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Arianna Fava, Paolo di Russo, Valentina Tardivo, Thibault Passeri, Breno Câmara, Nicolas Penet, Rosaria Abbritti, Lorenzo Giammattei, Hamid Mammar, Anne Laure Bernat, Emmanuel Mandonnet, and Sébastien Froelich

OBJECTIVE

Craniocervical junction (CCJ) chordomas are a neurosurgical challenge because of their deep localization, lateral extension, bone destruction, and tight relationship with the vertebral artery and lower cranial nerves. In this study, the authors present their surgical experience with the endoscope-assisted far-lateral transcondylar approach (EA-FLTA) for the treatment of CCJ chordomas, highlighting the advantages of this corridor and the integration of the endoscope to reach the anterior aspect and contralateral side of the CCJ and the possibility of performing occipitocervical fusion (OCF) during the same stage of surgery.

METHODS

Nine consecutive cases of CCJ chordomas treated with the EA-FLTA between 2013 and 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative characteristics, surgical technique, postoperative results, and clinical outcome were analyzed. A cadaveric dissection was also performed to clarify the anatomical landmarks.

RESULTS

The male/female ratio was 1.25, and the median age was 36 years (range 14–53 years). In 6 patients (66.7%), the lesion showed a bilateral extension, and 7 patients (77.8%) had an intradural extension. The vertebral artery was encased in 5 patients. Gross-total resection was achieved in 5 patients (55.6%), near-total resection in 3 (33.3%), and subtotal resection 1 (11.1%). In 5 cases, the OCF was performed in the same stage after tumor removal. Neither approach-related complications nor complications related to tumor resection occurred. During follow-up (median 18 months, range 5–48 months), 1 patient, who had already undergone treatment and radiotherapy at another institution and had an aggressive tumor (Ki-67 index of 20%), showed tumor recurrence at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The EA-FLTA provides a safe and effective corridor to resect extensive and complex CCJ chordomas, allowing the surgeon to reach the anterior, lateral, and posterior portions of the tumor, and to treat CCJ instability in a single stage.

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Agnetha A. E. Bruggeman, Manon Kappelhof, Nerea Arrarte Terreros, Manon L. Tolhuisen, Praneeta R. Konduri, Nikki Boodt, Heleen M. M. van Beusekom, Hajo M. Hund, Aladdin Taha, Aad van der Lugt, Yvo B. W. E. M. Roos, Adriaan C. G. M. van Es, Wim H. van Zwam, Alida A. Postma, Diederik W. J. Dippel, Hester F. Lingsma, Henk A. Marquering, Bart J. Emmer, Charles B. L. M. Majoie, and on behalf of the MR CLEAN Registry Investigators

OBJECTIVE

Calcified cerebral emboli (CCE) are a rare cause of acute ischemic stroke. The authors aimed to assess the association of CCE with functional outcome, successful reperfusion, and mortality. Furthermore, they aimed to assess the effectiveness of intravenous alteplase treatment and endovascular treatment (EVT), as well as the best first-line EVT approach in patients with CCE.

METHODS

The Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN) Registry is a prospective, observational multicenter registry of patients treated with EVT for acute ischemic stroke in 16 intervention hospitals in the Netherlands. The association of CCE with functional outcome, reperfusion, and mortality was evaluated using logistic regression models. Univariable comparisons were made to determine the effectiveness of intravenous alteplase treatment and the best first-line EVT approach in CCE patients.

RESULTS

The study included 3077 patients from the MR CLEAN Registry. Fifty-five patients (1.8%) had CCE. CCE were not significantly associated with worse functional outcome (adjusted common OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.44–1.15), and 29% of CCE patients achieved functional independence. An extended Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score ≥ 2B was significantly less often achieved in CCE patients compared to non-CCE patients (adjusted OR [aOR] 0.52, 95% CI 0.28–0.97). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 8 CCE patients (15%) vs 171 of 3022 non-CCE patients (6%; p = 0.01). The median improvement on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 2 in CCE patients versus 4 in non-CCE patients (p = 0.008). CCE were not significantly associated with mortality (aOR 1.16, 95% CI 0.64–2.12). Intravenous alteplase use in CCE patients was not associated with functional outcome or reperfusion. In CCE patients with successful reperfusion, stent retrievers were more often used as the primary treatment device (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

While patients with CCE had significantly lower reperfusion rates and less improvement on the NIHSS after EVT, CCE were not significantly associated with worse functional outcome or higher mortality rates. Therefore, EVT should still be considered in this specific group of patients.

