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Magnetic resonance imaging localization with cod liver oil capsules for the minimally invasive approach to small intradural extramedullary tumors of the thoracolumbar spine

Clinical article

Mazda K. Turel and Vedantam Rajshekhar

Object

Accurate intraoperative localization of small intradural extramedullary thoracolumbar (T-1 to L-3 level) spinal cord tumors is vital when minimally invasive techniques, such as hemilaminectomy, are used to excise these lesions. In this study, the authors describe a simple and effective method of preoperative MRI localization of small intradural extramedullary tumors using cod liver oil capsules.

Methods

Thirty-five patients with intradural tumors underwent preoperative MRI localization the evening prior to surgery. Patients were positioned prone in the MRI gantry, mimicking the intraoperative position. Nine capsules were placed in 3 rows to cover the lesion. This localization was used to guide the level for a minimally invasive approach using a hemilaminectomy to excise these tumors.

Results

The mean patient age was 51.5 ± 14.3 years, and the mean body mass index was 24.1 ± 3.5 kg/m2. Twenty-two tumors involved the thoracic spine, and 13 involved the upper lumbar spine from L-1 to L-3. The mean tumor size was 2.2 ± 1.0 cm. Localization was accurate in 34 patients (97.1%).

Conclusions

Accurate localization with the described method is quick, safe, cost-effective, and noninvasive with no exposure to radiation. It also reduces operating time by eliminating the need for intraoperative fluoroscopy.

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Quality of life following surgery for large and giant vestibular schwannomas: a prospective study

Mazda K. Turel, Sumit Thakar, and Vedantam Rajshekhar

OBJECT

Prospective studies of quality of life (QOL) are infrequently performed in patients undergoing surgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS). The authors designed this to study to investigate health-related QOL (HR-QOL) in patients with large and giant VSs before and after surgery.

METHODS

Between January 2009 and December 2012, HR-QOL was measured prospectively before and after surgery, using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), in 100 patients who underwent surgery for unilateral large or giant VS (tumor size ≥ 3 cm). The Glasgow Benefit Inventory (GBI) was also used to evaluate the effect of surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 100 patients were included in the study (65 men and 35 women). Their mean age (± SD) was 44.2 ± 11.5 years. The preoperative QOL was decreased in all SF-36 domains. A 1-year follow-up evaluation was conducted for all patients (mean 13.5 ± 5.3 months after surgery). The results showed an improvement in HR-QOL compared with preoperative status in all cases, with 63%–85% of patients showing a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in various domains. A second follow-up evaluation was performed in 51 cases (mean time after surgery, 29.0 ± 8.3 months) and showed sustained improvement in SF-36 scores. In some domains there was further improvement beyond the first follow-up. On the GBI, 87% of patients reported improvement, 1% felt no change, and 12% of patients reported deterioration.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients harboring large or giant VSs score lower on all the QOL domains compared with the normative population. More than 60% showed a clinically significant improvement in HR-QOL 1 year after surgery, a result that was sustained at subsequent follow-up.

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Cervical arthroplasty: what does the labeling say?

Mazda K. Turel, Mena G. Kerolus, Owoicho Adogwa, and Vincent C. Traynelis

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to comprehensively review each of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved labels of 7 total cervical disc replacements, assess the exact methodology in which the trial was conducted, and provide a broad comparison of these devices to allow each surgeon to determine which disc best suits his or her specific treatment goals based on the specific labels and not the studies published.

METHODS

The FDA-approved labels for each of the 7 artificial discs were obtained from the official FDA website. These labels were meticulously compared with regard to the statistical analysis performed, the safety and efficacy data, and the randomized controlled trial that each artificial disc was involved in to obtain the FDA approval for the product or device. Both single-level and 2-level approvals were examined, and primary and secondary end points were assessed.

