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Nan Li, Debin Yan, Zhipeng Li, Yu Chen, Li Ma, Ruinan Li, Heze Han, Xiangyu Meng, Hengwei Jin, Yang Zhao, Xiaolin Chen, Hao Wang, and Yuanli Zhao

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to explore whether intervention can benefit Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade IV–V arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

METHODS

Eighty-two patients with SM grade IV–V AVMs were retrospectively reviewed from 2015 to 2018. Patients were divided into two groups: those who received conservative management (22 cases [26.8%]) and intervention (60 cases [73.2%], including 21 cases of microsurgery, 19 embolization, and 20 hybrid surgery). Neurofunctional outcomes were assessed with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). The primary outcome was long-term neurofunctional status, and the secondary outcomes were short-term neurofunctional status, long-term obliteration rate, seizure control, and risk of subsequent hemorrhage.

RESULTS

Regarding the primary outcome, after an average of 4.7 years of clinical follow-up, long-term neurofunctional outcomes were similar after conservative management or intervention (absolute difference −0.4 [95% CI −1.5 to 0.7], OR 0.709 [95% CI 0.461–1.090], p = 0.106), whereas intervention had an advantage over conservative management for avoidance of severe disability (defined as mRS score > 3) (1.7% vs 18.2%, absolute difference 16.5% [95% CI −23.6% to 56.6%], OR 0.076 [95% CI 0.008–0.727], p = 0.025). Regarding the secondary outcomes, intervention was conducive to better seizure control (Engel class I–II) (70.0% vs 0.0%, absolute difference 70.0% [95% CI 8.6%–131.4%], p = 0.010) and avoidance of subsequent hemorrhage (1.4% vs 6.0%, absolute difference 4.6% [95% CI −0.4% to 9.6%], p = 0.030). In the subgroup analysis based on different intervention modalities, microsurgery and hybrid surgery achieved higher complete obliteration rates than embolization (p < 0.001), and hybrid surgery resulted in significantly less intraoperative blood loss than microsurgery (p = 0.041).

CONCLUSIONS

Intervention is reasonable for properly indicated SM grade IV–V AVMs because it provides satisfactory seizure control with decreased risks of severe disability and subsequent hemorrhage than conservative management.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT04572568 (ClinicalTrials.gov)

Restricted access

Weihua Chu, Xin Chen, Zexian Wen, Xingsen Xue, Guangjian He, Hongyan Zhang, Jingjing Liu, Yang Zhang, Hua Feng, and Jiangkai Lin

OBJECTIVE

Tarlov cysts (TCs) are a common cystic entity in the sacral canal, with a reported prevalence between 1.5% and 13.2%; 10%–20% of patients are symptomatic and need appropriate clinical intervention. However, the choice of treatment remains controversial. The goal of this study was to describe a new microsurgical sealing technique for symptomatic sacral TCs (SSTCs) as well as its long-term outcomes.

METHODS

Microsurgical sealing was performed using a short incision, leakage coverage with a piece of autologous fat, and cyst sealing with fibrin glue. Postoperative data were collected at three stages: discharge, 1-year follow-up, and a follow-up of 3 years or more. According to the improvement in neurological deficits and degree of pain relief, outcomes were divided into four levels: excellent, good, unchanged, and deteriorated.

RESULTS

A total of 265 patients with SSTCs were treated with microsurgical sealing from January 2003 to December 2020. The mean follow-up was 44.69 months. The percentages of patients who benefited from the operation (excellent and good) at the three stages were 87.55%, 84.89%, and 80.73%, respectively, while those who received no benefit (unchanged and deteriorated) were 12.45%, 15.11%, and 19.27%, respectively. Of the patients with postoperative MRI, the cysts were reduced in size or disappeared in 209 patients (94.14%). CSF leakage from the wound was observed in 15 patients, and 4 patients experienced an infection at the incision. There were no cases of new-onset nerve injury or aseptic meningitis after the operation.

CONCLUSIONS

SSTC patients undergoing microsurgical sealing had persistently high rates of symptom relief and few postoperative complications. Microsurgical sealing is an effective, simple, and low-risk method for treating SSTCs.

