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Gang Wu, Allan Belzberg, Jessica Nance, Sergio Gutierrez-Hernandez, Eva K. Ritzl and Matthias Ringkamp

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative nerve action potential (NAP) recording is a useful tool for surgeons to guide decisions on surgical approaches during nerve repair surgeries. However, current methods remain technically challenging. In particular, stimulus artifacts that contaminate or mask the NAP and therefore impair the interpretation of the recording are a common problem. The authors’ goal was to improve intraoperative NAP recording techniques by revisiting the methods in an experimental setting.

METHODS

First, NAPs were recorded from surgically exposed peripheral nerves in monkeys. For the authors to test their assumptions about observed artifacts, they then employed a simple model system. Finally, they applied their insights to clinical cases in the operating room.

RESULTS

In monkey peripheral nerve recordings, large stimulus artifacts obscured NAPs every time the nerve segment (length 3–5 cm) was lifted up from the surrounding tissue, and NAPs could not be recorded. Artifacts were suppressed, and NAPs emerged when “bridge grounding” was applied, and this allowed the NAPs to be recorded easily and reliably. Tests in a model system suggested that exaggerated stimulus artifacts and unmasking of NAPs by bridge grounding are related to a loop effect that is created by lifting the nerve. Consequently, clean NAPs were acquired in “nonlifting” recordings from monkey peripheral nerves. In clinical cases, bridge grounding efficiently unmasked intraoperative NAP recordings, validating the authors’ principal concept in the clinical setting and allowing effective neurophysiological testing in the operating room.

CONCLUSIONS

Technical challenges of intraoperative NAP recording are embedded in the current methods that recommend lifting the nerve from the tissue bed, thereby exaggerating stimulus artifacts by a loop effect. Better results can be achieved by performing nonlifting nerve recording or by applying bridge grounding. The authors not only tested their findings in an animal model but also applied them successfully in clinical practice.

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Hiroaki Takei, Jun Shinoda, Soko Ikuta, Takashi Maruyama, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Tomohiro Kawasaki, Yuka Ikegame, Makoto Okada, Takeshi Ito, Yoshitaka Asano, Kazutoshi Yokoyama, Noriyuki Nakayama, Hirohito Yano and Toru Iwama

OBJECTIVE

Positron emission tomography (PET) is important in the noninvasive diagnostic imaging of gliomas. There are many PET studies on glioma diagnosis based on the 2007 WHO classification; however, there are no studies on glioma diagnosis using the new classification (the 2016 WHO classification). Here, the authors investigated the relationship between uptake of 11C-methionine (MET), 11C-choline (CHO), and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) on PET imaging and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) status (wild-type [IDH-wt] or mutant [IDH-mut]) in astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors according to the 2016 WHO classification.

METHODS

In total, 105 patients with newly diagnosed cerebral gliomas (6 diffuse astrocytomas [DAs] with IDH-wt, 6 DAs with IDH-mut, 7 anaplastic astrocytomas [AAs] with IDH-wt, 24 AAs with IDH-mut, 26 glioblastomas [GBMs] with IDH-wt, 5 GBMs with IDH-mut, 19 oligodendrogliomas [ODs], and 12 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas [AOs]) were included. All OD and AO patients had both IDH-mut and 1p/19q codeletion. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUV) of the tumor/mean SUV of normal cortex (T/N) ratios for MET, CHO, and FDG were calculated, and the mean T/N ratios of DA, AA, and GBM with IDH-wt and IDH-mut were compared. The diagnostic accuracy for distinguishing gliomas with IDH-wt from those with IDH-mut was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of the mean T/N ratios for the 3 PET tracers.

