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Amin B. Kassam

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Amin B. Kassam, Johnathan A. Engh, Arlan H. Mintz and Daniel M. Prevedello

Object

The authors introduce a novel technique of intraparenchymal brain tumor resection using a rod lens endoscope and parallel instrumentation via a transparent conduit.

Methods

Over a 4-year period, 21 patients underwent completely endoscopic removal of a subcortical brain lesion by means of a transparent conduit. Image guidance was used to direct the cannulation and resection of all lesions. Postoperative MR imaging or CT was performed to assess for residual tumor in all patients, and all patients were followed up postoperatively to assess for new neurological deficits or other surgical complications.

Results

The histopathological findings were as follows: 12 metastases, 5 glioblastomas, 3 cavernous malformations, and 1 hemangioblastoma. Total radiographically confirmed resection was achieved in 8 cases, near-total in 6 cases, and subtotal in 7 cases. There were no perioperative deaths. Complications included 1 infection and 1 pulmonary embolus. There were no postoperative hematomas, no postoperative seizures, and no worsened neurological deficits in the immediate postoperative period.

Conclusions

Fully endoscopic resection may be a technically feasible method of resection for selected subcortical masses. Further experience with this technique will help to determine its applicability and safety.

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Amin B. Kassam, Paul Gardner, Carl Snyderman, Arlan Mintz and Ricardo Carrau

Object

The middle third of the clivus and the region around the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA) is a difficult area of the skull base in terms of access. This is a deep area rich with critical neurovascular structures, which is often host to typical skull base diseases. Expanded endoscopic endonasal approaches offer a potential option for accessing this difficult region. The objective of this paper was to establish the clinical feasibility of gaining access to the paraclival space in the region of the middle third of the clivus, to provide a practical modular and clinically applicable classification, and to describe the relevant critical surgical anatomy for each module.

Methods

The anatomical organization of the region around the petrous ICA, cavernous sinus, and middle clivus is presented, with approaches divided into zones. In an accompanying paper in this issue by Cavallo, et al., the anatomy of the pterygopalatine fossa is presented; this was observed through cadaveric dissection for which an expanded endonasal approach was used. In the current paper the authors translate the aforementioned anatomical study to provide a clinically applicable categorization of the endonasal approach to the region around the petrous ICA. A series of zones inferior and superior to the petrous ICA are described, with an illustrative case presented for each region.

Conclusions

The expanded endonasal approach is a feasible approach to the middle third of the clivus, petrous ICA, cavernous sinus, and medial infratemporal fossa in cases in which the lesion is located centrally, with neurovascular structures displaced laterally.

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Liangxue Zhou and Chao You

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Jose M. Pascual

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Marc R. Mayberg

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Lior Gonen, Srikant S. Chakravarthi, Alejandro Monroy-Sosa, Juanita M. Celix, Nathaniel Kojis, Maharaj Singh, Jonathan Jennings, Melanie B. Fukui, Richard A. Rovin and Amin B. Kassam

OBJECTIVE

The move toward better, more effective optical visualization in the field of neurosurgery has been a focus of technological innovation. In this study, the authors’ objectives are to describe the feasibility and safety of a new robotic optical platform, namely, the robotically operated video optical telescopic-microscope (ROVOT-m), in cranial microsurgical applications.

METHODS

A prospective database comprising patients who underwent a cranial procedure between April 2015 and September 2016 was queried, and the first 200 patients who met the inclusion criteria were selected as the cohort for a retrospective chart review. Only adults who underwent microsurgical procedures in which the ROVOT-m was used were considered for the study. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were retrieved from electronic medical records. The authors address the feasibility and safety of the ROVOT-m by studying various intraoperative variables and by reporting perioperative morbidity and mortality, respectively. To assess the learning curve, cranial procedures were categorized into 6 progressively increasing complexity groups. The main categories of pathology were I) intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs); II) intraaxial tumors involving noneloquent regions or noncomplex extraaxial tumors; III) intraaxial tumors involving eloquent regions; IV) skull base pathologies; V) intraventricular lesions; and VI) cerebrovascular lesions. In addition, the entire cohort was evenly divided into early and late cohorts.

