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Dean A. Hertzler II, John J. DePowell, Charles B. Stevenson and Francesco T. Mangano

Tethered cord syndrome (TCS) is a clinical condition of various origins that arises from tension on the spinal cord. Radiographic findings may include the conus medullaris in a lower than normal position, fatty infiltration of the filum terminale, lipomyelomeningocele, myelomeningocele, myelocystocele, meningocele, split cord malformations, dermal sinus, anorectal malformations, and intraspinal tumors. The clinical constellation of signs and symptoms associated with TCS may include dermatologic, urological, gastrointestinal, neurological, and orthopedic findings. The current review focuses on TCS by age group of the more common causes of the condition, including myelomeningocele, lipomyelomeningocele, as well as the adult presentation of occult TCS. Pertinent review of the neuroembryology and normal anatomical position of the conus medullaris is included.

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Ravindra Arya, Jeffrey R. Tenney, Paul S. Horn, Hansel M. Greiner, Katherine D. Holland, James L. Leach, Michael J. Gelfand, Leonid Rozhkov, Hisako Fujiwara, Douglas F. Rose, David N. Franz and Francesco T. Mangano

OBJECT

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) with medically refractory epilepsy is characterized by multifocal brain abnormalities, traditionally indicating poor surgical candidacy. This single-center, retrospective study appraised seizurerelated, neuropsychological, and other outcomes of resective surgery in TSC patients with medically refractory epilepsy, and analyzed predictors for these outcomes.

METHODS

Patients with multilesional TSC who underwent epilepsy surgery between 2007 and 2012 were identified from an electronic database. All patients underwent multimodality noninvasive and subsequent invasive evaluation. Seizure outcomes were classified using the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) scale. The primary outcome measure was complete seizure remission (ILAE Class 1). Secondary outcome measures included 50% responder rate, change in full-scale IQ, electroencephalography improvement, and reduction in antiepileptic drug (AED) burden.

RESULTS

A total of 37 patients with TSC underwent resective surgery during the study period. After a mean follow-up of 5.68 ± 3.67 years, 56.8% achieved complete seizure freedom (ILAE Class 1) and 86.5% had ILAE Class 4 outcomes or better. The full-scale IQ on follow-up was significantly higher in patients with ILAE Class 1 outcome (66.70 ± 12.36) compared with those with ILAE Class 2 or worse outcomes (56.00 ± 1.41, p = 0.025). In 62.5% of the patients with ILAE Class 2 or worse outcomes, the number of AEDs were found to be significantly reduced (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

This study substantiates the evidence for efficacy of resective epilepsy surgery in patients with bilateral multilesional TSC. More than half of the patients were completely seizure free. Additionally, a high proportion achieved clinically meaningful reduction in seizure burden and the number of AEDs.

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Dustin K. Ragan, Jonathon Cerqua, Tiffany Nash, Robert C. McKinstry, Joshua S. Shimony, Blaise V. Jones, Francesco T. Mangano, Scott K. Holland, Weihong Yuan and David D. Limbrick Jr.

Assessment of ventricular size is essential in clinical management of hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders. At present, ventricular size is assessed using indices derived from the dimensions of the ventricles rather than the actual volumes. In a population of 22 children with congenital hydrocephalus and 22 controls, the authors evaluated the relationship between ventricular volume and linear indices in common use, such as the frontooccipital horn ratio, Evans' index, and the bicaudate index. Ventricular volume was measured on high-resolution anatomical MR images. The frontooccipital horn ratio was found to have a stronger correlation with both absolute and relative ventricular volume than other indices. Further analysis of the brain volumes found that congenital hydrocephalus produced a negligible decrease in the volume of the brain parenchyma.

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James L. Leach, Reem Awwad, Hansel M. Greiner, Jennifer J. Vannest, Lili Miles and Francesco T. Mangano

OBJECTIVE

Diagnostic criteria for hippocampal malrotation (HIMAL) on brain MRI typically include a rounded hippocampus, vertical collateral sulcus, and architectural blurring. Relationship to epileptogenesis remains speculative, and usefulness for surgical guidance is unknown. The study was performed to determine the prevalence of hippocampal rotational anomalies in a cohort of pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy undergoing evaluation for surgery and to determine the significance of this finding in the context of surgical planning.

METHODS

Forty-eight surgically treated children with intractable epilepsy were compared with matched healthy subjects; reviewers were blinded to surgical side. Each temporal lobe was evaluated for rounded hippocampus, blurring, vertical collateral sulcus, wide choroidal fissure, enlarged temporal horn, low fornix, hippocampal signal, and findings of hippocampal sclerosis. A mesial temporal lobe (MTL) score was calculated by summing the number of features, and the collateral sulcus angle (CSA) was measured in each temporal lobe. Surgical side, pathological diagnosis, and imaging findings elsewhere in the brain were tabulated. Presence of HIMAL, associated imaging features, and MTL score were compared between sides, between epilepsy and control groups, in relationship to side of surgery, and in relationship to postoperative outcome.

