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Open access

Jordan Xu, Gira Morchi, and Suresh N. Magge

BACKGROUND

Displacement of a distal catheter of a ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt is a rare complication and can lead to a challenging extraction requiring endovascular retrieval of the distal catheter.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe a patient in whom the distal catheter of the VA shunt had become displaced and traveled through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricular outflow tract.

LESSONS

In this case report, the authors present a multidisciplinary approach to retrieving a displaced distal catheter from a VA shunt.

Open access

Izumi Koyanagi, Yasuhiro Chiba, Hiroyuki Imamura, and Toshiya Osanai

BACKGROUND

Intradural radicular arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the cauda equina is a rare entity of spinal AVMs. Because of the specific arterial supply of the conus medullaris and cauda equina, AVMs in this area sometimes present with confusing radiological features.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported a rare case of intradural radicular AVM arising from the lumbar posterior root. The patient presented with urinary symptoms with multiple flow void around the conus medullaris, as shown on magnetic resonance imaging. Digital subtraction angiography demonstrated arteriovenous shunt at the left side of the conus medullaris fed by the anterior spinal artery via anastomotic channel to the posterior spinal artery and rich perimedullary drainers. There was another arteriovenous shunt at the L3 level from the left L4 radicular artery. Preoperative diagnosis was perimedullary AVM with radicular arteriovenous fistula. Direct surgery with indocyanine green angiography revealed that the actual arteriovenous shunt was located at the left L4 posterior root. The AVM was successfully treated by coagulation of feeding branches.

LESSONS

Unilateral arteriovenous shunt fed by either posterior or anterior spinal artery at the conus medullaris may include AVM of the cauda equina despite abundant perimedullary venous drainage. Careful pre- and intraoperative diagnostic imaging is necessary for appropriate treatment.

Open access

Matthew A. Liu, Julian L. Gendreau, Joshua J. Loya, Nolan J. Brown, Amber Keith, Ronald Sahyouni, Mickey E. Abraham, David Gonda, and Michael L. Levy

BACKGROUND

Chordomas are rare malignant neoplasms that develop from the primitive notochord with < 5% of the tumors occurring in pediatric patients younger than the age of 20. Of these pediatric chordomas, those affecting the craniocervical junction (C1–C2) are even more rare; therefore, parameters for surgical management of these pediatric tumors are not well characterized.

OBSERVATIONS

In this case, a 3-year-old male was found to have a clival chordoma on imaging with extension to the craniocervical junction resulting in spinal cord compression. Endoscopic-assisted transoral transclival approach for clival tumor resection was performed first. As a second stage, the patient underwent a left-sided far lateral craniotomy and cervical laminectomy for resection of the skull base chordoma and instrumented fusion of the occiput to C3. He made excellent improvements in strength and dexterity during rehab and was discharged after 3 weeks.

LESSONS

In pediatric patients with chordoma with extension to the craniocervical junction and spinal cord compression, decompression with additional occipito-cervical fusion appears to offer a good clinical outcome. Fusion performed as a separate surgery before or at the same time as the initial tumor resection surgery may lead to better outcomes.

Open access

Florian Wilhelmy, Tim Wende, Johannes Kasper, Maxime Ablefoni, Lena Marie Bode, Jürgen Meixensberger, and Ulf Nestler

BACKGROUND

Posterior fossa epidural hematoma rarely occurs in children after traumatic head injury. There is ongoing discussion about appropriate treatment, yet the radiological features regarding the time to resorption of the hematoma or required follow-up imaging are rarely discussed.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors presented the case of a 3-year-old child who was under clinical observation and receiving analgetic and antiemetic treatment in whom near-complete hematoma resorption was shown by magnetic resonance imaging as soon as 60 hours after diagnosis. The child was neurologically stable at all times and showed no deficit after observational treatment. Hematoma resorption was much faster than expected. The authors discussed hematoma drainage via the sigmoid sinus.

LESSONS

Epidural hematomas in children can be treated conservatively and are resorbed in a timely manner.

