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## Effect of shorter nerve graft and selective motor branch of recipient nerve on nerve transfer surgery for elbow flexion in patients with brachial plexus injury

### OBJECTIVE

The spinal accessory nerve (SAN) is commonly used as a donor nerve for reinnervation of elbow flexors in brachial plexus injury (BPI) reconstruction. However, no study has compared the postoperative outcomes between SAN-to–musculocutaneous nerve (MCN) transfer and SAN-to–nerve to biceps (NTB) transfer. Thus, this study aimed to compare the postoperative time to recovery of elbow flexors between the two groups.

### METHODS

A total of 748 patients who underwent surgical treatment for BPI between 1999 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Among them, 233 patients were treated with nerve transfer for elbow flexion. Two techniques were used to harvest the recipient nerve: the standard dissection technique and the proximal dissection technique. The postoperative motor power of elbow flexion was assessed every month for 24 months using the Medical Research Council (MRC) grading system. Survival and Cox regression analyses were used to compare the time to recovery (MRC grade ≥ 3) between the two groups.

### RESULTS

Of the 233 patients who underwent nerve transfer surgery, there were 162 patients in the MCN group and 71 patients in the NTB group. At 24 months after surgery, the MCN group had a success rate of 74.1%, and the NTB group had a success rate of 81.7% (p = 0.208). When compared with the MCN group, the NTB group had a significantly shorter median time to recovery (19 months vs 21 months, p = 0.013). Only 11.1% of patients in the MCN group regained MRC grade 4 or 5 motor power 24 months after nerve transfer surgery compared with 39.4% patients in the NTB group (p < 0.001). Cox regression analysis showed that the SAN-to-NTB transfer in combination with the proximal dissection technique was the only significant factor affecting time to recovery (HR 2.33, 95% CI 1.46–3.72; p < 0.001).

### CONCLUSIONS

SAN-to-NTB transfer in combination with the proximal dissection technique is the preferred nerve transfer option for restoration of elbow flexion in traumatic pan-plexus palsy.

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## Effects of carotid revascularization on cognitive function and brain functional connectivity in carotid stenosis patients with cognitive impairment: a pilot study

### OBJECTIVE

Carotid stenosis can lead to both cognitive impairment (CI) and ischemic stroke. Although carotid revascularization surgery, which includes carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid artery stenting (CAS), can prevent future strokes, its effect on cognitive function is controversial. In this study, the authors examined resting-state functional connectivity (FC) in carotid stenosis patients with CI undergoing revascularization surgery, with a particular focus on the default mode network (DMN).

### METHODS

Twenty-seven patients with carotid stenosis who were scheduled to undergo CEA or CAS between April 2016 and December 2020 were prospectively enrolled. A cognitive assessment, including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), and Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), as well as resting-state functional MRI, was performed 1 week preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively. For FC analysis, a seed was placed in the region associated with the DMN. The patients were divided into two groups according to the preoperative MoCA score: a normal cognition (NC) group (MoCA score ≥ 26) and a CI group (MoCA score < 26). The difference in cognitive function and FC between the NC and CI groups was investigated first, and then the change in cognitive function and FC after carotid revascularization was investigated in the CI group.

### RESULTS

There were 11 and 16 patients in the NC and CI groups, respectively. The FC of the medial prefrontal cortex with the precuneus and that of the left lateral parietal cortex (LLP) with the right cerebellum were significantly lower in the CI group than in the NC group. In the CI group, significant improvements were found in MMSE (25.3 vs 26.8, p = 0.02), FAB (14.4 vs 15.6, p = 0.01), and MoCA scores (20.1 vs 23.9, p = 0.0001) after revascularization surgery. Significantly increased FC of the LLP with the right intracalcarine cortex, right lingual gyrus, and precuneus was observed after carotid revascularization. In addition, there was a significant positive correlation between the increased FC of the LLP with the precuneus and improvement in the MoCA score after carotid revascularization.

### CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that carotid revascularization, including CEA and CAS, might improve cognitive function based on brain FC in the DMN in carotid stenosis patients with CI.

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## Efficacy and safety of bevacizumab, irinotecan, and temozolomide combination for relapsed or refractory pediatric central nervous system embryonal tumor: a single-institution study

### OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with bevacizumab (Bev), irinotecan (CPT-11), and temozolomide (TMZ) in children with central nervous system (CNS) embryonal tumor relapse.

### METHODS

The authors retrospectively examined 13 consecutive pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory CNS embryonal tumors who received combination therapy comprising Bev, CPT-11, and TMZ. Specifically, 9 patients had medulloblastoma, 3 had atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), and 1 had CNS embryonal tumor with rhabdoid features. Of the 9 medulloblastoma cases, 2 were categorized in the Sonic hedgehog subgroup and 6 in molecular subgroup 3 for medulloblastoma.

