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Hasan A. Zaidi, Kristina Chapple and Andrew S. Little

Object

Treatment of craniopharyngiomas is one of the most demanding and controversial neurosurgical procedures performed. The authors sought to determine the factors associated with hospital charges and fees for craniopharyngioma treatment to identify possible opportunities for improving the health care economics of inpatient care.

Methods

The authors analyzed the hospital discharge database of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) covering the period from 2007 through 2011 to examine national treatment trends for adults (that is, those older than 18 years) who had undergone surgery for craniopharyngioma. To predict the drivers of in-hospital charges, a multistep regression model was developed that accounted for patient demographics, acuity measures, comorbidities, hospital characteristics, and complications.

Results

The analysis included 606 patients who underwent resection of craniopharyngioma; 353 resections involved a transsphenoidal approach (58%) and 253 a transfrontal approach (42%). The mean age (± SD) of patients was 47.7 ± 16.3 years. The average hospital length of stay (LOS) was 7.6 ± 9 days. The mean hospital charge (± SD) was $92,300 ± $83,356. In total, 48% of the patients experienced postoperative diabetes insipidus or an electrolyte abnormality. A multivariate regression model demonstrated that LOS, hospital volume for the selected procedure, the surgical approach, postoperative complications, comorbidities, and year of surgery were all significant predictors of in-hospital charges. The statistical model accounted for 54% of the variance in in-hospital charge.

Conclusions

This analysis of inpatient hospital charges in patients undergoing craniopharyngioma surgery identified key drivers of charges in the perioperative period. Prospective studies designed to evaluate the long-term resource utilization in this complex patient population would be a useful future direction.

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Hasan A. Zaidi, Andrew J. Montoure and Curtis A. Dickman

OBJECT

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and surgical intervention for treating SIJ pain or dysfunction has been a topic of much debate in recent years. There has been a resurgence in the implication of this joint as the pain generator for many patients experiencing low-back pain, and new surgical methods are gaining popularity within both the orthopedic and neurosurgical fields. There is no universally accepted gold standard for diagnosing or surgically treating SIJ pain. The authors systematically reviewed studies on SIJ fusion in the neurosurgical and orthopedic literature to investigate whether sufficient evidence exists to support its use.

METHODS

A literature search was performed using MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and OvidSP–Wolters Kluwer Health for all articles regarding SIJ fusion published from 2000 to 2014. Original, peer-reviewed, prospective or retrospective scientific papers with at least 2 patients were included in the study. Exclusion criteria included follow-up shorter than 1-year, nonsurgical treatment, inadequate clinical data as determined by 2 independent reviewers, non-English manuscripts, and nonhuman subjects.

RESULTS

A total of 16 peer-reviewed journal articles met the inclusion criteria: 5 consecutive case series, 8 retrospective studies, and 3 prospective cohort studies. A total of 430 patients were included, of whom 131 underwent open surgery and 299 underwent minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for SIJ fusion. The mean duration of follow-up was 60 months for open surgery and 21 months for MIS. SIJ degeneration/arthrosis was the most common pathology among patients undergoing surgical intervention (present in 257 patients [59.8%]), followed by SIJ dysfunction (79 [18.4%]), postpartum instability (31 [7.2%]), posttraumatic (28 [6.5%]), idiopathic (25 [5.8%]), pathological fractures (6 [1.4%]), and HLA-B27+/rheumatoid arthritis (4 [0.9%]). Radiographically confirmed fusion rates were 20%–90% for open surgery and 13%–100% for MIS. Rates of excellent satisfaction, determined by pain reduction, function, and quality of life, ranged from 18% to 100% with a mean of 54% in open surgical cases. For MIS patients, excellent outcome, judged by patients’ stated satisfaction with the surgery, ranged from 56% to 100% (mean 84%). The reoperation rate after open surgery ranged from 0% to 65% (mean 15%). Reoperation rate after MIS ranged from 0% to 17% (mean 6%). Major complication rates ranged from 5% to 20%, with 1 study that addressed safety reporting a 56% adverse event rate.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical intervention for SIJ pain is beneficial in a subset of patients. However, with the difficulty in accurate diagnosis and evidence for the efficacy of SIJ fusion itself lacking, serious consideration of the cause of pain and alternative treatments should be given before performing the operation.

