The latest medical research on Neurosurgery

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about neurosurgery gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Robotic-assisted navigated minimally invasive pedicle screw placement in the first 100 cases at a single institution.

Journal of Robotic Surgery

Proper pedicle screw placement is an integral part of spine fusion requiring expertly trained spine surgeons. Advances in medical imaging guidance ...

Ensuring navigation integrity using robotics in spine surgery.

Journal of Robotic Surgery

There are potential pitfalls associated with the pursuit of accurate surgical navigation, such as vulnerability of the reference array to accidenta...

Robotic choledochoduodenostomy for benign distal common bile duct stricture: how we do it.

Journal of Robotic Surgery

Benign bile duct stricture poses a significant challenge for gastroenterologists and general surgeons due to the inherent nature of the disease, di...

Evaluation of a new robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgical system for procedures in small cavities.

Journal of Robotic Surgery

No data exists concerning the application of a new robotic system with 3-mm instruments (Senhance™, Transenterix, Milano, Italy) in small cavities....

Pre-operative factors that predict trifecta and pentafecta in robotic assisted partial nephrectomy.

Journal of Robotic Surgery

To prospectively evaluate factors that predict achievement of trifecta and pentafecta following robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN). Clinic...

Identification and Validation of a Biomarker Signature in Patients With Resectable Pancreatic Cancer via Genome-Wide Screening for Functional Genetic Variants.

JAMA Surgery

Surgery currently offers the only chance for a cure in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but it carries a significant morbidity and mortality risk and results in varying oncologic outcomes. At present, to our knowledge, there are no tests available before surgical resection to identify tumors with an aggressive biological phenotype that could guide personalized treatment strategies.

Identification of noninvasive genetic biomarkers that could direct therapy in patients whose cases are amenable to pancreatic cancer resection.

This multicenter study combined a prospective European cohort of patients with PDAC who underwent pancreatic resection (from University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Cantonal Hospital of Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; and University Clinic of Ulm, Ulm, Germany) with data from the Cancer Genome Atlas database in the United States, which includes prospectively registered patients with PDAC. A genome-wide screening for functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect PDAC survival was conducted using the European cohort for identification and the Cancer Genome Atlas cohort for validation. We used Cox proportional hazards models to screen for high-frequency polymorphic variants that are associated with allelic differences in tumor-associated survival and either result in an altered protein structure and function or reside in known regulatory noncoding genomic regions. The false-discovery rate method was applied for multiple hypothesis-testing corrections. Data analysis occurred from November 2017 to May 2018.

Pancreatic resection.

Tumor-associated survival.

A total of 195 patients in the European cohort were included, as well as 136 patients in the Cancer Genome Atlas cohort (overall median [range] age, 66 [19-87] years; 156 [47.1%] were women, and 175 [52.9%] were men). Two SNPs in noncoding, functional regions of genes that regulate cancer progression, invasion, and metastasis were identified (CHI3L2 SNP rs684559 and CD44 SNP rs353630). These were associated with survival after PDAC resection; patients who carry the risk alleles at 1 of both SNP loci had a 2.63-fold increased risk for tumor-associated death compared with those with protective genotypes (hazard ratio for survival, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.27-0.53]; P = 1.0 × 10-8).

The identified polymorphisms may serve as a noninvasive biomarker signature of prospective survival after pancreatic resection that is readily available at the time of PDAC diagnosis. This signature can be used to identify a subset of high-risk patients with PDAC with very low survival probability who might be eligible for inclusion in clinical trials of new therapeutic strategies, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy protocols. In addition, the biological knowledge about these SNPs could help guide the development of individualized genomic strategies for PDAC therapies.

Management Options for Gastric Variceal Hemorrhage.

JAMA Surgery

Varices are one of the main clinical manifestations of cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Gastric varices are less common than esophageal varices but are often associated with poorer prognosis, mainly because of their higher propensity to bleed.

Currently, treatments used to control and manage gastric variceal bleeding include β-blockers, endoscopic injection sclerotherapy, endoscopic variceal ligation, endoscopic variceal obturation, shunt surgery, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts, balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO), and modified BRTO. In the past few decades, Western (United States and Europe) interventional radiologists have preferred transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts that aim to decompress the liver and reduce portal pressure. Conversely, Eastern radiologists (Japan and South Korea) have preferred BRTO that directly targets the gastric varices. Over the past 20 years, BRTO has evolved and procedure-related risks have decreased. Owing to its safety and efficiency in treating gastric varices, BRTO is now starting to gain popularity among Western interventional radiologists. In this review, we present a comprehensive literature review of current and emerging management options, including BRTO and modified BRTO, for the treatment of gastric varices in the setting of cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration has emerged as a safe and effective alternative treatment option for gastric variceal hemorrhage. A proper training, evidence-based consensus and guideline, thorough preprocedural and postprocedural evaluation, and a multidisciplinary team approach with BRTO and modified BRTO are strongly recommended to ensure best patient care.

Association of Racial Disparities With Access to Kidney Transplant After the Implementation of the New Kidney Allocation System.

JAMA Surgery

Inactive patients on the kidney transplant wait-list have a higher mortality. The implications of this status change on transplant outcomes between racial/ethnic groups are unknown.

