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Erratum. Resection of an incidentally discovered spinal arachnoid web: illustrative case

Ali Bydon

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Barriers to neurosurgery for medical students: a national study focused on the intersectionality of gender and race

Sangami Pugazenthi, Karen Malacon, Nora C. Kim, Caren M. Stuebe, Nina Yoh, Debarati Bhanja, Erin Walker, Megan M. J. Bauman, Kathryn Becker, Gabrielle W. Johnson, Rose M. Caston, Hedwig Lee, Jennifer M. Strahle, and Sharona Ben-Haim

OBJECTIVE

Despite 51.2% of medical school graduates being female, only 29.8% of neurosurgery residency applicants are female. Furthermore, only 12.6% of neurosurgery applicants identify as underrepresented in medicine (URM). Evaluating the entry barriers for female and URM students is crucial in promoting the equity and diversity of the neurosurgical workforce. The objective of this study was to evaluate barriers to neurosurgery for medical students while considering the interaction between gender and race.

METHODS

A Qualtrics survey was distributed widely to US medical students, assessing 14 factors of hesitancy toward neurosurgery. Likert scale responses, representing statement agreeability, converted to numeric values on a 7-point scale were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U-test and ANOVA comparisons with Bonferroni correction.

RESULTS

Of 540 respondents, 68.7% were female and 22.6% were URM. There were 22.6% male non-URM, 7.4% male URM, 53.5% female non-URM, and 15.2% female URM respondents. The predominant reasons for hesitancy toward neurosurgery included work/life integration, length of training, competitiveness of residency position, and perceived malignancy of the field. Females were more hesitant toward neurosurgery due to maternity/paternity needs (p = 0.005), the absence of seeing people like them in the field (p < 0.001), and opportunities to pursue health equity work (p < 0.001). Females were more likely to have difficulties finding a mentor in neurosurgery who represented their identities (p = 0.017). URM students were more hesitant toward neurosurgery due to not seeing people like them in the field (p < 0.001). Subanalysis revealed that when students were stratified by both gender and URM status, there were more reasons for hesitancy toward neurosurgery that had significant differences between groups (male URM, male non-URM, female URM, and female non-URM students), suggesting the importance of intersectionality in this analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors highlight the implications of gender and racial diversity in the neurosurgical workforce on medical student interest and recruitment. Their findings suggest the importance of actively working to address these barriers, including 1) maternity/paternity policy reevaluation, standardization, and dissemination; and 2) actively providing resources for the creation of mentorship relationships for both women and URM students in an effort to create a workforce that aligns with the changing demographics of medical graduates to continue to improve diversity in neurosurgery.

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Comparison of transforaminal and posterior lumbar interbody fusion outcomes in patients receiving a novel allograft versus rhBMP-2: a radiographic and patient-reported outcomes analysis

Ummey Hani, S. Harrison Farber, Deborah Pfortmiller, Paul K. Kim, Michael A. Bohl, Christopher M. Holland, and Matthew J. McGirt

OBJECTIVE

Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) has been demonstrated to achieve the highest rates of arthrodesis in multilevel lumbar fusion but is also associated with possible perioperative morbidity. A novel allograft (OSTEOAMP) is a differentiated allograft that retains growth factors supporting bone healing. The authors sought to compare the clinical and radiographic outcomes of rhBMP-2 and the novel allograft in lumbar interbody arthrodesis to determine if the latter may be a safer and equally effective alternative to rhBMP-2 for single- and multilevel posterior or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF or TLIF).

METHODS

Patients who underwent single- or multilevel TLIF or PLIF using either OSTEOAMP or rhBMP-2 at the authors’ institution over a 2-year period were prospectively followed for 12 months. Healthcare utilization, safety measures, patient satisfaction, physical disability (measured on the Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]), back and leg pain (on the numeric rating scale [NRS]), quality of life (on the EQ-5D scale), and return to work (RTW) were prospectively recorded. For purposes of this study, this consecutive series was retrospectively analyzed and pseudarthrosis rates were assessed at 2 years of follow-up. All patients (100%) had both 12-month patient-reported outcome follow-up and 24-month clinical and radiographic follow-up.

