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

Dexamethasone for chronic subdural haematoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2037–2044

Chronic subdural haematoma is a common but retractable neurological disease in the elderly with a high rate of recurrence. Dexamethasone (DX) either as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy has been applied clinically, but its effectiveness and feasibility remain controversial. We conducted this review to clarify this issue. Methods With a systematic review through multiple databases, we retrieved eligible English language publications and extracted relevant data to perform meta-analyses. The respective risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled to evaluate the overall effect. Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference

Methods With a systematic review through multiple databases, we retrieved eligible English language publications and extracted relevant data to perform meta-analyses. The respective risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled to evaluate the overall effect. Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference

Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference on recurrence rate between DX alone and non-DX therapy or surgical therapy (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.43-1.71; p = 0.66) (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.43-1.85; p = 0.76). Comparison between DX alone with the surgical therapy demonstrated no difference on the poor outcome (RR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.15-1.04; p = 0.06). Conclusions We had

Conclusions We had no enough evidence to support DX use as an effective alternation to surgical therapy. But adjuvant DX use may facilitate the surgical therapy by reducing recurrence. Further study focusing on adjuvant DX was required.

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 Fusion for Degenerative Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 80:701–715, 2017

Due to uncertain evidence, lumbar fusion for degenerative indications is associated with the greatest measured practice variation of any surgical procedure.

OBJECTIVE: To summarize the current evidence on the comparative safety and efficacy of lumbar fusion, decompression-alone, or nonoperative care for degenerative indications.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (up to June 30, 2016). Comparative studies reporting validated measures of safety or efficacy were included. Treatment effects were calculated through DerSimonian and Laird random effects models.

RESULTS: The literature search yielded 65 studies (19 randomized controlled trials, 16 prospective cohort studies, 15 retrospective cohort studies, and 15 registries) enrolling a total of 302 620 patients. Disability, pain, and patient satisfaction following fusion, decompression-alone, or nonoperative care were dependent on surgical indications and study methodology. Relative to decompression-alone, the risk of reoperation following fusion was increased for spinal stenosis (relative risk [RR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.28) and decreased for spondylolisthesis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68-0.83). Among patients with spinal stenosis, complications were more frequent following fusion (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.18-2.96). Mortality was not significantly associated with any treatment modality.

CONCLUSION: Positive clinical change was greatest in patients undergoing fusion for spondylolisthesis while complications and the risk of reoperation limited the benefit of fusion for spinal stenosis. The relative safety and efficacy of fusion for chronic low back pain suggests careful patient selection is required (PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews number, CRD42015020153).

 

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.

 

Association of Hemodynamic Factors With Intracranial Aneurysm Formation and Rupture

Association of Hemodynamic Factors With Intracranial Aneurysm Formation and Rupture

Neurosurgery 78:510–520, 2016

Recent evidence suggests a link between the magnitude and distribution of hemodynamic factors and the formation and rupture of intracranial aneurysms. However, there are many conflicting results.

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the effect of hemodynamic factors on aneurysm formation and their association with ruptured aneurysms.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis through October 2014. Analysis of the effects of hemodynamic factors on aneurysm formation was performed by pooling the results of studies that compared geometrical models of intracranial aneurysms and “preaneurysm” models where the aneurysm was artificially removed. Furthermore, we calculated pooled standardized mean differences between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms to quantify the association of hemodynamic factors with ruptured aneurysms. Standard PRISMA guidelines were followed.

RESULTS: The hemodynamic factors that showed high positive correlations with location of aneurysm formation were high wall shear stress (WSS) and high gradient oscillatory number, with pooled proportions of 78.8% and 85.7%, respectively. Positive correlations were largely seen in bifurcation aneurysms, whereas negative correlations were seen in sidewall aneurysms. Mean and normalized WSS were significantly lower and low shear area significantly higher in ruptured aneurysms.

CONCLUSION: Pooled analyses of computational fluid dynamics models suggest that an increase in WSS and gradient oscillatory number may contribute to aneurysm formation, whereas low WSS is associated with ruptured aneurysms. The location of the aneurysm at the bifurcation or sidewall may influence the correlation of these hemodynamic factors.

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.

Safety and efficacy of microsurgical treatment of previously coiled aneurysms: a systematic review and meta-analysis

coiledaneurysm

Acta 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.

