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Open access

Contemporary intraoperative visualization for GBM with use of exoscope, 5-ALA fluorescence-guided surgery and tractography

Alexander J. Schupper, Jorge A. Roa, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Maximal safe resection is the primary goal of glioma surgery. By incorporating improved intraoperative visualization with the 3D exoscope combined with 5-ALA fluorescence, in addition to neuronavigation and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking, the safety of resection of tumors in eloquent brain regions can be maximized. This video highlights some of the various intraoperative adjuncts used in brain tumor surgery for high-grade glioma.

In this case, the authors highlight the resection of a left posterior temporal lobe high-grade glioma in a 33-year-old patient, who initially presented with seizures, word-finding difficulty, and right-sided weakness. They demonstrate the multiple surgical adjuncts used both before and during surgical resection, and how multiple adjuncts can be effectively orchestrated to make surgery in eloquent brain areas safer for patients. Patient consent was obtained for publication.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.10.FOCVID21174

Restricted access

Novel approaches to targeting gliomas at the leading/cutting edge

Alexander J. Schupper and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Despite decades of clinical trials and surgical advances, the most common high-grade glioma, glioblastoma (GBM), remains an incurable disease with a dismal prognosis. Because of its infiltrative nature, GBM almost always recurs at the margin, or leading edge, where tumor cells invade the surrounding brain parenchyma. This region of GBMs is unique, or heterogeneous, with its own microenvironment that is different from the tumor bulk or core. The GBM microenvironment at the margin contains immunosuppressive constituents as well as invasive and therapy-resistant tumor cells that are difficult to treat. In addition, the blood-brain barrier remains essentially intact at the infiltrative margin of tumors; further limiting the effectiveness of therapies. The invasive margin creates the greatest challenge for neurosurgeons when managing these tumors. The current paradigm of resection of GBM tumors mainly focuses on resection of the contrast-enhancing component of tumors, while GBMs extend well beyond the contrast enhancement. The infiltrative margin represents a unique challenge and opportunity for solutions that may overcome current limitations in tumor treatments. In this review of the current literature, the authors discuss the current and developing advances focused on the detection and treatment of GBM at the infiltrative margin and how this could impact patient outcomes.

Open access

Use of the 3D exoscope for the supracerebellar infratentorial approach in the concorde position: an effective and ergonomic alternative. Illustrative cases

Jorge A. Roa, Alexander J. Schupper, Kurt Yaeger, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

BACKGROUND

The supracerebellar infratentorial approach provides wide flexibility as a far-reaching corridor to the pineal region, posterior third ventricle, posterior medial temporal lobe, posterolateral mesencephalon, quadrigeminal cistern, and thalamus. Traditionally, the patient is placed in the sitting position, allowing gravity retraction on the cerebellum to widen the supracerebellar operative corridor beneath the tentorium. What this approach gains in anatomical orientation it lacks in surgeon ergonomics, as the sitting position presents technical challenges, forces the surgeon to adopt to an uncomfortable posture while performing the microsurgical dissection/tumor resection under the microscope, and is also associated with an increased risk of venous air embolism.

OBSERVATIONS

In this article, the authors present the use of the three-dimensional (3D) exoscope with a standard prone Concorde position as an alternative for the treatment of lesions requiring a supracerebellar infratentorial approach for lesions in the pineal region, posterior third ventricle, and the superior surface of the cerebellar vermis. The authors present four illustrative cases (one pineal cyst, one ependymoma, and two cerebellar metastases) in which this approach provided excellent intraoperative visualization and resulted in good postoperative results. A step-by-step description of our surgical technique is reviewed in detail.

LESSONS

The use of the 3D exoscope with the patient in the prone Concorde position is an effective and ergonomically favorable alternative to the traditional sitting position for the treatment of lesions requiring a supracerebellar infratentorial approach. This technique allows improved visualization of deep structures, with a possible decreased risk of potential complications.

Free access

Making a match: trends in the application, interview, and ranking process for the neurological surgery residency programs

Kurt A. Yaeger, Alexander J. Schupper, Jeffrey T. Gilligan, and Isabelle M. Germano

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgery is a highly competitive residency field with a match rate lower than that of other specialties. The aim of this study was to analyze trends associated with the residency match process from the applicants’ and program directors’ perspectives.

