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

Simple Preoperative Patient-Reported Factors Predict Adverse Outcome After Elective Cranial Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery, 83, 2: 197–202

Patient-reported preoperative factors hold promise in improving the prediction of postoperative adverse events, but they have been poorly studied.
OBJECTIVE
To study the role of patient-reported factors in the preoperative risk stratification of elective craniotomy patients.
METHODS
A prospective, unselected cohort of 322 adult patients underwent elective craniotomy in Helsinki, Finland. We preoperatively recorded the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, Helsinki ASA score, and 3 questionnaire-based patient-reported factors including overall health status, ability to climb 2 flights of stairs, and cognitive function (Test Your Memory test). Outcome measures comprised in-hospital major and overall morbidity. Receiver-operating characteristic curves served to calculate area under the curve (AUC) values for a composite score of patient-reported factors and both ASA scores with regard to outcomes.
RESULTS
In-hospital major and overall morbidity rate was 15.2%. Only preoperatively diminished cognitive function remained a significant predictor of major morbidity after multivariable logistic regression analysis (P < .001, odds ratio 1.1, confidence interval 1.0-1.1). A composite score of our 3 patient-reported factors had a higher AUC (0.675) for major morbidity than original ASA score (0.543) or Helsinki ASA score (0.572). In elderly patients, the composite score had an AUC of 0.726 for major morbidity.
CONCLUSION
Preoperative patient-reported factors had higher sensitivity for detecting major morbidity compared to the ASA scores in this study. Particularly, the simple composite score seems to predict adverse outcomes in elective cranial surgery surprisingly well, especially in the elderly. These results are interesting and worth confirming in other centers.

Deep brain stimulation for dementias

Neurosurg Focus 45 (2):E8, 2018

The aim of this article is to review the authors’ and published experience with deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD).

METHODS Two targets are current topics of investigation in the treatment of AD and PDD, the fornix and the nucleus basalis of Meynert. The authors reviewed the current published clinical experience with attention to patient selection, biological rationale of therapy, anatomical targeting, and clinical results and adverse events.

RESULTS A total of 7 clinical studies treating 57 AD patients and 7 PDD patients have been reported. Serious adverse events were reported in 6 (9%) patients; none resulted in death or disability. Most studies were case reports or Phase 1/2 investigations and were not designed to assess treatment efficacy. Isolated patient experiences demonstrating improved clinical response after DBS have been reported, but no significant or consistent cognitive benefits associated with DBS treatment could be identified across larger patient populations.

CONCLUSIONS PDD and AD are complex clinical entities, with investigation of DBS intervention still in an early phase. Recently published studies demonstrate acceptable surgical safety. For future studies to have adequate power to detect meaningful clinical changes, further refinement is needed in patient selection, metrics of clinical response, and optimal stimulation parameters.

Techniques for Stereotactic Neurosurgery: Beyond the Frame, Toward the Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Guided and Robot-Assisted Approaches

World Neurosurg. (2018) 116:77-87

The development of stereotaxy can be dated back 100 years. However, most stereotactic neurosurgery still relies on the workflow established about half a century ago. With the arrival of computer-assisted navigation, numerous studies to improve the neurosurgical technique have been reported, leading to frameless and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided/verified techniques. Frameless stereotaxy has been proved to be comparable to frame-based stereotaxy in accuracy, diagnostic yield, morbidity, and mortality.

The incorporation of intraoperative MRI guidance in frameless techniques is considered an appealing method that could simplify workflow by reducing coregistration errors in different imaging modalities, conducting general anesthesia, and monitoring the surgical progress. In light of this situation, manually operated platforms have emerged for MRI-guided frameless procedures.

However, these procedures could still be complicated and time-consuming because of the intensive manual operation required. To further simplify the procedure and enhance accuracy, robotics was introduced.

Robots have superior capabilities over humans in certain tasks, especially those that are limited by space, accuracy demanding, intensive, and tedious. Clinical benefits have been shown in the recent surge of robot-assisted surgical interventions. We review the state-of-the-art intraoperative MRI-guided robotic platforms for stereotactic neurosurgery.

To improve the surgical workflow and achieve greater clinical penetration, 3 key enabling techniques are proposed with emphasis on their current status, limitations, and future trends.

