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Jason S. Cheng, Michael E. Ivan, Christopher J. Stapleton, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Nalin Gupta and Kurtis I. Auguste

Object

Intraoperative dorsal column mapping, transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) have been used in adults to assist with the resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) and to predict postoperative motor deficits. The authors sought to determine whether changes in MEP and SSEP waveforms would similarly predict postoperative motor deficits in children.

Methods

The authors reviewed charts and intraoperative records for children who had undergone resection for IMSCTs as well as dorsal column mapping and TcMEP and SSEP monitoring. Motor evoked potential data were supplemented with electromyography data obtained using a Kartush microstimulator (Medtronic Inc.). Motor strength was graded using the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale during the preoperative, immediate postoperative, and follow-up periods. Reductions in SSEPs were documented after mechanical traction, in response to maneuvers with the cavitational ultrasonic surgical aspirator (CUSA), or both.

Results

Data from 12 patients were analyzed. Three lesions were encountered in the cervical and 7 in the thoracic spinal cord. Two patients had lesions of the cervicomedullary junction and upper spinal cord. Intraoperative MEP changes were noted in half of the patients. In these cases, normal polyphasic signals converted to biphasic signals, and these changes correlated with a loss of 1–2 grades in motor strength. One patient lost MEP signals completely and recovered strength to MRC Grade 4/5. The 2 patients with high cervical lesions showed neither intraoperative MEP changes nor motor deficits postoperatively. Dorsal columns were mapped in 7 patients, and the midline was determined accurately in all 7. Somatosensory evoked potentials were decreased in 7 patients. Two patients each had 2 SSEP decreases in response to traction intraoperatively but had no new sensory findings postoperatively. Another 2 patients had 3 traction-related SSEP decreases intraoperatively, and both had new postoperative sensory deficits that resolved. One additional patient had a CUSA-related SSEP decrease intraoperatively, which resolved postoperatively, and the last patient had 3 traction-related sensory deficits and a CUSA-related sensory deficit postoperatively, none of which resolved.

Conclusions

Intraoperative TcMEPs and SSEPs can predict the degree of postoperative motor deficit in pediatric patients undergoing IMSCT resection. This technique, combined with dorsal column mapping, is particularly useful in resecting lesions of the upper cervical cord, which are generally considered to be high risk in this population. Furthermore, the spinal cord appears to be less tolerant of repeated intraoperative SSEP decreases, with 3 successive insults most likely to yield postoperative sensory deficits. Changes in TcMEPs and SSEP waveforms can signal the need to guard against excessive manipulation thereby increasing the safety of tumor resection.

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Charles A. Middelhof, William G. Loudon, Michael D. Muhonen, Christopher Xavier and Clarence S. Greene Jr.

✓Central nervous system (CNS) aspergillosis remains a daunting diagnosis. This opportunistic mycosis historically carries a mortality rate approaching 100% in immunocompromised patients, with death ensuing within days after the onset of neurological symptoms. From their literature review, the authors concluded that children contracting CNS aspergillosis while undergoing systemic chemotherapy for leukemias represent a particularly unfortunate prognostic group. Antifungal medications prove ineffective for treating CNS aspergillosis in patients immunocompromised because of their chemotherapy regimens. In contrast, withholding chemotherapy to reverse immunosuppression, thereby improving the efficacy of antifungal medications, allows for progression of the primary leukemic disease. The authors present a series of four immunosuppressed patients whose course of treatment for leukemia was complicated by CNS Aspergillus sp. abscesses. Multiple cerebral fungal abscesses developed in two patients and a single cerebral abscess developed in two. All four patients underwent frameless stereotactic resection of the aspergilloma. All children later experienced resolution of their CNS infections and full neurological recovery. At 2- to 4-year follow ups, one patient has died of leukemia and the other three continue to thrive without evidence of recurrent aspergillosis. Given the grave natural history cited in the literature for this disease when medical treatment is instituted alone, the authors stress the crucial role of stereotactic neurosurgery for the intelligent treatment of immunocompromised children suspected of harboring a CNS aspergilloma abscesses. The authors propose that the goal for successful treatment in these patients should be gross-total resection of the abscess, its wall, and its capsule.

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Christopher Kenney, Richard Simpson, Christine Hunter, William Ondo, Michael Almaguer, Anthony Davidson and Joseph Jankovic

Object

The object of this study was to assess the long-term safety of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a large population of patients with a variety of movement disorders.

Methods

All patients treated with DBS at the authors' center between 1995 and 2005 were assessed for intraoperative, perioperative, and long-term adverse events (AEs).

