Neurosurgery Blog


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

Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Meta-analysis of the Fusion Rates. What is the Optimal Graft Material?

Neurosurgery 81:958–971, 2017

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) is an increasingly popular procedure with several potential advantages over traditional open TLIF.

OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed to compare fusion rates of different graft materials used in MIS-TLIF, via meta-analysis of the published literature.

METHODS: A Medline search was performed and a database was created including patient’s type of graft, clinical outcome, fusion rate, fusion assessment modality, and duration of follow-up. Meta-analysis of the fusion rate was performed using StatsDirect software (StatsDirect Ltd, Cheshire, United Kingdom).

RESULTS: A total of 1533 patients from 40 series were included. Fusion rates were high, ranging from 91.8% to 99%. The imaging modalities used to assess fusion were computed tomography scans (30%) and X-rays (70%). Comparison of all recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP) series with all non-rhBMP series showed fusion rates of 96.6% and 92.5%, respectively. The lowest fusion rate was seen with isolated use of autologous local bone (91.8%). The highest fusion ratewas observed with combination of autologous local bone with bone extender and rhBMP (99.1%). The highest fusion rate without the use ofBMPwas seen with autologous local bone+bone extender (93.1%). The reported complication rate ranged from 0% to 35.71%. Clinical improvement was observed in all studies.

CONCLUSION: Fusion rates are generally high with MIS-TLIF regardless of the graft material used. Given the potential complications of iliac bone harvesting and rhBMP, use of other bone graft options for MIS-TLIF is reasonable. The highest fusion rate without the use of rhBMP was seen with autologous local bone plus bone extender (93.1%).


Effect of statin treatment on vasospasm-related morbidity and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:291–301, 2017

The efficacy of statin therapy in treating aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remains controversial. In this meta-analysis, the authors investigated whether statin treatment significantly reduced the incidence of cerebral vasospasm and delayed neurological deficits, promoting a better outcome after aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS: A literature search of the PubMed, Ovid, and Cochrane Library databases was performed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies investigating the effect of statin treatment. The end points of cerebral vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND), delayed cerebral infarction, mortality, and favorable outcome were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS Six RCTs and 2 prospective cohort studies met the eligibility criteria, and a total of 1461 patients were included. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in the incidence of cerebral vasospasm (relative risk [RR] 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.96) in patients treated with statins after aneurysmal SAH. However, no significant benefit was observed for DIND (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.70–1.12), delayed cerebral infarction (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.33–1.31), mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.39–1.24) or favorable outcome, according to assessment by the modified Rankin Scale or Glasgow Outcome Scale (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS Treatment with statins significantly decreased the occurrence of vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH. The incidence of DIND, delayed cerebral infarction, and mortality were not affected by statin treatment. Future research should focus on DIND and how statins influence DIND.


Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Associated With Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Secondary Fusion Rates Following Open vs Minimally Invasive Decompression

Neurosurgery 80:355–367, 2017

Decompression without fusion is a treatment option in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) associated with stable low-grade degenerative spondylolis- thesis (DS). A minimally invasive unilateral laminotomy (MIL) for “over the top” decom- pression might be a less destabilizing alternative to traditional open laminectomy (OL). OBJECTIVE: To review secondary fusion rates after open vs minimally invasive decom- pression surgery.

METHODS: We performed a literature search in Pubmed/MEDLINE using the keywords “lumbar spondylolisthesis” and “decompression surgery.” All studies that separately reported the outcome of patients with LSS+DS that were treated by OL or MIL (transmuscular or subperiosteal route)were included in our systematic review and meta-analysis. The primary end point was secondary fusion rate. Secondary end points were total reoperation rate, postoperative progression of listhetic slip, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: We identified 37 studies (19 with OL, 18 with MIL), with a total of 1156 patients, that were published between 1983 and 2015. The studies’evidence was mostly level 3 or 4. Secondary fusion rates were 12.8% after OL and 3.3% after MIL; the total reoperation rates were 16.3% after OL and 5.8% after MIL. In the OL cohort, 72% of the studies reported a slip progression compared to 0% in the MIL cohort, respectively. After OL, satisfactory outcome was 62.7% compared to 76% after MIL.

CONCLUSION: In patients with LSS and DS, minimally invasive decompression is associated with lower reoperation and fusion rates, less slip progression, and greater patient satisfaction than open surgery.


