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Open access

Konrad Gag, Jonas Müller, Marie Süße, Robert Fleischmann, and Henry W. S. Schroeder

BACKGROUND

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a rare, acquired demyelination syndrome that causes cognitive impairment and focal neurological deficits and may be fatal. The potentially reversible disease mainly affects children, often after vaccination or viral infection, but may be seen rarely in adults.

OBSERVATIONS

A 50-year-old woman presented with loss of visual acuity of the left eye. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an intra- and suprasellar mass, which was removed successfully. On postoperative day 1, MRI showed gross total resection of the lesion and no surgery-related complications. On postoperative day 2, the patient presented with a progressive left-sided hemiparesis, hemineglect, and decline of cognitive performance. MRI showed white matter edema in both hemispheres. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed mixed pleocytosis (355/µL) without further evidence of infection. In synopsis of the findings, ADEM was diagnosed and treated with intravenous immunoglobulins. Shortly thereafter, the patient recovered, and no sensorimotor deficits were detected in the follow-up examination.

LESSONS

Pituitary gland pathologies are commonly treated by transsphenoidal surgery, with only minor risks for complications. A case of ADEM after craniopharyngioma resection has not been published before and should be considered in case of progressive neurological deterioration with multiple white matter lesions.

Open access

Yunjia Ni, Yuanzhi Xu, Xuemei Zhang, Pin Dong, Qi Li, Juan Shen, Jie Ren, Zhaoqi Yuan, Fei Wang, Anke Zhang, Yunke Bi, Qingwei Zhu, Qiangyi Zhou, Zhiyu Wang, Jingjue Wang, and Meiqing Lou

BACKGROUND

Teratocarcinosarcoma traversing the anterior skull base is rarely reported in literature. The heterogenous and invasive features of the tumor pose challenges for surgical planning. With technological advancements, the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has been emerging as a workhorse of anterior skull base lesions. To date, no case has been reported of EEA totally removing teratocarcinosarcomas with intracranial extensions.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors provided an illustrative case of a 50-year-old otherwise healthy man who presented with left-sided epistaxis for a year. Imaging studies revealed a 31 × 60-mm communicating lesion of the anterior skull base. Gross total resection via EEA was achieved, and multilayered skull base reconstruction was performed.

LESSONS

The endoscopic approach may be safe and effective for resection of extensive teratocarcinosarcoma of the anterior skull base. To minimize the risk of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leaks, multilayered skull base reconstruction and placement of lumbar drainage are vitally important.

Open access

Izumi Koyanagi, Yasuhiro Chiba, Genki Uemori, Hiroyuki Imamura, Masami Yoshino, and Toshimitsu Aida

BACKGROUND

Spinal adhesive arachnoid pathology is a rare cause of myelopathy. Because of rarity and variability, mechanisms of myelopathy are unknown. The authors retrospectively analyzed patients to understand pathophysiology and provide implications for surgical treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

Nineteen consecutive patients were studied. Thirteen patients had a secondary pathology due to etiological disorders such as spinal surgery or hemorrhagic events. They received arachnoid lysis (4 patients), syringo-subarachnoid (S-S) shunt (8 patients) with or without lysis, or anterior decompression. Three of them developed motor deterioration after lysis, and 6 patients needed further 8 surgeries. Another 6 patients had idiopathic pathology showing dorsal arachnoid cyst formation at the thoracic level that was surgically resected. With mean follow-up of 44.3 months, only 4 patients with the secondary pathology showed improved neurological grade, whereas all patients with idiopathic pathology showed improvement.

LESSONS

The idiopathic pathology was the localized dorsal arachnoid adhesion that responded to surgical treatment. The secondary pathology produced disturbed venous circulation of the spinal cord by extensive adhesions. Lysis of the thickened fibrous membrane with preservation of thin arachnoid over the spinal veins may provide safe decompression. S-S shunt was effective if the syrinx extended to the level of normal subarachnoid space.

Open access

Ue-Cheung Ho, Koping Chang, Yen-Heng Lin, Yu-Cheng Huang, and Fon-Yih Tsuang

BACKGROUND

Primary intraosseous meningiomas (PIMs) are rare, and PIMs of the vertebrae have not yet been reported. The authors report a case of primary meningioma arising from the vertebrae.

OBSERVATIONS

A 49-year-old man presented with lower back pain and numbness in both lower extremities. Lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging revealed an L2 pathological fracture with epidural and paraspinal invasion. The patient had undergone a first palliative decompression and fixation surgery, and the diagnosis turned out to be a World Health Organization grade III anaplastic meningioma based on histopathology. The tumor had progressed after first operation and radiation therapy, and the patient was referred to the authors’ institute for excision. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course after a revisional total en bloc spondylectomy of L2.

