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Satvir Saggi, Ethan A. Winkler, Simon G. Ammanuel, Ramin A. Morshed, Joseph H. Garcia, Jacob S. Young, Alexa Semonche, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Adib Abla, Michael T. Lawton, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Ruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) in a child are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Prior studies investigating predictors of hemorrhagic presentation of a bAVM during childhood are limited. Machine learning (ML), which has high predictive accuracy when applied to large data sets, can be a useful adjunct for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. The goal of this study was to use ML in conjunction with a traditional regression approach to identify predictors of hemorrhagic presentation in pediatric patients based on a retrospective cohort study design.

METHODS

Using data obtained from 186 pediatric patients over a 19-year study period, the authors implemented three ML algorithms (random forest models, gradient boosted decision trees, and AdaBoost) to identify features that were most important for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. Additionally, logistic regression analysis was used to ascertain significant predictors of hemorrhagic presentation as a comparison.

RESULTS

All three ML models were consistent in identifying bAVM size and patient age at presentation as the two most important factors for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. Age at presentation was not identified as a significant predictor of hemorrhagic presentation in multivariable logistic regression. Gradient boosted decision trees/AdaBoost and random forest models identified bAVM location and a concurrent arterial aneurysm as the third most important factors, respectively. Finally, logistic regression identified a left-sided bAVM, small bAVM size, and the presence of a concurrent arterial aneurysm as significant risk factors for hemorrhagic presentation.

CONCLUSIONS

By using an ML approach, the authors found predictors of hemorrhagic presentation that were not identified using a conventional regression approach.

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Wei-Dong Xu, Ru-Dong Chen, Sheng-Qi Hu, Yu-Yang Hou, and Jia-Sheng Yu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to use morphological parameters of mirror posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms to evaluate aneurysm rupture risk.

METHODS

The morphological parameters of 45 pairs of ruptured mirror PCoA aneurysms were analyzed. Conditional univariate and multivariate logistic regression of the following paired morphological parameters was performed: aneurysm with a daughter sac, aneurysm height, aneurysm width, neck width, internal carotid artery diameter, PCoA diameter, flow angle, PCoA angle, aspect ratio, bottleneck factor, size ratio, height/width ratio, fetal posterior cerebral artery, and aneurysm with height > width. A scoring system was established according to the odds ratios (ORs). The receiver operating characteristic was used to test the prediction accuracy of this scoring system in the authors’ database of 523 PCoA aneurysms and the threshold value was used to define higher risk.

RESULTS

Aneurysm width (OR 1.676, p = 0.014), aneurysm with daughter sac (OR 7.775, p = 0.016), and aneurysm with height > width (OR 9.067, p = 0.012) were independent risk factors for rupture. The scoring system consisted of aneurysm width (1 point per mm), aneurysm with a daughter sac (5 points), and aneurysm with height > width (5 points). The area under the curve (AUC) of the scoring system was 0.842, and its threshold value was 7.97. A score ≥ 8 points was defined as higher risk. The AUC using this definition was 0.802.

CONCLUSIONS

Aneurysm width, aneurysms with height > width, and aneurysms with a daughter sac were independent risk factors for PCoA aneurysm rupture. The scoring system devised in this study accurately predicts rupture risk.

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Carly Weber-Levine, Brendan F. Judy, Andrew M. Hersh, Tolulope Awosika, Yohannes Tsehay, Timothy Kim, Alejandro Chara, and Nicholas Theodore

OBJECTIVE

The authors systematically reviewed current evidence for the utility of mean arterial pressure (MAP), intraspinal pressure (ISP), and spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) as predictors of outcomes after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).

