Neurosurgery Blog


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

Anterior trans-frontal endoscopic resection of third-ventricle colloid cyst

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1049–1052

The endoscopic technique has been recognised as a viable and safe alternative to microsurgery for the treatment of third-ventricle colloid cyst. However, the standard precoronal endoscopic approach does not always provide an adequate visualisation of the attachment of the cyst to the velum interpositum. Using a more anterior approach, it is easier to reach the roof of the cyst and its possible adherences with the tela choroidea.

Method The authors describe step by step the anterior transfrontal endoscopic approach for management of third ventricle colloid cyst.

Conclusions The described approach has shown to be safe, quick and effective for the treatment of third-ventricle colloid cyst.

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.

Comparison between electric-field-navigated and line-navigated TMS for cortical motor mapping in patients with brain tumors

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:2277–2289

For the navigation of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), various techniques are available. Yet, there are two basic principles underlying them all: electric-fieldnavigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (En-TMS) and line-navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (Ln-TMS). The current study was designed to compare both methods.

Methods To explore whether there is a difference in clinical applicability, workflow, and mapping results of both techniques, we systematically compared motor mapping via EnTMS and Ln-TMS in 12 patients suffering from brain tumors.

Results The number of motor-positive stimulation spots and the ratio of positive spots per overall stimulation numbers were significantly higher for En-TMS (motor-positive spots: EnTMS vs. Ln-TMS: 128.3 ± 35.0 vs. 41.3 ± 26.8, p < 0.0001; ratio of motor-positive spots per number of stimulations: EnTMS vs. Ln-TMS: 38.0 ± 9.2 % vs. 20.0 ± 14.4 %, p = 0.0031). Distances between the En-TMS and Ln-TMS motor hotspots were 8.3 ± 4.4 mm on the ipsilesional and 8.6 ± 4.5 mm on the contralesional hemisphere (p = 0.9124).

Conclusions The present study compares En-TMS and LnTMS motor mapping in the neurosurgical context for the first time. Although both TMS systems tested in the present study are explicitly designed for application during motor mapping in patients with brain lesions, there are differences in applicability, workflow, and results between En-TMS and Ln-TMS, which should be distinctly considered during clinical use of the technique. However, to draw final conclusions about accuracy, confirmation of motor-positive Ln-TMS spots by intraoperative stimulation is crucial within the scope of upcoming investigations.

App-assisted external ventricular drain insertion


J Neurosurg 125:754–758, 2016

The freehand technique for insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is based on fixed anatomical landmarks and does not take individual variations into consideration. A patient-tailored approach based on augmented-reality techniques using devices such as smartphones can address this shortcoming. The Sina neurosurgical assist (Sina) is an Android mobile device application (app) that was designed and developed to be used as a simple intraoperative neurosurgical planning aid. It overlaps the patient’s images from previously performed CT or MRI studies on the image seen through the device camera.

The device is held by an assistant who aligns the images and provides information about the relative position of the target and EVD to the surgeon who is performing EVD insertion. This app can be used to provide guidance and continuous monitoring during EVD placement.

The author describes the technique of Sina-assisted EVD insertion into the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle and reports on its clinical application in 5 cases as well as the results of ex vivo studies of ease of use and precision. The technique has potential for further development and use with other augmented-reality devices.

Three-dimensional MRS–guided glioma resection

Metabolic approach

J Neurosurg 124:1585–1593, 2016

The extent of resection is one of the most essential factors that influence the outcomes of glioma resection. However, conventional structural imaging has failed to accurately delineate glioma margins because of tumor cell infiltration. Three-dimensional proton MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) can provide metabolic information and has been used in preoperative tumor differentiation, grading, and radiotherapy planning. Resection based on glioma metabolism information may provide for a more extensive resection and yield better outcomes for glioma patients. In this study, the authors attempt to integrate 3D 1H-MRS into neuronavigation and assess the feasibility and validity of metabolically based glioma resection.

