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Sanjay S. Dhall, Shekar N. Kurpad, R. John Hurlbert and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Francesco Sammartino, Dylan W. Beam, John Snell and Vibhor Krishna

Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) ablation is an emerging incision-less treatment for neurological disorders. The factors affecting FUS treatment efficiency are not well understood. Kranion is open-source software that allows the user to simulate the planning stages of FUS treatment and to “replay” previous treatments for off-line analysis. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between skull parameters and treatment efficiency and to create a metric to estimate temperature rise during FUS. CT images from 28 patients were analyzed to validate the use of Kranion. For stereotactic targets within each patient, individual transducer element incident angles, skull density ratio, and skull thickness measurements were recorded. A penetration metric (the “beam index”) was calculated by combining the energy loss from incident angles and the skull thickness. Kranion accurately estimated the patient’s skull and treatment parameters. The authors observed significant changes in incident angles with different targets in the brain. Using the beam index as a predictor of temperature rise in a linear-mixed-effects model, they were able to predict the average temperature rise at the focal point during ablation with < 21% error (55°C ± 3.8°C) in 75% of sonications, and with < 44% (55°C ± 7.9°C) in 97% of sonications. This research suggests that the beam index can improve the prediction of temperature rise during FUS. Additional work is required to study the relationship between temperature rise and lesion shape and clinical outcomes.

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Dmitriy Petrov, Michael Spadola, Connor Berger, Gregory Glauser, Ahmad F. Mahmoud, Bert O’Malley and Neil R. Malhotra

Chordomas are rare, locally aggressive neoplasms that develop from remnants of the notochord. The typical approach to chordomas of the clivus and axial cervical spine often limits successful en bloc resection. In this case report, authors describe the first-documented transoral approach using both transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for exposure and the Sonopet bone scalpel under navigational guidance to achieve en bloc resection of a cervical chordoma. This 27-year-old man had no significant past medical history (Charlson Comorbidity Index 0). During a trauma workup following a motor vehicle collision, a CT of the patient’s cervical spine demonstrated an incidental 2.2-cm lesion situated along the posterior aspect of the C2 vertebral body. Postoperative imaging showed successful en bloc resection with adequate placement of hardware, and the pathology report demonstrated negative resection margins. The patient tolerated the procedure well, and because of the successful en bloc resection, radiation has been deferred. At 7 months postoperatively, the patient returned to work in New York City. Contrasted MRI at 15 months postoperatively showed the patient to be disease free. This approach offers a promising way forward in the treatment of these complex tumors.

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Angela G. Viers, Khoi D. Nguyen, Perounsack X. Moon, Scott E. Forseen and Ian M. Heger

OBJECTIVE

Occipitocervical fusions in the pediatric population are rare but can be challenging because of the smaller anatomy. The procedure is even more exacting in patients with prior suboccipital craniectomy. A proposed method for occipitocervical fusion in such patients is the use of occipital condyle screws. There is very limited literature evaluating the pediatric occipital condyle for screw placement. The authors examined the occipital condyle in pediatric patients to determine if there was an age cutoff at which condylar screw placement is contraindicated.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective morphometric analysis of the occipital condyle in 518 pediatric patients aged 1 week–9 years old. Patients in their first decade of life whose occipital condyle was demonstrated on CT imaging in the period from 2009 to 2013 at the Augusta University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Georgia were eligible for inclusion in this study. Exclusion criteria were an age older than 10 years; traumatic, inflammatory, congenital, or neoplastic lesions of the occipital condyles; and any previous surgery of the occipitocervical junction. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed including calculation of the mean, standard deviation, and confidence intervals for all measurements. Probability values were calculated using the Student t-test with statistical significance determined by p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Overall, male patients had statistically significantly larger occipital condyles than the female patients, but this difference was not clinically significant. There was no significant difference in left versus right occipital condyles. There were statistically significant differences between age groups with a general trend toward older children having larger occipital condyles. Overall, 20.65% of all patients evaluated had at least one measurement that would prevent occipital condyle screw placement including at least one patient in every age group.

CONCLUSIONS

Occipital condyle screw fixation is feasible in pediatric patients younger than 10 years. More importantly, all pediatric patients should undergo critical evaluation of the occipital condyle in the axial, sagittal, and coronal planes preoperatively to determine individual suitability for occipital condyle screw placement.

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Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Christopher P. Ames, Vedat Deviren and Darryl Lau

OBJECTIVE

Spinal deformity causing spinal imbalance is directly correlated to pain and disability. Prior studies suggest adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have more complex deformities and are at higher risk for complications. In this study the authors compared outcomes of ASD patients with RA following thoracolumbar 3-column osteotomies to outcomes of a matched control cohort.

METHODS

All patients with RA who underwent 3-column osteotomy for thoracolumbar deformity correction performed by the senior author from 2006 to 2016 were identified retrospectively. A cohort of patients without RA who underwent 3-column osteotomies for deformity correction was matched based on multiple clinical factors. Data regarding demographics and surgical approach, along with endpoints including perioperative outcomes, reoperations, and incidence of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) were reviewed. Univariate analyses were used to compare patients with RA to matched controls.

