Publications by authors named "Richard Ellenbogen"

245 Publications

Pathological Computed Tomography Features Associated With Adverse Outcomes After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A TRACK-TBI Study With External Validation in CENTER-TBI.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

University of Washington, Seattle.

Importance: A head computed tomography (CT) with positive results for acute intracranial hemorrhage is the gold-standard diagnostic biomarker for acute traumatic brain injury (TBI). In moderate to severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] scores 3-12), some CT features have been shown to be associated with outcomes. In mild TBI (mTBI; GCS scores 13-15), distribution and co-occurrence of pathological CT features and their prognostic importance are not well understood.

Objective: To identify pathological CT features associated with adverse outcomes after mTBI.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The longitudinal, observational Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study enrolled patients with TBI, including those 17 years and older with GCS scores of 13 to 15 who presented to emergency departments at 18 US level 1 trauma centers between February 26, 2014, and August 8, 2018, and underwent head CT imaging within 24 hours of TBI. Evaluations of CT imaging used TBI Common Data Elements. Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE) scores were assessed at 2 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months postinjury. External validation of results was performed via the Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) study. Data analyses were completed from February 2020 to February 2021.

Exposures: Acute nonpenetrating head trauma.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Frequency, co-occurrence, and clustering of CT features; incomplete recovery (GOSE scores <8 vs 8); and an unfavorable outcome (GOSE scores <5 vs ≥5) at 2 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results: In 1935 patients with mTBI (mean [SD] age, 41.5 [17.6] years; 1286 men [66.5%]) in the TRACK-TBI cohort and 2594 patients with mTBI (mean [SD] age, 51.8 [20.3] years; 1658 men [63.9%]) in an external validation cohort, hierarchical cluster analysis identified 3 major clusters of CT features: contusion, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and/or subdural hematoma; intraventricular and/or petechial hemorrhage; and epidural hematoma. Contusion, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and/or subdural hematoma features were associated with incomplete recovery (odds ratios [ORs] for GOSE scores <8 at 1 year: TRACK-TBI, 1.80 [95% CI, 1.39-2.33]; CENTER-TBI, 2.73 [95% CI, 2.18-3.41]) and greater degrees of unfavorable outcomes (ORs for GOSE scores <5 at 1 year: TRACK-TBI, 3.23 [95% CI, 1.59-6.58]; CENTER-TBI, 1.68 [95% CI, 1.13-2.49]) out to 12 months after injury, but epidural hematoma was not. Intraventricular and/or petechial hemorrhage was associated with greater degrees of unfavorable outcomes up to 12 months after injury (eg, OR for GOSE scores <5 at 1 year in TRACK-TBI: 3.47 [95% CI, 1.66-7.26]). Some CT features were more strongly associated with outcomes than previously validated variables (eg, ORs for GOSE scores <5 at 1 year in TRACK-TBI: neuropsychiatric history, 1.43 [95% CI .98-2.10] vs contusion, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and/or subdural hematoma, 3.23 [95% CI 1.59-6.58]). Findings were externally validated in 2594 patients with mTBI enrolled in the CENTER-TBI study.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, pathological CT features carried different prognostic implications after mTBI to 1 year postinjury. Some patterns of injury were associated with worse outcomes than others. These results support that patients with mTBI and these CT features need TBI-specific education and systematic follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.2120DOI Listing
July 2021

Functional Outcomes Over the First Year After Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in the Prospective, Longitudinal TRACK-TBI Study.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Importance: Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (msTBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the US and worldwide. Few studies have enabled prospective, longitudinal outcome data collection from the acute to chronic phases of recovery after msTBI.

Objective: To prospectively assess outcomes in major areas of life function at 2 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months after msTBI.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study, as part of the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI (TRACK-TBI) study, was conducted at 18 level 1 trauma centers in the US from February 2014 to August 2018 and prospectively assessed longitudinal outcomes, with follow-up to 12 months postinjury. Participants were patients with msTBI (Glasgow Coma Scale scores 3-12) extracted from a larger group of patients with mild, moderate, or severe TBI who were enrolled in TRACK-TBI. Data analysis took place from October 2019 to April 2021.

Exposures: Moderate or severe TBI.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE) and Disability Rating Scale (DRS) were used to assess global functional status 2 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months postinjury. Scores on the GOSE were dichotomized to determine favorable (scores 4-8) vs unfavorable (scores 1-3) outcomes. Neurocognitive testing and patient reported outcomes at 12 months postinjury were analyzed.

Results: A total of 484 eligible patients were included from the 2679 individuals in the TRACK-TBI study. Participants with severe TBI (n = 362; 283 men [78.2%]; median [interquartile range] age, 35.5 [25-53] years) and moderate TBI (n = 122; 98 men [80.3%]; median [interquartile range] age, 38 [25-53] years) were comparable on demographic and premorbid variables. At 2 weeks postinjury, 36 of 290 participants with severe TBI (12.4%) and 38 of 93 participants with moderate TBI (41%) had favorable outcomes (GOSE scores 4-8); 301 of 322 in the severe TBI group (93.5%) and 81 of 103 in the moderate TBI group (78.6%) had moderate disability or worse on the DRS (total score ≥4). By 12 months postinjury, 142 of 271 with severe TBI (52.4%) and 54 of 72 with moderate TBI (75%) achieved favorable outcomes. Nearly 1 in 5 participants with severe TBI (52 of 270 [19.3%]) and 1 in 3 with moderate TBI (23 of 71 [32%]) reported no disability (DRS score 0) at 12 months. Among participants in a vegetative state at 2 weeks, 62 of 79 (78%) regained consciousness and 14 of 56 with available data (25%) regained orientation by 12 months.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, patients with msTBI frequently demonstrated major functional gains, including recovery of independence, between 2 weeks and 12 months postinjury. Severe impairment in the short term did not portend poor outcomes in a substantial minority of patients with msTBI. When discussing prognosis during the first 2 weeks after injury, clinicians should be particularly cautious about making early, definitive prognostic statements suggesting poor outcomes and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in patients with msTBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.2043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261688PMC
July 2021

Evaluating the Utility of Routine Computed Tomography Scans after Cranial Vault Reconstruction for Children with Craniosynostosis.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 Jul;148(1):63e-70e

From the Department of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Erasmus University; the Department of Radiology, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, and Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington; and the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Craniofacial Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital.

Background: Postoperative computed tomography scans allow for evaluation of the structural results of cranial vault reconstruction and potential surgical concerns. The authors evaluated the clinical utility of routine postoperative scans to identify relevant surgical findings in children treated for craniosynostosis.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective study of postoperative computed tomography reports for patients with craniosynostosis following cranial vault reconstruction during a 9-year period at their tertiary care pediatric hospital. They categorized postoperative computed tomography findings as typical, atypical, or indeterminate. Images with reported indeterminate or atypical findings were reviewed and verified by a pediatric neuroradiologist and a pediatric neurological surgeon. Clinical outcomes of patients with abnormal postoperative images were assessed with chart review for clinical relevance.

