Sacrifice or preserve the superior petrosal vein in microvascular decompression surgery

J Neurosurg 138:390–398, 2023

In microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery through the retrosigmoid approach, the surgeon may have to sacrifice the superior petrosal vein (SPV). However, this is a controversial maneuver. To date, high-level evidence comparing the operative outcomes of patients who underwent MVD with and without SPV sacrifice is lacking. Therefore, this study sought to bridge this gap.

METHODS The authors searched the Medline and PubMed databases with appropriate Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms and keywords. The primary outcome was vascular-related complications; secondary outcomes were new neurological deficit, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, and neuralgia relief. The pooled proportions of outcomes and OR (95% CI) for categorical data were calculated by using the logit transformation and Mantel-Haenszel methods, respectively.

RESULTS Six studies yielding 1143 patients were included, of which 618 patients had their SPV sacrificed. The pooled proportion (95% CI) values were 3.82 (0.87–15.17) for vascular-related complications, 3.64 (1.0–12.42) for new neurological deficits, 2.85 (1.21–6.58) for CSF leaks, and 88.90 (84.90–91.94) for neuralgia relief. The meta-analysis concluded that, whether the surgeon sacrificed or preserved the SPV, the odds were similar for vascular-related complications (2.5% vs 1.5%, OR [95% CI] 1.01 [0.33–3.09], p = 0.99), new neurological deficits (1.2% vs 2.8%, OR [95% CI] 0.55 [0.18–1.66], p = 0.29), CSF leak (3.1% vs 2.1%, OR [95% CI] 1.16 [0.46–2.94], p = 0.75), and neuralgia relief (86.6% vs 87%, OR [95% CI] 0.96 [0.62–1.49], p = 0.84).

CONCLUSIONS SPV sacrifice is as safe as SPV preservation. The authors recommend intentional SPV sacrifice when gentle retraction fails to enhance surgical field visualization and if the surgeon encounters SPV-related neurovascular conflict and/or anticipates impeding SPV-related bleeding.


Failure of Internal Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Overall Prevalence in Adults

World Neurosurg. (2023) 169:20-30

Reported rates of failures of internal cerebrospinal fluid shunt (ICSFS) vary greatly from less than 5% to more than 50% and no meta-analysis to assess the overall prevalence has been performed. We estimated the failure rate after ICSFS insertion and searched for associated factors.

METHODS: Six databases were searched from January 1990 to February 2022. Only original articles reporting the rate of adult shunt failure were included. Random-effects meta-analysis with a generalized linear mixed model method and logit transformation was used to compute the overall failure prevalence. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were implemented to search for associated factors.

RESULTS: Of 1763 identified articles, 46 were selected, comprising 70,859 ICSFS implantations and 13,603 shunt failures, suggesting an accumulated incidence of 19.2%. However, the calculated pooled prevalence value and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were 22.7% (95% CI, 19.8e5.8). The CI of the different estimates did not overlap, indicating a strong heterogeneity confirmed by a high I 2 of 97.5% (95% CI, 97.1e97.8; P < 0.001; s 2 [ 0.3). Ninety-five percent prediction interval of shunt failure prevalence ranged from 8.75% to 47.36%. A meta-regression of prevalence of publication found a barely significant decreasing failure rate of about 2% per year (e2.11; 95% CI, e4.02 to e0.2; P [ 0.031).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite being a simple neurosurgical procedure, ICSFS insertion has one of the highest risk of complications, with failure prevalence involving more than 1 patient of 5. Nonetheless, all efforts to lower this high level of shunt failure seem to be effective.

Audiovestibular symptoms and facial nerve function comparing microsurgery versus SRS for vestibular schwannomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3221–3233

Surgery and radiosurgery represent the most common treatment options forcvestibular schwannoma. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to compare the outcomes of surgery versus stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods The Cochrane library, PubMed, Embase, and were searched through 01/2021 to find all studies on surgical and stereotactic procedures performed to treat vestibular schwannoma. Using a random-effects model, pooled odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) comparing post- to pre-intervention were derived for pre-post studies, and pooled incidence of adverse events post-intervention were calculated for case series and stratified by intervention type.