RESULTS

Eighteen ASD patients with RA were identified, and a matched cohort of 217 patients was generated. With regard to patients with RA, 11.1% were male and the mean age was 68.1 years. Vertebral column resection (VCR) was performed in 22.2% and pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) in 77.8% of patients. Mean case length was 324.4 minutes and estimated blood loss (EBL) was 2053.6 ml. Complications were observed in 38.9% of patients with RA and 29.0% of patients without RA (p = 0.380), with a trend toward increased medical complications (38.9% vs 21.2%, p = 0.084). Patients with RA had a significantly higher incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/pulmonary embolism (PE) (11.1% vs 1.8%, p = 0.017) and wound infections (16.7% vs 5.1%, p = 0.046). PJK occurred in 16.7% of patients with RA, and 33.3% of RA patients underwent reoperation. Incidence rates of PJK and reoperation in matched controls were 12.9% and 25.3%, respectively (p = 0.373, p = 0.458). At follow-up, mean sagittal vertical axis (SVA) was 6.1 cm in patients with RA and 4.5 cm in matched controls (p = 0.206).

CONCLUSIONS

Findings from this study suggest that RA patients experience a higher incidence of medical complications, specifically DVT/PE. Preoperative lower-extremity ultrasounds, inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement, and/or early initiation of DVT prophylaxis in RA patients may be indicated. Perioperative complications, morbidity, and long-term outcomes are otherwise similar to non-RA patients.

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Asif Raza Shafiq, A. Gabriella Wernicke, Charles Alex Riley, Peter F. Morgenstern, Lucy Nedialkova, Susan C. Pannullo, Bhupesh Parashar, Rajiv Magge and Theodore H. Schwartz

There are few therapeutic options available for the treatment of recurrent meningiomas that have failed treatment with surgery and external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT). As additional EBRT is clinically risky, brachytherapy offers an important alternative for optimizing local control. In skull base meningiomas, the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has demonstrated an excellent extent of resection. However, in the case of recurrent, atypical, or residual meningiomas, the EEA alone may not be adequate to address microscopic, residual, highly proliferative disease. In this situation, local radioactive seed brachytherapy has been shown to improve control, but few reports of this technique exist. A 48-year-old right-handed man presented on multiple occasions with recurrence of an anaplastic skull base meningioma, after multiple prior gross-total resections and multiple rounds of radiotherapy had failed. The authors performed a maximally safe neurosurgical tumor resection via EEA supplemented by the intraoperative implantation of 131Cs low-dose permanent brachytherapy seeds. They describe a technique for permanent implantation of brachytherapy seeds and provide operative video of this technique. The authors submit that utilizing this technique in combination with EEA tumor resection renders a minimally invasive approach to improving local control in a patient with a recurrent anaplastic or atypical meningioma of the skull base.

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Carol A. Mancuso, Roland Duculan, Frank P. Cammisa Jr., Andrew A. Sama, Alexander P. Hughes and Federico P. Girardi

OBJECTIVE

Return to work after lumbar surgery is not synonymous with effective job performance, and it is likely that patients who undergo spine surgery experience both positive and negative events attributable to their spine after returning to work. The authors’ objectives were to measure work events attributable to the spine during the 2 years after lumbar surgery and to assess associated demographic and clinical characteristics.

METHODS

Employed patients scheduled for lumbar surgery were interviewed preoperatively and reported work characteristics, including amount of improvement in job performance that they expected from surgery. Clinical variables, such as comorbidities and surgical complexity, were collected using standard scales. Two years postoperatively patients completed the 22-item work domain of the Psychiatric Epidemiological Research Interview Life Events Scale (PERI) asking about major positive and negative events attributable to the spine that occurred since surgery. Event rates were assessed with logistic regression. Patients also reported the amount of improvement obtained in job performance, which was compared to the amount of improvement expected in bivariate analyses.

RESULTS

Two hundred seven working patients (mean age 53 years, 62% men) were interviewed preoperatively. At 2 years after surgery, 86% were working and 12% reported negative events attributable to the spine (e.g., reduced workload, retirement). In multivariable analysis, high school education or less (OR 4.6, CI 1.7–12.3, p = 0.003), another spine surgery (OR 3.4, CI 1.2–10.1, p = 0.03), and new/worse comorbidity (OR 3.3, CI 1.2–8.8, p = 0.02) remained associated. Seven percent reported positive events attributable to the spine; not having postoperative complications was associated (OR 24, CI 4–156, p = 0.001). Of 162 patients queried preoperatively about expectations, 120 expected improvement in work; postoperatively, 82% reported some improvement (42% reported less improvement than expected and 40% as much as or more improvement than expected), 18% reported no improvement. No improvement was associated with less education (OR 1.5, CI 1.0–2.1, p = 0.04), older age (OR 1.1, CI 1.0–1.1, p = 0.005), more complex surgery (OR 1.1, CI 1.0–1.1, p = 0.07), and another spine surgery (OR 6.1, CI 1.9–19.8, p = 0.003). In descriptive analyses for another sample of preoperatively work-disabled patients, most had physically demanding jobs and only 33% returned to work postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

Most preoperatively working patients were working postoperatively, reported spine-related improvement in job performance, and reported the occurrence of both positive and negative work events attributable to the spine. This study proposes novel work outcomes (i.e., positive and negative work events) and potential methods to measure them.

