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Philip K. Louie, Basel Sheikh Alshabab, Michael H. McCarthy, Sohrab Virk, James E. Dowdell, Michael E. Steinhaus, Francis Lovecchio, Andre M. Samuel, Kyle W. Morse, Frank J. Schwab, Todd J. Albert, Sheeraz A. Qureshi, Sravisht Iyer, Yoshihiro Katsuura, Russel C. Huang, Matthew E. Cunningham, Yu-Cheng Yao, Karen Weissmann, Renaud Lafage, Virginie Lafage, and Han Jo Kim

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to initially validate a recent morphological classification of cervical spine deformity pathology.

METHODS

The records of 10 patients for each of the 3 classification subgroups (flat neck, focal deformity, and cervicothoracic), as well as for 8 patients with coronal deformity only, were extracted from a prospective multicenter database of patients with cervical deformity (CD). A panel of 15 physicians of various training and professional levels (i.e., residents, fellows, and surgeons) categorized each patient into one of the 4 groups. The Fleiss kappa coefficient was utilized to evaluate intra- and interrater reliability. Accuracy, defined as properly selecting the main driver of deformity, was reported overall, by morphotype, and by reviewer experience.

RESULTS

The overall classification demonstrated a moderate to substantial agreement (round 1: interrater Fleiss kappa = 0.563, 95% CI 0.559–0.568; round 2: interrater Fleiss kappa = 0.612, 95% CI 0.606–0.619). Stratification by level of training demonstrated similar mean interrater coefficients (residents 0.547, fellows 0.600, surgeons 0.524). The mean intrarater score was 0.686 (range 0.531–0.823). A substantial agreement between rounds 1 and 2 was demonstrated in 81.8% of the raters, with a kappa score > 0.61. Stratification by level of training demonstrated similar mean intrarater coefficients (residents 0.715, fellows 0.640, surgeons 0.682). Of 570 possible questions, reviewers provided 419 correct answers (73.5%). When considering the true answer as being selected by at least one of the two main drivers of deformity, the overall accuracy increased to 86.0%.

CONCLUSIONS

This initial validation of a CD morphological classification system reiterates the importance of dynamic plain radiographs for the evaluation of patients with CD. The overall reliability of this CD morphological classification has been demonstrated. The overall accuracy of the classification system was not impacted by rater experience, demonstrating its simplicity.

Open access

Kathrin Zimmerman, Arsalaan Salehani, Nathan A. Shlobin, Gabriela R. Oates, Gail Rosseau, Brandon G. Rocque, Sandi Lam, and Jeffrey P. Blount

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Tomohiro Banno, Yu Yamato, Hiroki Oba, Tetsuro Ohba, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Go Yoshida, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Koichiro Ide, Tomohiro Yamada, Jun Takahashi, Hirotaka Haro, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Persistent coronal imbalance (PCI) can develop postoperatively. In this study, the authors aimed to clarify the risk factors and clinical impact of PCI after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) in idiopathic scoliosis (IS) patients with a major thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curve.

METHODS

Data on 108 patients with Lenke type 5C or 6C IS who underwent PSF with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up were retrospectively analyzed. PCI was defined as coronal imbalance persisting 2 years after surgery. Radiographic parameters and clinical outcomes were compared between the PCI (+) and PCI (−) groups. Multivariate regression analyses of associated factors were performed to determine the risk factors for PCI.

RESULTS

Of the 108 patients, 48 (44%) had immediate postoperative coronal imbalance, and 10 of these patients (9%) had coronal imbalance persisting 2 years after surgery. The PCI (+) group had significantly worse postoperative subtotal and satisfaction scores than the PCI (−) group. Preoperative apical vertebral translation (AVT) of the TL/L curve (AVT-TL/L) and postoperative coronal balance (CB) were identified as independent risk factors for PCI. The cutoff values of preoperative AVT-TL/L at 49.5 mm (area under the curve [AUC] 0.835, p = 0.001, 95% CI 0.728–0.941, sensitivity 70.0%, specificity 72.4%) and those of postoperative CB at −27.5 mm (AUC 0.837, p < 0.001, 95% CI 0.729–0.945, sensitivity 78.6%, specificity 70.0%) were used to predict PCI. In selective fusion cases, older age (OR 2.110, 95% CI 1.159–3.842, p = 0.015), greater preoperative AVT-TL/L (OR 1.199, 95% CI 1.029–1.398, p = 0.020), and less postoperative CB (OR 0.855, 95% CI 0.743–0.983, p = 0.027) were independent risk factors for PCI.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative AVT-TL/L and postoperative CB are important parameters for predicting PCI. PCI adversely affects postoperative clinical outcomes. In selective fusion surgery, PCI tends to occur in older patients due to reduced flexibility and compensatory abilities.

