Surgical Characteristics of Intracranial Biopsy Using a Frameless Stereotactic Robotic Platform: A Single-Center Experience

Operative Neurosurgery 26:502–510, 2024

Cranial robotics are a burgeoning field of neurosurgery. To date, all cranial robotic systems described have been computerized, arm-based instruments that take up significant space in the operating room. The Medtronic Stealth Autoguide robot has a smaller operating room footprint and offers multiaxial, frame-based surgical targeting. The authors set out to define the surgical characteristics of a novel robotic platform for brain biopsy in a large patient cohort.

METHODS: Patients who underwent stereotactic biopsy using the Stealth Autoguide cranial robotic platform from July 2020 to March 2023 were included in this study. Clinical, surgical, and histological data were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: Ninety-six consecutive patients (50 female, 46 male) were included. The mean age at biopsy was 53.7 ± 18.0 years. The mean target depth was 68.2 ± 15.3 mm. The biopsy diagnostic tissue acquisition rate was 100%. The mean time from incision to biopsy tissue acquisition was 15.4 ± 9.9 minutes. Target lesions were located throughout the brain: in the frontal

lobe (n = 32, 33.3%), parietal lobe (n = 21, 21.9%), temporal lobe (n = 22, 22.9%), deep brain nuclei/thalamus (n = 13, 13.5%),

cerebellum (n = 7, 7.3%), and brainstem (n = 1, 1.0%). Most cases were gliomas (n = 75, 78.2%). Patients were discharged home on postoperative day 0 or 1 in 62.5% of cases. A total of 7 patients developed postoperative complications (7.2%).

CONCLUSION: This cranial robotic platform can be used for efficient, safe, and accurate cranial biopsies that allow for reliable diagnosis of intracranial pathology in a minimally invasive setting.

Preservation of cranial nerve function in large and giant trigeminal schwannoma resection

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:198

Trigeminal schwannomas (TSs) are intracranial tumors that can cause significant brainstem compression. TS resection can be challenging because of the risk of new neurologic and cranial nerve deficits, especially with large (≥ 3 cm) or giant (≥ 4 cm) TSs. As prior surgical series include TSs of all sizes, we herein present our clinical experience treating large and giant TSs via microsurgical resection.

Methods This was a retrospective, single-surgeon case series of adult patients with large or giant TSs treated with microsurgery in 2012–2023.

Results Seven patients underwent microsurgical resection for TSs (1 large, 6 giant; 4 males; mean age 39 ± 14 years). Tumors were classified as type M (middle fossa in the interdural space; 1 case, 14%), type ME (middle fossa with extracranial extension; 3 cases, 43%), type MP (middle and posterior fossae; 2 cases, 29%), or type MPE (middle/posterior fossae and extracranial space; 1 case, 14%). Six patients were treated with a frontotemporal approach (combined with transmastoid craniotomy in the same sitting in one patient and a delayed transmaxillary approach in another), and one patient was treated using an orbitofrontotemporal approach. Gross total resection was achieved in 5 cases (2 near-total resections). Five patients had preoperative facial numbness, and 6 had immediate postoperative facial numbness, including two with worsened or new symptoms. Two patients (28%) demonstrated new non-trigeminal cranial nerve deficits over mean follow-up of 22 months. Overall, 80% of patients with preoperative facial numbness and 83% with facial numbness at any point experienced improvement or resolution during their postoperative course. All patients with preoperative or new postoperative non-trigeminal tumor-related cranial nerve deficits (4/4) experienced improvement or resolution on follow-up. One patient experienced tumor recurrence that has been managed conservatively.

Conclusions Microsurgical resection of large or giant TSs can be performed with low morbidity and excellent long-term cranial nerve function.

Endovascular Treatment of Small Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysms: Safety and Efficacy in a Contemporary Cohort

Neurosurgery 94:1018–1024, 2024

Endovascular treatment (EVT) of small anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms accompanies a high risk of intraprocedural rupture (IR) because of anatomic location and aneurysm orientation. In this study, we aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of EVT for small ACoA aneurysms in a contemporary cohort.

METHODS: ACoA aneurysms treated at the Medical University of South Carolina between April 2012 and March 2022 were retrospectively analyzed. Periprocedural baseline characteristics, aneurysm size, and clinical and radiological outcomes were collected. Aneurysms were dichotomized into <4 and ≥4 mm in maximum size. The IR rate, favorable occlusion rate (Raymond-Roy I and II), and the favorable outcome defined as modified Rankin Scale 0–2 were compared.

