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Torin Karsonovich, Allyson Alexander, Sarah Graber, and Brent R. O’Neill

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) is an increasingly common technique that neurosurgeons use to help identify the epileptogenic zone. The anchor bolt, which typically secures the electrode to the skull, can be problematic in very thin bone or in electrodes placed in the occiput.

METHODS

A technique is described to place electrodes without the use of an anchor bolt. Accuracy data for entry point, target point, and depth were collected and compared between electrodes placed with and those placed without an anchor bolt.

RESULTS

A total of 58 patients underwent placement of 793 electrodes, of which 25 were boltless. The mean entry and depth errors at target were equivalent, although there was a trend toward greater depth error with boltless electrodes (3.4 mm vs 2.01 mm and 2.59 mm in the bolted groups, respectively). The mean lateral target error was slightly but significantly smaller for boltless electrodes. The majority (60%) of boltless leads were placed into thin temporal squamous bone. The average skull thickness at the entry point for all boltless leads was 1.85 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

Boltless SEEG electrodes can be placed through thin bone, adjacent to a cranial defect, or in the occiput with equivalent accuracy to electrodes placed with anchor bolts.

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James Feghali, Zach Pennington, Jeff Ehresman, Daniel Lubelski, Ethan Cottrill, A. Karim Ahmed, Andrew Schilling, and Daniel M. Sciubba

Symptomatic spinal metastasis occurs in around 10% of all cancer patients, 5%–10% of whom will require operative management. While postoperative survival has been extensively evaluated, postoperative health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes have remained relatively understudied. Available tools that measure HRQOL are heterogeneous and may emphasize different aspects of HRQOL. The authors of this paper recommend the use of the EQ-5D and Spine Oncology Study Group Outcomes Questionnaire (SOSGOQ), given their extensive validation, to capture the QOL effects of systemic disease and spine metastases. Recent studies have identified preoperative QOL, baseline functional status, and neurological function as potential predictors of postoperative QOL outcomes, but heterogeneity across studies limits the ability to derive meaningful conclusions from the data. Future development of a valid and reliable prognostic model will likely require the application of a standardized protocol in the context of a multicenter study design.

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Jason S. Hauptman, John Kestle, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Samuel R. Browd, Curtis J. Rozzelle, William E. Whitehead, Robert P. Naftel, Jonathan Pindrik, David D. Limbrick Jr., James Drake, John C. Wellons III, Mandeep S. Tamber, Chevis N. Shannon, Tamara D. Simon, Ian F. Pollack, Patrick J. McDonald, Mark D. Krieger, Jason Chu, Todd C. Hankinson, Eric M. Jackson, Jessica S. Alvey, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

The primary objective of this study was to use the prospective Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) registry to determine clinical predictors of fast time to shunt failure (≤ 30 days from last revision) and ultrafast time to failure (≤ 7 days from last revision).

METHODS

Revisions (including those due to infection) to permanent shunt placements that occurred between April 2008 and November 2017 for patients whose entire shunt experience was recorded in the registry were analyzed. All registry data provided at the time of initial shunt placement and subsequent revision were reviewed. Key variables analyzed included etiology of hydrocephalus, age at time of initial shunt placement, presence of slit ventricles on imaging at revision, whether the ventricles were enlarged at the time of revision, and presence of prior fast failure events. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to find key predictors of fast and ultrafast failure events.

RESULTS

A cohort of 1030 patients with initial shunt insertions experienced a total of 1995 revisions. Of the 1978 revision events with complete records, 1216 (61.5%) shunts remained functional for more than 1 year, and 762 (38.5%) failed within 1 year of the procedure date. Of those that failed within 1 year, 423 (55.5%) failed slowly (31–365 days) and 339 (44.5%) failed fast (≤ 30 days). Of the fast failures, 131 (38.6%) were ultrafast (≤ 7 days). In the multivariable analysis specified a priori, etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.005) and previous failure history (p = 0.011) were independently associated with fast failure. Age at time of procedure (p = 0.042) and etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.004) were independently associated with ultrafast failure. These relationships in both a priori models were supported by the data-driven multivariable models as well.

