Approximately one million spinal surgeries are performed in the United States each year. The risk of an incidental durotomy (ID) and resultant persistent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is a significant concern for surgeons, as this complication has been associated with increased length of hospitalization, worse neurological outcome, and the development of CSF fistulae. Augmentation of standard dural suture repair with the application of fibrin glue has been suggested to reduce the frequency of these complications. This study examined unintended durotomies during lumbar spine surgery in a large surgical patient cohort and the impact of fibrin glue usage as part of the ID repair on the incidence of persistent CSF leakage. A retrospective analysis of 4,835 surgical procedures of the lumbar spine from a single institution over a 10-year period was performed to determine the rate of ID. The 90-day clinical course of these patients was evaluated. Clinical examination, B-2 transferrin assay, and radiographic imaging were utilized to determine the number of persistent CSF leaks after repair with or without fibrin glue. Five hundred forty-seven patients (11.3%) experienced a durotomy during surgery. Of this cohort, fibrin glue was used in the dural repair in 278 patients (50.8%). Logistic models evaluating age, sex, redo surgery, and the use of fibrin glue revealed that prior lumbar spinal surgery was the only univariate predictor of persistent CSF leak, conferring a 2.8-fold increase in risk. A persistent CSF leak, defined as continued drainage of CSF from the operative incision within 90 days of the surgery that required an intervention greater than simple bed rest or over-sewing of the wound, was noted in a total of 64 patients (11.7%). This persistent CSF leak rate was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in patients with prior lumbar surgery (21%) versus those undergoing their first spine surgery (9%). There was no statistical difference in persistent CSF leak between those cases in which fibrin glue was used at the time of surgery and those in which fibrin glue was not used. There were no complications associated with the use of fibrin glue. A history of prior surgery significantly increases the incidence of durotomy during elective lumbar spine surgery. In patients who experienced a durotomy during lumbar spine surgery, the use of fibrin glue for dural repair did not significantly decrease the incidence of a persistent CSF leak.
CSF leak; Lumbar spine surgery; Tisseel; Fibrin glue; Incidental durotomy
Pseudomeningocele is an extradural cerebrospinal fluid collection arising from a dural defect, that may be congenital, traumatic, or more commonly as a result of postoperative complication. Majority of the postoperative pseudomeningoceles occurring after lumbar spine surgeries are small and resolve spontaneously. However, large pseudomeningoceles are rare and spontaneous resolution of such pseudomeningoceles has not been described. We report four cases of postoperative large lumbar pseudomeningoceles that presented as asymptomatic soft fluctuant swelling over the back which resolved spontaneously. We also reviewed the related literatures and operative records of these patients to find the possible mechanism of occurrence, their management, prevention, and reasons for spontaneous resolution. We conclude that nonoperative management under close observation can be employed for asymptomatic postoperative large lumbar pseudomeningoceles. Surgical exploration and repair should be reserved for symptomatic cases presenting with clinical features of intracranial hypotension, worsening neurology, external fistula or infection, thereby avoiding morbidity and potential complications associated with surgical treatment.
Giant pseudomeningocele; large pseudomeningocele; spontaneous resolution
Pseudomeningoceles are a rare complication after spinal surgery, and studies on these complex formations are few.
Between October 2000 and March 2008, 11 patients who developed symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery were recruited. In this retrospective study, we reported our experiences in the management of these complex, symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery. A giant pseudomeningocele was defined as a pseudomeningocele >8 cm in length. We also evaluated the risk factors for the formation of giant pseudomeningoceles.
All patients were treated successfully with a combined treatment protocol of open revision surgery for extirpation of the pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage. Surgery-related complications were not observed. Recurrence of pseudomeningocele was not observed for any patient at a mean follow-up of 16.5 months. This result was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging.
We conclude that a combined treatment protocol involving open revision surgery for extirpation of pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage is safe and effective to treat giant pseudomeningoceles.
