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Rob J. M. Groen and Berrie Middel

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Letter to the Editor

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Rob J. M. Groen and Piet V. J. M. Hoogland

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Rob J. M. Groen, Peter J. Koehler and Alfred Kloet

The development of modern neurosurgery in the Netherlands, which took place in the 1920s, was highly influenced by the personal involvement of both Harvey Cushing and Walter Dandy, each in his own way. For the present article, the authors consulted the correspondence (kept at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library in New Haven and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives in Baltimore) of Cushing and Dandy with their Dutch disciples. The correspondence provides a unique inside view into the minds of both neurosurgical giants. After the neurologist Bernard Brouwer had paved the way for sending the Dutch surgeon Ignaz Oljenick overseas, Cushing personally took the responsibility to train him (1927–1929). On his return to Amsterdam, Oljenick and Brouwer established the first neurosurgical department in the country. Encouraged by Oljenick's favorable results, a number of Dutch general surgeons started asking Cushing for support. Cushing strategically managed and deflected these requests, probably aiming to increase the advantage of Oljenick and Brouwer. However, the University Hospital in Groningen persisted in the plans to establish its own neurosurgical unit and sent Ferdinand Verbeek to the US in 1932. Although staying at Cushing's department initially, Verbeek ultimately applied to Walter Dandy for a position of visiting voluntary assistant, staying until the end of 1934. Verbeek and Dandy became lifelong friends. On his return to Groningen, Verbeek started practicing neurosurgery, isolated in the northern part of the country. He relied on the support of Dandy, with whom he kept up a regular correspondence, discussing cases and seeking advice. Dandy, on his part, used Verbeek as the ambassador in Europe for his operative innovations. At the beginning of World War II, Oljenick had to flee the country, which concluded the direct line with the Cushing school in the Netherlands. After Dandy's death (1946), Verbeek continued practicing neurosurgery following his style and philosophy. By the time Verbeek died in 1958, the strong American influence on everyday practice of Dutch neurosurgeons had been established.

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Nicolaas A. Bakker, Rob J. M. Groen, Mahrouz Foumani, Maarten Uyttenboogaart, Omid S. Eshghi, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Natasja Lammers, Gert-Jan Luijckx and J. Marc C. Van Dijk

Object

A repeat digital subtraction angiography (DSA) study of the cranial vasculature is routinely performed in patients with diffuse nonperimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) after negative baseline CT angiography (CTA) and DSA studies. However, DSA carries a low but substantial risk of neurological complications. Therefore, the authors evaluated the added value of repeat DSA in patients with initial angiographically negative diffuse nonperimesencephalic SAH.

Methods

A systematic review of the contemporary literature was performed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Studies from January 2000 onward were reviewed since imaging modalities have much improved over the last decade. A pooled analysis was conducted to identify the detection rate of repeat DSA. In addition, the diagnostic yield of repeat DSAs in a prospectively maintained single-center series of 1051 consecutive patients with SAH was added to the analysis.

Results

An initial search of the literature yielded 179 studies, 8 of which met the selection criteria. Another 45 patients from the authors' institution were included in the study, providing 368 patients eligible for the pooled analysis. In 37 patients (10.0%, 95% CI 7.4%–13.6%) an aneurysm was detected on repeat DSA. The timing of the repeat DSA varied from 1 to 6 weeks after the initial DSA. The use of 3D techniques was poorly described among these studies, and no direct comparisons between CTA and DSA were made.

Conclusions

Repeat DSA is still warranted in patients with a diffuse nonperimesencephalic SAH and negative initial assessment. However, the exact timing of the repeat DSA is subject to debate.

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Weiming Liu, Nicolaas A. Bakker and Rob J. M. Groen

Object

In this paper the authors systematically evaluate the results of different surgical procedures for chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH).

Methods

The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and other databases were scrutinized according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) statement, after which only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs were included. At least 2 different neurosurgical procedures in the management of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) had to be evaluated. Included studies were assessed for the risk of bias. Recurrence rates, complications, and outcome including mortality were taken as outcome measures. Statistical heterogeneity in each meta-analysis was assessed using the T2 (tau-squared), I2, and chi-square tests. The DerSimonian-Laird method was used to calculate the summary estimates using the fixed-effect model in meta-analysis.

