Publications by authors named "Theodore H Schwartz"

355 Publications

Update on management of craniopharyngiomas.

J Neurooncol 2021 Nov 22. Epub 2021 Nov 22.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, 525 East 68th St, Box #99, New York, NY, 10065, USA.

Purpose/introduction: Craniopharyngiomas are locally-aggressive tumors arising along the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Treatment is nuanced as a result of their proximity and adherence to vital neurovascular structures and responsiveness to surgery, radiation and, in some cases, chemotherapy.

Methods: We reviewed the literature discussing the current state of knowledge regarding craniopharyngioma biology and therapy.

Results: Recent advances in endoscopic endonasal surgery (EEA) have made surgery a safer and more effective option. While cure may be achieved with gross total resection (GTR), when felt to be too risky, a subtotal resection followed by radiation is often a more prudent strategy, particularly in children with hypothalamic invasion. Data on long-term outcome are mostly derived from older studies in which a craniotomy, rather than EEA, was performed. Long-term EEA outcome studies are lacking. Enhanced knowledge of the biological basis of papillary CPs has led to novel medical treatments for BRAFv variants that appear to be effective.

Conclusion: Endoscopic technology has improved surgical results for craniopharyngiomas and expanded the indications for the transsphenoidal approach. The goal of CP surgery goal is maximal safe resection to achieve cure, but subtotal resection and radiation may be equally effective. Early diagnosis of specific variants will facilitate enrollment in promising medical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03906-4DOI Listing
November 2021

The critical importance of a vascularized flap in preventing recurrence after endoscopic repair of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks and meningoencephaloceles.

J Neurosurg 2021 Nov 12:1-8. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

Departments of1Neurological Surgery.

Objective: Spontaneous CSF leaks into the anterior skull base nasal sinuses are often associated with meningoencephaloceles and occur in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Endonasal endoscopic repair has become the primary method of choice for repair. The authors sought to evaluate the success rate of endoscopic closure and to identify predictive factors for CSF leak recurrence.

Methods: A consecutive series of endonasally repaired anterior skull base meningoencephaloceles was drawn from a prospectively acquired database. Lumbar punctures were not performed as part of a treatment algorithm. All patients had at least 5 months of follow-up. Chart review and phone calls were used to determine the timing and predictors of recurrence. Demographic information and details of operative technique were correlated with recurrence. Two independent radiologists reviewed all preoperative imaging to identify radiographic markers of IIH, as well as the location and size of the meningoencephalocele.

Results: From a total of 54 patients there were 5 with recurrences (9.3%), but of the 39 patients in whom a vascularized nasoseptal (n = 31) or turbinate (n = 8) flap was used there were no recurrences (p = 0.0009). The mean time to recurrence was 24.8 months (range 9-38 months). There was a trend to higher BMI in patients whose leak recurred (mean [± SD] 36.6 ± 8.6) compared with those whose leak did not recur (31.8 ± 7.4; p = 0.182). Although the lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus was the most common site of meningoencephalocele, the fovea ethmoidalis was the most common site in recurrent cases (80%; p = 0.013). However, a vascularized flap was used in significantly more patients with sphenoid (78.3%) defects than in patients with fovea ethmoidalis (28.6%) defects (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.005). Radiographic signs of IIH were equally present in all patients whose leak recurred (75%) compared with patients whose leak did not recur (63.3%); however, an enlarged Meckel cave was present in 100% (2/2) of patients whose leaks recurred compared with 13.3% (4/30) of patients whose leaks did not recur (p = 0.03). The average meningoencephalocele diameter tended to be larger (1.73 ± 1.3 cm) in patients with recurrence compared to those without recurrence (1.2 ± 0.66 cm; p = 0.22). A ventriculoperitoneal shunt was already in place in 3 patients, placed perioperatively in 5, and placed at recurrence in 2, none of whose leaks recurred.

Conclusions: Recurrence after endonasal repair of spontaneous CSF leaks from meningoencephaloceles can be dramatically reduced with the use of a vascularized flap. Although failures of endonasal repair tend to occur in patients who have higher BMI, larger brain herniations, and no CSF diversion, the lack of vascularized flap was the single most important risk factor predictive of failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.7.JNS211427DOI Listing
November 2021

Long-term tumor control after endoscopic endonasal resection of craniopharyngiomas: comparison of gross-total resection versus subtotal resection with radiation therapy.

J Neurosurg 2021 Oct 15:1-9. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.

Objective: Surgical management of craniopharyngiomas (CPAs) is challenging. Controversy exists regarding the optimal goals of surgery. The purpose of this study was to compare the long-term outcomes of patients who underwent gross-total resection with the outcomes of those who underwent subtotal resection of their CPA via an endoscopic endonasal approach.

Methods: From a prospectively maintained database of all endoscopic endonasal approaches performed at Weill Cornell Medicine, only patients with CPAs with > 3 years of follow-up after surgery were included. The primary endpoint was radiographic progression. Data were collected on baseline demographics, imaging, endocrine function, visual function, and extent of resection.

Results: A total of 44 patients with a mean follow-up of 5.7 ± 2.6 years were included. Of these patients, 14 (31.8%) had prior surgery. GTR was achieved in 77.3% (34/44) of all patients and 89.5% (34/38) of patients in whom it was the goal of surgery. Preoperative tumor volume < 10 cm3 was highly predictive of GTR (p < 0.001). Radiation therapy was administered within the first 3 months after surgery in 1 (2.9%) of 34 patients with GTR and 7 (70%) of 10 patients with STR (p < 0.001). The 5-year recurrence-free/progression-free survival rate was 75.0% after GTR and 25.0% after STR (45% in subgroup with STR plus radiotherapy; p < 0.001). The time to recurrence after GTR was 30.2 months versus 13 months after STR (5.8 months in subgroup with STR plus radiotherapy; p < 0.001). Patients with GTR had a lower rate of visual deterioration and higher rate of return to work or school compared with those with STR (p = 0.02). Patients with GTR compared to STR had a lower rate of CSF leakage (0.0% vs 30%, p = 0.001) but a higher rate of diabetes insipidus (85.3% vs 50%, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: GTR, which is possible to achieve in smaller tumors, resulted in improved tumor control, better visual outcome, and better functional recovery but a higher rate of diabetes insipidus compared with STR, even when the latter was supplemented with postoperative radiation therapy. GTR should be the goal of craniopharyngioma surgery, when achievable with minimal morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.5.JNS202011DOI Listing
October 2021

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

J Neurosurg 2021 Oct 1:1-11. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Departments of1Neurological Surgery.

