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Jason W. Savage, Mick P. Kelly, Scott A. Ellison and Paul A. Anderson

OBJECT

The authors compared the rates of postoperative adverse events and reoperation of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to those of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion without BMP.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the PearlDiver Technologies, Inc., database, which contains the Medicare Standard Analytical Files, the Medicare Carrier Files, the PearlDiver Private Payer Database (UnitedHealthcare), and select state all-payer data sets, from 2005 to 2010. They identified patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with and without BMP. The ICD-9-CM code 84.52 was used to identify patients who underwent spinal fusion with BMP. ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes identified complications that occurred during the initial hospital stay. ICD-9-CM procedural codes were used to identify reoperations within 90 days of the index procedure. The relative risks (and 95% CIs) of BMP use compared with no BMP use (control) were calculated for the association of any complication with BMP use compared with the control.

RESULTS

Between 2005 and 2010, 460,773 patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion were identified. BMP was used in 30.7% of these patients. The overall complication rate in the BMP group was 18.2% compared with 18.7% in the control group. The relative risk of BMP use compared with no BMP use was 0.976 (95% CI 0.963–0.989), which indicates a significantly lower overall complication rate in the BMP group (p < 0.001). In both treatment groups, patients older than 65 years had a statistically significant higher rate of postoperative complications than younger patients (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

In this large-scale institutionalized database study, BMP use did not seem to increase the overall risk of developing a postoperative complication after lumbar spinal fusion surgery.

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David Weintraub, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Jesse Savage, Brian Williams and Jason Sheehan

Object

While some low-grade pediatric gliomas may be cured with resection, many patients harbor tumors that cannot be completely resected safely, are difficult to access via an open surgical approach, or recur. Gamma Knife surgery may be beneficial in the treatment of these tumors.

Methods

The authors reviewed a consecutive series of 24 pediatric patients treated at the authors' institution between 1989 and 2011. All patients harbored tumors that were either surgically inaccessible or had evidence of residual or recurrent growth after resection. Progression-free survival was evaluated and correlated with clinical variables. Additional outcomes evaluated were clinical outcome, imaging response, and overall survival.

Results

Between 1989 and 2011, 13 male and 11 female patients (median age 11 years, range 4–18 years) with gliomas were treated. Tumor pathology was pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO Grade I) in 15 patients (63%), WHO Grade II in 4 (17%), and WHO Grade III in 1 (4%). The tumor pathology was not confirmed in 4 patients (17%). The mean tumor volume at the time of treatment was 2.4 cm3. Lesions were treated with a median maximum dose of 36 Gy, median of 3 isocenters, and median marginal dose of 15 Gy.

The median duration of imaging follow-up was 74 months, and the median duration of clinical follow-up was 144 months. The tumors responded with a median decrease in volume of 71%. At last follow up, a decrease in tumor size of at least 50% was demonstrated in 18 patients (75%) and complete tumor resolution was achieved in 5 (21%). Progression-free survival at last follow-up was achieved in 20 patients (83%). Progression was documented in 4 patients (17%), with 3 patients requiring repeat resection and 1 patient dying. The initial tumor volume was significantly greater in patients with disease progression (mean volume 4.25 vs 2.0 cm3, p < 0.001). Age, tumor pathology, tumor location, previous radiation, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, symptom duration, and target dosage did not differ significantly between the 2 groups.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery can provide good clinical control of residual or recurrent gliomas in pediatric patients. Worse outcomes in the present series were associated with larger tumor volumes at the time of treatment.

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Sina Pourtaheri, Akshay Sharma, Jason Savage, Iain Kalfas, Thomas E. Mroz, Edward Benzel and Michael P. Steinmetz

OBJECTIVE

The flexed posture of the proximal (L1–3) or distal (L4–S1) lumbar spine increases the diameter of the spinal canal and neuroforamina and can relieve symptoms of neurogenic claudication. Distal lumbar flexion can result in pelvic retroversion; therefore, in cases of flexible sagittal imbalance, pelvic retroversion may be compensatory for lumbar stenosis and not solely compensatory for the sagittal imbalance as previously thought. The authors investigate underlying causes for pelvic retroversion in patients with flexible sagittal imbalance.

METHODS

One hundred thirty-eight patients with sagittal imbalance who underwent a total of 148 fusion procedures of the thoracolumbar spine were identified from a prospective clinical database. Radiographic parameters were obtained from images preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 6-month and 2-year follow-up. A cohort of 24 patients with flexible sagittal imbalance was identified and individually matched with a control cohort of 23 patients with fixed deformities. Flexible deformities were defined as a 10° change in lumbar lordosis between weight-bearing and non–weight-bearing images. Pelvic retroversion was quantified as the ratio of pelvic tilt (PT) to pelvic incidence (PI).

RESULTS

The average difference between lumbar lordosis on supine MR images and standing radiographs was 15° in the flexible cohort. Sixty-eight percent of the patients in the flexible cohort were diagnosed preoperatively with lumbar stenosis compared with only 22% in the fixed sagittal imbalance cohort (p = 0.0032). There was no difference between the flexible and fixed cohorts with regard to C-2 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) (p = 0.95) or C-7 SVA (p = 0.43). When assessing for postural compensation by pelvic retroversion in the stenotic patients and nonstenotic patients, the PT/PI ratio was found to be significantly greater in the patients with stenosis (p = 0.019).

CONCLUSIONS

For flexible sagittal imbalance, preoperative attention should be given to the root cause of the sagittal misalignment, which could be compensation for lumbar stenosis. Pelvic retroversion can be compensatory for both the lumbar stenosis as well as for sagittal imbalance.

