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James Mooney, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Daniel Zeitouni, Sally El Sammak, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Michael Y. Wang, Domagoj Coric, Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Brandon Sherrod, Regis W. Haid Jr., John J. Knightly, Clinton J. Devin, Brenton H. Pennicooke, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spine surgery represents an ideal target for healthcare cost reduction efforts, with outpatient surgery resulting in significant cost savings. With an increased focus on value-based healthcare delivery, lumbar decompression surgery has been increasingly performed in the outpatient setting when appropriate. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and patient-reported outcomes following outpatient and inpatient lumbar decompression surgery.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing elective one- or two-level lumbar decompression (laminectomy or laminotomy with or without discectomy) for degenerative spine disease. Patients were grouped as outpatient if they had a length of stay (LOS) < 24 hours and as inpatient if they stayed in the hospital ≥ 24 hours. Patients with ≥ 72-hour stay were excluded from the comparative analysis to increase baseline comparability between the two groups. To create two highly homogeneous groups, optimal matching was performed at a 1:1 ratio between the two groups on 38 baseline variables, including demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, patient-reported scores, indications, and operative details. Outcomes of interest were readmissions and reoperations at 30 days and 3 months after surgery, overall satisfaction, and decrease in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), back pain, and leg pain at 3 months after surgery. Satisfaction was defined as a score of 1 or 2 in the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index. Noninferiority of outpatient compared with inpatient surgery was defined as risk difference of < 1.5% at a one-sided 97.5% confidence interval.

RESULTS

A total of 18,689 eligible one- and two-level decompression surgeries were identified. The matched study cohorts consisted of 5016 patients in each group. Nonroutine discharge was slightly less common in the outpatient group (0.6% vs 0.3%, p = 0.01). The 30-day readmission rates were 4.4% and 4.3% for the outpatient and inpatient groups, respectively, while the 30-day reoperation rates were 1.4% and 1.5%. The 3-month readmission rates were 6.3% for both groups, and the 3-month reoperation rates were 3.1% for the outpatient cases and 2.9% for the inpatient cases. Overall satisfaction at 3 months was 88.8% for the outpatient group and 88.4% for the inpatient group. Noninferiority of outpatient surgery was documented for readmissions, reoperations, and patient-reported satisfaction from surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Outpatient lumbar decompression surgery demonstrated slightly lower nonroutine discharge rates in comparison with inpatient surgery. Noninferiority in clinical outcomes at 30 days and 3 months after surgery was documented for outpatient compared with inpatient decompression surgery. Additionally, outpatient decompression surgery performed noninferiorly to inpatient surgery in achieving patient satisfaction from surgery.

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Annick Kronenburg, Pieter T. Deckers, Esther van den Berg, Monique M. van Schooneveld, Evert-Jan Vonken, Albert van der Zwan, Bart N. M. van Berckel, Maqsood Yaqub, Willem Otte, Catharina J. M. Klijn, and Kees P. J. Braun

OBJECTIVE

Patients with moyamoya vasculopathy often experience cognitive impairments. In this prospective single-center study, the authors investigated the profile of neurocognitive impairment and its relation with the severity of ischemic brain lesions and hemodynamic compromise.

METHODS

Patients treated in a Dutch tertiary referral center were prospectively included. All patients underwent standardized neuropsychological evaluation, MRI, digital subtraction angiography, and [O]H2O-PET (to measure cerebrovascular reactivity [CVR]). The authors determined z-scores for 7 cognitive domains and the proportion of patients with cognitive impairment (z-score < −1.5 SD in at least one domain). The authors explored associations between patient characteristics, imaging and CVR findings, and cognitive scores per domain by using multivariable linear regression and Bayesian regression analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 40 patients (22 children; 75% females) were included. The median age for children was 9 years (range 1–16 years); for adults it was 39 years (range 19–53 years). Thirty patients (75%) had an infarction, and 31 patients (78%) had impaired CVR (steal phenomenon). Six of 7 cognitive domains scored below the population norm. Twenty-nine patients (73%) had cognitive impairment. Adults performed better than children in the cognitive domain visuospatial functioning (p = 0.033, Bayes factor = 4.0), and children performed better in processing speed (p = 0.041, Bayes factor = 3.5). The authors did not find an association between infarction, white matter disease, or CVR and cognitive domains.

CONCLUSIONS

In this Western cohort, cognitive functioning in patients with moyamoya vasculopathy was below the population norm, and 73% had cognitive impairment in at least one domain. The cognitive profile differed between adults and children. The authors could not find an association with imaging findings.

