Giovanni Raffa

Giovanni Raffa
Università degli Studi di Messina | UNIME · Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche Odontoiatriche e delle Immagini Morfo

MD, PhD

About

86
Publications
8,828
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917
Citations
Citations since 2017
70 Research Items
858 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Introduction
Giovanni Raffa currently works at the Division of Neurosurgery, BIOMORF Department, University of Messina, Italy. Giovanni does research in Oncology, Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology. Their current project is 'nTMS-based mapping of neuronal networks involved in cognitive functions' and the nTMS-based applications in Neurosurgical Oncology
Additional affiliations
June 2019 - present
Università degli Studi di Messina
Position
  • Academic Neurosurgeon
October 2015 - October 2018
Università degli Studi di Messina
Position
  • Neurosurgeon
December 2014 - December 2015
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Position
  • Visiting Scientist - Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Background: Diffusion tensor imaging tractography provides 3-dimensional reconstruction of principal white matter tracts, but its spatial accuracy has been questioned. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) enables somatotopic mapping of the motor cortex. Objective: We used motor maps to reconstruct the corticospinal tract (CST) by i...
Article
Full-text available
Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has recently been introduced as a non-invasive tool for functional mapping of cortical language areas prior to surgery. It correlates well with intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring findings, allowing defining the best surgical strategy to preserve cortical language areas during surgery for...
Article
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Spinal tumor (ST) surgery carries the risk of new neurological deficits in the postoperative period. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and mapping (IONM) represents an effective method of identifying and monitoring in real time the functional integrity of both the spinal cord (SC) and the nerve roots (NRs). Despite consensus favoring the...
Article
Purpose: The management of brain tumors during pregnancy is challenging. The clinical rarity and prognostic heterogeneity of such condition makes it difficult to develop standardized guidelines of treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the treatment options used in pregnant women with brain tumors that are currently used in Italy, consider...
Article
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE Awake surgery represents the gold standard for resection of brain tumors close to the language network. However, in some cases patients may be considered not eligible for awake craniotomy. In these cases, a personalized brain mapping of the language network may be achieved by navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS), which can g...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Imposter syndrome (IS) occurs when high-achieving individuals have a pervasive sense of self-doubt combined with fear of being exposed as a fraud, despite objective measures of success. This is one of the main causes of burnout among professionals, threatening their mental health and general well-being. The prevalence and severity of IS...
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Introduction Modern technologies are increasingly applied in neurosurgical resident training. To date, no data are available regarding how frequently these are used in the training of neurosurgeons, and what the perceived value of this technology is. Research question The aim was to benchmark the objective as well as subjective experience with mod...
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•Gross total removal has a pivotal role in surgical treatment of intradural spinal tumors.•Sodium fluorescein prevents vascular injuries also preserving pial vessels in posterior myelotomy.•Fluorescence before the durotomy helps to distinguishing tumor from healthy tissue in intradural lesions.•Intraoperative fluorescence is safe and effective, als...
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Background The ischaemic stroke of the territory of the middle cerebral artery represents an event burdened by high mortality and severe morbidity. The proposed medical treatments do not always prove effective. Decompressive craniectomy allows the ischaemic tissue to shift through the surgical defect rather than to the unaffected regions of the bra...
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Posterior cerebral artery (PCA) territory infarction involving occipital cortical damage can give rise to contralateral homonymous hemianopia. Here, we report two rare cases of patients with lesions in the left hemisphere PCA territory who developed right visuo-spatial neglect. One patient suffered right hemianopia and right visuo-spatial neglect a...
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Surgical resection of brain tumors aims at the maximal safe resection of the pathological tissue with minimal functional impairment. To achieve this objective, reliable anatomical landmarks are indispensable to navigate into the brain. The neuronavigation system can provide information to target the location of the patient’s lesion, but after the c...
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Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is capable of inducing changes in the functional organization of underlying brain regions, however, often at the cost of long stimulation protocols over several weeks. As these protocols can be difficult to implement in clinical settings, the aim of the present pilot study was to sho...