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

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

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

Conclusions: Visual deterioration after EETS is a rare event but can be effectively treated if acted upon appropriately and in a timely fashion. Compressive etiology is reversible with early reoperation. Ischemic etiology can be successfully treated in roughly half of cases with supplemental oxygen and hypertensive hypervolemic therapy but may result in permanent visual deterioration if not instituted appropriately or if delayed with unnecessary exploratory surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.JNS204378DOI Listing
October 2021

Mesoscopic Mapping of Ictal Neurovascular Coupling in Awake Behaving Mice Using Optical Spectroscopy and Genetically Encoded Calcium Indicators.

Front Neurosci 2021 23;15:704834. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Brain and Mind Research Institute, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University, New York, NY, United States.

Unambiguously identifying an epileptic focus with high spatial resolution is a challenge, especially when no anatomic abnormality can be detected. Neurovascular coupling (NVC)-based brain mapping techniques are often applied in the clinic despite a poor understanding of ictal NVC mechanisms, derived primarily from recordings in anesthetized animals with limited spatial sampling of the ictal core. In this study, we used simultaneous wide-field mesoscopic imaging of GCamp6f and intrinsic optical signals (IOS) to record the neuronal and hemodynamic changes during acute ictal events in awake, behaving mice. Similar signals in isoflurane-anesthetized mice were compared to highlight the unique characteristics of the awake condition. In awake animals, seizures were more focal at the onset but more likely to propagate to the contralateral hemisphere. The HbT signal, derived from an increase in cerebral blood volume (CBV), was more intense in awake mice. As a result, the "epileptic dip" in hemoglobin oxygenation became inconsistent and unreliable as a mapping signal. Our data indicate that CBV-based imaging techniques should be more accurate than blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD)-based imaging techniques for seizure mapping in awake behaving animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.704834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8343016PMC
July 2021

Outcomes following upfront radiation versus monitoring in atypical meningiomas: 16-year experience at a tertiary medical center.

Neurooncol Adv 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):vdab094. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Brain and Spine Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, USA.

Background: The role of postoperative upfront radiotherapy (RT) in the management of gross totally resected atypical meningiomas remains unclear. This single-center retrospective review of newly diagnosed histologically confirmed cases of World Health Organization (WHO) Grade II atypical meningioma at Weill Cornell Medicine from 2004 to 2020 aims to compare overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of postoperative upfront RT versus observation, stratified by resection status (gross total resection [GTR] vs subtotal resection [STR]).

Methods: Ninety cases of atypical meningioma were reviewed (56% women; median age 61 years; median follow-up 41 months).

Results: In patients with GTR, hazard ratio (HR) of PFS was 0.09 for postoperative upfront RT versus observation alone (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.01-0.68; = .02), though HR for OS was not significant (HR 0.46; 95% CI 0.05-4.45; = .5). With RT, PFS was 100% at 12 and 36 months (compared to 84% and 63%, respectively, with observation); OS at 36 months (OS36) was 100% (compared to 94% with observation). In patients with STR, though PFS at 36 months was higher for RT arm versus observation (84% vs 74%), OS36 was 100% in both arms. HR was not significant (HR 0.76; 95% CI 0.16-3.5; = .73).

Conclusions: This retrospective study suggests postoperative upfront RT following GTR of atypical meningioma is associated with improved PFS compared to observation. Further studies are required to draw conclusions about OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdab094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325755PMC
June 2021

Endonasal Endoscopic Fenestration of Rathke's Cleft Cysts: Whether to Leave the Fenestration Open or Closed?

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base 2021 Jul 23;82(Suppl 3):e101-e104. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, United States.

 Rathke's cleft cysts (RCC) are generally treated with transsphenoidal fenestration and cyst drainage. If no cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is created, the fenestration can be left open. If CSF is encountered, a watertight closure must be created to prevent postoperative CSF leak, though sellar closure has theoretically been linked with higher recurrence rate. In this study, we investigate the relationship between sellar closure, rate of postoperative CSF leak, and RCC recurrence.  Retrospective review of a prospective database of all endoscopic endonasal RCC fenestrations and cases were divided based on closure. The "open" group included patients who underwent fenestration of the RCC, whereas the "closed" group included patients whose RCC was treated with fat and a rigid buttress ± a nasoseptal flap. The rate of intra- and postoperative CSF leak and radiographic recurrence was determined.  The closed group had a higher rate of suprasellar extension (odds ratio [OR]: 8.0,  = 0.032) and intraoperative CSF leak ( ≤ 0.001). There were 54.8% intraoperative CSF leaks and no postoperative CSF leaks. Radiologic recurrence rate for the closed group (35.0%) was three times higher than the open group (9.1%; risk ratio [RR] = 3.85,  = 0.203), but not powered to show significance. None of the radiologic recurrences required reoperation.  Maintaining a patent fenestration between an RCC and the sphenoid sinus is important in reducing the rate of radiographic recurrence. Closure of the fenestration may be required to prevent CSF leak. While closure increases the rate of radiographic recurrence, reoperation for recurrent RCC is still an uncommon event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-3402042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8289525PMC
July 2021

Pituitary society expert Delphi consensus: operative workflow in endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenoma resection.

Pituitary 2021 Dec 6;24(6):839-853. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, BTM 4, 60 Fenwood Road, Boston, USA.

Purpose: Surgical workflow analysis seeks to systematically break down operations into hierarchal components. It facilitates education, training, and understanding of surgical variations. There are known educational demands and variations in surgical practice in endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches to pituitary adenomas. Through an iterative consensus process, we generated a surgical workflow reflective of contemporary surgical practice.

