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.

Preemptive strategies and lessons learned from complications encountered with microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

J Neurosurg 140:248–259, 2024

OBJECTIVE Microvascular decompression (MVD) is the only curative treatment modality for hemifacial spasm (HFS). Although generally considered to be safe, this surgical procedure is surrounded by many risks and possible complications. The authors present the spectrum of complications that they met in their case series, the possible causes, and the strategies recommended to minimize them.

METHODS The authors reviewed a prospectively maintained database for MVDs performed from 2005 until 2021 and extracted relevant data including patient demographics, offending vessel(s), operative technique, outcome, and different complications. Descriptive statistics with uni- and multivariable analyses for the factors that may influence the seventh, eighth, and lower cranial nerves were performed.

RESULTS Data from 420 patients were obtained. Three hundred seventeen of 344 patients (92.2%) with a minimum follow-up of 12 months had a favorable outcome. The mean follow-up (standard deviation) was 51.3 ± 38.7 months. Immediate complications reached 18.8% (79/420). Complications persisted in only 7.14% of patients (30/420) including persistent hearing deficits (5.95%) and residual facial palsy (0.95%). Temporary complications included CSF leakage (3.10%), lower cranial nerve deficits (3.57%), meningitis (0.71%), and brainstem ischemia (0.24%). One patient died because of herpes encephalitis. Statistical analyses showed that the immediate postoperative disappearance of spasms and male gender are correlated with postoperative facial palsy, whereas combined vessel compressions involving the vertebral artery (VA) and anterior inferior cerebellar artery can predict postoperative hearing deterioration. VA compressions could predict postoperative lower cranial nerve deficits.

CONCLUSIONS MVD is safe and effective for treating HFS with a low rate of permanent morbidity. Proper patient positioning, sharp arachnoid dissection, and endoscopic visualization under facial and auditory neurophysiological monitoring are the key points to minimize the rate of complications in MVD for HFS.

 

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.

Complications of the Prone Transpsoas Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Degenerative Lumbar Spine Disease: A Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 93:1106–1111, 2023

The prone transpsoas (PTP) approach for lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a novel technique for degenerative lumbar spine disease. However, there is a paucity of information in the literature on the complications of this procedure, with all published data consisting of small samples. We aimed to report the intraoperative and postoperative complications of PTP in the largest study to date.

METHODS: A retrospective electronic medical record review was conducted at 11 centers to identify consecutive patients who underwent LLIF through the PTP approach between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. The following data were collected: intraoperative characteristics (operative time, estimated blood loss [EBL], intraoperative complications [anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) rupture, cage subsidence, vascular and visceral injuries]), postoperative complications, and hospital stay.

RESULTS: A total of 365 patients were included in the study. Among these patients, 2.2% had ALL rupture, 0.3% had cage subsidence, 0.3% had a vascular injury, 0.3% had a ureteric injury, and no other visceral injuries were reported. Mean operative time was 226.2 ± 147.9 minutes. Mean EBL was 138.4 ± 215.6 mL. Mean hospital stay was 2.7 ± 2.2 days. Postoperative complications included new sensory symptoms—8.2%, new lower extremity weakness—5.8%, wound infection—1.4%, cage subsidence—0.8%, psoas hematoma—0.5%, small bowel obstruction and ischemia—0.3%, and 90-day readmission—1.9%.

CONCLUSION: In this multicenter case series, the PTP approach was well tolerated and associated with a satisfactory safety profile.

Complications associated with single-position prone lateral lumbar interbody fusion

J Neurosurg Spine 39:380–386, 2023

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a workhorse surgical approach for lumbar arthrodesis. There is growing interest in techniques for performing single-position surgery in which LLIF and pedicle screw fixation are performed with the patient in the prone position. Most studies of prone LLIF are of poor quality and without long-term followup; therefore, the complication profile related to this novel approach is not well known. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and pooled analysis to understand the safety profile of prone LLIF.

METHODS A systematic review of the literature and a pooled analysis were conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. All studies reporting prone LLIF were assessed for inclusion. Studies not reporting complication rates were excluded.

