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Nirmeen Zagzoog, Ahmed Attar and Kesh Reddy

OBJECTIVE

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for the treatment of hydrocephalus was introduced in 1923, the method was relegated to the sidelines in favor of extracranial techniques. Since the 1990s to the beginning of the current century, however, ETV has undergone a remarkable resurgence to become the first-line treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus, and for some groups, the procedure has been applied for communicating hydrocephalus as well. In the present study, the authors identified the top 50 cited ETV works. These articles represent works of significance that document current practices and provide guidance for future inquiry.

METHODS

The top 50 cited articles pertaining to ETV were identified using bibliometric data obtained with the Harzing’s Publish or Perish software search engine. These high-impact works were evaluated for publication properties including year, country of authorship, category, and journal.

RESULTS

The top 50 works were cited an average of 141.02 times with a mean of 9.45 citations per year. Articles published in 2005 were the most numerous in the top 50 group. These top articles were most frequently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. Most of the articles were clinical studies reporting on patients in the pediatric age group. The country of most authorship was the US, although many other countries were among the top 50 works.

CONCLUSIONS

The present report discusses the bibliometric analysis of the top 50 ETV articles. This list may be useful to those interested in the progress and current status of this procedure.

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Nirmeen Zagzoog, Ahmed Attar and Kesh Reddy

OBJECTIVE

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for the treatment of hydrocephalus was introduced in 1923, the method was relegated to the sidelines in favor of extracranial techniques. Since the 1990s to the beginning of the current century, however, ETV has undergone a remarkable resurgence to become the first-line treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus, and for some groups, the procedure has been applied for communicating hydrocephalus as well. In the present study, the authors identified the top 50 cited ETV works. These articles represent works of significance that document current practices and provide guidance for future inquiry.

METHODS

The top 50 cited articles pertaining to ETV were identified using bibliometric data obtained with the Harzing’s Publish or Perish software search engine. These high-impact works were evaluated for publication properties including year, country of authorship, category, and journal.

RESULTS

The top 50 works were cited an average of 141.02 times with a mean of 9.45 citations per year. Articles published in 2005 were the most numerous in the top 50 group. These top articles were most frequently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. Most of the articles were clinical studies reporting on patients in the pediatric age group. The country of most authorship was the US, although many other countries were among the top 50 works.

CONCLUSIONS

The present report discusses the bibliometric analysis of the top 50 ETV articles. This list may be useful to those interested in the progress and current status of this procedure.

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Mohsin Ali, Michael Bennardo, Saleh A. Almenawer, Nirmeen Zagzoog, Alston A. Smith, Dyda Dao, BHSc, Olufemi Ajani, Forough Farrokhyar and Sheila K. Singh

OBJECT

Although intracranial arachnoid cysts are a common incidental finding on pediatric brain imaging, only a subset of patients require surgery for them. For the minority who undergo surgery, the comparative effectiveness of various surgical approaches is debated. The authors explored predictors of surgery and compared operative techniques for pediatric patients with an intracranial arachnoid cyst seen at a tertiary care center.

METHODS

The authors reviewed records of pediatric patients with an intracranial arachnoid cyst. For each patient, data on baseline characteristics, the method of intervention, and surgical outcomes for the initial surgery were extracted, and cyst size at diagnosis was calculated (anteroposterior × craniocaudal × mediolateral). Baseline variables were analyzed as predictors of surgery by using logistic regression modeling, excluding patients whose surgery was not related to cyst size (i.e., those with obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to the cyst compressing a narrow CSF flow pathway or cyst rupture/hemorrhage). Data collected regarding surgical outcomes were analyzed descriptively.

