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Letter to the Editor. Bone cylinder plug and coil technique for accurate pedicle localization in thoracic spine surgery

Rodolfo Maduri, Daniele Starnoni, and John Michael Duff

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Returning to work after multimodal treatment in glioblastoma patients

Daniele Starnoni, Julien Berthiller, Tania-Mihaela Idriceanu, David Meyronet, Anne d’Hombres, François Ducray, and Jacques Guyotat

OBJECTIVE

Although multimodal treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) has resulted in longer survival, uncertainties exist regarding health-related quality of life and functional performance. Employment represents a useful functional end point and an indicator of social reintegration. The authors evaluated the rate of patients resuming their employment and the factors related to work capacity.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study of working-age patients treated with surgery and radiochemotherapy between 2012 and 2015. Data were collected before and after surgery and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Employment was categorized according to the French Socio-Professional Groups and analyzed regarding demographic and clinical data, performance status, socio-professional category, radiological features, type, and quality of resection.

RESULTS

A total of 125 patients, mean age 48.2 years, were identified. The mean follow-up was 20.7 months with a median survival of 22.9 months. Overall, 21 patients (18.3%) went back to work, most on a part-time basis (61.9%). Of the patients who were alive at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after diagnosis, 8.7%, 13.8%, 15.3%, and 28.2%, respectively, were working. Patients going back to work were younger (p = 0.03), had fewer comorbidities (p = 0.02), and had a different distribution of socio-professional groups, with more patients belonging to higher occupation categories (p = 0.02). Treatment-related symptoms (36.2%) represented one of the main factors that prevented the resumption of work. Employment was strongly associated with performance status (p = 0.002) as well as gross-total removal (p = 0.04). No statistically significant difference was found regarding radiological or molecular features and the occurrence of complications after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

GBM diagnosis and treatment has a significant socio-professional impact with only a minority of patients resuming work, mostly on a part-time basis.

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Systematic review and meta-analysis of the technique of subtotal resection and stereotactic radiosurgery for large vestibular schwannomas: a “nerve-centered” approach

Daniele Starnoni, Roy Thomas Daniel, Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Marc Levivier, and Mahmoud Messerer

OBJECTIVE

During the last decade, the primary objective for large vestibular schwannoma (VS) management has progressively shifted, from tumor excision to nerve preservation by using a combined microsurgical and radiosurgical approach. The aim of this study was to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature regarding the combined strategy of subtotal resection (STR) followed by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for large VSs.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis in compliance with the PRISMA guidelines for article identification and inclusion using the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases. Established inclusion criteria were used to screen all identified relevant articles published before September 2017 without backward date limit.

RESULTS

The authors included 9 studies (248 patients). With a weighted mean follow-up of 46 months (range 28–68.8 months), the pooled rate of overall tumor control was 93.9% (95% CI 91.0%–96.8%). Salvage treatment (second STR and/or SRS) was necessary in only 13 (5.24%) of 18 patients who experienced initial treatment failure. According to the House-Brackmann (HB) grading scale, functional facial nerve preservation (HB grade I–II) was achieved in 96.1% of patients (95% CI 93.7%–98.5%). Serviceable hearing after the combined approach was preserved in 59.9% (95% CI 36.5%–83.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

A combined approach of STR followed by SRS was shown to have excellent clinical and functional outcomes while still achieving a tumor control rate comparable to that obtained with a total resection. Longer-term follow-up and larger patient cohorts are necessary to fully evaluate the rate of tumor control achieved with this approach.

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Direct cochlear nerve stimulation monitoring through evoked muscle responses during retrosigmoid vestibular schwannoma resection surgery: technical note

Daniele Starnoni, Giulia Cossu, Rodolfo Maduri, Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Raphael Maire, Mahmoud Messerer, Marc Levivier, Etienne Pralong, and Roy T. Daniel

OBJECTIVE

Cochlear nerve preservation during surgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS) may be challenging. Brainstem auditory evoked potentials and cochlear compound nerve action potentials have clearly shown their limitations in surgeries for large VSs. In this paper, the authors report their preliminary results after direct electrical intraoperative cochlear nerve stimulation and recording of the postauricular muscle response (PAMR) during resection of large VSs.

METHODS

The details for the electrode setup, stimulation, and recording parameters are provided. Data of patients for whom PAMR was recorded during surgery were prospectively collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

PAMRs were recorded in all patients at the ipsilateral vertex-earlobe scalp electrode, and in 90% of the patients they were also observed in the contralateral electrode. The optimal stimulation intensity was found to be 1 mA at 1 Hz, with a good cochlear response and an absent response from other nerves. At that intensity, the ipsilateral cochlear response had an initial peak at a mean (± SEM) latency of 11.6 ± 1.5 msec with an average amplitude of 14.4 ± 5.4 µV. One patient experienced a significant improvement in his audition, while that of the other patients remained stable.

CONCLUSIONS

PAMR monitoring may be useful in mapping the position and trajectory of the cochlear nerve to enable hearing preservation during surgery.

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Successful weaning versus permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: post hoc analysis of a Swiss multicenter study

Ahmed El-Garci, Olivia Zindel-Geisseler, Noemi Dannecker, Yannick Rothacher, Ladina Schlosser, Anna Zeitlberger, Julia Velz, Martina Sebök, Noemi Eggenberger, Adrien May, Philippe Bijlenga, Ursula Guerra-Lopez, Rodolfo Maduri, Valérie Beaud, Daniele Starnoni, Alessio Chiappini, Stefania Rossi, Thomas Robert, Sara Bonasia, Johannes Goldberg, Christian Fung, David Bervini, Klemens Gutbrod, Nicolai Maldaner, Severin Früh, Marc Schwind, Oliver Bozinov, Marian C. Neidert, Peter Brugger, Emanuela Keller, Menno R. Germans, Luca Regli, Isabel C. Hostettler, Martin N. Stienen, and on behalf of the MoCA-DCI Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Acute hydrocephalus is a frequent complication after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Among patients needing CSF diversion, some cannot be weaned. Little is known about the comparative neurological, neuropsychological, and health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes in patients with successful and unsuccessful CSF weaning. The authors aimed to assess outcomes of patients by comparing those with successful and unsuccessful CSF weaning; the latter was defined as occurring in patients with permanent CSF diversion at 3 months post-aSAH.

