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Mohammed Ali Alvi, Anthony L. Asher, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Inga S. Grills, Ronald E. Warnick, James McInerney, Veronica L. Chiang, Albert Attia, Robert Timmerman, Eric Chang, Brian D. Kavanagh, David W. Andrews, Kevin Walter, Mohamad Bydon, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been increasingly employed in recent years to treat intracranial metastatic lesions. However, there is still a need for optimization of treatment paradigms to provide better local control and prevent progressive intracranial disease. In the current study, the authors utilized a national collaborative registry to investigate the outcomes of patients with intracranial metastatic disease who underwent SRS and to determine factors associated with lesion treatment response, overall progression, and mortality.

METHODS

The NeuroPoint Alliance SRS registry was queried for all patients with intracranial metastatic lesions undergoing single- or multifraction SRS at participating institutions between 2016 and 2020. The main outcomes of interest included lesion response (lesion-level analysis), progression using Response Assessment for Neuro-Oncology criteria, and mortality (patient-level analysis). Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to report time to progression and overall survival, and multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to investigate factors associated with lesion response, progression, and mortality.

RESULTS

A total of 501 patients (1447 intracranial metastatic lesions) who underwent SRS and had available follow-up were included in the current analyses. The most common primary tumor was lung cancer (49.5%, n = 248), followed by breast (15.4%, n = 77) and melanoma (12.2%, n = 61). Most patients had a single lesion (44.9%, n = 225), 29.3% (n = 147) had 2 or 3 lesions, and 25.7% (n = 129) had > 3 lesions. The mean sum of baseline measurements of the lesions according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) was 35.54 mm (SD 25.94). At follow-up, 671 lesions (46.4%) had a complete response, 631 (43.6%) had a partial response (≥ 30% decrease in longest diameter) or were stable (< 30% decrease but < 20% increase), and 145 (10%) showed progression (> 20% increase in longest diameter). On multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis, melanoma-associated lesions (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.34–0.67; p < 0.001) and larger lesion size (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.93–0.96; p < 0.001) showed lower odds of lesion regression, while a higher biologically effective dose was associated with higher odds (HR 1.001, 95% CI 1.0001–1.00023; p < 0.001). A total of 237 patients (47.3%) had overall progression (local failure or intracranial progressive disease), with a median time to progression of 10.03 months after the index SRS. Factors found to be associated with increased hazards of progression included male sex (HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.108–1.99; p = 0.008), while administration of immunotherapy (before or after SRS) was found to be associated with lower hazards of overall progression (HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.460–0.85; p = 0.003). A total of 121 patients (23.95%) died during the follow-up period, with a median survival of 19.4 months from the time of initial SRS. A higher recursive partitioning analysis score (HR 21.3485, 95% CI 1.53202–3.6285; p < 0.001) was found to be associated with higher hazards of mortality, while single-fraction treatment compared with hypofractionated treatment (HR 0.082, 95% CI 0.011–0.61; p = 0.015), administration of immunotherapy (HR 0.385, 95% CI 0.233–0.64; p < 0.001), and presence of single compared with > 3 lesions (HR 0.427, 95% CI 0.187–0.98; p = 0.044) were found to be associated with lower risk of mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The comparability of results between this study and those of previously published clinical trials affirms the value of multicenter databases with real-world data collected without predetermined research purpose.

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Travis S. Tierney, Kambiz N. Alavian, Nolan Altman, Sanjiv Bhatia, Michael Duchowny, Ann Hyslop, Prasanna Jayakar, Trevor Resnick, Shelly Wang, Ian Miller, and John Ragheb

OBJECTIVE

Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is an incisionless procedure capable of thermoablation through the focus of multiple acoustic beams. Although MRgFUS is currently approved for the treatment of tremor in adults, its safety and feasibility profile for intracranial lesions in the pediatric and young adult population remains unknown.

METHODS

The long-term outcomes of a prospective single-center, single-arm trial of MRgFUS at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida, are presented. Patients 15–22 years of age with centrally located lesions were recruited, clinically consistent with WHO grade I tumors that require surgical intervention. This cohort consisted of 4 patients with hypothalamic hamartoma (HH), and 1 patient with tuberous sclerosis complex harboring a subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA).

