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Anant Naik, Darrion Bo-Yun Yang, Frank J. Bellafiore, Muhamad A. Amine, and Wael Hassaneen

BACKGROUND

Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) is an immunoglobulin E–mediated reaction to fungal organisms in the sinonasal region and can be categorized as acute or chronic. Acute infection is typical in immunocompromised patients, while chronic infection is classically seen in immunocompetent patients. Spread of infection to the skull base is a rare and potentially lethal complication of prolonged infection. Surgical management is frequently augmented with steroid therapy to prevent recurrence.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 20-year-old African American male with prolonged headaches and blurred vision who was diagnosed with chronic invasive fungal sinusitis resulting in invasion of fungal burden into the anterior skull base and the posterior aspect of the clivus, in addition to complete obliteration of the maxillary sinus. The patient was managed surgically without complication and with gradual improvement in vision.

LESSONS

Early management and detection of AFS should be a focus to prevent erosion of the fungal burden into the skull base. Neurosurgery and ear, nose, and throat surgery have a multidisciplinary role in the management of advanced AFS cases.

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Bing Huang, Ming Yao, QiLiang Chen, Huidan Lin, Xindan Du, Hao Huang, Xian Zhao, Huy Do, and Xiang Qian

OBJECTIVE

Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a debilitating neuromuscular disorder with limited treatment options. The current study describes a novel minimally invasive procedure that provided effective and sustained relief for patients with HFS. The authors provide a detailed description of the awake CT-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the facial nerve for treatment of HFS, and they examine its clinical efficacy. This is the first time in the literature that this procedure has been applied and systematically analyzed for HFS.

METHODS

Patients with a history of HFS were recruited between August 2018 and April 2020. Those with a history of cerebellopontine lesions, coagulopathy, ongoing pregnancy, cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator implants, or who declined the procedure were excluded from the study. Fifty-three patients who met the study criteria were included and underwent awake CT-guided RFA. Under minimal sedation, a radiofrequency (RF) needle was used to reach the stylomastoid foramen on the affected side under CT guidance, and the facial nerve was localized using a low-frequency stimulation current. Patients were instructed to engage facial muscles as a proxy for motor monitoring during RFA. Ablation stopped when the patients’ hemifacial contracture resolved. Patients were kept for inpatient monitoring for 24 hours postoperatively and were followed up monthly to monitor resolution of HFS and complications for up to 19 months.

RESULTS

The average duration of the procedure was 32–34 minutes. Postoperatively, 91% of the patients (48/53) had complete resolution of HFS, whereas the remaining individuals had partial resolution. A total of 48 patients reported mild to moderate facial paralysis immediately post-RFA, but most resolved within 1 month. No other significant complication was observed during the study period. By the end of the study period, 5 patients had recurrence of mild HFS symptoms, whereas only 2 patients reported dissatisfaction with the treatment results.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report for the first time that awake CT-guided RFA of the facial nerve at the stylomastoid foramen is a minimally invasive procedure and can be an effective treatment option for HFS.

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Abigail Hellman, Teresa Maietta, Alicia Clum, Kanakaharini Byraju, Nataly Raviv, Michael D. Staudt, Erin Jeannotte, Julia Nalwalk, Sophie Belin, Yannick Poitelon, and Julie G. Pilitsis

OBJECTIVE

To date, muscular and bone pain have been studied in domestic swine models, but the only neuropathic pain model described in swine is a mixed neuritis model. Common peroneal nerve injury (CPNI) neuropathic pain models have been utilized in both mice and rats.

METHODS

The authors developed a swine surgical CPNI model of neuropathic pain. Behavioral outcomes were validated with von Frey filament testing, thermal sensitivity assessments, and social and motor scoring. Demyelination of the nerve was confirmed through standard histological assessment. The contralateral nerve served as the control.

RESULTS

CPNI induced mechanical and thermal allodynia (p < 0.001 [n = 10] and p < 0.05 [n = 4], respectively) and increased pain behavior, i.e., guarding of the painful leg (n = 12). Myelin protein zero (P0) staining revealed demyelination of the ligated nerve upstream of the ligation site.

