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Ryan M. Jones, Shona Kamps, Yuexi Huang, Nadia Scantlebury, Nir Lipsman, Michael L. Schwartz and Kullervo Hynynen

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to correlate lesion size with accumulated thermal dose (ATD) in transcranial MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) treatments of essential tremor with focal temperatures limited to 50°C–54°C.

METHODS

Seventy-five patients with medically refractory essential tremor underwent MRgFUS thalamotomy at the authors’ institution. Intraoperative MR thermometry was performed to measure the induced temperature and thermal dose distributions (proton resonance frequency shift coefficient = −0.00909 ppm/°C). In 19 patients, it was not possible to raise the focal temperature above 54°C because of unfavorable skull characteristics and/or the pain associated with cranial heating. In this patient subset, sonications with focal temperatures between 50°C and 54°C were repeated (5.1 ± 1.5, mean ± standard deviation) to accumulate a sufficient thermal dose for lesion formation. The ATD profile sizes (17, 40, 100, 200, and 240 cumulative equivalent minutes at 43°C [CEM43]) calculated by combining axial MR thermometry data from individual sonications were correlated with the corresponding lesion sizes measured on axial T1-weighted (T1w) and T2-weighted (T2w) MR images acquired 1 day posttreatment. Manual corrections were applied to the MR thermometry data prior to thermal dose accumulation to compensate for off-resonance–induced spatial-shifting artifacts.

RESULTS

Mean lesion sizes measured on T2w MRI (5.0 ± 1.4 mm) were, on average, 28% larger than those measured on T1w MRI (3.9 ± 1.4 mm). The ATD thresholds found to provide the best correlation with lesion sizes measured on T2w and T1w MRI were 100 CEM43 (regression slope = 0.97, R2 = 0.66) and 200 CEM43 (regression slope = 0.98, R2 = 0.89), respectively, consistent with data from a previous study of MRgFUS thalamotomy via repeated sonications at higher focal temperatures (≥ 55°C). Two-way linear mixed-effects analysis revealed that dominant tremor subscores on the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) were statistically different from baseline at 3 months and 1 year posttreatment in both low-temperature (50°C–54°C) and high-temperature (≥ 55°C) patient cohorts. No significant fixed effect on the dominant tremor scores was found for the temperature cohort factor.

CONCLUSIONS

In transcranial MRgFUS thalamotomy for essential tremor, repeated sonications with focal temperatures between 50°C and 54°C can accumulate a sufficient thermal dose to generate lesions for clinically relevant tremor suppression up to 1 year posttreatment, and the ATD can be used to predict the size of the resulting ablation zones measured on MRI. These data will serve to guide future clinical MRgFUS brain procedures, particularly those in which focal temperatures are limited to below 55°C.

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Robert A. Scranton, Kushal Shah and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia is a debilitating disease that can be treated effectively by a number of modalities. Percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy of the gasserian ganglion is an important technique that can be offered as a primary or secondary strategy after failure of medical therapy. However, the commercial kit for this procedure was discontinued in the United States in early 2016 and therefore is not currently available. The authors describe a low-cost, effective solution for continuing to offer this procedure using equipment already available in most hospitals.

METHODS

The authors provide a detailed equipment list with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare all the necessary items and perform a percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy.

RESULTS

The custom “homemade” kit and technique described have been utilized successfully since June 2016 in 34 patients. The kit is a low-cost alternative, and its application does not add any operative time beyond that required for the previously commercially available kit.

CONCLUSIONS

Percutaneous balloon compression rhizotomy of the gasserian ganglion is an important technique that should be readily available to patients who are not medically fit for microvascular decompression and need immediate relief of their pain. The alternative kit described here can be assembled easily using equipment that is readily available in most hospitals.

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Mehmet Sabri Gürbüz, Adnan Dağçınar, Yaşar Bayri, Aşkın Şeker and Hasan Güçlü

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to develop a set of parameters that reliably predict the clinical success of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) when assessed before and after the operation, and to establish a plan for MRI follow-up after this procedure.

