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Christopher E. Wolfla, Biagio Azzarelli and Mitesh V. Shah

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Gabriel Zada, Mustafa K Başkaya and Mitesh V. Shah

Meningiomas represent the most common primary intracranial neoplasm treated by neurosurgeons. Although multimodal treatment of meningiomas includes surgery, radiation-based treatments, and occasionally medical therapy, surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for most symptomatic meningiomas. Because of the intricate relationship of the dura mater and arachnoid mater with the central nervous system and cranial nerves, meningiomas can arise anywhere along the skull base or convexities, and occasionally even within the ventricular system, thereby mandating a catalog of surgical approaches that neurosurgeons may employ to individualize treatment for patients. Skull base meningiomas represent some of the most challenging pathology encountered by neurosurgeons, on account of their depth, invasion, vascularity, texture/consistency, and their relationship to bony anatomy, cranial nerves, and blood vessels. Resection of complex skull base meningiomas often mandates adequate bony removal to achieve sufficient exposure of the tumor and surrounding region, in order to minimize brain retraction and optimally identify, protect, control, and manipulate sensitive neurovascular structures. A variety of traditional skull base approaches has evolved to address complex skull base tumors, of which meningiomas are considered the paragon in terms of both complexity and frequency.

In this supplemental video issue of Neurosurgical Focus, contributing authors from around the world provide instructional narratives demonstrating resection of a variety of skull base meningiomas arising from traditionally challenging origins, including the clinoid processes, tuberculum sellae, dorsum sellae, petroclival region, falco-tentorial region, cerebellopontine angle, and foramen magnum. In addition, two cases of extended endoscopic endonasal approaches for tuberculum sellae and dorsum sellae meningiomas are presented, representing the latest evolution in accessing the skull base for selected tumors. Along with key pearls for safe tumor resection, an equally important component of open and endoscopic skull base operations for meningiomas addressed by the contributing authors is the reconstruction aspect, which must be performed meticulously to prevent delayed cerebrospinal fluid leakage and/or infections. This curated assortment of instructional videos represents the authors’ optimal treatment paradigms pertaining to the selection of approach, setup, exposure, and principles to guide tumor resection for a wide spectrum of complex meningiomas.

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Bradley N. Bohnstedt, Charles G. Kulwin, Mitesh V. Shah and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECT

Surgical exposure of the peritrigonal or periatrial region has been challenging due to the depth of the region and overlying important functional cortices and white matter tracts. The authors demonstrate the operative feasibility of a contralateral posterior interhemispheric transfalcine transprecuneus approach (PITTA) to this region and present a series of patients treated via this operative route.

METHODS

Fourteen consecutive patients underwent the PITTA and were included in this study. Pre- and postoperative clinical and radiological data points were retrospectively collected. Complications and extent of resection were reviewed.

RESULTS

The mean age of patients at the time of surgery was 39 years (range 11–64 years). Six of the 14 patients were female. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.6 months (range 0.5–19.6 months). Pathology included 6 arteriovenous malformations, 4 gliomas, 2 meningiomas, 1 metastatic lesion, and 1 gray matter heterotopia. Based on the results shown on postoperative MRI, 1 lesion (7%) was intentionally subtotally resected, but ≥ 95% resection was achieved in all others (93%) and gross-total resection was accomplished in 7 (54%) of 13. One patient (7%) experienced a temporary approach-related complication. At last follow-up, 1 patient (7%) had died due to complications of his underlying malignancy unrelated to his cranial surgery, 2 (14%) demonstrated a Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score of 4, and 11 (79%) manifested a GOS score of 5.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on this patient series, the contralateral PITTA potentially offers numerous advantages, including a wider, safer operative corridor, minimal need for ipsilateral brain manipulation, and better intraoperative navigation and working angles.

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Todd J. Wannemuehler, Kolin E. Rubel, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Jonathan Y. Ting, Troy D. Payner, Mitesh V. Shah and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECTIVE

Craniopharyngiomas have historically been resected via transcranial microsurgery (TCM). In the last 2 decades, the extended endoscopic endonasal (transtuberculum) approach to these tumors has become more widely accepted, yet there remains controversy over which approach leads to better outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in outcomes were identified between TCM and extended endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEEAs) in adult patients undergoing primary resection of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas at a single institution.

METHODS

A retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of their histopathologically confirmed craniopharyngiomas at the authors' institution between 2005 and 2015 was performed. Pediatric patients, revision cases, and patients with tumors greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean volume were excluded. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those undergoing primary TCM and those undergoing a primary EEEA. Preoperative patient demographics, presenting symptoms, and preoperative tumor volumes were determined. Extent of resection, tumor histological subtype, postoperative complications, and additional outcome data were obtained. Statistical significance between variables was determined utilizing Student t-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests when applicable.

