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

Nerve atrophy in trigeminal neuralgia due to neurovascular compression and its association with surgical outcomes after microvascular decompression

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1699–1705

Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is caused by neurovascular compression and is often related to morphological changes in the trigeminal nerve. The aim of this study was to quantitatively measure atrophic changes of trigeminal nerves in patients with TN, and to further investigate whether nerve atrophy affected the efficacy of microvascular decompression (MVD).

Methods We conducted a prospective case-control study of 60 consecutive patients with TN and 30 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. All subjects underwent high-resolution three-dimensional MRI. The volume of the cisternal segment of trigeminal nerves was measured and compared using 3D Slicer software. Patients with TN underwent primary MVD and regular follow-up for at least 2 years. Associations of nerve atrophy with patient characteristics and operative outcomes were analyzed.

Results The mean volume of the affected trigeminal nerve was significantly reduced in comparison to that of the nonaffected side (65.8 ± 21.1 versus 77.9 ± 19.3 mm3, P = 0.001) and controls (65.8 ± 21.1 versus 74.7 ± 16.5 mm3, P = 0.003). Fifty-two patients (86.7%) achieved complete pain relief without medication immediately after surgery, and 77.6% of patients were complete pain relief at the 2-year follow-up. The Spearman correlation test showed that there was a positive correlation (r=0.46, P = 0.018) between the degree of trigeminal nerve indentation and nerve atrophy. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, two factors, indentation on nerve root (OR = 2.968, P = 0.022) and degree of nerve atrophy (OR = 1.18, P = 0.035), were associated with the long-term outcome.

Conclusions TN is associated with atrophy on the affected nerve. Furthermore, greater nerve atrophy is associated with more severe trigeminal nerve indentation and better long-term outcome following MVD.

Exploring the brain through posterior hypothalamus surgery for aggressive behavior

Neurosurg Focus 43 (3):E14, 2017

Neurological surgery offers an opportunity to study brain functions, through either resection or implanted neuromodulation devices. Pathological aggressive behavior in patients with intellectual disability is a frequent condition that is difficult to treat using either supportive care or pharmacological therapy.

The bulk of the laboratory studies performed throughout the 19th century enabled the formulation of hypotheses on brain circuits involved in the generation of emotions.

Aggressive behavior was also studied extensively. Lesional radiofrequency surgery of the posterior hypothalamus, which peaked in the 1970s, was shown to be an effective therapy in many reported series. As with other surgical procedures for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, however, this therapy was abandoned for many reasons, including the risk of its misuse.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) offers the possibility of treating neurological and psychoaffective disorders through relatively reversible and adaptable therapy. Deep brain stimulation of the posterior hypothalamus was proposed and performed successfully in 2005 as a treatment for aggressive behavior. Other groups reported positive outcomes using target and parameter settings similar to those of the original study. Both the lesional and DBS approaches enabled researchers to explore the role of the posterior hypothalamus (or posterior hypothalamic area) in the autonomic and emotional systems.

 

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.

Optimization of Microelectrode Recording in Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Using Intraoperative Computed Tomography

WORLD NEUROSURGERY 103: 168-173, JULY 2017

Microelectrode recording (MER) is used to confirm targeting accuracy during deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. We describe a technique using intraoperative computed tomography (CT) extrapolation (iCTE) to predetermine and adjust the trajectory of the guide tube to improve microelectrode targeting accuracy. We hypothesized that this technique would decrease the number of MER tracks and operative time, while increasing the recorded length of the subthalamic nucleus (STN).

– METHODS: Thirty-nine patients with Parkinson’s disease who underwent STN DBS before the iCTE method were compared with 33 patients undergoing STN DBS using iCTE. Before dural opening, a guide tube was inserted and rested on dura. Intraoperative computed tomography (iCT) was performed, and a trajectory was created along the guide tube and extrapolated to the target using targeting software. If necessary, headstage adjustments were made to correct for error. The guide tube was inserted, and MER was performed. iCT was performed with the microelectrode tip at the target. Coordinates were compared with planned/ adjusted track coordinates. Radial error between the MER track and the planned/adjusted track was calculated. Cases before and after implementation of iCTE were compared to determine the impact of iCTE on operative time, number of MER tracks and recorded STN length.