METHODS

PubMed, Cochrane Reviews Library, EMBASE, and Scopus databases were queried in December 2020. Two independent reviewers screened articles using Covidence software. Disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer. The inclusion criteria for articles were 1) available in English; 2) full text; 3) clinical studies on traumatic SCI interventions; 4) involved only human participants; and 5) focused on MAP, ISP, or SCPP. Exclusion criteria were 1) only available in non-English languages; 2) focused only on the brain; 3) described spinal diseases other than SCI; 4) interventions altering parameters other than MAP, ISP, or SCPP; and 5) animal studies. Studies were analyzed qualitatively and grouped into two categories: interventions increasing MAP or interventions decreasing ISP. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network level of evidence was used to assess bias and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach was used to rate confidence in the anticipated effects of each outcome.

RESULTS

A total of 2540 unique articles were identified, of which 72 proceeded to full-text review and 24 were included in analysis. One additional study was included retrospectively. Articles that went through full-text review were excluded if they were a review paper (n = 12), not a full article (n = 12), a duplicate paper (n = 9), not a human study (n = 3), not in English (n = 3), not pertaining to traumatic SCI (n = 3), an improper intervention (n = 3), without intervention (n = 2), and without analysis of intervention (n = 1). Although maintaining optimal MAP levels is the current recommendation for SCI management, the published literature supports maintenance of SCPP as a stronger indicator of favorable outcomes. Studies also suggest that laminectomy and durotomy may provide better outcomes than laminectomy alone, although higher-level studies are needed. Current evidence is inconclusive on the effectiveness of CSF drainage for reducing ISP.

CONCLUSIONS

This review demonstrates the importance of assessing how different interventions may vary in their ability to optimize SCPP.

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Joshua C. Hunsaker, Laura Herring, Sarah Franklin, Kylie B. Christensen, Benjamin Chan, and Randy L. Jensen

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Sally El Sammak, William Mualem, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Joshua M. Romero, Christopher T. Ha, Christine L. Hunt, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Conventional spinal cord stimulators (SCSs) have demonstrated efficacy in individuals with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). However, a subgroup of patients may become refractory to the effects of conventional waveforms over time. The objective of this study was to systematically review and evaluate the current literature on the use of novel waveform spinal cord stimulation for the management of FBSS refractory to conventional SCSs.

METHODS

A comprehensive electronic search of the literature published in electronic databases, including Ovid MEDLINE and Epub Ahead of Print, Ovid Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus, was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The outcomes of interest were reduction in back pain and/or leg pain after conversion from conventional to novel SCSs. Risk of bias was assessed with the Risk of Bias in Nonrandomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool. The strength of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) criteria.

RESULTS

A total of 6 studies with 137 patients with FBSS were identified. Studies were published between 2013 and 2021. The mean ± SD age of the pooled patient sample was 55 ± 10.5 years. All patients who underwent treatment with conventional SCSs were identified. Two studies evaluated the efficacy of high-density spinal cord stimulation, 3 studies evaluated burst spinal cord stimulation, and 1 study assessed multimodal waveforms. The mean difference in back pain scores after conversion from a standard SCS to a novel waveform SCS was 2.55 (95% CI 1.59–4.08), demonstrating a significant reduction in back pain after conversion to novel stimulation. The authors also performed a subgroup analysis to compare burst stimulation to tonic waveforms. In this analysis, the authors found no significant difference in the average reductions in back pain between the 2 groups (p = 0.534).The authors found an I2 statistic equivalent to 98.47% in the meta-regression model used to assess the effect of follow-up duration on study outcome; this value implied that the variability in the data can be attributed to the remaining between-study heterogeneity. The overall certainty was moderate, with a high risk of bias across studies.

CONCLUSIONS

Rescue therapy with novel waveform spinal cord stimulation is a potential option for pain reduction in patients who become refractory to conventional SCSs. Conversion to novel waveform SCSs may potentially mitigate expenses and complications.

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Parth Gami, Kelly Qiu, Sindhu Kannappan, Yoel Alperin, Gaetano De Biase, Ian A. Buchanan, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, and Kingsley Abode-Iyamah

OBJECTIVE

Scoliosis is a degenerative disease with a 3D deformity in the alignment of the spinal column. Surgical spinal correction outcomes are heavily dependent on the surgeon’s expertise and use of visual cues because of time requirements, lack of automation, and radiation exposure associated with current intraoperative measurement techniques. In this study, the authors sought to validate a novel, nonradiographic, and semiautomated device that measures spinal alignment intraoperatively using deep learning and computer vision.

