Sandro M. Krieg and Bernhard Meyer
Since spinal navigation became applicable, including robotic assistance into standard navigational setups seems reasonable. A newly released modular robotic assistance for drill stabilization (Cirq, Brainlab) was used in a 74-year-old man undergoing dynamic stabilization of L3–4 via navigated transfascial pedicle screws. The authors demonstrate the second worldwide surgery with this device and the second case performed in their department. They provide insight in its applicability to estimate its further potential in spinal robotics. Although being just the first step of this universal platform, the authors already see clinical benefit by its ease of use and drill support.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/oN2ZiHFRFkU.
Malte Ottenhausen, Sandro M. Krieg, Bernhard Meyer, and Florian Ringel
Greater extent of resection (EOR) of low-grade gliomas is associated with improved survival. Proximity to eloquent cortical regions often limits resectability and elevates the risk of surgery-related deficits. Therefore, functional localization of eloquent cortex or subcortical fiber tracts can enhance the EOR and functional outcome. Imaging techniques such as functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking, and neurophysiological methods like navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetoencephalography, make it possible to identify eloquent areas prior to resective surgery and to tailor indication and surgical approach but also to assess the surgical risk. Intraoperative monitoring with direct cortical stimulation and subcortical stimulation enables surgeons to preserve essential functional tissue during surgery. Through tailored pre- and intraoperative mapping and monitoring the EOR can be maximized, with reduced rates of surgery-related deficits.
Vicki M. Butenschoen, Mirja Seifert, Bernhard Meyer, and Sandro M. Krieg
Autologous bone graft reimplantation remains the standard treatment after decompressive hemicraniectomy. Unfortunately, some patients present with signs of bone resorption without any visible signs of infection; the reasons remain unknown. Contamination with Propionibacterium acnes has been discussed as a potential source of the osteolytic process. The aim of this study was to investigate the microbial spectrum detected in samples of grafts from patients with aseptic bone resorption and compare them to septic bone graft infections in order to identify P. acnes as the specific pathogen of aseptic bone resorption.
The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients treated for aseptic bone resorption between 2012 and 2017 in their neurosurgical department. Septic infections were used as a control group to gain information on the present bacterial spectrum. Perioperative data such as demographics, number of surgeries, and complications were assessed and compared with the microbiological analyses conducted in order to detect differences and potential sources for aseptic bone resorption and possible differences in bacterial contamination in septic and aseptic bone infection.
In total, 38 patients underwent surgery between 2012 and 2017 for septic bone infection—14 for aseptic bone resorption. In 100% of the septic bone infection cases in which bone flap removal was needed, bacteria could be isolated from the removed bone flap (55% Staphylococcus aureus, 13.2% Enterococcus faecalis, and 18.4% Staphylococcus epidermidis). The microbial spectrum from samples of aseptic bone flaps with resorption was examined in 10 of 14 patients and revealed contamination with P. acnes in 40% (n = 4, the other 6 bone grafts were sterile), especially in sonication analysis, whereas visible septic bone infection was mainly caused by S. aureus without detection of P. acnes.
Aseptic bone resorption may be caused by low-grade infections with P. acnes. However, further analysis needs to be conducted in order to understand its clinical relevance and treatment perspective.
Sebastian Ille, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer, and Sandro M. Krieg
Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) allows for preoperative mapping for eloquent gliomas. Besides surgical planning, it also guides intraoperative stimulation mapping. The authors’ routine includes preoperative nTMS plus nTMS-based tractography for motor and language to consult patients, plan surgery, craniotomy, and guide cortical and subcortical stimulation.
Here, the authors present this routine in a 48-year-old woman with a glioma of the left middle and superior frontal gyrus reaching the precentral gyrus and superior longitudinal fascicle. Gross-total resection via awake surgery was achieved without deficit.
The nTMS data and nTMS-based tractography augment eloquent glioma management far beyond its current application.
