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Federico Nicolosi, Zefferino Rossini, Ismail Zaed, Angelos G. Kolias, Maurizio Fornari and Franco Servadei

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgical training is usually based on traditional sources of education, such as papers, books, direct surgical experience, and cadaveric hands-on courses. In low-middle income countries, standard education programs are often unavailable, mainly owing to the lack of human and economic resources. Introducing digital platforms in these settings could be an alternative solution for bridging the gap between Western and poor countries in neurosurgical knowledge.

METHODS

The authors identified from the Internet the main digital platforms that could easily be adopted in low-middle income countries. They selected free/low-cost mobile content with high educational impact.

RESULTS

The platforms that were identified as fulfilling the characteristics described above are WFNS Young Neurosurgeons Forum Stream, Brainbook, NeuroMind, UpSurgeOn, The Neurosurgical Atlas, Touch surgery, The 100 UCLA Subjects in Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Survival Guide, EANS (European Association of Neurosurgical Societies) Academy, Neurosurgical.TV, 3D Neuroanatomy, The Rhoton Collection, and Hinari. These platforms consist of webinars, 3D interactive neuroanatomy and neurosurgery content, videos, and e-learning programs supported by neurosurgical associations or journals.

CONCLUSIONS

Digital education is an emerging tool for contributing to the spread of information in the neurosurgical community. The continuous improvement in the quality of content will rapidly increase the scientific validity of digital programs. In conclusion, the fast and easy access to digital resources could contribute to promote neurosurgical education in countries with limited facilities.

Free access

Francesco Acerbi, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Tommaso Sattin, Camilla de Laurentis, Lorenzo Bosio, Zefferino Rossini, Morgan Broggi, Marco Schiariti and Paolo Ferroli

OBJECTIVE

Indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) is an intraoperative technique used to highlight vessels in neurovascular surgery. Its application in the study of the vascular pathophysiology in CNS tumors and its role in their surgical management are still rather limited. A recent innovation of ICG-VA (i.e., the FLOW 800 algorithm integrated in the surgical microscope) allows a semiquantitative evaluation of cerebral blood flow. The aim of this study was to evaluate for the first time the systematic application of ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis during surgical removal of CNS tumors.

METHODS

Between May 2011 and December 2017, all cases in which ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis were used at least one time before, during, or after the tumor resection, and in which surgical videos were available, were retrospectively reviewed. Results of the histological analysis were analyzed together with the intraoperative ICG-VA with FLOW 800 in order to investigate the tumor-related videoangiographic features.

RESULTS

Seventy-one patients who underwent surgery for cerebral and spinal tumors were intraoperatively analyzed using ICG-VA with FLOW 800, either before or after tumor resection, for a total of 93 videoangiographic studies. The histological diagnosis was meningioma in 25 cases, glioma in 14, metastasis in 7, pineal region tumor in 5, hemangioblastoma in 4, chordoma in 3, and other histological types in 13 cases. The authors identified 4 possible applications of ICG-VA and FLOW 800 in CNS tumor surgery: extradural surveys allowed exploration of sinus patency and the course of veins before dural opening; preresection surveys helped in identifying pathological vascularization (arteriovenous fistulas and neo-angiogenesis) and regional venous outflow, and in performing temporary venous clipping tests, when necessary; postresection surveys were conducted to evaluate arterial and venous patency and parenchymal perfusion after tumor removal; and a premyelotomy survey was conducted in intramedullary tumors to highlight the posterior median sulcus.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found ICG-VA with FLOW 800 to be a useful method to monitor blood flow in the exposed vessels and parenchyma during microsurgical removal of CNS tumors in selected cases. In particular, a preresection survey provides useful information about pathophysiological changes of brain vasculature related to the tumor and aids in the individuation of helpful landmarks for the surgical approach, and the postresection survey helps to prevent potential complications associated with the resection (such as local hypoperfusion or venous infarction).

Free access

Francesco Acerbi, Ignazio G. Vetrano, Tommaso Sattin, Jacopo Falco, Camilla de Laurentis, Costanza M. Zattra, Lorenzo Bosio, Zefferino Rossini, Morgan Broggi, Marco Schiariti and Paolo Ferroli

OBJECTIVE

The best management of veins encountered during the neurosurgical approach is still a matter of debate. Even if venous sacrifice were to lead to devastating consequences, under certain circumstances, it might prove to be desirable, enlarging the surgical field or increasing the extent of resection in tumor surgery. In this study, the authors present a large series of patients with vascular or oncological entities, in which they used indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) with FLOW 800 analysis to study the patient-specific venous flow characteristics and the management workflow in cases in which a venous sacrifice was necessary.

