Variability in the Arterial Supply of Intracranial Meningiomas: An Anatomic Study

Neurosurgery 93:1346–1352, 2023

Intracranial meningiomas are a diverse group of tumors, which vary by grade, genetic composition, location, and vasculature. Expanding the understanding of the supply of skull base (SBMs) and non–skull base meningiomas (NSBMs) will serve to further inform resection strategies. We sought to delineate the vascular supply of a series of intracranial meningiomas by tumor location.

METHODS: A retrospective study of intracranial meningiomas that were studied using preoperative digital subtraction angiograms before surgical resection at a tertiary referral center was performed. Patient, tumor, radiologic, and treatment data were collected, and regression models were developed.

RESULTS: One hundred sixty-five patients met inclusion criteria. The mean age was 57.1 years (SD: 12.6). The mean tumor diameter was 4.9 cm (SD: 1.5). One hundred twenty-six were World Health Organization Grade I, 37 Grade II, and 2 Grade III. Arterial feeders were tabulated by Al-Mefty’s anatomic designations. SBMs were more likely to derive arterial supply from the anterior circulation, whereas NSBMs were supplied by external carotid branches. NSBMs were larger (5.61 cm vs 4.45 cm, P = <.001), were more often presented with seizure (20% vs 8%, P = .03), were higher grade (P = <.001) had more frequent peritumoral brain edema (84.6% vs 66%, P = .04), and had more bilateral feeders (47.7% vs 28%, P = .01) compared with SBMs. More arterial feeders were significantly associated with lower tumor grade (P = .023, OR = 0.59). Higher tumor grade (Grade II/III) was associated with fewer arterial feeders (P = .017, RR = 0.74).

CONCLUSION: Meningioma location is associated with specific vascular supply patterns, grade, and patient outcomes. This information suggests that grade I tumors, especially larger tumors, are more likely to have diverse vascular supply patterns, including internal carotid branches. This study may inform preoperative embolization and surgical considerations, particularly for large skull base tumors.

Does tumoral cavernous carotid stenosis predict an increased risk of future stroke in skull base meningiomas?

J Neurosurg 139:1613–1618, 2023

Skull base meningiomas (SBMs) involving the cavernous sinus encase the internal carotid artery (ICA) and may lead to stenosis of the vessel. Although ischemic stroke has been reported in the literature, there are to the authors’ knowledge no reported studies quantifying the risk of stroke in these patients. The authors aimed to determine the frequency of arterial stenosis in patients with SBMs that encase the cavernous ICA and to estimate the risk of ischemic stroke in these patients.

METHODS Records of all patients with SBM encasing the ICA whose cases were managed by the skull base multidisciplinary team at Salford Royal Hospital between 2011 and 2017 were reviewed using a two-stage approach: 1) clinical and radiological strokes were identified from electronic patient records, and 2) cases were reviewed to examine the correlation between ICA stenosis associated with SBM encasement and anatomically related stroke. Strokes that were caused by another pathology or did not occur in the perfusion territory were excluded.

RESULTS In the review of patient records the authors identified 118 patients with SBMs encasing the ICA. Of these, 62 SBMs caused stenosis. The median age at diagnosis was 70 (IQR 24) years, and 70% of the patients were female. The median follow-up was 97 (IQR 101) months. A total of 13 strokes were identified in these patients; however, only 1 case of stroke was associated with SBM encasement, which occurred in the perfusion territory of a patient without stenosis. Risk of acute stroke during the follow-up period for the entire cohort was 0.85%.

CONCLUSIONS Acute stroke in patients with ICA encasement by SBMs is rare despite the propensity of these tumors to stenose the ICA. Patients with ICA stenosis secondary to their SBM did not have a higher incidence of stroke than those with ICA encasement without stenosis. The results of this study demonstrate that prophylactic intervention to prevent stroke is not necessary in ICA stenosis secondary to SBM.

Effect of workers’ compensation status on pain, disability, quality of life, and return to work after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a 1-year propensity score–matched analysis

J Neurosurg Spine 39:822–830, 2023

Patients with workers’ compensation (WC) claims are reported to demonstrate poorer surgical outcomes after lumbar spine surgery. However, outcomes after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in WC patients remain debatable. The authors aimed to compare outcomes between a propensity score–matched population of WC and non-WC patients who underwent ACDF.

METHODS Patients who underwent 1- to 4-level ACDF were retrospectively reviewed from the prospectively maintained Quality Outcomes Database (QOD). After propensity score matching, 1-year patient satisfaction, physical disability (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), pain (visual analog scale [VAS]), EQ-5D, and return to work were compared between WC and non-WC cohorts.

