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Kirsten E. Stoner, Kingsley O. Abode-Iyamah, Vincent A. Magnotta, Matthew A. Howard III and Nicole M. Grosland

OBJECTIVE

Cervical myelopathy (CM) is a common and debilitating form of spinal cord injury caused by chronic compression; however, little is known about the in vivo mechanics of the healthy spinal cord during motion and how these mechanics are altered in CM. The authors sought to measure 3D in vivo spinal cord displacement and strain fields from MR images obtained during physiological motion of healthy individuals and cervical myelopathic patients.

METHODS

Nineteen study participants, 9 healthy controls and 10 CM patients, were enrolled in the study. All study participants had 3T MR images acquired of the cervical spine in neutral, flexed, and extended positions. Displacement and strain fields and corresponding principal strain were obtained from the MR images using image registration.

RESULTS

The healthy spinal cord displaces superiorly in flexion and inferiorly in extension. Principal strain is evenly distributed along the spinal cord. The CM spinal cord displaces less than the healthy cord and the magnitude of principal strain is higher, at the midcervical levels.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased spinal cord compression during cervical myelopathy limits motion of the spinal cord and increases spinal cord strain during physiological motion. Future studies are needed to investigate how treatment, such as surgical intervention, affects spinal cord mechanics.

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Aymeric Amelot, Kevin Beccaria, Thomas Blauwblomme, Marie Bourgeois, Giovanna Paternoster, Marie-Laure Cuny, Michel Zerah, Christian Sainte-Rose and Stephanie Puget

OBJECTIVE

Arachnoid cysts (ACs) are most frequently located in the middle cranial fossa. Some patients are asymptomatic whereas others exhibit signs of increased intracranial pressure, seizures, or cognitive and behavioral symptoms. When ACs do require treatment, the optimal surgical technique remains controversial. This study was conducted to assess the most effective surgical treatment for these cysts.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 240 temporal intracranial ACs managed over a 25-year period in their pediatric neurosurgical unit. Pre- and posttreatment results were clinically and radiologically assessed.

RESULTS

A majority of male patients (74.6%) with an overall median age of 6.9 years were included. The mean cyst size was 107 cm3; the Galassi classification showed 99 (41.3%) type I, 77 (32.1%) type II, and 64 (26.7%) type III cysts. Forty-four ACs (18.3%) were diagnosed after rupture. Surgical management was performed by microsurgery (28.3%), endoscopic cyst fenestration (14.6%), cystoperitoneal shunting (CPS; 16.2%), or subdural shunting (10%). Furthermore, 74 children (30.8%) did not undergo operations. After a mean follow-up of 4.1 years, the mean percentage decrease in cyst volume and the overall rate of clinical improvement did not significantly differ. The endoscopy group had earlier complications and a shorter event-free survival (EFS) time (EFS at 3 years = 67.7%, vs 71.5% and 90.5% for CPS and microsurgery, respectively; p < 0.007) and presented with more subdural hematomas compared to the microsurgery group (p < 0.005). The microsurgery group also showed a tendency for longer cystocisternostomy permeability than the endoscopy group.

CONCLUSIONS

Concerning the management of unruptured symptomatic temporal ACs, microsurgery appears to be the most effective treatment, with longer EFS and fewer complications compared to shunting or endoscopy.

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Anneli Peolsson, Håkan Löfgren, Åsa Dedering, Birgitta Öberg, Peter Zsigmond, Henrik Hedevik and Johanna Wibault

OBJECTIVE

Information about postoperative rehabilitation for cervical radiculopathy (CR) is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the additional benefits of structured postoperative rehabilitation (SPT), which was performed in all patients, compared with a pragmatic standard postoperative approach (SA), in which rehabilitation was used as needed and patients sought physiotherapy on their own without a referral, in patients with MRI evidence of disc herniation and concomitant clinical signs who underwent surgery for CR.

METHODS

Patients (n = 202) were randomized to receive SPT or SA. Included key variables in the present study were primary and selected secondary outcomes of a prospective randomized controlled multicenter study. The main outcome was the Neck Disability Index (NDI) score. The NDI score, pain variables, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life were investigated at baseline and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.