Aneurysm diameter as a risk factor for pretreatment rebleeding: a meta-analysis

MCA aneurysm

J Neurosurg 122:921–928, 2015

Aneurysmal rerupture prior to treatment is a major cause of death and morbidity in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Recognizing risk factors for aneurysmal rebleeding is particularly relevant and might help to identify the aneurysms that benefit from acute treatment. It is uncertain if the size of the aneurysm is related to rebleeding. This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate whether an association could be determined between aneurysm diameter and the rebleeding rate before treatment. Potentially confounding factors such age, aneurysm location, and the presence of hypertension were also evaluated.

Methods The authors systematically searched the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases up to April 3, 2013, for studies of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage that reported the association between aneurysm diameter and pretreatment aneurysmal rebleeding. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria were used to evaluate study quality.

Results Seven studies, representing 2121 patients, were included in the quantitative analysis. The quality of the studies was low in 2 and very low in 5. Almost all of the studies used 10 mm as the cutoff point for size among other classes, and only one used 7 mm. An analysis was performed with this best unifiable cutoff point. Overall rebleeding occurred in 360 (17.0%) of 2121 patients (incidence range, from study to study, 8.7%–28.4%). The rate of rebleeding in small and large aneurysms was 14.0% and 23.6%, respectively. The meta-analysis of the 7 studies revealed that larger size aneurysms were at a higher risk for rebleeding (OR 2.56 [95% CI 1.62–4.06]; p = 0.00; I2 = 60%). The sensitivity analysis did not alter the results. Five of the 7 studies reported data regarding age; 4 studies provided age-adjusted results and identified a persistent relationship between lesion size and the risk of rebleeding. The presence of hypertension was reported in two studies and was more prevalent in patients with rebleeding in one of these. Location (anterior vs posterior circulation) was reported in 5 studies, while in 4 there was no difference in the rebleeding rate. One study identified a lower risk of rebleeding associated with posterior location aneurysms.

Conclusions This meta-analysis showed that aneurysm size is an important risk factor for aneurysmal rebleeding and should be used in the clinical risk assessment of individual patients. The authors’ results confirmed the current guidelines and underscored the importance of acute treatment for large ruptured aneurysms.

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

vestibular-schwannoma

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

Fusion

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

TSM. EEA?

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.

Stereotactic Biopsy for Brainstem Tumors

stereotactic biopsy for brainstem tumors

Neurosurgery 72:873–882, 2013

The feasibility and safety of stereotactic biopsy for brainstem tumors (BSTs) are controversial. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been reported as the preferred diagnostic tool, histopathological analysis is frequently necessary to establish a definitive diagnosis. Recent advances in molecular characterization of brainstem gliomas—accounting for the majority of BSTs—have revealed several potential targets for molecular-based therapies. Hence, a molecular stereotactic biopsy that combines histopathological diagnosis withmolecular-genetic analysis will become increasingly important for patients with BSTs.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis to determine the risks and benefits of stereotactic biopsy for BSTs.

METHODS: A systematic search in PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science yielded 3766 potentially eligible abstracts. Meta-analysis was conducted on 38 studies describing 1480 biopsy procedures for BSTs. Primary outcome measures were diagnostic success and procedure-related complications. Data were analyzed according to standard meta-analytic techniques.

RESULTS: The weighted average proportions across the analyzed studies were: 96.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 94.5%-97.6%) for diagnostic success, 7.8% (95% CI: 5.6%- 10.2%) for overall morbidity, 1.7% (95% CI: 0.9%-2.7%) for permanent morbidity, and 0.9% (95% CI: 0.5%-1.4%) for mortality. Meta-regression revealed a significant correlation between diagnostic success rates and the number of biopsy procedures performed annually in each center (P = .011). Other factors did not affect the outcome measures.

CONCLUSION: Stereotactic biopsy of BSTs is safe. It allows exact histopathological diagnosis as a prerequisite for adequate treatment and opens new perspectives for the molecular characterization of these tumors as a crucial first step toward more individualized treatment concepts.

Is endoscopic third ventriculostomy superior to shunts in patients with non-communicating hydrocephalus?

ETV

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:883–889

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and shunts are both utilized in the treatment of noncommunicating hydrocephalus. The objective of this study was to review the evidence comparing the effectiveness of these two techniques.

Methods The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and Medline databases were searched between 1990 and August 2012. We included all studies comparing the failure rate of patients with noncommunicating hydrocephalus treated with ETVand shunts. Two authors (HJM and FTR) appraised quality and extracted data independently.