RESULTS A total of 9957 patients were included (9610 non-WC and 347 WC patients). Patients in the WC cohort were significantly younger (50 ± 9.1 vs 56 ± 11.4 years, p < 0.001), less educated, and were more frequently male, non-Caucasian, and active smokers (29.1% vs 18.1%, p < 0.001), with greater baseline VAS and NDI scores and poorer quality of life (p < 0.001). One-year postoperative improvements in VAS, NDI, EQ-5D, and return-to-work rates and satisfaction were all significantly worse for WC compared with non-WC patients. After adjusting for baseline differences via propensity score matching, WC versus non-WC patients continued to demonstrate worse 3- and 12-month VAS neck pain and NDI (p = 0.010), satisfaction (χ 2 = 4.03, p = 0.045), and delayed return to work (9.3 vs 5.7 weeks, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS WC status was associated with greater 1-year residual disability and axial pain along with delayed return to work, without any difference in quality of life despite having fewer comorbidities and being a younger population. Further studies are needed to determine the societal impact that WC claims have on healthcare delivery in the setting of ACDF.

In‑out‑in technique for petrosal sinus dural arteriovenous fistula obliteration

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3793–3798

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) at the superior petrosal sinus are a rare but important subtype that pose a high risk of mortality and morbidity. Treatment for these lesions can be challenging with stand-alone endovascular methods.

Methods We describe our “in-out-in” technique for disconnecting dAVFs at the superior petrosal sinus, which includes definitive sacrifice of the superior petrosal sinus and the transverse sigmoid sinus, if involved. This method achieves complete fistula obliteration and minimizes recurrence risk with new arterial feeders.

Conclusions The in-out-in technique is a safe and effective approach for the treatment of dAVFs involving the superior petrosal sinus.

International Tuberculum Sellae Meningioma Study: Surgical Outcomes and Management Trends

Neurosurgery 93:1259–1270, 2023

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas (TSMs) can be resected through transcranial (TCA) or expanded endonasal approach (EEA). The objective of this study was to report TSM management trends and outcomes in a large multicenter cohort.

METHODS: This is a 40-site retrospective study using standard statistical methods.

RESULTS: In 947 cases, TCA was used 66.4% and EEA 33.6%. The median maximum diameter was 2.5 cm for TCA and 2.1 cm for EEA (P < .0001). The median follow-up was 26 months. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 70.2% and did not differ between EEA and TCA (P = .5395). Vision was the same or better in 87.5%. Vision improved in 73.0% of EEA patients with preoperative visual deficits compared with 57.1% of TCA patients (P < .0001). On multivariate analysis, a TCA (odds ratio [OR] 1.78, P = .0258) was associated with vision worsening, while GTR was protective (OR 0.37, P < .0001). GTR decreased with increased diameter (OR: 0.80 per cm, P = .0036) and preoperative visual deficits (OR 0.56, P = .0075). Mortality was 0.5%. Complications occurred in 23.9%. New unilateral or bilateral blindness occurred in 3.3% and 0.4%, respectively. The cerebrospinal fluid leak rate was 17.3% for EEA and 2.2% for TCA (OR 9.1, P < .0001). The recurrence rate was 10.9% (n= 103). Longer follow-up (OR 1.01 per month, P < .0001), World Health Organization II/III (OR 2.20, P = .0262), and GTR (OR: 0.33, P < .0001) were associated with recurrence. The recurrence rate after GTR was lower after EEA compared with TCA (OR 0.33, P = .0027).

CONCLUSION: EEA for appropriately selected TSM may lead to better visual outcomes and decreased recurrence rates after GTR, but cerebrospinal fluid leak rates are high, and longer follow-up is needed. Tumors were smaller in the EEA group, and follow-up was shorter, reflecting selection, and observation bias. Nevertheless, EEA may be superior to TCA for appropriately selected TSM.

Prognostic significance of perihematomal edema in basal ganglia hemorrhage after minimally invasive endoscopic evacuation

J Neurosurg 139:1784–1791, 2023

Spontaneous basal ganglia hemorrhage is a common type of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with no definitive treatment. Minimally invasive endoscopic evacuation is a promising therapeutic approach for ICH. In this study the authors examined prognostic factors associated with long-term functional dependence (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≥ 4) in patients who had undergone endoscopic evacuation of basal ganglia hemorrhage.

METHODS In total, 222 consecutive patients who underwent endoscopic evacuation between July 2019 and April 2022 at four neurosurgical centers were enrolled prospectively. Patients were dichotomized into functionally independent (mRS score ≤ 3) and functionally dependent (mRS score ≥ 4) groups. Hematoma and perihematomal edema (PHE) volumes were calculated using 3D Slicer software. Predictors of functional dependence were assessed using logistic regression models.

