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Omer Doron, Tal Or, Limor Battino, Guy Rosenthal and Ofer Barnea

OBJECTIVE

Augmenting brain perfusion or reducing intracranial pressure (ICP) dose is the end target of many therapies in the neuro-critical care unit. Many present therapies rely on aggressive systemic interventions that may lead to untoward effects. Previous studies have used a cardiac-gated intracranial balloon pump (ICBP) to model hydrocephalus or to flatten the ICP waveform. The authors sought to sought to optimize ICBP activation parameters to improve cerebral physiological parameters in a swine model of raised ICP.

METHODS

The authors developed a cardiac-gated ICBP in which the volume, timing, and duty cycle (time relative to a single cardiac cycle) of balloon inflation could be altered. They studied the ICBP in a swine model of elevated ICP attained by continuous intracranial fluid infusion with continuous monitoring of systemic and cerebral physiological parameters, and defined two specific protocols of ICBP activation.

RESULTS

Eleven swine were studied, 3 of which were studied to define the optimal timing, volume, and duty cycle of balloon inflation. Eight swine were studied with two defined protocols at baseline and with ICP gradually raised to a mean of 30.5 mm Hg. ICBP activation caused a consistent modification of the ICP waveform. Two ICBP activation protocols were used. Balloon activation protocol A led to a consistent elevation in cerebral blood flow (8%–25% above baseline, p < 0.00001). Protocol B resulted in a modest reduction of ICP over time (8%–11%, p < 0.0001) at all ICP levels. Neither protocol significantly affected systemic physiological parameters.

CONCLUSIONS

The preliminary results indicate that optimized protocols of ICBP activation may have beneficial effects on cerebral physiological parameters, with minimal effect on systemic parameters. Further studies are warranted to explore whether ICBP protocols may be of clinical benefit in patients with brain injuries with increased ICP.

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Narihito Nagoshi, Osahiko Tsuji, Daisuke Nakashima, Ayano Takeuchi, Kaori Kameyama, Eijiro Okada, Nobuyuki Fujita, Mitsuru Yagi, Morio Matsumoto, Masaya Nakamura and Kota Watanabe

OBJECTIVE

Intramedullary cavernous hemangioma (CH) is a rare vascular lesion that is mainly characterized by the sudden onset of hemorrhage in young, asymptomatic patients, who then experience serious neurological deterioration. Despite the severity of this condition, the therapeutic approach and timing of intervention for CH remain matters of debate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics of CH patients before and after surgery and to identify prognostic indicators that affect neurological function in these patients.

METHODS

This single-center retrospective study included 66 patients who were treated for intramedullary CH. Among them, 57 underwent surgery and 9 patients received conservative treatment. The authors collected demographic, symptomology, imaging, neurological, and surgical data. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the prognostic indicators for neurological function.

RESULTS

When comparing patients with stable and unstable gait prior to surgery, patients with unstable gait had a higher frequency of hemorrhagic episodes (52.4% vs 19.4%, p = 0.010), as assessed by the modified McCormick Scale. The lesion was significantly smaller in patients who underwent conservative treatment compared with surgery (2.5 ± 1.5 mm vs 5.9 ± 4.1 mm, respectively; p = 0.024). Overall, the patients experienced significant neurological recovery after surgery, but a worse preoperative neurological status was identified as an indicator affecting surgical outcomes by multivariate analysis (OR 10.77, 95% CI 2.88–40.36, p < 0.001). In addition, a larger lesion size was significantly associated with poor functional recovery in patients who had an unstable gait prior to surgery (8.6 ± 4.5 mm vs 3.5 ± 1.6 mm, p = 0.011).

CONCLUSIONS

Once a hemorrhage occurs, surgical intervention should be considered to avoid recurrence of the bleeding and further neurological injury. In contrast, if the patients with larger lesion presented with worse preoperative functional status, surgical intervention could have a risk for aggravating the functional deficiencies by damaging the thinning cord parenchyma. Conservative treatment may be selected if the lesion is small, but regular neurological examination by MRI is needed for assessment of a change in lesion size and for detection of functional deterioration.

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Eva M. Wu, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Benjamin Kafka, James P. Caruso, Om J. Neeley, Aaron R. Plitt, Salah G. Aoun, Daiwai Olson, Robert A. Ruchinskas, C. Munro Cullum, Babu G. Welch, H. Hunt Batjer and Jonathan A. White

OBJECTIVE

Objective assessment tests are commonly used to predict the response to ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Whether subjective reports of improvement after a lumbar drain (LD) trial can predict response to VP shunting remains controversial. The goal in this study was to compare clinical characteristics, complication rates, and shunt outcomes of objective and subjective LD responders who underwent VP shunt placement.