Results Of 313 articles identified, 12 were selected for further review. Of these, 6 were included for qualitative analysis, and 5 for quantitative analysis (n=504). ETV was associated with a non-statistically significant reduction in failure using the random-effects model (OR 0.58, 95 % CI 0.29-1.13).

Conclusions Both ETV and shunts are associated with a relatively high failure rate. At present there is insufficient proof to unequivocally recommend one mode of treatment above the other. However, there is some evidence that ETV may confer long-term survival advantage over shunts in the treatment of non-communicating hydrocephalus, particularly in patients with certain aetiologies such as aqueductal stenosis. Prospective randomized controlled trials are currently underway and may provide more robust evidence to answer this important question and better guide future management.

The Value of Scheduled Repeat Cranial Computed Tomography After Mild Head Injury

concusion_TBI

Neurosurgery 72:56–64, 2013

After an initial computed tomography (CT) scan revealing intracranial hemorrhage resulting from traumatic brain injury, a standard of care in many trauma centers is to schedule a repeat CT scan to rule out possible progression of bleed.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the utility of routine follow-up CT in changing the management of mild head injury patients despite clinical stability, although repeat imaging is indicated to assess a deteriorating patient.

METHODS: The trauma database at our institution was retrospectively reviewed and the literature was searched to identify patients after mild head injury with positive initial CT finding and scheduled repeat scan. Patients were divided into 2 groups for comparison. Group A included patients who had intervention based on neurological examination changes. Group B comprised patients requiring a change in management according to CT results exclusively. The meta-analysis of the present cohort and included articles was performed with a random-effects model.

RESULTS: Overall, 15 studies and 445 patients met our eligibility criteria, totaling 2693 patients. Intervention rates of groups A and B were 2.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.7-3.9; P = .003) and 0.6% (95% confidence interval, 0.3-1; P = .21), respectively. The statistical difference between both intervention rates was clinically significant with P , .001.

CONCLUSION: The available evidence indicates that it is unnecessary to schedule a repeat CT scan after mild head injury when patients are unchanged or improving neurologically. In the absence of supporting data, we question the value of routine follow-up imaging given the associated accumulative increase in cost and risks.

Total Disc Replacement for Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Cochrane Review

TDR

 Spine 2013 ; 38 : 24 – 36

Study Design. Systematic literature review.

Objective. To assess the effect of total disc replacement for chronic low back pain due to lumbar degenerative disc disease compared with fusion or other treatment options.

Summary of Background Data. There is an increasing use in disc replacement devices for degenerative disc disease, but their effectiveness compared with other interventions such as fusion of the motion segment or conservative treatment remains unclear.

Methods. A comprehensive search in PubMedCentral, MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, ClinicalTrials.gov, and FDA trials register was conducted. Randomized controlled trials comparing total disc replacement with any other intervention for degenerative disc disease were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the criteria of the Cochrane Back Review Group. Quality of evidence was graded according to the GRADE approach. Two review authors independently selected studies, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data. Results and upper bounds of confidence intervals were compared with predefined clinically relevant differences.

Results. We included 7 randomized controlled trials with a follow-up of 24 months. There is risk of bias in the included studies due to sponsoring and absence of any kind of blinding. One study compared disc replacement with rehabilitation and found a signifi cant advantage in favor of surgery, which, however, did not reach the predefi ned threshold. Six studies compared disc replacement with fusion and found that the mean improvement in visual analogue scale score of back pain was 5.2 mm higher (2 studies; 95% confidence interval 0.2–10.3) with a low quality of evidence. The improvement of Oswestry disability index score at 24 months in the disc replacement group was 4.3 points more than in the fusion group (5 studies; 95% confidence interval 1.85–6.68) with a low quality of evidence. Both upper bounds of the confidence intervals were below the predefined clinically relevant difference.

Conclusion. Although statistically significant, the differences in clinical improvement were not beyond generally accepted boundaries for clinical relevance. Prevention of adjacent level disease and/or facet joint degeneration was not properly assessed. Therefore, because we think that harm and complications may occur after some years, the spine surgery community should be prudent to adopt this technology on a large scale, despite the fact that total disc replacement seems to be effective in treating low back pain in selected patients, and in the short term is at least equivalent to fusion surgery.

Key words: s.