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Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Alex Moy Fong, Basel Sheikh Alshabab, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Eric O. Klineberg, Gregory Mundis Jr., Peter G. Passias, Munish Gupta, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Christopher P. Ames, Virginie Lafage, and

OBJECTIVE

Hyperextension of C0–2 is a debilitating compensatory mechanism used to maintain horizontal gaze, analogous to high pelvic tilt in the lumbopelvic complex to maintain an upright posture. This study aims to investigate the impact of cervical deformity (CD) correction on this hyperextension. The authors hypothesize that correction of cervical sagittal malalignment allows for relaxation of C0–2 hyperextension and improved clinical outcomes.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of a multicenter database of patients with CD undergoing spinal realignment and fusion caudal to C2 and cephalad to the pelvis. Range of motion (ROM) and reserve of extension (ROE) were calculated across C2–7 and C0–2. The association between C2–7 correction and change in C0–2 ROE was investigated while controlling for horizontal gaze, followed by stratification into ΔC2–7 percentiles.

RESULTS

Sixty-five patients were included (mean age 61.8 ± 9.6 years, 68% female). At baseline, patients had cervical kyphosis (C2–7, −11.7° ± 18.2°; T1 slope–cervical lordosis mismatch, 38.6° ± 18.6°), negative global alignment (sagittal vertical axis [SVA] −12.8 ± 71.2 mm), and hyperlordosis at C0–2 (mean 33.2° ± 11.8°). The mean ROM was 25.7° ± 17.7° and 21.3° ± 9.9° at C2–7 and C0–2, respectively, with an ROE of approximately 9° for each segment. Limited C0–2 ROM and ROE correlated with the Neck Disability Index (r = −0.371 and −0.394, p < 0.01). The mean number of levels fused was 7.0 ± 3.1 (24.6% anterior, 43.1% posterior), with 87.7% undergoing at least an osteotomy. At 1 year, mean C2–7 increased to 5.5° ± 13.4°, SVA became neutral (11.5 ± 54.8 mm), C0–2 hyperlordosis decreased to 27.8° ± 11.7°, and thoracic kyphosis (TK) increased to −49.4° ± 18.1° (all p < 0.001). Concurrently, mean C0–2 ROM increased to 27.6° ± 8.1° and C2–7 ROM decreased significantly to 9.0° ± 12.3° without a change in ROE. Controlling for horizontal gaze, change in C2–7 lordosis significantly correlated with increased TK (r = −0.617, p < 0.001), decreased C0–2 (r = −0.747, p < 0.001), and increased C0–2 ROE (r = 0.550, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

CD correction can significantly impact cephalad and caudal compensation in the upper cervical and thoracic spine. Restoration of cervical alignment resulted in increased C0–2 ROE and TK and was also associated with improved clinical outcome.

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Daniel Mandel, Scott Moody, Kelly Pan, Thanujaa Subramaniam, Bradford B. Thompson, Linda C. Wendell, Michael E. Reznik, Karen L. Furie, and Ali Mahta

OBJECTIVE

Nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (pmSAH) is considered to have a lower-risk pattern than other types of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, a minority of patients with pmSAH may harbor a causative posterior circulation aneurysm. To exclude this possibility, many institutions pursue exhaustive imaging. In this study the authors aimed to develop a novel predictive model based on initial noncontrast head CT (NCHCT) features to differentiate pmSAH from aneurysmal causes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed patients admitted to an academic center for treatment of a suspected aneurysmal SAH (aSAH) during the period from 2016 to 2021. Patients with a final diagnosis of pmSAH or posterior circulation aSAH were included. Using NCHCT, the thickness (continuous variable) and location of blood in basal cisterns and sylvian fissures (categorical variables) were compared between groups. A scoring system was created using features that were significantly different between groups. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to measure the accuracy of this model in predicting aneurysmal etiology. A separate patient cohort was used for external validation of this model.

RESULTS

Of 420 SAH cases, 48 patients with pmSAH and 37 with posterior circulation aSAH were identified. Blood thickness measurements in the crural and ambient cisterns and interhemispheric and sylvian fissures and degree of extension into the sylvian fissure were all significantly different between groups (all p < 0.001). The authors developed a 10-point scoring model to predict aneurysmal causes with high accuracy (area under the curve [AUC] 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–1.00; OR per point increase 10; 95% CI 2.18–46.4). External validation resulted in persistently high accuracy (AUC 0.97; 95% CI 0.92–1.00) of this model.

CONCLUSIONS

A risk stratification score using initial blood clot burden may accurately differentiate between aneurysmal and nonaneurysmal pmSAH. Larger prospective studies are encouraged to further validate this quantitative tool.

