Neurosurgery Service, Alicante University General Hospital, Alicante, Spain.
The assessment, diagnosis, operative and nonoperative management of degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) have evolved rapidly over the last 20 years. A clearer understanding of the pathobiology of DCM has led to attempts to develop objective measurements of the severity of myelopathy, including technology such as multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, biomarkers, and ancillary clinical testing. New pharmacological treatments have the potential to alter the course of surgical outcomes, and greater innovation in surgical techniques have made surgery safer, more effective and less invasive. Future developments for the treatment of DCM will seek to improve the diagnostic accuracy of imaging, improve the objectivity of clinical assessment, and increase the use of surgical techniques to ensure the best outcome is achieved for each individual patient 1).
Goel was troubled by the fact that his several PubMed and MEDLINE indexed articles on the subject published in leading journals dedicated to the study of the spine have not found any place in the huge reference list of 137 articles 2)
A review of Tetreault et al. summarizes current knowledge of the pathophysiology of DCM and describes the cascade of events that occur after compression of the spinal cord, including ischemia, destruction of the blood-spinal cord barrier, demyelination, and neuronal apoptosis. Important features of the diagnosis of DCM are discussed in detail, and relevant clinical and imaging findings are highlighted. Furthermore, this review outlines valuable assessment tools for evaluating functional status and quality of life in these patients and summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each. Other topics of this review include epidemiology, the prevalence of degenerative changes in the asymptomatic population, the natural history and rates of progression, risk factors of diagnosis (clinical, imaging and genetic), and management strategies 3).
MEDLINE and Embase were systematically searched (CRD42021281462) for primary research reporting on histological findings of DCM in the human cadaveric spinal cordtissue. Data were extracted using a piloted proforma. The risk of bias was assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. Findings were compared to a systematic review of animal models (Ahkter et al. 2020 Front Neurosci 14).
The search yielded 4127 unique records. After the abstract and full-text screening, 19 were included in the final analysis, reporting on 150 autopsies (71% male) with an average age at death of 67.3 years. All findings were based on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The most commonly reported grey matter findings included neuronal loss and cavity formation. The most commonly reported white matter finding was demyelination. Axon loss, gliosis, necrosis, and Schwann cell proliferation were also reported. Findings were consistent amongst cervical spondylotic myelopathy and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Cavitation was notably more prevalent in human autopsies compared to animal models.
Few human spinal cord tissue studies have been performed. Neuronal loss, demyelination and cavitation were common findings. Investigating the biological basis of DCM is a critical research priority. Human spinal cord specimen may be an underutilized but complementary approach 4).
A National Institutes of Health-funded (1R13AR065834-01) investigator meeting was held before the initiation of the trial to bring multiple stakeholders together to finalize the study protocol. Study investigators, coordinators, and major stakeholders were able to attend and discuss strengths of, limitations of, and concerns about the study. The final protocol was approved for funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (CE-1304-6173). The trial began enrollment on April 1, 2014 6).
Wilson JRF, Badhiwala JH, Moghaddamjou A, Martin AR, Fehlings MG. Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy; A Review of the Latest Advances and Future Directions in Management. Neurospine. 2019 Sep;16(3):494-505. doi: 10.14245/ns.1938314.157. Epub 2019 Aug 26. PubMed PMID: 31476852; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6790745.
Dohle E, Beardall S, Chang A, Mena KPC, Jovanović L, Nath U, Lee KS, Smith AH, Thirunavukarasu AJ, Touzet AY, Norton EJ, Mowforth OD, Kotter MRN, Davies BM. Human spinal cord tissue is an underutilised resource in degenerative cervical myelopathy: findings from a systematic review of human autopsies. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2023 Feb 23. doi: 10.1007/s00701-023-05526-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36820887.
Augusto MT, Diniz JM, Rolemberg Dantas FL, Fernandes de Oliveira M, Rotta JM, Botelho RV. Development of the Portuguese version of the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association Score: cross-cultural adaptation, reliability, validity and responsiveness. World Neurosurg. 2018 Jun 1. pii: S1878-8750(18)31127-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.05.173. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29864576.
Neuropsychological and behavioral outcomes for injured children vary with the severity of the injury, child age at injury, premorbid child characteristics, family factors, and the family’s socioeconomic status. Each of these factors needs to be taken into account when designing rehabilitation strategies and assessing factors related to outcomes 1)
The Functional Status Score (FSS) can be implemented as part of routine practice in two different healthcare systems and the relationships observed between the FSS and patient characteristics can serve as a baseline for work going forward in the coming years. As a field, establishing which outcomes tests can be readily administered while also measuring relevant outcomes for various populations of children with TBI is an essential next step in developing therapies for this disorder that is highly prevalent and morbid 2).
The multi-center, prospectively collected CENTER-TBI core and registry databases were screened and patients were included when younger than 18 years at enrollment and admitted to the regular ward (admission stratum) or intensive care unit (ICU stratum) following TBI. Patient demographics, injury causes, clinical findings, brain CT imaging details, and outcome (GOSE at 6 months follow-up) were retrieved and analyzed. Injury characteristics were compared between patients admitted to the regular ward and ICU and a multivariate analysis of factors predicting an unfavorable outcome (GOSE 1-4) was performed. Results from the core study were compared to the registry dataset which includes larger patient numbers but no follow-up data. Results: Two hundred and twenty-seven patients in the core dataset and 687 patients in the registry dataset were included in this study. In the core dataset, road-traffic incidents were the most common cause of injury overall and in the ICU stratum, while incidental falls were most common in the admission stratum. Brain injury was considered serious to severe in the majority of patients and concurrent injuries in other body parts were very common. Intracranial abnormalities were detected in 60% of initial brain CTs. Intra- and extracranial surgical interventions were performed in one-fifth of patients. The overall mortality rate was 3% and the rate of unfavorable outcomes was 10%, with those numbers being considerably higher among ICU patients. GCS and the occurrence of secondary insults could be identified as independent predictors of an unfavorable outcome 3).
Fang et al. aimed to combine multiple machine learning approaches to building hybrid models for predicting the prognosis and length of hospital stay for adults and children with TBI.
They collected relevant clinical information from patients treated at the Neurosurgery Center of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University between May 2017 and May 2022, of which 80% was used for training the model and 20% for testing via screening and data splitting. They trained and tested the machine learning models using 5 cross-validations to avoid overfitting. In the machine learning models, 11 types of independent variables were used as input variables and the Glasgow Outcome Scale score, was used to evaluate patients’ prognosis, and patient length of stay was used as the output variable. Once the models were trained, we obtained and compared the errors of each machine-learning model from 5 rounds of cross-validation to select the best predictive model. The model was then externally tested using clinical data of patients treated at the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University from June 2021 to February 2022.
Results: The final convolutional neural network-support vector machine (CNN-SVM) model predicted the Glasgow Outcome Scale score with an accuracy of 93% and 93.69% in the test and external validation sets, respectively, and an area under the curve of 94.68% and 94.32% in the test and external validation sets, respectively. The mean absolute percentage error of the final built convolutional neural network-support vector regression (CNN-SVR) model predicting inpatient time in the test set and external validation set was 10.72% and 10.44%, respectively. The coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.93 and 0.92 in the test set and external validation set, respectively. Compared with a back-propagation neural network, CNN, and SVM models built separately, our hybrid model was identified to be optimal and had high confidence.
This study demonstrates the clinical utility of 2 hybrid models built by combining multiple machine learning approaches to accurately predict the prognosis and length of stay in hospital for adults and children with TBI. Application of these models may reduce the burden on physicians when assessing TBI and assist clinicians in the medical decision-making process 4).
Mikkonen et al., tested the predictive performance of existing prognostic tools, originally developed for the adult TBI population, in pediatric TBI patients requiring stays in the ICU.
