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Zoe E. Teton, Daniel Blatt, Katherine Holste, Ahmed M. Raslan and Kim J. Burchiel

OBJECTIVE

Hemifacial spasm (HFS), largely caused by neurovascular compression (NVC) of the facial nerve, is a rare condition characterized by paroxysmal, unilateral, involuntary contraction of facial muscles. It has long been suggested that these symptoms are due to compression at the transition zone of the facial nerve. The aim of this study was to examine symptom-free survival and long-term quality of life (QOL) in HFS patients who underwent microvascular decompression (MVD). A secondary aim was to examine the benefit of utilizing fused MRI and MRA post hoc 3D reconstructions to better characterize compression location at the facial nerve root exit zone (fREZ).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed patients with HFS who underwent MVD at a single institution, combined with a modified HFS-7 telephone questionnaire. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine event-free survival, and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare pre- and postoperative HFS-7 scores.

RESULTS

Thirty-five patients underwent MVD for HFS between 2002 and 2018 with subsequent 3D reconstructions of preoperative images. The telephone questionnaire response rate was 71% (25/35). If patients could not be reached by telephone, then the last clinic follow-up date was recorded and any recurrence noted. Twenty-four patients (69%) were symptom free at longest follow-up. The mean length of follow-up was 2.4 years (1 month to 8 years). The mean symptom-free survival time was 44.9 ± 5.8 months, and the average symptom-control survival was 69.1 ± 4.9 months. Four patients (11%) experienced full recurrence. Median HFS-7 scores were reduced by 18 points after surgery (Z = −4.013, p < 0.0001). Three-dimensional reconstructed images demonstrated that NVC most commonly occurred at the attached segment (74%, 26/35) of the facial nerve within the fREZ and least commonly occurred at the traditionally implicated transition zone (6%, 2/35).

CONCLUSIONS

MVD is a safe and effective treatment that significantly improves QOL measures for patients with HFS. The vast majority of patients (31/35, 89%) were symptom free or reported only mild symptoms at longest follow-up. Symptom recurrence, if it occurred, was within the first 2 years of surgery, which has important implications for patient expectations and informed consent. Three-dimensional image reconstruction analysis determined that culprit compression most commonly occurs proximally along the brainstem at the attached segment. The success of this procedure is dependent on recognizing this pattern and decompressing appropriately. Three-dimensional reconstructions were found to provide much clearer characterization of this area than traditional preoperative imaging. Therefore, the authors suggest that use of these reconstructions in the preoperative setting has the potential to help identify appropriate surgical candidates, guide operative planning, and thus improve outcome in patients with HFS.

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Karim ReFaey, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Anteneh M. Feyissa, Tito Vivas-Buitrago, Benjamin H. Brinkmann, Erik H. Middlebrooks, Jake H. McKay, David J. Lankford, Shashwat Tripathi, Elird Bojaxhi, Grayson E. Roth, William O. Tatum and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy is common among patients with supratentorial brain tumors; approximately 40%–70% of patients with glioma develop brain tumor–related epilepsy (BTRE). Intraoperative localization of the epileptogenic zone during surgical tumor resection (real-time data) may improve intervention techniques in patients with lesional epilepsy, including BTRE. Accurate localization of the epileptogenic signals requires electrodes with high-density spatial organization that must be placed on the cortical surface during surgery. The authors investigated a 360° high-density ring-shaped cortical electrode assembly device, called the “circular grid,” that allows for simultaneous tumor resection and real-time electrophysiology data recording from the brain surface.

METHODS

The authors collected data from 99 patients who underwent awake craniotomy from January 2008 to December 2018 (29 patients with the circular grid and 70 patients with strip electrodes), of whom 50 patients were matched-pair analyzed (25 patients with the circular grid and 25 patients with strip electrodes). Multiple variables were then retrospectively assessed to determine if utilization of this device provides more accurate real-time data and improves patient outcomes.

RESULTS

Matched-pair analysis showed higher extent of resection (p = 0.03) and a shorter transient motor recovery period during the hospitalization course (by approximately 6.6 days, p ≤ 0.05) in the circular grid patients. Postoperative versus preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score difference/drop was greater for the strip electrode patients (p = 0.007). No significant difference in postoperative seizures between the 2 groups was present (p = 0.80).

CONCLUSIONS

The circular grid is a safe, feasible tool that grants direct access to the cortical surgical surface for tissue resection while simultaneously monitoring electrical activity. Application of the circular grid to different brain pathologies may improve intraoperative epileptogenic detection accuracy and functional outcomes, while decreasing postoperative complications.

