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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Andrew Faramand, Xiaoran Zhang, Arka N. Mallela, Barton F. Branstetter, Clayton A. Wiley, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare cerebral vascular lesions that are associated with high morbidity and mortality from hemorrhage; however, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a well-validated treatment modality. Few reports have delineated a subgroup of patients who develop delayed chronic encapsulated expanding hematomas (CEEHs) despite angiographic evidence of AVM obliteration following radiosurgery. In this report, the authors performed a retrospective review of more than 1000 radiosurgically treated intracranial AVM cases to delineate the incidence and management of this rare entity.

METHODS

Between 1988 and 2019, 1010 patients with intracranial AVM underwent Gamma Knife SRS at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition to a review of a prospective institutional database, the authors performed a retrospective chart review of the departmental AVM database to specifically identify patients with CEEH. Pertinent clinical and radiological characteristics as well as patient outcomes were recorded and analyzed.

RESULTS

Nine hundred fifty patients with intracranial AVM (94%) had sufficient clinical follow-up for analysis. Of these, 6 patients with CEEH underwent delayed resection (incidence rate of 0.0045 event per person-year). These patients included 4 males and 2 females with a mean age of 45.3 ± 13.8 years at the time of initial SRS. Four patients had smaller AVM volumes (4.9–10 cm3), and 3 of them were treated with a single SRS procedure. Two patients had larger-volume AVMs (55 and 56 cm3), and both underwent multimodal management that included staged SRS and embolization. Time to initial recognition of the CEEH after initial SRS ranged between 66 and 243 months. The time between CEEH recognition and resection ranged from 2 to 9 months. Resection was required because of progressive neurological symptoms that correlated with imaging evidence of gradual hematoma expansion. All 6 patients had angiographically confirmed obliteration of their AVM. Pathology revealed a mixed chronicity hematoma with areas of fibrosed blood vessels and rare areas of neovascularization with immature blood vessels but no evidence of a persistent AVM. All 6 patients reported persistent clinical improvement after hematoma resection.

CONCLUSIONS

CEEH after SRS for AVM is a rare complication with an incidence rate of 0.0045 event per person-year over the authors’ 30-year experience. When clinical symptoms progress and imaging reveals progressive enlargement over time, complete resection of a CEEH results in significant clinical recovery. Knowledge of this rare entity facilitates timely detection and eventual surgical intervention to achieve optimal outcomes.

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Jacob Lepard, S. Hassan A. Akbari, James Mooney, Anastasia Arynchyna, Samuel G. McClugage III, René P. Myers, John Grant, and James M. Johnston Jr.

OBJECTIVE

In the last several decades, there has been much debate regarding the ideal treatment for sagittal synostosis. The purpose of this study was to compare perioperative, anthropometric, and subjective assessments of cosmetic outcomes between open and endoscopic management of isolated sagittal synostosis.

METHODS

At their routine postoperative follow-up, pediatric patients with sagittal craniosynostosis were recruited to undergo digital cranial measurement and standardized photography for objective and subjective assessments of perioperative outcomes. Age-normalized z-scores for cephalic index, head circumference, euryon-euryon diameter (Eu-Eu), and glabella-opisthocranion diameter (G-Op) were calculated for each patient. Faculty surgeons, surgical trainees, nurses, and laypersons were asked to rate the normalcy of craniofacial appearances using a 5-point Likert scale. Outcomes were compared between patients treated with endoscopic correction and those treated with open repair.

RESULTS

A total of 50 patients were included in the study. Thirty-one had undergone open surgical correction, and 19 had undergone endoscopic treatment. Endoscopic repair involved significantly lower operative time, blood loss, transfusion rate, and hospital length of stay than those with open repair (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between groups in terms of z-scores for head circumference (p = 0.22), cephalic index (p = 0.25), or Eu-Eu (p = 0.38). Endoscopic treatment was associated with a significantly lower G-Op (p = 0.009). Additionally, the average subjective rating of head shape was higher for endoscopic treatment when corrected for age, gender, and ethnicity (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The study findings suggest that patients who are treated endoscopically may have an overall more normal appearance in skull morphology and cosmesis, although these results are limited by poor reliability.