METHODS

This was a retrospective review of patients with NPH who underwent VP shunt placement after clinical improvement with the LD trial. Patients who responded after the LD trial were subclassified into objective LD responders and subjective LD responders. Clinical characteristics, complication rates, and shunt outcomes between the 2 groups were compared with chi-square test of independence and t-test.

RESULTS

A total of 116 patients received a VP shunt; 75 were objective LD responders and 41 were subjective LD responders. There was no statistically significant difference in patient characteristics between the 2 groups, except for a shorter length of stay after LD trial seen with subjective responders. The complication rates after LD trial and VP shunting were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Similarly, there was no significant difference in shunt response between objective and subjective LD responders. The mean duration of follow-up was 1.73 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Reports of subjective improvement after LD trial in patients with NPH can be a reliable predictor of shunt response. The currently used objective assessment scales may not be sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in symptomatology after LD trial.

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Daniela de Souza Coelho, Bruno Fernandes de Oliveira Santos, Marcos Devanir Silva da Costa, Gisele Sampaio Silva, Sergio Cavalheiro, Flávia H. Santos and Feres Chaddad-Neto

OBJECTIVE

A cerebral arteriovenous malformation (cAVM) can change over time and cause symptoms, but clinical studies tend to define only the patients with ruptured cAVMs as symptomatic and do not consider neurocognitive aspects prior to neurosurgical intervention. The objective of this study was to describe the neurocognitive function of patients with ruptured and unruptured cAVMs according to the Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, flow status, and anatomical topography.

METHODS

In this blinded cross-sectional study, 70 patients of both sexes and ages 18–60 years were evaluated using the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery Neupsilin.

RESULTS

Of the 70 patients with cAVMs, 50 (71.4%) demonstrated deficits in at least one of the eight neurocognitive domains surveyed, although they did not exhibit neurological deficits. cAVMs in the temporal lobe were associated with memory deficits compared with the general population. The SM grade was not significantly associated with the results of patients with unruptured cAVMs. However, among patients with ruptured cAVMs, there were deficits in working memory in those with high-grade (SM grade) cAVMs and deficits in executive function (verbal fluency) in those with low-grade cAVMs (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

This study indicates that patients with untreated cAVMs, either ruptured or unruptured, already exhibit neurocognitive deficits, even the patients without other neurological symptoms. However, the scales used to evaluate disability in the main clinical studies, such as A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (ARUBA), do not assess neurocognitive alterations and therefore disregard any deficits that may affect quality of life. The authors’ finding raises an important question about the effects of interventional treatment because it reinforces the hypothesis that cognitive alterations may be preexisting and not determined by interventions.

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Sravanthi Koduri, D. Andrew Wilkinson, Julius M. Griauzde, Joseph J. Gemmete and Cormac O. Maher

Moyamoya syndrome predisposes patients to ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke due to progressive narrowing of intracranial vessels with subsequent small-vessel collateralization. Dural arteriovenous fistulae (DAVFs) are most commonly noted after venous sinus or cortical vein thrombosis and are believed to be primarily due to venous hypertension and elevated sinus pressures, although there is no known association with moyamoya syndrome, or with surgical treatment for moyamoya disease (MMD). The authors present the case of a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome treated using pial synangiosis for MMD who subsequently was noted to have bilateral DAVFs. This case provides a new perspective on the origins and underlying pathophysiology of both moyamoya syndrome and DAVFs, and also serves to highlight the importance of monitoring the moyamoya population closely for de novo cerebrovascular changes after revascularization procedures.

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Elizabeth N. Alford, Lauren E. Rotman, Matthew S. Erwood, Robert A. Oster, Matthew C. Davis, H. Bruce C. Pittman, H. Evan Zeiger and Winfield S. Fisher III

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to describe the development of a novel prognostic score, the Subdural Hematoma in the Elderly (SHE) score. The SHE score is intended to predict 30-day mortality in elderly patients (those > 65 years of age) with an acute, chronic, or mixed-density subdural hematoma (SDH) after minor, or no, prior trauma.

METHODS

The authors used the Prognosis Research Strategy group methods to develop the clinical prediction model. The training data set included patients with acute, chronic, and mixed-density SDH. Based on multivariate analyses from a large data set, in addition to review of the extant literature, 3 components to the score were selected: age, admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, and SDH volume. Patients are given 1 point if they are over 80 years old, 1 point for an admission GCS score of 5–12, 2 points for an admission GCS score of 3–4, and 1 point for SDH volume > 50 ml. The sum of points across all categories determines the SHE score.

