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Giuseppe Lanzino

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Norberto Andaluz, Mario Zuccarello and Charles Kuntz IV

Object

Few data exist regarding long-term outcomes after cervical corpectomy for spondylotic cervical myelopathy and radiculomyelopathy. In this retrospective review, long-term radiographic outcomes are reported for 130 patients after 1- or 2-level cervical corpectomy for spondylotic myelopathy or radiculomyelopathy.

Methods

Electronic medical records including clinical data and radiographic images during a 15-year period (1993–2008) were reviewed at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All patients underwent radiographic follow-up for at least 12 months (range 12–156, mean 45 ± 39.3 months), as well as clinical follow-up performed by neurosurgery staff for a mean of 29.3 ± 39.6 months (range 4–156 months). Clinical parameters at surgery and last examination included the Chiles modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) Myelopathy Scale. Measurements included cervical spine sagittal alignment on lateral radiographs preoperatively and postoperatively, focal Cobb angles at operated levels, and C2–7 regional alignment. Statistical analysis included the Student t-test and chi-square test. Perioperative complications and additional surgery in the cervical spine were recorded.

Results

The mJOA scores improved from a mean of 11.91 ± 2.4 preoperatively to 14.9 ± 2.33 postoperatively. The mean sagittal lordosis of the C2–7 spine increased from −16.2° ± 9.2° preoperatively to −18.5° ± 11.9° at last follow-up. Focal Cobb angles averaged a slight kyphotic angulation of 4.1° ± 2.3° at latest radiographic follow-up; of note, 7 patients (5.4%), all who had cylindrical titanium mesh cages (CTMCs), showed severe kyphotic angulation (+8.4° ± 2.4°). Patients with preoperative myelopathy showed clinical improvement at follow-up. The fusion rate was 96.2%; 3 of the 5 patients with radiographic evidence of nonfusion were smokers. Patients with postoperative kyphosis had significantly more chronic neck pain (visual analog scale score >4 lasting more than 6 months) and visits related to pain (p <0.01). Those with CTMCs had higher rates of postoperative kyphosis, chronic neck pain, and visits related to pain, irrespective of the number of levels fused (p <001). At latest follow-up, although a kyphotic increase occurred in the focal cervical sagittal Cobb angles, lordosis increased in C2–7 sagittal Gore angles. Two patients (1.5%) underwent revision of the implanted graft and/or hardware, and 5 patients (3.8%) had another procedure for adjacent-level pathologies 1–9 years later (mean 4.4 ± 2.7 years).

Conclusions

Long-term follow-up data in our veteran population support cervical corpectomy as an effective, long-lasting treatment for spondylotic myelopathy of the cervical spine. Use of CTMCs without end caps was associated with statistically significant increased postoperative kyphotic angulation and chronic pain. Despite an increase in focal kyphosis over time, regional cervical sagittal lordotic alignment had increased at the latest follow-up. Further investigation will include the association of chronic neck pain and postoperative kyphosis, and high fusion rates among a veteran population of heavy smokers.

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Norberto Andaluz and Mario Zuccarello

Object

The most appropriate treatment for cerebral aneurysms, both ruptured and unruptured, is currently under debate, and updated guidelines have yet to be defined. The authors attempted to identify trends in therapy for cerebral aneurysms in the US as well as outcomes.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample hospital discharge database (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) for the period 1993–2003. Multiple variables were categorized and subjected to statistical analysis for International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification codes related to subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), unruptured aneurysm, and clipping and endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysm.

