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Nam K. Yoon, Jonathan P. Scoville, and Philipp Taussky

Vein of Galen malformations are congenital high-flow vascular malformations that often present with heart failure, hydrocephalus, developmental delay, and intracranial hemorrhage. Because open surgical treatment is associated with high morbidity and mortality, endovascular embolization is increasingly becoming the preferred method of intervention. However, embolization of these lesions can be difficult because of their high-flow nature. The use of adenosine-induced cardiac standstill for treatment of vein of Galen malformations has not been previously described in neonates. The authors describe 3 treatments in 2 patients that demonstrate that the use of adenosine is well tolerated and allows safe transarterial embolization of high-flow vein of Galen malformations in the pediatric population.

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Cordell M. Baker, Andrew Parker Cox, Joshua C. Hunsaker, Jonathan Scoville, and Robert J. Bollo

OBJECTIVE

Multiple studies have evaluated the use of MRI for prognostication in pediatric patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and have found a correlation between diffuse axonal injury (DAI)–type lesions and outcome. However, there remains a limited understanding about the use of MRI for prognostication after severe TBI in children who have undergone cranial surgery.

METHODS

Children with severe TBI who underwent craniectomy or craniotomy at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, between 2010 and 2019 were identified retrospectively. Of these 92 patients, 43 underwent postoperative brain MRI within 4 months of surgery. Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) and FLAIR sequences were used to designate areas of hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic cerebral lesions related to DAI. Patients were then stratified based on the location of the DAI as read by a neuroradiologist as superficial, deep, or brainstem. The location of the DAI and other variables associated with poor outcome, including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, pediatric trauma score, mechanism of injury, and time to surgery, were analyzed for correlation with poor outcome. Outcomes were reported using the King’s Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury (KOSCHI).

RESULTS

In the 43 children with severe TBI who underwent postoperative brain MRI, the median GCS score on arrival was 4. The most common cause of injury was falls (14 patients, 33%). The most common primary intracranial pathology was subdural hematoma in 26 patients (60%), followed by epidural hematoma in 9 (21%). Fifteen patients (35%) had cerebral herniation and 31 (72%) had evidence of contusion. Variables associated with poor outcome included cerebral herniation (r = 0.338, p = 0.027) and location of DAI (r = 0.319, p = 0.037). In a separate analysis, brainstem DAI was shown to predict poor outcome, whereas location (no, superficial, or deep DAI) did not. Logistic regression showed that brainstem DAI (OR 22.3, p = 0.020) had a higher odds ratio than cerebral herniation (OR 10.5, p = 0.044) for poor outcome. Thirty-six children (84%) had a satisfactory outcome at last follow-up; 3 (7%) children died.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of children in this series who presented with a severe TBI and underwent craniectomy or craniotomy made a satisfactory recovery. In patients in whom there is a concern for poor outcome, the location of DAI-type lesions with SWI and FLAIR may assist in prognostication. The authors’ results revealed that DAI-type lesions in the brainstem and evidence of cerebral herniation may indicate a poorer prognosis; however, more studies with larger cohorts are needed to make definitive conclusions.

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Cordell M. Baker, Andrew Parker Cox, Joshua C. Hunsaker, Jonathan Scoville, and Robert J. Bollo

OBJECTIVE

Multiple studies have evaluated the use of MRI for prognostication in pediatric patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and have found a correlation between diffuse axonal injury (DAI)–type lesions and outcome. However, there remains a limited understanding about the use of MRI for prognostication after severe TBI in children who have undergone cranial surgery.

METHODS

Children with severe TBI who underwent craniectomy or craniotomy at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, between 2010 and 2019 were identified retrospectively. Of these 92 patients, 43 underwent postoperative brain MRI within 4 months of surgery. Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) and FLAIR sequences were used to designate areas of hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic cerebral lesions related to DAI. Patients were then stratified based on the location of the DAI as read by a neuroradiologist as superficial, deep, or brainstem. The location of the DAI and other variables associated with poor outcome, including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, pediatric trauma score, mechanism of injury, and time to surgery, were analyzed for correlation with poor outcome. Outcomes were reported using the King’s Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury (KOSCHI).

