Oncology and Spinal Neurosurgeons Performing Resections of Intramedullary Ependymomas Compared with Single Neurosurgeons: A 13-Year Experience at a Single Institution

Noah M. Nichols*, Jacob S. Young, Stephen T. Magill, Ramin A. Morshed, Alexander A. Aabedi, Dean Chou, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Michael W. McDermott, Philip V. Theodosopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Resection of intramedullary spinal ependymomas carries great risk of postoperative neurological deficits. The objective of this study was to describe our experience using co-neurosurgeon teams to address intramedullary ependymomas to determine if the use of 2 experienced attending neurosurgeons with expertise in both neurosurgical oncology and spine pathology can improve outcomes for intramedullary ependymoma resections. Methods: We retrospectively compared surgical and disease control outcomes in intramedullary ependymoma cases performed by co-neurosurgeon (one neurosurgical oncologist and one neurosurgeon trained in spinal surgery) and single-neurosurgeon teams over a 13-year period at a single institution. Results: Co-neurosurgeons performed resections in 34 (47.9%) patients, and a single neurosurgeon performed resections in 37 (52.1%) patients. There were no significant differences in the frequency of gross total resection in the co-neurosurgeon versus single-neurosurgeon group (85.7% vs. 78.4%, P = 0.45). Posterior spinal fusion was more common in the co-neurosurgeon group (35.3%) compared with the single-neurosurgeon group (8.1%) (P = 0.01). Two (5.9%) patients in the co-neurosurgeon group and 5 (13.5%) patients in the single-neurosurgeon group had complications requiring surgical revision (P = 0.28). Recurrence rates were similar in both groups (5.9% vs. 10.8%, P = 0.50). At last follow-up, 76% of patients who presented with mild or no deficits remained functionally independent. Conclusions: Resection of intramedullary ependymomas by co-neurosurgeon teams resulted in similar rates of gross total resection, postoperative complications, and recurrence compared with surgeries performed by a single neurosurgeon. Functional neurological outcomes were not impacted by co-neurosurgeons performing ependymoma resections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e212-e219
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume152
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Co-neurosurgeon
  • Ependymoma
  • Intramedullary
  • Postlaminectomy kyphotic deformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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