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Open access

Jason M. Schwalb, Kim J. Burchiel, Parag G. Patil and Tipu Z. Aziz

Free access

Tamara Ius, Teresa Somma, Roberto Altieri, Filippo Flavio Angileri, Giuseppe Maria Barbagallo, Paolo Cappabianca, Francesco Certo, Fabio Cofano, Alessandro D’Elia, Giuseppe Maria Della Pepa, Vincenzo Esposito, Marco Maria Fontanella, Antonino Germanò, Diego Garbossa, Miriam Isola, Giuseppe La Rocca, Francesco Maiuri, Alessandro Olivi, Pier Paolo Panciani, Fabrizio Pignotti, Miran Skrap, Giannantonio Spena and Giovanni Sabatino

OBJECTIVE

Approximately half of glioblastoma (GBM) cases develop in geriatric patients, and this trend is destined to increase with the aging of the population. The optimal strategy for management of GBM in elderly patients remains controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the role of surgery in the elderly (≥ 65 years old) based on clinical, molecular, and imaging data routinely available in neurosurgical departments and to assess a prognostic survival score that could be helpful in stratifying the prognosis for elderly GBM patients.

METHODS

Clinical, radiological, surgical, and molecular data were retrospectively analyzed in 322 patients with GBM from 9 neurosurgical centers. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of survival. A random forest approach (classification and regression tree [CART] analysis) was utilized to create the prognostic survival score.

RESULTS

Survival analysis showed that overall survival (OS) was influenced by age as a continuous variable (p = 0.018), MGMT (p = 0.012), extent of resection (EOR; p = 0.002), and preoperative tumor growth pattern (evaluated with the preoperative T1/T2 MRI index; p = 0.002). CART analysis was used to create the prognostic survival score, forming six different survival groups on the basis of tumor volumetric, surgical, and molecular features. Terminal nodes with similar hazard ratios were grouped together to form a final diagram composed of five classes with different OSs (p < 0.0001). EOR was the most robust influencing factor in the algorithm hierarchy, while age appeared at the third node of the CART algorithm. The ability of the prognostic survival score to predict death was determined by a Harrell’s c-index of 0.75 (95% CI 0.76–0.81).

CONCLUSIONS

The CART algorithm provided a promising, thorough, and new clinical prognostic survival score for elderly surgical patients with GBM. The prognostic survival score can be useful to stratify survival risk in elderly GBM patients with different surgical, radiological, and molecular profiles, thus assisting physicians in daily clinical management. The preliminary model, however, requires validation with future prospective investigations. Practical recommendations for clinicians/surgeons would strengthen the quality of the study; e.g., surgery can be considered as a first therapeutic option in the workflow of elderly patients with GBM, especially when the preoperative estimated EOR is greater than 80%.

Open access

M. Benjamin Larkin, Robert Y. North, Aditya Vedantam and Ashwin Viswanathan

The traditional commissural myelotomy consists of a sagittal cut in the midline and was originally described by Greenfield and performed by Armour in 1926. Today, myelotomy refers to the selective disruption of the ascending visceral pain pathway. The success of the procedure is incumbent on the correct identification of the midline. Limited midline open myelotomy for the treatment of medically intractable abdominal or pelvic visceral cancer pain, with the aid of somatosensory evoked potentials to identify midline, offers patients superior pain relief over similar percutaneous techniques. Multicenter registries are needed to better elucidate the best surgical technique for this procedure.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/0unlmwp08po

Free access

Kunal P. Raygor, Anthony T. Lee, Noah Nichols, Doris D. Wang, Mariann M. Ward, Nicholas M. Barbaro and Edward F. Chang

OBJECTIVE

Common surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) include microvascular decompression (MVD) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The use of MVD in elderly patients has been described but has yet to be prospectively compared to SRS, which is well-tolerated and noninvasive. The authors aimed to directly compare long-term pain control and adverse event rates for first-time surgical treatments for idiopathic TN in the elderly.