– RESULTS: The use of iCTE reduced the average radial MER track error from 1.90  0.12 mm (n[54) to 0.84  0.09 mm (n[49) (P < 0.001) while reducing the operative time for bilateral lead placement from 272  9 minutes (n [ 30) to 233  10 minutes (n [ 24) (P < 0.001). The average MER tracks per hemisphere was reduced from 2.24  0.13 mm (n[66) to 1.75  0.09 mm (n[63) (P < 0.001), whereas the percentage of hemispheres requiring a single MER track for localization increased from 29% (n [ 66) to 43% (n [ 63). The average length of recorded STN increased from 4.01  0.3 mm (n [ 64) to 4.75  0.28 mm (n [ 56) (P < 0.05).

-CONCLUSION: iCTE improves microelectrode accuracy and increases the first-pass recorded length of STN, while reducing operative time. Further studies are needed to determine whether this technique leads to less morbidity and improved clinical outcomes.

 

Protocol for motor and language mapping by navigated TMS in patients and healthy volunteers

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1187–1195

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is increasingly used for preoperative mapping of motor function, and clinical evidence for its benefit for brain tumor patients is accumulating. In respect to language mapping with repetitive nTMS, literature reports have yielded variable results, and it is currently not routinely performed for presurgical language localization. The aim of this project is to define a common protocol for nTMS motor and language mapping to standardize its neurosurgical application and increase its clinical value.

Methods: The nTMS workshop group, consisting of highly experienced nTMS users with experience of more than 1500 preoperative nTMS examinations, met in Helsinki in January 2016 for thorough discussions of current evidence and personal experiences with the goal to recommend a standardized protocol for neurosurgical applications.

Results: nTMS motor mapping is a reliable and clinically validated tool to identify functional areas belonging to both normal and lesioned primary motor cortex. In contrast, this is less clear for language-eloquent cortical areas identified by nTMS. The user group agreed on a core protocol, which enables comparison of results between centers and has an excellent safety profile. Recommendations for nTMS motor and language mapping protocols and their optimal clinical integration are presented here.

Conclusion: At present, the expert panel recommends nTMS motor mapping in routine neurosurgical practice, as it has a sufficient level of evidence supporting its reliability. The panel recommends that nTMS language mapping be used in the framework of clinical studies to continue refinement of its protocol and increase reliability.

Underutilization of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease?

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:771–778

Only 10% of the up to 15% of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) eligible for deep brain stimulation (DBS) are referred to specialized centers. This survey evaluated the reasons for the reluctance of patients and referring physicians regarding DBS.

Methods: Two different questionnaires containing multiple choice and open verbalized questions were developed, one for neurologists and one for patients with PD. The first questionnaire was sent to 87 neurologists in private practice in the catchment area of the authors’ medical center, the second to patient support groups in the same region with the help of the German Parkinson Association.

Results: Of the addressed neurologists, 56.3% completed the questionnaire; 61.2% of themestimated the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage as the most severe complication at 4.3% on average; 30.6% were concerned about patients developing mood changes or depression after DBS. Only 16.3% felt unable to care for patients after DBS; 61.2% already had personal experience with patients after DBS and reported good clinical outcome in 90.0% of patients. Although 87.8% claimed to know the specific criteria for DBS, only 40.8% could actively describe them. Only 14.0% could state each of the three main criteria. Of the 46 patients, 88.1% completing the questionnaire had obtained information on DBS from regional patient organizations and 54.8% also from a physician; 44.7% assumed the risk of severe complications to be ≥5.0%. Not being satisfied with their medical treatment was reported by 22.2%, of whom more than 70% considered DBS a further treatment option.

Conclusions The latter numbers indicate that treating neurologists tend to overestimate the reluctance of their patients to undergo DBS. Therefore, education of patients and neurologists should be improved and give more realistic figures on the actual outcomes and frequencies of possible complications.

Microelectrode recording findings within the tractography-defined ventral intermediate nucleus

J Neurosurg 126:1669–1675, 2017

The ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus is not visible on structural MRI. Therefore, direct VIM targeting methods for stereotactic tremor surgery are desirable. The authors previously described a direct targeting method for visualizing the VIM and its structural connectivity using deterministic tractography. In this combined electrophysiology and imaging study, the authors investigated the electrophysiology within this tractography-defined VIM (T-VIM).

