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André Beer-Furlan, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Krishna C. Joshi and Michael Chen

Acute basilar artery occlusion is one of the most devastating subtypes of ischemic stroke with an extremely high morbidity and mortality rate. The most common causes include embolism, large-artery atherosclerosis, penetrating small-artery disease, and arterial dissection. The heart and vertebral arteries are the main source of emboli in embolic basilar occlusions. The authors present an uncommon acute basilar occlusion secondary to a fusiform aneurysm with intraluminal thrombus. The patient underwent a mechanical thrombectomy with successful recanalization, but persistent intraluminal thrombus. The authors discuss the management dilemma and describe their choice for placement of flow diverter stents.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/XzBdgxJPSWQ.

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André Beer-Furlan, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Krishna C. Joshi and Michael Chen

Tentorial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are uncommon, complex fistulas located between the leaves of the tentorium cerebelli with a specific anatomic and clinical presentation characterized by high hemorrhagic risk. They have an extensive arterial supply and complex venous drainages, making them difficult to treat. There is recent literature favoring treatment through an endovascular transarterial route. The authors present an uncommon tentorial/ambient cistern region DAVF with feeders arising from the external and internal carotid arteries. The patient underwent a combined transarterial and transvenous approach with successful obliteration of the DAVF. The authors discuss the management challenges faced in this case.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/VXDD8zUvsSQ.

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André Beer-Furlan, Krishna C. Joshi, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock and Michael Chen

Superior sagittal sinus (SSS) dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are rare and present unique challenges to treatment. Complex, often bilateral, arterial supply and involvement of large volumes of eloquent cortical venous drainage may necessitate multimodality therapy such as endovascular, microsurgical, and stereotactic radiosurgery techniques. The authors present a complex SSS DAVF associated with an occluded/severely stenotic SSS. The patient underwent a successful endovascular transvenous approach with complete obliteration of the SSS. The authors discuss the management challenges faced on this case.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/-rztg0_cBXY.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Timothy R. Smith and Shenandoah Robinson

OBJECTIVES

The goal of this study was to evaluate clinical predictors of abnormal preoperative laboratory values in pediatric neurosurgical patients.

METHODS

Data obtained in children who underwent a neurosurgical operation were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program–Pediatrics (NSQIP-P, 2012–2013) registry. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated predictors of preoperative laboratory values that might require further evaluation (white blood cell count < 2000/μl, hematocrit < 24%, platelet count < 100,000/μl, international normalized ratio > 1.4, or partial thromboplastin time > 45 seconds) or a preoperative transfusion (within 48 hours prior to surgery). Variables screened included patient demographics; American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical designation classification; comorbidities; recent steroid use, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy; and admission type. Predictive score validation was performed using the NSQIP-P 2014 data.

RESULTS

Of the 6556 patients aged greater than 2 years, 68.9% (n = 5089) underwent laboratory testing, but only 1.9% (n = 125) had a critical laboratory value. Predictors of a laboratory abnormality were ASA class III–V; diabetes mellitus; hematological, hypothrombotic, or oncological comorbidities; nutritional support; recent chemotherapy; systemic inflammatory response syndrome; and a nonelective hospital admission. These 9 variables were used to create a predictive score, with a single point assigned for each predictor. The prevalence of critical values in the validation population (NSQIP-P 2014) of patients greater than 2 years of age was 0.3% with a score of 0, 1.0% in those with a score of 1, 1.6% in those with a score of 2, and 6.2% in those with a score ≥ 3. Higher score was predictive of a critical value (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.91–2.83, p < 0.001, C-statistic 0.76) and with the requirement of a perioperative transfusion (intraoperatively or within 72 hours postoperatively; OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.22–1.67, p < 0.001) in the validation population. Moreover, when the same score was applied to children aged 2 years or younger, a greater score was predictive of a critical value (OR 2.47, 95% CI 2.15–2.84, p < 0.001, C-statistic 0.76).

CONCLUSIONS

Critical laboratory values in pediatric neurosurgical patients are largely predicted by clinical characteristics, and abnormal preoperative laboratory results are rare in patients older than 2 years of age without comorbidities who are undergoing elective surgery. The NSQIP-P critical preoperative laboratory value scale is proposed to indicate patients with the highest odds of an abnormal value. The scale can assist with triaging preoperative testing based on the surgical risk, as determined by the treating surgeon and anesthesiologist.