Results: Postoperative computed tomography radiology reports for 548 operations in 506 participants were included. Most participants had single-suture craniosynostosis (89 percent), were male (64 percent), and under 1 year of age (78 percent). Surgically concerning scans were described in 52 reports (<9.5 percent), and the research team's pediatric neuroradiologist confirmed abnormal findings in 36 (6.5 percent). Potentially relevant abnormal findings included subdural blood (n = 18), subarachnoid blood (n = 4), intraparenchymal findings (n = 6), bone abnormalities (n = 5), vascular injury (n = 3), and increased ventricular size (n = 2). Most cases with abnormal findings did not require additional observation nor intervention. Only three cases (of 548; 0.55 percent) required further intervention, which included additional medical management (n = 2) and return to the operating room (n = 1).

Conclusion: Abnormal findings on routine computed tomography scans after cranial vault reconstruction are uncommon and rarely result in an urgent surgical or medical intervention.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Diagnostic, IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000008056DOI Listing
July 2021

Extradural decompression versus duraplasty in Chiari malformation type I with syrinx: outcomes on scoliosis from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Jun 18:1-9. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

25Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Objective: Scoliosis is common in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I)-associated syringomyelia. While it is known that treatment with posterior fossa decompression (PFD) may reduce the progression of scoliosis, it is unknown if decompression with duraplasty is superior to extradural decompression.

Methods: A large multicenter retrospective and prospective registry of 1257 pediatric patients with CM-I (tonsils ≥ 5 mm below the foramen magnum) and syrinx (≥ 3 mm in axial width) was reviewed for patients with scoliosis who underwent PFD with or without duraplasty.

Results: In total, 422 patients who underwent PFD had a clinical diagnosis of scoliosis. Of these patients, 346 underwent duraplasty, 51 received extradural decompression alone, and 25 were excluded because no data were available on the type of PFD. The mean clinical follow-up was 2.6 years. Overall, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of fusion or proportion of patients with curve progression between those with and those without a duraplasty. However, after controlling for age, sex, preoperative curve magnitude, syrinx length, syrinx width, and holocord syrinx, extradural decompression was associated with curve progression > 10°, but not increased occurrence of fusion. Older age at PFD and larger preoperative curve magnitude were independently associated with subsequent occurrence of fusion. Greater syrinx reduction after PFD of either type was associated with decreased occurrence of fusion.

Conclusions: In patients with CM-I, syrinx, and scoliosis undergoing PFD, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of surgical correction of scoliosis between those receiving a duraplasty and those with an extradural decompression. However, after controlling for preoperative factors including age, syrinx characteristics, and curve magnitude, patients treated with duraplasty were less likely to have curve progression than patients treated with extradural decompression. Further study is needed to evaluate the role of duraplasty in curve stabilization after PFD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.PEDS20552DOI Listing
June 2021

United States Medicolegal Progress and Innovation in Telemedicine in the Age of COVID-19: A Primer for Neurosurgeons.

Neurosurgery 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Telemedicine has received increased attention in recent years as a potential solution to expand clinical capability and patient access to care in many fields, including neurosurgery. Although patient and physician attitudes are rapidly shifting toward greater telemedicine use in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains uncertainty about telemedicine's regulatory future. Despite growing evidence of telemedicine's utility, there remain a number of significant medicolegal barriers to its mass adoption and wider implementation. Herein, we examine recent progress in state and federal regulations in the United States governing telemedicine's implementation in quality of care, finance and billing, privacy and confidentiality, risk and liability, and geography and interstate licensure, with special attention to how these concern teleneurosurgical practice. We also review contemporary topics germane to the future of teleneurosurgery, including the continued expansion of reciprocity in interstate licensure, expanded coverage for homecare services for chronic conditions, expansion of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursements, and protections of store-and-forward technologies. Additionally, we discuss recent successes in teleneurosurgery, stroke care, and rehabilitation as models for teleneurosurgical best practices. As telemedicine technology continues to mature and its expanse grows, neurosurgeons' familiarity with its benefits, limitations, and controversies will best allow for its successful adoption in our field to maximize patient care and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab185DOI Listing
June 2021

Radiation Necrosis from Stereotactic Radiosurgery-How Do We Mitigate?

Curr Treat Options Oncol 2021 Jun 7;22(7):57. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

Opinion Statement: Intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an effective and convenient treatment for many brain conditions. Data regarding safety come mostly from retrospective single institutional studies and a small number of prospective studies. Variations in target delineation, treatment delivery, imaging follow-up protocols and dose prescription limit the interpretation of this data. There has been much clinical focus on radiation necrosis (RN) in particular, as it is being increasingly recognized on follow-up imaging. Symptomatic RN may be treated with medical therapy (such as corticosteroids and bevacizumab) with surgical resection being reserved for refractory patients. Nevertheless, RN remains a challenging condition to manage, and therefore upfront patient selection for SRS remains critical to provide complication-free control. Mitigation strategies need to be considered in situations where the baseline risk of RN is expected to be high-such as large target volume or re-irradiation. These may involve reduction in the prescribed dose or hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy (HSRT). Recently published guidelines and international meta-analysis report the benefit of HSRT in larger lesions, without compromising control rates. However, careful attention to planning parameters and SRS techniques still need to be adhered, even with HSRT. In cases where the risk is deemed to be high despite mitigation, a combination approach of surgery with or without post-operative radiation should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11864-021-00854-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Association of Sex and Age With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Symptoms: A TRACK-TBI Study.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Apr 1;4(4):e213046. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

Importance: Knowledge of differences in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) recovery by sex and age may inform individualized treatment of these patients.

Objective: To identify sex-related differences in symptom recovery from mTBI; secondarily, to explore age differences within women, who demonstrate poorer outcomes after TBI.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The prospective cohort study Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) recruited 2000 patients with mTBI from February 26, 2014, to July 3, 2018, and 299 patients with orthopedic trauma (who served as controls) from January 26, 2016, to July 27, 2018. Patients were recruited from 18 level I trauma centers and followed up for 12 months. Data were analyzed from August 19, 2020, to March 3, 2021.

