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Extratemporal, nonlesional epilepsy in children: postsurgical clinical and neurocognitive outcomes

Clinical article

Ian G. Dorward, Jeffrey B. Titus, David D. Limbrick, James M. Johnston, Mary E. Bertrand, and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Patients undergoing epilepsy surgery without evidence of a lesion on MR imaging and without a temporal source for seizure onset generally have less favorable outcomes than patients with structural lesions or temporal onset. However, many of these patients are viable candidates for invasive monitoring and subsequent resection or multiple subpial transections (MSTs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical treatment of pediatric patients with extratemporal, nonlesional epilepsy in order to better understand the clinical and neuropsychological outcomes expected in this patient group.

Methods

Forty-three pediatric patients with negative results on MR imaging and lateralized, extratemporal findings on electroencephalography underwent invasive monitoring with grid and/or strip electrodes. Thirty-three subsequently had resection of an epileptogenic focus and/or MSTs.

Results

Outcome was classified as Engel class I or II in 54.5% of the patients who underwent resection/MSTs and Engel class III or IV in 45.5%. Use of MSTs was associated with poor outcome. Neuropsychological evaluation showed significant improvement in immediate auditory attention following surgery and revealed several significant results on subgroup analysis. Complications occurred in 14% of patients (a 7% rate per procedure). Ten patients (23%) underwent invasive monitoring without proceeding to therapeutic surgery because no epileptogenic region was amenable to resection. Neuropsychological outcomes were generally stable.

Conclusions

Patients with extratemporal, nonlesional seizures are viable candidates for invasive monitoring with grid/strip electrodes, and good outcomes can be obtained with resective surgery. The use of MSTs may correlate with worse outcome. This study also provides additional data to assist in counseling patients on the risks of negative invasive monitoring, deficits resulting from resection/MSTs, and possible operative complications.

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Idiopathic syrinx in the pediatric population: a combined center experience

Clinical article

Suresh N. Magge, Matthew D. Smyth, Lance S. Governale, Liliana Goumnerova, Joseph Madsen, Becca Munro, Stephen V. Nalbach, Mark R. Proctor, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

Object

Discovery of a syrinx in a child, without a readily identifiable proximate cause such as a Chiari malformation, tumor, or site of tethering, is often a cause of concern for families and a source of consternation for clinicians. There is a paucity of data describing the natural history of an idiopathic syrinx in the pediatric population. The authors present the combined data of 2 major pediatric neurosurgical centers to describe their experience with this condition.

Methods

Data were collected at Children's Hospital Boston and St. Louis Children's Hospital according to institutional review board–approved protocols and captured visits over a 2.5-year interval (October 2006–March 2009), with records reviewed if the patient had a preexisting diagnosis of syrinx. Patients were identified by ICD-9 codes derived from departmental databases. All pediatric patients (age < 19 years) in whom idiopathic syrinx had been diagnosed, as defined by MR imaging findings (dilated central canal in the spinal cord of ≥ 1 mm in axial dimension and extending over at least 2 vertebral levels), were included.

Results

Forty-eight patients met the criteria for idiopathic syrinx during this period, and in 32 of them detailed follow-up imaging was available. Discovery of a syrinx was incidental in 6 patients, whereas the others were referred for imaging because of the presence of pain, neurological symptoms, scoliosis, or skin markings. The average age at the first MR imaging session was 9.7 years, with a mean syrinx size of 4 mm (range 1.2–9.4 mm). The majority (52%) of patients had a thoracic syrinx, with the average lesion spanning 7.1 vertebral levels. The average follow-up was 23.8 months (range 2–64 months), and subgroups of patients with < 3 years and ≥ 3 years of follow-up were independently reviewed. Overall, symptoms improved in 34% and worsened in 9%; 57% of the patients remained asymptomatic or stable. Radiographically (in the subgroup of 32 patients with detailed follow-up imaging), syrinx size decreased in 25% of patients, increased in 12.5%, and remained unchanged in 62.5%, with no apparent correlation between change in syrinx size and clinical symptoms.

Conclusions

Clinically, children with an idiopathic syrinx remained asymptomatic, stable, or improved in 91% of cases. The majority of syringes (87.5%) remained stable or shrank over time, with no apparent correlation between changes in size and changes in symptoms. Although longer follow-up is needed, these data suggest that the natural history of an idiopathic syrinx in children is benign, and that repeated imaging may not be necessary.