Circulating serum oncologic miRNA in pediatric juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma patients predicts mural nodule volume

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1571–1581

Juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas represent the largest group of pediatric brain tumors. The ideal management for these tumors is early, total surgical resection. To detect and track treatment response, a screening tool is needed to identify patients for surgical evaluation and assess the quality of treatment. The identification of aberrant miRNA profiles in the sera of juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma patients could provide such a screening tool.

Methods The authors reviewed the serum profiles of 84 oncologically relevant miRNAs in pediatric juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma patients via qPCR screening.

Results miR-21, miR-15b, miR-23a, and miR-146b were significantly elevated in the sera of JPA patients as compared to nononcologic controls, oncologic controls, and post-JPA resection samples (p < 0.001, 0.022, 0.034, 0.044). miR-21 had the highest AUC on ROC analysis (AUC > 0.99, sensitivity 75%, specificity 100%). All four miRNAs also correlated well with tumor mural nodule size, though they only poorly correlated with total tumor size, including cystic components (Spearman’s R2: miR-21 91.7 vs 6.9%, miR-15b 86.3 vs 23.1%, miR-23a 85.8 vs 23.0%, miR-146b 59.8 vs 11.9%).

Conclusion In this small pilot study, pediatric juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma patients had significant elevations in serum miR-21, miR-15b, miR-23a, and miR-146b levels that do not appear to be driven by hydrocephalus or local distortion of the intracranial contents. These alterations correlate with solid tumor component volume and reverse with complete tumor resection, suggesting that this serum miRNA profile may delineate biomarkers for screening and tracking juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma patients. Additional studies, with a larger cohort, are needed to verify these results.

Development of a statistical model for discrimination of rupture status in posterior communicating artery aneurysms

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1643–1652

Intracranial aneurysms at the posterior communicating artery (PCOM) are known to have high rupture rates compared to other locations. We developed and internally validated a statistical model discriminating between ruptured and unruptured PCOM aneurysms based on hemodynamic and geometric parameters, angio-architectures, and patient age with the objective of its future use for aneurysm risk assessment.

Methods A total of 289 PCOM aneurysms in 272 patients modeled with image-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were used to construct statistical models using logistic group lasso regression. These models were evaluated with respect to discrimination power and goodness of fit using tenfold nested cross-validation and a split-sample approach to mimic external validation.

Results The final model retained maximum and minimum wall shear stress (WSS), mean parent artery WSS, maximum and minimum oscillatory shear index, shear concentration index, and aneurysm peak flow velocity, along with aneurysm height and width, bulge location, non-sphericity index, mean Gaussian curvature, angio-architecture type, and patient age. The corresponding area under the curve (AUC) was 0.8359. When omitting data from each of the three largest contributing hospitals in turn, and applying the corresponding model on the left-out data, the AUCs were 0.7507, 0.7081, and 0.5842, respectively.

Conclusions Statistical models based on a combination of patient age, angio-architecture, hemodynamics, and geometric characteristics can discriminate between ruptured and unruptured PCOM aneurysms with an AUC of 84%. It is important to include data from different hospitals to create models of aneurysm rupture that are valid across hospital populations.

Surgical intervention for pituitary apoplexy

J Neurosurg 129:417–424, 2018

Pituitary apoplexy is a clinical syndrome consisting of neurological and endocrine abnormalities secondary to hemorrhage or ischemia of an underlying pituitary adenoma. The authors investigated whether there was a significant difference in neurological, endocrine, and nonneuroendocrine outcomes for patients with pituitary apoplexy, based on the time between symptom onset and surgical intervention.

METHODS The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 32 patients who had presented to their institutionith acute pituitary apoplexy and subsequently undergone endonasal transsphenoidal resection in the period from 2003 to 2014. All patients had undergone preoperative MRI demonstrating evidence of apoplexy in the form of intratumoral hemorrhage, ischemia, and necrosis. Neurological deficits, partial or complete endocrinopathy, and nonneuroendocrine abnormalities were analyzed both pre- and postoperatively.