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Michael A. Silva, Alfred P. See, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Nirav J. Patel and Mohammad A. Aziz-Sultan

OBJECTIVE

Patients with paraclinoid aneurysms commonly present with visual impairment. They have traditionally been treated with clipping or coiling, but flow diversion (FD) has recently been introduced as an alternative treatment modality. Although there is still initial aneurysm thrombosis, FD is hypothesized to reduce mass effect, which may decompress the optic nerve when treating patients with visually symptomatic paraclinoid aneurysms. The authors performed a meta-analysis to compare vision outcomes following clipping, coiling, or FD of paraclinoid aneurysms in patients who presented with visual impairment.

METHODS

A systematic literature review was performed using the PubMed and Web of Science databases. Studies published in English between 1980 and 2016 were included if they reported preoperative and postoperative visual function in at least 5 patients with visually symptomatic paraclinoid aneurysms (cavernous segment through ophthalmic segment) treated with clipping, coiling, or FD. Neuroophthalmological assessment was used when reported, but subjective patient reports or objective visual examination findings were also acceptable.

RESULTS

Thirty-nine studies that included a total of 2458 patients (520 of whom presented with visual symptoms) met the inclusion criteria, including 307 visually symptomatic cases treated with clipping (mean follow-up 26 months), 149 treated with coiling (mean follow-up 17 months), and 64 treated with FD (mean follow-up 11 months). Postoperative vision in these patients was classified as improved, unchanged, or worsened compared with preoperative vision. A pooled analysis showed preoperative visual symptoms in 38% (95% CI 28%–50%) of patients with paraclinoid aneurysms. The authors found that vision improved in 58% (95% CI 48%–68%) of patients after clipping, 49% (95% CI 38%–59%) after coiling, and 71% (95% CI 55%–84%) after FD. Vision worsened in 11% (95% CI 7%–17%) of patients after clipping, 9% (95% CI 2%–18%) after coiling, and 5% (95% CI 0%–20%) after FD. New visual deficits were found in patients with intact baseline vision at a rate of 1% (95% CI 0%–3%) for clipping, 0% (95% CI 0%–2%) for coiling, and 0% (95% CI 0%–2%) for FD.

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis to assess vision outcomes after treatment for paraclinoid aneurysms. The authors found that 38% of patients with these aneurysms presented with visual impairment. These data also demonstrated a high rate of visual improvement after FD without a significant difference in the rate of worsened vision or iatrogenic visual impairment compared with clipping and coiling. These findings suggest that FD is an effective option for treatment of visually symptomatic paraclinoid aneurysms.

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Aditya V. Karhade, Viren S. Vasudeva, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Yi Lu, William B. Gormley, Michael W. Groff, John H. Chi and Timothy R. Smith

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to use a large national registry to evaluate the 30-day cumulative incidence and predictors of adverse events, readmissions, and reoperations after surgery for primary and secondary spinal tumors.

METHODS

Data from adult patients who underwent surgery for spinal tumors (2011–2014) were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) registry. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate predictors of reoperation, readmission, and major complications (death, neurological, cardiopulmonary, venous thromboembolism [VTE], surgical site infection [SSI], and sepsis). Variables screened included patient age, sex, tumor location, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical classification, preoperative functional status, comorbidities, preoperative laboratory values, case urgency, and operative time. Additional variables that were evaluated when analyzing readmission included complications during the surgical hospitalization, hospital length of stay (LOS), and discharge disposition.

