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Federico Russo, Marco Valentini, Daniele Sabatino, Michele Cerati, Carla Facco, Paolo Battaglia, Mario Turri-Zanoni, Paolo Castelnuovo, and Apostolos Karligkiotis

OBJECTIVE

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents the greatest public health emergency of this century. The primary mode of viral transmission is droplet transmission through direct contact with large droplets generated during breathing, talking, coughing, and sneezing. However, the virus can also demonstrate airborne transmission through smaller droplets (< 5 μm in diameter) generated during various medical procedures, collectively termed aerosol-generating procedures. The aim of this study was to analyze droplet contamination of healthcare workers and splatter patterns in the operating theater that resulted from endoscopic transnasal procedures in noninfected patients.

METHODS

A prospective nonrandomized microscopic evaluation of contaminants generated during 10 endoscopic transnasal procedures performed from May 14 to June 11, 2020, in the same operating theater was carried out. A dilution of monosodium fluorescein, repeatedly instilled through nasal irrigation, was used as a marker of contaminants generated during surgical procedures. Contaminants were collected on detectors worn by healthcare workers and placed in standard points in the operating theater. Analysis of number, dimensions, and characteristics of contaminants was carried out with fluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS

A total of 70 samples collected from 10 surgical procedures were analyzed. Liquid droplets and solid-tissue fragments were identified as contaminants on all detectors analyzed. All healthcare workers appeared to have been exposed to a significant number of contaminants. A significant degree of contamination was observed in every site of the operating room. The mean (range) diameter of liquid droplets was 4.1 (1.0–26.6) μm and that of solid fragments was 23.6 (3.5–263.3) μm.

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic endonasal surgery is associated with the generation of large amounts of contaminants, some of which measure less than 5 μm. All healthcare workers in the surgical room are exposed to a significant and similar risk of contamination; therefore, adequate personal protective equipment should be employed when performing endoscopic endonasal surgical procedures.

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Blake M. Hauser, Samantha E. Hoffman, Saksham Gupta, Mark M. Zaki, Edward Xu, Melissa Chua, Joshua D. Bernstock, Ayaz Khawaja, Timothy R. Smith, Mark R. Proctor, and Hasan A. Zaidi

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) can cause significant morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, and may disproportionately occur in patients with limited mobility following spinal trauma. The authors aimed to characterize the epidemiology and clinical predictors of VTE in pediatric patients following traumatic spinal injuries (TSIs).

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of children who experienced TSI, including spinal fractures and spinal cord injuries, encoded within the National Trauma Data Bank from 2011 to 2014.

RESULTS

Of the 22,752 pediatric patients with TSI, 192 (0.8%) experienced VTE during initial hospitalization. Proportionally, more patients in the VTE group (77%) than in the non-VTE group (68%) presented following a motor vehicle accident. Patients developing VTE had greater odds of presenting with moderate (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4–4.8) or severe Glasgow Coma Scale scores (aOR 4.3, 95% CI 3.0–6.1), epidural hematoma (aOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.4–5.7), and concomitant abdominal (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.8–3.3) and/or lower extremity (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.0) injuries. They also had greater odds of being obese (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.6–5.5). Neither cervical, thoracic, nor lumbar spine injuries were significantly associated with VTE. However, involvement of more than one spinal level was predictive of VTE (aOR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0–1.7). Spinal cord injury at any level was also significantly associated with developing VTE (aOR 2.5, 95% CI 1.8–3.5). Patients with VTE stayed in the hospital an adjusted average of 19 days longer than non-VTE patients. They also had greater odds of discharge to a rehabilitative facility or home with rehabilitative services (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.8–3.6).

CONCLUSIONS

VTE occurs in a low percentage of hospitalized pediatric patients with TSI. Injury severity is broadly associated with increased odds of developing VTE; specific risk factors include concomitant injuries such as cranial epidural hematoma, spinal cord injury, and lower extremity injury. Patients with VTE also require hospital-based and rehabilitative care at greater rates than other patients with TSI.

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Tizian Rosenstock, Levin Häni, Ulrike Grittner, Nicolas Schlinkmann, Meltem Ivren, Heike Schneider, Andreas Raabe, Peter Vajkoczy, Kathleen Seidel, and Thomas Picht

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to validate the navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS)–based risk stratification model. The postoperative motor outcome in glioma surgery may be preoperatively predicted based on data derived by nTMS. The tumor-to-tract distance (TTD) and the interhemispheric resting motor threshold (RMT) ratio (as a surrogate parameter for cortical excitability) emerged as major factors related to a new postoperative deficit.

