Dr. Ruth Jackson, born in 1902, was the first female spine surgeon on record. Her story of remarkable resilience and sacrifice is even more relevant given the stark gender disparities in orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery that remain today. Dr. Jackson entered the field during the Great Depression and overcame significant barriers at each step along the process. In 1937, she became the first woman to pass the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery examination and join the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons as a full member. Her work in the cervical spine led to a notable lecture record and the publication of several articles, as well as a book, The Cervical Syndrome, in which she discussed the anatomy, etiology, and treatment of cervical pathologies. Additionally, Dr. Jackson developed the Jackson CerviPillo, a neck support that is still in use today. She left a legacy that continues to resonate through the work of the Ruth Jackson Orthopedic Society, which supports women at all levels of practice and training. From the story of Dr. Jackson’s life, we can appreciate her single-minded determination that blazed a path for women in spine surgery, as well as consider the progress that remains to be made.
Ethan S. Srinivasan, Melissa M. Erickson, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Khoi D. Than
Lea Scherschinski, Joshua S. Catapano, Katherine Karahalios, Stefan W. Koester, Dimitri Benner, Ethan A. Winkler, Christopher S. Graffeo, Visish M. Srinivasan, Ruchira M. Jha, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, and Michael T. Lawton
Good functional outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) are often dependent on early detection and treatment of cerebral vasospasm (CVS) and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). There is growing evidence that continuous monitoring with cranial electroencephalography (cEEG) can predict CVS and DCI. Therefore, the authors sought to assess the value of continuous cEEG monitoring for the detection of CVS and DCI in aSAH.
The cerebrovascular database of a quaternary center was reviewed for patients with aSAH and cEEG monitoring between January 1, 2017, and July 31, 2019. Demographic data, cardiovascular risk factors, Glasgow Coma Scale score at admission, aneurysm characteristics, and outcomes were abstracted from the medical record. Patient data were retrospectively analyzed for DCI and angiographically assessed CVS. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and odds ratio for cEEG, transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCDS), CTA, and DSA in detecting DCI and angiographic CVS were calculated. A systematic literature review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines querying the PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Web of Science, and Embase databases.
A total of 77 patients (mean age 60 years [SD 15 years]; female sex, n = 54) were included in the study. Continuous cEEG monitoring detected DCI and angiographically assessed CVS with specificities of 82.9% (95% CI 66.4%–93.4%) and 94.4% (95% CI 72.7%–99.9%), respectively. The sensitivities were 11.1% (95% CI 3.1%–26.1%) for DCI (n = 71) and 18.8% (95% CI 7.2%–36.4%) for angiographically assessed CVS (n = 50). Furthermore, TCDS detected angiographically determined CVS with a sensitivity of 87.5% (95% CI 71.0%–96.5%) and specificity of 25.0% (95% CI 7.3%–52.4%). In patients with DCI, TCDS detected vasospasm with a sensitivity of 85.7% (95% CI 69.7%–95.2%) and a specificity of 18.8% (95% CI 7.2%–36.4%). DSA detected vasospasm with a sensitivity of 73.9% (95% CI 51.6%–89.8%) and a specificity of 47.8% (95% CI 26.8%–69.4%).
The study results suggest that continuous cEEG monitoring is highly specific in detecting DCI as well as angiographically assessed CVS. More prospective studies with predetermined thresholds and endpoints are needed to assess the predictive role of cEEG in aSAH.