RESULTS

Among the 2207 patients evaluated, 51.4% had extradural tumors, 36.4% had intradural extramedullary tumors, and 12.3% had intramedullary tumors. By spinal level, 20.7% were cervical lesions, 47.4% were thoracic lesions, 29.1% were lumbar lesions, and 2.8% were sacral lesions. Readmission occurred in 10.2% of patients at a median of 18 days (interquartile range [IQR] 12–23 days); the most common reasons for readmission were SSIs (23.7%), systemic infections (17.8%), VTE (12.7%), and CNS complications (11.9%). Predictors of readmission were comorbidities (dyspnea, hypertension, and anemia), disseminated cancer, preoperative steroid use, and an extended hospitalization. Reoperation occurred in 5.3% of patients at a median of 13 days (IQR 8–20 days) postoperatively and was associated with preoperative steroid use and ASA Class 4–5 designation. Major complications occurred in 14.4% of patients: the most common complications and their median time to occurrence were VTE (4.5%) at 9 days (IQR 4–19 days) postoperatively, SSIs (3.6%) at 18 days (IQR 14–25 days), and sepsis (2.9%) at 13 days (IQR 7–21 days). Predictors of major complications included dependent functional status, emergency case status, male sex, comorbidities (dyspnea, bleeding disorders, preoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome, preoperative leukocytosis), and ASA Class 3–5 designation (p < 0.05). The median hospital LOS was 5 days (IQR 3–9 days), the 30-day mortality rate was 3.3%, and the median time to death was 20 days (IQR 12.5–26 days).

CONCLUSIONS

In this NSQIP analysis, 10.2% of patients undergoing surgery for spinal tumors were readmitted within 30 days, 5.3% underwent a reoperation, and 14.4% experienced a major complication. The most common complications were SSIs, systemic infections, and VTE, which often occurred late (after discharge from the surgical hospitalization). Patients were primarily readmitted for new complications that developed following discharge rather than exacerbation of complications from the surgical hospital stay. The strongest predictors of adverse events were comorbidities, preoperative steroid use, and higher ASA classification. These models can be used by surgeons to risk-stratify patients preoperatively and identify those who may benefit from increased surveillance following hospital discharge.

Free access

Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Kevin X. Liu, Christopher A. Devine, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley and Ian F. Dunn

OBJECT

Although the length of hospital stay is often used as a measure of quality of care, data evaluating the predictors of extended hospital stay after craniotomy for tumor are limited. The goals of this study were to use multivariate regression to examine which preoperative characteristics and postoperative complications predict a prolonged hospital stay and to assess the impact of length of stay on unplanned hospital readmission.

METHODS

Data were extracted from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2007 to 2013. Patients who underwent craniotomy for resection of a brain tumor were included. Stratification was based on length of hospital stay, which was dichotomized by the upper quartile of the interquartile range (IQR) for the entire population. Covariates included patient age, sex, race, tumor histology, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, preoperative neurological deficits, operative time, and postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression with forward prediction was used to evaluate independent predictors of extended hospitalization. Thereafter, hierarchical multivariate logistic regression assessed the impact of length of stay on unplanned readmission.

RESULTS

The study included 11,510 patients. The median hospital stay was 4 days (IQR 3-8 days), and 27.7% (n = 3185) had a hospital stay of at least 8 days. Independent predictors of extended hospital stay included age greater than 70 years (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28%-1.83%, p < 0.001); African American (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.44%-2.14%, p < 0.001) and Hispanic (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.36%-2.08%) race or ethnicity; ASA class 3 (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.34%-1.73%) or 4-5 (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.82%-2.62%) designation; partially (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.61%-2.35%) or totally dependent (OR 3.30, 95% CI 1.95%-5.55%) functional status; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.16%-1.84%); hematological comorbidities (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.25%-2.24%); and preoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.51%-2.09%, all p ≤ 0.009). Several postoperative complications were additional independent predictors of prolonged hospitalization including pulmonary emboli (OR 13.75, 95% CI 4.73%-39.99%), pneumonia (OR 5.40, 95% CI 2.89%-10.07%), and urinary tract infections (OR 11.87, 95% CI 7.09%-19.87%, all p < 0.001). The C-statistic of the model based on preoperative characteristics was 0.79, which increased to 0.83 after the addition of postoperative complications. A length of stay after craniotomy for tumor score was created based on preoperative factors significant in regression models, with a moderate correlation with length of stay (p = 0.43, p < 0.001). Extended hospital stay was not associated with differential odds of an unplanned hospital readmission (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89%-1.06%, p = 0.55).

