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

Neurosurgery 93:1432–1436, 2023

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

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

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

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

Minimally Invasive Hematoma Evacuation Using the MindsEye Expandable Tubular Retractor

World Neurosurg. (2023) 176:162-167

Recent advances in intraoperative neuronavigation and cranial access devices have facilitated an increasing interest in the use of minimally invasive techniques (minimally invasive surgery) to safely treat
subcortical lesions via a parafascicular approach.

Newly developed expandable retractors, such as the MindsEye system further optimize such approaches. In this technical report, we describe the nuances in minimally invasive surgery parenchymal hematoma evacuation using the MindsEye device.

METHODS: After placement of the device, the inner stylet and inner obturator are removed, and the expandable sheath is left in place and secured into place with a Greenberg refractor. The sheath easily dilates to the surgeon’s preference with a dial, and the walls of the sheath
are composed of a thin, clear, membrane to allow easy visualization of the lesion. We additionally retrospectively reviewed clinical characteristics and outcomes across three patients treated at our facility with spontaneous multicompartment intracranial hematoma using the Mind-sEye system.

RESULTS: We provide a video case demonstrating the use of the MindsEye retractor in a transfrontal parenchymal hematoma evacuation. Successful evacuation with achieved in less than 90 minutes with near total clot removal and resolution of mass effect for all reviewed cases with no patients experiencing procedure-related postoperative decline.

CONCLUSIONS: Minimally invasive catheter-based and parafascicular approaches using tubular retractors are increasingly recognized as a viable option in the treatment of subcortical lesions. The MindsEye is the first expandable brain access port designed for removal of deep
intracranial lesions. We believe it represents a recent addition in the armament of cranial surgeons.

Minimally invasive image‑guided endoscopic evacuation of intracerebral haemorrhage

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1597–1602

Minimally invasive endoscopic hematoma evacuation (MEHE) is an emerging surgical technique for treating spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral haemorrhage (SSICH). Multiple studies, analysing whether the outcome after such a procedure is improved, are still ongoing.

Method We herein present the indications, advantages, and perioperative considerations for the surgical technique of MEHE applied at our institution.

Conclusion MEHE with a view through a transparent brain access device is a valid and safe approach for the surgical evacuation of SSICH.

Minimally invasive modification of the Goel-Harms atlantoaxial fusion technique

Neurosurg Focus 54(3):E14, 2023

The Goel-Harms atlantoaxial screw fixation technique for the treatment of atlantoaxial instability and unstable odontoid fractures is reliable and reproducible for a variety of anatomies. The drawbacks of the technique are the potential for significant bleeding from the C2 nerve root venous plexus and the risks associated with posterior midline exposure and retraction, such as pain and wound complications. The authors developed a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) modification of the Goel-Harms technique using intra-articular grafting to facilitate placement of percutaneous lateral mass and pars screws with extended tabs for minimally invasive subfascial rod placement. The objective of this study was to present the authors’ first series of 5 patients undergoing minimally invasive modification in comparison with 51 patients undergoing open atlantoaxial fusion.

METHODS A retrospective analysis of patient comorbid conditions, blood loss, length of surgery, and length of stay was performed on patients undergoing Goel-Harms instrumented fusion (GHIF) for unstable odontoid fractures performed between 2016 and 2021.

RESULTS Patients undergoing the minimally invasive procedure showed significantly less blood loss than those undergoing the open atlantoaxial fusion procedure, with a median blood loss of 30 ml compared with 150 ml using the open technique (p < 0.01). The patients showed no significant differences in length of stay (2 days for MIS vs 4 days for open atlantoaxial fusion, p = 0.25). There were no significant differences in length of surgery for MIS, but a possible trend toward increased operative duration (234 vs 151 minutes, p = 0.112).

CONCLUSIONS In this small pilot study, it was shown that MIS-GHIF can be performed with decreased blood loss in atlantoaxial instability and odontoid fractures. This technique may allow for greater and safer application of the procedure in the elderly and infirm.