RESULTS

In each case, high-intensity FUS was used to target the intracranial lesion. Real-time MRI was used to monitor the thermoablations. Primary outcomes of interest were tolerability, feasibility, and safety of FUS. The radiographic ablation volume on intra- and postoperative MRI was also assessed. All 5 patients tolerated the procedure without any complications. Successful thermoablation was achieved in 4 of the 5 cases; the calcified SEGA was undertreated due to intratumor calcification, which prevented attainment of the target ablation temperature. The HHs underwent target tissue thermoablations that led to MR signal changes at the treatment site. For the patients harboring HHs, FUS thermoablations occurred without procedure-related complications and led to improvement in seizure control or hypothalamic hyperphagia. All 5 patients were discharged home on postoperative day 1 or 2, without any readmissions. There were no cases of hemorrhage, electrolyte derangement, endocrinopathy, or new neurological deficit in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

This experience demonstrates that FUS thermoablation of centrally located brain lesions in adolescents and young adults can be performed safely and that it provides therapeutic benefit for associated symptoms.

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Takaki Inoue, Satoshi Maki, Toshitaka Yoshii, Takeo Furuya, Satoru Egawa, Kenichiro Sakai, Kazuo Kusano, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Takashi Hirai, Kanichiro Wada, Keiichi Katsumi, Kengo Fujii, Atsushi Kimura, Narihito Nagoshi, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Yasushi Oshima, Kei Ando, Masahiko Takahata, Kanji Mori, Hideaki Nakajima, Kazuma Murata, Shunji Matsunaga, Takashi Kaito, Kei Yamada, Sho Kobayashi, Satoshi Kato, Tetsuro Ohba, Satoshi Inami, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, Hiroyuki Katoh, Haruo Kanno, Shiro Imagama, Masao Koda, Yoshiharu Kawaguchi, Katsushi Takeshita, Morio Matsumoto, Seiji Ohtori, Masashi Yamazaki, Atsushi Okawa, and

OBJECTIVE

It is unclear whether anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ADF) or laminoplasty (LMP) results in better outcomes for patients with K-line–positive (+) cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The purpose of the study is to compare surgical outcomes and complications of ADF versus LMP in patients with K-line (+) OPLL.

METHODS

The study included 478 patients enrolled in the Japanese Multicenter Research Organization for Ossification of the Spinal Ligament and who underwent surgical treatment for cervical OPLL. The patients who underwent anterior-posterior combined surgery or posterior decompression with instrumented fusion were excluded. The patients with a follow-up period of fewer than 2 years were also excluded, leaving 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Propensity score matching was performed on 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL who underwent ADF (44 patients) or LMP (154 patients), resulting in 39 pairs of patients based on the following predictors for surgical outcomes: age, preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, C2–7 angle, and the occupying ratio of OPLL. Clinical outcomes were assessed 1 and 2 years after surgery using the recovery rate of the JOA score. Complications and reoperation rates were also investigated.

RESULTS

The mean recovery rate of the JOA score 1 year after surgery was 55.3% for patients who underwent ADF and 42.3% (p = 0.06) for patients who underwent LMP. Two years after surgery, the recovery rate was 53.4% for those who underwent ADF and 38.7% for LMP (p = 0.07). Although both surgical procedures yielded good results, the mean recovery rate of JOA scores tended to be higher in the ADF group. The incidence of surgical complications, however, was higher following ADF (33%) than LMP (15%; p = 0.06). The reoperation rate was also higher in the ADF group (15%) than in the LMP group (0%; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical outcomes were good for both ADF and LMP, indicating that ADF and LMP are appropriate procedures for patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Clinical outcomes of ADF 1 and 2 years after surgery tended to be better than LMP, but the analysis did not detect any significant difference in clinical outcomes between the groups. Conversely, patients who underwent ADF had a higher incidence of surgery-related complications. When considering indications for ADF or LMP, benefits and risks of the surgical procedures should be carefully weighed.

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Pablo E. Saucedo-Alvarado, Ana Luisa Velasco, Gustavo Aguado-Carrillo, Manola Cuellar-Herrera, David Trejo-Martínez, Rene Márquez-Franco, and Francisco Velasco-Campos

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to determine the antiseizure effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the parahippocampal cortex (PHC) for treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

METHODS

After a 3-month baseline period, 6 adult patients with drug-resistant MTLE and hippocampal sclerosis (HS) had stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG)–DBS electrodes implanted at the PHC for identification of the seizure onset zone (SOZ). Patients entered an 8-month, randomized, double-blind protocol for DBS, followed by a 12-month open-phase study. Monthly reports of seizure frequency were collected, with separate counting of focal seizures with or without awareness impairment (focal impaired awareness seizures [FIAS] or focal aware seizures [FAS], respectively) and focal evolving to bilateral generalized tonic clonic seizures (GTCS). Stimulation parameters were 130 Hz, 450 μsec, 2.5–3 V, and cyclic stimulation 1 minute on/4 minutes off.