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Sean T. O’Reilly, Eef Jacobus Hendriks, Marie-Christine Brunet, Ze’ev Itsekson, Rabab Al Shahrani, Ronit Agid, Patrick Nicholson, Karel terBrugge, Ivan Radovanovic, and Timo Krings

OBJECTIVE

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) typically represent abnormal shunts between a radiculomeningeal artery and radicular vein, with the point of fistulization classically directly underneath the pedicle of the vertebral body, at the dural sleeve of the nerve root. However, SDAVFs can also develop in atypical locations or have more than one arterial feeder, which is a variant of SDAVF. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence and multidisciplinary treatment of variant SDAVFs in a single-center case series.

METHODS

Following institutional review board approval, the authors retrospectively analyzed their prospectively maintained database of patients with SDAVFs who presented between 2008 and 2020. For all patients, spinal digital subtraction angiograms were reviewed and variant SDAVFs were identified. Variant types of SDAVFs were defined as cases in which the fistulous point was not located underneath the pedicle. Patient demographics, angiographic features, clinical outcomes, and treatment modalities were assessed.

RESULTS

Of 59 patients with SDAVFs treated at the authors’ institution, 4 patients (6.8%) were identified as having a variant location of the shunt zone, pinpointed on the dura mater at the intervertebral level, further posteriorly within the spinal canal. In 3 cases (75%), a so-called bimetameric arterial supply was demonstrated.

CONCLUSIONS

Recognition of the variant type of SDAVF is crucial for management, as correct localization of the fistulous point and bimetameric supply are critical for successful surgical disconnection, preventing delay in achieving definitive treatment.

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Adikarige Haritha Dulanka Silva, Sanjay Bhate, Vijeya Ganesan, Dominic Thompson, and Greg James

OBJECTIVE

Obtaining operative experience for the treatment of rare conditions in children represents a challenge for pediatric neurosurgeons. Starting in November 2017, a surgeon was mentored in surgical revascularization (SR) for pediatric moyamoya with a view to service development and sustainability. The aim of this audit was to evaluate early outcomes of SR for pediatric moyamoya during and following a surgical mentorship.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study with chart/database review of consecutive moyamoya surgeries performed by a new attending surgeon (between November 2017 and March 2020) was compared to a previously published cohort from the authors’ institution in terms of clinical and angiographic outcomes, complications, operating time, and length of stay. A standardized technique of encephaloduroarteriomyosynangiosis with the superficial temporal artery was used.

RESULTS

Twenty-two children underwent 36 indirect SRs during the study period. Patient demographics were similar between cohorts. The first group of 6 patients had 11 SRs performed jointly by the new attending surgeon mentored by an established senior surgeon (group A), followed by 10 patients with 16 SRs performed independently by the new attending surgeon (group B). The last 6 patients had 9 SRs with the new attending surgeon mentoring a senior fellow (group C) in performing SR.

Good angiographic collateralization (Matsushima grades A and B) was observed in 80% of patients, with similar proportions across all 3 groups. A total of 18/19 symptomatic patients (95%) derived symptomatic benefit. There was no perioperative death and, compared to the historical cohort, a similar proportion had a recurrent arterial ischemic event (i.e., acute ischemic stroke) necessitating a second SR (1/22 vs 3/73). Operative times were longest in group C, with no difference in length of hospital stay among the 3 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Early outcomes demonstrate the feasibility of mentorship for safely incorporating new neurosurgeons in sustaining and developing a tertiary-level surgical service.

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Fanguo Lin, Zhiqiang Zhou, Zhiwei Li, Bingchen Shan, Zhentao Zhou, Yongming Sun, and Xiaozhong Zhou

OBJECTIVE

The authors investigated a new standardized technique for evaluating lumbar stability in lumbar lateral flexion-extension (LFE) radiographs. For patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, a three-part fulcrum with a support platform that included a semiarc leaning tool with armrests, a lifting platform for height adjustment, and a base for stability were used. Standard functional radiographs were used for comparison to determine whether adequate flexion-extension was acquired through use of the fulcrum method.

METHODS

A total of 67 consecutive patients diagnosed with L4–5 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis were enrolled in the study. The authors analyzed LFE radiographs taken with the patient supported by a fulcrum (LFEF) and without a fulcrum. Sagittal translation (ST), segmental angulation (SA), posterior opening (PO), change in lumbar lordosis (CLL), and lumbar instability (LI) were measured for comparison using functional radiographs.

