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Transorbital neuroendoscopic surgery for treatment of sphenoid wing meningiomas extending to the cavernous sinus: clinical implications and a technical illustration

Gardashkhan Karımzada, Demet Evleksiz Karımzada, Gökberk Erol, Beste Gülsuna, Pelin Kuzucu, Abuzer Güngör, Ahmet Murat Kutlay, Muammer Melih Şahin, and Emrah Çeltikçi

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of transorbital neuroendoscopic surgery (TONES) in the management of sphenoid wing meningiomas (SWMs) with cavernous sinus and orbital invasion.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 32 patients with SWMs treated at Gazi University using TONES from October 2019 to May 2023. The study includes clinical applications to elucidate the endoscopic transorbital approach. Surgical techniques focused on safe subtotal resection, aiming to minimize residual tumor volume for subsequent radiosurgery. Data were collected on patient demographics, tumor characteristics, surgical procedures, complications, and postoperative outcomes, including radiological imaging and ophthalmological evaluations.

RESULTS

Surgical dissections delineated a three-phase endoscopic transorbital approach: extraorbital, intraorbital, and intracranial. In the clinical application, gross-total resection was not achieved in any patient because of planned postoperative Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The mean follow-up period was 16.3 months. Of 30 patients with preoperative proptosis, 25 experienced postoperative improvement. No new-onset extraocular muscle paresis or visual loss occurred postoperatively. The average hospital stay was 1.15 days, with minimal complications and no significant morbidity or mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

Total resection of SWMs invading the cavernous sinus and orbit is associated with substantial risks, particularly cranial nerve deficits. TONES offers a minimally invasive alternative, reducing morbidity compared with transcranial approaches, and represents a significant advancement in the surgical management of SWMs, especially those extending into the cavernous sinus and orbit. The approach provides a safe, effective, and patient-centric approach, prioritizing subtotal resection to minimize neurological deficits while preparing patients for adjunctive radiosurgery. This study positions TONES as a transformative surgical technique, aligning therapeutic efficacy with neurovascular preservation and postoperative recovery.

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Transpalpebral mini-orbitozygomatic approach for nonvascular skull base lesions: a single neurosurgeon’s experience

Samon Tavakoli, Stephanie A. Armstrong, Christina Feller, Sang Hun Hong, and Nathan T. Zwagerman

OBJECTIVE

The authors aim to describe the advantages, utility, and disadvantages of the transpalpebral mini-orbitozygomatic (MOZ) approach for tumors of the lateral and superior orbit, orbital apex, anterior clinoid, anterior cranial fossa, middle cranial fossa, and parasellar region.

METHODS

The surgical approach from skin incision to closure is described while highlighting key technical and anatomical considerations, and cadaveric dissection demonstrates the surgical steps and focuses on important anatomy. Intraoperative images were included to supplement the cadaveric dissection. A retrospective review of adults who had undergone the MOZ approach for nonvascular pathology performed by a single neurosurgeon from 2017 to 2023 was included in this institutional review board–approved study. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data. Four representative cases were included to demonstrate the utility of the MOZ approach.

RESULTS

The study included 65 patients (46 female, 19 male), average age 54.84 years, who had undergone transpalpebral MOZ surgery. Presenting symptoms included visual changes (53.8% of cases), vision loss (23.1%), diplopia (21.8%), and proptosis (13.8%). The optic nerve and optic chiasm were involved in 32.3% and 10.8% of cases, respectively. The most common pathology was meningioma (81.5% of cases), and gross-total resection was achieved in 50% of all cases. Major complications included an infection and a carotid injury. Improvement of preoperative symptoms was reported in 92.2% of cases. Visual acuity improved in 12 patients. The mean follow-up was 8.57 ± 8.45 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The MOZ approach is safe and durable. The transpalpebral incision provides better cosmesis and functional outcomes than those of standard anterolateral approaches to the skull base. Careful consideration of the limits of the approach is paramount to appropriate application on a case-by-case basis. Further quantitative anatomical studies can help to define and compare the utility of the approach to open cranio-orbital and endoscopic transorbital approaches.

