Samuel B. Tomlinson, Benjamin K. Hendricks and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
Zoe E. Teton, Rachel S. Freedman, Samuel B. Tomlinson, Joseph R. Linzey, Alvin Onyewuenyi, Anadjeet S. Khahera, Benjamin K. Hendricks and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
The advent of the internet and the popularity of e-learning resources has promoted a shift in medical and surgical education today. The Neurosurgical Atlas has sought to capitalize on this shift by providing easily accessible video and online education to its users on an international scale. The rising popularity of social media has provided new avenues for expanding that global reach, and the Atlas has sought to do just that. In this study, the authors analyzed user demographics and web traffic patterns to quantify the international reach of the Atlas and examined the potential impact of social media platforms on the expansion of that reach.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram metrics were extracted using each respective service’s analytics tool from the date of their creation through October 2019. Google Analytics was used to extract website traffic data from September 2018 to September 2019 and app data from January 2019 to October 2019. The metrics extracted included the number of platform users/followers, user demographic information, percentage of new versus returning visitors, and a number of platform-specific values.
Since the authors’ previous publication in 2017, annual website viewership has more than doubled to greater than 500,000 viewing sessions in the past year alone; international users accounted for more than 60% of the visits. The Atlas Twitter account, established in August 2012, has more than 12,000 followers, primarily hailing from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. The Atlas Facebook account, established in 2013, has just over 13,000 followers, primarily from India, Egypt, and Mexico. The Atlas Instagram account (established most recently, in December 2018) has more than 16,000 followers and the highest percentage (31%) of younger users (aged 18–24 years). The Atlas app was officially launched in May 2019, largely via promotion on the Atlas social media platforms, and has since recorded more than 60,000 viewing sessions, 80% of which were from users outside the United States.
The Neurosurgical Atlas has attempted to leverage the many e-learning resources at its disposal to assist in spreading neurosurgical best practice on an international scale in a novel and comprehensive way. By incorporating multiple social media platforms into its repertoire, the Atlas is able to ensure awareness of and access to these resources regardless of the user’s location or platform of preference. In so doing, the Atlas represents a novel way of advancing access to neurosurgical educational resources in the digital age.
Robert A. Scranton, Kushal Shah and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
Trigeminal neuralgia is a debilitating disease that can be treated effectively by a number of modalities. Percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy of the gasserian ganglion is an important technique that can be offered as a primary or secondary strategy after failure of medical therapy. However, the commercial kit for this procedure was discontinued in the United States in early 2016 and therefore is not currently available. The authors describe a low-cost, effective solution for continuing to offer this procedure using equipment already available in most hospitals.
The authors provide a detailed equipment list with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare all the necessary items and perform a percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy.
The custom “homemade” kit and technique described have been utilized successfully since June 2016 in 34 patients. The kit is a low-cost alternative, and its application does not add any operative time beyond that required for the previously commercially available kit.
Percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy of the gasserian ganglion is an important technique that should be readily available to patients who are not medically fit for microvascular decompression and need immediate relief of their pain. The alternative kit described here can be assembled easily using equipment that is readily available in most hospitals.
Aaron P. Kamer, Jose M. Bonnin, Robert J. Spinner and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
Intracranial extension of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ganglion cysts is very rare. Two previously reported cases presented clinically due to effects on cranial nerves and had obvious association with the TMJ on imaging. To the authors’ knowledge, intracranial extension of a TMJ ganglion cyst presenting with seizures and mimicking a primary brain tumor has not been previously reported. The patient underwent resection of a presumptive primary cystic temporal lobe tumor, but the lesion had histopathological features of a nonneoplastic cyst with a myxoid content. He was followed with serial imaging for 5 years before regrowth of the lesion caused new episodes of seizures requiring a repeat operation, during which the transdural defect was repaired after the adjacent segment of the TMJ was curetted. A thorough review of all imaging studies and the histopathological findings from the repeat operation led to the correct diagnosis of a TMJ ganglion cyst. This case highlights an unusual presentation of this rare lesion, as well as its potential for recurrence. TMJ ganglion cysts should be included in the differential diagnosis of cystic tumors involving the anterior temporal lobe, presenting with or without seizures. Focused imaging evaluation of the TMJ can be helpful to rule out the possible role of associated TMJ lesions.
