Full Reviews

Skull Base Surgery: Strategies

Jean WC. Skull Base Surgery: Strategies. Thieme 2019; 455 pp; 505 ill; $249.99.

Skull Base Surgery--Walter JeanThe richly illustrated, 455-page hardcover book entitled Skull Base Surgery: Strategies should be of great interest to all neuroradiologists. Edited by Walter Jean, MD, from George Washington University Hospital, 112 contributors have written 32 chapters on the day-to-day practice of neuroradiology. In addition to intra-operative imaging, the book also shows CT and MRI at the skull base. Readers will appreciate the multiple factors that go into surgical decisions based on specific locations, surrounding vascular structures, “corridors” of approach, and details of the actual surgery itself. Additionally, questions are interspersed within each chapter, encouraging the reader to think along with the author. These questions, and the text that follows, involve not only the differential diagnosis, but the crucial observations needed for reporting.

This book is divided into 9 major divisions, each containing multiple chapters on tumors of the anterior skull base; antero lateral skull base; lateral skull base; central skull base; cliuus; petrous bone; postero superior skull base; poster inferior skull base; and ventricles.

What makes the subject matter more interesting is the manner in which each topic is dealt. A typical case (or 2 cases) of the region has image assessment, pre-operative anatomic /therapeutic considerations, technique, and post-op care. Following each subject, are a few pages entitled “perspective,” tackling the same lesions, but offers another perspective.

The subspecialty division of neurosurgery has created (in many large academic centers) a separate division of—or center for—skull base surgery. This highly technical area requires knowledge by the radiologist of what the main considerations of the surgeon are, not only diagnostically, but also the vital information that is needed before surgery.

Supplemented by video clips for each surgery, one can quickly grasp the approaches needed. This book is given the …

Surgery of the Thoracic Spine: Principal and Techniques

Baaj AA, Kakarla UK, Kim HJ. Surgery of the Thoracic Spine: Principal and Techniques. Thieme 2019;318 pp; 147 ill; $199.99.

thoracic spinal surgery techniquesEdited by 2 neurosurgeons (Dr. Baaj—Cornell; Dr. Kakarla—Barrow Neurological Institute) and one orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Kim—HSS) this 318 page book, Surgery of the Thoracic Spine: Principles and Techniques has 5 sections and contributions from 83 authors.

The introductory section includes 5 topics—those of most interest are the chapters on biomechanics of the thoracic spine, clinical presentations of thoracic cord compression, and non-operative diseases of the thoracic cord—all are well-illustrated and written). From there, follows major sections on spine deformity (6 chapters), degenerative disease (4 chapters), infection (3 chapters), tumors/vascular (5 chapters), trauma (5 chapters), and 3 chapters on topics which do not fit easily into the above sections.

Neuroradiologists would be best served by reading the parts of this book related to understanding various surgical approaches to a spectrum of thoracic spine disorders, thus making interpretation of both pre-operative and post-operative images more meaningful and accurate. For example, in the deformities section, one can read the classifications of congenital scoliosis, how surgeons use those terms, and what corrective measures can be taken. Diagnosis, both in this chapter, and elsewhere in the book, help to explain the surgical approaches.

The book, especially in this section, would have benefited from better imaging. For example, in the chapter on Scheuermann’s kyphosis, the 2 plain films and one MR are poor and don’t show the anterior wedge deformities. Similarly, there is a failure to show the prominent MR features of spondyloarthropathies.

In the chapter on osteoporotic compression fractures, the material is scanty, with no descriptions of exactly how the vertebroplasties are done and the considerations which go into details of what factors to consider before and during the procedure. In future editions, the …

Handbook of Pediatric Neurosurgery

Jallo GI, Kothbauer KF, Recinos VM. Handbook of Pediatric Neurosurgery;Thieme 2018; 556 pp; 275 ill; $ 124.99.

Handbook of Pediatric Neurosurgery is a concise and practical pediatric neurosurgery textbook detailing the management of various pediatric neurosurgical disorders encountered in clinical practice. The primary author of this book is Dr. George Jallo, an internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, with invaluable contributions from more than 80 national and international subspecialists in neurosurgery and other related fields.

The book has been nicely divided into 11 sections. It starts with an introduction dealing with critical care and pain management followed by a chapter outlining various imaging techniques when dealing with pediatric neurosurgery disorders. The next few sections cover specific disorders, including tumors, cerebrovascular disorders and vascular malformations in both the brain and the spine. There is an extensive review of congenital and developmental cranial and spinal anomalies as well as pediatric trauma and infection, involving the entire neural axis. There is an entire section dedicated to the understanding and surgical management of childhood epilepsy.  The book concludes with a review on neuronavigation in pediatric neurosurgery.