Article
Eagle Syndrome (ES) is an often misdiagnosed syndrome due to its wide spectrum of signs and symptoms. Recent works have pointed out the relation between ES and some types of craniofacial pain often misdiagnosed with migraine or temporomandibular disorders. Moreover, the presence of Vascular ES as a cause of Carotid Artery Dissection in same cases o...
Article
Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is going to be the third-leading cause of death worldwide, according to the WHO. Two European surveys suggested that adherence to brain trauma guidelines is poor. No study has compared compliance between low- (LMICs) and high-income (UHICs) countries. Hence, this study aimed to investigate differences in th...
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Background and Objectives: The term acrometastases (AM) refers to secondary lesions sited distally to the elbow and knee, representing 0.1% of all bony metastases. By frequency, pulmonary cancer and gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract neoplasms are the most responsible for the reported AM. Improvements in oncologic patient care favor an increa...
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Background: Brain tumors can cause different changes in excitation and inhibition at the neuronal network level. These changes can be generated from mechanical and cellular alterations, often manifesting clinically as seizures. Objective/Hypothesis: The effects of brain tumors on cortical excitability (CE) have not yet been well-evaluated. The aim...
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Neglect is a severe neuropsychological/neurological deficit that usually develops due to lesions of the posterior inferior parietal area of the right hemisphere and is characterized by a lack of attention to the left side. Our case is a proven right-handed, 30-year-old female patient with a low-grade glioma, which was located in the temporo-opercul...
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IntroductionThe goal of brain tumor surgery is the maximal resection of neoplastic tissue, while preserving the adjacent functional brain tissues. The identification of functional networks involved in complex brain functions, including visuospatial abilities (VSAs), is usually difficult. We report our preliminary experience using a preoperative pla...
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(1) Background: Despite many surgical and technological advances, pituitary adenoma surgery is still burdened by non-negligible rates of incomplete tumor resection, mainly due to difficulties in differentiating pathology from normal pituitary tissue. Some fluorescent agents have been recently investigated as intraoperative contrast agents in pituit...
Article
Background: Although anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) represents a standardized procedure for surgical treatment of a cervical herniated disc, several variables could affect patients' clinical and radiological outcome. We evaluated the impact of sex, age, body mass index (BMI), myelopathy, one- or two-level ACDF, and the use of posto...
Article
Objective This study aims to provide morphometric analysis of endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) to ventral-medial portion of posterior paramedian skull base (VMPPSB). Furthermore, it aims to investigate the surgical exposure obtained through EEA with and without Eustachian tube (ET) removal, emphasizing the role of contralateral nostril (CN) acce...
Article
Whether the semantic representation of numbers is endowed with an intrinsic spatial component, so that smaller numbers are inherently represented to the left of larger ones on a Mental Number Line (MNL), is a central matter of debate in numerical cognition. To gain an insight into this issue, we investigated the performance of right brain damaged p...
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In preoperative planning for neurosurgery, both anatomical (diffusion imaging tractography) and functional tools (MR-navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation) are increasingly used to identify and preserve eloquent language structures specific to individuals. Using these tools in healthy adults shows that speech production errors occur mainly in...
Article
The long-term time course of neuropathological changes occurring in survivors from severe traumatic brain injury remains uncertain. We investigated the brain morphometry and memory performance modifications within the same group of severe non-missile traumatic brain injury patients (nmTBI) after about ∼1 year and at ∼ 9 years from the head trauma....
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Background The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has an impact also on neurosurgical training and education, especially in most affected countries. We surveyed Italian neurosurgical residents, asking them to provide a brief description and analyze the situation they are experiencing and how the educational system...
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Gliomas represent over 70% of all brain tumors, they are highly invasive and structurally vascular neoplasms. Despite the latest technological advance in neuro-surgery the survival of patients with high-grade glioma remains poor. The lack of robust treatment options has propelled the search for new markers that may able allow the identification of...