RESULTS

Among 83 pediatric patients with an intracranial arachnoid cyst seen over a 25-year period (1989–2013), 27 (33%) underwent surgery; all had at least 1 cyst-attributed symptom/finding. In the multivariate model, age at presentation and cyst size at diagnosis were independent predictors of surgery. Cyst size had greater predictive value; specifically, the area under the curve for the receiver-operating-characteristic curve was 0.89 (95% CI 0.82–0.97), with an ideal cutoff point of ≥ 68 cm3. This cutoff point had 100% sensitivity (95% CI 79%–100%), 75% specificity (95% CI 61%–85%), a 53% positive predictive value (95% CI 36%–70%), and a 100% negative predictive value (95% CI 91%–100%); the positive likelihood ratio was 4.0 (95% CI 2.5–6.3), and the negative likelihood ratio was 0 (95% CI 0–0.3). Although the multivariate model excluded 7 patients who underwent surgery (based on prespecified criteria), excluding these 7 cases did not change the overall findings, as shown in a sensitivity analysis that included all the cases. Descriptive results regarding surgical outcomes did not indicate any salient differences among the surgical techniques (endoscopic fenestration, cystoperitoneal shunting, or craniotomy-based procedures) in terms of symptom resolution within 6 months, need for reoperation to date, cyst-size change from before the operation, morbidity, or mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of these exploratory analyses suggest that pediatric patients with an intracranial arachnoid cyst are more likely to undergo surgery if the cyst is large, compresses a narrow CSF flow pathway to cause hydrocephalus, or has ruptured/hemorrhaged. There were no salient differences among the 3 surgical techniques for several clinically important outcomes. A prospective multicenter study is required to enable more robust analyses, which could ultimately provide a decision-making framework for surgical indications and clarify any differences in the comparative effectiveness of surgical approaches to treating pediatric intracranial arachnoid cysts.

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Nirmeen Zagzoog, Ahmed Attar, Radwan Takroni, Mazen B. Alotaibi and Kesh Reddy

OBJECTIVE

Microvascular decompression (MVD) is commonly used in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) with positive clinical outcomes. Fully endoscopic MVD (E-MVD) has been proposed as an effective minimally invasive alternative, but a comparative review of the two approaches has not been conducted. The authors performed a meta-analysis of studies, comparing patient outcome rates and complications for the open versus the endoscopic technique.

METHODS

The PubMed/MEDLINE and Ovid databases were searched for studies published from database inception to 2017. The search terms used included, but were not limited to, “open microvascular decompression,” “microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia,” and “endoscopic decompression for trigeminal neuralgia.” Criteria for inclusion of studies in the meta-analysis were established as follows: adult patients, clinical studies with ≥ 10 patients (excluding case studies to obtain a higher volume of outcome rates), utilization of open MVD or E-MVD to treat TN, craniotomy and retrosigmoid incision, English-language studies, and articles that listed pain relief outcomes (complete, very good, partial, or absent), recurrence rate (number of patients), and complications (paresis, hearing loss, CSF leakage, cerebellar damage, infection, death). Relevant references from the chosen articles were also included.

RESULTS

From a larger pool of 1039 studies, 23 articles were selected for review: 13 on traditional MVD and 10 on E-MVD. The total number of patients was 6749, of which 5783 patients (and 5802 procedures) had undergone MVD and 993 patients (and procedures) had undergone E-MVD. Analyzed data included postoperative pain relief outcome (complete or good pain relief vs partial or no pain relief), and rates of recurrence and complications including facial paralysis, weakness, or paresis; hearing loss; auditory and facial nerve damage; cerebrospinal fluid leakage; infection; cerebellar damage; and death.

Good pain relief was achieved in 81% of MVD patients and 88% of E-MVD patients, with a mean recurrence rate of 14% and 9%, respectively. Average rates of reported complications were statistically lower in E-MVD than in MVD approaches, including facial paresis or weakness, hearing loss, cerebellar damage, infection, and death, whereas cerebrospinal fluid leakage was similar. The overall incidence of complications was 19% for MVD and 8% for E-MVD.

CONCLUSIONS

The reviewed literature revealed similar clinical outcomes with respect to pain relief for MVD and E-MVD. The recurrence rate was lower in E-MVD studies, though not significantly so, and the incidence of complications, notably facial paresis and hearing loss, were statistically higher for MVD than for E-MVD. Based on these results, the use of endoscopy to perform MVD for TN appears to offer at least as good a surgical outcome as the more commonly used open MVD, with the possible added advantages of having a shorter operative time, smaller craniotomy, and lower recurrence rates. The authors advise caution in interpreting these data given the asymmetry in the sample size between the two groups and the relative novelty of the E-MVD approach.