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Paul S. Page, Garret P. Greeneway, Simon G. Ammanuel, and Daniel K. Resnick

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar synovial cysts (LSCs) represent a relatively rare clinical pathology that may result in radiculopathy or neurogenic claudication. Because of the potential for recurrence of these cysts, some authors advocate for segmental fusion, as opposed to decompression alone, as a way to eliminate the risk for recurrence. The objective of this study was to create a predictive score for synovial cyst recurrence following decompression without fusion.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was completed of all patients evaluated at a single center over 20 years who were found to have symptomatic LSCs requiring intervention. Only patients undergoing decompression without fusion were included in the analysis. Following this review, baseline characteristics were obtained as well as radiological information. A machine learning method (risk-calibrated supersparse linear integer model) was then used to create a risk stratification score to identify patients at high risk for symptomatic cyst recurrence requiring repeat surgical intervention. Following the creation of this model, a fivefold cross-validation was completed.

RESULTS

In total, 89 patients were identified who had complete radiological information. Of these 89 patients, 11 developed cyst recurrence requiring reoperation. The Lumbar Synovial Cyst Score was then created with an area under the curve of 0.83 and calibration error of 11.0%. Factors predictive of recurrence were found to include facet inclination angle > 45°, canal stenosis > 50%, T2 joint space hyperintensity, and presence of grade I spondylolisthesis. The probability of cyst recurrence ranged from < 5% for a score of 2 or less to > 88% for a score of 7.

CONCLUSIONS

The Lumbar Synovial Cyst Score model is a quick and accurate tool to assist in clinical decision-making in the treatment of LSCs.

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Simon G. Ammanuel, Nyle C. Almeida, Garret Kurteff, Sofia Kakaizada, Annette M. Molinaro, Mitchel S. Berger, Edward F. Chang, and Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper

OBJECTIVE

Impairments of speech are common in patients with glioma and negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The benchmark for clinical assessments is task-based measures, which are not always feasible to administer and may miss essential components of HRQoL. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that variations in natural language (NL) correlate with HRQoL in a pattern distinct from task-based measures of language performance.

METHODS

NL use was assessed using audio samples collected unobtrusively from 18 patients with newly diagnosed low- and high-grade glioma. NL measures were calculated using manual segmentation and correlated with Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders (Neuro-QoL) outcomes. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to determine relationships between Neuro-QoL scores and NL measures.

RESULTS

The distribution of NL measures across the entire patient cohort included a mean ± SD total time speaking of 11.5 ± 2.20 seconds, total number of words of 27.2 ± 4.44, number of function words of 10.9 ± 1.68, number of content words of 16.3 ± 2.91, and speech rate of 2.61 ± 0.20 words/second. Speech rate was negatively correlated with functional domains (rho = −0.62 and p = 0.007 for satisfaction with social roles; rho = −0.74 and p < 0.001 for participation in social roles) but positively correlated with impairment domains (rho = 0.58 and p = 0.009 for fatigue) of Neuro-QoL.

CONCLUSIONS

Assessment of NL at the time of diagnosis may be a useful measure in the context of treatment planning and monitoring outcomes for adult patients with glioma.

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Simon G. Ammanuel, Nyle C. Almeida, Garret Kurteff, Sofia Kakaizada, Annette M. Molinaro, Mitchel S. Berger, Edward F. Chang, and Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper

OBJECTIVE

Impairments of speech are common in patients with glioma and negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The benchmark for clinical assessments is task-based measures, which are not always feasible to administer and may miss essential components of HRQoL. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that variations in natural language (NL) correlate with HRQoL in a pattern distinct from task-based measures of language performance.

METHODS

NL use was assessed using audio samples collected unobtrusively from 18 patients with newly diagnosed low- and high-grade glioma. NL measures were calculated using manual segmentation and correlated with Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders (Neuro-QoL) outcomes. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to determine relationships between Neuro-QoL scores and NL measures.

RESULTS

The distribution of NL measures across the entire patient cohort included a mean ± SD total time speaking of 11.5 ± 2.20 seconds, total number of words of 27.2 ± 4.44, number of function words of 10.9 ± 1.68, number of content words of 16.3 ± 2.91, and speech rate of 2.61 ± 0.20 words/second. Speech rate was negatively correlated with functional domains (rho = −0.62 and p = 0.007 for satisfaction with social roles; rho = −0.74 and p < 0.001 for participation in social roles) but positively correlated with impairment domains (rho = 0.58 and p = 0.009 for fatigue) of Neuro-QoL.

CONCLUSIONS

Assessment of NL at the time of diagnosis may be a useful measure in the context of treatment planning and monitoring outcomes for adult patients with glioma.

