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Jeffrey N. Bruce and Samuel S. Bruce

Object. Management of postcraniotomy wound infections has traditionally consisted of operative debridement and removal of devitalized bone flaps followed by delayed cranioplasty. The authors report the highly favorable results of a prospective study in which postcraniotomy wound infections were managed with surgical debridement to preserve the bone flaps and avoid cranioplasty.

Methods. Since 1990, 13 patients with postcraniotomy wound infections have been prospectively treated with open surgical debridement and replacement of the bone flap. All patients received a full course of systemic antibiotic agents based on the determination of the bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity. Notable risk factors for infection included prior craniotomies, radiotherapy, and skull base procedures. The mean long-term follow-up period was 35 × 20 months. In all five patients who underwent craniotomies without complications, bone flap preservation was possible with full resolution of the infection and without the need for additional surgery. Among the eight patients with risk factors, bone preservation was possible in six patients, although two required minor wound revisions (without bone flap removal). Both patients who underwent craniofacial procedures required an additional procedure in which the bone flap was removed for recurrent infection (one after 2 months and the other after 29 months).

Conclusions. In patients with uncomplicated postcraniotomy infections, simple operative debridement is sufficient and it is not necessary to discard the bone flaps and perform cranioplasties. Even patients with risk factors such as prior surgery or radiotherapy can usually be treated using this strategy. Patients who undergo craniofacial surgeries involving the nasal sinuses are at higher risk and may require bone flap removal.

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Bruce S. Chozick, Steven E. Reinert and Samuel H. Greenblatt

✓ The authors have assessed the incidence of postoperative seizures in 158 patients with supratentorial meningiomas diagnosed by computerized tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, which theoretically should lead to early diagnosis and treatment and the potential for improved seizure outcome. Univariate chi-square and logistic regression analyses were performed on 24 independent variables against the outcome variable of occurrence of a postoperative seizure. The median duration of preoperative seizures was 1 month, considerably shorter than that found in studies conducted prior to the advent of CT and MR imaging. Of 63 patients with a history of preoperative seizures, 40 (63.5%) had complete cessation of seizures after surgery. Twelve (92.3%) of 13 patients with one to three postoperative seizures eventually achieved complete seizure control, whereas only four (40%) of 10 patients with more than three postoperative seizures achieved this result. Overall, 88.9% of patients with preoperative seizures achieved complete seizure control postoperatively. Multivariate analysis was used to identify six variables that were predictive of the occurrence of postoperative seizures: preoperative seizure history, preoperative language disturbance, extent of tumor removal, parietal location of tumor, postoperative anticonvulsant medication status, and postoperative hydrocephalus. These variables were incorporated into a diagnostic model designed to predict the risk of a postoperative seizure following meningioma surgery. On the basis of their findings, the authors conclude that earlier detection and treatment of supratentorial meningiomas improve seizure outcome in patients with preoperative epilepsy. Furthermore, an assessment of the risk of postoperative seizures may help guide decisions concerning weaning patients from anticonvulsant medications postoperatively.

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Adam M. Sonabend, Brad E. Zacharia, Hannah Goldstein, Samuel S. Bruce, Dawn Hershman, Alfred I. Neugut and Jeffrey N. Bruce

Object

Central nervous system (CNS) hemangiopericytomas are relatively uncommon and unique among CNS tumors as they can originate from or develop metastases outside of the CNS. Significant difference of opinion exists in the management of these lesions, as current treatment paradigms are based on limited clinical experience and single-institution series. Given these limitations and the absence of prospective clinical trials within the literature, nationwide registries have the potential to provide unique insight into the efficacy of various therapies.

Methods

The authors queried the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to investigate the clinical behavior and prognostic factors for hemangiopericytomas originating within the CNS during the years 2000–2009. The SEER survival data were adjusted for demographic factors including age, sex, and race. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify characteristics associated with overall survival.

