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Gabriel Zada, Vance L. Fredrickson and Bozena B. Wrobel

Meningiomas are the most prevalent primary intracranial tumor, with 3%–10% arising from the tuberculum sellae. Optimal management consists of total microsurgical resection with preservation of surrounding structures. The authors present a 64-year-old woman with progressive bilateral vision loss, including visual acuity deficits and bitemporal hemianopsia. MRI revealed a 2-cm tuberculum sellae meningioma causing optic apparatus compression. An extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum approach was utilized for gross-total resection, including microdissection of tumor from the optic chiasm and infundibulum. Closure was performed with multilayer tensor fascia lata autograft and a pedicled nasal-septal flap. The patient’s postoperative exam showed visual improvement and normal pituitary function.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ZfNB_rhlyeI.

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Gabriel Zada, Mustafa K Başkaya and Mitesh V. Shah

Meningiomas represent the most common primary intracranial neoplasm treated by neurosurgeons. Although multimodal treatment of meningiomas includes surgery, radiation-based treatments, and occasionally medical therapy, surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for most symptomatic meningiomas. Because of the intricate relationship of the dura mater and arachnoid mater with the central nervous system and cranial nerves, meningiomas can arise anywhere along the skull base or convexities, and occasionally even within the ventricular system, thereby mandating a catalog of surgical approaches that neurosurgeons may employ to individualize treatment for patients. Skull base meningiomas represent some of the most challenging pathology encountered by neurosurgeons, on account of their depth, invasion, vascularity, texture/consistency, and their relationship to bony anatomy, cranial nerves, and blood vessels. Resection of complex skull base meningiomas often mandates adequate bony removal to achieve sufficient exposure of the tumor and surrounding region, in order to minimize brain retraction and optimally identify, protect, control, and manipulate sensitive neurovascular structures. A variety of traditional skull base approaches has evolved to address complex skull base tumors, of which meningiomas are considered the paragon in terms of both complexity and frequency.

In this supplemental video issue of Neurosurgical Focus, contributing authors from around the world provide instructional narratives demonstrating resection of a variety of skull base meningiomas arising from traditionally challenging origins, including the clinoid processes, tuberculum sellae, dorsum sellae, petroclival region, falco-tentorial region, cerebellopontine angle, and foramen magnum. In addition, two cases of extended endoscopic endonasal approaches for tuberculum sellae and dorsum sellae meningiomas are presented, representing the latest evolution in accessing the skull base for selected tumors. Along with key pearls for safe tumor resection, an equally important component of open and endoscopic skull base operations for meningiomas addressed by the contributing authors is the reconstruction aspect, which must be performed meticulously to prevent delayed cerebrospinal fluid leakage and/or infections. This curated assortment of instructional videos represents the authors’ optimal treatment paradigms pertaining to the selection of approach, setup, exposure, and principles to guide tumor resection for a wide spectrum of complex meningiomas.

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Daniel A. Donoho, Timothy Wen, Jonathan Liu, Hosniya Zarabi, Eisha Christian, Steven Cen, Gabriel Zada, J. Gordon McComb, Mark D. Krieger, William J. Mack and Frank J. Attenello

OBJECTIVE

Although current pediatric neurosurgery guidelines encourage the treatment of pediatric malignant brain tumors at specialized centers such as pediatric hospitals, there are limited data in support of this recommendation. Previous studies suggest that children treated by higher-volume surgeons and higher-volume hospitals may have better outcomes, but the effect of treatment at dedicated children’s hospitals has not been investigated.

METHODS

The authors analyzed the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) from 2000–2009 and included all patients undergoing a craniotomy for malignant pediatric brain tumors based on ICD-9-CM codes. They investigated the effects of patient demographics, tumor location, admission type, and hospital factors on rates of routine discharge and mortality.

RESULTS

From 2000 through 2009, 83.6% of patients had routine discharges, and the in-hospital mortality rate was 1.3%. In multivariate analysis, compared with children treated at an institution designated as a pediatric hospital by NACHRI (National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions), children receiving treatment at a pediatric unit within an adult hospital (OR 0.5, p < 0.01) or a general hospital without a designated pediatric unit (OR 0.4, p < 0.01) were less likely to have routine discharges. Treatment at a large hospital (> 400 beds; OR 1.8, p = 0.02) and treatment at a teaching hospital (OR 1.7, p = 0.02) were independently associated with greater likelihood of routine discharge. However, patients transferred between facilities had a significantly decreased likelihood of routine discharge (OR 0.5, p < 0.01) and an increased likelihood of mortality (OR 5.0, p < 0.01). Procedural volume was not associated with rate of routine discharge or mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings may have implications for planning systems of care for pediatric patients with malignant brain tumors. The authors hope to motivate future research into the specific factors that may lead to improved outcomes at designated pediatric hospitals.

