Neurosurgery Blog

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

Complications in awake versus asleep DBS

J Neurosurg 127:360–369, 2017

As the number of deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedures performed under general anesthesia (“asleep” DBS) increases, it is more important to assess the rates of adverse events, inpatient lengths of stay (LOS), and 30-day readmission rates in patients undergoing these procedures compared with those in patients undergoing traditional “awake” DBS without general anesthesia.

METHODS All patients in an institutional database who had undergone awake or asleep DBS procedures performed by a single surgeon between August 2011 and August 2014 were reviewed. Adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmissions were analyzed.

RESULTS A total of 490 electrodes were placed in 284 patients, of whom 126 (44.4%) underwent awake surgery and 158 (55.6%) underwent asleep surgery. The most frequent overall complication for the cohort was postoperative mental status change (13 patients [4.6%]), followed by hemorrhage (4 patients [1.4%]), seizure (4 patients [1.4%]), and hardwarerelated infection (3 patients [1.1%]). Mean LOS for all 284 patients was 1.19 ± 1.29 days (awake: 1.06 ± 0.46 days; asleep: 1.30 ± 1.67 days; p = 0.08). Overall, the 30-day readmission rate was 1.4% (1 awake patient, 3 asleep patients). There were no significant differences in complications, LOS, and 30-day readmissions between awake and asleep groups.

CONCLUSIONS Both awake and asleep DBS can be performed safely with low complication rates. The authors found no significant differences between the 2 procedure groups in adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmission rates.

Probabilistic versus deterministic tractography for delineation of the cortico-subthalamic hyperdirect pathway in patients with Parkinson disease selected for deep brain stimulation

J Neurosurg 126:1657–1668, 2017

Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and tractography allows noninvasive mapping of the structural connections of the brain, and may provide important information for neurosurgical planning. The hyperdirect pathway, connecting the subthalamic nucleus (STN) with the motor cortex, is assumed to play a key role in mediating the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS), which is an effective but poorly understood treatment for Parkinson disease. This study aimed to apply recent methodological advances in DWI acquisition and analysis to the delineation of the hyperdirect pathway in patients with Parkinson disease selected for surgery.

METHODS High spatial and angular resolution DWI data were acquired preoperatively from 5 patients with Parkinson disease undergoing DBS. The authors compared the delineated hyperdirect pathways and associated STN target maps generated by 2 different tractography methods: a tensor-based deterministic method, typically available in clinical settings, and an advanced probabilistic method based on constrained spherical deconvolution. In addition, 10 highresolution data sets with the same scanning parameters were acquired from a healthy control participant to assess the robustness of the tractography results.

RESULTS Both tractography approaches identified connections between the ipsilateral motor cortex and the STN. However, the 2 methods provided substantially different target regions in the STN, with the target center of gravity differing by > 1.4 mm on average. The probabilistic method (based on constrained spherical deconvolution) plausibly reconstructed a continuous set of connections from the motor cortex, terminating in the dorsolateral region of the STN. In contrast, the tensor-based method reconstructed a comparatively sparser and more variable subset of connections. Furthermore, across the control scans, the probabilistic method identified considerably more consistent targeting regions within the STN compared with the deterministic tensor-based method, which demonstrated a 1.9–2.4 times higher variation.

CONCLUSIONS These data provide a strong impetus for the use of a robust probabilistic tractography framework based on constrained spherical deconvolution, or similar advanced DWI models, in clinical settings. The inherent limitations and demonstrated inaccuracy of the tensor-based method leave it questionable for use in high-precision stereotactic DBS surgery. The authors have also described a straightforward method for importing tractography-derived information into any clinical neuronavigation system, based on the generation of track-density images.

Microvascular decompression for tinnitus

J Neurosurg 126:1148–1157, 2017

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

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

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

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

Walking assessment after lumbar puncture in normal-pressure hydrocephalus: a delayed improvement over 3 days

J Neurosur (126) 148-157, 2017

The determination of gait improvement after lumbar puncture (LP) in idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is crucial, but the best time for such an assessment is unclear. The authors determined the time course of improvement in walking after LP for single-task and dual-task walking in iNPH.