Results

The authors identified 227 patients with a diagnosis of CNS hemangiopericytoma. The median length of follow-up was 34 months (interquartile range 11–63 months). Median survival was not reached, but the 5-year survival rate was 83%. Univariate analysis showed that age and radiation therapy were significantly associated with survival. Moreover, young age and supratentorial location were significantly associated with survival on multivariate analysis. Most importantly, multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model showed a statistically significant survival benefit for patients treated with gross-total resection (GTR) in combination with adjuvant radiation treatment (HR 0.31 [95% CI 0.01–0.95], p = 0.04), an effect not appreciated with GTR alone.

Conclusions

The authors describe the epidemiology of CNS hemangiopericytomas in a large, national cancer database, evaluating the effectiveness of various treatment paradigms used in clinical practice. In this study, an overall survival benefit was found when GTR was accomplished and combined with radiation therapy. This finding has not been appreciated in previous series of patients with CNS hemangiopericytoma and warrants future investigations into the role of upfront adjuvant radiation therapy.

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Eric S. Sussman, Christopher P. Kellner, Michael M. McDowell, Samuel S. Bruce, Simon G. Heuts, Zong Zhuang, Rachel A. Bruce, Jan Claassen and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the most deadly and least treatable subtype of stroke, and at the present time there are no evidence-based therapeutic interventions for patients with this disease. Secondary injury mechanisms are known to cause substantial rates of morbidity and mortality following ICH, and the inflammatory cascade is a major contributor to this post-ICH secondary injury. The alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) agonists have a well-established antiinflammatory effect and have been shown to attenuate perihematomal edema volume and to improve functional outcome in experimental ICH. The authors evaluate the current evidence for the use of an α7-nAChR agonist as a novel therapeutic agent in patients with ICH.

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Simon G. Heuts, Samuel S. Bruce, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Christopher P. Kellner, Eric S. Sussman, Michael M. McDowell, Rachel A. Bruce and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Large intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), compounded by perihematomal edema, can produce severe elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP). Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) with or without clot evacuation has been considered a part of the armamentarium of treatment options for these patients. The authors sought to assess the preliminary utility of DHC without evacuation for ICH in patients with supratentorial, dominant-sided lesions.

Methods

From September 2009 to May 2012, patients with ICH who were admitted to the neurological ICU at Columbia University Medical Center were prospectively enrolled in that institution's ICH Outcomes Project (ICHOP). Five patients with spontaneous supratentorial dominant-sided ICH underwent DHC without clot evacuation for recalcitrant elevated ICP. Data pertaining to the patients' characteristics and outcomes of treatment were prospectively collected.

Results

The patients' median age was 43 years (range 30–55 years) and the ICH etiology was hypertension in 4 of 5 patients, and systemic lupus erythematosus vasculitis in 1 patient. On admission, the median Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 7 (range 5–9). The median ICH volume was 53 cm3 (range 28–79 cm3), and the median midline shift was 7.6 mm (range 3.0–11.3 mm). One day after surgery, the median decrease in midline shift was 2.7 mm (range 1.5–4.6 mm), and the median change in GCS score was +1 (range −3 to +5). At discharge, all patients were still alive, and the median GCS score was 10 (range 9–11), the median modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score was 5 (range 5–5), and the median NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) score was 22 (range 17–27). Six months after hemorrhage, 1 patient had died, 2 were functionally dependent (mRS Score 4–5), and 2 were functionally independent (mRS Score 0–3). Outcomes for the patients treated with DHC were good compared with 1) outcomes for all patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH admitted during the same period (n = 144) and 2) outcomes for matched patients (dominant ICH, GCS Score 5–9, ICH volume 28–79 cm3, age < 60 years) whose cases were managed nonoperatively (n = 5).

Conclusions

Decompressive hemicraniectomy without clot evacuation appears feasible in patients with large ICH and deserves further investigation, preferably in a randomized controlled setting.

