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Heidi McAlpine and Katharine J. Drummond

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Alexandra Valetopoulou, Maria Constantinides, Simon Eccles, Juling Ong, Richard Hayward, David Dunaway, Noor ul Owase Jeelani, Greg James, and Adikarige Haritha Dulanka Silva

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic strip craniectomy with postoperative molding helmet therapy (ESC-H) and spring-assisted cranioplasty (SAC) are commonly used minimally invasive techniques for correction of nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis, but it is unclear which, if either, is superior. Therefore, the authors undertook a systematic review to compare ESC-H with SAC for the surgical management of nonsyndromic single-suture sagittal craniosynostosis.

METHODS

Studies were identified through a systematic and comprehensive search of four databases (Embase, MEDLINE, and two databases in the Cochrane Library). Databases were searched from inception until February 19, 2021. Pediatric patients undergoing either ESC-H or SAC for the management of nonsyndromic single-suture sagittal craniosynostosis were included. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, single-patient case reports, mixed cohorts of nonsyndromic and syndromic patients, mixed cohorts of different craniosynostosis types, and studies in which no outcomes of interest were reported were excluded. Outcomes of interest included reoperations, blood transfusion, complications, postoperative intensive care unit (ICU) admission, operative time, estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay, and cephalic index. Pooled summary cohort characteristics were calculated for each outcome of interest. Methodological quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The study was reported in accordance with the 2020 PRISMA statement.

RESULTS

Twenty-two studies were eligible for inclusion in the review, including 1094 patients, of whom 605 (55.3%) underwent ESC-H and 489 (44.7%) underwent SAC for nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis. There was no difference between the pooled estimates of the ESC-H and SAC groups for operative time, length of stay, estimated blood loss, and cephalic index. There was no difference between the groups for reoperation rate and complication rate. However, ESC-H was associated with a higher blood transfusion rate and higher postoperative ICU admission.

CONCLUSIONS

The available literature does not demonstrate superiority of either ESC-H or SAC, and outcomes are broadly similar for the treatment of nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis. However, the evidence is limited by single-center retrospective studies with low methodological quality. There is a need for international multicenter randomized controlled trials comparing both techniques to gain definitive and generalizable data.

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Jorge E. Alvernia, Miguel Enrique Berbeo Calderón, Jorge Cespedes, John Vargas, Matthew Grady, Luis C. Cadavid, Enrique Osorio Fonseca, and Adolfo Cumplido Posada

Ernesto Bustamante Zuleta (1922–2021) was an impactful Colombian neurosurgeon whose legacy is inextricably linked with the development of the neurosurgery specialty in Colombia. His detail-oriented approach to treatment complemented his reputation for mastery of the neurosciences. Never simply confined to the operating theater, this calm and considerate physician felt compelled to teach during his entire career. The result of his teaching made a lasting imprint on an entire generation of neurosurgeons who subsequently established a high standard of neurosurgical care in Colombia. A true pioneer, Bustamante comprehensively engaged in his field, from founding the country’s first residency program in neurosurgery to successfully implementing technology in his procedures, performing many of Colombia’s first neurosurgical interventions, and publishing extensively across various categories of medical science. This historical reflection highlights his enduring contributions to the field and considers his legacy through the witness testimony of many of his students and collaborators. The hope is that his contributions may be acknowledged in full, as he was a reserved person who never boasted of his own accomplishments. The authors also hope that those who did not have the opportunity to know him would be informed by the historical context of the development of Colombian neurosurgery and inspired by his conviction and altruism.

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Joshua Pepper, William B. Lo, Shakti Agrawal, Rana Mohamed, Jo Horton, Selina Balloo, Sunny Philip, Ashish Basnet, Welege Samantha Buddhika Wimalachandra, Andrew Lawley, Stefano Seri, and A. Richard Walsh

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in children. Among very young children, one-third are resistant to medical treatment, and lack of effective treatment may result in adverse outcomes. Although functional hemispherotomy is an established treatment for epilepsy, its outcome in the very young child has not been widely reported. In this study the authors investigated seizure and developmental results after hemispherotomy in children younger than 3 years.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a prospective database of all children younger than 3 years with medically intractable epilepsy who underwent functional hemispherotomy at the authors’ institution during the period between 2012 and 2020. Demographic data, epilepsy history, underlying etiology, operative and transfusion details, and seizure and developmental outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS

Twelve patients were included in this study. The mean age (± SD) at seizure onset was 3 ± 2.6 months and at surgery was 1.3 ± 0.77 years, with a mean follow-up of 4 years. Diagnoses included hemimegalencephaly (n = 5), hemidysplasia (n = 2), hypoxic/hemorrhagic (n = 2), traumatic (n = 1), Sturge-Weber syndrome (n = 1), and mild hemispheric structural abnormality with EEG/PET correlates (n = 1). Eleven patients achieved an Engel class I outcome, and 1 patient achieved Engel class IV at last follow-up. No deaths, infections, cerebrovascular events, or unexpected long-term neurological deficits were recorded. All children progressed neurodevelopmentally following surgery, but their developmental levels remained behind their chronological age, with an overall mean composite Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale score of 58 (normal: 86–114, low: < 70). One patient required insertion of a subdural peritoneal shunt, 1 patient required dural repair for a CSF fluid leak, and 1 patient required aspiration of a pseudomeningocele. In 2 patients, both of whom weighed less than 5.7 kg, the first operation was incomplete due to blood loss.

CONCLUSIONS

Hemispherotomy in children younger than 3 years offers excellent seizure control and an acceptable risk-to-benefit ratio in well-selected patients. Families of children weighing less than 6 kg should be counseled regarding the possibility of staged surgery. Postoperatively, children continue to make appropriate, despite delayed, developmental progress.

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Luyuan Li, Kenji Ibayashi, Anthony Piscopo, Carolina Deifelt Streese, Haiming Chen, Jeremy D. W. Greenlee, and David M. Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Endovascular electroencephalography (evEEG) uses the cerebrovascular system to record electrical activity from adjacent neural structures. The safety, feasibility, and efficacy of using the Woven EndoBridge Aneurysm Embolization System (WEB) for evEEG has not been investigated.

METHODS

Seventeen participants undergoing awake WEB endovascular treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms were included. After WEB deployment and before detachment, its distal deployment wire was connected to an EEG receiver, and participants performed a decision-making task for 10 minutes. WEB and scalp recordings were captured.

RESULTS

All patients underwent successful embolization and evEEG with no complications. Event-related potentials were detected on scalp EEG in 9/17 (53%) patients. Of these 9 patients, a task-related low-gamma (30–70 Hz) response on WEB channels was captured in 8/9 (89%) cases. In these 8 patients, the WEB was deployed in 2 middle cerebral arteries, 3 anterior communicating arteries, the terminal internal carotid artery, and 2 basilar tip aneurysms. Electrocardiogram artifact on WEB channels was present in 12/17 cases.

CONCLUSIONS

The WEB implanted within cerebral aneurysms of awake patients is capable of capturing task-specific brain electrical activities. Future studies are warranted to establish the efficacy of and support for evEEG as a tool for brain recording, brain stimulation, and brain-machine interface applications.

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G. Rees Cosgrove, Nir Lipsman, Andres M. Lozano, Jin Woo Chang, Casey Halpern, Pejman Ghanouni, Howard Eisenberg, Paul Fishman, Takaomi Taira, Michael L. Schwartz, Nathan McDannold, Michael Hayes, Susie Ro, Binit Shah, Ryder Gwinn, Veronica E. Santini, Kullervo Hynynen, and W. Jeff Elias

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to evaluate, at 4 and 5 years posttreatment, the long-term safety and efficacy of unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy for medication-refractory essential tremor in a cohort of patients from a prospective, controlled, multicenter clinical trial.

METHODS

Outcomes per the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST), including postural tremor scores (CRST Part A), combined hand tremor/motor scores (CRST Parts A and B), and functional disability scores (CRST Part C), were measured by a qualified neurologist. The Quality of Life in Essential Tremor Questionnaire (QUEST) was used to assess quality of life. CRST and QUEST scores at 48 and 60 months post-MRgFUS were compared to those at baseline to assess treatment efficacy and durability. All adverse events (AEs) were reported.

RESULTS

Forty-five and 40 patients completed the 4- and 5-year follow-ups, respectively. CRST scores for postural tremor (Part A) for the treated hand remained significantly improved by 73.3% and 73.1% from baseline at both 48 and 60 months posttreatment, respectively (both p < 0.0001). Combined hand tremor/motor scores (Parts A and B) also improved by 49.5% and 40.4% (p < 0.0001) at each respective time point. Functional disability scores (Part C) increased slightly over time but remained significantly improved through the 5 years (p < 0.0001). Similarly, QUEST scores remained significantly improved from baseline at year 4 (p < 0.0001) and year 5 (p < 0.0003). All previously reported AEs remained mild or moderate, and no new AEs were reported.

