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Doug Kondziolka, William T. Couldwell and James T. Rutka

Open access

Evan Joyce, Michael Karsy, Serge Makarenko, Gretchen M. Oakley and William T. Couldwell

Anterior skull base approaches have included endoscopic or open microsurgical approaches for intracranial pathologies. However, discussion of a combined hybrid, cranioendoscopic approach, leveraging the benefits of both techniques, has been limited. Here we describe a case of a combined endoscopic, endonasal, and open microsurgical frontotemporal approach for resection of a complex anterior skull base lesion. A 62-year-old man with a large meningioma extending intradurally through the cribiform plate and sphenoethmoidal sinuses underwent a cranioendoscopic resection. Surgical techniques, including repair of the anterior skull base defect as well as complication avoidance and the coordination of multiple surgeons, are discussed.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/Ti9tUUdWgJc.

Open access

Evan Joyce, Michael Karsy, Serge Makarenko, Jeramiah Alt, Richard Orlandi and William T. Couldwell

Endoscopic and open microsurgical approaches for pediatric patients are useful for a wide variety of skull base pathologies. A hybrid, cranioendoscopic approach may be beneficial in improving surgical resection for complex lesions. A case of a 13-year-old boy with a large juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma extending through the nasopharynx and pterygopalatine fossa into the maxillary, sphenoid, and cavernous sinuses is demonstrated via an endoscopic, transnasal and frontotemporal, extended middle cranial fossa microsurgical approach. Management of a large pediatric tumor via narrow nasal passages, safe surgical resection around critical neurovascular structures, and complication avoidance is demonstrated.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/1WqvsOnQCxs.

Restricted access

Vijay M. Ravindra, Michael Karsy, Arianna Lanpher, Robert J. Bollo, Julius Griauzde, R. Michael Scott, William T. Couldwell and Edward R. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Comprehensive multicenter data on the surgical treatment of pediatric cerebrovascular malformations (CVMs) in the US are lacking. The goal of this study was to identify national trends in patient demographics and assess the effect of hospital case volume on outcomes.

METHODS

Admissions for CVMs (1997–2012) were identified from the nationwide Kids’ Inpatient Database. Admissions with and without craniotomy were reviewed separately. Patients were categorized by whether they were treated at low-, medium-, or high-volume centers (< 10, 10–40, > 40 cases/year, respectively). A generalized linear model was used to evaluate the association of hospital pediatric CVM case volume and clinical variables assessing outcomes.

RESULTS

Among the 9655 patients, 1828 underwent craniotomy and 7827 did not. Patient age and race differed in the two groups, as did the rate of private medical payers. High-volume hospitals had fewer nonroutine discharges (11.2% [high] vs 16.4% [medium] vs 22.3% [low], p = 0.0001). For admissions requiring craniotomy, total charges ($106,282 [high] vs $126,215 [medium] vs $134,978 [low], p < 0.001) and complication rates (0.09% [high] vs 0.11% [medium] vs 0.16% [low], p = 0.001) were lower in high-volume centers.

CONCLUSIONS

This study revealed that further investigation may be needed regarding barriers to surgical treatment of pediatric CVMs. The authors found that surgical treatment of pediatric CVM at high-volume centers is associated with significantly fewer complications, better dispositions, and lower costs, but for noncraniotomy patients, low-volume centers had lower rates of complications and death and lower costs. These findings may support the consideration of appropriate referral of CVM patients requiring surgery or with intracranial hemorrhage toward high-volume, specialized centers.

Free access

Vijay M. Ravindra, Robert J. Bollo, Ilyas M. Eli, Julius Griauzde, Arianna Lanpher, Jennifer Klein, Huirong Zhu, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, John R. W. Kestle, William T. Couldwell, R. Michael Scott and Edward Smith

OBJECTIVE

Large experiences with the treatment of pediatric arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remain relatively rare, with limited data on presentation, treatment, and long-term functional outcomes. Because of the expected long lifespan of children, caregivers are especially interested in outcome measures that assess quality of life. The authors’ intention was to describe the long-term functional outcomes of pediatric patients who undergo AVM surgery and to identify predictors of sustained neurological deficits.

