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Patricia Zadnik Sullivan, Ahmed Albayar, Ashwin G. Ramayya, Brendan McShane, Paul Marcotte, Neil R. Malhotra, Zarina S. Ali, H. Isaac Chen, M. Burhan Janjua, Comron Saifi, James Schuster, M. Sean Grady, Joshua Jones and Ali K. Ozturk

OBJECTIVE

Multidisciplinary treatment including medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical consultation is necessary to provide comprehensive therapy for patients with spinal metastases. The goal of this study was to review the use of radiation therapy and/or surgical intervention and their impact on patient outcomes.

METHODS

In this retrospective series, the authors identified at their institution those patients with spinal metastases who had received radiation therapy alone or had undergone surgery with or without radiation therapy within a 6-year period. Data on patient age, chemotherapy, surgical procedure, radiation therapy, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), primary tumor pathology, Spinal Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS), and survival after treatment were collected from the patient electronic medical records. N − 1 chi-square testing was used for comparisons of proportions. The Student t-test was used for comparisons of means. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. A survival analysis was completed using a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

Two hundred thirty patients with spinal metastases were identified, 109 of whom had undergone surgery with or without radiation therapy. Among the 104 patients for whom the surgical details were reviewed, 34 (33%) had a history of preoperative radiation to the surgical site but ultimately required surgical intervention. In this surgical group, a significantly increased frequency of death within 30 days was noted for the SINS unstable patients (23.5%) as compared to that for the SINS stable patients (2.3%; p < 0.001). The SINS was a significant predictor of time to death among surgical patients (HR 1.11, p = 0.037). Preoperative KPS was not independently associated with decreased survival (p > 0.5) on univariate analysis. One hundred twenty-six patients met the criteria for inclusion in the radiation-only analysis. Ninety-eight of these patients (78%) met the criteria for potential instability (PI) at the time of treatment, according to the SINS system. Five patients (5%) with PI in the radiation therapy group had a documented neurosurgical or orthopedic surgery consultation prior to radiation therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

At the authors’ institution, patients with gross mechanical instability per the SINS system had an increased rate of 30-day postoperative mortality, which remained significant when controlling for other factors. Surgical consultation for metastatic spine patients receiving radiation oncology consultation with PI is low. The authors describe an institutional pathway to encourage multidisciplinary treatment from the initial encounter in the emergency department to expedite surgical evaluation and collaboration.

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Yukitomo Ishi, Shigeru Yamaguchi, Kanako C. Hatanaka, Michinari Okamoto, Hiroaki Motegi, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Shunsuke Terasaka and Kiyohiro Houkin

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to investigate genetic alterations in low-grade gliomas (LGGs) in pediatric and young adult patients presenting with spontaneous hemorrhage.

METHODS

Patients younger than 30 years of age with a pathological diagnosis of World Health Organization (WHO) grade I or II glioma and who had undergone treatment at the authors’ institution were retrospectively examined. BRAF V600E, FGFR1 N546/K656, IDH1 R132, IDH2 R172, and KIAA1549-BRAF (K-B) fusion genetic alterations were identified, and the presence of spontaneous tumoral hemorrhage was recorded.

RESULTS

Among 66 patients (39 with WHO grade I and 27 with grade II tumors), genetic analysis revealed K-B fusion in 18 (27.3%), BRAF V600E mutation in 14 (21.2%), IDH1/2 mutation in 8 (12.1%), and FGFR1 mutation in 4 (6.1%). Spontaneous hemorrhage was observed in 5 patients (7.6%); 4 of them had an FGFR1 mutation and 1 had K-B fusion. Univariate analysis revealed a statistically significant association of an FGFR1 mutation and a diencephalic location with spontaneous hemorrhage. Among 19 diencephalic cases including the optic pathway, hypothalamus, and thalamus, an FGFR1 mutation was significantly associated with spontaneous hemorrhage (p < 0.001). Four FGFR1 mutation cases illustrated the following results: 1) a 2-year-old female with pilomyxoid astrocytoma (PMA) harboring the FGFR1 K656E mutation presented with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH); 2) a 6-year-old male with PMA harboring FGFR1 K656E and D652G mutations presented with intratumoral hemorrhage (ITH); 3) a 4-year-old female with diffuse astrocytoma harboring FGFR1 K656M and D652G mutations presented with IVH; and 4) a young adult patient with pilocytic astrocytoma with the FGFR1 N546K mutation presented with delayed ITH and IVH after 7 years of observation.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the mechanism remains unclear, the FGFR1 mutation is associated with spontaneous hemorrhage in pediatric and young adult LGG.