Results Twenty-one studies (18 pre-post design; three case series) with 987 patients were included in the final analysis. Comparing post- to pre-intervention, both surgery (OR: 3.52, 95%CI 2.13, 5.81) and SRS (OR: 3.30, 95%CI 1.39, 7.80) resulted in greater odds of hearing loss, lower odds of dizziness (surgery OR: 0.10; 95%CI 0.02, 0.47 vs. SRS OR: 0.22; 95%CI 0.05, 0.99), and tinnitus (surgery OR: 0.23; 95%CI 0.00, 37.9; two studies vs. SRS OR: 0.11; 95%CI 0.01, 1.07; one study). Pooled incidence of facial symmetry loss was larger post-surgery (14.3%, 95%CI 6.8%, 22.7%) than post-SRS (7%, 95%CI 1%, 36%). Tumor control was larger in the surgery (94%, 95%CI 83%, 98%) than the SRS group (80%, 95%CI 31%, 97%) for small-to-medium size tumors.

Conclusion Both surgery and SRS resulted in similar odds of hearing loss and similar improvements in dizziness and tinnitus among patients with vestibular schwannoma; however, facial symmetry loss appeared higher post-surgery.

Comparison of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion versus artificial disc replacement for cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a meta-analysis

J Neurosurg Spine 37:569–578, 2022

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) has long been regarded as a gold standard in the treatment of cervical myelopathy. Subsequently, cervical artificial disc replacement (c-ADR) was developed and provides the advantage of motion preservation at the level of the intervertebral disc surgical site, which may also reduce stress at adjacent levels. The goal of this study was to compare clinical and functional outcomes in patients undergoing ACDF with those in patients undergoing c-ADR for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

METHODS A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed using the Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases from database inception to November 21, 2021. The authors compared Neck Disability Index (NDI), SF-36, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores; complication rates; and reoperation rates for these two surgical procedures in CSM patients. The Mantel-Haenszel method and varianceweighted means were used to analyze outcomes after identifying articles that met study inclusion criteria.

RESULTS More surgical time was consumed in the c-ADR surgery (p = 0.04). Shorter hospital stays were noted in patients who had undergone c-ADR (p = 0.04). Patients who had undergone c-ADR tended to have better NDI scores (p = 0.02) and SF-36 scores (p = 0.001). Comparable outcomes in terms of JOA scores (p = 0.24) and neurological success rate (p = 0.12) were noted after the surgery. There was no significant between-group difference in the overall complication rates (c-ADR: 18% vs ACDF: 25%, p = 0.17). However, patients in the ACDF group had a higher reoperation rate than patients in the c-ADR group (4.6% vs 1.5%, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS At the midterm follow-up after treatment of CSM, better functional outcomes as reflected by NDI and SF-36 scores were noted in the c-ADR group than those in the ACDF group. c-ADR had the advantage of retaining range of motion at the level of the intervertebral disc surgical site without causing more complications. A large sample size with long-term follow-up studies may be required to confirm these findings in the future.

Surgical versus Nonsurgical Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

World Neurosurg. (2022) 159:1-11

OBJECTIVE: To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of surgical and nonsurgical methods for the treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD).

METHODS: The PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for relevant controlled studies of surgical and nonsurgical approaches for the treatment of ASD; all studies reported from database creation to October 2021 were eligible for inclusion. Stata 11.0 software was used for the metaanalysis. Publication bias was assessed using a Begg test. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 test, and fixed-effects or random-effects models were used, as appropriate. Meta-regression was used to determine the cause of heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses were performed to assess the effects of age on the outcomes. –

RESULTS: Eleven articles comprising 1880 participants met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis showed that surgical treatment was associated with a better improvement in function than was nonsurgical treatment (Scoliosis Research Society 22 questionnaire score change value: weighted mean difference [ 0.696; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.686e0.705; P < 0.0001; Oswestry Dysfunction Index change value: WMD [ 11.222; 95% CI, 10.801e11.642; P < 0.0001). Surgical treatment was more effective in relieving pain and correcting the deformity (numeric rating scale pain score: WMD[3.341; 95% CI, 2.832e3.85; P < 0.0001; Cobb angle change value: WMD [ 15.036 ; 95% CI, 13.325e16.747; P < 0.0001). The complication rate in the surgical group was 17.6%e80.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgical treatment is better than nonsurgical methods for improving the function of patients with ASD and achieving good pain improvement and deformity correction. Elderly patients with ASD can also obtain good symptomatic improvement through surgery