Incidental or intentional durotomy causing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, leading to the formation of a pseudomeningocele is a known complication in spinal surgery. Herniation of nerve roots into such a pseudomeningocele is very rare, but can occur up to years after initial durotomy and has been described to cause permanent neurologic deficit. However, cauda equina fiber herniation and entrapment into a pseudomeningocele has not been reported before. Here, we present a case of symptomatic transdural cauda equina herniation and incarceration into a pseudomeningocele, 3 months after extirpation of a lumbar Schwannoma. A 59-year-old man, who previously underwent intradural Schwannoma extirpation presented 3 months after surgery with back pain, sciatica and loss of bladder filling sensation caused by cauda equina fiber entrapment into a defect in the wall of a pseudomeningocele, diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging. On re-operation, the pseudomeningocele was resected and the herniated and entrapped cauda fibers were released and replaced intradurally. The dura defect was closed and the patient recovered completely. In conclusion, CSF leakage can cause neurological deficit up to years after durotomy by transdural nerve root herniation and subsequent entrapment. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of this potentially devastating complication. The present case also underlines the importance of meticulous dura closure in spinal surgery.
Pseudomeningocele; Dura defect; Nerve root entrapment
Retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele after atlanto-occipital dislocation is a rare complication, with only five cases described in the literature. It develops when a traumatic dural tear occurs allowing cerebrospinal fluid outflow, and it often appears associated with hydrocephalus. We present a case of a 29-year-old female who suffered a motor vehicle accident causing severe brain trauma and spinal cord injury. At hospital arrival the patient scored three points in the Glasgow Coma Scale. Admission computed tomography of the head and neck demonstrated subarachnoid hemorrhage and atlanto-occipital dislocation. Three weeks later, when impossibility to disconnect her from mechanical ventilation was noticed, a magnetic resonance imaging of the neck showed a large retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele. No radiological evidence of hydrocephalus was documented. Given the poor neurological status of the patient, with spastic quadriplegia and disability to breathe spontaneously due to bulbar-medullar injury, no invasive measure was performed to treat the pseudomeningocele. Retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele after atlanto-occipital dislocation should be managed by means of radiological brain study in order to assess for the presence of hydrocephalus, since these two pathologies often appear associated. If allowed by neurological condition of the patient, shunting procedures such as ventriculo-peritoneal or lumbo-peritoneal shunt placement may be helpful for the treatment of the pseudomeningocele, regardless of craniocervical junction management.
Atlanto-occipital dislocation; Pseudomeningocele; Retropharyngeal; Spinal cord injury
We report on a patient who underwent lumbar disc surgery with application of ADCON-L gel. Postoperatively he suffered from acute headache, nausea, and vomiting. A lumbar pseudomeningocele was demonstrated on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Furthermore, cranial MRI revealed bilateral, chronic subdural haematomata which indicated intracranial hypotension syndrome or continuous leakage of cerebrospinal fluid at the lumbar site.
With conservative treatment the problems were gradually reduced and eventually the subdural haematomata were no longer detected. The pseudomeningocele persisted over a 4 month period of observation.
Because of the complications we found, the local application of ADCON-L during lumbar disc surgery should be critically evaluated.
Background Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage represents a major source of morbidity following microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery. The objective of this study was to retrospectively assess whether complete versus incomplete reconstruction of the suboccipital cranial defect influences the incidence of CSF leakage following MVD.
Methods We reviewed the charts of 100 patients who consecutively underwent MVD for trigeminal neuralgia by two attending neurosurgeons between July 2004 and April 2010. Operative variables including incomplete or complete calvarial reconstruction, primary dural closure or dural closure with adjunct, and use of lumbar drainage were recorded. The effect of complete calvarial reconstruction on the incidence of postoperative CSF leakage was examined using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results Of the 36 patients whose wound closure was reconstructed with a complete cranioplasty, 2 (5.6%) patients experienced a postoperative CSF leak. Of the 64 patients whose wound closure was augmented with an incomplete cranioplasty, 15 (23.4%) experienced a postoperative CSF leak. There was suggestive but inconclusive evidence that the risk of CSF leakage following MVD was smaller with complete reconstruction of calvarial defect than with incomplete reconstruction (two-sided p value = 0.059), after accounting for age, dural closure method, use of lumbar drainage, and previous MVD.
