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Eric M. Thompson, Gregory J. Anderson, Colin M. Roberts, Matthew A. Hunt, and Nathan R. Selden

Object

Surgery to monitor and resect epileptogenic foci may be undertaken in 2 stages, providing an opportunity to use skull-fixated fiducials implanted during the first stage to improve the accuracy of cortical resection during the second stage. This study compared the intrinsic accuracy of skin-based and skull-fixated fiducial markers in registering frameless stereotaxy during pediatric epilepsy surgery. To the authors' knowledge, these modalities of registration have not previously been directly compared in this population.

Methods

The authors undertook a retrospective review of pediatric patients who underwent resection of epileptogenic foci in 2 stages with frameless stereotactic assistance, performed by a single surgeon at Oregon Health & Science University. For the first stage (subdural grid implantation), 9 skin fiducial markers were used to register anatomical data in a frameless stereotactic station. Intraoperatively, four 3-mm screws were placed circumferentially around the craniotomy. Postoperatively, thin-slice brain MR and CT images were obtained and fused. For the second stage, the 4 screws were used as fiducial markers to register the stereotactic anatomical data. For both stages, accuracy (difference in millimeters from zero of the manual fiducial registration compared with the computer model) was determined using navigation software. The intrinsic accuracy of these 2 methods of fiducial registration was compared using a paired Student t-test.

Results

Between 2004 and 2009, 40 pediatric patients with epilepsy underwent frameless stereotactic surgical procedures. Fourteen patients who had 2-stage procedures using skin-based and skull-fixated registration with complete accuracy data were included in this retrospective review. Mean registration error was significantly lower using skull-fixated fiducials (1.35 mm, 95% CI 1.09–1.60 mm) than using skin-based fiducials (1.85 mm, 95% CI 1.56–2.13 mm; p = 0.0016).

Conclusions

A significantly higher degree of accuracy was achieved using 4 skull-fixated fiducials compared with using 9 skin-based fiducials. This simple and accurate method for registering frameless stereotactic anatomical data does not involve the potential time, expense, discomfort, and morbidity of extraoperative skull-fixated fiducial placement. The method described in this paper could also be extrapolated to other planned 2-stage cranial surgical procedures such as combined skull base approaches.

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Michael A. Horgan, Gregory J. Anderson, Jordi X. Kellogg, Marc S. Schwartz, Sergey Spektor, Sean O. McMenomey, and Johnny B. Delashaw

Object. The petrosal approach to the petroclival region has been used by a variety of authors in various ways and the terminology has become quite confusing. A systematic assessment of the benefits and limitations of each approach is also lacking. The authors classify their approach to the middle and upper clivus, review the applications for each, and test their hypotheses on a cadaver model by using frameless stereotactic guidance.

Methods. The petrosal approach to the upper and middle clivus is divided into four increasingly morbidity-producing steps: retrolabyrinthine, transcrusal (partial labyrinthectomy), transotic, and transcochlear approaches. Four latexinjected cadaveric heads (eight sides) underwent dissection in which frameless stereotactic guidance was used. An area of exposure 10 cm superficial to a central target (working area) was calculated. The area and length of clival exposure with each subsequent dissection was also calculated.

The retrolabyrinthine approach spares hearing and facial function but provides for only a small window of upper clival exposure. The view afforded by what we have called the transcrusal approach provides for up to four times this exposure. The transotic and transcochlear procedures, although producing more morbidity, add little in terms of a larger clival window. However, with each step, the surgical freedom for manipulation of instruments increases.

Conclusions. The petrosal approach to the upper and middle clivus is useful but should be used judiciously, because levels of morbidity can be high. The retrolabyrinthine approach has limited utility. For tumors without bone invasion, the transcrusal approach provides a much more versatile exposure with an excellent chance of hearing and facial nerve preservation. The transotic approach provides for greater versatility in treating lesions but clival exposure is not greatly enhanced. Transcochlear exposure adds little in terms of intradural exposure and should be reserved for cases in which access to the petrous carotid artery is necessary.

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Sergey Spektor, Gregory J. Anderson, Sean O. McMenomey, Michael A. Horgan, Jordi X. Kellogg, and Johnny B. Delashaw Jr.

Object. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the far-lateral transcondylar transtubercular approach (complete FLA) based on quantitative measurements of the exposure of the foramen magnum and petroclival area obtained after each successive step of this approach.

