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Joshua S. Catapano, Rohin Singh, Visish M. Srinivasan, and Michael T. Lawton

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in the brainstem, specifically medullary AVMs, are exceedingly rare and difficult to treat. These lesions are commonly more aggressive than supratentorial AVMs and pose their own unique treatment challenges. Current treatment options for these AVMs consist of endovascular embolization or open surgery. Radiosurgery is not favored because it is associated with potential risk to the brainstem and lower obliteration rates. Here the authors report the case of a 27-year-old man with a ruptured anterior medullary AVM. The patient underwent a successful far-lateral craniotomy for resection of the AVM.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/lyOfOQ3sBdU

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Saarang Patel, Rohin Singh, Nathan A. Shlobin, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, and Mohamad Bydon

Open access

Rohin Singh, Visish M. Srinivasan, Joshua S. Catapano, Joseph D. DiDomenico, Jacob F. Baranoski, and Michael T. Lawton

BACKGROUND

Coccidioidomycosis is a primarily self-limiting fungal disease endemic to the western United States and South America. However, severe disseminated infection can occur. The authors report a severe case of coccidioidal meningitis that appeared to be a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) on initial inspection.

OBSERVATIONS

A man in his early 40s was diagnosed with coccidioidal pneumonia after presenting with pulmonary symptoms. After meningeal spread characterized by declining mental status and hydrocephalus, coccidioidal meningitis was diagnosed. The uniquely difficult aspect of this case was the deceptive appearance of SAH due to the presence of multiple aneurysms and blood draining from the patient’s external ventricular drain.

LESSONS

Coccidioidal infection likely led to the formation of multiple intracranial aneurysms in this patient. Although few reports exist of coccidioidal meningitis progressing to aneurysm formation, patients should be closely monitored for this complication because outcomes are poor. The presence of basal cistern hyperdensities from a coccidioidal infection mimicking SAH makes interpreting imaging difficult. Surgical management of SAH can be considered safe and viable, especially when the index of suspicion is high, such as in the presence of multiple aneurysms. Even if it is unclear whether aneurysmal rupture has occurred, prompt treatment is advisable.

Open access

Rohin Singh, Miles Hudson, Jenna H. Meyer, Matthew T. Neal, and Naresh P. Patel

BACKGROUND

Hirayama disease (HD), also known as juvenile spinal muscular atrophy, is a rare condition in which flexion of the cervical neck causes compression and ischemic changes to the anterior horns of the spinal cord. Here the authors presented the first reported case of HD in North America that was successfully treated via surgical intervention.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient was a 15-year boy with insidious onset upper limb weakness and atrophy. His findings were a classic presentation of HD although his complex history and relative rarity of the disease caused him to remain undiagnosed for months. After conservative management via cervical collar failed, the patient was successfully treated via C5-C7 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. The patient’s symptoms stabilized by the 3-month follow-up.

LESSONS

The diagnosis of HD is easy to miss because of the lack of reporting and widespread knowledge of this condition in North America. Thus, when presented with a case of insidious onset limb weakness in a juvenile patient, HD should be placed on the differential list and verified with cervical flexion magnetic resonance imaging. Additionally, surgical intervention should be considered a safe and effective option for HD when conservative methods have failed.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Gregory A. Worrell, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Due to their deep and medial location, range of seizure semiologies, and poor localization on ictal electroencephalography (EEG), cingulate gyrus seizures can be difficult to diagnose and treat. The aim of this study was to review the available evidence on postoperative outcomes after cingulate epilepsy surgery.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted to identify studies that investigated postoperative outcomes of patients with cingulate epilepsy. Seizure freedom at the last follow-up (at least 12 months) was the primary endpoint. The literature search was supplemented by the authors’ institutional series (4 patients).

