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Michael R. Chicoine, Alexander T. Yahanda, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Donald Simpson (1927–2018) was a neurosurgeon from Adelaide, Australia, who is often cited for the 1957 publication he wrote as a trainee on the relationship between extent of resection and outcomes for meningiomas. That paper summarized a series of over 300 patients operated on in England by well-known neurosurgeons Sir Hugh Cairns and Joseph Buford Pennybacker. Simpson was also known later in his career, when he was at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, for his contributions to the areas of hydrocephalus, spina bifida, craniofacial anomalies, head injury, brain abscesses, and neurosurgical history, and he published extensively on these topics. In addition to his work in clinical neurosurgery, Simpson made humanitarian contributions studying kuru in New Guinea and aiding refugees during the Vietnam War. Simpson was an active member and leader of many Australian surgical organizations and was an officer of the Order of Australia. Donald Simpson’s legacy as an adult and pediatric neurosurgeon, an academician, a leader, and a humanitarian is extensive and will prove long lasting. Professor Simpson’s life serves as an example from which all neurosurgeons may learn.

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Michael R. Chicoine, Alexander T. Yahanda, and Ralph G. Dacey Jr.

Donald Simpson (1927–2018) was a neurosurgeon from Adelaide, Australia, who is often cited for the 1957 publication he wrote as a trainee on the relationship between extent of resection and outcomes for meningiomas. That paper summarized a series of over 300 patients operated on in England by well-known neurosurgeons Sir Hugh Cairns and Joseph Buford Pennybacker. Simpson was also known later in his career, when he was at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, for his contributions to the areas of hydrocephalus, spina bifida, craniofacial anomalies, head injury, brain abscesses, and neurosurgical history, and he published extensively on these topics. In addition to his work in clinical neurosurgery, Simpson made humanitarian contributions studying kuru in New Guinea and aiding refugees during the Vietnam War. Simpson was an active member and leader of many Australian surgical organizations and was an officer of the Order of Australia. Donald Simpson’s legacy as an adult and pediatric neurosurgeon, an academician, a leader, and a humanitarian is extensive and will prove long lasting. Professor Simpson’s life serves as an example from which all neurosurgeons may learn.

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Alexander T Yahanda, Laura E Simon, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is often used for Chiari malformation type I (CM-I), but outcomes associated with different dural graft materials are not well characterized. In this meta-analysis, the authors examined complication rates and outcomes after PFDD for CM-I for autografts and four types of nonautologous grafts.

METHODS

A literature search of numerous electronic databases (Ovid Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment Database, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, and ClinicalTrials.gov) was performed to identify articles detailing complications for dural graft materials after PFDD. Whenever available, data were also extracted regarding the need for revision surgery, symptom changes after PFDD, and syrinx size changes after PFDD. All searches were compliant with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), Institute of Medicine, Standards for Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies guidelines. There were no exclusion criteria based on patient age or presence or absence of syringomyelia.

RESULTS

The current evidence surrounding outcomes for various dural graft materials was found to be of low or very low quality. Twenty-seven studies were included, encompassing 1461 patients. Five types of dural graft materials were included: autograft (n = 404, 27.6%), synthetic (n = 272, 18.6%), bovine pericardium (n = 181, 12.4%), collagen-based (n = 397, 27.2%), and allograft (n = 207, 14.2%). Autograft was associated with a significantly lower rate of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based grafts, allografts, and nonautologous grafts in aggregate. Autograft was also associated with the lowest rates of aseptic meningitis, infectious meningitis, and need for revision PFDD, though these associations did not reach statistical significance. No other graft comparisons yielded significant results. Autograft and nonautologous graft materials yielded similar rates of revision surgery and produced similar improvements in postoperative symptoms and syrinx size.

CONCLUSIONS

Autograft was the dural graft material that most frequently had the lowest rate of complications and was associated with significantly lower rates of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based graft, allograft, and nonautologous graft materials. Autografts and nonautologous grafts yielded similar outcomes for revision surgery, symptoms, and syrinx size. Large prospective studies comparing different graft materials are needed to accurately and precisely characterize outcomes for individual graft types.