METHODS

This retrospective study involved 77 patients who had undergone 78 ETV procedures for obstructive hydrocephalus between 2010 and 2015. Constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) MRI evaluations before and after ETV were reviewed, and 4 parameters were measured. Two well-known standard parameters, fronto-occipital horn ratio (FOHR) and third ventricular index (TVI), and 2 newly defined parameters, infundibulochiasmatic (IC) angle and anterior third ventricular height (TVH), were measured in this study. Associations between preoperative measurements of and postoperative changes in the 4 variables and the clinical success of ETV were analyzed.

RESULTS

Of the 78 ETV procedures, 70 (89.7%) were successful and 8 (10.3%) failed. On the preoperative MR images, the mean IC angle and anterior TVH were significantly larger in the successful procedures. On the 24-hour postoperative MR images of the successful procedures, the mean IC angle declined significantly from 114.2° to 94.6° (p < 0.05) and the mean anterior TVH declined significantly from 15 to 11.2 mm (p < 0.05). The mean percentage reduction of the IC angle was 17.1%, and that of the anterior TVH was 25.5% (both p < 0.05). On the 1-month MR images of the successful procedures, the mean IC angle declined significantly from 94.6° to 84.2° (p < 0.05) and the mean anterior TVH declined significantly from 11.2 to 9.3 mm (p < 0.05). The mean percentage reductions in IC angle (11%) and anterior TVH (16.9%) remained significant at this time point but were smaller than those observed at 24 hours. The 6-month and 1-year postoperative MR images of the successful group showed no significant changes in mean IC angle or mean anterior TVH. Regarding the unsuccessful procedures, there were no significant changes observed in IC angle or anterior TVH at any of the time points studied. Reduction of IC angle and reduction of anterior TVH on 24-hour postoperative MR images were significantly associated with successful ETV. However, no clinically significant association was found between FOHR, TVI, and ETV success.

CONCLUSIONS

Assessing the IC angle and anterior TVH on preoperative and 24-hour postoperative MR images is useful for predicting the clinical success of ETV. These 2 measurements could also be valuable as radiological follow-up parameters.

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Seung-Bo Lee, Hakseung Kim, Young-Tak Kim, Frederick A. Zeiler, Peter Smielewski, Marek Czosnyka and Dong-Joo Kim

OBJECTIVE

Monitoring intracranial and arterial blood pressure (ICP and ABP, respectively) provides crucial information regarding the neurological status of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, these signals are often heavily affected by artifacts, which may significantly reduce the reliability of the clinical determinations derived from the signals. The goal of this work was to eliminate signal artifacts from continuous ICP and ABP monitoring via deep learning techniques and to assess the changes in the prognostic capacities of clinical parameters after artifact elimination.

METHODS

The first 24 hours of monitoring ICP and ABP in a total of 309 patients with TBI was retrospectively analyzed. An artifact elimination model for ICP and ABP was constructed via a stacked convolutional autoencoder (SCAE) and convolutional neural network (CNN) with 10-fold cross-validation tests. The prevalence and prognostic capacity of ICP- and ABP-related clinical events were compared before and after artifact elimination.

RESULTS

The proposed SCAE-CNN model exhibited reliable accuracy in eliminating ABP and ICP artifacts (net prediction rates of 97% and 94%, respectively). The prevalence of ICP- and ABP-related clinical events (i.e., systemic hypotension, intracranial hypertension, cerebral hypoperfusion, and poor cerebrovascular reactivity) all decreased significantly after artifact removal.

CONCLUSIONS

The SCAE-CNN model can be reliably used to eliminate artifacts, which significantly improves the reliability and efficacy of ICP- and ABP-derived clinical parameters for prognostic determinations after TBI.

