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Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.

Free access

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Anshit Goyal, Ross C. Puffer, Ian F. Parney, Fredric B. Meyer and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Acute traumatic subdural hematoma (atSDH) can be a life-threatening neurosurgical emergency that necessitates immediate evacuation. The elderly population can be particularly vulnerable to tearing bridging veins. The aim of this study was to evaluate inpatient morbidity and mortality, as well as predictors of inpatient mortality, in a national trauma database.

METHODS

The authors queried the 2016–2017 National Trauma Data Bank registry for patients aged 65 years and older who had undergone evacuation of atSDH. Patients were categorized into three age groups: 65–74, 75–84, and 85+ years. A multivariable logistic regression model was fitted for inpatient mortality adjusting for age group, sex, race, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) category (3–8, 9–12, and 13–15), Injury Severity Score, presence of coagulopathy, presence of additional hemorrhages (epidural hematoma [EDH], intraparenchymal hematoma [IPH], and subarachnoid hemorrhage [SAH]), presence of midline shift > 5 mm, and pupillary reactivity (both, one, or none).

RESULTS

A total of 2508 patients (35% females) were analyzed. Age distribution was as follows: 990 patients at 65–74 years, 1096 at 75–84, and 422 at 85+. Midline shift > 5 mm was present in 72% of cases. With regard to additional hemorrhages, SAH was present in 21%, IPH in 10%, and EDH in 2%. Bilaterally reactive pupils were noted in 90% of patients. A major complication was observed in 14.4% of patients, and the overall mortality rate was 18.3%. In the multivariable analysis, the presenting GCS category was found to be the strongest predictor of postoperative inpatient mortality (3–8 vs 13–15: OR 3.63, 95% CI 2.68–4.92, p < 0.001; 9–12 vs 13–15: OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.79–3.90, p < 0.001; 30% of overall variation), followed by the presence of SAH (OR 2.86, 95% CI 2.21–3.70, p < 0.001; 25% of overall variation) and the presence of midline shift > 5 mm (OR 2.40, 95% CI 1.74–3.32, p < 0.001; 11% of overall variation). Model discrimination was excellent (c-index 0.81). Broken down by age decile group, mortality increased from 8.0% to 15.4% for GCS 13–15 to around 36% for GCS 9–12 to almost as high as 60% for GCS 3–8, particularly in those aged 85 years and older.

CONCLUSIONS

The present results from a national trauma database will, the authors hope, assist surgeons in preoperative discussions with patients and their families with regard to expected postoperative outcomes following surgical evacuation of an atSDH.

Restricted access

Benjamin T. Himes, Arnoley S. Abcejo, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Adip G. Bhargav, Katherine Trelstad-Andrist, Patrick R. Maloney, John L. D. Atkinson, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The sitting or semisitting position in neurosurgery allows for several technical advantages, including improved visualization of the surgical field. However, it has also been associated with an increased risk of venous air embolisms and positioning-related complications that limit its commonplace adoption. The authors report a large, single-center series of cervical spine procedures performed with patients in the sitting or prone position in order to assess the perceived risk of intraoperative and postoperative complications associated with the sitting position.

METHODS

Noninstrumented, single-level posterior cervical spine procedures performed with patients in the sitting/semisitting or prone position from 2000 to 2016 at a single institution were reviewed. Institutional abstraction tools (DataMart and Chart Plus) were used to collect data from the medical records. The two positions were compared with regard to preoperative factors, intraoperative variables, and postoperative outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted for 30-day readmission, 30-day return to the operating room, and complication rates.

RESULTS

A total of 750 patients (sitting, n = 480; prone, n = 270) were analyzed. The median age was 53 years for those who underwent surgery in the prone position and 50 years for those who underwent surgery in the sitting position (IQRs 45–62 years and 43–60 years, respectively), and 35% of the patients were female. Sitting cases were associated with significantly longer anesthetic times (221 minutes [range 199–252 minutes] vs 205 minutes [range 179–254 minutes]) and operative times (126 minutes [range 101–163 minutes] vs 149 minutes [120–181 minutes]). Cardiorespiratory events in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) were comparable between the two groups, with the exception of episodes of apnea (2.6% vs 0.6%, p = 0.041) and hypoventilation (4.4% vs 0.8%, p < 0.003), which were more frequent in the prone-position cohort. On multivariable analysis, the effect of the sitting versus the prone position was not significant for 30-day readmission (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.34–1.71, p = 0.52) or reoperation (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.31–1.60, p = 0.40). The sitting position was associated with lower odds of developing any complication (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.16–0.62, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the intraoperative and postoperative complications chosen in this study, the sitting position confers a similar safety profile to the prone position. This can be explained by a more anatomic positioning accounting for reduced temporary neurological deficits and reduced PACU-associated hypoventilation noted in this series. Nevertheless, the findings may also reflect institutional familiarity, experience, and mastery of this position type, and outcomes may not reflect practices in general.

