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  • Author or Editor: Michelle J. Clarke x
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Paul C. McCormick

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Michelle J. Clarke, Robert D. Ecker, William E. Krauss, Robyn L. McClelland and Mark B. Dekutoski

Object

The cervical foraminotomy was pioneered in the 1940s to address radicular symptoms via a posterior approach, but the long-term outcome has not been adequately studied.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed data obtained from 303 patients (188 male and 115 female, mean age 49.2 years) who had consecutively undergone a single-level posterior foraminotomy for cervical radiculopathy between 1972 and 1992. The median follow-up duration was 7.1 years. The major end point studied was the development of symptomatic adjacent- or same-segment disease. Incidence rates per 1000 person-years were calculated, and the natural history of the disease was predicted using Kaplan–Meier survivorship analysis.

In 15 (4.9%) of 303 patients, symptomatic adjacent-segment disease developed, yielding a rate of 6.4/1000 person-years at risk. This included nine (2.9%) of 303 patients requiring reoperation, yielding a rate of 3.8/1000 person-years. Kaplan–Meier survivorship analysis suggested a relatively stable annual 0.7% rate for developing adjacent-segment disease, with a 10-year rate of 6.7%. Ten patients developed same-segment disease, yielding a risk rate of 3.9/1000 person-years.

Kaplan–Meier survivorship analysis demonstrated a 5- and 10-year risk rate of developing same-segment disease of 3.2 and 5.0%, respectively.

Conclusions

Although additional study is needed, analysis of the present data suggests that posterior foraminotomy is associated with a low rate of same- and adjacent-segment disease.

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Michelle J. Clarke, Todd A. Patrick, J. Bradley White, Harry J. Cloft, William E. Krauss, E. P. Lindell and David G. Piepgras

Object

Although nontraumatic spinal arteriovenous malformations and fistulas (AVMs and AVFs) restricted to the epidural space are rare, they can lead to significant neurological morbidity. Careful diagnostic imaging is essential to their detection and the delineation of the pathological anatomy. Aggressive endovascular and open operative treatment can provide arrest and reversal of neurological deficits.

Methods

The authors report on 6 cases of extradural AVMs/AVFs causing progressive myelopathy. Clinical findings, diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and outcome are discussed. Special consideration is given to the anatomy of the lesions and the operative techniques used to treat them. A review of the literature concerning extradural vascular malformations is also presented.

Results

All 6 cases of extradural AVMs had an extradural fistulous location with intradural medullary venous drainage. These cases illustrate progressive myelopathy through cord venous congestion (hypertension) that can be caused by an extradural nidus or fistula. In 4 cases, a large epidural lake was identified on angiography. At surgery, the epidural lake was obliterated and medullary drainage interrupted. All patients had stabilization of their neurological deficits and successful obliteration of the AVM/AVF was obtained.

Conclusions

Extradural AVMs and AVFs are a poorly described entity with published clinical experience limited to sporadic case reports and small series. Although these lesions have a purely extradural location of arteriovenous shunting and early venous drainage, they can be responsible for acute and progressive neurological symptoms similar to those caused by their dural-based intradural counterparts. With careful imaging recognition of the pathological anatomy, surgical and endovascular techniques can be used for the treatment of extradural AVMs affording effective and durable obliteration with stabilization or reversal of neurological symptoms. Venous drainage directly correlates the pathologic mechanisms of presentation. Specific attention must be paid intraoperatively to the epidural lake common to both variants so that recurrence is avoided.

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Mohammed Abdulaziz, Grant W. Mallory, Mohamad Bydon, Rafael De la Garza Ramos, Jason A. Ellis, Nadia N. Laack, W. Richard Marsh, William E. Krauss, George Jallo, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Michelle J. Clarke

OBJECT

While extent of resection has been shown to correlate with outcomes after myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) resection, the effect of capsular violation has not been well studied. The role of adjuvant radiation also remains controversial. In this paper the authors' goals were to evaluate outcomes following resection of MPE based on intraoperative capsular violation and to explore the role of adjuvant radiotherapy in cases of capsular violation.