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Wesley Hsu, Thomas A. Kosztowski, Hasan A. Zaidi, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Jean-Paul Wolinsky

Chordomas are rare tumors that arise from the sacrum, spine, and skull base. Surgical management of these tumors can be difficult, given their locally destructive behavior and predilection for growing near delicate and critical structures. En bloc resection with negative margins can be difficult to perform without damaging adjacent structures and causing significant clinical morbidity. For chordomas of the upper cervical spine, surgical options traditionally involve transoral or submandibular approaches. The authors report the use of the image-guided, endoscopic, transcervical approach to the upper cervical spine as an alternative to traditional techniques for addressing upper cervical spine tumors, particularly for tumors where gross-total resection is not feasible.

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Hasan A. Zaidi, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Robert F. Spetzler, Cameron G. McDougall and Felipe C. Albuquerque

OBJECT

Pediatric cerebral arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are rare but potentially lethal vascular lesions. Management strategies for these lesions have undergone considerable evolution in the last decade with the advent of new endovascular, surgical, and radiosurgical technologies. This study sought to review current treatment strategies and long-term clinical outcomes at a high-volume cerebrovascular institute.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on patients with a diagnosis of cerebral AVF from 1999 to 2012. Patients with carotid-cavernous fistulas, vein of Galen malformations, and age > 18 years were excluded from final analysis. Medical history, surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and clinical outcomes were documented. Pre- and postoperative angiograms were analyzed to assess for obliteration of the fistula.

RESULTS

Seventeen patients with pial AVFs (29.4%), dural AVFs (64.7%), or mixed pial/dural AVFs (5.9%) were identified. The majority of lesions were paramedian (70.6%) and supratentorial (76.5%). The study population had a mean age of 6.4 years, with a slight male predominance (52.9%), and the most common presenting symptoms were seizures (23.5%), headaches (17.6%), congestive heart failure (11.7%), and enlarging head circumference (11.7%). Among patients who underwent intervention (n = 16), 56.3% were treated with endovascular therapy alone, 6.3% were treated with open surgery alone, and 37.5% required a multimodal approach. Overall, 93.8% of the treated patients received endovascular treatment, 43.8% received open surgery, and 12.5% received radiosurgery. Endovascular embolysates included Onyx (n = 5), N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA; n = 4), or coil embolization (n = 7) with or without balloon assistance (n = 2). Complete angiographic obliteration was achieved in 87.5% at the last follow-up evaluation (mean follow-up 3.1 years). One infant with incomplete AVF obliteration died of congestive heart failure, and 1 patient with complete obliteration died of acute sinus thrombosis, with an overall complication rate of 18.8%.

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric cerebral AVFs are challenging neurosurgical lesions. Although advancements in endovascular therapy in the last decade have greatly changed the natural course of this disease, a multidisciplinary approach remains necessary for a large subset of patients. Surgeon experience with a thorough analysis of preoperative imaging is paramount to achieving acceptable clinical outcomes.

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Ali M. Elhadi, Hasan A. Zaidi, Kaan Yagmurlu, Shah Ahmed, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Peter Nakaji, Mark C. Preul and Andrew S. Little

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic transmaxillary approaches (ETMAs) address pathology of the anterolateral skull base, including the cavernous sinus, pterygopalatine fossa, and infratemporal fossa. This anatomically complex region contains branches of the trigeminal nerve and external carotid artery and is in proximity to the internal carotid artery. The authors postulated, on the basis of intraoperative observations, that the infraorbital nerve (ION) is a useful surgical landmark for navigating this region; therefore, they studied the anatomy of the ION and its relationships to critical neurovascular structures and the maxillary nerve (V2) encountered in ETMAs.

METHODS

Endoscopic anatomical dissections were performed bilaterally in 5 silicone-injected, formalin-fixed cadaveric heads (10 sides). Endonasal transmaxillary and direct transmaxillary (Caldwell-Luc) approaches were performed, and anatomical correlations were analyzed and documented. Stereotactic imaging of each specimen was performed to correlate landmarks and enable precise measurement of each segment.

