Awake Versus Asleep Craniotomy for Patients With Eloquent Glioma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 94:38–52, 2024

Awake vs asleep craniotomy for patients with eloquent glioma is debatable. This systematic review and meta-analysis sought to compare awake vs asleep craniotomy for the resection of gliomas in the eloquent regions. METHODS: MEDLINE and PubMed were searched from inception to December 13, 2022. Primary outcomes were the extent of resection (EOR), overall survival (month), progression-free survival (month), and rates of neurological deficit, Karnofsky performance score, and seizure freedom at the 3-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes were duration of operation (minute) and length of hospital stay (LOS) (day).

RESULTS: Fifteen studies yielded 2032 patients, from which 800 (39.4%) and 1232 (60.6%) underwent awake and asleep craniotomy, respectively. The meta-analysis concluded that the awake group had greater EOR (mean difference [MD]= MD= 8.52 [4.28, 12.76], P < .00001), overall survival (MD = 2.86 months [1.35, 4.37], P = .0002), progression-free survival (MD = 5.69 months [0.75, 10.64], P = .02), 3-month postoperative Karnofsky performance score (MD = 13.59 [11.08, 16.09], P < .00001), and 3-month postoperative seizure freedom (odds ratio = 8.72 [3.39, 22.39], P < .00001). Furthermore, the awake group had lower 3-month postoperative neurological deficit (odds ratio = 0.47 [0.28, 0.78], P = .004) and shorter LOS (MD = -2.99 days [-5.09, -0.88], P = .005). In addition, the duration of operation was similar between the groups (MD = 37.88 minutes [-34.09, 109.86], P = .30).

CONCLUSION: Awake craniotomy for gliomas in the eloquent regions benefits EOR, survival, postoperative neurofunctional outcomes, and LOS. When feasible, the authors recommend awake craniotomy for surgical resection of gliomas in the eloquent regions.

Midline lumbar interbody fusion: a review of the surgical technique and outcomes

J Neurosurg Spine 39:462–470, 2023

Midline lumbar interbody fusion (MidLIF) is a mini-open posterior interbody fusion technique defined by a cortical screw trajectory wherein screws are placed from a more medial to lateral trajectory compared with traditional pedicle screws. This enables the surgeon to perform a smaller muscle dissection with the benefits of improved blood loss, less muscle retraction, decreased operative time, shorter length of stay, and improved back pain outcomes compared with the traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion techniques utilizing pedicle screw fixation.

Importantly, MidLIF offers comparable clinical outcomes and radiographic outcomes to other posterior lumbar interbody fusion techniques.

In the current review, the authors aimed to educate readers about the MidLIF surgical technique, as well as surgical, clinical, radiographic, cost effectiveness, and biomechanical outcomes, when compared with both open and minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion techniques with pedicle screw fixation.

Readers will be able to utilize this information to determine how the MidLIF procedure compares as an alternative to traditional techniques.

Analysis of Prognostic Factors and Surgical Management of Elderly Patients with Low-Grade Gliomas

World Neurosurg. (2023) 176:e20-e31

The number of elderly patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) is increasing, but their prognostic factors and surgical treatment are still controversial. This paper aims to investigate the prognostic factors of overall survival and cancer-specific survival in elderly patients with LGG and analyze the optimal surgical treatment strategy.

METHODS: Patients in the study were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database and patients were randomized into a training and a test set (7:3). Clinical variables were analyzed by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis to screen for significant prognostic factors, and nomograms visualized the prognosis. In addition, survival analysis of elderly patients regarding different surgical management was also analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curves.

RESULTS: Six prognostic factors were screened by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis on the training set: tumor site, laterality, histological type, the extent of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, and all factors were visualized by nomogram. And we evaluated the accuracy of the nomogram model using consistency index, calibration plots, receiver operator characteristic curves, and decision curve analysis, showing that the nomogram has strong accuracy and applicability. We also found that gross total resection improved overall survival and cancer-specific survival in patients with LGG aged ‡65 years relative to those who did not undergo surgery (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, we created and validated prognostic nomograms for elderly patients with LGG, which can help clinicians to provide personalized treatment services and clinical decisions for their patients. More importantly, we found that older age alone should not preclude aggressive surgery for LGGs.

