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Alexander F. Haddad, Jacob S. Young, Ramin A. Morshed, S. Andrew Josephson, Soonmee Cha, and Mitchel S. Berger

BACKGROUND

Lower-grade insular gliomas often appear as expansile and infiltrative masses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, there are nonneoplastic lesions of the insula, such as demyelinating disease and vasculopathies, that can mimic insular gliomas.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report two patients who presented with headaches and were found to have mass lesions concerning for lower-grade insular glioma based on MRI obtained at initial presentation. However, on the immediate preoperative MRI obtained a few weeks later, both patients had spontaneous and complete resolution of the insular lesions.

LESSONS

Tumor mimics should always be in the differential diagnosis of brain masses, including those involving the insula. The immediate preoperative MRI (within 24–48 hours of surgery) must be compared carefully with the initial presentation MRI to assess interval change that suggests tumor mimics to avoid unnecessary surgical intervention.

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Saniya Mediratta, Jacob R. Lepard, Ernest J. Barthélemy, Jacquelyn Corley, and Kee B. Park

OBJECTIVE

Delays along the neurosurgical care continuum are associated with poor outcomes and are significantly greater in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), with timely access to neurotrauma care remaining one of the most significant unmet neurosurgical needs worldwide. Using Lancet Global Surgery metrics and the Three Delays framework, the authors of this study aimed to identify and characterize the most significant barriers to the delivery of neurotrauma care in LMICs from the perspective of local neurotrauma providers.

METHODS

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study through the dissemination of a web-based survey to neurotrauma providers across all World Health Organization geographic regions. Responses were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis testing, using World Bank data to provide estimates of populations at risk.

RESULTS

Eighty-two (36.9%) of 222 neurosurgeons representing 47 countries participated in the survey. It was estimated that 3.9 billion people lack access to neurotrauma care within 2 hours. Nearly 3.4 billion were estimated to be at risk for impoverishing expenditure and 2.9 billion were at risk of catastrophic expenditure as a result of paying for care for neurotrauma injuries. Delays in seeking care were rated as slightly common (p < 0.001), those in reaching care were very common (p < 0.001), and those in receiving care were slightly common (p < 0.05). The most significant causes for delays were associated with reaching care, including geographic distance from a facility, lack of ambulance service, and lack of finances for travel. All three delays were correlated to income classification and geographic region.

CONCLUSIONS

While expanding the global neurosurgical workforce is of the utmost importance, the study data suggested that it may not be entirely sufficient in gaining access to care for the emergent neurosurgical patient. Significant income and region-specific variability exists with regard to barriers to accessing neurotrauma care. Highlighting these barriers and quantifying worldwide access to neurotrauma care using metrics from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery provides essential insight for future initiatives aiming to strengthen global neurotrauma systems.

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Ali Kiapour, Elie Massaad, Amin Joukar, Muhamed Hadzipasic, Ganesh M. Shankar, Vijay K. Goel, and John H. Shin

OBJECTIVE

Low fusion rates and cage subsidence are limitations of lumbar fixation with stand-alone interbody cages. Various approaches to interbody cage placement exist, yet the need for supplemental posterior fixation is not clear from clinical studies. Therefore, as prospective clinical studies are lacking, a comparison of segmental kinematics, cage properties, and load sharing on vertebral endplates is needed. This laboratory investigation evaluates the mechanical stability and biomechanical properties of various interbody fixation techniques by performing cadaveric and finite element (FE) modeling studies.

METHODS

An in vitro experiment using 7 fresh-frozen human cadavers was designed to test intact spines with 1) stand-alone lateral interbody cage constructs (lateral interbody fusion, LIF) and 2) LIF supplemented with posterior pedicle screw-rod fixation (360° constructs). FE and kinematic data were used to validate a ligamentous FE model of the lumbopelvic spine. The validated model was then used to evaluate the stability of stand-alone LIF, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) cages with and without supplemental posterior fixation at the L4–5 level. The FE models of intact and instrumented cases were subjected to a 400-N compressive preload followed by an 8-Nm bending moment to simulate physiological flexion, extension, bending, and axial rotation. Segmental kinematics and load sharing at the inferior endplate were compared.

RESULTS

The FE kinematic predictions were consistent with cadaveric data. The range of motion (ROM) in LIF was significantly lower than intact spines for both stand-alone and 360° constructs. The calculated reduction in motion with respect to intact spines for stand-alone constructs ranged from 43% to 66% for TLIF, 67%–82% for LIF, and 69%–86% for ALIF in flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation. In flexion and extension, the maximum reduction in motion was 70% for ALIF versus 81% in LIF for stand-alone cases. When supplemented with posterior fixation, the corresponding reduction in ROM was 76%–87% for TLIF, 86%–91% for LIF, and 90%–92% for ALIF. The addition of posterior instrumentation resulted in a significant reduction in peak stress at the superior endplate of the inferior segment in all scenarios.