Methods: Choline (Cho)–N-acetylaspartate (NAA) index (CNI) maps were calculated and integrated into neuronavigation. The CNI thresholds were quantitatively analyzed and compared with structural MRI studies. Glioma resections were performed under 3D 1H-MRS guidance. Volumetric analyses were performed for metabolic and structural images from a low-grade glioma (LGG) group and high-grade glioma (HGG) group. Magnetic resonance imaging and neurological assessments were performed immediately after surgery and 1 year after tumor resection.

Results: Fifteen eligible patients with primary cerebral gliomas were included in this study. Three-dimensional 1HMRS maps were successfully coregistered with structural images and integrated into navigational system. Volumetric analyses showed that the differences between the metabolic volumes with different CNI thresholds were statistically significant (p < 0.05). For the LGG group, the differences between the structural and the metabolic volumes with CNI thresholds of 0.5 and 1.5 were statistically significant (p = 0.0005 and 0.0129, respectively). For the HGG group, the differences between the structural and metabolic volumes with CNI thresholds of 0.5 and 1.0 were statistically significant (p = 0.0027 and 0.0497, respectively). All patients showed no tumor progression at the 1-year follow-up.

Conclusions: This study integrated 3D MRS maps and intraoperative navigation for glioma margin delineation. Optimum CNI thresholds were applied for both LGGs and HGGs to achieve resection. The results indicated that 3D 1H-MRS can be integrated with structural imaging to provide better outcomes for glioma resection.

Feasibility study for brain biopsies performed with the use of a head-mounted robot

Feasibility study for brain biopsies performed with the use of a head-mounted robotJ Neurosurg 123:737–742, 2015

Frame-based stereotactic interventions are considered the gold standard for brain biopsies, but they have limitations with regard to flexibility and patient comfort because of the bulky head ring attached to the patient. Frameless image guidance systems that use scalp fiducial markers offer more flexibility and patient comfort but provide less stability and accuracy during drilling and biopsy needle positioning. Head-mounted robot–guided biopsies could provide the advantages of these 2 techniques without the downsides. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of a robotic guidance device, affixed to the patient’s skull through a small mounting platform, for use in brain biopsy procedures.

Methods This was a retrospective study of 37 consecutive patients who presented with supratentorial lesions and underwent brain biopsy procedures in which a surgical guidance robot was used to determine clinical outcomes and technical procedural operability.

Results The portable head-mounted device was well tolerated by the patients and enabled stable drilling and needle positioning during surgery. Flexible adjustments of predefined paths and selection of new trajectories were successfully performed intraoperatively without the need for manual settings and fixations. The patients experienced no permanent deficits or infections after surgery.

Conclusions The head-mounted robot–guided approach presented here combines the stability of a bone-mounted set-up with the flexibility and tolerability of frameless systems. By reducing human interference (i.e., manual parameter settings, calibrations, and adjustments), this technology might be particularly useful in neurosurgical interventions that necessitate multiple trajectories.

Augmented reality–guided neurosurgery: accuracy and intraoperative application of an image projection technique

Augmented reality–guided neurosurgery- accuracy and intraoperative application of an image projection technique

J Neurosurg 123:206–211, 2015

An augmented reality system has been developed for image-guided neurosurgery to project images with regions of interest onto the patient’s head, skull, or brain surface in real time. The aim of this study was to evaluate system accuracy and to perform the first intraoperative application.

Methods Images of segmented brain tumors in different localizations and sizes were created in 10 cases and were projected to a head phantom using a video projector. Registration was performed using 5 fiducial markers. After each registration, the distance of the 5 fiducial markers from the visualized tumor borders was measured on the virtual image and on the phantom. The difference was considered a projection error. Moreover, the image projection technique was intraoperatively applied in 5 patients and was compared with a standard navigation system.

Results Augmented reality visualization of the tumors succeeded in all cases. The mean time for registration was 3.8 minutes (range 2–7 minutes). The mean projection error was 0.8 ± 0.25 mm. There were no significant differences in accuracy according to the localization and size of the tumor. Clinical feasibility and reliability of the augmented reality system could be proved intraoperatively in 5 patients (projection error 1.2 ± 0.54 mm).

