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Abdullah S. Bdaiwi, Hansel M. Greiner, James Leach, Francesco T. Mangano, and Mark W. DiFrancesco

OBJECTIVE

Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is often associated with drug-resistant epilepsy, leading to a recommendation to surgically remove the seizure focus. Predicting outcome for resection of FCD is challenging, requiring a new approach. Lesion-symptom mapping is a powerful and broadly applicable method for linking neurological symptoms or outcomes to damage to particular brain regions. In this work, the authors applied lesion network mapping, an expansion of the traditional approach, to search for the association of lesion network connectivity with surgical outcomes. They hypothesized that connectivity of lesion volumes, preoperatively identified by MRI, would associate with seizure outcomes after surgery in a pediatric cohort with FCD.

METHODS

This retrospective study included 21 patients spanning the ages of 3 months to 17.7 years with FCD lesions who underwent surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy. The mean brain-wide functional connectivity map of each lesion volume was assessed across a database of resting-state functional MRI data from healthy children (spanning approximately 2.9 to 18.9 years old) compiled at the authors’ institution. Lesion connectivity maps were averaged across age and sex groupings from the database and matched to each patient. The authors sought to associate voxel-wise differences in these maps with subject-specific surgical outcome (seizure free vs persistent seizures).

RESULTS

Lesion volumes with persistent seizures after surgery tended to have stronger connectivity to attention and motor networks and weaker connectivity to the default mode network compared with lesion volumes with seizure-free surgical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Network connectivity–based lesion-outcome mapping may offer new insight for determining the impact of lesion volumes discerned according to both size and specific location. The results of this pilot study could be validated with a larger set of data, with the ultimate goal of allowing examination of lesions in patients with FCD and predicting their surgical outcomes.

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Chason Ziino, Aditya V. Karhade, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Mitchel B. Harris, and Joseph H. Schwab

OBJECTIVE

The role of spine surgeons in precipitating and mediating sustained prescription opioid use remains controversial at this time. The purpose of this study was to identify prescription opioid use following lumbar discectomy and characterize the source of opioid prescriptions by clinician specialty (surgeon vs nonsurgeon).

METHODS

Using a retrospective review, the authors identified adult patients undergoing lumbar discectomy for a primary diagnosis of disc herniation between 2010 and 2017. The primary outcome was sustained prescription opioid use, defined as issue of an opioid prescription at a time point 90 days or longer after the surgical procedure. The primary predictor variable was prescriber specialty (surgeon vs nonsurgeon). The independent effect of provider specialty on the number of opioid prescriptions issued to patients was assessed using multivariable Poisson regression that accounted for confounding from all other clinical and sociodemographic variables.

RESULTS

This study included 622 patients who underwent a lumbar discectomy. A total of 610 opioid prescriptions were dispensed for this population after surgery. In total, 126 patients (20.3%) had at least one opioid prescription in the period beyond 90 days following their surgery. The majority of opioid prescriptions, 494 of 610 (81%), were non–inpatient prescriptions. Among these, only a minority (26%) of outpatient opioid prescriptions were written by surgical providers. Following multivariable Poisson regression analysis, surgical providers were found to have a lower likelihood of issuing an opioid prescription compared to nonsurgical clinicians (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.78; 95% CI 0.68–0.89; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

A minority of lumbar discectomy patients continue to receive opioid prescriptions up to 15 months after surgery. Many of these prescriptions are written by nonsurgical providers unaffiliated with the operative team.