RESULTS

Only 3 epilepsy patients (6.2%) and no controls exhibited all 3 features of HIMAL (p = 0.12). Eight of 48 (16.7%) epilepsy versus 2 of 48 (4.6%) control subjects had both a rounded hippocampus and vertical collateral sulcus (suggesting HIMAL) (p = 0.045). In control and epilepsy subjects, most findings were more prevalent on the left, and the left CSA was more vertical (p < 0.0001). Epilepsy subjects had higher MTL scores (z = −2.95, p = 0.002) and more acute CSAs (p = 0.04) than controls. Only lateralizing raw MTL score had a significant association with surgical side (p = 0.03, OR 7.33); however, this was not significant when hippocampal sclerosis cases were excluded. HIMAL findings were more prevalent and MTL scores were higher in patients with resections involving the temporal lobes. On group analysis, HIMAL findings did not predict eventual surgical side and did not predict outcome, although the numbers are small. In 4 patients the abnormally rotated hippocampus was resected and showed hippocampal sclerosis and/or dysplastic changes on histopathology. All of these patients had a good outcome after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

While increased in prevalence in children with intractable epilepsy, imaging findings of HIMAL did not have preoperative lateralizing utility in this group. Findings of HIMAL (including round hippocampus, architectural blurring, and vertical collateral sulcus) did not predict outcome after surgery, although the small number of patients with these findings limits evaluation. In the small number of patients in which the malrotated hippocampus was removed, outcome was good. Further research is needed to continue to define this association in children with intractable epilepsy, focusing on a temporal lobe cohort.

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Francesco T. Mangano, Mekibib Altaye, Robert C. McKinstry, Joshua S. Shimony, Stephanie K. Powell, Jannel M. Phillips, Holly Barnard, David D. Limbrick Jr., Scott K. Holland, Blaise V. Jones, Jonathan Dodd, Sarah Simpson, Deanna Mercer, Akila Rajagopal, Sarah Bidwell and Weihong Yuan

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate white matter (WM) structural abnormalities using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in children with hydrocephalus before CSF diversionary surgery (including ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion and endoscopic third ventriculostomy) and during the course of recovery after surgery in association with neuropsychological and behavioral outcome.

METHODS

This prospective study included 54 pediatric patients with congenital hydrocephalus (21 female, 33 male; age range 0.03–194.5 months) who underwent surgery and 64 normal controls (30 female, 34 male; age range 0.30–197.75 months). DTI and neurodevelopmental outcome data were collected once in the control group and 3 times (preoperatively and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively) in the patients with hydrocephalus. DTI measures, including fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) values were extracted from the genu of the corpus callosum (gCC) and the posterior limb of internal capsule (PLIC). Group analysis was performed first cross-sectionally to quantify DTI abnormalities at 3 time points by comparing the data obtained in the hydrocephalus group for each of the 3 time points to data obtained in the controls. Longitudinal comparisons were conducted pairwise between different time points in patients whose data were acquired at multiple time points. Neurodevelopmental data were collected and analyzed using the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Second Edition, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition. Correlation analyses were performed between DTI and behavioral measures.

RESULTS

Significant DTI abnormalities were found in the hydrocephalus patients in both the gCC (lower FA and higher MD, AD, and RD) and the PLIC (higher FA, lower AD and RD) before surgery. The DTI measures in the gCC remained mostly abnormal at 3 and 12 months after surgery. The DTI abnormalities in the PLIC were significant in FA and AD at 3 months after surgery but did not persist when tested at 12 months after surgery. Significant longitudinal DTI changes in the patients with hydrocephalus were found in the gCC when findings at 3 and 12 months after surgery were compared. In the PLIC, trend-level longitudinal changes were observed between preoperative findings and 3-month postoperative findings, as well as between 3- and 12-month postoperative findings. Significant correlation between DTI and developmental outcome was found at all 3 time points. Notably, a significant correlation was found between DTI in the PLIC at 3 months after surgery and developmental outcome at 12 months after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The data showed significant WM abnormality based on DTI in both the gCC and the PLIC in patients with congenital hydrocephalus before surgery, and the abnormalities persisted in both the gCC and the PLIC at 3 months after surgery. The DTI values remained significantly abnormal in the gCC at 12 months after surgery. Longitudinal analysis showed signs of recovery in both WM structures between different time points. Combined with the significant correlation found between DTI and neuropsychological measures, the findings of this study suggest that DTI can serve as a sensitive imaging biomarker for underlying neuroanatomical changes and postsurgical developmental outcome and even as a predictor for future outcomes.

