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Prasad Vannemreddy, Gloria Caldito, Brian Willis and Anil Nanda

Object

The purpose of this study was to determine whether cocaine use is a significant prognostic factor for outcome measures such as Hunt and Hess grade and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score among patients presenting with ruptured intracranial aneurysms (IAs).

Methods

The authors performed a MEDLINE/PubMed search for cases of ruptured IAs associated with cocaine use. Fourteen cases from the authors' experience were combined with 50 from a literature review, for a total of 64 cases associated with cocaine use. These 64 cases were compared with 65 cases without cocaine use (controls), which had been obtained from an aneurysm database. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine significant prognostic factors for a poor Hunt and Hess grade and a poor GOS score, and a general linear model was applied to identify significant factors for these measures among cocaine users.

Results

There were 40 women in each group. The mean age was 32.3 ± 8.1 years in the cocaine group and 49.7 ± 10.6 years in the control group; thus, patients in the cocaine group were significantly younger (p < 0.01). Cocaine was snorted in 21% of cases, smoked in 55%, and intravenously injected or taken in through a combination of routes in 24%. Fifty-one percent of cocaine users and 7.7% of nonusers presented with a poor GOS score (p < 0.01). Fifty-six percent had ictus during cocaine abuse. At the end of a 30-day follow-up, 51% of the patients in the cocaine group had a good GOS score compared with 92% in the control group (p < 0.01). Controlling for the effects of other significant factors, cocaine use had a significant effect on Hunt and Hess grade (p < 0.03) and GOS score (p < 0.01). The odds of having a poor Hunt and Hess grade among cocaine users were 4.2 times greater than those in nonusers, and the odds of having a poor GOS score among cocaine users were 38.8 times greater.

Conclusions

Aneurysms were significantly smaller and ruptured at a younger age among cocaine users compared with nonusers. Although the poor clinical grade was not significantly different between the 2 groups, outcome was significantly worse in cocaine users.

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Nima Majlesi, Howard Greller and Mark Su

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Ajay Jawahar, Rishi Wadhwa, Caglar Berk, Gloria Caldito, Allyson Delaune, Federico Ampil, Brian Willis, Donald Smith and Anil Nanda

Object

There are various surgical treatment alternatives for trigeminal neuralgia (TN), but there is no single scale that can be used uniformly to assess and compare one type of intervention with the others. In this study the objectives were to determine factors associated with pain control, pain-free survival, residual pain, and recurrence after gamma knife surgery (GKS) treatment for TN, and to correlate the patients' self-reported quality of life (QOL) and satisfaction with the aforementioned factors.

Methods

Between the years 2000 and 2004, the authors treated 81 patients with medically refractory TN by using GKS. Fifty-two patients responded to a questionnaire regarding pain control, activities of daily living, QOL, and patient satisfaction.

The median follow-up duration was 16.5 months. Twenty-two patients (42.3%) had complete pain relief, 14 (26.9%) had partial but satisfactory pain relief, and in 16 patients (30.8%) the treatment failed. Seven patients (13.5%) reported a recurrence during the follow-up period, and 25 (48.1%) reported a significant (> 50%) decrease in their pain within the 1st month posttreatment. The mean decrease in the total dose of pain medication was 75%. Patients' self-reported QOL scores improved 90% and the overall patient satisfaction score was 80%.

Conclusions

The authors found that GKS is a minimally invasive and effective procedure that yields a favorable outcome for patients with recurrent or refractory TN. It may also be offered as a first-line surgical modality for any patients with TN who are unsuited or unwilling to undergo microvascular decompression.

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Anthony H. Sin, Gloria Caldito, Donald Smith, Mahmoud Rashidi, Brian Willis and Anil Nanda

Object

A dural tear resulting in a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is a well-known risk of lumbar spinal procedures. The authors hypothesized that the incidence of CSF leakage is higher in cases involving repeated operations and those in which the surgeon performing the surgery is less experienced; however, they postulated that the overall outcome of the patient would not be adversely affected by a dural tear.

Methods

An institutional review board–approved protocol at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, was initiated in August 2003 to allow prospective comparison of data obtained in patients in whom a CSF leak occurred (Group A) and those in whom no CSF leak occurred (Group B) during lumbar surgery. Basic demographic information, descriptive findings regarding the tear, history of other surgeries, hospital length of stay (LOS), and immediate disposition at the time of discharge were compared between the two groups.

