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Comparing ventriculoatrial and ventriculopleural shunts in pediatric hydrocephalus: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study

Vijay M. Ravindra, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Hailey Jensen, William E. Whitehead, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., John C. Wellons III, Robert P. Naftel, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Brandon G. Rocque, Ian F. Pollack, Michael M. McDowell, Mandeep S. Tamber, Jason S. Hauptman, Samuel R. Browd, Jonathan Pindrik, Albert M. Isaacs, Patrick J. McDonald, Todd C. Hankinson, Eric M. Jackson, Jason Chu, Mark D. Krieger, Tamara D. Simon, Jennifer M. Strahle, Richard Holubkov, Ron Reeder, and John R. W. Kestle

OBJECTIVE

When the peritoneal cavity cannot serve as the distal shunt terminus, nonperitoneal shunts, typically terminating in the atrium or pleural space, are used. The comparative effectiveness of these two terminus options has not been evaluated. The authors directly compared shunt survival and complication rates for ventriculoatrial (VA) and ventriculopleural (VPl) shunts in a pediatric cohort.

METHODS

The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Core Data Project was used to identify children ≤ 18 years of age who underwent either VA or VPl shunt insertion. The primary outcome was time to shunt failure. Secondary outcomes included distal site complications and frequency of shunt failure at 6, 12, and 24 months.

RESULTS

The search criteria yielded 416 children from 14 centers with either a VA (n = 318) or VPl (n = 98) shunt, including those converted from ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Children with VA shunts had a lower median age at insertion (6.1 years vs 12.4 years, p < 0.001). Among those children with VA shunts, a hydrocephalus etiology of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) secondary to prematurity comprised a higher proportion (47.0% vs 31.2%) and myelomeningocele comprised a lower proportion (17.8% vs 27.3%) (p = 0.024) compared with those with VPl shunts. At 24 months, there was a higher cumulative number of revisions for VA shunts (48.6% vs 38.9%, p = 0.038). When stratified by patient age at shunt insertion, VA shunts in children < 6 years had the lowest shunt survival rate (p < 0.001, log-rank test). After controlling for age and etiology, multivariable analysis did not find that shunt type (VA vs VPl) was predictive of time to shunt failure. No differences were found in the cumulative frequency of complications (VA 6.0% vs VPl 9.2%, p = 0.257), but there was a higher rate of pneumothorax in the VPl cohort (3.1% vs 0%, p = 0.013).

CONCLUSIONS

Shunt survival was similar between VA and VPl shunts, although VA shunts are used more often, particularly in younger patients. Children < 6 years with VA shunts appeared to have the shortest shunt survival, which may be a result of the VA group having more cases of IVH secondary to prematurity; however, when age and etiology were included in a multivariable model, shunt location (atrium vs pleural space) was not associated with time to failure. The baseline differences between children treated with a VA versus a VPl shunt likely explain current practice patterns.

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Treatment of hydrocephalus following fetal repair of myelomeningocele: comparing endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization to ventricular shunting

Justine Izah, Joseline Haizel-Cobbina, Shilin Zhao, E. Haley Vance, Michelle Dunlap, Stephen R. Gannon, Campbell Liles, Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Matthew E. Pontell, Robert P. Naftel, John C. Wellons III, and Michael C. Dewan

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to compare clinical and craniometric outcomes of patients treated for hydrocephalus following fetal myelomeningocele repair (fMMR) via a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) or endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC).

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort study of children who were treated for hydrocephalus following fMMR via VPS or ETV with or without CPC (ETV ± CPC) at Vanderbilt between 2012 and 2021. The primary outcomes were treatment failure and time to failure (TTF). Secondary outcomes included changes in hydrocephalus metrics (fronto-occipital horn ratio [FOHR] and head circumference measurements) and healthcare resource utilization (number of hospital admissions, clinic visits, and neuroimaging findings).