RESULTS

The total seizure rate decrement during follow-up was 41% (CI 25%–56%), with better seizure control for GTCS (IQR 19%–20%) and FIAS (IQR 0%–16%), with FAS being less responsive (IQR 67%–236%). No neuropsychological deterioration was observed.

CONCLUSIONS

PHC DBS induced important antiseizure effects in patients with incapacitating FIAS and GTCS, most likely through blocking the propagation of hippocampal-onset seizures. The PHC target can be easily and safely approached due to positioning away from vascular structures, and there was no evidence of DBS-induced cognitive deterioration.

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James P. Wondra II, Michael P. Kelly, Elizabeth L. Yanik, Jacob K. Greenberg, Justin S. Smith, Shay Bess, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Lawrence G. Lenke, and Keith Bridwell

OBJECTIVE

Adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) is a widespread and debilitating subset of adult spinal deformity. Although many patients benefit from operative treatment, surgery entails substantial cost and risk for adverse events. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are patient-centered tools used to evaluate the appropriateness of surgery and to assist in the shared decision-making process. Framing realistic patient expectations should include the possible functional limitation to improvement inherent in surgical intervention, such as multilevel fusion to the sacrum. The authors’ objective was to predict postoperative ASLS PROMs by using clustering analysis, generalized longitudinal regression models, percentile analysis, and clinical improvement analysis of preoperative health-related quality-of-life scores for use in surgical counseling.

METHODS

Operative results from the combined ASLS cohorts were examined. PROM score clustering after surgery investigated limits of surgical improvement. Patients were categorized by baseline disability (mild, moderate, moderate to severe, or severe) according to preoperative Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)–22 and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. Responder analysis for patients achieving improvement meeting the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) and substantial clinical benefit (SCB) standards was performed using both fixed-threshold and patient-specific values (MCID = 30% of remaining scale, SCB = 50%). Best (top 5%), worst (bottom 5%), and median scores were calculated across disability categories.

RESULTS

A total of 171/187 (91%) of patients with ASLS achieved 2-year follow-up. Patients rarely achieved a PROM ceiling for any measure, with 33%–43% of individuals clustering near 4.0 for SRS domains. Patients with severe baseline disability (< 2.0) SRS-pain and SRS-function scores were often left with moderate to severe disability (2.0–2.9), unlike patients with higher (≥ 3.0) initial PROM values. Patients with mild disability according to baseline SRS-function score were unlikely to improve. Crippling baseline ODI disability (> 60) commonly left patients with moderate disability (median ODI = 32). As baseline ODI disability increased, patients were more likely to achieve MCID and SCB (p < 0.001). Compared to fixed threshold values for MCID and SCB, patient-specific values were more sensitive to change for patients with minimal ODI baseline disability (p = 0.008) and less sensitive to change for patients with moderate to severe SRS subscore disability (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that ASLS surgeries have a limit to possible improvement, probably due to both baseline disability and the effects of surgery. The most disabled patients often had moderate to severe disability (SRS < 3, ODI > 30) at 2 years, emphasizing the importance of patient counseling and expectation management.

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Yasuyuki Kinoshita, Akira Taguchi, Atsushi Tominaga, Kazunori Arita, and Fumiyuki Yamasaki

OBJECTIVE

Recovery from adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) has not been well discussed because of the lack of examinations including pituitary provocation tests (PPTs) before and after the procedure. This study aimed to evaluate the growth hormone (GH) axis function of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) via pre- and postoperative PPTs. Moreover, the predictive factors for recovery from AGHD after TSS were validated to facilitate surgery for AGHD in patients with NFPA.

METHODS

In total, 276 patients (median age 60.0 years) who underwent TSS for NFPA were included in this study. PPTs were performed before and 3 months after TSS. Then, the relationships between recovery from AGHD after TSS and clinical, surgical, and hormonal factors, including peak GH level based on PPTs, were evaluated statistically.

