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Nasser Mohammed, Dale Ding, Yi-Chieh Hung, Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, David Mathieu, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, L. Dade Lunsford, Mary Lee Vance and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The role of primary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with medically refractory acromegaly who are not operative candidates or who refuse resection is poorly understood. The aim of this multicenter, matched cohort study was to compare the outcomes of primary versus postoperative SRS for acromegaly.

METHODS

The authors reviewed an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation database of 398 patients with acromegaly who underwent SRS and categorized them into primary or postoperative cohorts. Patients in the primary SRS cohort were matched, in a 1:2 ratio, to those in the postoperative SRS cohort, and the outcomes of the 2 matched cohorts were compared.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 78 patients (median follow-up 66.4 months), including 26 and 52 in the matched primary and postoperative SRS cohorts, respectively. In the primary SRS cohort, the actuarial endocrine remission rates at 2 and 5 years were 20% and 42%, respectively. The Cox proportional hazards model showed that a lower pre-SRS insulin-like growth factor–1 level was predictive of initial endocrine remission (p = 0.03), whereas a lower SRS margin dose was predictive of biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.01). There were no differences in the rates of radiological tumor control (p = 0.34), initial endocrine remission (p = 0.23), biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.33), recurrence-free survival (p = 0.32), or hypopituitarism (p = 0.67) between the 2 matched cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary SRS has a reasonable benefit-to-risk profile for patients with acromegaly in whom resection is not possible, and it has similar outcomes to endocrinologically comparable patients who undergo postoperative SRS. SRS with medical therapy in the latent period can be used as an alternative to surgery in selected patients who cannot or do not wish to undergo resection.

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Hyoung-Sub Kim, Jong Beom Lee, Jong Hyeok Park, Ho Jin Lee, Jung Jae Lee, Shumayou Dutta, Il Sup Kim and Jae Taek Hong

OBJECTIVE

Little is known about the risk factors for postoperative subaxial cervical kyphosis following craniovertebral junction (CVJ) fixation. The object of this study was to evaluate postoperative changes in cervical alignment and to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic change in the subaxial cervical spine after CVJ fixation.

METHODS

One hundred fifteen patients were retrospectively analyzed for postoperative subaxial kyphosis after CVJ fixation. Relations between subaxial kyphosis and radiological risk factors, including segmental angles and ranges of motion (ROMs) at C0–1, C1–2, and C2–7, and clinical factors, such as age, sex, etiology, occipital fixation, extensor muscle resection at C2, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and subaxial laminoplasty, were investigated. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic changes in the subaxial cervical spine.

RESULTS

The C2–7 angle change was more than −10° in 30 (26.1%) of the 115 patients. Risk factor analysis showed CVJ fixation combined with subaxial laminoplasty (OR 9.336, 95% CI 1.484–58.734, p = 0.017) and a small ROM at the C0–1 segment (OR 0.836, 95% CI 0.757–0.923, p < 0.01) were related to postoperative subaxial kyphotic change. On the other hand, age, sex, resection of the C2 extensor muscle, rheumatoid arthritis, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and postoperative segmental angles were not risk factors for postoperative subaxial kyphosis

CONCLUSIONS

Subaxial alignment change is not uncommon after CVJ fixation. Muscle detachment at the C2 spinous process was not a risk factor of kyphotic change. The study findings suggest that a small ROM at the C0–1 segment with or without occipital fixation and combined subaxial laminoplasty are risk factors for subaxial kyphotic change.

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James C. Dickerson, Katherine L. Harriel, Robert J. Dambrino IV, Lorne I. Taylor, Jordan A. Rimes, Ryan W. Chapman, Andrew S. Desrosiers, Jason E. Tullis and Chad W. Washington

OBJECTIVE

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major focus of patient safety indicators and a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Many practices have employed lower-extremity screening ultrasonography in addition to chemoprophylaxis and the use of sequential compression devices in an effort to reduce poor outcomes. However, the role of screening in directly decreasing pulmonary emboli (PEs) and mortality is unclear. At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a policy change provided the opportunity to compare independent groups: patients treated under a prior paradigm of weekly screening ultrasonography versus a post–policy change group in which weekly surveillance was no longer performed.

