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Samuel Ryu, Jack Rock, Mark Rosenblum and Jae Ho Kim

Object. Single-dose radiosurgery for solitary spinal metastases can achieve rapid and durable pain control. This study was conducted to determine the patterns of failure after spinal radiosurgery.

Methods. Forty-nine patients with 61 solitary spinal metastases underwent radiosurgery between May 2001 and May 2003. Single-dose radiosurgery (10–16 Gy) was delivered only to the involved spinal segments. The authors undertook a retrospective review of clinical notes, including patient questionnaires and radiological studies (computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging), to analyze patterns of failure following radiosurgery with regard to the pain and tumor control.

Complete and partial pain relief was achieved in 85% of the lesions treated. Relapse of pain at the treated site was noted in 7%. Radiologically, lesions progressively metastasized to the immediately adjacent spines in 5%. These patients also had progressive primary and/or other systemic metastatic diseases.

Conclusions. Spine-related pain control/reduction was excellent. Tumor recurrence at the treated segment and progression to the immediately adjacent region were rare. The results support the use of spinal radiosurgery as an effective treatment option for solitary spinal metastasis.

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Samuel Tobias, Chang-Hyun Kim, Gregory Kosmorsky and Joung H. Lee

Object

Clinoidal meningiomas remain a major neurosurgical challenge. Surgery-related outcome has been less than desirable in the past, and little attention has been directed toward improving visual deficits. The authors advocate a skull base technique for the removal of these difficult tumors and describe its advantages in terms of improving extent of resection and enhancing overall outcome, particularly visual function.

Methods

A retrospective analysis was performed on data obtained in 26 consecutive patients with clinoidal meningiomas (including one patient with hemangiopericytoma) who underwent resection between June 1995 and January 2003. In 24 cases the skull base procedure involved extradural anterior clinoidectomy, optic canal unroofing, and optic sheath opening; in two cases a standard pterional craniotomy was performed. Fourteen of the 26 patients suffered significant preoperative visual deficits. All patients underwent thorough pre- and postoperative ophthalmological evaluations. The follow-up period ranged from 3 to 91 months (mean 42.3 months). Total resection was achieved in 20 patients (77%), and the majority (76.9%) of patients with preoperative visual impairment experienced significant improvement.

Conclusions

With the use of the skull base technique, total resection and excellent visual outcome may be achieved with minimal morbidity in most patients with clinoidal meningiomas.

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Peyton L. Nisson, Ibrahim Hussain, Roger Härtl, Samuel Kim and Ali A. Baaj

OBJECTIVE

An arachnoid web of the spine (AWS) is a rare and oftentimes challenging lesion to diagnose, given its subtle radiographic findings. However, when left untreated, this lesion can have devastating effects on a patient’s neurological function. To date, only limited case reports and series have been published on this topic. In this study, the authors sought to better describe this lesion, performing a systematic literature review and including 2 cases from their institution’s experience.

METHODS

A systematic literature search was performed in September 2018 that queried Ovid MEDLINE (1946–2018), PubMed (1946–2018), Wiley Cochrane Library: Central Register of Controlled Trials (1898–2018), and Thompson Reuters Web of Science: Citation Index (1900–2018), per PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria specified all studies and case reports of patients with an AWS in which any relevant surgery types were considered and applied. Studies on arachnoid cysts and nonhuman populations, and those that did not report patient treatments or outcomes were excluded from the focus review.

RESULTS

A total of 19 records and 2 patients treated by the senior authors were included in the systematic review, providing a total of 43 patients with AWS. The mean age was 52 years (range 28–77 years), and the majority of patients were male (72%, 31/43). A syrinx was present in 67% (29/43) of the cases. All AWSs were located in the thoracic spine, and all but 2 (95%) were located dorsally (1 ventrally and 1 circumferentially). Weakness was the most frequently reported symptom (67%, 29/43), followed by numbness and/or sensory loss (65%, 28/43). Symptoms predominated in the lower extremities (81%, 35/43). It was found that nearly half (47%, 20/43) of patients had been experiencing symptoms for 1 year or longer before surgical intervention was performed, and 35% (15/43) of reports stated that symptoms were progressive in nature. The most commonly used surgical technique was a laminectomy with intradural excision of the arachnoid web (86%, 36/42). Following surgery, 91% (39/43) of patients had reported improvement in their neurological symptoms. The mean follow-up was 9.2 months (range 0–51 months).

CONCLUSIONS

AWS of the spine can be a debilitating disease of the spine with no more than an indentation of the spinal cord found on advanced imaging studies. The authors found this lesion to be reported in twice as many males than females, to be associated with a syrinx more than two-thirds of the time, and to only have been reported in the thoracic spine; over 90% of patients experienced improvement in their neurological function following surgery.

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Mauricio J. Avila, Jesse Skoch, Vernard S. Fennell, Sheri K. Palejwala, Christina M. Walter, Samuel Kim and Ali A. Baaj

Primary bone tumors of the spine are rare entities with a poor prognosis if left untreated. En bloc excision is the preferred surgical approach to minimize the rate of recurrence. Paraspinal primary bone tumors are even less common. In this technical note the authors present an approach to the en bloc resection of primary bone tumors of the paraspinal thoracic region with posterior vertebral body hemiosteotomies and lateral thoracotomy. They also describe 2 illustrative cases.