METHODS

To obtain spinal alignment metrics intraoperatively, the surgeon placed 3D-printed markers made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic at designated locations in the surgical field. With the high-definition camera of the device, the surgeon can take an image of the markers in the surgical field. Images are processed through a computer vision model that detects the location of the markers and calculates the Cobb angle and coronal plumb line.

The marker detection model was trained on 100 images and tested on 130 images of the ABS markers in various conditions. To verify the Cobb angle calculation, 50 models of angle templates from 0° to 180° in 3.6735° increments were created for testing. To verify the plumb line calculation, 21 models of plumb line measurements from −10 to +10 cm in increments of 1 cm were created for testing. A validation study was performed on a scoliotic cadaver model, and the radiographic calculations for Cobb angle and plumb line were compared with the device’s calculations.

RESULTS

The area under the curve for the marker detection model was 0.979 for Cobb angle white, 0.791 for Cobb angle black, and 1 for the plumb line model. The average absolute difference between expected and measured Cobb angles on the verification models was 1.726° ± 1.259°, within the clinical acceptable error of 5°. The average absolute difference between the expected and measured plumb lines on the verification models was 0.415 ± 0.255 cm. For the cadaver validation study, the differences between the radiographic and device calculations for the Cobb angle and plumb line were 2.78° and 0.29 cm, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors developed and validated a nonradiographic, semiautomated device that utilizes deep learning and computer vision to measure spinal metrics intraoperatively.

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Stylianos Pikis, Georgios Mantziaris, Rithika Kormath Anand, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Darrah Sheehan, Kimball Sheehan, Wael A. Reda, Sameh R. Tawadros, Khaled Abdelkarim, Amr M. N. El-Shehaby, Reem Emad Eldin, Selcuk Peker, Yavuz Samanci, Tehila Kaisman-Elbaz, Herwin Speckter, Wenceslao Hernández, Julio Isidor, Manjul Tripathi, Renu Madan, Brad E. Zacharia, Lekhaj C. Daggubati, Nuria Martínez Moreno, Roberto Martínez Álvarez, Anne-Marie Langlois, David Mathieu, Christopher P. Deibert, Vivek R. Sudhakar, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Denisse Arteaga Icaza, Daniel T. Cifarelli, Zhishuo Wei, Ajay Niranjan, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford, Greg N. Bowden, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Though stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an established safe treatment for small- and medium-sized vestibular schwannomas (VSs), its role in the management of Koos grade IV VS is still unclear. In this retrospective multicenter study, the authors evaluated tumor control and the patient outcomes of primary, single-session SRS treatment for Koos grade IV VS.

METHODS

This study included patients treated with primary, single-session SRS for Koos grade IV VS at 10 participating centers. Only those patients presenting with non–life-threatening or incapacitating symptoms and at least 12 months of clinical and neuroimaging follow-up were eligible for inclusion. Relevant data were collected, and the Kaplan-Meier method was used to perform time-dependent analysis for post-SRS tumor control, hearing preservation, and facial nerve function preservation. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for outcome measures using Cox regression analysis.

