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Morsi Khashan, Micheal Raad, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Varun Puvanesarajah and Khaled M. Kebaish

OBJECTIVE

The authors evaluated the neurological outcomes of adult spinal deformity patients after 3-column osteotomy (3CO), including severity and long-term improvement of neurological complications, as well as risk factors for neurological deficit at 1 year postoperatively. Although 3CO is effective for correcting rigid spinal deformity, it is associated with a high complication rate. Neurological deficits, in particular, cause disability and dissatisfaction.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively queried a prospective database of adult spinal deformity patients who underwent vertebral column resection or pedicle subtraction osteotomy between 2004 and 2014 by one surgeon at a tertiary care center. The authors included 199 adults with at least 1-year follow-up. The primary outcome measure was change in lower-extremity motor scores (LEMSs), which were obtained preoperatively, within 2 weeks postoperatively, and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. To identify risk factors for persistent neurological deficit, the authors compared patient and surgical characteristics with a declined LEMS at 12-month follow-up (n = 10) versus those with an improved/maintained LEMS at 12-month follow-up (n = 189).

RESULTS

At the first postoperative assessment, the LEMS had improved in 15% and declined in 10% of patients compared with preoperative scores. At the 6-month follow-up, 6% of patients continued to have a decline in LEMS, and 16% had improvement. At 12 months, LEMS had improved in 17% and declined in 5% of patients compared with preoperative scores. The only factor significantly associated with a decline in 12-month LEMS was high-grade spondylolisthesis as an indication for surgery (OR 13, 95% CI 3.2–56).

CONCLUSIONS

Although the LEMS declined in 10% of patients immediately after 3CO, at 12 months postoperatively, only 5% of patients had neurological motor deficits. A surgical indication of high-grade spondylolisthesis was the only factor associated with neurological deficit at 12 months postoperatively.

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Jade-Marie Corbett, Kwok M. Ho and Stephen Honeybul

OBJECTIVE

Hematological abnormalities after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are common, and are associated with a poor outcome. Whether these abnormalities offer additional prognostic significance over and beyond validated TBI prognostic models is uncertain.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study compared the ability of admission hematological abnormalities to that of the IMPACT (International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials) prognostic model to predict 18-month neurological outcome of 388 patients who required a decompressive craniectomy after severe TBI, between 2004 and 2016, in Western Australia. Area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve was used to assess predictors’ ability to discriminate between patients with and without an unfavorable outcome of death, vegetative state, or severe disability.

RESULTS

Of the 388 patients included in the study, 151 (38.9%) had an unfavorable outcome at 18 months after decompressive craniectomy for severe TBI. Abnormalities in admission hemoglobin (AUROC 0.594, p = 0.002), plasma glucose (AUROC 0.592, p = 0.002), fibrinogen (AUROC 0.563, p = 0.036), international normalized ratio (INR; AUROC 0.645, p = 0.001), activated partial thromboplastin time (AUROC 0.564, p = 0.033), and disseminated intravascular coagulation score (AUROC 0.623, p = 0.001) were all associated with a higher risk of unfavorable outcome at 18 months after severe TBI. As a marker of inflammation, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was not significantly associated with the risk of unfavorable outcome (AUROC 0.500, p = 0.998). However, none of these parameters, in addition to the platelet count, were significantly associated with an unfavorable outcome after adjusting for the IMPACT predicted risk (odds ratio [OR] per 10% increment in risk 2.473, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.061–2.967; p = 0.001). After excluding 8 patients (2.1%) who were treated with warfarin prior to the injury, there was a suggestion that INR was associated with some additional prognostic significance (OR 3.183, 95% CI 0.856–11.833; p = 0.084) after adjusting for the IMPACT predicted risk.

CONCLUSIONS

In isolation, INR was the best hematological prognostic parameter in severe TBI requiring decompressive craniectomy, especially when patients treated with warfarin were excluded. However, the prognostic significance of admission hematological abnormalities was mostly captured by the IMPACT prognostic model, such that they did not offer any additional prognostic information beyond the IMPACT predicted risk. These results suggest that new prognostic factors for TBI should be evaluated in conjunction with predicted risks of a comprehensive prognostic model that has been validated, such as the IMPACT prognostic model.