Exposures: Patients with mTBI (defined by a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15) triaged to head computed tomography in 24 hours or less; patients with orthopedic trauma served as controls.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Measured outcomes included (1) the Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ), a 16-item self-report scale that assesses postconcussion symptom severity over the past 7 days relative to preinjury; (2) the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) (PCL-5), a 20-item test that measures the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms; (3) the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a 9-item scale that measures depression based on symptom frequency over the past 2 weeks; and (4) the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18), an 18-item scale of psychological distress (split into Depression and Anxiety subscales).

Results: A total of 2000 patients with mTBI (1331 men [67%; mean (SD) age, 41.0 (17.3) years; 1026 White (78%)] and 669 women [33%; mean (SD) age, 43.0 (18.5) years; 505 (76%) White]). After adjustment of multiple comparisons, significant TBI × sex interactions were observed for cognitive symptoms (B = 0.76; 5% false discovery rate-corrected P = .02) and somatic RPQ symptoms (B = 0.80; 5% false discovery rate-corrected P = .02), with worse symptoms in women with mTBI than men, but no sex difference in symptoms in control patients with orthopedic trauma. Within the female patients evaluated, there was a significant TBI × age interaction for somatic RPQ symptoms, which were worse in female patients with mTBI aged 35 to 49 years compared with those aged 17 to 34 years (B = 1.65; P = .02) or older than 50 years (B = 1.66; P = .02).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study found that women were more vulnerable than men to persistent mTBI-related cognitive and somatic symptoms, whereas no sex difference in symptom burden was seen after orthopedic injury. Postconcussion symptoms were also worse in women aged 35 to 49 years than in younger and older women, but further investigation is needed to corroborate these findings and to identify the mechanisms involved. Results suggest that individualized clinical management of mTBI should consider sex and age, as some women are especially predisposed to chronic postconcussion symptoms even 12 months after injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025125PMC
April 2021

The Delayed Neuropathological Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury in a Community-Based Sample.

Front Neurol 2021 16;12:624696. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, United States.

The late neuropathological effects of traumatic brain injury have yet to be fully elucidated, particularly with respect to community-based cohorts. To contribute to this critical gap in knowledge, we designed a multimodal neuropathological study, integrating traditional and quantitative approaches to detect pathologic changes in 532 consecutive brain autopsies from participants in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. Diagnostic evaluation including assessment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and quantitative immunoassay-based methods were deployed to examine levels of pathological (hyperphosphorylated) tau (pTau) and amyloid (A) β in brains from ACT participants with ( = 107) and without ( = 425) history of remote TBI with loss of consciousness (w/LOC). Further neuropathological assessments included immunohistochemistry for α-synuclein and phospho-TDP-43 pathology and astro- (GFAP) and micro- (Iba1) gliosis, mass spectrometry analysis of free radical injury, and gene expression evaluation (RNA sequencing) in a smaller sub-cohort of matched samples (49 cases with TBI and 49 non-exposed matched controls). Out of 532 cases, only 3 (0.6%-none with TBI w/LOC history) showed evidence of the neuropathologic signature of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Across the entire cohort, the levels of pTau and Aβ showed expected differences for brain region (higher levels in temporal cortex), neuropathological diagnosis (higher in participants with Alzheimer's disease), and genotype (higher in participants with one or more ε4 allele). However, no differences in PHF-tau or Aβ were identified by Histelide with respect to the history of TBI w/LOC. In a subset of TBI cases with more carefully matched control samples and more extensive analysis, those with TBI w/LOC history had higher levels of hippocampal pTau but no significant differences in Aβ, α-synuclein, pTDP-43, GFAP, Iba1, or free radical injury. RNA-sequencing also did not reveal significant gene expression associated with any measure of TBI exposure. Combined, these findings suggest long term neuropathological changes associated with TBI w/LOC may be subtle, involve non-traditional pathways of neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration, and/or differ from those in autopsy cohorts specifically selected for neurotrauma exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.624696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008107PMC
March 2021

Latent Profile Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Cognitive Function of Adults 2 Weeks After Traumatic Brain Injury: Findings From the TRACK-TBI Study.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 03 1;4(3):e213467. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, Texas.

Importance: Heterogeneity across patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) presents challenges for clinical care and intervention design. Identifying distinct clinical phenotypes of TBI soon after injury may inform patient selection for precision medicine clinical trials.

Objective: To investigate whether distinct neurobehavioral phenotypes can be identified 2 weeks after TBI and to characterize the degree to which early neurobehavioral phenotypes are associated with 6-month outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cohort study included patients presenting to 18 US level 1 trauma centers within 24 hours of TBI from 2014 to 2019 as part of the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI (TRACK-TBI) study. Data were analyzed from January 28, 2020, to January 11, 2021.

Exposures: TBI.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Latent profiles (LPs) were derived from common dimensions of neurobehavioral functioning at 2 weeks after injury, assessed through National Institutes of Health TBI Common Data Elements (ie, Brief Symptom Inventory-18, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Depression checklist, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5, PROMIS Pain Intensity scale, Insomnia Severity Index, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition Coding and Symbol Search subtests, Trail Making Test, and NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery Pattern Comparison Processing Speed, Dimensional Change Card Sort, Flanker Inhibitory Control and Attention, and Picture Sequence Memory subtests). Six-month outcomes were the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Quality of Life after Brain Injury-Overall Scale (QOLIBRI-OS), Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE), and Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ).

Results: Among 1757 patients with TBI included, 1184 (67.4%) were men, and the mean (SD) age was 39.9 (17.0) years. LP analysis revealed 4 distinct neurobehavioral phenotypes at 2 weeks after injury: emotionally resilient (419 individuals [23.8%]), cognitively impaired (368 individuals [20.9%]), cognitively resilient (620 individuals [35.3%]), and neuropsychiatrically distressed (with cognitive weaknesses; 350 individuals [19.9%]). Adding LP group to models including demographic characteristics, medical history, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and other injury characteristics was associated with significantly improved estimation of association with 6-month outcome (GOSE R2 increase = 0.09-0.19; SWLS R2 increase = 0.12-0.22; QOLIBRI-OS R2 increase = 0.14-0.32; RPQ R2 = 0.13-0.34).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study of patients with TBI presenting to US level-1 trauma centers, qualitatively distinct profiles of symptoms and cognitive functioning were identified at 2 weeks after TBI. These distinct phenotypes may help optimize clinical decision-making regarding prognosis, as well as selection and stratification for randomized clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3467DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010589PMC
March 2021

siRNA nanoparticle suppresses drug-resistant gene and prolongs survival in an orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft mouse model.

Adv Funct Mater 2021 Feb 6;31(6). Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, United States; Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, United States.