Minimally invasive surgery for spinal cerebrospinal fluid leaks in spontaneous intracranial hypotension

J Neurosurg Spine 38:147–152, 2023

Spinal CSF leaks cause spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). Surgical closure of spinal CSF leaks is the treatment of choice for persisting leaks. Surgical approaches vary, and there are no studies in which minimally invasive techniques were used. In this study, the authors aimed to detail the safety and feasibility of minimally invasive microsurgical sealing of spinal CSF leaks using nonexpandable tubular retractors.

METHODS Consecutive patients with SIH and a confirmed spinal CSF leak treated at a single institution between April 2019 and December 2020 were included in the study. Surgery was performed via a dorsal 2.5-cm skin incision using nonexpandable tubular retractors and a tailored interlaminar fenestration and, if needed, a transdural approach. The primary outcome was successful sealing of the dura, and the secondary outcome was the occurrence of complications.

RESULTS Fifty-eight patients, 65.5% of whom were female (median age 46 years [IQR 36–55 years]), with 38 ventral leaks, 17 lateral leaks, and 2 CSF venous fistulas were included. In 56 (96.6%) patients, the leak could be closed, and in 2 (3.4%) patients the leak was missed because of misinterpretation of the imaging studies. One of these patients underwent successful reoperation, and the other patient decided to undergo surgery at another institution. Two other patients had to undergo reoperation because of insufficient closure and a persisting leak. The rate of permanent neurological deficit was 1.7%, the revision rate for a persisting or recurring leak was 3.4%, and the overall revision rate was 10.3%. The rate of successful sealing during the primary closure attempt was 96.6% and 3.4% patients needed a secondary attempt. Clinical short-term outcome at discharge was unchanged in 14 patients and improved in 25 patients, and 19 patients had signs of rebound intracranial hypertension.

CONCLUSIONS Minimally invasive surgery with tubular retractors and a tailored interlaminar fenestration and, if needed, a transdural approach is safe and effective for the treatment of spinal CSF leaks. The authors suggest performing a minimally invasive closure of spinal CSF leaks in specialized centers.

Minimally Invasive Retropleural Thoracic Diskectomy: Step-by-Step Operative Planning, Execution, and Results

Operative Neurosurgery 23:E220–E227, 2022

Thoracic disk herniation is rare and difficult to treat. The minimally invasive lateral retropleural approach to the thoracic spine enables the surgeon to decompress the neural elements and minimize thecal sac manipulation through direct visualization with less exposure-related morbidity.

OBJECTIVE: To provide a detailed step-by-step overview of the minimally invasive retropleural approach for thoracic diskectomies, including preoperative planning through postoperative care as practiced at our institution.

METHODS: Lateral retropleural thoracic diskectomies performed at a single institution from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020, were reviewed. Clinical and outcome data were collected and analyzed. The retropleural approach was divided into several components: relevant anatomy, indications and contraindications, preoperative setup, exposure and approach, diskectomy, and closure and postoperative care.

RESULTS: Twelve patients were treated during the study interval. Their average (SD) age was 44.2 (9.5) years; 10 of 12 were men. Eleven patients presented with thoracic myelopathy. The level treated ranged from T6-7 to T12-L1. Disk herniations were calcified in 10 of 12 patients. These lesions were approached from the left side in 7 of 12 patients. Six patients had complications, none of which were neurological. Chest tubes were placed for pleural violation, pneumothorax, or hemothorax in 3 patients. Two patients experienced postoperative abdominal pseudohernia. Neurological symptoms were stable or improved in all patients. The median (IQR) Nurick scale improved from 3.0 (2.0-3.0) preoperatively to 1.0 (0-3.0) (P = .026) postoperatively.

CONCLUSION: Lateral retropleural diskectomy enables safe, efficient resection of most thoracic disks while minimizing patient morbidity.

Prognostic data analysis of surgical treatments for intracerebral hemorrhage

Neurosurgical Review (2022) 45:2733–2744

Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a commonly occurring disease in neurosurgery, yet its surgical treatment is controversial.

