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

Spine 2024;49:530–535

Study Design. Observational cohort study.

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

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

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

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

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

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

J Neurosurg 140:1071–1079, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:182

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

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

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

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

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:189

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

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

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

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

Approaches to the Middle Cerebellar Peduncle for Resection of Pontine Cavernomas:

Operative Neurosurgery 26:468, 2024

INDICATIONS: CORRIDOR AND LIMITS OF EXPOSURE: The expanded retrosigmoid approach with splitting of the horizontal cerebellar fissure provides a more direct and shorter route for central and dorsolateral pontine lesions while minimizing retraction of tracts, nuclei, and cerebellum.1-4

ANATOMIC ESSENTIALS: NEED FOR PREOPERATIVE PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT: The middle cerebellar peduncle is partially covered by the petrosal surface of the cerebellum. The horizontal cerebellar fissure (petrosal fissure) divides the petrosal surface of the cerebellar hemisphere into superior and inferior parts. Splitting the petrosal fissure separates the superior and inferior petrosal surfaces and exposes the posterolateral middle cerebellar peduncle (posterior and lateral to the root entry zone of CN5).1-4

ESSENTIALS STEPS OF THE PROCEDURE: Expanded retrosigmoid craniotomy is performed, including unroofing of the sigmoid sinus; petrosal fissure is split to expose the posterolateral middle cerebellar peduncle; entry point for resection of the cavernoma is identified; nims stimulator stimulator is used to confirm the absence of tracts and nuclei; myelotomy is performed; and cavernoma and its draining vein (but not the developmental venous anomaly) are removed using a combination of traction and countertraction against gliotic plane.

PITFALLS/AVOIDANCE OF COMPLICATIONS: Wide splitting of the horizontal cerebellar fissure minimizes retraction or resection of the cerebellum and offers the best angle of attack. Knowledge of brainstem anatomy and use of intraoperative navigation are critical to avoid complications.

VARIANTS AND INDICATIONS FOR THEIR USE: Far lateral through the middle cerebellar peduncle is a variant that can be used to resect pontine cavernomas if a caudocranial trajectory is preferred.

Predictors of pelvic tilt normalization: a multicenter study on the impact of regional and lower-extremity compensation on pelvic alignment after complex adult spinal deformity surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 40:505–512, 2024

OBJECTIVE The objective was to determine the degree of regional decompensation to pelvic tilt (PT) normalization after complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS Operative ASD patients with 1 year of PT measurements were included. Patients with normalized PT at baseline were excluded. Predicted PT was compared to actual PT, tested for change from baseline, and then compared against age-adjusted, Scoliosis Research Society–Schwab, and global alignment and proportion (GAP) scores. Lowerextremity (LE) parameters included the cranial-hip-sacrum angle, cranial-knee-sacrum angle, and cranial-ankle-sacrum angle. LE compensation was set as the 1-year upper tertile compared with intraoperative baseline. Univariate analyses were used to compare normalized and nonnormalized data against alignment outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to develop a model consisting of significant predictors for normalization related to regional compensation.

