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Theodore H. Schwartz and Michael W. McDermott

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Benjamin I. Rapoport, Michael W. McDermott, and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Stephen T. Magill, Minh P. Nguyen, Manish K. Aghi, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Convexity meningiomas are commonly managed with resection. Motor outcomes and predictors of new deficits after surgery are poorly studied. The objective of this study was to determine whether postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) was associated with neurological deficits after convexity meningioma resection and to identify the risk factors for postoperative DWI restriction.

METHODS

A retrospective review of patients who had undergone convexity meningioma resection from 2014 to 2018 was performed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were performed to identify variables associated with postoperative neurological deficits and a DWI signal. The amount of postoperative DWI signal was measured and was correlated with low apparent diffusion coefficient maps to confirm ischemic injury.

RESULTS

The authors identified 122 patients who had undergone a total of 125 operations for convexity meningiomas. The median age at surgery was 57 years, and 70% of the patients were female. The median follow-up was 26 months. The WHO grade was I in 62% of cases, II in 36%, and III in 2%. The most common preoperative deficits were seizures (24%), extremity weakness/paralysis (16%), cognitive/language/memory impairment (16%), and focal neurological deficit (16%). Following resection, 89% of cases had no residual deficit. Postoperative DWI showed punctate or no diffusion restriction in 78% of cases and restriction > 1 cm in 22% of cases. An immediate postoperative neurological deficit was present in 14 patients (11%), but only 8 patients (7%) had a deficit at 3 months postoperatively. Univariate analysis identified DWI signal > 1 cm (p < 0.0001), tumor diameter (p < 0.0001), preoperative motor deficit (p = 0.0043), older age (p = 0.0113), and preoperative embolization (p = 0.0171) as risk factors for an immediate postoperative deficit, whereas DWI signal > 1 cm (p < 0.0001), tumor size (p < 0.0001), and older age (p = 0.0181) were risk factors for deficits lasting more than 3 months postoperatively. Multivariate analysis revealed a DWI signal > 1 cm to be the only significant risk factor for deficits at 3 months postoperatively (OR 32.42, 95% CI 3.3–320.1, p = 0.0002). Further, estimated blood loss (OR 1.4 per 100 ml increase, 95% CI 1.1–1.7, p < 0.0001), older age (OR 1.1 per year older, 95% CI 1.0–1.1, p = 0.0009), middle third location in the sagittal plane (OR 16.9, 95% CI 1.3–216.9, p = 0.0026), and preoperative peritumoral edema (OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.2–17.7, p = 0.0249) were significantly associated with a postoperative DWI signal > 1 cm.

CONCLUSIONS

A DWI signal > 1 cm is significantly associated with postoperative neurological deficits, both immediate and long-lasting. Greater estimated blood loss, older age, tumor location over the motor strip, and preoperative peritumoral edema increase the risk of having a postoperative DWI signal > 1 cm, reflective of perilesional ischemia. Most immediate postoperative deficits will improve over time. These data are valuable when preoperatively communicating with patients about the risks of surgery and when postoperatively discussing prognosis after a deficit occurs.

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Theodore H. Schwartz and Michael W. McDermott

The Simpson grading scale, developed in 1957 by Donald Simpson, has been considered the gold standard for defining the surgical extent of resection for WHO grade I meningiomas. Since its introduction, the scale and its modifications have generated enormous controversy. The Simpson grade is based on an intraoperative visual assessment of resection, which is subjective and notoriously inaccurate. The majority of studies in which the grading system was used were performed before routine postoperative MRI surveillance was employed, rendering assessments of extent of resection and the definition of recurrence inconsistent. The infiltration and proliferation potential of tumor components such as hyperostotic bone and dural tail vary widely based on tumor location, as does the molecular biology of the tumor, rendering a universal scale for all meningiomas unfeasible. While extent of resection is clearly important at reducing recurrence rates, achieving the highest Simpson grade resection should not always be the goal of surgery.

Donald Simpson’s name and his scale deserve to be recognized and preserved in the historical pantheon of pioneering and transformative neurosurgical concepts. Nevertheless, his eponymous scale is no longer relevant in modern meningioma surgery. While his message of maximizing extent of resection and minimizing morbidity is still germane, a single measure using subjective criteria cannot be applied universally to all meningiomas, regardless of location. Meningioma surgery should be performed with the goal of achieving maximal safe resection, ideally guided by molecularly tagged fluorescent labeling and assessed using objective criteria, including postoperative MRI as well as molecularly tagged scans such as [68Ga]-DOTATATE-PET.

