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Allen L. Ho, Yagmur Muftuoglu, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Eric S. Sussman, Brenda E. Porter, Casey H. Halpern, and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has increased in popularity for localization of epileptogenic zones in drug-resistant epilepsy because safety, accuracy, and efficacy have been well established in both adult and pediatric populations. Development of robot-guidance technology has greatly enhanced the efficiency of this procedure, without sacrificing safety or precision. To date there have been very limited reports of the use of this new technology in children. The authors present their initial experience using the ROSA platform for robot-guided SEEG in a pediatric population.

METHODS

Between February 2016 and October 2017, 20 consecutive patients underwent robot-guided SEEG with the ROSA robotic guidance platform as part of ongoing seizure localization and workup for medically refractory epilepsy of several different etiologies. Medical and surgical history, imaging and trajectory plans, as well as operative records were analyzed retrospectively for surgical accuracy, efficiency, safety, and epilepsy outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 222 leads were placed in 20 patients, with an average of 11.1 leads per patient. The mean total case time (± SD) was 297.95 (± 52.96) minutes and the mean operating time per lead was 10.98 minutes/lead, with improvements in total (33.36 minutes/lead vs 21.76 minutes/lead) and operative (13.84 minutes/lead vs 7.06 minutes/lead) case times/lead over the course of the study. The mean radial error was 1.75 (± 0.94 mm). Clinically useful data were obtained from SEEG in 95% of cases, and epilepsy surgery was indicated and performed in 95% of patients. In patients who underwent definitive epilepsy surgery with at least a 3-month follow-up, 50% achieved an Engel class I result (seizure freedom). There were no postoperative complications associated with SEEG placement and monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors demonstrate that rapid adoption of robot-guided SEEG is possible even at a SEEG-naïve institution, with minimal learning curve. Use of robot guidance for SEEG can lead to significantly decreased operating times while maintaining safety, the overall goals of identification of epileptogenic zones, and improved epilepsy outcomes.

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Ahmad Marashly, Michelle M. Loman, and Sean M. Lew

Stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) is being increasingly used to treat refractory focal epilepsy, especially mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, emerging evidence suggests it can be used for extratemporal lobe epilepsy as well.

The authors report the case of a 17-year-old male who presented with refractory nocturnal seizures characterized by bilateral arms stiffening or rhythmic jerking lasting several seconds. Semiology suggested an epileptogenic zone close to one of the supplementary sensory motor areas. Electroencephalography showed seizures arising from the central region without consistent lateralization. Brain imaging showed no abnormality. An invasive evaluation using bilateral stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) was utilized in 2 steps, first to establish the laterality of seizures, and second to further cover the mesial cingulate region of the right hemisphere. Seizures arose from the middle portion of the right cingulate gyrus. Extraoperative electrical mapping revealed that the seizure onset zone was adjacent to eloquent motor areas. SLA targeting the right midcingulate gyrus was performed. The patient has remained seizure free since immediately after the procedure with no postoperative deficits (follow-up of 17 months).

This case highlights the utility of SEEG in evaluating difficult-to-localize, focal epilepsy. It also demonstrates that the use of SLA can be extended to nonlesional, extratemporal epilepsies.

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Marie-Andrée Coulombe, Lior M. Elkaim, Naif M. Alotaibi, Daniel A. Gorman, Alexander G. Weil, Aria Fallah, Suneil K. Kalia, Nir Lipsman, Andres M. Lozano, and George M. Ibrahim

OBJECTIVE

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. Although by definition the onset of GTS is before age 18 years, clinical trials of deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been conducted only in adults. Using individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis methodology, the current study investigated the safety and efficacy of DBS as a treatment for GTS in children and youth.

METHODS

A systematic review with no date or language restrictions was performed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Three electronic databases were searched: PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science. From 843 articles screened, the IPD of 58 children and youth (ages 12–21 years) extracted from 21 articles were collected and analyzed. A mixed-effects univariable analysis followed by multivariable hierarchical regression was performed using change in the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) score as the primary outcome and reported measures of comorbidities as secondary outcomes.