RESULTS Preoperatively, neurological deficits including visual loss and cranial nerve palsies were found in 31 (97%) of the 32 patients, endocrinopathy in the form of partial or panhypopituitarism was seen in 28 patients (88%), and nonneuroendocrine signs and symptoms were seen in 32 patients (100%). Thirteen patients (41%) underwent surgery within 72 hours of symptom onset (“early”), whereas 19 patients (59%) underwent surgery more than 72 hours from symptom onset (“delayed”). Early versus delayed resection did not appear to significantly improve visual deficits, total visual loss, resolution of oculomotor palsy, recovery from hypopituitarism, or nonneuroendocrine signs and symptoms such as headache and encephalopathy. Overall, visual improvement was seen in 77% of patients, complete restoration of normal vision in 38% of patients, and resolution of preoperative oculomotor palsies in 81% of patients. Only 6 (21%) of 28 patients showed evidence of partial hormone recovery following preoperative hypopituitarism. An absence of benefit for early surgery held true even when considering time to surgery from symptom onset as a continuous variable.
CONCLUSIONS Neurological deficits such as visual loss and cranial neuropathies show moderate improvement following surgical decompression, as does preoperative hypopituitarism. The timing of surgical intervention relative to the onset of symptoms does not appear to significantly affect the resolution of neurological or endocrinological deficits.

State of Robotic Mastoidectomy: Literature Review

Over the past 30 years, the application of robotics in the field of neurotology has grown. Robots are able to perform increasingly complex tasks with ever improving accuracy, allowing them to be used in a broad array of applications. A mastoidectomy, in which a drill is used to remove a portion of the mastoid part of the temporal bone at the base of the skull, is one such application. To determine the current state of neurotologic robotics in the specific context of mastoidectomy, a review of the literature was carried out. This qualitative review explores what has been done in this field to date, as well as what has yet to be done. Although the research suggests that robotics can be and has been successfully used to assist with mastoidectomy, it also suggests the incompleteness of robotic development in the field.

At present, only 2 robotic systems have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for neurosurgical use and the literature lacks evidence of meaningful clinical testing of new systems to change that. The cost of robotics also remains prohibitive. However, strides have been made, with at least 1 robot for mastoidectomy having reached the point of cadaveric trials. In addition, the research suggests some of the characteristics that should be considered when designing robots for mastoidectomy, such as burr size and the type of forces that should be applied.

Overall, the outlook for robots in neurotology, particularly mastoidectomy, is bright but some hurdles still remain to be overcome.

Autologous Cranioplasty is Associated with Increased Reoperation Rate: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Consensus regarding selection of synthetic versus autologous flap reimplantation for cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy has not been reached and the multiple factors considered for each patient make comparative analysis challenging. This study examines the association between choice of material and related complications.

METHODS: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed using PubMed for articles reporting delayed cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy using a cohort design comparing autologous bone and synthetic implants. Extracted data included implant material and incidence of infection, reoperations related to implant, wound complications, and resorption. –

RESULTS: One randomized controlled trial and 11 cohort studies were included for a total of 1586 implants (950 bone, 636 synthetic). Autologous implants had significantly more reoperations than did synthetic implants (n [1586 implants; odds ratio [OR], 1.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40e2.61). Reoperations were most often because of resorption (54%, n [ 159/295) followed by infection (41%, n [ 121/295). The pooled incidence of resorption in autologous implants was 20% (n [ 159/791). Among the other outcomes, there was no significant difference for infections (n [ 1586; OR, 1.24; CI, 0.82e1.88) or wound complications (n [ 678; OR, 0.56; CI, 0.22e1.45). For the trauma subpopulation, there was no significant difference in infection rate with either material (n [ 197; OR, 1.89; CI; 0.59e6.09).

CONCLUSIONS: Autologous implants had significantly more reoperations primarily because of the intrinsic risk of resorption (level of evidence 3b).

Outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for foramen magnum meningiomas: an international multicenter study

J Neurosurg 129:383–389, 2018

Meningiomas are the most common benign extramedullary lesions of the foramen magnum; however, their optimal management remains undefined. Given their location, foramen magnum meningiomas (FMMs) can cause significant morbidity, and complete microsurgical removal can be challenging. Anterior and anterolateral FMMs carry greater risks with surgery, but they comprise the majority of these lesions. As an alternative to resection, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat FMMs in small case series. To more clearly define the outcomes of SRS and to delineate a rational management paradigm for these lesions, the authors analyzed the safety and efficacy of SRS for FMM in an international multicenter trial.

METHODS Seven medical centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) provided data for this retrospective cohort study. Patients who were treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery and whose clinical and radiological follow-up was longer than 6 months were eligible for study inclusion. Data from pre- and post- SRS radiological and clinical evaluations were analyzed. Stereotactic radiosurgery treatment variables were recorded.