Optimal Timing of Cranioplasty and Predictors of Overall Complications After Cranioplasty: The Impact of Brain Collapse

Neurosurgery 93:84–94, 2023

The optimal timing of cranioplasty (CP) and predictors of overall postoperative complications are still controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal timing of CP.

METHODS: Patients were divided into collapsed group and noncollapsed group based on brain collapse or not, respectively. Brain collapse volume was calculated in a 3-dimensional way. The primary outcomes were overall complications and outcomes at the 12-month follow-up after CP.

RESULTS: Of the 102 patients in this retrospective observation cohort study, 56 were in the collapsed group, and 46 were in the noncollapsed group. Complications were noted in 30.4% (n = 31), 24 (42.9%) patients in the collapsed group and 7 (15.2%) patients in the noncollapsed group, with a significant difference (P = .003). Thirty-three (58.9%) patients had good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale 0-3) in the collapsed group, and 34 (73.9%) patients had good outcomes in the noncollapsed group without a statistically significant difference (P = .113). Brain collapse (P = .005) and Karnofsky Performance Status score at the time of CP (P = .025) were significantly associated with overall postoperative complications. The cut-off value for brain collapse volume was determined as 11.26 cm 3 in the receiver operating characteristic curve. The DC-CP interval was not related to brain collapse volume or postoperative complications.

CONCLUSION: Brain collapse and lower Karnofsky Performance Status score at the time of CP were independent predictors of overall complications after CP. The optimal timing of CP may be determined by tissue window based on brain collapse volume instead of time window based on the decompressive craniectomy-CP interval.


The transfrontal isthmus approach for insular glioma surgery

J Neurosurg 139:20–28, 2023

The classic transopercular or transsylvian approach to insular gliomas removes the tumor laterally through the insular cortex. This study describes a new anteroposterior approach through the frontal isthmus for insular glioma surgery.

METHODS The authors detailed the surgical techniques for resection of insular gliomas through the transfrontal isthmus approach. Fifty-nine insular gliomas with at least Berger-Sanai zone I involvement were removed with the new approach, and extent of resection and postoperative neurological outcomes were assessed.

RESULTS Fifty-nine patients were enrolled in the study, including 35 men and 24 women, with a mean (range) age 44.3 (19–75) years. According to the Berger-Sanai classification system, the most common tumor was a giant glioma (67.8%), followed by involvement of zones I and IV (18.6%). Twenty-two cases were Yaşargil type 3A/B, and 37 cases were Yaşargil type 5A/B. The average angle between the lateral plane of the putamen and sagittal line was 33.53°, and the average width of the isthmus near the anterior insular point was 33.33 mm. The average angle between the lateral plane of the putamen and the sagittal line was positively correlated with the width of the isthmus near the anterior insular point (r = 0.935, p < 0.0001). The median (interquartile range [IQR]) preoperative tumor volume was 67.82 (57.64–92.19) cm 3 . Of 39 low-grade gliomas, 26 (66.67%) were totally resected; of 20 high-grade gliomas, 19 (95%) were totally resected. The median (IQR) extent of resection of the whole group was 100% (73.7%–100%). Intraoperative diffusion-weighted imaging showed no cases of middle cerebral artery– or lenticulostriate artery–related stroke. Extent of insular tumor resection was positively correlated with the angle of the lateral plane of the putamen and sagittal line (r = −0.329, p = 0.011) and the width of the isthmus near the anterior insular point (r = −0.267, p = 0.041). At 3 months postoperatively, muscle strength grade exceeded 4 in all cases, and all patients exhibited essentially normal speech. The median (IQR) Karnofsky performance score at 3 months after surgery was 90 (80–90).

CONCLUSIONS The transfrontal isthmus approach changes the working angle from lateral-medial to anterior-posterior, allowing for maximal safe removal of insular gliomas.

Predictive factors for post operative seizures following meningioma resection in patients without preoperative seizures: a multicenter retrospective analysis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1333–1343

Meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumor and represent 35% of all intracranial neoplasms. However, in the early post-operative period approximate 3–5% of patients experience an acute symptomatic seizure. Establishing risk factors for postoperative seizures will identify those patients without preoperative seizures at greatest risk of postoperative seizures and may guide antiseizure medications (ASMs) management.

