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  • By Author: Kalani, M. Yashar S. x
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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Samuel Kalb, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Salvatore C. Lettieri, Robert F. Spetzler, Randall W. Porter and Iman Feiz-Erfan

Object

Resection of cancer and the involved artery in the neck has been applied with some success, but the indications for such an aggressive approach at the skull base are less well defined. The authors therefore evaluated the outcomes of advanced skull base malignancies in patients who were treated with bypass and resection of the internal carotid artery (ICA).

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients with advanced head and neck cancers who underwent ICA sacrifice with revascularization in which an extracranial-intracranial bypass was used between 1995 and 2010 at the Barrow Neurological Institute.

Results

Eighteen patients (11 male and 7 female patients; mean age 46 years, range 7–69 years) were identified. There were 4 sarcomas and 14 carcinomas that involved the ICA at the skull base. All patients underwent ICA sacrifice with revascularization. One patient died of a stroke after revascularization. A second patient died of the effects of a fistula between the oral and cranial cavities (surgery-related mortality rate 11.1%). Eight months after the operation, 1 patient developed occlusion of the bypass and died. Complications associated with the bypass surgery included 1 case of subdural hematoma (SDH) with blindness, 1 case of status epilepticus, and 1 case of asymptomatic bypass occlusion (bypass-related morbidity 16.7%). Complications associated with tumor resection included 3 cases of CSF leakage requiring repair and shunting, 1 case of hydrocephalus requiring shunting, 1 case of SDH, and 1 case of contralateral ICA injury requiring a bypass (tumor resection morbidity rate 33.3%). In 1 patient treated with adjuvant therapy before surgery, the authors identified only a radiation effect and no tumor on resection. In a second patient the bypass was occluded, and her tumor was not resected. The other 16 patients underwent gross-total resection of their tumor. Excluding the surgery-related deaths, the mean and median lengths of survival in this series were 13.2 and 8.3 months, respectively (range 1.5–48 months). Including the surgery-related deaths, the mean and median lengths of survival were 11.8 and 8 months, respectively (range 17 days–48 months). At last follow-up all patients had died of cancer or cancer-related causes.

Conclusions

Despite maximal surgical intervention, including ICA sacrifice at the skull base with revascularization, patient survival was dismal, and the complication rate was significant. The authors no longer advocate such an aggressive approach in this patient population. On rare occasions, however, such an approach may be considered for low-grade malignancies.

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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Maziyar A. Kalani, Samuel Kalb, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, Peter Nakaji, Robert F. Spetzler, Randall W. Porter and Iman Feiz-Erfan

Object

Craniofacial approaches provide excellent exposure to lesions in the anterior and middle cranial fossae. The authors review their experience with craniofacial approaches for resection of large juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas.

Methods

Between 1992 and 2009, 22 patients (all male, mean age 15 years, range 9–27 years) underwent 30 procedures. These cases were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Gross-total resection of 17 (77%) of the 22 lesions was achieved. The average duration of hospitalization was 8.2 days (range 3–20 days). The rate of recurrence and/or progression was 4 (18%) of 22, with recurrences occurring a mean of 21 months after the first resection. All patients underwent preoperative embolization. Nine patients (41%) developed complications, the most common of which was CSF leakage (23%). The average follow-up was 27.7 months (range 2–144 months). The surgery-related mortality rate was 0%. Based on their mean preoperative (90) and postoperative (90) Karnofsky Performance Scale scores, 100% of patients improved or remained the same.

Conclusions

The authors' experience shows that craniofacial approaches provide an excellent avenue for the resection of large juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas, with acceptable rates of morbidity and no deaths.

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Samuel Kalb, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Luis Perez-Orribo, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Nicholas Theodore

Object

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a rare disease that results in progressive myeloradiculopathy related to pathological ossification of the ligament from unknown causes. Although it has long been considered a disease of Asian origin, this disorder is increasingly being recognized in European and North American populations. Herein the authors present demographic, radiographic, and comorbidity data from white patients with diagnosed OPLL as well as the outcomes of surgically treated patients.

Methods

Between 1999 and 2010, OPLL was diagnosed in 36 white patients at Barrow Neurological Institute. Patients were divided into 2 groups: a group of 33 patients with cervical OPLL and a group of 3 patients with thoracic or lumbar OPLL. Fifteen of these patients who had received operative treatment were analyzed separately. Imaging analysis focused on signal changes in the spinal cord, mass occupying ratio, signs of dural penetration, spinal levels involved, and subtype of OPLL. Surgical techniques included anterior cervical decompression and fusion with corpectomy, posterior laminectomy with fusion, posterior open-door laminoplasty, and anterior corpectomy combined with posterior laminectomy and fusion. Comorbidities, cigarette smoking, and previous spine surgeries were considered. Neurological function was assessed using a modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale (mJOAS).

Results

A high-intensity signal on T2-weighted MR imaging and a history of cervical spine surgery correlated with worse mJOAS scores. Furthermore, mJOAS scores decreased as the occupying rate of the OPLL mass in the spinal canal increased. On radiographic analysis, the proportion of signs of dural penetration correlated with the OPLL subtype. A high mass occupying ratio of the OPLL was directly associated with the presence of dural penetration and high-intensity signal. In the surgical group, the rate of neurological improvement associated with an anterior approach was 58% compared with 31% for a posterior laminectomy. No complications were associated with any of the 4 types of surgical procedures. In 3 cases, symptoms had worsened at the last follow-up, with only a single case of disease progression. Laminoplasty was the only technique associated with a worse clinical outcome. There were no statistical differences (p > 0.05) between the type of surgical procedure or radiographic presentation and postoperative outcome. There was also no difference between the choice of surgical procedure performed and the number of spinal levels involved with OPLL.

Conclusions

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament can no longer be viewed as a disease of the Asian population exclusively. Since OPLL among white populations is being diagnosed more frequently, surgeons must be aware of the most appropriate surgical option. The outcomes of the various surgical treatments among the different populations with OPLL appear similar. Compared with other procedures, however, anterior decompression led to the best neurological outcomes.