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Nitin Agarwal, Phillip A. Choi, David O. Okonkwo, Daniel L. Barrow and Robert M. Friedlander

OBJECTIVE

Application for a residency position in neurosurgery is a highly competitive process. Visiting subinternships and interviews are integral parts of the application process that provide applicants and programs with important information, often influencing rank list decisions. However, the process is an expensive one that places significant financial burden on applicants. In this study, the authors aimed to quantify expenses incurred by 1st-year neurosurgery residents who matched into a neurosurgery residency program in 2014 and uncover potential trends in expenses.

METHODS

A 10-question survey was distributed in partnership with the Society of Neurological Surgeons to all 1st-year neurosurgery residents in the United States. The survey asked respondents about the number of subinternships, interviews, and second looks (after the interview) attended and the resultant costs, the type of program match, preferences for subinternship interviews, and suggestions for changes they would like to see in the application process. In addition to compiling overall results, also examined were the data for differences in cost when stratifying for region of the medical school or whether the respondent had contact with the program they matched to prior to the interview process (matched to home or subinternship program).

RESULTS

The survey had a 64.4% response rate. The mean total expenses for all components of the application process were US $10,255, with interview costs comprising the majority of the expenses (69.0%). No difference in number of subinternships, interviews, or second looks attended, or their individual and total costs, was seen for applicants from different regions of the United States. Respondents who matched to their home or subinternship program attended fewer interviews than respondents who had no prior contact with their matched program (13.5 vs 16.4, respectively, p = 0.0023) but incurred the same overall costs (mean $9774 vs $10,566; p = 0.58).

CONCLUSIONS

Securing a residency position in neurosurgery is a costly process for applicants. No differences are seen when stratifying by region of medical school attended or contact with a program prior to interviewing. Interview costs comprise the majority of expenses for applicants, and changes to the application process are needed to control costs incurred by applicants.

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Daniel L. Barrow, Gustavo Pradilla and D. Jay McCracken

Intracranial blister aneurysms are difficult to treat cerebrovascular lesions that typically affect the anterior circulation. These rare aneurysms can lead to acute rupture which usually cannot be treated via endovascular methods, but still require urgent surgical intervention. Surgical options are limited given their unique pathology and often require a combination of wrapping and clip reconstruction. In this video we present two patients with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to ruptured blister aneurysms. We demonstrate several surgical techniques for repairing the vascular defect with and without intraoperative rupture.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/nz-JM45uKQU.

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Daniel L. Barrow and Ralph Dacey

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Daniel L. Barrow and Ralph Dacey

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Bryan A. Lieber, Taylor A. Wilson, Randy S. Bell, William W. Ashley Jr., Daniel L. Barrow and Stacey Quintero Wolfe

Indirect costs of the interview tour can be prohibitive. The authors sought to assess the desire of interviewees to mitigate these costs through ideas such as sharing hotel rooms and transportation, willingness to stay with local students, and the preferred modality to coordinate this collaboration. A survey link was posted on the Uncle Harvey website and the Facebook profile page of fourth-year medical students from 6 different medical schools shortly after the 2014 match day. There were a total of 156 respondents to the survey. The majority of the respondents were postinterview medical students (65.4%), but preinterview medical students (28.2%) and current residents (6.4%) also responded to the survey. Most respondents were pursuing a field other than neurosurgery (75.0%) and expressed a desire to share a hotel room and/or transportation (77.4%) as well as stay in the dorm room of a medical student at the program in which they are interviewing (70.0%). Students going into neurosurgery were significantly more likely to be interested in sharing hotel/transportation (89.2% neurosurgery vs 72.8% nonneurosurgery; p = 0.040) and in staying in the dorm room of a local student when on interviews (85.0% neurosurgery vs 57.1% nonneurosurgery; p = 0.040) than those going into other specialties. Among postinterview students, communication was preferred to be by private, email identification–only chat room. Given neurosurgery resident candidates' interest in collaborating to reduce interview costs, consideration should be given to creating a system that could allow students to coordinate cost sharing between interviewees. Moreover, interviewees should be connected to local students from neurosurgery interest groups as a resource.