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Yuzaburo Shimizu, Joy Gumin, Feng Gao, Anwar Hossain, Elizabeth J. Shpall, Akihide Kondo, Brittany C. Parker Kerrigan, Jing Yang, Daniel Ledbetter, Juan Fueyo, Candelaria Gomez-Manzano, and Frederick F. Lang

OBJECTIVE

Delta-24-RGD is an oncolytic adenovirus that is capable of replicating in and killing human glioma cells. Although intratumoral delivery of Delta-24-RGD can be effective, systemic delivery would improve its clinical application. Bone marrow–derived human mesenchymal stem cells (BM-hMSCs) obtained from healthy donors have been investigated as virus carriers. However, it is unclear whether BM-hMSCs can be derived from glioma patients previously treated with marrow-toxic chemotherapy or whether such BM-hMSCs can deliver oncolytic viruses effectively. Herein, the authors undertook a prospective clinical trial to determine the feasibility of obtaining BM-hMSCs from patients with recurrent malignant glioma who were previously exposed to marrow-toxic chemotherapy.

METHODS

The authors enrolled 5 consecutive patients who had been treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. BM aspirates were obtained from the iliac crest and were cultured to obtain BM-hMSCs.

RESULTS

The patient-derived BM-hMSCs (PD-BM-hMSCs) had a morphology similar to that of healthy donor–derived BM-hMSCs (HD-BM-hMSCs). Flow cytometry revealed that all 5 cell lines expressed canonical MSC surface markers. Importantly, these cultures could be made to differentiate into osteocytes, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. In all cases, the PD-BM-hMSCs homed to intracranial glioma xenografts in mice after intracarotid delivery as effectively as HD-BM-hMSCs. The PD-BM-hMSCs loaded with Delta-24-RGD (PD-BM-MSC-D24) effectively eradicated human gliomas in vitro. In in vivo studies, intravascular administration of PD-BM-MSC-D24 increased the survival of mice harboring U87MG gliomas.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors conclude that BM-hMSCs can be acquired from patients previously treated with marrow-toxic chemotherapy and that these PD-BM-hMSCs are effective carriers for oncolytic viruses.

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Daniel Delev, Karlijn Hakvoort, Marie Therese Krüger, Christian Blume, Hans Clusmann, and Georg Neuloh

OBJECTIVE

Ischemic events within the territory of the choroidal artery are an important cause of morbidity after temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) surgery. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the rate of these ischemic events, their clinical presentation, and impact on patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after TLE surgery.

METHODS

Four hundred twenty-two consecutive patients undergoing temporal resections for drug-resistant TLE were retrospectively analyzed. All patients underwent presurgical multidisciplinary assessment using a standard protocol comprising clinical, neuroradiological, neuropsychological, and EEG data. Postoperative complications with corresponding imaging, neurological deficits, and disease-specific HRQoL questionnaires were evaluated.

RESULTS

The overall complication rate was 7.8% (n = 33). Fourteen patients (3.3%) suffered from ischemic events causing 6 permanent motor deficits, 3 with permanent aphasias, and 6 visual field defects that exceeded quadrantanopia. In 8 patients with anterior choroidal artery infarction, accounting for 57% of all ischemic events, infarction volume correlated positively with the occurrence of new permanent neurological deficits (8666 vs 1692 mm3, p = 0.032). Despite the occurrence of ischemic events, HRQoL improved in 71% of patients. However, infarction volume showed a negative correlation trend with HRQoL (Pearson’s r = −0.390, p = 0.094). There was a trend toward increased risk for ischemic events in patients who underwent selective amygdalohippocampectomy compared to patients who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy or temporal lesionectomy (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–0.99, p = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS

Choroidal artery infarctions are rare but relevant complications after TLE surgery, presenting with variable clinical courses ranging from devastating neurological deterioration to complete recovery. Despite the occurrence of postoperative infarction, most patients report improvement of HRQoL after TLE surgery. This study showed that the type of surgery appears to modulate the risk for these ischemic events.