They used the Finnish Intensive Care Consortium database to identify pediatric patients (< 18 years of age) treated in 4 academic ICUs in Finland between 2003 and 2013. They tested the predictive performance of 4 classification systems-the International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials (IMPACT) TBI model, the Helsinki CT score, the Rotterdam CT score, and the Marshall CT classification-by assessing the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and the explanatory variation (pseudo-R2 statistic). The primary outcome was 6-month functional outcome (favorable outcome defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 3-5).
Overall, 341 patients (median age 14 years) were included; of these, 291 patients had primary head CT scans available. The IMPACT core-based model showed an AUC of 0.85 (95% CI 0.78-0.91) and a pseudo-R2 value of 0.40. Of the CT scoring systems, the Helsinki CT score displayed the highest performance (AUC 0.84, 95% CI 0.78-0.90; pseudo-R2 0.39) followed by the Rotterdam CT score (AUC 0.80, 95% CI 0.73-0.86; pseudo-R2 0.34).
Prognostic tools originally developed for the adult TBI population seemed to perform well in pediatric TBI. Of the tested CT scoring systems, the Helsinki CT score yielded the highest predictive value 5).
Bell MJ. Outcomes for Children With Traumatic Brain Injury-How Can the Functional Status Scale Contribute? Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Dec;17(12):1185-1186. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000950. PMID: 27918390; PMCID: PMC5142208.
Riemann L, Zweckberger K, Unterberg A, El Damaty A, Younsi A; Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) Investigators and Participants. Injury Causes and Severity in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Admitted to the Ward or Intensive Care Unit: A Collaborative European Neurotrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) Study. Front Neurol. 2020 Apr 30;11:345. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00345. PMID: 32425879; PMCID: PMC7205018.
Fang C, Pan Y, Zhao L, Niu Z, Guo Q, Zhao B. A Machine Learning-Based Approach to Predict Prognosis and Length of Hospital Stay in Adults and Children With Traumatic Brain Injury: Retrospective Cohort Study. J Med Internet Res. 2022 Dec 9;24(12):e41819. doi: 10.2196/41819. PMID: 36485032.
Stroke patients who underwent successful thrombectomy with general anesthesia achieved higher rates of functional independence when procedural ETCO2 exceeded 35 mmHg. Further studies to confirm this effect and investigate optimal ETCO2 parameters should be considered 6)
In a cohort study, more than 1 in 5 patients presenting with an ASPECTS of 2 to 5 achieved 90-day functional independence after MT. A favorable outcome was nearly 5 times more likely for patients with low ASPECTS who had successful recanalization. The association of a low ASPECTS with 90-day outcomes did not differ for patients presenting in the early vs extended MT window 7).
For Gariel et al. the primary outcome was favorable 90-day functional outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale of ≤2. Secondary outcomes were successful reperfusion following all procedures and after the first-line procedure, number of device passes, and change in National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at 24 hours 8).
Todo et al. investigated the time-outcome relationships in different age subgroups. Of 2420 patients enrolled in the RESCUE-Japan Registry 2study, a study based on a prospective registry of stroke patients with acute cerebral large-vessel occlusion at 46 centers, they analyzed the data of 1010 patients with successful reperfusion after endovascular therapy (mTICI of 2b or 3). In 3 age subgroups (< 70, 70 to < 80, and ≥ 80 years), the mRS scores at 90 days were analyzed according to 4 categories of onset-to-reperfusion time (< 180, 180 to < 240, 240 to < 300, and ≥ 300 min). In each age subgroup, the distributions of mRS scores were better with shorter onset-to-reperfusion times. The adjusted common odds ratios for better outcomes per 1-category delay in onset-to-reperfusion time were 0.66 (95% CI 0.55-0.80) in ages < 70 years, 0.66 (95% CI 0.56-0.79) in ages 70 to < 80 years, and 0.83 (95% CI 0.70-0.98) in ages ≥ 80 years. Early reperfusion was associated with better outcomes across all age subgroups. Achieving early successful reperfusion is important even in elderly patients 9).
Mechanical neurothrombectomy achieves a higher likelihood of revascularization than intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), but there remains significant discrepancy between rates of recanalization and rates of favorable outcome. The poor neurological recovery among some stroke patients despite successful recanalization confirms the need for adjuvant therapy, such as pharmacological neuroprotection. Prior clinical trials of neuroprotectant drugs failed perhaps due to inability of the agent to reach the ischemic tissue beyond the occluded artery. A protocol that couples mechanical neurothrombectomy with concurrent delivery of a neuroprotectant overcomes this pitfall. Activated protein C (APC) exerts pleiotropic anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, antithrombotic, cytoprotective, and neuroregenerative effects in stroke and appears a compelling candidate for this novel approach 10).
Embolectomy is the emergency surgical removal of emboli which are blocking blood circulation. It usually involves removal of thrombi (blood clots), and is then referred to as thrombectomy. Embolectomy is an emergency procedure often as the last resort because permanent occlusion of a significant blood flow to an organ leads to necrosis. Other involved therapeutic options are anticoagulation and thrombolysis.
Cervical surgical embolectomy for acute extracranial ICA occlusion resulted in a high complete recanalization rate with an acceptable safety profile. A possible association between severe cardiac illness and huge embolus occluding proximal large artery was suggested 11).
They included 224 patients (mean age: 65 years old, male: 55%, 90-day poor outcome: 60%). The final model achieved a median AUC of 0.84, IQR: (0.80, 0.87). A 7-point score, called Bronx Endovascular Thrombectomy (BET) score, was developed with more points indicating higher likelihood of 90-day poor outcome (0 point: ≤21% risk; 1-2: 24%; 3: 61%; 4: 86%; 5: 96%; 6-7: ≥99%). One point was awarded for the following variables: current smoker, diabetic, general anesthesia received, puncture to perfusion time ≥45 minutes, and Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) score <3. Two points were awarded for a post-EVT National Institute of Health Stroke scale (NIHSS) of ≥10.
Incorporating peri-procedural data they developed the competitive BET score predicting 90-day functional dependency and death, which may help providers, patients and caregivers manage expectations and organize early rehabilitative services 12).
Platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio for mechanical thrombectomy outcome
Powers WJ, Rabinstein AA, Ackerson T, et al. Guidelines for the early management of patients with acute ischemic stroke: 2019 update to the 2018 guidelines for the early management of acute ischemic stroke: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2019;50(12):e344-e418. doi:10.1161/STR.0000000000000211
Nogueira RG, Jadhav AP, Haussen DC, et al; DAWN Trial Investigators. Thrombectomy 6 to 24 hours after stroke with a mismatch between deficit and infarct. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(1):11-21. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1706442
Goyal M, Menon BK, van Zwam WH, et al; HERMES collaborators. Endovascular thrombectomy after large-vessel ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from five randomised trials. Lancet. 2016;387(10029):1723-1731. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00163-X
Parr MS, Salehani A, Ogilvie M, Ethan Tabibian B, Rahm S, Hale AT, Tsemo GB, Aluri A, Kim J, Mathru M, Jones JGA. The effect of procedural end-tidal CO2 on infarct expansion during anterior circulation thrombectomy. Interv Neuroradiol. 2022 Dec 4:15910199221143175. doi: 10.1177/15910199221143175. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36464668.
Almallouhi E, Al Kasab S, Hubbard Z, Bass EC, Porto G, Alawieh A, Chalhoub R, Jabbour PM, Starke RM, Wolfe SQ, Arthur AS, Samaniego E, Maier I, Howard BM, Rai A, Park MS, Mascitelli J, Psychogios M, De Leacy R, Dumont T, Levitt MR, Polifka A, Osbun J, Crosa R, Kim JT, Casagrande W, Yoshimura S, Matouk C, Kan PT, Williamson RW, Gory B, Mokin M, Fragata I, Zaidat O, Yoo AJ, Spiotta AM; Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) Collaborators. Outcomes of Mechanical Thrombectomy for Patients With Stroke Presenting With Low Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score in the Early and Extended Window. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Dec 1;4(12):e2137708. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.37708. PMID: 34878550; PMCID: PMC8655598.