Temozolomide (TMZ) is the standard of care chemotherapy drug for treating glioblastomas (GBMs), the most aggressive cancer that affects people of all ages. However, its therapeutic efficacy is limited by the drug resistance mediated by a DNA repair protein, O-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), which eliminates the TMZ-induced DNA lesions. Here we report the development of an iron oxide nanoparticle (NP) system for targeted delivery of siRNAs to suppress the TMZ-resistance gene (MGMT). We show that our NP is able to overcome biological barriers, bind specifically to tumor cells, and reduce MGMT expression in tumors of mice bearing orthotopic GBM serially-passaged patient-derived xenografts. The treatment with sequential administration of this NP and TMZ resulted in increased apoptosis of GBM stem-like cells, reduced tumor growth, and significantly-prolonged survival as compared to mice treated with TMZ alone. This study introduces an approach that holds great promise to improve the outcomes of GBM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202007166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7942690PMC
February 2021

Sport-Related Structural Brain Injury and Return to Play: Systematic Review and Expert Insight.

Neurosurgery 2021 05;88(6):E495-E504

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Background: Sport-related structural brain injury (SRSBI) is intracranial pathology incurred during sport. Management mirrors that of non-sport-related brain injury. An empirical vacuum exists regarding return to play (RTP) following SRSBI.

Objective: To provide key insight for operative management and RTP following SRSBI using a (1) focused systematic review and (2) survey of expert opinions.

Methods: A systematic literature review of SRSBI from 2012 to present in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and a cross-sectional survey of RTP in SRSBI by 31 international neurosurgeons was conducted.

Results: Of 27 included articles out of 241 systematically reviewed, 9 (33.0%) case reports provided RTP information for 12 athletes. To assess expert opinion, 31 of 32 neurosurgeons (96.9%) provided survey responses. For acute, asymptomatic SRSBI, 12 (38.7%) would not operate. Of the 19 (61.3%) who would operate, midline shift (63.2%) and hemorrhage size > 10 mm (52.6%) were the most common indications. Following SRSBI with resolved hemorrhage, with or without burr holes, the majority of experts (>75%) allowed RTP to high-contact/collision sports at 6 to 12 mo. Approximately 80% of experts did not endorse RTP to high-contact/collision sports for athletes with persistent hemorrhage. Following craniotomy for SRSBI, 40% to 50% of experts considered RTP at 6 to 12 mo. Linear regression revealed that experts allowed earlier RTP at higher levels of play (β = -0.58, 95% CI -0.111, -0.005, P = .033).

Conclusion: RTP decisions following structural brain injury in athletes are markedly heterogeneous. While individualized RTP decisions are critical, aggregated expert opinions from 31 international sports neurosurgeons provide key insight. Level of play was found to be an important consideration in RTP determinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab041DOI Listing
May 2021

Dural augmentation approaches and complication rates after posterior fossa decompression for Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia: a Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium study.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Feb 12:1-10. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

3Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL.

Objective: Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is commonly performed for Chiari I malformation (CM-I) with syringomyelia (SM). However, complication rates associated with various dural graft types are not well established. The objective of this study was to elucidate complication rates within 6 months of surgery among autograft and commonly used nonautologous grafts for pediatric patients who underwent PFDD for CM-I/SM.

Methods: The Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium database was queried for pediatric patients who had undergone PFDD for CM-I with SM. All patients had tonsillar ectopia ≥ 5 mm, syrinx diameter ≥ 3 mm, and ≥ 6 months of postoperative follow-up after PFDD. Complications (e.g., pseudomeningocele, CSF leak, meningitis, and hydrocephalus) and postoperative changes in syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain were compared for autograft versus nonautologous graft.

Results: A total of 781 PFDD cases were analyzed (359 autograft, 422 nonautologous graft). Nonautologous grafts included bovine pericardium (n = 63), bovine collagen (n = 225), synthetic (n = 99), and human cadaveric allograft (n = 35). Autograft (103/359, 28.7%) had a similar overall complication rate compared to nonautologous graft (143/422, 33.9%) (p = 0.12). However, nonautologous graft was associated with significantly higher rates of pseudomeningocele (p = 0.04) and meningitis (p < 0.001). The higher rate of meningitis was influenced particularly by the higher rate of chemical meningitis (p = 0.002) versus infectious meningitis (p = 0.132). Among 4 types of nonautologous grafts, there were differences in complication rates (p = 0.02), including chemical meningitis (p = 0.01) and postoperative nausea/vomiting (p = 0.03). Allograft demonstrated the lowest complication rates overall (14.3%) and yielded significantly fewer complications compared to bovine collagen (p = 0.02) and synthetic (p = 0.003) grafts. Synthetic graft yielded higher complication rates than autograft (p = 0.01). Autograft and nonautologous graft resulted in equal improvements in syrinx size (p < 0.0001). No differences were found for postoperative changes in headaches or neck pain.

Conclusions: In the largest multicenter cohort to date, complication rates for dural autograft and nonautologous graft are similar after PFDD for CM-I/SM, although nonautologous graft results in higher rates of pseudomeningocele and meningitis. Rates of meningitis differ among nonautologous graft types. Autograft and nonautologous graft are equivalent for reducing syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.PEDS2087DOI Listing
February 2021

The Judicious Use of Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy in the Management of Large Brain Metastases.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 29;13(1). Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Brain metastases are the most common intracranial malignant tumor in adults and are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality for cancer patients. Large brain metastases, defined as tumors with a maximum dimension >2 cm, present a unique clinical challenge for the delivery of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as patients often present with neurologic symptoms that require expeditious treatment that must also be balanced against the potential consequences of surgery and radiation therapy-namely, leptomeningeal disease (LMD) and radionecrosis (RN). Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) and pre-operative SRS have emerged as novel treatment techniques to help improve local control rates and reduce rates of RN and LMD for this patient population commonly managed with post-operative SRS. Recent literature suggests that pre-operative SRS can potentially half the risk of LMD compared to post-operative SRS and that HSRT can improve risk of RN to less than 10% while improving local control when meeting the appropriate goals for biologically effective dose (BED) and dose-volume constraints. We recommend a 3- or 5-fraction regimen in lieu of SRS delivering 15 Gy or less for large metastases or resection cavities. We provide a table comparing the BED of commonly used SRS and HSRT regimens, and provide an algorithm to help guide the management of these challenging clinical scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795798PMC
December 2020

Evolution of Cranioorbital Shape in Nonsyndromic, Muenke, and Saethre-Chotzen Bilateral Coronal Synostosis: A Case-Control Study of 2-Year Outcomes.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 01;147(1):148-159

From the Craniofacial Image Analysis Lab, Craniofacial Center, Seattle Children's Hospital; and the Division of Plastic Surgery and the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington.

Background: The purpose of this study was to quantify change in cranioorbital morphology from presentation, after fronto-orbital advancement, and at 2-year follow-up.

