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Changrong Zhu, Jianhua Wang, Zenghui Wu, Xiangyang Ma, Fuzhi Ai and Hong Xia

OBJECTIVE

Although transoral atlantoaxial reduction plate (TARP) surgery has been confirmed to be safe and effective for adults who have irreducible atlantoaxial dislocation (IAAD) with or without basilar invagination or upper cervical revision surgery, it is rarely used to treat these disorders in children. The authors of this study aimed to report on the use of the anterior technique in treating pediatric IAAD.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, the authors identified 8 consecutive patients with IAAD who had undergone surgical reduction at a single institution in the period between January 2011 and June 2104. The patients consisted of 5 males and 3 females. Three had os odontoideum, 2 had basilar invagination, and the other 3 experienced atlantoaxial rotatory fixed dislocation (AARFD). They were all treated using transoral anterior release, reduction, and fusion with the TARP. Preoperative and postoperative CT scans and MR images were obtained. American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale grades were determined.

RESULTS

All symptoms were relieved in all 8 patients but to varying degrees. Intraoperative loose reduction and fixation of C1–2 were achieved in one stage. The 4 patients with preoperative neurological deficits were significantly improved after surgery, and their latest follow-ups indicated that their ASIA Impairment Scale grades had improved to E. Postoperative pneumonia occurred in 1 patient but was under complete control after anti-infective therapy and fiber optic–guided sputum suction.

CONCLUSIONS

One-stage transoral anterior release, reduction, and fixation is an effective, reliable, and safe means of treating pediatric IAAD. The midterm clinical results are satisfactory, with the technique eliminating the need for interval traction and/or second-stage posterior instrumentation and fusion.

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Nathan J. Winans, Justine J. Liang, Bradley Ashcroft, Stephen Doyle, Adam Fry, Susan M. Fiore, Sima Mofakham and Charles B. Mikell

OBJECTIVE

Severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) carries significant morbidity and mortality. It remains difficult to counsel families on functional prognosis and plan research initiatives aimed at treating traumatic coma. In order to better address these problems, the authors set out to develop statistical models using retrospective data to identify admission characteristics that correlate with time until the return of consciousness, defined as the time to follow commands (TFC). These results were then used to create a TFC score, allowing for rapid identification of patients with predicted prolonged TFC.

METHODS

Data were reviewed and collected from medical records of sTBI patients with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) motor subscores ≤ 5 who were admitted to Stony Brook University Hospital from January 2011 to July 2018. Data were used to calculate descriptive statistics and build binary logistic regression models to identify admission characteristics that correlated with in-hospital mortality and in-hospital command-following. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify admission characteristics that correlated with the length of TFC. A TFC score was developed using the significant variables identified in the Cox regression model.

RESULTS

There were 402 adult patients who met the inclusion criteria for this study. The average age was 50.5 years, and 122 (30.3%) patients were women. In-hospital mortality was associated with older age, higher Injury Severity Score (ISS), higher Rotterdam score (head CT grading system), and the presence of bilateral fixed and dilated pupils (p < 0.01). In-hospital command-following was anticorrelated with age, ISS, Rotterdam score, and the presence of a single fixed and dilated pupil (p < 0.05). TFC was anticorrelated with age, ISS, Rotterdam score, and the presence of a single fixed and dilated pupil. Additionally, patients who sustained injuries from falls from standing height had a shorter average TFC. The 3 significant variables from the Cox regression model that explained the most variance were used to create a 4-point TFC score. The most significant of these characteristics were Rotterdam head CT scores, high impact traumas, and the presence of a single fixed and dilated pupil. Importantly, the presence of a single fixed and dilated pupil was correlated with longer TFC but no increase in likelihood of in-hospital mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The creation of the 4-point TFC score will allow clinicians to quickly identify patients with predicted prolonged TFC and estimate the likelihood of command-following at different times after injury. Discussions with family members should take into account the likelihood that patients will return to consciousness and survive after TBI.

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Ruth Prieto and José M. Pascual

Percival S. Bailey (1892–1973) was a scholar, neuroscientist, neuropathologist, and neurosurgeon who made decisive contributions in the field of neuro-oncology. Far less known are his groundbreaking insights into understanding hypothalamic physiology through the study of craniopharyngiomas. As one of Harvey W. Cushing’s most talented trainees, Bailey was instrumental in developing Cushing’s project of a histologically based prognostic classification of brain tumors. He worked at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital on and off between 1919 and 1928, owing to frequent clashes with his mentor. A major cause of this long-term conflict was Bailey’s 1921 experimental demonstration of the hypothalamic origin of diabetes insipidus and Fröhlich’s syndrome. This finding challenged Cushing’s view that both alterations were due to pituitary gland insufficiency. In a seminal monograph written with John F. Fulton in 1929, both authors provided the first comprehensive account of the specific hypothalamic disturbances caused by tumors that originated within the infundibulum and third ventricle. The methodical study of Cushing’s craniopharyngioma specimens allowed Bailey to recognize the close contact between these lesions and hypothalamic nuclei, a key concept that Bailey originally advanced for proper surgical planning. This article aims to credit Bailey for his pioneering definition of craniopharyngiomas as tumors with a true intrahypothalamic position.

