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Open access

Anshit Goyal, Cody L. Nesvick, Joshua A. Spear, and David J. Daniels

BACKGROUND

Superficial siderosis of the central nervous system is a rare syndrome notable for the presence of hemosiderin deposition due to chronic, repetitive hemorrhages into the subarachnoid space.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented a case of superficial siderosis in a 14-year-old girl. It arose as a late postoperative complication after resection of a medulloblastoma. Despite the patient being asymptomatic, surveillance imaging demonstrated diffuse hemosiderin deposition within the cerebellar folia and cisternal segments of cranial nerves VII and VIII on gradient echo (GRE) sequences. Formal audiometric testing demonstrated bilateral loss of high-frequency tone recognition consistent with early sensorineural hearing loss. A pseudomeningocele due to multiple dural defects was identified as the likely cause, and definitive surgical repair was performed. Intraoperatively, the presence of blood-tinged cerebrospinal fluid confirmed a diagnosis of superficial siderosis.

LESSONS

This case highlighted the potential need to routinely include GRE or susceptibility-weighted sequences in postoperative surveillance imaging after resection of pediatric posterior fossa tumors.

Open access

Harsh Wadhwa, Karen Malacon, Zachary A. Medress, Christopher Leung, Matthew Sklar, and Corinna C. Zygourakis

BACKGROUND

Vertebral artery injury is a devastating potential complication of C1–2 posterior fusion. Intraoperative navigation can reduce the risk of neurovascular complications and improve screw placement accuracy. However, the use of intraoperative computed tomography (CT) increases radiation exposure and operative time, and it is unable to image vascular structures. The Machine-vision Image Guided Surgery (MvIGS) system uses optical topographic imaging and machine vision software to rapidly register using preoperative imaging. The authors presented the first report of intraoperative navigation with MvIGS registered using a preoperative CT angiogram (CTA) during C1–2 posterior fusion.

OBSERVATIONS

MvIGS can register in seconds, minimizing operative time with no additional radiation exposure. Furthermore, surgeons can better adjust for abnormal vertebral artery anatomy and increase procedure safety.

LESSONS

CTA-guided navigation generated a three-dimensional reconstruction of cervical spine anatomy that assisted surgeons during the procedure. Although further study is needed, the use of intraoperative MvIGS may reduce the risk of vertebral artery injury during C1–2 posterior fusion.

Open access

Yen-Heng Lin, Yu-Cheng Huang, and Fon-Yih Tsuang

BACKGROUND

Paravertebral arteriovenous fistula (AVF) after spinal surgery is rarely reported in the literature. Its natural course is largely unknown.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a 31-year-old woman with a high-flow AVF after T12 vertebral giant cell tumor curettage. Eight months after the initial surgery, revision en bloc surgery was planned. Preoperative computed tomography angiography was performed for vascularity assessment, which incidentally revealed a large paravertebral early-enhanced venous sac. High-flow AVF was confirmed through subsequent spinal angiography. Endovascular embolization was scheduled before the surgery to avoid massive blood loss. However, the AVF closed spontaneously 1 month after the spinal angiography. The plan was changed to preoperative embolization; subsequently, three-level en bloc spondylectomy was performed smoothly.

LESSONS

Iatrogenic AVF is possible, prompting investigation by vascular imaging when suspected. Embolization is a preferred treatment method when feasible. However, for iatrogenic etiology, the prothrombotic property of the contrast medium may induce the resolution. Multidisciplinary discussion can be very helpful before aggressive spinal surgery.

Free access

Enrique Vargas, Dennis T. Lockney, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Alexander F. Haddad, Joshua Rivera, Xiao Tan, Alysha Jamieson, Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Sigurd Berven, Steve E. Braunstein, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Within the Spine Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS) classification, tumor-related potential spinal instability (SINS 7–12) may not have a clear treatment approach. The authors aimed to examine the proportion of patients in this indeterminate zone who later required surgical stabilization after initial nonoperative management. By studying this patient population, they sought to determine if a clear SINS cutoff existed whereby the spine is potentially unstable due to a lesion and would be more likely to require stabilization.

METHODS

Records from patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco, for metastatic spine disease from 2005 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Seventy-five patients with tumor-related potential spinal instability (SINS 7–12) who were initially treated nonoperatively were included. All patients had at least a 1-year follow-up with complete medical records. A univariate chi-square test and Student t-test were used to compare categorical and continuous outcomes, respectively, between patients who ultimately underwent surgery and those who did not. A backward likelihood multivariate binary logistic regression model was used to investigate the relationship between clinical characteristics and surgical intervention. Recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) and single-variable logistic regression were performed as a function of SINS.

