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Salma M. Bakr, Ajay Patel, Mohamed A. Zaazoue, Kathryn Wagner, Sandi K. Lam, Daniel J. Curry, and Jeffrey S. Raskin

OBJECTIVE

The grid-based orthogonal placement of depth electrodes (DEs), initially defined by Jean Talairach and Jean Bancaud, is known as stereo-electroencephalography (sEEG). Although acceptance in the United States was initially slow, advances in imaging and technology have spawned a proliferation of North American epilepsy centers offering sEEG. Despite publications highlighting minimal access techniques and varied indications, standard work for phase I targeted DE has not been defined. In this article, the authors propose the term “dynamic sEEG” and define standard work tools and related common data elements to promote uniformity in the field.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary approach from July to August 2016 resulted in the production of 4 standard work tools for dynamic sEEG using ROSA: 1) a 34-page illustrated manual depicting a detailed workflow; 2) a planning form to collocate all the phase I data; 3) a naming convention for DEs that encodes the data defining it; and 4) a reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. A retrospective review of sEEG case efficiency was performed comparing those using standard work tools (between July 2016 and April 2017) with historical controls (between March 2015 and June 2016). The standard work tools were then instituted at another epilepsy surgery center, and the results were recorded.

RESULTS

The process for dynamic sEEG was formally reviewed, including anesthesia, positioning, perioperative nursing guidelines, surgical steps, and postoperative care for the workflow using cranial fixation and ROSA-guided placement. There was a 40% improvement in time per electrode, from 44.7 ± 9.0 minutes to 26.9 ± 6.5 minutes (p = 0.0007) following the development and use of the manual, the naming convention, and the reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. This standardized protocol was implemented at another institution and yielded a time per electrode of 22.3 ± 4.4 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose the term dynamic sEEG for stereotactic depth electrodes placed according to phase I workup data with the intention of converting to ablation. This workflow efficiency can be optimized using the standard work tools presented. The authors also propose a novel naming convention that encodes critical data and allows portability among providers. Use of a planning form for common data elements optimizes research, and global adoption could facilitate multicenter studies correlating phase I modality and seizure onset zone identification.

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Nasser M. F. El-Ghandour, Ahmed A. M. Ezzat, Mohamed A. Zaazoue, Pablo Gonzalez-Lopez, Balraj S. Jhawar, and Mohamed A. R. Soliman

OBJECTIVE

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused dramatic changes in medical education. Social distancing policies have resulted in the rapid adoption of virtual learning (VL) by neurosurgeons as a method to exchange knowledge, but it has been met with variable acceptance. The authors surveyed neurosurgeons from around the world regarding their opinions about VL and how they see the future of neurosurgical conferences.

METHODS

The authors conducted a global online survey assessing the experience of neurosurgeons and trainees with VL activities. They also questioned respondents about how they see the future of on-site conferences and scientific meetings. They analyzed responses against demographic data, regions in which the respondents practice, and socioeconomic factors by using frequency histograms and multivariate logistic regression models.

RESULTS

Eight hundred ninety-one responses from 96 countries were received. There has been an increase in VL activities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most respondents perceive this type of learning as positive. Respondents from lower-income nations and regions such as Europe and Central Asia were more receptive to these changes and wanted to see further movement of educational activities (conferences and scientific meetings) into a VL format. The latter desire may be driven by financial savings from not traveling. Most queried neurosurgeons indicated that virtual events are likely to partially replace on-site events.

CONCLUSIONS

The pandemic has improved perceptions of VL, and despite its limitations, VL has been well received by the majority of neurosurgeons. Lower-income nations in particular are embracing this technology. VL is still evolving, but its integration with traditional in-person meetings seems inevitable.