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Sepehr Sani, Kirk W. Jobe and Richard W. Byrne

✓ Intracranial nail injuries to the brain are rare. Various techniques for the removal of penetrating nails have been reported, but to date successful nail extraction following an injury involving the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) has not been reported.

The authors report the case of a nail-gun injury to the midline parietal region with penetration of the SSS. They describe an original surgical technique involving the use of a graft patch of temporal fascia and muscle to repair the SSS following extraction of the nail. The procedure resulted in preservation of distal flow across the sinus and a good neurological outcome. Technical considerations in the repair of penetrating posterior SSS injuries are discussed.

Penetrating nail injuries to the brain involving the SSS can be successfully repaired with maintenance of sinus patency.

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Lee A. Tan, Ricardo B. Fontes and Richard W. Byrne

Choroid plexus papillomas (CPP) are uncommon benign brain tumors that usually arise in the fourth ventricle in adults and lateral ventricles in children. Extraventricular CPPs are rare and can be found primarily in the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). We present a case of primary extraventricular CPP in the right CPA successfully resected with retrosigmoid approach. Detailed surgical techniques of retrosigmoid craniotomy and tumor dissection are presented in high definition video with narration.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/6591en3nWlY.

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Richard W. Byrne, Nader Sanai, Jose A. Landeiro and Hugues Duffau

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Kurt A. Yaeger, Stephan A. Munich, Richard W. Byrne and Isabelle M. Germano

OBJECTIVE

Postgraduate training in medicine has been under scrutiny in the last 10 years, with a focus on improving residents’ education. The aim of this study was to quantify trends in neurosurgery residency (NSR) training and education over the last 10 years.

METHODS

The authors assessed Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), National Resident Matching Program, and American Board of Neurological Surgeons records and searched PubMed to collate 2009–2019 data. Analyzed trends included residents’ demographic data, programs’ characteristics, graduation and attrition rates, match data, resident case logs, and qualitative educational curriculum changes.

RESULTS

Significant increases in residents’ demographic data (p < 0.05) included the number of female residents (from 12.7% to 17.6%) and the absolute number of residents (from 1112 to 1462). Age (mean 28.8 years), ethnicity, and number of residents per program (mean 13 residents per program) were unchanged. There were 16 new ACGME NSR programs, with currently 115 programs nationwide. The number of applicants per year (324 applicants per year) and the matching rate (mean 64%) remained stable. The mean attrition rate of 2.6% (range 2%–4%) was higher than the mean 2.1% ACGME attrition rate, a rate that decreased from 3% in 2009 to 1.6% in 2019. Education curriculum changes aimed at the standardization of training across the US included residents’ boot camp (2009), the Milestones project (2012), and mandatory 7-year training initiated in 2013. An increase in endovascular, functional, trauma, and spine resident caseload was noted. The number of yearly publications about US NSR education has significantly increased (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

NSR education has received greater attention over the last decade in the US. Standardization of training has been implemented. A steady number of students remain interested in neurosurgery, with an increased number of women entering the field. Attention to wellness, in addition to high-quality education, should be further assessed as a factor to improve the overall NSR training and retention rate.

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Ricardo B. V. Fontes, Adam P. Smith, Lorenzo F. Muñoz, Richard W. Byrne and Vincent C. Traynelis

Object

Early postoperative head CT scanning is routinely performed following intracranial procedures for detection of complications, but its real value remains uncertain: so-called abnormal results are frequently found, but active, emergency intervention based on these findings may be rare. The authors' objective was to analyze whether early postoperative CT scans led to emergency surgical interventions and if the results of neurological examination predicted this occurrence.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed 892 intracranial procedures followed by an early postoperative CT scan performed over a 1-year period at Rush University Medical Center and classified these cases according to postoperative neurological status: baseline, predicted neurological change, unexpected neurological change, and sedated or comatose. The interpretation of CT results was reviewed and unexpected CT findings were classified based on immediate action taken: Type I, additional observation and CT; Type II, active nonsurgical intervention; and Type III, surgical intervention. Results were compared between neurological examination groups with the Fisher exact test.

