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Barton L. Guthrie, Gary K. Steinberg and John R. Adler

✓ Stereotaxic biopsy has been shown to be a reliable means of diagnosing posterior fossa lesions. The authors describe a technique for infratentorial transcerebellar stereotaxic access to posterior fossa parenchymal lesions using the Brown-Roberts-Wells apparatus in its standard commercial configuration. The necessity for tissue diagnosis of these lesions is briefly discussed.

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Mahesh B. Shenai, R. Shane Tubbs, Barton L. Guthrie and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Object

The shortage of surgeons compels the development of novel technologies that geographically extend the capabilities of individual surgeons and enhance surgical skills. The authors have developed “Virtual Interactive Presence” (VIP), a platform that allows remote participants to simultaneously view each other's visual field, creating a shared field of view for real-time surgical telecollaboration.

Methods

The authors demonstrate the capability of VIP to facilitate long-distance telecollaboration during cadaveric dissection. Virtual Interactive Presence consists of local and remote workstations with integrated video capture devices and video displays. Each workstation mutually connects via commercial teleconferencing devices, allowing worldwide point-to-point communication. Software composites the local and remote video feeds, displaying a hybrid perspective to each participant. For demonstration, local and remote VIP stations were situated in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Birmingham, Alabama, respectively. A suboccipital craniotomy and microsurgical dissection of the pineal region was performed in a cadaveric specimen using VIP. Task and system performance were subjectively evaluated, while additional video analysis was used for objective assessment of delay and resolution.

Results

Participants at both stations were able to visually and verbally interact while identifying anatomical structures, guiding surgical maneuvers, and discussing overall surgical strategy. Video analysis of 3 separate video clips yielded a mean compositing delay of 760 ± 606 msec (when compared with the audio signal). Image resolution was adequate to visualize complex intracranial anatomy and provide interactive guidance.

Conclusions

Virtual Interactive Presence is a feasible paradigm for real-time, long-distance surgical telecollaboration. Delay, resolution, scaling, and registration are parameters that require further optimization, but are within the realm of current technology. The paradigm potentially enables remotely located experts to mentor less experienced personnel located at the surgical site with applications in surgical training programs, remote proctoring for proficiency, and expert support for rural settings and across different counties.

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Travis J. Atchley, Nicholas M. B. Laskay, Brandon A. Sherrod, A. K. M. Fazlur Rahman, Harrison C. Walker and Barton L. Guthrie

OBJECTIVE

Infection and erosion following implantable pulse generator (IPG) placement are associated with morbidity and cost for patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems. Here, the authors provide a detailed characterization of infection and erosion events in a large cohort that underwent DBS surgery for movement disorders.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed consecutive IPG placements and replacements in patients who had undergone DBS surgery for movement disorders at the University of Alabama at Birmingham between 2013 and 2016. IPG procedures occurring before 2013 in these patients were also captured. Descriptive statistics, survival analyses, and logistic regression were performed using generalized linear mixed effects models to examine risk factors for the primary outcomes of interest: infection within 1 year or erosion within 2 years of IPG placement.

RESULTS

In the study period, 384 patients underwent a total of 995 IPG procedures (46.4% were initial placements) and had a median follow-up of 2.9 years. Reoperation for infection occurred after 27 procedures (2.7%) in 21 patients (5.5%). No difference in the infection rate was observed for initial placement versus replacement (p = 0.838). Reoperation for erosion occurred after 16 procedures (1.6%) in 15 patients (3.9%). Median time to reoperation for infection and erosion was 51 days (IQR 24–129 days) and 149 days (IQR 112–285 days), respectively. Four patients with infection (19.0%) developed a second infection requiring a same-side reoperation, two of whom developed a third infection. Intraoperative vancomycin powder was used in 158 cases (15.9%) and did not decrease the infection risk (infected: 3.2% with vancomycin vs 2.6% without, p = 0.922, log-rank test). On logistic regression, a previous infection increased the risk for infection (OR 35.0, 95% CI 7.9–156.2, p < 0.0001) and a lower patient BMI was a risk factor for erosion (BMI ≤ 24 kg/m2: OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.1–8.6, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

IPG-related infection and erosion following DBS surgery are uncommon but clinically significant events. Their respective timelines and risk factors suggest different etiologies and thus different potential corrective procedures.

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Victor W. Sung, Ray L. Watts, Christian J. Schrandt, Stephanie Guthrie, Deli Wang, Amy W. Amara, Barton L. Guthrie and Harrison C. Walker

Object

While many centers place bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems simultaneously, unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS followed by a staged contralateral procedure has emerged as a treatment option for many patients. However, little is known about whether the preoperative phenotype predicts when staged placement of a DBS electrode in the opposite STN will be required. The authors aimed to determine whether preoperative clinical phenotype predicts early staged placement of a second STN DBS electrode in patients who undergo unilateral STN DBS for Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods

Eighty-two consecutive patients with advanced PD underwent unilateral STN DBS contralateral to the most affected hemibody and had at least 2 years of follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression analysis determined preoperative characteristics that predicted staged placement of a second electrode in the opposite STN. Preoperative measurements included aspects of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), motor asymmetry index, and body weight.

Results

At 2-year follow-up, 28 (34%) of the 82 patients had undergone staged placement of a contralateral electrode while the remainder chose to continue with unilateral stimulation. Statistically significant improvements in UPDRS total and Part 3 scores were retained at the end of the 2-year follow-up period in both subsets of patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the most important predictors for early staged placement of a second subthalamic stimulator were low asymmetry index (OR 13.4, 95% CI 2.8–64.9), high tremor subscore (OR 7.2, CI 1.5–35.0), and low body weight (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.4–22.3).

Conclusions

This single-center study provides evidence that elements of the preoperative PD phenotype predict whether patients will require early staged bilateral STN DBS. These data may aid in the management of patients with advanced PD who undergo STN DBS.

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Blake E. Pearson, James M. Markert, Winfield S. Fisher, Barton L. Guthrie, John B. Fiveash, Cheryl A. Palmer and Kristen Riley

Object

The World Health Organization (WHO) reclassified atypical meningiomas in 2000, creating a more clear and broadly accepted definition. In this paper, the authors evaluated the pathological and clinical transition period for atypical meningiomas according to the implementation of the new WHO grading system at their institution.

Methods

A total of 471 meningiomas occurring in 440 patients between 1994 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed to determine changes in diagnostic rates, postoperative treatment trends, and early outcomes.

Results

Between 1994 and 2000, the incidence of the atypical meningiomas ranged from 0 to 3/year, or 4.4% of the meningiomas detected during the entire period. After 2002, the annual percentage of atypical meningiomas rose over a 2-year period, leveling off at between 32.7 and 35.5% between 2004 and 2006. The authors also found a recent trend toward increased use of adjuvant radiation therapy for incompletely resected atypical meningiomas. Prior to 2003, 18.7% were treated with this therapy; after 2003, 34.4% of lesions received this treatment. Incompletely resected tumors were treated with some form of radiation 76% of the time. In cases of complete resection, most patients were not given adjuvant therapy but were expectantly managed by close monitoring using serial imaging and by receiving immediate treatment for tumor recurrence. The overall recurrence rate for expectantly managed tumors was 9% over 28.2 months, and 75% of recurrences responded to delayed radiation therapy.

Conclusions

The authors documented a significant change in the proportion of meningiomas designated as atypical during a transition period from 2002 to 2004, and propose a conservative strategy for the use of radiation therapy in atypical meningiomas.