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Pasquale Scotti, Chantal Séguin, Benjamin W. Y. Lo, Elaine de Guise, Jean-Marc Troquet and Judith Marcoux

OBJECTIVE

Among the elderly, use of antithrombotics (ATs), antiplatelets (APs; aspirin, clopidogrel), and/or anticoagulants (ACs; warfarin, direct oral ACs [DOACs; dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban]) to prevent thromboembolic events must be carefully weighed against the risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) with trauma. The goal of this study was to assess the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), ICH, and poorer outcomes in relation to AT use among all patients 65 years or older presenting to a single institution with head trauma.

METHODS

Data were collected from all head trauma patients 65 years or older presenting to the authors’ supraregional tertiary trauma center over a 24-month period and included age, sex, injury mechanism, medical history, international normalized ratio, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, ICH presence and type, hospital admission, reversal therapy, surgery, discharge destination, Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) score at discharge, and mortality.

RESULTS

A total of 1365 head trauma patients 65 years or older were included; 724 were on AT therapy (413 on APs, 151 on ACs, 59 on DOACs, 48 on 2 APs, 38 on AP+AC, and 15 on AP+DOAC) and 641 were not. Among all head trauma patients, the risk of sustaining a TBI was associated with AP use after adjusting for covariates. Of the 731 TBI patients, those using ATs had higher rates of ICH (p <0.0001), functional dependency at discharge (GOSE score ≤ 4; p < 0.0001), and mortality (p < 0.0001). Elevated rates of ICH progression on follow-up CT scanning were observed in patients in the warfarin monotherapy (OR 5.30, p < 0.0001) and warfarin + AP (OR 6.15, p = 0.0011). Risk of mortality was not associated with single antiplatelet use but was notably high with 2 APs (OR 4.66, p = 0.0056), warfarin (OR 5.18, p = 0.0003), and DOAC use (OR 5.09, p = 0.0149).

CONCLUSIONS

Elderly trauma patients on ATs, especially combination therapy, are at elevated risk of ICH and poor outcomes compared with those not on AT therapy. While both AP and warfarin use alone and in combination were associated with significantly elevated odds of sustaining an ICH among TBI patients, only warfarin use was a predictor of hemorrhage progression on follow-up scans. The use of a single AP was not associated with mortality; however, the combination of both aspirin and clopidogrel was. Warfarin and DOAC users had comparable mortality rates; however, DOAC users had lower rates of ICH progression, and fewer survivors were functionally dependent at discharge than were warfarin users. DOACs are an overall safer alternative to warfarin for patients at high risk of falls.

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Amgad Hanna

OBJECTIVE

Iatrogenic nerve injuries are devastating to both the patient and the surgeon. This study focuses on the anatomical relationship of the palmar recurrent branch with the parent median nerve in an attempt to identify higher risk types.

METHODS

The palmar recurrent branch was dissected in 75 embalmed cadavers. The median nerve was divided into 4 sections from lateral to medial, defined as zones 1–4. The angle to the axial plane of the median nerve was also measured and classified as 0°, 45°, 60°, and 90°.

RESULTS

Accessory recurrent branches were found in 36.2% of cases. The recurrent branch originated from zone 1 in 32.42%, zone 2 in 61.54%, zone 3 in 6.04%, and zone 4 in 0%. These are respectively classified as types I, II, III, and IV. The motor branch made an angle with the median nerve of 0° in 17% of cases, 45° in 37.4%, 60° in 26.4%, and 90° in 19.2%. These are respectively classified as types A, B, C, and D.

CONCLUSIONS

Close attention should be paid to the potential anatomical variabilities when performing nerve surgeries. For the palmar recurrent branch, the more medial the origin and the greater the angle it makes with the median nerve, the more dangerous it is. This classification is helpful in unifying the language and comparing results.

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Zachary S. Hubbard, Ashish H. Shah, Michael Ragheb, Shelly Wang, Sarah Jernigan and John Ragheb

OBJECTIVE

Previous models have been utilized in other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to explore and assess the cost, sustainability, and effectiveness of infant hydrocephalus treatment. However, similar models have not been implemented in Haiti due to a paucity of data, epidemiology, and outcomes for hydrocephalus. Therefore, the authors utilized previously described economic modeling to estimate the annual cost and benefit of treating hydrocephalus in infants at a neurosurgery referral center, Hospital Bernard Mevs (HBM), in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of data obtained in all children treated for hydrocephalus at the HBM from 2008 to 2015. The raw data were pooled with previously described surgical outcomes for hydrocephalus in other LMICs. Modeling was performed to determine outcomes, neurosurgical costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and economic benefits of Haitian hydrocephalus treatment during this time frame. Standard account methodology was employed to calculate cost per procedure. Using these formulas, the net economic benefit and cost/DALY were determined for hydrocephalus treatment at HBM from 2008 to 2015.