RESULTS

Six hundred twenty-seven patients (344 females, median patient age 54 [IQR 22] years) treated with primary SRS were included in this study. The median tumor volume was 8.7 (IQR 5) cm3. Before SRS, serviceable hearing, facial nerve weakness (House-Brackmann grade > I), and trigeminal neuropathy were present in 205 (33%), 48 (7.7%), and 203 (32.4%) patients, respectively. The median prescription dose was 12 (IQR 1) Gy. At a median radiological follow-up of 38 (IQR 54) months, tumor control was achieved in 94.1% of patients. Early tumor expansion occurred in 67 (10.7%) patients and was associated with a loss of tumor control at the last follow-up (p = 0.001). Serviceable hearing preservation rates at the 5- and 10-year follow-ups were 65% and 44.6%, respectively. Gardner-Robertson class > 1 (p = 0.003) and cochlear dose ≥ 4 Gy (p = 0.02) were risk factors for hearing loss. Facial nerve function deterioration occurred in 19 (3.0%) patients at the last follow-up and was associated with margin doses ≥ 13 Gy (p = 0.03) and early tumor expansion (p = 0.04). Post-SRS, 33 patients developed hydrocephalus requiring shunting. Adverse radiation effects occurred in 92 patients and were managed medically or surgically in 34 and 18 cases, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is a safe and effective method of obtaining tumor control in patients with Koos grade IV VS presenting with non–life-threatening or debilitating symptoms, especially those with surgical comorbidities that contraindicate resection. To decrease the incidence of post-SRS facial palsy, a prescription dose < 13 Gy is recommended.

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Minh P. Nguyen, Ramin A. Morshed, Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Daniel D. Cummins, Satvir Saggi, William C. Chen, Abrar Choudhury, Akshay Ravi, David R. Raleigh, Stephen T. Magill, Michael W. McDermott, and Philip V. Theodosopoulos

OBJECTIVE

Meningiomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor, and resection is a mainstay of treatment. It is unclear what duration of imaging follow-up is reasonable for WHO grade I meningiomas undergoing complete resection. This study examined recurrence rates, timing of recurrence, and risk factors for recurrence in patients undergoing a complete resection (as defined by both postoperative MRI and intraoperative impression) of WHO grade I meningiomas.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective, single-center study examining recurrence risk for adult patients with a single intracranial meningioma that underwent complete resection. Uni- and multivariate nominal logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analyses were performed to identify variables associated with recurrence and time to recurrence. Two supervised machine learning algorithms were then implemented to confirm factors within the cohort that were associated with recurrence.

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 823 patients who met inclusion criteria, and 56 patients (6.8%) had recurrence on imaging follow-up. The median age of the cohort was 56 years, and 77.4% of patients were female. The median duration of head imaging follow-up for the entire cohort was 2.7 years, but for the subgroup of patients who had a recurrence, the median follow-up was 10.1 years. Estimated 1-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year recurrence-free survival rates were 99.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 98.8%–99.9%), 91.0% (95% CI 87.7%–93.6%), 83.6% (95% CI 78.6%–87.6%), and 77.3% (95% CI 69.7%–83.4%), respectively, for the entire cohort. On multivariate analysis, MIB-1 index (odds ratio [OR] per 1% increase: 1.34, 95% CI 1.13–1.58, p = 0.0003) and follow-up duration (OR per year: 1.12, 95% CI 1.03–1.21, p = 0.012) were both associated with recurrence. Gradient-boosted decision tree and random forest analyses both identified MIB-1 index as the main factor associated with recurrence, aside from length of imaging follow-up. For tumors with an MIB-1 index < 8, recurrences were documented up to 8 years after surgery. For tumors with an MIB-1 index ≥ 8, recurrences were documented up to 12 years following surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Long-term imaging follow-up is important even after a complete resection of a meningioma. Higher MIB-1 labeling index is associated with greater risk of recurrence. Imaging screening for at least 8 years in patients with an MIB-1 index < 8 and at least 12 years for those with an MIB-1 index ≥ 8 may be needed to detect long-term recurrences.

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Andrea Bianco, Mattia Del Maestro, Andrea Fanti, Chiara Airoldi, Thomas Fleetwood, Emanuela Crobeddu, and Christian Cossandi

OBJECTIVE

In patients with contraindication to open resection, histological diagnosis is obtained through a stereotactic biopsy (SB). Missed diagnoses and sampling errors are important limitations of SB; therefore, various ways have been proposed to increase the diagnostic yield (DY). Intraoperative histopathology can obtain a DY exceeding 98% but with several drawbacks, namely prolonged operative times and logistic concerns. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether intraoperative validation of samples with fluorescein sodium can obtain a high DY with the same ease of use as standard SB.

