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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Masanari Takami, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Sae Okada, Kento Nonaka, Hiroshi Taneichi, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson, and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Facet cysts may represent a sign of intrinsic facet disease and instability, increasing the importance of less-invasive approaches that limit tissue dissection and improve visualization. The authors developed an intraoperative cyst-dyeing technique, involving the injection of indigo carmine from the facet joint into the cyst, as an adjunct during decompression. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes and perioperative complication rates of microendoscopic spinal decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) and lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS), caused by facet cysts and to elucidate the efficacy of the cyst-dyeing method in microendoscopic surgery for facet cysts.

METHODS

Forty-eight consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment with microendoscopic decompression for symptomatic LSS or LFS caused by facet cysts from 2011 to 2018 were reviewed. These patients were divided into two groups: a group that did not receive dye (N), with the patients undergoing surgery from April 2011 to May 2015; and a group that received dye (D), with patients undergoing surgery from June 2015 to March 2018. The authors evaluated the operative time, blood loss, perioperative complications, visual analog scale scores for low-back and leg pain, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively and was compared between groups D and N.

RESULTS

The clinical outcomes were generally excellent or good. Group N consisted of 36 patients and group D of 12 patients. Comparing the clinical results, it was found that the cyst-dyeing method reduced the perioperative complication rate, including reduction in dural tears to 0%, and shortened the average operative time by approximately 40 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors demonstrated that the clinical outcomes of microendoscopic spinal decompression in patients with LSS or LFS caused by facet-joint cysts are generally favorable. Additionally, the adjunctive cyst-dyeing method effectively delineated the cystic and dural boundaries, facilitating safer and more effective cyst separation and neural decompression. Microendoscopic surgery combined with this novel facet cyst-dyeing method is a safe and effective minimally invasive technique for facet-joint cysts.

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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Masanari Takami, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Sae Okada, Kento Nonaka, Hiroshi Taneichi, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson, and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Facet cysts may represent a sign of intrinsic facet disease and instability, increasing the importance of less-invasive approaches that limit tissue dissection and improve visualization. The authors developed an intraoperative cyst-dyeing technique, involving the injection of indigo carmine from the facet joint into the cyst, as an adjunct during decompression. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes and perioperative complication rates of microendoscopic spinal decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) and lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS), caused by facet cysts and to elucidate the efficacy of the cyst-dyeing method in microendoscopic surgery for facet cysts.

METHODS

Forty-eight consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment with microendoscopic decompression for symptomatic LSS or LFS caused by facet cysts from 2011 to 2018 were reviewed. These patients were divided into two groups: a group that did not receive dye (N), with the patients undergoing surgery from April 2011 to May 2015; and a group that received dye (D), with patients undergoing surgery from June 2015 to March 2018. The authors evaluated the operative time, blood loss, perioperative complications, visual analog scale scores for low-back and leg pain, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively and was compared between groups D and N.

RESULTS

The clinical outcomes were generally excellent or good. Group N consisted of 36 patients and group D of 12 patients. Comparing the clinical results, it was found that the cyst-dyeing method reduced the perioperative complication rate, including reduction in dural tears to 0%, and shortened the average operative time by approximately 40 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors demonstrated that the clinical outcomes of microendoscopic spinal decompression in patients with LSS or LFS caused by facet-joint cysts are generally favorable. Additionally, the adjunctive cyst-dyeing method effectively delineated the cystic and dural boundaries, facilitating safer and more effective cyst separation and neural decompression. Microendoscopic surgery combined with this novel facet cyst-dyeing method is a safe and effective minimally invasive technique for facet-joint cysts.

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Predicting tumor-specific survival in patients with spinal metastatic renal cell carcinoma: which scoring system is most accurate?

Presented at the 2020 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Elie Massaad, Muhamed Hadzipasic, Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge, Ali Kiapour, Nida Fatima, Joseph H. Schwab, Philip Saylor, Kevin Oh, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Ganesh M. Shankar, and John H. Shin

OBJECTIVE

Although several prognostic scores for spinal metastatic disease have been developed in the past 2 decades, the applicability and validity of these models to specific cancer types are not yet clear. Most of the data used for model formation are from small population sets and have not been updated or externally validated to assess their performance. Developing predictive models is clinically relevant as prognostic assessment is crucial to optimal decision-making, particularly the decision for or against spine surgery. In this study, the authors investigated the performance of various spinal metastatic disease risk models in predicting prognosis for spine surgery to treat metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