Results

During the study period, the numbers of discharges remained stable for SAH but doubled for unruptured aneurysms. Concomitantly, the number of aneurysms treated with clip placement remained stable, and the number treated by means of endovascular procedures doubled. By the study's end, the mortality rates had decreased 20% for SAH and 50% for unruptured aneurysms. Increasing age was associated with increased mortality rates, mean length of hospital stay (LOS), and mean charges (p < 0.01). Endovascular treatment was used more often in older patients (p < 0.01). Teaching status and larger hospital size were associated with higher charges and longer hospital stays (although the association was not statistically significant) and with better outcomes (p < 0.05) and lower mortality rates (p < 0.05), especially in patients who underwent aneurysm clipping (p < 0.01). Endovascular treatment was associated with significantly higher mortality rates in small hospitals (p < 0.001) and steadily increasing morbidity rates (45%). Morbidity rates, mean LOS, and mean charges were higher for aneurysm clipping (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

From 1993 to 2003, endovascular techniques for aneurysm occlusion have been increasingly used, while the use of surgical clipping procedures has remained stable. Toward the end of the study period, better overall outcomes were observed in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms, both ruptured and unruptured. Large academic centers were associated with better results, particularly for surgical clip placement.

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Norberto Andaluz and Mario Zuccarello

Object

Recently updated guidelines failed to reflect significant progress in the treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Using data from a nationwide hospital database, the authors identified recent trends in therapy and outcomes for ICH, as well as the effect of associated comorbidities and procedures, including surgery.

Methods

Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample hospital discharge database (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) for the period 1993–2005 was retrospectively reviewed. Multiple variables were categorized and subjected to statistical analysis for codes related to ICH from the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification. Data linked by the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to associated diagnoses and procedures were also retrieved and analyzed.

Results

The number of discharges remained constant for ICH. The mortality rate remained unchanged at an average of 31.6%, whereas routine discharges (home) steadily declined by 25%, and discharges other than home doubled (p < 0.01). By the end of the study, length of hospital stay decreased by 30% (p < 0.01), and mean hospital charges steadily increased to more than twice the original figures. Arterial hypertension was the most frequently associated comorbidity. Seizures were associated with longer hospital stays and higher mean hospital charges. Craniotomy was associated with decreased mortality rates but also with worse outcomes and lower rates of patients discharged home (p < 0.01). No geographic differences in treatment and outcomes were noted.

Conclusions

From 1993 to 2005, no significant progress in treatment and prevention of ICH was noted. There were no regional differences in the treatment and outcome of ICH. The role of surgery for ICH remains uncertain, and large-scale controlled studies are greatly needed to clarify this role.

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Editorial

Cervical myelopathy

Vincent C. Traynelis

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Norberto Andaluz, Thomas A. Tomsick, Jeffrey T. Keller and Mario Zuccarello

✓Given the relatively benign natural history of cavernous carotid artery aneurysms and based on anecdotal reports in the literature of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) or subdural hemorrhage (SDH) from these aneurysms, observation is warranted and typically recommended. In this case report, the authors describe a woman who harbored a partially thrombosed, giant cavernous aneurysm that ruptured after she underwent a balloon occlusion test (BOT) and predominately led to an SDH. The authors believe that this occurrence is the first such report in the English literature. They discuss possible mechanisms for this event and the literature related to SAH or SDH from cavernous aneurysms, including why cavernous aneurysms cause such hemorrhages. The authors also recommend that attention be paid to such lesions regarding the possibility of aneurysmal rupture following a BOT.

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Norberto Andaluz, Alberto Romano, Likith V. Reddy and Mario Zuccarello

Skull base approaches play a fundamental role in modern neurosurgery by reducing surgical morbidity. Increasing experience has allowed surgeons to perform minimally invasive approaches without straying from the premises of skull base surgery. The eyelid approach has evolved from the orbitopterional osteotomy into a more effective and targeted approach to disease of the anterior cranial fossa. In this technique, after an incision is made on the supratarsal fold, the orbicularis oculi muscle is incised, and a myocutaneous flap composed of the elements of the anterior lamella is elevated. Subperiosteal dissection is used to expose the superior and lateral walls of the orbit, the superior and lateral orbital rim, and the frontosphenoidal suture. A MacCarty bur hole is drilled, and a frontal osteotomy is fashioned medial to the supraorbital notch and extending through the orbital roof back toward the orbital half of the MacCarty bur hole, exposing the frontobasal brain. A conventional microsurgical technique is used to treat tumors and aneurysms of the anterior cranial fossa under the operative microscope.