Conclusion Complete reconstruction of the suboccipital cranial defect decreases the risk of CSF leakage.
cerebrospinal fluid leak; pseudomeningocele; suboccipital; craniectomy; microvascular decompression
The object of the study was to review the author's large series of minimally invasive spine surgeries for complication rates. The author reviewed a personal operative database for minimally access spine surgeries done through nonexpandable tubular retractors for extradural, nonfusion procedures. Consecutive cases (n = 1231) were reviewed for complications. There were no wound infections. Durotomy occurred in 33 cases (2.7% overall or 3.4% of lumbar cases). There were no external or symptomatic internal cerebrospinal fluid leaks or pseudomeningoceles requiring additional treatment. The only motor injuries were 3 C5 root palsies, 2 of which resolved. Minimally invasive spine surgery performed through tubular retractors can result in a low wound infection rate when compared to open surgery. Durotomy is no more common than open procedures and does not often result in the need for secondary procedures. New neurologic deficits are uncommon, with most observed at the C5 root. Minimally invasive spine surgery, even without benefits such as less pain or shorter hospital stays, can result in considerably lower complication rates than open surgery.
Total en bloc spondylectomy (TES) is associated with a high complication rate because it is technically demanding and involves patients compromised by cancer. Specifically, perioperative complications are more likely to occur in patients receiving preoperative irradiation. We examined the perioperative complications associated with TES in patients receiving preoperative irradiation.
Seventy-seven patients underwent TES between May 2010 and April 2013. We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data for 50 patients with metastatic tumors of the thoracic spine, excluding patients with primary spinal tumors, lumbar spinal metastasis, and combined anterior and posterior approach TES. Patients were divided into 2 groups: those with preoperative irradiation (RT-TES group, 18 patients) and those without preoperative irradiation (TES group, 32 patients). The following perioperative complications, occurring within 2 months of surgery, were compared between the groups: intraoperative dural injuries, epidural hematomas, deep surgical-site infections, postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage, wound dehiscence, pleural effusions, and neurological deficits.
Significant differences in patient characteristics were not observed between the RT-TES and TES groups. Perioperative TES complications occurred in 20/50 patients (40.0%). The complication rate in the RT-TES group was 77.8% (14 out of 18), threefold higher than the 18.8% (6 out of 32) in the TES group (P<0.01). The incidence of complications, including intraoperative dural injuries, postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage, wound dehiscence, and pleural effusions, was significantly higher in the RT-TES group (P<0.01).
The perioperative complication rate associated with TES for spinal metastasis was significantly higher among patients receiving preoperative irradiation than among those not receiving preoperative irradiation.
Authors report a rare case of acute intracranial subdural and intraventricular hemorrhage that were caused by intracranial hypotension resulted from cerebrospinal fluid leakage through an unidentified dural tear site during spinal surgery. The initial brain computed tomography image showed acute hemorrhages combined with preexisting asymptomatic chronic subdural hemorrhage. One burr hole was made over the right parietal skull to drain intracranial hemorrhages and subsequent drainage of cerebrospinal fluid induced by closure of the durotomy site. Among various methods to treat cerebrospinal fluid leakage through unidentified dural injury site, primary repair and spinal subarachnoid drainage are well known treatment options. The brain imaging study to diagnose intracranial hemorrhage should be taken before selecting the treatment method, especially for spinal subarachnoid drainage. Similar mechanism to its spinal counterpart, cranial cerebrospinal fluid drainage has not been mentioned in previous article and could be another treatment option to seal off an unidentified dural tear in particular case of drainage of intracranial hemorrhage is needed.
Cerebrospinal fluid; Intracranial hemorrhage; Intracranial hypotension; Spine surgery
Symptomatic pneumocephalus is a rare complication of degenerative lumbar spine surgery. This is a case report of a patient who developed transient diplopia associated with pneumocephalus following lumbar spine surgery complicated by a dural tear. The diplopia improved as the pneumocephalus resolved. Factors involved in the development of pneumocephalus include an unintended durotomy and intraoperative reverse Trendelenburg positioning that was utilized to decrease the risk of postoperative vision loss. When encountering cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage intraoperatively, spine surgeons should level the operating table until closure of the dural defect to prevent potential complications associated with pneumocephalus. If postoperative patients complain of severe headaches or display a focal cranial neurologic deficit, then a computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain should be ordered and evaluated. Consulting neurologists should be aware of the circumstances surrounding this rare complication.