CONCLUSIONS

Stand-alone ALIF and LIF cages are most effective in providing stability in lateral bending and axial rotation and less so in flexion and extension. Supplemental posterior instrumentation improves stability for all interbody techniques. Comparative clinical data are needed to further define the indications for stand-alone cages in lumbar fusion surgery.

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Renaud Lafage, Alex M. Fong, Eric Klineberg, Justin S. Smith, Shay Bess, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Douglas Burton, Han Jo Kim, Jonathan Elysee, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Peter Passias, Munish Gupta, Richard Hostin, Frank Schwab, and Virginie Lafage

OBJECTIVE

Adult spinal deformity is a complex pathology that benefits greatly from surgical treatment. Despite continuous innovation, little is known regarding continuous changes in surgical techniques and the complications rate. The objective of the current study was to investigate the evolution of the patient profiles and surgical complications across a single prospective multicenter database.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of a prospective, multicenter database of surgically treated patients with adult spinal deformity (thoracic kyphosis > 60°, sagittal vertical axis > 5 cm, pelvic tilt > 25°, or Cobb angle > 20°) with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients were stratified into 3 equal groups by date of surgery. The three groups’ demographic data, preoperative data, surgical information, and complications were then compared. A moving average of 320 patients was used to visualize and investigate the evolution of the complication across the enrollment period.

RESULTS

A total of 928/1260 (73.7%) patients completed their 2-year follow-up, with an enrollment rate of 7.7 ± 4.1 patients per month. Across the enrollment period (2008–2018) patients became older (mean age increased from 56.7 to 64.3 years) and sicker (median Charlson Comorbidity Index rose from 1.46 to 2.08), with more pure sagittal deformity (type N). Changes in surgical treatment included an increased use of interbody fusion, more anterior column release, and a decrease in the 3-column osteotomy rate, shorter fusion, and more supplemental rods and bone morphogenetic protein use. There was a significant decrease in major complications associated with a reoperation (from 27.4% to 17.1%) driven by a decrease in radiographic failures (from 12.3% to 5.2%), despite a small increase in neurological complications.

The overall complication rate has decreased over time, with the lowest rate of any complication (51.8%) during the period from August 2014 to March 2017. Major complications associated with reoperation decreased rapidly in the 2014–2015. Major complications not associated with reoperation had the lowest level (21.0%) between February 2014 and October 2016.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite an increase in complexity of cases, complication rates did not increase and the rate of complications leading to reoperation decreased. These improvements reflect the changes in practice (supplemental rod, proximal junctional kyphosis prophylaxis, bone morphogenetic protein use, anterior correction) to ensure maintenance of status or improved outcomes.

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Alexander S. G. Micko, Omar Keritam, Wolfgang Marik, Ben A. Strickland, Robert G. Briggs, Shane Shahrestani, Tyler Cardinal, Engelbert Knosp, Gabriel Zada, and Stefan Wolfsberger

OBJECTIVE

Dumbbell-shaped pituitary adenomas (DSPAs) are a subgroup of macroadenomas with suprasellar extension that are characterized by a smaller diameter at the level of the diaphragma sellae opening compared with the supradiaphragmal tumor component (SDTC). Hence, DSPAs may be particularly prone to a nondescending suprasellar tumor component and risk for residual tumor or postoperative bleeding.

METHODS

A multicenter retrospective cohort analysis of 99 patients with DSPA operated on via direct endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach between 2011 and 2020 was conducted. Patient recruitment was performed at two tertiary care centers (Medical University of Vienna and University of Southern California) with expertise in endoscopic skull base surgery. DSPA was defined as having a smaller diameter at the level of the diaphragma sellae compared with the SDTC.

RESULTS

On preoperative MRI, all DSPAs were macroadenomas (maximum diameter range 17–71 mm, volume range 2–88 cm3). Tumor descent was found in 73 (74%) of 99 patients (group A), and nondescent in 26 (26%) of 99 patients (group B) intraoperatively. DSPAs in group A had a significantly smaller diameter (30 vs 42 mm, p < 0.001) and significantly smaller volume (10 vs 22 cm3, p < 0.001) than those in group B. The ratio of the minimum area at the level of the diaphragmal opening in comparison with the maximum area of the suprasellar tumor component ("neck-to-dome area") was significantly lower in group A than in group B (1.7 vs 2.7, p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed an area under the curve of 0.75 (95% CI 0.63–0.87). At a cutoff ratio of 1.9, the sensitivity and specificity for a nondescending suprasellar tumor component were 77% and 34%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

In the present study, the neck-to-dome area ratio was of prognostic value for prediction of intraoperative tumor nondescent in DSPAs operated on via a direct endonasal endoscopic approach. Pituitary adenoma SDTC nondescent carried the inherent risk of hemorrhagic transformation in all cases.