METHODS

Between 2010 and 2020, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Applicant and Program Director Surveys, the NRMP Charting Outcomes reports, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Data Resource Books were analyzed to identify the number of applicants interviewed and ranked in US programs, the applicants’ ranking preferences, the program directors’ preferential factors in offering interviews, and rank list order. Applicants were divided between US senior medical students and independent applicants. Each cohort was dichotomized for matched and unmatched applicants.

RESULTS

Over the study period, 2935 applicants applied to neurosurgery residency, including 2135 US senior medical students and 800 independent applicants, with an overall match rate of 65%. Overall, matched applicants had a significantly higher number of publications (p < 0.05). Among US senior medical student applicants, the application-to-interview ratio more than doubled over the study period, yet the number of interview invitations received, interviews accepted, and programs ranked remained unchanged. In the US senior medical student cohort, the number of submitted applications, interview invitations, accepted interviews, and programs ranked did not significantly differ between matched and unmatched applicants. In both cohorts, applicants shifted ranking factors from a more academic focus in early years to more well-being in later years. Letters of recommendation and board scores were key factors for program directors while screening applicants for interviews and ranking.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurosurgery residency continues to be a highly competitive field in medicine, with match rates of 65%. Recently, applicants have placed greater importance on ranking programs that value residents’ well-being, as opposed to strictly academic factors. A data-driven understanding of factors important to applicants and program directors during the match process has the potential to improve resident candidate recruitment and overall resident-program fit, thereby improving well-being during residency, reducing the attrition rate, and overall enhancing the diversity of the neurosurgery resident workforce.

Open access

Ondine’s curse: clinical presentation with diaphragmatic pacing and spontaneous respiratory recovery. Illustrative case

Alexander J. Schupper, Alex Devarajan, Dong-Seok Lee, Enrique Perez, and Raj K. Shrivastava

BACKGROUND

The complexity of posterior fossa surgery can often lead to rare complications due to the anatomy involved. Vestibular schwannoma resection is a common pathology in the posterior fossa, often requiring surgical intervention. Given the proximity of this space to the brainstem, cranial nerve VII/VIII complex, and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), neurovascular complications are not infrequent. A rare vascular complication from this surgical approach is a lateral medullary infarction from injury to the lateral medullary segment of the proximal PICA, leading to central hypoventilation syndrome (CHS).

OBSERVATIONS

This report presents a unique case of a 51-year-old man who underwent a retrosigmoid craniectomy for resection of a vestibular schwannoma. Following surgery, the patient was unable to be weaned off the ventilator and was noted to become apneic while he slept, a clinical picture consistent with Ondine’s curse.

LESSONS

This report discusses the anatomical considerations of this surgical corridor leading to this complication and the management of a patient with acquired Ondine’s curse and reviews the scarce literature on this uncommon cause of acquired CHS.

Open access

Exoscopic resection of a parasagittal atypical meningioma

Alejandro Carrasquilla, Artur Zgurov, Mira Salih, Chi Le, Stavros Matsoukas, Rui Feng, Alexander J Schupper, and Constantinos Hadjipanayis

This video demonstrates use of the Synaptive 3D exoscope to enhance complex meningioma resection. The patient was a 58-year-old female who presented with new-onset seizures. Workup revealed a parasagittal meningioma over the bilateral cortices. She was started on 750 mg of Keppra twice daily and tapered dexamethasone and discharged. MR venography demonstrated segmental occlusion of the superior sagittal sinus. She then underwent a diagnostic angiogram and tumor Onyx embolization of the bilateral middle meningeal artery feeders. She then underwent a craniotomy for meningioma resection using 3D exoscope guidance. She awoke with a stable examination in the intensive care unit and worked with physical therapy on postoperative day 1.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2023.10.FOCVID23164

Open access

Early outcomes in hybrid fixation for idiopathic scoliosis: posterior fusion combined with anterior vertebral body tethering. Patient series

Daniel Cherian, Amer F Samdani, Alexander J Schüpper, Alan A Stein, Zan Naseer, Joshua M Pahys, Emily Nice, and Steven W Hwang

