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Robert J. Morecraft, Kimberly S. Stilwell-Morecraft, Jizhi Ge, Alexander Kraskov, and Roger N. Lemon

OBJECTIVE

In some cases of incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (iSCI) there is marked paresis and dysfunction of upper-extremity movement but not lower-extremity movement. A continued explanation of such symptoms is a somatotopic organization of corticospinal tract (CST) fibers passing through the decussation at the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) and lateral CST (LCST). In central cord syndrome, it has been suggested that injury to the core of the cervical cord may include selective damage to medially located arm/hand LCST fibers, without compromising laterally located leg fibers. Because such somatotopic organization in the primate CST might contribute to the disproportionate motor deficits after some forms of iSCI, the authors made a systematic investigation of CST organization in the CVJ and LCST using modern neuroanatomical techniques.

METHODS

High-resolution anterograde tracers were used in 11 rhesus macaque monkeys to define the course of the corticospinal projection (CSP) through the CVJ and LCST from the arm/hand, shoulder, and leg areas of the primary motor cortex (M1). This approach labels CST fibers of all sizes, large and small, arising in these areas. The CSP from the dorsolateral and ventrolateral premotor cortex and supplementary motor area were also studied. A stereological approach was adapted to quantify labeled fiber distribution in 8 cases.

RESULTS

There was no evidence for somatotopic organization of CST fibers passing through the CVJ or contralateral LCST. Fiber labeling from each cortical representation was widespread throughout the CST at the CVJ and LCST and overlapped extensively with fibers from other representations. This study demonstrated no significant difference between medial versus lateral subsectors of the LCST in terms of number of fibers labeled from the M1 arm/hand area.

CONCLUSIONS

This investigation firmly rejects the concept of somatotopy among CST fibers passing through the CVJ and LCST, in contrast with the somatotopy in the cortex, corona radiata, and internal capsule. All CST fibers in the CVJ and LCST would thus appear to be equally susceptible to focal or diffuse injury, regardless of their cortical origin. The disproportionate impairment of arm/hand movement after iSCI must therefore be due to other factors, including greater dependence of hand/arm movements on the CST compared with the lower limb. The dispersed and intermingled nature of frontomotor fibers may be important in motor recovery after cervical iSCI.

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Mohamed A. R. Soliman, Asham Khan, John Pollina, and Jeffrey P. Mullin

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Noor H. Maria and Qurrat A. Siddiq

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Paula Alcazar and Juan Casado Pellejero

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Branko Popadic, Florian Scheichel, Daniel Pinggera, Michael Weber, Karl Ungersboeck, Melitta Kitzwoegerer, Thomas Roetzer, Stefan Oberndorfer, Camillo Sherif, Christian F. Freyschlag, and Franz Marhold

OBJECTIVE

Atypical and anaplastic meningiomas account for 20% of all meningiomas. An irregular tumor shape on preoperative MRI has been associated with WHO grade II–III histology. However, this subjective allocation does not allow quantification or comparison. An objective parameter of irregularity could substantially influence resection strategy toward a more aggressive approach. Therefore, the aim of this study was to objectively quantify the level of irregularity on preoperative MRI and predict histology based on WHO grade using this novel approach.

METHODS

A retrospective study on meningiomas resected between January 2010 and December 2018 was conducted at two neurosurgical centers. This novel approach relies on the theory that a regularly shaped tumor has a smaller surface area than an irregularly shaped tumor with the same volume. A factor was generated using the surface area of a corresponding sphere as a reference, because for a given volume a sphere represents the shape with the smallest surface area possible. Consequently, the surface factor (SF) was calculated by dividing the surface area of a sphere with the same volume as the tumor with the surface area of the tumor. The resulting value of the SF ranges from > 0 to 1. Finally, the SF of each meningioma was then correlated with the corresponding histopathological grading.

RESULTS

A total of 126 patients were included in this study; 60.3% had a WHO grade I, 34.9% a WHO grade II, and 4.8% a WHO grade III meningioma. Calculation of the SF demonstrated a significant difference in SFs between WHO grade I (SF 0.851) and WHO grade II–III meningiomas (SF 0.788) (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified SF as an independent prognostic factor for WHO grade (OR 0.000009, 95% CI 0.000–0.159; p = 0.020).

CONCLUSIONS

The SF is a proposed mathematical model for a quantitative and objective measurement of meningioma shape, instead of the present subjective assessment. This study revealed significant differences between the SFs of WHO grade I and WHO grade II–III meningiomas and demonstrated that SF is an independent prognostic factor for WHO grade.

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Sungho Lee, Aditya Srivatsan, Visish M. Srinivasan, Stephen R. Chen, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Jeremiah N. Johnson, Daniel M. S. Raper, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

Surgical evacuation of chronic subdural hematoma (SDH) in cancer patients is often contraindicated owing to refractory thrombocytopenia. Middle meningeal artery embolization (MMAE) recently emerged as a potential alternative to surgical evacuation for patients with chronic SDH. The goal of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MMAE for chronic SDH in cancer patients with refractory thrombocytopenia.