The authors describe a case of 28-year-old man who presented with cervical myelopathy and lumbar radiculopathy due to the giant cervical pseudomeningocele extending to the lumbar spine at 10 years after previous brachial plexus injury. To evaluate the communicating tract between pseudomeningocele and subarachnoidal space, the multidetector-row helical CT with simultaneous myelography was performed preoperatively. The surgical treatment in the cervical spine included the resection of pseudomeningocele and the repair of dural defects communicating into the cyst following multi-level laminoplasty and foraminotomies. At 6 years after surgery, the significant neurologic recovery and complete obliteration of cysts in the whole spine area were maintained. This serves as the first report describing the significant neurologic recovery after the surgical treatment of giant cervical pseudomeningocele extending to the lumbar spine after previous brachial plexus injury.
Giant pseudomeningocele; Cervical spine; Lumbar spine; Communicating tract; Surgical treatment
Objective: Retrospectively assess the efficacy of lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage placed preoperatively in skull base operations in decreasing the incidence of postoperative CSF fistula. Methods: A retrospective review of 150 patients undergoing a posterior fossa craniotomy from 1989 to 2000 was conducted. Patients were divided into those receiving preoperative lumbar drains and those that did not. The rates of postoperative CSF leakage were compared between the two groups. Patient data were analyzed to determine if there were other comorbidities affecting the postoperative incidence of CSF leakage such as smoking, diabetes, or hypertension. Results: Between 1989 and 1994, 25/72 (35%) patients with no preoperative lumbar drain had a postoperative CSF leak. From 1995 to 2000, 9/78 (12%) patients with a preoperative lumbar drain had a CSF leak. This was a 23% decreased incidence of postoperative CSF leakage and a significant decrease in the probability (p < 0.001) of CSF leakage in patients treated with a preoperative lumbar drain. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension did not increase the probability of a CSF leak (p = 0.43). Conclusions: A preoperatively placed lumbar drain can significantly lower the rate of postoperative CSF leakage after skull base surgery. The drain is a well-tolerated adjunct to dural closure and helps increase surgical exposure of the posterior fossa. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension do not contribute to an increased rate of CSF leakage.
Cerebrospinal fluid fistula; lumbar drain; retrosigmoid; translabyrinthine
Pseudomeningoceles are uncommon complications of lumbar surgery. They are encapsulated cerebrospinal fluid collections developing extradurally as a consequence of incidental dural tears. They are typically located in the paraspinal compartment and occasionally reach the subcutaneous space. We describe the case of a patient in whom a postlaminectomy pseudomeningocele developed over a 10-year period within the L5 spinous process and remained completely encircled within its bony boundaries. The surgical implications of this finding are discussed.
Laminectomy Lumbar surgery Pseudomeningocele Spinous process
Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious but rare complication of spinal surgery, which can occur in the intracerebral, cerebellar, epidural, or subdural compartment.
To describe patients with intracranial hemorrhage after lumbar spinal surgery and present clinical and diagnostic imaging findings.
In this retrospective study, medical records of 1,077 patients who underwent lumbar spinal surgery in our tertiary referral neurosurgery center between January 2003 and September 2010 were studied. The original presentations of the patients before the surgical intervention were herniated lumbar disc, spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal trauma, and lumbar spine and epidural tumor. The operations performed consisted of discectomy, multiple level laminectomy, stabilization and fusion, lumbar instrumentation, and lumbar spinal and epidural tumor resection.
Four cases developed intracranial hemorrhage including acute subdural hematoma (one case), epidural hematoma (one case), and remote cerebellar hemorrhage (two cases). The clinical and diagnostic imaging characteristics along with treatments performed and outcomes of these four patients are described and the pertinent literature regarding post-lumbar spinal surgery intracranial hemorrhages is reviewed.
Though rare, intracranial hemorrhage can occur following lumbar spinal surgery. This complication may be asymptomatic or manifest with intense headache at early stages any time during the first week after surgery. Dural tear, bloody CSF leakage, focal neurologic symptoms, and headache are indicators of potential intracranial hemorrhage, which should be considered during or following surgery and necessitate diagnostic imaging.
Intracranial hemorrhage; Lumbar spine surgery; Remote cerebellar hemorrhage; Subdural hematoma; Epidural hematoma
The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.
Gunshot wound; Foreign body; Spinal cord injury; Laminectomy; Recovery of function
Postoperative bacterial meningitis is a rare complication of spinal surgery and is considered to be a complication related to intraoperative incidental durotomy. A high index of suspicion for meningitis is essential in patients who have the clinical triad of fever, neck stiffness and consciousness disturbance during the postoperative period. A delay in diagnosis or treatment can lead to morbidity and mortality. Due to the low incidence of postoperative meningitis, very few studies have reported this complication. The purpose of this study was to report the clinical features, laboratory evaluations, treatment course and prognosis of 21 patients with post spinal surgery meningitis.
