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Gabriel Zada, Eisha Christian, Charles Y. Liu and Steven L. Giannotta

Object

Aneurysms of the anterior communicating artery (ACoA) can be a considerable challenge to treat surgically based on variations in the anatomy and morphological features of the ACoA complex. The fenestrated aneurysm clip can be a simple and practical tool in the operative management of ACoA aneurysms. The goal in this study was to characterize the particular surgical situations in which the use of a fenestrated clip facilitates the clip ligation of ACoA aneurysms.

Methods

The authors present their operative strategy and techniques for the use of fenestrated clips in the treatment of ACoA aneurysms.

Results

One hundred ninety-nine patients underwent surgical clipping of an ACoA aneurysm at the authors' institution between the years 1991 and 2008. Of these patients, fenestrated aneurysm clips were used in 20 cases (10%). The following structures were enclosed in the clip aperture: ipsilateral A2 artery, 12 patients (60%); ipsilateral A1 artery, 4 patients (20%); ipsilateral A1 artery plus recurrent artery of Heubner, 1 patient (5%); ACoA, 1 patient (5%); frontopolar artery, 1 patient (5%); and no structures, 1 patient (5%). Aneurysms approached from the left side more frequently required fenestrated clips than did right-sided aneurysms (80 vs 20%, p = 0.0073). In all cases, patency of the A2 vessels was confirmed on postoperative angiography. In 2 patients, small remnant aneurysm necks were identified on postoperative angiography.

Conclusions

The use of fenestrated aneurysm clips can minimize tedious and potentially dangerous dissection of adherent branch vessels, while maintaining the integrity of structures placed within the clip aperture. The ACoA aneurysms pointing in a superior direction are more likely to require clip fenestration around the A2 vessel, whereas those pointing in an inferior direction are more likely to require clip fenestration around the A1 vessel. The parallel approximation of the fenestrated clip blades makes them especially useful in the treatment of large or giant aneurysms.

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Eisha Christian, Brianna Harris, Bozena Wrobel and Gabriel Zada

Endoscopic endonasal surgery relies heavily on specialized operative instrumentation and optimization of endocrinological and other critical adjunctive intraoperative factors. Several studies and worldwide initiatives have previously established that intraoperative and perioperative surgical checklists can minimize the incidence of and prevent adverse events. The aim of this article was to outline some of the most common considerations in the perioperative and intraoperative preparation for endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. The authors implemented and prospectively evaluated a customized checklist at their institution in 25 endoscopic endonasal operations for a variety of sellar and skull base pathological entities. Although no major errors were detected, near misses pertaining primarily to missing components of surgical equipment or instruments were identified in 9 cases (36%). The considerations in the checklist provided in this article can serve as a basic template for further customization by centers performing endoscopic endonasal surgery, where their application may reduce the incidence of adverse or preventable errors associated with surgical treatment of sellar and skull base lesions.

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Patrick J. Karas, Charles B. Mikell, Eisha Christian, Mark A. Liker and Sameer A. Sheth

Deep brain stimulation (DBS), the practice of placing electrodes deep into the brain to stimulate subcortical structures with electrical current, has been increasing as a neurosurgical procedure over the past 15 years. Originally a treatment for essential tremor, DBS is now used and under investigation across a wide spectrum of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In addition to applying electrical stimulation for clinical symptomatic relief, the electrodes implanted can also be used to record local electrical activity in the brain, making DBS a useful research tool. Human single-neuron recordings and local field potentials are now often recorded intraoperatively as electrodes are implanted. Thus, the increasing scope of DBS clinical applications is being matched by an increase in investigational use, leading to a rapidly evolving understanding of cortical and subcortical neurocircuitry. In this review, the authors discuss recent innovations in the clinical use of DBS, both in approved indications as well as in indications under investigation. Deep brain stimulation as an investigational tool is also reviewed, paying special attention to evolving models of basal ganglia and cortical function in health and disease. Finally, the authors look to the future across several indications, highlighting gaps in knowledge and possible future directions of DBS treatment.

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Eisha A. Christian, Edward F. Melamed, Edwin Peck, Mark D. Krieger and J. Gordon McComb

OBJECT

Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) in the preterm infant remains a major neurological complication of prematurity. The authors first described insertion of a specially designed low-profile subcutaneous ventricular catheter reservoir for temporary management of hydrocephalus in 1983. This report presents the follow-up experience with the surgical management of PHH in this population and describes outcomes both in infants who were stable for permanent shunt insertion and those initially temporized with a ventricular reservoir (VR) prior to permanent ventriculoperitoneal (VP)/ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt placement.

