Coagulopathy is a common sequela of traumatic brain injury. Consumptive coagulopathy and secondary hyperfibrinolysis are associated with hypercoagulability. In addition, fibrinolytic pathways are hyperactivated as a result of vascular endothelial cell damage in the injured brain. Coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters change dynamically to reflect these pathologies. Fibrinogen is consumed and degraded after injury, with fibrinogen concentrations at their lowest 3-6 h after injury. Hypercoagulability causes increased fibrinolytic activity, and plasma levels of D-dimer increase immediately after traumatic brain injury, reaching a maximum at 3 h. Owing to disseminated intravascular coagulation in the presence of fibrinolysis, the bleeding tendency is highest within the first 3 h after injury, and often a condition called "talk and deteriorate" occurs. In neurointensive care, it is necessary to measure coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters such as fibrinogen and D-dimer routinely to predict and prevent the development of coagulopathy and its negative outcomes. Currently, the only evidence-based treatment for traumatic brain injury with coagulopathy is tranexamic acid in the subset of patients with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. Coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters should be closely monitored, and treatment should be considered on a patient-by-patient basis.
This study compared the outcomes of microendoscopy-assisted lumbar interbody fusion (ME-LIF) and uniportal full-endoscopic laminectomy (FEL) for L5 radiculopathy caused by lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS). ME-LIF was performed using an 18- to 20-mm tubular retractor and endoscope, and FEL via the translaminar approach (TLA) was performed at the dorsal part of the foramen using a 4.1-mm working channel endoscope. Patients with LFS treated using ME-LIF (n = 39) or FEL-TLA (n = 30) were retrospectively evaluated. Patients' background and operative data were collected. The 36-item Short Form Survey (SF-36), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and European Quality of Life-5 Dimension (EQ-5D) scores were recorded preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. The background data of the two groups (ME-LIF and FEL-TLA) were similar. The mean operation times for ME-LIF and FEL-TLA were 110.7 and 65.2 min, respectively, and the mean length of hospital stay were 10.3 and 1.5 days, respectively. Reoperation was required for surgical site infection, and percutaneous pedicle screw malposition in three patients was treated using ME-LIF. During follow-up, second FEL-TLA and LIF were performed for recurrent L5 radiculopathy in one and three patients in the FEL-TLA group, respectively. Although the SF-36, ODI, and EQ-5D scores 2 years postoperatively improved in both groups, improvement in ODI scores was lower following FEL-TLA than following ME-LIF. FEL-TLA can be performed to treat patients with L5 radiculopathy caused by LFS. Although the ODI score improvement following FEL-TLA was unremarkable, FEL-TLA might be considered because of its better safety profile and minimal invasiveness than ME-LIF.
The number of awake craniotomies is increasing because of its beneficial features. However, not enough information is available regarding the current status of awake craniotomy in Japan. To evaluate the current status of awake craniotomy in institutes, a nationwide questionnaire survey was conducted. From June to August 2019, we conducted a questionnaire survey on awake craniotomy in the neurosurgery department of 45 institutes that perform awake craniotomies in Japan. Responses were obtained from 39 institutes (response rate, 86.7%). The main methods of awake craniotomy were almost the same in all institutes. Twenty-six institutes (66.7%) had fewer than 10 awake craniotomies (low-volume institutes) per year, and 13 high-volume institutes (33.3%) performed more than 10 awake craniotomies annually. Some institutes experienced a relatively high frequency of adverse events. In 11 institutes (28.2%), the frequency of intraoperative seizures was more than 10%. An intraoperative seizure frequency of 1%-9%, 10%-29%, and over 30% was identified in 12 (92%), 0 (0%), and 1 (8%) of the high-volume institutes, which was significantly less than in 16 (62%), 10 (38%), and 0 (0%) of the low-volume institutes (p = 0.0059). The routine usage of preoperative antiepileptic drugs was not different between them, but the old type was used more often in the low-volume institutes (p = 0.0022). Taken together, the annual number of awake craniotomies was less than 10 in over two-thirds of the institutes. Fewer intraoperative seizures were reported in the high-volume institutes, which tend not to preoperatively use the old type of antiepileptic drugs.
We evaluated the effect of early surgical intervention on the change in memory performance of patients with low-grade brain tumors associated with epilepsy. Twenty-three adult patients with low-grade brain tumors and epilepsy who underwent surgery at our institution between 2010 and 2019 were included. The Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) was used to assess cognitive memory performance. Memory performance before and after surgery was retrospectively evaluated. In addition, the relationships among preoperative memory function, postoperative seizure outcome, preoperative seizure control, temporal lobe lesion, and change in memory function were examined. There were statistically significant improvements from median preoperative to postoperative WMS-R subscale scores for verbal memory, general memory, and delayed recall (p<0.001, p<0.001, and p=0.0055, respectively) regardless of preoperative sores and tumor location. Good postsurgical seizure control was associated with significant improvements in postoperative WMS-R performance. Our results indicated that early surgical intervention might improve postoperative memory function in patients with low-grade brain tumors and epilepsy.
Electrical cortical stimulation is widely performed and is the gold standard for functional mapping in intractable epilepsy patients; however, a standard protocol has not yet been established. With respect to stimulation methods, two techniques can be applied: monopolar and bipolar stimulation. We compared the threshold to induce clinical symptoms between these two stimulation techniques. Twenty patients with intractable epilepsy who underwent electrical cortical stimulation for functional mapping were retrospectively investigated. We evaluated the stimulation intensity thresholds required to induce motor, sensory, and language symptoms. A total of 114 electrodes in 20 patients were used to investigate motor, sensory, and language symptoms. The thresholds required to induce motor (median value, bipolar: 4 mA, monopolar: 5 mA, p < 0.05) and language symptoms (bipolar: 8 mA, monopolar: 10 mA, p < 0.0005) were significantly higher for monopolar stimulation than those for bipolar stimulation. However, for sensory symptoms, no significant differences were found in the required thresholds between monopolar and bipolar stimulation (bipolar: 4 mA, monopolar: 4 mA, p = 0.474). Bipolar cortical stimulation required lower intensities to produce clinical motor and language symptoms and thus would be safe and suitable for screening of the eloquent area in functional mapping.
Spinal intramedullary tumors such as ependymoma or vascular lesions such as cavernous malformation are often at risk of intramedullary hemorrhage. Surgical procedures involving the high cervical spinal cord are often challenging. This technical note included four patients who presented with acute, subacute, or gradual onset of spinal cord dysfunction associated with intramedullary hemorrhage at the C1 or C1/2 level of the high cervical spine. The mean age was 46.3 years (16-74 years). All patients underwent posterior spinal cord myelotomy of the posterior median sulcus or posterolateral sulcus. It was not to exceed the caudal opening of the fourth ventricle (foramen of Magendie) and was assumed to be as high as the caudal medulla oblongata. Total removal of the intramedullary ependymoma or cavernous malformation occurred in three of four cases, and the remaining case had subtotal removal of the ependymoma. None of the patients showed postoperative deterioration of the neurological condition. Pathological examination of all cases revealed intramedullary hemorrhage was associated with ependymoma or cavernous malformation. Posterior spinal myelotomy should be limited to the caudal opening of the fourth ventricle (foramen of Magendie), that is the caudal medulla oblongata, to avoid the significant deterioration after surgery.