METHODS: In patients with iNPH, sequential recordings of gait velocity were obtained prior to LP (time point [TP]0), 1–8 hours after LP (TP1), 24 hours after LP (TP2), 48 hours after LP (TP3), and 72 hours after LP (TP4). Gait analysis was performed using a pressure-sensitive carpet (GAITRite) under 4 conditions: walking at preferred velocity (STPS), walking at maximal velocity (STMS), walking while performing serial 7 subtractions (dual-task walking with serial 7 [DTS7]), and walking while performing verbal fluency tasks (dual-task walking with verbal fluency [DTVF]).

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients with a mean age of 76.1 ± 7.8 years were included in this study. Objective responder status moderately coincided with the self-estimation of the patients with subjective high false-positive results (83%). The extent of improvement was greater for single-task walking than for dual-task walking (p < 0.05). Significant increases in walking speed were found at TP2 for STPS (p = 0.042) and DTVF (p = 0.046) and at TP3 for STPS (p = 0.035), DTS7 (p = 0.042), and DTVF (p = 0.044). Enlargement of the ventricles (Evans Index) positively correlated with early improvement. Gait improvement at TP3 correlated with the shunt response in 18 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative gait assessment in iNPH is important due to the poor self-evaluation of the patients. The maximal increase in gait velocity can be observed 24–48 hours after the LP. This time point is also best to predict the response to shunting. For dual-task paradigms, maximal improvement appears to occur later (48 to 72 hours). Assessment of gait should be performed at Day 2 or 3 after LP.

Electrical stimulation of the parahippocampal gyrus for prediction of posthippocampectomy verbal memory decline

provocative-test-for-verbal-memory-decline

J Neurosurg 125:1053–1060, 2016

Epilepsy surgery is of known bene t for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE); however, a certain number of patients suffer signi cant decline in verbal memory after hippocampectomy. To prevent this disabling compli- cation, a reliable test for predicting postoperative memory decline is greatly desired. Therefore, the authors assessed the value of electrical stimulation of the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) as a provocation test of verbal memory decline after hippocampectomy on the dominant side.

Methods Eleven right-handed, Japanese-speaking patients with medically intractable left TLE participated in the study. Before surgery, they underwent provocative testing via electrical stimulation of the left PHG during a verbal en- coding task. Their pre- and posthippocampectomy memory function was evaluated according to the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and/or Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) before and 6 months after surgery. The rela- tionship between postsurgical memory decline and results of the provocative test was evaluated.

Results Left hippocampectomy was performed in 7 of the 11 patients. In 3 patients with a positive provocative rec- ognition test, verbal memory function, as assessed by the WMS-R, decreased after hippocampectomy, whereas in 4 patients with a negative provocative recognition test, verbal memory function, as assessed by the WMS-R or MMSE, was preserved.

Conclusions Results of the present study suggest that electrical stimulation of the PHG is a reliable provocative test to predict posthippocampectomy verbal memory decline.

 

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

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

J Neurosurg 125:1068–1079, 2016

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

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

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

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

Simultaneous bilateral stereotactic procedure for deep brain stimulation implants

Simultaneous bilateral stereotactic procedure for deep brain stimulation implants

J Neurosurg 125:85–89, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

J Neurosurg 125:75–84, 2016

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

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

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

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

Graph theory, complex networks, and neurosurgery

Graph theory analysis of complex brain networks

J Neurosurg 124:1665–1678, 2016

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

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

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

Cost analysis of awake versus asleep deep brain stimulation

iCT-DBS

J Neurosurg 124:1517–1523, 2016

The objective of this study was to compare the cost of deep brain stimulation (DBS) performed awake versus asleep at a single US academic health center and to compare costs across the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Clinical Database.

Methods Inpatient and outpatient demographic and hospital financial data for patients receiving a neurostimulator lead implant (from the first quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2014) were collected and analyzed. Inpatient charges included those associated with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) procedure code 0293 (implantation or replacement of intracranial neurostimulator lead). Outpatient charges included all preoperative charges ≤ 30 days prior to implant and all postoperative charges ≤ 30 days after implant. The cost of care based on reported charges and a cost-to-charge ratio was estimated. The UHC database was queried (January 2011 to March 2014) with the same ICD-9 code. Procedure cost data across like hospitals (27 UHC hospitals) conducting similar DBS procedures were compared.