Methods Adult seizure naïve patients who underwent primary resection of a World Health Organization (WHO) Grade 1–3 meningioma at the three Mayo Clinic Campuses between 2012–2022 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate regression analyses were used to identify radiological, surgical, and management features with the development of new-onset seizures in patients undergoing meningioma resection.

Results Of 113 seizure naïve patients undergoing meningioma resection 11 (9.7%) experienced a new-onset post-operative seizure. Tumor volume ≥ 25 cm 3 (Odds Ratio (OR) 5.223, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.546 – 17.650, p = 0.008) and cerebral convexity meningiomas (OR 4.742, 95% CI 1.255 – 14.336, p = 0.016) were most associated with new onset postoperative seizures in multivariate analysis. ASMs and corticosteroid therapies did not display a significant difference among those with and without a new onset postoperative seizure.

Conclusion In the current study, a larger tumor volume (≥ 25 cm3 ) and/or convexity meningiomas predicted the development of new onset post-operative seizures. Those who present with these factors should be counseled for their increased risk of new onset post-operative seizures and may benefit from prophylactic ASMs therapy.

Reappraisal of Intracerebral Hemorrhages and Intracerebral Hemorrhage Grading Scale Score in Surgically and Medically Managed Cerebellar Intracerebral Hemorrhage


Neurosurgery 92:1021–1028, 2023

As compared with supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH), bleeds that occur within the cerebellum require special consideration given the nature of the posterior fossa.

OBJECTIVE: To validate ICH and ICH grading scale (ICH-GS) scores in patients with cerebellar hemorrhage and examine the outcomes of patients managed surgically as compared with those who underwent conservative treatment.

METHODS: This observational multicenter study included 475 patients with cerebellar hemorrhage from 9 different neurosurgical departments in Germany between 2005 and 2021. The prognostic accuracy of ICH and ICH-GS scores were calculated by the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curves. Analyzed outcomes were the inhospital mortality, mortality at 6 months, in-hospital outcome, and outcome at 6 months.

RESULTS: Of 403 patients, 252 patients (62.5%) underwent surgical treatment and 151 patients (37.5%) conservative treatment. Both ICH and ICH-GS scores demonstrated good prognostic accuracy regarding both overall mortality and functional outcomes. In those patients presenting with severe cerebellar hemorrhages, ie, ICH score >3 and ICH-GS score >11, overall mortality was significantly lower in surgically treated patients. Mortality was significantly higher in those patients managed surgically who presented with ICH scores ≤3; in such patients, improved outcomes were noted when the hematoma was treated conservatively.

CONCLUSION: ICH and ICH scores are useful tools for prediction of survival and outcome in patients with cerebellar ICH. Surgical management may be beneficial for those who present with severe cerebellar ICH as reflected by ICH scores >3, while conservative management seems reasonable in patients with lower ICH scores.

Volumetric Growth and Growth Curve Analysis of Residual Intracranial Meningioma

Neurosurgery 92:734–744, 2023

After meningioma surgery, approximately 1 in 3 patients will have residual tumor that requires ongoing imaging surveillance. The precise volumetric growth rates of these tumors are unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the volumetric growth rates of residual meningioma, growth trajectory, and factors associated with progression.

METHODS: Patients with residual meningioma identified at a tertiary neurosurgery center between 2004 and 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Tumor volumewas measured using manual segmentation, after surgery and at every follow-up MRI scan. Growth rates were ascertained using a linear mixed-effects model and nonlinear regression analysis of growth trajectories. Progression was defined according to the Response Assessment in Neuro- Oncology (RANO) criteria (40% volume increase).

RESULTS: There were 236 patients with residual meningioma. One hundred and thirtytwo patients (56.0%) progressed according to the RANO criteria, with 86 patients being conservatively managed (65.2%) after progression. Thirteen patients (5.5%) developed clinical progression. Over a median follow-up of 5.3 years (interquartile range, 3.5–8.6 years), the absolute growth rate was 0.11 cm3 per year and the relative growth rate 4.3% per year. Factors associated with residual meningioma progression in multivariable Cox regression analysis were skull base location (hazard ratio [HR] 1.60, 95% CI 1.02–2.50) and increasing Ki-67 index (HR 3.43, 95% CI 1.19–9.90). Most meningioma exhibited exponential and logistic growth patterns (median R2 value 0.84, 95% CI 0.60–0.90).