Insular epilepsy surgery: lessons learned from institutional review and patient-level meta-analysis

J Neurosurg 136:523–535, 2022

Insular lobe epilepsy is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat. Due to anatomical intricacy and proximity to eloquent brain regions, resection of epileptic foci in that region can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to review available evidence on postoperative outcomes following insular epilepsy surgery.

METHODS A comprehensive literature search (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane) was conducted for studies investigating the postoperative outcomes for seizures originating in the insula. Seizure freedom at last follow-up (at least 12 months) comprised the primary endpoint. The authors also present their institutional experience with 8 patients (4 pediatric, 4 adult).

RESULTS A total of 19 studies with 204 cases (90 pediatric, 114 adult) were identified. The median age at surgery was 23 years, and 48% were males. The median epilepsy duration was 8 years, and 17% of patients had undergone prior epilepsy surgery. Epilepsy was lesional in 67%. The most common approach was transsylvian (60%). The most commonly resected area was the anterior insular region (n = 42, 21%), whereas radical insulectomy was performed in 13% of cases (n = 27). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (n = 68, 51%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (n = 16, 12%). In the literature, seizure freedom was noted in 60% of pediatric and 69% of adult patients at a median follow-up of 29 months (75% and 50%, respectively, in the current series). A neurological deficit occurred in 43% of cases (10% permanent), with extremity paresis comprising the most common deficit (n = 35, 21%), followed by facial paresis (n = 32, 19%). Language deficits were more common in left-sided approaches (24% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis for seizure freedom revealed a significantly higher proportion of patients with lesional epilepsy among those with at least 12 months of follow-up (77% vs 59%, p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS These findings may serve as a benchmark when tailoring decision-making for insular epilepsy, and may assist surgeons in their preoperative discussions with patients. Although seizure freedom rates are quite high with insular epilepsy treatment, the associated morbidity needs to be weighed against the potential for seizure freedom.


External Lumbar Drainage following Traumatic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 89:395–405, 2021

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in elevations in intracranial pressure (ICP) that are refractory to standard therapies. Several studies have investigated the utility of external lumbar drainage (ELD) in this setting.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of ELD or lumbar puncture with regard to immediate effect on ICP, durability of the effect on ICP, complications, and neurological outcomes in adults with refractory traumatic intracranial hypertension.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted beginning with a comprehensive search of PubMed/EMBASE. Two investigators reviewed studies for eligibility and extracted data. The strength of evidence was evaluated using GRADE methodology. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to calculate pooled estimates.

RESULTS: Nine articles detailing 6 studies (N = 110) were included. There was moderate evidence that ELD has a significant immediate effect on ICP; the pooled effect size was –19.5 mmHg (95% CI –21.0 to –17.9 mmHg). There was low evidence to indicate a durable effect of ELD on ICP up to at least 24 h following ELD. There was low evidence to indicate that ELD was safe and associated with a low rate of clinical cerebral herniation or meningitis. There was very low evidence pertaining to neurological outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Given preliminary data indicating potential safety and feasibility in highly selected cases, the use of ELD in adults with severe TBI and refractory intracranial hypertension in the presence of open basal cisterns and absence of large focal hematoma merits further high-quality investigation; the ideal conditions for potential application remain to be determined.

Occlusion Rate and Visual ComplicationsWith Flow-Diverter Stent Placed Across the Ophthalmic Artery’s Origin for Carotid-Ophthalmic Aneurysms: A Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 86:455–463, 2020

Flow-diverter stents (FDSs) have recently gained acceptance for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms, especially for carotid-ophthalmic aneurysms (COAs). However, complications have been reported after coverage of side branches, especially the ophthalmic artery (OA).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate, through a meta-analysis, the occlusion rate, and the ophthalmic complications after treatment of COA by FDS.