RESULTS: A total of 174 patients were identified, of whom 111 (63.8%) were female, and the median age was 57.7 (interquartile range 50.6-69.6) years. 98 (56.3%) aneurysms were ruptured, and 53 (30.5%) were <4 mm. IR was not observed in unruptured ACoA aneurysms, and there was no significant difference in the IR rates between <4 mm and ≥4 mm ruptured aneurysms (6.5% vs 4.5%, P = .65). Favorable occlusion rate and favorable outcome were observed in 94.7% and 78.2% of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION: EVT of small ACoA aneurysms is safe and effective.

Neuroprotective Effects of Artificial Cerebrospinal Fluid: Analysis of Brainstem Auditory–Evoked Potential Monitoring During Microvascular Decompression in 117 Consecutive Patients

Neurosurgery 94:1088–1094, 2024

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To study the efficacy of irrigation with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) for protection of cranial nerves during surgery; the time required for recovery of brainstem auditory–evoked potentials (BAEPs) that would reflect cochlear function was analyzed in comparison with that for saline irrigation.

METHODS: This retrospective study included 117 consecutive patients (95 women, mean age 51.5 ± 11.4 year) who underwent microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm. During surgery, BAEPs were monitored to avoid damage to the auditory pathways. When a delayed latency of >1 ms or a decrease in amplitude of >50% was detected in BAEP wave V, surgical maneuvers were halted, and the operative field was irrigated with saline or aCSF. Saline was used for irrigation in 58 patients and aCSF in the other 59. The time required for BAEP recovery at the first halt in each patient was analyzed, and the results were compared between the groups.

RESULTS: Surgical procedures were interrupted because of BAEP latency delays or decreases in amplitude in 51 of the patients in the saline group and 54 in the aCSF group. In both groups, the latencies and amplitudes recovered significantly with time and both recovered earlier after aCSF irrigation than after saline irrigation. Hearing outcome was not significantly different between 2 groups.

CONCLUSION: aCSF is effective for protection of cochlear nerve and promotes recovery from transient dysfunction during surgery. The protective effect may be attributed to multiple factors including conditioned pH, electrolyte composition, glucose, and microelements, such as magnesium and phosphate.

Bacterial Brain Abscesses Expand Despite Effective Antibiotic Treatment: A Process Powered by Osmosis Due to Neutrophil Cell Death

Neurosurgery 94:1079–1087, 2024

A bacterial brain abscess is an emergency and should be drained of pus within 24 hours of diagnosis, as recently recommended. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated whether delaying pus drainage entails brain abscess expansion and what the underlying mechanism might be.

METHODS: Repeated brain MRI of 47 patients who did not undergo immediate pus drainage, pus osmolarity measurements, immunocytochemistry, proteomics, and 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography.

RESULTS: Time from first to last MRI before neurosurgery was 1 to 14 days. Abscesses expanded in all but 2 patients: The median average increase was 23% per day (range 0%-176%). Abscesses expanded during antibiotic therapy and even if the pus did not contain viable bacteria. In a separate patient cohort, we found that brain abscess pus tended to be hyperosmolar (median value 360 mOsm; range 266-497; n = 14; normal cerebrospinal fluid osmolarity is ∼290 mOsm). Hyperosmolarity would draw water into the abscess cavity, causing abscess expansion in a ballooning manner through increased pressure in the abscess cavity. A mechanism likely underlying pus hyperosmolarity was the recruitment of neutrophils to the abscess cavity with ensuing neutrophil cell death and decomposition of neutrophil proteins and other macromolecules to osmolytes: Pus analysis showed the presence of neutrophil proteins (protein-arginine deiminases, citrullinated histone, myeloperoxidase, elastase, cathelicidin). Previous studies have shown very high levels of osmolytes (ammonia, amino acids) in brain abscess pus. 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed focal neocortical hypometabolism 1 to 8 years after brain abscess, indicating long-lasting damage to brain tissue.

CONCLUSION: Brain abscesses expand despite effective antibiotic treatment. Furthermore, brain abscesses cause lasting damage to surrounding brain tissue. These findings support drainage of brain abscesses within 24 hours of diagnosis.

