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Dong Hyun Yoo, Chul-Ho Sohn, Young Dae Cho, Hyun-Seung Kang, Chul-Kee Park, Jin Wook Kim, and Jae Hyoung Kim

OBJECTIVE

Superselective pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (ss-pCASL) is an MRI technique in which individual vessels are labeled to trace their perfusion territories. In this study, the authors assessed its merit in defining feeding vessels and gauging preoperative embolization feasibility for patients with meningioma, using digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as the reference method.

METHODS

Thirty-one consecutive patients with meningiomas were prospectively recruited, each undergoing DSA (and embolization, if feasible) before resection. All ss-pCASL imaging studies were performed 1 day prior to DSA. Two neuroradiologists independently reviewed ss-pCASL images, rating the contribution of each labeled vessel to tumor blood supply as none, minor, or major. Two neuroradiologists also gauged the feasibility of embolization in each patient, based on ss-pCASL images. Interobserver and intermodality agreement were determined using Cohen’s kappa statistic. The diagnostic performance of ss-pCASL was assessed in terms of discerning tumor blood supply and the potential for embolization.

RESULTS

Interobserver agreement in the rating of blood supply by ss-pCASL was very good (κ = 0.817, 95% CI 0.771–0.863), and intermodality agreement (consensus ss-pCASL readings vs DSA findings) was good (κ = 0.688, 95% CI 0.632–0.744). In delineating tumor blood supply, ss-pCASL showed high sensitivity (87.1%) and specificity (87.2%). The positive and negative predictive values for embolization feasibility were 85.2% and 100%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with meningiomas, feeding vessels are reliably predicted by ss-pCASL. This noninvasive approach, involving no iodinated contrast or radiation exposure, is particularly beneficial if there are no prospects of embolization.

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Douglas Kondziolka and Linda M. Liau

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Deborah L. Benzil, Karin M. Muraszko, Pranay Soni, Ellen L. Air, Katie O. Orrico, and James T. Rutka

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was the creation and administration of a survey to assess the depth and breadth of sexual harassment across neurosurgery.

METHODS

A survey was created to 1) assess perceived attitudes toward systemic issues that might be permissive of sexual harassment; 2) measure the reported prevalence and severity of sexual harassment; and 3) determine the populations at highest risk and those most likely to perpetrate sexual harassment. Demographic information was also included to facilitate further analysis. The SurveyMonkey platform was used, and a request to complete the survey was sent to all Society of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) active and resident members as well as CNS transitional, emeritus, and inactive members. Data were analyzed using RStudio version 1.2.5019.

RESULTS

Nearly two-thirds of responders indicated having witnessed sexual harassment in some form (62%, n = 382). Males were overwhelmingly identified as the offenders in allegations of sexual harassment (72%), with individuals in a “superior position” identified as offenders in 86%. Less than one-third of responders addressed the incidents of sexual harassment when they happened (yes 31%, no 62%, unsure 7%). Of those who did report, most felt there was either no impact or a negative one (negative: 34%, no impact: 38%). Almost all (85%) cited barriers to taking action about sexual harassment, including retaliation/retribution (87%), impact on future career (85%), reputation concerns (72%), and associated stress (50%). Female neurosurgeons were statistically more likely than male neurosurgeons to report witnessing or experiencing sexual harassment, as well as assessing it as a problem.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates that neurosurgeons report significant sexual harassment across all ages and practice settings. Sexual harassment impacts both men and women, with more than half personally subjected to this behavior and two-thirds having witnessed it. Male dominance, a hierarchical environment, and a permissive environment remain prevalent within the neurosurgical community. This is not just a historical problem, but it continues today. A change of culture will be required for neurosurgery to shed this mantle, which must include zero tolerance of this behavior, new policies, awareness of unconscious bias, and commitment to best practices to enhance diversity. Above all, it will require that all neurosurgeons and neurosurgical leaders develop an awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and establish consistent mechanisms to mitigate against its highly deleterious effects in the specialty.

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Theresa L. Williamson, Andrew Cutler, Mary I. Cobb, Shervin Rahimpour, Eric R. Butler, Stephen C. Harward, Thomas J. Cummings, and Allan H. Friedman

This study describes a patient with an autograft-derived spinal cord mass following transplantation of olfactory mucosa for treatment of cervical spine injury. The authors report the case of a 35-year-old man who suffered a complete spinal cord injury (SCI) at C5–6 in 2001. The patient underwent an olfactory mucosal cell implantation at the location of injury 4 years following initial trauma. Twelve years later, the patient presented with rapidly progressive decline in upper-extremity function as well as neuropathic pain. Imaging revealed a heterogeneously enhancing intramedullary mass from C3 to C7. At surgery, the patient was found to have a posttransplant mucinous mass. Each mucinous cyst was drained and a portion of the cyst wall was removed. Histological examination demonstrated ciliated epithelium-lined fibrous tissue, submucosal glands, and mucoid material, consistent with a transplant-derived tumor. This case report both documents a rare long-term complication of olfactory mucosal cell transplantation and serves as a cautionary tale encouraging prudent use of novel treatments in a vulnerable population of patients with severe SCI.