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Jacob S. Young, Andrew K. Chan, Jennifer A. Viner, Sujatha Sankaran, Alvin Y. Chan, Sarah Imershein, Aldea Meary-Miller, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Line Jacques, Manish K. Aghi, Edward F. Chang, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Tracy Ward, Liz Gibson, Mariann M. Ward, Peter Sanftner, Stacy Wong, Dominic Amara, Stephen T. Magill, Joseph A. Osorio, Brinda Venkatesh, Ralph Gonzales, Catherine Lau, Christy Boscardin, Michael Wang, Kim Berry, Laurie McCullagh, Mary Reid, Kayla Reels, Sara Nedkov, Mitchel S. Berger, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

High-value medical care is described as care that leads to excellent patient outcomes, high patient satisfaction, and efficient costs. Neurosurgical care in particular can be expensive for the hospital, as substantial costs are accrued during the operation and throughout the postoperative stay. The authors developed a “Safe Transitions Pathway” (STP) model in which select patients went to the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) and then the neuro-transitional care unit (NTCU) rather than being directly admitted to the neurosciences intensive care unit (ICU) following a craniotomy. They sought to evaluate the clinical and financial outcomes as well as the impact on the patient experience for patients who participated in the STP and bypassed the ICU level of care.

METHODS

Patients were enrolled during the 2018 fiscal year (FY18; July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018). The electronic medical record was reviewed for clinical information and the hospital cost accounting record was reviewed for financial information. Nurses and patients were given a satisfaction survey to assess their respective impressions of the hospital stay and of the recovery pathway.

RESULTS

No patients who proceeded to the NTCU postoperatively were upgraded to the ICU level of care postoperatively. There were no deaths in the STP group, and no patients required a return to the operating room during their hospitalization (95% CI 0%–3.9%). There was a trend toward fewer 30-day readmissions in the STP patients than in the standard pathway patients (1.2% [95% CI 0.0%–6.8%] vs 5.1% [95% CI 2.5%–9.1%], p = 0.058). The mean number of ICU days saved per case was 1.20. The average postprocedure length of stay was reduced by 0.25 days for STP patients. Actual FY18 direct cost savings from 94 patients who went through the STP was $422,128.

CONCLUSIONS

Length of stay, direct cost per case, and ICU days were significantly less after the adoption of the STP, and ICU bed utilization was freed for acute admissions and transfers. There were no substantial complications or adverse patient outcomes in the STP group.

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Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Stephen T. Magill, Roberto Rodriguez Rubio, Maryam N. Shahin, Manish K. Aghi, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, Robert C. Kersten, Oluwatobi O. Idowu, M. Reza Vagefi, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Hyperostosing sphenoid wing meningiomas cause bony hyperostosis that may extend into the orbit, resulting in proptosis, restriction of extraocular movements, and/or compressive optic neuropathy. The extent of bony removal necessary and the optimal reconstruction strategy to prevent enophthalmos is debated. Herein, the authors present their surgical outcomes and reconstruction results.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of 54 consecutive patients undergoing resection of sphenoid wing meningiomas associated with bony hyperostosis. The majority of cases were operated on by the senior author. Extent of tumor resection, volumetric bone resection, radiographic exophthalmos index, complications, and recurrence were analyzed.

RESULTS

The median age of the cohort was 52.1 years, with women comprising 83% of patients. Proptosis was a presenting symptom in 74%, and 52% had decreased visual acuity. The WHO grade was I (85%) or II (15%). The median follow-up was 2.6 years. On volumetric analysis, a median 86% of hyperostotic bone was resected. Gross-total resection of the intracranial tumor was achieved in 43% and the orbital tumor in 27%, and of all intracranial and orbital components in 20%. Orbital reconstruction was performed in 96% of patients. Postoperative vision was stable or improved in 98% of patients and diplopia improved in 89%. Postoperative complications occurred in 44% of patients, and 26% of patients underwent additional surgery for complication management. The most frequent complications were medical complications and extraocular movement deficits. The median preoperative exophthalmos index was 1.26, which improved to 1.12 immediately postoperatively and to 1.09 at the 6-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Postoperatively, 18 patients (33%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy after subtotal resection. Tumors recurred/progressed in 12 patients (22%).

