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Zaman Mirzadeh, Nader Sanai and Michael T. Lawton

The authors introduce the azygos anterior cerebral artery (ACA) bypass as an option for revascularizing distal ACA territories, as part of a strategy to trap giant anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms. In this procedure, the aneurysm is exposed with an orbitozygomatic-pterional craniotomy and distal ACA vessels are exposed with a bifrontal craniotomy. The uninvolved contralateral A2 segment of the ACA serves as a donor vessel for a short radial artery graft. The contralateral pericallosal artery (PcaA) and the callosomarginal artery (CmaA) are connected to the graft in the interhemispheric fissure using the double reimplantation technique. Three anastomoses create an azygos system supplying the entire ACA territory, enabling the surgeon to trap the aneurysm incompletely. Retrograde flow from the CmaA supplies the ipsilateral recurrent artery of Heubner, and the aneurysm lumen thromboses.

The azygos bypass was successfully performed to treat a 47-year-old woman with a giant, thrombotic ACoA aneurysm supplied by the A1 segment of the left ACA, with left PcaA and CmaA originating from the aneurysm base.

The authors conclude that the azygos ACA bypass is a novel option for revascularizing PcaA and CmaA, as part of the overall treatment of giant ACoA aneurysms.

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Sharona Ben-Haim, Zaman Mirzadeh and William S. Rosenberg

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-established, evidence-based therapy with FDA approval for Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Despite the early successful use of DBS to target the sensory thalamus for intractable facial pain, subsequent studies pursuing various chronic pain syndromes reported variable efficacy, keeping DBS for pain as an investigational and “off-label” use. The authors report promising results for a contemporary series of patients with intractable facial pain who were treated with DBS.

METHODS

Pain outcomes for 7 consecutive patients with unilateral, intractable facial pain undergoing DBS of the ventral posteromedial nucleus of the thalamus (VPM) and the periaqueductal gray (PAG) were retrospectively reviewed. Pain was assessed preoperatively and at multiple postoperative time points using the visual analog scale (VAS), the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire-2 (SF-MPQ-2), and the Pain Disability Index (PDI).

RESULTS

VAS scores significantly decreased from a mean ± SD of 9.0 ± 1.3 preoperatively to 2.6 ± 1.5 at 1 year postoperatively (p = 0.001). PDI scores decreased from a mean total of 48.5 to 28.5 (p = 0.01). SF-MPQ-2 scores decreased from a mean of 4.6 to 2.4 (p = 0.03). Notably, several patients did not experience maximum improvement until 6–9 months postoperatively, correlating with repeated programming adjustments.

CONCLUSIONS

DBS of the VPM and PAG is a potential therapeutic option for patients suffering from severe, intractable facial pain refractory to other interventions. Improved efficacy may be observed over time with close follow-up and active DBS programming adjustments.

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Tsinsue Chen, Zaman Mirzadeh, Kristina Chapple, Margaret Lambert and Francisco A. Ponce

OBJECTIVE

As the number of deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedures performed under general anesthesia (“asleep” DBS) increases, it is more important to assess the rates of adverse events, inpatient lengths of stay (LOS), and 30-day readmission rates in patients undergoing these procedures compared with those in patients undergoing traditional “awake” DBS without general anesthesia.

METHODS

All patients in an institutional database who had undergone awake or asleep DBS procedures performed by a single surgeon between August 2011 and August 2014 were reviewed. Adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmissions were analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 490 electrodes were placed in 284 patients, of whom 126 (44.4%) underwent awake surgery and 158 (55.6%) underwent asleep surgery. The most frequent overall complication for the cohort was postoperative mental status change (13 patients [4.6%]), followed by hemorrhage (4 patients [1.4%]), seizure (4 patients [1.4%]), and hardware-related infection (3 patients [1.1%]). Mean LOS for all 284 patients was 1.19 ± 1.29 days (awake: 1.06 ± 0.46 days; asleep: 1.30 ± 1.67 days; p = 0.08). Overall, the 30-day readmission rate was 1.4% (1 awake patient, 3 asleep patients). There were no significant differences in complications, LOS, and 30-day readmissions between awake and asleep groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Both awake and asleep DBS can be performed safely with low complication rates. The authors found no significant differences between the 2 procedure groups in adverse events, inpatient LOS, and 30-day readmission rates.