RESULTS Fifty-seven patients (39 females and 18 males, with a median age of 64 years) met the study inclusion criteria. Thirty-two percent had undergone prior microsurgical resection. Patients most frequently presented with cranial neuropathy (39%), headache (35%), numbness (32%), and ataxia (30%). Median pre-SRS tumor volume was 2.9 cm3. Median SRS margin dose was 12.5 Gy (range 10–16 Gy). At the last follow-up after SRS, 49% of tumors were stable, 44% had regressed, and 7% had progressed. Progression-free survival rates at 5 and 10 years were each 92%. A greater margin dose was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of tumor regression, with 53% of tumors treated with > 12 Gy regressing. Fifty-two percent of symptomatic patients noted some clinical improvement. Adverse radiation effects were limited to hearing loss and numbness in 1 patient (2%).

CONCLUSIONS Stereotactic radiosurgery for FMM frequently results in tumor control or tumor regression, as well as symptom improvement. Margin doses > 12 Gy were associated with increased rates of tumor regression. Stereotactic radiosurgery was generally safe and well tolerated. Given its risk-benefit profile, SRS may be particularly useful in the management of small- to moderate-volume anterior and anterolateral FMMs.

 

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography in Aneurysm Surgery: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery, 83 (2): 166–180

Although digital subtraction angiography (DSA) may be considered the gold standard for intraoperative vascular imaging, many neurosurgical centers rely only on indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) for the evaluation of clipping accuracy. Many studies have compared the results of ICG-VA with those of intraoperative DSA; however, a systematic review summarizing these results is still lacking.
OBJECTIVE
To analyze the literature in order to evaluate ICG-VA accuracy in the identification of aneurysm remnants and vessel stenosis after aneurysm clipping.
METHODS
We performed a systematic literature review of ICG-VA accuracy during aneurysm clipping as compared to microscopic visual observation (primary endpoint 1) and DSA (primary endpoint 2). Quality of studies was assessed with the QUADAS-2 tool. Meta-analysis was performed using a random effects model.
RESULTS
The initial PubMed search resulted in 2871 records from January 2003 to April 2016; of these, 20 articles were eligible for primary endpoint 1 and 11 for primary endpoint 2. The rate of mis-clippings that eluded microscopic visual observation and were identified at ICG-VA was 6.1% (95% CI: 4.2-8.2), and the rate of mis-clippings that eluded ICG-VA and were identified at DSA was 4.5% (95% CI: 1.8-8.3).

CONCLUSION
Because a proportion of mis-clippings cannot be identified with ICG-VA, this technique should still be considered complementary rather than a replacement to DSA during aneurysm surgery. Incorporating other intraoperative tools, such as flowmetry or electrophysiological monitoring, can obviate the need for intraoperative DSA for the identification of vessel stenosis. Nevertheless, DSA likely remains the best tool for the detection of aneurysm remnants.

Microsurgical Clipping of Ruptured Anterosuperior-Projecting Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysms: How We Do It

World Neurosurg. (2018) 116:133-135

In anterosuperior-projecting anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms, the aneurysm dome usually adheres to 1 or both proximal A2 segments, which may present technical difficulties. This video demonstrates microsurgical clipping of a ruptured anterosuperior-projecting ACoA aneurysm. A 52-year-old male presented with a Hunt-Hess grade II subarachnoid hemorrhage. Computed tomography showed subarachnoid hemorrhage in the basal cisterns and sylvian and interhemispheric fissures. Angiography demonstrated a wide-necked ACoA aneurysm projecting anterosuperiorly. Considering the risk of recurrence, the patient decided to accept surgical treatment.

The patient was positioned supine, and the aneurysm was exposed via the lateral supraorbital approach. The carotid cistern and optic cistern were opened to release cerebrospinal fluid and achieve adequate brain relaxation. A subpial resection of a small portion of the gyrus rectus was performed to visualize the ipsilateral A2, recurrent artery of Heubner, and base of the aneurysm. A plane was dissected between the anterior aspect of both the A2 segment and posterior aspect of the aneurysm. A straight clip was placed parallel to the ACoA to completely obliterate the aneurysm. Postoperative angiography confirmed complete obliteration of the aneurysm. The patient recovered well without any complications.