Agents for fluorescence-guided glioma surgery: a systematic review of preclinical and clinical results

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:151–167

Fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS) is a technique used to enhance visualization of tumor margins in order to increase the extent of tumor resection in glioma surgery. In this paper, we systematically review all clinically tested fluorescent agents for application in FGS for glioma and all pre-clinically tested agents with the potential for FGS for glioma.

Methods: We searched the PubMed and Embase databases for all potentially relevant studies through March 2016. We assessed fluorescent agents by the following outcomes: rate of gross total resection (GTR), overall and progression-free survival, sensitivity and specificity in discriminating tumor and healthy brain tissue, tumor-to-normal ratio of fluorescent signal, and incidence of adverse events.

Results: The search strategy resulted in 2155 articles that were screened by titles and abstracts. After full-text screening, 105 articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria evaluating the following fluorescent agents: 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) (44 studies, including three randomized control trials), fluorescein (11), indocyanine green (five), hypericin (two), 5- aminofluorescein-human serum albumin (one), endogenous fluorophores (nine) and fluorescent agents in a pre-clinical testing phase (30). Three meta-analyses were also identified.

Conclusions: 5-ALA is the only fluorescent agent that has been tested in a randomized controlled trial and results in an improvement of GTR and progression-free survival in high-grade gliomas. Observational cohort studies and case series suggest similar outcomes for FGS using fluorescein. Molecular targeting agents (e.g., fluorophore/nanoparticle labeled with anti-EGFR antibodies) are still in the pre-clinical phase, but offer promising results and may be valuable future alternatives.

Seizures in supratentorial meningioma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Meningiomas in Pregnancy- A Clinicopathologic Study of 17 Cases

J Neurosurg 124:1552–1561, 2016

Meningioma is the most common benign intracranial tumor, and patients with supratentorial meningioma frequently suffer from seizures. The rates and predictors of seizures in patients with meningioma have been significantly under-studied, even in comparison with other brain tumor types. Improved strategies for the prediction, treatment, and prevention of seizures in patients with meningioma is an important goal, because tumor-related epilepsy significantly impacts patient quality of life.

Methods: The authors performed a systematic review of PubMed for manuscripts published between January 1980 and September 2014, examining rates of pre- and postoperative seizures in supratentorial meningioma, and evaluating potential predictors of seizures with separate meta-analyses.

Results: The authors identified 39 observational case series for inclusion in the study, but no controlled trials. Preoperative seizures were observed in 29.2% of 4709 patients with supratentorial meningioma, and were significantly predicted by male sex (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.30–2.34); an absence of headache (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–3.25); peritumoral edema (OR 7.48, 95% CI 6.13–9.47); and non–skull base location (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.04–3.25). After surgery, seizure freedom was achieved in 69.3% of 703 patients with preoperative epilepsy, and was more than twice as likely in those without peritumoral edema, although an insufficient number of studies were available for formal meta-analysis of this association. Of 1085 individuals without preoperative epilepsy who underwent resection, new postoperative seizures were seen in 12.3% of patients. No difference in the rate of new postoperative seizures was observed with or without perioperative prophylactic anticonvulsants.

Conclusions: Seizures are common in supratentorial meningioma, particularly in tumors associated with brain edema, and seizure freedom is a critical treatment goal. Favorable seizure control can be achieved with resection, but evidence does not support routine use of prophylactic anticonvulsants in patients without seizures. Limitations associated with systematic review and meta-analysis should be considered when interpreting these results.

Microendoscopic discectomy versus open discectomy for lumbar disc herniation: a meta-analysis

Complications of endoscopic microdiscectomy using the EASYGO! system

Eur Spine J (2016) 25:1373–1381

Purpose: To compare the outcomes of microendoscopic discectomy and open discectomy for patients with lumbar disc herniation.

Methods: An extensive search of studies was performed in PubMed, Medline, Embase, Cochrane library and Google Scholar. The following outcome measures were extracted: visual analogue scale (VAS), Oswestry disability index (ODI), complication, operation time, blood loss and length of hospital stay. Data analysis was conducted with RevMan 5.0.

Results: Five randomized controlled trials involving 501 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled analysis showed that there was no significant difference in the VAS, ODI or complication between the two groups. However, compared with the open discectomy, the microendoscopic discectomy was associated with less blood loss [WMD = -151.01 (-288.22, -13.80), P = 0.03], shorter length of hospital stay [WMD = -69.33 (-110.39, -28.28), P = 0.0009], and longer operation time [WMD = 18.80 (7.83, 29.76), P = 0.0008].