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Alexander T Yahanda, Laura E Simon, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is often used for Chiari malformation type I (CM-I), but outcomes associated with different dural graft materials are not well characterized. In this meta-analysis, the authors examined complication rates and outcomes after PFDD for CM-I for autografts and four types of nonautologous grafts.

METHODS

A literature search of numerous electronic databases (Ovid Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment Database, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, and ClinicalTrials.gov) was performed to identify articles detailing complications for dural graft materials after PFDD. Whenever available, data were also extracted regarding the need for revision surgery, symptom changes after PFDD, and syrinx size changes after PFDD. All searches were compliant with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), Institute of Medicine, Standards for Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies guidelines. There were no exclusion criteria based on patient age or presence or absence of syringomyelia.

RESULTS

The current evidence surrounding outcomes for various dural graft materials was found to be of low or very low quality. Twenty-seven studies were included, encompassing 1461 patients. Five types of dural graft materials were included: autograft (n = 404, 27.6%), synthetic (n = 272, 18.6%), bovine pericardium (n = 181, 12.4%), collagen-based (n = 397, 27.2%), and allograft (n = 207, 14.2%). Autograft was associated with a significantly lower rate of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based grafts, allografts, and nonautologous grafts in aggregate. Autograft was also associated with the lowest rates of aseptic meningitis, infectious meningitis, and need for revision PFDD, though these associations did not reach statistical significance. No other graft comparisons yielded significant results. Autograft and nonautologous graft materials yielded similar rates of revision surgery and produced similar improvements in postoperative symptoms and syrinx size.

CONCLUSIONS

Autograft was the dural graft material that most frequently had the lowest rate of complications and was associated with significantly lower rates of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based graft, allograft, and nonautologous graft materials. Autografts and nonautologous grafts yielded similar outcomes for revision surgery, symptoms, and syrinx size. Large prospective studies comparing different graft materials are needed to accurately and precisely characterize outcomes for individual graft types.

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Amar S. Shah, Alexander T. Yahanda, Umeshkumar Athiraman, Rene Tempelhoff, and Michael R. Chicoine

Paraplegia after posterior fossa surgery is a rare and devastating complication. The authors reviewed a case of paraplegia following Chiari decompression and surveyed the literature to identify strategies to reduce the occurrence of such events.

An obese 44-year-old woman had progressive left arm pain, weakness, and numbness and tussive headaches. MRI studies revealed a Chiari I malformation and a cervicothoracic syrinx. Immediately postoperatively after Chiari decompression the patient was paraplegic, with a T6 sensory level bilaterally. MRI studies revealed equivocal findings of epidural hematoma at the site of the Chiari decompression and in the upper thoracic region. Surgical exploration of the Chiari decompression site and upper thoracic laminectomies identified possible venous engorgement, but no hematoma. Subsequent imaging suggested a thoracic spinal cord infarction. Possible explanations for the spinal cord deficit included spinal cord ischemia related to venous engorgement from prolonged prone positioning in an obese patient in the chin-tucked position. At 6.5 years after surgery the patient had unchanged fixed motor and sensory deficits.

Spinal cord infarction is rare after Chiari decompression, but the risk for this complication may be increased for obese patients positioned prone for extended periods of time. Standard precautions may be insufficient and intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring may need to be considered in these patients.

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Alexander T. Yahanda, Emelia Moore, Wilson Z. Ray, Brenton Pennicooke, Jack W. Jennings, and Camilo A. Molina

OBJECTIVE

Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that has great potential for guiding the safe and accurate placement of spinal hardware, including percutaneous pedicle screws. The goal of this study was to assess the accuracy of 63 percutaneous pedicle screws placed at a single institution using an AR head-mounted display (ARHMD) system.

METHODS

Retrospective analyses were performed for 9 patients who underwent thoracic and/or lumbar percutaneous pedicle screw placement guided by ARHMD technology. Clinical accuracy was assessed via the Gertzbein-Robbins scale by the authors and by an independent musculoskeletal radiologist. Thoracic pedicle subanalysis was also performed to assess screw accuracy based on pedicle morphology.