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Laura A. Snyder, Jennifer N. Lehrman, Ram Kumar Menon, Jakub Godzik, Anna G. U. S. Newcomb and Brian P. Kelly

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion techniques vary among surgeons. One decision point is whether to perform a unilateral facetectomy (UF), a unilateral facetectomy plus partial contralateral facetectomy (UF/PF), or a complete bilateral facetectomy (CBF). The authors therefore compared the biomechanical benefits of all 3 types of facetectomies to determine which approach produces improved biomechanical outcomes.

METHODS

Seven human cadaveric specimens (L3–S1) were potted and prepped for UF, with full facet removal, hemilaminectomy, discectomy, and pedicle screw placement. After distraction, a fixed interbody spacer was placed, and compression was performed. A final fixation configuration was performed by locking the rods across the screws posteriorly with bilateral compression. Final lordosis angle and change and foraminal height were measured, and standard nondestructive flexibility tests were performed to assess intervertebral range of motion (ROM) and compressive stiffness. The same procedure was followed for UF/PF and CBF in all 7 specimens.

RESULTS

All 3 conditions demonstrated similar ROM and compressive stiffness. No statistically significant differences occurred with distraction, but CBF demonstrated significantly greater change than UF in mean foraminal height after bilateral posterior compression (1.90 ± 0.62 vs 1.00 ± 0.45 mm, respectively, p = 0.04). With compression, the CBF demonstrated significantly greater mean ROM than the UF (2.82° ± 0.83° vs 2.170° ± 1.10°, p = 0.007). The final lordosis angle was greatest with CBF (3.74° ± 0.70°) and lowest with UF (2.68° ± 1.28°). This finding was statistically significant across all 3 conditions (p ≤ 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

Although UF/PF and CBF may require slightly more time and effort and incur more risk than UF, the potential improvement in sagittal balance may be worthwhile for select patients.

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Mark E. Shaffrey, Francine W. Schranck and Anne G. Copay

OBJECTIVE

Food and Drug Administration–approved investigational device exemption (IDE) studies have provided level I evidence supporting cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) as a safe and effective alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Long-term CDA outcomes continue to be evaluated. Here, the authors present outcomes at 10 years postoperatively for the single-level CDA arm of an IDE study (postapproval study).

METHODS

The primary endpoint was overall success, a composite variable composed of five criteria: 1) Neck Disability Index score improvement ≥ 15 points; 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status; 3) no decline in anterior or posterior functional spinal unit (FSU) height of more than 2 mm compared to 6 weeks postoperatively; 4) no serious adverse event (AE) caused by the implant or the implant and the surgical procedure; and 5) no additional surgery classified as a failure. Additional safety and effectiveness measures included numeric rating scales for neck pain and arm pain, SF-36 quality-of-life physical and mental components, patient satisfaction, range of motion, and AEs.

RESULTS

From the reported assessments at 7 years postoperatively to the 10-year postoperative follow-up, the scores for all patient-reported outcomes, rate of overall success (without FSU), and proportion of patients at least maintaining their neurological function remained stable for the CDA group. Nine patients had secondary surgery at the index level, increasing the secondary surgery cumulative rate from 6.6% to 10.3%. In that same time frame, four patients experienced a serious implant or implant/surgical procedure–related AE, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 7.8%. Seven patients had any second surgery at adjacent levels, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 13.8%. Average angular motion at both the index and adjacent levels was well maintained without creating hypermobility. Class IV heterotopic ossification increased from 1.2% at 2 years to 4.6% at 7 years and 9.0% at 10 years. Patient satisfaction was > 90% at 10 years.