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Complete versus anterior two-thirds corpus callosotomy in children: analysis of outcome

Clinical article

Laleh Jalilian, David D. Limbrick Jr., Karen Steger-May, Jim Johnston, Alex K. Powers, and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of anterior versus complete sectioning of the corpus callosum in children suffering from medically refractory epilepsy. The authors report seizure outcome in patients who underwent anterior two-thirds or complete corpus callosotomy (CC) during the period 1995–2008 at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Methods

The medical records of 27 children and adolescents with a minimum follow-up of 6 months were retrospectively evaluated with respect to seizure status, anticonvulsant outcomes, and subjective results. Preoperatively, patients suffered from a variety of seizure types that occurred daily, weekly, or episodically. The male/female ratio was 19:8, and patients ranged in age between 3 and 19 years (mean 9.93 years). Seizure outcome, parental assessment of daily function, and changes in the number of prescribed antiepileptic drugs were all assessed.

Results

Fifteen patients underwent an initial anterior two-thirds CC, and 12 underwent a complete CC. Of the 15 patients who underwent an anterior CC, 7 went on to receive a posterior CC. Seizure control was superior in children undergoing a complete CC (91%, Class I–III) versus an anterior two-thirds CC (75%, Class I–III). Seizure types most affected by CC included atonic, myoclonic, and absence. The number of postoperative antiepileptic drugs did not significantly change following CC in either the anterior only or complete groups. One patient experienced a transient disconnection syndrome that resolved within 4 weeks, and 4 patients experienced mild hemiparesis and speech delays that resolved with therapy. Three patients experienced surgical complications requiring a second operation. The overall daily function and attentiveness of the patients improved.

Conclusions

A complete CC should be considered as the initial procedure in lower-functioning children afflicted by absence, atonic, or myoclonic seizures. Severely affected higher-functioning children may also benefit from a complete CC, without clinically significant disconnection syndromes. A completion posterior CC may benefit patients in whom a prior anterior CC has failed.

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Editorial

Posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation

Joseph H. Piatt

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Neurosurgical treatment of progressive posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation in preterm infants: a 10-year single-institution study

Clinical article

David D. Limbrick Jr., Amit Mathur, James M. Johnston, Rebecca Munro, James Sagar, Terrie Inder, Tae Sung Park, Jeffrey L. Leonard, and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and progressive posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation (PPHVD) may result in significant neurological morbidity in preterm infants. At present, there is no consensus regarding the optimal timing or type of neurosurgical procedure to best treat PPHVD. Conflicting data exist regarding the relative risks and benefits of two commonly used temporizing neurosurgical procedures (TNPs), ventricular access devices ([VADs] or ventricular reservoirs) versus ventriculosubgaleal (VSG) shunts. This study was designed to address this issue.

Methods

This is a single-center, 10-year retrospective review of all preterm infants admitted to the St. Louis Children's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with Papile Grade III–IV IVH. The development of PPHVD and the requirement for and type of TNP were recorded. Rates of TNP complication, ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt implantation, shunt infection, and mortality rates were used to compare the efficacy and limitations of each TNP type.

Results

Over this 10-year interval, 325 preterm infants with Grade III–IV IVH were identified, with trends showing an increasing number of affected infants annually, and an increasing number of TNPs were required annually. Ninety-five (29.2%) of the 325 infants underwent a TNP for PPHVD (65 VADs, 30 VSG shunts). The rate of permanent VP shunt implantation for all TNPs was 72.6% (69 of 95 infants). Forty-nine (75.4%) of the 65 infants treated with VADs and 20 (66.7%) of the 30 treated with VSG shunts required VP shunts (p = 0.38). There was no statistical difference between VAD or VSG shunt with regard to TNP-related infection (p = 0.57), need for TNP revision (p = 0.16), subsequent shunt infection (p = 0.77), shunt revision rate (p = 0.58), or mortality rate (p = 0.24).

Conclusions

Rates of IVH and PPHVD observed at the authors' center have increased over time. In contrast to recent literature, the results from the current study did not demonstrate a difference in complication rate or requirement for permanent VP shunt placement between VADs and VSG shunts. Definitive conclusions will require a larger, prospective trial.

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Comparison of perceptions and treatment practices between neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons for infants with deformational plagiocephaly

Clinical article

Amy Lee, Andrea E. Van Pelt, Alex A. Kane, Thomas K. Pilgram, Daniel P. Govier, Albert S. Woo, and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Deformational plagiocephaly (DP) is the leading cause of head shape abnormalities in infants. Treatment options include conservative measures and cranial molding. Pediatric neurosurgeons and craniofacial plastic surgeons have yet to agree on an ideal therapy, and no definable standards exist for initiating treatment with helmets. Furthermore, there may be differences between specialties in their perceptions of DP severity and need for helmet therapy.

Methods

Requests to participate in a web-based questionnaire were sent to diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery and US and Canadian members of the Pediatric Joint Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association. Questions focused on educational background; practice setting; volume of DP patients; preferences for evaluation, treatment, follow-up; and incentives or deterrents to treat with helmet therapy. Six examples of varying degrees of DP were presented to delineate treatment preferences.