This paper pertains to the study of the effects of different treatment regimens on the outcome of ICH population. Based on a globally shared third-party MIMIC-III database, the researchers firstly described the dissimilarities in survival probability, mortality, and neurological recovery among mainstream treatments for ICH; secondly, patient classification was determined by important clinical features; and outcome variations among treatment groups were compared.

The 28-day, 90-day, and in-hospital mortality in the craniotomy group were significantly lower than minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and non-surgical group patients; and, the medium/long-term mortality in MIS group was significantly lower than the non-surgical group. The craniotomy group positively correlated with short-term GCS recovery compared with the MIS group; no difference existed between the non-surgical and MIS groups. The craniotomy group 90-day survival probability and short-term GCS recovery were superior to the other two treatments in the subgroups of first GCS 3–12; this tendency also presented in the MIS group over non-surgical group. For milder patients (first GCS > 12), the three treatment regimens had a minimal effect on patient survival, but the non-surgical group showed an advantage in short-term GCS recovery.

Craniotomy patients have a lower mortality and a better short-term neurological recovery in an ICH population, especially in short-to-medium term mortality and short-term neurological recovery over MIS patients. In addition, surgical treatment is recommendable for patients with a GCS ≤ 12.

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.


Minimally invasive versus open lumbar spinal fusion: a matched study investigating patient-reported and surgical outcomes

J Neurosurg Spine 36:753–766, 2022

With the expanding indications for and increasing popularity of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for lumbar spinal fusion, large-scale outcomes analysis to compare MIS approaches with open procedures is warranted.

METHODS The authors queried the Quality Outcomes Database for patients who underwent elective lumbar fusion for degenerative spine disease. They performed optimal matching, at a 1:2 ratio between patients who underwent MIS and those who underwent open lumbar fusion, to create two highly homogeneous groups in terms of 33 baseline variables (including demographic characteristics, comorbidities, symptoms, patient-reported scores, indications, and operative details). The outcomes of interest were overall satisfaction, decrease in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and back and leg pain, as well as hospital length of stay (LOS), operative time, reoperations, and incidental durotomy rate. Satisfaction was defined as a score of 1 or 2 on the North American Spine Society scale. Minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI was defined as ≥ 30% decrease from baseline. Outcomes were assessed at the 3- and 12-month follow-up evaluations.

RESULTS After the groups were matched, the MIS and open groups consisted of 1483 and 2966 patients, respectively. Patients who underwent MIS fusion had higher odds of satisfaction at 3 months (OR 1.4, p = 0.004); no difference was demonstrated at 12 months (OR 1.04, p = 0.67). Lumbar stenosis, single-level fusion, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification System grade, and absence of spondylolisthesis were most prominently associated with higher odds of satisfaction with MIS compared with open surgery. Patients in the MIS group had slightly lower ODI scores at 3 months (mean difference 1.61, p = 0.006; MCID OR 1.14, p = 0.0495) and 12 months (mean difference 2.35, p < 0.001; MCID OR 1.29, p < 0.001). MIS was also associated with a greater decrease in leg and back pain at both follow-up time points. The two groups did not differ in operative time and incidental durotomy rate; however, LOS was shorter for the MIS group. Revision surgery at 12 months was less likely for patients who underwent MIS (4.1% vs 5.6%, p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS In patients who underwent lumbar fusion for degenerative spinal disease, MIS was associated with higher odds of satisfaction at 3 months postoperatively. No difference was demonstrated at the 12-month follow-up. MIS maintained a small, yet consistent, superiority in decreasing ODI and back and leg pain, and MIS was associated with a lower reoperation rate.

Single-position prone lateral transpsoas approach: early experience and outcomes

J Neurosurg Spine 36:358–365, 2022

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) via a transpsoas approach is a workhorse minimally invasive approach for lumbar arthrodesis that is often combined with posterior pedicle screw fixation. There has been increasing interest in performing single-position surgery, allowing access to the anterolateral and posterior spine without requiring patient repositioning. The feasibility of the transpsoas approach in patients in the prone position has been reported. Herein, the authors present a consecutive case series of all patients who underwent single-position prone transpsoas LLIF performed by an individual surgeon since adopting this approach.

