Anadjeet S. Khahera, Yiping Li, and Gary K. Steinberg
There remains a paucity of literature on hypothalamic cavernous malformations (HCMs). Here, the authors present the largest series of HCMs to date and review the literature to gain additional insight into this rare disease subset.
A prospectively managed database was retrospectively reviewed for patients diagnosed with symptomatic HCM and treated surgically between 1987 and 2019. Data gathered included demographics, presenting signs, radiological measurements, surgical approach, and postoperative events. Functional outcome was measured using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended (GOSE) pre- and postoperatively. A PRISMA guideline systematic review of HCM in the literature was performed.
Our cohort study consisted of 12 patients with symptomatic, and radiographically confirmed, HCM treated with microsurgery by the senior author (G.K.S.). An additional 16 surgically or conservatively managed patients were also identified from the literature, and the authors analyzed the data of all 28 patients (with 54% of patients being male; mean age 39 ± 16 years, range 10–68 years). Patients harboring HCMs most commonly presented with headache (16/28, 57%), short-term memory impairment (11/28, 39%), and gait disturbance (8/28, 32%). Radiographically, lesions most commonly involved the mammillary region (18/23, 78%), the tuberal/infundibulum region (13/23, 57%), and the preoptic/lamina terminalis region (12/23, 52%), with a mean diameter of 2.5 ± 1.4 cm (range 0.8–7 cm) at presentation. Acute hemorrhage was identified in 96% (23/24) of patients on presentation, with 96% (23/24) intraparenchymal and 29% (7/24) intraventricular. Of 24 patients who were managed surgically, gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 88% (21/24) of cases. There were no reports of perioperative infarction or mortality. With a mean follow-up period of 41 months (range 0.5–309 months), 77% (20/26) of patients experienced functional improvement, while 12% (3/26) had no change, and 12% (3/26) experienced increased disability. In our cohort of 12 patients, 83% (10/12) continued to report symptoms at the last follow-up (mean 4.8 years, range 0.1–25.7 years). However, there was a significant improvement in mRS score noted after surgery (mean 1.4 vs 3.1, p = 0.0026) and a trend toward improvement in GOSE score (mean 6.3 vs 5.1, p = 0.09).
Hemorrhage from HCMs can cause a symptomatic mass effect on adjacent eloquent structures. While patients are unlikely to be deficit free following surgery, GTR allows for functional improvement and reduces recurrent hemorrhage rates. Microsurgery remains a viable option for symptomatic HCMs in experienced hands.
Abdulfettah Tumturk, Yiping Li, Yahya Turan, Ulas Cikla, Bermans J. Iskandar, and Mustafa K. Baskaya
Brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) pose significant challenges to neurosurgeons because of their deep locations and high surgical risks. Most patients with brainstem CMs present with sudden-onset cranial nerve deficits or ataxia, but uncommonly patients can present in extremis from an acute hemorrhage, requiring surgical intervention. However, the timing of surgery for brainstem CMs has been a controversial topic. Although many authors propose delaying surgery into the subacute phase, some patients may not tolerate waiting until surgery. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, emergency surgery after a brainstem CM hemorrhage has not been described. In cases of rapidly progressive neurological deterioration, emergency resection may often be the only option. In this retrospectively reviewed small series of patients, the authors report favorable outcomes after emergency surgery for resection of brainstem CMs.
Javier Quillo-Olvera, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramírez, and Diego Quillo-Olvera
Mauricio Mandel, Igor Araújo Ferreira da Silva, Wellingson Paiva, Yiping Li, Gary K. Steinberg, and Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira
Craniocervical junction–related syringomyelia (CCJS) is the most common form of syringomyelia. Approximately 30% of patients treated with foramen magnum decompression (FMD) will show persistence, recurrence, or progression of the syrinx. The authors present a pilot study with a new minimally invasive surgery technique targeting the pathophysiology of CCJS in adult patients.
The authors retrospectively analyzed the clinical and radiological features of a consecutive series of patients treated for CCJS. An FMD and FM durectomy were performed through a 1.5- to 2-cm skin incision. Then arachnoid adhesions were cleared, creating a permanent communication from the fourth ventricle to the new paraspinal extradural cavity (obexostomy) and with the spinal subarachnoid space. The hypothesis was that the new CSF pouch acts like a pressure leak, interrupting the CCJS pathogenesis.
