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Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Adrian J. Maurer, and Craig H. Rabb

The use of minimally invasive tubular retractor microsurgery for treatment of multilevel spinal epidural abscess is described. This technique was used in 3 cases, and excellent results were achieved. The authors conclude that multilevel spinal epidural abscesses can be safely and effectively managed using microsurgery via a minimally invasive tubular retractor system.

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Michael E. Sughrue, Tyson Sheean, Phillip A. Bonney, Adrian J. Maurer, and Charles Teo

OBJECT

The relative benefit of repeat surgery for recurrent glioblastoma is unclear, in part due to the very heterogeneous nature of the patient population and the effect of clinician philosophy on the duration and aggressiveness of treatment. The authors sought to investigate the role of time to last recurrence on patient outcomes following aggressive repeat surgery for recurrent glioblastoma.

METHODS

The authors present outcomes in 104 patients undergoing repeat surgery for focally recurrent glioblastoma with at least 95% resection and adjuvant treatment at most recent prior surgery. In addition to common variables, they provide data regarding the period of progression-free survival (PFS) following an aggressive lesionectomy for focally recurrent primary glioblastoma (T2) and the time the tumor took to recur since the previous surgery (T1). They term the ratio T1/T2 the relative aggressivity index (RAI).

RESULTS

The median PFS was 7.8 months, 6.0 months, and 4.8 months following the second, third, and fourth–sixth craniotomies, respectively. Importantly, there was a wide range of outcomes, with time to postoperative recurrence ranging from 1 to 24 months in this group. Analysis showed no meaningful relationship between T1 and T2, meaning that previous PFS is entirely unable to predict the PFS that another surgery will provide the patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat surgery for glioblastoma is beneficial in many cases, however this is hard to predict preoperatively. Often, surgery can provide the patient with a good period of disease freedom, but this is variable and in general it is not possible to reliably predict who these patients are.

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Phillip A. Bonney, Adrian J. Maurer, Ahmed A. Cheema, Quyen Duong, Chad A. Glenn, Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Julie A. Stoner, and Timothy B. Mapstone

OBJECT

The coexistence of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) and ventral brainstem compression (VBSC) has been well documented, but the change in VBSC after posterior fossa decompression (PFD) has undergone little investigation. In this study the authors evaluated VBSC in patients with CM-I and determined the change in VBSC after PFD, correlating changes in VBSC with clinical status and the need for further intervention.

METHODS

Patients who underwent PFD for CM-I by the senior author from November 2005 to January 2013 with complete radiological records were included in the analysis. The following data were obtained: objective measure of VBSC (pB–C2 distance); relationship of odontoid to Chamberlain’s, McGregor’s, McRae’s, and Wackenheim’s lines; clival length; foramen magnum diameter; and basal angle. Statistical analyses were performed using paired t-tests and a mixed-effects ANOVA model.

RESULTS

Thirty-one patients were included in the analysis. The mean age of the cohort was 10.0 years. There was a small but statistically significant increase in pB–C2 postoperatively (0.5 mm, p < 0.0001, mixed-effects ANOVA). Eleven patients had postoperative pB–C2 values greater than 9 mm. The mean distance from the odontoid tip to Wackenheim’s line did not change after PFD, signifying postoperative occipitocervical stability. No patients underwent transoral odontoidectomy or occipitocervical fusion. No patients experienced clinical deterioration after PFD.

CONCLUSIONS

The increase in pB–C2 in patients undergoing PFD may occur as a result of releasing the posterior vector on the ventral dura, allowing it to relax posteriorly. This increase appears to be well-tolerated, and a postoperative pB–C2 measurement of more than 9 mm in light of stable craniocervical metrics and a nonworsened clinical examination does not warrant further intervention.

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Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Adrian J. Maurer, Jacob B. Archer, Ricardo A. Hanel, Michael E. Sughrue, Nicholas Theodore, and Mark C. Preul

During his lifetime and a career spanning 42 years, James Watson Kernohan made numerous contributions to neuropathology, neurology, and neurosurgery. One of these, the phenomenon of ipsilateral, false localizing signs caused by compression of the contralateral cerebral peduncle against the tentorial edge, has widely become known as “Kernohan's notch” and continues to bear his name. The other is a grading system for gliomas from a neurosurgical viewpoint that continues to be relevant for grading of glial tumors 60 years after its introduction. In this paper, the authors analyze these two major contributions in detail within the context of Kernohan's career and explore how they contributed to the development of neurosurgical procedures.