Article
The Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic has fast spread throughout the world in more than 200 countries, resulting in the need for a de-prioritization of elective medical care to face the demands of the global health crisis. Although the acute and catastrophic phase of the pandemic seems to have been left behind, it is also clear that the virus will no...
Article
Status epilepticus during the post-operative period is a rare complication for neurosurgery patients. Acute encephalopathic syndromes can present a diagnostic challenge due to the wide range of possible etiologies, and can also have vastly different outcomes. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome is a rare neurological disorder, usually asso...
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TBI is the main cause of death and disability in individuals aged 1–45 in Western countries. One of the main challenges of TBI at present is the lack of specific diagnostic biomarkers, especially for mild TBI (mTBI), which remains currently difficult to value in clinical practice. In this context MiRNAs may be important mediators of the profound mo...
Article
Background Since January 2020, 3 months ago, when the pathogen causing the Coronavirus-disease was identified in humans, the literature on COVID-19 has grown exponentially to over 4000 publications. There is the need to provide an update for each single medical discipline, including neurosurgery, to be used by single professionals or to be distribu...
Article
Is Eagle jugular syndrome an underestimated potentially life-threatening disease? - Enrico Nastro Siniscalchi, Giovanni Raffa, Antonino Germanò, Francesco Saverio De Ponte
Article
Background Acute alcohol intoxication is universally considered a risk factor for traumatic brain injury (TBI), therefore an indication for head CT scan. There is no evidence in the literature for this attitude. Aim of this study is to assess the need for head CT scan in acutely alcohol-intoxicated subjects with mTBI and the role of Glasgow coma sc...
Article
Maximal safe resection is the modern goal for surgery of intrinsic brain tumors located in or close to brain eloquent areas. Nowadays different neuroimaging techniques provide important anatomical and functional information regarding the brain functional organization that can be used to plan a customized surgical strategy to preserve functional net...
Article
Background: Brain metastases are the most common neoplasms in adults. When they are located in eloquent areas, their treatment still appears controversial and not clearly defined. It is therefore essential to provide for a correct preoperative planning to better define extension and characterization of brain metastasis. Methods: We retrospective...
Article
Background: An appropriate time (5-7 days) of discontinuation of low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) in patients undergoing surgery for chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is recommended. However, patient clinical deterioration often does not allow to wait the recommended time for surgery. Clear guidelines regarding the perioperative management of pa...
Article
OBJECTIVE Surgical treatment of convexity meningiomas is usually considered a low-risk procedure. Nevertheless, the risk of postoperative motor deficits is higher (7.1%–24.7% of all cases) for lesions located in the rolandic region, especially when an arachnoidal cleavage plane with the motor pathway is not identifiable. The authors analyzed the po...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) provides a reliable identification of "eloquent" cortical brain areas. Moreover, it can be used for diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking of eloquent subcortical tracts. We describe the use of nTMS-based cortical mapping and diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking for defining the "e...
Article
Background: Fluorescein-guided surgery of high-grade gliomas (HGGs) increases the extent of tumor resection but its efficacy has been questioned, especially for tumors located close to functional networks. In these cases, navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) may be used to plan and guide a safe resection. The aim of this study was to...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Angled scopes allow 360° visualization, which makes percutaneous endoscopic techniques (percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy, PELD) particularly attractive for sequestrectomies, which entail the removal of extruded lumbar disc fragments that have migrated caudally or cranially between the ligaments, foramina, and neural structures, w...
Article
BACKGROUND: Posterior fossa decompression with expansive duraplasty is the first-line surgical approach for the treatment of symptomatic syringomyelia associated with Chiari malformation. Despite good decompression, the clinical failure rate is reported to be up to 26%. A syringosubarachnoid (S-S) shunt may be used as a secondary option. METHODS: I...
Article
BACKGROUND: Nowadays, internet provides a great opportunity that allows the research community to constantly increase their scientific collaboration, together with information distribution. Aim of this study is to investigate the European National Neurosurgical Societies (ENNS) web-visibility that represents the necessary basis for diffusion of neu...