RESULTS

SPT provided no additional benefits over SA (p = 0.08 to p = 0.99) at the postoperative 2-year follow-up. Both groups improved over time (p < 0.0001), with no reported adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS

One can conclude that SPT offered no additional benefits over SA; however, patients tolerated postoperative neck exercises without any negative side effects. These findings are important for the development of future active and neck-specific postoperative rehabilitation interventions for patients with CR.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01547611 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Haihui Jiang, Yong Cui, Xiang Liu, Xiaohui Ren, Mingxiao Li and Song Lin

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between extent of resection (EOR) and survival in terms of clinical, molecular, and radiological factors in high-grade astrocytoma (HGA).

METHODS

Clinical and radiological data from 585 cases of molecularly defined HGA were reviewed. In each case, the EOR was evaluated twice: once according to contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images (CE-T1WI) and once according to fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images. The ratio of the volume of the region of abnormality in CE-T1WI to that in FLAIR images (VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI) was calculated and a receiver operating characteristic curve was used to determine the optimal cutoff value for that ratio. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the prognostic value of each factor.

RESULTS

Both the EOR evaluated from CE-T1WI and the EOR evaluated from FLAIR could divide the whole cohort into 4 subgroups with different survival outcomes (p < 0.001). Cases were stratified into 2 subtypes based on VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI with a cutoff of 10: a proliferation-dominant subtype and a diffusion-dominant subtype. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant survival advantage for the proliferation-dominant subtype (p < 0.0001). The prognostic implication has been further confirmed in the Cox proportional hazards model (HR 1.105, 95% CI 1.078–1.134, p < 0.0001). The survival of patients with proliferation-dominant HGA was significantly prolonged in association with extensive resection of the FLAIR abnormality region beyond contrast-enhancing tumor (p = 0.03), while no survival benefit was observed in association with the extensive resection in the diffusion-dominant subtype (p = 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS

VFLAIR/VCE-T1WI is an important classifier that could divide the HGA into 2 subtypes with distinct invasive features. Patients with proliferation-dominant HGA can benefit from extensive resection of the FLAIR abnormality region, which provides the theoretical basis for a personalized resection strategy.

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Andrew S. Little, Daniel F. Kelly, William L. White, Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Michael R. Chicoine, Garni Barkhoudarian, James P. Chandler, Daniel M. Prevedello, Brandon D. Liebelt, John Sfondouris, Marc R. Mayberg and for the TRANSSPHER Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Many surgeons have adopted fully endoscopic over microscopic transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary tumors, although no high-quality evidence demonstrates superior patient outcomes with endoscopic surgery. The goal of this analysis was to compare these techniques in a prospective multicenter controlled study.

METHODS

Extent of tumor resection was compared after endoscopic or microscopic transsphenoidal surgery in adults with nonfunctioning adenomas. The primary end point was gross-total tumor resection determined by postoperative MRI. Secondary end points included volumetric extent of tumor resection, pituitary hormone outcomes, and standard quality measures.

RESULTS

Seven pituitary centers and 15 surgeons participated in the study. Of the 530 patients screened, 260 were enrolled (82 who underwent microscopic procedures, 177 who underwent endoscopic procedures, and 1 who cancelled surgery) between February 2015 and June 2017. Surgeons who used the microscopic technique were more experienced than the surgeons who used the endoscopic technique in terms of years in practice and number of transsphenoidal surgeries performed (p < 0.001). Gross-total resection was achieved in 80.0% (60/75) of microscopic surgery patients and 83.7% (139/166) of endoscopic surgery patients (p = 0.47, OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4–1.6). Volumetric extent of resection, length of stay, surgery-related deaths, and unplanned readmission rates were similar between groups (p > 0.2). New hormone deficiency was present at 6 months in 28.4% (19/67) of the microscopic surgery patients and 9.7% (14/145) of the endoscopic surgery patients (p < 0.001, OR 3.7, 95% CI 1.7–7.7). Microscopic surgery cases were significantly shorter in duration than endoscopic surgery cases (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Experienced surgeons who performed microscopic surgery and less experienced surgeons who performed endoscopic surgery achieved similar extents of tumor resection and quality outcomes in patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. The endoscopic technique may be associated with lower rates of postoperative pituitary gland dysfunction. This study generally supports the transition to endoscopic pituitary surgery when the procedure is performed by proficient surgeons, although both techniques yield overall acceptable surgical outcomes.

CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: prospective cohort trial; evidence: class III.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02357498 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Erin D’Agostino, Daniel R. Calnan, William Hickey and David F. Bauer

Intracranial collision tumors have rarely been reported in the literature and generally include at least 1 malignant tumor component. Subependymoma with dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET) is an as-yet unreported combination. Both components are uncommon tumors, and presentation in the foramen of Monro is even more unusual. A 16-year-old male patient with a past medical history significant for asthma presented with a 3-month history of headaches and radiographic evidence of mild obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to a nonenhancing ventricular lesion at the foramen of Monro. He underwent endoscopic biopsy and resection. Pathological analysis revealed distinct components of subependymoma and DNET. At the 1-year follow-up, the patient was doing well without regrowth of tumor. The authors describe a case of intracranial collision tumor demonstrating 2 grade I components: a novel combination of subependymoma and DNET.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Robert F. Rudy, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, Nirav J. Patel, Kai U. Frerichs, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

The complex decision analysis of unruptured intracranial aneurysms entails weighing the benefits of aneurysm repair against operative risk. The goal of the present analysis was to build and validate a predictive scale that identifies patients with the greatest odds of a postsurgical adverse event.

METHODS

Data on patients who underwent surgical clipping of an unruptured aneurysm were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry (NSQIP; 2007–2014); NSQIP does not systematically collect data on patients undergoing intracranial endovascular intervention. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated predictors of any 30-day adverse event; variables screened included patient demographics, comorbidities, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, aneurysm location/complexity, and operative time. A predictive scale was constructed based on statistically significant independent predictors, which was validated using both NSQIP (2015–2016) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS; 2002–2011).

RESULTS

The NSQIP unruptured aneurysm scale was proposed: 1 point was assigned for a bleeding disorder; 2 points for age 51–60 years, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, anemia (hematocrit < 36%), operative time 240–330 minutes; 3 points for leukocytosis (white blood cell count > 12,000/μL) and operative time > 330 minutes; and 4 points for age > 60 years. An increased score was predictive of postoperative stroke or coma (NSQIP: p = 0.002, C-statistic = 0.70; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.61), a medical complication (NSQIP: p = 0.01, C-statistic = 0.71; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.64), and a nonroutine discharge (NSQIP: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.75; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.66) in both validation populations. Greater score was also predictive of increased odds of any adverse event, a major complication, and an extended hospitalization in both validation populations (p ≤ 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The NSQIP unruptured aneurysm scale may augment the risk stratification of patients undergoing microsurgical clipping of unruptured cerebral aneurysms.

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Nico Sollmann, Alessia Fratini, Haosu Zhang, Claus Zimmer, Bernhard Meyer and Sandro M. Krieg

OBJECTIVE

Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) in combination with diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking (DTI FT) is increasingly used to locate subcortical language-related pathways. The aim of this study was to establish nTMS-based DTI FT for preoperative risk stratification by evaluating associations between lesion-to-tract distances (LTDs) and aphasia and by determining a cut-off LTD value to prevent surgery-related permanent aphasia.

METHODS

Fifty patients with left-hemispheric, language-eloquent brain tumors underwent preoperative nTMS language mapping and nTMS-based DTI FT, followed by tumor resection. nTMS-based DTI FT was performed with a predefined fractional anisotropy (FA) of 0.10, 0.15, 50% of the individual FA threshold (FAT), and 75% FAT (minimum fiber length [FL]: 100 mm). The arcuate fascicle (AF), superior longitudinal fascicle (SLF), inferior longitudinal fascicle (ILF), uncinate fascicle (UC), and frontooccipital fascicle (FoF) were identified in nTMS-based tractography, and minimum LTDs were measured between the lesion and the AF and between the lesion and the closest other subcortical language-related pathway (SLF, ILF, UC, or FoF). LTDs were then associated with the level of aphasia (no/transient or permanent surgery-related aphasia, according to follow-up examinations).

