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Georgios Mantziaris, Stylianos Pikis, Tomas Chytka, Roman Liščák, Kimball Sheehan, Darrah Sheehan, Selcuk Peker, Yavuz Samanci, Shray K. Bindal, Ajay Niranjan, L. Dade Lunsford, Rupinder Kaur, Renu Madan, Manjul Tripathi, Dhiraj J. Pangal, Ben A. Strickland, Gabriel Zada, Anne-Marie Langlois, David Mathieu, Ronald E. Warnick, Samir Patel, Zayda Minier, Herwin Speckter, Zhiyuan Xu, Rithika Kormath Anand, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Radiological progression occurs in 50%–60% of residual nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a safe and effective management option for residual NFPAs, but there is no consensus on its optimal timing. This study aims to define the optimal timing of SRS for residual NFPAs.

METHODS

This retrospective, multicenter study involved 375 patients with residual NFPAs managed with SRS. The patients were divided into adjuvant (ADJ; treated for stable residual NFPA within 6 months of resection) and progression (PRG) cohorts (treated for residual NFPA progression). Factors associated with tumor progression and clinical deterioration were analyzed.

RESULTS

Following propensity-score matching, each cohort consisted of 130 patients. At last follow-up, tumor control was achieved in 93.1% of patients in the ADJ cohort and in 96.2% of patients in the PRG cohort (HR 1.6, 95% CI 0.55–4.9, p = 0.37). Hypopituitarism was associated with a maximum point dose of > 8 Gy to the pituitary stalk (HR 4.5, 95% CI 1.6–12.6, p = 0.004). No statistically significant difference was noted in crude new-onset hypopituitarism rates (risk difference [RD] = −0.8%, p > 0.99) or visual deficits (RD = −2.3%, p = 0.21) between the two cohorts at the last follow-up. The median time from resection to new hypopituitarism was longer in the PRG cohort (58.9 vs 29.7 months, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS at residual NFPA progression does not appear to alter the probability of tumor control or hormonal/visual deficits compared with adjuvant SRS. Deferral of radiosurgical management to the time of radiological progression could significantly prolong the time to radiosurgically induced pituitary dysfunction. A lower maximum point dose (< 8 Gy) to the pituitary stalk portended a more favorable chance of preserving pituitary function after SRS.

Open access

Jonathan P. Funnell, Kawsar Noor, Danyal Z. Khan, Linda D’Antona, Richard J. B. Dobson, John G. Hanrahan, Christopher Hepworth, Eleanor M. Moncur, Benjamin M. Thomas, Lewis Thorne, Laurence D. Watkins, Simon C. Williams, Wai Keong Wong, Ahmed K. Toma, and Hani J. Marcus

OBJECTIVE

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is an underdiagnosed, progressive, and disabling condition. Early treatment is associated with better outcomes and improved quality of life. In this paper, the authors aimed to identify features associated with patients with iNPH using natural language processing (NLP) to characterize this cohort, with the intention to later target the development of artificial intelligence–driven tools for early detection.

METHODS

The electronic health records of patients with shunt-responsive iNPH were retrospectively reviewed using an NLP algorithm. Participants were selected from a prospectively maintained single-center database of patients undergoing CSF diversion for probable iNPH (March 2008–July 2020).

Analysis was conducted on preoperative health records including clinic letters, referrals, and radiology reports accessed through CogStack. Clinical features were extracted from these records as SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms) concepts using a named entity recognition machine learning model.

In the first phase, a base model was generated using unsupervised training on 1 million electronic health records and supervised training with 500 double-annotated documents. The model was fine-tuned to improve accuracy using 300 records from patients with iNPH double annotated by two blinded assessors. Thematic analysis of the concepts identified by the machine learning algorithm was performed, and the frequency and timing of terms were analyzed to describe this patient group.

RESULTS

In total, 293 eligible patients responsive to CSF diversion were identified. The median age at CSF diversion was 75 years, with a male predominance (69% male). The algorithm performed with a high degree of precision and recall (F1 score 0.92).

