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Open access

Ali R. Rezai, Manish Ranjan, Marc W. Haut, Jeffrey Carpenter, Pierre-François D’Haese, Rashi I. Mehta, Umer Najib, Peng Wang, Daniel O. Claassen, J. Levi Chazen, Vibhor Krishna, Gerard Deib, Zion Zibly, Sally L. Hodder, Kirk C. Wilhelmsen, Victor Finomore, Peter E. Konrad, Michael Kaplitt, and

OBJECTIVE

MRI-guided low-intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) has been shown to reversibly open the blood-brain barrier (BBB), with the potential to deliver therapeutic agents noninvasively to target brain regions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative conditions. Previously, the authors reported the short-term safety and feasibility of FUS BBB opening of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (EC) in patients with AD. Given the need to treat larger brain regions beyond the hippocampus and EC, brain volumes and locations treated with FUS have now expanded. To evaluate any potential adverse consequences of BBB opening on disease progression, the authors report safety, imaging, and clinical outcomes among participants with mild AD at 6–12 months after FUS treatment targeted to the hippocampus, frontal lobe, and parietal lobe.

METHODS

In this open-label trial, participants with mild AD underwent MRI-guided FUS sonication to open the BBB in β-amyloid positive regions of the hippocampus, EC, frontal lobe, and parietal lobe. Participants underwent 3 separate FUS treatment sessions performed 2 weeks apart. Outcome assessments included safety, imaging, neurological, cognitive, and florbetaben β-amyloid PET.

RESULTS

Ten participants (range 55–76 years old) completed 30 separate FUS treatments at 2 participating institutions, with 6–12 months of follow-up. All participants had immediate BBB opening after FUS and BBB closure within 24–48 hours. All FUS treatments were well tolerated, with no serious adverse events related to the procedure. All 10 participants had a minimum of 6 months of follow-up, and 7 participants had a follow-up out to 1 year. Changes in the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale–cognitive and Mini-Mental State Examination scores were comparable to those in controls from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. PET scans demonstrated an average β-amyloid plaque of 14% in the Centiloid scale in the FUS-treated regions.

CONCLUSIONS

This study is the largest cohort of participants with mild AD who received FUS treatment, and has the longest follow-up to date. Safety was demonstrated in conjunction with reversible and repeated BBB opening in multiple cortical and deep brain locations, with a concomitant reduction of β-amyloid. There was no apparent cognitive worsening beyond expectations up to 1 year after FUS treatment, suggesting that the BBB opening treatment in multiple brain regions did not adversely influence AD progression. Further studies are needed to determine the clinical significance of these findings. FUS offers a unique opportunity to decrease amyloid plaque burden as well as the potential to deliver targeted therapeutics to multiple brain regions in patients with neurodegenerative disorders.

Open access

Yae Won Park, Kyunghwa Han, Ji Eun Park, Sung Soo Ahn, Eui Hyun Kim, Jinna Kim, Seok-Gu Kang, Jong Hee Chang, Se Hoon Kim, and Seung-Koo Lee

OBJECTIVE

Leptomeningeal metastases (LMs) in glioma have been underestimated given their low incidence and the lack of reliable imaging. Authors of this study aimed to investigate the real-world incidence of LMs using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)–sensitive imaging, namely postcontrast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging, and to analyze molecular predictors for LMs in the molecular era.

METHODS

A total of 1405 adult glioma (World Health Organization [WHO] grade 2–4) patients underwent postcontrast FLAIR imaging at initial diagnosis and during treatment monitoring between 2001 and 2021. Collected molecular data included isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation, 1p/19q codeletion, H3 K27 alteration, and O6-methylguanine–DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status. LM diagnosis was performed with MRI including postcontrast FLAIR sequences. Logistic regression analysis for LM development was performed with molecular, clinical, and imaging data. Overall survival (OS) was compared between patients with and those without LM.

