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Anadjeet S. Khahera, Yiping Li, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

There remains a paucity of literature on hypothalamic cavernous malformations (HCMs). Here, the authors present the largest series of HCMs to date and review the literature to gain additional insight into this rare disease subset.

METHODS

A prospectively managed database was retrospectively reviewed for patients diagnosed with symptomatic HCM and treated surgically between 1987 and 2019. Data gathered included demographics, presenting signs, radiological measurements, surgical approach, and postoperative events. Functional outcome was measured using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended (GOSE) pre- and postoperatively. A PRISMA guideline systematic review of HCM in the literature was performed.

RESULTS

Our cohort study consisted of 12 patients with symptomatic, and radiographically confirmed, HCM treated with microsurgery by the senior author (G.K.S.). An additional 16 surgically or conservatively managed patients were also identified from the literature, and the authors analyzed the data of all 28 patients (with 54% of patients being male; mean age 39 ± 16 years, range 10–68 years). Patients harboring HCMs most commonly presented with headache (16/28, 57%), short-term memory impairment (11/28, 39%), and gait disturbance (8/28, 32%). Radiographically, lesions most commonly involved the mammillary region (18/23, 78%), the tuberal/infundibulum region (13/23, 57%), and the preoptic/lamina terminalis region (12/23, 52%), with a mean diameter of 2.5 ± 1.4 cm (range 0.8–7 cm) at presentation. Acute hemorrhage was identified in 96% (23/24) of patients on presentation, with 96% (23/24) intraparenchymal and 29% (7/24) intraventricular. Of 24 patients who were managed surgically, gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 88% (21/24) of cases. There were no reports of perioperative infarction or mortality. With a mean follow-up period of 41 months (range 0.5–309 months), 77% (20/26) of patients experienced functional improvement, while 12% (3/26) had no change, and 12% (3/26) experienced increased disability. In our cohort of 12 patients, 83% (10/12) continued to report symptoms at the last follow-up (mean 4.8 years, range 0.1–25.7 years). However, there was a significant improvement in mRS score noted after surgery (mean 1.4 vs 3.1, p = 0.0026) and a trend toward improvement in GOSE score (mean 6.3 vs 5.1, p = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS

Hemorrhage from HCMs can cause a symptomatic mass effect on adjacent eloquent structures. While patients are unlikely to be deficit free following surgery, GTR allows for functional improvement and reduces recurrent hemorrhage rates. Microsurgery remains a viable option for symptomatic HCMs in experienced hands.

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Yiping Li, Anadjeet Khahera, Jason Kim, Mauricio Mandel, Summer S. Han, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Reports on basal ganglia cavernous malformations (BGCMs) are rare. Here, the authors report on their experience in resecting these malformations to offer insight into this infrequent disease subtype.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively managed departmental database of all deep-seated cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) treated at Stanford between 1987 and 2019 and included for further analysis those with a radiographic diagnosis of BGCM. Moreover, a systematic literature review was undertaken using the PubMed and Web of Science databases.

RESULTS

The departmental database search yielded 331 patients with deep-seated CCMs, 44 of whom had a BGCM (13.3%). Headache was the most common presenting sign (53.5%), followed by seizure (32.6%) and hemiparesis (27.9%). Lesion location involved the caudate nucleus in 21.4% of cases compared to 78.6% of cases within the lentiform nucleus. Caudate BGCMs were larger on presentation and were more likely to present to the ependymal surface (p < 0.001) with intraventricular hemorrhage and hydrocephalus (p = 0.005 and 0.007, respectively). Dizziness and diplopia were also more common with lesions involving the caudate. Because of their anatomical location, caudate BGCMs were preferentially treated via an interhemispheric approach and were less likely to be associated with worsening perioperative deficits than lentiform BGCMs (p = 0.006 and 0.045, respectively). Ten patients (25.6%) were clinically worse in the immediate postoperative period, 4 (10.2%) of whom continued to suffer permanent morbidity at the last follow-up. A long-term good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–1) was attained in 74.4% of cases compared to the 69.2% of patients who had presented with an mRS score 0–1. Relative to their presenting mRS score, 89.8% of patients had an improved or unchanged status at the last follow-up. The median postoperative follow-up was 11 months (range 1–252 months). Patient outcomes after resection did not differ among surgical approaches; however, patients presenting with hemiparesis and lesions involving the globus pallidus or posterior limb of the internal capsule were more likely to suffer neurological deficits during the immediate perioperative period. Patients who had undergone awake surgeries were more likely to suffer neurological decline at the early as well as the late follow-up. When adjusting for awake craniotomy as a potential confounder of lesion location, a BGCM involving the posterior limb was predictive of developing early postoperative deficits, but this finding did not persist at the long-term follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery is a safe and effective treatment modality for managing BGCMs, with an estimated long-term permanent morbidity rate of around 10%.

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Zoe E. Teton, Rachel S. Freedman, Samuel B. Tomlinson, Joseph R. Linzey, Alvin Onyewuenyi, Anadjeet S. Khahera, Benjamin K. Hendricks, and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECTIVE

The advent of the internet and the popularity of e-learning resources has promoted a shift in medical and surgical education today. The Neurosurgical Atlas has sought to capitalize on this shift by providing easily accessible video and online education to its users on an international scale. The rising popularity of social media has provided new avenues for expanding that global reach, and the Atlas has sought to do just that. In this study, the authors analyzed user demographics and web traffic patterns to quantify the international reach of the Atlas and examined the potential impact of social media platforms on the expansion of that reach.

METHODS

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram metrics were extracted using each respective service’s analytics tool from the date of their creation through October 2019. Google Analytics was used to extract website traffic data from September 2018 to September 2019 and app data from January 2019 to October 2019. The metrics extracted included the number of platform users/followers, user demographic information, percentage of new versus returning visitors, and a number of platform-specific values.

RESULTS

Since the authors’ previous publication in 2017, annual website viewership has more than doubled to greater than 500,000 viewing sessions in the past year alone; international users accounted for more than 60% of the visits. The Atlas Twitter account, established in August 2012, has more than 12,000 followers, primarily hailing from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. The Atlas Facebook account, established in 2013, has just over 13,000 followers, primarily from India, Egypt, and Mexico. The Atlas Instagram account (established most recently, in December 2018) has more than 16,000 followers and the highest percentage (31%) of younger users (aged 18–24 years). The Atlas app was officially launched in May 2019, largely via promotion on the Atlas social media platforms, and has since recorded more than 60,000 viewing sessions, 80% of which were from users outside the United States.

CONCLUSIONS

The Neurosurgical Atlas has attempted to leverage the many e-learning resources at its disposal to assist in spreading neurosurgical best practice on an international scale in a novel and comprehensive way. By incorporating multiple social media platforms into its repertoire, the Atlas is able to ensure awareness of and access to these resources regardless of the user’s location or platform of preference. In so doing, the Atlas represents a novel way of advancing access to neurosurgical educational resources in the digital age.