J Neurooncol (2013) 112:141–152
Differentiating post radiation necrosis from progression of glioma and pseudoprogression poses a diagnostic conundrum for many clinicians. As radiation therapy and temozolomide chemotherapy have become the mainstay of treatment for higher-grade gliomas, radiation necrosis and post treatment changes such as pseudoprogression have become a more relevant clinical problem for neurosurgeons and neurooncologists. Due to their radiological similarity to tumor progression, accurate recognition of these findings remains paramount given their vastly different treatment regimens and prognoses. However, no consensus has been reached on the optimal technique to discriminate between these two lesions.
In order to clarify the types of imaging modalities for recurrent enhancing lesions, we conducted a systematic review of case reports, case series, and prospective studies to increase our current understanding of the imaging options for these common lesions and their efficacy. In particular, we were interested in distinguishing radiation necrosis from true tumor progression. A PubMed search was performed to include all relevant studies where the imaging was used to differentiate between radiation necrosis and recurrent gliomas with post-radiation enhancing lesions.
After screening for certain parameters in our study, seventeen articles with 435 patients were included in our analysis including 10 retrospective and 7 prospective studies. The average time from the end of radiation therapy to the onset of a recurrent enhancing lesion was 13.2 months. The most sensitive and specific imaging modality was SPECT with a sensitivity of 87.6 % and specificity of 97.8 %.
Based on our review, we conclude that certain imaging modalities may be preferred over other less sensitive/specific techniques. Overall, tests such as SPECT may be preferable in differentiating TP (tumor progression) from RN (radiation necrosis) due to its high specificity, while nonspecific imaging such as conventional MRI is not ideal.
Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:345–353
Monitoring of brain function and metabolism during surgery may be of benefit for patient outcome. Microdialysis is the only sampling technique to date that allows continuous monitoring of drug or metabolite concentrations in the extracellular fluid of multiple tissues in the brain. This qualitative systematic review aimed to determine whether microdialysis is a valid tool for detecting changes in tissue composition as would be expected upon changes in (induced) tissue metabolic composition during brain surgery.
Methods A systematic review was conducted by performing a MEDLINE search using the terms “Intraoperative Period” (Medical Subject Heading [MeSH]) OR “Surgery” [Subheading] OR “Monitoring, Intraoperative” [MeSH] AND “Microdialysis” [MeSH] AND “Brain” [MeSH]. Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality of the studies. For each study the grades of recommendation were determined.
Results The search strategy yielded 46 publications in Medline. Data extraction was performed on 16 studies. The methodological quality of studies was low, with overall scores of 4 or 5. A quantitative analysis could not be performed because of lack of sufficient data. A qualitative analysis was positive with regard to the detection of different states of tissue composition by microdialysis. However, the levels of recommendation on the outcome statements were low, resulting in a grade D level of recommendation on all statements.
Conclusions The available evidence for the validity of cerebral microdialysis as a diagnostic tool during brain surgery is of low scientific quality. In order to develop cerebral microdialysis as a valid instrument for monitoring of brain metabolism during surgery, standardised clinical prospective studies in homogeneous patient populations are required.
Neurosurgery 72:25–32, 2013
The natural history and treatment results for spinal glomus (type II) arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remain relatively obscure.
OBJECTIVE: To calculate spinal glomus (type II) AVM hemorrhages rates and amalgamate results of intervention.
METHODS: We performed a pooled analysis via the PubMed database through May 2012, including studies with at least 3 cases. Data on individual patients were extracted and analyzed using a Cox proportional hazards regression model to obtain hazard ratios for hemorrhage risk factors.
RESULTS: The annual hemorrhage rate before treatment was 4% (95% confidence interval [confidence interval]: 3%-6%), increasing to 10% (95% CI: 7%-16%) for AVMs with previous hemorrhage. The hazard ratio for hemorrhage after hemorrhagic presentation was 2.25 (95% CI: 0.71-7.07), increasing to 13.0 within the first 10 years (95% CI: 1.44-118). The overall rates of complete obliteration were 78% (95% CI: 72%-83%) for surgery and 33% (95% CI: 24%-43%) for endovascular treatment. Long-term clinical worsening occurred in 12% of patients after surgical treatment (95% CI: 8%-16%) and in 13% after endovascular treatment (95% CI: 7%-21%). No hemorrhages occurred after complete obliteration. After partial surgical treatment, the annual hemorrhage rate was 3% (95% CI: 1%-6%); no hemorrhages were reported over 196 patient-years after partial endovascular treatment.
