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David Bellut, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Anne F. Mannion and François Porchet

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to evaluate outcome in patients undergoing surgical treatment for intradural spinal tumor using a patient-oriented, self-rated, outcome instrument and a physician-based disease-specific instrument.

METHODS

Prospectively collected data from 63 patients with intradural spinal tumor were analyzed in relation to scores on the multidimensional patient-rated Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI) and the physician-rated modified McCormick Scale, before and at 3 and 12 months after surgery.

RESULTS

There was no statistically significant difference between the scores on the modified McCormick Scale preoperatively and at the 3-month follow-up, though there was a trend for improvement (p = 0.073); however, comparisons between the scores determined preoperatively and at the 12-month follow-up, as well as 3- versus 12-month follow-ups, showed a statistically significant improvement in each case (p < 0.004). The COMI scores for axial pain, peripheral pain, and back-related function showed a significant reduction (p < 0.001) from before surgery to 3 months after surgery, and thereafter showed no further change (p > 0.05) up to 12 months postoperatively. In contrast, the overall COMI score, “worst pain,” quality of life, and social disability not only showed a significant reduction from before surgery to 3 months after surgery (p < 0.001), but also a further significant reduction up to 12 months postoperatively (p < 0.001). The scores for work disability showed no significant improvement from before surgery to the 3-month follow-up (p > 0.05), but did show a significant improvement (p = 0.011) from 3 months to 12 months after surgery. At the 3- and 12-month follow-ups, 85.2% and 83.9% of patients, respectively, declared that the surgical procedure had helped/helped a lot; 95.1% and 95.2%, respectively, declared that they were satisfied/very satisfied with their care.

CONCLUSIONS

COMI is a feasible tool to use in the evaluation of baseline symptoms and outcome in patients undergoing surgery for intradural spinal tumor. COMI was able to detect changes in outcome at 3 months after surgery (before changes were apparent on the modified McCormick Scale) and on later postoperative follow-up. The COMI subdomains are valuable for monitoring the patient’s reintegration into society and the work environment. The addition of an item that specifically covers neurological deficits may further increase the value of COMI in patients with spinal tumors.

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Seungwon Yoon, Jan-Karl Burkhardt and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Large cohort analysis concerning intracerebral bypass patency in patients with long-term follow-up (FU) results is rarely reported in the literature. The authors analyzed the long-term patency of extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) and intracranial-to-intracranial (IC-IC) bypass procedures.

METHODS

All intracranial bypass procedures performed between 1997 and 2017 by a single surgeon were screened. Patients with postoperative imaging (CT angiography, MR angiography, or catheter angiography) were included and grouped into immediate (< 7 days), short-term (7 days–1 year), and long-term (> 1 year) FU groups. Data on patient demographics, bypass type, interposition graft type, bypass indication, and radiological patency were collected and analyzed with univariate and multivariate (adjusted multiple regression) models.

RESULTS

In total, 430 consecutive bypass procedures were performed during the study period (FU time [mean ± SD] 0.9 ± 2.2 years, range 0–17 years). Twelve cases were occluded at FU imaging, resulting in an overall cumulative patency rate of 97%. All bypass occlusions occurred within a week of revascularization. All patients in the short-term FU group (n = 76, mean FU time 0.3 ± 0.3 years) and long-term FU group (n = 89, mean FU time 4.1 ± 3.5 years) had patent bypasses at last FU. Patients who presented with aneurysms had a lower rate of patency than those with moyamoya disease or chronic vessel occlusion (p = 0.029). Low-flow bypasses had a significantly higher patency rate than high-flow bypasses (p = 0.033). In addition, bypasses with one anastomosis site compared to two anastomosis sites showed a significantly higher bypass patency (p = 0.005). No differences were seen in the patency rate among different grafts, single versus bilateral, or between EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall bypass patency of 97% indicates a high likelihood of success with microsurgical revascularization. Surgical indication (ischemia), low-flow bypass, and number of anastomosis (one site) were associated with higher patency rates. EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses have comparable patency rates, supporting the use of intracranial reconstructive techniques. Bypasses that remain patent 1 week postoperatively and have the opportunity to mature have a high likelihood of remaining patent in the long term. In experienced hands, cerebral revascularization is a durable treatment option with high patency rates.

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Ethan A. Winkler and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Deep medial parietooccipital arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are traditionally resected through an ipsilateral posterior interhemispheric approach (IPIA), which creates a deep, perpendicular perspective with limited access to the lateral margins of the lesion. The contralateral posterior interhemispheric approach (CPIA) flips the positioning, with the midline positioned horizontally for retraction due to gravity, but with the AVM on the upper side and the approach from the contralateral, lower side. The aim of this paper was to analyze whether the perpendicular angle of attack that is used in IPIA would convert to a parallel angle of attack with the CPIA, with less retraction, improved working angles, and no significant increase in risk.

