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Background: Diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) tractography is commonly used in neurosurgical practice, but is largely limited to the preoperative setting. This is due primarily to image degradation caused by susceptibility artifact when conventional single-shot (SS) echo-planar imaging DTI is acquired for open cranial, surgical position intraoperative DTI (iDTI). A novel, artifact-resistant, readout-segmented (RS) DTI has not yet been evaluated in the intraoperative MRI (iMRI) environment. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of RS-DTI versus SS-DTI for intraoperative white matter imaging. Methods: Pre- and intraoperative 3T, T1-weighted and DTI (RS-iDTI and SS-iDTI) in 22 adults undergoing intraaxial iMRI resections (low-grade glioma: 14, 64%; high-grade glioma: 7, 32%; cortical dysplasia: 1). Regional susceptibility artifact, anatomical deviation relative to T1WI, and tractographic output were compared between iDTI sequences. Results: RS-iDTI resulted in less regional susceptibility artifact and mean anatomic deviation (RS-iDTI: 2.7±0.2 mm versus SS-iDTI 7.5±0.4 mm; p<0.0001). Tractographic failure occurred in 8/22 (36%) patients for SS-iDTI whereas RS-iDTI permitted successful reconstruction in 4 of these 8. Maximal tractographic differences between DTI sequences were substantial (mean 9.7±5.7 mm). Conclusions: Readout-segmented EPI enables higher quality and more accurate DTI for surgically relevant tractography of major white matter tracts in intraoperative, open cranium, neurosurgical applications at 3T.
Introduction: Learners, ether medical students or residents, often provide the initial assessment of patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED). Their involvement in ED patient care has been shown to increase length of stay, time to disposition decision, utilization of imaging and admission rates. It is unclear, however, if learners have an impact on the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. The objective of this study was to determine if the involvement of learners in ED visits increases the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of ED visit data at a single tertiary care center over a one-year period. Short-term unscheduled return visits (return visits) were defined as ED visits presenting within 72 hours of discharge from an initial non-admit ED visit and resulting in an admission to an inpatient unit on the second visit. The primary outcome was the rate of return visits for each staff physician, with and without learners involved during the initial visit. The secondary outcome assessed the interaction of level of training (medical student year 3, 4, resident year 1, 2, etc.) on return visit rates. For the primary outcome, statistical analysis was with a Wilcoxon Matched Pairs test; staff alone vs with learners. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare learner level of training. Results: Return visits accounted for 1858 (1.09%) of all visits (N = 172494) to this tertiary care ED over the one-year study period. Return visits were statistically more likely when learners were involved in the initial ED visit (1.16%, CI 0.12), compared to initial visits seen by staff physicians alone (0.88%, CI 0.09) (p < 0.0001). Return rates were statistically higher for PGY2 (1.67% CI 0.35) and PGY3 (1.66% CI 0.28) residents compared to staff physicians alone (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in return visit rates between staff physicians and third year medical students (1.07% CI 0.27), fourth year medical students (1.21% CI 0.37), PGY1 (1.42% CI 0.22), PGY4 (1.23% CI 0.54) or PGY5 (1.33% CI 0.49) residents. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the involvement of learners in ED patient assessments increased the rate of short-term unscheduled return visits. Moreover, return visit rates were highest for PGY2 and PGY3 residents. Further work is needed to understand the factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
Background: Surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) can be highly effective, but durability of pain relief varies and factors influencing surgical failure are poorly understood. We hypothesized that structural brain differences—assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—might distinguish surgical responders from early non-responders. Methods: We retrospectively identified 35 TN patients treated surgically from 2005-2017 with high-resolution, -pre-operative MRI scans adequate for quantitative structural analysis. Patients were classified as non-responders if, within 12-months after surgery, they: 1) underwent or were offered another surgical procedure; or 2) reported persistent, inadequately-controlled pain. Volumes of pain-relevant subcortical structures (amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus) were measured on T1-weighted MRI scans using an automated approach (FSL-FIRST). Results: Surgical responders had significantly larger hippocampi bilaterally compared to early non-responders. Thalamus and amygdala volumes did not differ between groups. Conclusions: Pre-operative differences in brain structure, notably in the hippocampus, may predict durability of response to surgery in patients with TN.
