Neuronal Encoding of Speech Features in the Human Thalamus in Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor Patients

Neurosurgery 94:307–316, 2024

The human thalamus is known, from stimulation studies and functional imaging, to participate in high-level language tasks. The goal of this study is to find whether and how speech features, in particular, vowel phonemes, are encoded in the neuronal activity of the thalamus, and specifically of the left ventralis intermediate nucleus (Vim), during speech production, perception, and imagery.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we intraoperatively recorded single neuron activity in the left Vim of eight neurosurgical patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) (n = 4) or essential tremor (n = 4) undergoing implantation of deep brain stimulation (n = 3) or radiofrequency lesioning (n = 5) while patients articulated the five monophthongal vowel sounds.

RESULTS: In this article, we report that single neurons in the left Vim encode individual vowel phonemes mainly during speech production but also during perception and imagery. They mainly use one of two encoding schemes: broad or sharp tuning, with a similar percentage of units each. Sinusoidal tuning has been demonstrated in almost half of the broadly tuned units. Patients with PD had a lower percentage of speech-related units in each aspect of speech (production, perception, and imagery), a significantly lower percentage of broadly tuned units, and significantly lower median firing rates during speech production and perception, but significantly higher rates during imagery, than patients with essential tremor.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the left Vim uses mixed encoding schemes for speech features. Our findings explain, at the single neuron level, why deep brain stimulation and radiofrequency lesioning of the left Vim are likely to cause speech side effects. Moreover, they may indicate that speech-related units in the left Vim of patients with PD may be degraded even in the subclinical phase.

Optimizing Surgical Efficiency in Complex Spine Surgery Using Virtual Reality as a Communication Technology to Promote a Shared Mental Model

Operative Neurosurgery 26:213–221, 2024

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology that can be used to promote a shared mental model among a surgical team. We present a case series demonstrating the use of 3-dimensional (3D) VR models to visually communicate procedural steps to a surgical team to promote a common operating objective. We also review the literature on existing uses of VR for preoperative communication and planning in spine surgery.

METHODS: Narrations of 3 to 4-minute walkthroughs were created in a VR visualization platform, converted, and distributed to team members through text and email the night before surgical intervention. A VR huddle was held immediately before the intervention to refine surgical goals. After the intervention, the participating team members’ perceptions on the value of the tool were assessed using a survey that used a 5-point Likert scale. MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Dimensions AI databases were queried from July 2010 to October 2022 to examine existing literature on preoperative VR use to plan spine surgery.

RESULTS: Three illustrative cases are presented with accompanying video. Postoperative survey results demonstrate a positive experience among surgical team members after reviewing preoperative plans created with patient-specific 3D VR models. Respondents felt that preoperative VR video review was “moderately useful” or more useful in improving their understanding of the operational sequence (71%, 5/7), in enhancing their ability to understand their role (86%, 6/7), and in improving the safety or efficiency of the case (86%, 6/7).

CONCLUSION: We present a proof of concept of a novel preoperative communication tool used to create a shared mental model of a common operating objective for surgical team members using narrated 3D VR models. Initial survey results demonstrate positive feedback among respondents. There is a paucity of literature investigating VR technology as a means for preoperative surgical communication in spine surgery.

ETHICS: Institutional review board approval (IRB-300009785) was obtained before this study.

Dorsum Sellae as Key Landmark in ETV With Disminished Prepontine Cistern

Operative Neurosurgery 26:188–195, 2024

One of the key aspects in the surgical technique of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the perforation of the floor of the third ventricle because of the high risk of injuring vital structures located in that region. According to the standard technique, this perforation should be performed in the midline halfway between mammillary bodies and the infundibular recess to avoid damage to the structures. This can be performed without excessive complications when the diameter of the prepontine cistern is wide. However, in situations where the diameter is reduced (defined in the literature as having a prepontine interval [PPI] ≤1 mm), the probability of complications increases exponentially. In this article, we propose using dorsum sellae as a key point to safely perform ETV in patients with a decreased PPI, guiding the trajectory and its marking using neuronavigation.

METHODS: A review was conducted on the latest 100 ETV procedures performed by our team in the past 5 years. The measurement of the PPI was conducted using archived preoperative MRI imaging studies, specifically between the dorsum sellae and the basilar artery. In cases where the PPI was ≤1 mm and, therefore, the use of the dorsum sellae was applied as a reference point, the technical results and procedural functions were documented.