Amar AP, Griffin JH, Zlokovic BV. Combined neurothrombectomy or thrombolysis with adjunctive delivery of 3K3A-activated protein C in acute ischemic stroke. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Sep 2;9:344. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00344. eCollection 2015. Review. PubMed PMID: 26388732.
Javed K, Qin J, Mowery W, Kadaba D, Altschul D, Haranhalli N. Predicting 90-day Functional Dependency and Death after Endovascular Thrombectomy for Stroke: The BET Score. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2022 Feb 28;31(5):106342. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2022.106342. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35240423.
Lumbar decompression surgery for spinal canal stenosis outcome
Lumbar laminectomy, represents the standard operative treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, but this procedure is often combined with fusion surgery. It is still discussed whether minimal-invasive decompression procedures are sufficient and if they compromise spinal stability as well.
Decompression of lumbar spinal stenosis without fusion led to a significant and similar reduction of back pain and leg pain in a short-term and a long-term follow-up group. Patients without previous surgery benefited significantly better, whereas patients with previous decompression benefited regarding back pain, especially for long-term follow-up with a clear trend in favor of leg pain 1).
Currently, there is interest in minimally invasive surgery and various technical modifications of decompressive lumbar laminectomy without fusion.
Particularly, depression has been shown to be associated with less improvement following lumbar fusion surgery 2)3)4)5)6)7)8).
Karp et al. 9) reviewed 158 patients who underwent epidural spinal injections for low-back pain with or without radiculopathy. These investigators found that depression and sleep disturbance were prognostic of worse Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) outcomes following epidural spinal injections.
Hägg et al. 10) performed a randomized controlled trial of 264 patients with severe chronic low-back pain who underwent either surgical or nonsurgical treatment, and assessed the impact of underlying affective disorders. They found that baseline depression correlated with worse outcomes following both operative and nonoperative treatment.
Interestingly, they also observed that depressed patients tended to have better outcomes with nonoperativecare, whereas nondepressed patients tended to have better outcomes with fusion.
In the study of Lubelski et al. 11) found that worsening depression (as measured by the PHQ-9) independently significantly predicted worse EQ-5D index outcomes following conservative treatment for LSS (p = 0.0002). This effect was most evident when comparing patients with severe depression, who improve 0.14 points less than those with no depression. This difference exceeds the MCID and confirms that depression is a poor prognostic factor for QOL improvement following nonoperative treatment for LSS. Further investigation is needed to determine whether treatment of depression prior to conservative or surgical management of LSS will improve posttreatment QOL outcomes. There are several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. Multiple treating physicians were included, and factors such as participation in physical therapy, treatment with NSAIDs, opioid medications and other nonsurgical treatments varied by practitioner and patient; this increases the variability, but also improves the generalizability.
They adjusted for the increased variability by using the random effect in the regression models. Many patients were also lost to follow-up at the 4-month evaluation.
The cohorts were similar for most characteristics; however, there were statistically significant, albeit small differences for estimated percent below poverty threshold and median income by zip code. The analysis is only valid for patients who did follow-up assessments at these time points. Additionally, this was a retrospective study with a relatively short follow-up period.
Prospectively designed studies with longer follow-up are needed to further validate the findings. Nonetheless, this is the largest study investigating the correlation between depression and QOL outcomes following conservative management of LSS.
Lubelski et al. have used the validated PHQ-9 measure of depression and have found a statistically and clinically significant impact on EQ-5D index outcomes.
The results of this study suggest that depressed patients with LSS have significantly less improvement following conservative management compared with nondepressed patients. Both physicians and surgeons who treat patients with LSS should consider using validated questionnaires such as the PHQ-9 for pretreatment evaluation of depression, to better assess the likelihood of success following treatment. Further investigation is needed to evaluate the effect of depression treatment prior to management of the spinal disorder. Future prospective studies with longer follow-up intervals may be useful in further evaluating the QOL outcomes in this patient population 12).
In cases of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) treated with surgical decompression, a postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is sometimes required. In the experience of a study, the obtained decompression observed on early postoperative MRI tends to be disappointing compared to the decompression achieved intraoperatively. This raises the question of whether the early postoperative MRI, performed after lumbar decompression, is a fair representation of the ‘real’ decompression. A study investigated the correlation between intraoperative and postoperative measurements of the lumbar spinal canal.
Surgical decompression of the spinal canal effectively decreases the compression of the dural sac. However, early postoperative MRI after lumbar decompression does not adequately represent the decompression achieved intraoperatively 13).
Back pain improvement
Through the 1st postoperative year, patients with lumbar stenosis-without spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment-and clinically significant back pain improved after decompression-only surgery 14).
The most common surgical method currently used is lumbar laminectomy, with complete decompression; this technique has a 5-year follow-up effective rate of 81.6% 15).
Apart from acute complications such as hematoma and infections, same-level recurrent lumbar stenosis and adjacent-segment disease (ASD) are factors that can occur after index lumbar spine surgery.
While looking for predictors of revision surgery due to re-stenosis, instability or same/adjacent segment disease none of these were found. Within our cohort no significant differences concerning demographic, peri-operative and radiographic data of patients with or without revision wer noted. Patients, who needed revision surgery were older but slightly healthier while more likely to be male and smoking. Surprisingly, significant differences were noted regarding the distribution of intraoperative and early postoperative complications among the 6 main surgeons while these weren’t obious within the intial index group of late revisions 16).
Based on largely low-quality, retrospective evidence, Shamji et al. recommend that elderly patients should not be excluded from surgical intervention for symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis 17).
Fusion Is Not a Safeguard to Prevent Revision Surgery in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis 18).
A cohort study showed no significant association between the type of index operation for Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis-decompression alone or fusion-and the need for revision surgery or the outcomes of pain, disability, and quality of life among patients after 3 years. Number of revision operations was associated with more pain and worse quality of life 19).
Geiger MF, Bongartz N, Blume C, Clusmann H, Müller CA. Improvement of Back and Leg Pain after Lumbar Spinal Decompression without Fusion. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1669473. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30517963.
Aalto TJ, Malmivaara A, Kovacs F, Herno A, Alen M, Salmi L, et al: Preoperative predictors for postoperative clinical outcome in lumbar spinal stenosis: systematic review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 31:E648–E663, 2006
Adogwa O, Parker SL, Shau DN, Mendenhall SK, Bydon A, Cheng JS, et al: Preoperative Zung depression scale predicts patient satisfaction independent of the extent of improvement after revision lumbar surgery. Spine J 13:501–506, 2013
Chaichana KL, Mukherjee D, Adogwa O, Cheng JS, McGirt MJ: Correlation of preoperative depression and somatic perception scales with postoperative disability and quality of life after lumbar discectomy. J Neurosurg Spine 14:261– 267, 2011
Sinikallio S, Aalto T, Airaksinen O, Herno A, Kröger H, Viinamäki H: Depressive burden in the preoperative and early recovery phase predicts poorer surgery outcome among lumbar spinal stenosis patients: a one-year prospective follow-up study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 34:2573–2578, 2009
Karp JF, Yu L, Friedly J, Amtmann D, Pilkonis PA: Negative affect and sleep disturbance may be associated with response to epidural steroid injections for spine-related pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 95:309–315, 2014
Lubelski D, Thompson NR, Bansal S, Mroz TE, Mazanec DJ, Benzel EC, Khalaf T. Depression as a predictor of worse quality of life outcomes following nonoperative treatment for lumbar stenosis. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Mar;22(3):267-72. doi: 10.3171/2014.10.SPINE14220. Epub 2014 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 25525957.
Schenck C, van Susante J, van Gorp M, Belder R, Vleggeert-Lankamp C. Lumbar spinal canal dimensions measured intraoperatively after decompression are not properly rendered on early postoperative MRI. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 May;158(5):981-8. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2777-5. Epub 2016 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 27005673; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4826663.
Crawford CH 3rd, Glassman SD, Mummaneni PV, Knightly JJ, Asher AL. Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain. J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Nov;25(5):596-601. PubMed PMID: 27285666.