METHODS

A total of 2532 consecutive cases were reviewed, with a 4-month washout period around the time of the policy change. Criteria for inclusion were admission to the neurosurgical service or consultation for ≥ 72 hours and hospitalization for ≥ 72 hours. Patients with a known diagnosis of DVT on admission or previous inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement were excluded. The primary outcome examined was the rate of PE diagnosis, with secondary outcomes of all-cause mortality at discharge, DVT diagnosis rate, and IVC filter placement rate. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

A total of 485 patients met the criteria for the pre–policy change group and 504 for the post–policy change group. Data are presented as screening (pre–policy change) versus no screening (post–policy change). There was no difference in the PE rate (2% in both groups, p = 0.72) or all-cause mortality at discharge (7% vs 6%, p = 0.49). There were significant differences in the lower-extremity DVT rate (10% vs 3%, p < 0.01) or IVC filter rate (6% vs 2%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Based on these data, screening Doppler ultrasound examinations, in conjunction with standard-of-practice techniques to prevent thromboembolism, do not appear to confer a benefit to patients. While the screening group had significantly higher rates of DVT diagnosis and IVC filter placement, the screening, additional diagnoses, and subsequent interventions did not appear to improve patient outcomes. Ultimately, this makes DVT screening difficult to justify.

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Te Ming Lin, Huai Che Yang, Cheng Chia Lee, Hsiu Mei Wu, Yong Sin Hu, Chao Bao Luo, Wan Yuo Guo, Yi Hsuan Kao, Wen Yuh Chung and Chung Jung Lin

OBJECTIVE

Assessments of hemorrhage risk based on angioarchitecture have yielded inconsistent results, and quantitative hemodynamic studies have been limited to small numbers of patients. The authors examined whether cerebral hemodynamic analysis using quantitative digital subtraction angiography (QDSA) can outperform conventional DSA angioarchitecture analysis in evaluating the risk of hemorrhage associated with supratentorial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

METHODS

A cross-sectional study was performed by retrospectively reviewing adult supratentorial AVM patients who had undergone both DSA and MRI studies between 2011 and 2017. Angioarchitecture characteristics, DSA parameters, age, sex, and nidus volume were analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression, and QDSA software analysis was performed on DSA images. Based on the QDSA analysis, a stasis index, defined as the inflow gradient divided by the absolute value of the outflow gradient, was determined. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to compare diagnostic performances of conventional DSA angioarchitecture analysis and analysis using hemodynamic parameters based on QDSA.

RESULTS

A total of 119 supratentorial AVM patients were included. After adjustment for age at diagnosis, sex, and nidus volume, the exclusive deep venous drainage (p < 0.01), observed through conventional angioarchitecture examination using DSA, and the stasis index of the most dominant drainage vein (p = 0.02), measured with QDSA hemodynamic analysis, were independent risk factors for hemorrhage. The areas under the ROC curves for the conventional DSA method (0.75) and QDSA hemodynamics analysis (0.73) were similar. A venous stasis index greater than 2.18 discriminated the hemorrhage group with a sensitivity of 52.6% and a specificity of 81.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

In QDSA, a higher stasis index of the most dominant drainage vein is an objective warning sign associated with supratentorial AVM rupture. Risk assessments of AVMs using QDSA and conventional DSA angioarchitecture were equivalent. Because QDSA is a complementary noninvasive approach without extra radiation or contrast media, comprehensive hemorrhagic risk assessment of cerebral AVMs should include both DSA angioarchitecture and QDSA analyses.

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Robert C. Rennert, Reid Hoshide, Michael G. Brandel, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Joel R. Martin, Hal S. Meltzer, David D. Gonda, Takanori Fukushima, Alexander A. Khalessi and Michael L. Levy

OBJECTIVE

Lesions of the foramen magnum, inferolateral-to-midclival areas, and ventral pons and medulla are often treated using a far-lateral or extreme-lateral infrajugular transcondylar–transtubercular exposure (ELITE) approach. The development and surgical relevance of critical posterior skull base bony structures encountered during these approaches, including the occipital condyle (OC), hypoglossal canal (HGC), and jugular tubercle (JT), are nonetheless poorly defined in the pediatric population.

METHODS

Measurements from high-resolution CT scans were made of the relevant posterior skull base anatomy (HGC depth from posterior edge of the OC, OC and JT dimensions) from 60 patients (evenly distributed among ages 0–3, 4–7, 8–11, 12–15, 16–18, and > 18 years), and compared between laterality, sex, and age groups by using t-tests and linear regression.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in posterior skull base parameters by laterality, and HGC depth and JT size did not differ by sex. The OC area was significantly larger in males versus females (174.3 vs 152.2 mm2; p = 0.01). From ages 0–3 years to adult, the mean HGC depth increased 27% (from 9.0 to 11.4 mm) and the OC area increased 52% (from 121.4 to 184.0 mm2). The majority of growth for these parameters occurred between the 0–3 year and 4–7 year age groups. Conversely, JT volume increased nearly 3-fold (281%) from 97.4 to 370.9 mm3 from ages 0–3 years to adult, with two periods of substantial growth seen between the 0–3 to 4–7 year and the 12–15 to 16–18 year age groups. Overall, JT growth during pediatric development was significantly greater than increases in HGC depth and OC area (p < 0.05). JT volume remained < 65% of adult size up to age 16.