METHODS:We reviewed on MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase via Ovid, and Cochrane central database via CENTRAL.We included all case serieswith at least 15 patients and clinical trials about flow diversion of aneurysms close to the OA’s origin. Among these studies, we only included articles with aneurysm occlusion rate and rate of new ophthalmic symptoms.

RESULTS: We included 16 studies with 913 COA treated by FDSs and covering the OA with a mean follow-up of 16.4 mo. The random-effect modeling analysis concerning the overall rate of new ophthalmic complications, after FDS deployment covering the OA, was 3.0% (CI95% 1.0-6.0). There was medium-high heterogeneity in the study reports P < .01, I2 = 70.2% [50.4%; 82.1%]. We were not able to statistically explain this heterogeneity with the performed analysis, which could be related to the design of the included studies. We found an overall aneurysm occlusion rate of 85.0% (95% CI 80.0-89.0).

CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis found a high aneurysm occlusion rate (85%) and low rate of iatrogenic visual complications, with only 3.0% of new visual symptoms, after treatment of COA by FDS.

Embolization of the middle meningeal artery in patients with chronic subdural hematoma—a systematic review and meta-analysis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:777–784

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) remains a neurosurgical condition with high recurrence rate after surgical treatment. The primary pathological mechanism is considered to be repeated microbleedings from fragile neo-vessels within the outer hematoma membrane. The neo-vessels are supplied from peripheral branches of the middle meningeal artery, and embolization of MMA (eMMA) has been performed to prevent re-bleeding episodes and thereby CSDH recurrence.

Objective To evaluate the published evidence for the effect of eMMA in patients with recurrent CSDH. Secondarily, to investigate the effect of eMMA as an alternative to surgery for primary treatment of CSDH. Method A systematic review of the literature on eMMA in patients with recurrent CSDH was conducted. PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were reviewed using the search terms: Embolization, Medial Meningeal Artery, Chronic Subdural Haematoma, and Recurrence. Furthermore, the following mesh terms were used: Chronic Subdural Haematoma AND embolization AND medial meningeal artery AND recurrence. Eighteen papers were found and included. No papers were excluded. The number of patients with primary CSDH and the number of patients with recurrent CSDH treated with eMMA were listed. Furthermore, the number of recurrences in both categories was registered.

Results Eighteen papers with a total of 191 included patients diagnosed with CSDH treated with eMMA for primary and recurrent CSDH were identified. Recurrence rate for patients treated with eMMA for recurrent CSDH was found to be 2.4%, 95%CI (0.5%; 11.0%), whereas the recurrence rate for patients treated with eMMAfor primary CSDH was 4.1%, 95%CI (1.4%; 11.4%).

Conclusion eMMA is a minimally invasive procedure for treatment of CSDH. Although this study is limited by publication bias, it seems that this procedure may reduce recurrence rates compared with burr hole craniostomy for both primary and recurrent hematomas. A controlled study is warranted.

Pain Outcomes Following Microvascular Decompression for Drug-Resistant Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery, Volume 86, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 182–190

Microvascular decompression (MVD) is a potentially curative surgery for drug-resistant trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Predictors of pain freedom after MVD are not fully understood. OBJECTIVE: To describe rates and predictors for pain freedom following MVD.

METHODS: Using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Scopus were queried for primary studies examining pain outcomes after MVD for TN published between 1988 and March 2018. Potential biases were assessed for included studies. Pain freedom (ie, Barrow Neurological Institute score of 1) at last follow-up was the primary outcome measure. Variables associated with pain freedom on preliminary analysis underwent formal meta-analysis. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for possible predictors.

RESULTS: Outcome data were analyzed for 3897 patients from 46 studies (7 prospective, 39 retrospective). Overall, 76.0% of patients achieved pain freedom afterMVD with amean follow-up of 1.7 ± 1.3 (standard deviation) yr. Predictors of pain freedom on meta-analysis using random effectsmodels included (1) disease duration≤5 yr (OR=2.06, 95% CI=1.08- 3.95); (2) arterial compression over venous or other (OR = 3.35, 95% CI = 1.91-5.88); (3) superior cerebellar artery involvement (OR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.02-4.03), and (4) type 1 Burchiel classification (OR = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.32-4.67).