Results Two hundred eleven DBS procedures (53 awake and 158 asleep) were performed at a single US academic health center during the study period. The average patient age (± SD) was 65 ± 9 years old and 39% of patients were female. The most common primary diagnosis was Parkinson’s disease (61.1%) followed by essential and other forms of tremor (36%). Overall average DBS procedure cost was $39,152 ± $5340. Asleep DBS cost $38,850 ± $4830, which was not significantly different than the awake DBS cost of $40,052 ± $6604. The standard deviation for asleep DBS was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05). In 2013, the median cost for a neurostimulator implant lead was $34,052 at UHC-affiliated hospitals that performed at least 5 procedures a year. At Oregon Health & Science University, the median cost was $17,150 and the observed single academic health center cost for a neurostimulator lead implant was less than the expected cost (ratio 0.97).

Conclusions In this single academic medical center cost analysis, DBS performed asleep was associated with a lower cost variation relative to the awake procedure. Furthermore, costs compared favorably to UHC-affiliated hospitals. While asleep DBS is not yet standard practice, this center exclusively performs asleep DBS at a lower cost than comparable institutions.

 

Neurosurgery for schizophrenia

Neurosurgery for schizophrenia

J Neurosurg 124:917–928, 2016

The main objectives of this review were to provide an update on the progress made in understanding specific circuit abnormalities leading to psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia and to propose rational targets for therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Refractory schizophrenia remains a major unsolved clinical problem, with 10%–30% of patients not responding to standard treatment options. Progress made over the last decade was analyzed through reviewing structural and functional neuroimaging studies in humans, along with studies of animal models of schizophrenia. The authors reviewed theories implicating dysfunction in dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling in the pathophysiology of the disorder, paying particular attention to neurosurgically relevant nodes in the circuit. In this context, the authors focused on an important pathological circuit involving the associative striatum, anterior hippocampus, and ventral striatum, and discuss the possibility of targeting these nodes for therapeutic neuromodulation with DBS. Finally, the authors examined ethical considerations in the treatment of these vulnerable patients.

The functional anatomy of neural circuits relevant to schizophrenia remains of great interest to neurosurgeons and psychiatrists and lends itself to the development of specific targets for neuromodulation. Ongoing progress in the understanding of these structures will be critical to the development of potential neurosurgical treatments of schizophrenia.

Parkinson’s disease outcomes after intraoperative CT-guided “asleep” deep brain stimulation in the globus pallidus internus

Parkinson’s disease outcomes after intraoperative CT-guided “asleep” deep brain stimulation in the globus pallidus internus

J Neurosurg 124:902–907, 2016

Recent studies show that deep brain stimulation can be performed safely and accurately without microelectrode recording or test stimulation but with the patient under general anesthesia. The procedure couples techniques for direct anatomical targeting on MRI with intraoperative imaging to verify stereotactic accuracy. However, few authors have examined the clinical outcomes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients after this procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PD outcomes following “asleep” deep brain stimulation in the globus pallidus internus (GPi).

Methods The authors prospectively examined all consecutive patients with advanced PD who underwent bilateral GPi electrode placement while under general anesthesia. Intraoperative CT was used to assess lead placement accuracy. The primary outcome measure was the change in the off-medication Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor score 6 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included effects on the 39-Item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) scores, on-medication motor scores, and levodopa equivalent daily dose. Lead locations, active contact sites, stimulation parameters, and adverse events were documented.

Results Thirty-five patients (24 males, 11 females) had a mean age of 61 years at lead implantation. The mean radial error off plan was 0.8 mm. Mean coordinates for the active contact were 21.4 mm lateral, 4.7 mm anterior, and 0.4 mm superior to the midcommissural point. The mean off-medication motor score improved from 48.4 at baseline to 28.9 (40.3% improvement) at 6 months (p < 0.001). The PDQ-39 scores improved (50.3 vs 42.0; p = 0.03), and the levodopa equivalent daily dose was reduced (1207 vs 1035 mg; p = 0.004). There were no significant adverse events.