Results

Requests were sent to 302 neurosurgeons and 470 plastic surgeons, and responses were received from 71 neurosurgeons (24%) and 64 plastic surgeons (14%). The following responses represented the greatest variations between specialties: 1) 8% of neurosurgeons and 26% of plastic surgeons strongly agreed with the statement that helmet therapy is more beneficial than conservative therapy (p < 0.01); and 2) 25% of neurosurgeons and 58% of plastic surgeons would treat moderate to severe DP with helmets (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Survey responses suggest that neurosurgeons are less likely to prescribe helmet therapy for DP than plastic surgeons. Parents of children with DP are faced with a costly treatment decision that may be influenced more strongly by referral and physician bias than medical evidence.

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Hemispherotomy: efficacy and analysis of seizure recurrence

Clinical article

David D. Limbrick Jr., Prithvi Narayan, Alexander K. Powers, Jeffrey G. Ojemann, Tae Sung Park, Mary Bertrand, and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Hemispherotomy generally is performed in hemiparetic patients with severe, intractable epilepsy arising from one cerebral hemisphere. In this study, the authors evaluate the efficacy of hemispherotomy and present an analysis of the factors influencing seizure recurrence following the operation.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 49 patients (ages 0.2–20.5 years) who underwent functional hemispherotomy at their institution. The first 14 cases were traditional functional hemispherotomies, and included temporal lobectomy, while the latter 35 were performed using a modified periinsular technique that the authors adopted in 2003.

Results

Thirty-eight of the 49 patients (77.6%) were seizure free at the termination of the study (mean follow-up 28.6 months). Of the 11 patients who were not seizure free, all had significant improvement in seizure frequency, with 6 patients (12.2%) achieving Engel Class II outcome and 5 patients (10.2%) achieving Engel Class III. There were no cases of Engel Class IV outcome. The effect of hemispherotomy was durable over time with no significant change in Engel class over the postoperative follow-up period. There was no statistical difference in outcome between surgery types. Analysis of factors contributing to seizure recurrence after hemispherotomy revealed no statistically significant predictors of treatment failure, although bilateral electrographic abnormalities on the preoperative electroencephalogram demonstrated a trend toward a worse outcome.

Conclusions

In the present study, hemispherotomy resulted in freedom from seizures in nearly 78% of patients; worthwhile improvement was demonstrated in all patients. The seizure reduction observed after hemispherotomy was durable over time, with only rare late failure. Bilateral electrographic abnormalities may be predictive of posthemispherotomy recurrent seizures.

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Spontaneous resolution of Chiari malformation Type I in monozygotic twins

Report of 2 cases

Jeffrey H. Miller, David D. Limbrick Jr., Matthew Callen, and Matthew D. Smyth

The spontaneous resolution of isolated tonsillar ectopia in Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a known and reported entity in 2 previous single study case reports. However, it has not been previously described in monozygotic twins. Two children, ~ 1 year of age with CM-I and presumed episodes of pallid syncope or breath-holding spells presented for neurosurgical evaluation. Although Chiari decompression was considered, the authors decided to proceed with conservative management with close follow-up due to the uncertain nature of these episodes. Approximately 4 years later, both children's symptoms had resolved. Repeated MR imaging examinations also showed spontaneous resolution of the malformation in both girls. These cases emphasize that when patients with CM-I present with atypical symptoms, spontaneous resolution or improvement is possible, which may influence the decision to pursue a trial of nonsurgical management. The possible pathophysiological mechanisms and genetic influences of CM-I are also briefly discussed.

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Ossified pseudomeningocele following Chiari decompression surgery in a patient with Kleeblattschädel deformity

Case report

Matthew R. Reynolds, Spiros L. Blackburn, and Matthew D. Smyth

The authors present the case of a 3-year-old child with Kleeblattschädel, or cloverleaf skull deformity, and a Chiari malformation Type I who developed an ossified pseudomeningocele after posterior fossa decompression. To their knowledge, this is the first report of a postoperative ossified pseudomeningocele in a patient with Kleeblattschädel and the only case of an ossified pseudomeningocele located outside the lumbosacral region. A genetic basis for the ossification process seems likely given the child's history of premature cranial suture closure. The authors draw attention to this rare complication and review the available body of literature on this topic.

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Adverse facial edema associated with off-label use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 in cranial reconstruction for craniosynostosis

Case report

M. Mohsin Shah, Matthew D. Smyth, and Albert S. Woo

✓The authors present a case of scalp and facial edema following craniofacial reconstruction for metopic craniosynostosis in which recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2) was used to treat cranial defects related to the frontoorbital reconstruction. The extent of swelling, the onset, and duration were unusual for such cases and suggested a possible role of rhBMP-2 in inducing a local inflammatory response. The edema rapidly resolved after the patient underwent surgery to remove the rhBMP-2 implants.