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Christopher W. Rich, Rebecca E. Fasano, Faical Isbaine, Amit M. Saindane, Deqiang Qiu, Daniel J. Curry, Robert E. Gross, and Jon T. Willie

OBJECTIVE

Several small series have described stereotactic MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy for partial callosotomy of astatic and generalized tonic-clonic (GTC) seizures, especially in association with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Larger case series and comparison of distinct stereotactic methods for stereotactic laser corpus callosotomy (SLCC), however, are currently lacking. The objective of this study was to report seizure outcomes in a series of adult patients with epilepsy following anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures and to compare the results achieved with a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance frames.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed sequential adult epilepsy surgery patients who underwent SLCC procedures at a single institution. They describe workflows, stereotactic errors, percentage disconnection, hospitalization durations, adverse events, and seizure outcomes after performing anterior, posterior, and complete SLCC procedures using a frameless stereotactic surgical robot versus direct MRI guidance platforms.

RESULTS

Thirteen patients underwent 15 SLCC procedures. The median age at surgery was 29 years (range 20–49 years), the median duration of epilepsy was 21 years (range 9–48 years), and median postablation follow-up was 20 months (range 4–44 months). Ten patients underwent anterior SLCC with a median 73% (range 33%–80%) midsagittal length of callosum acutely ablated. Following anterior SLCC, 6 of 10 patients achieved meaningful (> 50%) reduction of target seizures. Four patients underwent posterior (completion) SLCC following prior anterior callosotomy, and 1 patient underwent complete SLCC as a single procedure; 3 of these 5 patients experienced meaningful reduction of target seizures. Overall, 8 of 10 patients in whom astatic seizures were targeted and treated by anterior and/or posterior SLCC experienced meaningful improvement. SLCC procedures with direct MRI guidance (n = 7) versus a frameless surgical robot (n = 8) yielded median radial accuracies of 1.1 mm (range 0.2–2.0 mm) versus 2.4 mm (range 0.6–6.1 mm; p = 0.0011). The most serious adverse event was a clinically significant intraparenchymal hemorrhage in a patient who underwent the robotic technique.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest reported series of SLCC for epilepsy to date. SLCC provides seizure outcomes comparable to open surgery outcomes reported in the literature. Direct MRI guidance is more accurate, which has the potential to reduce the risks of SLCC. Methodological advancements and larger studies are needed.

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Anne-Marie Langlois, Christian Iorio-Morin, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, L. Dade Lunsford, Nasser Mohammed, Jason P. Sheehan, Roman Liščák, Dušan Urgošík, Douglas Kondziolka, Cheng-chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Ahmet F. Atik, and David Mathieu

OBJECTIVE

Cranial nerve (CN) schwannomas are intracranial tumors that are commonly managed by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). There is a large body of literature supporting the use of SRS for vestibular schwannomas. Schwannomas of the oculomotor nerves (CNs III, IV, and VI) are rare skull base tumors, occurring close to the brainstem and often involving the cavernous sinus. Resection can cause significant morbidity, including loss of nerve function. As for other schwannomas, SRS can be used to manage these tumors, but only a handful of cases have been published so far, often among reports of other uncommon schwannoma locations.