A total of 319 patients underwent DBS device implantation. Of these 319, 182 suffered from medically refractory Parkinson disease; the other patients had essential tremor (112 patients), dystonia (19 patients), and other hyperkinetic movement disorders (six patients). Intraoperative AEs were rare and included vasovagal response in eight patients (2.5%), syncope in four (1.2%), severe cough in three (0.9%), transient ischemic attack in one (0.3%), arrhythmia in one (0.3%), and confusion in one (0.3%). Perioperative AEs included headache in 48 patients (15.0%), confusion in 16 (5.0%), and hallucinations in nine (2.8%). Serious intraoperative/perioperative AEs included isolated seizure in four patients (1.2%), intracerebral hemorrhage in two patients (0.6%), intraventricular hemorrhage in two patients (0.6%), and a large subdural hematoma in one patient (0.3%). Persistent long-term complications of DBS surgery included dysarthria (4.0%), worsening gait (3.8%), cognitive dysfunction (4.0%), and infection (4.4%). Revisions were completed in 25 patients (7.8%) for the following reasons: loss of effect, lack of efficacy, infection, lead fracture, and lead migration. Hardware-related complications included 12 lead fractuxres and 10 lead migrations.

Conclusions

The authors conclude that in their 10-year experience, DBS has proven to be safe for the treatment of medically refractory movement disorders.

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Corinna C. Zygourakis, Seungwon Yoon, Victoria Valencia, Christy Boscardin, Christopher Moriates, Ralph Gonzales and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Disposable supplies constitute a large portion of operating room (OR) costs and are often left over at the end of a surgical case. Despite financial and environmental implications of such waste, there has been little evaluation of OR supply utilization. The goal of this study was to quantify the utilization of disposable supplies and the costs associated with opened but unused items (i.e., “waste”) in neurosurgical procedures.

METHODS

Every disposable supply that was unused at the end of surgery was quantified through direct observation of 58 neurosurgical cases at the University of California, San Francisco, in August 2015. Item costs (in US dollars) were determined from the authors' supply catalog, and statistical analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Across 58 procedures (36 cranial, 22 spinal), the average cost of unused supplies was $653 (range $89-$3640, median $448, interquartile range $230–$810), or 13.1% of total surgical supply cost. Univariate analyses revealed that case type (cranial versus spinal), case category (vascular, tumor, functional, instrumented, and noninstrumented spine), and surgeon were important predictors of the percentage of unused surgical supply cost. Case length and years of surgical training did not affect the percentage of unused supply cost. Accounting for the different case distribution in the 58 selected cases, the authors estimate approximately $968 of OR waste per case, $242,968 per month, and $2.9 million per year, for their neurosurgical department.

CONCLUSIONS

This study shows a large variation and significant magnitude of OR waste in neurosurgical procedures. At the authors' institution, they recommend price transparency, education about OR waste to surgeons and nurses, preference card reviews, and clarification of supplies that should be opened versus available as needed to reduce waste.

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Michael M. McDowell, Yin Zhao, Christopher P. Kellner, Sunjay M. Barton, Eric Sussman, Jan Claassen, Andrew F. Ducruet and E. Sander Connolly

OBJECTIVE

Pathophysiological differences that underlie the development and subsequent growth of multiple aneurysms may exist. In this study, the authors assessed the factors associated with the occurrence of multiple aneurysms in patients presenting with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

METHODS

Consecutive patients presenting with aneurysmal SAH between 1996 and 2012 were prospectively enrolled in the Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Outcome Project. Patients harboring 1, 2, or 3 or more aneurysms were stratified into groups, and the clinical and radiological characteristics of each group were compared using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

Of 1277 patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms, 890 had 1 aneurysm, 267 had 2 aneurysms, and 120 had 3 or more aneurysms. On multinomial regression using the single-aneurysm cohort as base case, risk factors for patients presenting with 2 aneurysms were female sex (relative risk ratio [RRR] 1.80, p < 0.001), higher body mass index (BMI) (RRR 1.02, p = 0.003), more years of smoking (RRR = 1.01, p = 0.004), and black race (RRR 1.83, p = 0.001). The risk factors for patients presenting with 3 or more aneurysms were female sex (RRR 3.10, p < 0.001), higher BMI (RRR 1.03, p < 0.001), aneurysm in the posterior circulation (RRR 2.59, p < 0.001), and black race (RRR 2.15, p = 0.001). Female sex, longer smoking history, aneurysms in the posterior circulation, BMI, and black race were independently associated with the development of multiple aneurysms in our adjusted multivariate multinomial model.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant demographic and clinical differences are found between patients presenting with single and multiple aneurysms in the setting of aneurysmal SAH. These predictors of multiple aneurysms likely reflect a predisposition toward inflammation and endothelial injury.

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James M. Milburn, Christopher J. Moran, DeWitte T. Cross III, Michael N. Diringer, Thomas K. Pilgram and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Object. This study was conducted to determine if there is a change in intracranial arterial diameters after papaverine infusion for vasospasm and to determine whether the change occurs in proximal, intermediate, and distal arteries.

Methods. The authors measured arterial diameters retrospectively in all patients who received intraarterial papaverine for treatment of vasospasm between November 1992 and August 1995. Patients who received papaverine in the same session with or following angioplasty were excluded. Measurements were made in a blinded manner with the aid of a magnification loupe at 12 predetermined sites on each angiogram before and after papaverine infusion. Eighty-one treatments in 34 patients were included. Angiograms obtained at the time of presentation with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) were examined in 26 of the 34 patients. Nine carotid territories visualized by repeated angiography on the day after infusion were examined to determine the duration of the papaverine effect.

