Endovascular therapy versus microsurgical clipping of unruptured wide-neck aneurysms: a prospective multicenter study with propensity score analysis

J Neurosurg 137:352–359, 2022

Numerous techniques have been developed to treat wide-neck aneurysms (WNAs), each with different safety and efficacy profiles. Few studies have compared endovascular therapy (EVT) with microsurgery (MS). The authors’ objective was to perform a prospective multicenter study of a WNA registry using rigorous outcome assessments and to compare EVT and MS using propensity score analysis (PSA).

METHODS Unruptured, saccular, not previously treated WNAs were included. WNA was defined as an aneurysm with a neck width ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio (DTNR) < 2. The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year after treatment (good outcome was defined as mRS score 0–2), as assessed by blinded research nurses and compared with PSA. Angiographic outcome was assessed using the Raymond scale with core laboratory review (adequate occlusion was defined as Raymond scale score 1–2).

RESULTS The analysis included 224 unruptured aneurysms in the EVT cohort (n = 140) and MS cohort (n = 84). There were no differences in baseline demographic characteristics, such as proportion of patients with good baseline mRS score (94.3% of the EVT cohort vs 94.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.941). WNA inclusion criteria were similar between cohorts, with the most common being both neck width ≥ 4 mm and DTNR < 2 (50.7% of the EVT cohort vs 50.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.228). More paraclinoid (32.1% vs 9.5%) and basilar tip (7.1% vs 3.6%) aneurysms were treated with EVT, whereas more middle cerebral artery (13.6% vs 42.9%) and pericallosal (1.4% vs 4.8%) aneurysms were treated with MS (p < 0.001). EVT aneurysms were slightly larger (p = 0.040), and MS aneurysms had a slightly lower mean DTNR (1.4 for the EVT cohort vs 1.3 for the MS cohort, p = 0.010). Within the EVT cohort, 9.3% of patients underwent stand-alone coiling, 17.1% balloon-assisted coiling, 34.3% stent-assisted coiling, 37.1% flow diversion, and 2.1% PulseRider-assisted coiling. Neurological morbidity secondary to a procedural complication was more common in the MS cohort (10.3% vs 1.4%, p = 0.003). One-year mRS scores were assessed for 218 patients (97.3%), and no significantly increased risk of poor clinical outcome was found for the MS cohort (OR 2.17, 95% CI 0.84–5.60, p = 0.110). In an unadjusted direct comparison, more patients in the EVT cohort achieved a good clinical outcome at 1 year (93.4% vs 84.1%, p = 0.048). Final adequate angiographic outcome was superior in the MS cohort (97.6% of the MS cohort vs 86.5% of the EVT cohort, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS Although the treatments for unruptured WNA had similar clinical outcomes according to PSA, there were fewer complications and superior clinical outcome in the EVT cohort and superior angiographic outcomes in the MS cohort according to the unadjusted analysis. These results may be considered when selecting treatment modalities for patients with unruptured WNAs.

Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain

lumbar stenosis

J Neurosurg Spine 25:596–601, 2016

The relief of leg symptoms by surgical decompression for lumbar stenosis is well supported by the literature. Less is known about the effect on back pain. Some surgeons believe that the relief of back pain should not be an expected outcome of decompression and that substantial back pain may be a contraindication to decompression only; therefore, stabilization may be recommended for patients with substantial preoperative back pain even in the absence of well-accepted indications for stabilization such as spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. The purpose of this study is to determine if patients with lumbar stenosis and substantial back pain—in the absence of spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment—can obtain significant improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization.

Methods Analysis of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N2QOD) identified 726 patients with lumbar stenosis (without spondylolisthesis or scoliosis) and a baseline back pain score ≥ 5 of 10 who underwent surgical decompression only. No patient was reported to have significant spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. Standard demographic and surgical variables were collected, as well as patient outcomes including back and leg pain scores, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and EuroQoL 5D (EQ-5D) at baseline and 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

Results The mean age of the cohort was 65.6 years, and 407 (56%) patients were male. The mean body mass index was 30.2 kg/m2, and 40% of patients had 2-level decompression, 29% had 3-level decompression, 24% had 1-level decompression, and 6% had 4-level decompression. The mean estimated blood loss was 130 ml. The mean operative time was 100.85 minutes. The vast majority of discharges (88%) were routine home discharges. At 3 and 12 months postoperatively, there were significant improvements from baseline for back pain (7.62 to 3.19 to 3.66), leg pain (7.23 to 2.85 to 3.07), EQ-5D (0.55 to 0.76 to 0.75), and ODI (49.11 to 27.20 to 26.38).

Conclusions Through the 1st postoperative year, patients with lumbar stenosis—without spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment—and clinically significant back pain improved after decompression-only surgery.

Efficacy of antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters in reducing shunt infection: data from the United Kingdom Shunt Registry

J Neurosurg Pediatrics 4:389–393, 2009. (DOI: 10.3171/2009.4.PEDS09210)

In recent years CSF shunt catheters impregnated with rifampicin and clindamycin have been introduced to the United Kingdom (UK) market. These catheters have been shown to be effective in vitro against cultures of Staphylococcus epidermidis. The authors used data collected by the UK Shunt Registry to assess the efficacy of antibiotic-impregnated catheters (AICs) against shunt infection by using a matched-pair study design.

Methods. The UK Shunt Registry contains data on nearly 33,000 CSF shunt-related procedures. The authors identified 1139 procedures in which impregnated catheters had been used, and accurate information was known about diagnosis, number of revisions, sex, and age in these cases. The database was ordered chronologically and searched forward and backward for cases with these same characteristics but involving conventional catheters. Matches were found for 994 procedures.

Results. Among the 994 procedures in which AICs had been used, 30 shunts were subsequently revised because of shunt infection. Among the 994 controls, 47 were subsequently revised for infection (p = 0.048, chi-square test).

Conclusions. The UK Shunt Registry does not collect data on causative organisms, and the surgeon is relied on entirely for the diagnosis of infection. However, with the large number of matched pairs evaluated, the authors attempted to reduce bias to a minimum. Their data suggest that AICs have the potential to significantly reduce shunt infections.

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