✓ Vincristine has a high neurotoxicity level. If given intrathecally by accident, it can cause ascending radiculomyeloencephalopathy, which is almost always fatal. The authors report a rare case in which vincristine was accidentally injected intrathecally into a 32-year-old man. The patient, who had Burkitt lymphoma, was neurologically intact, and it is likely that his survival was made possible due to aggressive neurosurgical therapy. After immediate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) aspiration, external ventricular and lumbar drains were placed for CSF irrigation, which was continued for 6 days. This CSF irrigation was combined with 1) the intrathecal administration of fresh-frozen plasma to bind the vincristine and 2) an intravenous antineurotoxic therapy involving pyridoxine, folic acid, and glutamic acid. The patient's first sensorimotor deficits occurred after 2 days, led to an incomplete sensorimotor dysfunction below T-9 within the next 17 days, but progressed no further. Supported by the scarce data culled from the reviewed literature, the authors hypothesize that prolonged CSF irrigation combined with antineurotoxic therapy contributed to the patient's satisfactory outcome. In conclusion, accidental intrathecal vincristine injection requires emergency and adequate neurosurgical therapy.
Maher Qweider, Joachim M. Gilsbach and Veit Rohde
Dorothee Mielke, Kai Kallenberg, Marius Hartmann and Veit Rohde
The authors report the case of a 76-year-old man with a spinal dural arteriovenous fistula. The patient suffered from sudden repeated reversible paraplegia after spinal digital subtraction angiography as well as CT angiography. Neurotoxicity of contrast media (CM) is the most probable cause for this repeated short-lasting paraplegia.
Intolerance to toxicity of CM to the vulnerable spinal cord is rare, and probably depends on the individual patient. This phenomenon is transient and can occur after both intraarterial and intravenous CM application.
Marcus C. Korinth, Vincent T. Ramaekers and Veit Rohde
Nicholas C. Bambakidis and Warren R. Selman
Ruth Thiex, Armin Thron, Joachim M. Gilsbach and Veit Rohde
Object. Because of the rarity of spinal subdural hematomas (SDHs), the literature offers scarce estimates of the outcome and predictive factors in patients suffering from these lesions. In addition, single-institution surgical series are still lacking. Therefore, the authors retrospectively evaluated the early and long-term functional outcomes measured in eight patients with spontaneous and nonspontaneous spinal SDHs in whom the clot had been evacuated.
Methods. The patients' charts were evaluated for origin of the lesion, risk factors, and neurological deficits at symptom onset and at 28 days after extirpation of the spinal SDH. Long-term clinical outcome (Barthel Index [BI]) was evaluated by administering a telephone questionnaire to the patient or a relative.
Only one patient with a spontaneous spinal SDH was identified. Four patients were undergoing anticoagulant therapy, and three patients had undergone a previous anesthetic/diagnostic spinal procedure. Twenty-eight days postoperatively, neurological deficits improved in six of eight patients; however, in two of the six patients, the improvement did not allow the patients to become independent again. In two patients, surgery did not affect the complete sensorimotor deficits. In the long-term survivors (median 45 months) a median BI of 55 was achieved. The latency between symptom onset and surgery did not correlate with functional outcome in this series. The preoperative neurological condition and location of the hematoma correlated positively with early and long-term functional outcome.
Conclusions. To the best of their knowledge, the present study is the largest single-institutional study of patients with surgically treated spinal SDHs. Despite some postoperative improvement of sensorimotor deficits in most patients, the prognosis is poor because 50% of the patients remain dependent. Their outcome was determined by the preoperative sensorimotor function and spinal level of the spinal SDH.
Veit Rohde, Ina Rohde, Ruth Thiex, Azize Ince, Axel Jung, Gregor Dückers, Klaus Gröschel, Carina Röttger, Wilhelm Küker, Harald D. Müller and Joachim M. Gilsbach
Object. Fibrinolysis therapy accomplished using tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and aspiration is considered to be a viable alternative to microsurgery and medical therapy for the treatment of deep-seated spontaneous intracerebral hematomas (SICHs). Tissue plasminogen activator is a mediator of thrombin- and ischemia-related delayed edema. Because both thrombin release and ischemia occur after SICH, the authors planned to investigate the effect of fibrinolytic therapy on hematoma and delayed edema volume.