Successful treatment requires preoperative surgical planning, precise dissection, and preservation of critical structures. With adherence to these general principles, these aneurysms can be treated safely and effectively.

Volumetric tumor growth rates of meningiomas involving the intracranial venous sinuses

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1531–1538

There is currently no consensus as to whether meningiomas located inside the venous sinuses should be aggressively or conservatively treated. The goals of this study were to identify how sinus-invading meningiomas grow, report and compare growth rates of tumor components inside and outside the different venous sinuses, identify risk factors associated with increased tumor growth, and determine the effects of the extent of tumor resection on recurrence for meningiomas that invade the dural venous sinuses.

Methods Adult patients who underwent primary, non-biopsy resection of a WHO grade 1 meningioma invading the dural venous sinuses at a tertiary care institution between 2007 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Rates of tumor growth were fit to several growth models to evaluate the most accurate model. Cohen’s d analysis was used to identify associations with increased growth of tumor in the venous sinuses. Logistic regression was used to compare extent of resection with recurrence.

Results Of the 68 patients included in the study, 34 patients had postoperative residual tumors in the venous sinuses that were measured over time. The growth model that best fit the growth of intrasinus meningiomas was the Gompertzian growth model (r2 = 0.93). The annual growth rate of meningiomas inside the sinuses was 7.3%, compared to extrasinus tumors with 13.6% growth per year. The only factor significantly associated with increased tumor growth in sinuses was preoperative embolization (effect sizes (ES) [95% CI], 1.874 [7.633–46.735], p = 0.008).

Conclusions This study shows that meningiomas involving the venous sinuses have a Gompertzian-type growth with early exponential growth followed by a slower growth rate that plateaus when they reach a certain size. Overall, the growth rate of the intrasinus portion is low (7.3%), which is half of the reported growth rates for other studies involving primarily extrasinus tumors.

Cranial nerve deficits in giant cavernous carotid aneurysms and their relation to aneurysm morphology and location

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:1653–1660

Giant cavernous carotid aneurysms (GCCAs) usually exert substantial mass effect on adjacent intracavernous cranial nerves. Since predictors of cranial nerve deficits (CNDs) in patients with GCCA are unknown, we designed a study to identify associations between CND and GCCA morphology and the location of mass effect.

Methods This study was based on data from the prospective clinical and imaging databases of the Giant Intracranial Aneurysm Registry. We used magnetic resonance imaging and digital subtraction angiography to examine GCCA volume, presence of partial thrombosis (PT), GCCA origins, and the location of mass effect. We also documented whether CND was present.

Results We included 36 GCCA in 34 patients, which had been entered into the registry by eight participating centers between January 2009 and March 2016. The prevalence of CND was 69.4%, with one CND in 41.7% and more than one in 27.5%. The prevalence of PT was 33.3%. The aneurysm origin was most frequently located at the anterior genu (52.8%). The prevalence of CND did not differ between aneurysm origins (p = 0.29). Intracavernous mass effect was lateral in 58.3%, mixed medial/lateral in 27.8%, and purely medial in 13.9%. CND occurred significantly more often in GCCA with lateral (81.0%) or mixed medial/lateral (70.0%)mass effect than in GCCA with medial mass effect (20.0%; p = 0.03). After adjusting our data for the effects of the location of mass effect, we found no association between the prevalence of CND and aneurysm volume (odds ratio (OR) 1.30 (0.98–1.71); p = 0.07), the occurrence of PT (OR 0.64 (0.07–5.73); p = 0.69), or patient age (OR 1.02 (95% CI 0.95–1.09); p = 0.59).

Conclusions Distinguishing between medial versus lateral location of mass effect may be more helpful than measuring aneurysm volumes or examining aneurysm thrombosis in understanding why some patients with GCCA present with CND while others do not.

Suprafloccular approach via the petrosal fissure and venous corridors for microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve

J Neurosurg 129:324–333, 2018

Surgical exposure and decompression of the entire trigeminal nerve in a conventional lateral supracerebellar approach can be challenging because of blockages from the superior petrosal vein complex, cerebellum, and vestibulocochlear nerve. The authors demonstrate a novel suprafloccular approach via the petrosal fissure and venous corridors that can be used as a substitute for the conventional route used to treat trigeminal neuralgia and present a consecutive series of patients and their clinical outcomes.