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David Mittelstein, Jiahan Deng, Rachel Kohan, Mojdeh Sadeghi, Jean-Michel Maarek and Gabriel Zada

Bipolar electrosurgery in the minimally invasive endoscopic surgery theater has been traditionally limited to the use of standard bipolar forceps, which are minimally versatile, have a limited range of motion, and are associated with visualization and handling constraints. The authors designed a novel surgical device system in which commonly used surgical instruments (suction, microscissors, micrograspers, and dissectors) co-function as individually insulated and modular electrodes for bipolar electrosurgery. In this feasibility study, the successful use of these prototypes in endonasal endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery was demonstrated on 2 human cadavers, and in an in vivo arterial coagulation model on 2 live rats. This prototype system provided improved bipolar instrument mobility, minimized the requirement to exchange surgical instruments when performing electrosurgery, and allowed for new maneuvers that optimized surgical workflow, such as the ability to suction blood and smoke while cauterizing. This multifunctional bipolar cautery system may improve surgical efficiency and workflow and facilitate surgical microdissection and electrocautery during minimally invasive, endoscopic, robotic or traditional open surgery.

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Joshua Bakhsheshian, Diana L. Jin, Ki-Eun Chang, Ben A. Strickland, Dan A. Donoho, Steven Cen, William J. Mack, Frank Attenello, Eisha A. Christian and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

Patient demographic characteristics, hospital volume, and admission status have been shown to impact surgical outcomes of sellar region tumors in adults; however, the data available following the resection of craniopharyngiomas in the pediatric population remain limited. The authors sought to identify potential risk factors associated with outcomes following surgical management of pediatric craniopharyngiomas.

METHODS

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database and Kids' Inpatient Database were analyzed to include admissions for pediatric patients (≤ 18 years) who underwent a transcranial or transsphenoidal craniotomy for resection of a craniopharyngioma. Patient-level factors, including age, race, comorbidities, and insurance type, as well as hospital factors were collected. Outcomes analyzed included mortality rate, endocrine and nonendocrine complications, hospital charges, and length of stay. A multivariate model controlling for variables analyzed was constructed to examine significant independent risk factors.

RESULTS

Between 2000 and 2011, 1961 pediatric patients were identified who underwent a transcranial (71.2%) or a transsphenoidal (28.8%) craniotomy for resection of a craniopharyngioma. A major predilection for age was observed with the selection of a transcranial (23.4% in < 7-year-olds, 28.1% in 7- to 12-year-olds, and 19.7% in 13- to 18-year-olds) versus transphenoidal (2.9% in < 7-year-olds, 7.4% in 7- to 12-year-olds, and 18.4% in 13- to 18-year-olds) approach. No significant outcomes were associated with a particular surgical approach, except that 7- to 12-year-old patients had a higher risk of nonendocrine complications (relative risk [RR] 2.42, 95% CI 1.04–5.65, p = 0.04) with the transsphenoidal approach when compared with 13- to 18-year-old patients. The overall inpatient mortality rate was 0.5% and the most common postoperative complication was diabetes insipidus (64.2%). There were no independent factors associated with inpatient mortality rates and no significant differences in outcomes among groups based on sex and race. The average length of stay was 11.8 days, and the mean hospital charge was $116,5 22. Hospitals with medium and large bed capacity were protective against nonendocrine complications (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.93, p = 0.03 [medium]; RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25–0.8, p < 0.01 [large]) and total complications (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55–0.97, p = 0.03 [medium]; RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.51–0.9, p < 0.01 [large]) when compared with hospitals with small bed capacity (< 200 beds). Patients admitted to rural hospitals had an increased risk for nonendocrine complications (RR 2.56, 95% CI 1.11–5.9, p = 0.03). The presence of one or more medical comorbidities increased the risk of higher total complications (RR 1.38, 95% CI 1.14–1.68), p < 0.01 [1 comorbidity]; RR 2.37, 95% CI 1.98–2.84, p < 0.01 [≥ 2 comorbidities]) and higher total hospital charges (RR 2.9, 95% CI 1.08–7.81, p = 0.04 [1 comorbidity]; RR 9.1, 95% CI 3.74–22.12, p < 0.01 [≥ 2 comorbidities]).

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis identified patient age, comorbidities, insurance type, hospital bed capacity, and rural or nonteaching hospital status as independent risk factors for postoperative complications and/or increased hospital charges in pediatric patients with craniopharyngioma. Transsphenoidal surgery in younger patients with craniopharyngioma was a risk factor for nonendocrine complications.

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Rudolf Fahlbusch, Alexandra Golby, Francesco Prada and Gabriel Zada

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Ilya Lekht, Noah Brauner, Joshua Bakhsheshian, Ki-Eun Chang, Mittul Gulati, Mark S. Shiroishi, Edward G. Grant, Eisha Christian and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative contrast-enhanced ultrasound (iCEUS) offers dynamic imaging and provides functional data in real time. However, no standardized protocols or validated quantitative data exist to guide its routine use in neurosurgery. The authors aimed to provide further clinical data on the versatile application of iCEUS through a technical note and illustrative case series.

