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Thomas K. Mattingly and Stephen P. Lownie

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Peyton L. Nisson, Salman A. Fard, Christina M. Walter, Cameron M. Johnstone, Michael A. Mooney, Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Michael Lang, Helen Kim, Heidi Jahnke, Denise J. Roe, Travis M. Dumont, G. Michael Lemole Jr., Robert F. Spetzler and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to evaluate the existing Spetzler-Martin (SM), Spetzler-Ponce (SP), and Lawton-Young (LY) grading systems for cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and to propose a new grading system to estimate the risks associated with these lesions.

METHODS

Data for patients with cerebellar AVMs treated microsurgically in two tertiary medical centers were retrospectively reviewed. Data from patients at institution 1 were collected from September 1999 to February 2013, and at institution 2 from October 2008 to October 2015. Patient outcomes were classified as favorable (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–2) or poor (mRS score 3–6) at the time of discharge. Using chi-square and logistic regression analysis, variables associated with poor outcomes were assigned risk points to design the proposed grading system. The proposed system included neurological status prior to treatment (poor, +2 points), emergency surgery (+1 point), age > 60 years (+1 point), and deep venous drainage (deep, +1 point). Risk point totals of 0–1 comprised grade 1, 2–3 grade 2, and 4–5 grade 3.

RESULTS

A total of 125 cerebellar AVMs of 1328 brain AVMs were reviewed in 125 patients, 120 of which were treated microsurgically and included in the study. With our proposed grading system, we found poor outcomes differed significantly between each grade (p < 0.001), while with the SM, SP, and LY grading systems they did not (p = 0.22, p = 0.25, and p = 1, respectively). Logistic regression revealed grade 2 had 3.3 times the risk of experiencing a poor outcome (p = 0.008), while grade 3 had 9.9 times the risk (p < 0.001). The proposed grading system demonstrated a superior level of predictive accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC] of 0.72) compared with the SM, SP, and LY grading systems (AUROC of 0.61, 0.57, and 0.51, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose a novel grading system for cerebellar AVMs based on emergency surgery, venous drainage, preoperative neurological status, and age that provides a superior prognostication power than the formerly proposed SM, SP, and LY grading systems. This grading system is clinically predictive of patient outcomes and can be used to better guide vascular neurosurgeons in clinical decision-making.

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Chiara Robba, Joseph Donnelly, Danilo Cardim, Tamara Tajsic, Manuel Cabeleira, Giuseppe Citerio, Paolo Pelosi, Peter Smielewski, Peter Hutchinson, David K. Menon and Marek Czosnyka

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial hypertension and impaired cerebral autoregulation are common causes of secondary injuries in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The primary outcome of this study was to assess whether a noninvasive method to estimate intracranial pressure (ICP) based on the ultrasonography of the optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) measured at the time of neurocritical care unit (NCCU) admission is correlated with the mean ICP during NCCU stay. Secondary outcomes were to assess whether ONSD is correlated with the dose of ICP > 20 mm Hg and impaired autoregulation during NCCU stay and with instantaneous ICP and whether ONSD is associated with NCCU mortality.

METHODS

This prospective observational monocentric study included adults with severe TBI. ONSD was measured at NCCU admission, immediately after invasive ICP insertion. ONSD-predicted noninvasive ICP (nICPONSD) was calculated according the formula: nICPONSD = 5 × ONSD − 14 (nICPONSD in mm Hg, ONSD in mm). Autoregulation was measured using the pressure reactivity index (PRx).

RESULTS

In total, 100 patients were included in this study. ONSD was significantly correlated with mean ICP (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), with mean PRx (r = 0.21, p = 0.04), and with the dose of ICP > 20 mm Hg during NCCU stay (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001). Admission nICPONSD was shown to be significantly correlated with instantaneous ICP (r = 0.85, p < 0.001). ONSD at admission was significantly correlated with NCCU mortality (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

ONSD measured at NCCU admission can give important information about patients at risk of developing intracranial hypertension and impaired autoregulation. ONSD examination could be useful to screen patients at admission to determine who would benefit from further invasive ICP monitoring.

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Robert S. Heller, Carlos A. David and Carl B. Heilman

OBJECTIVE

Surgical resection of sphenoid wing tumors and intraorbital pathology carries the dual goal of appropriately treating the target pathology as well as correcting proptosis. Residual proptosis following surgery can lead to cosmetic and functional disability. The authors sought to quantitatively assess the effect of orbital volume before and after reconstruction to determine the optimal strategy to achieve proptosis correction.

