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Comparison of biportal endoscopic and microscopic tubular paraspinal approach for foraminal and extraforaminal lumbar disc herniation

Min-Seok Kang, Jae-Yeun Hwang, Sang-Min Park, Jae-Hyuk Yang, Ki-Han You, Seok-Ho Hong, Samuel K. Cho, and Hyun-Jin Park

OBJECTIVE

Foraminal and extraforaminal lumbar disc herniation (FELDH) is an important pathological condition that can lead to lumbar radiculopathy. The paraspinal muscle–splitting approach introduced by Reulen and Wiltse is a reasonable surgical technique. Minimally invasive procedures using a tubular retractor system have also been introduced. However, surgical treatment is considered more challenging for FELDH than for central or subarticular lumbar disc herniations (LDHs). Some researchers have proposed uniportal extraforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy through a posterolateral approach as an alternative for FELDH, but heterogeneous clinical results have been reported. Recently, the biportal endoscopic (BE) paraspinal approach has been suggested as an alternative. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of BE and microscopic tubular (MT) paraspinal approaches for decompressive foraminotomy and lumbar discectomy (paraLD) in patients with FELDH.

METHODS

Ninety-one consecutive patients with unilateral lumbar radiculopathy and FELDH underwent paraLD. Demographic and perioperative data were collected. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for spinal disability, and the modified Macnab criteria for patient satisfaction. Postoperative complications and reoperation rates were also evaluated.

RESULTS

In total, 76 patients were included in the final analysis. Among them, 43 underwent BE paraLD (group A) and the remaining 33 underwent MT paraLD (group B). The demographic and preoperative data were not statistically different between the groups. All patients showed significant improvements in VAS back, VAS leg, and ODI scores compared with baseline values (p < 0.05). The improvement in VAS back scores was significantly better in group A than in group B on postoperative day 2 (p < 0.001). However, all clinical parameters were comparable between the two groups after postoperative year 1 (p > 0.05). According to the modified Macnab criteria, 86.1% and 72.7% of the patients had excellent or good outcomes in groups A and B, respectively. No intergroup differences were observed (p = 0.367). In addition, there were no differences in the total operation time or amount of surgical drainage. Postoperative complications were not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.301); however, reoperation rates were significantly higher in group B (p = 0.035).

CONCLUSIONS

BE paraLD is an effective treatment for FELDH and is an alternative to MT paraLD. In particular, BE paraLD has advantages of early improvement in postoperative back pain and low reoperation rates.

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Comparison of endoscopic multiport approaches to the petrous apex: contralateral transmaxillary versus contralateral medial transorbital corridor

Jaskaran S. Gosal, Govind S. Bhuskute, Mohammad Bilal Alsavaf, Moataz D. Abouammo, Sunil Manjila, Mohammed Alwabili, Kyle C. Wu, Deepak K. Jha, Ricardo L. Carrau, and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECTIVE

Accessing the petrous apex (PA) via an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) is challenging due to its posterior and lateral anatomical relationship with the paraclival carotid artery. Typically, the EEA requires the mobilization or compression of the vessel and the use of angled-lens endoscopes and instruments. A sublabial contralateral transmaxillary (CTM) corridor has been used to overcome these challenges. Still, it requires extensive osteo-meatal disruption and drilling of the medial pterygoid process, which risks the vidian nerve and increases nasal morbidity. Furthermore, the CTM corridor positions the endoscope in the same horizontal plane as the instruments passing through the nostrils, leading to fencing. The authors propose a novel minimally invasive route to the PA, the precaruncular contralateral medial transorbital (cMTO) corridor, to address these issues. This anatomical study compares the EEA+CTM and EEA+cMTO corridors in accessing the PA.

METHODS

The authors dissected 14 fresh, preinjected cadaveric specimens (28 sides) using neuronavigation to complete EEA, cMTO, and CTM on each side. In addition to qualitative analysis, they measured and compared the working distance between the entry point (nose, orbit, maxilla) and the petrosal process of the sphenoid bone (PPSB), superomedial PA, and foramen lacerum (FL); angle of attack (AoA); area of surgical freedom; endoscope-instrument fencing angle; and visual angle for each approach.