RESULTS: In the cohort, 7 patients with a PPI ≤1 mm were identified. In all 7 cases, fenestration of the tuber cinereum was successfully performed without causing vascular damage or associated complications. ETV was successful in 6 patients, with only one experiencing ETV failure necessitating the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

CONCLUSION: The utilization of the dorsum sellae as a reference point to perform ETV in reduced PPI constitutes a safe alternative to the classical technique.

Validation of age-adjusted pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis and lordosis distribution index for assessing adjacent-segment disease after short-level lumbar fusion surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 40:143–151, 2024

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of sagittal alignment according to age-adjusted pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) and lordosis distribution index (LDI) on the occurrence of adjacent-segment disease (ASD) after lumbar fusion surgery.

METHODS This study retrospectively reviewed 234 consecutive patients with lumbar degenerative diseases who underwent 1- or 2-level lumbar fusion surgery. Demographic and radiographic (preoperative and 3-month postoperative) data were collected and compared between ASD and non-ASD groups. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate adjusted associations between potential variables and ASD development. A subanalysis was further conducted to assess their relationships in the range of different PI values.

RESULTS With a mean follow-up duration of 70.6 months (range 60–121 months), 118 patients (50.4%) were diagnosed as having cranial radiological ASD. Univariate analyses showed that older age, 2-level fusion, worse preoperative pelvic tilt and LL, lower pre- and postoperative LDI, and more improvement in sagittal vertical axis were significantly correlated with the occurrence of ASD. No significant differences in the PI-LL and age-adjusted PI-LL (offset) were detected between ASD and non-ASD groups. Multivariate analysis identified postoperative LDI (OR 0.971, 95% CI 0.953–0.989, p = 0.002); 2-level fusion (OR 3.477, 95% CI 1.964–6.157, p < 0.001); and improvement of sagittal vertical axis (OR 0.992, 95% CI 0.985–0.998, p = 0.039) as the independent variables for predicting the occurrence of ASD. When stratified by PI, LDI was identified as an independent risk factor in the groups with low and average PI. Lower segmental lordosis (OR 0.841, 95% CI 0.742–0.954, p = 0.007) could significantly increase the incidence of ASD in the patients with high LDI.

CONCLUSIONS Age-adjusted PI-LL may have limited ability to predict the development of ASD. LDI could exert an important effect on diagnosing the occurrence of ASD in the cases with low and average PI, but segmental lordosis was a more significant risk factor than LDI in individuals with high PI.

Surgical Outcome of Patients With Supratentorial Meningiomas Aged 80 Years or Older

Neurosurgery 94:399–412, 2024

Demographic changes will lead to an increase in old patients, a population with significant risk of postoperative morbidity and mortality, requiring neurosurgery for meningiomas. This multicenter study aims to report neurofunctional status after resection of patients with supratentorial meningioma aged 80 years or older, to identify factors associated with outcome, and to validate a previously proposed decision support tool.

METHODS: Neurofunctional status was assessed by the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS). Patients were categorized in poor (KPS ≤40), intermediate (KPS 50-70), and good (KPS ≥80) preoperative subgroups. Volumetric analyses of tumor and peritumoral brain edema (PTBE) were performed; volumes were scored as small (<10 cm3 ), medium (10-50 cm3 ), and large (>50 cm3 ).

RESULTS: The study population consisted of 262 patients, and the median age at surgery was 83.0 years. The median preoperative KPS was 70; 117 (44.7%) patients were allotted to the good, 113 (43.1%) to the intermediate, and 32 (12.2%) to the poor subgroup. The median tumor and PTBE volumes were 30.2 cm 3 and 27.3 cm3 ; large PTBE volume correlated with poor preoperative KPS status (P = .008). The 90-day and 1-year mortality rates were 9.0% and 13.2%, respectively. Within the first postoperative year, 101 (38.5%) patients improved, 87 (33.2%) were unchanged, and 74 (28.2%) were functionally worse (including deaths). Each year increase of age associated with 44% (23%-70%) increased risk of 90-day and 1-year mortality. In total, 111 (42.4%) patients suffered from surgery-associated complications. Maximum tumor diameter ≥5 cm (odds ratio 1.87 [1.12-3.13]) and large tumor volume (odds ratio 2.35 [1.01-5.50]) associated with increased risk of complications. Among patients with poor preoperative status and large PTBE, most (58.3%) benefited from surgery.

