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Matthew L. Vestal, Emily B. Wong, Dan A. Milner Jr., William B. Gormley and Ian F. Dunn

This report is the first published case of cerebral melioidosis in the western hemisphere. In this paper the authors review the literature on neurological melioidosis and its presentation and treatment in endemic areas, describe the clinical course of this unique case of a presentation of the disease with cranial abscess in the US, review the pathological and radiological findings associated with this seminal case, and put forth recommendations for recognizing and treating possible future instances of the disease within the western hemisphere.

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Per K. Eide, Benjamin I. Rapoport, William B. Gormley and Joseph R. Madsen

Object

In the search for optimal monitoring and predictive tools in neurocritical care, the relationship of the pulsatile component of intracranial pressure (ICP) and the pressure itself has long been of great interest. Higher pressure often correlates with a higher pulsatile response to the heartbeat, interpreted as a type of compliance curve. Various mathematical approaches have been used, but regardless of the formula used, it is implicitly assumed that a reproducible curve exists. The authors investigated the stability of the correlation between static and pulsatile ICPs in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who were observed for several hours by using data sets large enough to allow such calculations to be made.

Methods

The ICP recordings were obtained in 39 patients with SAH and were parsed into 6-second time windows (1,998,944 windows in 197 recordings). The ICP parameters were computed for each window as follows: static ICP was defined as the mean ICP, and pulsatile ICP was characterized by mean ICP wave amplitude, rise time, and rise time coefficient.

Results

The mean ICP and ICP wave amplitudes were simultaneously high or low (the expected correlation) in only ~ 60% of observations. Furthermore, static and pulsatile ICP correlated well only over short intervals; the degree of correlation weakened over periods of hours and was inconsistent across patients and within individual patients over time. Decorrelation originated with abrupt shifting and gradual drifting of mean ICP and ICP wave amplitude over several hours.

Conclusions

The relationship between the static and pulsatile components of ICPs changes over time. It evolves, even in individual patients, over a number of hours. This can be one reason the observation of high pulsatile ICP (indicative of reduced intracranial compliance) despite normal mean ICP that is seen in some patients with SAH. The meaning and potential clinical usefulness of such changes in the curves is uncertain, but it implies that clinical events result not only from moving further out on a compliance curve; in practice, the curve, and the biological system that underlies the curve, may itself change.

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Faith C. Robertson, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr. and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Ventriculostomy entry sites are commonly selected by freehand estimation of Kocher's point or approximations from skull landmarks and a trajectory toward the ipsilateral frontal horn of the lateral ventricles. A recognized ventriculostomy complication is intracranial hemorrhage from cortical vessel damage; reported rates range from 1% to 41%. In this report, the authors assess hemorrhagic risk by simulating traditional ventriculostomy trajectories and using CT angiography (CTA) with venography (CTV) data to identify potential complications, specifically from cortical draining veins.

METHODS

Radiographic analysis was completed on 50 consecutive dynamic CTA/CTV studies obtained at a tertiary-care academic neurosurgery department. Image sections were 0.5 mm thick, and analysis was performed on a venous phase that demonstrated high-quality opacification of the cortical veins and sagittal sinus. Virtual ventriculostomy trajectories were determined for right and left sides using medical diagnostic imaging software. Entry points were measured along the skull surface, 10 cm posteriorly from the nasion, and 3 cm laterally for both left and right sides. Cannulation was simulated perpendicular to the skull surface. Distances between the software-traced cortical vessels and the virtual catheter were measured. To approximate vessel injury by twist drill and ventricular catheter placement, veins within a 3-mm radius were considered a hemorrhage risk.

RESULTS

In 100 virtual lines through Kocher's point toward the ipsilateral ventricle, 19% were predicted to cause cortical vein injury and suspected hemorrhage (radius ≤ 3 mm). Little difference existed between cerebral hemispheres (right 18%, left 20%). The average (± SD) distance from the trajectory line and a cortical vein was 7.23 ± 4.52 mm. In all 19 images that predicted vessel injury, a site of entry for an avascular zone near Kocher's point could be achieved by moving the trajectory less than 1.0 cm laterally and less than 1.0 cm along the anterior/posterior axis, suggesting that empirical measures are suboptimal, and that patient-specific coordinates based on preprocedural CTA/CVA imaging may optimize ventriculostomy in the future.