Methods. A spherical hematoma was created in the frontal white matter of 18 pigs. In the tPA-treated group (nine pigs), a mean of 1.55 ml tPA was injected into the clot and the resulting liquefied blood was aspirated. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed on Days 0 (after surgery), 4, and 10, and the volumes of hematoma and edema were determined. In the animals not treated with tPA (untreated group; nine pigs), the volume of hematoma dropped from 1.43 ± 0.42 ml on Day 0 to 0.85 ± 0.28 ml on Day 10. In the tPA-treated group, the volume of hematoma was reduced from 1.51 ± 0.28 ml on Day 0 to 0.52 ± 0.39 ml on Day 10. In comparison with the untreated group, the reduction in hematoma volume was significantly accelerated (p = 0.02). In the untreated group, perihematomal edema increased from 0.32 ± 0.61 ml to 1.73 ± 0.73 ml on Day 4, before dropping to 1.17 ± 0.92 ml on Day 10. In the tPA-treated group, the volume of the edema increased from 0.09 ± 0.21 ml on Day 0 to 1.93 ± 0.79 ml on Day 4, and further to 3.34 ± 3.21 ml on Day 10. The increase in edema volume was significantly more pronounced in the tPA-treated group (p = 0.04).
Conclusions. Despite a significantly accelerated reduction in hematoma volume, the development of delayed perifocal edema was intensified by fibrinolytic therapy, which is probably related to the function of tPA as a mediator of edema formation after thrombin release and ischemia. Further experimental and clinical investigations are required to establish the future role of fibrinolysis in the management of SICH.
Vesna Malinova, Bawarjan Schatlo, Martin Voit, Patricia Suntheim, Veit Rohde and Dorothee Mielke
Clipping of a ruptured intracranial aneurysm requires some degree of vessel manipulation, which in turn is believed to contribute to vasoconstriction. One of the techniques used during surgery is temporary clipping of the parent vessel. Temporary clipping may either be mandatory in cases of premature rupture (rescue) or represent a precautionary or facilitating surgical step (elective). The aim of this study was to study the association between temporary clipping during aneurysm surgery and the incidence of vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) in a large clinical series.
Seven hundred seventy-eight patients who underwent surgical aneurysm treatment after aSAH were retrospectively included in the study. In addition to surgical parameters, the authors recorded transcranial Doppler (TCD) sonography–documented vasospasm (TCD-vasospasm, blood flow acceleration > 120 cm/sec), delayed ischemic neurological deficits (DINDs), and delayed cerebral infarction (DCI). Multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was applied to assess the association between temporary clipping, vasospasm, DIND, and DCI.
Temporary clipping was performed in 338 (43.4%) of 778 patients during aneurysm surgery. TCD sonographic flow acceleration developed in 370 (47.6%), DINDs in 123 (15.8%), and DCI in 97 (12.5%). Patients with temporary clipping showed no significant increase in the incidence of TCD-vasospasm compared with patients without temporary clipping (49% vs 48%, respectively; p = 0.60). DINDs developed in 12% of patients with temporary clipping and 18% of those without temporary clipping (p = 0.01). DCI occurred in 9% of patients with temporary clipping and 15% of those without temporary clipping (p = 0.02). The need for rescue temporary clipping was a predictor for DCI; 19.5% of patients in the rescue temporary clipping group but only 11.3% in the elective temporary clipping group had infarcts (p = 0.02). Elective temporary clipping was not associated with TCD-vasospasm (p = 0.31), DIND (p = 0.18), or DCI (p = 0.06).
Temporary clipping did not contribute to a higher rate of TCD-vasospasm, DIND, or DCI in comparison with rates in patients without temporary clipping. In contrast, there was an association between temporary clipping and a lower incidence of DINDs and DCI. There is no reason to be hesitant in using elective temporary clipping if deemed appropriate.
Granit Molliqaj, Bawarjan Schatlo, Awad Alaid, Volodymyr Solomiichuk, Veit Rohde, Karl Schaller and Enrico Tessitore
The quest to improve the safety and accuracy and decrease the invasiveness of pedicle screw placement in spine surgery has led to a markedly increased interest in robotic technology. The SpineAssist from Mazor is one of the most widely distributed robotic systems. The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of robot-guided and conventional freehand fluoroscopy-guided pedicle screw placement in thoracolumbar surgery.