RESULTS Among the enrolled patients, the functional dependence rate was 45.50%. Factors independently associated with long-term functional dependence included female sex, older age (≥ 60 years), Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, larger preoperative hematoma volume (OR 1.02), and larger postoperative PHE volume (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01–1.05). A subsequent analysis evaluated the effect of stratified postoperative PHE volume on functional dependence. Specifically, patients with large (≥ 50 to < 75 ml) and extra-large (≥ 75 to 100 ml) postoperative PHE volumes had 4.61 (95% CI 0.99–21.53) and 6.75 (95% CI 1.20–37.85) times greater likelihood of long-term dependence, respectively, than patients with a small postoperative PHE volume (≥ 10 to < 25 ml).

CONCLUSIONS A large postoperative PHE volume is an independent risk factor for functional dependence among basal ganglia hemorrhage patients after endoscopic evacuation, especially with postoperative PHE volume ≥ 50 ml.

Economic burden of nonoperative treatment of adult spinal deformity

J Neurosurg Spine 39:751–756, 2023

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to investigate the cost utility of nonoperative treatment for adult spinal deformity (ASD).

METHODS Nonoperatively and operatively treated patients who met database criteria for ASD and in whom complete radiographic and health-related quality of life data at baseline and at 2 years were available were included. A cost analysis was completed on the PearlDiver database assessing the average cost of nonoperative treatment prior to surgical intervention based on previously published treatments (NSAIDs, narcotics, muscle relaxants, epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, and chiropractor). Utility data were calculated using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) converted to SF-6D with published conversion methods. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) used a 3% discount rate to account for residual decline in life expectancy (78.7 years). Minor and major comorbidities and complications were assessed according to the CMS.gov manual’s definitions. Successful nonoperative treatment was defined as a gain in the minimum clinically importance difference (MCID) in both ODI and Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)–pain scores, and failure was defined as a loss in MCID or conversion to operative treatment. Patients with baseline ODI ≤ 20 and continued ODI of ≤ 20 at 2 years were considered nonoperative successful maintenance. The average utilization of nonoperative treatment and cost were applied to the ASD cohort.

RESULTS A total of 824 patients were included (mean age 58.24 years, 81% female, mean body mass index 27.2 kg/m 2 ). Overall, 75.5% of patients were in the operative and 24.5% were in the nonoperative cohort. At baseline patients in the operative cohort were significantly older, had a greater body mass index, increased pelvic tilt, and increased pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch (all p < 0.05). With respect to deformity, patients in the operative group had higher rates of severe (i.e., ++) sagittal deformity according to SRS–Schwab modifiers for pelvic tilt, sagittal vertical axis, and pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch (p < 0.05). At 2 years, patients in the operative cohort showed significantly increased rates of a gain in MCID for physical component summary of SF-36, ODI, and SRS-activity, SRS-pain, SRSappearance, and SRS-mental scores. Cost analysis showed the average cost of nonoperative treatment 2 years prior

to surgical intervention to be $2041. Overall, at 2 years patients in the nonoperative cohort had again in ODI of 0.36, did not show a gain in QALYs, and nonoperative treatment was determined to be cost-ineffective. However, a subset of patients in this cohort underwent successful maintenance treatment and had a decrease in ODI of 1.1 and a gain in utility of 0.006 at 2 years. If utility gained for this cohort was sustained to full life expectancy, patients’ cost per QALY was $18,934 compared to a cost per QALY gained of $70,690.79 for posterior-only and $48,273.49 for combined approach in patients in the operative cohort.

CONCLUSIONS Patients with ASD undergoing operative treatment at baseline had greater sagittal deformity and greater improvement in health-related quality of life postoperatively compared to patients treated nonoperatively. Additionally, patients in the nonoperative cohort overall had an increase in ODI and did not show improvement in utility gained. Patients in the nonoperative cohort who had low disability and sagittal deformity underwent successful maintenance and cost-effective treatment.

Use of cortical volume to predict response to temporary CSF drainage in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

J Neurosurg 139:1776–1783, 2023

Temporary drainage of CSF with lumbar puncture or lumbar drainage has a high predictive value for identifying patients with suspected idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) who may benefit from ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion. However, it is unclear what differentiates responders from nonresponders. The authors hypothesized that nonresponders to temporary CSF drainage would have patterns of reduced regional gray matter volume (GMV) as compared with those of responders. The objective of the current investigation was to compare regional GMV between temporary CSF drainage responders and nonresponders. Machine learning using extracted GMV was then used to predict outcomes.

METHODS This retrospective cohort study included 132 patients with iNPH who underwent temporary CSF drainage and structural MRI. Demographic and clinical variables were examined between groups. Voxel-based morphometry was used to calculate GMV across the brain. Group differences in regional GMV were assessed and correlated with change in results on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and gait velocity. A support vector machine (SVM) model that used extracted GMV values and was validated with leave-one-out cross-validation was used to predict clinical outcome.

