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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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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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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.

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Benjamin T. Himes, Grant W. Mallory, Arnoley S. Abcejo, Jeffrey Pasternak, John L. D. Atkinson, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, Michael J. Link, Michelle J. Clarke, William Perkins and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Historically, performing neurosurgery with the patient in the sitting position offered advantages such as improved visualization and gravity-assisted retraction. However, this position fell out of favor at many centers due to the perceived risk of venous air embolism (VAE) and other position-related complications. Some neurosurgical centers continue to perform sitting-position cases in select patients, often using modern monitoring techniques that may improve procedural safety. Therefore, this paper reports the risks associated with neurosurgical procedures performed in the sitting position in a modern series.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the anesthesia records for instances of clinically significant VAE and other complications for all neurosurgical procedures performed in the sitting position between January 1, 2000, and October 8, 2013. In addition, a prospectively maintained morbidity and mortality log of these procedures was reviewed for instances of subdural or intracerebral hemorrhage, tension pneumocephalus, and quadriplegia. Both overall and specific complication rates were calculated in relation to the specific type of procedure.

RESULTS

In a series of 1792 procedures, the overall complication rate related to the sitting position was 1.45%, which included clinically significant VAE, tension pneumocephalus, and subdural hemorrhage. The rate of any detected VAE was 4.7%, but the rate of VAE requiring clinical intervention was 1.06%. The risk of clinically significant VAE was highest in patients undergoing suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy with a rate of 2.7% and an odds ratio (OR) of 2.8 relative to deep brain stimulator cases (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–70, p = 0.04). Sitting cervical spine cases had a comparatively lower complication rate of 0.7% and an OR of 0.28 as compared with all cranial procedures (95% CI 0.12–0.67, p < 0.01). Sitting cervical cases were further subdivided into extradural and intradural procedures. The rate of complications in intradural cases was significantly higher (OR 7.3, 95% CI 1.4–39, p = 0.02) than for extradural cases. The risk of VAE in intradural spine procedures did not differ significantly from sitting suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy cases (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.09–5.4, p = 0.7). Two cases (0.1%) had to be aborted intraoperatively due to complications. There were no instances of intraoperative deaths, although there was a single death within 30 days of surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

In this large, modern series of cases performed in the sitting position, the complication rate was low. Suboccipital craniotomy/craniectomy was associated with the highest risk of complications. When appropriately used with modern anesthesia techniques, the sitting position provides a safe means of surgical access.

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Fredric B. Meyer and Jeffrey N. Bruce

This edition of the Video Supplement entitled “Microsurgery of the Third Ventricle, Pineal Region, and Tentorial Incisura” highlights approaches to accessing the third ventricle for surgical resection of a variety of pathologies. The third ventricle has critical neurovascular anatomy that must always be respected to prevent patient harm. Visualization of critical anatomy in three dimensions from a surgeon' line of sight is important when planning the optimum surgical approach. Some of the keys to safely operating in this region include thoughtful head positioning, limitation of brain retraction, and the use of trajectories which capitalize on CSF cisterns and fissures. Some of the videos included in this volume illustrate standard operations while others depict more unique and innovative approaches that take advantage of these surgical windows. We hope you enjoy the videos included in this supplement.

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Tarun D. Singh, Navid Valizadeh, Fredric B. Meyer, John L. D. Atkinson, Dana Erickson and Alejandro A. Rabinstein

OBJECT

This study was undertaken to analyze the predisposing factors, clinical presentation, therapeutic management, and clinical recovery in patients with pituitary apoplexy, with an emphasis on the long-term visual, endocrine, and functional outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of consecutive cases involving patients treated at Mayo Clinic between 1992 and 2013. Patients were included in the study only if they had 1) abrupt onset of severe headache or visual disturbance in the presence of a pituitary adenoma and 2) radiological or surgical confirmation of a pituitary mass. The primary endpoints of analysis were the visual (ocular motility, visual fields, and visual acuity), endocrine, and functional outcomes (using the modified Rankin Scale).

RESULTS

Eighty-seven patients were identified (57 males and 30 females, mean age 50.9 years, range 15–91 years). Twenty-two patients (25.3%) had a known pituitary adenoma. Hypertension was the most common associated factor (39%). Headache was the most frequent presenting symptom (89.7%), followed by visual abnormalities (47.1%). Cranial nerve palsies were present in 39% and visual field defects in 34.1%. MRI detected hemorrhage in 89% patients, as compared with 42% detected by CT scan. Sixty-one patients (70.1%) underwent surgery during acute hospitalization (median time from apoplexy 5 days, IQR 3–10 days), 8 (9.2%) had delayed surgery, and 18 (20.7%) were treated conservatively. Histopathological examination revealed adenoma with pure necrosis in 18 (30%), pure hemorrhage in 4 (6.7%), and both in 6 (10%) patients. Four patients died during hospitalization. The average duration of follow-up was 44.2 ± 43.8 months. All survivors were independent and had complete resolution or substantial improvement in eye movements and visual fields at the last follow-up. Many patients needed long-term hormonal replacement with levothyroxine (62.7%) and cortisol (60%). Daily desmopressin was needed in 23% of all surgical patients at 3 months (versus none of the medically treated) and this requirement decreased slightly over time. Regrowth of pituitary adenoma was seen in 7 patients (8.6%). There were no statistically significant differences in any of the outcome measures across the treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The outcome of most patients with pituitary apoplexy is excellent. Selected patients can be managed conservatively, and patients with severe neuro-ophthalmological deficits treated with early surgery can achieve an excellent recovery.