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Sinian Wang, Liang Xu, Muyi Wang, Yong Qiu, Zezhang Zhu, Bin Wang, and Xu Sun

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to investigate reversal of vertebral wedging and to evaluate the contribution of vertebral remodeling to correction maintenance in patients with adolescent Scheuermann’s kyphosis (SK) after posterior-only instrumented correction.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study of patients with SK was performed. In total, 45 SK patients aged 10–20 years at surgery were included. All patients received at least 24 months of follow-up and had Risser sign greater than grade 4 at latest follow-up. Patients with Risser grade 3 or less at surgery were assigned to the low-Risser group, whereas those with Risser grade 4 or 5 were assigned to the high-Risser group. Radiographic data and patient-reported outcomes were collected preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at latest follow-up and compared between the two groups.

RESULTS

Remarkable postoperative correction of global kyphosis was observed, with similar correction rates between the two groups (p = 0.380). However, correction loss was slightly but significantly less in the low-Risser group during follow-up (p < 0.001). The ratio between anterior vertebral body height (AVBH) and posterior vertebral body height (PVBH) of deformed vertebrae notably increased in SK patients from postoperation to latest follow-up (p < 0.05). Loss of correction of global kyphosis was significantly and negatively correlated with increased AVBH/PVBH ratio. Compared with the high-Risser group, the low-Risser group had significantly greater increase in AVBH/PVBH ratio during follow-up (p < 0.05). The two groups had similar preoperative and postoperative Scoliosis Research Society–22 questionnaire scores for all domains.

CONCLUSIONS

Obvious reversal in wedge deformation of vertebrae was observed in adolescent SK patients. Patients with substantial growth potential had greater vertebral remodeling and less correction loss. Structural remodeling of vertebral bodies has a positive effect and protects against correction loss. These results could be help guide treatment decision-making.

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Simon G. Ammanuel, Nyle C. Almeida, Garret Kurteff, Sofia Kakaizada, Annette M. Molinaro, Mitchel S. Berger, Edward F. Chang, and Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper

OBJECTIVE

Impairments of speech are common in patients with glioma and negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The benchmark for clinical assessments is task-based measures, which are not always feasible to administer and may miss essential components of HRQoL. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that variations in natural language (NL) correlate with HRQoL in a pattern distinct from task-based measures of language performance.

METHODS

NL use was assessed using audio samples collected unobtrusively from 18 patients with newly diagnosed low- and high-grade glioma. NL measures were calculated using manual segmentation and correlated with Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders (Neuro-QoL) outcomes. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to determine relationships between Neuro-QoL scores and NL measures.

RESULTS

The distribution of NL measures across the entire patient cohort included a mean ± SD total time speaking of 11.5 ± 2.20 seconds, total number of words of 27.2 ± 4.44, number of function words of 10.9 ± 1.68, number of content words of 16.3 ± 2.91, and speech rate of 2.61 ± 0.20 words/second. Speech rate was negatively correlated with functional domains (rho = −0.62 and p = 0.007 for satisfaction with social roles; rho = −0.74 and p < 0.001 for participation in social roles) but positively correlated with impairment domains (rho = 0.58 and p = 0.009 for fatigue) of Neuro-QoL.

CONCLUSIONS

Assessment of NL at the time of diagnosis may be a useful measure in the context of treatment planning and monitoring outcomes for adult patients with glioma.

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Luca L. Silva, Mehmet S. Tuncer, Peter Vajkoczy, Thomas Picht, and Tizian Rosenstock

OBJECTIVE

Visualization of subcortical language pathways by means of diffusion tensor imaging–fiber tracking (DTI-FT) is evolving as an important tool for surgical planning and decision making in patients with language-suspect brain tumors. Repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) cortical language mapping noninvasively provides additional functional information. Efforts to incorporate rTMS data into DTI-FT are promising, but the lack of established protocols makes it hard to assess clinical utility. The authors performed DTI-FT of important language pathways by using five distinct approaches in an effort to evaluate the respective clinical usefulness of each approach.

