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Sanjay Yadla, Bryan LeBude, Gabriel C. Tender, Ashwini D. Sharan, James S. Harrop, Alan S. Hilibrand, Alexander R. Vaccaro and John K. Ratliff

Object

Traumatic Grade V thoracolumbar spondylolisthesis, or traumatic spondyloptosis (severe translation injuries), are uncommon spinal injuries. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this article represents the first reported case series of these unique spinal lesions.

Methods

The authors undertook a retrospective review of a tertiary care regional spinal cord injury patient population treated over a 10-year period (1997–2007). They analyzed data regarding age, sex, mechanism of injury, neurological status, and treatment.

Results

Five patients were identified (3 men and 2 women) with ages ranging from 17 to 44 years. All patients had sustained high-energy closed spinal injuries: 3 motor vehicle accidents, 1 injured in a building collapse, and 1 hurt by a fallen steel beam. Four patients, all with sagittal-plane spondyloptosis, had a complete neurological deficit (American Spinal Injury Association [ASIA] Grade A), and 1, with coronal-plane spondyloptosis, presented with an incomplete neurological deficit (ASIA Grade C). Four patients had sustained concurrent multisystem trauma. All patients underwent surgery: an isolated posterior fusion in 2 and combined posterior-anterior fusion in 3. Only the patient with an incomplete neurological deficit (coronal-plane spondyloptosis) recovered neurological function postoperatively.

Conclusions

Traumatic thoracolumbar junction spondyloptosis is rare. Surgical reconstruction and stabilization allow for early mobilization and rehabilitation. In the present series, a patient with coronal-plane spondyloptosis presented with preserved neurological function. This may be due to the result of differences in resultant neurological compression due to displacement mechanics compared with sagittally displaced injuries.

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Sanjay Yadla, Mitchell G. Maltenfort, John K. Ratliff and James S. Harrop

Object

Appreciation of the optimal management of skeletally mature patients with spinal deformities requires understanding of the natural history of the disease relative to expected outcomes of surgical intervention. Appropriate outcome measures are necessary to define the surgical treatment. Unfortunately, the literature lacks prospective randomized data. The majority of published series report outcomes of a particular surgical approach, procedure, or surgeon. The purpose of the current study was to systematically review the present spine deformity literature and assess the available data on clinical and radiographic outcome measurements.

Methods

A systematic review of MEDLINE and PubMed databases was performed to identify articles published from 1950 to the present using the following key words: “adult scoliosis surgery,” “adult spine deformity surgery,” “outcomes,” and “complications.” Exclusion criteria included follow-up shorter than 2 years and mean patient age younger than 18 years. Data on major curve (coronal scoliosis or lumbar lordosis Cobb angle as reported), major curve correction, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) instrument scores, complications, and pseudarthroses were recorded.

Results

Forty-nine articles were obtained and included in this review; 3299 patient data points were analyzed. The mean age was 47.7 years, and the mean follow-up period was 3.6 years. The average major curve correction was 26.6° (for 2188 patients); for 2129 patients, it was possible to calculate average curve reduction as a percentage (40.7%). The mean total ODI was 41.2 (for 1289 patients), and the mean postoperative reduction in ODI was 15.7 (for 911 patients). The mean SRS-30 equivalent score was 97.1 (for 1700 patients) with a mean postoperative decrease of 23.1 (for 999 patients). There were 897 reported complications for 2175 patients (41.2%) and 319 pseudarthroses for 2469 patients (12.9%).

Conclusions

Surgery for adult scoliosis is associated with improvement in radiographic and clinical outcomes at a minimum 2-year follow-up. Perioperative morbidity includes an approximately 13% risk of pseudarthrosis and a greater than 40% incidence of perioperative adverse events. Incidence of perioperative complications is substantial and must be considered when deciding optimal disease management. Although the quality of published studies in this area has improved, particularly in the last few years, the current review highlights the lack of routine use of standardized outcomes measures and assessment in the adult scoliosis literature.

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Peter G. Campbell, Brian McGettigan, Adam Luginbuhl, Sanjay Yadla, Marc Rosen and James J. Evans

Object

The expanded endoscopic approach to craniopharyngiomas has recently been described in several small case series. The authors present their experience with this technique and review the available literature.

Methods

Between September 2006 and September 2009, 14 patients underwent a purely endoscopic, endonasal approach for resection of newly diagnosed craniopharyngiomas. These procedures represent index surgeries; no patient had undergone previous tumor resection. A retrospective review of endocrinological and ophthalmological outcomes, extent of resection, and complication prevalence was completed. Additionally, a review of the English literature was performed to evaluate outcomes of similar endoscopic techniques for resection of craniopharyngiomas.

