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Chen-Yu Ding, Han-Pei Cai, Hong-Liang Ge, Liang-Hong Yu, Yuan-Xiang Lin and De-Zhi Kang

OBJECTIVE

The relationship between lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and various cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases is inconsistent. However, the connection between Lp-PLA2 level and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) remains unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between the Lp-PLA2 levels in the early stages of aSAH and the occurrence of DCI.

METHODS

The authors evaluated 114 patients with aSAH who were enrolled into a prospective observational cohort study. Serum Lp-PLA2 level at admission (D0), on the first morning (D1), and on the second morning of hospitalization (D2) were determined using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The relationship between Lp-PLA2 levels and DCI was analyzed.

RESULTS

Forty-three patients with aSAH (37.72%) experienced DCI. Mean serum Lp-PLA2 level decreased from 183.06 ± 61.36 μg/L at D0 (D0 vs D1, p = 0.303), to 175.32 ± 51.49 μg/L at D1 and 167.24 ± 54.10 μg/L at D2 (D0 vs D2, p = 0.040). The Lp-PLA2 level changes (D0-D1 and D0-D2) were comparable between patients with and without DCI. Multivariate model analysis revealed Lp-PLA2 level (D0) > 200 μg/L was a more significant factor of DCI compared with Lp-PLA2 (D1) and Lp-PLA2 (D2), and was a strong predictor of DCI (odds ratio [OR] 6.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.05–18.94, p = 0.001) after controlling for World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade (OR 3.35, 95% CI 1.18–9.51, p = 0.023) and modified Fisher grade (OR 6.07, 95% CI 2.03–18.14, p = 0.001). WFNS grade (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.792), modified Fisher grade (AUC = 0.731), and Lp-PLA2 level (D0; AUC = 0.710) were all strong predictors of DCI. The predictive powers of WFNS grade, modified Fisher grade, and Lp-PLA2 (D0) were comparable (WFNS grade vs Lp-PLA2: p = 0.233; modified Fisher grade vs Lp-PLA2: p = 0.771). The poor-grade patients with Lp-PLA2 (D0) > 200 μg/L had significantly worse DCI survival rate than poor-grade patients with Lp-PLA2 (D0) ≤ 200 μg/L (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The serum level of Lp-PLA2 was significantly elevated in patients with DCI, and decreased within the first 2 days after admission. Lp-PLA2 in the early stages of aSAH might be a novel predictive biomarker for the occurrence of DCI.

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Al-Wala Awad, Craig Kilburg, Michael Karsy, William T. Couldwell and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

The Pipeline embolization device (PED) is a self-expanding mesh stent that diverts blood flow away from an aneurysm; it has been successfully used to treat aneurysms of the proximal internal carotid artery (ICA). PEDs have a remarkable ability to alter regional blood flow along the tortuous segments of the ICA and were incidentally found to alter the angle of the anterior genu after treatment. The authors quantified these changes and explored their implications as they relate to treatment effect.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed cases of aneurysms treated with a PED between the ophthalmic and posterior communicating arteries from 2012 through 2015. The angles of the anterior genu were measured on the lateral projections of cerebral angiograms obtained before and after treatment with a PED. The angles of the anterior genu of patients without aneurysms were used as normal controls.

RESULTS

Thirty-eight patients were identified who had been treated with a PED; 34 (89.5%) had complete obliteration and 4 (10.5%) had persistence of their aneurysm at last follow-up (mean 11.3 months). After treatment, 32 patients had an increase, 3 had a decrease, and 3 had no change in the angle of the anterior genu. The average measured angle of the anterior genu was 36.7° before treatment and 44.3° after treatment (p < 0.0001). The average angle of the anterior genu of control patients was 43.32° (vs 36.7° for the preoperative angle in the patients with aneurysms, p < 0.057). The average change in the angle of patients with postoperative Raymond scores of 1 was 9.10°, as compared with 1.25° in patients with postoperative Raymond scores > 1 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment with a PED significantly changes the angle of the anterior genu. An average change of 9.1° was associated with complete obliteration of treated aneurysms. These findings have important implications for the treatment and management of cerebral aneurysm.