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Jeffrey P. Blount, Brandon G. Rocque, and Betsy D. Hopson

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Yuyao Zhou, Zehao Zhao, Jie Zhang, N. U. Farrukh Hameed, Fengping Zhu, Rui Feng, Xiaoluo Zhang, Junfeng Lu, and Jinsong Wu

OBJECTIVE

Speech arrest is a common but crucial negative motor response (NMR) recorded during intraoperative brain mapping. However, recent studies have reported nonspeech-specific NMR sites in the ventral precentral gyrus (vPrCG), where stimulation halts both speech and ongoing hand movement. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatial relationship between speech-specific NMR sites and nonspeech-specific NMR sites in the lateral frontal cortex.

METHODS

In this prospective cohort study, an intraoperative mapping strategy was designed to identify positive motor response (PMR) sites and NMR sites in 33 consecutive patients undergoing awake craniotomy for the treatment of left-sided gliomas. Patients were asked to count, flex their hands, and simultaneously perform these two tasks to map NMRs. Each site was plotted onto a standard atlas and further analyzed. The speech and hand motor arrest sites in the supplementary motor area of 2 patients were resected. The 1- and 3-month postoperative language and motor functions of all patients were assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 91 PMR sites and 72 NMR sites were identified. NMR and PMR sites were anteroinferiorly and posterosuperiorly distributed in the precentral gyrus, respectively. Three distinct NMR sites were identified: 24 pure speech arrest (speech-specific NMR) sites (33.33%), 7 pure hand motor arrest sites (9.72%), and 41 speech and hand motor arrest (nonspeech-specific NMR) sites (56.94%). Nonspeech-specific NMR sites and speech-specific NMR sites were dorsoventrally distributed in the vPrCG. For language function, 1 of 2 patients in the NMA resection group had language dysfunction at the 1-month follow-up but had recovered by the 3-month follow-up. All patients in the NMA resection group had fine motor dysfunction at the 1- and 3-month follow-ups.

CONCLUSIONS

The study results demonstrated a functional segmentation of speech-related NMRs in the lateral frontal cortex and that most of the stimulation-induced speech arrest sites are not specific to speech. A better understanding of the spatial distribution of speech-related NMR sites will be helpful in surgical planning and intraoperative mapping and provide in-depth insight into the motor control of speech production.

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Justin R. Mascitelli, J Mocco, Trevor Hardigan, Benjamin K. Hendricks, James S. Yoon, Kurt A. Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, Joshua B. Bederson, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Andrew F. Ducruet, Lee A. Birnbaum, Jean Louis R. Caron, Pavel Rodriguez, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

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.

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Joseph S. Domino, Paige Lundy, Earl F. Glynn, and Michael Partington

OBJECTIVE

As the care of patients with spina bifida continues to evolve, life expectancy is increasing, leading to a critical need for transition planning from pediatric-based to adult-based care. The burden of neurosurgical care for adults with spina bifida remains unknown. In this study, the authors sought to use a large national data set to estimate the prevalence of neurosurgical interventions in adults with spina bifida.

METHODS

This study utilized Health Facts, which is a de-identified proprietary data set abstracted from all Cerner electronic health records. It includes 69 million unique patients with > 500 million encounters in 580 centers. Validation, technical exclusions, and data filters were applied to obtain an appropriate cohort of patients. The ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for all types of spinal dysraphism, as well as the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for hydrocephalus procedures, spinal cord untethering, and Chiari decompression, were queried and records were retrieved. Demographic variables along with differences in age groups and temporal trends were analyzed.

RESULTS

Overall, 24,764 unique patients with ≥ 1 encounter with a spinal dysraphism diagnosis between 2000 and 2017 were identified. The pediatric cohort included 11,123 patients with 60,027 separate encounters, and the adult cohort included 13,641 patients with 41,618 separate encounters. The proportion of females was higher in the adult (62.9%) than in the pediatric (51.4%) cohort. Annual encounters were stable from 2 to 18 years of age, but then decreased by approximately half with a precipitous drop after age 21 years. The sex distribution of adults and children who underwent procedures was similar (54.6% female adults vs 52.4% female children). Surgical interventions in adults were common. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 4913 procedures for hydrocephalus, with 2435 (49.6%) adult patients. Similarly, 273 (33.3%) of the 819 tethered cord procedures were performed in adults, as were 307 (32.9%) of 933 Chiari decompressions.

CONCLUSIONS

The Health Facts database offered another option for studying care delivery and utilization in patients aging with spina bifida. The median age of this population has now reached early adulthood, and a significant number of neurosurgical procedures were performed in adults. An abrupt drop in the rate of encounters occurred at 21 years of age, possibly reflecting transition issues such as access-to-care problems and lack of coordinated care.