METHODS

A prospectively collected database was reviewed for TN patients who had undergone treatment between 1997 and 2017 at a single institution. Standardized collection of preoperative demographics, surgical procedure, and postoperative outcomes was performed. Data analysis was limited to patients over the age of 65 years who had undergone a first-time procedure for the treatment of idiopathic TN with at least 1 year of follow-up.

RESULTS

One hundred ninety-three patients meeting the study inclusion criteria underwent surgical procedures for TN during the study period (54 MVD, 24 MVD+Rhiz, 115 SRS). In patients in whom an artery was not compressing the trigeminal nerve during MVD, a partial sensory rhizotomy (MVD+Rhiz) was performed. Patients in the SRS cohort were older than those in the MVD and MVD+Rhiz cohorts (mean ± SD, 79.2 ± 7.8 vs 72.9 ± 5.7 and 70.9 ± 4.8 years, respectively; p < 0.0001) and had a higher mean Charlson Comorbidity Index (3.8 ± 1.1 vs 3.0 ± 0.9 and 2.9 ± 1.0, respectively; p < 0.0001). Immediate or short-term postoperative pain-free rates (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] pain intensity score I) were 98.1% for MVD, 95.8% for MVD+Rhiz, and 78.3% for SRS (p = 0.0008). At the last follow-up, 72.2% of MVD patients had a favorable outcome (BNI score I–IIIa) compared to 54.2% and 49.6% of MVD+Rhiz and SRS patients, respectively (p = 0.02). In total, 0 (0%) SRS, 5 (9.3%) MVD, and 1 (4.2%) MVD+Rhiz patients developed any adverse event. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis demonstrated that procedure type (p = 0.001) and postprocedure sensory change (p = 0.003) were statistically significantly associated with pain control.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study cohort, patients who had undergone MVD had a statistically significantly longer duration of pain freedom than those who had undergone MVD+Rhiz or SRS as their first procedure. Fewer adverse events were seen after SRS, though the MVD-associated complication rate was comparable to published rates in younger patients. Overall, the results suggest that both MVD and SRS are effective options for the elderly, despite their advanced age. Treatment choice can be tailored to a patient’s unique condition and wishes.

Free access

Elizabeth E. Ginalis and Shabbar F. Danish

OBJECTIVE

There is a paucity of studies assessing the use of MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), specifically in the elderly population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of LITT for brain tumors in geriatric patients.

METHODS

Geriatric patients (≥ 65 years of age) treated with LITT for intracranial tumors at a single institution between January 2011 and November 2019 were retrospectively identified. The authors grouped patients into two distinct age cohorts: 65–74 years (group 1) and 75 years or older (group 2). Baseline characteristics, operative parameters, postoperative course, and morbidity were recorded for each patient.

RESULTS

Fifty-five geriatric patients underwent 64 distinct LITT procedures for brain tumors. The majority of lesions (40 [62.5%]) treated were recurrent brain metastases or radiation necrosis. The median modified frailty index was 0.1 (low frailty; range 0–0.4) for patients in group 1 and 0.2 (intermediate frailty; range 0–0.4) for patients in group 2 (p > 0.05). The median hospital length of stay (LOS) was 1 day (IQR 1–2 days); there was no significant difference in LOS between the age groups. The hospital stay was significantly longer in patients who presented with a neurological symptom and in those who experienced a postoperative complication. The majority of patients (43 [68.3%] of 63 cases) were fit for discharge to their preoperative accommodation following LITT. The rate of discharge to home was not significantly different between the age groups. Those discharged to rehabilitation facilities were more likely to have presented with a neurological symptom. Nine patients (14.1% of cases) were found to have acute neurological complications following LITT, with nearly all patients showing complete or partial recovery at follow-up. The 30-day postoperative mortality rate was 1.6% (1 case). The complication and 30-day postoperative mortality rates were not significantly different between the two age groups.

CONCLUSIONS

LITT can be considered a minimally invasive and safe neurosurgical procedure for the treatment of intracranial tumors in geriatric patients. Careful preoperative preparation and postoperative care is essential as LITT is not without risk. Appropriate patient selection for cranial surgery is essential, because neurosurgeons are treating an increasing number of elderly patients, but advanced age alone should not exclude patients from LITT without considering frailty and comorbidities.