METHODS

One hundred three consecutive cases of frameless neuronavigated SB performed at the authors’ center from May 2013 to June 2021 were included. Two groups were compared: 46 patients underwent standard nonassisted SB (nSB), and 57 patients underwent fluorescein sodium–assisted SB (fSB). Data were collected retrospectively before 2017 and prospectively thereafter. DY, operative time, and rate of complications were compared between the two groups. The surgical technique for fSB was standardized, and a novel classification system for intraoperative fluorescence findings was developed.

RESULTS

Statistically significant differences between the two groups were identified. The DY of the fSB group (100%, 95% CI 93.73%–100%) was significantly greater than that of the nSB group (89.13%, 95% CI 80.14%–98.13%) (p = 0.0157). No statistically significant differences were observed in terms of mean operative time (p = 0.7104), intraoperative complications (p = 0.999), or postoperative complications (p = 0.5083).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with standard nSB, fSB showed a significantly higher DY and similar surgical time and rate of complications. The ease of use, wide diagnostic spectrum, and low cost make fluorescein sodium preferable to other fluorophores. The present study strengthens the limited data in the literature indicating routine use of fSB. The proposed workflow suggests that fSB should be the standard of care for contrast-enhanced cases. Intraoperative histopathology should be limited to nonenhancing cases, and nSB should be avoided. Future prospective multicenter studies will be useful for further validation of our findings.

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Carla Mora, Isabel Sampedro, Angelina Rodríguez-Caballero, Rubén Martín-Láez, Marta Ortega-Roldán, Lashmi Venkatraghavan, Manuel Fernández-Miera, Mar Varea, Marcos Pajaron-Guerrero, Jesus Esteban, Blanca Moreno, Asunción Manzano, Isabel Ruiz, Juan Martino, Gelareh Zadeh, Mark Bernstein, and Carlos Velásquez

OBJECTIVE

Despite growing evidence on the benefits of outpatient oncological neurosurgery (OON), it is only performed in a few specialized centers and there are no previous descriptions of established OON programs in Europe. Moreover, increasing application of telemedicine strategies, especially after the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is drastically changing neurosurgical management, particularly in the case of vulnerable populations such as neuro-oncological patients. In this context, the authors implemented an OON program in their hospital with telematic follow-up. Herein, they describe the protocol and qualitatively analyze the barriers and facilitators of the development process.

METHODS

An OON program was developed through the following steps: assessment of hospital needs, specific OON training, multidisciplinary team organization, and OON protocol design. In addition, the implementation phase included training sessions, a pilot study, and continuous improvement sessions. Finally, barriers and facilitators of the protocol’s implementation were identified from the feedback of all participants.

RESULTS

An OON protocol was successfully designed and implemented for resection or biopsy of supratentorial lesions up to 3 cm in diameter. The protocol included the patient’s admission to the day surgery unit, noninvasive anesthetic monitoring, same-day discharge, and admission to the hospital-at-home (HaH) unit for telematic and on-site postoperative care. After a pilot study including 10 procedures in 9 patients, the main barriers identified were healthcare provider resistance to change, lack of experience in outpatient neurosurgery, patient reluctance, and limitations in the recruitment of patients. Key facilitators of the process were the patient education program, the multidisciplinary team approach, and the HaH-based telematic postoperative care.

CONCLUSIONS

Initiating an OON program with telematic follow-up in a European clinical setting is feasible. Nevertheless, it poses several barriers that can be overcome by identifying and maximizing key facilitators of the process. Among them, patient education, a multidisciplinary team approach, and HaH-based postoperative care were crucial to the success of the program. Future studies should investigate the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine to assess potential cost savings, from reduced travel and wait times, and the impact on patient satisfaction.