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Peter Kan and Meic H. Schmidt

Object

The choices available in the management of metastatic spine disease are complex, and the role of surgical therapy is increasing. Recent studies have indicated that patients treated with direct surgical decompression and stabilization before radiation have better functional outcomes than those treated with radiation alone. The most common anterior surgical approach for direct spinal cord decompression and stabilization in the thoracic spine is open thoracotomy; however, thoracotomy for spinal access is associated with morbidity that can be avoided with minimally invasive techniques like thoracoscopy.

Methods

A minimally invasive thoracoscopic approach was used for the surgical treatment of thoracic and thoracolumbar metastatic spinal cord compression. This technique allows ventral decompression via corpectomy, inter-body reconstruction with expandable cages, and stabilization with an anterolateral plating system designed specifically for minimally invasive implantation. This technique was performed in 5 patients with metastatic disease of the thoracic spine, including the thoracolumbar junction.

Results

All patients had improvement in preoperative symptoms and neurological deficits. No complications occurred in this small series.

Conclusions

The minimally invasive thoracoscopic approach can be applied to the treatment of thoracic and thoracolumbar metastatic spine disease in an effort to reduce access morbidity. Preliminary results have indicated that adequate decompression, reconstruction, and stabilization can be achieved with this technique.

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Visish M. Srinivasan and Peter Kan

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Peter Kan and Edward A. M. Duckworth

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Peter Kan, James K. Liu and William T. Couldwell

✓The acronym PHACES describes a rare neurocutaneous syndrome that comprises posterior fossa malformations, facial hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, eye abnormalities, and sternal defects. Facial hemangiomas constitute the hallmark of this disorder. Giant intracranial aneurysms have not been previously reported in the literature as manifestations of PHACES syndrome and can present difficult therapeutic challenges. The authors describe a unique case of a 13-year-old adolescent boy with an incomplete phenotypic expression of PHACES syndrome who harbored diffuse cerebral angiodysplasia and a giant fusiform internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm extending from the distal cavernous segment to the supraclinoid segment. The aneurysm was successfully treated with a high-flow saphenous vein graft bypass from the external carotid artery to the distal middle cerebral artery followed by proximal ICA occlusion. This case represents a unique vascular manifestation of PHACES syndrome that required a complex management strategy. The authors review the literature on this rare disorder and emphasize the importance of considering the diagnosis of PHACES syndrome in child with a facial hemangioma.

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William T. Couldwell, Peter Kan and Martin H. Weiss

✓ The most common nonendocrine complication after transsphenoidal surgery is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Many neurosurgeons have advocated the routine reconstruction of the floor of the sella turcica using autologous fat, muscle, fascia, and either cartilage or bone after transsphenoidal surgery to prevent postoperative CSF fistulas. However, the use of autologous grafting requires a second incision, prolongs operative time, and adds to the patient's postoperative discomfort. In addition, the presence of sellar packing may interfere with the interpretation of postoperative images. To avoid these disadvantages, the authors suggest that routine sellar reconstruction or closure after transsphenoidal surgery is unnecessary unless an intraoperative CSF leak is encountered. The incidence of postoperative CSF leakage in the patients reported on in this series is no higher than that reported by others, and no other complications such as pneu-matocele have been encountered in approximately 2700 patients in whom no intraoperative CSF leak was encountered. The authors conclude that routine closure of the floor of the sella turcica or sphenoid is unnecessary in the absence of intraoperative CSF leak.

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James K. Liu, Peter Kan and Meic H. Schmidt

Primary lymphomas of the sacrum are rare tumors, reported only in a few cases in the literature. The authors describe two patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas presenting as a sacral tumor.

In the first case a 52-year-old man presented with progressive back pain, bilateral radicular pain, and saddle block anesthesia secondary to a lytic, expansile soft-tissue mass. The mass arose from the sacrum and eroded through the right S-1 to S-4 foramina and extended into the epidural space of the spinal canal. On magnetic resonance imaging, the sacral mass enhanced homogeneously with Gd. In the second case a 64-year-old man presented with left-sided radicular pain, paresthesias, and progressive weakness due to a lytic soft-tissue mass in the left sacral ala extending into the left L-5 and S-1 foramina. Metastatic workup in each patient demonstrated unremarkable findings. In both cases, an open biopsy procedure was performed after nondiagnostic examination of needle biopsy samples. Histopathological examination showed evidence consistent with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in both patients. In the first case the disease was classified as Stage IAE, and the patient subsequently underwent four cycles of cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone (CHOP)– and rituximab-based chemotherapy followed by consolidation radiotherapy. In the second case the disease was also classified as Stage IAE, and the patient underwent CHOP-based chemotherapy and consolidation radiotherapy. In both cases radiography demonstrated a decrease in size of the sacral lymphomas.

The authors review the clinical, radiological, and histological features of sacral lymphomas. Lymphoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of sacral tumors.

