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University of Pittsburgh Researchers Present Findings at Annual Meeting of Congress of Neurological Surgeons


Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh department of neurological surgery presented findings from more than 15 studies at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) annual meeting held this week at the San Diego Convention Center.

Douglas Kondziolka, M.D., and L. Dade Lunsford, M.D., both professors of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, held positions of prestige and honor at this year’s CNS meeting. Dr. Kondziolka, ending a one-year term as president of the CNS, presided over the meeting. Dr. Lunsford was the meeting’s honored guest, bestowed upon one distinguished neurosurgeon each year.

Selected research findings from University of Pittsburgh faculty included:

A study combining the results of thirteen centers across the United States of patients who experienced severe back and leg pain due to protruding lumbar discs shows that a minimally invasive, percutaneous disc decompression technique is significantly more effective in alleviating pain than nerve root injections alone. Patients who underwent percutaneous disc decompression also reported significantly less disability and improved physical function.
Presented by: Peter Gerszten, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery
An analysis of the practical use and outcomes of stents in treating ruptured aneurysms in patients, representing the largest review of the efficacy and safety of Neuroform stents and the required use of anticoagulants and antiplatelets. A review of 41 patients showed this approach to be as safe and effective as in patients with unruptured aneurysms.
Presented by: Michael Horowitz, M.D., professor of neurological surgery
An analysis of complications in 700 patients who underwent fully endoscopic expanded endonasal skull base surgery over a nine-year period suggests endoscopic surgery to be a safe approach to the skull base, particularly when compared to results obtained after standard skull base procedures.
Presented by: Amin Kassam, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery
An analysis of more than 1,200 patients with acoustic neuromas (benign tumors of the eighth cranial nerve in the brain that can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ears or balance problems) indicated that stereotactic radiosurgery using the gamma knife to treat these tumors achieved tumor control in 98 percent of patients and was associated with hearing preservation rates in 75 percent of patients.
Presented by: L. Dade Lunsford, M.D., professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology
A 25-year perspective on intraoperative imaging, its evolution, options and practical applications; and a 20-year perspective on stereotactic radiosurgery in the treatment of patients with arteriovenous malformations.
Presented by: L. Dade Lunsford, M.D., professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology
A study of transient paralysis following trauma among elite football players reveals new information that may be helpful to those making management, rehabilitation and return-to-play decisions for elite athletes. The study found that neurologically intact athletes with spinal cord (focal cord) decompression may safely return to football after undergoing decompressive surgery and confirmation of fusion, while there may be an increased chance of repeated disc herniation above or below the fusion.
Presented by: Joseph Maroon, M.D., clinical professor of neurological surgery
An analysis of outcomes of 61 young patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery indicates that this treatment approach may allow for less trauma compared to conventional treatment approaches, which may disrupt growth centers in the craniofacial skeleton and result in facial asymmetry.
Presented by: Daniel Prevedello, M.D., clinical instructor of neurological surgery


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