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Thomas J. Sorenson, Lucio De Maria, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Giuseppe Lanzino

Craniocervical junction dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare vascular lesions with a potentially dangerous natural history due to the onset of neurological deficit secondary to intracranial hemorrhage or myelopathy due to venous congestion. Despite advances in endovascular techniques, many dAVFs located in this area continue to require surgical treatment as embolization is often not feasible or safe. In this video, the authors illustrate a patient with a symptomatic craniocervical junction dAVF who had undergone attempted Onyx embolization at another institution. Because of persistent filling of the fistula and worsening myelopathy after the previous attempt, the patient was referred to the authors’ clinic for definitive surgical treatment. The video illustrates the typical location of the early draining vein in most craniocervical junction dAVFs immediately below the emergence of the vertebral artery from the dura. The patient underwent successful definitive clip ligation of the fistula, which was exposed through a lateral suboccipital craniotomy.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/Bvg6VKLgwO0.

Free access

Visish M. Srinivasan, Anish N. Sen and Peter Kan

The authors present a case of a patient with a Barrow Type B carotid-cavernous fistula (CCF) who presented with severe symptoms of eye redness, diplopia, and proptosis. Due to the tortuosity and size of her angular vein and the lack of good flow/access via the inferior petrosal sinus, she was treated with a transvenous approach via a large, dilated superior ophthalmic vein for coil embolization of the CCF. The patient had a full angiographic and symptomatic cure. The authors present the treatment plan and strategy and the fluoroscopic recording of the treatment. Nuances of the technique are discussed.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ABkGm17-cBU.

Free access

André Beer-Furlan, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Krishna C. Joshi and Michael Chen

Tentorial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are uncommon, complex fistulas located between the leaves of the tentorium cerebelli with a specific anatomic and clinical presentation characterized by high hemorrhagic risk. They have an extensive arterial supply and complex venous drainages, making them difficult to treat. There is recent literature favoring treatment through an endovascular transarterial route. The authors present an uncommon tentorial/ambient cistern region DAVF with feeders arising from the external and internal carotid arteries. The patient underwent a combined transarterial and transvenous approach with successful obliteration of the DAVF. The authors discuss the management challenges faced in this case.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/VXDD8zUvsSQ.

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Mirriam Mikhail, Oliver G. S. Ayling, Matthew E. Eagles, George M. Ibrahim and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Higher mortality has been reported with weekend or after-hours patient admission across a wide range of surgical and medical specialties, a phenomenon termed the “weekend effect.” The authors evaluated whether weekend admission contributed to death and long-term neurological outcome in patients following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

METHODS

A post hoc analysis of the Clazosentan to Overcome Neurological Ischemia and Infarction Occurring After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (CONSCIOUS-1) study was conducted. Univariable and stepwise multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the associations between weekend admission and mortality and long-term neurological outcome.

RESULTS

Of 413 subjects included in the CONSCIOUS-1 study, 140 patients had been admitted during the weekend. A significant interaction was identified between weekend admission and neurological grade on presentation, suggesting that the outcomes of patients who had initially presented with a poor grade were disproportionately influenced by the weekend admission. On stepwise multivariable logistic regression in the subgroup of patients who had presented with a poor neurological grade (29 of 100 patients), admission on the weekend was found to be independently associated with death (OR 6.59, 95% CI 1.62–26.88, p = 0.009). Weekend admission was not associated with long-term neurological outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Weekend admission was an independent risk factor for death within 12 weeks following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in patients presenting with a poor neurological grade. Further work is required to identify and mitigate any mediating factors.

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Camilo A. Molina, Nicholas Theodore, A. Karim Ahmed, Erick M. Westbroek, Yigal Mirovsky, Ran Harel, Emanuele Orru’, Majid Khan, Timothy Witham and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

Augmented reality (AR) is a novel technology that has the potential to increase the technical feasibility, accuracy, and safety of conventional manual and robotic computer-navigated pedicle insertion methods. Visual data are directly projected to the operator’s retina and overlaid onto the surgical field, thereby removing the requirement to shift attention to a remote display. The objective of this study was to assess the comparative accuracy of AR-assisted pedicle screw insertion in comparison to conventional pedicle screw insertion methods.

METHODS

Five cadaveric male torsos were instrumented bilaterally from T6 to L5 for a total of 120 inserted pedicle screws. Postprocedural CT scans were obtained, and screw insertion accuracy was graded by 2 independent neuroradiologists using both the Gertzbein scale (GS) and a combination of that scale and the Heary classification, referred to in this paper as the Heary-Gertzbein scale (HGS). Non-inferiority analysis was performed, comparing the accuracy to freehand, manual computer-navigated, and robotics-assisted computer-navigated insertion accuracy rates reported in the literature. User experience analysis was conducted via a user experience questionnaire filled out by operators after the procedures.

RESULTS

The overall screw placement accuracy achieved with the AR system was 96.7% based on the HGS and 94.6% based on the GS. Insertion accuracy was non-inferior to accuracy reported for manual computer-navigated pedicle insertion based on both the GS and the HGS scores. When compared to accuracy reported for robotics-assisted computer-navigated insertion, accuracy achieved with the AR system was found to be non-inferior when assessed with the GS, but superior when assessed with the HGS. Last, accuracy results achieved with the AR system were found to be superior to results obtained with freehand insertion based on both the HGS and the GS scores. Accuracy results were not found to be inferior in any comparison. User experience analysis yielded “excellent” usability classification.

CONCLUSIONS

AR-assisted pedicle screw insertion is a technically feasible and accurate insertion method.

