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Yu-Li Lee, Shu-Tian Chen, Jen-Tsung Yang, Hsu-Huei Weng, Hsueh-Lin Wang and Yuan-Hsiung Tsai

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is facial pain that is usually caused by neurovascular compression syndrome and is characterized by suddenly intense and paroxysmal pain. Radiofrequency lesioning (RFL) is one of the major treatments for TN, but the treatment response for RFL is sometimes inconsistent, and the recurrence of TN is not uncommon. This study aimed to estimate the outcome predictors of TN treated with RFL by using the parameters of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with TN who were treated with RFL were enrolled in the study. MRI was performed in all patients within 1 week before surgery. The visual analog scale was used to evaluate symptom severity at three time points: before, 1 week after, and 3 months after RFL. The involved cisternal segment of the trigeminal nerves was manually selected, and the histograms of each of the diffusivity metrics—including the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD)—were measured. The differences in the means, as well as the kurtosis and skewness of each of the diffusivity metrics between the nonrecurrent and recurrent groups, were then analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U-test.

RESULTS

There were significantly lower kurtosis values (a broader peak of the distributional curves) for both FA and ADC in the recurrent group (p = 0.0004 and 0.015, respectively), compared to the nonrecurrent group. The kurtoses of AD and RD, as well as the mean and skewness of all other diffusivity metrics, did not show significant differences between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The pretreatment diffusivity metrics of DTI and ADC may be feasible imaging biomarkers for predicting the outcome of TN after RFL. A clarification of the kurtosis value of FA and ADC is helpful for determining the prognosis of patients after RFL.

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Grace F. Donzelli, Jeffrey Nelson, David McCoy, Charles E. McCulloch, Steven W. Hetts, Matthew R. Amans, Christopher F. Dowd, Van V. Halbach, Randall T. Higashida, Michael T. Lawton, Helen Kim and Daniel L. Cooke

OBJECTIVE

Preoperative embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is performed to facilitate resection, although its impact on surgical performance has not been clearly defined. The authors tested for associations between embolization and surgical performance metrics.

METHODS

The authors analyzed AVM cases resected by one neurosurgeon from 2006 to 2017. They tested whether cases with and without embolization differed from one another with respect to patient and AVM characteristics using t-tests for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables. They used simple and multivariable regression models to test whether surgical outcomes (blood loss, resection time, surgical clip usage, and modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score) were associated with embolization. Additional regression analyses integrated the peak arterial afferent contrast normalized for the size of the region of interest (Cmax/ROI) into models as an additional predictor.

RESULTS

The authors included 319 patients, of whom 151 (47%) had preoperative embolization. Embolized AVMs tended to be larger (38% with diameter > 3 cm vs 19%, p = 0.001), less likely to have hemorrhaged (48% vs 63%, p = 0.013), or be diffuse (19% vs 29%, p = 0.045). Embolized AVMs were more likely to have both superficial and deep venous drainage and less likely to have exclusively deep drainage (32% vs 17% and 12% vs 23%, respectively; p = 0.002). In multivariable analysis, embolization was not a significant predictor of blood loss or mRS score changes, but did predict longer operating times (+29 minutes, 95% CI 2–56 minutes; p = 0.034) and increased clip usage (OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.45–4.71; p = 0.001). Cmax/ROI was not a significant predictor, although cases with large Cmax/ROI tended to have longer procedure times (+25 minutes per doubling of Cmax/ROI, 95% CI 0–50 minutes; p = 0.051).

CONCLUSIONS

In this series, preoperative embolization was associated with longer median resection times and had no association with intraoperative blood loss or mRS score changes.

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Roman Rodionov, Aidan O’Keeffe, Mark Nowell, Michele Rizzi, Vejay N. Vakharia, Victoria Wykes, Sofia H. Eriksson, Anna Miserocchi, Andrew W. McEvoy, Sebastien Ourselin and John S. Duncan

OBJECTIVE

The accuracy of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) electrode implantation is an important factor in maximizing its safety. The authors established a quality assurance (QA) process to aid advances in implantation accuracy.

METHODS

The accuracy of three consecutive modifications of a frameless implantation technique was quantified in three cohorts comprising 22, 8, and 23 consecutive patients. The modifications of the technique aimed to increase accuracy of the bolt placement.

RESULTS

The lateral shift of the axis of the implanted bolt at the level of the planned entry point was reduced from a mean of 3.0 ± 1.6 mm to 1.4 ± 0.8 mm. The lateral shift of the axis of the implanted bolt at the level of the planned target point was reduced from a mean of 3.8 ± 2.5 mm to 1.6 ± 0.9 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

This QA framework helped to isolate and quantify the factors introducing inaccuracy in SEEG implantation, and to monitor ongoing accuracy and the effect of technique modifications.

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Hidetoshi Nojiri, Kei Miyagawa, Hiroto Yamaguchi, Masato Koike, Yoshiyuki Iwase, Takatoshi Okuda and Kazuo Kaneko

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar surgery via a lateral approach is a minimally invasive and highly useful procedure. However, care must be taken to avoid its potentially fatal complications of intestinal and vascular injuries. The object of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of intraoperative ultrasound in improving the safety of lateral lumbar spine surgery.