Thematic analysis revealed the most frequently documented symptoms related to mobility, cognitive impairment, and falls or balance. The most frequent comorbidities were related to cardiovascular and hematological problems.

CONCLUSIONS

This model demonstrates accurate, automated recognition of iNPH features from medical records. Opportunities for translation include detecting patients with undiagnosed iNPH from primary care records, with the aim to ultimately improve outcomes for these patients through artificial intelligence–driven early detection of iNPH and prompt treatment.

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Tobias Prasse, Zin Z. Khaing, Lindsay N. Cates, Dane M. Dewees, Jeffrey E. Hyde, Jan Bredow, and Christoph P. Hofstetter

OBJECTIVE

Acute traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) is followed by a prolonged period of secondary neuroglial cell death. Neuroprotective interventions, such as surgical spinal cord decompression, aim to mitigate secondary injury. In this study, the authors explore whether the effect size of posttraumatic neuroprotective spinal cord decompression varies with injury severity.

METHODS

Seventy-one adult female Long Evans rats were subjected to a thoracic tSCI using a third-generation spinal contusion device. Moderate and severe tSCI were defined by recorded impact force delivered to the spinal cord. Immediately after injury (< 15 minutes), treatment cohorts underwent either a decompressive durotomy or myelotomy. Functional recovery was documented using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan locomotor scale, and tissue sparing was documented using histological analysis.

RESULTS

Moderate and severe injuries were separated at a cutoff point of 231.8 kdyn peak impact force based on locomotor recovery at 8 weeks after injury. Durotomy improved hindlimb locomotor recovery 8 weeks after moderate trauma (p < 0.01), but not after severe trauma (p > 0.05). Myelotomy led to increased tissue sparing (p < 0.0001) and a significantly higher number of spared motor neurons (p < 0.05) in moderate trauma, but no such effect was noted in severely injured rats (p > 0.05). Within the moderate injury group, myelotomy also resulted in significantly more spared tissue when compared with durotomy-only animals (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that the neuroprotective effects of surgical spinal cord decompression decrease with increasing injury severity in a rodent tSCI model.

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Mandana Behbahani, Shanik Fernando, Sophia Peng, Luis G. Fernandez III, Natalia Hajnas, Shelly Sharma, Jeffrey C. Rastatter, and Tord D. Alden

OBJECTIVE

Patients with fibrous dysplasia (FD) of the anterior skull base can experience progressive visual loss and impairment. The authors reviewed their experience with endonasal decompression of the optic nerve (ON) in this patient population. Endoscopic ON decompression (EOND) is a feasible surgical approach for children with FD and visual deficit due to structural ON compression.

METHODS

Electronic medical records of children between 1 and 17 years of age with unilateral FD of the anterior skull base and concomitant ON compression, who required EOND between 2017 and 2022 (n = 4), were reviewed for demographic data, both pre- and postoperative imaging, and evaluations by an otolaryngologist, neurosurgeon, and ophthalmologist in a multidisciplinary fashion.

RESULTS

EOND was found to be a safe and effective surgery for children with FD. Visual acuity was stable in 80% of the eyes postoperatively. Visual fields improved in 40% of the eyes and remained stable in the rest.

CONCLUSIONS

EOND is beneficial for progressive optic neuropathy that is unresponsive to steroid therapy and can prevent permanent disability if performed prior to irreversible damage to the nerve. EOND can decompress the edematous ON with proper exposure of the optic canal and orbital apex, without any major complications.

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Laurèl Rauschenbach, Alejandro N. Santos, Hanah H. Gull, Christoph Rieß, Cornelius Deuschl, Börge Schmidt, Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Oliver Gembruch, Neriman Özkan, Ramazan Jabbarli, Karsten H. Wrede, Ulrich Sure, and Philipp Dammann

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the functional outcome in spinal cavernous malformation (SCM) patients with single or multiple intramedullary hemorrhagic events.

