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Open access

Joao Paulo Almeida, Dennis Tang, Varun R. Kshettry, Raj Sindwani and Pablo F. Recinos

This is the case of a 25-year-old woman who had had a previous rupture of a dermoid cyst and now presented with recent MRI scans suggesting further growth of her dermoid cyst. Her lesion was located in the suprasellar space and extended into the interpeduncular fossa and prepontine cistern. Considering the location of the tumor, an endoscopic pituitary hemitransposition was selected for its resection. In this video we present the technical nuances and illustrate the anatomy used for an endoscopic endonasal pituitary hemitransposition for resection of a suprasellar dermoid cyst with extension into the interpeduncular fossa. In this case, a near-total resection was achieved, with no complications and no additional hormonal deficit after surgery.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/BHtNf5invUI.

Open access

Joao Paulo Almeida, Zachary Cappello, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Pablo F. Recinos, Raj Sindwani and Varun R. Kshettry

Petroclival chondrosarcomas are a formidable surgical challenge given the close relationship to critical neurovascular structures. The endoscopic endonasal approach can be utilized for many petroclival chondrosarcomas. However, tumors that extend to the inferior petrous apex require working behind the internal carotid artery (ICA). We present a case of a 33-year-old with a 1-year history of complete abducens palsy, with imaging showing an enhancing mass centered at the left petroclival fissure and inferior petrous apex behind the paraclival carotid artery and extending down into the nasopharynx abutting the cervical ICA. In this video, we describe the surgical steps of the endoscopic endonasal translacerum approach with ICA skeletonization and mobilization. We also highlight the relevant surgical anatomy with anatomical dissections to supplement the surgical video. The patient did well without complications. Postoperative MRI demonstrated complete resection and pathology revealed grade II chondrosarcoma. He underwent adjuvant proton beam radiotherapy.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/80QXALJW9ME.

Restricted access

Shahed Tish, Ghaith Habboub, Min Lang, Quinn T. Ostrom, Carol Kruchko, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Pablo F. Recinos and Varun R. Kshettry

OBJECTIVE

Spinal schwannoma remains the third most common intradural spinal tumor following spinal meningioma and ependymoma. The available literature is generally limited to single-institution reports rather than epidemiological investigations. As of 1/1/2004, registration of all benign central nervous system tumors in the United States became mandatory after the Benign Brain Tumor Cancer Registries Amendment Act took action, which provided massive resources for United States population-based epidemiological studies. This article describes the epidemiology of spinal schwannoma in the United States from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2014.

METHODS

In this study, the authors utilized the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, which corresponds to 100% of the American population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program provide the resource for this data registry. The authors included diagnosis years 2006 to 2014. They used the codes per the International Coding of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd Edition: histology code 9560/0 and site codes C72.0 (spinal cord), C70.1 (spinal meninges), and C72.1 (cauda equina). Rates are per 100,000 persons and are age-adjusted to the 2000 United States standard population. The age-adjusted incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals are calculated by age, sex, race, and ethnicity.

RESULTS

There were 6989 spinal schwannoma cases between the years 2006 and 2014. The yearly incidence eminently increased between 2010 and 2014. Total incidence rate was 0.24 (95% CI 0.23–0.24) per 100,000 persons. The peak adjusted incidence rate was seen in patients who ranged in age from 65 to 74 years. Spinal schwannomas were less common in females than they were in males (incidence rate ratio = 0.85; p < 0.001), and they were less common in blacks than they were in whites (IRR = 0.52; p < 0.001) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (IRR = 0.50; p < 0.001) compared to whites. There was no statistically significant difference in incidence rate between whites and Asian or Pacific Islanders (IRR = 0.92; p = 0.16).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ study results demonstrated a steady increase in the incidence of spinal schwannomas between 2010 and 2014. Male sex and the age range 65–74 years were associated with higher incidence rates of spinal schwannomas, whereas black and American Indian/Alaska Native races were associated with lower incidence rates. The present study represents the most thorough assessment of spinal schwannoma epidemiology in the American population.