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Clinical and radiological features of parasagittal dural arteriovenous fistulas: a report of 8 cases from a single institution

A. Yohan Alexander, Nitesh P. Patel, Harry J. Cloft, Giuseppe Lanzino, and Waleed Brinjikji

OBJECTIVE

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) of the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) are uncommon and represent 5%–12% of all intracranial dAVFs. SSS dAVFs can be divided into two main subtypes. The first type involves direct arterialization of the SSS, whereas the second type consists of a parasagittal arteriovenous shunt draining into a cortical vein directly lateral to the SSS and has retrograde cortical venous drainage with only secondary involvement of the SSS. Descriptions of the latter type of SSS dAVF are limited. As such, the authors present a consecutive case series of parasagittal SSS dAVFs from their institution. They detail clinical presentation, treatment strategies, and clinical and radiographic outcomes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected database of dAVFs that were treated between 2017 and 2023. All dAVFs characterized by an arterialized parasagittal vein directly lateral to the SSS were included in this study. Baseline demographic, clinical, radiological, treatment, and outcome-specific variables of interest were abstracted.

RESULTS

One hundred fifty-four dAVFs were seen at the authors’ institution over the 6-year period of interest. Eight (5.2%) were parasagittal dAVFs. At initial diagnostic imaging, 7 were Cognard grade III and 1 was grade IV. All patients initially underwent embolization of their dAVF. Three patients did not have complete obliteration of their dAVF after the first embolization. One patient underwent further treatment with repeat embolization, and 1 underwent microsurgical disconnection—both resulted in complete occlusion of the dAVF. Seven dAVFs were obliterated at final follow-up and 1 remained patent as the patient refused further treatment despite angiographic progression of dAVF. All symptomatic patients had resolution of their symptoms, and the average length of follow-up was 16.8 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment of parasagittal dAVFs consists of occluding the proximal portion of the parasagittal arterialized draining vein. Endovascular therapy with liquid embolic agents is usually the first line of treatment. Surgical ligation is a valid option if the fistula cannot be successfully obliterated with embolization. Symptoms related to the SSS dAVF resolve after their obliteration.

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Comparison between endovascular and surgical treatment of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas: a single-center cohort and systematic review

Kareem El Naamani, Anand Kaul, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Adam Hunt, Meah T. Ahmed, Saman Sizdahkhani, Shyam Majmundar, Marc Ghanem, M. Reid Gooch, Nabeel A. Herial, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris

OBJECTIVE

With recent advancements in minimally invasive techniques, endovascular embolization has gained popularity as a first-line treatment option for spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (sDAVFs). The authors present their institution’s case series of sDAVFs treated endovascularly and surgically, and they performed a systemic review to assess the outcomes of both modalities of treatment.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective observational study of 24 consecutive patients with sDAVFs treated between 2013 and 2023. The primary outcome was the rate of occlusion, which was compared between the surgically and endovascularly treated sDAVFs. They also conducted a systemic review of all the literature comparing outcomes of endovascular and surgical treatment of sDAVFs.

RESULTS

A total of 24 patients with 24 sDAVFs were studied. The mean patient age was 63.8 ± 15.5 years, and the majority of patients were male (n = 19, 79.2%). Of the 24 patients, 8 (33.3%) received endovascular treatment, 15 (62.5%) received surgical treatment, and 1 (4.2%) patient received both. Complete occlusion at first follow-up was higher in the surgical cohort but did not achieve statistical significance (66.7% vs 25%, p = 0.52). Recurrence was higher in the endovascular cohort (37.5% vs 13.3%, p = 0.3), while the rate of postprocedural complications was higher in the surgical cohort (13.3% vs 0%, p = 0.52); however, neither of these differences was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Endovascular embolization in the management of sDAVFs is an alternative treatment to surgery, whose long-term efficacy is still under investigation. These findings suggest overall comparable outcomes between endovascular and open surgical treatment of sDAVFs. Future studies are needed to determine the role of endovascular embolization in the overall management of sDAVFs.