CONCLUSION: Absolute and relative growth rates of residual meningioma are low, but most meet the RANO criteria for progression. Location and Ki-67 index can be used to stratify adjuvant treatment and surveillance paradigms.

Long-term outcomes after surgery for brainstem cavernous malformations: analysis of 46 consecutive cases

J Neurosurg 138:900–909, 2023

The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcomes after resection of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) and to assess the usefulness of the Lawton grading system in these cases.

METHODS This retrospective study analyzed 46 consecutive patients with BSCMs operated on between July 1990 and December 2020. Outcomes at the last follow-up were defined as favorable (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–2) or unfavorable (mRS score > 2).

RESULTS The study cohort comprised 24 men (52%) and 22 women (48%), ranging in age from 8 to 78 years old (median 37 years). In 19 patients (41%), the preoperative mRS score was > 2. All patients had hemorrhagic BSCM. There were 12 (26%) mesencephalic, 19 (41%) pontine, 7 (15%) medullary, and 8 (17%) cerebellar peduncle lesions, with a maximal diameter ranging from 5 to 40 mm (median 15 mm). In total, 24 BSCMs (52%) had bilateral extension crossing the brainstem midline. Lawton grades of 0, I, II, III, IV, V, and VI were defined in 3 (7%), 2 (4%), 10 (22%), 11 (24%), 8 (17%), 7 (15%), and 5 (11%) cases, respectively. Total resection of BSCMs was attained in 43 patients (93%). There were no perioperative deaths. Excluding the 3 most recent cases, the length of follow-up ranged from 56 to 365 months. The majority of patients demonstrated good functional recovery, but regress of the preexisting oculomotor nerve deficit was usually incomplete. No new hemorrhagic events were noted after total resection of BSCMs. In 42 patients (91%), the mRS score at the time of last follow-up was ≤ 2 (favorable outcome), and in 18 (39%), it was 0 (absence of neurological symptoms). Forty-four patients (96%) demonstrated clinical improvement and 2 (4%) had no changes compared with the preoperative period. Multivariate analysis revealed that only lower Lawton grade had a statistically significant independent association (p = 0.0280) with favorable long-term outcome. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for prediction of favorable outcome with 7 available Lawton grades of BSCM was 0.93.

CONCLUSIONS Resection of hemorrhagic BSCMs by an experienced neurosurgeon may be performed safely and effectively, even in severely disabled patients. In the authors’ experience, preexisting oculomotor nerve palsy represents the main cause of permanent postoperative neurological morbidity. The Lawton grading system effectively predicts longterm outcome after surgery.

The risk factors of postoperative infarction after surgical clipping of unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:501–515

An anterior communicating artery is a common location for both ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms, and microsurgery is sometimes necessary for their successful treatment. However, postoperative infarction should be considered during clipping due to the complex surrounding structures of anterior communicating artery aneurysms. This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors of postoperative infarction after surgical clipping of unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysms and its clinical outcomes.

Methods The data of patients who underwent microsurgical clipping of an unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm in our hospital between January 2008 and December 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. The patients’ demographic data, anatomical features of the anterior communicating artery complex and aneurysm, surgical technique, characteristics of postoperative infarction, and its clinical course were evaluated.

Results Notably, among 848 patients, 66 (7.8%) and 34 (4%) patients had radiologic and symptomatic infarctions, respectively. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that hypertension (odds ratio (OR), 1.99; p = 0.022), previous stroke (OR, 3.89; p = 0.009), posterior projection (OR, 5.58; p < 0.001), aneurysm size (OR, 1.17; optimal cut-off value, 6.14 mm; p = 0.002), and skull base-to-aneurysm distance (OR, 1.15; optimal cut-off value, 11.09 mm; p < 0.001) were associated with postoperative infarction. In the pterional approach, a closed A2 plane was an additional risk factor (OR, 1.88; p = 0.041). Infarction of the subcallosal and hypothalamic branches was significantly associated with symptomatic infarction ( p = 0.001).

Conclusion Hypertension, previous stroke, posteriorly projecting aneurysms, aneurysm size, and highly positioned aneurysms are independent risk factors for postoperative infarction during surgical clipping of an unruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm. Additionally, a closed A2 plane is an additional risk factor of postoperative infarction in patients undergoing clipping via the pterional approach.

