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Jawad M. Khalifeh, Christopher F. Dibble, Ammar H. Hawasli and Wilson Z. Ray

OBJECTIVE

The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is an adaptive, self-reported outcomes assessment tool that utilizes item response theory and computer adaptive testing to efficiently and precisely evaluate symptoms and perceived health status. Efforts to implement and report PROMIS outcomes in spine clinical practice remain limited. The objective of this retrospective cohort study is to evaluate the performance and psychometric properties of PROMIS physical function (PF) and pain interference (PI) among patients undergoing spine surgery.

METHODS

The authors identified all patients who underwent spine surgery at their institution between 2016 and 2018, and for whom there was retrievable PROMIS data. Descriptive statistics were calculated to summarize demographics, operative characteristics, and patient-reported outcomes. Assessments were evaluated preoperatively, and postoperatively within 2 months (early), 6 months (intermediate), and up to 2 years (late). Pairwise change scores were calculated to evaluate within-subjects differences and construct responsiveness over time. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the association between PROMIS PF and PI domains. Subgroup analysis was performed based on the primary diagnoses of cervical radiculopathy, cervical myelopathy, or lumbar degenerative disease.

RESULTS

A total of 2770 patients (1395 males, 50.4%) were included in the analysis. The mean age at the time of surgery was 57.3 ± 14.4 years. Mean postoperative follow-up duration was 7.6 ± 6.2 months. Preoperatively, patients scored an average 15.1 ± 7.4 points below the normative population (mean 50 ± 10 points) in PF, and 15.8 ± 6.8 points above the mean in PI. PROMIS PF required a mean of 4.1 ± 0.6 questions and median 40 seconds (interquartile range [IQR] 29–58 seconds) to be completed, which was similar to PI (median 4.3 ± 1.1 questions and 38 seconds [IQR 27–59 seconds]). Patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements in PF and PI, which were sustained throughout the postoperative course. PROMIS instruments were able to capture anticipated changes in PF and PI, although to a lesser degree in PF early postoperatively. There was a strong negative correlation between PROMIS PF and PI scores at baseline (Pearson’s r = −0.72) and during follow-up appointments (early, intermediate, and late |r| > 0.6, each). Subgroup analysis demonstrated similar results within diagnostic groups compared to the overall cohort. However, the burden of PF limitations and PI was greater within the lumbar spine disease subgroup, compared to patients with cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients receiving care at a tertiary spine surgery outpatient clinic experience significant overall disability and PI, as measured by PROMIS PF and PI computer adaptive tests. PROMIS PF and PI health domains are strongly correlated, responsive to changes over time, and facilitate time-efficient evaluations of perceived health status outcomes in patients undergoing spine surgery.

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Georgios A. Maragkos, Luis C. Ascanio, Mohamed M. Salem, Sricharan Gopakumar, Santiago Gomez-Paz, Alejandro Enriquez-Marulanda, Abhi Jain, Clemens M. Schirmer, Paul M. Foreman, Christoph J. Griessenauer, Peter Kan, Christopher S. Ogilvy and Ajith J. Thomas

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is a routine choice for the endovascular treatment of select intracranial aneurysms. Its success is based on the high rates of aneurysm occlusion, followed by near-zero recanalization probability once occlusion has occurred. Therefore, identification of patient factors predictive of incomplete occlusion on the last angiographic follow-up is critical to its success.

METHODS

A multicenter retrospective cohort analysis was conducted on consecutive patients treated with a PED for unruptured aneurysms in 3 academic institutions in the US. Patients with angiographic follow-up were selected to identify the factors associated with incomplete occlusion.

RESULTS

Among all 3 participating institutions a total of 523 PED placement procedures were identified. There were 284 procedures for 316 aneurysms, which had radiographic follow-up and were included in this analysis (median age 58 years; female-to-male ratio 4.2:1). Complete occlusion (100% occlusion) was noted in 76.6% of aneurysms, whereas incomplete occlusion (≤ 99% occlusion) at last follow-up was identified in 23.4%. After accounting for factor collinearity and confounding, multivariable analysis identified older age (> 70 years; OR 4.46, 95% CI 2.30–8.65, p < 0.001); higher maximal diameter (≥ 15 mm; OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.43–7.55, p = 0.005); and fusiform morphology (OR 2.89, 95% CI 1.06–7.85, p = 0.038) to be independently associated with higher rates of incomplete occlusion at last follow-up. Thromboembolic complications were noted in 1.4% and hemorrhagic complications were found in 0.7% of procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

Incomplete aneurysm occlusion following placement of a PED was independently associated with age > 70 years, aneurysm diameter ≥ 15 mm, and fusiform morphology. Such predictive factors can be used to guide individualized treatment selection and counseling in patients undergoing cerebrovascular neurosurgery.