RESULTS Ten studies meeting the inclusion criteria were analyzed. Overall, 286 patients were treated with prone LLIF across these studies, and a mean (SD) of 1.3 (0.2) levels per patient were treated. The 18 intraoperative complications reported included cage subsidence (3.8% [3/78]), anterior longitudinal ligament rupture (2.3% [5/215]), cage repositioning (2.1% [2/95]), segmental artery injury (2.0% [5/244]), aborted prone interbody placement (0.8% [2/244]), and durotomy (0.6% [1/156]). No major vascular or peritoneal injuries were reported. Sixty-eight postoperative complications occurred, including hip flexor weakness (17.8% [21/118]), thigh and groin sensory symptoms (13.3% [31/233]), revision surgery (3.8% [3/78]), wound infection (1.9% [3/156]), psoas hematoma (1.3% [2/156]), and motor neural injury (1.2% [2/166]).

CONCLUSIONS Single-position LLIF in the prone position appears to be a safe surgical approach with a low complication profile. Longer-term follow-up and prospective studies are needed to better characterize the long-term complication rates related to this approach.

Operative treatment outcomes for adult cervical deformity: a prospective multicenter assessment with mean 3-year follow-up

J Neurosurg Spine 37:855–864, 2022

Adult cervical deformity (ACD) has high complication rates due to surgical complexity and patient frailty. Very few studies have focused on longer-term outcomes of operative ACD treatment. The objective of this study was to assess minimum 2-year outcomes and complications of ACD surgery.

METHODS A multicenter, prospective observational study was performed at 13 centers across the United States to evaluate surgical outcomes for ACD. Demographics, complications, radiographic parameters, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs; Neck Disability Index, modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association, EuroQol-5D [EQ-5D], and numeric rating scale [NRS] for neck and back pain) were evaluated, and analyses focused on patients with ≥ 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS Of 169 patients with ACD who were eligible for the study, 102 (60.4%) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean 3.4 years, range 2–8.1 years). The mean age at surgery was 62 years (SD 11 years). Surgical approaches included anterior-only (22.8%), posterior-only (39.6%), and combined (37.6%). PROMs significantly improved from baseline to last follow-up, including Neck Disability Index (from 47.3 to 33.0) and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (from 12.0 to 12.8; for patients with baseline score ≤ 14), neck pain NRS (from 6.8 to 3.8), back pain NRS (from 5.5 to 4.8), EQ-5D score (from 0.74 to 0.78), and EQ-5D visual analog scale score (from 59.5 to 66.6) (all p ≤ 0.04). More than half of the patients (n = 58, 56.9%) had at least one complication, with the most common complications including dysphagia, distal junctional kyphosis, instrumentation failure, and cardiopulmonary events. The patients who did not achieve 2-year follow-up (n = 67) were similar to study patients based on baseline demographics, comorbidities, and PROMs. Over the course of follow-up, 23 of the total 169 enrolled patients were reported to have died. Notably, these represent all-cause mortalities during the course of follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS This multicenter, prospective analysis demonstrates that operative treatment for ACD provides significant improvement of health-related quality of life at a mean 3.4-year follow-up, despite high complication rates and a high rate of all-cause mortality that is reflective of the overall frailty of this patient population. To the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the largest and most comprehensive prospective effort to date designed to assess the intermediate-term outcomes and complications of operative treatment for ACD.

Microsurgical sealing for symptomatic sacral Tarlov cysts: a series of 265 cases

J Neurosurg Spine 37:905–913, 2022

Tarlov cysts (TCs) are a common cystic entity in the sacral canal, with a reported prevalence between 1.5% and 13.2%; 10%–20% of patients are symptomatic and need appropriate clinical intervention. However, the choice of treatment remains controversial. The goal of this study was to describe a new microsurgical sealing technique for symptomatic sacral TCs (SSTCs) as well as its long-term outcomes.

METHODS Microsurgical sealing was performed using a short incision, leakage coverage with a piece of autologous fat, and cyst sealing with fibrin glue. Postoperative data were collected at three stages: discharge, 1-year follow-up, and a follow-up of 3 years or more. According to the improvement in neurological deficits and degree of pain relief, outcomes were divided into four levels: excellent, good, unchanged, and deteriorated.

