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Stephen B. Lewis, Dongwoo John Chang, David A. Peace, Pamela J. Lafrentz, and Arthur L. Day

Object. Aneurysms located on the distal portion of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) are uncommon, and their underlying pathology, natural history, and clinical management are poorly understood. To clarify these lesions more fully, the authors undertook a retrospective analysis of the clinical features and management results of 22 distal PICA aneurysms in 20 consecutive patients treated at one institution by the same surgeon during the past decade.

Methods. The series included 10 men and 10 women (mean age at presentation 51 years). Nine patients presented with only subarachnoid and/or intraventricular hemorrhage (median Hunt and Hess Grade II). In seven patients intracerebellar hemorrhage was also found; two patients presented with pressure effects and two hemorrhages were incidentally discovered. Prominent comorbidities included cigarette smoking (50%) and hypertension (50%). The 13 saccular and nine fusiform distal PICA aneurysms were distributed on the following segments of the PICA: lateral medullary (seven lesions), tonsillomedullary (five lesions), telovelotonsillar (five lesions), and cortical (five lesions). Six cases were associated with cerebellar arteriovenous malformations. Skull-base and far-lateral transcondylar surgical approaches were used to secure the aneurysms in 86% of cases, either by direct clipping (13 lesions), vessel sacrifice (four lesions), or vessel sacrifice plus bypass (two lesions). Two aneurysms were treated using endovascular PICA ablation. Overall outcome at hospital discharge was excellent or good in 70% of cases. At long-term follow up (100% of patients, mean 123 days), an excellent or good outcome had been achieved in 85% of cases.

Conclusions. Depending on the PICA segment that was affected, variations in clipping strategies and surgical exposures aimed at the PICA branch and main trunk preservation were major contributors to good long-term results.

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William G. B. Singleton, Alison S. Bienemann, Max Woolley, David Johnson, Owen Lewis, Marcella J. Wyatt, Stephen J. P. Damment, Lisa J. Boulter, Clare L. Killick-Cole, Daniel J. Asby, and Steven S. Gill

OBJECTIVE

The pan–histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat has preclinical efficacy against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), and the oral formulation has entered a Phase I clinical trial. However, panobinostat does not cross the blood-brain barrier in humans. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a novel neurosurgical drug delivery technique that bypasses the blood-brain barrier and is of considerable clinical interest in the treatment of DIPG.

METHODS

The authors investigated the toxicity, distribution, and clearance of a water-soluble formulation of panobinostat (MTX110) in a small- and large-animal model of CED. Juvenile male Wistar rats (n = 24) received panobinostat administered to the pons by CED at increasing concentrations and findings were compared to those in animals that received vehicle alone (n = 12). Clinical observation continued for 2 weeks. Animals were sacrificed at 72 hours or 2 weeks following treatment, and the brains were subjected to neuropathological analysis. A further 8 animals received panobinostat by CED to the striatum and were sacrificed 0, 2, 6, or 24 hours after infusion, and their brains explanted and snap-frozen. Tissue-drug concentration was determined by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Large-animal toxicity was investigated using a clinically relevant MRI-guided translational porcine model of CED in which a drug delivery system designed for humans was used. Panobinostat was administered at 30 μM to the ventral pons of 2 juvenile Large White–Landrace cross pigs. The animals were subjected to clinical and neuropathological analysis, and findings were compared to those obtained in controls after either 1 or 2 weeks. Drug distribution was determined by LC-MS/MS in porcine white and gray matter immediately after CED.

RESULTS

There were no clinical or neuropathological signs of toxicity up to an infused concentration of 30 μM in both small- and large-animal models. The half-life of panobinostat in rat brain after CED was 2.9 hours, and the drug was observed to be distributed in porcine white and gray matter with a volume infusion/distribution ratio of 2 and 3, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

CED of water-soluble panobinostat, up to a concentration of 30 μM, was not toxic and was distributed effectively in normal brain. CED of panobinostat warrants clinical investigation in patients with DIPG.

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Michael P. Kelly, Lawrence G. Lenke, Jakub Godzik, Ferran Pellise, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, Stephen J. Lewis, Christopher P. Ames, Leah Y. Carreon, Michael G. Fehlings, Frank Schwab, and Adam L. Shimer

OBJECTIVE

The authors conducted a study to compare neurological deficit rates associated with complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery when recorded in retrospective and prospective studies. Retrospective studies may underreport neurological deficits due to selection, detection, and recall biases. Prospective studies are expensive and more difficult to perform, but they likely provide more accurate estimates of new neurological deficit rates.

METHODS

New neurological deficits were recorded in a prospective study of complex ASD surgeries (pSR1) with a defined outcomes measure (decrement in American Spinal Injury Association lower-extremity motor score) for neurological deficits. Using identical inclusion criteria and a subset of participating surgeons, a retrospective study was created (rSR1) and neurological deficit rates were collected. Continuous variables were compared with the Student t-test, with correction for multiple comparisons. Neurological deficit rates were compared using the Mantel-Haenszel method for standardized risks. Statistical significance for the primary outcome measure was p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Overall, 272 patients were enrolled in pSR1 and 207 patients were enrolled in rSR1. Inclusion criteria, defining complex spinal deformities, and exclusion criteria were identical. Sagittal Cobb measurements were higher in pSR1, although sagittal alignment was similar. Preoperative neurological deficit rates were similar in the groups. Three-column osteotomies were more common in pSR1, particularly vertebral column resection. New neurological deficits were more common in pSR1 (pSR1 17.3% [95% CI 12.6–22.2] and rSR1 9.0% [95% CI 5.0–13.0]; p = 0.01). The majority of deficits in both studies were at the nerve root level, and the distribution of level of injury was similar.