RESULTS

A significant difference in LTDs was observed between patients with no or only surgery-related transient impairment and those who developed surgery-related permanent aphasia with regard to the AF (FA = 0.10, p = 0.0321; FA = 0.15, p = 0.0143; FA = 50% FAT, p = 0.0106) as well as the closest other subcortical language-related pathway (FA = 0.10, p = 0.0182; FA = 0.15, p = 0.0200; FA = 50% FAT, p = 0.0077). Patients with surgery-related permanent aphasia showed the lowest LTDs in relation to these tracts. Thus, LTDs of ≥ 8 mm (AF) and ≥ 11 mm (SLF, ILF, UC, or FoF) were determined as cut-off values for surgery-related permanent aphasia.

CONCLUSIONS

nTMS-based DTI FT of subcortical language-related pathways seems suitable for risk stratification and prediction in patients suffering from language-eloquent brain tumors. Thus, the current role of nTMS-based DTI FT might be expanded, going beyond the level of being a mere tool for surgical planning and resection guidance.

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Taiichi Saito, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Manabu Tamura, Takashi Maruyama, Masayuki Nitta, Shunsuke Tsuzuki, Satoko Fukuchi, Mana Ohashi and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Resection of gliomas in the precentral gyrus carries a risk of severe motor dysfunction. To prevent permanent, severe postoperative motor dysfunction, reliable intraoperative predictors of postoperative function are required. Since 2005, the authors have removed gliomas in the precentral gyrus with combined functional mapping and estimation of intraoperative voluntary movement (IVM) during awake craniotomy and transcortical motor evoked potentials (MEPs). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether intraoperative findings of combined monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEP monitoring were useful for predicting postoperative motor function of patients with gliomas in the precentral gyrus.

METHODS

The current study included 30 patients who underwent resection of precentral gyrus gliomas during awake craniotomy from April 2000 to January 2018. All tumors were removed with monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEPs. Postoperative motor function was classified as stable or declined, with the extent of decline categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. We defined moderate and severe deficits were those that hindered daily life.

RESULTS

In 28 of 30 cases, available waveforms were obtained with transcortical MEPs. The mean extent of resection (EOR) was 93%. Relative to preoperative status, motor function 6 months after surgery was considered stable in 20 patients and was considered to show mild decline in 7, moderate decline in 2, and severe decline in 1. Motor function 6 months after surgery was significantly correlated with IVM (p = 0.0096), changes in transcortical MEPs (decline ≤ or > 50%) (p = 0.0163), EOR, and ischemic lesions on postoperative MRI. Six patients with no change in IVM showed stable motor function 6 months after surgery. Only 2 patients with a decline in IVM and a decline in MEPs ≤ 50% had a decline in motor function 6 months after surgery (18%; 2/11 patients), whereas 11 patients with a decline in IVM and a decline in MEPs > 50% had such a decline in motor function (73%; 8/11 patients) including 2 patients with moderate and 1 with severe deficits. Three patients with moderate or severe motor deficits showed the lowest MEP values (< 100 µV).

CONCLUSIONS

Combined judgment from monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEPs is useful for predicting postoperative motor function during removal of gliomas in the precentral gyrus. Maximum resection was achieved with an acceptable morbidity rate. Thus, these tumors should not be considered unresectable.

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Ricarda Lechner, David Putzer, Martin Krismer, Christian Haid, Alois Obwegeser and Martin Thaler

OBJECTIVE

The positive effect of primary lumbar disc surgery on braking reaction time (BRT) has already been shown. The authors investigated the effect of recurrent lumbar disc herniation surgery on BRT.

METHODS

Twenty-four patients (mean age 49.9 years) were investigated for BRT 1 day before surgery, postoperatively before hospital discharge, and 4 to 5 weeks after surgery. Thirty-one healthy subjects served as a control group.

RESULTS

Significant improvement of BRT following surgery was found in all patients (p < 0.05). For patients with right-sided recurrent disc herniation, median BRT was 736 msec before surgery, 685 msec immediately postoperatively, and 662 msec at follow-up. For patients with left-sided recurrent disc herniation, median BRT was 674 msec preoperatively, 585 msec postoperatively, and 578 msec at follow-up. Control subjects had a median BRT of 487, which differed significantly from the patient BRTs at all 3 test times (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

A significant reduction in BRT in patients with recurrent disc herniation was found following lumbar disc revision surgery, indicating a positive impact of surgery. Due to the improvement in BRT observed immediately after surgery, we conclude that it is appropriate to recommend that patients keep driving after being discharged from the hospital.