Methods: Volumetric, linear, and angular analyses were performed on computed tomographic scans of consecutive bilateral coronal synostosis patients. Comparisons were made across three time points, between syndromic and nonsyndromic cases, and against normal controls. Significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: Twenty-five patients were included: 11 were nonsyndromic, eight had Saethre-Chotzen syndrome, and six had Muenke syndrome. Total cranial volume was comparable to normal, age-matched control subjects before and 2 years after surgery despite an expansion during surgery. Axial and sagittal vector analyses showed advancement and widening of the lower forehead beyond control values with surgery and comparable anterior position, but increased width compared to controls at 2 years. Frontal bossing decreased with a drop in anterior cranial height and advanced lower forehead position. Middle vault height was not normalized and turricephaly persisted at follow-up. Posterior fossa volume remained lower at all three time points compared to control subjects. Supraorbital retrusion relative to anterior corneal position was overcorrected by surgery, with values comparable to those of control subjects at 2 years because of differential growth. There was no difference at 2 years between syndromic and nonsyndromic groups.

Conclusions: Open fronto-orbital advancement successfully remodels the anterior forehead but requires overcorrection to be comparable to normal at 2 years. Although there are differences in syndromic cases at presentation, they do not result in significant morphometric differences on follow-up. Posterior fossa volume remains lower at all time points.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Therapeutic, IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000007494DOI Listing
January 2021

Occipital-Cervical Fusion and Ventral Decompression in the Surgical Management of Chiari-1 Malformation and Syringomyelia: Analysis of Data From the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

Neurosurgery 2021 01;88(2):332-341

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Background: Occipital-cervical fusion (OCF) and ventral decompression (VD) may be used in the treatment of pediatric Chiari-1 malformation (CM-1) with syringomyelia (SM) as adjuncts to posterior fossa decompression (PFD) for complex craniovertebral junction pathology.

Objective: To examine factors influencing the use of OCF and OCF/VD in a multicenter cohort of pediatric CM-1 and SM subjects treated with PFD.

Methods: The Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium registry was used to examine 637 subjects with cerebellar tonsillar ectopia ≥ 5 mm, syrinx diameter ≥ 3 mm, and at least 1 yr of follow-up after their index PFD. Comparisons were made between subjects who received PFD alone and those with PFD + OCF or PFD + OCF/VD.

Results: All 637 patients underwent PFD, 505 (79.2%) with and 132 (20.8%) without duraplasty. A total of 12 subjects went on to have OCF at some point in their management (PFD + OCF), whereas 4 had OCF and VD (PFD + OCF/VD). Of those with complete data, a history of platybasia (3/10, P = .011), Klippel-Feil (2/10, P = .015), and basilar invagination (3/12, P < .001) were increased within the OCF group, whereas only basilar invagination (1/4, P < .001) was increased in the OCF/VD group. Clivo-axial angle (CXA) was significantly lower for both OCF (128.8 ± 15.3°, P = .008) and OCF/VD (115.0 ± 11.6°, P = .025) groups when compared to PFD-only group (145.3 ± 12.7°). pB-C2 did not differ among groups.

Conclusion: Although PFD alone is adequate for treating the vast majority of CM-1/SM patients, OCF or OCF/VD may be occasionally utilized. Cranial base and spine pathologies and CXA may provide insight into the need for OCF and/or OCF/VD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803430PMC
January 2021

Medicolegal issues in abusive head trauma for the pediatric neurosurgeon.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 11;49(5):E23

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington; and.

The purpose of this article is to serve as a rational guide for the pediatric neurosurgeon in navigating common medicolegal issues that arise in the management of abusive head trauma (AHT). Many of these issues may be unfamiliar or unpleasant to surgeons focused on addressing disease. The authors begin with a brief history on the origins of the diagnosis of AHT and the controversy surrounding it, highlighting some of the facets of the diagnosis that make it particularly unique in pediatric neurosurgery. They then review some special medical considerations in these patients through the perspective of the neurosurgeon and provide several examples as illustration. The authors discuss how to appropriately document these cases in the medical record for expected legal review, and last, they provide an overview of the legal process through which the neurosurgeon may be called to provide testimony.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.FOCUS20599DOI Listing
November 2020

Expansile duraplasty and obex exploration compared with bone-only decompression for Chiari malformation type I in children: retrospective review of outcomes and complications.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Oct 30:1-8. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

1Department of Neurological Surgery and.

Objective: While a select population of pediatric patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) remain asymptomatic, some patients present with tussive headaches, neurological deficits, progressive scoliosis, and other debilitating symptoms that necessitate surgical intervention. Surgery entails a variety of strategies to restore normal CSF flow, including increasing the posterior fossa volume via bone decompression only, or bone decompression with duraplasty, with or without obex exploration. The indications for duraplasty and obex exploration following bone decompression remain controversial. The objective of this study was to describe an institutional series of pediatric patients undergoing surgery for CM-I, performed by a single neurosurgeon. For patients presenting with a syrinx, the authors compared outcomes following bone-only decompression with duraplasty only and with duraplasty including obex exploration. Clinical outcomes evaluated included resolution of syrinx, scoliosis, presenting symptoms, and surgical complications.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of the medical records of 276 consecutive pediatric patients with CM-I operated on at a single institution between 2001 and 2015 by the senior author. Imaging findings of tonsillar descent, associated syrinx (syringomyelia or syringobulbia), basilar invagination, and clinical assessment of CM-I-attributable symptoms and scoliosis were recorded. In patients presenting with a syrinx, clinical outcomes, including syrinx resolution, symptom resolution, and impact on scoliosis progression, were compared for three surgical groups: bone-only/posterior fossa decompression (PFD), PFD with duraplasty (PFDwD), and PFD with duraplasty and obex exploration (PFDwDO).

Results: PFD was performed in 25% of patients (69/276), PFDwD in 18% of patients (50/276), and PFDwDO in 57% of patients (157/276). The mean follow-up was 35 ± 35 months. Nearly half of the patients (132/276, 48%) had a syrinx. In patients presenting with a syrinx, PFDwDO was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of syrinx resolution relative to PFD only (HR 2.65, p = 0.028) and a significant difference in time to symptom resolution (HR 2.68, p = 0.033). Scoliosis outcomes did not differ among treatment groups (p = 0.275). Complications were not significantly higher when any duraplasty (PFDwD or PFDwDO) was performed following bone decompression (p > 0.99).