METHODS A retrospective review was performed of a consecutive case series of adult patients (≥ 18 years old) who underwent single-position prone LLIF for any indication between October 2019 and November 2020. Pertinent operative details (levels, cage use, surgery duration, estimated blood loss, complications) and 3-month clinical outcomes were recorded. Intraoperative and 3-month postoperative radiographs were reviewed to assess for interbody subsidence.

RESULTS Twenty-eight of 29 patients (97%) underwent successful treatment with the prone lateral approach over the study interval; the approach was aborted in 1 patient, whose data were excluded. The mean (SD) age of patients was 67.9 (9.3) years; 75% (21) were women. Thirty-nine levels were treated: 18 patients (64%) had single-level fusion, 9 (32%) had 2-level fusion, and 1 (4%) had 3-level fusion. The most commonly treated levels were L3–4 (n = 15), L2–3 (n = 12), and L4–5 (n = 11). L1–2 was fused in 1 patient. The mean operative time was 286.5 (100.6) minutes, and the mean retractor time was 29.2 (13.5) minutes per level. The mean fluoroscopy duration was 215.5 (99.6) seconds, and the mean intraoperative radiation dose was 170.1 (94.8) mGy. Intraoperative subsidence was noted in 1 patient (4% of patients, 3% of levels). Intraoperative lateral access complications occurred in 11% of patients (1 cage repositioning, 2 inadvertent ruptures of anterior longitudinal ligament). Subsidence occurred in 5 of 22 patients (23%) with radiographic follow-up, affecting 6 of 33 levels (18%). Postoperative functional testing (Oswestry Disability Index, SF-36, visual analog scale–back and leg pain) identified significant improvement.

CONCLUSIONS This single-surgeon consecutive case series demonstrates that this novel technique is well tolerated and has acceptable clinical and radiographic outcomes. Larger patient series with longer follow-up are needed to further elucidate the safety profile and long-term outcomes of single-position prone LLIF.

Double tubular minimally invasive spine surgery: a novel technique expands the surgical visual field during resection of intradural pathologies

J Neurosurg Spine 36:160–163, 2022

A major challenge of a minimally invasive spinal approach (MIS) is maintaining freedom of maneuverability through small operative corridors. Unfortunately, during tubular resection of intradural pathologies, the durotomy and its accompanying tenting sutures offer a smaller operating window than the maximum surface of the tube’s base. The objective of this study was to evaluate if a novel double tubular technique could expand the surgical visual field during MIS resection of intradural pathologies.

METHODS A total of 25 MIS resections of intradural extramedullary pathologies were included. A posterior tubular interlaminar fenestration was performed in all surgeries. A durotomy covering the whole diameter of the tubular base was the standard in all cases. After placement of two tenting sutures on each side of the durotomy and application of tension, the resulting surface of the achieved dura fenestration was measured after optical analysis of the intraoperative video. In the next step, a second tube, 2 mm thinner than and the same length as the first, was inserted telescopically into the first tube, resulting an angulated fulcrum effect on the tenting sutures.

RESULTS Optical surface analysis of the dura fenestration before and after the second tubular insertion verified a significant widening of the visual field of 43.1% (mean 18.84 mm2, 95% CI 16.8–20.8, p value < 0.001). There were no ruptured tenting sutures through the increased tension. Postoperative MRIs verified complete resection of the pathologies.

CONCLUSIONS Inserting a second tube telescopically during posterior minimally invasive tubular spinal intradural surgery leads to an angulated fulcrum effect on the dura tenting sutures which consequently increases the surface of the dura fenestration and induces a meaningful widening of the visual field.

The trans‑laminar, facet‑joint sparing minimal invasive approach for ventral dural repair in spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3015–3020

We describe the minimally invasive, facet-sparing postero-lateral approach to the thoracic spine for a ventral dural repair in a patient with intracranial hypotension secondary to a spontaneous dural breach.

