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Spine surgery in the International Security Assistance Force Role 3 combat support hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan, 2007–2014

Chris Schulz, Uwe Max Mauer, Renè Mathieu, and Gregor Freude

OBJECTIVE

Since 2007, a continuous neurosurgery emergency service has been available in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) field hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif (MeS), Afghanistan. The object of this study was to assess the number and range of surgical procedures performed on the spine in the period from 2007 to 2014.

METHODS

This is a retrospective analysis of the annual neurosurgical caseload statistics from July 2007 to October 2014 (92 months). The distribution of surgical urgency (emergency, delayed urgency, or elective), patient origin (ISAF, Afghan National Army, or civilian population), and underlying causes of diseases and injuries (penetrating injury, blunt injury/fracture, or degenerative disease) was analyzed. The range and pattern of diagnoses in the neurosurgical outpatient department from 2012 and 2013 were also evaluated.

RESULTS

A total of 341 patients underwent neurosurgical operations in the period from July 2007 to October 2014. One hundred eighty-eight (55.1%) of the 341 procedures were performed on the spine, and the majority of these surgeries were performed for degenerative diseases (127/188; 67.6%). The proportion of spinal fractures and penetrating injuries (61/188; 32.4%) increased over the study period. These spinal trauma diagnoses accounted for 80% of the cases in which patients had to undergo operations within 12 hours of presentation (n = 70 cases). Spinal surgeries were performed as an emergency in 19.8% of cases, whereas 17.3% of surgeries had delayed urgency and 62.9% were elective procedures. Of the 1026 outpatient consultations documented, 82% were related to spinal issues.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared to the published numbers of cases from neurosurgery units in the rest of the ISAF area, the field hospital in MeS had a considerably lower number of operations. In addition, MeS had the highest rates of both elective neurosurgical operations and Afghan civilian patients. In comparison with the field hospital in MeS, none of the other ISAF field hospitals showed such a strong concentration of degenerative spinal conditions in their surgical spectrum. Nevertheless, the changing pattern of spine-related diagnoses and surgical therapies in the current conflict represents a challenge for future training and material planning in comparable missions.

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Effect of the local anesthetic agent bupivacaine prior to application of the skull-pin holder for craniotomies

David Mathieu, Mathieu Beaudry, René Martin, Hans McLelland, Bruno Robert, and Brendan Kenny

Object. The authors conducted a double-blind prospective randomized study to determine whether infiltration of Mayfield skull-pin sites with 0.5% bupivacaine, compared with placebo, would prevent hemodynamic stimulation, thus allowing for a reduction in the quantity of anesthetic agents required.

Methods. Thirty patients were randomized into two groups. There was a significant increase in blood pressure (mean systolic blood pressure 10 mm Hg, p = 0.003) in patients in the placebo group compared with that in patients in the bupivacaine group 1 minute after securing the head holder.

Conclusions. The local administration of bupivacaine for anesthetic purposes before skull-pin application may prevent potentially hazardous hemodynamic stimulation.

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Treatment of unresectable skull base meningiomas with somatostatin analogs

Chris Schulz, René Mathieu, Ulrich Kunz, and Uwe Max Mauer

Object

The standard surgical treatment for meningiomas is total resection, but the complete removal of skull base meningiomas can be difficult for several reasons. Thus, the management of certain meningiomas of the skull base—for example, those involving basal vessels and cranial nerves—remains a challenge. In recent reports it has been suggested that somatostatin (SST) administration can cause growth inhibition of unresectable and recurrent meningiomas. The application of SST and its analogs is not routinely integrated into standard treatment strategies for meningiomas, and clinical studies proving growth-inhibiting effects do not exist. The authors report on their experience using octreotide in patients with recurrent or unresectable meningiomas of the skull base.

Methods

Between January 1996 and December 2010, 13 patients harboring a progressive residual meningioma (as indicated by MR imaging criteria) following operative therapy were treated with a monthly injection of the SST analog octreotide (Sandostatin LAR [long-acting repeatable] 30 mg, Novartis). Eight of 13 patients had a meningioma of the skull base and were analyzed in the present study. Postoperative tumor enlargement was documented in all patients on MR images obtained before the initiation of SST therapy. All tumors were benign. No patient received radiation or chemotherapy before treatment with SST. The growth of residual tumor was monitored by MR imaging every 12 months.

Results

Three of the 8 patients had undergone surgical treatment once; 3, 2 times; and 2, 3 times. The mean time after the last meningioma operation (before starting SST treatment) and tumor enlargement as indicated by MR imaging criteria was 24 months. A total of 643 monthly cycles of Sandostatin LAR were administered. Five of the 8 patients were on SST continuously and stabilized disease was documented on MR images obtained in these patients during treatment (median 115 months, range 48–180 months). Three of the 8 patients interrupted treatment: after 60 months in 1 case because of tumor progression, after 36 months in 1 case because of side effects, and after 36 months in 1 case because the health insurance company denied cost absorption.