Neurovascular Compression in Patients With Trigeminal Neuralgia May Be Associated With Worse Outcomes After Primary Percutaneous Rhizotomy

Neurosurgery 94:1072–1078, 2024

Percutaneous rhizotomy may be an effective primary intervention in patients with trigeminal neuralgia who are poor candidates for microvascular decompression or those who desire a less invasive approach. However, the influence of neurovascular compression on pain-free survival after primary percutaneous rhizotomy is not well understood.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients undergoing percutaneous rhizotomy at our institution from 1995 to 2022. Patients were included if they had no history of surgical intervention, available preoperative MRI imaging, and postoperative follow-up data. Barrow Neurological Institute pain scores were assigned at various time points. We collected baseline patient information, pain characteristics, and perioperative complications for each patient. In addition, we recorded evidence of pain recurrence. Patients were dichotomized into those with evidence of neurovascular compression on preoperative MRI vs those without. The effect of neurovascular compression on pain-free survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier Cox proportional hazards analyses.

RESULTS: Of the 2726 patients reviewed, 298 met our inclusion criteria. Our study comprised 261 patients with no evidence of neurovascular compression on preoperative MRI vs 37 patients with evidence of neurovascular compression on preoperative MRI. Patients in the compression group had a shorter median duration to recurrence compared with those in the no compression group, P = .01. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients with preoperative evidence of neurovascular compression on MRI imaging demonstrated shorter pain-free survival compared with those without such evidence [hazard ratio = 1.57 (1.03-2.4), P = .037]. Cox proportional hazards analysis demonstrated that evidence of neurovascular compression was associated with poor pain-free survival [hazard ratio = 1.64 (1.06-2.53), P = .03].

CONCLUSION: Patients with neurovascular compression on preoperative MRI may experience reduced time to recurrence compared with those without after percutaneous rhizotomy. These patients should be counseled on potential reduced efficacy of percutaneous rhizotomy as a primary intervention for their pain.

Multidisciplinary surgical considerations for en bloc resection of sacral chordoma

Neurosurg Focus 56(5):E7, 2024

Contemporary management of sacral chordomas requires maximizing the potential for recurrence-free and overall survival while minimizing treatment morbidity. En bloc resection can be performed at various levels of the sacrum, with tumor location and volume ultimately dictating the necessary extent of resection and subsequent tissue reconstruction. Because tumor resection involving the upper sacrum may be quite destabilizing, other pertinent considerations relate to instrumentation and subsequent tissue reconstruction. The primary aim of this study was to survey the surgical approaches used for managing primary sacral chordoma according to location of lumbosacral spine involvement, including a narrative review of the literature and examination of the authors’ institutional case series.

METHODS The authors performed a narrative review of pertinent literature regarding reconstruction and complication avoidance techniques following en bloc resection of primary sacral tumors, supplemented by a contemporary series of 11 cases from their cohort. Relevant surgical anatomy, advances in instrumentation and reconstruction techniques, intraoperative imaging and navigation, soft-tissue reconstruction, and wound complication avoidance are also discussed.

RESULTS The review of the literature identified several surgical approaches used for management of primary sacral chordoma localized to low sacral levels (mid-S2 and below), high sacral levels (involving upper S2 and above), and high sacral levels with lumbar involvement. In the contemporary case series, the majority of cases (8/11) presented as low sacral tumors that did not require instrumentation. A minority required more extensive instrumentation and reconstruction, with 2 tumors involving upper S2 and/or S1 levels and 1 tumor extending into the lower lumbar spine. En bloc resection was successfully achieved in 10 of 11 cases, with a colostomy required in 2 cases due to rectal involvement. All 11 cases underwent musculocutaneous flap wound closure by plastic surgery, with none experiencing wound complications requiring revision.

CONCLUSIONS The modern management of sacral chordoma involves a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and intraoperative technologies to minimize surgical morbidity while optimizing oncological outcomes through en bloc resection. Most cases present with lower sacral tumors not requiring instrumentation, but stabilizing instrumentation and lumbosacral reconstruction are often required in upper sacral and lumbosacral cases. Among efforts to minimize wound-related complications, musculocutaneous flap closure stands out as an evidence-based measure that may mitigate risk.

 

Novel classification of foramen magnum meningiomas predicted by topographic position relative to neurovascular bundle

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:199

Proximity to critical neurovascular structures can create significant obstacles during surgical resection of foramen magnum meningiomas (FMMs) to the detriment of treatment outcomes. We propose a new classification that defines the tumor’s relationship to neurovascular structures and assess correlation with postoperative outcomes.