RESULTS A total of 265 patients with SSTCs were treated with microsurgical sealing from January 2003 to December 2020. The mean follow-up was 44.69 months. The percentages of patients who benefited from the operation (excellent and good) at the three stages were 87.55%, 84.89%, and 80.73%, respectively, while those who received no benefit (unchanged and deteriorated) were 12.45%, 15.11%, and 19.27%, respectively. Of the patients with postoperative MRI, the cysts were reduced in size or disappeared in 209 patients (94.14%). CSF leakage from the wound was observed in 15 patients, and 4 patients experienced an infection at the incision. There were no cases of new-onset nerve injury or aseptic meningitis after the operation.

CONCLUSIONS SSTC patients undergoing microsurgical sealing had persistently high rates of symptom relief and few postoperative complications. Microsurgical sealing is an effective, simple, and low-risk method for treating SSTCs.

Perioperative outcomes and survival after surgery for intramedullary spinal cord tumors: a single-institution series of 302 patients

J Neurosurg Spine 37:252–262, 2022

Intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) are rare neoplasms whose treatment is often technically challenging. Given the low volume seen at most centers, perioperative outcomes have been reported infrequently. Here, the authors present the largest single-institution series of IMSCTs, focusing on the clinical presentation, histological makeup, perioperative outcomes, and long-term survival of surgically treated patients.

METHODS A cohort of patients operated on for primary IMSCTs at a comprehensive cancer center between June 2002 and May 2020 was retrospectively identified. Data on patient demographics, tumor histology, neuraxial location, baseline neurological status, functional deficits, and operative characteristics were collected. Perioperative outcomes of interest included length of stay, postoperative complications, readmission, reoperation, and discharge disposition. Data were compared across tumor histologies using the Kruskal-Wallis H test, chi-square test, and Fisher exact test. Pairwise comparisons were conducted using Tukey’s honest significant difference test, chi-square test, and Fisher exact test. Long-term survival was assessed across tumor categories and histological subtype using the log-rank test.

RESULTS Three hundred two patients were included in the study (mean age 34.9 ± 19 years, 77% white, 57% male). The most common tumors were ependymomas (47%), astrocytomas (31%), and hemangioblastomas (11%). Ependymomas and hemangioblastomas disproportionately localized to the cervical cord (54% and 59%, respectively), whereas astrocytomas were distributed almost equally between the cervical cord (36%) and thoracic cord (38%). Clinical presentation, extent of functional dependence, and postoperative 30-day outcomes were largely independent of underlying tumor pathology, although tumors of the thoracic cord had worse American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grades than cervical tumors. Rates of gross-total resection were lower for astrocytomas than for ependymomas (54% vs 84%, p < 0.01) and hemangioblastomas (54% vs 100%, p < 0.01). Additionally, 30-day readmission rates were significantly higher for astrocytomas than ependymomas (14% vs 6%, p = 0.02). Overall survival was significantly affected by the underlying pathology, with astrocytomas having poorer associated prognoses (40% at 15 years) than ependymomas (81%) and hemangioblastomas (66%; p < 0.01) and patients with high-grade ependymomas and astrocytomas having poorer longterm survival than those with low-grade lesions (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS The neuraxial location of IMSCTs, extent of resection, and postoperative survival differed significantly across tumor pathologies. However, perioperative outcomes did not vary significantly across tumor cohorts, suggesting that operative details, rather than pathology, may have a stronger influence on the short-term clinical course, whereas pathology appears to have a stronger impact on long-term survival.

Outcomes and complications of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion in the elderly: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Neurosurg Spine 36:741–752, 2022

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) may be used to treat degenerative spinal pathologies while reducing risks associated with open procedures. As an increasing number of lumbar fusions are performed in the aging United States population, MIS-TLIF has been widely adopted into clinical practice in recent years. However, its complication rate and functional outcomes in elderly patients remain poorly characterized. The objective of this study was to assess complication rates and functional outcomes in elderly patients (≥ 65 years old) undergoing MIS-TLIF.

METHODS The PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched for relevant records in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed original research; English language; full text available; use of MIS-TLIF; and an elderly cohort of at least 5 patients. Risk of bias was assessed using the ROBINS-I (Risk of Bias in Nonrandomized Studies—of Interventions) tool. Pooled complication rates were calculated for elderly patients, with subgroup analyses performed for single versus multiple-level fusions. Complication rates in elderly compared to nonelderly patients were also assessed. Postoperative changes in patient-reported outcomes, including Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) back pain (BP) and leg pain (LP) scores, were calculated.

