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Anthony M. Kaufmann and Angela V. Price

Peter Jannetta was a neurosurgery resident when he proposed the neurovascular compression theory. He built upon the astute observations of Dandy, Gardner, and others who, in the era before the operating microscope, had successfully ventured into the posterior fossa. In 1965, Jannetta performed cranial nerve microdissections for dental students and identified the trigeminal portio intermedia. He proposed that preservation of these sensory fibers may avoid complete facial numbness, and together with Robert Rand developed a subtemporal transtentorial approach for selective rhizotomy for trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Such rash surgery, using an operating microscope, was then forbidden at their University of California, Los Angeles center, so they collaborated with John Alksne to perform the first surgery at Harbor General Hospital. Upon visualizing the trigeminal nerve root, Jannetta was surprised to see a pulsating superior cerebellar artery compressing the nerve and said “That’s the cause of the tic.” He also hypothesized that alleviating the observed vascular cross-compression may be curative.

A few months later, while assessing a patient with hemifacial spasm, Jannetta had the epiphany that this was the same disease process as TN, but instead affecting the facial nerve. The patient consented to what would become Jannetta’s first microvascular decompression procedure. The senior faculty members who had forbidden such surgery were away, so the supervising neurosurgeon, Paul Crandall, granted the approval to perform the surgery and assisted. Via a retromastoid approach with the patient in the sitting position and using the operating microscope, Jannetta identified and alleviated the culprit neurovascular compression, with a cure resulting.

Jannetta presented his neurovascular compression theory and operative findings to the neurosurgical patriarchy of the time. Elders of the field were generally not inclined to accept the bold speculations of an untested neurosurgeon, and were often determined to discredit the new “cure” of the old diseases. Over decades of refining his surgical technique, documenting the outcomes, and enduring the skepticism he often faced, Jannetta’s theory and his microvascular decompression procedure withstood critical analysis and have become recognized as one the great discoveries and advances in neurosurgery and medicine.

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M. Asif Taqi, Sajid S. Suriya, Ajeet Sodhi, Syed A. Quadri, Mudassir Farooqui, Atif Zafar and Martin M. Mortazavi

OBJECTIVE

Several retrospective studies have supported the use of conscious sedation (CS) over general anesthesia (GA) as the preferred methods of sedation for stroke thrombectomy, but a recent randomized controlled trial showed no difference in outcomes after CS or GA. The purpose of the Ideal Sedation for Stroke Thrombectomy (ISST) study was to evaluate the difference in time and outcomes in the reperfusion of anterior circulation in ischemic stroke using GA and monitored anesthesia care (MAC).

METHODS

The ISST study was a prospective, open-label registry. A total of 40 patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy for anterior circulation ischemic stroke were enrolled. Informed consent was obtained from each patient before enrollment. The primary endpoint included the interval between the patient’s arrival to the interventional radiology room and reperfusion time. Secondary endpoints were evaluated to estimate the effects on the outcome of patients between the 2 sedation methods.

RESULTS

Of the 40 patients, 32 received thrombectomy under MAC and 8 patients under GA. The male-to-female ratio was 18:14 in the MAC group and 4:4 in the GA group. The mean time from interventional radiology room arrival to reperfusion in the GA group was 2 times higher than that in the MAC group. Complete reperfusion (TICI grade 3) was achieved in more than 50% of patients in both groups. The mean modified Rankin Scale score at 3 months was < 2 in the MAC group and > 3 in the GA group (p = 0.021).

CONCLUSIONS

The findings from the pilot study showed a significantly shorter time interval between IR arrival and reperfusion and better outcomes in patients undergoing reperfusion for ischemic stroke in the anterior circulation using MAC compared with GA.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03036631 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Long Wang, Shuaibin Lu, Li Cai, Hai Qian, Rokuya Tanikawa and Xiang’en Shi

OBJECTIVE

The rapid innovation of the endovascular armamentarium results in a decreased number of indications for a classic surgical approach. However, a middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm remains the best example of one for which results have favored microsurgery over endovascular intervention. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the experience and efficacy regarding surgical outcomes after applying internal maxillary artery (IMA) bypass for complex MCA aneurysms (CMCAAs).

