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Letter to the Editor. Chiari malformation type I in adults and children

Isaías Raymundo Ramírez Díaz

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Letter to the Editor. New insights of MRgLITT: a first-line treatment?

Maria Sole Venanzi, Domenico Tortora, Gianluca Piatelli, and Alessandro Consales

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Shunt timing in low-weight infants in the treatment of hydrocephalus

Peter A. Chiarelli, Nicholas Chapman, Benjamin E. Flyer, Jason K. Chu, and Mark D. Krieger

OBJECTIVE

The optimal timing of ventricular shunt placement in low-weight and preterm infants remains an unresolved topic in modern pediatric neurosurgery. Shunt placement for hydrocephalus is performed over a wide range of infant weights, and the standard weight threshold for shunt placement can vary substantially across institutions. The aim of this study was to investigate shunt outcome in infants of low body weight.

METHODS

An IRB-approved retrospective analysis of 76 infants (29 females, 47 males) who received primary shunt placement between 2003 and 2018 was performed. Uniform criteria were used over the entire dataset to determine the safety for ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement: 1) weight near or above 1500 g, 2) feeding tolerance, and 3) lack of necrotizing enterocolitis or active systemic infection. Infants were classified into a low-weight (LW) (< 2000 g) or standard weight (SW) (2000–3000 g) group based on their body weight at the time of initial shunt placement. Shunt survival was compared between the groups. The threshold weight separating the LW and SW groups and outcomes was additionally varied and systematically reanalyzed.

RESULTS

Shunts were placed in 24 LW infants and 52 SW infants over the inclusion period. Etiologies for hydrocephalus were similar across groups: predominantly intraventricular hemorrhage (54%) (p = 0.13) and open neural tube defect (29%) (p = 0.61). Both LW and SW groups had 58% 1-year shunt survival rates. Overall, 46% of shunts failed in the LW group compared with 54% in the SW group over a median follow-up of 47 months (range 0–170 months). A log-rank test comparing shunt survival rates did not show significance (p = 0.43). Groups were repartitioned using a range of threshold weights (1600–2400 g) to divide LW from SW infants. The lack of association between VP shunt placement in LW infants and time frame of revision was consistently observed over the full range of varied threshold weights.

CONCLUSIONS

There was no significant difference in overall time to shunt revision between infants weighing < 2000 g and infants weighing 2000–3000 g. No correlation between weight and shunt survival was detected. Combined with other clinical features pertinent to the management of hydrocephalus in the neonatal population, this investigation provides insight toward clinical decision-making regarding infants of low birth weight and suggests that further multi-institutional study on this topic is warranted.

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Neurocognitive outcomes and associated clinical factors 5 years after surgery in children with craniosynostosis

Joo Whan Kim, Kyung Hyun Kim, Ji Hoon Phi, Ji Yeoun Lee, Eun Jung Koh, Byung Jun Kim, Jee Hyeok Chung, Min-Sup Shin, and Seung-Ki Kim

OBJECTIVE

Craniosynostosis involves early closure of one or more sutures, which is known to limit normal cranium growth and interfere with normal brain development. Various surgical methods are used, ranging from minimally invasive strip craniectomy to more extensive whole-vault cranioplasty. This study aimed to evaluate neurocognitive outcomes 5 years after surgical treatment in children with craniosynostosis and to evaluate relevant clinical factors.

METHODS

After exclusion of genetically confirmed syndromic craniosynostosis patients, a retrospective review was conducted on 112 nonsyndromic craniosynostosis patients who underwent surgical treatment and follow-up neurocognitive assessment. Ninety-seven patients underwent strip craniectomy with postoperative orthotic helmet therapy, and 15 received other surgical treatment: 4 with distraction osteotomy and 11 with craniofacial reconstruction. Neurocognitive assessment using the Korean Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Fourth Edition (K-WPPSI-IV), was performed 5 years postoperatively. Clinical factors were assessed regarding neurocognitive outcomes.