Melcher C, Paulus AC, Roßbach BP, Gülecyüz MF, Birkenmaier C, Schulze-Pellengahr CV, Teske W, Wegener B. Lumbar spinal stenosis – surgical outcome and the odds of revision-surgery: Is it all due to the surgeon? Technol Health Care. 2022 Jun 10. doi: 10.3233/THC-223389. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35754243.
Austevoll IM, Ebbs E. Fusion Is Not a Safeguard to Prevent Revision Surgery in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2223812. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23812. PMID: 35881401.
Ulrich NH, Burgstaller JM, Valeri F, Pichierri G, Betz M, Fekete TF, Wertli MM, Porchet F, Steurer J, Farshad M; Lumbar Stenosis Outcome Study Group. Incidence of Revision Surgery After Decompression With vs Without Fusion Among Patients With Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2223803. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23803. PMID: 35881393.
There has been a secular trend towards reduced incidence of severe traumatic brain injury in the first world, driven by public health interventions such as seatbelt legislation, helmet use, and workplace health and safety regulations. This has paralleled improved outcomes following TBI delivered in a large part by the widespread establishment of specialised neurointensive care4).
The impact of a moderate to severe brain injury depends on the following:
Severity of initial injury
Rate/completeness of physiological recovery
Meaning of dysfunction to the individual
Resources available to aid recovery
Areas of function not affected by TBI
Effect of trauma center designation in severe traumatic brain injury outcome
Determining the prognostic significance of clinical factors for patients with severe head injury can lead to an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of head injury and to improvement in therapy. A technique known as the sequential Bayes method has been used previously for the purpose of prognosis. The application of this method assumes that prognostic factors are statistically independent. It is now known that they are not. Violation of the assumption of independence may produce errors in determining prognosis. As an alternative technique for predicting the outcome of patients with severe head injury, a logistic regression model is proposed. A preliminary evaluation of the method using data from 115 patients with head injury shows the feasibility of using early data to predict outcome accurately and of being able to rank input variables in order of their prognostc significance. 6).
A prospective and consecutive series of 225 patients with severe head injuries who were managed in a uniform way was analyzed to relate outcome to several clinical variables. Good recovery or moderate disability were achieved by 56% of the patients, 10% remained severely disabled or vegetative, and 34% died. Factors important in predicting a poor outcome included the presence of intracranial hematoma, increasing age, motor impairment, impaired or absent eye movements or pupillary light reflexes, early hypotension, hypoxemia or hypercarbia, and raised intracranial pressure over 20 mm Hg despite artificial ventilation. Most of these predictive factors were assessed on admission, but a subset of 158 patients was identified in whom coma was present on admission and was known to have persisted at least until the following day. Although the mortality in this subset (40%) was higher than in the total series, it was lower than in several comparable reported series of patients with severe head injury. Predictive correlations were equally strong in the entire series and in the subset of 158 patients with coma. A plea is made for inclusion in the definition of “severe head injury” of all patients who do not obey commands or utter recognizable words on admission to the hospital after early resuscitation7).
Survival rate of isolated severe TBI patients who required an emergent neurosurgical intervention could be time dependent. These patients might benefit from expedited process (computed tomographic scan, neurosurgical consultation, etc.) to shorten the time to surgical intervention 8).
The impact of a moderate to severe brain injury can include:
Cognitive deficits including difficulties with:
Attention Concentration Distractibility Memory Speed of Processing Confusion Perseveration Impulsiveness Language Processing “Executive functions” Speech and Language
not understanding the spoken word (receptive aphasia) difficulty speaking and being understood (expressive aphasia) slurred speech speaking very fast or very slow problems reading problems writing Sensory
difficulties with interpretation of touch, temperature, movement, limb position and fine discrimination Perceptual
the integration or patterning of sensory impressions into psychologically meaningful data Vision
partial or total loss of vision weakness of eye muscles and double vision (diplopia) blurred vision problems judging distance involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) intolerance of light (photophobia) Hearing
decrease or loss of hearing ringing in the ears (tinnitus) increased sensitivity to sounds Smell
loss or diminished sense of smell (anosmia) Taste
loss or diminished sense of taste Seizures
the convulsions associated with epilepsy that can be several types and can involve disruption in consciousness, sensory perception, or motor movements Physical Changes
Physical paralysis/spasticity Chronic pain Control of bowel and bladder Sleep disorders Loss of stamina Appetite changes Regulation of body temperature Menstrual difficulties Social-Emotional
Dependent behaviors Emotional ability Lack of motivation Irritability Aggression Depression Disinhibition Denial/lack of awareness
Both single predictors from early clinical examination and multiple hospitalization variables/parameters can be used to determine the long-term prognosis of TBI. Predictive models like the IMPACT or CRASH prognosis calculator (based on large sample sizes) can predict mortality and unfavorable outcomes. Moreover, imaging techniques like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can also predict consciousness recovery and mental recovery in severe TBI, while biomarkers associated with stress correlate with, and hence can be used to predict, severity and mortality. All predictors have limitations in clinical application. Further studies comparing different predictors and models are required to resolve limitations of current predictors 9).
Clinical outcome prediction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a widely investigated field of research. Several outcome prediction models have been developed for prognosis after TBI. There are two main prognostic models: International Mission for Prognosis and Clinical Trials in Traumatic Brain Injury (IMPACT) prognosis calculator and the Corticosteroid Randomization after Significant Head Injury (CRASH) prognosis calculator. The prognosis model has three or four levels:
(1) model A included age, motor GCS, and pupil reactivity
(2) model B included predictors from model A with CT characteristics
(3) model C included predictors from model B with laboratory parameters.
In consideration of the fact that interventions after admission, such as ICP management also have prognostic value for outcome predictions and may improve the models’ performance, Yuan F et al developed another prediction model (model D) which includes ICP. With the development of molecular biology, a handful of brain injury biomarkers were reported that may improve the predictive power of prognostic models, including neuron-specific enolase (NSE), glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), S-100β protein, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), myelin basic protein (MBP), cleaved tau protein (C-tau), spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs), and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1), and sex hormones. A total of 40 manuscripts reporting 11 biomarkers were identified in the literature. Many substances have been implicated as potential biomarkers for TBI; however, no single biomarker has shown the necessary sensitivity and specificity for predicting outcome. The limited number of publications in this field underscores the need for further investigation. Through fluid biomarker analysis, the advent of multi-analyte profiling technology has enabled substantial advances in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions. Application of this technology to create a bio-signature for TBI using multiple biomarkers in combination will hopefully facilitate much-needed advances. We believe that further investigations about brain injury biomarkers may improve the predictive power of the contemporary outcome calculators and prognostic models, and eventually improve the care of patients with TBI 10).
Lokhandwala et al. performed a 4-y (2014-2017) review of a TBI database and included all patients aged ≥18 y with severe isolated TBI. Patients were stratified into those who were on statins and those who were not and were matched (1:2 ratio) using propensity score matching. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. The secondary outcomes were skilled nursing facility disposition, Glasgow Outcome Scale-extended score, and hospital and intensive care unit length of stay (LOS).
They identified 1359 patients, of which 270 were matched (statin: 90, no-statin: 180). Mean age was 55 ± 8y, median Glasgow Coma Scale was 10 (8-12), and median head-abbreviated injury scale was 3 (3-5). Matched groups were similar in age, mechanism of injury, Glasgow Coma Scale, Injury Severity Score, neurosurgical intervention, type and size of intracranial hemorrhage, and preinjury anticoagulant or antiplatelet use. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 18%. Patients who received statins had lower rates of in-hospital mortality (11% versus 21%, P = 0.01), skilled nursing facility disposition (19% versus 28%; P = 0.04), and a higher median Glasgow Outcome Scale-extended (11 [9-13] versus 9 [8-10]; P = 0.04). No differences were found between the two groups in terms of hospital LOS (6 [4-9] versus 5 [3-8]; P = 0.34) and intensive care unit LOS (3 [3-6] versus 4 [3-5]; P = 0.09).
