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Florian Ebel, Stefan Wanderer, C. Marvin Jesse, Ralph T. Schär, Irena Zubak, Christian T. Ulrich, and Andreas Raabe

OBJECTIVE

CSF leaks are common complications of spinal and cranial surgeries. Several dural grafts and suture techniques are available to achieve watertight dural closure, but the effectiveness of these techniques remains unclear. The authors developed a standardized in vitro model to test available grafts and suture techniques alone or in combination to find the technique with the most watertight dural closure.

METHODS

A fluid chamber with a dural fixation device, infusion pump, pressure gauge, and porcine pericardium as a dural equivalent was assembled to provide the reusable device for testing. The authors performed dural closure in 4 different fashions, as follows: A) using running versus simple interrupted suture technique and different suture materials to close a 3-cm incision; B) selecting commonly used sealants and dural patches in combination with a running suture; C) performing duraplasty (1.5 × 1.5–cm square defect) with different dural substitutes in a stand-alone fashion; and D) performing duraplasty with different dural substitutes in a double-layer fashion. Each technique was tested 6 times. The hydrostatic burst pressure (BP) was measured and compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test or the Mann-Whitney U-test. Values are reported as mean ± SD.

RESULTS

There was no significant difference between the running and simple interrupted suture technique (p = 0.79). Adding a patch or sealant to a suture resulted in a 1.7- to 14-fold higher BP compared to solitary suture closure (36.2 ± 24.27 cm H2O and 4.58 ± 1.41 cm H2O, respectively; p < 0.001). The highest BP was achieved by adding DuraSeal or TachoSil (82.33 ± 12.72 cm H2O and 74.17 ± 12.64 cm H2O, respectively). For closing a square defect, using a double-layer duraplasty significantly increased BP by a factor of 4–12 compared to a single-layer duraplasty (31.71 ± 12.62 cm H2O vs 4.19 ± 0.88 cm H2O, respectively; p < 0.001). The highest BP was achieved with the combination of Lyomesh and TachoSil (43.67 ± 11.45 cm H2O).

CONCLUSIONS

A standardized in vitro model helps to objectify the watertightness of dural closure. It allows testing of sutures and dural grafts alone or in combination. In the authors’ testing, a running 6-0 monofilament polypropylene suture combined with DuraSeal or TachoSil was the technique achieving the highest BP. For the duraplasty of square defects, the double-layer technique showed the highest efficacy.

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Claudia L. Craven, Paul Gissen, Rebecca Bower, Laura Lee, Kristian Aquilina, and Dominic N. P. Thompson

OBJECTIVE

Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2) is a rare autosomal recessive disease caused by tripeptidyl peptidase 1 enzyme deficiency. At the authors’ center, the medication cerliponase alfa is administered every 2 weeks via the intracerebroventricular (ICV) route. This requires the placement of a ventricular access device (VAD) or reservoir and frequent percutaneous punctures of this device over the child’s lifetime. In this study, the authors audited the longevity and survival of these VADs and examined the causes of device failure.

METHODS

A single-center survival analysis of VAD insertions and revisions (January 2014 through June 2020) was conducted. All children received cerliponase alfa infusions through a VAD. Patient characteristics and complications were determined from a prospectively maintained surgical database and patient records. For the VAD survival analysis, the defined endpoint was when the device was removed or changed. Reservoir survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves and the log-rank (Cox-Mantel) test.

RESULTS

A total of 17 patients had VADs inserted for drug delivery; median (range) age at first surgery was 4 years 4 months (1 year 8 months to 15 years). Twenty-six VAD operations (17 primary insertions and 9 revisions) were required among these 17 patients. Twelve VAD operations had an associated complication, including CSF infection (n = 6) with Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus species being the most prevalent organisms, significant surgical site swelling preventing infusion (n = 3), leakage/wound breakdown (n = 2), and catheter obstruction (n = 1). There were no complications or deaths associated with VAD insertion. The median (interquartile range) number of punctures was 59.5 (7.5–82.0) for unrevised VADs (n = 17) versus 2 (6–87.5) for revised VADs (n = 9) (p = 0.70). The median survival was 301 days for revisional reservoirs (n = 9) versus 2317 days for primary inserted reservoirs (n = 17) (p = 0.019).

CONCLUSIONS

In the context of the current interest in intrathecal drug delivery for rare metabolic disorders, the need for VADs is likely to increase. Auditing the medium- to long-term outcomes associated with these devices will hopefully result in their wider application and may have potential implications on the development of new VAD technologies. These results could also be used to counsel parents prior to commencement of therapy and VAD implantation.