Methods: A mixed-methods consensus process composed of a literature review and iterative Delphi surveys was carried out within the Pituitary Society. Each round of the survey was repeated until data saturation and > 90% consensus was reached.

Results: There was a 100% response rate and no attrition across both Delphi rounds. Eighteen international expert panel members participated. An extensive workflow of 4 phases (nasal, sphenoid, sellar and closure) and 40 steps, with associated technical errors and adverse events, were agreed upon by 100% of panel members across rounds. Both core and case-specific or surgeon-specific variations in operative steps were captured.

Conclusions: Through an international expert panel consensus, a workflow for the performance of endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenoma resection has been generated. This workflow captures a wide range of contemporary operative practice. The agreed "core" steps will serve as a foundation for education, training, assessment and technological development (e.g. models and simulators). The "optional" steps highlight areas of heterogeneity of practice that will benefit from further research (e.g. methods of skull base repair). Further adjustments could be made to increase applicability around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11102-021-01162-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259776PMC
December 2021

Time to administration of stereotactic radiosurgery to the cavity after surgery for brain metastases: a real-world analysis.

J Neurosurg 2021 May 28:1-11. Epub 2021 May 28.

2Department of Neurosurgery.

Objective: Publications on adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are largely limited to patients completing SRS within a specified time frame. The authors assessed real-world local recurrence (LR) for all brain metastasis (BM) patients referred for SRS and identified predictors of SRS timing.

Methods: The authors retrospectively identified BM patients undergoing resection and referred for SRS between 2012 and 2018. Patients were categorized by time to SRS, as follows: 1) ≤ 4 weeks, 2) > 4-8 weeks, 3) > 8 weeks, and 4) never completed. The relationships between timing of SRS and LR, LR-free survival (LRFS), and survival were investigated, as well as predictors of and reasons for specific SRS timing.

Results: In a cohort of 159 patients, the median age at resection was 64.0 years, 56.5% of patients were female, and 57.2% were in recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class II. The median preoperative tumor diameter was 2.9 cm, and gross-total resection was achieved in 83.0% of patients. All patients were referred for SRS, but 20 (12.6%) did not receive it. The LR rate was 22.6%, and the time to SRS was correlated with the LR rate: 2.3% for patients receiving SRS at ≤ 4 weeks postoperatively, 14.5% for SRS at > 4-8 weeks (p = 0.03), and 48.5% for SRS at > 8 weeks (p < 0.001). No LR difference was seen between patients whose SRS was delayed by > 8 weeks and those who never completed SRS (48.5% vs 50.0%; p = 0.91). A similar relationship emerged between time to SRS and LRFS (p < 0.01). Non-small cell lung cancer pathology (p = 0.04), earlier year of treatment (p < 0.01), and interval from brain MRI to SRS (p < 0.01) were associated with longer intervals to SRS. The rates of receipt of systemic therapy also differed significantly between patients by category of time to SRS (p = 0.02). The most common reasons for intervals of > 4-8 weeks were logistic, whereas longer delays or no SRS were caused by management of systemic disease or comorbidities.

Conclusions: Available data on LR rates after adjuvant SRS are often obtained from carefully preselected patients receiving timely treatment, whereas significantly less information is available on the efficacy of adjuvant SRS in patients treated under "real-world" conditions. Management of these patients may merit reconsideration, particularly when SRS is not delivered within ≤ 4 weeks of resection. The results of this study indicate that a substantial number of patients referred for SRS either never receive it or are treated > 8 weeks postoperatively, at which time the SRS-treated patients have an LR risk equivalent to that of patients who never received SRS. Increased attention to the reasons for prolonged intervals from surgery to SRS and strategies for reducing them is needed to optimize treatment. For patients likely to experience delays, other radiotherapy techniques may be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.10.JNS201934DOI Listing
May 2021

A Novel Negative Pressure, Face-Mounted Antechamber to Minimize Aerosolization of Particles During Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 08;21(3):131-136

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed deficiencies in the adequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery is thought to be among the highest-risk aerosol-generating procedures for surgeons and operating room personnel.

Objective: To validate the efficacy and clinical feasibility of a novel surgical device.

Methods: A low-cost, modifiable, and easily producible negative pressure, face-mounted antechamber was developed utilizing 3D printing and silicone molding. Efficacy was evaluated using an optical particle sizer to quantify aerosols generated during both cadaver and intraoperative human use with high-speed drilling.

Results: Particle counts in the cadaver showed that drilling led to a 2.49-fold increase in particles 0.3 to 5 μm (P = .001) and that the chamber was effective at reducing particles to levels not significantly different than baseline. In humans, drilling led to a 37-fold increase in particles 0.3 to 5 μm (P < .001), and the chamber was effective at reducing particles to a level not significantly different than baseline. Use of the antechamber in 6 complex cases did not interfere with the ability to perform surgery. Patients did not report any facial discomfort after surgery related to antechamber use.

Conclusion: The use of a negative pressure facial antechamber can effectively reduce aerosolization from endoscopic drilling without disturbing the flow of the operation. The antechamber, in conjunction with appropriate PPE, will be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during flu season and any future viral outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8194582PMC
August 2021

Development and validation of a patient face-mounted, negative-pressure antechamber for reducing exposure of healthcare workers to aerosolized particles during endonasal surgery.

J Neurosurg 2021 May 14:1-8. Epub 2021 May 14.

5Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

Objective: The authors developed a negative-pressure, patient face-mounted antechamber and tested its efficacy as a tool for sequestering aerated particles and improving the safety of endonasal surgical procedures.

Methods: Antechamber prototyping was performed with 3D printing and silicone-elastomer molding. The lowest vacuum settings needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets (flow rate ≥ 0.38 m/sec) were determined using an anemometer. A cross-validation approach with two different techniques, optical particle sizing and high-speed videography/shadowgraphy, was used to identify the minimum pressures required to sequester aerosolized materials. At the minimum vacuum settings identified, physical parameters were quantified, including flow rate, antechamber pressure, and time to clearance.

