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Michael M. H. Yang, Walter Hader, Kelly Bullivant, Mary Brindle and Jay Riva-Cambrin

OBJECTIVE

The shunt protocol developed by the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) was shown to significantly reduce shunt infections in children. However, its effectiveness had not been validated in a non-HCRN, small- to medium-volume pediatric neurosurgery center. The present study evaluated whether the 9-step Calgary Shunt Protocol, closely adapted from the HCRN shunt protocol, reduced shunt infections in children.

METHODS

The Calgary Shunt Protocol was prospectively applied at Alberta Children’s Hospital from May 23, 2013, to all children undergoing any shunt procedure. The control cohort consisted of children undergoing shunt surgery between January 1, 2009, and the implementation of the Calgary Shunt Protocol. The primary outcome was the strict HCRN definition of shunt infection. Univariate analyses of the protocol, individual elements within, and known confounders were performed using Student t-test for measured variables and chi-square tests for categorical variables. Multivariable logistic regression was performed using stepwise analysis.

RESULTS

Two-hundred sixty-eight shunt procedures were performed. The median age of patients was 14 months (IQR 3–61), and 148 (55.2%) were male. There was a significant absolute risk reduction of 10.0% (95% CI 3.9%–15.9%) in shunt infections (12.7% vs 2.7%, p = 0.004) after implementation of the Calgary Shunt Protocol. In univariate analyses, chlorhexidine was associated with fewer shunt infections than iodine-based skin preparation solution (4.1% vs 12.3%, p = 0.02). Waiting ≥ 20 minutes between receiving preoperative antibiotics and skin incision was also associated with a reduction in shunt infection (4.5% vs 14.2%, p = 0.007). In the multivariable analysis, only the overall protocol independently reduced shunt infections (OR 0.19 [95% CI 0.06–0.67], p = 0.009), while age, etiology, procedure type, ventricular catheter type, skin preparation solution, and time from preoperative antibiotics to skin incision were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS

This study externally validates the published HCRN protocol for reducing shunt infection in an independent, non-HCRN, and small- to medium-volume pediatric neurosurgery setting. Implementation of the Calgary Shunt Protocol independently reduced shunt infection risk. Chlorhexidine skin preparation and waiting ≥ 20 minutes between administration of preoperative antibiotic and skin incision may have contributed to the protocol’s quality improvement success.

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Christian Lopez Ramos, Robert C. Rennert, Michael G. Brandel, Peter Abraham, Brian R. Hirshman, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, David R. Santiago-Dieppa, Arvin R. Wali, Kevin Porras, Yazeed Almosa, Jeffrey S. Pannell and Alexander A. Khalessi

OBJECTIVE

Safety-net hospitals deliver care to a substantial share of vulnerable patient populations and are disproportionately impacted by hospital payment reform policies. Complex elective procedures performed at safety-net facilities are associated with worse outcomes and higher costs. The effects of hospital safety-net burden on highly specialized, emergent, and resource-intensive conditions are poorly understood. The authors examined the effects of hospital safety-net burden on outcomes and costs after emergent neurosurgical intervention for ruptured cerebral aneurysms.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2002 to 2011. Patients ≥ 18 years old who underwent emergent surgical clipping and endovascular coiling for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) were included. Safety-net burden was defined as the proportion of Medicaid and uninsured patients treated at each hospital included in the NIS database. Hospitals that performed clipping and coiling were stratified as low-burden (LBH), medium-burden (MBH), and high-burden (HBH) hospitals.

RESULTS

A total of 34,647 patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms underwent clipping and 23,687 underwent coiling. Compared to LBHs, HBHs were more likely to treat black, Hispanic, Medicaid, and uninsured patients (p < 0.001). HBHs were also more likely to be associated with teaching hospitals (p < 0.001). No significant differences were observed among the burden groups in the severity of subarachnoid hemorrhage. After adjusting for patient demographics and hospital characteristics, treatment at an HBH did not predict in-hospital mortality, poor outcome, length of stay, costs, or likelihood of a hospital-acquired condition.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite their financial burden, safety-net hospitals provide equitable care after surgical clipping and endovascular coiling for ruptured cerebral aneurysms and do not incur higher hospital costs. Safety-net hospitals may have the capacity to provide equitable surgical care for highly specialized emergent neurosurgical conditions.