METHODS Thalamic neurons were classified based on their relative location to the T-VIM: dorsal, within, and ventral to the T-VIM. The authors identified the movement-responsive cells (kinesthetic and tremor cells), performed spike analysis (firing rate and burst index), and local field potential analysis (area under the curve for 13–30 Hz). Tremor efficacy in response to microstimulation along the electrode trajectory was also assessed in relation to the T-VIM.

RESULTS Seventy-three cells from a total of 9 microelectrode tracks were included for this analysis. Movement-responsive cells (20 kinesthetic cells and 26 tremor cells) were identified throughout the electrode trajectories. The mean firing rate and burst index of cells (n = 27) within the T-VIM are 18.8 ± 9.8 Hz and 4.5 ± 5.4, respectively. Significant local field potential beta power was identified within the T-VIM (area under the curve for 13–30 Hz = 6.6 ± 7.7) with a trend toward higher beta power in the dorsal T-VIM. The most significant reduction in tremor was also observed in the dorsal T-VIM.

CONCLUSIONS The electrophysiological findings within the VIM thalamus defined by tractography, or T-VIM, correspond with the known microelectrode recording characteristics of the VIM in patients with tremor.

Variability of intraoperative electrostimulation parameters in conscious individuals: language cortex

J Neurosurg 126:1641–1652, 2017

Electrostimulation in awake brain mapping is widely used to guide tumor removal, but methodologies can differ substantially across institutions. The authors studied electrostimulation brain mapping data to characterize the variability of the current intensity threshold across patients and the effect of its variations on the number, type, and surface area of the essential language areas detected.

METHODS Over 7 years, the authors prospectively studied 100 adult patients who were undergoing intraoperative brain mapping during resection of left hemisphere tumors. In all 100 cases, the same protocol of electrostimulation brain mapping (a controlled naming task—bipolar stimulation with biphasic square wave pulses of 1-msec duration and 60-Hz trains, maximum train duration 6 sec) and electrocorticography was used to detect essential language areas.

RESULTS The minimum positive thresholds of stimulation varied from patient to patient; the mean minimum intensity required to detect interference was 4.46 mA (range 1.5–9 mA), and in a substantial proportion of sites (13.5%) interference was detected only at intensities above 6 mA. The threshold varied within a given patient for different naming areas in 22% of cases. Stimulation of the same naming area with greater intensities led to slight changes in the type of response in 19% of cases and different types of responses in 4.5%. Naming sites detected were located in subcentimeter cortical areas (50% were less than 20 mm2), but their extent varied with the intensity of stimulation. During a brain mapping session, the same intensity of stimulation reproduced the same type of interference in 94% of the cases. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean stimulation intensities required to produce interfereince in the left inferior frontal lobe (Broca’s area), the supramarginal gyri, and the posterior temporal region.

CONCLUSIONS Intrasubject and intersubject variations of the minimum thresholds of positive naming areas and changes in the type of response and in the size of these areas according to the intensity used may limit the interpretation of data from electrostimulation in awake brain mapping. To optimize the identification of language areas during electrostimulation brain mapping, it is important to use different intensities of stimulation at the maximum possible currents, avoiding afterdischarges. This could refine the clinical results and scientific data derived from these mapping sessions.

Microvascular decompression for tinnitus

J Neurosurg 126:1148–1157, 2017

The objective of this study was to examine operative outcomes in cases of microvascular decompression (MVD) of cranial nerve (CN) VIII for tinnitus through a critical review of the literature.

METHODS Forty-three English-language articles were gathered from PubMed and analyzed. In this review, two different case types were distinguished: 1) tinnitus-only symptomatology, which was defined as a patient with tinnitus with or without sensorineural hearing loss; and 2) mixed symptomatology, which was defined as tinnitus with symptoms of other CN dysfunction. This review reports outcomes of those with tinnitus-only symptoms.

RESULTS Forty-three tinnitus-only cases were found in the literature with a 60% positive outcome rate following MVD. Analysis revealed a 5-year cutoff of preoperative symptom duration before which a good outcome can be predicted with 78.6% sensitivity, and after which a poor outcome can be predicted with 80% specificity.