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Ana M. Castaño-Leon, Cristina Sánchez Carabias, Amaya Hilario, Ana Ramos, Blanca Navarro-Main, Igor Paredes, Pablo M. Munarriz, Irene Panero, Carla Eiriz Fernández, Daniel García-Pérez, Luis Miguel Moreno-Gomez, Olga Esteban-Sinovas, Guillermo Garcia Posadas, Pedro A. Gomez, and Alfonso Lagares

OBJECTIVE

Diagnosis of traumatic axonal injury (TAI) is challenging because of its underestimation by conventional MRI and the technical requirements associated with the processing of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Serum biomarkers seem to be able to identify patients with abnormal CT scanning findings, but their potential role to assess TAI has seldomly been explored.

METHODS

Patients with all severities of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were prospectively included in this study between 2016 and 2021. They underwent blood extraction within 24 hours after injury and imaging assessment, including DTI. Serum concentrations of glial fibrillary acidic protein, total microtubule-associated protein (t-Tau), ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), and neurofilament light chain (NfL) were measured using an ultrasensitive Simoa multiplex assay panel, a digital form of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended score was determined at 6 months after TBI. The relationships between biomarker concentrations, volumetric analysis of corpus callosum (CC) lesions, and fractional anisotropy (FA) were analyzed by nonparametric tests. The prognostic utility of the biomarker was determined by calculating the C-statistic and an ordinal regression analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 87 patients were included. Concentrations of all biomarkers were significantly higher for patients compared with controls. Although the concentration of the biomarkers was affected by the presence of mass lesions, FA of the CC was an independent factor influencing levels of UCH-L1 and NfL, which positioned these two biomarkers as better surrogates of TAI. Biomarkers also performed well in determining patients who would have had unfavorable outcome. NfL and the FA of the CC are independent complementary factors related to outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

UCH-L1 and NfL seem to be the biomarkers more specific to detect TAI. The concentration of NfL combined with the FA of the CC might help predict long-term outcome.

Open access

Hari N. Krishnakumar and Colin Son

BACKGROUND

Post–radiation therapy and chemotherapy cerebral pseudoaneurysms are rare entities. Within previous tumor treatment areas on nonvascular imaging, they are potentially confused as recurrent tumor.

OBSERVATIONS

A 61-year-old man was a long-term survivor of glioblastoma multiforme whose treatment consisted of open biopsy followed by radiotherapy to 60 Gy and systemic carmustine. On surveillance imaging, enlargement of a posttreatment cyst and new enhancing lateral “mural nodule” was first noticed approximately 16 years after initial treatment. Over 12 months, both continued to enlarge. Initially referred to as recurrence, subsequent angiography showed the mural nodule to be an unruptured distal middle cerebral artery pseudoaneurysm within the previous tumor bed. The patient underwent repeat craniotomy for clipping of the aneurysm and biopsy of the cyst wall, which was negative for malignancy.

LESSONS

Delayed pseudoaneurysms following radiation therapy and chemotherapy for malignant brain tumors are rare but have been previously reported. Their appearance on cross-sectional imaging can mimic recurrence, and they should be kept in the differential of new, circumscribed enhancement within such treatment areas.