Functional Reorganization of the Mesial Frontal Premotor Cortex in Patients With Supplementary Motor Area Seizures

Neurosurgery 92:186–194, 2023

Direct cortical stimulation of the mesial frontal premotor cortex, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), is challenging in humans. Limited access to these brain regions impedes understanding of human premotor cortex functional organization and somatotopy.

OBJECTIVE: To test whether seizure onset within the SMA was associated with functional remapping of mesial frontal premotor areas in a cohort of patients with epilepsy who underwent awake brain mapping after implantation of interhemispheric subdural electrodes.

METHODS: Stimulation trials from 646 interhemispheric subdural electrodes were analyzed and compared between patients who had seizure onset in the SMA (n = 13) vs patients who had seizure onset outside of the SMA (n = 12). 1:1 matching with replacement between SMA and non-SMA data sets was used to ensure similar spatial distribution of electrodes. Centroids and 95% confidence regions were computed for clustered head, trunk, upper extremity, lower extremity, and vision responses. A generalized linear mixedeffects model was used to test for significant differences in the resulting functional maps. Clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic data were reviewed.

RESULTS: After analyzing direct cortical stimulation trials from interhemispheric electrodes, we found significant displacement of the head and trunk responses in SMA compared with non-SMA patients (P < .01 for both). These differences remained significant after accounting for structural lesions, preexisting motor deficits, and seizure outcome.

CONCLUSION: The somatotopy of the mesial frontal premotor regions is significantly altered in patients who have SMA-onset seizures compared with patients who have seizure onset outside of the SMA, suggesting that functional remapping can occur in these brain regions.

Microsurgery versus Microsurgery With Preoperative Embolization for Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Neurosurgery 92:27–41, 2023

Preoperative embolization has traditionally been regarded as a safe and effective adjunct to microsurgical treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVM). However, there is currently no high-level evidence to ascertain this presumption.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of microsurgery (MS) vs microsurgery with preoperative embolization (E + MS) in patients with bAVM through systematic review.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, and Embase. The primary outcome was bAVM obliteration. Secondary outcomes were intraoperative bleeding (mL), complications, worsened modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and mortality. The pooled proportions of outcomes were calculated through the logit transformation method. The odds ratio (OR) of categorical data and mean difference of continuous data were estimated through the Mantel-Haenszel and the inverse variance methods, respectively.

RESULTS: Thirty-two studies met the eligibility criteria. One thousand eight hundred twenty-eight patients were treated by microsurgery alone, and 1088 were treated by microsurgery with preoperative embolization, respectively. The meta-analysis revealed no significant difference in AVM obliteration (94.1% vs 95.6%, OR = 1.15 [0.63-2.11], P = .65), mortality (1.7% vs 2%, OR = 0.88 [0.30-2.58], P = .82), procedural complications (18.2% vs 27.2%, OR = 0.47 [0.19-1.17], P = .10), worsened mRS (21.2% vs 18.5%, OR = 1.08 [0.33-3.54], P = .9), and intraoperative blood loss (mean difference = 182.89 [À87.76, 453.55], P = .19).

CONCLUSION: The meta-analysis showed no significant difference in AVM obliteration, mortality, complications, worse mRS, and intraoperative blood loss between MS and E + MS groups. For AVMs where MS alone has acceptable results, it is reasonable to bypass unnecessary preoperative embolization given higher postoperative complication risk.

Expanded endoscopic endonasal approach for the resection of midline craniopharyngiomas with hypothalamic involvement

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3291–3296

With relevant surrounding neurological structures and potential involvement of the hypothalamus, the surgical management of craniopharyngiomas is complex. Compared to the transcranial approach, the expanded endoscopic endonasal approach provides direct access to the supradiaphragmatic and retrochiasmatic areas without crossing nerves and arteries.

Method Based on our substantial experience of 68 patients operated on between 2008 and 2022 by endoscopic surgery, our strategy has evolved such that all of our midline infundibular craniopharyngiomas with hypothalamic involvement are currently treated with an expanded endonasal route, except for tumours isolated to the third ventricle. Vascularized mucosal nasoseptal flaps are required for closure. Fine details of the related anatomy and surgical technique are described.

Conclusion Expanded endoscopic endonasal approach is a safe and effective route for resection of midline suprasellar craniopharyngiomas with hypothalamic involvement in centres of expertise.