RESULTS

One thousand one hundred fifty-four patients (654 treated with OSTEOAMP, 500 with rhBMP-2) were prospectively enrolled in the institutional registry. After propensity score matching, there were no significant baseline differences between 330 novel allograft and 330 rhBMP-2 cases. Perioperative morbidity and 90-day hospital readmission (3.3% vs 2.4%, p = 0.485) did not significantly differ between the novel allograft and the rhBMP-2 cases. At the 2-year follow-up, symptomatic pseudarthrosis requiring revision surgery occurred in 8 patients (2.4%) with OSTEOAMP and 6 patients (1.8%) with rhBMP-2 (p = 0.589). The overall fusion rate at 2 years was similar between groups (p = 0.213). Both groups showed significant and equivalent improvement in patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) from baseline to 12-month follow-up, with no significant difference in 1-year mean NRS leg pain score (2.5 vs 2.7), ODI (25 vs 26), quality-adjusted life years (0.73 vs 0.73), satisfaction (83% vs 80%), or RTW (6.6 vs 7 weeks).

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors’ institutional experience, OSTEOAMP is a clinically viable substitute for rhBMP-2 for single- and multilevel lumbar fusion. This novel allograft provides clinically effective arthrodesis and improvements in PROMs comparable to rhBMP-2 with a similar safety profile. Additional indications and outcome assessment in longitudinal studies are needed to further characterize this allogeneic graft.

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Development and validation of a novel nomogram for predicting good neoangiogenesis after encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis in patients with moyamoya disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a case-control study

Jing-Jie Li, Bin Ren, Xiao-Peng Wang, Qian-Nan Wang, Xiang-Yang Bao, Qing-Bao Guo, Zi-Qing Kong, Jia-Qi Liu, Gan Gao, Min-Jie Wang, Si-Meng Liu, He-Guan Fu, Huai-Yu Tong, and Lian Duan

OBJECTIVE

Diabetes is often linked to poorer outcomes in patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). However, experience has shown that certain individuals with diabetes have favorable outcomes after encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS). The authors aimed to develop a nomogram to predict good neoangiogenesis in patients with MMD and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) to aid neurosurgeons in the identification of suitable candidates for EDAS.

METHODS

Adults with MMD and T2DM who underwent EDAS between June 2004 and December 2018 were included in the analysis. In total, 126 patients (213 hemispheres) with MMD and T2DM from the Fifth Medical Centre of the Chinese PLA General Hospital were included and randomly divided into training (152 hemispheres) and internal validation (61 hemispheres) cohorts at a ratio of 7:3. Univariate logistic and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression analyses were used to identify the significant factors associated with good neoangiogenesis, which were used to develop a nomogram. The discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility were assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 213 hemispheres in 126 patients were reviewed, including 152 (71.36%) hemispheres with good postoperative collateral formation and 61 (28.64%) with poor postoperative collateral formation. The authors selected 4 predictors (FGD5 rs11128722, VEGFA rs9472135, Suzuki stage, and internal carotid artery [ICA] moyamoya vessels) for nomogram development. The C-indices of the nomogram in the training and internal validation cohorts were 0.873 and 0.841, respectively. The nomogram exhibited a sensitivity of 84.5% and specificity of 81.0%. The positive and negative predictive values were 92.1% and 66.7%, respectively. The calibration curves indicated high predictive accuracy, and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed the superiority of the nomogram. The decision-making analysis validated the fitness and clinical application value of this nomogram. Then a web-based calculator to facilitate clinical application was generated.

CONCLUSIONS

The nomogram developed in this study accurately predicted neoangiogenesis in patients with MMD and T2DM after EDAS and may assist neurosurgeons in identifying suitable candidates for indirect revascularization surgery.

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Effect of the administration route on the hemostatic efficacy of tranexamic acid in patients undergoing short-segment posterior lumbar interbody fusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Matthew J. Hatter, Zach Pennington, Timothy I. Hsu, Tara Shooshani, Olivia Yale, Omead Pooladzandi, Sean S. Solomon, Bryce Picton, Marlena Ramanis, Nolan J. Brown, Sohaib Hashmi, Yu-Po Lee, Nitin Bhatia, and Martin H. Pham

OBJECTIVE

Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an FDA-approved antifibrinolytic that is seeing increased popularity in spine surgery owing to its ability to reduce intraoperative blood loss (IOBL) and allogeneic transfusion requirements. The present study aimed to summarize the current literature on these formulations in the context of short-segment instrumented lumbar fusion including ≥ 1-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