RESULTS Twelve studies were included in the final analysis. Compared to nonelderly patients, MIS-TLIF in elderly patients resulted in significantly higher rates of major (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.07–4.34) and minor (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.22–3.95) complications. The pooled major complication rate in elderly patients was 0.05 (95% CI 0.03–0.08) and the pooled minor complication rate was 0.20 (95% CI 0.13–0.30). Single-level MIS-TLIF had lower major and minor complication rates than multilevel MIS-TLIF, although not reaching significance. At a minimum follow-up of 6 months, the postoperative change in ODI (−30.70, 95% CI −41.84 to −19.55), VAS-BP (−3.87, 95% CI −4.97 to −2.77), and VAS-LP (−5.11, 95% CI −6.69 to −3.53) in elderly patients all exceeded the respective minimum clinically important difference. The pooled rate of fusion was 0.86 (95% CI 0.80–0.90).

CONCLUSIONS MIS-TLIF in elderly patients results in a high rate of fusion and significant improvement of patientreported outcomes, but has significantly higher complication rates than in nonelderly patients. Limitations of this study include heterogeneity in the definition of elderly and limited reporting of risk factors among included studies. Further study of the impact of complications and the factors predisposing elderly patients to poor outcomes is needed.

Evaluation of early postoperative day 1 discharge after endoscopic endonasal pituitary adenoma resection

J Neurosurg 136:1337–1346, 2022

While multiple studies have evaluated the length of stay after endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETS) for pituitary adenoma, the potential for early discharge on postoperative day 1 (POD 1) remains unclear. The authors compared patients discharged on POD 1 with patients discharged on POD > 1 to better characterize factors that facilitate early discharge after ETS.

METHODS A retrospective chart review was performed for patients undergoing ETS for pituitary adenoma at a single tertiary care academic center from February 2005 to February 2020. Discharge on POD 1 was defined as a discharge within 24 hours of surgery.

RESULTS A total of 726 patients (mean age 55 years, 52% male) were identified, of whom 178 (24.5%) patients were discharged on POD 1. These patients were more likely to have pituitary incidentaloma (p = 0.001), require dural substitutes and DuraSeal (p = 0.0001), have fewer intraoperative CSF leaks (p = 0.02), and have lower postoperative complication rates (p = 0.006) compared with patients discharged on POD > 1. POD 1 patients also showed higher rates of macroadenomas (96.1% vs 91.4%, p = 0.03) and lower rates of functional tumors (p = 0.02). POD > 1 patients were more likely to have readmission within 30 days (p = 0.002), readmission after 30 days (p = 0.0001), nasal synechiae on follow-up (p = 0.003), diabetes insipidus (DI; 1.7% vs 9.8%, p = 0.0001), postoperative hypocortisolism (21.8% vs 12.1%, p = 0.01), and postoperative steroid usage (44.6% vs 59.7%, p = 0.003). The number of patients discharged on POD 1 significantly increased during each subsequent time epoch: 2005–2010, 2011–2015, and 2016–2020 (p = 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, DI (OR 7.02, 95% CI 2.01–24.57; p = 0.002) and intraoperative leak (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.25–3.28; p = 0.004) were associated with increased risk for POD > 1 discharge, while operation epoch (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.3–0.71; p = 0.0001) was associated with POD 1 discharge.

CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates that discharge on POD 1 after ETS for pituitary adenomas was safe and feasible and without increased risk of 30-day readmission. On multivariate analysis, surgical epoch was associated with decreased risk of prolonged length of stay, while factors associated with increased risk of prolonged length of stay included DI and intraoperative CSF leak. These findings may help in selecting patients who are deemed reasonable for safe, early discharge after pituitary adenoma resection.

Ninety-day complication, revision, and readmission rates for current-generation robot-assisted thoracolumbar spinal fusion surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 36:841–848, 2022

Robotics is a major area for research and development in spine surgery. The high accuracy of robot-assisted placement of thoracolumbar pedicle screws is documented in the literature. The authors present the largest case series to date evaluating 90-day complication, revision, and readmission rates for robot-assisted spine surgery using the current generation of robotic guidance systems.

METHODS An analysis of a retrospective, multicenter database of open and minimally invasive thoracolumbar instrumented fusion surgeries using the Mazor X or Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic guidance systems was performed. Patients 18 years of age or older and undergoing primary or revision surgery for degenerative spinal conditions were included. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate rates of malpositioned screws requiring revision, as well as overall complication, revision, and readmission rates within 90 days.

