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Daniel M. Sciubba, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Graeme F. Woodworth, Matthew J. McGirt, Ziya L. Gokaslan and George I. Jallo

Object

The indications remain unclear for fusion at the time of cervical laminectomy for intradural tumor resection. To identify patients who may benefit from initial fusion, the authors assessed clinical, radiological/imaging, and operative factors associated with subsequent symptomatic cervical instability requiring fusion after cervical laminectomy for intradural tumor resection.

Methods

The authors reviewed 10 years of data obtained in patients who underwent cervical laminectomy without fusion for intradural tumor resection and who had normal spinal stability and alignment preoperatively. The association of pre- and intraoperative variables with the subsequent need for fusion for progressive symptomatic cervical instability was assessed using logistic regression analysis, and percentages were compared using Fisher exact tests when appropriate.

Results

Thirty-two patients (mean age 41 ± 17 years) underwent cervical laminectomy without fusion for resection of an intradural tumor (18 intramedullary and 14 extramedullary). Each increasing number of laminectomies performed was associated with a 3.1-fold increase in the likelihood of subsequent vertebral instability (odds ratio 3.114, 95% confidence interval 1.207–8.034, p = 0.02). At a mean follow-up interval of 25.2 months, 33% (4 of 12) of the patients who had undergone a ≥ 3-level laminectomy required subsequent fusion compared with 5% (1 of 20) who had undergone a ≤ 2-level laminectomy (p = 0.03). Four (36%) of 11 patients initially presenting with myelopathic motor disturbance required subsequent fusion compared with 1 (5%) of 21 presenting initially with myelopathic sensory or radicular symptoms (p = 0.02). Age, the presence of a syrinx, intramedullary tumor, C-2 laminectomy, C-7 laminectomy, and laminoplasty were not associated with subsequent symptomatic instability requiring fusion.

Conclusions

In the authors' experience with intradural cervical tumor resection, patients presenting with myelopathic motor symptoms or those undergoing a ≥ 3-level cervical laminectomy had an increased likelihood of developing subsequent symptomatic instability requiring fusion. A ≥ 3-level laminectomy with myelopathic motor symptoms may herald patients most likely to benefit from cervical fusion at the time of tumor resection.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Mohammed Ali, Khoi D. Than, Rafael J. Tamargo and Richard E. Clatterbuck

Object

The authors of previous studies have shown that admission hyperglycemia or perioperative hyperglycemic events may predispose a patient to poor outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The results of experimental evidence have suggested that hyperglycemia may exacerbate ischemic central nervous system injury. It remains to be clarified whether a single hyperglycemic event or persistent hyperglycemia is predictive of poor outcome after aneurysmal SAH.

Methods

Ninety-seven patients undergoing treatment for aneurysmal SAH were observed, and all perioperative variables were entered into a database of prospectively recorded data. Daily serum glucose values were retrospectively added. Patients were examined at hospital discharge (14–21 days after SAH onset), and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were prospectively documented. The GOS score at last follow-up was retrospectively determined. Serum glucose greater than 200 mg/dl for 2 or more consecutive days was defined as persistent hyperglycemia. Outcome was categorized as “poor” (dependent function [GOS Score 1–3]) or “good” (independent function [GOS Score 4 or 5]) at discharge. The independent association of 2-week and final follow-up outcome (GOS score) with the daily serum glucose levels was assessed using a multivariate analysis.

Results

In the univariate analysis, increasing age, increasing Hunt and Hess grade, hypertension, ventriculomegaly on admission computed tomography scan, Caucasian race, and higher mean daily glucose levels were associated with poor (dependent) 2-week outcome after aneurysmal SAH. In the multivariate analysis, older age, the occurrence of symptomatic cerebral vasospasm, increasing admission Hunt and Hess grade, and persistent hyperglycemia were independent predictors of poor (dependent) outcome 2 weeks after aneurysmal SAH. Admission Hunt and Hess grade and persistent hyperglycemia were independent predictors of poor outcome at last follow-up examination a mean 10 ± 3 months after aneurysmal SAH. Isolated hyperglycemic events did not predict poor outcome. Patients with persistent hyperglycemia were 10-fold more likely to have a poor (dependent) 2-week outcome and sevenfold more likely to have a poor outcome a mean 10 months after aneurysmal SAH independent of admission Hunt and Hess grade, occurrence of cerebral vasospasm, or all comorbidities.

Conclusions

Patients with persistent hyperglycemia were seven times more likely to have a poor outcome at a mean of 10 months after aneurysmal SAH. Isolated hyperglycemic events were not predictive of poor outcome. Serum glucose levels in the acute setting of aneurysmal SAH may help predict outcomes months after surgery.

