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Daniel M. Heiferman, Daphne Li, Joseph C. Serrone, Matthew R. Reynolds, Anand V. Germanwala, Clarence B. Watridge and Adam S. Arthur

Dr. Francis Murphey of the Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis recognized that a focal sacculation on the dome of an aneurysm may be angiographic evidence of a culpable aneurysm in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage with multiple intracranial aneurysms present. This has been referred to as a Murphey’s “teat,” “tit,” or “excrescence.” With variability in terminology, misspellings in the literature, and the fact that Dr. Murphey did not formally publish this important work, the authors sought to clarify the meaning and investigate the origins of this enigmatic cerebrovascular eponym.

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Simona Mihaela Florea, Thomas Graillon, Thomas Cuny, Regis Gras, Thierry Brue and Henry Dufour

OBJECTIVE

Ophthalmoplegia is a rare complication of transsphenoidal surgery, only noted in a few studies. The purpose of this study was to analyze the complications of cranial nerve III, IV, or VI palsy after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma and understand its physiopathology and outcome.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 24 cases of postoperative ophthalmoplegia selected from the 1694 patients operated via a transsphenoidal route in their department.

RESULTS

Two patients were operated on via microscopy and 22 via endoscopy. Patients operated on endoscopically had a greater risk of presenting with an extraocular nerve deficit postoperatively (p = 0.0115). It was found that an extension into or an invasion of the cavernous sinus (Knosp grade 3 or 4 on MRI, 18/24 patients) was correlated with a higher risk of postoperative ophthalmoplegia (p < 0.0001). The deficit was apparent immediately after surgery in 2 patients. For these 2 patients, the mechanisms of ophthalmoplegia were compression or intraoperative nerve lesion. The other 22 patients became symptomatic in the 12–72 hours following the surgery. The mechanisms implied in these cases were intrasellar compressive hematoma (4/22 cases), intracavernous hemorrhagic suffusion, or incomplete resection of the intracavernous portion of the tumor. All patients who did not present with oculomotor palsy immediately after surgery completely recovered their deficits in the 3 months that followed, while the other 2 experienced permanent damage.

CONCLUSIONS

Extraocular nerve dysfunction after transsphenoidal pituitary surgery is a rare complication that occurs more frequently in the case of the invasion or an important extension into the cavernous sinus. In this series, it also appears to be significantly more frequent in patients operated on via an endoscopic approach. Most patients have deficits that appear with a delay of 12–72 hours postoperatively and they are most likely to completely recover.

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Derek Yecies, Rashad Jabarkheel, Michelle Han, Yong-Hun Kim, Lisa Bruckert, Katie Shpanskaya, Augustus Perez, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) is a common postoperative complication following resection of posterior fossa tumors in children. It typically presents 1 to 2 days after surgery with mutism, ataxia, emotional lability, and other behavioral symptoms. Recent structural MRI studies have found an association between PFS and hypertrophic olivary degeneration, which is detectable as T2 hyperintensity in the inferior olivary nuclei (IONs) months after surgery. In this study, the authors investigated whether immediate postoperative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the ION can serve as an early imaging marker of PFS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed pediatric brain tumor patients treated at their institution, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, from 2004 to 2016. They compared the immediate postoperative DTI studies obtained in 6 medulloblastoma patients who developed PFS to those of 6 age-matched controls.

RESULTS

Patients with PFS had statistically significant increased mean diffusivity (MD) in the left ION (1085.17 ± 215.51 vs 860.17 ± 102.64, p = 0.044) and variably increased MD in the right ION (923.17 ± 119.2 vs 873.67 ± 60.16, p = 0.385) compared with age-matched controls. Patients with PFS had downward trending fractional anisotropy (FA) in both the left (0.28 ± 0.06 vs 0.23 ± 0.03, p = 0.085) and right (0.29 ± 0.06 vs 0.25 ± 0.02, p = 0.164) IONs compared with age-matched controls, although neither of these values reached statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased MD in the ION is associated with development of PFS. ION MD changes may represent an early imaging marker of PFS.

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Joon S. Yoo, Dil V. Patel, Benjamin C. Mayo, Dustin H. Massel, Sailee S. Karmarkar, Eric H. Lamoutte and Kern Singh

OBJECTIVE

Due to the reported benefits associated with minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS), patients seeking out minimally invasive surgery may have higher expectations regarding their outcomes. In this study the authors aimed to assess the effects of preoperative expectations and postoperative outcome actuality, and the difference between the two, on postoperative satisfaction following MIS for lumbar fusion procedures.