CONCLUSION: Spinal glomus (type II) AVMs with previous hemorrhage, particularly within 10 years, demonstrated a greater risk of hemorrhage. Complete obliteration and even partial endovascular treatment significantly decreased their hemorrhage rate.
The minimally invasive lateral transpsoas approach has become an increasingly popular means of fusion. The most frequent complication is related to lumbar plexus nerve injuries; these can be diagnosed based on distribution of neurological deficit following the motor and/or sensory nerve injury. However, the literature has failed to provide a clinically relevant description of these complications. With accurate clinical diagnosis, spine practitioners can provide more precise prognostic and management recommendations to include observation, nerve blocks, neurodestructive procedures, medications, or surgical repair strategies. The purpose of this study was to standardize the clinical findings of lumbar plexopathies and nerve injuries associated with minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas lumbar fusion.
Methods. A thorough literature search of the MEDLINE database up to June 2012 was performed to identify studies that reported lumbar plexus and nerve injuries after the minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach. Included studies were assessed for described neurological deficits postoperatively. Studies that did attempt to describe nerve-related complications clinically were excluded. A clinically relevant assessment of lumbar plexus nerve injury was derived to standardize early diagnosis and outline prognostic implications.
Results. A total of 18 studies were selected with a total of 2310 patients; 304 patients were reported to have possible plexus-related complications. The incidence of documented nerve and/or root injury and abdominal paresis ranged from 0% to 3.4% and 4.2%, respectively. Motor weakness ranged from 0.7% to 33.6%. Sensory complications ranged from 0% to 75%. A lack of consistency in the descriptions of the lumbar plexopathies and/or nerve injuries as well as a lack of diagnostic paradigms was noted across studies reviewed. Sensory dermal zones were established and a standardized approach was proposed.
Conclusions. There is underreporting of postoperative lumbar plexus nerve injury and a lack of standardization of clinical findings of neural complications related to the minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach. The authors provide a diagnostic paradigm that allows for an efficient and accurate classification of postoperative lumbar plexopathies and nerve injuries.
J Neurosurg 117:749–754, 2012
Although decompressive hemicraniectomy has been shown to reduce death and improve functional outcome following malignant middle cerebral artery territory infarction, there is ongoing debate as to whether surgery should be routinely performed, considering the very high rates of disability and functional dependence in survivors. Through a systematic review of the literature, the authors sought to determine the outcome from a patient’s perspective.
Methods. In September 2010, a MEDLINE search of the English-language literature was performed using various combinations of 12 key words. A total of 16 papers were reviewed and individual study data were extracted.
Results. There was significant variability in study design, patient eligibility criteria, timing of surgery, and methods of outcome assessment. There were 382 patients (59% male, 41% female) with a mean age of 50 years, 25% with dominant-hemisphere infarction. The mortality rate was 24% and the mean follow-up in survivors was 19 months (range 3–114 months). Of 156 survivors with available modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, 41% had favorable functional outcome (mRS Score ≤ 3), whereas 47% had moderately severe disability (mRS Score 4). Among 157 survivors with quality of life assessment, the mean overall reduction was 45%: 67% for physical aspect and 37% for psychosocial aspect. Of 114 screened survivors, depression affected 56% and was moderate or severe in 25%. Most patients and/or caregivers (77% of the 209 interviewed) were satisfied and would give consent again for the procedure.
Conclusions. Despite high rates of physical disability and depression, the vast majority of patients are satisfied with life and do not regret having undergone surgery.