Open access

Jun Yoshida, Yosuke Akamatsu, Daigo Kojima, Kenya Miyoshi, Hiroshi Kashimura, and Kuniaki Ogasawara

BACKGROUND

Occlusion of the unilateral P1 segment can result in bilateral paramedian thalamic infarction in patients with anatomical variants of the bilateral paramedian thalamic artery arising from a single P1 segment. Despite the life-threatening presentation of bilateral paramedian thalamic stroke, timely diagnosis is often challenging.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors herein describe 3 patients treated with endovascular intervention for occlusion of the unilateral P1 segment wherein the bilateral paramedian thalamic arteries arose. All patients were admitted to the authors’ emergency department with sudden-onset coma and respiratory distress; however, initial computed tomography was unremarkable. Despite suspicion of basilar artery occlusion, vertebral and carotid angiography revealed occlusion of the unilateral P1 segment. All patients were successfully treated with endovascular intervention. Overall, 2 patients had favorable outcomes (modified Rankin scale [mRS] scores of 0 and 1), whereas in 1 patient, the mRS score reached a baseline score of 3.

LESSONS

In patients with the variant of the bilateral paramedian thalamic artery arising from a single P1 segment, occlusion of the unilateral P1 segment can be life threatening; nevertheless, timely endovascular treatment is effective. Carotid and vertebral angiography, rather than magnetic resonance or computed tomography angiography, is useful for immediate and reliable diagnosis of the relatively small vascular lesions.

Open access

Shunichiro Kuramitsu, Noriyuki Suzaki, Tatsuo Takahashi, Yoshiko Murakami, Takumi Asai, Kaoru Eguchi, Ryo Ando, Yosuke Tamari, Shohei Ito, Masayuki Kimata, Kazuichi Terao, and Yasukazu Kajita

BACKGROUND

Optic pathway gliomas are uncommon, accounting for 3–5% of childhood brain tumors, and are mostly classified as pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs). PAs of the optic nerve are particularly rare in adults.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented the case of PA of the left optic nerve in a 49-year-old woman along with detailed pathological and molecular analyses and sequential magnetic resonance imaging. The tumor had progressed during 5 years of follow-up along with cyst formation and intracystic hemorrhage; it had a thick capsule and contained xanthochromic fluid. The boundary between tumor and optic nerve was unclear. B-type Raf kinase (BRAF) V600E point mutations or translocations, IDH1-R132H mutations, loss of alpha-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked, and 1p/19q codeletion were negative.

LESSONS

BRAF alterations in pediatric PAs of the optic nerve are less frequent than those observed in PAs in other lesions; the same molecular pattern was observed in the adult case, without changes in BRAF. Surgical management should be indicated only in cases with severely impaired vision or disfigurement because there is no clear border between the tumor and optic nerve. Further discussion is needed to optimize the treatment for adult optic pathway gliomas, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and molecular-targeted therapies, in addition to surgical intervention.

Open access

Víctor Rodríguez Domínguez, Carlos Pérez-López, Catalina Vivancos Sánchez, Cristina Utrilla Contreras, Alberto Isla Guerrero, and María José Abenza Abildúa

BACKGROUND

Strongyloidiasis is an underdiagnosed and preventable life-threatening disease caused by infection with the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis. Chronic asymptomatic infection can be sustained for decades, and immunosuppression can lead to disseminated infection, with a mortality rate of 70%–100%. In the neurosurgical population, corticosteroids are the most consistent cause of hyperinfection.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 33-year-old woman of Paraguayan origin who was diagnosed with sphenoid planum meningioma and treated with a high dose of corticosteroids on the basis of the diagnosis. She underwent surgery, and pathological anatomy reflected grade I meningioma. After the surgery, she started with a history of dyspnea, productive cough, fever, and urticarial rash. Later, she presented with intestinal pseudo-obstruction and bacterial meningitis with hydrocephalus. Serology was positive for Strongyloides (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and she was diagnosed with hyperinfection syndrome. Ivermectin 200 µg/kg daily was established.

LESSONS

It may be of interest to rule out a chronic Strongyloides infection in patients from risk areas (immigrants or those returning from recent trips) before starting treatment with corticosteroids.