We retrospectively reviewed 21 patients (13 male, 8 female) with the diagnosis of postoperative meningitis after lumbar spinal surgery between January 2001 and Aug 2011. The median age of the patients was 67 years old (range 27 to 82 years) at the time of surgery. We recorded the preoperative diagnosis, operative methods, amount of drainage, clinical manifestations, laboratory evaluations, cerebrospinal fluid study, and infectious organisms. All patients diagnosed with postoperative meningitis received at least two weeks of antibiotic treatment. Clinical outcomes were assessed after at least two years of follow-up.
From January 2001 to August 2011, 20,178 spinal operations were performed in our institution, and 21 patients (0.10%) were diagnosed with postoperative meningitis. Eighteen patients (85.7%) had fever, 19 (90.5%) had neck stiffness, and 16 (76.2%) had consciousness disturbance. All patients had at least two of the classic triad. In addition, 9 patients (42.9%) had headache, 3 (14.3%) had focal neurological deficits, and 2 (9.5%) had seizure attacks. There was no mortality in this series. Postoperative meningitis showed no adverse effect on the results of spinal surgery after follow-up for at least two years.
Postoperative meningitis is a rare complication after spinal lumbar surgery. A high index of suspicion for meningitis should be maintained in patients with the clinical triad of fever, neck stiffness, and consciousness disturbance after spinal surgery. Intraoperative incidental durotomy is the most important predictor. An early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment can lead to a good outcome.
Post spinal surgery; Postoperative meningitis; Complications
The Chiari 1 malformation (CM1) involves decent of the tonsils of the cerebellum through the foramen magnum. Symptomatic disease requires a posterior fossa decompression with or without an expansile duraplasty. To date, the optimal surgical treatment for CM1 has not been delineated. The extent of bony removal, size of the dural opening, necessity for expansion of the dural space, choice of materials for the duraplasty, and possible need for augmentation with dural sealant are all factors that continue to be debated amongst neurological surgeons worldwide. We herein evaluate the use of fibrin sealant augmentation in combination with locally harvested autologous pericranium for duraplasty in adult CM1 decompression.
Retrospective data collected from January 2006 to December 2011. Data were reviewed for surgical site infection or meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leak, symptomatic pseudomeningocele, radiographic improvement of hindbrain compression, and postoperative recurrence of symptoms at a minimum of 1 year of follow-up. Outcomes were studied clinically, radiographically, as well as by using a patient-specific questionnaire.
Twenty-two consecutive patients were included. One patient required a revision for a delayed graft dehiscence in the setting of a rare form of aseptic meningitis with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis due to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) allergy. All remaining patients had successful decompressions with full resolution of their symptoms except for one patient who had persistent headaches.
Autologous pericranium with dural sealant augmentation is an effective technique for expansile duraplasty in CM1 decompressions.
Autologous pericranium; chiari malformation; duraplasty; dural sealant
Dural substitutes are used to achieve a watertight closure in situations where adequate closure is not possible .This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of use a new collagen matrix dural substitute ( Duradry, Tecnodry, Belo Horizonte MG) in repair or expansion of cranial and spinal dura-mater.
30 patients operated on between March and September 2008, were studied. Surgical logs were reviewed for sex, age, diagnosis, location of the graft, technique and presence of fistula or infection. The patients were followed-up for at least 3 months, and the presence of complications as cerebrospinal leakage, infection, aseptic meningitis, hydrocephalus, pseudomeningocele were analysed.
Only one patient presented with CSF fistula. No patients presented with wound infections, hydrocephalus, pseudomeningocele, meningitis, brain abscesses or signs of toxicity related to the material.
The new dural substitute used in this study is effective and safe, and the initial results are similar to those of other dural substitutes reported in the literature.