RESULTS In total, 156 patients met the inclusion criteria (mean ± SD age 64.6 ± 9.1 years, BMI 27.9 ± 5.6 kg/m 2 , Charlson Comorbidity Index 1.9 ± 1.6). Patients with normalized PT were more likely to have overcorrected pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis and sagittal vertical axis at 6 weeks (p < 0.05). GAP score at 6 weeks was greater for patients with nonnormalized PT (0.6 vs 1.3, p = 0.08). At baseline, 58.5% of patients had compensation in the thoracic and cervical regions. Postoperatively, compensation was maintained by 42% with no change after matching in age-adjusted or GAP score. The patients with nonnormalized PT had increased rates of thoracic and cervical compensation (p < 0.05). Compensation in thoracic kyphosis differed between patients with normalized PT at 6 weeks and those with normalized PT at 1 year (69% vs 35%, p < 0.05). Those who compensated had increased rates of implant complications by 1 year (OR [95% CI] 2.08 [1.32–6.56], p < 0.05). Cervical compensation was maintained at 6 weeks and 1 year (56% vs 43%, p = 0.12), with no difference in implant complications (OR 1.31 [95% CI −2.34 to 1.03], p = 0.09). For the lower extremities at baseline, 61% were compensating. Matching age-adjusted alignment did not eliminate compensation at any joint (all p > 0.05). Patients with nonnormalized PT had higher rates of LE compensation across joints (all p < 0.01). Overall, patients with normalized PT at 1 year had the greatest odds of resolving LE compensation (OR 9.6, p < 0.001). Patients with normalized PT at 1 year had lower rates of implant failure (8.9% vs 19.5%, p < 0.05), rod breakage (1.3% vs 13.8%, p < 0.05), and pseudarthrosis (0% vs 4.6%, p < 0.05) compared with patients with nonnormalized PT. The complication rate was significantly lower for patients with normalized PT at 1 year (56.7% vs 66.1%, p = 0.02), despite comparable health-related quality of life scores.

CONCLUSIONS Patients with PT normalization had greater rates of resolution in thoracic and LE compensation, leading to lower rates of complications by 1 year. Thus, consideration of both the lower extremities and thoracic regions in surgical planning is vital to preventing adverse outcomes and maintaining pelvic alignment.

Focused Ultrasound Central Lateral Thalamotomy for the Treatment of Refractory Neuropathic Pain

Neurosurgery 94:690–699, 2024

Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) central lateral thalamotomy (CLT) has not yet been validated for treating refractory neuropathic pain (NP). Our aim was to assess the safety and potential efficacy of MRgFUS CLT for refractory NP.

METHODS: In this prospective, nonrandomized, single-arm, investigator-initiated phase I trial, patients with NP for more than 6 months related to phantom limb pain, spinal cord injury, or radiculopathy/radicular injury and who had undergone at least one previous failed intervention were eligible. The main outcomes were safety profile and pain as assessed using the brief pain inventory, the pain disability index, and the numeric rating scale. Medication use and the functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) were also assessed.

RESULTS: Ten patients were enrolled, with nine achieving successful ablation. There were no serious adverse events and 12 mild/moderate severity events. The mean age was 50.9 years (SD: 12.7), and the mean symptom duration was 12.3 years (SD: 9.7). Among eight patients with a 1-year follow-up, the brief pain inventory decreased from 7.6 (SD: 1.1) to 3.8 (SD: 2.8), with a mean percent decrease of 46.3 (SD: 40.6) (paired t-test, P = .017). The mean pain disability index decreased from 43.0 (SD: 7.5) to 25.8 (SD: 16.8), with a mean percent decrease of 39.3 (SD: 41.6) (P = .034). Numeric rating scale scores decreased from a mean of 7.2 (SD: 1.8) to 4.0 (SD: 2.8), with a mean percent decrease of 42.8 (SD: 37.8) (P = .024). Patients with predominantly intermittent pain or with allodynia responded better than patients with continuous pain or without allodynia, respectively. Some patients decreased medication use. Resting-state functional connectivity changes were noted, from disruption of the DMN at baseline to reactivation of connectivity between DMN nodes at 3 months.

CONCLUSION: MRgFUS CLT is feasible and safe for refractory NP and has potential utility in reducing symptoms as measured by validated pain scales.

Risk of Bone Wax Migration During Retrosigmoid Craniotomy for Microvascular Decompression

Operative Neurosurgery 26:406–412, 2024

Bone wax is a flexible hemostatic agent commonly used for surgery in the posterior cranial fossa to control bleeding from the mastoid emissary vein. A large amount of bone wax can migrate into the sigmoid sinus through the mastoid emissary canal (MEC). We aimed to identify clinical factors related to intraoperative bone wax migration through the MEC during microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery, which may result in sigmoid sinus thrombosis.