### RESULTS

The complete and partial objective response rates were 66.6% in patients with medulloblastoma and 75.0% in patients with AT/RT or CNS embryonal tumors with rhabdoid features. Furthermore, the 12- and 24-month progression-free survival rates were 69.2% and 51.9% for all patients with recurrent or refractory CNS embryonal tumors, respectively. In contrast, the 12- and 24-month overall survival rates were 67.1% and 58.7%, respectively, for all patients with relapsed or refractory CNS embryonal tumors. The authors observed grade 3 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, proteinuria, hypertension, diarrhea, and constipation in 23.1%, 7.7%, 23.1%, 7.7%, 7.7%, and 7.7% of patients, respectively. Furthermore, grade 4 neutropenia was observed in 7.1% of patients. Nonhematological adverse effects, such as nausea and constipation, were mild and controlled with standard antiemetics.

### CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated favorable survival outcomes in patients with relapsed or refractory pediatric CNS embryonal tumors and thus helped to investigate the efficacy of combination therapy comprising Bev, CPT-11, and TMZ. Moreover, combination chemotherapy had high objective response rates, and all adverse events were tolerable. To date, data supporting the efficacy and safety of this regimen in the relapsed or refractory AT/RT population are limited. These findings suggest the potential efficacy and safety of combination chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory pediatric CNS embryonal tumors.

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## Endovascular treatment as first-line therapy in Spetzler-Martin grade III brain arteriovenous malformations: a multicenter retrospective study

### OBJECTIVE

The management of Spetzler-Martin grade (SMG) III brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) may be challenging, whatever the exclusion treatment modality chosen. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of endovascular treatment (EVT) as a first-line treatment of SMG III bAVMs.

### METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective, two-center, observational cohort study. Cases recorded in institutional databases between January 1998 and June 2021 were reviewed. Patients who were ≥ 18 years of age, had ruptured or unruptured SMG III bAVMs, and received EVT as first-line therapy were included. Baseline characteristics of patients and bAVMs, procedure-related complications, clinical outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale, and angiographic follow-up were assessed. The independent risk factors of procedure-related complications and poor clinical outcome were assessed using binary logistic regression.

### RESULTS

One hundred sixteen patients with 116 SMG III bAVMs were included. The mean age of the patients was 41.9 ± 14.0 years. The most common presentation was hemorrhage (66.4%). Forty-nine (42.2%) bAVMs were found to be completely obliterated by EVT alone at follow-up. Complications occurred in 39 patients (33.6%), including 5 (4.3%) major procedure-related complications. There was no independent predictor of procedure-related complication. Age > 40 years and poor preoperative modified Rankin Scale score were the independent predictors of poor clinical outcome.

### CONCLUSIONS

EVT of SMG III bAVMs provides encouraging results but needs further improvement. When the embolization procedure performed with intent to cure appears difficult and/or risky, a combined technique (with microsurgery or radiosurgery) may be a safer and more effective strategy. In terms of safety and effectiveness, the benefit of EVT (alone or included in a multimodal management strategy) for SMG III bAVMs needs to be confirmed by randomized controlled trials.

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## Evaluation of lymphopenia as a predictor of postoperative mortality and major complications in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spine tumors

### OBJECTIVE

Lymphopenia is often seen in advanced metastatic disease and has been associated with poor postoperative outcomes. Limited research has been done to validate this metric in patients with spinal metastases. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capability of preoperative lymphopenia to predict 30-day mortality, overall survival (OS), and major complications in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spine tumors.

### METHODS

A total of 153 patients who underwent surgery for metastatic spine tumor between 2012 and 2022 and met the inclusion criteria were examined. Electronic medical record chart review was conducted to obtain patient demographics, comorbidities, preoperative laboratory values, survival time, and postoperative complications. Preoperative lymphopenia was defined as < 1.0 K/μL based on the institution’s laboratory cutoff value and within 30 days prior to surgery. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes were OS up to 2 years and 30-day postoperative major complications. Outcomes were assessed with logistic regression. Survival analyses were done using the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank test and Cox regression. Receiver operating characteristic curves were plotted to classify the predictive ability of lymphocyte count as a continuous variable on outcome measures.

### RESULTS

Lymphopenia was identified in 47% of patients (72 of 153). The overall 30-day mortality rate was 9% (13 of 153). In logistic regression analysis, lymphopenia was not associated with 30-day mortality (OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.43–4.21; p = 0.609). The mean OS in this sample was 15.6 months (95% CI 13.9–17.3 months), with no significant difference between patients with lymphopenia and those with no lymphopenia (p = 0.157). Cox regression analysis did not show an association between lymphopenia and survival (HR 1.44, 95% CI 0.87–2.39; p = 0.161). The major complication rate was 26% (39 of 153). In univariable logistic regression analysis, lymphopenia was not associated with the development of a major complication (OR 1.44, 95% CI 0.70–3.00; p = 0.326). Finally, receiver operating characteristic curves generated poor discrimination between lymphocyte count and all outcomes, including 30-day mortality (area under the curve 0.600, p = 0.232).