Methods In this retrospective review, 41 consecutive patients underwent primary resection of FMMs through a far lateral approach. Groups defined based on tumor-neurovascular bundle configuration included Type 1, bundle ventral to tumor; Type 2a-c, bundle superior, inferior, or splayed, respectively; Type 3, bundle dorsal; and Type 4, nerves and/or vertebral artery encased by tumor.

Results The 41 patients (range 29–81 years old) had maximal tumor diameter averaging 30.1 mm (range 12.7–56 mm). Preoperatively, 17 (41%) patients had cranial nerve (CN) dysfunction, 12 (29%) had motor weakness and/or myelopathy, and 9 (22%) had sensory deficits. Tumor type was relevant to surgical outcomes: specifically, Type 4 demonstrated lower rates of gross total resection (65%) and worse immediate postoperative CN outcomes. Long-term findings showed Types 2, 3, and 4 demonstrated higher rates of permanent cranial neuropathy. Although patients with Type 4 tumors had overall higher ICU and hospital length of stay, there was no difference in tumor configuration and rates of postoperative complications or 30-day readmission.

Conclusion The four main types of FMMs in this proposed classification reflected a gradual increase in surgical difficulty and worse outcomes. Further studies are warranted in larger cohorts to confirm its reliability in predicting postoperative outcomes and possibly directing management decisions.

Retrogasserian trigeminal radiofrequency‑thermorhizotmoy for trigeminal neuralgia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:209

Based on a personal experience of 4200 surgeries, radiofrequency thermocoagulation is useful lesional treatment for those trigeminal neuralgias (TNs) not amenable to microvascular decompression (idiopathic or secondary TNs).

Introduced through the foramen ovale, behind the trigemnial ganglion in the triangular plexus, the needle is navigated by radiology and neurophysiological testing to target the retrogasserian fibers corresponding to the trigger zone.

Heating to 55–75 °C can achieve hypoesthesia without anaesthesia dolorosa if properly controlled.

Depth of anaesthesia varies dynamically sedation for cannulation and lesioning, and awareness during neurophysiologic navigation.

Proper technique ensures long-lasting results in more than 75% of patients.

A novel high-precision fiber tractography for nuclear localization in transcranial magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound surgery

J Neurosurg 140:1471–1481, 2024

In transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound (TcMRgFUS), fiber tractography using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been proposed as a direct method to identify the ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim), the ventral caudal nucleus (Vc), and the pyramidal tract (PT). However, the limitations of the DTI algorithm affect the accuracy of visualizing anatomical structures due to its low-quality fiber tractography, whereas the application of the generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI) algorithm enables the visualization of high-quality fiber tracts, offering detailed insights into the spatial distribution of motor cortex fibers. This retrospective study aimed to investigate the usefulness of high-precision fiber tractography using the GQI algorithm as a planning image in TcMRgFUS to achieve favorable clinical outcomes.

METHODS This study included 20 patients who underwent TcMRgFUS. The Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) scores and MR images were evaluated pretreatment and at 24 hours and 3–6 months after treatment. Cases were classified based on the presence and adversity of adverse events (AEs): no AEs, mild AEs without additional treatment, and severe AEs requiring prolonged hospitalization. Fiber tractography of the Vim, Vc, and PT was visualized using the DTI and GQI algorithm. The overlapping volume between Vim fibers and the lesion was measured, and correlation analysis was performed. The relationship between AEs and the overlapping volume of the Vc and PT fibers within the lesions was examined. The cutoff value to achieve a favorable clinical outcome and avoid AEs was determined using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

RESULTS All patients showed improvement in tremors 24 hours after treatment, with 3 patients experiencing mild AEs and 1 patient experiencing severe AEs. At the 3- to 6-month follow-up, 5 patients experienced recurrence, and 2 patients had persistent mild AEs. Although fiber visualization in the motor cortex using the DTI algorithm was insufficient, the GQI algorithm enabled the visualization of significantly higher-quality fibers. A strong correlation was observed between the overlapping volume that intersects the lesion and Vim fibers and the degree of tremor improvement (r = 0.72). Higher overlapping volumes of Vc and PT within the lesion were associated with an increased likelihood of AEs (p < 0.05); the cutoff volume of Vim fibers within the lesion for a favorable clinical outcome was 401 mm 3 , while the volume of Vc and PT within the lesion to avoid AEs was 99 mm 3 .

CONCLUSIONS This pilot study suggests that incorporating the high-precision GQI algorithm for fiber tractography as a planning imaging technique for TcMRgFUS has the potential to enhance targeting precision and achieve favorable clinical outcomes.

