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James M. Wright, Alankrita Raghavan, Christina H. Wright, Berje Shammassian, Yifei Duan, Martha Sajatovic and Warren R. Selman

OBJECTIVE

Informed consent, when performed appropriately, serves many roles beyond simply obtaining the prerequisite medicolegal paperwork to perform a surgery. Prior studies have suggested that patient understanding is poor when verbal communication is the sole means of education. Virtual reality platforms have proven effective in enhancing medical education. No studies exist that have demonstrated the utility of virtual reality–facilitated informed consent (VR-IC) in improving the physician-patient alliance. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of VR-IC among patients providing consent for surgery and the impact of this educational and information technology–based strategy on enhancing the physician-patient alliance, patient satisfaction, and resident-physician perception of the consent process.

METHODS

Prospective, single-site, pre- and postconsent surveys were administered to assess patient and resident perception of informed consent performed with the aid of VR-IC at a large tertiary academic medical center in the US. Participants were adult patients (n = 50) undergoing elective surgery for tumor resection and neurosurgical residents (n = 19) who obtained patient informed consent for these surgical procedures. Outcome measures included scores on the Patient-Doctor Relationship Questionnaire (PDRQ-9), the modified Satisfaction with Simulation Experience Scale, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Patient pre- and postconsent data were recorded in real time using a secure online research data platform (REDCap).

RESULTS

A total of 48 patients and 2 family members provided consent using VR-IC and completed the surveys pre- and postconsent; 47.9% of patients were women. The mean patient age was 57.5 years. There was a statistically significant improvement from pre- to post–VR-IC consent in patient satisfaction scores. Measures of patient-physician alliance, trust, and understanding of their illness all increased. Among the 19 trainees, perceived comfort and preparedness with the informed consent process significantly improved.

CONCLUSIONS

VR-IC led to improved patient satisfaction, patient-physician alliance, and patient understanding of their illness as measured by the PDRQ-9. Using VR-IC contributed to residents’ increased comfort in the consent-gathering process and handling patient questions. In an era in which satisfaction scores are directly linked with hospital and service-line outcomes and reimbursement, positive results from VR-IC may augment physician and hospital satisfaction scores in addition to increasing measures of trust between physicians and patients.

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Thandar Aung, Vineet Punia, Masaya Katagiri, Richard Prayson, Irene Wang and Jorge A. Gonzalez-Martinez

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to illustrate the feasibility and value of extra- and intraoperative stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in patients who underwent resection in rolandic and perirolandic regions.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all consecutive patients with at least 1 year of postoperative follow-up who underwent extra- and intraoperative SEEG monitoring between January 2015 and January 2017.

RESULTS

Four patients with pharmacoresistant rolandic and perirolandic focal epilepsy were identified, who underwent conventional extraoperative invasive SEEG evaluations followed by adjuvant intraoperative SEEG recordings. Conventional extraoperative SEEG evaluations demonstrated ictal and interictal epileptiform activities involving eloquent rolandic and perirolandic cortical areas in all patients. Following extraoperative monitoring, patients underwent preplanned staged resections guided by simultaneous and continuous adjuvant intraoperative SEEG monitoring. Resections, guided by electrode contacts of interest in 3D boundaries, were performed while continuous real-time electrographic data from SEEG recordings were obtained. Staged approaches of resections were performed until there was intraoperative resolution of synchronous rolandic/perirolandic cortex epileptic activities. All patients in the cohort achieved complete seizure freedom (Engel class IA) during the follow-up period ranging from 18 to 50 months. Resection resulted in minimal neurological deficit; 3 patients experienced transient, distal plantar flexion weakness (mild foot drop).

CONCLUSIONS

The seizure and functional outcome results of this highly preselected group of patients testifies to the feasibility and demonstrates the value of the combined benefits of both intra- and extraoperative SEEG recordings when resecting the rolandic and perirolandic areas. The novel hybrid method allows a more refined and precise identification of the epileptogenic zone. Consequently, tailored resections can be performed to minimize morbidity as well as to achieve adequate seizure control.