RESULTS

Among 88 patients who underwent fMMR, 37 (42%) required permanent CSF diversion, of whom 19 received treatment at the authors’ institution. Twelve patients underwent ETV ± CPC, and 7 underwent VPS placement at a median corrected age of 23 weeks versus 1 week (p = 0.002). The preoperative median head circumference percentiles and z-scores for patients in the ETV ± CPC cohort were similar to those of the VPS cohort (percentiles: 98.5 vs 94.0, p = 0.064; z-scores: 2.32 vs 1.60, p = 0.111). There was no difference in preoperative median FOHR measurements between the two cohorts (0.57 vs 0.59, p = 0.53). At 6 months postoperatively, the median head circumference percentile and z-score for the ETV ± CPC cohort remained similar between the two cohorts (percentiles: 98.0 vs 67.5, p = 0.315; z-scores: 2.12 vs 0.52, p = 0.307). There was no difference in the change in FOHR (−0.06 vs −0.09, p = 0.37) and change in head circumference percentile (−1.33 vs −28.6, p = 0.058) between the cohorts 6 months after the index CSF diversion procedure. One patient in the ETV ± CPC cohort experienced a seizure and a nonoperative subdural hemorrhage postoperatively; no other complications were observed. Six of the 7 patients in the VPS cohort required shunt revision with a median TTF of 9.8 months while 2 of the 12 ETV ± CPC patients required a repeat ETV at a median of 17.5 months (86% vs 17%, p = 0.013). The median number of hydrocephalus-related hospital readmissions was significantly lower in the ETV ± CPC cohort than in the VPS cohort (0 vs 1, p = 0.006). The ETV ± CPC cohort had fewer CT scans (0 vs 2, p = 0.004) and radiographs (0 vs 2, p < 0.001) than the VPS cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

In a single-center cohort, hydrocephalic fMMR patients treated via ETV ± CPC remained shunt free, while a majority of patients receiving an upfront shunt required revision. This is the first study comparing ETV ± CPC with VPS in the fMMR hydrocephalus population. While larger, multicenter studies are needed, these results suggest that ETV/CPC may be a preferred means of CSF diversion following fMMR.

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The role of occipital condyle and atlas anomalies on occipital cervical fusion outcomes in Chiari malformation type I with syringomyelia: a study from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium

Alexander T. Yahanda, Joyce Koueik, Laurie L. Ackerman, P. David Adelson, Gregory W. Albert, Philipp R. Aldana, Tord D. Alden, Richard C. E. Anderson, David F. Bauer, Tammy Bethel-Anderson, Karin Bierbrauer, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Joshua J. Chern, Daniel E. Couture, David J. Daniels, Brian J. Dlouhy, Susan R. Durham, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Ramin Eskandari, Herbert E. Fuchs, Gerald A. Grant, Patrick C. Graupman, Stephanie Greene, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Naina L. Gross, Daniel J. Guillaume, Todd C. Hankinson, Gregory G. Heuer, Mark Iantosca, Bermans J. Iskandar, Eric M. Jackson, George I. Jallo, James M. Johnston, Bruce A. Kaufman, Robert F. Keating, Nickalus R. Khan, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Cormac O. Maher, Francesco T. Mangano, Jonathan Martin, J. Gordon McComb, Sean D. McEvoy, Thanda Meehan, Arnold H. Menezes, Michael S. Muhlbauer, Brent R. O’Neill, Greg Olavarria, John Ragheb, Nathan R. Selden, Manish N. Shah, Chevis N. Shannon, Joshua S. Shimony, Matthew D. Smyth, Scellig S. D. Stone, Jennifer M. Strahle, Mandeep S. Tamber, James C. Torner, Gerald F. Tuite, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, Scott D. Wait, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Tae Sung Park, David D. Limbrick Jr., and Raheel Ahmed

OBJECTIVE

Congenital anomalies of the atlanto-occipital articulation may be present in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I). However, it is unclear how these anomalies affect the biomechanical stability of the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) and whether they are associated with an increased incidence of occipitocervical fusion (OCF) following posterior fossa decompression (PFD). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of condylar hypoplasia and atlas anomalies in children with CM-I and syringomyelia. The authors also investigated the predictive contribution of these anomalies to the occurrence of OCF following PFD (PFD+OCF).

