A proposed classification system for presigmoid approaches: a scoping review

J Neurosurg 139:965–971, 2023

The “presigmoid corridor” covers a spectrum of approaches using the petrous temporal bone either as a target in treating intracanalicular lesions or as a route to access the internal auditory canal (IAC), jugular foramen, or brainstem. Complex presigmoid approaches have been continuously developed and refined over the years, leading to great heterogeneity in their definitions and descriptions. Owing to the common use of the presigmoid corridor in lateral skull base surgery, a simple anatomy-based and self-explanatory classification is needed to delineate the operative perspective of the different variants of the presigmoid route. Herein, the authors conducted a scoping review of the literature with the aim of proposing a classification system for presigmoid approaches.

METHODS The PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to December 9, 2022, following the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines to include clinical studies reporting the use of “stand-alone” presigmoid approaches. Findings were summarized based on the anatomical corridor, trajectory, and target lesions to classify the different variants of the presigmoid approach.

RESULTS Ninety-nine clinical studies were included for analysis, and the most common target lesions were vestibular schwannomas (60/99, 60.6%) and petroclival meningiomas (12/99, 12.1%). All approaches had a common entry pathway (i.e., mastoidectomy) but were differentiated into two main categories based on their relationship to the labyrinth: translabyrinthine or anterior corridor (80/99, 80.8%) and retrolabyrinthine or posterior corridor (20/99, 20.2%). The anterior corridor comprised 5 variations based on the extent of bone resection: 1) partial translabyrinthine (5/99, 5.1%), 2) transcrusal (2/99, 2.0%), 3) translabyrinthine proper (61/99, 61.6%), 4) transotic (5/99, 5.1%), and 5) transcochlear (17/99, 17.2%). The posterior corridor consisted of 4 variations based on the target area and trajectory in relation to the IAC: 6) retrolabyrinthine inframeatal (6/99, 6.1%), 7) retrolabyrinthine transmeatal (19/99, 19.2%), 8) retrolabyrinthine suprameatal (1/99, 1.0%), and 9) retrolabyrinthine trans-Trautman’s triangle (2/99, 2.0%).

CONCLUSIONS Presigmoid approaches are becoming increasingly complex with the expansion of minimally invasive techniques. Descriptions of these approaches using the existing nomenclature can be imprecise or confusing. Therefore, the authors propose a comprehensive classification based on the operative anatomy that unequivocally describes presigmoid approaches simply, precisely, and efficiently.

Brain metastasis resection: the impact of fluorescence guidance (MetResect study)

Neurosurg Focus 55(2):E10, 2023

Maximal resection of brain metastases (BMs) improves both progression-free survival and overall survival (OS). Fluorescein sodium (FL) in combination with the YELLOW 560-nm filter is a safe and feasible method for visualizing residual tumor tissue during BM resection. The authors of this study aimed to show that use of FL would positively influence the volumetric extent of resection (EOR) and thus the survival outcome in patients undergoing BM resection.

METHODS Analyzing their institution’s prospective brain tumor registry, the authors identified 539 consecutive patients with BMs (247 women, mean age 62.8 years) by using preoperative high-quality MR images for volumetric analysis. BMs were resected under white light (WL) in 293 patients (54.4%; WL group) and under FL guidance in 246 patients (45.6%; FL group). Sex, age, presurgical Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), recursive partitioning analysis class, and adjuvant treatment modalities were well balanced between the two groups. Volumetric analysis was performed in a blinded fashion by quantifying pre- and postoperative tumor volume based on gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted sequences.

RESULTS In the FL group, the postoperative tumor volume was significantly smaller (p = 0.01), and hence the quantitative EOR was significantly larger (p = 0.024) and OS was significantly longer (p = 0.0001) (log-rank testing). Multivariate Cox regression modeling showed that age, presurgical KPS, metastasis status, and FL-guided resection are independent prognostic factors for survival.

CONCLUSIONS Compared with WL resection, FL-guided BM resection increased resection quality, significantly improved EOR, and prolonged OS.

Aggressive pituitary neuroendocrine tumors: current practices, controversies, and perspectives, on behalf of the EANS skull base section

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3131–3142

Aggressive pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (APT) account for 10% of pituitary tumors. Their management is a rapidly evolving field of clinical research and has led pituitary teams to shift toward a neuro-oncological-like approach.