Cerebrospinal fluid leak; Duraplasty; Collagen matrix
retrospective study was carried out on 13 patients with intracranial
dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) who presented with isolated or
associated signs of intracranial hypertension.
presented with symptoms of intracranial hypertension at the time of
diagnosis. Ocular fundoscopy available in 12 patients showed bilateral
papilloedema in eight and optic disk atrophy in four. Clinical
evolution was particularly noticeable in five patients because of
chronic (two patients) or acute (after lumbar shunting or puncture:
three patients, one death) tonsillar herniation.
had a type I fistula (drainage into a sinus, with a normal antegrade
flow direction). The remaining 11 had type II fistulas (drainage into a
sinus, with abnormal retrograde venous drainage into sinuses or
cortical veins). Stenosis or thrombosis of the sinus(es) distal to the
fistula was present in five patients. The cerebral venous drainage was
abnormal in all patients.
(and some type I) DAVFs may present as isolated intracranial
hypertension mimicking benign intracranial hypertension. Normal
cerebral angiography should be added as a fifth criterion of benign
intracranial hypertension. The cerebral venous drainage pattern must be
carefully studied by contralateral carotid and vertebral artery
injections to correctly evaluate the impairment of the cerebral venous
outflow. Lumbar CSF diversion (puncture or shunting) may induce acute
tonsillar herniation and should be avoided absolutely. DAVF may induce
intracranial hypertension, which has a poor long term prognosis and may
lead to an important loss of visual acuity and chronic tonsillar
herniation. Consequently, patients with intracranial hypertension must
be treated, even agressively, to obliterate the fistula or at least to
reduce the arterial flow and to restore a normal cerebral venous
drainage. The endovascular treatment may associate arterial or
transvenous embolisation and /or surgery. Patients in whom the fistula
is not obliterated after an endovascular therapeutic procedure, need continous clinical and angiographical follow up.
In this article, we review the English literature of calcified pseudomeningoceles in the lumbar region.
A systematic review using the Medline Database using the varied nomenclature for pseudomeningoceles, as well as reviewing the reference lists of relevant article found.
We discuss the different pathological theories on formation of a pseudomeningocele, the formation of a calcified wall and the optimal management for this entity. To date, 17 cases have been described, of which 13 are reviewed here. Calcification of pseudomeningocele is a rare entity and in the lumbar spine this occurs postsurgically. The only predisposing factor is prior surgery to the lumbar spine. Computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI myelography in combination are the preoperative investigations of choice. The radiological work-up can be preoperatively diagnostic and is important in the surgical planning.
The treatment is surgicel removal and the decision to treat is based on patient symptoms and correlating these with imaging. There is an average reported follow-up of 1.7 years postoperatively for these patients and the reported outcome after surgery is good.
Calcification; Postsurgical; Pseudomeningocele; Lumbar spine
Thoracic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hygroma is a rare and potentially devastating complication of the anterior thoracic approach to the spine. We present two cases in which this complication resulted in acute cranial nerve palsy and discuss the pathoanatomy and management options in this scenario.
Two male patients presented to our department with neurological deterioration due to a giant herniated thoracic disc. The extruded disc fragment was noted pre-operatively to be calcified in both patients. A durotomy was performed at primary disc prolapse resection in the first patient, whereas an incidental durotomy during the procedure caused complication in the second patient. These were repaired primarily or sealed with Tachosil®. Both patients re-presented with acute diplopia. Imaging of both patients confirmed a massive thoracic cerebrospinal fluid hygroma and evidence of intracranial changes in keeping with intracranial hypotension, but no obvious brain stem shift. The hemithorax was re-explored and the dural repair was revised. The first patient made a full recovery within 3 months. The second patient was managed conservatively and took 5 months for improvement in his ophthalmic symptoms.
The risk of CSF leakage post-dural repair into the thoracic cavity is raised due to local factors related to the chest cavity. Dural repairs can fail in the presence of an acute increase in CSF pressure, for example whilst sneezing. Intracranial hypotension can result in subsequent hygroma and possibly haematoma formation. The resultant cranial nerve palsy may be managed expectantly except in the setting of symptomatic subdural haematoma or compressive pneumocephaly.
Thoracic disc herniation; Cerebrospinal fluid fistula; Thoracic hygroma; Complication of surgery; Acute intracranial hypotension
Cerebral vasospasm still remains a major cause of the morbidity and mortality, despite the developments in treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors measured the utility and benefits of external lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage to prevent the clinical vasospasm and its sequelae after endovascular coiling on aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in this randomized study.