Conclusions

Although no case of tumor regression was detected on MR imaging, the study results indicated that SST analogs can arrest the progression of unresectable or recurrent benign meningiomas of the skull base in some patients. It remains to be determined whether a controlled prospective clinical trial would be useful.

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Frameless robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography in children: technical aspects and comparison with Talairach frame technique

Taylor J. Abel, René Varela Osorio, Ricardo Amorim-Leite, Francois Mathieu, Philippe Kahane, Lorella Minotti, Dominique Hoffmann, and Stephan Chabardes

OBJECTIVE

Robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) is gaining popularity as a technique for localization of the epileptogenic zone (EZ) in children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Here, the authors describe their frameless robot-assisted SEEG technique and report preliminary outcomes and relative complications in children as compared to results with the Talairach frame–based SEEG technique.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the results of 19 robot-assisted SEEG electrode implantations in 17 consecutive children (age < 17 years) with pharmacoresistant epilepsy, and compared these results to 19 preceding SEEG electrode implantations in 18 children who underwent the traditional Talairach frame–based SEEG electrode implantation. The primary end points were seizure-freedom rates, operating time, and complication rates.

RESULTS

Seventeen children (age < 17 years) underwent a total of 19 robot-assisted SEEG electrode implantations. In total, 265 electrodes were implanted. Twelve children went on to have EZ resection: 4 demonstrated Engel class I outcomes, whereas 2 had Engel class II outcomes, and 6 had Engel class III–IV outcomes. Of the 5 patients who did not have resection, 2 underwent thermocoagulation. One child reported transient paresthesia associated with 2 small subdural hematomas, and 3 other children had minor asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhages. There were no differences in complication rates, rates of resective epilepsy surgery, or seizure freedom rates between this cohort and the preceding 18 children who underwent Talairach frame–based SEEG. The frameless robot-assisted technique was associated with shorter operating time (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Frameless robot-assisted SEEG is a safe and effective means of identifying the EZ in children with pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy. Robot-assisted SEEG is faster than the Talairach frame–based method, and has equivalent safety and efficacy. The former, furthermore, facilitates more electrode trajectory possibilities, which may improve the localization of epileptic networks.

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In-depth characterization of a long-term, resuscitated model of acute subdural hematoma–induced brain injury

Thomas Datzmann, Thomas Kapapa, Angelika Scheuerle, Oscar McCook, Tamara Merz, Sarah Unmuth, Andrea Hoffmann, René Mathieu, Simon Mayer, Uwe Max Mauer, Stefan Röhrer, Deniz Yilmazer-Hanke, Peter Möller, Benedikt Lukas Nussbaum, Enrico Calzia, Michael Gröger, Clair Hartmann, Peter Radermacher, and Martin Wepler

OBJECTIVE

Acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) is a leading entity in brain injury. Rodent models mostly lack standard intensive care, while large animal models frequently are only short term. Therefore, the authors developed a long-term, resuscitated porcine model of ASDH-induced brain injury and report their findings.

METHODS

Anesthetized, mechanically ventilated, and instrumented pigs with human-like coagulation underwent subdural injection of 20 mL of autologous blood and subsequent observation for 54 hours. Continuous bilateral multimodal brain monitoring (intracranial pressure [ICP], cerebral perfusion pressure [CPP], partial pressure of oxygen in brain tissue [PbtO2], and brain temperature) was combined with intermittent neurological assessment (veterinary modified Glasgow Coma Scale [MGCS]), microdialysis, and measurement of plasma protein S100β, GFAP, neuron-specific enolase [NSE], nitrite+nitrate, and isoprostanes. Fluid resuscitation and continuous intravenous norepinephrine were targeted to maintain CPP at pre-ASDH levels. Immediately postmortem, the brains were taken for macroscopic and histological evaluation, immunohistochemical analysis for nitrotyrosine formation, albumin extravasation, NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) and GFAP expression, and quantification of tissue mitochondrial respiration.

RESULTS

Nine of 11 pigs survived the complete observation period. While ICP significantly increased after ASDH induction, CPP, PbtO2, and the MGCS score remained unaffected. Blood S100β levels significantly fell over time, whereas GFAP, NSE, nitrite+nitrate, and isoprostane concentrations were unaltered. Immunohistochemistry showed nitrotyrosine formation, albumin extravasation, NOX2 expression, fibrillary astrogliosis, and microglial activation.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors describe a clinically relevant, long-term, resuscitated porcine model of ASDH-induced brain injury. Despite the morphological injury, maintaining CPP and PbtO2 prevented serious neurological dysfunction. This model is suitable for studying therapeutic interventions during hemorrhage-induced acute brain injury with standard brain-targeted intensive care.

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2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting Los Angeles, CA • April 22–26, 2017