METHODS

Thirty patients with left-hemispheric perisylvian lesions underwent preoperative rTMS language mapping and DTI. FT of the principal language tracts was conducted according to different strategies: Ia, anatomical landmark based; Ib, lesion-focused landmark based; IIa, rTMS based; IIb, rTMS based with postprocessing; and III, rTMS enhanced (based on a combination of structural and functional data). The authors analyzed the respective success of each method in revealing streamlines and conducted a multinational survey with expert clinicians to evaluate aspects of clinical utility.

RESULTS

The authors observed high usefulness and accuracy ratings for anatomy-based approaches (Ia and Ib). Postprocessing of rTMS-based tractograms (IIb) led to more balanced perceived information content but did not improve the usefulness for surgical planning and risk assessment. Landmark-based tractography (Ia and Ib) was most successful in delineating major language tracts (98% success), whereas rTMS-based tractography (IIa and IIb) frequently failed to reveal streamlines and provided less complete tractograms than the landmark-based approach (p < 0.001). The lesion-focused landmark-based (Ib) and the rTMS-enhanced (III) approaches were the most preferred methods.

CONCLUSIONS

The lesion-focused landmark-based approach (Ib) achieved the best ratings and enabled visualization of the principal language tracts in almost all cases. The rTMS-enhanced approach (III) was positively evaluated by the experts because it can reveal cortico-subcortical connections, but the functional relevance of these connections is still unclear. The use of regions of interest derived solely from cortical rTMS mapping (IIa and IIb) leads to cluttered images that are of limited use in clinical practice.

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Jerry C. Ku, Brian Hanak, Prakash Muthusami, Karl Narvacan, Hidy Girgis, Karel terBrugge, Timo Krings, James T. Rutka, and Peter Dirks

OBJECTIVE

Torcular dural sinus malformations (tDSMs) are rare pediatric cerebrovascular malformations characterized by giant venous lakes localized to the midline confluence of sinuses. Historical clinical outcomes of patients with these lesions were poor, though better prognoses have been reported in the more recent literature. Long-term outcomes in children with tDSMs are uncertain and require further characterization. The goal of this study was to review a cohort of tDSM patients with an emphasis on long-term outcomes and to describe the treatment strategy.

METHODS

This study is a single-center retrospective review of a prospectively maintained data bank including patients referred to and cared for at The Hospital for Sick Children for tDSM from January 1996 to March 2019. Each patient’s clinical, radiological, and demographic information, as well as their mother’s demographic information, was collected for review.

RESULTS

Ten patients with tDSM, with a mean follow-up of 58 months, were included in the study. Diagnoses were made antenatally in 8 patients, and among those cases, 4 families opted for either elective termination (n = 1) or no further care following delivery (n = 3). Of the 6 patients treated, 5 had a favorable long-term neurological outcome, and follow-up imaging demonstrated a decrease or stability in the size of the tDSM over time. Staged embolization was performed in 3 patients, and anticoagulation was utilized in 5 treated patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors add to a growing body of literature indicating that clinical outcomes in tDSM may not be as poor as initially perceived. Greater awareness of the lesion’s natural history and pathophysiology, advancing endovascular techniques, and individualized anticoagulation regimens may lead to continued improvement in outcomes.

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Vejay N. Vakharia, Sjoerd B. Vos, Gavin P. Winston, Matthew J. Gutman, Victoria Wykes, Andrew W. McEvoy, Anna Miserocchi, Rachel Sparks, Sebastien Ourselin, and John S. Duncan

OBJECTIVE

Anteromesial temporal lobe resection (ATLR) results in long-term seizure freedom in patients with drug-resistant focal mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). There is significant anatomical variation in the anterior projection of the optic radiation (OR), known as Meyer’s loop, between individuals and between hemispheres in the same individual. Damage to the OR results in contralateral superior temporal quadrantanopia that may preclude driving in 33%–66% of patients who achieve seizure freedom. Tractography of the OR has been shown to prevent visual field deficit (VFD) when surgery is performed in an interventional MRI (iMRI) suite. Because access to iMRI is limited at most centers, the authors investigated whether use of a neuronavigation system with a microscope overlay in a conventional theater is sufficient to prevent significant VFD during ATLR.

