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Song Li, Saihu Mao, Changzhi Du, Zezhang Zhu, Benlong Shi, Zhen Liu, Jun Qiao, and Yong Qiu

OBJECTIVE

Dystrophic lumbar scoliosis secondary to neurofibromatosis type 1 (DLS-NF1) may present an atypical, unique curve pattern associated with a high incidence of coronal imbalance and regional kyphosis. Early surgical intervention is complicated and risky but necessary. The present study aimed to assess the unique characteristics associated with the surgical treatment of DLS-NF1.

METHODS

Thirty-nine consecutive patients with DLS-NF1 treated surgically at a mean age of 14.4 ± 3.9 years were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were stratified into three types according to the coronal balance classification: type A (C7 translation < 30 mm), 22 patients; type B (concave C7 translation ≥ 30 mm), 0 patients; and type C (convex C7 translation ≥ 30 mm), 17 patients. Types B and C were considered to be coronal imbalance. The diversity of surgical strategies, the outcomes, and the related complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

The posterior-only approach accounted for 79.5% in total; the remaining 20.5% of patients received either additional anterior supplemental bone grafting (12.8%) to strengthen the fixation or convex growth arrest (7.7%) to reduce growth asymmetry. The lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) being L5 accounted for the largest share (41%), followed by L4 and above (35.9%), the sacrum (15.4%), and the pelvis (7.7%). Type C coronal imbalance was found in 23 patients (59%) postoperatively, and the incidence was significantly higher in the preoperative type C group (14/17 type C vs 9/22 type A, p = 0.020). All the patients with postoperative coronal imbalance showed ameliorative transition to type A at the last visit. The rate of screw malposition was 30.5%, including 9.9% breached medially and 20.6% breached laterally, although no serious neurological impairment occurred. The incidence of rod breakage was 16.1% (5/31) and 0% in patients with the posterior-only and combined approaches, respectively. Four revisions with satellite rods and 1 revision with removal of iliac screw for penetration into the hip joint were performed.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical strategies for DLS-NF1 were diverse across a range of arthrodesis and surgical approaches, being crucially determined by the location and the severity of dystrophic changes. The LIV being L5 or lower involving the lumbosacral region and pelvis was not rare. Additional posterior satellite rods or supplementary anterior fusion is necessary in cases with insufficient apical screw density. Despite a high incidence of postoperative coronal imbalance, improvement of coronal balance was frequently confirmed during follow-up. Neurological impairment was scarce despite the higher rate of screw malposition.

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Andrzej Maciejczak, Andzelina Wolan-Nieroda, and Agnieszka Guzik

Extension crosswise osteotomy at C7 (C7 ECO) was developed for the correction of forward gaze in patients with chin-on-chest deformity due to ankylosing spondylitis. A modification of cervicothoracic extension osteoclasis (C/T EO), C7 ECO replaces osteoclasis of the anterior column with a crosswise cut of the C7 vertebral body to eliminate the risks of unintended dislocation of the cervical spine. C7 ECO also eliminates the risks of C7 and T1 pedicle subtraction osteotomies (C/T PSOs), in which a posteriorly based wedge excision may lead to stretching injuries of the lower cervical roots and/or failure to achieve the exact angle of excision required for an optimal correction. Furthermore, opening the osteotomy anteriorly, as in the authors’ method, instead of closing it posteriorly, as in PSO, eliminates the risks related to shortening of the posterior column, such as buckling of the dura, kinking of the spinal cord, and stretching of the lower cervical nerve roots. Here, the authors report the use of C7 ECO for the surgical treatment of a 69-year-old man with severe compromise of his forward gaze due to chin-on-chest deformity in the course of ankylosing spondylitis. After uneventful correction surgery, the patient regained the ability to see objects, namely faces of people, at the level of his head while standing and to perform work tasks at a desk.

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Zach Pennington, Ethan Cottrill, Daniel Lubelski, Jeff Ehresman, Kurt Lehner, Mari L. Groves, Paul Sponseller, and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVES

More than 7500 children undergo surgery for scoliosis each year, at an estimated annual cost to the health system of $1.1 billion. There is significant interest among patients, parents, providers, and payors in identifying methods for delivering quality outcomes at lower costs. Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols have been suggested as one possible solution. Here the authors conducted a systematic review of the literature describing the clinical and economic benefits of ERAS protocols in pediatric spinal deformity surgery.

METHODS

The authors identified all English-language articles on ERAS protocol use in pediatric spinal deformity surgery by using the following databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Reviews, EMBASE, CINAHL, and OVID MEDLINE. Quantitative analyses of comparative articles using random effects were performed for the following clinical outcomes: 1) length of stay (LOS); 2) complication rate; 3) wound infection rate; 4) 30-day readmission rate; 5) reoperation rate; and 6) postoperative pain scores.

RESULTS

Of 950 articles reviewed, 7 were included in the qualitative analysis and 6 were included in the quantitative analysis. The most frequently cited benefits of ERAS protocols were shorter LOS, earlier urinary catheter removal, and earlier discontinuation of patient-controlled analgesia pumps. Quantitative analyses showed ERAS protocols to be associated with shorter LOS (mean difference −1.12 days; 95% CI −1.51, −0.74; p < 0.001), fewer postoperative complications (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.20, 0.68; p = 0.001), and lower pain scores on postoperative day (POD) 0 (mean −0.92; 95% CI −1.29, −0.56; p < 0.001) and POD 2 (−0.61; 95% CI −0.75, −0.47; p < 0.001). There were no differences in reoperation rate or POD 1 pain scores. ERAS-treated patients had a trend toward higher 30-day readmission rates and earlier discontinuation of patient-controlled analgesia (both p = 0.06). Insufficient data existed to reach a conclusion about cost differences.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this systematic review suggest that ERAS protocols may shorten hospitalizations, reduce postoperative complication rates, and reduce postoperative pain scores in children undergoing scoliosis surgery. Publication biases exist, and therefore larger, prospective, multicenter data are needed to validate these results.

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Brittany M. Stopa, Maya Harary, Ray Jhun, Arun Job, Saef Izzy, Timothy R. Smith, and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, but the true incidence of TBI is unknown.

METHODS

The National Trauma Data Bank National Sample Program (NTDB NSP) was queried for 2007 and 2013, and population-based weighted estimates of TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths were calculated. These data were compared to the 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on TBI, which used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s National (“Nationwide” before 2012) Inpatient Sample and National Emergency Department Sample.

RESULTS

In the NTDB NSP the incidence of TBI-related ED visits was 59/100,000 in 2007 and 62/100,000 in 2013. However, in the CDC report there were 534/100,000 in 2007 and 787/100,000 in 2013. The CDC estimate for ED visits was 805% higher in 2007 and 1169% higher in 2013. In the NTDB NSP, the incidence of TBI-related deaths was 5/100,000 in 2007 and 4/100,000 in 2013. In the CDC report, the incidence was 18/100,000 in both years. The CDC estimate for deaths was 260% higher in 2007 and 325% higher in 2013.

CONCLUSIONS

The databases disagreed widely in their weighted estimates of TBI incidence: CDC estimates were consistently higher than NTDB NSP estimates, by an average of 448%. Although such a discrepancy may be intuitive, this is the first study to quantify the magnitude of disagreement between these databases. Given that research, funding, and policy decisions are made based on these estimates, there is a need for a more accurate estimate of the true national incidence of TBI.

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Mark R. Harrigan, Jan O. Jansen, and Zane Schnurman

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Michael M. McDowell, Nathan T. Zwagerman, Eric W. Wang, Carl H. Snyderman, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, and Paul A. Gardner

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric skull base chordoma is a rare entity that is traditionally considered to display aggressive behavior with an increased risk of recurrence. There is an absence of literature examining outcomes in the pediatric population in general and using the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients with skull base chordomas presenting by the age of 18 years to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh or the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 2004 to 2019. Clinical outcomes, the number and location of recurrences, and progression-free survival time were determined.

RESULTS

Twenty patients met the study criteria. The most common presenting complaints were diplopia (n = 7), headache (n = 6), and swallowing difficulty (n = 4). Three cases were incidentally discovered. Twelve patients underwent single-stage EEA alone, 2 patients had two-stage EEA, and 6 patients had combined EEA with open far-lateral or extreme-lateral approaches. Fourteen patients underwent gross-total resection (GTR), and 6 patients had near-total resection. Larger tumors were more likely to require staging or a combined approach (86% vs 7%) and were less likely to receive GTR (33% vs 86%) but had comparable recurrence and mortality rates. Five patients developed CSF leaks requiring reoperation, 2 patients developed a permanent abducens nerve palsy, 1 patient suffered an internal carotid artery injury, 1 patient developed an epidural hematoma, and 1 patient developed a subdural empyema. Four (20%) patients had recurrence during follow-up (mean radiographic follow-up 59 months and mean time to local recurrence 19 months). Two patients with recurrence underwent further resection, and 1 patient elected to stop treatment. Both patients who underwent repeat resection experienced a second recurrence, one of whom elected to stop treatment. Both patients who died had an elevated Ki-67 (p = 0.039), one of whom developed de-differentiated histology. A third patient died of progressive spinal metastases without local recurrence and is one of 2 patients who developed postoperative spinal metastases. Both patients whose tumors became de-differentiated progressed from tumors with an initial Ki-67 of 15 or greater (p = 0.035) and received prior radiotherapy to the bulk tumor (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of pediatric skull base chordomas, when managed at a specialized center with a goal of GTR, may have a better outcome than traditionally believed. Elevated Ki-67 rates may predict poor outcome and progression to de-differentiation.

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Franz E. Babl, Mark D. Lyttle, Natalie Phillips, Amit Kochar, Sarah Dalton, John A. Cheek, Jeremy Furyk, Jocelyn Neutze, Silvia Bressan, Amanda Williams, Stephen J. C. Hearps, MBiostat, Ed Oakley, Gavin A. Davis, Stuart R. Dalziel, and Meredith L. Borland

OBJECTIVE

Current clinical decision rules (CDRs) guiding the use of CT scanning in pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) assessment generally exclude children with ventricular shunts (VSs). There is limited evidence as to the risk of abnormalities found on CT scans or clinically important TBI (ciTBI) in this population. The authors sought to determine the frequency of these outcomes and the presence of CDR predictor variables in children with VSs.

METHODS

The authors undertook a planned secondary analysis on children with VSs included in a prospective external validation of 3 CDRs for TBI in children presenting to 10 emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand. They analyzed differences in presenting features, management and acute outcomes (TBI on CT and ciTBI) between groups with and without VSs, and assessed the presence of CDR predictors in children with a VS.

RESULTS

A total of 35 of 20,137 children (0.2%) with TBI had a VS; only 2 had a Glasgow Coma Scale score < 15. Overall, 49% of patients with a VS underwent CT scanning compared with 10% of those without a VS. One patient had a finding of TBI on CT scanning, with positive predictor variables on CDRs. This patient had a ciTBI. No patient required neurosurgery. For children with and without a VS, the frequency of ciTBI was 2.9% (95% CI 0.1%–14.9%) compared with 1.4% (95% CI 1.2%–1.6%) (difference 1.5% [95% CI −4.0% to 7.0%]), and TBI on CT 2.9% (95% CI 0.1%–14.9%) compared with 2.0% (95% CI 1.8%–2.2%) (difference 0.9%, 95% CI −4.6% to 6.4%).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ data provide further support that the risk of TBI is similar for children with and without a VS.

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Jeff Ehresman, Zach Pennington, James Feghali, Andrew Schilling, Andrew Hersh, Bethany Hung, Daniel Lubelski, and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

More than 8000 patients are treated annually for vertebral column tumors, of whom roughly two-thirds will be discharged to an inpatient facility (nonroutine discharge). Nonroutine discharge is associated with increased care costs as well as delays in discharge and poorer patient outcomes. In this study, the authors sought to develop a prediction model of nonroutine discharge in the population of vertebral column tumor patients.

METHODS

Patients treated for primary or metastatic vertebral column tumors at a single comprehensive cancer center were identified for inclusion. Data were gathered regarding surgical procedure, patient demographics, insurance status, and medical comorbidities. Frailty was assessed using the modified 5-item Frailty Index (mFI-5) and medical complexity was assessed using the modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (mCCI). Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of nonroutine discharge, and multivariable linear regression was used to identify predictors of prolonged length of stay (LOS). The discharge model was internally validated using 1000 bootstrapped samples.

