Fedor Krause, the father of German neurosurgery, traveled to Latin America twice in the final years of his career (in 1920 and 1922). The associations and motivations for his travels to South America and his work there have not been well chronicled. In this paper, based on a review of historical official documents and publications, the authors describe Krause’s activities in South America (focusing on Brazil) within the context of the Germanism doctrine and, most importantly, the professional enjoyment Krause reaped from his trips as well as his lasting influence on neurosurgery in South America. Fedor Krause’s visits to Brazil occurred soon after World War I, when Germany sought to reestablish economic, political, cultural, and scientific power and influence. Science, particularly medicine, had been chosen as a field capable of meeting these needs. The advanced German system of academic organization and instruction, which included connections and collaborations with industry, was an optimal means to reestablish the economic viability of not only Germany but also Brazil. Krause, as a de facto ambassador, helped rebuild the German image and reconstruct diplomatic relations between Germany and Brazil. Krause’s interactions during his visits helped put Brazilian neurosurgery on a firm foundation, and he left an indelible legacy of advancing professionalism and specialization in neurosurgery in Brazil.
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Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo, Saul Almeida da Silva, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, Evgenii Belykh, Alessandro Carotenuto, Leandro Borba Moreira, Robert F. Spetzler, T. Forcht Dagi and Mark C. Preul
Leah Harburg, Jared B. Cooper, Allyson Flower, Michael E. Tobias and Avinash Mohan
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare disease process characterized by aberrant immune system activation and an exaggerated inflammatory response. Establishing the diagnosis may be challenging and is achieved by satisfying a number of clinical criteria, in addition to demonstrating tissue hemophagocytosis. This syndrome is rapidly fatal if prompt diagnosis and treatment are not achieved. The authors present the case of a 17-year-old male patient with CNS HLH involving both the brain and spinal cord, highlighting the variable CNS manifestations in pediatric patients with HLH and the challenges that accompany establishing diagnosis.
Ulrike Held, Johann Steurer, Giuseppe Pichierri, Maria M. Wertli, Mazda Farshad, Florian Brunner, Roman Guggenberger, François Porchet, Tamás F. Fekete, Urs D. Schmid, Isaac Gravestock and Jakob M. Burgstaller
The aim of this study was to obtain an unbiased causal treatment estimate of the between-group difference of surgery versus nonoperative treatment with respect to outcomes on quality of life, pain, and disability in patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) 12 months after baseline.
The authors included DLSS patients from a large prospective multicenter observational cohort study. Propensity score matching was used, including 15 demographic, clinical, and MRI variables. Linear and logistic mixed-effects regression models were applied to quantify the between-group treatment effect. Unmeasured confounding was addressed in a sensitivity analysis, assessing the robustness of the results.
A total of 408 patients were included in this study, 222 patients after matching, with 111 in each treatment group. Patients with nonoperative treatment had lower quality of life at the 12-month follow-up (−6.21 points, 95% CI −9.93 to −2.49) as well as lower chances of reaching a minimal clinically important difference in Spinal Stenosis Measure (SSM) symptoms (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.53) and SSM function (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.49), than patients undergoing surgery. These results were very robust in case of unmeasured confounding. The surgical complication rate was low; 5 (4.5%) patients experienced a durotomy during intervention, and 5 (4.5%) patients underwent re-decompression.
The authors used propensity score matching to assess the difference in treatment efficacy of surgery compared with nonoperative treatment in elderly patients with DLSS. This study delivers strong evidence that surgical treatment is superior to nonoperative treatment. It helps in clinical decision-making, especially when patients suffer for a long time, sometimes over many years, hoping for a spontaneous improvement of their symptoms. In light of these new results, the number of years with disability can hopefully be reduced by providing adequate treatment at the right time for this ever-growing elderly and frail population.
Ege Ülgen, Özge Can, Kaya Bilguvar, Yavuz Oktay, Cemaliye B. Akyerli, Ayça Erşen Danyeli, M. Cengiz Yakıcıer, O. Uğur Sezerman, M. Necmettin Pamir and Koray Özduman
Processes that cause or contribute to cancer, such as aging, exposure to carcinogens, or DNA damage repair deficiency (DDRd), create predictable and traceable nucleotide alterations in one’s genetic code (termed “mutational signatures”). Large studies have previously identified various such mutational signatures across cancers that can be attributed to the specific causative processes. To gain further insight into the processes in glioma development, the authors analyzed mutational signatures in adult diffuse gliomas (DGs).