Methods. The complete FLA was reproduced in eight specially prepared cadaveric heads (a total of 15 sides). The approach was divided into six steps: 1) C-1 hemilaminectomy and suboccipital craniectomy with unroofing of the sigmoid sinus (basic FLA); 2) partial resection of the occipital condyle (up to the hypoglossal canal); 3) removal of the jugular tuberculum; 4) mastoidectomy (limited to the labyrinth and the fallopian canal) and retraction of the sigmoid sinus; 5) resection of the lateral mass of C-1 with mobilization of the vertebral artery; and 6) resection of the remaining portion of the occipital condyle. After each successive step, a standard set of measurements was obtained using a frameless stereotactic device. The measurements were used to estimate two parameters: the size of the exposed petroclival area and the size of a spatial cone directed toward the anterior rim of the foramen magnum, which depicts the amount of surgical freedom available for manipulation of instruments.

The initial basic FLA provided exposure of only 21 ± 6% of the petroclival area that was exposed with the full, six-step maximally aggressive (complete) FLA. Likewise, only 18 ± 9% of the final surgical freedom was obtained after the basic FLA was performed. Each subsequent step of the approach increased both petroclival exposure and surgical freedom. The most dramatic increase in petroclival exposure was noted after removal of the jugular tuberculum (71 ± 12% of final exposure), whereas the least improvement in exposure occurred after the final step, which consisted of total condyle resection.

Conclusions. The complete FLA provides wide and sufficient exposure of the foramen magnum and lower to middle clivus. The complete FLA consists of several steps, each of which contributes to increasing petroclival exposure and surgical freedom. However, the FLA may be limited to the less aggressive steps, while still achieving significant exposure and surgical freedom. The choice of complete or basic FLA thus depends on the underlying pathological condition and the degree of exposure required for effective surgical treatment.

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Marc S. Schwartz, Gregory J. Anderson, Michael A. Horgan, Jordi X. Kellogg, Sean O. McMenomey, and Johnny B. Delashaw Jr.

Object. Use of orbital rim and orbitozygomatic osteotomy has been extensively reported to increase exposure in neurosurgical procedures. However, there have been few attempts to quantify the extent of additional exposure gained by these maneuvers. Using a novel laboratory technique, the authors have attempted to measure the increase in the “area of exposure” that is gained by removal of the orbital rim and zygomatic arch via the frontotemporal transsylvian approach.

Methods. The authors dissected five cadavers bilaterally. The area of exposure provided by the frontotemporal transsylvian approach was determined by using a frameless stereotactic device. With the tip of a microdissector placed on targets deep within the exposure, the position of the end of the microdissector handle was measured in three-dimensional space as the microdissector was rotated around the periphery of the operative field. This maneuver was performed via the frontotemporal approach alone as well as with orbital rim and orbitozygomatic osteotomy approaches. After data manipulation, the areas of exposure corresponding to the polygons used to define these handle positions were calculated and directly compared. On average, the area of exposure provided by the frontotemporal transsylvian approach was increased 26 to 39% (p < 0.05) by adding orbital rim osteotomy and an additional 13 to 22% (not significant) with removal of the zygomatic arch.

Conclusions. Significant and consistent increases in surgical exposure were obtained by using orbital osteotomy, whereas zygomatic arch removal produced less consistent gains. Both maneuvers may be expected to improve surgical access. However, because larger and more consistent gains were afforded by orbital rim removal, the threshold for removal of this portion of the orbitozygomatic complex should be lower.

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Cheng-Mao Cheng, Akio Noguchi, Aclan Dogan, Gregory J. Anderson, Frank P. K. Hsu, Sean O. McMenomey, and Johnny B. Delashaw Jr.

Object

This study was designed to determine if the “keyhole concept,” proposed by Perneczky's group, can be verified quantitatively.

Methods

Fourteen (3 bilateral and 8 unilateral) sides of embalmed latex-injected cadaveric heads were dissected via 3 sequential craniotomy approaches: supraorbital keyhole, frontotemporal pterional, and supraorbital. Three-dimensional cartesian coordinates were recorded using a stereotactic localizer. The orthocenter of the ipsilateral anterior clinoid process, the posterior clinoid process, and the contralateral anterior clinoid process are expressed as a center point (the apex). Seven vectors project from the apex to their corresponding target points in a radiating manner on the parasellar skull base. Each 2 neighboring vectors border what could be considered a triangle, and the total area of the 7 triangles sharing the same apex was geometrically expressed as the area of exposure in the parasellar region.

