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Jamie J. Van Gompel and Garret Choby

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Brandon M. Lehrich, Nolan J. Brown, Shane Shahrestani, Ronald Sahyouni, and Frank P. K. Hsu

Dr. James Tait Goodrich was an internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who pioneered the neurosurgical procedures for the multistage separation of craniopagus twins. As of March 2020, 59 craniopagus separations had been performed in the world, with Goodrich having performed 7 of these operations. He was the single most experienced surgeon in the field on this complex craniofacial disorder. Goodrich was a humble individual who rapidly rose through the ranks of academic neurosurgery, eventually serving as Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. In this historical vignette, the authors provide context into the history of and sociocultural attitudes toward conjoined twins; the epidemiology and classification of craniopagus twins; the beginnings of surgery in craniopagus twins; Goodrich’s neurosurgical contributions toward advancing treatment for this complex craniofacial anomaly; and vignettes of Goodrich’s unique clinical cases that made mainstream news coverage.

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Shane Shahrestani, Brandon M. Lehrich, Ali R. Tafreshi, Nolan J. Brown, Brian V. Lien, Seth Ransom, Ryan C. Ransom, Alexander M. Ballatori, Andy Ton, Xiao T. Chen, and Ronald Sahyouni

OBJECTIVE

Frailty is a clinical state of increased vulnerability due to age-associated decline and has been well established as a perioperative risk factor. Geriatric patients have a higher risk of frailty, higher incidence of brain cancer, and increased postoperative complication rates compared to nongeriatric patients. Yet, literature describing the effects of frailty on short- and long-term complications in geriatric patients is limited. In this study, the authors evaluate the effects of frailty in geriatric patients receiving cranial neurosurgery for a primary CNS neoplasm.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of geriatric patients receiving cranial neurosurgery for a primary CNS neoplasm between 2010 and 2017 by using the Nationwide Readmission Database. Demographics and frailty were queried at primary admission, and readmissions were analyzed at 30-, 90-, and 180-day intervals. Complications of interest included infection, anemia, infarction, kidney injury, CSF leak, urinary tract infection, and mortality. Nearest-neighbor propensity score matching for demographics was implemented to identify nonfrail control patients with similar diagnoses and procedures. The analysis used Welch two-sample t-tests for continuous variables and chi-square test with odds ratios.

RESULTS

A total of 6713 frail patients and 6629 nonfrail patients were identified at primary admission. At primary admission, frail geriatric patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery had increased odds of developing acute posthemorrhagic anemia (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.23–1.98; p = 0.00020); acute infection (OR 3.16, 95% CI 1.70–6.36; p = 0.00022); acute kidney injury (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.07–1.62; p = 0.0088); urinary tract infection prior to discharge (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.71–2.29; p < 0.0001); acute postoperative cerebral infarction (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.17–2.11; p = 0.0026); and mortality (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.22–2.24; p = 0.0012) compared to nonfrail geriatric patients receiving the same procedure. In addition, frail patients had a significantly increased inpatient length of stay (p < 0.0001) and all-payer hospital cost (p < 0.0001) compared to nonfrail patients at the time of primary admission. However, no significant difference was found between frail and nonfrail patients with regard to rates of infection, thromboembolism, CSF leak, dural tear, cerebral infarction, acute kidney injury, and mortality at all readmission time points.

CONCLUSIONS

Frailty may significantly increase the risks of short-term acute complications in geriatric patients receiving cranial neurosurgery for a primary CNS neoplasm. Long-term analysis revealed no significant difference in complications between frail and nonfrail patients. Further research is warranted to understand the effects and timeline of frailty in geriatric patients.

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Khodayar Goshtasbi, Brandon M. Lehrich, Mehdi Abouzari, Arash Abiri, Jack Birkenbeuel, Ming-Ying Lan, Wei-Hsin Wang, Gilbert Cadena, Frank P. K. Hsu, and Edward C. Kuan

OBJECTIVE

For symptomatic nonsecreting pituitary adenomas (PAs), resection remains a critical option for treatment. In this study, the authors used a large-population national database to compare endoscopic surgery (ES) to nonendoscopic surgery (NES) for the surgical management of PA.

METHODS

The National Cancer Database was queried for all patients diagnosed with histologically confirmed PA who underwent resection between 2010 and 2016 in which the surgical approach was specified. Due to database limitations, microsurgery and craniotomy were both categorized as NES.

RESULTS

Of 30,488 identified patients, 16,373 (53.7%) underwent ES and 14,115 (46.3%) underwent NES. There was a significant increase in the use of ES over time (OR 1.16, p < 0.01). Furthermore, there was a significant temporal increase in ES approach for tumors ≥ 2 cm (OR 1.17, p < 0.01). Compared to NES, patients who underwent ES were younger (p = 0.01), were treated at academic centers (p < 0.01), lived a greater distance from their treatment site (p < 0.01), had smaller tumors (p < 0.01), had greater medical comorbidity burden (p = 0.04), had private insurance (p < 0.01), and had a higher household income (p < 0.01). After propensity score matching to control for age, tumor size, Charlson/Deyo score, and type of treatment center, patients who underwent ES had a shorter length of hospital stay (LOS) (3.9 ± 4.9 days vs 4.3 ± 5.4 days, p < 0.01), although rates of gross-total resection (GTR; p = 0.34), adjuvant radiotherapy (p = 0.41), and 90-day mortality (p = 0.45) were similar. On multivariate logistic regression, African American race (OR 0.85, p < 0.01) and tumor size ≥ 2 cm (OR 0.89, p = 0.01) were negative predictors of receiving ES, whereas diagnosis in more recent years (OR 1.16, p < 0.01), greater Charlson/Deyo score (OR 1.10, p = 0.01), receiving treatment at an academic institution (OR 1.67, p < 0.01) or at a treatment site ≥ 20 miles away (OR 1.17, p < 0.01), having private insurance (OR 1.09, p = 0.01), and having a higher household income (OR 1.11, p = 0.01) were predictive of receiving ES. Compared to the ES cohort, patients who started with ES and converted to NES (n = 293) had a higher ratio of nonwhite race (p < 0.01), uninsured insurance status (p < 0.01), longer LOS (p < 0.01), and higher rates of GTR (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

There is an increasing trend toward ES for PA resection including its use for larger tumors. Although ES may result in shorter LOS compared to NES, rates of GTR, need for adjuvant therapy, and short-term mortality may be similar. Factors such as tumor size, insurance status, facility type, income, race, and existing comorbidities may predict receiving ES.