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Nader S. Dahdaleh, Albert P. Wong, Zachary A. Smith, Ricky H. Wong, Sandi K. Lam and Richard G. Fessler

Object

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a common cervical degenerative disease that affects the elderly population. Spinal cord decompression is achieved through various anterior and posterior approaches including anterior cervical decompression and fusion, laminectomy, laminoplasty, and combined approaches. The authors describe another option, minimally invasive endoscopically assisted decompression of stenosis (MEDS), which obviates the need for muscle dissection and disruption of the posterior tension band, a cause of postlaminectomy kyphosis.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 10 patients with CSM who underwent MEDS from January 2002 through July 2012. Data were collected on demographics, preoperative and postoperative Nurick scores, postoperative Odom scores, and preoperative and postoperative Cobb angles.

Results

The mean patient age (± SD) was 67 ± 7.7 years; 8 patients were male. The average number of disc levels operated on was 2.2 (range 1–4). The mean Nurick score was 1.6 ± 0.7 preoperatively and improved to 0.3 ± 0.7 postoperatively (p < 0.0005). The postoperative Odom scores indicated excellent outcomes for 4 patients, good for 3, fair for 2, and poor for 1. The average preoperative focal Cobb angle at the disc levels operated on was −0.43º ± 1.9º. The average Cobb angle at the last follow-up visit was 0.25° ± 1.6° (p = 0.6). The average follow-up time was 18.9 ± 32.1 months. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications.

Conclusions

For selected patients with CSM, whose pathologic changes are primarily posterior and who have acceptable preoperative lordosis, MEDS is an alternative to open laminectomy and laminoplasty.

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Nader S. Dahdaleh, Alexander T. Nixon, Cort D. Lawton, Albert P. Wong, Zachary A. Smith and Richard G. Fessler

Object

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) is used to treat a wide variety of lumbar degenerative disorders. Although there are some reports showing efficacy of unilateral instrumentation during MIS-TLIF, a controlled randomized prospective study has not been done.

Methods

Forty-one patients were randomly assigned to receive either bilateral or unilateral instrumentation following 1-level unilateral MIS-TLIF. Four patients were lost to follow-up in the unilateral group and 1 patient was lost to follow-up in the bilateral group. Preoperative and postoperative scores on a visual analog scale (VAS) for back pain and leg pain (VAS-BP and VAS-LP, respectively), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and 36-Item Short Form Healthy Survey version 2 (SF-36v2) were collected. Additionally, preoperative and postoperative segmental Cobb angles and radiographic evidence of fusion were analyzed.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference in baseline demographic characteristics between the 2 groups. The VAS-BP, VAS-LP, ODI, and SF-36v2 physical component scores improved significantly after surgery in both groups (p < 0.05); there was no statistically significant between-groups difference in the degree of improvement. Blood loss was significantly higher in the bilateral instrumentation group and hospital stay was longer in the unilateral instrumentation group. There was no statistically significant between-groups difference with respect to change in segmental lordosis or fusion rate. The average duration of follow-up was 12.4 months for the bilateral instrumentation group and 11.4 months for the unilateral instrumentation group.

Conclusions

Clinical and radiographic outcomes of unilateral and bilateral instrumentation for unilateral MISTLIF are similar 1 year after surgery.

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Albert P. Wong, Rishi R. Lall, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Cort D. Lawton, Zachary A. Smith, Ricky H. Wong, Michael J. Harvey, Sandi Lam, Tyler R. Koski and Richard G. Fessler

OBJECT

Patients with symptomatic intradural-extramedullary (ID-EM) tumors may be successfully treated with resection of the lesion and decompression of associated neural structures. Studies of patients undergoing open resection of these tumors have reported high rates of gross-total resection (GTR) with minimal long-term neurological deficit. Case reports and small case series have suggested that these patients may be successfully treated with minimally invasive surgery (MIS). These studies have been limited by small patient populations. Moreover, there are no studies directly comparing perioperative outcomes between patients treated with open resection and MIS. The objective of this study was to compare perioperative outcomes in patients with ID-EM tumors treated using open resection or MIS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed using data collected from 45 consecutive patients treated by open resection or MIS for ID-EM spine tumors. These patients were treated over a 9-year period between April 2003 and October 2012 at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Statistical analysis was performed to compare perioperative outcomes between the two groups.

RESULTS

Of the 45 patients in the study, 27 were treated with the MIS approach and 18 were treated with the open approach. Operative time was similar between the two groups: 256.3 minutes in the MIS group versus 241.1 minutes in the open group (p = 0.55). Estimated blood loss was significantly lower in the MIS group (133.7 ml) compared with the open group (558.8 ml) (p < 0.01). A GTR was achieved in 94.4% of the open cases and 92.6% of the MIS cases (p = 0.81).

The mean hospital stay was significantly shorter in the MIS group (3.9 days) compared with the open group (6.1 days) (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference between the complication rates (p = 0.32) and reoperation rates (p = 0.33) between the two groups. Multivariate analysis demonstrated an increased rate of complications in cervical spine tumors (OR 15, p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Thoracolumbar ID-EM tumors may be safely and effectively treated with either the open approach or an MIS approach, with an equivalent rate of GTR, perioperative complication rate, and operative time. Patients treated with an MIS approach may benefit from a decrease in operative blood loss and shorter hospital stays.

