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Hospital-acquired conditions: predictors and implications for outcomes following spine tumor resection

Nikita Lakomkin and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis


Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) significantly compromise patient safety, and have been identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as events that will be associated with penalties for surgeons. The mitigation of HACs must be an important consideration during the postoperative management of patients undergoing spine tumor resection. The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors for HACs and to characterize the relationship between HACs and other postoperative adverse events following spine tumor resection.


The 2008–2014 American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was used to identify adult patients undergoing the resection of intramedullary, intradural extramedullary, and extradural spine lesions via current procedural terminology and ICD-9 codes. Demographic, comorbidity, and operative variables were evaluated via bivariate statistics before being incorporated into a multivariable logistic regression model to identify the independent risk factors for HACs. Associations between HACs and other postoperative events, including death, readmission, prolonged length of stay, and various complications were determined through multivariable analysis while controlling for other significant variables. The c-statistic was computed to evaluate the predictive capacity of the regression models.


Of the 2170 patients included in the study, 195 (9.0%) developed an HAC. Only 2 perioperative variables, functional dependency and high body mass index, were risk factors for developing HACs (area under the curve = 0.654). Hospital-acquired conditions were independent predictors of all examined outcomes and complications, including death (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.24–4.11, p = 0.007), prolonged length of stay (OR 2.74, 95% CI 1.98–3.80, p < 0.001), and readmission (OR 9.16, 95% CI 6.27–13.37, p < 0.001). The areas under the curve for these models ranged from 0.750 to 0.917.


The comorbidities assessed in this study were not strongly predictive of HACs. Other variables, including hospital-associated factors, may play a role in the development of these conditions. The presence of an HAC was found to be an independent risk factor for a variety of adverse events. These findings highlight the need for continued development of evidence-based protocols designed to reduce the incidence and severity of HACs.

Open access

Contemporary intraoperative visualization for GBM with use of exoscope, 5-ALA fluorescence-guided surgery and tractography

Alexander J. Schupper, Jorge A. Roa, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Maximal safe resection is the primary goal of glioma surgery. By incorporating improved intraoperative visualization with the 3D exoscope combined with 5-ALA fluorescence, in addition to neuronavigation and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking, the safety of resection of tumors in eloquent brain regions can be maximized. This video highlights some of the various intraoperative adjuncts used in brain tumor surgery for high-grade glioma.

In this case, the authors highlight the resection of a left posterior temporal lobe high-grade glioma in a 33-year-old patient, who initially presented with seizures, word-finding difficulty, and right-sided weakness. They demonstrate the multiple surgical adjuncts used both before and during surgical resection, and how multiple adjuncts can be effectively orchestrated to make surgery in eloquent brain areas safer for patients. Patient consent was obtained for publication.

The video can be found here:

Free access

Novel approaches to targeting gliomas at the leading/cutting edge

Alexander J. Schupper and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Despite decades of clinical trials and surgical advances, the most common high-grade glioma, glioblastoma (GBM), remains an incurable disease with a dismal prognosis. Because of its infiltrative nature, GBM almost always recurs at the margin, or leading edge, where tumor cells invade the surrounding brain parenchyma. This region of GBMs is unique, or heterogeneous, with its own microenvironment that is different from the tumor bulk or core. The GBM microenvironment at the margin contains immunosuppressive constituents as well as invasive and therapy-resistant tumor cells that are difficult to treat. In addition, the blood-brain barrier remains essentially intact at the infiltrative margin of tumors; further limiting the effectiveness of therapies. The invasive margin creates the greatest challenge for neurosurgeons when managing these tumors. The current paradigm of resection of GBM tumors mainly focuses on resection of the contrast-enhancing component of tumors, while GBMs extend well beyond the contrast enhancement. The infiltrative margin represents a unique challenge and opportunity for solutions that may overcome current limitations in tumor treatments. In this review of the current literature, the authors discuss the current and developing advances focused on the detection and treatment of GBM at the infiltrative margin and how this could impact patient outcomes.

