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Neil Majmundar, Purvee D. Patel, Vincent Dodson, Ashley Tran, Ira Goldstein and Rachid Assina

OBJECTIVE

Although parasitic infections are endemic to parts of the developing world and are more common in areas with developing economies and poor sanitary conditions, rare cases may occur in developed regions of the world.

METHODS

Articles eligible for the authors’ literature review were initially searched using PubMed with the phrases “parasitic infections” and “spine.” After the authors developed a list of parasites associated with spinal cord infections from the initial search, they expanded it to include individual diagnoses, using search terms including “neurocysticercosis,” “schistosomiasis,” “echinococcosis,” and “toxoplasmosis.”

RESULTS

Two recent cases of parasitic spinal infections from the authors’ institution are included.

CONCLUSIONS

Key findings on imaging modalities, laboratory studies suggestive of parasitic infection, and most importantly a thorough patient history are required to correctly diagnose parasitic spinal infections.

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Jonathan P. S. Knisely, Rohan Ramakrishna and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Martin H. Pham, Vivek A. Mehta, Neil N. Patel, Andre M. Jakoi, Patrick C. Hsieh, John C. Liu, Jeffrey C. Wang and Frank L. Acosta

The Dynesys dynamic stabilization system is an alternative to rigid instrumentation and fusion for the treatment of lumbar degenerative disease. Although many outcomes studies have shown good results, currently lacking is a comprehensive report on complications associated with this system, especially in terms of how it compares with reported complication rates of fusion. For the present study, the authors reviewed the literature to find all studies involving the Dynesys dynamic stabilization system that reported complications or adverse events. Twenty-one studies were included for a total of 1166 patients with a mean age of 55.5 years (range 39–71 years) and a mean follow-up period of 33.7 months (range 12.0–81.6 months). Analysis of these studies demonstrated a surgical-site infection rate of 4.3%, pedicle screw loosening rate of 11.7%, pedicle screw fracture rate of 1.6%, and adjacent-segment disease (ASD) rate of 7.0%. Of studies reporting revision surgeries, 11.3% of patients underwent a reoperation. Of patients who developed ASD, 40.6% underwent a reoperation for treatment. The Dynesys dynamic stabilization system appears to have a fairly similar complication-rate profile compared with published literature on lumbar fusion, and is associated with a slightly lower incidence of ASD.

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Joon K. Song, Aman B. Patel, Gary R. Duckwiler, Y. Pierre Gobin, Reza Jahan, Neil A. Martin, Edwin D. Cacayorin and Fernando Viñuela

✓ The authors present the case of a 69-year-old man who suffered from bilateral cortical venous hypertension due to a brain pial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) with a high-flow fistula. The AVM became complicated by the development of a high-grade stenosis of the posterior superior sagittal sinus (SSS). A comparison of cerebral angiograms obtained at different times revealed that the severe SSS stenosis had developed within a 5-year period and was located distal to the nidus of the left parietal AVM nidus, away from the entrance of the dominant superior superficial cortical draining vein into the SSS. The high-flow fistula was occluded with detachable coils and the AVM nidus was further embolized with acrylic. The SSS stenosis was mechanically dilated by means of balloon angioplasty and stent placement. This case provides angiographic evidence to support the hypothesis that a pial arteriovenous fistula in an adult can cause high-flow occlusive venopathy in a major sinus within a relatively short time and that this acquired high-flow occlusive venopathy can develop at an atypical location distant from the nidus of the AVM.

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Neil Majmundar, Pratit Patel, Vincent Dodson, Ivo Bach, James K. Liu, Luke Tomycz and Priyank Khandelwal

OBJECTIVE

The transradial approach (TRA) has been widely adopted by interventional cardiologists but is only now being accepted by neurointerventionalists. The benefits of the TRA over the traditional transfemoral approach (TFA) include reduced risk of adverse clinical events and faster recovery. The authors assessed the safety and feasibility of the TRA for neurointerventional cases in the pediatric population.

METHODS

Pediatric patients undergoing cerebrovascular interventions since implementation of the TRA at the authors’ institution were retrospectively reviewed. Pertinent patient information, procedure indications, vessels catheterized, fluoroscopy time, and complications were reviewed.

RESULTS

There were 4 patients in this case series, and their ages ranged from 13 to 15 years. Each patient tolerated the procedure performed using the TRA without any postprocedural issues, and only 1 patient experienced radial artery spasm, which resolved with the administration of intraarterial verapamil. None of the patients required conversion to the TFA.