RESULTS There were 87 responders and 45 nonresponders. There were no group differences in terms of age, sex, baseline MoCA score, Evans index, presence of disproportionately enlarged subarachnoid space hydrocephalus, baseline total CSF volume, or baseline white matter T2-weighted hyperintensity volume (p > 0.05). Nonresponders demonstrated decreased GMV in the right supplementary motor area (SMA) and right posterior parietal cortex as compared with responders (p < 0.001, p < 0.05 with false discovery rate cluster correction). GMV in the posterior parietal cortex was associated with change in MoCA (r 2 = 0.075, p < 0.05) and gait velocity (r 2 = 0.076, p < 0.05). Response status was classified by the SVM with 75.8% accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS Decreased GMV in the SMA and posterior parietal cortex may help identify patients with iNPH who are unlikely to benefit from temporary CSF drainage. These patients may have limited capacity for recovery due to atrophy in these regions that are known to be important for motor and cognitive integration. This study represents an important step toward improving patient selection and predicting clinical outcomes in the treatment of iNPH.

Utility of minimally invasive endoscopic skull base approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

J Neurosurg 139:1604–1612, 2023

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is an important cause of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in adults and children. Traditionally, the surgical option of choice for mTLE includes a frontotemporal craniotomy and open resection of the anterior temporal cortex and mesial temporal structures. Although this technique is effective and durable, the neuropsychological morbidity resulting from temporal neocortical resections has resulted in the investigation of alternative approaches to resect the mesial temporal structures to achieve seizure freedom while minimizing postoperative cognitive deficits. Outcomes supporting the use of selective temporal resections have resulted in alternative approaches to directly access the mesial temporal structures via endoscopic approaches whose direct trajectory to the epileptogenic zone minimizes retraction, resection, and manipulation of surrounding cortex.

The authors reviewed the utility of the endoscopic transmaxillary, endoscopic endonasal, endoscopic transorbital, and endoscopic supracerebellar transtentorial approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. First, a review of the literature demonstrated the anatomical feasibility of each approach, including the limits of exposure provided by each trajectory. Next, clinical data assessing the safety and effectiveness of these techniques in the treatment of DRE were analyzed. An outline of the surgical techniques is provided to highlight the technical nuances of each approach.

The direct access to mesial temporal structures and avoidance of lateral temporal manipulation makes endoscopic approaches promising alternatives to traditional methods for the treatment of DRE arising from the temporal pole and mesial temporal lobe. A dearth of literature outlining clinical outcomes, a need for qualified cosurgeons, and a lack of experience with endoscopic approaches remain major barriers to widespread application of the aforementioned techniques. Future studies are warranted to define the utility of these approaches moving forward.

Optimizing surgical management of facet cysts of the lumbar spine: systematic review, meta-analysis, and local case series of 1251 patients

J Neurosurg Spine 39:793–806, 2023

Lumbar facet cysts (LFCs) can cause neurological dysfunction and intractable pain. Surgery is the current standard of care for patients in whom conservative therapy fails, those with neurological deficits, and those with evidence of spinal instability. No study to date has comprehensively examined surgical outcomes comparing the multiple surgical treatment options for LFCs. Therefore, the authors aimed to perform a combined analysis of cases both in the literature and of patients at a single institution to compare the outcomes of various surgical treatment options for LFC.

METHODS The authors performed a literature review in accordance with PRISMA guidelines and meta-analysis of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases and reviewed all studies from database inception published until February 3, 2023. Studies that did not contain 3 or more cases, clearly specify follow-up durations longer than 6 months, or present new cases were excluded. Bias was evaluated using Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias in Nonrandomised Studies–of Interventions (ROBINS-I). The authors also reviewed their own local institutional case series from 2015 to 2020. Primary outcomes were same-level cyst recurrence, same-level revision surgery, and perioperative complications. ANOVA, common and random-effects modeling, and Wald testing were used to compare treatment groups.

RESULTS A total of 1251 patients were identified from both the published literature (29 articles, n = 1143) and the authors’ institution (n = 108). Patients were sorted into 5 treatment groups: open cyst resection (OCR; n = 720), tubular cyst resection (TCR; n = 166), cyst resection with arthrodesis (CRA; n = 165), endoscopic cyst resection (ECR; n = 113), and percutaneous cyst rupture (PCR; n = 87), with OCR being the analysis reference group. The PCR group had significantly lower complication rates (p = 0.004), higher recurrence rates (p < 0.001), and higher revision surgery rates (p = 0.001) compared with the OCR group. Patients receiving TCR (3.01%, p = 0.021) and CRA (0.0%, p < 0.001) had significantly lower recurrence rates compared with those undergoing OCR (6.36%). The CRA group (6.67%) also had significantly lower rates of revision surgery compared with the OCR group (11.3%, p = 0.037).