CONCLUSIONS

Unilateral MRgFUS thalamotomy demonstrates sustained and significant tremor improvement at 5 years with an overall improvement in quality-of-life measures and without any progressive or delayed complications.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01827904 (ClinicalTrials.gov)

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Paul S. Page, Garret P. Greeneway, Wendell B. Lake, Nathaniel P. Brooks, Darnell T. Josiah, Amgad S. Hanna, and Daniel K. Resnick

OBJECTIVE

Extension fractures in the setting of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) represent highly unstable injuries. As a result, these fractures are most frequently treated with immediate surgical fixation to limit any potential risk of associated neurological injury. Although this represents the standard of care, patients with significant comorbidities, advanced age, or medical instability may not be surgical candidates. In this paper, the authors evaluated a series of patients with extension DISH fractures who were treated with orthosis alone and evaluated their outcomes.

METHODS

A retrospective review from 2015 to 2022 was conducted at a large level 1 trauma center. Patients with extension-type DISH fractures without neurological deficits were identified. All patients were treated conservatively with orthosis alone. Baseline patient characteristics and adverse outcomes are reported.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven patients were identified as presenting with extension fractures associated with DISH without neurological deficit. Of these, 22 patients had complete follow-up on final chart review. Of these 22 patients, 21 (95.5%) were treated successfully with external orthosis. One patient (4.5%) who was noncompliant with the brace had an acute spinal cord injury 1 month after presentation, requiring immediate surgical fixation and decompression. No other complications, including skin breakdown or pressure ulcers related to bracing, were reported.

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment of extension-type DISH fractures may be a reasonable option for patients who are not candidates for safe surgical intervention; however, a risk of neurological injury secondary to delayed instability remains, particularly if patients are noncompliant with the bracing regimen. This risk should be balanced against the high complication rate and potential mortality associated with surgical intervention in this patient population.

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Kathleen M. Mulligan, Tarun K. Jella, Thomas B. Cwalina, Eve C. Tsai, Ann M. Parr, Sarah I. Woodrow, James M. Wright III, and Christina H. Wright

OBJECTIVE

Despite incremental progress in the representation and proportion of women in the field of neurosurgery, female neurosurgeons still represent an overwhelming minority of the current US physician workforce. Prior research has predicted the timeline by which the proportion of female neurosurgery residents may reach that of males, but none have used the contemporary data involving the entire US neurosurgical workforce.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) registry of all US neurosurgeons to determine changes in the proportions of women in neurosurgery across states, census divisions, and census regions between 2010 and 2020. A univariate linear regression was performed to assess historical growth, and then Holt-Winter forecasting was used to predict in what future year gender parity may be reached in this field.

RESULTS

A majority of states, divisions, and regions have increased the proportion of female neurosurgeons from 2010. Given current growth rates, the authors found that female neurosurgeons will not reach the proportion of women in the overall medical workforce until 2177 (95% CI 2169–2186). Furthermore, they found that women in neurosurgery will not match their current proportion of the overall US population until 2267 (95% CI 2256–2279).

CONCLUSIONS

Whereas many studies have focused on the overall increase of women in neurosurgery in the last decade, this one is the first to compare this growth in the context of the overall female physician workforce and the female US population. The results suggest a longer timeline for gender parity in neurosurgery than previous studies have suggested and should further catalyze the targeted recruitment of women into the field, an overhaul of current policies in place to support and develop the careers of women in neurosurgery, and increased self-reflection and behavioral change from the entire neurosurgery community.

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Nathan A. Shlobin, Andrew Wang, H. Westley Phillips, Han Yan, George M. Ibrahim, Lior M. Elkaim, Shuang Wang, Xiaoyan Liu, Lixin Cai, Dang K. Nguyen, Aria Fallah, and Alexander G. Weil

OBJECTIVE

The prevalence of long-term postoperative sensorimotor deficits in children undergoing perirolandic resective epilepsy surgery is unclear. The risk of developing these deficits must be weighed against the potential reduction in seizure frequency after surgery. In this study, the authors investigated the prevalence of sensorimotor deficits after resective surgery at ≥ 1 year postoperatively.

