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Ventricular catheter tissue obstruction and shunt malfunction in 9 hydrocephalus etiologies

Maria Garcia-Bonilla, Prashant Hariharan, Jacob Gluski, Miguel A. Ruiz-Cardozo, Ayodamola Otun, Diego M. Morales, Neena I. Marupudi, William E. Whitehead, Andrew Jea, Brandon G. Rocque, James P. McAllister II, David D. Limbrick Jr., and Carolyn A. Harris

OBJECTIVE

Hydrocephalus is a neurological disorder with an incidence of 80–125 per 100,000 births in the United States. The most common treatment, ventricular shunting, has a failure rate of up to 85% within 10 years of placement. The authors aimed to analyze the association between ventricular catheter (VC) tissue obstructions and shunt malfunction for each hydrocephalus etiology.

METHODS

Patient information was collected from 5 hospitals and entered into a REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) database by hydrocephalus etiology. The hardware samples were fixed, and each VC tip drainage hole was classified by tissue obstruction after macroscopic analysis. Shunt malfunction data, including shunt revision rate, time to failure, and age at surgery, were correlated with the degree of tissue obstruction in VCs for each etiology.

RESULTS

Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus was the most common etiology (48.9% of total cases). Proximal catheter obstruction was the most frequent cause of hardware removal (90.4%). Myelomeningocele (44% ± 29%), other congenital etiologies (48% ± 40%), hydrocephalus with brain tumors (45% ± 35%), and posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (41% ± 35%) showed tissue aggregates in more than 40% of the VC holes. A total of 76.8% of samples removed because of symptoms of obstruction showed cellular or tissue aggregates. No conclusive etiological associations were detected when correlating the percentage of holes with tissue for each VC and age at surgery, shunt revision rates, or time between shunt implantation and removal.

CONCLUSIONS

The proximal VC obstruction was accompanied by tissue aggregates in 76.8% of cases. However, the presence of tissue in the VC did not seem to be associated with hydrocephalus etiology.

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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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Reduction of cell surface attachment in experimental hydrocephalus using a novel ventricular catheter with modified tethered liquid perfluorocarbon

Maria Garcia-Bonilla, Carolyn A. Harris, Saibal Bandyopadhyay, Jason Moore, Jeff Horbatiuk, David D. Limbrick Jr., Rajiv Swarup, Jayne Crouthamel, Andrew Jones, Ahmad Khasawneh, Alexandra Petroj, Simran Hehar, Mariana Sierra, Jennifer Anderson, Ryann Murray, Michael R. Talcott, and James P. McAllister II

OBJECTIVE

Ventriculoperitoneal shunting, the most common treatment for the neurological disorder hydrocephalus, has a failure rate of up to 98% within 10 years of placement, mainly because of proximal obstruction of the ventricular catheter (VC). The authors developed a new VC design modified with tethered liquid perfluorocarbon (TLP) and tested it in a porcine model of hydrocephalus. In this study, they aimed to determine if their TLP VC design reduced cell surface attachment and consequent shunt obstruction in the pig model.

METHODS

TLP VCs were designed to reduce drainage hole obstruction using modified TLP and slightly enlarged draining holes, but their number and placement remained very similar to standard VCs. First, the authors tested the device in nonhydrocephalic rats to assess biocompatibility. After confirming safety, they implanted the VCs in hydrocephalic pigs. Hydrocephalus was induced by intracisternal kaolin injections in 30-day-old domestic juvenile pigs. Surgical implantation of the ventriculoperitoneal shunt (clinical control or TLP) was performed 10–14 days postinduction and maintained up to 30 days posttreatment. MRI was performed to measure ventricular volume before treatment and 10 and 30 days after treatment. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses of brain tissue and explanted VCs, intracranial pressure measurement, and clinical scoring were performed when the animals were euthanized.

RESULTS

TLP VCs showed a similar surgical feel, kink resistance, and stiffness to control VCs. In rats (biocompatibility assessment), TLP VCs did not show brain inflammatory reactions after 30 or 60 days of implantation. In pigs, TLP VCs demonstrated increased survival time, improved clinical outcome scores, and significantly reduced total attached cells on the VCs compared with standard clinical control VCs. TLP VCs exhibited similar, but not worse, results related to ventriculomegaly, intracranial pressure, and the local tissue response around the cortical shunt track in pigs.