METHODS: We retrospectively collected the clinical data of patients with trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, or trigeminal neuralgia accompanied by painful tic convulsif who underwent MVD. Basic information and the residual width and length (from the bone surface to the sigmoid sinus) of the MEC on computed tomography images were collected. We compared the collected clinical data between 2 groups of cases with and without intraoperative bone wax migration in the sigmoid sinus.

RESULTS: Fifty-four cases with intraoperative bone wax migration and 187 patients without migration were enrolled. The t-test revealed significant differences in the width and length of the MEC (P = .013 and P = .003, respectively). These variables were identified as significant factors in predicting intraoperative bone wax migration using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

CONCLUSION: The large size of the MEC may be related to intraoperative bone wax migration into the sigmoid sinus in MVD. Neurosurgeons should be aware of these risks. Bone wax should be applied appropriately and hemostasis should be considered to control bleeding from the mastoid emissary vein in patients with a large MEC.

Pain alleviation and functional improvement: ultra-early patient-reported outcome measures after full endoscopic spine surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 40:465–474, 2024

Questions regarding anticipated pain improvement and functional recovery postsurgery are frequently posed in preoperative consultations. However, a lack of data characterizing outcomes for the first postoperative days only allows for anecdotal answers. Hence, the assessment of ultra-early patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) is essential for patient-provider communication and patient satisfaction. The aim of this study was to elucidate this research gap by assessing and characterizing PROMs for the first days after full endoscopic spine surgery (FESS).

METHODS This multicenter study included patients undergoing lumbar FESS from March 2021 to July 2023. After informed consent was provided, data were collected prospectively through a smartphone application. Patients underwent either discectomy or decompression. Analyzed parameters included demographics, surgical details, visual analog scale scores for both back and leg pain, and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score. Data were acquired daily for the 1st postoperative week, as well as after 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.

RESULTS A total of 182 patients were included, of whom 102 underwent FESS discectomy and 80 underwent FESS decompression. Significant differences between the discectomy and decompression groups were found for age (mean 50.45 ± 15.28 years and 63.85 ± 13.25 years, p < 0.001; respectively), sex (p = 0.007), and surgery duration (73.45 ± 45.23 minutes vs 98.05 ± 46.47 minutes, p < 0.001; respectively). Patients in both groups reported a significant amelioration of leg pain on the 1st postoperative day (discectomy group VAS score: 6.2 ± 2.6 vs 2.4 ± 2.9, p < 0.001; decompression group: 5.3 ± 2.8 vs 1.9 ± 2.2, p < 0.001) and of back pain within the 1st postoperative week (discectomy group VAS score: 5.5 ± 2.8 vs 2.8 ± 2.2, p < 0.001; decompression group: 5.2 ± 2.7 vs 3.1 ± 2.4, p < 0.001). ODI score improvement was most pronounced at the 3-month time point (discectomy group: 21.7 ± 9.1 vs 9.3 ± 9.1, p < 0.001; decompression group: 19.3 ± 7.8 vs 9.9 ± 8.3, p < 0.001). For both groups, pain improvement within the 1st week after surgery was highly predictive of later benefits.

CONCLUSIONS Ultra-early PROMs reveal an immediate pain improvement after FESS. While the benefits in pain reduction plateaued within the 1st postoperative week for both groups, functional improvements developed over a more extended period. These results illustrate a biphasic rehabilitation process wherein initial pain alleviation transitions into functional improvement over time.

Use of 5-ALA fluorescence–guided surgery versus white-light conventional microsurgery for the resection of newly diagnosed glioblastomas (RESECT study): a French multicenter randomized phase III study

J Neurosurg 140:987–1000, 2024

Only one phase III prospective randomized study, published in 2006, has assessed the performance of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence–guided surgery (FGS) for glioblastoma resection. The aim of the RESECT study was to compare the onco-functional results associated with 5-ALA fluorescence and with white-light conventional microsurgery in patients with glioblastoma managed according to the current standards of care.