RESULTS

In the single-level group, 4 of the 7 artificial discs—Prestige LP, Prestige ST, Bryan, and Secure-C—showed superiority in overall success. Prestige ST showed superiority in 3 of 4 outcome measures (neurological success, revision surgery, and overall success), while the other aforementioned discs showed superiority in 2 or fewer measures (Prestige LP, neurological and overall success; Bryan, Neck Disability Index [NDI] and overall success; Secure-C, revision surgery and overall success; Pro-Disc C, revision surgery). The PCM and Mobi-C discs demonstrated noninferiority across all outcome measures. In the 2-level group, Prestige LP and Mobi-C demonstrated superiority in 3 outcome measures (NDI, secondary surgery, and overall success) but not neurological success.

CONCLUSIONS

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of 7 currently approved and distributed artificial discs in the United States. It compares specific outcome measures of these devices against those following the standard of care, which is anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. This information will provide surgeons the opportunity to easily answer patients' questions and remain knowledgeable when discussing devices with manufacturers.

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Primary telangiectatic osteosarcoma of the cervical spine

Case report

Mazda K. Turel, Vivek Joseph, Vandita Singh, Vinu Moses, and Vedantam Rajshekhar

Telangiectatic osteosarcoma (TOS) is one of the 8 subtypes of osteosarcoma that infrequently affects the spine. The radiopathological features of TOS overlap with those of more benign entities, most commonly the aneurysmal bone cyst), and therefore is a significant diagnostic challenge. It is a rare but well-described entity in the thoracolumbar and sacral spine, and to the authors' knowledge has not been previously reported in the cervical spine.

The authors report the case of a 15-year-old boy who presented with a 6-month history of neck pain and torticollis. He underwent preoperative glue embolization followed by a staged subtotal C-5 spondylectomy and posterior fusion for a C-5 vertebral body lytic expansile lesion. Histopathological examination showed the lesion to be TOS. The surgery was followed by adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy with a favorable outcome at the 1-year follow-up. This report reiterates that TOS is an important differential diagnosis for aneurysmal bone cyst and giant-cell tumor of the spine, as its biological behavior and clinical outcome differ from those of these more benign lesions, which it mimics.

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Ossified ligamentum flavum of the thoracic spine presenting as spontaneous intracranial hypotension: case report

Mazda K. Turel, Mena G. Kerolus, and John E. O’Toole

Ossification of the ligament flavum in the thoracic spine is an uncommon radiological finding in the Western population but can present with back pain, varying degrees of myelopathy, and even paraplegia on occasion. The authors here present the case of a 50-year-old woman with a history of progressive back pain and symptoms of spontaneous intracranial hypotension who was found to have an ossified ligamentum flavum of the thoracic spine resulting in a dural erosion cerebrospinal fluid leak. Surgery involved removal of the ossified ligament flavum at T10–11, facetectomy, ligation of the nerve root, and primary closure of the dura, which resulted in complete resolution of the patient’s symptoms. Radiological, clinical, and intraoperative findings are discussed to assist surgeons with an accurate diagnosis and treatment in the setting of this unusual presentation.

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Management and outcome of recurrent adult craniopharyngiomas: an analysis of 42 cases with long-term follow-up

Mazda K. Turel, Georgios Tsermoulas, Lior Gonen, George Klironomos, Joao Paulo Almeida, Gelareh Zadeh, and Fred Gentili

OBJECTIVE

The treatment of recurrent and residual craniopharyngiomas is challenging. In this study the authors describe their experience with these tumors and make recommendations on their management.

METHODS

The authors performed an observational study of adult patients (≥ 18 years) with recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas that were managed at their tertiary center. Retrospective data were collected on demographics and clinical, imaging, and treatment characteristics from patients who had a minimum 2-year follow-up. Descriptive statistics were used and the data were analyzed.

