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Mark J. Lambrechts, Nicholas D. D’Antonio, Brian A. Karamian, Arun P. Kanhere, Azra Dees, Bright M. Wiafe, Jose A. Canseco, Barrett I. Woods, I. David Kaye, Jeffrey Rihn, Mark Kurd, Alan S. Hilibrand, Christopher K. Kepler, Alexander R. Vaccaro, and Gregory D. Schroeder

OBJECTIVE

For patients with cervical and thoracolumbar AO Spine type C injuries, the authors sought to 1) identify whether preoperative vertebral column translation is predictive of a complete spinal cord injury (SCI) and 2) identify whether preoperative or postoperative vertebral column translation is predictive of neurological improvement after surgical decompression.

METHODS

All patients who underwent operative treatment for cervical and thoracolumbar AO Spine type C injuries at the authors’ institution between 2006 and 2021 were identified. CT and MRI were utilized to measure vertebral column translation in millimeters prior to and after surgery. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was generated to predict the probability of sustaining a complete SCI on the basis of the amount of preoperative vertebral column translation. ROC curves were then used to predict the probability of neurological recovery on the basis of preoperative and postoperative vertebral column translation.

RESULTS

ROC analysis of 67 patients identified 6.10 mm (area under the curve [AUC] 0.77, 95% CI 0.650–0.892) of preoperative vertebral column translation as predictive of complete SCI. Additionally, ROC curve analysis found that 10.4 mm (AUC 0.654, 95% CI 0.421–0.887) of preoperative vertebral column translation was strongly predictive of no postoperative neurological improvement. Residual postoperative vertebral column translation after fracture reduction and instrumentation had no predictive value on neurological recovery (AUC 0.408, 95% CI 0.195–0.622).

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with cervical and thoracolumbar AO Spine type C injuries, the amount of preoperative vertebral column translation is highly predictive of complete SCI and the likelihood of postoperative neurological recovery.

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William W. Ashley Jr., Sonia V. Eden, and James T. Rutka

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Peter H. Yang, Alison Almgren-Bell, Hongjie Gu, Anna V. Dowling, Sangami Pugazenthi, Kimberly Mackey, Esther B. Dupépé, and Jennifer M. Strahle

OBJECTIVE

Transependymal flow (TEF) of CSF, often delineated as T2-weighted hyperintensity adjacent to the lateral ventricles on MRI, is a known imaging finding, usually in the setting of CSF flow disturbances. Specific radiological features of TEF and their relationships with clinical markers of hydrocephalus and underlying disease pathology are not known. Here, the authors describe the radiological features and clinical associations of TEF with implications for CSF circulation in the setting of intracranial pathology.

METHODS

After obtaining IRB review and approval, the authors reviewed the radiological records of all patients who underwent intracranial imaging with CT or MRI at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, between 2008 and 2019 to identify individuals with TEF. Then, under direct review of imaging, TEF pattern, degree, and location and underlying pathology and other radiological and clinical features pertaining to CSF circulation and CSF disturbances were noted.

RESULTS

TEF of CSF was identified in 219 patients and was most prevalent in the setting of neoplasms (72%). In 69% of the overall cohort, TEF was seen adjacent to the anterior aspect of the frontal horns and the posterior aspect of the occipital horns of the lateral ventricles, and nearly half of these patients also had TEF dorsal to the third ventricle near the splenium of the corpus callosum. This pattern was independently associated with posterior fossa medulloblastoma when compared with pilocytic astrocytoma (OR 4.75, 95% CI 1.43–18.53, p = 0.0157). Patients with congenital or neonatal-onset hydrocephalus accounted for 13% of patients and were more likely to have TEF circumferentially around the ventricles without the fronto-occipital distribution. Patients who ultimately required permanent CSF diversion surgery were more likely to have the circumferential TEF pattern, a smaller degree of TEF, and a lack of papilledema at the time of CSF diversion surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

CSF transmigration across the ependyma is usually restricted to specific periventricular regions and is etiology specific. Certain radiological TEF characteristics are associated with tumor pathology and may reflect impaired or preserved ependymal fluid handling and global CSF circulation. These findings have implications for TEF as a disease-specific marker and in understanding CSF handling within the brain.

