Internal Ventricular Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt for Adult Hydrocephalus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Infection Rate

Hydrocephalus is a common neurological condition that usually requires internal ventricular cerebrospinal fluid shunt (IVCSFS). The reported infection rate (IR) varies greatly from below 1% up to over 50%, but no meta-analysis to assess the overall IR has ever been performed.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the IVCSFS overall IR in the adult population and search for associated factors.

METHODS: Six databases were searched from January 1990 to July 2022. Only original articles reporting on adult IVCSFS IR were included. Random-effects meta-analysis with generalized linear mixed model method and logit transformation was used to assess the overall IR. RESULTS: Of 1703 identified articles, 44 were selected, reporting on 57259 patients who had IVCSFS implantation and 2546 infections. The pooled IR value and its 95% CI were 4.75%, 95% CI (3.8 to 5.92). Ninety-five percent prediction interval ranged from 1.19% to 17.1%. The patients who had IVCSFS after intracranial hemorrhage showed a higher IR (7.65%, 95% CI [5.82 to 10], P-value = .002). A meta-regression by year of publication found a decreasing IR (À0.031, 95% CI [À0.06 to 0.003], P-value = .032) over the past 32 years.

CONCLUSION: IVCSF is a procedure that every neurosurgeon should be well trained to perform. However, the complication rate remains high, with an estimated overall IR of 4.75%. The IR is especially elevated for hydrocephalic patients who require IVCSFS after intracranial hemorrhage. However, decades of surgical advances may have succeeded in reducing IR over the past 32 years.

Neurosurgery 92:894–904, 2023

Nucleus accumbens: a systematic review of neural circuitry and clinical studies in healthy and pathological states

J Neurosurg 138:337–346, 2023

The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of the ventral striatum is critically involved in goal- and reward-based behavior. Structural and functional abnormalities of the NAcc or its associated neural systems are involved in neurological and psychiatric disorders. Studies of neural circuitry have shed light on the subtleties of the structural and functional derangements of the NAcc across various diseases. In this systematic review, the authors sought to identify human studies involving the NAcc and provide a synthesis of the literature on the known circuity of the NAcc in healthy and diseased states, as well as the clinical outcomes following neuromodulation.

METHODS A systematic review was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Neuroimaging studies that reported on neural circuitry related to the human NAcc with sample sizes greater than 5 patients were included. Demographic data, aim, design and duration, participants, and clinical and neurocircuitry details and outcomes of the studies were extracted.

RESULTS Of 3591 resultant articles, 123 were included. The NAcc and its corticolimbic connections to other brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, are largely involved in reward and pain processes, with distinct functional circuitry between the shell and core in healthy patients. There is heterogeneity between clinical studies with regard to the NAcc indirect targeting coordinates, methods for postoperative confirmation, and blinded trial design. Neuromodulation studies provided promising clinical results in the context of addiction and substance misuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mood disorders. The most common complications were impaired memory or concentration, and a notable serious complication was hypomania.

CONCLUSIONS The functional diversity of the NAcc highlights the importance of studying the NAcc in healthy and pathological states. The results of this review suggest that NAcc neuromodulation has been attempted in the management of diverse psychiatric indications. There is promising, emerging evidence that the NAcc may be an effective target for specific reward- or pain-based pathologies with a reasonable risk profile.

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.

Amygdala and Hypothalamus: Historical Overview With Focus on Aggression

Neurosurgery, 85, 1: 11–30, 2019

Aggressiveness has a high prevalence in psychiatric patients and is a major health problem. Two brain areas involved in the neural network of aggressive behavior are the amygdala and the hypothalamus.

While pharmacological treatments are effective in most patients, some do not properly respond to conventional therapies and are considered medically refractory. In this population, surgical procedures (ie, stereotactic lesions and deep brain stimulation) have been performed in an attempt to improve symptomatology and quality of life.

Clinical results obtained after surgery are difficult to interpret, and the mechanisms responsible for postoperative reductions in aggressive behavior are unknown.

We review the rationale and neurobiological characteristics that may help to explain why functional neurosurgery has been proposed to control aggressive behavior.

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.

Radiation-Induced Changes After Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 83:365–376, 2018

Radiation-induced changes (RICs) are the most common complication of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and they appear as perinidal T2-weighted hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging, with or without associated neurological symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates of RIC after AVM SRS and identify risk factors.

