Bartek et al., conducted a retrospective review of 98 adult patients (≥16 years) treated with MVD between 1 January 1994 and 1 June 2013. Adverse events occurring within 30 days were classified according to the Landriel Ibañez classification for neurosurgical complications: grade I represents any non-life threatening complication treated without invasive procedures; grade II is complications requiring invasive management; grade III is life-threatening adverse events requiring treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU); grade IV is death as a result of complications. We sought to compare our results with reports from the literature.
Patients' median age was 61 years (range 26-83), and 64 (65 %) were females. Indications for MVD were trigeminal neuralgia (n = 77, 79 %), glossopharyngeal neuralgia (n = 4, 4 %), hemifacial spasm (n = 16, 16 %) and combined trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm (n = 1, 1 %). The overall 30-day complication rate was 20 %, with 14 % grade I complications, 5 % grade II complications and 1 % grade III complications. The comparison with the literature was hampered by the diverse and unsystematic way of reporting complications.
They provide a standardized report of postoperative complications in a consecutive patient series undergoing MVD. Due to the heterogeneous and non-standardized reporting of complications in the literature, it is difficult to know if the 20 % complication rate is low or high. Standardized reporting is a necessity for meaningful and more valid comparisons across studies. The safety of MVD, a fairly standardized neurosurgical procedure, is well suited for comparisons across centers provided that complications are reported in a standardized manner 1).