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Jeffrey I. Traylor, Aaron R. Plitt, William H. Hicks, Tabarak M. Mian, Bruce E. Mickey, and Samuel L. Barnett

OBJECTIVE

Meningioma prognostication and treatment continues to evolve with an increasing understanding of tumor biology. In this study, the authors aimed to test conventional predictors of meningioma recurrence, histopathology variables for which there exists some controversy (brain invasion), as well as a novel molecular-based location paradigm.

METHODS

This is a retrospective study of a consecutive series of patients with WHO grade I–III meningioma resected at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between 1994 and 2015. Time to meningioma recurrence (i.e., recurrence-free survival [RFS]) was the primary endpoint measured. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed and compared using log-rank tests. Cox univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of RFS.

RESULTS

A total of 703 consecutive patients with meningioma underwent resection at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between the years 1994 and 2015. A total of 158 patients were excluded for insufficient follow-up (< 3 months). The median age of the cohort was 55 years (range 16–88 years) and 69.5% (n = 379) were female. The median follow-up was 48 months (range 3–289 months). There was not a significantly increased risk of recurrence in patients with evidence of brain invasion, in patients with otherwise WHO grade I meningioma (Cox univariate HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.44–1.91, p = 0.82, power 4.4%). Adjuvant radiosurgery to subtotally resected WHO grade I meningiomas did not prolong the time to recurrence (n = 52, Cox univariate HR 0.21, 95% CI 0.03–1.61, p = 0.13, power 71.6%). Location (midline skull base, lateral skull base, and paravenous) was significantly associated with RFS (p < 0.01, log-rank test). In patients with high-grade meningiomas (WHO grade II or III), location was predictive of RFS (p = 0.03, log-rank test), with paravenous meningiomas exhibiting the highest rates of recurrence. Location was not significant on multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The data suggest that brain invasion does not increase the risk of recurrence in otherwise WHO grade I meningioma. Adjuvant radiosurgery to subtotally resected WHO grade I meningiomas did not prolong the time to recurrence. Location categorized by distinct molecular signatures did not predict RFS in a multivariate model. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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Alvan-Emeka K. Ukachukwu, Megan E. H. Still, Andreas Seas, Megan von Isenburg, Graham Fieggen, Adefolarin O. Malomo, Matthew T. Shokunbi, Joseph R. Egger, Michael M. Haglund, and Anthony T. Fuller

OBJECTIVE

Africa contributes significantly to the global neurosurgical disease burden but has only 1% of the neurosurgery workforce. This study appraises the neurosurgical workforce and training capacity in Africa and projects the workforce capacity by 2030.

METHODS

The authors conducted a systematic review of the online literature on neurosurgical workforce and training in Africa obtained from three journal databases (PubMed, Embase, and African Index Medicus), as well as from a gray literature search, between September and December 2020. Included literature passed a two-level screening conducted using a systematic review software by a team of two independent reviewers. Data were extracted from selected articles and documented and analyzed on spreadsheets.

RESULTS

One hundred and fifty-nine eligible articles were analyzed: 1974 neurosurgeons serve 1.3 billion people in Africa (density 0.15 per 100,000 persons, ratio 1:678,740), with uneven distribution between the regions. North Africa has 64.39% of the neurosurgical workforce (n = 1271), followed by Southern Africa (12.66%, n = 250), West Africa (11.60%, n = 229), East Africa (8.26%, n = 163), and Central Africa (3.09%, n = 61). At an exponential growth rate of 7.03% (95% CI 5.83%–8.23%) per annum, Africa will have 3418 (95% CI 1811–6080) neurosurgeons by 2030, with a deficit of 5191 neurosurgeons, based on population workforce targets. In terms of training, there are 106 neurosurgery training institutions in 26 African countries. North Africa has 52 training centers (49.05%), West Africa 23 (21.70%), East Africa 15 (14.15%), Southern Africa 14 (13.21%), and Central Africa 2 (1.89%). The major regional training programs are those of the West African College of Surgeons (24 sites in 7 countries) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (17 sites in 8 countries).