Results

Patients with unexpected neurological changes or in the sedated or comatose group had significantly more unexpected findings on the postoperative CT (p < 0.001; OR 19.2 and 2.3, respectively) and Type II/III interventions (p < 0.001) than patients at baseline. Patients at baseline or with expected neurological changes still had a rate of Type II/III changes in the 2.2%–2.4% range; however, no patient required an immediate return to the operating room.

Conclusions

Over a 1-year period in an academic neurosurgery service, no patient who was neurologically intact or who had a predicted neurological change required an immediate return to the operating room based on early postoperative CT findings. Obtaining early CT scans should not be a priority in these patients and may even be cancelled in favor of MRI studies, if the latter have already been planned and can be performed safely and in a timely manner. Early postoperative CT scanning does not assure an uneventful course, nor should it replace accurate and frequent neurological checks, because operative interventions were always decided in conjunction with the neurological examination.

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Asokumar Buvanendran, Richard W. Byrne, Maruti Kari and Jeffrey S. Kroin

The authors report the case of a 56-year-old previously healthy man who presented with a 4-month history of postural headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The results of initial imaging studies of the brain were normal. Repeated MR imaging demonstrated bilateral subdural hematomas which were drained and reaccumulated over a period of time. Spinal myelography revealed a cerebrospinal fluid leak at the C1–2 level. A cervical epidural blood patch, with repeated injections of 10 ml autologous blood at the site of the leak, dramatically improved the headache within 24 hours and eliminated the recurrent subdural hematomas. The results of follow-up computed tomography of the brain at 1, 4, 8, and 16 weeks were normal, and at 1-year follow-up the patient was completely free of symptoms and working.

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Dmitry Ruban, Richard W. Byrne, Andres Kanner, Michael Smith, Elizabeth J. Cochran, David Roh and Walter W. Whisler

Object

The authors undertook a study to review the clinical features and outcome in patients who underwent surgery for intractable chronic epilepsy caused by temporal lobe tumors.

Methods

The Rush Surgical Epilepsy Database was queried to identify patients with chronic intractable epilepsy who underwent resection of temporal lobe tumors between 1981 and 2005 at Rush University Medical Center. Medical records were reviewed for age of the patient at seizure onset, delay to referral for surgery, seizure frequency and characteristics, preoperative MR imaging results, extent of resection, pathological diagnosis, complications, duration of follow-up period, and seizure improvement.

Results

Thirty-eight patients were identified, all with low-grade tumors. Gangliogliomas were the most common (36.8%), followed in descending order by dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (26.3%) and low-grade diffuse astrocytoma (10.5%). The mean duration between seizure onset and surgery was 15.4 years. Complex partial seizures were the most common presenting symptom. Detailed operative data were available for 28 patients; of these, 89.3% underwent complete resection of the amygdala, and 82.1% underwent partial or complete resection of hippocampus, in addition to lesionectomy. The mean follow-up duration was 7.7 years (range 1.0–23.1 years), with 78.9% of patients having seizure status that improved to Engel Class I, 15.8% to Engel Class II, and 5.3% to Engel Class III. Permanent complications were noted in 2.6% of patients.

Conclusions

The authors' examination of the long-term follow-up data in patients with temporal lobe tumors causing chronic intractable epilepsy demonstrated excellent results in seizure improvement after surgery.

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Dmitry Ruban, Richard W. Byrne, Andres Kanner, Michael Smith, Elizabeth J. Cochran, David Roh and Walter W. Whisler

Object

The authors undertook a study to review the clinical features and outcome in patients who underwent surgery for intractable chronic epilepsy caused by temporal lobe tumors.