METHODS

A multiinstitutional registry was reviewed for clinical and radiographic outcomes of cancer patients with transfusion-refractory thrombocytopenia and baseline platelet count < 75 K/µl, who underwent MMAE for chronic SDH.

RESULTS

MMAE was performed on a total of 31 SDHs in 22 patients, with a mean ± SD (range) platelet count of 42.1 ± 18.3 (9–74) K/µl. At the longest follow-up, 24 SDHs (77%) had reduced in size, with 15 (48%) showing > 50% reduction. Two patients required surgical evacuation after MMAE. There was only 1 procedural complication; however, 16 patients (73%) ultimately died of cancer-related complications. Median survival was significantly longer in the 16 patients with improved SDH than the 6 patients with worsened SDH after MMAE (185 vs 24 days, p = 0.029). Length of procedure, technical success rate, SDH size reduction, and complication rate were not significantly differ between patients who underwent transfemoral and transradial approaches.

CONCLUSIONS

Transfemoral or transradial MMAE is a potential therapeutic option for thrombocytopenic cancer patients with SDH. However, treatment benefit may be marginal for patients with high disease burden and limited life expectancy. A prospective trial is warranted to address these questions.

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Gautam U. Mehta, Joel Z. Passer, Shaan M. Raza, Betty Y. S. Kim, Shirley Y. Su, Michael E. Kupferman, Ehab Y. Hanna, and Franco DeMonte

OBJECTIVE

Sinonasal malignancies that extend to the anterior skull base frequently require neurosurgical intervention. The development of techniques for craniofacial resection revolutionized the management of these neoplasms, but modern and long-term data are lacking, particularly those related to the incorporation of endoscopic techniques and novel adjuvant chemotherapeutics into management schema. The present study was performed to better define the utility of surgical management and to determine factors related to outcome.

METHODS

Patients who underwent surgery between 1993 and 2020 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Only patients with greater than 6 months of clinical and radiological follow-up were included. Outcome measures included progression, survival, and treatment-related complications.

RESULTS

Two hundred twenty-five patients were included. The mean clinical follow-up was 6.5 years. The most common histological diagnosis was olfactory neuroblastoma (33%). Overall, metastatic disease and brain invasion were present in 8% and 19% of patients, respectively, at the time of surgery. A lumbar drain was used in 54% of patients. When stratified by decade, higher-stage disease at surgery became more frequent over time (15% of patients had metastatic disease in the 3rd decade of the study period vs 4% in the 1st decade). Despite the inclusion of patients with progressively higher-stage disease, median overall survival (OS) remained stable in each decade at approximately 10 years (p = 0.16). OS was significantly worse in patients with brain invasion (p = 0.006) or metastasis at the time of surgery (p = 0.014). Complications occurred after 28% of operations, but typically resulted in no long-term negative sequelae. Use of a lumbar drain was a significant predictor of complications (p = 0.02). Permanent ophthalmological disabilities were observed after 4% of surgical procedures. One patient died during the perioperative period. Finally, major complications (Clavien-Dindo grade ≥ IIIb) decreased from 27% of patients in the 1st decade to 10% in the 3rd decade (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

The surgical management of sinonasal malignancies with anterior skull base involvement is effective and generally safe. Surgical management, however, is only one facet of the overall multimodal management paradigms created to optimize patient outcomes. Survival outcomes have remained stable despite more extensive disease at surgery in patients who have presented in recent decades. The safety of such surgery has improved over time owing to the incorporation of endoscopic surgical techniques and the avoidance of lumbar spinal drainage with open resection.

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Solon Schur, Jeremy T. Moreau, Hui Ming Khoo, Andreas Koupparis, Elisabeth Simard Tremblay, Kenneth A. Myers, Bradley Osterman, Bernard Rosenblatt, Jean-Pierre Farmer, Christine Saint-Martin, Sophie Turpin, Jeff Hall, Andre Olivier, Andrea Bernasconi, Neda Bernasconi, Sylvain Baillet, Francois Dubeau, Jean Gotman, and Roy W. R. Dudley

OBJECTIVE

In an attempt to improve postsurgical seizure outcomes for poorly defined cases (PDCs) of pediatric focal epilepsy (i.e., those that are not visible or well defined on 3T MRI), the authors modified their presurgical evaluation strategy. Instead of relying on concordance between video-electroencephalography and 3T MRI and using functional imaging and intracranial recording in select cases, the authors systematically used a multimodal, 3-tiered investigation protocol that also involved new collaborations between their hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and the Montreal Neurological Institute. In this study, the authors examined how their new strategy has impacted postsurgical outcomes. They hypothesized that it would improve postsurgical seizure outcomes, with the added benefit of identifying a subset of tests contributing the most.

METHODS

Chart review was performed for children with PDCs who underwent resection following the new strategy (i.e., new protocol [NP]), and for the same number who underwent treatment previously (i.e., preprotocol [PP]); ≥ 1-year follow-up was required for inclusion. Well-defined, multifocal, and diffuse hemispheric cases were excluded. Preoperative demographics and clinical characteristics, resection volumes, and pathology, as well as seizure outcomes (Engel class Ia vs > Ia) at 1 year postsurgery and last follow-up were reviewed.