RESULTS

Nine patients received thoracic or lumbar AR-guided percutaneous pedicle screws. The mean age at the time of surgery was 71.9 ± 11.5 years and the mean number of screws per patient was 7. Indications for surgery were spinal tumors (n = 4, 44.4%), degenerative disease (n = 3, 33.3%), spinal deformity (n = 1, 11.1%), and a combination of deformity and infection (n = 1, 11.1%). Presenting symptoms were most commonly low-back pain (n = 7, 77.8%) and lower-extremity weakness (n = 5, 55.6%), followed by radicular lower-extremity pain, loss of lower-extremity sensation, or incontinence/urinary retention (n = 3 each, 33.3%). In all, 63 screws were placed (32 thoracic, 31 lumbar). The accuracy for these screws was 100% overall; all screws were Gertzbein-Robbins grade A or B (96.8% grade A, 3.2% grade B). This accuracy was achieved in the thoracic spine regardless of pedicle cancellous bone morphology.

CONCLUSIONS

AR-guided surgery demonstrated a 100% accuracy rate for the insertion of 63 percutaneous pedicle screws in 9 patients (100% rate of Gertzbein-Robbins grade A or B screw placement). Using an ARHMS system for the placement of percutaneous pedicle screws showed promise, but further validation using a larger cohort of patients across multiple surgeons and institutions will help to determine the true accuracy enabled by this technology.

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Vijay M. Ravindra, Rajiv R. Iyer, Alexander T. Yahanda, Robert J. Bollo, Huirong Zhu, Evan Joyce, Tammy Bethel-Anderson, Thanda Meehan, Matthew D. Smyth, Jennifer M. Strahle, Tae Sung Park, David D. Limbrick Jr., Douglas L. Brockmeyer, and on behalf of the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium

OBJECTIVE

The condylar–C2 sagittal vertical alignment (C-C2SVA) describes the relationship between the occipitoatlantal joint and C2 in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I). It has been suggested that a C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is predictive of the need for occipitocervical fusion (OCF) or ventral brainstem decompression (VBD). The authors’ objective was to validate the predictive utility of the C-C2SVA by using a large, multicenter cohort of patients.

METHODS

This validation study used a cohort of patients derived from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium; patients < 21 years old with CM-I and syringomyelia treated from June 2011 to May 2016 were identified. The primary outcome was the need for OCF and/or VBD. After patients who required OCF and/or VBD were identified, 10 age- and sex-matched controls served as comparisons for each OCF/VBD patient. The C-C2SVA (defined as the position of a plumb line from the midpoint of the O–C1 joint relative to the posterior aspect of the C2–3 disc space), pBC2 (a line perpendicular to a line from the basion to the posteroinferior aspect of the C2 body), and clival-axial angle (CXA) were measured on sagittal MRI. The secondary outcome was the need for ≥ 2 CM-related operations.

RESULTS

Of the 206 patients identified, 20 underwent OCF/VBD and 14 underwent repeat posterior fossa decompression. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm was 100% sensitive and 86% specific for requiring OCF/VBD, with a 12.6% misclassification rate, whereas CXA < 125° was 55% sensitive and 99% specific, and pBC2 ≥ 9 was 20% sensitive and 88% specific. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that there was a significantly shorter time to second decompression in children with C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm (p = 0.0039). The mean C-C2SVA was greater (6.13 ± 1.28 vs 3.13 ± 1.95 mm, p < 0.0001), CXA was lower (126° ± 15.4° vs 145° ± 10.7°, p < 0.05), and pBC2 was similar (7.65 ± 1.79 vs 7.02 ± 1.26 mm, p = 0.31) among those who underwent OCF/VBD versus decompression only. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the continuous measurement of C-C2SVA was 0.52; the kappa value was 0.47 for the binary categorization of C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

These results validated the C-C2SVA using a large, multicenter, external cohort with 100% sensitivity, 86% specificity, and a 12.6% misclassification rate. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is highly predictive of the need for OCF/VBD in patients with CM-I. The authors recommend that this measurement be considered among the tools to identify the “high-risk” CM-I phenotype.