RESULTS

The ION was readily identified in the roof of the maxillary sinus at the beginning of the surgical procedure in all specimens. Anatomical dissections of the ION and the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve (V2) to the cavernous sinus suggested that the ION/V2 complex has 4 distinct segments that may have implications in endoscopic approaches: 1) Segment I, the cutaneous segment of the ION and its terminal branches (5–11 branches) to the face, distal to the infraorbital foramen; 2) Segment II, the orbitomaxillary segment of the ION within the infraorbital canal from the infraorbital foramen along the infraorbital groove (length 12 ± 3.2 mm); 3) Segment III, the pterygopalatine segment within the pterygopalatine fossa, which starts at the infraorbital groove to the foramen rotundum (13 ± 2.5 mm); and 4) Segment IV, the cavernous segment from the foramen rotundum to the trigeminal ganglion (15 ± 4.1 mm), which passes in the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus. The relationship of the ION/V2 complex to the contents of the cavernous sinus, carotid artery, and pterygopalatine fossa is described in the text.

CONCLUSIONS

The ION/V2 complex is an easily identifiable and potentially useful surgical landmark to the foramen rotundum, cavernous sinus, carotid artery, pterygopalatine fossa, and anterolateral skull base during ETMAs.

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Kaan Yağmurlu, Hasan A. Zaidi, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Mark C. Preul and Robert F. Spetzler

Pineal region tumors are challenging to access because they are centrally located within the calvaria and surrounded by critical neurovascular structures. The goal of this work is to describe a new surgical trajectory, the anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach, to the pineal region and falcotentorial junction area. To demonstrate this approach, the authors examined 7 adult formalin-fixed silicone-injected cadaveric heads and 2 fresh human brain specimens. One representative case of falcotentorial meningioma treated through an anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach is also described. Among the interhemispheric approaches to the pineal region, the anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach has several advantages. 1) There are few or no bridging veins at the level of the pericoronal suture. 2) The parietal and occipital lobes are not retracted, which reduces the chances of approach-related morbidity, especially in the dominant hemisphere. 3) The risk of damage to the deep venous structures is low because the tumor surface reached first is relatively vein free. 4) The internal cerebral veins can be manipulated and dissected away laterally through the anterior interhemispheric route but not via the posterior interhemispheric route. 5) Early control of medial posterior choroidal arteries is obtained. The anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach provides a safe and effective surgical corridor for patients with supratentorial pineal region tumors that 1) extend superiorly, involve the splenium of the corpus callosum, and push the deep venous system in a posterosuperior or an anteroinferior direction; 2) are tentorial and displace the deep venous system inferiorly; or 3) originate from the splenium of the corpus callosum.

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Courtney Pendleton, Hasan A. Zaidi, George Jallo, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

A review of the Johns Hopkins Hospital surgical records from 1896 to 1912 revealed a case from 1908 wherein Dr. Harvey Cushing attempted to treat hydrocephalus in a 4-month-old infant by constructing a shunt for which he used a venous segment harvested from the patient's father. Prior to this procedure, surgeons used shunts constructed from various often highly immunogenic materials. In addition to addressing the limitations of these materials, Cushing's technique allowed the inclusion of valves within the shunt, preventing the retrograde flow of CSF. Despite the success of this procedure in canine models, the child's postoperative death prevented an assessment of its success in a human. It is possible that Cushing's approach would meet with more success today, given the modern benefits of human leukocyte antigen tissue typing and immunosuppressant agents.

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Hasan A. Zaidi, Al-Wala Awad, Michael A. Bohl, Kristina Chapple, Laura Knecht, Heidi Jahnke, William L. White and Andrew S. Little

OBJECT

The comparative efficacy of microscopic and fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas has not been well studied despite the adoption of fully endoscopic surgery by many pituitary centers. The influence of surgeon experience has also not been examined in this setting. The authors therefore compared the extent of tumor resection (EOR) and the endocrine outcomes of 1 very experienced surgeon performing a microscopic transsphenoidal surgery technique with those of a less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery technique for resection of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas in a concurrent series of patients.