METHODS

The PubMed, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases were queried for all full-text English studies evaluating the use of topical TXA (tTXA), systemic TXA (sTXA), or combined tTXA+sTXA in patients undergoing PLIF. The primary endpoints of interest were operative time, IOBL, and total blood loss (TBL); secondary endpoints included venous thromboembolic complication occurrence, and allogeneic and autologous transfusion requirements. Outcomes were compared using random effects. Comparisons were made between the following treatment groups: sTXA, tTXA, and sTXA+tTXA. Given that sTXA is arguably the standard of care in the literature (i.e., the most common route of administration that to this point has been studied the most), the authors compared sTXA versus tTXA and sTXA versus sTXA+tTXA. Study heterogeneity was assessed with the I2 test, and grouped analysis using the Hedge’s g test was performed for measurement of effect size.

RESULTS

Forty-five articles were identified, of which 17 met the criteria for inclusion with an aggregate of 1008 patients. TXA regimens included sTXA only, tTXA only, and various combinations of sTXA and tTXA. There were no significant differences in operative time, TBL, or postoperative drainage between the sTXA and tTXA groups or between the sTXA and sTXA+tTXA groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The present meta-analysis suggested clinical equipoise between isolated sTXA, isolated tTXA, and combinatorial tTXA+sTXA formulations as hemostatic adjuvants/neoadjuvants in short-segment fusion including ≥ 1-level PLIF. Given the theoretically lower venous thromboembolism risk associated with tTXA, additional investigations using large cohorts comparing these two formulations within the posterior fusion population are merited. Although TXA has been shown to be effective, there are insufficient data to support topical or systemic administration as superior within the open PLIF population.

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The endaural subtemporal keyhole: a novel minimally invasive approach to the middle cranial fossa

Adam M. Olszewski, Ellina Hattar, Steven D. Curry, Kevin A. Peng, and Gregory P. Lekovic

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a minimally invasive approach to the middle cranial fossa using a novel endaural keyhole.

METHODS

The charts of all patients who underwent this novel minimally invasive approach to the middle cranial fossa were retrospectively reviewed. In addition, cadaveric dissection was performed to demonstrate the feasibility of the endaural keyhole to the middle cranial fossa.

RESULTS

Six patients (5 female and 1 male; age range 47–77 years) who underwent craniotomy for CSF leak (n = 3), intracerebral hematoma evacuation (n = 2), and tumor resection (n = 1) via the endaural subtemporal approach were identified. There were no approach-related complications noted. Representative imaging from cadaveric dissection is provided with a stepwise discussion of the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS

The endaural subtemporal keyhole craniotomy provides a novel approach to middle fossa skull base pathology, as well as a minimally invasive approach to intra-axial pathology of the temporal lobe and basal ganglia. Further research is needed to establish the limitations and potential complications of this novel approach.

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How the elastase-induced rabbit aneurysm heals following flow diverter treatment: a histopathological study

Daying Dai, Cem Bilgin, Yonghong Ding, Sherief Ghozy, Oana Madalina Mereuta, David F. Kallmes, and Ramanathan Kadirvel

OBJECTIVE

Fibrin deposition is integral to thrombus formation and wound healing. The role of fibrin deposition and subsequent metabolism following flow diversion for aneurysm treatment remains poorly characterized. This study aimed to evaluate the role of fibrin in early thrombus organization after flow diverter treatment.

METHODS

Thirty-five elastase-induced aneurysms were induced in New Zealand white rabbits and subjected to endoluminal flow diversion treatment. The device-bearing arteries were harvested at 1, 3, and 6 months postimplantation and processed for histopathological examination, including a modified picro-Mallory stain (Carstairs method) to visualize fibrin and platelets, immunohistochemical targeting of smooth muscle actin (SMA), and H&E staining for conventional morphological evaluation. Quantitative analysis of tissue components was carried out using the Orbit Image Analysis software. The samples were also assessed qualitatively to investigate the morphology and location of fibrin and other thrombus components within the intra-aneurysmal thrombi. Statistical analyses were conducted using R software version 4.3.1.