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Riho Nakajima, Masashi Kinoshita, Tetsutaro Yahata and Mitsutoshi Nakada

OBJECTIVE

Supplementary motor area (SMA) syndrome is defined as temporary paralysis after the resection of brain tumor localized in the SMA. Although in most cases paralysis induced by SMA resection resolves within a short period, the time until complete recovery varies and has not been precisely analyzed to date. In this study, the authors investigated factors for predicting the time required for recovery from paralysis after SMA resection.

METHODS

Data from 20 cases were analyzed. All 20 patients (mean age 54.9 ± 12.6 years) had undergone resection of frontal lobe glioma involving the SMA. The severity of postoperative paralysis was recorded until complete recovery using the Brunnstrom recovery stage index. To investigate factors associated with recovery time, the authors performed multivariate analysis with the following potentially explanatory variables: age, severity of paralysis after the surgery, resected volume of the SMA, and probability of disconnection of fibers running through or near the SMA. Moreover, voxel-based lesion symptom analysis was performed to clarify the resected regions related to prolonged recovery.

RESULTS

In most cases of severe to moderate paralysis, there was substantial improvement within the 1st postoperative week, but 2–9 weeks were required for complete recovery. Significantly delayed recovery from paralysis was associated with resection of the cingulate cortex and its deep regions. The factors found to influence recovery time from paralysis were stage of paralysis at postoperative day 7 and disconnection probability of the cingulum (adjusted R2 = 0.63, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Recovery time from paralysis due to SMA syndrome can be predicted by the severity of paralysis at postoperative day 7 and degree of damage to the cingulum.

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Minh-Son To and Alistair Jukes

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to evaluate the trends in reporting of p values in the neurosurgical literature from 1990 through 2017.

METHODS

All abstracts from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (JNNP), Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS) collection (including Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine and Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics), Neurosurgery (NS), and Journal of Neurotrauma (JNT) available on PubMed from 1990 through 2017 were retrieved. Automated text mining was performed to extract p values from relevant abstracts. Extracted p values were analyzed for temporal trends and characteristics.

RESULTS

The search yielded 47,889 relevant abstracts. A total of 34,324 p values were detected in 11,171 abstracts. Since 1990 there has been a steady, proportionate increase in the number of abstracts containing p values. There were average absolute year-on-year increases of 1.2% (95% CI 1.1%–1.3%; p < 0.001), 0.93% (95% CI 0.75%–1.1%; p < 0.001), 0.70% (95% CI 0.57%–0.83%; p < 0.001), and 0.35% (95% CI 0.095%–0.60%; p = 0.0091) of abstracts reporting p values in JNNP, JNS, NS, and JNT, respectively. There have also been average year-on-year increases of 0.045 (95% CI 0.031–0.059; p < 0.001), 0.052 (95% CI 0.037–0.066; p < 0.001), 0.042 (95% CI 0.030–0.054; p < 0.001), and 0.041 (95% CI 0.026–0.056; p < 0.001) p values reported per abstract for these respective journals. The distribution of p values showed a positive skew and strong clustering of values at rounded decimals (i.e., 0.01, 0.02, etc.). Between 83.2% and 89.8% of all reported p values were at or below the “significance” threshold of 0.05 (i.e., p ≤ 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Trends in reporting of p values and the distribution of p values suggest publication bias remains in the neurosurgical literature.

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Manuri Gunawardena, Jeffrey M. Rogers, Marcus A. Stoodley and Michael K. Morgan

OBJECTIVE

Previous trials rejected a role of extracranial-to-intracranial bypass surgery for managing symptomatic atheromatous disease. However, hemodynamic insufficiency may still be a rationale for surgery, provided the bypass can be performed with low morbidity and patency is robust.

METHODS

Consecutive patients undergoing bypass surgery for symptomatic non-moyamoya intracranial arterial stenosis or occlusion were retrospectively identified. The clinical course and surgical outcomes of the cohort were evaluated at 6 weeks, 6 months, and annually thereafter.