METHODS

A retrospective review of pre- and postoperative clinical and radiographic data was performed in 8 patients who underwent a CPIA.

RESULTS

Three AVMs and 5 CCMs were resected using the CPIA, with an average nidus size of 2.3 cm and CCM diameter of 1.7 cm. All lesions were resected completely, as confirmed on postoperative catheter angiography or MRI. All patients had good neurological outcomes, with either stable or improved modified Rankin Scale scores at last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

The CPIA is a safe alternative approach to the IPIA for deep medial parietooccipital vascular malformations that extend 2 cm or more off the midline. Contralaterality and retraction due to gravity optimize the interhemispheric corridor, the surgical trajectory to the lesion, and the visualization of the lateral margin, without resection or retraction of adjacent normal cortex. Although the falx is a physical barrier to accessing the lesion, it stabilizes the ipsilateral hemisphere while gravity delivers the dissected lesion through the transfalcine window. Patient positioning, CSF drainage, venous preservation, and meticulous dissection of the deep margins are critical to the safety of this approach.

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Michael M. Safaee, Aaron J. Clark, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Ethan A. Winkler and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare vascular abnormalities caused by arteriovenous shunting. They often form at the dural root sleeve between a radicular feeding artery and draining medullary vein causing venous congestion and edema, decreased perfusion, and ischemia of the spinal cord. Treatment consists of either surgical ligation of the draining vein or selective embolization via an endovascular approach. There is a paucity of data on which modality provides more durable and effective outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database by the senior author to assess clinical outcomes in patients undergoing surgical treatment of spinal dAVFs. Preoperative and postoperative motor and Aminoff-Logue Scale (ALS) scores were collected.

RESULTS

A total of 41 patients with 44 spinal dAVFs were identified, with a mean patient age of 64 years. The mean symptom duration was 14 months, with weakness (82%), urinary symptoms (47%), and sensory symptoms (29%) at presentation. The fistula locations were as follows: 30 thoracic, 9 lumbar, 3 sacral, and 2 cervical. Five patients had normal motor and ALS scores at presentation. Among the remaining 36 patients with motor deficits or abnormal gait and micturition at presentation, 78% experienced an improvement while the remaining 22% continued to be stable. There was a trend toward improved outcomes in patients with shorter symptom duration; mean symptom duration among patients with clinical improvement was 13 months compared with 22 months among those without improvement. Additionally, rates of improvement were higher for lower thoracic and lumbosacral dAVFs (85% and 83%) compared with those in the upper thoracic spine (57%). No patient developed recurrent fistulas or worsening neurological deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery is associated with excellent outcomes in the treatment of spinal dAVFs. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical, with a trend toward improved outcomes. No patient in this study had fistula recurrence or worsening of symptoms. Among patients with abnormal motor or ALS scores, 78% improved after surgery. Therapeutic embolization is an option for some lesions, but for cases with unfavorable anatomy where embolization is not feasible, surgery is a safe option associated with high success.

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Pascal O. Zinn, Oliver Bozinov, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Robert Reisch, M. Gazi Yaşargil and Helmut Bertalanffy

Mechanical obstruction is a severe complication of ventricular catheter use. Its incidence was shown to be high in the 1960s and 1970s, with up to 41% of the catheters becoming obstructed within 10 years after surgery. The authors present what is to their knowledge the first reported case of a patient with failure of a Torkildsen shunt after 50 years of functioning. A 60-year-old woman presented with increasing gait ataxia, decline in cognitive functions (including short-term memory loss), and slight urinary incontinence. The diagnosis of hydrocephalus and thus malfunction of the Torkildsen shunt implanted 50 years previously was confirmed by MR images, which revealed a prominent triventricular hydrocephalus. The patient subsequently underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), the current surgical treatment of choice, resulting in total resolution of her neurological symptoms and amelioration of cerebral tissue distension. Decrease in ventricle dilation and success of the ETV were confirmed on postoperative follow-up MR images.