METHODS This was a phase III prospective randomized single-blinded study, involving 21 French neurosurgical centers, comparing 5-ALA FGS with white-light conventional microsurgery in patients with glioblastoma managed according to the current standards of care, including neuronavigation use and postoperative radiochemotherapy. Randomization was performed in a 1:1 ratio stratified by institution. 5-ALA (20 mg/kg) or placebo (ascorbic acid) was administered orally 3–5 hours before the incision. The primary endpoint was the rate of gross-total resection (GTR) blindly assessed by an independent committee. Patients without a confirmed pathological diagnosis of glioblastoma or with unavailable postoperative MRI studies were excluded from the per-protocol analysis.

RESULTS Between March 2013 and August 2016, a total of 171 patients were assigned to the 5-ALA fluorescence group (n = 88) or to the placebo group (n = 83). Twenty-four cases were excluded because the WHO histological criteria of grade 4 glioma were not met. The proportion of GTR was significantly higher in the 5-ALA fluorescence group (53/67, 79.1%) than in the placebo group (33/69, 47.8%; p = 0.0002). After adjustment for age, preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and tumor location, GTR was still associated with 5-ALA fluorescence (OR 4.13 [95% CI 1.94–8.79]). The mean 7-day postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score (≥ 80% in 49/71, 69.0% [5-ALA group]; 50/71, 70.4% [placebo group], p = 0.86) and the proportion of patients with a worsened neurological status 3 months postoperatively (9/68, 13.2% [5-ALA group]; 9/70, 12.9% [placebo group], p = 0.95) were similar between groups. Adverse events related to 5-ALA intake were rare and consisted of photosensitization in 4/87 (4.6%) patients and hepatic cytolysis in 1/87 (1.1%) patients. The 6-month PFS (70.2% [95% CI 57.7%–79.6%] and 68.4% [95% CI 55.7%–78.1%]; p =0.39) and 24-month OS (30.1% [95% CI 18.9%–42.0%] and 37.7% [95% CI 25.8%–49.5%]; p = 0.89) did not significantly differ. In multivariate analysis, GTR was an independent predictor of PFS (hazard ratio 0.56 [95% CI 0.36–0.86], p =0.008) and OS (hazard ratio 0.65 [95% CI 0.42–1.01], p = 0.05). The use of 5-ALA FGS generates a significant extra cost of 2732.36€ (95% CI 1658.40€–3794.11€).

CONCLUSIONS The authors found that 5-ALA FGS is an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and minimally time-consuming technique that safely optimizes the extent of resection in patients harboring glioblastoma amenable to a large resection.

Asleep triple-modality motor mapping for perirolandic gliomas: an update on outcomes

J Neurosurg 140:1029–1037, 2024

Maximal safe resection of gliomas near motor pathways is facilitated by intraoperative mapping. Here, the authors review their results with triple-modality asleep motor mapping with motor evoked potentials and bipolar and monopolar stimulation for cortical and subcortical mapping during glioma surgery in an expanded cohort.

METHODS This was a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent resection of a perirolandic glioma near motor pathways. Clinical and neuromonitoring data were extracted from the electronic medical records for review. All patients with new or worsened postoperative motor deficits were followed for at least 6 months. Regression analyses were performed to assess factors associated with a persistent motor deficit.