RESULTS

The patient cohort comprised 104 female (52%) and 96 male (48%) patients with a mean age of 56.7 years. The most common pathological entities encountered were neoplastic lesions (153, 76.5%), followed by ICH (20, 10%). The distribution of cases by complexity categories was 11.5%, 36.5%, 22%, 20%, 3.5%, and 6.5% for Categories I, II, II, IV, V, and VI, respectively. In all 200 cases, the surgical goal was achieved without the need for intraoperative conversion. Overall, the authors encountered 3 (1.5%) major neurological morbidities and 6 (3%) 30-day mortalities. Four of the 6 deaths were in the ICH group, resulting in a 1% mortality rate for the remainder of the cohort when excluding these patients. None of the intraoperative complications were considered to be attributable to the visualization provided by the ROVOT-m. When comparing the early and late cohorts, the authors noticed an increase in the proportion of higher-complexity surgeries (Categories IV–VI), from 23% in the early cohort, to 37% in the late cohort (p = 0.030). In addition, a significant reduction in operating room setup time was demonstrated (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The feasibility and safety of the ROVOT-m was demonstrated in a wide range of cranial microsurgical applications. The authors report a gradual increase in case complexity over time, representing an incremental acquisition of experience with this technology. A learning curve of both setup and execution phases should be anticipated by new adopters of the robot system. Further prospective studies are required to address the efficacy of ROVOT-m. This system may play a role in neurosurgery as an integrated platform that is applicable to a variety of cranial procedures.

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Joseph T. King Jr., Michael B. Horowitz, Amin B. Kassam, Howard Yonas and Mark S. Roberts

Object. Cerebral aneurysms can affect a patient's health status by rupture and stroke, impingement on neural structures, treatment side effects, or psychological stress. The authors assessed the performance, validity, and reliability of the Short Form—12 (SF-12), a self-administered written survey instrument, to assess health status in patients with cerebral aneurysms.

Methods. A cohort of 170 patients with cerebral aneurysms who were seen at a neurosurgery clinic underwent structured interviews including measurement of their health statuses (SF-12 physical component summary [PCS] and mental component summary [MCS]), functional status (Glasgow Outcome Scale score, modified Rankin Scale score, and Barthel Index), and mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score). The SF-12 scores were compared with US population norms by performing t-tests with unequal variances. The validity of the SF-12 was assessed by comparing the PCS and MCS scores with each patient's functional status and mental health scores by using rank-order methods. Inter-item reliability was assessed using the Cronbach alpha statistic.

Patients with cerebral aneurysms had decreased health status PCS and MCS scores when compared with population norms (p < 0.001 for all). A history of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (p = 0.006) and previous surgical or endovascular treatment (p = 0.047) was associated with worse PCS scores. The validity of the SF-12 was supported by the relationship between the PCS and MCS scores and the patient's functional status and mental health (p < 0.001 for all). The reliability of the SF-12 was documented by the Cronbach alpha statistic (α = 0.76).

Conclusions. Patients with cerebral aneurysms have a diminished physical and mental health status as measured using the SF-12. The presence of SAH and aneurysm treatment are associated with a worse physical health status. The SF-12 is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring health status in patients with cerebral aneurysms.

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Joseph T. King Jr., Amin B. Kassam, Howard Yonas, Michael B. Horowitz and Mark S. Roberts

Object. Aneurysm disease and its treatment can have an adverse impact on mental health, yet the affects of cerebral aneurysms on general mental health, anxiety, and depression are poorly understood.

Methods. Patients with cerebral aneurysms who were seen at a neurosurgery clinic underwent a structured interview, completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short Form Health Survey (providing a mental component summary [MCS] score for general mental health), and were assigned functional status scores based on the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), Rankin Scale, and Barthel Index. Rank-order methods were used to assess the relationship between mental health, aneurysm characteristics and history, and functional status. Data were collected in 166 patients (71% women) with a mean age of 53.7 years. Depression was present in 8% of the study population and an anxiety disorder in 17%. Patients with both an unsecured aneurysm and a history of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) tended toward higher anxiety scores (p = 0.086). Higher depression scores were associated with a decreased functional status on the GOS (p = 0.015) and Rankin Scale (p = 0.010). The mean 6 standard deviation adjusted MCS score (37.9 ± 7.1) was significantly less than that of the US population (p < 0.001). Lower MCS scores were associated with a decreased functional status on the GOS (p = 0.052), Rankin Scale (p < 0.001), and Barthel Index (p = 0.002).

Conclusions. Patients with cerebral aneurysms have increased levels of anxiety and depression and poor general mental health. Those who have experienced an SAH and harbor an unsecured cerebral aneurysm demonstrate increased levels of anxiety. A lower functional status in patients with aneurysms is associated with depression and decreased general mental health.