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

The surgical treatment of tumors of the fourth ventricle

J Neurosurg 128:339–351, 2018

Fourth ventricle tumors are rare, and surgical series are typically small, comprising a single pathology, or focused exclusively on pediatric populations. This study investigated surgical outcome and complications following fourth ventricle tumor resection in a diverse patient population. This is the largest cohort of fourth ventricle tumors described in the literature to date.

METHODS This is an 18-year (1993–2010) retrospective review of 55 cases involving patients undergoing surgery for tumors of the fourth ventricle. Data included patient demographic characteristics, pathological and radiographic tumor characteristics, and surgical factors (approach, surgical adjuncts, extent of resection, etc.). The neurological and medical complications following resection were collected and outcomes at 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, and 1 year were reviewed to determine patient recovery. Patient, tumor, and surgical factors were analyzed to determine factors associated with the frequently encountered postoperative neurological complications.

RESULTS There were no postoperative deaths. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75% of cases. Forty-five percent of patients experienced at least 1 major neurological complication, while 31% had minor complications only. New or worsening gait/focal motor disturbance (56%), speech/swallowing deficits (38%), and cranial nerve deficits (31%) were the most common neurological deficits in the immediate postoperative period. Of these, cranial nerve deficits were the least likely to resolve at follow-up. Multivariate analysis showed that patients undergoing a transvermian approach had a higher incidence of postoperative cranial nerve deficits, gait disturbance, and speech/swallowing deficits than those treated with a telovelar approach. The use of surgical adjuncts (intraoperative navigation, neurophysiological monitoring) did not significantly affect neurological outcome. Twenty-two percent of patients required postoperative CSF diversion following tumor resection. Patients who required intraoperative ventriculostomy, those undergoing a transvermian approach, and pediatric patients (< 18 years old) were all more likely to require postoperative CSF diversion. Twenty percent of patients suffered at least 1 medical complication following tumor resection. Most complications were respiratory, with the most common being postoperative respiratory failure (14%), followed by pneumonia (13%).

CONCLUSIONS The occurrence of complications after fourth ventricle tumor surgery is not rare. Postoperative neurological sequelae were frequent, but a substantial number of patients had neurological improvement at long-term followup. Of the neurological complications analyzed, postoperative cranial nerve deficits were the least likely to completely resolve at follow-up. Of all the patient, tumor, and surgical variables included in the analysis, surgical approach had the most significant impact on neurological morbidity, with the telovelar approach being associated with less morbidity.

 

Brainstem Cavernous Malformations: Surgical Indications Based on Natural History and Surgical Outcomes

World Neurosurg. (2018) 110:55-63

Cavernous malformations (CMs) are uncommon lesions occurring in the central nervous system, with an incidence of approximately 0.5% in the general population and constituting 5%e10% of all intracranial vascular malformations. Among CMs, prevalence within the brainstem as reported in the literature has ranged from 4% to 35%. With their precarious location and potentially devastating clinical events, brainstem CMs have attracted attention from neurosurgeons, and with these surgeons’ unrelenting efforts, the microsurgical techniques to treat these lesions in the brainstem have greatly improved in recent decades. Although surgical outcomes reported in the literature have been satisfying, surgical intervention has become increasingly contraindicated because of the tendency for a benign clinical course in brainstem CMs, after weighing this fact against the high risk of surgical morbidity. Thus, it is advisable to operate on patients with symptomatic lesions abutting the pial or ependymal surface of the brainstem or where lesions are accessible to safe entry zones, which have caused more than 1 significantly symptomatic hemorrhage and can be defined as aggressive. However, treatment remains controversial for deep-seated lesions away from the surface of the brainstem or lesions that are inaccessible to safe entry zones. Other treatments, such as radiosurgery and medication, are still debatable, which might be as an alternative for lesions amenable to but at high risk with surgery.

Adult Pilocytic Astrocytoma: An Institutional Series and Systematic Literature Review for Extent of Resection and Recurrence

World Neurosurg. (2018) 110:276-283

Pilocytic astrocytoma is a classically benign tumor that most often affects pediatric patients. Rarely, it occurs during adulthood. We present a case series and systematic literature review of adult pilocytic astrocytoma (APA) to examine the clinical presentation, extent of resection, and recurrence rate associated with this tumor in this population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Our institutional records were retrospectively reviewed for cases of pilocytic astrocytoma in adults. A PubMed search identified English-language studies of pathology-proven APA. A meta-analysis was performed to determine the relationship between extent of tumor resection and recurrence.