Open access

Reilly L. Kidwell, Lauren E. Stone, Vanessa Goodwill, and Joseph D. Ciacci

BACKGROUND

Thoracic epidural capillary hemangioma is exceedingly rare, with only a few reported cases. The typical presentation usually includes chronic, progressive symptoms of spinal cord compression in middle-aged adults. To the authors’ knowledge, this case is the first report in the literature of acute traumatic capillary hemangioma rupture.

OBSERVATIONS

A 22-year-old male presented with worsening lower extremity weakness and paresthesias after a fall onto his spine. Imaging showed no evidence of spinal fracture but revealed an expanding hematoma over 24 hours. Removal of the lesion demonstrated a ruptured capillary hemangioma.

LESSONS

This unique case highlights a rare occurrence of traumatic rupture of a previously unknown asymptomatic thoracic capillary hemangioma in a young adult.

Restricted access

Shota Tamagawa, Takatoshi Okuda, Hidetoshi Nojiri, Tatsuya Sato, Rei Momomura, Yukoh Ohara, Takeshi Hara, and Muneaki Ishijima

OBJECTIVE

Previous reports have focused on the complications of L5 nerve root injury caused by anterolateral misplacement of the S1 pedicle screws. Anatomical knowledge of the L5 nerve root in the pelvis is essential for safe and effective placement of the sacral screw. This cadaveric study aimed to investigate the course of the L5 nerve root in the pelvis and to clarify a safe zone for inserting the sacral screw.

METHODS

Fifty-four L5 nerve roots located bilaterally in 27 formalin-fixed cadavers were studied. The ventral rami of the L5 nerve roots were dissected along their courses from the intervertebral foramina to the lesser pelvis. The running angles of the L5 nerve roots from the centerline were measured in the coronal plane. In addition, the distances from the ala of the sacrum to the L5 nerve roots were measured in the sagittal plane.

RESULTS

The authors found that the running angles of the L5 nerve roots changed at the most anterior surface of the ala of the sacrum. The angles of the bilateral L5 nerve roots from the right and left L5 intervertebral foramina to their inflection points were 13.77° ± 5.01° and 14.65° ± 4.71°, respectively. The angles of the bilateral L5 nerve roots from the right and left inflection points to the lesser pelvis were 19.66° ± 6.40° and 20.58° ± 5.78°, respectively. There were no significant differences between the angles measured in the right and left nerve roots. The majority of the L5 nerves coursed outward after changing their angles at the inflection point. The distances from the ala of the sacrum to the L5 nerve roots in the sagittal plane were less than 1 mm in all cases, which indicated that the L5 nerve roots were positioned close to the ala of the sacrum and had poor mobility.

CONCLUSIONS

All of the L5 nerve roots coursed outward after exiting the intervertebral foramina and never inward. To prevent iatrogenic L5 nerve root injury, surgeons should insert the S1 pedicle screw medially with an angle > 0° toward the inside of the S1 anterior foramina and the sacral alar screw laterally with an angle > 30°.

Restricted access

William E. Whitehead, Jay Riva-Cambrin, John C. Wellons III, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., Vanessa L. Wall, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Todd C. Hankinson, Patrick J. McDonald, Mark D. Krieger, Ian F. Pollack, Mandeep S. Tamber, Jonathan Pindrik, Jason S. Hauptman, Robert P. Naftel, Chevis N. Shannon, Jason Chu, Eric M. Jackson, Samuel R. Browd, Tamara D. Simon, Richard Holubkov, Ron W. Reeder, Hailey Jensen, Jenna E. Koschnitzky, Paul Gross, James M. Drake, and John R. W. Kestle

OBJECTIVE

The primary objective of this trial was to determine if shunt entry site affects the risk of shunt failure.

METHODS

The authors performed a parallel-design randomized controlled trial with an equal allocation of patients who received shunt placement via the anterior entry site and patients who received shunt placement via the posterior entry site. All patients were children with symptoms or signs of hydrocephalus and ventriculomegaly. Patients were ineligible if they had a prior history of shunt insertion. Patients received a ventriculoperitoneal shunt after randomization; randomization was stratified by surgeon. The primary outcome was shunt failure. The planned minimum follow-up was 18 months. The trial was designed to achieve high power to detect a 10% or greater absolute difference in the shunt failure rate at 1 year. An independent, blinded adjudication committee determined eligibility and the primary outcome. The study was conducted by the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network.

