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L. Dade Lunsford
L. Dade Lunsford
Travis Hamilton and L. Dade Lunsford
The role of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has expanded worldwide during the past 3 decades. The authors sought to evaluate whether experienced users vary in their estimate of its potential use.
Sixty-six current Gamma Knife users from 24 countries responded to an electronic survey. They estimated the potential role of GKRS for benign and malignant tumors, vascular malformations, and functional disorders. These estimates were compared with published disease epidemiological statistics and the 2014 use reports provided by the Leksell Gamma Knife Society (16,750 cases).
Respondents reported no significant variation in the estimated use in many conditions for which GKRS is performed: meningiomas, vestibular schwannomas, and arteriovenous malformations. Significant variance in the estimated use of GKRS was noted for pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, and cavernous malformations. For many current indications, the authors found significant variance in GKRS users based in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Experts estimated that GKRS was used in only 8.5% of the 196,000 eligible cases in 2014.
Although there was a general worldwide consensus regarding many major indications for GKRS, significant variability was noted for several more controversial roles. This expert opinion survey also suggested that GKRS is significantly underutilized for many current diagnoses, especially in the Americas. Future studies should be conducted to investigate health care barriers to GKRS for many patients.
L. Dade Lunsford
Changing concepts in the treatment of colloid cysts
An 11-year experience in the CT era
Walter A. Hall and L. Dade Lunsford
✓ Since computerized tomography (CT) scanning became available at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh in July, 1975, 17 patients have undergone removal of colloid cysts of the third ventricle by transfrontal, transcallosal, or stereotaxic surgery. All patients presented with symptoms and signs of increased intracranial pressure; CT scanning proved to be the best neurodiagnostic test to define the colloid cysts. Since the development of CT-guided stereotaxic surgery, the authors have preferentially performed stereotaxic aspiration in seven patients; three of these subsequently required craniotomies to remove residual cysts producing persistent symptoms. The viscosity of the intracystic colloid material and/or displacement of the cyst away from the aspiration needle were reasons for unsuccessful aspiration; the CT appearance did not correlate with the ability to aspirate the lesion by the stereotaxic technique. Postoperative patency of the ventricular system was documented by intraoperative CT ventriculography performed during stereotaxic surgery. Removal of the cyst wall was not necessary. Because of the low associated morbidity rate, percutaneous stereotaxic aspiration is recommended as the initial treatment of choice for colloid cysts of the third ventricle. If stereotaxic aspiration fails and symptoms persist, craniotomy should be performed.
Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford
✓ Stereotactic aspiration is a valuable surgical alternative for colloid cysts when used alone or in conjunction with microsurgical resection. Since 1981, the authors have performed computerized tomography (CT)-guided stereotactic aspiration as the initial procedure in 22 patients with colloid cysts; stereotactic aspiration alone was successful in 11 patients (50%). Of the 11 patients in whom aspiration failed, stereotactic endoscopic resection was attempted in three and was successful in one. Seven patients required a craniotomy and microsurgical removal of the cyst performed via a transcortical approach.
The preoperative CT appearance in eight cases of a hypodense or isodense cyst correlated favorably with successful aspiration of the cyst in six patients. A hyperdense appearance on the preoperative CT scan in 14 cases was associated with subtotal aspiration in 13 patients; five required craniotomy for removal. Preoperative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in eight patients provided excellent anatomical definition of the cyst and its relationship to other structures of the third ventricle, but it was not possible to correlate successful aspiration with cyst appearance on MR images with short or long relaxation time sequences. The authors' 9-year experience suggests that preoperative CT studies accurately determine size, predict viscosity, and help to define a group of colloid cyst patients for whom stereotactic cyst aspiration will likely be successful. Unsuccessful stereotactic aspiration was related to two features: the high viscosity of the intracystic colloid material (nine patients), or deviation of the cyst away from the aspiration needle due to small cyst volume (two patients). Because of its simplicity and low risk, stereotactic surgery can be offered to selected patients as the initial procedure of choice. Craniotomy can be reserved for those whose imaging studies predict failure or for those whose cyst cannot be aspirated.
L. Dade Lunsford and Dan Leksell
William C. Newman, Yue-Fang Chang, and L. Dade Lunsford
Neurosurgery is often self-selecting. Concern has been raised that residents in the millennial era (born between 1982 and 2004) may have more serious professionalism and performance issues (PPIs) during training compared to prior trainees. Serious PPIs were defined as concerns that led to specific resident disciplinary actions ranging from initial warnings to termination. In order to evaluate this concern, the authors retrospectively reviewed a 50-year experience at a single training center. They then prospectively surveyed living graduates of the program to assess variations in practice patterns and job satisfaction over 5 decades.
The PPIs of 141 residents admitted for training at the University of Pittsburgh (subsequently UPMC) Department of Neurological Surgery were reviewed by decade starting in 1971 when the first department chair was appointed. The review was conducted by the senior author, who served from 1975 to 1980 as a resident, as a faculty member since 1980, and as the resident director since 1986. A review of resident PPIs between 1971 and 1974 was performed in consultation with a senior faculty member active at that time. During the last decade, electronic reporting of PPIs was performed by entry into an electronic reporting system. In order to further evaluate whether the frequency of PPIs affected subsequent job satisfaction and practice patterns after completion of training, the authors surveyed living graduates.
There was no statistically significant difference by decade in serious PPIs. Although millennial residents had no significant increase in the reporting of serious PPIs, the increased use of electronic event reporting over the most recent 2 decades coincided with a trend of increased reporting of all levels of suspected PPIs (p < 0.05). Residents surveyed after completion of training showed no difference by decade in types of practice or satisfaction-based metrics (p > 0.05) but reported increasing concerns related to the impact of their profession on their own lifestyle as well as their family’s.
There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of serious PPIs over 5 decades of training neurosurgery residents at the authors’ institution. During the millennial era, serious PPIs have not been increasing. However, reporting of all levels of PPIs is increasing coincident with the ease of electronic reporting. There was remarkably little variance in satisfaction metrics or type of practice over the 5 decades studied.