METHODS

Data of patients who underwent surgery for RCC metastatic to the spine at 2 tertiary centers between 2010 and 2019 were retrospectively retrieved. The authors determined the prognostic value associated with the following scoring systems: the Tomita score, original and revised Tokuhashi scores, original and modified Bauer scores, Katagiri score, the Skeletal Oncology Research Group (SORG) classic algorithm and nomogram, and the New England Spinal Metastasis Score (NESMS). Regression analysis of patient variables in association with 1-year survival after surgery was assessed using Cox proportional hazard models. Calibration and time-dependent discrimination analysis were tested to quantify the accuracy of each scoring system at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

RESULTS

A total of 86 metastatic RCC patients were included (median age 64 years [range 29–84 years]; 63 males [73.26%]). The 1-year survival rate was 72%. The 1-year survival group had a good performance status (Karnofsky Performance Scale [KPS] score 80%–100%) and an albumin level > 3.5 g/dL (p < 0.05). Multivariable-adjusted Cox regression analysis showed that poor performance status (KPS score < 70%), neurological deficit (Frankel grade A–D), and hypoalbuminemia (< 3.5 g/dL) were associated with a higher risk of death before 1 year (p < 0.05). The SORG nomogram, SORG classic, original Tokuhashi, and original Bauer demonstrated fair performance (0.7 < area under the curve < 0.8). The NESMS differentiates survival among the prognostic categories with the highest accuracy (area under the curve > 0.8).

CONCLUSIONS

The present study shows that the most cited and commonly used scoring systems have a fair performance predicting survival for patients undergoing spine surgery for metastatic RCC. The NESMS had the best performance at predicting 1-year survival after surgery.

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Elie Massaad, Natalie Williams, Muhamed Hadzipasic, Shalin S. Patel, Mitchell S. Fourman, Ali Kiapour, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Ganesh M. Shankar, and John H. Shin

OBJECTIVE

Frailty is recognized as an important consideration in patients with cancer who are undergoing therapies, including spine surgery. The definition of frailty in the context of spinal metastases is unclear, and few have studied such markers and their association with postoperative outcomes and survival. Using national databases, the metastatic spinal tumor frailty index (MSTFI) was developed as a tool to predict outcomes in this specific patient population and has not been tested with external data. The purpose of this study was to test the performance of the MSTFI with institutional data and determine whether machine learning methods could better identify measures of frailty as predictors of outcomes.

METHODS

Electronic health record data from 479 adult patients admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital for metastatic spinal tumor surgery from 2010 to 2019 formed a validation cohort for the MSTFI to predict major complications, in-hospital mortality, and length of stay (LOS). The 9 parameters of the MSTFI were modeled in 3 machine learning algorithms (lasso regularization logistic regression, random forest, and gradient-boosted decision tree) to assess clinical outcome prediction and determine variable importance. Prediction performance of the models was measured by computing areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROCs), calibration, and confusion matrix metrics (positive predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity) and was subjected to internal bootstrap validation.

RESULTS

Of 479 patients (median age 64 years [IQR 55–71 years]; 58.7% male), 28.4% had complications after spine surgery. The in-hospital mortality rate was 1.9%, and the mean LOS was 7.8 days. The MSTFI demonstrated poor discrimination for predicting complications (AUROC 0.56, 95% CI 0.50–0.62) and in-hospital mortality (AUROC 0.69, 95% CI 0.54–0.85) in the validation cohort. For postoperative complications, machine learning approaches showed a greater advantage over the logistic regression model used to develop the MSTFI (AUROC 0.62, 95% CI 0.56–0.68 for random forest vs AUROC 0.56, 95% CI 0.50–0.62 for logistic regression). The random forest model had the highest positive predictive value (0.53, 95% CI 0.43–0.64) and the highest negative predictive value (0.77, 95% CI 0.72–0.81), with chronic lung disease, coagulopathy, anemia, and malnutrition identified as the most important predictors of postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS

This study highlights the challenges of defining and quantifying frailty in the metastatic spine tumor population. Further study is required to improve the determination of surgical frailty in this specific cohort.