BACKGROUND

Anterior vertebral body tethering (AVBT) and posterior spinal fusion (PSF) are options for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Combining both procedures in patients with double curves, a procedure in which PSF is performed for the thoracic curve and AVBT for the lumbar curve, provides maximal correction of the thoracic curve with a theoretical maintenance of motion in the lumbar spine.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 20 skeletally immature patients diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at a single institution with an average age of 12.7 ± 1.6 years and who had undergone hybrid treatment with an average follow-up of 8 months. The PSF procedures averaged 276 ± 63 minutes with 442.8 ± 295 mL of blood loss, and the AVBT averaged 275 ± 54 minutes with 118.3 ± 80 mL of blood loss. Following the hybrid correction, the thoracic and lumbar coronal curve angles improved from 67.6° to 21.6° and from 65.2° to 24°, respectively. The three-dimensional kyphosis improved from 3.3° to 24°.

LESSONS

A combined approach of PSF and AVBT is safe and effective for idiopathic scoliosis. This approach combines the gold standard of thoracic fusion with the motion preservation benefits of AVBT in the lumbar spine. This study will continue to refine indications for AVBT.

Free access

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and concussions in adolescent athletes: incidence, severity, and recovery

Zachary Spiera, Theodore Hannah, Adam Li, Nickolas Dreher, Naoum Fares Marayati, Muhammad Ali, Dhruv S. Shankar, John Durbin, Alexander J. Schupper, Alex Gometz, Mark Lovell, and Tanvir Choudhri

OBJECTIVE

Given concerns about the potential long-term effects of concussion in young athletes, concussion prevention has become a major focus for amateur sports leagues. Athletes have been known to frequently use anti-inflammatory medications to manage injuries, expedite return to play, and treat concussion symptoms. However, the effects of baseline nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use on the susceptibility to head injury and concussion remain unclear. This study aims to assess the effects of preinjury NSAID use on concussion incidence, severity, and recovery in young athletes.

METHODS

Data from 25,815 ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) tests were obtained through a research agreement with ImPACT Applications Inc. Subjects ranged in age from 12 to 22 years old. Those who reported NSAID use at baseline were assigned to one (anti-inflammatory [AI]) cohort, whereas all others were assigned to the control (CT) cohort. Differences in head trauma and concussion incidence, severity, and recovery were assessed using chi-square tests, unpaired t-tests, and Kaplan-Meier plots.

RESULTS

The CT cohort comprised a higher percentage (p < 0.0001) of males (66.30%) than the AI cohort (44.16%) and had a significantly greater portion of athletes who played football (p = 0.004). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the two cohorts in terms of the incidence of head trauma (CT = 0.489, AI = 0.500, p = 0.9219), concussion incidence (CT = 0.175, AI = 0.169, p = 0.7201), injury severity, or median concussion recovery time (CT = 8, AI = 8, p = 0.6416). In a multivariable analysis controlling for baseline differences between the cohorts, no association was found between NSAID use and concussion incidence or severity.

CONCLUSIONS

In this analysis, the authors found no evidence that preinjury use of NSAIDs affects concussion risk in adolescent athletes. They also found no indication that preinjury NSAID use affects the severity of initial injury presentation or concussion recovery.

Free access

Spinal deformity surgery in patients for whom blood transfusion is not an option: a single-center experience

Alexander J. Schupper, Margit Kaufman, Jay S. Reidler, Marc S. Arginteanu, Frank M. Moore, Alfred Steinberger, Omar N. Syed, Kevin C. Yao, and Yakov Gologorsky

OBJECTIVE

Spinal deformity surgery is associated with significant blood loss, often requiring the transfusion of blood and/or blood products. For patients declining blood or blood products, even in the face of life-threatening blood loss, spinal deformity surgery has been associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. For these reasons, patients for whom blood transfusion is not an option have historically been denied spinal deformity surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected data set. All patients declining blood transfusion who underwent spinal deformity surgery at a single institution between January 2002 and September 2021 were identified. Demographics collected included age, sex, diagnosis, details of any prior surgery, and medical comorbidities. Perioperative variables included levels decompressed and instrumented, estimated blood loss, blood conservation techniques used, length of surgery, length of hospital stay, and complications from surgery. Radiographic measurements included, where appropriate, sagittal vertical axis correction, Cobb angle correction, and regional angular correction.