Article
This video shows an exoscope-guided single-stage resection with 3-dimensional technology of a supratentorial cavernoma and a supratentorial hemangioblastoma during the same surgical procedure. The patient is a 42-yr-old man with a history of generalized tonico-clonic seizures. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) revealed the presence of a lef...
Article
Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is an emerging tool for surgery of motor-eloquent intrinsic brain tumors, but a critical reappraisal of the literature evidence has never been performed, so far. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed searching on PubMed/MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials f...
Chapter
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Chapter
Full-text available
Background: Posterior fossa decompression with expansive duraplasty is the first-line surgical approach for the treatment of symptomatic syringomyelia associated with Chiari malformation. Despite good decompression, the clinical failure rate is reported to be up to 26%. A syringosubarachnoid (S-S) shunt may be used as a secondary option.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Stereotactic irradiation is proposed for treatment of pituitary adenomas (PAs) in patients with tumor progression/recurrence after surgery and in cases not eligible for other therapies. In the literature several papers have been published on the role of the Gamma-Knife stereotactic irradiation for management of PAs, but data on the role...
Article
Background: Surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve (UN) is effective for treating cubital tunnel syndrome (CubTS). Nevertheless, outcome is not always satisfying. Different surgical, clinical and imaging findings have been claimed as outcome predictors, but there is no consensus in the literature. We analyzed the outcome-predicting role of ultr...
Article
Background Different surgical techniques have been described for treatment of degenerative lumbar stenosis (DLS). Only postoperative measures have been identified as predictors of efficacy of decompression. The objective of this study is to assess the role of navigated unilateral laminotomy with crossover to achieve and predict a satisfying decompr...
Article
Objectives: Awake surgery and intraoperative monitoring represent the gold standard for surgery of brain tumors located in the perisylvian region of the dominant hemisphere due to their ability to map and preserve the language network during surgery. Nevertheless, in some cases awake surgery is not feasible. This could increase the risk of postope...
Article
Full-text available
Free eprints: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/vawwxubaUeuUuViT5wJ2/full Objectives Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a promising tool for treatment of chronic pain. We describe the use of navigated rTMS to treat a patient affected by phantom limb pain (PLP) and to modulate brain functional connectivity. We reviewed the lite...
Article
Although there is recent evidence for the role of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) in spine surgery, there are no uniform opinions on the optimal combination of the different tools. We analyzed the impact of the multimodal IONM (mIONM) on the preservation of neuronal structures and on functional restoration in a prospective serie...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) enables preoperative mapping of the motor cortex (M1). The combination of nTMS with diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking (DTI-FT) of the corticospinal tract (CST) has been described; however, its impact on surgery of motor-eloquent lesions has not been addressed. Objective: To ana...
Chapter
DTI fiber tracking allows for the 3D reconstruction of main white matter fascicles, including the corticospinal tract (CST). Nevertheless, standard diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking (DTI FT) is limited by the fact that it is based on the selection of anatomical landmarks as seeding regions of interest (ROIs) for tract computation. This reduce...
Chapter
Full-text available
Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a progressive clinical syndrome that includes gait disturbances, urinary incontinence, and cognitive impairment. iNPH shows similarities to other neurodegenerative disorders, primarily Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Definition of the neuropsychological profile of iNPH and the qualitative analysis of sys...
Chapter
Background Surgery of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) in eloquent areas still presents a challenge. New technologies have been introduced to enable the performance of “functional”, customized preoperative planning aimed at maximal resection, while reducing the risk of postoperative deficits. We describe our experience in the surgery of LGGs in eloquent ar...
Chapter
Although there is recent evidence for the role of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) in spine surgery, there are no uniform opinions on the optimal combination of the different tools. At our institution, multimodal IONM (mIONM) approach in spine surgery involves the evaluation of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and motor evo...
Article
Objective: A modification of other reported endoscopic Intracerberal clot evacuation is reported. Methods: From January 2014 to December 2014 we operated on 6 patients harboring a spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) using a fully endoscopic free hand technique. The surgical technique is described and illustrated. Clinical c...