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Jared Knopman, A. John Tsiouris and Mark M. Souweidane

Venous sinus thrombosis is a rare entity that usually arises secondary to underlying thrombophilia, neoplasm, head injury, or infection. Tympanic infection accounts for the majority of infectious etiologies, and the sigmoid sinus becomes the likely anatomical site of thrombosis. The authors report a case involving a child with recurrent otitis media who presented with an atraumatic epidural hematoma secondary to sigmoid sinus thrombosis. Intraoperative evaluation revealed epidural hemorrhage that originated from the venous sinus, with hemorrhagic products of varying ages. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of a venous sinus thrombosis resulting in an epidural hematoma.

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Benjamin J. Shin, Innocent U. Njoku, A. John Tsiouris and Roger Härtl

Object

Three-dimensional spinal navigation increases screw accuracy, but its implementation in clinical practice has been difficult, mainly because of surgeons' concerns about increased operative times, disturbance of workflow, and safety. The authors present a custom-designed navigated guide that addresses some of these concerns by allowing for drilling, tapping, and placing the final screw via a minimally invasive approach without the need for K-wires. In this paper, the authors' goal was to describe the technical aspects of the navigated guide tube as well as pedicle screw accuracy.

Methods

The authors present the technical details of a navigated guide that allows drilling, tapping, and the placement of the final screw without the need for K-wires. The first 10 patients who received minimally invasive mini-open spinal pedicle screws are presented. The case series focuses on the immediate postoperative outcomes, pedicle screw accuracy, and pedicle screw–related complications. An independent board-certified neuroradiologist determined pedicle screw accuracy according to a 4-tiered grading system.

Results

The navigated guide allowed successful placement of mini-open pedicle screws as part of posterior fixation from L-1 to S-1 without the use of K-wires. Only 7-mm-diameter screws were placed, and 72% of screws were completely contained within the pedicle. Breaches less than 2 mm were seen in 23% of cases, and these were all lateral except for one screw. Breaches were related to the lateral to medial trajectory chosen to avoid the superior facet joint. There were no complications related to pedicle screw insertion.

Conclusions

A novel customized navigated guide tube is presented that facilitates the workflow and allows accurate placement of mini-open pedicle screws without the need for K-wires.

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Malte Ottenhausen, Kavelin Rumalla, Iyan Younus, Shlomo Minkowitz, Apostolos John Tsiouris and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Resection of supratentorial meningiomas is generally considered a low-risk procedure, but tumors involving the rolandic cortex present a unique challenge. The rate of motor function deterioration associated with resecting such tumors is not well described in the literature. Thus, the authors sought to report the rates and predictors of postoperative motor deficit following the resection of rolandic meningiomas to assist with patient counseling and surgical decision-making.

METHODS

An institution’s pathology database was screened for meningiomas removed between 2000 and 2017, and patients with neuroradiological evidence of rolandic involvement were identified. Parameters screened as potential predictors included patient age, sex, preoperative motor severity, tumor location, tumor origin (falx vs convexity), histological grade, FLAIR signal (T2-weighted MRI), venous involvement (T1-weighted MRI with contrast), intratumoral hemorrhage, embolization, and degree of resection (Simpson grade). Variables of interest included preoperative weakness and postoperative motor decline (novel or worsened permanent deficit). The SPSS univariate and bivariate analysis functions were used, and statistical significance was determined with alpha < 0.05.