Neurosurg Rev (2012) 35:477–484
The interspinous distraction devices are used to treat variable pathologies ranging from facet syndrome, diskogenic low back pain, degenerative spinal stenosis, diskopathy, spondylolisthesis, and instability. The insertion of a posterior element with an interspinous device (ISD) is commonly judged responsive to a relative kyphosis of a lumbar segment with a moderate but persistent increase of the spinal canal and of the foraminal width and area, and without influence on low-grade spondylolisthesis. The consequence is the need of shared specific biomechanical concepts to give for each degenerative problem the right indication through a critical analysis of all available experimental and clinical biomechanical data. We reviewed systematically the available clinical and experimental data about kyphosis, enlargement of the spinal canal, distraction of the interspinous distance, increase of the neural foramina, ligamentous structures, load of the posterior annulus, intradiskal pressure, strength of the spinous processes, degeneration of the adjacent segment, complications, and cost-effectiveness of the ISD. The existing literature does not provide actual scientific evidence over the superiority of the ISD strategy, but most of the experimental and clinical data show a challenging potential. These considerations are applicable with different types of ISD with only few differences between the different categories. Despite—or because of—the low invasiveness of the surgical implantation of the ISD, this technique promises to play a major role in the future degenerative lumbar microsurgery. The main indications for ISD remain lumbar spinal stenoses and painful facet arthroses. A clear documented contraindication is the presence of an anterolisthesis. Nevertheless, the existing literature does not provide evidence of superiority of outcome and cost-effectiveness of the ISD strategy over laminectomy or other surgical procedures. At this time, the devices should be used in clinical randomized independent trials in order to obtain more information concerning the most advantageous optimal indication or, in selected cases, to treat tailored indications.
Neurosurg Focus 32 (1):E5, 2012. 10.3171/2011.10.FOCUS11251
Sonothrombolysis has recently been considered an emerging modality for the treatment of stroke. The purpose of the present paper was to review randomized clinical studies concerning the effects of sonothrombolysis associated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) on acute ischemic stroke.
Systematic searches for literature published between January 1996 and July 2011 were performed for studies regarding sonothrombolysis combined with tPA for acute ischemic stroke. Only randomized controlled trials were included. Data extraction was based on ultrasound variables, patient characteristics, and outcome variables (rate of intracranial hemorrhages and arterial recanalization).
Four trials were included in this study; 2 trials evaluated the effect of transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography on sonothrombolysis, and 2 addressed transcranial color-coded duplex (TCCD) ultrasonography. The frequency of ultrasound waves varied from 1.8 to 2 MHz. The duration of thrombus exposure to ultrasound energy ranged from 60 to 120 minutes. Sample sizes were small, recanalization was evaluated at different time points (60 and 120 minutes), and inclusion criteria were heterogeneous. Sonothrombolysis combined with tPA did not lead to an increase in symptomatic intracranial hemorrhagic complications. Two studies demonstrated that patients treated with ultrasound combined with tPA had statistically significant higher rates of recanalization than patients treated with tPA alone.
Despite the heterogeneity and the limitations of the reviewed studies, there is evidence that sonothrombolysis associated with tPA is a safe procedure and results in an increased rate of recanalization in the setting of acute ischemic stroke when wave frequencies and energy intensities of diagnostic ultrasound systems are used.
Acta Neurochir (2011) 153:2403–2426. DOI 10.1007/s00701-011-1149-4
This study investigates retrospectively the clinical, neuroradiological, pathological and surgical evidence verifying the infundibulo-tuberal topography for craniopharyngiomas (CPs). Infundibulo-tuberal CPs represent a surgical challenge due to their close anatomical relationships with the hypothalamus. An accurate definition of this topographical category is essential in order to prevent any undue injury to vital diencephalic centres.
Methods A systematic review of all scientific reports involving pathological, neuroradiological or surgical descriptions of either well-described individual cases or large series of CPs published in official journals and text books from 1892 to 2011 was carried out. A total of 1,232 documents providing pathological, surgical and/or neuroradiological evidence for the infundibulo-tuberal or hypothalamic location of CPs were finally analysed in this study.
Findings For a total of 3,571 CPs included in 67 pathological, surgical or neuroradiological series, 1,494 CPs (42%) were classified as infundibulo-tuberal lesions. This topography was proved in the autopsy of 122 nonoperated cases. The crucial morphological finding characterizing the tubero-infundibular topography was the replacement of the third ventricle floor by a lesion with a predominant intraventricular growth. This type of CP usually presents a circumferential band of tight adherence to the third ventricle floor remnants, formed by a functionless layer of rective gliosis of a variable thickness. After complete surgical removal of an infundibulo-tuberal CP, a wide defect or breach at the floor of the third ventricle is regularly observed both in the surgical field and on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging studies.