RESULTS

In the 43 children with severe TBI who underwent postoperative brain MRI, the median GCS score on arrival was 4. The most common cause of injury was falls (14 patients, 33%). The most common primary intracranial pathology was subdural hematoma in 26 patients (60%), followed by epidural hematoma in 9 (21%). Fifteen patients (35%) had cerebral herniation and 31 (72%) had evidence of contusion. Variables associated with poor outcome included cerebral herniation (r = 0.338, p = 0.027) and location of DAI (r = 0.319, p = 0.037). In a separate analysis, brainstem DAI was shown to predict poor outcome, whereas location (no, superficial, or deep DAI) did not. Logistic regression showed that brainstem DAI (OR 22.3, p = 0.020) had a higher odds ratio than cerebral herniation (OR 10.5, p = 0.044) for poor outcome. Thirty-six children (84%) had a satisfactory outcome at last follow-up; 3 (7%) children died.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of children in this series who presented with a severe TBI and underwent craniectomy or craniotomy made a satisfactory recovery. In patients in whom there is a concern for poor outcome, the location of DAI-type lesions with SWI and FLAIR may assist in prognostication. The authors’ results revealed that DAI-type lesions in the brainstem and evidence of cerebral herniation may indicate a poorer prognosis; however, more studies with larger cohorts are needed to make definitive conclusions.

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Yair M. Gozal, Erinç Aktüre, Vijay M. Ravindra, Jonathan P. Scoville, Randy L. Jensen, William T. Couldwell, and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

The absence of a commonly accepted standardized classification system for complication reporting confounds the recognition, objective reporting, management, and avoidance of perioperative adverse events. In the past decade, several classification systems have been proposed for use in neurosurgery, but these generally focus on tallying specific complications and grading their effect on patient morbidity. Herein, the authors propose and prospectively validate a new neurosurgical complication classification based on understanding the underlying causes of the adverse events.

METHODS

A new complication classification system was devised based on the authors’ previous work on morbidity in endovascular surgery. Adverse events were prospectively compiled for all neurosurgical procedures performed at their tertiary care academic medical center over the course of 1 year into 5 subgroups: 1) indication errors; 2) procedural errors; 3) technical errors; 4) judgment errors; and 5) critical events. The complications were presented at the monthly institutional Morbidity and Mortality conference where, following extensive discussion, they were assigned to one of the 5 subgroups. Additional subgroup analyses by neurosurgical subspecialty were also performed.

RESULTS

A total of 115 neurosurgical complications were observed and analyzed during the study period. Of these, nearly half were critical events, while technical errors accounted for approximately one-third of all complications. Within neurosurgical subspecialties, vascular neurosurgery (36.5%) had the most complications, followed by spine & peripheral nerve (21.7%), neuro-oncology (14.8%), cranial trauma (13.9%), general neurosurgery (12.2%), and functional neurosurgery (0.9%).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ novel neurosurgical complication classification system was successfully implemented in a prospective manner at their high-volume tertiary medical center. By employing the well-established Morbidity and Mortality conference mechanism, this simple system may be easily applied at other neurosurgical centers and may allow for uniform analyses of perioperative morbidity and the introduction of corrective initiatives.

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Vijay M. Ravindra, Adam de Havenon, Timothy C. Gooldy, Jonathan Scoville, Jian Guan, William T. Couldwell, Philipp Taussky, Joel D. MacDonald, Richard H. Schmidt, and Min S. Park

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to compare the unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score (UIATS) recommendations with the real-world experience in a quaternary academic medical center with a high volume of patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs).