METHODS

The goal of this study was to collect retrospective multicenter data on tumor control, clinical evolution, and morbidity after SRS. This study was performed through the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. Patients managed with single-session SRS for an oculomotor cranial nerve schwannoma (CN III, IV, or VI) were included. The diagnosis was based on diplopia or ptosis as the main presenting symptom and anatomical location on the trajectory of the presumed cranial nerve of origin, or prior resection confirming diagnosis. Demographic, SRS dose planning, clinical, and imaging data were collected from chart review of the treated patients. Chi-square and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Seven institutions submitted data for a total of 25 patients. The median follow-up time was 41 months. The median age at the time of treatment was 52 years. There were 11 CN III schwannomas, 11 CN IV schwannomas, and 3 CN VI schwannomas. The median target volume was 0.74 cm3, and the median marginal dose delivered was 12.5 Gy. After SRS, only 2 patients (including the only patient with neurofibromatosis type 2) had continued tumor growth. Crude local control was 92% (23/25), and the 10-year actuarial control was 86%. Diplopia improved in the majority of patients (11/21), and only 3 had worsening following SRS, 2 of whom also had worsened ptosis, both in the context of tumor progression.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS for schwannomas of the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves is effective and provides tumor control rates similar to those for other cranial nerve schwannomas. SRS allows improvement of diplopia in the majority of patients. SRS should therefore be considered as a first-line treatment option for oculomotor nerve schwannomas.

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Rachid Bech-Azeddine, Søren Fruensgaard, Mikkel Andersen, and Leah Y. Carreon

OBJECTIVE

The predominant symptom of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is neurogenic claudication or radicular pain. Some surgeons believe that the presence of substantial back pain is an indication for fusion, and that decompression alone may lead to worsening of back pain from destabilization associated with facet resection. The purpose of this study was to determine if patients with LSS and clinically significant back pain could obtain substantial improvements in back pain after a decompression alone without fusion.

METHODS

The DaneSpine database was used to identify 2737 patients with LSS without segmental instability and a baseline back pain visual analog scale (VAS) score ≥ 50 who underwent a decompression procedure alone without fusion. Standard demographic and surgical variables and patient outcomes, including back and leg pain VAS score (0–100), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and EQ-5D at baseline and at 12 months postoperatively, were collected.

RESULTS

A total of 1891 patients (69%) had 12-month follow-up data available for analysis; the mean age was 66.4 years, 860 (46%) were male, the mean BMI was 27.8 kg/m2, and 508 (27%) were current smokers. At 12 months postoperatively, there were statistically significant improvements (p < 0.001) from baseline for back pain (72.1 to 42.1), leg pain (71.2 to 41.3), EQ-5D (0.35 to 0.61), and ODI (44.1 to 27.8).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with LSS, clinically substantial back pain, and no structural instability obtain improvement in back pain after decompression-only surgery and do not need a concomitant fusion.

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James P. Caruso, M. Burhan Janjua, Alison Dolce, and Angela V. Price

OBJECTIVE

Corpus callosotomy remains an established surgical treatment for certain types of medically refractory epilepsy in pediatric patients. While the traditional surgical approach is often well tolerated, the advent of MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) provides a new opportunity to ablate the callosal body in a minimally invasive fashion and minimize the risks associated with an open interhemispheric approach. However, the literature is sparse regarding the comparative efficacy and safety profiles of open corpus callosotomy (OCC) and LITT callosotomy. To this end, the authors present a novel retrospective analysis comparing the efficacy and safety of these methods.

METHODS

Patients who underwent OCC and LITT callosotomy during the period from 2005 to 2018 were included in a single-center retrospective analysis. Patient demographic and procedural variables were collected, including length of stay, procedural blood loss, corticosteroid requirements, postsurgical complications, and postoperative disposition. Pre- and postoperative seizure frequency (according to seizure type) were recorded.

RESULTS

In total, 19 patients, who underwent 24 interventions (16 OCC and 8 LITT), were included in the analysis. The mean follow-up durations for the OCC and LITT cohorts were 83.5 months and 12.3 months, respectively. Both groups experienced reduced frequencies of seizure and drop attack frequency postoperatively. Additionally, LITT callosotomy was associated with a significant decrease in estimated blood loss and decreased length of pediatric ICU stay, with a trend of shorter length of hospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS

Longer-term follow-up and a larger population are required to further delineate the comparative efficacies of LITT callosotomy and OCC for the treatment of pediatric medically refractory epilepsy. However, the authors’ data demonstrate that LITT shows promise as a safe and effective alternative to OCC.