Favorable long‐term outcome in young adults undergoing surgery for lumbar disc herniation

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3155–3164

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the long-term outcome after surgery for lumbar disc herniation in a young adult population.

Methods A total of 526 consecutive patients between 18 and 40 years of age who underwent surgery for lumbar disc between 1990 and 2005 were included in the study. The primary outcomes were the need for new lumbar spine surgery during the follow-up and secondary outcomes were short-term subjective outcome, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score, and the ability to carry out employment at the end of the long-term follow-up.

Results A total of 96% of the patients had a reduction in their symptoms at the clinical follow-up (median of 50 days post- surgery). Twenty-one patients (4.0%) had a reoperation within 28 days. Excluding these early reoperations, 136 patients (26%) had additional lumbar spine surgery and 18 patients (3.4%) underwent lumbar fusion during the follow-up of median 18 years. The annual risk for new surgery was 1.4%. In total, 316 patients (60%) returned the ODI questionnaire, and their mean score was 8.1. Patients with a higher number of additional lumbar spine surgeries (p < 0.001) reported deteriorating ODI scores.

Conclusion Patients showed excellent short-term recovery from their symptoms. In the long term, the mean ODI score for the patients was comparable to the normative population. However, a notable proportion of the patients required additional lumbar surgery during the follow-up period, and a higher number of lumbar surgeries was associated with poor ODI scores.

Operative treatment outcomes for adult cervical deformity: a prospective multicenter assessment with mean 3-year follow-up

J Neurosurg Spine 37:855–864, 2022

Adult cervical deformity (ACD) has high complication rates due to surgical complexity and patient frailty. Very few studies have focused on longer-term outcomes of operative ACD treatment. The objective of this study was to assess minimum 2-year outcomes and complications of ACD surgery.

METHODS A multicenter, prospective observational study was performed at 13 centers across the United States to evaluate surgical outcomes for ACD. Demographics, complications, radiographic parameters, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs; Neck Disability Index, modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association, EuroQol-5D [EQ-5D], and numeric rating scale [NRS] for neck and back pain) were evaluated, and analyses focused on patients with ≥ 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS Of 169 patients with ACD who were eligible for the study, 102 (60.4%) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean 3.4 years, range 2–8.1 years). The mean age at surgery was 62 years (SD 11 years). Surgical approaches included anterior-only (22.8%), posterior-only (39.6%), and combined (37.6%). PROMs significantly improved from baseline to last follow-up, including Neck Disability Index (from 47.3 to 33.0) and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (from 12.0 to 12.8; for patients with baseline score ≤ 14), neck pain NRS (from 6.8 to 3.8), back pain NRS (from 5.5 to 4.8), EQ-5D score (from 0.74 to 0.78), and EQ-5D visual analog scale score (from 59.5 to 66.6) (all p ≤ 0.04). More than half of the patients (n = 58, 56.9%) had at least one complication, with the most common complications including dysphagia, distal junctional kyphosis, instrumentation failure, and cardiopulmonary events. The patients who did not achieve 2-year follow-up (n = 67) were similar to study patients based on baseline demographics, comorbidities, and PROMs. Over the course of follow-up, 23 of the total 169 enrolled patients were reported to have died. Notably, these represent all-cause mortalities during the course of follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS This multicenter, prospective analysis demonstrates that operative treatment for ACD provides significant improvement of health-related quality of life at a mean 3.4-year follow-up, despite high complication rates and a high rate of all-cause mortality that is reflective of the overall frailty of this patient population. To the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the largest and most comprehensive prospective effort to date designed to assess the intermediate-term outcomes and complications of operative treatment for ACD.

The need to consider return to work as a main outcome in patients undergoing surgery for diffuse low‐grade glioma: a systematic review

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2789–2809

For a long time, return to work (RTW) has been neglected in patients harboring a diffuse low-grade glioma (LGG). However, a majority of LGG patients worked at time of diagnosis. Moreover, these patients now live longer given current treatment paradigms, especially thanks to early maximal surgery.

Methods We systematically searched available medical databases for studies that reported data on RTW in patients who underwent resection for LGG.