Methods We performed a minimally invasive approach using a short paramedian posterior skin incision followed by a 10 × 10 mm targeted trans-laminar approach, to achieve a microsurgical repair of a symptomatic ventral dural defect causing severe disability.

Conclusion The facet-sparing postero-lateral approach is safe and effective in the surgical management of thoracic dural tears, even in the most anterior ones, and avoids the traditional costotransversectomy.

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion using a novel minimally invasive expandable interbody cage

J Neurosurg Spine 35:170–176, 2021

The goal of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcomes of a novel multidirectional in situ expandable minimally invasive surgery (MIS) transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) cage.

METHODS A retrospective analysis of 69 consecutive patients undergoing a 1- or 2-level MIS TLIF using an expandable cage was performed over a 2-year period. Standard MIS techniques with pedicle screw fixation were used in all cases. Upright lateral dynamic flexion/extension radiographs were reviewed prior to and at 1 year after surgery. Clinical metrics included numeric rating scale for back and leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index, and the SF-12 and VR-12 physical and mental health surveys. Radiographic parameters included anterior and posterior disc height, neuroforaminal height, spondylolisthesis, segmental lordosis, lumbar lordosis, and fusion rate.

RESULTS A total of 69 patients representing 75 operative levels met study inclusion criteria. The mean patient age at surgery was 63.4 ± 1.2 years, with a female predominance of 51%. The average radiographic and clinical follow-ups were 372 and 368 days, respectively. A total of 63 patients (91%) underwent 1-level surgery and 6 patients (9%) underwent 2-level surgery. Significant reductions of numeric rating scale scores for back and leg pain were observed—from 6.1 ± 0.7 to 2.5 ± 0.3 (p < 0.0001) and 4.9 ± 0.6 to 1.9 ± 0.2 (p < 0.0001), respectively. A similar reduction in Oswestry Disability Index from 38.0 ± 4.6 to 20.0 ± 2.3 (p < 0.0001) was noted. Likewise, SF-12 and VR-12 scores all showed statistically significant improvement from baseline (p < 0.001). The mean anterior and posterior disc heights improved from 8.7 ± 1.0 mm to 13.4 ± 1.5 mm (p = 0.0001) and 6.5 ± 0.8 mm to 9.6 ± 1.1 mm (p = 0.0001), respectively. Neuroforaminal height improved from 17.6 ± 2.0 mm to 21.9 ± 2.5 mm (p = 0.0001). When present, spondylolisthesis was, on average, reduced from 4.3 ± 0.5 mm to 1.9 ± 0.2 mm (p = 0.0001). Lumbar lordosis improved from 47.8° ± 5.5° to 58.5° ± 6.8° (p = 0.2687), and no significant change in segmental lordosis was observed. The overall rate of radiographic fusion was 93.3% at 1 year. No perioperative complications requiring operative revision were encountered.

CONCLUSIONS In this series of MIS TLIFs, use of this novel interbody cage was shown to be safe and effective. Significant improvements in pain and disability were observed. Effective and durable restoration of disc height and neuroforaminal height and reduction of spondylolisthesis were obtained, with concurrent gains in lumbar lordosis. Taken together, this device offers excellent clinical and radiographic outcomes via an MIS approach.

Reoperation, Readmission, and Discharge Disposition for PatientsWith Degenerative Lumbar Pathology Treated With Either Open or Minimally Invasive Techniques

Neurosurgery 2020 DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa246

Spine surgery has been transformed by the growth of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) procedures. Previous studies agree that MIS has shorter hospitalization and faster recovery time when compared to conventional open surgery. However, the reoperation and readmission rates between the 2 techniques have yet to be well characterized.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the rate of subsequent revision between MIS and open techniques for degenerative lumbar pathology.

METHODS: A total of 1435 adult patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery between 2013 and 2016were included in this retrospective analysis. The rates of need for subsequent reoperation, 30- and 90-d readmission, and discharge to rehabilitation were recorded for both MIS and traditional open techniques. Groups were divided into decompression alone and decompression with fusion.