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William T. Burke, David L. Penn, Joseph P. Castlen, Daniel A. Donoho, Caroline S. Repetti, Sherry Iuliano, Garni Barkhoudarian and Edward R. Laws Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Prolactinoma and nonfunctioning adenoma (NFA) are the most common sellar pathologies, and both can present with hyperprolactinemia. There are no definitive studies analyzing the relationship between the sizes of prolactinomas and NFAs and the serum prolactin level. Current guidelines for serum prolactin level cutoffs to distinguish between pathologies are suboptimal because they fail to consider the adenoma volume. In this study, the authors attempted to describe the relationship between serum prolactin level and prolactinoma volume. They also examined the predictive value that can be gained by considering tumor volume in differentiating prolactinoma from NFA and provide cutoff values based on a large sample of patients.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients with prolactinomas (n = 76) and NFAs (n = 217) was performed. Patients were divided into groups based on adenoma volume, and the two pathologies were compared.

RESULTS

A strong correlation was found between prolactinoma volume and serum prolactin level (r = 0.831, p < 0.001). However, there was no significant correlation between NFA volume and serum prolactin level (r = −0.020, p = 0.773). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of three different adenoma volume groups was performed and resulted in different serum prolactin level cutoffs for each group. For group 1 (≤ 0.5 cm3), the most accurate cutoff was 43.65 μg/L (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.951); for group 2 (> 0.5 to 4 cm3), 60.05 μg/L (AUC = 0.949); and for group 3 (> 4 cm3), 248.15 μg/L (AUC = 1.0).

CONCLUSIONS

Prolactinoma volume has a significant impact on serum prolactin level, whereas NFA volume does not. This finding indicates that the amount of prolactin-producing tissue is a more important factor regarding serum prolactin level than absolute adenoma volume. Hence, volume should be a determining factor to distinguish between prolactinoma and NFA prior to surgery. Current serum prolactin threshold level guidelines are suboptimal and cannot be generalized across all adenoma volumes.

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Ahmed Kashkoush, Nitin Agarwal, Ashley Ayres, Victoria Novak, Yue-Fang Chang and Robert M. Friedlander

OBJECTIVE

The preoperative scrub has been shown to lower the incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs). Various scrubbing and gloving techniques exist; however, it is unknown how specific scrubbing technique influences SSI rates in neurosurgery. The authors aimed to assess whether the range of scrubbing practice in neurosurgery is associated with the incidence of SSIs.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database to identify all 90-day SSIs for neurosurgical procedures between 2012 and 2017 at one of their teaching hospitals. SSIs were classified by procedure type (craniotomy, shunt, fusion, or laminectomy). Surveys were administered to attending and resident physicians to understand the variation in scrubbing methods (wet vs dry, iodine vs chlorhexidine, single vs double glove). The chi-square followed by multivariate logistic regression analyses were utilized to identify independent predictors of SSI.

RESULTS

Forty-two operating physicians were included in the study (18 attending physicians, 24 resident physicians), who performed 14,200 total cases. Overall, SSI rates were 2.1% (296 SSIs of 14,200 total cases) and 2.0% (192 of 9,669 cases) for attending physicians and residents, respectively. Shunts were independently associated with an increased risk of SSI (OR 1.7 [95% CI 1.3–2.1]), whereas laminectomies were associated with a decreased SSI risk (OR 0.4 [95% CI 0.2–0.8]). Wet versus dry scrub (OR 0.9 [95% CI 0.6–1.4]), iodine versus chlorhexidine (OR 0.6 [95% CI 0.4–1.1]), and single- versus double-gloving (OR 1.1 [95% CI 0.8–1.4]) preferences were not associated with SSIs.

CONCLUSIONS

There is no evidence to suggest that perioperative infection is associated with personal scrubbing or gloving preference in neurosurgical procedures.

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Marion A. Hughes, Ronak H. Jani, Saeed Fakhran, Yue-Fang Chang, Barton F. Branstetter IV, Parthasarathy D. Thirumala and Raymond F. Sekula Jr.

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to identify preoperative imaging predictors of surgical success in patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia (cTN) undergoing microvascular decompression (MVD) via retrospective multivariate regression analysis.

