Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 12 items for

  • By Author: Wellons, John C. x
  • By Author: Grabb, Paul A. x
Clear All
Restricted access

Andrew Romeo, Robert P. Naftel, Christoph J. Griessenauer, Gavin T. Reed, Richard Martin, Chevis N. Shannon, Paul A. Grabb, R. Shane Tubbs and John C. Wellons III

Object

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is an alternative to shunt placement in children with hydrocephalus due to tectal plate gliomas (TPGs). However, controversy remains regarding the amount of ventricular size reduction that should be expected after ETV. This study investigates ventricular size change after ETV for TPGs.

Methods

Twenty-two children were identified from a 15-year retrospective database of neuroendoscopic procedures performed at the authors' institution, Children's Hospital of Alabama, in patients with a minimum of 1 year of follow-up. Clinical outcomes, including the need for further CSF diversion and symptom resolution, were recorded. The frontal and occipital horn ratio (FOR) was measured on pre- and postoperative, 1-year, and last follow-up imaging studies.

Results

In 17 (77%) of 22 children no additional procedure for CSF diversion was required. Of those in whom CSF diversion failed, 4 underwent successful repeat ETV and 1 required shunt replacement. Therefore, in 21 (96%) of 22 patients, CSF diversion was accomplished with ETV. Preoperative and postoperative imaging was available for 18 (82%) of 22 patients. The FOR decreased in 89% of children who underwent ETV. The FOR progressively decreased 1.7%, 11.2%, and 12.7% on the initial postoperative, 1-year, and last follow-up images, respectively. The mean radiological follow-up duration for 18 patients was 5.4 years. When ETV failed, the FOR increased at the time of failure in all patients. Failure occurred 1.6 years after initial ETV on average. The mean clinical follow-up period for all 22 patients was 5.3 years. In all cases clinical improvement was demonstrated at the last follow-up.

Conclusions

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy successfully treated hydrocephalus in the extended follow-up period of patients with TPGs. The most significant reduction in ventricular size was observed at the the 1-year followup, with only modest reduction thereafter.

Restricted access

John C. Wellons III, R. Shane Tubbs, Jeffrey A. Pugh, Nadine J. Bradley, Charles R. Law and Paul A. Grabb

Object

Medial pectoral nerve (MPN) to musculocutaneous nerve (MCN) neurotization for recovery of elbow flexion by biceps reinnervation is a valid option following traumatic injury to the upper brachial plexus. A major criticism of the application of this technique in infants is the smaller size of the MPN and mismatch of viable axons. We describe our institutional experience utilizing this procedure and critically examine functional outcomes.

Methods

Office charts and hospital records of children from over an 11-year period beginning January 1997 were reviewed. Of the 53 children of various ages undergoing brachial plexus exploration for traumatic injury of any nature, 20 underwent MPN to MCN neurotization as a part of an overall procedure in the first year of life to treat birth-related brachial plexus palsy and had at least 9 months' follow-up. Medial pectoral nerve to MCN neurotization was chosen if the results of clinical examination and intraoperative electrophysiological evidence were consistent with medial cord function. Functional recovery was defined as the ability of the child to bring their hand to their mouth.

Results

Sixteen patients (80%) gained functional recovery. The median age at surgery was 7 months. Median time to first clinic visit documenting recovery was 11.5 months and median overall follow up was 21.5 months. Preoperative hand function was a useful predictor of recovery of elbow flexion.

Conclusions

Medial pectoral nerve to MCN neurotization is a valid surgical option for the reinnervation of the biceps muscle for birth-related brachial plexus palsy when the hand is functional preoperatively. Useful elbow flexion can be expected in the majority of these children.

Restricted access

Tae Sung Park

Restricted access

R. Shane Tubbs, W. Jerry Oakes, John C. Wellons III and Paul A. Grabb

Restricted access

John C. Wellons III, R. Shane Tubbs, Cuong J. Bui, Paul A. Grabb and W. Jerry Oakes

✓Patients with Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) most commonly present with chronic symptoms. A search of the current medical literature revealed scant information regarding acute presentations of CM-I in either pediatric or adult patients. The authors report on two children who presented with rapidly worsening neurological symptoms attributable to a previously undiagnosed CM-I. One patient became profoundly hypopneic with dysphagia and right hemiparesis over a less than 48-hour period. The second patient presented with a few days of worsening right hemiparesis, gait disturbance, and anisocoria. In addition to a CM-I, magnetic resonance imaging in the second patient revealed a holocord syrinx. Following urgent posterior fossa decompression, both patients rapidly improved in the 24 hours immediately following surgery and continued to improve in the subsequent weeks. Few reports detail acute symptoms due to CM-I and those that do exist almost exclusively involve adult patients. Although seemingly rare, the clinician should consider CM-I in the differential diagnosis in pediatric patients presenting with acute brainstem or long tract signs.

