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Juan S. Uribe, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Clinton D. Morgan, Gabriella M. Paisan, and Laura A. Snyder

The lateral retropleural approach provides an eloquent, mini-open, safe corridor to address various pathologies in the thoracolumbar spine, including herniated thoracic discs. Traditional approaches (e.g., transpedicular, costotransversectomy, or transthoracic) have their own benefits and pitfalls but are generally associated with significant morbidity and often require instrumentation. In this video, the authors highlight the retropleural approach and its nuances, including patient positioning, surgical planning, relevant anatomy, surgical technique, and postoperative care.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2217

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Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Ryan C. Turner, Ogaga Urhie, Joseph L. Voelker, and Sanjay Bhatia

OBJECTIVE

It is commonly reported that achieving gross-total resection of contrast-enhancing areas in patients with glioblastoma (GBM) improves overall survival. Efforts to achieve an improved resection have included the use of both imaging and pharmacological adjuvants. The authors sought to investigate the role of sodium fluorescein in improving the rates of gross-total resection of GBM and to assess whether patients undergoing resection with fluorescein have improved survival compared to patients undergoing resection without fluorescein.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on 57 consecutive patients undergoing 64 surgeries with sodium fluorescein to treat newly diagnosed or recurrent GBMs from May 2014 to June 2017 at a teaching institution. Outcomes were compared to those in patients with GBMs who underwent resection without fluorescein.

RESULTS

Complete or near-total (≥ 98%) resection was achieved in 73% (47/64) of fluorescein cases. Of 42 cases thought not to be amenable to complete resection, 10 procedures (24%) resulted in gross-total resection and 15 (36%) resulted in near-total resection following the use of sodium fluorescein. No patients developed any local or systemic side effects after fluorescein injection. Patients undergoing resection with sodium fluorescein, compared to the non–fluorescein-treated group, had increased rates of gross- or near-total resection (73% vs 53%, respectively; p < 0.05) as well as improved median survival (78 weeks vs 60 weeks, respectively; p < 0.360).

CONCLUSIONS

This study is the largest case series to date demonstrating the beneficial effect of utilizing sodium fluorescein as an adjunct in GBM resection. Sodium fluorescein facilitated resection in cases in which it was employed, including dominant-side resections particularly near speech and motor regions. The cohort of patients in which sodium fluorescein was utilized had statistically significantly increased rates of gross- or near-total resection. Additionally, the fluorescein group demonstrated prolonged median survival, although this was not statistically significant. This work demonstrates the promise of an affordable and easy-to-implement strategy for improving rates of total resection of contrast-enhancing areas in patients with GBM.

Open access

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Christopher S. Ferari, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Patricia Dekeseredy, and Cara L. Sedney

BACKGROUND

The incidence of pain-generating degenerative spinal problems in patients who are currently using or have previously used drugs has increased as substance use disorder (SUD) becomes a chronic, lifelong condition. Health system–level data in recent years indicate a significant increase in patients with coexisting SUD and degenerative disc disease, representing an emerging population. A retrospective electronic medical record review identified seven patients with SUD who underwent elective spine surgery by orthopedic or neurosurgical staff from 2012 to 2021. The authors present two of these illustrative cases and a framework that can be used in the treatment of similar patients.

OBSERVATIONS

Substances used included opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, cocaine, methamphetamines, hallucinogens, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, and cannabis. All were abstaining from drug use preoperatively, with four patients in a formal treatment program. Five patients were discharged with an opioid prescription, and two patients deferred opioids. Three experienced a relapse of substance use within 1 year. All patients presented for follow-up, although two required additional contact for follow-up compliance.

LESSONS

Perioperative protocols focusing on patient-led care plans, pain control, communication with medication for opioid use disorder providers, family and social support, and specific indicators of possible poor results can contribute to better outcomes for care challenges associated with these diagnoses.

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Clinton D. Morgan, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Jakub Godzik, Joshua S. Catapano, Courtney Hemphill, Jay D. Turner, and Juan S. Uribe

OBJECTIVE

Single-position prone lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) improves the efficiency of staged minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery. However, laterally approaching the lumbar spine, especially L4–5 with the patient in the prone position, could increase the risk of complications and presents unique challenges, including difficult ergonomics, psoas migration, and management of the nearby lumbar plexus. The authors sought to identify postoperative femoral neurapraxia after single-position prone LLIF at L4–5 to better understand how symptoms evolve over time.

METHODS

This retrospective analysis examined a prospectively maintained database of LLIF patients who were treated by two surgeons (J.S.U. and J.D.T.). Patients who underwent single-position prone LLIF at L4–5 and percutaneous pedicle screw fixation for lumbar stenosis or spondylolisthesis were included if they had at least 6 weeks of follow-up. Outpatient postoperative neurological symptoms were analyzed at 6-week, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up evaluations.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine patients (16 women [55%]; overall mean ± SD age 62 ± 11 years) met the inclusion criteria. Five patients (17%) experienced complications, including 1 (3%) who had a femoral nerve injury with resultant motor weakness. The mean ± SD transpsoas retractor time was 14.6 ± 6.1 minutes, the directional anterior electromyography (EMG) threshold before retractor placement was 20.1 ± 10.2 mA, and the directional posterior EMG threshold was 10.4 ± 9.1 mA. All patients had 6-week clinical follow-up evaluations. Ten patients (34%) reported thigh pain or weakness at their 6-week follow-up appointment, compared with 3/27 (11%) at 3 months and 1/20 (5%) at 6 months. No association was found between directional EMG threshold and neurapraxia, but longer transpsoas retractor time at L4–5 was significantly associated with femoral neurapraxia at 6-week follow-up (p = 0.02). The only case of femoral nerve injury with motor weakness developed in a patient with a retractor time that was nearly twice as long as the mean time (27.0 vs 14.6 minutes); however, this patient fully recovered by the 3-month follow-up evaluation.