The new terminology “Pituitary neuroendocrine tumors” (PitNet) that was recently proposed to replace “pituitary adenomas” reflects this change of paradigm. In this narrative review, we aim to provide a state of the art of actual knowledge, controversies, and recommendations in the management of APT.

We propose an overview of current prognostic markers, including the recent five-tiered clinicopathological classification. We further establish and discuss the following recommendations from a neurosurgical perspective: (i) surgery and multi-staged surgeries (without or with parasellar resection in symptomatic patients) should be discussed at each stage of the disease, because it may potentialize adjuvant medical therapies; (ii) temozolomide is effective in most patients, although 30% of patients are non-responders and the optimal timeline to initiate and interrupt this treatment remains questionable; (iii) some patients with selected clinicopathological profiles may benefit from an earlier local radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy; (iv) novel therapies such as VEGF-targeted therapies and anti-CTLA-4/anti-PD1 immunotherapies are promising and should be discussed as 2nd or 3rd line of treatment.

Finally, whether neurosurgeons have to operate on “pituitary adenomas” or “PitNets,” their role and expertise remain crucial at each stage of the disease, prompting our community to deal with evolving concepts and therapeutic resources.

Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue Using Robotic Neuroblate System (LAANTERN)

Neurosurgery 86:538–547, 2020

Stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) has demonstrated potential utility for a spectrum of difficult to treat neurosurgical pathologies in multiple small and/or retrospective single-institutional series. Here, we present the safety profile of SLA of intracranial lesions from the Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue using Robotic NeuroBlate System (LAANTERN; Monteris Medical) multi-institutional, international prospective observational registry.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the procedural safety of SLA for intracranial lesions.

METHODS: Prospective procedural safety and hospitalization data from the first 100 treated LAANTERN patients was collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: Mean age and baseline Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) were 51(±17) yr and 83(± 15), respectively. In total, 81.2% of patients had undergone prior surgical or radiation treatment. Most patients had a single lesion (79%) ablated through 1 burr hole (1.2±0.7 per patient), immediately following a lesion biopsy. In total, >90% of the lesion was ablated in 72% of treated lesions. Average total procedural time was 188.2 ± 69.6 min, and average blood loss was 17.7 ± 55.6 ccs. The average length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays before discharge were 38.1 ± 62.7 h and 61.1 ± 87.2 h, respectively. There were 5 adverse events (AEs) attributable to SLA (5/100; 5%). After the procedure, 84.8% of patients were discharged home. There was 1 mortality within 30 d of the procedure (1/100; 1%), which was not attributable to SLA.

CONCLUSION: SLA is a safe, minimally invasive procedure with favorable postprocedural ICU and hospital utilization profiles.

USim: A New Device and App for Case-Specific, Intraoperative Ultrasound Simulation and Rehearsal in Neurosurgery

Operative Neurosurgery 14:572–578, 2018

Intraoperative ultrasound (iUS) is an excellent aid for neurosurgeons to perform better and safer operations thanks to real time, continuous, and high-quality intraoperative visualization. OBJECTIVE: To develop an innovative training method to teach how to perform iUS in neurosurgery.

METHODS: Patients undergoing surgery for different brain or spine lesions were iUS scanned (before opening the dura) in order to arrange a collection of 3-dimensional, US images; this set of data was matched and paired to preoperatively acquired magnetic resonance images in order to create a library of neurosurgical cases to be studied offline for training and rehearsal purposes. This new iUS training approach was preliminarily tested on 14 European neurosurgery residents, who participated at the 2016 European Association of Neurosurgical Societies Training Course (Sofia, Bulgaria).

RESULTS: USim was developed by Camelot and the Besta NeuroSim Center as a dedicated app that transforms any smartphone into a “virtual US probe,” in order to simulate iUS applied to neurosurgery on a series of anonymized, patient-specific cases of different central nervous system tumors (eg, gliomas, metastases, meningiomas) for education, simulation, and rehearsal purposes. USim proved to be easy to use and allowed residents to quickly learn to handle a US probe and interpret iUS semiotics.

CONCLUSION: USim could help neurosurgeons learn neurosurgical iUS safely. Furthermore, neurosurgeons could simulate many cases, of different brain/spinal cord tumors, that resemble the specific cases they have to operate on. Finally, the library of caseswould be continuously updated, upgraded, and made available to neurosurgeons.

