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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Visual deterioration after endonasal endoscopic skull base surgery: causes, treatments, and outcomes

Joseph A. Carnevale, Christopher S. Babu, Jacob L. Goldberg, Reginald Fong, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Visual deterioration after endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for sellar and parasellar masses is a rare but serious complication caused by either compressive or ischemic mechanisms. Timely diagnosis and intervention may restore vision if instituted appropriately. The associated risk factors and their relation to the success of intervention are not well understood.

METHODS

The authors examined a series of 1200 consecutive EETS cases performed by the senior author at Weill Cornell/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital from 2010 to 2020. Cases with postoperative visual deterioration were identified. Pre- and postoperative clinical data, mechanism of visual decline, latency to intervention, and long-term visual outcome were retrospectively collected and analyzed with appropriate statistical methods.

RESULTS

Twenty-one patients (1.75%) complained of early postoperative visual deterioration. The most common pathology associated with postoperative visual loss was craniopharyngioma (7.69%), followed by meningioma (5.43%) and then pituitary adenoma (1.94%). Timely intervention restored vision in 81% of patients for a 0.33% rate of permanent visual deterioration. Average time to visual deterioration was 28.8 hours, and over 70% of patients experienced vision loss within the first 13 hours. Compressive etiology (n = 11), consisting of either hematoma (n = 8) or graft displacement (n = 3), occurred 7.3 hours and 70.3 hours after surgery, respectively, and was more common in adenomas. Acute postoperative visual deterioration was more common in firm closures (4.78%) compared with soft closures (1.03%; p = 0.0006). Ischemic etiology (n = 10) occurred 10.3 hours after surgery and was more common with craniopharyngiomas and meningiomas (p = 0.08). Sixteen patients (76.2%) underwent early reoperation to explore and decompress the optic apparatus. Vision was restored to baseline after reoperation in all 11 compressive cases, whereas 6/10 ischemic cases improved with supplemental oxygen and hypervolemic hypertensive therapy (p = 0.02). Fluid expansion from 8 to 16 hours (p = 0.034) and systolic blood pressure elevation from 32 to 48 hours (p = 0.05) after surgery were significantly higher in those ischemic patients who recovered some vision compared with those with persistent visual deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Visual deterioration after EETS is a rare event but can be effectively treated if acted upon appropriately and in a timely fashion. Compressive etiology is reversible with early reoperation. Ischemic etiology can be successfully treated in roughly half of cases with supplemental oxygen and hypertensive hypervolemic therapy but may result in permanent visual deterioration if not instituted appropriately or if delayed with unnecessary exploratory surgery.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Perioperative prophylactic middle meningeal artery embolization for chronic subdural hematoma: a series of 44 cases

Justin Schwarz, Joseph A. Carnevale, Jacob L. Goldberg, Alexander D. Ramos, Thomas W. Link, and Jared Knopman

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) is a common and challenging pathology to treat due to both the historically high recurrence rate following surgical evacuation and the medical comorbidities inherent in the aging patient population that it primarily affects. Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization has shown promise in the treatment of cSDHs, most convincingly to avoid surgical evacuation in relatively asymptomatic patients. Symptomatic patients requiring surgical evacuation may also benefit from perioperative MMA embolization to prevent cSDH recurrence. The goal of this study was to determine the utility of perioperative MMA embolization for symptomatic cSDH requiring surgical evacuation and to assess if there is a decrease in the cSDH recurrence rate compared to historical recurrence rates following surgical evacuation alone.

METHODS

Symptomatic cSDHs were evacuated using a subdural evacuating port system (SEPS) with 5-mm twist-drill craniostomy in an intensive care unit or by performing a craniotomy in the operating room, using either a small (silver dollar, < 4 cm) or large (≥ 4 cm) craniotomy. MMA embolization was performed perioperatively using angiography, selective catheterization of the MMA, and infusion of polyvinyl particles. Outcomes were assessed clinically and radiographically with interval head CT imaging.