RESULTS: The rates of subsequent reoperation following MIS and open surgerywere 10.4% and 12.2%, respectively (P = .32), which were maintained when subdivided into decompression and decompression with fusion. MIS and open 30-d readmission rates were 7.9% and 7.2% (P = .67), while 90-d readmission rates were 4.3% and 3.6% (P = .57), respectively. Discharge to rehabilitation was significantly lower for patients under 60 yr of age undergoing MIS (1.64% vs 5.63%, P = .04).

CONCLUSION: The use of minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of lumbar spine pathology does not result in increased reoperation or 30- and 90-d readmission rateswhen compared to open approaches. Patients under the age of 60 yr undergoing MIS procedures were less likely to be discharged to rehab.

Intraoperative CT and cone-beam CT imaging for minimally invasive evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:3167–3177

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) has shown promise but there remains a need for intraoperative performance assessment considering the wide range of evacuation effectiveness. In this feasibility study, we analyzed the benefit of intraoperative 3-dimensional imaging during navigated endoscopyassisted ICH evacuation by mechanical clot fragmentation and aspiration.

Methods 18 patients with superficial or deep supratentorial ICH underwent MIS for clot evacuation followed by intraoperative computerized tomography (iCT) or cone-beamCT (CBCT) imaging. Eligibility for MIS required (a) availability of intraoperative iCT or CBCT, (b) spontaneous lobar or deep ICH without vascular pathology, (c) a stable ICH volume (20–90 ml), (d) a reduced level of consciousness (GCS 5–14), and (e) a premorbid mRS ≤ 1. Demographic, clinical, and radiographic patient data were analyzed by two independent observers.

Results Nine female and 9 male patients with a median age of 76 years (42–85) presented with an ICH score of 3 (1–4), GCS of 10 (5–14) and ICH volume of 54 ± 26 ml. Clot fragmentation and aspiration was feasible in all cases and intraoperative imaging determined an overall evacuation rate of 80 ± 19% (residual hematoma volume: 13 ± 17 ml; p < 0.0001 vs. Pre-OP).Based on the intraoperative imaging results, 1/3rd of all patients underwent an immediate re-aspiration attempt. No patient experienced hemorrhagic complications or required conversion to open craniotomy. However, routine postoperative CT imaging revealed early hematoma re-expansion with an adjusted evacuation rate of 59 ± 30% (residual hematoma volume: 26 ± 37 ml; p < 0.001 vs. Pre-OP).

Conclusions Routine utilization of iCTor CBCT imaging in MIS for ICH permits direct surgical performance assessment and the chance for immediate re-aspiration, which may optimize targeting of an ideal residual hematoma volume and reduce secondary revision rates.

A Comparison of Minimally Invasive and Open Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Grade 1 Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Neurosurgery DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa097

It remains unclear if minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) is comparable to traditional, open TLIF because of the limitations of the prior small-sample-size, single-center studies reporting comparative effectiveness.

OBJECTIVE: To compare MI-TLIF to traditional, open TLIF for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis in the largest study to date by sample size.

METHODS: We utilized the prospective Quality Outcomes Database registry and queried patients with grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis who underwent singlesegment surgery with MI- or open TLIF methods. Outcomes were compared 24 mo postoperatively.