CONCLUSIONS

TLP VCs may be a strong candidate to reduce proximal VC obstruction and improve hydrocephalus treatment.

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Exploration of clinical predictors of the degree of ventricular catheter obstruction: a multicenter retrospective study

Prashant Hariharan, Jacob Gluski, Jeffrey Sondheimer, Alexandra Petroj, Andrew Jea, William E. Whitehead, Marc R. Del Bigio, Neena I. Marupudi, James P. McAllister II, David D. Limbrick Jr., Brandon G. Rocque, and Carolyn A. Harris

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to explore how clinical factors, including the number of lifetime revision surgeries and the duration of implantation, affect the degree of obstruction and failure rates of ventricular catheters (VCs) used to manage hydrocephalus.

METHODS

A total of 343 VCs and their associated clinical data, including patient demographics, medical history, and surgical details, were collected from 5 centers and used for this analysis. Each VC was classified by the degree of obstruction after macroscopic analysis. Univariate, multivariate, and binned analyses were conducted to test for associations between clinical data and degree of VC obstruction.

RESULTS

VCs from patients with 0 to 2 lifetime revisions had a larger proportion of VC holes obstructed than VCs from patients with 10 or more revisions (p = 0.0484). VCs implanted for less than 3 months had fewer obstructed holes with protruding tissue aggregates than VCs implanted for 13 months or longer (p = 0.0225). Neither duration of implantation nor the number of lifetime revisions was a significant predictor of the degree of VC obstruction in the regression models. In the multinomial regression model, contact of the VCs with the ventricular wall robustly predicted the overall obstruction status of a VC (p = 0.005). In the mixed-effects model, the age of the patient at their first surgery emerged as a significant predictor of obstruction by protruding tissue aggregates (p = 0.002). VCs implanted through the parietal entry site were associated with more holes with nonobstructive growth and fewer empty holes than VCs implanted via other approaches (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The number of lifetime revisions and duration of implantation are correlated with the degree of VC obstruction but do not predict it. Contact of the VC with the ventricular wall and the age of the patient at their first surgery are predictors of the degree of VC obstruction, while the entry site of the VC correlates with it.

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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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Toward rational use of repeat imaging in children with mild traumatic brain injuries and intracranial injuries

Gabrielle W. Johnson, Jacob K. Greenberg, Andrew T. Hale, Ranbir Ahluwalia, Madelyn Hill, Ahmed Belal, Shawyon Baygani, Randi E. Foraker, Christopher R. Carpenter, Yan Yan, Laurie L. Ackerman, Corina Noje, Eric Jackson, Erin C. Burns, Christina M. Sayama, Nathan R. Selden, Shobhan Vachhrajani, Chevis N. Shannon, Nathan Kuppermann, and David D. Limbrick Jr

OBJECTIVE

Limited evidence exists on the utility of repeat neuroimaging in children with mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) and intracranial injuries (ICIs). Here, the authors identified factors associated with repeat neuroimaging and predictors of hemorrhage progression and/or neurosurgical intervention.

METHODS

The authors performed a multicenter, retrospective cohort study of children at four centers of the Pediatric TBI Research Consortium. All patients were ≤ 18 years and presented within 24 hours of injury with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13–15 and evidence of ICI on neuroimaging. The outcomes of interest were 1) whether patients underwent repeat neuroimaging during index admission, and 2) a composite outcome of progression of previously identified hemorrhage ≥ 25% and/or repeat imaging as an indication for subsequent neurosurgical intervention. The authors performed multivariable logistic regression and report odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS

A total of 1324 patients met inclusion criteria; 41.3% of patients underwent repeat imaging. Repeat imaging was associated with clinical change in 4.8% of patients; the remainder of the imaging tests were for routine surveillance (90.9%) or of unclear prompting (4.4%). In 2.6% of patients, repeat imaging findings were reported as an indication for neurosurgical intervention. While many factors were associated with repeat neuroimaging, only epidural hematoma (OR 3.99, 95% CI 2.22–7.15), posttraumatic seizures (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.22–7.41), and age ≥ 2 years (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.16–4.36) were significant predictors of hemorrhage progression and/or neurosurgery. Of patients without any of these risk factors, none underwent neurosurgical intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat neuroimaging was commonly used but uncommonly associated with clinical deterioration. Although several factors were associated with repeat neuroimaging, only posttraumatic seizures, age ≥ 2 years, and epidural hematoma were significant predictors of hemorrhage progression and/or neurosurgery. These results provide the foundation for evidence-based repeat neuroimaging practices in children with mTBI and ICI.