Preinjury statin use in isolated traumatic brain injury patients is associated with improved outcomes. This finding warrants further investigations to evaluate the potential beneficial role of statins as a therapeutic drug in a TBI 13).
Pease M, Arefan D, Barber J, Yuh E, Puccio A, Hochberger K, Nwachuku E, Roy S, Casillo S, Temkin N, Okonkwo DO, Wu S; TRACK-TBI Investigators. Outcome Prediction in Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Using Deep Learning from Head CT Scans. Radiology. 2022 Apr 26:212181. doi: 10.1148/radiol.212181. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35471108.
Murray NM, Wolman DN, Mlynash M, Threlkeld ZD, Christensen S, Heit JJ, Harris OA, Hirsch KG. Early Head Computed Tomography Abnormalities Associated with Elevated Intracranial Pressure in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neuroimaging. 2020 Nov 4. doi: 10.1111/jon.12799. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33146933.
Miller JD, Butterworth JF, Gudeman SK, Faulkner JE, Choi SC, Selhorst JB, Harbison JW, Lutz HA, Young HF, Becker DP. Further experience in the management of severe head injury. J Neurosurg. 1981 Mar;54(3):289-99. PubMed PMID: 7463128.
Gao J, Zheng Z. Development of prognostic models for patients with traumatic brain injury: a systematic review. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015 Nov 15;8(11):19881-5. eCollection 2015. Review. PubMed PMID: 26884899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4723744.
Liu Z, Chen Q, Chen Z, Wang J, Tian D, Wang L, Liu B, Zhang S. Clinical analysis on risk factors and prognosis of early post-traumatic epilepsy. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2019 Jul 15;77(6):375-380. doi: 10.1590/0004-282×20190071. PubMed PMID: 31314838.
Schiraldi M, Patil CG, Mukherjee D, Ugiliweneza B, Nuño M, Lad SP, Boakye M. Effect of Insurance and Racial Disparities on Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2015 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25798799.
Lokhandwala A, Hanna K, Gries L, Zeeshan M, Ditillo M, Tang A, Hamidi M, Joseph B. Preinjury Statins Are Associated With Improved Survival in Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury. J Surg Res. 2019 Aug 16;245:367-372. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2019.07.081. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31425877.
ICH is a potentially devastating neurologic emergency with long-term functional independence achieved in only 12-39% of cases and mortality rates of 54% at 1 year 1).
Patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage have high mortality and poor outcome. It is the most serious, least treatable and more variable in incidence and management compared to other stroke subtypes 2)3).
Although this is a heterogeneous disorder with a wide range of outcomes, overall mortality at 1 month is approximately 40%, and only 25% of patients have a favorable outcome 4)5).
Case fatality is extremely high (reaching approximately 60 % at 1 year post event). Only 20 % of patients who survive are independent within 6 months 6).
In a cohort (n=1094), there were 306 deaths (per 100 patient-years: absolute event rate 11.7, 95% CI 10.5 to 13.1); 156 were “early” and 150 “late”. In multivariable analyses, early death was independently associated with age (per year increase, HR 1.05, p=0.003), history of hypertension (HR 1.89, p=0.038), pre-event mRS (per point increase, HR 1.41, p<0.0001), admission NIHSS (per point increase, HR 1.11, p<0.0001), and hemorrhage volume > 60ml (HR 4.08, p<0.0001). Late death showed independent associations with age (per year increase, HR 1.04, p=0.003), pre-event mRS (per point increase, HR 1.42, p=0.001), prior anticoagulant use (HR 2.13, p=0.028) and the presence of intraventricular hemorrhage (HR 1.73, p=0.033) in multivariable analyses. In further analyses where time was treated as continuous (rather than dichotomized), the hazard ratio of previous cerebral ischaemic events increased with time, whilst those for GCS, NIHSS and ICH volume decreased over time.
They provided new evidence that not all baseline factors associated with early mortality after intracerebral hemorrhage are associated with mortality after 6 months, and that the effects of baseline variables change over time. The findings could help design better prognostic scores for later death after intracerebral hemorrhage 8).
As with other types of hemorrhages within the skull, intraparenchymal bleeds are a serious medical emergency because they can produce intracranial hypertension, which if left untreated can lead to coma and death.
It is more likely to result in death or major disability than ischemic stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage, and therefore constitutes an immediate medical emergency. Intracerebral hemorrhages and accompanying edema may disrupt or compress adjacent brain tissue, leading to neurological dysfunction. Substantial displacement of brain parenchyma may cause intracranial hypertension and potentially fatal brain herniation syndromes.
They have high rates of morbidity and rates of mortality of up to 50%. Initial hematoma size and subsequent hematoma expansion are among the most important predictors of poor outcome.
Efforts to improve clinical outcome through mitigation of hematoma expansion have so far been unsuccessful.
Data suggest that outcomes can be improved with standardized medical care.
A strong association exists between the amount of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and poor outcome in intracerebral hemorrhage. An IVH volume of 5 to 10 mL emerges as a significant threshold for decision making on prognosis in these patients 9).
The ICH score is a simple and reliable clinical grading scale that is used for predicting the early mortality of patients with ICHs.
Neurological deterioration (ND) occurs frequently and predicts poor outcomes. Hematoma expansion and intraventricular hemorrhage in early ND, and cerebral edema, fever, and medical complications in later ND 10).
Hematoma expansion is a potentially modifiable predictor of poor outcome following an acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). The ability to identify patients with ICH who are likeliest to experience hematoma expansion and therefore likeliest to benefit from expansion-targeted treatments remains an unmet need. Hypodensities within an ICH detected by noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) have been suggested as a predictor of hematoma expansion.
There have been no dramatic advances in the development of interventions to improve the functional outcomes after ICH 11).
The purpose of a study was to establish and validate a nomogram to estimate the 30-day probability of death in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.. From January 2015 to December 2017, a cohort of 450 patients with clinically diagnosed cerebral hemorrhage was collected for model development. The minimum absolute contraction and the selection operator (lasso) regression model were used to select the strongest prediction of patients with cerebral hemorrhage. Discrimination and calibration were used to evaluate the performance of the resulting nomogram. After internal validation, the nomogram was further assessed in a different cohort containing 148 consecutive subjects examined between January 2018 and December 2018. The nomogram included five predictors from the lassoregression analysis, including Glasgow coma scale (GCS), hematomalocation, hematoma volume, white blood cells, and D-dimer. Internal verification showed that the model had good discrimination, (the area under the curve is 0.955), and good calibration [unreliability (U) statistic, p = 0.739]. The nomogram still showed good discrimination (area under the curve = 0.888) and good calibration [U statistic, p = 0.926] in the verification cohort data. Decision curve analysis showed that the prediction nomogram was clinically useful. The current study delineates a predictive nomogram combining clinical and imaging features, which can help identify patients who may die of a cerebral hemorrhage12).
The ICH Score is a valid clinical grading scale for long-term functional outcome after acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) 13).
Based on the viewpoint that increased BP causes greater tearing of blood vessels and flow-out of blood through these vessels and eventually leads to the expansion of the hematoma, high BP is considered to be associated with hematoma expansion and poor outcomes, especially early neurological deterioration, mortality, and dependency 14)15)16).
The 2015 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines for the management of spontaneous ICH recommend early BP reduction with an SBP target of 140 mmHg for patients with ICH presenting with an SBP between 150 and 220 mmHg and without any contraindication to acute BP treatment 17).
Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH) survivors are at risk of hospital readmissions. Data on readmissions after SICH is scarce. We aimed to study the frequency and predictors of readmissions after SICH in Algarve, Portugal.
A retrospective study of a community representative cohort of SICH survivors (2009-2015). The first unplanned readmission in the first year after discharge was the outcome. Cox regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of 1-year readmission.