CONCLUSIONS

When considering a far-lateral or ELITE approach in pediatric patients, standard OC drilling is likely to be needed due to the relative stability of OC and HGC anatomy during development. The JT significantly increases in size with development, yet is only likely to need to be drilled in older children (> 16 years) and adults.

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Michele Rizzi, Martina Revay, Piergiorgio d’Orio, Pina Scarpa, Valeria Mariani, Veronica Pelliccia, Martina Della Costanza, Matteo Zaniboni, Laura Castana, Francesco Cardinale, Giorgio Lo Russo and Massimo Cossu

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy originating from the posterior quadrant (PQ) of the brain often requires large multilobar resections, and disconnective techniques have been advocated to limit the risks associated with extensive tissue removal. Few previous studies have described a tailored temporoparietooccipital (TPO) disconnective approach; only small series with short postoperative follow-ups have been reported. The aim of the present study was to present a tailored approach to multilobar PQ disconnections (MPQDs) for epilepsy and to provide details about selection of patients, presurgical investigations, surgical technique, treatment safety profile, and seizure and cognitive outcome in a large, single-center series of patients with a long-term follow-up.

METHODS

In this retrospective longitudinal study, the authors searched their prospectively collected database for patients who underwent MPQD for drug-resistant epilepsy in the period of 2005–2017. Tailored MPQDs were a posteriori grouped as follows: type I (classic full TPO disconnection), type II (partial TPO disconnection), type III (full temporooccipital [TO] disconnection), and type IV (partial TO disconnection), according to the disconnection plane in the occipitoparietal area. A bivariate statistical analysis was carried out to identify possible predictors of seizure outcome (Engel class I vs classes II–IV) among several presurgical, surgical, and postsurgical variables. Preoperative and postoperative cognitive profiles were also collected and evaluated.

RESULTS

Forty-two consecutive patients (29 males, 24 children) met the inclusion criteria. According to the presurgical evaluation (including stereo-electroencephalography in 13 cases), 12 (28.6%), 24 (57.1%), 2 (4.8%), and 4 (9.5%) patients received a type I, II, III, or IV MPQD, respectively. After a mean follow-up of 80.6 months, 76.2% patients were in Engel class I at last contact; at 6 months and 2 and 5 years postoperatively, Engel class I was recorded in 80.9%, 74.5%, and 73.5% of cases, respectively. Factors significantly associated with seizure freedom were the occipital pattern of seizure semiology and the absence of bilateral interictal epileptiform abnormalities at the EEG (p = 0.02). Severe complications occurred in 4.8% of the patients. The available neuropsychological data revealed postsurgical improvement in verbal domains, whereas nonunivocal outcomes were recorded in the other functions.

CONCLUSIONS

The presented data indicate that the use of careful anatomo-electro-clinical criteria in the presurgical evaluation allows for customizing the extent of surgical disconnections in PQ epilepsies, with excellent results on seizures and an acceptable safety profile.

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Alex P. Michael, Matthew W. Weber, Kristin R. Delfino and Venkatanarayanan Ganapathy

OBJECTIVE

While long-term studies have evaluated adjacent-segment disease (ASD) following posterior lumbar spine arthrodesis, no such studies have assessed the incidence and prevalence of ASD following axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF). The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of ASD following AxiaLIF.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 149 patients who underwent two-level index AxiaLIF and had at least 2 years of radiographic and clinical follow-up. ASD and pre- and postoperative lumbar lordosis were evaluated in each patient. ASD was defined as both radiographic and clinically significant disease at a level adjacent to a previous fusion requiring surgical intervention. The mean duration of follow-up was 6.01 years.

RESULTS

Twenty (13.4%) of the 149 patients developed ASD during the data collection period. Kaplan-Meier analysis predicted a disease-free ASD survival rate of 95.3% (95% CI 90.4%–97.7%) at 2 years and 89.1% (95% CI 82.8%–93.2%) at 5 years for two-level fusion. A laminectomy adjacent to a fusion site was associated with 5.1 times the relative risk of developing ASD. Furthermore, the ASD group had significantly greater loss of lordosis than the no-ASD group (p = 0.033).

CONCLUSIONS

Following two-level AxiaLIF, the rate of symptomatic ASD warranting either decompression or arthrodesis was found to be 4.7% at 2 years and 10.9% at 5 years. Adjacent-segment decompression and postoperative loss of lumbar lordosis predicted future development of ASD. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest reported cohort of patients to undergo two-level AxiaLIF in the United States.