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Halinder S. Mangat, Xian Wu, Linda M. Gerber, Hamisi K. Shabani, Albert Lazaro, Andreas Leidinger, Maria M. Santos, Paul H. McClelland, Hanna Schenck, Pascal Joackim, Japhet G. Ngerageza, Franziska Schmidt, Philip E. Stieg, and Roger Hartl

OBJECTIVE

Given the high burden of neurotrauma in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), in this observational study, the authors evaluated the treatment and outcomes of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) accessing care at the national neurosurgical institute in Tanzania.

METHODS

A neurotrauma registry was established at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Dar-es-Salaam, and patients with severe TBI admitted within 24 hours of injury were included. Detailed emergency department and subsequent medical and surgical management of patients was recorded. Two-week mortality was measured and compared with estimates of predicted mortality computed with admission clinical variables using the Corticoid Randomisation After Significant Head Injury (CRASH) core model.

RESULTS

In total, 462 patients (mean age 33.9 years) with severe TBI were enrolled over 4.5 years; 89% of patients were male. The mean time to arrival to the hospital after injury was 8 hours; 48.7% of patients had advanced airway management in the emergency department, 55% underwent cranial CT scanning, and 19.9% underwent surgical intervention. Tiered medical therapies for intracranial hypertension were used in less than 50% of patients. The observed 2-week mortality was 67%, which was 24% higher than expected based on the CRASH core model.

CONCLUSIONS

The 2-week mortality from severe TBI at a tertiary referral center in Tanzania was 67%, which was significantly higher than the predicted estimates. The higher mortality was related to gaps in the continuum of care of patients with severe TBI, including cardiorespiratory monitoring, resuscitation, neuroimaging, and surgical rates, along with lower rates of utilization of available medical therapies. In ongoing work, the authors are attempting to identify reasons associated with the gaps in care to implement programmatic improvements. Capacity building by twinning provides an avenue for acquiring data to accurately estimate local needs and direct programmatic education and interventions to reduce excess in-hospital mortality from TBI.

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Salma M. Bakr, Ajay Patel, Mohamed A. Zaazoue, Kathryn Wagner, Sandi K. Lam, Daniel J. Curry, and Jeffrey S. Raskin

OBJECTIVE

The grid-based orthogonal placement of depth electrodes (DEs), initially defined by Jean Talairach and Jean Bancaud, is known as stereo-electroencephalography (sEEG). Although acceptance in the United States was initially slow, advances in imaging and technology have spawned a proliferation of North American epilepsy centers offering sEEG. Despite publications highlighting minimal access techniques and varied indications, standard work for phase I targeted DE has not been defined. In this article, the authors propose the term “dynamic sEEG” and define standard work tools and related common data elements to promote uniformity in the field.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary approach from July to August 2016 resulted in the production of 4 standard work tools for dynamic sEEG using ROSA: 1) a 34-page illustrated manual depicting a detailed workflow; 2) a planning form to collocate all the phase I data; 3) a naming convention for DEs that encodes the data defining it; and 4) a reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. A retrospective review of sEEG case efficiency was performed comparing those using standard work tools (between July 2016 and April 2017) with historical controls (between March 2015 and June 2016). The standard work tools were then instituted at another epilepsy surgery center, and the results were recorded.

RESULTS

The process for dynamic sEEG was formally reviewed, including anesthesia, positioning, perioperative nursing guidelines, surgical steps, and postoperative care for the workflow using cranial fixation and ROSA-guided placement. There was a 40% improvement in time per electrode, from 44.7 ± 9.0 minutes to 26.9 ± 6.5 minutes (p = 0.0007) following the development and use of the manual, the naming convention, and the reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. This standardized protocol was implemented at another institution and yielded a time per electrode of 22.3 ± 4.4 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose the term dynamic sEEG for stereotactic depth electrodes placed according to phase I workup data with the intention of converting to ablation. This workflow efficiency can be optimized using the standard work tools presented. The authors also propose a novel naming convention that encodes critical data and allows portability among providers. Use of a planning form for common data elements optimizes research, and global adoption could facilitate multicenter studies correlating phase I modality and seizure onset zone identification.