Conclusions Globus pallidus internus leads placed with the patient under general anesthesia by using direct anatomical targeting resulted in significantly improved outcomes as measured by the improvement in the off-medication motor score at 6 months after surgery.

Intraoperative MRI and DBS for Parkinson disease

iMRI DBS

J Neurosurg 124:62–69, 2016

The degree of clinical improvement achieved by deep brain stimulation (DBS) is largely dependent on the accuracy of lead placement. This study reports on the evaluation of intraoperative MRI (iMRI) for adjusting deviated electrodes to the accurate anatomical position during DBS surgery and acute intracranial changes.

MethodsTwo hundred and six DBS electrodes were implanted in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in 110 patients with Parkinson disease. All patients underwent iMRI after implantation to define the accuracy of lead placement. Fifty-six DBS electrode positions in 35 patients deviated from the center of the STN, according to the result of the initial postplacement iMRI scans. Thus, we adjusted the electrode positions for placement in the center of the STN and verified this by means of second or third iMRI scans. Recording was performed in adjusted parameters in the x-, y-, and z-axes.

ResultsFifty-six (27%) of 206 DBS electrodes were adjusted as guided by iMRI. Electrode position was adjusted on the basis of iMRI 62 times. The sum of target coordinate adjustment was -0.5 mm in the x-axis, -4 mm in the y-axis, and 15.5 mm in the z-axis; the total of distance adjustment was 74.5 mm in the x-axis, 88 mm in the y-axis, and 42.5 mm in the z-axis. After adjustment with the help of iMRI, all electrodes were located in the center of the STN. Intraoperative MRI revealed 2 intraparenchymal hemorrhages in 2 patients, brain shift in all patients, and leads penetrating the lateral ventricle in 3 patients.

ConclusionsThe iMRI technique can guide surgeons as they adjust deviated electrodes to improve the accuracy of implanting the electrodes into the correct anatomical position. The iMRI technique can also immediately demonstrate acute changes such as hemorrhage and brain shift during DBS surgery.

Deep brain stimulation versus anterior capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review of the literature

DBS

J Neurosurg 122:1028–1037, 2015

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Traditionally, anterior capsulotomy (AC) was an established procedure for treatment of patients with refractory OCD. Over recent decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained popularity.

In this paper the authors review the published literature and compare the outcome of AC and DBS targeting of the area of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Patients in published cases were grouped according to whether they received AC or DBS and according to their preoperative scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and then separated according to outcome measures: remission (YBOCS score < 8); response (≥ 35% improvement in YBOCS score); nonresponse (< 35% improvement in YBOCS score); and unfavorable (i.e., worsening of the baseline YBOCS score).

Twenty studies were identified reporting on 170 patients; 62 patients underwent DBS of the VC/VS or the NAcc (mean age 38 years, follow-up 19 months, baseline YBOCS score of 33), and 108 patients underwent AC (mean age 36 years, follow-up 61 months, baseline YBOCS score of 30). In patients treated with DBS there was a 40% decrease in YBOCS score, compared with a 51% decrease for those who underwent AC (p = 0.004). Patients who underwent AC were 9% more likely to go into remission than patients treated with DBS (p = 0.02). No difference in complication rates was noted.

Anterior capsulotomy is an efficient procedure for refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation in the VC/VS and NAcc area is an emerging and promising therapy. The current popularity of DBS over ablative surgery for OCD is not due to nonefficacy of AC, but possibly because DBS is perceived as more acceptable by clinicians and patients.

Deep brain stimulation versus anterior capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review of the literature

brain-ocd-treatment

J Neurosurg 122:1028–1037, 2015

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Traditionally, anterior capsulotomy (AC) was an established procedure for treatment of patients with refractory OCD. Over recent decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained popularity.

In this paper the authors review the published literature and compare the outcome of AC and DBS targeting of the area of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc).

Patients in published cases were grouped according to whether they received AC or DBS and according to their preoperative scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and then separated according to outcome measures: remission (YBOCS score < 8); response (≥ 35% improvement in YBOCS score); nonresponse (< 35% improvement in YBOCS score); and unfavorable (i.e., worsening of the baseline YBOCS score).