RESULTS

Twenty-two consecutive NP patients were compared with 22 PP patients. There was no difference between the two groups for resection volumes, pathology, or preoperative characteristics, except that the NP group underwent more presurgical evaluation tests (p < 0.001). At 1 year postsurgery, 20 of 22 NP patients and 10 of 22 PP patients were seizure free (OR 11.81, 95% CI 2.00–69.68; p = 0.006). Magnetoencephalography and PET/MRI were associated with improved postsurgical seizure outcomes, but both were highly correlated with the protocol group (i.e., independent test effects could not be demonstrated).

CONCLUSIONS

A new presurgical evaluation strategy for children with PDCs of focal epilepsy led to improved postsurgical seizure freedom. No individual presurgical evaluation test was independently associated with improved outcome, suggesting that it may be the combined systematic protocol and new interinstitutional collaborations that makes the difference rather than any individual test.

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Attila Rácz, Kathryn Menne, Valeri Borger, Kevin G. Hampel, Hartmut Vatter, Christoph Helmstaedter, Christian E. Elger, and Rainer Surges

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to compare complications, seizures, and neuropsychological outcomes after resective epilepsy surgery in patients ≥ 60 years of age who underwent operations to younger and matched controls.

METHODS

Charts of 2243 patients were screened for operated patients in the authors’ center between 2000 and 2015. Patients with available postsurgical follow-up data who were operated on at the age of 60 years or older and matched (by gender, histopathology, and side of surgery) controls who were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of surgery were included. Outcomes regarding postoperative seizure control were scored according to the Engel classification and group comparisons were performed by using chi-square statistics.

RESULTS

Data of 20 older patients were compared to those of 60 younger controls. Postoperative seizure control was favorable in the majority of the elderly patients (Engel classes I and II: 75% at 12 months, 65% at last follow-up), but the proportion of patients with favorable outcome tended to be larger in the control group (Engel classes I and II: 90% at 12 months, p = 0.092; 87% at last follow-up, p = 0.032, chi-square test). The surgical complication rate was higher in the elderly population (65% vs 27%, p = 0.002), but relevant persistent deficits occurred in 2 patients of each group only. Neuropsychological and behavioral assessments displayed considerable preoperative impairment and additional postoperative worsening, particularly of verbal skills, memory (p < 0.05), and mood in the elderly.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall favorable postsurgical outcome regarding seizure control and the moderate risk of disabling persistent neurological deficits in elderly patients supports the view that advanced age should not be a barrier per se for resective epilepsy surgery and underscores the importance of an adequate presurgical evaluation and of referral of elderly patients to presurgical assessment.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Veronica Parisi, Gregory A. Worrell, Kai J. Miller, W. Richard Marsh, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

The prevalence of epilepsy in the older adult population is increasing. While surgical intervention in younger patients is supported by level I evidence, the safety and efficacy of epilepsy surgery in older individuals is less well established. The aim of this study was to evaluate seizure freedom rates and surgical outcomes in older epilepsy patients.

METHODS

The authors’ institutional electronic database was queried for patients older than 50 who had undergone epilepsy surgery during 2002–2018. Cases were grouped into 50–59, 60–69, and 70+ years old. Seizure freedom at the last follow-up constituted the primary outcome of interest. The institutional analysis was supplemented by a literature review and meta-analysis (random effects model) of all published studies on this topic as well as by an analysis of complication rates, mortality rates, and cost data from a nationwide administrative database (Vizient Inc., years 2016–2019).

RESULTS

A total of 73 patients (n = 16 for 50–59 years, n = 47 for 60–69, and n = 10 for 70+) were treated at the authors’ institution. The median age was 63 years, and 66% of the patients were female. At a median follow-up of 24 months, seizure freedom was 73% for the overall cohort, 63% for the 50–59 group, 77% for the 60–69 group, and 70% for the 70+ group. The literature search identified 15 additional retrospective studies (474 cases). Temporal lobectomy was the most commonly performed procedure (73%), and mesial temporal sclerosis was the most common pathology (52%), followed by nonspecific gliosis (19%). The pooled mean follow-up was 39 months (range 6–114.8 months) with a pooled seizure freedom rate of 65% (95% CI 59%–72%). On multivariable meta-regression analysis, an older mean age at surgery (coefficient [coeff] 2.1, 95% CI 1.1–3.1, p < 0.001) and the presence of mesial temporal sclerosis (coeff 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.6, p = 0.015) were the most important predictors of seizure freedom. Finally, analysis of the Vizient database revealed mortality rates of 0.5%, 1.1%, and 9.6%; complication rates of 7.1%, 10.1%, and 17.3%; and mean hospital costs of $31,977, $34,586, and $40,153 for patients aged 50–59, 60–69, and 70+ years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

While seizure-free outcomes of epilepsy surgery are excellent, there is an expected increase in morbidity and mortality with increasing age. Findings in this study on the safety and efficacy of epilepsy surgery in the older population may serve as a useful guide during preoperative decision-making and patient counseling.