Results A total of 30 studies were selected: 19 considered RTW (especially rate and timing) as an outcome and 11 used scales of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) which included work-related aspects. Series that considered RTW as a main endpoint were composed of 1014 patients, with postoperative RTW rates ranging from 31 to 97.1% (mean 73.1%). Timing to RTW ranged from 15 days to 22 months (mean 6.3 months). Factors related to an increased proportion of RTW were: younger age, better neurologic status, having a white-collar occupation, working pre-operatively, being the sole breadwinner, the use of awake surgery, and greater extent of resection. Female sex, older age, poor neurologic status, pre-operative history of work absences, slow lexical access speed, and postoperative seizures were negatively related to RTW. No studies that used HRQoL scales directly investigated RTW rate or timing.

Conclusions RTW was scarcely analyzed in LGG patients who underwent resection. However, because they are usually young, with no or only mild functional deficits and have a longer life expectancy, postoperative RTW should be assessed more systematically and accurately as a main outcome. As majority (61.5–100%) of LGG patients were working at time of surgery, the responsibility of neurosurgeons is to bring these patients back to their previous activities according to his/her wishes. RTW might also be included as a critical endpoint for future prospective studies and randomized control trials on LGGs.

Incidence of repeat procedures and healthcare utilization following surgery, radiosurgery, and percutaneous procedures in elderly patients with trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 137:828–839, 2022

Management of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in elderly patients poses significant challenges. The impact of different treatment modalities (surgery, radiosurgery [RS], and percutaneous techniques [PTs]) on healthcare utilization is not well defined in the management of TN in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term healthcare utilization metrics of different interventions in the management of elderly patients with TN.

METHODS The MarketScan database was queried using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Current Procedural Terminology, from 2000 to 2016. TN patients ≥ 65 years of age managed using surgery, RS, and PTs with at least 5 years of follow-up after the index procedure were included. Outcomes analyzed were hospital admissions, outpatient services, and medication refills.

RESULTS Of 993 patients, 43% (n = 430) underwent RS, 44% (n = 432) had PTs, and only 13% (n = 131) underwent surgery for TN. Overall, the median age of patients was 74 years old, 64% were females, 90% had Medicare insurance, and 17% had an Elixhauser index ≥ 3. Patients in the surgery group were younger (median age 71 years) with a higher comorbidity index (≥ 3; 24%) compared with patients undergoing RS and PTs (13% and 17%, respectively). At 1, 2, and 5 years after the index procedure, 41%, 48%, and 57% of patients in the PT cohort underwent any repeat procedure compared with 11%, 18%, and 29% for the RS cohort, and 6%, 9%, and 11% for the surgical cohort, respectively. Also, patients in the PT cohort incurred 1.8, 1.9, and 2.0 times the combined payment at 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively, compared with the surgery cohort. Similarly, patients who underwent RS for TN incurred 1.4, 1.5, and 1.5 times the combined payment at 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively, compared with the surgery cohort. At 5 years after the index procedure, combined payments for the PT cohort were $79,753 (IQR $46,013, $144,064) compared with $61,016 (IQR $27,114, $117,097) for the RS cohort and $41,074 (IQR $25,392, $87,952) for the surgery cohort (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS PTs followed by RS were the common procedures used in the majority of elderly patients with TN. However, surgery for TN resulted in durable control with the least need for reoperations up to 5 years after the index procedure, followed by RS and PTs. PTs for TN resulted in the highest utilization of healthcare resources and need for reoperations at all time points. These findings should be considered in clinical decision-making when selecting appropriate treatment modalities in elderly patients with TN.

Surgery for degenerative cervical myelopathy in the elderly: a nationwide registry‐based observational study with patient‐reported outcomes

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2317–2326

The aim of this study was to investigate whether clinical outcomes in patients aged ≥ 70 undergoing decompressive surgery for degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) differ from those of younger patients (50–70 years) at 1 year.

Methods Data were obtained from the Norwegian Registry for Spine Surgery (NORspine). Among 651 patients included, 177 (27.2%) were ≥ 70 years old. The primary outcome was change in the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Secondary outcomes were changes in the European Myelopathy Score (EMS), quality of life (EuroQoL EQ-5D), numeric rating scales (NRS) for headache, neck pain, and arm pain, and complications.