Results

Values are expressed as the mean ± SD (mm2). The total area of exposure was as follows: supraorbital keyhole 1733.1 ± 336.0, pterional 1699.3 ± 361.9, and supraorbital 1691.4 ± 342.4. The area of exposure on the contralateral side was as follows: supraorbital keyhole 602.2 ± 194.7, pterional 595.2 ± 228.0, and supraorbital 553.3 ± 227.2. The supraorbital keyhole skull flap was 2.0 cm2, and the skull flap size ratio was 1:5:6.5 (supraorbital keyhole/pterional/supraorbital).

Conclusions

The area of exposure of the parasellar region through the smaller supraorbital keyhole approach is as adequate as the larger pterional and supraorbital approaches. The keyhole concept can be verified quantitatively as follows: 1) a wide area of exposure on the skull base can be obtained through a small keyhole skull opening, and 2) the side opposite the opening can also be visualized.

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Azam A. Qureshi, Jennifer J. Cheng, Abraham N. Sunshine, Adela Wu, Gregory M. Pontone, Nicola Cascella, Frederick A. Lenz, Stephen E. Grill, and William S. Anderson

OBJECT

Cases of postoperative psychosis in Parkinson’s disease patients receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment have previously been published. However, the magnitude of symptom incidence and the clinical risk factors are currently unknown. This retrospective study sheds light on these issues by investigating psychosis in a group of 128 Parkinson’s disease patients who received DBS implants.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed to obtain surgery dates, follow-up clinic visit dates, and associated stimulation parameter settings (contacts in use and the polarity of each along with stimulation voltage, frequency, and pulse width) for each patient. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale II Thought Disorder scores, used as a clinical assessment tool to evaluate the presence of psychosis at each visit, were also collected. The data were compiled into a database and analyzed.

RESULTS

The lifetime incidence of psychosis in this cohort of patients was 28.1%. The data suggest that risk of psychosis remains fairly constant throughout the first 5 years after implantation of a DBS system and that patients older at the time of receiving the first DBS implant are not only more likely to develop psychosis, but also to develop symptoms sooner than their younger counterparts. Further analysis provides evidence that psychosis is largely independent of the clinically used electrode contact and of stimulation parameters prior to psychosis onset.

CONCLUSIONS

Although symptoms of psychosis are widely seen in patients with Parkinson’s disease in the years following stimulator placement, results of the present suggest that most psychoses occurring postoperatively are likely independent of implantation and stimulation settings.

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Frank P. K. Hsu, Gregory J. Anderson, Aclan Dogan, Joseph Finizio, Akio Noguchi, Kenneth C. Liu, Sean O. McMenomey, and Johnny B. Delashaw Jr.

Object. Conventional wisdom regarding skull base surgery says that more extensive bone removal equals greater exposure. Few researchers have quantitatively examined this assertion, however. In this study the authors used a frameless stereotactic system to measure quantitatively the area of petroclival exposure and surgical freedom for manipulation of instruments with successive steps of temporal bone removal.

Methods. With the aid of high-power magnification and a high-speed drill, 12 cadaveric specimens were dissected in four predetermined, successive bone removal steps: 1) removal of the Kawase triangle; 2) removal of the Glasscock triangle; 3) removal of the cochlea together with skeletonization of the anterior internal auditory canal; and 4) inferior displacement of the zygoma.

Step 1 offered 62 ± 43 mm2 of exposed petroclival area, with 84 ± 69 mm2 of surgical freedom; Step 2, 61 ± 22 and 76 ± 58 mm2; Step 3, 128 ± 47 and 109 ± 87 mm2; and Step 4, 135 ± 38 and 102 ± 69 mm2, respectively.

Conclusions. The middle fossa approach provided a means surgically to expose the petroclival area. When examined quantitatively by using a frameless stereotactic device, the authors determined that the removal of the cochlea and skeletonization of the anterior internal auditory canal (Step 3) provided the most significant increase in both exposure and surgical freedom. Removal of the zygoma improved neither exposure nor surgical freedom.