METHODS

The authors analyzed a 21-year retrospective cohort of pediatric patients with intracranial AVMs treated with microsurgery at two institutions. The primary outcome was a persistent neurological deficit at last follow-up. Secondary outcome measures included modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score and independent living.

RESULTS

Overall, 97 patients (mean age 11.1 ± 4.5 years; 56% female) were treated surgically for intracranial AVMs (mean follow-up 77.5 months). Sixty-four patients (66%) presented with hemorrhage, and 45 patients (46%) had neurological deficits at presentation. Radiologically, 39% of lesions were Spetzler-Martin grade II. Thirty-seven patients (38%) with persistent neurological deficits at last follow-up were compared with those without deficits; there were no differences in patient age, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score, AVM size, surgical blood loss, or duration of follow-up. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that a focal neurological deficit on presentation, AVM size > 3 cm, and lesions in eloquent cortex were independent predictors of persistent neurological deficits at long-term follow-up. Overall, 92% of the children had an mRS score ≤ 2 on long-term follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric patients with AVMs treated with microsurgical resection have good functional and radiological outcomes. There is a high rate (38%) of persistent neurological deficits, which were independently predicted by preoperative deficits, AVMs > 3 cm, and lesions located in eloquent cortex. This information can be useful in counseling families on the likelihood of long-term neurological deficits after cerebral AVM surgery.

Free access

Silvia Gesheva, William T. Couldwell, Vance Mortimer, Philipp Taussky and Ramesh Grandhi

Dural arteriovenous fistulae (dAVFs) are vascular anomalies formed by abnormal connections between branches of dural arteries and dural veins or dural venous sinus(es). These pathologic shunts constitute 10%–15% of all intracranial arteriovenous malformations. The hallmark of malignant dAVFs is the presence of cortical venous drainage, a finding that increases the likelihood of nonhemorrhagic neurologic deficit, intracranial hemorrhage, and mortality if left unaddressed. Endovascular approaches have become the primary modality for the treatment of dAVFs. The authors present a case of staged endovascular transarterial embolization of a malignant dAVF running parallel to the left transverse sinus in a patient with headaches and pulsatile tinnitus. The fistula was completely treated using Onyx and n-butyl cyanoacrylate.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GSAto_wlC3I.

Restricted access

Yair M. Gozal, Gmaan Alzhrani, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Mohammed A. Azab, Michael T. Walsh and William T. Couldwell

OBJECTIVE

Cavernous sinus meningiomas are complex tumors that offer a perpetual challenge to skull base surgeons. The senior author has employed a management strategy for these lesions aimed at maximizing tumor control while minimizing neurological morbidity. This approach emphasizes combining “safe” tumor resection and direct decompression of the roof and lateral wall of the cavernous sinus as well as the optic nerve. Here, the authors review their experience with the application of this technique for the management of cavernous sinus meningiomas over the past 15 years.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was performed for patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas treated over a 15-year period (2002–2017) with this approach. Patient outcomes, including cranial nerve function, tumor control, and surgical complications were recorded.

RESULTS

The authors identified 50 patients who underwent subtotal resection via frontotemporal craniotomy concurrently with decompression of the cavernous sinus and ipsilateral optic nerve. Of these, 25 (50%) underwent adjuvant radiation to the remaining tumor within the cavernous sinus. Patients most commonly presented with a cranial nerve (CN) palsy involving CN III–VI (70%), a visual deficit (62%), headaches (52%), or proptosis (44%). Thirty-five patients had cranial nerve deficits preoperatively. In 52% of these cases, the neuropathy improved postoperatively; it remained stable in 46%; and it worsened in only 2%. Similarly, 97% of preoperative visual deficits either improved or were stable postoperatively. Notably, 12 new cranial nerve deficits occurred postoperatively in 10 patients. Of these, half were transient and ultimately resolved. Finally, radiographic recurrence was noted in 5 patients (10%), with a median time to recurrence of 4.6 years.