CONCLUSIONS

The TRA can be considered a safe alternative to the TFA for neurointerventional procedures in the pediatric population and provides potential advantages. However, as pediatric patients require special consideration due to their smaller-caliber arteries, routine use of ultrasound guidance is advised when attempting the TRA.

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Fawaz Al-Mufti, Krishna Amuluru, Abhinav Changa, Megan Lander, Neil Patel, Ethan Wajswol, Sarmad Al-Marsoummi, Basim Alzubaidi, I. Paul Singh, Rolla Nuoman and Chirag Gandhi

OBJECTIVE

Little is known regarding the natural history of posttraumatic vasospasm. The authors review the pathophysiology of posttraumatic vasospasm (PTV), its associated risk factors, the efficacy of the technologies used to detect PTV, and the management/treatment options available today.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines using the following databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, and CENTRAL (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). Outcome variables extracted from each study included epidemiology, pathophysiology, time course, predictors of PTV and delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), optimal means of surveillance and evaluation of PTV, application of multimodality monitoring, modern management and treatment options, and patient outcomes after PTV. Study types were limited to retrospective chart reviews, database reviews, and prospective studies.

RESULTS

A total of 40 articles were included in the systematic review. In many cases of mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), imaging or ultrasonographic studies are not performed. The lack of widespread assessment makes finding the true overall incidence of PTV a difficult endeavor. The clinical consequences of PTV are important, given the morbidity that can result from it. DCI manifests as new-onset neurological deterioration that occurs beyond the timeframe of initial brain injury. While there are many techniques that attempt to diagnose cerebral vasospasm, digital subtraction angiography is the gold standard. Some predictors of PTV include SAH, intraventricular hemorrhage, low admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (< 9), and young age (< 30 years).

CONCLUSIONS

Given these results, clinicians should suspect PTV in young patients presenting with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), especially SAH and/or intraventricular hemorrhage, who present with a GCS score less than 9. Monitoring and regulation of CNS metabolism following TBI/ICH-induced vasospasm may play an important adjunct role to the primary prevention of vasospasm.

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Neil S. Patel, Matthew L. Carlson, Bruce E. Pollock, Colin L. W. Driscoll, Brian A. Neff, Robert L. Foote, Christine M. Lohse and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

The morbidity of gross-total resection of jugular paraganglioma (JP) is often unacceptable due to the potential for irreversible lower cranial neuropathy. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used at the authors’ institution since 1990 for the treatment of JP and other benign intracranial tumors. Conventional means of assessing tumor progression using linear measurements or elliptical approximations are imprecise due to the irregular shape and insinuating growth pattern of JP. The objective of this study was to assess long-term tumor control in these patients by using slice-by-slice 3D volumetric segmentation of serial MRI data.

METHODS

Radiographic data and clinical records were reviewed retrospectively at a single, tertiary-care academic referral center for patients treated from 1990 to 2017. Volumetric analyses by integration of consecutive tumor cross-sectional areas (tumor segmentation) of serial MRI data were performed. Tumor progression was defined as volumetric growth of 15% or greater over the imaging interval. Primary outcomes analyzed included survival free of radiographic and clinical progression. Secondary outcomes included new or worsened cranial neuropathy.

RESULTS

A total of 85 patients were treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for JP at the authors’ institution over the last 27 years. Sixty patients had pretreatment and serial posttreatment contrast-enhanced MRI follow-up suitable for volumetric analysis. A total of 214 MR images were analyzed to segment tumor images in a slice-by-slice fashion to calculate integral tumor volume. The median follow-up duration was 66 months (range 7–202 months). At 5 years the tumor progression-free survival rate was 98%. Three tumors exhibited progression more than 10 years after GKRS. Estimated survival free of radiographic progression rates (95% confidence interval [CI]; n = number still at risk) at 5, 10, and 15 years following radiosurgery were 98% (95% CI 94%–100%; n = 34), 94% (95% CI 85%–100%; n = 16), and 74% (95% CI 56%–98%; n = 6), respectively. One patient with tumor progression required treatment intervention using external beam radiation therapy, constituting the only case of clinical progression. Two patients (3%) without preexisting lower cranial nerve dysfunction developed new ipsilateral vocal fold paralysis following radiosurgery.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS achieves excellent long-term tumor control for JP without a high risk for new or worsened cranial neuropathy when used in primary, combined modality, or recurrent settings. Long-term follow-up is critical due to the potential for late radiographic progression (i.e., more than 10 years after SRS). As none of the patients with late progression have required salvage therapy, the clinical implications of this degree of tumor growth have yet to be determined.

