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Evan D. Bander, Evgeny Shelkov, Oleg Modik, Padmaja Kandula, Steven C. Karceski and Rohan Ramakrishna

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative cortical and subcortical mapping techniques have become integral for achieving a maximal safe resection of tumors that are in or near regions of eloquent brain. The recent literature has demonstrated successful motor/language mapping with lower rates of stimulation-induced seizures when using monopolar high-frequency stimulation compared to traditional low-frequency bipolar stimulation mapping. However, monopolar stimulation carries with it disadvantages that include more radiant spread of electrical stimulation and a theoretically higher potential for tissue damage. The authors report on the successful use of bipolar stimulation with a high-frequency train-of-five (TOF) pulse physiology for motor mapping.

METHODS

Between 2018 and 2019, 13 patients underwent motor mapping with phase-reversal and both low-frequency and high-frequency bipolar stimulation. A retrospective chart review was conducted to determine the success rate of motor mapping and to acquire intraoperative details.

RESULTS

Thirteen patients underwent both high- and low-frequency bipolar motor mapping to aid in tumor resection. Of the lesions treated, 69% were gliomas, and the remainder were metastases. The motor cortex was identified at a significantly greater rate when using high-frequency TOF bipolar stimulation (n = 13) compared to the low-frequency bipolar stimulation (n = 4) (100% vs 31%, respectively; p = 0.0005). Intraoperative seizures and afterdischarges occurred only in the group of patients who underwent low-frequency bipolar stimulation, and none occurred in the TOF group (31% vs 0%, respectively; p = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS

Using a bipolar wand with high-frequency TOF stimulation, the authors achieved a significantly higher rate of successful motor mapping and a low rate of intraoperative seizure compared to traditional low-frequency bipolar stimulation. This preliminary study suggests that high-frequency TOF stimulation provides a reliable additional tool for motor cortex identification in asleep patients.

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Evan D. Bander, Samuel H. Jones, Ilhami Kovanlikaya and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Brain retraction systems are frequently required to achieve surgical exposure of deep-seated brain lesions. Spatula-based systems can be associated with injury to the cortex and deep white matter, particularly adjacent to the sharp edges, which can result in uneven pressure on the parenchyma over the course of a long operation. The use of tubular retractor systems has been proposed as a method to overcome these limitations. There have been no studies assessing the degree of brain injury associated with the use of tubular retractors.

METHODS

Twenty patients were retrospectively identified at Weill Cornell Medical College who underwent resection of deep-seated brain lesions between 2005 and 2014 with the aid of a METRx tubular retractor system. Using the Brainlab software, pre- and postoperative images were analyzed to assess volume, depth, extent of resection, and change in postoperative MR FLAIR hyperintensity and restricted diffusion on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).

RESULTS

The mean preoperative tumor volume was 16.25 ± 17.6 cm3. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75%, near-total resection in 10%, and subtotal resection in 15% of patients. There was a small but not statistically significant increase in average FLAIR hyperintensity volume by 3.25 ± 10.51 cm3 (p = 0.16). The average postoperative volume of DWI high signal area with restricted diffusion on apparent diffusion coefficient maps was 8.35 ± 3.05 cm3. Assuming that the volume of restricted diffusion on DWI around tumor was 0 preoperatively, this represented a statistically significant increase on DWI (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Although tubular retractors do not appear to significantly increase FLAIR signal in the brain, DWI intensity around the retractors can be identified. These data indicate that although tubular retractors may minimize damage to surrounding tissues, they still cause cytotoxic edema and cellular damage. Objective comparison against other retraction methods, as compared by 3D volumetric analysis or similar methods, will be important in determining the true advantage of tubular retractor systems.

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Evan D. Bander, Alexander D. Ramos, Eva Wembacher-Schroeder, Iryna Ivasyk, Rowena Thomson, Peter F. Morgenstern and Mark M. Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

While the safety and efficacy of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) have been studied in patients receiving single-dose drug infusions, agents for oncological therapy may require repeated or chronic infusions to maintain therapeutic drug concentrations. Repeat and chronic CED infusions have rarely been described for oncological purposes. Currently available CED devices are not approved for extended indwelling use, and the only potential at this time is for sequential treatments through multiple procedures. The authors report on the safety and experience in a group of pediatric patients who received sequential CED into the brainstem for the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

METHODS

Patients in this study were enrolled in a phase I single-center clinical trial using 124I-8H9 monoclonal antibody (124I-omburtamab) administered by CED (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01502917). A retrospective chart and imaging review were used to assess demographic data, CED infusion data, and postoperative neurological and surgical outcomes. MRI scans were analyzed using iPlan Flow software for volumetric measurements. Target and catheter coordinates as well as radial, depth, and absolute error in MRI space were calculated with the ClearPoint imaging software.