Conclusions: In this series of pediatric patients with CM-I, patients presenting with a syrinx who underwent expansile duraplasty with obex exploration had a significantly greater likelihood of syrinx and symptom resolution, without increased risk of CSF-related complications, compared to those who underwent bone-only decompression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.PEDS20376DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085180PMC
October 2020

Human macrophages engineered to secrete a bispecific T cell engager support antigen-dependent T cell responses to glioblastoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Background: Targeted and effective treatment options are needed for solid tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM), where survival rates with standard treatments are typically less than 2 years from diagnosis. Solid tumors pose many barriers to immunotherapies, including therapy half-life and persistence, tumor penetrance, and targeting. Therapeutics delivered systemically may not traffic to the tumor site. If cellular therapies or drugs are able to access the tumor site, or can be delivered directly within the tumor, treatments may not persist for the duration necessary to reduce or eliminate tumor burden. An approach that allows durable and titratable local therapeutic protein delivery could improve antitumor efficacy while minimizing toxicities or unwanted on-target, off-tissue effects.

Methods: In this study, human monocyte-derived macrophages were genetically engineered to secrete a bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) specific to the mutated epidermal growth factor variant III (EGFRvIII) expressed by some GBM tumors. We investigated the ability of lentivirally modified macrophages to secrete a functional BiTE that can bind target tumor antigen and activate T cells. Secreted BiTE protein was assayed in a range of T cell functional assays in vitro and in subcutaneous and intracranial GBM xenograft models. Finally, we tested genetically engineered macrophages (GEMs) secreting BiTE and the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-12 to amplify T cell responses in vitro and in vivo.

Results: Transduced human macrophages secreted a lentivirally encoded functional EGFRvIII-targeted BiTE protein capable of inducing T cell activation, proliferation, degranulation, and killing of antigen-specific tumor cells. Furthermore, BiTE secreting macrophages reduced early tumor burden in both subcutaneous and intracranial mouse models of GBM, a response which was enhanced using macrophages that were dual transduced to secrete both the BiTE protein and single chain IL-12, preventing tumor growth in an aggressive GBM model.

Conclusions: The ability of macrophages to infiltrate and persist in solid tumor tissue could overcome many of the obstacles associated with systemic delivery of immunotherapies. We have found that human GEMs can locally and constitutively express one or more therapeutic proteins, which may help recruit T cells and transform the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment to better support antitumor immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7597484PMC
October 2020

Genetically engineered macrophages persist in solid tumors and locally deliver therapeutic proteins to activate immune responses.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA

Background: Though currently approved immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor T cells and checkpoint blockade antibodies, have been successfully used to treat hematological and some solid tumor cancers, many solid tumors remain resistant to these modes of treatment. In solid tumors, the development of effective antitumor immune responses is hampered by restricted immune cell infiltration and an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). An immunotherapy that infiltrates and persists in the solid TME, while providing local, stable levels of therapeutic to activate or reinvigorate antitumor immunity could overcome these challenges faced by current immunotherapies.

Methods: Using lentivirus-driven engineering, we programmed human and murine macrophages to express therapeutic payloads, including Interleukin (IL)-12. In vitro coculture studies were used to evaluate the effect of genetically engineered macrophages (GEMs) secreting IL-12 on T cells and on the GEMs themselves. The effects of IL-12 GEMs on gene expression profiles within the TME and tumor burden were evaluated in syngeneic mouse models of glioblastoma and melanoma and in human tumor slices isolated from patients with advanced gastrointestinal malignancies.

Results: Here, we present a cellular immunotherapy platform using lentivirus-driven genetic engineering of human and mouse macrophages to constitutively express proteins, including secreted cytokines and full-length checkpoint antibodies, as well as cytoplasmic and surface proteins that overcomes these barriers. GEMs traffic to, persist in, and express lentiviral payloads in xenograft mouse models of glioblastoma, and express a non-signaling truncated CD19 surface protein for elimination. IL-12-secreting GEMs activated T cells and induced interferon-gamma (IFNγ) in vitro and slowed tumor growth resulting in extended survival in vivo. In a syngeneic glioblastoma model, IFNγ signaling cascades were also observed in mice treated with mouse bone-marrow-derived GEMs secreting murine IL-12. These findings were reproduced in ex vivo tumor slices comprised of intact MEs. In this setting, IL-12 GEMs induced tumor cell death, chemokines and IFNγ-stimulated genes and proteins.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that GEMs can precisely deliver titratable doses of therapeutic proteins to the TME to improve safety, tissue penetrance, targeted delivery and pharmacokinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594542PMC
October 2020

Issues of consent and assent in pediatric neurosurgery.

Childs Nerv Syst 2021 01 17;37(1):33-37. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA, 98104, USA.

Background: Consent and assent are important concepts to understand in the care of pediatric neurosurgery patients. Recently it has been recommended that although pediatric patients generally do not have the legal capacity to make medical decisions, they be encouraged to be involved in their own care. Given the paucity of information on this topic in the neurosurgery community, the objective is to provide pediatric neurosurgeons with recommendations on how to involve their patients in medical decision-making.

Methods: We review the essential elements and current guidelines of consent and assent for pediatric patients using illustrative neurosurgical case vignettes.

Results: The pediatric population ranges widely in cognitive and psychological development making the process of consent and assent quite complex. The role of the child or adolescent in medical decision-making, issues associated with obtaining assent or dissent, and informed refusal of treatment are considered.

Conclusion: The process of obtaining consent and assent represents a critical yet often overlooked aspect to care of pediatric neurosurgical patients. The pediatric neurosurgeon must be able to distill immensely complex and high-risk procedures into simple, understandable terms. Furthermore, they must recognize when the child's dissent or refusal to treatment is acceptable. In general, allowing children to be involved in their neurosurgical care is empowering and gives them both identity and agency, which is the vital first step to a successful neurosurgical intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-020-04907-wDOI Listing
January 2021

Continuous improvement in patient safety and quality in neurological surgery: the American Board of Neurological Surgery in the past, present, and future.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 16:1-7. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

22Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient's welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.JNS202066DOI Listing
October 2020

Early Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Neurosurgical Training in the United States: A Case Volume Analysis of 8 Programs.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 13;145:e202-e208. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Objective: To determine the impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on operative case volume in 8 U.S. neurosurgical residency training programs in early 2020 and to survey these programs regarding training activities during this period.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of monthly operative case volumes and types for 8 residency programs for 2019 and January through April 2020. Cases were grouped as elective cranial, elective spine, and nonelective emergent cases. Programs were surveyed regarding residents' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on surgical training, didactics, and research participation. Data were analyzed for individual programs and pooled across programs.

