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Jayme Augusto Bertelli, Karine Rosa Gasparelo, and Anna Seltser

OBJECTIVE

Identifying roots available for grafting is of paramount importance prior to reconstructing complex injuries involving the brachial plexus. This is traditionally achieved by combining input from both clinical examinations and imaging studies. In this paper, the authors describe and evaluate two new clinical tests to study long thoracic nerve function and, consequently, to predict the status of the C5 and C6 roots after global brachial plexus injuries.

METHODS

From March 2020 to December 2020, in 41 patients undergoing brachial plexus repair, preoperative clinical assessments were performed using modified C5 and C6 protraction tests, C5 and C6 Tinel’s signs, and MRI findings to predict whether graft-eligible C5 and C6 roots would be identified intraoperatively. Findings from these three assessments were then combined in a logistic regression model to predict graft eligibility, with overall predictive accuracies calculated as areas under receiver operating characteristic curves.

RESULTS

In the 41 patients, the pretest probability of C5 root availability for grafting was 85% but increased to 92% with a positive C5 protraction test and to 100% when that finding was combined with a positive C5 Tinel’s sign and favorable MRI findings. The pretest probability of C6 root availability was 40%, which increased to 84% after a positive C6 protraction test and to 93% when the protraction test result concurred with Tinel’s test and MRI findings.

CONCLUSIONS

Combining observations of the protraction tests with Tinel’s sign and MRI findings accurately predicts C5 and C6 root graft eligibility.

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David B. Kurland, Monica C. Mureb, Albert H. Liu, Alexandra H. Seidenstein, Eddie Stern, and Erich G. Anderer

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Jackson H. Allen, Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Kelly L. Vittetoe, Amber Greeno, Muhammad Owais Abdul Ghani, Purnima Unni, Harold N. Lovvorn III, and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) and dirt bike crashes frequently result in traumatic brain injury. The authors performed a retrospective study to evaluate the role of helmets in the neurosurgical outcomes of pediatric patients involved in ATV and dirt bike crashes who were treated at their institution during the last decade.

METHODS

The authors analyzed data on all pediatric patients involved in ATV or dirt bike crashes who were evaluated at a single regional level I pediatric trauma center between 2010 and 2019. Patients were excluded if the crash occurred in a competition (n = 70) or if helmet status could not be determined (n = 18). Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the association of helmet status with the primary outcomes of 1) neurosurgical consultation, 2) intracranial injury (including skull fracture), and 3) moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (MSTBI) and to control for literature-based, potentially confounding variables.

RESULTS

In total, 680 patients were included (230 [34%] helmeted patients and 450 [66%] unhelmeted patients). Helmeted patients were more frequently male (81% vs 66%). Drivers were more frequently helmeted (44.3%) than passengers (10.5%, p < 0.001). Head imaging was performed to evaluate 70.9% of unhelmeted patients and 48.3% of helmeted patients (p < 0.001). MSTBI (8.0% vs 1.7%, p = 0.001) and neurosurgical consultation (26.2% vs 9.1%, p < 0.001) were more frequent among unhelmeted patients. Neurosurgical injuries, including intracranial hemorrhage (16% vs 4%, p < 0.001) and skull fracture (18% vs 4%, p < 0.001), were more common in unhelmeted patients. Neurosurgical procedures were required by 2.7% of unhelmeted patients. One helmeted patient (0.4%) required placement of an intracranial pressure monitor, and no other helmeted patients required neurosurgical procedures. After adjustment for age, sex, driver status, vehicle type, and injury mechanism, helmet use significantly reduced the odds of neurosurgical consultation (OR 0.250, 95% CI 0.140–0.447, p < 0.001), intracranial injury (OR 0.172, 95% CI 0.087–0.337, p < 0.001), and MSTBI (OR 0.244, 95% CI 0.079–0.758, p = 0.015). The unadjusted absolute risk reduction provided by helmet use equated to a number-needed-to-helmet of 6 riders to prevent 1 neurosurgical consultation, 4 riders to prevent 1 intracranial injury, and 16 riders to prevent 1 MSTBI.