Effectiveness of interspinous implant surgery in patients with intermittent neurogenic claudication: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur Spine J (2011) 20:1596–1606.DOI 10.1007/s00586-011-1873-8
Despite an increasing implantation rate of interspinous process distraction (IPD) devices in the treatment of intermittent neurogenic claudication (INC), definitive evidence on the clinical effectiveness of implants is lacking. The main objective of this review was to perform a meta-analysis of all systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials and prospective cohort series to quantify the effectiveness of IPDs and to evaluate the potential sideeffects.
Methods  Data from all studies prospectively describing clinical results based on validated outcome scales and reporting complications of treatment of patients with INC with IPD placement. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane (CENTRAL), CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Science Direct up to July 2010. Studies describing patients with INC caused by lumbar stenosis, reporting complication rate and reporting based on validated outcome scores, were eligible. Studies with only instrumented IPD results were excluded.
Results  Eleven studies eligible studies were identified. Two independently RCTs and eight prospective cohorts were available. In total 563 patients were treated with IPDs. All studies showed improvement in validated outcome scores after 6 weeks and 1 year. Pooled data based on the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire of the RCTs were more in favor of IPD treatment compared with conservative treatment (pooled estimate 23.2, SD 18.5–27.8). Statistical heterogeneity after pooled data was low (I-squared 0.0, p =  0.930). Overall complication rate was 7%.
Conclusion  As the evidence is relatively low and the costs are high, more thorough (cost-) effectiveness studies should be performed before worldwide implementation is introduced.

Meta-analysis of instrumented posterior interbody fusion versus instrumented posterolateral fusion in the lumbar spine

J Neurosurg Spine 15:295–310, 2011.DOI: 10.3171/2011.4.SPINE10330

The authors compared the effectiveness of instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (iPLIF) and instrumented posterolateral fusion (iPLF) for the treatment of low-back pain (LBP) due to degenerative lumbar disease.

Methods. Relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative observational studies through December 2009 were identified using a retrieval strategy of sensitive and specific searches. The study design, participant characteristics, interventions, follow-up rate and period, and outcomes were abstracted after the assessment of methodological quality of the trials. Analyses were performed following the method guidelines of the Cochrane Back Review Group.
Results. Nine studies were identified—3 RCTs and 6 comparative observational studies. No significant difference was found between the 2 fusion procedures in the global assessment of clinical outcome (OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.71–3.22, p = 0.29) and complication rate (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.16–1.86, p = 0.34). Both techniques were effective in reducing pain and improving functional disability, as well as restoring intervertebral disc height. Instrumented PLIF was more effective in achieving solid fusion (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.35–5.00, p = 0.004), a lower reoperation rate (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.03–1.29, p = 0.09), and better restoration of segmental angle and lumbar lordotic angle than iPLF. There were no significant differences between the fusion methods regarding blood loss (weighted mean difference –179.63, 95% CI –516.42 to 157.15, p = 0.30), and operating time (weighted mean difference 8.03, 95% CI –45.46 to 61.53, p = 0.77).

Conclusions. The authors’ analysis provided moderate-quality evidence that iPLIF has the advantages of higher fusion rate and better restoration of spinal alignment over iPLF. No significant differences were identified between iPLIF and iPLF concerning clinical outcome, complication rate, operating time, and blood loss.

Meta-Analysis of Hemorrhagic Complications From Ventriculostomy Placement by Neurosurgeons

Neurosurgery 69:255–260, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821a45ba

Ventriculostomy placement is an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool for neurosurgeons. Multiple authors have presented retrospective series of patients evaluating periprocedure hemorrhage.

OBJECTIVE: We performed a meta-analysis of existing studies to determine a more accurate rate of hemorrhage.

METHODS: A MEDLINE and PubMed search was performed to find all studies of 25 or more patients conducted since 1970 that found a hemorrhagic complication rate from placement of a ventriculostomy. Studies in which a non-neurosurgeon placed the ventriculostomy and studies involving premature infants were excluded.

RESULTS: Sixteen studies were used to obtain data from 2428 ventriculostomy procedures. Hemorrhage was found after 203 procedures, and 52 of these hemorrhages were deemed significant by the authors. The cumulative rate of hemorrhage was 7.0% (95% confidence interval: 4.5%-9.4%), with P , .05. The cumulative rate of significant hemorrhage was 0.8% (95% confidence interval: 0.2%-1.4%) with P , .05.

CONCLUSION: Based on our meta-analysis, the overall hemorrhagic complication rate from ventriculostomy placement by neurosurgeons is approximately 7%. The rate of significant hemorrhage from ventriculostomy placement is approximately 0.8%. Further prospective studies are warranted to better address this question.

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

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