Conclusions The augmented reality system is accurate and reliable for the intraoperative projection of images to the head, skull, and brain surface. The ergonomic advantage of this technique improves the planning of neurosurgical procedures and enables the surgeon to use direct visualization for image-guided neurosurgery.

Brain surface reformatted imaging (BSRI) for intraoperative neuronavigation in brain tumor surgery

Brain surface reformatted imaging (BSRI) for intraoperative neuronavigation in brain tumor surgery

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:265–274

For safe resection of lesions situated in or near eloquent brain regions, determination of their spatial and functional relationship is crucial. Since functional magnetic resonance imaging and intraoperative neurophysiological mapping are not available in all neurosurgical departments, we aimed to evaluate brain surface reformatted imaging (BSRI) as an additional display mode for neuronavigation.

Methods Eight patients suffering from perirolandic tumors were preoperatively studied withMRI and navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS). Afterwards, the MRI was automatically transformed into BSR images in neuronavigation software (Brainlab, Brainlab AG, Feldkirchen, Germany). One experienced neuroradiologist, one experienced neurosurgeon, and two residents determined hand representation areas ipsilateral to each tumor on two-dimensional (2D) MR images and on BSR images. All results were compared to results from intraoperative direct cortical mapping of the hand motor cortex and to preoperative nTMS results.

Results Findings from nTMS and intraoperative direct cortical mapping of the hand motor cortex were congruent in all cases. Hand representation areas were correctly determined on BSR images in 81.3%and on 2D-MR images in 93.75%(p= 0.26). In a subgroup analysis, experienced observers showed more familiarity with BSRI than residents (96.9 vs. 84.4 % correct results, p=0.19), with an equal error rate for 2D-MRI. The time required to define hand representation areas was significantly shorter using BSRI than using standard MRI (mean 27.4 vs. 40.4 s, p=0.04).

Conclusions With BSRI, a new method for neuronavigation is now available, allowing fast and easy intraoperative localization of distinct brain regions.

Augmented reality in the surgery of cerebral arteriovenous malformations

Augmented reality in the surgery of cerebral arteriovenous malformations

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1769–1774

Augmented reality technology has been used for intraoperative image guidance through the overlay of virtual images, from preoperative imaging studies, onto the realworld surgical field. Although setups based on augmented reality have been used for various neurosurgical pathologies, very few cases have been reported for the surgery of arteriovenous malformations (AVM). We present our experience with AVM surgery using a system designed for image injection of virtual images into the operating microscope’s eyepiece, and discuss why augmented reality may be less appealing in this form of surgery.

Methods N=5 patients underwent AVM resection assisted by augmented reality. Virtual three-dimensional models of patients’ heads, skulls, AVM nidi, and feeder and drainage vessels were selectively segmented and injected into the microscope’s eyepiece for intraoperative image guidance, and their usefulness was assessed in each case.

Results Although the setup helped in performing tailored craniotomies, in guiding dissection and in localizing drainage veins, it did not provide the surgeon with useful information concerning feeder arteries, due to the complexity of AVM angioarchitecture.

Conclusion The difficulty in intraoperatively conveying useful information on feeder vessels may make augmented reality a less engaging tool in this form of surgery, and might explain its underrepresentation in the literature. Integrating an AVM’s hemodynamic characteristics into the augmented rendering could make it more suited to AVM surgery.

Intra-operative correction of brain-shift

Intra-operative correction brain-shift

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:1301–1310

Brain-shift is a major source of error in neuronavigation systems based on pre-operative images. In this paper, we present intra-operative correction of brain-shift using 3D ultrasound.

Methods The method is based on image registration of vessels extracted from pre-operative MRA and intra-operative power Doppler-based ultrasound and is fully integrated in the neuronavigation software.

Results We have performed correction of brain-shift in the operating room during surgery and provided the surgeon with updated information. Here, we present data from seven clinical cases with qualitative and quantitative error measures.

