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Laura G. Valentini and Ignazio G. Vetrano

Free access

Chidinma M. Wilson, Nolan J. Brown, and Donald K. E. Detchou

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Fleur L. Fisher, Amir H. Zamanipoor Najafabadi, Pim B. van der Meer, Florien W. Boele, Saskia M. Peerdeman, Wilco C. Peul, Martin J. B. Taphoorn, Linda Dirven, and Wouter R. van Furth

OBJECTIVE

Patients with skull base meningioma (SBM) often require complex surgery around critical neurovascular structures, placing them at high risk of poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and possibly neurocognitive dysfunction. As the survival of meningioma patients is near normal, long-term neurocognitive and HRQOL outcomes are important to evaluate, including evaluation of the impact of specific tumor location and treatment modalities on these outcomes.

METHODS

In this multicenter cross-sectional study including patients 5 years or more after their last tumor intervention, Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-BN20 questionnaires were used to assess generic and disease-specific HRQOL. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed with standardized neuropsychological assessment. SBM patient assessments were compared with those of 1) informal caregivers of SBM patients who served as controls and 2) convexity meningioma patients. In addition, the authors compared anterior/middle SBM patients with posterior SBM patients and anterior/middle and posterior SBM patients separately with controls. Multivariable and propensity score regression analyses were performed to correct for possible confounders.

RESULTS

Patients with SBM (n = 89) with a median follow-up of 9 years after the last intervention did not significantly differ from controls (n = 65) or convexity meningioma patients (n = 84) on generic HRQOL assessment. Statistically significantly but not clinically relevantly better disease-specific HRQOL was found for SBM patients compared with convexity meningioma patients. Anterior/middle SBM patients (n = 62) had significantly and clinically relevantly better HRQOL in SF-36 and EORTC QLQ-BN20 scores than posterior SBM patients (n = 27): physical role functioning (corrected difference 17.1, 95% CI 0.2–34.0), motor dysfunction (−10.1, 95% CI −17.5 to −2.7), communication deficit (−14.2, 95% CI −22.7 to −5.6), and weakness in both legs (−10.1, 95% CI −18.8 to −1.5). SBM patients whose primary treatment was radiotherapy had lower HRQOL scores compared with SBM patients who underwent surgery on two domains: bodily pain (−33.0, 95% CI −55.2 to −10.9) and vitality (−18.9. 95% CI −33.7 to −4.1). Tumor location and treatment modality did not result in significant differences in neurocognitive functioning, although 44% of SBM patients had deficits in at least one domain.

CONCLUSIONS

In the long term, SBM patients do not experience significantly more sequelae in HRQOL and neurocognitive functioning than do controls or patients with convexity meningioma. Patients with posterior SBM had poorer HRQOL than anterior/middle SBM patients, and primary treatment with radiotherapy was associated with worse HRQOL. Neurocognitive functioning was not affected by tumor location or treatment modality.

Open access

Felipe Constanzo, Bernardo Correa de Almeida Teixeira, Mauricio Coelho Neto, and Ricardo Ramina

Inadvertent laceration of the jugular bulb is a potentially serious complication of the retrosigmoid transmeatal approach to vestibular schwannomas. Here, the authors present the case of a 51-year-old woman with a right Hannover T4a vestibular schwannoma and bilateral high-riding jugular bulb, which was opened during drilling of the internal auditory canal (IAC). They highlight the immediate management of this complication, technical nuances for closing the defect without occluding the jugular bulb, and modifications of the standard technique needed to continue surgical resection.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.7.FOCVID2155

Free access

Maximilian Schwendner, Martin Seule, Bernhard Meyer, and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECTIVE

Ankylosing spinal disorders (ASDs) such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) are complex diseases regarding diagnostics, treatment, and patient outcome, especially in trauma. Originating from rigid biomechanics and low bone quality in considerably comorbid patients, serious spinal injury requires thorough and immediate imaging and is frequently missed. The aim of this study was to evaluate patient characteristics as well as procedures in patients with ASD in order to identify the major particularities of treatment.

METHODS

A total of 60 patients aged 78.5 ± 8.9 years were retrospectively included. Preoperative imaging as well as surgical treatment procedures and postoperative patient outcome were analyzed, including 30-day readmissions.

RESULTS

CT imaging of the entire spine was performed within 24 hours after the initial trauma in 73.3% of patients. A delay in diagnostics (> 24 hours) occurred in 41.7% of patients transferred from primary care centers. At admission, 25.0% of patients had fracture-related neurological deficits (American Spinal Injury Association [ASIA] grades A and B in 4 patients, and ASIA grades C and D in 11 patients). A spinal epidural hematoma was found in 21.2% of patients and was symptomatic in 72.7% of those patients. Of the patients with fracture-related neurological deficits, 93.3% were operated on within 48 hours from symptom onset. One patient (1.7%) developed neurological deficits from diagnosis to surgery. Postoperatively, 18.3% of patients had surgical complications, and 76.7% of patients developed further medical issues, with pneumonia (38.3%), pulmonary decompensation (25.0%), and cardiac decompensation (20.0%) being the leading causes. The 30-day mortality rate was high at 10.0%.

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment of patients with ASDs is complex. While surgical outcome is usually good, the multimorbid nature of these patients results in a high rate of major medical complications. If an ankylosing disease is suspected, MRI of the entire spine is mandatory. Upon diagnosis, treatment should be performed in centers capable of managing all aspects of the regular complications these patients will develop.

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Pious D. Patel, Katherine A. Kelly, Heidi Chen, Amber Greeno, Chevis N. Shannon, and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

Rural-dwelling children may suffer worse pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) outcomes due to distance from and accessibility to high-volume trauma centers. This study aimed to compare the impacts of institutional TBI volume and sociodemographics on outcomes between rural- and urban-dwelling children.