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Stephanie Lenck, Aurelien Nouet, Eimad Shotar, Samiya Abi Jaoudé, Patrick Nicholson, Kevin Premat, Celine Corcy, Anne-Laure Boch, Nader Antoine Sourour, Frederic Tankere, Alexandre Carpentier, and Frederic Clarençon

OBJECTIVE

Based on their clinical and radiological patterns, idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea and idiopathic intracranial hypertension can represent different clinical expressions of the same underlying pathological process. Transverse sinus stenoses are associated with both diseases, resulting in eventual restriction of the venous CSF outflow pathway. While venous sinus stenting has emerged as a promising treatment for idiopathic intracranial hypertension, its efficiency on idiopathic CSF leaks has not been very well addressed in the literature so far. The purpose of this study was to report the results of transverse sinus stenting in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

METHODS

From a prospectively collected database, the authors retrospectively collected the clinical and radiological features of the patients with spontaneous CSF leakage who were treated with venous sinus stenting.

RESULTS

Five female patients were included in this study. Transverse sinus stenoses were present in all patients, and other radiological signs of idiopathic intracranial hypertension were present in 4 patients. The median transstenotic pressure gradient was 6.5 mm Hg (range 3–9 mm Hg). Venous stenting resulted in the disappearance of the leak in 4 patients with no recurrence and no subsequent meningitis during the follow-up (median 12 months, range 6–63 months).

CONCLUSIONS

According to the authors’ results, venous sinus stenting may result in the disappearance of the leak in many cases of idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea. Larger comparative studies are needed to assess the efficiency and safety of venous stenting as a first-line approach in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

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Jayme A. Bertelli, Mayur Sureshlal Goklani, Neehar Patel, and Elisa Cristiana Winkelmann Duarte

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to describe the anatomy of the radial nerve and its branches when exposed through an axillary anterior arm approach.

METHODS

Bilateral upper limbs of 10 fresh cadavers were dissected after dyed latex was injected into the axillary artery.

RESULTS

Via the anterior arm approach, all triceps muscle heads could be dissected and individualized. The radial nerve overlaid the latissimus dorsi tendon, bounded by the axillar artery on its superior surface, then passed around the humerus, together with the lower lateral arm and posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve, between the lateral and medial heads of the triceps. No triceps motor branch accompanied the radial nerve’s trajectory. Over the latissimus dorsi tendon, an antero-inferior bundle, containing all radial nerve branches to the triceps, was consistently observed. In the majority of the dissections, a single branch to the long head and dual innervations for the lateral and medial heads were observed. The triceps long and proximal lateral head branches entered the triceps muscle close to the latissimus dorsi tendon. The second branch to the lateral head stemmed from the triceps lower head motor branch. The triceps medial head was innervated by the upper medial head motor branch, which followed the ulnar nerve to enter the medial head on its anterior surface. The distal branch to the triceps medial head also originated near the distal border of the latissimus dorsi tendon. After a short trajectory, a branch went out that penetrated the medial head on its posterior surface. The triceps lower medial head motor branch ended in the anconeus muscle, after traveling inside the triceps medial head. The lower lateral arm and posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve followed the radial nerve within the torsion canal. The lower lateral brachial cutaneous nerve innervated the skin over the biceps, while the posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve innervated the skin over the lateral epicondyle and posterior surface of the forearm. The average numbers of myelinated fibers were 926 in the long and 439 in the upper lateral head and 658 in the upper and 1137 in the lower medial head motor branches.

CONCLUSIONS

The new understanding of radial nerve anatomy delineated in this study should aid surgeons during reconstructive surgery to treat upper-limb paralysis.

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Jennifer Muller, Mahdi Alizadeh, Caio M. Matias, Sara Thalheimer, Victor Romo, Justin Martello, Tsao-Wei Liang, Feroze B. Mohamed, and Chengyuan Wu

OBJECTIVE

Accurate electrode placement is key to effective deep brain stimulation (DBS). The ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus is an established surgical target for the treatment of essential tremor (ET). Retrospective tractography-based analysis of electrode placement has associated successful outcomes with modulation of motor input to VIM, but no study has yet evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of prospective presurgical tractography-based targeting alone. Therefore, the authors sought to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of probabilistic tractography–based VIM targeting in ET patients and to perform a systematic comparison of probabilistic and deterministic tractography.

METHODS

Fourteen patients with ET underwent preoperative diffusion imaging. Probabilistic tractography was applied for preoperative targeting, and deterministic tractography was performed as a comparison between methods. Tractography was performed using the motor and sensory areas as initiation seeds, the ipsilateral thalamus as an inclusion mask, and the contralateral dentate nucleus as a termination mask. Tract-density maps consisted of voxels with 10% or less of the maximum intensity and were superimposed onto anatomical images for presurgical planning. Target planning was based on probabilistic tract-density images and indirect target coordinates. Patients underwent robotic image-guided, image-verified implantation of directional DBS systems. Postoperative tremor scores with and without DBS were recorded. The center of gravity and Dice similarity coefficients were calculated and compared between tracking methods.