RESULTS: A total of 297 patients were included: 72 (24.2%) MI-TLIF and 225 (75.8%) open TLIF. MI-TLIF surgeries had lower mean body mass indexes (29.5±5.1 vs 31.3±7.0, P=.0497) and more worker’s compensation cases (11.1% vs 1.3%, P< .001) but were otherwise similar. MI-TLIF had less blood loss (108.8 ± 85.6 vs 299.6 ± 242.2 mL, P < .001), longer operations (228.2 ± 111.5 vs 189.6 ± 66.5 min, P < .001), and a higher return-to-work (RTW) rate (100% vs 80%, P = .02). Both cohorts improved significantly from baseline for 24-mo Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Numeric Rating Scale back pain (NRS-BP), NRS leg pain (NRS-LP), and Euro-Qol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) (P > .001). In multivariable adjusted analyses, MI-TLIF was associated with lower ODI (β =−4.7; 95% CI=−9.3 to −0.04; P= .048), higher EQ-5D (β =0.06; 95% CI=0.01-0.11; P=.02), and higher satisfaction (odds ratio for North American Spine Society [NASS] 1/2 = 3.9; 95% CI = 1.4-14.3; P = .02). Though trends favoring MI-TLIF were evident for NRS-BP (P = .06), NRS-LP (P = .07), and reoperation rate (P = .13), these results did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: For single-level grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, MI-TLIF was associated with less disability, higher quality of life, and higher patient satisfaction compared with traditional, open TLIF. MI-TLIF was associated with higher rates of RTW, less blood loss, but longer operative times. Though we utilized multivariable adjusted analyses, these findings may be susceptible to selection bias.

Is achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters necessary to obtain substantial clinical benefit?

J Neurosurg Spine 30:833–838, 2019

It is now well accepted that spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD). The purpose of this study was to determine whether obtaining optimal spinopelvic alignment was absolutely necessary to achieve a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) or substantial clinical benefit (SCB).

METHODS A multicenter retrospective review of patients who underwent less-invasive surgery for ASD was conducted. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years and one of the following: coronal Cobb angle > 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) > 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch > 10°. A total of 223 patients who were treated with circumferential minimally invasive surgery or hybrid surgery and had a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Based on optimal spinopelvic parameters (PI-LL mismatch ± 10° and SVA < 5 cm), patients were divided into aligned (AL) or malaligned (MAL) groups. The primary clinical outcome studied was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score.

RESULTS There were 74 patients in the AL group and 149 patients in the MAL group. Age and body mass index were similar between groups. Although the baseline SVA was similar, PI-LL mismatch (9.9° vs 17.7°, p = 0.002) and PT (19° vs 24.7°, p = 0.001) significantly differed between AL and MAL groups, respectively. As expected postoperatively, the AL and MAL groups differed significantly in PI-LL mismatch (-0.9° vs 13.1°, p < 0.001), PT (14° vs 25.5°, p = 0.001), and SVA (11.8 mm vs 48.3 mm, p < 0.001), respectively. Notably, there was no difference in the proportion of AL or MAL patients in whom an MCID (52.75% vs 61.1%, p > 0.05) or SCB (40.5% vs 46.3%, p > 0.05) was achieved for ODI score, respectively. Similarly, no differences in percentage of patients obtaining an MCID or SCB for visual analog scale back and leg pain score were observed. On multivariate analysis controlling for surgical and preoperative demographic differences, achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not associated with achieving an MCID (OR 0.645, 95% CI 0.31–1.33) or an SCB (OR 0.644, 95% CI 0.31–1.35) for ODI score.

CONCLUSIONS Achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not a predictor for achieving an MCID or SCB. Since spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes, the authors’ findings suggest that the presently accepted optimal spinopelvic parameters may require modification. Other factors, such as improvement in neurological symptoms and/or segmental instability, also likely impacted the clinical outcomes.

Surgical Performance Determines Functional Outcome Benefit in the Minimally Invasive Surgery Plus Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation (MISTIE) Procedure

Neurosurgery 84:1157–1168, 2019

Minimally invasive surgery procedures, including stereotactic catheter aspiration and clearance of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator hold a promise to improve outcome of supratentorial brain hemorrhage, a morbid and disabling type of stroke. A recently completed Phase III randomized trial showed improvedmortality but was neutral on the primary outcome(modified Rankin scale score 0 to 3 at 1 yr).

OBJECTIVE: To assess surgical performance and its impact on the extent of ICH evacuation and functional outcomes.

METHODS: Univariate and multivariate models were used to assess the extent of hematoma evacuation efficacy in relation to mRS 0 to 3 outcome and postulated factors related to patient, disease, and protocol adherence in the surgical arm (n = 242) of the MISTIE trial.

