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Anil Nanda, Subhas Konar, Piyush Kalakoti and Tanmoy Maiti

Owing to a deep-seated location and intricate venous anatomy, pathologies of the posterior third ventricular region pose formidable challenges to the operating neurosurgeon. In this video, we present a case of an elderly Caucasian female with a rare histological variant of a pineal parenchymal mass who presented with gait disturbances and worsening retro-orbital headache. Radiological and clinco-histopathological correlates of this rare tumor pathology having intermediate differentiation are highlighted. Briefly outlined are surgical pearls and strategies to minimize complications, as the tumor is approached through the posterior interhemispheric corridor, to achieve a gross-total decompression.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/KXwclZ7Ei84.

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Shyamal C. Bir, Piyush Kalakoti, Christina Notarianni and Anil Nanda

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Dr. John Howship, a pioneering British surgeon, described the clinical features and pathophysiology of various surgical disorders of the human body. His critical contributions to pediatric neurosurgery came in 1816 when he first described the features of an important childhood condition following head trauma, what he referred to as parietal bone absorption. This condition as depicted by Dr. Howship was soon to be christened by later scholars as traumatic cephalhydrocele, traumatic meningocele, leptomeningeal cyst, meningocele spuria, fibrosing osteitis, cerebrocranial erosion, and growing skull fracture. Nevertheless, the basic features of the condition as observed by Dr. Howship were virtually identical to the characteristics of the above-mentioned disorders. This article describes the life and accomplishments of Dr. Howship and his contributions to the current understanding of growing skull fracture.

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Anil Nanda, Subhas Konar, Piyush Kalakoti and Tanmoy Maiti

Of the posterior third ventricular tumors, a papillary tumor of the pineal gland is a rare entity that originates from specialized ependymoma of the subcommissural organ. In this video narration, we present a case of a 33-year-old male with headaches and recent cognitive decline due to a posterior third ventricular lesion. The patient underwent a posterior interhemispheric approach, and a gross-total decompression was achieved with no signs of recurrence in a 2-year follow-up period. With this case we highlight the microsurgical technique employed for decompressing tumors of the posterior third ventricular region with preservation of eloquent structures and draining veins.

The video can be found here:https://youtu.be/o0WbyOqmtX0.

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Rimal Hanif Dossani, John Shaughnessy, Piyush Kalakoti and Anil Nanda

William Edward Gallie (1882–1959) was a Canadian general surgeon with special expertise in orthopedic surgery. His experience with surgical management of cervical spine subluxation led him to invent a method of cervical wiring of the atlas to the axis. His method of C1–2 wiring has since been modified, but it still remains one of the three most commonly taught wiring techniques in neurosurgical training programs. Gallie is also hailed for instituting the first surgical training program in Canada, a curriculum his pupils memorialized as the “Gallie course” in surgery. In this historical vignette, the authors describe Gallie’s life and depict his contributions to surgery.

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Piyush Kalakoti, Osama Ahmed, Papireddy Bollam, Symeon Missios, Jessica Wilden and Anil Nanda

OBJECT

With limited data available on association of risk factors and effect of hospital case volume on outcomes following deep brain stimulation (DBS), the authors attempted to identify these associations using a large population-based database.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study involving patients who underwent DBS for 3 primary movement disorders: Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia from 2002 to 2011 using the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. Using national estimates, the authors identified associations of patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and hospital characteristics on short-term postoperative outcomes following DBS. Additionally, effect of hospital volume on unfavorable outcomes was investigated.

RESULTS

Overall, 33, 642 patients underwent DBS for 3 primary movement disorders across 234 hospitals in the US. The mean age of the cohort was 63.42 ± 11.31 years and 36% of patients were female. The inpatients’ postoperative risks were 5.9% for unfavorable discharge, 10.2% for prolonged length of stay, 14.6% for high-end hospital charges, 0.5% for wound complications, 0.4% for cardiac complications, 1.8% for venous thromboembolism, and 5.5% for neurological complications, including those arising from an implanted nervous system device. Compared with low-volume centers, odds of having an unfavorable discharge, prolonged LOS, high-end hospital charges, wound, and cardiac complications were significantly lower in the high-volume and medium-volume centers.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ study provides individualized estimates of the risks of postoperative complications based on patient demographics and comorbidities and hospital characteristics, which could potentially be used as an adjunct for risk stratification for patients undergoing DBS.