Open access

Krishna C. Joshi, Hamid Borghei-Razavi and Varun R. Kshettry

Brainstem cavernomas are benign, angiographically occult, low-flow lesions and constitute 18%–35% of intracranial cavernomas., They are known to have an annual rupture risk of 2%–6%,, and once symptomatic, they frequently cause progressive neurological morbidity. A 22-year-old lady presented with progressive profound neurologic deficits from three distinct hemorrhages over 2 months. Surgery was indicated given the aggressive natural history, and the lesion now presented to the surface with displacement of corticospinal tracts noted on diffusion tensor imaging., We describe a surgical technique via an orbitozygomatic transsylvian pretemporal approach with uncal resection to open the oculomotor-tentorial window and resect the lesion.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/j5yYp4OsaRc.

Free access

Krishna C. Joshi, Alankrita Raghavan, Baha’eddin Muhsen, Jason Hsieh, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Samuel T. Chao, Gene H. Barnett, John H. Suh, Gennady Neyman, Varun R. Kshettry, Pablo F. Recinos, Alireza M. Mohammadi and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been successfully used for the treatment of intracranial meningiomas given its steep dose gradients and high-dose conformality. However, treatment of skull base meningiomas (SBMs) may pose significant risk to adjacent radiation-sensitive structures such as the cranial nerves. Fractionated GKRS (fGKRS) may decrease this risk, but until recently it has not been practical with traditional pin-based systems. This study reports the authors’ experience in treating SBMs with fGKRS, using a relocatable, noninvasive immobilization system.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent fGKRS for SBMs between 2013 and 2018 delivered using the Extend relocatable frame system or the Icon system. Patient demographics, pre- and post-GKRS tumor characteristics, perilesional edema, prior treatment details, and clinical symptoms were evaluated. Volumetric analysis of pre-GKRS, post-GKRS, and subsequent follow-up visits was performed.

RESULTS

Twenty-five patients met inclusion criteria. Nineteen patients were treated with the Icon system, and 6 patients were treated with the Extend system. The mean pre-fGKRS tumor volume was 7.62 cm3 (range 4.57–13.07 cm3). The median margin dose was 25 Gy delivered in 4 (8%) or 5 (92%) fractions. The median follow-up time was 12.4 months (range 4.7–17.4 months). Two patients (9%) experienced new-onset cranial neuropathy at the first follow-up. The mean postoperative tumor volume reduction was 15.9% with 6 patients (27%) experiencing improvement of cranial neuropathy at the first follow-up. Median first follow-up scans were obtained at 3.4 months (range 2.8–4.3 months). Three patients (12%) developed asymptomatic, mild perilesional edema by the first follow-up, which remained stable subsequently.

CONCLUSIONS

fGKRS with relocatable, noninvasive immobilization systems is well tolerated in patients with SBMs and demonstrated satisfactory tumor control as well as limited radiation toxicity. Future prospective studies with long-term follow-up and comparison to single-session GKRS or fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy are necessary to validate these findings and determine the efficacy of this approach in the management of SBMs.

Free access

Varun R. Kshettry, Nina Z. Moore and Mark Bain

This video demonstrates the diagnosis and surgical ligation of a C1 dural arteriovenous fistula via a far lateral, transcondylar approach. The patient’s dural arteriovenous fistula was identified by MRI signal changes in the spinal cord and a cerebrospinal angiogram demonstrating an abnormal hypertrophied early venous drainage pattern suggestive of a C1 vessel origin. Indocyanine green was used to verify surgical treatment of the fistula intraoperatively. A postoperative angiogram and MR image demonstrate fistula occlusion and resolution of the spinal cord edema. Anatomic details and technical nuances of the approach are demonstrated.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/zSd0vuov8xk.