CONCLUSIONS While PCR is less invasive, it may have high rates of same-level recurrence and revision surgery. Recurrence and revision rates for modalities such as ECR were not significantly different from those of OCR. While concomitant arthrodesis is more invasive, it might lead to lower recurrence rates and lower rates of subsequent revision surgery. Given the limitations of our case series and literature review, prospective, randomized studies are needed.

Association Between Pseudoprogression of Vestibular Schwannoma After Radiosurgery and Radiological Features of Solid and Cystic Components

Neurosurgery 93:1383–1392, 2023

The pathophysiology of vestibular schwannoma (VS) pseudoprogression after Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) remains unclear. Radiological features in pretreatment magnetic resonance images may help predict VS pseudoprogression. This study used VS radiological features quantified using an automated segmentation algorithm to predict pseudoprogression after GKRS treatment.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study comprising 330 patients with VS who received GKRS. After image preprocessing and T2W/contrast-enhanced T1-weighted image (CET1W) image generation, with fuzzy C-means clustering, VSs were segmented into solid and cystic components and classified as solid and cystic. Relevant radiological features were then extracted. The response to GKRS was classified into “nonpseudoprogression” and “pseudoprogression/fluctuation”. The Z test for two proportions was used to compare solid and cystic VS for the likelihood of pseudoprogression/fluctuation. Logistic regression was used to assess the correlation between clinical variables and radiological features and response to GKRS.

RESULTS: The likelihood of pseudoprogression/fluctuation after GKRS was significantly higher for solid VS compared with cystic VS (55% vs 31%, P < .001). For the entire VS cohort, multivariable logistic regression revealed that a lower mean tumor signal intensity (SI) in T2W/CET1W images was associated with pseudoprogression/fluctuation after GKRS (P = .001). For the solid VS subgroup, a lower mean tumor SI in T2W/CET1W images (P = .035) was associated with pseudoprogression/fluctuation after GKRS. For the cystic VS subgroup, a lower mean SI of the cystic component in T2W/ CET1W images (P = .040) was associated with pseudoprogression/fluctuation after GKRS.

CONCLUSION: Pseudoprogression is more likely to occur in solid VS compared with cystic VS. Quantitative radiological features in pretreatment magnetic resonance images were associated with pseudoprogression after GKRS. In T2W/ CET1W images, solid VS with a lower mean tumor SI and cystic VS with a lower mean SI of cystic component were more likely to have pseudoprogression after GKRS. These radiological features can help predict the likelihood of pseudoprogression after GKRS.

A comparison of modern-era anterior lumbar interbody fusion and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion at the lumbosacral junction

J Neurosurg Spine 39:785–792, 2023

Interbody fusion is the primary method for achieving arthrodesis across the lumbosacral junction in the setting of degenerative pathologies, such as spondylosis and spondylolisthesis. Two common techniques are anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and posterior transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). In recent years, interbody design and technology have advanced, and most earlier studies comparing ALIF and TLIF did not specifically assess the lumbosacral junction. This study compared changes in radiographic and clinical parameters between patients undergoing modern-era single-level ALIF and minimally invasive surgery (MIS) TLIF at L5–S1.

METHODS Consecutive patients who underwent single-segment L5–S1 ALIF or MIS TLIF performed by the senior authors over a 6-year interval (January 1, 2016–November 30, 2021) were retrospectively reviewed. Upright radiographs were used to determine pre- and postoperative lumbar lordosis, segmental lordosis, disc angle, and neuroforaminal height. Improvements in patient-reported outcome scores (Oswestry Disability Index and SF-36) were also compared.

RESULTS Overall, 108 patients (58 [54%] men, 50 [46%] women; mean [SD] age 57.6 [13.5] years) were included in the study. ALIF was performed in 49 patients, and TLIF was performed in 59 patients. The most common treatment indications were spondylolisthesis (50%, 54/108) and spondylosis (46%, 50/108). The cohorts did not differ in terms of intraoperative (p > 0.99) or postoperative (p = 0.73) complication rates. The mean (SD) hospital length of stay was significantly shorter for patients undergoing TLIF than ALIF (1.3 [0.6] days vs 2.0 [1.4] days, p < 0.001). Both techniques significantly improved L5–S1 segmental lordosis, disc angle, and neuroforaminal height (p ≤ 0.008). ALIF versus TLIF significantly increased mean [SD] segmental lordosis (12.5° [7.3°] vs 2.0° [5.7°], p < 0.001), disc angle (14.8° [5.5°] vs 3.0° [6.1°], p < 0.001), and neuroforaminal height (4.5 [4.6] mm vs 2.4 [3.0] mm, p = 0.008). Improvements in patient-reported outcome parameters and reoperation rates were similar between cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS When treating patients at a single segment across the lumbosacral junction, ALIF resulted in significantly greater increases in segmental lordosis, L5–S1 disc angle, and neuroforaminal height compared with MIS TLIF. Improvements in clinical parameters and reoperation rates were similar between the 2 techniques.