RESULTS: Forty-six patients with APA were diagnosed at our institution (mean age 33.6  13.3; 24 [52%] female). Twenty-four patients (52%) underwent gross total resection, 11 (24%) subtotal resection, 4 (9%) near total resection, 4 (9%) observation after biopsy, and 3 (6%) radiotherapy alone. Tumors recurred or progressed in 6 (13%) patients, of whom 4 were treated by STR and 2 were treated by radiotherapy alone. Thirty-nine (95%) patients were still alive at last follow-up. A systematic literature review identified 415 patients with APA in 38 studies. Including our case series, 7 studies reported extent of resection, followup, and recurrence. Of 254 patients with a weighted mean follow-up of 77.7  49.6 (31e250) months, 129 (51%) were treated with gross total resection, and 125 (49%) underwent subtotal resection. Tumor recurred in 79 (31%) patients, 22 (27%) after gross total resection and 57 (73%) after subtotal resection (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Pilocytic astrocytoma rarely presents during adulthood. Overall, prognosis is favorable and survival rates are high. APA recurrence is more likely after STR, and the goal of surgery should always be GTR when feasible.

Intended Near-Total Removal of Koos Grade IV Vestibular Schwannomas

Neurosurgery 82:202–210, 2018

The goals of treating Koos grade IV vestibular schwannomas are to relieve brainstem compression, preserve or restore neurological function, and achieve long-term tumor control while minimizing tumor- and treatment-related morbidity.

OBJECTIVE: To propose a treatment paradigm involving the intentional near-total removal of Koos grade IV vestibular schwannomas, in which a small amount of residual tumor is not dissected off the cisternal portion of the facial nerve. Patients are then followed by a wait-and-scan approach. Any subsequent volumetric progression of the residual tumor is treated with radiosurgery.

METHODS: This is a case series of 44 consecutive unselected patients who underwent intended near-total resection of a Koos grade IV vestibular schwannoma through a retrosigmoid approach from January 2009 to December 2015. Pre- and postoperative volumetric analyses were performed on routine magnetic resonance imaging sequences (constructive interference in steady state and gadolinium-enhanced T1- weighted sequence).

RESULTS: The mean preoperative tumor volume was 10.9 cm3. The mean extent of resectionwas 89%. At the last clinical follow-up, facial nerve function was good [House and Brackmann (HB) I-II] in 89%, fair (HB III) in 9%, and poor (HB IV-VI) in 2%of the patients.At the last radiological follow-up, the residual tumor had become smaller or remained the same size in 84% of patients. Volumetric progression was negatively correlated with the original extent of resection and positively correlated with postoperative residual tumor volume (P = .01, P < .001, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Intended near-total removal results in excellent preservation of facial nerve function and has a low recurrence rate. Any progressive residual tumor may be treated by radiosurgery.

Outcome after Hunt and Hess Grade V subarachnoid hemorrhage: a comparison of pre-coiling era (1980–1995) versus post-ISAT era (2005–2014)

J Neurosurg 128:100–110, 2018

Outcome analysis of comatose patients (Hunt and Hess Grade V) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is still lacking. The aims of this study were to analyze the outcome of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH and to compare outcomes in the current period with those of the pre–International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) era as well as with published data from trials of decompressive craniectomy (DC) for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction.

METHODS The authors analyzed cases of Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH from 1980–1995 (referred to in this study as the earlier period) and 2005–2014 (current period) and compared the results for the 2 periods. The outcomes of 257 cases were analyzed and stratified on the basis of modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores obtained 6 months after SAH. Outcomes were dichotomized as favorable (mRS score of 0–2) or unfavorable (mRS score of 3–6). Data and number needed to treat (NNT) were also compared with the results of decompressive craniectomy (DC) trials for middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarctions.

RESULTS Early aneurysm treatment within 72 hours occurred significantly more often in the current period (in 67% of cases vs 22% in earlier period). In the earlier period, patients had a significantly higher 30-day mortality rate (83% vs 39% in the current period) and 6-month mortality rate (94% vs 49%), and no patient (0%) had a favorable outcome, compared with 23% overall in the current period (p < 0.01, OR 32), or 29.5% of patients whose aneurysms were treated (p < 0.01, OR 219). Cerebral infarctions occurred in up to 65% of the treated patients in the current period. Comparison with data from DC MCA trials showed that the NNTs were significantly lower in the current period with 2 for survival and 3 for mRS score of 0–3 (vs 3 and 7, respectively, for the DC MCA trials).

CONCLUSIONS Early and aggressive treatment resulted in a significant improvement in survival rate (NNT = 2) and favorable outcome (NNT = 3 for mRS score of 0–3) for comatose patients with Hunt and Hess Grade V SAH compared with the earlier period. Independent predictors for favorable outcome were younger age and bilateral intact corneal reflexes. Despite a high rate of cerebral infarction (65%) in the current period, 29.5% of the patients who received treatment for their aneurysms during the current era (2005–2014) had a favorable outcome. However, careful individual decision making is essential in these cases.