METHODS

Between May 2011 and December 2017, 1972 patients were admitted to the authors’ division for tumor and/or neurovascular surgery. They retrospectively reviewed all cases in which ICG-VA and FLOW 800 were used intraoperatively with a specific target in the venous angiographic phase or for the management of venous sacrifice, and whose surgical videos and FLOW 800 analysis were available.

RESULTS

A total of 296 ICG-VA and FLOW 800 studies were performed intraoperatively. In all cases, the venous structures were clearly identifiable and were described according to the flow direction and speed. The authors therefore defined different patterns of presentation: arterialized veins, thrombosed veins, fast-draining veins with anterograde flow, slow-draining veins with anterograde flow, and slow-draining veins with retrograde flow. In 16 cases we also performed a temporary clipping test to predict the effect of the venous sacrifice by the identification of potential collateral circulation.

CONCLUSIONS

ICG-VA and FLOW 800 analysis can provide complete and real-time intraoperative information regarding patient-specific venous drainage pattern and can guide the decision-making process regarding venous sacrifice, with a possible impact on reduction of surgical complications.

Restricted access

Pierina Navarria, Federico Pessina, Elena Clerici, Zefferino Rossini, Davide Franceschini, Giuseppe D’Agostino, Ciro Franzese, Tiziana Comito, Mauro Loi, Matteo Simonelli, Elena Lorenzi, Pasquale Persico, Letterio Salvatore Politi, Marco Grimaldi, Lorenzo Bello, Armando Santoro, Maurizio Fornari, Franco Servadei and Marta Scorsetti

OBJECTIVE

Anaplastic gliomas (AGs) are an extremely heterogeneous group of primary brain tumors. More recently, new discoveries have indicated that isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation status is the most important parameter predicting survival. The primary aim of the present analysis was to identify prognostic factors, other than IDH status, that eventually impact survival.

METHODS

Patients with available clinical, imaging, and molecular profile data who were amenable to resection were evaluated. The extent of resection (EOR) was defined as gross-total resection (GTR), near-total resection (NTR), subtotal resection (STR), or partial resection (PR). Residual tumor volume (RTV) was quantified. Following surgery, patients received adjuvant chemotherapy alone, radiation therapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ), or sequential radio-chemotherapy. Clinical outcome was evaluated by neurological examination and MRI 1 month after treatment and every 4 months thereafter. Tumor progression was defined according to the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) working group.

RESULTS

Among 402 patients referred to the authors’ institution for AG, 142 were included in the present analysis. Eighty-eight (62%) were male and 54 (38%) were female, with a median age of 43 years (range 19–70 years). At admission, most patients had a Karnofsky Performance Scale score of 90–100 (84.5%) and were symptomatic (93.7%). Forty-eight (33.8%) patients had newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendrogliomas (AOs), and 94 (66.2%) had anaplastic astrocytomas (AAs). Most of them had mutant IDH tumors (67.6%) and methylated O 6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter status (71.8%). GTR was performed in more than half of the patients (56.3%). RTV was detected in 83 (58.5%) patients. Following surgery, 72 (50.7%) patients received radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant TMZ, 48 (33.8%) received sequential radio-chemotherapy, and 22 (15.5%) received adjuvant chemotherapy alone. The median follow-up time was 40 months (range 16–146 months). The median PFS time and the 1-, 3-, and 5-year PFS rates were 35 months (95% CI 27–76) and 78.9% ± 3.4%, 49.7% ± 4.6%, and 42.7% ± 5.4%, respectively. The median OS time and the 1-, 3-, and 5-year OS rates were 91 months (95% CI 66–95) and 90.1% ± 2.5%, 70.9% ± 4.2%, and 61.8% ± 4.9%, respectively. Prognostic factors predicting survival other than molecular profile were the EOR and the RTV (p < 0.0001). Sequential radio-chemotherapy was the more effective treatment administered.

CONCLUSIONS

In addition to IDH status, EOR and the RTV have proved to statistically impact survival. The pivotal role of adjuvant radiotherapy has been recorded in all AG patients, regardless of tumor features.