METHODS

The authors analyzed the prevalence of condylar hypoplasia and atlas arch anomalies for patients in the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium database who underwent PFD+OCF. Condylar hypoplasia was defined by an atlanto-occipital joint axis angle (AOJAA) ≥ 130°. Atlas assimilation and arch anomalies were identified on presurgical radiographic imaging. This PFD+OCF cohort was compared with a control cohort of patients who underwent PFD alone. The control group was matched to the PFD+OCF cohort according to age, sex, and duration of symptoms at a 2:1 ratio.

RESULTS

Clinical features and radiographic atlanto-occipital joint parameters were compared between 19 patients in the PFD+OCF cohort and 38 patients in the PFD-only cohort. Demographic data were not significantly different between cohorts (p > 0.05). The mean AOJAA was significantly higher in the PFD+OCF group than in the PFD group (144° ± 12° vs 127° ± 6°, p < 0.0001). In the PFD+OCF group, atlas assimilation and atlas arch anomalies were identified in 10 (53%) and 5 (26%) patients, respectively. These anomalies were absent (n = 0) in the PFD group (p < 0.001). Multivariate regression analysis identified the following 3 CVJ radiographic variables that were predictive of OCF occurrence after PFD: AOJAA ≥ 130° (p = 0.01), clivoaxial angle < 125° (p = 0.02), and occipital condyle–C2 sagittal vertical alignment (C–C2SVA) ≥ 5 mm (p = 0.01). A predictive model based on these 3 factors accurately predicted OCF following PFD (C-statistic 0.95).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results indicate that the occipital condyle–atlas joint complex might affect the biomechanical integrity of the CVJ in children with CM-I and syringomyelia. They describe the role of the AOJAA metric as an independent predictive factor for occurrence of OCF following PFD. Preoperative identification of these skeletal abnormalities may be used to guide surgical planning and treatment of patients with complex CM-I and coexistent osseous pathology.

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A re-evaluation of the Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy Success Score: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study

Leonard H. Verhey, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Ron W. Reeder, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Hailey Jensen, Ian F. Pollack, Brandon G. Rocque, Mandeep S. Tamber, Patrick J. McDonald, Mark D. Krieger, Jonathan A. Pindrik, Jason S. Hauptman, Samuel R. Browd, William E. Whitehead, Eric M. Jackson, John C. Wellons III, Todd C. Hankinson, Jason Chu, David D. Limbrick Jr., Jennifer M. Strahle, John R. W. Kestle, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) conducted a prospective study 1) to determine if a new, better-performing version of the Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy Success Score (ETVSS) could be developed, 2) to explore the performance characteristics of the original ETVSS in a modern endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) cohort, and 3) to determine if the addition of radiological variables to the ETVSS improved its predictive abilities.

METHODS

From April 2008 to August 2019, children (corrected age ≤ 17.5 years) who underwent a first-time ETV for hydrocephalus were included in a prospective multicenter HCRN study. All children had at least 6 months of clinical follow-up and were followed since the index ETV in the HCRN Core Data Registry. Children who underwent choroid plexus cauterization were excluded. Outcome (ETV success) was defined as the lack of ETV failure within 6 months of the index procedure. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed to evaluate time-dependent variables. Multivariable binary logistic models were built to evaluate predictors of ETV success. Model performance was evaluated with Hosmer-Lemeshow and Harrell’s C statistics.

RESULTS

Seven hundred sixty-one children underwent a first-time ETV. The rate of 6-month ETV success was 76%. The Hosmer-Lemeshow and Harrell’s C statistics of the logistic model containing more granular age and etiology categorizations did not differ significantly from a model containing the ETVSS categories. In children ≥ 12 months of age with ETVSSs of 50 or 60, the original ETVSS underestimated success, but this analysis was limited by a small sample size. Fronto-occipital horn ratio (p = 0.37), maximum width of the third ventricle (p = 0.39), and downward concavity of the floor of the third ventricle (p = 0.63) did not predict ETV success. A possible association between the degree of prepontine adhesions on preoperative MRI and ETV success was detected, but this did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

This modern, multicenter study of ETV success shows that the original ETVSS continues to demonstrate good predictive ability, which was not substantially improved with a new success score. There might be an association between preoperative prepontine adhesions and ETV success, and this needs to be evaluated in a future large prospective study.