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Piyush Kalakoti, Symeon Missios, Richard Menger, Sunil Kukreja, Subhas Konar and Anil Nanda

OBJECT

Because of the limited data available regarding the associations between risk factors and the effect of hospital case volume on outcomes after resection of intradural spine tumors, the authors attempted to identify these associations by using a large population-based database.

METHODS

Using the National Inpatient Sample database, the authors performed a retrospective cohort study that involved patients who underwent surgery for an intradural spinal tumor between 2002 and 2011. Using national estimates, they identified associations of patient demographics, medical comorbidities, and hospital characteristics with inpatient postoperative outcomes. In addition, the effect of hospital volume on unfavorable outcomes was investigated. Hospitals that performed fewer than 14 resections in adult patients with an intradural spine tumor between 2002 and 2011 were labeled as low-volume centers, whereas those that performed 14 or more operations in that period were classified as high-volume centers (HVCs). These cutoffs were based on the median number of resections performed by hospitals registered in the National Inpatient Sample during the study period.

RESULTS

Overall, 18,297 patients across 774 hospitals in the United States underwent surgery for an intradural spine tumor. The mean age of the cohort was 56.53 ± 16.28 years, and 63% were female. The inpatient postoperative risks included mortality (0.3%), discharge to rehabilitation (28.8%), prolonged length of stay (> 75th percentile) (20.0%), high-end hospital charges (> 75th percentile) (24.9%), wound complications (1.2%), cardiac complications (0.6%), deep vein thrombosis (1.4%), pulmonary embolism (2.1%), and neurological complications, including durai tears (2.4%). Undergoing surgery at an HVC was significantly associated with a decreased chance of inpatient mortality (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.16−0.98), unfavorable discharge (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.76−0.98), prolonged length of stay (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.62−0.77), high-end hospital charges (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.60−0.74), neurological complications (OR 0.34; 95% CI 0.26−0.44), deep vein thrombosis (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.45−0.94), wound complications (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.41−0.86), and gastrointestinal complications (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.46−0.92).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study provide individualized estimates of the risks of postoperative complications based on patient demographics and comorbidities and hospital characteristics and shows a decreased risk for most unfavorable outcomes for those who underwent surgery at an HVC. These findings could be used as a tool for risk stratification, directing presurgical evaluation, assisting with surgical decision making, and strengthening referral systems for complex cases.

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Tanmoy K. Maiti, Shyamal C. Bir, Devi Prasad Patra, Piyush Kalakoti, Bharat Guthikonda and Anil Nanda

OBJECTIVE

Spinal meningiomas are benign tumors with a wide spectrum of clinical and radiological features at presentation. The authors analyzed multiple clinicoradiological factors to predict recurrence and functional outcome in a cohort with a mean follow-up of more than 4 years. The authors also discuss the results of clinical studies regarding spinal meningiomas in the last 15 years.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical and radiological details of patients who underwent surgery for spinal tumors between 2001 and 2015 that were histopathologically confirmed as meningiomas. Demographic parameters, such as age, sex, race, and association with neurofibromatosis Type 2, were considered. Radiological parameters, such as tumor size, signal changes of spinal cord, spinal level, number of levels, location of tumor attachment, shape of tumor, and presence of dural tail/calcification, were noted. These factors were analyzed to predict recurrence and functional outcome. Furthermore, a pooled analysis was performed from 13 reports of spinal meningiomas in the last 15 years.

RESULTS

A total of 38 patients were included in this study. Male sex and tumors with radiological evidence of a dural tail were associated with an increased risk of recurrence at a mean follow-up of 51.2 months. Ventral or ventrolateral location, large tumors, T2 cord signal changes, and poor preoperative functional status were associated with poor functional outcome at 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Spine surgeons must be aware of the natural history and risk factors of spinal meningiomas to establish a prognosis for their patients.

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Marc Manix, Piyush Kalakoti, Miriam Henry, Jai Thakur, Richard Menger, Bharat Guthikonda and Anil Nanda

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare neurodegenerative condition with a rapid disease course and a mortality rate of 100%. Several forms of the disease have been described, and the most common is the sporadic type. The most challenging aspect of this disease is its diagnosis—the gold standard for definitive diagnosis is considered to be histopatho-logical confirmation—but newer tests are providing means for an antemortem diagnosis in ways less invasive than brain biopsy. Imaging studies, electroencephalography, and biomarkers are used in conjunction with the clinical picture to try to make the diagnosis of CJD without brain tissue samples, and all of these are reviewed in this article. The current diagnostic criteria are limited; test sensitivity and specificity varies with the genetics of the disease as well as the clinical stage. Physicians may be unsure of all diagnostic testing available, and may order outdated tests or prematurely request a brain biopsy when the diagnostic workup is incomplete. The authors review CJD, discuss the role of brain biopsy in this patient population, provide a diagnostic pathway for the patient presenting with rapidly progressive dementia, and propose newer diagnostic criteria.