Open access

Use of the 3D exoscope for the supracerebellar infratentorial approach in the concorde position: an effective and ergonomic alternative. Illustrative cases

Jorge A. Roa, Alexander J. Schupper, Kurt Yaeger, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis


The supracerebellar infratentorial approach provides wide flexibility as a far-reaching corridor to the pineal region, posterior third ventricle, posterior medial temporal lobe, posterolateral mesencephalon, quadrigeminal cistern, and thalamus. Traditionally, the patient is placed in the sitting position, allowing gravity retraction on the cerebellum to widen the supracerebellar operative corridor beneath the tentorium. What this approach gains in anatomical orientation it lacks in surgeon ergonomics, as the sitting position presents technical challenges, forces the surgeon to adopt to an uncomfortable posture while performing the microsurgical dissection/tumor resection under the microscope, and is also associated with an increased risk of venous air embolism.


In this article, the authors present the use of the three-dimensional (3D) exoscope with a standard prone Concorde position as an alternative for the treatment of lesions requiring a supracerebellar infratentorial approach for lesions in the pineal region, posterior third ventricle, and the superior surface of the cerebellar vermis. The authors present four illustrative cases (one pineal cyst, one ependymoma, and two cerebellar metastases) in which this approach provided excellent intraoperative visualization and resulted in good postoperative results. A step-by-step description of our surgical technique is reviewed in detail.


The use of the 3D exoscope with the patient in the prone Concorde position is an effective and ergonomically favorable alternative to the traditional sitting position for the treatment of lesions requiring a supracerebellar infratentorial approach. This technique allows improved visualization of deep structures, with a possible decreased risk of potential complications.

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Prophylactic antiepileptic drug administration following brain tumor resection: results of a recent AANS/CNS Section on Tumors survey

Michael C. Dewan, Reid C. Thompson, Steven N. Kalkanis, Fred G. Barker II, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis


Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are often administered prophylactically following brain tumor resection. With conflicting evidence and unestablished guidelines, however, the nature of this practice among tumor surgeons is unknown.


On November 24, 2015, a REDCap (Research Electronic Database Capture) survey was sent to members of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors to query practice patterns.


Responses were received from 144 individuals, including 18.8% of board-certified neurosurgeons surveyed (across 86 institutions, 16 countries, and 5 continents). The majority reported practicing in an academic setting (85%) as a tumor specialist (71%). Sixty-three percent reported always or almost always prescribing AED prophylaxis postoperatively in patients with a supratentorial brain tumor without a prior seizure history. Meanwhile, 9% prescribed occasionally and 28% rarely prescribed AED prophylaxis. The most common agent was levetiracetam (85%). The duration of seizure prophylaxis varied widely: 25% of surgeons administered prophylaxis for 7 days, 16% for 2 weeks, 21% for 2 to 6 weeks, and 13% for longer than 6 weeks. Most surgeons (61%) believed that tumor pathology influences epileptogenicity, with high-grade glioma (39%), low-grade glioma (31%), and metastases (24%) carrying the greatest seizure risk. While the majority used prophylaxis, 62% did not believe or were unsure if prophylactic AEDs reduced seizures postoperatively. The vast majority (82%) stated that a well-designed randomized trial would help guide their future clinical decision making.


Wide knowledge and practice gaps exist regarding the frequency, duration, and setting of AED prophylaxis for seizure-naive patients undergoing brain tumor resection. Acceptance of universal practice guidelines on this topic is unlikely until higher-level evidence supporting or refuting the value of modern seizure prophylaxis is demonstrated.

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Stereotactic radiosurgery for pilocytic astrocytomas when multimodality therapy is necessary

Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, Douglas Kondziolka, Paul Gardner, Ajay Niranjan, Shekhar Dagam, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. The goal of this study was to examine the role of stereotactic radiosurgery in the treatment of patients with recurrent or unresectable pilocytic astrocytomas.