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Salomon Cohen-Cohen, Desmond A. Brown, Benjamin T. Himes, Lydia P. Wheeler, Michael W. Ruff, Brittny T. Major, Naykky M. Singh Ospina, John L. D. Atkinson, Fredric B. Meyer, Irina Bancos, William F. Young Jr. and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare, autosomal-dominant tumor disorder characterized by the development of pituitary tumors and other endocrine neoplasms. Diagnosis is made clinically based on the development of 2 or more canonical lesions (parathyroid gland, anterior pituitary, and enteropancreatic tumors) or in family members of a patient with a clinical diagnosis of MEN1 and the occurrence of one of the MEN1-associated tumors. The goal of this study was to characterize pituitary tumors arising in the setting of MEN1 at a single institution. The probability of tumor progression and the likelihood of surgical intervention in patients with asymptomatic nonfunctional pituitary adenomas were also analyzed.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained institutional database was performed for patients with MEN1 diagnosed from 1970 to 2017. Data included patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment strategies, and outcomes.

RESULTS

A review of the database identified 268 patients diagnosed with MEN1, of whom 158 (59%) were female. Among the 268 patients, 139 (51.8%) had pituitary adenomas. There was a higher prevalence in women than in men (65% vs 35%, p < 0.005). Functional adenomas (57%) were more common. Prolactin-secreting adenomas were the most common functional tumors. Macroadenomas were seen in 27% of patients and were more likely to be symptomatic and locally aggressive (p < 0.001). Forty-nine patients (35%) underwent transsphenoidal resection at some point during their disease course. In 52 patients who were initially observed with MEN1 asymptomatic nonfunctional adenomas, only 5 (10%) progressed to need surgery. In MEN1 patients, an initial parathyroid lesion is most likely followed in order by pituitary, pancreatic, adrenal, and, finally, rare carcinoid tumors.

CONCLUSIONS

Asymptomatic nonfunctional pituitary adenomas in patients with MEN1 may be followed safely with MRI. In this series, parathyroid tumors developed at the lowest median age of all cardinal tumors, and development of additional cardinal MEN1 lesions followed a predictable pattern. This pattern of disease progression could have significant implications for disease surveillance in clinical practice and may help to target clinical resources to the lesions most likely to develop next. This may aid with early detection and treatment and warrants further study.

Free access

Jenna Meyer, Avital Perry, Soliman Oushy, Christopher S. Graffeo, Lucas P. Carlstrom and Fredric B. Meyer

Pediatric pituitary adenomas (PPAs) are rare neoplasms with a propensity for unusual presentations and an aggressive clinical course. Here, the authors describe 6 highly atypical PPAs to highlight this tendency and discuss unexpected management challenges.

A 14-year-old girl presented with acute hemiparesis and aphasia. MRI revealed a pituitary macroadenoma causing internal carotid artery invasion/obliteration without acute apoplexy, which was treated via emergent transsphenoidal resection (TSR). Another 14-year-old girl developed precocious galactorrhea due to macroprolactinoma, which was medically managed. Several years later, she re-presented with acute, severe, bitemporal hemianopia during her third trimester of pregnancy, requiring emergent induction of labor followed by TSR. A 13-year-old boy was incidentally diagnosed with a prolactinoma after routine orthodontic radiographs captured a subtly abnormal sella. An 18-year-old male self-diagnosed pituitary gigantism through a school report on pituitary disease. A 17-year-old boy was diagnosed with Cushing disease by his basketball coach, a former endocrinologist. A 12-year-old girl with growth arrest and weight gain was diagnosed with Cushing disease, which was initially treated via TSR but subsequently recurred and ultimately required 12 operations, 5 radiation treatments involving 3 modalities, bilateral adrenalectomy, and chemotherapy. Despite these efforts, she ultimately died from pituitary carcinoma.

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Sanjeet S. Grewal, Mohammed Ali Alvi, William J. Perkins, Gregory D. Cascino, Jeffrey W. Britton, David B. Burkholder, Elson So, Cheolsu Shin, Richard W. Marsh, Fredric B. Meyer, Gregory A. Worrell and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Almost 30% of the patients with suspected temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have normal results on MRI. Success rates for resection of MRI-negative TLE are less favorable, ranging from 36% to 76%. Herein the authors describe the impact of intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) augmented by opioid activation and its effect on postoperative seizure outcome.