RESULTS

Seven patients underwent 2 or more sequential CED infusions. No patients experienced Clinical Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3 or greater deficits. One patient had a persistent grade 2 cranial nerve deficit after a second infusion. No patient experienced hemorrhage or stroke postoperatively. There was a statistically significant decrease in radial error (p = 0.005) and absolute tip error (p = 0.008) for the second infusion compared with the initial infusion. Sequential infusions did not result in significantly different distribution capacities between the first and second infusions (volume of distribution determined by the PET signal/volume of infusion ratio [mean ± SD]: 2.66 ± 0.35 vs 2.42 ± 0.75; p = 0.45).

CONCLUSIONS

This series demonstrates the ability to safely perform sequential CED infusions into the pediatric brainstem. Past treatments did not negatively influence the procedural workflow, technical application of the targeting interface, or distribution capacity. This limited experience provides a foundation for using repeat CED for oncological purposes.

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Aikaterini Patrona, Kunal S. Patel, Evan D. Bander, Alpesh Mehta, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Surgery within the cavernous sinus (CS) remains a controversial topic because of the delicate and complex anatomy. The risk also varies with tumor consistency. Softer tumors such as pituitary adenomas are more likely to be surgically treated, while firm tumors such as meningiomas are often treated with radiosurgery. However, a wide range of pathologies that can involve the CS are amenable to surgery. The authors describe and analyze their results using endonasal endoscopic “medial-to-lateral” approaches for nonadenomatous, nonmeningeal tumors, in relation to the degree of invasion within the CS.

METHODS

A prospectively acquired database of consecutive endoscopic approaches for tumors with verified intraoperative CS invasion was reviewed. Pituitary adenomas and meningiomas were excluded. Degree of invasion of the CS was classified using the Knosp-Steiner (KS) grading system as well as the percentage of cavernous carotid artery (CCA) encasement. Extent of resection of the entire tumor and of the CS component was assessed by independent neuroradiologists using volumetric measurements of the pre- and postoperative MRI studies. Demographic data and complications were noted.

RESULTS

Fifteen patients (mean age 51.1 years who received endoscopic surgery between 2007 and 2013 met the selection criteria. There were 11 malignant tumors, including chordoma, chondrosarcoma, hemangiopericytoma, lymphoma, and metastatic cancer, and 4 benign tumors, including 3 cavernous hemangiomas and 1 dermoid. All cases were discussed before treatment in a tumor board. Adjuvant treatment options included chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The mean pre- and postoperative tumor volumes were 12.74 ml and 3.86 ml. Gross-total resection (GTR; ie, resection greater than 95%) was the goal in 13 cases and was achieved in 6 patients (46%) while in addition 5 patients had a greater than 80% resection. Gross-total resection in the CS was accomplished in 55% of the tumors with KS Grades 1–2 and in 16.6% of the tumors with KS grades 3–4, respectively. Likewise, GTR was accomplished in 55% of the tumors with CCA encasement under 75% and in 14.3% of the lesions with CCA encasement over 75%, irrespective of tumor volume and underlying pathology. There were 18 preexisting cranial neuropathies involving cranial nerves III–VI, of which 9 fully resolved, 4 improved, and 3 remained unchanged; 2 of these worsened with tumor recurrence. Surgical complications included 1 transient new cranial nerve VI palsy associated with Horner's syndrome and 1 case of panhypopituitarism. There were no postoperative CSF leaks and no infections. The mean extended follow-up was 34.4 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Endonasal endoscopic approaches can play a role in the management of nonmeningeal, nonadenomatous tumors invading the CS, either through biopsy, debulking, or GTR. An advantage of this method is the relief of preexisting cranial neuropathies with low risk for new neurological deficit. Extent of resection within the CS varies with KS grade and degree of carotid encasement irrespective of the underlying pathology. The goals of surgery should be clearly established preoperatively in consultation with radiation and medical oncologists.

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Evan D. Bander, Karima Tizi, Eva Wembacher-Schroeder, Rowena Thomson, Maria Donzelli, Elizabeth Vasconcellos and Mark M. Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

In the brainstem, there are concerns regarding volumetric alterations following convection-enhanced delivery (CED). The relationship between distribution volume and infusion volume is predictably greater than one. Whether this translates into deformational changes and influences clinical management is unknown. As part of a trial using CED for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), the authors measured treatment-related volumetric alterations in the brainstem and ventricles.

