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Meng Huang, Avery Buchholz, Anshit Goyal, Erica Bisson, Zoher Ghogawala, Eric Potts, John Knightly, Domagoj Coric, Anthony Asher, Kevin Foley, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Paul Park, Mark Shaffrey, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan Slotkin, Steven Glassman, Mohamad Bydon, and Michael Wang

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment for degenerative spondylolisthesis has been proven to be clinically challenging and cost-effective. However, there is a range of thresholds that surgeons utilize for incorporating fusion in addition to decompressive laminectomy in these cases. This study investigates these surgeon- and site-specific factors by using the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD).

METHODS

The QOD was queried for all cases that had undergone surgery for grade 1 spondylolisthesis from database inception to February 2019. In addition to patient-specific covariates, surgeon-specific covariates included age, sex, race, years in practice (0–10, 11–20, 21–30, > 30 years), and fellowship training. Site-specific variables included hospital location (rural, suburban, urban), teaching versus nonteaching status, and hospital type (government, nonfederal; private, nonprofit; private, investor owned). Multivariable regression and predictor importance analyses were performed to identify predictors of the treatment performed (decompression alone vs decompression and fusion). The model was clustered by site to account for site-specific heterogeneity in treatment selection.

RESULTS

A total of 12,322 cases were included with 1988 (16.1%) that had undergone decompression alone. On multivariable regression analysis clustered by site, adjusting for patient-level clinical covariates, no surgeon-specific factors were found to be significantly associated with the odds of selecting decompression alone as the surgery performed. However, sites located in suburban areas (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.09–4.84, p = 0.03) were more likely to perform decompression alone (reference = urban). Sites located in rural areas had higher odds of performing decompression alone than hospitals located in urban areas, although the results were not statistically significant (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.59–2.61, p = 0.49). Nonteaching status was independently associated with lower odds of performing decompression alone (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.19–0.97, p = 0.04). Predictor importance analysis revealed that the most important determinants of treatment selection were dominant symptom (Wald χ2 = 34.7, accounting for 13.6% of total χ2) and concurrent diagnosis of disc herniation (Wald χ2 = 31.7, accounting for 12.4% of total χ2). Hospital teaching status was also found to be relatively important (Wald χ2 = 4.2, accounting for 1.6% of total χ2) but less important than other patient-level predictors.

CONCLUSIONS

Nonteaching centers were more likely to perform decompressive laminectomy with supplemental fusion for spondylolisthesis. Suburban hospitals were more likely to perform decompression only. Surgeon characteristics were not found to influence treatment selection after adjustment for clinical covariates. Further large database registry experience from surgeons at high-volume academic centers at which surgically and medically complex patients are treated may provide additional insight into factors associated with treatment preference for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

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Ken Matsushima, Michihiro Kohno, Norio Ichimasu, Yujiro Tanaka, Nobuyuki Nakajima, and Masanori Yoshino

OBJECTIVE

Surgery for tumors around the jugular foramen has significant risks of dysphagia and vocal cord palsy due to possible damage to the lower cranial nerve functions. For its treatment, long-term tumor control by maximum resection while avoiding permanent neurological damage is required. To accomplish this challenging goal, the authors developed an intraoperative continuous vagus nerve monitoring system and herein report their experience with this novel neuromonitoring method.

METHODS

Fifty consecutive patients with tumors around the jugular foramen (34 jugular foramen schwannomas, 11 meningiomas, 3 hypoglossal schwannomas, and 2 others) who underwent microsurgical resection under continuous vagus nerve monitoring within an 11-year period were retrospectively investigated. Evoked vagus nerve electromyograms were continuously monitored by direct 1-Hz stimulation to the nerve throughout the microsurgical procedure.

RESULTS

The average resection rate was 96.2%, and no additional surgery was required in any of the patients during the follow-up period (average 65.0 months). Extubation immediately after surgery and oral feeding within 10 days postoperatively were each achieved in 49 patients (98.0%). In 7 patients (14.0%), dysphagia and/or hoarseness were mildly worsened postoperatively at the latest follow-up, but tracheostomy or gastrostomy was not required in any of them. Amplitude preservation ratios on intraoperative vagus nerve electromyograms were significantly smaller in patients with postoperative worsening of dysphagia and/or hoarseness (cutoff value 63%, sensitivity 86%, specificity 79%).

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative continuous vagus nerve monitoring enables real-time and quantitative assessment of vagus nerve function and is important for avoiding permanent vagus nerve palsy, while helping to achieve sufficient resection of tumors around the jugular foramen.

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Juan Maiguel-Lapeira, Ivan Lozada-Martinez, Daniela Torres-Llinás, and Luis Moscote-Salazar

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

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Hiroki Morisako, Hiroki Ohata, Bharat Shinde, Atsufumi Nagahama, Yusuke Watanabe, and Takeo Goto

OBJECTIVE

Petroclival meningiomas (PCMs) remain difficult to remove, and radical tumor resection continues to pose a relatively high risk of neurological morbidity in patients with these lesions because of the proximity of the tumor to neurovascular structures. The anterior and posterior combined (APC) transpetrosal approach allows resection of a large petroclival lesion with minimal retraction of the temporal lobe. However, this approach is thought to be complex and time-consuming. The authors simplified this approach by minimizing the petrosectomy and used this method for large PCMs. This retrospective study describes the surgical technique and surgical outcomes of large PCMs.

