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Tryggve Lundar, Bernt Johan Due-Tønnessen, Radek Frič, Petter Brandal and Paulina Due-Tønnessen

OBJECTIVE

Ependymoma is the third most common posterior fossa tumor in children; however, there is a lack of long-term follow-up data on outcomes after surgical treatment of posterior fossa ependymoma (PFE) in pediatric patients. Therefore, the authors sought to investigate the long-term outcomes of children treated for PFE at their institution.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of outcome data from children who underwent treatment for PFE and survived for at least 5 years.

RESULTS

The authors identified 22 children (median age at the time of surgery 3 years, range 0–18 years) who underwent primary tumor resection of PFE during the period from 1945 to 2014 and who had at least 5 years of observed survival. None of these 22 patients were lost to follow-up, and they represent the long-term survivors (38%) from a total of 58 pediatric PFE patients treated. Nine (26%) of the 34 children treated during the pre-MRI era (1945–1986) were long-term survivors, while the observed 5-year survival rate in the children treated during the MRI era (1987–2014) was 13 (54%) of 24 patients. The majority of patients (n = 16) received adjuvant radiotherapy, and 4 of these received proton-beam irradiation. Six children had either no adjuvant treatment (n = 3) or only chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment (n = 3). Fourteen patients were alive at the time of this report. According to MRI findings, all of these patients were tumor free except 1 patient (age 78 years) with a known residual tumor after 65 years of event-free survival.

Repeat resections for residual or recurrent tumor were performed in 9 patients, mostly for local residual disease with progressive clinical symptoms; 4 patients underwent only 1 repeated resection, whereas 5 patients each had 3 or more resections within 15 years after their initial surgery. At further follow-up, 5 of the patients who underwent a second surgery were found to be dead from the disease with or without undergoing additional resections, which were performed from 6 to 13 years after the second procedure. The other 4 patients, however, were tumor free on the latest follow-up MRI, performed from 6 to 27 years after the last resection. Hence, repeated surgery appears to increase the chance of tumor control in some patients, along with modern (proton-beam) radiotherapy. Six of 8 patients with more than 20 years of survival are in a good clinical condition, 5 of them in full-time work and 1 in part-time work.

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric PFE occurs mostly in young children, and there is marked risk for local recurrence among 5-year survivors even after gross-total resection and postoperative radiotherapy. Repeated resections are therefore an important part of treatment and may lead to persistent tumor control. Even though the majority of children with PFE die from their tumor disease, some patients survive for more than 50 years with excellent functional outcome and working capacity.

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Shin Oe, Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Go Yoshida, Sho Kobayashi, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Yuki Mihara, Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiro Yamada, Koichiro Ide, Yuh Watanabe and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Many complications are likely to occur in patients with malnutrition. The prognostic nutritional index (PNI) is often used when evaluating a patient’s nutritional condition. However, no studies have investigated the association between nutritional status and postoperative medical complications or prognosis by using the PNI in the field of spinal surgery. The purpose of this retrospective study was to investigate postoperative medical complications and prognoses of patients who had undergone adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery, according to their preoperative nutritional status.

METHODS

All patients aged ≥ 40 years who had undergone scheduled ASD surgery in the authors’ hospital between March 2010 and June 2017 were eligible for study inclusion and were divided into groups according to their PNI (< 50, group L; ≥ 50, group H). Medical complications diagnosed within 30 days postoperatively were evaluated; however, surgical site infection and death were evaluated until 1 and 5 years after surgery, respectively.

RESULTS

Among the 285 eligible patients, groups L and H consisted of 118 and 167 patients, whose mean ages were 68.6 and 68.3 years, respectively. There was a significant difference in body mass index (22 vs 24 mg/kg2, respectively, p = 0.000), PNI (46 vs 55, p = 0.000), comorbidity of osteoporosis (50% vs 32%, p = 0.005) and autoimmune disease (13% vs 5%, p = 0.036), medical history of malignant disorder (17% vs 6%, p = 0.007), and medical complications (49% vs 23%, p = 0.000) between groups L and H. Multiple logistic regression analysis suggested that significant risk factors for postoperative medical complications were male sex (p = 0.000, OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.78–6.96), PNI < 50 (p = 0.000, OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.69–4.93), and days to ambulation (p = 0.003, OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.02–1.09).

CONCLUSIONS

Medical complication rates are significantly higher in patients with PNI < 50, those with delayed ambulation, and male patients. In malnourished patients scheduled for ASD surgery, improvement of preoperative nutritional status and postoperative early ambulation are important to avoid medical complications.

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Kosuke Hayashi, Hiroharu Kataoka, Manabu Minami, Taichi Ikedo, Takeshi Miyata, Kampei Shimizu, Manabu Nagata, Tao Yang, Yu Yamamoto, Masayuki Yokode and Susumu Miyamoto

OBJECTIVE

Zinc is an essential micronutrient with multiple biological effects, including antiinflammation. Previously, the authors demonstrated that the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) is strongly related to chronic inflammation. In this study, the authors investigated whether administration of zinc inhibits the growth of IAs in a rat model.

