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James T. Goodrich

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Farideh Nejat, Zohreh Habibi, Mehrdad Goudarzi, Mahdi Souraki Azad, Ehsan Moradi, Vahid Heidari, Maliheh Kadivar, Zahra Ebrahim Soltani, and Leila Kouchakzadeh

Craniopagus is a very rare congenital anomaly that tends to affect females more often than males. It is classified as partial or total. Most affected twins are either stillborn or die during the perinatal period. Those who survive birth should undergo detailed radiological evaluations soon after their condition becomes stable so that the precise anatomy of the conjoined part can be defined and surgery can be planned in detail by a multidisciplinary team. Recommendations for decreasing the risk of unsuccessful surgery include performing surgery on an elective basis after extensive preoperative radiological evaluations as well as when the twins are at an acceptable age and weight for a complex surgical separation, generally as staged procedures. In addition, the operation should be performed by a well-equipped expert multidisciplinary team.

When one of the conjoined twins dies, however, surgical separation cannot be postponed because the shared circulatory system predisposes the alive child to life-threatening complications, including coagulopathy. The authors report on the successful separation of craniopagus twins performed on an emergency basis at 32 weeks of gestational age because of the sudden death of one of them. At the time of separation surgery, the twins each weighed 1250 g. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the youngest age and lowest weight yet reported for successful surgical separation. The surviving twin developed a pseudomeningocele, which required a second operation and placement of a cystoperitoneal shunt 4 months after the operation. Additional surgery is planned to repair a cranial defect that resulted from the pseudomeningocele, but his general physical and mental condition was otherwise good at latest follow-up (12 months after separation surgery).

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Mehdi Zeinalizadeh, Seyed Mousa Sadrehosseini, Zohreh Habibi, Farideh Nejat, Harley Brito da Silva, and Harminder Singh

OBJECTIVE

Congenital transsphenoidal encephaloceles are rare malformations, and their surgical treatment remains challenging. This paper reports 3 cases of transsphenoidal encephalocele in 8- to 24-month-old infants, who presented mainly with airway obstruction, respiratory distress, and failure to thrive.

METHODS

The authors discuss the surgical management of these lesions via a minimally invasive endoscopic endonasal approach, as compared with the traditional transcranial and transpalatal approaches. A unique endonasal management algorithm for these lesions is outlined. The lesions were repaired with no resection of the encephalocele sac, and the cranial base defects were reconstructed with titanium mesh plates and vascular nasoseptal flaps.

RESULTS

Reduction of the encephalocele and reconstruction of the skull base was successfully accomplished in all 3 cases, with favorable results.

CONCLUSIONS

The described endonasal management algorithm for congenital transsphenoidal encephaloceles is a safe, viable alternative to traditional transcranial and transpalatal approaches, and avoids much of the morbidity associated with these open techniques.

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Shima Shahjouei, Sara Hanaei, Zohreh Habibi, Mostafa Hoseini, Saeed Ansari, and Farideh Nejat

OBJECTIVE

No evidence-based guideline has been approved for the postoperative management of pediatric patients with tethered cord syndrome (TCS). The purpose of this randomized clinical trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of prone positioning and acetazolamide administration on complication rates following spinal cord untethering surgeries.

METHODS

From October 2012 to February 2015, patients with a primary diagnosis of TCS who were admitted to the Children's Medical Center Hospital of Iran were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 intervention modality groups postoperatively: 1) Group A, acetazolamide administration for 10 days; 2) Group B, prone positioning for 10 days; 3) Group C, acetazolamide administration and prone positioning for 10 days; and 4) Group D, no intervention. CSF leakage, CSF collection, wound dehiscence, operative site infection, and secondary surgical wound repair were considered failure.

RESULTS

A total of 161 patients were enrolled in this study (Group A, n = 39 [24.2%]; Group B, n = 41 [25.5%]; Group C, n = 39 [24.2%]; and Group D, n = 42 [26.1%]). The overall failure rate was 12.42% (20 patients). Complication rates through pooled analyses were as follows: CSF leakage (n = 9, 5.6%), CSF collection (n = 12, 7.5%), wound dehiscence (n = 2, 1.2%), and infection of operation site (n = 3, 1.9%). Two patients (1.2%) required surgical secondary wound repair due to complications. CSF leakage and collection rates were significantly lower in patients who underwent prone positioning (p = 0.042 and 0.036, respectively). The administration of acetazolamide, either isolated or in combination with prone positioning, not only could not significantly lower the complication rates, but also added the burden of side effects.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study demonstrates the possible role of prone positioning in mitigating the complication rates subsequent to untethering surgeries.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01867268 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Farshid Farzaneh, Ehsan Moradi, Zohreh Habibi, and Farideh Nejat

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Shima Shahjouei, Sara Hanaei, Farideh Nejat, Maryam Monajemzadeh, and Mostafa El Khashab

Intradural sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is a rare entity that has been reported in only a few cases previously. The authors present the case of a 2-week-old, otherwise healthy neonate with a mass in the buttock. The imaging findings and the high level of serum alpha-fetoprotein were highly suggestive of SCT. On operation the authors found intradural extension of the teratoma. The lesion was managed successfully without any remaining sequelae. The authors briefly review the currently proposed etiology regarding teratoma formation and the intradural extension of SCT.

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Sara Hanaei, Farideh Nejat, Abolghasem Mortazavi, Zohreh Habibi, Arash Esmaeili, and Mostafa El Khashab

Lipomyelomeningocele, a congenital spine defect, is presented as skin-covered lipomatous tissue that attaches to the cord in different ways according to its subtypes. Unlike other types of neural tube defects, the exact cause of this birth defect has not been confirmed yet, but it is proposed to be a multifactorial disease with involvement of both genetic and environmental factors. The authors describe identical twins with lipomyelomeningocele of the same subtype and location without any familial history of similar abnormality. Therefore, the same genetic and/or environmental risk factors could have played a part in their condition.

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Mahdi Arjipour, Farideh Nejat, and Zohreh Habibi