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Nasser Mohammed, Dale Ding, Yi-Chieh Hung, Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, David Mathieu, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, L. Dade Lunsford, Mary Lee Vance and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The role of primary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with medically refractory acromegaly who are not operative candidates or who refuse resection is poorly understood. The aim of this multicenter, matched cohort study was to compare the outcomes of primary versus postoperative SRS for acromegaly.

METHODS

The authors reviewed an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation database of 398 patients with acromegaly who underwent SRS and categorized them into primary or postoperative cohorts. Patients in the primary SRS cohort were matched, in a 1:2 ratio, to those in the postoperative SRS cohort, and the outcomes of the 2 matched cohorts were compared.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 78 patients (median follow-up 66.4 months), including 26 and 52 in the matched primary and postoperative SRS cohorts, respectively. In the primary SRS cohort, the actuarial endocrine remission rates at 2 and 5 years were 20% and 42%, respectively. The Cox proportional hazards model showed that a lower pre-SRS insulin-like growth factor–1 level was predictive of initial endocrine remission (p = 0.03), whereas a lower SRS margin dose was predictive of biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.01). There were no differences in the rates of radiological tumor control (p = 0.34), initial endocrine remission (p = 0.23), biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.33), recurrence-free survival (p = 0.32), or hypopituitarism (p = 0.67) between the 2 matched cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary SRS has a reasonable benefit-to-risk profile for patients with acromegaly in whom resection is not possible, and it has similar outcomes to endocrinologically comparable patients who undergo postoperative SRS. SRS with medical therapy in the latent period can be used as an alternative to surgery in selected patients who cannot or do not wish to undergo resection.

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Hyoung-Sub Kim, Jong Beom Lee, Jong Hyeok Park, Ho Jin Lee, Jung Jae Lee, Shumayou Dutta, Il Sup Kim and Jae Taek Hong

OBJECTIVE

Little is known about the risk factors for postoperative subaxial cervical kyphosis following craniovertebral junction (CVJ) fixation. The object of this study was to evaluate postoperative changes in cervical alignment and to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic change in the subaxial cervical spine after CVJ fixation.

METHODS

One hundred fifteen patients were retrospectively analyzed for postoperative subaxial kyphosis after CVJ fixation. Relations between subaxial kyphosis and radiological risk factors, including segmental angles and ranges of motion (ROMs) at C0–1, C1–2, and C2–7, and clinical factors, such as age, sex, etiology, occipital fixation, extensor muscle resection at C2, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and subaxial laminoplasty, were investigated. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic changes in the subaxial cervical spine.

RESULTS

The C2–7 angle change was more than −10° in 30 (26.1%) of the 115 patients. Risk factor analysis showed CVJ fixation combined with subaxial laminoplasty (OR 9.336, 95% CI 1.484–58.734, p = 0.017) and a small ROM at the C0–1 segment (OR 0.836, 95% CI 0.757–0.923, p < 0.01) were related to postoperative subaxial kyphotic change. On the other hand, age, sex, resection of the C2 extensor muscle, rheumatoid arthritis, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and postoperative segmental angles were not risk factors for postoperative subaxial kyphosis

CONCLUSIONS

Subaxial alignment change is not uncommon after CVJ fixation. Muscle detachment at the C2 spinous process was not a risk factor of kyphotic change. The study findings suggest that a small ROM at the C0–1 segment with or without occipital fixation and combined subaxial laminoplasty are risk factors for subaxial kyphotic change.

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James C. Dickerson, Katherine L. Harriel, Robert J. Dambrino IV, Lorne I. Taylor, Jordan A. Rimes, Ryan W. Chapman, Andrew S. Desrosiers, Jason E. Tullis and Chad W. Washington

OBJECTIVE

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major focus of patient safety indicators and a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Many practices have employed lower-extremity screening ultrasonography in addition to chemoprophylaxis and the use of sequential compression devices in an effort to reduce poor outcomes. However, the role of screening in directly decreasing pulmonary emboli (PEs) and mortality is unclear. At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a policy change provided the opportunity to compare independent groups: patients treated under a prior paradigm of weekly screening ultrasonography versus a post–policy change group in which weekly surveillance was no longer performed.