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Francesco Puccinelli, Minh Ngoc Thien Kim Tran Dong, Marta Iacobucci, Jean-Xavier Mazoit, Philippe Durand, Pierre Tissieres and Guillaume Saliou

OBJECTIVE

Endovascular treatment in children, especially neonates, can be more challenging than analogous procedures in adults. This study aimed to describe the clinical and radiological findings, type and timing of endovascular treatment, and early outcomes in children who present with neurovascular malformations, who are treated with embolization, and who weigh less than 5 kg.

METHODS

The authors carried out a retrospective review of all consecutively treated children weighing less than 5 kg with neurovascular arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) at a single institution over a 10-year period.

RESULTS

Fifty-two patients were included in the study. Thirty-eight had a vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation, 3 a pial AVM, 6 a pial arteriovenous fistula, and 5 a dural sinus malformation. The endovascular treatment goals were control of cardiac failure or hydrocephalus in cases of nonhemorrhagic malformations or to prevent new bleeding in cases of previous hemorrhage. A hemorrhagic complication occurred in 12 procedures and an ischemic complication in 2. Both complication types were correlated with the age of the infant (age cutoff at 3 months) (p = of 0.015 and 0.049, respectively). No correlation was found with the weight of the infant or the duration of the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS

The embolization of AVMs in these patients prevented adverse cardiac effects, hydrovenous disorders, and rebleeding. The risk of major cerebral complications seems mainly correlated with age, with a threshold at 3 months. A multidisciplinary team involved in the treatment of these children may help to improve treatment success and management.

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Hugo Andrade-Barazarte, Krunal Patel, Mazda K. Turel, Francesco Doglietto, Anne Agur, Fred Gentili, Rachel Tymianski, Vitor Mendes Pereira, Michael Tymianski and Ivan Radovanovic

OBJECTIVE

The evolution of microsurgical and endoscopic techniques has allowed the development of less invasive transcranial approaches. The authors describe a purely endoscopic transpterional port craniotomy to access lesions involving the cavernous sinus and the anterolateral skull base.

METHODS

Through single- or dual-port incisions and with direct endoscopic visualization, the authors performed an endoscopic transpterional port approach (ETPA) using a 4-mm straight endoscope in 8 sides of 4 formalin-fixed cadaveric heads injected with colored latex. A main working port incision is made just below the superior temporal line and behind the hairline. An optional 0.5- to 1-cm second skin port incision is made on the lateral supraorbital region, allowing multiangle endoscopic visualization and maneuverability. A 1.5- to 2-cm craniotomy centered over the pterion is done through the main port, which allows an extradural exposure of the cavernous sinus region and extra/intradural exposure of the frontal and temporal cranial fossae. The authors present a pilot surgical series of 17 ETPA procedures and analyze the surgical indications and clinical outcomes retrospectively.

RESULTS

The initial stage of this work on cadavers provided familiarity with the technique, standardized its steps, and showed its anatomical limits. The clinical ETPA was applied to gain access into the cavernous sinus, as well as for aneurysm clipping and meningioma resection. Overall, perioperative complications occurred in 1 patient (6%), there was no mortality, and at last follow-up all patients had a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1.

CONCLUSIONS

The ETPA provides a less invasive, focused, and direct route to the cavernous sinus, and to the frontal and temporal cranial fossae, and it is feasible in clinical practice for selected indications with good results.

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Michael Ragheb, Ashish H. Shah, Sarah Jernigan, Tulay Koru-Sengul and John Ragheb

OBJECTIVE

Hydrocephalus is recognized as a common disabling pediatric disease afflicting infants and children disproportionately in the developing world, where access to neurosurgical care is limited and risk of perinatal infection is high. This surgical case series describes the Project Medishare Hydrocephalus Specialty Surgery (PMHSS) program experience treating hydrocephalus in Haiti between 2008 and 2015.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of all cases involving children treated for hydrocephalus within the PMHSS program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 2008 through 2015. All relevant epidemiological information of children treated were prospectively collected including relevant demographics, birth history, hydrocephalus etiology, head circumference, and operative notes. All appropriate associations and statistical tests were performed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS

Among the 401 children treated within PMHSS, postinfectious hydrocephalus (PIH) accounted for 39.4% (n = 158) of cases based on clinical, radiographic, and endoscopic findings. The majority of children with hydrocephalus in Haiti were male (54.8%, n = 197), born in the rainy season (59.7%, n = 233), and born in a coastal/inland location (43.3%, n = 61). The most common surgical intervention was endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC) (45.7%, n = 175). Multivariate logistic regression analysis yielded coastal birth location (OR 3.76, 95% CI 1.16–12.18) as a statistically significant predictor of PIH. Increasing head circumference (adjusted OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.99–1.13) demonstrated a slight trend toward significance with the incidence of PIH.

CONCLUSIONS

This information will provide the foundation for future clinical and public health studies to better understand hydrocephalus in Haiti. The 39.4% prevalence of PIH falls within observed rates in Africa as does the apparently higher prevalence for those born during the rainy season. Although PIH was the most frequent etiology seen in almost all birth locations, the potential relationship with geography noted in this series will be the focus of further research in an effort to understand the link between climate and PIH in Haiti. The ultimate goal will be to develop an appropriate public health strategy to reduce the burden of PIH on the children of Haiti.

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Michael P. Kelly, Michael A. Kallen, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, Douglas C. Burton, Christopher P. Ames, Virginie Lafage, Frank J. Schwab, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Shay Bess and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

After using PROsetta Stone crosswalk tables to calculate Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function (PF) and Pain Interference (PI) scores, the authors sought to examine 1) correlations with Scoliosis Research Society–22r (SRS-22r) scores, 2) responsiveness to change, and 3) the relationship between baseline scores and 2-year follow-up scores in adult spinal deformity (ASD).

METHODS

PROsetta Stone crosswalk tables were used to converted SF-36 scores to PROMIS scores for pain and physical function in a cohort of ASD patients with 2-year follow-up. Spearman correlations were used to evaluate the relationship of PROMIS scores with SRS-22r scores. Effect size (ES) and adjusted standardized response mean (aSRM) were used to assess responsiveness to change. Linear regression was used to evaluate the association between baseline scores and 2-year follow-up scores.

RESULTS

In total, 425 (425/625, 68%) patients met inclusion criteria. Strong correlations (all |r| > 0.7, p < 0.001) were found between baseline and 2-year PROMIS values and corresponding SRS-22r domain scores. PROMIS-PI showed a large ES (1.09) and aSRM (0.88), indicating good responsiveness to change. PROMIS-PF showed a moderate ES (0.52) and moderate aSRM (0.69), indicating a moderate responsiveness to change. Patients with greater baseline pain complaints were associated with greater pain improvement at 2 years for both SRS-22r Pain (B = 0.39, p < 0.001) and PROMIS-PI (B = 0.45, p < 0.001). Higher functional scores at baseline were associated with greater average improvements in both SRS-22r Activity (B = 0.62, p < 0.001) and PROMIS-PF (B = 0.40, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found strong correlations between the SRS-22r Pain and Activity domains with corresponding PROMIS-PI and -PF scores. Pain measurements showed similar and strong ES and aSRM while the function measurements showed similar, moderate ES and aSRM at 2-year follow-up. These data support further exploration of the use of PROMIS–computer adaptive test instruments in ASD.

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Robert Lynagh, Mark Ishak, Joseph Georges, Danielle Lopez, Hany Osman, Michael Kakareka, Brandon Boyer, H. Warren Goldman, Jennifer Eschbacher, Mark C. Preul, Peter Nakaji, Alan Turtz, Steven Yocom and Denah Appelt

OBJECTIVE

Accurate histopathological diagnoses are often necessary for treating neuro-oncology patients. However, stereotactic biopsy (STB), a common method for obtaining suspicious tissue from deep or eloquent brain regions, fails to yield diagnostic tissue in some cases. Failure to obtain diagnostic tissue can delay initiation of treatment and may result in further invasive procedures for patients. In this study, the authors sought to determine if the coupling of in vivo optical imaging with an STB system is an effective method for identification of diagnostic tissue at the time of biopsy.