Results: The minimum tube pressures needed to meet specifications for class I biosafety cabinets were -1.0 and -14.5 mm Hg for the surgical chambers with ("closed face") and without ("open face") the silicone diaphragm covering the operative port, respectively. Optical particle sizing did not detect aerosol generation from surgical drilling at these vacuum settings; however, videography estimated higher thresholds required to contain aerosols, at -6 and -35 mm Hg. Simulation of surgical movement disrupted aerosol containment visualized by shadowgraphy in the open-faced but not the closed-faced version of the mask; however, the closed-face version of the mask required increased negative pressure (-15 mm Hg) to contain aerosols during surgical simulation.

Conclusions: Portable, negative-pressure surgical compartments can contain aerosols from surgical drilling with pressures attainable by standard hospital and clinic vacuums. Future studies are needed to carefully consider the reliability of different techniques for detecting aerosols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.10.JNS202745DOI Listing
May 2021

Endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngiomas.

J Neurosurg Sci 2021 Apr;65(2):133-139

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

The operative management of craniopharyngiomas has evolved over the last two decades. Traditional transcranial microsurgical approaches were the only option until the advent of the endoscopic endonasal approach. It has given surgeons the ability to tackle a challenging entity from a new perspective with comparable if not superior results. In this review we outline the advancements in endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngiomas, address controversies and review the current literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05097-9DOI Listing
April 2021

The World of Neurosurgery Reimagined Post COVID-19: Crisis ↔ Opportunities.

World Neurosurg 2021 04;148:251-255

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address:

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted neurosurgery in unforeseeable ways. Neurosurgical patient care, research, and education have undergone extraordinary modifications as medicine and mankind have adapted to overcome the challenges posed by this pandemic. Some changes will disappear as the situation slowly recovers to a prepandemic status quo. Others will remain: This pandemic has sparked some long-overdue systemic transformations across all levels of medicine, including in neurosurgery, that will be beneficial in the future. In this paper, we present some of the challenges faced across different levels of neurosurgical clinical care, research, and education, the changes that followed, and how some of these modifications have transformed into opportunities for improvement and growth in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.167DOI Listing
April 2021

Erratum. The Simpson grade: abandon the scale but preserve the message.

J Neurosurg 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.JNS201904aDOI Listing
March 2021

Letter to the Editor. Time to move beyond the Simpson scale in meningioma surgery.

J Neurosurg 2021 Feb 19:1-2. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

1Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY; and.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.JNS204213DOI Listing
February 2021

Timing of Adjuvant Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery Affects Local Control of Resected Brain Metastases.

Pract Radiat Oncol 2021 May-Jun;11(3):e267-e275. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York; Department of Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York; Department of Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York. Electronic address:

Purpose: For resected brain metastases (BMs), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is often offered to minimize local recurrence (LR). Although the aim is to deliver SRS within a few weeks of surgery, a variety of socioeconomic, medical, and procedural issues can cause delays. We evaluated the relationship between timing of postoperative SRS and LR.

Methods And Materials: We retrospectively identified a consecutive series of patients with BM managed with resection and SRS or fractionated SRS at our institution from 2012 to 2018. We assessed the correlation of time to SRS and other demographic, disease, and treatment variables with LR, local recurrence-free survival, distant recurrence, distant recurrence-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: A total of 133 patients met inclusion criteria. The median age was 64.5 years. Approximately half of patients had a single BM, and median BM size was 2.9 cm. Gross total resection was achieved in 111 patients (83.5%), and more than 90% of patients received fractionated SRS. The median time to SRS was 37.0 days, and the LR rate was 16.4%. Time to SRS was predictive of LR. The median time from surgery to SRS was 34.0 days for patients without LR versus 61.0 days for those with LR (P < .01). The LR rate was 2.3% with SRS administered ≤4 weeks postoperatively, compared with 23.6% if SRS was administered >4 weeks postoperatively (P < .01). Local recurrence-free survival was also improved for patients who underwent SRS at ≤4 weeks (P = .02). Delayed SRS was also predictive of distant recurrence (P = .02) but not overall survival.

Conclusions: In this retrospective study, the strongest predictor of LR after postoperative SRS for BM was time to SRS, and a cutoff of 4 weeks was a reliable predictor of recurrence. These findings merit investigation in a prospective, randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2021.01.011DOI Listing
August 2021

Prevalence and Outcome of Anterior and Middle Cranial Fossae Encephaloceles without Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak or Meningitis.

World Neurosurg 2021 05 30;149:e828-e835. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA; Department of Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA.

Background: With advances in imaging techniques, encephaloceles, meningoceles, and meningoencephaloceles are occasionally discovered incidentally. These can be located in anterior cranial fossa (ACF), mostly protruding into sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses, or middle cranial fossa (MCF), protruding into the temporal bone. We reviewed a large series of cranial computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to identify the prevalence of asymptomatic encephaloceles, meningoceles, and meningoencephaloceles and describe their outcome.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a database of all magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans done at Weill Cornell Medicine for any reason between 2003 and 2018. Encephaloceles, meningoceles, or meningoencephaloceles were confirmed on 72 scans. Of these, chart reviews were performed to identify incidentally discovered cases with symptoms other than cerebrospinal fluid leak, and chart reviews and phone calls were conducted to determine patient demographics, treatment, and outcome.

Results: There were 18 incidental cases for a prevalence of 0.0074%, of which 6 were located in ACF, and 12 were located in MCF. The mean age for ACF cases was 39 ± 15.9 years and for MCF cases was 49.5 ± 19.8 years. There were no leaks in any cases after the encephaloceles were discovered. Eleven of 12 (91.6%) MCF cases were treated conservatively, while 3 of 6 (50%; P = 0.083) ACF cases were treated surgically.

Conclusions: This study showed that encephaloceles, meningoceles, and meningoencephaloceles without cerebrospinal fluid leak or meningitis in MCF were more often conservatively managed with observation only, whereas these entities in ACF were often repaired prophylactically. Incidentally discovered encephaloceles have a relatively benign natural history and do not precipitously leak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.01.088DOI Listing
May 2021

Isoflurane-Induced Burst Suppression Is a Thalamus-Modulated, Focal-Onset Rhythm With Persistent Local Asynchrony and Variable Propagation Patterns in Rats.