Results Significant improvements in all patient-reported outcomes (PROMs) were detected for both age cohorts at 1 year. For the two age cohorts combined, there was a statistically significant improvement in the NDI score (mean 9.2, 95% CI 7.7 to 10.6, P < 0.001). There were no differences between age cohorts in mean change of NDI (− 8.9 vs. − 10.1, P = 0.48), EQ-5D (0.13 vs. 0.17, P = 0.37), or NRS pain scores, but elderly patients experienced a larger improvement in EMS (0.7 vs. 1.3, P = 0.02). A total of 74 patients (15.6%) in the younger cohort and 43 patients (24.3%) in the older cohort experienced complications or adverse effects within 3 months of surgery, mainly urinary and respiratory tract infections.

Conclusion Surgery for DCM was associated with significant improvement across a wide range of PROMs for both younger and elderly patients. Surgery for DCM should not be denied based on age alone.

Influence of Time of Discharge and Length of Stay on 30-Day Outcomes After Elective Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery

Neurosurgery 90:734–742, 2022

Encouraging early time of discharge (TOD) for medical inpatients is commonplace and may potentially improve patient throughput. It is unclear, however, whether early TOD after elective spine surgery achieves this goal without a consequent increase in re-presentations to the hospital.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether early TOD results in increased rates of hospital read- mission or return to the emergency department after elective anterior cervical spine surgery.

METHODS: We analyzed 686 patients who underwent elective uncomplicated anterior cervical spine surgery at a single institution. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between sociodemographic, procedural, and discharge characteristics, and the outcomes of readmission or return to the emergency department and TOD.

RESULTS: In multiple logistic regression, TOD was not associated with increased risk of readmission or return to the emergency department within 30 days of surgery. Weekend discharge (odds ratio [OR] 0.33, 95% CI 0.21-0.53), physical therapy evaluation (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.28-0.71), and occupational therapy evaluation (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.17-0.63) were all significantly associated with decreased odds of discharge before noon. Disadvantaged status, as measured by area of deprivation index, was associated with increased odds of readmission or re-presentation (OR 1.86, 95% CI 0.95-3.66), although this result did not achieve statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: There does not appear to be an association between readmission or return to the emergency department and early TOD after elective spine surgery. Overuse of inpatient physical and occupational therapy consultations may contribute to decreased patient throughput in surgical admissions.

Long-term functional outcome of surgical treatment for degenerative cervical myelopathy

J Neurosurg Spine 36:830–840, 2022

Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a major global cause of spinal cord dysfunction. Surgical treatment is considered a safe and effective way to improve functional outcome, although information about long-term functional outcome remains scarce despite increasing longevity. The objective of this study was to describe functional outcome 10 years after surgery for DCM.

METHODS A prospective observational cohort study was undertaken in a university-affiliated neurosurgery department. All patients who underwent surgery for DCM between 2008 and 2010 as part of the multicenter Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy International trial were included. Participants were approached for additional virtual assessment 10 years after surgery. Functional outcome was assessed according to the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA; scores 0–18) score at baseline and 1, 2, and 10 years after surgery. The minimal clinically important difference was defined as 1-, 2-, or 3-point improvement for mild, moderate, and severe myelopathy, respectively. Outcome was considered durable when stabilization or improvement after 2 years was maintained at 10 years. Self-evaluated effect of surgery was assessed using a 4-point Likert-like scale. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were compared between groups that worsened and improved or remained stable using descriptive statistics. Functional outcome was compared between various time points during follow-up with linear mixed models.

RESULTS Of the 42 originally included patients, 37 participated at follow-up (11.9% loss to follow-up, 100% response rate). The mean patient age was 56.1 years, and 42.9% of patients were female. Surgical approaches were anterior (76.2%), posterior (21.4%), or posterior with fusion (2.4%). The mean follow-up was 10.8 years (range 10–12 years). The mean mJOA score increased significantly from 13.1 (SD 2.3) at baseline to 14.2 (SD 3.3) at 10 years (p = 0.01). A minimal clinically important difference was achieved in 54.1%, and stabilization of functional status was maintained in 75.0% in the long term. Patients who worsened were older (median 63 vs 52 years, p < 0.01) and had more comorbidities (70.0% vs 25.9%, p < 0.01). A beneficial effect of surgery was self-reported by 78.3% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS Surgical treatment for DCM results in satisfactory improvement of functional outcome that is maintained at 10-year follow-up.