### CONCLUSIONS

This study does not support prior research that had shown an independent association between low preoperative lymphocyte level and poor postoperative outcomes following surgery for metastatic spine tumors. Although lymphopenia may be used to predict outcomes in other tumor-related surgeries, this metric may not hold a similar predictive capability in the population undergoing surgery for metastatic spine tumors. Further research into reliable prognostic tools is needed.

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## Femoral access site complications following neurointerventional procedures: economic implications at a single center

### OBJECTIVE

Transfemoral access (TFA) has been the traditional route of arterial access for neurointerventional procedures. Femoral access site complications may occur in 2%–6% of patients. Management of these complications often requires additional diagnostic tests or interventions, each of which may increase the cost of care. The economic impact of a femoral access site complication has not yet been described. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic consequences of femoral access site complications.

### METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients undergoing neuroendovascular procedures at their institute and identified those who experienced femoral access site complications. The subset of patients experiencing these complications during elective procedures was matched in a 1:2 fashion to a control group undergoing similar procedures and not experiencing an access site complication.

### RESULTS

Femoral access site complications were identified in 77 patients (4.3%) over a 3-year period. Thirty-four of these complications were considered major, requiring blood transfusion or additional invasive treatment. There was a statistically significant difference in total cost ($39,234.84 vs$23,535.32, p = 0.001), total reimbursement ($35,500.24 vs$24,861.71, p = 0.020) and reimbursement minus cost (−$3734.60 vs$1326.39, p = 0.011) between the complication and control cohorts in elective procedures, respectively.

### CONCLUSIONS

Although occurring relatively infrequently, femoral artery access site complications increase the cost of care for patients undergoing neurointerventional procedures; how this influences the cost effectiveness of neurointerventional procedures warrants further investigation.

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## Letter to the Editor. Clinical relevance of preoperative hyperglycemia in patients undergoing elective craniotomy

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## Letter to the Editor. External validation of the ABC2D score for predicting atherosclerotic stroke after thrombectomy

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## Letter to the Editor. The molecular mechanisms of folic acid fortification to prevent spina bifida

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## Persistent discrepancies in orbital morphology after surgical treatment of unicoronal craniosynostosis: a critical image-based analysis

### OBJECTIVE

Unicoronal craniosynostosis (UCS) is characterized by complex orbital deformity and is typically treated by asymmetrical fronto-orbital remodeling (FOR) during the 1st year of life. The aim of this study was to elucidate to what extent orbital morphology is corrected by surgical treatment.

### METHODS

The extent to which orbital morphology was corrected by surgical treatment was tested by analysis of differences in volume and shape between synostotic, nonsynostotic, and control orbits at two time points. In total, 147 orbits were analyzed from patient CT images obtained preoperatively (mean age 9.3 months), at follow-up (mean age 3.0 years), and in matched controls. Semiautomatic segmentation software was used to determine orbital volume. For analysis of orbital shape and asymmetry, geometrical models, signed distance maps, principal modes of variation, and three objective parameters (mean absolute distance, Hausdorff distance, and dice similarity coefficient) were generated by statistical shape modeling.

### RESULTS

Orbital volumes on both the synostotic and nonsynostotic sides were significantly smaller at follow-up than volumes in controls and significantly smaller both preoperatively and at follow-up than orbital volumes on the nonsynostotic side. Significant differences in shape were identified globally and locally, both preoperatively and at 3 years of age. Compared with controls, deviations were mostly found on the synostotic side at both time points. Asymmetry between synostotic and nonsynostotic sides was significantly decreased at follow-up, but not compared with the inherent asymmetry of controls. On a group level, the preoperative synostotic orbit was mainly expanded in the anterosuperior and anteroinferior regions and smallest on the temporal side. At follow-up, the mean synostotic orbit was still larger superiorly but also expanded in the anteroinferior temporal region. Overall, the morphology of nonsynostotic orbits was more similar to that of controls than to synostotic orbits. However, the individual variation in orbital shape was greatest for nonsynostotic orbits at follow-up.

### CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors presented what is, to their knowledge, the first objective automatic 3D bony evaluation of orbital shape in UCS, defining in greater detail than has been done previously how synostotic orbits differ from nonsynostotic and control orbits, and how orbital shape changes from 9.3 months of age preoperatively to 3 years of age at the postoperative follow-up. Despite surgical treatment, both local and global deviations in shape persist. These findings may have implications for future directions in the development of surgical treatment. Future studies connecting orbital morphology to ophthalmic disorders, aesthetics, and genetics could provide further insight to enable better outcomes in UCS.