CONCLUSIONS As the 60% success rate is more promising than several other therapeutic options open to the chronic tinnitus sufferer, future research into this field is warranted.

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

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:265–269

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

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

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

Endoventricular Deep Brain Stimulation of the Third Ventricle: Proof of Concept and Application to Cluster Headache

Neurosurgery 79:806–815, 2016

The third ventricle (3rd V) is surrounded by centers related to satiety, homeostasis, hormones, sleep, memory, and pain. Stimulation of the wall of the 3rd V could be useful to treat disorders related to dysfunction of the hypothalamus.

OBJECTIVE: To assess safety and efficacy of endoventricular electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus using a floating deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead laid on the floor of the 3rd V to treat refractory cluster headaches (CH).

METHODS: Seven patients, aged 24 to 60 years, experiencing chronic CH (mean chronic duration 5.8 6 2.5 years) were enrolled in this pilot, prospective, open study assessing the safety and potential efficacy of chronic DBS of the 3rd V. Number of attacks was collected during baseline and was compared with those occurring at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperation. Any side effects that occurred during or after surgery were reported. Effect on mood was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale during baseline and at 6 and 12 months postoperation.

RESULTS: Insertion of the lead into the posterior 3rd V and chronic stimulation was feasible and safe in all patients. The voltage ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 volts. The most common side effect was transient trembling vision during stimulation. At 12 months, 3 of 7 patients were pain free, 2 had 90% improvement, 1 of 7 had 75% improvement, and 1 of 7 was not significantly improved.

CONCLUSION: This proof of concept demonstrates the feasibility, safety, and potential efficacy of 3rd V DBS using an endoventricular road that could be applied to treat various diseases involving hypothalamic areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Stimulation sites in the subthalamic nucleus and clinical improvement in Parkinson’s disease

stimulation-sites-in-the-subthalamic-nucleus-and-clinical-improvement-in-parkinsons-disease

J Neurosurg 125:1068–1079, 2016

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is widely used in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, which target area of this region results in the highest antiparkinsonian efficacy is still a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to develop a more accurate methodology to locate the electrodes and the contacts used for chronic stimulation (active contacts) in the subthalamic region, and to determine the position at which stimulation conveys the greatest clinical benefit.

Methods The study group comprised 40 patients with PD in whom bilateral DBS electrodes had been implanted in the STN. Based on the Morel atlas, the authors created an adaptable 3D atlas that takes into account individual anatomical variability and divides the STN into functional territories. The locations of the electrodes and active contacts were obtained from an accurate volumetric assessment of the artifact using preoperative and postoperative MR images. Active contacts were positioned in the 3D atlas using stereotactic coordinates and a new volumetric method based on an ellipsoid representation created from all voxels that belong to a set of contacts. The antiparkinsonian benefit of the stimulation was evaluated by the reduction in the Unified Parkinson´s Disease Rating Scale Part III (UPDRS-III) score and in the levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD) at 6 months. A homogeneous group classification for contact position and the respective clinical improvement was applied using a hierarchical clustering method.

Results Subthalamic stimulation induced a significant reduction of 58.0% ± 16.5% in the UPDRS-III score (p < 0.001) and 64.9% ± 21.0% in the LEDD (p < 0.001). The greatest reductions in the total and contralateral UPDRS-III scores (64% and 76%, respectively) and in the LEDD (73%) were obtained when the active contacts were placed approximately 12 mm lateral to the midline, with no influence of the position being observed in the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes. In contrast, contacts located about 10 mm from the midline only reduced the global and contralateral UPDRS-III scores by 47% and 41%, respectively, and the LEDD by 33%. Using the ellipsoid method of location, active contacts with the highest benefit were positioned in the rostral and most lateral portion of the STN and at the interface between this subthalamic region, the zona incerta, and the thalamic fasciculus. Contacts placed in the most medial regions of the motor STN area provided the lowest clinical efficacy.