The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/h4ldgMXL1ys.
Josef Zentner, Bernhard Meyer, Armin Stangl, and Johannes Schramm
✓ Intrinsic insular tumors are frequently excluded from surgical treatment. The authors propose a more extensive approach to these lesions based on the results of this prospective series. From September 1993 to January 1995, 30 patients (18 males and 12 females; mean age 42 years) harboring benign (15 patients) or malignant (15 patients) tumors involving the insula underwent surgical treatment. The dominant and nondominant hemispheres were both affected in 15 cases. Two groups were defined on the basis of preoperative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging: 14 lesions were restricted to the insula and the corresponding opercula; the other 16 lesions also involved other mesocortical and/or allocortical areas. Most patients displayed only mild preoperative symptoms. The median score according to the Karnofsky performance scale was 90. Microsurgical removal was achieved via a transsylvian approach in nine cases and via a frontal and/or temporal approach in 21 cases. According to early postoperative MR imaging, complete tumor removal (100%) was seen in five patients, nearly complete (> 80%) in 21, and incomplete resection (50%–80%) in four patients. There was no operative mortality; 19 patients (63%) experienced immediate postoperative morbidity, including reduced performance. After a mean follow-up review of 8.5 months two of 21 patients suffered permanent deficits, accounting for an overall operative morbidity of 10%. At the mean time of review, three patients with Grade IV tumors had died of tumor recurrence. The authors conclude that low-grade intrinsic insular tumors, as well as Grade III tumors, can be removed with favorable results in the majority of patients. Surgery to excise glioblastomas should only be considered for patients with good preoperative performance and young age.
Bernhard Meyer, Armin P. Stangl, and Johannes Schramm
✓ In this article the authors report the case of a mixed cerebrovascular malformation in which a true arteriovenous malformation (AVM), harboring a nidus, is associated with a venous malformation that serves as the draining vein for the nidus. Despite the authors' preoperative rationale for exclusive extirpation of the AVM, an inadvertent injury and the obliteration of the venous malformation generated delayed postoperative neurological deterioration, which could clearly be attributed to venous hemorrhagic infarction. Because this is only the second instance of this type of mixed vascular malformation of the brain reported, which also underscores the concept of nonsurgical treatment of venous malformations, the authors discuss the diverse literature regarding mixed vascular malformations and the treatment of venous malformations.
Ehab Shiban, Elisabeth Török, Maria Wostrack, Bernhard Meyer, and Jens Lehmberg
Far-lateral or extreme-lateral approaches to the skull base allow access to the lateral and anterior portion of the lower posterior fossa and foramen magnum. These approaches include a certain extent of resection of the condyle, which potentially results in craniocervical junction instability. However, it is debated what extent of condyle resection is safe and at what extent of condyle resection an occipitocervical fusion should be recommended. The authors reviewed cases of condyle resection/destruction with regard to necessity of occipitocervical fusion.
The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients in whom a far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection of various extents was performed between January 2007 and December 2014.
Twenty-one consecutive patients who had undergone a unilateral far- or extreme-lateral approach including condyle resection were identified. There were 10 male and 11 female patients with a median age of 61 years (range 22–83 years). The extent of condyle resection was 25% or less in 15 cases, 50% in 1 case, and greater than 75% in 5 cases. None of the patients who underwent condyle resection of 50% or less was placed in a collar postoperatively or developed neck pain. Two of the patients with condyle resection of greater than 75% were placed in a semirigid collar for a period of 3 months postoperatively and remained free of pain after this period. At last follow-up none of the cases showed any clear sign of radiological or clinical instability.
The unilateral resection or destruction of the condyle does not necessarily result in craniocervical instability. No evident instability was encountered even in the 5 patients who underwent removal of more than 75% of the condyle. The far- or extreme-lateral approach may be safer than generally accepted with regard to craniocervical instability as generally considered and may not compel fusion in all cases with condylar resection of more than 75%.