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Neil S. Patel, Matthew L. Carlson, Bruce E. Pollock, Colin L. W. Driscoll, Brian A. Neff, Robert L. Foote, Christine M. Lohse and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

The morbidity of gross-total resection of jugular paraganglioma (JP) is often unacceptable due to the potential for irreversible lower cranial neuropathy. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used at the authors’ institution since 1990 for the treatment of JP and other benign intracranial tumors. Conventional means of assessing tumor progression using linear measurements or elliptical approximations are imprecise due to the irregular shape and insinuating growth pattern of JP. The objective of this study was to assess long-term tumor control in these patients by using slice-by-slice 3D volumetric segmentation of serial MRI data.

METHODS

Radiographic data and clinical records were reviewed retrospectively at a single, tertiary-care academic referral center for patients treated from 1990 to 2017. Volumetric analyses by integration of consecutive tumor cross-sectional areas (tumor segmentation) of serial MRI data were performed. Tumor progression was defined as volumetric growth of 15% or greater over the imaging interval. Primary outcomes analyzed included survival free of radiographic and clinical progression. Secondary outcomes included new or worsened cranial neuropathy.

RESULTS

A total of 85 patients were treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for JP at the authors’ institution over the last 27 years. Sixty patients had pretreatment and serial posttreatment contrast-enhanced MRI follow-up suitable for volumetric analysis. A total of 214 MR images were analyzed to segment tumor images in a slice-by-slice fashion to calculate integral tumor volume. The median follow-up duration was 66 months (range 7–202 months). At 5 years the tumor progression-free survival rate was 98%. Three tumors exhibited progression more than 10 years after GKRS. Estimated survival free of radiographic progression rates (95% confidence interval [CI]; n = number still at risk) at 5, 10, and 15 years following radiosurgery were 98% (95% CI 94%–100%; n = 34), 94% (95% CI 85%–100%; n = 16), and 74% (95% CI 56%–98%; n = 6), respectively. One patient with tumor progression required treatment intervention using external beam radiation therapy, constituting the only case of clinical progression. Two patients (3%) without preexisting lower cranial nerve dysfunction developed new ipsilateral vocal fold paralysis following radiosurgery.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS achieves excellent long-term tumor control for JP without a high risk for new or worsened cranial neuropathy when used in primary, combined modality, or recurrent settings. Long-term follow-up is critical due to the potential for late radiographic progression (i.e., more than 10 years after SRS). As none of the patients with late progression have required salvage therapy, the clinical implications of this degree of tumor growth have yet to be determined.

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Pang-Yun Chou, Rami R. Hallac, Shitel Patel, Min-Jeong Cho, Neil Stewart, James M. Smartt, James R. Seaward, Alex A. Kane and Christopher A. Derderian

OBJECTIVE

Outcome studies for sagittal strip craniectomy have largely relied on the 2D measure of the cephalic index (CI) as the primary indicator of head shape. The goal of this study was to measure the 2D and 3D changes in head shape that occur after sagittal strip craniectomy and postoperative helmet therapy.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients treated with sagittal strip craniectomy at their institution between January 2012 and October 2015. Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) isolated sagittal synostosis; 2) age at surgery < 200 days; and 3) helmet management by a single orthotist. The CI was calculated from 3D images. Color maps and dot maps were generated from 3D images to demonstrate the regional differences in the magnitude of change in head shape over time.

RESULTS

Twenty-one patients met the study inclusion criteria. The mean CI was 71.9 (range 63.0–77.9) preoperatively and 81.1 (range 73.0–89.8) at the end of treatment. The mean time to stabilization of the CI after surgery was 57.2 ± 32.7 days. The mean maximum distances between the surfaces of the preoperative and 1-week postoperative and between the surfaces of the preoperative and end-of-treatment 3D images were 13.0 ± 4.1 mm and 24.71 ± 6.83 mm, respectively. The zone of maximum change was distributed equally in the transverse and vertical dimensions of the posterior vault.

CONCLUSIONS

The CI normalizes rapidly after sagittal strip craniectomy (57.2 days), with equal distribution of the change in CI occurring before and during helmet therapy. Three-dimensional analysis revealed significant vertical and transverse expansion of the posterior cranial vault. Further studies are needed to assess the 3D changes that occur after other sagittal strip craniectomy techniques.