RESULTS

The mean age at surgery was significantly younger in the strip craniectomy group (strip craniectomy 4.6 months vs other surgical treatment 18.6 months, p < 0.01). Patients with 2 or more sutures involved were more likely to receive more extensive surgical treatment (16.5% in the strip craniectomy group vs 53.8% in the other group, p < 0.01). Four (3.5%) patients who showed evidence of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) also underwent more extensive surgical treatment. Multivariable linear regression revealed a significant correlation of age at neurocognitive testing (−3.18, 95% CI −5.95 to −0.40, p = 0.02), increased ICP (−34.73, 95% CI −51.04 to −18.41, p < 0.01), and the level of maternal education (6.11, 95% CI 1.01–11.20, p = 0.02) with the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ). Age at surgery, involvement of 2 or more sutures, and type of operation demonstrated no correlation with FSIQ. Among the 97 patients who underwent strip craniectomy, the FSIQ ranged from mean ± SD 100.2 ± 10.2 (bicoronal) to 110.1 ± 12.7 (lambdoid), and there was no significant difference between the suture groups (p = 0.41). The 5 index scores were all within average ranges based on their age norms.

CONCLUSIONS

Age at neurocognitive assessment, increased ICP, and maternal education level showed significant correlations with the neurocognitive function of craniosynostosis patients. Although children with craniosynostosis exhibited favorable 5-year postoperative neurocognitive outcomes across various synostosis sutures, longer follow-up is needed to reveal the incidence of neurocognitive dysfunction in these patients.

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47th Annual Meeting The American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons

Jointly provided by AANS

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Postconception age at surgery as a predictor of ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure

Hannah G. Black, E. Alice Woolard, Caren M. Stuebe, Andrea Torres, Andrew Caddell, and Carolyn Quinsey

OBJECTIVE

The gold standard of pediatric hydrocephalus management is the ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. However, VP shunts have high failure rates, and both young age and prematurity have been identified as potential risk factors for shunt failure, although neither variable describes total development at the time of surgery. This study aimed to further characterize age and shunt failure through the use of postconception age at surgery (PCAS) as well as investigate the 40-week PCAS threshold initially described in 1999.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was conducted on all first-time shunt placements at the authors’ institution from 2010 to 2021. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) pediatric hydrocephalus dataset was used as a parallel analysis to ensure representativeness of the national pediatric hydrocephalus population.

RESULTS

In the institutional cohort, infants with a PCAS < 40 weeks exhibited 2.4 times greater odds of shunt failure than those with a PCAS ≥ 40 weeks. In the NSQIP dataset, infants with a PCAS < 40 weeks had 1.45 times greater odds of shunt failure compared with those with a PCAS ≥ 40 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS

The 40-week PCAS threshold appears to be a significant predictor of shunt failure in pediatric patients with hydrocephalus. This finding underscores the importance of considering the developmental stage at the time of surgery, rather than just prematurity status, when assessing shunt failure risk.

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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.

Open access

Rapid brain MRI for image-guided ventricular catheter placement in pediatric patients: protocol and preliminary clinical outcomes

Grace Y. Lai, Andria Powers, Taylor Chung, and Peter P. Sun

OBJECTIVE

Neuronavigation is a useful adjunct for catheter placement during neurosurgical procedures for hydrocephalus or ventricular access. MRI protocols for navigation are lengthy and require sedation for young children. CT involves ionizing radiation. In this study, the authors introduce the clinical application of a 1-minute rapid MRI sequence that does not require sedation in young children and report their preliminary clinical experience using this technique in their pediatric population.