RESULTS

Of the 401 patients treated during the study period, 158 (39.4%) met criteria for postinfectious hydrocephalus, 54 (13.5%) had congenital hydrocephalus, 38 (9.5%) had myelomeningocele, 19 (4.7%) had aqueductal stenosis, and 132 (33%) were not placed into a category. Overall, 317 individuals underwent surgical treatment of their hydrocephalus, averting 3077 DALYs. The total cost of the procedures was $754,000, and the cost per DALY ranged between $86 and $245. The resulting net economic benefit for neurosurgical intervention ranged from $2.5 to $5.5 million.

CONCLUSIONS

This work demonstrates the substantial economic benefit of neurosurgical intervention for the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus at a single hospital in Haiti. Based on DALYs averted, the need for additional centers offering basic neurosurgical services is apparent. A single center offering these services for several days each month was able to generate between $2.5 to $5.5 million in economic benefits, suggesting the need to develop neurosurgical capacity building in Haiti. Ultimately, prevention, screening, and early surgical treatment of these infants represent a public health and socioeconomic requisite for Haiti.

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Limin Xiao, Shenhao Xie, Bin Tang, Jialing Hu and Tao Hong

Advances in endoscopic technique allow for resection of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) via an endoscopic endonasal approach. The authors discuss the endoscopic endonasal anterior clinoidectomy (EEAC) and demonstrate the relevant surgical anatomy and technical nuances. The approach was simulated in 6 cadaveric heads. From a technical point of view, the lateral optic carotid recess was used as the landmark in the proposed technique. The superomedial, superolateral, and inferior vertices of this recess are the main operative points. The EEAC approach was achieved by disconnecting the ACP tip from the base by drilling the 3 vertices. The proposed approach was successfully performed in all cadaveric specimens. Then, in a case series involving 6 patients in whom the EEAC approach was used, there were no vascular injuries; 2 patients had postoperative oculomotor nerve palsy, which improved in one and resolved in the other by 1 month.

The EEAC approach for tumors and vascular lesions in the parasellar region is technically feasible. The surgical corridor is increased by ACP resection, although to a lesser extent than the transcranial anterior clinoidectomy. Based on the authors’ initial anatomical and surgical results, resection of the ACP via the endonasal endoscopic approach is a novel technique worth exploring in suitable cases.

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Brian M. Shear, Lan Jin, Yawei Zhang, Wyatt B. David, Elena I. Fomchenko, E. Zeynep Erson-Omay, Anita Huttner, Robert K. Fulbright and Jennifer Moliterno

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial epidermoid tumors are slow-growing, histologically benign tumors of epithelial cellular origin that can be symptomatic because of their size and mass effect. Neurosurgical resection, while the treatment of choice, can be quite challenging due to locations where these lesions commonly occur and their association with critical neurovascular structures. As such, subtotal resection (STR) rather than gross-total resection (GTR) can often be performed, rendering residual and recurrent tumor potentially problematic. The authors present a case of a 28-year-old man who underwent STR followed by aggressive repeat resection for regrowth, and they report the results of the largest meta-analysis to date of epidermoid tumors to compare recurrence rates for STR and GTR.

METHODS

The authors conducted a systemic review of PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Collaboration following the PRISMA guidelines. They then conducted a proportional meta-analysis to compare the pooled recurrence rates between STR and GTR in the included studies. The authors developed fixed- and mixed-effect models to estimate the pooled proportions of recurrence among patients undergoing STR or GTR. They also investigated the relationship between recurrence rate and follow-up time in the previous studies using linear regression and natural cubic spline models.

RESULTS

Overall, 27 studies with 691 patients met the inclusion criteria; of these, 293 (42%) underwent STR and 398 (58%) received GTR. The average recurrence rate for all procedures was 11%. The proportional meta-analysis showed that the pooled recurrence rate after STR (21%) was 7 times greater than the rate after GTR (3%). The average recurrence rate for studies with longer follow-up durations (≥ 4.4 years) (17.4%) was significantly higher than the average recurrence rate for studies with shorter follow-up durations (< 4.4 years) (5.7%). The cutoff point of 4.4 years was selected based on the significant relationship between the recurrence rate of both STR and GTR and follow-up durations in the included studies (p = 0.008).