 

A modern approach to olfactory groove meningiomas

J Neurosurg 140:1215–1222, 2024

Management of olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs) has changed significantly with the advances in extended endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs), which is an excellent approach for patients with anosmia since it allows early devascularization and minimizes retraction on the frontal lobes. Craniotomy is best suited for preservation of olfaction. However, not infrequently, a tumor presents after extending outside the reach of an EEA and a solely transcranial approach would require manipulation and retraction of the frontal lobes. These OGMs may best be treated by a staged EEA-craniotomy approach. In this study the authors’ goal was to present their case series of patients with OGMs treated with their surgical approach algorithm.

METHODS The authors conducted an IRB-approved, nonrandomized historic cohort including all consecutive cases of OGMs treated surgically between 2010 and 2020. Patient demographic information, presenting symptoms, operative details, and complications data were collected. Preoperative and postoperative tumor and T2/FLAIR intensity volumes were calculated using Visage Imaging software.

RESULTS Thirty-one patients with OGMs were treated (14 craniotomy only, 11 EEA only, and 6 staged). There was a significant difference in the distribution of patients presenting with anosmia and visual disturbance by approach. Tumor size was significantly correlated with preoperative vasogenic edema. Gross-total resection was achieved in 90% of cases, with near-total resection occurring twice with EEA and once with a staged approach. T2/FLAIR hyperintensity completely resolved in 90% of cases and rates did not differ by approach. Complication rates were not significantly different by approach and included 4 CSF leaks (p = 0.68).

CONCLUSIONS A staged approach for the management of large OGMs with associated anosmia and significant lateral extension is a safe and effective option for surgical management. Through utilization of the described algorithm, the authors achieved a high rate of GTR, and this strategy may be considered for large OGMs.

Risk factors of adjacent-segment disease after short-segment fusion in patients with de novo degenerative lumbar scoliosis

J Neurosurg Spine 40:570–579, 2024

Short-segment fusion (SSF) is an effective surgical option for appropriately selected patients with de novo degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DNDLS). Considering that DNDLS is frequently accompanied by multisegment degeneration and potential instability across the entire lumbar segments, it is inevitable that unhealthy segments remain after SSF, thereby increasing the potential risk of adjacent-segment disease (ASD) occurrence. Therefore, the authors aimed to identify the risk factors for ASD in patients with DNDLS who underwent SSF.

METHODS This retrospective study included 80 patients with DNDLS (Cobb angle > 10°) who underwent SSF (1 or 2 levels) between December 2010 and July 2018 with a minimum follow-up duration of 5 years. The participants were divided into two groups: ASD and non-ASD. ASD was defined as clinical ASD rather than radiographic ASD. Various patient and operative variables were compared between the groups. Global and regional radiographic parameters (preoperatively and postoperatively) were also compared between the two groups using plain radiography and MRI. Consequently, univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify the risk factors for ASD occurrence. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to calculate the cutoff values.

RESULTS The mean ± SD age was 67.7 ± 7.2 years at the time of SSF, and there were 62 women (77.5%) enrolled in the study. Thirty patients (37.5%) were in the ASD group and 50 patients (62.5%) were in the non-ASD group. The mean time from the surgery to ASD diagnosis was 34.9 ± 28.2 months in ASD group. Thirteen patients required revision surgery at a mean time of 8.8 ± 7.0 months after ASD occurrence. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that preoperative disc wedging angle (OR 1.806, 95% CI 1.255–2.598, p = 0.001), presence of facet tropism (defined as ≥ 10° difference between the facet joint angles of the right and left sides) (OR 5.534, 95% CI 1.528–20.040, p = 0.009), and foraminal stenosis ≥ grade 2 (OR 5.935, 95% CI 1.253–28.117, p = 0.025) were significant risk factors for ASD development. The cutoff value of the preoperative disc wedging angle was calculated to be 2.5° using the ROC curve.

CONCLUSIONS Preoperative disc wedging angle ≥ 2.5°, presence of facet tropism, and foraminal stenosis ≥ grade 2 were identified as significant risk factors for ASD development after SSF in patients with DNDLS.

Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas With Cognitive Impairment: Angiographic Characteristics and Treatment Outcomes

Neurosurgery 94:1035–1043, 2024

Anecdotal cases of rapidly progressing dementia in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) have been reported in small series. However, large series have not characterized these dAVFs. We conducted an analysis of the largest cohort of dAVFs presenting with cognitive impairment (dAVFs-CI), aiming to provide a detailed characterization of this subset of dAVFs.