METHODS

In this bicentric study, a consecutive prospectively collected cohort underwent nTMS mapping with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking of the corticospinal tract prior to surgery of motor eloquent gliomas. The authors analyzed whether the following items were associated with the patient’s outcome: patient characteristics, TTD, RMT value, and diffusivity parameters (fractional anisotropy [FA] and apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC]). The authors assessed the validity of the published risk stratification model and derived a new model.

RESULTS

A new postoperative motor deficit occurred in 36 of 165 patients (22%), of whom 20 patients still had a deficit after 3 months (13%; n3 months = 152). nTMS-verified infiltration of the motor cortex as well as a TTD ≤ 8 mm were confirmed as risk factors. No new postoperative motor deficit occurred in patients with TTD > 8 mm. In contrast to the previous risk stratification, the RMT ratio was not substantially correlated with the motor outcome, but high RMT values of both the tumorous and healthy hemisphere were associated with worse motor outcome. The FA value was negatively associated with worsening of motor outcome. Accuracy analysis of the final model showed a high negative predictive value (NPV), so the preoperative application may accurately predict the preservation of motor function in particular (day of discharge: sensitivity 47.2%, specificity 90.7%, positive predictive value [PPV] 58.6%, NPV 86.0%; 3 months: sensitivity 85.0%, specificity 78.8%, PPV 37.8%, NPV 97.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

This bicentric validation analysis further improved the model by adding the FA value of the corticospinal tract, demonstrating the relevance of nTMS/nTMS-based DTI fiber tracking for clinical decision making.

Open access

Bernardo de Andrada Pereira, Piyanat Wangsawatwong, Jennifer N. Lehrman, Anna G. U. Sawa, Derek P. Lindsey, Scott A. Yerby, Jakub Godzik, Alexis M. Waguespack, Juan S. Uribe, and Brian P. Kelly

OBJECTIVE

S2 alar-iliac (S2AI) screw fixation effectively enhances stability in long-segment constructs. Although S2AI fixation provides a single transarticular sacroiliac joint fixation (SIJF) point, additional fixation points may provide greater stability and attenuate screw and rod strain. The objectives of this study were to evaluate changes in stability and pedicle screw and rod strain with extended distal S2AI fixation and with supplemental bilateral integration of two sacroiliac joint fusion devices implanted using a traditional minimally invasive surgical approach.

METHODS

Eight L1–pelvis human cadaveric specimens underwent pure moment (7.5 Nm) and compression (400 N) tests under 4 conditions: 1) intact (pure moment loading only); 2) L2–S1 pedicle screw and rod with L5–S1 interbody fusion; 3) added S2AI screws; and 4) added bilateral laterally placed SIJF. Range of motion (ROM), rod strain, and screw-bending moment (S1 and S2AI) were analyzed.

RESULTS

Compared with S1 fixation, S2AI fixation significantly reduced L5–S1 ROM in right lateral bending by 50% (0.11°, p = 0.049) and in compression by 39% (0.22°, p = 0.003). Compared with fixation ending at S1, extending fixation with S2AI significantly decreased sacroiliac joint ROM by 52% (0.28°, p = 0.02) in flexion, by 65% (0.48°, p = 0.04) in extension, by 59% (0.76°, p = 0.02) in combined flexion-extension, and by 36% (0.09°, p = 0.02) in left axial rotation. The addition of S2AI screws reduced S1 screw-bending moment during flexion (0.106 Nm [43%], p = 0.046). With S2AI fixation, posterior L5–S1 primary rod strain increased by 124% (159 μE, p = 0.002) in flexion, by 149% (285 μE, p = 0.02) in left axial rotation, and by 99% (254 μE, p = 0.04) in right axial rotation. Compared with S2AI fixation, the addition of SIJF reduced L5–S1 strain during right axial rotation by 6% (28 μE, p = 0.04) and increased L5–S1 strain in extension by 6% (28 μE, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Long-segment constructs ending with S2AI screws created a more stable construct than those ending with S1 screws, reducing lumbosacral and sacroiliac joint motion and S1 screw-bending moment in flexion. These benefits, however, were paired with increased rod strain at the lumbosacral junction. The addition of SIJF to constructs ending at S2AI did not significantly change SI joint ROM or S1 screw bending and reduced S2AI screw bending in compression. SIJF further decreased L5–S1 rod strain in axial rotation and increased it in extension.