METHODS

Twenty patients with drug-resistant MTLE who underwent ATLR (9 underwent right-side ATLR, and 9 were male) were recruited to participate in this single-center prospective cohort study. Tractography of the OR was performed with preoperative 3-T multishell diffusion data that were overlaid onto the surgical field by using a conventional neuronavigation system linked to a surgical microscope. Phantom testing confirmed overlay projection errors of < 1 mm. VFD was quantified preoperatively and 3 to 12 months postoperatively by using Humphrey and Esterman perimetry.

RESULTS

Perimetry results were available for all patients postoperatively, but for only 11/20 (55%) patients preoperatively. In 1/20 (5%) patients, a significant VFD occurred that would prevent driving in the UK on the basis of the results on Esterman perimetry. The VFD was identified early in the series, despite the surgical approach not transgressing OR tractography, and was subsequently found to be due to retraction injury. Tractography was also used from this point onward to inform retractor placement, and no further significant VFDs occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of OR tractography with overlay outside of an iMRI suite, with application of an appropriate error margin, can be used during approach to the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle and carries a 5% risk of VFD that is significant enough to preclude driving postoperatively. OR tractography can also be used to inform retractor placement. These results warrant a larger prospective comparative study of the use of OR tractography–guided mesial temporal resection.

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Zachary Spiera, Theodore Hannah, Adam Li, Nickolas Dreher, Naoum Fares Marayati, Muhammad Ali, Dhruv S. Shankar, John Durbin, Alexander J. Schupper, Alex Gometz, Mark Lovell, and Tanvir Choudhri

OBJECTIVE

Given concerns about the potential long-term effects of concussion in young athletes, concussion prevention has become a major focus for amateur sports leagues. Athletes have been known to frequently use anti-inflammatory medications to manage injuries, expedite return to play, and treat concussion symptoms. However, the effects of baseline nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use on the susceptibility to head injury and concussion remain unclear. This study aims to assess the effects of preinjury NSAID use on concussion incidence, severity, and recovery in young athletes.

METHODS

Data from 25,815 ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) tests were obtained through a research agreement with ImPACT Applications Inc. Subjects ranged in age from 12 to 22 years old. Those who reported NSAID use at baseline were assigned to one (anti-inflammatory [AI]) cohort, whereas all others were assigned to the control (CT) cohort. Differences in head trauma and concussion incidence, severity, and recovery were assessed using chi-square tests, unpaired t-tests, and Kaplan-Meier plots.

RESULTS

The CT cohort comprised a higher percentage (p < 0.0001) of males (66.30%) than the AI cohort (44.16%) and had a significantly greater portion of athletes who played football (p = 0.004). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the two cohorts in terms of the incidence of head trauma (CT = 0.489, AI = 0.500, p = 0.9219), concussion incidence (CT = 0.175, AI = 0.169, p = 0.7201), injury severity, or median concussion recovery time (CT = 8, AI = 8, p = 0.6416). In a multivariable analysis controlling for baseline differences between the cohorts, no association was found between NSAID use and concussion incidence or severity.

CONCLUSIONS

In this analysis, the authors found no evidence that preinjury use of NSAIDs affects concussion risk in adolescent athletes. They also found no indication that preinjury NSAID use affects the severity of initial injury presentation or concussion recovery.

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Sita Jayalakshmi, Sudhindra Vooturi, Rammohan Vadapalli, Sailaja Madigubba, and Manas Panigrahi

OBJECTIVE

The authors analyzed predictors of surgical outcome in patients with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) and its ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy) subtypes after noninvasive multimodal evaluation and calculated time to first seizure.

METHODS

Data of 355 patients with refractory epilepsy, confirmed FCD pathology, and 2–13 years of postsurgical follow-up were analyzed to determine the predictive roles of clinical, EEG, imaging, and surgical factors that influence seizure freedom.