CONCLUSIONS

In this institutional radiographic imaging analysis, traditional methods of ventriculostomy site selection predicted significant rates of cortical vein injury, matching described rates in the literature. CTA/CTV imaging potentiates identification of patient-specific cannulation sites and custom trajectories that avoid cortical vessels, which may lessen the risk of intracranial hemorrhage during ventriculostomy placement. Further development of this software is underway to facilitate stereotactic ventriculostomy and improve outcomes.

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Hormuzdiyar Dasenbrock, William B. Gormley, Yoojin Lee, Vincent Mor, Susan L. Mitchell and Corey R. Fehnel

OBJECTIVE

Data evaluating the long-term outcomes, particularly with regard to treatment modality, of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in octogenarians are limited. The primary objectives were to evaluate the disposition (living at home vs institutional settings) and analyze the predictors of long-term survival and return to home for octogenarians after SAH.

METHODS

Data pertaining to patients age 80 and older who underwent microsurgical clipping or endovascular coiling for SAH were extracted from 100% nationwide Medicare inpatient claims and linked with the Minimum Data Set (2008–2011). Patient disposition was tracked for 2 years after index SAH admission. Multivariable logistic regression stratified by aneurysm treatment modality, and adjusted for patient factors including SAH severity, evaluated predictors of return to home at 60 and 365 days after SAH. Survival 365 days after SAH was analyzed with a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

A total of 1298 cases were included in the analysis. One year following SAH, 56% of the patients had died or were in hospice care, 8% were in an institutional post–acute care setting, and 36% had returned home. Open microsurgical clipping (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.54–0.81), male sex (aHR 0.70, 95% CI 0.57–0.87), tracheostomy (aHR 0.63, 95% CI 0.47–0.85), gastrostomy (aHR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48–0.76), and worse SAH severity (aHR 0.94, 95% CI 0.92–0.97) were associated with reduced likelihood of patients ever returning home. Older age (aHR 1.09, 95% CI 1.05–1.13), tracheostomy (aHR 2.06, 95% CI 1.46–2.91), gastrostomy (aHR 1.55, 95% CI 1.14–2.10), male sex (aHR 1.66, 95% CI 1.20–2.23), and worse SAH severity 1.51 (95% CI 1.04–2.18) were associated with reduced survival.

CONCLUSIONS

In this national analysis, 56% of octogenarians with SAH died, and 36% returned home within 1 year of SAH. Coil embolization predicted returning to home, which may suggest a benefit to endovascular treatment in this patient population.

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Ryan Brewster, Wenya Linda Bi, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, Ian F. Dunn and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Baseball maintains one of the highest impact injury rates in all athletics. A principal causative factor is the “beanball,” referring to a pitch thrown directly at a batter’s head. Frequent morbidities elicited demand for the development of protective gear development in the 20th century. In this setting, Dr. Walter Dandy was commissioned to design a “protective cap” in 1941. His invention became widely adopted by professional baseball and inspired subsequent generations of batting helmets. As a baseball aficionado since his youth, Walter Dandy identified a natural partnership between baseball and medical practice for the reduction of beaning-related brain injuries. This history further supports the unique position of neurosurgeons to leverage clinical insights, inform innovation, and expand service to society.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Kevin X. Liu, Christopher A. Devine, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley and Ian F. Dunn

OBJECT

Although the length of hospital stay is often used as a measure of quality of care, data evaluating the predictors of extended hospital stay after craniotomy for tumor are limited. The goals of this study were to use multivariate regression to examine which preoperative characteristics and postoperative complications predict a prolonged hospital stay and to assess the impact of length of stay on unplanned hospital readmission.

METHODS

Data were extracted from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2007 to 2013. Patients who underwent craniotomy for resection of a brain tumor were included. Stratification was based on length of hospital stay, which was dichotomized by the upper quartile of the interquartile range (IQR) for the entire population. Covariates included patient age, sex, race, tumor histology, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, preoperative neurological deficits, operative time, and postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression with forward prediction was used to evaluate independent predictors of extended hospitalization. Thereafter, hierarchical multivariate logistic regression assessed the impact of length of stay on unplanned readmission.