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Shunt infection prevention practices in Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network–Quality: a new quality improvement network for hydrocephalus management

Mandeep S. Tamber, Hailey Jensen, Jason Clawson, Nichol Nunn, John C. Wellons III, Jodi Smith, Jonathan E. Martin, and John R. W. Kestle

OBJECTIVE

Knowledge-based tools used to standardize perioperative care, such as the shunt infection prevention protocol of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN), have demonstrated their ability to reduce surgeon-based and center-based variations in outcomes and improve patient care. The mere presence of high-quality evidence, however, does not necessarily translate into improved patient outcomes owing to the implementation gap. To advance understanding of how knowledge-based tools are being utilized in the routine clinical care of children with hydrocephalus, the HCRN-Quality (HCRNq) network was started in 2019. With a focus on CSF shunt infection, the authors present baseline data regarding CSF shunt infection rates and current shunt infection prevention practices in use at HCRNq sites.

METHODS

Baseline shunt surgery practices, infection rate, and risk factor data were prospectively collected within HCRNq. No standard infection protocol was recommended, but site use of a protocol was implied if at least 3 of 6 common shunt infection prevention practices were used in > 80% of shunt surgical procedures. Univariable and multivariable analyses of shunt infection risk factors were performed.

RESULTS

Thirty sites accrued data on 2437 procedures between November 2019 and June 2021. The unadjusted infection rate across all sites was 3.9% (range 0%–13%) and did not differ among shunt insertion, shunt revision, or shunt insertion after infection. Protocol use was implied for only 15/30 centers and 60% of shunt operations. On univariable analysis, iodine/DuraPrep (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.37–0.88, p = 0.02) and the use of an antibiotic-impregnated catheter in any segment of the shunt (or both) decreased infection risk (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.34–0.82, p = 0.01). Iodine-based prep solutions (OR 0.56, 95% 0.36–0.86, p = 0.02) and the use of antibiotic-impregnated catheters (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.34–0.81, p = 0.01) retained significance in the multivariable model, but no relationship between protocol use and infection risk was demonstrated in this baseline analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors have demonstrated that children undergoing CSF shunt surgery at HCRNq sites share similar demographic characteristics with other large North American multicenter cohorts, with similar observed baseline infection rates and risk factors. Many centers have implemented standardized shunt infection prevention practices, but considerable practice variation remains. As such, there is an opportunity to decrease shunt infection rates in these centers through continued standardization of care.

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The role of traditional social determinants of health in referral patterns, timing of surgery, and Chiari Health Index for Pediatrics–determined quality of life in children with symptomatic Chiari type I malformation

Katherine A. Kelly, Bradley S. Guidry, Gunther W. Wong, Harrison C. Thomas, Mariam Girgis, Chevis N. Shannon, John C. Wellons III, and Michael J. Cools

OBJECTIVE

Understanding the impact of the social determinants of health on the utilization of healthcare resources is an important step in eliminating inequalities. The goal of this study was to determine the role of social determinants of health in referral patterns, timing of consultation/intervention, and quality of life in children with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I).

METHODS

A retrospective study was conducted of children aged 0 to 18 years who underwent surgical treatment for CM-I at a single pediatric facility from 2015 to 2019. The variables included demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, referral patterns, timing, and quality of life data based on the Chiari Health Index for Pediatrics (CHIP).