CONCLUSION: Patients with poor preoperative neurofunctional status and large PTBE most often showed postoperative improvements. The decision support tool may be of help in identifying cases that most likely benefit from surgery.

Management outcomes of peripontine arteriovenous malformation patients presenting with trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 140:515–521, 2024

Trigeminal neuralgia as the presenting symptom of brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) has been rarely reported. Treatment of reported cases has been skewed toward surgery for these scarce, deeply located bAVMs. Here, the authors report their management and outcomes of bAVM patients presenting with ipsilateral trigeminal neuralgia (TN) at their institution.

METHODS This is a retrospective cohort study. The authors’ institutional bAVM database was queried for non–hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia bAVMs in pontine, cistern, brainstem, trigeminal nerve, or tentorial locations. Patients with complete data were included in a search for trigeminal neuralgia or “facial pain” as the presenting symptom with TN being on the same side as the bAVM. Demographics, TN and bAVM characteristics, management strategies, and outcomes of bAVM and TN management were analyzed.

RESULTS Fifty-seven peripontine bAVMs were identified; 8 (14.0%) of these bAVMs were discovered because of ipsilateral TN, including 4 patients (50%) with facial pain in the V2 distribution. Five patients (62.5%) were treated with carbamazepine as the initial medical therapy, 2 (25%) underwent multiple rhizotomies, and 1 (12.5%) underwent microvascular decompression. None of the patients with TN-associated bAVMs presented with hemorrhage, compared with 25 patients (51%) with bAVMs that were not associated with TN (p < 0.01). TN-associated bAVMs were overall smaller than non–TNassociated bAVMs, but the difference was not statistically significant (1.71 cm vs 2.22 cm, p = 0.117), and the SpetzlerMartin grades were similar. Six patients (75%) underwent radiosurgery to the bAVM (mean dose 1800 cGy, mean target volume 0.563 cm 3 ) and had complete resolution of TN symptoms (100%). The mean time from radiosurgery to TN resolution was 193 (range 21–360) days, and 83.3% of treated TN-associated bAVMs were obliterated via radiosurgery. Two patients (12.5%) were recommended for conservative management, with one undergoing subsequent rhizotomies and another patient died of hemorrhage during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS TN-associated bAVM is a rare condition with limited evidence for management guidance. Radiosurgery can be safe and effective in achieving durable TN control in patients with TN-associated bAVMs. Despite their deep location and unruptured presentation, obliteration can reach 83.3% with radiosurgery.

Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 with syrinx

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:70

In posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 (CM-1), duraplasty methods using various dural substitutes have been reported to improve surgical outcomes and minimize postoperative complications. To obtain sufficient posterior fossa decompression without cerebrospinal fluid-related complications, we developed a novel duraplasty technique using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix. The objective of this study was to describe the operative nuances of duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric CM-1.

Methods We reviewed the clinical and radiographic records of 11 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix followed by expansile cranioplasty for CM-1. The largest area of the syrinx and the size of the posterior fossa were calculated.

Results The maximum syrinx area was reduced by a mean of 68.5% ± 27.3% from preoperatively to postoperatively. Four patients (36.4%) had near-complete syrinx resolution (> 90%, grade III reduction), five (45.5%) had 50% to 90% reduction (grade II), and two (18.2%) had < 50% reduction (grade I). The posterior fossa area in the midsagittal section increased by 8.9% from preoperatively to postoperatively. There were no postoperative complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leakage, pseudomeningocele formation, or infection.

Conclusion Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression is a promising safe and effective surgical technique for pediatric CM-1 with syrinx.

A novel classification and management scheme for craniocervical junction disorders with ventral neural element compression

J Neurosurg 140:585–594, 2024

Craniocervical junction (CCJ) pathologies with ventral neural element compression are poorly understood, and appropriate management requires accurate understanding, description, and a more uniform nomenclature. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients to identify anatomical clusters and better classify CCJ disorders with ventral compression and guide treatment.

METHODS A retrospective review of adult and pediatric patients with ventral CCJ compression from 2008 to 2022 at a single center was performed. The incidence of anatomical abnormalities and compressive etiologies was assessed. Surgical approach, radiographic data, and outcomes were recorded. Association rules analysis (ARA) was used to assess variable clustering.

