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Kelly Russell, Erin Selci, Brian Black and Michael J. Ellis

OBJECTIVE

The longitudinal effects of sports-related concussion (SRC) in adolescents on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) remain poorly understood. Hence, the authors established two objectives of this study: 1) compare HRQOL outcomes among adolescents with an acute SRC or a sports-related extremity fracture (SREF) who were followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery; and 2) identify the clinical variables associated with worse HRQOL among adolescent SRC patients.

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of adolescents with acute SRC and those with acute SREF who underwent clinical assessment and follow-up at tertiary subspecialty clinics. Longitudinal patient-reported HRQOL was measured at the time of initial assessment and at each follow-up appointment by using the adolescent version (age 13–18 years) of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) Generic Core Scale and Cognitive Functioning Scale.

RESULTS

A total of 135 patients with SRC (60.0% male; mean age 14.7 years; time from injury to initial assessment 6 days) and 96 patients with SREF (59.4% male; mean age 14.1 years; time from injury to initial assessment 8 days) participated in the study. At the initial assessment, the SRC patients demonstrated significantly worse cognitive HRQOL and clinically meaningful impairments in school and overall HRQOL compared to the SREF patients. Clinical variables associated with a worse HRQOL among SRC patients differed by domain but were significantly affected by the patients’ initial symptom burden and the development of delayed physician-documented clinical recovery (> 28 days postinjury). No persistent impairments in HRQOL were observed among SRC patients who were followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Adolescent SRC is associated with temporary impairments in HRQOL that have been shown to resolve in patients who are followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery. Future studies are needed to identify the clinicopathological features that are associated with impaired HRQOL and to assess whether the initiation of multidisciplinary, targeted rehabilitation strategies would lead to an improvement in HRQOL.

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Anna MacDowall, Nuno Canto Moreira, Catarina Marques, Martin Skeppholm, Lars Lindhagen, Yohan Robinson, Håkan Löfgren, Karl Michaëlsson and Claes Olerud

OBJECTIVE

The method of artificial disc replacement (ADR) has been developed as an alternative treatment to fusion surgery after decompression for cervical degenerative disc disease (DDD) with radiculopathy. Preserving the motion of ADR devices aims to prevent immobilization side effects such as adjacent-segment pathology (ASP). However, long-term follow-up evaluations using MRI are needed to investigate if this intent is achieved.

METHODS

The authors performed a randomized controlled trial with 153 patients (mean age 47 years) undergoing surgery for cervical radiculopathy. Eighty-three patients received an ADR and 70 patients underwent fusion surgery. Outcomes after 5 years were assessed using patient-reported outcome measures using the Neck Disability Index (NDI) score as the primary outcome; motion preservation and heterotopic ossification by radiography; ASP by MRI; and secondary surgical procedures.

RESULTS

Scores on the NDI were approximately halved in both groups: the mean score after 5 years was 36 (95% confidence interval [CI] 31–41) in the ADR group and 32 (95% CI 27–38) in the fusion group (p = 0.48). There were no other significant differences between the groups in six other patient-related outcome measures. Fifty-four percent of the patients in the ADR group preserved motion at the operated cervical level and 25% of the ADRs were spontaneously fused. Seventeen ADR patients (21%) and 7 fusion patients (10%) underwent secondary surgery (p = 0.11), with 5 patients in each group due to clinical ASP.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with cervical DDD and radiculopathy decompression as well as ADR, surgery did not result in better clinical or radiological outcomes after 5 years compared with decompression and fusion surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: 44347115 (ISRCTN).

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Giovanni Vercelli, Thomas J. Sorenson, Ahmad Z. Aljobeh, Roanna Vine and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

Cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms are frequently diagnosed incidentally and the benign natural history of these lesions is well known, but there is limited information assessing the risk of growth in untreated patients. The authors sought to assess and analyze risk factors in patients with cavernous ICA aneurysms and compare them to those of patients with intracranial berry aneurysms in other locations.

METHODS

Data from consecutive patients who were diagnosed with a cavernous ICA aneurysm were retrospectively reviewed. The authors evaluated patients for the incidence of cavernous ICA aneurysm growth and rupture. In addition, the authors analyzed risk factors for cavernous ICA aneurysm growth and compared them to risk factors in a population of patients diagnosed with intracranial berry aneurysms in locations other than the cavernous ICA during the same period.