Twenty studies were identified reporting on 170 patients; 62 patients underwent DBS of the VC/VS or the NAcc (mean age 38 years, follow-up 19 months, baseline YBOCS score of 33), and 108 patients underwent AC (mean age 36 years, follow-up 61 months, baseline YBOCS score of 30). In patients treated with DBS there was a 40% decrease in YBOCS score, compared with a 51% decrease for those who underwent AC (p = 0.004). Patients who underwent AC were 9% more likely to go into remission than patients treated with DBS (p = 0.02). No difference in complication rates was noted.

Anterior capsulotomy is an efficient procedure for refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation in the VC/VS and NAcc area is an emerging and promising therapy. The current popularity of DBS over ablative surgery for OCD is not due to nonefficacy of AC, but possibly because DBS is perceived as more acceptable by clinicians and patients.

Diffusion tensor tractography in deep brain stimulation

Diffusion tensor tractography in deep brain stimulation

J Neurosurg 121:929–935, 2014

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the corticospinal tract (CST) is a reliable surrogate for intraoperative macrostimulation through the deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads. The authors hypothesized that the distance on MRI from the DBS lead to the CST as determined by DTI would correlate with intraoperative motor thresholds from macrostimulations through the same DBS lead.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed pre- and postoperative MRI studies and intraoperative macrostimulation recordings in 17 patients with Parkinson disease (PD) treated by DBS stimulation. Preoperative DTI tractography of the CST was coregistered with postoperative MRI studies showing the position of the DBS leads. The shortest distance and the angle from each contact of each DBS lead to the CST was automatically calculated using software-based analysis. The distance measurements calculated for each contact were evaluated with respect to the intraoperative voltage thresholds that elicited a motor response at each contact.

Results. There was a nonsignificant trend for voltage thresholds to increase when the distances between the DBS leads and the CST increased. There was a significant correlation between the angle and the voltage, but the correlation was weak (coefficient of correlation [R] = 0.36).

Conclusions. Caution needs to be exercised when using DTI tractography information to guide DBS lead placement in patients with PD. Further studies are needed to compare DTI tractography measurements with other approaches such as microelectrode recordings and conventional intraoperative MRI–guided placement of DBS leads.

Repeat microvascular decompression for recurrent idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia

TN

DOI: 10.3171/2014.7.JNS132667

Microvascular decompression (MVD) is considered the method of choice to treat idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) refractory to medical treatment. However, repeat MVD for recurrent TN is not well established. In this paper, the authors describe a large case series in which patients underwent repeat MVD for recurrent TN, focusing on outcome, risk factors, and complication rates.

Methods. Between 1990 and 2012, a total of 33 consecutive patients underwent repeat MVD for recurrent TN at the University Medical Center Groningen. The authors performed a retrospective chart review and telephone interviews. Risk factors were analyzed by binary logistic regression analysis.

Results. After 12 months of follow-up, 22 (67%) operations were successful, of which 19 patients were completely free of pain without medication. With multivariate analysis significant risk factors for success were older age (OR 1.11, p < 0.01) and direct absence of pain after repeat MVD (OR 25.2, p < 0.01). Previous neurodestructive procedures did not influence success rates. Facial numbness occurred in 9 patients (27%), while other morbidity was minimal. There was no mortality.

Conclusions. This study demonstrates that repeat MVD is a feasible therapeutic option with good chances of success, even in patients who have undergone neurodestructive procedures. Complication rates, particularly facial numbness, can be avoided if only a limited neurolysis is performed.

Association of dorsal inferior frontooccipital fasciculus fibers in the deep parietal lobe with both reading and writing processes: a brain mapping study

Relation of dorsal IFOF to both reading and writing processes

J Neurosurg 121:142–148, 2014

Alexia and agraphia are disorders common to the left inferior parietal lobule, including the angular and supramarginal gyri. However, it is still unclear how these cortical regions interact with other cortical sites and what the most important white matter tracts are in relation to reading and writing processes.

Here, the authors present the case of a patient who underwent an awake craniotomy for a left inferior parietal lobule glioma using direct cortical and subcortical electrostimulation. The use of subcortical stimulation allowed identification of the specific white matter tracts associated with reading and writing. These tracts were found as portions of the dorsal inferior frontooccipital fasciculus (IFOF) fibers in the deep parietal lobe that are responsible for connecting the frontal lobe to the superior parietal lobule.