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Sebastian M. Toescu, Gargi Samarth, Hugo Layard Horsfall, Richard Issitt, Ben Margetts, Kim P. Phipps, Noor-ul-Owase Jeelani, Dominic N. P. Thompson and Kristian Aquilina

OBJECTIVES

The goal of this study was to characterize the complications and morbidity related to the surgical management of pediatric fourth ventricle tumors.

METHODS

All patients referred to the authors’ institution with posterior fossa tumors from 2002 to 2018 inclusive were screened to include only true fourth ventricle tumors. Preoperative imaging and clinical notes were reviewed to extract data on presenting symptoms; surgical episodes, techniques, and adjuncts; tumor histology; and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

Three hundred fifty-four children with posterior fossa tumors were treated during the study period; of these, 185 tumors were in the fourth ventricle, and 167 fourth ventricle tumors with full data sets were included in this analysis. One hundred patients were male (mean age ± SD, 5.98 ± 4.12 years). The most common presenting symptom was vomiting (63.5%). The most common tumor types, in order, were medulloblastoma (94 cases) > pilocytic astrocytoma (30 cases) > ependymoma (30 cases) > choroid plexus neoplasms (5 cases) > atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (4 cases), with 4 miscellaneous lesions. Of the 67.1% of patients who presented with hydrocephalus, 45.5% had an external ventricular drain inserted (66.7% of these prior to tumor surgery, 56.9% frontal); these patients were more likely to undergo ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement at a later date (p = 0.00673). Twenty-two had an endoscopic third ventriculostomy, of whom 8 later underwent VPS placement. Overall, 19.7% of patients had a VPS sited during treatment.

Across the whole series, the transvermian approach was more frequent than the telovelar approach (64.1% vs 33.0%); however, the telovelar approach was significantly more common in the latter half of the series (p < 0.001). Gross-total resection was achieved in 70.7%. The most common postoperative deficit was cerebellar mutism syndrome (CMS; 28.7%), followed by new weakness (24.0%), cranial neuropathy (18.0%), and new gait abnormality/ataxia (12.6%). Use of intraoperative ultrasonography significantly reduced the incidence of CMS (p = 0.0365). There was no significant difference in the rate of CMS between telovelar or transvermian approaches (p = 0.745), and multivariate logistic regression modeling did not reveal any statistically significant relationships between CMS and surgical approach.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical management of pediatric fourth ventricle tumors continues to evolve, and resection is increasingly performed through the telovelar route. CMS is enduringly the major postoperative complication in this patient population.

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Bertrand Mathon, Marc Pineton de Chambrun, Alexandre Le Joncour and Aymeric Amelot

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Melissa M. J. Chua, Ittai Bushlin, Coral M. Stredny, Joseph R. Madsen, Archana A. Patel and Scellig Stone

Magnetic resonance imaging–guided laser-induced thermal therapy (MRgLITT) is a minimally invasive surgical approach increasingly employed for precise targeted ablation of epileptogenic brain foci. Recent reports have described corpus callosotomy using MRgLITT, though its application in more extensive functional disconnections has not been documented. Here, the authors detail its use in achieving a palliative hemispherotomy in a 5-year-old with medically refractory hemiclonic seizures following a hemispheric infarction, highlighting a novel use of this surgical technique. In this particular case, open craniotomy was deemed high risk given the multiple medical comorbidities including congenital cardiac disease and end-stage renal failure. MRgLITT was considered an alternative approach with a lower risk for periprocedural hemodynamic perturbations. The patient tolerated the procedure well, attaining an Engel class IB outcome at 16 months’ follow-up. This suggests that MRgLITT may be an alternative approach to an open hemispherectomy, particularly in cases in which multiple comorbidities pose significant risks and preclude an open procedure.

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Minh H. Nguyen, Krishna Patel, Julie West, Thomas Scharschmidt, Matthew Chetta, Steven Schulz, Ehud Mendel and Ian L. Valerio

OBJECTIVE

The consequences of failed spinal hardware secondary to wound complications can increase the burden on the patient while also significantly escalating the cost of care. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a protocol-based multidisciplinary approach in optimizing wound outcome in complex oncological spine care patients.