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Comparison of the transarterial, transvenous, and superior ophthalmic vein approaches in the treatment of indirect carotid-cavernous fistulas

Kareem El Naamani, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Shyam Majmundar, Eric Sah, Anand Kaul, Saman Sizdahkhani, Arbaz A. Momin, Marc Ghanem, Fadi Al Saiegh, M. Reid Gooch, Nabeel A. Herial, Robert H. Rosenwasser, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, Jurij R. Bilyk, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Indirect carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are abnormal arteriovenous shunting lesions with a highly variable clinical presentation that depends on the drainage pattern. Based on venous drainage, treatment can be either transarterial (TA) or transvenous (TV). The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of indirect CCF embolization via the TA, TV, and direct superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) approaches.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 74 patients admitted to their institution from 2010 to 2023 with the diagnosis of 77 indirect CCFs as confirmed on digital subtraction angiography.

RESULTS

A total of 74 patients with 77 indirect CCFs were included in this study. Embolization was performed via the TA approach in 4 cases, the TV approach in 50 cases, and the SOV in 23 cases. At the end of the procedure, complete occlusion was achieved in 76 (98.7%) cases. The rate of complete occlusion at the end of the procedure and at last radiological follow-up was significantly higher in the SOV and TV cohorts than in the TA cohort. The rate of recurrence was highest in the TA cohort (25% for TA vs 5.3% for TV vs 0% for SOV, p = 0.68).

CONCLUSIONS

The rate of immediate complete occlusion was higher in the TV and SOV cohorts than in the TA cohort while the rate of complete occlusion at final follow-up was highest in the SOV cohort. The SOV approach was significantly associated with higher rates of postoperative complications. Indirect CCFs require careful examination of the fistulous point and the venous drainage to provide the most effective patient-tailored approach.

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A contemporary analysis of surgical ligation versus endovascular embolization in patients with intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: a propensity score–matched and mixed-effects model study

Shane Shahrestani, Michelot Michel, Maria Paula Aguilera-Pena, Miguel D. Quintero-Consuegra, and Nestor R. Gonzalez

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare vascular lesions that can be asymptomatic or can lead to devastating hemorrhage based on the dAVF’s aggressiveness. Several approaches can be taken to treat dAVFs, such as endovascular embolization and surgical ligation. However, very few studies have evaluated the influence of surgery compared to endovascular approaches on patient outcomes. This study was performed to analyze the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients who underwent treatment for intracranial dAVF in which either endovascular embolization or microsurgical ligation was used.

METHODS

The Nationwide Readmissions Database was reviewed for all patients who underwent treatment for dAVFs (n = 18,152) between 2016 and 2019. Patients who received only surgical ligation or endovascular embolization (i.e., not both) were included. Variables regarding demographics, clinical outcomes, and healthcare utilization were queried. Primary outcome measures were nonroutine discharge, 1-year readmission, top quartile length of stay (LOS), and top quartile of inpatient all-payer cost. Propensity score matching was performed to evaluate the influence of either surgery or embolization on patient outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were created for each outcome measure. The area under the curve (AUC) of each ROC was used to estimate mixed-effects model performance.

RESULTS

Following propensity score matching, 127 and 113 patients made up the surgical ligation and endovascular embolization cohort, respectively. There were no differences found in age (p = 0.16), sex (p = 0.57), or average Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (p = 0.32). Patients receiving surgical ligation had lower odds of readmission (OR 0.37, p = 0.028) and greater odds of nonroutine discharge (OR 2.21, p = 0.03) compared to patients who underwent endovascular embolization. The authors found no differences in the top quartile of LOS (p = 0.84), top quartile of cost (p = 0.38), or mortality (p > 0.99) between cohorts. ROC curves revealed that the mixed-effects models inclusive of approach outperformed models agnostic to approach with respect to nonroutine discharge (AUC with approach, 0.871; AUC without approach, 0.850; p = 0.018) and readmission (AUC with approach, 0.686; AUC without approach, 0.651; p = 0.019), but no differences were observed regarding top quartile of LOS (p = 0.17) and top quartile of cost (p = 0.40).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical approach may influence perioperative outcomes in patients treated for intracranial dAVF—most significantly discharge disposition and 1-year readmission. Future longitudinal prospective studies with more clinical detail will be required to fully capture the predictive utility of surgical approach in patients treated for intracranial dAVF, particularly for various dAVF subtypes.