Results: Across programs, the 2019 monthly mean ± SD case volume was 211 ± 82; 2020 mean ± SD case volumes for January, February, March, and April were 228 ± 93, 214 ± 84, 180 ± 73, and 107 ± 45. Compared with 2019, March and April 2020 mean cases declined 15% (P = 0.003) and 49% (P = 0.002), respectively. COVID-19 affected surgical case volume for all programs; 75% reported didactics negatively affected, and 90% reported COVID-19 resulted in increased research time. Several neurosurgery residents required COVID-19 testing; however, to our knowledge, only 1 resident from the participating programs tested positive.

Conclusions: This study documents a significant reduction in operative volume in 8 neurosurgery residency training programs in early 2020. During this time, neurosurgery residents engaged in online didactics and research-related activities, reporting increased research productivity. Residency programs should collect data to determine the educational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents' operative case volumes, identify deficiencies, and develop plans to mitigate any effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7550889PMC
January 2021

Developing microsurgical milestones for psychomotor skills in neurological surgery residents as an adjunct to operative training: the home microsurgery laboratory.

J Neurosurg 2020 Sep 4:1-11. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Objective: A variety of factors contribute to an increasingly challenging environment for neurological surgery residents to develop psychomotor skills in microsurgical technique solely from operative training. While adjunct training modalities such as cadaver dissection and surgical simulation are embraced and practiced at our institution, there are no formal educational milestones defined to help residents develop, measure, and advance their microsurgical psychomotor skills in a stepwise fashion when outside the hospital environment. The objective of this report is to describe an efficient and convenient "home microsurgery lab" (HML) assembled and tested by the authors with the goal of supporting a personalized stepwise advancement of microsurgical psychomotor skills.

Methods: The authors reviewed the literature on previously published simulation practice models and designed adjunct learning modules utilizing the HML. Five milestones were developed for achieving proficiency with each graduated exercise, referencing the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) guidelines. The HML setup was then piloted with 2 neurosurgical trainees.

Results: The total cost for assembling the HML was approximately $850. Techniques for which training was provided included microinstrument handling, tissue dissection, suturing, and microanastomoses. Five designated competency levels were developed, and training exercises were proposed for each competency level.

Conclusions: The HML offers a unique, entirely home-based, affordable adjunct to the operative neurosurgical education mandated by the ACGME operative case logs, while respecting resident hospital-based education hours. The HML provides surgical simulation with specific milestones, which may improve confidence and the microsurgical psychomotor skills required to perform microsurgery, regardless of case type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.JNS201590DOI Listing
September 2020

Economic Impact of COVID-19 on a High-Volume Academic Neurosurgical Practice.

World Neurosurg 2020 11 10;143:e561-e566. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a novel disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that rapidly spread around the globe. The dramatic increase in the number of cases and deaths have placed tremendous strain on health care systems worldwide. As health care workers and society adjust to focus treatment and prevention of COVID-19, other facets of the health care enterprise are affected, particularly surgical volume and revenue. The purpose of this study was to describe the financial impact of COVID-19 on an academic neurosurgery department.

Methods: A retrospective review of weekly average daily work relative value units (wRVUs) were compared before and after COVID-19 in the fiscal year 2020. A comparative time period of the same months in the year prior was also included for review. We also review strategies for triaging neurosurgical disease as needing emergent, urgent, or routine operative treatment.

Results: Daily average wRVU after COVID-19 dropped significantly with losses in all weeks examined. Of the 7 weeks in the current post-COVID period, the weekly daily average wRVU was 173 (range, 128-363). The mean decline was 51.4% compared with the pre-COVID era. Both inpatient and outpatient revenue was affected.

Conclusions: COVID-19 had a profound detrimental effect on surgical productivity and revenue generation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416742PMC
November 2020

A Comparison of Subgaleal Versus Subperiosteal Dissection in Open Cranial Vault Expansion for Sagittal Craniosynostosis.

World Neurosurg 2020 11 22;143:108-113. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA; Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, Washington, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate surgical outcomes for patients with sagittal craniosynostosis undergoing open cranial vault remodeling with a modified pi procedure comparing subgaleal versus subperiosteal dissection.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for children between the ages of 3 and 7 months with sagittal craniosynostosis undergoing open cranial vault expansion at Seattle Children's Hospital. Patient demographics, operative variables, and postoperative outcomes including the surface area of bony cranial defects at 2-year follow-up were evaluated.

Results: Over a 3-year period, 35 patients between the ages of 3 and 7 months underwent surgical correction of sagittal craniosynostosis using our institutional adaptation of the modified pi technique. Twenty-five patients underwent exposure via a subgaleal (SG) approach, 10 patients had a subpericranial (SP) exposure. Compared with the SP group, the SG group had significant lower estimated blood loss and a shorter operating time (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences with regard to hospital length of stay or postoperative complications (P ≥ 0.48). At 2 years postoperatively, there were no significant differences in the size of the largest cranial defects (SG: 1.1 ± 0.1 cm versus 3.7 ± 0.1 cm, P = 0.40); no patients required a secondary cranioplasty.

Conclusions: Open posterior and middle cranial vault expansion is a safe and efficient method of open cranial vault expansion in sagittal craniosynostosis regardless of the plane of dissection. Elevation of the scalp flaps in the SG plane is a minor technical modification that can reduce blood loss and operative times.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.07.099DOI Listing
November 2020

Children with DIPG and high-grade glioma treated with temozolomide, irinotecan, and bevacizumab: the Seattle Children's Hospital experience.

J Neurooncol 2020 Jul 16;148(3):607-617. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital, University of Washington, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, M/S MB.8.501, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA, 98105, USA.

Introduction: Beyond focal radiation, there is no consensus standard therapy for pediatric high-grade glioma (pHGG) and outcomes remain dismal. We describe the largest molecularly-characterized cohort of children with pHGG treated with a 3-drug maintenance regimen of temozolomide, irinotecan, and bevacizumab (TIB) following radiation.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 36 pediatric patients treated with TIB at Seattle Children's Hospital from 2009 to 2018 and analyzed survival using the Kaplan-Meier method. Molecular profiling was performed by targeted DNA sequencing and toxicities, steroid use, and palliative care utilization were evaluated.

Results: Median age at diagnosis was 10.9 years (18 months-18 years). Genetic alterations were detected in 26 genes and aligned with recognized molecular subgroups including H3 K27M-mutant (12), H3F3A G34-mutant (2), IDH-mutant (4), and hypermutator profiles (4). Fifteen patients (42%) completed 12 planned cycles of maintenance. Side effects associated with chemotherapy delays or modifications included thrombocytopenia (28%) and nausea/vomiting (19%), with temozolomide dosing most frequently modified. Median event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) was 16.2 and 20.1 months, with shorter survival seen in DIPG (9.3 and 13.3 months, respectively). Survival at 1, 2, and 5 years was 80%, 10% and 0% for DIPG and 85%, 38%, and 16% for other pHGG.