RESULTS

Twenty-one studies were identified, yielding a total of 105 patients (68 with lesional epilepsy [65%]). Median age at surgery was 23 years, and 56% of patients were male. Median epilepsy duration was 7.5 years. Invasive EEG recording was performed on 69% of patients (53% of patients with lesional epilepsy and 97% of those with nonlesional epilepsy, p < 0.001). The most commonly resected region was the anterior cingulate (55%), followed by the posterior (17%) and middle (14%) cingulate. Lesionectomy alone was performed in 9% of patients. Additional extracingulate treatment was performed in 54% of patients (53% of patients with lesional epilepsy vs 57% of those with nonlesional epilepsy, p = 0.87). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (54%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (29%) and gliosis (8%). Seizure freedom was noted in 72% of patients (median follow-up 24 months). A neurological deficit was noted in 27% of patients (24% had temporary deficit), with the most common deficit being motor weakness (13%) followed by supplementary motor area syndrome (9.5%). Univariate survival analysis revealed significantly greater probability of seizure freedom in patients with lesional epilepsy (p = 0.015, log-rank test).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical treatment of drug-resistant focal epilepsy originating from the cingulate gyrus is safe, leads to low rates of permanent adverse effects, and leads to high rates of long-term seizure freedom in carefully selected patients. These data may serve as a benchmark for surgical counseling of patients with cingulate epilepsy.

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Nolan J. Brown, Rohin Singh, Seung Jin Lee, Paola Suarez-Meade, and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

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Rohin Singh, Ryan M. Thorwarth, Bernard R. Bendok, Tanya J. Rath, Aditi A. Bhuskute, Sharon H. Gnagi, and Devyani Lal

OBJECTIVE

Improper embryological development of the clivus, a bony structure that comprises part of the skull base, can lead to a clival canal defect. Previously thought to be a benign condition, clival canals have been reported to be associated with meningitis and meningoceles. In this review, the authors sought to present an unpublished case of a patient with a clival canal defect associated with meningitis and to evaluate all other reported cases.

METHODS

In October 2020, a search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus was conducted to identify all cases of clival canals reported from January 1, 1980, through October 31, 2020.

RESULTS

Including the case presented herein, 13 cases of clival canals, 11 in children (84.6%) and 2 in adults (15.4%), have been identified. Of the pediatric patients, 5 (45.5%) had an associated meningocele, and 8 (72.7%) had meningitis. Nine of the 13 patients (69.2%) had defects that were treated surgically, 5 (38.5%) by a transnasal approach and 4 (30.8%) by a transoral approach. Two patients (15.4%) were treated with drainage and antibiotics, 1 patient (7.7%) was treated solely with antibiotics, and 1 patient (7.7%) was not treated. In the literature review, 8 reports of clival canals were found to be associated with meningitis, further contributing to the notion that the clival canal may be an overlooked source of recurrent infection. In several of these cases, surgical repair of the lesion was curative, thus preventing continued episodes of meningitis.

CONCLUSIONS

When a patient has recurrent meningitis with no clear cause, taking a closer look at clival anatomy is recommended. In addition, if a clival canal defect has been identified, surgical repair should be considered a safe and effective primary treatment option.

Free access

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Anshit Goyal, Gregory A. Worrell, W. Richard Marsh, Jamie J. Van Gompel, and Kai J. Miller

OBJECTIVE

Insular lobe epilepsy is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat. Due to anatomical intricacy and proximity to eloquent brain regions, resection of epileptic foci in that region can be associated with significant postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to review available evidence on postoperative outcomes following insular epilepsy surgery.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane) was conducted for studies investigating the postoperative outcomes for seizures originating in the insula. Seizure freedom at last follow-up (at least 12 months) comprised the primary endpoint. The authors also present their institutional experience with 8 patients (4 pediatric, 4 adult).

RESULTS

A total of 19 studies with 204 cases (90 pediatric, 114 adult) were identified. The median age at surgery was 23 years, and 48% were males. The median epilepsy duration was 8 years, and 17% of patients had undergone prior epilepsy surgery. Epilepsy was lesional in 67%. The most common approach was transsylvian (60%). The most commonly resected area was the anterior insular region (n = 42, 21%), whereas radical insulectomy was performed in 13% of cases (n = 27). The most common pathology was cortical dysplasia (n = 68, 51%), followed by low-grade neoplasm (n = 16, 12%). In the literature, seizure freedom was noted in 60% of pediatric and 69% of adult patients at a median follow-up of 29 months (75% and 50%, respectively, in the current series). A neurological deficit occurred in 43% of cases (10% permanent), with extremity paresis comprising the most common deficit (n = 35, 21%), followed by facial paresis (n = 32, 19%). Language deficits were more common in left-sided approaches (24% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis for seizure freedom revealed a significantly higher proportion of patients with lesional epilepsy among those with at least 12 months of follow-up (77% vs 59%, p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS

These findings may serve as a benchmark when tailoring decision-making for insular epilepsy, and may assist surgeons in their preoperative discussions with patients. Although seizure freedom rates are quite high with insular epilepsy treatment, the associated morbidity needs to be weighed against the potential for seizure freedom.

