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George T. Tindall, John A. Goree, J. Fletcher Lee and Guy L. Odom

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Jonathan J. Lee, David J. Segar, John F. Morrison, William M. Mangham, Shane Lee and Wael F. Asaad

OBJECTIVE

Early radiographic findings in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been studied in hopes of better predicting injury severity and outcome. However, prior attempts have generally not considered the various types of intracranial hemorrhage in isolation and have typically not excluded patients with potentially confounding extracranial injuries. Therefore, the authors examined the associations of various radiographic findings with short-term outcome to assess the potential utility of these findings in future prognostic models.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified 1716 patients who had experienced TBI without major extracranial injuries, and categorized them into the following TBI subtypes: subdural hematoma (SDH), traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, intraparenchymal hemorrhage (which included intraventricular hemorrhage), and epidural hematoma. They specifically considered isolated forms of hemorrhage, in which only 1 subtype was present.

RESULTS

In general, the presence of an isolated SDH was more likely to result in worse outcomes than the presence of other isolated forms of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. Discharge to home was less likely and perihospital mortality rates were generally higher in patients with SDH. These findings were not simply related to age and were not fully captured by the admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score. The presence of SDH had a much higher sensitivity for poor outcome than the presence of other TBI subtypes, and was more sensitive for these poor outcomes than having a low GCS score (3–8).

CONCLUSIONS

In these ways, SDH was the most important finding associated with poor outcome, and the authors show that consideration of SDH, specifically, can augment age and GCS score in classification and prognostic models for TBI.

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Alvin Y. Chan, John D. Rolston, Brian Lee, Sumeet Vadera and Dario J. Englot

OBJECTIVE

Corpus callosotomy is a palliative surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy that reduces the severity and frequency of generalized seizures by disconnecting the two cerebral hemispheres. Unlike with resection, seizure outcomes remain poorly understood. The authors systematically reviewed the literature and performed a meta-analysis to investigate rates and predictors of complete seizure freedom and freedom from drop attacks after corpus callosotomy.

METHODS

PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus were queried for primary studies examining seizure outcomes after corpus callosotomy published over 30 years. Rates of complete seizure freedom or drop attack freedom were recorded. Variables showing a potential relationship to seizure outcome on preliminary analysis were subjected to formal meta-analysis.

RESULTS

The authors identified 1742 eligible patients from 58 included studies. Overall, the rates of complete seizure freedom and drop attack freedom after corpus callosotomy were 18.8% and 55.3%, respectively. Complete seizure freedom was significantly predicted by the presence of infantile spasms (OR 3.86, 95% CI 1.13–13.23), normal MRI findings (OR 4.63, 95% CI 1.75–12.25), and shorter epilepsy duration (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.23–5.38). Freedom from drop attacks was predicted by complete over partial callosotomy (OR 2.90, 95% CI 1.07–7.83) and idiopathic over known epilepsy etiology (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.35–5.99).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report the first systematic review and meta-analysis of seizure outcomes in both adults and children after corpus callosotomy for epilepsy. Approximately one-half of patients become free from drop attacks, and one-fifth achieve complete seizure freedom after surgery. Some predictors of favorable outcome differ from those in resective epilepsy surgery.

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John A. Jane Jr., Mary Lee Vance, C. J. Woodburn and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Object

Surgical and medical therapies successfully achieve biochemical remission in the majority of patients with secretory pituitary adenomas. Nevertheless, continued hypersecretion after first-line therapy occurs and requires adjunctive therapy to prevent morbidity and premature mortality. For patients in whom medical and surgical therapy have failed, gamma knife surgery (GKS) is performed with the goal of controlling tumor growth and excess growth hormone (GH) production. The authors report their experience with GKS in patients in whom surgical and medical therapies failed.