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Cheng-Bei Li, Lai-Rong Song, Da Li, Jian-Cong Weng, Li-Wei Zhang, Jun-Ting Zhang and Zhen Wu

OBJECTIVE

The overall survival and pertinent adverse factors for primary intracranial malignant melanoma (PIMM) have not been previously determined. This aim of this study was to determine the rates of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) and identify the adverse factors for PIMM.

METHODS

This study included 15 cases from the authors’ own series and 100 cases with detailed clinical data that were obtained from the literature from 1914 to 2018 using the Ovid Medline, EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane, and EBSCO databases. Patient demographics, treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy [RT]), PFS, and OS were reviewed. Data from prior publications were processed and used according to PRISMA guidelines.

RESULTS

Diffuse lesions were identified in 24 (20.9%) patients, who had a younger age (p < 0.001). The mean follow-up time was 16.6 months, and 76 (66.1%) deaths occurred. The 6-month, 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year OS rates of the whole cohort were 62.8%, 49.9%, 28.9%, and 17.2%, respectively, with an estimated median survival time (EMST) of 12.0 months. The multivariate analysis revealed that gross-total resection (GTR) (HR 0.299, 95% CI 0.180–0.497, p < 0.001), radiotherapy (HR 0.577, 95% CI 0.359–0.929, p = 0.024), and chemotherapy (HR 0.420, 95% CI 0.240–0.735, p = 0.002) predicted a better OS. The EMST was 5.0 months in patients with diffuse-type PIMM and 13.0 months in patients with the solitary type. Patients receiving GTR with adjuvant RT and/or chemotherapy (GTR + [RT and/or chemo]) had significantly higher 1-year and 5-year OS rates (73.0% and 40.1%, respectively) and a longer EMST (53 months) than patients who underwent GTR alone (20.5 months) or RT and/or chemotherapy without GTR (13.0 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Optimal outcomes could be achieved by radical resection plus postoperative radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Patients with diffuse PIMM have a more severe clinical spectrum and poorer survival than patients with solitary PIMM. Immunotherapy and targeted therapy show promise as treatment options for PIMM based on results in patients with brain metastases from extracranial melanoma.

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Coleman P. Riordan, Armide Storey, David J. Cote, Edward R. Smith and R. Michael Scott

OBJECTIVE

There are limited data on the long-term outcomes for children undergoing surgical revascularization for moyamoya disease (MMD) in North America. The authors present a series of pediatric MMD patients who underwent a standard revascularization procedure, pial synangiosis, more than 20 years previously at a single institution by a single surgical team.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of all patients aged 21 years or younger treated for MMD at Boston Children’s Hospital who were operated on more than 20 years previously by the senior author (R.M.S.). Radiographic and operative reports, outpatient clinical records, and communications with patients and families were reviewed to document current clinical status, ability to perform daily activities, and concurrent or new medical conditions.

RESULTS

A total of 59 patients (38 female [64.4%], 21 male [35.6%]; median age at surgery 6.2 years [IQR 0.5–21 years]) were identified who were diagnosed with MMD and underwent surgical revascularization procedures more than 20 years previously. Clinically, all but 2 patients (96.6%) presented with the following symptoms alone or in combination: 43 (73%) presented with stroke, 22 (37%) with transient ischemic attack, 12 (20%) with seizures, 7 (12%) with headache, 3 (5%) with choreiform movements, and 2 (3%) with hemorrhage; MMD was incidentally detected in 2 patients (3%). Five patients had unilateral MMD at presentation, but 3 of these ultimately progressed to develop bilateral MMD after an average of 16 months; therefore, pial synangiosis was ultimately performed in a total of 116 hemispheres during the study period. Clinical follow-up was available at a median interval of 20.6 years (IQR 16.1–23.2 years). Modified Rankin Scale scores were stable or improved in 43 of 50 patients with evaluable data; 45 of 55 are currently independent. There were 6 patient deaths (10.2%; 3 due to intracranial hemorrhage, 2 due to tumor-related complications, and 1 due to pulmonary artery stenosis), 4 of whom had a history of previous cranial radiation. One patient (1.7%) experienced a late stroke. Synangiosis vessels remained patent on all available late MRI and MRA studies. Four patients reported uneventful pregnancies and vaginal deliveries years following their revascularization procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

Revascularization for MMD by pial synangiosis appears to confer protection from stroke for pediatric patients over long-term follow-up. A history of cranial radiation was present in 4 of the 5 patients who died and in the lone patient with late stroke. Most patients can expect productive, independent lives following revascularization surgery in the absence of significant preoperative neurological deficits and comorbidities.