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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.

Free access

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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Chencai Wang, Benjamin M. Ellingson, Sabah Islam, Azim Laiwalla, Noriko Salamon, and Langston T. Holly

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate cerebral reorganization, both structurally and functionally, occurring in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) after surgical decompression.

METHODS

In the current observational study of 19 patients, high-resolution T1-weighted structural MRI and resting-state functional MRI scans were obtained pre- and postoperatively in patients with DCM and healthy controls (HCs). The resting-state functional MRI data were utilized to perform region-of-interest (ROI)–to-ROI and ROI-to-voxel functional connectivity (FC) analysis and were similarly compared between and within cohorts. Macroscopic structural plasticity was evaluated by assessing for changes in cortical thickness within the DCM cohort after decompression surgery.

RESULTS

Prior to surgery, FC patterns were significantly different between DCM patients and HCs in cerebral areas responsible for postural control, motor regulation, and perception and integration of sensory information. Significantly stronger FC between the cerebellum and frontal lobes was identified in DCM patients postoperatively compared with DCM patients preoperatively. Additionally, increased FC between the cerebellum and primary sensorimotor areas was found to be positively associated with neurological improvement in patients with DCM. No macroscopic structural changes were observed in the DCM patients after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

These results support the authors’ hypothesis that functional changes within the brain are associated with effective postoperative recovery, particularly in regions associated with motor regulation and with perception and integration of sensory information. In particular, increased FC between the cerebellum and the primary sensorimotor after surgery appears to be associated with neurological improvement. Macroscopic morphological changes may be too subtle to be detected within 3 months after surgery.