RESULTS

The cMTO corridor provided the shortest working distance to the petroclival region (PA = 67.4 ± 4.47 mm, PPSB = 67.57 ± 4.33 mm, and FL = 66.30 ± 4.77 mm) compared to the CTM (PA = 75.85 ± 3.63 mm, PPSB = 76 ± 3.96 mm, and FL = 74.52 ± 4.26 mm) and to the EEA (PA = 85.16 ± 3.16 mm, PPSB = 84.55 ± 3.02 mm, and FL = 83.42 ± 3.21 mm, p < 0.001). Both CTM and cMTO corridors had a similar visual angle to the PA (20.72° ± 2.16° and 21.63° ± 1.84°, respectively), offering a similar but significantly better visualization than EEA alone (44.71° ± 3.24°, p < 0.001). The cMTO corridor provided better instrument maneuverability than the CTM, as evidenced by a significantly greater fencing angle (30.9° ± 4.9°) than with the CTM (21.7° ± 4.02°, p < 0.001). The vertical AoAs for the EEA, cMTO, and CTM corridors were 9.79° ± 1.75°, 10.65° ± 0.82°, and 9.82° ± 1.43°, respectively (p = 0.009), whereas in the horizontal plane, these were 9.29° ± 1.51°, 9.10° ± 0.73°, and 10.49° ± 1.43° (p < 0.001), respectively. Both the CTM and cMTO corridors offered similar areas of surgical freedom (678.06 ± 99.5 mm2 and 673.59 ± 104.8 mm2, p = 0.986), but they were more significant than that provided by the EEA 487.29 ± 112.9 mm2 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA+cMTO multiport technique may be a better alternative than the EEA+CTM multiport approach for targeting the petroclival region. However, clinical validation is required to confirm these laboratory findings.

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Discrepancy between global- and disease-specific outcome measures following lumbar spine surgery

Presented at the 2024 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Avani S. Vaishnav, Cole Kwas, Jung Kee Mok, Kasra Araghi, Nishtha Singh, Olivia Tuma, Maximilian Korsun, Chad Z. Simon, Tomoyuki Asada, Eric Mai, Joshua Zhang, Myles Allen, Eric Kim, Annika Heuer, Sravisht Iyer, and Sheeraz Qureshi

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between patient-perceived changes in health and commonly utilized patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in lumbar spine surgery.

METHODS

This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on consecutive patients who underwent lumbar microdiscectomy, lumbar decompression, or lumbar fusion at a single academic institution from 2017 to 2023. Correlation between the global rating of change (GRC) questionnaire, a 5-item Likert scale (much better, slightly better, about the same, slightly worse, and much worse), and PROMs (Oswestry Disability Index, visual analog scale for back and leg pain, 12-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary, and PROMIS physical function) was assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients.

RESULTS

A total of 1871 patients (397 microdiscectomies, 965 decompressions, and 509 fusions) were included. A majority of patients in each group rated their lumbar condition as much better at each postoperative time point compared with preoperatively and reported improved health status at each postoperative time point compared with the previous follow-up visit. Statistically significant but weak to moderate correlations were found between GRC and change in PROM scores from the preoperative time point. Correlation between GRC and change in PROM scores from the prior visit showed some statistically significant correlations, but the strengths ranged from very weak to weak.

CONCLUSIONS

A majority of patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy, decompression, or fusion endorsed notable improvements in health status in the early postoperative period and continued to improve at late follow-up. However, commonly used PROMs demonstrated very weak to moderate correlations with patient-perceived changes in overall lumbar spine–related health status as determined by GRC. Therefore, currently used PROMs may not be as sensitive at detecting these changes or may not be adequately reflecting changes in health conditions that are meaningful to patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery.

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Editorial. Thalamic gliomas: when and how to operate

Mohamed A. Zaazoue and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

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The history of Bellevue Neurosurgery: a legacy of learning, discovery, and service

Alexander N. Eremiev, Derek Huell, Javier Solis, Corinne Rabbin-Birnbaum, Daniel Alexander Alber, Yosef M. Dastagirzada, David B. Kurland, and David H. Harter

The authors present a historical overview of NYU-Bellevue Neurosurgery, highlighting key events and influential faculty. Bellevue Hospital, the first public hospital in the US, was established in 1736 and has grown via its affiliation with New York University (now NYU Langone Health) from 1898 to the present. It maintains a strong commitment to serving disadvantaged populations of New York City and beyond. NYU-Bellevue Neurosurgery began as a department in 1951 under Dr. Thomas Hoen and has since fostered notable faculty and graduates while contributing to the development of clinical neuroscience.