Front Syst Neurosci 2020 12;14:599781. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Inhalational anesthetic-induced burst suppression (BS) is classically considered a bilaterally synchronous rhythm. However, local asynchrony has been predicted in theoretical studies and reported in patients with pre-existing focal pathology. We used high-speed widefield calcium imaging to study the spatiotemporal dynamics of isoflurane-induced BS in rats. We found that isoflurane-induced BS is not a globally synchronous rhythm. In the neocortex, neural activity first emerged in a spatially shifting, variably localized focus. Subsequent propagation across the whole cortex was rapid, typically within <100 milliseconds, giving the superficial resemblance to global synchrony. Neural activity remained locally asynchronous during the bursts, forming complex recurrent propagating waves. Despite propagation variability, spatial sequences of burst propagation were largely preserved between the hemispheres, and neural activity was highly correlated between the homotopic areas. The critical role of the thalamus in cortical burst initiation was demonstrated by using unilateral thalamic tetrodotoxin injection. The classical impression that anesthetics-induced BS is a state of global brain synchrony is inaccurate. Bursts are a series of shifting local cortical events facilitated by thalamic projection that unfold as rapid, bilaterally asynchronous propagating waves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2020.599781DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835516PMC
January 2021

Adherus Dural Sealant in Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery: Safety, Imaging Characteristics, and Sinonasal Quality of Life.

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base 2020 Dec 2;81(6):659-663. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Departments of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, United States.

 This study was aimed to compare the safety profiles, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and sinonasal outcome test (SNOT-22) scores of Adherus dural sealant, a novel tissue glue designed for skull base surgery.  Present study is a prospective case series.  The research work took place at a tertiary-care academic medical center.  Consecutive series of 26 patients undergoing endoscopic skull base surgery (ESBS) with Adherus was compared with a control group of 24 patients matched for tumor type and size with DuraSeal as a sealant.  Postoperative complication rates, imaging characteristics, and postoperative SNOT-22 scores were measured and compared.  No postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, intracranial hemorrhages, or mucoceles were observed in either cohort. Adherus was more likely to be identifiable on immediate postoperative MRI (50 vs. 20.8%,  = 0.032). In patients in whom a nasoseptal flap was utilized, the flap was opposed to the skull base in all cases regardless of sealant selected. Postoperative SNOT-22 total (17.25 [±10.81] vs. 14.85 [±14.22],  = 0.609) and subdomain scores were similar between the two groups.  Adherus dural sealant appears to be a safe alternative to Duraseal in ESBS with comparable quality of life outcomes and imaging findings. These preliminary results are promising but should be examined in a larger population with long-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1694048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755501PMC
December 2020

Dosimetric differences between cesium-131 and iodine-125 brachytherapy for the treatment of resected brain metastases.

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2020 Aug 21;12(4):311-316. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, USA.

Purpose: To compare treatment plans and evaluate dosimetric characteristics of permanent cesium-131 (Cs) vs. iodine-125 (I) implants used in brain brachytherapy.

Material And Methods: Twenty-four patients with Cs implants from a prospective phase I/II trial were re-planned with I implants. In order to evaluate the volume of brain tissue exposed to radiation therapy (RT), the dose volume histogram was generated for both radioisotopes. To evaluate the dosimetric differences of the two radioisotopes we compared homogeneity (HI) and conformity indices (CI), and dose covering 100% (D), 90% (D), 80% (D), and 50% (D) of the clinical target volume (CTV).

Results: At the 100%, 90%, 80%, and 50% isodose lines, the Cs plans exposed less mean volume of brain tissue than the I plans ( < 0.001). The D, D, D, and D were smaller for Cs ( < 0.001). The HI and CI for Cs vs. I were 19.71 vs. 29.04 and 1.31 vs. 1.92, respectively ( < 0.001).

Conclusions: Compared to I, Cs exposed smaller volumes of brain tissue to equivalent doses of radiation and delivered lower radiation doses to equivalent volumes of the CTV. Cs exhibited a higher HI, indicating increased uniformity of doses within the CTV. Lastly, Cs presented a CI closer to 1, indicating that the total volume receiving the prescription dose was closer to the desired CTV volume. These results suggest that Cs is dosimetrically superior to I and may explain the reason for the 0% incidence of radiation necrosis (RN) in our previously published prospective study using Cs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/jcb.2020.98109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690233PMC
August 2020

Limited utility of 5-ALA optical fluorescence in endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery: a multicenter retrospective study.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 30:1-7. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

3Department of Neurological Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

Objective: Incomplete resection of skull base pathology may result in local tumor recurrence. This study investigates the utility of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence during endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) to increase visibility of pathologic tissue.

Methods: This retrospective multicenter series comprises patients with planned resection of an anterior skull base lesion who received preoperative 5-ALA at two tertiary care centers. Diagnostic use of a blue light endoscope was performed during EEA for all cases. Demographic and tumor characteristics as well as fluorescence status, quality, and homogeneity were assessed for each skull base pathology.

Results: Twenty-eight skull base pathologies underwent blue-light EEA with preoperative 5-ALA, including 15 pituitary adenomas (54%), 4 meningiomas (14%), 3 craniopharyngiomas (11%), 2 Rathke's cleft cysts (7%), as well as plasmacytoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, and sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. Of these, 6 (21%) of 28 showed invasive growth into surrounding structures such as dura, bone, or compartments of the cavernous sinus. Tumor fluorescence was detected in 2 cases (7%), with strong fluorescence in 1 tuberculum sellae meningioma and vague fluorescence in 1 pituicytoma. In all other cases fluorescence was absent. Faint fluorescence of the normal pituitary gland was seen in 1 (7%) of 15 cases. A comparison between the particular tumor entities as well as a correlation between invasiveness, WHO grade, Ki-67, and positive fluorescence did not show any significant association.

