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## Editorial. Lost in translation: recognition of the “ceiling effect” as a potential barrier to the success of neuroprotective strategies in spinal cord injury

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## Endoscopic endonasal optic nerve decompression: treatment of fibrous dysplasia in a pediatric population

### OBJECTIVE

Patients with fibrous dysplasia (FD) of the anterior skull base can experience progressive visual loss and impairment. The authors reviewed their experience with endonasal decompression of the optic nerve (ON) in this patient population. Endoscopic ON decompression (EOND) is a feasible surgical approach for children with FD and visual deficit due to structural ON compression.

### METHODS

Electronic medical records of children between 1 and 17 years of age with unilateral FD of the anterior skull base and concomitant ON compression, who required EOND between 2017 and 2022 (n = 4), were reviewed for demographic data, both pre- and postoperative imaging, and evaluations by an otolaryngologist, neurosurgeon, and ophthalmologist in a multidisciplinary fashion.

### RESULTS

EOND was found to be a safe and effective surgery for children with FD. Visual acuity was stable in 80% of the eyes postoperatively. Visual fields improved in 40% of the eyes and remained stable in the rest.

### CONCLUSIONS

EOND is beneficial for progressive optic neuropathy that is unresponsive to steroid therapy and can prevent permanent disability if performed prior to irreversible damage to the nerve. EOND can decompress the edematous ON with proper exposure of the optic canal and orbital apex, without any major complications.

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## Functional impact of multiple bleeding events in patients with conservatively treated spinal cavernous malformations

### OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the functional outcome in spinal cavernous malformation (SCM) patients with single or multiple intramedullary hemorrhagic events.

### METHODS

SCM patients who were conservatively treated between 2003 and 2021 and had complete clinical baseline characteristics, an MRI data set, at least one SCM-related intramedullary hemorrhage (IMH), and at least one follow-up examination were included in this study. Functional status was assessed using the modified McCormick Scale score at diagnosis, before and after each bleeding event, and at the last follow-up.

### RESULTS

A total of 45 patients were analyzed. Univariate analysis identified multiple bleeding events as the only statistically significant predictor for an unfavorable functional outcome at the last follow-up (OR 15.28, 95% CI 3.22–72.47; p < 0.001). Patients significantly deteriorated after the first hemorrhage (29.0%, p = 0.006) and even more so after the second hemorrhage (84.6%, p = 0.002). Multiple bleeding events were significantly associated with functional deterioration at the last follow-up (76.9%, p = 0.003). The time between the last IMH and the last follow-up did not influence this outcome.

### CONCLUSIONS

IMH due to SCM is linked to functional worsening. Such outcomes tend to improve after each hemorrhage, but the probability of full recovery declines with each bleeding event.

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## Interhospital transfer of pediatric patients with malignant brain tumor not associated with increased mortality, but safe routine discharge

### OBJECTIVE

Interhospital transfer (IHT) to obtain a higher level of care for pediatric patients requiring neurosurgical interventions is common. Pediatric patients with malignant brain tumors often require subspecialty care commonly provided at specialized centers. The authors aimed to assess the impact of IHT in pediatric neurosurgical patients with malignant brain tumors to identify areas of improvement in treatment of this patient population.

### METHODS

Pediatric patients (age < 19 years) with malignant primary brain tumors undergoing craniotomy for resection between 2010 and 2018 were retrospectively identified in the Nationwide Readmissions Database. Patient and hospital data for each index admission provided by the Nationwide Readmissions Database was analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Further analysis evaluated association of IHT on specific patient- or hospital-related characteristics.

### RESULTS

In a total of 2279 nonelective admissions for malignant brain tumors in pediatric patients, the authors found only 132 patients (5.8%) who underwent IHT for a higher level of care. There is an increased likelihood of transfer when a patient is younger (< 7 years old, p = 0.006) or the disease process is more severe, as characterized by higher pediatric complex chronic conditions (p = 0.0004) and increased all patient refined diagnosis-related group mortality index (p = 0.02). Patients who are transferred (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.04–3.35; p = 0.04) and patients who are treated at pediatric centers (OR 6.89, 95% CI 4.23–11.22; p < 0.0001) are more likely to have a routine discharge home. On multivariate analysis, transfer status was not associated with a longer length of stay (incident rate ratio 1.04, 95% CI 0.94–1.16; p = 0.5) or greater overall costs per patient ($20,947.58, 95% CI −$35,078.80 to \$76,974.00; p = 0.50). Additionally, IHT is not associated with increased likelihood of death or major complication.