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Pranay Soni, Ghaith Habboub, Varun R. Kshettry, Richard Schlenk, Frederick Lautzenheiser and Edward C. Benzel

The Cleveland Clinic was established in 1921 under the direction of 4 experienced and iconic physicians: George Crile, Frank Bunts, William Lower, and John Phillips. The Clinic initially employed a staff of only 6 surgeons, 4 internists, 1 radiologist, and 1 biophysicist, but Crile was quick to realize the need for broadening its scope of practice. He asked his close friend, Harvey Cushing, for assistance in finding a suitable candidate to establish a department of neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic. With his full endorsement, Cushing recommended Dr. Charles Edward Locke Jr., a former student and burgeoning star in the field of neurosurgery. Unfortunately, Locke’s life and career both ended prematurely in the Cleveland Clinic fire of 1929, but not before he would leave a lasting legacy, both at the Cleveland Clinic and in the field of neurosurgery.

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Taylor E. Purvis, Brian J. Neuman, Lee H. Riley III and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

In this paper, the authors demonstrate to spine surgeons the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among patients presenting for surgery and explore the relationships between different legacy and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) screening measures.

METHODS

A total of 512 adult spine surgery patients at a single institution completed the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder questionnaire (GAD-7), 8-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) depression scale, and PROMIS Anxiety and Depression computer-adaptive tests (CATs) preoperatively. Correlation coefficients were calculated between PROMIS scores and GAD-7 and PHQ-8 scores. Published reference tables were used to determine the presence of anxiety or depression using GAD-7 and PHQ-8. Sensitivity and specificity of published guidance on the PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs were compared. Guidance from 3 sources was compared: published GAD-7 and PHQ-8 crosswalk tables, American Psychiatric Association scales, and expert clinical consensus. Receiver operator characteristic curves were used to determine data-driven cut-points for PROMIS Anxiety and Depression. Significance was accepted as p < 0.05.

RESULTS

In 512 spine surgery patients, anxiety and depression were prevalent preoperatively (55% with any anxiety, 24% with generalized anxiety screen-positive; and 54% with any depression, 24% with probable major depression). Correlations were moderately strong between PROMIS Anxiety and GAD-7 scores (r = 0.72; p < 0.001) and between PROMIS Depression and PHQ-8 scores (r = 0.74; p < 0.001). The observed correlation of the PROMIS Depression score was greater with the PHQ-8 cognitive/affective score (r = 0.766) than with the somatic score (r = 0.601) (p < 0.001). PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs were able to detect the presence of generalized anxiety screen-positive (sensitivity, 86.0%; specificity, 81.6%) and of probable major depression (sensitivity, 82.3%; specificity, 81.4%). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated data-driven cut-points for these groups.

CONCLUSIONS

PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs are reliable tools for identifying generalized anxiety screen-positive spine surgery patients and those with probable major depression.

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Yair M. Gozal, Erinç Aktüre, Vijay M. Ravindra, Jonathan P. Scoville, Randy L. Jensen, William T. Couldwell and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

The absence of a commonly accepted standardized classification system for complication reporting confounds the recognition, objective reporting, management, and avoidance of perioperative adverse events. In the past decade, several classification systems have been proposed for use in neurosurgery, but these generally focus on tallying specific complications and grading their effect on patient morbidity. Herein, the authors propose and prospectively validate a new neurosurgical complication classification based on understanding the underlying causes of the adverse events.

METHODS

A new complication classification system was devised based on the authors’ previous work on morbidity in endovascular surgery. Adverse events were prospectively compiled for all neurosurgical procedures performed at their tertiary care academic medical center over the course of 1 year into 5 subgroups: 1) indication errors; 2) procedural errors; 3) technical errors; 4) judgment errors; and 5) critical events. The complications were presented at the monthly institutional Morbidity and Mortality conference where, following extensive discussion, they were assigned to one of the 5 subgroups. Additional subgroup analyses by neurosurgical subspecialty were also performed.