Conclusions: Microendoscopic discectomy, which requires a demanding learning curve, may be a safe and effective alternative to conventional open discectomy for patients with lumbar disc herniation.


Predictors of Outcome Following Cerebral Aqueductoplasty

Cerebral Aqueductoplasty

Neurosurgery 78:285–296, 2016

The evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of cerebral aqueductoplasty (CA) is limited to small surgical series.

OBJECTIVE: To perform an individual participant data meta-analysis to determine the efficacy and safety of CA and to determine the effect of patient’s age, etiology, surgical approach, and use of stent on success.

METHODS: Electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL) were searched with no language or date restrictions to identify cohort studies of consecutive participants undergoing CA (without concomitant endoscopic third ventriculostomy or cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] shunt) that reported outcome. Outcome was defined as the time elapsed from the index operation until a second procedure was performed for CSF diversion.

RESULTS: Of 146 citations, 14 articles reporting on 137 participants were eligible. One hundred three participants (75%) did not require a second CSF diversion procedure. The mean duration until repeat CSF diversion procedure was 121.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 102.2-141.0). In multivariate analysis, older age at surgery (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21-0.88; P = .020), congenital etiology (HR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.04-0.85; P = .030), and use of stent (HR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.13-0.70; P = .006) were independent predictors of good outcome. Morbidity, mainly ophthalmoparesis and hemorrhage, was experienced in 22% of participants.

CONCLUSION: Small retrospective cohort studies are inherently prone to biases, some of which are overcome through the use of individual participant data. The best available evidence suggests that CA is an effective procedure with a moderate morbidity profile. Older age at surgery, congenital etiology, and use of stent predict a good outcome with respect to delaying the requirement for a second CSF diversion procedure.

Surgical Outcomes for Minimally Invasive vs Open Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion


Neurosurgery 77:847–874, 2015

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)—or MI-TLIF—has been increasing in prevalence compared with open TLIF (O-TLIF) procedures. The use of MI-TLIF is an evolving technique with conflicting reports in the literature about outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of MI-TLIF in comparison with O-TLIF for early and late outcomes by using the Visual Analog Scale for back pain (VAS-back) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Secondary end points include blood loss, operative time, radiation exposure, length of stay, fusion rates, and complications between the 2 procedures.

METHODS: During August 2014, a systematic literature search was performed identifying 987 articles. Of these, 30 met inclusion criteria. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed by using both pooled and subset analyses based on study type.

RESULTS: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that MI-TLIF reduced blood loss (P < .001), length of stay (P < .001), and complications (P = .001) but increased radiation exposure (P < .001). No differences were found in fusion rate (P = .61) and operative time (P = .34). A decrease in late VAS-back scores was demonstrated for MI TLIF (P < .001), but no differences were found in early VAS-back, early ODI, and late ODI.

CONCLUSION: MI-TLIF is associated with reduced blood loss, decreased length of stay, decreased complication rates, and increased radiation exposure. The rates of fusion and operative time are similar between MI-TLIF and O-TLIF. Differences in long-term outcomes in MI-TLIF vs O-TLIF are inconclusive and require more research, particularly in the form of large, multi-institutional prospective randomized controlled trials.

Treatment strategies for dissecting aneurysms of the posterior cerebral artery

Treatment strategies for dissecting aneurysms of the posterior cerebral arteryActa Neurochir (2015) 157:1623–1632

We conducted a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the safety and efficacy of surgical treatment of previously coiled aneurysms.

Methods A comprehensive review of the literature for studies on surgical treatment of previously coiled aneurysms was conducted. For each study, the following data were extracted: patient demographics, initial clinical status, location and size of aneurysms, time interval between initial/last endovascular procedure and surgery, surgical indications, and microsurgical technique.We performed subgroup analyses to compare direct clipping versus coil removal and clipping versus parent vessel occlusion, early (<4 weeks post-coiling) versus late surgery and anterior versus posterior circulation.