Five patients were treated for unruptured aneurysms of the anterior circulation (3 anterior communicating artery aneurysms, 1 ophthalmic artery aneurysm, and 1 posterior communicating artery aneurysm) using the eyelid approach. The mean aneurysm size was 5 mm, and all aneurysms were approached from the right side. Three tumors in the anterior fossa (2 suprasellar pituitary adenomas and 1 craniopharyngioma) were also excised using this approach. There was no surgical morbidity. Three months after surgery all patients presented excellent cosmetic results. The eyelid approach may be considered as an effective, cosmetically beneficial, and minimally invasive skull base approach to selected aneurysms and tumors of the anterior circulation.

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Hasan Kocaeli, Norberto Andaluz, Ondrej Choutka and Mario Zuccarello

✓Cerebral revascularization procedures have been used in the clinical management of actual or threatened cerebral ischemic states and unclippable cerebral aneurysms. An alternative to a low-flow bypass graft (for example, with the superficial temporal artery) is the use of high-flow grafts created using the saphenous vein (SV) or radial artery (RA). These high-flow grafts are particularly useful when otherwise adequate collateral flow is insufficient to enable sacrifice of the parent vessel without the risk of cerebral ischemia. In their clinical series of 13 patients who underwent high-flow bypass with an RA graft, the authors describe 8 women and 5 men whose ages ranged from 44 to 69 years (mean 57.84 ± 9.05 years). Indications for RA graft bypass were unclippable aneurysms in 10 patients and occlusive cerebrovascular disease in 3 patients. The authors review the properties of the 2 most common conduits, the SV and RA grafts. They present the technique of high-flow extracranial–intracranial bypass produced using RA grafts in the management of occlusive atherosclerotic disease and complex intracranial aneurysms that are not otherwise amenable to either clip ligation or coil occlusion.

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Ahmad Alhourani, Zaid Aljuboori, Mehran Yusuf, Shiao Y. Woo, Eyas M. Hattab, Norberto Andaluz and Brian J. Williams

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to describe effects of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) for anaplastic meningiomas (AMs) on long-term survival, and to analyze patient and RT characteristics associated with long-term survival.

METHODS

The authors queried a retrospective cohort of patients with AM from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) diagnosed between 2004 and 2015 to describe treatment trends. For outcome analysis, patients with at least 10 years of follow-up were included, and they were stratified based on adjuvant RT status and propensity matched to controls for covariates. Survival curves were compared. A data-driven approach was used to find a biologically effective dose (BED) of RT with the largest difference between survival curves. Factors associated with long-term survival were quantified.

RESULTS

The authors identified 2170 cases of AM in the NCDB between 2004 and 2015. They observed increased use of adjuvant RT in patients treated with higher doses. A total of 178 cases met the inclusion criteria for outcome analysis. Forty-five percent (n = 80) received adjuvant RT. Patients received a BED of 80.23 ± 16.6 Gy (mean ± IQR). The median survival time was not significantly different (32.8 months for adjuvant RT vs 38.5 months for no RT; p = 0.57, log-rank test). Dichotomizing the patients at a BED of 81 Gy showed maximal difference in survival distribution with a decrease in median survival in favor of no adjuvant RT (31.2 months for adjuvant RT vs 49.7 months for no RT; p = 0.03, log-rank test), but this difference was not significant after false discovery rate correction. Age was a significant predictor for long-term survival.

CONCLUSIONS

AMs are aggressive tumors that carry a poor prognosis. Conventional adjuvant RT improves local control. However, the effect of adjuvant radiation on overall survival is unclear. Further investigation into this area is warranted.