METHODS Preoperative and postoperative clinical data from 420 patients who underwent this modified approach at Hangzhou First People’s Hospital between March 2012 and May 2014 were reviewed. The technique expands the working space by opening the petrosal fissure and dissecting adhesions between the vein of the cerebellopontine fissure and the simple lobule as needed. Via 3 surgical corridors, the entire trigeminal nerve is exposed and decompressed thoroughly with minimal retraction of the surrounding vital structures.

RESULTS The medial one-third of the trigeminal nerve accounted for the majority (275 [65.5%] cases) of neurovascular conflict sites. The lateral corridor was used in 219 (52.1%) cases, the medial corridor was used in 175 (41.7%) cases, and the intermediate corridor was used in 26 (6.2%) cases. The entire trigeminal nerve in each patient was accessed directly and decompressed properly. At the end of the 24-month follow-up period, the rate of excellent results (Kondo score of T0 or T1) was stable at approximately 90.5%. No complications were related directly to petrosal vein or vestibulocochlear nerve injury.

CONCLUSIONS Based on data from the large patient series, the authors found this suprafloccular approach via the petrosal fissure and venous corridors provides full exposure and decompression of the entire trigeminal nerve, a high cure rate, and a low neurovascular morbidity rate.

trigeminal neuralgia,suprafloccular,petrosal fissure, cerebellopontine fissure,venous corridor, clinical outcome, functional neurosurgery, pain

Meningiomas in pregnancy: timing of surgery and clinical outcomes as observed in 104 cases and establishment of a best management strategy

Acta Neurochir (2018) 160:1521–1529

There is a strong correlation between the level of circulating female sex hormones and the parturient growth of meningiomas. As a result, rapid changes in meningioma size occur during pregnancy, putting both the mother and fetus at risk. Large, symptomatic meningiomas require surgical resection, regardless of the status of pregnancy. However, the preferred timing of such complex intervention is a matter of debate. The rarity of this clinical scenario and the absence of prospective trials make it difficult to reach evidence-based conclusions. The aim of this study was to create evidencebased management guidelines for timing of surgery for pregnancy-related intracranial meningiomas.

Method The English literature from 1990 to 2016 was systematically reviewed according to PRISMA guidelines for all surgical cases of pregnancy–related intracranial meningiomas. Cases were divided into two groups: patients who have had surgery during pregnancy and delivered thereafter (group A) and patients who delivered first (group B). Groups were compared for demographic, clinical and radiological features, as well as for neurosurgical, obstetrical and neonatological outcomes. Statistical analysis was performed to assess differences.

Results A total of 104 surgical cases were identified and reviewed, of which 86 were suitable for comparison and statistical analysis. Thirty-five patients (40%) underwent craniotomy for resection during pregnancy or at delivery (group A) and 51 patients (60%) underwent surgery after delivery (group B). Groups showed no significant differences in characteristics such as age at diagnosis, number of gestations, presenting symptoms, tumor site and tumor size. Despite a comparable distribution over the gestational trimesters, group A had significantly more patients diagnosed prior to the 27th gestational week (46 vs 17.5%, p = 0.0075). Group Awas also associated with a significantly higher rate of both emergent craniotomies (40 vs 19.6%, p = 0.0048) and emergent Caesarian deliveries (47 vs 17.8%, p = 0.00481). The time from diagnosis to surgery was significantly longer in group B (11 weeks vs 1 week in group A, p = 0.0013). The rate of premature delivery was high but similar in both groups (∼70%). Risks of maternal mortality or fetal mortality were associated with group A (odds ratio = 14.7), but did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions While surgical resection of meningioma during pregnancy may be associated with increased maternal and fetal mortalities, the overall neurosurgical, obstetrical and neonatological outcomes, as well as many clinical characteristics, are similar to patients undergoing resection postpartum. We believe that fetal survival chances have a significant impact on decision-making, as patients diagnosed at a later stage in pregnancy (≥27th week of gestation) were more likely to undergo delivery first. This complicated clinical scenario requires the close cooperation of multiple disciplines. While the mother’s health and well-being should always be paramount in guiding management, we hope that the overall good outcomes observed by this systematic review will encourage colleagues to aim for term pregnancies whenever possible in order to reduce prematurity-related problems.