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Thomas J. Buell, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Peter G. Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Vedat Deviren, Michael P. Kelly, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish C. Gupta, Douglas C. Burton, Richard A. Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Robert A. Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Shay Bess, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, and The International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

OBJECTIVE

Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors’ objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

METHODS

This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society–22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

CONCLUSIONS

In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Anshit Goyal, Gregory A. Worrell, W. Richard Marsh, Jamie J. Van Gompel, and Kai J. Miller

OBJECTIVE

Insular lobe epilepsy is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat. Due to anatomical intricacy and proximity to eloquent brain regions, resection of epileptic foci in that region can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to review available evidence on postoperative outcomes following insular epilepsy surgery.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane) was conducted for studies investigating the postoperative outcomes for seizures originating in the insula. Seizure freedom at last follow-up (at least 12 months) comprised the primary endpoint. The authors also present their institutional experience with 8 patients (4 pediatric, 4 adult).

RESULTS

A total of 19 studies with 204 cases (90 pediatric, 114 adult) were identified. The median age at surgery was 23 years, and 48% were males. The median epilepsy duration was 8 years, and 17% of patients had undergone prior epilepsy surgery. Epilepsy was lesional in 67%. The most common approach was transsylvian (60%). The most commonly resected area was the anterior insular region (n = 42, 21%), whereas radical insulectomy was performed in 13% of cases (n = 27). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (n = 68, 51%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (n = 16, 12%). In the literature, seizure freedom was noted in 60% of pediatric and 69% of adult patients at a median follow-up of 29 months (75% and 50%, respectively, in the current series). A neurological deficit occurred in 43% of cases (10% permanent), with extremity paresis comprising the most common deficit (n = 35, 21%), followed by facial paresis (n = 32, 19%). Language deficits were more common in left-sided approaches (24% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis for seizure freedom revealed a significantly higher proportion of patients with lesional epilepsy among those with at least 12 months of follow-up (77% vs 59%, p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS

These findings may serve as a benchmark when tailoring decision-making for insular epilepsy, and may assist surgeons in their preoperative discussions with patients. Although seizure freedom rates are quite high with insular epilepsy treatment, the associated morbidity needs to be weighed against the potential for seizure freedom.

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Damiano Astolfi and Barbara E. Wildhaber

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Christian Iorio-Morin, Charles G. Fisher, Edward Abraham, Andrew Nataraj, Najmedden Attabib, Jerome Paquet, Thomas Guy Hogan, Christopher S. Bailey, Henry Ahn, Michael Johnson, Eden A. Richardson, Neil Manson, Ken Thomas, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Hamilton Hall, and Nicolas Dea

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar discectomy (LD) is frequently performed to alleviate radicular pain resulting from disc herniation. While this goal is achieved in most patients, improvement in low-back pain (LBP) has been reported inconsistently. The goal of this study was to characterize how LBP evolves following discectomy.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected patient data from the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) registry. Patients who underwent surgery for lumbar disc herniation were eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome was a clinically significant reduction in the back pain numerical rating scale (BPNRS) assessed at 12 months. Binary logistic regression was used to model the relationship between the primary outcome and potential predictors.

RESULTS

There were 557 patients included in the analysis. The chief complaint was radiculopathy in 85%; 55% of patients underwent a minimally invasive procedure. BPNRS improved at 3 months by 48% and this improvement was sustained at all follow-ups. LBP and leg pain improvement were correlated. Clinically significant improvement in BPNRS at 12 months was reported by 64% of patients. Six factors predicted a lack of LBP improvement: female sex, low education level, marriage, not working, low expectations with regard to LBP improvement, and a low BPNRS preoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinically significant improvement in LBP is observed in the majority of patients after LD. These data should be used to better counsel patients and provide accurate expectations about back pain improvement.

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Jonathan Rychen, Adrian Madarasz, Michael Murek, Philippe Schucht, Mirjam R. Heldner, Pasquale Mordasini, Werner J. Z’Graggen, Andreas Raabe, and David Bervini

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative internal carotid artery (ICA) intimal flap (IF) is a potential complication after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for carotid artery stenosis. There are no clear recommendations in the current literature on the management of this condition due to sparse evidence. Some authors advocate carotid stent placement or reoperation, while others suggest watchful waiting. The aim of this study was to analyze incidence and management strategies of postoperative ICA-IF, and moreover, to put these findings into context with a systematic literature review.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all consecutive CEA cases performed at the University Hospital of Bern over a decade (January 2008 to December 2018). The incidence of postoperative ICA-IF, risk factors, management strategies, and outcomes were analyzed. These results were put into context with a systematic review following the PRISMA guidelines.

