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Sauson Soldozy, Pedro Norat, Kaan Yağmurlu, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Khadijeh A. Sharifi, Petr Tvrdik, Min S. Park and M. Yashar S. Kalani

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) presenting with epilepsy significantly impacts patient quality of life, and it should be considered very much a seizure disorder. Although hemorrhage prevention is the primary treatment aim of AVM surgery, seizure control should also be at the forefront of therapeutic management. Several hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of AVM have been identified to be associated with seizure presentation. This includes increased AVM flow, presence of long pial draining vein, venous outflow obstruction, and frontotemporal location, among other aspects. With the advent of high-throughput image processing and quantification methods, new radiographic attributes of AVM-related epilepsy have been identified. With respect to therapy, several treatment approaches are available, including conservative management or interventional modalities; this includes microsurgery, radiosurgery, and embolization or a combination thereof. Many studies, especially in the domain of microsurgery and radiosurgery, evaluate both techniques with respect to seizure outcomes. The advantage of microsurgery lies in superior AVM obliteration rates and swift seizure response. In addition, by incorporating electrophysiological monitoring during AVM resection, adjacent or even remote epileptogenic foci can be identified, leading to extended lesionectomy and improved seizure control. Radiosurgery, despite resulting in reduced AVM obliteration and prolonged time to seizure freedom, avoids the risks of surgery altogether and may provide seizure control through various antiepileptic mechanisms. Embolization continues to be used as an adjuvant for both microsurgery and radiosurgery. In this study, the authors review the latest imaging techniques in characterizing AVM-related epilepsy, in addition to reviewing each treatment modality.

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Mazin Elsarrag, Sauson Soldozy, Parantap Patel, Pedro Norat, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Min S. Park, Petr Tvrdik and M. Yashar S. Kalani

OBJECTIVE

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is a multidimensional approach to improving the care of surgical patients using subspecialty- and procedure-specific evidence-based protocols. The literature provides evidence of the benefits of ERAS implementation, which include expedited functional recovery, decreased postoperative morbidity, reduced costs, and improved subjective patient experience. Although extensively examined in other surgical areas, ERAS principles have been applied to spine surgery only in recent years. The authors examine studies investigating the application of ERAS programs to patients undergoing spine surgery.

METHODS

The authors conducted a systematic review of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases up to November 20, 2018.

RESULTS

Twenty full-text articles were included in the qualitative analysis. The majority of studies were retrospective reviews of nonrandomized data sets or qualitative investigations lacking formal control groups; there was 1 protocol for a future randomized controlled trial. Most studies demonstrated reduced lengths of stay and no increase in rates of readmissions or complications after introduction of an ERAS pathway.

CONCLUSIONS

These introductory studies demonstrate the potential of ERAS protocols, when applied to spine procedures, to reduce lengths of stay, accelerate return of function, minimize postoperative pain, and save costs.

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Sauson Soldozy, Pedro Norat, Mazin Elsarrag, Ajay Chatrath, John S. Costello, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Petr Tvrdik, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

The pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms remains complex and multifactorial. While vascular, genetic, and epidemiological factors play a role, nascent aneurysm formation is believed to be induced by hemodynamic forces. Hemodynamic stresses and vascular insults lead to additional aneurysm and vessel remodeling. Advanced imaging techniques allow us to better define the roles of aneurysm and vessel morphology and hemodynamic parameters, such as wall shear stress, oscillatory shear index, and patterns of flow on aneurysm formation, growth, and rupture. While a complete understanding of the interplay between these hemodynamic variables remains elusive, the authors review the efforts that have been made over the past several decades in an attempt to elucidate the physical and biological interactions that govern aneurysm pathophysiology. Furthermore, the current clinical utility of hemodynamics in predicting aneurysm rupture is discussed.

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Sauson Soldozy, Jacob Galindo, Harrison Snyder, Yusuf Ali, Pedro Norat, Kaan Yağmurlu, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Khadijeh Sharifi, Petr Tvrdik, Min S. Park and M. Yashar S. Kalani

Neuroimaging is an indispensable tool in the workup and management of patients with neurological disorders. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an imaging modality that permits the examination of blood flow and perfusion without the need for contrast injection. Noninvasive in nature, ASL provides a feasible alternative to existing vascular imaging techniques, including angiography and perfusion imaging. While promising, ASL has yet to be fully incorporated into the diagnosis and management of neurological disorders. This article presents a review of the most recent literature on ASL, with a special focus on its use in moyamoya disease, brain neoplasms, seizures, and migraines and a commentary on recent advances in ASL that make the imaging technique more attractive as a clinically useful tool.

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Sauson Soldozy, John S. Costello, Pedro Norat, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Kamron Soldozy, Min S. Park, Petr Tvrdik and M. Yashar S. Kalani

While the majority of cerebral revascularization advancements were made in the last century, it is worth noting the humble beginnings of vascular surgery throughout history to appreciate its progression and application to neurovascular pathology in the modern era. Nearly 5000 years of basic human inquiry into the vasculature and its role in neurological disease has resulted in the complex neurosurgical procedures used today to save and improve lives. This paper explores the story of the extracranial-intracranial approach to cerebral revascularization.

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Kathryn N. Kearns, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Kimberly Chadwell, Maureen Chandler, Therese Kiernan, Francesco Prada, M. Yashar S. Kalani and Min S. Park

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a relatively new imaging modality in the realm of neurosurgical disease. CEUS permits the examination of blood flow through arteries, veins, and capillaries via intravascular contrast agents and allows vascular architectural mapping with extreme sensitivity and specificity. While it has established utility in other organ systems such as the liver and kidneys, CEUS has not been studied extensively in the brain. This report presents a review of the literature on the neurosurgical applications of CEUS and provides an outline of the imaging modality’s role in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of neurosurgical disease.

Restricted access

Rebecca M. Burke, Ching-Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Thomas J. Buell, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Kathryn N. Kearns, Shih-Wei Tzeng, Huai-che Yang, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Natasha Ironside, David Mathieu, Christian Iorio-Morin, Inga S. Grills, Caleb Feliciano, Gene H. Barnett, Robert M. Starke, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for pediatric brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and early obliteration could encourage SRS utilization for a subset of particularly radiosensitive lesions. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of early obliteration after SRS for pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM database. Obliterated pediatric AVMs were sorted into early (obliteration ≤ 24 months after SRS) and late (obliteration > 24 months after SRS) responders. Predictors of early obliteration were identified, and the outcomes of each group were compared.

RESULTS

The overall study cohort was composed of 345 pediatric patients with obliterated AVMs. The early and late obliteration cohorts were made up of 95 (28%) and 250 (72%) patients, respectively. Independent predictors of early obliteration were female sex, a single SRS treatment, a higher margin dose, a higher isodose line, a deep AVM location, and a smaller AVM volume. The crude rate of post-SRS hemorrhage was 50% lower in the early (3.2%) than in the late (6.4%) obliteration cohorts, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.248). The other outcomes of the early versus late obliteration cohorts were similar, with respect to symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), cyst formation, and tumor formation.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately one-quarter of pediatric AVMs that become obliterated after SRS will achieve this radiological endpoint within 24 months of initial SRS. The authors identified multiple factors associated with early obliteration, which may aid in prognostication and management. The overall risks of delayed hemorrhage, RICs, cyst formation, and tumor formation were not statistically different in patients with early versus late obliteration.