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Kari Hanson, Carly Isder, Kristen Shogren, Anthony L. Mikula, Lichun Lu, Michael J. Yaszemski, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

The use of intrawound vancomycin powder in spine surgery has been shown to decrease the rate of surgical site infections; however, the optimal dose is unknown. High-dose vancomycin inhibits osteoblast proliferation in vitro and may decrease the rate of solid arthrodesis. Bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are multipotent cells that are a source of osteogenesis in spine fusions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of vancomycin on rat BMSC viability and differentiation in vitro.

METHODS

BMSCs were isolated from the femurs of immature female rats, cultured, and then split into two equal groups; half were treated to stimulate osteoblastic differentiation and half were not. Osteogenesis was stimulated by the addition of 50 µg/mL l-ascorbic acid, 10 mM β-glycerol phosphate, and 0.1 µM dexamethasone. Vancomycin was added to cell culture medium at concentrations of 0, 0.04, 0.4, or 4 mg/mL. Early differentiation was determined by alkaline phosphatase activity (4 days posttreatment) and late differentiation by alizarin red staining for mineralization (9 days posttreatment). Cell viability was determined at both the early and late time points by measurement of formazan colorimetric product.

RESULTS

Viability within the first 4 days decreased with high-dose vancomycin treatment, with cells receiving 4 mg/mL vancomycin having 40%–60% viability compared to the control. A gradual decrease in alizarin red staining and nodule formation was observed with increasing vancomycin doses. In the presence of the osteogenic factors, vancomycin did not have deleterious effects on alkaline phosphatase activity, whereas a trend toward reduced activity was seen in the absence of osteogenic factors when compared to osteogenically treated cells.

CONCLUSIONS

Vancomycin reduced BMSC viability and impaired late osteogenic differentiation with high-dose treatment. Therefore, the inhibitory effects of high-dose vancomycin on spinal fusion may result from both reduced BMSC viability and some impairment of osteogenic differentiation.

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Katsuhiro Mizutani, Arturo Consoli, Federico Di Maria, Stéphanie Condette Auliac, Anne Boulin, Oguzhan Coskun, Julie Gratieux, and Georges Rodesch

OBJECTIVE

Few classifications of intradural spinal arteriovenous shunts (ID-SAVSs) have considered their anatomical localization in relation to their phenotype and angioarchitectonics. The authors propose another vision of ID-SAVSs allowing a reappraised classification based on analysis of the anatomical disposition, angioarchitecture, and histogenetic location of these vascular malformations.

METHODS

The radiological and clinical records of 210 patients with ID-SAVSs were retrospectively reviewed, considering their localization, vascular architectonics, and correlation with the 5 histogenetic units of the spinal cord. Among these, 183 files with complete data allowed precise analysis of the ID-SAVSs.

RESULTS

Among these 183 files (162 and 21 cases with single and multiple lesions, respectively), different entities were identified: 13 pial macro arteriovenous fistulas (MAVFs), 92 pial micro arteriovenous fistulas (mAVFs), 33 superficial pial niduses, and 69 intramedullary niduses. Thirteen sulcal shunts (either fistulas or niduses) were considered subtypes of pial lesions. Among the 21 multiple cases, 11 were monomyelomeric while 10 were multimyelomeric. Pial lesions, either fistulas or niduses, were dominantly vascularized by pial arteries (anterior or posterior depending on the localization of the shunt) and occasionally (except for MAVFs) by transmedullary arteries. Pial niduses occasionally extended into the funiculus by recruiting intrinsic veins or by extension of the nidus itself inside the white matter. Intramedullary niduses were always vascularized by both centrifugal and centripetal feeders, respectively, from sulcal arteries (SAs) and pial arteries. Sulcal lesions are pial lesions located within the ventral median sulcus and vascularized by SAs and veins. Single or multiple ID-SAVSs can be part of various syndromes such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Parkes-Weber, RASA1, CLOVES, and spinal arteriovenous metameric syndromes. Histogenetic analyses revealed a specific distribution of each ID-SAVS in the 5 histogenetic units of the spinal cord: intramedullary niduses were found almost equally from cervical to thoracic units, while MAVFs and mAVFs were mostly found from thoracic to postcrural ones. Pial niduses showed intermediate features between intramedullary and fistulous lesions and were mostly distributed from brachial to crural segments.

