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David Y. A. Dadey, Ashwin A. Kamath, Matthew D. Smyth, Michael R. Chicoine, Eric C. Leuthardt, and Albert H. Kim

OBJECTIVE

The precision of laser probe insertion for interstitial thermal therapy of deep-seated lesions is limited by the method of stereotactic guidance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of customized STarFix 3D-printed stereotactic platforms to guide laser probe insertion into mesiotemporal and posterior fossa targets.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 5 patients (12–55 years of age) treated with laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in which STarFix platforms were used for probe insertion. Bone fiducials were implanted in each patient's skull, and subsequent CT scans were used to guide the design of each platform and incorporate desired treatment trajectories. Once generated, the platforms were mounted on the patients' craniums and used to position the laser probe during surgery. Placement of the laser probe and the LITT procedure were monitored with intraoperative MRI. Perioperative and follow-up MRI were performed to identify and monitor changes in target lesions.

RESULTS

Accurate placement of the laser probe was observed in all cases. For all patients, thermal ablation was accomplished without intraoperative complications. Of the 4 patients with symptomatic lesions, 2 experienced complete resolution of symptoms, and 1 reported improved symptoms compared with baseline.

CONCLUSIONS

Customized stereotactic platforms were seamlessly incorporated into the authors' previously established LITT workflow and allowed for accurate treatment delivery.

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K. Anthony Kim, Matthew McDonald, Justin H. T. Pik, Paul Khoueir, and Michael Y. Wang

Object

To assess the safety and efficacy of the DIAM implant, the authors compared the mean 12-month outcomes in patients who underwent lumbar surgery with DIAM placement and in those who underwent lumbar surgery only.

Methods

Of 62 patients who underwent simple lumbar surgery (laminectomy and/or microdiscectomy) in a 24-month period, 31 underwent concomitant surgical placement of a DIAM interspinous process spacer (33 devices total). Radiographic imaging, pain scores, and clinical assessments were obtained postoperatively to a mean of 12 months (range 8–25 months). Patients who did not undergo implantation of an interspinous process spacer (Group C) were compared with and stratified against patients who underwent placement of a DIAM implant (Group D).

In Group D, no statistically significant differences were noted in anterior or posterior disc height when comparing patients pre- and postoperatively. Compared with Group C, a relative kyphosis of less than 2° was noted on postoperative images obtained in Group D. No statistically significant differences in visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores or MacNab outcomes were noted between Groups C and D at a mean of 12 months of follow up. Complications in Group D included three intraoperative spinous process fractures and one infection.

Conclusions

After simple lumbar surgery, the placement of a DIAM interspinous process spacer did not alter disc height or sagittal alignment at the mean 12-month follow-up interval. No adverse local or systemic reaction to the DIAM was noted. No difference in VAS or MacNab outcome scores was noted between the groups treated with or without the DIAM implants, particularly when the DIAM was used to alleviate low-back pain.

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Mark Lee, Hazel T. Rivera-Rosario, Matthew H. Kim, Gregory P. Bewley, Jane Wang, Zellman Warhaft, Bradley Stylman, Angela I. Park, Aoife MacMahon, Ashutosh Kacker, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The authors developed a negative-pressure, patient face-mounted antechamber and tested its efficacy as a tool for sequestering aerated particles and improving the safety of endonasal surgical procedures.

METHODS

Antechamber prototyping was performed with 3D printing and silicone-elastomer molding. The lowest vacuum settings needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets (flow rate ≥ 0.38 m/sec) were determined using an anemometer. A cross-validation approach with two different techniques, optical particle sizing and high-speed videography/shadowgraphy, was used to identify the minimum pressures required to sequester aerosolized materials. At the minimum vacuum settings identified, physical parameters were quantified, including flow rate, antechamber pressure, and time to clearance.

RESULTS

The minimum tube pressures needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets were −1.0 and −14.5 mm Hg for the surgical chambers with (“closed face”) and without (“open face”) the silicone diaphragm covering the operative port, respectively. Optical particle sizing did not detect aerosol generation from surgical drilling at these vacuum settings; however, videography estimated higher thresholds required to contain aerosols, at −6 and −35 mm Hg. Simulation of surgical movement disrupted aerosol containment visualized by shadowgraphy in the open-faced but not the closed-faced version of the mask; however, the closed-face version of the mask required increased negative pressure (−15 mm Hg) to contain aerosols during surgical simulation.