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Lei Zhao, Liwei Peng, Peng Wang, and Weixin Li

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Satvir Saggi, Ethan A. Winkler, Simon G. Ammanuel, Ramin A. Morshed, Joseph H. Garcia, Jacob S. Young, Alexa Semonche, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Adib Abla, Michael T. Lawton, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Ruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) in a child are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Prior studies investigating predictors of hemorrhagic presentation of a bAVM during childhood are limited. Machine learning (ML), which has high predictive accuracy when applied to large data sets, can be a useful adjunct for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. The goal of this study was to use ML in conjunction with a traditional regression approach to identify predictors of hemorrhagic presentation in pediatric patients based on a retrospective cohort study design.

METHODS

Using data obtained from 186 pediatric patients over a 19-year study period, the authors implemented three ML algorithms (random forest models, gradient boosted decision trees, and AdaBoost) to identify features that were most important for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. Additionally, logistic regression analysis was used to ascertain significant predictors of hemorrhagic presentation as a comparison.

RESULTS

All three ML models were consistent in identifying bAVM size and patient age at presentation as the two most important factors for predicting hemorrhagic presentation. Age at presentation was not identified as a significant predictor of hemorrhagic presentation in multivariable logistic regression. Gradient boosted decision trees/AdaBoost and random forest models identified bAVM location and a concurrent arterial aneurysm as the third most important factors, respectively. Finally, logistic regression identified a left-sided bAVM, small bAVM size, and the presence of a concurrent arterial aneurysm as significant risk factors for hemorrhagic presentation.

CONCLUSIONS

By using an ML approach, the authors found predictors of hemorrhagic presentation that were not identified using a conventional regression approach.

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Joseph H. Garcia, Ethan A. Winkler, Ramin A. Morshed, Alex Lu, Simon G. Ammanuel, Satvir Saggi, Elaina J. Wang, Steve Braunstein, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Children with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) can present with seizures, potentially increasing morbidity and impacting clinical management. However, the factors that lead to seizures as a presenting sign are not well defined. While AVM-related seizures have been described in case series, most studies have focused on adults and have included patients who developed seizures after an AVM rupture. To address this, the authors sought to analyze demographic and morphological characteristics of AVMs in a large cohort of children.

METHODS

The demographic, clinical, and AVM morphological characteristics of 189 pediatric patients from a single-center database were studied. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to test the effect of these characteristics on seizures as an initial presenting symptom in patients with unruptured brain AVMs.

RESULTS

Overall, 28 of 189 patients initially presented with seizures (14.8%). By univariate comparison, frontal lobe location (p = 0.02), larger AVM size (p = 0.003), older patient age (p = 0.04), and the Supplemented Spetzler-Martin (Supp-SM) grade (0.0006) were associated with seizure presentation. Multivariate analysis confirmed an independent effect of frontal lobe AVM location and higher Supp-SM grade. All patients presenting with seizures had AVMs in the cortex or subcortical white matter.

CONCLUSIONS

While children and adults share some risk factors for seizure presentation, their risk factor profiles do not entirely overlap. Pediatric patients with cortical AVMs in the frontal lobe were more likely to present with seizures. Additionally, the Supp-SM grade was highly associated with seizure presentation. Future clinical research should focus on the effect of therapeutic interventions targeting AVMs on seizure control in these patients.

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Lei Zhao, Liwei Peng, Peng Wang, and Weixin Li

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Hansen Deng, Andrew K. Chan, Simon G. Ammanuel, Alvin Y. Chan, Taemin Oh, Henry C. Skrehot, Caleb S. Edwards, Sravani Kondapavulur, Amy D. Nichols, Catherine Liu, John K. Yue, Sanjay S. Dhall, Aaron J. Clark, Dean Chou, Christopher P. Ames, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Surgical site infection (SSI) following spine surgery causes major morbidity and greatly impedes functional recovery. In the modern era of advanced operative techniques and improved perioperative care, SSI remains a problematic complication that may be reduced with institutional practices. The objectives of this study were to 1) characterize the SSI rate and microbial etiology following spine surgery for various thoracolumbar diseases, and 2) identify risk factors that were associated with SSI despite current perioperative management.

METHODS

All patients treated with thoracic or lumbar spine operations on the neurosurgery service at the University of California, San Francisco from April 2012 to April 2016 were formally reviewed for SSI using the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) guidelines. Preoperative risk variables included age, sex, BMI, smoking, diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary artery disease (CAD), ambulatory status, history of malignancy, use of preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) showers, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification. Operative variables included surgical pathology, resident involvement, spine level and surgical technique, instrumentation, antibiotic and steroid use, estimated blood loss (EBL), and operative time. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate predictors for SSI. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported.