METHODS

A retrospective review was undertaken of the medical records of all premature infants surgically treated for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) between 1997 and 2012 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

RESULTS

Over 14 years, 91 preterm infants with PHH were identified. Fifty neonates received temporizing measures via a VR that was serially tapped for varying time periods. For the remaining 41 premature infants, VP/VA shunt placement was the first procedure. Patients with a temporizing measure as their initial procedure had undergone CSF diversion significantly earlier in life than those who had permanent shunting as the initial procedure (29 vs 56 days after birth, p < 0.01). Of the infants with a VR as their initial procedure, 5/50 (10%) did not undergo subsequent VP/VA shunt placement. The number of shunt revisions and the rates of loculated hydrocephalus and shunt infection did not statistically differ between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with initial VR insertion as a temporizing measure received a CSF diversion procedure significantly earlier than those who received a permanent shunt as their initial procedure. Otherwise, the outcomes with regard to shunt revisions, loculated hydrocephalus, and shunt infection were not different for the 2 groups.

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Eisha Christian, Gabriel Zada, Gene Sung and Steven L. Giannotta

Object

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a significant cause of morbidity and death in the US and worldwide. Resuscitative systemic hypothermia following TBI has been established as an effective neuroprotective treatment in multiple studies in animals and humans, although this intervention carries with it a significant risk profile as well. Selective, or preferential, methods of inducing cerebral hypothermia have taken precedence over the past few years in order to minimize systemic adverse effects. In this report, the authors explore the current methods available for inducing selective cerebral hypothermia following TBI and review the literature regarding the results of animal and human trials in which these methods have been implemented.

Methods

A search of the PubMed archive (National Library of Medicine) and the reference lists of all relevant articles was conducted to identify all animal and human studies pertaining to the use of selective brain cooling, selective hypothermia, preferential hypothermia, or regional hypothermia following TBI.

Results

Multiple methods of inducing selective cerebral hypothermia are currently in the experimental phases, including surface cooling, intranasal selective hypothermia, transarterial or transvenous endovascular cooling, extraluminal vascular cooling, and epidural cerebral cooling.

Conclusions

Several methods of conferring preferential neuroprotection via selective hypothermia currently are being tested. Class I prospective clinical trials are required to assess the safety and efficacy of these methods.

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Joffre E. Olaya, Eisha Christian, Diana Ferman, Quyen Luc, Mark D. Krieger, Terence D. Sanger and Mark A. Liker

Background

Dystonia is a movement disorder in which involuntary sustained or intermittent muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements, abnormal postures, or both. It can be classified as primary or secondary. There is no cure for dystonia and the goal of treatment is to provide a better quality of life for the patient.

Surgical intervention is considered for patients in whom an adequate trial of medical treatment has failed. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), specifically of the globus pallidus interna (GPi), has been shown to be extremely effective in primary generalized dystonia. There is much less evidence for the use of DBS in patients with secondary dystonia. However, given the large number of patients with secondary dystonia, the significant burden on the patients and their families, and the potential for DBS to improve their functional status and comfort level, it is important to continue to investigate the use of DBS in the realm of secondary dystonia.

Object

The objective of this study is to review a series of cases involving patients with secondary dystonia who have been treated with pallidal DBS.

Methods

A retrospective review of 9 patients with secondary dystonia who received treatment with DBS between February 2011 and February 2013 was performed. Preoperative and postoperative videos were scored using the Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale (BADS) and Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) by a neurologist specializing in movement disorders. In addition, the patients' families completed a subjective questionnaire to assess the perceived benefit of DBS.

Results

The average age at DBS unit implantation was 15.1 years (range 6–20 years). The average time to follow-up for the BADS evaluation from battery implantation was 3.8 months (median 3 months). The average time to follow-up for the subjective benefit evaluation was 10.6 months (median 9.5 months). The mean BADS scores improved by 9% from 26.5 to 24 (p = 0.04), and the mean BFMDRS scores improved by 9.3% (p = 0.055). Of note, even in patients with minimal functional improvement, there seemed to be decreased contractures and spasms leading to improved comfort. There were no complications such as infections or hematoma in this case series. In the subjective benefit evaluation, 3 patients' families reported “good” benefit, 4 reported “minimal” benefit, and 1 reported no benefit.

Conclusions

These early results of GPi stimulation in a series of 9 patients suggest that DBS is useful in the treatment of secondary generalized dystonia in children and young adults. Objective improvements in BADS and BFMDRS scores are demonstrated in some patients with generalized secondary dystonia but not in others. Larger follow-up studies of DBS for secondary dystonia, focusing on patient age, history, etiology, and patterns of dystonia, are needed to learn which patients will respond best to DBS.

