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Gene H. Barnett, David W. Miller, and Joseph Weisenberger

Object. The goal of this study was to develop and assess the use and limitations of performing brain biopsy procedures by using image-guided surgical navigation systems (SNSs; that is, frameless stereotactic systems) with scalp-applied fiducial markers.

Methods. Two hundred eighteen percutaneous brain biopsies were performed in 213 patients by using a frameless stereotactic SNS that operated with either sonic or optical digitizer technology and scalp-applied fiducial markers for the purpose of registering image space with operating room space. Common neurosurgical and stereotactic instrumentation was adapted for use with a localizing wand, and recently developed target and trajectory guidance software was used.

Eight (3.7%) of the 218 biopsy specimens were nondiagnostic; five of these (2.4%) were obtained during procedures in 208 supratentorial lesions and three were obtained during procedures in 10 infratentorial lesions (30%; p < 0.001). Complications related to the biopsy procedure occurred in eight patients (seven of whom had supratentorial lesions and one of whom had an infratentorial lesion, p > 0.25). Five complications were intracerebral hemorrhages (two of which required craniotomy), two were infections, and one was wound breakdown after instillation of intratumoral carmustine following biopsy. There were only three cases of sustained morbidity, and there were two deaths and one delayed deterioration due to disease progression.

Two surgeons performed the majority of the procedures (193 cases). The three surgeons who performed more than 10 biopsies had complication rates lower than 5%, whereas two of the remaining four surgeons had complication rates greater than 10% (p = 0.15).

Twenty-three additional procedures were performed in conjunction with the biopsies: nine brachytherapies; five computer-assisted endoscopies; four cyst aspirations; two instillations of carmustine; two placements of Ommaya reservoirs; and one craniotomy.

Conclusions. Brain biopsy procedures in which guidance is provided by a frameless stereotactic SNS with scalp-applied fiducial markers represents a safe and effective alternative to frame-based stereotactic procedures for supratentorial lesions. There were comparable low rates of morbidity and a high degree of diagnostic success. Strategies for performing posterior fossa biopsies are suggested.

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Joseph P. Broderick, Thomas Brott, Thomas Tomsick, Rosemary Miller, and Gertrude Huster

✓ The authors report a study of all instances of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (188 cases) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (80 cases) that occurred in the Greater Cincinnati area during 1988. Adjusted for age, sex, and race, the annual incidence of ICH was 15 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval 13 to 17) versus six per 100,000 for SAH (95% confidence interval 5 to 8). The incidence of ICH was at least double that of SAH for women, men, and whites and approximately 1½ times that for blacks. The 30-day mortality rate of 44% for ICH was not significantly different from the 46% mortality rate for SAH. Despite the evidence that ICH is more than twice as common and the disorder just as deadly as SAH, clinical and laboratory research continues to focus primarily on SAH.

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Benjamin J. Ditty, Nidal B. Omar, Paul M. Foreman, Joseph H. Miller, Kimberly P. Kicielinski, Winfield S. Fisher III, and Mark R. Harrigan

OBJECTIVE

Patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) commonly present with seizure. Seizure outcomes in patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are poorly defined. A case series of patients with cerebral AVMs treated with SRS is presented to evaluate long-term seizure outcome.

METHODS

A retrospective review of the medical record was performed, identifying 204 consecutive patients with AVMs treated with SRS between January 1991 and June 2012. Clinical and radiographic data were evaluated. Seizure outcome was measured using the Engel Epilepsy Surgery Outcome Scale. Mean duration of follow-up was 37.1 months (SD 38.3 months) with a minimum follow-up period of 1 month.

RESULTS

Of the 204 patients with cerebral AVMs treated with SRS, 78 patients (38.2%) presented with seizures and 49 of those patients were treated with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Following SRS, 63 (80.8%) of the 78 patients who had had seizures prior to SRS were seizure-free at a mean follow-up time of 37.2 months (SD 41.3 months). Of the 49 patients who had been treated with AEDs, 17 were still taking AEDs at last follow-up. Of the 126 patients who did not present with seizures prior to treatment with SRS, only 5 patients (4.0%) had seizures in the post-SRS period. There was no significant correlation between post-SRS seizure status and patient demographic features, comorbidities, AVM characteristics, history of operative intervention, pre- or posttreatment hemorrhage, or radiographic degree of AVM resolution.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of cerebral AVMs is effective at providing long-term control of seizures. A substantial number of patients who were treated with SRS were not only seizure free at their last follow-up, but had been successfully weaned from antiepileptic medications.

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Christoph J. Griessenauer, Elias Rizk, Joseph H. Miller, Philipp Hendrix, R. Shane Tubbs, Mark S. Dias, Kelsie Riemenschneider, and Joshua J. Chern

Object

Tectal plate gliomas are generally low-grade astrocytomas with favorable prognosis, and observation of the lesion and management of hydrocephalus remain the mainstay of treatment.

Methods

A cohort of patients with tectal plate gliomas at 2 academic institutions was retrospectively reviewed.

Results

Forty-four patients with a mean age of 10.2 years who harbored tectal plate gliomas were included in the study. The mean clinical and radiological follow-up was 7.6 ± 3.3 years (median 7.9 years, range 1.5–14.7 years) and 6.5 ± 3.1 years (median 6.5 years, range 1.1–14.7 years), respectively. The most frequent intervention was CSF diversion (81.8% of patients) followed by biopsy (11.4%), radiotherapy (4.5%), chemotherapy (4.5%), and resection (2.3%). On MR imaging tectal plate gliomas most commonly showed T1-weighted isointensity (71.4%), T2-weighted hyperintensity (88.1%), and rarely enhanced (19%). The initial mean volume was 1.6 ± 2.2 cm3 and it increased to 2.0 ± 4.4 cm3 (p = 0.628) at the last follow-up. Frontal and occipital horn ratio (FOHR) and third ventricular width statistically decreased over time (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively).

Conclusions

The authors' results support existing evidence that tectal plate gliomas frequently follow a benign clinical and radiographic course and rarely require any intervention beyond management of associated hydrocephalus.

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Jonathan S. Fain, Francis H. Tomlinson, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Joseph E. Parisi, Geoffrey P. Fletcher, Patrick J. Kelly, and Gary M. Miller

✓ Small asymptomatic cysts of the pineal gland represent a common incidental finding in adults undergoing computerized tomography or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or at postmortem examination. In contrast, large symptomatic pineal cysts are rare, being limited to individual case reports or small series. The authors have reviewed 24 cases of large pineal cysts. The mean patient age at presentation was 28.7 years (range 15 to 46 years); 18 were female and six male. Presenting features in 20 symptomatic cases included: headache in 19; nausea and/or vomiting in seven; papilledema in five; visual disturbances in five (diplopia in three, “blurred vision” in two, and unilateral partial oculomotor nerve palsy in one); Parinaud's syndrome in two; hemiparesis in one; hemisensory aberration in one; and seizures in one. Four lesions were discovered incidentally. Magnetic resonance imaging typically demonstrated a 0.8- to 3.0-cm diameter mass (mean 1.7 cm) with homogeneous decreased signal intensity on T1-weighted images, increased signal intensity on T2-weighted images, and a distinct margin. Hydrocephalus was present in eight cases. The cysts were surgically excised via an infratentorial/supracerebellar approach (23 cases) or stereotactically biopsied (one case). Histological examination revealed a cyst wall 0.5 to 2.0 mm thick comprised of three layers: an outer fibrous layer, a middle layer of pineal parenchymal cells with variable calcification, and an inner layer of hypocellular glial tissue often exhibiting Rosenthal fibers and/or granular bodies. Evidence of prior hemorrhage, mild astrocytic degenerative atypia, and disorganization of pineal parenchyma were often present. Postoperative follow-up review in all 24 cases (range 3 months to 10 years) revealed no complications in 21, mild ocular movement deficit in one, gradually resolving Parinaud's syndrome in one, and radiographic evidence of a postoperative venous infarct of the superior cerebellum with ataxia of 1 week's duration in one. Of the patients referred for study, the cysts were most often initially misdiagnosed as a pineocytoma in eight and a pilocytic astrocytoma in three. Only two patients were correctly diagnosed as having pineal cysts. This stresses the importance of recognizing the histopathological spectrum of pineal cysts, as well as correlation with radiographic findings, if a correct diagnosis is to be attained.

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Joseph G. Adel, Bernard R. Bendok, Ziad A. Hage, Andrew M. Naidech, Jeffery W. Miller, and H. Hunt Batjer

✓The authors performed external carotid artery (ECA) angioplasty and stenting in a 45-year-old man who had presented with right hemispheric crescendo ischemic symptoms stemming from acute right internal carotid artery occlusion (ICAO). This unique application of ECA angioplasty and stenting augmented cerebral perfusion and improved clinical symptoms. In certain situations, ECA stenting can increase cerebral perfusion in the setting of ICAO and ECA stenosis. The authors are the first to describe this approach in this context.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Mick P. Kelly, Joseph H. Miller, Yiping Li, and Paul A. Anderson

Object

Use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 has risen steadily since its approval by the FDA for use in anterior lumbar interbody fusion in 2002. The FDA has not approved the use of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in children. Age less than 18 years or lack of evidence of epiphyseal closure are considered by the manufacturer to be contraindications to BMP use. In light of this, the authors performed a query of the database of one of the nation's largest health insurance companies to determine the rate of BMP use and complications in pediatric patients undergoing spinal fusion.

Methods

The authors used the PearlDiver Technologies private payer database containing all records from United Health-Care from 2005 to 2011 to query all cases of pediatric spinal fusion with or without BMP use. A review of the literature was also performed to examine the complications associated with BMP use in pediatric spinal fusion.

Results

A total of 4658 patients underwent spinal fusion. The majority was female (65.4%), and the vast majority was age 10–19 years (94.98%) and underwent thoracolumbar fusion (93.13%). Bone morphogenetic protein was used in 1752 spinal fusions (37.61%). There was no difference in the rate of BMP use when comparing male and female patients or age 10 years or older versus less than 10 years. Anterior cervical fusions were significantly less likely to use BMP (7.3%). Complications occurred in 9.82% of patients treated with versus 9.88% of patients treated without BMP. The complication rate was nearly identical in male versus female patients and in patients older versus younger than 10 years. Comparison of systemic, wound-related, CNS, and other complications showed no difference between groups treated with and without BMP. The reoperation rate was also nearly identical.

Conclusions

Bone morphogenetic protein is used in a higher than expected percentage of pediatric spinal fusions. The rate of acute complications in these operations does not appear to be different in patients treated with versus those treated without BMP. Caution must be exercised in interpreting these data due to the many limitations of the administrative database as a data source, including the short length of follow-up.

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Owoicho Adogwa, Terence Verla, Paul Thompson, Anirudh Penumaka, Katherine Kudyba, Kwame Johnson, Erin Fulchiero, Timothy Miller Jr., Kimberly B. Hoang, Joseph Cheng, and Carlos A. Bagley

Object

Depression and persistent low-back pain (LBP) are common and disabling problems in elderly patients (> 65 years old). Affective disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are also common in elderly patients, with a prevalence ranging from 4% to 16%. Depressive symptoms are consistently associated with functional disability. To date, few studies have assessed the predictive value of baseline depression on outcomes in the setting of revision spine surgery in elderly patients. Therefore, in this study, the authors assessed the predictive value of preoperative depression on 2-year postoperative outcomes.

Methods

A total of 69 patients undergoing revision neural decompression and instrumented fusion for adjacent-segment disease (ASD, n = 28), pseudarthrosis (n = 17), or same-level recurrent stenosis (n = 24) were included in this study. Preoperative Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZDS) scores were assessed for all patients. Preoperative and 2-year postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back pain (VAS-BP) and leg pain (VAS-LP) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were also assessed. The association between preoperative ZDS score and 2-year improvement in disability was assessed via multivariate regression analysis.

Results

Compared with preoperative status, 2-year postoperative VAS-BP was significantly improved after surgery for ASD (9 ± 2 vs 4.01 ± 2.56, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (7.41 ± 1 vs 5.0 ± 3.08, respectively; p = 0.02) and same-level recurrent stenosis (7 ± 2.00 vs 5.00 ± 2.34, respectively; p = 0.003). Two-year ODI was also significantly improved after surgery for ASD (29 ± 9 vs 23.10 ± 10.18, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (28.47 ± 5.85 vs 24.41 ± 7.75, respectively; p = 0.001) and same-level recurrent stenosis (30.83 ± 5.28 vs 26.29 ± 4.10, respectively; p = 0.003). Independent of other factors—age, body mass index, symptom duration, smoking, comorbidities, severity of preoperative pain, and disability—increasing preoperative ZDS score was significantly associated with lower 2-year improvement in disability (ODI) after revision surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis.

Conclusions

The extent of preoperative depression is an independent predictor of less functional improvement following revision lumbar surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment of depression and somatic anxiety in this cohort of patients may contribute to improvement in postoperative functional status.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Mitchel Muhleman, Samuel G. McClugage, Marios Loukas, Joseph H. Miller, Joshua J. Chern, Curtis J. Rozzelle, W. Jerry Oakes, and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Cysts of the choroidal fissure are often incidentally identified. Symptoms from such cysts appear to be exceedingly rare. Herein, the authors report a case series of symptomatic enlargement of choroidal fissure cysts that were surgically treated. Although cysts of the choroidal fissure do not normally become symptomatic, the neurosurgeon should be aware of such a complication. Based on the authors' experience, surgical fenestration of such cysts has good long-term results.

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Marios Loukas, Brian J. Shayota, Kim Oelhafen, Joseph H. Miller, Joshua J. Chern, R. Shane Tubbs, and W. Jerry Oakes

A single pathophysiological mechanism of Chiari Type I malformations (CM-I) has been a topic of debate. To help better understand CM-I, the authors review disorders known to be associated with CM-I. The primary methodology found among most of them is deformation of the posterior cranial fossa, usually with subsequent decrease in volume. Other mechanisms exist as well, which can be categorized as either congenital or acquired. In understanding the relationship of such disorders with CM-I, we may gain further insight into the process by which cerebellar tonsillar herniation occurs. Some of these pathologies appear to be true associations, but many appear to be spurious.