CONCLUSIONS

STR is associated with a significantly higher rate of epidermoid tumor recurrence compared to GTR. Attempts at GTR should be made during the initial surgery with efforts to optimize success. Surgical expertise, as well as the use of adjuncts, such as intraoperative MRI and neuromonitoring, may increase the likelihood of completing a safe GTR and decreasing the long-term risk of recurrence. The most common surgical complications were transient cranial nerve palsies, occurring equally in STR and GTR cases when reported. In all postoperative epidermoid tumor cases, but particularly following STR, close follow-up with serial MRI, even years after surgery, is recommended.

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Wouter I. Schievink, M. Marcel Maya and Franklin G. Moser

A spinal CSF–venous fistula is one of three specific types of spinal CSF leak that can be seen in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). They are best demonstrated on specialized imaging, such as digital subtraction myelography (DSM) or dynamic myelography, but often they are diagnosed on the basis of increased contrast density in the draining veins (the so-called hyperdense paraspinal vein sign) on early postmyelography CT scans. The authors report on 2 patients who underwent directed treatment (surgery in one patient and glue injection in the other) based on the hyperdense paraspinal vein sign, in whom the actual site of the fistula did not correspond to the level or laterality of the hyperdense paraspinal vein sign. The authors suggest consideration of DSM or dynamic myelography prior to undertaking treatment directed at these fistulas.

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Alan R. Cohen

Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma (DIG) is a rare, distinctive, supratentorial neoplasm with a generally favorable prognosis. Clinical, radiographic, and pathologic features can sometimes mimic those of a malignant tumor and other serious intracranial disorders. The author describes his experience with 3 cases of DIG, each of which initially masqueraded as another neurological disease with a very different prognosis. Case 1 was an infant boy referred for evaluation of a hemorrhagic infarction at birth. Case 2 was an infant girl referred for evaluation of a holohemispheric malignant neoplasm. Case 3 was an infant girl referred for evaluation of an intracranial mass believed to be a subdural empyema or possible sarcoma. In each case the lesion was resected and found to be a WHO grade I DIG. Each child has had a benign postoperative course. DIG can be mistaken for other serious neurological conditions including malignant neoplasm, cerebral infarction, and infection. It is prudent to consider this rare, low-grade resectable tumor in the differential diagnosis of atypical intracranial masses of childhood, as the impact on prognosis can be profound. The author discusses management strategies for DIG, including a role for molecular sequencing.

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Hitoshi Fukuda, Hitoshi Ninomiya, Yusuke Ueba, Tsuyoshi Ohta, Toshiaki Kaneko, Tomohito Kadota, Fumihiro Hamada, Naoki Fukui, Motonobu Nonaka, Yuya Watari, Shota Nishimoto, Maki Fukuda, Satoru Hayashi, Tomohiko Izumidani, Hiroyuki Nishimura, Akihito Moriki, Benjamin Lo and Tetsuya Ueba

OBJECTIVE

Several environmental factors have been reported to correlate with incidence of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, because of different patient selection and study designs among these studies, meteorological factors that trigger the incidence of SAH in a short hazard period remain unknown. Among meteorological factors, daily temperature changes may disrupt and violate homeostasis and predispose to cerebrovascular circulatory disturbances and strokes. The authors aimed to investigate whether a decline in the temperature from the highest of the previous day to the lowest of the event day (temperature decline from the previous day [TDP]) triggers SAH in the prefecture-wide stroke database.

METHODS

All 28 participating institutions with primary or comprehensive stroke centers located throughout Kochi Prefecture, Japan, were included in the study. Data collected between January 2012 and December 2016 were analyzed, and 715 consecutive SAH patients with a defined date of onset were enrolled. Meteorological data in this period were obtained from the Kochi Local Meteorological Observatory. A case-crossover study was performed to investigate association of TDP and other environmental factors with onset of SAH.

RESULTS

The increasing TDP in 1°C on the day of the SAH event was associated with an increased incidence of SAH (OR 1.041, 95% CI 1.007–1.077) after adjustment for other environmental factors. According to the stratified analysis, a significant association between TDP and SAH was observed in women, patients < 65 years old, and patients with weekday onset. Among these factors, increasing TDP had a great impact on SAH onset in patients < 65 years old (p = 0.028, Mann-Whitney U-test).

CONCLUSIONS

TDP, temperature decline from the highest of the previous day to the lowest of the day, was correlated with the incidence of spontaneous SAH, particularly in younger patients < 65 years old.