Restricted access

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Rohin Singh, Veronica Parisi, Gregory A. Worrell, Kai J. Miller, W. Richard Marsh, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

The prevalence of epilepsy in the older adult population is increasing. While surgical intervention in younger patients is supported by level I evidence, the safety and efficacy of epilepsy surgery in older individuals is less well established. The aim of this study was to evaluate seizure freedom rates and surgical outcomes in older epilepsy patients.

METHODS

The authors’ institutional electronic database was queried for patients older than 50 who had undergone epilepsy surgery during 2002–2018. Cases were grouped into 50–59, 60–69, and 70+ years old. Seizure freedom at the last follow-up constituted the primary outcome of interest. The institutional analysis was supplemented by a literature review and meta-analysis (random effects model) of all published studies on this topic as well as by an analysis of complication rates, mortality rates, and cost data from a nationwide administrative database (Vizient Inc., years 2016–2019).

RESULTS

A total of 73 patients (n = 16 for 50–59 years, n = 47 for 60–69, and n = 10 for 70+) were treated at the authors’ institution. The median age was 63 years, and 66% of the patients were female. At a median follow-up of 24 months, seizure freedom was 73% for the overall cohort, 63% for the 50–59 group, 77% for the 60–69 group, and 70% for the 70+ group. The literature search identified 15 additional retrospective studies (474 cases). Temporal lobectomy was the most commonly performed procedure (73%), and mesial temporal sclerosis was the most common pathology (52%), followed by nonspecific gliosis (19%). The pooled mean follow-up was 39 months (range 6–114.8 months) with a pooled seizure freedom rate of 65% (95% CI 59%–72%). On multivariable meta-regression analysis, an older mean age at surgery (coefficient [coeff] 2.1, 95% CI 1.1–3.1, p < 0.001) and the presence of mesial temporal sclerosis (coeff 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.6, p = 0.015) were the most important predictors of seizure freedom. Finally, analysis of the Vizient database revealed mortality rates of 0.5%, 1.1%, and 9.6%; complication rates of 7.1%, 10.1%, and 17.3%; and mean hospital costs of $31,977, $34,586, and $40,153 for patients aged 50–59, 60–69, and 70+ years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

While seizure-free outcomes of epilepsy surgery are excellent, there is an expected increase in morbidity and mortality with increasing age. Findings in this study on the safety and efficacy of epilepsy surgery in the older population may serve as a useful guide during preoperative decision-making and patient counseling.

Free access

Rohin Singh, Nicole M. De La Peña, Paola Suarez-Meade, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Oluwaseun O. Akinduro, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Bernard R. Bendok, Mohamad Bydon, Fredric B. Meyer, Robert J. Spinner, and David J. Daniels

Neurosurgical education is a continually developing field with an aim of training competent and compassionate surgeons who can care for the needs of their patients. The Mayo Clinic utilizes a unique mentorship model for neurosurgical training. In this paper, the authors detail the historical roots as well as the logistical and experiential characteristics of this teaching model.

This model was first established in the late 1890s by the Mayo brothers and then adopted by the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurological Surgery at its inception in 1919. It has since been implemented enterprise-wide at the Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona residency programs. The mentorship model is focused on honing resident skills through individualized attention and guidance from an attending physician. Each resident is closely mentored by a consultant during a 2- or 3-month rotation, which allows for exposure to more complex cases early in their training.

In this model, residents take ownership of their patients’ care, following them longitudinally during their hospital course with guided oversight from their mentors. During the chief year, residents have their own clinic, operating room (OR) schedule, and OR team and service nurse. In this model, chief residents conduct themselves more in the manner of an attending physician than a trainee but continue to have oversight from staff to provide a “safety net.” The longitudinal care of patients provided by the residents under the mentorship model is not only beneficial for the trainee and the hospital, but also has a positive impact on patient satisfaction and safety. The Mayo Clinic Mentorship Model is one of many educational models that has demonstrated itself to be an excellent approach for resident education.