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Georgios Alexopoulos, Nabiha Quadri, Maheen Khan, Henna Bazai, Carla Formoso Pico, Connor Fraser, Neha Kulkarni, Joanna Kemp, Jeroen Coppens, Richard Bucholz, and Philippe Mercier

OBJECTIVE

Penetrating brain injury (PBI) is the most lethal of all firearm injuries, with reported survival rates of less than 20%. The projectile trajectory (PT) has been shown to impact mortality, but the significant lobar tracks have not been defined. The aim of this retrospective case-control study was to test for associations between distinct ballistic trajectories, missile types, and patient outcomes.

METHODS

A total of 243 patients who presented with a PBI to the Saint Louis University emergency department from 2008 through 2019 were identified from the hospital registry. Conventional CT scans combined with 3D CT reconstructions and medical records were reviewed for each patient to identify distinct PTs.

RESULTS

A total of 65 ballistic lobar trajectories were identified. Multivariable regression models were used, and the results were compared with those in the literature. Penetrating and perforating types of PBI associated with bitemporal (t-statistic = −2.283, p = 0.023) or frontal-to-contralateral parietal (t-statistic = −2.311, p = 0.025) projectile paths were universally found to be fatal. In the group in which the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at presentation was lower than 8, a favorable penetrating missile trajectory was one that involved a single frontal lobe (adjusted OR 0.02 [95% CI 0.00–0.38], p = 0.022) or parietal lobe (adjusted OR 0.15 [95% CI 0.02–0.97], p = 0.048). Expanding or fragmenting types of projectiles carry higher mortality rates (OR 2.53 [95% CI 1.32–4.83], p < 0.001) than do nondeformable missiles. Patient age was not associated with worse outcomes when controlled by other significant predictive factors.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with penetrating or perforating types of PBI associated with bitemporal or frontal-to-contralateral parietal PTs should be considered as potential donor candidates. Trauma patients with penetrating missile trajectories involving a single frontal or parietal lobe should be considered for early neurosurgical intervention, especially in the circumstances of a low GCS score (< 8). Surgeons should not base their decision-making solely on advanced patient age to defer further treatment. Patients with PBIs caused by nondeformable types of projectiles can survive multiple simultaneous intracranial missile trajectories.

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Jianning Shao, Jaes Jones, Patrick Ellsworth, Ghaith Habboub, Gino Cioffi, Nirav Patil, Quinn T. Ostrom, Carol Kruchko, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Varun R. Kshettry, and Pablo F. Recinos

OBJECTIVE

Spinal cord astrocytoma (SCA) is a rare tumor whose epidemiology has not been well defined. The authors utilized the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) to provide comprehensive up-to-date epidemiological data for this disease.

METHODS

The CBTRUS was queried for SCAs on ICD-O-3 (International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd edition) histological and topographical codes. The age-adjusted incidence (AAI) per 100,000 persons was calculated and stratified by race, sex, age, and ethnicity. Joinpoint was used to calculate the annual percentage change (APC) in incidence.

RESULTS

Two thousand nine hundred sixty-nine SCAs were diagnosed in the US between 1995 and 2016, resulting in an average of approximately 136 SCAs annually. The overall AAI was 0.047 (95% CI 0.045–0.049), and there was a statistically significant increase from 0.051 in 1995 to 0.043 in 2016. The peak incidence of 0.064 (95% CI 0.060–0.067) was found in the 0- to 19-year age group. The incidence in males was 0.053 (95% CI 0.050–0.055), which was significantly greater than the incidence in females (0.041, 95% CI 0.039–0.044). SCA incidence was significantly lower both in patients of Asian/Pacific Islander race (AAI = 0.034, 95% CI 0.028–0.042, p = 0.00015) and in patients of Hispanic ethnicity (AAI = 0.035, 95% CI 0.031–0.039, p < 0.001). The incidence of WHO grade I SCAs was significantly higher than those of WHO grade II, III, or IV SCAs (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The overall AAI of SCA from 1995 to 2016 was 0.047 per 100,000. The incidence peaked early in life for both sexes, reached a nadir between 20 and 34 years of age for males and between 35 and 44 years of age for females, and then slowly increased throughout adulthood, with a greater incidence in males. Pilocytic astrocytomas were the most common SCA in the study cohort. This study presents the most comprehensive epidemiological study of SCA incidence in the US to date.