Analysis of saccular aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

J Neurosurg 128:120–125, 2018

The Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) is a prospective, randomized trial in which treatment with clipping was compared to treatment with coil embolization. Patients were randomized to treatment on presentation with any nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Because all other randomized trials comparing these 2 types of treatments have been limited to saccular aneurysms, the authors analyzed the current BRAT data for this subgroup of lesions.

METHODS The primary BRAT analysis included all sources of SAH: nonaneurysmal lesions; saccular, blister, fusiform, and dissecting aneurysms; and SAHs from an aneurysm associated with either an arteriovenous malformation or a fistula. In this post hoc review, the outcomes for the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms were further analyzed by type of treatment. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by an independent neuroradiologist not involved in treatment.

RESULTS Of the 471 patients enrolled in the BRAT, 362 (77%) had an SAH from a saccular aneurysm. Patients with saccular aneurysms were assigned equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). In each cohort, 3 patients died before treatment and 178 were treated. Of the 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale score > 2) between these 2 treatment arms at any recorded time point during 6 years of follow-up. After the initial hospitalization, 1 of 241 (0.4%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 21 of 115 (18%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 6-year follow-up, 95% (95/100) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with 40% (16/40) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). There was no difference in morbidity between the 2 treatment groups (p = 0.10).

CONCLUSIONS In the subgroup of patients with saccular aneurysms enrolled in the BRAT, there was no significant difference between modified Rankin Scale outcomes at any follow-up time in patients with saccular aneurysms assigned to clipping compared with those assigned to coiling (intent-to-treat analysis). At the 6-year follow-up evaluation, rates of retreatment and complete aneurysm obliteration significantly favored patients who underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (clinicaltrials.gov)

 

Symmetry of the arcuate fasciculus and its impact on language performance of patients with brain tumors in the language-dominant hemisphere

J Neurosurg 127:1407–1416, 2017

Cerebral damage in frontal, parietal, and temporal brain areas and, probably more importantly, their interconnections can lead to deficits in language. However, neural plasticity and repair allow the brain to partly compensate for neural injury, mediated by both functional and structural changes. In this study, the authors sought to systematically investigate the relationship between language performance in brain tumor patients and structural perisylvian pathways (i.e., the arcuate fasciculus [AF]) using probabilistic fiber tracking on diffusion tensor imaging. The authors used a previously proposed model in which the AF is divided into anterior, long, and posterior segments. The authors hypothesized that right-handed patients with gliomas in the language-dominant (left) hemisphere would benefit from a more symmetrical or right-lateralized language pathway in terms of better preservation of language abilities. Furthermore, they investigated to what extent specific tumor characteristics, including proximity to the AF, affect language outcome in such patients.

METHODS Twenty-seven right-handed patients (12 males and 15 females; mean age 52 ± 16 years) with 11 low-grade and 16 high-grade gliomas of the left hemisphere underwent 3-T diffusion-weighted MRI (30 directions) and language assessment as part of presurgical planning. For a systematic quantitative evaluation of the AF, probabilistic fiber tracking with a 2 regions of interest approach was carried out. Volumes of the 3 segments of both hemispheric AFs were evaluated by quantifying normalized and thresholded pathways. Resulting values served to generate the laterality index of the AFs.

RESULTS Patients without language deficits tended to have an AF that was symmetric or lateralized to the right, whereas patients with deficits in language significantly more often demonstrated a left-lateralized posterior segment of the AF. Patients with high-grade gliomas had more severe language deficits than those with low-grade gliomas. Backward logistic regression revealed the laterality index of the posterior AF segment and tumor grade as the only independent statistically significant predictors for language deficits in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS In addition to the well-known fact that tumor entity influences behavioral outcome, the authors’ findings suggest that the right homologs of structural language-associated pathways could be supportive for language function and facilitate compensation mechanisms after brain damage in functionally eloquent areas. This further indicates that knowledge about preoperative functional redistribution (identified by neurofunctional imaging) increases the chance for total or near-total resections of tumors in eloquent areas. In the future, longitudinal studies with larger groups are mandatory to overcome the methodological limitations of this cross-sectional study and to map neuroplastic changes associated with language performance and rehabilitation in brain tumor patients.

 

What Is the Fate of Pseudarthrosis Detected 1 Year After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?

Spine 2018;43:E23–E28

Objective. To investigate the consequences and appropriate management of pseudarthrosis after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

Summary of Background Data. Pseudarthrosis is a frequent complication of ACDF and causes unsatisfactory results. Little is known about long-term prognosis of detecting pseudarthrosis 1 year after ACDF.

Methods. Eighty-nine patients with a minimum 2-year followup were included. ACDF surgery using allograft and plating was performed: single-level in 51 patients, two-level in 26 patients, and three-level in 12 patients. Presence of pseudarthrosis was evaluated 1 year postoperatively and then the nonunion segments were re-evaluated 2 years postoperatively. Demographic data were assessed to identify the risk factors associated with pseudarthrosis. A visual analogue scale for neck/arm pain and the Neck Disability Index were analyzed preoperatively and at 1 and 2 years postoperatively.

