from analysis. Of the remaining 368, 60 (16%) patients developed DFP (mean 12 days postoperatively, range: 5-25 days). All patients recovered function to HB grade I to II by a mean of 33 days (range: 7-86 days). Patients that developed DFP had higher rates of gross total resections (83% vs 71%, P = .05) and retrosigmoid approaches (72% vs 52%, P, .01). There was no difference in recovery time between patients who received treatment with steroids, steroids with antivirals, or no treatment at all (P = .530).

CONCLUSION: Patients with a gross total tumor resection or undergoing a retrosigmoid approach may be at higher risk of DFP. The prognosis is favorable, with patients likely recovering to normal or near-normal facial function within 1 month of onset.

Complications associated with the Dynesys dynamic stabilization system

dynesys

Neurosurg Focus 40 (1):E2, 2016

The Dynesys dynamic stabilization system is an alternative to rigid instrumentation and fusion for the treatment of lumbar degenerative disease. Although many outcomes studies have shown good results, currently lacking is a comprehensive report on complications associated with this system, especially in terms of how it compares with reported complication rates of fusion.

For the present study, the authors reviewed the literature to find all studies involving the Dynesys dynamic stabilization system that reported complications or adverse events. Twenty-one studies were included for a total of 1166 patients with a mean age of 55.5 years (range 39–71 years) and a mean follow-up period of 33.7 months (range 12.0–81.6 months). Analysis of these studies demonstrated a surgical-site infection rate of 4.3%, pedicle screw loosening rate of 11.7%, pedicle screw fracture rate of 1.6%, and adjacent-segment disease (ASD) rate of 7.0%. Of studies reporting revision surgeries, 11.3% of patients underwent a reoperation. Of patients who developed ASD, 40.6% underwent a reoperation for treatment.

The Dynesys dynamic stabilization system appears to have a fairly similar complication-rate profile compared with published literature on lumbar fusion, and is associated with a slightly lower incidence of ASD.

Intracranial meningioma surgery in the elderly (over 65 years): prognostic factors and outcome

Tuberculum Sellae Meningiomas

Acta Neurochir 157 (9): 1549-1557

Meningiomas are more prevalent in elderly individuals; however, the surgical outcome and prognostic factors in this age group are unclear. This retrospective study aimed to identify the prognostic factors of elderly patients with intracranial meningiomas who underwent surgical resection.

Methods

Eighty-six patients (aged ≥65) diagnosed with an intracranial meningioma were surgically treated at our department. The clinical, radiological, and follow-up data were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate logistic analyses were performed to identify relationships between factors [age, sex, neurological condition, concomitant disease, American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) classification, preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, tumor location and size, peritumoral edema, and Simpson resection grade] and outcome.

Results

One patient (1.2 %) died within 30 days of surgery. The morbidity rate was 37.2 %. Postoperative morbidities occurred more frequently in the patients with preoperative neurological deficits than in those without (p = 0.049). Univariate analysis identified significant relationships between a low KPS score (≤70) at discharge and preoperative neurological deficits, low preoperative KPS score (≤70), and critical tumor location (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p = 0.04, respectively). In the multivariate logistic analysis, only the preoperative KPS score remained significant for the KPS score at discharge (p = 0.005); there was no significant association with the most recent KPS score.

Conclusion

The outcome of intracranial meningioma resection in elderly individuals is favorable if the preoperative KPS score is >70 and no neurological deficits are present. Treatment decisions should be patient-specific, and additional factors should be considered when operations are performed in patients with a low preoperative KPS score or neurological deficits.

Impact of Age on Short-term Outcomes After Lumbar Fusion

Three-Dimensional Computed Tomography-Based Spinal Navigation in Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion4

Neurosurgery 77:347–354, 2015

The safety and efficacy of spinal fusion in the elderly population remains uncertain with conflicting data.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if elderly patients undergoing instrumented lumbar fusion have increased 30-day complication rates compared to younger patients.