METHODS

All IMA bypasses performed between January 2010 and July 2018 in a single-center, single-surgeon practice were screened.

RESULTS

In total, 12 patients (9 males, 3 females) with CMCAAs managed by high-flow IMA bypass were identified. The mean size of CMCAAs was 23.7 mm (range 10–37 mm), and the patients had a mean age of 31.7 years (range 14–56 years). The aneurysms were proximally occluded in 8 cases, completely trapped in 3 cases, and completely resected in 1 case. The radial artery was used as the graft vessel in all cases. At discharge, the graft patency rate was 83.3% (n = 10), and all aneurysms were completely eliminated (83.3%, n = 10) or greatly diminished (16.7%, n = 2) from the circulation. Postoperative ischemia was detected in 2 patients as a result of graft occlusion, and 1 patient presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage achieved improved modified Rankin Scale scores compared to the preoperative status but retained some neurological deficits. Therefore, neurological assessment at discharge showed that 9 of the 12 patients experienced unremarkable outcomes. The mean interval time from bypass to angiographic and clinical follow-up was 28.7 months (range 2–74 months) and 53.1 months (range 19–82 months), respectively. Although 2 grafts remained occluded, all aneurysms were isolated from the circulation, and no patient had an unfavorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The satisfactory result in the present study demonstrated that IMA bypass is a promising method for the treatment of CMCAAs and should be maintained in the neurosurgical armamentarium. However, cases with intraoperative radical resection or inappropriate bypass recipient selection such as aneurysmal wall should be meticulously chosen with respect to the subtype of MCA aneurysm.

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Jonathan J. Russin, Amir R. Dehdashti, Peter Vajkoczy, Satoshi Kuroda and Ying Mao

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Lessons learned in the evolution of endoscopic skull base surgery

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Theodore H. Schwartz, Peter F. Morgenstern and Vijay K. Anand

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic skull base surgery (ESBS) is a relatively recent addition to the neurosurgical armamentarium. As with many new approaches, there has been significant controversy regarding its value compared with more traditional approaches to ventral skull base pathology. Although early enthusiasm for new approaches that appear less invasive is usually high, these new techniques require rigorous study to ensure that widespread implementation is in the best interest of patients.

METHODS

The authors compared surgical results for ESBS with transcranial surgery (TCS) for several different pathologies over two different time periods (prior to 2012 and 2012–2017) to see how results have evolved over time. Pathologies examined were craniopharyngioma, anterior skull base meningioma, esthesioneuroblastoma, chordoma, and chondrosarcoma.

RESULTS

ESBS offers clear advantages over TCS for most craniopharyngiomas and chordomas. For well-selected cases of planum sphenoidale and tuberculum sellae meningiomas, ESBS has similar rates of resection with higher rates of visual improvement, and more recent results with lower CSF leaks make the complication rates similar between the two approaches. TCS offers a higher rate of resection with fewer complications for olfactory groove meningiomas. ESBS is preferred for lower-grade esthesioneuroblastomas, but higher-grade tumors often still require a craniofacial approach. There are few data on chondrosarcomas, but early results show that ESBS appears to offer clear advantages for minimizing morbidity with similar rates of resection, as long as surgeons are familiar with more complex inferolateral approaches.

CONCLUSIONS

ESBS is maturing into a well-established approach that is clearly in the patients’ best interest when applied by experienced surgeons for appropriate pathology. Ongoing critical reevaluation of outcomes is essential for ensuring optimal results.

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Mayur Sharma, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Enzo M. Fortuny, Nicolas K. Khattar, Noberto Andaluz, Robert F. James, Brian J. Williams, Maxwell Boakye and Dale Ding

OBJECTIVE

The development and recent widespread dissemination of flow diverters may have reduced the utilization of surgical bypass procedures to treat complex or giant unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs). The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to observe trends in cerebral revascularization procedures for UIAs in the United States before and after the introduction of flow diverters by using the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS).