RESULTS

Fibrin constituted 27.9% of the thrombus tissue within the aneurysm sac for aneurysms harvested at 1 month, and this rate was significantly lower in the 3-month group (10.2%, p = 0.018). The proportion of blood cells within the sac was also notably higher in the 1-month group compared with other time points. The primary tissue filling the dome at 1 month (14/15, 93%) was an unorganized thrombus primarily composed of fibrin, platelets, and red blood cells. Conversely, aneurysms harvested at 1 month had the lowest collagen level (25.6%). However, collagen became the dominant tissue component within the aneurysm sac, accounting for 71.8% of tissue in the 3-month group (p = 0.007). There were no differences observed among the examined components between the 3-month and 6-month groups. On qualitative analysis, collagen-producing SMA-positive myofibroblasts were located near or in between fibrin molecules. Healed aneurysms exhibited myofibroblasts, collagen, and a well-organized fibrin network on the aneurysm neck. In contrast, unhealed aneurysms displayed a poorly organized fibrin network with scattered myofibroblasts at the neck area.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings indicate that fibrin plays a foundational role in the gradual occlusion of aneurysms after flow diverter treatment. Endovascular approaches that enhance fibrin accumulation could potentially improve aneurysm occlusion rates. Further research is needed to establish the precise role of fibrin in aneurysm occlusion.

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Letter to the Editor. Inadequate assessment of resident case volume generates more questions than answers

Campbell Liles, Robert J. Dambrino IV, and Lola B. Chambless

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Letter to the Editor. Rise of large language models in neurosurgery

Sami Barrit, Salim El Hadwe, Romain Carron, and Joseph R. Madsen

Open access

Ongoing decision-making dilemma for treatment of de novo spinal infections: a comparison of the Spinal Infection Treatment Evaluation Score with the Spinal Instability Spondylodiscitis Score and Spine Instability Neoplastic Score

Jonathan Pluemer, Yevgeniy Freyvert, Nathan Pratt, Periklis Godolias, Hamzah A. Al-Awadi, Mitchell H. Young, Amir Abdul-Jabbar, Thomas A. Schildhauer, Jens R. Chapman, and Rod J. Oskouian

OBJECTIVE

De novo spinal infections are an increasing medical problem. The decision-making for surgical or nonsurgical treatment for de novo spinal infections is often a non–evidence-based process and commonly a case-by-case decision by single physicians. A scoring system based on the latest evidence might help improve the decision-making process compared with other purely radiology-based scoring systems or the judgment of a single senior physician.

METHODS

Patients older than 18 years with an infection of the spine who underwent nonsurgical or surgical treatment between 2019 and 2021 were identified. Clinical data for neurological status, pain, and existing comorbidities were gathered and transferred to an anonymous spreadsheet. Patients without an MR image and a CT scan of the affected spine region were excluded from the investigation. A multidisciplinary expert panel used the Spine Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS), Spinal Instability Spondylodiscitis Score (SISS), and Spinal Infection Treatment Evaluation Score (SITE Score), previously developed by the authors’ group, on every clinical case. Each physician of the expert panel gave an individual treatment recommendation for surgical or nonsurgical treatment for each patient. Treatment recommendations formed the expert panel opinion, which was used to calculate predictive validities for each score.

RESULTS

A total of 263 patients with spinal infections were identified. After the exclusion of doubled patients, patients without de novo infections, or those without CT and MRI scans, 123 patients remained for the investigation. Overall, 70.70% of patients were treated surgically and 29.30% were treated nonoperatively. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for the SITE Score, SINS, and SISS were 0.94 (95% CI 0.91–0.95, p < 0.01), 0.65 (95% CI 0.91–0.83, p < 0.01), and 0.80 (95% CI 0.91–0.89, p < 0.01). In comparison with the expert panel decision, the SITE Score reached a sensitivity of 96.97% and a specificity of 81.90% for all included patients. For potentially unstable and unstable lesions, the SISS and the SINS yielded sensitivities of 84.42% and 64.07%, respectively, and specificities of 31.16% and 56.52%, respectively. The SITE Score showed higher overall sensitivity with 97.53% and a higher specificity for patients with epidural abscesses (75.00%) compared with potentially unstable and unstable lesions for the SINS and the SISS. The SITE Score showed a significantly higher agreement for the definitive treatment decision regarding the expert panel decision, compared with the decision by a single physician for patients with spondylodiscitis, discitis, or spinal osteomyelitis.

CONCLUSIONS

The SITE Score shows high sensitivity and specificity regarding the treatment recommendation by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The SITE Score shows higher predictive validity compared with radiology-based scoring systems or a single physician and demonstrates a high validity for patients with epidural abscesses.