Results. Pseudarthrosis was detected in 29 patients (32.6%) 1 year postoperatively: 15of 51 patients after single-level surgery, 9 of 26 patients after two-level surgery, and 5 of 12 patients after three-level surgery. Only eight patients showed persistent nonunion at 2 years: 3 of 15 patients after single-level surgery, 3 of 9 after two-level surgery, and 2 of 5 after three-level surgery. The remaining 21 patients (72.4%) achieved bony fusion 2 years postoperatively without any intervention. Patients who underwent two-level or three-level ACDF had a significantly higher pseudarthrosis rate than those who underwent single-level ACDF, with odds ratios of 1.844 and 3.147, respectively. The improvements in visual analogue scale for neck pain and Neck Disability Index scores in the persistent nonunion group were significantly lower than those in the final union group at 2 years.

Conclusion. Patients with pseudarthrosis detected 1 year postoperatively may be observed without any intervention because approximately 70% of them will eventually fuse by the 2-year point. Early revision could, however, be considered if the pseudarthrosis is associated with considerable neck pain after multilevel ACDF.

Level of Evidence: 3

Clinical features and surgical outcomes of patients with skull base chordoma

J Neurosurg 127:1257–1267, 2017

Skull base chordoma is relatively rare, and a limited number of reports have been published regarding its clinical features. Moreover, the factors associated with extent of resection, as well as the value of marginal resection for long-term survival, are still in question for this disease. The objective of this study was to investigate these factors by evaluating their clinical features and surgical outcomes.

METHODS A retrospective analysis of 238 patients with skull base chordomas, who met the inclusion criteria, was performed. This study summarized the clinical features, selection of approaches, degree of resection, and postoperative complications by statistical description analyses; proposed modified classifications of tumor location and bone invasion; studied the contributions of the clinical and radiological factors to the extent of resection by Pearson c2, ANOVA, rank test, and binary logistic regression analysis; and estimated the differences in overall survival and progression-free survival rates with respect to therapeutic history, classification of tumor location, extent of bone invasion, and extent of tumor resection by the Kaplan-Meier method. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS The study included 140 male and 98 female patients with a mean age of 38.1 years. Headache and neck pain (33.2%) and diplopia (29%) were the most common initial symptoms. Sphenoclival type accounted for the largest proportion of tumor location (59.2%); endophytic chordoma was the more common type of bone invasion (81.5%). Lateral open approaches were performed in two-thirds of the study population (78.6%). The rate of marginal resection was 66%, composed of gross-total resection (11.8%) and near-total resection (54.2%). Meningitis (8%) and CSF leakage (3.8%) were the most frequent complications. The mean follow-up period was 43.7 months. The overall survival and progression-free survival rates at 5 years were 76% and 45%, respectively. Recurrent tumor and larger tumor volume (≥ 40 cm3) were identified as risk factors of marginal resection. Patients who presented with recurrent tumor and underwent intralesional resection had a worse long-term outcome.

CONCLUSIONS The classifications of both tumor location and bone invasion demonstrated clinical value. Marginal resection was more likely to be achieved for primary lesions with smaller volumes (< 40 cm3). The rate of CSF leakage declined due to improved dura mater repair with free fat grafts. Marginal resection, or gross-total resection when possible, should be performed in patients with primary chordomas to achieve better long-term survival.

Long-term outcomes of microvascular decompression and Gamma Knife surgery for trigeminal neuralgia: a retrospective comparison study

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2127–2135

There is still no clear guideline for surgical treatment for patients with medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN). When it comes to which surgical treatment to choose, microvascular decompression (MVD) or Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), we should know the long-term outcome of each treatment.

Methods We analyzed 179 patients undergoing MVD and 52 patients undergoing GKS followed for 1 year or longer. We evaluated the patient’s neurological status including pain relief, complications and recurrence. Results were assessed with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity and facial numbness scores. Overall outcomes were compared between the two groups based on pain relief and complications.

Results BNI pain intensity and facial numbness scores at the final visit were significantly lower in the MVD group than in the GKS group (P < 0.001, P = 0.04, respectively). Overall outcomes were superior following MVD than following GKS (P < 0.001). Following whichever treatment, there were initially high rates of pain-free status “without medication”: 96.6% in the MVD group and 96.2% in the GKS group. However, 6.1% in the MVD group and 51.9% in the GKS group fell into a “with medication” state within median periods of 1.83 and 3.92 years, respectively (P < 0.001). Kaplan- Meier analysis revealed that pain recurred more often and later in the GKS group than in the MVD group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions Considering the long-term outcomes, MVD should be chosen as the initial surgical treatment for patients with medically refractory TN.