RESULTS

The authors’ results showed an average improvement of 57.5% ± 24.6% across studies on the YGTSS. They also found that comorbid depression and stimulation pulse width each correlated negatively with outcome (p < 0.05). In patients with less severe GTS, greater improvements were evident following thalamic stimulation. More than one-quarter (n = 16, 27.6%) of participants experienced side effects, the majority of which were minor.

CONCLUSIONS

DBS in the pediatric population may be an effective option with a moderate safety profile for treatment of GTS in carefully selected children and youth. Large, prospective studies with long-term follow-up are necessary to understand how DBS influences tic symptoms and may alter the natural course of GTS in children.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Donna B. Jeffe, Christopher R. Carpenter, Yan Yan, Jose A. Pineda, Angela Lumba-Brown, Martin S. Keller, Daniel Berger, Robert J. Bollo, Vijay M. Ravindra, Robert P. Naftel, Michael C. Dewan, Manish N. Shah, Erin C. Burns, Brent R. O’Neill, Todd C. Hankinson, William E. Whitehead, P. David Adelson, Mandeep S. Tamber, Patrick J. McDonald, Edward S. Ahn, William Titsworth, Alina N. West, Ross C. Brownson, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

There remains uncertainty regarding the appropriate level of care and need for repeating neuroimaging among children with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) complicated by intracranial injury (ICI). This study’s objective was to investigate physician practice patterns and decision-making processes for these patients in order to identify knowledge gaps and highlight avenues for future investigation.

METHODS

The authors surveyed residents, fellows, and attending physicians from the following pediatric specialties: emergency medicine; general surgery; neurosurgery; and critical care. Participants came from 10 institutions in the United States and an email list maintained by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. The survey asked respondents to indicate management preferences for and experiences with children with mTBI complicated by ICI, focusing on an exemplar clinical vignette of a 7-year-old girl with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 15 and a 5-mm subdural hematoma without midline shift after a fall down stairs.

RESULTS

The response rate was 52% (n = 536). Overall, 326 (61%) respondents indicated they would recommend ICU admission for the child in the vignette. However, only 62 (12%) agreed/strongly agreed that this child was at high risk of neurological decline. Half of respondents (45%; n = 243) indicated they would order a planned follow-up CT (29%; n = 155) or MRI scan (19%; n = 102), though only 64 (12%) agreed/strongly agreed that repeat neuroimaging would influence their management. Common factors that increased the likelihood of ICU admission included presence of a focal neurological deficit (95%; n = 508 endorsed), midline shift (90%; n = 480) or an epidural hematoma (88%; n = 471). However, 42% (n = 225) indicated they would admit all children with mTBI and ICI to the ICU. Notably, 27% (n = 143) of respondents indicated they had seen one or more children with mTBI and intracranial hemorrhage demonstrate a rapid neurological decline when admitted to a general ward in the last year, and 13% (n = 71) had witnessed this outcome at least twice in the past year.

CONCLUSIONS

Many physicians endorse ICU admission and repeat neuroimaging for pediatric mTBI with ICI, despite uncertainty regarding the clinical utility of those decisions. These results, combined with evidence that existing practice may provide insufficient monitoring to some high-risk children, emphasize the need for validated decision tools to aid the management of these patients.

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Nirmeen Zagzoog, Ahmed Attar, and Kesh Reddy

OBJECTIVE

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for the treatment of hydrocephalus was introduced in 1923, the method was relegated to the sidelines in favor of extracranial techniques. Since the 1990s to the beginning of the current century, however, ETV has undergone a remarkable resurgence to become the first-line treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus, and for some groups, the procedure has been applied for communicating hydrocephalus as well. In the present study, the authors identified the top 50 cited ETV works. These articles represent works of significance that document current practices and provide guidance for future inquiry.

METHODS

The top 50 cited articles pertaining to ETV were identified using bibliometric data obtained with the Harzing’s Publish or Perish software search engine. These high-impact works were evaluated for publication properties including year, country of authorship, category, and journal.

RESULTS

The top 50 works were cited an average of 141.02 times with a mean of 9.45 citations per year. Articles published in 2005 were the most numerous in the top 50 group. These top articles were most frequently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. Most of the articles were clinical studies reporting on patients in the pediatric age group. The country of most authorship was the US, although many other countries were among the top 50 works.