CONCLUSIONS

In this NSQIP analysis that evaluated patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor, much of the variance in hospital stay was attributable to baseline patient characteristics, suggesting length of stay may be an imperfect proxy for quality. Additionally, longer hospitalizations were not found to be associated with differential rates of unplanned readmission.

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Michael A. Silva, Alfred P. See, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Ramsey Ashour, Priyank Khandelwal, Nirav J. Patel, Kai U. Frerichs and Mohammad A. Aziz-Sultan

Successful application of endovascular neurosurgery depends on high-quality imaging to define the pathology and the devices as they are being deployed. This is especially challenging in the treatment of complex cases, particularly in proximity to the skull base or in patients who have undergone prior endovascular treatment. The authors sought to optimize real-time image guidance using a simple algorithm that can be applied to any existing fluoroscopy system. Exposure management (exposure level, pulse management) and image post-processing parameters (edge enhancement) were modified from traditional fluoroscopy to improve visualization of device position and material density during deployment. Examples include the deployment of coils in small aneurysms, coils in giant aneurysms, the Pipeline embolization device (PED), the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device, and carotid artery stents. The authors report on the development of the protocol and their experience using representative cases.

The stent deployment protocol is an image capture and post-processing algorithm that can be applied to existing fluoroscopy systems to improve real-time visualization of device deployment without hardware modifications. Improved image guidance facilitates aneurysm coil packing and proper positioning and deployment of carotid artery stents, flow diverters, and the WEB device, especially in the context of complex anatomy and an obscured field of view.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Stephen P. Juraschek, Lonni R. Schultz, Timothy F. Witham, Daniel M. Sciubba, Jean-Paul Wolinsky, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Ali Bydon

Object

Advocates of minimally invasive discectomy (MID) have promoted this operation as an alternative to open discectomy (OD), arguing that there may be less injury to the paraspinal muscles, decreased postoperative pain, and a faster recovery time. However, a recently published large randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing these approaches reported inferior relief of leg pain in patients undergoing MID. The authors conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate complications and improvement in leg pain in patients with radiculopathy enrolled in RCTs comparing OD to MID.

Methods

The authors performed a literature search using Medline and EMBASE of studies indexed between January 1990 and January 2011. Predetermined RCT eligibility included the usage of tubular retractors during MID, a minimum follow-up duration of 1 year, and quantification of pain with the visual analog scale (VAS). Trials that only evaluated patients with recurrent disc herniation were excluded. Data on operative parameters, complications, and VAS scores of leg pain were extracted by 2 investigators. A meta-analysis was performed assuming random effects to determine the difference in mean change for continuous outcomes and the risk ratio for binary outcomes.

Results

Six trials comprising 837 patients (of whom 388 were randomized to MID and 449 were randomized to OD) were included. The mean operative time was 49 minutes during MID and 44 minutes during OD; this difference was not statistically significant. Incidental durotomies occurred significantly more frequently during MID (5.67% compared with 2.90% for OD; RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.05–3.98). Intraoperative complications (incidental durotomies and nerve root injuries) were also significantly more common in patients undergoing MID (RR 2.01, 95% CI 1.07–3.77). The mean preoperative VAS score for leg pain was 6.9 in patients randomized to MID and 7.2 in those randomized to OD. With long-term follow-up (1–2 years postoperatively), the mean VAS score improved to 1.6 in both the MID and OD cohorts. There was no significant difference in relief of leg pain between the 2 approaches with either short-term follow-up (2–3 months postoperatively, 0.81 points on the VAS, 95% CI −4.71 to 6.32) or long-term follow-up (2.64 on the VAS, 95% CI −2.15 to 7.43). Reoperation for recurrent herniation was more common in patients randomized to the MID group (8.50% compared with 5.35% in patients randomized to the OD group), but this difference was not statistically significant (RR 1.56, 95% CI 0.92–2.66). Total complications did not differ significantly between the operations (RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.97–2.33).

Conclusions

The current evidence suggests that both OD and MID lead to a substantial and equivalent long-term improvement in leg pain. Adequate decompression, regardless of the operative approach used, may be the primary determinant of pain relief—the major complaint of many patients with radiculopathy. Incidental durotomies occurred significantly more frequently during MID, but total complications did not differ between the techniques.