Twenty-five DGs and paired blood samples were whole exome sequenced. Somatic mutational signatures were identified using 2 different methods. Associations of the signatures with age at diagnosis, molecular subset, and mutational load were investigated. As DDRd-related signatures were frequently observed, germline and somatic DDR gene mutations as well as microsatellite instability (MSI) status were determined for all samples. For validation of signature prevalence, publicly available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used.
Each tumor had a unique combination of signatures. The most common signatures were signature 1 (88%, aging related), signature 3 (52%, homologous recombination related), and signature 15 (56%, mismatch repair related). Eighty-four percent of the tumors contained at least 1 DDRd signature. The findings were validated using public TCGA data. The weight of signature 1 positively correlated with age (r = 0.43) while cumulative weight of DDRd signatures negatively correlated with age (r = −0.16). Each subject had at least 1 germline/somatic alteration in a DDR gene, the most common being the risk single nucleotide polymorphism rs1800734 in MLH1. The rs1800734-AA genotype had a higher cumulative DDRd weight as well as higher mutational load; TP53 was the most common somatically altered DDR gene. MSI was observed in 24% of the tumors. No significant associations of MSI status with mutational load, rs1800734, or the cumulative weight of DDRd signatures were identified.
Current findings suggest that DDRd may act as a fundamental mechanism in gliomagenesis rather than being a random, secondary event.
Chicago, Illinois, April 4-5, 2019
Liyong Sun, Jian Ren and Hongqi Zhang
Craniocervical junction dural arteriovenous fistula (CCJDAVF) is a rare and unique type of intracranial DAVF with complex neurovascular anatomy, making it difficult to identify the arterialized vein during operation. The authors report the case of a 50-year-old male who presented with symptoms of venous hypertensive myelopathy. Angiography demonstrated a left CCJDAVF. The fistula was successfully disconnected via a suboccipital midline approach. The selective indocyanine green videoangiography (SICG-VA) technique was applied to distinguish the fistula site and arterialized vein from adjacent normal vessels. Favorable clinical and angiographic outcomes were attained. The detailed operative technique, surgical nuances, and utility of SICG-VA are illustrated in this video atlas.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GJYl_jOJQqU.
Bertrand Debono, Marco V. Corniola, Raphael Pietton, Pascal Sabatier, Olivier Hamel and Enrico Tessitore
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) proposes a multimodal, evidence-based approach to perioperative care. Thanks to the improvement in care protocols and the fluidity of the patient pathway, the first goal of ERAS is the improvement of surgical outcomes and patient experience, with a final impact on a reduction in the hospital length of stay (LOS). The implementation of ERAS in spinal surgery is in the early stages. The authors report on their initial experience in applying an ERAS program to several degenerative spinal fusion procedures.
The authors selected two 2-year periods: the first from before any implementation of ERAS principles (pre-ERAS years 2012–2013) and the second corresponding to a period when the paradigm was applied widely (post-ERAS years 2016–2017). Patient groups in these periods were retrospectively compared according to three degenerative conditions requiring fusion: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), and posterior lumbar fusion. Data were collected on patient demographics, operative and perioperative data, LOSs, 90-day readmissions, and morbidity. ERAS-trained nurses were involved to support patients at each pre-, intra-, and postoperative step with the help of a mobile application (app). A satisfaction survey was included in the app.
The pre-ERAS group included 1563 patients (159 ALIF, 749 ACDF, and 655 posterior fusion), and the post-ERAS group included 1920 patients (202 ALIF, 612 ACDF, and 1106 posterior fusion). The mean LOS was significantly shorter in the post-ERAS group than in the pre-ERAS group for all three conditions. It was reduced from 6.06 ± 1.1 to 3.33 ± 0.8 days for the ALIF group (p < 0.001), from 3.08 ± 0.9 to 1.3 ± 0.7 days for the ACDF group (p < 0.001), and from 6.7 ± 4.8 to 4.8 ± 2.3 days for posterior fusion cases (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in overall complications between the two periods for the ALIF (11.9% pre-ERAS vs 11.4% post-ERAS, p = 0.86) and ACDF (6.0% vs 8.2%, p = 0.12) cases, but they decreased significantly for lumbar fusions (14.8% vs 10.9%, p = 0.02). Regarding satisfaction with overall care among 808 available responses, 699 patients (86.5%) were satisfied or very satisfied, and regarding appreciation of the mobile e-health app in the perceived optimization of care management, 665 patients (82.3%) were satisfied or very satisfied.