CONCLUSIONS

The treatment of cavernous sinus meningiomas using surgical decompression with or without adjuvant radiation is an effective oncological strategy, achieving excellent tumor control rates with low risk of neurological morbidity.

Restricted access

Al-Wala Awad, Craig Kilburg, Michael Karsy, William T. Couldwell and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is a self-expanding mesh stent that diverts blood flow away from an aneurysm; it has been successfully used to treat aneurysms of the proximal internal carotid artery (ICA). PEDs have a remarkable ability to alter regional blood flow along the tortuous segments of the ICA and were incidentally found to alter the angle of the anterior genu after treatment. The authors quantified these changes and explored their implications as they relate to treatment effect.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed cases of aneurysms treated with a PED between the ophthalmic and posterior communicating arteries from 2012 through 2015. The angles of the anterior genu were measured on the lateral projections of cerebral angiograms obtained before and after treatment with a PED. The angles of the anterior genu of patients without aneurysms were used as normal controls.

RESULTS

Thirty-eight patients were identified who had been treated with a PED; 34 (89.5%) had complete obliteration and 4 (10.5%) had persistence of their aneurysm at last follow-up (mean 11.3 months). After treatment, 32 patients had an increase, 3 had a decrease, and 3 had no change in the angle of the anterior genu. The average measured angle of the anterior genu was 36.7° before treatment and 44.3° after treatment (p < 0.0001). The average angle of the anterior genu of control patients was 43.32° (vs 36.7° for the preoperative angle in the patients with aneurysms, p < 0.057). The average change in the angle of patients with postoperative Raymond scores of 1 was 9.10°, as compared with 1.25° in patients with postoperative Raymond scores > 1 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment with a PED significantly changes the angle of the anterior genu. An average change of 9.1° was associated with complete obliteration of treated aneurysms. These findings have important implications for the treatment and management of cerebral aneurysm.

Restricted access

Yair M. Gozal, Erinç Aktüre, Vijay M. Ravindra, Jonathan P. Scoville, Randy L. Jensen, William T. Couldwell and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

The absence of a commonly accepted standardized classification system for complication reporting confounds the recognition, objective reporting, management, and avoidance of perioperative adverse events. In the past decade, several classification systems have been proposed for use in neurosurgery, but these generally focus on tallying specific complications and grading their effect on patient morbidity. Herein, the authors propose and prospectively validate a new neurosurgical complication classification based on understanding the underlying causes of the adverse events.

METHODS

A new complication classification system was devised based on the authors’ previous work on morbidity in endovascular surgery. Adverse events were prospectively compiled for all neurosurgical procedures performed at their tertiary care academic medical center over the course of 1 year into 5 subgroups: 1) indication errors; 2) procedural errors; 3) technical errors; 4) judgment errors; and 5) critical events. The complications were presented at the monthly institutional Morbidity and Mortality conference where, following extensive discussion, they were assigned to one of the 5 subgroups. Additional subgroup analyses by neurosurgical subspecialty were also performed.

RESULTS

A total of 115 neurosurgical complications were observed and analyzed during the study period. Of these, nearly half were critical events, while technical errors accounted for approximately one-third of all complications. Within neurosurgical subspecialties, vascular neurosurgery (36.5%) had the most complications, followed by spine & peripheral nerve (21.7%), neuro-oncology (14.8%), cranial trauma (13.9%), general neurosurgery (12.2%), and functional neurosurgery (0.9%).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ novel neurosurgical complication classification system was successfully implemented in a prospective manner at their high-volume tertiary medical center. By employing the well-established Morbidity and Mortality conference mechanism, this simple system may be easily applied at other neurosurgical centers and may allow for uniform analyses of perioperative morbidity and the introduction of corrective initiatives.