Results Twenty-six studies with 466 patients and 471 intracranial aneurysms were included. All of the studies were retrospective and non-comparative case-series. Patients undergoing direct clipping had lower perioperative morbidity (5.0 %, 95%CI=2.6–7.4 %) when compared to those undergoing coil removal and clipping (11.1 %, 95 % CI=5.3–17.0 %) or parent vessel occlusion (13.1 %, 95%CI=4.6–21.6 %) (p=0.05). Patients receiving early surgery (<4 weeks post-coiling) had significantly lower rates of good neurological outcome (77.1 %, 95 % CI=69.3–84.8 %) when compared to those undergoing late surgery (92.1 %, 95 % CI=89.0–95.2 %) (p<0.01). There were higher rates of long-term neurological morbidity in the posterior circulation group (23.1 vs. 4.7 %, p<0.01) as well as long-term neurological mortality (4.4 vs. 2.8 %, p<0.01).

Conclusions Our meta-analysis suggests that surgical treatment is safe and effective. Our data indicate that aneurysms that are amenable to direct clipping have superior outcomes. Late surgery was also associated with better clinical outcomes. Surgery of recurrent posterior circulation aneurysms was associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Given the characteristics of the included studies, the quality of evidence of this meta-analysis is limited.

A Systematic Review of the Treatment of Geriatric Type II Odontoid Fractures

Type II Odontoid Fractures

Neurosurgery 77:S6–S14, 2015

Odontoid fractures are the most common cervical spine fracture in the geriatric population; however, the treatment of type II odontoid fractures in this age group is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the short-term (<3 months) mortality, long-term (≥12 months) mortality, and complication rates of patients >60 years of age with a type II odontoid fracture managed either operatively or nonoperatively.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review of literature published between January 1, 2000, and February 1, 2015, related to the treatment of type II odontoid fractures in patients .60 years of age. An analysis of short-term mortality, long-term mortality, and the occurrence of complications was performed.

RESULTS: A total of 452 articles were identified, of which 21 articles with 1233 patients met the inclusion criteria. Short-term mortality (odds ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.63) and long-term mortality (odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.64) were lower in patients who underwent surgical treatment than in those who had nonsurgical treatment, and there were no significant differences in the rate of complications (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.63-1.63). Surgical approach (posterior vs anterior) showed no significant difference in mortality or complication rate. Similarly, no difference in mortality or complication rate was identified with hard collar or a halo orthosis immobilization.

CONCLUSION: The current literature suggests that well-selected patients >60 years of age undergoing surgical treatment for a type II odontoid fracture have a decreased risk of short-term and long-term mortality without an increase in the risk of complications.

Diagnostic Value and Safety of Brain Biopsy in Patients With Cryptogenic Neurological Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 831 Cases


Neurosurgery 77:283–295, 2015

The role of brain biopsy in patients with cryptogenic neurological disease is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the risks and benefits of diagnostic brain biopsy for nonneoplastic indications in immunocompetent patients.

METHODS: Appropriate studies were identified by searching electronic databases.

RESULTS: We screened 3645 abstracts and included 20 studies with a total of 831 patients. Indications for biopsy were: (1a) severe neurological disease of unknown etiology in adults (n = 7) and (1b) in children (n = 2); (2) suspected primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS) (n = 3); (3) chronic meningitis of unknown cause (n = 3); (4) atypical dementia (n = 4); and (5) nonneoplastic disease (n = 1). Diagnostic success rates calculated for subgroups were 51.3% (34.5-68.1) for 1a, 53.8% (42.9-64.5) for 1b, 74.7% (64.0-84.1) for 2, 30.3% (17.2-45.4) for 3, and 60.8% (41.2-78.8) for 4. Clinical impact rates were 30.5% (13.6-50.6) for 1a (n = 6), 67.1% (42.8-87.3) for 1b (n = 2), 8.3% (2.3-20.0) for 3 (n = 1), and 14.2% (6.5-24.3) for 4 (n = 2). Lymphoma (n = 32) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (n = 30) were the most common diagnoses on the final histopathology reports of positive brain biopsies in 1a. In 1b, encephalitis (n = 7), PACNS (n = 6), and demyelination (n = 6) were the most common. The odds ratio for achieving a diagnostic biopsy when there was a radiological target was 3.70 (P = .014, 95% confidence interval, 1.31-10.42).

CONCLUSION: Brain biopsy in cryptogenic neurological disease was associated with the highest diagnostic yield in patients with suspected PACNS. The greatest clinical impact was seen in children with cryptogenic neurological disease. The presence of a radiological target was associated with a higher diagnostic yield.

Anterior cervical discectomy versus corpectomy for multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a meta-analysis

Anterior cervical discectomy versus corpectomy for multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Eur Spine J (2015) 24:31–39

This is a meta-analysis to compare the results between anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF) and anterior cervical corpectomy fusion (ACCF) for the patients with multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (MCSM).