### CONCLUSIONS

IHT has a significant role in the outcome of pediatric patients with malignant brain tumors. Transfer of this patient population to hospitals providing subspecialized care results in a higher level of care without a significant burden on overall costs, risks, or mortality.

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## Letter to the Editor. SEEG and subdural grids: differences that go beyond morbidity

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## Periprocedural cerebrovascular complications and 30-day outcomes of endovascular treatment for intracranial vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms

### OBJECTIVE

The authors undertook an evaluation of periprocedural cerebrovascular complications and 30-day outcomes of endovascular treatment for intracranial vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (IVADAs) and assessed the relevant risk factors.

### METHODS

The authors included a series of 195 patients who had undergone endovascular treatment for 198 IVADAs. Clinical data, morphological characteristics, treatment details, and periprocedural cerebrovascular complications including intraprocedural rupture, intraprocedural thrombosis, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), transient ischemic attack (TIA), and ischemic stroke (IS) were recorded. After evaluation of the 30-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, the authors applied univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify the risk factors for complications and 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

### RESULTS

There were no intraprocedural ruptures, but the authors recorded intraprocedural thrombosis (n = 5), ICH (n = 3), TIA (n = 1), and IS (n = 13), comprising an 11.1% (22/198) complication rate. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that hyperlipidemia (odds ratio [OR] 3.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–8.41, p = 0.020), IS history (OR 5.55, 95% CI 1.46–21.01, p = 0.012), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (OR 4.48, 95% CI 1.52–13.20, p = 0.007) were risk factors for overall complications, whereas aneurysmal height (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.61–0.98, p = 0.032) was a protective factor. SAH (OR 6.44, 95% CI 1.54–26.89, p = 0.011) and preprocedural mRS score > 2 (OR 5.07, 95% CI 1.01–25.59, p = 0.049) were independent risk factors for perforator occlusion stroke. Periprocedural cerebrovascular complications (OR 32.09, 95% CI 3.00–343.94, p = 0.004) and preprocedural mRS score > 2 (OR 319.92, 95% CI 30.28–3379.98, p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

### CONCLUSIONS

Hyperlipidemia, IS history, and SAH were independent predictors for overall periprocedural cerebrovascular complications of endovascular treatment for IVADAs, but aneurysmal height was an independent protective factor. SAH and preprocedural mRS score > 2 were independent risk factors for perforator occlusion stroke. Preprocedural mRS score > 2 and periprocedural complications were independent risk factors for 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

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## Quality indicators for evaluating the 30-day postoperative outcome in pediatric brain tumor surgery: a 10-year single-center study and systematic review of the literature

### OBJECTIVE

Surgery is the cornerstone in the management of pediatric brain tumors. To provide safe and effective health services, quantifying and evaluating quality of care are important. To do this, there is a need for universal measures in the form of indicators reflecting quality of the delivered care. The objective of this study was to analyze currently applied quality indicators in pediatric brain tumor surgery and identify factors associated with poor outcome at a tertiary neurosurgical referral center in western Norway.

### METHODS

All patients younger than 18 years of age who underwent surgery for an intracranial tumor at the Department of Neurosurgery at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, between 2009 and 2020 were included. The primary outcomes of interest were classic quality indicators: 30-day readmission, 30-day reoperation, 30-day mortality, 30-day nosocomial infection, and 30-day surgical site infection (SSI) rates; and length of stay. The secondary aim was the identification of risk factors related to unfavorable outcome. The authors also conducted a systematic literature review. Articles concerning pediatric brain tumor surgery reporting at least two quality indicators were of interest.

### RESULTS

The authors included 82 patients aged 0–17 years. The 30-day outcomes for unplanned reoperation, unplanned remission, mortality, nosocomial infection, and SSI were 9.8%, 14.6%, 0%, 6.1%, and 3.7%, respectively. Unplanned reoperation was associated with eloquent localization (p = 0.009), primary emergency surgery (p = 0.003), and CSF diversion procedures (p = 0.002). Greater tumor volume was associated with unplanned readmission (p = 0.008), nosocomial infection (p = 0.004), and CSF leakage (p = 0.005). In the systematic review, after full-text screening, 16 articles were included and provided outcome data for 1856 procedures. Overall, the 30-day mortality rate was low, varying from 0% to 9.3%. The 30-day reoperation rate varied from 1.5% to 12%. The SSI rate ranged between 0% and 3.9%, and 0% to 17.4% of patients developed CSF leakage. Four studies reported infratentorial tumor location as a risk factor for postoperative CSF leakage.