Conclusion The registration algorithm is fast enough to provide the surgeon with updated information within minutes and accounts for large portions of the experienced shift. Correction of brain-shift can make pre-operative data like fMRI and DTI reliable for a longer period of time and increase the usefulness of the MR data as a supplement to intra-operative 3D ultrasound in terms of overview and interpretation.

Anatomic Study of the Central Core of the Cerebrum Correlating 7-T Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Fiber Dissection With the Aid of a Neuronavigation System

Anatomic Study of the Central Core of the Cerebrum Correlating 7-T Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Fiber Dissection With the Aid of a Neuronavigation System

Neurosurgery 10:294–304, 2014

Different strategies have been used to study the fiber tract anatomy of the human brain in vivo and ex vivo. Nevertheless, the ideal method to study white matter anatomy has yet to be determined because it should integrate information obtained from multiple sources.

OBJECTIVE: We developed an anatomic method in cadaveric specimens to study the central core of the cerebrum combining traditional white matter dissection with highresolution 7-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the same specimen coregistered using a neuronavigation system.

METHODS: Ten cerebral hemispheres were prepared using the traditional Klingler technique. Before dissection, a structural ultrahigh magnetic field 7-T MRI study was performed on each hemisphere specifically prepared with surface fiducials for neuronavigation. The dissection was then performed from the medial hemispheric surface using the classic white fiber dissection technique. During each step of the dissection, the correlation between the anatomic findings and the 7-T MRI was evaluated with the neuronavigation system.

RESULTS: The anatomic study was divided in 2 stages: diencephalic and limbic. The diencephalic stage included epithalamic, thalamic, hypothalamic, and subthalamic components. The limbic stage consisted of extending the dissection to complete the Papez circuit. The detailed information given by the combination of both methods allowed us to identify and validate the position of fibers that may be difficult to appreciate and dissect (ie, the medial forebrain bundle).

CONCLUSION: The correlation of high-definition 7-T MRI and the white matter dissection technique with neuronavigation significantly improves the understanding of the structural connections in complex areas of the human cerebrum.

Anterior trans-frontal endoscopic management of colloid cyst

Endoscopic trans-frontal approach colloid cysts

Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:235–241

Different management options are available for the treatment of colloid cysts. Goals of those procedures are to achieve a complete resection avoiding potential long-term recurrence along with CSF pathways restoration with minimal morbidity and mortality.

The two main surgical options are endoscopic resection or direct removal by either transfrontal or transcallosal approach. The efficacy of endoscopic technique to achieve gross total colloid cyst excision has been well documented.

In the present study, authors describe a series of 29 patients who underwent surgery by a variation of the standard worldwide implemented endoscopic technique. Using a more anterior approach, it is easier to reach the roof of the cyst, its possible adherences with the tela choroidea, plexus, and the internal cerebral veins. The described approach has shown to be safe, quick, and very effective with a total cyst removal rate of 86.2 %.

Management and outcome of high-grade multicentric gliomas

Management and outcome of high-grade multicentric gliomas

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:2245–2251

Multicentric malignant gliomas are wellseparated tumours in different lobes or hemispheres, without anatomical continuity between lesions. The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical features, the pathology and the outcome according to the management strategies in a consecutive series of patients treated at a single institution. In addition, an analysis of the existing literature is presented.

Methods For the institutional analysis, a retrospective review of all patients who underwent treatment for multicentric gliomas in the last 7 years was performed. For the analysis of the literature, a MEDLINE search with no date limitations was accomplished for surgical treatment of multicentric malignant gliomas.

Results Two hundred and thirty-nine patients with glioma were treated in our department. Eighteen patients (7.5%) with a mean age of 64 years (age range, 37–78 years) presented multicentric malignant gliomas. Thirteen patients (72 %) underwent surgical resection of at least one lesion that was followed by adjuvant treatment in all but one case. Five patients (28 %) underwent stereotactic biopsy and thereafter received chemotherapy. A survival advantage was associated with resection of at least one lesion followed by adjuvant treatment (median overall survival 12 months) compared with 4 months for stereotactic biopsy followed by chemotherapy. Similar results were obtained from the review of the literature.