International Tuberculum Sellae Meningioma Study: Preoperative Grading Scale to Predict Outcomes and Propensity-Matched Outcomes by Endonasal Versus Transcranial Approach

Neurosurgery 93:1271–1284, 2023

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas are resected via an expanded endonasal (EEA) or transcranial approach (TCA). Which approach provides superior outcomes is debated. The Magill–McDermott (M-M) grading scale evaluating tumor size, optic canal invasion, and arterial involvement remains to be validated for outcome prediction. The objective of this study was to validate the M-M scale for predicting visual outcome, extent of resection (EOR), and recurrence, and to use propensity matching by M-M scale to determine whether visual outcome, EOR, or recurrence differ between EEA and TCA.

METHODS: Forty-site retrospective study of 947 patients undergoing tuberculum sellae meningiomas resection. Standard statistical methods and propensity matching were used.

RESULTS: The M-M scale predicted visual worsening (odds ratio [OR]/point: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.02-1.46, P = .0271) and gross total resection (GTR) (OR/point: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.62-0.81, P < .0001), but not recurrence (P = .4695). The scale was simplified and validated in an independent cohort for predicting visual worsening (OR/point: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.33-4.14, P = .0032) and GTR (OR/point: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57-0.93, P = .0127), but not recurrence (P = .2572). In propensity-matched samples, there was no difference in visual worsening (P = .8757) or recurrence (P = .5678) between TCA and EEA, but GTR was more likely with TCA (OR: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.02-2.18, P = .0409). Matched patients with preoperative visual deficits who had an EEA were more likely to have visual improvement than those undergoing TCA (72.9% vs 58.4%, P = .0010) with equal rates of visual worsening (EEA 8.0% vs TCA 8.6%, P = .8018).

CONCLUSION: The refined M-M scale predicts visual worsening and EOR preoperatively. Preoperative visual deficits are more likely to improve after EEA; however, individual tumor features must be considered during nuanced approach selection by experienced neurosurgeons.

Scalp Incisions With Stairstep Pericranial Edges to Minimize Sequalae from Poor Wound Healing in Supratentorial Brain Tumor Surgery

Neurosurgery Practice 4:, 2023

Wound healing problems are especially prevalent in craniotomies for intra-axial brain tumors as patients often require radiation, chemotherapy, and chronic steroids. Although newer techniques such as minimally invasive approaches and routine vancomycin powder use have helped overall complication rates, poor skin healing remains a frustratingly persistent cause of morbidity. Therefore, here we describe the novel technique of elevating and closing a stairstep pericranial edge offset from the skin incision to protect hardware and support wound healing, and we report early outcomes using this technique.

METHODS: Ninety-one consecutive patients underwent supratentorial, intra-axial brain tumor surgery with a single surgeon at a single institution using this technique. Patient demographics, pathology, adjuvant interventions, and other independent risk factors were analyzed.

RESULTS: No wound-related complications requiring readmission, intravenous antibiotics, or reoperation were encountered at a median 3-month follow-up. There were also no surgical site infections, dehiscences, or cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Fifty-one patients (57.3%) had postoperative radiotherapy, 85 patients (93.4%) had perioperative steroids, and 56 patients (61.5%) had postoperative chemotherapy. Six patients (6.5%) were placed on a short course of oral antibiotics perioperatively due to concerns with initial scalp healing (ie, excessive scabbing at follow-up), none of whom progressed to infection or required further intervention. These are the cases where this technique is felt to have been most helpful by potentially preventing worse sequelae. One patient developed a shunt infection during this interval that required removal unrelated to the craniotomy site.

CONCLUSION: Here we outline in detail the principles, design, and execution of incisions and closures with stairstep pericranial edges in supratentorial brain surgery. This technique was designed in consultation with plastic surgeons to provide an intact, vascularized layer of pericranium beneath the healing skin and over the bone graft/hardware to optimize wound healing conditions and prevent morbid sequelae in inevitable cases of poor initial healing. Early results are promising.

KEY WORDS: Cerebrospinal fluid leak, Craniotomy, Resection, Surgical site infection, Surgical technique, Woundhealing

Anatomic Variants in the Anterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery Encountered During Resection of Vestibular Schwannomas

Operative Neurosurgery 25:512–520, 2023

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are often phenotypically benign lesions that may be technically challenging to resect because of involvement of neurovascular structures. The anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) is commonly identified near VS, with variable position in relation to the tumor; however, little published literature describes anatomic and pathologic variants of AICA observed during VS resection.

METHODS: A prospectively maintained cohort of surgically managed VS with available operative reports and clinical/ radiographic follow-up was queried and reviewed for noted aberrations.