RESULTS

LM was identified in 228 patients (16.2%), 110 (7.8%) at the initial diagnosis and 118 (8.4%) at recurrence. Among the molecular diagnostics, IDH-wildtype (OR 3.14, p = 0.001) and MGMT promoter unmethylation (OR 1.43, p = 0.034) were independent predictors of LM. WHO grade 4 (OR 10.52, p < 0.001) and nonlobar location (OR 1.56, p = 0.048) were associated with LM at initial diagnosis, whereas IDH-wildtype (OR 5.04, p < 0.001) and H3 K27 alteration (OR 3.39, p = 0.003) were associated with LM at recurrence. Patients with LM had a worse median OS than those without LM (16.7 vs 32.0 months, p < 0.001, log-rank test), which was confirmed as an independent factor on multivariable Cox analysis (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

CSF-sensitive imaging aids the diagnosis of LM, demonstrating a high incidence of LM in adult gliomas. Furthermore, molecular markers are associated with LM development in glioma, and patients with aggressive molecular markers warrant imaging surveillance for LM.

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Yilong Zheng and Kai Rui Wan

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Jochem K. H. Spoor, Oscar H. J. Eelkman Rooda, Charlotte Kik, Jetty van Meeteren, Tessa Westendorp, Philip L. J. DeKoninck, Alex J. Eggink, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Clemens Dirven, and T. H. Rob de Jong

OBJECTIVE

Ten years ago, the authors reported on the outcome of their study investigating the degree of discomfort and pain in newborns with myelomeningocele (MMC), using the parameters of unbearable and hopeless suffering. In the current study, they investigated the quality of life, daily functioning, pain and fatigue, ability to communicate, and number of surgeries in the same cohort of patients. They subdivided their study population into severe (Lorber) and less severe (non-Lorber) cases and compared these cases with a healthy population (non-MMC group) and with each other.

METHODS

The parents of 22 of 28 patients gave informed consent for this study. The KIDSCREEN-27 and PEDI-CAT (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory) were used to assess quality of life and daily functioning. Pain and fatigue were self-reported on a 10-point numeric rating scale. Communication and ambulation levels were determined using the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) and the Hoffer ambulation scale. Using reference data from the KIDSCREEN-27 and PEDI-CAT, the authors created a healthy population comparison group.

RESULTS

There was no significant difference in health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) scores between Lorber and non-Lorber patients, except that school environment domain scores were lower in the Lorber group. When comparing the HRQOL of MMC patients with that of the non-MMC group, the physical well-being and parent relations and autonomy domains scored significantly lower. The daily functioning of MMC patients was lower on all domains of the PEDI-CAT compared with the non-MMC group. Lorber MMC patients scored lower on all domains of the PEDI-CAT when compared with non-Lorber patients. All patients were capable of communicating effectively; most patients (n = 18) were considered CFCS level I, and 4 patients were considered CFCS level II.

CONCLUSIONS

This study shows that MMC is a severe, lifelong condition that affects patients’ lives in many domains. All the patients in this study are capable of effective communication, irrespective of severity of MMC. Overall, the data show that in newborn MMC patients, future unbearable suffering with respect to pain, mobility, cognition, and communication is hard to predict and may not always occur.

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Leihao Ren, Haixia Cheng, Jiawei Chen, Jiaojiao Deng, Daijun Wang, Qing Xie, Hiroaki Wakimoto, Lingyang Hua, and Ye Gong

OBJECTIVE

Benefits of adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) after gross-total resection (GTR) of de novo atypical meningiomas (AMs) are controversial, and factors predictive of radiotherapy benefits in patients with de novo AMs after GTR are unknown. The authors aimed to evaluate the benefits of ART and explore potential factors sensitizing AMs to ART.

METHODS

A total of 231 consecutive patients who were pathologically diagnosed with de novo AMs and treated with GTR (Simpson class I–III resections) from 2010 to 2018 were enrolled in the study. Clinicopathological and prognostic information was collected and analyzed. Univariate and multivariate Cox analyses were used to evaluate prognostic predictors and compare the response to radiotherapy. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to balance the confounding bias in subgroups.