Conclusions Resection of at least one lesion seems to play a significant role in the management of selected patients with multicentric malignant gliomas. Multi-institutional studies on larger series are warranted to define how aggressively the patients with malignant multicentric gliomas should be treated.

Neuronavigation in minimally invasive spine surgery

Neuronavigation in minimally invasive spine surgery

Neurosurg Focus 35 (2):E12, 2013

Parallel advancements in image guidance technology and minimal access techniques continue to push the frontiers of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). While traditional intraoperative imaging remains widely used, newer platforms, such as 3D-fluoroscopy, cone-beam CT, and intraoperative CT/MRI, have enabled safer, more accurate instrumentation placement with less radiation exposure to the surgeon. The goal of this work is to provide a review of the current uses of advanced image guidance in MISS.

Methods. The authors searched PubMed for relevant articles concerning MISS, with particular attention to the use of image-guidance platforms. Pertinent studies published in English were further compiled and characterized into relevant analyses of MISS of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions.

Results. Fifty-two studies were included for review. These describe the use of the iso-C system for 3D navigation during C1–2 transarticular screw placement, the use of endoscopic techniques in the cervical spine, and the role of navigation guidance at the occipital-cervical junction. The authors discuss the evolving literature concerning neuronavigation during pedicle screw placement in the thoracic and lumbar spine in the setting of infection, trauma, and deformity surgery and review the use of image guidance in transsacral approaches.

Conclusions. Refinements in image-guidance technologies and minimal access techniques have converged on spinal pathology, affording patients the ability to undergo safe, accurate operations without the associated morbidities of conventional approaches. While percutaneous transpedicular screw placement is among the most common procedures to benefit from navigation, other areas of spine surgery can benefit from advances in neuronavigation and further growth in the field of image-guided MISS is anticipated.

5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence guided surgery of high-grade gliomas in eloquent areas assisted by functional mapping

5ALA and functional mapping

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:965–972

Only few data are available on the specific topic of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) guided surgery of high-grade gliomas (HGG) located in eloquent areas. Studies focusing specifically on the post-operative clinical outcome of such patients are yet not available, and it has not been so far explored whether such approach could be more suitable for some particular subgroups of patients.

Methods Patients affected by HGG in eloquent areas who underwent surgery assisted by 5-ALA fluorescence and intra-operative monitoring were prospectively recruited in our Department between June 2011 and August 2012. Resection rate was reported as complete resection of enhancing tumor (CRET), gross total resection (GTR) >98 % and GTR>90 %. Clinical outcome was evaluated at 7, 30, and 90 days after surgery.

Results Thirty-one patients were enrolled. Resection was complete (CRET) in 74 % of patients. Tumor removal was stopped to avoid neurological impairment in 26 % of cases. GTR>98 % and GTR>90 % was achieved in 93 % and 100 % of cases, respectively. First surgery and awake surgery had a CRET rate of 80 % and 83 %, respectively. Even though at the first-week assessment 64 % of patients presented neurological impairment, there was a 3 % rate of severe morbidity at the 90th day assessment. Newly diagnosed patients had a significantly lower morbidity (0 %) and post-operative higher median KPS. Both pre-operative neurological condition and improvement after corticosteroids resulted significantly predictive of post-operative functional outcome.

Conclusions 5-ALA surgery assisted by functional mapping makes high HGG resection in eloquent areas feasible , through a reasonable rate of late morbidity. This emerges even more remarkably for selected patients.

The Silent Loss of Neuronavigation Accuracy


Neurosurgery 72:796–807, 2013

Neuronavigation has become an intrinsic part of preoperative surgical planning and surgical procedures. However, many surgeons have the impression that accuracy decreases during surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the decrease of neuronavigation accuracy and identify possible origins, we performed a retrospective quality-control study.