RESULTS

In 89 patients who had undergone resection of convexity (80.9%) or parasagittal (19.1%) rolandic meningiomas, a postoperative motor decline occurred in 24.7%. Of 53 patients (59.6%) with preoperative motor deficits, 60.3% improved, 13.2% were unchanged, and 26.4% worsened following surgery. Among the 36 patients without preoperative deficits, 22.2% developed new weakness. Predictors of preoperative motor deficit included tumor size (41.6 vs 33.2 cm3, p = 0.040) and presence of FLAIR signal (69.8% vs 50.0%, p = 0.046). Predictors of postoperative motor decline were preoperative motor deficit (47.2% vs 22.2%, p = 0.017), minor (compared with severe) preoperative weakness (25.6% vs 21.4%, p < 0.001), and preoperative embolization (54.5% vs 20.5%, p = 0.014). Factors that trended toward significance included parafalcine tumor origin (41.2% vs 20.8% convexity, p = 0.08), significant venous involvement (44.4% vs 23.5% none, p = 0.09), and Simpson grade II+ (34.2% vs 17.6% grade I, p = 0.07).

CONCLUSIONS

Resection of rolandic area meningiomas carries a high rate of postoperative morbidity and deserves special preoperative planning. Large tumor size, peritumoral edema, preoperative embolization, parafalcine origin, and venous involvement may further increase the risk. Alternative surgical strategies, such as aggressive internal debulking, may prevent motor decline in a subset of high-risk patients.

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Mark M. Souweidane, Peter F. Morgenstern, Sungkwon Kang, Apostolos John Tsiouris and Jonathan Roth

Object

Fenestration of the floor of the third ventricle is vital to the success of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) in treating patients with noncommunicating hydrocephalus. A generous prepontine interval (PPI) is generally accepted as one anatomical feature that may affect the safety and functionality of ETV. Whether a diminished PPI influences the safety or success of ETV, however, has not been adequately assessed.

Methods

A review was conducted on the last 100 ETV procedures performed by the first author (M.M.S.). From archived preoperative MR imaging studies, the PPI was measured between the dorsum sellae and the basilar artery. For any patient with an interval of ≤1 mm, the technical and functional success of the procedure was recorded. Technical success was defined when a surgically created fenestration was accomplished without patient morbidity. Functional success was defined as the patient not needing any additional CSF diversionary procedure within 3 months after ETV.

Results

In the entire cohort, the PPI ranged from 0 to 9.5 mm (mean 3.2 mm). There were 15 procedures performed in patients with a PPI of ≤1 mm. In all 15 procedures, a fenestration of the tuber cinereum was accomplished without vascular injury or patient morbidity. The ETV was successful in 11 patients (73.3%). All 4 failures occurred in children who had surgery during infancy (mean age 11 months).

Conclusions

Patients with an obliterated or reduced PPI can safely undergo ETV. The functional success rate appears equivalent to historical controls. Most failures in this series may be attributed to other patient characteristics, namely young age at the time of ETV.

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Christoph P. Hofstetter, Benjamin Shin, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Eric Elowitz and Roger Härtl

Object

The paracoccygeal approach allows for instrumentation of L5/S1 and L4/5 by using a transsacral rod (AxiaLIF; TransS1, Inc.). The authors analyzed clinical and radiographic outcomes of 1- or 2-level AxiaLIF procedures with focus on durability of the construct.

Methods

This was a retrospective study of 38 consecutive patients who underwent either 1-level (32 patients) or 2-level (6 patients) AxiaLIF procedures at the authors' institution. The Oswestry Disability Index (minimum clinically important difference [MCID] ≥ 12) and visual analog scale ([VAS]; MCID ≥ 3) scores were collected. Disc height and Cobb angles were measured on pre- and postoperative radiographs. Bony fusion was determined on CT scans or flexion/extension radiographs.