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J. Patrick Johnson, Samuel S. Ahn, William C. Choi, Jeffery E. Masciopinto, Kee D. Kim, Aaron G. Filler and Antonio A. F. DeSalles

Thoracic sympathectomy is an important option in the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis and pain disorders. Earlier surgical procedures were highly invasive with known morbidity, acceptable outcome, and established recurrence rates that were the limitations to considering surgical treatment. Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows detailed visualization of the sympathetic ganglia and minimal postoperative morbidity; however, outcome studies of this technique have been limited. The authors treated 39 patients with 60 thoracoscopic procedures, and the outcomes in this small series were equivalent to previously established open surgical techniques; however, operative moribidity rates, hospital stay, and time of return to normal activity were substantially reduced. Complications and recurrence of symptoms were also comparable to previous reports. Overall patient satisfaction and willingness to repeat the operative procedure ranged from 66 to 96% in all patients. Patients and physicians can consider minimally invasive thoracoscopic sympathectomy procedures as an option to treat sympathetically mediated disorders because of the procedure's reduced morbidity and at least equivalent outcome rates in comparison to other treatments.

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Katalin A. Szabo, Samuel H. Cheshier, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Jonathan W. Kim and Raphael Guzman

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of the use of anterior orbitotomy via the supraorbital eyelid crease to repair a dural tear caused by an orbital roof fracture. When transorbital penetrating injuries occur in children, they are commonly caused by accidental falls onto pointed objects. The authors report on their experience with a 7-year-old girl who fell onto a blunt metal rod hanger that penetrated her left eyelid, traversed superior to the eye globe, and penetrated the orbital roof at a depth of 3–4 cm, lacerating the dura mater and entering the cerebrum. An anterior transpalpebral transorbital approach was used to perform the microsurgical anterior skull base and dural repair. The authors advocate the application of this approach to orbital roof fractures because it provides excellent access to the orbital roof, eliminates the need for more invasive craniotomy, results in a small and well-hidden scar in the eye crease, and overall offers a shorter recovery time with less psychological stress to the patient.

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Jun Jae Shin, Sang Hyun Kim, Yong Eun Cho, Samuel H. Cheshier and Jon Park

Object

Several controversial issues arise in the management of unstable hangman's fractures. Some surgeons perform external reduction and immobilize the patient's neck in a halo vest, while others perform surgical reduction and internal fixation. The nonsurgical treatments with rigid collar or halo vest immobilization present problems, including nonunion, pseudarthrosis, skull fracture, and scalp laceration and may also fail to achieve anatomical realignment of the local C2–3 kyphosis. With recent advances in surgical technique and technology, surgical intervention is increasingly performed as the primary treatment in high cervical fractures. The outcomes of such surgeries are often superior to those of conservative treatment. The authors propose that surgical intervention as a primary management for hangman's fracture may avoid risks inherent in conservative management when severe circumferential discoligamentous instability is present and may reduce the risk of catastrophic results at the fracture site.

The purposes of this study were to assess fracture healing following expedient reduction and surgical fixation and to propose a guideline for treatment of unstable hangman's fractures.

Methods

From April 2006 to December 2011, the authors treated 105 patients with high cervical fractures. This study included 23 (21.9%) of these patients (15 men and 8 women; mean age 46.4 years) with Type II, IIa, and III hangman's fractures according to the Levine and Edwards classification. The patient's age, sex, mechanism of injury, associated injuries, neurological status, and complications were ascertained. The authors retrospectively assessed the clinical outcome (Neck Disability Index), radiological findings (disc height, translation, and angulation), and bony healing.

Results

The average follow-up period was 28.9 months (range 12–63.2 months). The overall average Neck Disability Index score at the time of this study was 6.6 ± 2.3. The average duration of hospitalization was 20.3 days, and fusion was achieved in all cases by 14.8 ± 1.6 weeks after surgery, as demonstrated on dynamic radiographs and cervical 3D CT scans.

The mean pretreatment translation was 6.9 ± 3.2 mm, and the mean postoperative translation was 1.6 ± 1.8 mm (mean reduction 5.2 ± 3.1 mm). The initial angulation was 4.7° ± 5.3° and the postoperative angulation was 2.5° ± 1.8° (mean reduction 6.1° ± 5.3°). The preoperative and postoperative values for translation and angulation differed significantly (p < 0.05). The overall C2–3 disc height was 6.7 ± 1.2 mm preoperatively, whereas 3 months after surgery it was 6.4 ± 1.1 mm. These values did not differ significantly (p = 0.0963).

Conclusions

The authors observed effective reduction and bony healing in cases of unstable hangman's fractures after fixation, and all patients experienced favorable clinical outcomes with neck pain improvement. The protocols allowed for physiological reconstruction of the fractured deformities and avoided external fixation. The authors suggest that posterior reduction and screw fixation should be used as a primary treatment to promote stability of hangman's fracture in the presence of discoligamentous instability or combined fractures.