RESULTS

There were 44 symptomatic cSDHs in 41 patients, with 3 patients presenting with bilateral symptomatic cSDH. All cSDHs were evacuated using an SEPS (n = 18), a silver-dollar craniotomy (n = 16), or a large craniotomy (n = 10). Prophylactic MMA embolization was performed successfully in all cSDHs soon after surgical evacuation. There were no deaths and no procedural complications. There was an overall reduction of greater than 50% or resolution of cSDH in 40/44 (90.9%) cases, regardless of the evacuation procedure used. Of the 44 prophylactic cases, there were 2 (4.5%) cases of cSDH recurrence that required repeat surgical evacuation at the 1-year follow-up. These 2 cSDHs were initially evacuated using an SEPS and subsequently required a craniotomy, thereby representing an overall 4.5% recurrence rate of treated cSDH requiring repeat evacuation. Most notably, of the 26 patients who underwent surgical evacuation with a craniotomy followed by MMA embolization, none had cSDH recurrence requiring repeat intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

Perioperative prophylactic MMA embolization in the setting of surgical evacuation, via either craniotomy or SEPS, may help to lower the recurrence rate of cSDH.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Risk of tract recurrence with stereotactic biopsy of brain metastases: an 18-year cancer center experience

Joseph A. Carnevale, Brandon S. Imber, Graham M. Winston, Jacob L. Goldberg, Ase Ballangrud, Cameron W. Brennan, Kathryn Beal, Viviane Tabar, and Nelson S. Moss

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic biopsy is increasingly performed on brain metastases (BrMs) as improving cancer outcomes drive aggressive multimodality treatment, including laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT). However, the tract recurrence (TR) risk is poorly defined in an era defined by focused-irradiation paradigms. As such, the authors aimed to define indications and adjuvant therapies for this procedure and evaluate the BrM-biopsy TR rate.

METHODS

In a single-center retrospective review, the authors identified stereotactic BrM biopsies performed from 2002 to 2020. Surgical indications, radiographic characteristics, stereotactic planning, dosimetry, pre- and postoperative CNS-directed and systemic treatments, and clinical courses were collected. Recurrence was evaluated using RANO-BM (Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases) criteria.

RESULTS

In total, 499 patients underwent stereotactic intracranial biopsy for any diagnosis, of whom 25 patients (5.0%) underwent biopsy for pathologically confirmed viable BrM, a proportion that increased over the time period studied. Twelve of the 25 BrM patients had ≥ 3 months of radiographic follow-up, of whom 6 patients (50%) developed new metastatic growth along the tract at a median of 5.0 months post-biopsy (range 2.3–17.1 months). All of the TR cases had undergone pre- or early post-biopsy stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and 3 had also undergone LITT at the time of initial biopsy. TRs were treated with resection, reirradiation, or observation/systemic therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study the authors identified a nontrivial, higher than previously described rate of BrM-biopsy tract recurrence, which often required additional surgery or radiation and justified close radiographic surveillance. As BrMs are commonly treated with SRS limited to enhancing tumor margins, consideration should be made, in cases lacking CNS-active systemic treatments, to include biopsy tracts in adjuvant radiation plans where feasible.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Multidisciplinary management of carotid body tumors: a single-institution case series of 22 patients

Alexander Ramos, Joseph A. Carnevale, Kashif Majeed, Gary Kocharian, Ibrahim Hussain, Jacob L. Goldberg, Justin Schwarz, David I. Kutler, Jared Knopman, and Philip Stieg

OBJECTIVE

Carotid body tumors (CBTs) are rare, slow-growing neoplasms derived from the parasympathetic paraganglia of the carotid bodies. Although inherently vascular lesions, the role of preoperative embolization prior to resection remains controversial. In this report, the authors describe an institutional series of patients with CBT successfully treated via resection following preoperative embolization and compare the results in this series to previously reported outcomes in the treatment of CBT.

METHODS

All CBTs resected between 2013 and 2019 at a single institution were retrospectively identified. All patients had undergone preoperative embolization performed by interventional neuroradiologists, and all had been operated on by a combined team of cerebrovascular neurosurgeons and otolaryngology–head and neck surgeons. The clinical, radiographic, endovascular, and perioperative data were collected. All procedural complications were recorded.