METHODS: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was used to identify all patients undergoing instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion between 2005 and 2011. Patients were stratified by decade cohorts as follows: ,65, 65 to 75, 75 to 85, and $85 years old. All 30-day complications were grouped as overall composite morbidity and were compared using multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 1395 patients were identified and the overall 30-day complication rate was 11.47%. The complication rates were 9.04% and 14.05% for patients younger than 65 and older than 65, respectively. When stratified by decade cohorts, the complication rates were 9.04% for the ,65 cohort, 13.46% for the 65 to 75 cohort, 16.17% for the .75 to 85 cohort, and 4.00% for the $85 cohort. Multivariable regression analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between the ,65 and $65 age cohorts (odds ratio = 1.26; 95% confidence interval: 0.87-2.19). After stratifying into age cohorts, multivariable analyses revealed no difference in odds of postoperative complication occurrence for any age cohort when compared with the referent group (,65 years of age).

CONCLUSION: Patients older than 65 years of age have significantly higher rates of complications after lumbar fusion when compared to younger patients. However, multivariable analysis revealed that age was not an independent risk factor for complication occurrence after lumbar fusion.

Complications and Resource Use Associated With Surgery for Chiari Malformation Type 1 in Adults

Dura_Splitting_Decompression_for_Chiari_I

Neurosurgery 77:261–268, 2015

Outcomes research on Chiari malformation type 1 (CM-1) is impeded by a reliance on small, single-center cohorts.

OBJECTIVE: To study the complications and resource use associated with adult CM-1 surgery using administrative data.

METHODS: We used a recently validated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code algorithm to retrospectively study adult CM-1 surgeries from 2004 to 2010 in California, Florida, and New York using State Inpatient Databases. Outcomes included complications and resource use within 30 and 90 days of treatment. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify risk factors for morbidity and negative binomial models to determine risk-adjusted costs.

RESULTS: We identified 1947 CM-1 operations. Surgical complications were more common than medical complications at both 30 days (14.3% vs 4.4%) and 90 days (18.7% vs 5.0%) postoperatively. Certain comorbidities were associated with increased morbidity; for example, hydrocephalus increased the risk for surgical (odds ratio [OR] = 4.51) and medical (OR = 3.98) complications. Medical but not surgical complications were also more common in older patients (OR = 5.57 for oldest vs youngest age category) and male patients (OR = 3.19). Risk-adjusted hospital costs were $22530 at 30 days and $24852 at 90 days postoperatively. Risk-adjusted 90-day costs were more than twice as high for patients experiencing surgical ($46264) or medical ($65679) complications than for patients without complications ($18880).

CONCLUSION: Complications after CM-1 surgery are common, and surgical complications are more frequent than medical complications. Certain comorbidities and demographic characteristics are associated with increased risk for complications. Beyond harming patients, complications are also associated with substantially higher hospital costs. These results may help guide patient management and inform decision making for patients considering surgery.

Aspirin is associated with an increased risk of subdural hematoma in normal-pressure hydrocephalus patients following shunt implantation

Subdural Hematoma

J Neurosurg 123:423–426, 2015

In this paper the authors investigate whether shunt-treated patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus receiving aspirin therapy are at increased risk of developing subdural hematoma (SDH).

Methods Records from 80 consecutive patients who had undergone implantation of a cerebrospinal fluid shunt for the treatment of normal-pressure hydrocephalus were retrospectively reviewed.

Results Eleven cases of symptomatic SDH occurred, all among patients receiving aspirin or clopidogrel. The 5-year survival estimate was 0.3 (p < 0.0001) for users of aspirin and the hazard ratio was 12.8 (95% CI 3.1–53).

Conclusions Patients on an aspirin therapy regimen have a markedly increased risk of SDH after a shunt has been implanted for the treatment of normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Users of clopidogrel may have an even greater risk.

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

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