METHODS: Between April and July 2011, a neuronavigation system was used in conjunction with a specially prepared head holder in 55 consecutive patients. Two different neuronavigation systems were investigated separately. Coregistration was performed with laser-surface matching, paired-point matching using skin fiducials, anatomic landmarks, or bone screws. The initial target registration error (TRE1) was measured using the nasion as the anatomic landmark. Then, after draping and during surgery, the accuracy was checked at predefined procedural landmark steps (Mayfield measurement point and bone measurement point), and deviations were recorded.

RESULTS: After initial coregistration, the mean (SD) TRE1 was 2.9 (3.3) mm. The TRE1 was significantly dependent on patient positioning, lesion localization, type of neuroimaging, and coregistration method. The following procedures decreased neuronavigation accuracy: attachment of surgical drapes (DTRE2 = 2.7 [1.7] mm), skin retractor attachment (DTRE3 = 1.2 [1.0] mm), craniotomy (DTRE3 = 1.0 [1.4] mm), and Halo ring installation (DTRE3 = 0.5 [0.5] mm). Surgery duration was a significant factor also; the overall DTRE was 1.3 [1.5] mm after 30 minutes and increased to 4.4 [1.8] mm after 5.5 hours of surgery.

CONCLUSION: After registration, there is an ongoing loss of neuronavigation accuracy. The major factors were draping, attachment of skin retractors, and duration of surgery. Surgeons should be aware of this silent loss of accuracy when using neuronavigation.

A systematic review of functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging modalities used in presurgical planning of brain tumour resection

fMRI and DTI

Neurosurg Rev (2013) 36:205–214

Historically, brain tumour resection has relied upon standardised anatomical atlases and classical mapping techniques for successful resection. While these have provided adequate results in the past, the emergence of new technologies has heralded a wave of less invasive, patient-specific techniques for the mapping of brain function.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and, more recently, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are two such techniques. While fMRI is able to highlight localisation of function within the cortex, DTI represents the only technique able to elucidate white matter structures in vivo. Used in conjunction, both of these techniques provide important presurgical information for thorough preoperative planning, as well as intraoperatively via integration into frameless stereotactic neuronavigational systems.

Together, these techniques show great promise for improved neurosurgical outcomes. While further research is required for more widespread clinical validity and acceptance, results from the literature provide a clear road map for future research and development to cement these techniques into the clinical setup of neurosurgical departments globally.

Spinal Robotics: Current Applications and Future Perspectives

Robotics Spinal Surgery

Neurosurgery 72:A12–A18, 2013

Even though robotic technology holds great potential for performing spinal surgery and advancing neurosurgical techniques, it is of utmost importance to establish its practicality and to demonstrate better clinical outcomes compared with traditional techniques, especially in the current cost-effective era. Several systems have proved to be safe and reliable in the execution of tasks on a routine basis, are commercially available, and are used for specific indications in spine surgery. However, workflow, usability, interdisciplinary setups, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness have to be proven prospectively.

This article includes a short description of robotic structures and workflow, followed by preliminary results of a randomized prospective study comparing conventional free-hand techniques with routine spine navigation and robotic-assisted procedures. Additionally, we present cases performed with a spinal robotic device, assessing not only the accuracy of the robotic-assisted procedure but also other factors (eg, minimal invasiveness, radiation dosage, and learning curves).

Currently, the use of robotics in spinal surgery greatly enhances the application of minimally invasive procedures by increasing accuracy and reducing radiation exposure for patients and surgeons compared with standard procedures. Second-generation hardware and software upgrades of existing devices will enhance workflow and intraoperative setup. As more studies are published in this field, robot-assisted therapies will gain wider acceptance in the near future.

Anterior subtemporal approach for posterolateral brainstem cavernomas

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:2009–2016

The neuronavigation-assisted anterior subtemporal approach is proposed in this article as an alternative to surgery of posterolateral brainstem cavernomas. Brainstem cavernomas represent a neurosurgical challenge because of the high morbidity and mortality rate related to their surgical removal. Several nerve nuclei, ascending and descending fibers make this region at high risk of serious postoperative deficits.