RESULTS

Spinal deformity surgery was performed in 31 patients (18 male, 13 female) over 37 admissions. The median age at surgery was 41.2 years (range 10.9–70.1 years), and 64.5% had significant medical comorbidities. A median of 9 levels (range 5–16 levels) were instrumented per surgery, and the median estimated blood loss was 800 mL (range 200–3000 mL). Posterior column osteotomies were performed in all surgeries, and pedicle subtraction osteotomies in 6 cases. Multiple blood conservation techniques were used in all patients. Preoperative erythropoietin was administered prior to 23 surgeries, intraoperative cell salvage was used in all, acute normovolemic hemodilution was performed in 20, and perioperative administration of antifibrinolytic agents was performed in 28 surgeries. No allogenic blood transfusions were administered. Surgery was staged intentionally in 5 cases, and there was 1 unintended staging due to intraoperative blood loss from a vascular injury. There was 1 readmission for a pulmonary embolus. There were 2 minor postoperative complications. The median length of stay was 6 days (range 3–28 days). Deformity correction and the goals of surgery were achieved in all patients. Two patients underwent revision surgery during the follow-up period: one for pseudarthrosis and the other for proximal junctional kyphosis.

CONCLUSIONS

With proper preoperative planning and judicious use of blood conservation techniques, spinal deformity surgery may be performed safely in patients for whom blood transfusion is not an option. The same techniques can be applied widely to the general population in order to minimize blood loss and the need for allogeneic blood transfusion.

Free access

Effects of repetitive head trauma on symptomatology of subsequent sport-related concussion

Addison Quinones, Tirone Young, Alexander J. Schupper, Muhammad Ali, Eugene I. Hrabarchuk, Colin D. Lamb, Lisa Genadry, Roshini Kalagara, Zerubabbel K. Asfaw, Alex Gometz, Mark Lovell, and Tanvir F. Choudhri

OBJECTIVE

Adolescent participation in athletics continues to grow, leading to an increasing incidence of sports-related concussion (SRC). The current literature suggests that a greater number of prior concussions positively correlates with a greater number of total symptoms, but the specific concussion-related symptoms are not as well defined. The current study investigated the effects of prior recurrent head injury on the symptom profiles of student-athletes after another suspected concussion.

METHODS

A multicenter database consisting of 25,815 Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) results was filtered for student-athletes aged 12–22 years old who competed in 21 different sports. Patients were separated into 2 cohorts: athletes reporting a single prior concussion (SRC1) and athletes reporting 2 or more prior concussions (SRC2+). Comparisons were assessed for differences in 22 symptoms and 4 symptom clusters at baseline, first postinjury test (PI1), and second postinjury test (PI2) by using univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS

No differences were seen between SRC1 (n = 2253) and SRC2+ (n = 976) at baseline. At PI1, the SRC2+ group (n = 286) had lower severity of headaches (p = 0.04) but increased nervousness (p = 0.042), irritability (p = 0.028), sadness (p = 0.028), visual problems (p = 0.04), and neuropsychiatric symptoms (p = 0.009) compared with SRC1 (n = 529). Multivariate analysis revealed decreased headache severity with increased prior concussion (β = −0.27,95% CI −0.45 to −0.09, p = 0.003). Multivariate analysis at PI2 demonstrated the SRC2+ cohort (n = 130) had increased cognitive (β = 1.22, 95% CI 0.27–2.18, p = 0.012), sleep (β = 0.63, 95% CI 0.17–1.08, p = 0.007), and neuropsychiatric (β = 0.67,95% CI 0.14–1.2,0.014) symptoms compared with SRC1 (n = 292).

CONCLUSIONS

At longitudinal follow-up, patients with a history of recurrent concussions reported greater symptom burden in cognitive, sleep, and neuropsychiatric symptom clusters but not migraine symptoms. This is an important distinction because migraine symptoms are often more easily distinguishable to patients, parents, and physicians. Careful assessment of specific symptoms should be considered in patients with a history of recurrent head injury prior to return to play.