METHODS: Patients with dAVFs-CI were analyzed from the CONDOR Consortium, a multicenter repository comprising 1077 dAVFs. A propensity score matching analysis was conducted to compare dAVFs-CI with Borden type II and type III dAVFs without cognitive impairment (controls). Logistic regression was used to identify angiographic characteristics specific to dAVFs-CI. Furthermore, post-treatment outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 60 patients with dAVFs-CI and 60 control dAVFs were included. Outflow obstruction leading to venous hypertension was observed in all dAVFs-CI. Sinus stenosis was significantly associated with dAVFs-CI (OR 2.85, 95% CI: 1.16-7.55, P = .027). dAVFs-CI were more likely to have a higher number of arterial feeders (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.22-2.05, P < .001) and draining veins (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.05-4.46, P = .004). Venous ectasia increased the risk of dAVFs-CI (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.13-5.11, P = .024). A trend toward achieving asymptomatic status at follow-up was observed in patients with successful closure of dAVFs (OR 2.86, 95% CI 0.85-9.56, P = .09)

CONCLUSION: Venous hypertension is a key angiographic feature of dAVFs-CI. Moreover, these fistulas present at a mean age of 58 years-old, and exhibit a complex angioarchitecture characterized by an increased number of arteriovenous connections and stenosed sinuses. The presence of venous ectasia further exacerbates the impaired drainage and contributes to the development of dAVFs-CI. Notably, in certain cases, closure of the dAVF has the potential to reverse symptoms.

COveRs to impRove EsthetiC ouTcome after Surgery for Chronic subdural hemAtoma by buRr hole trepanation—Results of a Swiss Single-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial

Neurosurgery 94:955–965, 2024

Burr hole trepanation to evacuate chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) results in bony skull defects that can lead to skin depressions. We intend to study the effect of burr hole covers to prevent skin depressions and improve the esthetic result.

METHODS: In a randomized trial, we enrolled adult patients with symptomatic cSDH. Patients received burr hole trepanation with (intervention) vs without burr hole covers (control) in a 1:1 ratio. Patients requiring evacuation of bilateral cSDHs served as their internal control. Primary outcome was satisfaction with the esthetic result of the scar, measured from 0 (dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied) on the Esthetic Numeric Analog (ANA) scale at 90 days. Secondary outcomes included ANA scale, rates of skin depression, complications, as well as neurological, disability, and healthrelated quality of life outcomes until 12 months.

RESULTS: We included 78 patients (55 with unilateral and 23 with bilateral cSDH; median age 78 years, 83% male) between 03/2019 and 05/2021, 50 trepanations for the intervention and 51 for the control group. In an intention-to-treat analysis, the ANA scale scores were 9.0 (intervention) and 8.5 (control arm) at 90 days (P = .498). At 12 months, the ANA scale scores were 9.0 and 8.0 for the intervention and control groups, respectively (P = .183). Skin depressions over the frontal burr hole were noted by 35% (intervention) and 63% (control) of patients at 90 days (P = .009) and by 35% and 79% (P < .001) at 12 months, respectively. There were no differences in complications, neurological, disability, and healthrelated quality of life outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Satisfaction with the esthetic result of the scar was inherently high. This study does not show evidence for improvement on the ANA scale by applying a burr hole cover. The application of burr hole covers resulted in less skin depressions and did not negatively affect complication rates or outcomes.

Anterior clinoid meningiomas: surgical results and proposed scoring system to predict visual outcomes

J Neurosurg 140:1295–1304, 2024

The authors report a single-surgeon experience with anterior clinoid meningiomas (ACMs) and propose a novel scoring system to predict visual outcomes based on preoperative risk factors.

METHODS A cohort study of all ACMs that were surgically treated by a single surgeon between 2003 and 2021 was performed. Visual function was assessed by an ophthalmologist pre- and postoperatively. Based on the combination of visual fields and visual acuity, 4 visual grades were described. Favorable visual outcomes were defined as mild visual deficit or intact vision postoperatively. Unfavorable visual outcomes were defined as a severe or moderate visual deficit. Predictors of unfavorable visual outcomes were identified using multivariable logistic regression analysis. A scoring system was then created using the resulting β coefficient. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to identify a cutoff point on the grading score for stratifying patients at risk for unfavorable visual outcomes.