Results

Implantation of a transsacral rod allowed for intraoperative distraction of the L5/S1 intervertebral space and resulted in increased segmental lordosis postoperatively. At a mean follow-up time of 26.2 ± 2.4 months, however, graft subsidence (1.9 mm) abolished partial correction of segmental lordosis. Moreover, subsidence of the construct reduced L5/S1 lordosis in patients with 1-level AxiaLIF by 3.2° and L4–S1 lordosis in patients with 2-level procedures by 10.1° compared with preoperative values (p < 0.01). Loss of segmental lordosis predicted failure to improve VAS scores for back pain in the patient cohort (p < 0.05). Overall, surgical intervention led to modest symptomatic improvement; only 26.3% of patients achieved an MCID of the Oswestry Disability Index and 50% of patients an MCID of the VAS score for back pain. At last follow-up, 71.9% of L5/S1 levels demonstrated bony fusion (1-level AxiaLIF 80.8%, 2-level AxiaLIF 33.3%; p < 0.05), whereas none of the L4/5 levels in 2-level AxiaLIF fused. Five constructs developed pseudarthrosis and required surgical revision.

Conclusions

The AxiaLIF procedure constitutes a minimally invasive technique for L5/S1 instrumentation, with low perioperative morbidity. However, the axial rod provides inadequate long-term anterior column support, which leads to subsidence and loss of segmental lordosis. Modification of the transsacral technique to allow for placement of a solid interposition graft may counteract subsidence of the construct.

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Konstantinos Margetis, Prajwal Rajappa, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Jeffrey P. Greenfield and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

A critical goal in neurosurgical oncology is maximizing the extent of tumor resection while minimizing the risk to normal white matter tracts. Frameless stereotaxy and white matter mapping are indispensable tools in this effort, but deep tumor margins may not be accurately defined because of the “brain shift” at the end of the operation. The authors investigated the safety and efficacy of a technique for marking the deep margins of intraaxial tumors with stereotactic injection of Indigo Carmine dye.

METHODS

Investigational New Drug study approval for a prospective study in adult patients with gliomas was obtained from the FDA (Investigational New Drug no. 112680). At surgery, 1–3 stereotactic injections of 0.01 ml of Indigo Carmine dye were performed through the initial bur holes into the deep tumor margins before elevation of the bone flap. White light microscopic resection was conducted in standard fashion by using frameless stereotactic navigation until the injected margins were identified. The resection of the injected tumor margins and the extent of resection of the whole tumor volume were determined by using postoperative volumetric MRI.

RESULTS

In total 17 injections were performed in 10 enrolled patients (6 male, 4 female), whose mean age was 49 years. For all patients, the injection points were identified intraoperatively and tumor was resected at these points. The staining pattern was reproducible; it was a sphere of stained tissue approximately 5 mm in diameter. A halo of stained tissue and a backflow of dye through the needle tract were also noted, but these were clearly distinct from the staining pattern of the injection point, which was vividly colored and demarcated. Postoperative MR images verified the resection of all injection points. The mean extent of resection of the tumor as a whole was 97.1%. For 1 patient, a brain abscess developed on postoperative Day 16 and needed additional surgical treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic injection of Indigo Carmine dye can be used to demarcate multiple deep tumor margins, which can be readily identified intraoperatively by using standard white light microscopy. This technique may enhance the accuracy of frameless stereotactic navigation and increase the extent of resection of intraaxial tumors.

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Malte Ottenhausen, Kavelin Rumalla, Iyan Younus, Shlomo Minkowitz, Apostolos John Tsiouris and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Resection of supratentorial meningiomas is generally considered a low-risk procedure, but tumors involving the rolandic cortex present a unique challenge. The rate of motor function deterioration associated with resecting such tumors is not well described in the literature. Thus, the authors sought to report the rates and predictors of postoperative motor deficit following the resection of rolandic meningiomas to assist with patient counseling and surgical decision-making.

METHODS

An institution’s pathology database was screened for meningiomas removed between 2000 and 2017, and patients with neuroradiological evidence of rolandic involvement were identified. Parameters screened as potential predictors included patient age, sex, preoperative motor severity, tumor location, tumor origin (falx vs convexity), histological grade, FLAIR signal (T2-weighted MRI), venous involvement (T1-weighted MRI with contrast), intratumoral hemorrhage, embolization, and degree of resection (Simpson grade). Variables of interest included preoperative weakness and postoperative motor decline (novel or worsened permanent deficit). The SPSS univariate and bivariate analysis functions were used, and statistical significance was determined with alpha < 0.05.