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Tanmoy Kumar Maiti, Subhas Konar, Shyamal Bir, Piyush Kalakoti, Papireddy Bollam and Anil Nanda

OBJECT

The difference in course and outcome of several neurodegenerative conditions and traumatic injuries of the nervous system points toward a possible role of genetic and environmental factors as prognostic markers. Apolipoprotein E (Apo-E), a key player in lipid metabolism, is recognized as one of the most powerful genetic risk factors for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. In this article, the current understanding of APOE polymorphism in various neurological disorders is discussed.

METHODS

The English literature was searched for various studies describing the role of APOE polymorphism as a prognostic marker in neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury. The wide ethnic distribution of APOE polymorphism was discussed, and the recent meta-analyses of role of APOE polymorphism in multiple diseases were analyzed and summarized in tabular form.

RESULTS

Results from the review of literature revealed that the distribution of APOE is varied in different ethnic populations. APOE polymorphism plays a significant role in pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. APOE ε4 is considered a marker for poor prognosis in various diseases, but APOE ε2 rather than APOE ε4 has been associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related bleeding and sporadic Parkinson’s disease. The role of APOE polymorphism in various neurological diseases has not been conclusively elucidated.

CONCLUSIONS

Apo-E is a biomarker for various neurological and systemic diseases. Therefore, while analyzing the role of APOE polymorphism in neurological diseases, the interpretation should be done after adjusting all the confounding factors. A continuous quest to look for associations with various neurological diseases and wide knowledge of available literature are required to improve the understanding of the role of APOE polymorphism in these conditions and identify potential therapeutic targets.

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Richard P. Menger, Piyush Kalakoti, Andrew J. Pugely, Anil Nanda and Anthony Sin

OBJECTIVE

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common form of scoliosis. Limited literature exists defining risk factors associated with outcomes during initial hospitalization in these patients. In this study, the authors investigated patient demographics, clinical and hospital characteristics impacting short-term outcomes, and costs in adolescent patients undergoing surgical deformity correction for idiopathic scoliosis. Additionally, the authors elucidate the impact of hospital surgical volume on outcomes for these patients.

METHODS

Using the National Inpatient Sample database and appropriate International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes, the authors identified adolescent patients (10–19 years of age) undergoing surgical deformity correction for idiopathic scoliosis during 2001–2014. For national estimates, appropriate weights provided by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality were used. Multivariable regression techniques were employed to assess the association of risk factors with discharge disposition, postsurgical neurological complications, length of hospital stay, and hospitalization costs.

RESULTS

Overall, 75,106 adolescent patients underwent surgical deformity correction. The rates of postsurgical complications were estimated at 0.9% for neurological issues, 2.8% for respiratory complications, 0.8% for cardiac complications, 0.4% for infections, 2.7% for gastrointestinal complications, 0.1% for venous thromboembolic events, and 0.1% for acute renal failure. Overall, patients stayed at the hospital for an average of 5.72 days (median 5 days) and on average incurred hospitalization costs estimated at $54,997 (median $47,909). As compared with patients at low-volume centers (≤ 50 operations/year), those undergoing surgical deformity correction at high-volume centers (> 50/year) had a significantly lower likelihood of an unfavorable discharge (discharge to rehabilitation) (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.03–1.30, p = 0.016) and incurred lower costs (mean $33,462 vs $56,436, p < 0.001) but had a longer duration of stay (mean 6 vs 5.65 days, p = 0.002). In terms of neurological complications, no significant differences in the odds ratios were noted between high- and low-volume centers (OR 1.23, 95% CI 0.97–1.55, p = 0.091).

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides insight into the clinical characteristics of AIS patients and their postoperative outcomes following deformity correction as they relate to hospital volume. It provides information regarding independent risk factors for unfavorable discharge and neurological complications following surgery for AIS. The proposed estimates could be used as an adjunct to clinical judgment in presurgical planning, risk stratification, and cost containment.