RESULTS In total, 799 surgical cases (Mazor X: 48.81%; Mazor X Stealth Edition: 51.19%) were evaluated, involving robot-assisted placement of 4838 pedicle screws. The overall intraoperative complication rate was 3.13%. No intraoperative implant-related complications were encountered. Postoperatively, 129 patients suffered a total of 146 complications by 90 days, representing an incidence of 16.1%. The rate of an unrecognized malpositioned screw resulting in a new postoperative radiculopathy requiring revision surgery was 0.63% (5 cases). Medical and pain-related complications unrelated to hardware placement accounted for the bulk of postoperative complications within 90 days. The overall surgical revision rate at 90 days was 6.63% with 7 implant-related revisions, representing an implant-related revision rate of 0.88%. The 90-day readmission rate was 7.13% with 2 implant-related readmissions, representing an implant-related readmission rate of 0.25% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS The results of this multicenter case series and literature review suggest current-generation robotic guidance systems are associated with low rates of intraoperative and postoperative implant-related complications, revisions, and readmissions at 90 days. Future outcomes-based studies are necessary to evaluate complication, revision, and readmission rates compared to conventional surgery.

 

Lumbar decompression surgery for cauda equina syndrome — comparison of complication rates between daytime and overnight operating

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1203–1208

Purpose To investigate the incidence of complications from lumbar decompression ± discectomy surgery for cauda equina syndrome (CES), assessing whether time of day is associated with a change in the incidence of complications.

Methods Electronic clinical and operative notes for all lumbar decompression operations undertaken at our institution for CES over a 2-year time period were retrospectively reviewed. “Overnight” surgery was defined as any surgery occurring between 18:00 and 08:00 on any day. Clinicopathological characteristics, surgical technique, and peri/post-operative complications were recorded. Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals.

Results A total of 81 lumbar decompression operations were performed in the 2-year period and analysed. A total of 29 (36%) operations occurred overnight. Complete CES (CESR) was seen in 13 cases (16%) in total, 7 of whom underwent surgery during the day. Exactly 27 complications occurred in 24 (30%) patients. The most frequently occurring complication was a dural tear (n = 21, 26%), followed by post-operative haematoma, infection, and residual disc. Complication rates in the CESR cohort (54%) were significantly greater than in the CES incomplete (CESI) cohort (25%) (p = 0.04). On multivariable analysis, overnight surgery was independently associated with a significantly increased complication rate (OR 2.83, CI 1.02–7.89).

Conclusions Lumbar decompressions performed overnight for CES were more than twice as likely to suffer a complication, in comparison to those performed within daytime hours. Our study suggests that out-of-hours operating, particularly at night, must be clinically justified and should not be influenced by day-time operating capacity.

Burr hole craniostomy versus minicraniotomy in chronic subdural hematoma: a comparative cohort study

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3217–3223

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is one of the most common neurosurgical diseases. In surgical management of CSDH, there is a lack of standardized guidelines concerning surgical techniques and a lack of consensus on which technique(s) are optimal. Neurosurgical centers have shown a wide variation in surgical techniques. The purpose of this study was to compare two different surgical techniques, one burr hole craniostomy with an active subgaleal drain (BHC) and minicraniotomy with a passive subdural drain (MC).

Methods We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study at two neurosurgical centers in Sweden which included patients with unilateral CSDHs that received surgical treatment with either BHC or MC. The primary outcomes in comparison of the techniques were 30-day mortality, recurrence rate, and complications according to the Landriel Ibañez grading system for complications.

Results A total of 1003 patients were included in this study. The BHC subgroup included 560 patients, and the MC subgroup included 443 patients. A 30-day mortality when comparing BHC (2.3%) and MC (2.7%) was similar (p = 0.701). Comparing recurrence rate for BHC (8.9%) and MC (10.8%) showed no significant difference (p = 0.336). We found that medical complications were significantly more common in the MC group (p = 0.001). Surgical complications (type IIb) was also associated with the MC group (n = 10, p = 0.003). Out of the 10 patients with type IIb complications in the MC group, 8 had postoperative acute subdural hematomas.

Conclusions BHC was comparable to MC concerning 30-day mortality rate and recurrence rates. We did, however, find that MC was significantly associated with medical complications and serious surgical postoperative complications.