RESULTS

There were 42 patients (27 male, 15 female) with a mean age of 46.3 ± 14.3 years. The average tumor size was 3.1 ± 1.1 cm. The average time to first recurrence was 3.6 ± 5.5 years (range 0.2–27 years). One in 5 patients (8/42) with residual/recurrent tumors did not require any active treatment. Of the 34 patients who underwent repeat treatment, 12 (35.3%) had surgery only (transcranial, endoscopic, or both), 9 (26.5%) underwent surgery followed by adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), and 13 (38.2%) received RT alone. Eighty-six percent (18/21) had a gross-total (n = 4) or near-total (n = 14) resection of the recurrent/residual tumors and had good local control at last follow-up. One of 5 patients (7/34) who underwent repeat treatment had further treatment for a second recurrence. The total duration of follow-up was 8.6 ± 7.1 years. The average Karnofsky Performance Scale score at last follow-up was 80 (range 40–90). There was 1 death.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on this experience and in the absence of guidelines, the authors recommend an individualized approach for the treatment of symptomatic or growing tumors. This study has shown that 1 in 5 patients does not require repeat treatment of their recurrent/residual disease and can be managed with a “scan and watch” approach. On the other hand, 1 in 5 patients who had repeat treatment for their recurrence in the form of surgery and/or radiation will require further additional treatment. More studies are needed to best characterize these patients and predict the natural history of this disease and response to treatment.

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The evolution of T2-weighted intramedullary signal changes following ventral decompressive surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Clinical article

Sauradeep Sarkar, Mazda K. Turel, Kuruthukulangara S. Jacob, and Ari G. Chacko

Object

T2-weighted intramedullary increased signal intensity (ISI) on MRI in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) appears to represent a wide spectrum of pathological changes that determine reversibility of cord damage. Although sharp T2-weighted ISI on preoperative imaging may correlate with poorer surgical outcomes, there are limited data on how these changes progress following surgery. In this study, the authors characterized pre-and postoperative ISI changes in patients undergoing surgery for CSM and studied their postoperative evolution in an attempt to quantify their clinical significance.

Methods

The preoperative and postoperative MR images obtained in 56 patients who underwent oblique cervical corpectomy for CSM were reviewed, and the ISI was classified into 4 subtypes based on margins and intensity: Type 0 (none), Type 1 (“fuzzy”), Type 2 (“sharp”), and Type 3 (“mixed”). The locations of the ISI were further classified as focal if they represented single discrete lesions, multifocal if there were multiple lesions with intervening normal cord, and multisegmental if the lesions were continuous over more than 1 segment. The maximum craniocaudal length of the ISI was measured on each midsagittal MR image. The Nurick grade and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score were used to assess clinical status. The mean duration of follow-up was 28 months.

Results

T2-weighted ISI changes were noted preoperatively in 54 patients (96%). Most preoperative ISI changes were Type 1 (41%) or Type 3 (34%), with a significant trend toward Type 2 (71%) changes at follow-up. Multi-segmental and Type 3 lesions tended to regress significantly after surgery (p = 0.000), reducing to Type 2 changes at follow-up. Clinical outcomes did not correlate with ISI subtype; however, there was a statistically significant trend toward improvement in postoperative Nurick Grade in patients with a > 50% regression in ISI size. In addition, patients with more than 18 months of follow-up showed significant regression in ISI size compared with patients imaged earlier. On logistic regression analysis, preoperative Nurick grade and duration of follow-up were the only significant predictors of postoperative improvement in functional status (OR 4.136, p = 0.003, 95% CI 1.623–10.539 and OR 6.402, p = 0.033, 95% CI 1.165–35.176, respectively).

Conclusions

There is a distinct group of patients with multisegmental Type 3 intramedullary changes who show remarkable radiological regression after surgery but demonstrate a residual sharp focal ISI at follow-up. A regression of the ISI by > 50% predicts better functional outcomes. Patients with a good preoperative functional status remain the most likely to show improvement, and the improvement continues to occur even at remote follow-up. The clinical relevance of the quality of the T2-weighted ISI changes in patients with CSM remains uncertain; however, postoperative regression of the ISI change is possibly a more important correlate of patient outcome than the quality of the ISI change alone.