RESULTS

A total of 138 patients (59.74%) received ART. Progesterone receptor (PR) expression was positive in 157 patients (67.97%). During the mean follow-up period of 76.25 months, 65 patients (28.14%) experienced recurrence and 38 (16.45%) died of tumor progression. For disease-specific survival (DSS), ART was a better prognostic factor via univariate (p = 0.003) and multivariate (p = 0.025) analyses. For progression-free survival (PFS), univariate Cox analysis showed that ART improved PFS (p = 0.013), but multivariate analysis did not (p = 0.068). Positive PR expression (p = 0.019), age 53.5 years or younger (p = 0.012), and Ki-67 7.5% or lower (p = 0.025) were independent prognostic predictors for better PFS. In the subcohort analysis, the beneficial impact of ART was observed in the PR-negative cohort (p = 0.002) but not in the PR-positive cohort (p = 0.86). The heterogeneity analysis demonstrated that the PR-negative cohort was more sensitive to ART than the PR-positive cohort (p = 0.036). ART was not found to be associated with better PFS in younger patients (≤ 53.5 years, p = 0.14), older patients (> 53.5 years, p = 0.085), those with a Ki-67 index ≤ 7.5% (p = 0.068), or those with a Ki-67 > 7.5% (p = 0.13). The contrasting effects of ART in the PR-negative versus PR-positive cohorts remained true even after PSM, confirming that PR-negative, but not PR-positive, de novo AMs benefited from ART after GTR.

CONCLUSIONS

ART was an independent prognostic factor for DSS of patients with de novo AMs treated with GTR (p = 0.025), but not for PFS (p = 0.068). Negative PR expression was a radiosensitive biomarker on PFS for de novo AM patients after GTR.

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Bruno Lazaro, Juan Pablo Sardi, Justin S. Smith, Michael P. Kelly, Elizabeth L. Yanik, Brian Dial, Jeffrey Hills, Munish C. Gupta, Christine R. Baldus, Chun Po Yen, Virginie Lafage, Christopher P. Ames, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Keith H. Bridwell

OBJECTIVE

Proximal junctional failure (PJF) is a severe form of proximal junctional kyphosis. Previous reports on PJF have been limited by heterogeneous cohorts and relatively short follow-ups. The authors’ objectives herein were to identify risk factors for PJF and to assess its long-term incidence and revision rates in a homogeneous cohort.

METHODS

The authors reviewed data from the Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis 1 trial (ASLS-1), a National Institutes of Health–sponsored prospective multicenter study. Inclusion criteria were an age ≥ 40 years, ASLS (Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] ≥ 20 or Scoliosis Research Society revised 22-item questionnaire [SRS-22r] score ≤ 4.0 in pain, function, or self-image domains), and primary thoracolumbar fusion/fixation to the sacrum/pelvis of ≥ 7 levels. PJF was defined as a postoperative proximal junctional angle (PJA) change > 20°, fracture of the uppermost instrumented vertebra (UIV) or UIV+1 with > 20% vertebral height loss, spondylolisthesis of UIV/UIV+1 > 3 mm, or UIV screw dislodgment.

RESULTS

One hundred sixty patients (141 women) were included in this analysis and had a median age of 62 years and a mean follow-up of 4.3 years (range 0.1–6.1 years). Forty-six patients (28.8%) had PJF at a median of 0.92 years (IQR 0.14, 1.23 years) following surgery. Based on Kaplan-Meier analyses, PJF rates at 1, 2, 3, and 4 years were 14.4%, 21.9%, 25.9%, and 27.4%, respectively. On univariate analysis, PJF was associated with greater age (p = 0.0316), greater body mass index (BMI; p = 0.0319), worse baseline patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs; ODI, SRS-22r, and SF-12 Physical Component Summary [PCS]; all p < 0.04), the use of posterior column osteotomies (PCOs; p = 0.0039), and greater postoperative thoracic kyphosis (TK; p = 0.0031) and PJA (p < 0.001). The use of UIV hooks was protective against PJF (p = 0.0340). On regression analysis (without postoperative measures), PJF was associated with greater BMI (HR 1.077, 95% CI 1.007–1.153, p = 0.0317), lower preoperative PJA (HR 0.607, 95% CI 0.407–0.906, p = 0.0146), and greater preoperative TK (HR 1.362, 95% CI 1.082–1.715, p = 0.0085). Patients with PJF had worse PROMs at the last follow-up (ODI, SRS-22r subscore and self-image, and SF-12 PCS; p < 0.04). Sixteen PJF patients (34.8%) underwent revision, and PJF recurred in 3 (18.8%).

CONCLUSIONS

Among 160 primary ASLS patients with a median age of 62 years and predominant coronal deformity, the PJF rate was 28.8% at a mean 4.3-year follow-up, with a revision rate of 34.8%. On univariate analysis, PJF was associated with a greater age and BMI, worse baseline PROMs, the use of PCOs, and greater postoperative TK and PJA. The use of UIV hooks was protective against PJF. On multivariate analysis (without postoperative measures), a higher risk of PJF was associated with greater BMI and preoperative TK and lower preoperative PJA.

