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Qinghua Zhao, Benlong Shi, Xu Sun, Zhen Liu, Hao Su, Yang Li, Zezhang Zhu and Yong Qiu

OBJECTIVE

Intraspinal anomalies associated with congenital scoliosis (CS) complicate the decision-making process for spinal correction surgery in CS patients. Recently, deformity correction surgery without prior prophylactic neurological intervention has been recognized to be safe in CS patients with intact or stable neurological status. However, no case-control study has identified the surgical outcomes and risks of spinal correction surgery in this patient population. The authors sought to investigate the safety and efficacy of spinal correction surgery for CS associated with untreated intraspinal anomalies (split cord malformation [SCM], tethered cord, and/or syringomyelia) with intact or stable neurological status.

METHODS

A group of CS patients with intraspinal anomalies (CS+IA) and another group of CS patients without intraspinal anomalies (CS-IA) undergoing 1-stage posterior correction surgery were retrospectively reviewed. The radiographic and clinical outcomes and postoperative complications were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

There were 57 patients in the CS+IA group and 184 patients in the CS-IA group. No significant difference was observed in age, sex, spinal curve pattern, main Cobb angle, and flexibility of the main curve between the 2 groups (p > 0.05 for all). The postoperative correction rates of the major curve were comparable between the 2 groups (53.5% vs 55.7% for the CS+IA and CS-IA groups, respectively, p > 0.05). No significant difference was observed in the incidence of either implant-related or neurological complications between 2 groups. No patients in the CS+IA group developed neurological complications, whereas 1 patient in the CS-IA group experienced transient weakness of the left lower extremity after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Coexisting intraspinal anomalies (SCM, tethered cord, and/or syringomyelia) in CS patients with normal or stable neurological status do not significantly increase the risk of neurological complications of correction surgery. Prophylactic neurosurgical intervention for intraspinal anomalies before correction surgery might be unnecessary for these patients.

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Eun Young Han, He Wang, Dershan Luo, Jing Li and Xin Wang

OBJECTIVE

For patients with multiple large brain metastases with at least 1 target volume larger than 10 cm3, multifractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (MF-SRS) has commonly been delivered with a linear accelerator (LINAC). Recent advances of Gamma Knife (GK) units with kilovolt cone-beam CT and CyberKnife (CK) units with multileaf collimators also make them attractive choices. The purpose of this study was to compare the dosimetry of MF-SRS plans deliverable on GK, CK, and LINAC and to discuss related clinical issues.

METHODS

Ten patients with 2 or more large brain metastases who had been treated with MF-SRS on LINAC were identified. The median planning target volume was 18.31 cm3 (mean 21.31 cm3, range 3.42–49.97 cm3), and the median prescribed dose was 27.0 Gy (mean 26.7 Gy, range 21–30 Gy), administered in 3 to 5 fractions. Clinical LINAC treatment plans were generated using inverse planning with intensity modulation on a Pinnacle treatment planning system (version 9.10) for the Varian TrueBeam STx system. GK and CK planning were retrospectively performed using Leksell GammaPlan version 10.1 and Accuray Precision version 1.1.0.0 for the CK M6 system. Tumor coverage, Paddick conformity index (CI), gradient index (GI), and normal brain tissue receiving 4, 12, and 20 Gy were used to compare plan quality. Net beam-on time and approximate planning time were also collected for all cases.

RESULTS

Plans from all 3 modalities satisfied clinical requirements in target coverage and normal tissue sparing. The mean CI was comparable (0.79, 0.78, and 0.76) for the GK, CK, and LINAC plans. The mean GI was 3.1 for both the GK and the CK plans, whereas the mean GI of the LINAC plans was 4.1. The lower GI of the GK and CK plans would have resulted in significantly lower normal brain volumes receiving a medium or high dose. On average, GK and CK plans spared the normal brain volume receiving at least 12 Gy and 20 Gy by approximately 20% in comparison with the LINAC plans. However, the mean beam-on time of GK (∼ 64 minutes assuming a dose rate of 2.5 Gy/minute) plans was significantly longer than that of CK (∼ 31 minutes) or LINAC (∼ 4 minutes) plans.