CONCLUSION: Approximately three-quarters of patients with drug-resistant TN achieve pain freedom after MVD. Shorter disease duration, arterial compression, and type 1 Burchiel classification may predict more favorable outcome. These results may improve patient selection and provider expectations.

Outcomes of Retreatment for Intracranial Aneurysms—A Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery. 2019 Dec 1;85(6):750-761

Long-term results from the International Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Trial (ISAT) and Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) indicate considerably higher retreatment rates for aneurysms treated with coiling compared to clipping, but do not report the outcome of retreatment.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate retreatment related outcomes.

METHODS: A meta-analysis in accordance with PRISMA guidelines was conducted using Medline search engines PubMed and EMBASE to identify articles describing outcomes after retreatment for intracranial aneurysms. Pooled prevalence rates for complete occlusion rate and mortality were calculated. Outcomes of different treatment and retreatment combinations were not compared because of indication bias.

RESULTS: Twenty-five articles that met the inclusion criteria were included in the metaanalysis. Surgery after coiling had a pooled complete occlusion rate of 91.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 87.0-94.1) and a pooled mortality rate of 5.6% (95% CI: 3.7-8.3). Coiling after coiling had a pooled complete occlusion rate of 51.3% (95% CI: 22.1-78.0) and a pooled mortality rate of 0.8% (95% CI: 0.15-3.7). Surgery after surgery did not provide a pooled estimate for complete occlusion as only one study was identified but had a pooled mortality rate of 5.9% (95% CI: 3.1-11.2). Coiling after surgery had a pooled complete occlusion rate of 56.1% (95% CI: 11.4-92.7) and a pooled mortality rate of 9.3% (95% CI: 4.1- 19.9). All pooled incidence rates were produced using random-effect models.

CONCLUSION: Surgical retreatment was associated with a high complete occlusion rate but considerable mortality. Conversely, endovascular retreatment was associated with low mortality but also a low complete occlusion rate.

Repeat Gamma Knife radiosurgery versus microvascular decompression following failure of GKRS in trigeminal neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Neurosurg 131:1197–1206, 2019

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has emerged as a promising treatment modality for patients with classical trigeminal neuralgia (TN); however, considering that almost half of the patients experience post-GKRS failure or lesion recurrence, a repeat treatment is typically necessary. The existing literature does not offer clear evidence to establish which treatment modality, repeat GKRS or microvascular decompression (MVD), is superior. The present study aimed to compare the overall outcome of patients who have undergone either repeat GKRS or MVD after failure of their primary GKRS; the authors do so by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature and analysis of data from their own institution.

METHODS The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases to identify studies describing patients who underwent either repeat GKRS or MVD after initial failed GKRS for TN. The primary outcomes were complete pain relief (CPR) and adequate pain relief (APR) at 1 year. The secondary outcomes were rate of postoperative facial numbness and the retreatment rate. The pooled data were analyzed with R software. Bias and heterogeneity were assessed using funnel plots and I 2 tests, respectively. A retrospective analysis of a series of patients treated by the authors who underwent repeat GKRS or MVD after postGKRS failure or relapse is presented.

RESULTS A total of 22 studies met the selection criteria and were included for final data retrieval and meta-analysis. The search did not identify any study that had directly compared outcomes between patients who had undergone repeat GKRS versus those who had undergone MVD. Therefore, the authors’ final analysis included two groups: studies describing outcome after repeat GKRS (n = 17) and studies describing outcome after MVD (n = 5). The authors’ institutional study was the only study with direct comparison of the two cohorts. The pooled estimates of primary outcomes were APR in 83% of patients who underwent repeat GKRS and 88% of those who underwent MVD (p = 0.49), and CPR in 46% of patients who underwent repeat GKRS and 72% of those who underwent MVD (p = 0.02). The pooled estimates of secondary outcomes were facial numbness in 32% of patients who underwent repeat GKRS and 22% of those who underwent MVD (p = 0.11); the retreatment rate was 19% in patients who underwent repeat GKRS and 13% in those who underwent MVD (p = 0.74). The authors’ institutional study included 42 patients (repeat GKRS in 15 and MVD in 27), and the outcomes 1 year after retreatment were APR in 80% of those who underwent repeat GKRS and 81% in those who underwent MVD (p = 1.0); CPR was achieved in 47% of those who underwent repeat GKRS and 44% in those who underwent MVD (p = 1.0). There was no difference in the rate of postoperative facial numbness or retreatment.