Conclusions The authors report an accurate new methodology to assess the position of electrodes and contacts used for chronic subthalamic stimulation. Using this approach, the highest antiparkinsonian benefit is achieved when active contacts are located within the rostral and the most lateral parts of the motor region of the STN and at the interface of this region and adjacent areas (zona incerta and thalamic fasciculus).

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

Artis Zeego

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1783–1788

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

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

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

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

Interventional magnetic resonance imaging‑guided subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease: Patient selection

iMRI STN DBS

Surg Neurol Int 02-Aug-2016;7:

Interventional magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) guided deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been shown to be effective. The costs of a dedicated intraoperative MRI may be prohibitive. The procedure can also be performed in a diagnostic scanner, however this presents challenges for utilization of time when the scanner is used both as a diagnostic and an interventional unit. This report outlines our novel methodology for patient selection for implantation in a diagnostic MR scanner, as an attempt to streamline the use of resources. A retrospective review of our outcomes is also presented.

Methods: DBS candidacy evaluation included a PD questionnaire‑39. Anxiety, age, difficulties in communication and body habitus were factors that were assessed in selecting patients for this technique. Eleven patients underwent iMRI‑guided DBS implantation in the subthalamic nucleus. All patients were implanted bilaterally. Unified PD rating scale (UPDRS) part III and L‑dopa dose were compared pre‑ and post‑stimulation. A cohort of 11 DBS patients not selected for iMRI‑guided DBS were also reported for comparison.

Results: For the iMRI‑guided patients, mean “Off” UPDRS III score was 47.6 (standard deviation [SD] 8.26). Postoperative “On” medication, “On” stimulation UPDRS III was 13.6 (SD 5.23). Mean preoperative L‑dopa dose was 1060 mg (SD 474.3) and mean postoperative L‑dopa dose was 320 (SD 298.3).

Conclusion: iMRI‑guided DBS is a newly emerging technique for surgical treatment of patients with PD. We present a novel scoring system for patient selection assessing anxiety, age, ability to communicate, and body habitus to identify patients who will be benefited most from this technique.

Improved Function After Deep Brain Stimulation for Chronic, Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Improved Function After Deep Brain Stimulation for Chronic, Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Neurosurgery 79:204–211, 2016

Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) damages the frontal lobes and connecting networks, which impairs executive functions, including the ability to selfregulate. Despite significant disabling effects, there are few treatment options in the chronic phase after injury.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety and potential effectiveness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for individuals with chronic, disabling TBI and problems of behavioral and emotional self-regulation.

METHODS: This study was an open-label, prospective design with serial assessments of behavioral outcomes and positron emission tomography 2 years after DBS implantation. Four participants 6 to 21 years after severe TBIs from automobile crashes were included. Although alert and volitional, all experienced significant executive impairments, including either impulsivity or reduced initiation. DBS implants were placed bilaterally in the nucleus accumbens and anterior limb of the internal capsule to modulate the prefrontal cortex.

RESULTS: The procedure was safe, and all participants had improved functional outcomes. Two years after implantation, 3 met a priori criteria for improvement on the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4. Improvement was due largely to better emotional adjustment, although 1 participant showed marked increases in multiple domains. Significant improvement in a composite score of functional capacity indicated improved independence in self-care and activities of daily living. The pattern of change in cognition corresponded with changes in activation of the prefrontal cortex observed in serial scanning.

CONCLUSION: This first study of DBS to this target for severe TBI supports its safety and suggests potential effectiveness to improve function years after injury. The primary impact was on behavioral and emotional adjustment, which in turn improved functional independence.

Simultaneous bilateral stereotactic procedure for deep brain stimulation implants

Simultaneous bilateral stereotactic procedure for deep brain stimulation implants

J Neurosurg 125:85–89, 2016

Currently, bilateral procedures involve 2 sequential implants in each of the hemispheres. The present report demonstrates the feasibility of simultaneous bilateral procedures during the implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads.

Methods Fifty-seven patients with movement disorders underwent bilateral DBS implantation in the same study period. The authors compared the time required for the surgical implantation of deep brain electrodes in 2 randomly assigned groups. One group of 28 patients underwent traditional sequential electrode implantation, and the other 29 patients underwent simultaneous bilateral implantation. Clinical outcomes of the patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who had undergone DBS implantation of the subthalamic nucleus using either of the 2 techniques were compared.