CONCLUSIONS

All 3 modalities are capable of treating multiple large brain lesions with MF-SRS. GK has the most flexible workflow and excellent dosimetry, but could be limited by the treatment time. CK has dosimetry comparable to that of GK with a consistent treatment time of approximately 30 minutes. LINAC has a much shorter treatment time, but residual rotational error could be a concern.

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Sahin Hanalioglu, Balkan Sahin, Omer Selcuk Sahin, Abdulbaki Kozan, Melih Ucer, Ulas Cikla, Steven L. Goodman and Mustafa K. Baskaya

OBJECTIVE

In daily practice, neurosurgeons face increasing numbers of patients using aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA). While many of these patients discontinue ASA 7–10 days prior to elective intracranial surgery, there are limited data to support whether or not perioperative ASA use heightens the risk of hemorrhagic complications. In this study the authors retrospectively evaluated the safety of perioperative ASA use in patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors in the largest elective cranial surgery cohort reported to date.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 1291 patients who underwent elective intracranial tumor surgery by a single surgeon from 2007 to 2017. The patients were divided into three groups based on their perioperative ASA status: 1) group 1, no ASA; 2) group 2, stopped ASA (low cardiovascular risk); and 3) group 3, continued ASA (high cardiovascular risk). Data collected included demographic information, perioperative ASA status, tumor characteristics, extent of resection (EOR), operative blood loss, any hemorrhagic and thromboembolic complications, and any other complications.

RESULTS

A total of 1291 patients underwent 1346 operations. The no-ASA group included 1068 patients (1112 operations), the stopped-ASA group had 104 patients (108 operations), and the continued-ASA group had 119 patients (126 operations). The no-ASA patients were significantly younger (mean age 53.3 years) than those in the stopped- and continued-ASA groups (mean 64.8 and 64.0 years, respectively; p < 0.001). Sex distribution was similar across all groups (p = 0.272). Tumor locations and pathologies were also similar across the groups, except for deep tumors and schwannomas that were relatively less frequent in the continued-ASA group. There were no differences in the EOR between groups. Operative blood loss was not significantly different between the stopped- (186 ml) and continued- (220 ml) ASA groups (p = 0.183). Most importantly, neither hemorrhagic (0.6%, 0.9%, and 0.8%, respectively; p = 0.921) nor thromboembolic (1.3%, 1.9%, and 0.8%; p = 0.779) complication rates were significantly different between the groups, respectively. In addition, the multivariate model revealed no statistically significant predictor of hemorrhagic complications, whereas male sex (odds ratio [OR] 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7–20.5, p = 0.005) and deep-extraaxial-benign (“skull base”) tumors (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.3–9.7, p = 0.011) were found to be independent predictors of thromboembolic complications.

CONCLUSIONS

In this cohort, perioperative ASA use was not associated with the increased rate of hemorrhagic complications following intracranial tumor surgery. In patients at high cardiovascular risk, ASA can safely be continued during elective brain tumor surgery to prevent potential life-threatening thromboembolic complications. Randomized clinical trials with larger sample sizes are warranted to achieve a greater statistical power.

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William P. Nobis, Karina A. González Otárula, Jessica W. Templer, Elizabeth E. Gerard, Stephen VanHaerents, Gregory Lane, Guangyu Zhou, Joshua M. Rosenow, Christina Zelano and Stephan Schuele

OBJECTIVE

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause of death for patients with refractory epilepsy, and there is increasing evidence for a centrally mediated respiratory depression as a pathophysiological mechanism. The brain regions responsible for a seizure’s inducing respiratory depression are unclear—the respiratory nuclei in the brainstem are thought to be involved, but involvement of forebrain structures is not yet understood. The aim of this study was to analyze intracranial EEGs in combination with the results of respiratory monitoring to investigate the relationship between seizure spread to specific mesial temporal brain regions and the onset of respiratory dysfunction and apnea.

METHODS

The authors reviewed all invasive electroencephalographic studies performed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago) since 2010 to identify those cases in which 1) multiple mesial temporal electrodes (amygdala and hippocampal) were placed, 2) seizures were captured, and 3) patients’ respiration was monitored. They identified 8 investigations meeting these criteria in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, and these investigations yielded data on a total of 22 seizures for analysis.