RESULTS

The study randomized 467 pediatric patients at 14 tertiary care pediatric hospitals in North America from April 2015 to January 2019. The adjudication committee, blinded to intervention, excluded 7 patients in each group for not meeting the study inclusion criteria. For the primary analysis, there were 229 patients in the posterior group and 224 patients in the anterior group. The median patient age was 1.3 months, and the most common etiologies of hydrocephalus were postintraventricular hemorrhage secondary to prematurity (32.7%), myelomeningocele (16.8%), and aqueductal stenosis (10.8%). There was no significant difference in the time to shunt failure between the entry sites (log-rank test, stratified by age < 6 months and ≥ 6 months; p = 0.061). The hazard ratio (HR) of a posterior shunt relative to an anterior shunt was calculated using a univariable Cox regression model and was nonsignificant (HR 1.35, 95% CI, 0.98–1.85; p = 0.062). No significant difference was found between entry sites for the surgery duration, number of ventricular catheter passes, ventricular catheter location, and hospital length of stay. There were no significant differences between entry sites for intraoperative complications, postoperative CSF leaks, pseudomeningoceles, shunt infections, skull fractures, postoperative seizures, new-onset epilepsy, or intracranial hemorrhages.

CONCLUSIONS

This randomized controlled trial comparing the anterior and posterior shunt entry sites has demonstrated no significant difference in the time to shunt failure. Anterior and posterior entry site surgeries were found to have similar outcomes and similar complication rates.

Restricted access

Katherine Leaver, Aaron Viser, Brian H. Kopell, Roberto A. Ortega, Joan Miravite, Michael S. Okun, Sonya Elango, Deborah Raymond, Susan B. Bressman, Rachel Saunders-Pullman, and Marta San Luciano

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to evaluate clinical features and response to deep brain stimulation (DBS) in G2019S LRRK2-Parkinson disease (LRRK2-PD) and idiopathic PD (IPD).

METHODS

The authors conducted a clinic-based cohort study of PD patients recruited from the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Genetics database of PD studies. The cohort included 87 participants with LRRK2-PD (13 who underwent DBS) and 14 DBS participants with IPD enrolled between 2009 and 2017. The baseline clinical features, including motor ratings and levodopa-equivalent daily dose (LEDD), were compared among LRRK2-PD patients with and without DBS, between LRRK2-PD with DBS and IPD with DBS, and between LRRK2-PD with subthalamic nucleus (STN) and internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) DBS. Longitudinal motor scores (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale–part III) and medication usage were also assessed pre- and postoperatively.

RESULTS

Compared to LRRK2-PD without DBS (n = 74), the LRRK2-PD with DBS cohort (n = 13) had a significantly younger age of onset, longer disease duration, were more likely to have dyskinesia, and were less likely to experience hand tremor at disease onset. LRRK2-PD participants were also more likely to be referred for surgery because of severe dyskinesia (11/13 [85%] vs 6/14 [43%], p = 0.04) and were less likely to be referred for medically refractory tremor (0/13 [0%] vs 6/14 [43%], p = 0.02) than were IPD patients. Among LRRK2-PD patients, both STN-DBS and GPi-DBS targets were effective, although the sample size was small for both groups. There were no revisions or adverse effects reported in the GPi-DBS group, while 2 of the LRRK2-PD participants who underwent STN-DBS required revisions and a third reported depression as a stimulation-related side effect. Medication reduction favored the STN group.

CONCLUSIONS

The LRRK2-PD cohort referred for DBS had a slightly different profile, including earlier age of onset and dyskinesia. Both the STN and GPi DBS targets were effective in symptom suppression. Patients with G2019S LRRK2 PD were well-suited for DBS therapy and had favorable motor outcomes regardless of the DBS target. LRRK2-DBS patients had longer disease durations and tended to have more dyskinesia. Dyskinesia commonly served as the trigger for DBS surgical candidacy. Medication-refractory tremor was not a common indication for surgery in the LRRK2 cohort.