RESULTS

There were significant differences in the mean T/N ratios for all 3 PET tracers between the IDH-wt and IDH-mut groups of all histological classifications (p < 0.001). Among the 27 gliomas with mean T/N ratios higher than the cutoff values for all 3 PET tracers, 23 (85.2%) were classified into the IDH-wt group using ROC analysis. In DA, there were no significant differences in the T/N ratios for MET, CHO, and FDG between the IDH-wt and IDH-mut groups. In AA, the mean T/N ratios of all 3 PET tracers in the IDH-wt group were significantly higher than those in the IDH-mut group (p < 0.01). In GBM, the mean T/N ratio in the IDH-wt group was significantly higher than that in the IDH-mut group for both MET (p = 0.034) and CHO (p = 0.01). However, there was no significant difference in the ratio for FDG.

CONCLUSIONS

PET imaging using MET, CHO, and FDG was suggested to be informative for preoperatively differentiating gliomas according to the 2016 WHO classification, particularly for differentiating IDH-wt and IDH-mut tumors.

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Haruka Miyata, Hirohiko Imai, Hirokazu Koseki, Kampei Shimizu, Yu Abekura, Mieko Oka, Takakazu Kawamata, Tetsuya Matsuda, Kazuhiko Nozaki, Shuh Narumiya and Tomohiro Aoki

OBJECTIVE

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) has a poor outcome despite modern advancements in medical care. The development of a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent rupture of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) or a novel diagnostic marker to predict rupture-prone lesions is thus mandatory. Therefore, in the present study, the authors established a rat model in which IAs spontaneously rupture and examined this model to clarify histopathological features associated with rupture of lesions.

METHODS

Female Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to bilateral ovariectomy; the ligation of the left common carotid, the right external carotid, and the right pterygopalatine arteries; induced systemic hypertension; and the administration of a lysyl oxidase inhibitor.

RESULTS

Aneurysmal SAH occurred in one-third of manipulated animals and the locations of ruptured IAs were exclusively at a posterior or anterior communicating artery (PCoA/ACoA). Histopathological examination using ruptured IAs, rupture-prone IAs induced at a PCoA or ACoA, and IAs induced at an anterior cerebral artery–olfactory artery bifurcation that never ruptured revealed the formation of vasa vasorum as an event associated with rupture of IAs.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose the contribution of a structural change in an adventitia, i.e., vasa vasorum formation, to the rupture of IAs. Findings from this study provide important insights about the pathogenesis of IAs.

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Timothy J. Yee, Brandon W. Smith, Jacob R. Joseph, Yamaan S. Saadeh, Jay K. Nathan, Elyne N. Kahn, Siri S. Khalsa, Kelsey J. Fearer, Michael J. Kirsch, David R. Nerenz, Victor Chang, Jason M. Schwalb, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak and Paul Park

OBJECTIVE

The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) is one of the most commonly used patient-reported outcome instruments, but completion of this 10-question survey can be cumbersome. Tools from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) are an alternative, and potentially more efficient, means of assessing physical, mental, and social outcomes in spine surgery. Authors of this retrospective study assessed whether scores on the 4-item surveys of function and pain from the PROMIS initiative correlate with those on the ODI in lumbar spine surgery.

METHODS

Patients evaluated in the adult neurosurgery spine clinic at a single institution completed the ODI, PROMIS Short Form v2.0 Physical Function 4a (PROMIS PF), and PROMIS Short Form v1.0 Pain Interference 4a (PROMIS PI) at various time points in their care. Score data were retrospectively analyzed using linear regressions with calculation of the Pearson correlation coefficient.

RESULTS

Three hundred forty-three sets of surveys (ODI, PROMIS PF, and PROMIS PI) were obtained from patients across initial visits (n = 147), 3-month follow-ups (n = 107), 12-month follow-ups (n = 52), and 24-month follow-ups (n = 37). ODI scores strongly correlated with PROMIS PF t-scores at baseline (r = −0.72, p < 0.0001), 3 months (r = −0.79, p < 0.0001), 12 months (r = −0.85, p < 0.0001), and 24 months (r = −0.89, p < 0.0001). ODI scores also correlated strongly with PROMIS PI t-scores at baseline (r = 0.71, p < 0.0001), at 3 months (r = 0.82, p < 0.0001), at 12 months (r = 0.86, p < 0.0001), and at 24 months (r = 0.88, p < 0.0001). Changes in ODI scores moderately correlated with changes in PROMIS PF t-scores (r = −0.68, p = 0.0003) and changes in PROMIS PI t-scores (r = 0.57, p = 0.0047) at 3 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

A strong correlation was found between the ODI and the 4-item PROMIS PF/PI at isolated time points for patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery. Large cohort studies are needed to determine longitudinal accuracy and precision and to assess possible benefits of time savings and improved rates of survey completion.