LESSONS

The authors present a rare case of PIM of the vertebrae with epidural and paraspinal invasion. Careful preoperative assessment and surgical planning is crucial for successful patient management.

Restricted access

Alexandra Lauric, Luke Silveira, Emal Lesha, Jeffrey M. Breton, and Adel M. Malek

OBJECTIVE

Vessel tapering results in blood flow acceleration at downstream bifurcations (firehose nozzle effect), induces hemodynamics predisposing to aneurysm initiation, and has been associated with middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm presence and rupture status. The authors sought to determine if vessel caliber tapering is a generalizable predisposing factor by evaluating upstream A1 segment profiles in association with aneurysm presence in the anterior communicating artery (ACoA) complex, the most prevalent cerebral aneurysm location associated with a high rupture risk.

METHODS

Three-dimensional rotational angiographic studies were analyzed for 68 patients with ACoA aneurysms, 37 nonaneurysmal contralaterals, and 53 healthy bilateral controls (211 samples total). A1 segments were determined to be dominant, codominant, or nondominant based on flow and size. Equidistant cross-sectional orthogonal cuts were generated along the A1 centerline, and cross-sectional area (CSA) was evaluated proximally and distally, using intensity-invariant edge detection filtering. The relative tapering of the A1 segment was evaluated as the tapering ratio (distal/proximal CSA). Computational fluid dynamics was simulated on ACoA parametric models with and without tapering.

RESULTS

Aneurysms occurred predominantly on dominant (79%) and codominant (17%) A1 segments. A1 segments leading to unruptured ACoA aneurysms had significantly greater tapering compared to nonaneurysmal contralaterals (0.69 ± 0.13 vs 0.80 ± 0.17, p = 0.001) and healthy controls (0.69 ± 0.13 vs 0.83 ± 0.16, p < 0.001), regardless of dominance labeling. There was no statistically significant difference in tapering values between contralateral A1 and healthy A1 controls (0.80 ± 0.17 vs 0.83 ± 0.16, p = 0.56). Hemodynamically, A1 segment tapering induces high focal pressure, high wall shear stress, and high velocity at the ACoA bifurcation.

CONCLUSIONS

Aneurysmal, but not contralateral or healthy control, A1 segments demonstrated significant progressive vascular tapering, which is associated with aneurysmogenic hemodynamic conditions at the ACoA complex. Demonstration of the upstream tapering effect in the communicating ACoA segment is consistent with its prior detection in the noncommunicating MCA bifurcation, which together form more than 50% of intracranial aneurysms. The mechanistic characterization of this upstream vascular tapering phenomenon is warranted to understand its clinical relevance and devise potential therapeutic strategies.

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Yifei Duan, Berje Shammassian, Shaarada Srivatsa, Kerrin Sunshine, Arunit Chugh, Jonathan Pace, Amanda Opaskar, and Nicholas C. Bambakidis

OBJECTIVE

Endovascular mechanical thrombectomy is safe and effective for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) due to large-vessel occlusion (LVO). Still, despite high rates of procedural success, it is routine practice to uniformly admit postthrombectomy patients to an intensive care unit (ICU) for postoperative observation. Predictors of ICU criteria and care requirements in the postmechanical thrombectomy ischemic stroke patient population are lacking. The goal of the present study is to identify risk factors associated with requiring ICU-level intervention following mechanical thrombectomy.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed data from 245 patients undergoing thrombectomy for AIS from anterior circulation LVO at a comprehensive stroke and tertiary care center from January 2015 to March 2020. Clinical variables that predicted the need for critical care intervention were identified and compared. The performance of a binary classification test constructed from these predictive variables was also evaluated using a validation cohort.

RESULTS

Seventy-six patients (31%) required critical care interventions. A recanalization grade lower than modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) scale grade 2B (odds ratio [OR] 3.625, p = 0.001), Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) < 8 (OR 3.643, p < 0.001), and presence of hyperdensity on postprocedure cone-beam CT (OR 2.485, p = 0.005) were significantly associated with the need for postthrombectomy critical care intervention. When applied to a validation cohort, a clearance classification scheme using these three variables demonstrated high positive predictive value (0.88).

CONCLUSIONS

A recanalization grade lower than mTICI 2B, ASPECTS < 8, and postprocedure hyperdensity on cone-beam CT were shown to be independent predictors of requiring ICU-level care. Routine admission to ICU-level care can be costly and confer increased risk for hospital-acquired conditions. Safely and reliably identifying low-risk patients has the potential for cost savings, value-based care, and decreasing hospital-acquired conditions.