METHODS

A retrospective review of patients undergoing resection of MPE at 2 academic institutions between 1990 and 2013 was performed. Cases with dissemination at presentation, less than 12 months of follow-up, or incomplete records were excluded. Extent of resection was defined as en bloc if all visible tumor was removed without capsular violation, gross-total resection (GTR) if all visible tumor was removed, but with capsular violation, and subtotal resection (STR) if a known residual was left at the time of surgery. Postoperative MR images were reviewed to confirm the extent of resection. Primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall recurrence rates. The effects of extent of resection, capsular violation, and adjuvant radiotherapy on recurrence rates and PFS were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier statistics. Associations between recurrence and preoperative variables were evaluated using Fisher exact methods and t-tests where appropriate.

RESULTS

Of the 107 patients reviewed, 58 patients (53% were male) met inclusion criteria. The mean age at surgery was 40.8 years (range 7–68 years). The median follow-up was 51.5 months (range 12–243 months). Extent of resection was defined as en bloc in 46.5% (n = 27), GTR in 34.5% (n = 20), and STR in 18.9% (n = 11). No recurrences were noted in the en bloc group, compared with 15% (n = 3) and 45% (n = 5) in the GTR and STR groups. En bloc resection was achieved most frequently in tumors involving the conus. Twelve patients (20%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy following either STR or GTR. The overall recurrence rate was 13.8% (n = 8), and the 5-year PFS was 81%. Capsular violation was associated with a higher recurrence rate (p = 0.005). Adjuvant radiotherapy showed a nonsignificant trend of lower recurrence rates (16.7% vs 31.6%, p = 0.43) and longer PFS at 5 years (83.3% vs 49.9%, p = 0.16) in cases of capsular violation.

CONCLUSIONS

A strong correlation between capsular violation and recurrence was found following removal of MPE and should be assessed when defining extent of resection in future studies. Although the use of adjuvant radiotherapy in cases of capsular violation showed a trend toward improved PFS, further investigation is needed to establish its role as salvage therapy also appears to be effective at halting disease progression.

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Kathryn M. Van Abel, Grant W. Mallory, Jan L. Kasperbauer, M.D., Eric J. Moore, Daniel L. Price, Erin K. O’Brien, Kerry D. Olsen, William E. Krauss, Michelle J. Clarke, Mark E. Jentoft and Jamie J. Van Gompel

Object

Swallowing dysfunction is common following transoral (TO) odontoidectomy. Preliminary experience with newer endoscopic transnasal (TN) approaches suggests that dysphagia may be reduced with this alternative. However, the reasons for this are unclear. The authors hypothesized that the TN approach results in less disruption of the pharyngeal plexus and anatomical structures associated with swallowing. The authors investigate the histological and gross surgical anatomical relationship between pharyngeal plexus innervation of the upper aerodigestive tract and the surgical approaches used (TN and TO). They also review the TN literature to evaluate swallowing outcomes following this approach.

Methods

Seven cadaveric specimens were used for histological (n = 3) and gross anatomical (n = 4) examination of the pharyngeal plexus with the TO and TN surgical approaches. Particular attention was given to identifying the location of cranial nerves (CNs) IX and X and the sympathetic chain and their contributions to the pharyngeal plexus. S100 staining was performed to assess for the presence of neural tissue in proximity to the midline, and fiber density counts were performed within 1 cm of midline. The relationship between the pharyngeal plexus, clivus, and upper cervical spine (C1-3) was defined.

Results

Histological analysis revealed the presence of pharyngeal plexus fibers in the midline and a significant reduction in paramedian fiber density from C-2 to the lower clivus (p < 0.001). None of these paramedian fibers, however, could be visualized with gross inspection or layer-by-layer dissection. Laterally based primary pharyngeal plexus nerves were identified by tracing their origins from CNs IX and X and the sympathetic chain at the skull base and following them to the pharyngeal musculature. In addition, the authors found 15 studies presenting 52 patients undergoing TN odontoidectomy. Of these patients, only 48 had been swallowing preoperatively. When looking only at this population, 83% (40 of 48) were swallowing by Day 3 and 92% (44 of 48) were swallowing by Day 7.

Conclusions

Despite the midline approach, both TO and TN approaches may injure a portion of the pharyngeal plexus. By limiting the TN incision to above the palatal plane, the surgeon avoids the high-density neural plexus found in the oropharyngeal wall and limits injury to oropharyngeal musculature involved in swallowing. This may explain the decreased incidence of postoperative dysphagia seen in TN approaches. However, further clinical investigation is warranted.