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Mario Zanaty, Susanna Howard, Jorge A. Roa, Carlos M. Alvarez, David K. Kung, David J. McCarthy, Edgar A. Samaniego, Daichi Nakagawa, Robert M. Starke, Kaustubh Limaye, Sami Al Kasab, Nohra Chalouhi, Pascal Jabbour, James Torner, Daniel Tranel and David Hasan

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization of a symptomatic, medically refractory, cervical chronically occluded internal carotid artery (COICA) using endovascular techniques (ETs) has surfaced as a viable alternative to extracranial-intracranial bypass. The authors aimed to assess the safety, success, and neurocognitive outcomes of recanalization of COICA using ETs or hybrid treatment (ET plus carotid endarterectomy) and to identify candidate radiological markers that could predict success.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of their prospectively collected institutional database and used their previously published COICA classification to assess the potential benefits of ETs or hybrid surgery to revascularize symptomatic patients with COICA. Subjects who had undergone CT perfusion (CTP) imaging and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) testing, both pre- and postprocedure, were included. The authors then performed a review of the literature on patients with COICA to further evaluate the success and safety of these treatment alternatives.

RESULTS

The single-center study revealed 28 subjects who had undergone revascularization of symptomatic COICA. Five subjects had CTP imaging and MoCA testing pre- and postrevascularization and thus were included in the study. All 5 patients had very large penumbra involving the entire hemisphere supplied by the ipsilateral COICA, which resolved postoperatively. Significant improvement in neurocognitive outcome was demonstrated by MoCA testing after treatment (preprocedure: 19.8 ± 2.4, postprocedure: 27 ± 1.6; p = 0.0038). Moreover, successful revascularization of COICA led to full restoration of cerebral hemodynamics in all cases. Review of the literature identified a total of 333 patients with COICA. Of these, 232 (70%) showed successful recanalization after ETs or hybrid surgery, with low major and minor complication rates (3.9% and 2.7%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

ETs and hybrid surgery are safe and effective alternatives to revascularize patients with symptomatic COICA. CTP imaging could be used as a radiological marker to assess cerebral hemodynamics and predict the success of revascularization. Improvement in CTP parameters is associated with significant improvement in neurocognitive functions.

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Suresh N. Magge, Arthur R. Bartolozzi IV, Neil D. Almeida, Deki Tsering, John S. Myseros, Chima O. Oluigbo, Gary F. Rogers and Robert F. Keating

OBJECTIVE

Sagittal craniosynostosis is managed with a wide variety of operative strategies. The current investigation compares the clinical outcomes of two widely performed techniques: pi craniectomy and minimally invasive endoscopic strip craniectomy (ESC) followed by helmet therapy.

METHODS

This IRB-approved retrospective study examined patients diagnosed with nonsyndromic, single-suture sagittal craniosynostosis treated with either pi craniectomy or ESC. Included patients had a minimum postoperative follow-up of 5 months.

RESULTS

Fifty-one patients met the inclusion criteria (pi 21 patients, ESC 30 patients). Compared to patients who underwent ESC, the pi patients were older at the time of surgery (mean age 5.06 vs 3.11 months). The mean follow-up time was 23.2 months for ESC patients and 31.4 months for pi patients. Initial cranial index (CI) was similar between the groups, but postoperatively the ESC patients experienced a 12.3% mean increase in CI (from 0.685 to 0.767) compared to a 5.34% increase for the pi patients (from 0.684 to 0.719), and this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Median hospital length of stay (1 vs 2 days) and operative duration (69.5 vs 93.3 minutes) were significantly less for ESC (p < 0.001 for both). The ESC patients showed a trend toward better results when surgery was done at younger ages. Craniectomy width in ESC cases was positively associated with CI improvement (slope of linear regression = 0.69, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

While both techniques effectively treated sagittal craniosynostosis, ESC showed superior results compared to pi craniectomy. ESC showed a trend for better outcomes when done at younger ages, although the trend did not reach statistical significance. A wider craniectomy width (up to 2 cm) was associated with better outcomes than smaller craniectomy widths among the ESC patients.

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Herschel Wilde, Mohammed A. Azab, Abdullah M. Abunimer, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Michael Karsy, Jian Guan, Sarah T. Menacho and Randy L. Jensen

OBJECTIVE

Gliomas occur in 3–4 individuals per 100,000 individuals and are one of the most common primary brain tumors. Treatment options are limited for gliomas despite the progressive nature of the disease. The authors used the Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) database to identify cost drivers and subgroups that are involved in the surgical treatment of gliomas.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort of patients with gliomas treated at the authors’ institution from August 2011 to February 2018 was evaluated using medical records and the VDO database.

RESULTS

A total of 263 patients with intracranial gliomas met the authors’ inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis (WHO grade I: 2.0%; grade II: 18.5%; grade III: 18.1%; and grade IV: 61.4%). Facility costs were the major (64.4%) cost driver followed by supplies (16.2%), pharmacy (10.1%), imaging (4.5%), and laboratory (4.7%). Univariate analysis of cost contributors demonstrated that American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (p = 0.002), tumor recurrence (p = 0.06), Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.002), length of stay (LOS) (p = 0.0001), and maximal tumor size (p = 0.03) contributed significantly to the total costs. However, on multivariate analysis, only LOS (p = 0.0001) contributed significantly to total costs. More extensive tumor resection in WHO grade III and IV tumors was associated with significant improvement in survival (p = 0.004 and p = 0.02, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Understanding care costs is challenging because of the highly complex, fragmented, and variable nature of healthcare delivery. Adopting effective strategies that would reduce facility costs and limit LOS is likely the most important aspect in reducing intracranial glioma treatment costs.