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Digital exoscope versus surgical microscope in spinal dural arteriovenous fistula surgery: a comparative series

Anna Maria Auricchio, Francesco Calvanese, Ville Vasankari, Rahul Raj, Camille Louise Claudine Gallé, Mika Niemelä, and Martin Lehecka

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) has been reported to be superior to endovascular treatment in terms of occlusion of the fistula. Despite the increased availability of digital 3D exoscopes, the potential benefits of using an exoscope in spinal DAVF surgery have not been studied. The purpose of this study was to report and compare the results of exoscope- and microscope-assisted surgery for spinal DAVFs.

METHODS

All consecutive adult patients (≥ 18 years of age) treated surgically for spinal DAVFs from January 2016 to January 2023 in a tertiary neurosurgical referral center were included. All patients were operated on by one neurosurgeon. Their pre- and postoperative clinical findings, imaging studies, and intra- and postoperative events were evaluated and surgical videos from the operations were analyzed.

RESULTS

Altogether, 14 patients received an operation for spinal DAVF during the study period, 10 (71%) with an exoscope and 4 (29%) with a microscope. The DAVFs were most commonly located in the lower parts of the thoracic spine in both groups. The duration of exoscopic surgeries was shorter (141 vs 151 minutes) and there was less blood loss (60 vs 100 ml) than with microscopic surgeries. No major surgical complications were observed in either group. Of the 14 patients, 10 had gait improvement postoperatively: 7 (78%) patients in the exoscope group and 3 (75%) in the microscope group. None of the patients experienced deterioration following surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Exoscope-assisted surgery for spinal DAVFs is comparable in safety and effectiveness to traditional microscopic surgery. With practice, experienced neurosurgeons can adapt to using the exoscope without major additional risks to the patient.

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Dural arteriovenous fistula in the setting of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and COVID-19 infection

Allison S. Liang, Michael T. Bounajem, Aaron Shoskes, and Ramesh Grandhi

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the presence of concurrent venous thrombosis and COVID-19 infections in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs).

METHODS

An analysis of all patients diagnosed with dAVF via cerebral angiography by the senior author was conducted, with special attention given to the presence of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and COVID-19 infection. General demographics, clinical presentation, presence of CVST, and COVID-19 infection status were reported.

RESULTS

A total of 30 patients with dAVFs were included in this study. Three patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 (10%), with one of these patients developing CVST (33%) at 6 months postinfection. Of the 27 patients not infected with COVID-19, one was diagnosed with a likely chronic CVST at the time of presentation of dAVF (4%). A total of 11 case reports and 3 retrospective studies describing patients diagnosed with CVST at or after diagnosis of dAVFs have been reported in the literature. The incidence of dAVFs in patients with CVST has been reported as 2.4%, and the incidence of dAVF has reportedly increased five- to tenfold since the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONCLUSIONS

COVID-19 infections may pose as an emerging risk factor for the development of CVST and subsequent dAVF development. To the authors’ knowledge, this study presents the first cases in the literature describing a temporal relationship between COVID-19 and development of a dAVF with CVST. The effect of both COVID-19 and associated vaccines should be further assessed in future studies to examine its impact as an effect modifier on the association of dAVF and CVST.