RESULTS Between January 2018 and December 2021, 160 operations were performed in 151 patients with perirolandic glioma. Sixty-four patients (40%) had preoperative motor deficits, and the median extent of resection was 98%. Overall, patients in 38 cases (23.8%) had new or worse immediate postoperative deficits by discharge, and persistent deficits by 6 months were seen in 6 cases (3.8%), all in patients with high-grade gliomas. There were no new persistent deficits in low-grade glioma patients (0%). The risk factors for a persistent deficit included an insular tumor component (OR 8.6, p = 0.01), preoperative motor weakness (OR 8.1, p = 0.03), intraoperative motor evoked potential (MEP) changes (OR 36.5, p < 0.0001), and peri–resection cavity ischemia (OR 7.5, p = 0.04). Most persistent deficits were attributable to ischemic injury despite structural preservation of the descending motor tracts. For patients with persistent motor deficits, there were 3 cases (50%) in which a change in MEP was noted but subsequent subcortical monopolar stimulation still elicited a response in the corresponding muscle groups, suggesting axonal activation distal to a point of injury.

CONCLUSIONS Asleep triple motor mapping results in a low rate of permanent deficits, especially for low-grade gliomas. Peri–resection cavity ischemia continues to be a significant risk factor for permanent deficit despite maintaining appropriate distance for subcortical tracts based on monopolar feedback.

Evaluating the safe zone for lumbar pedicle screws: are midline crossing screws indicative of pedicle breach?

The Spine Journal 24 (2024) 617−624

Pedicle screw breach (PSB) is not uncommon following lumbar instrumentation, and in some instances, it may lead to vascular and/or neurologic complications. Previous literature suggested that screws crossing the vertebral midline on an anterior-posterior (AP) radiograph (or midsagittal on CT) are concerning for medial pedicle breach.

OBJECTIVE: Our primary aim was to map out the safe zones (SZ) of bilateral pedicle instrumentation and their relationship at each lumbar vertebral level. Our secondary aim was to evaluate the presence of SZs’ intersection at each lumbar level, denoting safe midline pedicle screw crossing not otherwise associated with medial pedicle breach.

STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Retrospective Anatomical Study.

PATIENT SAMPLE: Adult patients in the from “The Cancer Imaging Archive” (TCIA) database who have not had thoraco-lumbo-sacral fusion.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Physiologic measures obtained through 3D analysis of CT images and virtual pedicle screws.

METHOD: CT scans of 51 patients were randomly selected from “The Cancer Imaging Archive” (TCIA) online database for analysis. The Sectra 3D Spine software was used to create 3D renderings, place virtual screws, and make measurements. At each lumbar vertebra, the right and left pedicle corridors were mapped. At each pedicle, two screw positions were templated, the “medial limit screw” (MLS) and the “lateral limit screw” (LLS). Each limit screw was the most extreme position that the screw could exist in without causing a medial or lateral breach. The safe zone was defined as the zone between MLS and LLS. Measurements were taken for each level (between L1 and L5) and side (Left, Right).

RESULTS: A total of 253 lumbar vertebrae from 51 patients (mean age 53.1, 56.9% male) were included. Two vertebrae from two patients were removed for poor image quality. Out of the 506 screw positions analyzed in our study, 97.4% had overlapping SZ and crossed the midplane without medial pedicle breach. The significant factors (p<.01) for safe midplane-crossing screws included: the screw length (L1−L5); the laterality of the screw entry point (L1−L4); and the pedicle diameter (L2 and L5). CONCLUSIONS: A midline crossing pedicle screw on a lumbar AP radiograph is not necessarily indicative of a medial pedicle screw breach. Anatomical (ie, larger pedicle diameter) and technical (ie, longer screws, and lateral entry points) factors allow for safety zone intersections and indicate safe midline crossing by pedicle screws.

Stenting for Venous Sinus Stenosis in Patients With Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 94:648–656, 2024

Although venous sinus stenting (VSS) improves cerebrospinal fluid reabsorption and decreases intracranial pressure in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), the underlying pathophysiology of IIH is not well understood. We present a review and meta-analysis of the literature on VSS for IIH treatment, focusing on the rates of restenosis and symptom recurrence.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review of PubMed and Embase databases between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2021. Articles including ≥5 patients with IIH and venous sinus stenosis treated with VSS and posttreatment rates of restenosis (de novo stenosis at a different anatomic location along the dural sinuses or restenosis within or adjacent to the stent) were selected. Demographic, procedural, and outcomes data were collected and analyzed. Mean values for variables collected were pooled, and a mean value was calculated with a 95% CI.