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Joshua K. Schaffzin, Katherine Simon, Beverly L. Connelly and Francesco T. Mangano

OBJECTIVE

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are costly to patients and the health care system. Pediatric neurosurgery SSI risk factors are not well defined. Intraoperative protocols have reduced, but have not eliminated, SSIs. The effect of preoperative intervention is unknown. Using quality improvement methods, a preoperative SSI prevention protocol for pediatric neurosurgical patients was implemented to assess its effect on SSI rate.

METHODS

Patients who underwent a scheduled neurosurgical procedure between January 2014 and December 2015 were included. Published evidence and provider consensus were used to guide preoperative protocol development. The Model for Improvement was used to test interventions. Intraoperative and postoperative management was not standardized or modified systematically. Staff, family, and overall adherence was measured as all-or-nothing. In addition, SSI rates among eligible procedures were measured before and after protocol implementation.

RESULTS

Within 4 months, overall protocol adherence increased from 51.3% to a sustained 85.7%. SSI rates decreased from 2.9 per 100 procedures preintervention to 0.62 infections postintervention (p = 0.003). An approximate 79% reduction in SSI risk was identified (risk ratio 0.21, 95% CI 0.08–0.56; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical staff and families successfully collaborated on a standardized preoperative protocol for pediatric neurosurgical patients. Standardization of the preoperative phase of care alone reduced SSI rates. Attention to the preoperative in addition to the intraoperative and postoperative phases of care may lead to further reduction in SSI rates.

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Danielle S. Goulding, R. Caleb Vogel, Chirayu D. Pandya, Crystal Shula, John C. Gensel, Francesco T. Mangano, June Goto and Brandon A. Miller

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to determine if hydrocephalus caused a proinflammatory state within white matter as is seen in many other forms of neonatal brain injury. Common causes of hydrocephalus (such as trauma, infection, and hemorrhage) are inflammatory insults themselves and therefore confound understanding of how hydrocephalus itself affects neuroinflammation. Recently, a novel animal model of hydrocephalus due to a genetic mutation in the Ccdc39 gene has been developed in mice. In this model, ciliary dysfunction leads to early-onset ventriculomegaly, astrogliosis, and reduced myelination. Because this model of hydrocephalus is not caused by an antecedent proinflammatory insult, it was utilized to study the effect of hydrocephalus on inflammation within the white matter of the corpus callosum.

METHODS

A Meso Scale Discovery assay was used to measure levels of proinflammatory cytokines in whole brain from animals with and without hydrocephalus. Immunohistochemistry was used to measure macrophage activation and NG2 expression within the white matter of the corpus callosum in animals with and without hydrocephalus.

RESULTS

In this model of hydrocephalus, levels of cytokines throughout the brain revealed a more robust increase in classic proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]–1β, CXCL1) than in immunomodulatory cytokines (IL-10). Increased numbers of macrophages were found within the corpus callosum. These macrophages were polarized toward a proinflammatory phenotype as assessed by higher levels of CD86, a marker of proinflammatory macrophages, compared to CD206, a marker for antiinflammatory macrophages. There was extensive structural damage to the corpus callosum of animals with hydrocephalus, and an increase in NG2-positive cells.

CONCLUSIONS

Hydrocephalus without an antecedent proinflammatory insult induces inflammation and tissue injury in white matter. Future studies with this model will be useful to better understand the effects of hydrocephalus on neuroinflammation and progenitor cell development. Antiinflammatory therapy for diseases that cause hydrocephalus may be a powerful strategy to reduce tissue damage.

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Andrew T. Hale, P. David Adelson, Gregory W. Albert, Philipp R. Aldana, Tord D. Alden, Richard C. E. Anderson, David F. Bauer, Christopher M. Bonfield, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Joshua J. Chern, Daniel E. Couture, David J. Daniels, Susan R. Durham, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Ramin Eskandari, Timothy M. George, Gerald A. Grant, Patrick C. Graupman, Stephanie Greene, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Naina L. Gross, Daniel J. Guillaume, Gregory G. Heuer, Mark Iantosca, Bermans J. Iskandar, Eric M. Jackson, James M. Johnston, Robert F. Keating, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Cormac O. Maher, Francesco T. Mangano, J. Gordon McComb, Thanda Meehan, Arnold H. Menezes, Brent O’Neill, Greg Olavarria, Tae Sung Park, John Ragheb, Nathan R. Selden, Manish N. Shah, Matthew D. Smyth, Scellig S. D. Stone, Jennifer M. Strahle, Scott D. Wait, John C. Wellons, William E. Whitehead, Chevis N. Shannon, David D. Limbrick Jr. and for the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium Investigators

OBJECTIVE

Factors associated with syrinx size in pediatric patients undergoing posterior fossa decompression (PFD) or PFD with duraplasty (PFDD) for Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with syringomyelia (SM; CM-I+SM) are not well established.