Results

Four patients (28.6%) underwent gross-total resection; near total resection or better was achieved in 9 patients (64.3%). All patients presented with some form of visual field or acuity deficit. Postoperatively, 12 patients (85.7%) experienced visual improvement, with 6 patients (42.9%) having complete visual recovery. One patient experienced worsening of her visual deficit. Visual acuity improved in 8 patients ((57.1%), while visual field defects improved in 11 (78.6%). The pituitary stalk was preserved in all cases. Eight (57.1%) of 14 patients experienced some form of anterior pituitary dysfunction postoperatively. Although 9 patients (64.3%) were documented to have either transient or permanent new diabetes insipidus immediately after surgery, at 1-month follow-up only 1 patient met clinical criteria. Five patients (35.7%) developed CSF leaks that were successfully treated by subsequent endoscopic revision. All CSF leaks occurred early in the series. Two patients (14.2%) were treated for presumed meningitis postoperatively.

Conclusions

The endoscopic endonasal approach is a minimally invasive alternative to open transcranial approaches for select craniopharyngiomas. Similar to previous transcranial series, rates of endocrinopathy and gross-total resection were dependent upon the adherence of the tumor capsule to the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, and associated vasculature. A review of the literature suggests that the results of the current series are similar to other published series on this topic.

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Rani Nasser, Sanjay Yadla, Mitchell G. Maltenfort, James S. Harrop, D. Greg Anderson, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Ashwini D. Sharan and John K. Ratliff

Object

The overall incidence of complications or adverse events in spinal surgery is unknown. Both prospective and retrospective analyses have been performed, but the results have not been critically assessed. Procedures for different regions of the spine (cervical and thoracolumbar) and the incidence of complications for each have been reported but not compared. Authors of previous reports have concentrated on complications in terms of their incidence relevant to healthcare providers: medical versus surgical etiology and the relevance of perioperative complications to perioperative events. Few authors have assessed complication incidence from the patient's perspective. In this report the authors summarize the spine surgery complications literature and address the effect of study design on reported complication incidence.

Methods

A systematic evidence-based review was completed to identify within the published literature complication rates in spinal surgery. The MEDLINE database was queried using the key words “spine surgery” and “complications.” This initial search revealed more than 700 articles, which were further limited through an exclusion process. Each abstract was reviewed and papers were obtained. The authors gathered 105 relevant articles detailing 80 thoracolumbar and 25 cervical studies. Among the 105 articles were 84 retrospective studies and 21 prospective studies. The authors evaluated the study designs and compared cervical, thoracolumbar, prospective, and retrospective studies as well as the durations of follow-up for each study.

Results

In the 105 articles reviewed, there were 79,471 patients with 13,067 reported complications for an overall complication incidence of 16.4% per patient. Complications were more common in thoracolumbar (17.8%) than cervical procedures (8.9%; p < 0.0001, OR 2.23). Prospective studies yielded a higher incidence of complications (19.9%) than retrospective studies (16.1%; p < 0.0001, OR 1.3). The complication incidence for prospective thoracolumbar studies (20.4%) was greater than that for retrospective series (17.5%; p < 0.0001). This difference between prospective and retrospective reviews was not found in the cervical studies. The year of study publication did not correlate with the complication incidence, although the duration of follow-up did correlate with the complication incidence (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Retrospective reviews significantly underestimate the overall incidence of complications in spine surgery. This analysis is the first to critically assess differing complication incidences reported in prospective and retrospective cervical and thoracolumbar spine surgery studies.

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Anish N. Sen, Peter G. Campbell, Sanjay Yadla, Jack Jallo and Ashwini D. Sharan

Patients suffering from disorders of consciousness constitute a population that exists largely outside of the daily practice patterns of neurosurgeons. Historically, treatment has focused on nursing and custodial issues with limited neurosurgical intervention. Recently, however, deep brain stimulation has been explored to restore cognitive and physical function to patients in minimally conscious states. In this article, the authors characterize the physiological mechanisms for the use of deep brain stimulation in persistently vegetative and minimally conscious patients, review published cases and associated ethical concerns, and discuss future directions of this technology.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010

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Sanjay Yadla, Pascal M. Jabbour, Robert Shenkar, Changbin Shi, Peter G. Campbell and Issam A. Awad

Tremendous insight into the molecular and genetic pathogenesis of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) has been gained over the past 2 decades. This includes the identification of 3 distinct genes involved in familial CCMs. Still, a number of unanswered questions regarding the process from gene mutation to vascular malformation remain. It is becoming more evident that the disruption of interendothelial junctions and ensuing vascular hyperpermeability play a principal role. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current understanding of CCM genes, associated proteins, and functional pathways. Promising molecular and genetic therapies targeted at identified molecular aberrations are discussed as well.

