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Kyohei Itamura, Ki-Eun Chang, Joshua Lucas, Daniel A. Donoho, Steven Giannotta and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

The present study aims to assess the clinical utility of a previously validated intraoperative meningioma consistency grading scale and its association with extent of resection (EOR) and various surgical outcomes.

METHODS

The previously validated grading system was prospectively assessed in 127 consecutive patients undergoing open craniotomy for meningioma by multiple neurosurgeons at two high-volume academic hospitals from 2013 to 2016. Consistency grading scores ranging from 1 (soft) to 5 (firm/calcified) were retrospectively analyzed to test for association with surgical outcomes and EOR, categorized as gross-total resection (GTR) or subtotal resection, defined by postoperative MRI.

RESULTS

One hundred twenty-seven patients were included in the analysis with a tumor consistency distribution as follows: grade 1, 3.1%; grade 2, 14.2%; grade 3, 44.1%; grade 4, 32.3%; and grade 5, 6.3%. The mean tumor diameter was 3.6 ± 1.7 cm. Tumor consistency grades were grouped into soft (grades 1 and 2), average (grade 3), and firm (grades 4 and 5) groups for statistical analysis with distributions of 17.3%, 44.1%, and 38.6%, respectively. There was no association between meningioma consistency and maximal tumor diameter, or location. Mean duration of surgery was longer for tumors with higher consistency: grades 1 and 2, 186 minutes; grade 3, 219 minutes; and grades 4 and 5, 299 minutes (p = 0.000028). There was a trend toward higher perioperative complication rates for tumors of increased consistency: grades 1 and 2, 4.5%; grade 3, 7.0%; and grades 4 and 5, 20.8% (p = 0.047). The proportion of GTR for each consistency group was as follows: grades 1 and 2, 77%; grade 3, 68%; and grades 4 and 5, 43% (p = 0.0062).

CONCLUSIONS

In addition to other important meningioma characteristics such as invasiveness, tumor consistency is a key determinant of surgical outcomes, including operative duration and EOR. Future studies predicting tumor consistency based on preoperative neuroimaging will help considerably with preoperative planning for meningiomas.

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Eisha A. Christian, Joshua Bakhsheshian, Ben A. Strickland, Vance L. Fredrickson, Ian A. Buchanan, Martin H. Pham, Andrew Cervantes, Michael Minneti, Bozena B. Wrobel, Steven Giannotta and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

Competency in endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) to repair high-flow cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks is an essential component of the neurosurgical training process. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of a simulation model for EEA repair of anterior skull base CSF leaks.

METHODS

Human cadaveric specimens were utilized with a perfusion system to simulate a high-flow CSF leak. Neurological surgery residents (postgraduate year 3 or greater) performed a standard EEA to repair a CSF leak using a combination of fat, fascia lata, and pedicled nasoseptal flaps. A standardized 5-point Likert questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge gained, techniques learned, degree of safety, benefit of CSF perfusion during repair, and pre- and posttraining confidence scores.

RESULTS

Intrathecal perfusion of fluorescein-infused saline into the ventricular/subarachnoid space was successful in 9 of 9 cases. The addition of CSF reconstitution offered the residents visual feedback for confirmation of intraoperative CSF leak repair. Residents gained new knowledge and a realistic simulation experience by rehearsing the psychomotor skills and techniques required to repair a CSF leak with fat and fascial grafts, as well as to prepare and rotate vascularized nasoseptal flaps. All trainees reported feeling safer with the procedure in a clinical setting and higher average posttraining confidence scores (pretraining 2.22 ± 0.83, posttraining 4.22 ± 0.44, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Perfusion-based human cadaveric models can be utilized as a simulation training model for repairing CSF leaks during EEA.

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Jesse L. Winer, Daniel R. Kramer, Richard A. Robison, Ifije Ohiorhenuan, Michael Minneti, Steven Giannotta and Gabriel Zada

Cadaveric surgical simulation carries the advantage of realistic anatomy and haptic feedback but has been historically difficult to model for intraventricular approaches given the need for active flow of CSF. This feasibility study was designed to simulate intraventricular neuroendoscopic approaches and techniques by reconstituting natural CSF flow in a cadaveric model. In 10 fresh human cadavers, a simple cervical laminectomy and dural opening were made, and a 12-gauge arterial catheter was introduced. Saline was continuously perfused at physiological CSF pressures to reconstitute the subarachnoid space and ventricles. A neuroendoscope was subsequently inserted via a standard right frontal bur hole. In 8 of the 10 cadavers, adequate reconstitution and endoscopic access of the lateral and third ventricles were achieved. In 2 cadavers, ventricular access was not feasible, perhaps because of a small ventricle size and/or deteriorated tissue quality. In all 8 cadavers with successful CSF flow reconstitution and endoscopic access, identifying the foramen of Monro was possible, as was performing septum pellucidotomy and endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Furthermore, navigation of the cerebral aqueduct, fourth ventricle, prepontine cistern, and suprasellar cistern via the lamina terminalis was possible, providing a complementary educational paradigm for resident education that cannot typically be performed in live surgery. Surgical simulation plays a critical and increasingly prominent role in surgical education, particularly for techniques with steep learning curves including intraventricular neuroendoscopic procedures. This novel model provides feasible and realistic surgical simulation of neuroendoscopic intraventricular procedures and approaches.

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Jonathan J. Russin, Robert F. Spetzler, Steven Giannotta, Fredric B. Meyer, Michael T. Lawton and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

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Alexander A. Khalessi and Steven Giannotta

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Letter to the Editor

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Katrin Van Loock, Mark Plazier, Dirk De Ridder and Tomas Menovsky

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Gabriel Zada, Patrick Pezeshkian and Steven Giannotta

✓ The presentation of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) can be associated with various clinical and neuro-imaging features that may impede a rapid diagnosis of this entity. The authors report the case of a patient who presented with bilateral third cranial nerve palsies and bilateral subdural hematomas. Intracranial pressure monitoring proved to be useful in the diagnosis and management of SIH in this patient.