RESULTS

Seventy-five patients with a total of 292 spinal metastatic sites were included in this study; 26 (34.7%) patients underwent surgical intervention, and 49 (65.3%) did not. There was no difference in age, sex, comorbidities, or lesion location between the groups. However, there were more patients with a SINS of 12 in the surgery group (55.2%) than in the no surgery group (44.8%) (p = 0.003). On multivariate analysis, SINS > 11 (OR 8.09, CI 1.96–33.4, p = 0.004) and Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score < 60 (OR 0.94, CI 0.89–0.98, p = 0.008) were associated with an increased risk of surgery. KPS score was not correlated with SINS (p = 0.4). RPA by each spinal lesion identified an optimal cutoff value of SINS > 10, which were associated with an increased risk of surgical intervention. Patients with a surgical intervention had a higher incidence of complications on multivariable analysis (OR 2.96, CI 1.01–8.71, p = 0.048).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with a mean SINS of 11 or greater may be at increased risk of mechanical instability requiring surgery after initial nonoperative management. RPA showed that patients with a KPS score of 60 or lower and a SINS of greater than 10 had increased surgery rates.

Free access

Matthew T. Neal, Alexandra E. Richards, Kara L. Curley, Naresh P. Patel, Jonathan B. Ashman, Sujay A. Vora, and Maziyar A. Kalani

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of carbon fiber–reinforced PEEK (CFRP) composite implants in patients with both primary and secondary osseous spinal tumors.

METHODS

Twenty-eight spinal tumor patients who underwent fixation with CFRP hardware were retrospectively identified in a Spine Tumor Quality Database at a single institution. Demographic, procedural, and follow-up data were retrospectively collected.

RESULTS

The study population included 14 females and 14 males with a mean age of 60 years (range 30–86 years). Five patients had primary bone tumors, and the remaining patients had metastatic tumors. Breast cancer was the most common metastatic tumor. The most common presenting symptom was axial spine pain (25 patients, 89%), and the most common Spine Instability Neoplastic Score was 7 (range 6–14). Two patients in this series had anterior cervical procedures. The remaining patients underwent posterior thoracolumbar fixation. The average fusion length included 4.6 vertebral segments (range 3–8). The mean clinical follow-up time with surgical or oncology teams was 6.5 months (range 1–23 months), and the mean interval for last follow-up imaging (CT or MRI) was 6.5 months (range 1–22 months). Eighteen patients received postoperative radiation at the authors’ institution (16 with photon therapy, 2 with proton therapy). Eleven of the patients (39%) in this series died. At the last clinical follow-up, 26 patients (93%) had stable or improved neurological function compared with their preoperative status. At the last imaging follow-up, local disease control was observed in 25 patients (89%). Two patients required reoperation in the immediate postoperative period, one for surgical site infection and the other for compressive epidural hematoma. One patient was noted to have lucencies around the most cephalad screws 3 months after surgery. No hardware fracture or malfunction occurred intraoperatively. No patients required delayed surgery for hardware loosening, fracture, or other failure. Early tumor recurrence was detected in 3 patients. Early detection was attributed to the imaging characteristics of the CFRP hardware.

CONCLUSIONS

CFRP spinal implants appear to be safe and comparable to conventional titanium implants in terms of functionality. The imaging characteristics of CFRP hardware facilitate radiation planning and assessment of surveillance imaging. CFRP hardware may enhance safety and efficacy, particularly with particle therapy dosimetry. Larger patient populations with longer-term follow-up are needed to confirm the various valuable aspects of CFRP spinal implants.

Free access

Leonel Ampie, M. Harrison Snyder, Jose F. Dominguez, Avery Buchholz, Chun-Po Yen, Mark E. Shaffrey, Hasan R. Syed, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Justin S. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Primary spinal meningiomas represent a rare indolent neoplasm usually situated in the intradural-extramedullary compartment. They have a predilection for afflicting the thoracic spine and most frequently present with sensory and/or motor symptoms. Resection is the first-line treatment for symptomatic tumors, whereas other clinical factors will determine the need for adjuvant therapy. In this study, the authors aimed to elucidate clinical presentation, functional outcomes, and long-term outcomes in this population in order to better equip clinicians with the tools to counsel their patients.

METHODS

This is a retrospective analysis of patients treated at the authors’ institution between 1998 and 2018. All patients with thoracic meningiomas who underwent resection and completed at least one follow-up appointment were included. Multiple preoperative clinical variables, hospitalization details, and long-term outcomes were collected for the cohort.

RESULTS

Forty-six patients who underwent resection for thoracic meningiomas were included. The average age of the cohort was 59 years, and the median follow-up was 53 months. Persistent sensory and motor symptoms were present in 29 patients (63%). Fifteen lesions were ventrally positioned. There were 43 WHO grade I tumors, 2 WHO grade II tumors, and 1 WHO grade III tumor; the grade III tumor was the only case of recurrence. The median length of hospitalization was 4 days. Seventeen patients (37%) were discharged to rehabilitation facilities. Thirty patients (65.2%) experienced resolution or improvement of symptoms, and there were no deaths within 30 days of surgery. Only 1 patient developed painful kyphosis and was managed medically. Ventral tumor position, new postoperative deficits, and length of stay did not correlate with disposition to a facility. Age, ventral position, blood loss, and increasing WHO grade did not correlate with length of stay.