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Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Ethan A. Winkler, George F. Lasker, John K. Yue and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Compressive cranial nerve syndromes can be useful bedside clues to the diagnosis of an enlarging intracranial aneurysm and can also guide subsequent evaluation, as with an acute oculomotor nerve (cranial nerve [CN] III) palsy that is presumed to be a posterior communicating artery aneurysm and a surgical emergency until proven otherwise. The CN VI has a short cisternal segment from the pontomedullary sulcus to Dorello’s canal, remote from most PICA aneurysms but in the hemodynamic pathway of a rupturing PICA aneurysm that projects toward Dorello’s canal. The authors describe a cranial nerve syndrome for posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms that associates subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and an isolated abducens nerve (CN VI) palsy.

METHODS

Clinical and radiological data from 106 surgical patients with PICA aneurysms (66 ruptured and 40 unruptured) were retrospectively reviewed. Data from a group of 174 patients with other aneurysmal SAH (aSAH) were analyzed in a similar manner to control for nonspecific effects of SAH. Univariate statistical analysis compared incidence and risk factors associated with CN VI palsy in subarachnoid hemorrhage.

RESULTS

Overall, 13 (4.6%) of 280 patients had CN VI palsy at presentation, and all of them had ruptured aneurysms (representing 13 [5.4%] of the 240 cases of ruptured aneurysms). CN VI palsies were observed in 12 patients with ruptured PICA aneurysms (12/66 [18.1%]) and 1 patient with other aSAH (1/174 [0.1%], p < 0.0001). PICA aneurysm location in ruptured aneurysms was an independent predictor for CN VI palsy on multivariate analysis (p = 0.001). PICA aneurysm size was not significantly different in patients with or without CN VI palsy (average size 4.4 mm and 5.2 mm, respectively). Within the PICA aneurysm cohort, modified Fisher grade (p = 0.011) and presence of a thick cisternal SAH (modified Fisher Grades 3 and 4) (p = 0.003) were predictors of CN VI palsy. In all patients with ruptured PICA aneurysms and CN VI palsy, dome projection and presumed direction of rupture were directed toward the ipsilateral and/or contralateral Dorello’s canal, in agreement with laterality of the CN palsy. In patients with bilateral CN VI palsies, a medial projection with extensive subarachnoid blood was observed near bilateral canals.

CONCLUSIONS

This study establishes a localizing connection between an isolated CN VI palsy, SAH, and an underlying ruptured PICA aneurysm. CN VI palsy is an important clinical sign in aSAH and when present on initial clinical presentation may be assumed to be due to ruptured PICA aneurysms until proven otherwise. The deficit may be ipsilateral, contralateral, or bilateral and is determined by the direction of the aneurysm dome projection and extent of subarachnoid bleeding toward Dorello’s canal, rather than by direct compression.

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Tomoya Kamide, Halima Tabani, Michael M. Safaee, Jan-Karl Burkhardt and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

While most paraclinoid aneurysms can be clipped with excellent results, new postoperative visual deficits are a concern. New technology, including flow diverters, has increased the popularity of endovascular therapy. However, endovascular treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms is not without procedural risks, is associated with higher rates of incomplete aneurysm occlusion and recurrence, and may not address optic nerve compression symptoms that surgical debulking can. The increasing endovascular management of paraclinoid aneurysms should be justified by comparisons to surgical benchmarks. The authors, therefore, undertook this study to define patient, visual, and aneurysm outcomes in the most common type of paraclinoid aneurysm: ophthalmic artery (OphA) aneurysms.

METHODS

Results from microsurgical clipping of 208 OphA aneurysms in 198 patients were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, aneurysm morphology (size, calcification, etc.), clinical characteristics, and patient outcomes were recorded and analyzed.

RESULTS

Despite 20% of these aneurysms being large or giant in size, complete aneurysm occlusion was accomplished in 91% of 208 cases, with OphA patency preserved in 99.5%. The aneurysm recurrence rate was 3.1% and the retreatment rate was 0%. Good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) were observed in 96.2% of patients overall and in all 156 patients with unruptured aneurysms. New visual field defects (hemianopsia or quadrantanopsia) were observed in 8 patients (3.8%), decreased visual acuity in 5 (2.4%), and monocular blindness in 9 (4.3%). Vision improved in 9 (52.9%) of the 17 patients with preoperative visual deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

The most important risk associated with clipping OphA aneurysms is a new visual deficit. Meticulous microsurgical technique is necessary during anterior clinoidectomy, aneurysm dissection, and clip application to optimize visual outcomes, and aggressive medical management postoperatively might potentially decrease the incidence of delayed visual deficits. As the results of endovascular therapy and specifically flow diverters become known, they warrant comparison with these surgical benchmarks to determine best practices.

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Gyang Markus Bot, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Nalin Gupta and Michael T. Lawton

Analysis of direct STA-MCA bypass procedures in young children to achieve flow augmentation via direct revascularization.