Twenty-four patients (13 female, 21–61 years old) were treated between 2014 and 2018. The etiology of CCJS was Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) in 20 patients (83.3%), Chiari malformation type 0 (CM-0) in 2 patients (8.3%), and CCJ arachnoiditis in 2 patients (8.3%). Two patients underwent reoperations after failed FMD for CM-I at other institutions. No major surgical complication occurred. One patient had postoperative meningitis with no CSF fistula. On postoperative MRI, shrinkage of the syrinx was seen in all patients. No patients experienced recurrence of the CCJS. No patient required a subsequent operation. The mean duration of surgery was 72 ± 11 minutes (mean ± SD), and blood loss was 35–80 ml (mean 51 ml). Follow-up ranged from 12 to 58 months. The average overall improvement in modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores was 10% (p < 0.001). The Odom scale showed that 19 patients (79.1%) were satisfied, 4 (16.7%) remained the same, and 1 (4.2%) reported a poor outcome. All patients experienced postoperative improvement in perception of quality of life (p < 0.001).
Minimally invasive FM durectomy and obexostomy is a safe and effective treatment for CCJS and for patients who have not responded to other treatment.
Yiping Li, Anadjeet Khahera, Jason Kim, Mauricio Mandel, Summer S. Han, and Gary K. Steinberg
Reports on basal ganglia cavernous malformations (BGCMs) are rare. Here, the authors report on their experience in resecting these malformations to offer insight into this infrequent disease subtype.
The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively managed departmental database of all deep-seated cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) treated at Stanford between 1987 and 2019 and included for further analysis those with a radiographic diagnosis of BGCM. Moreover, a systematic literature review was undertaken using the PubMed and Web of Science databases.
The departmental database search yielded 331 patients with deep-seated CCMs, 44 of whom had a BGCM (13.3%). Headache was the most common presenting sign (53.5%), followed by seizure (32.6%) and hemiparesis (27.9%). Lesion location involved the caudate nucleus in 21.4% of cases compared to 78.6% of cases within the lentiform nucleus. Caudate BGCMs were larger on presentation and were more likely to present to the ependymal surface (p < 0.001) with intraventricular hemorrhage and hydrocephalus (p = 0.005 and 0.007, respectively). Dizziness and diplopia were also more common with lesions involving the caudate. Because of their anatomical location, caudate BGCMs were preferentially treated via an interhemispheric approach and were less likely to be associated with worsening perioperative deficits than lentiform BGCMs (p = 0.006 and 0.045, respectively). Ten patients (25.6%) were clinically worse in the immediate postoperative period, 4 (10.2%) of whom continued to suffer permanent morbidity at the last follow-up. A long-term good outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–1) was attained in 74.4% of cases compared to the 69.2% of patients who had presented with an mRS score 0–1. Relative to their presenting mRS score, 89.8% of patients had an improved or unchanged status at the last follow-up. The median postoperative follow-up was 11 months (range 1–252 months). Patient outcomes after resection did not differ among surgical approaches; however, patients presenting with hemiparesis and lesions involving the globus pallidus or posterior limb of the internal capsule were more likely to suffer neurological deficits during the immediate perioperative period. Patients who had undergone awake surgeries were more likely to suffer neurological decline at the early as well as the late follow-up. When adjusting for awake craniotomy as a potential confounder of lesion location, a BGCM involving the posterior limb was predictive of developing early postoperative deficits, but this finding did not persist at the long-term follow-up.
Surgery is a safe and effective treatment modality for managing BGCMs, with an estimated long-term permanent morbidity rate of around 10%.
Brandon G. Rocque, Mick P. Kelly, Joseph H. Miller, Yiping Li, and Paul A. Anderson
Use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 has risen steadily since its approval by the FDA for use in anterior lumbar interbody fusion in 2002. The FDA has not approved the use of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in children. Age less than 18 years or lack of evidence of epiphyseal closure are considered by the manufacturer to be contraindications to BMP use. In light of this, the authors performed a query of the database of one of the nation's largest health insurance companies to determine the rate of BMP use and complications in pediatric patients undergoing spinal fusion.
The authors used the PearlDiver Technologies private payer database containing all records from United Health-Care from 2005 to 2011 to query all cases of pediatric spinal fusion with or without BMP use. A review of the literature was also performed to examine the complications associated with BMP use in pediatric spinal fusion.
