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Anil Nanda, Subhas Konar, Piyush Kalakoti and Tanmoy Maiti

Of the posterior third ventricular tumors, a papillary tumor of the pineal gland is a rare entity that originates from specialized ependymoma of the subcommissural organ. In this video narration, we present a case of a 33-year-old male with headaches and recent cognitive decline due to a posterior third ventricular lesion. The patient underwent a posterior interhemispheric approach, and a gross-total decompression was achieved with no signs of recurrence in a 2-year follow-up period. With this case we highlight the microsurgical technique employed for decompressing tumors of the posterior third ventricular region with preservation of eloquent structures and draining veins.

The video can be found here:https://youtu.be/o0WbyOqmtX0.

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Anil Nanda, Subhas Konar, Piyush Kalakoti and Tanmoy Maiti

Owing to a deep-seated location and intricate venous anatomy, pathologies of the posterior third ventricular region pose formidable challenges to the operating neurosurgeon. In this video, we present a case of an elderly Caucasian female with a rare histological variant of a pineal parenchymal mass who presented with gait disturbances and worsening retro-orbital headache. Radiological and clinco-histopathological correlates of this rare tumor pathology having intermediate differentiation are highlighted. Briefly outlined are surgical pearls and strategies to minimize complications, as the tumor is approached through the posterior interhemispheric corridor, to achieve a gross-total decompression.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/KXwclZ7Ei84.

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Richard P. Menger, Bharat Guthikonda, Christopher M. Storey, Anil Nanda, Matthew McGirt and Anthony Asher

Neurosurgeons provide direct individualized care to patients. However, the majority of regulations affecting the relative value of patient-related care are drafted by policy experts whose focus is typically system- and population-based. A central, prospectively gathered, national outcomes-related database serves as neurosurgery’s best opportunity to bring patient-centered outcomes to the policy arena.

In this study the authors analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the determination of quality and value in neurosurgery care through the scope, language, and terminology of policy experts. The methods by which the ACA came into law and the subsequent quality implications this legislation has for neurosurgery will be discussed. The necessity of neurosurgical patient-oriented clinical registries will be discussed in the context of imminent and dramatic reforms related to medical cost containment.

In the policy debate moving forward, the strength of neurosurgery’s argument will rest on data, unity, and proactiveness. The National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N2QOD) allows neurosurgeons to generate objective data on specialty-specific value and quality determinations; it allows neurosurgeons to bring the patient-physician interaction to the policy debate.

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Marc Manix, Piyush Kalakoti, Miriam Henry, Jai Thakur, Richard Menger, Bharat Guthikonda and Anil Nanda

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare neurodegenerative condition with a rapid disease course and a mortality rate of 100%. Several forms of the disease have been described, and the most common is the sporadic type. The most challenging aspect of this disease is its diagnosis—the gold standard for definitive diagnosis is considered to be histopatho-logical confirmation—but newer tests are providing means for an antemortem diagnosis in ways less invasive than brain biopsy. Imaging studies, electroencephalography, and biomarkers are used in conjunction with the clinical picture to try to make the diagnosis of CJD without brain tissue samples, and all of these are reviewed in this article. The current diagnostic criteria are limited; test sensitivity and specificity varies with the genetics of the disease as well as the clinical stage. Physicians may be unsure of all diagnostic testing available, and may order outdated tests or prematurely request a brain biopsy when the diagnostic workup is incomplete. The authors review CJD, discuss the role of brain biopsy in this patient population, provide a diagnostic pathway for the patient presenting with rapidly progressive dementia, and propose newer diagnostic criteria.

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Tanmoy Kumar Maiti, Subhas Konar, Shyamal Bir, Piyush Kalakoti, Papireddy Bollam and Anil Nanda

OBJECT

The difference in course and outcome of several neurodegenerative conditions and traumatic injuries of the nervous system points toward a possible role of genetic and environmental factors as prognostic markers. Apolipoprotein E (Apo-E), a key player in lipid metabolism, is recognized as one of the most powerful genetic risk factors for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. In this article, the current understanding of APOE polymorphism in various neurological disorders is discussed.

METHODS

The English literature was searched for various studies describing the role of APOE polymorphism as a prognostic marker in neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury. The wide ethnic distribution of APOE polymorphism was discussed, and the recent meta-analyses of role of APOE polymorphism in multiple diseases were analyzed and summarized in tabular form.

RESULTS

Results from the review of literature revealed that the distribution of APOE is varied in different ethnic populations. APOE polymorphism plays a significant role in pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. APOE ε4 is considered a marker for poor prognosis in various diseases, but APOE ε2 rather than APOE ε4 has been associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related bleeding and sporadic Parkinson’s disease. The role of APOE polymorphism in various neurological diseases has not been conclusively elucidated.

CONCLUSIONS

Apo-E is a biomarker for various neurological and systemic diseases. Therefore, while analyzing the role of APOE polymorphism in neurological diseases, the interpretation should be done after adjusting all the confounding factors. A continuous quest to look for associations with various neurological diseases and wide knowledge of available literature are required to improve the understanding of the role of APOE polymorphism in these conditions and identify potential therapeutic targets.