METHODS

The authors included prospectively recruited alert (i.e., Glasgow Coma Scale score 13–15) patients with aSAH in this retrospective study from six Swiss neurovascular centers. Patients underwent serial neurological (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale), neuropsychological (Montreal Cognitive Assessment), disability (modified Rankin Scale), and HRQOL (EuroQol-5D) examinations at < 72 hours, 14–28 days, and 3 months post-aSAH.

RESULTS

Of 126 included patients, 54 (42.9%) developed acute hydrocephalus needing CSF diversion, of whom 37 (68.5%) could be successfully weaned and 17 (31.5%) required permanent CSF diversion. Patients with unsuccessful weaning were older (64.5 vs 50.8 years, p = 0.003) and had a higher rate of intraventricular hemorrhage (52.9% vs 24.3%, p = 0.04). Patients who succeed in restoration of physiological CSF dynamics improve on average by 2 points on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment between 48–72 hours and 14–28 days, whereas those in whom weaning fails worsen by 4 points (adjusted coefficient 6.80, 95% CI 1.57–12.04, p = 0.01). They show better neuropsychological recovery between 48–72 hours and 3 months, compared to patients in whom weaning fails (adjusted coefficient 7.60, 95% CI 3.09–12.11, p = 0.02). Patients who receive permanent CSF diversion (ventriculoperitoneal shunt) show significant neuropsychological improvement thereafter, catching up the delay in neuropsychological improvement between 14–28 days and 3 months post-aSAH. Neurological, disability, and HRQOL outcomes at 3 months were similar.

CONCLUSIONS

These results show a temporary but clinically meaningful cognitive benefit in the first weeks after aSAH in successfully weaned patients. The resolution of this difference over time may be due to the positive effects of permanent CSF diversion and underlines its importance. Patients who do not show progressive neuropsychological improvement after weaning should be considered for repeat CT imaging to rule out chronic (untreated) hydrocephalus.

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Longitudinal neuropsychological assessment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and its relationship with delayed cerebral ischemia: a prospective Swiss multicenter study

Martin N. Stienen, Menno R. Germans, Olivia Zindel-Geisseler, Noemi Dannecker, Yannick Rothacher, Ladina Schlosser, Julia Velz, Martina Sebök, Noemi Eggenberger, Adrien May, Julien Haemmerli, Philippe Bijlenga, Karl Schaller, Ursula Guerra-Lopez, Rodolfo Maduri, Valérie Beaud, Khalid Al-Taha, Roy Thomas Daniel, Alessio Chiappini, Stefania Rossi, Thomas Robert, Sara Bonasia, Johannes Goldberg, Christian Fung, David Bervini, Marie Elise Maradan-Gachet, Klemens Gutbrod, Nicolai Maldaner, Marian C. Neidert, Severin Früh, Marc Schwind, Oliver Bozinov, Peter Brugger, Emanuela Keller, Angelina Marr, Sébastien Roux, Luca Regli, and on behalf of the MoCA-DCI Study Group

OBJECTIVE

While prior retrospective studies have suggested that delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is a predictor of neuropsychological deficits after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), all studies to date have shown a high risk of bias. This study was designed to determine the impact of DCI on the longitudinal neuropsychological outcome after aSAH, and importantly, it includes a baseline examination after aSAH but before DCI onset to reduce the risk of bias.

METHODS

In a prospective, multicenter study (8 Swiss centers), 112 consecutive alert patients underwent serial neuropsychological assessments (Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA]) before and after the DCI period (first assessment, < 72 hours after aSAH; second, 14 days after aSAH; third, 3 months after aSAH). The authors compared standardized MoCA scores and determined the likelihood for a clinically meaningful decline of ≥ 2 points from baseline in patients with DCI versus those without.

RESULTS

The authors screened 519 patients, enrolled 128, and obtained complete data in 112 (87.5%; mean [± SD] age 53.9 ± 13.9 years; 66.1% female; 73% World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies [WFNS] grade I, 17% WFNS grade II, 10% WFNS grades III–V), of whom 30 (26.8%) developed DCI. MoCA z-scores were worse in the DCI group at baseline (−2.6 vs −1.4, p = 0.013) and 14 days (−3.4 vs −0.9, p < 0.001), and 3 months (−0.8 vs 0.0, p = 0.037) after aSAH. Patients with DCI were more likely to experience a decline of ≥ 2 points in MoCA score at 14 days after aSAH (adjusted OR [aOR] 3.02, 95% CI 1.07–8.54; p = 0.037), but the likelihood was similar to that in patients without DCI at 3 months after aSAH (aOR 1.58, 95% CI 0.28–8.89; p = 0.606).

CONCLUSIONS

Aneurysmal SAH patients experiencing DCI have worse neuropsychological function before and until 3 months after the DCI period. DCI itself is responsible for a temporary and clinically meaningful decline in neuropsychological function, but its effect on the MoCA score could not be measured at the time of the 3-month follow-up in patients with low-grade aSAH with little or no impairment of consciousness. Whether these findings can be extrapolated to patients with high-grade aSAH remains unclear.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03032471 (ClinicalTrials.gov)