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Daipayan Guha, Benjamin Davidson, Mustafa Nadi, Naif M. Alotaibi, Michael G. Fehlings, Fred Gentili, Taufik A. Valiante, Charles H. Tator, Michael Tymianski, Abhijit Guha and Gelareh Zadeh

OBJECTIVE

A surgical series of 201 benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) was assessed to characterize the anatomical and clinical presentation of tumors and identify predictors of neurological outcome, recurrence, and extent of resection.

METHODS

All surgically treated PNSTs from the Division of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital from 1993 to 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. Data were collected on patient demographics, clinical presentation, surgical technique, extent of resection, postoperative neurological outcomes, and recurrence.

RESULTS

One hundred seventy-five patients with 201 tumors had adequate follow-up for analysis. There were 182 benign and 19 malignant PNSTs. Of the benign lesions, 133 were schwannomas, 21 of which were associated with a diagnosis of schwannomatosis. There were 49 neurofibromas, and 26 were associated with neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Patients presenting with schwannomas were significantly older than those with neurofibromas. Schwannomas were more readily resected than neurofibromas, with the extent of resection of the former influenced by tumor location. Patients with benign PNSTs typically presented with a painful mass and less frequently with motor deficits. The likelihood of worsened postoperative motor function was decreased in patients with fully resected tumors or preoperative deficits. Recurrence of schwannomas and neurofibromas were seen more frequently in patients diagnosed with NF3 and NF1, respectively. Subtotal resection was associated with the increased recurrence of all benign lesions.

CONCLUSIONS

Outcomes following resection of benign PNSTs depend on tumor histopathology, tumor location, and genetic predisposition syndrome. Gross-total resection should be attempted for benign lesions where possible. The management of malignant PNSTs remains challenging, requiring a multimodal approach.

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Naif M. Alotaibi, Justin Z. Wang, Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Daipayan Guha, Fawaz Al-Mufti, Muhammad Mamdani, Gustavo Saposnik, Tom A. Schweizer and R. Loch Macdonald

Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is a well-recognized phenomenon in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) that has been demonstrated to lead to poor outcomes. Despite significant advances in clinical research into aSAH, there are no consensus guidelines devoted specifically to the management of elevated ICP in the setting of aSAH. To treat high ICP in aSAH, most centers extrapolate their treatment algorithms from studies and published guidelines for traumatic brain injury. Herein, the authors review the current management strategies for treating raised ICP within the aSAH population, emphasize key differences from the traumatic brain injury population, and highlight potential directions for future research in this controversial topic.

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Naif M. Alotaibi, Daipayan Guha, Christopher S. Ahuja, Julian Spears, Paul J. Muller, William S. Tucker, Alan R. Hudson and R. Loch Macdonald

In this paper, the authors describe the history of neurosurgery at St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto. St. Michael's has long been regarded as one of the top teaching and research hospitals in Canada. A detailed literature review of published and unpublished works was performed to formulate a succinct but in-depth review of its development, successes, and challenges. This fascinating 125-year history serves as a reminder of the importance of their institution's origins, and the authors hope that it will be a useful guide for developing programs around the world.

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Naif M. Alotaibi, Ghassan Awad Elkarim, Nardin Samuel, Oliver G. S. Ayling, Daipayan Guha, Aria Fallah, Abdulrahman Aldakkan, Blessing N. R. Jaja, Airton Leonardo de Oliveira Manoel, George M. Ibrahim and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Patients with poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Grade IV or V) are often considered for decompressive craniectomy (DC) as a rescue therapy for refractory intracranial hypertension. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the impact of DC on functional outcome and death in patients after poor-grade aSAH.

METHODS

A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Articles were identified through the Ovid Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases from inception to October 2015. Only studies dedicated to patients with poor-grade aSAH were included. Primary outcomes were death and functional outcome assessed at any time period. Patients were grouped as having a favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] Scores 1–3, Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS] Scores 4 and 5, extended Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOSE] Scores 5–8) or unfavorable outcome (mRS Scores 4–6, GOS Scores 1–3, GOSE Scores 1–4). Pooled estimates of event rates and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the random-effects model.