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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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Jason M. Hoover, Macaulay Nwojo, Ross Puffer, Jay Mandrekar, Fredric B. Meyer and Ian F. Parney

Object

The object of this study was to assess outcomes after surgery for recurrent intracranial glioma.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed cases involving adult patients with intracranial glioma patients undergoing initial surgery (biopsy or resection) and one or more additional surgeries at their institution.

Results

A total of 323 operations were performed in 131 patients. The median survival was 76 months after first surgery, 36 months after second, 24 months after third, and 26.5 months after 4 or more surgeries. The overall complication rate was 12.8% after first surgery, 27.0% after second (OR 2.52, p = 0.0068), 22.0% after third (OR 1.92, not statistically significant [NS]), and 22.2% after 4 or more (OR 1.95, NS). Neurological complications occurred in 4.8% of patients at first surgery, 12.1% at second (OR 2.7, p = 0.0437), 8.2% at third (OR 1.75, NS), and 11.1% at 4 or more surgeries (OR 2.4583, NS). Regional complications occurred in 6.2% after first surgery, 9.9% after second surgery (OR 2.30, p = 0.095), 13.7% after third surgery (OR 3.31, p = 0.015), and 22.2% after 4 or more surgeries (OR 5.95, p = 0.056). Systemic complications occurred in 3.2% after first surgery, in 7.3% after second surgery (OR 2.3, p = 0.NS), in 4.1% after third surgery (OR 1.3, NS), and 0% after 4 or more surgeries. Reduction in Karnofsky Performance Status score occurred in 0% after first surgery, 8.1% after second surgery (OR 3.13, p = 0.0018), 10.2% after third surgery (OR 5.52, p < 0.0001), and 11.1% after 4 or more surgeries (OR 1.037, NS).

Conclusions

Postoperative survival is relatively prolonged but complication risk increases in patients with glioma who undergo multiple cranial surgeries. The largest increase in neurological risk occurs between the first and second surgery. In contrast, regional complication risk increases consistently with each surgery. The risk of systemic complications is not significantly altered with increasing surgeries. However, these complications only result in a modestly increased risk of functional decline after 2 or more surgeries. These findings may help counsel patients considering multiple glioma surgeries.

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Shota Tanaka, Fredric B. Meyer, Jan C. Buckner, Joon H. Uhm, Elizabeth S. Yan and Ian F. Parney

Object

Optimum management for elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) in the temozolomide (TMZ) era is not well defined. The object of this study was to clarify outcomes in this population.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 105 consecutive cases involving elderly patients (age ≥ 65 years) with newly diagnosed GBM who were treated at the Mayo Clinic between 2003 and 2008.

Results

The patients' median age was 74 years (range 66–87 years), and the median Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score was 80 (range 40–90). Half of the patients underwent biopsy and half underwent resection. Patients with deep-seated lesions (19 patients [18%]) or multifocal lesions (34 patients [32%]) were more likely to have biopsy than resection (p = 0.0001 and 0.0009, respectively). New persistent neurological deficits developed in 7 patients (6.7%). Postoperative hemorrhage occurred in 6 patients (5.7%), all of whom underwent biopsy. Complete follow-up data regarding adjuvant treatment was available in 84 patients. Forty-one (49%) were treated with chemotherapy (mostly TMZ) and radiation therapy (RT), and 23 (27%) with RT alone. Nineteen (23%) received only palliative care after surgery (more common with biopsy, p = 0.03). Chemotherapy complications occurred in 28.6% (Grade 3 or 4 hematological complications in 11.9%). The median values for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 3.5 and 5.5 months. In a multivariate analysis, younger age (p = 0.03, risk ratio [RR] 0.34, 95% CI 0.13–0.89), single lesion (p = 0.02, RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.30–0.89), resection (p = 0.04, RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.31–0.94), and adjuvant treatment (p = 0.0001, RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.11–0.49) were associated with better OS. Only adjuvant treatment was significantly associated with prolonged PFS (p = 0.0007, RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.13–0.57). With combined therapy with resection, RT, and chemotherapy, the median PFS and OS were 8 and 12.5 months, respectively.

Conclusions

The prognosis for GBM worsens with increasing age in elderly patients. With important risks, resection and adjuvant treatment are associated with prolonged survival. Although selection bias cannot be excluded in this retrospective study, advanced age alone should not necessarily preclude optimal resection followed by adjuvant radiochemotherapy.

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Matthew C. Murphy, John Huston III, Kevin J. Glaser, Armando Manduca, Fredric B. Meyer, Giuseppe Lanzino, Jonathan M. Morris, Joel P. Felmlee and Richard L. Ehman

Object

The object of this study was to determine the potential of magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to preoperatively assess the stiffness of meningiomas.

Methods

Thirteen patients with meningiomas underwent 3D brain MRE examination to measure stiffness in the tumor as well as in surrounding brain tissue. Blinded to the MRE results, neurosurgeons made a qualitative assessment of tumor stiffness at the time of resection. The ability of MRE to predict the surgical assessment of stiffness was tested using a Spearman rank correlation.

Results

One case was excluded due to a small tumor size. In the remaining 12 cases, both tumor stiffness alone (p = 0.023) and the ratio of tumor stiffness to surrounding brain tissue stiffness (p = 0.0032) significantly correlated with the surgeons' qualitative assessment of tumor stiffness. Results of the MRE examination provided a stronger correlation with the surgical assessment of stiffness compared with traditional T1- and T2-weighted imaging (p = 0.089), particularly when considering meningiomas of intermediate stiffness.

Conclusions

In this cohort, preoperative MRE predicted tumor consistency at the time of surgery. Tumor stiffness as measured using MRE outperformed conventional MRI because tumor appearance on T1- and T2-weighted images could only accurately predict the softest and hardest meningiomas.