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Daniel Umansky and Rajiv Midha

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Neil Kaushal, Keith J. Orland, Andrew M. Schwartz, Jacob M. Wilson, Nicholas D. Fletcher, Anuj Patel, Bryan Menapace, Michelle Ramirez, Martha Wetzel, Dennis Devito, and Joshua Murphy

OBJECTIVE

Posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can be associated with significant blood loss. It has been suggested that blood loss is greater in different racial groups. The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in blood loss between African American and Caucasian patients undergoing PSF for AIS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of patients aged 10–18 years with AIS who were treated with PSF from 2014 to 2017 at a single children’s healthcare system. Patient demographic, radiographic, and operative data were obtained from medical records. Intraoperative blood loss was calculated using the formula described by Waters et al. Patients who declined reporting their race or had prior spinal surgery, neuromuscular or syndromic diagnoses, a history of cardiac or thoracic surgery, or a bleeding disorder were excluded. Blood loss variables were log-transformed for normality and modeled using multivariable linear regression.

RESULTS

A total of 433 PSFs for AIS qualified for the analysis. The average age was 14.1 years, and 73.7% of the patients were female. With respect to race, 44.6% identified themselves as African American. There was no significant difference in blood loss (p = 0.31) or blood loss per level fused (p = 0.36) in African American patients. African American patients, however, did have significantly lower preoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and greater operating room time than Caucasian patients (p < 0.001). There was no difference between race and transfusion rate.

CONCLUSIONS

There appears to be no relationship between race and blood loss during PSF for AIS. Standardized protocols for minimizing perioperative blood loss can be applied to both Caucasian and African American patients.

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Colin W. McInnes, Austin Y. Ha, Hollie A. Power, Thomas H. Tung, and Amy M. Moore

OBJECTIVE

Partial femoral nerve injuries cause significant disability with ambulation. Due to their more proximal and superficial location, sartorius branches are often spared in femoral nerve injuries. In this article, the authors report the benefits of femoral nerve decompression, demonstrate the feasibility of sartorius-to-quadriceps nerve transfers in a cadaveric study, describe the surgical technique, and report clinical results.

METHODS

Four fresh-frozen cadaveric lower limbs were dissected for anatomical analysis of the sartorius nerve. In addition, a retrospective review of patients with partial femoral nerve injuries treated with femoral nerve decompression and sartorius-to-quadriceps nerve transfers was conducted. Pre- and postoperative knee extension Medical Research Council (MRC) grades and pain scores (visual analog scale) were collected.

RESULTS

Up to 6 superficial femoral branches innervate the sartorius muscle just distal to the inguinal ligament. Each branch yielded an average of 672 nerve fibers (range 99–1850). Six patients underwent femoral nerve decompression and sartorius-to-quadriceps nerve transfers. Four patients also had concomitant obturator-to-quadriceps nerve transfers. At final follow-up (average 13.4 months), all patients achieved MRC grade 4−/5 or greater knee extension. The average preoperative pain score was 5.2, which decreased to 2.2 postoperatively (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Femoral nerve decompression and nerve transfer using sartorius branches are a viable tool for restoring function in partial femoral nerve injuries. Sartorius branches serve as ideal donors in quadriceps nerve transfers because they are expendable, are close to their recipients, and have an adequate supply of nerve fibers.

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Alexandrine Gagnon, Mathieu Laroche, David Williamson, Marc Giroux, Jean-François Giguère, and Francis Bernard

OBJECTIVE

After craniectomy, although intracranial pressure (ICP) is controlled, episodes of brain hypoxia might still occur. Cerebral hypoxia is an indicator of poor outcome independently of ICP and cerebral perfusion pressure. No study has systematically evaluated the incidence and characteristics of brain hypoxia after craniectomy. The authors’ objective was to describe the incidence and characteristics of brain hypoxia after craniectomy.

METHODS

The authors included 25 consecutive patients who underwent a craniectomy after traumatic brain injury or intracerebral hemorrhage and who were monitored afterward with a brain tissue oxygen pressure monitor.

RESULTS

The frequency of hypoxic values after surgery was 14.6% despite ICP being controlled. Patients had a mean of 18 ± 23 hypoxic episodes. Endotracheal (ET) secretions (17.4%), low cerebral perfusion pressure (10.3%), and mobilizing the patient (8.6%) were the most common causes identified. Elevated ICP was rarely identified as the cause of hypoxia (4%). No cause of cerebral hypoxia could be determined 31.2% of the time. Effective treatments that were mainly used included sedation/analgesia (20.8%), ET secretion suctioning (15.4%), and increase in fraction of inspired oxygen or positive end-expiratory pressure (14.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Cerebral hypoxia is common after craniectomy, despite ICP being controlled. ET secretion and patient mobilization are common causes that are easily treatable and often not identified by standard monitoring. These results suggest that monitoring should be pursued even if ICP is controlled. The authors’ findings might provide a hypothesis to explain the poor functional outcome in the recent randomized controlled trials on craniectomy after traumatic brain injury where in which brain tissue oxygen pressure was not measured.