METHODS

This retrospective study identified patients 0–19 years of age with ICD-9 codes for TBI in the 2012–2015 National Inpatient Sample database. Patients were characterized as rural- or urban-dwelling using United States Census classification. Logistic and linear (in log scale) regressions were performed to measure the effects of institutional characteristics, patient sociodemographics, and mechanism/severity of injury on occurrence of medical complications, mortality, length of stay (LOS), and costs. Separate models were built for rural- and urban-dwelling patients.

RESULTS

A total of 19,736 patients were identified (median age 11 years, interquartile range [IQR] 2–16 years, 66% male, 55% Caucasian). Overall, rural-dwelling patients had higher All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups injury severity (median 2 [IQR 1–3] vs 1 [IQR 1–2], p < 0.001) and more intracranial monitoring (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis showed that overall, rural-dwelling patients suffered increased medical complications (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001), mortality (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001), and LOS (median 2 days [IQR 1–4 days ] vs 2 days [IQR 1–3 days], p < 0.001), but multivariate analysis showed rural-dwelling status was not associated with these outcomes after adjusting for injury severity, mechanism, and hospital characteristics. Institutional TBI volume was not associated with medical complications, disposition, or mortality for either population but was associated with LOS for urban-dwelling patients (nonlinear beta, p = 0.008) and cost for both rural-dwelling (nonlinear beta, p < 0.001) and urban-dwelling (nonlinear beta, p < 0.001) patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, rural-dwelling pediatric patients with TBI have worsened injury severity, mortality, and in-hospital complications, but these disparities disappear after adjusting for injury severity and mechanism. Institutional TBI volume does not impact clinical outcomes for rural- or urban-dwelling children after adjusting for these covariates. Addressing the root causes of the increased injury severity at hospital arrival may be a useful path to improve TBI outcomes for rural-dwelling children.

Open access

Ramin A. Morshed, Alexander F. Haddad, Kunal P. Raygor, Mary Jue Xu, Charles J. Limb, and Philip V. Theodosopoulos

Intravestibular schwannomas are rare tumors within the intralabyrinthine region and involve different management considerations compared to more common vestibular schwannomas. In this report, the authors review a case of a 52-year-old woman who presented with hearing loss and vestibular symptoms and was found to have a left intravestibular schwannoma. Given her debilitating vestibular symptoms, she underwent microsurgical resection. In this video, the authors review the relevant anatomy, surgical technique, and management considerations in these patients.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.7.FOCVID2187

Open access

Paul W. Gidley, Joel Z. Passer, Joshua C. Page, and Franco DeMonte

The middle fossa approach for the resection of small acoustic neuromas is a viable, but underutilized treatment modality with the goal of hearing preservation. The authors aim to demonstrate this approach and its nuances through this video presentation. A 38-year-old man presented with an incidentally discovered small, intracanalicular acoustic neuroma that was initially observed, but growth was noted. The patient had good hearing, and therefore a hearing preservation approach was offered. A gross-total resection was achieved, and the patient maintained good hearing postoperatively. This video demonstrates relevant anatomy, surgical indications, technical aspects of resection, including reconstruction, and postoperative outcomes.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.7.FOCVID21124

Free access

Scott L. Zuckerman, Jacob L. Goldberg, and K. Daniel Riew

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disorder leading to ossification of joints and ligaments, resulting in autofusion throughout the spinal column. In patients with fixed, kyphotic cervical deformities, which cause an impaired horizontal gaze and severe neck pain, surgical intervention is warranted. Although several articles have described the anterior and/or posterior surgical treatments used to address the fixed kyphosis, few sources present the key operative steps and technical nuances. The purpose of this technical report was to provide detailed surgical steps, representative photographs, and an operative video demonstrating multilevel anterior cervical osteotomies, uncinatectomies, and a posterior osteotomy for the correction of a fixed cervical deformity secondary to AS.

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Taku Sugawara, Naoki Higashiyama, Shinya Tamura, Takuro Endo, and Hiroaki Shimizu

OBJECTIVE

Perineural cysts, also called Tarlov cysts, are dilatations of the nerve root sleeves commonly found in the sacrum. The majority of the cysts are asymptomatic and found incidentally on routine spine imaging. Symptomatic sacral perineural cysts (SPCs) that induce intractable low-back pain, radicular symptoms, and bladder/bowel dysfunction require surgery. However, the surgical strategy for symptomatic SPCs remains controversial. The authors hypothesized that the symptoms were caused by an irritation of the adjacent nerve roots caused by SPCs, and developed a wrapping surgery to treat these cysts.

METHODS

Seven patients with severe unilateral medial thigh pain and ipsilateral SPCs were included. Preoperative MRI showed that the cysts were severely compressing the adjacent nerve roots in all patients. After a partial laminectomy of the sacrum, the SPCs were punctured and CSF was aspirated to reduce their size, followed by dissection of the adjacent nerve roots from the SPCs. The SPCs were then wrapped with a Gore-Tex membrane to avoid reexpansion.

RESULTS

All 7 patients experienced substantial relief of their symptoms. The average numeric rating scale pain score was reduced from an average preoperative value of 7.9 to 0.6 postoperatively. Postoperative MRI showed that all cysts were reduced in size and the adjacent nerve roots were decompressed. Regrowth of the treated cysts or recurrence of the symptoms did not occur during the entire follow-up period, which ranged from 39 to 90 months. No complications were noted.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ new wrapping technique was effective in relieving radicular symptoms for patients with symptomatic SPCs. The results suggested that the symptoms stemmed from compression of the adjacent nerve roots caused by the SPCs, and not from the nerve roots in the cysts.