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Andrew C. Zacest, Michael Besser, Graham Stevens, John F. Thompson, William H. McCarthy, and Gordana Culjak

Object. The aim of this study was to review the outcome of patients who underwent surgery for treatment of cerebral metastatic melanoma.

Methods. A retrospective analysis was performed in 147 patients with cerebral metastases from melanoma who were treated surgically at a single institution between 1979 and 1999. Almost all patients underwent postoperative whole-brain radiation therapy. The mean patient age was 53 years (range 17–76 years); 69% of patients were male. A single cerebral metastasis was identified in 84% of patients, although 56% had synchronous extracranial metastases. The 30-day postoperative mortality rate was 2% and neurological symptoms resolved or improved in 78% of patients. Recurrence of intracerebral disease was seen in 55% of patients and 26% died of intracerebral metastases. Twenty-four patients underwent reoperation for recurrent cerebral disease. The median survival duration from the time of surgery for all patients was 8.5 months; the 3- and 5-year survival rates were 9% and 5%, respectively. Factors that significantly influenced survival on univariate analysis were the number of cerebral metastases (p = 0.015), a macroscopically complete excision (p < 0.05), and reoperation for recurrence (p = 0.02). The presence of extracranial metastases did not significantly influence survival. On multivariate analysis only the number of cerebral metastases significantly affected survival (p = 0.04).

Conclusions. For the majority of patients with cerebral metastases from melanoma, surgery with adjuvant radiation therapy is a treatment option that improves neurological symptoms and produces minimal morbidity. Long-term survival (> 3 years) most likely occurs in patients with a single cerebral metastasis and no demonstrable extracranial disease. Reoperation for recurrent cerebral disease may be appropriate in selected cases.

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Philip K. Louie, Basel Sheikh Alshabab, Michael H. McCarthy, Sohrab Virk, James E. Dowdell, Michael E. Steinhaus, Francis Lovecchio, Andre M. Samuel, Kyle W. Morse, Frank J. Schwab, Todd J. Albert, Sheeraz A. Qureshi, Sravisht Iyer, Yoshihiro Katsuura, Russel C. Huang, Matthew E. Cunningham, Yu-Cheng Yao, Karen Weissmann, Renaud Lafage, Virginie Lafage, and Han Jo Kim


The objective of this study was to initially validate a recent morphological classification of cervical spine deformity pathology.


The records of 10 patients for each of the 3 classification subgroups (flat neck, focal deformity, and cervicothoracic), as well as for 8 patients with coronal deformity only, were extracted from a prospective multicenter database of patients with cervical deformity (CD). A panel of 15 physicians of various training and professional levels (i.e., residents, fellows, and surgeons) categorized each patient into one of the 4 groups. The Fleiss kappa coefficient was utilized to evaluate intra- and interrater reliability. Accuracy, defined as properly selecting the main driver of deformity, was reported overall, by morphotype, and by reviewer experience.


The overall classification demonstrated a moderate to substantial agreement (round 1: interrater Fleiss kappa = 0.563, 95% CI 0.559–0.568; round 2: interrater Fleiss kappa = 0.612, 95% CI 0.606–0.619). Stratification by level of training demonstrated similar mean interrater coefficients (residents 0.547, fellows 0.600, surgeons 0.524). The mean intrarater score was 0.686 (range 0.531–0.823). A substantial agreement between rounds 1 and 2 was demonstrated in 81.8% of the raters, with a kappa score > 0.61. Stratification by level of training demonstrated similar mean intrarater coefficients (residents 0.715, fellows 0.640, surgeons 0.682). Of 570 possible questions, reviewers provided 419 correct answers (73.5%). When considering the true answer as being selected by at least one of the two main drivers of deformity, the overall accuracy increased to 86.0%.


This initial validation of a CD morphological classification system reiterates the importance of dynamic plain radiographs for the evaluation of patients with CD. The overall reliability of this CD morphological classification has been demonstrated. The overall accuracy of the classification system was not impacted by rater experience, demonstrating its simplicity.