Spinal cord injury (SCI) has been associated with a dismal prognosis—recovery is not expected, and the most standard interventions have been temporizing measures that do little to mitigate the extent of damage. While advances in surgical and medical techniques have certainly improved this outlook, limitations in functional recovery continue to impede clinically significant improvements. These limitations are dependent on evolving immunological mechanisms that shape the cellular environment at the site of SCI. In this review, we examine these mechanisms, identify relevant cellular components, and discuss emerging treatments in stem cell grafts and adjuvant immunosuppressants that target these pathways. As the field advances, we expect that stem cell grafts and these adjuvant treatments will significantly shift therapeutic approaches to acute SCI with the potential for more promising outcomes.
Joseph P. Antonios, Ghassan J. Farah, Daniel R. Cleary, Joel R. Martin, Joseph D. Ciacci and Martin H. Pham
Brandon C. Gabel, Joel Martin, John R. Crawford and Michael Levy
The object of this study is to address what factors may necessitate the need for intensive care monitoring after elective uncomplicated craniotomy in pediatric patients who are initially managed in a non–intensive care unit setting postoperatively.
A retrospective chart review was undertaken for all patients who underwent elective craniotomy for brain tumor between April of 2007 and April of 2012 and who were directly admitted to the floor postoperatively. Factors such as age, tumor type, craniotomy location, neurological comorbidities, reason for transfer to intensive care unit (ICU) level of care (if applicable), time between admittance to floor and transfer to ICU level of care, and reason for transfer to ICU level of care were assessed.
Adjusted logistic regression found 2 significant positive predictors of postoperative transfer to the ICU after initial admission to the floor: primitive neuroectodermal tumor pathology (OR 44.10, 95% CI 1.24–1572.16, p = 0.04), and repeat craniotomy during the same hospitalization (OR 13.97, 95% CI 1.21–160.66, p = 0.03). Conversely, 1 negative factor was found: low-grade glioma pathology (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.00–0.87, p = 0.04).
Select pediatric patients may not require ICU level of care after elective uncomplicated pediatric craniotomy. Additional studies are needed to adequately address which patients would benefit from initial ICU admittance following elective craniotomies for brain tumors.
Joel R. Martin, Owoicho Adogwa, Christopher R. Brown, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, Carlos A. Bagley, Shivanand P. Lad and Oren N. Gottfried
Recent studies have reported that the local delivery of vancomycin powder is associated with a decrease in spinal surgical site infection. This retrospective cohort study compares posterior cervical fusion cases before and after the routine application of spinal vancomycin powder to evaluate the ability of local vancomycin powder to prevent deep wound infection after posterior cervical spinal fusion.
Posterior cervical fusion spinal surgeries performed at a single institution were reviewed from January 2011 to July 2013. Each cohort's baseline characteristics, operative data, and rates of wound infection were compared. Associations between infection and vancomycin powder, with and without propensity score adjustment for risk factors, were determined using logistic regression.
A total of 289 patients (174 untreated and 115 treated with vancomycin powder) were included in the study. The cohorts were similar in terms of baseline and operative variables. No significant change in deep wound infection rate was seen between the control group (6.9%) and intervention group (5.2%, p = 0.563). Logistic regression, with and without propensity score adjustment, demonstrated that the use of vancomycin powder did not impact the development of surgical site infection (OR 0.743 [95% CI 0.270–2.04], p = 0.564) and (OR 0.583 [95% CI 0.198–1.718], p = 0.328), respectively.
Within the context of an ongoing debate on the effectiveness of locally administered vancomycin powder, the authors found no significant difference in the incidence of deep wound infection rates after posterior cervical fusion surgery with routine use of locally applied vancomycin powder. Future prospective randomized series are needed to corroborate these results.
Christoph J. Griessenauer, R. Shane Tubbs, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Joel Raborn, Christopher J. Boes, Martin M. Mortazavi and Giuseppe Lanzino
Alfred W. Adson was a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He described operations for a variety of neurosurgical diseases and developed surgical instruments. Under his leadership the Section of Neurological Surgery at the Mayo Clinic was established and he functioned as its first chair. Adson's contributions to the understanding of spinal and spinal cord tumors are less well known. This article reviews related medical records and publications and sets his contributions in the context of the work of other important pioneers in spinal tumor surgery at the time.