The introduction of the ERAS approach at the authors’ institution for spinal fusion for three studied conditions resulted in a significant decrease in LOS without causing increased postoperative complications. Patient satisfaction with overall management, upstream organization of hospitalization, and the use of e-health was high. According to the study results, which are consistent with those in other studies, the whole concept of ERAS (primarily reducing complications and pain, and then reducing LOS) seems applicable to spinal surgery.
Tyler S. Cole, Sirin Gandhi, Justin R. Mascitelli, Douglas Hardesty, Claudio Cavallo and Michael T. Lawton
Venous interruption through surgical clip ligation is the gold standard treatment for ethmoidal dural arteriovenous fistula (e-dAVF). Their malignant natural history is attributable to the higher predilection for retrograde cortical venous drainage. This video illustrates an e-dAVF in a 70-year-old man with progressive tinnitus and headache. Angiogram revealed bilateral e-dAVFs (Borden III–Cognard III) with one fistula draining into cavernous sinus and another to the sagittal sinus. A bifrontal craniotomy was utilized for venous interruption of both e-dAVFs. Postoperative angiography confirmed curative obliteration with no postoperative anosmia. Bilateral e-dAVFs are rare but can be safely treated simultaneously through a single craniotomy.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/666edwKHGKc.
Michael L. Martini, Dominic A. Nistal, Brian C. Deutsch and John M. Caridi
The authors set out to conduct the first national-level study assessing the risks and outcomes for different lumbar fusion procedures in patients with opioid use disorders (OUDs) to help guide the future development of targeted enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols for this unique population.
Data for patients with or without OUDs who underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), or lateral transverse lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) for lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) were collected from the 2013–2014 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample database. Multivariable logistic regression was implemented to analyze how OUD status impacted in-hospital complications, length of hospital stay, discharge disposition, and total charges by procedure type.
A total of 139,995 patients with LDD were identified, with 1280 patients (0.91%) also having a concurrent OUD diagnosis. Overall complication rates were higher in OUD patients (48.44% vs 31.01%, p < 0.0001). OUD patients had higher odds of pulmonary (p = 0.0006), infectious (p < 0.0001), and hematological (p = 0.0009) complications. Multivariate regression modeling of outcomes by procedure type showed that after ALIF, OUD patients had higher odds of nonhome discharge (p = 0.0007), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0002), and greater total charges (p = 0.0054). This analysis also revealed that OUD patients faced higher odds of complication (p = 0.0149 and p = 0.0471), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0439 and p = 0.0001), and higher total charges (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001) after PLIF and LLIF procedures, respectively.
Obtaining a better understanding of the risks and outcomes that OUD patients face perioperatively is a necessary step toward developing more effective ERAS protocols for this vulnerable population. This study, which sought to characterize the outcome profiles for lumbar fusion procedures in OUD patients on a national level, found that this population tended to experience increased odds of complications, extended hospitalization, nonhome discharge, and higher total costs. Results from this study warrant future prospective studies to better the understanding of these associations and to further the development of better ERAS programs that may improve patient care and reduce cost burden.
Dong Hwa Heo and Choon Keun Park
The aims of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) are to improve surgical outcomes, shorten hospital stays, and reduce complications. The objective of this study was to introduce ERAS with biportal endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and to investigate the clinical results.
Patients were divided into two groups based on the fusion procedures. Patients who received microscopic TLIF without ERAS were classified as the non-ERAS group, whereas those who received percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS were classified as the ERAS group. The mean Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were compared between the two groups. In addition, demographic characteristics, diagnosis, mean operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), fusion rate, readmissions, and complications were investigated and compared.
Forty-six patients were grouped into the non-ERAS group (microscopic TLIF without ERAS) and 23 patients into the ERAS group (biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS). The VAS score for preoperative back pain on days 1 and 2 was significantly higher in the non-ERAS group than in the ERAS group (p < 0.05). The mean operative duration was significantly higher in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group, while the mean EBL was significantly lower in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in fusion rate between the two groups (p > 0.05). Readmission was required in 2 patients who were from the non-ERAS group. Postoperative complications occurred in 6 cases in the non-ERAS group and in 2 cases in the ERAS group.
Percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with an ERAS pathway may have good aspects in reducing bleeding and postoperative pain. Endoscopic fusion surgery along with the ERAS concept may help to accelerate recovery after surgery.