The Working Party has developed some practical hints and tips for those developing integrated risk management (IRM) plans for UK defined benefit pension schemes in the context of the requirements of the Pensions Regulator. Four case studies are presented to illustrate its conclusions, which are encapsulated in the ten commandments for effective IRM. IRM is the consideration of investment, funding and covenant issues, and how these interact. Its purpose should be to aid decision making and so should have a clear outcome in mind. It should be a continuous process and should form part of everyday trustee governance – it is not simply a one-off exercise. Whilst most Trustees and advisors consider funding issues when setting their investment strategy and vice versa, fewer fully integrate covenant into their decision-making process. However, covenant underpins all risk taken in a pension scheme and so needs to form a regular part of trustee discussions and analysis by advisors.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a trainee-led multi-centre collaboration made up of representatives from 12 of 14 neurosurgical centres with residency programs. To demonstrate the potential of this collaborative network, we gathered administrative operative data from each centre in order to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgery. Methods: Residents from each training program provided adult neurosurgical operative data for the 2014 calendar year, including the number of surgeries in the subcategories cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerve. Because some residency programs have surgeries distributed among more than one hospital, we calculated mean case load per residency program and per hospital. Results: Interim results from 6 neurosurgery residency programs are presented (with data from other programs forthcoming). Overall, there were on average 2,352 operative cases per residency program (n=6) and 1,176 operative cases per adult hospital (n=12). Among 5 programs with more detailed operative data, the mean numbers of cranial, spinal, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous surgeries per residency program were 757 (47%), 487 (30%), 47 (3%), and 319 (20%) respectively. Conclusions: We show as a proof-of-concept that a trainee-led nation-wide research collaborative can generate meaningful data in a Canadian context.
Background: It remains difficult to predict which patients will experience ongoing seizures or neuropsychological deficits following Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) surgery. MRI allows measurement of brain structures, such as the contralateral (non-resected) hippocampus (cHC) after TLE surgery. Preliminary evidence suggests that the cHC atrophies following surgery, however, the time course of this atrophy, relation to cognitive deficits and seizure outcome remains unclear. Methods: T1-weighted MR imaging and hippocampal volumetry in 26 TLE patients pre- and post-TLE surgery (and 12 controls) as: 1) two-scan group (TSG) (pre- and post-operatively at 5.4 years) and 2) longitudinal group (LG; pre- and on post-operatively on day 1,2,3,6,60,120 and at an average 2.4 years. Seizure outcome and pre- and post-operative neuropsychological assessment was performed. Results: The TSG had significant atrophy by 12% of the unresected cHC (p<0.0001) most pronounced (27%) in the hippocampal body alone. The LG revealed that this atrophy occured rapidly over the first week (1.3%/day; 3%/day cHC body). Significantly greater cHC atrophy was observed in those with ongoing seizures versus the seizure free (p=0.048). Conclusions: Significant cHC atrophy following TLE surgery that begins immediately, progresses over the first week, and remains signficantly depressed. The severity postoperative cHC atrophy may represent an early biomarker of the propensity for delayed seizure recurrence.
Background: The goals of evidence-based neurosurgery are to improve surgical outcomes, reduce complications, and provide an objective basis for altering practice. The need for higher quality studies, typically prospective and multicentre, has been growing especially in light of the evolving complexity of neurosurgical interventions and heterogeneity of patient populations. In the United Kingdom (UK), trainee-led research collaboratives have been established to tackle this problem. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the potential role for a resident-led research collaborative in neurosurgery in Canada based on the UK experience. Methods: A literature review of trainee-led collaboratives was conducted utilizing PubMed and Medline. Identified articles were reviewed for study quality and clinical relevance to explore the potential benefits of collaboratives. Results: In the UK, 27 collaboratives have been established in various specialties by trainees. Some published high quality trials with implications on their clinical fields. Evidence suggests that such endeavors improves trainees’ research skills and may help cultivate a research culture tailored towards clinical trials. Conclusions: Given the growing evidence for research collaboratives in the UK, we propose launching the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) which currently represents 12 out of 14 neurosurgery programs in Canada, and planning its first multicenter prospective study.