CONCLUSIONS

The study is limited as it is based on the online literature, some of which includes modeled estimates with questionable reliability. However, the results indicate that while countries in North Africa are expected to surpass their population workforce requirements, sub-Saharan African countries are likely to have significant workforce deficits accentuated by the paucity of neurosurgery training programs. To meet the 2030 population workforce requirements, the continent’s exponential growth rate should be scaled up to 15.87% per annum. Scaling up neurosurgical training would help to meet this target and requires collaborative efforts from continental, regional, and national agencies and international organizations.

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Weilun Fu, Long Yan, Zhikai Hou, Ying Yu, Weiyi Zhang, RongRong Cui, Feng Gao, Dapeng Mo, Xin Lou, Zhongrong Miao, and Ning Ma

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) commonly coexists with intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS). In-stent restenosis (ISR) affects the nonprocedural outcome of severe symptomatic ICAS after intracranial stenting. However, only 8%–27% of ISR patients are symptomatic, which highlights the importance of the investigation of risk factors associated with symptomatic ISR (SISR) to improve long-term functional outcome. Whether CSVD is associated with SISR remains unclear. The authors tested the hypothesis that CSVD is associated with SISR in ICAS patients after intracranial stenting.

METHODS

This retrospective study enrolled 97 patients who were symptomatic due to severe anterior circulation ICAS treated with intracranial stenting. SISR was evaluated with clinical and vascular imaging follow-up. CSVD subtypes, including white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), enlarged perivascular spaces, and chronic lacunar infarctions, were evaluated. Cox regression analysis was used to compare the incidence of SISR between patients with and without CSVD.

RESULTS

Of the enrolled patients, 58.8% had CSVD. The 1- and 2-year ISR rates were 24.7% and 37.1%, respectively. Of the CSVD subtypes, SISR was associated with deep WMHs (DWMHs; HR 5.39, 95% CI 1.02–28.44). DWMH Fazekas scale grades 2 (HR 85.54, 95% CI 2.42–3018.93) and 3 (HR 66.24, 95% CI 1.87–2352.32) were associated with SISR, but DWMH Fazekas grades 0 and 1 were not. The proportions of SISR in patients with DWMH Fazekas grades 0, 1, 2, and 3 were 16.7%, 33.3%, 50%, and 100%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with CSVD have a higher risk of SISR than those without CSVD. Of the CSVD subtypes, patients with DWMHs are associated with SISR. The DWMH Fazekas scale score is considered to be a predictor for SISR.

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Ahmed Ismail Kashkoush, Tamia Potter, Jordan C. Petitt, Song Hu, Kyle Hunter, and Michael L. Kelly

OBJECTIVE

Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with intracranial hypertension (ICHTN). The Rotterdam CT score (RS) can predict clinical outcomes following TBI, but the relationship between the RS and ICHTN is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical and radiological factors that predict ICHTN in patients with severe TBI.

METHODS

The authors performed a single-center retrospective review of patients who, between 2018 and 2021, had an intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor placed following TBI. Radiological and clinical characteristics related to the TBI and ICP monitoring were collected. The main outcome of interest was ICHTN, which was a dichotomous outcome (yes or no) defined on a per-patient basis as an ICP > 22 mm Hg that persisted for at least 5 minutes and required an escalation of treatment. ICHTN included both elevated opening pressure on initial monitor placement and ICP elevations later during hospitalization. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine variables associated with ICHTN. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC).

RESULTS

Seventy patients with severe TBI and an ICP monitor were included in this study. There was a predominance of male patients (94.0%), and the mean patient age was 40 years old. Most patients (67%) had an intraparenchymal catheter placed, whereas 33% of patients had a ventriculostomy catheter placed. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the RS was an independent predictor of ICHTN (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2–3.5, p = 0.014). No instances of ICHTN were observed in patients with an RS of 2 or less and no sulcal effacement. The AUROC of the RS and sulcal effacement was higher than the AUROC of the RS alone for predicting ICHTN (0.76 vs 0.71, p = 0.003, z-test).

CONCLUSIONS

The RS was predictive of ICHTN in patients with severe TBI, and the diagnostic accuracy of the model was improved with the inclusion of sulcal effacement at the vertex on CT of the head. Patients with a low RS and no sulcal effacement are likely at low risk for the development of ICHTN.