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Albert P. Wong, Zachary A. Smith, Alexander T. Nixon, Cort D. Lawton, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Ricky H. Wong, Brenda Auffinger, Sandi Lam, John K. Song, John C. Liu, Tyler R. Koski and Richard G. Fessler

OBJECT

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) has become one of the preferred procedures for circumferential fusion in the lumbar spine. Over the last decade, advances in surgical techniques have enabled surgeons to perform the TLIF procedure through a minimally invasive approach (MI-TLIF). There are a few studies reported in the medical literature in which perioperative complication rates of MI-TLIF were evaluated; here, the authors present the largest cohort series to date. They analyzed intraoperative and perioperative complications in 513 consecutive MI-TLIF–treated patients with lumbar degenerative disc disease.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 513 consecutive patients treated over a 10-year period for lumbar degenerative disc disease using MI-TLIF. All patients undergoing either a first-time or revision 1- or 2-level MI-TLIF procedure were included in the study. Demographic, intraoperative, and perioperative data were collected and analyzed using bivariate analyses (Student t-test, analysis of variance, odds ratio, chi-square test) and multivariate analyses (logistic regression).

RESULTS

A total of 513 patients underwent an MI-TLIF procedure, and the perioperative complication rate was 15.6%. The incidence of durotomy was 5.1%, and the medical and surgical infection rates were 1.4% and 0.2%, respectively. A statistically significant increase in the infection rate was seen in revision MI-TLIF cases, and the same was found for the perioperative complication rate in multilevel MI-TLIF cases. Instrumentation failure occurred in 2.3% of the cases. After analysis, no statistically significant difference was seen in the rates of durotomy during revision and multilevel surgeries. There was no significant difference between the complication rates when stratified according to presenting diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors' knowledge, this is the largest study of perioperative complications in MI-TLIF in the literature. A total of 513 patients underwent MI-TLIF (perioperative complication rate 15.6%). The most common complication was a durotomy (5.1%), and there was only 1 surgical wound infection (0.2%). There were significantly more perioperative infections in revision MI-TLIF cases and more perioperative complications in multilevel MI-TLIF cases. The results of this study suggest that MI-TLIF has a similar or better perioperative complication profile than those documented in the literature for open-TLIF treatment of degenerative lumbar spine disease.

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Judith M. Wong, John E. Ziewacz, Allen L. Ho, Jaykar R. Panchmatia, Albert H. Kim, Angela M. Bader, B. Gregory Thompson, Rose Du and Atul A. Gawande

Object

As part of a project to devise evidence-based safety interventions for specialty surgery, we sought to review current evidence concerning the frequency of adverse events in open cerebrovascular neurosurgery and the state of knowledge regarding methods for their reduction. This review represents part of a series of papers written to consolidate information about these events and preventive measures as part of an ongoing effort to ascertain the utility of devising system-wide policies and safety tools to improve neurosurgical practice.

Methods

The authors performed a PubMed search using search terms “cerebral aneurysm”, “cerebral arteriovenous malformation”, “intracerebral hemorrhage”, “intracranial hemorrhage”, “subarachnoid hemorrhage”, and “complications” or “adverse events.” Only papers that specifically discussed the relevant complication rates were included. Papers were chosen to be included to maximize the range of rates of occurrence for the reported adverse events.

Results

The review revealed hemorrhage-related hyperglycemia (incidence rates ranging from 27% to 71%) and cerebral salt-wasting syndromes (34%–57%) to be the most common perioperative adverse events related to subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Next in terms of frequency was new cerebral infarction associated with SAH, with a rate estimated at 40%. Many techniques are advocated for use during surgery to minimize risk of this development, including intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring, but are not universally used due to surgeon preference and variable availability of appropriate staffing and equipment. The comparative effectiveness of using or omitting monitoring technologies has not been evaluated.

The incidence of perioperative seizure related to vascular neurosurgery is unknown, but reported seizure rates from observational studies range from 4% to 42%. There are no standard guidelines for the use of seizure prophylaxis in these patients, and there remains a need for prospective studies to support such guidelines.

Intraoperative rupture occurs at a rate of 7% to 35% and depends on aneurysm location and morphology, history of rupture, surgical technique, and surgeon experience. Preventive strategies include temporary vascular clipping.

Technical adverse events directly involving application of the aneurysm clip include incomplete aneurysm obliteration and parent vessel occlusion. The rates of these events range from 5% to 18% for incomplete obliteration and 3% to 12% for major vessel occlusion. Intraoperative angiography is widely used to confirm clip placement; adjuncts include indocyanine green video angiography and microvascular Doppler ultrasonography. Use of these technologies varies by institution.

Discussion

A significant proportion of these complications may be avoidable through development and testing of standardized protocols to incorporate monitoring technologies and specific technical practices, teamwork and communication, and concentrated volume and specialization. Collaborative monitoring and evaluation of such protocols are likely necessary for the advancement of open cerebrovascular neurosurgical quality.