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Svetlana Kvint, James Schuster and Monisha A. Kumar

Patients taking antithrombotic agents are very common in neurosurgical practice. The perioperative management of these patients can be extremely challenging especially as newer agents, with poorly defined laboratory monitoring and reversal strategies, become more prevalent. This is especially true with emergent cases in which rapid reversal of anticoagulation is required and the patient’s exact medical history is not available. With an aging patient population and the associated increase in diseases such as atrial fibrillation, it is expected that the use of these agents will continue to rise in coming years. Furthermore, thromboembolic complications such as deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and myocardial infarction are common complications of major surgery. These trends, in conjunction with a growing understanding of the hemostatic process and its contribution to the pathophysiology of disease, stress the importance of the complete evaluation of a patient’s hemostatic profile in guiding management decisions. Viscoelastic hemostatic assays (VHAs), such as thromboelastography and rotational thromboelastometry, are global assessments of coagulation that account for the cellular and plasma components of coagulation. This FDA-approved technology has been available for decades and has been widely used in cardiac surgery and liver transplantation. Although VHAs were cumbersome in the past, advances in software and design have made them more accurate, reliable, and accessible to the neurosurgeon. VHAs have demonstrated utility in guiding intraoperative blood product transfusion, identifying coagulopathy in trauma, and managing postoperative thromboprophylaxis. The first half of this review aims to evaluate and assess VHAs, while the latter half seeks to appraise the evidence supporting their use in neurosurgical populations.

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Amparo Wolf, Svetlana Kvint, Abraham Chachoua, Anna Pavlick, Melissa Wilson, Bernadine Donahue, John G. Golfinos, Joshua Silverman and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of brain metastases is increasing with improved systemic therapies, many of which have a limited impact on intracranial disease. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a first-line management option for brain metastases. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a threshold tumor size below which local control (LC) rates approach 100%, and to relate these findings to the use of routine surveillance brain imaging.

METHODS

From a prospective registry, 200 patients with 1237 brain metastases were identified who underwent SRS between December 2012 and May 2015. The median imaging follow-up duration was 7.9 months, and the median margin dose was 18 Gy. The maximal diameter and volume of tumors were measured. Histological analysis included 96 patients with non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), 40 with melanoma, 35 with breast cancer, and 29 with other histologies.

RESULTS

Almost 50% of brain metastases were NSCLCs and commonly measured less than 6 mm in maximal diameter or 70 mm3 in volume. Thirty-three of 1237 tumors had local progression at a median of 8.8 months. The 1- and 2-year actuarial LC rates were 97% and 93%, respectively. LC of 100% was achieved for all intracranial metastases less than 100 mm3 in volume or 6 mm in diameter. Patients whose tumors at first SRS were less than 10 mm maximal diameter or a volume of 250 mm3 had improved overall survival.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS can achieve LC rates approaching 100% for subcentimeter metastases. The earlier initial detection and prompt treatment of small intracranial metastases may prevent the development of neurological symptoms and the need for resection, and improve overall survival. To identify tumors when they are small, routine surveillance brain imaging should be considered as part of the standard of care for lung, breast, and melanoma metastases.

■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: prognostic; study design: retrospective cohort; evidence: Class II.

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Eveline Teresa Hidalgo, Svetlana Kvint, Cordelia Orillac, Emily North, Yosef Dastagirzada, Jamie Chiapei Chang, Gifty Addae, Tara S. Jennings, Matija Snuderl and Jeffrey H. Wisoff

OBJECTIVE

The choice of treatment modality for optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) is controversial. Chemotherapy is widely regarded as first-line therapy; however, subtotal resections have been reported for decompression or salvage therapy as first- and second-line treatment. The goal of this study was to further investigate the role and efficacy of resection for OPGs.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on 83 children who underwent surgical treatment for OPGs between 1986 and 2014. Pathology was reviewed by a neuropathologist. Clinical outcomes, including progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and complications, were analyzed.

RESULTS

The 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 55% and 46%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year OS rates were 87% and 78%, respectively. The median extent of resection was 80% (range 30%–98%). Age less than 2 years at surgery and pilomyxoid features of the tumor were found to be associated with significantly lower 5-year OS. No difference was seen in PFS or OS of children treated with surgery as a first-line treatment compared with children with surgery as a second- or third-line treatment. Severe complications included new disabling visual deficit in 5%, focal neurological deficit in 8%, and infection in 2%. New hormone deficiency occurred in 22% of the children.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately half of all children experience a long-term benefit from resection both as primary treatment and as a second-line therapy after failure of primary treatment. Primary surgery does not appear to have a significant benefit for children younger than 2 years or tumors with pilomyxoid features. Given the risks associated with surgery, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to tailor the treatment plan to the individual characteristics of each child.