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Dural arteriovenous fistulas are not observed to convert to a higher grade after partial embolization

Erin Walker, Anja Srienc, Daphne Lew, Ridhima Guniganti, Giuseppe Lanzino, Waleed Brinjikji, Minako Hayakawa, Edgar A. Samaniego, Colin P. Derdeyn, Rose Du, Rosalind Lai, Jason P. Sheehan, Robert M. Starke, Adib Abla, Ahmed Abdelsalam, Bradley Gross, Felipe Albuquerque, Michael T. Lawton, Louis J. Kim, Michael Levitt, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Ali Alaraj, Ethan Winkler, W. Christopher Fox, Adam Polifka, Samuel Hall, Diederik Bulters, Andrew Durnford, Junichiro Satomi, Yoshiteru Tada, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, Ching-Jen Chen, Andrea Becerril-Gaitan, Joshua W. Osbun, and Gregory J. Zipfel

OBJECTIVE

Borden-Shucart type I dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) lack cortical venous drainage and occasionally necessitate intervention depending on patient symptoms. Conversion is the rare transformation of a low-grade dAVF to a higher grade. Factors associated with increased risk of dAVF conversion to a higher grade are poorly understood. The authors hypothesized that partial treatment of type I dAVFs is an independent risk factor for conversion.

METHODS

The multicenter Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research database was used to perform a retrospective analysis of all patients with type I dAVFs.

RESULTS

Three hundred fifty-eight (33.2%) of 1077 patients had type I dAVFs. Of those 358 patients, 206 received endovascular treatment and 131 were not treated. Two (2.2%) of 91 patients receiving partial endovascular treatment for a low-grade dAVF experienced conversion to a higher grade, 2 (1.5%) of 131 who were not treated experienced conversion, and none (0%) of 115 patients who received complete endovascular treatment experienced dAVF conversion. The majority of converted dAVFs localized to the transverse-sigmoid sinus and all received embolization as part of their treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

Partial treatment of type I dAVFs does not appear to be significantly associated with conversion to a higher grade.

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Evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of 3D contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography versus digital subtraction angiography in spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas

Adham M. Khalafallah, Joseph Yunga Tigre, Nadine Rady, Robert M. Starke, Efrat Saraf-Lavi, and Allan D. Levi

OBJECTIVE

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) often go undiagnosed, leading to irreversible spinal cord dysfunction. Although digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is the gold standard for diagnosing SDAVF, DSA is invasive and operator dependent, with associated risks. MR angiography (MRA) is a promising alternative. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of MRA as an equal alternative to DSA in investigating, diagnosing, and localizing SDAVF.

METHODS

Prospectively collected data from a single neurosurgeon at a large tertiary academic center were searched for SDAVFs. Eligibility criteria included any patient with a surgically proven SDAVF in whom preoperative DSA, MRA, or both had been obtained. The eligible patients formed a consecutive series, in which they were divided into DSA and MRA groups. DSA and MRA were the index tests that were compared to the surgical SDAVF outcome, which was the reference standard. Accurate diagnosis was considered to have occurred when the imaging report matched the operative diagnosis to the correct spinal level. Comparisons used a two-sample t-test for continuous variables and Fisher-Freeman-Halton’s exact test for categorical variables, with p < 0.05 specifying significance. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were conducted to investigate group associations with DSA and MRA accuracy. Positive predictive value, sensitivity, and accuracy were calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 27 patients with a mean age of 63 years underwent surgery for SDAVF. There were 19 male (70.4%) and 8 female (29.6%) patients, and the mean duration of symptoms at the time of surgery was 14 months (range 2–48 months). Seventeen patients (63%) presented with bowel or bladder incontinence. Bivariate analysis of the DSA and MRA groups further revealed no significant relationships between the characteristics and accuracy of SDAVF diagnosis. MRA was found to be more sensitive and accurate (100% and 73.3%) than DSA (85.7% and 69.2%), with a subanalysis of the patients with both preoperative MRA and DSA showing that MRA had a greater positive predictive value (78.6 vs 72.7), sensitivity (100 vs 72.7), and accuracy (78.6 vs 57.1) than DSA.

CONCLUSIONS

In surgically proven cases of SDAVFs, the authors determined that MRA was more accurate than DSA for SDAVF diagnosis and localization to the corresponding vertebral level. Incomplete catheterization at each vertebral level may result in the failure of DSA to detect SDAVF.