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Peyton L. Nisson, Ibrahim Hussain, Roger Härtl, Samuel Kim and Ali A. Baaj

OBJECTIVE

An arachnoid web of the spine (AWS) is a rare and oftentimes challenging lesion to diagnose, given its subtle radiographic findings. However, when left untreated, this lesion can have devastating effects on a patient’s neurological function. To date, only limited case reports and series have been published on this topic. In this study, the authors sought to better describe this lesion, performing a systematic literature review and including 2 cases from their institution’s experience.

METHODS

A systematic literature search was performed in September 2018 that queried Ovid MEDLINE (1946–2018), PubMed (1946–2018), Wiley Cochrane Library: Central Register of Controlled Trials (1898–2018), and Thompson Reuters Web of Science: Citation Index (1900–2018), per PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria specified all studies and case reports of patients with an AWS in which any relevant surgery types were considered and applied. Studies on arachnoid cysts and nonhuman populations, and those that did not report patient treatments or outcomes were excluded from the focus review.

RESULTS

A total of 19 records and 2 patients treated by the senior authors were included in the systematic review, providing a total of 43 patients with AWS. The mean age was 52 years (range 28–77 years), and the majority of patients were male (72%, 31/43). A syrinx was present in 67% (29/43) of the cases. All AWSs were located in the thoracic spine, and all but 2 (95%) were located dorsally (1 ventrally and 1 circumferentially). Weakness was the most frequently reported symptom (67%, 29/43), followed by numbness and/or sensory loss (65%, 28/43). Symptoms predominated in the lower extremities (81%, 35/43). It was found that nearly half (47%, 20/43) of patients had been experiencing symptoms for 1 year or longer before surgical intervention was performed, and 35% (15/43) of reports stated that symptoms were progressive in nature. The most commonly used surgical technique was a laminectomy with intradural excision of the arachnoid web (86%, 36/42). Following surgery, 91% (39/43) of patients had reported improvement in their neurological symptoms. The mean follow-up was 9.2 months (range 0–51 months).

CONCLUSIONS

AWS of the spine can be a debilitating disease of the spine with no more than an indentation of the spinal cord found on advanced imaging studies. The authors found this lesion to be reported in twice as many males than females, to be associated with a syrinx more than two-thirds of the time, and to only have been reported in the thoracic spine; over 90% of patients experienced improvement in their neurological function following surgery.

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Mohammad Sadegh Masoudi, Mohammad Ali Hoghoughi, Fariborz Ghaffarpasand, Shekoofeh Yaghmaei, Maryam Azadegan and Ghazal Ilami

OBJECTIVE

Surgical repair and closure of myelomeningocele (MMC) defects are important and vital, as the mortality rate is as high as 65%–70% in untreated patients. Closure of large MMC defects is challenging for pediatric neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons. The aim of the current study is to report the operative characteristics and outcome of a series of Iranian patients with large MMC defects utilizing the V-Y flap and with latissimus dorsi or gluteal muscle advancement.

METHODS

This comparative study was conducted during a 4-year period from September 2013 to October 2017 in the pediatric neurosurgery department of Shiraz Namazi Hospital, Southern Iran. The authors included 24 patients with large MMC defects who underwent surgery utilizing the bilateral V-Y flap and latissimus dorsi and gluteal muscle advancement. They also retrospectively included 19 patients with similar age, sex, and defect size who underwent surgery using the primary or delayed closure techniques at their center. At least 2 years of follow-up was conducted. The frequency of leakage, necrosis, dehiscence, systemic infection (sepsis, pneumonia), need for ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion, and mortality was compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

The bilateral V-Y flap with muscle advancement was associated with a significantly longer operative duration (p < 0.001) than the primary closure group. Those undergoing bilateral V-Y flaps with muscle advancement had significantly lower rates of surgical site infection (p = 0.038), wound dehiscence (p = 0.013), and postoperative CSF leakage (p = 0.030) than those undergoing primary repair. The bilateral V-Y flap with muscle advancement was also associated with a lower mortality rate (p = 0.038; OR 5.09 [95% CI 1.12–23.1]) than primary closure. In patients undergoing bilateral V-Y flap and muscle advancement, a longer operative duration was significantly associated with mortality (p = 0.008). In addition, surgical site infection (p = 0.032), wound dehiscence (p = 0.011), and postoperative leakage (p = 0.011) were predictors of mortality. Neonatal sepsis (p = 0.002) and postoperative NEC (p = 0.011) were among other predictors of mortality in this group.

CONCLUSIONS

The bilateral V-Y flap with latissimus dorsi or gluteal advancement is a safe and effective surgical approach for covering large MMC defects and is associated with lower rates of surgical site infection, dehiscence, CSF leakage, and mortality. Further studies are required to elucidate the long-term outcomes.