RESULTS: We identified 66 cases with noted AICA abnormalities among 880 reviewer cases, including 20 loops extending into the internal auditory canal (2.3%), 18 arteries embedded in dura (2.0%), 15 AICA branches directly within VS (1.7%), 8 main trunk arteries coursing between cranial nerves 7 and 8 (0.9%), 3 arteries embedded in temporal bone (0.2%), 1 aneurysm (0.1%), and 1 artery bifurcating cranial nerve 6 (0.1%). The median age of AICA-variant patients was 55 years (range 19-74), and 29 were female (45%). Compared with the other AICA variants, tumors embedded with AICA tended to be larger lesions on maximal axial diameter (2.9 vs 1.6 cm; P = .006), they more commonly underwent less than total resection (73% vs 28%; P = .0001), and they had higher rates postoperative House-Brackmann scores >2 (47% vs 20%; P = .005). Two patients had radiographic and symptomatic postoperative cerebral ischemia or hemorrhage—1 from a bone-encased AICA and 1 from a dural embedded variant.

CONCLUSION: Anatomic variants of AICA occur in approximately 7% of VS operations. Most aberrations do not affect surgical or clinical outcomes, and the rate of major vascular injury was low. However, certain types variably add operative time and in the case of AICA encasement in the tumor, likely indicate a more aggressive tumor phenotype with lower rates of gross total resection and high incidences of facial nerve weakness.

Unique molecular, clinical, and treatment aspects of gliomas in adolescents and young adults

J Neurosurg 139:1619–1627, 2023

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with glioma have historically had poorer outcomes than similar patients of younger or older age, a disparity thought to be attributable to the social and economic challenges faced by this group in the transition from childhood to adult life, delays in diagnosis, low participation of AYA patients in clinical trials, and the lack of standardized treatment approaches specific to this patient group.

Recent work from many groups has informed a revision of the World Health Organization classification schema for gliomas to identify biologically divergent pediatric and adult-type tumors, both types of which may occur in AYA patients, and revealed exciting opportunities for the use of targeted therapies for many of these patients. In this review, the authors focus on the glioma types of specific concern to practitioners caring for AYA patients and the factors that should be considered in the development of multidisciplinary teams to facilitate their care.

A taxonomy for deep cerebral cavernous malformations: subtypes of thalamic lesions

J Neurosurg 139:1681–1696, 2023

Anatomical taxonomy is a practical tool to successfully guide clinical decision-making for patients with brain arteriovenous malformations and brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). Deep cerebral CMs are complex, difficult to access, and highly variable in size, shape, and position. The authors propose a novel taxonomic system for deep CMs in the thalamus based on clinical presentation (syndromes) and anatomical location (identified on MRI).

METHODS The taxonomic system was developed and applied to an extensive 2-surgeon experience from 2001 through 2019. Deep CMs involving the thalamus were identified. These CMs were subtyped on the basis of the predominant surface presentation identified on preoperative MRI. Six subtypes among 75 thalamic CMs were defined: anterior (7/75, 9%), medial (22/75, 29%), lateral (10/75, 13%), choroidal (9/75, 12%), pulvinar (19/75, 25%), and geniculate (8/75, 11%). Neurological outcomes were assessed using modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. A postoperative score ≤ 2 was defined as a favorable outcome and > 2 as a poor outcome. Clinical and surgical characteristics and neurological outcomes were compared among subtypes.

RESULTS Seventy-five patients underwent resection of thalamic CMs and had clinical and radiological data available. Their mean age was 40.9 (SD 15.2) years. Each thalamic CM subtype was associated with a recognizable constellation of neurological symptoms. The common symptoms were severe or worsening headaches (30/75, 40%), hemiparesis (27/75, 36%), hemianesthesia (21/75, 28%), blurred vision (14/75, 19%), and hydrocephalus (9/75, 12%). The thalamic CM subtype determined the selection of surgical approach. A single approach was associated with each subtype for most patients. The main exception to this paradigm was that in the surgeons’ early experience, pulvinar CMs were resected through a superior parietal lobule–transatrial approach (4/19, 21%), which later evolved to the paramedian supracerebellar-infratentorial approach (12/19, 63%). Relative outcomes implied by mRS scores were unchanged or improved in most patients (61/66, 92%) postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS This study confirms the authors’ hypothesis that this taxonomy for thalamic CMs can meaningfully guide the selection of surgical approach and resection strategy. The proposed taxonomy can increase diagnostic acumen at the patient bedside, help identify optimal surgical approaches, enhance the clarity of clinical communications and publications, and improve patient outcomes.

Stand-alone ALIF versus TLIF in patients with low back pain

Brain and Spine 3 (2023) 102713

Instrumented lumbar fusion by either the anterior or transforaminal approach has different a vantages and disadvantages. Few studies have compared PatientReported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) between stand-alone anterior lumbar interbody fusion (SA-ALIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Research question: This is a register-based dual-center study on patients with severe disc degeneration (DD) and low back pain (LBP) undergoing single-level SA-ALIF or TLIF. Comparing PROMs, including disability, quality of life, back- and leg-pain and patient satisfaction two years after SA-ALIF or TLIF, respectively.