Results Overall, a reduction of 38.51% in total operating time for the simultaneous bilateral group (136.4 ± 20.93 minutes) as compared with that for the traditional consecutive approach (220.3 ± 27.58 minutes) was observed. Regarding clinical outcomes in the PD patients who underwent subthalamic nucleus DBS implantation, comparing the preoperative off-medication condition with the off-medication/on-stimulation condition 1 year after the surgery in both procedure groups, there was a mean 47.8% ± 9.5% improvement in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part III (UPDRS-III) score in the simultaneous group, while the sequential group experienced 47.5% ± 15.8% improvement (p = 0.96). Moreover, a marked reduction in the levodopa-equivalent dose from preoperatively to postoperatively was similar in these 2 groups. The simultaneous bilateral procedure presented major advantages over the traditional sequential approach, with a shorter total operating time.

Conclusions A simultaneous stereotactic approach significantly reduces the operation time in bilateral DBS procedures, resulting in decreased microrecording time, contributing to the optimization of functional stereotactic procedures.

Mapping of cortical language function by functional magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive navigated transcranialmagnetic stimulation in 40 healthy subjects

Mapping of cortical language function by functional magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation in 40 healthy subjects

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1303–1316

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is considered to be the standard method regarding noninvasive language mapping. However, repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) gains increasing importance with respect to that purpose. However, comparisons between both methods are sparse.

Methods We performed fMRI and rTMS language mapping of the left hemisphere in 40 healthy, right-handed subjects in combination with the tasks that are most commonly used in the neurosurgical context (fMRI: word-generation=WGEN task; rTMS: object-naming=ON task). Different rTMS error rate thresholds (ERTs) were calculated, and Cohen’s kappa coefficient and the cortical parcellation system (CPS) were used for systematic comparison of the two techniques.

Results Overall, mean kappa coefficients were low, revealing no distinct agreement. We found the highest agreement for both techniques when using the 2-out-of-3 rule (CPS region defined as language positive in terms of rTMS if at least 2 out of 3 stimulations led to a naming error). However, kappa for this threshold was only 0.24 (kappa of <0, 0.01–0.20, 0.21– 0.40, 0.41–0.60, 0.61–0.80 and 0.81–0.99 indicate less than chance, slight, fair, moderate, substantial and almost perfect agreement, respectively).

Conclusions Because of the inherent differences in the underlying physiology of fMRI and rTMS, the different tasks used and the impossibility of verifying the results via direct cortical stimulation (DCS) in the population of healthy volunteers, one must exercise caution in drawing conclusions about the relative usefulness of each technique for language mapping. Nevertheless, this study yields valuable insights into these two mapping techniques for the most common language tasks currently used in neurosurgical practice.

Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the fornix for Alzheimer’s disease

Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the fornix for Alzheimer’s disease

J Neurosurg 125:75–84, 2016

This report describes the stereotactic technique, hospitalization, and 90-day perioperative safety of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the fornix in patients who underwent DBS for the treatment of mild, probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Methods The ADvance Trial is a multicenter, 12-month, double-blind, randomized, controlled feasibility study being conducted to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of DBS of the fornix in patients with mild, probable AD. Intraoperative and perioperative data were collected prospectively. All patients underwent postoperative MRI. Stereotactic analyses were performed in a blinded fashion by a single surgeon. Adverse events (AEs) were reported to an independent clinical events committee and adjudicated to determine the relationship between the AE and the study procedure.

Results Between June 6, 2012, and April 28, 2014, a total of 42 patients with mild, probable AD were treated with bilateral fornix DBS (mean age 68.2 ± 7.8 years; range 48.0–79.7 years; 23 men and 19 women). The mean planned target coordinates were x = 5.2 ± 1.0 mm (range 3.0–7.9 mm), y = 9.6 ± 0.9 mm (range 8.0–11.6 mm), z = -7.5 ± 1.2 mm (range -5.4 to -10.0 mm), and the mean postoperative stereotactic radial error on MRI was 1.5 ± 1.0 mm (range 0.2–4.0 mm). The mean length of hospitalization was 1.4 ± 0.8 days. Twenty-six (61.9%) patients experienced 64 AEs related to the study procedure, of which 7 were serious AEs experienced by 5 patients (11.9%). Four (9.5%) patients required return to surgery: 2 patients for explantation due to infection, 1 patient for lead repositioning, and 1 patient for chronic subdural hematoma. No patients experienced neurological deficits as a result of the study, and no deaths were reported.