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Thomas J. Zwimpfer, Nicholas Salterio, Michael A. Williams, Richard Holubkov, Heather Katzen, Mark G. Luciano, Abhay Moghekar, Sean J. Nagel, Jeffrey H. Wisoff, James Golomb, Guy M. McKhann, Richard J. Edwards, Mark G. Hamilton, and for the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to determine the short- and long-term efficacy of primary endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) on cognition and gait in adults with chronic obstructive hydrocephalus.

METHODS

Patients were prospectively accrued through the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network patient registry. Patients with previously untreated congenital or acquired obstructive hydrocephalus were included in this study. Gait velocity was assessed using a 10-m walk test. Global cognition was assessed with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Only patients with documented pre- and post-ETV gait analysis and/or pre- and post-ETV MoCA were included.

RESULTS

A total of 74 patients had undergone primary ETV, 42 of whom were analyzed. The remaining 32 patients were excluded, as they could not complete both pre- and post-ETV assessments. The mean age of the 42 patients, 19 (45.2%) of whom were female, was 51.9 ± 17.1 years (range 19–79 years). Most patients were White (37 [88.1%]), and the remainder were Asian. Surgical complications were minor. Congenital etiologies occurred in 31 patients (73.8%), with aqueductal stenosis in 23 of those patients (54.8%). The remaining 11 patients (26.2%) had acquired cases. The gait short-term follow-up cohort (mean 4.7 ± 4.1 months, 35 patients) had a baseline median gait velocity of 0.9 m/sec (IQR 0.7–1.3 m/sec) and a post-ETV median velocity of 1.3 m/sec (IQR 1.1–1.4 m/sec). Gait velocity significantly improved post-ETV with a median within-patient change of 0.3 m/sec (IQR 0.0–0.6 m/sec, p < 0.001). Gait velocity improvements were sustained in the long term (mean 14 ± 2.8 months, 12 patients) with a baseline median velocity of 0.7 m/sec (IQR 0.6–1.3 m/sec), post-ETV median of 1.3 m/sec (IQR 1.1–1.7 m/sec), and median within-patient change of 0.4 m/sec (IQR 0.2–0.6 m/sec, p < 0.001).

The cognitive short-term follow-up cohort (mean 4.6 ± 4.0 months, 38 patients) had a baseline median MoCA total score (MoCA TS) of 24/30 (IQR 23–27) that improved to 26/30 (IQR 24–28) post-ETV. The median within-patient change was +1 point (IQR 0–2 points, p < 0.001). However, this change is not clinically significant. The cognitive long-term follow-up cohort (mean 14 ± 3.1 months, 15 patients) had a baseline median MoCA TS of 23/30 (IQR 22–27), which improved to 26/30 (IQR 25–28) post-ETV. The median within-patient change was +2 points (IQR 1–3 points, p = 0.007), which is both statistically and clinically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary ETV can safely improve symptoms of gait and cognitive dysfunction in adults with chronic obstructive hydrocephalus. Gait velocity and global cognition were significantly improved, and the worsening of either was rare following ETV.

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Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, John F. Burke, Rory R. Mayer, Erica F. Bisson, Joshua Rivera, Brenton Pennicooke, Kai-Ming Fu, Paul Park, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Michael Y. Wang, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed A. Alvi, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Reduction of Meyerding grade is often performed during fusion for spondylolisthesis. Although radiographic appearance may improve, correlation with patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is rarely reported. In this study, the authors’ aim was to assess the impact of spondylolisthesis reduction on 24-month PRO measures after decompression and fusion surgery for Meyerding grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 24-month follow-up, and quantitative correlation between Meyerding slippage reduction and PROs was performed. Baseline and 24-month PROs, including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D, Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)–back pain (NRS-BP), NRS-leg pain (NRS-LP), and satisfaction (North American Spine Society patient satisfaction questionnaire) scores were noted. Multivariable regression models were fitted for 24-month PROs and complications after adjusting for an array of preoperative and surgical variables. Data were analyzed for magnitude of slippage reduction and correlated with PROs. Patients were divided into two groups: < 3 mm reduction and ≥ 3 mm reduction.