RESULTS Among 51 patients, the main causes of compression were either purely bony (retroflexed dens [n = 18]; basilar invagination [BI; n = 13]) or soft tissue (degenerative pannus [n = 16]; inflammatory pannus [n = 2]). The primary cluster in ARA was a retroflexed dens, platybasia, and Chiari malformation (CM), and the secondary cluster was BI, C1–2 subluxation, and reducibility. These, along with degenerative pannus, formed the three major classes. In assessing the optimal treatment strategy, reducibility was evaluated. Of the BI cases, 12 of the 13 patients had anterolisthesis of C1 that was potentially reducible, compared with 2 of the 18 patients with a retroflexed dens (both with concomitant BI), and no pannus cases. The mean C1–2 facet angle was significantly higher in BI at 32.4°, compared with −2.3° in retroflexed dens and 8.1° in degenerative pannus (p < 0.05). Endonasal decompression with posterior fixation was performed in 48 (94.0%) of the 51 patients, whereas posterior reduction/fixation alone was performed in 3 patients (6.0%). Of 16 reducible cases, open posterior reduction alone was successful in 3 (60.0%) of 5 cases, with all successes containing isolated BI. Reduction was not attempted if vertebral anatomy was unfavorable (n = 9) or the C1 lateral mass was absent (n = 5). The mean follow-up was 28 months. Symptoms improved in 88.9% of patients and were stable in the remaining 11.1%. Tracheostomy and percutaneous G-tube placement occurred in 7.8% and 11.8% of patients, respectively. Reoperation for an endonasal CSF leak repair or posterior cervical wound revision both occurred in 3.9% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS In classifying, one cluster caused decreased posterior fossa volume due to an anatomical triad of retroflexed dens, platybasia, and CM. The second cluster caused pannus formation due to degenerative hypertrophy. For both, endonasal decompression with posterior fixation was ideal. The third group contained C1 anterolisthesis characterized by a steep C1–2 facet angle causing reducible BI. Posterior reduction/fixation is the first-line treatment when anatomically feasible or endonasal decompression with in situ posterior fixation when anatomical constraints exist.

Intraoperative in vivo confocal laser endomicroscopy imaging at glioma margins: can we detect tumor infiltration?

J Neurosurg 140:357–366, 2024

Confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) is a US Food and Drug Administration–cleared intraoperative real-time fluorescence-based cellular resolution imaging technology that has been shown to image brain tumor histoarchitecture rapidly in vivo during neuro-oncological surgical procedures. An important goal for successful intraoperative implementation is in vivo use at the margins of infiltrating gliomas. However, CLE use at glioma margins has not been well studied.

METHODS Matching in vivo CLE images and tissue biopsies acquired at glioma margin regions of interest (ROIs) were collected from 2 institutions. All images were reviewed by 4 neuropathologists experienced in CLE. A scoring system based on the pathological features was implemented to score CLE and H&E images from each ROI on a scale from 0 to 5. Based on the H&E scores, all ROIs were divided into a low tumor probability (LTP) group (scores 0–2) and a high tumor probability (HTP) group (scores 3–5). The concordance between CLE and H&E scores regarding tumor probability was determined. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and diagnostic performance were calculated.

RESULTS Fifty-six glioma margin ROIs were included for analysis. Interrater reliability of the scoring system was excellent when used for H&E images (ICC [95% CI] 0.91 [0.86–0.94]) and moderate when used for CLE images (ICC [95% CI] 0.69 [0.40–0.83]). The ICCs (95% CIs) of the LTP group (0.68 [0.40–0.83]) and HTP group (0.68 [0.39–0.83]) did not differ significantly. The concordance between CLE and H&E scores was 61.6%. The sensitivity and specificity values of the scoring system were 79% and 37%. The positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value were 65% and 53%, respectively. Concordance, sensitivity, and PPV were greater in the HTP group than in the LTP group. Specificity was higher in the newly diagnosed group than in the recurrent group.

CONCLUSIONS CLE may detect tumor infiltration at glioma margins. However, it is not currently dependable, especially in scenarios where low probability of tumor infiltration is expected. The proposed scoring system has excellent intrinsic interrater reliability, but its interrater reliability is only moderate when used with CLE images. These results suggest that this technology requires further exploration as a method for consistent actionable intraoperative guidance with high dependability across the range of tumor margin scenarios. Specific-binding and/or tumor-specific fluorophores, a CLE image atlas, and a consensus guideline for image interpretation may help with the translational utility of CLE.