RESULTS

Fifteen studies encompassing 407 patients were included in the meta-analysis (all observational cohorts). The pooled event rate for poor outcome across all studies was 61.2% (95% CI 52%–69%) and for death was 27.8% (95% CI 21%–35%) at a median of 12 months after aSAH. Primary (or early) DC resulted in a lower overall event rate for unfavorable outcome than secondary (or delayed) DC (47.5% [95% CI 31%–64%] vs 74.4% [95% CI 43%–91%], respectively). Among studies with comparison groups, there was a trend toward a reduced mortality rate 1–3 months after discharge among patients who did not undergo DC (OR 0.58 [95% CI 0.27–1.25]; p = 0.168). However, this trend was not sustained at the 1-year follow-up (OR 1.09 [95% CI 0.55–2.13]; p = 0.79).

CONCLUSIONS

Results of this study summarize the best evidence available in the literature for DC in patients with poor-grade aSAH. DC is associated with high rates of unfavorable outcome and death. Because of the lack of robust control groups in a majority of the studies, the effect of DC on functional outcomes versus that of other interventions for refractory intracranial hypertension is still unknown. A randomized trial is needed.

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Daipayan Guha, Shona Coyne and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECT

Antithrombosis (AT), defined here as either antiplatelets or anticoagulants, is a significant risk factor for the development of chronic subdural hematomas (cSDHs). Resuming AT following the evacuation of cSDH is a highly variable practice, with scant evidence in the literature for guidance. Here, a retrospective analysis of a cohort of patients from a single institution undergoing surgical drainage of cSDH was performed to evaluate postoperative complications and determine the optimal timing of the resumption of common antithrombotic agents.

METHODS

This retrospective analysis was performed on 479 patients undergoing surgical evacuation of cSDH at St. Michael’s Hospital over a 5-year period (2007–2012). The collected variables included the type of AT agent, indications for AT, timing and type of postoperative complications, and the restart intervals for the AT agents, when available. Postoperative complications were classified as major hemorrhages, minor hemorrhages, orthromboembolic events.

RESULTS

Among all 479 study patients, 71 experienced major hemorrhage (14.8%), 110 experienced minor hemorrhage (23.0%), and 8 experienced thromboembolism (1.67%) postoperatively. Patients on any type of preoperative AT regimen were at a higher risk of major hemorrhage (19.0% vs 10.9%; OR 1.93; 95% CI 1.15–2.71; p = 0.014). The type of AT agent did not affect the frequency of any postoperative complications. Patients on any preoperative AT regimen experienced earlier postoperative major hemorrhages (mean 16.2 vs 26.5 days; p = 0.052) and thromboembolic events (mean 2.7 vs 51.5 days; p = 0.036) than those patients without a history of AT; the type of AT agent did not affect timing of complications. Patients who were restarted on any AT therapy postoperatively were at decreased risk of major rebleeding following resumption than those patients who were not restarted (OR 0.06; 95% CI 0.02–0.2; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with a history of preoperative AT experienced thromboembolic complications significantly earlier than those patients without AT, which peaked at 3 days postoperatively with no increase in hemorrhage risk when AT was restarted. Cursory evidence is presented that shows resuming AT early following the surgical evacuation of cSDH at 3 days postoperatively may be safe. However, much larger prospective studies are required prior to providing any definitive recommendations regarding the optimal timing and method of resumption of individual agents.

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Daipayan Guha, Robert F. Heary and Mohammed F. Shamji

OBJECT

Decompression without fusion for degenerative lumbar stenosis is an effective treatment for both the pain and disability of neurogenic claudication. Iatrogenic instability following decompression may require further intervention to stabilize the spine. The authors review the incidence of postsurgical instability following lumbar decompression, and assess the impact of surgical technique as well as study design on the incidence of instability.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search was performed to identify surgical cohorts of patients with degenerative lumbar stenosis, with and without preexisting spondylolisthesis, who were treated with laminectomy or minimally invasive decompression without fusion. Data on patient characteristics, surgical indications and techniques, clinical and radiographic outcomes, and reoperation rates were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A systematic review of 24 studies involving 2496 patients was performed, assessing both open laminectomy and minimally invasive bilateral canal enlargement. Postoperative pain and functional outcomes were similar across the various studies, and postoperative radiographie instability was seen in 5.5% of patients. Instability was seen more frequently in patients with preexisting spondylolisthesis (12.6%) and in those treated with open laminectomy (12%). Reoperation for instability was required in 1.8% of all patients, and was higher for patients with preoperative spondylolisthesis (9.3%) and for those treated with open laminectomy (4.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Instability following lumbar decompression is a common occurrence. This is particularly true if decompression alone is selected as a surgical approach in patients with established spondylolisthesis. This complication may occur less commonly with the use of minimally invasive techniques; however, larger prospective cohort studies are necessary to more thoroughly explore these findings.