Perioperative complications of deep brain stimulation among patients with advanced age

J Neurosurg 135:1421–1428, 2021

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an elective procedure that can dramatically enhance quality of life. Because DBS is not considered lifesaving, it is important that providers produce consistently good outcomes, and one factor they usually consider is patient age. While older age may be a relative contraindication for some elective surgeries, the progressive nature of movement disorders treated with DBS may suggest that older patients stand to benefit substantially from surgery. To better understand the risks of treating patients of advanced age with DBS, this study compares perioperative complication rates in patients ≥ 75 to those < 75 years old.

METHODS Patients undergoing DBS surgery for various indications by a single surgeon (May 2013–July 2019) were stratified into elderly (age ≥ 75 years) and younger (age < 75 years) cohorts. The risks of common perioperative complications and various outcome measures were compared between the two age groups using risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS A total of 861 patients were available for analysis: 179 (21%) were ≥ 75 years old and 682 (79%) were < 75 years old (p < 0.001). Patients ≥ 75 years old, compared with those < 75 years old, did not have significantly different RRs (95% CIs) of seizure (RR 0.4, 95% CI 0.1–3.3), cerebrovascular accident (RR 1.9, 95% CI 0.4–10.3), readmission within 90 days of discharge (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.8–1.8), explantation due to infection (RR 2.5, 95% CI 0.4–15.1), or surgical revision (for lead, RR 2.5, 95% CI 0.4–15.1; for internal pulse generator, RR 3.8, 95% CI 0.2–61.7). Although the risk of postoperative intracranial bleeding was higher in the elderly group (6.1%) than in the younger group (3.1%), this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.06). However, patients ≥ 75 years old did have significantly increased risk of altered mental status (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.6–4.0), experiencing more than a 1-night stay (RR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4–2.0), and urinary retention (RR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.2; p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS Although elderly patients had higher risks of certain outcome measures than younger patients, this study showed that elderly patients undergoing DBS for movement disorders did not have an increased risk of more serious complications, such as intracranial hemorrhage, infection, or readmission. Advanced age alone should not be considered a contraindication for DBS.

Is there a variance in complication types associated with ALIF approaches?

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2991–3004

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a well-established alternative to posterior-based interbody fusion techniques, with approach variations, such as retroperitoneal, transperitoneal, open, and laparoscopic well described. Variable rates of complications for each approach have been enumerated in the literature. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the comparative rates of complications across approach type.

Methods A systematic review of search databases PubMed, Google Scholar, and OVID Medline was made to identify studies related to complication-associated ALIF. PRISMA guidelines were utilised for this review. Meta-analysis was used to compare intraoperative and postoperative complications with ALIF for each approach.

Results A total of 4575 studies were identified, with 5728 patients across 31 studies included for review following application of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Meta-analysis demonstrated the transperitoneal approach resulted in higher rates of retrograde ejaculation (RE) (p < 0.001; CI = 0.05–0.21) and overall rates of complications (p = 0.05; CI = 0.00–0.23). Rates of RE were higher at the L5/S1 intervertebral level. Rates of vessel injury were not significantly higher in either approach method (p = 0.89; CI = − 0.04–0.07). Rates of visceral injury did not appear to be related to approach method. Laparoscopic approaches resulted in shorter inpatient stays (p = 0.01).

Conclusion Despite the transperitoneal approach being comparatively underpowered, its use appears to result in a significantly higher rate of intraoperative and postoperative complications, although confounders including use of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and spinal level should be considered. Laparoscopic approaches resulted in shorter hospital stays; however, its steep learning curve and longer operative time have deterred surgeons from its widespread adaptation.

Endoscopic endonasal versus transcranial surgery for primary resection of craniopharyngiomas based on a new QST classification system

J Neurosurg 135:1298–1309, 2021

An assessment of the transcranial approach (TCA) and the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for craniopharyngiomas (CPs) according to tumor types has not been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate both surgical approaches for different types of CPs.

METHODS A retrospective review of primary resected CPs was performed. A QST classification system based on tumor origin was used to classify tumors into 3 types as follows: infrasellar/subdiaphragmatic CPs (Q-CPs), subarachnoidal CPs (S-CPs), and pars tuberalis CPs (T-CPs). Within each tumor type, patients were further arranged into two groups: those treated via the TCA and those treated via the EEA. Patient and tumor characteristics, surgical outcomes, and postoperative complications were obtained. All variables were statistically analyzed between surgical groups for each tumor type.