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Jacob S. Young, Nadeem Al-Adli, Youssef E. Sibih, Katrina L. Scotford, Megan Casey, Steven James, and Mitchel S. Berger

A cancer diagnosis is life altering and frequently associated with both acute and long-lasting psychosocial and behavioral distress for patients. The impact of a diffuse glioma diagnosis on mental health is an important aspect of the patient experience with their disease. This needs to be understood by neurosurgeons so these concerns can be appropriately addressed in a timely fashion and integrated into the multidisciplinary care of neuro-oncology patients. The relatively grave prognosis associated with diffuse gliomas, the morbidity associated with treatment, and the constant threat of developing a new neurological deficit all can negatively affect a patient’s mental ability to cope and ultimately manifest in mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. The objective of this systematic review was to describe the variety of behavioral health disorders patients may experience following a glioma diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options. The PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched through July 1, 2022, using broad search terms, which resulted in 5028 studies that were uploaded to Covidence systematic review software. Duplicates, non–English-language studies, and studies with irrelevant outcomes or incorrect design were removed (n = 3167). A total of 92 articles reporting behavioral health outcomes in brain tumor patients were categorized and extracted for associations with overall mental health, anxiety, depression, distress, stress, pharmacology, interventions, and mental health in caregivers. The authors identified numerous studies reporting the prevalence of mental health disorders and their negative influence in this population. However, there is a paucity of literature on therapeutic options for patients. Given the strong correlation between patient quality of life and mental well-being, there is a considerable need for early recognition and treatment of these behavioral health disorders to optimize everyday functioning for patients.

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Nathan A. Shlobin, Jordan T. Roach, Vijaya Kancherla, Adrian Caceres, Eylem Ocal, Kemel A. Ghotme, Sandi Lam, Kee B. Park, Gail Rosseau, Jeffrey P. Blount, Frederick A. Boop, and

OBJECTIVE

The global neurosurgery movement arose at the crossroads of unmet neurosurgical needs and public health to address the global burden of neurosurgical disease. The case of folic acid fortification (FAF) of staple foods for the prevention of spina bifida and anencephaly (SBA) represents an example of a new neurosurgical paradigm focused on public health intervention in addition to the treatment of individual cases. The Global Alliance for the Prevention of Spina Bifida-F (GAPSBiF), a multidisciplinary coalition of neurosurgeons, pediatricians, geneticists, epidemiologists, food scientists, and fortification policy experts, was formed to advocate for FAF of staple foods worldwide. This paper serves as a review of the work of GAPSBiF thus far in advocating for universal FAF of commonly consumed staple foods to equitably prevent SBA caused by folic acid insufficiency.

METHODS

A narrative review was performed using the PubMed and Google Scholar databases.

RESULTS

In this review, the authors describe the impact of SBA on patients, caregivers, and health systems, as well as characterize the multifaceted requirements for proper spina bifida care, including multidisciplinary clinics and the transition of care, while highlighting the role of neurosurgeons. Then they discuss prevention policy approaches, including supplementation, fortification, and hybrid efforts with folic acid. Next, they use the example of FAF of staple foods as a model for neurosurgeons’ involvement in global public health through clinical practice, research, education and training, and advocacy. Last, they describe mechanisms for involvement in the above initiatives as a potential academic tenure track, including institutional partnerships, organized neurosurgery, neurosurgical expert groups, nongovernmental organizations, national or international governments, and multidisciplinary coalitions.

CONCLUSIONS

The role of neurosurgeons in caring for children with spina bifida extends beyond treating patients in clinical practice and includes research, education and training, and advocacy initiatives to promote context-specific, evidence-based initiatives to public health problems. Promoting and championing FAF serves as an example of the far-reaching, impactful role that neurosurgeons worldwide may play at the intersection of neurosurgery and public health.