After 9 Years of 3-Column Osteotomies, Are We Doing Better? Performance Curve Analysis of 573 Surgeries With 2-Year Follow-up

Neurosurgery 83:69–75, 2018

In spinal deformity treatment, the increased utilization of 3-column (3CO) osteotomies reflects greater comfort and better training among surgeons. This study aims to evaluate the longitudinal performance and adverse events (complications or revisions) for a multicenter group following a decade of 3CO.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate if performance of 3CO surgeries improves with years of practice. METHODS:Patientswhounderwent 3COfor spinal deformity with intra/postoperative and revision data collected up to 2 yrwere included. Patientswere chronologically divided into 4 even groups. Demographics, baseline deformity/correction, and surgical metrics were compared using Student t-test. Postoperative and revision rates were compared using Chi-square analysis.

RESULTS: Five hundred seventy-three patients were stratified into: G1 (n=143, 2004-2008), G2 (n = 142, 2008-2009), G3 (n = 144, 2009-2010), G4 (n = 144 2010-2013). The most recent patients were more disabled by Oswestry disability index (G4=49.2 vs G1=38.3, P=.001), and received a larger osteotomy resection (G4 = 26◦ vs G1 = 20◦, P = .011) than the earliest group. There was a decrease in revision rate (45%, 35%, 33%, 30%, P = .039), notably in revisions for pseudarthrosis (16.7% G1 vs 6.9% G4, P = .007). Major complication rates also decreased (57%, 50%, 46%, 39%, P = .023) as did excessive blood loss (>4 L, 27.2 vs 16.7%, P =.023) and bladder/bowel deficit (4.2% vs 0.7% P=.002). Successful outcomes (no complications or revision) significantly increased (P = .001).

CONCLUSION:Over 9 yr, 3COs are being performed on an increasingly disabled population while gaining a greater correction at the osteotomy site. Revisions and complication rate decreased while success rate improved during the 2-yr follow-up period.

The subatlantic triangle: gateway to early localization of the atlantoaxial vertebral artery

J Neurosurg Spine 29:18–27, 2018

Exposure of the vertebral artery (VA) between C-1 and C-2 vertebrae (atlantoaxial VA) may be necessary in a variety of pathologies of the craniovertebral junction. Current methods to expose this segment of the VA entail sharp dissection of muscles close to the internal jugular vein and the spinal accessory nerve. The present study assesses the technique of exposing the atlantoaxial VA through a newly defined muscular triangle at the craniovertebral junction.

METHODS Five cadaveric heads were prepared for surgical simulation in prone position, turned 30°–45° toward the side of exposure. The atlantoaxial VA was exposed through the subatlantic triangle after reflecting the sternocleidomastoid and splenius capitis muscles inferiorly. The subatlantic triangle was formed by 3 groups of muscles: 1) the levator scapulae and splenius cervicis muscles inferiorly and laterally, 2) the longissimus capitis muscle inferiorly and medially, and 3) the inferior oblique capitis superiorly. The lengths of the VA exposed through the triangle before and after unroofing the C-2 transverse foramen were measured.

RESULTS The subatlantic triangle consistently provided access to the whole length of atlantoaxial VA. The average length of the VA exposed via the subatlantic triangle was 19.5 mm. This average increased to 31.5 mm after the VA was released at the C-2 transverse foramen.

CONCLUSIONS The subatlantic triangle provides a simple and straightforward pathway to expose the atlantoaxial VA. The proposed method may be useful during posterior approaches to the craniovertebral junction should early exposure and control of the atlantoaxial VA become necessary.

 

Impact of local steroid application on dysphagia following an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: results of a prospective, randomized single-blind trial

J Neurosurg Spine 29:10–17, 2018

Intraoperative local steroid application has been theorized to reduce swelling and improve swallowing in the immediate period following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of intraoperative local steroid application on patient-reported swallow function and swelling after ACDF.