RESULTS

In 194 patients with 208 cavernous ICA aneurysms, the authors found a high risk of aneurysm growth (19.2% per patient-year) in patients with large/giant aneurysms. Size was significantly associated with higher risk of growth. Compared to patients with intracranial berry aneurysms in other locations, patients with cavernous ICA aneurysms were significantly more likely to be female and have a lower incidence of hypertension.

CONCLUSIONS

Aneurysms of the cavernous ICA are benign lesions with a negligible risk of rupture but a definite risk of growth. Aneurysm size was found to be associated with aneurysm growth, which can be associated with new onset of symptoms. Serial follow-up imaging of a cavernous ICA aneurysm might be indicated to monitor for asymptomatic growth, especially in patients with larger lesions.

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Ajay Malhotra, Xiao Wu, Timothy Miller, Charles C. Matouk, Pina Sanelli and Dheeraj Gandhi

OBJECTIVE

Both endovascular coiling and the Pipeline embolization device (PED) have been shown to be safe and clinically effective for treatment of small (< 10 mm) aneurysms. The authors conducted a comparative effectiveness analysis to compare the utility of these treatment methods in terms of health benefits.

METHODS

A decision-analytical study was performed with Markov modeling methods to simulate patients with small unruptured aneurysms undergoing endovascular coiling, stent-assisted coiling (SAC), or PED placement for treatment. Input probabilities were derived from prior literature, and 1-way, 2-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to assess model and input parameter uncertainty.

RESULTS

The base case calculation for a 50-year-old man reveals PED to have a higher health benefit (17.48 quality-adjusted life years [QALYs]) than coiling (17.44 QALYs) or SAC (17.36 QALYs). PED is the better option in 6020 of the 10,000 iterations in probabilistic sensitivity analysis. When the retreatment rate of PED is lower than 9.53%, and the coiling retreatment is higher than 15.6%, PED is the better strategy. In the 2-way sensitivity analysis varying the retreatment rates from both treatment modalities, when the retreatment rate of PED is approximately 14% lower than the retreatment rate of coiling, PED is the more favorable treatment strategy. Otherwise, coiling is more effective. SAC may be better than PED when the unfavorable outcome risk of SAC is lower than 70% of its reported current value.

CONCLUSIONS

With the increasing use of PEDs for treatment of small unruptured aneurysms, the current study indicates that these devices may have higher health benefits due to lower rates of retreatment compared to both simple coiling and stent-assisted techniques. Longer follow-up studies are needed to document the rates of recurrence and retreatment after coiling and PED to assess the cost-effectiveness of these strategies.

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Lynn B. McGrath Jr., Gabrielle A. White-Dzuro and Christoph P. Hofstetter

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive lumbar unilateral tubular laminotomy for bilateral decompression has gradually gained acceptance as a less destabilizing but efficacious and safe alternative to traditional open decompression techniques. The authors have further advanced the principles of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) by utilizing working-channel endoscope–based techniques. Full-endoscopic technique allows for high-resolution off-axis visualization of neural structures within the lateral recess, thereby minimizing the need for facet joint resection. The relative efficacy and safety of MIS and full-endoscopic techniques have not been directly compared.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of 95 consecutive patients undergoing either MIS (n = 45) or endoscopic (n = 50) unilateral laminotomies for bilateral decompression in cases of lumbar spinal stenosis was performed. Patient demographics, operative details, clinical outcomes, and complications were reviewed.

RESULTS

The patient cohort consisted of 41 female and 54 male patients whose average age was 62 years. Half of the patients had single-level, one-third had 2-level, and the remaining patients had 3- or 4-level procedures. The surgical time for endoscopic technique was significantly longer per level compared to MIS (161.8 ± 6.8 minutes vs 99.3 ± 4.6 minutes; p < 0.001). Hospital stay for MIS patients was on average 2.4 ± 0.5 days compared to 0.7 ± 0.1 days for endoscopic patients (p = 0.001). At the 1-year follow-up, endoscopic patients had a significantly lower visual analog scale score for leg pain than MIS patients (1.3 ± 0.3 vs 3.0 ± 0.5; p < 0.01). Moreover, the back pain disability index score was significantly lower in the endoscopic cohort than in the MIS cohort (20.7 ± 3.4 vs 35.9 ± 4.1; p < 0.01). Two patients in the MIS group (epidural hematoma) and one patient in the endoscopic group (disc herniation) required a return to the operating room acutely after surgery (< 14 days).