These findings are consistent with previous diffusion tensor imaging tractography and functional MRI studies, which suggest that the IFOF may play a role in the reading and writing processes. This is the first report of transient alexia and agraphia elicited through intraoperative direct subcortical electrostimulation, and the findings support the crucial role of the IFOF in reading and writing.

Multitarget, dual-electrode stimulation for Holmes’ tremor

Multitarget, dual-electrode stimulation for Holmes’ tremor

J Neurosurg 120:1025–1032, 2014

Holmes’ tremor (HT) is generally considered to be a symptomatic tremor associated with lesions of the cerebellum, midbrain, or thalamus. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for essential tremor and parkinsonian tremor has proved quite successful. In contrast, surgical treatment outcomes for HT have often been disappointing. The use of 2 ipsilateral DBS electrodes implanted in parallel within the thalamus for severe essential tremor has been reported. Since dual-lead stimulation within a single target can cover a wider area than single-lead stimulation, it produces greater effects. On the other hand, DBS of the subthalamic area (SA) was recently reported to be effective for refractory tremor.

Methods. The authors implanted 2 DBS electrodes (one at the nucleus ventralis oralis/nucleus ventralis intermedius and the other at the SA) in 4 patients with HT. For more than 2 years after implantation, each patient’s tremor was evaluated using a tremor rating scale under the following 4 conditions of stimulation: “on” for both thalamus and SA DBS; “off” for both thalamus and SA DBS; “on” for thalamus and “off” for SA DBS; and “on” for SA and “off” for thalamus DBS.

Results. The tremor in all patients was improved for more than 2 years (mean 25.8 ± 3.5 months). Stimulation with 2 electrodes exerted greater effect on the tremor than did 1-electrode stimulation. Interestingly, in all patients progressive effects were observed, and in one patient treated with DBS for 1 year, tremor did not appear even while stimulation was temporarily switched off, suggesting irreversible improvement effects. The presence of both resting and intentional/action tremor implies combined destruction of the pallidothalamic and cerebellothalamic pathways in HT. A larger stimulation area may thus be required for HT patients. Multitarget, dual-lead stimulation permits coverage of the wide area needed to suppress the tremor without adverse effects of stimulation. Some reorganization of the neural network may be involved in the development of HT because the tremor appears several months after the primary insult. The mechanism underlying the absence of tremor while stimulation was temporarily off remains unclear, but the DBS may have normalized the abnormal neural network.

Conclusions. The authors successfully treated patients with severe HT by using dual-electrode DBS over a long period. Such DBS may offer an effective and safe treatment modality for intractable HT.

Inducing transient language disruptions by mapping of Broca’s area with modified patterned repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol

Mapping Broca’s area

J Neurosurg 120:1033–1041, 2014

Until now there has been no reliable stimulation protocol for inducing transient language disruptions while mapping Broca’s area. Despite the promising data of only a few studies in which speech arrest and language disturbances have been induced, certain concerns have been raised. The purpose of this study was to map Broca’s area by using event-related navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) to generate a modified patterned nTMS protocol.

Methods. Eleven right-handed subjects underwent nTMS to Broca’s area while engaged in a visual object-naming task. Navigated TMS was triggered 300 msec after picture presentation. The modified patterned nTMS protocol consists of 4 stimuli with an interstimulus interval of 6 msec; 8 or 16 of those bursts were repeated with a burst repetition rate of 12 Hz. Prior to mapping of Broca’s area, the primary motor cortices (M1) for hand and laryngeal muscles were mapped. The Euclidian distance on MRI was measured between cortical points eliciting transient language disruptions and M1 for the laryngeal muscle.

Results. On stimulating Broca’s area, transient language disruptions were induced in all subjects. The mean Euclidian distance between cortical spots inducing transient language disruptions and M1 for the laryngeal muscle was 17.23 ± 4.73 mm.

Conclusions. The stimulation paradigm with the modified patterned nTMS protocol was shown to be promising and might gain more widespread use in speech localization in clinical and research applications.

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

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