METHODS

Enrolled patients underwent a single infusion of radioimmunotherapy. Between 2012 and 2019, 23 patients with volumetric pre- and postoperative day 1 (POD1) and day 30 (POD30) MRI scans were analyzed using iPlan® Flow software for semiautomated volumetric measurements of the ventricles and pontine segment of the brainstem.

RESULTS

Children in the study had a mean age of 7.7 years (range 2–18 years). The mean infusion volume was 3.9 ± 1.7 ml (range 0.8–8.8 ml). Paired t-tests demonstrated a significant increase in pontine volume immediately following infusion (p < 0.0001), which trended back toward baseline by POD30 (p = 0.046; preoperative 27.6 ± 8.4 ml, POD1 30.2 ± 9.0 ml, POD30 29.5 ± 9.4 ml). Lateral ventricle volume increased (p = 0.02) and remained elevated on POD30 (p = 0.04; preoperative 23.5 ± 15.4 ml, POD1 26.3 ± 16.0, POD30 28.6 ± 21.2). Infusion volume had a weak, positive correlation with pontine and lateral ventricle volume change (r2 = 0.22 and 0.27, respectively). Four of the 23 patients had an increase in preoperative neurological deficits at POD30. No patients required shunt placement within 90 days.

CONCLUSIONS

CED infusion into the brainstem correlates with immediate but self-limited deformation changes in the pons. The persistence of increased ventricular volume and no need for CSF diversion post-CED are inconsistent with obstructive hydrocephalus. Defining the degree and time course of these deformational changes can assist in the interpretation of neuroimaging along the DIPG disease continuum when CED is incorporated into the treatment algorithm.

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Nelson Moussazadeh, Vishaal Prabhu, Evan D. Bander, Ryan C. Cusic, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The authors compared clinical and radiological outcomes after resection of midline craniopharyngiomas via an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) versus an open transcranial approach (TCA) at a single institution in a series in which the tumors were selected to be equally amenable to gross-total resection (GTR) with either approach.

METHODS

A single-institution retrospective review of previously untreated adult midline craniopharyngiomas was performed. Lesions were evaluated by 4 neurosurgeons blinded to the actual approach used to identify cases that were equally amenable to GTR using either an EEA or TCA. Radiological and clinical outcome data were assessed.

RESULTS

Twenty-six cases amenable to either approach were identified, 21 EEA and 5 TCA. Cases involving tumors that were resected via a TCA had a trend toward larger diameter (p = 0.10) but were otherwise equivalent in preoperative clinical and radiological characteristics. GTR was achieved in a greater proportion of cases removed with an EEA than a TCA (90% vs 40%, respectively; p = 0.009). Endoscopic resection was associated with superior visual restoration (63% vs 0%; p < 0.05), a decreased incidence of recurrence (p < 0.001), lower increase in FLAIR signal postoperatively (−0.16 ± 4.6 cm3 vs 14.4 ± 14.0 cm3; p < 0.001), and fewer complications (20% vs 80% of patients; p < 0.001). Significantly more TCA patients suffered postoperative cognitive loss (80% vs 0; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

An EEA is a safe and effective approach to suprasellar craniopharyngiomas amenable to GTR. For this select group of cases, the EEA may provide higher rates of GTR and visual improvement with fewer complications compared with a TCA.

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Evan D. Bander, Harminder Singh, Colin B. Ogilvie, Ryan C. Cusic, David J. Pisapia, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Planum sphenoidale (PS) and tuberculum sellae (TS) meningiomas cause visual symptoms due to compression of the optic chiasm. The treatment of choice is surgical removal with the goal of improving vision and achieving complete tumor removal. Two options exist to remove these tumors: the transcranial approach (TCA) and the endonasal endoscopic approach (EEA). Significant controversy exists regarding which approach provides the best results and whether there is a subset of patients for whom an EEA may be more suitable. Comparisons using a similar cohort of patients, namely, those suitable for gross-total resection with EEA, are lacking from the literature.

METHODS

The authors reviewed all cases of PS and TS meningiomas that were surgically removed at Weill Cornell Medical College between 2000 and 2015 (TCA) and 2008 and 2015 (EEA). All cases were shown to a panel of 3 neurosurgeons to find only those tumors that could be removed equally well either through an EEA or TCA to standardize both groups. Volumetric measurements of preoperative and postoperative tumor size, FLAIR images, and apparent diffusion coefficient maps were assessed by 2 independent reviewers and compared to assess extent of resection and trauma to the surrounding brain. Visual outcome and complications were also compared.

