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Ziev B. Moses, John H. Chi and Ram V. S. R. Chavali

The authors report on a 47-year-old woman with a symptomatic thoracic spinal arachnoid cyst (SAC) who underwent a novel procedure that involves direct puncture of the SAC to visualize, diagnose, and potentially treat these rare spinal lesions. The method described utilizes 3D fluoroscopy to gain access to the SAC, followed by injection of myelographic contrast into the cyst. A characteristic “jellyfish sign” was observed that represents the containment of the contrast within the superior aspect of the cyst and a clear block of cranial flow of contrast, resulting in an undulating pattern of movement of contrast within the cyst. Following balloon fenestration of the cyst, unimpeded flow of contrast was visualized cranially throughout the thoracic subarachnoid space. The patient was discharged the following day in good condition, and subsequently experienced 1 year free from symptoms. This is the first reported case of a successful direct puncture of an SAC with balloon fenestration, and the first noted real-time fluoroscopic “behavior” of CSF within an arachnoid cyst.

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Ziev B. Moses, Gabriel N. Friedman, David L. Penn, Isaac H. Solomon and John H. Chi


Optimal diagnosis and management strategies for intradural spinal arachnoid cysts (SACs) are still unresolved given the rare nature of this entity, with few large case series and virtually no statistical analyses of patient characteristics in the literature. Here, the authors studied a large patient cohort with these lesions to determine whether pre- or postoperative attributes could be used to aid in either diagnosis or prognosis.


A chart review was completed at a single institution for the period from 2002 to 2016 to determine the preoperative characteristics and postoperative outcomes of 21 patients with exclusively intradural SACs. Patients were assessed for symptoms such as weakness, pain, sensory changes, bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, and gait changes. Postoperatively, patients were analyzed for symptom improvement, complication occurrence, and duration of follow-up.


Approximately two-thirds of the patients in this series had developed SACs idiopathically, and the mean duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis was 15 months among all patients. A slight majority (57%) underwent CT myelography in the course of diagnosis, and a quarter of the patients had a syrinx. There was a statistically significant association between location of the SAC and number of presenting signs and symptoms; that is, patients with cysts in the lumbosacral region had more symptoms than those with cysts at the cervical or thoracic levels (p = 0.031). Overall, outcomes were largely positive, with approximately 60%–70% of patients experiencing postoperative improvement in symptoms, with motor weakness showing the highest response rate (71%) and pain symptoms the least likely to subside (50%). In the cohort with preoperative pain, those who had undergone expansile duraplasty were significantly more likely to experience relief of their pain symptoms (p = 0.028), which may have been a result of the superior restoration of cerebrospinal fluid pathways allowing for more adequate reduction in compression.


In this large case series on intradural SACs, new light has been shed on aspects of both pre- and postoperative care for patients with these rare lesions. Specifically, the authors revealed that lumbosacral intradural SACs may be associated with a higher disease burden and that patients who undergo expansile duraplasty may have an increased likelihood of experiencing postoperative pain relief.

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Ziev B. Moses, Rory R. Mayer, Benjamin A. Strickland, Ryan M. Kretzer, Jean-Paul Wolinsky, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Ali A. Baaj


Parallel advancements in image guidance technology and minimal access techniques continue to push the frontiers of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). While traditional intraoperative imaging remains widely used, newer platforms, such as 3D-fluoroscopy, cone-beam CT, and intraoperative CT/MRI, have enabled safer, more accurate instrumentation placement with less radiation exposure to the surgeon. The goal of this work is to provide a review of the current uses of advanced image guidance in MISS.


The authors searched PubMed for relevant articles concerning MISS, with particular attention to the use of image-guidance platforms. Pertinent studies published in English were further compiled and characterized into relevant analyses of MISS of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions.


Fifty-two studies were included for review. These describe the use of the iso-C system for 3D navigation during C1–2 transarticular screw placement, the use of endoscopic techniques in the cervical spine, and the role of navigation guidance at the occipital-cervical junction. The authors discuss the evolving literature concerning neuronavigation during pedicle screw placement in the thoracic and lumbar spine in the setting of infection, trauma, and deformity surgery and review the use of image guidance in transsacral approaches.


Refinements in image-guidance technologies and minimal access techniques have converged on spinal pathology, affording patients the ability to undergo safe, accurate operations without the associated morbidities of conventional approaches. While percutaneous transpedicular screw placement is among the most common procedures to benefit from navigation, other areas of spine surgery can benefit from advances in neuronavigation and further growth in the field of image-guided MISS is anticipated.

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Ziev B. Moses, Alp Ozpinar, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, Luis G. Quinonez, Sitaram M. Emani and Liliana C. Goumnerova

The authors report a complex case of an 18-year-old male with a history of hydrocephalus secondary to intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity, with more than 30 previous shunt revisions, who presented to the authors' institution with shunt malfunction. After exhausting his peritoneal cavity and pleural space as possible distal sites of shunt placement, he underwent a direct heart shunt placement when it was discovered he had thrombosis of his subclavian vein precluding a standard wire-guided atrial cannulation. His course was complicated by postoperative distal catheter migration and repeat surgery for reimplantation of the shunt directly into the atrium. At the 16-month follow-up visit, the patient showed no symptoms of shunt malfunction or pericardial effusion. Imaging studies demonstrated a functioning shunt system. This is the second reported successful ventricle to direct heart shunt placement in an adult. The authors report on the technical aspects of the case and review the relevant literature.

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Kimon Bekelis, Tarek A. Radwan, Atman Desai, Ziev B. Moses, Vijay M. Thadani, Barbara C. Jobst, Krzysztof A. Bujarski, Terrance M. Darcey and David W. Roberts


Intracranial monitoring for epilepsy has been proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy and provide localizing information for surgical treatment of intractable seizures. The authors investigated their experience with interhemispheric grid electrodes (IHGEs) to assess the hypothesis that they are feasible, safe, and useful.


Between 1992 and 2010, 50 patients underwent IHGE implantation (curvilinear double-sided 2 × 8 or 3 × 8 grids) as part of arrays for invasive seizure monitoring, and their charts were retrospectively reviewed.


Of the 50 patients who underwent intracranial investigation with IHGEs, 38 eventually underwent resection of the seizure focus. These 38 patients had a mean age of 30.7 years (range 11–58 years), and 63% were males. Complications as a result of IHGE implantation consisted of transient leg weakness in 1 patient. Of all the patients who underwent resective surgery, 21 (55.3%) had medial frontal resections, 9 of whom (43%) had normal MRI results. Localization in all of these cases was possible only because of data from IHGEs, and the extent of resection was tailored based on these data. Of the 17 patients (44.7%) who underwent other cortical resections, IHGEs were helpful in excluding medial seizure onset. Twelve patients did not undergo resection because of nonlocalizable or multifocal disease; in 2 patients localization to the motor cortex precluded resection. Seventy-one percent of patients who underwent resection had Engel Class I outcome at the 2-year follow-up.


The use of IHGEs in intracranial epilepsy monitoring has a favorable risk profile and in the authors' experience proved to be a valuable component of intracranial investigation, providing the sole evidence for resection of some epileptogenic foci.