Methods Systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies between ACDF with plate fixation and ACCF with plate fixation for the treatment of MCSM. An extensive search of literature was performed in PubMed, Mediline, Embase and the Cochrane library. The following outcome measures were extracted: JOA scores, fusion rate, cervical lordosis (C2–7), complications, blood loss and operation time. Data analysis was conducted with RevMan 5.0.

Results Four cohorts (six studies) involving 258 patients were included in this study. The pooled analysis showed that there was no significant difference in the postoperative JOA score [WMD = -0.14 (-1.37, 1.10), P = 0.83], fusion rate [OR = 0.84 (0.15, 4.86), P = 0.85] between two group. However, there was significant difference in the cervical lordosis [WMD = 3.38 (2.52, 4.23), P<0.00001], surgical complication rate and instrument related complication rate (P = 0.01, 0.005 respectively), blood loss [WMD = -52.53 (-73.53, -31.52), P<0.00001], and operation time [WMD = -14.10 (-20.27, -7.93), P<0.00001].

Conclusions As compared with ACCF with plate fixation, ACDF with plate fixation showed no significant differences in terms of postoperative JOA score, fusion rate, but better improved cervical lordosis, lower complication and smaller surgical trauma. As the limitations of small sample and short follow-up in this study, it still could not be identified whether ACDF with plate fixation is more effective and safer than ACCF with plate fixation.

Proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid: toward the identification of biomarkers for gliomas


Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:367–380

Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors in adults and, despite advances in the understandings of glioma pathogenesis in the genetic era, they are still ineradicable, justifying the need to develop more reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for this malignancy. Because changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are suggested to be capable of sensitively reflecting pathological processes, e.g., neoplastic conditions, in the central nervous system, CSF has been deemed a valuable source for potential biomarkers screening in this era of proteomics.

This systematic review focused on the proteomic analysis of glioma CSF that has been published to date and identified a total of 19 differentially expressed proteins. Further functional and protein-protein interaction assessments were performed by using Protein Analysis Through Evolutionary Relationships (PANTHER) website and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software, which revealed several important protein networks (e.g., IL- 6/STAT-3) and four novel focus proteins (IL-6, galanin (GAL), HSPA5, andWNT4) that might be involved in glioma pathogenesis.

The concentrations of these focus proteins were subsequently determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in an independent set of CSF and tumor cyst fluid (CF) samples. Specifically, glioblastoma (GBM) CF had significantly lower GAL, HSPA5, andWNT4 levels than CSF from different grades of glioma. In contrast, IL-6 level was significantly higher in GBM CF when compared with CSF and, among different CSF groups, was highest in GBM CSF.

Therefore, these candidate protein biomarkers, identified from both the literatures and in silico analysis, may have potentials in clinical diagnosis, prognosis evaluation, treatment response monitoring, and novel therapeutic targets identification for patients with glioma.

Minimally invasive spine surgery for adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis

Minimally invasive spine surgery for adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis

Neurosurg Focus 36 (5):E7, 2014

Historically, adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) has been treated with multilevel decompression and instrumented fusion to reduce neural compression and stabilize the spinal column. However, due to the profound morbidity associated with complex multilevel surgery, particularly in elderly patients and those with multiple medical comorbidities, minimally invasive surgical approaches have been proposed. The goal of this meta-analysis was to review the differences in patient selection for minimally invasive surgical versus open surgical procedures for adult DLS, and to compare the postoperative outcomes following minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and open surgery.

Methods. In this meta-analysis the authors analyzed the complication rates and the clinical outcomes for patients with adult DLS undergoing complex decompressive procedures with fusion versus minimally invasive surgical approaches. Minimally invasive surgical approaches included decompressive laminectomy, microscopic decompression, lateral and extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF), and percutaneous pedicle screw placement for fusion. Mean patient age, complication rates, reoperation rates, Cobb angle, and measures of sagittal balance were investigated and compared between groups.