METHODS

The authors analyzed surgically induced IAs in Sprague-Dawley male rats, which were subsequently treated with intraperitoneal injections of zinc sulfate heptahydrate (ZnSO4; 3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 4 weeks.

RESULTS

Size and wall thickness ratios of experimentally induced IAs were assessed in both treatment groups after induction and in a control group. The effects of zinc administration in IAs were examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Zinc administration significantly suppressed aneurysm size and also preserved the internal elastic lumen. Administration of zinc significantly attenuated infiltration of macrophages into IAs.

CONCLUSIONS

Zinc treatment significantly increased expression of the antiinflammatory signaling protein A20, an inhibitor of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway, in rat IAs. Zinc administration may prevent the growth of rat IAs by inducing A20-attributed inactivation of NF-κB signaling.

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Zhuo Xi, Shane Burch, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Rory Richard Mayer, Charles Eichler and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Obese patients have been shown to have longer operative times and more complications from surgery. However, for obese patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery, these differences may not be as significant. In the lateral position, it is thought that obesity is less of an issue because gravity pulls the visceral fat away from the spine; however, this observation is primarily anecdotal and based on expert opinion. The authors performed oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) and they report on the perioperative morbidity in obese and nonobese patients.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent OLIF performed by 3 spine surgeons and 1 vascular surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, from 2013 to 2018. Data collected included demographic variables; approach-related factors such as operative time, blood loss, and expected temporary approach-related sequelae; and overall complications. Patients were categorized according to their body mass index (BMI). Obesity was defined as a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, and severe obesity was defined as a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2.

RESULTS

There were 238 patients (95 males and 143 females). There were no significant differences between the obese and nonobese groups in terms of sex, levels fused, or smoking status. For the entire cohort, there was no difference in operative time, blood loss, or complications when comparing obese and nonobese patients. However, a subset analysis of the 77 multilevel OLIFs that included L5–S1 demonstrated that the operative times for the nonobese group was 223.55 ± 57.93 minutes, whereas it was 273.75 ± 90.07 minutes for the obese group (p = 0.004). In this subset, the expected approach-related sequela rate was 13.2% for the nonobese group, whereas it was 33.3% for the obese group (p = 0.039). However, the two groups had similar blood loss (p = 0.476) and complication rates (p = 0.876).

CONCLUSIONS

Obesity and morbid obesity generally do not increase the operative time, blood loss, approach-related sequelae, or complications following OLIF. However, obese patients who undergo multilevel OLIF that includes the L5–S1 level do have longer operative times or a higher rate of expected approach-related sequelae. Obesity should not be considered a contraindication to multilevel OLIF, but patients should be informed of potentially increased morbidity if the L5–S1 level is to be included.

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Grant M. Fischer, Elmira Vaziri Fard, Manish N. Shah, Rajan P. Patel, Gretchen Von Allmen, Leomar Y. Ballester and Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee

Although rare, hyaline cytoplasmic inclusions isolated to astrocytes of the cerebral cortex have been identified in a spectrum of diseases ranging from intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients with only mild to moderate developmental delays to Aicardi syndrome. These inclusions classically stain positive for filamin A, giving rise to the term “filaminopathies.” The authors report on 2 pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy and developmental delay who uniquely displayed filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions in resected brain tissues. Additionally, these inclusions stained positive for S100 and negative for glial fibrillary acidic protein, chromogranin, neurofilament, CD34, vimentin, periodic acid–Schiff (PAS), and Alcian blue. These are the first reported cases of filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions, providing a novel variation on a previously reported entity and justification to further investigate the pathogenesis of these inclusions. The authors compare their findings with previously reported cases and review the literature on hyaline astrocytic inclusions in intractable pediatric epilepsy.

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Bradley R. Crammond, MBiostat, Neela Janakiramanan, Mario Ganau, Deborah Verran, Laura Lippa, Jonathan Braman and Katrin Rabiei

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm3 increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.

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Yasser B. Abulhasan, Johanna Ortiz Jimenez, Jeanne Teitelbaum, Gabrielle Simoneau and Mark R. Angle

OBJECTIVE

Intravenous (IV) milrinone is a promising option for the treatment of cerebral vasospasm with delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). However, data remain limited on the efficacy of treating cases that are refractory to standard therapy with IV milrinone. The aim of this study was to determine predictors of refractory vasospasm/DCI despite treatment with IV milrinone, and to analyze the outcome of rescue therapy with intraarterial (IA) milrinone and/or mechanical angioplasty.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients with aSAH admitted between 2010 and 2016 to the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. Patients were stratified into 3 groups: no DCI, standard therapy, and rescue therapy. The primary outcome was frequency of DCI-related cerebral infarction identified on neuroimaging before hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes included functional outcome reported as modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score, and segment reversal of refractory vasospasm.

