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Ashley A. Stratton-Powell, Ian A. Anderson, Jake Timothy, Nikil Kapur and Peter Culmer

OBJECT

Neurosurgical patties are textile pads used during most neurosurgical operations to protect tissues, manage the fluid environment, control hemostasis, and aid tissue manipulation. Recent research has suggested that, contrary to their aim, patties adhere to brain tissue and cause damage during removal. This study aimed to characterize and quantify the degree of and consequences resulting from adhesion between neurosurgical patties and brain tissue.

METHODS

Using a customized peel apparatus, the authors performed 90° peel tests on 5 patty products: Policot, Telfa, Americot, Delicot, and Ray-Cot (n = 247) from American Surgical Company. They tested 4 conditions: wet patty on glass (control), wet patty on wet brain peeled at 5 mm/sec (wet), dry patty on wet brain peeled at 5 mm/sec (dry), and wet patty on wet brain peeled at 20 mm/sec (speed). The interaction between patty and tissue was analyzed using peel-force traces and pre-peel histological analysis.

RESULTS

Adhesion strength differed between patty products (p < 0.001) and conditions (p < 0.001). Adhesion strength was greatest for Delicot patties under wet (2.22 mN/mm) and dry (9.88 mN/mm) conditions. For all patties, damage at the patty-tissue interface was proportional to the degree of fiber contact. When patties were irrigated, mechanical adhesion was reduced by up to 550% compared with dry usage.

CONCLUSIONS

For all patty products, mechanical (destructive) and liquid-mediated (nondestructive) adhesion caused damage to neural tissue. The greatest adhesion occurred with Delicot patties. To mitigate patty adhesion and neural tissue damage, surgeons should consider regular irrigation to be essential during neurosurgical procedures.

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Farshid Farzaneh, Ehsan Moradi, Zohreh Habibi and Farideh Nejat

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Ian A. Anderson, Ahilan Kailaya-Vasan, Richard J. Nelson and Christos M. Tolias

OBJECTIVE

Most intracranial aneurysms are now treated by endovascular rather than by microsurgical procedures. There is evidence to demonstrate superior outcomes for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) treated by endovascular techniques. However, some cases continue to require microsurgery. The authors have examined the relationship between the number of aneurysms treated by microsurgery and outcome for patients undergoing treatment for aSAH at neurosurgical centers in England.

METHODS

The Neurosurgical National Audit Programme (NNAP) database was used to identify aSAH cases and to provide associated 30-day mortality rates for each of the 24 neurosurgical centers in England. Data were compared for association by regression analysis using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and any associations were tested for statistical significance using the one-way ANOVA test. The NNAP data were validated utilizing a second, independent registry: the British Neurovascular Group’s (BNVG) National Subarachnoid Haemorrhage Database.

RESULTS

Increasing numbers of microsurgical cases in a center are associated with lower 30-day mortality rates for all patients treated for aSAH, irrespective of treatment modality (Pearson r = 0.42, p = 0.04), and for patients treated for aSAH by endovascular procedures (Pearson r = 0.42, p = 0.04). The correlations are stronger if all (elective and acute) microsurgical cases are compared with outcome. The BNVG data validated the NNAP data set for patients with aSAH.

CONCLUSIONS

There is a statistically significant association between local microsurgical activity and center outcomes for patients with aSAH, even for patients treated endovascularly. The authors postulate that the number of microsurgical cases performed may be a surrogate indicator of closer neurosurgical involvement in the overall management of neurovascular patients and of optimal case selection.

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Andrew J. Ringer, Clemens M. Schirmer, Brian T. Jankowitz and for the Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG)

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Michael G. O'Sullivan, Patrick F. Statham, Patricia A. Jones, J. Douglas Miller, N. Mark Dearden, Ian R. Piper, Shirley I. Anderson, Alma Housley, Peter J. Andrews, Susan Midgley, Jane Corrie, Janice I. Tocher and Robin Sellar

✓ Previous studies have suggested that only a small proportion (< 15%) of comatose head-injured patients whose initial computerized tomography (CT) scan was normal or did not show a mass lesion, midline shift, or abnormal basal cisterns develop intracranial hypertension. The aim of the present study was to re-examine this finding against a background of more intensive monitoring and data acquisition.

Eight severely head-injured patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 or less, whose admission CT scan did not show a mass lesion, midline shift, or effaced basal cisterns, underwent minute-to-minute recordings of arterial blood pressure, intracranial pressure (ICP), and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) derived from blood pressure minus ICP. Intracranial hypertension (ICP ≥ 20 mm Hg lasting longer than 5 minutes) was recorded in seven of the eight patients; in five cases the rise was pronounced in terms of both magnitude (ICP ≥ 30 mm Hg) and duration. Reduced CPP (≤ 60 mm Hg lasting longer than 5 minutes) was recorded in five patients.

Severely head-injured (comatose) patients whose initial CT scan is normal or does not show a mass lesion, midline shift, or abnormal cisterns nevertheless remain at substantial risk of developing significant secondary cerebral insults due to elevated ICP and reduced CPP. The authors recommend continuous ICP and blood pressure monitoring with derivation of CPP in all comatose head-injured patients.