Methods

The neuroendocrine service at the University of Virginia has treated 220 patients with secretory adenomas. The authors evaluated the biochemical results in patients with acromegaly followed for greater than 18 months (64 patients) as well as those with Cushing disease (45 patients), Nelson syndrome (14 patients with adequate follow up [27 overall]), and prolactinomas (19 patients) followed for at least 12 months posttreatment. Biochemical remission occurred in 36% of patients with GH-secreting adenomas, 73% of those with Cushing disease, 14% of those with Nelson syndrome, and 11% of those harboring prolactinomas. Recurrence after biochemical remission was documented in four patients with Cushing disease. New hormonal deficits have occurred in 28% of patients with acromegaly, 31% with Cushing disease, 36% with Nelson syndrome, and 21% with prolactinomas. Minor visual deterioration developed in one patient with Cushing disease.

Conclusions

Gamma knife surgery offers an important treatment modality in patients with secretory adenomas refractory to surgical and medical interventions.

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Andrew I. Yang, Brendan J. McShane, Frederick L. Hitti, Sukhmeet K. Sandhu, H. Isaac Chen and John Y. K. Lee

OBJECTIVE

First-line treatment for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is pharmacological management using antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), e.g., carbamazepine (CBZ) and oxcarbazepine (OCBZ). Surgical intervention has been shown to be an effective and durable treatment for TN that is refractory to medical therapy. Despite the lack of evidence for efficacy in patients with TN, the authors hypothesized that patients with neuropathic facial pain are prescribed opioids at high rates, and that neurosurgical intervention may lead to a reduction in opioid use.

METHODS

This is a retrospective study of patients with facial pain seen by a single neurosurgeon. All patients completed a survey on pain medications, medical comorbidities, prior interventions for facial pain, and a validated pain outcome tool (the Penn Facial Pain Scale). Patients subsequently undergoing neurosurgical intervention completed a survey at the 1-month follow-up in the office, in addition to telephone interviews using a standardized script between 1 and 6 years after intervention. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to predict opioid use.

RESULTS

The study cohort consisted of 309 patients (70% Burchiel type 1 TN [TN1], 18% Burchiel type 2 [TN2], 6% atypical facial pain [AFP], and 6% TN secondary to multiple sclerosis [TN-MS]). At initial presentation, 20% of patients were taking opioids. Of these patients, 55% were receiving concurrent opioid therapy with CBZ/OCBZ, and 84% were receiving concurrent therapy with at least one type of AED. Facial pain diagnosis (for diagnoses other than TN1, odds ratio [OR] 2.5, p = 0.01) and facial pain intensity at its worst (for each unit increase, OR 1.4, p = 0.005) were predictors of opioid use at baseline. Neurosurgical intervention led to a reduction in opioid use to 8% at long-term follow-up (p < 0.01, Fisher’s exact test; n = 154). Diagnosis (for diagnoses other than TN1, OR 4.7, p = 0.002) and postintervention reduction in pain at its worst (for each unit reduction, OR 0.8, p < 10−3) were predictors of opioid use at long-term follow-up. On subgroup analysis, patients with TN1 demonstrated a decrease in opioid use to 5% at long-term follow-up (p < 0.05, Fisher’s exact test), whereas patients with non-TN1 facial pain did not. In the nonsurgical group, there was no statistically significant decrease in opioid use at long-term follow-up (n = 81).

CONCLUSIONS

In spite of its high potential for abuse, opioid use, mostly as an adjunct to AEDs, is prevalent in patients with facial pain. Opportunities to curb opioid use in TN1 include earlier neurosurgical intervention.

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Aruna Ganju, Kanav Kahol, Peter Lee, Narina Simonian, Steven J. Quinn, John J. Ferrara and H. Hunt Batjer

Object

Although fatigue and its effects on surgical proficiency have been an actively researched area, previous studies have not examined the effect of fatigue on neurosurgery residents specifically. This study aims to quantify the effect of fatigue on the psychomotor and cognitive skills of neurosurgery residents.

