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Sunil Kumar Gupta and Pravin Salunke

Excision of petroclival meningiomas remains a surgical challenge. Extradural anterior petrosectomy is widely used as a skull base approach for these tumors; however, this approach has significant procedure-related morbidity. The authors describe an alternative technique of tailored intradural petrosectomy for removal of petroclival meningiomas. This technique was used successfully in 5 patients. Gross-total or near-total resection was possible in 2 patients, whereas a subtotal removal was achieved in 3 patients, without significant morbidity. The petrous drilling was tailored depending on the extent of tumor. Transsylvian intradural anterior petrosectomy is a safe approach for petroclival meningiomas. This approach avoids problems related to subtemporal retraction and rationalizes the degree of bone drilling.

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Adnan Hussain Shahid, Manju Mohanty, Navneet Singla, Bhagwant Rai Mittal, and Sunil Kumar Gupta

OBJECTIVE

Decompressive craniectomy is an established therapy for refractory intracranial hypertension. Cranioplasty following decompressive craniectomy not only provides protection to the brain along with cosmetic benefits, but also enhances rehabilitation with meaningful functional recovery of potentially reversible cortical and subcortical damaged areas of the affected as well as the contralateral hemisphere. The aim of the study was to assess neurological and cognitive outcome as well as cerebral blood flow after cranioplasty.

METHODS

Thirty-four patients admitted for replacement cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy for head injury were studied prospectively. Clinical, neurological, and cognitive outcomes were assessed by the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), the Glasgow Coma Scale, and a battery of cognitive tests, respectively. Simultaneously, cerebral blood perfusion was assessed by technetium-99m ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) brain SPECT imaging 7 days prior to and 3 months after cranioplasty.

RESULTS

Prior to cranioplasty 9 patients (26.5%) had GOS scores of 5 and 25 patients (73.5%) had GOS scores of 4, whereas postcranioplasty all 34 patients (100%) improved to GOS scores of 5. Approximately 35.3%–90.9% patients showed cognitive improvement postcranioplasty in various tests. Also, on comparison with brain SPECT, 94% of patients showed improvement in cerebral perfusion in different lobes.

CONCLUSIONS

Cranioplasty remarkably improves neurological and cognitive outcomes supported by improvement in cerebral blood perfusion.

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Ravi Sharma, Sachin A. Borkar, Manoj Phalak, Sumit Sinha, and Ashok K. Mahapatra

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Sushanta K. Sahoo, Sivashanmugam Dhandapani, Apinderpreet Singh, Chandrashekhar Gendle, Madhivanan Karthigeyan, Pravin Salunke, Ashish Aggarwal, Navneet Singla, Raghav Singla, Manjul Tripathi, Rajesh Chhabra, Sandeep Mohindra, Manoj Kumar Tewari, Manju Mohanty, Hemant Bhagat, Arunaloke Chakrabarti, and Sunil Kumar Gupta

OBJECTIVE

COVID-19 has affected surgical practice globally. Treating neurosurgical patients with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic is challenging in institutions with shared patient areas. The present study was performed to assess the changing patterns of neurosurgical cases, the efficacy of repeated testing before surgery, and the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients.

METHODS

Cases of non–trauma-related neurosurgical patients treated at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were reviewed. During the pandemic, all patients underwent a nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction test to detect COVID-19 at admission. Patients who needed immediate intervention were surgically treated following a single COVID-19 test, while stable patients who initially tested negative for COVID-19 were subjected to repeated testing at least 5 days after the first test and within 48 hours prior to the planned surgery. The COVID-19 positivity rate was compared with the local period prevalence. The number of patients who tested positive at the second test, following a negative first test, was used to determine the probable number of people who could have become infected during the surgical procedure without second testing.

RESULTS

Of the total 1769 non–trauma-related neurosurgical patients included in this study, a mean of 337.2 patients underwent surgery per month before COVID-19, while a mean of 184.2 patients (54.6% of pre–COVID-19 capacity) underwent surgery per month during the pandemic period, when COVID-19 cases were on the rise in India. There was a significant increase in the proportion of patients undergoing surgery for a ruptured aneurysm, stroke, hydrocephalus, and cerebellar tumors, while the number of patients seeking surgery for chronic benign diseases declined. At the first COVID-19 test, 4 patients (0.48%) tested were found to have the disease, a proportion 3.7 times greater than that found in the local community. An additional 5 patients tested positive at the time of the second COVID-19 test, resulting in an overall inpatient period prevalence of 1%, in contrast to a 0.2% national cumulative caseload. It is possible that COVID-19 was prevented in approximately 67.4 people every month by using double testing.

CONCLUSIONS

COVID-19 has changed the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating the practice. Despite the fact that the pandemic has not yet reached its peak in India, COVID-19 has been detected 3.7 times more often in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients than in the local community, even with single testing. Double testing displays an incremental value by disclosing COVID-19 overall in 1 in 100 inpatients and thus averting its spread through neurosurgical services.