METHODS

All surgeries involving orbital wall reconstruction for orbital or intracranial pathology that preoperatively resulted in proptosis between 2007 and 2017 were reviewed. Proptosis was measured by the exophthalmos index (EI): the ratio of the distance of the anterior limit of each globe to a line drawn between the anterior limit of the frontal processes of the zygomas, comparing the pathological eye to the normal eye. Postoperative radiographic measurements were taken at least 60 days after surgery to allow surgical swelling to abate. The orbit contralateral to the pathology was used as an internal control for normal anatomical orbital volume. Cases with preoperative EI < 1.10, orbital exenteration, or enucleation were excluded.

RESULTS

Twenty-three patients (16 females and 7 males, with a mean age of 43.6 ± 22.8 years) were treated surgically for tumor-associated proptosis. Nineteen patients harbored meningiomas (11 en-plaque; 8 sphenoid wing), and one patient each harbored an orbital schwannoma, glomangioma, arteriovenous malformation, or cavernous hemangioma. Preoperative EI averaged 1.28 ± 0.10 (range 1.12–1.53). Median time to postoperative imaging was 19 months. Postoperatively, the EI decreased to a mean of 1.07 ± 0.09. Greater increases in size of the reconstructed orbit were positively correlated with greater quantitative reductions in proptosis (p < 0.01). Larger volume of soft tissue pathology was also associated with achieving greater proptosis correction (p < 0.01). Residual exophthalmos (defined as EI > 1.10) was present in 8 patients, while reconstruction in 2 patients resulted in clinically asymptomatic enophthalmos (defined as EI < 0.95). Tumor invasion into the superior orbital fissure sinus was associated with residual proptosis (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

Proptosis associated with intracranial and orbital pathology represents a surgical challenge. The EI is a reliable and quantitative assessment of proptosis. For orbital reconstruction in cases of superior orbital fissure involvement, surgeons should consider rebuilding the orbit at slightly larger than anatomical volume.

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Steven O. Tenny, Kyle P. Schmidt and William E. Thorell

OBJECTIVE

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has pushed for more frequent and comprehensive feedback for residents during their training, but there is scant evidence for how neurosurgery residents view the current feedback system as it applies to providing information for self-improvement and goal formation. The authors sought to assess neurosurgery resident and staff perceptions of the current resident feedback system in providing specific, meaningful, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals. The authors then created a pilot project to improve the most unfavorably viewed aspect of the feedback system.

METHODS

The authors conducted an anonymous survey of neurosurgery residents and staff at an academic medical institution to assess SMART goals for resident feedback and used the results to create a pilot intervention to address the most unfavorably viewed aspect of the feedback system. The authors then conducted a postintervention survey to see if perceptions had improved for the target of the intervention.

RESULTS

Neurosurgery residents and staff completed an anonymous online survey, for which the results indicated that resident feedback was not occurring in a timely manner. The authors created a simple anonymous feedback form. The form was distributed monthly to neurosurgery residents, neurosurgical staff, and nurses, and the results were reported monthly to each resident for 6 months. A postintervention survey was then administered, and the results indicated that the opinions of the neurosurgery residents and staff on the timeliness of resident feedback had changed from a negative to a nonnegative opinion (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The required ACGME feedback methods may not be providing adequate feedback for goal formation for self-improvement for neurosurgery residents. Simple interventions, such as anonymous feedback questionnaires, can improve neurosurgery resident and staff perception of feedback to residents for self-improvement and goal formation.

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Sarah K. Bick, Marjan S. Dolatshahi, Benjamin L. Grannan, Andrew J. Cole, Daniel B. Hoch and Emad N. Eskandar

OBJECTIVE

Foramen ovale electrodes (FOEs) are a minimally invasive method to localize mesial temporal seizures in cases in which noninvasive methods are inconclusive. The objective of this study was to identify factors predicting the ability of FOEs to yield a diagnosis in order to determine optimal candidates for this procedure.

METHODS

All cases of diagnostic investigations performed with FOEs at the authors’ institution between 2005 and 2017 were reviewed. FOE investigation was defined as diagnostic if it led to a treatment decision. Demographic and clinical variables for diagnostic and nondiagnostic investigations were compared using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test for continuous variables and Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables.

RESULTS

Ninety-three patients underwent investigations performed with FOEs during the study period and were included in the study. FOE investigation was diagnostic in 75.3% of cases. Of patients who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy following diagnostic FOE evaluation, 75.9% were Engel class I at last follow-up (average 40.1 months). When the diagnostic and nondiagnostic FOE groups were compared, patients who had diagnostic investigations were more likely to be male (57.1% male vs 26.1% in the nondiagnostic group, p = 0.015). They were also more likely to have temporal lesions on preoperative MRI (p = 0.018).

CONCLUSIONS

FOEs are a useful, minimally invasive diagnostic modality resulting in a treatment decision in 75% of cases. Male patients and patients with temporal lesions on MRI may be most likely to benefit from FOE investigation.