METHODS

A retrospective consecutive case series was performed from 2015 to 2019 of all patients who underwent oncological spine surgery. A protocol was established to identify oncological patients at high risk for potential wound complications. Preoperative and postoperative treatment plans were developed by the multidisciplinary tumor board team members. Wound healing risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, prior spine surgery, pre- or postoperative chemotherapy or radiation exposure, perioperative steroid use, and poor nutritional status were recorded. Operative details, including the regions of spinal involvement, presence of instrumentation, and number of vertebral levels operated on, were reviewed. Primary outcomes were the length of hospitalization and major (requiring reoperation) and minor wound complications in the setting of the aforementioned identified risk factors.

RESULTS

A total of 102 oncological cases were recorded during the 5-year study period. Of these patients, 99 had local muscle flap reconstruction with layered closure over their surgical hardware. The prevalence of smoking, diabetes, and previous spine surgery for the cohort was 21.6%, 20.6%, and 27.5%, respectively. Radiation exposure was seen in 72.5% of patients (37.3% preoperative vs 48% postoperative exposure). Chemotherapy was given to 66.7% of the patients (49% preoperatively and 30.4% postoperatively). The rate of perioperative steroid exposure was 60.8%. Prealbumin and albumin levels were 15.00 ± 7.47 mg/dL and 3.23 ± 0.43 mg/dL, respectively. Overall, an albumin level of < 3.5 mg/dL and BMI < 18.5 were seen in 64.7% and 13.7% of the patients, respectively. The mean number of vertebral levels involved was 6.76 ± 2.37 levels. Instrumentation of 7 levels or more was seen in 52.9% of patients. The average spinal wound defect size was 22.06 ± 7.79 cm. The rate of minor wound complications, including superficial skin breakdown (epidermolysis) and nonoperative seromas, was 6.9%, whereas that for major complications requiring reoperation within 90 days of surgery was 2.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

A multidisciplinary team approach utilized in complex multilevel oncological spine reconstruction surgery optimizes surgical outcomes, reduces morbidities, and improves care and satisfaction in patients with known risk factors.

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Brandon W. Smith, Kate W. C. Chang, Sravanthi Koduri and Lynda J. S. Yang

OBJECTIVE

The decision-making in neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) treatment continues to have many areas in need of clarification. Graft repair was the gold standard until the introduction of nerve transfer strategies. Currently, there is conflicting evidence regarding outcomes in patients with nerve grafts versus nerve transfers in relation to shoulder function. The objective of this study was to further define the outcomes for reconstruction strategies in NBPP with a specific focus on the shoulder.

METHODS

A cohort of patients with NBPP and surgical repairs from a single center were reviewed. Demographic and standard clinical data, including imaging and electrodiagnostics, were gathered from a clinical database. Clinical data from physical therapy evaluations, including active and passive range of motion, were examined. Statistical analysis was performed on the available data.

RESULTS

Forty-five patients met the inclusion criteria for this study, 19 with graft repair and 26 with nerve transfers. There were no significant differences in demographics between the two groups. Understandably, there were no patients in the nerve grafting group with preganglionic lesions, resulting in a difference in lesion type between the cohorts. There were no differences in preoperative shoulder function between the cohorts. Both groups reached statistically significant improvements in shoulder flexion and shoulder abduction. The nerve transfer group experienced a significant improvement in shoulder external rotation, from −78° to −28° (p = 0.0001), whereas a significant difference was not reached in the graft group. When compared between groups, there appeared to be a trend favoring nerve transfer in shoulder external rotation, with the graft patients improving by 17° and the transfer patients improving by 49° (p = 0.07).

CONCLUSIONS

In NBPP, patients with shoulder weakness experience statistically significant improvements in shoulder flexion and abduction after graft repair or nerve transfer, and patients with nerve transfers additionally experience significant improvement in external rotation. With regard to shoulder external rotation, there appear to be some data supporting the use of nerve transfers.