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Daniel M. Sciubba, Li-Mei Lin, Graeme F. Woodworth, Matthew J. McGirt, Benjamin Carson and George I. Jallo

Object

Antibiotic-impregnated shunt (AIS) systems may decrease the incidence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt infections. However, there is a reluctance to use AIS components because of their increased cost. In the present study the authors evaluated factors contributing to the medical costs associated with the treatment of CSF shunt infections in a hydrocephalic pediatric population, those implanted with AIS systems compared with those implanted with standard shunt systems.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in all pediatric patients who had undergone CSF shunt insertion at their institution over a 3-year period. All patients were followed up for 12 months after surgery. The independent association between AIS catheter use and subsequent shunt infection was assessed by performing a multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis. Factors contributing to the medical costs associated with shunt infection were evaluated.

Results

Two hundred eleven pediatric patients underwent 353 shunting procedures. Two hundred eight shunts (59%) were placed with nonimpregnated catheters and 145 shunts (41%) were placed with AIS catheters. Twenty-five patients (12%) with non-AIS catheters experienced shunt infection, whereas only two patients (1.4%) with AIS catheters had a shunt infection within the 6-month follow-up period (p < 0.01). Among infected patients, infected patients with standard shunt components had a longer average hospital stay, more inpatient complications related to infection treatment, and more multiple organism infections and multiple antibiotic regimens, compared with those with AIS components.

Conclusions

Although individual AIS components are more expensive than standard ones, factors contributing to medical costs are fewer in pediatric patients with infected shunts when the components are antibiotic-impregnated rather than standard.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Robert Blessing, Michael J. Alexander, Shahid M. Nimjee, Graeme F. Woodworth, Allan H. Friedman, Carmelo Graffagnino, Daniel T. Laskowitz and John R. Lynch

Object

Impairment of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), endothelium-dependent relaxation, and cerebrovascular autoregulation all occur in vasospastic cerebral arteries following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The 3-hy-droxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, both improve endothelial function and increase eNOS messenger RNA, protein, and enzymatic activity threefold. Increasing experimental evidence in animal models of SAH suggests that statins may ameliorate cerebral vasospasm. The authors hypothesized that patients chronically treated with statins would have a decreased risk of symptomatic vasospasm after SAH.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 115 patients with SAH who were consecutively admitted to the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit of Duke University between 1998 and 2001. The independent association of statin therapy to symptomatic vasospasm was assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Fifteen patients (13%) admitted with SAH were receiving statin therapy for at least 1 month before admission. Forty-nine patients (43%) experienced symptomatic vasospasm a mean of 5.8 ± 3 days after onset of SAH. Current statin therapy on admission (odds ratio [OR] 0.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.01–0.77) was independently associated with an 11-fold reduction in the risk of symptomatic vasospasm. Fisher Grade 3 SAH (OR 2.82, 95% CI 1.50–5.71) and rupture of anterior cerebral or internal carotid artery aneurysm (OR 3.77, 95% CI 1.29–10.91) were independently associated with an increased risk of symptomatic vasospasm.

Conclusions

In this retrospective case series, patients who received statin therapy for at least 1 month demonstrated an 11-fold decrease in the risk of developing symptomatic vasospasm after SAH.

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Daniel M. Sciubba, Gaurav G. Mavinkurve, Philippe Gailloud, Ira M. Garonzik, Pablo F. Recinos, Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Timothy Witham, Yevgeniv Khavkin, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Jean-Paul Wolinsky

✓ Angiography is often performed to identify the vascular supply of hemangioblastomas prior to resection. Conventional two-dimensional (2D) digital subtraction (DS) angiography and three-dimensional (3D) DS angiography provides high-resolution images of the vascular structures associated with these lesions. However, such 3D DS angiography often does not provide reliable anatomical information about nearby osseous structures, or when it does, resolution of vascular anatomy in the immediate vicinity of bone is sacrificed. A novel angiographic reconstruction algorithm was recently developed at The Johns Hopkins University to overcome these inadequacies. By combining two separate sequences of images of bone and blood vessels in a single 3D representation, 3D fusion DS (FDS) angiography provides precise topographic information about vascular lesions in relation to the osseous environment, without a loss of resolution.

In this paper, the authors present the cases of two patients with cervical spine hemangioblastomas who underwent preoperative evaluation with FDS angiography and then successful gross-total resection of their tumors. In both cases, FDS angiography provided high-resolution 3D images of the hemangioblastoma anatomy, including each tumor’s topographic relationship with adjacent osseous structures and the location and size of feeding arteries and draining veins. These cases provide evidence that FDS angiography represents a useful adjunct to magnetic resonance imaging and 2D DS angiography in the preoperative evaluation and surgical planning of patients with vascular lesions in an osseous environment, such as hemangioblastomas in the spinal cord.

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Graeme F. Woodworth, Matthew J. McGirt, Amer Samdani, Ira Garonzik, Alessandro Olivi and Jon D. Weingart

Object

The gold standard for stereotactic brain biopsy target localization has been frame-based stereotaxy. Recently, frameless stereotactic techniques have become increasingly utilized. Few authors have evaluated this procedure, analyzed preoperative predictors of diagnostic yield, or explored the differences in diagnostic yield and morbidity rate between the frameless and frame-based techniques.

Methods

A consecutive series of 110 frameless and 160 frame-based image-guided stereotactic biopsy procedures was reviewed. Associated variables for both techniques were reviewed and compared. All stereotactic biopsy procedures were included in a risk factor analysis of nondiagnostic biopsy sampling.