CONCLUSIONS

Resection of hyperostosing sphenoid wing meningiomas, particularly achieving gross-total resection of hyperostotic bone with a good aesthetic result, is challenging and associated with notable medical and ocular morbidity. Recurrence rates in this series are higher than previously reported. Nevertheless, the authors were able to attain improvement in proptosis and visual symptoms in the majority of patients by using a multidisciplinary approach.

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Harsh Wadhwa, Sumedh S. Shah, Judy Shan, Justin Cheng, Angad S. Beniwal, Jia-Shu Chen, Sabraj A. Gill, Nikhil Mummaneni, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgery is consistently one of the most competitive specialties for resident applicants. The emphasis on research in neurosurgery has led to an increasing number of publications by applicants seeking a successful residency match. The authors sought to produce a comprehensive analysis of research produced by neurosurgical applicants and to establish baseline data of neurosurgery applicant research productivity given the increased emphasis on research output for successful residency match.

METHODS

A retrospective review of publication volume for all neurosurgery interns in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar. Missing data rates were 11% (2009), 9% (2011), and < 5% (all others). The National Resident Matching Program report “Charting Outcomes in the Match” (ChOM) was interrogated for total research products (i.e., abstracts, presentations, and publications). The publication rates of interns at top 40 programs, students from top 20 medical schools, MD/PhD applicants, and applicants based on location of residency program and medical school were compared statistically against all others.

RESULTS

Total publications per neurosurgery intern (mean ± SD) based on PubMed and Google Scholar were 5.5 ± 0.6 in 2018 (1.7 ± 0.3, 2009; 2.1 ± 0.3, 2011; 2.6 ± 0.4, 2014; 3.8 ± 0.4, 2016), compared to 18.3 research products based on ChOM. In 2018, the mean numbers of publications were as follows: neurosurgery-specific publications per intern, 4.3 ± 0.6; first/last author publications, 2.1 ± 0.3; neurosurgical first/last author publications, 1.6 ± 0.2; basic science publications, 1.5 ± 0.2; and clinical research publications, 4.0 ± 0.5. Mean publication numbers among interns at top 40 programs were significantly higher than those of all other programs in every category (p < 0.001). Except for mean number of basic science publications (p = 0.1), the mean number of publications was higher for interns who attended a top 20 medical school than for those who did not (p < 0.05). Applicants with PhD degrees produced statistically more research in all categories (p < 0.05) except neurosurgery-specific (p = 0.07) and clinical research (p = 0.3). While there was no statistical difference in publication volume based on the geographical location of the residency program, students from medical schools in the Western US produced more research than all other regions (p < 0.01). Finally, research productivity did not correlate with likelihood of medical students staying at their home institution for residency.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that the temporal trend toward increased total research products over time in neurosurgery applicants was driven mostly by increased nonindexed research (abstracts, presentations, chapters) rather than by increased peer-reviewed publications. While we also identified applicant-specific factors (MD/PhDs and applicants from the Western US) and an outcome (matching at research-focused institutions) associated with increased applicant publications, further work will be needed to determine the emphasis that programs and applicants will need to place on these publications.

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Ankush Chandra, Jacob S. Young, Cecilia Dalle Ore, Fara Dayani, Darryl Lau, Harsh Wadhwa, Jonathan W. Rick, Alan T. Nguyen, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) carries a high economic burden for patients and caregivers, much of which is associated with initial surgery. The authors investigated the impact of insurance status on the inpatient hospital costs of surgery for patients with GBM.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients with GBM (2010–2015) undergoing their first resection at the University of California, San Francisco, and corresponding inpatient hospital costs.