The highlights of this book are many. Many of the chapters conclude with an informative subsection, which deals with “common clinical questions” followed by “answers to the common clinical questions,” highlighting the wealth of experience of the various authors.  There are more than 275 excellent illustrations, intraoperative pictures as well as radiological images throughout the book.

Overall, this is an excellent textbook by expert pediatric neurosurgeons and other subspecialists who describe surgical procedures involved in the management of various pediatric neurosurgical disorders with an emphasis on certain operative techniques useful during surgery. The strategies and pearls gained from decades of experience provide an invaluable resource to young neurosurgeons learning the art of neurosurgery. This is by no means a comprehensive …

Rhoton’s Atlas of Head, Neck, and Brain: 2D and 3D Images

Peris-Celda M; Martinez-Soriano F; Rhoton AL. Rhoton’s Atlas of Head, Neck, and Brain: 2D and 3D Images;Thieme 2017; 648 pp; 624 ill; $ 299.99.

Rhoton’s Atlas of Head, Neck, and Brain represents some of the finest work of the late Dr. Albert L. Rhoton, an extraordinary neurosurgeon, anatomist, and teacher. It is perhaps no surprise then, that this work includes some of the highest quality anatomical dissections of the head, neck, and brain, presented here in exquisite detail.

The book is entirely made of labeled and annotated photographs of cadaveric dissections. Labeled photographs are presented at various depths through the specimen and are typically oriented in classic anterior-posterior, lateral, or top-down views which correlate well with standard radiographical images. The remainder of the dissections are presented in the views that would be obtained during classic surgical approaches.

The organization of the book is intuitive, with bony anatomy, the face and neck, interior structures (ear, nose, pharynx, larynx, orbit), and cranial anatomy presented separately. The sections are further divided into detailed exposures of substructures, often presented in multiple views. Interspersed among the sections devoted to specific entities are views designed to match surgical approaches with specific attention paid to endoscopic views to the cerebral ventricular system and endonasal approach to the anterior skull base. Thus, while the level of detail and sectioning through the cadavers at various depths is appropriate for the most sophisticated anatomists, the overall layout and apparent intention is to aid the surgeon. Some impressive examples include the surgical view during endonasal approaches to the anterior skull base, and midline posterior fossa approaches.

The level of detail is impressive, and the quality of the photographs and cadaveric specimens is spectacular. Even minor nerve branches are often labeled and the relationship of vascular structures with adjacent entities is …

Pediatric Otolaryngology: Practical Clinical Management

Clarke RW. Pediatric Otolaryngology: Practical Clinical Management;Thieme 2018;416 pp; 454 ill; $149.99.

A large number of pediatric visits, particularly in the emergency room are due to Otolaryngologic disorders. Pediatric Otolarngology: Practical Clinical Management is a comprehensive textbook that deals with the clinical management of practically every problem, from the simplest to the most complex, in the pediatric head, neck, and ear. The book is edited by Dr. R. W. Clarke, a renowned pediatric otolaryngologist in the UK, with contributions from more than 30 other distinguished co-authors in the same field from various countries. Many of the authors participate in the British Pediatric Otolaryngology course held annually. Thus, the reader is assured of accurate information and provided with advanced clinical guidance from a large team of international specialists from around the world.

The text is subdivided into 6 parts. It begins with an introduction to pediatric otolaryngology with some nuances of dealing with the pediatric patient during the clinical visit in the office and/or the pediatric ER as well as some important aspects to be aware of when dealing with pediatric anesthesia and the peri operative care of children. Part 2 is exclusively devoted to disorders of the external, middle and inner ear, with special chapters dealing with the relatively common but complex problems of cholesteatoma and facial palsy. One of the highlights of this book is the comprehensive coverage of topics, which are unique to children. This is evident in Part 3 that is entirely dedicated to the clinical and surgical management of the hearing-impaired child.
The remaining divisions of the book deal with nasal and sinus disorders, including airway obstruction in children, congenital and acquired disorders of the larynx, and issues related to the management of tracheostomy and its complications. Pediatric head and neck disorders are dealt with …

Endoscopic Approaches to the Paranasal Sinuses and Skull Base: A Step-by-Step Anatomic Dissection Guide

Bernal-Sprekelsen M; Alobi I; Ensenat J; et al. Endoscopic Approaches to the Paranasal Sinuses and Skull Base: A Step-by-Step Anatomic Dissection Guide;Thieme 2017; 434 pp; 930 ill; $159.99.