Conclusions Infundibulo-tuberal CPs represent a major topographical category of lesions with a primary subpial development at the floor of the third ventricle. These lesions expand within the hypothalamus itself and subsequently occupy the third ventricle; consequently, they can be classified as not strictly intraventricular CPs. A tight attachment to the hypothalamus and remnants of the third ventricle floor is the pathological landmark of infundibulotuberal CPs.
Acta Neurochir (2011) 153:2293–2306. DOI 10.1007/s00701-011-1166-3
The indications for deep brain stimulation (DBS) are expanding, and the feasibility and efficacy of this surgical procedure in various neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders continue to be tested.
This review attempts to provide background and rationale for applying this therapeutic option to obesity and addiction. We review neural targets currently under clinical investigation for DBS—the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens—in conditions such as cluster headache and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These brain regions have also been strongly implicated in obesity and addiction. These disorders are frequently refractory, with very high rates of weight regain or relapse, respectively, despite the best available treatments.
Methods We performed a structured literature review of the animal studies of DBS, which revealed attenuation of food intake, increased metabolism, or decreased drug seeking. We also review the available radiologic evidence in humans, implicating the hypothalamus and nucleus in obesity and addiction.
Results The available evidence of the promise of DBS in these conditions combined with significant medical need, support pursuing pilot studies and clinical trials of DBS in order to decrease the risk of dietary and drug relapse.
Conclusions Well-designed pilot studies and clinical trials enrolling carefully selected patients with obesity or addiction should be initiated.
Eur Spine J (2011) 20:1596–1606.DOI 10.1007/s00586-011-1873-8
Despite an increasing implantation rate of interspinous process distraction (IPD) devices in the treatment of intermittent neurogenic claudication (INC), definitive evidence on the clinical effectiveness of implants is lacking. The main objective of this review was to perform a meta-analysis of all systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials and prospective cohort series to quantify the effectiveness of IPDs and to evaluate the potential sideeffects.
Methods Data from all studies prospectively describing clinical results based on validated outcome scales and reporting complications of treatment of patients with INC with IPD placement. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane (CENTRAL), CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Science Direct up to July 2010. Studies describing patients with INC caused by lumbar stenosis, reporting complication rate and reporting based on validated outcome scores, were eligible. Studies with only instrumented IPD results were excluded.
Results Eleven studies eligible studies were identified. Two independently RCTs and eight prospective cohorts were available. In total 563 patients were treated with IPDs. All studies showed improvement in validated outcome scores after 6 weeks and 1 year. Pooled data based on the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire of the RCTs were more in favor of IPD treatment compared with conservative treatment (pooled estimate 23.2, SD 18.5–27.8). Statistical heterogeneity after pooled data was low (I-squared 0.0, p = 0.930). Overall complication rate was 7%.
Conclusion As the evidence is relatively low and the costs are high, more thorough (cost-) effectiveness studies should be performed before worldwide implementation is introduced.
Journal of Neurosurgery Oct 2011 / Vol. 115 / No. 4 / Pages 670-678. DOI: 10.3171/2011.5.JNS102003.
Many neurosurgeons remove their patients’ hair before surgery. They claim that this practice reduces the chance of postoperative surgical site infections, and facilitates planning, attachment of the drapes, and closure. However, most patients dread this procedure.
The authors performed the first systematic review on shaving before neurosurgical procedures to investigate whether this commonly performed procedure is based on evidence. They systematically reviewed the literature on wound infections following different shaving strategies. Data on the type of surgery, surgery-related infections, preoperative shaving policy, decontamination protocols, and perioperative antibiotics protocols were collected.
The search detected 165 articles, of which 21 studies—involving 11,071 patients—were suitable for inclusion. Two of these studies were randomized controlled trials. The authors reviewed 13 studies that reported on the role of preoperative hair removal in craniotomies, 14 on implantation surgery, 5 on bur hole procedures, and 3 on spine surgery. Nine studies described shaving policies in pediatric patients.
None of these papers provided evidence that preoperative shaving decreases the occurrence of postoperative wound infections. The authors conclude that there is no evidence to support the routine performance of preoperative hair removal in neurosurgery. Therefore, properly designed studies are needed to provide evidence for preoperative shaving recommendations.
J Neurosurg Spine 15:295–310, 2011.DOI: 10.3171/2011.4.SPINE10330
The authors compared the effectiveness of instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (iPLIF) and instrumented posterolateral fusion (iPLF) for the treatment of low-back pain (LBP) due to degenerative lumbar disease.