RESULTS

The onset of ictal apnea associated with each seizure was highly correlated with seizure spread to the amygdala. Onset of apnea occurred 2.7 ± 0.4 (mean ± SEM) seconds after the spread of the seizure to the amygdala, which was significantly earlier than after spread to the hippocampus (10.2 ± 0.7 seconds; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The findings suggest that activation of amygdalar networks is correlated with central apnea during seizures. This study builds on the authors’ prior work that demonstrates a role for the amygdala in voluntary respiratory control and suggests a further role in dysfunctional breathing states seen during seizures, with implications for SUDEP pathophysiology.

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Samuel Romano-Feinholz, Víctor Alcocer-Barradas, Alejandra Benítez-Gasca, Ernesto Martínez-de la Maza, Cristopher Valencia-Ramos and Juan Luis Gómez-Amador

OBJECTIVE

The authors conducted a pilot study on hybrid fluorescein-guided surgery for pituitary adenoma resection and herein describe the feasibility and safety of this technique.

METHODS

In this pilot study, the authors included all consecutive patients presenting with pituitary adenomas, functioning and nonfunctioning. They performed a hybrid fluorescein-guided surgical technique for tumor resection. An endonasal endoscopic approach was used; after exposure of the rostrum of the sphenoid sinus, they administered a bolus of 8 mg/kg of fluorescein sodium (FNa) intravenously, and during resection, they alternated between endoscopic and microscopic techniques to guide the resection under a YELLOW 560 filter.

RESULTS

The study included 15 patients, 7 men (47%) and 8 women (53%). Of the pituitary adenomas, 7 (46%) were nonfunctioning, 6 (40%) were GH secreting, 1 (7%) was prolactin secreting, and 1 (7%) was ACTH secreting. There were no FNa-related complications (anaphylactic reactions); yellowish staining of urine, skin, and mucosa was seen in all patients and resolved in a maximum time of 24 hours. After color spectrophotometric analysis, the authors identified a statistical difference in fluorescence among tumor, gland, and scar tissue (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first study of its kind to describe the feasibility and safety of using FNa to guide the resection of pituitary adenomas. The authors found this technique to be safe and feasible. It may be used to obtain better surgical results, especially for hormone-producing and recurring tumors, as well as for reducing the learning curve in pituitary adenoma surgery.

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Valeria Guglielmi and Daniel M. Mandell

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Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Stephen T. Magill, Adam J. Yen, Maryam N. Shahin, David S. Lee, Calixto-Hope G. Lucas, William C. Chen, Jennifer A. Viner, Manish K. Aghi, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, David R. Raleigh, Javier E. Villanueva-Meyer and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Extracranial meningioma metastases are uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of patients diagnosed with meningioma. Due to the rarity of meningioma metastases, patients are not routinely screened for distant disease. In this series, we report their experience with meningioma metastases and results of screening for metastases in select patients with recurrent meningiomas.

METHODS

All patients undergoing resection or stereotactic radiosurgery for primary or recurrent meningioma from 2009 to 2017 at a single center were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients who were diagnosed with or underwent imaging to evaluate for systemic metastases. Imaging to evaluate for metastases was performed with CT scanning of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis or whole-body PET/CT using either FDG or 68Ga-DOTA-octreotate (DOTATATE) tracers in 28 patients. Indications for imaging were symptomatic lesions concerning for metastasis or asymptomatic screening in patients with greater than 2 recurrences being evaluated for additional treatment.