RESULTS

A total of 115 neurosurgical complications were observed and analyzed during the study period. Of these, nearly half were critical events, while technical errors accounted for approximately one-third of all complications. Within neurosurgical subspecialties, vascular neurosurgery (36.5%) had the most complications, followed by spine & peripheral nerve (21.7%), neuro-oncology (14.8%), cranial trauma (13.9%), general neurosurgery (12.2%), and functional neurosurgery (0.9%).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ novel neurosurgical complication classification system was successfully implemented in a prospective manner at their high-volume tertiary medical center. By employing the well-established Morbidity and Mortality conference mechanism, this simple system may be easily applied at other neurosurgical centers and may allow for uniform analyses of perioperative morbidity and the introduction of corrective initiatives.

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Abhaya V. Kulkarni and Ruth Donnelly

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Mikito Hayakawa, Kenji Sugiu, Shinichi Yoshimura, Tomohito Hishikawa, Hiroshi Yamagami, Mayumi Fukuda-Doi, Nobuyuki Sakai, Koji Iihara, Kuniaki Ogasawara, Hidenori Oishi, Yasushi Ito and Yuji Matsumaru

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS) is a serious complication after carotid artery stenting (CAS). Staged angioplasty (SAP)—i.e., angioplasty followed by delayed CAS—has been reported as a potential CHS-avoiding procedure. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effectiveness of SAP in avoiding CHS after carotid revascularization for patients at high risk for this complication.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied cases involving patients at high risk for CHS from 44 Japanese centers who were scheduled for SAP, regular CAS, angioplasty, or staged procedures other than SAP between October 2007 and March 2014. They investigated the rate of CHS in the population scheduled for SAP or regular CAS, and for safety analysis, the composite rate of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and ischemic stroke in the population eventually receiving SAP or regular CAS.

RESULTS

Data from a total of 525 patients (532 lesions, mean age 72.5 ± 7.5 years, 74 women ) were analyzed. Scheduled procedures included SAP for 113 lesions and regular CAS for 419 lesions. The rate of CHS was lower in the SAP group than in the regular CAS group (4.4% vs 10.5%, p = 0.047). Multivariate analysis showed that SAP was negatively related to CHS (OR 0.315; 95% CI 0.120–0.828). In the population eventually receiving SAP (102 lesions) or regular CAS (428 lesions), the composite rate of TIA and ischemic stroke was comparable between the SAP group and the regular CAS group (9.8% vs 9.3%).

CONCLUSIONS

SAP may be an effective and safe carotid revascularization procedure to avoid CHS.

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Pascal Lavergne, Moujahed Labidi, Marie-Christine Brunet, Paule Lessard Bonaventure, Akli Zetchi, Sylvine Carrondo Cottin, David Simonyan and André Turmel

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a common neurosurgical condition that can result in significant morbidity. The incidence of epileptic events associated with CSDH reported in the literature varies considerably and could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates. The effectiveness of antiepileptic prophylaxis for this indication remains unclear. The primary objective of this study was to assess the relevance of anticonvulsant prophylaxis in reducing seizure events in patients with CSDH.

METHODS

All consecutive cases of CSDH from January 1, 2005, to May 30, 2014, at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus in Quebec City were retrospectively reviewed. Sociodemographic data, antiepileptic prophylaxis use, incidence of ictal events, and clinical and radiological outcome data were collected. Univariate analyses were done to measure the effect of antiepileptic prophylaxis on ictal events and to identify potential confounding factors. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to evaluate factors associated with epileptic events.

RESULTS

Antiepileptic prophylaxis was administered in 28% of the patients, and seizures occurred in 11%. Univariate analyses showed an increase in the incidence of ictal events in patients receiving prophylaxis (OR 5.92). Four factors were identified as being associated with seizures: septations inside the hematoma, membranectomy, antiepileptic prophylaxis, and a new deficit postoperatively. Antiepileptic prophylaxis was not associated with seizures in multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

Antiepileptic prophylaxis does not seem to be effective in preventing seizures in patients with CSDH. However, due to the design of this study, it is difficult to conclude definitively about the usefulness of this prophylactic therapy that is widely prescribed for this condition.

