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Andrew B. Boucher, Osama N. Kashlan, Matthew F. Gary and Daniel Refai

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Daniel Refai, Richard J. Perrin and Matthew D. Smyth

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Bakhtiar Yamini, Daniel Refai, Charles M. Rubin and David M. Frim

Object. The authors report their experience in six patients with pineal tumors and associated hydrocephalus who underwent an endoscopic biopsy procedure and third ventriculocisternostomy (ETVC) in a single sitting.

Methods. The ETVC was successfully performed without complication in all patients; however, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was eventually required in four. Histological diagnosis was successfully established in four patients. The authors also reviewed the literature to assess reports involving ETVC and tumor biopsy sampling in patients with pineal tumors and hydrocephalus. A total of 54 cases, including those in this study, have been reported. Fifteen percent of the patients eventually required placement of a ventricular shunt. The transient complication rate was 15% with no death. A positive tissue diagnosis was established in 89% of the cases overall.

Conclusions. The authors conclude that the endoscopic management of patients with pineal region masses and hydrocephalus may be a preferred initial strategy.

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Sameer H. Halani, Griffin R. Baum, Jonathan P. Riley, Gustavo Pradilla, Daniel Refai, Gerald E. Rodts Jr and Faiz U. Ahmad

OBJECTIVE

Esophageal perforation is a rare but well-known complication of anterior cervical spine surgery. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature to evaluate symptomatology, direct causes, repair methods, and associated complications of esophageal injury.

METHODS

A PubMed search that adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines included relevant clinical studies and case reports (articles written in the English language that included humans as subjects) that reported patients who underwent anterior spinal surgery and sustained some form of esophageal perforation. Available data on clinical presentation, the surgical procedure performed, outcome measures, and other individual variables were abstracted from 1980 through 2015.

RESULTS

The PubMed search yielded 65 articles with 153 patients (mean age 44.7 years; range 14–85 years) who underwent anterior spinal surgery and sustained esophageal perforation, either during surgery or in a delayed fashion. The most common indications for initial anterior cervical spine surgery in these cases were vertebral fracture/dislocation (n = 77), spondylotic myelopathy (n = 15), and nucleus pulposus herniation (n = 10). The most commonly involved spinal levels were C5–6 (n = 51) and C6–7 (n = 39). The most common presenting symptoms included dysphagia (n =63), fever (n = 24), neck swelling (n = 23), and wound leakage (n = 18). The etiology of esophageal perforation included hardware failure (n = 31), hardware erosion (n = 23), and intraoperative injury (n = 14). The imaging modalities used to identify the esophageal perforations included modified contrast dye swallow studies, CT, endoscopy, plain radiography, and MRI. Esophageal repair was most commonly achieved using a modified muscle flap, as well as with primary closure. Outcomes measured in the literature were often defined by the time to oral intake following esophageal repair. Complications included pneumonia (n = 6), mediastinitis (n = 4), osteomyelitis (n = 3), sepsis (n = 3), acute respiratory distress syndrome (n = 2), and recurrent laryngeal nerve damage (n = 1). The mortality rate of esophageal perforation in the analysis was 3.92% (6 of 153 reported patients).

CONCLUSIONS

Esophageal perforation after anterior cervical spine surgery is a rare complication. This systematic review demonstrates that these perforations can be stratified into 3 categories based on the timing of symptomatic onset: intraoperative, early postoperative (within 30 days of anterior spinal surgery), and delayed. The most common source of esophageal injury is hardware erosion or migration, each of which may vary in their time to symptomatic manifestation.

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Daniel Refai, James A. Botros, Russell G. Strom, Colin P. Derdeyn, Aseem Sharma and Gregory J. Zipfel

Object

The clinical characteristics and overall outcome in patients with spontaneous isolated convexity subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are not well described in the literature. The purpose of this study was to examine the mode of presentation, common origins, radiographic findings, and clinical course in a large case series of such patients.

Methods

A retrospective single-center chart review of all patients in whom nontraumatic primary convexity SAH was diagnosed between 2002 and 2007 was performed. Twenty patients were identified and analyzed for presenting symptoms, radiological and laboratory findings, hospital course, and outcome.