RESULTS Fifty-two patients met all inclusion criteria. Twenty-five (48%) patients presented with intact vision, and 27 (51%) presented with some visual dysfunction. Postoperative favorable visual outcomes were achieved in 39 patients (75%). Among the 27 patients presenting with visual dysfunction, 14 (52%) experienced improvement after surgery. No new visual deficits were observed among the 25 patients with intact vision at baseline. Nine patients (17%) had a reversible complication. Multivariable analysis showed that severe preoperative visual deficit (OR 13.03, 95% CI 2.64–64.39; p = 0.002), radiographic evidence of optic nerve (ON) encasement (OR 4.20, 95% CI 1.06–16.61; p = 0.04), intraoperative evidence of ON invasion (OR 17.31, 95% CI 2.91–102.86; p = 0.002), an average ganglion cell layer thickness of ≤ 70 µm (OR 21.54, 95% CI 2.94–159.04; p = 0.003), and an average retinal nerve fiber layer thickness of ≤ 80 µm (OR 13.68, 95% CI 1.91–98.00; p = 0.009) were associated with unfavorable visual outcome. The predictive score included the following factors: abnormal optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings, radiographic evidence of ON encasement by the tumor, and severe preoperative visual deficit. A score ≥ 4 of 6 points was demonstrated to be the cutoff associated with unfavorable visual outcome, with a sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 88%, positive predictive value of 80%, negative predictive value of 88%, and area under the curve of 0.847 (95% CI 0.674–1.0; p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS The authors have designed a practical and novel scoring system to predict visual outcomes in patients with ACMs. This scoring system may guide preoperative discussions with patients and timely surgical intervention to yield optimal visual function outcomes. Although most patients have excellent neurosurgical outcomes, severe baseline visual deficits, ON encasement, and characteristic OCT abnormalities are associated with unfavorable visual function after ACM resection.

Ventriculoatrial Shunt Versus Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 94:903–915, 2024

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is usually the primary choice for cerebrospinal fluid shunting for most neurosurgeons, while ventriculoatrial shunt (VAS) is a second-line procedure because of historical complications. Remarkably, there is no robust evidence claiming the superiority of VPS over VAS. Thus, we aimed to compare both procedures through a meta-analysis.

METHODS: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines, the authors systematically searched the literature for articles comparing VAS with VPS. The included articles had to detail one of the following outcomes: revisions, infections, shunt-related mortality, or complications. In addition, the cohort for each shunt model had to encompass more than 4 patients.

RESULTS: Of 1872 articles, 16 met our criteria, involving 4304 patients, with 1619 undergoing VAS and 2685 receiving VPS placement. Analysis of revision surgeries showed no significant difference between VAS and VPS (risk ratio [RR] = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.9-1.34; I 2 = 84%, random effects). Regarding infections, the analysis also found no significant difference between the groups (RR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.36-1.25; I 2 = 74%, random effects). There was no statistically significant disparity between both methods concerning shunt-related deaths (RR = 2.11, 95% CI: 0.68-6.60; I 2 = 56%, random effects). Included studies after 2000 showed no VAS led to cardiopulmonary complications, and only 1 shunt-related death could be identified.

CONCLUSION: Both methods show no significant differences in procedure revisions, infections, and shunt-related mortality. The literature is outdated, research in adults is lacking, and future randomized studies are crucial to understand the profile of VAS when comparing it with VPS. The final decision on which distal site for cerebrospinal shunting to use should be based on the patient’s characteristics and the surgeon’s expertise.

Health Care Costs Following Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion or Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

Spine 2024;49:530–535

Study Design. Observational cohort study.

Objective. To describe the postoperative costs associated with both anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) in the two-year period following surgery.

Summary of Background Data. CDA has become an increasingly common alternative to ACDF for the treatment of cervical disc disorders. Although a number of studies have compared clinical outcomes between both procedures, much less is known about the postoperative economic burden of each procedure.

Materials and Methods. By analyzing a commercial insurance claims database (Marketscan, Merative), patients who underwent one-level or two-level ACDF and CDA procedures between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 were identified and included in the study. The primary outcome was the cost of payments for postoperative management in the two-year period following ACDF or CDA. Identified postoperative interventions included in the study were: (i) physical therapy, (ii) pain medication, (iii) injections, (iv) psychological treatment, and (iv) subsequent spine surgeries.