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Vijay M. Ravindra, Rajiv R. Iyer, Alexander T. Yahanda, Robert J. Bollo, Huirong Zhu, Evan Joyce, Tammy Bethel-Anderson, Thanda Meehan, Matthew D. Smyth, Jennifer M. Strahle, Tae Sung Park, David D. Limbrick Jr., Douglas L. Brockmeyer, and on behalf of the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium

OBJECTIVE

The condylar–C2 sagittal vertical alignment (C-C2SVA) describes the relationship between the occipitoatlantal joint and C2 in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I). It has been suggested that a C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is predictive of the need for occipitocervical fusion (OCF) or ventral brainstem decompression (VBD). The authors’ objective was to validate the predictive utility of the C-C2SVA by using a large, multicenter cohort of patients.

METHODS

This validation study used a cohort of patients derived from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium; patients < 21 years old with CM-I and syringomyelia treated from June 2011 to May 2016 were identified. The primary outcome was the need for OCF and/or VBD. After patients who required OCF and/or VBD were identified, 10 age- and sex-matched controls served as comparisons for each OCF/VBD patient. The C-C2SVA (defined as the position of a plumb line from the midpoint of the O–C1 joint relative to the posterior aspect of the C2–3 disc space), pBC2 (a line perpendicular to a line from the basion to the posteroinferior aspect of the C2 body), and clival-axial angle (CXA) were measured on sagittal MRI. The secondary outcome was the need for ≥ 2 CM-related operations.

RESULTS

Of the 206 patients identified, 20 underwent OCF/VBD and 14 underwent repeat posterior fossa decompression. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm was 100% sensitive and 86% specific for requiring OCF/VBD, with a 12.6% misclassification rate, whereas CXA < 125° was 55% sensitive and 99% specific, and pBC2 ≥ 9 was 20% sensitive and 88% specific. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that there was a significantly shorter time to second decompression in children with C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm (p = 0.0039). The mean C-C2SVA was greater (6.13 ± 1.28 vs 3.13 ± 1.95 mm, p < 0.0001), CXA was lower (126° ± 15.4° vs 145° ± 10.7°, p < 0.05), and pBC2 was similar (7.65 ± 1.79 vs 7.02 ± 1.26 mm, p = 0.31) among those who underwent OCF/VBD versus decompression only. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the continuous measurement of C-C2SVA was 0.52; the kappa value was 0.47 for the binary categorization of C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

These results validated the C-C2SVA using a large, multicenter, external cohort with 100% sensitivity, 86% specificity, and a 12.6% misclassification rate. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is highly predictive of the need for OCF/VBD in patients with CM-I. The authors recommend that this measurement be considered among the tools to identify the “high-risk” CM-I phenotype.

Free access

Amar S. Shah, Peter T. Sylvester, Alexander T. Yahanda, Ananth K. Vellimana, Gavin P. Dunn, John Evans, Keith M. Rich, Joshua L. Dowling, Eric C. Leuthardt, Ralph G. Dacey, Albert H. Kim, Robert L. Grubb, Gregory J. Zipfel, Mark Oswood, Randy L. Jensen, Garnette R. Sutherland, Daniel P. Cahill, Steven R. Abram, John Honeycutt, Mitesh Shah, Yu Tao, and Michael R. Chicoine

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) is used in the surgical treatment of glioblastoma, with uncertain effects on outcomes. The authors evaluated the impact of iMRI on extent of resection (EOR) and overall survival (OS) while controlling for other known and suspected predictors.

METHODS

A multicenter retrospective cohort of 640 adult patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial glioblastoma who underwent resection was evaluated. iMRI was performed in 332/640 cases (51.9%). Reviews of MRI features and tumor volumetric analysis were performed on a subsample of cases (n = 286; 110 non-iMRI, 176 iMRI) from a single institution.