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Robert M. Starke, James H. Nguyen, Jessica Rainey, Brian J. Williams, Jonathan H. Sherman, Jesse Savage, Chun Po Yen and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Although numerous studies have analyzed the role of stereotactic radiosurgery for intracranial meningiomas, few studies have assessed outcomes of posterior fossa meningiomas after stereotactic radiosurgery. In this study, the authors evaluate the outcomes of posterior fossa meningiomas treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). The authors also assess factors predictive of new postoperative neurological deficits and tumor progression.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed of a prospectively compiled database documenting the outcomes of 152 patients with posterior fossa meningiomas treated at the University of Virginia from 1990 to 2006. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 24 months. There were 30 males and 122 females, with a median age of 58 years (range 12–82 years). Seventy-five patients were treated with radiosurgery initially, and 77 patients were treated with GKS after resection. Patients were assessed clinically and radiographically at routine intervals following GKS. Factors predictive of new neurological deficit following GKS were assessed via univariate and multivariate analysis, and Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox multivariate regression analysis were used to assess factors predictive of tumor progression.

Results

Patients had meningiomas centered over the tentorium (35 patients, 23%), cerebellopontine angle (43 patients, 28%), petroclival region (28 patients, 18%), petrous region (6 patients, 4%), and clivus (40 patients, 26%). The median follow-up was 7 years (range 2–16 years). The mean preradiosurgical tumor volume was 5.7 cm3 (range 0.3–33 cm3), and mean postradiosurgical tumor volume was 4.9 cm3 (range 0.1–33 cm3). At last follow-up, 55 patients (36%) displayed no change in tumor volume, 78 (51%) displayed a decrease in volume, and 19 (13%) displayed an increase in volume. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated radiographic progression-free survival at 3, 5, and 10 years to be 98%, 96%, and 78%, respectively. In Cox multivariable analysis, pre-GKS covariates associated with tumor progression included age greater than 65 years (hazard ratio [HR] 3.24, 95% CI 1.12–9.37; p = 0.03) and a low dose to the tumor margin (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.60–0.97; p = 0.03), and post-GKS covariates included shunt-dependent hydrocephalus (HR 25.0, 95% CI 3.72–100.0; p = 0.001). At last clinical follow-up, 139 patients (91%) demonstrated no change or improvement in their neurological condition, and 13 patients showed symptom deterioration (9%). In multivariate analysis, the only factors predictive of new or worsening symptoms were clival or petrous location (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.1–13.7; p = 0.03).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery offers an acceptable rate of tumor control for posterior fossa meningiomas and accomplishes this with a low incidence of neurological deficits. In patients selected for GKS, tumor progression is associated with age greater than 65 years and decreasing dose to the tumor margin. Clival- or petrous-based locations are predictive of an increased risk of new or worsening neurological deficit following GKS.

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The efficacy of intraoperative multimodal monitoring in pedicle subtraction osteotomies of the lumbar spine

Presented at the 2019 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Jianning Shao, Maxwell Y. Lee, Shreya Louis, Konrad Knusel, Bryan S. Lee, Dominic W. Pelle, Jason Savage, Joseph E. Tanenbaum, Thomas E. Mroz and Michael P. Steinmetz

OBJECTIVE

Iatrogenic spine injury remains one of the most dreaded complications of pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSOs) and spine deformity surgeries. Thus, intraoperative multimodal monitoring (IOM), which has the potential to provide real-time feedback on spinal cord signal transmission, has become the gold standard in such operations. However, while the benefits of IOM are well established in PSOs of the thoracic spine and scoliosis surgery, its utility in PSOs of the lumbar spine has not been robustly documented. The authors’ aim was to determine the impact of IOM on outcomes in patients undergoing PSO of the lumbar spine.

METHODS

All patients older than 18 years who underwent lumbar PSOs at the authors’ institution from 2007 to 2017 were analyzed via retrospective chart review and categorized into one of two groups: those who had IOM guidance and those who did not. Perioperative complications were designated as the primary outcome measure and postoperative quality of life (QOL) scores, specifically the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire–39 (PDQ-39) and Patient Health Questionnaire–9 (PHQ-9), were designated as secondary outcome measures. Data on patient demographics, surgical and monitoring parameters, and outcomes were gathered, and statistical analysis was performed to compare the development of perioperative complications and QOL scores between the two cohorts. In addition, the proportion of patients who reached minimal clinically important difference (MCID), defined as an increase of 4.72 points in the PDQ-39 score or a decrease of 5 points in the PHQ-9 score, in the two cohorts was also determined.

RESULTS

A total of 95 patients were included in the final analysis. IOM was not found to significantly impact the development of new postoperative deficits (p = 0.107). However, the presence of preoperative neurological comorbidities was found to significantly correlate with postoperative neurological complications (p = 0.009). Univariate analysis showed that age was positively correlated with MCID achievement 3 months after surgery (p = 0.018), but this significance disappeared at the 12-month postoperative time point (p = 0.858). IOM was not found to significantly impact MCID achievement at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative period as measured by PDQ-39 (p = 0.398 and p = 0.156, respectively). Similarly, IOM was not found to significantly impact MCID achievement at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative period, as measured by PHQ-9 (p = 0.230 and p = 0.542, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that female sex was significantly correlated with MCID achievement (p = 0.024), but this significance disappeared at the 12-month postoperative time point (p = 0.064). IOM was not found to independently correlate with MCID achievement in PDQ-39 scores at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative time points (p = 0.220 and p = 0.097, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

In this particular cohort, IOM did not lead to statistically significant improvement in outcomes in patients undergoing PSOs of the lumbar spine (p = 0.220). The existing clinical equipoise, however, indicates that future studies in this arena are necessary to achieve systematic guidelines on IOM usage in PSOs of the lumbar spine.