CONCLUSIONS

Precise analysis of the anatomical disposition of ID-SAVSs in relation to functional histogenetic units allows a better understanding of these lesions and improved therapeutic management.

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Varinder Singh Alg, Vinothan Sivasubramaniam, and Erlick Abilio Coelho Pereira

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Peter G. Passias, Haddy Alas, Shay Bess, Breton G. Line, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Christopher P. Ames, Douglas C. Burton, Avery Brown, Cole Bortz, Katherine Pierce, Waleed Ahmad, Sara Naessig, Michael P. Kelly, Richard Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Khoi D. Than, Pierce Nunley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric O. Klineberg, Justin S. Smith, Frank J. Schwab, and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Patients with nonoperative (N-Op) adult spinal deformity (ASD) have inferior long-term spinopelvic alignment and clinical outcomes. Predictors of lower quality-of-life measures in N-Op populations have yet to be sufficiently investigated. The aim of this study was to identify patient-related factors and radiographic parameters associated with inferior health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) scores in N-Op ASD patients.

METHODS

N-Op ASD patients with complete radiographic and outcome data at baseline and 2 years were included. N-Op patients and operative (Op) patients were propensity score matched for baseline disability and deformity. Patient-related factors and radiographic alignment parameters (pelvic tilt [PT], sagittal vertical axis [SVA], pelvic incidence [PI]–lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch, mismatch between cervical lordosis and T1 segment slope [TS-CL], cervical-thoracic pelvic angle [PA], and others) at baseline and 2 years were analyzed as predictors for moderate to severe 2-year Oswestry Disability Index (ODI > 20) and failing to meet the minimal clinically importance difference (MCID) for 2-year Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS) scores (< 0.4 increase from baseline). Conditional inference decision trees identified predictors of each HRQOL measure and established cutoffs at which factors have a global effect. Random forest analysis (RFA) generated 5000 conditional inference trees to compute a variable importance table for top predictors of inferior HRQOL. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Six hundred sixty-two patients with ASD (331 Op patients and 331 N-Op patients) with complete radiographic and HRQOL data at their 2-year follow-up were included. There were no differences in demographics, ODI, and Schwab deformity modifiers between groups at baseline (all p > 0.05). N-Op patients had higher 2-year ODI scores (27.9 vs 20.3, p < 0.001), higher rates of moderate to severe disability (29.3% vs 22.4%, p = 0.05), lower SRS total scores (3.47 vs 3.91, p < 0.001), and higher rates of failure to reach SRS MCID (35.3% vs 15.7%, p < 0.001) than Op patients at 2 years. RFA ranked the top overall predictors for moderate to severe ODI at 2 years for N-Op patients as follows: 1) frailty index > 2.8, 2) BMI > 35 kg/m, T4PA > 28°, and 4) Charlson Comorbidity Index > 1. Top radiographic predictors were T4PA > 28° and C2–S1 SVA > 93 mm. RFA also ranked the top overall predictors for failure to reach 2-year SRS MCID for N-Op patients, as follows: 1) T12–S1 lordosis > 53°, 2) cervical SVA (cSVA) > 28 mm, 3) C2–S1 angle > 14.5°, 4) TS-CL > 12°, and 5) PT > 23°. The top radiographic predictors were T12–S1 Cobb angle, cSVA, C2–S1 angle, and TS-CL.

CONCLUSIONS

When controlling for baseline deformity in N-Op versus Op patients, subsequent deterioration in frailty, BMI, and radiographic progression over a 2-year follow-up were found to drive suboptimal patient-reported outcome measures in N-Op cohorts as measured by validated ODI and SRS clinical instruments.