METHODS

SCM patients who were conservatively treated between 2003 and 2021 and had complete clinical baseline characteristics, an MRI data set, at least one SCM-related intramedullary hemorrhage (IMH), and at least one follow-up examination were included in this study. Functional status was assessed using the modified McCormick Scale score at diagnosis, before and after each bleeding event, and at the last follow-up.

RESULTS

A total of 45 patients were analyzed. Univariate analysis identified multiple bleeding events as the only statistically significant predictor for an unfavorable functional outcome at the last follow-up (OR 15.28, 95% CI 3.22–72.47; p < 0.001). Patients significantly deteriorated after the first hemorrhage (29.0%, p = 0.006) and even more so after the second hemorrhage (84.6%, p = 0.002). Multiple bleeding events were significantly associated with functional deterioration at the last follow-up (76.9%, p = 0.003). The time between the last IMH and the last follow-up did not influence this outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

IMH due to SCM is linked to functional worsening. Such outcomes tend to improve after each hemorrhage, but the probability of full recovery declines with each bleeding event.

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Shivani D. Rangwala, Jane S. Han, Li Ding, William J. Mack, Mark D. Krieger, and Frank J. Attenello

OBJECTIVE

Interhospital transfer (IHT) to obtain a higher level of care for pediatric patients requiring neurosurgical interventions is common. Pediatric patients with malignant brain tumors often require subspecialty care commonly provided at specialized centers. The authors aimed to assess the impact of IHT in pediatric neurosurgical patients with malignant brain tumors to identify areas of improvement in treatment of this patient population.

METHODS

Pediatric patients (age < 19 years) with malignant primary brain tumors undergoing craniotomy for resection between 2010 and 2018 were retrospectively identified in the Nationwide Readmissions Database. Patient and hospital data for each index admission provided by the Nationwide Readmissions Database was analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Further analysis evaluated association of IHT on specific patient- or hospital-related characteristics.

RESULTS

In a total of 2279 nonelective admissions for malignant brain tumors in pediatric patients, the authors found only 132 patients (5.8%) who underwent IHT for a higher level of care. There is an increased likelihood of transfer when a patient is younger (< 7 years old, p = 0.006) or the disease process is more severe, as characterized by higher pediatric complex chronic conditions (p = 0.0004) and increased all patient refined diagnosis-related group mortality index (p = 0.02). Patients who are transferred (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.04–3.35; p = 0.04) and patients who are treated at pediatric centers (OR 6.89, 95% CI 4.23–11.22; p < 0.0001) are more likely to have a routine discharge home. On multivariate analysis, transfer status was not associated with a longer length of stay (incident rate ratio 1.04, 95% CI 0.94–1.16; p = 0.5) or greater overall costs per patient ($20,947.58, 95% CI −$35,078.80 to $76,974.00; p = 0.50). Additionally, IHT is not associated with increased likelihood of death or major complication.

CONCLUSIONS

IHT has a significant role in the outcome of pediatric patients with malignant brain tumors. Transfer of this patient population to hospitals providing subspecialized care results in a higher level of care without a significant burden on overall costs, risks, or mortality.

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Arka N. Mallela, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, and Jorge González-Martínez

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Jiangli Han, Fei Liu, Jigang Chen, Xin Tong, Mingyang Han, Fei Peng, Hao Niu, Lang Liu, and Aihua Liu

OBJECTIVE

The authors undertook an evaluation of periprocedural cerebrovascular complications and 30-day outcomes of endovascular treatment for intracranial vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (IVADAs) and assessed the relevant risk factors.