This study is a retrospective series of 169 patients (83 women [49%]) who underwent placement of pedicle screw instrumentation from 2007 to 2015 in 2 reference centers. Pathological entities included degenerative disorders, tumors, and traumatic cases. In the robot-assisted cohort (98 patients, 439 screws), pedicle screws were inserted with robotic assistance. In the freehand fluoroscopy-guided cohort (71 patients, 441 screws), screws were inserted using anatomical landmarks and lateral fluoroscopic guidance. Patients treated before 2009 were included in the fluoroscopy cohort, whereas those treated since mid-2009 (when the robot was acquired) were included in the robot cohort. Since then, the decision to operate using robotic assistance or conventional freehand technique has been based on surgeon preference and logistics. The accuracy of screw placement was assessed based on the Gertzbein-Robbins scale by a neuroradiologist blinded to treatment group. The radiological slice with the largest visible deviation from the pedicle was chosen for grading. A pedicle breach of 2 mm or less was deemed acceptable (Grades A and B) while deviations greater than 2 mm (Grades C, D, and E) were classified as misplacements.
In the robot-assisted cohort, a perfect trajectory (Grade A) was observed for 366 screws (83.4%). The remaining screws were Grades B (n = 44 [10%]), C (n = 15 [3.4%]), D (n = 8 [1.8%]), and E (n = 6 [1.4%]). In the fluoroscopy-guided group, a completely intrapedicular course graded as A was found in 76% (n = 335). The remaining screws were Grades B (n = 57 [12.9%]), C (n = 29 [6.6%]), D (n = 12 [2.7%]), and E (n = 8 [1.8%]). The proportion of non-misplaced screws (corresponding to Gertzbein-Robbins Grades A and B) was higher in the robot-assisted group (93.4%) than the freehand fluoroscopy group (88.9%) (p = 0.005).
The authors’ retrospective case review found that robot-guided pedicle screw placement is a safe, useful, and potentially more accurate alternative to the conventional freehand technique for the placement of thoracolumbar spinal instrumentation.
Vesna Malinova, Bogdan Iliev, Ioannis Tsogkas, Veit Rohde, Marios-Nikos Psychogios and Dorothee Mielke
The severity of early brain injury (EBI) after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) correlates with delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and outcome. A disruption of the blood-brain barrier is part of EBI pathophysiology. The aim of this study was to assess tissue permeability (PMB) by CT perfusion (CTP) in the acute phase after aSAH and its impact on DCI and outcome.
CTP was performed on day 3 after aSAH. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of all CTP parameters, including PMB, were performed. The areas with increased PMB were documented. The value of an early PMB increase as a predictor of DCI and outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) grade 3 to 24 months after aSAH was assessed. Possible associations of increased PMB with the Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Early Brain Edema Score (SEBES) and with early perfusion deficits, as radiographic EBI markers, were evaluated.
A total of 69 patients were enrolled in the study. An increased PMB on early CTP was detected in 10.1% (7/69) of all patients. A favorable outcome (mRS grade ≤ 2) occurred in 40.6% (28/69) of all patients. DCI was detected in 25% (17/69) of all patients. An increased PMB was a predictor of DCI (logistic regression, p = 0.03) but not of outcome (logistic regression, p = 0.40). The detection of increased PMB predicted DCI with a sensitivity of 25%, a specificity of 94%, a positive predictive value of 57%, and a negative predictive value of 79% (chi-square test p = 0.03). Early perfusion deficits were seen in 68.1% (47/69) of the patients, a finding that correlated with DCI (p = 0.005) but not with the outcome. No correlation was found between the SEBES and increased PMB.
Changes in PMB can be detected by early CTP after aSAH, which correlates with DCI. Future studies are needed to evaluate the time course of PMB changes and their interaction with therapeutic measures.
Veit Rohde, Ernst-Johannes Haberl, Hans Ludwig and Ulrich-W. Thomale
The goal of this report was to describe the authors' initial experiences with an adjustable gravity-assisted valve (GAV) called the ProGAV in treating childhood hydrocephalus.
The ProGAV was implanted in 53 children (29 boys and 24 girls, median age 7.3 years) with hydrocephalus of various origins. The ProGAV consists of a differential-pressure unit with adjustable opening pressures and a gravitational unit with a fixed opening pressure.
The mean follow-up period was 15.2 months (range 6–44 months). The authors did not observe any valve-related complications. Four infections (7.5%) occurred, warranting the removal of the shunt. In 19 children, the opening pressure was changed at least once during the follow-up period, for underdrainage in 10, overdrainage in 8, and shunt weaning in 1, with substantial clinical improvement in 18 children. Overall, good clinical results were obtained in 47 (88.7%) of the 53 valve placements.
With an overall success rate of 88.7%, the first experiences with the ProGAV in childhood hydrocephalus are promising and justify its further use in the pediatric population.