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Vijayabalan Balasingam, Gregory J. Anderson, Neil D. Gross, Cheng-Mao Cheng, Akio Noguchi, Aclan Dogan, Sean O. McMenomey, Johnny B. Delashaw Jr., and Peter E. Andersen

Object

The authors conducted a cadaveric anatomical study to quantify and compare the area of surgical exposure and the freedom available for instrument manipulation provided by the following four surgical approaches to the extracranial periclival region: simple transoral (STO), transoral with a palate split (TOPS), Le Fort I osteotomy (LFO), and median labioglossomandibulotomy (MLM).

Methods

Twelve unembalmed cadaveric heads with normal mouth opening capacity were serially dissected. For each approach, quantitation of extracranial periclival exposure and freedom for instrument manipulation (known here as surgical freedom) was accomplished by stereotactic localization. To quantify the extent of extracranial clival exposure obtained, anatomical measurements of the extracranial clivus were performed on 17 dry skull bases.

The values (means ± standard deviations in mm2) for periclival exposure and surgical freedom, respectively, for the surgical approaches studied were as follows: STO = 492 ± 229 and 3164 ± 1900; TOPS = 743 ± 319 and 3478 ± 2363; LFO = 689 ± 248 and 2760 ± 1922; and MLM 1312 ± 384 and 8074 ± 6451. The extent of linear midline clival exposure and the percentage of linear midline clival exposure relative to the total linear midline exposure were as follows, respectively: STO = 0.6 ± 4.9 mm and 7.8 ± 11%; TOPS = 8.9 ± 5.5 mm and 24.2 ± 16.7%; LFO = 32.9 ± 10.2 mm and 85.0 ± 18.7%; and MLM = 2.1 ± 4.4 mm and 6.7 ± 11.1%.

Conclusions

The choice of approach and the resulting degree of complexity and associated morbidity depends on the location of the pathological entity. The authors found that the MLM approach, like the STO approach, provided good exposure of the craniocervical junction but limited exposure of the clivus. The TOPS approach, an approach attended by a lesser risk of morbidity, provided adequate exposure of the extracranial inferior clivus. Maximal exposure of the extracranial clivus proper was provided by the LFO approach.

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Nikita G. Alexiades, Edward S. Ahn, Jeffrey P. Blount, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Gerald A. Grant, Gregory G. Heuer, Todd C. Hankinson, Bermans J. Iskandar, Andrew Jea, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, David D. Limbrick Jr., Cormac O. Maher, Mark R. Proctor, David I. Sandberg, John C. Wellons III, Belinda Shao, Neil A. Feldstein, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Complications after complex tethered spinal cord (cTSC) surgery include infections and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. With little empirical evidence to guide management, there is variability in the interventions undertaken to limit complications. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of patients undergoing cTSC surgery. Here, authors conducted a study to identify consensus-driven best practices.

METHODS

The Delphi method was employed to identify consensual best practices. A literature review regarding cTSC surgery together with a survey of current practices was distributed to 17 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Thirty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. Results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus, which was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

Seventeen consensus-driven best practices were identified, with all participants willing to incorporate them into their practice. There were four preoperative interventions: (1, 2) asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients should be referred to urology preoperatively, (3, 4) routine preoperative urine cultures are not necessary for asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients. There were nine intraoperative interventions: (5) patients should receive perioperative cefazolin or an equivalent alternative in the event of allergy, (6) chlorhexidine-based skin preparation is the preferred regimen, (7) saline irrigation should be used intermittently throughout the case, (8) antibiotic-containing irrigation should be used following dural closure, (9) a nonlocking running suture technique should be used for dural closure, (10) dural graft overlay should be used when unable to obtain primary dural closure, (11) an expansile dural graft should be incorporated in cases of lipomyelomeningocele in which primary dural closure does not permit free flow of CSF, (12) paraxial muscles should be closed as a layer separate from the fascia, (13) routine placement of postoperative drains is not necessary. There were three postoperative interventions: (14) postoperative antibiotics are an option and, if given, should be discontinued within 24 hours; (15) patients should remain flat for at least 24 hours postoperatively; (16) routine use of abdominal binders or other compressive devices postoperatively is not necessary. One intervention was prioritized for additional study: (17) further study of additional gram-negative perioperative coverage is needed.

CONCLUSIONS

A modified Delphi technique was used to develop consensus-driven best practices for decreasing wound complications after cTSC surgery. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices will lead to reduced complications. Discussion through the course of this study resulted in the initiation of a multicenter study of gram-negative surgical site infections in cTSC surgery.