Results

Of the 297 studies identified, 19 RCTs were included. Of them, 7 studies evaluated the use of postoperative drainage, of which the meta-analysis showed a pooled OR of 0.36 (95% CI 0.21–0.60; p < 0.001) in favor of drainage. Four studies compared twist drill and bur hole procedures. No significant differences between the 2 methods were present, but heterogeneity was considered to be significant. Three studies directly compared the use of irrigation before drainage. A fixed-effects meta-analysis showed a pooled OR of 0.49 (95% CI 0.21–1.14; p = 0.10) in favor of irrigation. Two studies evaluated postoperative posture. The available data did not reveal a significant advantage in favor of the postoperative supine posture. Regarding positioning of the catheter used for drainage, it was shown that a frontal catheter led to a better outcome. One study compared duration of drainage, showing that 48 hours of drainage was as effective as 96 hours of drainage.

Conclusions

Postoperative drainage has the advantage of reducing recurrence without increasing complications. The use of a bur hole or twist drill does not seem to make any significant difference in recurrence rates or other outcome measures. It seems that irrigation may lead to a better outcome. These results may lead to more standardized procedures.

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Carlina E. van Donkelaar, Nicolaas A. Bakker, Nic J. G. M. Veeger, Maarten Uyttenboogaart, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Omid Eshghi, Aryan Mazuri, Mahrouz Foumani, Gert-Jan Luijckx, Rob J. M. Groen and J. Marc C. van Dijk

OBJECTIVE

Currently, early prediction of outcome after spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) lacks accuracy despite multiple studies addressing this issue. The clinical condition of the patient on admission as assessed using the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grading scale is currently considered the gold standard. However, the timing of the clinical assessment is subject to debate, as is the contribution of additional predictors. The aim of this study was to identify either the conventional WFNS grade on admission or the WFNS grade after neurological resuscitation (rWFNS) as the most accurate predictor of outcome after SAH.

METHODS

This prospective observational cohort study included 1620 consecutive patients with SAH admitted between January 1998 and December 2014 at our university neurovascular center. The primary outcome measure was a poor modified Rankin Scale score at the 2-month follow-up. Clinical predictors were identified using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis was used to test discriminative performance of the final model. An AUC of > 0.8 was regarded as indicative of a model with good prognostic value.

RESULTS

Poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale Score 4–6) was observed in 25% of the patients. The rWFNS grade was a significantly stronger predictor of outcome than the admission WFNS grade. The rWFNS grade was significantly associated with poor outcome (p < 0.001) as well as increasing age (p < 0.001), higher modified Fisher grade (p < 0.001), larger aneurysm size (p < 0.001), and the presence of an intracerebral hematoma (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.8; p = 0.002). The final model had an AUC of 0.87 (95% CI 0.85–0.89), which indicates excellent prognostic value regarding the discrimination between poor and good outcome after SAH.

CONCLUSIONS

In clinical practice and future research, neurological assessment and grading of patients should be performed using the rWFNS to obtain the best representation of their clinical condition.

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Rob Molenberg, Marlien W. Aalbers, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Aryan Mazuri, Gert-Jan Luijckx, Rob J. M. Groen, Maarten Uyttenboogaart and J. Marc C. van Dijk

OBJECTIVE

Unruptured intracranial aneurysms are common incidental findings on brain imaging. Short-term follow-up for conservatively treated aneurysms is routinely performed in most cerebrovascular centers, although its clinical relevance remains unclear. In this study, the authors assessed the extent of growth as well as the rupture risk during short-term follow-up of conservatively treated unruptured intracranial aneurysms. In addition, the influence of patient-specific and aneurysm-specific factors on growth and rupture risk was investigated.

METHODS

The authors queried their prospective institutional neurovascular registry to identify patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms and short-term follow-up imaging, defined as follow-up MRA and/or CTA within 3 months to 2 years after initial diagnosis. Medical records and questionnaires were used to acquire baseline information. The authors measured aneurysm size at baseline and at follow-up to detect growth. Rupture was defined as a CT scan–proven and/or CSF-proven subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

RESULTS

A total of 206 consecutive patients with 267 conservatively managed unruptured aneurysms underwent short-term follow-up at the authors’ center. Seven aneurysms (2.6%) enlarged during a median follow-up duration of 1 year (range 0.3–2.0 years). One aneurysm (0.4%) ruptured 10 months after initial discovery. Statistically significant risk factors for growth or rupture were autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (RR 8.3, 95% CI 2.0–34.7), aspect ratio > 1.6 or size ratio > 3 (RR 10.8, 95% CI 2.2–52.2), and initial size ≥ 7 mm (RR 10.7, 95% CI 2.7–42.8).

CONCLUSIONS

Significant growth of unruptured intracranial aneurysms may occur in a small proportion of patients during short-term follow-up. As aneurysm growth is associated with an increased risk of rupture, the authors advocate that short-term follow-up is clinically relevant and has an important role in reducing the risk of a potential SAH.