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David Dornbos III, Constantine L. Karras, Nicole Wenger, Blake Priddy, Patrick Youssef, Shahid M. Nimjee, and Ciarán J. Powers

OBJECTIVE

The utilization of the Pipeline embolization device (PED) has increased significantly since its inception and original approval for use in large, broad-necked aneurysms of the internal carotid artery. While microsurgical clipping and advances in endovascular techniques have improved overall efficacy in achieving complete occlusion, recurrences still occur, and the best modality for retreatment remains controversial. Despite its efficacy in this setting, the role of PED utilization in the setting of recurrent aneurysms has not yet been well defined. This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of PED in the recurrence of previously treated aneurysms.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a total of 13 cases in which patients underwent secondary placement of a PED for aneurysm recurrence following prior treatment with another modality. The PEDs were used to treat aneurysm recurrence or residual following endovascular coiling in 7 cases, flow diversion in 2, and microsurgical clipping in 4. The mean time between initial treatment and retreatment with a PED was 28.1 months, 12 months, and 88.7 months, respectively. Clinical outcomes, including complications and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, and angiographic evidence of complete occlusion were tabulated for each treatment group.

RESULTS

All PEDs were successfully placed without periprocedural complications. The rate of complete occlusion was 80% at 6 months after PED placement and 100% at 12 months in these patients who underwent PED placement following failed endovascular coiling; there were no adverse clinical sequelae at a mean follow-up of 26.1 months. In the 2 cases in which PEDs were placed for treatment of residual aneurysms following prior flow diversion, 1 patient demonstrated asymptomatic vessel occlusion at 6 months, and the other exhibited complete aneurysm occlusion at 12 months. In patients with aneurysm recurrence following prior microsurgical clipping, the rate of complete occlusion was 100% at 6 and 12 months, with no adverse sequelae noted at a mean clinical follow-up of 27.7 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The treatment of recurrent aneurysms with the PED following previous endovascular coiling, flow diversion, or microsurgical clipping is associated with a high rate of complete occlusion and minimal morbidity.

Free access

Jeffrey Z. Nie, Constantine L. Karras, S. Joy Trybula, Pavlos Texakalidis, and Tord D. Alden

OBJECTIVE

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant, multisystem neurocutaneous disorder associated with cortical tubers, brain lesions seen in nearly all patients with TSC, which are frequently epileptogenic. Seizures are often the earliest clinical manifestation of TSC, leading to epilepsy in over 70% of patients. Medical management with antiepileptic drugs constitutes early therapy, but over 50% develop medically refractory epilepsy, necessitating surgical evaluation and treatment. The objective of this study was to summarize the literature and report seizure outcomes following surgical treatment for TSC-associated epilepsy.

METHODS

A systematic literature review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The PubMed and Embase databases were searched for journal articles reporting seizure outcomes following epilepsy surgery in TSC patients. Included studies were placed into one of two groups based on the surgical technique used. Excellent and worthwhile seizure reductions were defined for each group as outcomes and extracted from each study.

RESULTS

A total of 46 studies were included. Forty of these studies reported seizure outcomes following any combination of resection, disconnection, and ablation on a collective 1157 patients. Excellent and worthwhile seizure reductions were achieved in 59% (683/1157) and 85% (450/528) of patients, respectively. Six of these studies reported seizure outcomes following treatment with neuromodulation. Excellent and worthwhile seizure reductions were achieved in 34% (24/70) and 76% (53/70) of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery effectively controls seizures in select patients with TSC-associated epilepsy, but outcomes vary. Further understanding of TSC-associated epilepsy, improving localization strategies, and emerging surgical techniques represent promising avenues for improving surgical outcomes.

Free access

Collin J. Larkin, Anastasios G. Roumeliotis, Constantine L. Karras, Nikhil K. Murthy, Maria Fay Karras, Huy Minh Tran, Ketan Yerneni, and Matthew B. Potts

Annually, 20% of all practicing neurosurgeons in the United States are faced with medical malpractice litigation. The average indemnity paid in a closed neurosurgical civil claim is $439,146, the highest of all medical specialties. The majority of claims result from dissatisfaction following spinal surgery, although claims after cranial surgery tend to be costlier. On a societal scale, the increasing prevalence of medical malpractice claims is a catalyst for the practice of defensive medicine, resulting in record-level healthcare costs. Outside of the obvious financial strains, malpractice claims have also been linked to professional disenchantment and career changes for afflicted physicians. Unfortunately, neurosurgical residents receive minimal practical education regarding these matters and are often unprepared and vulnerable to these setbacks in the earlier stages of their careers. In this article, the authors aim to provide neurosurgical residents and junior attendings with an introductory guide to the fundamentals of medical malpractice lawsuits and the implications for neurosurgeons as an adjunct to more formal residency education.

Restricted access

Collin J. Larkin, Ketan Yerneni, Constantine L. Karras, Zachary A. Abecassis, Guangyu Zhou, Christina Zelano, Ashley N. Selner, Jessica W. Templer, and Matthew C. Tate

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative stimulation is used as a crucial adjunct in neurosurgical oncology, allowing for greater extent of resection while minimizing morbidity. However, limited data exist regarding the impact of cortical stimulation on the frequency of perioperative seizures in these patients.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review of patients undergoing awake craniotomy with electrocorticography data by a single surgeon at the authors’ institution between 2013 and 2020 was conducted. Eighty-three patients were identified, and electrocorticography, stimulation, and afterdischarge (AD)/seizure data were collected and analyzed. Stimulation characteristics (number, amplitude, density [stimulations per minute], composite score [amplitude × density], total and average stimulation duration, and number of positive stimulation sites) were analyzed for association with intraoperative seizures (ISs), ADs, and postoperative clinical seizures.

RESULTS

Total stimulation duration (p = 0.005), average stimulation duration (p = 0.010), and number of stimulations (p = 0.020) were found to significantly impact AD incidence. A total stimulation duration of more than 145 seconds (p = 0.04) and more than 60 total stimulations (p = 0.03) resulted in significantly higher rates of ADs. The total number of positive stimulation sites was associated with increased IS (p = 0.048). Lesions located within the insula (p = 0.027) were associated with increased incidence of ADs. Patients undergoing repeat awake craniotomy were more likely to experience IS (p = 0.013). Preoperative antiepileptic drug use, seizure history, and number of prior resections of any type showed no impact on the outcomes considered.

The charge transferred to the cortex per second during mapping was significantly higher in the 10 seconds leading to AD than at any other time point examined in patients experiencing ADs, and was significantly higher than any time point in patients not experiencing ADs or ISs. Although the rate of transfer for patients experiencing ISs was highest in the 10 seconds prior to the seizure, it was not significantly different from those who did not experience an AD or IS.

CONCLUSIONS

The data suggest that intraoperative cortical stimulation is a safe and effective technique in maximizing extent of resection while minimizing neurological morbidity in patients undergoing awake craniotomies, and that surgeons may avoid ADs and ISs by minimizing duration and total number of stimulations and by decreasing the overall charge transferred to the cortex during mapping procedures.