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Tsinsue Chen, Zaman Mirzadeh, Kristina Chapple, Margaret Lambert, Rohit Dhall and Francisco A. Ponce

OBJECT

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) performed under general anesthesia (“asleep” DBS) has not been previously reported for essential tremor. This is in part due to the inability to visualize the target (the ventral intermediate nucleus [VIM]) on MRI. The authors evaluate the efficacy of this asleep technique in treating essential tremor by indirect VIM targeting.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed consecutive cases of initial DBS for essential tremor performed by a single surgeon. DBS was performed with patients awake (n = 40, intraoperative test stimulation without microelectrode recording) or asleep (n = 17, under general anesthesia). Targeting proceeded with standardized anatomical coordinates on preoperative MRI. Intraoperative CT was used for stereotactic registration and lead position confirmation. Functional outcomes were evaluated with pre- and postoperative Bain and Findley Tremor Activities of Daily Living scores.

RESULTS

A total of 29 leads were placed in asleep patients, and 60 were placed in awake patients. Bain and Findley Tremor Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire scores were not significantly different preoperatively for awake versus asleep cohorts (p = 0.2). The percentage of postoperative improvement was not significantly different between asleep (48.6%) and awake (45.5%) cohorts (p = 0.35). Euclidean error (mm) was higher for awake versus asleep patients (1.7 ± 0.8 vs 1.2 ± 0.4, p = 0.01), and radial error (mm) trended higherfor awake versus asleep patients (1.3 ± 0.8 vs 0.9 ± 0.5, p = 0.06). There were no perioperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors’ initial experience, asleep VIM DBS for essential tremor without intraoperative test stimulation can be performed safely and effectively.

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Zaman Mirzadeh, Robert Bina, Yael Kusne, Stephen W. Coons, Robert F. Spetzler and Nader Sanai

Object

After complete resection and radiation therapy, the 10-year overall survival rates for adult patients with posterior fossa ependymomas approach 85%. This favorable outcome profile emphasizes the critical importance of functional preservation to this patient population. Here, the authors identify predictors of functional outcome following microsurgical resection of adult posterior fossa ependymomas.

Methods

The authors identified adult patients with newly diagnosed WHO Grade II posterior fossa ependymomas who underwent microsurgical resection at the Barrow Neurological Institute from 1990 to 2011. Clinical and radiographic variables were collected, including volumetric extent of resection, foramen of Luschka extension, cystic changes, peritumoral T2 signal changes, Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).

Results

Forty-five patients were identified, with a median clinical follow-up of 103 months. The median PFS and OS were 6.8 and 8.6 years, respectively. Extent of resection and adjuvant radiotherapy were predictive of improved PFS (p = 0.005) and were nonsignificantly associated with improved OS. Univariate analysis revealed that tumor size (p < 0.001), cystic changes (p < 0.01), postoperative T2 signal (p < 0.01), and CSF diversion (p = 0.048) predicted functional and neurological recovery rates, based on KPS and NIHSS scores, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis identified tumor size (p < 0.001), cystic changes (p = 0.01), and CSF diversion (p = 0.02) as independent predictors of slower functional recovery, while only tumor size (p = 0.007) was an independent predictor of neurological recovery. Specifically, by 6 weeks postoperatively, baseline KPS score was recovered by only 43.8% of patients with tumors larger than 30 cm3 (vs 72.4% patients with tumors < 30 cm3), 35.3% of patients with cystic tumors (vs 78.6% of patients with noncystic tumors), and 46.7% of patients requiring CSF diversion (vs 70% of patients not requiring CSF diversion).

Conclusions

Greater extent of resection and adjuvant radiotherapy significantly improve PFS in adult patients with posterior fossa ependymomas. Tumor size, cystic changes, and the need for CSF diversion were independent predictors of the rate of functional recovery in this patient population. Taken together, these functional outcome predictors may guide preoperative estimations of recovery following microsurgical resection.

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Tsinsue Chen, Zaman Mirzadeh, Kristina M. Chapple, Margaret Lambert, Holly A. Shill, Guillermo Moguel-Cobos, Alexander I. Tröster, Rohit Dhall and Francisco A. Ponce

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have shown similar clinical outcomes between Parkinson disease (PD) patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) under general anesthesia without microelectrode recording (MER), so-called “asleep” DBS, and historical cohorts undergoing “awake” DBS with MER guidance. However, few studies include internal controls. This study aims to compare clinical outcomes after globus pallidus internus (GPi) and subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS using awake and asleep techniques at a single institution.

METHODS

PD patients undergoing awake or asleep bilateral GPi or STN DBS were prospectively monitored. The primary outcome measure was stimulation-induced change in motor function off medication 6 months postoperatively, measured using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS-III). Secondary outcomes included change in quality of life, measured by the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), change in levodopa equivalent daily dosage (LEDD), stereotactic accuracy, stimulation parameters, and adverse events.