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S. Harrison Farber, David J. Mauler, Soumya Sagar, Mark A. Pacult, Corey T. Walker, Michael A. Bohl, Laura A. Snyder, Kristina M. Chapple, Volker K. H. Sonntag, Juan S. Uribe, Jay D. Turner, Steve W. Chang, and U. Kumar Kakarla

OBJECTIVE

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common and robust procedure performed on the cervical spine. Literature on ACDF for 4 or more segments is sparse. Increasing the number of operative levels increases surgical complexity, tissue retraction, and risks of complications, particularly dysphagia. The overall risks of these complications and rates of dysphagia are not well studied for surgery on 4 or more segments. In this study, the authors evaluated their institution’s perioperative experience with 4- and 5-level ACDFs.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent 4- or 5-level ACDF at their institution over a 6-year period (May 2013–May 2019). Patient demographics, perioperative complications, readmission rates, and swallowing outcomes were recorded. Outcomes were analyzed with a multivariate linear regression.

RESULTS

A total of 174 patients were included (167 had 4-level and 7 had 5-level ACDFs). The average age was 60.6 years, and 54.0% of patients (n = 94) were men. A corpectomy was performed in 12.6% of patients (n = 22). After surgery, 56.9% of patients (n = 99) experienced dysphagia. The percentage of patients with dysphagia decreased to 22.8% (37/162) at 30 days, 12.9% (17/132) at 90 days, and 6.3% (5/79) and 2.8% (1/36) at 1 and 2 years, respectively. Dysphagia was more likely at 90 days postoperatively in patients with gastroesophageal reflux (OR 4.4 [95% CI 1.5–12.8], p = 0.008), and the mean (± SD) lordosis change was greater in patients with dysphagia than those without at 90 days (19.8° ± 13.3° vs 9.1° ± 10.2°, p = 0.003). Dysphagia occurrence did not differ with operative implants, including graft and interbody type. The mean length of time to solid food intake was 2.4 ± 2.1 days. Patients treated with dexamethasone were more likely to achieve solid food intake prior to discharge (OR 4.0 [95% CI 1.5–10.6], p = 0.004). Postsurgery, 5.2% of patients (n = 9) required a feeding tube due to severe approach-related dysphagia. Other perioperative complication rates were uniformly low. Overall, 8.6% of patients (n = 15) returned to the emergency department within 30 days and 2.9% (n = 5) required readmission, whereas 1.1% (n = 2) required unplanned return to surgery within 30 days.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest series of patients undergoing 4- and 5-level ACDFs reported to date. This procedure was performed safely with minimal intraoperative complications. More than half of the patients experienced in-hospital dysphagia, which increased their overall length of stay, but dysphagia decreased over time.

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P. Sarat Chandra, Ramesh Doddamani, Shabari Girishan, Raghu Samala, Mohit Agrawal, Ajay Garg, Bhargavi Ramanujam, Madhavi Tripathi, Chandrashekar Bal, Ashima Nehra, and Manjari Tripathi

OBJECTIVE

The authors present a new “bloodless” technique for minimally invasive robotic thermocoagulative hemispherotomy (ROTCH). Such a method is being described in the literature for the first time.

METHODS

A robotic system was used to plan five sets of different trajectories: anterior disconnection, middle disconnection, posterior disconnection, corpus callosotomy, and temporal stem and amygdalar disconnection. A special technique, called the “X” technique, allowed planar disconnection. Registration was performed with surface landmarks (n = 5) and bone fiducials (n = 1). Coregistration with O-arm images was performed one or two times to confirm the trajectories (once for middle disconnection, and once for disconnection of the temporal stem and amygdala or body of the corpus callosum). Impedance measured before ablation allowed for minor adjustments. Radiofrequency ablation was performed at 75°C–80°C for 60 seconds. Surgical procedures were performed with multiple twist drills. After removal of the electrode, glue was used to prevent CSF leak, and a single stitch was applied. Follow-up CT and MRI were immediately performed.

RESULTS

The pathologies included Rasmussen's encephalitis (n = 2), hemispheric cortical dysplasia (n = 2), posttraumatic encephalomalacia (n = 1), and perinatal insult (n = 1). The mean ± SD (range) age was 6.7 ± 3.6 years (5 months to 10.2 years), and the right side was affected in 4 patients. The mean ± SD seizure frequency was 7.4 ± 5.6 seizures per day (1 patient had epilepsia partialis continua). The mean ± SD number of trajectories was 15.3 ± 2.5, and the mean ± SD number of lesions was 108 ± 25.8. The mean ± SD maximum numbers of trajectories and lesions required for middle disconnection were 7.1 ± 1.7 and 57.5 ± 18.4, respectively. All but 1 patient had class 1 outcomes according to the International League Against Epilepsy Outcome Scale at a mean ± SD (range) follow-up of 13.5 ± 1.6 (12–16) months; the remaining patient had a class 2 outcome. The estimated blood loss was < 5 ml for all patients. Complications included repeat surgery (after 2 weeks) for a “skip” area (n = 1) and a small temporal hematoma (n = 1), which resolved.