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Robert F. Spetzler, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Joseph M. Zabramski and Peter Nakaji

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Timothy Y. Kim, Christopher M. Jackson, Yuanxuan Xia, Leila A. Mashouf, Kisha K. Patel, Eileen S. Kim, Alice L. Hung, Adela Wu, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Matthew T. Bender, Chetan Bettegowda, John Y. K. Lee and Michael Lim

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic pain disorder characterized by severe, lancinating facial pain that is commonly treated with neuropathic medication, percutaneous rhizotomy, and/or microvascular decompression (MVD). Patients who are not found to have distinct arterial compression during MVD present a management challenge. In 2013, the authors reported on a small case series of such patients in whom glycerin was injected intraoperatively into the cisternal segment of the trigeminal nerve. The objective of the authors’ present study was to report their updated experience with this technique to further validate this novel approach.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of data obtained in patients in whom glycerin was directly injected into the inferior third of the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve. Seventy-four patients, including 14 patients from the authors’ prior study, were identified, and demographic information, intraoperative findings, postoperative course, and complications were recorded. Fisher’s exact test, unpaired t-tests, and Kaplan-Meier survival curves using Mantel log-rank test were used to compare the 74 patients with a cohort of 476 patients who received standard MVD by the same surgeon.

RESULTS

The 74 patients who underwent MVD and glycerin injection had an average follow-up of 19.1 ± 18.0 months, and the male/female ratio was 1:2.9. In 33 patients (44.6%), a previous intervention for TN had failed. On average, patients had an improvement in the Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Intensity score from 4.1 ± 0.4 before surgery to 2.1 ± 1.2 after surgery. Pain improvement after the surgery was documented in 95.9% of patients. Thirteen patients (17.6%) developed burning pain following surgery. Five patients developed complications (6.7%), including incisional infection, facial palsy, CSF leak, and hearing deficit, all of which were minor.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative injection of glycerin into the trigeminal nerve is a generally safe and potentially effective treatment for TN when no distinct site of arterial compression is identified during surgery or when decompression of the nerve is deemed to be inadequate.

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Jeremy Steinberger, Dominic A. Nistal and Saadi Ghatan

Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are the most common benign neoplasm of the neonatal and newborn period, affecting approximately 5% of infants. However, true IHs presenting in the neuraxis are quite rare with only 15 documented cases in the literature. Management of IH consists of utilizing steroids and immunomodulatory therapies to reduce the size of the tumor and surgery to remove the tumor to decrease symptoms and the risk of bleeding. Operative management of epidural and intradural extramedullary spinal hemangiomas has been described; however, management of intradural intramedullary IH has not been detailed in the literature. In this report, the authors describe the case of a 3-year-old girl who presented with multiple hemangiomas involving the liver, lung, and spine, with one component of the tumor involving the posterior intramedullary aspect of the spinal cord at the level of T3. After medical therapies had failed, the patient underwent endovascular embolization of the spinal hemangioma followed by resection of the tumor. While there is extensive literature on IH throughout many organ systems, only a handful of cases involving the neuraxis have been described. Operative management of refractory IH seems to allow for the reduction of tumor burden and the prevention of hemorrhagic injury.

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Robert F. Spetzler, Cameron G. McDougall, Joseph M. Zabramski, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Nancy K. Hills, Peter Nakaji, John P. Karis and Robert C. Wallace

OBJECTIVE

The authors present the 10-year results of the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) for saccular aneurysms. The 1-, 3-, and 6-year results of the trial have been previously reported, as have the 6-year results with respect to saccular aneurysms. This final report comparing the safety and efficacy of clipping versus coiling is limited to an analysis of those patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured saccular aneurysm.

METHODS

In the study, 362 patients had saccular aneurysms and were randomized equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). The primary outcome analysis was based on the assigned treatment group; poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2 and was independently adjudicated. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by a nontreating neuroradiologist.

RESULTS

There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (mRS score > 2) or deaths between these 2 treatment arms during the 10 years of follow-up. Of 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (< 1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. After the initial hospitalization, 2 of 241 (0.8%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 23 of 115 (20%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 10-year follow-up, 93% (50/54) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with only 22% (5/23) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). Two patients had documented rebleeding, both died, and both were in the assigned and treated coiled cohort (2/83); no patient in the clipped cohort (0/175) died (p = 0.04). In 1 of these 2 patients, the hemorrhage was not from the target aneurysm but from an incidental basilar artery aneurysm, which was coiled at the same time.

CONCLUSIONS

There was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the 2 assigned treatment groups as measured by mRS outcomes or deaths. Clinical outcomes in the patients with posterior circulation aneurysms were better in the coiling group at 1 year, but after 1 year this difference was no longer statistically significant. Rates of complete aneurysm obliteration and rates of retreatment favored patients who actually underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (clinicaltrials.gov)