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Samuel G. McClugage III, Nicholas M. B. Laskay, Brian N. Donahue, Anastasia Arynchyna, Kathrin Zimmerman, Inmaculada B. Aban, Elizabeth N. Alford, Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, Jeffrey P. Blount, Curtis J. Rozzelle, James M. Johnston and Brandon G. Rocque

OBJECTIVE

Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematurity remains a significant problem in preterm infants. In the literature, there is a scarcity of data on the early disease process, when neurosurgeons are typically consulted for recommendations on treatment. Here, the authors sought to evaluate functional outcomes in premature infants at 2 years of age following treatment for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. Their goal was to determine the relationship between factors identifiable at the time of the initial neurosurgical consult and outcomes of patients when they are 2 years of age.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of premature infants treated for intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) of prematurity (grade III and IV) between 2003 and 2014. Information from three time points (birth, first neurosurgical consult, and 2 years of age) was collected on each patient. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between variables known at the time of the first neurosurgical consult and each of the outcome variables.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty patients were selected for analysis. At 2 years of age, 16% of the patients had died, 88% had cerebral palsy/developmental delay (CP), 48% were nonverbal, 55% were nonambulatory, 33% had epilepsy, and 41% had visual impairment. In the logistic regression analysis, IVH grade was an independent predictor of CP (p = 0.004), which had an estimated probability of occurrence of 74% in grade III and 96% in grade IV. Sepsis at or before the time of consult was an independent predictor of visual impairment (p = 0.024), which had an estimated probability of 58%. IVH grade was an independent predictor of epilepsy (p = 0.026), which had an estimated probability of 18% in grade III and 43% in grade IV. The IVH grade was also an independent predictor of verbal function (p = 0.007), which had an estimated probability of 68% in grade III versus 41% in grade IV. A higher weeks gestational age (WGA) at birth was an independent predictor of the ability to ambulate (p = 0.0014), which had an estimated probability of 15% at 22 WGA and up to 98% at 36 WGA. The need for oscillating ventilation at consult was an independent predictor of death before 2 years of age (p = 0.001), which had an estimated probability of 42% in patients needing oscillating ventilation versus 13% in those who did not.

CONCLUSIONS

IVH grade was consistently an independent predictor of functional outcomes at 2 years. Gestational age at birth, sepsis, and the need for oscillating ventilation may also predict worse functional outcomes.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Bradley E. Weprin, Jeffrey P. Blount, Betsy D. Hopson, James M. Drake, Mark G. Hamilton, Michael A. Williams, Patience H. White, Katie O. Orrico and Jonathan E. Martin

OBJECTIVE

The number of children with complex medical conditions surviving to adulthood is increasing. A planned transition to adult care systems is essential to the health maintenance of these patients. Guidance has been established for the general health care transition (HCT) from adolescence to adulthood. No formal assessment of the performance of pediatric neurosurgeons in HCT has been previously performed. No “best practice” for this process in pediatric neurosurgery currently exists. The authors pursued two goals in this paper: 1) define the current state of HCT in pediatric neurosurgery through a survey of the membership of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons (ASPN) on current methods of HCT, and 2) develop leadership-endorsed best-practice guidelines for HCT from pediatric to adult neurosurgical health care.

METHODS

Completion of the Current Assessment of Health Care Transition Activities survey was requested of 178 North American pediatric neurosurgeons by using a web-based questionnaire to capture HCT practices of the ASPN membership. The authors concurrently conducted a PubMed/MEDLINE–based literature review of HCT for young adults with special health care needs, surgical conditions, and/or neurological conditions for the period from 1990 to 2018. Selected articles were assembled and reviewed by subject matter experts and members of the ASPN Quality, Safety, and Advocacy Committee. Best-practice recommendations were developed and subjected to peer review by external expert groups.

RESULTS

Seventy-six responses to the survey (43%) were received, and 62 respondents (82%) answered all 12 questions. Scores of 1 (lowest possible score) were recorded by nearly 60% of respondents on transition policy, by almost 70% on transition tracking, by 85% on transition readiness, by at least 40% on transition planning as well as transfer of care, and by 53% on transition completion. Average responses on all core elements were < 2 on the established 4-point scale. Seven best-practice recommendations were developed and endorsed by the ASPN leadership.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of pediatric neurosurgeons have transition practices that are poor, do not meet the needs of patients and families, and should be improved. A structured approach to transition, local engagement with adult neurosurgical providers, and national partnerships between pediatric and adult neurosurgery organizations are suggested to address current gaps in HCT for patients served by pediatric neurosurgeons.

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Shun Yao, Farhana Akter, Ru-Yuan Zhang and Zhouyue Li

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Jacquelyn Corley, Eliana Kim, Chris Ann Philips, Martina Stippler, Ann M. Parr, Jennifer Sweet and Gail Rosseau

The end of the first 100 years of any endeavor is an appropriate time to look back and peer forward. As neurosurgery celebrates its 1st century as a specialty, the increasing role of women neurosurgeons is a major theme. This article documents the early women pioneers in neurosurgery. The contributions of these trailblazers to the origins, academics, and professional organizations of neurosurgery are highlighted. The formation of Women in Neurosurgery in 1989 is described, as is the important role this organization has played in introducing and promoting talented women in the profession. Contributions of women neurosurgeons to academic medicine and society as a whole are briefly highlighted. Contemporary efforts and initiatives indicate future directions in which women may lead neurosurgery in its 2nd century.

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Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Julia Keith, Leodante da Costa, Joel Ramjist, Yuta Dobashi, Sandra E. Black and Victor X. D. Yang

OBJECTIVE

Although studies have shown that some degree of iatrogenic endothelial injury occurs during endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), the clinical significance of such injury is uncertain. Furthermore, it is likely that iatrogenic effects such as endothelial denudation, intimal dissection, and tunica media edema will have varying clinical implications. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of endovascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) in quantifying vessel injury in real time after EVT, correlate vessel injury with histological findings, and perform imaging at varying time intervals after EVT to assess the impact of prolonged direct exposure of the vessel to the thrombus.

METHODS

Yorkshire swine weighing 35–40 kg were selected for use as the animal model, with a total of 9 vessels from 3 swine examined. Thrombectomy was performed using a second-generation stent retriever 1, 3, and 6 hours after thrombus deposition. The presence and degree of denudation of the endothelium, detachment and separation of the layers of the tunic media, hemorrhage within the media, dissection of the vessels, and thrombus within the lumina were assessed using OCT images acquired immediately after EVT. Bland-Altman analysis indicated that these OCT findings were correlated with postmortem histological findings.

RESULTS

OCT image acquisition was technically successful in all cases. Endothelial denudation was present in 65% ± 16%, 87% ± 8%, and 93% ± 7% of the vessel surface 1, 3, and 6 hours, respectively, after thrombus deposition and subsequent EVT. Residual intraluminal thrombus was present in vessels at all time intervals despite complete angiographic revascularization. Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement between OCT and histological analysis with respect to the degree of endothelial denudation and elevation, separation of the tunica media, and hemorrhage within the media. OCT appears to be more specific than histological analysis in detecting endothelial elevation.

CONCLUSIONS

OCT is a feasible method that can be used to assess vascular injury after EVT with histological accuracy. Varying degrees of vessel injury occur after EVT, and residual luminal thrombus can be present despite complete angiographic revascularization.

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Joshua L. Golubovsky, Hong Li, Arbaz Momin, Jianning Shao, Maxwell Y. Lee, Leonardo A. Frizon, Olivia Hogue, Benjamin Walter, André G. Machado and Sean J. Nagel

OBJECTIVE

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological movement disorder that is commonly treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery in advanced stages. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that affect time to placement of a second-sided DBS lead for PD when a unilateral lead is initially placed for asymmetrical presentation. The decision whether to initially perform unilateral or bilateral DBS is largely based on physician and/or patient preference.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective cohort analysis of patients with PD undergoing initial unilateral DBS for asymmetrical disease between January 1999 and December 2017 at the authors’ institution. Patients treated with DBS for essential tremor or other conditions were excluded. Variables collected included demographics at surgery, time since diagnosis, Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor scores (UPDRS-III), patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes, side of operation, DBS target, intraoperative complications, and date of follow-up. Paired t-tests were used to assess mean changes in UPDRS-III. Cox proportional hazards analysis and the Kaplan-Meier method were used to determine factors associated with time to second lead insertion over 5 years.

RESULTS

The final cohort included 105 patients who underwent initial unilateral DBS for asymmetrical PD; 59% of patients had a second-sided lead placed within 5 years with a median time of 34 months. Factors found to be significantly associated with early second-sided DBS included patient age 65 years or younger, globus pallidus internus (GPi) target, and greater off-medication reduction in UPDRS-III score following initial surgery. Older age was also found to be associated with a smaller preoperative UPDRS-III levodopa responsiveness score and with a smaller preoperative to postoperative medication-off UPDRS-III change.

CONCLUSIONS

Younger patients, those undergoing GPi-targeted unilateral DBS, and patients who responded better to the initial DBS were more likely to undergo early second-sided lead placement. Therefore, these patients, and patients who are more responsive to medication preoperatively (as a proxy for DBS responsiveness), may benefit from consideration of initial bilateral DBS.