Frameless stereotaxy led to a diagnostic yield of 89%, with a total permanent morbidity rate of 6% and a mortality rate of 1%. Larger lesions were fivefold more likely to yield diagnostic tissues. Deep-seated lesions were 2.7-fold less likely to yield diagnostic tissues compared with cortical lesions. Frameless compared with frame-based stereotactic biopsy procedures showed no significant differences in diagnostic yield or transient or permanent morbidity. For cortical lesions, more than one needle trajectory was required more frequently to obtain diagnostic tissues with frame-based as opposed to frameless stereotaxy, although this factor was not associated with morbidity.

Conclusions

With regard to diagnostic yield and complication rate, the frameless stereotactic biopsy procedure was found to be comparable to or better than the frame-based method. Smaller and deep-seated lesions together were risk factors for a nondiagnostic tissue yield. Frameless stereotaxy may represent a more efficient means of obtaining biopsy specimens of cortical lesions but is otherwise similar to the frame-based technique.

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Daniel M. Sciubba, R. Morgan Stuart, Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Amer Samdani, Benjamin Carson and George I. Jallo

Object

The majority of shunt infections occur within 6 months of shunt placement and chiefly result from perioperative colonization of shunt components by skin flora. Antibiotic-impregnated shunt (AIS) systems have been designed to prevent such colonization. In this study, the authors evaluate the incidence of shunt infection after introduction of an AIS system in a population of children with hydrocephalus.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed all pediatric patients who had undergone cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt insertion at their institution over a 3-year period between April 2001 and March 2004. During the 18 months prior to October 2002, all CSF shunts included standard, nonimpregnated catheters. During the 18 months after October 2002, all CSF shunts included antibiotic-impregnated catheters. All patients were followed up for 6 months after shunt surgery, and all shunt-related complications, including shunt infection, were evaluated. The independent association of AIS catheter use with subsequent shunt infection was assessed via multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis.

A total of 211 pediatric patients underwent 353 shunt placement procedures. In the 18 months prior to October 2002, 208 (59%) shunts were placed with nonimpregnated catheters; 145 (41%) shunts were placed with AIS catheters in the 18 months after October 2002. Of patients with nonimpregnated catheters, 25 (12%) experienced shunt infection, whereas only two patients (1.4%) with antibiotic-impregnated catheters experienced shunt infection within the 6-month follow-up period (p < 0.01). Adjusting for intercohort differences via multivariate analysis, AIS catheters were independently associated with a 2.4-fold decreased likelihood of shunt infection.

Conclusions

The AIS catheter significantly reduced incidence of CSF shunt infection in children with hydrocephalus during the early postoperative period (< 6 months). The AIS system used is an effective instrument to prevent perioperative colonization of CSF shunt components.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Alex L. Coon, James M. Frazier, Eric Amundson, Ira Garonzik, Alessandro Olivi and Jon D. Weingart

Object. Image-guided stereotactic brain biopsy is associated with transient and permanent incidences of morbidity in 9 and 4.5% of patients, respectively. The goal of this study was to perform a critical analysis of risk factors predictive of an enhanced operative risk in frame-based and frameless stereotactic brain biopsy.

Methods. The authors reviewed the clinical and neuroimaging records of 270 patients who underwent consecutive frame-based and frameless image-guided stereotactic brain biopsies. The association between preoperative variables and biopsy-related morbidity was assessed by performing a multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Transient and permanent stereotactic biopsy-related morbidity was observed in 23 (9%) and 13 (5%) patients, respectively. A hematoma occurred at the biopsy site in 25 patients (9%); 10 patients (4%) were symptomatic. Diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR] 3.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.37–10.17, p = 0.01), thalamic lesions (OR 4.06, 95% CI 1.63–10.11, p = 0.002), and basal ganglia lesions (OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.05–10.25, p = 0.04) were independent risk factors for morbidity. In diabetic patients, a serum level of glucose that was greater than 200 mg/dl on the day of biopsy had a 100% positive predictive value and a glucose level lower than 200 mg/dl on the same day had a 95% negative predictive value for biopsy-related morbidity. Pontine biopsy was not a risk factor for morbidity. Only two (4%) of 45 patients who had epilepsy before the biopsy experienced seizures postoperatively. The creation of more than one needle trajectory increased the incidence of neurological deficits from 17 to 44% when associated with the treatment of deep lesions (those in the basal ganglia or thalamus; p = 0.05), but was not associated with morbidity when associated with the treatment of cortex lesions.

Conclusions. Basal ganglia lesions, thalamic lesions, and patients with diabetes were independent risk factors for biopsy-associated morbidity. Hyperglycemia on the day of biopsy predicted morbidity in the diabetic population. Epilepsy did not predispose to biopsy-associated seizure. For deep-seated lesions, increasing the number of biopsy samples along an established track rather than performing a second trajectory may minimize the incidence of morbidity. Close perioperative observation of glucose levels may be warranted.