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Gianluca Trevisi, Carmelo Lucio Sturiale, Alba Scerrati, Oriela Rustemi, Luca Ricciardi, Fabio Raneri, Alberto Tomatis, Amedeo Piazza, Anna Maria Auricchio, Vito Stifano, Carmine Romano, Pasquale De Bonis and Annunziato Mangiola

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to analyze the risk factors associated with the outcome of acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) in elderly patients treated either surgically or nonsurgically.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective multicentric analysis of clinical and radiological data on patients aged ≥ 70 years who had been consecutively admitted to the neurosurgical department of 5 Italian hospitals for the management of posttraumatic ASDH in a 3-year period. Outcome was measured according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) at discharge and at 6 months’ follow-up. A GOS score of 1–3 was defined as a poor outcome and a GOS score of 4–5 as a good outcome. Univariate and multivariate statistics were used to determine outcome predictors in the entire study population and in the surgical group.

RESULTS

Overall, 213 patients were admitted during the 3-year study period. Outcome was poor in 135 (63%) patients, as 65 (31%) died during their admission, 33 (15%) were in a vegetative state, and 37 (17%) had severe disability at discharge. Surgical patients had worse clinical and radiological findings on arrival or during their admission than the patients undergoing conservative treatment. Surgery was performed in 147 (69%) patients, and 114 (78%) of them had a poor outcome. In stratifying patients by their Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, the authors found that surgery reduced mortality but not the frequency of a poor outcome in the patients with a moderate to severe GCS score. The GCS score and midline shift were the most significant predictors of outcome. Antiplatelet drugs were associated with better outcomes; however, patients taking such medications had a better GCS score and better radiological findings, which could have influenced the former finding. Patients with fixed pupils never had a good outcome. Age and Charlson Comorbidity Index were not associated with outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Traumatic ASDH in the elderly is a severe condition, with the GCS score and midline shift the stronger outcome predictors, while age per se and comorbidities were not associated with outcome. Antithrombotic drugs do not seem to negatively influence pretreatment status or posttreatment outcome. Surgery was performed in patients with a worse clinical and radiological status, reducing the rate of death but not the frequency of a poor outcome.

Free access

Diana T. Le, Kinsey A. Barhorst, James Castiglione, George L. Yang, Sanjit J. Shah, Sarah S. Harlan, Shaun P. Keegan, Roman A. Jandarov, Laura B. Ngwenya and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

OBJECTIVE

Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is associated with high rates of neurological morbidity and mortality. The detection and management of BCVI has improved with advances in imaging and sensitive screening protocols. Few studies have explored how these injuries specifically affect the geriatric population. The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to investigate the presentation and prognosis of BCVI in the elderly population and to assess its clinical implications in the management of these patients.

METHODS

All patients presenting to the University of Cincinnati (UC) level I trauma center between February 2017 and December 2019 were screened for BCVI and entered into the prospectively maintained UC Neurotrauma Registry. Patients with BCVI confirmed by CT angiography underwent retrospective chart reviews to collect information regarding demographics, positive screening criteria, cause of injury, antithrombotic agent, injury location, Denver Grading Scale, hospital and ICU length of stay, and discharge disposition. Patients were divided into geriatric (age ≥ 65 years) and adult (age < 65 years) subgroups. Continuous variables were analyzed using the Student t-test and categorical variables with the Pearson chi-square test.

RESULTS

Of 124 patients with BCVI, stratification by age yielded 23 geriatric and 101 adult patients. Injury in the geriatric group was associated with significantly higher mortality (p = 0.0194). The most common cause of injury in the elderly was falls (74%, 17/23; p < 0.0001), whereas motor vehicle accidents were most common in the adult group (38%, 38/100; p = 0.0642). With respect to the location of injury, carotid (p = 0.1171) and vertebral artery (p = 0.6981) injuries did not differ significantly for the geriatric group. The adult population presented more often with Denver grade I injuries (p < 0.0001), whereas the geriatric population presented with grade IV injuries (p = 0.0247). Elderly patients were more likely to be discharged to skilled nursing facilities (p = 0.0403) and adults to home or self-care (p = 0.0148).