Conclusions: With the possible exception of meningiomas, 5-ALA fluorescence has limited utility in the majority of endonasal skull base surgeries, although other pathology may be worth investigating.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.JNS201171DOI Listing
October 2020

The Simpson grade: abandon the scale but preserve the message.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 9:1-8. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

2Division of Neuroscience, Translational Medicine, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.

The Simpson grading scale, developed in 1957 by Donald Simpson, has been considered the gold standard for defining the surgical extent of resection for WHO grade I meningiomas. Since its introduction, the scale and its modifications have generated enormous controversy. The Simpson grade is based on an intraoperative visual assessment of resection, which is subjective and notoriously inaccurate. The majority of studies in which the grading system was used were performed before routine postoperative MRI surveillance was employed, rendering assessments of extent of resection and the definition of recurrence inconsistent. The infiltration and proliferation potential of tumor components such as hyperostotic bone and dural tail vary widely based on tumor location, as does the molecular biology of the tumor, rendering a universal scale for all meningiomas unfeasible. While extent of resection is clearly important at reducing recurrence rates, achieving the highest Simpson grade resection should not always be the goal of surgery.Donald Simpson's name and his scale deserve to be recognized and preserved in the historical pantheon of pioneering and transformative neurosurgical concepts. Nevertheless, his eponymous scale is no longer relevant in modern meningioma surgery. While his message of maximizing extent of resection and minimizing morbidity is still germane, a single measure using subjective criteria cannot be applied universally to all meningiomas, regardless of location. Meningioma surgery should be performed with the goal of achieving maximal safe resection, ideally guided by molecularly tagged fluorescent labeling and assessed using objective criteria, including postoperative MRI as well as molecularly tagged scans such as [68Ga]-DOTATATE-PET.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.JNS201904DOI Listing
October 2020

Utility of invasive electroencephalography in children 3 years old and younger with refractory epilepsy.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Sep 18:1-6. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York.

Objective: Early surgical intervention for pediatric refractory epilepsy is increasingly advocated as surgery has become safer and data have demonstrated improved outcomes with early seizure control. There is concern that the risks associated with staged invasive electroencephalography (EEG) in very young children outweigh the potential benefits. Here, the authors present a cohort of children with refractory epilepsy who were referred for invasive monitoring, and they evaluate the role and safety of staged invasive EEG in those 3 years old and younger.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective review of children 3 years and younger with epilepsy, who had been managed surgically at two institutions between 2001 and 2015. A cohort of pediatric patients older than 3 years of age was used for comparison. Demographics, seizure etiology, surgical management, surgical complications, and adverse events were recorded. Statistical analysis was completed using Stata version 13. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Fisher's exact test was used to compare proportions.

Results: Ninety-four patients (45 patients aged ≤ 3 [47.9%]) and 208 procedures were included for analysis. Eighty-six procedures (41.3%) were performed in children younger than 3 years versus 122 in the older cohort (58.7%). Forty-two patients underwent grid placement (14 patients aged ≤ 3 [33.3%]); 3 of them developed complications associated with the implant (3/42 [7.14%]), none of whom were among the younger cohort. Across all procedures, 11 complications occurred in the younger cohort versus 5 in the older patients (11/86 [12.8%] vs 5/122 [4.1%], p = 0.032). Two adverse events occurred in the younger group versus 1 in the older group (2/86 [2.32%] vs 1/122 [0.82%], p = 0.571). Following grid placement, 13/14 younger patients underwent guided resections compared to 20/28 older patients (92.9% vs 71.4%, p = 0.23).

Conclusions: While overall complication rates were higher in the younger cohort, subdural grid placement was not associated with an increased risk of surgical complications in that population. Invasive electrocorticography informs management in very young children with refractory, localization-related epilepsy and should therefore be used when clinically indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.PEDS19504DOI Listing
September 2020

Cs-131 brachytherapy for patients with recurrent glioblastoma combined with bevacizumab avoids radiation necrosis while maintaining local control.

Brachytherapy 2020 Sep - Oct;19(5):705-712

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.

Purpose: Re-irradiation of recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) may delay further recurrence but re-irradiation increases the risk of radionecrosis (RN). Salvage therapy should focus on balancing local control (LC) and toxicity. We report the results of using intraoperative Cesium-131 (Cs-131) brachytherapy for recurrent GBM in a population of patients who also received bevacizumab.

Methods And Materials: Twenty patients with recurrent GBM underwent maximally safe neurosurgical resection with Cs-131 brachytherapy between 2010 and 2015. Eighty Gy was prescribed to 0.5 cm from the surface of the resection cavity. All patients previously received adjuvant radiotherapy and temozolomide, and received bevacizumab before or after salvage brachytherapy. Seven of 20 (35%) tumors were multiply recurrent and had been previously salvaged with external beam radiotherapy. Patients received MRI scans every 2 months monitored for recurrence, progression, and RN.

Results: Median tumor diameter was 4.65 cm (range, 1.2-6.3 cm). Median number of seeds pace was 41 (range, 20-74) with total seed activity 96.8U (range, 41.08-201.3U). At a median followup of 19 months, crude LC was 85% and median overall survival was 9 months (range, 5-26 months). There were two postoperative wound infections (10%), three seizures (15%), and 0% incidence of RN.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that while LC and survival are similar to other studies of postoperative external beam radiotherapy, no RN occurred in any of these patients, including 7 multiply re-irradiated patients. Of interest, there were patients with multiple recurrences whose survival extended beyond 20 months. These findings suggest that the use of highly conformal Cs-131 brachytherapy is a promising treatment for patients with recurrent GBM with minimal risk of development of RN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2020.06.013DOI Listing
May 2021

Eyebrow supraorbital keyhole craniotomy for olfactory groove meningiomas with endoscope assistance: case series and systematic review of extent of resection, quantification of postoperative frontal lobe injury, anosmia, and recurrence.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2021 01 5;163(1):101-112. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 525 East 68th St., Box #99, New York, NY, 10065, USA.

Background: Olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs) are commonly treated with open craniotomy. Endonasal approaches have also been described.

Objective: To present clinical and radiographic outcomes for the minimally invasive eyebrow incision supraorbital keyhole approach with endoscopic assistance for OGMs.