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Eric S. Sussman, Christopher P. Kellner, Eric Nelson, Michael M. McDowell, Samuel S. Bruce, Rachel A. Bruce, Zong Zhuang and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Ventriculostomy—the placement of an external ventricular drain (EVD)—is a common procedure performed in patients with acute neurological injury. Although generally considered a low-risk intervention, recent studies have cited higher rates of hemorrhagic complications than those previously reported. The authors sought to determine the rate of postventriculostomy hemorrhage in a cohort of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and to identify predictors of hemorrhagic complications of EVD placement.

Methods

Patients with ICH who underwent EVD placement and had both pre- and postprocedural imaging available for analysis were included in this study. Relevant data were prospectively collected for each patient who satisfied inclusion criteria. Variables with a p < 0.20 on univariate analyses were included in a stepwise logistic regression model to identify predictors of postventriculostomy hemorrhage.

Results

Sixty-nine patients were eligible for this analysis. Postventriculostomy hemorrhage occurred in 31.9% of patients. Among all patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhage, the mean hemorrhage volume was 0.66 ± 1.06 cm3. Stratified according to ventricular catheter diameter, patients treated with smaller-diameter catheters had a significantly greater mean hemorrhage volume than patients treated with larger-diameter catheters (0.84 ± 1.2 cm3 vs 0.14 ± 0.12 cm3, p = 0.049). Postventriculostomy hemorrhage was clinically significant in only 1 patient (1.4%). Overall, postventriculostomy hemorrhage was not associated with functional outcome or mortality at either discharge or 90 days. In the multivariate model, an age > 75 years was the only independent predictor of EVD-associated hemorrhage.

Conclusions

Advanced age is predictive of EVD-related hemorrhage in patients with ICH. While postventriculostomy hemorrhage is common, it appears to be of minor clinical significance in the majority of patients.

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Eric S. Sussman, Christopher P. Kellner, Joanna L. Mergeche, Samuel S. Bruce, Michael M. McDowell, Eric J. Heyer and E. Sander Connolly

Object

Approximately 25% of patients exhibit cognitive dysfunction 24 hours after carotid endarterectomy (CEA). One of the purported mechanisms of early cognitive dysfunction (eCD) is hypoperfusion due to inadequate collateral circulation during cross-clamping of the carotid artery. The authors assessed whether poor collateral circulation within the circle of Willis, as determined by preoperative CT angiography (CTA) or MR angiography (MRA), could predict eCD.

Methods

Patients who underwent CEA after preoperative MRA or CTA imaging and full neuropsychometric evaluation were included in this study (n = 42); 4 patients were excluded due to intraoperative electroencephalographic changes and subsequent shunt placement. Thirty-eight patients were included in the statistical analyses. Patients were stratified according to posterior communicating artery (PCoA) status (radiographic visualization of at least 1 PCoA vs of no PCoAs). Variables with p < 0.20 in univariate analyses were included in a stepwise multivariate logistic regression model to identify predictors of eCD after CEA.

Results

Overall, 23.7% of patients exhibited eCD. In the final multivariate logistic regression model, radiographic absence of both PCoAs was the only independent predictor of eCD (OR 9.64, 95% CI 1.43–64.92, p = 0.02).

Conclusions

The absence of both PCoAs on preoperative radiographic imaging is predictive of eCD after CEA. This finding supports the evidence for an underlying ischemic etiology of eCD. Larger studies are justified to verify the findings of this study. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00597883 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).

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Benjamin C. Kennedy, Kathleen M. Kelly, Michelle Q. Phan, Samuel S. Bruce, Michael M. McDowell, Richard C. E. Anderson and Neil A. Feldstein

OBJECT

Symptomatic pediatric Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is most often treated with posterior fossa decompression (PFD), but controversy exists over whether the dura needs to be opened during PFD. While dural opening as a part of PFD has been suggested to result in a higher rate of resolution of CM symptoms, it has also been shown to lead to more frequent complications. In this paper, the authors present the largest reported series of outcomes after PFD without dural opening surgery, as well as identify risk factors for recurrence.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 156 consecutive pediatric patients in whom the senior authors performed PFD without dural opening from 2003 to 2013. Patient demographics, clinical symptoms and signs, radiographic findings, intraoperative ultrasound results, and neuromonitoring findings were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to determine risk factors for recurrence of symptoms and the need for reoperation.