In the textbook “Endoscopic Approaches to the Paranasal Sinuses and Skull Base,” the editors present an in depth reference text that covers all of the current concepts regarding endoscopic surgery of the paranasal sinuses and skull base, including endoscopic anatomy and surgical landmarks, preoperative and postoperative diagnosis, instrumentation, anaesthesia, and patient positioning.

The book starts with an overview of the basic sinonasal surgical anatomy and techniques, and then progresses in a step-wise manner to more advanced endoscopic sinonasal procedures and skull base approaches. Each chapter focuses on the indications for the specific endoscopic surgical procedure, critical surgical anatomical landmarks for that approach, details on the surgical technique in a step-by-step fashion, potential complications, and “tips and tricks” (pearls) for the reader.

The endoscopic skull base procedure sections are organized by anatomical area; including anterior skull base, middle cranial fossa, posterior cranial fossa and craniovertebral junction, infratemporal fossa, and the nasopharynx/parapharyngeal space. At the end of the book there are also chapters that cover combined (endoscopically-assisted) external approaches to the skull base, as well as common skull base defect reconstructive techniques that may be seen by neuroradiologists on postoperative skull base scans.

The chapters are well organized in an easy to read format, with over 900 high definition endoscopic and graphic color illustrations, which are clearly labeled, but may be more difficult to understand if one is a not an endoscopic sinonasal or skull base surgeon. Another minor drawback is the lack illustrative video dissections and/or surgical case videos to highlight common surgical approaches. However, there are many high quality and well-labeled endoscopic figures from latex-fixed cadaveric endoscopic dissections, showing the skull …

Neurotrauma and Critical Care of the Spine, 2nd Edition

Jallo J, Vaccaro A. Neurotrauma and Critical Care of the Spine, 2nd Edition;Thieme 2018; 238 pp; 77 ill; $179.99.

In this second edition text, Drs. Jallo and Vaccaro have prepared a clinically practical reference for those involved with the acute management of spine injuries. Drawing on the expertise of over 60 collaborators, this book succeeds in being able to present a wealth of information into a relatively concise, clinically relevant text. Aiding this pursuit, over 75 high quality illustrations are included to help solidify various concepts, particularly in regards to the myriad of vertebral injury classification schema.

This work is spread out over 22 chapters and broadly sectioned into 5 parts:

  • Introduction
  • Science
  • Management
  • Critical Care
  • Outcome

All chapters are concluded with a generous references section. Following the introduction that touches on the epidemiology of spine injuries, the science section (chapters 2 -7) delves into various topics that are of diagnostic relevance. As a neuroradiologist, I found this section most applicable to my work.

Chapter 4 ambitiously tackles the numerous spinal trauma classification systems. The various types of vertebral column injuries are systematically presented, with a strong emphasis on the ability of each system to predict stability of a fracture. Clear illustrations further serve to clarify these systems.

Chapter 5 is the only chapter specifically devoted to the imaging of the traumatic spine, with a majority of the chapter discussing the imaging features of common vertebral column injury patterns. Both novices and experts will likely solidify their understating of these imaging features. While the chapter benefits from several high quality radiographs, I would have liked to see more cross sectional images, as CT and MRI are the mainstay of spine imaging at our trauma center.

Chapter 6 is an enlightening dive into the biomechanics of the spine, and I …

Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Update on Temporal Bone Imaging with Emphasis on Clinical and Surgical Perspectives

Moonis G, Juliano AF, Mukherji S. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Update on Temporal Bone Imaging with Emphasis on Clinical and Surgical Perspectives; Elselvier; 2019; 202 pp; $397.00.

The February 2019 edition of the Neuroimaging Clinics discusses one of the most detailed areas of neuroradiology — temporal bone imaging. Edited by Drs. Moonis and Juliano, Update on Temporal Bone Imaging with an Emphasis on Clinical and Surgical Perspectives consists of the following 13 chapters:

  • Inflammation
  • Meniere Disease
  • Ostosclerosis
  • Tinnitus
  • Third Window
  • Arterial Abnormalities
  • Pediatric Hearing Loss
  • Syndromic Temporal Bone Abnormalities
  • Temporal Bone Trauma
  • Management of Vestibelar Schwannomas
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures
  • Advanced MR Imaging

Thirty authors have contributed to this 200 page issue. Throughout the text there is an attempt to correlate — as well as possible — important clinical and surgical aspects of the topic under consideration. For example: audiograms of a number of abnormalities, tables for clinical classification of hearing loss, diagrams of aberrant arterial connections, sound conduction diagrams in normal and abnormal situations. The imaging quality is excellent throughout the book and the chapters are formatted in a similar manner.