CONCLUSIONS

Neither the presence of slit ventricle syndrome nor ventricular enlargement at the time of shunt failure appears to be a significant predictor of repeated, rapid shunt revisions. Age at the time of procedure, etiology of hydrocephalus, and the history of previous failure events seem to be important predictors of fast and ultrafast shunt failure. Further work is required to understand the mechanisms of these risk factors as well as mitigation strategies.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Raymond P. Waldrop, Isaac Shamblin, Anastasia A. Arynchyna, Betsy Hopson, Tammie Kerr, James M. Johnston, Curtis J. Rozzelle, and Jeffrey P. Blount

OBJECTIVE

Repeated failure of ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPSs) is a problem familiar to pediatric neurosurgeons and patients. While there have been many studies to determine what factors are associated with the first shunt failure, studies of subsequent failures are much less common. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence and associated risk factors of clustered shunt failures (defined as 3 or more VPS operations within 3 months).

METHODS

The authors reviewed prospectively collected records from all patients who underwent VPS surgery from 2008 to 2017 at their institution and included only those children who had received all of their hydrocephalus care at that institution. Demographics, etiology of hydrocephalus, history of endoscopic third ventriculostomy or temporizing procedure, initial valve type, age at shunt placement, and other factors were analyzed. Logistic regression was used to test for the association of each variable with a history of shunt failure cluster.

RESULTS

Of the 465 included children, 28 (6.0%) had experienced at least one cluster of shunt failures. Among time-independent variables, etiology of hydrocephalus (OR 0.27 for non–intraventricular hemorrhage [IVH], nonmyelomeningocele, nonaqueductal stenosis etiology vs IVH, 95% CI 0.11–0.65; p = 0.003), younger gestational age at birth (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85–0.97; p = 0.003), history of a temporizing procedure (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.12–6.85; p = 0.028), and smaller head circumference at time of initial shunt placement (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.84–0.99; p = 0.044) showed significant association with shunt failure cluster on univariate analysis. None of these variables maintained significance in a multivariate model. Among children with a history of a shunt failure cluster, 21 (75%) had a shunt infection either prior to or during the shunt failure cluster. A comparison of the infecting organism between these children and 62 children with a history of infection but without a shunt failure cluster showed an association of cluster with gram-negative rod species.

CONCLUSIONS

Six percent of children in this institutional sample had at least one shunt failure cluster. These children accounted for 30% of the total shunt revisions in the sample. Shunt infection is an important factor associated with shunt failure cluster. Children with a history of prematurity and IVH may have a higher risk for failure cluster.

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Mandeep S. Tamber, John R. W. Kestle, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, Jessica Alvey, Samuel R. Browd, James M. Drake, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., Patrick J. McDonald, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Tamara D. Simon, Robert Naftel, Chevis N. Shannon, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Jay Riva-Cambrin, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Analysis of temporal trends in patient populations and procedure types may provide important information regarding the evolution of hydrocephalus treatment. The purpose of this study was to use the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network’s Core Data Project to identify meaningful trends in patient characteristics and the surgical management of pediatric hydrocephalus over a 9-year period.

METHODS

The Core Data Project prospectively collected patient and procedural data on the study cohort from 9 centers between 2008 and 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to test for significant temporal trends in patient characteristics and new and revision hydrocephalus procedures.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 10,149 procedures in 5541 patients. New procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy [ETV]) decreased by 1.5%/year (95% CI −3.1%, +0.1%). During the study period, new shunt insertions decreased by 6.5%/year (95% CI −8.3%, −4.6%), whereas new ETV procedures increased by 12.5%/year (95% CI 9.3%, 15.7%). Revision procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or ETV) decreased by 4.2%/year (95% CI −5.2%, −3.1%), driven largely by a decrease of 5.7%/year in shunt revisions (95% CI −6.8%, −4.6%). Concomitant with the observed increase in new ETV procedures was an increase in ETV revisions (13.4%/year, 95% CI 9.6%, 17.2%). Because revisions decreased at a faster rate than new procedures, the Revision Quotient (ratio of revisions to new procedures) for the Network decreased significantly over the study period (p = 0.0363). No temporal change was observed in the age or etiology characteristics of the cohort, although the proportion of patients with one or more complex chronic conditions significantly increased over time (p = 0.0007).