RESULTS

After exclusions, 21 patients satisfied the aforementioned inclusion criteria; 12 underwent TCM for resection while 9 benefitted from the EEEA. There were no significant differences in patient demographics, presenting symptoms, tumor subtype, or preoperative tumor volumes; no tumors had significant lateral or prechiasmatic extension. The extent of resection was similar between these 2 groups, as was the necessity for additional surgery or adjuvant therapy. CSF leakage was encountered only in the EEEA group (2 patients). Importantly, the rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher in the EEEA group than in the TCM group (88.9% vs 25.0%; p = 0.0075). Postoperative visual deterioration only occurred in the TCM group (3 patients). Recurrence was uncommon, with similar rates between the groups. Other complication rates, overall complication risk, and additional outcome measures were similar between these groups as well.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on this study, most outcome variables appear to be similar between TCM and EEEA routes for similarly sized tumors in adults. The multidisciplinary EEEA to craniopharyngioma resection represents a safe and compelling alternative to TCM. The authors' data demonstrate that postoperative visual improvement is statistically more likely in the EEEA despite the increased risk of CSF leakage. These results add to the growing evidence that the EEEA may be considered the approach of choice for resection of select confined primary craniopharyngiomas without significant lateral extension in centers with experienced surgeons. Further prospective, multiinstitutional collaboration is needed to power studies capable of fully evaluating indications and appropriate approaches for craniopharyngiomas.

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Kashif A. Shaikh, Gregory M. Helbig, Scott A. Shapiro, Mitesh V. Shah, Saad A. Khairi and Eric M. Horn

Object

Organ transplantation for renal, liver, cardiac, and pulmonary failure has become more common in recent years, and patients are living longer as a result of improved organ preservation methods, immunosuppressive regimens, and general posttransplant care. Some of these patients undergo spine fusion surgery following organ transplantation, and there is little available information concerning outcomes. The authors report on their experience with and the outcomes of spine fusion in this rare and unique immunosuppressed patient group.

Methods

Using the Current Procedural Terminology and ICD-9 codes for solid organ transplants, bone marrow transplantations (BMTs), and spine fusion surgeries, the authors searched their patient database between 1997 and 2008. Data points of interest included primary diagnosis, type of organ transplant, immunosuppressant drug therapy, complications from spine surgery, and radiographic analysis of spine fusion. Spine fusion was assessed with CT or radiography at the latest follow-up.

Results

The database search results revealed 5999 patients who underwent heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestine, or bone marrow transplant between 1997 and 2008. Eighteen of the 5999 patients underwent a spine fusion surgery while receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Organ transplants included kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, and allogenic BMT. There were 3 deaths unrelated to spine fusion within 1 year of the surgery and 1 death immediately after spine surgery. Graft-versus-host disease developed in 1 patient when prednisone was stopped prior to the spine surgery. Thirteen patients underwent follow-up radiographic imaging at an average of 25 months after spine surgery; 12 demonstrated radiographic fusion.

Conclusions

The results suggest that spine fusion rates are adequate despite immunosuppressive therapy in patients undergoing spinal fusion after transplant procedures. The data also illustrate the high morbidity and mortality rates found in the organ transplant patient population.

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Mahdi Malekpour, Charles Kulwin, Bradley N. Bohnstedt, Golnar Radmand, Rishabh Sethia, Stephen K. Mendenhall, Jonathan Weyhenmeyer, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Thomas Leipzig, Troy D. Payner, Mitesh V. Shah, John Scott, Andrew DeNardo, Daniel Sahlein and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECTIVE

Aneurysmal rebleeding before definitive obliteration of the aneurysm is a cause of mortality and morbidity. There are limited data on the role of short-term antifibrinolytic therapy among patients undergoing endovascular intervention.

METHODS

All consecutive patients receiving endovascular therapy for their ruptured saccular aneurysm at the authors' institution between 2000 and 2011 were included in this study. These patients underwent endovascular coiling of their aneurysm within 72 hours of admission. In patients receiving ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA), the EACA administration was continued until the time of the endovascular procedure. Complications and clinical outcomes of endovascular treatment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) were compared between EACA-treated and untreated patients.

RESULTS

During the 12-year study period, 341 patients underwent endovascular coiling. Short-term EACA treatment was administered in 146 patients and was withheld in the other 195 patients. EACA treatment did not change the risk of preinterventional rebleeding in this study (OR 0.782, 95% CI 0.176–3.480; p = 0.747). Moreover, EACA treatment did not increase the rate of thromboembolic events. On the other hand, patients who received EACA treatment had a significantly longer duration of hospital stay compared with their counterparts who were not treated with EACA (median 19 days, interquartile range [IQR] 12.5–30 days vs median 14 days, IQR 10–23 days; p < 0.001). EACA treatment was associated with increased odds of shunt requirement (OR 2.047, 95% CI 1.043–4.018; p = 0.037) and decreased odds of developing cardiac complications (OR 0.138, 95% CI 0.031–0.604; p = 0.009) and respiratory insufficiency (OR 0.471, 95% CI 0.239–0.926; p = 0.029). Short-term EACA treatment did not affect the Glasgow Outcome Scale score at discharge, 6 months, or 1 year following discharge.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, short-term EACA treatment in patients who suffered from aSAH and received endovascular aneurysm repair did not decrease the risk of preinterventional rebleeding or increase the risk of thrombotic events. EACA did not affect outcome. Randomized clinical trials are required to provide robust clinical recommendation on short-term use of EACA.