RESULTS A total of 315 patients were included in this series, of whom 87 were identified with Q-CPs (49 treated via TCA and 38 via EEA); 56 with S-CPs (36 treated via TCA and 20 via EEA); and 172 with T-CPs (105 treated via TCA and 67 via EEA). Patient and tumor characteristics were equivalent between both surgical groups in each tumor type. The overall gross-total resection rate (90.5% TCA vs 91.2% EEA, p = 0.85) and recurrence rate (8.9% TCA vs 6.4% EEA, p = 0.35) were similar between surgical groups. The EEA group had a greater chance of visual improvement (61.6% vs 35.8%, p = 0.01) and a decreased risk of visual deterioration (1.6% vs 11.0%, p < 0.001). Of the patients with T-CPs, postoperative hypothalamic status was better in the TCA group than in the EEA group (p = 0.016). Postoperative CSF leaks and nasal complication rates occurred more frequently in the EEA group (12.0% vs 0.5%, and 9.6% vs 0.5%; both p < 0.001). For Q-CPs, EEA was associated with an increased gross-total resection rate (97.4% vs 85.7%, p = 0.017), decreased recurrence rate (2.6% vs 12.2%, p = 0.001), and lower new hypopituitarism rate (28.9% vs 57.1%, p = 0.008). The recurrence-free survival in patients with Q-CPs was also significantly different between surgical groups (log-rank test, p = 0.037). The EEA required longer surgical time for T-CPs (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS CPs could be effectively treated by radical surgery with favorable results. Both TCA and EEA have their advantages and limitations when used to manage different types of tumors. Individualized surgical strategies based on tumor growth patterns are mandatory to achieve optimal outcomes.

Perioperative and swallowing outcomes in patients undergoing 4- and 5-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

J Neurosurg Spine 34:849–856, 2021

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common and robust procedure performed on the cervical spine. Literature on ACDF for 4 or more segments is sparse. Increasing the number of operative levels increases surgical complexity, tissue retraction, and risks of complications, particularly dysphagia. The overall risks of these complications and rates of dysphagia are not well studied for surgery on 4 or more segments. In this study, the authors evaluated their institution’s perioperative experience with 4- and 5-level ACDFs.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent 4- or 5-level ACDF at their institution over a 6-year period (May 2013–May 2019). Patient demographics, perioperative complications, readmission rates, and swallowing outcomes were recorded. Outcomes were analyzed with a multivariate linear regression.

RESULTS A total of 174 patients were included (167 had 4-level and 7 had 5-level ACDFs). The average age was 60.6 years, and 54.0% of patients (n = 94) were men. A corpectomy was performed in 12.6% of patients (n = 22). After surgery, 56.9% of patients (n = 99) experienced dysphagia. The percentage of patients with dysphagia decreased to 22.8% (37/162) at 30 days, 12.9% (17/132) at 90 days, and 6.3% (5/79) and 2.8% (1/36) at 1 and 2 years, respectively. Dysphagia was more likely at 90 days postoperatively in patients with gastroesophageal reflux (OR 4.4 [95% CI 1.5–12.8], p = 0.008), and the mean (± SD) lordosis change was greater in patients with dysphagia than those without at 90 days (19.8° ± 13.3° vs 9.1° ± 10.2°, p = 0.003). Dysphagia occurrence did not differ with operative implants, including graft and interbody type. The mean length of time to solid food intake was 2.4 ± 2.1 days. Patients treated with dexamethasone were more likely to achieve solid food intake prior to discharge (OR 4.0 [95% CI 1.5–10.6], p = 0.004). Postsurgery, 5.2% of patients (n = 9) required a feeding tube due to severe approach-related dysphagia. Other perioperative complication rates were uniformly low. Overall, 8.6% of patients (n = 15) returned to the emergency department within 30 days and 2.9% (n = 5) required readmission, whereas 1.1% (n = 2) required unplanned return to surgery within 30 days.

CONCLUSIONS This is the largest series of patients undergoing 4- and 5-level ACDFs reported to date. This procedure was performed safely with minimal intraoperative complications. More than half of the patients experienced in-hospital dysphagia, which increased their overall length of stay, but dysphagia decreased over time.