RESULTS

The average value of SA was 5.76° ± 3.72° in LFE and 9.96° ± 4.00° in LFEF radiographs, with a significant difference between them (p < 0.05). ST and PO were also significantly greater in LFEF than in LFE. The detection rate of instability was 10.4% in LFE and 31.3% in LFEF, and the difference was significant. The CLL was 27.31° ± 11.96° in LFE and 37.07° ± 12.963.16° in LFEF, with a significant difference between these values (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with traditional LFE radiographs, the LFEF radiographs significantly improved the detection rate of LI. In addition, this method may reduce patient discomfort during the process of obtaining radiographs.

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Yijie Lai, Naying He, Hongjiang Wei, Lifu Deng, Haiyan Zhou, Jun Li, Marcus Kaiser, Chencheng Zhang, Dianyou Li, and Bomin Sun

OBJECTIVE

Functional connectivity shows the ability to predict the outcome of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson disease (PD). However, evidence supporting its value in predicting the outcome of globus pallidus internus (GPi) DBS remains scarce. In this study the authors investigated patient-specific functional connectivity related to GPi DBS outcome in PD and established connectivity models for outcome prediction.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the outcomes of 21 patients with PD who received bilateral GPi DBS and presurgical functional MRI at the Ruijin Hospital. The connectivity profiles within cortical areas identified as relevant to DBS outcome in the literature were calculated using the intersection of the volume of tissue activated (VTA) and the local structures as the seeds. Combined with the leave-one-out cross-validation strategy, models of the optimal connectivity profile were constructed to predict outcome.

RESULTS

Connectivity between the pallidal areas and primary motor area, supplementary motor area (SMA), and premotor cortex was identified through the literature as related to GPi DBS outcome. The similarity between the connectivity profile within the primary motor area, SMA, pre-SMA, and premotor cortex seeding from the VTA-GPi intersection from an out-of-sample patient and the constructed in-sample optimal connectivity profile predicts GPi DBS outcome (R = 0.58, p = 0.006). The predictions on average deviated by 13.1% ± 11.3% from actual improvements. On the contrary, connectivity profiles seeding from the GPi (R = −0.12, p = 0.603), the VTA (R = 0.23, p = 0.308), the VTA outside the GPi (R = 0.12, p = 0.617), or other local structures were found not to be predictive.

CONCLUSIONS

The results showed that patient-specific functional connectivity seeding from the VTA-GPi intersection could help in GPi DBS outcome prediction. Reproducibility remains to be determined across centers in larger cohorts stratified by PD motor subtype.

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Laura-Nanna Lohkamp, Nandan Marathe, Patrick Nicholson, Richard I. Farb, and Eric M. Massicotte

BACKGROUND

Cerebrospinal fluid–venous fistulas (CVFs) may cause cerebrospinal fluid leaks resulting in spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). Surgical treatment of CVFs aims to eliminate abnormal fistulous connections between the subarachnoid space and the epidural venous plexus at the level of the nerve root sleeve. The authors propose a percutaneous minimally invasive technique for surgical ligation of CVF as an alternative to the traditional open approach using a tubular retractor system.

OBSERVATIONS

Minimally invasive surgical (MIS) ligation of spinal CVF was performed in 5 patients for 6 CVFs. The definite disconnection of the CVF was achieved in all patients by clipping and additional silk tie ligation of the fistula. None of the patients experienced surgical complications or required transition to an open procedure. One patient underwent 2 MIS procedures for 2 separate CVFs. Postoperative clinical follow-up and cranial magnetic resonance imaging confirmed resolution of symptoms and radiographic SIH stigmata.

LESSONS

MIS ligation of CVFs is safe and efficient. It represents an elegant and less invasive procedure, reducing the risk of wound infections and time to recovery. However, preparedness for open ligation is warranted within the same surgical setting in cases of complications and difficult accessibility.

Open access

Ernest E. Braxton, Kyle R. Brena, Holley Spears, Emerson Conrad, and Jared D. Heinze

BACKGROUND

Postoperative pain management is a limiting factor for early ambulation and discharge following spine fusion surgery. Awake spinal surgery, when combined with minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, is associated with enhanced recovery in well-selected patients. Some neurosurgeons have recently aimed to further improve outcomes by utilizing erector spinae plane block catheters, allowing for a continuous infusion of local anesthetic to improve the management of acute postoperative pain following minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.

OBSERVATIONS

A patient who underwent a minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with perioperatively placed erector spinae plane catheters at the T12 level ambulated 30 minutes after surgery and was discharged the same day (length of stay, 4.6 hours). The total amount of narcotics administered during the hospital stay was 127.5 morphine milligram equivalents.

LESSONS

The placement of bilateral erector spine plane nerve block catheters at the T12 level with an ambulatory infusion pump may help to improve acute postoperative pain management for patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion.