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Howard M. Eisenberg, Vibhor Krishna, W. Jeffrey Elias, G. Rees Cosgrove, Dheeraj Gandhi, Charlene E. Aldrich, and Paul S. Fishman

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiofrequency pallidotomy has demonstrated improvement in motor fluctuations in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), particularly levodopa (L-dopa)–induced dyskinesias. The authors aimed to determine whether or not unilateral pallidotomy with MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) could safely improve Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS; the primary outcome measure) scores over baseline scores in patients with PD.

METHODS

Twenty patients with PD and L-dopa responsiveness, asymmetrical motor signs, and motor fluctuations, including dyskinesias, participated in a 1-year multicenter open-label trial of unilateral MRgFUS ablation of the globus pallidus internus.

RESULTS

The sonication procedure was successfully completed in all 20 enrolled patients. MRgFUS-related adverse neurological events were generally mild and transient, including visual field deficit (n = 1), dysarthria (n = 4, 2 mild and 2 moderate), cognitive disturbance (n = 1), fine motor deficit (n = 2), and facial weakness (n = 1). Although 3 adverse events (AEs) were rated as severe (transient sonication-related pain in 2, nausea/vomiting in 1), no AE fulfilled US FDA criteria for a Serious Adverse Effect. Total UDysRS, the primary outcome measure, improved 59% after treatment (baseline mean score 36.1, 95% CI 4.88; at 3 months 14.2, 95% CI 5.72, p < 0.0001), which was sustained throughout the study (at 12 months 20.5, 95% CI 7.39, 43% improvement, p < 0.0001). The severity of motor signs on the treated side (Movement Disorder Society version of the United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale [MDS-UPDRS] part III) in the “off” medication state also significantly improved (baseline mean score 20.0, 95% CI 2.4; at 3 months 10.6, 95% CI 1.86, 44.5% improvement, p < 0.0001; at 12 months 10.4, 95% CI 2.11, 45.2% improvement, p > 0.0001). The vast majority of patients showed a clinically meaningful level of improvement on the impairment component of the UDysRS or the motor component of the UPDRS, while 1 patient showed clinically meaningful worsening on the UPDRS at month 3.

CONCLUSIONS

This study supports the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of MRgFUS pallidotomy in the treatment of patients with PD and motor fluctuations, including dyskinesias. These preliminary data support continued investigation, and a placebo-controlled, blinded trial is in progress.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02263885 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Gabriel Crevier-Sorbo, Tristan Brunette-Clément, Edgard Medawar, Francois Mathieu, Benjamin R. Morgan, Laureen D. Hachem, Michael C. Dewan, Aria Fallah, Alexander G. Weil, and George M. Ibrahim

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy disproportionately affects low- and/or middle-income countries (LMICs). Surgical treatments for epilepsy are potentially curative and cost-effective and may improve quality of life and reduce social stigmas. In the current study, the authors estimate the potential need for a surgical epilepsy program in Haiti by applying contemporary epilepsy surgery referral guidelines to a population of children assessed at the Clinique d’Épilepsie de Port-au-Prince (CLIDEP).

METHODS

The authors reviewed 812 pediatric patient records from the CLIDEP, the only pediatric epilepsy referral center in Haiti. Clinical covariates and seizure outcomes were extracted from digitized charts. Electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroimaging reports were further analyzed to determine the prevalence of focal epilepsy or surgically amenable syndromes and to assess the lesional causes of epilepsy in Haiti. Lastly, the toolsforepilepsy instrument was applied to determine the proportion of patients who met the criteria for epilepsy surgery referral.

RESULTS

Two-thirds of the patients at CLIDEP (543/812) were determined to have epilepsy based on clinical and diagnostic evaluations. Most of them (82%, 444/543) had been evaluated with interictal EEG, 88% of whom (391/444) had abnormal findings. The most common finding was a unilateral focal abnormality (32%, 125/391). Neuroimaging, a prerequisite for applying the epilepsy surgery referral criteria, had been performed in only 58 patients in the entire CLIDEP cohort, 39 of whom were eventually diagnosed with epilepsy. Two-thirds (26/39) of those patients had abnormal findings on neuroimaging. Most patients (55%, 18/33) assessed with the toolsforepilepsy application met the criteria for epilepsy surgery referral.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ findings suggest that many children with epilepsy in Haiti could benefit from being evaluated at a center with the capacity to perform basic brain imaging and neurosurgical treatments.

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Michael Brooks, Ashraf Dower, Muhammad Fahmi Abdul Jalil, and Saeed Kohan

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar discectomy for the management of lumbar radiculopathy is a commonly performed procedure with generally excellent patient outcomes. However, recurrent lumbar disc herniation (rLDH) remains one of the most common complications of the procedure, often necessitating repeat surgery. rLDH is known to be influenced by a variety of factors, and in this systematic review the authors aimed to explore the radiological predictors of recurrence.

METHODS

A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to identify studies analyzing radiological predictors of recurrent herniation, both ipsilateral and contralateral. A search was conducted on Medline and EMBASE. Both retrospective and prospective comparative studies were included, measuring radiological parameters of lumbar discectomy patients. All factors were considered irrespective of imaging modality, and a meta-analysis of the data was performed in which 5 or more studies were identified analyzing the same parameter.

RESULTS

In total, 1626 reported studies were screened, with 23 being included in this review, of which 13 were appropriate for meta-analysis. Three factors, namely disc height index, Modic changes, and sagittal range of motion, were determined to be significantly correlated with an increased rate of rLDH. Some variables were considered in only 1 or 2 different studies, and the authors have included a narrative review of these novel findings.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of associations between the radiological parameters and rLDH implicates the role of instability in the development of recurrence. Understanding the physiological factors associated with instability is important, because although early degenerative disc changes may predispose patients to herniation recurrence, more advanced degeneration likely reduces segmental motion and concurrently risk of recurrence.

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Max Whitmeyer, Bledi C. Brahimaj, André Beer-Furlan, Sameer Alvi, Madeline J. Epsten, Fred Crawford, Richard W. Byrne, and R. Mark Wiet

OBJECTIVE

Multiple short series have evaluated the efficacy of salvage microsurgery (MS) after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for treatment of vestibular schwannomas (VSs); however, there is a lack of a large volume of patient data available for interpretation and clinical adaptation. The goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive review of tumor characteristics, management, and surgical outcomes of salvage of MS after SRS for VS.

METHODS

The Medline/PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were queried according to PRISMA guidelines. All English-language and translated publications were included. Studies lacking adequate study characteristics and outcomes were excluded. Cases involving neurofibromatosis type 2, previous MS, or malignant transformation were excluded when possible.

RESULTS

Twenty studies containing 297 cases met inclusion criteria. Three additional cases from Rush University Medical Center were added for 300 total cases. Tumor growth with or without symptoms was the primary indication for salvage surgery (92.3% of cases), followed by worsening of symptoms without growth (4.6%) and cystic enlargement (3.1%). The average time to MS after SRS was 39.4 months. The average size and volume of tumor at surgery were 2.44 cm and 5.92 cm3, respectively. The surgical approach was retrosigmoid (42.8%) and translabyrinthine (57.2%); 59.5% of patients had a House-Brackmann (HB) grade of I or II. The facial nerve was preserved in 91.5% of cases. Facial nerve preservation and HB grades were lower for the translabyrinthine versus retrosigmoid approach (p = 0.31 and p = 0.18, respectively); however, fewer complications were noted in the translabyrinthine approach (p = 0.29). Gross-total resection (GTR) was completed in 55.7% of surgeries. Studies that predominantly used subtotal resection (STR) were associated with a lower rate of facial nerve injury (5.3% vs 11.3%, p = 0.07) and higher rate of HB grade I or II (72.9% vs 48.0%, p = 0.00003) versus those using predominantly GTR. However, majority STR was associated with a recurrence rate of 3.6% as compared to 1.4% for majority GTR (p = 0.29).

CONCLUSIONS

This study showed that the leading cause of MS after SRS was tumor growth at an average of 39.4 months after radiation. There were no significant differences in outcomes of facial nerve preservation, postoperative HB grade, or complication rate based on surgical approach. Patients who underwent STR showed statistically significant better HB outcomes compared with GTR. MS after SRS was considered by most authors to be more difficult than primary MS. These data support the notion that the surgical goals of salvage surgery are debulking of tumor mass, decreasing compression of the brainstem, and not necessarily pursuing GTR.

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Owoicho Adogwa, Daniel R. Rubio, Jacob M. Buchowski, Alden D’Souza, Maksim A. Shlykov, and Jack W. Jennings

OBJECTIVE

The population prevalence of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) continues to increase; however, data are limited regarding the incidence rate of skeletal related events (SREs) (i.e., surgery to the spinal column, radiation to the spinal column, radiofrequency ablation, kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty, spinal cord compression, or pathological vertebral body fractures) and their impact on overall mortality. In this study, the authors sought to estimate the incidence rates of SREs in NSCLC patients and to quantify their impact on overall mortality.

METHODS

This was a single-institution retrospective study of patients diagnosed with NSCLC between 2002 and 2014. The incidence rates for bone metastasis and subsequent SREs (per 1000 person-years) by time since lung cancer diagnosis were calculated and analyses were stratified separately for each histological type. Incidence rates for mortality at 1, 2, and 3 years from diagnosis stratified by the presence of SREs were also calculated. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed to describe crude survival ratios in patients with spine metastasis and SREs and those with spine metastasis but without SREs. These curves were used to estimate the 1- and 2-year survival rates for each cohort.

RESULTS

We identified 320 patients with incident NSCLC (median follow-up 9.5 months). The mean ± SD age was 60.65 ± 11.26 years; 94.48% of patients were smokers and 60.12% had a family history of cancer. The majority of first-time SREs were pathological vertebral body compression fractures (77.00%), followed by radiation (35%), surgery (14%), and spinal cord compression (13.04%). Mortality rates were highest in NSCLC patients with spine metastasis who had at least 1 SRE. Stratifying by histological subtype, the incidence rate of mortality in patients with SRE was highest in the large cell cohort, 7.42 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 3.09–17.84 per 1000 person-years); followed by the squamous cell cohort, 2.49 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 1.87–3.32 per 1000 person-years); and lowest in the adenocarcinoma cohort, 1.68 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 1.46–1.94 per 1000 person-years). Surgery for decompression of neural structures and stabilization of the spinal column was required in 6% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

SREs in NSCLC patients with bone metastasis are associated with an increased incidence rate of mortality.

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Abhijith V. Matur, Laura B. Ngwenya, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are a significant cause of head injuries today, but efforts to manage and prevent these injuries extend as far back as the beginning of modern neurosurgery itself. Head trauma in MVCs occurred as far back as 1899, and the surgical literature of the time mentions several cases of children being struck by passing automobiles. By the 1930s, Dr. Claire L. Straith, a Detroit plastic surgeon, recommended changes to automobile design after seeing facial injuries and depressed skull fractures that resulted from automobile accidents. During World War II, Sir Hugh Cairns, a British neurosurgeon, demonstrated the efficacy of motorcycle helmets in preventing serious head injury. In the 1950s, Dr. Frank H. Mayfield, a Cincinnati neurosurgeon on the trauma committee of the American College of Surgeons, made several recommendations, such as adding padded dashboards and seatbelts, to make automobiles safer. Ford implemented the recommendations from Dr. Mayfield and others into a safety package for the 1956 models. Significant work has also been done to prevent head injury in motorsports. Efforts by surgeons, especially neurosurgeons, to prevent head injury in MVCs have saved countless lives, although it is a less frequently celebrated achievement.

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Marta San Luciano, Amy Robichaux-Viehoever, Kristen A. Dodenhoff, Melissa L. Gittings, Aaron C. Viser, Caroline A. Racine, Ian O. Bledsoe, Christa Watson Pereira, Sarah S. Wang, Philip A. Starr, and Jill L. Ostrem

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy and safety of combined bilateral ventralis oralis posterior/ventralis intermedius (Vop/Vim) deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of acquired dystonia in children and young adults. Pallidal DBS is efficacious for severe, medication-refractory isolated dystonia, providing 50%–60% long-term improvement. Unfortunately, pallidal stimulation response rates in acquired dystonia are modest and unpredictable, with frequent nonresponders. Acquired dystonia, most commonly caused by cerebral palsy, is more common than isolated dystonia in pediatric populations and is more recalcitrant to standard treatments. Given the limitations of pallidal DBS in acquired dystonia, there is a need to explore alternative brain targets. Preliminary evidence has suggested that thalamic stimulation may be efficacious for acquired dystonia.

METHODS

Four participants, 3 with perinatal brain injuries and 1 with postencephalitic symptomatic dystonia, underwent bilateral Vop/Vim DBS and bimonthly evaluations for 12 months. The primary efficacy outcome was the change in Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale (BADS) scores between the baseline and 12-month assessments. Video documentation was used for blinded ratings. Secondary outcomes included evaluation of spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale score), quality of life (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory [PedsQL] and modified Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part II [UPDRS-II] scores), and neuropsychological assessments. Adverse events were monitored for safety.

RESULTS

All participants tolerated the procedure well, and there were no safety concerns or serious adverse events. There was an average improvement of 21.5% in the BFMDRS motor subscale score, but the improvement was only 1.6% according to the BADS score. Following blinded video review, dystonia severity ratings were even more modest. Secondary outcomes, however, were more encouraging, with the BFMDRS disability subscale score improving by 15.7%, the PedsQL total score by 27%, and the modified UPDRS-II score by 19.3%. Neuropsychological assessment findings were unchanged 1 year after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Bilateral thalamic neuromodulation by DBS for severe, medication-refractory acquired dystonia was well tolerated. Primary and secondary outcomes showed highly variable treatment effect sizes comparable to those of pallidal stimulation in this population. As previously described, improvements in quality of life and disability were not reflected in dystonia severity scales, suggesting a need for the development of scales specifically for acquired dystonia.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03078816 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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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.