CONCLUSIONS

CDA remained safe and effective out to 10 years postoperatively, with results comparable to 7-year outcomes and with high patient satisfaction.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00667459 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Chu-Yi Lee, Chao-Hung Kuo, Jau-Ching Wu, Hsuan-Kan Chang, Li-Yu Fay, Wen-Cheng Huang and Henrich Cheng

OBJECTIVE

The published clinical trials of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) have unanimously demonstrated the success of preservation of motion (average 7°–9°) at the index level for up to 10 years postoperatively. The inclusion criteria in these trials usually required patients to have evident mobility at the level to be treated (≥ 2° on lateral flexion-extension radiographs) prior to the surgery. Although the mean range of motion (ROM) remained similar after CDA, it was unclear in these trials if patients with less preoperative ROM would have different outcomes than patients with more ROM.

METHODS

A series of consecutive patients who underwent CDA at the level of C5–6 were followed up and retrospectively reviewed. The indications for surgery were medically refractory cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy, or both, caused by cervical disc herniation or spondylosis. All patients were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: a less-mobile group, which consisted of those patients who had an ROM of ≤ 5° at C5–6 preoperatively, or a more-mobile group, which consisted of patients whose ROM at C5–6 was > 5° preoperatively. Clinical outcomes, including visual analog scale, Neck Disability Index, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores, were evaluated at each time point. Radiological outcomes were also assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 60 patients who had follow-up for more than 2 years were analyzed. There were 27 patients in the less-mobile group (mean preoperative ROM 3.0°) and 33 in the more-mobile group (mean ROM 11.7°). The 2 groups were similar in demographics, including age, sex, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Both groups had significant improvements in clinical outcomes, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. However, the radiological evaluations demonstrated remarkable differences. The less-mobile group had a greater increase in ΔROM than the more-mobile group (ΔROM 5.5° vs 0.1°, p = 0.001), though the less-mobile group still had less segmental mobility (ROM 8.5° vs 11.7°, p = 0.04). The rates of complications were similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative segmental mobility did not alter the clinical outcomes of CDA. The preoperatively less-mobile (ROM ≤ 5°) discs had similar clinical improvements and greater increase of segmental mobility (ΔROM), but remained less mobile, than the preoperatively more-mobile (ROM > 5°) discs at 2 years postoperatively.

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Trista Reid, Joanna Grudziak, Nidia Rodriguez-Ormaza, Rebecca G. Maine, Nelson Msiska, Carolyn Quinsey and Anthony Charles

OBJECTIVE

Hydrocephalus is the most common pediatric neurosurgical condition, with a high prevalence in low- and middle-income countries. Untreated, hydrocephalus leads to neurological disability or death. The epidemiology and outcomes of hydrocephalus treated by ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts in Sub-Saharan Africa are not well defined and vary by region. The aim of the present study was to examine the mortality and morbidity rates and predictors of mortality in children treated by VP shunt placement for hydrocephalus at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi.

METHODS

This is a prospective study of 100 consecutive children presenting with hydrocephalus who were treated with VP shunt placement from January 2015 to August 2017. Demographics, nutritional status, maternal characteristics, developmental delay, shunt complications, readmissions, and in-hospital and 3-month mortality data were collected. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify predictors of death within 3 months of surgery.

RESULTS

Overall, 46% of participants were female, with an average age of 5.4 ± 3.7 months at the time of surgery. The majority of patients were term deliveries (87.8%) and were not malnourished (72.9%). Only 10.8% of children were diagnosed with meningitis before admission. In-hospital and 3-month mortality rates were 5.5% and 32.1%, respectively. The only significant association with mortality was maternal age, with older maternal age demonstrating decreased odds of 3-month mortality (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.8–1.0, p = 0.045).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical management of hydrocephalus with VP shunts portends a high mortality rate in Malawi. The association of younger maternal age with mortality is likely a proxy for social determinants, which appear to contribute as much to mortality as patient factors. VP shunting is inadequate as a sole surgical management of hydrocephalus in resource-limited settings.

