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A comparison of computed tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography for the diagnosis of penetrating cerebrovascular injury: a prospective multicenter study

R. Michael Meyer, Ramesh Grandhi, Do H. Lim, Walid K. Salah, Malia McAvoy, Zachary A. Abecassis, Robert H. Bonow, Melanie Walker, Basavaraj V. Ghodke, Sarah T. Menacho, Sharon Durfy, Randall M. Chesnut, Louis J. Kim, Randy S. Bell, and Michael R. Levitt

OBJECTIVE

In this research, the authors sought to characterize the incidence and extent of cerebrovascular lesions after penetrating brain injury in a civilian population and to compare the diagnostic value of head computed tomography angiography (CTA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) in their diagnosis.

METHODS

This was a prospective multicenter cohort study of patients with penetrating brain injury due to any mechanism presenting at two academic medical centers over a 3-year period (May 2020 to May 2023). All patients underwent both CTA and DSA. The sensitivity and specificity of CTA was calculated, with DSA considered the gold standard. The number of DSA studies needed to identify a lesion requiring treatment that had not been identified on CTA was also calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 73 patients were included in the study, 33 of whom had at least 1 penetrating cerebrovascular injury, for an incidence of 45.2%. The injuries included 13 pseudoaneurysms, 11 major arterial occlusions, 9 dural venous sinus occlusions, 8 dural arteriovenous fistulas, and 6 carotid cavernous fistulas. The sensitivity of CTA was 36.4%, and the specificity was 85.0%. Overall, 5.6 DSA studies were needed to identify a lesion requiring treatment that had not been identified with CTA.

CONCLUSIONS

Cerebrovascular injury is common after penetrating brain injury, and CTA alone is insufficient to diagnosis these injuries. Patients with penetrating brain injuries should routinely undergo DSA.

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Disparities in the treatment of movement disorders using deep brain stimulation

Vishal Venkatraman, Brittany G. Futch, Kevin J. Bode Padron, Lexie Z. Yang, Hui-Jie Lee, Andreas Seas, Beth Parente, Ben Shofty, Shivanand P. Lad, Theresa L. Williamson, and Shervin Rahimpour

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-established treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). Although the prevalence of PD and ET can vary by sex and race, little is known about the accessibility of neurosurgical treatments for these conditions. In this nationwide study, the authors aimed to characterize trends in the use of DBS for the treatment of PD and ET and to identify disparities in the neurosurgical treatment of these diseases based on ethnic, racial, sex, insurance, income, hospital, and geographic factors.

METHODS

Using the dates January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2019, the authors queried the National Inpatient Sample database for all discharges with an ICD-9 or ICD-10 diagnosis of PD or ET. Among these discharges, the DBS rates were reported for each subgroup of race, ethnicity, and sex. To develop national estimates, all analyses were weighted.

RESULTS

Among 2,517,639 discharges with PD, 29,820 (1.2%) received DBS, and among 652,935 discharges with ET, 11,885 (1.8%) received DBS. Amid the PD cases, Black patients (n = 405 [0.2%], OR 0.16, 95% CI 0.12–0.20) were less likely than White patients (n = 23,975 [1.2%]) to receive DBS treatment, as were Hispanic patients (n = 1965 [1.1%], OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.65–0.88), whereas Asian/Pacific Islander patients (n = 855 [1.5%]) did not statistically differ from White patients. Amid the ET cases, Black (n = 230 [0.8%], OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.27–0.56), Hispanic (n = 215 [1.0%], OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.28–0.55), and Asian/Pacific Islander (n = 55 [1.0%], OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28–0.93) patients were less likely than White patients (n = 10,440 [1.9%]) to receive DBS. Females were less likely than males to receive DBS for PD (OR 0.69, p < 0.0001) or ET (OR 0.70, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors describe significant racial and sex-based differences in the utilization of DBS for the treatment of PD and ET. Further research is required to ascertain the causes of these disparities, as well as any differences in access to specialty neurosurgical care and referral for neuromodulation approaches.