METHODS

All patients with UIAs evaluated during a 3-year period were included. All factors included in the UIATS were abstracted, and patients were scored using the UIATS. Patients were categorized in a contingency table assessing UIATS recommendation versus real-world treatment decision. The authors calculated the percentage of misclassification, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.

RESULTS

A total of 221 consecutive patients with UIAs met the inclusion criteria: 69 (31%) patients underwent treatment and 152 (69%) did not. Fifty-nine (27%) patients had a UIATS between −2 and 2, which does not offer a treatment recommendation, leaving 162 (73%) patients with a UIATS treatment recommendation. The UIATS was significantly associated with treatment (p < 0.001); however, the sensitivity, specificity, and percentage of misclassification were 49%, 80%, and 28%, respectively. Notably, 51% of patients for whom treatment would be recommended by the UIATS did not undergo treatment in the real-world cohort and 20% of patients for whom conservative management would be recommended by UIATS had intervention. The area under the ROC curve was 0.646.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with the authors’ experience, the UIATS recommended overtreatment of UIAs. Although the UIATS could be used as a screening tool, individualized treatment recommendations based on consultation with a cerebrovascular specialist are necessary. Further validation with longitudinal data on rupture rates of UIAs is needed before widespread use.

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Evan Joyce, Michael T. Bounajem, Jonathan Scoville, Ajith J. Thomas, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Howard A. Riina, Omar Tanweer, Elad I. Levy, Alejandro M. Spiotta, Bradley A. Gross, Brian T. Jankowitz, C. Michael Cawley, Alexander A. Khalessi, Aditya S. Pandey, Andrew J. Ringer, Ricardo Hanel, Rafael A. Ortiz, David Langer, Michael R. Levitt, Mandy Binning, Philipp Taussky, Peter Kan, and Ramesh Grandhi

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of already common chronic subdural hematomas (CSDHs) and other nonacute subdural hematomas (NASHs) in the elderly is expected to rise as the population ages over the coming decades. Surgical management is associated with recurrence and exposes elderly patients to perioperative and operative risks. Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization offers the potential for a minimally invasive, less morbid treatment in this age group. The clinical and radiographic outcomes after MMA embolization treatment for NASHs have not been adequately described in elderly patients. In this paper, the authors describe the clinical and radiographic outcomes after 151 cases of MMA embolization for NASHs among 121 elderly patients.

METHODS

In a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database across 15 US academic centers, the authors identified patients aged ≥ 65 years who underwent MMA embolization for the treatment of NASHs between November 2017 and February 2020. Patient demographics, comorbidities, clinical and radiographic factors, treatment factors, and clinical outcomes were abstracted. Subgroup analysis was performed comparing elderly (age 65–79 years) and advanced elderly (age > 80 years) patients.

RESULTS

MMA embolization was successfully performed in 98% of NASHs (in 148 of 151 cases) in 121 patients. Seventy elderly patients underwent 87 embolization procedures, and 51 advanced elderly patients underwent 64 embolization procedures. Elderly and advanced elderly patients had similar rates of embolization for upfront (46% vs 61%), recurrent (39% vs 33%), and prophylactic (i.e., with concomitant surgical intervention; 15% vs 6%) NASH treatment. Transfemoral access was used in most patients, and the procedure time was approximately 1 hour in both groups. Particle embolization with supplemental coils was most common, used in 51% (44/87) and 44% (28/64) of attempts for the elderly and advanced elderly groups, respectively. NASH thickness decreased significantly from initial thickness to 6 weeks, with additional decrease in thickness observed in both groups at 90 days. At longest follow-up, the treated NASHs had stabilized or improved in 91% and 98% of the elderly and advanced elderly groups, respectively, with > 50% improvement seen in > 60% of patients for each group. Surgical rescue was necessary in 4.6% and 7.8% of cases, and the overall mortality was 8.6% and 3.9% for elderly and advanced elderly patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

MMA embolization can be used safely and effectively as an alternative or adjunctive minimally invasive treatment for NASHs in elderly and advanced elderly patients.