Results

There were 15 women and 5 men in our series, and the mean age was 52 years (range 18–86 years). The most common presenting symptom was headache, with 15 patients experiencing it as a chief complaint. Other frequent manifestations included altered mental status (8 patients), focal neurological deficits (7), and seizure (4 patients). An underlying cause of the hemorrhage was identified in 13 cases, whereas the remainder went unresolved. Of the known causes, 5 were due to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, 3 were caused by thrombocytopenia or anticoagulation, and the remainder were isolated cases of lupus vasculitis, drug-induced vasculopathy, postpartum cerebral angiopathy, hypertensive microangiopathy, and Call–Fleming syndrome. All patients with unknown disease origins had favorable outcomes, whereas 8 of 13 patients with an identifiable underlying disorder experienced favorable outcomes.

Conclusions

Spontaneous isolated convexity SAH is rarely caused by aneurysm rupture, has a distinct mode of presentation, and generally carries a more favorable prognosis than that of aneurysmal SAH.

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Gregory J. Zipfel, Manish N. Shah, Daniel Refai, Ralph G. Dacey Jr. and Colin P. Derdeyn

This article presents a modification to the existing classification scales of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas based on newly published research regarding the relationship of clinical symptoms and outcome. The 2 commonly used scales, the Borden-Shucart and Cognard scales, rely entirely on angiographic features for categorization. The most critical anatomical feature is the identification of cortical venous drainage (CVD; Borden-Shucart Types II and III and Cognard Types IIb, IIa + b, III, IV, and V), as this feature identifies lesions at high risk for future hemorrhage or ischemic neurological injury. Yet recent data has emerged indicating that within these high-risk groups, most of the risk for future injury is in the subgroup presenting with intracerebral hemorrhage or nonhemorrhagic neurological deficits. The authors have defined this subgroup as symptomatic CVD. Patients who present incidentally or with symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus or ophthalmological phenomena have a less aggressive clinical course. The authors have defined this subgroup as asymptomatic CVD. Based on recent data the annual rate of intracerebral hemorrhage is 7.4–7.6% for patients with symptomatic CVD compared with 1.4–1.5% for those with asymptomatic CVD. The addition of asymptomatic CVD or symptomatic CVD as modifiers to the Borden-Shucart and Cognard systems improves their accuracy for risk stratification of patients with high-grade dural arteriovenous fistulas.

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Josser E. Delgado Almandoz, Bharathi D. Jagadeesan, Daniel Refai, Christopher J. Moran, DeWitte T. Cross III, Michael R. Chicoine, Keith M. Rich, Michael N. Diringer, Ralph G. Dacey Jr., Colin P. Derdeyn and Gregory J. Zipfel

Object

The yield of CT angiography (CTA) and MR angiography (MRA) in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who have a negative initial catheter angiogram is currently not well understood. This study aims to determine the yield of CTA and MRA in a prospective cohort of patients with SAH and a negative initial catheter angiogram.

Methods

From January 1, 2005, until September 1, 2010, the authors instituted a prospective protocol in which patients with SAH—as documented by noncontrast CT or CSF xanthochromia and a negative initial catheter angiogram— were evaluated using CTA and MRA to assess for causative cerebral aneurysms. Two neuroradiologists independently evaluated the noncontrast CT scans to determine the SAH pattern (perimesencephalic or not) and the CT and MR angiograms to assess for causative cerebral aneurysms.

Results

Seventy-seven patients were included, with a mean age of 52.8 years (median 54 years, range 19–88 years). Fifty patients were female (64.9%) and 27 male (35.1%). Forty-three patients had nonperimesencephalic SAH (55.8%), 29 patients had perimesencephalic SAH (37.7%), and 5 patients had CSF xanthochromia (6.5%). Computed tomography angiography demonstrated a causative cerebral aneurysm in 4 patients (5.2% yield), all of whom had nonperimesencephalic SAH (9.3% yield). Mean aneurysm size was 2.6 mm (range 2.1–3.3 mm). Magnetic resonance angiography demonstrated only 1 of these aneurysms. No causative cerebral aneurysms were found in patients with perimesencephalic SAH or CSF xanthochromia.

Conclusions

Computed tomography angiography is a valuable adjunct in the evaluation of patients with nonperimesencephalic SAH who have a negative initial catheter angiogram, demonstrating a causative cerebral aneurysm in 9.3% of patients.