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Kevin Hines, Caio M. Matias, Adam Leibold, Ashwini Sharan, and Chengyuan Wu

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic surgical methods continue to advance technologically. Frameless transient fiducial registration (FTFR) systems have been developed and avoid the need to move or position a patient in a frame after already receiving registration imaging. One such system, Neurolocate, has recently become available as a robotic attachment for the Neuromate stereotactic robot. This study is the largest in the literature to evaluate the accuracy of frameless registration using Neurolocate versus frame-based registration (FBR) methods in both deep brain stimulation (DBS) and stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG). Additionally, the authors sought to reevaluate factors affecting accuracy in both procedures.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective chart and imaging review of 88 consecutive procedures (involving 621 electrodes) implanting either DBS or SEEG at the authors’ institution over a 5-year period from March 2015 to March 2020. Registration duration, radial target entry point, and Euclidean target implantation accuracies, as well as factors affecting accuracy, were recorded for each patient.

RESULTS

SEEG procedures included 38 patients and 525 implanted electrodes (294 using FBR and 231 using FTFR). DBS procedures included 50 patients and 96 implanted electrodes (65 using FBR and 31 using FTFR). Overall, FTFR registration was significantly more accurate (median 0.1 mm, IQR 0–0.4 mm) compared with FBR (median 1.3 mm, IQR 0.9–1.5 mm; p = 0.04). Likewise, FTFR had a significantly shorter duration of registration (median 84 minutes, IQR 77.3–95.3 minutes) when compared with FBR (median 110.5 minutes, IQR 107.3–138 minutes; p = 0.02). No significant differences were found when examining the radial entry point and Euclidean target implantation errors of each method.

CONCLUSIONS

FTFR with the Neurolocate system represents a technique that may decrease operative time while maintaining the high accuracy previously demonstrated by other stereotactic methods, despite an initial surgeon learning curve. It should be investigated in future studies to continue to improve stereotactic accuracies in neurosurgery.

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Hernán F. J. González, Saramati Narasimhan, Sarah E. Goodale, Graham W. Johnson, Derek J. Doss, Danika L. Paulo, Victoria L. Morgan, Catie Chang, and Dario J. Englot

OBJECTIVE

It is poorly understood why patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have cognitive deficits and brain network changes that extend beyond the temporal lobe, including altered extratemporal intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs). However, subcortical arousal structures project broadly to the neocortex, are affected by TLE, and thus may contribute to these widespread network effects. The authors’ objective was to examine functional connectivity (FC) patterns between subcortical arousal structures and neocortical ICNs, possible neurocognitive relationships, and FC changes after epilepsy surgery.

METHODS

The authors obtained resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 50 adults with TLE and 50 controls. They compared nondirected FC (correlation) and directed FC (Granger causality laterality index) within the salience network, default mode network, and central executive network, as well as between subcortical arousal structures; these 3 ICNs were also compared between patients and controls. They also used an fMRI-based vigilance index to relate alertness to arousal center FC. Finally, fMRI was repeated in 29 patients > 12 months after temporal lobe resection.

RESULTS

Nondirected FC within the salience (p = 0.042) and default mode (p = 0.0008) networks, but not the central executive network (p = 0.79), was decreased in patients in comparison with controls (t-tests, corrected). Nondirected FC between the salience network and subcortical arousal structures (nucleus basalis of Meynert, thalamic centromedian nucleus, and brainstem pedunculopontine nucleus) was reduced in patients in comparison with controls (p = 0.0028–0.015, t-tests, corrected), and some of these connectivity abnormalities were associated with lower processing speed index, verbal comprehension, and full-scale IQ. Interestingly, directed connectivity measures suggested a loss of top-down influence from the salience network to the arousal nuclei in patients. After resection, certain FC patterns between the arousal nuclei and salience network moved toward control values in the patients, suggesting that some postoperative recovery may be possible. Although an fMRI-based vigilance measure suggested that patients exhibited reduced alertness over time, FC abnormalities between the salience network and arousal structures were not influenced by the alertness levels during the scans.

CONCLUSIONS

FC abnormalities between subcortical arousal structures and ICNs, such as the salience network, may be related to certain neurocognitive deficits in TLE patients. Although TLE patients demonstrated vigilance abnormalities, baseline FC perturbations between the arousal and salience networks are unlikely to be driven solely by alertness level, and some may improve after surgery. Examination of the arousal network and ICN disturbances may improve our understanding of the downstream clinical effects of TLE.