CONCLUSIONS The current meta-analysis failed to identify any superiority of one treatment over the other with comparable outcomes in terms of APR, postoperative facial numbness, and retreatment rates. However, MVD was shown to provide a better chance of CPR compared with repeat GKRS.

Correlation between glioma location and preoperative seizures: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Epilepsy is a common manifestation of glioma patients and negatively impacts on quality of life and neurocognitive function. The risk of preoperative seizures in patients with glioma is currently under discussion.

We aimed to evaluate the relationship between tumor locations in the cerebrum and preoperative seizures in patients with glioma. PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Biology Medicine, and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched from inception to July 15, 2017, for original studies including reports of preoperative seizures in patients with gliomas in different brain regions. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the meta-analysis for preoperative seizure risk stratified by cerebrum regions were calculated. The quality of evidence was assessed per outcome, using the approach of the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation.

Overall, 4323 participants in 16 population-based studies were included in this meta-analysis. The meta-analysis indicated that gliomas in the frontal lobe (OR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.09–2.09, P = 0.013) were associated with a higher risk for preoperative seizure compared to occipital lobe involved (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.32–0.88, P = 0.014). Regarding the other three lobe involved gliomas, no difference was found between the incidence of preoperative seizures and tumor location.

Current limited data suggest that frontal gliomas were associated with a higher risk of preoperative seizures, while gliomas in the occipital lobe were associated with a lower seizure risk. Further RCT studies recruiting larger sample sizes are required to validate these results and guide clinical practice.

Skip Laminectomy Compared with Laminoplasty for Cervical Compressive Myelopathy

World Neurosurg. (2018) 120:296-301

This meta-analysis evaluated the clinical outcomes of skip laminectomy relative to laminoplasty for the treatment of cervical compressive myelopathy.

METHODS: The Cochrane library, PubMed MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were comprehensively searched to identify relevant articles published up to March 18, 2018. All values of weighted mean difference (WMD) or odds ratio are expressed as skip laminectomy relative to laminoplasty.

RESULTS: Four studies comprising 241 patients were included. Skip laminectomy and laminoplasty were comparable in terms of cervical lordotic curvature (weighted mean difference [WMD] L2.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] L6.18 to 1.43; P [ 0.22) and range of motion (WMD e2.65; 95% CI L6.02 to 0.72; P [ 0.12). The pooled data revealed that the mean visual analogue scale score for pain of the skip laminectomy group was significantly lower than that of the laminoplasty group (WMD e0.97; 95% CI L1.90 to L0.05; P [ 0.04), and the rate of axial pain was also significantly lower (WMD 0.26; 95% CI 0.07e0.93; P [ 0.04). The atrophy rates of the deep extensor muscles in the skip laminectomy group (14%) were significantly lower than that of the laminoplasty group (60%).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis determined that skip laminectomy was superior to laminoplasty in terms of visual analogue scale score and rates of axial pain and muscle atrophy. These results warrant further confirmation in future research.

Open-versus French-Door Laminoplasty for the Treatment of Cervical Multilevel Compressive Myelopathy: A Meta-Analysis

World Neurosurg. (2018) 117:129-136

OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical outcomes and postoperative complications between open-door laminoplasty (ODL) versus French-door laminoplasty (FDL) for the treatment of cervical multilevel compressive myelopathy.

METHODS: We comprehensively searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure to identify relevant articles. The search results were last updated on January 1, 2018. All values of weighted mean difference (WMD) and odds ratio are expressed as ODL relative to FDL.