METHODS

The authors included a series of 195 patients who had undergone endovascular treatment for 198 IVADAs. Clinical data, morphological characteristics, treatment details, and periprocedural cerebrovascular complications including intraprocedural rupture, intraprocedural thrombosis, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), transient ischemic attack (TIA), and ischemic stroke (IS) were recorded. After evaluation of the 30-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, the authors applied univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify the risk factors for complications and 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

There were no intraprocedural ruptures, but the authors recorded intraprocedural thrombosis (n = 5), ICH (n = 3), TIA (n = 1), and IS (n = 13), comprising an 11.1% (22/198) complication rate. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that hyperlipidemia (odds ratio [OR] 3.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–8.41, p = 0.020), IS history (OR 5.55, 95% CI 1.46–21.01, p = 0.012), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (OR 4.48, 95% CI 1.52–13.20, p = 0.007) were risk factors for overall complications, whereas aneurysmal height (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.61–0.98, p = 0.032) was a protective factor. SAH (OR 6.44, 95% CI 1.54–26.89, p = 0.011) and preprocedural mRS score > 2 (OR 5.07, 95% CI 1.01–25.59, p = 0.049) were independent risk factors for perforator occlusion stroke. Periprocedural cerebrovascular complications (OR 32.09, 95% CI 3.00–343.94, p = 0.004) and preprocedural mRS score > 2 (OR 319.92, 95% CI 30.28–3379.98, p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Hyperlipidemia, IS history, and SAH were independent predictors for overall periprocedural cerebrovascular complications of endovascular treatment for IVADAs, but aneurysmal height was an independent protective factor. SAH and preprocedural mRS score > 2 were independent risk factors for perforator occlusion stroke. Preprocedural mRS score > 2 and periprocedural complications were independent risk factors for 30-day unfavorable clinical outcomes.

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Truls P. Sletvold, Solveig Boland, Stephanie Schipmann, and Rupavatana Mahesparan

OBJECTIVE

Surgery is the cornerstone in the management of pediatric brain tumors. To provide safe and effective health services, quantifying and evaluating quality of care are important. To do this, there is a need for universal measures in the form of indicators reflecting quality of the delivered care. The objective of this study was to analyze currently applied quality indicators in pediatric brain tumor surgery and identify factors associated with poor outcome at a tertiary neurosurgical referral center in western Norway.

METHODS

All patients younger than 18 years of age who underwent surgery for an intracranial tumor at the Department of Neurosurgery at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, between 2009 and 2020 were included. The primary outcomes of interest were classic quality indicators: 30-day readmission, 30-day reoperation, 30-day mortality, 30-day nosocomial infection, and 30-day surgical site infection (SSI) rates; and length of stay. The secondary aim was the identification of risk factors related to unfavorable outcome. The authors also conducted a systematic literature review. Articles concerning pediatric brain tumor surgery reporting at least two quality indicators were of interest.

RESULTS

The authors included 82 patients aged 0–17 years. The 30-day outcomes for unplanned reoperation, unplanned remission, mortality, nosocomial infection, and SSI were 9.8%, 14.6%, 0%, 6.1%, and 3.7%, respectively. Unplanned reoperation was associated with eloquent localization (p = 0.009), primary emergency surgery (p = 0.003), and CSF diversion procedures (p = 0.002). Greater tumor volume was associated with unplanned readmission (p = 0.008), nosocomial infection (p = 0.004), and CSF leakage (p = 0.005). In the systematic review, after full-text screening, 16 articles were included and provided outcome data for 1856 procedures. Overall, the 30-day mortality rate was low, varying from 0% to 9.3%. The 30-day reoperation rate varied from 1.5% to 12%. The SSI rate ranged between 0% and 3.9%, and 0% to 17.4% of patients developed CSF leakage. Four studies reported infratentorial tumor location as a risk factor for postoperative CSF leakage.

CONCLUSIONS

The 30-day outcomes in the authors’ department were comparable to published outcomes. The most relevant factors related to unfavorable outcomes are tumor volume and location, both of which are not modifiable by the surgeon. This highlights the importance of risk adjustment. This evaluation of quality indicators reveals concerns related to the unclear and nonstandardized definitions of outcomes. Standardized outcome definitions and documentation in a large and multicentric database are needed in the future for further evaluation of quality indicators.