METHODS: A literature review was performed using PubMed and MEDLINE to identify studies reporting RIC in AVM patients treated with SRS. RICs were classified as radiologic (any neuroimaging evidence), symptomatic (any associated neurological deterioration, regardless of duration), and permanent (neurological decline without recovery). Baseline, treatment, and outcomes data were extracted for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Based on pooled data from 51 studies, the overall rates of radiologic, symptomatic, and permanent RIC after AVMSRS were 35.5% (1143/3222 patients, 32 studies), 9.2% (499/5447 patients, 46 studies), and 3.8% (202/5272 patients, 39 studies), respectively. Radiologic RIC was significantly associated with lack of prior AVM rupture (odds ratio [OR] = 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.47-0.69; P < .001) and treatment with repeat SRS (OR = 6.19; 95% CI: 2.42-15.85; P < .001). Symptomatic RIC was significantly associated with deep AVM location (OR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.21-0.67; P< .001).

CONCLUSION: Approximately 1 in 3 patients with AVMs treated with SRS develop radiologically evident RIC, and of those with radiologic RIC, 1 in 4 develop neurological symptoms. Lack of prior AVM hemorrhage and repeat SRS are risk factors for radiologic RIC, and deep nidus location is a risk factor for symptomatic RIC.

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.

Spinal epidural hematomas: personal experience and literature review of more than 1000 cases

J Neurosurg Spine 27:198–208, 2017

The goal of this study was to identify factors that contribute to the formation of acute spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) by correlating etiology, age, site, clinical status, and treatment with immediate results and long-term outcomes.

METHODS The authors reviewed their series of 15 patients who had been treated for SEH between 1996 and 2012. In addition, the authors reviewed the relevant international literature from 1869 (when SEH was first described) to 2012, collecting a total of 1010 cases. Statistical analysis was performed in 959 (95%) cases that were considered valid for assessing the incidence of age, sex, site, and clinical status at admission, correlating each of these parameters with the treatment results. Statistical analysis was also performed in 720 (71.3%) cases to study the incidence of etiological factors that favor SEH formation: coagulopathy, trauma, spinal puncture, pregnancy, and multifactorial disorders. The clinical status at admission and long-term outcome were studied for each group. Clinical status was assessed using the Neuro-Grade (NG) scale.

RESULTS The mean patient age was 47.97 years (range 0–91 years), and a significant proportion of patients were male (60%, p < 0.001). A bimodal distribution has been reported for age at onset with peaks in the 2nd and 6th decades of life. The cause of the SEH was not reported in 42% of cases. The etiology concerned mainly iatrogenic factors (18%), such as coagulopathy or spinal puncture, rather than noniatrogenic factors (29%), such as genetic or metabolic coagulopathy, trauma, and pregnancy. The etiology was multifactorial in 11.1% of cases. The most common sites for SEH were C-6 (n = 293, 31%) and T-12 (n = 208, 22%), with maximum extension of 6 vertebral bodies in 720 cases (75%). At admission, 806 (84%) cases had moderate neurological impairment (NG 2 or 3), and only lumbar hematoma was associated with a good initial clinical neurological status (NG 0 or 1). Surgery was performed in 767 (80%) cases. Mortality was greater in patients older than 40 years of age (9%; p < 0.01). Sex did not influence any of these data (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS Factors that contribute to the formation of acute SEH are iatrogenic, not iatrogenic, or multifactorial. The treatment of choice is surgery, and the results of treatment are influenced by the patient’s clinical and neurological status at admission, age, and the craniocaudal site.

Critical review of brain AVMsurgery, surgical results and natural history in 2017

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1457–1478

An understanding of the present standing of surgery, surgical results and the role in altering the future morbidity and mortality of untreated brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) is appropriate considering the myriad alternative management pathways (including radiosurgery, embolization or some combination of treatments), varying risks and selection biases that have contributed to confusion regarding management. The purpose of this review is to clarify the link between the incidence of adverse outcomes that are reported from a management pathway of either surgery or no intervention with the projected risks of surgery or no intervention.

Methods A critical review of the literature was performed on the outcomes of surgery and non-intervention for bAVM. An analysis of the biases and how these may have influenced the outcomes was included to attempt to identify reasonable estimates of risks.

Results In the absence of treatment, the cumulative risk of future hemorrhage is approximately 16% and 29% at 10 and 20 years after diagnosis of bAVM without hemorrhage and 35% and 45% at 10 and 20 years when presenting with hemorrhage (annualized, this risk would be approximately 1.8% for unruptured bAVMs and 4.7% for 8 years for bAVMs presenting with hemorrhage followed by the unruptured bAVM rate). The cumulative outcome of these hemorrhages depends upon whether the patient remains untreated and is allowed to have a further hemorrhage or is treated at this time. Overall, approximately 42% will develop a new permanent neurological deficit or death from a hemorrhagic event. The presence of an associated proximal intracranial aneurysm (APIA) and restriction of venous outflow may increase the risk for subsequent hemorrhage. Other risks for increased risk of hemorrhage (age, pregnancy, female) were examined, and their purported association with hemorrhage is difficult to support. Both the Spetzler-Martin grading system (and its compaction into the Spetzler-Ponce tiers) and Lawton-Young supplementary grading system are excellent in predicting the risk of surgery. The 8-year risk of unfavorable outcome from surgery (complication leading to a permanent new neurological deficit with a modified Rankin Scale score of greater than one, residual bAVM or recurrence) is dependent on bAVM size, the presence of deep venous drainage (DVD) and location in critical brain (eloquent location). For patients with bAVMs who have neither a DVD nor eloquent location, the 8-year risk for an unfavorable outcome increases with size (increasing from 1 cm to 6 cm) from 1% to 9%. For patients with bAVMwho have either a DVD or eloquent location (but not both), the 8- year risk for an unfavorable outcome increases with the size (increasing from 1 cm to 6 cm) from 4% to 35%. For patients with bAVM who have both a DVD and eloquent location, the 8-year risk for unfavorable outcome increases with size (increasing from 1 cm to 3 cm) from 12% to 38%.