CONCLUSIONS

The present report discusses the bibliometric analysis of the top 50 ETV articles. This list may be useful to those interested in the progress and current status of this procedure.

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Jeremy S. Wetzel, David P. Heaner, Brandon C. Gabel, R. Shane Tubbs, and Joshua J. Chern

OBJECTIVE

The majority of children with myelomeningocele undergo implantation of CSF shunts. The efficacy of adding surveillance imaging to clinical evaluation during routine follow-up as a means to minimize the hazard associated with future shunt failure has not been thoroughly studied.

METHODS

A total of 300 spina bifida clinic visits during the calendar years between 2012 and 2016 were selected for this study (defined as the index clinic visit). Each index visit was preceded by a 6-month period during which no shunt evaluation of any kind was performed. At the index clinic visit, all patients were evaluated by a neurosurgeon. Seventy-four patients underwent previously scheduled surveillance CT or shunt series scans in addition to clinical evaluation (surveillance imaging group), and 226 patients did not undergo surveillance imaging (clinical evaluation group). Subsequent unexpected events, defined as emergency department visits, caregiver-requested clinic visits, and shunt revision surgeries were reviewed. The timing and likelihood of an unexpected event in each of the 2 groups were compared using Cox proportional hazard survival analysis. The rate of shunt revision surgery in the follow-up period as well as the associated outcomes and rate of complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

The clinical characteristics of the 2 groups were similar. In the clinical evaluation group, 4 of 226 (1.8%) patients underwent shunt revision based on clinical findings during the index visit, compared to 8 of 74 (10.8%) patients in the surveillance imaging group who underwent shunt revision based on clinical and imaging findings at that visit (p < 0.05). In the subsequent follow-up period, there were 74 unexpected events resulting in 10 shunt revisions in the clinical evaluation group, for an event rate of 33% and operation rate of 13.5%. In the surveillance imaging group there were 23 unexpected events resulting in 2 shunt revisions, for an event rate of 34.8% and an operation rate of 8.7%; neither difference was statistically significant. The complication rate for shunt revision surgery was also not different between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Obtaining predecided, routine surveillance imaging in children with myelomeningocele and shunted hydrocephalus resulted in more shunt revisions in asymptomatic patients. For patients who had negative results on surveillance imaging, the rate of shunt revision in the follow-up period was not significantly decreased compared to patients who underwent clinical examination only at the index visit.

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Coleman P. Riordan and R. Michael Scott

OBJECTIVE

In patients with syringomyelia and type I Chiari malformation (CM-I) who have required reoperation because of persistent, recurrent, or expanding syrinx, the senior author placed a stent from the fourth ventricle to the cervical subarachnoid space in hopes of promoting circulation of CSF out of the ventricle and away from the central canal of the spinal cord. This study was undertaken to determine the long-term success of this operative stratagem in eliminating the syrinx, as well as to document the complications that occurred following stent placement. The technique utilized for placement of fourth ventricle stents is presented.

METHODS

The surgical database of the senior author was reviewed to identify all patients who underwent stent placement at a reexploration of a suboccipital decompression for a CM-I conducted for a recurrent or ineffectively treated syringomyelia. The clinical and radiological data of these patients were analyzed to determine long-term efficacy and complications of the procedure.

RESULTS

Fourteen patients (average age 10.7 ± 5.2 years, range 2.6–20.1 years) were identified who met these inclusion criteria. They each presented with recurrent, residual, or expanding syringomyelia following a prior decompression for a CM-I. The reoperation with stent placement was complicated by late stent dislodgement and recurrence or persistence of the syrinx in 2 patients (14%) and by neurological deficit in 1 patient (7%). There was 1 perioperative CSF leak (7%). In 1 other patient (7%), the stent dislodged after surgery but required no further intervention, as the syrinx remained collapsed. Two patients (14%) required late reoperation for stent replacement when syrinxes recurred. At the most recent imaging follow-up, the stent was positioned appropriately in 12 patients (86%; average follow-up 6.9 years, range 0.5–18.1 years), and the recurrent or residual syrinx was eliminated or reduced in size by 75% or greater in 13 patients (93%).