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Eisha A. Christian, Thomas A. Imahiyerobo, Swathi Nallapa, Mark Urata, J. Gordon McComb and Mark D. Krieger

OBJECT

The authors’ aim was perform a systematic review on the incidence of intracranial hypertension (IH) after surgery for craniosynostosis.

METHODS

A systematic literature review was conducted using PubMed to assess the rate of postoperative IH in studies published between 1985 and 2014. Inclusion criteria were 1) English-language literature; 2) human subjects; 3) pediatric cases; and 4) postoperative IH confirmed with invasive intracranial pressure monitoring.

RESULTS

Seven studies met inclusion criteria. IH was reported to be present in 5% of patients postoperatively with sagittal synostosis and 4% of patients with all forms of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. Inadequate numbers were available to determine the incidence of postoperative IH for syndromic and individual nonsyndromic sutural synostosis based on the inclusion criteria. Surgical groups were subdivided into cranial remodeling procedures without orbital advancement and craniofacial procedures with orbital advancement. IH was reported to be present in 5% of patients with all forms of nonsyndromic sutural stenosis after cranial remodeling procedures and 1% after craniofacial advancement.

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative development of elevated intracranial pressure has been described by multiple institutions, but the variation in how IH is determined and the multiple surgical procedures to correct craniosynostosis has limited the number of studies subject to a meta-analysis. Nonetheless, this entity deserves special attention, and further studies are required to determine the true incidence of postoperative IH, including the role of various surgical procedures on its incidence. The long-term consequences of chronic IH in this group of patients also need to be evaluated.

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Eisha A. Christian, Diana L. Jin, Frank Attenello, Timothy Wen, Steven Cen, William J. Mack, Mark D. Krieger and J. Gordon McComb

OBJECT

Even with improved prenatal and neonatal care, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) occurs in approximately 25%–30% of preterm infants, with a subset of these patients developing hydrocephalus. This study was undertaken to describe current trends in hospitalization of preterm infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) and the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID).

METHODS

The KID and NIS were combined to generate data for the years 2000–2010. All neonatal discharges with ICD-9-CM codes for preterm birth with IVH alone or with IVH and hydrocephalus were included.

RESULTS

There were 147,823 preterm neonates with IVH, and 9% of this group developed hydrocephalus during the same admission. Of patients with Grade 3 and 4 IVH, 25% and 28%, respectively, developed hydrocephalus in comparison with 1% and 4% of patients with Grade 1 and 2 IVH, respectively. Thirty-eight percent of patients with PHH had permanent ventricular shunts inserted. Mortality rates were 4%, 10%, 18%, and 40%, respectively, for Grade 1, 2, 3, and 4 IVH during initial hospitalization. Length of stay has been trending upward for both groups of IVH (49 days in 2000, 56 days in 2010) and PHH (59 days in 2000, 70 days in 2010). The average hospital cost per patient (adjusted for inflation) has also increased, from $201,578 to $353,554 (for IVH) and $260,077 to $495,697 (for PHH) over 11 years.

CONCLUSIONS

The number of neonates admitted with IVH has increased despite a decrease in the number of preterm births. Rates of hydrocephalus and mortality correlated closely with IVH grade. The incidence of hydrocephalus in preterm infants with IVH remained stable between 8% and 10%. Over an 11-year period, there was a progressive increase in hospital cost and length of stay for preterm neonates with IVH and PHH that may be explained by a concurrent increase in the proportion of patients with congenital cardiac anomalies.

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Ilya Lekht, Noah Brauner, Joshua Bakhsheshian, Ki-Eun Chang, Mittul Gulati, Mark S. Shiroishi, Edward G. Grant, Eisha Christian and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative contrast-enhanced ultrasound (iCEUS) offers dynamic imaging and provides functional data in real time. However, no standardized protocols or validated quantitative data exist to guide its routine use in neurosurgery. The authors aimed to provide further clinical data on the versatile application of iCEUS through a technical note and illustrative case series.

METHODS

Five patients undergoing craniotomies for suspected tumors were included. iCEUS was performed using a contrast agent composed of lipid shell microspheres enclosing perflutren (octafluoropropane) gas. Perfusion data were acquired through a time-intensity curve analysis protocol obtained using iCEUS prior to biopsy and/or resection of all lesions.