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Haydn Hoffman, Taylor Furst, Muhammad S. Jalal and Lawrence S. Chin

OBJECTIVE

There is increasing interest in the use of 30-day readmission (30dRA) as a quality metric to represent hospital and provider performance. Data regarding the incidence and risk factors for 30dRA after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are sparse. The authors sought to characterize these variables using a national database.

METHODS

The Nationwide Readmissions Database was used to identify patients with a primary diagnosis of TBI who underwent craniotomy or craniectomy between 2010 and 2014. Our primary outcome of interest was 30dRA. Binary logistic regression was used to identify variables related to patient demographics, comorbidities, and index hospital admission that were associated with 30dRA.

RESULTS

A total of 25,354 patients met the inclusion criteria. The 30dRA rate during the entire study period was 15.5%. In 2010 the 30dRA rate was 16.8% and in 2014 it decreased to 15.1% (pooled OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.87–0.94). The mean cost associated with a 30dRA increased slightly but significantly, from $9999 in 2010 to $10,114 in 2014 (p = 0.021). Factors associated with increased odds of 30dRA in the binary logistic regression included increased age, greater comorbidity burden, more severe injury, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, sodium abnormality, and venous thromboembolism. In order of decreasing frequency, the most common causes for 30dRA were neurological, injury/iatrogenic, cardiovascular/cerebrovascular, infectious, and respiratory.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of 30dRA after craniotomy for TBI decreased slightly from 2010 to 2014. This study identified several variables associated with 30dRA that require confirmation in a prospective study, which could direct attempts to prevent readmissions.

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Christopher Wendel, Ricardo Scheibe, Sören Wagner, Wiebke Tangemann, Hans Henkes, Oliver Ganslandt and Jan-Henrik Schiff

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral vasospasm (CV) is a delayed, sustained contraction of the cerebral arteries that tends to occur 3–14 days after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) from a ruptured aneurysm. Vasospasm potentially leads to delayed cerebral ischemia, and despite medical treatment, 1 of 3 patients suffer a persistent neurological deficit. Bedside transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography is used to indirectly detect CV through recognition of an increase in cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV). The present study aimed to use TCD ultrasonography to monitor how CBFV changes on both the ipsi- and contralateral sides of the brain in the first 24 hours after patients have received a stellate ganglion block (SGB) to treat CV that persists despite maximum standard therapy.

METHODS

The data were culled from records of patients treated between 2013 and 2017. Patients were included if an SGB was administered following aSAH, whose CBFV was ≥ 120 cm/sec and who had either a focal neurological deficit or reduced consciousness despite having received medical treatment and blood pressure management. The SGB was performed on the side where the highest CBFV had been recorded with 8–10 ml ropivacaine 0.2%. The patient’s CBFV was reassessed after 2 and 24 hours.

RESULTS

Thirty-seven patients (male/female ratio 18:19), age 17–70 years (mean age 49.9 ± 11.1), who harbored 13 clipped and 22 coiled aneurysms (1 patient received both a coil and a clip, and 3 patients had 3 untreated aneurysms) had at least one SGB. Patients received up to 4 SGBs, and thus the study comprised a total of 76 SGBs.