Management of Intracranial Aneurysms that Do Not Occlude on Initial Follow-up After Treatment With the Pipeline Embolization Device

Neurosurgery 94:271–277, 2024

The pipeline embolization device (PED) has become widely accepted as a safe and efficacious treatment for intracranial aneurysms with high rates of complete occlusion at initial follow-up. For aneurysms that are not completely occluded at initial follow-up, further treatment decision-making is varied. Furthermore, the risk of aneurysmal rupture in these incompletely occluded aneurysms after PED is not known. The objective of this study was to determine treatment decision-making that results in increased occlusion status at final follow-up and to evaluate risk of rupture in those aneurysms that do not go onto occlusion.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of prospective data for intracranial aneurysms treated with PED at two institutions from 2013 to 2019. Aneurysms with near-complete or incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up were included in the statistical analysis.

RESULTS: There were 606 total aneurysms treated at two academic institutions with PED with incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up in 134 aneurysms (22.1%). Of the 134 aneurysms that were nonoccluded at initial follow-up, 76 aneurysms (56.7%) went on to complete or near complete occlusion with final complete or near complete occlusion in 90.4% of all aneurysms treated. The time to final imaging follow-up was 28.2 months (13.8-44.3) Retreatment with a second flow diverter was used in 28 aneurysms (20.9%). No aneurysms that were incompletely occluded at initial follow-up had delayed rupture. Furthermore, older patient age was statistically significant for incomplete occlusion at initial follow-up (P = .05).

CONCLUSION: Intracranial aneurysms treated with the PED that do not occlude at initial follow-up may go on to complete occlusion with continuous observation, alteration in antiplatelet regimens, or repeat treatment. Delayed aneurysmal rupture was not seen in patients with incomplete occlusion.

Navigated bedside implantation of external ventricular drains with mobile health guidance

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:76

External ventricular drain (EVD) implantation is one of the fundamental procedures of emergency neurosurgery usually performed freehand at bedside or in the operating room using anatomical landmarks. However, this technique is frequently associated with malpositioning leading to complications or dysfunction. Here, we describe a novel navigated bedside EVD insertion technique, which is evaluated in a clinical case series with the aim of safety, accuracy, and efficiency in neurosurgical emergency settings.

Methods From 2021 to 2022, a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument (Thomale Guide, Christoph Miethke, Potsdam, Germany) was used alongside a battery-powered single-use drill (Phasor Health, Houston, USA) for bedside EVD placement in representative neurosurgical pathologies in emergency situations requiring ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) relief and intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring.

Results In all 12 patients (8 female and 4 male), navigated bedside EVDs were placed around the foramen of Monro at the first ventriculostomy attempt. The most frequent indication was aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mean operating time was 25.8 ± 15.0 min. None of the EVDs had to be revised due to malpositioning or dysfunction. Two EVDs were converted into a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Drainage volume was 41.3 ± 37.1 ml per day in mean. Mean length of stay of an EVD was 6.25 ± 2.8 days. Complications included one postoperative subdural hematoma and cerebrospinal fluid infection, respectively.

Conclusion Combining a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument with a battery-powered drill and an appropriate ventricular catheter may enable and enhance safety, accuracy, and efficiency in bedside EVD implantation in various pathologies of emergency neurosurgery without adding relevant efforts.

The Endoscopic Lateral Transorbital Approach for the Removal of Select Sphenoid Wing and Middle Fossa Meningiomas. Surgical Technique and Short-Term Outcomes

Operative Neurosurgery 26:165–172, 2024

The endoscopic lateral transorbital approach (eLTOA) is a relatively new approach to the skull base that has only recently been applied in vivo in the management of complex skull base pathology. Most meningiomas removed with this approach have been in the spheno-orbital location. We present a series of select purely sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas removed through eLTOA. The objective here was to describe the selection criteria and results of eLTOA for a subset of sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study based on a prospectively maintained database of consecutive cases of eLTOA operated on at our institution by the lead author. The cohort’s clinical and radiographic characteristics and outcome are presented.