Background: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is associated with bilateral gray (GM) and white matter (WM) loss. After surgical treatment progressive bilateral temporal and extra-temporal WM change occur, however, less is known regarding post-operative GM change. We set out to measure contralateral hippocampal volume (CHV) following TLS. Methods: 1.5T-3D-1mm-isotropic-MPRAGE scans in 26 TLE patients and 3 controls in two groups: longitudinal (n=10)(imaged POD1,2,3,6,60,120 and >360d) and single post-operative scan (n=16). Manual volumetry protocols. Results: We find significant CHV atrophy at delayed scan relative to baseline (mean atrophy 26.8%). In the longitudinal group there is significant and progressive atrophy from baseline to POD4-8 (72.6+/-6.5%), POD60-360 (69.7+/-12.3%) and >360 (58.5+/-10.6%). No significant atrophy in either the control group HV or contralateral CV over time. No significant difference in mean HV at the most delayed exam for surgery type (p=0.13) or side (p=0.24). Conclusions: We find a statistically significant CHV atrophy following surgery which is progressive over time. Our longitudinal within-subject design describes the time course and extent more fully than previous work. Caudate analysis indicates that early CHV atrophy is not due to global atrophy following brain surgery but rather may be due to deafferentation and deefferentation. Finally, we find no significant difference in atrophy when analyzed by surgical approach or surgical side.
A number of copy number variants (CNVs) have been suggested as
susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. For some of these the data
remain equivocal, and the frequency in individuals with schizophrenia is
To determine the contribution of CNVs at 15 schizophrenia-associated loci
(a) using a large new data-set of patients with schizophrenia
(n = 6882) and controls (n = 6316),
and (b) combining our results with those from previous studies.
We used Illumina microarrays to analyse our data. Analyses were
restricted to 520 766 probes common to all arrays used in the different
We found higher rates in participants with schizophrenia than in controls
for 13 of the 15 previously implicated CNVs. Six were nominally
significantly associated (P<0.05) in this new
data-set: deletions at 1q21.1, NRXN1, 15q11.2 and
22q11.2 and duplications at 16p11.2 and the Angelman/Prader–Willi
Syndrome (AS/PWS) region. All eight AS/PWS duplications in patients were
of maternal origin. When combined with published data, 11 of the 15 loci
showed highly significant evidence for association with schizophrenia
We strengthen the support for the majority of the previously implicated
CNVs in schizophrenia. About 2.5% of patients with schizophrenia and 0.9%
of controls carry a large, detectable CNV at one of these loci. Routine
CNV screening may be clinically appropriate given the high rate of known
deleterious mutations in the disorder and the comorbidity associated with
these heritable mutations.
In recent years, first-principle electronic structure calculations have been carried out to investigate such diverse phenomena as charge transport in molecular wires, optical properties of quantum structures and in photonics. However, at this time the prohibitive computational cost does not allow for such calculations to be easily carried out on nano-scale device structures comprising thousands of atoms. In addition, there are issues relating to the applicability of these approaches to describing the excitations that ought to be involved in charge transport.
Self-consistent extended Huckel theory (SC-EHT) has proved very effective in describing the band alignment at semiconductor interfaces, and optical properties of partially covered surfaces, as well as being employed in studying the electronic states of large molecules. We have developed a non-equilibrium Greens function (NEGF) SC-EHT code that may be applied to study charge transport through molecular wires. We study the transmission of a porphyrin molecule attached via thiol linkers to gold electrodes, compare our results with those obtained from density functional theory (DFT). We have studied the influence the thiol position on the Au substrate has on the conduction and the dependence of the electron transmission on the molecular conformation. In addition, we also report on the results of some preliminary investigations studying the influence of water on the conduction pathways.