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 103 surgically treated CM-I patients. No differences were seen in race, sex, insurance, or household income when evaluating referral source (community, specialist, or emergency department) or when comparing patients with incidental versus symptomatic findings. In the evaluation of timing from initial evaluation to surgery, no statistical differences were seen between racial, sex, insurance status, or income groups. Children from households of lower median family income were significantly more likely to report pain at the time of consultation (pain group median [interquartile range] $46,660 [$41,004–$50,367] vs nonpain group $53,604 [$41,427–$59,828], p = 0.004). Those in the lower-income group also reported lower CHIP scores corresponding to increased symptomatology in the nonpain physical symptoms (p = 0.004) and psychosocial domains (p = 0.018).

CONCLUSIONS

There was no evidence of a difference in referral patterns or a delay in time from clinic presentation to surgery based on the traditional social determinants of health categories. Children from households in the lower-income group were associated with increased severity of pain and nonpain symptoms.

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Comparison of outcomes in the management of abdominal pseudocyst in children with shunted hydrocephalus: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study

Vijay M. Ravindra, Hailey Jensen, Jay Riva-Cambrin, John C. Wellons III, David D. Limbrick Jr., Jonathan Pindrik, Eric M. Jackson, Ian F. Pollack, Todd C. Hankinson, Jason S. Hauptman, Mandeep S. Tamber, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Brandon G. Rocque, Curtis Rozzelle, William E. Whitehead, Jason Chu, Mark D. Krieger, Tamara D. Simon, Ron Reeder, Patrick J. McDonald, Nichol Nunn, John R. W. Kestle, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Abdominal pseudocyst (APC) can cause distal site failure in children with ventriculoperitoneal shunts and is specifically designated as an infection in Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) protocols. Specific management and outcomes of children with APCs have not been reported in a multicenter study. In this study, the authors investigated the management and outcomes of APC in children with shunted hydrocephalus who were treated at centers in the HCRN.

METHODS

The HCRN Registry was queried to identify children < 18 years old with shunts who were diagnosed with an APC (i.e., a loculated abdominal fluid collection containing the peritoneal catheter with abdominal distention and/or displacement of peritoneal contents). The primary outcome was shunt failure after APC treatment. The primary variable was reimplantation of the distal catheter after pseudocyst treatment back into the peritoneum versus implantation in a nonperitoneal site. Other risk factors for shunt failure after APC treatment and variability in APC management were investigated.

RESULTS

Among 141 children from 14 centers who underwent first-time management of an APC over a 14-year period, the median time from previous shunt surgery to APC diagnosis was 3.8 months. Overall, 17.7% of children had a positive culture: APC cultures were positive in 14.2% and CSF cultures in 15.6%. Six other children underwent shunt revision without removal; all underwent reoperation within 1 month. There was no difference in shunt survival (log-rank test, p = 0.42) or number of subsequent revisions within 6, 12, or 24 months for shunts reimplanted in the abdomen versus those implanted in a nonperitoneal location. Nonperitoneal implantation was associated with more noninfectious revisions (42.3% vs 22.9%, p = 0.019), whereas infection was more common after reimplantation in the abdomen (25.7% vs 7.0%, p = 0.003). Univariable analysis demonstrated that younger age at APC diagnosis (8.3 vs 12.2 years, p = 0.006) and prior shunt procedure within 12 weeks of APC diagnosis (59.5% vs 40.5%, p = 0.012) were associated with shunt failure after APC treatment. Multivariable modeling confirmed that prior shunt surgery within 12 weeks of APC diagnosis was independently associated with failure (HR 1.79 [95% CI 1.04–3.07], p = 0.035).

CONCLUSIONS

In the HCRN, APCs in the setting of CSF shunts are usually managed with externalization. Shunt surgery within 12 weeks of APC diagnosis was associated with risk of failure after APC treatment. Although no differences were found in overall shunt failure rate, noninfectious shunt revisions were more common in the nonperitoneal distal catheter sites, and infection was a more common reason for failure after reimplantation of the shunt in the abdomen.