Restricted access

Ashley L. B. Raghu, Sean C. Martin, Tariq Parker, Tipu Z. Aziz, and Alexander L. Green

OBJECTIVE

The anatomy of the posterolateral thalamus varies substantially between individuals, presenting a challenge for surgical targeting. Patient-specific, connectivity-based parcellation of the thalamus may effectively approximate the ventrocaudal nucleus (Vc). This remains to be robustly validated or assessed as a method to guide surgical targeting. The authors assessed the validity of connectivity-based parcellation for targeting the Vc and its potential for improving clinical outcomes of pain surgery.

METHODS

A cohort of 19 patients with regional, chronic neuropathic pain underwent preoperative structural and diffusion MRI, then progressed to deep brain stimulation targeting the Vc based on traditional atlas coordinates. Surgical thalami were retrospectively segmented and then parcellated based on tractography estimates of thalamocortical connectivity. The location of each patient’s electrode array was analyzed with respect to their primary somatosensory cortex (S1) parcel and compared across patients with reference to the thalamic homunculus.

RESULTS

Ten patients achieved long-term pain relief. Sixty-one percent of an average array (interquartile range 42%–74%) was located in the S1 parcel. In patients who achieved long-term benefit from surgery, array location in the individually generated S1 parcels was medial for face pain, centromedial for arm pain, and centrolateral for leg pain. Patients who did not benefit from surgery did not follow this pattern. Standard stereotactic coordinates of electrode locations diverged from this pattern.

CONCLUSIONS

Connectivity-based parcellation of the thalamus appears to be a reliable method for segmenting the Vc. Identifying the Vc in this way, and targeting mediolaterally as appropriate for the region of pain, merits exploration in an effort to increase the yield of successful surgical procedures.

Restricted access

Christina E. Sarris, Scott T. Brigeman, Estelle Doris, Maggie Bobrowitz, Thomas Rowe, Eva M. Duran, Griffin D. Santarelli, Ryan M. Rehl, Garineh Ovanessoff, Monica C. Rodriguez, Kajalben Buddhdev, Kevin C. J. Yuen, and Andrew S. Little

OBJECTIVE

A comprehensive quality improvement (QI) program aimed at all aspects of patient care after pituitary surgery was initiated at a single center. This initiative was guided by standard quality principles to improve patient outcomes and optimize healthcare value. The programmatic goal was to discharge most elective patients within 1 day after surgery, improve patient safety, and limit unplanned readmissions. The program is described, and its effect on patient outcomes and hospital financial performance over a 5-year period are investigated.

METHODS

Details of the patient care pathway are presented. Foundational elements of the QI program include evidence-based care pathways (e.g., for hyponatremia and pain), an in-house research program designed to fortify care pathways, patient education, expectation setting, multidisciplinary team care, standard order sets, high-touch postdischarge care, outcomes auditing, and a patient navigator, among other elements. Length of stay (LOS), outcome variability, 30-day unplanned readmissions, and hospital financial performance were identified as surrogate endpoints for healthcare value for the surgical epoch. To assess the effect of these protocols, all patients undergoing elective transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumors and Rathke’s cleft cysts between January 2015 and December 2019 were reviewed.

RESULTS

A total of 609 adult patients who underwent elective surgery by experienced pituitary surgeons were identified. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and payer mix did not change significantly over the study period (p ≥ 0.10). The mean LOS was significantly shorter in 2019 versus 2015 (1.6 ± 1.0 vs 2.9 ± 2.2 midnights, p < 0.001). The percentage of patients discharged after 1 midnight was significantly higher in 2019 versus 2015 (75.4% vs 15.6%, p < 0.001). The 30-day unplanned hospital readmission rate decreased to 2.8% in 2019 from 8.3% in 2015. Per-patient hospital profit increased 71.3% ($10,613 ± $19,321 in 2015; $18,180 ± $21,930 in 2019), and the contribution margin increased 42.3% ($18,925 ± $19,236 in 2015; $26,939 ± $22,057 in 2019), while costs increased by only 3.4% ($18,829 ± $6611 in 2015; $19,469 ± $4291 in 2019).

CONCLUSIONS

After implementation of a comprehensive pituitary surgery QI program, patient outcomes significantly improved, outcome variability decreased, and hospital financial performance was enhanced. Future studies designed to evaluate disease remission, patient satisfaction, and how the surgeon learning curve may synergize with other quality efforts may provide additional context.