METHODS

All patients who underwent ventricular catheter placement at a children’s hospital using a rapid noncontrast MRI protocol, standard MRI, or head CT from July 2021 to August 2023 were included. Type of procedure, etiology of hydrocephalus, ventricle configuration and size, morphology of ventricles, need for adjunctive intraoperative ultrasound, duration of procedure, accuracy of catheter placement, and need for proximal revision within 90 days were retrospectively recorded and compared across imaging modalities.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight patients underwent 83 procedures: 21 underwent CT navigation, 29 standard MRI, and 33 rapid MRI. Patients who received standard MRI more often had tumor etiology, while those who underwent CT and rapid MRI had posthemorrhagic etiology (χ2 = 13.04, p = 0.042). Intraoperative ultrasound was required for 1 patient in the standard MRI group and 1 patient in the CT group. There was no difference in procedure time across groups (p = 0.831). On multivariable analysis, procedure time differed by procedure type, where external ventricular drain placement and proximal revision were faster (p < 0.001 and p < 0.028, respectively). Proximal revision due to obstruction within 90 days occurred in 3 cases (in the same patient with complex loculated hydrocephalus) in the rapid MRI group and 2 cases in the CT group.

CONCLUSIONS

Although this study was not powered for statistical inference, the authors report on the clinical use of a 1-minute rapid MRI sequence for neuronavigation in hydrocephalus or ventricular access surgery. There were no instances in which intraoperative ultrasound was required as an adjunct for procedures navigated with rapid MRI, and intraoperative time did not differ from that of standard navigation protocols.

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Erratum. Letter to the Editor. Intracranial invasive group A streptococcus: importance of culture-independent diagnostics

Gillian Shasby

Open access

The safety and accuracy of intratumoral catheter placement to infuse viral immunotherapies in children with malignant brain tumors: a multi-institutional study

Ariana Barkley, Eric Butler, Christine Park, Allan Friedman, Daniel Landi, David M. Ashley, Darell Bigner, Joshua D. Bernstock, Gregory K. Friedman, James M. Johnston, and Eric M. Thompson

OBJECTIVE

Relatively little is known about the safety and accuracy of catheter placement for oncolytic viral therapy in children with malignant brain tumors. Accordingly, this study combines data from two phase I clinical trials that employed viral immunotherapy across two institutions to describe the adverse event profile, safety, and accuracy associated with the stereotactic placement and subsequent removal of intratumoral catheters.

METHODS

Children with progressive/recurrent supratentorial malignant tumors were enrolled in two clinical trials (NCT03043391 and NCT02457845) and treated with either the recombinant polio:rhinovirus (lerapolturev) or the genetically modified oncolytic herpesvirus (G207). Age, sex, race, tumor diagnosis, and tumor location were analyzed. Events related to the catheter placement or removal were categorized. A catheter that was either pulled back or could not be used was defined as "misplaced." Neuronavigation software was used to analyze the accuracy of catheter placement for NCT03043391. Descriptive statistics were performed.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients were treated across the two completed trials with a total of 49 catheters. The mean ± SD (range) age was 14.1 ± 3.6 (7–19) years. All tumors were grade 3 or 4 gliomas. Nonlobar catheter tip placement included the corpus callosum, thalamus, insula, and cingulate gyrus. Six of 19 patients (31.6%) had minor hemorrhage noted on CT; however, no patients were symptomatic and/or required intervention related to these findings. One of 19 patients had a delayed CSF leak after catheter removal that required oversewing of the surgical site. No patients developed infection or a neurological deficit. In 7 patients with accuracy data, the mean ± SD distance of the planned trajectory (PT) to the catheter tip was 1.57 ± 1.6 mm, the mean angle of the PT to the catheter was 2.43° ± 2.1°, and the greatest distance of PT to the catheter in the parallel plane was 1.54 ± 1.5 mm. Three of 49 (6.1%) catheters were considered misplaced.

CONCLUSIONS

Although instances of minor hemorrhage were encountered, they were clinically asymptomatic. One of 49 catheters required intervention for a CSF leak. Congruent with previous studies in the literature, the stereotactic placement of catheters in these pediatric tumor patients was accurate with approximately 95% of catheters having been adequately placed.