### CONCLUSIONS

The 30-day outcomes in the authors’ department were comparable to published outcomes. The most relevant factors related to unfavorable outcomes are tumor volume and location, both of which are not modifiable by the surgeon. This highlights the importance of risk adjustment. This evaluation of quality indicators reveals concerns related to the unclear and nonstandardized definitions of outcomes. Standardized outcome definitions and documentation in a large and multicentric database are needed in the future for further evaluation of quality indicators.

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## Closure of a dural defect as a cause of superficial siderosis: does early dural repair lead to a better outcome? Illustrative case

### BACKGROUND

Superficial hemosiderosis (SS) of the central nervous system is a rare condition that is caused by chronic, repeated hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space. The subsequent deposition of hemosiderin in the brain and spinal cord causes neurological deterioration. In this report, the authors describe a repair procedure for SS associated with a dural defect in the thoracic spine.

### OBSERVATIONS

A 75-year-old man presented with tinnitus symptoms that began about 1 year prior. Subsequently, his hearing loss progressed, and he gradually became unsteady on walking. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head showed diffuse hemosiderin deposition on the surface of the cerebellum. Thoracic MRI showed ventral cerebrospinal fluid leakage of T2–7, and computed tomography myelography showed leakage of contrast medium that appeared to be a dural defect. Dural closure was successful, and MRI showed decreased fluid collection ventral to the dura. The patient’s symptoms of wobbliness on walking and tinnitus improved dramatically from the postoperative period.

### LESSONS

Dural abnormalities of the spine must always be considered as one of the causes of SS. Early dural closure is an effective means of preventing the progression of symptoms.

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## Cystic dissemination of choroid plexus papilloma: illustrative cases

### BACKGROUND

Choroid plexus papillomas are benign tumors of the choroid plexus. Although typically focal, they can metastasize. Rarely, patients may present with numerous cystic lesions throughout the craniospinal axis.

### OBSERVATIONS

The authors present three cases of pathologically confirmed fourth ventricular World Health Organization (WHO) grade 1 choroid plexus papillomas presenting with numerous cystic lesions throughout the craniospinal axis. Two cases were treated with only resection of the fourth ventricular mass; one was treated with a partial cyst fenestration. During follow-up, there was only mild interval growth of the cystic lesions over time, and all patients remained asymptomatic from their cystic lesions. The authors summarize five additional cases of cystic dissemination in the published literature and discuss hypotheses for the pathophysiology of this rare presentation.

### LESSONS

Choroid plexus papillomas may present with numerous, widely disseminated cystic lesions within the craniospinal axis. Thus, the authors recommend preoperative and routine imaging of the entire neuroaxis in patients with choroid plexus tumors, regardless of WHO grade. Although the role of adjuvant therapy and cyst fenestration in the treatment of these lesions remains unclear, watchful waiting may be indicated, especially in asymptomatic patients, because the lesions often demonstrate slow, if any, growth over time.

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## Dural arteriovenous fistulas misdiagnosed as intracranial neoplasms: illustrative case

### BACKGROUND

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVF) may induce imaging findings attributable to various disease entities including malignant neoplasms. In these cases, diagnosis and adequate treatment are often delayed and patients may be exposed to spurious treatments in addition to the risks inherent to an untreated dAVF with cortical venous drainage.

### OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of a patient referred for surgical treatment of a supratentorial high-grade glioma. Thorough review of imaging data challenged the initial radiological diagnosis and led to proper angiographic workup. As a result, a high-grade dAVF was confirmed and successfully embolized. In addition to this case, we provide an extensive literature review on dAVF initially diagnosed as cerebral neoplasms, including clinical, imaging and follow-up data.

### LESSONS

The literature provides diagnostic criteria for dAVF on magnetic resonance imaging; however, those criteria may be only partly applicable in many cases. Misdiagnosis of a neoplasm due to dAVF has been reported but remains rare, especially in supratentorial lesions. Digital subtraction angiography should be pursued to rule out an underlying vascular pathology if any doubt. This may prevent unnecessary interventions such as biopsies, pharmacological treatment and a delay in dAVF treatment, given its associated risk of hemorrhage and nonhemorrhagic neurological deficits.