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Nicolò Marchesini, Nicola Tommasi, Franco Faccioli, Giampietro Pinna, and Francesco Sala

OBJECTIVE

Cauda equina ependymoma (CEE) is a rare tumor for which little information is available on the oncological and clinical outcomes of patients. In this study the authors aimed to address functional, oncological, and quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes in a large series of consecutive patients operated on at their institution during the past 20 years.

METHODS

The records of 125 patients who underwent surgery between January 1998 and September 2018 were reviewed. Analyzed variables included demographic, clinical, radiological, surgical, and histopathological features. Neurological outcomes were graded according to the McCormick and Kesselring scales. The QOL at follow-up was evaluated by administering the EQ-5DL questionnaire.

RESULTS

On admission, 84% of patients had a McCormick grade of I and 76.8% had a Kesselring score of 0. At follow-up (clinical 8.13 years; radiological 5.87 years) most scores were unchanged. Sacral level involvement (p = 0.029) and tumor size (p = 0.002) were predictors of poor functional outcome at discharge. Tumor size (p = 0.019) and repeated surgery (p < 0.001) were predictors of poor outcome. A preoperative McCormick grade ≥ III and Kesselring grade ≥ 2 were associated with worse outcomes (p = 0.035 and p = 0.002, respectively). Myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) was more frequent than grade II ependymoma (EII). The overall rate of gross-total resection (GTR) was 91.2% and rates were significantly higher for patients with EII (98%) than for those with MPE (84%) (p = 0.0074). On multivariate analysis, the only factor associated with GTR was the presence of a capsule (p = 0.011). Seventeen patients (13.7%) had recurrences (13 MPE, 4 EII; 76.4% vs 23.6%; p = 0.032). The extent of resection was the only factor associated with recurrence (p = 0.0023) and number of surgeries (p = 0.006). Differences in progression-free survival (PFS) were seen depending on the extent of resection at first operation (p < 0.001), subarachnoid seeding (p = 0.041), piecemeal resection (p = 0.004), and number of spine levels involved (3 [p = 0.016], 4 [p = 0.011], or ≥ 5 [p = 0.013]). At follow-up a higher proportion of EII than MPE patients were disease free (94.7% vs 77.7%; p = 0.007). The QOL results were inferior in almost all areas compared to a control group of subjects from the Italian general population. A McCormick grade ≥ 3 and repeated surgeries were associated with a worse QOL (p = 0.006 and p = 0.017).

CONCLUSIONS

An early diagnosis of CEE is important because larger tumors are associated with recurrences and worse functional neurological outcomes. Surgery should be performed with the aim of achieving an en bloc GTR. The histological subtype was not directly associated with recurrences, but some of the features more commonly encountered in MPEs were. The outcomes are in most cases favorable, but the mean QOL perception is inferior to that of the general population.

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Heiko Koller, Alexandre Ansorge, Isabel C. Hostettler, Juliane Koller, Wolfgang Hitzl, Axel Hempfing, and Dezsoe Jeszenszky

OBJECTIVE

Three-column osteotomy (3CO) is used for severe spinal deformities. Associated complications include sagittal translation (ST), which can lead to neurological symptoms. Mismatch between the surgical center of rotation (COR) and the concept of the ideal COR is a potential cause of ST. Matching surgical with conceptual COR is difficult with pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and vertebral column resection (VCR). This mismatch influences correction geometry, which can prevent maximum possible correction. The authors’ objective was to examine the sagittal correction geometry and surgical COR of thoracic and lumbar 3CO.

METHODS

In a retrospective study of patients with PSO or VCR for severe sagittal plane deformity, analysis of surgical COR was performed using pre- and postoperative CT scans in the PSO group and digital radiographs in the VCR group. Radiographic analysis included standard deformity measurements and regional kyphosis angle (RKA). All patients had 2-year follow-up, including neurological outcome. Preoperative CT scans were studied for rigid osteotomy sites versus mobile osteotomy sites. Additional radiographic analysis of surgical COR was based on established techniques superimposing pre- and postoperative images. Position of the COR was defined in a rectangular net layered onto the osteotomy vertebrae (OVs).