RESULTS

Thirty-two patients were identified who underwent either EEA (n = 17) or TCA (n = 15). The preoperative tumor size was comparable (mean 5.58 ± 3.42 vs 5.04 ± 3.38 cm3 [± SD], p = 0.661). The average extent of resection achieved was not significantly different between the 2 groups (98.80% ± 3.32% vs 95.13% ± 11.69%, p = 0.206). Postoperatively, the TCA group demonstrated a significant increase in the FLAIR/edema signal compared with EEA patients (4.15 ± 7.10 vs −0.69 ± 2.73 cm3, p = 0.014). In addition, the postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging signal of cytotoxic ischemic damage was significantly higher in the TCA group than in the EEA group (1.88 ± 1.96 vs 0.40 ± 0.55 cm3, p =0.008). Overall, significantly more EEA patients experienced improved or stable visual outcomes compared with TCA patients (93% vs 56%, p = 0.049). Visual deterioration was greater after TCA than EEA (44% vs 0%, p = 0.012). While more patients experienced postoperative seizures after TCA than after EEA (27% vs 0%, p = 0.038), there was a trend toward more CSF leakage and anosmia after EEA than after TCA (11.8% vs 0%, p = 0.486 and 11.8% vs 0%, p = 0.118, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

In this small single-institution study of similarly sized and located PS and TS meningiomas, EEA provided equivalent rates of resection with better visual results, less trauma to the brain, and fewer seizures. These preliminary results merit further investigation in a larger multiinstitutional study and may support EEA resection by experienced surgeons in a subset of carefully selected PS and TS meningiomas.

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Harminder Singh, Sarang Rote, Ajit Jada, Evan D. Bander, Gustavo J. Almodovar-Mercado, Walid I. Essayed, Roger Härtl, Vijay K. Anand, Theodore H. Schwartz and Jeffrey P. Greenfield

The authors present 4 cases in which they used intraoperative CT (iCT) scanning to provide real-time image guidance during endonasal odontoid resection. While intraoperative CT has previously been used as a confirmatory test after resection, to the authors’ knowledge this is the first time it has been used to provide real-time image guidance during endonasal odontoid resection. The operating room setup, as well as the advantages and pitfalls of this approach, are discussed. A mobile intraoperative CT scanner was used in conjunction with real-time craniospinal neuronavigation in 4 patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal odontoidectomy for basilar invagination. All patients underwent a successful decompression. In 3 of the 4 patients, real-time intraoperative CT image guidance was instrumental in achieving a comprehensive decompression. In 3 (75%) cases in which the right nostril was the predominant working channel, there was a tendency for asymmetrical decompression toward the right side, meaning that residual bone was seen on the left, which was subsequently removed prior to completion of the surgery.

Endoscopic endonasal odontoid resection with real-time intraoperative image-guided CT scanning is feasible and provides accurate intraoperative localization of pathology, thereby increasing the chance of a complete odontoidectomy. For right-handed surgeons operating predominantly through the right nostril, special attention should be paid to the contralateral side of the resection, where there is often a tendency for residual pathology.

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Brad E. Zacharia, Sweena Kahn, Evan D. Bander, Gustav Y. Cederquist, William P. Cope, Lily McLaughlin, Alexa Hijazi, Anne S. Reiner, Ilya Laufer and Mark Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

The authors of this study aimed to identify the incidence of and risk factors for preoperative deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in patients undergoing surgical treatment for spinal metastases.

METHODS

Univariate analysis of patient age, sex, ethnicity, laboratory values, comorbidities, preoperative ambulatory status, histopathological classification, spinal level, and surgical details was performed. Factors significantly associated with DVT univariately were entered into a multivariate logistic regression model.

RESULTS

The authors identified 314 patients, of whom 232 (73.9%) were screened preoperatively for a DVT. Of those screened, 22 (9.48%) were diagnosed with a DVT. The screened patients were older (median 62 vs 55 years, p = 0.0008), but otherwise similar in baseline characteristics. Nonambulatory status, previous history of DVT, lower partial thromboplastin time, and lower hemoglobin level were statistically significant and independent factors associated with positive results of screening for a DVT. Results of screening were positive in only 6.4% of ambulatory patients in contrast to 24.4% of nonambulatory patients, yielding an odds ratio of 4.73 (95% CI 1.88–11.90). All of the patients who had positive screening results underwent preoperative placement of an inferior vena cava filter.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients requiring surgery for spinal metastases represent a population with unique risks for venous thromboembolism. This study showed a 9.48% incidence of DVT in patients screened preoperatively. The highest rates of preoperative DVT were identified in nonambulatory patients, who were found to have a 4-fold increase in the likelihood of harboring a DVT. Understanding the preoperative thrombotic status may provide an opportunity for early intervention and risk stratification in this critically ill population.