METHODS

A transvaginal ultrasound probe was inserted into the operative field, and the intestinal tract, kidney, psoas muscle, and vertebral body were identified using B-mode ultrasound. The aorta, vena cava, common iliac vessels, and lumbar arteries and their associated branches were identified using the color Doppler mode.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 100 patients who underwent lateral lumbar spine surgery, 92 via a left-sided approach. The intestinal tract and kidney lateral to the psoas muscle on the anatomical approach pathway were visualized in 36 and 26 patients, respectively. A detachment maneuver displaced the intestinal tract and kidneys in an anteroinferior direction, enabling confirmation of the absence of organ tissues above the psoas. In all patients, the major vessels anterior to the vertebral bodies and the lumbar arteries and associated branches in the psoas on the approach path were clearly visualized in the Doppler mode, and their orientation, location, and positional relationship with regard to the vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs, and psoas were determined.

CONCLUSIONS

When approaching the lateral side of the lumbar spine in the retroperitoneal space, intraoperative ultrasound allows real-time identification of the blood vessels surrounding the lumbar spine, intestinal tract, and kidney in the approach path and improves the safety of surgery without increasing invasiveness.

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Nishit Mummareddy, Michael C. Dewan, Anna Huang, Jade Basem, Kelly A. Bennett, Chevis N. Shannon and John C. Wellons III

OBJECTIVE

The Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) established several important benefits of myelomeningocele fetal closure, including decreased need for shunting at 30 months. However, the effects of fetal closure on long-term quality of life (QOL) have not been studied. In this study, the authors aimed to analyze the differences in long-term QOL between children treated with intrauterine repair and those treated with postnatal repair.

METHODS

Caregivers of children treated with either intrauterine or postnatal closure at a tertiary acute care hospital between 1997 and 2003 were contacted to participate. The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL 4.0) and a surgical history questionnaire were administered over the phone. Responses to the QOL survey were reverse scored and linearly transformed to a 0–100 scale, with a higher score indicating better QOL. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used to analyze differences in means.

RESULTS

Seventy-four children had MMC repair between 1997 and 2003. Twenty-three (31%) of the patients’ families responded to the PedsQL 4.0 questionnaire. Of these 23 children, 11 had intrauterine closure and 12 had postnatal closure. The intrauterine group did not differ in age (median [IQR] 17 years [14–17 years] vs 15 years [14–19 years], p = 0.926), sex (27.3% vs 41.7% male, p = 0.469), or lesion level (p = 0.199) from the postnatal group. Fewer patients in the intrauterine group underwent neurosurgical procedures than those in the postnatal group (55.6% vs 100%, p = 0.018). However, of the children receiving neurosurgical procedures, there was no difference in the number of procedures between the intrauterine and postnatal groups (median [IQR] 4 [2–10.5] vs 2.5 [1.75–6.25], p = 0.458). There was no difference in the percentage of children receiving nonneurosurgical procedures between the two groups (100% vs 100%, p > 0.99). Children who underwent intrauterine closure had significantly higher psychosocial health (median [IQR] 70.0 [56.7–83.3] vs 55.0 [42.1–60.0], p = 0.015) as well as total QOL (median [IQR] 56.5 [55.4–81.5] vs 49.5 [32.9–59.0], p = 0.019) than children with postnatal closure. Physical health was not significantly different between the two groups (median [IQR] 62.5 [37.5–78.1] vs 39.1 [18.8–59.4], p = 0.108).

CONCLUSIONS

Relative to postnatal closure, children who underwent intrauterine closure of MMC demonstrated better long-term QOL as measured by psychosocial and overall QOL metrics. Given that not all medical and socioeconomic confounders were adjusted for due to the low sample size, validation of these results in a larger population and across multiple centers is needed.

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Marco Rossi, Federico Ambrogi, Lorenzo Gay, Marcello Gallucci, Marco Conti Nibali, Antonella Leonetti, Guglielmo Puglisi, Tommaso Sciortino, Henrietta Howells, Marco Riva, Federico Pessina, Pierina Navarria, Ciro Franzese, Matteo Simonelli, Roberta Rudà and Lorenzo Bello

OBJECTIVE

Surgery for low-grade gliomas (LGGs) aims to achieve maximal tumor removal and maintenance of patients’ functional integrity. Because extent of resection is one of the factors affecting the natural history of LGGs, surgery could be extended further than total resection toward a supratotal resection, beyond tumor borders detectable on FLAIR imaging. Supratotal resection is highly debated, mainly due to a lack of evidence of its feasibility and safety. The authors explored the intraoperative feasibility of supratotal resection and its short- and long-term impact on functional integrity in a large cohort of patients. The role of some putative factors in the achievement of supratotal resection was also studied.