METHODS

Patients scheduled for either a 1- or 2-level lumbar fusion MIS were administered confidential surveys preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. The surveys administered preoperatively consisted of 2 parts: preoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs), including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS) back pain, and VAS leg pain, and expected postoperative PROs. The surveys administered 6 months postoperatively consisted of 2 parts: postoperative PROs and satisfaction. Preoperative symptoms, expected postoperative symptoms, and actual postoperative symptoms were compared using paired t-tests. Pearson correlation was used to compare the association between 1) postoperative change in PROs and satisfaction, 2) expectation and satisfaction, 3) expectation-actuality discrepancy and satisfaction, and 4) actuality and satisfaction.

RESULTS

In total, 101 patients completed all surveys. Patients expected to improve in all PROs from baseline, except for ODI personal care, in which they expected to get worse after surgery. In actuality, patients improved in all PROs from baseline, except for ODI personal care, in which they did not demonstrate improvement or worsening. Patients did not surpass any expectations regarding PRO improvement. The association between patient satisfaction and postoperative change was strong for the VAS back pain score, while ODI and VAS leg pain scores showed moderate correlations. Preoperative expectation and postoperative satisfaction demonstrated weak to moderate correlations for all outcome measures. All 3 PROs demonstrated moderate correlation between patient satisfaction and the expectation-actuality discrepancy. All 3 PROs demonstrated strong correlations between satisfaction and actual postoperative outcomes, with ODI having the strongest correlation.

CONCLUSIONS

In this observational study, the authors determined that the actual postoperative results following surgery were strongly correlated with patient satisfaction, while the patients’ expectation, the expectation-actuality discrepancy, and the postoperative improvement did not demonstrate strong correlations for all patient-reported outcome measures utilized in this study. The investigation results suggest that the most important indicator of how satisfied patients feel following surgery may be the actual outcome itself, rather than the preoperative expectation or the degree to which the expected result was met.

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Predicting nonroutine discharge after elective spine surgery: external validation of machine learning algorithms

Presented at the 2019 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Brittany M. Stopa, Faith C. Robertson, Aditya V. Karhade, Melissa Chua, Marike L. D. Broekman, Joseph H. Schwab, Timothy R. Smith and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Nonroutine discharge after elective spine surgery increases healthcare costs, negatively impacts patient satisfaction, and exposes patients to additional hospital-acquired complications. Therefore, prediction of nonroutine discharge in this population may improve clinical management. The authors previously developed a machine learning algorithm from national data that predicts risk of nonhome discharge for patients undergoing surgery for lumbar disc disorders. In this paper the authors externally validate their algorithm in an independent institutional population of neurosurgical spine patients.

METHODS

Medical records from elective inpatient surgery for lumbar disc herniation or degeneration in the Transitional Care Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (2013–2015) were retrospectively reviewed. Variables included age, sex, BMI, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, preoperative functional status, number of fusion levels, comorbidities, preoperative laboratory values, and discharge disposition. Nonroutine discharge was defined as postoperative discharge to any setting other than home. The discrimination (c-statistic), calibration, and positive and negative predictive values (PPVs and NPVs) of the algorithm were assessed in the institutional sample.

RESULTS

Overall, 144 patients underwent elective inpatient surgery for lumbar disc disorders with a nonroutine discharge rate of 6.9% (n = 10). The median patient age was 50 years and 45.1% of patients were female. Most patients were ASA class II (66.0%), had 1 or 2 levels fused (80.6%), and had no diabetes (91.7%). The median hematocrit level was 41.2%. The neural network algorithm generalized well to the institutional data, with a c-statistic (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) of 0.89, calibration slope of 1.09, and calibration intercept of −0.08. At a threshold of 0.25, the PPV was 0.50 and the NPV was 0.97.

CONCLUSIONS

This institutional external validation of a previously developed machine learning algorithm suggests a reliable method for identifying patients with lumbar disc disorder at risk for nonroutine discharge. Performance in the institutional cohort was comparable to performance in the derivation cohort and represents an improved predictive value over clinician intuition. This finding substantiates initial use of this algorithm in clinical practice. This tool may be used by multidisciplinary teams of case managers and spine surgeons to strategically invest additional time and resources into postoperative plans for this population.

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Matthew J. Shepard, Zhiyuan Xu, Joseph Donahue, Thomas J. Eluvathingal Muttikkal, Diogo Cordeiro, Leslie Hansen, Nasser Mohammed, Ryan D. Gentzler, James Larner, Camilo E. Fadul and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) improve survival in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Clinical trials examining the efficacy of ICIs in patients with NSCLC excluded patients with untreated brain metastases (BMs). As stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is commonly employed for NSCLC-BMs, the authors sought to define the safety and radiological and clinical outcomes for patients with NSCLC-BMs treated with concurrent ICI and SRS.