CONCLUSIONS

Helmet use remains problematically low among young ATV and dirt bike riders, especially passengers. Expanding helmet use among these children could significantly reduce the rates of intracranial injury and MSTBI, as well as the subsequent need for neurosurgical procedures. Promoting helmet use among recreational ATV and dirt bike riders must remain a priority for neurosurgeons, public health officials, and injury prevention professionals.

Open access

Rupesh Pakrasi, Payoz Pandey, Srijan Das, Shreya Datta, and Dipti Saha

BACKGROUND

Calcified chronic subdural hematomas (CCSDHs) are rare variants of chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) accounting to only 0.3–2.7% of CSDHs. Although the majority of the patients with CSDHs recover from surgery, there still is some doubt about its being applied to CCSDHs.

OBSERVATIONS

In this case report, the authors present a case of a 75-year-old male presenting with deterioration of motor function in his left limbs over the course of 18 months and acute neurological deterioration in the form of altered sensorium for 7 days. The patient experienced an episode of aspiration in the preoperative period that led to deterioration of pulmonary function in the postoperative period. A chest radiograph showed diffuse patches suggesting pulmonary compromise. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) documented a large subdural collection at the right frontal and parietal hemisphere with calcification, which was successfully and completely removed by surgery.

LESSONS

The chances of a subdural hematoma progressing to calcification is extremely rare. The presentation of this case was such that surgical intervention was the only option left for the patient. The presence of lacunar infarcts in the thalamus on MRI can also be attributed to the calcified hematoma.

Open access

Rohin Singh, Visish M. Srinivasan, Joshua S. Catapano, Joseph D. DiDomenico, Jacob F. Baranoski, and Michael T. Lawton

BACKGROUND

Coccidioidomycosis is a primarily self-limiting fungal disease endemic to the western United States and South America. However, severe disseminated infection can occur. The authors report a severe case of coccidioidal meningitis that appeared to be a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) on initial inspection.

OBSERVATIONS

A man in his early 40s was diagnosed with coccidioidal pneumonia after presenting with pulmonary symptoms. After meningeal spread characterized by declining mental status and hydrocephalus, coccidioidal meningitis was diagnosed. The uniquely difficult aspect of this case was the deceptive appearance of SAH due to the presence of multiple aneurysms and blood draining from the patient’s external ventricular drain.

LESSONS

Coccidioidal infection likely led to the formation of multiple intracranial aneurysms in this patient. Although few reports exist of coccidioidal meningitis progressing to aneurysm formation, patients should be closely monitored for this complication because outcomes are poor. The presence of basal cistern hyperdensities from a coccidioidal infection mimicking SAH makes interpreting imaging difficult. Surgical management of SAH can be considered safe and viable, especially when the index of suspicion is high, such as in the presence of multiple aneurysms. Even if it is unclear whether aneurysmal rupture has occurred, prompt treatment is advisable.

Open access

Christopher F. Dibble, Saad Javeed, Justin K. Zhang, Brenton Pennicooke, Wilson Z. Ray, and Camilo Molina

BACKGROUND

Traumatic atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation after type 3 odontoid fracture is an uncommon presentation that may require complex intraoperative reduction maneuvers and presents challenges to successful instrumentation and fusion.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of a 39-year-old female patient who sustained a type 3 odontoid fracture. She was neurologically intact and managed in a rigid collar. Four months later, she presented again after a second trauma with acute torticollis and type 2 atlantoaxial subluxation, again neurologically intact. Serial cervical traction was placed with minimal radiographic reduction. Ultimately, she underwent intraoperative reduction, instrumentation, and fusion. Freehand C1 lateral mass reduction screws were placed, then C2 translaminar screws, and finally lateral mass screws at C3 and C4. The C2–4 instrumentation was used as bilateral rod anchors to reduce the C1 lateral mass reduction screws engaged onto the subluxated atlantodental complex. As a final step, cortical allograft spacers were inserted at C1–2 under compression to facilitate long-term stability and fusion.

LESSONS

This is the first description of a technique using extended tulip cervical reduction screws to correct traction-irreducible atlantoaxial subluxation. This case is a demonstration of using intraoperative tools available for the spine surgeon managing complex cervical injuries requiring intraoperative reduction that is resistant to traction reduction.