RESULTS

In 89 patients who had undergone resection of convexity (80.9%) or parasagittal (19.1%) rolandic meningiomas, a postoperative motor decline occurred in 24.7%. Of 53 patients (59.6%) with preoperative motor deficits, 60.3% improved, 13.2% were unchanged, and 26.4% worsened following surgery. Among the 36 patients without preoperative deficits, 22.2% developed new weakness. Predictors of preoperative motor deficit included tumor size (41.6 vs 33.2 cm3, p = 0.040) and presence of FLAIR signal (69.8% vs 50.0%, p = 0.046). Predictors of postoperative motor decline were preoperative motor deficit (47.2% vs 22.2%, p = 0.017), minor (compared with severe) preoperative weakness (25.6% vs 21.4%, p < 0.001), and preoperative embolization (54.5% vs 20.5%, p = 0.014). Factors that trended toward significance included parafalcine tumor origin (41.2% vs 20.8% convexity, p = 0.08), significant venous involvement (44.4% vs 23.5% none, p = 0.09), and Simpson grade II+ (34.2% vs 17.6% grade I, p = 0.07).

CONCLUSIONS

Resection of rolandic area meningiomas carries a high rate of postoperative morbidity and deserves special preoperative planning. Large tumor size, peritumoral edema, preoperative embolization, parafalcine origin, and venous involvement may further increase the risk. Alternative surgical strategies, such as aggressive internal debulking, may prevent motor decline in a subset of high-risk patients.

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Ranjodh Singh, William P. Cope, Zhiping Zhou, Michelle E. De Witt, John A. Boockvar and Apostolos J. Tsiouris

OBJECT

Isolated cortical vein thrombosis (ICVT) accounts for less than 1% of all cerebral infarctions. ICVT may cause irreversible parenchymal damage, rendering early and accurate diagnosis critical. This case series and literature review presents the clinical and radiological findings in 7 patients with ICVT, and highlights risk factors and imaging modalities that may be most beneficial in rendering an accurate and timely diagnosis.

METHODS

Patients with CT and MRI findings consistent with ICVT examined between January 2011 and June 2014 were included in this retrospective review.

RESULTS

Seven patients (5 females, 2 males), ranging in age from 11 months to 34 years, met the inclusion criteria. The most common clinical presentations were headaches (n = 4) and seizures (n = 3). The most common comorbidities noted in these patients were hypercoagulable states (n = 4) and intracranial hypotension (n = 3). Five patients had intraparenchymal involvement. CT suggested the correct diagnosis in 4 patients, and MRI confirmed the diagnosis in all 7 patients. All patients who received anticoagulation therapy (n = 5) experienced complete resolution of their symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of these patients were adult females, consistent with published data. Seizures and headaches were the most common presenting symptoms. Hypercoagulable state and intracranial hypotension, both known risk factors for thrombosis, were the most commonly noted ICVT risk factors. Intraparenchymal involvement was prevalent in nearly all ICVT cases and presented as vasogenic edema, early intraparenchymal hemorrhage, or hemorrhagic venous infarction. Susceptibility-weighted imaging was the most sensitive imaging technique in diagnosing ICVT.

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Eliza H. Hersh, Michael S. Virk, Huibo Shao, A. John Tsiouris, Gregory A. Bonci and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Subdural implantation of electrodes is commonly performed to localize an epileptic focus. Whether to temporarily explant the bone plate and whether to treat patients with perioperative steroid agents is unclear. The authors' aim was to evaluate the utility and risk of bone plate explantation and perioperative steroid use.