RESULTS: Twenty-four articles were included, comprising 694 patients and 781 VSS cases. The mean age was 33.9 (CI, 31.5-36.2) years. The mean body mass index was 35.3 (CI, 32.9-37.7) kg/m2 . Before VSS, 98.8% (CI, 96.8%-100.0%) of patients experienced headaches, 87.7% (CI, 80.6%-95.5%) had visual acuity issues, 78.7% (CI, 69.9%-88.5%) had papilledema, 58.3% (CI, 46.0%-73.9%) had tinnitus, and 98.8% (96.4%-100.0%) had symptoms refractory to previous therapies. After VSS, 77.7% (CI, 71.1%-84.95%) experienced symptom improvement and 22.3% (CI, 15.1%-29.0%) had persistent or worsened symptoms. Pooled restenosis rate was 17.7% (CI, 14.9%-20.9%).

CONCLUSION: VSS is effective in alleviating IIH signs and symptoms, but the associated high rates of restenosis and persistent symptoms highlight the need for further investigation of this procedure and other adjunctive treatments for IIH.

Beyond fluorescence‑guided resection: 5‑ALA‑based glioblastoma therapies

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:163

Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor. Despite advances in multimodal concepts over the last decades, prognosis remains poor. Treatment of patients with glioblastoma remains a considerable challenge due to the infiltrative nature of the tumor, rapid growth rates, and tumor heterogeneity.

Standard therapy consists of maximally safe microsurgical resection followed by adjuvant radio- and chemotherapy with temozolomide. In recent years, local therapies have been extensively investigated in experimental as well as translational levels.

External stimuli-responsive therapies such as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT) and Radiodynamic Therapy (RDT) can induce cell death mechanisms via generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) after administration of five-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), which induces the formation of sensitizing porphyrins within tumor tissue.

Preliminary data from clinical trials are available. The aim of this review is to summarize the status of such therapeutic approaches as an adjunct to current standard therapy in glioblastoma.

Sodium fluorescein uptake by the tumor microenvironment in human gliomas and brain metastases

J Neurosurg 140:958–967, 2024

Intravenous sodium fluorescein (SF) is increasingly used during surgery of gliomas and brain metastases to improve tumor resection. Currently, SF is believed to permeate the brain regions where the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is damaged and to accumulate in the extracellular space but not in tumor or healthy cells, making it possible to demarcate tumor margins to guide resection. By evaluating the immune contexture of a number of freshly resected gliomas and brain metastases from patients undergoing SF-guided surgery, the authors recurrently observed fluorescence-positive cells. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine if SF accumulates inside the cells of the tumor microenvironment (TME), and if so, in which type of cells, and whether incorporation can also be observed in the leukocytes of peripheral blood.

METHODS Freshly resected tumor specimens were dissociated to single cells and analyzed by multiparametric flow cytometry. Peripheral blood leukocytes, macrophages, and a glioma cell line were treated with SF in vitro, and their cell uptake was assessed by multiparametric and imaging flow cytometry and by confocal microscopy.

RESULTS The ex vivo and in vitro analyses revealed that SF accumulates intracellularly in leukocytes as well as in tumor cells, but with a high variability of incorporation in the different cell subsets analyzed. Myeloid cells showed the highest level of fluorescence. In vitro uptake experiments showed that SF accumulation increases over time. The imaging analyses confirmed the internalization of the compound inside the cells.

CONCLUSIONS SF is not just a marker of BBB damage, but its intracellular detection suggests that it selectively accumulates intracellularly. Future efforts should target the mechanisms of its differential uptake by the different TME cell types in depth.

Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Asleep Single-Stage Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Operative Neurosurgery 26:363–371, 2024

Robotic assistance has garnered increased use in neurosurgery. Recently, this has expanded to include deep brain stimulation (DBS). Several studies have reported increased accuracy and improved efficiency with robotic assistance, but these are limited to individual robotic platforms with smaller sample sizes or are broader studies on robotics not specific to DBS. Our objectives are to report our technique for robot-assisted, minimally invasive, asleep, single-stage DBS surgery and to perform a meta-analysis comparing techniques from previous studies.

METHODS: We performed a single-center retrospective review of DBS procedures using a floor-mounted robot with a frameless transient fiducial array registration. We compiled accuracy data (radial entry error, radial target error, and 3dimensional target error) and efficiency data (operative time, setup time, and total procedure time). We then performed a meta-analysis of previous studies and compared these metrics.

RESULTS: We analyzed 315 electrodes implanted in 160 patients. The mean radial target error was 0.9 ± 0.5 mm, mean target 3-dimensional error was 1.3 ± 0.7 mm, and mean radial entry error was 1.1 ± 0.8 mm. The mean procedure time (including pulse generator placement) was 182.4 ± 47.8 minutes, and the mean setup time was 132.9 ± 32.0 minutes. The overall complication rate was 8.8% (2.5% hemorrhagic/ischemic, 2.5% infectious, and 0.6% revision). Our meta-analysis showed increased accuracy with floor-mounted over skull-mounted robotic platforms and with fiducial-based registrations over optical registrations.

CONCLUSION: Our technique for robot-assisted, minimally invasive, asleep, single-stage DBS surgery is safe, accurate, and efficient. Our data, combined with a meta-analysis of previous studies, demonstrate that robotic assistance can provide similar or increased accuracy and improved efficiency compared with traditional frame-based techniques. Our analysis also suggests that floor-mounted robots and fiducial-based registration methods may be more accurate.


Minimally invasive keyhole approach for supramaximal frontal glioma resections

J Neurosurg 140:949–957, 2024

The authors aimed to review the frontal lobe’s surgical anatomy, describe their keyhole frontal lobectomy technique, and analyze the surgical results.

METHODS Patients with newly diagnosed frontal gliomas treated using a keyhole approach with supramaximal resection (SMR) from 2016 to 2022 were retrospectively reviewed. Surgeries were performed on patients asleep and awake. A human donor head was dissected to demonstrate the surgical anatomy. Kaplan-Meier curves were used for survival analysis.

RESULTS Of the 790 craniotomies performed during the study period, those in 47 patients met our inclusion criteria. The minimally invasive approach involved four steps: 1) debulking the frontal pole; 2) subpial dissection identifying the sphenoid ridge, olfactory nerve, and optic nerve; 3) medial dissection to expose the falx cerebri and interhemispheric structures; and 4) posterior dissection guided by motor mapping, avoiding crossing the inferior plane defined by the corpus callosum. A fifth step could be added for nondominant lesions by resecting the inferior frontal gyrus. Perioperative complications were recorded in 5 cases (10.6%). The average hospital length of stay was 3.3 days. High-grade gliomas had a median progression-free survival of 14.8 months and overall survival of 23.9 months.

CONCLUSIONS Keyhole approaches enabled successful SMR of frontal gliomas without added risks. Robust anatomical knowledge and meticulous surgical technique are paramount for obtaining successful resections.

Nonenhancing motor eloquent gliomas: navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation oncobiological signature

J Neurosurg 140:909–919, 2024

Preoperative grading of nonenhancing motor eloquent gliomas is hampered by a lack of specific imaging surrogates. Tumor grading is crucial for the informed consent discussion before tumor resection. In this paper, the authors hypothesized that navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS)–derived metrics could provide significant information to distinguish between high- and low-grade motor eloquent gliomas that present as nonenhancing tumors and therefore contribute to improving patient counseling, timing of treatment, preoperative planning, and intraoperative strategies.