METHODS

The authors extracted data from the NIS database for the years 1998–2015 using the ICD-9/10 diagnostic and procedure codes. Patients with a primary diagnosis of UIA with a concurrent bypass procedure were included in the study. Outcomes and hospital charges were analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 216,212 patients had a primary diagnosis of UIA during the study period. The number of patients diagnosed with a UIA increased by 128% from 1998 (n = 7718) to 2015 (n = 17,600). Only 1328 of the UIA patients (0.6%) underwent cerebral bypass. The percentage of patients who underwent bypass in the flow diverter era (2010–2015) remained stable at 0.4%. Most patients who underwent bypass were white (51%), were female (62%), had a median household income in the 3rd or 4th quartiles (57%), and had private insurance (51%). The West (33%) and Midwest/North Central regions (30%) had the highest volume of bypasses, whereas the Northeast region had the lowest (15%). Compared to the period 1998–2011, bypass procedures for UIAs in 2012–2015 shifted entirely to urban teaching hospitals (100%) and to an elective basis (77%). The median hospital stay (9 vs 3 days, p < 0.0001), median hospital charges ($186,746 vs $66,361, p < 0.0001), and rate of any complication (51% vs 17%, p < 0.0001) were approximately threefold higher for the UIA patients with bypass than for those without bypass.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite a significant increase in the diagnosis of UIAs over the 17-year study period, the proportion of bypass procedures performed as part of their treatment has remained stable. Therefore, advances in endovascular aneurysm therapy do not appear to have affected the volume of bypass procedures performed in the UIA population. The authors’ findings suggest a potentially ongoing niche for bypass procedures in the contemporary treatment of UIAs.

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Ethan A. Winkler, John K. Yue, Hansen Deng, Kunal P. Raygor, Ryan R. L. Phelps, Caleb Rutledge, Alex Y. Lu, Roberto Rodriguez Rubio, Jan-Karl Burkhardt and Adib A. Abla

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral bypass procedures are microsurgical techniques to augment or restore cerebral blood flow when treating a number of brain vascular diseases including moyamoya disease, occlusive vascular disease, and cerebral aneurysms. With advances in endovascular therapy and evolving evidence-based guidelines, it has been suggested that cerebral bypass procedures are in a state of decline. Here, the authors characterize the national trends in cerebral bypass surgery in the United States from 2002 to 2014.

METHODS

Using the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample, the authors extracted for analysis the data on all adult patients who had undergone cerebral bypass as indicated by ICD-9-CM procedure code 34.28. Indications for bypass procedures, patient demographics, healthcare costs, and regional variations are described. Results were stratified by indication for cerebral bypass including moyamoya disease, occlusive vascular disease, and cerebral aneurysms. Predictors of inpatient complications and death were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

From 2002 to 2014, there was an increase in the annual number of cerebral bypass surgeries performed in the United States. This increase reflected a growth in the number of cerebral bypass procedures performed for adult moyamoya disease, whereas cases performed for occlusive vascular disease or cerebral aneurysms declined. Inpatient complication rates for cerebral bypass performed for moyamoya disease, vascular occlusive disease, and cerebral aneurysm were 13.2%, 25.1%, and 56.3%, respectively. Rates of iatrogenic stroke ranged from 3.8% to 20.4%, and mortality rates were 0.3%, 1.4%, and 7.8% for moyamoya disease, occlusive vascular disease, and cerebral aneurysms, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression confirmed that cerebral bypass for vascular occlusive disease or cerebral aneurysm is a statistically significant predictor of inpatient complications and death. Mean healthcare costs of cerebral bypass remained unchanged from 2002 to 20014 and varied with treatment indication: moyamoya disease $38,406 ± $483, vascular occlusive disease $46,618 ± $774, and aneurysm $111,753 ± $2381.

CONCLUSIONS

The number of cerebral bypass surgeries performed for adult revascularization has increased in the United States from 2002 to 2014. Rising rates of surgical bypass reflect a greater proportion of surgeries performed for moyamoya disease, whereas bypasses performed for vascular occlusive disease and aneurysms are decreasing. Despite evolving indications, cerebral bypass remains an important surgical tool in the modern endovascular era and may be increasing in use. Stagnant complication rates highlight the need for continued interest in advancing available bypass techniques or technologies to improve patient outcomes.