R. Shane Tubbs, Ketan Verma, Sheryl Riech, Martin M. Mortazavi, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Marios Loukas, Joel K. Curé, Anna Żurada and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol
As fetal intracranial vessels may persist into adulthood, knowledge of their anatomy and potential clinical and surgical complications should be borne in mind by the surgeon. A comprehensive review of these vessels, however, is not easily identified in the literature. Therefore, the present analysis was undertaken so that such information is available to the clinician and morphologist.
Robert C. Rennert, Reid Hoshide, Michael G. Brandel, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Joel R. Martin, Hal S. Meltzer, David D. Gonda, Takanori Fukushima, Alexander A. Khalessi and Michael L. Levy
Lesions of the foramen magnum, inferolateral-to-midclival areas, and ventral pons and medulla are often treated using a far-lateral or extreme-lateral infrajugular transcondylar–transtubercular exposure (ELITE) approach. The development and surgical relevance of critical posterior skull base bony structures encountered during these approaches, including the occipital condyle (OC), hypoglossal canal (HGC), and jugular tubercle (JT), are nonetheless poorly defined in the pediatric population.
Measurements from high-resolution CT scans were made of the relevant posterior skull base anatomy (HGC depth from posterior edge of the OC, OC and JT dimensions) from 60 patients (evenly distributed among ages 0–3, 4–7, 8–11, 12–15, 16–18, and > 18 years), and compared between laterality, sex, and age groups by using t-tests and linear regression.
There were no significant differences in posterior skull base parameters by laterality, and HGC depth and JT size did not differ by sex. The OC area was significantly larger in males versus females (174.3 vs 152.2 mm2; p = 0.01). From ages 0–3 years to adult, the mean HGC depth increased 27% (from 9.0 to 11.4 mm) and the OC area increased 52% (from 121.4 to 184.0 mm2). The majority of growth for these parameters occurred between the 0–3 year and 4–7 year age groups. Conversely, JT volume increased nearly 3-fold (281%) from 97.4 to 370.9 mm3 from ages 0–3 years to adult, with two periods of substantial growth seen between the 0–3 to 4–7 year and the 12–15 to 16–18 year age groups. Overall, JT growth during pediatric development was significantly greater than increases in HGC depth and OC area (p < 0.05). JT volume remained < 65% of adult size up to age 16.
When considering a far-lateral or ELITE approach in pediatric patients, standard OC drilling is likely to be needed due to the relative stability of OC and HGC anatomy during development. The JT significantly increases in size with development, yet is only likely to need to be drilled in older children (> 16 years) and adults.
Reid Hoshide, Robert C. Rennert, Carlos E. Sanchez, Joel R. Martin, Vincent J. Cheung, Gayle Gyles and Michael L. Levy
Irrigation during intraventricular endoscopic surgery is critical for visualization, with normal intracranial pressure maintained by balancing fluid ingress and egress. Although irrigation is typically achieved through manual manipulation of inexact stopcocks, the authors have developed a rate-controlled, foot pedal–activated system for precise intraventricular irrigation by using a standard irrigating bipolar electrocautery machine.
This study is a retrospective review of patients who underwent endoscopic intraventricular surgery between January 1, 2018, and September 25, 2019, in which this irrigation system was used. Important components of this system include a bipolar module irrigation regulator that is set to a desired rate, a secure connection of the bipolar irrigation tubing to the endoscope, and one or more open egress ports on the endoscope for passive fluid drainage. Nineteen consecutive patients were identified on review (average age ± SD, 4.3 ± 4.1 years). Procedures performed included third ventriculostomies (n = 10); arachnoid/choroid cyst fenestrations/resections (n = 3); biopsy/tumor resection (n = 1); and combined procedures (n = 5). Foot pedal–controlled irrigation provided visualization of all intraventricular structures. A single operator was able to control the endoscope, endoscopic instruments, and irrigation, with assistance as indicated for more complex maneuvers. There were no perioperative complications. Because this setup is easily constructed from a standard irrigating bipolar machine, delivers precise irrigation flow rates, and facilitates a single-surgeon bimanual technique, these data support the utility of foot-controlled irrigation for endoscopic intraventricular surgery.