Results. Totally, 2304 patients (age: 49.0 ± 9.4 yr; male, 50.1%) were included in the study. In all, 1723 (74.8%) patients underwent ACDF, while 581 (25.2%) underwent CDA. The cost of surgery was similar between both groups (ACDF: $26,819 ± 23,449; CDA: $25,954 ± 20,620; P = 0.429). Thirty-day, 90-day, and two-year global costs were all lower for patients who underwent CDA compared with ACDF ($31,024 vs. $34,411, $33,064 vs. $37,517, and $55,723 vs. $68,113, respectively).

Conclusion. Lower two-year health care costs were found for patients undergoing CDA compared with ACDF. Further work is necessary to determine the drivers of these findings and the associated longer-term outcomes.

Stent-assisted Woven EndoBridge device for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms: an international multicenter study

J Neurosurg 140:1071–1079, 2024

The Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device is an intrasaccular flow disruptor designed for wide-necked bifurcation aneurysms. These aneurysms may require the use of a concomitant stent. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical and radiological outcomes of patients undergoing stent-assisted WEB treatment. In addition, the authors also sought to determine the predictors of a concomitant stent in aneurysms treated with the WEB device.

METHODS The data for this study were taken from the WorldWideWEB Consortium, an international multicenter cohort including patients treated with the WEB device. Aneurysms were classified into two groups based on treatment: stent-assisted WEB and WEB device alone. The authors compared clinical and radiological outcomes of both groups. Univariable and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were performed to determine factors that predispose to stent use.

RESULTS The study included 691 intracranial aneurysms (31 with stents and 660 without stents) treated with the WEB device. The adequate occlusion status did not differ between the two groups at the latest follow-up (83.3% vs 85.6%, p =0.915). Patients who underwent stenting had more thromboembolic (32.3% vs 6.5%, p < 0.001) and procedural (16.1% vs 3.0%, p < 0.001) complications. Aneurysms treated with a concomitant stent had wider necks, greater heights, and lower dome-to-neck ratios. Increasing neck size was the only significant predictor for stent use.

CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates that there is no difference in the degree of aneurysm occlusion between the two groups; however, complications were more frequent in the stent group. In addition, a wider aneurysm neck predisposes to stent assistance in WEB-treated aneurysms.

Biportal endoscopic cervical open‑door laminoplasty to treat cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:182

Although cervical laminoplasty is a frequently utilized surgical intervention for cervical spondylotic myelopathy, it is primarily performed using conventional open surgical techniques. We attempted the minimally invasive cervical laminoplasty using biportal endoscopic approach.

Methods Contralateral lamina access is facilitated by creating space through spinous process drilling, followed by lamina hinge formation. Subsequently, the incised lamina is elevated from ipsilateral aspect, and secure metal plate fixation is performed.

Conclusion We successfully performed the cervical open door laminoplasty using biportal endoscopic approach. Biportal endoscopic cervical open-door laminoplasty may be a minimally invasive technique that can prevent complications related with open surgery.

Postoperative complications after surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis, assessment using two different data sources

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:189

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a prevalent disorder, and surgery for LSS is a common procedure. Postoperative complications occur after any surgery and impose costs for society and costs and additional morbidity for patients. Since complications are relatively rare, medical registries of large populations may provide valuable knowledge. However, recording of complications in registries can be incomplete. To better estimate the true prevalence of complications after LSS surgery, we reviewed two different sources of data and recorded complications for a sample of Norwegian LSS patients.

Methods 474 patients treated surgically for LSS during 2015 and 2016 at four hospitals reported to a national spine registry (NORspine). Postoperative complications were recorded by patients in NORspine, and we cross-referenced complications documented in NORspine with the patients´ electronic patient records (EPR) to re-test the complication rates. We performed descriptive statistics of complication rates using the two different data sources above, and analyzed the association between postoperative complications and clinical outcome with logistic regression.

Results The mean (95%CI) patient age was 66.3 (65.3–67.2) years, and 254 (53.6%) were females. All patients were treated with decompression, and 51 (10.7%) received an additional fusion during the index surgery. Combining the two data sources, we found a total rate for postoperative complications of 22.4%, the NORspine registry reported a complication rate of 15.6%, and the EPR review resulted in a complication rate of 16.0%. However, the types of complications were inconsistent across the two data sources. According to NORspine, the frequency of reoperation within 90 days was 0.9% and according to EPR 3.4%. The rates of wound infection were for NORspine 3.1% and EPR review 2.1%. There was no association between postoperative complication and patient reported outcome.

Conclusion Postoperative complications occurred in 22% of LSS patients. The frequency of different postoperative complications differed between the two data sources.