METHODS

A systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis was conducted using PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Subgroups of patients were identified and categorized according to their outcomes as follows: group A patients were denoted as seizure free with no postoperative sensorimotor deficits; group B patients experienced seizure recurrence with no deficit; group C patients were seizure free with deficits; and group D patients were not seizure free and with deficits. Rates of sensory deficits were examined in patients undergoing postcentral gyrus resection, and rates of motor deficits were aggregated in patients undergoing precentral gyrus resection.

RESULTS

Of 797 articles resulting from the database searches, 6 articles including 164 pediatric patients at a mean age of 7.7 ± 5.2 years with resection for drug-resistant perirolandic epilepsy were included in the study. Seizure freedom was observed in 118 (72.9%) patients at a mean follow-up of 3.4 ± 1.8 years. In total, 109 (66.5%) patients did not develop sensorimotor deficits at last follow-up, while 55 (33.5%) had permanent deficits. Ten (14.3%) of 70 patients with postcentral gyrus resection had permanent sensory deficits. Of the postcentral gyrus resection patients, 41 (58.6%) patients were included in group A, 19 (27.1%) in group B, 7 (10.0%) in group C, and 3 (4.3%) in group D. Forty (37.7%) of 106 patients with precentral resections had permanent motor deficits. Of the precentral gyrus resection patients, 50 (47.2%) patients were in group A, 16 (15.1%) in group B, 24 (22.6%) in group C, and 16 (15.1%) in group D. Patients without focal cortical dysplasia were more likely to have permanent motor deficits relative to those with focal cortical dysplasia in the precentral surgery cohort (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

In total, 58.6% of patients were seizure free without deficit, 27.1% were not seizure free and without deficit, 10.0% were seizure free but with deficit, and 4.3% were not seizure free and with deficit. Future studies with functional and quality-of-life data, particularly for patients who experience seizure recurrence with no deficits (as in group B in the present study) and those who are seizure free with deficits (as in group C) after treatment, are necessary to guide surgical decision-making.

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Evgenii Belykh, Irakliy Abramov, Liudmila Bardonova, Ruchi Patel, Sarah McBryan, Lara Enriquez Bouza, Neil Majmundar, Xiaochun Zhao, Vadim A. Byvaltsev, Stephen A. Johnson, Amit Singla, Gaurav Gupta, Hai Sun, James K. Liu, Anil Nanda, Mark C. Preul, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Microsurgical training remains indispensable to master cerebrovascular bypass procedures, but simulation models for training that accurately replicate microanastomosis in narrow, deep-operating corridors are lacking. Seven simulation bypass scenarios were developed that included head models in various surgical positions with premade approaches, simulating the restrictions of the surgical corridors and hand positions for microvascular bypass training. This study describes these models and assesses their validity.

METHODS

Simulation models were created using 3D printing of the skull with a designed craniotomy. Brain and external soft tissues were cast using a silicone molding technique from the clay-sculptured prototypes. The 7 simulation scenarios included: 1) temporal craniotomy for a superficial temporal artery (STA)–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass using the M4 branch of the MCA; 2) pterional craniotomy and transsylvian approach for STA-M2 bypass; 3) bifrontal craniotomy and interhemispheric approach for side-to-side bypass using the A3 branches of the anterior cerebral artery; 4) far lateral craniotomy and transcerebellomedullary approach for a posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA)–PICA bypass or 5) PICA reanastomosis; 6) orbitozygomatic craniotomy and transsylvian-subtemporal approach for a posterior cerebral artery bypass; and 7) extended retrosigmoid craniotomy and transcerebellopontine approach for an occipital artery–anterior inferior cerebellar artery bypass. Experienced neurosurgeons evaluated each model by practicing the aforementioned bypasses on the models. Face and content validities were assessed using the bypass participant survey.

RESULTS

A workflow for model production was developed, and these models were used during microsurgical courses at 2 neurosurgical institutions. Each model is accompanied by a corresponding prototypical case and surgical video, creating a simulation scenario. Seven experienced cerebrovascular neurosurgeons practiced microvascular anastomoses on each of the models and completed surveys. They reported that actual anastomosis within a specific approach was well replicated by the models, and difficulty was comparable to that for real surgery, which confirms the face validity of the models. All experts stated that practice using these models may improve bypass technique, instrument handling, and surgical technique when applied to patients, confirming the content validity of the models.

CONCLUSIONS

The 7 bypasses simulation set includes novel models that effectively simulate surgical scenarios of a bypass within distinct deep anatomical corridors, as well as hand and operator positions. These models use artificial materials, are reusable, and can be implemented for personal training and during microsurgical courses.