RESULTS

Three primary tumors (gemistocytic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme, and meningioma), 1 metastatic lesion (melanoma), and 1 tumefactive demyelinating lesion (multiple sclerosis) were assessed using real-time iCEUS. No intraoperative complications occurred following multiple administrations of contrast agent in all cases. In all neoplastic cases, iCEUS replicated enhancement patterns observed on preoperative Gd-enhanced MRI, facilitated safe tumor debulking by differentiating neoplastic tissue from normal brain parenchyma, and helped identify arterial feeders and draining veins in and around the surgical cavity. Intraoperative CEUS was also useful in guiding a successful intraoperative needle biopsy of a cerebellar tumefactive demyelinating lesion obtained during real-time perfusion analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative CEUS has potential for safe, real-time, dynamic contrast-based imaging for routine use in neurooncological surgery and image-guided biopsy. Intraoperative CEUS eliminates the effect of anatomical distortions associated with standard neuronavigation and provides quantitative perfusion data in real time, which may hold major implications for intraoperative diagnosis, tissue differentiation, and quantification of extent of resection. Further prospective studies will help standardize the role of iCEUS in neurosurgery.

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Joshua Bakhsheshian, Diana L. Jin, Ki-Eun Chang, Ben A. Strickland, Dan A. Donoho, Steven Cen, William J. Mack, Frank Attenello, Eisha A. Christian and Gabriel Zada

OBJECTIVE

Patient demographic characteristics, hospital volume, and admission status have been shown to impact surgical outcomes of sellar region tumors in adults; however, the data available following the resection of craniopharyngiomas in the pediatric population remain limited. The authors sought to identify potential risk factors associated with outcomes following surgical management of pediatric craniopharyngiomas.

METHODS

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database and Kids' Inpatient Database were analyzed to include admissions for pediatric patients (≤ 18 years) who underwent a transcranial or transsphenoidal craniotomy for resection of a craniopharyngioma. Patient-level factors, including age, race, comorbidities, and insurance type, as well as hospital factors were collected. Outcomes analyzed included mortality rate, endocrine and nonendocrine complications, hospital charges, and length of stay. A multivariate model controlling for variables analyzed was constructed to examine significant independent risk factors.

RESULTS

Between 2000 and 2011, 1961 pediatric patients were identified who underwent a transcranial (71.2%) or a transsphenoidal (28.8%) craniotomy for resection of a craniopharyngioma. A major predilection for age was observed with the selection of a transcranial (23.4% in < 7-year-olds, 28.1% in 7- to 12-year-olds, and 19.7% in 13- to 18-year-olds) versus transphenoidal (2.9% in < 7-year-olds, 7.4% in 7- to 12-year-olds, and 18.4% in 13- to 18-year-olds) approach. No significant outcomes were associated with a particular surgical approach, except that 7- to 12-year-old patients had a higher risk of nonendocrine complications (relative risk [RR] 2.42, 95% CI 1.04–5.65, p = 0.04) with the transsphenoidal approach when compared with 13- to 18-year-old patients. The overall inpatient mortality rate was 0.5% and the most common postoperative complication was diabetes insipidus (64.2%). There were no independent factors associated with inpatient mortality rates and no significant differences in outcomes among groups based on sex and race. The average length of stay was 11.8 days, and the mean hospital charge was $116,5 22. Hospitals with medium and large bed capacity were protective against nonendocrine complications (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.93, p = 0.03 [medium]; RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25–0.8, p < 0.01 [large]) and total complications (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55–0.97, p = 0.03 [medium]; RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.51–0.9, p < 0.01 [large]) when compared with hospitals with small bed capacity (< 200 beds). Patients admitted to rural hospitals had an increased risk for nonendocrine complications (RR 2.56, 95% CI 1.11–5.9, p = 0.03). The presence of one or more medical comorbidities increased the risk of higher total complications (RR 1.38, 95% CI 1.14–1.68), p < 0.01 [1 comorbidity]; RR 2.37, 95% CI 1.98–2.84, p < 0.01 [≥ 2 comorbidities]) and higher total hospital charges (RR 2.9, 95% CI 1.08–7.81, p = 0.04 [1 comorbidity]; RR 9.1, 95% CI 3.74–22.12, p < 0.01 [≥ 2 comorbidities]).

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis identified patient age, comorbidities, insurance type, hospital bed capacity, and rural or nonteaching hospital status as independent risk factors for postoperative complications and/or increased hospital charges in pediatric patients with craniopharyngioma. Transsphenoidal surgery in younger patients with craniopharyngioma was a risk factor for nonendocrine complications.