RESULTS

In total, 2252 consecutive patients underwent thoracolumbar spine surgery. The mean patient age was 58.6 ± 13.8 years and 49.6% were male. The mean hospital length of stay was 6.6 ± 7.4 days. Sixty percent of patients had degenerative conditions, and 51.9% underwent fusions. Sixty percent of patients utilized presurgery CHG showers. The mean operative duration was 3.7 ± 2 hours, and the mean EBL was 467 ± 829 ml. Compared to nonfusion patients, fusion patients were older (mean 60.1 ± 12.7 vs 57.1 ± 14.7 years, p < 0.001), were more likely to have an ASA classification > II (48.0% vs 36.0%, p < 0.001), and experienced longer operative times (252.3 ± 120.9 minutes vs 191.1 ± 110.2 minutes, p < 0.001). Eleven patients had deep SSI (0.49%), and the most common causative organisms were methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Patients with CAD (p = 0.003) or DM (p = 0.050), and those who were male (p = 0.006), were predictors of increased odds of SSI, and presurgery CHG showers (p = 0.001) were associated with decreased odds of SSI.

CONCLUSIONS

This institutional experience over a 4-year period revealed that the overall rate of SSI by the NHSN criteria was low at 0.49% following thoracolumbar surgery. This was attributable to the implementation of presurgery optimization, and intraoperative and postoperative measures to prevent SSI across the authors’ institution. Despite prevention measures, having a history of CAD or DM, and being male, were risk factors associated with increased SSI, and presurgery CHG shower utilization decreased SSI risk in patients.

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Ethan A. Winkler, Alex Lu, Ramin A. Morshed, John K. Yue, W. Caleb Rutledge, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Arati B. Patel, Simon G. Ammanuel, Steve Braunstein, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, and Nalin Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) consist of dysplastic blood vessels with direct arteriovenous shunts that can hemorrhage spontaneously. In children, a higher lifetime hemorrhage risk must be balanced with treatment-related morbidity. The authors describe a collaborative, multimodal strategy resulting in effective and safe treatment of pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database was performed in children with treated and nontreated pediatric AVMs at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1998 to 2017. Inclusion criteria were age ≤ 18 years at time of diagnosis and an AVM confirmed by a catheter angiogram.

RESULTS

The authors evaluated 189 pediatric patients with AVMs over the study period, including 119 ruptured (63%) and 70 unruptured (37%) AVMs. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.6 ± 4.3 years. With respect to Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, there were 38 (20.1%) grade I, 40 (21.2%) grade II, 62 (32.8%) grade III, 40 (21.2%) grade IV, and 9 (4.8%) grade V lesions. Six patients were managed conservatively, and 183 patients underwent treatment, including 120 resections, 82 stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and 37 endovascular embolizations. Forty-four of 49 (89.8%) high-grade AVMs (SM grade IV or V) were treated. Multiple treatment modalities were used in 29.5% of low-grade and 27.3% of high-grade AVMs. Complete angiographic obliteration was obtained in 73.4% of low-grade lesions (SM grade I–III) and in 45.2% of high-grade lesions. A periprocedural stroke occurred in a single patient (0.5%), and there was 1 treatment-related death. The mean clinical follow-up for the cohort was 4.1 ± 4.6 years, and 96.6% and 84.3% of patients neurologically improved or remained unchanged in the ruptured and unruptured AVM groups following treatment, respectively. There were 16 bleeding events following initiation of AVM treatment (annual rate: 0.02 events per person-year).

CONCLUSIONS

Coordinated multidisciplinary evaluation and individualized planning can result in safe and effective treatment of children with AVMs. In particular, it is possible to treat the majority of high-grade AVMs with an acceptable safety profile. Judicious use of multimodality therapy should be limited to appropriately selected patients after thorough team-based discussions to avoid additive morbidity. Future multicenter studies are required to better design predictive models to aid with patient selection for multimodal pediatric care, especially with high-grade AVMs.

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Simon G. Ammanuel, Caleb S. Edwards, Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Joseph Kidane, Enrique Vargas, Sarah D’Souza, Amy D. Nichols, Sujatha Sankaran, Adib A. Abla, Manish K. Aghi, Edward F. Chang, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Sandeep Kunwar, Paul S. Larson, Michael T. Lawton, Philip A. Starr, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S. Berger, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Surgical site infection (SSI) is a complication linked to increased costs and length of hospital stay. Prevention of SSI is important to reduce its burden on individual patients and the healthcare system. The authors aimed to assess the efficacy of preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) showers on SSI rates following cranial surgery.

METHODS

In November 2013, a preoperative CHG shower protocol was implemented at the authors’ institution. A total of 3126 surgical procedures were analyzed, encompassing a time frame from April 2012 to April 2016. Cohorts before and after implementation of the CHG shower protocol were evaluated for differences in SSI rates.

RESULTS

The overall SSI rate was 0.6%. No significant differences (p = 0.11) were observed between the rate of SSI of the 892 patients in the preimplementation cohort (0.2%) and that of the 2234 patients in the postimplementation cohort (0.8%). Following multivariable analysis, implementation of preoperative CHG showers was not associated with decreased SSI (adjusted OR 2.96, 95% CI 0.67–13.1; p = 0.15).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest study, according to sample size, to examine the association between CHG showers and SSI following craniotomy. CHG showers did not significantly alter the risk of SSI after a cranial procedure.