RESULTS: Greater ICH reduction has a higher likelihood of achieving mRS of 0 to 3 with a minimum evacuation threshold of ≤15 mL end of treatment ICH volume or ≥70% volume reduction when controlling for disease severity factors. Mortality benefit was achieved at ≤30 mL end of treatment ICH volume, or >53% volume reduction. Initial hematoma volume, history of hypertension, irregular-shaped hematoma, number of alteplase doses given, surgical protocol deviations, and catheter manipulation problems were significant factors in failing to achieve≤15mLgoal evacuation.Greater surgeon/site experienceswere associated with avoiding poor hematoma evacuation.

CONCLUSION: This is the first surgical trial reporting thresholds for reduction of ICH volume correlating with improved mortality and functional outcomes. To realize the benefit of surgery, protocol objectives, surgeon education, technical enhancements, and case selection should be focused on this goal.

The impact of adding posterior instrumentation to transpsoas lateral fusion

J Neurosurg Spine 30:211–221, 2019

Transpsoas lateral interbody fusion is one of the lateral minimally invasive approaches for lumbar spine surgery. Most surgeons insert the interbody cage laterally and then insert pedicle or cortical screw and rod instrumentation posteriorly. However, standalone cages have also been used to avoid posterior instrumentation. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the literature on comparison of the two approaches is sparse.

METHODS The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature on transpsoas lateral interbody fusion by an electronic search of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus databases using PRISMA guidelines. They compared patients undergoing transpsoas standalone fusion (TP) with those undergoing transpsoas fusion with posterior instrumentation (TPP).

RESULTS A total of 28 studies with 1462 patients were included. Three hundred and seventy-four patients underwent TPP, and 956 patients underwent TP. The mean patient age ranged from 45.7 to 68 years in the TP group, and 50 to 67.7 years in the TPP group. The incidence of reoperation was found to be higher for TP (0.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–0.11) compared to TPP (0.03, 95% CI 0.01–0.06; p = 0.057). Similarly, the incidence of cage movement was found to be greater in TP (0.18, 95% CI 0.10–0.26) compared to TPP (0.03, 95% CI 0.00–0.05; p < 0.001). Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores and postoperative transient deficits were found to be comparable between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS These results appear to suggest that addition of posterior instrumentation to transpsoas fusion is associated with decreased reoperations and cage movements. The results of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be reevaluated in light of these results, which seem to suggest that higher reoperation and subsidence rates may be due to the use of the standalone technique.


Predictors of Poor Outcome in Patients Submitted to Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

World Neurosurg. (2018) 119:488-493

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) has become an increasingly popular method for lumbar arthrodesis. While having similar long-term outcomes when compared with open TLIF, it decreases the amount of intraoperative blood loss and iatrogenic muscle damage, the intensity of postoperative pain, and the duration of hospital stay. However, uncertainty remains about which factors contribute to outcomes in these patients. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyze a cohort of patients submitted to MI-TLIF and to identify factors that can be associated with a worse postoperative outcome.

METHODS: Clinical records from 283 patients were assessed and, according to Odom’s criteria, postoperative clinical outcome at 12 months was classified as excellent, good, fair, and poor. Demographic variables, clinical data, and surgery-related data were analyzed, looking for associations between them and clinical outcome. A binomial logistic regression analysis was then performed to include those associations.

RESULTS: The main variables associated with worse prognosis (“poor” class according to Odom’s criteria) were a period of sick leave longer than 3 months before the surgery, age younger than 50 years, lytic spondylolisthesis, L5-S1 level, and occurrence of complications. These 5 conditions were included in a logistic regression analysis, and 3 of them were independently associated with poor outcome: operative complications, age younger than 50 years, and sick leave longer than 3 months before surgery. –

CONCLUSIONS: Younger patients, those on a sick leave for more than 3 months before surgery, or those who suffered surgical complications tended to have less satisfactory results after MI-TLIF.