Methods

The authors reviewed the records of all patients who underwent unilateral craniotomy for electrode implantation performed between November 2001 and June 2011 at their institution. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group 1 (n = 24), bone explanted, no perioperative steroid use; Group 2 (n = 42), bone left in place, no perioperative steroid use; Group 3 (n = 25), bone left in place, steroid agents administered perioperatively. Complications, mass effect, and seizure rates were examined by means of statistical analysis.

Results

Of 324 cranial epilepsy surgeries, 91 were unilateral subdural electrode implants that met our inclusion criteria. A total of 11 infections were reported, and there was a significantly higher rate of infection when the bone was explanted (8 cases [33.3%]) than when the bone was left in place (3 cases [4.5%], p < 0.01). Leaving the bone in place also increased the rate of asymptomatic subdural hematomas and frequency of seizures, although there was no increase in midline shift, severity of headache, or rate of emergency reoperation. The use of steroid agents did not appear to have an effect on any of the outcome measures.

Conclusions

Temporary bone flap explantation during craniotomy for implantation of subdural electrodes can result in high rates of infection, possibly due to the frequent change of hands in transferring the bone to the bone bank. Leaving the bone in place may increase the frequency of seizures and appearance of asymptomatic subdural hematomas but does not increase the rate of complications. These results may be institution dependent.

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Andre Tomasino, Karishma Parikh, Heiko Koller, Walter Zink, A. John Tsiouris, Jeremy Steinberger and Roger Härtl

Object

The purpose of this retrospective study was to quantify the anatomical relationship between the vertebral artery (VA), the cervical pedicle, and its surrounding structures, including the incidence of irregularities. Additionally, data delineating a “safe zone,” and these data's application during instrumentation with transpedicular cervical screw fixation were considered. The anatomical proximity of the VA to the cervical pedicle prevents spine surgeons from preferring cervical pedicle screws (CPSs) over lateral mass screws at levels C3–6. Accurate placement of CPSs is often difficult to determine, because this definition can vary between 1 and 4 mm of lateral “noncritical” and “critical” pedicle breaches. No previous study in a western population has investigated the VA's proximity to the cervical pedicle, its percentage of occupancy in the transverse foramen (TF), and the incidence of irregular VA pathways.

Methods

One hundred twenty-seven consecutive patients who underwent CT angiography of the neck were enrolled in this study. The measurements included the following: medial pedicle border to VA; lateral pedicle border to VA; pedicle diameter (PD); sagittal diameter of the VA; coronal diameter of the VA; sagittal diameter of the TF; and coronal diameter of the TF. The cross-sections of the VA and the TF were measured to determine the occupation ratio of the VA. In addition, a safe zone was defined based on all lateral pedicle border to VA measurements in which the VA was within the TF. The level of entry of the VA into the TF as well as irregularities of the VA and the cervical pedicles were recorded.

Results

Vertebral artery dominance on the left side was seen in 69.3% of cases. The mean PD increased from 4.9 to 6.5 mm (from C-3 to C-7, respectively). Statistically significantly bigger PDs were seen in males. The mean PD at C-2 was 5.6 mm. Entry of the VA at C-6 was seen in approximately 80% of cases. The TF occupation ratio of the VA was found to be the greatest in C-4 and C-7 (37.1 and 74.2%, respectively). The safe zone increased from C-2 to C-6 (1.1 to 1.7 mm, respectively), but was only 0.65 mm at C-7. In 23.6% of cases, an irregular pathway of the VA or irregular anatomy of a cervical pedicle was seen, with the highest incidence of irregularities found at C-2.

Conclusions

Computed tomography angiography is a valuable tool that can help determine the relationships between cervical pedicles and the VA as well as irregular VA pathways. Pedicle diameter, safe zone, and occupational ratio of the VA in the foramen determine the risk associated with instrumentation and should be assessed individually. Based on the authors' measurements, C-4 and C-7 can be considered critical levels for CPS placement. Because of this and the high incidence of irregular VA pathways and different entry points, it may be helpful to review neck CT angiography studies before considering posterior instrumentation procedures in the cervical spine.