Microsurgery for Spetzler-Ponce Class A and B arteriovenous malformations utilizing an outcome score adopted from Gamma Knife radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 127:1105–1116, 2017

The purpose of this study was to adapt and apply the extended definition of favorable outcome established for Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) to surgery for brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs). The aim was to derive both an error around the point estimate and a model incorporating angioarchitectural features in order to facilitate comparison among different treatments.

METHODS A prospective microsurgical cohort was analyzed. This cohort included patients undergoing embolization who did not proceed to microsurgery and patients denied surgery because of perceived risk of treatment. Data on bAVM residual and recurrence during long-term follow-up as well as complications of surgery and preoperative embolization were analyzed. Patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class C bAVMs were excluded because of extreme selection bias. First, patients with a favorable outcome were identified for both Class A and Class B lesions. Patients were considered to have a favorable outcome if they were free of bAVM recurrence or residual at last follow-up, with no complication of surgery or preoperative embolization, and a modified Rankin Scale score of more than 1 at 12 months after treatment. Patients who were denied surgery because of perceived risk, but would otherwise have been candidates for surgery, were included as not having a favorable outcome. Second, the authors analyzed favorable outcome from microsurgery by means of regression analysis, using as predictors characteristics previously identified to be associated with complications. Third, they created a prediction model of favorable outcome for microsurgery dependent upon angioarchitectural variables derived from the regression analysis.

RESULTS From a cohort of 675 patients who were either treated or denied surgery because of perceived risk of surgery, 562 had Spetzler-Ponce Class A or B bAVMs and were included in the analysis. Logistic regression for favorable outcome found decreasing maximum diameter (continuous, OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.51–0.76), the absence of eloquent location (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.12–0.43), and the absence of deep venous drainage (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.36) to be significant predictors of favorable outcome. These variables are in agreement with previous analyses of microsurgery leading to complications, and the findings support the use of favorable outcome for microsurgery. The model developed for angioarchitectural features predicts a range of favorable outcome at 8 years following microsurgery for Class A bAVMs to be 88%–99%. The same model for Class B bAVMs predicts a range of favorable outcome of 62%–90%.

CONCLUSIONS Favorable outcome, derived from GKRS, can be successfully used for microsurgical cohort series to assist in treatment recommendations. A favorable outcome can be achieved by microsurgery in at least 90% of cases at 8 years following microsurgery for patients with bAVMs smaller than 2.5 cm in maximum diameter and, in the absence of either deep venous drainage or eloquent location, patients with Spetzler-Ponce Class A bAVMs of all diameters. For patients with Class B bAVMs, this rate of favorable outcome can only be approached for lesions with a maximum diameter just above 6 cm or smaller and without deep venous drainage or eloquent location.

 

Degree of Vascular Encasement in Sphenoid Wing Meningiomas Predicts Postoperative Ischemic Complications

Neurosurgery 80:957–966, 2017

Sphenoid wing meningiomas (SWMs) can encase arteries of the circle of Willis, increasing their susceptibility to intraoperative vascular injury and severe ischemic complications.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the effect of circumferential vascular encasement in SWM on postoperative ischemia.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 75 patients surgically treated for SWM from 2009 to 2015 was undertaken to determine the degree of circumferential vascular encasement (0◦-360◦) as assessed by preoperativemagnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A novel grading system describing “maximum”and “total” arterial encasement scores was created. Postoperative MRIs were reviewed for total ischemia volume measured on sequential diffusionweighted images.

RESULTS: Of the 75 patients, 89.3% had some degree of vascular involvement with a median maximum encasement score of 3.0 (2.0-3.0) in the internal carotid artery (ICA), M1, M2, and A1 segments; 76% of patients had some degree of ischemia with median infarct volume of 3.75 cm3 (0.81-9.3 cm3). Univariate analysis determined risk factors associated with larger infarction volume, which were encasement of the supraclinoid ICA (P < .001), M1 segment (P < .001), A1 segment (P = .015), and diabetes (P = .019). As the maximum encasement score increased from 1 to 5 in each of the significant arterial segments, so did mean and median infarction volume (P < .001). Risk for devastating ischemic injury >62 cm3 was found when the ICA, M1, and A1 vessels all had ≥360◦ involvement (P = .001). Residual tumorwas associated with smaller infarct volumes (P=.022). As infarction volume increased, so did modified Rankin Score at discharge (P = .025).

CONCLUSION: Subtotal resection should be considered in SWM with significant vascular encasement of proximal arteries to limit postoperative ischemic complications.

 

Cystic Craniopharyngiomas: Microsurgical or Stereotactic Treatment?

Neurosurgery (2017) 80 (5): 733-743

Prognosis and treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas are poorly defined.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze progression-free survival (PFS) and safety profile of cystic craniopharyngiomas undergoing resection or minimally invasive drainage procedures. We compared further outcome measurements for cystic and solid tumors undergoing resection to elucidate the impact of the initial tumor composition on both PFS and the toxicity profile.