Conclusion Patients with a Spetzler-Ponce A bAVM expecting a good quality of life for the next 8 years are likely to do better with surgery in expert centers than remaining untreated. Ongoing research is urgently required on the outcome of management pathways for bAVM.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Associated With Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Secondary Fusion Rates Following Open vs Minimally Invasive Decompression

Neurosurgery 80:355–367, 2017

Decompression without fusion is a treatment option in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) associated with stable low-grade degenerative spondylolis- thesis (DS). A minimally invasive unilateral laminotomy (MIL) for “over the top” decom- pression might be a less destabilizing alternative to traditional open laminectomy (OL). OBJECTIVE: To review secondary fusion rates after open vs minimally invasive decom- pression surgery.

METHODS: We performed a literature search in Pubmed/MEDLINE using the keywords “lumbar spondylolisthesis” and “decompression surgery.” All studies that separately reported the outcome of patients with LSS+DS that were treated by OL or MIL (transmuscular or subperiosteal route)were included in our systematic review and meta-analysis. The primary end point was secondary fusion rate. Secondary end points were total reoperation rate, postoperative progression of listhetic slip, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: We identified 37 studies (19 with OL, 18 with MIL), with a total of 1156 patients, that were published between 1983 and 2015. The studies’evidence was mostly level 3 or 4. Secondary fusion rates were 12.8% after OL and 3.3% after MIL; the total reoperation rates were 16.3% after OL and 5.8% after MIL. In the OL cohort, 72% of the studies reported a slip progression compared to 0% in the MIL cohort, respectively. After OL, satisfactory outcome was 62.7% compared to 76% after MIL.

CONCLUSION: In patients with LSS and DS, minimally invasive decompression is associated with lower reoperation and fusion rates, less slip progression, and greater patient satisfaction than open surgery.


Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Meningiomas: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Meningiomas- Current Concepts and Future Perspectives

Neurosurgery 76:362–371, 2015

Meningiomas are among the most common adult brain tumors. Although the optimal management of meningiomas would provide complete elimination of the lesion, this cannot always be accomplished safely through resection. Therefore, other therapeutic modalities, such as stereotactic radiosurgery (as primary or adjunctive therapy), have emerged.

In the current review, we have provided an overview of the historical outcomes of various radiosurgical modalities applied in the management of meningiomas. Furthermore, we provide a discussion on key factors (eg World Health Organization grade, lesion size, and lesion location) that affect tumor control and adverse event rates. We discuss recent changes in our understanding of meningiomas, based on molecular and genetic markers, and how these will change our perspective on the management of meningiomas.

We conclude by outlining the areas in which knowledge gaps persist and provide suggestions as to how these can be addressed.

Update on protein biomarkers in traumatic brain injury with emphasis on clinical use in adults and pediatrics

Purpose  This review summarizes protein biomarkers in mild and severe traumatic brain injury in adults and children and presents a strategy for conducting rationally designed clinical studies on biomarkers in head trauma.
Methods  We performed an electronic search of the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE and Biomedical Library of University of Pennsylvania database in March 2008 using a search heading of traumatic head injury and protein biomarkers. The search was focused especially on protein degradation products (spectrin breakdown product, c-tau, amyloid-β1–42) in the last 10 years, but recent data on “classical” markers (S-100B, neuron-specific enolase, etc.) were also examined.
Results  We identified 85 articles focusing on clinical use of biomarkers; 58 articles were prospective cohort studies with injury and/or outcome assessment.
Conclusions  We conclude that only S-100B in severe traumatic brain injury has consistently demonstrated the ability to predict injury and outcome in adults. The number of studies with protein degradation products is insufficient especially in the pediatric care. Cohort studies with well-defined end points and further neuroproteomic search for biomarkers in mild injury should be triggered. After critically reviewing the study designs, we found that large homogenous patient populations, consistent injury, and outcome measures prospectively determined cutoff values, and a combined use of different predictors should be considered in future studies.
Doi: 10.1007/s00701-009-0463-6