CONCLUSIONS

Over a relatively short period, important changes in hydrocephalus care have been observed. A significant temporal decrease in revision procedures amid the backdrop of a more modest change in new procedures appears to be the most notable finding and may be indicative of an improvement in the quality of surgical care for pediatric hydrocephalus. Further studies will be directed at elucidation of the possible drivers of the observed trends.

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Louise Stögbauer, Christian Thomas, Andrea Wagner, Nils Warneke, Eva Christine Bunk, Oliver Grauer, Julian Canisius, Werner Paulus, Walter Stummer, Volker Senner, and Benjamin Brokinkel

OBJECTIVE

Chemotherapeutic options for meningiomas refractory to surgery or irradiation are largely unknown. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter methylation with subsequent TERT expression and telomerase activity, key features in oncogenesis, are found in most high-grade meningiomas. Therefore, the authors investigated the impact of the demethylating agent decitabine (5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine) on survival and DNA methylation in meningioma cells.

METHODS

hTERT promoter methylation, telomerase activity, TERT expression, and cell viability and proliferation were investigated prior to and after incubation with decitabine in two benign (HBL-52 and Ben-Men 1) and one malignant (IOMM-Lee) meningioma cell line. The global effects of decitabine on DNA methylation were additionally explored with DNA methylation profiling.

RESULTS

High levels of TERT expression, telomerase activity, and hTERT promoter methylation were found in IOMM-Lee and Ben-Men 1 but not in HBL-52 cells. Decitabine induced a dose-dependent significant decrease of proliferation and viability after incubation with doses from 1 to 10 μM in IOMM-Lee but not in HBL-52 or Ben-Men 1 cells. However, effects in IOMM-Lee cells were not related to TERT expression, telomerase activity, or hTERT promoter methylation. Genome-wide methylation analyses revealed distinct demethylation of 14 DNA regions after drug administration in the decitabine-sensitive IOMM-Lee but not in the decitabine-resistant HBL-52 cells. Differentially methylated regions covered promoter regions of 11 genes, including several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that to the authors' knowledge have not yet been described in meningiomas.

CONCLUSIONS

Decitabine decreases proliferation and viability in high-grade but not in benign meningioma cell lines. The effects of decitabine are TERT independent but related to DNA methylation changes of promoters of distinct tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes.

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Marcos Devanir Silva da Costa, Nicole Cavalari Camargo, Patricia Alessandra Dastoli, Jardel Mendonça Nicácio, Frederico Adolfo Benevides Silva, Maria Luisa Sucharski Figueiredo, Michael Jenwei Chen, Andrea Maria Cappellano, Nasjla Saba da Silva, and Sergio Cavalheiro

OBJECTIVE

Tumors of the CNS are the main causes of childhood cancer and have an incidence that exceeds that of leukemia. In addition, they are the leading causes of cancer-related death in childhood. High-grade gliomas account for 11% of such neoplasms and are characterized by aggressive clinical behavior and high morbidity and mortality. There is a lack of studies focusing on the factors that can prolong survival in these patients or guide therapeutic interventions. The authors aimed to investigate the factors related to longer survival durations, with a focus on reoperation for gross-total resection (GTR).

METHODS

In this retrospective cohort study, the authors analyzed 78 patients diagnosed with high-grade gliomas occurring across all CNS locations except diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Patients 0 to < 19 years of age were followed up at the Pediatric Oncology Institute. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed in the context of various prognostic factors, such as age, sex, histology, extent of tumor resection, reoperation for GTR, adjuvant treatment, and treatment initiation from 2010 onward.

RESULTS

With a mean age at diagnosis of 8.7 years, 50% of the patients were female and approximately 39% underwent GTR at some point, which was already achieved in approximately 46% of them in the first surgery. The median OS was 17 months, and PFS was 10 months. In terms of median OS, the authors found no significant difference between those with reoperation for GTR and patients without GTR during treatment. Significant differences were observed in the OS in terms of the extent of resection in the first surgery, age, sex, Ki-67 expression, adjuvant treatment, and treatment initiation from 2010 onward. Furthermore, the PFS values significantly differed between those with GTR in the first surgery and Ki-67 expression ≥ 50%.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates the importance of GTR for these neoplasms, highlights the role of surgeons in its achievement in the first attempt, and questions the role of reoperation for this purpose. Finally, this study further supports the use of combined adjuvant treatment for the improvement of OS and PFS.