Open access

Juan S. Uribe, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Clinton D. Morgan, Gabriella M. Paisan, and Laura A. Snyder

The lateral retropleural approach provides an eloquent, mini-open, safe corridor to address various pathologies in the thoracolumbar spine, including herniated thoracic discs. Traditional approaches (e.g., transpedicular, costotransversectomy, or transthoracic) have their own benefits and pitfalls but are generally associated with significant morbidity and often require instrumentation. In this video, the authors highlight the retropleural approach and its nuances, including patient positioning, surgical planning, relevant anatomy, surgical technique, and postoperative care.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2217

Open access

Ethan S. Srinivasan, Timothy Y. Wang, Anna Rapoport, Melissa M. Erickson, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Khoi D. Than

In this video, the authors highlight the operative treatment of a 55-year-old man with chronic osteomyelitis discitis. The operation entailed a minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach for L3 and L4 corpectomies, L2–5 interbody fusion, and L2–5 minimally invasive posterior instrumentation. The operation proceeded in two stages, beginning in the lateral position with corpectomy of the L3 and L4 vertebral bodies and placement of a corpectomy cage. After closure of this access wound, the patient was turned to a prone position for the posterior element of the operation. Posterior instrumentation was placed with pedicle screws at L2 and L5.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2210

Open access

Andres Ramos-Fresnedo, Carlos Perez-Vega, Krishnan Ravindran, and W. Christopher Fox

In this surgical video, the authors present a successful minimally invasive (MIS) lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach for resection of an L4 nerve root schwannoma. They describe the surgical approach in detail, with special emphasis on patient positioning for an orthogonal view, as well as technical nuances throughout the procedure. Using a sequential tubular retractor, they performed a microscopic dissection of the lesion. The tumor was debulked and the tumor capsule was disconnected from the surrounding tissue. During dissection, direct stimulation identified a functional nerve root that was carefully dissected from the tumor capsule. The tumor was then removed en bloc.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2220

Free access

Martina Sebök, Menno Robbert Germans, Christiaan Hendrik Bas van Niftrik, Zsolt Kulcsár, Luca Regli, and Jorn Fierstra

OBJECTIVE

Epileptic seizures in patients with brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) may be caused by hemodynamic alterations due to the complex angioarchitecture of bAVMs. In particular, an arterial steal phenomenon and venous outflow disruption may play an etiological role in seizure development but remain challenging to demonstrate quantitatively. Blood oxygenation level–dependent (BOLD) cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) imaging is an emerging technique that can measure both arterial steal phenomenon (as a paradoxical BOLD signal decrease during a vasodilatory stimulus) and impaired perinidal BOLD-CVR (which has been found in the presence of venous congestion on conventional angiography in bAVM patients with epilepsy). By applying this innovative BOLD-CVR technique, the aim is to better study CVR patterns and their correlation with morphological features on conventional angiography in patients with bAVM with and without epilepsy.

METHODS

Twenty-two patients with unruptured and previously untreated bAVMs (8 with and 14 without epilepsy) were included in this case-control study. Quantitative CVR measurements were derived from BOLD functional MRI volumes using a novel standardized and precise hypercapnic stimulus (i.e., % BOLD/mm Hg CO2). In addition, 22 matched healthy controls underwent an identical BOLD-CVR study. Evaluation of venous congestion was performed on conventional angiography for all patients with bAVM.

RESULTS

Patients with bAVM-associated epilepsy showed impaired whole-brain BOLD-CVR compared to those in the nonepilepsy group, even after correction for AVM volume and AVM grade (epilepsy vs nonepilepsy group: 0.17 ± 0.07 vs 0.25 ± 0.07, p = 0.04). A BOLD-CVR–derived arterial steal phenomenon was observed in 2 patients with epilepsy (25%). Venous congestion was noted in 3 patients with epilepsy (38%) and in 1 patient without epilepsy (7%; p = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS

These data suggest that whole-brain CVR impairment, and more pronounced hemodynamic alterations (i.e., arterial steal phenomenon and venous outflow restriction), may be more present in patients with bAVM-associated epilepsy. The association of impaired BOLD-CVR and bAVM-associated epilepsy will need further investigation in a larger patient cohort.

Open access

Michael J. Strong, Joseph R. Linzey, Mark M. Zaki, Rushikesh S. Joshi, Ayobami Ward, Timothy J. Yee, Siri Sahib S. Khalsa, Yamaan S. Saadeh, and Paul Park

Retropleural, retrodiaphragmatic, and retroperitoneal approaches are utilized to access difficult thoracolumbar junction (T10–L2) pathology. The authors present a 58-year-old man with chronic low-back pain who failed years of conservative therapy. Preoperative radiographs demonstrated significant levoconvex scoliosis with coronal and sagittal imbalance. He underwent a retrodiaphragmatic/retroperitoneal approach for T12–L1, L1–2, L2–3, and L3–4 interbody release and fusion in conjunction with second-stage facet osteotomies, L4–5 TLIF, and T10–iliac posterior instrumented fusion. This video focuses on the retrodiaphragmatic approach assisted by 3D navigation.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2215

Free access

Edgar Nathal, Alejandro Serrano-Rubio, Alejandro Monroy-Sosa, Oscar Gutiérrez-Ávila, Rafael Vázquez-Gregorio, Javier Degollado-García, and Ángel Lee

OBJECTIVE

Sylvian fissure (SF) arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are among the most challenging vascular lesions amenable to neurosurgical treatment and account for 10% of all locations. As radiosurgery and endovascular techniques are increasingly involved in multimodal management protocols, the role of microsurgery needs to be reassessed as a stand-alone technique. The aim of this study was to show that total excision can be achieved with reasonable levels of morbidity and mortality in a real-world setting from a specialized high-volume center.