Methods

The Rush Surgical Epilepsy Database was queried to identify patients with chronic intractable epilepsy who underwent resection of temporal lobe tumors between 1981 and 2005 at Rush University Medical Center. Medical records were reviewed for age of the patient at seizure onset, delay to referral for surgery, seizure frequency and characteristics, preoperative MR imaging results, extent of resection, pathological diagnosis, complications, duration of follow-up period, and seizure improvement.

Results

Thirty-eight patients were identified, all with low-grade tumors. Gangliogliomas were the most common (36.8%), followed in descending order by dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (26.3%) and low-grade diffuse astrocytoma (10.5%). The mean duration between seizure onset and surgery was 15.4 years. Complex partial seizures were the most common presenting symptom. Detailed operative data were available for 28 patients; of these, 89.3% underwent complete resection of the amygdala, and 82.1% underwent partial or complete resection of hippocampus, in addition to lesionectomy. The mean follow-up duration was 7.7 years (range 1.0–23.1 years), with 78.9% of patients having seizure status that improved to Engel Class I, 15.8% to Engel Class II, and 5.3% to Engel Class III. Permanent complications were noted in 2.6% of patients.

Conclusions

The authors' examination of the long-term follow-up data in patients with temporal lobe tumors causing chronic intractable epilepsy demonstrated excellent results in seizure improvement after surgery.

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Daniel J. DiLorenzo, Erwin Z. Mangubat, Marvin A. Rossi and Richard W. Byrne

Object

Epilepsy surgery is at the cusp of a transformation due to the convergence of advancements in multiple technologies. Emerging neuromodulatory therapies offer the promise of functionally correcting neural instability and obviating the need for resective or ablative surgery in select cases. Chronic implanted neurological monitoring technology, delivered as part of a neuromodulatory therapeutic device or as a stand-alone monitoring system, offers the potential to monitor patients chronically in their normal ambulatory setting with outpatient medication regimens. This overcomes significant temporal limitations, pharmacological perturbations, and infection risks inherent in the present technology comprising subacute percutaneous inpatient monitoring of presurgical candidates in an epilepsy monitoring unit.

Methods

As part of the pivotal study for the NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS) System, the authors assessed the efficacy of the RNS System to control seizures in a group of patients with medically refractory epilepsy. Prior to RNS System implantation, these patients were not candidates for further resective surgery because they had temporal lobe epilepsy with bilateral temporal sources, frontal lobe reflex epilepsy with involvement of primary motor cortex, and occipital lobe epilepsy with substantial involvement of eloquent visual cortex. Without interfering with and beyond the scope of the therapeutic aspect of the RNS System study, the authors were able to monitor seizure and epileptiform activity from chronically implanted subdural and depth electrodes in these patients, and, in doing so, they were able to more accurately localize the seizure source. In 5 of these study patients, in whom the RNS System was not effective, the notion of resective surgery was revisited and considered in light of the additional information gleaned from the chronic intracranial recordings obtained from various permutations of electrodes monitoring sources in the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes.

Results

Through long-term analysis of chronic unlimited recording electrocorticography (CURE) from chronically implanted electrodes, the authors were able to further refine seizure source localization and sufficiently increase the expected likelihood of seizure control to the extent that 4 patients who had previously been considered not to be candidates for surgery did undergo resective surgery, and all have achieved seizure freedom. A fifth patient, who had a double-band heterotopia, underwent surgery but did not achieve significant seizure reduction.

Conclusions

Chronic unlimited recording electrocorticography–guided resective epilepsy surgery employs new monitoring technology in a novel way, which in this small series was felt to improve seizure localization and consequently the potential efficacy of resective surgery. This suggests that the CURE modality could improve outcomes in patients who undergo resective surgery, and it may expand the set of patients in whom resective surgery may be expected to be efficacious and therefore the potential number of patients who may achieve seizure freedom. The authors report 4 cases of patients in which this technique and technology had a direct role in guiding surgery that provided seizure freedom and that suggest this new approach warrants further study to characterize its value in presurgical evaluation. Clinical trial no.: NCT00572195 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Richard W. Byrne