METHODS

All included patients met criteria for cTN and underwent preoperative MRI prior to MVD. MR images were blindly graded regarding the presence and severity (i.e., mild or severe) of neurovascular compression (NVC). All patients were contacted by telephone to determine their postoperative pain status.

RESULTS

A total of 79 patients were included in this study. Sixty-two patients (78.5%) were pain-free without medication following MVD. The following findings were more commonly observed with the symptomatic nerve when compared to the contralateral asymptomatic nerve: NVC (any form), arterial compression alone, NVC along the proximal trigeminal nerve, and severe NVC (p values < 0.0001). The only imaging variable that was a statistically significant predictor of being pain-free without medication following MVD was severe NVC. Patients with severe NVC were 6.36 times more likely to be pain-free following MVD compared to those without severe NVC (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with cTN undergoing MVD, severe NVC on preoperative MRI is a strong predictor of an excellent surgical outcome.

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Michal M. Andelman-Gur, Tomer Gazit, Fani Andelman, Svetlana Kipervasser, Uri Kramer, Miri Y. Neufeld, Itzhak Fried and Firas Fahoum

OBJECTIVE

Experiential phenomena (EP), such as illusions and complex hallucinations, are vivid experiences created in one’s mind. They can occur spontaneously as epileptic auras or can be elicited by electrical brain stimulation (EBS) in patients undergoing presurgical evaluation for drug-resistant epilepsy. Previous work suggests that EP arise from activation of different nodes within interconnected neural networks mainly in the temporal lobes. Yet, the anatomical extent of these neural networks has not been described and the question of lateralization of EP has not been fully addressed. To this end, an extended number of brain regions in which electrical stimulation elicited EP were studied to test whether there is a lateralization propensity to EP phenomena.

METHODS

A total of 19 drug-resistant focal epilepsy patients who underwent EBS as part of invasive presurgical evaluation and who experienced EP during the stimulation were included. Spatial dispersion of visual and auditory illusions and complex hallucinations in each hemisphere was determined by calculation of Euclidean distances between electrodes and their centroid in common space, based on (x, y, z) Cartesian coordinates of electrode locations.

RESULTS

In total, 5857 stimulation epochs were analyzed; 917 stimulations elicited responses, out of which 130 elicited EP. Complex visual hallucinations were found to be widely dispersed in the right hemisphere, while they were tightly clustered in the occipital lobe of the left hemisphere. Visual illusions were elicited mostly in the occipital lobes bilaterally. Auditory illusions and hallucinations were evoked symmetrically in the temporal lobes.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that complex visual hallucinations arise from wider spread in the right compared to the left hemisphere, possibly mirroring the asymmetry in the white matter organization of the two hemispheres. These results offer some insights into lateralized differences in functional organization and connectivity that may be important for functional mapping and planning of surgical resections in patients with epilepsy.

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Giovanni Raffa, Thomas Picht, Antonino Scibilia, Judith Rösler, Johannes Rein, Alfredo Conti, Giuseppe Ricciardo, Salvatore Massimiliano Cardali, Peter Vajkoczy and Antonino Germanò

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of convexity meningiomas is usually considered a low-risk procedure. Nevertheless, the risk of postoperative motor deficits is higher (7.1%–24.7% of all cases) for lesions located in the rolandic region, especially when an arachnoidal cleavage plane with the motor pathway is not identifiable. The authors analyzed the possible role of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) for planning resection of rolandic meningiomas and predicting the presence or lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane as well as the postoperative motor outcome.

METHODS

Clinical data were retrospectively collected from surgical cases involving patients affected by convexity, parasagittal, or falx meningiomas involving the rolandic region, who received preoperative nTMS mapping of the motor cortex (M1) and nTMS-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking of the corticospinal tract before surgery at 2 different neurosurgical centers. Surgeons’ self-reported evaluation of the impact of nTMS-based mapping on surgical strategy was analyzed. Moreover, the nTMS mapping accuracy was evaluated in comparison with intraoperative neurophysiological mapping (IONM). Lastly, we assessed the role of nTMS as well as other pre- and intraoperative parameters for predicting the patients’ motor outcome and the presence or absence of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane.

RESULTS

Forty-seven patients were included in this study. The nTMS-based planning was considered useful in 89.3% of cases, and a change of the surgical strategy was observed in 42.5% of cases. The agreement of nTMS-based planning and IONM-based strategy in 35 patients was 94.2%. A new permanent motor deficit occurred in 8.5% of cases (4 of 47). A higher resting motor threshold (RMT) and the lack of an intraoperative arachnoidal cleavage plane were the only independent predictors of a poor motor outcome (p = 0.04 and p = 0.02, respectively). Moreover, a higher RMT and perilesional edema also predicted the lack of an arachnoidal cleavage plane (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03, respectively). Preoperative motor status, T2 cleft sign, contrast-enhancement pattern, and tumor volume had no predictive value.