Open access

Guenther C. Feigl, Domagoj Jugovic, Daniel Staribacher, Rolf Buslei, and Dzmitry Kuzmin

BACKGROUND

Giant presacral schwannomas are extremely rare in neurosurgery. There are various approaches to the surgical treatment of symptomatic giant presacral schwannomas. The least traumatic is the one-stage surgery with a dorsal approach.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a case of a 52-year-old male with pain in the sacral region and partial urinary dysfunction. A total tumor resection through a minimally invasive dorsal approach was performed, and anatomical and functional preservation of all sacral nerves with no postoperative complications was achieved.

LESSONS

The authors have shown the possibility of total tumor resection with a minimally invasive dorsal approach without the development of intra- and postoperative complications. Operative corridors that have been created by a tumor can be used and expanded for a minimally invasive dorsal approach to facilitate resection and minimize tissue disruption.

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Alexander J. Schupper, Rebecca B. Baron, William Cheung, Jessica Rodriguez, Steven N. Kalkanis, Muhammad O. Chohan, Bruce J. Andersen, Roukoz Chamoun, Brian V. Nahed, Brad E. Zacharia, Jerone Kennedy, Hugh D. Moulding, Lloyd Zucker, Michael R. Chicoine, Jeffrey J. Olson, Randy L. Jensen, Jonathan H. Sherman, Xiangnan Zhang, Gabrielle Price, Mary Fowkes, Isabelle M. Germano, Bob S. Carter, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, and Raymund L. Yong

OBJECTIVE

Greater extent of resection (EOR) is associated with longer overall survival in patients with high-grade gliomas (HGGs). 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) can increase EOR by improving intraoperative visualization of contrast-enhancing tumor during fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS). When administered orally, 5-ALA is converted by glioma cells into protoporphyrin IX (PPIX), which fluoresces under blue 400-nm light. 5-ALA has been available for use in Europe since 2010, but only recently gained FDA approval as an intraoperative imaging agent for HGG tissue. In this first-ever, to the authors’ knowledge, multicenter 5-ALA FGS study conducted in the United States, the primary objectives were the following: 1) assess the diagnostic accuracy of 5-ALA–induced PPIX fluorescence for HGG histopathology across diverse centers and surgeons; and 2) assess the safety profile of 5-ALA FGS, with particular attention to neurological morbidity.

METHODS

This single-arm, multicenter, prospective study included adults aged 18–80 years with Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score > 60 and an MRI diagnosis of suspected new or recurrent resectable HGG. Intraoperatively, 3–5 samples per tumor were taken and their fluorescence status was recorded by the surgeon. Specimens were submitted for histopathological analysis. Patients were followed for 6 weeks postoperatively for adverse events, changes in the neurological exam, and KPS score. Multivariate analyses were performed of the outcomes of KPS decline, EOR, and residual enhancing tumor volume to identify predictive patient and intraoperative variables.

RESULTS

Sixty-nine patients underwent 5-ALA FGS, providing 275 tumor samples for analysis. PPIX fluorescence had a sensitivity of 96.5%, specificity of 29.4%, positive predictive value (PPV) for HGG histopathology of 95.4%, and diagnostic accuracy of 92.4%. Drug-related adverse events occurred at a rate of 22%. Serious adverse events due to intraoperative neurological injury, which may have resulted from FGS, occurred at a rate of 4.3%. There were 2 deaths unrelated to FGS. Compared to preoperative KPS scores, postoperative KPS scores were significantly lower at 48 hours and 2 weeks but were not different at 6 weeks postoperatively. Complete resection of enhancing tumor occurred in 51.9% of patients. Smaller preoperative tumor volume and use of intraoperative MRI predicted lower residual tumor volume.

CONCLUSIONS

PPIX fluorescence, as judged by the surgeon, has a high sensitivity and PPV for HGG. 5-ALA was well tolerated in terms of drug-related adverse events, and its application by trained surgeons in FGS for HGGs was not associated with any excess neurological morbidity.

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Shoko Hara, Maki Mukawa, Hiroyuki Akagawa, Thiparpa Thamamongood, Motoki Inaji, Yoji Tanaka, Taketoshi Maehara, Hidetoshi Kasuya, and Tadashi Nariai

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ objective was to investigate the influence of the RNF213 p.R4810K variant on the clinical presentation and outcomes of Japanese pediatric patients with moyamoya disease.

