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Anthony C. Wang and Roberto C. Heros

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Ashish H. Shah, Anthony C. Wang, and Jacques J. Morcos

Superficial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) with favorable Spetzler-Martin grading are amenable to primary surgical resection. Careful preoperative workup including preoperative angiograms is essential to identify feeding artery aneurysms and deep venous drainage. The authors present a 37-year-old female who presented with a Spetzler-Martin Grade II right parietal superficial AVM with a 5-mm feeding artery aneurysm from the posterior cerebral artery. Given the risk of hemorrhage, the AVM was resected completely without any complications. On subsequent postoperative angiograms, the feeding artery aneurysm diminished in caliber. Feeding artery aneurysms may regress spontaneously after resection of an AVM due to flow-related changes.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/PpwODc9iI3g.

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Simon Buttrick, Jacques J. Morcos, Mohamed S. Elhammady, and Anthony C. Wang

Extradural anterior clinoidectomy is a versatile technique to increase exposure of the sellar and parasellar region. It is of particular use in the resection of clinoidal meningiomas, as sphenoidal and clinoidal hyperostosis can cause compression of the optic nerve. Extradural clinoidectomy follows a series of steps, consisting of (1) unroofing of the superior orbital fissure, (2) unroofing of the optic canal, (3) removal of the optic strut, and (4) removal of the anterior clinoid process. The authors show these steps in detail, as well as their application to the resection of a large clinoidal meningioma.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/O1Fcef29ETg.

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Kunal S. Patel, Azim N. Laiwalla, Jasmine A. T. DiCesare, Matthew C. Garrett, and Anthony C. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Sumatriptan, a serotonin receptor agonist, has been used in the management of primary headache disorders and has been shown to affect trigeminal dural afferents. There is limited literature on the safety and efficacy of sumatriptan for postcraniotomy pain management. This study aimed to identify whether subcutaneous sumatriptan is a safe and efficacious pain management strategy after elective craniotomy.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent supratentorial or suboccipital craniotomy between 2016 and 2019 that was performed by a single provider at a single institution to identify patients given subcutaneous sumatriptan in the postoperative period. Pain scores and intravenous and oral opioid use were compared in patients with (n = 15) and without (n = 45) sumatriptan administration.

RESULTS

Patients with and without sumatriptan administration had no significant differences in baseline characteristics or surgery type. There were no sumatriptan-related complications. The average pain score decreased from 3.9 to 1.3 within 1 hour after sumatriptan administration (p = 0.014). In both adult and pediatric patients there was decreased postoperative pain (adults: pain score of 1.1 vs 7.1, p < 0.001; pediatric: 1.1 vs 3.9, p = 0.007) within the first 48 hours. There were decreases in intravenous opioid use, length of intravenous opioid use, maximum dose of intravenous opioid used, oral opioid use, length of oral opioid use, and maximum dose of oral opioid used in both adult and pediatric patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors identified subcutaneous sumatriptan as a safe and efficacious tool for postoperative pain management after craniotomy. Large multicenter randomized controlled studies are needed to further evaluate the specific role of sumatriptan in postoperative pain management after craniotomy.

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Paul Khoueir, K. Anthony Kim, and Michael Y. Wang

✓Numerous new posterior dynamic stabilization (PDS) devices have been developed for the treatment of disorders of the lumbar spine. In this report the authors provide a classification scheme for these devices and describe several clinical situations in which the instrumentation may be expected to play a role. By using this classification, the PDSs that are now available and those developed in the future can be uniformly categorized.

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Arnold B. Etame, Anthony C. Wang, Khoi D. Than, Frank La Marca, and Paul Park

Object

Symptomatic cervical kyphosis can result from a variety of causes. Symptoms can include pain, neurological deficits, and functional limitation due to loss of horizontal gaze.

Methods

The authors review the long-term functional and radiographic outcomes following surgery for symptomatic cervical kyphosis by performing a PubMed database literature search.

Results

Fourteen retrospective studies involving a total of 399 patients were identified. Surgical intervention included ventral, dorsal, or circumferential approaches. Analysis of the degree of deformity correction and functional parameters demonstrated significant postsurgical improvement. Overall, patient satisfaction appeared high. Five studies reported mortality with rates ranging from 3.1 to 6.7%. Major medical complications after surgery were reported in 5 studies with rates ranging from 3.1 to 44.4%. The overall neurological complication rate was 13.5%.