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Michael Kogan, David J. Caldwell, Shahin Hakimian, Kurt E. Weaver, Andrew L. Ko and Jeffery G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

Electrocorticography is an indispensable tool in identifying the epileptogenic zone in the presurgical evaluation of many epilepsy patients. Traditional electrocorticographic features (spikes, ictal onset changes, and recently high-frequency oscillations [HFOs]) rely on the presence of transient features that occur within or near epileptogenic cortex. Here the authors report on a novel corticography feature of epileptogenic cortex—covariation of high-gamma and beta frequency band power profiles. Band-limited power was measured from each recording site based on native physiological signal differences without relying on clinical ictal or interictal epileptogenic features. In this preliminary analysis, frequency windowed power correlation appears to be a specific marker of the epileptogenic zone. The authors’ overall aim was to validate this observation with the location of the eventual resection and outcome.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 13 adult patients who had undergone electrocorticography for surgical planning at their center. They quantified the correlation of high-gamma (70–200 Hz) and beta (12–18 Hz) band frequency power per electrode site during a cognitive task. They used a sliding window method to correlate the power of smoothed, Hilbert-transformed high-gamma and beta bands. They then compared positive and negative correlations between power in the high-gamma and beta bands in the setting of a hand versus a tongue motor task as well as within the resting state. Significant positive correlations were compared to surgically resected areas and outcomes based on reviewed records.

RESULTS

Positive high-gamma and beta correlations appeared to predict the area of eventual resection and, preliminarily, surgical outcome independent of spike detection. In general, patients with the best outcomes had well-localized positive correlations (high-gamma and beta activities) to areas of eventual resection, while those with poorer outcomes displayed more diffuse patterns.

CONCLUSIONS

Data in this study suggest that positive high-gamma and beta correlations independent of any behavioral metric may have clinical applicability in surgical decision-making. Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical potential of this methodology. Additional work is also needed to relate these results to other methods, such as HFO detection or connectivity with other cortical areas.

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Jillian E. Urban, William C. Flood, Barret J. Zimmerman, Mireille E. Kelley, Mark A. Espeland, Liam McNamara, Elizabeth M. Davenport, Alexander K. Powers, Christopher T. Whitlow, Joseph A. Maldjian and Joel D. Stitzel

OBJECTIVE

There is a growing body of literature informing efforts to improve the safety of football; however, research relating on-field activity to head impacts in youth football is limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare head impact exposure (HIE) measured in game plays among 3 youth football teams.

METHODS

Head impact and video data were collected from athletes (ages 10–13 years) participating on 3 youth football teams. Video analysis was performed to verify head impacts and assign each to a specific play type. Each play was categorized as a down, punt, kickoff, field goal, or false start. Kickoffs and punts were classified as special teams. Downs were classified as running, passing, or other. HIE was quantified by play type in terms of mean, median, and 95th percentile linear and rotational acceleration. Mixed-effects models were used to assess differences in acceleration among play types. Contact occurring on special teams plays was evaluated using a standardized video abstraction form.

RESULTS

A total of 3003 head impacts over 27.5 games were analyzed and paired with detailed video coding of plays. Most head impacts were attributed to running (79.6%), followed by passing (14.0%), and special teams (6.4%) plays. The 95th percentile linear acceleration measured during each play type was 52.6g, 50.7g, and 65.5g, respectively. Special teams had significantly greater mean linear acceleration than running and passing plays (both p = 0.03). The most common kick result on special teams was a deep kick, of which 85% were attempted to be returned. No special teams plays resulted in a touchback, and one resulted in a fair catch. One-third of all special teams plays and 92% of all nonreturned kicks resulted in athletes diving toward the ball.

CONCLUSIONS

The results demonstrate a trend toward higher head impact magnitudes on special teams than for running and passing plays, but a greater number of impacts were measured during running plays. Deep kicks were most common on special teams, and many returned and nonreturned kicks resulted in athletes diving toward the ball. These results support policy changes to youth special teams plays, including modifying the yard line the ball is kicked from and coaching proper return technique. Further investigation into biomechanical exposure measured during game impact scenarios is needed to inform policy relevant to the youth level.