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Effectiveness and safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy in patients with essential tremor and low skull density ratio: a study of 101 cases

Sakae Hino, Futaba Maki, Toshio Yamaguchi, Mayumi Kaburagi, Masayuki Nakano, Hirokazu Iwamuro, Masahito Takasaki, Ken Iijima, Masashi Kanouchi, Jinichi Sasanuma, Kazuo Watanabe, Yasuhiro Hasegawa, and Yoshihisa Yamano

OBJECTIVE

The objective was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) treatment in patients with essential tremor, particularly those with low skull density ratio (SDR) and including those with very low SDR, and to identify the factors influencing treatment effectiveness and to provide insights into therapeutic approaches for patients with lower SDR.

METHODS

Real-world data from 101 patients who underwent MRgFUS between July 2019 and March 2022 at a single institution were analyzed. Tremor severity was assessed using the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). The patients were categorized into quartile groups based on their mean SDR, and the characteristics, treatment effectiveness, treatment parameters, and adverse events were evaluated among these subgroups.

RESULTS

Patients were classified into 4 quartiles based on the mean SDR: quartile 1 (Q1) (SDR 0.26–0.37), Q2 (SDR 0.38–0.42), Q3 (SDR 0.43–0.49), and Q4 (SDR 0.50–0.75). MRgFUS significantly improved total CRST and tremor score across all SDR subgroups. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the improvement rates among the 4 subgroups. Analysis of the treatment parameters revealed that lower mean SDR was associated with lower target maximum temperature and smaller coagulation volume after focused ultrasound (FUS). Regarding adverse events, headache and nausea during FUS and facial and head edema on the day after surgery were more frequent in the Q1 subgroup (very low-SDR group). In contrast, numbness was more common in the Q4 subgroup. However, all these adverse events had resolved by the 3-month follow-up except numbness.

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggested that MRgFUS is effective and safe for patients with medication-resistant essential tremor, including those with very low mean SDR. However, the very low-SDR group had insufficient temperature elevation at the target site compared with the high-SDR group, suggesting the need for a different strategy. Notably, with careful adjustments and considerations, positive outcomes can still be achieved in patients with very low SDR. Therefore, very low SDR should not be considered an absolute exclusion criterion because it is expected to increase the number of patients who benefit from MRgFUS.

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Functional outcomes in MRI-guided laser interstitial therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Daniel A. Brenner, Daniel J. Valdivia, Nicholas B. Dadario, Jonathan Aiyathurai, Elad Mashiach, Elizabeth E. Ginalis, Travis R. Quinoa, Timothy Wong, and Hai Sun

OBJECTIVE

The use of MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) has emerged as a promising treatment option for patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Although the minimally invasive approach holds promise as an effective treatment for achieving seizure freedom, a comprehensive review of its impact on functional outcomes is still warranted. To address this need, this review aims to summarize data pertaining to the functional and neurocognitive outcomes following MRgLITT for TLE.

METHODS

Four primary electronic databases were screened following PRISMA guidelines by two independent reviewers. All functional data related to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional outcomes were gathered and analyzed as well as the neuropsychological tests issued to assess pre- and postoperative outcomes. The functional outcomes assessed were grouped into the 5 most common categories: verbal cognition, visual cognition, cognitive emotion, visual deficits, and other higher-order cognitive functioning.

RESULTS

A total of 4184 studies were screened and ultimately 408 patients from 14 studies were included for analysis. Changes in functional areas were assessed by comparing pre- and postoperative scores across a comprehensive set of 31 different functional and cognitive assessments, and were tabulated as the percentage of patients whose status improved, declined, or was maintained, where possible. In verbal (n = 112) and visual (n = 42) cognition, the rates of patients experiencing a decline were 20.4% and 13.5%, respectively, and the rates of improvement were 24.9% and 16.7%, respectively. Other functional outcomes assessed, including cognitive emotion (n = 150), visual deficits (n = 325), and higher-order cognitive processes like attention/processing (n = 19), motor cognition (n = 18), and general executive function (n = 4), exhibited varying rates of decline, ranging from 10.5% to 25%.

CONCLUSIONS

MRgLITT is an effective and minimally invasive surgical alternative treatment for TLE, but there is an observable impact on patient functioning and cognitive status. This review demonstrates the need for standardized methods that can accurately capture and quantify the associated risk of MRgLITT to optimize its effect on patient quality of life moving forward.