RESULTS

Of 608 patients from 12 participating sites, 206 patients with complete data were identified in the QOD and included in this study. Baseline patient demographics, comorbidities, and clinical characteristics were similarly distributed between the cohorts except for depression, listhesis magnitude, and the proportion with dynamic listhesis (which were accounted for in the multivariable analysis). One hundred four (50.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm (mean 5.19, range 3 to 11), and 102 (49.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction < 3 mm (mean 0.41, range 2 to −2). Patients in both groups (slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm, and slippage reduction < 3 mm) reported significant improvement in all primary patient reported outcomes (all p < 0.001). There was no significant difference with regard to the PROs between patients with or without intraoperative reduction of listhesis on univariate and multivariable analyses (ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, or satisfaction). There was no significant difference in complications between cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant improvement was found in terms of all PROs in patients undergoing decompression and fusion for lumbar spondylolisthesis. There was no correlation with clinical outcomes and magnitude of Meyerding slippage reduction.

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Savas Ceylan, Harun Emre Sen, Bedrettin Ozsoy, Ecem Cemre Ceylan, Anil Ergen, Alev Selek, Yonca Anik, Sibel Balci, Burak Cabuk, and Ihsan Anik

OBJECTIVE

Giant pituitary adenoma is considered a challenging pathology for surgery owing to its complications and low resection rate. In this study, the authors present their experience of using the endoscopic endonasal approach to treat patients with giant pituitary adenoma, and they aimed to develop a classification system for prediction of extent of resection.

METHODS

The institutional medical records of patients diagnosed with giant pituitary adenoma who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery between August 1997 and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Surgical and clinical outcomes were evaluated in detail. The effects of tumor characteristics on extent of resection were analyzed. The findings were used to develop two classification systems that could preoperatively predict extent of resection. Morphological score was based on tumor characteristics, and landmark-based classification was defined according to surgical zones based on neurovascular landmarks. The effects of change in surgical strategy, which aimed to maximize tumor resection and capsule dissection, on rates of resection and complications were evaluated before and after 2017.

RESULTS

This study included 205 patients, with a mean patient age of 46.95 years and mean preoperative tumor diameter of 46.56 mm. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 35.12% of patients, near-total resection (NTR) in 39.51%, and subtotal resection (STR) in 25.36%. Extent of resection differed significantly between the grades and zones of the classification systems (p < 0.001 for both). Among patients with grade 3 tumor, 75.75% of patients achieved STR, 21.21% achieved NTR, and 3.03% achieved GTR. Among patients with zone 3 tumor, 65.75% achieved STR, 32.87% achieved NTR, and 1.36% achieved GTR. Both grade 3 and zone 3 indicated limited extent of resection. The mean (range) follow-up duration was 50.16 (9–247) months. Postoperative recovery of at least one hormone axis was seen in 15.24% of patients with pituitary deficiency, and development of new hormonal deficiency was observed in 22.43% of patients. Complications included permanent diabetes insipidus (7.80%), cerebrospinal fluid leakage (3.90%), postoperative apoplexy (3.90%), meningitis (3.41%), and epistaxis (3.41%). The surgical mortality rate was 1.46%. Among 85 patients treated before 2017, 27.05% of patients achieved GTR, 37.64% achieved NTR, and 35.29% achieved STR; among 120 patients treated after 2017, 40.83% achieved GTR, 40.83% achieved NTR, and 18.33% achieved STR. Seven patients in the pre-2017 cohort had postoperative apoplexy versus only 1 patient in the post-2017 cohort. There were no statistically significant differences between the two periods in terms of the incidence rates of other complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Capsule dissection and GTR are valuable for preventing serious complications and reducing recurrence of giant adenoma. Treatment of giant pituitary adenoma may be better managed with the help of a classification system that provides information about extent of resection that can be achieved with an endoscopic approach.

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Pablo M. Munarriz, Blanca Navarro-Main, Jose F. Alén, Luis Jiménez-Roldán, Ana M. Castaño-Leon, Luis Miguel Moreno-Gómez, Igor Paredes, Daniel García-Pérez, Irene Panero, Carla Eiriz, Olga Esteban-Sinovas, Eduardo Bárcena, Pedro A. Gómez, and Alfonso Lagares

OBJECTIVE

Factors determining the risk of rupture of intracranial aneurysms have been extensively studied; however, little attention is paid to variables influencing the volume of bleeding after rupture. In this study the authors aimed to evaluate the impact of aneurysm morphological variables on the amount of hemorrhage.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort analysis of a prospectively collected data set of 116 patients presenting at a single center with subarachnoid hemorrhage due to aneurysmal rupture. A volumetric assessment of the total hemorrhage volume was performed from the initial noncontrast CT. Aneurysms were segmented and reproduced from the initial CT angiography study, and morphology indexes were calculated with a computer-assisted approach. Clinical and demographic characteristics of the patients were included in the study. Factors influencing the volume of hemorrhage were explored with univariate correlations, multiple linear regression analysis, and graphical probabilistic modeling.