RESULTS

The cohort included 322 patients: 212 in the no DCI group, 89 in the standard therapy group, and 21 in the rescue therapy group. Approximately half (52%, 168/322) were admitted with poor-grade aSAH at treatment decision (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade III–V). Among patients with DCI and imaging assessing severity of vasospasm, 62% (68/109) had moderate/severe radiological vasospasm on DCI presentation. Nineteen percent (21/110) of patients had refractory vasospasm/DCI and were treated with rescue therapy. Targeted rescue therapy with IA milrinone reversed 32% (29/91) of the refractory vasospastic vessels, and 76% (16/21) of those patients experienced significant improvement in their neurological status within 24 hours of initiating therapy. Moderate/severe radiological vasospasm independently predicted the need for rescue therapy (OR 27, 95% CI 8.01–112). Of patients with neuroimaging before discharge, 40% (112/277) had developed new cerebral infarcts, and only 21% (23/112) of these were vasospasm-related. Overall, 65% (204/314) of patients had a favorable functional outcome (mRS score 0–2) assessed at a median of 4 months (interquartile range 2–8 months) after aSAH, and there was no difference in functional outcome between the 3 groups (p = 0.512).

CONCLUSIONS

The aggressive use of milrinone was safe and effective based on this retrospective study cohort and is a promising therapy for the treatment of vasospasm/DCI after aSAH.

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Colin J. Przybylowski, Xiaochun Zhao, Jacob F. Baranoski, Leandro Borba Moreira, Sirin Gandhi, Kristina M. Chapple, Kaith K. Almefty, Nader Sanai, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Andrew S. Little and Peter Nakaji

OBJECTIVE

The controversy continues over the clinical utility of preoperative embolization for reducing tumor vascularity of intracranial meningiomas prior to resection. Previous studies comparing embolization and nonembolization patients have not controlled for detailed tumor parameters before assessing outcomes.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the cases of all patients who underwent resection of a WHO grade I intracranial meningioma at their institution from 2008 to 2016. Propensity score matching was used to generate embolization and nonembolization cohorts of 52 patients each, and a retrospective review of clinical and radiological outcomes was performed.

RESULTS

In total, 52 consecutive patients who underwent embolization (mean follow-up 34.8 ± 31.5 months) were compared to 52 patients who did not undergo embolization (mean follow-up 32.8 ± 28.7 months; p = 0.63). Variables controlled for included patient age (p = 0.82), tumor laterality (p > 0.99), tumor location (p > 0.99), tumor diameter (p = 0.07), tumor invasion into a major dural sinus (p > 0.99), and tumor encasement around the internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery (p > 0.99). The embolization and nonembolization cohorts did not differ in terms of estimated blood loss during surgery (660.4 ± 637.1 ml vs 509.2 ± 422.0 ml; p = 0.17), Simpson grade IV resection (32.7% vs 25.0%; p = 0.39), perioperative procedural complications (26.9% vs 19.2%; p = 0.35), development of permanent new neurological deficits (5.8% vs 7.7%; p = 0.70), or favorable modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score (a score of 0–2) at last follow-up (96.0% vs 92.3%; p = 0.43), respectively. When comparing the final mRS score to the preoperative mRS score, patients in the embolization group were more likely than patients in the nonembolization group to have an improvement in mRS score (50.0% vs 28.8%; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

After controlling for patient age, tumor size, tumor laterality, tumor location, tumor invasion into a major dural sinus, and tumor encasement of the internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery, preoperative meningioma embolization intended to decrease tumor vascularity did not improve the surgical outcomes of patients with WHO grade I intracranial meningiomas, but it did lead to a greater chance of clinical improvement compared to patients not treated with embolization.

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Peigen Xie, Feng Feng, Junyan Cao, Zihao Chen, Bingjun He, Zhuang Kang, Lei He, Wenbin Wu, Lei Tan, Kai Li, Rongqin Zheng and Limin Rong

OBJECTIVE

Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) is usually performed under fluoroscopic guidance and is associated with a large radiation dose. Ultrasonography (US)–MR image fusion navigation combines the advantages of US and MRI and requires significantly less radiation than fluoroscopy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of US-MR image fusion navigation for PTED.

METHODS

From January to September 2018, patients with L4–5 lumbar disc herniation requiring PTED were randomized to have the procedure conducted with US-MR image fusion navigation or fluoroscopy. The number of fluoroscopies, radiation dose, duration of imaging guidance, intraoperative visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, intraoperative complications, and clinical outcomes were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

There were 10 patients in the US-MR navigation group and 10 in the fluoroscopy group, and there were no significant differences in age, sex ratio, or BMI between the 2 groups (all p > 0.05). Intraoperatively, the total radiation dose, number of fluoroscopies performed, duration of image guidance, and VAS low-back and leg pain scores were all significantly lower in the US-MRI navigation group than in the fluoroscopy group (all p < 0.05). There were no intraoperative complications in either group. Postoperative improvements in Japanese Orthopaedic Association, Oswestry Disability Index, and VAS pain scale scores were similar between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

US-MR image fusion navigation is a promising technology for performing PTED and requires significantly less radiation than fluoroscopy.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03403244 (ClinicalTrials.gov).