RESULTS: Six studies containing 430 patients were included in our metaanalysis. In randomized controlled trials, there was no significant difference in Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores between ODL and FDL groups (WMD, 0.06; 95% confidence limits [CL], e0.52 to 0.64; P [ 0.84). However, in the retrospective trials, JOA scores were significantly higher in the ODL group than in the FDL group (WMD, 0.95; 95% CL, 0.55e1.34; P < 0.05). The pooled data showed that the magnitude of spinal canal expansion in the ODL group was higher than in the FDL group (WMD, 24.39%; 95% confidence interval, 12.33e36.45; P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The present meta-analysis showed that the magnitude of canal expansion was higher with ODL than with FDL. There is a lack of compelling evidence to prove the superiority of one procedure over the other.

Stereotactic radiosurgery alone or combined with embolization for brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 128:1338–1348, 2018

Embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) prior to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been reported to negatively affect obliteration rates. The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the outcomes of AVMs treated with embolization plus SRS (E+SRS group) and those of AVMs treated with SRS alone (SRS group).

METHODS A literature review was performed using PubMed to identify studies with 10 or more AVM patients and obliteration data for both E+SRS and SRS groups. A meta-analysis was performed to compare obliteration rates between the E+SRS and SRS groups.

RESULTS Twelve articles comprising 1716 patients were eligible for analysis. Among the patients with radiological follow-up data, complete obliteration was achieved in 48.4% of patients (330/681) in the E+SRS group compared with 62.7% of patients (613/978) in the SRS group. A meta-analysis of the pooled data revealed that the obliteration rate was significantly lower in the E+SRS group (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.41–0.64, p < 0.00001). Symptomatic adverse radiation effects were observed in 6.6% (27/412 patients) and 11.1% (48/433 patients) of the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 2.0%–6.5% and 0%–2.0% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The rates of permanent morbidity were 0%–6.7% and 0%–13.5% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Arteriovenous malformation treatment with combined embolization and SRS is associated with lower obliteration rates than those with SRS treatment alone. However, this comparison does not fully account for differences in the initial AVM characteristics in the E+SRS group as compared with those in the SRS group. Further studies are warranted to address these limitations.

Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease: meta-analysis of results of randomized trials at varying lengths of follow-up

J Neurosurg 128:1199–1213, 2018

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is effective in the management of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). While both the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) are accepted targets, their relative efficacy in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has not been established beyond 12 months. The objective of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis of RCTs to compare outcomes among adults with PD undergoing DBS of GPi or STN at various time points, including 36 months of follow-up.

METHODS The MEDLINE, Embase, CENTRAL, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases were searched. Registries for clinical trials, selected conference proceedings, and the table of contents for selected journals were also searched. Screens were conducted independently and in duplicate. Among the 623 studies initially identified (615 through database search, 7 through manual review of bibliographies, and 1 through a repeat screen of literature prior to submission), 19 underwent full-text review; 13 of these were included in the quantitative meta-analysis. Data were extracted independently and in duplicate. The Cochrane Collaboration tool was used to assess the risk of bias. The GRADE evidence profile tool was used to assess the quality of the evidence. Motor scores, medication dosage reduction, activities of daily living, depression, dyskinesias, and adverse events were compared. The influence of disease duration (a priori) and the proportion of male patients within a study (post hoc) were explored as potential subgroups.

RESULTS Thirteen studies (6 original cohorts) were identified. No difference in motor scores or activities of daily living was identified at 36 months. Medications were significantly reduced with STN stimulation (5 studies, weighted mean difference [WMD] -365.46, 95% CI -599.48 to -131.44, p = 0.002). Beck Depression Inventory scores were significantly better with GPi stimulation (3 studies; WMD 2.53, 95% CI 0.99–4.06 p = 0.001). The motor benefits of GPi and STN DBS for PD are similar.

CONCLUSIONS The motor benefits achieved with GPi and STN DBS for PD are similar. DBS of STN allows for a greater reduction of medication, but not as significant an advantage as DBS of GPi with respect to mood. This difference is sustained at 36 months. Further long-term studies are necessary.