METHODS: All patients with craniopharyngiomas consecutively treated between 1999 and 2014 were included. A treatment decision in favor of microsurgery or stereotactic treatment was made interdisciplinarily. For stereotactic drainage, a catheter was implanted, allowing both permanent upstream (into ventricular spaces) and downstream (into prepontine cistern) drainage. Study endpoints were tumor progression, functional outcome, and treatment toxicity. Functional endocrinological and visual outcome analyses referred to data obtained preoperatively and 6 weeks after treatment. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. Prognostic factors were obtained from proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients were included. The distribution of clinical and tumor-related data was well balanced among patients with solid (n = 35) and cystic (n = 44) tumors and those undergoing microsurgical or stereotactic treatment. Cystic tumors had shorter PFS (5-year PFS: 53.6% vs 66.8%, P= .10) and needed significantly more therapeutic interventions, which was independent of the initial treatment mode. The endocrinological deterioration rate was high for both solid and cystic tumors after microsurgery (59.4% and 85.7%, respectively), whereas it was significantly lower for cystic tumors undergoing stereotactic treatment (23.1%, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Stereotactic bidirectional drainage of cystic craniopharyngiomas is effective and provides a better endocrinological outcome than conventional microsurgery.

Comparison of posterior fossa volumes and clinical outcomes after decompression of Chiari malformation Type I

J Neurosurg Pediatr 19:511–517, 2017

Previous studies have indicated an association of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) and a small posterior fossa. Most of these studies have been limited by 2D quantitative methods, and more recent studies utilizing 3D methodologies are time-intensive with manual segmentation. The authors sought to develop a more automated tool to calculate the 3D posterior fossa volume, and correlate its changes after decompression with surgical outcomes.

METHODS A semiautomated segmentation program was developed, and used to compare the pre- and postoperative volumes of the posterior cranial fossa (PCF) and the CSF spaces (cisterna magna, prepontine cistern, and fourth ventricle) in a cohort of pediatric patients with CM-I. Volume changes were correlated with postoperative symptomatic improvements in headache, syrinx, tonsillar descent, cervicomedullary kinking, and overall surgical success.

RESULTS Forty-two pediatric patients were included in this study. The mean percentage increase in PCF volume was significantly greater in patients who showed clinical improvement versus no improvement in headache (5.89% vs 1.54%, p < 0.05) and tonsillar descent (6.52% vs 2.57%, p < 0.05). Overall clinical success was associated with a larger postoperative PCF volume increase (p < 0.05). These clinical improvements were also significantly associated with a larger increase in the volume of the cisterna magna (p < 0.05). The increase in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume was also larger in patients who showed improvement in syrinx (6.63% vs 2.58%, p < 0.05) and cervicomedullary kinking (9.24% vs 3.79%, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS A greater increase in the postoperative PCF volume, and specifically an increase in the cisterna magna volume, was associated with a greater likelihood of clinical improvements in headache and tonsillar descent in patients with CM-I. Larger increases in the caudal portion of the posterior fossa volume were also associated with a greater likelihood of improvement in syrinx and cervicomedullary kinking.

 

Craniotomy for perisellar meningiomas: comparison of simple (appropriate for endoscopic approach) versus complex anatomy and surgical outcomes

J Neurosurg 126:1191–1200, 2017

Microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas has remained the gold standard for treatment, with extended endoscopic endonasal surgery emerging as a viable alternative. Historical microsurgical series do not distinguish based on tumor anatomy, but are being used as a comparison against endonasal surgery. In this study, the authors retrospectively reviewed and compared the anatomy of perisellar meningiomas seen at their institution. The tumors were separated into 2 groups based on whether they would be appropriate for endoscopic resection, and the authors compared the surgical outcomes.

METHODS Between 2001 and 2013, 53 patients (73.6% women) with perisellar meningiomas underwent open microsurgical resection at Vancouver General Hospital performed by the senior author (R.A.). These tumors were separated into 2 groups based on their anatomy, and the authors analyzed the resection rates, surgical results, patient quality of life, and complications.

RESULTS Among the 53 patients who presented with perisellar meningiomas, the authors were able to identify 18 lesions with “simple” anatomy suitable for endoscopic resection and 35 lesions with “complex” anatomy suitable for craniotomy resection. The mean age of patients in the study cohort was 57.4 years (range 33–91 years), and most patients presented with visual loss (68.0%) and visual field restriction (64.2%). There were no major differences in patient demographic data between the 2 groups. Patients with simple anatomy had smaller lesions (2.1 vs 3.5 cm; p = 0.004), no optic canal invasion (89% vs 26%; p < 0.0001), minimal vascular encasement (cortical cuff 83% vs 9%; p < 0.0001), and a rounded tumor shape (100% vs 31.8%; p = 0.0001) when compared with those with complex anatomy. The majority of lesions originated from the tuberculum sellae and planum sphenoidale. A greater degree of resection was achieved in the favorable anatomy group (99% vs 87.1%; p < 0.0001). Vision was improved or normalized in 96.6% of patients. Patients in the cohort with complex anatomy had more transient complications; there were no incidents of surgical-site infection, meningitis, or death in this series. One patient who underwent removal of a recurrent lesion experienced a CSF leak that required endoscopic repair. The overall persisting complications rate was higher in the group with complex anatomy (11.1% vs 37.1%; p = 0.0498); overall, 28.3% of patients experienced disabling complications. Patient-perceived quality of life improved in the simple anatomy group following surgery (DSF-36 +16.6 vs -8.4; p = 0.0045).