Restricted access

Jeffrey P. Blount, R. Shane Tubbs, Mamehri Okor, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, John C. Wellons III, Paul A. Grabb and W. Jerry Oakes

Object

The authors describe the technique of transecting the spinal cord in children born with myelomeningocele who have undergone multiple detherings and are functionally paraplegic.

Methods

The authors' technique involves identifying the neural placode and sectioning the normal spinal cord just superior to this site. No postoperative complications have been identified in 14 patients undergoing this procedure over an 11-year period. No patient at last follow up was found to have symptoms referable to a tethered spinal cord. The advantage of this procedure is to excise the normally pia-coated cord, which is unlikely to retether compared with the neural placode, which is often covered with scar tissue and does not have a well-formed pial surface—hence, predisposing it to frequent dorsal adhesions.

Conclusions

The authors believe that this technique is of benefit in a small, carefully selected group of myelodys-plastic patients with repetitive tethering of the spinal cord.

Restricted access

R. Shane Tubbs, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount, Paul A. Grabb and W. Jerry Oakes

✓The authors report on three pediatric patients with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts who presented with chronic right shoulder pain. Imaging revealed that the distal peritoneal catheter was positioned between the right hemidiaphragm and liver. Following surgical repositioning of the distal tubing, all patients experienced resolution of their shoulder pain, which has not recurred. Although seemingly rare, referred shoulder pain from a VP shunt should be added to the list of complications seen with this method of cerebrospinal fluid diversion. The clinician who cares for patients with VP shunts may wish to evaluate cases of shoulder pain without obvious neural or musculoskeletal cause by performing imaging of the distal shunt tubing.

Restricted access

R. Shane Tubbs, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount, Paul A. Grabb and W. Jerry Oakes

✓The authors report on three pediatric patients with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts who presented with chronic right shoulder pain. Imaging revealed that the distal peritoneal catheter was positioned between the right hemidiaphragm and liver. Following surgical repositioning of the distal tubing, all patients experienced resolution of their shoulder pain, which has not recurred. Although seemingly rare, referred shoulder pain from a VP shunt should be added to the list of complications seen with this method of cerebrospinal fluid diversion. The clinician who cares for patients with VP shunts may wish to evaluate cases of shoulder pain without obvious neural or musculoskeletal cause by performing imaging of the distal shunt tubing.

Restricted access

John C. Wellons III, Alyssa T. Reddy, R. Shane Tubbs, Hussein Abdullatif, W. Jerry Oakes, Jeffrey P. Blount and Paul A. Grabb

Object. Intracranial germinomas commonly occur in the pineal region, the floor of the third ventricle (hypothalamus), or both, and they are often associated with diabetes insipidus (DI). The authors conducted a study to correlate preoperative DI with the endoscopic and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging evidence of tumor on the third ventricle floor.

Methods. The authors reviewed hospital records, office charts, and MR imaging studies obtained in patients in whom a biopsy sampling procedure was performed with or without endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) at Children's Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama between May 1998 and July 2002. Ten patients with the pathological diagnosis of pure germinoma were identified. Preoperative MR imaging findings and presenting symptoms were correlated with intraoperative neuroendoscopic findings.

Seven patients presented with symptomatic hydrocephalus and underwent concomitant ETV. Six patients presented with DI and MR imaging evidence of involvement of the third ventricle floor. Two patients presented with DI and no initial MR imaging evidence of neoplastic involvement of the third ventricle floor; in both there was endoscopic evidence of neoplastic involvement of the floor of the third ventricle. In two children without DI, neither MR imaging nor endoscopic evidence of involvement of the third ventricle floor was observed.

Conclusions. In the authors' experience with intracranial germinoma, endoscopic tumor biopsy sampling, and ETV provide an effective, safe, and minimally invasive means of obtaining diagnostic tissue and treating any concomitant hydrocephalus. The authors found that preoperative DI is an absolute predictor of neoplastic involvement of the hypothalamus regardless of MR imaging findings. Therefore, in the setting of DI and intracranial germinoma without neuroimaging evidence of hypothalamic involvement, germinomatous involvement of the hypothalamus should be assumed present, if not confirmed endoscopically at the time of biopsy sampling or third ventriculostomy, when devising adjuvant treatment plans for such patients.

Restricted access

R. Shane Tubbs, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount, W. Jerry Oakes and Paul A. Grabb

✓ The authors report on the case of a patient evaluated for Valsalva maneuver—induced headache, dizziness, and ataxia. Neuroimaging revealed a Chiari I malformation without syringomyelia. A history of idiopathic hypertension was noted. After posterior fossa decompression, pathologically elevated blood pressure was absent, and at 24-month follow-up evaluation the patient remained normotensive. Although seemingly rare, this case illustrates that some patients with tonsillar ectopia may exhibit elevated blood pressure. Clinicians should consider hindbrain herniation a rare cause in idiopathic hypertension.