CONCLUSIONS

In a neuropathic pain model in domestic swine, the authors demonstrated that CPNI induces demyelination of the common peroneal nerve, which the authors hypothesize is responsible for the resulting allodynic pain behavior. As the anatomical features of domestic swine resemble those of humans more closely than previously used rat and mouse models, utilizing this swine model, which is to the authors’ knowledge the first of its kind, will aid in the translation of experimental treatments to clinical trials.

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José E. Cohen, J. Moshe Gomori, Samuel Moscovici, Andrew H. Kaye, Yigal Shoshan, Sergey Spektor, and Ronen R. Leker

OBJECTIVE

Flow-diverter stents (FDSs) are not generally used for the management of acutely ruptured aneurysms with associated subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Herein, the authors present their experience with FDSs in this scenario, focusing on the antiplatelet regimen, perioperative management, and outcome.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their institutional database for the treatment and outcomes of all patients with acutely ruptured aneurysms and associated SAH from July 2010 to September 2018 who had received an FDS implant as stand-alone treatment within 4 days after diagnosis. The protocol with the use of flow diversion in these patients includes a low threshold for placement of external ventricular drains before stenting, followed by the administration of aspirin and clopidogrel with platelet testing before stent implantation. With this approach, the risk of hemorrhage and stent-related thrombus formation is limited. Demographic, clinical, technical, and imaging data were analyzed.

RESULTS

Overall, 76 patients (61% females, mean age 42.8 ± 11.3 years) met the inclusion criteria. FDS implantation was performed a median of 2 days after diagnosis. On average, 1.05 devices were used per procedure. There was no procedural mortality directly attributed to the endovascular intervention. Procedural device-related clinical complications were recorded in a total of 6 cases (7.9%) and resulted in permanent neurological morbidity in 2 cases (2.6%). There was complete immediate aneurysm occlusion in 11 patients (14.5%), and persistent aneurysm filling was seen in 65 patients (85.5%). Despite this, no patient presented with rebleeding from the target aneurysm. There was an excellent clinical outcome in 62 patients (81.6%), who had a 90-day modified Rankin Scale score of 0–2. Among the 71 survivors, total or near-total occlusion was observed in 64/67 patients (95.5%) with a 3- to 6-month angiographic follow-up and in all cases evaluated at 12 months. Five patients (6.6%) died during follow-up for reasons unrelated to the procedure or new hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS

Flow diversion is an effective therapeutic strategy for the management of select acutely ruptured aneurysms. Despite low rates of immediate aneurysm occlusion after FDS implantation, the device exerts an important protective effect. The authors’ experience confirmed no aneurysm rerupture, high rates of delayed complete occlusion, and complication rates that compare favorably with the rates obtained using other techniques.

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Erica F Bisson, Jian Guan, Mohamad Bydon, Mohammed A Alvi, Anshit Goyal, Steven D Glassman, Kevin T Foley, Eric A Potts, Christopher I Shaffrey, Mark E Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J Knightly, Paul Park, Michael Y Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan R Slotkin, Anthony L Asher, Michael S Virk, Andrew Y Yew, Regis W Haid, Andrew K Chan, and Praveen V Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The ideal surgical management of grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis has not been determined despite extensive prior investigations. In this cohort study, the authors used data from the large, multicenter, prospectively collected Quality Outcomes Database to bridge the gap between the findings in previous randomized trials and those in a more heterogeneous population treated in a typical practice. The objective was to assess the difference in patient-reported outcomes among patients undergoing decompression alone or decompression plus fusion.

METHODS

The primary outcome measure was change in 24-month Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI score change and 30% change in ODI score at 24 months were also evaluated. After adjusting for patient-specific and clinical factors, multivariable linear and logistic regressions were employed to evaluate the impact of fusion on outcomes. To account for differences in age, sex, body mass index, and baseline listhesis, a sensitivity analysis was performed using propensity score analysis to match patients undergoing decompression only with those undergoing decompression and fusion.