Alignment, Classification, Clinical Evaluation, and Surgical Treatment for Adult Cervical Deformity

Neurosurgery 88:864–883, 2021

Adult cervical deformity management is complex and is a growing field with many recent advancements. The cervical spine functions to maintain the position of the head plays a pivotal role in influencing subjacent global spinal alignment and pelvic tilt as compensatory changes occur to maintain horizontal gaze.

There are various types of cervical deformity and a variety of surgical options available. The major advancements in the management of cervical deformity have only been around for a few years and continue to evolve. Therefore, the goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of cervical alignment parameters, deformity classification, clinical evaluation, and surgical treatment of adult cervical deformity.

The information presented here may be used as a guide for proper preoperative evaluation and surgical treatment in the adult cervical deformity patient.

Risk factors for developing subdural hematoma: a registry-based study in 1457 patients with shunted idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

J Neurosurg 134:668–677, 2021

Subdural hematomas and hygromas (SDHs) are common complications in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) patients with shunts. In this registry-based study, patients with shunted iNPH were screened nationwide to identify perioperative variables that may increase the risk of SDH.

METHODS The Swedish Hydrocephalus Quality Registry was reviewed for iNPH patients who had undergone shunt surgery in Sweden in 2004–2014. Potential risk factors for SDH were recorded preoperatively and 3 months after surgery. Drug prescriptions were identified from a national pharmacy database. Patients who developed SDHs were compared with those without SDHs.

RESULTS The study population consisted of 1457 patients, 152 (10.4%) of whom developed an SDH. Men developed an SDH more often than women (OR 2.084, 95% CI 1.421–3.058, p < 0.001). Patients on platelet aggregation inhibitors developed an SDH more often than those who were not (OR 1.733, 95% CI 1.236–2.431, p = 0.001). At surgery, shunt opening pressures had been set 5.9 mm H2O lower in the SDH group than in the no-SDH group (109.6 ± 24.1 vs 115.5 ± 25.4 mm H2O, respectively, p = 0.009). Antisiphoning devices (ASDs) were used in 892 patients but did not prevent SDH. Mean opening pressures at surgery and the follow-up were lower with shunts with an ASD, without causing more SDHs. No other differences were seen between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS iNPH patients in this study were diagnosed and operated on in routine practice; thus, the results represent everyday care. Male sex, antiplatelet medication, and a lower opening pressure at surgery were risk factors for SDH. Physical status and comorbidity were not. ASD did not prevent SDH, but a shunt with an ASD allowed a lower opening pressure without causing more SDHs.

The Effect of Older Age on the Perioperative Outcomes of Spinal Fusion Surgery in Patients With Lumbar Degenerative Disc DiseaseWith Spondylolisthesis

Neurosurgery, Volume 87, Issue 4, 1 October 2020, Pages 672–678

Degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) is often treated with lumbar spinal fusion (LSF). However, there is concern that the morbidity of LSF may be prohibitively high in older adults.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of advanced age on the safety of LSF for DS.

METHODS: Patients who underwent LSF for DS were retrospectively identified from National Surgical Quality Improvement Program datasets for 2011 to 2015 using Current Procedural Terminology codes. Data on demographic characteristics, comorbidities, surgical factors, and 30-d morbidity and mortality were collected. Propensity score matching (nearest neighbor) was performed with age (<70 vs ≥70 yr) as the dependent variable and sex, type of fusion procedure, number of levels fused, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, and chronic steroid use as covariates. Outcomes were compared between age <70 and ≥70 groups.

RESULTS: The study cohort consisted of 2238 patients (n=1119, age<70; n=1119, age≥70). The 2 age groups were balanced for key covariates including sex, race, diabetes, hypertension, CHF, smoking, chronic steroid use, type of fusion, and number of levels. Rates of all complications were similar between younger and older age groups, except urinary tract infection, which was more frequent among the ≥70 age group (OR 2.32, P = .009). Further, patients in the older age group were more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation (OR 2.94, P < .001) or skilled care (OR 3.66, P < .001) facility, rather than directly home (OR 0.25, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: LSF may be performed safely in older adults with DS. Our results suggest older age alone should not exclude a patient from undergoing lumbar fusion for DS.