METHODS

Adult and pediatric patients with medically resistant MRI-negative TLE who underwent standardized ECoG at the time of their elective anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) with amygdalohippocampectomy between 1990 and 2016 were included in this study. Seizure recurrence comprised the primary outcome of interest and was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analysis plots based on distribution of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) recorded on scalp electroencephalography, baseline and opioid-induced IEDs on ECoG, and extent of resection.

RESULTS

Of the 1144 ATLs performed at the authors’ institution between 1990 and 2016, 127 (11.1%) patients (81 females) with MRI-negative TLE were eligible for this study. Patients with complete resection of tissue generating IED recorded on intraoperative ECoG were less likely to have seizure recurrence compared to those with incomplete resection on univariate analysis (p < 0.05). No difference was found in seizure recurrence between patients with bilateral independent IEDs and unilateral IEDs (p = 0.15), presence or absence of opioid-induced epileptiform activation (p = 0.61), or completeness of resection of tissue with opioid-induced IEDs on intraoperative ECoG (p = 0.41).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that incomplete resection of IED-generating tissue on intraoperative ECoG was associated with an increased chance of seizure recurrence. However, they found that induction of epileptiform activity with intraoperative opioid activation did not provide useful intraoperative data predictive of improving operative results for temporal lobectomy in MRI-negative epilepsy.

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Tiziano Tallarita, Thomas J. Sorenson, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Gustavo S. Oderich, Thomas C. Bower, Fredric B. Meyer and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Concomitant unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are present in patients with carotid artery stenosis not infrequently and result in unique management challenges. Thus, we investigated the risk of rupture of an aneurysm after revascularization of a carotid artery in a contemporary consecutive series of patients seen at our institution.

METHODS

Data from patients who underwent a carotid revascularization in the presence of at least one concomitant UIA at our institution from 1991 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were evaluated for the incidence of aneurysm rupture within 30 days (early period) and after 30 days (late period) of carotid revascularization, as well as for the incidence of periprocedural complications from the treatment of carotid stenosis and/or UIA.

RESULTS

Our study included 53 patients with 63 concomitant UIAs. There was no rupture within 30 days of carotid revascularization. The overall risk of rupture was 0.87% per patient-year. Treatment (coiling or clipping) of a concomitant UIA, if pursued, could be performed successfully after carotid revascularization.

CONCLUSIONS

Carotid artery revascularization in the setting of a concomitant UIA can be performed safely without an increased 30-day or late-term risk of rupture. If indicated, treatment of the UIA can take place after the patient recovers from the carotid procedure.

Full access

Maria Peris-Celda, Soliman Oushy, Avital Perry, Christopher S. Graffeo, Lucas P. Carlstrom, Richard S. Zimmerman, Fredric B. Meyer, Bruce E. Pollock and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Geniculate neuralgia (GN) is an uncommon craniofacial pain syndrome attributable to nervus intermedius (NI) dysfunction. Diagnosis and treatment can be challenging, due to the complex nature of ear sensory innervation, resulting in clinical overlap with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS

A retrospective review of a prospective neurosurgical database at our institution was performed, 2000–2017, with a corresponding systematic literature review. Pain outcomes were dichotomized as unfavorable for unchanged/worsened symptoms versus favorable if improved/resolved. Eight formalin-fixed brains were examined to describe NI at the brainstem.

RESULTS

Eleven patients were surgically treated for GN—9 primary, 2 reoperations. The median age was 48, 7 patients were female, and the median follow-up was 11 months (range 3–143). Seven had ≥ 2 probable cranial neuralgias. NI was sectioned in 9 and treated via microvascular decompression (MVD) in 2. Five patients underwent simultaneous treatment for TN (4 MVD; 1 rhizotomy) and 5 for GPN (3 MVD; 2 rhizotomy). Eleven reported symptomatic improvement (100%); 8 initially reported complete resolution (73%). Pain outcomes at last contact were favorable in 8 (73%)—all among the 9 primary operations (89% vs 0%, p = 0.054). Six prior series reported outcomes in 111 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

GN is rare, and diagnosis is confounded by symptomatic overlap with TN/GPN. Directed treatment of all possible neuralgias improved pain control in almost all primary operations. Repeat surgery seems a risk factor for an unfavorable outcome. NI is adherent to superomedial VIII at the brainstem; the intermediate/cisternal portion is optimal for visualization and sectioning.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Daniel S. Ubl, Kristine T. Hanson, William E. Krauss, Fredric B. Meyer, Robert J. Spinner, Elizabeth B. Habermann and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Patient-reported outcomes have been increasingly mandated by regulators and payers to evaluate hospital and physician performance. The purpose of this study is to delineate the differences in patient-reported experience of hospital care for cranial and spinal operations.

METHODS

The authors selected all patients who underwent inpatient, elective cranial or spinal procedures and completed the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey at a single, high-volume, tertiary care institution between October 2012 and September 2015. The association of the surgical procedure and diagnosis with various HCAHPS composite measures, calculated across 9 domains using standard top-box methodology, was investigated. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted for outcomes that were significant with procedure type and diagnosis group on univariate analysis, adjusting for age, sex, case complexity, overall health rating, and education level.

RESULTS

A total of 1484 patients met criteria and returned an HCAHPS survey. Overall, patients undergoing a cranial procedure gave top-box (most favorable) scores more often in pain management measure (66.3% vs 59.6%, p = 0.01) compared with those undergoing spine surgery. Furthermore, despite better discharge scores (93.1% vs 87.1%, p < 0.001), spinal patients were less likely to report excellent health (7.4% vs 12.7%). Lastly, patients with a primary diagnosis of brain or spinal tumor compared with those with degenerative spinal disease and those with other neurosurgical diagnoses provided top-box scores more often regarding communication with doctors (82.7% vs 76.4% vs 75.2%, p = 0.04), pain management (71.8% vs 60.9% vs 59.1%, p = 0.002), and global rating (90.4% vs 84.0% vs 87.3%, p = 0.02). On multivariable analysis, spinal patients had significantly lower odds of reporting top-box scores in pain management (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.85; p = 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53–0.87; p = 0.002), and global rating (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.42–0.82; p = 0.002), and significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in discharge information (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.45–3.18; p < 0.001) than cranial patients. Similarly, brain tumor cases were associated with significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in communication with doctors (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01–2.12; p = 0.04), pain management (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.29–2.55; p < 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.33–2.66; p < 0.001), and global rating (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.26–3.17; p = 0.003) compared with degenerative spine cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant differences in patient-reported experience with hospital care exist across different cranial and spine surgery patient populations. Overall, spinal patients, particularly those with degenerative spine disease, rated their health and their hospital experience lower relative to cranial patients. Identifying weaker areas of hospital performance in target populations can stimulate quality initiatives that aim to increase the overall hospital score.

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Christopher S. Graffeo, Avital Perry, Lucas P. Carlstrom, Fredric B. Meyer, John L. D. Atkinson, Dana Erickson, Todd B. Nippoldt, William F. Young Jr., Bruce E. Pollock and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Nelson-Salassa syndrome (NSS) is a rare consequence of bilateral adrenalectomy (ADX) for refractory hypercortisolism due to Cushing disease (CD). Although classically defined by rapid growth of a large, invasive, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH)–secreting pituitary tumor after bilateral ADX that causes cutaneous hyperpigmentation, visual disturbance, and high levels of ACTH, clinical experience suggests more variability.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients 18 years and older with a history of bilateral ADX for CD, adequate pituitary MRI, and at least 2 years of clinical follow-up. Statistical tests included Student's t-test, chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, multivariate analysis, and derived receiver operating characteristic curves.

RESULTS

Between 1956 and 2015, 302 patients underwent bilateral ADX for the treatment of hypercortisolism caused by CD; 88 had requisite imaging and follow-up (mean 16 years). Forty-seven patients (53%) had radiographic progression of pituitary disease and were diagnosed with NSS. Compared with patients who did not experience progression, those who developed NSS were significantly younger at the time of CD diagnosis (33 vs 44 years, p = 0.007) and at the time of bilateral ADX (35 vs 49 years, p = 0.007), had larger tumors at the time of CD diagnosis (6 mm vs 1 mm, p = 0.03), and were more likely to have undergone external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT, 43% vs 12%, p = 0.005). Among NSS patients, the mean tumor growth was 7 mm/yr (SE 6 mm/yr); the median tumor growth was 3 mm/yr. Prevalence of pathognomonic symptoms was low; the classic triad occurred in 9%, while hyperpigmentation without visual field deficit was observed in 23%, and 68% remained asymptomatic despite radiographic disease progression. NSS required treatment in 14 patients (30%).

CONCLUSIONS

NSS is a prevalent sequela of CD after bilateral ADX and affects more than 50% of patients. However, although radiological evidence of NSS is common, it is most often clinically indolent, with only a small minority of patients developing the more aggressive disease phenotype characterized by clinically meaningful symptoms and indications for treatment. Young age at the time of CD diagnosis or treatment with bilateral ADX, large tumor size at CD diagnosis, and EBRT are associated with progression to NSS and may be markers of aggressiveness.