Of the 357 SICH survivors followed, 116 (32.5%) were readmitted within the first-year. Sixty-seven (18.8%) of the survivors were early readmitted (<90 days), corresponding to 57.8% or all readmissions. Common causes were pneumonia, endocrine/nutritional/metabolic and cardiovascular complications. The risk of readmission was increased by prior to index SICH history of ≥ 3 previous emergency department visits (hazards ratio (HR) = 2.663 (1.770-4.007); P < 0.001), pneumonia during index hospitalization (HR = 2.910 (1.844-4.592); P < 0.001) and reduced in patients discharge home (HR = 0.681 (0.366-0.976); P = 0.048).
The rate of readmissions after SICH is high, predictors are identifiable and causes are potentially preventable. Improvement of care can potentially reduce this burden 18).
van Asch CJ, Luitse MJ, Rinkel GJ, van der Tweel I, Algra A, Klijn CJ. Incidence, case fatality, and functional outcome of Intracerebral hemorrhage over time, according to age, sex, and ethnic origin: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Neurol. 2010 Feb;9(2):167-76. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70340-0. Epub 2010 Jan 5. PMID: 20056489.
Van Asch CJ, Luitse MJ, Rinkel GJ, et al. Incidence, case fatality, and functional outcome of Intracerebral hemorrhage over time, according to age, sex, and ethnic origin: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Neurol 2010;9:167–76.
Krishnamurthi RV, Feigin VL, Forouzanfar MH, et al. Global and regional burden of first-ever ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke during 1990–2010: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet Glob Health 2013;1:e259–81.
van Asch CJ, Luitse MJ, Rinkel GJ, van der Tweel I, Algra A, Klijn CJ. Incidence, case fatality, and functional outcome of Intracerebral hemorrhage over time, according to age, sex, and ethnic origin: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Neurol. 2010;9(2):167–176.
Feigin VL, Lawes CM, Bennett DA, Anderson CS. Stroke epidemiology: a review of population-based studies of incidence, prevalence, and case-fatality in the late 20th century. Lancet Neurol. 2003;2(1):43–53.
de Oliveira Manoel AL, Goffi A, Zampieri FG, Turkel-Parrella D, Duggal A, Marotta TR, Macdonald RL, Abrahamson S. The critical care management of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage: a contemporary review. Crit Care. 2016 Sep 18;20:272. doi: 10.1186/s13054-016-1432-0. Review. PubMed PMID: 27640182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5027096.
Shen J, Li DL, Yang ZS, Zhang YZ, Li ZY. Anion gap predicts the long-term neurological and cognitive outcomes of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022 May;26(9):3230-3236. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202205_28741. PMID: 35587074.
Lord AS, Gilmore E, Choi HA, Mayer SA; VISTA-ICH Collaboration. Time course and predictors of neurological deterioration after intracerebral hemorrhage. Stroke. 2015 Mar;46(3):647-52. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.007704. Epub 2015 Feb 5. PubMed PMID: 25657190.
Hemphill JC 3rd, Greenberg SM, Anderson CS, Becker K, Bendok BR, Cushman M, Fung GL, Goldstein JN, Macdonald RL, Mitchell PH, Scott PA, Selim MH, Woo D; American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology. Guidelines for the Management of Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2015 Jul;46(7):2032-60. doi: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000069. Epub 2015 May 28. PubMed PMID: 26022637.
Han Q, Li M, Su D, Fu A, Li L, Chen T. Development and validation of a 30-day death nomogram in patients with spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage: a retrospective cohort study. Acta Neurol Belg. 2021 Feb 10. doi: 10.1007/s13760-021-01617-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33566335.
Hemphill JC 3rd, Farrant M, Neill TA Jr. Prospective validation of the ICH Score for 12-month functional outcome. Neurology. 2009 Oct 6;73(14):1088-94. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b8b332. Epub 2009 Sep 2. PubMed PMID: 19726752; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2764394.
Rodriguez-Luna D, Pineiro S, Rubiera M, Ribo M, Coscojuela P, Pagola J, et al. Impact of blood pressure changes and course on hematoma growth in acute intracerebral hemorrhage. Eur J Neurol. 2013;20:1277–1283.
Sakamoto Y, Koga M, Yamagami H, Okuda S, Okada Y, Kimura K, et al. Systolic blood pressure after intravenous antihypertensive treatment and clinical outcomes in hyperacute intracerebral hemorrhage: the stroke acute management with urgent risk-factor assessment and improvement-intracerebral hemorrhage study. Stroke. 2013;44:1846–1851.
The disorder can lead to negative mood and stress, which, left unresolved, may increase adverse health outcomes. Yang et al. conducted a cross-sectional survey to examine the stress and mood of adults with moyamoya disease. Participants were recruited at a university hospital in Seoul, Korea. Data were collected through questionnaires and review of participants’ electronic medical records. A total of 109 adult patients participated. Significant correlations were found between perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. Adults with moyamoya disease experience anxiety, depression, and stress-related to the risk of cerebral hemorrhage or ischemia, similar to patients with other cerebrovascular diseases. If uncontrolled, negative mood and stress can cause adverse health outcomes. Health professionals caring for patients with moyamoya disease should carefully observe patients’ stress and mood and develop interventions tailored to stages of the disease to help patients manage stress and mood. The study results provide baseline information for understanding the level of and the factors associated with stress and mood 3).
Pediatric Moyamoya disease patients have greater patency and a greater ability to establish good leptomeningeal collateral circulation (LMC) status than adult patients, and poor LMC status has a strong correlation with severe clinical symptoms and poor postoperative outcomes. LMC status may be an important factor in the differences in clinical characteristics and prognosis between pediatric and adult MMD patients 4).
Female, left-sided surgery, and edematous lesion were independent risk factors for postoperative TNEs; the left-sided surgery and edematous lesion were also independently associated with the severity of TNE. Although patients with postoperative TNEs had worse neurological status during the perioperative period, postoperative TNEs had no associations with worse mRS score at the time of discharge 5).
The outcome following surgery is very difficult to judge, and there is no standardised measurement to assess it. It is therefore important to know which approach for such patient is adequate.
Comparing to patients with acute idiopathic primary intraventricular hemorrhage (PIVH), patients with acute MMD-related PIVH have younger age, lower blood pressure, and better renal function. Moreover, patients with acute MMD-related PIVH have lower short-term mortality 6).
Sundaram et al., compared the long-term outcome of moyamoya patients treated conservatively to those who underwent RS.
A study population included all patients with moyamoya disease/syndrome from 2002 to 2012. The demographic, clinical characteristic and imaging details were reviewed. The outcome was obtained prospectively.
Of the 36 patients, 26 (72.2%) had MMD and 10 (27.8%) had moyamoya syndrome. The median age at onset of symptoms was 17.5 years (range, 10 months-55 years). Fifteen patients belonged to pediatric group and 21 were adults. All the pediatric patients had ischemic events at onset and 10 (47.6%) of the adults presented with hemorrhage. Twenty (55.6%) patients received conservative treatment and 16 (44.4%) underwent revascularization procedures. The median duration of follow-up was 28 months (range, 3-90 months). Three (18%) of the surgically treated patients had recurrent ischemic events on follow-up, but none of the conservatively treated patients had events. An excellent outcome (Modified Rankin Scale of ≤2) was seen in 12 (75%) surgically treated and 16 (94%) conservatively treated patients (p=0.17).
Compared to East Asians, our patients had a lower stroke recurrence rate and good functional outcome even with conservative treatment. Future studies should focus on clinical and imaging predictors of progression to select moyamoya patients for RS 7).
Shim KW, Park EK, Kim JS, Kim DS. Cognitive Outcome of Pediatric Moyamoya Disease. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2015 Jun;57(6):440-4. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2015.57.6.440. Epub 2015 Jun 30. PMID: 26180613; PMCID: PMC4502242.