RESULTS

Six-month outcome data were available for 133 patients treated over 45 months (78 GPi [16 awake, 62 asleep] and 55 STN [14 awake, 41 asleep]). UPDRS-III score improvement with stimulation did not differ between awake and asleep groups for GPi (awake, 20.8 points [38.5%]; asleep, 18.8 points [37.5%]; p = 0.45) or STN (awake, 21.6 points [40.3%]; asleep, 26.1 points [48.8%]; p = 0.20) targets. The percentage improvement in PDQ-39 and LEDD was similar for awake and asleep groups for both GPi (p = 0.80 and p = 0.54, respectively) and STN cohorts (p = 0.85 and p = 0.49, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

In PD patients, bilateral GPi and STN DBS using the asleep method resulted in motor, quality-of-life, and medication reduction outcomes that were comparable to those of the awake method.

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Zaman Mirzadeh, Kristina Chapple, Margaret Lambert, Virgilio G. Evidente, Padma Mahant, Maria C. Ospina, Johan Samanta, Guillermo Moguel-Cobos, Naomi Salins, Abraham Lieberman, Alexander I. Tröster, Rohit Dhall and Francisco A. Ponce

OBJECT

Recent studies show that deep brain stimulation can be performed safely and accurately without microelectrode recording ortest stimulation but with the patient under general anesthesia. The procedure couples techniques for direct anatomical targeting on MRI with intraoperative imaging to verify stereotactic accuracy. However, few authors have examined the clinical outcomes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients after this procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PD outcomes following “asleep” deep brain stimulation in the globus pallidus internus (GPi).

METHODS

The authors prospectively examined all consecutive patients with advanced PD who underwent bilateral GPi electrode placement while under general anesthesia. Intraoperative CT was used to assess lead placement accuracy. The primary outcome measure was the change in the off-medication Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor score 6 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included effects on the 39-Item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) scores, on-medication motor scores, and levodopa equivalent daily dose. Lead locations, active contact sites, stimulation parameters, and adverse events were documented.

RESULTS

Thirty-five patients (24 males, 11 females) had a mean age of 61 years at lead implantation. The mean radial error off plan was 0.8 mm. Mean coordinates for the active contact were 21.4 mm lateral, 4.7 mm anterior, and 0.4 mm superior to the midcommissural point. The mean off-medication motor score improved from 48.4 at baseline to 28.9 (40.3% improvement) at 6 months (p < 0.001). The PDQ-39 scores improved (50.3 vs 42.0; p = 0.03), and the levodopa equivalent daily dose was reduced (1207 vs 1035 mg; p = 0.004). There were no significant adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS

Globus pallidus internus leads placed with the patient under general anesthesia by using direct anatomical targeting resulted in significantly improved outcomes as measured by the improvement in the off-medication motor score at 6 months after surgery.

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Tsinsue Chen, Zaman Mirzadeh, Kristina M. Chapple, Margaret Lambert, Virgilio G. H. Evidente, Guillermo Moguel-Cobos, Srivadee Oravivattanakul, Padma Mahant and Francisco A. Ponce

OBJECTIVE

Ventral intermediate nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) for essential tremor is traditionally performed with intraoperative test stimulation and conscious sedation, without general anesthesia (GA). Recently, the authors reported retrospective data on 17 patients undergoing DBS after induction of GA with standardized anatomical coordinates on T1-weighted MRI sequences used for indirect targeting. Here, they compare prospectively collected data from essential tremor patients undergoing DBS both with GA and without GA (non-GA).

METHODS

Clinical outcomes were prospectively collected at baseline and 3-month follow-up for patients undergoing DBS surgery performed by a single surgeon. Stereotactic, euclidean, and radial errors of lead placement were calculated. Functional (activities of daily living), quality of life (Quality of Life in Essential Tremor [QUEST] questionnaire), and tremor severity outcomes were compared between groups.

RESULTS

Fifty-six patients underwent surgery: 16 without GA (24 electrodes) and 40 with GA (66 electrodes). The mean baseline functional scores and QUEST summary indices were not different between groups (p = 0.91 and p = 0.59, respectively). Non-GA and GA groups did not differ significantly regarding mean postoperative percentages of functional improvement (non-GA, 47.9% vs GA, 48.1%; p = 0.96) or QUEST summary indices (non-GA, 79.9% vs GA, 74.8%; p = 0.50). Accuracy was comparable between groups (mean radial error 0.9 ± 0.3 mm for non-GA and 0.9 ± 0.4 mm for GA patients) (p = 0.75). The mean euclidean error was also similar between groups (non-GA, 1.1 ± 0.6 mm vs GA, 1.2 ± 0.5 mm; p = 0.92). No patient had an intraoperative complication, and the number of postoperative complications was not different between groups (non-GA, n = 1 vs GA, n = 10; p = 0.16).

CONCLUSIONS

DBS performed with the patient under GA to treat essential tremor is as safe and effective as traditional DBS surgery with intraoperative test stimulation while the patient is under conscious sedation without GA.