Methods: We performed a retrospective single-center cohort study and a systematic literature review.

Results: Fifteen patients were identified, all with Grade I meningiomas. Radiographic gross total resection of enhancing tumor was achieved in all patients. Mean frontal lobe fluid-attenuated inversion recovery volume decreased from 11.1 ± 18.3 cm preoperatively to 9.9 ± 11.4 cm immediately postoperatively, and there was minimal new restricted diffusion (3.2 ± 2.2 cm; max 7.5 cm). Median length of stay was 3 days (range 2-8). Vision was improved in 4 (80%) and stable in 1 (20%) of 5 patients with a preoperative deficit. New postoperative anosmia occurred in 3 (23%) of 13 patients with any preoperative olfaction. All patients were satisfied with their cosmetic result at 3 months. After a median follow-up of 32.2 months, there were 2 (13.3%) asymptomatic radiographic recurrences, 1 treated with radiosurgery and the other with endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA). No patients required further craniotomy. Systematic review revealed the present series to be the largest to date reporting disaggregated outcomes for the eyebrow approach to OGM.

Conclusion: The eyebrow incision supraorbital keyhole craniotomy with endoscopic assistance is a safe and effective approach to OGM with tumor control rates similar to more invasive open approaches and better than the endonasal approach. Rates of frontal lobe injury, CSF leak and anosmia are comparatively low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-020-04552-xDOI Listing
January 2021

The Prognostic Value of MRI Subventricular Zone Involvement and Tumor Genetics in Lower Grade Gliomas.

J Neuroimaging 2020 11 28;30(6):901-909. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY.

Background And Purpose: Glioblastomas (GBMs) that involve the subventricular zone (SVZ) have a poor prognosis, possibly due to recruitment of neural stem cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether SVZ involvement by lower grade gliomas (LGG), WHO grade II and III, similarly predicts poorer outcomes. We further assessed whether tumor genetics and cellularity are associated with SVZ involvement and outcomes.

Methods: Forty-five consecutive LGG patients with preoperative imaging and next generation sequencing were included in this study. Regional SVZ involvement and whole tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, as a measure of cellularity, were assessed on magnetic resonance imaging. Progression was determined by RANO criteria. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression analyses were used to determine the hazard ratios (HR) for progression and survival.

Results: Frontal, parietal, temporal, and overall SVZ involvement and ADC values were not associated with progression or survival (P ≥ .05). However, occipital SVZ involvement, seen in two patients, was associated with a higher risk of tumor progression (HR = 6.6, P = .016) and death (HR = 31.5, P = .015), CDKN2A/B mutations (P = .03), and lower ADC histogram values at the 5th (P = .026) and 10th percentiles (P = .046). Isocitrate dehydrogenase, phosphatase and tensin homolog, epidermal growth factor receptor, and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 mutations were also prognostic (P ≤ .05).

Conclusions: Unlike in GBM, overall SVZ involvement was not found to strongly predict poor prognosis in LGGs. However, occipital SVZ involvement, though uncommon, was prognostic and found to be associated with CDKN2A/B mutations and tumor hypercellularity. Further investigation into these molecular mechanisms underlying occipital SVZ involvement in larger cohorts is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12763DOI Listing
November 2020

Endoscopic endonasal approach for suprasellar meningiomas: introduction of a new scoring system to predict extent of resection and assist in case selection with long-term outcome data.

J Neurosurg 2020 Jul 24:1-13. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Departments of1Neurosurgery and.

Objective: The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has gained increasing popularity for the resection of suprasellar meningiomas (SSMs). Appropriate case selection is critical in optimizing patient outcome. Long-term outcome data are lacking. The authors systematically identified preoperative factors associated with extent of resection (EOR) and determined the relationship between EOR and long-term recurrence after EEA for SSMs.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, the authors identified preoperative clinical and imaging characteristics associated with EOR and built on the recently published University of California, San Francisco resectability score to propose a score more specific to the EEA. They then examined the relationship between gross-total resection (GTR; 100%), near-total resection (NTR; 95%-99%), and subtotal resection (STR; < 95%) and recurrence or progression with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

Results: A total of 51 patients were identified. Radiographic GTR was achieved in 40 of 47 (85%) patients in whom it was the surgical goal. Significant independent risk factors for incomplete resection were prior surgery (OR 25.94, 95% CI < 2.00 to 336.49, p = 0.013); tumor lateral to the optic nerve (OR 13.41, 95% CI 1.82-98.99, p = 0.011); and complete internal carotid artery (ICA) encasement (OR 15.12, 95% CI 1.17-194.08, p = 0.037). Tumor size and optic canal invasion were not significant risk factors after adjustment for other variables. A resectability score based on the multivariable model successfully predicted the likelihood of GTR; a score of 0 had a positive predictive value of 97% for GTR, whereas a score of 2 had a negative predictive value of 87.5% for incomplete resection. After a mean follow-up of 40.6 ± 32.4 months (mean ± SD), recurrence was 2.7% after GTR (1 patient with atypical histology), 44.4% after NTR, and 80% after STR (p < 0.0001). Vision was stable or improved in 93.5% and improved in 67.4% of patients with a preoperative deficit. There were 5 (9.8%) postoperative CSF leaks, of which 4 were managed with lumbar drains and 1 required a reoperation.

Conclusions: The EEA is a safe and effective approach to SSMs, with favorable visual outcomes in well-selected cases. The combination of postoperative MRI-based EOR with direct endoscopic inspection can be used in lieu of Simpson grade to predict recurrence. GTR dramatically reduces recurrence and can be achieved regardless of tumor size, proximity or encasement of the anterior cerebral artery, or medial optic canal invasion. Risk factors for incomplete resection include prior surgery, tumor lateral to the optic nerve, and complete ICA encasement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.4.JNS20475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8111689PMC
July 2020

Nine-year prospective efficacy and safety of brain-responsive neurostimulation for focal epilepsy.