Seventy-seven patients were eligible for this study. One patient refused to participate. In 12 (15.8%) of 76 patients CSF leakage developed. In three patients the presence of a tear was questioned, and the patients were clinically treated as if a tear were present. The patients in Group A were older than those in Group B (59.8 ± 16.9 and 49.4 ± 13.6 years of age, respectively; p = 0.02, Fisher exact test). In terms of those with a history of surgery, there was no significant difference between patients with and patients without a CSF leak (three [25%] of 12 patients [Group A] compared with 28 [43.8%] of 64 patients [Group B]; p = 0.34, two-sample t-test). In the 12 patients with dural tears, nine (75%) were caused by a resident-in-training, and the Kerrison punch was the instrument most often being used at the time (55%). This is significantly greater than 50% at the 5% level (p = 0.044, binomial test). The authors were able to repair the tear primarily with suture in all but one patient, whose tear was along the nerve root sleeve. In all cases fibrin glue and a muscle/fat graft were used to cover the tear, and all patients were assigned to bed rest from 24 to 48 hours after the operation. In Group A one patient required rehabilitation at discharge. The LOS in Group A was greater than that in Group B (median 5 days compared with 3 days), but no additional complication was noted.

Conclusions

The incidence of CSF leakage was 16% in 76 patients, and there were no other complications. Older patient age and higher level of the surgeon’s training were factors contributing to the incidence, but the history of surgery was not.

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Christina Notarianni, Prasad Vannemreddy, Gloria Caldito, Papireddy Bollam, Esther Wylen, Brian Willis and Anil Nanda

Object

Hydrocephalus is a notorious neurosurgical disease that carries the adage “once a shunt always a shunt.” This study was conducted to review the treatment results of pediatric hydrocephalus.

Methods

Pediatric patients who underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery over the past 14 years were reviewed for shunt revisions. Variables studied included age at shunt placement, revision, or replacement; programmable shunts; infection; obstruction; and diagnosis (congenital, posthemorrhagic, craniospinal dysraphism, and others including trauma, tumors, and infection). Multiple regression analysis methods were used to determine independent risk factors for shunt failure and the number of shunt revisions. The Kaplan-Meier method of survival analysis was used to compare etiologies on the 5-year survival (revision-free) rate and the median 5-year survival time.

Results

A total of 253 patients were studied with an almost equal sex distribution. There were 92 patients with congenital hydrocephalus, 69 with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, 48 with craniospinal dysraphism, and 44 with other causes. Programmable shunts were used in 73 patients (other types of shunts were used in 180 patients). A total of 197 patients (78%) underwent revision surgeries due to shunt failures. The mortality rate was 1.6%. Age at first revision, the 5-year survival rate, and the median 5-year survival time were significantly less for both posthemorrhagic and craniospinal dysraphism than for either the congenital or “other” group (p < 0.05). The failure rate and number of revisions were not significantly reduced with programmable shunts compared with either pressure-controlled or no-valve shunts (p > 0.5).

Conclusions

Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus and craniospinal dysraphism hydrocephalus had significantly earlier revisions than congenital and other etiologies. Programmable systems did not reduce the failure rate or the average number of shunts revisions.

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Brian Willis, Vijayakumar Javalkar, Prasad Vannemreddy, Gloria Caldito, Junko Matsuyama, Bharat Guthikonda, Papireddy Bollam and Anil Nanda

Object

The aim of the study was to analyze the outcome of surgical treatment for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus in premature infants.

Methods

From 1990 to 2006, 32 premature infants underwent surgical treatment for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, and their charts were retrospectively reviewed to analyze the complications and outcome with respect to shunt revisions. Multivariate analysis and time series were used to identify factors that influence the outcome in terms of shunt revisions.

Results

The mean gestational age was 27 ± 3.3 weeks, and mean birth weight was 1192 ± 660 g. Temporary reservoir placement was performed in 15 patients, while 17 underwent permanent CSF diversion with a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. In 2 patients, reservoir tapping alone was sufficient to halt the progression of hydrocephalus; 29 patients received VP shunts. The mean follow-up period was 37.3 months. The neonates who received VP shunts first were significantly older (p = 0.02) and heavier (p = 0.04) than those who initially underwent reservoir placement. Shunts were revised in 14 patients; 42% of patients in the reservoir group had their shunts revised, while 53% of infants who had initially received a VP shunt required a revision. The revision rate per patient in the reservoir group was half that in the direct VP shunt group (p = 0.027). No patient in the reservoir group had > 2 revisions. Shunt infections developed in 3 patients (10.3%), and 2 patients in the reservoir group died of nonneurological issues related to prematurity.