Methods. During a 13-year interval, 37 patients (median age 14 years) required multimodal treatment of recurrent or unresectable pilocytic astrocytomas. Tumors involved the brainstem in 18 patients, cerebellum in three, thalamus in five, temporal lobe in four, and parietal lobe in two, as well as the hypothalamus, optic tract, corpus callosum, insular cortex, and third ventricle in one patient each. Diagnosis was confirmed with the aid of stereotactic biopsy in 12 patients, open biopsy in five, partial resection in eight, and near-total resection in 12. Multimodal treatment included fractionated radiation therapy in 10 patients, stereotactic intracavitary irradiation of tumor in four, chemotherapy in two, cyst drainage in six, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement in three, and additional cytoreductive surgery in four. Tumor volumes varied from 0.42 to 25 cm3. The median radiosurgical dose to the tumor margin was 15 Gy (range 9.6–22.5 Gy).

After radiosurgery, serial imaging demonstrated complete tumor resolution in 10 patients, reduced tumor volume in eight, stable tumor volume in seven, and delayed tumor progression in 12. No procedure-related death was encountered. Thirty-three (89%) of 37 patients are alive at a median follow-up period of 28 months after radiosurgery and 59 months after diagnosis. Eight patients participated in follow-up review for more than 60 months. Three patients died of local tumor progression.

Conclusions. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a valuable adjunctive strategy in the management of recurrent or unresectable pilocytic astrocytomas. Despite the favorable histological characteristics and prognosis usually associated with this neoplasm, an adverse location, recurrence, or progression of this disease requires alternative therapeutic approaches such as radiosurgery.

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Intracranial Rosai—Dorfman disease treated with microsurgical resection and stereotactic radiosurgery

Case report

Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, Ghassan Bejjani, Clayton Wiley, Toshinori Hasegawa, Melissa Maddock, and Douglas Kondziolka

✓ Sinus histiocytosis or Rosai—Dorfman disease (RDD) is a rare idiopathic histioproliferative disorder typically characterized by painless cervical lymphadenopathy, fever, and weight loss. Extranodal, intracranial disease is uncommon. In this report the authors describe the first case of intracranial RDD treated with stereotactic radiosurgery after resection.

This 52-year-old man with known RDD presented with a 7-day course of fever, headache, diplopia, left facial paresthesias, and difficulty swallowing. No cranial nerve deficits were evident on examination, but right submandibular and inguinal node enlargements were noted. On neuroimaging, the patient was found to have a homogeneously contrast-enhancing petroclival lesion with extension into the left cavernous sinus.

The patient underwent a combined left petrosal craniotomy and partial labyrinthectomy with duraplasty for biopsy sampling and partial microsurgical resection of the lesion. Microscopic examination of the biopsy specimen revealed the presence of a mixed cellular population with predominant mature histiocytes consistent with RDD. The residual tumor was treated with stereotactic radiosurgery 2 months after resection. On follow-up imaging the lesion had regressed significantly, with only slight dural enhancement remaining.

Microsurgical resection for histological diagnosis, followed by stereotactic radiosurgery for residual tumor represents one treatment alternative in the management of intracranial RDD in which a complete resection carries the potential for excess morbidity.

Open access

Exoscope-based supracerebellar infratentorial approach for a pineal meningioma in the prone position

Arka N. Mallela, Tritan J. Plute, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, David T. Fernandes Cabral, and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

The supracerebellar infratentorial (SCIT) approach is a well-described corridor to lesions in the quadrigeminal cistern, pineal gland, and dorsal midbrain. It can be performed in the prone or sitting position. The sitting position offers the benefit of gravity retraction of the cerebellum but comes at the expense of nonergonomic hand positioning and the potential risk of air embolism. The 3D exoscope is an alternative to the operating microscope and permits the SCIT approach in the prone position with excellent visualization. This video demonstrates exoscope-based SCIT approach for resection of a pineal meningioma in the prone position.

The video can be found here:

Free access

Editorial. Supramaximal resection of eloquent glioblastoma: a continued paradigm shift in neurosurgical oncology

Noah M. Nichols and Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Open access

Introduction. Use of the exoscope in neurosurgery

Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis, Libby K. Infinger, Martin Lehecka, Gustavo Pradilla, and Gabriel Zada