METHODS

Between 2014 and 2019, 23 patients (19 women and 4 men) with benign (WHO grade I) PCMs were treated using the minimal APC (MAPC) transpetrosal approach. The mean age at surgery was 54.0 years (range 37–74 years). The mean tumor diameter was 40.3 mm (range 30–74 mm). The surgical technique consisted of a temporo-suboccipital craniotomy and minimal drilling of the petrous ridge. After opening Meckel’s cave and removing the lesion at the prepontine cistern, drilling of the petrous apex with superior mobilization of the trigeminal nerve was performed through the subdural space for further tumor resection around the petrous apex. Finally, the tumor was removed as much as possible.

RESULTS

The mean preoperative and postoperative tumor volumes were 26.8 and 1.3 cm3, respectively. The mean extent of resection was 95.4% (range 62%–100%). Postoperative impairments included facial numbness in 7 patients, trochlear nerve palsy in 3 patients, mild oculomotor nerve palsy in 2 patients, and transient abducens nerve palsy in 1 patient. Preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status was improved in 13 patients, remained stable in 9 patients, and deteriorated in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

The MAPC transpetrosal approach provides sufficiently wide exposure of petroclival lesions. Maximal resection via the MAPC transpetrosal approach is a suitable surgical option for the treatment of large PCMs.

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Ángela Ros-Sanjuán, Sara Iglesias-Moroño, Bienvenido Ros-López, Francisca Rius-Díaz, Andrea Delgado-Babiano, and Miguel Ángel Arráez-Sánchez

OBJECTIVE

The objectives of this study were to determine the quality of life of a pediatric cohort with hydrocephalus treated by endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), using the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire–Spanish version (HOQ-Sv), and study the clinical and radiological factors associated with a better or worse functional status.

METHODS

This cross-sectional study was undertaken between September 2018 and December 2019. It comprised a series of 40 patients ranging from 5 to 18 years old with hydrocephalus treated by ETV. ETV was considered to be successful if there was no need for surgery for the treatment of hydrocephalus after a minimum follow-up of 6 months. The clinical variables included gender, age at hydrocephalus diagnosis, age at the time of ETV, age at completion of the questionnaire, etiology and type of hydrocephalus (communicating or not), prior shunt, repeat ETV, number of neurosurgical procedures, number of epileptic seizures, presenting signs, and follow-up duration until last office revision. The radiological variables were the Evans Index and the pre- and posttreatment frontooccipital horn ratio. An analysis was conducted of the association between all these variables and the various dimensions on the HOQ-Sv, completed by the parents of the patients via telephone or in the outpatient offices.

RESULTS

The mean age of the children at ETV was 7 years (range 7–194 months), and on completing the questionnaire was 12 years (range 60–216 months). The mean HOQ scores were as follows: overall 0.82, physical domain 0.86, social-emotional (SE) domain 0.84, cognitive domain 0.75, and utility score 0.90. A history of epileptic crises was a predictive factor for a worse score overall and in the SE and cognitive domains. Factors related to a worse score in the physical domain were a previous shunt, the number of procedures, and the etiology and type of hydrocephalus. The mean follow-up duration from ETV to the last office visit was 5 years (64.5 months). No association was found between the degree of ventricular reduction and the quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS

The factors related to a worse score in the different dimensions of the HOQ were a history of epileptic seizures, the number of procedures, communicating hydrocephalus, and having had a previous valve. No association was found between the reduction in ventricular size and the quality of life as measured on the HOQ-Sv.

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S. Shelby Burks, Anthony Diaz, Agnes E. Haggerty, Natalia de la Oliva, Rajiv Midha, and Allan D. Levi

OBJECTIVE

The current clinical standard of harvesting a nerve autograft for repair of long-segment peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) is associated with many potential complications. Guidance channels offer an alternative therapy. The authors investigate whether autologous Schwann cells (SCs) implanted within a novel collagen-glycosaminoglycan conduit will improve axonal regeneration in a long-segment PNI model.

METHODS

Novel NeuraGen 3D collagen matrix conduits were implanted with autologous SCs to investigate axonal regeneration across a critical size defect (13 mm) in male Fischer rat sciatic nerve. Reversed sciatic nerve autografts served as positive controls, and conduits filled with serum only as negative controls. Electrophysiological assessments were made in vivo. Animals were killed at 4 or 16 weeks postinjury, muscle weights were measured, and grafts underwent immunohistochemical and morphometric analysis.