Methods. Relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative observational studies through December 2009 were identified using a retrieval strategy of sensitive and specific searches. The study design, participant characteristics, interventions, follow-up rate and period, and outcomes were abstracted after the assessment of methodological quality of the trials. Analyses were performed following the method guidelines of the Cochrane Back Review Group.
Results. Nine studies were identified—3 RCTs and 6 comparative observational studies. No significant difference was found between the 2 fusion procedures in the global assessment of clinical outcome (OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.71–3.22, p = 0.29) and complication rate (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.16–1.86, p = 0.34). Both techniques were effective in reducing pain and improving functional disability, as well as restoring intervertebral disc height. Instrumented PLIF was more effective in achieving solid fusion (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.35–5.00, p = 0.004), a lower reoperation rate (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.03–1.29, p = 0.09), and better restoration of segmental angle and lumbar lordotic angle than iPLF. There were no significant differences between the fusion methods regarding blood loss (weighted mean difference –179.63, 95% CI –516.42 to 157.15, p = 0.30), and operating time (weighted mean difference 8.03, 95% CI –45.46 to 61.53, p = 0.77).
Conclusions. The authors’ analysis provided moderate-quality evidence that iPLIF has the advantages of higher fusion rate and better restoration of spinal alignment over iPLF. No significant differences were identified between iPLIF and iPLF concerning clinical outcome, complication rate, operating time, and blood loss.
Neurosurgery 69:630–643, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821a872d
Controversy persists regarding the optimal treatment of pediatric craniopharyngiomas.
OBJECTIVE: We performed a meta-analysis of reported series of transcranial (TC) and transsphenoidal (TS) surgery for pediatric craniopharyngiomas to determine whether comparisons between the outcomes in TS and TC approaches are valid.
METHODS: Online databases were searched for English-language articles reporting quantifiable outcome data published between 1990 and 2010 pertaining to the surgical treatment of pediatric craniopharyngiomas. Forty-eight studies describing 2955 patients having TC surgery and 13 studies describing 373 patients having TS surgery met inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Before surgery, patients who had TC surgery had less visual loss, more frequent hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure, larger tumors, and more suprasellar disease. After surgery, patients in the TC group had lower rates of gross total resection (GTR), more frequent recurrence after GTR, higher neurological morbidity, more frequent diabetes insipidus, less improvement, and greater deterioration in vision. There was no difference in operative mortality, obesity/hyperphagia, or overall survival percentages.
CONCLUSION: Directly comparing outcomes after TC and TS surgery for pediatric craniopharyngiomas does not appear to be valid. Baseline differences in patients who underwent each approach create selection bias that may explain the improved rates of disease control and lower morbidity of TS resection. Although TS approaches are becoming increasingly used for smaller tumors and those primarily intrasellar, tumors more amenable to TC surgery include large tumors with significant lateral extension, those that engulf vascular structures, and those with significant peripheral calcification.
Neurosurg Rev DOI 10.1007/s10143-011-0349-y
Chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) is an increasingly common neurological disease process. Despite the wide prevalence of cSDH, there remains a lack of consensus regarding numerous aspects of its clinical management. We provide an overview of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of cSDH and discuss several controversial management issues, including the timing of postoperative resumption of anticoagulant medications, the effectiveness of anti-epileptic prophylaxis, protocols for mobilization following evacuation of cSDH, as well as the comparative effectiveness of the various techniques of surgical evacuation.
A PubMed search was carried out through October 19, 2010 using the following keywords: “subdural hematoma”, “craniotomy”, “burr-hole”, “management”, “anticoagulation”, “seizure prophylaxis”, “antiplatelet”, “mobilization”, and “surgical evacuation”, alone and in combination. Relevant articles were identified and back-referenced to yield additional papers. A meta-analysis was then performed comparing the efficacy and complications associated with the various methods of cSDH evacuation.
There is general agreement that significant coagulopathy should be reversed expeditiously in patients presenting with cSDH. Although protocols for gradual resumption of anti-coagulation for prophylaxis of venous thrombosis may be derived from guidelines for other neurosurgical procedures, further prospective study is necessary to determine the optimal time to restart fulldose anti-coagulation in the setting of recently drained cSDH. There is also conflicting evidence to support seizure prophylaxis in patients with cSDH, although the existing literature supports prophylaxis in patients who are at a higher risk for seizures.