Neurology 2020 09 20;95(9):e1244-e1256. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

From the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (D.R.N., A.V.A.), OH; California Pacific Medical Center (K.D.L., P.B.W.), San Francisco; Augusta University (A.M.M., Y.D.P.), GA; Henry Ford Hospital (G.L.B.), Detroit, MI; Ohio Health Neuroscience (B.J.S.), Columbus; Swedish Neuroscience Institute (R.P.G., M.J.D.), Seattle, WA; Mayo Clinic Arizona (K.H.N., R.S.Z.), Scottsdale; Johns Hopkins Medicine (G.K.B., W.S.A.), Baltimore, MD; Keck School of Medicine of USC (C.H., C.Y.L.), Los Angeles, CA; Via Christi Epilepsy Center (R.W.L., T.S.), Wichita, KS; Yale University School of Medicine (R.B.D., L.J.H.), New Haven, CT; Mayo Clinic Florida (R.E.W., W.T.), Jacksonville; Columbia University Medical Center (S.S., G.M.M.), New York, NY; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (M.A.A.), Dallas; Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (B.C.J., D.W.R.), Hanover, NH; Indiana University School of Medicine (V.S., T.C.W.), Indianapolis; Massachusetts General Hospital (S.S.C., A.J.C.), Boston; Mayo Clinic Minnesota (G.A.W., B.N.L.), Rochester; Medical University of South Carolina (J.C.E., J.J.H.), Charleston; Oregon Health & Science University (D.C. Spencer, L.E.), Portland; Thomas Jefferson University (C.T.S., M.R.S.), Philadelphia, PA; Nicklaus Children's Hospital (I.M.), Miami, FL; Saint Barnabas Medical Center (E.B.G.), Livingston, NJ; University of Rochester Medical Center (M.J.B., A.J.F.), NY; University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (P.R.), Madison; Baylor College of Medicine (A.M.G., E.M.M.), Houston, TX; Emory University School of Medicine (R.E.G.), Atlanta, GA; George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (D.C. Shields), Washington, DC; Weill Cornell Medical College (T.H.S., D.R.L.), New York, NY; University of Virginia School of Medicine (N.B.F., W.J.E.), Charlottesville; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (P.W.O., N.R.V.-P.), New Orleans; University of Florida (S.E., S.N.R.), Gainesville; Wake Forest University Health Sciences (J.G.B.), Winston-Salem, NC; NeuroPace, Inc (T.A.C., F.T.S., C.G.S., K.L.M., T.L.S., M.J.M.), Mountain View; and Stanford University (M.J.M.), Palo Alto, CA.

Objective: To prospectively evaluate safety and efficacy of brain-responsive neurostimulation in adults with medically intractable focal onset seizures (FOS) over 9 years.

Methods: Adults treated with brain-responsive neurostimulation in 2-year feasibility or randomized controlled trials were enrolled in a long-term prospective open label trial (LTT) to assess safety, efficacy, and quality of life (QOL) over an additional 7 years. Safety was assessed as adverse events (AEs), efficacy as median percent change in seizure frequency and responder rate, and QOL with the Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE-89) inventory.

Results: Of 256 patients treated in the initial trials, 230 participated in the LTT. At 9 years, the median percent reduction in seizure frequency was 75% ( < 0.0001, Wilcoxon signed rank), responder rate was 73%, and 35% had a ≥90% reduction in seizure frequency. We found that 18.4% (47 of 256) experienced ≥1 year of seizure freedom, with 62% (29 of 47) seizure-free at the last follow-up and an average seizure-free period of 3.2 years (range 1.04-9.6 years). Overall QOL and epilepsy-targeted and cognitive domains of QOLIE-89 remained significantly improved ( < 0.05). There were no serious AEs related to stimulation, and the sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) rate was significantly lower than predefined comparators ( < 0.05, 1-tailed χ).

Conclusions: Adjunctive brain-responsive neurostimulation provides significant and sustained reductions in the frequency of FOS with improved QOL. Stimulation was well tolerated; implantation-related AEs were typical of other neurostimulation devices; and SUDEP rates were low.

Clinicaltrialsgov Identifier: NCT00572195.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that brain-responsive neurostimulation significantly reduces focal seizures with acceptable safety over 9 years.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7538230PMC
September 2020

Innovations in the Neurosurgical Management of Epilepsy.

World Neurosurg 2020 07;139:775-788

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA.

Technical limitations and clinical challenges have historically limited the diagnostic tools and treatment methods available for surgical approaches to the management of epilepsy. By contrast, recent technological innovations in several areas hold significant promise in improving outcomes and decreasing morbidity. We review innovations in the neurosurgical management of epilepsy in several areas, including wireless recording and stimulation systems (particularly responsive neurostimulation [NeuroPace]), conformal electrodes for high-resolution electrocorticography, robot-assisted stereotactic surgery, optogenetics and optical imaging methods, novel positron emission tomography ligands, and new applications of focused ultrasonography. Investigation into genetic causes of and susceptibilities to epilepsy has introduced a new era of precision medicine, enabling the understanding of cell signaling mechanisms underlying epileptic activity as well as patient-specific molecularly targeted treatment options. We discuss the emerging path to individualized treatment plans, predicted outcomes, and improved selection of effective interventions, on the basis of these developments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.03.031DOI Listing
July 2020

Challenges of Epilepsy Surgery.

World Neurosurg 2020 07;139:762-774

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address:

Though frequently effective in the management of medically refractory seizures, epilepsy surgery presents numerous challenges. Selection of the appropriate candidate patients who are likely to benefit from surgery is critical to achieving seizure freedom and avoiding neurocognitive morbidity. Identifying the seizure focus and mapping epileptogenic networks involves an interdisciplinary team dedicated to formulating a safe and effective surgical plan. Various strategies can be employed either to eliminate the epileptic focus or to modulate network activity, including resection of the focus with open surgery or laser interstitial thermal therapy; modulation of epileptogenic firing patterns with responsive neurostimulation, deep brain stimulation, or vagus nerve stimulation; or non-invasive disconnection of epileptic circuits with focused ultrasound, which is also discussed in greater detail in the subsequent chapter in our series. We review several challenges of epilepsy surgery that must be thoughtfully addressed in order to ensure its success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.03.032DOI Listing
July 2020
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