CONCLUSIONS

Portable, negative-pressure surgical compartments can contain aerosols from surgical drilling with pressures attainable by standard hospital and clinic vacuums. Future studies are needed to carefully consider the reliability of different techniques for detecting aerosols.

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Ricardo J. Komotar, David K. Hahn, Grace H. Kim, Robert M. Starke, Matthew C. Garrett, Maxwell B. Merkow, Marc L. Otten, Robert R. Sciacca, and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Chronic hydrocephalus requiring shunt placement is a common complication following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Controversy exists over whether microsurgical fenestration of the lamina terminalis during aneurysm surgery affords a reduction in the development of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. To resolve this debate, the authors performed a systematic review and quantitative analysis of the literature to determine the efficacy of lamina terminalis fenestration in reducing aneurysmal SAH–associated shunt-dependent hydrocephalus.

Methods

A MEDLINE (1950–2007) database search was performed using the following keywords, singly and in combination: “ventriculoperitoneal shunt,” “hydrocephalus,” “subarachnoid hemorrhage,” “aneurysm,” “fenestration,” and “lamina terminalis.” Additional studies were manually singled out by scrutinizing references from identified manuscripts, major neurosurgical journals and texts, and personal files. A recent study from the authors' institution was also incorporated into the review. Data from included studies were analyzed using the chi-square analysis and Student t-test. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was used to compare overall incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus.

Results

The literature search revealed 19 studies, but only 11 were included in this review, involving 1973 patients. The fenestrated and nonfenestrated cohorts (combined from the various studies) differed significantly with regard to patient sex, age, and clinical grade as well as aneurysm location (p = 0.0065, 0.0028, 0.0003, and 0.017, respectively). The overall incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in the fenestrated cohort was 10%, as compared with 14% in the nonfenestrated cohort (p = 0.089). The relative risk of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in the fenestrated cohort was 0.88 (95% CI 0.62–1.24).

Conclusions

This systematic review revealed no significant association between lamina terminalis fenestration and a reduced incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. The interpretation of these results, however, is restricted by unmatched cohort differences as well as other inherent study limitations. Although the overall literature supports lamina terminalis fenestration, a number of authors have questioned the technique's benefits, thus rendering its efficacy in reducing shunt-dependent hydrocephalus unclear. A well-designed, multicenter, randomized controlled trial is needed to definitively address the efficacy of this microsurgical technique.

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Grace H. Kim, David K. Hahn, Christopher P. Kellner, Ricardo J. Komotar, Robert Starke, Matthew C. Garrett, Jiang Yao, Justin Cleveland, Stephan A. Mayer, and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia Type II (HIT II) is a serious complication that occurs in 0.2–3% of patients treated with heparin and is associated with a high risk of thrombotic events. One center recently reported an incidence of HIT II of 15% in a population of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Because these patients are typically exposed to heparin during angiography, controversy exists regarding whether prophylaxis with enoxaparin rather than heparin affords any reduction in the risk of developing HIT II. In this study, the authors investigated the effect of heparin compared with enoxaparin on the incidence of HIT II in patients with aSAH.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical records of 300 patients treated for aSAH who received thromboprophylaxis with either heparin or enoxaparin, and identified patients who developed HIT II. The incidences of HIT II in the 2 treatment groups were then compared.

Results

One hundred sixty-six patients with aSAH were treated with heparin, and 134 patients were treated with enoxaparin. Sixteen (5.3%) of 300 patients met the diagnostic criteria for HIT II. Of those treated with heparin, 8 (4.8%) of 166 developed HIT II, compared with 8 (6%) of 134 treated with enoxaparin (difference not significant).

Conclusions

The authors report a lower incidence of HIT II in patients with aSAH than has previously been reported. The data also suggest that patients with aSAH who receive heparin are at no greater risk of developing HIT II than those who receive enoxaparin. This finding challenges the merit of choosing enoxaparin rather than heparin for thromboprophylaxis in patients with a SAH.