Restricted access

Pranay Soni, Ghaith Habboub, Varun R. Kshettry, Richard Schlenk, Frederick Lautzenheiser and Edward C. Benzel

The Cleveland Clinic was established in 1921 under the direction of 4 experienced and iconic physicians: George Crile, Frank Bunts, William Lower, and John Phillips. The Clinic initially employed a staff of only 6 surgeons, 4 internists, 1 radiologist, and 1 biophysicist, but Crile was quick to realize the need for broadening its scope of practice. He asked his close friend, Harvey Cushing, for assistance in finding a suitable candidate to establish a department of neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic. With his full endorsement, Cushing recommended Dr. Charles Edward Locke Jr., a former student and burgeoning star in the field of neurosurgery. Unfortunately, Locke’s life and career both ended prematurely in the Cleveland Clinic fire of 1929, but not before he would leave a lasting legacy, both at the Cleveland Clinic and in the field of neurosurgery.

Full access

Min Lang, Danilo Silva, Lu Dai, Varun R. Kshettry, Troy D. Woodard, Raj Sindwani and Pablo F. Recinos

OBJECTIVE

Preoperatively determining the extent of parasellar invasion of pituitary macroadenomas is useful for surgical planning and patient counseling. Here, the authors compared constructive interference in steady state (CISS), a T2-weighted gradient-echo MRI sequence, to volume-interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE), a T1-weighted gradient-echo MRI sequence, for evaluation of cavernous sinus invasion (CSI) by pituitary macroadenomas.

METHODS

VIBE and CISS images of 98 patients with pituitary macroadenoma were retrospectively analyzed and graded using the modified Knosp classification. The Knosp grades were correlated to surgical findings of CSI, which were determined intraoperatively using 0° and 30° endoscopes. The predictive accuracies for CSI according to the Knosp grades derived from the CISS and VIBE images were compared using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Postoperative MRI was used to evaluate the gross-total resection (GTR) rates.

RESULTS

The CSI rate by pituitary macroadenomas was 27.6% (27 of 98 cases). Of 196 assessments (left and right sides of 98 macroadenomas), 45 (23.0%) had different Knosp grades when scored using VIBE versus CISS images. For the VIBE images, 0% of Knosp grade 0, 4.5% of grade 1, 23.8% of grade 2, 42.1% of grade 3A, 100% of grade 3B, and 83.3% of grade 4 macroadenomas were found to have CSI intraoperatively. For the CISS images, 0% of Knosp grade 0, 2.1% of grade 1, 31.3% of grade 2, 56.3% of grade 3A, 100% of grade 3B, and 100% of grade 4 macroadenomas were found to have CSI intraoperatively. Two pituitary macroadenomas were classified as grade 4 on VIBE sequences but grades 3A and 2 on CISS sequences; CSI was not observed intraoperatively in both cases. The GTR rate was 64.3% and 60.0% for high-grade (3A, 3B, and 4) macroadenomas classified using VIBE and CISS sequences, respectively. The areas under the ROC curves were 0.94 and 0.97 for VIBE- and CISS-derived Knosp grades (p = 0.007), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Knosp grades determined using CISS sequence images are better correlated with intraoperative CSI than those determined using VIBE sequence images. CISS sequences may be valuable for the preoperative assessment of pituitary macroadenomas.

Free access

Varun R. Kshettry, Hyunwoo Do, Khaled Elshazly, Christopher J. Farrell, Gurston Nyquist, Marc Rosen and James J. Evans

OBJECTIVE

There is a paucity of literature regarding the learning curve associated with performing endoscopic endonasal cranial base surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent a learning curve might exist for endoscopic endonasal resection in cases of craniopharyngiomas.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed for all endoscopic endonasal craniopharyngioma resections performed at Thomas Jefferson University from 2005 to 2015. To assess for a learning curve effect, patients were divided into an early cohort (2005–2009, n = 20) and a late cohort (2010–2015, n = 23). Preoperative demographics, clinical presentation, imaging characteristics, extent of resection, complications, tumor control, and visual and endocrine outcomes were obtained. Categorical variables and continuous variables were compared using a 2-sided Fisher's exact test and t-test, respectively.