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Building consensus for the medical management of children with moderate and severe acute spinal cord injury: a modified Delphi study

Travis S. CreveCoeur, Nikita G. Alexiades, Christopher M. Bonfield, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Jason Chu, Anthony A. Figaji, Mari L. Groves, Todd C. Hankinson, David H. Harter, Steven W. Hwang, Andrew Jea, Steven G. Kernie, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Jonathan E. Martin, Matthew E. Oetgen, Alexander K. Powers, Curtis J. Rozzelle, David L. Skaggs, Jennifer M. Strahle, John C. Wellons III, Michael G. Vitale, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

The focus of this modified Delphi study was to investigate and build consensus regarding the medical management of children with moderate and severe acute spinal cord injury (SCI) during their initial inpatient hospitalization. This impetus for the study was based on the AANS/CNS guidelines for pediatric SCI published in 2013, which indicated that there was no consensus provided in the literature describing the medical management of pediatric patients with SCIs.

METHODS

An international, multidisciplinary group of 19 physicians, including pediatric neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and intensivists, were asked to participate. The authors chose to include both complete and incomplete injuries with traumatic as well as iatrogenic etiologies (e.g., spinal deformity surgery, spinal traction, intradural spinal surgery, etc.) due to the overall low incidence of pediatric SCI, potentially similar pathophysiology, and scarce literature exploring whether different etiologies of SCI should be managed differently. An initial survey of current practices was administered, and based on the responses, a follow-up survey of potential consensus statements was distributed. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% of participants reaching agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). A final meeting was held virtually to generate final consensus statements.

RESULTS

Following the final Delphi round, 35 statements reached consensus after modification and consolidation of previous statements. Statements were categorized into the following eight sections: inpatient care unit, spinal immobilization, pharmacological management, cardiopulmonary management, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, genitourinary management, gastrointestinal/nutritional management, and pressure ulcer prophylaxis. All participants stated that they would be willing or somewhat willing to change their practices based on consensus guidelines.

CONCLUSIONS

General management strategies were similar for both iatrogenic (e.g., spinal deformity, traction, etc.) and traumatic SCIs. Steroids were recommended only for injury after intradural surgery, not after acute traumatic or iatrogenic extradural surgery. Consensus was reached that mean arterial pressure ranges are preferred for blood pressure targets following SCI, with goals between 80 and 90 mm Hg for children at least 6 years of age. Further multicenter study of steroid use following acute neuromonitoring changes was recommended.

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Intrauterine closure of myelomeningocele defects with primary linear repair versus bipedicle fasciocutaneous flaps: a post-MOMS cohort study with long-term follow-up

Matthew E. Pontell, Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Emily Taylor, Morgan Kane, J Michael Newton, Kelly A. Bennett, John C. Wellons III, and Stephane A. Braun

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of in utero bipedicle flaps on maternal-fetal morbidity/mortality, the need for CSF diversion, and long-term functional outcomes.

METHODS

Eighty-six patients who underwent fetal myelomeningocele repair from 2011 to 2021 at a single institution were reviewed. Primary outcomes included intrauterine fetal demise, postnatal death, postnatal myelomeningocele repair dehiscence, and CSF diversion by final follow-up.

RESULTS

The cohorts were no different with regard to race, ethnicity, maternal age at fetal surgery, body mass index, gravidity, parity, gestational age at fetal surgery, estimated fetal weight at fetal surgery, or fetal lesion level. Of the 86 patients, 64 underwent primary linear repair and 22 underwent bipedicle flap repair. There were no significant differences in rates of intrauterine fetal demise, postnatal mortality, midline repair site dehiscence, or the need for CSF diversion by final follow-up. Operative times were longer (32.5 vs 18.7 minutes, p < 0.001) and gestational age at delivery was lower (232 vs 241 days, p = 0.01) in the bipedicle flap cohort, but long-term functional outcomes were not different.

CONCLUSIONS

Analysis of the total cohort affirms the long-term benefits of fetal myelomeningocele repair. In utero bipedicle flaps are safe and can be used for high-tension lesions without increasing perioperative risks to the mother or fetus. In utero flaps preserve the long-term benefits seen with primary linear repair and may expand inclusion criteria for fetal repair, providing life-changing care for more patients.

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Erratum. Prenatal surgery for myelomeningocele and the need for cerebrospinal fluid shunt placement

John C. Wellons III