Neurosurgery Blog


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

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Complications following cranioplasty: incidence and predictors in 348 cases


J Neurosurg 123:182–188, 2015

The factors that contribute to periprocedural complications following cranioplasty, including patient-specific and surgery-specific factors, need to be thoroughly assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors that predispose patients to an increased risk of cranioplasty complications and death.

Methods The authors conducted a retrospective review of all patients at their institution who underwent cranioplasty following craniectomy for stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, and trauma between January 2000 and December 2011. The following predictors were tested: age, sex, race, diabetic status, hypertensive status, tobacco use, reason for craniectomy, urgency status of the craniectomy, graft material, and location of cranioplasty. The cranioplasty complications included reoperation for hematoma, hydrocephalus postcranioplasty, postcranioplasty seizures, and cranioplasty graft infection. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed. Confidence intervals were calculated as the 95% CI.

Results Three hundred forty-eight patients were included in the study. The overall complication rate was 31.32% (109 of 348). The mortality rate was 3.16%. Predictors of overall complications in multivariate analysis were hypertension (OR 1.92, CI 1.22–3.02), increasing age (OR 1.02, CI 1.00–1.04), and hemorrhagic stroke (OR 3.84, CI 1.93–7.63). Predictors of mortality in multivariate analysis were diabetes mellitus (OR 7.56, CI 1.56–36.58), seizures (OR 7.25, CI 1.238–42.79), bifrontal cranioplasty (OR 5.40, CI 1.20–24.27), and repeated surgery for hematoma evacuation (OR 13.00, CI 1.51–112.02). Multivariate analysis was also applied to identify the variables that affect the development of seizures, the need for reoperation for hematoma evacuation, the development of hydrocephalus, and the development of infections.

Conclusions The authors’ goal was to provide the neurosurgeon with predictors of morbidity and mortality that could be incorporated in the clinical decision-making algorithm. Control of a patient’s risk factors and early recognition of complications may help practitioners avoid the exhaustive list of complications.

Postoperative symptoms of psychosis after deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease

DBS 2 leads metal head holder

Neurosurg Focus 38 (6):E5, 2015

Cases of postoperative psychosis in Parkinson’s disease patients receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment have previously been published. However, the magnitude of symptom incidence and the clinical risk factors are currently unknown. This retrospective study sheds light on these issues by investigating psychosis in a group of 128 Parkinson’s disease patients who received DBS implants.

Methods A retrospective chart review was performed to obtain surgery dates, follow-up clinic visit dates, and associated stimulation parameter settings (contacts in use and the polarity of each along with stimulation voltage, frequency, and pulse width) for each patient. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale II Thought Disorder scores, used as a clinical assessment tool to evaluate the presence of psychosis at each visit, were also collected. The data were compiled into a database and analyzed.

Results The lifetime incidence of psychosis in this cohort of patients was 28.1%. The data suggest that risk of psychosis remains fairly constant throughout the first 5 years after implantation of a DBS system and that patients older at the time of receiving the first DBS implant are not only more likely to develop psychosis, but also to develop symptoms sooner than their younger counterparts. Further analysis provides evidence that psychosis is largely independent of the clinically used electrode contact and of stimulation parameters prior to psychosis onset.

Conclusions Although symptoms of psychosis are widely seen in patients with Parkinson’s disease in the years following stimulator placement, results of the present suggest that most psychoses occurring postoperatively are likely independent of implantation and stimulation settings.

Topographical Risk Factor Analysis of New Neurological Deficits Following Precentral Gyrus Resection

Topographical Risk Factor Analysis of New Neurological Deficits Following Precentral Gyrus Resection

Neurosurgery 76:714–720, 2015

Precentral gyrus resections (PGRs) have been regarded as excessively hazardous interventions because of the risk of postoperative major neurological complications.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the neurological deterioration that follows PGRs and to assess the topographical risk factors associated with these morbidities.

METHODS: We reviewed 33 consecutive patients who experienced pharmacologically intractable epilepsy and underwent PGR with intraoperative cortical stimulation and mapping while under awake anesthesia. The etiological diagnoses were brain neoplasm in 26 patients (78.8%), cortical lesion in 4 (12.1%), and no lesion in 3 (9.1%). The mean follow-up period was 62.6 months (range, 12-146 months). All topographical analyses of the resected quadrant area were performed based on postoperative magnetic resonance images.

