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nlm-article

Julia Shawarba, Cand Med, Matthias Tomschik, and Karl Roessler

Facial and cochlear nerve preservation in large vestibular schwannomas is a major challenge. Bimanual pincers or plate-knife dissection techniques have been described as crucial for nerve preservation. The authors demonstrate a recently applied diamond knife dissection technique to peel the nerves from the tumor capsule. This technique minimizes the nerve trauma significantly, and complete resection of a large vestibular schwannoma without any facial nerve palsy and hearing preservation is possible. The authors illustrate this technique during surgery of a 2.6-cm vestibular schwannoma in a 27-year-old male patient resulting in normal facial function and preserved hearing postoperatively.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.7.FOCVID21104

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nlm-article

Philine Behrens, Anna Tietze, Elisabeth Walch, Petra Bittigau, Christoph Bührer, Matthias Schulz, Annette Aigner, and Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale

OBJECTIVE

A standardized guideline for treatment of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus in premature infants is still missing. Because an early ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery is avoided due to low body weight and fragility of the patients, the neurosurgical treatment focuses on temporary solutions for CSF diversion as a minimally invasive approach. Neuroendoscopic lavage (NEL) was additionally introduced for early elimination of intraventricular blood components to reduce possible subsequent complications such as shunt dependency, infection, and multiloculated hydrocephalus. The authors report their first experience regarding neurodevelopmental outcome after NEL in this patient cohort.

METHODS

In a single-center retrospective cohort study with 45 patients undergoing NEL, the authors measured neurocognitive development at 2 years with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd Edition, Mental Developmental Index (BSID II MDI) and graded the ability to walk with the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). They further recorded medication with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and quantified ventricular and brain volumes by using 3D MRI data sets.

RESULTS

Forty-four patients were alive at 2 years of age. Eight of 27 patients (30%) assessed revealed a fairly normal neurocognitive development (BSID II MDI ≥ 70), 28 of 36 patients (78%) were able to walk independently or with minimal aid (GMFCS 0–2), and 73% did not require AED treatment. Based on MR volume measurements, greater brain volume was positively correlated with BSID II MDI (rs = 0.52, 95% CI 0.08–0.79) and negatively with GMFCS (rs = −0.69, 95% CI −0.85 to −0.42). Based on Bayesian logistic regression, AED treatment, the presence of comorbidities, and also cerebellar pathology could be identified as relevant risk factors for both neurodevelopmental outcomes, increasing the odds more than 2-fold—but with limited precision in estimation.

CONCLUSIONS

Neuromotor outcome assessment after NEL is comparable to previously published drainage, irrigation, and fibrinolytic therapy (DRIFT) study results. A majority of NEL-treated patients showed independent mobility. Further validation of outcome measurements is warranted in an extended setup, as intended by the prospective international multicenter registry for treatment of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (TROPHY).

Free access

nlm-article

Johannes Sarnthein, Nader Hejrati, Marian C. Neidert, Alexander M. Huber, and Niklaus Krayenbühl

Object

During surgeries that put the facial nerve at risk for injury, its function can be continuously monitored by transcranial facial nerve motor evoked potentials (FNMEPs) in facial nerve target muscles. Despite their advantages, FNMEPs are not yet widely used. While most authors use a 50% reduction in FNMEP response amplitudes as a warning criterion, in this paper the authors' approach was to keep the response amplitude constant by increasing the stimulation intensity and to establish a warning criterion based on the “threshold-level” method.

Methods

The authors included 34 consecutive procedures involving 33 adult patients (median age 47 years) in whom FNMEPs were monitored. A threshold increase greater than 20 mA for eliciting FNMEPs in the most reliable facial nerve target muscle was considered a prediction of reduced postoperative facial nerve function, and subsequently a warning was issued to the surgeon. Preoperative and early postoperative function was documented using the House-Brackmann grading system.

Results

Monitoring of FNMEPs was feasible in all 34 surgeries in at least one facial nerve target muscle. The mentalis muscle yielded the best results. The House-Brackmann grade deteriorated in 17 (50%) of 34 cases. The warning criterion was reached in 18 (53%) of 34 cases, which predicted an 83% risk of House-Brackmann grade deterioration. Sensitivity amounted to 88% (CI 64%–99%) and specificity to 82% (CI 57%–96%). Deterioration of FNMEPs and a worse House-Brackmann grade showed a high degree of association (p < 0.001). The impact of FNMEP monitoring on surgical strategy is exemplified in an illustrative case.

Conclusions

In surgeries that put the facial nerve at risk, the intraoperative increase in FNMEP stimulation threshold was closely correlated to postoperative facial nerve dysfunction. Monitoring of FNMEPs is a valid indicator of facial nerve function in skull base surgery. It should be used as an adjunct to direct electrical facial nerve stimulation and continuous electromyographic monitoring of facial nerve target muscles.

Free access

nlm-article

Stephanie Lescher, Sonja Schniewindt, Alina Jurcoane, Christian Senft, and Elke Hattingen

Object

Early postoperative MRI within 72 hours after brain tumor surgery is commonly used to assess residual contrast-enhancing tumor. The 72-hour window is commonly accepted because previous 1.5-T MRI studies have not found confounding postoperative reactive contrast enhancement in this time frame. The sensitivity to detect contrast enhancement increases with the field strengths. Therefore, the authors aimed to assess whether the 72-hour window is also appropriate for the MRI scanner with a field strength of 3 T.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed findings on early postsurgical MR images acquired in 46 patients treated for high-grade gliomas. They performed 3-T MRI within 7 days before surgery and within 72 hours thereafter. The appearance of enhancement was categorized as postoperative reactive enhancement or tumoral enhancement by comparison with the pattern and location of presurgical enhancing tumor.

Results

Postoperative reactive enhancement was present in 15 patients (32.6%). This enhancement, not seen on presurgical MRI, had a marginal or leptomeningeal/dural pattern. In 13 patients (28.3%) postsurgical enhancement was found within the first 72 postoperative hours, with the earliest seen 22:57 hours after surgery. Subsequent MR scans in patients with postoperative reactive enhancement did not reveal tumor recurrence in these regions.

Conclusions

Postoperative reactive enhancement earlier than 72 hours after brain tumor surgery can be expected in about one-third of the cases in which a 3-T scanner is used. This might be due to the higher enhancement-to-brain contrast at higher field strengths. Therefore, the time window of 72 hours does not prevent reactive enhancement, which, however, can be recognized as such comparing it with presurgical enhancing tumor.