Conclusions. In all treatment groups an increase was found in the average arterial diameters ranging from 2.8 to 73.9%, with a mean increase of 26.5%. Increases in diameter were observed in proximal, intermediate, and distal arteries. The timing of treatments ranged from Day 3 to Day 19 post-SAH, and there was no relationship between timing and arterial responsiveness (r = −0.06). There was a moderately good correlation between the degree of vasospasm in an artery and its responsiveness to papaverine (r = −0.54, −0.66, and −0.66, for proximal, intermediate, and distal arteries, respectively). The effect of papaverine did not persist until the following day in patients in whom repeated angiography was performed.

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Christopher R. Honey, A. Jon Stoessl, Joseph K. C. Tsui, Michael Schulzer and Donald B. Calne

Object. The goal of this study was to determine whether unilateral pallidotomy reduces parkinsonian pain.

Methods. Twenty-one patients suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD) were followed prospectively for 1 year after they had undergone a unilateral pallidotomy to assess the procedure's effect on pain related to PD. Pain unrelated to PD was not studied. Patients scored the level of their PD pain on an ordinal scale (0–10 points) preoperatively and 6 weeks and 1 year postoperatively. The results were analyzed using Wilcoxon's paired-ranks test (with Bonferroni correction) and showed a significant reduction in overall pain scores at 6 weeks (p < 0.001) and 1 year (p = 0.001) following pallidotomy. Various types of PD pain are described and their possible pathophysiological mechanisms are presented.

Conclusions. Unilateral pallidotomy significantly reduces pain attributable to Parkinson's disease.

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Michael D. Dan, Christopher M. Schlachta, John Guy, Richard G. McKenzie, Delbert R. Dorscheid, Victor A. Sandor, Jean-Guy Villemure and Gerald B. Price

✓ The current management of malignant gliomas is unsatisfactory compared to that of other solid tumors; the expected median survival period is less than 1 year with the patient undergoing conventional surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy treatment. Immunological reagents could be a useful adjunct. Human monoclonal antibodies derived from patients with astrocytic tumors might recognize subtle antigenic specificities that would differ from those recognized by xenogeneic (murine) systems. Five hybridomas, designated as BT27/1A2, BT27/2A3, BT32/A6, BT34/A5, and BT54/B8, were produced from the fusion of peripheral blood lymphocytes of four patients with astrocytic tumors to the human myeloma-like cell line TM-H2-SP2. This cell line has a 46, XX karotype and is negative for hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase. All five human monoclonal antibodies produced 2.4 to 44 µg/ml of immunoglobulin M, had a similar but not identical pattern of reactivity against a panel of human tumor cell lines, and failed to react with normal human astrocytes. Labeling of four neuroectodermal tumor explant cultures by BT27/2A3 was demonstrated by flow cytometry. Karyotyping of three of the five hybridomas demonstrated that two were pseudodiploid (2–3n) and one hypodiploid (< 2n). The monoclonality of the hybridomas was evaluated by Southern blot analysis of JH gene rearrangements, revealing two types of rearrangements for each hybridoma, both consistent with monoclonality. Preliminary antigen characterization indicated that at least four of the five human monoclonal antibodies were directed to cell-surface glycolipids.

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Avital Perry, Christopher S. Graffeo, Lucas P. Carlstrom, William J. Anding, Michael J. Link and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

OBJECTIVE

Sylvian fissure dissection following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a challenging but fundamental skill in microneurosurgery, and one that has become increasingly difficult to develop during residency, given the overarching management trends. The authors describe a novel rodent model for simulation of sylvian fissure dissection and cerebrovascular bypass under SAH conditions.

METHODS

A standardized microvascular anastomosis model comprising rat femoral arteries and veins was used for the experimental framework. In the experimental protocol, following exposure and skeletonization of the vessels, extensive, superficial (1- to 2-mm) soft-tissue debridement was conducted and followed by wound closure and delayed reexploration at intervals of 7, 14, and 28 days. Two residents dissected 1 rat each per time point (n = 6 rats), completing vessel skeletonization followed by end-to-end artery/vein anastomoses. Videos were reviewed postprocedure to assess scar score and relative difficulty of dissection by blinded raters using 4-point Likert scales.

RESULTS

At all time points, vessels were markedly invested in friable scar, and exposure was subjectively assessed as a reasonable surrogate for sylvian fissure dissection under SAH conditions. Scar score and relative difficulty of dissection both indicated 14 days as the most challenging time point.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ experimental model of femoral vessel skeletonization, circumferential superficial soft-tissue injury, and delayed reexploration provides a novel approximation of sylvian fissure dissection and cerebrovascular bypass under SAH conditions. The optimal reexploration interval appears to be 7–14 days. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first model of SAH simulation for microsurgical training, particularly in a live animal system.