RESULTS

The median age was 60.0 years (mean 58.5 years, range 20.5–86.3 years). The median OS was 17.0 months (95% CI 15.6–18.4 months). Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 403/640 cases (63.0%). Kaplan-Meier analysis of 286 cases with volumetric analysis for EOR (grouped into 100%, 95%–99%, 80%–94%, and 50%–79%) showed longer OS for 100% EOR compared to all other groups (p < 0.01). Additional resection after iMRI was performed in 104/122 cases (85.2%) with initial subtotal resection (STR), leading to a 6.3% mean increase in EOR and a 2.2-cm3 mean decrease in tumor volume. For iMRI cases with volumetric analysis, the GTR rate increased from 54/176 (30.7%) on iMRI to 126/176 (71.5%) postoperatively. The EOR was significantly higher in the iMRI group for intended GTR and STR groups (p = 0.02 and p < 0.01, respectively). Predictors of GTR on multivariate logistic regression included iMRI use and intended GTR. Predictors of shorter OS on multivariate Cox regression included older age, STR, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) wild type, no O 6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation, and no Stupp therapy. iMRI was a significant predictor of OS on univariate (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69–0.98; p = 0.03) but not multivariate analyses. Use of iMRI was not associated with an increased rate of new permanent neurological deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

GTR increased OS for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma after adjusting for other prognostic factors. iMRI increased EOR and GTR rate and was a significant predictor of GTR on multivariate analysis; however, iMRI was not an independent predictor of OS. Additional supporting evidence is needed to determine the clinical benefit of iMRI in the management of glioblastoma.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Stephen Shelby Burks, Christopher F. Dibble, Saad Javeed, Vivek P. Gupta, Alexander T. Yahanda, Roberto J. Perez-Roman, Vaidya Govindarajan, Andrew T. Dailey, Sanjay Dhall, Daniel J. Hoh, Daniel E. Gelb, Adam S. Kanter, Eric O. Klineberg, Michael J. Lee, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Paul Park, Charles A. Sansur, Khoi D. Than, Jon J. W. Yoon, Michael Y. Wang, and Wilson Z. Ray

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques can effectively stabilize and decompress many thoracolumbar injuries with decreased morbidity and tissue destruction compared with open approaches. Nonetheless, there is limited direction regarding the breadth and limitations of MIS techniques for thoracolumbar injuries. Consequently, the objectives of this study were to 1) identify the range of current practice patterns for thoracolumbar trauma and 2) integrate expert opinion and literature review to develop an updated treatment algorithm.

METHODS

A survey describing 10 clinical cases with a range of thoracolumbar injuries was sent to 12 surgeons with expertise in spine trauma. The survey results were summarized using descriptive statistics, along with the Fleiss kappa statistic of interrater agreement. To develop an updated treatment algorithm, the authors used a modified Delphi technique that incorporated a literature review, the survey results, and iterative feedback from a group of 14 spine trauma experts. The final algorithm represented the consensus opinion of that expert group.

RESULTS

Eleven of 12 surgeons contacted completed the case survey, including 8 (73%) neurosurgeons and 3 (27%) orthopedic surgeons. For the 4 cases involving patients with neurological deficits, nearly all respondents recommended decompression and fusion, and the proportion recommending open surgery ranged from 55% to 100% by case. Recommendations for the remaining cases were heterogeneous. Among the neurologically intact patients, MIS techniques were typically recommended more often than open techniques. The overall interrater agreement in recommendations was 0.23, indicating fair agreement. Considering both literature review and expert opinion, the updated algorithm indicated that MIS techniques could be used to treat most thoracolumbar injuries. Among neurologically intact patients, percutaneous instrumentation without arthrodesis was recommended for those with AO Spine Thoracolumbar Classification System subtype A3/A4 (Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity Score [TLICS] 4) injuries, but MIS posterior arthrodesis was recommended for most patients with AO Spine subtype B2/B3 (TLICS > 4) injuries. Depending on vertebral body integrity, anterolateral corpectomy or mini-open decompression could be used for patients with neurological deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Spine trauma experts endorsed a range of strategies for treating thoracolumbar injuries but felt that MIS techniques were an option for most patients. The updated treatment algorithm may provide a foundation for surgeons interested in safe approaches for using MIS techniques to treat thoracolumbar trauma.