METHODS A prospective, randomized single-blind controlled trial was conducted. A priori power analysis determined that 104 subjects were needed to detect an 8-point difference in the Quality of Life in Swallowing Disorders (SWAL-QOL) questionnaire score. One hundred four patients undergoing 1- to 3-level ACDF procedures for degenerative spinal pathology were randomized to Depo-Medrol (DEPO) or no Depo-Medrol (NODEPO) cohorts. Prior to surgical closure, patients received 1 ml of either Depo-Medrol (DEPO) or saline (NODEPO) applied to a Gelfoam carrier at the surgical site. Patients were blinded to the application of steroid or saline following surgery. The SWAL-QOL questionnaire was administered both pre- and postoperatively. A ratio of the prevertebral swelling distance to the anteroposterior diameter of each vertebral body level was calculated at the involved levels ± 1 level by using pre- and postoperative lateral radiographs. The ratios of all levels were averaged and multiplied by 100 to obtain a swelling index. An air index was calculated in the same manner but using the tracheal air window diameter in place of the prevertebral swelling distance. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student t-test and chi-square analysis. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS Of the 104 patients, 55 (52.9%) were randomized to the DEPO cohort and 49 (47.1%) to the NODEPO group. No differences in baseline patient demographics or preoperative characteristics were demonstrated between the two cohorts. Similarly, estimated blood loss and length of hospitalization did not differ between the cohorts. Neither was there a difference in the mean change in the scaled total SWAL-QOL score, swelling index, and air index between the groups at any time point. Furthermore, no complications were observed in either group (retropharyngeal abscess or esophageal perforation).

CONCLUSIONS The results of this prospective, randomized single-blind study did not demonstrate an impact of local intraoperative steroid application on patient-reported swallowing function or swelling following ACDF. Neither did the administration of Depo-Medrol lead to an earlier hospital discharge than that in the NODEPO cohort. These results suggest that intraoperative local steroid administration may not provide an additional benefit to patients undergoing ACDF procedures.

 

Staged Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Large Brain Metastases

Neurosurgery 83:114–121, 2018

Treatment options are limited for large, unresectable brain metastases.

OBJECTIVE: To report a single institution series of staged stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that allows for tumor response between treatments in order to optimize the therapeutic ratio.

METHODS: Patients were treated with staged SRS separated by 1 mo with a median dose at first SRS of 15 Gy (range 10-21 Gy) and a median dose at second SRS of 14 Gy (range 10-18 Gy). Overall survival was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cumulative incidences were estimated for neurological death, radiation necrosis, local failure (marginal or central), and distant brain failure. Absolute cumulative dose–volume histogram was created for each treated lesion. Logistic regression and competing risks regression were performed for each discrete dose received by a certain volume.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients with 39 lesions were treated with staged radiosurgery. Overall survival at 6 and 12mowas 65.0% and 60.0%, respectively. Cumulative incidence of local failure at 6 and 12 mo was 3.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Of the patients who received staged therapy, 4 of 33 experienced local failure. Radiation necrosis was seen in 4 of 39 lesions. Two of 33 patients experienced a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group toxicity grade >2 (2 patients had grade 4 toxicities). Dosimetric analysis revealed that dose (Gy) received by volume of brain (ie, VDose(Gy))was associated with radiation necrosis, including the range V44.5Gy to V87.8Gy.

CONCLUSION: Staged radiosurgery is a safe and effective option for large, unresectable brain metastases. Prospective studies are required to validate the findings in this study.

Long-Term Follow-up Study of MRI-Guided Bilateral Anterior Capsulotomy in PatientsWith Refractory Anorexia Nervosa

Neurosurgery 83:86–92, 2018

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is one of the most challenging psychiatric disorders to treat. The poor clinical outcomes warrant novel treatments for AN, especially in severe and persistent cases.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging-guided bilateral anterior capsulotomy in the treatment of refractory AN.

METHODS: Seventy-four patients diagnosed with refractory AN who underwent capsulotomy completed this 3-yr follow-up study. Outcomesincluded body mass index (BMI) and results froma series of psychiatric scales (for obsessive, depressive, and anxious symptoms) that were implemented at baseline (presurgery), and 1 mo, 1 yr, and 3 yr after surgery.

RESULTS: Compared to presurgical levels, BMI increased significantly at 1-yr and 3-yr follow-ups. Compared to presurgery scores, psychiatric scale scores were significantly improved at 1-mo postsurgery, and continued to remain low at the 1-yr and 3-yr follow-ups. In addition, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were in the normal range during the long-term follow-up. The most common short-term side effects included urinary incontinence (n = 7), sleep disorders (n = 8), and fatigue (n = 6). Longterm complications included disinhibition (n = 6), memory loss (n = 3), and lethargy (n = 4). No patient in this study experienced death or disability.

CONCLUSION: Capsulotomy enabled patients with refractory AN to normalize their weight, especially those in life-threatening conditions. While it appears to be an acceptable life-saving treatment, it is indicated only when fulfilling strict criteria given its complications and irreversibility.

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

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