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The human craniospinal venous system and its influence on postural intracranial pressure: a review

Jeremiah N. Johnson, Zoe E. Teton, Jae Eun Lee, Marvin Bergsneider, Visish M. Srinivasan, Geoffrey P. Colby, Anthony C. Wang, and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

The cerebral and spinal venous systems have similar functions but unique anatomical and physiological properties. CSF occupies space in the cranial and spinal vaults, is continuously produced, and has many roles, including maintaining a favorable environment for CNS structures. The influence of the cerebrospinal venous system on CSF dynamics has been theorized since the 1940s. Newer studies suggest venous outflow pattern alterations in response to changes in body position. However, the relationship of postural cerebrospinal venous outflow shifts with and their influence on CSF homeostasis is not well understood.

METHODS

The authors searched the published literature related to the anatomy and function of vertebral venous plexus (VVP), CSF, and positional cerebral venous flow characteristics. A comprehensive collection of literature was compiled and reviewed, and the relationship between cerebrospinal and venous system changes and alterations in body positions, with an emphasis on the craniocervical system, is discussed.

RESULTS

The VVP is a network of valveless veins extending from the sacrum to the cranium that are interconnected with the cranial dural sinuses. The internal VVP occupies space within the extradural spinal canal and functions to return spinal venous blood to the heart, but it has additional properties, including the capability of bidirectional venous flow, an intraspinal dilatory capacity, and a role in cerebral venous outflow. When one rises to the upright position, CSF shifts toward the spinal canal and force vectors change, leading to reduced intracranial CSF pressure; simultaneously, cerebral venous outflow shifts from the jugular vein to the VVP outflow pathway. The venous outflow shift mechanism and its purpose are poorly understood. The authors review the known physiology of the system, identify gaps in knowledge to direct future research, and propose an interpretation of these data, concluding that position-dependent CSF and cerebrospinal venous shifts are part of a complementary positional craniospinal pressure regulation system that must be kept in balance for optimal CNS function.

CONCLUSIONS

Current knowledge of the cerebrospinal venous anatomy, dynamic flow characteristics in response to gravity, and the venous system’s influence on CSF suggests that the VVP plays a role in influencing CSF pressure, and the authors hypothesize that it plays a role in supporting intracranial pressure in the upright body posture. Further research is needed to better characterize the functional relationship of the VVP to CSF dynamics as well as identify potentially related disease states.

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Indications for cerebral revascularization for moyamoya syndrome in pediatric sickle cell disease determined by Delphi methodology

Adam P. Robert, Ricardo A. Hanel, P. David Adelson, Shih-Shan Lang, Paul Grabb, Stephanie Greene, James M. Johnston, Jeffrey Leonard, Suresh N. Magge, Neena I. Marupudi, Joseph Piatt, Rafael De Oliveira Sillero, Edward R. Smith, Jodi Smith, Jennifer M. Strahle, Sudhakar Vadivelu, John C. Wellons III, David Wrubel, Asmaa Hatem, Ciarra Moody, Sabrina H. Han, Alaa Montaser, Nicklaus Millican, John M. Pederson, Aleksandra S. Dain, Lauren A. Beslow, and Philipp R. Aldana

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral revascularization surgery (CRS) has been used to prevent stroke in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and cerebral vasculopathy (e.g., moyamoya syndrome). While results suggest that it may be an effective treatment, surgical indications have not been well defined. This study sought to determine indications for offering revascularization surgery in centers with established sickle cell programs in the US.

METHODS

Three sequential surveys utilizing the Delphi methodology were administered to neurosurgeons participating in the Stroke in Sickle Cell Revascularization Surgery study. Respondents were presented with clinical scenarios of patients with SCD and varying degrees of ischemic presentation and vasculopathy, and the group’s agreement to offer surgical revascularization was measured. Consensus was defined as ≥ 75% similar responses.

RESULTS

The response rate to all 3 surveys was 100%. Seventeen neurosurgeons from 16 different centers participated. The presence of moyamoya collaterals (MMCs) and arterial stenosis matching an ischemic distribution yielded the strongest recommendations to offer surgery. There was consensus to offer revascularization in the presence of MMCs and at least 50% arterial stenosis matching an ischemic distribution. In contrast, there was no consensus to offer revascularization with 50%–70% stenosis not matching an ischemic presentation in the absence of MMCs. The presence of the ivy sign in the distribution of the stenotic artery also contributed to the consensus to offer surgery in certain scenarios.