CONCLUSIONS

New neurological deficit rates were nearly twice as high in the prospective study than the retrospective study with identical inclusion criteria. These findings validate concerns regarding retrospective cohort studies and confirm the need for and value of carefully designed prospective, observational cohort studies in ASD.

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Stephen B. Lewis, Gregory J. Velat, Lynn Miralia, Linda Papa, Jada M. Aikman, Regina A. Wolper, Chris S. Firment, Ming Chen Liu, Jose A. Pineda, Kevin K. W. Wang, and Ronald L. Hayes

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (ASAH) is a serious event with grave consequences. Delayed ischemic neurological deficits caused by cerebral arterial vasospasm contribute significantly to death and disability. Biomarkers may reflect brain injury and provide an early warning of impending neurological decline and stroke from ASAH-induced vasospasm. Alpha-II spectrin is a cytoskeletal protein whose breakdown products are candidate surrogate markers of injury magnitude, treatment efficacy, and outcome. In addition, αII spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) can provide information on the proteolytic mechanisms of injury.

Methods

Twenty patients who received a diagnosis of Fisher Grade 3 ASAH were enrolled in this study to examine the clinical utility of SBDPs in the detection of cerebral vasospasm in patients with ASAH. All patients underwent placement of a ventriculostomy for continual cerebrospinal fluid drainage within 72 hours of ASAH onset. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected every 6 hours and analyzed using Western Blotting for SBDPs. Onset of vasospasm was defined as an acute onset of a focal neurological deficit or a change in Glasgow Coma Scale score of two or more points. All suspected cases of vasospasm were confirmed on imaging studies.

Results

Both calpain- and caspase-mediated SBDP levels are significantly increased in patients suffering ASAH. The concentration of SBDPs was found to increase significantly over baseline level up to 12 hours before the onset of cerebral arterial vasospasm.

Conclusions

Differential expression of SBDPs suggests oncotic necrotic proteolysis may be predominant in acute brain injury after ASAH and cerebral arterial vasospasm.

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Justin S. Smith, Michael P. Kelly, Elizabeth L. Yanik, Christine R. Baldus, Thomas J. Buell, Jon D. Lurie, Charles Edwards, Steven D. Glassman, Lawrence G. Lenke, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Jacob M. Buchowski, Leah Y. Carreon, Charles H. Crawford III, Thomas J. Errico, Stephen J. Lewis, Tyler Koski, Stefan Parent, Virginie Lafage, Han Jo Kim, Christopher P. Ames, Shay Bess, Frank J. Schwab, Christopher I Shaffrey, and Keith H Bridwell

OBJECTIVE

Although short-term adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) studies favor operative over nonoperative treatment, longer outcomes are critical for assessment of treatment durability, especially for operative treatment, because the majority of implant failures and nonunions present between 2 and 5 years after surgery. The objectives of this study were to assess the durability of treatment outcomes for operative versus nonoperative treatment of ASLS, to report the rates and types of associated serious adverse events (SAEs), and to determine the potential impact of treatment-related SAEs on outcomes.

METHODS

The ASLS-1 (Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis–1) trial is an NIH-sponsored multicenter prospective study to assess operative versus nonoperative ASLS treatment. Patients were 40–80 years of age and had ASLS (Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] ≥ 20 or Scoliosis Research Society [SRS]–22 subscore ≤ 4.0 in the Pain, Function, and/or Self-Image domains). Patients receiving operative and nonoperative treatment were compared using as-treated analysis, and the impact of related SAEs was assessed. Primary outcome measures were ODI and SRS-22.

RESULTS

The 286 patients with ASLS (107 with nonoperative treatment, 179 with operative treatment) had 2-year and 5-year follow-up rates of 90% (n = 256) and 74% (n = 211), respectively. At 5 years, compared with patients treated nonoperatively, those who underwent surgery had greater improvement in ODI (mean difference −15.2 [95% CI −18.7 to −11.7]) and SRS-22 subscore (mean difference 0.63 [95% CI 0.48–0.78]) (p < 0.001), with treatment effects (TEs) exceeding the minimum detectable measurement difference (MDMD) for ODI (7) and SRS-22 subscore (0.4). TEs at 5 years remained as favorable as 2-year TEs (ODI −13.9, SRS-22 0.52). For patients in the operative group, the incidence rates of treatment-related SAEs during the first 2 years and 2–5 years after surgery were 22.38 and 8.17 per 100 person-years, respectively. At 5 years, patients in the operative group who had 1 treatment-related SAE still had significantly greater improvement, with TEs (ODI −12.2, SRS-22 0.53; p < 0.001) exceeding the MDMD. Twelve patients who received surgery and who had 2 or more treatment-related SAEs had greater improvement than nonsurgically treated patients based on ODI (TE −8.34, p = 0.017) and SRS-22 (TE 0.32, p = 0.029), but the SRS-22 TE did not exceed the MDMD.

CONCLUSIONS

The significantly greater improvement of operative versus nonoperative treatment for ASLS at 2 years was durably maintained at the 5-year follow-up. Patients in the operative cohort with a treatment-related SAE still had greater improvement than patients in the nonoperative cohort. These findings have important implications for patient counseling and future cost-effectiveness assessments.

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Oral Presentations

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