RESULTS

Prospective probabilistic targeting of VIM was successful in all 14 patients. All patients experienced significant tremor reduction. Formal postoperative tremor scores were available for 9 patients, who demonstrated a mean 68.0% tremor reduction. Large differences between tracking methods were observed across patients. Probabilistic tractography–identified VIM fibers were more anterior, lateral, and superior than deterministic tractography–identified fibers, whereas probabilistic tractography–identified ventralis caudalis fibers were more posterior, lateral, and superior than deterministic tractography–identified fibers. Deterministic methods were unable to clearly distinguish between motor and sensory fibers in the majority of patients, but probabilistic methods produced distinct separation.

CONCLUSIONS

Probabilistic tractography–based VIM targeting is safe and effective for the treatment of ET. Probabilistic tractography is more precise than deterministic tractography for the delineation of VIM and the ventralis caudalis nucleus of the thalamus. Deterministic algorithms tended to underestimate separation between motor and sensory fibers, which may have been due to its limitations with crossing fibers. Larger studies across multiple centers are necessary to further validate this method.

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Jin-Sung Park, Chong-Suh Lee, Youn-Taek Choi, and Se-Jun Park

OBJECTIVE

Three-column osteotomies (3COs) for surgical correction of lumbar kyphosis show a strong correction capacity, but this procedure carries high morbidity rates. The anterior column release (ACR) technique was developed as a less invasive procedure. In this study the authors aimed to evaluate sagittal alignment restoration using ACR and to determine factors that affect the degree of correction.

METHODS

This study included 36 patients (68 cases) who underwent ACR of more than one level for adult spinal deformity. Parameters for regional sagittal alignment included segmental lordosis (SL). The parameters for global sagittal alignment included pelvic incidence, lumbar lordosis, sacral slope, pelvic tilt, and sagittal vertical axis (SVA). In addition, the interdiscal height (IDH) and difference of interdiscal angle (DIDA) were measured to evaluate the stiffness of the vertebra segment. The changes in SL were evaluated after ACR and the change of global sagittal alignment was also determined. Factors such as the location of the ACR level, IDH, DIDA, cage height, and additional posterior column osteotomy (PCO) were analyzed for correlation with the degree of SL correction.

RESULTS

Thirty-six patients were included in this study. A total of 68 levels were operated with the ACR (8 levels at L2–3, 27 levels at L3–4, and 33 levels at L4–5). ACR was performed for 1 level in 10 patients, 2 levels in 20, and 3 levels in 6 patients (mean 1.9 ± 0.7 levels per patient). Mean follow-up duration was 27.1 ± 4.2 months. The mean SL of the total segment was 0.4° ± 7.2° preoperatively and increased by 15.3° ± 5.5° at the last follow-up (p < 0.001); thus, the mean increase of SL was 14.9° ± 8.1° per one ACR. Global sagittal alignment was also improved following SL restoration with SVA from 101.9 mm to 31.4 mm. The degree of SL correction was correlated with the location of ACR level (p = 0.041) and was not correlated with IDH, DIDA, cage height and additional PCO.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that the mean correction angle of SL was 14.9 per one ACR. The degree of disc space collapse and stiffness of segment did not affect the degree of correction by ACR.

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Darryl Lau, Lanjun Guo, Vedat Deviren, and Christopher P. Ames

OBJECTIVE

For severe and rigid adult cervical deformity, posterior-based three-column osteotomies (3COs) are warranted, but neurological complications are relatively high with such procedures. The performance measures of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) during cervicothoracic 3CO have yet to be studied, and there remains a paucity of literature regarding the topic. Therefore, the authors of this study examined the performance of IONM in predicting new neurological weakness following lower cervical and upper thoracic 3CO. In addition, they report the 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year outcomes of patients who experienced new postoperative weakness.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of a single surgeon’s experience from 2011 to 2018 with all patients who had undergone posterior-based 3CO in the lower cervical (C7) or upper thoracic (T1–4) spine. Medical and neuromonitoring records were independently reviewed.

