Ultrasonic aspiration in neurosurgery: comparative analysis of complications and outcome for three commonly used models

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:2073–2082

Ultrasonic aspiration (UA) devices are commonly used for resecting intracranial tumors, as they allow for internal debulking of large tumors, hereby avoiding damage to adjacent brain tissue during the dissection. Little is known about their comparative safety profiles.

Methods and materials We analyzed data from a prospective patient registry. Procedures using one of the following UA models were included: Integra® CUSA, Söring®, and Stryker® Sonopet. The primary endpoint was morbidity at discharge, defined as significant worsening on the Karnofsky Performance Scale. Secondary endpoints included morbidity and mortality until 3 months postoperative (M3), occurrence, type, and etiology of complications.

Results Of n = 1028 procedures, the CUSA was used in n = 354 (34.4 %), the Söring in n = 461 (44.8 %), and the Sonopet in n = 213 (20.7 %). There was some heterogeneity of study groups. In multivariable analysis, patients in the Söring (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.29; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 0.80–2.08; p = 0.299), and Sonopet group (aOR, 0.86; 95 % CI, 0.46–1.61; p = 0.645) were as likely as patients in the CUSA group to experience discharge morbidity. At M3, patients in the Söring (aOR, 1.20; 95 % CI, 0.78–1.86; p = 0.415) and Sonopet group (aOR, 0.53; 95 % CI, 0.26–1.08; p = 0.080) were as likely as patients in the CUSA group to experience morbidity. There were also no differences for M3 morbidity in subgroup analyses for gliomas, meningiomas, and metastases. The grade (p = 0.608) and etiology (p = 0.849) of postoperative complications were similar.

Conclusions Neurosurgeons select UA types with regard to certain case-specific characteristics. The safety profiles of three commonly used UA types appear mostly similar.