RESULTS

In this study, 114 patients were diagnosed with preoperative AGHD. Approximately 25.4% recovered from AGHD after TSS. In contrast, among the 162 patients without preoperative AGHD, 13 (8.0%) had newly developed postoperative AGHD. The predictive factors for recovery from AGHD were younger age, female sex, initial TSS, and high peak GH level based on preoperative PPT. According to the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, patients who were aged ≤ 62.2 years and had a peak GH level of ≥ 0.74 μg/L based on preoperative PPT were likely to recover from AGHD (sensitivity: 82.8%, specificity: 72.9%, and area under the curve: 0.8229).

CONCLUSIONS

AGHD caused by NFPA can improve after initial TSS among young patients with certain peak GH levels assessed by preoperative PPT. Whether TSS for NFPA can promote recovery from AGHD is worth considering in some patients.

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Nikhil Jain, Mayur Sharma, Dengzhi Wang, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Doniel Drazin, and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

In degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) pathologies in which there exists a clinical equipoise in approach selection, a randomized controlled trial found that an anterior approach did not significantly improve patient-reported outcomes compared with posterior approaches. In this era of value and bundled payment initiatives, the cost profiles of various surgical approaches will form an important consideration in decision-making. The objective of this study was to compare 90-day and 2-year reimbursements for ≥ 2-level (multilevel) anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (mACDF), anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF), posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion (LF), and cervical laminoplasty (LP) performed for DCM.

METHODS

The IBM MarketScan research database (2005–2018) was used to study beneficiaries 30–75 years old who underwent surgery using four approaches (mACDF, ACCF, LF, or LP) for DCM. Demographics, index surgery length of stay (LOS), complications, and discharge disposition were compared. Index admission (surgeon, hospital services, operating room) and postdischarge inpatient (readmission, revision surgery, inpatient rehabilitation), outpatient (imaging, emergency department, office visits, physical therapy), and medication-related payments were described. Ninety-day and 2-year bundled payment amounts were simulated for each procedure. All payments are reported as medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs; Q1–Q3) and were adjusted to 2018 US dollars.

RESULTS

A total of 10,834 patients, with a median age of 54 years, were included. The median 90-day payment was $46,094 (IQR $34,243–$65,841) for all procedures, with LF being the highest ($64,542) and LP the lowest ($37,867). Index hospital payment was 62.4% (surgery/operating room 46.6%) and surgeon payments were 17.5% of the average 90-day bundle. There were significant differences in the index, 90-day, and 2-year reimbursements and their distribution among procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

In a national cohort of patients undergoing surgery for DCM, LP had the lowest complication rate and simulated bundled reimbursements at 90 days and 2 years postoperatively. The lowest quartile 90-day payment for LF was more expensive than median amounts for mACDF, ACCF, and LP. If surgeons encounter scenarios of clinical equipoise in practice, LP is likely to result in maximum value because it is 70% less expensive on average than LF over 90 days.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Brian N. Lundstrom, Fredric B. Meyer, Gregory A. Worrell, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy originating from the central lobule (i.e., the primary sensorimotor cortex) is a challenging entity to treat given its involvement of eloquent cortex. The objective of this study was to review available evidence on treatment options for central lobule epilepsy.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search (PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, and Scopus) was conducted for studies (1990 to date) investigating postoperative outcomes for central lobule epilepsy. The primary and secondary endpoints were seizure freedom at last follow-up and postoperative neurological deficit, respectively. The following procedures were included: open resection, multiple subpial transections (MSTs), laser and radiofrequency ablation, deep brain stimulation (DBS), responsive neurostimulation (RNS), and continuous subthreshold cortical stimulation (CSCS).

RESULTS

A total of 52 studies and 504 patients were analyzed. Most evidence was based on open resection, yielding a total of 400 patients (24 studies), of whom 62% achieved seizure freedom at a mean follow-up of 48 months. A new or worsened motor deficit occurred in 44% (permanent in 19%). Forty-six patients underwent MSTs, of whom 16% achieved seizure freedom and 30% had a neurological deficit (permanent in 12%). There were 6 laser ablation cases (cavernomas in 50%) with seizure freedom in 4 patients and 1 patient with temporary motor deficit. There were 5 radiofrequency ablation cases, with 1 patient achieving seizure freedom, 2 patients each with Engel class III and IV outcomes, and 2 patients with motor deficit. The mean seizure frequency reduction at the last follow-up was 79% for RNS (28 patients), 90% for CSCS (15 patients), and 73% for DBS (4 patients). There were no cases of temporary or permanent neurological deficit in the CSCS or DBS group.