RESULTS

A total of 56 patients were included in the analysis, 38 of whom had undergone pedicle subtraction osteotomy and 18 of whom had undergone vertebral column resection. The mean age was 61.6 years, and 41.1% of the patients were male. Among the study cohort, 66.1% were myelopathic and 33.9% had preoperative weakness. Mean blood loss was 1565.0 ml, and length of surgery was 315.9 minutes. Preoperative and postoperative measures assessed were cervical sagittal vertical axis (6.5 and 3.8 cm, respectively; p < 0.001), cervical lordosis (2.3° and −6.7°, p = 0.042), and T1 slope (48.6° and 35.8°, p < 0.001). The complication rate was 49.0%, and the new neurological deficit rate was 17.9%. When stratifying by osteotomy level, there were significantly higher rates of neurological deficits at C7 and T1: C7 (37.5%), T1 (44.4%), T2 (16.7%), T3 (14.3%), and T4 (0.0%; p = 0.042). Most new neurological weakness was the nerve root pattern rather than the spinal cord pattern. Overall, there were 16 IONM changes at any threshold: 14 at 50%, 8 at 75%, and 13 if only counting patients who did not return to baseline (RTB). Performance measures for the various thresholds were accuracy (73.2% to 77.8%), positive predictive value (25.0% to 46.2%), negative predictive value (81.3% to 88.1%), sensitivity (18.2% to 54.5%), and specificity (77.8% to 86.7%). Sensitivity to detect a spinal cord pattern of weakness was 100% and 28.6% for a nerve root pattern of weakness. In patients with a new postoperative deficit, 22.2% were unchanged, 44.4% improved, and 33.3% had a RTB at the 2-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Complication rates are high following posterior 3CO for cervical deformity. 3CO at C7 and T1 has the highest rates of neurological deficit. Current IONM modalities have modest performance in predicting postoperative deficits, especially for nerve root neuropraxia. A large prospective multicenter study is warranted.

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Nikolaos Mouchtouris, David Hasan, Edgar A. Samaniego, Fadi Al Saiegh, Ahmad Sweid, Rawad Abbas, Kareem El Naamani, Rizwan Tahir, Mario Zanaty, Omaditya Khanna, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, M. Reid Gooch, Robert Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Wide-neck bifurcation cerebral aneurysms have historically required either clip ligation or stent- or balloon-assisted coil embolization. This predicament led to the development of the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) aneurysm embolization system, a self-expanding mesh device that achieves intrasaccular flow disruption and does not require antithrombotic medications. The authors report their operative experience and 6-month follow-up occlusion outcomes with the first 115 aneurysms they treated via WEB embolization.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the first 115 cerebral aneurysms they treated by WEB embolization after FDA approval of the WEB embolization device (from February 2019 to January 2021). Data were collected on patient demographics and clinical presentation, aneurysm characteristics, procedural details, postembolization angiographic contrast stasis, and functional outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 110 patients and 115 aneurysms were included in our study (34 ruptured and 81 unruptured aneurysms). WEB embolization was successful in 106 (92.2%) aneurysms, with a complication occurring in 6 (5.5%) patients. Contrast clearance was seen in the arterial phase in 14 (12.2%) aneurysms, in the capillary phase in 16 (13.9%), in the venous phase in 63 (54.8%), and no contrast was seen in 13 (11.3%) of the aneurysms studied. Follow-up angiography was performed on 60 (52.6%) of the aneurysms, with complete occlusion in 38 (63.3%), neck remnant in 14 (23.3%), and aneurysmal remnant in 8 (13.3%). Six (5.5%) patients required re-treatment for persistent aneurysmal residual on follow-up angiography.

CONCLUSIONS

The WEB device has been successfully used for the treatment of both unruptured and ruptured wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms by achieving intrasaccular flow diversion. Here, the authors have shared their experience with its unique technical considerations and device size selection, as well as critically reviewed complications and aneurysm occlusion rates.

Open access

Sho Takata, Akira Tamase, Yasuhiko Hayashi, Osamu Tachibana, Katsuaki Sato, and Hideaki Iizuka

BACKGROUND

Pediatric meningiomas are rare, and only a few cases attributed to trauma and characterized by development at the site of bone fracture have been reported. Both pediatric and traumatic meningiomas have aggressive characteristics.

OBSERVATIONS

An 11-year-old boy who sustained a head injury resulting from a left frontal skull fracture 8 years previously experienced a convulsive attack. Imaging revealed a meningioma in the left frontal convexity. Total removal of the tumor with a hyperostotic section was successfully achieved. Intraoperative investigation showed tumor invasion into the adjacent frontal cortex. Histologically, the surgical specimen revealed a transitional meningioma with brain invasion and a small cluster of rhabdoid cells. This led to a final pathological diagnosis of an atypical meningioma with rhabdoid features. The postoperative course was uneventful, and no recurrence of the tumor was found after 2 years without adjuvant therapy.

LESSONS

This is the first report of a pediatric meningioma with rhabdoid features occurring at the site of a skull fracture. Meningiomas that contain rhabdoid cells without malignant features are not considered to be as aggressive as rhabdoid meningiomas. However, the clinical course must be carefully observed for possible long-term tumor recurrence.