Conclusions

Although complications are not insignificant, surgery appears to be an effective option when conservative measures fail to provide relief.

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K. Anthony Kim, Michael Y. Wang, Pamela M. Griffith, Susan Summers, and Michael L. Levy

The authors conducted a study to describe the incidence and types of fall-related head injury observed at a pediatric trauma center.

We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients under 15 years of age treated for fall-related trauma between 1992 and 1998. Falls were classified as low (< 15 feet) and high level (≥ 15 feet).

Seven hundred twenty-nine cases were identified with a mortality rate of 1.7%. A fall of greater than 15 feet (high-level fall) was associated with a higher mortality rate than low-level falls (2.4% compared with 1.0%, respectively). Ninety-eight patients had sustained a calvarial fracture and 93 experienced a basal skull fracture. Twenty-six patients had suffered a cerebral contusion, 25 a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, 22 a subdural hematoma, and 12 had an epidural hematoma. Forty-nine patients required surgery for traumatic injuries; of these, 10 underwent craniotomy for evacuation of a blood clot. Height was not predictive of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score. In all four deaths resulting from a low-level fall there was an admission GCS score of 3, and abnormal findings were demonstrated on computerized tomography scanning. Death from high-level falls was attributable to either intracranial injuries (50%) or severe extracranial injuries (50%).

Intracranial injury is the major source of fall-related death in children and, unlike extracranial insults, brain injuries are sustained with equal frequency from low- and high-level falls in this population. The only cause of mortality from low-level falls was intracranial injury. Trauma triage criteria must account for these differences in the pediatric population.

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Robert T. Buckley, Anthony C. Wang, John W. Miller, Edward J. Novotny, and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

Laser ablation is a novel, minimally invasive procedure that utilizes MRI-guided thermal energy to treat epileptogenic and other brain lesions. In addition to treatment of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, laser ablation is increasingly being used to target deep or inoperable lesions, including hypothalamic hamartoma (HH), subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA), and exophytic intrinsic hypothalamic/third ventricular tumors. The authors reviewed their early institutional experience with these patients to characterize clinical outcomes in patients undergoing this procedure.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort (n = 12) of patients undergoing laser ablation at a single institution was identified, and clinical and radiographic records were reviewed.

RESULTS

Laser ablation was successfully performed in all patients. No permanent neurological or endocrine complications occurred; 2 (17%) patients developed acute obstructive hydrocephalus or shunt malfunction following treatment. Laser ablation of HH resulted in seizure freedom (Engel Class I) in 67%, with the remaining patients having a clinically significant reduction in seizure frequency of greater than 90% compared with preoperative baseline (Engel Class IIB). Treatment of SEGAs resulted in durable clinical and radiographic tumor control in 2 of 3 cases, with one patient receiving adjuvant everolimus and the other receiving no additional therapy. Palliative ablation of hypothalamic/third ventricular tumors resulted in partial tumor control in 1 of 3 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Early experience suggests that laser ablation is a generally safe, durable, and effective treatment for patients harboring HHs. It also appears effective for local control of SEGAs, especially in combination therapy with everolimus. Its use as a palliative treatment for intrinsic hypothalamic/deep intraventricular tumors was less successful and associated with a higher risk of serious complications. Additional experience and long-term follow-up will be beneficial in further characterizing the effectiveness and risk profile of laser ablation in treating these lesions in comparison with conventional resective surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery.

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Anthony C. Wang, Khoi D. Than, Arnold B. Etame, Frank La Marca, and Paul Park

Object

Transcranial motor evoked potential (TcMEP) monitoring is frequently used in complex spinal surgeries to prevent neurological injury. Anesthesia, however, can significantly affect the reliability of TcMEP monitoring. Understanding the impact of various anesthetic agents on neurophysiological monitoring is therefore essential.

Methods

A literature search of the National Library of Medicine database was conducted to identify articles pertaining to anesthesia and TcMEP monitoring during spine surgery. Twenty studies were selected and reviewed.

Results

Inhalational anesthetics and neuromuscular blockade have been shown to limit the ability of TcMEP monitoring to detect significant changes. Hypothermia can also negatively affect monitoring. Opioids, however, have little influence on TcMEPs. Total intravenous anesthesia regimens can minimize the need for inhalational anesthetics.

Conclusions

In general, selecting the appropriate anesthetic regimen with maintenance of a stable concentration of inhalational or intravenous anesthetics optimizes TcMEP monitoring.