Results. Twelve studies were identified for comparison in the MIS group, with 8 studies describing the lateral interbody fusion or XLIF and 4 studies describing decompression without fusion. In the decompression MIS group, the mean preoperative Cobb angle was 16.7° and mean postoperative Cobb angle was 18°. In the XLIF group, mean pre- and postoperative Cobb angles were 22.3° and 9.2°, respectively. The difference in postoperative Cobb angle was statistically significant between groups on 1-way ANOVA (p = 0.014). Mean preoperative Cobb angle, mean patient age, and complication rate did not differ between the XLIF and decompression groups. Thirty-five studies were identified for inclusion in the open surgery group, with 18 studies describing patients with open fusion without osteotomy and 17 papers detailing outcomes after open fusion with osteotomy. Mean preoperative curve in the open fusion without osteotomy and with osteotomy groups was 41.3° and 32°, respectively. Mean reoperation rate was significantly higher in the osteotomy group (p = 0.008). On 1-way ANOVA comparing all groups, there was a statistically significant difference in mean age (p = 0.004) and mean preoperative curve (p = 0.002). There was no statistically significant difference in complication rates between groups (p = 0.28).

Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that surgeons are offering patients open surgery or MIS depending on their age and the severity of their deformity. Greater sagittal and coronal correction was noted in the XLIF versus decompression only MIS groups. Larger Cobb angles, greater sagittal imbalance, and higher reoperation rates were found in studies reporting the use of open fusion with osteotomy. Although complication rates did not significantly differ between groups, these data are difficult to interpret given the heterogeneity in reporting complications between studies.

Anterior corpectomy versus posterior laminoplasty for multilevel cervical myelopathy

cervical spine stenosis

Eur Spine J (2014) 23:362–372

Surgical strategy for multilevel cervical myelopathy resulting from cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) or ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) still remains controversial. There are still questions about the relative benefit and safety of direct decompression by anterior corpectomy (CORP) versus indirect decompression by posterior laminoplasty (LAMP).

Objective To perform a systematic review and metaanalysis evaluating the results of anterior CORP compared with posterior LAMP for patients with multilevel cervical myelopathy. Methods Systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies comparing anterior CORP with posterior LAMP for the treatment of multilevel cervical myelopathy due to CSM or OPLL from 1990 to December 2012. An extensive search of literature was performed in Pubmed, Embase, and the Cochrane library. The quality of the studies was assessed according to GRADE. The following outcome measures were extracted: pre- and postoperative Japanese orthopedic association (JOA) score, neurological recovery rate (RR), surgical complications, reoperation rate, operation time and blood loss. Two reviewers independently assessed each study for quality and extracted data. Subgroup analysis was conducted according to the mean number of surgical segments.

Results A total of 12 studies were included in this review, all of which were prospective or retrospective cohort studies with relatively low quality. The results indicated that the mean JOA score system for cervical myelopathy and the neurological RR in the CORP group were superior to those in the LAMP group when the mean surgical segments were<3, but were similar between the two groups in the case of the mean surgical segments equal to 3 or more. There was no statistical difference in the surgical complication rate between the two groups when the mean surgical segments<3, but were significantly higher incidences of surgical complications and complication-related reoperation in the CORP group compared with the LAMP group in the case of the mean surgical segments equal to 3 or more. Besides, the operation time in the CORP group was longer than that in the LAMP group, and the average blood loss was significantly more in the CORP group compared with the LAMP group.

Conclusion Based on the results above, anterior CORP and fusion is recommended for the treatment of multilevel cervical myelopathy when the involved surgical segments were<3. Given the higher rates of surgical complications and complication-related reoperation and the higher surgical trauma associated with multilevel CORP, however, it is suggested that posterior LAMP may be the preferred method of treatment for multilevel cervical myelopathy when the involved surgical segments were equal to 3 or more. In addition, taking the limitations of this study into consideration, it was still not appropriate to draw a strong conclusion claiming superiority for CORP or LAMP. A well-designed, prospective, randomized controlled trial is necessary to provide objective data on the clinical results of both procedures.

Functional outcome and postoperative complications after the microsurgical removal of large vestibular schwannomas via the retrosigmoid approach: a meta-analysis


Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:15–21

For large (≥30 mm) or giant (≥40 mm) vestibular schwannomas (VSs) for which microsurgical removal is the main treatment option, complete tumour resection and the preservation of acceptable facial nerve function can be safely and successfully achieved via the retrosigmoid approach.