RESULTS

Only the index operation performed at the authors' institution was included. There were no statistically significant differences between early and late cohorts in terms of patient age, sex, presenting symptoms, history of surgical or radiation treatment, tumor size or consistency, hypothalamic involvement, or histological subtype. The rate of gross-total resection (GTR) increased over time from 20% to 65% (p = 0.005), and the rate of subtotal resection decreased over time from 40% to 13% (p = 0.078). Major neurological complications, including new hydrocephalus, meningitis, carotid artery injury, or stroke, occurred in 6 patients (15%) (8 complications) in the early cohort compared with only 1 (4%) in the late cohort (p = 0.037). CSF leak decreased from 40% to 4% (p = 0.007). Discharge to home increased from 64% to 95% (p = 0.024). Visual improvement was high in both cohorts (88% [early cohort] and 81% [late cohort]). Rate of postoperative panhypopituitarism and permanent diabetes insipidus both increased from 50% to 91% (p = 0.005) and 32% to 78% (p = 0.004), which correlated with a significant increase in intentional stalk sacrifice in the late cohort (from 0% to 70%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

High rates of near- or total resection and visual improvement can be achieved using an endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngiomas. However, the authors did find evidence for a learning curve. After 20 cases, they found a significant decrease in major neurological complications and significant increases in the rates of GTR rate and discharge to home. Although there was a large decrease in the rate of postoperative CSF leak over time, this was largely attributable to the inclusion of very early cases prior to the routine use of vascularized nasoseptal flaps. There was a significant increase in new panhypopituitarism and diabetes insipidus, which is attributable to increase rates of intentional stalk sacrifice.

Full access

Varun R. Kshettry, Andrew T. Healy, Robb Colbrunn, Dylan T. Beckler, Edward C. Benzel and Pablo F. Recinos

OBJECTIVE

The far lateral transcondylar approach to the ventral foramen magnum requires partial resection of the occipital condyle. Early biomechanical studies suggest that occipitocervical (OC) fusion should be considered if 50% of the condyle is resected. In clinical practice, however, a joint-sparing condylectomy has often been employed without the need for OC fusion. The biomechanics of the joint-sparing technique have not been reported. Authors of the present study hypothesized that the clinically relevant joint-sparing condylectomy would result in added stability of the craniovertebral junction as compared with earlier reports.

METHODS

Multidirectional in vitro flexibility tests were performed using a robotic spine-testing system on 7 fresh cadaveric spines to assess the effect of sequential unilateral joint-sparing condylectomy (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) in comparison with the intact state by using cardinal direction and coupled moments combined with a simulated head weight “follower load.”

RESULTS

The percent change in range of motion following sequential condylectomy as compared with the intact state was 5.2%, 8.1%, 12.0%, and 27.5% in flexion-extension (FE); 8.4%, 14.7%, 39.1%, and 80.2% in lateral bending (LB); and 24.4%, 31.5%, 49.9%, and 141.1% in axial rotation (AR). Only values at 100% condylectomy were statistically significant (p < 0.05). With coupled motions, however, −3.9%, 6.6%, 35.8%, and 142.4% increases in AR+F and 27.3%, 32.7%, 77.5%, and 175.5% increases in AR+E were found. Values for 75% and 100% condyle resection were statistically significant in AR+E.

CONCLUSIONS

When tested in the traditional cardinal directions, a 50% joint-sparing condylectomy did not significantly increase motion. However, removing 75% of the condyle may necessitate fusion, as a statistically significant increase in motion was found when E was coupled with AR. Clinical correlation is ultimately needed to determine the need for OC fusion.