RESULTS

The authors identified 350 patients (mean age 57.0 ± 13.6 years, 53.1% male, and 67.1% treated for metastatic vs primary disease). Significant predictors of prolonged LOS included higher mCCI score (β = 0.74; p = 0.026), higher serum absolute neutrophil count (β = 0.35; p = 0.001), lower hematocrit (β = −0.34; p = 0.001), use of a staged operation (β = 4.99; p < 0.001), occurrence of postoperative pulmonary embolism (β = 3.93; p = 0.004), and surgical site infection (β = 9.93; p < 0.001). Significant predictors of nonroutine discharge included emergency admission (OR 3.09; p = 0.001), higher mFI-5 score (OR 1.90; p = 0.001), lower serum albumin level (OR 0.43 per g/dL; p < 0.001), and operations with multiple stages (OR 4.10; p < 0.001). The resulting statistical model was deployed as a web-based calculator (https://jhuspine4.shinyapps.io/Nonroutine_Discharge_Tumor/).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that nonroutine discharge of patients with surgically treated vertebral column tumors was predicted by emergency admission, increased frailty, lower serum albumin level, and staged surgical procedures. The resulting web-based calculator tool may be useful clinically to aid in discharge planning for spinal oncology patients by preoperatively identifying patients likely to require placement in an inpatient facility postoperatively.

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Roxanna M. Garcia, Taemin Oh, Tyler S. Cole, Benjamin K. Hendricks, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Proximity of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) to tracts and cranial nerve nuclei make it costly to transgress normal tissue in accessing the lesion or disrupting normal tissue adjacent to the lesion in the separation plane. This interplay between tissue sensitivity and extreme eloquence makes it difficult to avoid leaving a remnant on occasion. Recurrences require operative intervention, which may increase morbidity, lengthen recovery, and add to overall costs. An approximately 20-year experience with patients with recurrent BSCM lesions following primary microsurgical resection was reviewed.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained database of 802 patients who underwent microsurgical resection of cerebral cavernous malformations during 1997–2018 was queried to identify 213 patients with BSCMs. A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients with recurrent BSCM after primary resection who required a second surgery.

RESULTS

Fourteen of 213 patients (6.6%) underwent repeat resection for recurrent BSCM. Thirty-four hemorrhagic events were observed among these 14 patients over 576 patient-years (recurrent hemorrhage rate, 5.9% per year; median discrete hemorrhagic events, 2; median time to rehemorrhage, 897 days). BSCM occurred in the pons in 10 cases, midbrain in 2 cases, and medulla in 2 cases. A blind spot in the operative corridor was the most common cause of residual BSCM (9 patients). All recurrent BSCMs were removed completely, although 2 patients each required 2 operations to treat recurrence. Twelve patients had unchanged or improved modified Rankin Scale scores at last clinical evaluation compared with admission, and 2 patients had worse scores. Recurrence was more common among patients who were operated on in the first versus the second half of the series (8.5% vs 4.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

The 6.6% rate of BSCM recurrence requiring reoperation reflects the fine lines between complete resection and recurrence and between safe and harmful surgery. The detection of remnants is difficult postoperatively and remains so even at 6 months when the resection bed has healed. The 5.9% annual hemorrhage risk associated with recurrent BSCM in this experience is consistent with that reported for unoperated BSCMs. The right-angle method helps to anticipate blind spots and meticulously inspect the resection cavity for residual BSCM during surgery. A low percentage of recurrent BSCM (5%–10%) ensures ongoing effort toward an acceptable balance of safety and completeness.

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Mitchell W. Couldwell, Samuel Cheshier, Philipp Taussky, Vance Mortimer, and William T. Couldwell

Moyamoya is an uncommon disease that presents with stenoocclusion of the major vasculature at the base of the brain and associated collateral vessel formation. Many pediatric patients with moyamoya present with transient ischemic attacks or complete occlusions. The authors report the case of a 9-year-old girl who presented with posterior fossa hemorrhage and was treated with an emergency suboccipital craniotomy for evacuation. After emergency surgery, an angiogram was performed, and the patient was diagnosed with moyamoya disease. Six months later, the patient was treated for moyamoya using direct and indirect revascularization; after surgery there was excellent vascularization in both regions of the bypass and no further progression of moyamoya changes. This case illustrates a rare example of intracerebral hemorrhage associated with moyamoya changes in the posterior vascularization in a pediatric patient and subsequent use of direct and indirect revascularization to reduce the risk of future hemorrhage and moyamoya progression.