Material and methods: Data were collected preoperatively and at one and two-year follow-up. The primary outcome was Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). The secondary outcomes were patient satisfaction, walking ability, visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain, and quality of life (QoL) measured by the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) index score. To reduce baseline differences between groups, propensityscore matching was employed in a 1:1 fashion.

Results: 92 patients were matched, 46 S A-ALIF and 46 TLIF. They were comparable preoperatively, with no significant difference in demographic data or PROMs (P > 0.10). Both groups obtained statistically significant improvement in the ODI, QoL and VAS-score (P < 0.01), but no significant difference was observed (P = 0.14). No statistically significant differences in EQ-5D index scores (P = 0.25), VAS score for leg pain (P = 0.88) and back pain (P = 0.37) at two years follow-up.

Conclusion: Significant improvements in ODI, VAS-scores for back and leg pain, and EQ-5D index score were registered after two-year follow-up with both SA-ALIF and TLIF. No significant differences in improvement.

Neuroendoscopic transventricular transchoroidal approach for access to the posterior zone of the third ventricle or pineal region

Neurosurgical Review (2023) 46:323

The endoscopic transventricular transchoroidal approach facilitates entry into the posterior part of the third ventricle, allowing a visualization field from the foramen of Monro to the pineal region through this anatomical corridor. Combined surgery to treat the target lesion and possible endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) can be performed through a single burr hole.

A detailed description of this surgical technique is given, and a series of cases from our center is presented. This retrospective study included patients with lesions in the pineal region or posterior zone of the third ventricle who underwent surgery between 2004 and 2022 in our center for tumor biopsy or endoscopic cyst fenestration. In nine cases, the transchoroidal approach was performed. Demographic and clinical variables were collected: sex, age at diagnosis, clinical presentation, characteristics of the lesion, pathological diagnosis, characteristics of the procedure, complications, subsequent treatments, evolution, follow-up time, and degree of success of the endoscopic procedure. The mean and range of the quantitative variables and frequency of the qualitative variables were analyzed, together with the statistical significance (p < 0.05). Surgical planning was carried out by performing a preoperative MRI, calculating the ideal entry point and trajectory for each case. The preoperative planning of the surgical technique is described in detail.

Of our sample, 55.6% were women, with a mean age of 35 years (7–78). The most common clinical presentation was intracranial hypertension (55.6%), with or without a focus. Eight patients presented hydrocephalus at diagnosis. The most frequent procedure was endoscopic biopsy with ETV (66.7%). The pathological diagnosis varied widely. Procedure-related complications included one case of self-limited bleeding of the choroidal fissure at its opening and one intraventricular hemorrhage due to tumor bleeding in the postoperative period. Non-procedure-related complications comprised two ETV failures and one case of systemic infection, while late complications included one case of disease progression and one case of radionecrosis. Four patients died, one due to poor neurological evolution after post-surgical tumor bleeding and three due to causes unrelated to the procedure. The rest of the patients had a favorable evolution and were asymptomatic or stable.

The transchoroidal approach through a single burr hole is a feasible and safe option for access to the posterior part of the third ventricle. Proper planning of each case is necessary to avoid complications.

A Novel Method for Angioscopic Imaging and Visualizing the Skull Base Using Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Cameras

Neurosurgery 93:1432–1436, 2023

Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) electrode arrays are a novel technology for miniaturized endoscopes; however, its use for neurointervention is yet to be investigated. In this proof-of-concept study, we aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of CMOS endoscopes in a canine model by providing direct visualization of the endothelial surface, deploying stents and coils, and accessing the spinal subdural space and skull base.

METHODS: Using 3 canine models, standard guide catheters were introduced into the internal carotid and vertebral arteries through the transfemoral route using fluoroscopy. A 1.2-mm CMOS camera was delivered through the guide catheter to inspect the endothelium. Next, the camera was introduced alongside standard neuroendovascular devices including coils and stents to provide direct visualization of their deployment within the endothelium during fluoroscopy. One canine was used for skull base and extravascular visualization. A lumbar laminectomy was performed, and the camera was navigated within the spinal subdural space until the posterior circulation intracranial vasculature was visualized.

RESULTS: We successfully visualized the endothelial surface and performed several endovascular procedures such as deployment of coils and stents under direct endovascular, angioscopic vision. We also demonstrated a proof of concept for accessing the skull base and posterior cerebral vasculature using CMOS cameras through the spinal subdural space.

CONCLUSION: This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the feasibility of CMOS camera technology to directly visualize endothelium, perform common neuroendovascular procedures, and access the base of the skull in a canine model.