CONCLUSIONS

To our knowledge, this is the largest study with the longest follow-up duration to date after single-position prone LLIF at L4–5 with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation. Although 34% of patients reported ipsilateral sensory symptoms in the thigh at the 6-week follow-up evaluation, only 1 patient sustained a nerve injury; this resulted in temporary weakness that resolved by the 3-month follow-up evaluation. Thus, longer transpsoas retractor time at L4–5 during prone LLIF is associated with increased ipsilateral thigh symptoms at 6-week follow-up that may resolve over time.

Open access

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David S. Xu, Gabriella M. Paisan, Joelle N. Hartke, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, Juan S. Uribe, and Laura A. Snyder

The lateral access approach for L1–2 interbody placement or other levels at or near the thoracolumbar junction may be difficult without proper knowledge and visualization of anatomy. Specifically, understanding where the fibers of the diaphragm travel and avoiding injury to the diaphragm are paramount.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID2221

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Nasser Mohammed, Dale Ding, Yi-Chieh Hung, Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, David Mathieu, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, L. Dade Lunsford, Mary Lee Vance, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The role of primary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with medically refractory acromegaly who are not operative candidates or who refuse resection is poorly understood. The aim of this multicenter, matched cohort study was to compare the outcomes of primary versus postoperative SRS for acromegaly.

METHODS

The authors reviewed an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation database of 398 patients with acromegaly who underwent SRS and categorized them into primary or postoperative cohorts. Patients in the primary SRS cohort were matched, in a 1:2 ratio, to those in the postoperative SRS cohort, and the outcomes of the 2 matched cohorts were compared.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 78 patients (median follow-up 66.4 months), including 26 and 52 in the matched primary and postoperative SRS cohorts, respectively. In the primary SRS cohort, the actuarial endocrine remission rates at 2 and 5 years were 20% and 42%, respectively. The Cox proportional hazards model showed that a lower pre-SRS insulin-like growth factor–1 level was predictive of initial endocrine remission (p = 0.03), whereas a lower SRS margin dose was predictive of biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.01). There were no differences in the rates of radiological tumor control (p = 0.34), initial endocrine remission (p = 0.23), biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.33), recurrence-free survival (p = 0.32), or hypopituitarism (p = 0.67) between the 2 matched cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary SRS has a reasonable benefit-to-risk profile for patients with acromegaly in whom resection is not possible, and it has similar outcomes to endocrinologically comparable patients who undergo postoperative SRS. SRS with medical therapy in the latent period can be used as an alternative to surgery in selected patients who cannot or do not wish to undergo resection.

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Diogo Cordeiro, Zhiyuan Xu, Gautam U. Mehta, Dale Ding, Mary Lee Vance, Hideyuki Kano, Nathaniel Sisterson, Huai-che Yang, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford, David Mathieu, Gene H. Barnett, Veronica Chiang, John Lee, Penny Sneed, Yan-Hua Su, Cheng-chia Lee, Michal Krsek, Roman Liscak, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Amr El-Shehaby, Khaled Abdel Karim, Wael A. Reda, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Kevin Blas, Inga Grills, Kuei C. Lee, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Recurrent or residual adenomas are frequently treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS). The most common complication after GKRS for pituitary adenomas is hypopituitarism. In the current study, the authors detail the timing and types of hypopituitarism in a multicenter, international cohort of pituitary adenoma patients treated with GKRS.

METHODS

Seventeen institutions pooled clinical data obtained from pituitary adenoma patients who were treated with GKRS from 1988 to 2016. Patients who had undergone prior radiotherapy were excluded. A total of 1023 patients met the study inclusion criteria. The treated lesions included 410 nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs), 262 cases of Cushing’s disease (CD), and 251 cases of acromegaly. The median follow-up was 51 months (range 6–246 months). Statistical analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate factors associated with the development of new-onset hypopituitarism.

RESULTS

At last follow-up, 248 patients had developed new pituitary hormone deficiency (86 with NFPA, 66 with CD, and 96 with acromegaly). Among these patients, 150 (60.5%) had single and 98 (39.5%) had multiple hormone deficiencies. New hormonal changes included 82 cortisol (21.6%), 135 thyrotropin (35.6%), 92 gonadotropin (24.3%), 59 growth hormone (15.6%), and 11 vasopressin (2.9%) deficiencies. The actuarial 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, 7-year, and 10-year rates of hypopituitarism were 7.8%, 16.2%, 22.4%, 27.5%, and 31.3%, respectively. The median time to hypopituitarism onset was 39 months.

In univariate analyses, an increased rate of new-onset hypopituitarism was significantly associated with a lower isodose line (p = 0.006, HR = 8.695), whole sellar targeting (p = 0.033, HR = 1.452), and treatment of a functional pituitary adenoma as compared with an NFPA (p = 0.008, HR = 1.510). In multivariate analyses, only a lower isodose line was found to be an independent predictor of new-onset hypopituitarism (p = 0.001, HR = 1.38).

CONCLUSIONS

Hypopituitarism remains the most common unintended effect of GKRS for a pituitary adenoma. Treating the target volume at an isodose line of 50% or greater and avoiding whole-sellar radiosurgery, unless necessary, will likely mitigate the risk of post-GKRS hypopituitarism. Follow-up of these patients is required to detect and treat latent endocrinopathies.