CONCLUSIONS

This study is the first to characterize BCVI to all cervical and intracranial vessels in the geriatric population. Older age at presentation is significantly associated with greater severity, morbidity, and mortality from injury, with no preference for the particular artery injured. These findings carry important clinical implications for adapting practice in an aging population.

Open access

Rômulo A. S. Marques, Rodrigo A. C. Cavalcante and Lucas M. C. E. Pimenta

A 52-year-old male was involved in a car accident 30 years ago. He presented with complete motor paralysis of the left upper limb. This evolved into severe neuropathic pain (mainly shocking and burning sensation) distributed from C5 to T1 dermatomes. He was first treated with spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which did not show efficacy for pain control, maintaining high visual analog scale (VAS) scores. He then received complementary treatment with left cervical DREZotomy to mitigate suffering and preserve SCS function to control “mirror pain.”

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/iTvbLAZ3odM

Free access

Matheus P. Pereira, Taemin Oh, Rushikesh S. Joshi, Alexander F. Haddad, Kaitlyn M. Pereira, Robert C. Osorio, Kevin C. Donohue, Zain Peeran, Sweta Sudhir, Saket Jain, Angad Beniwal, José Gurrola II, Ivan H. El-Sayed, Lewis S. Blevins Jr., Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Sandeep Kunwar and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Life expectancy has increased over the past century, causing a shift in the demographic distribution toward older age groups. Elderly patients comprise up to 14% of all patients with pituitary tumors, with most lesions being nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). Here, the authors evaluated demographics, outcomes, and postoperative complications between nonelderly adult and elderly NFPA patients.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 908 patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for NFPA at a single institution from 2007 to 2019 was conducted. Clinical and surgical outcomes and postoperative complications were compared between nonelderly adult (age ≥ 18 and ≤ 65 years) and elderly patients (age > 65 years).

RESULTS

There were 614 and 294 patients in the nonelderly and elderly groups, respectively. Both groups were similar in sex (57.3% vs 60.5% males; p = 0.4), tumor size (2.56 vs 2.46 cm; p = 0.2), and cavernous sinus invasion (35.8% vs 33.7%; p = 0.6). Regarding postoperative outcomes, length of stay (1 vs 2 days; p = 0.5), extent of resection (59.8% vs 64.8% gross-total resection; p = 0.2), CSF leak requiring surgical revision (4.3% vs 1.4%; p = 0.06), 30-day readmission (8.1% vs 7.3%; p = 0.7), infection (3.1% vs 2.0%; p = 0.5), and new hypopituitarism (13.9% vs 12.0%; p = 0.3) were similar between both groups. Elderly patients were less likely to receive adjuvant radiation (8.7% vs 16.3%; p = 0.009), undergo future reoperation (3.8% vs 9.5%; p = 0.003), and experience postoperative diabetes insipidus (DI) (3.7% vs 9.4%; p = 0.002), and more likely to have postoperative hyponatremia (26.7% vs 16.4%; p < 0.001) and new cranial nerve deficit (1.9% vs 0.0%; p = 0.01). Subanalysis of elderly patients showed that patients with higher Charlson Comorbidity Index scores had comparable outcomes other than higher DI rates (8.1% vs 0.0%; p = 0.006). Elderly patients’ postoperative sodium peaked and troughed on postoperative day 3 (POD3) (mean 138.7 mEq/L) and POD9 (mean 130.8 mEq/L), respectively, compared with nonelderly patients (peak POD2: mean 139.9 mEq/L; trough POD8: mean 131.3 mEq/L).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ analysis revealed that TSS for NFPA in elderly patients is safe with low complication rates. In this cohort, more elderly patients experienced postoperative hyponatremia, while more nonelderly patients experienced postoperative DI. These findings, combined with the observation of higher DI in patients with more comorbidities and elderly patients experiencing later peaks and troughs in serum sodium, suggest age-related differences in sodium regulation after NFPA resection. The authors hope that their results will help guide discussions with elderly patients regarding risks and outcomes of TSS.

