Clinical Neuroscience

[New, innovative prognosis calculator for patients with metastatic spinal tumors]

MEZEI Tamás1,2, BÁSKAY János3,4, POLLNER Péter 4,5, HORVÁTH Anna6, NAGY Zoltán 1,2, CZIGLÉCZKI Gábor 1,2, BANCZEROWSKI Péter1,2

MARCH 31, 2022

Clinical Neuroscience - 2022;75(03-04)


[The aim of our research was to create a scoring system that predicts prognosis and recommends therapeutic options for patients with metastatic spine tumor. Increasing oncological treatment opportunities and prolonged survival have led to a growing need to address clinical symptoms caused by meta­stases of the primary tumor. Spinal metastases can cause a significant reduction in quality of life due to the caused neurological deficits. A scoring system that predicts prognosis with sufficient accuracy could help us to achieve personalised treatment options. Methods – We performed a retrospective clinical research of data from patients over 18 years of age who underwent surgery due to symptomatic spinal metastasis at the National Institute of Mental Disorders, Neurology and Neurosurgery between 2008 and 2018. Data from 454 patients were analysed. Survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier, log-rank, Cox model) was performed, network science-based correlation analysis was used to select the proper prognostic factors of our scoring system, such that its C value (predictive ability index) was maximized. Multivariate Cox analysis resulted in the identification of 5 independent prognostic factors (primary tumour type, age, ambulatory status, internal organ metastases, serum protein level). Our system predicted with an average accuracy of 70.6% over the 10-year study period. Our large case series of surgical dataset of patients with symptomatic spinal metastasis was used to create a risk calculator system that can help in the choice of therapy. Our risk calculator is also available online at]


  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Idegsebészeti Tanszék, Budapest
  2. Országos Mentális, Ideggyógyászati és Idegsebészeti Intézet, Budapest
  3. Semmelweis Egyetem, Egészségügyi Menedzserképző Központ, Budapest
  4. Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Biológiai Fizika Tanszék, Budapest
  5. MTA-ELTE Statisztikus és Biológiai Fizika Kutatócsoport, Budapest
  6. Semmelweis Egyetem, Belgyógyászati és Hematológiai Klinika, Budapest



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

Neurological disorders in liver transplantation

YUKSEL Hatice , AYDIN Osman, ARI Derya , OTER Volkan , AKDOGAN Meral , BIROL BOSTANCI Erdal

Liver transplantation is the only curative treatment in patients with end-stage liver failure. It has been associated with neurological disorders more frequently than other solid organ transplantations. We aimed to detect neurological disorders in liver transplantation patients and determine those that affect mortality. One hundred eighty-five patients, 105 with and 80 without neurological disorders, were included in this study. The follow-up was categorized into three periods: preoperative, early postoperative and late postoperative. We analyzed all medical records, including demographic, laboratory, radiological, and clinical data. Neurological disorders were observed in 52 (28.1%) patients in the preoperative period, in 45 (24.3%) in the early postoperative, and in 42 (22.7%) in the late postoperative period. Hepatic encephalopathy in the preoperative and altered mental state in the post­operative period were the most common neurological disorders. Both hepatic encephalopathy (37.5%) and altered mental state (57.7%) caused high mortality (p=0.019 and 0.001) and were determined as indepen­dent risk factors for mortality. Living donor transplantation caused less frequent mental deterioration (p=0.049). The mortality rate (53.8%) was high in patients with seizures (p=0.019). While mortality was 28.6% in Wilson’s disease patients with neurological disorders, no death was observed in patients without neurological disorders. We identified a wide variety of neurological disorders in liver transplantation patients. We also demonstrated that serious neurological disorders, including hepatic encephalopathy and seizures, are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Therefore, in order to avoid poor outcomes, hepatic encephalopathy should be considered as a prioritization criterion for liver transplantation.

Clinical Neuroscience

Weekly patterns of suicide and the influence of alcohol consumption in an urban sample


The weekly fluctuation in suicide rates is influenced by several factors including sex, psychiatric illness and alcohol dependence. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of current alcohol use on suicid Data on sex, date of death, results of blood and/or urine alcohol tests and history of alcohol dependence in suicide victims over the 1997-2002 period were retrieved from a forensic database in two cities in Chuvash Republic. Over the six-year study period, 1,379 suicides were committed, 59% of them under the influence of alcohol. The peak incidence for men and women regardless of previous alcohol consumption was on Wednesdays and Mondays, respectively. The overall suicide rate was highest on Mondays and lowest on Thursdays. Both sexes were less likely to commit suicide during holidays than on weekends or workdays while intoxicated with alcohol. In this urban sample, the distribution of suicide across weekdays only partly followed the international pattern. The peak incidence of suicide showed sex difference, with the highest incidence for women on Mondays and for men on Wednesdays. The higher suicide rate on workdays might be accounted for by work-related stress, while the lower rate on weekends could be explained that people usually drink alcohol in the comforting company of family or friends, which reduces psychological tension and suicidal ideation. The majority of men consumed alcohol before committing suicide, regardless of the day of the week, while this observation was true for women only on Fridays and Sundays. Alcohol consumption greatly contributes to suicidal behavior in Chuvash Republic.