The published data regarding surgical technique for cSDH supports primary twist drill craniostomy (TDC) drainage at the bedside for patients who are high-risk surgical candidates with non-septated cSDH and craniotomy as a first-line evacuation technique for cSDH with significant membranes. Larger prospective studies addressing these aspects of cSDH management are necessary to establish definitive recommendations.
Neurosurgery 69:255–260, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821a45ba
Ventriculostomy placement is an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool for neurosurgeons. Multiple authors have presented retrospective series of patients evaluating periprocedure hemorrhage.
OBJECTIVE: We performed a meta-analysis of existing studies to determine a more accurate rate of hemorrhage.
METHODS: A MEDLINE and PubMed search was performed to find all studies of 25 or more patients conducted since 1970 that found a hemorrhagic complication rate from placement of a ventriculostomy. Studies in which a non-neurosurgeon placed the ventriculostomy and studies involving premature infants were excluded.
RESULTS: Sixteen studies were used to obtain data from 2428 ventriculostomy procedures. Hemorrhage was found after 203 procedures, and 52 of these hemorrhages were deemed significant by the authors. The cumulative rate of hemorrhage was 7.0% (95% confidence interval: 4.5%-9.4%), with P , .05. The cumulative rate of significant hemorrhage was 0.8% (95% confidence interval: 0.2%-1.4%) with P , .05.
CONCLUSION: Based on our meta-analysis, the overall hemorrhagic complication rate from ventriculostomy placement by neurosurgeons is approximately 7%. The rate of significant hemorrhage from ventriculostomy placement is approximately 0.8%. Further prospective studies are warranted to better address this question.
Neurosurgery 68:571–581, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182093145
Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have usually supported using heparin prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery. The tradeoff between benefit and bleeding risk, however, has not been adequately characterized.
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the extent to which low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) prophylaxis reduces the rate of VTE and increases the rate of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and other bleeding in patients undergoing elective cranial neurosurgery.
METHODS: We selected RCTs that evaluated LDUH or LMWH prophylaxis of VTE in patients undergoing elective cranial neurosurgery. A meta-analysis assessing heparins vs no heparin (either with or without mechanical methods) was performed.
RESULTS: Eight RCTs were identified. Six RCTs involving 1170 patients evaluated LDUH or LMWH vs a control group. Five of 6 trials found a significant reduction in the risk of symptomatic and asymptomatic VTE with heparin prophylaxis. The pooled risk ratio was 0.58 (95% confidence interval, 0.45-0.75). ICH was more common in those receiving heparin, but not statistically significantly. For every 1000 patients who receive heparin prophylaxis, 91 VTE events will be prevented (approximately 35 of which are proximal deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and 9 to 18 of which are symptomatic), whereas 7 ICHs and 28 more minor bleeds will occur.
CONCLUSION: Heparin prophylaxis for patients undergoing elective cranial neurosurgery reduces the risk of VTE but may also increase bleeding risks with a ratio of serious or symptomatic VTE relative to serious bleeding that is only slightly favorable.
Eur Spine J (2011) 20:177–184. DOI 10.1007/s00586-010-1583-7
Cervical total disc replacement (CTDR) has been increasingly used as an alternative to fusion surgery in patients with pain or neurological symptoms in the cervical spine who do not respond to non-surgical treatment.
A systematic literature review has been conducted to evaluate whether CTDR is more efficacious and safer than fusion or non-surgical treatment. Published evidence up to date is summarised qualitatively according to the GRADE methodology.
After 2 years of follow-up, studies demonstrated statistically significant non-inferiority of CTDR versus fusion with respect to the composite outcome ‘overall success’. Single patient relevant endpoints such as pain, disability or quality of life improved in both groups with no superiority of CTDR. Both technologies showed similar complication rates. No evidence is available for the comparison between CTDR and non-surgical treatment. In the long run improvement of health outcomes seems to be similar in CTDR and fusion, however, the study quality is often severely limited. After both interventions, many patients still face problems. A difficulty per se is the correct diagnosis and indication for surgical interventions in the cervical spine. CTDR is no better than fusion in alleviating symptoms related to disc degeneration in the cervical spine. In the context of limited resources, a net cost comparison may be sensible.