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Colin J. Przybylowski, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Fabio A. Frisoli, Xiaochun Zhao, Claudio Cavallo, Leandro Borba Moreira, Sirin Gandhi, Nader Sanai, Kaith K. Almefty, Michael T. Lawton and Andrew S. Little

OBJECTIVE

Recently, the prognostic value of the Simpson resection grading scale has been called into question for modern meningioma surgery. In this study, the authors analyzed the relationship between Simpson resection grade and meningioma recurrence in their institutional experience.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of a WHO grade I intracranial meningioma at the authors’ institution from 2007 to 2017. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess for predictors of Simpson grade IV resection and postoperative neurological morbidity. Cox multivariate analysis was used to assess for predictors of tumor recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests were used to assess and compare recurrence-free survival (RFS) of Simpson resection grades, respectively.

RESULTS

A total of 492 patients with evaluable data were included for analysis, including 394 women (80.1%) and 98 men (19.9%) with a mean (SD) age of 58.7 (12.8) years. The tumors were most commonly located at the skull base (n = 302; 61.4%) or the convexity/parasagittal region (n = 139; 28.3%). The median (IQR) tumor volume was 6.8 (14.3) cm3. Simpson grade I, II, III, or IV resection was achieved in 105 (21.3%), 155 (31.5%), 52 (10.6%), and 180 (36.6%) patients, respectively. Sixty-three of 180 patients (35.0%) with Simpson grade IV resection were treated with adjuvant radiosurgery. In the multivariate analysis, increasing largest tumor dimension (p < 0.01) and sinus invasion (p < 0.01) predicted Simpson grade IV resection, whereas skull base location predicted neurological morbidity (p = 0.02). Tumor recurrence occurred in 63 patients (12.8%) at a median (IQR) of 36 (40.3) months from surgery. Simpson grade I resection resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade II resection (p = 0.02), Simpson grade III resection (p = 0.01), and Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.01) or without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01). In the multivariate analysis, Simpson grade I resection was independently associated with no tumor recurrence (p = 0.04). Simpson grade II and III resections resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01) but similar RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery (p = 0.82). Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in superior RFS compared with Simpson grade IV resection without adjuvant radiosurgery (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The Simpson resection grading scale continues to hold substantial prognostic value in the modern neurosurgical era. When feasible, Simpson grade I resection should remain the goal of intracranial meningioma surgery. Simpson grade IV resection with adjuvant radiosurgery resulted in similar RFS compared with Simpson grade II and III resections.

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Ryosuke Tashiro, Miki Fujimura, Masahito Katsuki, Taketo Nishizawa, Yasutake Tomata, Kuniyasu Niizuma and Teiji Tominaga

OBJECTIVE

Superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) anastomosis is the standard surgical management for moyamoya disease (MMD), whereas cerebral hyperperfusion (CHP) is one of the potential complications of this procedure that can result in delayed intracerebral hemorrhage and/or neurological deterioration. Recent advances in perioperative management in the early postoperative period have significantly reduced the risk of CHP syndrome, but delayed intracerebral hemorrhage and prolonged/delayed CHP are still major clinical issues. The clinical implication of RNF213 gene polymorphism c.14576G>A (rs112735431), a susceptibility variant for MMD, includes early disease onset and a more severe form of MMD, but its significance in perioperative pathology is unknown. Thus, the authors investigated the role of RNF213 polymorphism in perioperative hemodynamics after STA-MCA anastomosis for MMD.

METHODS

Among 96 consecutive adult patients with MMD comprising 105 hemispheres who underwent serial quantitative cerebral blood flow (CBF) analysis by N-isopropyl-p-[123I]iodoamphetamine SPECT after STA-MCA anastomosis, 66 patients consented to genetic analysis of RNF213. Patients were routinely maintained under strict blood pressure control during and after surgery. The local CBF values were quantified at the vascular territory supplied by the bypass on postoperative days (PODs) 1 and 7. The authors defined the radiological CHP phenomenon as a local CBF increase of more than 150% compared with the preoperative values, and then they investigated the correlation between RNF213 polymorphism and the development of CHP.