METHODS

A retrospective matched cohort study was performed on patients who had undergone SRS for one or more NSCLC-derived BMs. Two matched cohorts were identified: one that received ICI before or after SRS within a 3-month period (concurrent ICI) and one that did not (ICI naive). Locoregional tumor control, peritumoral edema, and central nervous system (CNS) adverse events were compared between the two cohorts.

RESULTS

Seventeen patients (45 BMs) and 34 patients (92 BMs) composed the concurrent-ICI and ICI-naive cohorts, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.39–2.52, p = 0.99) or CNS progression-free survival (HR 2.18, 95% CI 0.72–6.62, p = 0.11) between the two groups. Similarly, the 12-month local tumor control rate was 84.9% for tumors in the concurrent-ICI cohort versus 76.3% for tumors in the ICI-naive cohort (p = 0.94). Further analysis did reveal that patients receiving concurrent ICI had increased rates of CNS complete response for BMs treated with SRS (8/16 [50%] vs 5/32 [15.6%], p = 0.012) per the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria. There was also a shorter median time to BM regression in the concurrent-ICI cohort (2.5 vs 3.1 months, p < 0.0001). There was no increased rate of radiation necrosis or intratumoral hemorrhage in the patients receiving concurrent ICI (5.9% vs 2.9% in ICI-naive cohort, p = 0.99). There was no significant difference in the rate of peritumoral edema progression between the two groups (concurrent ICI: 11.1%, ICI naive: 21.7%, p = 0.162).

CONCLUSIONS

The concurrent use of ICI and SRS to treat NSCLC-BM was well tolerated while providing more rapid BM regression. Concurrent ICI did not increase peritumoral edema or rates of radiation necrosis. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether combined ICI and SRS improves progression-free survival and overall survival for patients with metastatic NSCLC.

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Aditya Vedantam, Katie M. Stormes, Nisha Gadgil, Stephen F. Kralik, Guillermo Aldave and Sandi K. Lam

OBJECTIVE

Resection of posterior fossa tumors in children may be associated with persistent neurological deficits. It is unclear if these neurological deficits are associated with persistent structural damage to the cerebellar pathways. The purpose of this research was to define longitudinal changes in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics in white matter cerebellar tracts and the clinical correlates of these metrics in children undergoing resection of posterior fossa tumors.

METHODS

Longitudinal brain DTI was performed in a cohort of pediatric patients who underwent resection of posterior fossa tumors. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior cerebellar peduncles (SCPs) and middle cerebellar peduncles (MCPs) was measured on preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up DTI. Early postoperative (< 48 hours) and longer-term follow-up neurological deficits (mutism, ataxia, and extraocular movement dysfunction) were documented. Statistical analysis was performed to determine differences in FA values based on presence or absence of neurological deficits. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Twenty children (mean age 6.1 ± 4.1 years [SD], 12 males and 8 females) were included in this study. Follow-up DTI was performed at a median duration of 14.3 months after surgery, and the median duration of follow-up was 19.7 months. FA of the left SCP was significantly reduced on postoperative DTI in comparison with preoperative DTI (0.44 ± 0.07 vs 0.53 ± 0.1, p = 0.003). Presence of ataxia at follow-up was associated with a persistent reduction in the left SCP FA on follow-up DTI (0.43 ± 0.1 vs 0.55 ± 0.1, p = 0.016). Patients with early postoperative mutism who did not recover at follow-up had significantly decreased FA of the left SCP on early postoperative DTI in comparison with those who recovered (0.38 ± 0.05 vs 0.48 ± 0.06, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

DTI after resection of posterior fossa tumors in children shows that persistent reduction of SCP FA is associated with ataxia at follow-up.

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Xueyan Wan, Chao Gan, Chao You, Ting Fan, Suojun Zhang, Huaqiu Zhang, Sheng Wang, Kai Shu, Xiong Wang and Ting Lei

OBJECTIVE

The intracranial hematoma volume in patients with traumatic brain injury is a key parameter for the determination of the management approach and outcome. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 is reported to be a risk factor for larger hematoma volume, which might contribute to a poor outcome. However, whether APOE ε4 is related to progressive hemorrhagic injury (PHI), a common occurrence in the clinical setting, remains unclear. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the association between the APOE genotype and occurrence of PHI.

METHODS

This prospective study included a cohort of 123 patients with traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage who initially underwent conservative treatment. These patients were assigned to the PHI or non-PHI group according to the follow-up CT scan. A polymerase chain reaction and sequencing method were carried out to determine the APOE genotype. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to identify predictors of PHI.