Conclusions

Birth weight and age are useful parameters in decision making. Preterm neonates with low birth weights benefit from initial CSF drainage procedures followed by permanent CSF diversion with respect to the number of shunt revisions.

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Ajay Jawahar, Ronnie E. Matthew, Alireza Minagar, Deepti Shukla, John H. Zhang, Brian K. Willis, Federico Ampil and Anil Nanda

Object. The objective of this retrospective study was to analyze the results of stereotactic radiosurgery performed using a gamma knife in the treatment of 44 consecutive patients with brain metastases from lung carcinoma.

Methods. Forty-four patients with lung carcinoma were treated for metastatic brain tumors by performing radiosurgery with a Leksell Gamma Knife. Twenty-one patients (47.7%) were women and 23 were men. The mean age of the patients was 56 years (range 35–77 years). Twenty-two patients (50%) had solitary tumors and the rest had multiple tumors (two—six lesions). Eighteen patients (40.9%) presented with a recurrent and/or progressive brain disease that previously had been treated with other modalities (surgery, external-beam radiotherapy, or both). Fifteen patients had controlled lung disease and 19 patients had systemic metastases (in lymph nodes, liver, and/or bones) at the time of radiosurgery.

The median follow-up period was 18.25 months. All patients were followed up for three different end points: 1) death caused by the disease; 2) clinical and/or radiological evidence of progression of the tumor that had been treated with radiosurgery; and 3) appearance of new lesions. At the last follow-up review, 17 patients (38.6%) were alive and 27 (61.4%) had died. Ten patients (22.7%) died as a result of brain disease (failure of local control or new metastases). Controlled primary disease at the time of detection of metastases and the ability to achieve local tumor control after radiosurgery significantly improved the patient survival (p < 0.01). Control of the treated tumor(s) was achieved in 32 of 44 patients (72 tumors) and 10 patients experienced treatment failure. In addition to the 44 patients comprising the study population, two other patients were treated, but died of lung disease too early in the follow-up period to have been assessed. As of the last follow-up review, no new brain metastasis had occurred in 36 patients (81.8% [includes surviving and nonsurviving patients]). The median duration of overall survival was 7 months, the median period of controlled brain disease was 21 months, and the median period of freedom from new brain metastases was 17 months (95% confidence interval 13–19 months).

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery has significantly reduced the incidence of mortality from brain disease by effectively accomplishing local tumor control in patients with metastatic lung cancer. Local control and freedom from new brain metastases is not influenced by prior external-beam radiotherapy.

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Prashant Chittiboina, Helena Pasieka, Ashish Sonig, Papireddy Bollam, Christina Notarianni, Brian K. Willis and Anil Nanda

Object

Cerebrospinal fluid shunts in patients with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus are prone to failure, with some patients at risk for multiple failures. The objective of this study was to identify factors leading to multiple failures.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of cases of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus requiring neurosurgical intervention between 1982 and 2010.

Results

In the 109 cases analyzed, 54% of the patients were male, their mean birth weight was 1223 g, and their mean head circumference 25.75 cm. The mean duration of follow-up was 6 years, and 9 patients died. Grade III intraventricular hemorrhage was seen in 47.7% and Grade IV in 43.1%. Initial use of a ventricular access device was needed in 65 patients (59.6%), but permanent CSF shunting was needed in 104 (95.4%). A total of 454 surgical procedures were performed, including 304 shunt revisions in 78 patients (71.6%). Detailed surgical notes were available for 261 of these procedures, and of these, 51% were proximal revisions, 13% distal revisions, and 17% total shunt revisions. Revision rates were not affected by catheter type, patient sex, presence of congenital anomalies, or type of hydrocephalus. Age of less than 30 days at the initial procedure was associated with decreased survival of the first shunt. Regression analysis revealed that lower estimated gestational age (EGA) and obstructive hydrocephalus were significant predictors of multiple shunt revisions.

Conclusions

We found a high rate of need for permanent CSF shunts (95.4%) in patients with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. Shunt revision was required in 71.6% of patients, with those with lower birth weight and EGA at a higher risk for revisions.