METHODS

A total of 2532 consecutive cases were reviewed, with a 4-month washout period around the time of the policy change. Criteria for inclusion were admission to the neurosurgical service or consultation for ≥ 72 hours and hospitalization for ≥ 72 hours. Patients with a known diagnosis of DVT on admission or previous inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement were excluded. The primary outcome examined was the rate of PE diagnosis, with secondary outcomes of all-cause mortality at discharge, DVT diagnosis rate, and IVC filter placement rate. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

A total of 485 patients met the criteria for the pre–policy change group and 504 for the post–policy change group. Data are presented as screening (pre–policy change) versus no screening (post–policy change). There was no difference in the PE rate (2% in both groups, p = 0.72) or all-cause mortality at discharge (7% vs 6%, p = 0.49). There were significant differences in the lower-extremity DVT rate (10% vs 3%, p < 0.01) or IVC filter rate (6% vs 2%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Based on these data, screening Doppler ultrasound examinations, in conjunction with standard-of-practice techniques to prevent thromboembolism, do not appear to confer a benefit to patients. While the screening group had significantly higher rates of DVT diagnosis and IVC filter placement, the screening, additional diagnoses, and subsequent interventions did not appear to improve patient outcomes. Ultimately, this makes DVT screening difficult to justify.

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Te Ming Lin, Huai Che Yang, Cheng Chia Lee, Hsiu Mei Wu, Yong Sin Hu, Chao Bao Luo, Wan Yuo Guo, Yi Hsuan Kao, Wen Yuh Chung and Chung Jung Lin

OBJECTIVE

Assessments of hemorrhage risk based on angioarchitecture have yielded inconsistent results, and quantitative hemodynamic studies have been limited to small numbers of patients. The authors examined whether cerebral hemodynamic analysis using quantitative digital subtraction angiography (QDSA) can outperform conventional DSA angioarchitecture analysis in evaluating the risk of hemorrhage associated with supratentorial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

METHODS

A cross-sectional study was performed by retrospectively reviewing adult supratentorial AVM patients who had undergone both DSA and MRI studies between 2011 and 2017. Angioarchitecture characteristics, DSA parameters, age, sex, and nidus volume were analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression, and QDSA software analysis was performed on DSA images. Based on the QDSA analysis, a stasis index, defined as the inflow gradient divided by the absolute value of the outflow gradient, was determined. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to compare diagnostic performances of conventional DSA angioarchitecture analysis and analysis using hemodynamic parameters based on QDSA.

RESULTS

A total of 119 supratentorial AVM patients were included. After adjustment for age at diagnosis, sex, and nidus volume, the exclusive deep venous drainage (p < 0.01), observed through conventional angioarchitecture examination using DSA, and the stasis index of the most dominant drainage vein (p = 0.02), measured with QDSA hemodynamic analysis, were independent risk factors for hemorrhage. The areas under the ROC curves for the conventional DSA method (0.75) and QDSA hemodynamics analysis (0.73) were similar. A venous stasis index greater than 2.18 discriminated the hemorrhage group with a sensitivity of 52.6% and a specificity of 81.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

In QDSA, a higher stasis index of the most dominant drainage vein is an objective warning sign associated with supratentorial AVM rupture. Risk assessments of AVMs using QDSA and conventional DSA angioarchitecture were equivalent. Because QDSA is a complementary noninvasive approach without extra radiation or contrast media, comprehensive hemorrhagic risk assessment of cerebral AVMs should include both DSA angioarchitecture and QDSA analyses.

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Robert C. Rennert, Reid Hoshide, Michael G. Brandel, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Joel R. Martin, Hal S. Meltzer, David D. Gonda, Takanori Fukushima, Alexander A. Khalessi and Michael L. Levy

OBJECTIVE

Lesions of the foramen magnum, inferolateral-to-midclival areas, and ventral pons and medulla are often treated using a far-lateral or extreme-lateral infrajugular transcondylar–transtubercular exposure (ELITE) approach. The development and surgical relevance of critical posterior skull base bony structures encountered during these approaches, including the occipital condyle (OC), hypoglossal canal (HGC), and jugular tubercle (JT), are nonetheless poorly defined in the pediatric population.

METHODS

Measurements from high-resolution CT scans were made of the relevant posterior skull base anatomy (HGC depth from posterior edge of the OC, OC and JT dimensions) from 60 patients (evenly distributed among ages 0–3, 4–7, 8–11, 12–15, 16–18, and > 18 years), and compared between laterality, sex, and age groups by using t-tests and linear regression.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in posterior skull base parameters by laterality, and HGC depth and JT size did not differ by sex. The OC area was significantly larger in males versus females (174.3 vs 152.2 mm2; p = 0.01). From ages 0–3 years to adult, the mean HGC depth increased 27% (from 9.0 to 11.4 mm) and the OC area increased 52% (from 121.4 to 184.0 mm2). The majority of growth for these parameters occurred between the 0–3 year and 4–7 year age groups. Conversely, JT volume increased nearly 3-fold (281%) from 97.4 to 370.9 mm3 from ages 0–3 years to adult, with two periods of substantial growth seen between the 0–3 to 4–7 year and the 12–15 to 16–18 year age groups. Overall, JT growth during pediatric development was significantly greater than increases in HGC depth and OC area (p < 0.05). JT volume remained < 65% of adult size up to age 16.