RESULTS

The study included 11,510 patients. The median hospital stay was 4 days (IQR 3-8 days), and 27.7% (n = 3185) had a hospital stay of at least 8 days. Independent predictors of extended hospital stay included age greater than 70 years (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28%-1.83%, p < 0.001); African American (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.44%-2.14%, p < 0.001) and Hispanic (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.36%-2.08%) race or ethnicity; ASA class 3 (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.34%-1.73%) or 4-5 (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.82%-2.62%) designation; partially (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.61%-2.35%) or totally dependent (OR 3.30, 95% CI 1.95%-5.55%) functional status; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.16%-1.84%); hematological comorbidities (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.25%-2.24%); and preoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.51%-2.09%, all p ≤ 0.009). Several postoperative complications were additional independent predictors of prolonged hospitalization including pulmonary emboli (OR 13.75, 95% CI 4.73%-39.99%), pneumonia (OR 5.40, 95% CI 2.89%-10.07%), and urinary tract infections (OR 11.87, 95% CI 7.09%-19.87%, all p < 0.001). The C-statistic of the model based on preoperative characteristics was 0.79, which increased to 0.83 after the addition of postoperative complications. A length of stay after craniotomy for tumor score was created based on preoperative factors significant in regression models, with a moderate correlation with length of stay (p = 0.43, p < 0.001). Extended hospital stay was not associated with differential odds of an unplanned hospital readmission (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89%-1.06%, p = 0.55).

CONCLUSIONS

In this NSQIP analysis that evaluated patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor, much of the variance in hospital stay was attributable to baseline patient characteristics, suggesting length of stay may be an imperfect proxy for quality. Additionally, longer hospitalizations were not found to be associated with differential rates of unplanned readmission.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Timothy R. Smith, Robert F. Rudy, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although reoperation and readmission have been used as quality metrics, there are limited data evaluating the rate of, reasons for, and predictors of reoperation and readmission after microsurgical clipping of unruptured aneurysms.

METHODS

Adult patients who underwent craniotomy for clipping of an unruptured aneurysm electively were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry (2011–2014). Multivariable logistic regression and recursive partitioning analysis evaluated the independent predictors of nonroutine hospital discharge, unplanned 30-day reoperation, and readmission. Predictors screened included patient age, sex, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, functional status, aneurysm location, preoperative laboratory values, operative time, and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

Among the 460 patients evaluated, 4.2% underwent any reoperation at a median of 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] 2–17 days) postoperatively, and 1.1% required a cranial reoperation. The most common reoperation was ventricular shunt placement (23.5%); other reoperations were tracheostomy, craniotomy for hematoma evacuation, and decompressive hemicraniectomy. Independent predictors of any unplanned reoperation were age greater than 51 years and longer operative time (p ≤ 0.04). Readmission occurred in 6.3% of patients at a median of 6 days (IQR 5–13 days) after discharge from the surgical hospitalization; 59.1% of patients were readmitted within 1 week and 86.4% within 2 weeks of discharge. The most common reason for readmission was seizure (26.7%); other causes of readmission included hydrocephalus, cerebrovascular accidents, and headache. Unplanned readmission was independently associated with age greater than 65 years, Class II or III obesity (body mass index > 35 kg/m2), preoperative hyponatremia, and preoperative anemia (p ≤ 0.04). Readmission was not associated with operative time, complications during the surgical hospitalization, length of stay, or discharge disposition. Recursive partitioning analysis identified the same 4 variables, as well as ASA classification, as associated with unplanned readmission. The most potent predictors of nonroutine hospital discharge (16.7%) were postoperative neurological and cardiopulmonary complications; other predictors were age greater than 51 years, preoperative hyponatremia, African American and Asian race, and a complex vertebrobasilar circulation aneurysm.