CONCLUSIONS Extended endoscopic surgery is emerging as a viable alternative to microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas. The authors identified 2 patient groups based on tumor anatomy, with distinctly separate surgical outcomes. In the future, patients considered for endoscopic resection should be compared against the surgical group with simple anatomy that includes smaller tumors, no vascular encasement, and limited optic canal invasion.

 

 

Volumetric growth rates of meningioma and its correlation with histological diagnosis and clinical outcome

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:435–445

Tumour growth has been used to successfully predict progression-free survival in low-grade glioma. This systematic review sought to establish the evidence base regarding the correlation of volumetric growth rates with histological diagnosis and potential to predict clinical outcome in patients with meningioma.

Methods This systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Databases were searched for full text English articles analysing volumetric growth rates in patients with a meningioma.

Results Four retrospective cohort studies were accepted, demonstrating limited evidence of significantly different tumour doubling rates and shapes of growth curves between benign and atypical meningiomas. Heterogeneity of patient characteristics and timing of volumetric assessment, both pre- and post-operatively, limited pooled analysis of the data. No studies performed statistical analysis to demonstrate the clinical utility of growth rates in predicting clinical outcome.

Conclusion This systematic review provides limited evidence in support of the use of volumetric growth rates in meningioma to predict histological diagnosis and clinical outcome to guide future monitoring and treatment.

Outcomes in craniotomy vs endoscopic craniopharyngioma resection

Neurosurg Focus 41 (6):E6, 2016

Craniopharyngiomas have historically been resected via transcranial microsurgery (TCM). In the last 2 decades, the extended endoscopic endonasal (transtuberculum) approach to these tumors has become more widely accepted, yet there remains controversy over which approach leads to better outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in outcomes were identified between TCM and extended endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEEAs) in adult patients undergoing primary resection of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas at a single institution.

Methods A retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of their histopathologically confirmed craniopharyngiomas at the authors’ institution between 2005 and 2015 was performed. Pediatric patients, revision cases, and patients with tumors greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean volume were excluded. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those undergoing primary TCM and those undergoing a primary EEEA. Preoperative patient demographics, presenting symptoms, and preoperative tumor volumes were determined. Extent of resection, tumor histological subtype, postoperative complications, and additional outcome data were obtained. Statistical significance between variables was determined utilizing Student t-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests when applicable.

Results After exclusions, 21 patients satisfied the aforementioned inclusion criteria, 12 underwent TCM for resection while 9 benefitted from the EEEA. There were no significant differences in patient demographics, presenting symptoms, tumor subtype, or preoperative tumor volumes, no tumors had significant lateral or prechiasmatic extension. The extent of resection was similar between these 2 groups, as was the necessity for additional surgery or adjuvant therapy. CSF leakage was encountered only in the EEEA group (2 patients). Importantly, the rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher in the EEEA group than in the TCM group (88.9% vs 25.0%, p = 0.0075). Postoperative visual deterioration only occurred in the TCM group (3 patients). Recurrence was uncommon, with similar rates between the groups. Other complication rates, overall complication risk, and additional outcome measures were similar between these groups as well.

Conclusions Based on this study, most outcome variables appear to be similar between TCM and EEEA routes for similarly sized tumors in adults. The multidisciplinary EEEA to craniopharyngioma resection represents a safe and compelling alternative to TCM. The authors’ data demonstrate that postoperative visual improvement is statistically more likely in the EEEA despite the increased risk of CSF leakage. These results add to the growing evidence that the EEEA may be considered the approach of choice for resection of select confined primary craniopharyngiomas without significant lateral extension in centers with experienced surgeons. Further prospective, multiinstitutional collaboration is needed to power studies capable of fully evaluating indications and appropriate approaches for craniopharyngiomas.

Reoperation for Recurrent Glioblastoma and Its Association With Survival Benefit

multifocal glioblastoma

Neurosurgery 79:678–689, 2016

Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor. Despite current treatment, recurrence is inevitable. There are no clear guidelines for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors at initial surgery predictive of reoperation, and the prognostic variables associated with survival, including reoperation for recurrence.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed, including adult patients diagnosed with glioblastoma between January 2010 and December 2013. Student t test and Fisher exact test compared continuous and categorical variables between reoperation and nonreoperation groups. Univariable and Cox regression multivariable analysis was performed.