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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Shunji Tsutsui, Masanari Takami, Motohiro Okada, Keiji Nagata, Munehito Yoshida, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson, and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Persistent lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS) is one of the most common reasons for poor postoperative outcomes and is a major contributor to “failed back surgery syndrome.” The authors describe a new surgical strategy for LFS based on anatomical considerations using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT analysis.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted on 78 consecutive patients surgically treated for LFS at the lumbosacral junction (2013–2017). The location and extent of stenosis, including the narrowest site and associated pathology (bone or soft tissue), were measured using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT. Stenosis was defined as medial intervertebral foraminal (MF; inner edge to pedicle center), lateral intervertebral foraminal (LF; pedicle center to outer edge), or extraforaminal (EF; outside the pedicle). Lumbar (low-back pain, leg pain) and patient satisfaction visual analog scale (VAS) scores and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores were evaluated. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively.

RESULTS

Most instances of stenosis existed outside the pedicle’s center (94%), including LF (58%), EF (36%), and MF (6%). In all MF cases, stenosis resulted from soft-tissue structures. The narrowest stenosis sites were localized around the pedicle’s outer border. The areas for sufficient nerve decompression were extended in MF+LF (10%), MF+LF+EF (14%), LF+EF (39%), LF (11%), and EF (26%). No iatrogenic pars interarticularis damage occurred. The JOA score was 14.9 ± 2.6 points preoperatively and 22.4 ± 3.5 points at 2 years postoperatively. The JOA recovery rate was 56.0% ± 18.6%. The VAS score (low-back and leg pain) was significantly improved 2 years postoperatively (p < 0.01). According to patients’ self-assessment of the minimally invasive surgery, 62 (79.5%) chose “surgery met my expectations” at follow-up. Nine patients (11.5%) selected “I did not improve as much as I had hoped but I would undergo the same surgery for the same outcome.”

CONCLUSIONS

Most LFS existed outside the pedicle’s center and was rarely noted in the pars region. The main regions of stenosis were localized to the pedicle’s outer edge. Considering this anatomical distribution of LFS, the authors recommend that lateral fenestration should be the first priority for foraminal decompression. Other surgical options including foraminotomy, total facetectomy, and hemilaminectomy likely require more bone resections than LFS treatment. The microendoscopic surgery results were very good, indicating that this minimally invasive surgery was suitable for treating this disease.

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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Shunji Tsutsui, Masanari Takami, Motohiro Okada, Keiji Nagata, Munehito Yoshida, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson, and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Persistent lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS) is one of the most common reasons for poor postoperative outcomes and is a major contributor to “failed back surgery syndrome.” The authors describe a new surgical strategy for LFS based on anatomical considerations using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT analysis.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted on 78 consecutive patients surgically treated for LFS at the lumbosacral junction (2013–2017). The location and extent of stenosis, including the narrowest site and associated pathology (bone or soft tissue), were measured using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT. Stenosis was defined as medial intervertebral foraminal (MF; inner edge to pedicle center), lateral intervertebral foraminal (LF; pedicle center to outer edge), or extraforaminal (EF; outside the pedicle). Lumbar (low-back pain, leg pain) and patient satisfaction visual analog scale (VAS) scores and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores were evaluated. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively.

RESULTS

Most instances of stenosis existed outside the pedicle’s center (94%), including LF (58%), EF (36%), and MF (6%). In all MF cases, stenosis resulted from soft-tissue structures. The narrowest stenosis sites were localized around the pedicle’s outer border. The areas for sufficient nerve decompression were extended in MF+LF (10%), MF+LF+EF (14%), LF+EF (39%), LF (11%), and EF (26%). No iatrogenic pars interarticularis damage occurred. The JOA score was 14.9 ± 2.6 points preoperatively and 22.4 ± 3.5 points at 2 years postoperatively. The JOA recovery rate was 56.0% ± 18.6%. The VAS score (low-back and leg pain) was significantly improved 2 years postoperatively (p < 0.01). According to patients’ self-assessment of the minimally invasive surgery, 62 (79.5%) chose “surgery met my expectations” at follow-up. Nine patients (11.5%) selected “I did not improve as much as I had hoped but I would undergo the same surgery for the same outcome.”

CONCLUSIONS

Most LFS existed outside the pedicle’s center and was rarely noted in the pars region. The main regions of stenosis were localized to the pedicle’s outer edge. Considering this anatomical distribution of LFS, the authors recommend that lateral fenestration should be the first priority for foraminal decompression. Other surgical options including foraminotomy, total facetectomy, and hemilaminectomy likely require more bone resections than LFS treatment. The microendoscopic surgery results were very good, indicating that this minimally invasive surgery was suitable for treating this disease.