Hypnosis for Awake Surgery of Low-grade Gliomas

Hypnosis for Awake Surgery of Low-grade Gliomas

Neurosurgery 78:53–61, 2016

Awake craniotomy with intraoperative electric stimulation is a reliable method for extensive removal of low-grade gliomas while preserving the functional integrity of eloquent surrounding brain structures. Although fully awake procedures have been proposed, asleep-awake-asleep remains the standard technique. Anesthetic contraindications are the only limitation of this method, which is therefore not reliable for older patients with high-grade gliomas.

OBJECTIVE: To describe and assess a novel method for awake craniotomy based on hypnosis.

METHODS: We proposed a novel hypnosedation procedure to patients undergoing awake surgery for low-grade gliomas in our institution between May 2011 and April 2015. Surgical data were retrospectively recorded. The subjective experience of hypnosis was assessed by 3 standardized questionnaires: the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale, the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Scale, the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experience Questionnaire, and a fourth questionnaire designed specifically for this study.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight questionnaires were retrieved from 43 procedures performed on 37 patients. The Peritraumatic Dissociative Experience Questionnaire revealed a dissociation state in 17 cases. The Perceived Stress Scale was pathological in 8 patients. Two patients in this group stated that they would not accept a second hypnosedation procedure. The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Scale revealed 1 case of posttraumatic stress disorder. Burr hole and bone flap procedures were the most frequently reported unpleasant events during opening (15 of 52 events).

CONCLUSION: The main findings of our study are the effectiveness of the technique, which in all cases allowed resection of the tumor up to functional boundaries, and the positive psychological impact of the technique in most of the patients.

The Impact of Sedation on Brain Mapping

Brain Mapping

Neurosurgery 75:117–123, 2014

During awake craniotomies, patients may either be awake for the entire duration of the surgical intervention (awake-awake-awake craniotomy, AAA) or initially sedated (asleep-awake-asleep craniotomy, SAS).

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether prior sedation in SAS may restrict brain mapping, we conducted neuropsychological tests in patients by means of a standardized anesthetic regimen comparable to an SAS.

METHODS: We prospectively examined patients undergoing surgery either under total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) or under regional anesthesia with slight sedation (RAS). The tests included the DO40 picture-naming test, the digit span, the Regensburg Word Fluency Test, and the finger-tapping test. Each test was conducted 3 times for every patient in the TIVA and RAS groups, once before surgery and twice within about 35 minutes after the end of sedation. Patients undergoing AAA were examined preoperatively and intraoperatively.

RESULTS: In the AAA group, no significant difference was found between preoperative and intraoperative test results. In the TIVA and RAS groups, postoperative tests showed worse results than preoperative tests. In most tests, patients improved from the first to the second postoperative test.

CONCLUSION: Cognitive and motor performance were significantly influenced by prior sedation in the TIVA and RAS groups, but not in the AAA group. Therefore, prior sedation may be assumed to cause a change in the baselines, which may compromise brain mapping and thus endanger a patient’s neurological outcome in the case of an SAS.

The preoperative use of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation facilitates early resection of suspected low-grade gliomas in the motor cortex

The preoperative use of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation facilitates early resection of suspected low-grade gliomas in the motor cortex

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1813–1821

Resection is recommended for low-grade gliomas, but often it is not performed if the tumor is suspected of invading the primary motor cortex. The study aim is to assess what influence preoperative navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has on the treatment strategy and clinical outcome for suspected low-grade gliomas in presumed motor eloquent location.

Methods This paper reports on all our patients with gliomas in the primary motor cortex that were non-enhancing on MRI, since we began using nTMS (n=11). For the comparison group, we identified the 11 most recent such patients just before we started using nTMS.

Results Exact delineation of motor functional versus nonfunctional cortical tissue was provided by nTMS in all cases, also within the area of altered FLAIR signal. In 6 out of 11 cases, the nTMS mapping result changed the treatment plan towards early and more extensive resection. Only one nTMS patient had another seizure within the follow-up period, whereas four patients in the comparison group had further seizures. In the nTMS group, 1 of 4 patients with pre-op neurological deficits improved by one year; whereas the comparison group had increased neurological deficits in 3 of the 8 patients not having surgery. The median (range) change of tumor volume from baseline to 1 year was −83 % (−67 % to −100 %) in the nTMS group, but +12 % (+40 % to −56 %) in the comparison group (p<0.001).

Conclusions nTMS provides accurate motor mapping results also in infiltrative gliomas and enables more frequent and more extensive surgical resection of non-enhancing gliomas in or near the primary motor cortex. The substantial differences observed here in neurological and oncological outcomes suggest that further comparative research is warranted.