CONCLUSIONS

There were several clinical scenarios that attained consensus to offer surgery; the strongest was moderate to severe arterial stenosis that matched the distribution of ischemic presentation in the presence of MMCs. Radiological findings of decreased cerebral flow or perfusion also facilitated attaining consensus to offer surgery. The findings of this study reflect expert opinion about questions that deserve prospective clinical research. Determination of indications for CRS can guide clinical practice and aid the design of prospective studies.

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Infection rates during eras of intrathecal antibiotic use followed by antibiotic-impregnated catheter use in prevention of cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection

Tamara D. Simon, Panteha Hayati Rezvan, Susan E. Coffin, Matthew Hall, Jason S. Hauptman, Matthew P. Kronman, Francesco T. Mangano, Stacey Podkovik, Ian F. Pollack, Joshua K. Schaffzin, Emily Thorell, Benjamin C. Warf, Chuan Zhou, and Kathryn B. Whitlock

OBJECTIVE

The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) implemented a perioperative infection prevention bundle for all CSF shunt surgeries in 2007 that included the relatively unproven technique of intrathecal instillation of the broad-spectrum antibiotics vancomycin and gentamicin into the shunt. In the meantime, the field debated the use of antibiotic-impregnated catheter (AIC) shunt tubing using clindamycin and rifampin, an increasingly widespread, but expensive and controversial, technique. It is unknown whether there were changes in infecting organisms associated with the use of these techniques during CSF shunt surgery at the hospital level. Key comparison periods include during the use of intrathecal antibiotics (period 1 from June 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011, at HCRN hospitals) and AIC (period 2 from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2015, at HCRN as well as increasing over time at non-HCRN hospitals) and only standard use of routine prophylactic antibiotics (period 1 at non-HCRN hospitals). The aim of this study was to examine rates of CSF shunt surgery–related infections from 2007 to 2012 at the hospital level, including HCRN and non-HCRN hospitals, with a focus on infections with gram-negative organisms.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective observational cohort study at 6 children’s hospitals with enrollment from 2007 to 2012 and surveillance through 2015. Bimonthly rates of shunt surgery–related infections were summarized to produce an overall hospital-specific time series, as well as by HCRN/non-HCRN status. An interrupted time series analysis was performed to assess the impact of change in HCRN perioperative infection prevention bundle on overall bimonthly infection rates. Quarterly rates of gram-negative shunt surgery–related infections were summarized to produce an overall hospital-specific time series.

RESULTS

The overall bimonthly CSF shunt infection rate over time did not change significantly from 2007 to 2012. There was no difference in the trajectory of infection rates between HCRN and non-HCRN hospitals during the entire study period. No change in distributions of gram-negative organism infections was observed in hospitals from 2007 to 2015.

CONCLUSIONS

There were no differences observed in hospital-level infection rates for low-risk patients undergoing CSF shunt surgery. This included analyses based on participation in the HCRN network, given their regular use of intrathecal antibiotics in period 1 and a focus on gram-negative infections with increasing adoption of AICs in period 2.

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Microsurgical anatomy and approaches to thalamic gliomas. Part 1: A cartography guide for navigating to the thalamus. Integrating 3D model rendering with anatomical dissections

Jaime L. Martínez Santos, Zaid Aljuboori, Angela M. Richardson, Sahin Hanalioglu, Halil Olgun Peker, Ilhan Aydin, Zahraa F. Al-Sharshahi, Osman Tunc, Derya Karatas, Emel Avci, and Mustafa K. Baskaya

OBJECTIVE

The selection of appropriate microsurgical approaches to treat thalamic pathologies is currently largely subjective. The objective of this study was to provide a structured cartography map for surgical navigation to treat gliomas involving different surfaces of the thalamus.

METHODS

Fifteen formalin-fixed, silicone-injected cadavers (30 sides) were dissected, and 10 adult brain specimens (20 sides) were used to illustrate thalamic microsurgical anatomy using the Klingler fiber dissection technique. Exposures and trajectories for the six most common microsurgical approaches were depicted using MR data from healthy subjects converted into surface-rendered 3D virtual brain models. Additionally, thalamic surfaces exposed with all six approaches were color mapped on the virtual 3D model and compared side-by-side in 360° views with previously reported microsurgical approaches. These 3D models were then used in conjunction with topographic data to guide cadaveric dissection steps.