RESULTS

From 1992 to 2017, 112 patients underwent 127 bypasses. The angiographic abnormality was arterial occlusion in 80% and stenosis in 20%. Procedures were performed to prevent future stroke (76%) and stroke reversal (24%), with revascularization using an arterial pedicle graft in 80% and venous interposition graft (VIG) in 20%. A poor outcome (bypass occlusion, new stroke, new neurological deficit, or worsening neurological deficit) occurred in 8.9% of patients, with arterial pedicle grafts (odds ratio [OR] 0.15), bypass for prophylaxis against future stroke (OR 0.11), or anterior circulation bypass (OR 0.17) identified as protective factors. Over the first 8 years following surgery the 66 cases exhibiting all three of these characteristics had minimal risk of a poor outcome (95% confidence interval 0%–6.6%).

CONCLUSIONS

Prophylactic arterial pedicle bypass surgery for anterior circulation ischemia is associated with high graft patency and low stroke and surgical complication rates. Higher risks are associated with acute procedures, typically for posterior circulation pathology and requiring VIGs. A carefully selected subgroup of individuals with hemodynamic insufficiency and ischemic symptoms is likely to benefit from cerebral revascularization surgery.

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Wei Shi, Shan Wang, Huifang Zhang, Guoqin Wang, Yi Guo, Zhenxing Sun, Youtu Wu, Peihai Zhang, Linkai Jing, Benqi Zhao, MM, Jian Xing, James Wang and Guihuai Wang

OBJECTIVE

Laminoplasty has been used in recent years as an alternative approach to laminectomy for preventing spinal deformity after resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs). However, controversies exist with regard to its real role in maintaining postoperative spinal alignment. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of progressive spinal deformity in patients who underwent laminoplasty for resection of IMSCT and identify risk factors for progressive spinal deformity.

METHODS

Data from IMSCT patients who had undergone laminoplasty at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital between January 2014 and December 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate tests and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to assess the statistical relationship between postoperative spinal deformity and radiographic, clinical, and surgical variables.

RESULTS

One hundred five patients (mean age 37.0 ± 14.5 years) met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Gross-total resection (> 95%) was obtained in 79 cases (75.2%). Twenty-seven (25.7%) of the 105 patients were found to have spinal deformity preoperatively, and 10 (9.5%) new cases of postoperative progressive deformity were detected. The mean duration of follow-up was 27.6 months (SD 14.5 months, median 26.3 months, range 6.2–40.7 months). At last follow-up, the median functional scores of the patients who did develop progressive spinal deformity were worse than those of the patients who did not (modified McCormick Scale: 3 vs 2, and p = 0.04). In the univariate analysis, age (p = 0.01), preoperative spinal deformity (p < 0.01), extent of tumor involvement (p < 0.01), extent of abnormal tumor signal (p = 0.02), and extent of laminoplasty (p < 0.01) were identified as factors associated with postoperative progressive spinal deformity. However, in subsequent multivariate logistic regression analysis, only age ≤ 25 years and preoperative spinal deformity emerged as independent risk factors (p < 0.05), increasing the odds of postoperative progressive deformity by 4.1- and 12.4-fold, respectively (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Progressive spinal deformity was identified in 25.7% patients who had undergone laminoplasty for IMSCT resection and was related to decreased functional status. Younger age (≤ 25 years) and preoperative spinal deformity increased the risk of postoperative progressive spinal deformity. The risk of postoperative deformity warrants serious reconsideration of providing concurrent fusion during IMSCT resection or close follow-up after laminoplasty.

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Xiaoguang Han, Wei Tian, Yajun Liu, Bo Liu, Da He, Yuqing Sun, Xiao Han, Mingxing Fan, Jingwei Zhao, Yunfeng Xu and Qi Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to compare the safety and accuracy of pedicle screw placement using the TiRobot system versus conventional fluoroscopy in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

METHODS

Patients with degenerative or traumatic thoracolumbar spinal disorders requiring spinal instrumentation were randomly assigned to either the TiRobot-assisted group (RG) or the freehand fluoroscopy-assisted group (FG) at a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome measure was the accuracy of screw placement according to the Gertzbein-Robbins scale; grades A and B (pedicle breach < 2 mm) were considered clinically acceptable. In the RG, discrepancies between the planned and actual screw placements were measured by merging postoperative CT images with the trajectory planning images. Secondary outcome parameters included proximal facet joint violation, duration of surgery, intraoperative blood loss, conversion to freehand approach in the RG, postoperative hospital stay, and radiation exposure.