Hu J, Li Y, Li Z, Chen J, Cao Y, Xu D, Zheng L, Bai R, Wang L. Abnormal brain functional and structural connectivity between the left supplementary motor area and inferior frontal gyrus in moyamoya disease. BMC Neurol. 2022 May 16;22(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s12883-022-02705-2. PMID: 35578209.
Yang YS, Ryu GW, Yeom I, Shim KW, Choi M. Stress and Mood of Adults with Moyamoya Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study. Nurs Health Sci. 2020 Apr 26. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12729. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32336006.
Liu ZW, Han C, Wang H, Zhang Q, Li SJ, Bao XY, Zhang ZS, Duan L. Clinical characteristics and leptomeningeal collateral status in pediatric and adult patients with ischemic moyamoya disease. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2020 Jan;26(1):14-20. doi: 10.1111/cns.13130. Epub 2019 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 31875482.
Lu J, Zhao Y, Ma L, Chen Y, Li M, Chen X, Ye X, Wang R, Zhao Y. Predictors and clinical features of transient neurological events after combined bypass revascularization for moyamoya disease. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 29;186:105505. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2019.105505. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31622898.
Yu Z, Guo R, Zheng J, Li M, Wen D, Li H, You C, Ma L. Comparison of acute moyamoya disease-related and idiopathic primary intraventricular hemorrhage in adult patients. World Neurosurg. 2019 Jan 24. pii: S1878-8750(19)30167-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.01.070. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30685378.
Sundaram S, Sylaja PN, Menon G, Sudhir J, Jayadevan ER, Sukumaran S, Sreedharan SE, Sarma S. Moyamoya disease: a comparison of long term outcome of conservative and surgical treatment in India. J Neurol Sci. 2014 Jan 15;336(1-2):99-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.10.014. Epub 2013 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 24183032.
Younger patients with TN had worse long-term pain outcomes following MVD. Additional factors associated with postoperative recurrence included poor preoperative pain control (BNI score > IV) and multivessel compression. Furthermore, SCA combined with PV was confirmed to be associated with a worse outcome 2).
Not all patients with TN manifest unequivocal neurovascular compression (NVC). Furthermore, over time patients with an initially successful MVD manifest a relentless rate of TN recurrence.
It does not achieve 100 % cure rate. Re-exploration of the posterior fossa may carry increased risk over first-time MVD and is not always successful, so other treatments are needed.
Wang Z, Zhao Z, Song Z, Wang Y, Zhao Z. The application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the prediction of surgical outcomes in trigeminal neuralgia. Postgrad Med. 2022 May 3:1-7. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2022.2067612. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35503235.
Shi J, Qian Y, Han W, Dong B, Mao Y, Cao J, Guan W, Zhou Q. Risk factors for outcomes following microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia. World Neurosurg. 2020 Jan 17. pii: S1878-8750(20)30100-5. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.082. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31958591.
Mastronardi L, Caputi F, Rinaldi A, Cacciotti G, Roperto R, Scavo CG, Stati G, Sufianov A. Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia: Comparison of Results between Patients Older and Younger than 65 Operated on with Microvascular Decompression by Retrosigmoid Approach. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 29. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1693126. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31466107.
Primary or secondary dissemination develops in 5–10 % 1).
Low-grade gliomas are infiltrative tumors that progressively invade the brain tissue by migrating along the subcortical white matter tracts. Contrary to the indolent characteristics claimed by classical literature, there is a constant growth pattern of these tumors before and after surgery in cases of incomplete resection 2).
Tumor histology, size and IDH-mutation status are important predictors for prolonged overall survival in patients with LGG and may provide a reliable tool for standardizing future treatment strategies 8).
Health related quality of life
Reports on long-term health related quality of life (HRQL) after surgery for World Health Organization grade II diffuse low-grade gliomas (LGG) are rare.
In two hospital cohorts with different surgical strategies. Biopsy and watchful waiting was favored in one hospital, while early resections guided with three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound was favored in the other. With a population-based approach 153 patients with histologically verified LGG treated from 1998-2009 were included. Patients still alive were contacted for HRQL assessment (n=91) using generic (EQ-5D; EuroQol Group, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and disease specific (EORTC QLQ-C30 and BN20; EORTC Quality of Life Department, Brussels, Belgium) questionnaires. Results on HRQL were available in 79 patients (87%), 25 from the hospital that favored biopsy and 54 from the hospital that favored early resection. Among living patients there was no difference in EQ-5D index scores (p=0.426). When imputing scores defined as death (zero) in patients dead at follow-up, a clinically relevant difference in EQ-5D score was observed in favor of early resections (p=0.022, mean difference 0.16, 95% confidence interval 0.02-0.29). In EORTC questionnaires pain, depression and concern about disruption in family life were more common with a strategy of initial biopsy only (p=0.043, p=0.032 and p=0.045 respectively).
Although HRQOL remains mostly preserved in the majority of patients with LGG, a subset of patients experience detectable decline on one or more HRQOL scales despite long-term stable disease. For this subgroup, further research is recommended to better aid patients in dealing with the consequences of LGG 9).
In long-term survivors an aggressive surgical approach using intraoperative 3D ultrasound image guidance in LGG does not lower HRQL compared to a more conservative surgical approach. This finding further weakens a possible role for watchful waiting in LGG 10).
Many patients with low-grade glioma experience cognitive dysfunction. However, there is no consensus on how to assess cognitive functioning in these patients 11).
For 22 patients with newly diagnosed LGG who underwent baseline neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging before awake surgery resection with mapping. Twelve of the 22 patients returned for postoperative evaluation approximately 7 months after surgery.
At baseline, 92% of patients/caregivers reported changes in cognition or mood. Neurological examinations and Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scales were largely normal; however, on many tests of memory and language, nearly half of individuals showed deficits. After surgery, 45% had no deficits on neurological examination, whereas 55% had only transient or mild difficulties. Follow-up neuropsychological testing found most performances stable to improved, particularly in language, although some patients showed declines on memory tasks.
Most LGG patients in this series presented with normal neurological examinations and cognitive screening, but showed subjective cognitive and mood concerns and cognitive decline on neuropsychological testing, suggesting the importance of comprehensive evaluation. After awake mapping, language tended to be preserved, but memory demonstrated decline in some patients. These results highlight the importance of establishing a cognitive baseline before surgical resection and further suggest that awake mapping techniques provide reasonable language outcomes in individuals with LGG in eloquent regions 12).
Sexuality after surgery
Sexual dysfunction is common in this population. Therefore, Surbeck et al. suggest that sexual health should consistently be addressed during routine pre- and postoperative examination of patients with DLGG 13).
von Hornstein S, Kortmann RD, Pietsch T et al. Impact of chemo- therapy on disseminated low-grade glioma in children and adolescents: report from the HIT-LGG 1996 trial. Pediatric blood & cancer 2011; 56: 1046–1054
Pallud J, Taillandier L, Capelle L, Fontaine D, Peyre M, Ducray F, et al. Quantitative morphological magnetic resonance imaging follow-up of low-grade glioma: a plea for systematic measurement of growth rates. Neurosurgery. 2012;71:729–739. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31826213de.
Ji Q, Huang K, Jiang Y, Lei K, Tu Z, Luo H, Zhu X. Comprehensive analysis of the prognostic and role in immune
The results of a study of Qi et al. indicated that a high Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was an independent risk factor for overall survival rates in patients with LGG, which may increase prognostic accuracy and improve patient outcomes ((Qi Z, Cai J, Meng X, Cai S, Tang C, Lang L. Prognostic value of preoperative inflammatory markers among different molecular subtypes of lower-grade glioma. J Clin Neurosci. 2021 Nov 18:S0967-5868(21)00513-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2021.10.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34802893.
van Loon EM, Heijenbrok-Kal MH, van Loon WS, van den Bent MJ, Vincent AJ, de Koning I, Ribbers GM. Assessment methods and prevalence of cognitive dysfunction in patients with low-grade glioma: A systematic review. J Rehabil Med. 2015 Jun 24;47(6):481-8. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1975. PubMed PMID: 25994416.