CONCLUSIONS

When considering a far-lateral or ELITE approach in pediatric patients, standard OC drilling is likely to be needed due to the relative stability of OC and HGC anatomy during development. The JT significantly increases in size with development, yet is only likely to need to be drilled in older children (> 16 years) and adults.

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Michele Rizzi, Martina Revay, Piergiorgio d’Orio, Pina Scarpa, Valeria Mariani, Veronica Pelliccia, Martina Della Costanza, Matteo Zaniboni, Laura Castana, Francesco Cardinale, Giorgio Lo Russo and Massimo Cossu

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy originating from the posterior quadrant (PQ) of the brain often requires large multilobar resections, and disconnective techniques have been advocated to limit the risks associated with extensive tissue removal. Few previous studies have described a tailored temporoparietooccipital (TPO) disconnective approach; only small series with short postoperative follow-ups have been reported. The aim of the present study was to present a tailored approach to multilobar PQ disconnections (MPQDs) for epilepsy and to provide details about selection of patients, presurgical investigations, surgical technique, treatment safety profile, and seizure and cognitive outcome in a large, single-center series of patients with a long-term follow-up.

METHODS

In this retrospective longitudinal study, the authors searched their prospectively collected database for patients who underwent MPQD for drug-resistant epilepsy in the period of 2005–2017. Tailored MPQDs were a posteriori grouped as follows: type I (classic full TPO disconnection), type II (partial TPO disconnection), type III (full temporooccipital [TO] disconnection), and type IV (partial TO disconnection), according to the disconnection plane in the occipitoparietal area. A bivariate statistical analysis was carried out to identify possible predictors of seizure outcome (Engel class I vs classes II–IV) among several presurgical, surgical, and postsurgical variables. Preoperative and postoperative cognitive profiles were also collected and evaluated.

RESULTS

Forty-two consecutive patients (29 males, 24 children) met the inclusion criteria. According to the presurgical evaluation (including stereo-electroencephalography in 13 cases), 12 (28.6%), 24 (57.1%), 2 (4.8%), and 4 (9.5%) patients received a type I, II, III, or IV MPQD, respectively. After a mean follow-up of 80.6 months, 76.2% patients were in Engel class I at last contact; at 6 months and 2 and 5 years postoperatively, Engel class I was recorded in 80.9%, 74.5%, and 73.5% of cases, respectively. Factors significantly associated with seizure freedom were the occipital pattern of seizure semiology and the absence of bilateral interictal epileptiform abnormalities at the EEG (p = 0.02). Severe complications occurred in 4.8% of the patients. The available neuropsychological data revealed postsurgical improvement in verbal domains, whereas nonunivocal outcomes were recorded in the other functions.

CONCLUSIONS

The presented data indicate that the use of careful anatomo-electro-clinical criteria in the presurgical evaluation allows for customizing the extent of surgical disconnections in PQ epilepsies, with excellent results on seizures and an acceptable safety profile.

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Alex P. Michael, Matthew W. Weber, Kristin R. Delfino and Venkatanarayanan Ganapathy

OBJECTIVE

While long-term studies have evaluated adjacent-segment disease (ASD) following posterior lumbar spine arthrodesis, no such studies have assessed the incidence and prevalence of ASD following axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF). The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of ASD following AxiaLIF.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 149 patients who underwent two-level index AxiaLIF and had at least 2 years of radiographic and clinical follow-up. ASD and pre- and postoperative lumbar lordosis were evaluated in each patient. ASD was defined as both radiographic and clinically significant disease at a level adjacent to a previous fusion requiring surgical intervention. The mean duration of follow-up was 6.01 years.

RESULTS

Twenty (13.4%) of the 149 patients developed ASD during the data collection period. Kaplan-Meier analysis predicted a disease-free ASD survival rate of 95.3% (95% CI 90.4%–97.7%) at 2 years and 89.1% (95% CI 82.8%–93.2%) at 5 years for two-level fusion. A laminectomy adjacent to a fusion site was associated with 5.1 times the relative risk of developing ASD. Furthermore, the ASD group had significantly greater loss of lordosis than the no-ASD group (p = 0.033).

CONCLUSIONS

Following two-level AxiaLIF, the rate of symptomatic ASD warranting either decompression or arthrodesis was found to be 4.7% at 2 years and 10.9% at 5 years. Adjacent-segment decompression and postoperative loss of lumbar lordosis predicted future development of ASD. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest reported cohort of patients to undergo two-level AxiaLIF in the United States.