Open access

Samuel Wood and Gennadiy Fuzaylov

BACKGROUND

The authors report a case of venous air embolism (VAE) during a pediatric posterior fossa craniotomy with resulting pulmonary edema requiring postoperative ventilation. Pulmonary edema is a known but rare complication of VAE, and diagnosis and treatment are discussed.

OBSERVATIONS

The embolism was undetected during the surgical procedure, and the first clinical sign of respiratory decompensation appeared an hour after the initial insult, with imaging suggesting acute pulmonary edema. A transient but significant end-tidal carbon dioxide decrease was detected on postoperative review of the anesthesiology record.

LESSONS

This report highlights an uncommon sequela of VAE and the importance of post hoc automated record review for intraoperative event analysis.

Open access

M. Travis Caton, Kazim Narsinh, Amanda Baker, Adib A. Abla, Jarod L. Roland, Van V. Halbach, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, and Steven W. Hetts

BACKGROUND

The authors recently reported a series of children with vertebral artery (VA) compression during head turning who presented with recurrent posterior circulation stroke. Whether VA compression occurs during head positioning for cranial surgery is unknown.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of a child with incidental rotational occlusion of the VA observed during surgical head positioning for treatment of an intracranial arteriovenous fistula. Intraoperative angiography showed dynamic V3 occlusion at the level of C2 with distal reconstitution via a muscular branch “jump” collateral, supplying reduced flow to the V4 segment. She had no clinical history or imaging suggesting acute or prior stroke. Sequential postoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans demonstrated signal abnormality of the left rectus capitus muscle, suggesting ischemic edema.

LESSONS

This report demonstrates that rotational VA compression during neurosurgical head positioning can occur in children but may be asymptomatic due to the presence of muscular VA–VA “jump” collaterals and contralateral VA flow. Although unilateral VA compression may be tolerated by children with codominant VAs, diligence when rotating the head away from a dominant VA is prudent during patient positioning to avoid posterior circulation ischemia or thromboembolism.

Open access

Sarut Chaisrisawadisuk, Nithiwat Vatanavicharn, Verayuth Praphanphoj, Peter J. Anderson, and Mark H. Moore

BACKGROUND

Squamosal sutures are minor sutures of the human skull. Early isolated fusion of the sutures (squamosal synostosis) is rarely found.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of a girl who presented with an abnormal head shape and bilateral squamosal synostosis. Genetic testing revealed a chromosome 1p12–1p13.3 deletion. She has been managed with conservative treatment of the synostosis. She has global developmental delay and multiple anomalies due to the chromosome abnormality.

LESSONS

Isolated squamosal suture synostosis could be an uncommon feature of chromosome 1p12–1p13.3 deletion.

Open access

Ryuichi Noda, Shunsuke Yanagisawa, Masato Inoue, and Tetsuo Hara

BACKGROUND

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer, and in 80% of cases the cause is asbestos exposure. In 1972, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared asbestos is a carcinogenic substance. Since then, every developed country has restricted and banned the product. Because of its high heat resistance, asbestos had been widely used as building material for decades. The WHO estimated that approximately 125 million people are exposed to asbestos, and more than 107,000 die from asbestos-related diseases annually. Because of its long incubation period, the number of patients is estimated to keep increasing in the near future.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of long-surviving MPM with a rushed clinical course after brain metastasis. A 69-year-old woman diagnosed with MPM (epithelial type) 6 years earlier presented with a brain metastasis. The pathological result of the brain metastasis was the sarcomatoid type. This case showed the possibility of subtype transition after long survival.

LESSONS

This article aids in understanding the long-term natural history of MPM and the possibility of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Neurosurgeons have to be aware of its the natural history and the possibility of brain metastasis.