METHODS

Using the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium registry, the authors analyzed variables associated with syrinx radiological outcomes in patients (< 20 years old at the time of surgery) with CM-I+SM undergoing PFD or PFDD. Syrinx resolution was defined as an anteroposterior (AP) diameter of ≤ 2 mm or ≤ 3 mm or a reduction in AP diameter of ≥ 50%. Syrinx regression or progression was defined using 1) change in syrinx AP diameter (≥ 1 mm), or 2) change in syrinx length (craniocaudal, ≥ 1 vertebral level). Syrinx stability was defined as a < 1-mm change in syrinx AP diameter and no change in syrinx length.

RESULTS

The authors identified 380 patients with CM-I+SM who underwent PFD or PFDD. Cox proportional hazards modeling revealed younger age at surgery and PFDD as being independently associated with syrinx resolution, defined as a ≤ 2-mm or ≤ 3-mm AP diameter or ≥ 50% reduction in AP diameter. Radiological syrinx resolution was associated with improvement in headache (p < 0.005) and neck pain (p < 0.011) after PFD or PFDD. Next, PFDD (p = 0.005), scoliosis (p = 0.007), and syrinx location across multiple spinal segments (p = 0.001) were associated with syrinx diameter regression, whereas increased preoperative frontal-occipital horn ratio (FOHR; p = 0.007) and syrinx location spanning multiple spinal segments (p = 0.04) were associated with syrinx length regression. Scoliosis (HR 0.38 [95% CI 0.16–0.91], p = 0.03) and smaller syrinx diameter (5.82 ± 3.38 vs 7.86 ± 3.05 mm; HR 0.60 [95% CI 0.34–1.03], p = 0.002) were associated with syrinx diameter stability, whereas shorter preoperative syrinx length (5.75 ± 4.01 vs 9.65 ± 4.31 levels; HR 0.21 [95% CI 0.12–0.38], p = 0.0001) and smaller pB-C2 distance (6.86 ± 1.27 vs 7.18 ± 1.38 mm; HR 1.44 [95% CI 1.02–2.05], p = 0.04) were associated with syrinx length stability. Finally, younger age at surgery (8.19 ± 5.02 vs 10.29 ± 4.25 years; HR 1.89 [95% CI 1.31–3.04], p = 0.01) was associated with syrinx diameter progression, whereas increased postoperative syrinx diameter (6.73 ± 3.64 vs 3.97 ± 3.07 mm; HR 3.10 [95% CI 1.67–5.76], p = 0.003), was associated with syrinx length progression. PFD versus PFDD was not associated with syrinx progression or reoperation rate.

CONCLUSIONS

These data suggest that PFDD and age are independently associated with radiological syrinx improvement, although forthcoming results from the PFDD versus PFD randomized controlled trial (NCT02669836, clinicaltrials.gov) will best answer this question.

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.

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Jonathan Roth, Or Bercovich, Ashton Roach, Francesco T. Mangano, Arvind C. Mohan, Guillermo Aldave, Howard L. Weiner, Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale, Andreas Schaumann, Shimrit Uliel-Sibony and Shlomi Constantini

OBJECTIVE

Resection of brain tumors may lead to new-onset seizures but may also reduce seizure rates in patients presenting with seizures. Seizures are seen at presentation in about 24% of patients with brain tumors. For lesional epilepsy in general, early resection is associated with improved seizure control. However, the literature is limited regarding the occurrence of new-onset postoperative seizures, or rates of seizure control in those presenting with seizures, following resections of extratemporal low-grade gliomas (LGGs) in children.

METHODS

Data were collected retrospectively from 4 large tertiary centers for children (< 18 years of age) who underwent resection of a supratentorial extratemporal (STET) LGG. The patients were divided into 4 groups based on preoperative seizure history: no seizures, up to 2 seizures, more than 2 seizures, and uncontrolled or refractory epilepsy. The authors analyzed the postoperative occurrence of seizures and the need for antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) over time for the various subgroups.

RESULTS

The study included 98 children. Thirty patients had no preoperative seizures, 18 had up to 2, 16 had more than 2, and 34 had refractory or uncontrolled epilepsy. The risk for future seizures was higher if the patient had seizures within 1 month of surgery. The risk for new-onset seizures among patients with no seizures prior to surgery was low. The rate of seizures decreased over time for children with uncontrolled or refractory seizures. The need for AEDs was higher in the more active preoperative seizure groups; however, it decreased with time.

CONCLUSIONS

The resection of STET LGGs in children is associated with a low rate of postoperative new-onset epilepsy. For children with preoperative seizures, even with uncontrolled epilepsy, most have a significant improvement in the seizure activity, and many may be weaned off their AEDs.