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Avital Perry, Christopher S. Graffeo, Lucas P. Carlstrom, William J. Anding, Michael J. Link and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

OBJECTIVE

Sylvian fissure dissection following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a challenging but fundamental skill in microneurosurgery, and one that has become increasingly difficult to develop during residency, given the overarching management trends. The authors describe a novel rodent model for simulation of sylvian fissure dissection and cerebrovascular bypass under SAH conditions.

METHODS

A standardized microvascular anastomosis model comprising rat femoral arteries and veins was used for the experimental framework. In the experimental protocol, following exposure and skeletonization of the vessels, extensive, superficial (1- to 2-mm) soft-tissue debridement was conducted and followed by wound closure and delayed reexploration at intervals of 7, 14, and 28 days. Two residents dissected 1 rat each per time point (n = 6 rats), completing vessel skeletonization followed by end-to-end artery/vein anastomoses. Videos were reviewed postprocedure to assess scar score and relative difficulty of dissection by blinded raters using 4-point Likert scales.

RESULTS

At all time points, vessels were markedly invested in friable scar, and exposure was subjectively assessed as a reasonable surrogate for sylvian fissure dissection under SAH conditions. Scar score and relative difficulty of dissection both indicated 14 days as the most challenging time point.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ experimental model of femoral vessel skeletonization, circumferential superficial soft-tissue injury, and delayed reexploration provides a novel approximation of sylvian fissure dissection and cerebrovascular bypass under SAH conditions. The optimal reexploration interval appears to be 7–14 days. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first model of SAH simulation for microsurgical training, particularly in a live animal system.

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Prospective multicenter studies in pediatric hydrocephalus

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

John R. W. Kestle and Jay Riva-Cambrin

Prospective multicenter clinical research studies in pediatric hydrocephalus are relatively rare. They cover a broad spectrum of hydrocephalus topics, including management of intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants, shunt techniques and equipment, shunt outcomes, endoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus, and prevention and treatment of infection. The research methodologies include randomized trials, cohort studies, and registry-based studies. This review describes prospective multicenter studies in pediatric hydrocephalus since 1990. Many studies have included all forms of hydrocephalus and used device or procedure failure as the primary outcome. Although such studies have yielded useful findings, they might miss important treatment effects in specific subgroups. As multicenter study networks grow, larger patient numbers will allow studies with more focused entry criteria based on known and evolving prognostic factors. In addition, increased use of patient-centered outcomes such as neurodevelopmental assessment and quality of life should be measured and emphasized in study results. Well-planned multicenter clinical studies can significantly affect the care of children with hydrocephalus and will continue to have an important role in improving care for these children and their families.

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Kristine Ravina, Ben A. Strickland, Robert C. Rennert, Joseph N. Carey and Jonathan J. Russin

Graft stenosis and occlusion remain formidable complications in cerebral revascularization procedures, which can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Graft vasospasm can result in early postoperative graft stenosis and occlusion and is believed to be at least partially mediated through adrenergic pathways. Despite various published treatment protocols, there is no single effective spasmolytic agent. Multiple factors, including anatomical and physiological variability in revascularization conduits, patient age, and comorbidities, have been associated with graft vasospasm pathogenesis and response to spasmolytics. The ideal spasmolytic agent thus likely needs to target multiple pathways to exert a generalizable therapeutic effect. Botulinum toxin (BTX)–A is a powerful neurotoxin widely used in clinical practice for the treatment of a variety of spastic conditions. Although its commonly described paradigm of cholinergic neural transmission blockade has been widely accepted, evidence for other mechanisms of action including inhibition of adrenergic transmission have been described in animal studies. Recently, the first pilot study demonstrating clinical use of BTX-A for cerebral revascularization graft spasm prevention has been reported. In this review, the mechanistic basis and potential future clinical role of BTX-A in graft vasospasm prevention is discussed.