METHODS

Four hundred forty-nine patients with a presumptive radiological diagnosis of LGG consecutively admitted to the neurosurgical oncology service at the University of Milan over a 5-year period were enrolled. In all patients, a policy was adopted to perform surgery according to functional boundaries, aimed at achieving a supratotal resection whenever possible, without any patient or tumor a priori selection. Feasibility, general safety, and tumor or patient putative factors possibly affecting the achievement of a supratotal resection were analyzed. Postsurgical patient functional performance was evaluated in five cognitive domains (memory, language, praxis, executive functions, and fluid intelligence) using a detailed neuropsychological evaluation and quality of life (QOL) examination.

RESULTS

Total resection was feasible in 40.8% of patients, and supratotal resection in 32.3%. The achievement of a supratotal versus total resection was independent of age, sex, education, tumor volume, deep extension, location, handedness, appearance of tumor border, vicinity to eloquent sites, surgical mapping time, or surgical tools applied. Supratotal resection was associated with a long clinical history and histological grade II, suggesting that reshaping of brain networks occurred. Although a consistent amount of apparently MRI-normal brain was removed with this approach, the procedure was safe and did not carry additional risk to the patient, as demonstrated by detailed neuropsychological evaluation and QOL examination. This approach also improved seizure control.

CONCLUSIONS

Supratotal resection is feasible and safe in routine clinical practice. These results show that a long clinical history may be the main factor associated with its achievement.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Jean Régis, Elena Najdenovska, Tatiana Witjas, Nadine Girard, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Meritxell Bach Cuadra, Marc Levivier and Dimitri Van De Ville

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Eveline Teresa Hidalgo, Svetlana Kvint, Cordelia Orillac, Emily North, Yosef Dastagirzada, Jamie Chiapei Chang, Gifty Addae, Tara S. Jennings, Matija Snuderl and Jeffrey H. Wisoff

OBJECTIVE

The choice of treatment modality for optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) is controversial. Chemotherapy is widely regarded as first-line therapy; however, subtotal resections have been reported for decompression or salvage therapy as first- and second-line treatment. The goal of this study was to further investigate the role and efficacy of resection for OPGs.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on 83 children who underwent surgical treatment for OPGs between 1986 and 2014. Pathology was reviewed by a neuropathologist. Clinical outcomes, including progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and complications, were analyzed.

RESULTS

The 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 55% and 46%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year OS rates were 87% and 78%, respectively. The median extent of resection was 80% (range 30%–98%). Age less than 2 years at surgery and pilomyxoid features of the tumor were found to be associated with significantly lower 5-year OS. No difference was seen in PFS or OS of children treated with surgery as a first-line treatment compared with children with surgery as a second- or third-line treatment. Severe complications included new disabling visual deficit in 5%, focal neurological deficit in 8%, and infection in 2%. New hormone deficiency occurred in 22% of the children.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately half of all children experience a long-term benefit from resection both as primary treatment and as a second-line therapy after failure of primary treatment. Primary surgery does not appear to have a significant benefit for children younger than 2 years or tumors with pilomyxoid features. Given the risks associated with surgery, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to tailor the treatment plan to the individual characteristics of each child.

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Randall F. Dryer, John H. Peloza, Francine W. Schranck and Anne G. Copay

OBJECTIVE

Despite evidence of its safety and effectiveness, the use of lumbar disc arthroplasty has been slow to expand due in part to concerns about late complications and the risks of revision surgery associated with early devices. More recently, FDA approval of newer devices and improving reimbursements have reversed this trend in the United States. Additional long-term data on lumbar disc arthroplasty are still needed. This study reports the 5-year results of the FDA investigational device exemption clinical trial of the Medtronic Spinal and Biologics’ Maverick total disc replacement.

METHODS

Patients with single-level degenerative disc disease from L4 to S1 were randomized 2:1 at 31 investigational sites. In the period from April 2003 to August 2004, 405 patients received the investigational device and 172 patients underwent the control procedure of anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Outcome measures included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), numeric rating scales (NRSs) for back and leg pain, the SF-36, disc height, interbody motion, heterotopic ossification (investigational device), adverse events (AEs), additional surgeries, and neurological status. Treatment was considered an overall success when all of the following criteria were met: 1) ODI score improvement ≥ 15 points over the preoperative score; 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status compared with preoperatively; 3) disc height success, that is, no more than a 2-mm reduction in anterior or posterior height; 4) no serious AEs caused by the implant or by the implant and the surgical procedure; and 5) no additional surgery classified as a failure.

RESULTS

Compared to that in the control group, improvement in the investigational group was statistically greater according to the ODI and SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) at 1, 2, and 5 years; the NRS for back pain at 1 and 2 years; and the NRS for leg pain at 1 year. The rates of heterotopic ossification increased over time: 1.0% (4/382) at 1 year, 2.6% (9/345) at 2 years, and 5.9% (11/187) at 5 years. Investigational patients had fewer device-related AEs and serious device-related AEs than the control patients at both 2 and 5 years postoperatively. Noninferiority of the composite measure overall success was demonstrated at all follow-up intervals; superiority was demonstrated at 1 and 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Lumbar disc arthroplasty is a safe and effective treatment for single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease, resulting in improved physical function and reduced pain up to 5 years after surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00635843 (clinicaltrials.gov)