Dexamethasone for chronic subdural haematoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2037–2044

Chronic subdural haematoma is a common but retractable neurological disease in the elderly with a high rate of recurrence. Dexamethasone (DX) either as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy has been applied clinically, but its effectiveness and feasibility remain controversial. We conducted this review to clarify this issue. Methods With a systematic review through multiple databases, we retrieved eligible English language publications and extracted relevant data to perform meta-analyses. The respective risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled to evaluate the overall effect. Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference

Methods With a systematic review through multiple databases, we retrieved eligible English language publications and extracted relevant data to perform meta-analyses. The respective risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled to evaluate the overall effect. Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference

Results Our meta-analysis showed overall that DX (alone or adjuvant) resulted in a lower recurrence rate when compared with non-DX therapy (RR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.88; p = 0.01), but sensitivity analysis by excluding the most influential study achieved inconsistent results. The pooled effect revealed no statistical difference on recurrence rate between DX alone and non-DX therapy or surgical therapy (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.43-1.71; p = 0.66) (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.43-1.85; p = 0.76). Comparison between DX alone with the surgical therapy demonstrated no difference on the poor outcome (RR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.15-1.04; p = 0.06). Conclusions We had

Conclusions We had no enough evidence to support DX use as an effective alternation to surgical therapy. But adjuvant DX use may facilitate the surgical therapy by reducing recurrence. Further study focusing on adjuvant DX was required.

Effect of statin treatment on vasospasm-related morbidity and functional outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 127:291–301, 2017

The efficacy of statin therapy in treating aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remains controversial. In this meta-analysis, the authors investigated whether statin treatment significantly reduced the incidence of cerebral vasospasm and delayed neurological deficits, promoting a better outcome after aneurysmal SAH.

METHODS: A literature search of the PubMed, Ovid, and Cochrane Library databases was performed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies investigating the effect of statin treatment. The end points of cerebral vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND), delayed cerebral infarction, mortality, and favorable outcome were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS Six RCTs and 2 prospective cohort studies met the eligibility criteria, and a total of 1461 patients were included. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in the incidence of cerebral vasospasm (relative risk [RR] 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.96) in patients treated with statins after aneurysmal SAH. However, no significant benefit was observed for DIND (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.70–1.12), delayed cerebral infarction (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.33–1.31), mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.39–1.24) or favorable outcome, according to assessment by the modified Rankin Scale or Glasgow Outcome Scale (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS Treatment with statins significantly decreased the occurrence of vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH. The incidence of DIND, delayed cerebral infarction, and mortality were not affected by statin treatment. Future research should focus on DIND and how statins influence DIND.


Lumbar Fusion for Degenerative Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 80:701–715, 2017

Due to uncertain evidence, lumbar fusion for degenerative indications is associated with the greatest measured practice variation of any surgical procedure.

OBJECTIVE: To summarize the current evidence on the comparative safety and efficacy of lumbar fusion, decompression-alone, or nonoperative care for degenerative indications.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (up to June 30, 2016). Comparative studies reporting validated measures of safety or efficacy were included. Treatment effects were calculated through DerSimonian and Laird random effects models.

RESULTS: The literature search yielded 65 studies (19 randomized controlled trials, 16 prospective cohort studies, 15 retrospective cohort studies, and 15 registries) enrolling a total of 302 620 patients. Disability, pain, and patient satisfaction following fusion, decompression-alone, or nonoperative care were dependent on surgical indications and study methodology. Relative to decompression-alone, the risk of reoperation following fusion was increased for spinal stenosis (relative risk [RR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.28) and decreased for spondylolisthesis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68-0.83). Among patients with spinal stenosis, complications were more frequent following fusion (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.18-2.96). Mortality was not significantly associated with any treatment modality.

CONCLUSION: Positive clinical change was greatest in patients undergoing fusion for spondylolisthesis while complications and the risk of reoperation limited the benefit of fusion for spinal stenosis. The relative safety and efficacy of fusion for chronic low back pain suggests careful patient selection is required (PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews number, CRD42015020153).


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