RESULTS: After PGR, 22 patients (66.7%) experienced neurological worsening, including 5 permanent deficits (15.2%) and 17 transient deficits (51.5%). Permanent deficits included 2 instances of weakness, 1 dysarthria, 1 dysesthesia, and 1 fine-movement disturbance of the hand. While the neurological risk for anterior lower quadrant PGR was 20.0% (1/5), the risk for posterior upper quadrant PGR was 100.0% (10/10). The anterior upper and posterior lower quadrant PGR caused neurological deteriorations in 60.0% (6/10) and 62.5% (5/8) of the patients, respectively. In a multivariate analysis, PGR of the posterior and upper quadrant sections were significant risk factors for post-PGR neurological deteriorations (P = .022 and 0.030, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The posterior upper quadrant of the precentral gyrus was vulnerable to post-resective neurological impairment.

Clinical factors associated with venous thromboembolism risk in patients undergoing craniotomy

Awake craniotomy for gliomas in a high-field intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging suite

J Neurosurg 122:1004–1011, 2015

Patients undergoing craniotomy are at risk for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE). The safety of anticoagulation in these patients is not clear. The authors sought to identify risk factors predictive of VTE in patients undergoing craniotomy.

METHODS The authors reviewed a national surgical quality database, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Craniotomy patients were identified by current procedural terminology code. Clinical factors were analyzed to identify associations with VTE.

RESULTS Four thousand eight hundred forty-four adult patients who underwent craniotomy were identified. The rate of VTE in the cohort was 3.5%, including pulmonary embolism in 1.4% and deep venous thrombosis in 2.6%. A number of factors were found to be statistically significant in multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, including craniotomy for tumor, transfer from acute care hospital, age ≥ 60 years, dependent functional status, tumor involving the CNS, sepsis, emergency surgery, surgery time ≥ 4 hours, postoperative urinary tract infection, postoperative pneumonia, on ventilator ≥ 48 hours postoperatively, and return to the operating room. Patients were assigned a score based on how many of these factors they had (minimum score 0, maximum score 12). Increasing score was predictive of increased VTE incidence, as well as risk of mortality, and time from surgery to discharge.

CONCLUSIONS Patients undergoing craniotomy are at low risk of developing VTE, but this risk is increased by preoperative medical comorbidities and postoperative complications. The presence of more of these clinical factors is associated with progressively increased VTE risk; patients possessing a VTE Risk Score of ≥ 5 had a greater than 20-fold increased risk of VTE compared with patients with a VTE score of 0.

Infections in patients undergoing craniotomy: risk factors associated with post-craniotomy meningitis

awake craniotomy

J Neurosurg 122:1113–1119, 2015

The authors performed a prospective study to define the prevalence and microbiological characteristics of infections in patients undergoing craniotomy and to clarify the risk factors for post-craniotomy meningitis.

Methods Patients older than 18 years who underwent nonstereotactic craniotomies between January 2006 and December 2008 were included. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and microbiological data were systemically recorded. Patient characteristics, craniotomy type, and pre- and postoperative variables were evaluated as risk factors for meningitis

Results Three hundred thirty-four procedures were analyzed (65.6% involving male patients). Traumatic brain injury was the most common reason for craniotomy. Almost 40% of the patients developed at least 1 infection. Ventilatorassociated pneumonia (VAP) was the most common infection recorded (22.5%) and Acinetobacter spp. were isolated in 44% of the cases. Meningitis was encountered in 16 procedures (4.8%), and CSF cultures were positive for microbial growth in 100% of these cases. Gram-negative pathogens (Acinetobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloaceae, Proteus mirabilis) represented 88% of the pathogens. Acinetobacter and Klebsiella spp. demonstrated a high percentage of resistance in several antibiotic classes. In multivariate analysis, the risk for meningitis was independently associated with perioperative steroid use (OR 11.55, p = 0.005), CSF leak (OR 48.03, p < 0.001), and ventricular drainage (OR 70.52, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Device-related postoperative communication between the CSF and the environment, CSF leak, and perioperative steroid use were defined as risk factors for meningitis in this study. Ventilator-associated pneumonia was the most common infection overall. The offending pathogens presented a high level of resistance to several antibiotics.

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


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Subtemporal Approach for AICA Aneurysm Clipping

MCA Aneurysm Anatomical Classification Scheme

Blister Aneurysms of the Internal Carotid Artery

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Basilar Invagination and Atlanto-Axial Dislocation Video 1

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 2

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 1

Management of a Recurrent Coiled Giant Posterior Cerebral Artery Aneurysm

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Expanded Endonasal Approach for 2012 MERC

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 1

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 2

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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