A total of 4658 patients underwent spinal fusion. The majority was female (65.4%), and the vast majority was age 10–19 years (94.98%) and underwent thoracolumbar fusion (93.13%). Bone morphogenetic protein was used in 1752 spinal fusions (37.61%). There was no difference in the rate of BMP use when comparing male and female patients or age 10 years or older versus less than 10 years. Anterior cervical fusions were significantly less likely to use BMP (7.3%). Complications occurred in 9.82% of patients treated with versus 9.88% of patients treated without BMP. The complication rate was nearly identical in male versus female patients and in patients older versus younger than 10 years. Comparison of systemic, wound-related, CNS, and other complications showed no difference between groups treated with and without BMP. The reoperation rate was also nearly identical.
Bone morphogenetic protein is used in a higher than expected percentage of pediatric spinal fusions. The rate of acute complications in these operations does not appear to be different in patients treated with versus those treated without BMP. Caution must be exercised in interpreting these data due to the many limitations of the administrative database as a data source, including the short length of follow-up.
Yiping Li, Jason Kim, Dustin Simpson, Beverly Aagaard-Kienitz, David Niemann, Ignatius N. Esene, and Azam Ahmed
The literature suggests that blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) plays a significant role in the development of neurological events in patients with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) that is negative for lesions. In this prospective, single-center cohort study, the authors compared the imaging characteristics of patients suffering transient neurological events (TNEs) with those in patients suffering permanent neurological events (PNEs) after having undergone elective embolization of unruptured intracranial aneurysms.
This prospective cohort study was conducted between July 2016 and June 2019. Inclusion criteria were adults undergoing elective neuroendovascular procedures and the absence of contraindications to MRI. All subjects underwent brain MRI including postcontrast FLAIR (pcFLAIR) sequences for evaluation of BBBD within 24 hours postprocedure.
In total, 128 patients harboring 133 unruptured aneurysms were enrolled, 109 of whom (85.2%) showed some degree of BBBD on pcFLAIR MRI and 50 of whom (39.1%) suffered an ischemic insult per DWI. In total, 23 patients (18%) suffered neurological complications, 16 of which (12.5%) were TNEs and 7 of which (5.5%) were PNEs. The median extent of BBBD was focal in asymptomatic patients as compared to hemispheric and lobar in the TNE and PNE groups, respectively (p < 0.001). The American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification predicted the extent of BBBD (p = 0.046).
Lesions on DWI were noted in 34 asymptomatic patients (32.4%) compared to 9 patients (56.3%) with TNEs and all 7 patients (100%) with PNEs (p < 0.001). The median number of DWI lesions was 0 (range 0–18 lesions) in the asymptomatic group compared to 1.5 (range 0–8 lesions) and 8 (range 1–13 lesions) in the TNE and PNE groups, respectively (p < 0.001). Smoking (p = 0.008), older age (p = 0.002), and longer surgery (p = 0.006) were positively associated with the number of lesions on DWI.
On multivariate analysis, intraarterial verapamil (p = 0.02, OR 8.01, 95% CI 1.35–47.43) and extent of BBBD (p < 0.001, OR 58.58, 95% CI 9.48–361.84) were positively associated with the development of TNEs, while intravenous infusion of midazolam during surgery (p = 0.02, OR 6.03, 95% CI 1.29–28.20) was negatively associated. An increased number of lesions on DWI was the only significant predictor for the development of PNEs (p < 0.001, OR 49.85, 95% CI 5.56–447.10).
An increasing extent of BBBD was associated with the development of TNEs, whereas an increasing number of lesions on DWI was significantly associated with the development of PNEs. BBBD imaging using pcFLAIR may serve as a valuable biomarker for detecting subtle cerebral ischemia and stratifying the risk for ischemic events.
Mohamad Bydon, Vance Fredrickson, Rafael De la Garza-Ramos, Yiping Li, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Gregory R. Trost, and Ziya L. Gokaslan
Sacral fractures are uncommon lesions and most often the result of high-energy trauma. Depending on the fracture location, neurological injury may be present in over 50% of cases. In this article, the authors conducted a comprehensive literature review on the epidemiology of sacral fractures, relevant anatomy of the sacral and pelvic region, common sacral injuries and fractures, classification systems of sacral fractures, and current management strategies. Due to the complex nature of these injuries, surgical management remains a challenge for the attending surgeon. Few large-scale studies have addressed postoperative complications or long-term results, but current evidence suggests that although fusion rates are high, long-term morbidity, such as residual pain and neurological deficits, persists for many patients.