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Aaron S. Dumont, Avery J. Evans and Mary E. Jensen

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Luis M. Tumialán, Y. Jonathan Zhang, C. Michael Cawley, Jacques E. Dion, Frank C. Tong and Daniel L. Barrow

Object

The introduction of the Neuroform microstent has facilitated the embolization of complex cerebral aneurysms, which were previously not amenable to endovascular therapy. Typically, the use of this stent necessitates the administration of dual antiplatelet therapy to minimize thromboembolic complications. Such therapy may increase the risk of hemorrhage in patients who require concurrent external ventricular drainage and/or subsequent permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion.

Methods

The authors' neurosurgical database was queried for all patients who underwent stent-assisted coil embolization for cerebral aneurysms and who required an external ventricular drain (EVD) or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement for management of hydrocephalus.

Results

Thirty-seven patients underwent stent-assisted coil embolization for intracranial aneurysms at the authors' institution over a recent 2-year period. Seven of these patients required placement of an EVD and/or a VP shunt. Three of the 7 patients suffered an immediate intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) associated with placement or manipulation of an EVD; 1 experienced a delayed intraparenchymal hemorrhage and an IVH; 1 suffered an aneurysmal rehemorrhage; and the last patient had a subdural hematoma (SDH) that resulted from placement of a VP shunt. This patient required drainage of the SDH and exchange of the valve.

Conclusions

The necessity of dual antiplatelet therapy in the use of stent-assisted coil embolization increases the risk of intracranial hemorrhage and possibly rebleeding from a ruptured aneurysm. This heightened risk must be recognized when contemplating the appropriate therapy for a cerebral aneurysm and when considering the placement or manipulation of a ventricular catheter in a patient receiving dual antiplatelet therapy. Further study of intracranial procedures in patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy is indicated.

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Junichi Mizuno, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Gerald E. Rodts and Daniel L. Barrow

✓The authors report a case of a recurrent subdural hematoma (SDH) that was caused by a persistent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak from an L1–2 fistula. A 34-year-old man experienced severe headaches due to SDH, and he underwent aspiration of subdural fluid four times due to recurrent collections. Further evaluation with computerized tomography (CT) myelography demonstrated extradural extravasation of contrast through an L1–2 fistula. The patient underwent an L1–2 laminectomy; a small dural defect with CSF leakage at the left nerve root sleeve was found and was repaired. Following the repair, the patient had no further recurrence of SDH. Recurrent SDH, caused by spontaneous CSF leakage through a lumbar CSF fistula, is extremely rare. In cases of recurrent SDH, radiographic workup with spinal CT myelography should be considered.

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Luis M. Tumialán, C. Michael Cawley and Daniel L. Barrow

✓ The authors report the case of a 53-year-old woman in whom a T1–T2 spinal arachnoid cyst with associated arachnoiditis developed, compressing the thoracic spinal cord 1 year after the patient had suffered a Hunt and Hess Grade IV subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Development of spinal arachnoiditis with or without an arachnoid cyst is a rare complication of aneurysmal SAH. Risk factors may include posterior circulation aneurysms, the extent and severity of the hemorrhage, and the need for cerebrospinal fluid diversion. Surgical drainage, shunt placement, or cyst excision, when possible, is the mainstay of treatment.

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Sanjay S. Dhall, Luis M. Tumialán, Daniel J. Brat and Daniel L. Barrow

✓ The authors report on 32-year-old woman with a history of a previously resected suprasellar clear cell meningioma (CCM), who returned to their institution after 3 years suffering from progressively worsening leg and back pain associated with leg weakness and bowel and bladder dysfunction. A magnetic resonance image of the thoracic and lumbar spine demonstrated a homogeneously enhancing intradural mass that filled and expanded the thecal sac. The patient underwent multiple-level laminectomies for resection of the lesion. Results of pathological studies confirmed distant recurrence of a CCM.

Since its initial recognition as a rare but aggressive histological variant of meningothelial tumors, the body of literature on CCMs has grown to include more than 40 cases. Nevertheless, the natural history of this neoplastic entity remains ill defined, as are the recommendations for management. Of particular concern is the treatment of patients who have undergone subtotal resection or present with recurrence. To the authors' knowledge, the present case represents the sixth distant recurrence of CCM reported in the literature. The radiographic and histological studies are reviewed along with the current literature on this subtype of meningioma. Recommendations for surveillance and treatment are made.