To determine if activity status changes differ among races/ethnicities and levels of sensitization, and if these differences are associated with transplant probability after implementation of the Kidney Allocation System.

A multistate model was constructed from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network kidney transplant database (December 4, 2014, to September 8, 2016). The time interval followed Kidney Allocation System implementation and provided at least 1-year follow-up for all patients. The model calculated probabilities between active and inactive status and the following competing risk outcomes: living donor transplant, deceased donor transplant, and death/other. This retrospective cohort study included 42 558 patients on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network kidney transplant wait-list following Kidney Allocation System implementation. To rule out time-varying confounding from relisting, analysis was limited to first-time registrants. Owing to variations in listing practices, primary center listing data were used for dually listed patients. Individuals listed for another organ or pancreatic islets were excluded. Analysis began July 2017.

Probabilities were determined for transitions between active and inactive status and the following outcome states: active to living donor transplant, active to deceased donor transplant, active to death/other, inactive to living donor transplant, inactive to deceased donor transplant, and inactive to death/other.

The median (interquartile range) age at listing was 55.0 (18.0-89.0) years, and 26 535 of 42 558 (62.4%) were men. White individuals were 43.3% (n = 18 417) of wait-listed patients, while black and Hispanic individuals made up 27.8% (n = 11 837) and 19.5% (n = 8296), respectively. Patients in the calculated plasma reactive antibody categories of 0% or 1% to 79% showed no statistically significant difference in transplant probability among races/ethnicities. White individuals had an advantage in transplant probability over black individuals in calculated plasma reactive antibody categories of 80% to 89% (hazard ratio [HR], 1.8 [95% CI, 1.4-2.2]) and 90% or higher (HR, 2.4 [95% CI, 2.1-2.6]), while Hispanic individuals had an advantage over black individuals in the calculated plasma reactive antibody group of 90% or higher (HR, 2.5 [95% CI, 2.1-2.8]). Once on the inactive list, white individuals were more likely than Hispanic individuals (HR, 1.2 [95% CI, 1.17-1.3]) or black individuals (HR, 1.4 [95% CI, 1.3-1.4]) to resolve issues for inactivity resulting in activation.

For patients who are highly sensitized, there continues to be less access to kidney transplant in the black population after the implementation of the Kidney Allocation System. Health disparities continue after listing where individuals from minority groups have greater difficulty in resolving issues of inactivity.

DECIPHER pooled shRNA library screen identifies PP2A and FGFR signaling as potential therapeutic targets for DIPGs.


Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly aggressive pediatric brain tumors that are characterized by a recurrent mutation (K27M) within the histone H3 encoding genes H3F3A or HIST1H3A/B/C. These mutations have been shown to induce a global reduction in the repressive histone modification H3K27me3, which together with widespread changes in DNA methylation patterns results in an extensive transcriptional reprogramming hampering the identification of single therapeutic targets based on a molecular rationale.

We applied a large-scale gene knockdown approach using a pooled shRNA library in combination with next-generation sequencing in order to identify DIPG-specific vulnerabilities. The therapeutic potential of specific inhibitors of candidate targets was validated in a secondary drug screen.

We identified fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling and the serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as top depleted hits in patient-derived DIPG cell cultures and validated their lethal potential by FGF ligand depletion and genetic knockdown of the PP2A structural subunit PPP2R1A. Further, pharmacological inhibition of FGFR and PP2A signaling through ponatinib and LB-100 treatment, respectively, exhibited strong tumor-specific anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity in cultured DIPG cells.

Our findings suggest FGFR and PP2A signaling as potential new therapeutic targets for the treatment of DIPGs.

Cause or effect: Altered brain and network activity in cervical dystonia is partially normalized by botulinum toxin treatment.


Idiopathic cervical dystonia (CD) is a chronic movement disorder characterized by impressive clinical symptoms and the lack of clear pathological findings in clinical diagnostics and imaging. At present, the injection of botulinum toxin (BNT) in dystonic muscles is an effective therapy to control motor symptoms and pain in CD.

We hypothesized that, although it is locally injected to dystonic muscles, BNT application leads to changes in brain and network activity towards normal brain function.

Using 3 T functional MR imaging along with advanced analysis techniques (functional connectivity, Granger causality, and regional homogeneity), we aimed to characterize brain activity in CD (17 CD patients vs. 17 controls) and to uncover the effects of BNT treatment (at 6 months).

In CD, we observed an increased information flow within the basal ganglia, the thalamus, and the sensorimotor cortex. In parallel, some of these structures became less responsive to regulating inputs. Furthermore, our results suggested an altered somatosensory integration. Following BNT administration, we noted a shift towards normal brain function in the CD patients, especially within the motor cortex, the somatosensory cortex, and the basal ganglia.

The changes in brain function and network activity in CD can be interpreted as related to the underlying cause, the effort to compensate or a mixture of both. Although BNT is applied in the last stage of the cortico-neuromuscular pathway, brain patterns are shifted towards those of healthy controls.

Bayesian computational markers of relapse in methamphetamine dependence.


Methamphetamine use disorder is associated with a high likelihood of relapse. Identifying robust predictors of relapse that have explanatory power ...

Disentangling motor planning and motor execution in unmedicated de novo Parkinson's disease patients: An fMRI study.


Many studies have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to unravel the neuronal underpinnings of motor system abnormalities in Parkinson's dis...