Open access

Edoardo Mazzucchi, Andrei Brinzeu, Patrick Mertens and Marc Sindou

Pain in patients with cancer is a major problem, and sometimes it is necessary to surgically interrupt pain pathways to effectively control refractory pain. Surgical lesion of the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) was first performed in 1972 for the treatment of pain related to a Pancoast-Tobias tumor. The rationale of DREZotomy is to preferentially interrupt the nociceptive inputs in the lateral part of the DREZ and the ventrolateral (excitatory) part of the dorsal horn. Microsurgical DREZotomy is one technique for DREZ lesioning that is suited for tailored control of pain in patients in good general condition who are experiencing pain in a well-defined territory.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/JtLQDP7gYSQ

Open access

Norio Ichimasu, Nobuyuki Nakajima, Ken Matsushima, Michihiro Kohno and Yutaka Takusagawa

In this operative video, the authors demonstrate the case of a 53-year-old woman who presented with typical right trigeminal neuralgia by a trigeminocerebellar artery (TCA). The TCA was first defined by Marinković as a unique branch of the basilar artery supplying both the trigeminal nerve root and the cerebellar hemisphere. As a result of the close relationship between this vessel and the nerve root, the TCA might compress the nerve root, thereby causing trigeminal neuralgia. However, few cases of trigeminal neuralgia caused by TCA have been reported. This video shows the microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia by the TCA.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/UnGsCQRK6aY

Open access

Mitchell W. Couldwell, Vance Mortimer, AS and William T. Couldwell

Microvascular decompression is a well-established technique used to relieve abnormal vascular compression of cranial nerves and associated pain. Here the authors describe three cases in which a sling technique was used in the treatment of cranial nerve pain syndromes: trigeminal neuralgia with predominant V2 distribution, hemifacial spasm, and geniculate neuralgia and right-sided ear pain. In each case, the artery was mobilized from the nerve and tethered with a sling. All three patients had reduction of symptoms within 6 weeks.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/iM7gukvPz6E

Free access

Evan Joyce, Michael T. Bounajem, Jonathan Scoville, Ajith J. Thomas, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Howard A. Riina, Omar Tanweer, Elad I. Levy, Alejandro M. Spiotta, Bradley A. Gross, Brian T. Jankowitz, C. Michael Cawley, Alexander A. Khalessi, Aditya S. Pandey, Andrew J. Ringer, Ricardo Hanel, Rafael A. Ortiz, David Langer, Michael R. Levitt, Mandy Binning, Philipp Taussky, Peter Kan and Ramesh Grandhi

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of already common chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) and other nonacute subdural hematomas (NASHs) in the elderly is expected to rise as the population ages over the coming decades. Surgical management is associated with recurrence and exposes elderly patients to perioperative and operative risks. Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization offers the potential for a minimally invasive, less morbid treatment in this age group. The clinical and radiographic outcomes after MMA embolization treatment for NASHs have not been adequately described in elderly patients. In this paper, the authors describe the clinical and radiographic outcomes after 151 cases of MMA embolization for NASHs among 121 elderly patients.

METHODS

In a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database across 15 US academic centers, the authors identified patients aged ≥ 65 years who underwent MMA embolization for the treatment of NASHs between November 2017 and February 2020. Patient demographics, comorbidities, clinical and radiographic factors, treatment factors, and clinical outcomes were abstracted. Subgroup analysis was performed comparing elderly (age 65–79 years) and advanced elderly (age > 80 years) patients.

RESULTS

MMA embolization was successfully performed in 98% of NASHs (in 148 of 151 cases) in 121 patients. Seventy elderly patients underwent 87 embolization procedures, and 51 advanced elderly patients underwent 64 embolization procedures. Elderly and advanced elderly patients had similar rates of embolization for upfront (46% vs 61%), recurrent (39% vs 33%), and prophylactic (i.e., with concomitant surgical intervention; 15% vs 6%) NASH treatment. Transfemoral access was used in most patients, and the procedure time was approximately 1 hour in both groups. Particle embolization with supplemental coils was most common, used in 51% (44/87) and 44% (28/64) of attempts for the elderly and advanced elderly groups, respectively. NASH thickness decreased significantly from initial thickness to 6 weeks, with additional decrease in thickness observed in both groups at 90 days. At longest follow-up, the treated NASHs had stabilized or improved in 91% and 98% of the elderly and advanced elderly groups, respectively, with > 50% improvement seen in > 60% of patients for each group. Surgical rescue was necessary in 4.6% and 7.8% of cases, and the overall mortality was 8.6% and 3.9% for elderly and advanced elderly patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

MMA embolization can be used safely and effectively as an alternative or adjunctive minimally invasive treatment for NASHs in elderly and advanced elderly patients.