CONCLUSIONS

In this national analysis, patient age greater than 65 years, Class II or III obesity, preoperative hyponatremia, and anemia were associated with adverse events, highlighting patients who may be at risk for complications after clipping of unruptured cerebral aneurysms. The preponderance of early readmissions highlights the importance of early surveillance and follow-up after discharge; the frequency of readmission for seizure emphasizes the need for additional data evaluating the utility and duration of postcraniotomy seizure prophylaxis. Moreover, readmission was primarily associated with preoperative characteristics rather than metrics of perioperative care, suggesting that readmission may be a suboptimal indicator of the quality of care received during the surgical hospitalization in this patient population.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Michael O. Nguyen, Kai U. Frerichs, Donovan Guttieres, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although the prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly both nationally and internationally, few studies have analyzed outcomes among obese patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery. The goal of this study, which used a nationwide data set, was to evaluate the association of both obesity and morbid obesity with treatment outcomes among patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH); in addition, the authors sought to analyze how postoperative complications for obese patients with SAH differ by the treatment modality used for aneurysm repair.

METHODS

Clinical data for adult patients with SAH who underwent microsurgical or endovascular aneurysm repair were extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). The body habitus of patients was classified as nonobese (body mass index [BMI] < 30 kg/m2), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 and ≤ 40 kg/m2), or morbidly obese (BMI > 40 kg/m2). Multivariable logistic regression analyzed the association of body habitus with in-hospital mortality rate, complications, discharge disposition, and poor outcome as defined by the composite NIS-SAH outcome measure. Covariates included patient demographics, comorbidities (including hypertension and diabetes), health insurance status, the NIS-SAH severity scale, treatment modality used for aneurysm repair, and hospital characteristics.

RESULTS

In total, data from 18,281 patients were included in this study; the prevalence of morbid obesity increased from 0.8% in 2002 to 3.5% in 2011. Obese and morbidly obese patients were significantly younger and had a greater number of comorbidities than nonobese patients (p < 0.001). Mortality rates for obese (11.5%) and morbidly obese patients (10.5%) did not significantly differ from those for nonobese patients (13.5%); likewise, no differences in neurological complications or poor outcome were observed among these 3 groups. Morbid obesity was associated with significantly increased odds of several medical complications, including venous thromboembolic (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01–2.30, p = 0.046) and renal (OR 1.64, 95% CI: 1.11–2.43, p = 0.01) complications and infections (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.08–1.67, p = 0.009, attributable to greater odds of urinary tract and surgical site infections). Moreover, morbidly obese patients had higher odds of a nonroutine hospital discharge (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.03–1.71, p = 0.03). Patients with milder obesity had decreased odds of some medical complications, including cardiac, pulmonary, and infectious complications, primarily among patients who had undergone coil embolization.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study involving a nationwide administrative database, milder obesity was not significantly associated with increased mortality rates, neurological complications, or poor outcomes after SAH. Morbid obesity, however, was associated with increased odds of venous thromboembolic, renal, and infectious complications, as well as of a nonroutine hospital discharge. Notably, milder obesity was associated with decreased odds of some medical complications, primarily in patients treated with coiling.

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Panagiotis G. Simos, Andrew C. Papanicolaou, Joshua I. Breier, James W. Wheless, Jules E. C. Constantinou, William B. Gormley and William W. Maggio

Object. In this paper the authors demonstrate the concordance between magnetic source (MS) imaging and direct cortical stimulation for mapping receptive language cortex.

Methods. In 13 consecutive surgical patients, cortex specialized for receptive language functions was identified noninvasively by obtaining activation maps aided by MS imaging in the context of visual and auditory word-recognition tasks. Surgery was then performed for treatment of medically intractable seizure disorder (eight patients), and for resection of tumor (four), or angioma (one). Mapping of language areas with cortical stimulation was performed intraoperatively in 10 patients and extraoperatively in three. Cortical stimulation mapping verified the accuracy of the MS imaging—based localization in all cases.

Conclusions. Information provided by MS imaging can be especially helpful in cases of atypical language representation, including bihemispheric representation, and location of language in areas other than those expected within the dominant hemisphere, such as the anterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus, the posteroinferior portion of the middle temporal gyrus, the basal temporal cortex, and the lateral temporooccipital cortex.