RESULTS: In a cohort of 204 patients with de novo glioblastoma, 49 (24%) received reoperation at recurrence. The median overall survival in the reoperation group was 20.1 months compared with 9.0 months in the nonreoperation group (P = .001). Reoperation was associated with longer overall survival in our total population (hazard ratio, 0.646; 95% confidence interval, 0.543-0.922; P = .016) but subject to selection bias. Subgroup analyses excluding patients unlikely to be considered for reoperation suggested a much less significant effect of reoperation on survival, which warrants further study with larger cohorts. Factors at initial surgery predictive for reoperation were younger age, smaller tumor size, initial extent of resection $50%, shorter inpatient stay, and maximal initial adjuvant therapy. When unfavorable patient characteristics are excluded, reoperation is not an independent predictor of survival.

CONCLUSION: Patients undergoing reoperation have favorable prognostic characteristics, which may be responsible for the survival difference observed. We recommend that a large clinical registry be developed to better aid consistent and homogenous data collection.

A study of prognostic factors in 45 cases of atypical meningioma

Radiation Therapy for Residual or Recurrent Atypical Meningioma

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1661–1667

Atypical meningioma differs from Grade I meningioma in terms of high recurrence rate and short life expectancy. We evaluated the clinical course of atypical meningioma and investigated prognostic factors affecting its outcomes.

Method: We reviewed 45 patients with atypical meningioma who underwent surgical intervention between January 2000 and December 2013. The mean age of the patients and mean follow-up period was 58.7 years and 81.0 months, respectively. Analyses included factors such as patient age, gender, location and size of tumor, extent of surgical resection (Simpson Grading System), and MIB-1 labeling index (LI). Univariate analysis was used to detect prognostic factors associated with recurrence and survival.

Results: The 5-year recurrence-free rate for all 45 patients was 58.4 %; 5 and 10-year survival rates were 83.2 % and 79.9 %, respectively. In univariate analyses, age >60 years, and MIB-1 LI correlated with disease recurrence, whereas age >60 years, subtotal surgical resection, MIB-1 LI, and indication for radiotherapy correlated with death. MIB-1 LI levels higher than 12.8 % and 19.7 % predicted recurrence and death, respectively. In our cohort, 26 patients received postoperative radiotherapy including conventional radiation (n = 21) or gamma knife radiosurgery (n = 5). Postoperative radiotherapy did not decrease recurrence rates in our cohort (p = 0.63). Six and two patients who died during the study period underwent conventional radiation and radiosurgery, respectively.

Conclusions: Age, male gender, extent of surgical resection, and higher MIB-1 LI influenced the outcome of atypical meningioma. In our cohort, postoperative radiotherapy failed to provide long-term tumor control. Following incomplete surgical resection of atypical meningioma in elderly patients, adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy may not be an ideal treatment option, particularly when MIB-1 LI is higher than 19.7 %.

Opening the Internal Hematoma Membrane Does Not Alter the Recurrence Rate of Chronic Subdural Hematomas: A Prospective Randomized Trial

Is systematic post-operative CT scan indicated after chronic subdural hematoma surgery?

WORLD NEUROSURGERY 92: 31-36, AUGUST 2016

Factors determining the recurrence of chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) are not clear. Whether opening the so-called internal hematoma membrane is useful has not been investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether splitting the inner hematoma membrane influences the recurrence rate in patients undergoing burr-hole craniotomy for CSDH.

METHODS: Fifty-two awake patients undergoing surgery for 57 CSDHs were prospectively randomized to either partial opening of the inner hematoma membrane (group A) or not (group B) after enlarged burr-hole craniotomy and hematoma evacuation. Drainage was left in situ for several days postoperatively. Groups were comparable with regard to demographic, clinical, and imaging variables. Outcome was assessed after 3e6 weeks for the combined outcome variable of reoperation or residual hematoma of one third or more of the original hematoma thickness.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients underwent reoperation for clinical deterioration or residual hematoma during follow- up (n = 6 in group A, 21%; n = 8 in group B, 28 %) (P = 0.537). Residual hematoma of ≥ one third not requiring surgery was present in 7 patients in group A (25%) and 10 patients in group B (36%) (P = 0.383). The overall cumulative failure rate (reoperation or hematoma thickness ≥ one third) was 13/28 (46%) in group A and 18/28 in group B (P = 0.178; relative risk, 0.722 [95% confidence interval, 0.445-1.172]; absolute risk reduction -16% =95% confidence interval, -38% to 8%]).

CONCLUSIONS: Opening the internal hematoma membrane does not alter the rate of patients requiring revision surgery and the number of patients showing a marked residual hematoma 6 weeks after evacuation of a CSDH.

 

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

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