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William M. Lee and John E. Adams

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Oscar Leal and John Miles

✓ A patient is reported with an epidermoid cyst of the brain stem, presenting as a progressive brain-stem mass, together with recurrent aseptic meningitis.

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Karthik Madhavan, John Paul G. Kolcun, Lee Onn Chieng and Michael Y. Wang

Surgical robots have captured the interest—if not the widespread acceptance—of spinal neurosurgeons. But successful innovation, scientific or commercial, requires the majority to adopt a new practice. “Faster, better, cheaper” products should in theory conquer the market, but often fail. The psychology of change is complex, and the “follow the leader” mentality, common in the field today, lends little trust to the process of disseminating new technology. Beyond product quality, timing has proven to be a key factor in the inception, design, and execution of new technologies. Although the first robotic surgery was performed in 1985, scant progress was seen until the era of minimally invasive surgery. This movement increased neurosurgeons’ dependence on navigation and fluoroscopy, intensifying the drive for enhanced precision. Outside the field of medicine, various technology companies have made great progress in popularizing co-robots (“cobots”), augmented reality, and processor chips. This has helped to ease practicing surgeons into familiarity with and acceptance of these technologies. The adoption among neurosurgeons in training is a “follow the leader” phenomenon, wherein new surgeons tend to adopt the technology used during residency. In neurosurgery today, robots are limited to computers functioning between the surgeon and patient. Their functions are confined to establishing a trajectory for navigation, with task execution solely in the surgeon’s hands. In this review, the authors discuss significant untapped technologies waiting to be used for more meaningful applications. They explore the history and current manifestations of various modern technologies, and project what innovations may lie ahead.

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John S. Meyer, Susumu Ishikawa and T. K. Lee

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David W. Roberts

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John D. Loeser, H. Lee Kilburn and Tim Jolley

✓ The authors describe three cases of neonatal depressed skull fracture subsequent to difficult delivery, treated without surgical elevation. None of the patients developed neurological deficits, cosmetic deformity or electroencephalographic signs of epileptiform activity. Neonatal depressed skull fractures not associated with focal neurological signs may not require surgical therapy; we are not certain what the absolute criteria for operation should be.

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Michael L. Smith and John Y. K. Lee

✓Metastatic disease to the brain occurs in a significant percentage of patients with cancer and can limit survival and worsen quality of life. Glucocorticoids and whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) have been the mainstay of intracranial treatments, while craniotomy for tumor resection has been the standard local therapy. In the last few years however, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has emerged as an alternative form of local therapy. Studies completed over the past decade have helped to define the role of SRS. The authors review the evolution of the techniques used and the indications for SRS use to treat brain metastases. Stereotactic radiosurgery, compared with craniotomy, is a powerful local treatment modality especially useful for small, multiple, and deep metastases, and it is usually combined with WBRT for better regional control.

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John L. Go, Sandy C. Lee and Paul E. Kim

✓Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is an aggressive neoplastic process that occurs in both immuno-competent and immunocompromised patients. Over the past 30 years there has been a steady increase in the number of cases in both patient populations. The imaging features for the disease and demographic characteristics within these patient populations vary, and in this article the authors describe the salient features of these two groups.

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Manish K. Kasliwal, Lee A. Tan and John E. O'Toole

Spinal metastases are the most common of spinal neoplasms and occur predominantly in an extradural location. Their appearance in an intradural location is uncommon and is associated with a poor prognosis. Cerebrospinal fluid dissemination accounts for a significant number of intradural spinal metastases mostly manifesting as leptomeningeal carcinomatoses or drop metastases from intracranial tumors. The occurrence of local tumor dissemination intradurally following surgery for an extradural spinal metastasis has not been reported previously. The authors describe 2 cases in which local intradural and intramedullary tumor recurrences occurred following resection of extradural metastases that were complicated by unintended durotomy. To heighten clinical awareness of this unusual form of local tumor recurrence, the authors discuss the possible etiology and clinical consequences of this entity.