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John R. W. Kestle, Amy Lee, Richard C. E. Anderson, Barbu Gociman, Kamlesh B. Patel, Matthew D. Smyth, Craig Birgfeld, Ian F. Pollack, Jesse A. Goldstein, Mandeep Tamber, Thomas Imahiyerobo, Faizi A. Siddiqi and for the Synostosis Research Group

OBJECTIVE

The authors created a collaborative network, the Synostosis Research Group (SynRG), to facilitate multicenter clinical research on craniosynostosis. To identify common and differing practice patterns within the network, they assessed the SynRG surgeons’ management preferences for sagittal synostosis. These results will be incorporated into planning cooperative studies.

METHODS

The SynRG consists of 12 surgeons at 5 clinical sites. An email survey was distributed to SynRG surgeons in late 2016, and responses were collected through early 2017. Responses were collated and analyzed descriptively.

RESULTS

All of the surgeons—7 plastic/craniofacial surgeons and 5 neurosurgeons—completed the survey. They varied in both experience (1–24 years) and sagittal synostosis case volume in the preceding year (5–45 cases). Three sites routinely perform preoperative CT scans. The preferred surgical technique for children younger than 3 months is strip craniectomy (10/12 surgeons), whereas children older than 6 months are all treated with open cranial vault surgery. Pre-incision cefazolin, preoperative complete blood count panels, and an arterial line were used by most surgeons, but tranexamic acid was used routinely at 3 sites and never at the other 2 sites. Among surgeons performing endoscopic strip craniectomy surgery (SCS), most create a 5-cm-wide craniectomy, whereas 2 surgeons create a 2-cm strip. Four surgeons routinely send endoscopic SCS patients to the intensive care unit after surgery. Two of the 5 sites routinely obtain a CT scan within the 1st year after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The SynRG surgeons vary substantially in the use of imaging, the choice of surgical procedure and technique, and follow-up. A collaborative network will provide the opportunity to study different practice patterns, reduce variation, and contribute multicenter data on the management of children with craniosynostosis.

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Ian A. Anderson, Louise F. Saukila, James M. W. Robins, Christopher Y. Akhunbay-Fudge, John R. Goodden, Atul K. Tyagi, Nick Phillips and Paul D. Chumas

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive benchmark of 30-day ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt failure rates for a single institution over a 5-year study period for both adult and pediatric patients, to compare this with the results in previously published literature, and to establish factors associated with shunt failure.

METHODS

A retrospective database search was undertaken to identify all VP shunt operations performed in a single, regional neurosurgical unit during a 5-year period. Data were collected regarding patient age, sex, origin of hydrocephalus, and whether the shunt was a primary or secondary shunt. Operative notes were used to ascertain the type of valve inserted, which components of the shunt were adjusted/replaced (in revision cases), level of seniority of the most senior surgeon who participated in the operation, and number of surgeons involved in the operation. Where appropriate and where available, postoperative imaging was assessed for grade of shunt placement, using a recognized grading system. Univariate and multivariate models were used to establish factors associated with early (30-day) shunt failure.

RESULTS

Six hundred eighty-three VP shunt operations were performed, of which 321 were pediatric and 362 were adult. The median duration of postoperative follow-up for nonfailed shunts (excluding deaths) was 1263 days (range 525–2226 days). The pediatric 30-day shunt failure rates in the authors’ institution were 8.8% for primary shunts and 23.4% for revisions. In adults, the 30-day shunt failure rates are 17.7% for primary shunts and 25.6% for revisions. In pediatric procedures, the number of surgeons involved in the operating theater was significantly associated with shunt failure rate. In adults, the origin of hydrocephalus was a statistically significant variable. Primary shunts lasted longer than revision shunts, irrespective of patient age.

CONCLUSIONS

A benchmark of 30-day failures is presented and is consistent with current national databases and previously published data by other groups. The number of surgeons involved in shunt operations and the origin of the patient’s hydrocephalus should be described in future studies and should be controlled for in any prospective work. The choice of shunt valve was not a significant predictor of shunt failure. Most previous studies on shunts have concentrated on primary shunts, but the high rate of early shunt failure in revision cases (in both adults and children) is perhaps where future research efforts should be concentrated.

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Ian A. Anderson, Anand Goomany, David T. Bonthron, Maggie Bellew, Mark I. Liddington, Ian M. Smith, John L. Russell, Lachlan M. Carter, Velupandian Guruswamy, John R. Goodden and Paul D. Chumas

Object

There are no published papers examining the role of ethnicity on suture involvement in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. The authors sought to examine whether there is a significant difference in the epidemiological pattern of suture(s) affected between different ethnic groups attending a regional craniofacial clinic with a diagnosis of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis.

Methods

A 5-year retrospective case-notes analysis of all cases involving patients attending a regional craniofacial clinic was undertaken. Cases were coded for the patients' declared ethnicity, suture(s) affected by synostosis, and the decision whether to have surgical correction of synostosis. The chi-square test was used to determine whether there were any differences in site of suture affected between ethnic groups.

Results

A total of 312 cases were identified. Of these 312 cases, ethnicity data were available for 296 cases (95%). The patient population was dominated by 2 ethnic groups: white patients (222 cases) and Asian patients (56 cases). There were both more cases of complex synostosis and fewer cases of sagittal synostosis than expected in the Asian patient cohort (χ2 = 9.217, p = 0.027).

Conclusions

There is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of the various sutures affected within the nonsyndromic craniosynostosis patient cohort when Asian patients are compared with white patients. The data from this study also suggest that nonsyndromic craniosynostosis is more prevalent in the Asian community than in the white community, although there may be inaccuracies in the estimates of the background population data. A larger-scale, multinational analysis is needed to further evaluate the relationship between ethnicity and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis.