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Justin F. Fraser and Roger Härtl

Object

Anterior cervical discectomy (ACD), ACD with interbody fusion (ACDF), ACDF with placement of an anterior plate system (ACDFP), corpectomy, and corpectomy with plate placement are used to fuse the cervical spine. The authors conducted a metaanalysis of studies published after 1990 in which fusion rates achieved with each procedure were reported for patients with degenerative disease at one, two, and three disc levels.

Methods

Twenty-one papers each included data on at least 25 patients. In each of the 21 studies the average clinical follow up was more than 12 months, and the results were evaluated according to radiographic evidence of fusion and delineated by the number of levels fused. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used for comparisons. The mean age of the patients was 46.7 years, 46.6% were female, and the mean follow-up period was 39.6 months. The studies included 2682 patients and the overall fusion rate was 89.5%. For single disc–level disease, fusion rates were 84.9% for ACD, 92.1% for ACDF, and 97.1% for ACDFP (p = 0.0002). For two disc–level disease, fusion rates were 79.9% for ACDF, 94.6% for ACDFP, 95.9% for corpectomy, and 92.9% for corpectomy with plate placement (p = 0.0001). For three disc–level disease, fusion rates were 65.0% for ACDF, 82.5% for ACDFP, 89.8% for corpectomy, and 96.2% for corpectomy with plate placement (p = 0.0001). The use of anterior plates significantly improved fusion for one-level (p < 0.0001), two-level (p < 0.0001), and three-level (p < 0.05) ACDF. There was no significant difference in fusion rates between two-level ACDF and corpectomy with plate placement.

Conclusions

The anticipated fusion rate is one of several factors that may guide surgical decision making. Anterior cervical decompression and fusion results in high fusion rates. The results of the authors' study show that regardless of the number of levels fused, the use of an anterior cervical plate system significantly increases the fusion rate. For two-disc–level disease, there was no significant difference between ACD with a plate system or corpectomy with a plate system. For three-disc–level disease, however, the evidence suggests that corpectomy with plate placement is associated with higher fusion rates than discectomy with plate placement.

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W. Bradford DeLong

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Justin F. Fraser, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

✓The authors present the case of a 71-year-old man who presented with neck pain, a history of gout, and a mass in the dens. Results of transoral endoscopic biopsy sampling demonstrated tophaceous gout. The patient was treated medically and the pain resolved. Tophaceous gout isolated in the dens is extremely rare and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of masses in this region. With the aid of transoral or transnasal endoscopic biopsy sampling, the diagnosis can be reached in a minimally invasive manner.

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Justin F. Fraser, Russel C. Huang, Federico P. Girardi and Frank P. Cammisa Jr.

Sagittal- or coronal-plane deformity considerably complicates the diagnosis and treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Although decompressive laminectomy remains the standard operative treatment for uncomplicated lumbar spinal stenosis, the management of stenosis with concurrent deformity may require osteotomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion with or without instrumentation. Broadly stated, the surgery-related goals in complex stenosis are neural decompression and a well-balanced sagittal and coronal fusion. Deformities that may present with concurrent stenosis are scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and flatback deformity. The presentation and management of lumbar spinal stenosis associated with concurrent coronal or sagittal deformities depends on the type and extent of deformity as well as its impact on neural compression. Generally, clinical outcomes in complex stenosis are optimized by decompression combined with spinal fusion. The need for instrumentation is clear in cases of significant scoliosis or flatback deformity but is controversial in spondylolisthesis. With appropriate selection of technique for deformity correction, a surgeon may profoundly improve pain, quality of life, and functional capacity. The decision to undertake surgery entails weighing risk factors such as age, comorbidities, and preoperative functional status against potential benefits of improved neurological function, decreased pain, and reduced risk of disease progression. The purpose of this paper is to review the pathogenesis, presentation, and treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis complicated by scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, or flat-back deformity. Specific attention is paid to surgery-related goals, decision making, techniques, and outcomes.

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Matthew R. McCann, Kevin W. Hatton, Olga A. Vsevolozhskaya and Justin F. Fraser

OBJECTIVE

Existing literature supports benefits of early tracheostomy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) in certain patient populations. The aim of this study was to review tracheostomy and PEG placement data in patients with hemorrhagic stroke in order to identify factors associated with earlier placement and to evaluate outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients treated for hemorrhagic stroke between June 1, 2011, and June 1, 2015. Data were analyzed by logistic and multiple linear regression.

RESULTS

Of 240 patients diagnosed with hemorrhagic stroke, 31.25% underwent tracheostomy and 35.83% underwent PEG tube placement. Factors significantly associated with tracheostomy and PEG included the presence of pneumonia on admission and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Earlier tracheostomy was significantly associated with shorter ICU length of stay; earlier tracheostomy and PEG placement were associated with shorter overall hospitalization. Timing of tracheostomy and PEG was not significantly associated with patient survival or the incidence of complications in this population.

CONCLUSIONS

This study identified patient risk factors associated with increased likelihood of tracheostomy and PEG in patients with hemorrhagic stroke who were critically ill. Additionally, we found that the timing of tracheostomy was associated with length of ICU stay and overall hospital stay, and that the timing of PEG was associated with overall length of hospitalization. Complication rates related to tracheostomy and PEG in this population were minimal. This retrospective data set supports some benefit to earlier tracheostomy and PEG placement in this population and justifies the need for further prospective study.

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Keri S. Kim, Justin F. Fraser, Stephen Grupke and Aaron M. Cook

Neuroendovascular techniques for treating cerebral aneurysms and other cerebrovascular pathology are increasingly becoming the standard of care. Intraluminal stents, aneurysm coils, and other flow diversion devices typically require concomitant antiplatelet therapy to reduce thromboembolic complications. The variability inherent with the pharmacodynamic response to common antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and clopidogrel complicates optimal selection of antiplatelet agents by clinicians. This review serves to discuss the literature related to antiplatelet use in neuroendovascular procedures and provides recommendations for clinicians on how to approach patients with variable response to antiplatelet agents, particularly clopidogrel.

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Justin F. Fraser, Gurston G. Nyquist, Nicholas Moore, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Transcranial approaches to clival chordomas provide a circuitous route to the site of origin of the tumor often involving extensive bone drilling and brain retraction, which places critical neurovascular structures between the surgeon and pathology. For certain chordomas, the endonasal endoscopic transclival approach is a novel minimal access, but it is an equally aggressive alternative providing the most direct route to the tumor epicenter.

Methods

The authors present a consecutive series of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic resection of clival chordomas. Extent of resection was determined by postoperative volumetric MR imaging and divided into > 95% and < 95%.

Results

Seven patients underwent 10 operations. Preoperative cranial neuropathies were present in 4. The mean patient age was 52.0 years. The mean tumor volume was 34.9 cm3. Intraoperative lumbar drainage was used in 1 patient, and the tumors extended intradurally in 3. One patient underwent 2 intentionally palliative procedures for subtotal debulking. Greater than 95% resection was achieved in 7 of 8 operations in which radical resection was the goal (87%). All tumors with volumes < 50 cm3 had > 95% resection (p = 0.05). The overall mean follow-up was 18.0 months. Cranial neuropathies resolved in all 3 patients with cranial nerve VI palsies. One patient with recurrent nasopharyngeal chordoma died of disease progression; another experienced 2 recurrences before receiving radiation therapy. All surviving patients remain progression free. There were no intraoperative complications; however, 1 patient developed a pulmonary embolus postoperatively. There were no postoperative CSF leaks.

Conclusions

The endonasal endoscopic transclival approach represents a less invasive and more direct approach than a transcranial approach to treat certain moderate-sized midline skull base chordomas. Longer follow-up is necessary to determine comparability to transcranial approaches for long-term control. Large tumors with significant extension lateral to the carotid artery may not be suitable for this approach.

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Matei A. Banu, Alpesh Mehta, Malte Ottenhausen, Justin F. Fraser, Kunal S. Patel, Oszkar Szentirmai, Vijay K. Anand, Apostolos J. Tsiouris and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Although the endonasal endoscopic approach has been applied to remove olfactory groove meningiomas, controversy exists regarding the efficacy and safety of this approach compared with more traditional transcranial approaches. The endonasal endoscopic approach was compared with the supraorbital (eyebrow) keyhole technique, as well as a combined “above-and-below” approach, to evaluate the relative merits of each approach in different situations.

METHODS

Nineteen cases were reviewed and divided according to operative technique into 3 different groups: purely endonasal (6 cases); supraorbital eyebrow (microscopic with endoscopic assistance; 7 cases); and combined endonasal endoscopic with either the bicoronal or eyebrow microscopic approach (6 cases). Resection was judged on postoperative MRI using volumetric analysis. Tumors were assessed based on the Mohr radiological classification and the presence of the lion’s mane sign.

RESULTS

The mean age at surgery was 61.4 years. The mean tumor volume was 19.6 cm3 in the endonasal group, 33.5 cm3 in the supraorbital group, and 37.8 cm3 in the combined group. Significant frontal lobe edema was identified in 10 cases (52.6%). The majority of tumors were either Mohr Grade II (moderate) (42.1%) or Grade III (large) (47.4%). Gross-total resection was achieved in 50% of the endonasal cases, 100% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases with endoscopic assistance, and 66.7% of the combined cases. The extent of resection was 87.8% for the endonasal cases, 100% for the supraorbital eyebrow cases, and 98.9% for the combined cases. Postoperative anosmia occurred in 100% of the endonasal and combined cases and only 57.1% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases. Excluding anosmia, permanent complications occurred in 83.3% of the cases in the endoscopic group, 0% of the cases in the supraorbital eyebrow group, and 16.7% of cases in the combined group (p = 0.017). There were 3 tumor recurrences: 2 in the endonasal group and 1 in the combined group.

CONCLUSIONS

The supraorbital eyebrow approach, with endoscopic assistance, leads to a higher extent of resection and lower rate of complications than the purely endonasal endoscopic approach. The endonasal endoscopic approach by itself may be suitable for a small percentage of cases. The combined above-and-below approaches are useful for large tumors with invasion of the ethmoid sinuses.

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Mark M. Souweidane, Justin F. Fraser, Lisa M. Arkin, Dolan Sondhi, Neil R. Hackett, Stephen M. Kaminsky, Linda Heier, Barry E. Kosofsky, Stefan Worgall, Ronald G. Crystal and Michael G. Kaplitt

Object

The authors conducted a phase I study of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis using an adenoassociated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) vector containing the deficient CLN2 gene (AAV2CUhCLN2). The operative technique, radiographic changes, and surgical complications are presented.

Methods

Ten patients with late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis disease each underwent infusion of AAV2CUhCLN2 (3 × 1012 particle units) into 12 distinct cerebral locations (2 depths/bur hole, 75 minutes/infusion, and 2 μl/minute). Innovative surgical techniques were developed to overcome several obstacles for which little or no established techniques were available. Successful infusion relied on preoperative stereotactic planning to optimize a parenchymal target and diffuse administration. Six entry sites, each having 2 depths of injections, were used to reduce operative time and enhance distribution. A low-profile rigid fixation system with 6 integrated holding arms was utilized to perform simultaneous infusions within a practical time frame. Dural sealant with generous irrigation was used to avoid CSF egress with possible subdural hemorrhage or altered stereotactic registration.

Results

Radiographically demonstrated changes were seen in 39 (65%) of 60 injection sites, confirming localization and infusion. There were no radiographically or clinically defined complications.

Conclusions

The neurosurgical considerations and results of this study are presented to offer guidance and a basis for the design of future gene therapy or other clinical trials in children that utilize direct therapeutic delivery.

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Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Nicholas C. Bambakidis, Fred G. Barker II, Bob S Carter, Kevin M. Cockroft, Rose Du, Justin F. Fraser, Mark G. Hamilton, Judy Huang, John A. Jane Jr., Randy L. Jensen, Michael G. Kaplitt, Anthony M. Kaufmann, Julie G. Pilitsis, Howard A. Riina, Michael Schulder, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lynda J. S. Yang and Gabriel Zada