Conclusions Accurate targeting of DBS to the fornix without direct injury to it is feasible across surgeons and treatment centers. At 90 days after surgery, bilateral fornix DBS was well tolerated by patients with mild, probable AD.

Identifying preoperative language tracts and predicting postoperative functional recovery using HARDI q-ball fiber tractography in patients with gliomas

Identifying preoperative language tracts and predicting postoperative functional recovery using HARDI q-ball ber tractography in patients with gliomas

J Neurosurg 125:33–45, 2016

Diffusion MRI has uniquely enabled in vivo delineation of white matter tracts, which has been applied to the segmentation of eloquent pathways for intraoperative mapping. The last decade has also seen the development from earlier diffusion tensor models to higher-order models, which take advantage of high angular resolution diffusion-weighted imaging (HARDI) techniques. However, these advanced methods have not been widely implemented for routine preoperative and intraoperative mapping. The authors report on the application of residual bootstrap q-ball fiber tracking for routine mapping of potentially functional language pathways, the development of a system for rating tract injury to evaluate the impact on clinically assessed language function, and initial results predicting long-term language deficits following glioma resection.

Methods: The authors have developed methods for the segmentation of 8 putative language pathways including dorsal phonological pathways and ventral semantic streams using residual bootstrap q-ball fiber tracking. Furthermore, they have implemented clinically feasible preoperative acquisition and processing of HARDI data to delineate these pathways for neurosurgical application. They have also developed a rating scale based on the altered fiber tract density to estimate the degree of pathway injury, applying these ratings to a subset of 35 patients with pre- and postoperative fiber tracking. The relationships between specific pathways and clinical language deficits were assessed to determine which pathways are predictive of long-term language deficits following surgery.

Results: This tracking methodology has been routinely implemented for preoperative mapping in patients with brain gliomas who have undergone awake brain tumor resection at the University of California, San Francisco (more than 300 patients to date). In this particular study the authors investigated the white matter structure status and language correlation in a subcohort of 35 subjects both pre- and postsurgery. The rating scales developed for fiber pathway damage were found to be highly reproducible and provided significant correlations with language performance. Preservation of the left arcuate fasciculus (AF) and the temporoparietal component of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF-tp) was consistent in all patients without language deficits (p < 0.001) at the long-term follow-up. Furthermore, in patients with short-term language deficits, the AF and/or SLF-tp were affected, and damage to these 2 pathways was predictive of a long-term language deficit (p = 0.005).

Conclusions: The authors demonstrated the successful application of q-ball tracking in presurgical planning for language pathways in brain tumor patients and in assessing white matter tract integrity postoperatively to predict long-term language dysfunction. These initial results predicting long-term language deficits following tumor resection indicate that postoperative injury to dorsal language pathways may be prognostic for long-term clinical language deficits. Study results suggest the importance of dorsal stream tract preservation to reduce language deficits in patients undergoing glioma resection, as well as the potential prognostic value of assessing postoperative injury to dorsal language pathways to predict long-term clinical language deficits.

Graph theory, complex networks, and neurosurgery

Graph theory analysis of complex brain networks

J Neurosurg 124:1665–1678, 2016

Neuroanatomy has entered a new era, culminating in the search for the connectome, otherwise known as the brain’s wiring diagram. While this approach has led to landmark discoveries in neuroscience, potential neurosurgical applications and collaborations have been lagging.

In this article, the authors describe the ideas and concepts behind the connectome and its analysis with graph theory. Following this they then describe how to form a connectome using resting state functional MRI data as an example. Next they highlight selected insights into healthy brain function that have been derived from connectome analysis and illustrate how studies into normal development, cognitive function, and the effects of synthetic lesioning can be relevant to neurosurgery.

Finally, they provide a précis of early applications of the connectome and related techniques to traumatic brain injury, functional neurosurgery, and neurooncology.

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

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