Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 9 of 9 items for

  • Author or Editor: Christian Stein x
  • Refine by Access: all x
Clear All Modify Search
Full access

Christian Rainer Wirtz, Thorsten Steiner, Alfred Aschoff, Stefan Schwab, Holger Schnippering, Hans Herbert Steiner, Werner Hacke, and Stefan Kunze

Surgical decompression to alleviate raised intracranial pressure has been reported repeatedly in the past decades in small series of patients. Only recently have there been indications from larger trials that surgical decompression may be beneficial in treating space-occupying hemispheric infarction. However, surgical requirements for the procedure to be effective have not yet been defined.

Based on theoretical criteria, the authors operated on 43 patients with medically uncontrollable hemispheric infarctions. The craniectomies were planned to be as large as possible and performed in combination with a subtemporal decompression. Postoperative computerized tomography scans were evaluated for these criteria.

The mean survival rate for the group of 43 patients was 72.1% and no surviving patient ended up in a vegetative state. The mean area of craniectomy was found to be 84.3 ± 16.5 cm2 and the mean distance of the inferior craniectomy margin to the middle fossa was 1.8 ± 1.3 cm. Comparison of survivors and nonsurvivors failed to show a significant difference in the size of craniectomy or the distance to the floor of the middle fossa.

Compared with the reported 80% fatality rate for medically treated stroke patients, in this subgroup the outcome (72.1% survival rate) is remarkably good. The authors conclude that decompressive craniectomy is an effective treatment, able to reduce mortality, and to improve neurological outcome in patients with space-occupying cerebral infarction if the size of craniectomy is large enough. Nevertheless, there is a need for further investigation to identify patients who will benefit from surgery and predictors to optimize the timing of surgical intervention.

Restricted access

Christian Dorfer, Arthur Hosmann, Julia Vendl, Irene Steiner, Irene Slavc, Johannes Gojo, Gregor Kasprian, and Thomas Czech


CSF dynamics after transcallosal resection of intraventricular lesions can be altered, and the need for shunt implantation complicates the management of these patients. Because the pathophysiological mechanism and contributing factors are poorly understood and the incidence has largely not been described, the authors conducted a study to elucidate these factors.


The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been operated on at their institution via a transcallosal approach between March 2002 and December 2016. They evaluated the need for a shunt implantation up to 3 months after surgery by assessing clinical variables. These variables were age at surgery, the need for perioperative external CSF drainage, histology of the lesion, and the following radiological parameters: pre- and postoperative Evans index, maximal postoperative extension of subdural effusions (SDEs) measured on axial images, and maximal interhemispheric fissure (IHF) width measured on coronal images assessed at 4 different points in time (preoperatively, day 1, days 2–4, and days 4–8 after surgery). To identify potential risk factors, univariate and multivariate regression models were constructed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for significant predictors, as well as the area under the curve (AUC), were calculated.


Seventy-four patients (40 female and 34 male) were identified; their median age at surgery was 17.6 years (range 4 months to 76 years). Shunt implantation was necessary in 13 patients (ventriculoperitoneal [VP] shunt, n = 7; subdural peritoneal [SDP] shunt, n = 6) after a median interval of 24 days (range 10 days to 3 months). Univariate logistic regression models revealed a significant effect of IHF width on days 4–8 (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03–1.66; p = 0.027), extension of SDE on days 2–4 (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11–1 0.60; p = 0.003), and age (OR 0.932, 95% CI 0.88–0.99; p = 0.02). In the multiple regression model, the effect of the independent variable extension of the SDE remained significant. ROC curves for the predictors IHF width on days 4–8 and extension of SDE on days 2–4 revealed an AUC equal to 0.732 and 0.752, respectively. Before shunt implantation, the ventricles were smaller compared to the preoperative size in 9 of the 13 patients (SDP shunt, n = 5; VP shunt, n = 4).


The rate of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus 3 months after surgery in this heterogeneous group of patients was 17.6% (95% CI 9.7%–28.2%). The authors identified as predictive factors the variables extension of the convexity space, IHF 1 week after surgery, and younger age.