RESULTS

Over 90% of patients had a good clinical outcome, with improvement or resolution of their symptoms at last follow-up (mean 32 months). There were no major complications. The mean length of hospital stay was 2.0 days. In a multivariate regression model, partial C-2 laminectomy was an independent risk factor associated with reoperation (p = 0.037). Motor weakness on presentation was also associated with reoperation but only with trend-level significance (p = 0.075). No patient with < 8 mm of tonsillar herniation required reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

The vast majority (> 90%) of children with symptomatic CM-I will have improvement or resolution of symptoms after a PFD without dural opening. A non–dural opening approach avoids major complications. While no patient with tonsillar herniation < 8 mm required reoperation, children with tonsillar herniation at or below C-2 have a higher risk for failure when this approach is used.

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Benjamin C. Kennedy, Taylor B. Nelp, Kathleen M. Kelly, Michelle Q. Phan, Samuel S. Bruce, Michael M. McDowell, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECT

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is associated with a syrinx in 25%–85% of patients. Although posterior fossa decompression (PFD) without dural opening is an accepted treatment option for children with symptomatic CM-I, many surgeons prefer to open the dura if a syrinx exists. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and timing of syrinx resolution in children undergoing PFD without dural opening for CM-I.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 68 consecutive pediatric patients with CM-I and syringomyelia who underwent PFD without dural opening was conducted. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms and signs, radiographic findings, and intraoperative ultrasound and neuromonitoring findings were studied as well as the patients’ clinical and radiographic follow-up.

RESULTS

During the mean radiographic follow-up period of 32 months, 70% of the syringes improved. Syrinx improvement occurred at a mean of 31 months postoperatively. All patients experienced symptom improvement within the 1st year, despite only 26% of patients showing radiographic improvement during that period. Patients presenting with sensory symptoms or motor weakness had a higher likelihood of having radiographic syrinx improvement postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

In children with CM-I and a syrinx undergoing PFD without dural opening, syrinx resolution occurs in approximately 70% of patients. Radiographic improvement of the syrinx is delayed, but this does not correlate temporally with symptom improvement. Sensory symptoms or motor weakness on presentation are associated with syrinx resolution after surgery.

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Eric J. Heyer, Christopher P. Kellner, Hani R. Malone, Samuel S. Bruce, Joanna L. Mergeche, Justin T. Ward and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

The role of genetic polymorphisms in the neurological outcome of patients after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) remains unclear. There are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that predispose patients to postoperative cognitive dysfunction (CD). We aim to assess the predictability of three complement cascade-related SNPs for CD in patients having CEAs.

Methods

In 252 patients undergoing CEA, genotyping was performed for the following polymorphisms: complement component 5 (C5) rs17611, mannose-binding lectin 2 (MBL2) rs7096206, and complement factor H (CFH) rs1061170. Differences among genotypes were analyzed via the chi-square test. Patients were evaluated with a neuropsychometric battery for CD 1 day and 1 month after CEA. A multiple logistic regression model was created. All variables with univariate p < 0.20 were included in the final model.

Results

The C5 genotypes A/G (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.11–0.60, p = 0.002) and G/G (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.09–0.52, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with lower odds of exhibiting CD at 1 day after CEA compared with A/A. The CFH genotypes C/T (OR 3.37, 95% CI 1.69–6.92, p < 0.001) and C/C (OR 3.67, 95% CI 1.30–10.06, p = 0.012) were significantly associated with higher odds of exhibiting CD at 1 day after CEA compared with T/T. Statin use was also significantly associated with lower odds of exhibiting CD at 1 day after CEA (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.22–0.84, p = 0.01). No SNPs were significantly associated with CD at 1 month after CEA.

Conclusions

The presence of a deleterious allele in the C5 and CFH SNPs may predispose patients to exhibit CD after CEA. This finding supports previous data demonstrating that the complement cascade system may play an important role in the development of CD. These findings warrant further investigation.