RESULTS

The study included 34 patients undergoing PSO and 35 undergoing VCR, with mean ages of 57 and 29 years and mean RKA corrections of 31° and 49°, respectively. In the PSO group, COR was mainly in the anterior column, and surgical and conceptual COR matched in 22 patients (65%). Smaller RKA correction (27° vs 32°, p = 0.09) was seen in patients with anterior eccentric COR. Patients with rigid osteotomy sites were more likely to have an anterior eccentric COR (41% vs 11%, p = 0.05). In the VCR group, 20 patients (57%) had single-level VCR and 15 (43%) had multilevel VCR. COR was mainly located in the anterior or middle column. Mismatch between surgical and conceptual COR occurred in 24 (69%) patients. Larger RKA correction (63° vs 45°, p = 0.03) was seen in patients with anterior column COR. Patients with any posterior COR had a smaller RKA correction compared to the rest of the patients (42° vs 61°, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Matching the surgical with the conceptual COR is difficult and in this study failed in one- to two-thirds of all patients. In order to avoid ST during correction of severe deformities, temporary rods, tracking rods, or special instruments should be used for correction maneuvers.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Stefan W. Koester, Visish M. Srinivasan, Mohamed A. Labib, Neil Majmundar, Candice L. Nguyen, Caleb Rutledge, Tyler S. Cole, Jacob F. Baranoski, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Robert F. Spetzler, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Ophthalmic artery (OA) aneurysms are surgically challenging lesions that are now mostly treated using endovascular procedures. However, in specialized tertiary care centers with experienced neurosurgeons, controversy remains regarding the optimal treatment of these lesions. This study used propensity adjustment to compare microsurgical and endovascular treatment of unruptured OA aneurysms in experienced tertiary and quaternary settings.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent microsurgical treatment of an unruptured OA aneurysm at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1997 to 2017 and either microsurgical or endovascular treatment at Barrow Neurological Institute from 2011 to 2019. Patients were categorized into two cohorts for comparison: those who underwent open microsurgical clipping, and those who underwent endovascular flow diversion or coil embolization. Outcomes included neurological or visual outcomes, residual or recurrent aneurysms, retreatment, and severe complications.

RESULTS

A total of 345 procedures were analyzed: 247 open microsurgical clipping procedures (72%) and 98 endovascular procedures (28%). Of the 98 endovascular procedures, 16 (16%) were treated with primary coil embolization and 82 (84%) with flow diversion. After propensity adjustment, microsurgical treatment was associated with higher odds of a visual deficit (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.1–64.9, p = 0.04) but lower odds of residual aneurysm (OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.01–0.28, p < 0.001) or retreatment (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.02–0.58, p = 0.008) than endovascular therapy. No difference was found between the two cohorts with regard to worse modified Rankin Scale score, modified Rankin Scale score greater than 2, or severe complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with endovascular therapy, microsurgical clipping of unruptured OA aneurysms is associated with a higher rate of visual deficits but a lower rate of residual and recurrent aneurysms. In centers experienced with both open microsurgical and endovascular treatment of these lesions, the treatment choice should be based on patient preference and aneurysm morphology.

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Robert J. Macielak, Katherine P. Wallerius, Skye K. Lawlor, Christine M. Lohse, John P. Marinelli, Brian A. Neff, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Colin L. W. Driscoll, Michael J. Link, and Matthew L. Carlson

OBJECTIVE

Detection of vestibular schwannoma (VS) growth during observation leads to definitive treatment at most centers globally. Although ≥ 2 mm represents an established benchmark of tumor growth on serial MRI studies, 2 mm of linear tumor growth is unlikely to significantly alter microsurgical outcomes. The objective of the current work was to ascertain where the magnitude of change in clinical outcome is the greatest based on size.

METHODS

A single-institution retrospective review of a consecutive series of patients with sporadic VS who underwent microsurgical resection between January 2000 and May 2020 was performed. Preoperative tumor size cutpoints were defined in 1-mm increments and used to identify optimal size thresholds for three primary outcomes: 1) the ability to achieve gross-total resection (GTR); 2) maintenance of normal House-Brackmann (HB) grade I facial nerve function; and 3) preservation of serviceable hearing (American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery class A/B). Optimal size thresholds were obtained by maximizing c-indices from logistic regression models.

RESULTS

Of 603 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 502 (83%) had tumors with cerebellopontine angle (CPA) extension. CPA tumor size was significantly associated with achieving GTR, postoperative HB grade I facial nerve function, and maintenance of serviceable hearing (all p < 0.001). The optimal tumor size threshold to distinguish between GTR and less than GTR was 17 mm of CPA extension (c-index 0.73). In the immediate postoperative period, the size threshold between HB grade I and HB grade > I was 17 mm of CPA extension (c-index 0.65). At the most recent evaluation, the size threshold between HB grade I and HB grade > I was 23 mm (c-index 0.68) and between class A/B and C/D hearing was 18 mm (c-index 0.68). Tumors within 3 mm of the 17-mm CPA threshold displayed similarly strong c-indices. Among purely intracanalicular tumors, linear size was not found to portend worse outcomes for all measures.

CONCLUSIONS

The probability of incurring less optimal microsurgical outcomes begins to significantly increase at 14–20 mm of CPA extension. Although many factors ultimately influence decision-making, when considering timing of microsurgical resection, using a size threshold range as depicted in this study offers an evidence-based approach that moves beyond reflexively recommending treatment for all tumors after detecting ≥ 2 mm of tumor growth on serial MRI studies.