Bilateral pedicle fractures in the spine are uncommon in the absence of bony abnormality, previous surgery, or trauma. The authors report a case of spontaneous bilateral lumbar pedicle fracture in a 50-year-old sedentary woman, which caused intractable pain and did not respond to months of conservative management. The fractures were surgically treated using a percutaneous, minimally invasive technique with screws placed directly through the fractures into the vertebral body. The pedicles were strategically tapped to achieve the lag effect and reapproximate the posterior fragment with the anterior elements. The patient tolerated the procedure well and experienced early improvement of her symptoms, and follow-up imaging showed evidence of fracture healing. Transpedicular fixation and the use of the lag effect could be a useful strategy in the treatment of future cases involving poorly healing pedicle fractures causing persistent symptoms.
Jeremiah N. Johnson and Michael Y. Wang
Kimon Bekelis, Symeon Missios, Shannon Coy and Jeremiah N. Johnson
The accuracy of public reporting in health care, especially from private vendors, remains an issue of debate. The authors investigated the association of the publicly reported physician complication rates in an online platform with real-world adverse outcomes of the same physicians for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion.
The authors performed a cohort study involving physicians performing posterior lumbar fusions between 2009 and 2013 who were registered in the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database. This cohort was merged with publicly available data over the same time period from ProPublica, a private company. Mixed-effects multivariable regression models were used to investigate the association of publicly available complication rates with the rate of discharge to a rehabilitation facility, length of stay, mortality, and hospitalization charges for the same surgeons.
During the selected study period, there were 8,457 patients in New York State who underwent posterior lumbar fusion performed by the 56 surgeons represented in the ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard over the same time period. Using a mixed-effects multivariable regression model, the authors demonstrated that publicly reported physician-level complication rates were not associated with the rate of discharge to a rehabilitation facility (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.72–1.31), length of stay (adjusted difference −0.1, 95% CI −0.5 to 0.2), mortality (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.49–1.55), and hospitalization charges (adjusted difference $18,735, 95% CI −$59,177 to $96,647). Similarly, no association was observed when utilizing propensity score–adjusted models, and when restricting the cohort to a predefined subgroup of Medicare patients.
After merging a comprehensive all-payer posterior lumbar fusion cohort in New York State with data from the ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard over the same time period, the authors observed no association of publicly available physician complication rates with objective outcomes.
Report of 2 cases
Jeremiah Johnson, John Ragheb, Ruchira Garg, William Patten, David I. Sandberg and Sanjiv Bhatia
Neurogenic stunned myocardium (NSM) is a syndrome of cardiac stunning after a neurological insult. It is commonly observed after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage but is increasingly being reported after other neurological events. The underlying mechanism of NSM is believed to be a hypothalamic-mediated sympathetic surge causing weakened cardiac contractility and even direct cardiac myocyte damage. The authors report 2 cases of NSM in pediatric patients after acute hydrocephalus. Both patients experienced severe cardiac dysfunction in the acute phase but ultimately had a good neurological outcome and a full cardiac recovery. The identification, treatment, and outcome in 2 rare pediatric cases of NSM are discussed, and the history of the brain-cardiac connection is reviewed.
Mario Teo, Jeremiah N. Johnson, Teresa E. Bell-Stephens, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Robert L. Dodd, Michael B. Bober and Gary K. Steinberg
Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism Type II (MOPD II) is a rare genetic disorder. Features of it include extremely small stature, severe microcephaly, and normal or near-normal intelligence. Previous studies have found that more than 50% of patients with MOPD II have intracranial vascular anomalies, but few successful surgical revascularization or aneurysm-clipping cases have been reported because of the diminutive arteries and narrow surgical corridors in these patients. Here, the authors report on a large series of patients with MOPD II who underwent surgery for an intracranial vascular anomaly.
In conjunction with an approved prospective registry of patients with MOPD II, a prospectively collected institutional surgical database of children with MOPD II and intracranial vascular anomalies who underwent surgery was analyzed retrospectively to establish long-term outcomes.
Ten patients with MOPD II underwent surgery between 2005 and 2012; 5 patients had moyamoya disease (MMD), 2 had intracranial aneurysms, and 3 had both MMD and aneurysms. Patients presented with transient ischemic attack (TIA) (n = 2), ischemic stroke (n = 2), intraparenchymal hemorrhage from MMD (n = 1), and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (n = 1), and 4 were diagnosed on screening. The mean age of the 8 patients with MMD, all of whom underwent extracranial-intracranial revascularization (14 indirect, 1 direct) was 9 years (range 1–17 years). The mean age of the 5 patients with aneurysms was 15.5 years (range 9–18 years). Two patients experienced postoperative complications (1 transient weakness after clipping, 1 femoral thrombosis that required surgical repair). During a mean follow-up of 5.9 years (range 3–10 years), 3 patients died (1 of subarachnoid hemorrhage, 1 of myocardial infarct, and 1 of respiratory failure), and 1 patient had continued TIAs. All of the surviving patients recovered to their neurological baseline.
Patients with MMD presented at a younger age than those in whom aneurysms were more prevalent. Microneurosurgery with either intracranial bypass or aneurysm clipping is extremely challenging but feasible at expert centers in patients with MOPD II, and good long-term outcomes are possible.