METHODS

Post hoc analysis was conducted of a cohort of adult patients prospectively enrolled in a pituitary adenoma quality-of-life study between October 2011 and June 2014. Patients were followed up for 6 months after surgery. Patients were treated either by a less experienced surgeon (100 independent cases) who practices fully endoscopic surgery exclusively or by a very experienced surgeon (1800 independent cases) who practices microscopic surgery exclusively. Patient demographic characteristics, tumor characteristics, hypopituitarism, complications, and length of hospital stay were analyzed. Tumor volumes and EOR were determined by formal volumetric analysis involving manual segmentation of MR images performed before surgery and within 6 months after surgery. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors of EOR.

RESULTS

Fifty-five patients underwent fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, and 80 patients underwent fully microscopic transsphenoidal surgery. The baseline characteristics of the 2 treatment groups were well matched. EOR was similar between the endoscopic and microscopic groups, respectively, as estimated by gross-total resection rate (78.2% vs 81.3%, p = 0.67), percentage of tumor resected (99.2% vs 98.7%, p = 0.42), and volume of residual tumor (0.12 cm3 vs 0.20 cm3, p = 0.41). Multivariate modeling suggested that preoperative tumor volume was the most important predictor of EOR (p = 0.001). No difference was found in the development of anterior gland dysfunction (p > 0.14), but there was a higher incidence of permanent posterior gland dysfunction in the microscopic group (p = 0.04). Combined rates of major complications and unplanned readmissions were lower in the endoscopic group (p = 0.02), but individual complications were not significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS

A less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic technique was able to achieve outcomes similar to those of a very experienced surgeon using a microscopic technique in a cohort of patients with nonfunctioning tumors smaller than 60 cm3. The study raises the provocative notion that certain advantages afforded by the fully endoscopic technique may impact the learning curve in pituitary surgery for nonfunctioning adenomas.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Jonathan J. Russin, Hasan A. Zaidi, Eduardo Martinez-del-Campo, Min S. Park, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, Peter Nakaji and Robert F. Spetzler

Object

Spinal arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare, complex spinal vascular lesions that are challenging to manage. Recently, understanding of these lesions has increased thanks to neuroimaging technology. Published reports of surgical results and clinical outcome are limited to small series. The authors present a large contemporary series of patients with spinal AVFs and AVMs who were treated at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.

Methods

Retrospective detailed review of a prospective vascular database was performed for all patients with spinal AVFs and AVMs treated between 2000 and 2013. Patient demographic data, AVF and AVM characteristics, surgical results, clinical outcomes, complications, and long-term follow-up were reviewed.

Results

Between 2000 and 2013, 110 patients (57 male and 53 female) underwent obliteration of spinal AVFs and AVMs. The mean age at presentation was 42.3 years (range 18 months–81 years). There were 44 patients with AVFs and 66 with AVMs. The AVM group included 27 intramedullary, 21 conus medullaris, 12 metameric, and 6 extradural. The most common location was thoracic spine (61%), followed by cervical (22.7%), lumbar (14.5%), and sacral (1.8%). The most common presenting signs and symptoms included paresis/paralysis (75.5%), paresthesias (60%), pain (51.8%), bowel/bladder dysfunction (41.8%), and myelopathy (36.4%). Evidence of rupture was seen in 26.4% of patients. Perioperative embolization was performed in 42% of patients. Resection was performed in 95 patients (86.4%). Embolization alone was the only treatment in 14 patients (12.7%). One patient was treated with radiosurgery alone. Angiographically verified AVF and AVM obliteration was achieved in 92 patients (83.6%). At a mean follow-up duration of 30.5 months (range 1–205 months), 43 patients (97.7%) with AVFs and 57 (86.4%) with AVMs remained functionally independent (McCormick Scale scores ≤ 2). Perioperative complications were seen in 8 patients (7%). No deaths occurred. Temporary neurological deficits were observed in 27 patients (24.5%). These temporary deficits recovered 6–8 weeks after treatment. Recurrence was identified in 6 patients (13.6%) with AVFs and 10 (15.2%) with AVMs.

Conclusions

Spinal AVFs and AVMs are complex lesions that should be considered for surgical obliteration. Over the last several decades the authors have changed surgical strategies and management to achieve better clinical outcomes. Transient neurological deficit postoperatively is a risk associated with intervention; however, clinical outcomes appear to exceed the natural history based on patients’ ability to recover during the follow-up period. Due to the recurrence rate associated with these lesions, long-term follow-up is required.