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Jennifer L. Quon, Lily H. Kim, Peter H. Hwang, Zara M. Patel, Gerald A. Grant, Samuel H. Cheshier and Michael S. B. Edwards

OBJECTIVE

Transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches constitute an essential technique for the resection of skull base tumors in adults. However, in the pediatric population, sellar and suprasellar lesions have historically been treated by craniotomy. Transnasal endoscopic approaches are less invasive and thus may be preferable to craniotomy, especially in children. In this case series, the authors present their institutional experience with transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches for pediatric skull base tumors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed pediatric patients (age ≤ 18 years) who had undergone transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches for either biopsy or resection of sellar or suprasellar lesions between 2007 and 2016. All operations were performed jointly by a team of pediatric neurosurgeons and skull base otolaryngologists, except for 8 cases performed by one neurosurgeon.

RESULTS

The series included 42 patients between 4 and 18 years old (average 12.5 years) who underwent 51 operations. Headache (45%), visual symptoms (69%), and symptoms related to hormonal abnormalities (71%) were the predominant presenting symptoms. Improvement in preoperative symptoms was seen in 92% of cases. Most patients had craniopharyngiomas (n = 16), followed by pituitary adenomas (n = 12), Rathke cleft cysts (n = 4), germinomas (n = 4), chordomas (n = 2), and other lesion subtypes (n = 4). Lesions ranged from 0.3 to 6.2 cm (median 2.5 cm) in their greatest dimension. Gross-total resection was primarily performed (63% of cases), with 5 subsequent recurrences. Nasoseptal flaps were used in 47% of cases, fat grafts in 37%, and lumbar drains in 47%. CSF space was entered intraoperatively in 15 cases, and postoperative CSF was observed only in lesions with suprasellar extension. There were 8 cases of new hormonal deficits and 3 cases of new cranial nerve deficits. Length of hospital stay ranged from 1 to 61 days (median 5 days). Patients were clinically followed up for a median of 46 months (range 1–120 months), accompanied by a median radiological follow-up period of 45 months (range 3.8–120 months). Most patients (76%) were offered adjuvant therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

In this single-institution report of the transnasal endoscopic transsphenoidal approach, the authors demonstrated that this technique is generally safe and effective for different types of pediatric skull base lesions. Favorable effects of surgery were sustained during a follow-up period of 4 years. Further refinement in technology will allow for more widespread use in the pediatric population.

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Fang-Fang Yin, Samuel Ryu, Munther Ajlouni, Hui Yan, Jian-Yue Jin, Sung-Woo Lee, Jinkoo Kim, Jack Rock, Mark Rosenblum and Jae Ho Kim

✓ Radiosurgery for brain tumors has been well established in the radiation oncology and neurosurgery fields. Radiosurgery of extracranial tumors such as those involving the spine is, however, still in the early stage because of difficulties in patient immobilization and organ motion. The authors describe an image-guided procedure for intensity-modulated spinal radiosurgery that was developed at Henry Ford Hospital.

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Bruno C. Flores, Daniel R. Klinger, Kim l. Rickert, Samuel l. Barnett, Babu G. Welch, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer and Duke S. Samson

Intracranial or brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) are some of the most interesting and challenging lesions treated by the cerebrovascular neurosurgeon. It is generally believed that the combination of BAVMs and intracranial aneurysms (IAs) is associated with higher hemorrhage rates at presentation and higher rehemorrhage rates and thus with a more aggressive course and natural history. There is wide variation in the literature on the prevalence of BAVM-associated aneurysms (range 2.7%–58%), with 10%–20% being most often cited in the largest case series. The risk of intracranial hemorrhage in patients with unruptured BAVMs and coexisting IAs has been reported to be 7% annually, compared with 2%–4% annually for those with BAVM alone. Several different classification systems have been applied in an attempt to better understand the natural history of this combination of lesions and implications for treatment. Independent of the classification used, it is clear that a few subtypes of aneurysms have a direct hemodynamic correlation with the BAVM itself. This is exemplified by the fact that the presence of a distal flow-related or an intranidal aneurysm appears to be associated with an increased hemorrhage risk, when compared with an aneurysm located on a vessel with no direct supply to the BAVM nidus. Debate still exists regarding the etiology of the association between those two vascular lesions, the subsequent implications for patients’ risk of hemorrhagic stroke, and finally the determination of which patients warrant treatment and when. The ultimate goals of the treatment of a BAVM associated with an IA are to prevent hemorrhage, avoid stepwise neurological deterioration, and eliminate the mortality risk associated with recurrent hemorrhagic events. The treatment is only justifiable if the risks associated with an intervention are lower than or equivalent to the long-term risks of disability or mortality caused by the lesion itself. When faced with this difficult decision, a few questions need to be answered by the treating neu-rosurgeon: What is the mode of presentation? What is the symptomatic lesion? Which one of the lesions bled? What is the relationship between the BAVM and IA? Is it possible to safely treat both BAVM and IA? The objective of this review is to discuss the demographics, natural history, classification, and strategies for management of BAVMs associated with IAs.