RESULTS

Of 227 patients with GBM (median age 62 years, 37.9% females), 31 (13.7%) had Medicaid, 94 (41.4%) had Medicare, and 102 (44.9%) had private insurance. Medicaid patients had 30% higher overall hospital costs for surgery compared to non-Medicaid patients ($50,285 vs $38,779, p = 0.01). Medicaid patients had higher intensive care unit (ICU; p < 0.01), operating room (p < 0.03), imaging (p < 0.001), room and board (p < 0001), and pharmacy (p < 0.02) costs versus non-Medicaid patients. Medicaid patients had significantly longer overall and ICU lengths of stay (6.9 and 2.6 days) versus Medicare (4.0 and 1.5 days) and privately insured patients (3.9 and 1.8 days, p < 0.01). Medicaid patients had similar comorbidity rates to Medicare patients (67.8% vs 68.1%), and both groups had higher comorbidity rates than privately insured patients (37.3%, p < 0.0001). Only 67.7% of Medicaid patients had primary care providers (PCPs) versus 91.5% of Medicare and 86.3% of privately insured patients (p = 0.009) at the time of presentation. Tumor diameter at diagnosis was largest for Medicaid (4.7 cm) versus Medicare (4.1 cm) and privately insured patients (4.2 cm, p = 0.03). Preoperative (70 vs 90, p = 0.02) and postoperative (80 vs 90, p = 0.03) Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) scores were lowest for Medicaid versus non-Medicaid patients, while in subgroup analysis, postoperative KPS score was lowest for Medicaid patients (80, vs 90 for Medicare and 90 for private insurance; p = 0.03). Medicaid patients had significantly shorter median overall survival (10.7 months vs 12.8 months for Medicare and 15.8 months for private insurance; p = 0.02). Quality-adjusted life year (QALY) scores were 0.66 and 1.05 for Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients, respectively (p = 0.036). The incremental cost per QALY was $29,963 lower for the non-Medicaid cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with GBMs and Medicaid have higher surgical costs, longer lengths of stay, poorer survival, and lower QALY scores. This study indicates that these patients lack PCPs, have more comorbidities, and present later in the disease course with larger tumors; these factors may drive the poorer postoperative function and greater consumption of hospital resources that were identified. Given limited resources and rising healthcare costs, factors such as access to PCPs, equitable adjuvant therapy, and early screening/diagnosis of disease need to be improved in order to improve prognosis and reduce hospital costs for patients with GBM.

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Michael W. McDermott, Jason Sheehan, and Steve Braunstein

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Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Stephen T. Magill, Adam J. Yen, Maryam N. Shahin, David S. Lee, Calixto-Hope G. Lucas, William C. Chen, Jennifer A. Viner, Manish K. Aghi, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, David R. Raleigh, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Extracranial meningioma metastases are uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of patients diagnosed with meningioma. Due to the rarity of meningioma metastases, patients are not routinely screened for distant disease. In this series, we report their experience with meningioma metastases and results of screening for metastases in select patients with recurrent meningiomas.

METHODS

All patients undergoing resection or stereotactic radiosurgery for primary or recurrent meningioma from 2009 to 2017 at a single center were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients who were diagnosed with or underwent imaging to evaluate for systemic metastases. Imaging to evaluate for metastases was performed with CT scanning of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis or whole-body PET/CT using either FDG or 68Ga-DOTA-octreotate (DOTATATE) tracers in 28 patients. Indications for imaging were symptomatic lesions concerning for metastasis or asymptomatic screening in patients with greater than 2 recurrences being evaluated for additional treatment.

RESULTS

Of 1193 patients treated for meningioma, 922 (77.3%) patients had confirmed or presumed WHO grade I tumors, 236 (19.8%) had grade II tumors, and 35 (2.9%) had grade III tumors. Mean follow-up was 4.3 years. A total of 207 patients experienced recurrences (17.4%), with a mean of 1.8 recurrences. Imaging for metastases was performed in 28 patients; 1 metastasis was grade I (3.6%), 16 were grade II (57.1%), and 11 were grade III (39.3%). Five patients (17.9%) underwent imaging because of symptomatic lesions. Of the 28 patients screened, 27 patients had prior recurrent meningioma (96.4%), with a median of 3 recurrences. On imaging, 10 patients had extracranial lesions suspicious for metastasis (35.7%). At biopsy, 8 were meningioma metastases, 1 was a nonmeningioma malignancy, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up prior to biopsy. Biopsy-confirmed metastases occurred in the liver (5), lung (3), mediastinum (1), and bone (1). The observed incidence of metastases was 0.67% (n = 8). Incidence increased to 2% of WHO grade II and 8.6% of grade III meningiomas. Using the proposed indications for screening, the number needed to screen to identify one patient with biopsy-confirmed malignancy was 3.83.

CONCLUSIONS

Systemic imaging of patients with multiply recurrent meningioma or symptoms concerning for metastasis may identify extracranial metastases in a significant proportion of patients and can inform decision making for additional treatments.