Free access

Daniel M. Bruening, Peter Truckenmueller, Christian Stein, Josch Fuellhase, Peter Vajkoczy, Thomas Picht, and Gueliz Acker


Training of residents is an essential but time-consuming and costly task in the surgical disciplines. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, surgical education became even more challenging because of the reduced caseload due to the increased shift to corona care. In this context, augmented 360° 3D virtual reality (VR) videos of surgical procedures enable effective off-site training through virtual participation in the surgery. The goal of this study was to establish and evaluate 360° 3D VR operative videos for neurosurgical training.


Using a 360° camera, the authors recorded three standard neurosurgical procedures: a lumbar discectomy, brain metastasis resection, and clipping of an aneurysm. Combined with the stereoscopic view of the surgical microscope, 7- to 10-minute 360° 3D VR videos augmented with annotations, overlays, and commentary were created. These videos were then presented to the neurosurgical residents at the authors’ institution using a head-mounted display. Before viewing the videos, the residents were asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating their VR experience and self-assessment of surgical skills regarding the specific procedure. After watching the videos, the residents completed another questionnaire to evaluate their quality and usefulness. The parameters were scaled with a 5-point Likert scale.


Twenty-two residents participated in this study. The mean years of experience of the participants in neurosurgery was 3.2 years, ranging from the 1st through the 7th year of training. Most participants (86.4%) had no or less than 15 minutes of VR experience. The overall quality of the videos was rated good to very good. Immersion, the feeling of being in the operating room, was high, and almost all participants (91%) stated that 360° VR videos provide a useful addition to the neurosurgical training. VR sickness was negligible in the cohort.


In this study, the authors demonstrated the feasibility and high acceptance of augmented 360° 3D VR videos in neurosurgical training. Augmentation of 360° videos with complementary and interactive content has the potential to effectively support trainees in acquiring conceptual knowledge. Further studies are necessary to investigate the effectiveness of their use in improving surgical skills.

Full access

Alexander Hammer, Dorit Wolff, Walter Geißdörfer, Michael Schrey, Renate Ziegler, Hans-Herbert Steiner, and Christian Bogdan

The authors describe the case of a 40-year-old man suffering from an epidural abscess in the thoracic spine due to a rarely isolated pathogen, Streptobacillus moniliformis, the causative agent of rat bite fever. Besides diffuse abdominal pain, ataxia, paresthesia, hypesthesia, and enhanced reflexes of the lower extremities, the patient suffered from a decreased sensation of bladder filling. His history was also positive for a rat bite 6 weeks earlier. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an epidural, space-occupying lesion compressing the spinal cord at the vertebral levels of T6–8. Neurosurgery revealed an epidural abscess, which was drained via laminectomy (T-7) and excision of the ligamentum flavum (T6–8). The etiological agent S. moniliformis was identified by 16S rRNA-based polymerase chain reaction and sequencing as well as by culture and mass spectrometry. Treatment with penicillin G led to complete resolution of the abscess and clinical recovery of the patient, who regained his bladder-filling sensation and free walking ability.

This case demonstrates that careful attention to the patient's history is essential in suspecting unusual bacterial pathogens as the cause of an epidural abscess and initiating the optimal diagnostic procedure and antimicrobial therapy.

Full access

Christian Zweifel, Andrea Lavinio, Luzius A. Steiner, Danila Radolovich, Peter Smielewski, Ivan Timofeev, Magdalena Hiler, Marcella Balestreri, Peter J. Kirkpatrick, John D. Pickard, Peter Hutchinson, and Marek Czosnyka


Cerebrovascular pressure reactivity is the ability of cerebral vessels to respond to changes in transmural pressure. A cerebrovascular pressure reactivity index (PRx) can be determined as the moving correlation coefficient between mean intracranial pressure (ICP) and mean arterial blood pressure.