RESULTS: Five patients underwent eLTOA to remove 3 sphenoid wing and 2 middle fossa meningiomas. The mean tumor volume was 11.9 cm3 . Gross total resection was achieved in all cases. There were no intraoperative complications. Postoperatively, there was one case of subretinal hemorrhage, which was corrected by open vitrectomy repair, and one case of cerebrospinal fluid leak, which resolved with lumbar drainage. Three patients presented with visual impairment, 1 improved, 1 remained stable, and 1 worsened, but returned to stable after vitrectomy repair. All patients have been free of disease at a median follow-up of 8.9 months.

CONCLUSION: eLTOA provides a direct minimal access corridor to certain well-selected sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas. eLTOA minimizes brain retraction and provides a high rate of gross total resection. Meningiomas appropriately selected based on size, type, and location of dural attachment, and the eLTOA is a safe, rapid, and highly effective procedure with acceptable morbidity.

Confocal laser endomicroscopy in glial tumors—a histomorphological analysis

Neurosurgical Review (2024) 47:65

The extent of resection and neurological outcome are important prognostic markers for overall survival in glioma patients. Confocal laser endomicroscopy is a tool to examine tissue without the need for fixation or staining. This study aims to analyze gliomas in confocal laser endomicroscopy and identify reliable diagnostic criteria for glial matter and glial tumors.

Material and methods One-hundred-and-five glioma specimens were analyzed using a 670-nm confocal laser endomicroscope and then processed into hematoxylin-eosin-stained frozen sections. All confocal images and frozen sections were evaluated for the following criteria: presence of tumor, cellularity, nuclear pleomorphism, changes of the extracellular glial matrix, microvascular proliferation, necrosis, and mitotic activity. Recurring characteristics were identified. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were assessed for each feature.

Results All 125 specimens could be processed and successfully analyzed via confocal laser endomicroscopy. We found diagnostic criteria to identify white and grey matter and analyze cellularity, nuclear pleomorphism, changes in the glial matrix, vascularization, and necrosis in glial tumors. An accuracy of > 90.0 % was reached for grey matter, cellularity, and necrosis, > 80.0 % for white matter and nuclear pleomorphism, and > 70.0 % for microvascular proliferation and changes of the glial matrix. Mitotic activity could not be identified. Astroglial tumors showed significantly less nuclear pleomorphism in confocal laser endomicroscopy than oligodendroglial tumors (p < 0.001). Visualization of necrosis aids in the differentiation of low grade gliomas and high grade gliomas (p < 0.002).

Conclusion Autofluorescence-based confocal laser endomicroscopy proved not only useful in differentiation between tumor and brain tissue but also revealed useful clues to further characterize tissue without processing in a lab. Possible applications include the improvement of extent of resection and the safe harvest of representative tissue for histopathological and molecular genetic diagnostics.

Far lateral approach for dumbbell‑shaped C1 schwannomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:78

Dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas are rare lesions that involve both intra- and extradural compartments. Because of the intimate relationships these lesions develop with the third and fourth segments of the vertebral artery, surgical removal of these lesions remains a challenge.

Method We describe the key steps of the far lateral approach for dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas with a video illustration. The surgical anatomy is described along with the techniques for protecting the vertebral artery.

Conclusion Dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas can be safely removed by using the far lateral approach, surgical anatomy expertise, and intraoperative microvascular Doppler.

Preoperative Versus Postoperative Radiosurgery of Brain Metastases: A Meta-Analysis

World Neurosurg. (2024) 182:35-41

OBJECTIVE: While postoperative resection cavity radiosurgery (post-SRS) is an accepted treatment paradigm for brain metastasis (BM) patients who undergo surgical resection, there is emerging interest in preoperative radiosurgery (preSRS) followed by surgical resection as an alternative treatment paradigm. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of the available literature on this matter.

METHODS: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a search of all studies evaluating pre-SRS and postSRS was completed. Local recurrence (LR), overall survival (OS), radiation necrosis (RN), and leptomeningeal disease (LMD) were evaluated from the available data. Moderator analysis and pooled effect sizes were performed using a proportional meta-analysis with R using the metafor package. Statistics are presented as mean [95% confidence interval].