CONCLUSIONS

Lumbar endoscopic unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression is a safe and effective surgical procedure with favorable complication profile and patient outcomes.

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Salah G. Aoun, Sonja E. Stutzman, Phuong-Uyen N. Vo, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Mohamed Osman, Om Neeley, Aaron Plitt, James P. Caruso, Venkatesh Aiyagari, Folefac Atem, Babu G. Welch, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer and Daiwai M. Olson

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral vasospasm causing delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is a source of significant morbidity after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Transcranial Doppler is used at most institutions to detect sonographic vasospasm but has poor positive predictive value for DCI. Automated assessment of the pupillary light reflex has been increasingly used as a reliable way of assessing pupillary reactivity, and the Neurological Pupil Index (NPi) has been shown to decrease hours prior to the clinical manifestation of ischemic injury or herniation syndromes. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of automated pupillometry in the setting of SAH, as a potential adjunct to TCD.

METHODS

Our analysis included patients that had been diagnosed with aneurysmal SAH and admitted to the neuro–intensive care unit of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between November 2015 and June 2017. A dynamic infrared pupillometer was used for all pupillary measurements. An NPi value ranging from 3 to 5 was considered normal, and from 0 to 2.9 abnormal. Sonographic vasospasm was defined as middle cerebral artery velocities greater than 100 cm/sec with a Lindegaard ratio greater than 3 on either side on transcranial Doppler. Most patients had multiple NPi readings daily and we retained the lowest value for our analysis. We aimed to study the association between DCI and sonographic vasospasm, and DCI and NPi readings.

RESULTS

A total of 56 patients were included in the final analysis with 635 paired observations of daily TCD and NPi data. There was no statistically significant association between the NPi value and the presence of sonographic vasospasm. There was a significant association between DCI and sonographic vasospasm, χ2(1) = 6.4112, p = 0.0113, OR 1.6419 (95% CI 1.1163–2.4150), and between DCI and an abnormal decrease in NPi, χ2(1) = 38.4456, p < 0.001, OR 3.3930 (95% CI 2.2789–5.0517). Twelve patients experienced DCI, with 7 showing a decrease of their NPi to an abnormal range. This change occurred > 8 hours prior to the clinical decline 71.4% of the time. The NPi normalized in all patients after treatment of their vasospasm.

CONCLUSIONS

Isolated sonographic vasospasm does not seem to correlate with NPi changes, as the latter likely reflects an ischemic neurological injury. NPi changes are strongly associated with the advent of DCI and could be an early herald of clinical deterioration.

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Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi, Ron L. Alterman, Martina Stippler, Kevin Phan, Abdulrahman Y. Alturki, Efstathios Papavassiliou, Ekkehard M. Kasper, Jeffrey Arle, Christopher S. Ogilvy and Ajith J. Thomas

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) has a variety of clinical presentations, including hemiparesis. Hemiparesis is of the utmost importance because it is one of the major indications for surgical intervention and influences outcome. In the current study, the authors intended to identify factors influencing the presence of hemiparesis in CSDH patients and to determine the threshold value of hematoma thickness and midline shift for development of hemiparesis.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 325 patients (266 with unilateral and 59 with bilateral hematomas) with CSDH who underwent surgical evacuation, regardless of presence or absence of hemiparesis.

RESULTS

In univariate analysis, hematoma loculation, age, hematoma maximal thickness, and midline shift were significantly associated with hemiparesis. Moreover, patients with unilateral hematomas had a higher rate of hemiparesis than patients with bilateral hematomas. Sex, trauma history, anticoagulant and antiplatelet drug use, presence of comorbidities, Glasgow Coma Scale score, hematoma density characteristics on CT scan, and hematoma signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted MRI were not associated with hemiparesis. In multivariate analysis, the presence of loculation and hematoma laterality (unilateral vs bilateral) influenced hemiparesis. For unilateral hematomas, maximal hematoma thickness of 19.8 mm and midline shift of 6.4 mm were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis. For bilateral hematomas, 29.0 mm of maximal hematoma thickness and 6.8 mm of shift were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis.