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Sanjay Yadla, Jennifer Malone, Peter G. Campbell, Mitchell G. Maltenfort, James S. Harrop, Ashwini D. Sharan and John K. Ratliff

Object

The reported incidence of complications in spine surgery varies widely. Variable study methodologies may open differing avenues for potential bias, and unclear definitions of perioperative complication make analysis of the literature challenging. Although numerous studies have examined the morbidity associated with specific procedures or diagnoses, no prospective analysis has evaluated the impact of preoperative diagnosis on overall early morbidity in spine surgery. To accurately assess perioperative morbidity in patients undergoing spine surgery, a prospective analysis of all patients who underwent spine surgery by the neurosurgical service at a large tertiary care center over a 6-month period was conducted. The correlation between preoperative diagnosis and the incidence of postoperative complications was assessed.

Methods

Data were prospectively collected on 248 consecutive patients undergoing spine surgery performed by the neurosurgical service at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital from May to December 2008. A standardized definition of minor and major complications was applied to all adverse events occurring within 30 days of surgery. Data on diagnosis, complications, and length of stay were retrospectively assessed using stepwise multivariate analysis. Patients were analyzed by preoperative diagnosis (neoplasm, infection, degenerative disease, trauma) and level of surgery (cervical or thoracolumbar).

Results

Total early complication incidence was 53.2%, with a minor complication incidence of 46.4% and a major complication incidence of 21.3%. Preoperative diagnosis correlated only with the occurrence of minor complications in the overall cohort (p = 0.02). In patients undergoing surgery of the thoracolumbar spine, preoperative diagnosis correlated with presence of a complication and the number of complications (p = 0.003). Within this group, patients with preoperative diagnoses of infection and neoplasm were more often affected by isolated and multiple complications (p = 0.05 and p = 0.02, respectively). Surgeries across the cervicothoracic and thoracolumbar junctions were associated with higher incidences of overall complication than cervical or lumbar surgery alone (p = 0.04 and p = 0.03, respectively). Median length of stay was 5 days for patients without a complication. Length of stay was significantly greater for patients with a minor complication (10 days, p < 0.0001) and even greater for patients with a major complication (14 days, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

The incidence of complications found in this prospective analysis is higher than that reported in previous studies. This association may be due to a greater accuracy of record-keeping, absence of recall bias via prospective data collection, high complexity of pathology and surgical approaches, or application of a more liberal definition of what constitutes a complication. Further large-scale prospective studies using clear definitions of complication are necessary to ascertain the true incidence of early postoperative complications in spine surgery.

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Peter G. Campbell, Pascal Jabbour, Sanjay Yadla and Issam A. Awad

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are divided into sporadic and familial forms. For clinical imaging, T2-weighted gradient-echo sequences have been shown to be more sensitive than conventional sequences. Recently more advanced imaging techniques such as high-field and susceptibility-weighted MR imaging have been employed for the evaluation of CCMs. Furthermore, diffusion tensor imaging and functional MR imaging have been applied to the preoperative and intraoperative management of these lesions. In this paper, the authors attempt to provide a concise review of the emerging imaging methods used in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of CCMs.

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Peter G. Campbell, Erin Kenning, David W. Andrews, Sanjay Yadla, Marc Rosen and James J. Evans

Object

Using strict biochemical remission criteria, the authors assessed surgical outcomes after endoscopic transsphenoidal resection of growth hormone (GH)–secreting pituitary adenomas and identified preoperative factors that significantly influence the rate of remission.

Methods

A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database was performed. The authors reviewed cases in which an endoscopic resection of GH-secreting pituitary adenomas was performed. The cohort consisted of 26 patients who had been followed for 3–60 months (mean 24.5 months). The thresholds of an age-appropriate, normalized insulin-like growth factor–I concentration, a nadir GH level after oral glucose load of less than 1.0 μg/l, and a random GH value of less than 2.5 μg/l were required to establish biochemical cure postoperatively.

Results

Overall, in 57.7% of patients undergoing a purely endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenectomy for acromegaly, an endocrinological cure was achieved. The mean clinical follow-up duration was 24.5 months. In patients with microadenomas (4 cases) the cure rate was 75%, whereas in patients harboring macroadenomas (22 cases) the cure rate was 54.5%. Cavernous sinus invasion (Knosp Grades 3 and 4) was associated with a significantly lower remission rate (p = 0.0068). Hardy Grade 3 and 4 tumors were also less likely to achieve biochemical cure (p = 0.013). The overall complication rate was 11.5% including 2 incidents of transient diabetes insipidus and 1 postoperative CSF leak, which were treated nonoperatively.

Conclusions

A purely endoscopic transsphenoidal approach to GH-secreting pituitary adenomas leads to similar outcome for noninvasive macroadenomas compared with traditional microsurgical techniques. Furthermore, this approach may often provide maximal visualization of the tumor, the pituitary gland, and the surrounding neurovascular structures.