METHODS

A minimally invasive fiber optic imaging system was developed by coupling a 0.65-mm-diameter coherent fiber optic fluorescence microendoscope to an STB system. Human U251 glioma cells were transduced for stable expression of blue fluorescent protein (BFP) to produce U251-BFP cells that were utilized for in vitro and in vivo experiments. In vitro, blue fluorescence was confirmed, and tumor cell delineation by fluorescein sodium (FNa) was quantified with fluorescence microscopy. In vivo, transgenic athymic rats implanted with U251-BFP cells (n = 4) were utilized for experiments. Five weeks postimplantation, the rats received 5–10 mg/kg intravenous FNa and underwent craniotomies overlying the tumor implantation site and contralateral normal brain. A clinical STB needle containing our 0.65-mm imaging fiber was passed through each craniotomy and images were collected. Fluorescence images from regions of interest ipsilateral and contralateral to tumor implantation were obtained and quantified.

RESULTS

Live-cell fluorescence imaging confirmed blue fluorescence from transduced tumor cells and revealed a strong correlation between tumor cells quantified by blue fluorescence and FNa contrast (R2 = 0.91, p < 0.001). Normalized to background, in vivo FNa-mediated fluorescence intensity was significantly greater from tumor regions, verified by blue fluorescence, compared to contralateral brain in all animals (301.7 ± 34.18 relative fluorescence units, p < 0.001). Fluorescence intensity measured from the tumor margin was not significantly greater than that from normal brain (p = 0.89). Biopsies obtained from regions of strong fluorescein contrast were histologically consistent with tumor.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that in vivo fluorescence imaging with an STB needle containing a submillimeter-diameter fiber optic fluorescence microendoscope provided direct visualization of neoplastic tissue in an animal brain tumor model prior to biopsy. These results were confirmed in vivo with positive control cells and by post hoc histological assessment. In vivo fluorescence guidance may improve the diagnostic yield of stereotactic biopsies.

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Alexander Spiessberger, Deborah R. Vogt, Javier Fandino and Serge Marbacher

OBJECTIVE

Incidence rates of de novo aneurysm formation and recurrence after clip ligation remain controversial. In this meta-analysis, the authors provide data on pooled annual incidence rates and the association of patient characteristics with time to formation of de novo aneurysms and time to recurrence after clipping.

METHODS

A search of the literature up to June 15, 2016, on PubMed and a systematic review were performed. The association of age, aneurysm rupture status, aneurysm multiplicity, and anatomical location with time to recurrence or formation of de novo aneurysm was estimated using multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models. Kaplan-Meier estimates (event-free survival curves) are shown. Pooled annualized incidence rates of recurrent and de novo aneurysms were estimated using Poisson regression. Proportions of aneurysms and average follow-up times are displayed as bubble plots with LOESS smoothers weighted for study size.

RESULTS

Of the 7606 articles screened, 92 were included in the study. Case reports on 101 patients with recurrent aneurysms and 132 patients with de novo aneurysms were analyzed. Long-term follow-up studies on de novo aneurysm formation included 13,723 patients with 101,378 patient-years of follow-up; studies on aneurysm recurrence included 5922 patients with 31,055 patient-years of follow-up. Mean time to recurrence was 12.9 ± 6.6 years (mean ± standard deviation), and mean time to de novo formation was 9.3 ± 6.1 years. No association with sex, aneurysm location, and initial rupture could be shown. De novo aneurysms occurred later in patients with multiplicity of aneurysms at diagnosis (HR 0.63, p = 0.03) and in patients with increasing age (HR per 10 yrs 0.88, p = 0.06). Pooled annualized incidence rates were 0.35% for de novo aneurysms and 0.13% for recurrent aneurysms.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite low reported annual incidence rates, the cumulative risk of 9.6%–22% for aneurysm recurrence or de novo formation 20 years after clip ligation warrants lifelong follow-up. Screening at 5, 10, and 20 years would detect 30.8% (95% CI 23.3%–37.6%), 64.2% (95% CI 55.9%–70.9%), and 95.9% (95% CI 90.9%–97.9%) of de novo aneurysms. Screening for recurrent aneurysms at 10, 15, and 20 years would detect 36.6% (95% CI 26.5%–45.4%), 65.3% (95% CI 54.7%–73.5%), and 95.1% (95% CI 85.8%–96.6%) of lesions.