RESULTS

In total, 608 patients who had grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis were identified (85.5% with at least 24 months of follow-up); 140 (23.0%) underwent decompression alone and 468 (77.0%) underwent decompression and fusion. The 24-month change in ODI score was significantly greater in the fusion plus decompression group than in the decompression-only group (−25.8 ± 20.0 vs −15.2 ± 19.8, p < 0.001). Fusion remained independently associated with 24-month ODI score change (B = −7.05, 95% CI −10.70 to −3.39, p ≤ 0.001) in multivariable regression analysis, as well as with achieving the MCID for the ODI score (OR 1.767, 95% CI 1.058–2.944, p = 0.029) and 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.371, 95% CI 1.286–4.371, p = 0.005). Propensity score analysis resulted in 94 patients in the decompression-only group matched 1 to 1 with 94 patients in the fusion group. The addition of fusion to decompression remained a significant predictor of 24-month change in the ODI score (B = 2.796, 95% CI 2.228–13.275, p = 0.006) and of achieving the 24-month MCID ODI score (OR 2.898, 95% CI 1.214–6.914, p = 0.016) and 24-month 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.300, 95% CI 1.014–5.216, p = 0.046).

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that decompression plus fusion in patients with grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis may be associated with superior outcomes at 24 months compared with decompression alone, both in reduction of disability and in achieving clinically meaningful improvement. Longer-term follow-up is warranted to assess whether this effect is sustained.

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Abigail Hellman, Teresa Maietta, Alicia Clum, Kanakaharini Byraju, Nataly Raviv, Michael D. Staudt, Erin Jeannotte, Goutam Ghoshal, Damian Shin, Paul Neubauer, Emery Williams, Tamas Heffter, Clif Burdette, Jiang Qian, Julia Nalwalk, and Julie G. Pilitsis

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ laboratory has previously demonstrated beneficial effects of noninvasive low intensity focused ultrasound (liFUS), targeted at the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), for reducing allodynia in rodent neuropathic pain models. However, in rats the DRG is 5 mm below the skin when approached laterally, while in humans the DRG is typically 5–8 cm deep. Here, using a modified liFUS probe, the authors demonstrated the feasibility of using external liFUS for modulation of antinociceptive responses in neuropathic swine.

METHODS

Two cohorts of swine underwent a common peroneal nerve injury (CPNI) to induce neuropathic pain. In the first cohort, pigs (14 kg) were iteratively tested to determine treatment parameters. liFUS penetration to the L5 DRG was verified by using a thermocouple to monitor tissue temperature changes and by measuring nerve conduction velocity (NCV) at the corresponding common peroneal nerve (CPN). Pain behaviors were monitored before and after treatment. DRG was evaluated for tissue damage postmortem. Based on data from the first cohort, a treatment algorithm was developed, parameter predictions were verified, and neuropathic pain was significantly modified in a second cohort of larger swine (20 kg).

RESULTS

The authors performed a dose-response curve analysis in 14-kg CPNI swine. Specifically, after confirming that the liFUS probe could reach 5 cm in ex vivo tissue experiments, the authors tested liFUS in 14-kg CPNI swine. The mean ± SEM DRG depth was 3.79 ± 0.09 cm in this initial cohort. The parameters were determined and then extrapolated to larger animals (20 kg), and predictions were verified. Tissue temperature elevations at the treatment site did not exceed 2°C, and the expected increases in the CPN NCV were observed. liFUS treatment eliminated pain guarding in all animals for the duration of follow-up (up to 1 month) and improved allodynia for 5 days postprocedure. No evidence of histological damage was seen using Fluoro-Jade and H&E staining.

CONCLUSIONS

The results demonstrate that a 5-cm depth can be reached with external liFUS and alters pain behavior and allodynia in a large-animal model of neuropathic pain.

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Luciano Furlanetti, Jonathan Ellenbogen, Hortensia Gimeno, Laura Ainaga, Vijay Narbad, Harutomo Hasegawa, Jean-Pierre Lin, Keyoumars Ashkan, and Richard Selway

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment for pediatric dystonia. The accuracy of electrode implantation is multifactorial and remains a challenge in this age group, mainly due to smaller anatomical targets in very young patients compared to adults, and also due to anatomical abnormalities frequently associated with some etiologies of dystonia. Data on the accuracy of robot-assisted DBS surgery in children are limited. The aim of the current paper was to assess the accuracy of robot-assisted implantation of DBS leads in a series of patients with childhood-onset dystonia.