RESULTS

A total of 1116 pedicle screws were implanted in 234 patients (119 in the FG, and 115 in the RG). In the RG, 95.3% of the screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (3.4%), C (0.9%), and D (0.4%). In the FG, 86.1% screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (7.4%), C (4.6%), D (1.4%), and E (0.5%). The proportion of clinically acceptable screws was significantly greater in the RG than in the FG (p < 0.01). In the RG, the mean deviation was 1.5 ± 0.8 mm for each screw. The most common direction of screw deviation was lateral in the RG and medial in the FG. Two misplaced screws in the FG required revision surgery, whereas no revision was required in the RG. None of the screws in the RG violated the proximal facet joint, whereas 12 screws (2.1%) in the FG violated the proximal facet joint (p < 0.01). The RG had significantly less blood loss (186.0 ± 255.3 ml) than the FG (217.0 ± 174.3 ml; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of surgical time and postoperative hospital stay. The mean cumulative radiation time was 81.5 ± 38.6 seconds in the RG and 71.5 ± 44.2 seconds in the FG (p = 0.07). Surgeon radiation exposure was significantly less in the RG (21.7 ± 11.5 μSv) than in the FG (70.5 ± 42.0 μSv; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

TiRobot-guided pedicle screw placement is safe and useful in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02890043 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Shireen Parsai, Jacob A. Miller, Aditya Juloori, Samuel T. Chao, Rupesh Kotecha, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Erin S. Murphy, Gene H. Barnett, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov, David M. Peereboom and John H. Suh

OBJECTIVE

With increasing survival for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer in the trastuzumab era, there is an increased risk of brain metastasis. Therefore, there is interest in optimizing intracranial disease control. Lapatinib is a small-molecule dual HER2/epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor that has demonstrated intracranial activity against HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of lapatinib combined with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on local control of brain metastases.

METHODS

Patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases who underwent SRS from 1997–2015 were included. The primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of local failure following SRS. Secondary outcomes included the cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis and overall survival.

RESULTS

One hundred twenty-six patients with HER2+ breast cancer who underwent SRS to 479 brain metastases (median 5 lesions per patient) were included. Among these, 75 patients had luminal B subtype (hormone receptor-positive, HER2+) and 51 patients had HER2-enriched histology (hormone receptor-negative, HER2+). Forty-seven patients received lapatinib during the course of their disease, of whom 24 received concurrent lapatinib with SRS. The median radiographic follow-up among all patients was 17.1 months. Concurrent lapatinib was associated with reduction in local failure at 12 months (5.7% vs 15.1%, p < 0.01). For lesions in the ≤ 75th percentile by volume, concurrent lapatinib significantly decreased local failure. However, for lesions in the > 75th percentile (> 1.10 cm3), concurrent lapatinib did not significantly improve local failure. Any use of lapatinib after development of brain metastasis improved median survival compared to SRS without lapatinib (27.3 vs 19.5 months, p = 0.03). The 12-month risk of radiation necrosis was consistently lower in the lapatinib cohort compared to the SRS-alone cohort (1.3% vs 6.3%, p < 0.01), despite extended survival.

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib concurrently with SRS improved local control of brain metastases, without an increased rate of radiation necrosis. Concurrent lapatinib best augments the efficacy of SRS for lesions ≤ 1.10 cm3 in volume. In patients who underwent SRS for HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib at any time point in the therapy course was associated with a survival benefit. The use of lapatinib combined with radiosurgery warrants further prospective evaluation.

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Mayur Sharma, Pooja SirDeshpande, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Nicholas Dietz and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic perineural or Tarlov cysts (TCs) are a rare cause of chronic low-back pain. Given the rarity of the disease, there is no literature consensus regarding the optimal management of these cysts.