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Gender parity in neurosurgery residencies: an analysis

Jean-Luc Kabangu, Catherine Lei, Bailey Yekzaman, Heather Minchew, Jalee Birney, Cody Heskett, Paige Lundy, and Christopher Miller

OBJECTIVE

The number of women graduating from United States medical schools has reached parity with that of men. However, persistent inequalities and barriers have slowed the pace toward equity in application and representation in neurosurgery residency despite initiatives to increase female representation. The objective of the present study was to assess the advancement of gender parity within neurosurgery residency programs. Additionally, the study aimed to analyze the pipeline dynamics by investigating the effects of attrition on women in neurosurgery, as well as exploring the patterns of female applications to neurosurgery residency programs versus other surgical specialties.

METHODS

Data on the number of active female neurosurgery residents and female applicants to neurosurgery were collected from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Data Resource Book from 2007 to 2021 and Electronic Residency Application Service from 2014 to 2022. Linear regression analysis was used to predict the percent of active female residents based on academic year (AY). A Pearson chi-square test was used to determine the odds of a female applying to neurosurgery.

RESULTS

The percent of active female residents in neurosurgery increased from 11.0% in 2007 to 21.8% in 2021. Bivariate linear regression analysis using AY as a predictor of the percent of active females showed a statistically significant correlation. On average, the percent of active female residents increased by 0.65% per year. If trends persist, parity for females in neurosurgery will not be reached until 2069. Linear regression analysis of the overall rate of attrition in neurosurgery as a predictor of the percent of active female residents revealed that for every 1% increase in the rate of attrition, the percent of active female residents decreased by 2.91% (p = 0.001). The percent of female applicants to neurosurgery increased from 19.6% in 2014 to 29.8% in 2022 (p = 0.009), yet the odds of a female applying to neurosurgery remain low.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurosurgery continues to struggle with the recruitment of female medical students even as parity has been reached for female medical school matriculants. Greater effort is needed to recruit and retain female applicants to neurosurgery, including increased transparency in match and attrition metrics.

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The Lenticular

Jeremy C. Ganz

OBJECTIVE

The lenticular was an instrument introduced by Galen to facilitate cutting the bone of the cranium. Illustrations of the instrument first appeared in the 16th century during the Renaissance. These illustrations have been widely used, but the instrument’s shape seems ill-adapted to its function. Archaeological research in Rimini, Italy, unearthed a similar instrument with a shape that seems more suitable for the function of cutting cranial bone. The object of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of these two instruments for cutting the bone of the cranium.

METHODS

Replicas of the two instruments were obtained. Trepanation was performed in the left parietal region of a sheep’s head. In addition, the application of the instruments in the literature was analyzed.

RESULTS

The Roman lenticular cut the cranium with ease. The Renaissance instrument failed to cut the bone and only separated the dura mater from the bone. The lenticular had been used to cut bone up to the 13th century. In contrast, the Renaissance instrument was not used to cut bone but to smooth roughened bony surfaces and to remove spicules of bone that were in contact with the dura.

CONCLUSIONS

Analysis of illustrations in medical publications should be undertaken with the same rigor as applied to analysis of text.

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Letter to the Editor. An additional pitfall in the practice of neurosurgery: healthcare policies

Naci Balak

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Letter to the Editor. The association between metastatic brain tumors and brain tumor–related epilepsy

Habiba Abdullahi

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Risk factors for postoperative urinary retention after deep brain stimulation surgery: the role of the subthalamic nucleus

Ken Porche, Rodeania Peart, Victor Silva, David Mampre, Vyshak Chandra, Rasheedat Zakare-Fagbamila, Kelly Foote, Justin D. Hilliard, and Steven Robicsek

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a common procedure in neurosurgery used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET) among other disorders. Lower urinary tract dysfunction is a common complication in PD, and this study aimed to evaluate the risk factors of postoperative urinary retention (POUR) after DBS surgery in patients with PD compared with patients with ET. Understanding the risk factors associated with this complication may help in the development of strategies to minimize its occurrence and improve patient outcomes.