METHODS

A total of 129 Japanese patients with pediatric-onset moyamoya disease (onset age ≤ 15 years) who visited the authors’ department from 2012 to 2020 participated in this study. After RNF213 p.R4810K genotyping of each patient was performed, the relationship between genotype and clinical presentation or outcomes, including onset age, initial presentation, surgical outcomes, and subsequent cerebrovascular events, was evaluated. Patients without the p.R4810K variant were tested for RNF213 variants other than p.R4810K. The authors especially focused on the results of patients who presented with moyamoya disease at younger than 1 year of age (infantile onset).

RESULTS

Compared with the patients with heterozygous variants, patients without the p.R4810K variant were younger at onset (7.1 ± 3.7 vs 4.4 ± 0.9 years), and all 4 patients with infantile onset lacked the p.R4810K variant. A greater proportion of patients without the p.R4810K variant presented with infarction than patients with the heterozygous variant (24.0% vs 7.6%) and a decreased proportion presented with transient ischemic attack (36.0% vs 71.7%). No significant correlation was observed between p.R4810K genotype and clinical outcomes, including surgical outcomes and subsequent cerebrovascular events; however, a decreased proportion of patients without the p.R4810K variant had good surgical outcomes compared with that of patients with the heterozygous variant (76.5% vs 92.2%). Among the 25 patients without the p.R4810K variant, 8 rare variants other than p.R4810K were identified. Three of 4 patients with infantile onset had RNF213 variants other than p.R4810K, which had a more severe functional effect on this gene than p.R4810K.

CONCLUSIONS

Absence of the RNF213 p.R4810K variant may be a novel biomarker for identification of a severe form of pediatric moyamoya disease.

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Arbaz A. Momin, Pranay Soni, Jianning Shao, Amy S. Nowacki, John H. Suh, Erin S. Murphy, Samuel T. Chao, Lilyana Angelov, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Gene H. Barnett, Pablo F. Recinos, and Varun R. Kshettry

OBJECTIVE

After gross-total resection (GTR) of a newly diagnosed WHO grade II meningioma, the decision to treat with radiation upfront or at initial recurrence remains controversial. A comparison of progression-free survival (PFS) between observation and adjuvant radiation fails to account for the potential success of salvage radiation, and a direct comparison of PFS between adjuvant and salvage radiation is hampered by strong selection bias against salvage radiation cohorts in which only more aggressive, recurrent tumors are included. To account for the limitations of traditional PFS measures, the authors evaluated radiation failure-free survival (RFFS) between two treatment strategies after GTR: adjuvant radiation versus observation with salvage radiation, if necessary.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent GTR of newly diagnosed WHO grade II meningiomas at their institution between 1996 and 2019. They assessed traditional PFS in patients who underwent adjuvant radiation, postoperative observation, and salvage radiation. For RFFS, treatment failure was defined as time from initial surgery to failure of first radiation. To assess the association between treatment strategy and RFFS while accounting for potential confounders, a multivariable Cox regression analysis adjusted for the propensity score (PS) and inverse probability of treatment weighted (IPTW) Cox regression analysis were performed.

RESULTS

A total of 160 patients underwent GTR and were included in this study. Of the 121 patients who underwent observation, 32 (26.4%) developed recurrence and required salvage radiation. PFS at 3, 5, and 10 years after observation was 75.1%, 65.6%, and 45.5%, respectively. PFS at 3 and 5 years after salvage radiation was 81.7% and 61.3%, respectively. Of 160 patients, 39 received adjuvant radiation, and 3- and 5-year PFS/RFFS rates were 86.1% and 59.2%, respectively. In patients who underwent observation with salvage radiation, if necessary, the 3-, 5-, and 10-year RFFS rates were 97.7%, 90.3%, and 87.9%, respectively. Both PS and IPTW Cox regression models demonstrated that patients who underwent observation with salvage radiation treatment, if necessary, had significantly longer RFFS (PS model: hazard ratio [HR] 0.21, p < 0.01; IPTW model: HR 0.21, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective, nonrandomized study, adjuvant radiation after GTR of a WHO II meningioma did not add significant benefit over a strategy of observation and salvage radiation at initial recurrence, if necessary, but results must be considered in the context of the limitations of the study design.