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Shyamal C. Bir, Piyush Kalakoti, Christina Notarianni and Anil Nanda

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Dr. John Howship, a pioneering British surgeon, described the clinical features and pathophysiology of various surgical disorders of the human body. His critical contributions to pediatric neurosurgery came in 1816 when he first described the features of an important childhood condition following head trauma, what he referred to as parietal bone absorption. This condition as depicted by Dr. Howship was soon to be christened by later scholars as traumatic cephalhydrocele, traumatic meningocele, leptomeningeal cyst, meningocele spuria, fibrosing osteitis, cerebrocranial erosion, and growing skull fracture. Nevertheless, the basic features of the condition as observed by Dr. Howship were virtually identical to the characteristics of the above-mentioned disorders. This article describes the life and accomplishments of Dr. Howship and his contributions to the current understanding of growing skull fracture.

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Piyush Kalakoti, Symeon Missios, Richard Menger, Sunil Kukreja, Subhas Konar and Anil Nanda

OBJECT

Because of the limited data available regarding the associations between risk factors and the effect of hospital case volume on outcomes after resection of intradural spine tumors, the authors attempted to identify these associations by using a large population-based database.

METHODS

Using the National Inpatient Sample database, the authors performed a retrospective cohort study that involved patients who underwent surgery for an intradural spinal tumor between 2002 and 2011. Using national estimates, they identified associations of patient demographics, medical comorbidities, and hospital characteristics with inpatient postoperative outcomes. In addition, the effect of hospital volume on unfavorable outcomes was investigated. Hospitals that performed fewer than 14 resections in adult patients with an intradural spine tumor between 2002 and 2011 were labeled as low-volume centers, whereas those that performed 14 or more operations in that period were classified as high-volume centers (HVCs). These cutoffs were based on the median number of resections performed by hospitals registered in the National Inpatient Sample during the study period.

RESULTS

Overall, 18,297 patients across 774 hospitals in the United States underwent surgery for an intradural spine tumor. The mean age of the cohort was 56.53 ± 16.28 years, and 63% were female. The inpatient postoperative risks included mortality (0.3%), discharge to rehabilitation (28.8%), prolonged length of stay (> 75th percentile) (20.0%), high-end hospital charges (> 75th percentile) (24.9%), wound complications (1.2%), cardiac complications (0.6%), deep vein thrombosis (1.4%), pulmonary embolism (2.1%), and neurological complications, including durai tears (2.4%). Undergoing surgery at an HVC was significantly associated with a decreased chance of inpatient mortality (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.16−0.98), unfavorable discharge (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.76−0.98), prolonged length of stay (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.62−0.77), high-end hospital charges (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.60−0.74), neurological complications (OR 0.34; 95% CI 0.26−0.44), deep vein thrombosis (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.45−0.94), wound complications (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.41−0.86), and gastrointestinal complications (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.46−0.92).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study provide individualized estimates of the risks of postoperative complications based on patient demographics and comorbidities and hospital characteristics and shows a decreased risk for most unfavorable outcomes for those who underwent surgery at an HVC. These findings could be used as a tool for risk stratification, directing presurgical evaluation, assisting with surgical decision making, and strengthening referral systems for complex cases.

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Piyush Kalakoti, Shyamal C. Bir, Richard D. Murray, Osama Ahmed and Anil Nanda

Broad-necked middle cerebral artery aneurysms present unique challenges for the vascular neurosurgeon, who must contend with smaller vessels and often a complex clipping strategy. Due to their superficial location, these lesions are still commonly selected for microsurgical clipping. We present a case of a 42-year-old woman with significant vascular disease with a right middle cerebral artery aneurysm. We discuss the key surgical steps, demonstrate the microsurgical dissection and intraoperative rupture encountered and the final clipping strategy, as well as the postoperative course in this operative video presentation.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/qZ2gvqz7XdQ.

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Richard P. Menger, Christopher M. Storey, Bharat Guthikonda, Symeon Missios, Anil Nanda and John M. Cooper

World War I catapulted the United States from traditional isolationism to international involvement in a major European conflict. Woodrow Wilson envisaged a permanent American imprint on democracy in world affairs through participation in the League of Nations. Amid these defining events, Wilson suffered a major ischemic stroke on October 2, 1919, which left him incapacitated. What was probably his fourth and most devastating stroke was diagnosed and treated by his friend and personal physician, Admiral Cary Grayson. Grayson, who had tremendous personal and professional loyalty to Wilson, kept the severity of the stroke hidden from Congress, the American people, and even the president himself. During a cabinet briefing, Grayson formally refused to sign a document of disability and was reluctant to address the subject of presidential succession. Wilson was essentially incapacitated and hemiplegic, yet he remained an active president and all messages were relayed directly through his wife, Edith. Patient-physician confidentiality superseded national security amid the backdrop of friendship and political power on the eve of a pivotal juncture in the history of American foreign policy.

It was in part because of the absence of Woodrow Wilson’s vocal and unwavering support that the United States did not join the League of Nations and distanced itself from the international stage. The League of Nations would later prove powerless without American support and was unable to thwart the rise and advance of Adolf Hitler. Only after World War II did the United States assume its global leadership role and realize Wilson’s visionary, yet contentious, groundwork for a Pax Americana.

The authors describe Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, the historical implications of his health decline, and its impact on United States foreign policy.