Between January 2004 and March 2006, 280 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage were treated at our institution. Among them, 107 patients met our study criteria. The treatment group consisted of 47 patients who underwent lumbar CSF drainage during vasospasm risk period (about for 14 days after SAH), whereas the control group consisted of 60 patients who received the management according to conventional protocol without lumbar CSF drainage. We created our new modified Fisher grade on the basis of initial brain computed tomography (CT) scan at admission. The authors established five outcome criteria as follows : 1) clinical vasospasm; 2) GOS score at 1-month to 6-month follow-up; 3) shunt procedures for hydrocephalus; 4) the duration of stay in the ICU and total hospital stay; 5) mortality rate.
The incidence of clinical vasospasm in the lumbar drain group showed 23.4% compared with 63.3% of individuals in the control group. Moreover, the risk of death in the lumbar drain group showed 2.1% compared with 15% of individuals in the control group. Within individual modified Fisher grade, there were similar favorable results. Also, lumbar drain group had twice more patients than the control group in good GOS score of 5. However, there were no statistical significances in mean hospital stay and shunt procedures between the two groups. IVH was an important factor for delayed hydrocephalus regardless of lumbar drain.
Lumbar CSF drainage remains to play a prominent role to prevent clinical vasospasm and its sequelae after endovascular coiling on aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Also, this technique shows favorable effects on numerous neurological outcomes and prognosis. The results of this study warrant clinical trials after endovascular treatment in patients with aneurysmal SAH.
Aneurysm; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Lumbar drain; Cerebral vasospasm; Coil embolization
In spinal surgery, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas attributed to deliberate dural opening (e.g., for tumors, shunts, marsupialization of cysts) or inadvertent/traumatic dural tears (DTs) need to be readily recognized, and appropriately treated.
During spinal surgery, the dura may be deliberately opened to resect intradural lesions/tumors, to perform shunts, or to open/marsupialize cysts. DTs, however, may inadvertently occur during primary, but are seen more frequently during revision spinal surgery often attributed to epidural scarring. Other etiologies of CSF fistulas/DTs include; epidural steroid injections, and resection of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) or ossification of the yellow ligament (OYL). Whatever the etiology of CSF fistulas or DTs, they must be diagnosed utilizing radioisotope cisternography (RIC), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed axial tomography (CT) studies, and expeditiously repaired.
DTs should be repaired utilizing interrupted 7-0 Gore-Tex (W.L. Gore and Associates Inc., Elkton, MD, USA) sutures, as the suture itself is larger than the needle; the larger suture occludes the dural puncture site. Closure may also include muscle patch grafts, dural patches/substitutes (bovine pericardium), microfibrillar collagen (Duragen: Integra Life Sciences Holdings Corporation, Plainsboro, NJ), and fibrin glues or dural sealants (Tisseel: Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Deerfield, IL, USA). Only rarely are lumbar drains and wound-peritoneal and/or lumboperitoneal shunts warranted.
DTs or CSF fistulas attributed to primary/secondary spinal surgery, trauma, epidural injections, OPLL, OYL, and other factors, require timely diagnosis (MRI/CT/Cisternography), and appropriate reconstruction.
Cerebrospinal fluid; dural sealants; fibrin sealants; fistulas; muscle grafts; reconstruction methods; spinal surgery; suture techniques
The retromastoid approach has been effective in exposing the cerebellopontine angle for resection of a variety of lesions, including vestibular schwannomas and decompression of cranial nerves. The following incisions and their variations have been most commonly used for the retromastoid approach: linear (and its variations, such as “lazy S-shaped”) and “C-shaped” incision.
Herein, we describe a curvilinear incision and compare its advantages and disadvantages with the other previously described incisions based on the senior author's experience with 120 retromastoid operations.
The senior author has used the curvilinear incision for the last 70 of 120 patients who underwent retromastoid operations. Of these, one patient encountered postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage through the incision, requiring a repeat operative wound revision, and one patient suffered from a soft asymptomatic pseudomeningocele. Among the initial 50 patients who underwent a linear incision, one patient suffered from a CSF leakage managed with local wound care and another patient required a repeat operation for a tense pseudomeningocele. No wound breakdown or infection was encountered in either group.
The curvilinear incision is simple and efficient and may provide a shorter working distance and protect the suboccipital muscles and associated neurovascular bundle.
Craniotomy; curvilinear incision; neurosurgical procedure; scalp flap; skin incision