METHODS The authors conducted a retrospective single-center cohort study of patients admitted for tumor surgery between January 2018 and April 2022 with a nonenhancing motor eloquent glioma and preoperative bilateral nTMS mapping. nTMS data including resting motor threshold (RMT), interhemispheric RMT ratio (iRMTr), Cortical Excitability Score (CES), area and volume of cortical activation, and motor evoked potential (MEP) characteristics were obtained and integrated with demographic and clinical data.

RESULTS Thirty patients met the inclusion criteria, and 10 healthy participants were recruited for comparison. Seizures were the most common presenting symptom (25 patients) and WHO grade 3 the most common tumor grade (21 patients). The area and volume of functional cortical activation of both the abductor pollicis brevis and first dorsal interosseous muscles were decreased in healthy participants compared with patients with WHO grade 3 glioma (p < 0.05). An abnormal iRMTr for the lower limbs (16.7% [1/6] WHO grade 2, 76.2% [16/21] WHO grade 3, 100% [3/3] WHO grade 4; p = 0.015) and a higher CES (maximal abnormal CES: 0% [0/6] WHO grade 2, 38% [8/21] WHO grade 3, 66.7% [2/3] WHO grade 4; p = 0.010) were associated with the prediction of high-grade lesions. A total of 7280 MEPs were analyzed. A significant increase in the amplitude and a significant decrease in latency in the MEPs for the first dorsal interosseous and abductor digiti minimi muscles (p < 0.0001) were identified in healthy participants compared with WHO grade 3 glioma patients.

CONCLUSIONS Nonenhancing motor eloquent gliomas have a different impact on both anatomical and functional reorganization of motor areas according to their WHO grading.

Targeted Epidural Blood Patch Injection Through a Mini-Open Approach for Treatment of Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension

Operative Neurosurgery 26:398–405, 2024

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is recognized as a cause for refractory headache. Treatment can range from blind blood patch injection to microsurgical repair of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. The objective of the study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of the targeted blood patch injection (TBPI) technique through a mini-open approach in treatment of refractory intracranial hypotension.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed cases of 20 patients who were treated for spontaneous intracranial hypotension at our institute between 2011 and 2022. Head and spine MRI and whole-spine myelography were performed in an attempt to localize the CSF leak. All patients underwent implantation of two epidural drains above and beneath the index level through a minimally invasive interlaminar microsurgical approach under general anesthesia. Then, blood patch was injected under clinical surveillance. Treatment success and surgical complications were evaluated postoperatively and at follow-up.

RESULTS: Patients presented with orthostatic headache, vertigo, sensory deficits, and hypacusis (95%, 15%, 15%, and 10%, respectively). Subdural effusions were present in 65% of the cases. A CSF leak was identified in all patients. The exact site of the CSF leak could be identified in 80% of cases. TBPI was performed with an average blood amount of 37.5 mL. A significant improvement of symptoms was reported in 90% of the cases. A total of 15% of the patients showed recurrent symptoms and underwent a second TBPI, resulting in symptom relief. No therapy-related complications were reported.

CONCLUSION: TBPI is a safe and efficient treatment for spontaneous intracranial hypotension. It is performed in a minimally invasive procedure and can be repeated, if necessary, with a very low-risk profile.

Current concepts in adult cervical spine deformity surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 40:439–452, 2024

Cervical spine deformity surgery has significantly evolved over recent decades. There has been substantial work performed, which has furthered the true understanding of alignment and advancements in surgical technique and instrumentation.

Concomitantly, understanding of cervical spine pathology and the contributing drivers have also improved, which have influenced the development of classification systems for cervical spine deformity and the development of treatment-guiding algorithms.

This article aims to provide a synopsis of the current knowledge surrounding cervical spine deformity to date, with particular focus on preoperative expected alignment targets, perioperative optimization, and the whole operative strategy.