A Method of Evaluation and Clinical Results
Grant Levin, Bertram Feinstein, E. James Kreul, W. Watson Alberts and Elwood W. Wright Jr.
John Q. H. Bui, Rajith L. Mendis, James M. van Gelder, Mark M. P. Sheridan, Kylie M. Wright and Matthias Jaeger
Routine postoperative admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is often considered a necessity in the treatment of patients following elective craniotomy but may strain already limited resources and is of unproven benefit. In this study the authors investigated whether routine postoperative admission to a regular stepdown ward is a safe alternative.
Three hundred ninety-four consecutive patients who had undergone elective craniotomy over 54 months at a single institution were retrospectively analyzed. Indications for craniotomy included tumor (257 patients) and transsphenoidal (63 patients), vascular (31 patients), ventriculostomy (22 patients), developmental (13 patients), and base of skull conditions (8 patients). Recorded data included age, operation, reason for ICU admission, medical emergency team (MET) calls, in-hospital mortality, and postoperative duration of stay.
Three hundred forty-three patients were admitted to the regular ward after elective craniotomy, whereas there were 43 planned and 8 unplanned ICU admissions. The most common reasons for planned ICU admissions were anticipated lengthy operations (42%) and anesthetic risks (40%); causes for unplanned ICU admissions were mainly unexpected slow neurological recovery and extensive intraoperative blood loss. Of the 343 regular ward admissions, 10 (3%) required a MET call; only 3 of these MET calls occurred within the first 48 postoperative hours and did not lead to an ICU admission. The overall mortality rate in the investigated cohort was 1%, with no fatalities in patients admitted to the normal ward postoperatively.
Routine ward admission for patients undergoing elective craniotomies with selective ICU admission appears safe; however, approximately 2% of patients may require a direct postoperative unplanned ICU admission. Patients with anticipated long operation times, extensive blood loss, and high anesthetic risks should be selected for postoperative ICU admission, but further study is needed to determine the preoperative factors that can aid in identifying and caring for these groups of patients.
James M. Wright, Christina L. Huang, Rahul Sharma, Sunil Manjila, Feng Xu, Barbara Dabb and Nicholas C. Bambakidis
Since the first surgery for an intracranial aneurysm in 1931, neurological surgeons have long strived to determine the optimal methods of surgical correction. Significant challenges of aneurysm clipping include intraoperative rupture and complex dome morphology. Hypothermia, cardiopulmonary bypass, pharmacologically induced hypotension, and cardiac standstill are a few of the methodologies historically and currently employed in the management of these issues. In the 1980s, significant advances in pharmacology and anesthesiology led to the use of agents such as adenosine for chemically induced hypotension and eventually complete circulatory arrest. Since the institution of the use of these agents, the traditional methods of circulatory arrest under conditions of hypothermia and cardiopulmonary bypass have fallen out of favor. However, there still exists a subset of technically difficult aneurysms for which cardiac standstill, both chemical and hypothermic, remains a viable therapeutic option. In this paper, the authors describe the history of cardiac standstill by both hypothermic and chemically induced means as well as provide examples in which these techniques are still necessary.
James Wright, Christina Huang Wright and Warren R. Selman
James Wright, Jessey Chugh, Christina Huang Wright, Fernando Alonso, Alia Hdeib, Haley Gittleman, Jill Barnholtz-Sloan and Andrew E. Sloan
Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), sometimes referred to as “stereotactic laser ablation,” has demonstrated utility in a subset of high-risk surgical patients with difficult to access (DTA) intracranial neoplasms. However, the treatment of tumors larger than 10 cm3 is associated with suboptimal outcomes and morbidity. This may limit the utility of LITT in dealing with precisely those large or deep tumors that are most difficult to treat with conventional approaches. Recently, several groups have reported on minimally invasive transsulcal approaches utilizing tubular retracting systems. However, these approaches have been primarily used for intraventricular or paraventricular lesions, and subtotal resections have been reported for intraparenchymal lesions. Here, the authors describe a combined approach of LITT followed by minimally invasive transsulcal resection for large and DTA tumors.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the results of LITT immediately followed by minimally invasive, transsulcal, transportal resection in 10 consecutive patients with unilateral, DTA malignant tumors > 10 cm3. The patients, 5 males and 5 females, had a median age of 65 years. Eight patients had glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), 1 had a previously treated GBM with radiation necrosis, and 1 had a melanoma brain metastasis. The median tumor volume treated was 38.0 cm3.
The median tumor volume treated to the yellow thermal dose threshold (TDT) line was 83% (range 76%–92%), the median tumor volume treated to the blue TDT line was 73% (range 60%–87%), and the median extent of resection was 93% (range 84%–100%). Two patients suffered mild postoperative neurological deficits, one transiently. Four patients have died since this analysis and 6 remain alive. Median progression-free survival was 280 days, and median overall survival was 482 days.
Laser interstitial thermal therapy followed by minimally invasive transsulcal resection, reported here for the first time, is a novel option for patients with large, DTA, malignant brain neoplasms. There were no unexpected neurological complications in this series, and operative characteristics improved as surgeon experience increased. Further studies are needed to elucidate any differences in survival or quality of life metrics.
Mark D. Meadowcroft, Timothy K. Cooper, Sebastian Rupprecht, Thaddeus C. Wright, Elizabeth E. Neely, Michele Ferenci, Weimin Kang, Qing X. Yang, Robert E. Harbaugh, James R. Connor and James McInerney
Intracranial aneurysms are vascular abnormalities associated with neurological morbidity and mortality due to risk of rupture. In addition, many aneurysm treatments have associated risk profiles that can preclude the prophylactic treatment of asymptomatic lesions. Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is a standard treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, tumors, and arteriovenous malformations. Aneurysms associated with arteriovenous malformations have been noted to resolve after treatment of the malformation. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of GKRS treatment in a saccular aneurysm animal model.
Aneurysms were surgically produced using an elastase-induced aneurysm model in the right common carotid artery of 10 New Zealand white rabbits. Following initial observation for 4 years, each rabbit aneurysm was treated with a conformal GKRS isodose of 25 Gy to the 50% margin. Longitudinal MRI studies obtained over 2 years and terminal measures obtained at multiple time points were used to track aneurysm size and shape index modifications.
Aneurysms did not rupture or involute during the observation period. Whole aneurysm and blood volume averages decreased with a linear trend, at rates of 1.7% and 1.6% per month, respectively, over 24 months. Aneurysm wall percent volume increased linearly at a rate of 0.3% per month, indicating a relative thickening of the aneurysm wall during occlusion. Nonsphericity of the average volume, aspect ratio, and isoperimetric ratio of whole aneurysm volume all remained constant. Histopathological samples demonstrated progressive reduction in aneurysm size and wall thickening, with subintimal fibrosis. Consistent shape indices demonstrate stable aneurysm patency and maintenance of minimal rupture risk following treatment.
The data indicate that GKRS targeted to saccular aneurysms is associated with histopathological changes and linear reduction of aneurysm size over time. The results suggest that GKRS may be a viable, minimally invasive treatment option for intracranial aneurysm obliteration.