This edition starts with a chapter on inflammation and it is particularly well done with an abundance of illustrations, tables, and well-outlined and described entities. Because of the myriad inflammatory diseases that affect the temporal bone, close attention to this material is appropriate, considering neuroradiologists’ daily evaluation of this area.

Updates on topics less frequently encountered include Meniere Disease and Third Window Lesions; however, the other topics are also important and well designed. Again, what is nice about this volume in general are the clinical correlations. In the trauma chapter, for example, many facts are emphasized and illustrated (like otic capsule involvement or sparing), the mechanism of force to cause these, and the otologic consequences. Side by …

Surgical Anatomy of the Lumbar Plexus

Tubbs RS, Loukas M, Hanna AS, et al. Surgical Anatomy of the Lumbar Plexus; Thieme; 2018; 220 pp; 130 ill; $99.99.

Surgical Anatomy of the Lumbar Plexus, edited by a chief science officer, a chair of a department of anatomical sciences, and 2 neurosurgeons provides a nice mix of editors for a book on this topic. There are a variety of disciplines represented by 43 contributors — the overwhelming majority of whom are in anatomical departments comprised of both PhDs and MDs. There are also contributions from neurosurgeons, neurologists, internists, a molecular medicine specialist, anesthesiologists, general surgeons, oral maxillofacial surgeons, and 4 radiologists; there is also 1 short chapter dedicated to diagnostic imaging.

This book is organized by 27 chapters:

  • An overview of the lumbar plexus
  • Subcostal nerve
  • Iliohypogastric nerve
  • Ilioinguinal nerve
  • Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve
  • Genitofemoral nerve
  • Femoral nerve
  • Obturator nerve
  • Furcal nerve
  • Accessory obturator nerve
  • Variations of the lumbar plexus
  • High-Resolution magnetic resonance neurography of the lumbar plexus
  • Lesions involving the lumbar plexus
  • Injury to the lumbar plexus following lateral lumbar spine fusion procedures
  • Lumbar plexus anatomy with application to lateral approaches to the lumbar spine
  • The subcostal nerve during lateral approaches to the lumbar spine
  • Surgical techniques for approaching the lumbar plexus
  • Nerve root anomalies with application to the lumbar plexus
  • Lumbar dorsal root ganglia
  • History of the dermatomes with focus on the contributions from the lumbar plexus
  • Dermatomes and the lumbar plexus
  • Anesthetic blockade of the femoral nerve
  • Anesthetic blockade of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve
  • Anesthetic blockade of the iliohypogastric, ilioinguinal, and genitofemoral nerves
  • Microanatomy of the lumbar plexus
  • Surgical anatomy of the lumbar plexus with emphasis on landmarks and Comparative anatomy of the lumbar plexus

The sections within each chapter are not arranged in a consistent fashion, even among those that focus on …

RadCases Plus Q&A Thoracic Imaging

Restrepo CS, Zangan SM. RadCases Plus Q&A Thoracic Imaging; Thieme;2018;260 pp;550 ill.;$69.99.

RadCases Plus Q&A Thoracic Imaging offers a case-based, minimalist review of thoracic imaging covering the necessary thoracic basics for radiologists at all levels of training. This updated version brings more detail, as well as opportunity, for exam preparation with a newly added question bank. Beyond that, the book offers the expected formula which has made it a popular, go-to source for radiologists and radiologists in training.

This second edition offers several welcome changes. The most appreciated change is the inclusion of a greater variety of imaging modalities for some cases when compared to the prior. Several cases have added plain film accompaniment to CT images or vice versa. Offering these correlates increases the utility of this book as a tool to improve a radiologist’s skills at the workstation rather than only practicing test taking skills. Room for improvement remains in image size and contrast. Subtle findings require high levels of lighting or prolonged close inspection, as the small images often reach the limits of the printed resolution, especially for nuanced interstitial patterns.

Additionally, the printing method seems to diminish contrast which is most often apparent on the plain films where it is common to only see findings once they have been pointed out on the subsequent page. Interestingly, some of the image labels [arrows] have been revised for this version; simplified in some cases or completely reworked in others. These changes may or may not be an improvement, but the presence of these annotations is once again appreciated.

Another area of update includes the case explanations. Overall, the book offers the most salient points of each pathology for a given case including concise description of common imaging findings. The cases are reviewed in three sections following the …