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Editorial. Assessment of the natural history of cerebral aneurysms in the setting of competing risk

Robert M. Starke

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Editorial: Comparative effectiveness research and acromegaly

Robert Michael Starke

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Optimal surgical treatment for moyamoya disease in adults: direct versus indirect bypass

Robert M. Starke, Ricardo J. Komotar, and E. Sander Connolly

Moyamoya disease is a chronic cerebrovascular occlusive disorder that results in severe morbidity and death. There is much controversy surrounding the optimal treatment for adult patients with the disorder. There have been no randomized trials to assess the efficacy of any single surgical treatment, and existing case series suffer from inadequate power, selection bias, and inherent differences in patient characteristics. In this article the authors review the literature concerning the optimal surgical treatment of adult patients with moyamoya disease.

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Introduction to the supratentorial cerebral arteriovenous malformation video supplement

Robert M. Starke, Felipe C. Albuquerque, and Michael T. Lawton

It is with great pleasure that we present this Neurosurgical Focus video supplement on supratentorial cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We were privileged to view a remarkable number of outstanding videos demonstrating current state-of-the-art management of brain AVMs using endovascular and microsurgical modalities. Careful and critical review was required to narrow down the submitted videos to a workable volume for this supplement, which reflects the excellent work being done at multiple centers with these lesions.

This issue consists of videos that represent modern microsurgical and neuroendovascular techniques for the treatment of supratentorial cerebral AVMs. The videos demonstrate cutting-edge therapies as well as standard ones, which will be valuable to both novice and expert neurointerventionists and neurosurgeons. We are honored to be involved with this project and proud of its content and expert authors. We believe you will enjoy the video content of this supplement and hope that it will raise the collective expertise of our community of AVM surgeons.

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Percent reduction of growth hormone levels correlates closely with percent resected tumor volume in acromegaly

Lucia Schwyzer, Robert M. Starke, John A. Jane Jr., and Edward H. Oldfield


Correlation between tumor volume and hormone levels in individual patients would permit calculation of the fraction of tumor removed by surgery, by measuring postoperative hormone levels. The goals of this study were to examine the relationship between tumor volume, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor–1 (IGF-1) levels, and to assess the correlation between percent tumor removal and the reduction in plasma GH and IGF-1 in patients with acromegaly.


The 3D region of interest–based volumetric method was used to measure tumor volume via MRI before and after surgery in 11 patients with GH-secreting adenomas. The volume of residual tumor as a fraction of preoperative tumor volume was correlated with GH levels before and after surgery. Examination of this potential correlation required selection of patients with acromegaly who 1) had incomplete tumor removal, 2) had precise measurements of initial and residual tumor, and 3) were not on medical therapy.


Densely granulated tumors produced more peripheral GH per mass of tumor than sparsely granulated tumors (p = 0.04). There was a correlation between GH and IGF-1 levels (p = 0.001). Although there was no close correlation between tumor size and peripheral GH levels, after normalizing each tumor to its own plasma GH level and tumor volume, a comparison of percent tumor resection with percent drop in plasma GH yielded a high correlation coefficient (p = 0.006).


Densely granulated somatotropinomas produce more GH per mass of tumor than do sparsely granulated tumors. Each GH-secreting tumor has its own intrinsic level of GH production per mass of tumor, which is homogeneous over the tumor mass, and which varies greatly between tumors. In most patients the fraction of a GH-secreting tumor removed by surgery can be accurately estimated by simply comparing plasma GH levels after surgery to those before surgery.

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Editorial: International rotations and resident education

Robert M. Starke, John A. Jane Jr., Ashok R. Asthagiri, and John A. Jane Sr.

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Editorial: Radiosurgery and cavernous malformations

Jason Sheehan, Dale Ding, and Robert M. Starke

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Dissecting pseudoaneurysms: predictors of symptom occurrence, enlargement, clinical outcome, and treatment

Badih Daou, Christine Hammer, Nohra Chalouhi, Robert M. Starke, Pascal Jabbour, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Stavropoula Tjoumakaris


Dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries can result in the development of aneurysmal dilations. These dissecting pseudoaneurysms can enlarge and cause symptoms. The objective of this study is to provide insight into the progression of dissecting pseudoaneurysms and the treatments required to manage them.


A review of the electronic medical records was conducted to detect patients with carotid and vertebral artery dissection. An imaging review was conducted to identify patients with dissecting pseudoaneurysms. One hundred twelve patients with 120 dissecting pseudoaneurysms were identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the factors associated with undergoing further interventions other than medical treatment, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, pseudoaneurysms resulting in ischemic and nonischemic symptoms, and clinical outcome.


Overall, 18.3% of pseudoaneurysms were intracranial and 81.7% were extracranial, and the average size was 7.3 mm. The mean follow-up time was 29.3 months; 3.3% of patients had a recurrent transient ischemic attack, no patients had a recurrent stroke, and 14.2% of patients had recurrence of nonischemic symptoms (headache, neck pain, Horner syndrome, or cranial nerve palsy). Follow-up imaging demonstrated that 13.8% of pseudoaneurysms had enlarged, 30.2% had healed, and 56% had remained stable. In total, 20.8% of patients had an intervention other than medical treatment. Interventions included stenting, coiling, flow diversion, and clipping. Predictors of intervention included increasing size, size > 10 mm, location in the C2 (petrous) segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA), younger age, hyperlipidemia, pseudoaneurysm enlargement, and any symptom development. Significant predictors of enlargement included smoking, history of trauma, C2 location, hyperlipidemia, and larger initial pseudoaneurysm size. Predictors of pseudoaneurysm resulting in recurrent ischemic and nonischemic symptoms included increasing size and location in the petrous segment of the ICA. Smoking was a predictor of unfavorable outcome.


Dissecting pseudoaneurysms have a benign course and most will not cause symptoms or enlarge on follow-up. Medical treatment can be a sufficient, initial treatment for dissecting pseudoaneurysms.

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Letter to the Editor. Activity versus injury: further defining the risk/benefit ratio in the Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament

Allan D. Levi, Robert M. Starke, Ricardo J. Komotar, and Robert E. Harbaugh

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Prophylactic antiepileptic drug therapy in patients undergoing supratentorial meningioma resection: a systematic analysis of efficacy

A review

Ricardo J. Komotar, Daniel M. S. Raper, Robert M. Starke, J. Bryan Iorgulescu, and Philip H. Gutin


Meningiomas are one of the more common intracranial neoplasms. The risk of seizures and secondary aspiration, brain edema, and brain injury often leads practitioners to administer prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) perioperatively. The efficacy of this practice remains controversial, however, with prior investigations reaching conflicting results and recent studies focusing on AED side effects. The authors performed a systematic analysis of outcomes following supratentorial meningioma resection with and without prophylactic AED administration in the hope of clarifying the role of AEDs in the perioperative care of patients with these lesions.


A MEDLINE search of the literature (1979–2010) was performed. Comparisons were made for patient and tumor characteristics as well as success of repair, morbidity, and seizure outcome. Statistical analyses of categorical variables were undertaken using chi-square and Fisher exact tests.


Nineteen studies, involving 698 patients, were included. There were no significant differences in the extent of resection, perioperative mortality, or recurrence between the AED and no-AED cohorts. Likewise, there were no significant differences in the incidence of early or late seizures between the cohorts.


The results of this systematic analysis supports the conclusion that the prophylactic administration of anticonvulsants during resection of supratentorial meningiomas provides no benefit in the prevention of either early or late postoperative seizures. Despite their traditional role in this patient population, the routine use of AEDs should be carefully reconsidered.