Clint M. Alfaro, Valentina Pirro, Michael F. Keating, Eyas M. Hattab, R. Graham Cooks and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
The authors describe a rapid intraoperative ambient ionization mass spectrometry (MS) method for determining isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation status from glioma tissue biopsies. This method offers new glioma management options and may impact extent of resection goals. Assessment of the IDH mutation is key for accurate glioma diagnosis, particularly for differentiating diffuse glioma from other neoplastic and reactive inflammatory conditions, a challenge for the standard intraoperative diagnostic consultation that relies solely on morphology.
Banked glioma specimens (n = 37) were analyzed by desorption electrospray ionization–MS (DESI-MS) to develop a diagnostic method to detect the known altered oncometabolite in IDH-mutant gliomas, 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). The method was used intraoperatively to analyze tissue smears obtained from glioma patients undergoing resection and to rapidly diagnose IDH mutation status (< 5 minutes). Fifty-one tumor core biopsies from 25 patients (14 wild type [WT] and 11 mutant) were examined and data were analyzed using analysis of variance and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.
The optimized DESI-MS method discriminated between IDH-WT and IDH-mutant gliomas, with an average sensitivity and specificity of 100%. The average normalized DESI-MS 2HG signal was an order of magnitude higher in IDH-mutant glioma than in IDH-WT glioma. The DESI 2HG signal intensities correlated with independently measured 2HG concentrations (R2 = 0.98). In 1 case, an IDH1 R132H–mutant glioma was misdiagnosed as a demyelinating condition by frozen section histology during the intraoperative consultation, and no resection was performed pending the final pathology report. A second craniotomy and tumor resection was performed after the final pathology provided a diagnosis most consistent with an IDH-mutant glioblastoma. During the second craniotomy, high levels of 2HG in the tumor core biopsies were detected.
This study demonstrates the capability to differentiate rapidly between IDH-mutant gliomas and IDH-WT conditions by DESI-MS during tumor resection. DESI-MS analysis of tissue smears is simple and can be easily integrated into the standard intraoperative pathology consultation. This approach may aid in solving differential diagnosis problems associated with low-grade gliomas and could influence intraoperative decisions regarding extent of resection, ultimately improving patient outcome. Research is ongoing to expand the patient cohort, systematically validate the DESI-MS method, and investigate the relationships between 2HG and tumor heterogeneity.
Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
Lorenzo Rinaldo, David S. Priemer, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Daniel J. Brat, Anita Mahajan, Caterina Giannini and Terry C. Burns
Chordomas are neoplasms that typically arise from midline skeletal structures and rarely originate within the intradural compartment of the CNS. A chordoma arising from the corpus callosum has not been previously described. The authors report the surgical management of a chordoma originating within the splenium of the corpus callosum. To determine the incidence and distribution of intracranial intradural chordoma, a literature search for additional cases was performed. MEDLINE was searched using the MeSH keyword “chordoma,” yielding 2010 articles. These articles were screened for cases of primary intradural chordoma rostral to the craniocervical junction, which led to the identification of 46 relevant articles. The authors report the case of a 69-year-old man who initially presented with nonspecific neurological symptoms including spatial disorientation and cognitive decline. These symptoms eventually prompted intracranial imaging, including MRI, which revealed a ring-enhancing, heterogeneous, cystic mass localized within the splenium of the corpus callosum and extending into the bilateral ventricles. The lesion was believed to represent a high-grade glioma and the patient underwent a left interhemispheric approach and subtotal resection. After pathologic evaluation confirmed a diagnosis of an anaplastic chordoma, the patient underwent further resection. A gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved with a transfalcine approach to the contralateral portion of the tumor. Postoperatively, the patient had a partial left homonymous quadrantanopsia, but was otherwise at his neurological baseline. Proton beam radiotherapy was performed to the resection cavity but diffuse intraventricular disease ensued. The results of a literature search suggest that a chordoma arising in the corpus callosum has not been previously described. The present case demonstrates that chordomas can occur in the corpus callosum, and illustrates the utility of a transfalcine approach for GTR of lesions in this location, as well as the need for improved strategies to prevent intraventricular dissemination.