CONCLUSIONS

ROTCH seems to be a safe, feasible, and bloodless procedure, with a very low morbidity rate and promising outcomes.

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Yang Li, Benlong Shi, Dun Liu, Zhen Liu, Xu Sun, Yong Qiu, and Zezhang Zhu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to compare the radiographic and clinical outcomes between the sequential correction (SC) technique and the traditional 2-rod correction (TC) technique in patients with severe thoracic idiopathic scoliosis (STIS) undergoing posterior-only correction surgery.

METHODS

Records of a consecutive series of STIS patients undergoing posterior-only correction surgery between October 2013 and October 2017 with more than 2 years of follow-up were reviewed. The radiographic parameters were assessed preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the last follow-up. Radiographic parameters, operative time, blood loss, and complications were compared between the two groups.

RESULTS

A total of 33 patients were included in the SC group, and 21 patients were included in the TC group. There was no significant difference in age, sex, or deformity magnitude (93.6° ± 7.8° vs 89.8° ± 6.6°, p = 0.070) preoperatively between groups. The operation time was shorter in the SC group than in the TC group (251.5 ± 42.8 minutes vs 275.4 ± 39.8 minutes, p = 0.020), while both blood loss (1284.6 ± 483.3 vs 1398.0 ± 558.4 ml, p = 0.432) and number of fused levels (13.1 ± 2.8 vs 13.6 ± 2.4, p = 0.503) were similar between the groups. Compared with the TC group, patients in the SC group had a higher correction rate (55.8% ± 9.2% vs 45.7% ± 8.8%, p < 0.001), less coronal (1.1° ± 0.81° vs 2.9° ± 0.93°, p < 0.001) and sagittal (1.5° ± 0.96° vs 2.1° ± 0.64°, p = 0.015) correction loss at the 2-year follow-up, and a lower incidence of intraoperative pedicle screw pullout (14.3% vs 23.8%, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

The SC technique could significantly and practically reduce the difficulty of rod installation with better deformity correction outcomes than the traditional TC technique. The SC technique was an effective alternative for patients with STIS.

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Nida Fatima, Antonio Meola, Victoria Y. Ding, Erqi Pollom, Scott G. Soltys, Cynthia F. Chuang, Nastaran Shahsavari, Steven L. Hancock, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler, and Steven D. Chang

OBJECTIVE

The CyberKnife (CK) has emerged as an effective frameless and noninvasive method for treating a myriad of neurosurgical conditions. Here, the authors conducted an extensive retrospective analysis and review of the literature to elucidate the trend for CK use in the management paradigm for common neurosurgical diseases at their institution.

METHODS

A literature review (January 1990–June 2019) and clinical review (January 1999–December 2018) were performed using, respectively, online research databases and the Stanford Research Repository of patients with intracranial and spinal lesions treated with CK at Stanford. For each disease considered, the coefficient of determination (r2) was estimated as a measure of CK utilization over time. A change in treatment modality was assessed using a t-test, with statistical significance assessed at the 0.05 alpha level.

RESULTS

In over 7000 patients treated with CK for various brain and spinal lesions over the past 20 years, a positive linear trend (r2 = 0.80) in the system's use was observed. CK gained prominence in the management of intracranial and spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs; r2 = 0.89 and 0.95, respectively); brain and spine metastases (r2 = 0.97 and 0.79, respectively); benign tumors such as meningioma (r2 = 0.85), vestibular schwannoma (r2 = 0.76), and glomus jugulare tumor (r2 = 0.89); glioblastoma (r2 = 0.54); and trigeminal neuralgia (r2 = 0.81). A statistically significant difference in the change in treatment modality to CK was observed in the management of intracranial and spinal AVMs (p < 0.05), and while the treatment of brain and spine metastases, meningioma, and glioblastoma trended toward the use of CK, the change in treatment modality for these lesions was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Evidence suggests the robust use of CK for treating a wide range of neurological conditions.