METHODS

The study was a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent DBS surgery for PD and ET at the University of Florida between 2010 and 2021. The surgical technique used has been described in previous articles and included a two-stage procedure, with stage 1 involving burr hole placement, microelectrode recording, and electrode implantation and stage 2 involving the placement of an implantable pulse generator (IPG). Data were collected on patient characteristics and surgical details and analyzed using univariate and mixed-linear models. Post hoc propensity score matching was used to confirm the association between subthalamic nucleus (STN)–DBS and POUR.

RESULTS

The study included 350 patients (153 with PD and 197 with ET) who underwent 1086 DBS surgeries (lead implantations, IPG placement, and IPG replacements). The POUR rates were 16.6% (79/477), 5.2% (19/363), and 0.4% (1/246) for stage 1, stage 2, and IPG replacement procedures, respectively. Optimal mixed-effects logistic modeling revealed history of urinary retention (OR 9.3, p = 0.004), male sex (OR 2.7, p = 0.011), having an electrode placed or connected for the first time (OR 2.2, p = 0.014), anesthesia time (OR 1.5 for each 30-minute increase, p < 0.0001), preoperative opioid use (OR 1.4 for each additional 10 morphine milligram equivalents, p = 0.032), and Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 1.4 per comorbidity, p = 0.017) to be significant risk factors for POUR. Having an electrode in the STN was found to be protective of POUR (propensity score–matched analysis: OR 0.2, p = 0.010).

CONCLUSIONS

Most risk factors found to increase the risk of POUR in DBS are not modifiable but are still important to consider in preoperative planning. Opioid use reduction and shorter anesthesia time may be modifiable risk factors to weigh against their alternative. Targeting the STN during DBS may result in decreased rates of POUR. This highlights the potential for STN-targeted DBS in reducing POUR risk in PD and ET patients.

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Safety of the immediate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs after adult craniotomy for tumor

Jennifer L. Perez, Ryan M. Naylor, Megan M. J. Bauman, Daniel Jeremiah Harrison, Kyelin Knowles, Terry C. Burns, Giuseppe Lanzino, Michael J. Link, Maria Peris Celda, Fredric B. Meyer, Jamie Van Gompel, and Ian F. Parney

OBJECTIVE

Poor pain control has a negative impact on postoperative recovery and patient satisfaction. However, overzealous pain management, particularly with opioids, can confound serial neurological assessments, increase morbidity, and predispose patients to long-term dependence. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective in treating postoperative pain and can limit opioid intake, but their use has been limited in patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumor resection due to concerns of an increased hemorrhage risk. Herein, the authors aim to 1) address the safety of NSAID use in the immediate postoperative setting and 2) determine whether NSAID administration decreases opioid use following craniotomy for tumor resection in adult patients.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients 18 years and older with an estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥ 60 ml/min/body surface area who had undergone craniotomy for tumor resection at their institution between 2019 and 2021. NSAID use in the first 48 hours following surgery was recorded. Primary outcomes were postoperative hemorrhage requiring a return to the operating room before hospital discharge and within 30 days of surgery. Secondary outcomes were more-than-minimal hemorrhage that did not require reoperation, acute kidney injury, and total opioid use within 48 hours after craniotomy.

RESULTS

Among 1765 reviewed patient records, 1182 were eligible for inclusion in this analysis. Amid these records were 114 patients (9.6%) who had received at least one dose of an NSAID within 48 hours of their craniotomy. Four (0.3%) patients experienced bleeding requiring a return to operating room, one of whom was from the NSAID-treated group (RR 3.12, 95% CI 0.33–29.77, p = 0.30). No significant difference in nonoperative intracranial hemorrhage (RR 1.34, 95% CI 0.54–3.35, p = 0.53), postoperative acute kidney injury, or clinically significant extracranial bleeding was found between the NSAID and no-NSAID groups. Patients in the NSAID group had significantly higher oral morphine equivalent use (median 68 vs 30, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative NSAID use following craniotomy for tumor resection was not associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage requiring a return to the operating room. The authors noted higher opioid use in the patients treated with NSAIDs, which may reflect underlying reasons for the decision to treat patients with NSAIDs in the immediate postoperative period. These data warrant further investigation of NSAIDs as a safe, opioid-sparing postoperative pain management strategy in patients with normal kidney function who are undergoing intracranial tumor resection.