RESULTS

The mean ± SD age at surgery was 20.26 ± 12.18 years. In total, 142 (40.0%) patients had daily seizures and 90 (25.3%) had multiple seizure types. MRI showed clear-cut FCD in 289 (81.4%) patients. Pathology suggested type I FCD in 27.3% of patients, type II in 28.4%, and type III in 42.8% of patients. At latest follow-up, 72.1% of patients were seizure free and 11.8% were seizure free and not receiving antiepileptic drugs. Among the subtypes, 88.8% of patients with type III, 69.3% with type II, and 50.5% with type I FCD were seizure free. Multiple seizure types, acute postoperative seizures (APOS), and type I FCD were predictors of persistent seizures, whereas type III FCD was the strongest predictor of seizure freedom. Type I FCD was associated with daily seizures, frontal and multilobar distribution, subtle findings on MRI, incomplete resection, and persistent seizures. Type II and III FCD were associated with clear-cut lesion on MRI, regional interictal and ictal EEG onset pattern, focal pattern on ictal SPECT, complete resection, and seizure freedom. Type III FCD was associated with temporal location, whereas type I and II FCD were associated with extratemporal location. Nearly 80% of patients with persistent seizures, mostly those with type I FCD, had their first seizure within 6 months postsurgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Long-term seizure freedom after surgery can be achieved in more than two-thirds of patients with FCD after noninvasive multimodal evaluation. Multiple seizure types, type I FCD, and APOS were predictors of persistent seizures. Seizures recurred in about 80% of patients within 6 months postsurgery.

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Heiko Koller, Meric Enercan, Sebastian Decker, Hossein Mehdian, Luigi Aurelio Nasto, Wolfgang Hitzl, Juliane Koller, Axel Hempfing, and Azmi Hamzaoglu

OBJECTIVE

In double and triple major adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curves it is still controversial whether the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) should be L3 or L4. Too short a fusion can impede postoperative distal curve compensation and promote adding on (AON). Longer fusions lower the chance of compensation by alignment changes of the lumbosacral curve (LSC). This study sought to improve prediction accuracy for AON and surgical outcomes in Lenke type 3, 4, and 6 curves.

METHODS

This was a retrospective multicenter analysis of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who had Lenke 3, 4, and 6 curves and ≥ 1 year of follow-up after posterior correction. Resolution of the LSC was studied by changes of LIV tilt, L3 tilt, and L4 tilt, with the variables resembling surrogate measures for the LSC. AON was defined as a disc angle below LIV > 5° at follow-up. A matched-pairs analysis was done of differences between LIV at L3 and at L4. A multivariate prediction analysis evaluated the AON risk in patients with LIV at L3. Clinical outcomes were assessed by the Scoliosis Research Society 22-item questionnaire (SRS-22).

RESULTS

The sample comprised 101 patients (average age 16 years). The LIV was L3 in 54%, and it was L4 in 39%. At follow-up, 87% of patients showed shoulder balance, 86% had trunk balance, and 64% had a lumbar curve (LC) ≤ 20°. With an LC ≤ 20° (p = 0.01), SRS-22 scores were better and AON was less common (26% vs 59%, p = 0.001). Distal extension of the fusion (e.g., LIV at L4) did not have a significant influence on achieving an LSC < 20°; however, higher screw density allowed better LC correction and resulted in better spontaneous LSC correction.

AON occurred in 34% of patients, or 40% if the LIV was L3. Patients with AON had a larger residual LSC, worse LC correction, and worse thoracic curve (TC) correction. A total of 44 patients could be included in the matched-pairs analysis. LC correction and TC correction were comparable, but AON was 50% for LIV at L3 and 18% for LIV at L4. Patients without AON had a significantly better LC correction and TC correction (p < 0.01). For patients with LIV at L3, a significant prediction model for AON was established including variables addressed by surgeons: postoperative LC and TC (negative predictive value 78%, positive predictive value 79%, sensitivity 79%, specificity 81%).

CONCLUSIONS

An analysis of 101 patients with Lenke 3, 4, and 6 curves showed that TC and LC correction had significant influence on LSC resolution and the risk for AON. Improving LC correction and achieving an LC < 20° offers the potential to lower the risk for AON, particularly in patients with LIV at L3.