RESULTS

Of 1193 patients treated for meningioma, 922 (77.3%) patients had confirmed or presumed WHO grade I tumors, 236 (19.8%) had grade II tumors, and 35 (2.9%) had grade III tumors. Mean follow-up was 4.3 years. A total of 207 patients experienced recurrences (17.4%), with a mean of 1.8 recurrences. Imaging for metastases was performed in 28 patients; 1 metastasis was grade I (3.6%), 16 were grade II (57.1%), and 11 were grade III (39.3%). Five patients (17.9%) underwent imaging because of symptomatic lesions. Of the 28 patients screened, 27 patients had prior recurrent meningioma (96.4%), with a median of 3 recurrences. On imaging, 10 patients had extracranial lesions suspicious for metastasis (35.7%). At biopsy, 8 were meningioma metastases, 1 was a nonmeningioma malignancy, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up prior to biopsy. Biopsy-confirmed metastases occurred in the liver (5), lung (3), mediastinum (1), and bone (1). The observed incidence of metastases was 0.67% (n = 8). Incidence increased to 2% of WHO grade II and 8.6% of grade III meningiomas. Using the proposed indications for screening, the number needed to screen to identify one patient with biopsy-confirmed malignancy was 3.83.

CONCLUSIONS

Systemic imaging of patients with multiply recurrent meningioma or symptoms concerning for metastasis may identify extracranial metastases in a significant proportion of patients and can inform decision making for additional treatments.

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Mohammed Adeeb Sebai, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Jang Won Yoon, Robert J. Spinner and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spinal peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) are a group of rare tumors originating from the nerve and its supporting structures. Standard surgical management typically entails laminectomy with or without facetectomy to gain adequate tumor exposure. Arthrodesis is occasionally performed to maintain spinal stability and mitigate the risk of postoperative deformity, pain, or neurological deficit. However, the factors associated with the need for instrumentation in addition to PNST resection in the same setting remain unclear.

METHODS

An institutional tumor registry at a tertiary care center was queried for patients treated surgically for a primary diagnosis of spinal PNST between 2002 and 2016. An analysis focused on patients in whom a facetectomy was performed during the resection. The addition of arthrodesis at the index procedure comprised the primary outcome. The authors also recorded baseline demographics, tumor characteristics, and surgery-related variables. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with increased risk of fusion surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 163 patients were identified, of which 56 (32 had facetectomy with fusion, 24 had facetectomy alone) were analyzed. The median age was 48 years, and 50% of the cohort was female. Age, sex, and race, as well as tumor histology and size, were evenly distributed between patients who received facetectomy alone and those who had facetectomy and fusion. On univariate analysis, total versus subtotal facetectomy (OR 9.0, 95% CI 2.01–64.2; p = 0.009) and cervicothoracic versus other spinal region (OR 9.0, 95% CI 1.51–172.9; p = 0.048) were significantly associated with increased odds of performing immediate fusion. On multivariable analysis, only the effect of total facetectomy remained statistically significant (OR 6.75, 95% CI 1.47–48.8; p = 0.025).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that total facetectomy and cervicothoracic involvement may be highly associated with the need for concomitant arthrodesis at the time of index surgery. These findings may help surgeons to determine the best surgical planning for patients with PNST.

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Xin Wang, Zhiqi Mao, Zhiqiang Cui, Xin Xu, Longsheng Pan, Shuli Liang, Zhipei Ling and Xinguang Yu

OBJECTIVE

Primary Meige syndrome is characterized by blepharospasm and orofacial–cervical dystonia. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is recognized as an effective therapy for patients with this condition, but previous studies have focused on clinical effects. This study explored the predictors of clinical outcome in patients with Meige syndrome who underwent DBS.

METHODS

Twenty patients who underwent DBS targeting the bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus internus (GPi) at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital from August 2013 to February 2018 were enrolled in the study. Their clinical outcomes were evaluated using the Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale at baseline and at the follow-up visits; patients were accordingly divided into a good-outcome group and a poor-outcome group. Putative influential factors, such as age and course of disease, were examined separately, and the factors that reached statistical significance were subjected to logistic regression analysis to identify predictors of clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

Four factors showed significant differences between the good- and poor-outcome groups: 1) the DBS target (STN vs GPi); 2) whether symptoms first appeared at multiple sites or at a single site; 3) the sub-item scores of the mouth at baseline; and 4) the follow-up period (p < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that initial involvement of multiple sites and the mouth score were the only significant predictors of clinical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The severity of the disease in the initial stage and presurgical period was the only independent predictive factor of the clinical outcomes of DBS for the treatment of patients with Meige syndrome.