RESULTS

The univariate analysis demonstrated that several of the morphological variables but only the patient’s age from the clinical-demographic variables correlated (p < 0.05) with the volume of bleeding. Nine morphological variables correlated positively (absolute height, perpendicular height, maximum width, sac surface area, sac volume, size ratio, bottleneck factor, neck-to-vessel ratio, and width-to-vessel ratio) and two correlated negatively (parent vessel average diameter and the aneurysm angle). After multivariate analysis, only the aneurysm size ratio (p < 0.001) and the patient’s age (p = 0.023) remained statistically significant. The graphical probabilistic model confirmed the size ratio and the patient’s age as the variables most related to the total hemorrhage volume.

CONCLUSIONS

A greater aneurysm size ratio and an older patient age are likely to entail a greater volume of bleeding after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Mehmet N. Cizmeci, Linda S. de Vries, Maria Luisa Tataranno, Alexandra Zecic, Laura A. van de Pol, Ana Alarcon, Floris Groenendaal, and Peter A. Woerdeman

OBJECTIVE

Decompressing the ventricles with a temporary device is often the initial neurosurgical intervention for preterm infants with hydrocephalus. The authors observed a subgroup of infants who developed intraparenchymal hemorrhage (IPH) after serial ventricular reservoir taps and sought to describe the characteristics of IPH and its association with neurodevelopmental outcome.

METHODS

In this multicenter, case-control study, for each neonate with periventricular and/or subcortical IPH, a gestational age-matched control with reservoir who did not develop IPH was selected. Digital cranial ultrasound (cUS) scans and term-equivalent age (TEA)–MRI (TEA-MRI) studies were assessed. Ventricular measurements were recorded prior to and 3 days and 7 days after reservoir insertion. Changes in ventricular volumes were calculated. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at 2 years corrected age using standardized tests.

RESULTS

Eighteen infants with IPH (mean gestational age 30.0 ± 4.3 weeks) and 18 matched controls were included. Reduction of the ventricular volumes relative to occipitofrontal head circumference after 7 days of reservoir taps was greater in infants with IPH (mean difference −0.19 [95% CI −0.37 to −0.004], p = 0.04). Cognitive and motor Z-scores were similar in infants with and those without IPH (mean difference 0.42 [95% CI −0.17 to 1.01] and 0.58 [95% CI −0.03 to 1.2]; p = 0.2 and 0.06, respectively). Multifocal IPH was negatively associated with cognitive score (coefficient −0.51 [95% CI −0.88 to −0.14], p = 0.009) and ventriculoperitoneal shunt with motor score (coefficient −0.50 [95% CI −1.6 to −0.14], p = 0.02) after adjusting for age at the time of assessment.

CONCLUSIONS

This study reports for the first time that IPH can occur after a rapid reduction of the ventricular volume during the 1st week after the initiation of serial reservoir taps in neonates with hydrocephalus. Further studies on the use of cUS to guide the amount of cerebrospinal fluid removal are warranted.

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Ahmad Ozair, Vivek Bhat, and Anil Nanda

Surgical specialties, and particularly neurosurgery, have historically had and continue to have poor representation of female trainees. This is especially true of South Asia, considering the added social and cultural expectations for women in this region. Yet it was in India, with its difficult history of gender relations, that Asia’s first fully qualified female neurosurgeon, Dr. T. S. Kanaka (1932–2018), took root, flourished, and thereafter played an integral role in helping develop stereotactic and functional neurosurgery in the country. While a few biographical accounts of her exist, highlighted here are the lessons from her illustrious life for neurosurgical trainees and educators worldwide, along with the instances that exemplify those lessons, drawn from several hitherto unutilized primary sources. These lessons are consistent with the factors identified in previous systematic reviews to be contributing to gender disparities in neurosurgery. Many of the virtues that ensured her success are attributes that continue to be critical for a neurosurgical career. Additionally, the circumstances that helped Kanaka succeed have been recounted as considerations for those working to promote diversity and inclusion. Finally, her life choices and sacrifices are described, which are underexplored but relevant concerns for women in neurosurgery.