RESULTS

CHP at POD 1 was observed in 23 hemispheres (23/73 hemispheres [31.5%]), and its incidence was not statistically different between groups (15/41 [36.6%] in RNF213-mutant group vs 8/32 [25.0%] in RNF213–wild type (WT) group; p = 0.321). CHP on POD 7, which is a relatively late period of the CHP phenomenon in MMD, was evident in 9 patients (9/73 hemispheres [12.3%]) after STA-MCA anastomosis. This prolonged/delayed CHP was exclusively observed in the RNF213-mutant group (9/41 [22.0%] in the RNF213-mutant group vs 0/32 [0.0%] in the RNF213-WT group; p = 0.004). Multivariate analysis revealed that RNF213 polymorphism was significantly associated with CBF increase on POD 7 (OR 5.47, 95% CI 1.06–28.35; p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

Prolonged/delayed CHP after revascularization surgery was exclusively found in the RNF213-mutant group. Although the exact mechanism underlying the contribution of RNF213 polymorphism to the prolonged/delayed CBF increase in patients with MMD is unclear, the current study suggests that genetic analysis of RNF213 is useful for predicting the perioperative pathology of patients with MMD.

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Rushikesh S. Joshi, Darryl Lau, Alexander F. Haddad, Vedat Deviren and Christopher P. Ames

OBJECTIVE

Correction of rigid cervical deformities can be associated with high complication rates and result in prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays. In this study, the authors aimed to examine the risk factors contributing to length of stay (LOS) in both the hospital and ICU following adult cervical deformity (ACD) surgery and to identify severe adverse events that occurred in this setting.

METHODS

A retrospective review of ACD patients who underwent posterior-based osteotomies for deformity correction from 2010 to 2019 was performed. Inclusion criteria were cervical kyphosis > 20° and/or cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4 cm. Multivariate analysis was used to identify risk factors independently associated with ICU and hospital LOS.

RESULTS

A total of 107 patients were included. The mean age was 63.5 years, and 61.7% were female. Over half (52.3%) underwent 3-column osteotomies, while 47.7% underwent posterior column osteotomies. There was significant correction of all cervical parameters: cSVA (6.0 vs 3.6 cm, p < 0.001), cervical lordosis (8.2° vs −5.3°, p < 0.001), cervical scoliosis (6.5° vs 2.2°, p < 0.001), and T1-slope (40.2° vs 34.5°, p < 0.001). There were also reciprocal changes to the distal spine: thoracic kyphosis (54.4° vs 46.4°, p < 0.001), lumbar lordosis (49.9° vs 45.8°, p = 0.003), and thoracolumbar scoliosis (13.9° vs 11.1°, p = 0.009). Overall, 4 patients (3.7%) suffered aspiration-related complications, 3 patients (2.8%) experienced dysphagia requiring a feeding tube, and 4 patients (3.7%) had compromised airways, with 1 resulting in death. The mean ICU and hospital LOS were 2.8 days and 7.9 days, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified three factors independently associated with longer ICU LOS: female sex (3.0 vs 2.4 days, p = 0.004), ≥ 12 segments fused (3.5 vs 1.9 days, p = 0.002), and postoperative complication (4.0 vs 1.9 days, p = 0.017). These same factors were independently associated with longer hospital LOS as well: female sex (8.3 vs 7.3 days, p = 0.013), ≥ 12 segments fused (9.4 vs 6.2 days, p = 0.001), and complication (9.7 vs 6.7 days, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior-based osteotomies are very effective for the correction of ACD, but postoperative hospital stays are relatively longer than those following surgery for degenerative disease. Risk factors for prolonged ICU and hospital LOS consist of both nonmodifiable (female sex) and modifiable (≥ 12 segments fused and presence of complication) risk factors. Additional multicenter prospective studies will be needed to validate these findings.