Conclusion: Our single-center experience demonstrates tolerability of this 3-drug regimen, with prolonged survival in DIPG compared to historical single-agent temozolomide. pHGG survival was comparable to analogous 3-drug regimens and superior to historical agents; however, cure was rare. Children with pHGG remain excellent candidates for the study of novel therapeutics combined with standard therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03558-wDOI Listing
July 2020

Evaluating angioarchitectural characteristics of glial and metastatic brain tumors with conventional magnetic resonance imaging.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Jun 17;76:46-52. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Departments of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address:

Primary and metastatic brain tumors can overlap in traditional imaging features detected on preoperative conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The research objective was to determine whether morphological vascular characteristics present in routine preoperative imaging using traditional MRI sequences are predictive of primary versus metastatic brain tumors; secondarily to determine association of conventional and vascular-related imaging parameters with intraoperative blood loss, pathological invasion, and World Health Organization (WHO) tumor grade. A retrospective review analyzed 100 consecutive intracranial tumor surgeries, 50 WHO grade II-IV gliomas and 50 intracranial metastases. Two blinded expert readers independently evaluated preoperative MRIs, obtained via standard morphological imaging sequences, for adjacent or intra-tumoral arterial aneurysm, peritumoral venous ectasia, prominence, or engorgement ("aberrant peritumoral vessels"), and prominent intra-tumoral flow voids. Multivariate analysis was performed to develop models predictive of glioma and glioblastoma (GBM). Aberrant peritumoral vessels and prominent intra-tumoral flow voids were statistically significant predictors of glioma in univariate analyses (p = 0.048, p = 0.001, respectively) and when combined in multivariate analysis (OR = 5.23, p = 0.001), particularly for GBM (OR = 9.08, p < 0.001). Multivariate modeling identified prominent intra-tumoral flow voids and FLAIR invasion as the strongest combined predictors of gliomas and GBM. Aberrant peritumoral vessels and larger tumor volume predicted higher intraoperative blood loss in all analyses. No vascular-related parameters predicted pathological invasion on multivariate analysis. Aberrant peritumoral vessels and prominent intra-tumoral flow voids were predictive of gliomas, specifically GBM. These vascular characteristics, evaluated on routine clinical preoperative MRI imaging, may aid in distinguishinggliomafrom brainmetastases andmay predict intraoperative blood loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.04.051DOI Listing
June 2020

Pediatric functional hemispherectomy: operative techniques and complication avoidance.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 04;48(4):E9

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington.

Functional hemispherectomy/hemispherotomy is a disconnection procedure for severe medically refractory epilepsy where the seizure foci diffusely localize to one hemisphere. It is an improvement on anatomical hemispherectomy and was first performed by Rasmussen in 1974. Less invasive surgical approaches and refinements have been made to improve seizure freedom and minimize surgical morbidity and complications. Key anatomical structures that are disconnected include the 1) internal capsule and corona radiata, 2) mesial temporal structures, 3) insula, 4) corpus callosum, 5) parietooccipital connection, and 6) frontobasal connection. A stepwise approach is indicated to ensure adequate disconnection and prevent seizure persistence or recurrence. In young pediatric patients, careful patient selection and modern surgical techniques have resulted in > 80% seizure freedom and very good functional outcome. In this report, the authors summarize the history of hemispherectomy and its development and present a graphical guide for this anatomically challenging procedure. The use of the osteoplastic flap to improve outcome and the management of hydrocephalus are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.1.FOCUS19889DOI Listing
April 2020

Factors associated with syrinx size in pediatric patients treated for Chiari malformation type I and syringomyelia: a study from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Mar 6:1-11. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

31Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Objective: Factors associated with syrinx size in pediatric patients undergoing posterior fossa decompression (PFD) or PFD with duraplasty (PFDD) for Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with syringomyelia (SM; CM-I+SM) are not well established.

Methods: Using the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium registry, the authors analyzed variables associated with syrinx radiological outcomes in patients (< 20 years old at the time of surgery) with CM-I+SM undergoing PFD or PFDD. Syrinx resolution was defined as an anteroposterior (AP) diameter of ≤ 2 mm or ≤ 3 mm or a reduction in AP diameter of ≥ 50%. Syrinx regression or progression was defined using 1) change in syrinx AP diameter (≥ 1 mm), or 2) change in syrinx length (craniocaudal, ≥ 1 vertebral level). Syrinx stability was defined as a < 1-mm change in syrinx AP diameter and no change in syrinx length.

Results: The authors identified 380 patients with CM-I+SM who underwent PFD or PFDD. Cox proportional hazards modeling revealed younger age at surgery and PFDD as being independently associated with syrinx resolution, defined as a ≤ 2-mm or ≤ 3-mm AP diameter or ≥ 50% reduction in AP diameter. Radiological syrinx resolution was associated with improvement in headache (p < 0.005) and neck pain (p < 0.011) after PFD or PFDD. Next, PFDD (p = 0.005), scoliosis (p = 0.007), and syrinx location across multiple spinal segments (p = 0.001) were associated with syrinx diameter regression, whereas increased preoperative frontal-occipital horn ratio (FOHR; p = 0.007) and syrinx location spanning multiple spinal segments (p = 0.04) were associated with syrinx length regression. Scoliosis (HR 0.38 [95% CI 0.16-0.91], p = 0.03) and smaller syrinx diameter (5.82 ± 3.38 vs 7.86 ± 3.05 mm; HR 0.60 [95% CI 0.34-1.03], p = 0.002) were associated with syrinx diameter stability, whereas shorter preoperative syrinx length (5.75 ± 4.01 vs 9.65 ± 4.31 levels; HR 0.21 [95% CI 0.12-0.38], p = 0.0001) and smaller pB-C2 distance (6.86 ± 1.27 vs 7.18 ± 1.38 mm; HR 1.44 [95% CI 1.02-2.05], p = 0.04) were associated with syrinx length stability. Finally, younger age at surgery (8.19 ± 5.02 vs 10.29 ± 4.25 years; HR 1.89 [95% CI 1.31-3.04], p = 0.01) was associated with syrinx diameter progression, whereas increased postoperative syrinx diameter (6.73 ± 3.64 vs 3.97 ± 3.07 mm; HR 3.10 [95% CI 1.67-5.76], p = 0.003), was associated with syrinx length progression. PFD versus PFDD was not associated with syrinx progression or reoperation rate.

Conclusions: These data suggest that PFDD and age are independently associated with radiological syrinx improvement, although forthcoming results from the PFDD versus PFD randomized controlled trial (NCT02669836, clinicaltrials.gov) will best answer this question.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.1.PEDS19493DOI Listing
March 2020
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