CONCLUSIONS

Presence of loculations, unilateral hematomas, older patient age, hematoma maximal thickness, and midline shift were associated with a higher rate of hemiparesis in CSDH patients. Moreover, 19.8 mm of hematoma thickness and 6.4 mm of midline shift were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis in patients with unilateral hematomas.

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Junpeng Ma, Kaibing Tian, Jiang Du, Zhen Wu, Liang Wang and Junting Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to clarify the expression characteristics and prognostic value of survivin in skull base chordomas.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, the authors measured the expression of survivin at the mRNA level in 81 samples from 71 patients diagnosed with skull base chordomas at their hospital in the period from July 2005 to January 2015. Clinical data collection, follow-up, and survival analyses were performed, and correlations were analyzed.

RESULTS

Of the 71 patients, 50 had primary chordomas with a mean survivin expression level of 1.09; the other 21 patients had recurrent chordomas with a mean survivin expression level of 2.57, which was 2.36 times higher than the level in the primary chordoma patients (p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test). In addition, an analysis of 18 paired samples derived from 9 patients showed that the expression level of survivin was 2.62 times higher in recurrent tumors than in primary tumors (p = 0.002, paired t-test). The Spearman rank correlation coefficient method showed that the expression level of survivin was positively correlated with the mean ratio of tumor signal intensity to the signal intensity of surrounding brainstem on T1-weighted sequences (RT1; rs = 0.274, p = 0.021) and was negatively correlated with the mean ratio of tumor signal intensity to the signal intensity of surrounding brainstem on T2-weighted sequences (RT2; rs = −0.389, p = 0.001). A multivariate Cox proportional-hazards model suggested that pathology (p = 0.041), survivin expression level (p = 0.018), preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS; p = 0.012), and treatment history (p = 0.009) were independent prognostic factors for tumor progression. Survivin expression level (p = 0.008), preoperative KPS (p = 0.019), tumor diameter (p = 0.027), and intraoperative blood loss (p = 0.015) were independent prognostic factors for death.

CONCLUSIONS

Survivin expression level and preoperative KPS were independent significant prognostic factors for tumor progression and death in skull base chordoma patients. Recurrent skull base chordomas and chordomas with high RT1 and low RT2 were likely to have high survivin expression. Other independent risk factors related to tumor progression included conventional pathology and treatment history, whereas additional mortality-related risk factors included larger tumor diameter and greater intraoperative blood loss.

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Sungho Lee, Hyunsoo Hwang, Jose-Miguel Yamal, J. Clay Goodman, Imoigele P. Aisiku, Shankar Gopinath and Claudia S. Robertson

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) occurs frequently after TBI and independently worsens outcome. The present study aimed to identify potential admission characteristics associated with post-TBI MODS.

METHODS

The authors performed a secondary analysis of a recent randomized clinical trial studying the effects of erythropoietin and blood transfusion threshold on neurological recovery after TBI. Admission clinical, demographic, laboratory, and imaging parameters were used in a multivariable Cox regression analysis to identify independent risk factors for MODS following TBI, defined as maximum total Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score > 7 within 10 days of TBI.

RESULTS

Two hundred patients were initially recruited and 166 were included in the final analysis. Respiratory dysfunction was the most common nonneurological organ system dysfunction, occurring in 62% of the patients. International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials (IMPACT) probability of poor outcome at admission was significantly associated with MODS following TBI (odds ratio [OR] 8.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.94–42.68, p < 0.05). However, more commonly used measures of TBI severity, such as the Glasgow Coma Scale, Injury Severity Scale, and Marshall classification, were not associated with post-TBI MODS. In addition, initial plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)–6, IL-8, and IL-10 were significantly associated with the development of MODS (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.20–1.80, p < 0.001 for IL-6; OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.01–1.58, p = 0.042 for IL-8; OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.24–2.53, p = 0.002 for IL-10) as well as individual organ dysfunction (SOFA component score ≥ 1). Finally, MODS following TBI was significantly associated with mortality (OR 5.95, 95% CI 2.18–19.14, p = 0.001), and SOFA score was significantly associated with poor outcome at 6 months (Glasgow Outcome Scale score < 4) when analyzed as a continuous variable (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.06–1.40, p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS

Admission IMPACT probability of poor outcome and initial plasma concentrations of IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 were associated with MODS following TBI.