Methods

Seven neurosurgery residents performed a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 sessions of 6 surgical exercises precall and postcall. The simulation exercises were designed to measure a surgeon's cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention, while performing simulated surgical tasks and exercises that have been previously validated in several studies, including studies measuring the impact of fatigue on general surgery residents. Each exercise measured tool-movement smoothness, time elapsed, and cognitive errors. The change in surgical skills in precall and postcall conditions was assessed by means of an ANOVA, with p < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results

The neurosurgery residents did not show a statistically significant difference in their surgical skills between the pre- and postcall states (p < 0.3, p < 0.4, and p < 0.2 for movement smoothness, time elapsed, and cognitive errors, respectively). The mean decrement for all residents in the postcall condition was 13.1%.

Conclusions

Postcall fatigue is associated with a marginal decrease in proficiency during simulated surgery in neurosurgery residents. In a similar study, general surgery residents showed a statistically significant decrement of 27.3% in the postcall condition. The impact of fatigue on different specialties should be further investigated prior to implementation of a national physician work-hour policy.

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Jordan S. Terner, Roberto Travieso, Su-shin Lee, Antonio J. Forte, Anup Patel and John A. Persing

Object

Combined metopic and sagittal craniosynostosis is a common variant of the nonsyndromic, multiplesuture synostoses. It is unknown whether this combined form causes reduced intracranial volume (ICV) and potentially more brain dysfunction than sagittal synostosis alone. This study is a volumetric comparison of these 2 forms of craniosynostosis.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective chart and CT review of 36 cases of isolated sagittal synostosis or combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, involving patients seen between 1998 and 2006. Values were obtained for the intracranial compartment, brain tissue, CSF space, and ventricular volumes. Patients with craniosynostosis were then compared on these measures to 39 age- and sex-matched controls.

Results

In patients with isolated sagittal synostosis and in those with combined metopic and sagittal synostosis, there was a trend toward smaller ICV than in controls (p < 0.1). In female patients older than 4.5 months of age, there was also a trend toward smaller ICV in patients with the combined form than in those with sagittal synostosis alone (p < 0.1), and the ICV of patients with the combined form was significantly smaller than the volume in controls in the same age group (p < 0.05). Brain tissue volume was significantly smaller in both patient groups than in controls (p < 0.05). Ventricular volume was significantly increased (compared with controls) only in the patients with isolated sagittal synostosis who were younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05). Overall CSF space, however, was significantly larger in both patient groups in patients younger than 4.5 months of age (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

These findings raise concerns about intracranial and brain volume reduction in patients with sagittal and combined metopic and sagittal synostoses and the possibility that this volume reduction may be associated with brain dysfunction. Because the ICV reduction is greater in combined metopic and sagittal synostosis in patients older than 4.5 months of age than in sagittal synostosis in this age group, the potential for brain dysfunction may be particularly true for these younger infants.

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Richard Derby, John J. Lettice, Thomas A. Kula, Sang-Heon Lee, Kwan-Sik Seo and Byung-Jo Kim

Object. The authors examined the effect of psychological and emotional status on the outcome in patients with suspected chronic discogenic low-back pain (LBP) who have undergone lumbar fusion.

Methods. The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records, including the results of the 36-item Short Form (SF-36), of 57 consecutive patients (mean age 42.7 years) who underwent single-level lumbar reconstructive surgery between 1994 and 2000. The SF-36 physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) domains were evaluated. Data were sorted into the following categories: excellent, good, fair, same, and worse. Scores greater than 40 for MCS and PCS were defined as “normal” according to US general population data provided by the Medical Outcomes Trust.

Of 57 patients, 47 completed postoperative SF-36 surveys at 1 year and 36 completed the 2-year follow-up surveys. Analysis showed that preoperative MCS scores exhibited a significant, direct correlation with PCS score improvements at 1 (r = 0.584, p = 0.000) and 2 (r = 0.623, p = 0.000) years after surgery. In patients in whom preoperative MCS scores reflected normal status, outcomes were excellent or good in 60% at 1-year (18 of 30 cases) and 2-year (15 of 25 cases) follow-up intervals. Patients in whom MCS scores represented abnormal status had less satisfactory outcomes, with excellent or good outcome in only two (18.2%) of all patients at the 2-year follow-up study.