RESULTS

The overall frequency of the alleles was as follows: E2/2, 0%; E2/3, 14.6%; E3/3, 57.8%; E2/4, 2.4%; E3/4, 22.8%; and E4/4, 2.4%. Thirty-four patients carried at least one allele of ε4. In this study 60 patients (48.8%) experienced PHI, and the distribution of the alleles was as follows: E2/2, 0%; E2/3, 5.7%; E3/3, 22.8%; E2/4, 2.4%; E3/4, 16.3%; and E4/4, 1.6%, which was significantly different from that in the non-PHI group (p = 0.008). Additionally, the late operation rate in the PHI group was significantly higher than that in the non-PHI group (24.4% vs 11.4%, p = 0.002). Multivariate logistic regression identified APOE ε4 (OR 5.14, 95% CI 2.40–11.62), an elevated international normalized ratio (OR 3.57, 95% CI 1.61–8.26), and higher glucose level (≥ 10 mmol/L) (OR 3.88, 95% CI 1.54–10.77) as independent risk factors for PHI. Moreover, APOE ε4 was not a risk factor for the coagulopathy and outcome of the patients with traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS

The presence of APOE ε4, an elevated international normalized ratio, and a higher glucose level (≥ 10 mmol/L) are predictors of PHI. Additionally, APOE ε4 is not associated with traumatic coagulopathy and patient outcome.

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Kiyoharu Shimizu, Masaaki Takeda, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Shunichi Tanaka, Yushi Nagano, Hitoshi Yamahata, Kaoru Kurisu and Satoshi Yamaguchi

OBJECTIVE

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) commonly present with symptoms of myelopathy due to venous congestion in the spinal cord; asymptomatic SDAVFs are rarely encountered. To elucidate the clinical characteristics of asymptomatic SDAVFs, the authors present 5 new cases of asymptomatic SDAVF and report the results of their systematical review of the associated literature.

METHODS

Five databases were systematically searched for all relevant English-language articles on SDAVFs published from 1990 to 2018. The clinical features and imaging findings of asymptomatic SDAVFs were collected and compared with those of symptomatic SDAVFs.

RESULTS

Twenty cases, including the 5 cases from the authors’ experience, were found. Asymptomatic SDAVFs were more prevalent in the cervical region (35.0%); cervical lesions account for only 2% of all symptomatic SDAVFs. The affected perimedullary veins tended to drain more cranially (50.0%) than caudally (10.0%). Four cases of asymptomatic SDAVF became symptomatic, 1 case spontaneously disappeared, and the remaining 15 cases were unchanged or surgically treated.

CONCLUSIONS

The higher prevalence of asymptomatic SDAVFs in the cervical spine might be a distinct feature of asymptomatic SDAVFs. Given that venous congestion is the pathophysiology of a symptomatic SDAVF, abundant collateral venous pathways and unique flow dynamics of the CSF in the cervical spine might prevent asymptomatic cervical SDAVFs from becoming symptomatic. In cases in which venous congestion is avoidable, not all asymptomatic SDAVFs will become symptomatic.

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Dominic A. Harris, Danielle E. Sorte, Sandi K. Lam and Andrew P. Carlson

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) has not been well characterized in the pediatric population. The goal of this study was to describe the incidence, patient characteristics, and risk factors for pediatric patients with cerebrovascular injuries.

METHODS

The authors collected data from the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), a nationally representative database of pediatric admissions, for years 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012.

RESULTS

Among an estimated 646,549 admissions for blunt trauma, 2150 were associated with BCVI, an overall incidence of 0.33%. The incidence of BCVI nearly doubled from 0.24% in 2000 to 0.49% in 2012. Patients 4 to 13 years of age were less likely to have BCVI than those in the youngest (0–3 years) and oldest age groups comprising adolescents (14–17 years) and young adults (18–20 years). BCVIs were associated with cervical (adjusted OR [aOR] 4.6, 95% CI 3.8–5.5), skull base (aOR 3.0, 95% CI 2.5–3.6), clavicular (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.8), and facial (aOR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.5) fractures, as well as intracranial hemorrhage (aOR 2.7, 95% CI 2.2–3.2) and traumatic brain injury (aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.7–2.3). Mechanism of injury was also independently associated with BCVI: motor vehicle collision (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3–2.2) and struck pedestrian (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–1.9). Among pediatric patients with BCVI, 37.4% had cerebral ischemic infarction with an in-hospital mortality of 12.7%, and patients with stroke had 20% mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of pediatric BCVI is increasing, likely due to increased use of screening, but remains lower than that in the adult population. Risk factors include the presence of cervical, facial, clavicular, and skull base fractures, similar to that of the adult population. Diagnosed BCVI is associated with a relatively high incidence of stroke with increased morbidity and mortality. The use of adult screening criteria is likely reasonable given the similarity in the risk factors identified in this study. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of treatment with antiplatelet agents or anticoagulation.