CONCLUSIONS

This review highlights the safety and efficacy profile of resection, ablation, and stimulation for refractory central lobe epilepsy. Resection of localized regions of epilepsy onset zones results in good rates of seizure freedom (62%); however, nearly 20% of patients had permanent motor deficits. The authors hope that this review will be useful to providers and patients when tailoring decision-making for this intricate pathology.

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Mendel Castle-Kirszbaum, Jeremy Kam, Benjamin Dixon, Tony Goldschlager, James King, and Yi Yuen Wang

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to establish the effect of endoscopic endonasal surgery on longitudinal quality of life (QOL) in patients with anterior skull base meningioma.

METHODS

A prospectively collected cohort of consecutively operated anterior skull base meningiomas was analyzed. All cases were performed using the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA). Sinonasal-specific and overall QOL were measured using the 22-Item Sinonasal Outcome Test and the Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire longitudinally (at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3, 6, and 12 months) across the first postoperative year. The relationship between surgical and QOL outcomes to clinical and radiological characteristics was analyzed using multivariate regression.

RESULTS

Fifty cases were available, with a mean age of 61.5 years and female predominance (74.0%). Visual dysfunction and headache were the most common presenting symptoms, and tumors commonly took origin from the planum (46.0%), tuberculum (44.0%), and olfactory groove (24.0%). Median tumor volume was 4.6 cm3. Visual improvement was noted in 73.1% of cases with preoperative field deficits, while nonimprovement was associated with greater tumor height (p = 0.04). Gross-total resection was not possible in patients with 360° vessel encasement and high-grade cavernous sinus extension with ophthalmoplegia. Postoperative diabetes insipidus was observed only in cases with suprasellar extension. Sinonasal-specific QOL worsened transiently after surgery but returned to baseline levels after 3 weeks. Olfaction and taste scores returned to preoperative baseline scores within the year. Overall QOL at presentation was worse in those with larger tumors (p = 0.04) and visual failure (p = 0.04) and better in those presenting with headache (p = 0.04). Transient worsening of QOL was seen in the first 3 weeks, which returned to baseline by 6 weeks, and then improved to above preoperative levels at 6 months and beyond. Worse QOL at baseline (p = 0.01) and visual improvement (p = 0.01) predicted QOL improvement after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Longitudinal QOL in anterior skull base meningioma has been examined for the first time. Endoscopic endonasal surgery improves overall QOL after a transient 3-week worsening due to the sinonasal morbidity of the approach. Visual function is intimately tied to QOL, with worse vision associated with worse preoperative QOL, and QOL improving in parallel with visual restoration after surgery. The EEA is associated with better visual outcomes and should be the preferred approach in accessible tumors.

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John Michael Duff, Patrick Omoumi, Lukas Bobinski, Amani Belouaer, Sonia Plaza Wuthrich, Fabio Zanchi, and Rodolfo Maduri

OBJECTIVE

The authors previously described the image merge tailored access resection (IMTAR) technique for resection of spinal intradural lesions (SIDLs). The authors reported their updated experience with the IMTAR technique and compared surgical results between patients who underwent operations with 2D or 3D fluoroscopic guidance.

METHODS

The authors reviewed 60 patients who underwent SIDL resection with transtubular techniques over a 14-year period. The earlier patients in the series underwent operations with 2D fluoroscopic image guidance. The latter patients underwent operations with the IMTAR technique based on 3D image guidance. The results of both techniques were analyzed.

RESULTS

Sixty patients were included: 27 females (45%) and 33 males (55%). The median (range) age was 50.5 (19–92) years. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 52 patients (86.7%). Subtotal resection was accomplished in 5 patients (8.3%). Neurological complications occurred in 3 patients (5%), and tumor recurrence occurred in 1 patient (1.7%). The non-IMTAR and IMTAR cohorts showed similar postoperative Nurick scale scores and rates of neurological complications and GTR. The median (interquartile range) bone resection surface area at the index level was 89.5 (51–147) mm2 in the non-IMTAR cohort and 35.5 (11–71) mm2 in the IMTAR cohort, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.0112).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery for SIDLs may be challenging, and meticulous surgical planning is crucial to optimize tumor access, maximize resection, and minimize risk of complications. Image-guided transtubular resection is an additional surgical technique for SIDLs and facilitates microsurgical tumor removal of ventrally located lesions with a posterolateral approach, without requiring potentially destabilizing bone resection.