Conclusions. Analysis of the data suggests that psychological and emotional distress may negatively affect postoperative outcome in patients with chronic discogenic LBP. The SF-36 may be easily and effectively used to measure both preoperative psychosocial distress and postoperative outcome.

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James J. Evans, Sin-Soo Jeun, Joung H. Lee, Jyoti A. Harwalkar, Yigal Shoshan, John K. Cowell and Mladen Golubic

Object. The neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) gene is the only tumor suppressor gene that has been clearly implicated in the development of benign meningiomas. Interestingly, previous data obtained by the authors indicate that reduced NF2 protein expression seldom occurs in meningothelial meningiomas, the most common histological type of meningioma. The goal of the current study was to explore further the hypothesis of NF2 gene-independent tumorigenesis of meningothelial meningiomas.

Methods. The authors performed a mutational analysis of all 17 exons of the NF2 gene by using single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP). In addition, expression levels of the NF2 protein and (µ-calpain, a protease suggested to inactivate the NF2 protein, were determined by immunoblotting analysis of 27 meningiomas (20 meningothelial and seven nonmeningothelial). Mutations of the NF2 gene were found in only one (5%) of 20 meningothelial meningiomas and three (43%) of seven nonmeningothelial tumors (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.042). The levels of NF2 protein were severely reduced in six (28.5%) of 21 meningothelial meningiomas, in contrast to six (86%) of seven nonmeningothelial meningiomas (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.023). Activation of (µ-calpain did not correlate with the status of NF2 protein expression in the meningiomas analyzed, demonstrating that (µ-calpain activation does not account for the loss of NF2 protein in meningiomas with apparently normal NF2 genes.

Conclusions. These results clearly demonstrate that NF2 gene mutations and decreased NF2 protein expression rarely occur in meningothelial meningiomas compared with other histological types of meningiomas. The clinical behavior of meningothelial meningiomas, however, is similar to that of other benign meningiomas. It is likely, therefore, that the tumorigenesis of meningothelial meningiomas is the result of deleterious alterations of genes that have final phenotypical effects similar to inactivation of the NF2 gene.

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Tracy M. Flanders, Rachel Blue, Sanford Roberts, Brendan J. McShane, Bryan Wilent, Vijay Tambi, Dmitriy Petrov and John Y. K. Lee

OBJECTIVE

Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is characterized by involuntary tonic and/or clonic contractions of facial nerve muscles. Fully endoscopic microvascular decompression (E-MVD) for HFS has not been widely adopted. This paper aims to illustrate the safety and efficacy of the fully endoscopic technique for HFS treatment.

METHODS

The authors conducted a single-center retrospective study of 27 patients (28 separate E-MVD cases; 1 patient had bilateral E-MVD) diagnosed with HFS who underwent fully E-MVD from January 2013 to October 2016. Intraoperative brainstem auditory evoked potentials and lateral spread resolution were reviewed. Outcome was based on the clinical status of the patient at the last contact point with the senior author. Complications were categorized as facial weakness, hearing loss, ataxia, dysphagia, or any adverse event able to be attributed to the surgical procedure.

RESULTS

HFS was relieved either completely or partially in the majority of cases (24 of 28, 85.7%). Of the 28 separate procedures, 17 (60.7%) resulted in complete resolution of symptoms, 4 (14.3%) resulted in near-complete resolution, 2 (7.1%) resulted in 50% reduction of symptoms, 1 (3.6%) resulted in minimal reduction, and 4 (14.3%) resulted in no relief. Of the 27 patients, 26 (96%) had no permanent postoperative complications. In multivariate logistic regression, the best predictor of greater than 50% resolution of spasm was resolution of intraoperative lateral spread response.

CONCLUSIONS

A fully E-MVD for HFS provides a safe and comprehensive view of the neurovascular conflict. Exclusive use of the endoscope in MVD is both safe and feasible in the treatment of HFS. Attention to lateral spread response monitoring remains an integral part of comprehensive neurosurgical management.