RESULTS: We identified 6 pre-SRS and 33 post-SRS studies with comparable tumor volume (4.5-17.6 cm3 ). There were significant differences in the pooled estimates of LR and LMD, favoring pre-SRS over post-SRS. Pooled aggregate for LR was 11.0% [4.9-13.7] and 17.5% [15.1-19.9] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.014). Similarly, pooled estimates of LMD favored pre-SRS, 4.4% [2.6-6.2], relative to post-SRS, 12.3% [8.9-15.7] (P [ 0.019). In contrast, no significant differences were found in terms of RN and OS. Pooled estimates for RN were 6.4% [3.1-9.6] and 8.9% [6.3-11.6] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.393), respectively. Pooled estimates for OS were 60.2% [55.8-64.6] and 60.5% [56.9-64.0] for pre- and post-SRS studies (P [ 0.974).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis supports further exploration of pre-SRS as a strategy for the treatment of BM.

Minimally Invasive Approaches for Lumbosacral Plexus Schwannomas

Operative Neurosurgery 26:149–155, 2024

Lumbosacral plexus schwannomas (LSPSs) are benign, slow-growing tumors that arise from the myelin sheath of the lumbar or sacral plexus nerves. Surgery is the treatment of choice for symptomatic LSPSs. Conventional retroperitoneal or transabdominal approaches provide wide exposure of the lesion but are often associated with complications in the abdominal wall, lumbar or sacral plexus, ureter, and intraperitoneal organs. Advances in technology and minimally invasive (MIS) techniques have provided alternative approaches with reliable efficacy compared with traditional open surgery. We describe 3 MIS approaches using tubular retractor systems according to the lesion level.

METHODS: This was a multicenter, retrospective observational cohort study to evaluate the use of MIS tubular approaches for surgical resection of LSPSs. We included 23 lumbar and upper sacral plexus schwannomas. Clinical presentation, spinal level, surgical duration, degree of resection, days of hospitalization, pathological anatomy of the tumor, approach-related surgical difficulties, and outcomes were collected.

RESULTS: The posterior oblique approach was used in 43.5% of the cases, the transpsoas approach in 39.1%, and the transiliac in 17.4%. The mean operative time was 3.3 hours, and the mean hospitalization was 2.5 days. All tumors were WHO grade 1 schwannoma. Postoperative MRI confirms gross total resection in 91.3% of the patients. No patient requires instrumentation. The pros and cons of each approach were summarized.

CONCLUSION: The MIS approaches adapted to the lumbar level may improve surgeons’ comfort allowing a safe resection of retroperitoneal LSPS.

Surgical Management of Craniospinal Axis Solitary Fibrous Tumors

Neurosurgery 94:358–368, 2024

Meningeal solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) comprise 0.4% of primary central nervous system neoplasms and carry metastatic potential. Disease course and optimal management are largely unknown, and there is currently no literature rigorously describing neurological outcomes in surgically managed SFTs. We present one of the largest craniospinal SFT series, analyze patient outcomes, and extensively review the associated literature.

METHODS: All surgically managed SFTs at our institution between January 2005 and March 2023 were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, tumor and radiographic features, treatment, and clinical outcomes were collected. Neurological function was quantified using Frankel grade and Neurologic Assessment in NeuroOncology scores. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis, log-rank test, and Kaplan–Meier survival analysis were performed.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients satisfied inclusion criteria. Tumor locations included 15 supratentorial, three infratentorial, and three spinal. All patients underwent surgical resection, and 16 (76.2%) underwent radiation. Six (28.6%) patients had tumor recurrence, and three (14.3%) developed metastasis. Younger age and higher postoperative Frankel grade were significantly associated with increased overall survival (OS) (P = .011, P = .002, respectively). All patients symptomatically improved or stabilized after surgery, and Neurologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology score (P = .001) and functional status significantly improved postoperatively (Karnofsky Performance Status: 65.2 ± 25.2 vs 91.4 ± 13.5, P = .001). Sex, adjuvant radiation, and extent of resection were not significantly associated with OS.

CONCLUSION: SFT of the central nervous system is a rare entity with a variable clinical course. Surgical resection was associated with improved postoperative functional and neurological status. Higher postoperative neurological function was significantly associated with OS. Further studies are warranted to validate a standardized treatment algorithm and investigate the efficacy of adjuvant radiation in SFT.