METHODS

Forty-three patients with SF AVMs were identified from a series of 577 AVM patients treated microsurgically over a 22-year period. The mean patient age was 33.07 years (range 15–60 years), and there were 22 male and 21 female patients. The mode of presentation was headache in 51.2%, hemorrhage in 34.9%, seizures in 30.2%, and steal phenomenon in 9.3%. The authors analyzed the anatomical basis and angiographic characteristics of such lesions.

RESULTS

In the preoperative period, 83.7% of the patients had a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0–2, and 16.3% had an mRS score of 3–5. After a 12-month follow-up, 95.3% of patients had an mRS score of 0–2, and 4.7% had a score of 3–6. The difference between pre- and postoperative scores was not statistically significant. SF AVMs have several particular features: 1) They produce angiographic steal of the anterior cerebral artery. 2) The nidus is fed by only one of the main trunks of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). 3) Participation of deep perforators is uncommon. 4) They have two or more early draining veins showing their fistulous nature. 5) Preoperative embolization and radiosurgery have a low rate of permanent cure.

CONCLUSIONS

These AVMs represent a surgical challenge due to their proximity to critical structures such as the MCA, insula, internal capsule, and speech and memory functions in the dominant hemisphere. Essential key points are the wide opening of the SF and proper differentiation between feeders and normal vessels. Although this location can seem daunting, SF AVMs carry no additional surgical risk if adequately managed.

Free access

Oliver Y. Tang, Ankush I. Bajaj, Kevin Zhao, and James K. Liu

OBJECTIVE

Patient frailty is associated with poorer perioperative outcomes for several neurosurgical procedures. However, comparative accuracy between different frailty metrics for cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) outcomes is poorly understood and existing frailty metrics studied in the literature are constrained by poor specificity to neurosurgery. This aim of this paper was to compare the predictive ability of 3 frailty scores for AVM microsurgical admissions and generate a custom risk stratification score.

METHODS

All adult AVM microsurgical admissions in the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (2002–2017) were identified. Three frailty measures were analyzed: 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5; range 0–5), 11-factor modified frailty index (mFI-11; range 0–11), and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) (range 0–29). Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to compare accuracy between metrics. The analyzed endpoints included in-hospital mortality, routine discharge, complications, length of stay (LOS), and hospitalization costs. Survey-weighted multivariate regression assessed frailty-outcome associations, adjusting for 13 confounders, including patient demographics, hospital characteristics, rupture status, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and treatment modality. Subsequently, k-fold cross-validation and Akaike information criterion–based model selection were used to generate a custom 5-variable risk stratification score called the AVM-5. This score was validated in the main study population and a pseudoprospective cohort (2018–2019).

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 16,271 total AVM microsurgical admissions nationwide, with 21.0% being ruptured. The mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI were all predictive of lower rates of routine discharge disposition, increased perioperative complications, and longer LOS (all p < 0.001). Their AVM-5 risk stratification score was calculated from 5 variables: age, hydrocephalus, paralysis, diabetes, and hypertension. The AVM-5 was predictive of decreased rates of routine hospital discharge (OR 0.26, p < 0.001) and increased perioperative complications (OR 2.42, p < 0.001), postoperative LOS (+49%, p < 0.001), total LOS (+47%, p < 0.001), and hospitalization costs (+22%, p < 0.001). This score outperformed age, mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI for both ruptured and unruptured AVMs (area under the curve [AUC] 0.78, all p < 0.001). In a pseudoprospective cohort of 2005 admissions from 2018 to 2019, the AVM-5 remained significantly associated with all outcomes except for mortality and exhibited higher accuracy than all 3 earlier scores (AUC 0.79, all p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Patient frailty is predictive of poorer disposition and elevated complications, LOS, and costs for AVM microsurgical admissions. The authors’ custom AVM-5 risk score outperformed age, mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI while using threefold less variables than the CCI. This score may complement existing AVM grading scales for optimization of surgical candidates and identification of patients at risk of postoperative medical and surgical morbidity.