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Introduction. Stability and motion: addressing the pathology of Chiari malformation and craniocervical junction

David D. Limbrick Jr., Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Atul Goel, and Jennifer M. Strahle

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Co-occurrence of subcutaneous myxopapillary ependymoma, dermal sinus tract, and filum terminale lipoma: a review of the pathobiology of caudal spinal cord development and spinal cord tethering. Illustrative case

Gabrielle W. Johnson, Yuxiao Xu, Ali Y. Mian, and David D. Limbrick Jr

BACKGROUND

Myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) is typically benign and found in the conus medullaris and/or filum terminale, although rare cases of subcutaneous and extra-axial MPE have been reported. The co-occurrence of MPE, tethered cord syndrome (TCS) with lipoma of the filum terminale, and a dermal sinus tract is extremely rare, with only 6 reported cases in the literature. Here, the authors present the first case, to their knowledge, of an extra-axial, subcutaneous MPE co-presenting with TCS, lipoma of the filum terminale, and a dermal sinus tract and discuss the underlying pathobiology.

OBSERVATIONS

A 14-month-old male who presented for evaluation of a dermal sinus tract underwent magnetic resonance imaging, which revealed a tethered cord with associated lipoma. At 14 months, the patient underwent spinal cord detethering with resection of his sacral dimple and sinus tract. Histopathological evaluation revealed an incidentally found MPE within the dermal sinus tract.

LESSONS

The authors review the underlying biology of MPEs, tethered cord syndrome, and dermal sinus tracts, and explore possible points of convergence within the developmental pathways that may result in this unique concomitant presentation. Additionally, they suggest that extra-axial MPE may be underappreciated and underdiagnosed; this case suggests that extra-axial MPE may be only effectively diagnosed with histological studies.

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Impact of Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation awards on subsequent grant funding and career outcomes of neurosurgeon-scientists

Saad Javeed, Sangami Pugazenthi, Anna L. Huguenard, Regis W. Haid, Michael W. Groff, David D. Limbrick Jr, and Gregory J. Zipfel

OBJECTIVE

The Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) provides diverse funding opportunities for in-training and early-career neurosurgeon-scientists. The authors analyzed the impact of NREF funding on the subsequent career success of neurosurgeons in obtaining research funding and academic achievements.

METHODS

The NREF database was queried to identify NREF winners from 2000 to 2015. The award recipients were surveyed to obtain information about their demographic characteristics, academic career, and research funding. Only subsequent research support with an annual funding amount of $50,000 or greater was included. The primary outcome was the NREF impact ratio, defined as the ratio between NREF award research dollars and subsequent grant funding dollars. The secondary outcomes were time to subsequent grant funding as principal investigator (PI), clinical practice settings, and final academic position achieved.

RESULTS

From 2000 to 2015, 158 neurosurgeons received 164 NREF awards totaling $8.3 million (M), with $1.7 M awarded to 46 Young Clinician Investigators (YCIs), $1.5 M to 18 Van Wagenen Fellows (VWFs), and $5.1 M to 100 resident Research Fellowship Grant (RFG) awardees. Of all awardees, 73% have current academic appointments, and the mean ± SD number of publications and H-index were 71 ± 82 and 20 ± 15, respectively. The overall response rate to our survey was 70%, and these respondents became the cohort for our analysis. In total, respondents cumulatively obtained $776 M in post–NREF award grant funding, with the most common sources of funding including the National Institutes of Health ($327 M) and foundational awards ($306 M). The NREF impact ratios for awardees were $1:$381 for YCI, $1:$113 for VWF, and $1:$41 for resident RFG. Awardees with NREF projects in functional neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery, and neuro-oncology had the highest NREF impact ratios of $1:$194, $1:$185, and $1:$162, respectively. Of respondents, 9% became department chairs, 26% became full professors, 82% received at least 1 subsequent research grant, and 66% served as PI on a subsequent research grant after receiving their NREF awards.

CONCLUSIONS

In-training and early-career neurosurgeons who were awarded NREF funding had significant success in acquiring subsequent grant support, research productivity, and achievements of academic rank. NREF grants provide a tremendous return on investment across various career stages and subspecialities. They also appeared to have a broader impact on trajectory of research and innovation within the field of neurosurgery.