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Hasan A. Zaidi, Kenneth De Los Reyes, Garni Barkhoudarian, Zachary N. Litvack, Wenya Linda Bi, Jordina Rincon-Torroella, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr., Ian F. Dunn and Edward R. Laws Jr.


Endoscopic skull base surgery has become increasingly popular among the skull base surgery community, with improved illumination and angled visualization potentially improving tumor resection rates. Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) is used to detect residual disease during the course of the resection. This study is an investigation of the utility of 3-T iMRI in combination with transnasal endoscopy with regard to gross-total resection (GTR) of pituitary macroadenomas.


The authors retrospectively reviewed all endoscopic transsphenoidal operations performed in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite from November 2011 to December 2014. Inclusion criteria were patients harboring presumed pituitary macroadenomas with optic nerve or chiasmal compression and visual loss, operated on by a single surgeon.


Of the 27 patients who underwent transsphenoidal resection in the AMIGO suite, 20 patients met the inclusion criteria. The endoscope alone, without the use of iMRI, would have correctly predicted extent of resection in 13 (65%) of 20 cases. Gross-total resection was achieved in 12 patients (60%) prior to MRI. Intraoperative MRI helped convert 1 STR and 4 NTRs to GTRs, increasing the number of GTRs from 12 (60%) to 16 (80%).


Despite advances in visualization provided by the endoscope, the incidence of residual disease can potentially place the patient at risk for additional surgery. The authors found that iMRI can be useful in detecting unexpected residual tumor. The cost-effectiveness of this tool is yet to be determined.

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Ryan Brewster, Wenya Linda Bi, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, Ian F. Dunn and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Baseball maintains one of the highest impact injury rates in all athletics. A principal causative factor is the “beanball,” referring to a pitch thrown directly at a batter’s head. Frequent morbidities elicited demand for the development of protective gear development in the 20th century. In this setting, Dr. Walter Dandy was commissioned to design a “protective cap” in 1941. His invention became widely adopted by professional baseball and inspired subsequent generations of batting helmets. As a baseball aficionado since his youth, Walter Dandy identified a natural partnership between baseball and medical practice for the reduction of beaning-related brain injuries. This history further supports the unique position of neurosurgeons to leverage clinical insights, inform innovation, and expand service to society.

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Judith M. Wong, Jaykar R. Panchmatia, John E. Ziewacz, Angela M. Bader, Ian F. Dunn, Edward R. Laws and Atul A. Gawande


Neurosurgery is a high-risk specialty currently undertaking the pursuit of systematic approaches to measuring and improving outcomes. As part of a project to devise evidence-based safety interventions for specialty surgery, the authors sought to review current evidence in cranial tumor resection concerning the frequency of adverse events in practice, their patterns, and current methods of reducing the occurrence of these events. This review represents part of a series of papers written to consolidate information about these events and preventive measures as part of an ongoing effort to ascertain the utility of devising system-wide policies and safety tools to improve neurosurgical practice.


The authors performed a PubMed search using search terms “intracranial neoplasm,” “cerebral tumor,” “cerebral meningioma,” “glioma,” and “complications” or “adverse events.” Only papers that specifically discussed the relevant complication rates were included. Papers were chosen to maximize the range of rates of occurrence for the reported adverse events.


Review of the tumor neurosurgery literature showed that documented overall complication rates ranged from 9% to 40%, with overall mortality rates of 1.5%–16%. There was a wide range of types of adverse events overall. Deep venous thromboembolism (DVT) was the most common adverse event, with a reported incidence of 3%–26%. The presence of new or worsened neurological deficit was the second most common adverse event found in this review, with reported rates ranging from 0% for the series of meningioma cases with the lowest reported rate to 20% as the highest reported rate for treatment of eloquent glioma. Benign tumor recurrence was found to be a commonly reported adverse event following surgery for intracranial neoplasms. Rates varied depending on tumor type, tumor location, patient demographics, surgical technique, the surgeon's level of experience, degree of specialization, and changes in technology, but these effects remain unmeasured. The incidence on our review ranged from 2% for convexity meningiomas to 36% for basal meningiomas. Other relatively common complications were dural closure–related complications (1%–24%), postoperative peritumoral edema (2%–10%), early postoperative seizure (1%–12%), medical complications (6%–7%), wound infection (0%–4%), surgery-related hematoma (1%–2%), and wrong-site surgery.

Strategies to minimize risk of these events were evaluated. Prophylactic techniques for DVT have been widely demonstrated and confirmed, but adherence remains unstudied. The use of image guidance, intraoperative functional mapping, and real-time intraoperative MRI guidance can allow surgeons to maximize resection while preserving neurological function. Whether the extent of resection significantly correlates with improved overall outcomes remains controversial.


A significant proportion of adverse events in intracranial neoplasm surgery may be avoidable by use of practices to encourage use of standardized protocols for DVT, seizure, and infection prophylaxis; intraoperative navigation among other steps; improved teamwork and communication; and concentrated volume and specialization. Systematic efforts to bundle such strategies may significantly improve patient outcomes.