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Aditya Vedantam and Peter Kan

We present a case of a patient with an anterior communicating artery aneurysm treated by PulseRider-assisted coil embolization. PulseRider is a new device, FDA approved for treatment of broad-necked aneurysms of the basilar apex or internal carotid artery terminus. The aneurysm was broad-necked and involved the anterior communicating artery and was considered for traditional stent-assisted coiling as well as PulseRider-assisted coiling. The authors present the treatment plan and strategy and then fluoroscopic recording of the PulseRider delivery and subsequent coiling phase. Nuances of technique for this new device used in a challenging setting are discussed.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ont7ggqgLH8.

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William T. Couldwell, Peter Kan, James K. Liu and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

✓ Meningiomas are the most common tumors affecting the cavernous sinus (CS). Despite advances in microsurgery and radiosurgery, treatment of CS meningiomas remains difficult and controversial. As in cases of other meningiomas, the goal of treatment for CS meningioma is long-term growth control and preservation of neural function. Gross-total resection, the ideal treatment for meningioma, is not always possible to obtain in patients with CS meningiomas with an acceptable level of morbidity. Therefore, microsurgery and radiosurgery have recently been advocated as a combined therapy to achieve good control of tumor growth and favorable functional outcome. The authors describe a technique in which tumor volume can be reduced to a minimal residual amount, while preserving cranial nerve function. This enables the smallest field to be treated radiosurgically. The optic nerve is decompressed, and the tumor mass is reduced to provide at least a 5-mm interpositional distance between the optic nerve and the residual lesion. Direct decompression of the CS, with opening of the lateral and superior sinus walls, and piecemeal removal of the tumor in “safe” locations are performed to facilitate an improvement in cranial nerve function. The authors describe the use of this technique in a series of patients and demonstrate improvement of cranial nerve function in a subset of these patients.

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Gouthami Chintalapani, Edward A. M. Duckworth and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

The evaluation of the venous neurovasculature, especially the dural venous sinuses, is most often performed using MR or CT venography. For further assessment, diagnostic cerebral angiography may be performed. Three-dimensional rotational angiography (3D-RA) can be applied to the venous system, producing 3D rotational venography (3D-RV) and cross-sectional reconstructions, which function as an adjunct to traditional 2D digital subtraction angiography.

METHODS

After querying the database of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, Texas, the authors reviewed the radiological and clinical data of patients who underwent 3D-RV. This modality was performed based on standard techniques for 3D-RA, with the catheter placed in the internal carotid artery and a longer x-ray delay calculated based on time difference between the early arterial phase and the venous phase.

RESULTS

Of the 12 cases reviewed, 5 patients had neoplasms invading a venous sinus, 4 patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension required evaluation of venous sinus stenosis, 2 patients had venous diverticula, and 1 patient had a posterior fossa arachnoid cyst. The x-ray delay ranged from 7 to 10 seconds. The 3D-RV was used both for diagnosis and in treatment planning.

CONCLUSIONS

Three-dimensional RV and associated cross-sectional reconstructions can be used to assess the cerebral venous vasculature in a manner distinct from established modalities. Three-dimensional RV can be performed with relative ease on widely available biplane equipment, and data can be processed using standard software packages. The authors present the protocol and technique used along with potential applications to venous sinus stenosis, venous diverticula, and tumors invading the venous sinuses.

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Sharon Webb, Parham Yashar, Peter Kan, Adnan H. Siddiqui, L. Nelson Hopkins and Elad I. Levy

Object

The treatment of acute intracranial vertebrobasilar artery occlusion (VBO) has been described but often with poor results. The authors of this study set out to evaluate their institution's outcomes following multimodal treatment of VBO.

Methods

They retrospectively reviewed their endovascular database for all patients treated for acute intracranial VBO between December 2004 and June 2010. Twenty-four patients were identified. Two patients were excluded from evaluation—one because of incomplete medical records and one because the etiology was basilar stenosis and not stroke. Occlusion location, hypercoagulable causes, time to endovascular treatment, time to revascularization, comorbidities, devices used, procedural anticoagulation, and outcomes were analyzed.

Results

Among the 22 eligible study patients, the mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at presentation was 15.3. The mean time from presentation to initiation of the endovascular procedure was 4.77 hours. The mean time for recanalization from the start of angiography was 1.63 hours. In 16 patients (73%), revascularization was successful (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] score of 2 or 3). Thirteen (59%) of the 22 patients were discharged to home or a rehabilitation facility. One patient was transferred to a chronic care facility. The overall survival rate was 64%. The average NIHSS score for the 14 surviving patients at discharge was 3.9. At the follow-up (average 14.5 months, range 1–58 months), 10 patients (71%) had achieved good outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≤ 2) and 4 (29%) had poor outcomes (mRS Score 3–6).

Conclusions

Published case series have historically shown poor outcomes and high mortality rates in association with the treatment of acute VBO, prompting surgeons to be less aggressive in the treatment of this disease than they might be otherwise. Data in this series show that the revascularization of posterior circulation occlusions is feasible and that good outcomes and lower mortality rates with newer endovascular technologies are possible, and thus more prompt and aggressive treatment of this disease may be warranted.