METHODS

Forty-five children with dystonia undergoing implantation of DBS leads under general anesthesia between 2017 and 2019 were included. Robot-assisted stereotactic implantation of the DBS leads was performed. The final position of the electrodes was verified with an intraoperative 3D scanner (O-arm). Coordinates of the planned electrode target and actual electrode position were obtained and compared, looking at the radial error, depth error, absolute error, and directional error, as well as the euclidean distance. Functional assessment data prospectively collected by a multidisciplinary pediatric complex motor disorders team were analyzed with regard to motor skills, individualized goal achievement, and patients’ and caregivers’ expectations.

RESULTS

A total of 90 DBS electrodes were implanted and 48.5% of the patients were female. The mean age was 11.0 ± 0.6 years (range 3–18 years). All patients received bilateral DBS electrodes into the globus pallidus internus. The median absolute errors in x-, y-, and z-axes were 0.85 mm (range 0.00–3.25 mm), 0.75 mm (range 0.05–2.45 mm), and 0.75 mm (range 0.00–3.50 mm), respectively. The median euclidean distance from the target to the actual electrode position was 1.69 ± 0.92 mm, and the median radial error was 1.21 ± 0.79. The robot-assisted technique was easily integrated into the authors’ surgical practice, improving accuracy and efficiency, and reducing surgical time significantly along the learning curve. No major perioperative complications occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

Robot-assisted stereotactic implantation of DBS electrodes in the pediatric age group is a safe and accurate surgical method. Greater accuracy was present in this cohort in comparison to previous studies in which conventional stereotactic frame-based techniques were used. Robotic DBS surgery and neuroradiological advances may result in further improvement in surgical targeting and, consequently, in better clinical outcome in the pediatric population.

Open access

Tomoaki Suzuki, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Kouichirou Okamoto, Kazuhiro Ando, Kohei Shibuya, Haruhiko Takahashi, Shoji Saito, Makoto Oishi, and Yukihiko Fujii

BACKGROUND

Choroidal collaterals are a risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke, even in the nonhemorrhagic hemisphere, among patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). Peripheral choroidal aneurysms rupture in fragile collaterals; however, the development and natural course of these aneurysms remain elusive.

OBSERVATIONS

A 51-year-old woman, who had experienced a right cerebral hemorrhage 3 years earlier, presented with asymptomatic minor bleeding from a left lateral choroidal artery aneurysm in a predeveloped choroidal anastomosis. Although the aneurysm spontaneously thrombosed within 2 months, the choroidal collaterals persisted. After bypass surgery, the choroidal anastomosis regressed, and neither a de novo aneurysm nor a hemorrhagic stroke occurred. A 75-year-old woman with MMD, who had experienced a left frontal infarction 6 years earlier, experienced recurrent right intraventricular hemorrhage from a ruptured lateral choroidal artery aneurysm that developed in the choroidal anastomosis. The aneurysm spontaneously regressed 3 days after the rebleeding with no recurrence over the following 7 years.

LESSONS

Choroidal artery aneurysms may develop in the choroidal anastomosis and rupture in the nonsurgical or contralateral hemispheres. Patients with MMD who have a history of hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke and impaired cerebral blood flow require careful observation. Although aneurysms may rapidly regress spontaneously, bypass surgery can stabilize hemodynamic stress and prevent further hemorrhage.

Open access

Karlo M. Pedro, John Emmanuel R. Torio, Jonathan P. Rivera, and Ibet Marie Y. Sih

BACKGROUND

Spinal tuberculosis may present in atypical form to involve only the posterior spinal element with relative sparing of the anterior vertebral body and intervertebral disc. Recognition of this unusual pattern is important to avoid delay in diagnosis and treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a case of a 59-year-old woman with right-sided radiculopathy and motor weakness. Her lumbosacral magnetic resonance imaging showed a large heterogeneous cyst arising from the right L4–5 facet joint. Laminectomy with excision of the cyst was performed. During surgery, the cyst contained cheese-like material that, on histopathological examination, revealed focal aggregates of tuberculous granuloma. Postoperatively, the patient recovered remarkably with no interval development of instability or any deformity.

LESSONS

Facet cyst tuberculosis is rare but should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients coming from endemic regions. Laminectomy with excision of the cyst along with concurrent antitubercular chemotherapy is a safe and durable treatment option in this case.