Methods Between 1998 and 2010, 24 patients underwent surgical removal of brainstem cavernomas in our institution. Ten of these patients presented a cavernous malformation in the posterolateral region of the brainstem and underwent surgical removal by means of a neuronavigation-assisted anterior subtemporal approach.

Results Lesion removal was complete for all patients. There were no cases of surgery-related death. Neurological status improved or remained unchanged after surgery in all cases. All patients presented good outcomes at 12 to 154 months’ follow-up (mean 70 months; GOS05 in 8/10 patients, 4 in 2/10 patients; mRS00–1 in all patients). Only one patient presented transient confusion, aphasia and seizures related to temporal lobe swelling, which resolved completely within a few days. One patient developed cranial nerve III palsy and left hemiparesis with gradual recovery.

Conclusions This approach represents a valid alternative to the “more classical” approaches for the surgery of posterolateral cavernomas of the pontomesenchephalic junction reaching the tentorial incisura, reducing the risk of damaging the vein of Labbé, temporal lobe swelling, cerebellar swelling, ophtalmoparesis, fourth ventricle cranial nerve nuclei lesions. Skeletonization of sigmoidal sinus provides with good outcomes, low morbidity and mortality.

Gross Total Resection Rates in Contemporary Glioblastoma Surgery: Results of an Institutional Protocol Combining 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Intraoperative Fluorescence Imaging and Brain Mapping

Neurosurgery 71:927–936, 2012

Complete resection of contrast-enhancing tumor has been recognized as an important prognostic factor in patients with glioblastoma and is a primary goal of surgery. Various intraoperative technologies have recently been introduced to improve glioma surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of using 5-aminolevulinic acid and intraoperative mapping and monitoring on the rate of complete resection of enhancing tumor (CRET), gross total resection (GTR), and new neurological deficits as part of an institutional protocol.

METHODS: One hundred three consecutive patients underwent resection of glioblastoma from August 2008 to November 2010. Eligibility for CRET was based on the initial magnetic resonance imaging assessed by 2 reviewers. The primary end point was the number of patients with CRET and GTR. Secondary end points were volume of residual contrast-enhancing tissue and new postoperative neurological deficits. RESULTS: Fifty-three patients were eligible for GTR/CRET (n = 43 newly diagnosed glioblastoma, n = 10 recurrent); 13 additional patients received surgery for GTR/CRET-ineligible glioblastoma. GTR was achieved in 96% of patients (n = 51, no residual enhancement . 0.175 cm3); CRET was achieved in 89% (n = 47, no residual enhancement). Postoperatively, 2 patients experienced worsening of preoperative hemianopia, 1 patient had a new mild hemiparesis, and another patient sustained sensory deficits.

CONCLUSION: Using 5-aminolevulinic acid imaging and intraoperative mapping/ monitoring together leads to a high rate of CRET and an increased rate of GTR compared with the literature without increasing the rate of permanent morbidity. The combination of safety and resection-enhancing intraoperative technologies was likely to be the major drivers for this high rate of CRET/GTR.

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


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NeurosurgeryCNS: Operative Nuances of Side-to-Side in Situ PICA-PICA Bypass Procedure

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Fusiform Aneurysms of the Anterior Communicating Artery

NeurosurgeryCNS. Initial Clinical Experience with a High Definition Exoscope System for Microneurosurgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Typical colloid cyst at the foramen of Monro.

NeurosurgeryCNS: Neuronavigation for Neuroendoscopic Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS:New Aneurysm Clip System for Particularly Complex Aneurysm Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: AICA/PICA Anatomical Variants Penetrating the Subarcuate Fossa Dura

Craniopharyngioma Supra-Orbital Removal

NeurosurgeryCNS: Use of Flexible Hollow-Core CO2 Laser in Microsurgical Resection of CNS Lesions

NeurosurgeryCNS: Ulnar Nerve Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

NeurosurgeryCNS: ICG Videoangiography

NeurosurgeryCNS: Inappropiate aneurysm clip applications

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