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Marco Cenzato, Davide Colistra, Giorgia Iacopino, Christian Raftopoulos, Ulrich Sure, Marcos Tatagiba, Robert F. Spetzler, Alexander N. Konovalov, Andriy Smolanka, Volodymir Smolanka, Roberto Stefini, Carlo Bortolotti, Paolo Ferroli, Giampietro Pinna, Angelo Franzini, Philipp Dammann, Georgios Naros, Davide Boeris, Paolo Mantovani, Domenico Lizio, Mariangela Piano, and Enrica Fava

OBJECTIVE

In this paper, the authors aimed to illustrate how Holmes tremor (HT) can occur as a delayed complication after brainstem cavernoma resection despite strict adherence to the safe entry zones (SEZs).

METHODS

After operating on 2 patients with brainstem cavernoma at the Great Metropolitan Hospital Niguarda in Milan and noticing a similar pathological pattern postoperatively, the authors asked 10 different neurosurgery centers around the world to identify similar cases, and a total of 20 were gathered from among 1274 cases of brainstem cavernomas. They evaluated the tremor, cavernoma location, surgical approach, and SEZ for every case. For the 2 cases at their center, they also performed electromyographic and accelerometric recordings of the tremor and evaluated the post-operative tractographic representation of the neuronal pathways involved in the tremorigenesis. After gathering data on all 1274 brainstem cavernomas, they performed a statistical analysis to determine if the location of the cavernoma is a potential predicting factor for the onset of HT.

RESULTS

From the analysis of all 20 cases with HT, it emerged that this highly debilitating tremor can occur as a delayed complication in patients whose postoperative clinical course has been excellent and in whom surgical access has strictly adhered to the SEZs. Three of the patients were subsequently effectively treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS), which resulted in complete or almost complete tremor regression. From the statistical analysis of all 1274 brainstem cavernomas, it was determined that a cavernoma location in the midbrain was significantly associated with the onset of HT (p < 0.0005).

CONCLUSIONS

Despite strict adherence to SEZs, the use of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, and the immediate success of a resective surgery, HT, a severe neurological disorder, can occur as a delayed complication after resection of brainstem cavernomas. A cavernoma location in the midbrain is a significant predictive factor for the onset of HT. Further anatomical and neurophysiological studies will be necessary to find clues to prevent this complication.

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Paul Park, Victor Chang, Hsueh-Han Yeh, Jason M. Schwalb, David R. Nerenz, Lonni R. Schultz, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak, Richard Easton, Miguelangelo Perez-Cruet, Osama N. Kashlan, Mark E. Oppenlander, Nicholas J. Szerlip, Kevin N. Swong, and Ilyas S. Aleem

OBJECTIVE

In 2017, Michigan passed new legislation designed to reduce opioid abuse. This study evaluated the impact of these new restrictive laws on preoperative narcotic use, short-term outcomes, and readmission rates after spinal surgery.

METHODS

Patient data from 1 year before and 1 year after initiation of the new opioid laws (beginning July 1, 2018) were queried from the Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative database. Before and after implementation of the major elements of the new laws, 12,325 and 11,988 patients, respectively, were treated.

RESULTS

Patients before and after passage of the opioid laws had generally similar demographic and surgical characteristics. Notably, after passage of the opioid laws, the number of patients taking daily narcotics preoperatively decreased from 3783 (48.7%) to 2698 (39.7%; p < 0.0001). Three months postoperatively, there were no differences in minimum clinically important difference (56.0% vs 58.0%, p = 0.1068), numeric rating scale (NRS) score of back pain (3.5 vs 3.4, p = 0.1156), NRS score of leg pain (2.7 vs 2.7, p = 0.3595), satisfaction (84.4% vs 84.7%, p = 0.6852), or 90-day readmission rate (5.8% vs 6.2%, p = 0.3202) between groups. Although there was no difference in readmission rates, pain as a reason for readmission was marginally more common (0.86% vs 1.22%, p = 0.0323).

CONCLUSIONS

There was a meaningful decrease in preoperative narcotic use, but notably there was no apparent negative impact on postoperative recovery, patient satisfaction, or short-term outcomes after spinal surgery despite more restrictive opioid prescribing. Although the readmission rate did not significantly increase, pain as a reason for readmission was marginally more frequently observed.