CONCLUSIONS

The placement of a stent from the fourth ventricle to the cervical subarachnoid space was a highly effective treatment for patients with recurrent, residual, or expanding syringomyelia following an initial decompression of an associated CM-I. The sole neurological complication in this series was related to lysis of arachnoid scar rather than stent placement itself, but inability to maintain fixation of the stent in situ led to further surgery to replace the stent in 2 patients.

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Virendra R. Desai, Aditya Vedantam, Sandi K. Lam, Lucia Mirea, Stephen T. Foldes, Daniel J. Curry, P. David Adelson, Angus A. Wilfong, and Varina L. Boerwinkle

OBJECTIVE

Determining language laterality in patients with intractable epilepsy is important in operative planning. Wada testing is the gold standard, but it has a risk of stroke. Both Wada and task-based functional MRI (tb-fMRI) require patient cooperation. Recently, resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) has been explored for language lateralization. In the present study, the correlation between rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI in language lateralization is estimated in a pediatric population with intractable epilepsy.

METHODS

rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI language lateralization testing performed as part of epilepsy surgery evaluation was retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine patients underwent rs-fMRI and tb-fMRI; a total of 38 rs-fMRI studies and 30 tb-fMRI studies were obtained. tb-fMRI suggested left dominance in 25 of 30 cases (83%), right in 3 (10%), and in 2 (7%) the studies were nondiagnostic. In rs-fMRI, 26 of 38 studies (68%) suggested left dominance, 3 (8%) right dominance, 6 (16%) bilateral, and 3 (8%) were nondiagnostic. When tb-fMRI lateralized to the left hemisphere (25 cases), rs-fMRI was lateralized to the left in 23 patients (92%) and it was bilateral/equal in 2 (8%). When tb-fMRI lateralized to the right (3 cases), rs-fMRI lateralized to the right in all cases (100%). The overall concordance rate was 0.93 (95% CI 0.76–0.99) when considering cases with tb-fMRI and rs-fMRI performed within 6 months of each other, and tb-fMRI results were not nondiagnostic.

CONCLUSIONS

rs-fMRI significantly correlated with tb-fMRI in lateralizing language and suggests the potential role for identifying hemispheric dominance via rs-fMRI. Further investigation and validation studies are warranted.

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Silvia D. Vaca, Linda W. Xu, Juliet Nalwanga, Christine Muhumuza, Benjamin J. Lerman, Joel Kiryabwire, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Michael Muhumuza, Michael Haglund, and Gerald Grant

OBJECTIVE

There is a paucity of literature on long-term neurosurgical outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, and as neurosurgical services expand in each country, it would be beneficial to understand the impact of these services on the national population. Since follow-up can be inconsistent, the authors here used the novel method of telephone surveys to conduct the first-ever long-term follow-up in Uganda to elucidate the outcomes of pediatric head trauma patients treated at the national referral hospital.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained database of pediatric head trauma patients treated at the Mulago National Referral Hospital (MNRH) between 2014 and 2015 included 232 patients eligible for this study. Quality of life was assessed through phone surveys conducted by a Ugandan collaborator on site who performed all interviews with the guardian listed at the time of hospital admission, using each participant’s language.

RESULTS

Phone interviews were completed for 142 patients, resulting in a 61% response rate. Including inpatient deaths, the mortality rate was 10%. Almost half of the patients (48%) did not return to MNRH postdischarge, and 37% received no subsequent healthcare at all. Including inpatient deaths, the average Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale–Pediatric Revision (GOSE-Peds) scores for patients with severe, moderate, and mild head trauma were 5.68 ± 2.85, 4.79 ± 2.38, and 3.12 ± 2.08, respectively, at 1 year postinjury and 5.56 ± 2.58, 4.00 ± 2.45, and 2.21 ± 1.49, respectively, at 2 years postinjury.

CONCLUSIONS

This first-ever long-term follow-up of pediatric head trauma patients in Uganda confirmed the feasibility of a novel phone follow-up method for patients throughout Uganda. The results at 2 years showed poor long-term recovery in patients who suffered moderate or severe head trauma but good recovery in patients who suffered mild head trauma. However, there was greater overall disability than that in comparable head trauma studies in the US. The current study lays the groundwork for phone follow-up in low- and middle-income countries as a viable way to obtain outcome data.