Gary K. Steinberg, Douglas Kondziolka, Lawrence R. Wechsler, L. Dade Lunsford, Anthony S. Kim, Jeremiah N. Johnson, Damien Bates, Gene Poggio, Casey Case, Michael McGrogan, Ernest W. Yankee and Neil E. Schwartz
The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes associated with stereotactic surgical implantation of modified bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (SB623) in patients with stable chronic ischemic stroke.
This was a 2-year, open-label, single-arm, phase 1/2a study; the selected patients had chronic motor deficits between 6 and 60 months after nonhemorrhagic stroke. SB623 cells were administered to the target sites surrounding the subcortical stroke region using MRI stereotactic image guidance.
A total of 18 patients were treated with SB623 cells. All experienced at least 1 treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE). No patients withdrew due to adverse events, and there were no dose-limiting toxicities or deaths. The most frequent TEAE was headache related to the surgical procedure (88.9%). Seven patients experienced 9 serious adverse events, which resolved without sequelae. In 16 patients who completed 24 months of treatment, statistically significant improvements from baseline (mean) at 24 months were reported for the European Stroke Scale (ESS) score, 5.7 (95% CI 1.4–10.1, p < 0.05); National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, −2.1 (95% CI −3.3 to −1.0, p < 0.01), Fugl-Meyer (F-M) total score, 19.4 (95% CI 9.9–29.0, p < 0.01); and F-M motor scale score, 10.4 (95% CI 4.0–16.7, p < 0.01). Measures of efficacy reached plateau by 12 months with no decline thereafter. There were no statistically significant changes in the modified Rankin Scale score. The size of transient lesions detected by T2-weighted FLAIR imaging in the ipsilateral cortex at weeks 1–2 postimplantation significantly correlated with improvement in ESS (0.619, p < 0.05) and NIHSS (−0.735, p < 0.01) scores at 24 months.
In this completed 2-year phase 1/2a study, implantation of SB623 cells in patients with stable chronic stroke was safe and was accompanied by improvements in clinical outcomes.
Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01287936 (clinicaltrials.gov)
Melissa A. LoPresti, Visish M. Srinivasan, Robert Y. North, Vijay M. Ravindra, Jeremiah Johnson, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Sandi K. Lam and Peter Kan
Direct bypass has been used to salvage failed endovascular treatment; however, little is known of the reversed role of endovascular management for failed bypass.
The authors report the case of a 7-year-old patient who underwent a superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass for treatment of a giant MCA aneurysm and describe the role of endovascular rescue in this case. Post-bypass catheter angiogram showed occlusion of the proximal extracranial STA donor with patent anastomosis, possibly due to STA dissection. A self-expanding Neuroform Atlas stent was deployed across the dissection flap, and follow-up images showed revascularization of the STA with good MCA runoff.
This case demonstrates that direct extracranial-intracranial bypass failure can infrequently originate from the STA donor vessel and that superselective angiogram can be useful for identification and treatment in such cases. With more advanced endovascular techniques the tide has turned in the treatment of complex cerebrovascular cases, with this case being an early example of successful rescue stenting for endovascular management of a failed donor after STA-MCA bypass.
Kathryn M. Wagner, Visish M. Srinivasan, Aditya Srivatsan, Michael G. Z. Ghali, Ajith J. Thomas, Alejandro Enriquez-Marulanda, Abdulrahman Y. Alturki, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Maxim Mokin, Anna L. Kuhn, Ajit Puri, Ramesh Grandhi, Stephen Chen, Jeremiah Johnson and Peter Kan
With the increasing use of flow diversion as treatment for intracranial aneurysms, there is a concomitant increased vigilance in monitoring complications. The low porosity of flow diverters is concerning when the origins of vessels are covered, whether large circle of Willis branches or critical perforators. In this study, the authors report their experience with flow diverter coverage of the lenticulostriate vessels and evaluate their safety and outcomes.
The authors retrospectively reviewed 5 institutional databases of all flow diversion cases from August 2012 to June 2018. Information regarding patient presentation, aneurysm location, treatment, and outcomes were recorded. Patients who were treated with flow diverters placed in the proximal middle cerebral artery (MCA), proximal anterior cerebral artery, or distal internal carotid artery leading to coverage of the medial and lateral lenticulostriate vessels were included. Clinical outcomes according to the modified Rankin Scale were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to establish risk factors for lenticulostriate infarct.
Fifty-two patients were included in the analysis. Postprocedure cross-sectional images were available in 30 patients. Two patients experienced transient occlusion of the MCA during the procedure; one was asymptomatic, and the other had a clinical and radiographic ipsilateral internal capsule stroke. Five patients had transient symptoms without radiographic infarct in the lenticulostriate territory. Two patients experienced in-stent thrombosis, leading to clinical MCA infarcts (one in the ipsilateral caudate) after discontinuing antiplatelet therapy. Discontinuation of dual antiplatelet therapy prior to 6 months was the only variable that was significantly correlated with stroke outcome (p < 0.01, OR 0.3, 95% CI 0–0.43), and this significance persisted when controlled for other risk factors, including age, smoking status, and aneurysm location.
The use and versatility of flow diversion is increasing, and safety data are continuing to accumulate. Here, the authors provide early data on the safety of covering lenticulostriate vessels with flow diverters. The authors concluded that the coverage of these perforators does not routinely lead to clinically significant ischemia when dual antiplatelet therapy is continued for 6 months. Further evaluation is needed in larger cohorts and with imaging follow-up as experience develops in using these devices in more distal circulation.