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Management of multiple meningiomas

Georgios Tsermoulas, Mazda K. Turel, Jared T. Wilcox, David Shultz, Richard Farb, Gelareh Zadeh, and Mark Bernstein

OBJECTIVE

Multiple meningiomas account for 1%–10% of meningiomas. This study describes epidemiological aspects of the disease and its management, which is more challenging than for single tumors.

METHODS

A consecutive series of adult patients with ≥ 2 spatially separated meningiomas was reviewed. Patients with neurofibromatosis Type 2 were excluded. The authors collected clinical, imaging, histological, and treatment data to obtain information on epidemiology, management options, and outcomes of active treatment and surveillance.

RESULTS

A total of 133 consecutive patients were included over 25 years, with a total of 395 synchronous and 53 metachronous meningiomas, and a median of 2 tumors per patient. One hundred six patients had sporadic disease, 26 had radiation-induced disease, and 1 had familial meningiomatosis. At presentation, half of the patients were asymptomatic. In terms of their maximum cross-sectional diameter, the tumors were small (≤ 2 cm) in 67% and large (> 4 cm) in 11% of the meningiomas. Fifty-four patients had upfront treatment, and 31 had delayed treatment after an observation period (mean 4 years). One in 4 patients had ≥ 2 meningiomas treated. Overall, 64% of patients had treatment for 142 tumors—67 with surgery and 18 with radiotherapy alone. The mean follow-up was 7 years, with 13% of treated patients receiving salvage therapy. Approximately 1 in 4 patients who underwent surgery had ≥ 1 WHO Grade II or III meningioma. Meningiomas of different histological subtypes and grades in the same patient were not uncommon.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple meningiomas are often asymptomatic, probably because the majority are small and a significant proportion are induced by radiation. Approximately two-thirds of patients with multiple meningiomas require therapy, but only one-third of all meningiomas need active treatment. The authors recommend surveillance for stable and asymptomatic meningiomas and therapy for those that are symptomatic or growing.

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The endoscopic transpterional port approach: anatomy, technique, and initial clinical experience

Hugo Andrade-Barazarte, Krunal Patel, Mazda K. Turel, Francesco Doglietto, Anne Agur, Fred Gentili, Rachel Tymianski, Vitor Mendes Pereira, Michael Tymianski, and Ivan Radovanovic

OBJECTIVE

The evolution of microsurgical and endoscopic techniques has allowed the development of less invasive transcranial approaches. The authors describe a purely endoscopic transpterional port craniotomy to access lesions involving the cavernous sinus and the anterolateral skull base.

METHODS

Through single- or dual-port incisions and with direct endoscopic visualization, the authors performed an endoscopic transpterional port approach (ETPA) using a 4-mm straight endoscope in 8 sides of 4 formalin-fixed cadaveric heads injected with colored latex. A main working port incision is made just below the superior temporal line and behind the hairline. An optional 0.5- to 1-cm second skin port incision is made on the lateral supraorbital region, allowing multiangle endoscopic visualization and maneuverability. A 1.5- to 2-cm craniotomy centered over the pterion is done through the main port, which allows an extradural exposure of the cavernous sinus region and extra/intradural exposure of the frontal and temporal cranial fossae. The authors present a pilot surgical series of 17 ETPA procedures and analyze the surgical indications and clinical outcomes retrospectively.

RESULTS

The initial stage of this work on cadavers provided familiarity with the technique, standardized its steps, and showed its anatomical limits. The clinical ETPA was applied to gain access into the cavernous sinus, as well as for aneurysm clipping and meningioma resection. Overall, perioperative complications occurred in 1 patient (6%), there was no mortality, and at last follow-up all patients had a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1.

CONCLUSIONS

The ETPA provides a less invasive, focused, and direct route to the cavernous sinus, and to the frontal and temporal cranial fossae, and it is feasible in clinical practice for selected indications with good results.

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Letter to the Editor. Multiple meningiomas

Li Wang, Wei Chen, Fujun Liu, Li F. Zhang, and Jing Chen