RESULTS

SC survival was confirmed by the presence of green fluorescent protein–labeled SCs within regenerated fibers. Regeneration and elongation of myelinated axons in all segments of the graft were significantly enhanced at 16 weeks in the SC-filled conduits compared to the conduit alone and were statistically similar to those of the autograft. Nerves repaired with SC-filled conduits exhibited onset latencies and nerve conduction amplitudes similar to those of the contralateral controls and autograft (p < 0.05). Adding SCs to the conduit also significantly reduced muscle atrophy compared to conduit alone (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Repair of long-segment PNI of rat sciatic nerve is significantly enhanced by SC-filled NeuraGen 3D conduits. Improvements in the total number of myelinated axons, axon diameter, and myelin thickness throughout SC-filled conduits allow for significant recovery in nerve conduction and a decrease in muscle atrophy.

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Ki Young Lee, Jung-Hee Lee, Kyung-Chung Kang, Sang-Kyu Im, Hae Seong Lim, and Sun Whan Choi

OBJECTIVE

Restoring the proper sagittal alignment in adult spinal deformity (ASD) can improve radiological and clinical outcomes, but pseudarthrosis including rod fracture (RF) is a common problematic complication. The purpose of this study was to analyze the methods for reducing the incidence of RF in deformity correction of ASD.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively selected 178 consecutive patients (mean age 70.8 years) with lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) who underwent deformity correction with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients were classified into the non-RF group (n = 131) and the RF group (n = 47). For predicting the crucial factors of RF, patient factors, radiographic parameters, and surgical factors were analyzed.

RESULTS

The overall incidence of RF was 26% (47/178 cases), occurring in 42% (42/100 cases) of pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO), 7% (5/67 cases) of lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) with posterior column osteotomy, 18% (23/129 cases) of cobalt chrome rods, 49% (24/49 cases) of titanium alloy rods, 6% (2/36 cases) placed with the accessory rod technique, and 32% (45/142 cases) placed with the 2-rod technique. There were no significant differences in the incidence of RF regarding patient factors between two groups. While both groups showed severe sagittal imbalance before operation, lumbar lordosis (LL) was more kyphotic and pelvic incidence (PI) minus LL (PI-LL) mismatch was greater in the RF group (p < 0.05). Postoperatively, while LL and PI-LL did not show significant differences between the two groups, LL and sagittal vertical axis correction were greater in the RF group (p < 0.05). Nonetheless, at the last follow-up, the two groups did not show significant differences in radiographic parameters except thoracolumbar junctional angles. As for surgical factors, use of the cobalt chrome rod and the accessory rod technique was significantly greater in the non-RF group (p < 0.05). As for the correction method, PSO was associated with more RFs than the other correction methods, including LLIF (p < 0.05). By logistic regression analysis, PSO, preoperative PI-LL mismatch, and the accessory rod technique were crucial factors for RF.

CONCLUSIONS

Greater preoperative sagittal spinopelvic malalignment including preoperative PI-LL mismatch was the crucial risk factor for RF in LDK patients 65 years or older. For restoring and maintaining sagittal alignment, use of the cobalt chrome rod, accessory rod technique, or LLIF was shown to be effective for reducing RF in ASD surgery.

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Julia Löser, Julia Luthardt, Michael Rullmann, David Weise, Osama Sabri, Jürgen Meixensberger, Swen Hesse, and Dirk Winkler

OBJECTIVE

Degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum is responsible for the motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a well-established procedure to alleviate these symptoms in advanced PD. Yet the mechanism of action, especially the effects of STN-DBS on the availability of striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) as a marker of nigrostriatal nerve cell function, remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate whether 1) DAT availability changes within 1 year of STN-DBS and 2) the clinical outcome can be predicted based on preoperative DAT availability.

METHODS

Twenty-seven PD patients (mean age 62.7 ± 8.9 years; mean duration of illness 13.0 ± 4.9 years; PD subtypes: akinetic-rigid, n = 11; equivalence, n = 13; and tremor-dominant, n = 3) underwent [123I]FP-CIT SPECT preoperatively and after 1 year of STN-DBS. DAT availability as determined by the specific binding ratio (SBR) was assessed by volume of interest (VOI) analysis of the caudate nucleus and the putamen ipsilateral and contralateral to the clinically more affected side.

RESULTS

Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III scores improved significantly (mean preoperative on medication 25.6 ± 12.3, preoperative off medication 42.3 ± 15.2, postoperative on medication/off stimulation 41.4 ± 13.2, and postoperative on medication/on stimulation 16.1 ± 9.4; preoperative on medication vs postoperative on medication/on stimulation, p = 0.006), while the levodopa-equivalent daily dose was reduced (mean preoperative 957 ± 440 mg vs postoperative 313 ± 189 mg, p < 0.001). The SBR did not differ significantly before and 1 year after DBS, regardless of PD subtype. Preoperative DAT availability was not related to the change in UPDRS III score, but the change in DAT availability was significantly correlated with the change in UPDRS III score (contralateral head of the caudate VOI, p = 0.014; contralateral putamen VOI, p = 0.018).

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, DAT availability did not change significantly after 1 year of STN-DBS. However, on an individual basis, the improvement in UPDRS III score was associated with an increase in DAT availability, whereas DAT availability before STN-DBS surgery did not predict the clinical outcome. Whether a subtype-specific pattern of preoperative DAT availability can become a reliable predictor of successful STN-DBS must be evaluated in larger study cohorts.