CONCLUSIONS

Outcomes are overall favorable for patients who undergo resection of thoracic meningiomas. Symptomatic patients often experience improvement, and patients generally do not require significant future operations. Tumors located ventrally, while anatomically challenging, do not necessarily herald a significantly worse prognosis or limit the extent of resection.

Free access

Gil Kimchi, Nachshon Knoller, Akiva Korn, Yahel Eyal-Mazuz, Yechiam Sapir, Anton Peled, and Ran Harel

OBJECTIVE

The use of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) has become an imperative adjunct to the resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs). While the diagnostic utility of IONM during the immediate postoperative period has been previously studied, its long-term diagnostic accuracy has seldom been thoroughly assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term variations in the diagnostic accuracy of transcranial motor evoked potentials (tcMEPs), somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), and D-wave recordings during IMSCT excision.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective evaluation of imaging studies, patient charts, operative reports, and IONM recordings of patients who were operated on for gross-total or subtotal resection of IMSCTs at a single institution between 2012 and 2018. Variations in the specificity, sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for postoperative functional outcome (McCormick Scale) were analyzed at postoperative day 1 (POD1), 6 weeks postoperatively (PO-6 weeks), and at the latest follow-up.

RESULTS

Overall, 28 patients were included. The mean length of follow-up was 19 ± 23.4 months. Persistent motor attenuations occurred in 71.4% of the cohort. MEP was the most sensitive modality (78.6%, 87.5%, and 85.7% sensitivity at POD1, PO-6 weeks, and last follow-up, respectively). The specificity of the D-wave was the most consistent over time (100%, 83.35%, and 90% specificity at the aforementioned time points). The PPV of motor recordings decreased over time (58% vs 33% and 100% vs 0 for tcMEP and D-wave at POD1 and last follow-up, respectively), while their NPV consistently increased (67% vs 89% and 70% vs 100% for tcMEP and D-wave at POD1 and last follow-up, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The diagnostic accuracy of IONM in the resection of IMSCTs varies during the postoperative period. The decrease in the PPV of motor recordings over time suggests that this method is more predictive of short-term rather than long-term neurological deficits. The increasing NPV of motor recordings indicates a higher diagnostic accuracy in the identification of patients who preserve neurological function, albeit with an increased proportion of false-negative alarms for the immediate postoperative period. These variations should be considered in the surgical decision-making process when weighing the risk of resection-associated neurological injury against the implications of incomplete tumor resection.

Free access

Vikram B. Chakravarthy, Hammad A. Khan, Shaarada Srivatsa, Todd Emch, Samuel T. Chao, and Ajit A. Krishnaney

OBJECTIVE

Separation surgery followed by spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SSRS) has been shown to achieve favorable rates of local tumor control and patient-reported outcomes in patients with metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC). However, rates and factors associated with adjacent-level tumor progression (ALTP) in this population have not yet been characterized. The present study aimed to identify factors associated with ALTP and examine its association with overall survival (OS) in patients receiving surgery followed by radiosurgery for MESCC.

METHODS

Thirty-nine patients who underwent separation surgery followed by SSRS for MESCC were identified using a prospectively collected database and were retrospectively reviewed. Radiological measurements were collected from preoperative, postoperative, and post-SSRS MRI. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Kaplan-Meier product-limit method and Cox proportional hazards test. Subgroup analysis was conducted for patients who experienced ALTP into the epidural space (ALTP-E).

RESULTS

The authors’ cohort included 39 patients with a median OS of 14.7 months (range 2.07–96.3 months). ALTP was observed in 16 patients (41.0%) at a mean of 6.1 ± 5.4 months postradiosurgery, of whom 4 patients (10.3%) experienced ALTP-E. Patients with ALTP had shorter OS (13.0 vs 17.1 months, p = 0.047) compared with those without ALTP. Factors associated with an increased likelihood of ALTP included the amount of bone marrow infiltrated by tumor at the index level, amount of residual epidural disease following separation surgery, and prior receipt of radiotherapy at the index level (p < 0.05). Subgroup analysis revealed that primary tumor type, amount of preoperative epidural disease, time elapsed between surgery and radiosurgery, and prior receipt of radiotherapy at the index level were significantly associated with ALTP-E (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to identify possible risk factors for ALTP, and they suggest that it may be associated with shorter OS in patients receiving surgery followed by radiosurgery for MESCC. Future studies with higher power should be conducted to further characterize factors associated with ALTP in this population.