METHODS

Five patients undergoing craniotomies for suspected tumors were included. iCEUS was performed using a contrast agent composed of lipid shell microspheres enclosing perflutren (octafluoropropane) gas. Perfusion data were acquired through a time-intensity curve analysis protocol obtained using iCEUS prior to biopsy and/or resection of all lesions.

RESULTS

Three primary tumors (gemistocytic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme, and meningioma), 1 metastatic lesion (melanoma), and 1 tumefactive demyelinating lesion (multiple sclerosis) were assessed using real-time iCEUS. No intraoperative complications occurred following multiple administrations of contrast agent in all cases. In all neoplastic cases, iCEUS replicated enhancement patterns observed on preoperative Gd-enhanced MRI, facilitated safe tumor debulking by differentiating neoplastic tissue from normal brain parenchyma, and helped identify arterial feeders and draining veins in and around the surgical cavity. Intraoperative CEUS was also useful in guiding a successful intraoperative needle biopsy of a cerebellar tumefactive demyelinating lesion obtained during real-time perfusion analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative CEUS has potential for safe, real-time, dynamic contrast-based imaging for routine use in neurooncological surgery and image-guided biopsy. Intraoperative CEUS eliminates the effect of anatomical distortions associated with standard neuronavigation and provides quantitative perfusion data in real time, which may hold major implications for intraoperative diagnosis, tissue differentiation, and quantification of extent of resection. Further prospective studies will help standardize the role of iCEUS in neurosurgery.

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Frank J. Attenello, Eisha Christian, Timothy Wen, Steven Cen, Gabriel Zada, Erin N. Kiehna, Mark D. Krieger, J. Gordon McComb and William J. Mack

OBJECT

Recently published data have suggested an increase in adverse outcomes in pediatric patients after insertion or revision of a ventricular CSF diversion shunt after a same-day weekend procedure. The authors undertook an evaluation of the impact of weekend admission and time to shunting on surgery-related quality outcomes in pediatric patients who underwent ventricular shunt insertion or revision.

METHODS

Pediatric patients with hydrocephalus who underwent ventriculoperitoneal, ventriculoatrial, or ventriculopleural shunt placement were selected from the 2000–2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Kids’ Inpatient Database. Multivariate regression analyses (adjusted for patient, hospital, case severity, and time to shunting) were used to determine the differences in inpatient mortality and routine discharge rates among patients admitted on a weekday versus those among patients admitted on a weekend.

RESULTS

There were 99,472 pediatric patients with shunted hydrocephalus, 16% of whom were admitted on a weekend. After adjustment for disease severity, time to procedure, and admission acuity, weekend admission was not associated with an increase in the inpatient mortality rate (p = 0.46) or a change in the percentage of routine discharges (p = 0.98) after ventricular shunt procedures. In addition, associations were unchanged after an evaluation of patients who underwent shunt revision surgery. High-volume centers were incidentally noted in multivariate analysis to have increased rates of routine discharge (OR 1.04 [95% CI 1.01–1.07]; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Contrary to those of previous studies, the authors’ data suggest that weekend admission is not associated with poorer outcomes for ventricular shunt insertion or revision. Increased rates of routine discharge were noted at high-volume centers.

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Jesse L. Winer, Daniel R. Kramer, Richard A. Robison, Ifije Ohiorhenuan, Michael Minneti, Steven Giannotta and Gabriel Zada

Cadaveric surgical simulation carries the advantage of realistic anatomy and haptic feedback but has been historically difficult to model for intraventricular approaches given the need for active flow of CSF. This feasibility study was designed to simulate intraventricular neuroendoscopic approaches and techniques by reconstituting natural CSF flow in a cadaveric model. In 10 fresh human cadavers, a simple cervical laminectomy and dural opening were made, and a 12-gauge arterial catheter was introduced. Saline was continuously perfused at physiological CSF pressures to reconstitute the subarachnoid space and ventricles. A neuroendoscope was subsequently inserted via a standard right frontal bur hole. In 8 of the 10 cadavers, adequate reconstitution and endoscopic access of the lateral and third ventricles were achieved. In 2 cadavers, ventricular access was not feasible, perhaps because of a small ventricle size and/or deteriorated tissue quality. In all 8 cadavers with successful CSF flow reconstitution and endoscopic access, identifying the foramen of Monro was possible, as was performing septum pellucidotomy and endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Furthermore, navigation of the cerebral aqueduct, fourth ventricle, prepontine cistern, and suprasellar cistern via the lamina terminalis was possible, providing a complementary educational paradigm for resident education that cannot typically be performed in live surgery. Surgical simulation plays a critical and increasingly prominent role in surgical education, particularly for techniques with steep learning curves including intraventricular neuroendoscopic procedures. This novel model provides feasible and realistic surgical simulation of neuroendoscopic intraventricular procedures and approaches.