RESULTS

The 30-day mortality rate steadily increased as the SHE score increased for all SDH acuities. For patients with an acute SDH, the 30-day mortality rate was 3.2% for SHE score of 0, and the rate increased to 13.1%, 32.7%, 95.7%, and 100% for SHE scores of 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The model was most accurate for acute SDH (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.94), although it still performed well for chronic (AUC = 0.80) and mixed-density (AUC = 0.87) SDH.

CONCLUSIONS

The SHE score is a simple clinical grading scale that accurately stratifies patients’ risk of mortality based on age, admission GCS score, and SDH volume. Use of the SHE score could improve counseling of patients and their families, allow for standardization of clinical treatment protocols, and facilitate clinical research studies in SDH.

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Signe Elmose, Mikkel Ø. Andersen, Else Bay Andresen and Leah Yacat Carreon

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of tranexamic acid (TXA) compared to placebo in low-risk adult patients undergoing elective minor lumbar spine surgery—specifically with respect to operative time, estimated blood loss, and complications. Studies have shown that TXA reduces blood loss during major spine surgery. There have been no previous studies on the effect of TXA in minor lumbar spine surgery in which these variables have been evaluated.

METHODS

The authors enrolled patients with ASA grades 1 to 2 scheduled to undergo lumbar decompressive surgery at Middelfart Hospital into a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. Patients with thromboembolic disease, coagulopathy, hypersensitivity to TXA, or a history of convulsion were excluded. Patients were randomly assigned, in blocks of 10, to one of 2 groups, TXA or placebo. Anticoagulation therapy was discontinued 2–7 days preoperatively. Prior to the incision, patients received either a bolus of TXA (10 mg/kg) or an equivalent volume of saline solution (placebo). Independent t-tests were used to compare differences between the 2 groups, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Of the 250 patients enrolled, 17 patients were excluded, leaving 233 cases for analysis (117 in the TXA group and 116 in the placebo group). The demographics of the 2 groups were similar, except for a higher proportion of women in the TXA group (TXA 50% vs placebo 32%, p = 0.017). There was no significant between-groups difference in operative time (49.53 ± 18.26 vs 54.74 ± 24.49 minutes for TXA and placebo, respectively; p = 0.108) or intraoperative blood loss (55.87 ± 48.48 vs 69.14 ± 83.47 ml for TXA and placebo, respectively; p = 0.702). Postoperative blood loss measured from drain output was 62% significantly lower in the TXA group (13.03 ± 21.82 ml) than in the placebo group (34.61 ± 44.38 ml) (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in number of dural lesions or postoperative spinal epidural hematomas, and there were no thromboembolic events.

CONCLUSIONS

Tranexamic acid did not have a statistically significant effect on operative time, intraoperative blood loss, or complications. This study gives no evidence to support the routine use of TXA during minor lumbar decompressive surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03714360 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Jacques J. Lara-Reyna, Rafael Uribe-Cardenas, Imali Perera, Nicholas Szerlip, Anastasios Giamouriadis, Nicole Savage, Therese Haussner and Mark M. Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

Removal of colloid cysts of the third ventricle using a purely endoscopic method has been established as a safe and advantageous technique. It is hypothesized that endoscopic removal in recurrent cases might pose more technical challenges and result in less success. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and outcomes of using a purely endoscopic approach for the management of recurrent colloid cysts compared to primary cysts.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients who underwent purely endoscopic removal of their colloid cyst. Descriptive statistics were compared for patients undergoing surgery for a recurrent cyst and those for a control cohort undergoing surgery for a primary cyst. Bivariate analysis was conducted using a Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables and Mann-Whitney U-test for continuous variables.

RESULTS

In total, 121 patients had a primary colloid cyst endoscopically removed and 10 patients had a total of 11 recurrent cysts removed. Recurrence or progression after surgery occurred in 3 (2.5%) cases in the primary cyst group and 2 (18.2%) cases in the recurrent cyst group. Symptomatic presentation during the follow-up period occurred in 6 (54.5%) cases in the recurrent cyst group versus 75 (62%) cases in the primary cyst group (p = 0.749). Two patients (20%) in the recurrent group had a second recurrence in a mean period of 30 months (1 patient at 15 and 1 patient at 45 months). One of these patients required a tertiary endoscopic removal 8 years after the second resection. No immediate postoperative complications or new morbidities were observed after repeat endoscopic surgery. The authors’ findings indicated a nonsignificant trend toward a higher recurrence rate (18.2% vs 2.5%, p = 0.055) and a decreased proportion of complete removal (90.9% vs 81.8%, p = 0.296) in the recurrent cyst group compared to the primary cyst group. However, a significantly higher rate of preoperative hydrocephalus was observed in the primary cyst group compared with the recurrent cyst group (63.6% vs 18.2%, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Purely endoscopic approaches for the removal of recurrent colloid cysts of the third ventricle are feasible and equally safe compared with endoscopic removal of primary cysts. The study’s findings did not show a statistically significant difference in the rate of recurrence between the 2 groups. The proportion of patients with symptomatic cysts on presentation was lower in patients with recurrent cysts than in patients with primary cysts. Due to the high rate of complete removal with negligible morbidity, the authors continue to advocate for an endoscopic removal at the time of cyst recurrence.