After the first SGB, CBFV decreased in 80.5% of patients after 2 hours, from a mean of 160.3 ± 28.2 cm/sec to 127.5 ± 34.3 cm/sec (p < 0.001), and it further decreased in 63.4% after 24 hours to 137.2 ± 38.2 cm/sec (p = 0.007). A similar significant effect was found for the subsequent SGB. Adding clonidine showed no significant effect on either the onset or the duration of the SGB. Contralateral middle cerebral artery (MCA) blood flow was not reduced by the SGB.

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest study on the effects of administering an SGB to aSAH patients after aneurysm rupture. The data showed a significant reduction in ipsilateral CBFV (MCA 20.5%) after SGB, lasting in about two-thirds of cases for over 24 hours with no major complications resulting from the SGB.

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Melissa A. LoPresti, Visish M. Srinivasan, Robert Y. North, Vijay M. Ravindra, Jeremiah Johnson, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Sandi K. Lam and Peter Kan

Direct bypass has been used to salvage failed endovascular treatment; however, little is known of the reversed role of endovascular management for failed bypass.

The authors report the case of a 7-year-old patient who underwent a superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass for treatment of a giant MCA aneurysm and describe the role of endovascular rescue in this case. Post-bypass catheter angiogram showed occlusion of the proximal extracranial STA donor with patent anastomosis, possibly due to STA dissection. A self-expanding Neuroform Atlas stent was deployed across the dissection flap, and follow-up images showed revascularization of the STA with good MCA runoff.

This case demonstrates that direct extracranial-intracranial bypass failure can infrequently originate from the STA donor vessel and that superselective angiogram can be useful for identification and treatment in such cases. With more advanced endovascular techniques the tide has turned in the treatment of complex cerebrovascular cases, with this case being an early example of successful rescue stenting for endovascular management of a failed donor after STA-MCA bypass.

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Daniel Lubelski, Roy Xiao, Debraj Mukherjee, William W. Ashley, Timothy Witham, Henry Brem, Judy Huang and Stacey Quintero Wolfe

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgery seeks to attract the best and brightest medical students; however, there is often a lack of early exposure to the field, among other possible barriers. The authors sought to identify successful practices that can be implemented to improve medical student recruitment to neurosurgery.

METHODS

United States neurosurgery residency program directors were surveyed to determine the number of medical student rotators and medical students matching into a neurosurgery residency from their programs between 2010 and 2016. Program directors were asked about the ways their respective institutions integrated medical students into departmental clinical and research activities.

RESULTS

Complete responses were received from 30/110 institutions. Fifty-two percent of the institutions had neurosurgery didactic lectures for 1st- and 2nd-year medical students (MS1/2), and 87% had didactics for MS3/4. Seventy-seven percent of departments had a neurosurgery interest group, which was the most common method used to integrate medical students into the department. Other forms of outreach included formal mentorship programs (53%), lecture series (57%), and neurosurgery anatomy labs (40%). Seventy-three percent of programs provided research opportunities to medical students, and 57% indicated that the schools had a formal research requirement. On average, 3 medical students did a rotation in each neurosurgery department and 1 matched into neurosurgery each year. However, there was substantial variability among programs. Over the 2010–2016 period, the responding institutions matched as many as 4% of the graduating class into neurosurgery per year, whereas others matched 0%–1%. Departments that matched a greater (≥ 1% per year) number of medical students into neurosurgery were significantly more likely to have a neurosurgery interest group and formal research requirements. A greater percentage of high-matching programs had neurosurgery mentorship programs, lecture series, and cadaver training opportunities compared to the other institutions.

CONCLUSIONS

In recent decades, the number of applicants to neurosurgery has decreased. A major deterrent may be the delayed exposure of medical students to neurosurgery. Institutions with early preclinical exposure, active neurosurgery interest groups, research opportunities, and strong mentorship recruit and match more students into neurosurgery. Implementing such initiatives on a national level may increase the number of highly qualified medical students pursuing neurosurgery.

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Yoshihiro Muragaki, Ken Masamune, Miyuki Uematsu, Mitsuo Umezu, Hiroshi Iseki and Mikhail Chernov