We performed a meta-analysis to provide a reliable estimate of functional outcome and postoperative complications for patients treated surgically for large VSs. We conducted a comprehensive search in Pubmed, Embase and the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases to identify publications that included only patients in whom the VSs were >3.0 cm in maximal diameter and microsurgically removed by a retrosigmoid approach. Pooled estimates of proportions with corresponding 95 % confidence intervals were calculated using the Freeman–Tukey double arcsine transformation. This meta-analysis revealed that the pooled proportion of gross total resections was 79.1 % (95 % CI, 64.2–90.8 %; I2=95.4 %). By combining microsurgical techniques with continuous electrophysiological monitoring, the anatomical preservation of the facial nerve at the end of surgery was achieved in 88.8 % (95 % CI, 83.6–93.2 %; I2=76.1 %) of the patients. The pooled proportion of good postoperative facial nerve function (House–Brackmann (HB) grades I–II) was 62.9 % (95 % CI, 50.0–74.9 %; I2=91.1 %). Cerebrospinal fluid leakage was reported in 7.8 % (95 % CI, 4.8–11.4 %; I2=49.8 %) of the patients. The mortality rate was 0.87 % (95 % CI, 0.22–1.78 %; I2=4.9 %).

Our meta-analysis revealed that for large VSs, very favourable results can be obtained using the retrosigmoid approach with minimal mortality, especially with respect to anatomical and functional facial nerve preservation.

Arthroplasty Versus Fusion in Single-Level Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease


Spine 2013;38:E1096–E1107

Study Design. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Objective. To assess the effects of arthroplasty versus fusion in the treatment of radiculopathy or myelopathy, or both, due to singlelevel cervical degenerative disc disease.

Summary of Background Data. There is ongoing debate about whether fusion or arthroplasty is superior in the treatment of single-level cervical degenerative disc disease. Mainly because the intended advantage of arthroplasty compared with fusion, prevention of symptoms due to adjacent segment degeneration in the long term, is not confirmed yet. Until sufficient long-term results become available, it is important to know whether results of 1 of the 2 treatments are superior to the other in the first 1 to 2 years.

Methods. We searched electronic databases for randomized controlled trials. We included randomized controlled trials that directly compared any type of cervical fusion with any type of cervical arthroplasty, with at least 1 year of follow-up. Study selection was performed independently by 3 review authors, and “risk of bias” assessment and data extraction were independently performed by 2 review authors. In case of missing data, we contacted the study authors or the study sponsor. We assessed the quality of evidence.

Results. Nine studies (2400 participants) were included in this review; 5 of these studies had a low risk of bias. Results for the arthroplasty group were better than the fusion group for all primary comparisons, often statistically significant. For none of the primary outcomes was a clinically relevant difference in effect size shown. Quality of the evidence was low to moderate.

Conclusion. There is low to moderate quality evidence that results are consistently in favor of arthroplasty, often statistically significant. However, differences in effect size were invariably small and not clinically relevant for all primary outcomes.

Level of Evidence: 1

Endoscopic surgery for tuberculum sellae meningiomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Neurosurg Rev (2013) 36:349–359

Recent reports of surgical resection of tuberculum sellae meningiomas through an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) have provided an alternative to transcranial approaches in selected cases. However, these published reports have been limited by small sample size from single institutions.We performed a systematic review and metaanalysis to gain insight into potential limitations and benefits of EEA for tuberculum sellae meningiomas.

We performed a systematic review of the literature and analyzed pooled data for descriptive statistics on short-term morbidity and outcomes. We compared EEA to transcranial approaches reported during the same time-frame. Six studies (49 patients) met inclusion criteria for EEA. A pooled analysis of transcranial results reported during a similar time period yielded 11 studies (412 patients).

There were no differences in rate of gross total resection or peri-operative complications between the two groups. Although the EEA group was associated with higher rates of CSF leak (p<0.05; OR 3.9; 95 % CI 1.15, 15.75), EEA were also associated with significantly higher rates of post-operative visual improvement compared to transcranial approaches (p<0.05; OR 1.5; 95 % CI 1.18, 1.82). A systematic review of the small series of EEA for tuberculum sellae meningiomas published to date revealed similar extent of resection and morbidity, but increased post-operative visual improvement compared to transcranial approaches during a similar time period.

Long-term follow-up will be needed to define recurrence rates of EEA as compared to transcranial approaches. Cautious use of EEA for the removal of smaller tuberculum sellae meningiomas after formal endoscopic training may be warranted.

Discriminating radiation necrosis from tumor progression in gliomas: a systematic review what is the best imaging modality?

Radiation necrosis

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.

The diagnostic accuracy of brain microdialysis during surgery


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


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