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Sabastian Hajtovic, James Sun, Jasjit S. Multani, Linda L. Herrmann, Hannah Britton, Jose Gautreaux, Lea Tortolero, Gillian Harrison, John G. Golfinos, Timothy M. Shepherd, Omar Tanweer, and Dimitris G. Placantonakis

OBJECTIVE

Maximal safe resection is the goal of surgical treatment for high-grade glioma (HGG). Deep-seated hemispheric gliomas present a surgical challenge due to safety concerns and previously were often considered inoperable. The authors hypothesized that use of tubular retractors would allow resection of deep-seated gliomas with an acceptable safety profile. The purpose of this study was to describe surgical outcomes and survival data after resection of deep-seated HGG with stereotactically placed tubular retractors, as well as to discuss the technical advances that enable such procedures.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of 20 consecutive patients who underwent 22 resections of deep-seated hemispheric HGG with the Viewsite Brain Access System by a single surgeon. Patient demographics, survival, tumor characteristics, extent of resection (EOR), and neurological outcomes were recorded. Cannulation trajectories and planned resection volumes depended on the relative location of white matter tracts extracted from diffusion tractography. The surgical plans were designed on the Brainlab system and preoperatively visualized on the Surgical Theater virtual reality SNAP platform. Volumetric assessment of EOR was obtained on the Brainlab platform and confirmed by a board-certified neuroradiologist.

RESULTS

Twenty adult patients (18 with IDH–wild-type glioblastomas and 2 with IDH-mutant grade IV astrocytomas) and 22 surgeries were included in the study. The cohort included both newly diagnosed (n = 17; 77%) and recurrent (n = 5; 23%) tumors. Most tumors (64%) abutted the ventricular system. The average preoperative and postoperative tumor volumes measured 33.1 ± 5.3 cm3 and 15.2 ± 5.1 cm3, respectively. The median EOR was 93%. Surgical complications included 2 patients (10%) who developed entrapment of the temporal horn, necessitating placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt; 1 patient (5%) who suffered a wound infection and pulmonary embolus; and 1 patient (5%) who developed pneumonia. In 2 cases (9%) patients developed new permanent visual field deficits, and in 5 cases (23%) patients experienced worsening of preoperative deficits. Preoperative neurological or cognitive deficits remained the same in 9 cases (41%) and improved in 7 (32%). The median overall survival was 14.4 months in all patients (n = 20) and in the newly diagnosed IDH–wild-type glioblastoma group (n = 16).

CONCLUSIONS

Deep-seated HGGs, which are surgically challenging and frequently considered inoperable, are amenable to resection through tubular retractors, with an acceptable safety profile. Such cytoreductive surgery may allow these patients to experience an overall survival comparable to those with more superficial tumors.

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Kentaro Chiba, Yasuo Aihara, Atsushi Fukui, Koji Yamaguchi, Akitsugu Kawashima, Yoshikazu Okada, and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Patients sometimes experience transient neurological events (TNEs) during the early postoperative period after revascularization surgery for childhood moyamoya disease. The clinical background and pathophysiology of TNEs remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence rate of TNEs and discuss the factors associated with pediatric moyamoya disease.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 110 cerebral hemispheres of 61 pediatric patients younger than 15 years who were treated from 2011 to 2020. All children underwent either simple double-direct or combined revascularization surgery. Of these 61 patients, 52 underwent bilateral surgery and 9 underwent unilateral surgery. The authors calculated the incidence of TNEs in accordance with a previously reported TNE definition. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was evaluated in all eligible cases with xenon CT immediately after revascularization surgery.

RESULTS

The incidence rate of TNEs in patients with childhood moyamoya disease was 26.4%. TNEs occurred after an average (range) of 6.26 (2–12) days postoperatively without triggers, and all identified TNEs spontaneously resolved within 2 weeks. The most common symptoms were dysarthria, facial palsy, and numbness around the mouth, followed by sensory disturbance of the upper extremities. The presence of focal hyperperfusion on xenon CT performed immediately after revascularization surgery was strongly correlated with the incidence of TNEs (p = 0.0001). Focal hyperperfusion was observed in 43 of 110 operative sides (39.1%). Notably, only 25.6% of patients with focal hyperperfusion showed numerical global hyperperfusion. In addition, a decrease in CBF compared with the thalamic region in the contralateral side was observed in TNE-affected cases (p = 0.0443).

CONCLUSIONS

TNEs occurred more frequently in childhood moyamoya disease patients than expected. The clinical background, including symptoms, timing, and duration, was almost identical to TNEs in adults. Focal hyperperfusion, rather than numerical global hyperperfusion, was strongly correlated with the incidence of TNEs. Furthermore, the authors advocate the notion that a clinical course where symptoms occur without triggers may be a unique characteristic of TNEs, especially in childhood moyamoya disease.