RESULTS

A total of 725 CEAs were performed between January 2008 and December 2018. Postoperative ICA-IF was detected by routine duplex neurovascular ultrasound (NVUS) in 13 patients, corresponding to an incidence rate of 1.8% (95% CI 1.0%–3.1%). There were no associated intraluminal thrombi on the detected IF. Intraoperative shunt placement was used in 5.6% and one or more intima tack sutures were performed in 42.5% of the 725 cases. There was no significant association between intraoperative shunt placement and the occurrence of an IF (p > 0.99). Two patients (15.4%) with IF experienced a transient postoperative neurological deficit (transient ischemic attack). In these cases, the symptoms resolved spontaneously without any interventions or change in the antiplatelet regimen. All other cases (84.6%) with IF were asymptomatic. In 1 patient (7.7%) with IF, the antiplatelet treatment was switched from a mono- to a dual-antiaggregating regimen because the IF led to a stenosis > 70%; this patient remained asymptomatic. All cases of IFs were managed conservatively with close radiological follow-up evaluations, without reoperation or stenting of the ICA. All 13 IFs vanished spontaneously after a mean duration of 6.9 months (median 1.5 months, range 0.5–48 months). A systematic literature review revealed a postoperative ICA-IF incidence of 3.0% (95% CI 2.1%–4.1%) with relatively heterogenous management strategies.

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative ICA-IF is a rare finding after CEA. Conservative therapy with close NVUS follow-up evaluations appears to be an acceptable and safe management strategy for asymptomatic IFs without associated intraluminal thrombi.

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Dang Do Thanh Can, Jacob R. Lepard, Nguyen Minh Anh, Pham Anh Tuan, Tran Diep Tuan, Vo Tan Son, John H. Grant, and James M. Johnston

OBJECTIVE

There is a global deficit of pediatric neurosurgical care, and the epidemiology and overall surgical care for craniosynostosis is not well characterized at the global level. This study serves to highlight the details and early surgical results of a neurosurgical educational partnership and subsequent local scale-up in craniosynostosis correction.

METHODS

A prospective case series was performed with inclusion of all patients undergoing correction of craniosynostosis by extensive cranial vault remodeling at Children’s Hospital 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019.

RESULTS

A total of 76 patients were included in the study. The group was predominantly male, with a male-to-female ratio of 3.3:1. Sagittal synostosis was the most common diagnosis (50%, 38/76), followed by unilateral coronal (11.8%, 9/76), bicoronal (11.8%, 9/76), and metopic (7.9%, 6/76). The most common corrective technique was anterior cranial vault remodeling (30/76, 39.4%) followed by frontoorbital advancement (34.2%, 26/76). The overall mean operative time was 205.8 ± 38.6 minutes, and the estimated blood loss was 176 ± 89.4 mL. Eleven procedures were complicated by intraoperative durotomy (14.5%, 11/76) without any damage of dural venous sinuses or brain tissue. Postoperatively, 4 procedures were complicated by wound infection (5.3%, 4/76), all of which required operative wound debridement. There were no neurological complications or postoperative deaths. One patient required repeat reconstruction due to delayed intracranial hypertension. There was no loss to follow-up. All patients were followed at outpatient clinic, and the mean follow-up period was 32.3 ± 18.8 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical care for pediatric craniosynostosis can be taught and sustained in the setting of collegial educational partnerships with early capability for high surgical volume and safe outcomes. In the setting of the significant deficit in worldwide pediatric neurosurgical care, this study provides an example of the feasibility of such relationships in addressing this unmet need.