Free access

Jai Deep Thakur, Regin Jay Mallari, Alex Corlin, Samantha Yawitz, Weichao Huang, Amy Eisenberg, Walavan Sivakumar, Howard R. Krauss, Chester Griffiths, Garni Barkhoudarian and Daniel F. Kelly

OBJECTIVE

Increased lifespan has led to more elderly patients being diagnosed with meningiomas. In this study, the authors sought to analyze and compare patients ≥ 65 years old with those < 65 years old who underwent minimally invasive surgery for meningioma. To address surgical selection criteria, the authors also assessed a cohort of patients managed without surgery.

METHODS

In a retrospective analysis, consecutive patients with meningiomas who underwent minimally invasive (endonasal, supraorbital, minipterional, transfalcine, or retromastoid) and conventional surgical treatment approaches during the period from 2008 to 2019 were dichotomized into those ≥ 65 and those < 65 years old to compare resection rates, endoscopy use, complications, and length of hospital stay (LOS). A comparator meningioma cohort of patients ≥ 65 years old who were observed without surgery during the period from 2015 to 2019 was also analyzed.

RESULTS

Of 291 patients (median age 60 years, 71.5% females, mean follow-up 36 months) undergoing meningioma resection, 118 (40.5%) were aged ≥ 65 years and underwent 126 surgeries, including 20% redo operations, as follows: age 65–69 years, 46 operations; 70–74 years, 40 operations; 75–79 years, 17 operations; and ≥ 80 years, 23 operations. During 2015–2019, of 98 patients referred for meningioma, 67 (68%) had surgery, 1 (1%) had radiosurgery, and 31 (32%) were observed. In the 11-year surgical cohort, comparing 173 patients < 65 years versus 118 patients ≥ 65 years old, there were no significant differences in tumor location, size, or outcomes. Of 126 cases of surgery in 118 elderly patients, the approach was a minimally invasive approach to skull base meningioma (SBM) in 64 cases (51%) as follows: endonasal 18, supraorbital 28, minipterional 6, and retrosigmoid 12. Endoscope-assisted surgery was performed in 59.5% of patients. A conventional approach to SBM was performed in 15 cases (12%) (endoscope-assisted 13.3%), and convexity craniotomy for non–skull base meningioma (NSBM) in 47 cases (37%) (endoscope-assisted 17%). In these three cohorts (minimally invasive SBM, conventional SBM, and NSBM), the gross-total/near-total resection rates were 59.5%, 60%, and 91.5%, respectively, and an improved or stable Karnofsky Performance Status score occurred in 88.6%, 86.7%, and 87.2% of cases, respectively. For these 118 elderly patients, the median LOS was 3 days, and major complications occurred in 10 patients (8%) as follows: stroke 4%, vision decline 3%, systemic complications 0.7%, and wound infection or death 0. Eighty-three percent of patients were discharged home, and readmissions occurred in 5 patients (4%). Meningioma recurrence occurred in 4 patients (3%) and progression in 11 (9%). Multivariate regression analysis showed no significance of American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score, comorbidities, or age subgroups on outcomes; patients aged ≥ 80 years showed a trend of longer hospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis suggests that elderly patients with meningiomas, when carefully selected, generally have excellent surgical outcomes and tumor control. When applied appropriately, use of minimally invasive approaches and endoscopy may be helpful in achieving maximal safe resection, reducing complications, and promoting short hospitalizations. Notably, one-third of our elderly meningioma patients referred for possible surgery from 2015 to 2019 were managed nonoperatively.