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Jackson H. Allen, Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Michael J. Cools, Amber Greeno, Muhammad Owais Abdul Ghani, Purnima Unni, Jeffrey E. Martus, Harold N. Lovvorn III, and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric spinal injuries in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and dirt bike crashes are relatively uncommon but may be associated with significant morbidity. There are no recent studies examining these injuries, their management, and outcomes. Therefore, a retrospective study was performed to characterize pediatric spinal injuries related to ATV and dirt bike crashes over the last decade.

METHODS

Data on all patients involved in ATV or dirt bike crashes evaluated at a regional level 1 pediatric trauma center over a 10-year period (2010–2019) were analyzed. Descriptive statistics were analyzed and chi-square, Fisher exact, and Mann-Whitney U-tests were performed comparing the demographics, injury characteristics, and clinical outcomes in patients with versus those without spinal injuries.

RESULTS

Of 680 patients evaluated, 35 (5.1%) were diagnosed with spinal injuries. Over the study period, both spinal injuries and emergency department visits related to ATV or dirt bike crashes increased in frequency. All spinal injuries were initially diagnosed on CT scans, and 57.9% underwent spinal MRI. Injuries were most commonly thoracic (50%), followed by cervical (36.8%). The injuries of most patients were classified as American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grade E on presentation (86.8%), while 2 (5.3%) had complete spinal cord injuries (ASIA grade A) and 3 patients (8.6%) were ASIA grade B–D. Operative management was required for 13 patients (28.9%). Nonoperative management was used in 71.1% of injuries, including bracing in 33% of all injuries. Patients with spinal injuries were older than those without (13.4 ± 3.35 vs 11.5 ± 3.79 years, p = 0.003). Spinal injuries occurred via similar crash mechanisms (p = 0.48) and in similar locations (p = 0.29) to nonspinal injuries. Patients with spinal injuries more frequently required admission to the intensive care unit (ICU; 34.2% vs 14.6%, p = 0.011) and had longer hospital stays (mean 4.7 ± 5.5 vs 2.7 ± 4.0 days, p = 0.0025).

CONCLUSIONS

Although infrequent among young ATV and dirt bike riders, spinal injuries are associated with longer hospital stays, increased ICU use, and required operative intervention in 29%. Increasing awareness among ATV and dirt bike riders about the severity of riding-related injuries may encourage safer riding behaviors.

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William Mualem, A. Yohan Alexander, Peter Bambakidis, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Michael J. Link, Maria Peris-Celda, Samir Mardini, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Facial nerve palsy is a debilitating condition that can arise from iatrogenic, traumatic, or congenital causes. One treatment to improve function of the facial muscles after facial nerve injury is hypoglossal-to-facial nerve anastomosis (HFA). HFA’s efficacy and predictors of its success vary in the literature. Here, the authors present a patient-level analysis of a literature-based cohort to assess outcomes and investigate predictors of success for HFA.

METHODS

Seven electronic databases were queried for studies providing baseline characteristics and outcomes of patients who underwent HFA. Postoperative outcomes were measured using the House-Brackmann (HB) grading scale. A change in HB grade of 3 points or more was classified as favorable. A cutoff value for time to anastomosis associated with a favorable outcome was determined using the Youden Index.

RESULTS

Nineteen articles with 157 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean follow-up length was 27.4 months, and the mean time to anastomosis after initial injury was 16 months. The end-to-side and end-to-end anastomosis techniques were performed on 84 and 48 patients, respectively. Of the 130 patients who had available preoperative and postoperative HB data, 60 (46.2%) had a favorable outcome. Time from initial injury to anastomosis was significantly different between patients with favorable and unfavorable outcomes (7.3 months vs 29.2 months, respectively; p < 0.001). The optimal cutoff for time to anastomosis to achieve a favorable outcome was 6.5 months (area under the curve 0.75). Patients who underwent anastomosis within 6.5 months of injury were more likely to achieve a favorable outcome (73% vs 31%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

HFA is an effective method for restoring facial nerve function. Favorable outcomes for facial nerve palsy may be more likely to occur when time to anastomosis is within a 6.5-month window.