Clinical Neuroscience

How does the use of antiplatelet and anticoagulants affect the success of mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke cases?

ÇABALAR Murat , ŞENGEZE Nihat , EREN Alper , İNANÇ Yusuf , GİRAY Semih

In this study, we wanted to investigate the effect of antiplatelet and anticoagulant use on the success of mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke cases. 174 patients who were brought to the Stroke Center of Gaziantep University Şahinbey Research and Practice Hospital between January 2018 and February 2019 due to acute ischemic stroke and who underwent mechanical thrombectomy were retrospectively analyzed. The demographic characteristics, antiplatelet/anticoagulant use before the stroke and mTICI (modified-Throm­bolysis-In-Cerebral-Infarction) scores used for reperfusion in mechanical thrombectomy were evaluated. The findings were analyzed statistically (p<0.05). The mean age was 63.3 ± 13.5 in 174 patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy. 23/174 (13.2%) patients were using anticoagulant therapy (warfarin-OAC or new generation oral anticoagulant-NOAC) and 28/174 (16.1%) were using antiplatelet therapy. A history of atrial fibrillation (AF) was significantly higher in patients receiving anticoagulant therapy before acute ischemic stroke (p=0.001). Patients with a history of hyper tension (HT), diabetes mellitus (DM) and coronary artery disease (CAD) before acute ischemic stroke were receiving antiplatelet therapy in higher rates (respectively; p=0.003, p=0.037, p=0.005). Successful recanalization (mTICI ≥ 2b) was higher in patients with a history of anticoagulant use and who underwent mechanical thrombectomy (p=0.025). Our study showed that the use of anti­platelet or anticoagulants before mechanical thrombec­tomy may have an indirect positive effect on the success of the procedure.

Clinical Neuroscience

How to manage MuSK antibody-positive myasthenic crisis during pregnancy?


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease that is characterised by the formation of antibodies against acetylcholine receptors in the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction. The course of the disease cannot be predicted during pregnancy. A subtype of MG with positive muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (anti-MuSK) antibodies exhibits more localised clinical characteristics and a poor response to treatment compared with the disease subtype that involves positivity for acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Myasthenic crisis is more frequently observed in anti-MuSK-positive myasthenia patients. Anti-MuSK-positive myasthenic crisis management is very difficult and a risky situation during pregnancy. The reported case was 30 years old, female, 9 weeks pregnant and musk antibody positive. She stopped her treatment without asking her doctor because she was planning pregnancy in the 6-month period before her hospitalization. She was intubated for a long time in the intensive care unit due to myasthenic crisis and was very resistant to treatment. During this period, her pregnancy was terminated due to fetal anomaly. Plasmapheresis, IVIg and immunosuppressive treatments were applied. Our patient was discharged after a period of about 10 weeks. We share our treatment management.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Can we influence the negative drug attitude? Interpretation of the rejection of COVID-19 vaccine in the light of results of a pilot study ]

POGÁNY László , HORVÁTH A. András, LAZÁRY Judit

[Vaccination refusal is a serious obstacle to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the rejection of vaccine can be considered the result of a negative attitude towards medical treatment, and according to our previously published data, it can be influenced by the underlying affective state. Increased incidence of affective disorders and anxiety could be observed globally during the pandemic, which may have a significant impact on vaccination acceptance. The aim of our pilot study was to determine the association between clinical improvement of affective and neurocognitive symptoms and change of drug attitude and health control beliefs in a sample of psychiatric patients. A data set of 85 patients with psychiatric disorder has been analysed with the use of Patient’s Health Belief Questionnaire on Psychiatric Treatment (PHBQPT) with 5 subscales (Negative Aspect of Medication – NA; Positive Aspect of Medication – PA; Doctor health locus of control- Doctor HLOC; Internal HLOC; Psychological Reactance – PR); Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS-Anx; HADS-Dep) and neurocognitive tests, such as the Stroop test and the Trail Making Tests. All the tests were performed before and after a 14 days treatment. Paired t-tests and generalized linear models were performed to assess the associations between the variables. The baseline scores of NA and HADS-Anx correlated significantly (p=0.001) and after two weeks of treatment NA decreased (p=0.001), while Doctor HLOC and Internal HLOC increased (p=0.001 and p=0.006). The patients performance of the neurocognitive tests improved (all p<0.05). The reduction of HADS-Anx (p=0.002) and HADS-Dep (p=0.006) scores showed significant associations with the decrease of NA. Increase of the PA score was associated with reduction of HADS-Dep (p=0.028). Improvement of neurocognitive functions had no effect on PHBQPT scores. Important conclusions can be drawn regarding the rejection of the COVID-19 vaccine based on the associations found between the intensity of affective and anxiety symptoms and the attitude towards treatment. Our findings suggest that affective symptoms have a negative influence on the attitude towards treatment and that the improvement of these symptoms can facilitate the acceptance of the therapy, regardless of diagnosis. The modest effect of the improvement of neurocognitive functioning on the attitude towards drugs and the significant role of affective-emotional factors suggest that the accep­tance of vaccination probably cannot be facilitated solely with the aid of educational programs. Considering the increasing incidence of affective disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the screening of affective and anxiety symptoms and treatment of these disorders could be an important step towards the acceptance of the vaccine. Although psychiatry is not considered as a frontline care unit of the COVID cases, more attention is needed to pay on the availability of mental health services because refuse of vaccine can develop due to affective disorders too.]

All articles in the issue

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Prognostic significance of invasion in glioblastoma]


[Glioblastoma is the most common malignant CNS tumor, its surgical removal is hindered by the tumors invasive nature, while current anti-tumor therapies show limited effectiveness – mean overall survival is 16-24 months. Some patients show minimal response towards standard oncotherapy, however there are no routinely available prognostic and predictive markers in clinical practice to identify the background of mentioned differences in prognosis. This research aims to identify the prognostic significance of invasion-related extracellular (ECM) components. Patient groups with different prognoses were created (OS: group A <16 months, group B > 16 months), and internationally recognized prognostic markers (IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter hyper-methylation) were tested in the flash-frozen tumor samples. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of 46 invasion-related ECM molecules were measured. Clinical data of the patients who have been operated on at the University of Debrecen Clinical Center Department of Neurosurgery and treated at the Department of Clinical Oncology showed no significant differences except for survival data (OS and PFS), and reoperation rate. All samples were IDH wild type. MGMT promoter hypermethylation rate showed significant differences (28.6% vs 68.8%). The expressional pattern of the invasion-related ECM molecules, i.e. the invasion spectrum also showed major differences, integrin β2, cadherin-12, FLT4/VEGFR-3 and versican molecules having signficantly different mRNA levels. The accuracy of the inivasion spectrum was tested by statistical classifier, 83.3% of the samples was sorted correctly, PPV was 0.93. The difference found in the reoperation rate when comparing different prognostic groups aligns with literature data. MGMG promoter region methylation data in Hungarian samples has not been published yet, and further confirming current knowledge urges the implementation of MGMT promoter analysis in clinical practice. Studying the invasion spectrum provides extra information on tumors, as a prognostic marker it helps recognizing more aggressive tumors, and calls attention to the necessity of using anti-invasive agents in GBM therapies in the future.]

Clinical Neuroscience

The evaluation of the relationship between risk factors and prognosis in intracerebral hemorrhage patients

SONGUL Senadim, MURAT Cabalar, VILDAN Yayla, ANIL Bulut

Objective - Patients were assessed in terms of risk factors, hematoma size and localization, the effects of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on mortality and morbidity, and post-stroke depression. Materials and methods - The present study evaluated the demographic data, risk factors, and neurological examinations of 216 ICH patients. The diagnosis, volume, localization, and ventricular extension of the hematomas were determined using computed tomography scans. The mortality rate through the first 30 days was evaluated using ICH score and ICH grading scale. The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to determine the dependency status and functional recovery of each patient, and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was administered to assess the psychosocial status of each patient. Results - The mean age of the patients was 65.3±14.5 years. The most common locations of the ICH lesions were as follows: lobar (28.3%), thalamus (26.4%), basal ganglia (24.0%), cerebellum (13.9%), and brainstem (7.4%). The average hematoma volume was 15.8±23.8 cm3; a ventricular extension of the hemorrhage developed in 34.4% of the patients, a midline shift in 28.7%, and perihematomal edema, as the most frequently occurring complication, in 27.8%. Over the 6-month follow-up period, 57.9% of patients showed a poor prognosis (mRS: ≥3), while 42.1% showed a good prognosis (mRS: <3). The mortality rate over the first 30 days was significantly higher in patients with a low Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at admission, a large hematoma volume, and ventricular extension of the hemorrhage (p=0.0001). In the poor prognosis group, the presence of moderate depression (39.13%) was significantly higher than in the good prognosis group (p=0.0001). Conclusion - Determination and evaluation of the factors that could influence the prognosis and mortality of patients with ICH is crucial for the achievement of more effective patient management and improved quality of life.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Pneumococcal meningitis in children - 9 1/2-year-experience at Szent László hospital, Budapest, Hungary ]

IVÁDY Balázs, LIPTAI Zoltán, ÚJHELYI Enikő, BALÁZS György

[Background and objective - No recent publications are available about pneumococcal meningitis in Hungarian children. The aim of this study was to collect data of epidemiological, clinical and prognostic features of pneumococcal meningitis in children treated at Szent László Hospital, Budapest, Hungary. Methods - We conducted a retrospective review of medical charts and follow-up records of patients aged 1 to 18 years admitted to our Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Units due to pneumococcal meningitis between 1st Jan 1998 and 30th Jun 2007. Results - 31 children with 34 cases of pneumococcal meningitis were admitted to our hospital in the study period. Two children developed recurrent illness. The mean age was 6 years, 26% were under 1 year of age. The mean duration of hospital stay was 21 days, 97% required intensive care. Frequent clinical symptoms were fever (100%), nuchal rigidity and vomiting (78%), altered mental status (71%), Kernig's and Brudzinski's signs (58%) and seizures (41%). Otitis media, sinusitis, mastoiditis were present in 44%, 58%, 41%, respectively. Subdural effusion, parenchymal cerebral lesion and sinus thrombosis were documented in 5, 3 and 2 cases, respectively. One third of the patients recieved ceftriaxon, two thirds were administered ceftriaxon and vancomycin. Adjunctive therapy with dexamethason was given to 91% of the children. 70% of patients required mechanical ventillation. 9 patients (25%) required endoscopic sinus surgery. In 13 cases (38%) mastoidectomy, in 5 children (15%) neurosurgery was performed. The case fatality rate was 23.5%. 8 (23.5%) patients had mild or moderate, 1 child (3%) developed severe neurological sequelae. Conclusion - Pneumococcal meningitis in children remains a source of substantial morbidity and mortality in childhood. The long hospital stay, the frequent need for intensive care and severe neurologic sequelae emphasize the importance of early diagnosis, early treatment and prevention with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Changing tendencies in retinal surgery]


[Retinal detachment, a disease caused by pathologic alteration of the vitreoretinal relationship, may decrease vision to blindness without treatment. Although some of the patients with retinal detachment become blind for the time being, last two decades produced significant improvement both in diagnosis and treatment. As a result of new surgical techniques we can perform successful surgery even in cases that were earlier inoperable. Recent methods are significantly less traumatic to the eye than they were 20 years ago. Dramatically reduced bedrest before and after surgery, regional or even topical anaesthesia instead of general anaesthesia, short term hospitalisation or one day surgery, short term restriction of physical activity after surgery are the most important consequences of the new wave of retinal detachment repair. According to recent recommendations of the prophylactic treatment of peripheral retinal lesions we treat only horse tears with sudden retinal complaints.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The relevancy of measuring the level of D-dimer test in clinical practice]


[Plasma levels of D-dimer may rise in a number of pathological conditions, which might be relevant for diagnosis as well as for prognosis. Its concentration increases with age, perhaps because of the wide-spread co-morbidity. In this article we demonstrate the diagnostic role of Ddimer in the well-known thromboembolic diseases. Beyond that, we highlight the importance of measuring D-dimer levels in other, lesser-known conditions, about which important findings have been published, such as cardiovascular, inflammatory or malignant diseases. It seems that in these disorders - provided that appropriate clinical conditions are available -, measuring D-dimer levels might have a role not only in diagnosis but in the prognosis as well. Furthermore, our aim was to discourage inappropriate clinical practice. Ignoring to measure the D-dimer levels (for fear of it being high) might lead to diagnostic errors. On the other hand, routinely performing the D-dimer test without clinical consideration (in the hope of it being negative) might cause diagnostic confusion in case of unexpected positivity and - mostly because of false interpretation - lead to further, unnecessary examinations.]