The authors analyzed a database consisting of 398 patients with head injuries who underwent continuous monitoring of cerebrovascular pressure reactivity. In 298 patients, the PRx was compared with a transcranial Doppler ultrasonography assessment of cerebrovascular autoregulation (the mean index [Mx]), in 17 patients with the PET–assessed static rate of autoregulation, and in 22 patients with the cerebral metabolic rate for O2. Patient outcome was assessed 6 months after injury.


There was a positive and significant association between the PRx and Mx (R2 = 0.36, p < 0.001) and with the static rate of autoregulation (R2 = 0.31, p = 0.02). A PRx > 0.35 was associated with a high mortality rate (> 50%). The PRx showed significant deterioration in refractory intracranial hypertension, was correlated with outcome, and was able to differentiate patients with good outcome, moderate disability, severe disability, and death. The graph of PRx compared with cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) indicated a U–shaped curve, suggesting that too low and too high CPP was associated with a disturbance in pressure reactivity. Such an optimal CPP was confirmed in individual cases and a greater difference between current and optimal CPP was associated with worse outcome (for patients who, on average, were treated below optimal CPP [R2 = 0.53, p < 0.001] and for patients whose mean CPP was above optimal CPP [R2 = −0.40, p < 0.05]). Following decompressive craniectomy, pressure reactivity initially worsened (median −0.03 [interquartile range −0.13 to 0.06] to 0.14 [interquartile range 0.12–0.22]; p < 0.01) and improved in the later postoperative course. After therapeutic hypothermia, in 17 (70.8%) of 24 patients in whom rewarming exceeded the brain temperature threshold of 37°C, ICP remained stable, but the average PRx increased to 0.32 (p < 0.0001), indicating significant derangement in cerebrovascular reactivity.


The PRx is a secondary index derived from changes in ICP and arterial blood pressure and can be used as a surrogate marker of cerebrovascular impairment. In view of an autoregulation–guided CPP therapy, a continuous determination of a PRx is feasible, but its value has to be evaluated in a prospective controlled trial.

Open access

Barry Ting Sheen Kweh, Jin Wee Tee, Sander Muijs, F. Cumhur Oner, Klaus John Schnake, Lorin Michael Benneker, Emiliano Neves Vialle, Frank Kanziora, Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran, Gregory Schroeder, Alexander R. Vaccaro, and


Optimal management of A3 and A4 cervical spine fractures, as defined by the AO Spine Subaxial Injury Classification System, remains controversial. The objectives of this study were to determine whether significant management variations exist with respect to 1) fracture location across the upper, middle, and lower subaxial cervical spine and 2) geographic region, experience, or specialty.


A survey was internationally distributed to 272 AO Spine members across six geographic regions (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East). Participants’ management of A3 and A4 subaxial cervical fractures across cervical regions was assessed in four clinical scenarios. Key characteristics considered in the vignettes included degree of neurological deficit, pain severity, cervical spine stability, presence of comorbidities, and fitness for surgery. Respondents were also directly asked about their preferences for operative management and misalignment acceptance across the subaxial cervical spine.


In total, 155 (57.0%) participants completed the survey. Pooled analysis demonstrated that surgeons were more likely to offer operative intervention for both A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures located at the cervicothoracic junction compared with fractures at the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. There were no significant variations in management for junctional incomplete (p = 0.116) or complete (p = 0.342) burst fractures between geographic regions. Surgeons with more than 10 years of experience were more likely to operatively manage A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their younger counterparts. Neurosurgeons were more likely to offer surgical stabilization of A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their orthopedic colleagues. Clinicians from both specialties agreed regarding their preference for fixation of lower junctional A3 (p = 0.866) and A4 (p = 0.368) fractures. Overall, surgical fixation was recommended more often for A4 than A3 fractures in all four scenarios (p < 0.001).


The subaxial cervical spine should not be considered a single unified entity. Both A3 and A4 fracture subtypes were more likely to be surgically managed at the cervicothoracic junction than the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. The authors also determined that treatment strategies for A3 and A4 subaxial cervical spine fractures varied significantly, with the latter demonstrating a greater likelihood of operative management. These findings should be reflected in future subaxial cervical spine trauma algorithms.

Restricted access

Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010