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Lukas Goertz, Christina Hamisch, Christoph Kabbasch, Jan Borggrefe, Marion Hof, Anna-Katharina Dempfle, Moritz Lenschow, Pantelis Stavrinou, Marco Timmer, Gerrit Brinker, Roland Goldbrunner and Boris Krischek

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral infarction is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality related to microsurgical clipping of intracranial aneurysms. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of aneurysm shape and neck configuration on cerebral infarction after aneurysm surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed consecutive cases of ruptured and unruptured aneurysms treated with microsurgical clipping at their institution between 2010 and 2018. Three-dimensional reconstructions from preoperative computed tomography and digital subtraction angiography were used to determine aneurysm shape (regular/complex) and neck configuration (regular/irregular). Morphological and procedure-related risk factors for cerebral infarction were identified using univariate and multivariate statistical analyses.

RESULTS

Among 243 patients with 252 aneurysms (148 ruptured, 104 unruptured), the overall cerebral infarction rate was 17.1%. Infarction tended to occur more often in aneurysms with complex shape (p = 0.084). Likewise, aneurysms with an irregular neck had a significantly higher rate of infarction (37.5%) than aneurysms with regular neck configuration (10.1%, p < 0.001). Aneurysms with an irregular neck were associated with a higher rate of intraoperative rupture (p = 0.003) and temporary parent artery occlusion (p = 0.037). In the multivariate analysis, irregular neck configuration was identified as an independent risk factor for infarction (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.9–9.4, p < 0.001), whereas the association between aneurysm shape and infarction was not significant (p = 0.966).

CONCLUSIONS

Irregular aneurysm neck configuration represents an independent risk factor for cerebral infarction during microsurgical clipping of both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.

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Shan Wang, Yingying Tang, Thandar Aung, Cong Chen, Masaya Katagiri, Stephen E. Jones, Richard A. Prayson, Balu Krishnan, Jorge A. Gonzalez-Martinez, Richard C. Burgess, Imad M. Najm, Andreas V. Alexopoulos, Shuang Wang, Meiping Ding and Zhong Irene Wang

OBJECTIVE

Presurgical evaluation of patients with operculoinsular epilepsy and negative MRI presents major challenges. Here the authors examined the yield of noninvasive modalities such as voxel-based morphometric MRI postprocessing, FDG-PET, subtraction ictal SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a cohort of patients with operculoinsular epilepsy and negative MRI.

METHODS

Twenty-two MRI-negative patients were included who had focal ictal onset from the operculoinsular cortex on intracranial EEG, and underwent focal resection limited to the operculoinsular cortex. MRI postprocessing was applied to presurgical T1-weighted volumetric MRI using a morphometric analysis program (MAP). Individual and combined localization yields of MAP, FDG-PET, MEG, and SISCOM were compared with the ictal onset location on intracranial EEG. Seizure outcomes were reported at 1 year and 2 years (when available) using the Engel classification.

RESULTS

Ten patients (45.5%, 10/22) had operculoinsular abnormalities on MAP; 5 (23.8%, 5/21) had operculoinsular hypometabolism on FDG-PET; 4 (26.7%, 4/15) had operculoinsular hyperperfusion on SISCOM; and 6 (30.0%, 6/20) had an MEG cluster (3 tight, 3 loose) within the operculoinsular cortex. The highest yield of a 2-test combination was 59.1%, seen with MAP and SISCOM, followed by 54.5% with MAP and FDG-PET, and also 54.5% with MAP and MEG. The highest yield of a 3-test combination was 68.2%, seen with MAP, MEG, and SISCOM. The yield of the 4-test combination remained at 68.2%. When all other tests were negative or nonlocalizing, unique information was provided by MAP in 5, MEG in 1, SISCOM in 2, and FDG-PET in none of the patients. One-year follow-up was available in all patients, and showed 11 Engel class IA, 4 class IB, 4 class II, and 3 class III/IV. Two-year follow-up was available in 19 patients, and showed 9 class IA, 3 class IB, 1 class ID, 3 class II, and 3 class III/IV.

CONCLUSIONS

This study highlights the individual and combined values of multiple noninvasive modalities for the evaluation of nonlesional operculoinsular epilepsy. The 3-test combination of MAP, MEG, and SISCOM represented structural, interictal, and ictal localization information, and constituted the highest yield. MAP showed the highest yield of unique information when other tests were negative or nonlocalizing.