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Nicole A. Silva, Belinda Shao, Michael J. Sylvester, Jean Anderson Eloy and Chirag D. Gandhi

OBJECTIVE

Observation and neurosurgical intervention for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) in the elderly population is rapidly increasing. Cerebral aneurysm coiling (CACo) is favored over cerebral aneurysm clipping (CAC) in elderly patients, yet some elderly individuals still undergo CAC. The cost-effectiveness of treating UIAs requires further exploration. Understanding the effect of intervention on hospital charges and length of stay (LOS) as well as perioperative mortality and complications can further shed light on its economic impact. The purpose of this study was to analyze the cost and perioperative outcomes of UIAs in elderly patients (≥ 65 years of age) after CACo or CAC intervention.

METHODS

Retrospective cohorts of CACo and CAC admissions were extracted from National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample data obtained between 2002 and 2013, forming parallel intervention groups to compare the following outcomes between elderly and nonelderly patients: average LOS and mean hospital admission costs, in-hospital mortality, and complications. Covariates included sex, race or ethnicity, and comorbidities.

RESULTS

Elderly patients undergoing CAC experienced an average LOS of 8.0 days, whereas elderly patients undergoing CACo stayed an average of 3.2 days. The mean hospital charges incurred during admission totaled $95,960 in the elderly patients who underwent CAC versus $87,960 in the ones who underwent CACo. Elderly patients in whom CAC was performed had a 2.2% rate of in-hospital mortality, with a 2.6 greater adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality than nonelderly patients treated with CAC. In contrast, elderly patients who underwent CACo had a 1.36 greater adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality than their nonelderly counterparts. Compared to nonelderly patients receiving both interventions, elderly individuals had a significantly higher prevalence of various comorbidities and incidence of complications. Elderly patients who received CAC experienced a 10.3% incidence rate of perioperative stroke, whereas their CACo counterparts experienced this complication at a rate of 3.5%. Elderly patients treated with CAC had greater odds of perioperative acute renal failure, whereas their CACo counterparts had greater odds of perioperative deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

CONCLUSIONS

Intervention with CAC and CACo in the elderly is resource intensive and is associated with higher risk than in the nonelderly. Those deciding between intervention and conservative management should consider these risks and costs, especially the 2.2% postoperative mortality rate associated with CAC in the elderly population. Further comparative cost-effectiveness research is needed to weigh these costs and outcomes against those of conservative management.

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Hannah E. Goldstein, Brett E. Youngerman, Belinda Shao, Cigdem I. Akman, Arthur M. Mandel, Danielle K. McBrian, James J. Riviello, Sameer A. Sheth, Guy M. McKhann and Neil A. Feldstein

OBJECTIVE

Patients with medically refractory localization-related epilepsy (LRE) may be candidates for surgical intervention if the seizure onset zone (SOZ) can be well localized. Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) offers an attractive alternative to subdural grid and strip electrode implantation for seizure lateralization and localization; yet there are few series reporting the safety and efficacy of SEEG in pediatric patients.

METHODS

The authors review their initial 3-year consecutive experience with SEEG in pediatric patients with LRE. SEEG coverage, SOZ localization, complications, and preliminary seizure outcomes following subsequent surgical treatments are assessed.

RESULTS

Twenty-five pediatric patients underwent 30 SEEG implantations, with a total of 342 electrodes placed. Ten had prior resections or ablations. Seven had no MRI abnormalities, and 8 had multiple lesions on MRI. Based on preimplantation hypotheses, 7 investigations were extratemporal (ET), 1 was only temporal-limbic (TL), and 22 were combined ET/TL investigations. Fourteen patients underwent bilateral investigations. On average, patients were monitored for 8 days postimplant (range 3–19 days). Nearly all patients were discharged home on the day following electrode explantation.

There were no major complications. Minor complications included 1 electrode deflection into the subdural space, resulting in a minor asymptomatic extraaxial hemorrhage; and 1 in-house and 1 delayed electrode superficial scalp infection, both treated with local wound care and oral antibiotics.

SEEG localized the hypothetical SOZ in 23 of 25 patients (92%). To date, 18 patients have undergone definitive surgical intervention. In 2 patients, SEEG localized the SOZ near eloquent cortex and subdural grids were used to further delineate the seizure focus relative to mapped motor function just prior to resection. At last follow-up (average 21 months), 8 of 15 patients with at least 6 months of follow-up (53%) were Engel class I, and an additional 6 patients (40%) were Engel class II or III. Only 1 patient was Engel class IV.

CONCLUSIONS

SEEG is a safe and effective technique for invasive SOZ localization in medically refractory LRE in the pediatric population. SEEG permits bilateral and multilobar investigations while avoiding large craniotomies. It is conducive to deep, 3D, and perilesional investigations, particularly in cases of prior resections. Patients who are not found to have focally localizable seizures are spared craniotomies.

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Nikita G. Alexiades, Edward S. Ahn, Jeffrey P. Blount, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Gerald A. Grant, Gregory G. Heuer, Todd C. Hankinson, Bermans J. Iskandar, Andrew Jea, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, David D. Limbrick Jr., Cormac O. Maher, Mark R. Proctor, David I. Sandberg, John C. Wellons III, Belinda Shao, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Complications after complex tethered spinal cord (cTSC) surgery include infections and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. With little empirical evidence to guide management, there is variability in the interventions undertaken to limit complications. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of patients undergoing cTSC surgery. Here, authors conducted a study to identify consensus-driven best practices.

METHODS

The Delphi method was employed to identify consensual best practices. A literature review regarding cTSC surgery together with a survey of current practices was distributed to 17 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Thirty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. Results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus, which was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

Seventeen consensus-driven best practices were identified, with all participants willing to incorporate them into their practice. There were four preoperative interventions: (1, 2) asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients should be referred to urology preoperatively, (3, 4) routine preoperative urine cultures are not necessary for asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients. There were nine intraoperative interventions: (5) patients should receive perioperative cefazolin or an equivalent alternative in the event of allergy, (6) chlorhexidine-based skin preparation is the preferred regimen, (7) saline irrigation should be used intermittently throughout the case, (8) antibiotic-containing irrigation should be used following dural closure, (9) a nonlocking running suture technique should be used for dural closure, (10) dural graft overlay should be used when unable to obtain primary dural closure, (11) an expansile dural graft should be incorporated in cases of lipomyelomeningocele in which primary dural closure does not permit free flow of CSF, (12) paraxial muscles should be closed as a layer separate from the fascia, (13) routine placement of postoperative drains is not necessary. There were three postoperative interventions: (14) postoperative antibiotics are an option and, if given, should be discontinued within 24 hours; (15) patients should remain flat for at least 24 hours postoperatively; (16) routine use of abdominal binders or other compressive devices postoperatively is not necessary. One intervention was prioritized for additional study: (17) further study of additional gram-negative perioperative coverage is needed.

CONCLUSIONS

A modified Delphi technique was used to develop consensus-driven best practices for decreasing wound complications after cTSC surgery. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices will lead to reduced complications. Discussion through the course of this study resulted in the initiation of a multicenter study of gram-negative surgical site infections in cTSC surgery.