Clival-Meckel’s Cave Angle: A Predictor of Glycerol Displacement in Percutaneous Glycerol Rhizotomy for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Operative Neurosurgery 26:141–148, 2024

Percutaneous glycerol rhizotomy successfully treats trigeminal neuralgia although failure rates and durability of the procedure are variable. Some of this variability in clinical outcome might be due to egress of glycerol from Meckel’s cave (MC) because of surgical positioning and individual patient anatomy. In this article, we quantitatively analyzed the anatomic variances that affect glycerol fluid dynamics to better predict patients more amenable for percutaneous glycerol injections.

METHODS: Computed tomography imaging of 11 cadaveric heads was used to calculate bilateral Clival-Meckel’s cave (CMC) and sella-temporal (ST) angles. Twenty-two cadaveric percutaneous injections of dyed glycerol into the Meckel’s cave were performed using H¨artel’s approach, and the fluid movement was documented at prespecified intervals over 1 hour. The relationship between the angles and glycerol migration was studied.

RESULTS: Specimens with basal cistern involvement by 60 minutes had significantly greater CMC angles (median [IQR]: basal cistern involvement = 74.5°[59.5°-89.5°] vs no basal cistern involvement = 58.0°[49.0°-67.0°]), U = 6.0, P < .001. This model may predict which patients will experience glycerol migration away from the Gasserian ganglion (area under the curve: 0.950, SE: 0.046, CI: 0.859-1.041, P < .001). Increased ST angle was associated with lateral flow of glycerol (r s = 0.639, P = .001), and CMC angle was associated with total area of dispersion (r s = À0.474, P = .026).

CONCLUSION: Anatomic variation in skull base angles affects glycerol migration. Specifically, a more obtuse CMC angle was associated with a higher risk of posterior migration away from the Gasserian ganglion. This may be a reason for differing rates of surgical success. These results suggest that anterior head flexion for 60 minutes may prevent percutaneous glycerol rhizotomy failures and some patients with large CMC angles are more likely to benefit from postinjection head positioning. However, this clinical effect needs validation in vivo.

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation under neuromonitoring guidance and general anesthesia for treatment of refractory trigeminal neuralgia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:56

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) for refractory trigeminal neuralgia is usually performed in awake patients to localize the involved trigeminal branches. It is often a painful experience. Here, we present RFT under neuromonitoring guidance and general anesthesia.

Method Stimulation of trigeminal branches at the foramen ovale with the tip of the RFT cannula is performed under short general anesthesia. Antidromic sensory–evoked potentials (aSEP) are recorded from the 3 trigeminal branches. The cannula is repositioned until the desired branch can be stimulated and lesioned.

Conclusion aSEP enable accurate localization of involved trigeminal branches during RFT and allow performing the procedure under general anesthesia.

Automated Preoperative and Postoperative Volume Estimates Risk of Retreatment in Chronic Subdural Hematoma

Neurosurgery 94:317–324, 2024

Several neurosurgical pathologies, ranging from glioblastoma to hemorrhagic stroke, use volume thresholds to guide treatment decisions. For chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH), with a risk of retreatment of 10%–30%, the relationship between preoperative and postoperative cSDH volume and retreatment is not well understood. We investigated the potential link between preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes and retreatment.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients operated for unilateral cSDH from 4 level 1 trauma centers, February 2009–August 2021. We used a 3-dimensional deep learning, automated segmentation pipeline to calculate preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes. To identify volume thresholds, we constructed a receiver operating curve with preoperative and postoperative volumes to predict cSDH retreatment rates and selected the threshold with the highest Youden index. Then, we developed a light gradient boosting machine to predict the risk of cSDH recurrence.

RESULTS: We identified 538 patients with unilateral cSDH, of whom 62 (12%) underwent surgical retreatment within 6 months of the index surgery. cSDH retreatment was associated with higher preoperative (122 vs 103 mL; P < .001) and postoperative (62 vs 35 mL; P < .001) volumes. Patients with >140 mL preoperative volume had nearly triple the risk of cSDH recurrence compared with those below 140 mL, while a postoperative volume >46 mL led to an increased risk for retreatment (22% vs 6%; P < .001). On multivariate modeling, our model had an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.60-0.93) for predicting retreatment. The most important features were preoperative and postoperative volume, platelet count, and age.

CONCLUSION: Larger preoperative and postoperative cSDH volumes increase the risk of retreatment. Volume thresholds may allow identification of patients at high risk of cSDH retreatment who would benefit from adjunct treatments. Machine learning algorithm can quickly provide accurate estimates of preoperative and postoperative volumes.