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Maggie Bellew, Rachel J. Mandela and Paul D. Chumas

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether age at surgery has an impact on later neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with sagittal synostosis (SS).

METHODS

The developmental outcome data from patients who had surgery for SS and who attended their routine preoperative, 6–7 months postoperative, and 5-year-old developmental assessments (yielding general quotients [GQs]) (n = 50), 10-year-old IQ assessment (n = 54), and 15-year-old IQ assessment (n = 23) were examined, comparing whether they had surgery at < 7 months, 7 to < 12 months, or ≥ 12 months).

RESULTS

There was no significant effect for age at surgery for GQ at 5 years of age, but there was a significant effect (p = 0.0001) for those undergoing surgery at < 7 months in terms of preoperative gross locomotor deficit that resolved by 6–7 months postoperatively (increase of 22.1 points), and had further improved by 5 years of age (total increase of 29.4 points). This effect was lessened when surgery was performed later (total increase of 7.3 points when surgery was performed at ≥ 12 months). At 10 years of age, 1-way ANOVA showed a significant difference in Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) score (p = 0.013), with the highest mean FSIQ being obtained when surgery was performed at < 7 months of age (score 107.0), followed by surgery at 7 to < 12 months (score 94.4), and the lowest when surgery was performed at ≥ 12 months (score 93.6). One-way ANOVA for the Performance IQ (PIQ) was very similar (p = 0.012), with PIQ scores of 101.4, 91.4, and 87.3, respectively. One-way ANOVA for Verbal IQ (VIQ) was again significant (p = 0.05), with VIQ scores of 111.3, 98.9, and 100.4, respectively. At 15 years, 1-way ANOVA showed a significant difference in PIQ (p = 0.006), with the highest mean PIQ being obtained when surgery was performed at < 7 months (score 104.8), followed by surgery at 7 to < 12 months (score 90.0), and the lowest when surgery was at performed at ≥ 12 months of age (score 85.3). There were no significant results for FSIQ and VIQ, although there was a similar trend for better outcomes with early surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of this study add to the literature that suggests that early surgery for SS may result in improved neurodevelopmental outcomes, with surgery optimally undertaken when patients are < 7 months of age, and with those undergoing surgery at ≥ 12 months performing the least well. These results also have potential implications for ensuring early diagnosis and referral and for the type of surgery offered. Further research is needed to control for confounding factors and to identify the mechanism by which late surgery may be associated with poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes.

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Esther B. Dupépé, Matthew Davis, Galal A. Elsayed, Bonita Agee, Keneshia Kirksey, Amber Gordon and Patrick R. Pritchard

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine the inter-rater reliability of the modified Medical Research Council (MRC) scale for grading motor function in patients with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI).

METHODS

Two neurosurgical residents and 2 faculty members performed motor examinations in 6 chronic incomplete SCI patients for a total of 156 muscle groups. Examinations were performed using the modified MRC grading scale during routine clinic visits for each patient. Informed consent was obtained prior to enrollment. Patients with American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale grade A (ASIA A) injuries were excluded. Inter-rater reliability coefficients were calculated using Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W) and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

RESULTS

Sixty-four percent of the tested variables demonstrated extremely strong (W 0.71–0.9) or strong (0.51–0.7) inter-rater reliability using Kendall’s coefficient of concordance and an ICC corresponding to excellent (ICC > 0.75) or fair to good (ICC 0.4–0.75) inter-rater reliability. An additional 7% showed poor inter-rater reliability (ICC < 0.4). The remaining variables tested did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

The inter-rater reliability of the modified MRC scale was found to be high in the majority of tested variables, but the results suggest that discrepancy among trained observers does exist. Reliability was greatest in the lower-extremity muscle groups and least in the upper-extremity muscle groups in patients with chronic incomplete SCI.