RESULTS

Among 22 patients with CBT, 63.6% were female and the median age was 55.5 years at the time of surgery. The most common presenting symptoms included a palpable neck mass (59.1%) and voice changes (22.7%). The average tumor volume was 15.01 ± 14.41 cm3. Most of the CBTs were Shamblin group 2 (95.5%). Blood was predominantly supplied from branches of the ascending pharyngeal artery, with an average of 2 vascular pedicles (range 1–4). Fifty percent of the tumors were embolized with more than one material: polyvinyl alcohol, 95.5%; Onyx, 50.0%; and N-butyl cyanoacrylate glue, 9.1%. The average reduction in tumor blush following embolization was 83% (range 40%–95%). No embolization procedural complications occurred. All resections were performed within 30 hours of embolization. The average operative time was 173.9 minutes, average estimated blood loss was 151.8 ml, and median length of hospital stay was 4 days. The rate of permanent postoperative complications was 0%; 2 patients experienced transient hoarseness, and 1 patient had medical complications related to alcohol withdrawal.

CONCLUSIONS

This series reveals that endovascular embolization of CBT is a safe and effective technique for tumor devascularization, making preoperative angiography and embolization an important consideration in the management of CBT. Moreover, the successful management of CBT at the authors’ institution rests on a multidisciplinary approach whereby endovascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, and ear, nose, and throat–head and neck surgeons work together to optimally manage each patient with CBT.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery

Endonasal, supraorbital, and transorbital approaches: minimal access endoscope-assisted surgical approaches for meningiomas in the anterior and middle cranial fossae

Joseph A. Carnevale, Abhinav Pandey, Cristopher Ramirez-Loera, Jacob L. Goldberg, Evan D. Bander, Fraser Henderson Jr., Sumit N. Niogi, Abtin Tabaee, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand, Andrew Kim, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Kyle J. Godfrey, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive endoscope-assisted approaches to the anterior skull base offer an alternative to traditional open craniotomies. Given the restrictive operative corridor, appropriate case selection is critical for success. In this paper, the authors present the results of three different minimal access approaches to meningiomas of the anterior and middle fossae and examine the differences in the target areas considered appropriate for each approach, as well as the outcomes, to determine whether the surgical goals were achieved.

METHODS

A consecutive series of the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA), supraorbital approach (SOA), or transorbital approach (TOA) for newly diagnosed meningiomas of the anterior and middle fossa skull base between 2007 and 2022 were examined. Probabilistic heat maps were created to display the distribution of tumor volumes for each approach. Gross-total resection (GTR), extent of resection, visual and olfactory outcomes, and postoperative complications were assessed.

RESULTS

Of 525 patients who had meningioma resection, 88 (16.7%) were included in this study. EEA was performed for planum sphenoidale and tuberculum sellae meningiomas (n = 44), SOA for olfactory groove and anterior clinoid meningiomas (n = 36), and TOA for spheno-orbital and middle fossa meningiomas (n = 8). The largest tumors were treated using SOA (mean volume 28 ± 29 cm3), followed by TOA (mean volume 10 ± 10 cm3) and EEA (mean volume 9 ± 8 cm3) (p = 0.024). Most cases (91%) were WHO grade I. GTR was achieved in 84% of patients (n = 74), which was similar to the rates for EEA (84%) and SOA (92%), but lower than that for TOA (50%) (p = 0.002), the latter attributable to spheno-orbital (GTR: 33%) not middle fossa (GTR: 100%) tumors. There were 7 (8%) CSF leaks: 5 (11%) from EEA, 1 (3%) from SOA, and 1 (13%) from TOA (p = 0.326). All resolved with lumbar drainage except for 1 EEA leak that required a reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

Minimally invasive approaches for anterior and middle fossa skull base meningiomas require careful case selection. GTR rates are equally high for all approaches except for spheno-orbital meningiomas, where alleviation of proptosis and not GTR is the primary goal of surgery. New anosmia was most common after EEA.