So far, CTDR is not recommended for routine use. As many trials are ongoing, reevaluation at a later date will be required. Future research needs to address the relative effectiveness between CTDR and conservative treatment.
J Neurooncol (2011) 101:463–476. DOI 10.1007/s11060-010-0265-y
Craniopharyngiomas are locally aggressive tumors which typically are focused in the sellar and suprasellar region near a number of critical neural and vascular structures mediating endocrinologic, behavioral, and visual functions. The present study aims to summarize and compare the published literature regarding morbidity resulting from treatment of craniopharyngioma.
We performed a comprehensive search of the published English language literature to identify studies publishing outcome data of patients undergoing surgery for craniopharyngioma. Comparisons of the rates of endocrine, vascular, neurological, and visual complications were performed using Pearson’s chi-squared test, and covariates of interest were fitted into a multivariate logistic regression model.
In our data set, 540 patients underwent surgical resection of their tumor. 138 patients received biopsy alone followed by some form of radiotherapy. Mean overall follow-up for all patients in these studies was 54 ± 1.8 months. The overall rate of new endocrinopathy for all patients undergoing surgical resection of their mass was 37% (95% CI = 33– 41). Patients receiving GTR had over 2.5 times the rate of developing at least one endocrinopathy compared to patients receiving STR alone or STR + XRT (52 vs. 19 vs. 20%, v2 P<0.00001). On multivariate analysis, GTR conferred a significant increase in the risk of endocrinopathy compared to STR + XRT (OR = 3.45, 95% CI = 2.05–5.81, P<0.00001), after controlling for study size and the presence of significant hypothalamic involvement. There was a statistical trend towards worse visual outcomes in patients receiving XRT after STR compared to GTR or STR alone (GTR = 3.5% vs. STR 2.1% vs. STR + XRT 6.4%, P = 0.11). Given the difficulty in obtaining class 1 data regarding the treatment of this tumor, this study can serve as an estimate of expected outcomes for these patients, and guide decision making until these data are available.
Stroke. 2010;41:2108-2129. DOI: 10.1161/STR.0b013e3181ec611b
Purpose—The aim of this guideline is to present current and comprehensive recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of acute spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.
Methods—A formal literature search of MEDLINE was performed. Data were synthesized with the use of evidence tables. Writing committee members met by teleconference to discuss data-derived recommendations. The American Heart Association Stroke Council’s Levels of Evidence grading algorithm was used to grade each recommendation. Prerelease review of the draft guideline was performed by 6 expert peer reviewers and by the members of the Stroke Council Scientific Statements Oversight Committee and Stroke Council Leadership Committee. It is intended that this guideline be fully updated in 3 years’ time.
Results—Evidence-based guidelines are presented for the care of patients presenting with intracerebral hemorrhage. The focus was subdivided into diagnosis, hemostasis, blood pressure management, inpatient and nursing management, preventing medical comorbidities, surgical treatment, outcome prediction, rehabilitation, prevention of recurrence, and future considerations.
Conclusions—Intracerebral hemorrhage is a serious medical condition for which outcome can be impacted by early, aggressive care. The guidelines offer a framework for goal-directed treatment of the patient with intracerebral hemorrhage.
Neurosurg Focus 28 (6):E5, 2010. DOI: 10.3171/2010.3.FOCUS1032
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion had been considered a safe and effective procedure for radiculopathy and myelopathy in the cervical spine, but degeneration in adjacent spinal levels has been a problem in some patients after fusion. Since 2002, cervical disc arthroplasty has been established as an alternative to fusion. The objective of this study was to review data concerning the role of cervical arthroplasty in reducing adjacent-level degeneration.
Methods. A systematic review was performed using the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and LILACS databases, focusing on a structured question involving the population of interest, types of intervention, types of control, and outcomes studied.
Results. No study has specifically compared the results of arthroplasty with the results of fusion with respect to the rate of postoperative development of adjacent-segment degenerative disease. One paper described a rate for adjacent-level surgery. The level of evidence of that paper was classified 2b, and although its authors found a statistically significant between-groups difference (arthroplasty vs fusion) using log-rank analysis, re-analysis according to number needed to treat (in the current paper) did not reveal statistical significance.
Conclusions. Adjacent-level degeneration has not been adequately studied in a review of the available randomized controlled trials on this topic, and there is no clinical evidence of reduction in adjacent-level degeneration with the use of cervical arthroplasty.