METHODS

The authors conducted a systematic comparative outcome analysis of symptomatic TCs treated with surgery (group A, 32 studies, n = 333) or percutaneous interventions (group B, 6 studies, n = 417) analyzing the demographic characteristics, baseline characteristics of the cysts, clinical presentations, types of interventions, complication rates, and the recurrence rate in both treatment groups. The literature search was performed using the PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Ovid databases up to 2018. The MeSH search terms used were “Tarlov cyst,” “sacral perineural cyst,” “sacral nerve root cyst,” “meningeal cyst of the sacral spine,” “extra meningeal cyst with spinal nerve root fibers,” “spinal extradural arachnoid pouch,” and “cyst of the sacral nerve root sheath.” The authors used statistical tests for two proportions using the “N-1” chi-square test with the free version of MedCalc for Windows for comparison among the groups.

RESULTS

Overall symptomatic improvement was reported in 83.5% of patients in both groups; however, exacerbation of preprocedural symptoms was significantly higher in group B than group A (10.1% vs 3.3%, p = 0.0003). The overall complication rates in the surgical and nonsurgical groups were 21% and 12.47%, respectively. Transient sciatica was the most common complication in both groups (17% vs 8%, respectively; p = 0.017). The incidence of cyst recurrence was much lower in group A than group B (8% vs 20%, p = 0.0018). The mean follow-up duration for the surgical group was 38 ± 29 months (25 studies, n = 279), while that for the nonsurgical group was 15 ± 12 months (4 studies, n = 290) (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors noted that although the surgical interventions were associated with higher postprocedural complication rates, long-term efficacy and success in terms of cyst resolution were superior following surgery compared to percutaneous procedures in the management of symptomatic TCs. There was no difference in symptom recurrence with either of the techniques.

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Peter A. Ferrazzano, Bedda L. Rosario, Stephen R. Wisniewski, Nadeem I. Shafi, Heather M. Siefkes, Darryl K. Miles, Andrew L. Alexander, Michael J. Bell and for the Investigators of the ADAPT Trial

OBJECTIVE

There is no consensus on the optimal timing and specific brain MRI sequences in the evaluation and management of severe pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI), and information on current practices is lacking. The authors performed a survey of MRI practices among sites participating in a multicenter study of severe pediatric TBI to provide information for designing future clinical trials using MRI to assess brain injury after severe pediatric TBI.

METHODS

Information on current imaging practices and resources was collected from 27 institutions participating in the Approaches and Decisions after Pediatric TBI Trial. Multiple-choice questions addressed the percentage of patients with TBI who have MRI studies, timing of MRI, MRI sequences used to investigate TBI, as well as the magnetic field strength of MR scanners used at the participating institutions and use of standardized MRI protocols for imaging after severe pediatric TBI.

RESULTS

Overall, the reported use of MRI in pediatric patients with severe TBI at participating sites was high, with 40% of sites indicating that they obtain MRI studies in > 95% of this patient population. Differences were observed in the frequency of MRI use between US and international sites, with the US sites obtaining MRI in a higher proportion of their pediatric patients with severe TBI (94% of US vs 44% of international sites reported MRI in at least 70% of patients with severe TBI). The reported timing and composition of MRI studies was highly variable across sites. Sixty percent of sites reported typically obtaining an MRI study within the first 7 days postinjury, with the remainder of responses distributed throughout the first 30-day postinjury period. Responses indicated that MRI sequences sensitive for diffuse axonal injury and ischemia are frequently obtained in patients with TBI, whereas perfusion imaging and spectroscopy techniques are less common.

CONCLUSIONS

Results from this survey suggest that despite the lack of consensus or guidelines, MRI is commonly obtained during the acute clinical setting after severe pediatric TBI. The variation in MRI practices highlights the need for additional studies to determine the utility, optimal timing, and composition of clinical MRI studies after TBI. The information in this survey describes current clinical MRI practices in children with severe TBI and identifies important challenges and objectives that should be considered when designing future studies.