CONCLUSIONS

nTMS-based motor mapping is a useful tool for presurgical assessment of rolandic meningiomas, especially when a clear cleavage plane with M1 is not present. Moreover, the RMT can indicate the presence or absence of an intraoperative cleavage plane and predict the motor outcome, thereby helping to identify high-risk patients before surgery.

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Jennifer L. Quon, Lily H. Kim, Peter H. Hwang, Zara M. Patel, Gerald A. Grant, Samuel H. Cheshier and Michael S. B. Edwards

OBJECTIVE

Transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches constitute an essential technique for the resection of skull base tumors in adults. However, in the pediatric population, sellar and suprasellar lesions have historically been treated by craniotomy. Transnasal endoscopic approaches are less invasive and thus may be preferable to craniotomy, especially in children. In this case series, the authors present their institutional experience with transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches for pediatric skull base tumors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed pediatric patients (age ≤ 18 years) who had undergone transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches for either biopsy or resection of sellar or suprasellar lesions between 2007 and 2016. All operations were performed jointly by a team of pediatric neurosurgeons and skull base otolaryngologists, except for 8 cases performed by one neurosurgeon.

RESULTS

The series included 42 patients between 4 and 18 years old (average 12.5 years) who underwent 51 operations. Headache (45%), visual symptoms (69%), and symptoms related to hormonal abnormalities (71%) were the predominant presenting symptoms. Improvement in preoperative symptoms was seen in 92% of cases. Most patients had craniopharyngiomas (n = 16), followed by pituitary adenomas (n = 12), Rathke cleft cysts (n = 4), germinomas (n = 4), chordomas (n = 2), and other lesion subtypes (n = 4). Lesions ranged from 0.3 to 6.2 cm (median 2.5 cm) in their greatest dimension. Gross-total resection was primarily performed (63% of cases), with 5 subsequent recurrences. Nasoseptal flaps were used in 47% of cases, fat grafts in 37%, and lumbar drains in 47%. CSF space was entered intraoperatively in 15 cases, and postoperative CSF was observed only in lesions with suprasellar extension. There were 8 cases of new hormonal deficits and 3 cases of new cranial nerve deficits. Length of hospital stay ranged from 1 to 61 days (median 5 days). Patients were clinically followed up for a median of 46 months (range 1–120 months), accompanied by a median radiological follow-up period of 45 months (range 3.8–120 months). Most patients (76%) were offered adjuvant therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

In this single-institution report of the transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approach, the authors demonstrated that this technique is generally safe and effective for different types of pediatric skull base lesions. Favorable effects of surgery were sustained during a follow-up period of 4 years. Further refinement in technology will allow for more widespread use in the pediatric population.

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Benjamin K. Hendricks, James S. Yoon, Kurt Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, J Mocco, Reade A. De Leacy, Andrew F. Ducruet, Michael T. Lawton and Justin R. Mascitelli

OBJECTIVE

Wide-necked aneurysms (WNAs) are a variably defined subset of cerebral aneurysms that require more advanced endovascular and microsurgical techniques than those required for narrow-necked aneurysms. The neurosurgical literature includes many definitions of WNAs, and a systematic review has not been performed to identify the most commonly used or optimal definition. The purpose of this systematic review was to highlight the most commonly used definition of WNAs.

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed for the years 1998–2017, using the terms “wide neck aneurysm” and “broad neck aneurysm” to identify relevant articles. All results were screened for having a minimum of 30 patients and for clearly stating a definition of WNA. Reference lists for all articles meeting the inclusion criteria were also screened for eligibility.

RESULTS

The search of the neurosurgical literature identified 809 records, of which 686 were excluded (626 with < 30 patients; 60 for lack of a WNA definition), leaving 123 articles for analysis. Twenty-seven unique definitions were identified and condensed into 14 definitions. The most common definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm or dome-to-neck ratio < 2, which was used in 49 articles (39.8%). The second most commonly used definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm, which was used in 26 articles (21.1%). The rest of the definitions included similar parameters with variable thresholds. There was inconsistent reporting of the precise dome measurements used to determine the dome-to-neck ratio. Digital subtraction angiography was the only imaging modality used to study the aneurysm morphology in 87 of 122 articles (71.3%).

CONCLUSIONS

The literature has great variability regarding the definition of a WNA. The most prevalent definition is a neck diameter of ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio of < 2. Whether this is the most appropriate and clinically useful definition is an area for future study.