Open access

Stefano Ferraresi, Elisabetta Basso, Lorenzo Maistrello, Alba Scerrati and Piero Di Pasquale

The treatment of deafferentation pain is a primary goal of a referral center for peripheral nerve surgery. DREZ is an important asset in the neurosurgeon’s armamentarium. The surgical technique and long-term results are analyzed in two series, with or without intraoperative monitoring (IOM). DREZotomy is highly effective in lumbar root avulsive injuries but is ineffective in resolving pain due to spinal cord injuries. Cervical DREZotomy for cancer pain is not superior to intrathecal morphine. In brachial plexus avulsive injuries, the largest series shows a 74% success rate, but the efficacy of the procedure is lost over time. No relevant difference has been observed since the introduction of IOM.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/uG_kkQj5m1U

Open access

Kevin Hines, Fadi Al Saiegh, Aria Mahtabfar, Kavantissa M. Keppetipola, Caio M. Matias, Chengyuan Wu and Ashwini Sharan

This is a case of a 54-year-old man presenting with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1 of the right lower extremity, which was most debilitating in the plantar aspect of the right foot. The patient had prior treatment with thoracic spinal cord stimulation; however, the foot pain remained intractable. Given that his pain was predominantly in his foot and remained debilitating despite thoracic spinal cord stimulation, it was recommended that the patient undergo a trial of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. The surgical technique for placement of dorsal root ganglion stimulators is demonstrated in this operative video.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_1xMxFZa6tU

Free access

Ladina Greuter, Katharina Lutz, Javier Fandino, Luigi Mariani, Raphael Guzman and Jehuda Soleman

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) occurs more frequently in elderly patients, while older patient age is associated with worse postoperative outcome following burr-hole drainage (BHD) of cSDH. The cSDH-Drain trial showed comparable recurrence rates after BHD and placement of either a subperiosteal drain (SPD) or subdural drain (SDD). Additionally, an SPD showed a significantly lower rate of infections as well as iatrogenic parenchymal injuries through drain misplacement. This post hoc analysis aims to compare recurrence rates and clinical outcomes following BHD of cSDH and the placement of SPDs or SDDs in elderly patients.

METHODS

The study included 104 patients (47.3%) 80 years of age and older from the 220 patients recruited in the preceding cSDH-Drain trial. SPDs and SDDs were compared with regard to recurrence rate, morbidity, mortality, and clinical outcome. A post hoc analysis using logistic regression, comparing the outcome measurements for patients < 80 and ≥ 80 years old in a univariate analysis and stratified for drain type, was further completed.

RESULTS

Patients ≥ 80 years of age treated with an SDD showed higher recurrence rates (12.8%) compared with those treated with an SPD (8.2%), without a significant difference (p = 0.46). Significantly higher drain misplacement rates were observed for patients older than 80 years and treated with an SDD compared with an SPD (0% vs 20%, p = 0.01). Comparing patients older than 80 years to younger patients, significantly higher overall mortality (15.4% vs 5.2%, p = 0.012), 30-day mortality (3.8% vs 0%, p = 0.033), and surgical mortality (2.9% vs 1.7%, p = 0.034) rates were observed. Clinical outcome at the 12-month follow-up was significantly worse for patients ≥ 80 years old, and logistic regression showed a significant association of age with outcome, while drain type had no association with outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The initial findings of the cSDH-Drain trial and the findings of this subanalysis suggest that SPD may be warranted in elderly patients. As opposed to drain type, patient age (> 80 years) was significantly associated with worse outcome, as well as higher morbidity and mortality rates.

Free access

Eric Schmidt, Laurent Balardy, Thomas Geeraerts, Nadège Costa, Christian A. Bowers and Mark Hamilton

Free access

Laureen D. Hachem and Mark Bernstein

The global demographic shift to an older population has led to the emergence of the new field of geriatric neurosurgery. Beyond the complexities of disease states and multimorbidity, advanced age brings with it intricate ethical issues pertaining to both the practice and provision of medical and surgical care. In this paper, the authors describe the central ethical themes seen across the spectrum of common neurosurgical conditions in the elderly and highlight the use of foundational ethical principles to help guide treatment decision-making.