RESULTS

There are two general surgical routes to thalamic lesions: the subarachnoid transcisternal and transcortical routes. The transcisternal route consists of the following three approaches: 1) anterior interhemispheric transcallosal approach, which exposes the anterior and superior thalamus; 2) posterior interhemispheric transcallosal approach, which exposes the posterosuperior thalamus; and 3) supracerebellar infratentorial approach, which exposes the posteromedial cisternal thalamus and can be extended laterally to approach the posterolateral thalamus by cutting the tentorium. The three transcortical approaches are the 1) superior parietal lobule approach, which exposes the posterosuperior thalamus and is particularly advantageous in the setting of hydrocephalus; 2) transtemporal gyrus approach, which exposes the inferolateral thalamus; and 3) transsylvian transinsular approach, which exposes the lateral thalamus (slightly more superiorly and posteriorly) and is advantageous for pathologies extending laterally into the peduncle, lenticular nucleus, or insula.

CONCLUSIONS

Microsurgical approaches to thalamic gliomas continue to be challenging. Nonetheless, safe and effective cisternal, ventricular, and cortical corridors can be developed with thoughtful planning, anatomical understanding, and knowledge of the advantages, risks, and limitations of each approach. In some cases, it is wise to combine these approaches with staged procedures, as the authors demonstrate in Part 2. In Part 1 of this two-part series, they discuss thalamic microsurgical anatomy and illustrate the trajectory and exposures of all six approaches to guide decision-making. Part 2 discusses their thalamic glioma microsurgical case series, which utilizes these microsurgical approaches.

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Microsurgical anatomy and approaches to thalamic gliomas. Part 2: Maximal safe resection of thalamic gliomas improves outcomes. A single-center experience

Jaime L. Martínez Santos, Zaid Aljuboori, Angela M. Richardson, Sahin Hanalioglu, Halil Olgun Peker, Balkan Sahin, Zahraa F. Al-Sharshahi, Omer Selcuk Sahin, Hakan Kina, Simon G. Ammanuel, Bermans J. Iskandar, and Mustafa K. Baskaya

OBJECTIVE

As presented in Part 1 of this series, thalamic gliomas (TGs) are deep-seated, difficult-to-access tumors surrounded by vital neurovascular structures. Given their high operative morbidity, TGs have historically been considered inoperable lesions. Although maximal safe resection (MSR) has become the treatment standard for lobar and even deep-seated mediobasal temporal and insular gliomas, the eloquent location of TGs has precluded this management strategy, with biopsy and adjuvant treatment being the mainstay. The authors hypothesized that MSR can be achieved with low morbidity and mortality for TGs, thus resulting in improved outcomes.

METHODS

A retrospective single-center study was performed on all TG patients from 2006 to 2020. Clinical, imaging, and pathology reports were obtained. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine prognostic variables. Case examples illustrate various approaches and the rationale for staging resections of more complex TGs.

RESULTS

A total of 42 patients (26 males, 16 females), among them 12 pediatric (29%) cases, were included. Their mean age was 36.0 ± 21.4 (median 30, range 3–73) years. The median maximal tumor diameter was 45 (range 19–70) mm. Eighteen patients (43%) had a prior stereotactic needle tumor biopsy, with the ultimate diagnosis changed for 7 patients (39%) following microsurgical resection. The most common surgical approaches were transtemporal (29%), anterior interhemispheric transcallosal (29%), and superior parietal lobule (25%). Overall, the combined subtotal and gross-total resection rate was 95% (n = 40). Low-grade gliomas (LGGs; grades I and II) comprised one-third of the group, whereas half of the patients had glioblastoma multiforme. There were no operative mortalities. Although temporary postoperative motor deficits were observed in 12 patients (28.6%), all improved during the early postoperative period except 1 (2.4%), who had mild residual hemiparesis. Two patients required CSF diversion for hydrocephalus. The 2-year overall survival rate was 90% for LGG patients and 15% for high-grade glioma (HGG) patients. Multivariate analysis revealed that histological grade, age, and extent of resection were independent prognostic factors associated with survival.

CONCLUSIONS

Management of TGs is challenging, with resection avoided by many, if not most, neurosurgeons, especially for HGGs. The results reported here demonstrate improved outcomes with resection, particularly in younger LGG patients. The authors therefore advocate for MSR for a select cohort of TG patients using carefully planned surgical approaches, contemporary intraoperative adjuncts, and meticulous microsurgical techniques.