They included 905 patients operated between January 2012 and June 2018. There were significant improvements in all Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) including NDI (mean -10.0, 95% CI -11.5 to -8.4, P < .001), EMS (mean 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.1, P < .001), EQ-5D index score (mean 0.16, 95% CI 0.13-0.19, P < .001), EQ-5D visual analogue scale (mean 13.8, 95% CI 11.7-15.9, P < .001), headache NRS (mean -1.1, 95% CI -1.4 to -0.8, P < .001), neck pain NRS (mean -1.8, 95% CI -2.0 to -1.5, P < .001), and arm pain NRS (mean -1.7, 95% CI -1.9 to -1.4, P < .001). According to GPE scale assessments, 229/513 patients (44.6%) experienced “complete recovery” or felt “much better” at 1 yr. There were significant improvements in all PROMs for both mild and moderate-to-severe DCM. A total of 251 patients (27.7%) experienced adverse effects within 3 mo.
Surgery for DCM is associated with significant and clinically meaningful improvement across a wide range of PROMs 1).
Objective scoring of the post-operative neurological function did not correlate with patient-perceived outcomes in Degenerative cervical myelopathy outcome (DCM). Traditional testing of motor and sensory function as part of the neurological assessment may not be sensitive enough to assess the scope of neurological changes experienced by Degenerative cervical myelopathy patients 2).
This retrospective observational study was conducted on twenty-five patients with degenerative cervical disc prolapse associated with MRI T2WI hyperintense cord signal, at the Department of Neurosurgery, Qena University Hospital, South Valley University from August 2014 to December 2016. A complete clinical and radiological evaluation of the patients was done. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion was done for all patients. Patients were clinically assessed preoperatively and postoperatively at 3, 6, and 12 months using Modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale (MJOA). Radiographic assessment was done by preoperative and postoperative T2WI MRI. The statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 22.0).
There were 25 patients included in the study; 16 (64%) females and 9 (36%) males. The mean age was 46.89 ± 7.52 standard deviation (SD) years with range from 26 to 64 years, 3 (12%) patients had worsened in the form of postoperative motor power deterioration, and 14 (56%) patients has no improvement and remain as preoperative condition. The remaining 8 (32%) patients had a reported postoperative improvement of symptoms and signs according to MJOA score. The mean follow-up period (in months) was 11 ± 2.34 (SD). Conclusion:
The presence of T2W hyperintense signal on preoperative MRI predicts a poor surgical outcome in patients with cervical disc prolapse. The regression of T2W ISI postoperatively correlates with better functional outcomes 3).
Whilst decompressive surgery can halt disease progression, existing spinal cord damage is often permanent, leaving patients with lifelong disability.
Early surgery improves the likelihood of recovery, yet the average time from onset of symptoms to correct diagnosis is over 2 years. The majority of delays occur initially, before and within primary care, mainly due to a lack of recognition. Symptom checkers are widely used by patients before medical consultation and can be useful for preliminary triage and diagnosis. Lack of recognition of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) by symptom checkers may contribute to the delay in diagnosis.
The impact of the changes in myelopathic signs following cervical decompression surgery and their relationship to functional outcome measures remains unclear.
Surgery is associated with a significant quality of life improvement. The intervention is cost effective and, from the perspective of the hospital payer, should be supported 4).
Surgical decompression for CSM is safe and results in improved functional status and quality of life in patients around the world, irrespective of differences in medical systems and socio-cultural determinants of health 5).
The successful management of CSM depends upon an early and accurate diagnosis, an objective assessment of impairment and disability, and an ability to predict outcome. In this field, quantitative measures are increasingly used by clinicians to grade functional and neurological status and to provide decision-making support 6).
In addition, objective assessment tools allow clinicians to quantify myelopathy severity, predict outcome, and evaluate surgical benefits by tracking improvements throughout follow-up 7)8)9).
Several outcome measures assess functional impairment and quality of life in patients with cervical myelopathy 10)11)12)13)14).
A validated “gold standard,” however, has not been established, preventing the development of quantitative guidelines for CSM management 15).
Some studies have found that resolution of T2 hyperintensity in subjects with CSM who undergo ventral decompressive surgery correlates with improved functional outcomes. Other studies have found little correlation with postoperative outcome 16)17).
Machine learning for degenerative cervical myelopathy
1) Gulati S, Vangen-Lønne V, Nygaard ØP, Gulati AM, Hammer TA, Johansen TO, Peul WC, Salvesen ØO, Solberg TK. Surgery for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: A Nationwide Registry-Based Observational Study With Patient-Reported Outcomes. Neurosurgery. 2021 Jul 29:nyab259. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyab259. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34325471.2) McGregor SM, Detombe S, Goncalves S, Doyle-Pettypiece P, Bartha R, Duggal N. Does the Neurological Exam Correlate with Patient Perceived Outcomes in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy? World Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 2. pii: S1878-8750(19)32111-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.07.195. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31382071.3) Hamdan ARK. The Relation between Cord Signal and Clinical Outcome after Anterior Cervical Discectomy in Patients with Degenerative Cervical Disc Herniation. Asian J Neurosurg. 2019 Jan-Mar;14(1):106-110. doi: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_262_17. PubMed PMID: 30937019; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6417293.4) Witiw CD, Tetreault LA, Smieliauskas F, Kopjar B, Massicotte EM, Fehlings MG. Surgery for degenerative cervical myelopathy: a patient centered quality of life and health economic evaluation. Spine J. 2016 Oct 25. pii: S1529-9430(16)31022-1. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2016.10.015. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27793760.5) Fehlings MG, Ibrahim A, Tetreault L, Albanese V, Alvarado M, Arnold P, Barbagallo G, Bartels R, Bolger C, Defino H, Kale S, Massicotte E, Moraes O, Scerrati M, Tan G, Tanaka M, Toyone T, Yukawa Y, Zhou Q, Zileli M, Kopjar B. A Global Perspective on the Outcomes of Surgical Decompression in Patients with Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Results from the Prospective Multicenter AOSpine International Study on 479 patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 May 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26020847.6) , 15) Singh A, Tetreault L, Casey A, et al. A summary of assessment tools for patients suffering from cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a systematic review on validity, reliability, and responsiveness [published online ahead of print September 5, 2013]. Eur Spine J. doi:10.1007/s00586-013-2935-x.7) Laing RJ. Measuring outcome in neurosurgery. Br J Neurosurg 2000;14:181–4.8) Holly LT, Matz PG, Anderson PA, et al. Clinical prognostic indicators of surgical outcome in cervical spondylotic myelopathy. J Neurosurg Spine 2009;11:112–8.9) Kalsi-Ryan S, Singh A, Massicotte EM, et al. Ancillary outcome measures for assessment of individuals with cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2013;38:S111–22.10) Singh A, Crockard HA. Quantitative assessment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy by a simple walking test. Lancet 1999;354:370–3.11) Nurick S. The natural history and the results of surgical treatment of the spinal cord disorder associated with cervical spondylosis. Brain 1972;95:101–8.12) Olindo S, Signate A, Richech A, et al. Quantitative assessment of hand disability by the nine-hole-peg test (9-HPT) in cervical spondylotic myelopathy. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2008;79:965–7.13) Hosono N, Sakaura H, Mukai Y, et al. A simple performance test for quantifying the severity of cervical myelopathy [erratum in: J Bone Joint Surg Br 2008;90:1534]. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2008;90:1210–3.14) Casey AT, Bland JM, Crockard HA. Development of a functional scoring system for rheumatoid arthritis patients with cervical myelopathy. Ann Rheum Dis 1996;55:901–6.16) Sarkar S, Turel MK, Jacob KS, Chacko AG. The evolution of T2-weighted intramedullary signal changes following ventral decompressive surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014;21(4):538-546.17) Vedantam A, Rajshekhar V. Change in morphology of intramedullary T2- weighted increased signal intensity after anterior decompressive surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014;39(18):1458-1462.